Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lazy Summer Sunday's and a Giveaway

Today has been a lazy summer Sunday.  We went to church this morning and then had lunch in town.  After that, I napped and visited the garden one time.  I've caught up on reading the blogs in my list at bloglovin'.  I LOVE that it lists all of the unread posts in the blogs you follow so you can just click older post and get to the next unread blog!!

I can't believe that today is the last day of June.  That means that my summer is halfway over!!  I have so much left to do but I am excited at all that I have accomplished so far.  I've worked really hard on writing center packs for my classroom and have finished quite a few of them.  I'm slowly uploading them to my store to share with all of you!

Here is my latest creation that I've uploaded to my store - PIRATES!!

I love this writing pack!! Click here to see it in my store! It's also the first pack in my store that includes the older elementary lines and not just the standard dotted lines.  I had a few requests to add those to the kit as well!

Want to win it?  Leave a comment on this blog post and I'll pick a winner by having one of my boys pick a number.  The comment number they pick will win this kit!  

Saturday, June 29, 2013

New Blog Look and Wonders FREEBIE

I've been looking at my blog and thinking that it really need a new look.  So this 
morning, I started changing things.  I was smart enough to save my
template before I made any changes because I somehow
deleted the WHOLE header element....yep just not 
just the the WHOLE THING.  

So.....I started over again and had to redo EVERYTHING I had just 
finished doing but I LOVE it!!!!  I am still in the process of customizing it and 
making it completely me but this is a great start!

Our school is changing over to Wonders reading curriculum next year.  It looks
great online and I'm pretty excited that it teaches common core but I 
wanted to get other's opinions.  Do you use Wonders?  Is your school 
switching to it?  What do you like most about it?  What is its biggest downfall?

I've started creating theme and essential question posters for my 
essential question/objective wall so I thought I would share!

This can be found in my shop for FREE this weekend only!!!  

Enjoy and have a great weekend!!!  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Teacher $ Days and a $ special!

So earlier today, A Teacher Without A Class offered to let me link up with her Teacher $ Days linky. Yay for them including the new girl!!!

A Teacher without a Class

I was so excited to get home today and see that my recent order from Oriental Trading had come in!!!  Here are some of the great $ deals that I got for my classroom....

100th day dangly things (like that technical term?)  - $1.19

100th day wall cut outs - $1.09

HUGE (think 2 feet) wall decor for 100th day - $1.49

BUT the real reason I was there was to get a few of these....

Foam dice!!! Can you say quiet centers?? No?  Well at least the dice won't be making the noise this year.  These don't technically fit in the "$1" range because they are $4 for 12 but that's 12 foam dice.  That makes each one only .33 cents!  YAY!!!

In honor of $1 days, I've marked down each of my writing center packs to $1.50 for one day.  Click on the picture of the writing pack to take you to that product in my store.

Well that's all the $1 deals I have for now.  Thanks for stopping by!!!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bloglovin linky GIVEAWAY

I've decided to link up with Collaboration Cuties for the bloglovin giveaway.

You know the details already but you have searched through LOTS of blogs to get here!  I have never ever used Rafflecopter to do a giveaway so I'm hoping that this thing does what it is supposed to do.  It looks like mumbo jumbo to me!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Back To School Writing Centers, Word Wall Binders, and Blog Hop

First, I've linked up with Tori's Teacher Tips for a bloglovin' blog hop.  As many of you know, Google Reader is disappearing and although I liked it (a lot), I've found that I like bloglovin' even more.  With bloglovin' I can see all of the blog posts that I haven't read yet and click through them one by one while going to each page I follow.  It's really user friendly and easy to understand.   Check it out here!!

I have been working hard on writing centers for next year.  I really felt like this was a weakness of mine last year and although my students still did really well overall, it is something I've wanted to work on for this year.  Throughout the year my class would create topic word walls for the themes we were working on but after that week/month/unit, the word wall would come down for another theme to use that space.  I really felt that I wanted something the students could have at their desk to use all year long so I'm creating "Word Wall Binders" for this year.  Each of my students will have a binder that will contain every word wall from each theme that we cover throughout the year.  I hope that this helps with spelling and vocabulary issues while writing.  
Here's an example of a student word wall page for their binder:

Most themes will have 12 words which will easily fit front and back on one sheet of paper.  I've also made them grayscale so that it doesn't use all of my color ink.  

Along with student word wall binders, I will continue to have our themed word walls using color versions of the same pictures.  These will be used during our study of the theme.

Also included in each writing center kit are three writing prompts on lined paper.  I have created some with grayscale pictures and some with no pictures at all so that the teacher can choose which they want to use.  This will be placed in the writing center each week in our classroom.  

