Thursday, May 22, 2014

Five for Friday: Early Edition

They say the early bird gets the worm.. 

Well, in this case, the early bird hasn't blogged in two weeks and really wanted to link up with the Five for Friday this week, but knew it wouldn't have time since tomorrow is THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!  Can I get a Woot Woot?
 Yeah, I said that. The mass chaos & delirium of the last week of school led me to actually say "woot woot".

Forgive me. I said tomorrow is our last day of school and it's a half day, which means...
    7:45  Come in.
     8:15 Kickball Tournament (kids vs. teachers)
     9:30 Pick up lunches
     9:30 - 11:00   Movie, games and survive....ahem.... I mean, intense instructional focus
     11:15 Pack up, say goodbyes...cry a little...laugh a little...
     11:30  CELEBRATE!!!  The school year is over! :)

Allright, enough about that... on to my Five for Friday....last one of the school year (have I said that yet?) 

During my recent blogging hiatus, I celebrated a birthday, and MB was sweet enough to send me flowers to school.  Isn't that the best feeling?? And these puppies are still kickin' and smell oh-so-good!

   My #2 was my annual girls beach trip. It was late this year, but it's just me and my two best girlfriends that I grew up with leaving life behind and planting our butts on the white sands of Florida.  It's the best. 

   This year, we drove all night after work to get there....showed up at 2 am....and saw this....
Ummmm....yeah..... condo not clean. :(  Being so late, I couldn't call the owners. {Insert loud words that I can't put on this sweet little blog}, & we had to strip the beds and do laundry.... at 2 am. 
Oh yeah, awesome sauce, right?! 

  But, once the sheets were clean.. (among other cleaning tasks), and an email was sent to the owner... it was time for some much-needed sleep and some BEACH TIME!

 Ahhhh..... I'm still crossing my fingers that I have the winning numbers, so I can just PERMANENTLY prop myself up in this chair.
So, when I get back from the beach...what awaits me??
Mounds & mounds of paperwork...
My To-Do list is STILL not even halfway checked off, but it will get done, right??
Right?  RIGHT?
But, it's the last week of school, so we had to get some fun stuff in there.
My parent helpers and I got the kids' beach buckets together & they loved them!!
Always a hit..and this year, my parents were so generous :)
And lastly...since tomorrow is the last day (yeah, I said it again), I had to come up with some cute, budget-friendly gifts for the kiddos...a sweet little parting gift.
What did I do before Pinterest??  
These little pops turned out so cute! 
Thanks to the AWESOME Ashely Hughes for the super cute clip art!
If you are looking for a cheap, easy gift, here you go.
Click {here} to grab the tags for free. :)

Lastly, if you are looking for a summer pack for your kiddos, check out my Splashing through Summer packet.  It's 61 pages of daily work for your kids to do throughout the summer.

It's Common Core aligned to bridge the gap between first and second grade, and includes a parent letter and reading log.
Just click the picture! 

So, that's it, friends.  I know I'm a little early, but I just LOVE this linky.
Go check the others, and don't forget to link up so we can see all the fun stuff YOU did this week :)

Happy Friday!!!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

You Gotta See This! Wonderful Wish List Linky & a FREEBIE, too!

Tomorrow is the kick off of Teacher Appreciation Week.

It is also the kick off of my birthday week, and I've always thought the two went hand-in-hand for a reason. I was born to be a teacher.

There are days I truly believe I was born to be independently wealthy, too, but that one never seems to work out, so I'll stick with the day job! :)

Anyhoo.... as is tradition, TpT is hosting it's annual Teacher Appreciation Sale for two days only - Tuesday and Wednesday, May 6th and 7th.

I know a lot of us get tired of sitting down to blog stalk and finding nothing but product placement and shameless plugs. I do too. Honestly.

But, this is a little different. ..  I am linking up with some AMAZING bloggers to show you what is in MY cart, and a couple products I cannot live without....  And I can't wait to see what everyone else has in their cart because I'm always looking for new ideas :)

What's in MY Cart??
     To be honest, my cart is filled to the brim with over 500 things I would love to have, but we are keeping it to my top three things for this linky.  You will want these things....

#1 - My sweet, sweet friend Lisa Mattes of Growing Firsties has these amazing Common Core Crunch packs. They are perfect for reviewing skills, and this month, I am in desperate need of some review packet time. We are testing ....testing....testing.... and these packs make it so easy to keep the kids busy while giving them authentic work to do.  Love! I can't wait to snatch these two up!

#2 -Guiding Reading Greatness... I don't know about you, but I am always on the lookout for amazing Guided Reading materials. Every year, we all get a new crop of kiddos, with a new batch of needs.  I usually end up with the "low babies", which is my most favorite group to teach.

