Saturday, September 14, 2013

Scientific Method and a Freebie!

We like to start off our year in science by reviewing rules, tools, terms, and the scientific method. My kiddos especially loved using the scientific method this year to do all of the fun experiments! This science pack is great way to start out your science unit whether you use pieces and parts or the whole thing! You can check it out at our TPT store.

I also found a really cool G.O. that I intermixed with the one we use at Teacher's Take Out.
 I was so pleased that my kiddos picked up how to go through each of the steps so quickly this year! They really had a blast with all of the experiments. Check them out below:

Exploding Candy!
(I had to use the pic from the blog First Grader at Last because I forgot my phone and the camera I used decided to die on me! :(  
Much thanks to Sarah Cooley!)

Salt Art!

Dancing Raising!

The best part was I even had one of my little girls go home and do the experiment with her brother and mom!  I love when my kiddos are inspired to take what we’ve learned in the classroom and try it at home. :)

I feel like I've been working on my narrative writing pack FOREVER! Since it's taking me a bit...ok a lot longer than I intended I am including two freebie posters to get your kiddos started on narrative writing. You can check them out below. While your at our store please check out the opinion and informational writing packs that are finished. ;)
Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Five for Friday

This is our first time linking up for.....

And let me tell you these are going to be all sorts of random and have very little to do with teaching! 

1. I've been MIA for a 7 weeks to be exact. But I do have a good reason, I promise! The hubs and I welcomed this little girl at the end of July, and I have been soaking up every moment of my time home with her!
I haven't been back in the classroom yet as I still have 1 week left of leave. I'm not sure I can leave her next Monday morning.....

2. How fabulous are these shoes? What is even better is that I found them for $10. Oh yes. I'm wearing them for my sister's wedding next weekend. Fingers crossed I don't get stuck in the grass during their ceremony....

3. September only means one thing....

4. In my spare time I have been trying to read this book.
I saw her on GMA a few weeks back and I was intrigued. I'm only half way finished so I will let you know my thoughts when I'm done reading it. 

5. I have been so ready to get back into the groove of working out again. I have been (not so) patiently waiting for my doctor to give me the green light to start running and weight lifting. One week back and it feels pretty good. Well, for a while....then I wake up the next day and I am oh so sore. But, I'll take it!

What have you been up to this week?

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Currently's September already!?!?!?! I can't believe we are going into our 3rd week of school. Here's the latest currently hosted by Farley:
Listening: I am  HUGE Taylor fan...I love everything from her old to her new stuff. Oh and I love how whenever she's shown on camera at an awards show she ALWAYS seems to having the time of her life even when she's in the audience.
Loving: I was so excited for this 3 day long weekend until Friday night came and my sore throat started. Already I'm sick from my kiddos...Needless to say I truly enjoyed myself resting on the couch, although I missed babysitting my adorable niece and nephew!

Thinking: I really need to finish my narrative writing pack…hmm…maybe after a nice long walk in the sunshine!

Wanting: A cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera. I literally had a dream I ate one last night and now I have a HUGE craving!  Maybe my hubs will be up for a little drive…what do ya think!?

Needing: Some much needed zzz’s! It’s only been 9 days into school and I’m already wiped out!
1. Get workout DVD's: O.K. so if you're anything like me you are thinking "Well I just don't have the time to workout, school is just too demanding." I figure I better nip this in the bud before it gets outta control so I made a pledge to try a variety of workout DVD's from the library and find a couple that I truly LOVE so it makes working out a little less stressful and little more enjoyable. Fingers crossed ;)
2. Don't stress the little stuff: I am known by my family and close friends for stressing about EVERYTHING. I admit I'm a little OCD when it comes to having my house perfectly clean but why should I stress myself out over the "little things." God has blessed us with so much in our lives so I am going to make the most out of the weekends and not spend sooo much time vacuuming and dusting. It'll get done right!?
3. Be more efficient: For some reason this year I am spending so much time after school and not being very efficient. I really need to get into a groove so I make the most of my time and still be able to get home to cook dinner for my wonderful hubby!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grades 1-3 Opinion Writing!

