Monday, November 26, 2012

Motivation Monday {Link up!!}

It's Monday, again! 

 After having a week off it has been difficult for me to get my mind off vacation mode!  To help me get back in my groove I have been doing work and blog related activities ALL day.  {Including creating a super-awesomely-great Grinch literacy unit!!}

I came across these two videos during my inter web travels today.  I hope they make you smile!


I am finishing up my Grinch unit this week.  What literacy activities would you want if you were doing a Grinch themed holiday celebration?

Don't forget to link up!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Liebster Blog

Is it awful that I'm dreading going back to work on Monday?  I love what I do - and I LOVE my students {even the difficult ones}, but when the break is over administration will be doing informal evaluations with the support staff {training purposes for the support staff} which means I will have roughly 6 people watching my every move.  I know I'm a good teacher, but having 6 pairs of eyes watching my every move is a bit intimidating!  

Rant over.

On a much lighter note, Kelly from Thirsy Firsties {go check out her blog!} nominated me for the Leibster Award!

The Leibster Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  It is to show new bloggers that they are appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs.

The rules:
*You must post 11 random things about yourself.
*Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
*Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
*Choose 11 blogs you love {with less than 200 followrs} and link them in your post.
*No tag back {but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Leibster post so I can learn more about you!}

So here it goes!
11 random things about me:
1} I have a passion for animals - especially dogs.
2} I have an older brother - we were born 2 years and 1 day apart!
3} My boyfriend's name is Tim.  We have been dating for 4 months.
4} I want to have 4 children.
5} Regular cola is my cryptonite.
6} If/when I do get married, my wedding dress will be pink.
7} I love post-its!
8} If I had an endless amount of money, I would open no-kill shelters EVERYWHERE.
9} I love my job.
10} I used to be a World of Warcraft addict.
11} I dislike how many times I have used the word "I".


Questions from Kelly, along with my answers:

1} What's your favorite thing about blogging?
Sharing experiences and resources from the classroom has got to be the most rewarding!
2} What's your favorite blog?
The Learning Tree - I work with Kimberly.  She inspires me more than she could ever know.  She's made me a better teacher, and she's the reason I'm blogging!
3} How long have you been teaching?
I am currently in my third year teaching.
4} What is your favorite vacation spot?
My entire family goes to Englewood, Florida every year.  It's tradition - and I love it.
5} What is your favorite thing to cook?
Anything that comes in a box with directions!
6} What is your favorite store?
The Dollar Tree by far!  They always have something I can use!
7} What was been your best TPT purchase?
Hmm..this is a hard one.  I guess it would be Deanna Jump's guided reading packet.
8} Coke or Pepsi?
When given a choice I'd choose coke - but they really do taste the same to me.
9} What's your favorite Christmas movie?
My favorite Christmas movie is Home Alone.
10} What's your favorite TV show?
Glee! {Yes, I'm a gleek.  Proud of it!!}
11} What's been the hardest thing about blogging?
Gaining followers has been the hardest....and finding time to check out other blogs to network.  I'm busier than I'd like to be! 


Questions for the blogs I am nominating:

1} If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
2} Why did you choose to become a teacher?
3} Why did you start blogging?
4} What has been the best thing to happen in your years as a teacher?
5} Skittles or M&M's?
6} What was the last book you read for you?
7} Apple or Android?
8} If you could create a new species, what would it be?
9} Acrylic nails or au naturale?
10} What food makes your mouth water just by saying it's name?
11} What are your plans for the holidays?


Blogs I am nominating:


Thanks to everyone who read this post!  Those who I nominated - please remember to comment to this post when you have responded {if you choose to - and I hope you do!}.  I look forward to reading your responses!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cyber Monday Sale!

Happy Thanksgiving break!

I have SO been enjoying my time off.  Hopefully you are all home relaxing and getting ready for the Cyber Monday {and Tuesday!} Teachers Pay Teachers sale that most everybody in blog world is participating in.  I will also have all my items on sale for 20% off + 10% off your entire order {from TpT}!

Since my blog is fairly new, I haven't had a chance to show what I've got!  Here is just a ALL of my freebies that are on TpT.  I hope you stop on by!

