Sunday, October 13, 2013

Congrats TPT! Let's Celebrate with a 28% off Sale!

Hi friends!

So I'm a little late to the party, but I figured better late than never!  Our dear friends at TPT have hit 100,000 likes so they're throwing a flash sale! SURPRISE! I don't know about you but I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good sale! So I thought I would add to the fun and put my itty bitty store on sale also! Be sure to use the code FB100K to get your discount for TPT! Head on over to my store to take a look!

I hope you are able to make that wishlist of yours a little shorter!  I know I'm planning on it.

That's it for me for now. We're heading to the pumpkin patch today with this sweet little cutie of mine! I may or may not be more excited than her.  Looking forward to getting some good pictures of her and making some more lasting memories.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekly Spelling Lists for Nat Geo

Hey friends!

Just popping in for a quick update on a new product in my TPT store tonight.  As I said before, this year is our first year of adoption for National Geographic's Reach for Reading program.  I have created a couple of other useful tools if you are using this program also, but tonight's deal focuses strictly on spelling.

Hot off the press you can get a packet of spelling lists for all 32 weeks of the program, based specifically on the spelling skills and vocabulary words for each week.  The first 10 words of the list are skill words for the week and are directly from the teacher's manual.  The second ten words include all of the weekly vocabulary words for each week, and some of the academic social studies vocabulary for each week.

Now you may be wondering why I have a list of 20 spelling words for my firsties?  Do I really give them all 20 words?! And the answer is goodness, NO!  Each of my firsties only gets 10 words. I'll be back more to explain how I do spelling in my classroom tomorrow. I need to take some pictures to help it all make sense for you all. So stay tuned! It's one of my favorite things that I do in my classroom and I can't wait to share with you!

In the meantime, head on over to my TPT store and check out the weekly lists. I'll fill in the blanks for you tomorrow!

P.S. Don't forget to follow me through Google or BlogLovin'! I'm considering a giveaway of any item in my store once I hit 15 followers!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Currently September {1st Timer here!!}

I've always wanted to be a part of Farley's monthly link, but never really felt worthy. Not sure what's changed, but I'm putting myself out there and giving it a shot, so here goes.


Let's just say it's one of many reasons as to why we're currently trying to sell our house! Had we known 5 years ago what we know now about our neighbor's dogs and how they constantly bark at all hours of the morning, day, and night {yes, including the middle of the night}, I can promise you we would have never bought the place.  Welp-there they go again!


I'm all about nice, warm weather.  However, I don't know about the rest of you all, but it has been H.O.T. here in good ole' Indiana the last 3 weeks {basically since we went back to school, conveniently}.  I think the heat and humidity are finally past us, at least for awhile, so we can finally go back outside and enjoy ourselves each evening. My daughter is all about playing outside and it's just been too hot to do anything so we've been staying inside, which means LOTS of Finding Nemo.


My sweet mom's birthday is Thursday. She'll be turning 60 folks. I can hardly believe it and I know she is struggling with that fact a little bit. Actually a lot of bit I'm sure. More than she will ever let anyone else let on to believe.  My parents have done SO much for us, that it's so hard to figure out what to get them. I know that she ultimately just loves spending time with us, Kayleigh in particular, and to have a new collage of pictures of her to hang, but she deserves something more. I would love to surprise her with plane tickets to Hawaii {they've never been}, but that's just not in the budget this year. I hope to someday.


We've been trying to sell our house for almost a month now and we have not had one single showing!!! It's so frustrating! Our house is nothing special, but it's cute and well taken care of, so I thought we would have a couple of bites so to speak. But no. Nada. Nothing. And considering I've got probably the most impatient husband in the world, it makes it even harder.  We did have an Open House last Sunday and had 6 couples come thru, but nothing else. Total bummer! Please keep your fingers crossed for us!


I absolutely positively need to finish my planner for this year, but just can't get myself to sit down and do it. That's actually what I should probably be doing right now.  But this is more fun. I would love, love, love to buy an Erin Condren planner since I've seen so many cute ones and everybody RAVES on about them, but I just can't justify spending $60 on a planner, unless it's going to write things down for you and alert you when something important is coming up.  So I guess I'll just stick with my ole' boring one and maybe get a little crazy and take it to the copy shop to get it bound nicely.  We'll see.


 I love fall. It's one of my favorite seasons. Along with summer and spring. Obviously I'm not a fan of winter. I hate snow. Hate the cold. Clearly I'm in the wrong hemisphere for that. But anyways-I'm looking forward to taking my sweet little miss to an apple orchard that's about 40 minutes from where we live. Our first grade classes take a field trip there every other year. She will love it and I would love to show the hubs around.