Hello everyone!  I know it's been a little while since our last post but I just got back from sunny Florida (although we saw mostly rain and clouds-haha) As soon as I returned I've been busy finishing up my latest unit. As Jayme promised in her last post here is a sneak peak of our opinion writing pack.... 
This 39 page unit is a jam-packed resource with what you'll need to encourage your students to be opinionated writers! You can check it out at our TPT store.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Schedule Spotlight Series- Writing

We're linking up with Kelli from Castles and Crayons for another week of her Schedule Spotlight Series!

This week's topic is writing and I will admit, I have never seemed to find any one thing that works for me. I have changed how I have taught writing every year that I have been teaching. This year is no different. With writing being a 'big push' in Common Core, I sat down to brainstorm how I would tackle writing this year. Below I will explain what I came up with. But please keep in mind....I haven't even tried this yet! It could be a huge disaster or a huge success but I won't even know until late September if I like how it is working or not. So here it goes:

Last week I wrote that I incorporate my writer's workshop into Daily 5. I will be doing the same this year. However, I am not leaving one of my mini-lessons for writing. I am leaving a 30 minute block that will include a whole-group lesson, modeling, and independent practice for my kiddos.  
This year our grade level decided to focus on 1 specific writing type per quarter- 
Quarter 1: Narrative Writing
Quarter 2: Opinion Writing
Quarter 3: Informative Writing
Quarter 4: Review, Shared Research Writing

So, while we may only be working on 1 piece of writing a quarter, I will be incorporating focus lessons on the 6 + 1 traits as well. I am hoping it will look something like this:

We spend the first few weeks each quarter learning about the writing type, brainstorming ideas and beginning our writing pieces. Then, the next week I might focus on how to add voice to our writing. We will then go back and visit what we had previously written to revise and edit for voice. The following week we may discuss organization. Again, we will go back into the same writing piece and revise and edit for organization. I hope that by the end of each quarter, each student will have a strong piece of writing to reflect each writing type. 

This WILL NOT be the only writing they do! During work on writing, I am planning to give them smaller story prompts to work on. I will be able to see if they are able to apply our whole group lessons to their work independently. This will vary, as some weeks they will be able to have 'free writing' in their journals. 

My fingers are crossed that this will work! I guess I will need to follow-up to this post in a few months! Below I thought I would leave you with all of the writing resources I have gathered and collected to use this year (Thank you TpT!) Maybe you will find them useful in your classroom as well.

To set up work on writing in Daily 5:

To set up the foundation of Writer's Workshop (my 30 minute instructional block):

Common Core aligned teaching packs for each writing type:

Common Core Informational Text Writing (Grades 1-3)

Common Core Opinion Writing (Grades 1-3) &
Common Core Narrative Writing (Grades 1-3).....Coming soon!

Mini-Lessons for teaching writing traits:

Product Details

Be sure to link up and let us know how you teach writing in your classroom!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


It makes for a happy Tuesday when you sit down to do some blogging and notice you have been nominated for an award! Thanks to Regina from Keepin' It Krazy for sending the Leibster Award our way.

So in order to accept, we need to follow the 'rules' for the nomination:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated you.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 250 followers.
3. Answer questions posted for you by your nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself......(is it me or does that seem like alot?!)
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Contact your nominees either through their blog or by email.