I JUST got done putting the finishing touches on these two:

I started making Imagine It vocabulary cards last year...I didn't quite have the ambition to finish so I've only done a few units.  {Maybe I'll finish all of the units now....maybe.}

These have been my best sellers {and I personally LOVE these}.  End of year memory books for Kindergarten, First, and Second grade! {Only first grade pictured below.}

I absolutely adore my colorful word wall.  I am challenging my firsties to learn as many words this year as possible.  {Hence why I made the printable activities to use at my sight word center!}  I wanted to make a word wall that was engaging and appealing to the eyes.  The more their little eyes look at the words the better!

My other products include:

Now onto everyone's favorite: FREEBIES!  Here is a list - I hope you check them out and rate them!  I love to get feedback so I can grow and improve!

I hope you stop by if not just for the freebies!  

Side note:  I am tutoring 1st-5th graders two days a week.  The students are separated into three rotations by grade: 1st/2nd, 3rd, and 4th/5th.  The older children are tired of doing multiplication and division drills.  I'm looking for some sort of winter project or FREE activity that will last us the next four weeks.  Any ideas?!?!

Until next time my friends..Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Motivational Monday {Blog Hop!!}

I'M ON VACATION!! {An at home vacation, but just as good!}

Many of us are now on Thanksgiving break.  {Happy dance!}  For those of you who have to work the beginning of this week - here's a little quote to hopefully make your day a little brighter.

Happy Monday everyone!

Join our blog hop!
Click here to get the InLinkz code.
Copy/paste it into your html tab to add the link list to your post.
Don't forget to grab the button up top too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Turkey Craftivity {Free Pattern}

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and I can't seem to find time to fit in all of the fun and wonderful activities I've found in blog world!  How in the world do you find time to fit it all in?!

I did find time to fit in a turkey activity on Monday.  I started by reading the Thanksgiving issue of Time Magazine for Kids.  Then, we talked about what we are thankful for.  {Almost all of them said their mom.} 

Then we created these pinterest inspired guys!  You can download the pattern for free!

Here's what is needed:
Brown construction paper for the body
Variety of colors of paper for feathers
Orange construction paper for beak and feet
Googly eyes or print the eyes from the document
and of course - glue and scissors.

I used paint chips instead of construction paper.  {If you ask a clerk at your local hardware store, they will most likely allow you to take as many chips as you want!!}  I also made sure to have everything traced and ready to be cut for the little ones.

Here they are in action:

Most of the turkeys turned out adorable....but of course there's always the one or two that make you tilt your head to the side and think "?!?!"

More fun shall be posted soon!  Happy Wednesday all.  : )

Monday, November 12, 2012

Motivation Monday {Linky}

One more week until Thanksgiving Break! {And 5 days until my cousin gets married - I'm so incredibly happy for him!}

I was browsing You Tube and I came across this teacher-slash-comedian who tells everyone what teachers really do.  I apologize for the low quality and audio of the video {and I find the amount of camera angle changes quite comical on its own} - but it's worth the watch!  


Don't forget to link up!  Grab the Motivational Monday button above to include in your post, then link back!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Special Visitors!

It has been a long, tiring week with 6 "accidents"{SIX!!!!}, meetings, and all of the extra responsibilities I have volunteered to do.  It definitely helped that we had two very special {and ridiculously cute} visitors today!

This little guy was found wandering our main hallway.  I was DYING to take him home, but it just wasn't possible.  I am so happy that a fellow first grade teacher took him home and is planning on keeping him.  She has already named him "Troy". 

This sweet girl was found in our parking lot, excitingly bouncing from teacher to teacher as we arrived.  A colleague is planning on taking her to the vet to check for a chip.  If she does not have one, that teacher will adopt her! {She answers to "Princess" - and now she will be treated like one!}

Both dogs were neglected - both very skinny.  "Princess" has skin issues.  I am so thankful to have colleagues that share the same passion that I do for animals.  There was no way I was going to let either one of those dogs go with animal control - even if I had to take them until I found them a home.

How awesome is it that these dogs will have a warm, safe place to sleep tonight?!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Motivational Monday {Linky}

Greetings all!  Today marks a brand new school week and fresh start!

For this weeks Motivational Monday {hosted by Sara, Kimberly, and I} I wanted to do a simple quote or comic - but I came across an excerpt from Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul...I just have to share it.  It's a reminder of why we do what we do.  Enjoy. :) {I apologize - it is rather lengthy.  But it's a good read!}


Why Choose Teaching?

by Bonnie Block

My family was gathered for a leisurely summer barbecue when the discussion arose about a celebrity who earned an excessive amount of money. I’ve forgotten if it was a sports figure or an actor. In today’s society, it doesn’t seem to matter. The major criteria for receiving mega dollars seem to be determined by how much the audience will pay to watch the performer achieve.