Somehow convince someone to seriously look into our house and get a showing. Maybe an offer. Maybe a SOLD sign. I don't know. Please, please, please!!

And finally, get home at a decent time. School started 3 weeks ago today and I have not gotten home before 5 since then. Actually before then, but I'll try not to think about that. Folks, our kiddos get out at 3:15!!!! So my goal starting next week is to get out of there before 5 at least twice throughout the week. Spend some more quality time with my sweet little miss, ornery husband, and 3 small ponies also known as our pups.  We'll see how well I can stick with that.

Well friends, this chick is off to read some Nicholas Sparks. Sorry, I'm totally a sucker for his sappy, tear-jerking stories. I'm currently reading The Best of Me. It's a good one. It reminds me a lot of The Notebook in some ways, but we all know that's a timeless classic. I've only got about 70 pages left. I'm hoping I can finish it tonight, so I can head back to the library to get some new books.

Have a good one!

P.S. Don't forget to follow me through Google or BlogLovin'! I'm considering a giveaway of any item in my store once I hit 15 followers!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


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BOOKiT! Monthly Tracking

Hi friends!

Just popping in to let you know about a new freebie that I just added to my TPT store.

Hopefully you are all aware of Pizza Hut's BOOKiT! reading incentive program! If not, you definitely need to look into it. It's a great, easy to use program to encourage your students to participate in because they can earn a free personal pizza coupon! Who doesn't love pizza?! And a free pizza at that.

Here's how it works.

The teacher sets  a monthly reading goal for your class. It can be measured really in any way you like-minutes per night, per month, or by books read.  I tell my kids that they have to read for at least four nights a week for 20 minutes in order to meet the goal.  They record the nights they read on a free form from Pizza Hut's BOOKiT! website.  At the end of the month, their parent's have to sign the recording sheet and the kiddo has a week to bring it to school. One I received the form, I fill out a coupon with the child's name and school info. I am sure to announce to the class that so and so completed their monthly BOOKiT! calendar, just as a little moment of pride and reward for the kiddo.

I like to take it a step further and try to motivate my kiddos to participate even more by throwing a pizza party at the end of the year for those kids who reached their goal every month (October-March).  We, of course, enjoy Pizza Hut pizza.  They absolutely LOVE this!

If you've never done this program before, it really is great and low maintenance which I'm sure we all love. It's encouraging the kiddos to read and rewarding them with a world-wide kid favorite-PIZZA!

I'll be laminating my tracking sheet Tuesday morning and hanging up this week!  Hop on over to my TPT store to get your copy!

P.S. Don't forget to follow me through Google or BlogLovin'! I'm considering a giveaway of any item in my store once I hit 15 followers!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Before & After {New Classroom, New Look}

So as I've said before I moved into a new classroom this year.  Another firstie teacher and I are in side by side rooms with a retractable wall...that is completely retracted. Our plan and goal is to co-teach/team teach our first grade classes together this year with the plan of being able to better meet the needs of all of our students through small guided reading groups at a more individualized level.  We haven't gotten that far yet, but we are both SO excited with how well things have been going in our classrooms these first two weeks of school.

I've been asked a lot if we were told/made to teach this way this year and the answer is no. I truly believe our principal would never make us do anything.  She's great like that.  We went to her back in February after talking about the possibility of doing this, and asked our principal if it would be something she would allow us to do.  We have other classrooms that work a lot together and have a retractable wall open a little bit and another that is open a little more than halfway, but they are all different grade levels. We would be the first same grade level classes doing this with the wall completely open.  Our principal told us she thought it would be a fantastic idea and would really benefit the kiddos. Our long time 2/3 multiage teachers were both retiring at the end of the year and they occupied the rooms that we are in now. After the news was broke to the rest of the staff about our plans for this school year, the multiage teachers asked us if we would like to come look around our new room.  We of course said yes.

Sooo...I have a confession. I know I took about 500 pictures of my classroom before it was my room. However, the pictures have miraculously vanished! I know, crazy right?!? So it's lookin' like I won't have any before pictures, but I most definitely have some afters, so here goes.