Here are the questions that were sent our way:
1. How long have you been teaching?
Val is heading into her 6th year of teaching and I'm headed into my 5th year. 
2. What grades have you taught and which one is your favorite?
We have both only taught 2nd.....pretty easy to say which one we love the best!
3. Do you prefer to go into school early or stay late?
Early for sure. I love getting there when the halls are quiet and I don't have to wait in line for the copy machine! 
4. What are your hobbies?
Aside from teaching, blogging and creating? Working out, reading, pinning lots of pins that I think I will actually try and of course, hanging with the hubs!
5. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Honestly? I would love to go to Europe and spend weeks traveling through all of the different countries. I'm hoping to have enough saved by the time I retire ;)
6. When did you decide to be a teacher?
I was in 2nd grade myself. I had the most fabulous teacher and I wanted to be just like her. 
7. How many siblings do you have?
3- 1 little sister and 2 little brothers (who are not so little any more.....)
8. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
Depends on the day, depends on the lesson. I like all of them the best at one time or another.
9. What is your favorite food?
Mashed potatoes.....seriously
10. What is your favorite type of movie?
Either a good love story or a good comedy....depends on my mood.
11. What is your favorite part about blogging?
Getting so many great ideas from other wonderful teachers.

And for the random facts......
1. I have always lived in Ohio.
2. I did gymnastics for 18 years.
3. I'm born on the 4th of July....and I love it!
5. I have never broken a bone. (Knock on wood!)
6. I love my orange juice with lots of pulp. (I know, that usually grosses everyone out)
7. I didn't become a dog lover until the hubs and I got one back in college.  
8. My first time leaving the country was on my honeymoon.
9. Some people are terrified of driving over bridges....I'm terrified of driving over train tracks. 
10. I love thunderstorms!

Here are the questions for our nominees:
1. What grade do you teach?
2. What grade is your favorite to teach?
3. How long have you been blogging?
4. Do you have any pets?
5. Where was the last placed you vacationed?
6. Chocolate or vanilla?
7. What is your favorite season?
8. Have you always wanted to be a teacher?
9. What college did you graduate from?
10. If you could meet anyone famous, who would it be?
11. What is your favorite children's book?

And our nominees are....

Be sure to head over to their blogs and check them out!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Schedule Spotlight Series- Daily 5

It's that time of the week again.....we're linking up with Kelli from Castles and Crayons for her Schedule Spotlight Series

When it comes to Daily 5 I feel like there is not much to say. Then again, I feel like I have too much to say!

We get back from lunch at 12:20 and take a quick restroom break. By 12:30, we are in the room and ready to go. The intervention specialist comes to work with some kiddos from 12:40-1:20, so I had to re-arrange my schedule just a bit to make sure she could  meet with as many small groups as possible!

12:30-12:45-- Mini-Lesson
12:45-1:00-- Round #1
1:00-1:15-- Round #2
1:15-1:30-- Mini-Lesson
1:30-1:45- Round #3
1:45-2:00-- Mini Lesson

ROUNDS: Each morning the kiddos come in and make 3 choices. I keep all 4 choices (read to self, read to someone, work on writing and word work) in little tins. If they have meet with teacher or listening to reading, I make that choice for them. So, sometimes they come in and only need to make 1 or 2 choices. The order of their choices is the 'round' in which they will go to that choice. I have a rule that only 6 people can do read to someone each round. While announcements are on, I quickly run down each round and make sure there are an even number (and less than 6!) of students who have chosen read to someone.

The kids have a Daily 5 contract that they fill out each week too. (Thanks to Christina over at Sugar and Spice, who made it a few years back)
Every morning they have to mark off their choices. They have a certain number of time they can visit one station before they are done for the week. (We all know those kids who have their favorite station....) I also give them an assignment or two to complete during a station. I just type it on their contract and that is their reminder they have work to do for me before they can do the other choices (write in their journal, letter tiles, etc.) I collect all work and contracts on Friday. This is the easiest way to make sure every kiddo is getting to every station and they have an entire week to get their work done, which leaves them the choice about when to do it!
When it is time to break for rounds, I just call each station one at a time and the kids who are headed there get started. The kiddos who are meeting with me, head to our table and they are ready to go by the time I finish dismissing the rest of the class!

