Saturday, February 7, 2015

WHOOOO Doesn't Love an Owl Valentine bag?!

Oh, my word.  Can you believe your eyes!?  A blogpost from little old me?!?!?  I'm back to work--barely above water, yet I have to share this with you.  Since moving to second grade, I could no longer make the adorable penguin valentine bags that we've made in the past in first (click HERE to read and see those)... since, well, they have done it!  So, this week I was on a mission to find something equally adorable.  I had no luck online, so I whipped something up myself.  {You'd think by now that would be my FIRST step...}

First, I have to tell you that Target has patterned lunch bags now!  I've found these dot ones and also blue/green striped ones.  (I may or may not have gone back to my Targets and gotten quite a few of the dot bags to supply me with YEARS more of these bags... I think they make the bags even sweeter)  I THINK they are $1.99 for 40....  You know.  You go to Target for like 1-2 things, and come home with like $200 worth instead....  Thank goodness for the Red card and Cartwheel! :P



Our OWLdorable Owl bags!  Aren't they a 'hoot'?!  My kids love them.


If you'd like to make them for your kids, you can click {HERE}  There's nothing fancy with it.  I had NO time to cute-sy it up for ya.  I traced what I made onto paper and scanned it (really, so I had it on my computer for the future, when I'm looking around my classroom like a madwoman looking for the patterns.... especially right now since I'm in a new room, back from a 4 1/2 month maternity leave... lol)  PS-the eyeballs--the kids drew hearts in their favorite color--there is no template for those!  Gotta have something a little different to make these stand apart from each other! ;)


Happy Valentine's Day friends!  Hope your week is filled with love and happiness!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Progress and a Fabulous FIT giveaway!

Hi everyone!  Me again.  I just wanted to pop on and tell you that I have just finished and uploaded my new Primary Literature Circles for INFORMATIONAL books---INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOK style! Click HERE to read about these.  I will have a new blog post about how I introduce these in the near future. {psssst!  Keep reading after checking out some pictures}  Here are a few pics of the pages inside.






 Besides getting these packets done, I've also started back running.  I haven't run in over a year due to injuries last year, then an awful COLD snowy winter... then I was preggo with my huge baby...  But, I wanted to share how much I LOVE my jogging stroller.  It's a MUST HAVE for any mommy, but especially a working, teacher mommy!  I have to admit, I have that mommy guilt.  After school, I rush home to be with my babies.  (well, they aren't all babies anymore-ha!)  When do I find time for myself???  Well, it's hard.  Not going to lie.  BUT, since I've had this awesome jogging stroller, we find time together going on walks, runs, bike and scooter rides!  This stroller is a DREAM to push.  Baby C loves it too.  I can keep up with my 8 year old on his bike, and my 4 year old on his scooter.  We can go through corn mazes with ease.  :P  BUT, best of all.  We can exercise together--by being together!  I can be back out running, not missing the kids.  {Of course, there's nothing wrong with just taking out the little one to escape the madness of the other 2, some times!}

Here's some pics of the stroller with some pretty cute models, if I don't say so myself! ;)

 {This is the type of road we run on}


{Such a smooth ride---puts him to sleep every time!} 

{Happy baby!  PS-always strap your child in strollers and things... we were just sitting and taking pics in the driveway here}


Little bits about the stroller---tires are "air filled" tires--so this is why it is SO incredibly easy to push in any terrain.

If you have a Chicco keyfit infant carseat, you can snap it right in and go!  The handles are adjustable, so for those of you with long legs like mine, you won't be kicking the wheels EVER!  There's a parent tray at the top that fits your phone, a bottle/sippy and a water bottle for yourself.  (as well as has storage underneath--where I keep a few diapers and wipes, JUST in case... ;)  It folds super easy, and can be done while one handed (and holding the baby in the other hand).  And the canopy.  Let's talk about that!  It's amazing!  It has a zipper so you can extend it--to almost completely cover your child, or you can zip it back up and it is more "normal" like others.

 {Canopy also covers the infant seat too, but I didn't get a picture of that for you.  But once your child is out of that seat, or able to sit up, this is perfect.  The canopy goes so far down, that people might not bother your SLEEPING child, if you are out and about!} ;)

 {My 4 year old--not the best pic, but he fits fine in there!}

Now I have some pretty AMAZING news!  I have a stroller to GIVE AWAY to help you start (or continue) to get fit and spend time with your little one!!!!!  You read that right!  This stroller is perfect for any mommy at any stage of baby-hood.  My 4 year old and I ran a 5k using it.  He's probably nearing the end of stroller riding, but he fits comfortably, and it's not too bad to push (well, it's definitely much easier than carrying him!)
{We decked out the stroller for the Glow Run!  It was also a costume run, which is why he's a Doctor!}


This AMAZING giveaway will run through Sunday, November 23rd at midnight.  You don't have to have a little baby to win!  You could be pregnant, or have a friend who needs something like this!  What a Christmas present that would be!  Let's get fit!