Then why choose teaching for a career? I only half-listened to their conversation as I pondered the answer to that question. 

I remembered my three children watching me spend many nights and weekends planning for my class.  I remembered how they intently listened to my frustrations concerning materials, procedures and the amount of responsibility that seemed to endlessly be thrust into the laps of classroom teachers. I remembered how they eagerly awaited to hear stories of my classroom children: those funny ones; those when the children had successfully achieved; and those when I shared my grave concerns about my students.

I remembered when it came time for each of my own children to choose a profession. How I waited to hear if any had plans to follow Mom into teaching. Long deliberations held no mention of anyone becoming a teacher. I sadly realized it was not even going to be a consideration. Their body language seemed to say, “Why would I choose teaching?”

Dessert was being served, and everyone was still engrossed in the discussion of the enormous salary of one individual, when the phone rang. My husband handed the phone to me, saying, “They’re looking for Bonnie Block.” Then he resumed eating his favorite dessert.

“Hello, this is Bonnie Block,” I said, debating whether I should have even answered the phone during the family meal.

“Is this the Bonnie Block who used to teach kindergarten?”

A nervous sensation swelled in me, and my mind raced with memories of those days so long ago.

“Yes!” I exclaimed with a lump in my throat. It seemed like forever as I waited anxiously to hear what the caller would say next.

“I am Danielle—Danielle Russ. I was in your kindergarten class.”

Tears of surprise and joy rolled down my flushed cheeks.

“Yes,” I uttered softly as I remembered that darling, wonderful child.

“Well, I am graduating from high school this year, and I have been trying to find you. I wanted you to know what a difference you made in my life.”

She proceeded to give details of how I made that difference. My influence on her wasn’t limited to kindergarten but remained a strong motivating force when she needed a coach to help her meet a challenge. “I pictured you praising and encouraging me all the way.”

Why choose teaching?

The pay is great!


Now it's your turn.  Grab the button, link up, and spread the love!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

Thank you everyone who participated in my giveaway and followed my blog as I hurdle myself into the blogging community!  It is now time to announce the winners! {Sorry for the delay, yesterday was boyfriend day.  :) }

The winner of the $25 Lakeshore giftcard is....
Rikki M.!!
The winner of an item of their choice from Mrs. Santana's TpT store is...
Lori V.!!

 Ladies, you will be contacted a.s.a.p!

Thank you everyone!  
Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for the Motivional Monday linky!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy {day after} Halloween!
I wanted to create this post yesterday, but silly me left my phone {my make shift camera} sitting on my desk! So, I'm a day late.  {Early p.s. - don't forget to register for my giveaway!}

We started the day with a read aloud of three informational texts on bats.  I was stunned by how my firsties were fascinated!  I am discovering that my littles love non-fiction - it's just hard for them to read on their own right now.

After reading and learning about bats, they wrote two things they learned.  They did such a great job - I was extremely proud!
 This young lady wrote "Thay use ecollcason. Bas ary wm blude." {Translation: They use echolocation.  Bats are warm blooded.}  I don't know about you, but there's something endearing about phonetic spelling!

After they finished writing and coloring their bat picture, we created bats! Here are some of the finished products.

My kiddos did such a great job!  {The writing prompt paper and the bat template were a wonderful freebie from A Cupcake for the Teacher.}

After lunch, computer lab, and specials, we got back to the classroom for some more Halloween fun.  We had been learning how to use addition to help subtract - so I decided we would use Primary Graffiti's's Candy Corn Fact Family packet!  I only used the recording sheet - I gave them all candy corn and they used a ten frame to create their fact families.
Of course they got to eat the candy corn after we finished! {I noticed one of my little ladies was missing the white tips off of all of her candy corn...hmmm....}

Alas, it was Wednesday which means we had early dismissal.  I wanted to use Miss Kindergarten's Halloween Safety Book.  I ended up reading it to the class and sending it home with the students to complete since we ran out of time.  Boo. :(

Of course the day ended with way too much sugar and hyperactiveness as the kiddos got more and more excited about what was still to come in the evening.

Don't forget to sign up for my giveaway!  The deadline is Friday at midnight!!  Pass it on. :P
Happy teaching!