MINI-LESSONS: I am re-arranging my mini-lesson schedule this year. But I will share what worked for me last year. This schedule was set up because we used Reading Street. However, we are not using any basal this year, so I have some revamping to do! I also had to move my writing block to this time, so you will notice that one mini-lesson each day was devoted to my writing lessons. 

Monday: #1- Listen to Story
#2- Grammar 
#3- Writing

Tuesday: #1- Comprehension Skill
#2- Vocabulary (my kiddos loved using Teaching Vocabulary with Picture Books from Melissa McMurray!)
#3- Writing

Wednesday: #1- Listen to Story
#2- Grammar
#3- Writing

Thursday: #1- Comprehension Skill
#2- Cafe Strategy
#3- Writing

I kept the same schedule each week. Then, depending on what skill or strategy we were working on, I just stuck those activities in at the correct time each week. It made it so much easier to plan.

I love Daily 5 because I think it can be used and interpreted in so many ways. Be sure to link up and share what Daily 5 looks like in your classroom!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's the Fourth of July!

To celebrate the holiday, our TpT store is having a 20% off sale on Wednesday and Thursday. Interested in the sale too? Head over to Flying into First Grade to join in!

Monday, July 1, 2013

July Currently

Apparently I am late to this party! Wow, so many bloggers have already linked up with Farley for her monthly linky party. 

Listening: Pandora. It is so quiet around here during the day....just me and the dogs (who have no interest in getting out of bed!) I need to hear something in the background.

Loving: Hoping that this rain goes away so we can spend my birthday at the lake. I still have a few days to decide where to head to dinner too. Hmm....

Thinking: Let me tell you that we moved my 'office' into our guest room about 3 months ago. Actually, it was more like dumped everything from one room on top of the stuff in the other room. And it stayed that way. For 3 months. Now I no longer have a path to my computer....I have a completely organized room. Truly, there is nothing like an organized office space!

Wanting: To start getting started on my BTS list. It just keeps growing. And I don't seem to be doing anything about it. But I seriously feel like I just packed it all up! 

Needing: Sunshine. Although, a gloomy rainy day may help me get focused on heading into school to get some things done.

Tips: There are SO, SO many bloggers out there. It is easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others. Just remember to do it for yourself and it will be more enjoyable!

Happy July!

Friday, June 28, 2013


How often do you use rubrics in your classroom? After attending many common core training's this year, one of the biggest things that we took away is the importance of a rubric. Students need to understand what is expected of them as well as how they can earn the grade for their work. I'm not just talking about a rubric for writing samples. We went to a math training in which the presenter made a strong case for rubrics in the math setting as well. I already know this is going to be something I really need to focus on this year with my kiddos: how to read a rubric, how to understand one, and how to use one to 'check' their work and make sure everything is done as it needs to be. 

SO- I remember coming across some rubric poems a few years ago. I went on a search for those poems and I made them into posters for my classroom. I plan to post these around my room as a quick reference. These by no means are the actual rubrics I will be using to grade their work. But I thought if they could remember the poem for each number, it might help them to gain an understanding of the meaning of each number. 

If you're interested, you can click on the picture below to download them for *FREE*.

What are your thoughts on using rubrics in your classroom? We would love to hear any insight that you have!
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Schedule Spotlight Series- Math

I am linking up again with Kelli from Castles and Crayons for the 3rd week in her Schedule Spotlight Series. 

This week I get to ramble, I mean inform you of how I run my math block. Math was one of those blocks of time I became frustrated with because I couldn't find a 'routine' that worked for me or the kiddos. This past year was my first year implementing the Daily 5 structure into my math block and I loved it! I keep hearing that The 2 Sisters are going to come out with a structure for math like the Daily 5, but I was too impatient to wait for it. SO- I took their 'building stamina' concept and put it to work in my math block this year. After just a month of school I honestly wasn't sure which I liked teaching more....math or reading! I will share what I did this past year. I promise, I will try to be short and sweet!