Check out the Rafflecopter for your chances to win!!!!!

This is the one you'll win! (you can click on the picture to go to their website to read more technical info about it)


**Continental USA residents only... sorry!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Literature Circles in Primary--Interactive Notebook Style!

Hi there!  I have finally finished a product for my classroom that I had been working on for MONTHS.  Many of you already have used my Literature Circles for Primary kids (both story and informational).  I LOVED doing this with my higher and average first graders.  Yes, FIRST graders!  It's amazing to watch them take charge of their reading and their group.  Read about it {HERE}



One thing I could not stand was the prep work.  Of course I love to make all my products easy to use and very minimal prep... because I make these packets for my classroom and me--first!  Time is precious.  Interactive notebooks are quite the buzz words right now, so I thought I would combine the 2, and came up with a new, easier way to run these groups!

I present to you:  Circle Up!  Primary Literature Circles---Interactive Notebook Style!


Prep work--each student will need a spiral notebook.  You will need a folder or a way to store worksheets for students to grab.  I prefer the folder option.  These will be stored in a magazine organizer/box thing.  On the front will be a laminated example of what their page will look like when they complete it in their notebooks.  If you want students to wear name tags of their jobs, I have that covered too!  This is a pic of my other packet's job names:


This is an updated version for these! {Sorry-tilt head sideways.... I couldn't get this to stay correct...}



That's it!  No creating packets for each book and group, and figuring out how many jobs everyone will have....

You will prepare by having groups made and select books.  But, you can change jobs as you want-and all the students will do is go to their folder and get the paper (or papers) they would need to complete their job!  ALL of the book groups they complete will be done in the SAME notebook!  What you decide to do with the books that are done are up to you.  I prefer to keep them all in there, so that at the end of the year, they will have a great keepsake of their READING.

Check out my packet in my Teachers Pay Teachers store now!  This will definitely be a pack that my second graders will EAT up!  CLICK HERE to see it!

Here are some pics of the inside pages:



**I will be completing a nonfiction companion pack as well as creating this for upper elementary, with more "mature" job role names---in the near future!  Keep an eye out!  Follow me on TPT to get notified (or I will also post on Facebook!).



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin Behavior System!

Hi y'all!  It's been awhile.  This is why:


Family "selfie" at the hospital--after meeting their little brother for the first time! 

*This was last week with me and last night with his big brother Carson!  I just love baby toothless smiles!  Melt my heart!

Camden was born on his due date (mama had an induction set for that day, since I knew he was going to be big---and since he was my #3 son, they knew it would be okay to go ahead!)  We had a pretty easy birth (compared to my other two, that is!) and he's been pretty easy going so far (again, compared to my other 2!!!) :P  He's even given us 6-9 hours of sleep each night, with a few less in between there---but it's all more than I slept when I was preggo!

Next week starts "H" week... you can call it what you want.  Halloween.... start of the Holiday season...  a week of H*#@?!! :P  I've found through my experience that you can either dread it, or embrace it.  I've found the latter to be what saves my sanity!  While checking out the dollar store before Camden's one month appointment (which is next door!!!), I found these adorable styrofoam pumpkins.


Walking around inside, they had these packs to create pumpkins!

Driving home, I had the idea of having the kids create pumpkins for fun---but I wasn't buying one for each...  That's a bit pricy.  However, thinking about our bucket filling and class community, they COULD create it as a team (which is their table)---but they had to behave to get pieces!  And out popped this quick freebie that you could use if you want!  {click on the picture to grab your freebie to use in your classroom!!!!!}



Each group gets a laminated sheet with their team name.  I write TREAT on it.  If anyone has to move their clip or the team isn't behaving, I erase a letter.  If no letters are left at the end of the day, they do not get a piece for their pumpkin.  I haven't decided if they need to have ALL of their letters to get a piece or not.  Since it's the week before, I would suggest that having any letter left gets them a part.  I will let them know that they can lose a piece of their pumpkin too!  Fast forward to day 2... if they have a piece from day one, but have NO letters left on day 2, out pops the piece!




(my poster pictures and names match the sets I got at the Dollar Tree.  There is a second set in the pack where you can name your own team, but the pictures are the same)

*You don't need the Dollar Tree pumpkin, any would do.  However the Dollar Tree one can be used year after year.  The same with the pieces.  I had to go to 2 different ones to collect all 4.  I was thinking of using all of my kids' Mr. Potato Head pieces!  How fun would that be?  (and I know, since we have them too... there are Halloween versions for pumpkins of Mr. Potato Head!)