 Dry Erase Circles for Small Group Activities
Ohhh...the beauty of it all
 The neon colored bins...
 The beautiful book bin labels to help the kids know EXACTLY where the books belong
 Can you tell yet that we LOVE books?!
 Nonfiction cart
 Beginning Readers
 Chapter Books
 Beautiful Chevron Alphabet with my own chevron inspired birthday cake months.  I took a picture of the kiddos for each birthday month holding a circle with the date of their birthday.
 Found these cutie patootie labels on Pinterest from Fun in Room 4B
 Our classroom jobs awaiting individual pictures of students
 My Math Rotation Board....NOW ON TPT! I seriously cannot wait to start using this this year.
 Adorable table group clips that I bought from Walmart for like $1.97 and painted with neon glow in the dark paint. TEACHER FAIL! They didn't glow! I was so bummed! I'll have to add more coats later to see if that will work. These were meant to hold my small word walls that would be placed at each table group.
 Sound boxes on the floor with white duck tape! Thank you Heather's Heart!
 Our adorable clip chart from A Cupcake for the Teacher! I just LOVE her stuff!  I just added a glittery sparkling sign to the top. The kiddos get to add a jewel to their clip when they end there.
 Clock Numbers {please ignore the ugly, purposeless hole under the clock. They changed our clocks last year and clearly they are smaller than the old ones.}
 BOGGLE Math Board
 I numbered these with patterned Scotch Tape. Not sure what I'm using these for yet. So far, the kids have put their library books in there.
 Guided Reading Cabinet
All of my guided reading/small group leveled library books are in this amazing cabinet. I have a labeled bin for almost every level A-P I believe.
 BOGGLE Board {I'm using as much space as possible! Can you tell?}
 Cookie Spellers {More on that to come}
 Storage and Coatrooms
 Obsessed with these chalkboard number posters from A Year of Many Firsts
 I'm totally in LOVE with all the bright colors, the poms, and the pennant! I got the pennant from Hobby Lobby for literally like $2.99!!
 Our calendar area and star student board.  I'll post a picture of the completed Star Student Board when I can remember to take one.

More to come soon! I'll be blogging soon about my awesome Math Rotation Board that will change your life!!!

P.S. Don't forget to follow me through Google or BlogLovin'! I'm considering a giveaway of any item in my store once I hit 15 followers!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ya' Gotta Love a Good TPT Sale!

Hey friends! Just poppin' by real quick to help spread the word that the huge annual TPT Back to School Sale is going on today and tomorrow. My whole store {which I know isn't much, yet} is on sale for 20% off. TPT is giving an additional 10%, meaning you can get up to 28% on your purchases!

I did some back to school shopping for some new clothes with my momma yesterday {even though school already started for me last week} and plan on doing some serious back to school shopping on TPT for my classroom.

So quick!!! Head on over to my TPT store to browse around and do some shopping! My homework binder is my best-selling item and can really help you manage who is returning their homework, while also having a record of that as well.

Enjoy friends and Happy Shopping! Don't spend tooooo much! {wink, wink}

Love, love, love the beautiful graphic from Amy Lemons! That girl is just all sorts of creative!

Friday, August 9, 2013

T-Minus One Week

Yeah, that's right. One. Week. Left!!!! How did this happen?! I literally feel like the summer just flew right by me! I'm sure the fact that I've spent all but two Tuesdays and Thursdays in my classroom this summer didn't help the cause.  However, I'm hoping all of my time and hard work this summer will pay off big time once the school year begins. I have been a busy little bee between creating things, organizing and setting up my new classroom, and decorating.

We finally got our class lists last Thursday, so I was anxious to get into school to see what cuties will be  landing in my room this year. I was so happy to see that I only have 17 kiddos so far. I know that may be insanely low for some of you out there, but we're a small corporation and my building is only K-3.  Having said that, we have 8 sections of each grade level except 3rd which has 7 sections. We are a BIG building and we are, quite frankly, busting at the seams! I'm hoping the corporation can get something figured out soon.  I'm getting sidetracked.  Onward! I had 23 kiddos last year, which was the most I've had in the 4 years I've spent at my school. I'm hoping and praying that I will end up at 20 or less. We will see soon enough. Registration is today and tomorrow.

With the school year approaching, I'm feeling surprisingly more at ease and prepared than I have in time's past. We will see if that changes come Monday on our first teacher workday.  The students come back on Tuesday. I almost have everything put away in my classroom and I've already started making some of the big copies that need to be done before school.  I have more to do that I'm hoping I'll get done tomorrow and some planning I would like to get done with the other 1st grade teacher that I'll be co-teaching with this year.

I'm anxiously awaiting the grand back to school TPT sale, but haven't yet heard anything about it!!!! I'm hoping it's sometime soon! I was wanting to purchase a couple of things BEFORE the school year started. Hopefully there will be some word on that here soon.