My math block this past year was set up like this:
8:45-9:05- Mini-Lesson
9:05- 9:55- Rounds 1-4
9:55- Clean up & get to specials by 10:00!

MINI-LESSON: I tried to introduce a concept with either a book or Smartboard activity. After that, we would find our workbook page(s) for the day and complete the first few problems together. (Or they would solve and we would check together). I would quickly go over directions for the rest of the page and then it was time to break into our rounds. 

During our 'rounds' the kids would rotate to each station. They went to the same station during the same round each day....after a few weeks of reminding them where they were headed, they could do it on their own.

MEET WITH TEACHER- This time was used for a cumulative review of things we have been working on all year as well as a chance to re-teach or enrich the lesson as needed. Many of the fabulous TpT packs that I have found are utilized during this time. We try to do as much hands-on activities or games as we can during this time, but sometimes paper & pencil is necessary too!

MATH WITH A PARTNER- Each Monday I introduce a new 'game'. Once the kiddos see how to play the game, it goes into our bins of math centers. (Many TpT packs are found at this station too!)

This also takes very little prep time. Once a game is introduced, it stays there until the end of the year. So, we keep adding new choices as the year goes on- no excuse to be bored with any of the games! Each time they head here, they quickly find a partner, agree on a game and get started. They work until it is time to move to the next round.

MATH BY MYSELF- Students work at their seats to complete the workbook page for the day. If they finished before the round was over they worked on math task cards in their journal. I didn't require them to complete a certain amount of task cards each week. They are used more as a supplement activity. So, where  they stopped one day, they picked up the next time they worked on task cards. These are amazing because there is no prep on my part. I get them out the first day of school and they are there until the last! Check them out: Courtesy of Ms. Winston!

COMPUTERS- For a while I was just having my kiddos practice their math facts on various online sites. Then my school bought a license for Moby Math. This website is tailored to each child's need. So when one child logged on they may be reviewing place value, yet another child might be learning multiplication. I loved that their computer time was utilized to their specific needs as a learner!

And that's it! I was *in love* with how my math block ran this year and I can't wait to hit the ground running with it again this coming year!

Be sure to link up so I can get some ideas about how math block is run in your classroom!

Friday, June 21, 2013

I Can Statements

Isn't it amazing how easy it is to get used to not getting up with an alarm clock. I mean, I've been getting up when the hubs gets ready for work but I had to set my alarm clock for a training the past two days and WHEW! I'm feeling a little rough right now. Anyways, aside from attending the training, I have been hard at work on our newest TpT product! We have just added 3rd grade I Can statements for all of the ELA standards. 

So, if you teach 3rd grade or know of someone who might be interested, send them over to our store!

And for being such loyal followers, we're going to give away one pack for free! Leave a comment below (with your email address) and we will pick one comment at random on Sunday night. The winner will choose to receive either the 2nd grade or 3rd grade pack. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Schedule Spotlight Series- Calendar

I'm linking up with Kelli again from Castles and Crayons for the 2nd week of her Schedule Spotlight Series Linky Party.

My morning usually looks like this:
8:30-8:40- Morning Work
8:40-8:45- Calendar

Yes, we spend all of 5 minutes on our calendar. My kiddos are pretty self sufficient with the calendar after only the first few weeks of school. So, my calendar helper gets the calendar ready as part of their morning work. That way when it is time to do calendar, all they need to do is share. I don't do much except prompt what they should be sharing with the class. Here is a quick run-down of how we utilize those precious 5 minutes.

We actually share the calendar from our seats. I don't have any bulletin board space near my carpet area, so after announcements are over, we turn towards the calendar so my helper can share. Here is a picture of my calendar from last year. It will be set up the same way again this year.

He/she will have already added the date to the calendar (we add as we go). They will say "Today is Tuesday, June 18, 2013". Then they share any important dates coming up (holidays, school events, birthdays, etc.) When we get close to an event they are really excited for such as a field trip or a school break, we will figure out how many days we have until that event happens.