Here are the different pumpkins you can make from the Dollar Tree:






I know that it could be awhile before another post, so I wanted to let you know about this!  Another fun thing we do this week is our "hunts."  You can read my original post HERE and HERE.  I have parents send in flashlights with their kiddos.  We turn the lights off and "hunt" for our math or language arts problems!  Give kids clipboards and a flashlight---holy engagement batman! :)


I just created and uploaded a Second Grade version--completely aligned to the Common Core Standards.  Since I moved to second grade, and I had many of the kids last year, I needed something a little "different" and the skills SHOULD have been easy from my first grade packet.  You can check out my packs by clicking on the pictures below!

Second Grade:





First Grade:




Now, run.  Don't walk!  To your nearest Dollar Tree Store!  Get those pumpkins and have a fantastically frighteningly good behaved week!  Halloween is on a Friday!  It can't get better than that! ;)  (But that means November is the following week!  Oh, my!)


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Morning Message Freebie



Hi all!  Welcome to our PA blogger blog hop!  I still have quite a few weeks left till I meet my littles.  (and a few to meet my newest personal little--but I'll get into that later).

I wanted to share with you something I did last year, BEFORE you all end up starting your year!  I'm usually a few weeks behind on everything because of our late start----and our late end!


As you know, we have a LOT of fun in my classroom, BUT.  I.HATE.CHAOS.  I cannot stand a classroom full of kids who are just talking and not doing something meaningful---from the minute the bell rings.  YES-we have lots of down time throughout the day where kids can be kids and talk and have fun.  You can see that in my posts.  This leads me to my "tool" AND "tip" for you!

Morning work.  Some love it, some don't.  I combine morning work with a letter to my kids.  Why not have them read authentic writing right from the start of your day?!  My letter to the kids is typed and EACH student gets a copy.  A lot of copies, yes.  BUT-consider this.  They are manipulating the text every day AND it can serve as a newsletter to parents about something we did that day!  {confession-I haven't done a "real" newsletter in years because of this!}  At the bottom of my messages, I include some kind of practice in LA or Math.  I also have an analogy---GREAT for the common core!

I wish I had a few pics of this in action, but sadly I do not.  I never think of it because it's something I've done now for the past 11 years---only now I have it SO much more streamlined.  (I used to type the letter, cut and paste the analogy and cut and paste a bottom activity!  ugh... NOW, it's all in one powerpoint file!)

Click on the picture below to grab yourself a week's worth of messages to check it out.  I have an entire year (with first grade Common Core Standards addressed at the bottom---I'll have to make some new ones for my new position in second grade) uploaded in my TPT shop.  It's broken into 4 packets and they get progressively harder.  {The third or fourth pack could be something that would be useful in the beginning of second grade as review}

When you click the picture, it will take you to my 3rd packet on TPT.  Click the download preview button there to get your week's worth!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Meaningful-Morning-Messages-Packet-3-478728

What I love most about this tool is that after a few weeks of "training" in first grade, at least, my classroom is a well oiled machine.  My classroom is all but silent at the beginning of the day---and I ALWAYS have my handful of movers, shakers and nonstop talkers!  They LOVE coming in and working on their message.  It tells them about their day----and what child doesn't want to know about what is going to happen?!  My own kidlets at home drive me bonkers sometimes with their questions of where are we going?  What are we doing...  Maybe I should make THEM messages each day!  HA!

The tip part of this wordy blog post is that when students come into your classroom, make sure they have something to do---that's routine and you do not have to explain 20 different times.  Make it meaningful and fun.  When you do, your day will start off fabulous---and not to mention, it has given me many chances to deal with issues you don't plan for at the start of the day... crying kiddlets, parent phone calls, etc.

Before I go, I wanted to share-if you haven't read it already--that I'm expecting my third little bundle of joy in about 5 weeks!  So I've been quite MIA this summer (and since I'm moving grades--since spring, really!)  I've been frantically moving a classroom, taking grad classes (just finished 60 credits this summer in 4 years!!), learning a new curriculum and trying to put stuff together for a sub---that could possibly start my year instead of me spending my 11 days there before I'm out--as well as spending time with my family of 4 with some beach time.  I'll be out till January, but have a TON of things I'm working on!  I can't wait to finish and share these.  They will blow you away! =)

Thanks for hopping by!  Click on the picture below to head to the next stop!

http://sweetrhyme-purereason.blogspot.com/

You'll be heading to Nick's blog at Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason!  Make sure you also check out his exciting news about his little family!

Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason


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