I'll leave you today with a couple of teaser pictures of what I've got done so far in my classroom! I'm absolutely LOVING how it has all come together and all to the bright, cheerful colors!!  ENJOY!

 The library was a BEAR, but SO worth it!
In love with the poms and pennants

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I'm On a Roll! {No Pun Intended}

I have been a madwoman this summer! I really don't feel like I've had much of a break really. Between packing up my classroom, moving into a new room, reorganizing and setting up my new room {which still is not done yet! EEK!}, and creating things for our new reading series, I've barely had any time to just sit back and relax. Most nights, once Kayleigh goes to bed I've been coming upstairs to work on things on the computer. The hubs has not been a big fan of this, but I keep telling him it should make my life easier once the school year begins. I just hope I'm right.

Having said that, I've created a couple of things that have been added to my TPT store over the last couple of weeks.  First up is a Roll & Write pack specifically for the 1st grade Nat Geo Reach for Reading high frequency words each week. You know these little dice...
Well I started using them last year for Roll & Write activities and I fell. in. love. with them! The best part-SO DID THE KIDDOS! Roll & Write quickly became one of their favorite station activities.  The pack includes word cards with each of the high frequency words from the series that will fit perfectly into these die.  Simply print, laminate, and cut and you're ready to go! This pack wouldn't be complete without the recording sheet, so I included that too. It's in my TPT store for $3.50. Click the picture below to see more.

Next up, a homework binder. I have struggled with keeping track of student homework every year! I'm hoping this is the key to my problem. I now have a binder, known as the homework binder that will be beside my desk everyday.  As I pass back student homework each day, I can quickly tell who did and did not do their homework. Those students who do not complete their homework will have to put their name in the homework binder for that week. The student will also have to put what the assignment was and why it was not completed. It is the student's responsibility to get the homework completed at some point throughout the day {more than likely during lunch recess}.  Once the homework is completed and checked by me, the student may highlight their name in the binder showing that they completed and turned in the work.  This will be great to have as a reference at conferences to show parents. I'm really hoping as great in "real life" as it does in my mind. It is for sale for $2.50 in my TPT store. Click the picture below to check it out!
And last, but not least, Math Fact BANG! Just like my Nat Geo vocab. word BANG!, I have created a math set for both addition and subtraction facts. I am really looking forward to using these as part of our math stations this year! I'm sure the kids will love them just as much as they love the vocabulary version.  Simply print the facts on some Avery labels, apply the labels to the large popsicle sticks, and put them in a container. Instant math fact practice at your kiddo's fingertips.  They are both in my TPT for $2.50 each. Click the pictures to get to each product.

Well folks, it's off to bed for this girl. I'm hoping to get a little time in my classroom tomorrow morning while the hubs is smoking some pork loins for our nephew's birthday party tomorrow afternoon. We'll see if that actually happens.  To end on a good note, next Friday at this time we will be leaving to head to Florida for a week. I. CAN'T. WAIT!!!!

P.S. Don't forget to follow me through Google or BlogLovin'! I'm considering a giveaway of any item in my store once I hit 15 followers!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

BANG! Nat Geo Style and Oh Yeah...I'm Moving

Hi there blogging world! It's been awhile....a long while. I'm really sorry. I wish I could tell you that I have an excuse, but I really don't. Well kinda. Besides wrapping up the school year, packing up my classroom that I've been in for 3 years and moving it to a completely different classroom (more on that to come), a trip to Chicago with my Wolfpack (gotta love Hangover), my sweet girl's 2nd birthday, and my 5th wedding anniversary, I guess you could say summer started off busy, and really doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.  In my little bits of free time, which basically are the hours from 9 pm-1 or 2 am, I have been working on quite a bit for school.  I am moving classrooms this year so I am using that as an opportunity to get rid of my jungle theme and go for the ever popular chevron/polka dots/chalkboard theme all in bright colors. I couldn't pick just one of the three so I figured why not mix them all. Hopefully when it's all said and done it looks good.  I'm still unpacking/organizing/decorating but I will be sure to get some pictures up when I get it all done. It's getting close. I have been going to school every Tuesday and Thursday for the past 2 weeks to get things done. When I get home it's family time, but once the hubs falls asleep on the couch around 8:15 after Kayleigh has gone to bed I am a busy little bee.