Then we move on to the weather. The helper should have already added to our monthly weather graph. They will state what they chose as our weather for today and I will call on 2 students from their seats to compare our weather using a comparison sentence with more than, less than or equal to. ("There are more sunny days than rainy days")

We also keep track of how many days we have been in school using straws in a pocket chart. They will share what our new count is and in what place value they had to put their straw. We quickly talk about how many ones, tens and hundreds make up the number. ("We have been in school for 46 days. How many tens and ones makes 46?") We also count our days of school using coins. I have a 'piggy bank' on the board. They use a dry erase marker to add a coin for each day. My rule is that they need to show that number using the fewest number of coins; so we are constantly making trades for bigger coins.

After that, I have a key ring full of Calendar Task Cards. (Thanks to Christina Bainbridge! Use the following link to check them out yourself: and I ask my helper one question a day.

And that's it! Since the calendar helper gets the work done before we share calendar, it allows us to move through sharing the calender pretty quickly!

Head over to Kelli's blog and join in on the fun!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Schedule Spotlight Series- Morning Work

I am linking up with Kelli from Castles and Crayons for her Schedule Spotlight Series. I'm super excited about this becuase I love hearing how others organize and structure their classrooms! This week's topic is morning work.

Morning work is something we do but it moves quickly in my classroom! Students can start to enter the room at 8:20 when the first bell rings. Most of my kiddos come at this time becuase they are coming from breakfast. This helps us get a jump on our morning. When they come in, they put their items in their cubbies, turn in their folders for me to go through, make their lunch count, sharpen their pencils and make their Daily 5 choices for the day. I give them until the tardy bell rings at 8:30 to get this done. My pencil sharpener also 'closes' when the last bell rings. Even if they are in line or in the middle of sharpening, they need to stop and head back to their seats. We have televised announcements Tuesday-Friday which begin right at 8:30, so this eliminates the sound of the pencil sharpener and announcements trying to out-do each other.  During this time I take attendance, lunch counts and make sure all Daily 5 choices are ready for that afternoon. 

This past year was the first year our school went to block scheduling. In order to fit in my math block before we head to specials, we need to be completely done with morning work by 8:40. So....what do my kiddos actually do in the 10 minutes we have allotted for morning work (at the same time they are watching announcements)? Our Secret Number of the Week!

I bought this pack and it works perfectly in the time frame we have for morning work. What also works well is that the student recording sheet is broken into 'boxes'. Each day the kids have to complete a different box and they always complete the same box each day of the week. After the first week or so of school, I don't need to give directions in the morning! It works like this:

Monday- I post clues about our secret number and the kids have to figure out the secret number.
Tuesday- They have to show the secret number in as many ways as they can.
Wednesday- They have to come up with 3 addition and 3 subtraction problems that use the secret number. 
Thursday- They have to come up with as many ways as they can to show the secret number using dollars and/or cents.
Friday- They have to create their own story problem using the secret number. 

Honestly, this pack is fabulous! All the materials are included and it gives the students 'free reign' of their leaning. My struggling kiddos can come up with simple math problems while my higher kiddos try to think of the most outrageous ones. (By the end of the year they are trying to use multiple steps as ways to show the secret number.....they even learn how and when to use parentheses!)

When it is time to check over our work, I can do a quick walk through to make sure each child has completed the box for the day and then we go over example answers together. This goes quickly...usually 3-4 minutes.  And that's it! We make the most of the time we have and the consistency of the everyday routine helps to get things moving in the morning.

Be sure to head over and link up to share how you do morning work in your classroom!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Did you enter this giveaway yet?!

As I was catching up on blogs today, I noticed that Christina Bainbridge from Bunting, Books and Bainbridge was having a HUGE giveaway!

