Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Meet Up #5

I'm linking up with The Teaching Tribune today for their weekly linkup.  Today is Monday Meet Up. Here's a few things that I'm thankful for right now.

My computer lab login loops are 50% off in my TPT store for the next two days. They are the perfect tool to help your kiddos keep all of those pesky usernames and passwords together and easily accessible.

Also, if you don't follow me on Facebook or Instagram it may be a good time to.  I had a flash freebie yesterday and I may or may not be doing another one today!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Huge Giveaway by Tabitha from The Learning Highway

I've teamed up with the best of the best TpT sellers for what I'm sure will be an amazing giveaway! 10 winners will each win one of the prize packages listed below. Each package contains a $10 shopping spree to 10 different stores- that a $100 shopping spree and a total of $1000 in products in all!

You can enter right from my page. Best of luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two for Tuesday {All About Math} + a New Freebie!

I'm linking up with TTT today for another link. This week I'm discounting some of my math products 50% off.

First up is my Math Rotation Board {primary colors}.  If you're like me, you're already planning, or at least thinking, about next school year.  This board is a great way to keep your math groups organized and to be able to quickly change them and the activities that your students are doing at each station.

The other product discounted for today is my new money unit, more specifically coins and the identification of them.  This pack includes some fun ways to introduce, review, or practice characteristics of coins and their values.  Mini booklets, flip books, and a practice/review sheet are included. 

An added bonus for today is a new freebie that I just posted to my store yesterday.  Every month I send home my Monthly Parent Volunteer Calendars for my classroom parents to come into the room to volunteer either with the kids or doing odds and ends for me.  One thing that has been a real timesaver for me is my Work Request form.  While I'm gathering things that I need copied/cut/laminated/etc. for one of my parent volunteers to do, I fill out one of these forms and paper clip it to the front of my master copy.  That way, when the parent comes in there is no time wasted on explaining what needs done. They can simply look at the sheet and know all of the information.  I hope you can find it useful in your classroom! It's definitely paid off for me!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Spelling Activities {Morning Work}

I'm a firm believer that my firsties should be practicing their spelling words on a daily basis. While I would like to think that they are doing their required nightly homework of practicing their 10 words, I think we all know that that doesn't always happen despite the best of intentions.

For me, the easiest way to guarantee that every firstie in my classroom is getting in daily practice of their spelling words, I give them an activity to do for morning work. There are a couple of activities that are "weekly musts" for me.  For example, every Monday is 3x each throughout the whole year. I think that the repetitiveness of writing the words is beneficial for anyone.  I usually rotate all of the other activities on the other days of the week.  I don't give them any spelling morning work on Fridays because that is when we take our pretests and tests.  Occasionally after the first nine weeks are over and the kiddos are finally getting into our routine, I will have them do the Bingo boards on Friday mornings and we will play a few quick games before our test as a fun review.  They MUST include their 10 spelling words on their board. Once those ten words on there, they may pick other skill words or vocabulary words that are on the list to finish filling in their board.  If they run out of words to use and still have spaces left to fill, they may choose words that are on the word wall that we have already learned.

I have bundled all of the different spelling activities that I have my kids do as morning work throughout the year into a pack.  It has quite a variety of activities that are typically quick and fun for the kids to do.  There are definitely some activities that are better if you wait after the first 9 weeks or longer to do, but you can also base this off their overall abilities of your kiddos.  For example, I don't give my firsties spelling sentences until the second semester.  I don't give them scrabble spelling until we've finished all three of our math topics on addition.

I typically give ABC order, consonants and vowels, rainbow writing, ladders, and smelly and colorful spelling at the beginning of the year.

This pack will be marked 50% off for the first 48 hours. Head on over to my TPT store to check it out!

On top of that, I would love to give a copy away. See the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Two for Tuesday

Today I'm linking up with The Teaching Tribune for their Two for Tuesday linky.  I have marked down two of my products 50% off for today only!