I volunteered to be on the Reading Adoption Committee for 1st grade this year. I had never done anything like this before so it was definitely an eye-opening experience in many ways. P.S. Who knew teachers could get so caddy and vicious about a textbook choice?! Not this girl! It's definitely a shame the way some grown adults act. Nevermind the fact that those grown adults are also K-3 teachers!! Wowza! Anyways-we fell in love (most of us that is) with National Geographic's Reach for Reading program and so that's what our building ordered for 1-3. Kindergarten ended up going with Benchmark Literacy for those of you wondering.

I guess I didn't anticipate all the work that goes into things when you get a new reading series.  All my files that I labeled by stories when I got hired 3 years ago, I now have to relabel and reorganize to match up with the new series. Not to mention the spelling tests, lists, vocabulary cards, roll & write cards and recording sheets, etc. The list just. goes. on! I think I have about 10 lists of things I need/want to do before the school year starts. I know I've gotten a lot accomplished off of that list, but not as much as I would like.

One thing that I have completed are labels for the game BANG!  If you haven't played this game with your class you need to! They will love it! It's a vocabulary/sight word game that can be done in many different ways with index/word cards or popsicle sticks. I've done the word card version before and am not really a fan, so I'm going the popsicle stick route this year. Here's how it works: get large popsicles and Avery 5160 labels. Print the words on the labels, cut the labels down, and put on the popsicle sticks. Divide the popsicle sticks by units and put them in a storage container. Crystal Light containers work great! Put some of the BANG! sticks in with each unit.  You can play this game whole group, small group, or with a partner.  Students take turns pulling a stick. The student has to read the word on the stick. If they successfully read the word in 3 seconds or less, they get to keep the stick. If they don't get it, a partner has to help them with the word and the stick goes back in the container. If a student pulls a stick with a BANG! on it, they have to put all of their sticks back in the container. Play continues on until someone miraculously gets all of the sticks (minus the BANG!s of course) or time it up.  The kids are learning and practicing their sight words and they don't even realize it.

I have made the labels for you.  They are already up on my TPT site for $1.50.  Click on the picture below and take a look.

I'll be back soon friends with some new products I've been working on and pictures of my new room! I'm hoping to be done unpacking/decorating by the end of this week. Stay tuned!

P.S. Don't forget to follow me through Google or BlogLovin'! I'm considering a giveaway of any item in my store once I hit 15 followers!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Schooooooollll's.....OUT. FOR. SUMMER!

P.T.L! Whew-I wasn't so sure that I was going to survive this last week. The kids were a mix of well-behaved and bouncing off the walls! It was a busy, busy week with lots to do! We started off the week with our end of the year field trip to the Purdue Union bowling alley. I go every year with another first grade teacher. We divide our classes up into groups, invite the parents, and get our bowl on for an hour in the morning. They even turn off the lights, put the black and neon lights on, and crank up some Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. The kids absolutely love it! It's definitely a good time for them to enjoy themselves and all the hard work that they've done throughout the school year. Once we got back to the school the kids went out for recess, while some of my parents and my room mom set up the room for a pizza party. You would think with as little as those kids are that they would get full quickly but some of those kiddos had 2 1/2 pieces of Papa John's pizza, some strawberries, and a KinderEgg from Germany! And they were still hungry.

Let me get sidetracked for just a second and talk to you about this KinderEgg from Germany. Oh my goodness! I had never heard of them before but they are one of the most creative/delicious pieces of awesomeness I've ever experienced! They are a chocolate egg that the kids "crack". Once the egg is opened, there is a small pod inside the egg with a toy! It's unreal the kinds of toys that can fit in those tiny pods! They kids were in heaven. Such a great surprise from one of my parents.

On Tuesday, we started our 1st grade memory books. Wednesday, we finished our memory books and the kids started helping me take down stuff in my room since I'll be moving next year (more on that later). On Thursday, we attempted our first school-wide field day with all grade levels doing their own "stations" of activities, but about halfway through we got rained on.  I wasn't complaining much because it gave me more time to use those little eager hands to help me clean, tear down, and pack up. It's amazing how much faster things go with 23 little 6 & 7 year olds there to help you.

I held it together the last day of school better than I expected. I'm a pretty emotional person so that's good for me. I will definitely miss my kiddos but it was a long, draining year.  I'm already looking forward to and planning for next year.

Before I leave you to get on with my summer I want to give my thoughts and prayers to the people of Oklahoma and Texas. Both places are dealing with great tragedies. I can't even imagine what you all are going through right now. Stay strong! In an effort to help those in need I donated to two great causes!  What great ideas!