There are some fabulous prizes to win, be sure to head over and enter her giveaways! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Measurement Olympics

For the past few years I have always done a 'Measurement Olympics' with my kiddos. I used to do it as a wrap up to our measurement unit but this year I waited and did as an end-of-the-year activity. They had a lot of fun with it as they usually do and of course, I don't have pictures becuase I just now thought of it.....only about 2 weeks too late!

However, after searching online I have seen so many different versions of it done and there are so many different activites for your kiddos to do. I have taken the ones that I use with my kids and complied it into a small pack. By all means, these are not the only 'events' you can have your kids participate in.

Since we have been MIA for quite some time, I thought it was time for a small giveaway. Click on the link below to download your *free* copy and stash it away for next school year!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, June 3, 2013

June Currently

Hear that?! That is the sound of SUMMER BREAK! I thought that to kick things off, I would link up with Farley for her June eddition of Currently.

Listening: I absolutely love hearing lawn mowers and such. It is one of the biggest reminders that summer is here (or at least right around the corner!)

Loving: That we are OFFICIALLY on summer break. I had a fabulous group of kiddos this year and although I am sad to send them off, I am more than ready for some R & R this summer!

Thinking: I am already thinking of the gazillion things I want to tackle this summer. My plan? Create a small to do list each day. I will be focused without being overwhelmed. Day 1- check!

Wanting: I have yet to visit an ice cream stand.....but I can hear a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup flurry calling my name...

Needing: Someone to help with my weeds. That is truly the only thing I have a 'green thumb' for. Seriously.

3 Vacation Essentials:
Sunscreen- There is nothing worse than having to spend the rest of the rest of your vacation outstide with a sunburn. Or even worse, stuck inside. Call me crazy, but I always head to the beach with SPF 50 and SPF 30- I can't stand when my skin feels like leather!
Books- Plural, as in, I usually stop at the library and pick up 3-5. Wouldn't want to be stuck without some reading material!
Peace of Mind- Thanks to the hubs, I have learned to head to vacation with a clear head (or at least clear mine while I am on vacation) If it were up to me I would still spend the week thinking of things I needed to get done when I got back home. He has taught me to forget about those things while we are away.....Isn't that the point of a vacation anyways?!

Hope that you are having a great start to your summer break as well! And if you're one of those trying to push through those last few days.....I'm thinking of ya!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Looking Ahead

So this is the time of year we are all anxious for next year right!? This year we are a little more stressed due to incorporating all new curriculums next year…but it’s also very exciting to be working with new materials!

Organizing is how I stay sane.  haha I just wasn’t happy with my word work cart from this year.  It always got messy, and students had to dig through bins to get the word work they were searching for.  Therefore, I arranged my word work bins on my back counter in pull out drawers. Now, it’s so much easier for my kiddos to see what they want to work on.  Also, I don’t have to reorganize my cart every day!
 Ok so I have to tell you a funny story…being a teacher is always full of surprises! My kiddos were so excited to use the new drawers for their word work the next day that they came in.  However, when they went to their first round all I heard was a bunch of loud squeaks! We all looked at the word work bins and started laughing. Apparently if you don’t pull out the drawers just right they exhibit a horrible shrill pitched sound. Call me crazy but I always keep a WD 40 pen in my supplies drawer and home, so now I have purchased one for school too. It has really come in handy to fix those squeaky drawers!
Did you notice the great polka dot labels!? That’s my theme next year and I downloaded this freebie from Mercedes Hutchens. I have also used them as my daily five reading group labels and math labels check them out. I just love finding awesome freebies on TPT!

I would love to hear what your themes are for next year. Please post what you are planning to do!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Yikes! How is it the end of April already?! I'm not complaining by any means how quickly the end of our school year seems to be going, but I mean my last post was written at the beginning of this month! But don't take it personally- I just can't seem to keep my head above water at school or at home either.

C'est la vie!

 Anyways, last week our 3rd-5th grade students had their OAA tests. This year our school tried something new and each grade level K-2 "adopted" a classroom in grades 3-5. The thought was to provide some encouragement to those kiddos taking the test while promoting the need to 'Do Your Best' at the same time. I know my second graders had fun doing this and they liked the idea that they would be the getting these same acts of kindness next year.