1-Homework Binder
This thing made managing unfinished homework SOOO much easier for me this past school year.  It was very low-maintenance, easy to implement, and a good tracking tool to have at my fingertips.  It's definitely something I will use every year from now on.

$2.00 today only!

2-Round Math Manipulative Labels

$1.25 today only!

Get started on prepping for next year with these goodies!

Monday Made It {Take 2}

Well, I'm back for another round of Monday Made It.

Like Tara, I'm going to try and do at least one home and one school item a week.

Up first...this girl is officially & completely potty trained! I MADE IT! Phew, was it a close one! For a child who has picked up on things early-sitting up, crawling, walking, talking-she sure did give us a run for our money with the whole potty training gig. We mastered the potty part in March during spring break and she has not had a single accident in that department since then. The #2 part notsomuch.  Oh my word. It has been a long 3 months of trying to motivate, encourage, praise, bribe, beg get her to understand that we do "both things" on the potty. What is super frustrating is that she knew better because whenever she needed to go, she would hide in another room and then come in the room to inform us she'd done her business.  I seriously thought I was going to lose it!  After watching her like a hawk and some serious bribing with marshmallows and chocolate (Thank you, Frozen), my pain and suffering is over! Sorry, but I felt like this was a HUGE "made it" in my book.
Since it's finally summer break and our little miss sassy pants turns 3 in 8 days...I repeat...8 days, it was finally time to get her into a big girl bed. We were pretty sure she would be okay but it's one of those situations where ya never know what's going to happen.  You hope for the best and plan for the worst. Luckily, she stayed true to past experiences and handled the change like a champ.  It's been a week and she's doing awesome!  I wanted to get her a different bedroom outfit rather than using the crib and changing table dresser that we got her when I was pregnant.  I went to Ikea with my parents this past weekend and we got a whole new set for her. I completely underestimated the amount of time it would take to assemble everything. The hubs and I worked on putting the bookshelf and two dressers together from about a total of 5-6 hours. The miracle of it all you ask? We did not get into one argument the whole time.  Building/putting things together in our household either go really well or are continuous arguments of why the piece is just not getting put together correctly.  We got all 3 pieces together without a hitch and were able to put them in her room the next day. We're just waiting on the mattress and box springs which should be here Thursday and then we'll put her big girl bed together and the set is complete!! She's super excited about her big girl bed!

For school I finally finished my Word Family Word Sorts pack yesterday.  I've been wanting to do these for awhile now. I had another set that I used each week after introducing a new spelling skill as practice. They needed an update so I updated and added some additional skills that I would like for my firsties to practice throughout the year.

We do our spelling pretest and posttests on Friday.  Typically on Monday morning I have my firsties do the word sort for the new skill as part of their morning work.  I tell the kids that they must practice reading through the words at least twice before the bring it to me.  When they are done practicing reading and cutting they bring their paper to me to check. To be sure that they are truly practicing the words {and to make those that don't think they have to follow directions actually practice the words}, they each must read all of the words out loud to me.  Once they're done I put a sticker on their paper and it goes straight to their mailbox.  Fast, easy grading for me, as well as a good informal assessment as to which kids may or may not need more help on the skill.

Since this pack is hot off the press, it is 50% for 24 more hours.  If you're interested, head over to my TPT store and grab one for yourself!  

I would love it if you would consider following me!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June Currently & Some New Items in my Store

I'm linking up with Farley for the month of June.

The hubs and I went to Honolulu for 10 days for our honeymoon. It was amazing!! I would LOVE to go back within the next 5 years, but I'm not sure if that'll happen. 

I'm loving the it is summer break! It's definitely been long overdue after the winter that we've had here in Indiana.  I'm more of a night owl and not so much a morning person.  We have been blessed with an almost 3 year old who would rather sleep a little later than get up early. PTL! She definitely takes after her momma there. I love that I don't have to set my alarm and I can still sleep in until almost 8:30 every morning if I want to.  Which let's be honest-I will.