This year, I came across Simply in First's Comprehension packs and they are awesome... one of the BEST things I have ever bought.... so I have the other set on my wish list right now.
 The kids absolutely THRIVE doing these reading passages, and I love the way they teach the kids to actually think!  :)

Becca has generously offered a FREEBIE for everyone so you can check out a sneak peek of her next unit. Just click the picture to grab it. Seriously, friends, I used these packs with my first graders this year, and they were amazing!

#3 More Guided Reading Goodness...  For those higher learners in first grade and to assist with really differentiating instruction for all my kids, I can't wait to grab these.  Nonfiction reading passages with real photographs??  Yes, please!
My firsties love when we get to read our Weekly Reader, so I just KNOW this resource will be a huge hit!  Isn't this awesome?!

I could go on and on about my wish list, and even delve into my clip art obsession - which might or might not be getting out of control - but I gotta keep it to three, so I'm stopping.

Now, for my shameless plug....
Two of my own things I'd love you to check out!
The Splashing through Summer pack is perfect for bridging the gap between first and second grades.
We all know kids lose so much over the summer when they don't work out those brain cells. This pack is broken down into 50 days to get you through the summer.... kids can work at their own pace, or do it by the days that are listed. Either way, they'll be ready to go when school starts back!
My First Grade Common Core Homework packs are my most popular products. I can't believe all the amazing feedback and am so very grateful for the kindness of the TpT community...

 I am currently working on June (for those of you who will still be in school), but so far I have all of the sets, August - May, bundled into one pack.
They're so easy to use - NO PREP...just Print and Go! :)
Each month includes homework for every single night, broken down by weeks, and a reading comprehension passage for each week, as well.
Click on the above picture and go see all the previews for a sneak peek and more info....

Also, you save 20% buying the bundle, which is a great deal !

So, there you go.... yeah, yeah, this post is all about products, but it's products I promise you will LOVE!  

On another note, HAPPY TEACHER APPRECIATION to YOU!  I'm sure you don't get told enough how awesome you are, and just how much your hard work and dedication means to your students.. .and to those of us out here that get to share in this great, crazy, profession with you.  If anyone knows how hard you work.. we do. I do. So THANK YOU!  

And have a GREAT week!!! :)



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Currently... it's almost SUMMER!

That's right, friends, it's almost summer time, and that can only mean one thing...absolute chaos!

The end of the year is so hectic,and my brain is all over the place these days, so I was happily surprised to find out the latest Currently was up and running. I can't believe I almost forgot... I love this linky!! :)
Listening... to good ole' Greys.  I've watched this show since the very first episode, and I never miss one. I'll admit, there were times I wasn't a huge fan, but I've stuck it out, and here I sit... every.single. Thursday.  Hey, at least I'm loyal, right?!  And this one is a good one... No spoilers here, but WOW is all I can say!

Loving... my family and friends.  I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus due to my sweet, sweet daddy being in the hospital. He was in ICU for too many days, and there were times none of us knew what the outcome would be. The power of prayer is an amazing thing, and my daddy is home, resting, and doing much MUCH better.  They say, "You find out who your friends are", and ain't it the truth?! I love my family... and my FRamily...those friends who are more family than anything else.  What can I say - they mean everything to me :)

Thinking... of all the stuff that has to be done before May 23rd.  Tomorrow is field day, and then it's back to being buried under mounds of paperwork, and up to my eyeballs in testing. There's just too much testing.. I have to say.  I miss teaching... especially at the end of the year.  Yeah, I miss that. That's what I'm thinking.

Wanting... sleep.  Good ole mouth drooling, wet pillow, hard, snoring, deep REM cycle sleep. Yeah, I want that.  Stat. 

Needing... to get back on my health kick!  I was doing awesome. Down 13 pounds. Making good choices.  Then, the hospital.  It was a vending machine, McDonalds or Arbys as the choices, and I have to say, I fell off the wagon.  Time to get back on it.  I head to the beach in t-minus 12 days, and my swimsuit is not loving the light of day, to say the least....

Surprise!!  One of my most favorite bloggy peeps is Julie over at First Grade Critter Cafe'.  She is absolutely amazing.. a ray of sunshine on a rainy day...and just an all around awesome person and teacher.  And, she's about to get hitched!!  So, head on over to her blog & show her some love. You won't regret it! :)

So,that's it for me... Gotta watch the end of this episode, get the cooler ready for Field Day and hit the hay!  Hoping you all are having a wonderful week..and HAPPY MAY!!!

When do you get out of school?? The countdown has begun here... 16 school days....and definitely counting :)