First, we used the Operation-Ego- Booster pack to create letters to each student in the classroom we adopted. This pack is *full* of ideas to use. On the first morning of testsing, our grade-level lined the hallways to 'cheer' on our kids as the went to breakfast before testing time.

Then, each day that our adopted class had a test, we left them a treat on their desk. We found these adorable Motivational Testing Notes to use.

Such cute and easy ideas to use during state testing week. We take 2nd grade diagnostics in the fall and I am going to use some of these ideas for my own kiddos next year.

I'm off to take advantage of this rainy day and get some things done. Hopefully it won't be 3 weeks until I'm back again :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Currently

How is it already time for April's eddition of currently?! I'm not complaining but I can't believe the end of the school year is approaching so quickly! Head on over to Oh Boy 4th Grade so you can join in on the fun too! 

I can't believe we only have 8.5 weeks of school left! I am thrilled at the prospect of summer being just around the corner and I know these weeks will go all to quickly!

Do you also feel like you have a never-ending to-do list. I mean I was on break last week and I am please with how much I go done, but the lists just keep growing.

It's Ohio.....and it's cold. Like way too cold. This morning when I headed to work it was around 30 degrees. That is February weather to me.'s April. We should be in the upper 40's by the end of the week. I'm sure it will feel spectacular!

The best advice I can give about blogging? Don't sweat the small stuff. There are so many fabulous, wonderful and over-the-top blogs out there. How you all manage to squeeze it into your life is beyond me. I started with high hopes and good intentions. But life gets in the way sometimes (ok a lot of the time) and all those plans I had for blogging or creating some new learning packs gets pushed to the wayside. And ya know what, sometimes I have to be ok with that. 

Happy April!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Break Linky

So I am two days into spring break and already I feel like I am behind! When I saw this bucket list linky it gave me inspiration to try something new. See my list below:

1. Try to relax and not worry about things!  This is a hard one for me but I am trying my best...
2. Get a new kitchen table.
3. Shop for some good bargains!
4. Spring CLEAN
5. Work on new packs for our TPT store.
6. Check out new blogs and get ideas for next year.
7. Organize my hubby's closet. (I just don't understand how he can stand it not color coded haha)
8. Have lunch with my mom and mother-in-law.
9. Splurge and try a new restaurant with my hubby.
10. Take my niece and nephew to play indoor mini golf.

I hope you all have a wonderful and RELAXING spring break!!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Linky Party

I stumbled across this wonderful little blog today and just had to join this linky party!

So are you ready?! Here are three things about me...which 2 are the truth and which is a lie?

1. I am absolutely affraid of train tracks. You know how some people get nervous to drive over bridges? I get that way driving over tracks....every.single.time. I'm so nervous that the sensors are broken or I'm not going to hear the train. Kinda crazy, I know.

2. I have only participated in one sport my entire life.....gymnastics. My mom says I was always climbing and flipping over furniture so my parents put me in it when I was 2. I spent the next 18 years doing it!

3. I love orange juice with pulp....lots of it! The hubs knows that he needs to leave the store with the containers labeled 'high plup'. good!

Head on over to join this party and meet some fellow bloggers! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Common Core Math I can Statments

We just began the daunting process of curriculum mapping for the new standards. Don’t get me wrong it’s very exciting to be looking at new ideas but it’s overwhelming at the same time. I was lucky to not only map with my teammates but also with a neighboring district. I wish I could do more collaborating with other districts….it’s neat to hear what others are using/doing to teach their kiddos math.

Mapping led me to create I can statements for math.  Included in the common core statements are:
-34 I can cards labeled with each standard
-Pictures to accompany each statement
-Kid friendly language
Check it out at our TPT store!

Hope you have a great week!  I'd love to hear what great ideas your using for the new common core math!