Since I was in my classroom SO much last summer, I'm vowing not to do the same this year and spend more time with my girl.  Each week we'll rotate fun places to go such as JumpIt, one of our local gymnastics gyms that host an hour long open gym daily, the pool, the park, etc.  Tomorrow will either be the gym or JumpIt. I may just ask the little tomorrow morning and we'll do whatever she decides.

A couple of years ago I started taking monthly trips to Goodwill and I have become obsessed ever since. I have found some really great things and for a great price there. I'm thinking my first visit of the summer will be later this week.

I have about 7 loads of laundry that either need cleaned, folded or put away. I loathe laundry! I just wish I could wear my clothes and when I'm done with them, take them off, snap my fingers and they're clean and pressed. When somebody figures out how to do that I would like to be the first on your list to contact!

I started working out today with a bike ride with my little. I'm planning on doing this every morning with her as part of my workout to try and lose some weight.  I've already been to the library to get some summer reading books, although I haven't started one yet.  Would love to get away to New Buffalo, MI at some point this summer with the hubs. It's the closest thing to a beach that we have in these parts. I'm hoping that will curb my urge to book a beach vaca for next year already.

I've already been a busy bee working on stuff for my classroom and TPT in my short week since school got out.
First up, my math board is now in primary colors as well as bright colors. As is the case with all of my new products it is marked 50% until Wednesday morning.  This one is $3.75.

Next up are two sets of math manipulative labels.  We needed some for our classroom and I couldn't find a set on TPT that I loved, so I made my own.  One set is square labels and the other is round.  We're using the round set in our room. They were the perfect thing for our variety of bins that we have our math manipulatives in.  They are also on sale until Wednesday morning at $1.25.  

I may set a personal record for posts in a week this week! If I haven't already! I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of this blogging thang!

Monday, June 2, 2014

First Shot at Monday Made It

Today I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her weekly Monday Made It link.

Like many of us, I love DIY. I'm not promising that I'm good at some of my DIY but I do feel like I'm getting better. With the help of the hubs, I've actually done quite a few DIY projects since we moved into our house 6 months ago.  He sure is a handy guy to have around.

Our laundry room is in our unfinished basement. We've almost gotten the laundry room done, but we are waiting to install the dropped ceiling and some work on the stairs before I am free to start decorating. I had bought these letters over winter break shortly after we moved in, but just recently got to them. I needed some time to figure out what colors/patterns/etc. that I wanted to do.  Here's what I came up with.  The laundry room is painted a light teal blue. Robin's Egg is the color I think.  The sides of the letters are painted a light teal blue, while the front of the letters are a mix of coral, grey and white.  The picture looks more a pink.  I am IN.LOVE with how they turned out! Now if we can just get the room finished so that I can add them to the room.

I'm sure many of you have seen the art work/masterpieces displays. Even though my daughter is just barely 3, I wanted to have somewhere to hang all of her art and work.  The board in the top picture is what I came up with. I just got a simple board that I think cost about $4, stained it, and hot glued some small clothespins to it. I decided not to paint or stain the clothespins because the natural look goes really well with our kitchen.  I have some lace ribbon that I'm considering adding in the middle of the board between the clothespins, but I just haven't forced myself to do it yet. The shelf is hanging to the right of the Masterpieces board and the calendar is to the right of that. We have a pretty large, open wall that we need to fill.

So that's that-my first Monday Made It. I'm loving all of the ideas that I'm seeing from everyone else! Feeling inspired! Maybe I'll go add that lace ribbon now!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Top 10 for Summer

I'm linking up with THE Deanna Jump with the 10 things I want to do this summer. I've been out of school for just over a week now, but spent Tuesday-Friday of last week cleaning, organizing, and getting some things ready for next year. I got done around 12:15 Friday and I feel so much better knowing there are quite a few things that I won't have to do when I go back in August and I can enjoy my summer a little bit more. So without anymore blabbering, here are my top 10 (not in any particular order).