If you are interested in purchasing this Back To School Writing Center Kit, click on the picture below and it will take you straight to my TPT store.

I have themes planned throughout the year that are mostly based on our reading series and what we are studying that week but I do have a few open weeks.  What themes do you use in your classroom?  What are some other themes that you may not see all that often? 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Back to School Products and Flash Freebie!

This weekend flew by so quickly and now I sit staring at a full week of training sessions.  I really don't mind the training at all but it's so hard to come out of  "summer mode" for a week.  We are used to sleeping late, going to the movies, making crafts, playing with our pets and now it's get up early, prepare for the sitter, FIND a sitter (my boys run off so many.....), and sit in class all day.  Besides I was just beginning to fill up my TPT store with new items and I don't want to lose the momentum!  But hopefully I'll come home and have things to share!

Last week I worked on a Back to School clip art set which I put in my TPT store Friday night.  

The kit comes with every graphic you see here in both color and b/w.  For this week only, you can get it here for only $2.  After this week, it will be $2.50 in my store.

After finishing my clip art set, I began working on my Back to School writing center.  This center kit should be in my store sometime this week once I finish packaging it up.  I'll explain my plans for a personal word wall for each student when I share about my writing center.

Just for the next 24 hours, I have a flash freebie in my store.  

This math center game works well with high pre-k, all kinders, and beginning first graders.  It consists of cards labeled with the numbers 1-20 and dots representing the numbers 1-20.  Students will play a game of Memory with the cards.  Even numbers are on green apples and odd numbers are on the red ones for another easy lesson.  

Go quickly and grab my Apple Number Match game in my TPT store for free!  This time tomorrow it will be $1.50.  

Thank you for stopping by!!  Please leave a comment to let me know that you were here!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five on Friday

Since I'm trying to get more regular about posting on my blog and hoping to get a few more readers (like 5 would be, I decided to participate in....

Here are my "Five on Friday" -

1.  I've used all the ink in my printer today printing out centers for next year.  I'm very excited to try them out on my students next year!  There are so many great resources available at TeachersPayTeachers!  Now if I could just afford all the printer ink I would need.

2.  We watched Monsters University today and even though we enjoyed it, it just wasn't as good as the first one.  I found that maybe it was best for the tween - adult audience.  We saw it in 3D and none of us remember any 3D parts which is odd.

3.  Tomorrow is my baby boy's birthday and he will be 7.  My oh my where does the time go?  It seems that just yesterday I was holding that screaming baby and today well he's still screaming but he's a lot bigger!

4.  We are thoroughly enjoying our summer!  With the Michael's Passport craft days, the movie clubhouse days, our library activities and general laziness, I wish this could last forever.  Sadly I have a week long training next week.  Who said teachers don't work in the summer????

5.  Lastly, I'm working on a Back to School Writing center complete with mini word wall and word wall cards as well as recording sheets with writing prompts.  I hope to have it in my store before the end of the weekend.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I'm back to the drawing board.....literally......

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Well, summer is here and I am loving it!!  My boys and I are enjoying the summer movie clubhouses at the local theaters.  We are also loving the Passport to Imagination at our local Michael's.  In fact, here is a pic of my youngest painting his Liberty Bell this morning.

During the summer I always try to plan for the next school year.  This year I'm lucky enough to be staying at the same school and in the same grade I was in last year which gives me PLENTY of planning time.  

One of my struggles last year was with centers.  Being the first year in that grade after so long I was more concerned with teaching the common core and focusing on that rather than adding on those fun extras that I love to do. goal this summer is to set up every single center for the entire year and have every one of them ready for the first day of school.  Yes it is a big task but I've spent lots and lots of time on Teachers Pay Teachers this week searching and I've found some great deals!  

Each week I plan to have 10 centers.  Ideally I will only have 2 kids at each center each rotation but I don't have my numbers yet.  Last year I only had 17 kids so I'm hoping that I won't have more than 20 this year.

My 10 centers are:

1.  Reading/Reading Tent

2. Computers

3. Language/Listening Center

4. Seatwork

5.  Spelling

6.  Social Living

7. Math

8.  Writing

9.  Teacher Table

10.  Math 2

What centers do you use in your room?  How do students rotate through them?  How long do you let students stay in each center?

Another goal of mine was to have my students answer a graph a week and then discuss it during the week.  I sat down and began to make a list of every graph that I wanted to use.  While  searching online for graph question ideas, I came across the perfect set!!

I don't know if you are familiar with Sailing through 1st grade but she is amazing!!  I use all of her Imagine It! creations in my room and many of her centers games are on my list for next year!  Take a minute and stop by her shop to see what's new!

Well it's time to get back to work!  I hope you have a great rest of the day!