10-Read! I already went to the library and got my first five books of the summer.  There are a few that have been on my list for awhile, but apparently they are other people's lists because they were already checked out. Major disadvantage of being a cheapskate, not buying the books, and just checking them out from the library. Which reminds me that I need to go reserve a couple. Oh my goodness, listen to me rambling on. One book I did get that I've been wanting to read for awhile is Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I read Gone Girl last summer and LOVED it.  I'm super excited to see the movie {and Ben Affleck} next year when it comes out.  

One book I really am looking forward to reading is The Fault in Our Stars.  I'm big on reading the book before I see the movie, so that I can create my own movie and perceptions in my head. But that movie comes out at the end of the week and it looks like I'd have to buy that one to get it read before I watch the movie this weekend.

9-Get my tan on! I've actually got a pretty good start on this one already. Winter does not do me well. I get super white and ghostly and my self-confidence goes down. Silly to say, I know, but true.  I just feel "better" about myself when I'm a little more tan.  My in-laws have a pool, so we'll be spending quite a few days lounging in their pool.

8-Plan and celebrate a Bubble Guppy birthday party for my sweet girl.  She's turning 3 people! 3!!!! How this happened so quickly, I have no idea. I honestly don't know where time has gone. She is such an amazing little girl and I am more in awe of her every day.

7-Spend some quality time with this cutie! I mean...come can you not want to spend as much time as possible with that face! We will be making weekly visits to JumpIt, the local gym open gym times, swimming pool, and I'll be taking her to the Indy Zoo for the first time.

6-Get some creations on my to do list done and added to TPT.  I've got so many ideas and things I'd like to make I get so scatter brained and start on one thing, then change to another, then to another, then back to one I started a month ago. It's a real problem.  I need to just stay focused and get them completed one at a time.

5-Get the landscaping and rock laid around my house and finish our entryway.  We moved into a "new" house at the end of the December, literally right before snowpocalypse hit.  The upstairs has been completely gutted and redone. The basement was unfinished, which we preferred, but it's coming along slowly. We've decided to take a break from inside projects to get some outside projects done this summer. Unfortunately for us, money doesn't grow on trees and things add up quickly so our progress on all things house related is going much slower than they were this winter.  That's a tough pill to swallow when you've got a must-have-it-done-now kinda husband.

4-I would love to go somewhere with the hubs for our 5th anniversary.  Our anniversary is on June 20th.  We're not going on an actual vacation this summer because we both agreed we would rather put the money towards the basement, but I wouldn't mind getting away for even just a day. New Buffalo, MI has a beautiful beach that's only a couple hours from us.  If I'm going to vacation there must be a beach nearby and that's pretty much the closest beach we've got around here.  I've only been once and he's never been. Staying in a little bed and breakfast up there and lounging on the beach sounds pretty ideal to me. We shall see.

3-Get into a workout routine and try to lose about 30 pounds.  I gained 50 lbs during my pregnancy and while that sweet girl is worth every pound, I've kept about 20 lbs.  I've never had to lose weight. I was active playing basketball and volleyball my whole life so I never had use for a scale.  I'm not saying I've worked hard at it because I would be lying, but I definitely am more self conscious and not as confident in my body.  Because of sports and the insane amount of miles I ran, I hate running.  My plan is to bike about 4-8 miles on our country roads around our house every morning with Kayleigh.  We also have the Insanity program. I would like to give that a try. Wish me luck!

2-Renew my subscription to Netflix and find some new addictions.  I'm such a sucker for crappy, drama-filled reality TV.  I'm not sure which TV series are offered on Netflix now, but I would love to watch the Lost series if it is.

1-Most importantly, RELAX!! I had to move rooms last summer and spent every Tuesday and Thursday in my classroom.  It was necessary, but I'm not ready to do that again so I'm not going back until August. At least that's my plan. I didn't really feel like I had much of a summer, so I'm enjoying this one. I'm not feeling guilty if I don't get one thing accomplished one day.

Whether I get all of these accomplished or not is to be determined, but I'm hoping so.  I hope you get your top ten accomplished also!