Monday, May 28, 2012

Linky party fun!

So after I received a sweet comment today from Kelley over at Teacher Idea Factory, I spent HOURS on her blog... reading, snagging some SUPER cute ideas and freebies! I think the fact that her name is Kelley is a HUGE plus! :)

While I was there I decided to link up for her *first ever* linky party.  It's a great one too:

 Click HERE to head to the party
So after a LOT of thinking I have narrowed my "must haves" to the following:

Without these two amazing websites I would not be able to implement the AMAZINGLY creative thematic units and centers that not only help to reinforce concepts taught daily in my class, but keep my sweet kiddos fully engaged!  Because of the amazing world of blogging and these two websites I have been able to become a better teacher! :)

The other thing that I absolutely LOVE in my classroom is this bad boy:

{I am blessed...a family friend bought this cart for me from Lakeshore}
This little cart is amazing and holds all the items I need during "carpet" time!  

Then there are these baskets from the Dollar Store.  In my classroom, however, they are not called baskets, they are "book luggage."  Each student has their own book luggage which holds just right books {teacher selected}, a reading strategy bookmark, an eyelighter {another MUST have}, and a student selected just right book.  These are HUGE for storing all their reading goodies, helps keep them and me on track with what they are working on (reading strategy-wise) and what types of texts are interesting them, etc... This upcoming year I am adding a small notebook in each book luggage {small as in the size of my hand or smaller}.  I will use the notebooks to record informal/formal observations of each student as they read.  Keeping this little notebook in their book luggage will help me to better keep track! :)

There are SO many things that I could not live without in my classroom and so many wonderful resources available.  Through this little linky party I've seen a whole bunch of other fabulous resources that I will now be checking out.  

If you haven't been to Kelley's blog yet, get there NOW!  I'm so glad you led me to your site Kelley, it's amazing! {I think I've used that word too much in this post!}

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Salebration!

In the midst of my mid/late-20's crisis I decided to throw a Memorial Day Sale in honor of my family and friends who have served in the military {including my father, grandfather, and two cousins}!

 Look over to the left column of my blog to find your navigation buttons to my TPT store...I will be throwing this sale at my TN store as well!

God Bless our military men {present and past}!

Mid-life crisis at 27..and 3 quarters?!

I often get caught up in the day-to-day grind and often find myself wandering what else there is out there for me when the blissful weekend arrives.  Don't get me wrong. I love my job. a lot. I have just been battling with myself for what's missing.  What do I really want to do for myself.

I have a friend. Well, really an acquaintance from years ago that I would often admire in a group setting.  She was this beautiful girl (a year younger than me) that seemed to have it all. She loved life. She has the ability to make everyone around her love life. Want to live life to the fullest.  I loved the way she dressed.  The way she was able to make an unmistakable lasting first impression.  

She left her small town home to move to Tallahassee {where I still live and where we met through mutual friends} then after graduating took a leap of faith with a few friends and moved to the big city {NYC}.  Since she had left so many friends and family behind to live the life she always wanted, she created a blog.  I am obsessed with her blog.  I live life vicariously through her.

Her latest blog is all about her taking a solo trip to Barcelona.  To get clarity in her life. To prepare herself mentally for the big change that was to come upon her return to the States.  After admiring her beautiful photographs and reading about her unbelievable travels and adventures, it hit me.  I I NEED to travel. 

When I looked at the gorgeous landscapes and architecture that laid across her photos I was speechless.  I began to picture myself there.  I want to have a family and I want a lot of things in my life that I do not have yet {or have not accomplished yet} but it hit me this morning while sipping on my coffee... I need more stamps on my passport.  I want to see the world that surrounds me.  I want to be more than just a small town primary grade teacher and wife.  I want to be a world-traveler.  I want to experience all of God's creations.

Now I'm left with how to do this.  I am not made of money and sadly do not have a money tree growing in my backyard.  I am only a teacher.  An underpaid teacher. A teacher with a ton of student loans to repay.  A teacher who is married to an amazing entrepanuar and with that comes a lack of substantial income.  A teacher who works nonstop creating documents, taking odd "second jobs" to make as much extra cash I can make to just "get ahead a little."  

So. There you have it.  My mid-{more like late}-twenties crisis.  My world traveling expense saving begins today.  

One day I will share with you breathtaking photos of my travels from far off places around the world.  You will see a smile plastered to my face.
{Mom...sorry to put the baby thing on hold for a little longer. :)}
This is my goal.  This is my crisis.  Have you every had these "come-to-Jesus" moments where you realize what you want/need more of in your life.  

What is it that you want to do?


Saturday, May 19, 2012

we've got answers

{click HERE to head to the post}

Since becoming a TPT and TN seller 3 months ago I've been learning A LOT about how it all works, including the technical difficulties that come along with some teacher files.  I've purchased over 100 products in the year and a half I've followed fellow bloggers/teachers and have had many of the same questions/problems.  Questions like "Why are there black lines showing up on the pages when I open up a document?" or "Why is my computer telling me this newly created file is corrupted and it's not showing a page?"  
Frustration and confusion sets in!
Now that I'm a seller I feel it's important that you get some answers to these aggravating issues that happen to so many of us!

And thankfully the amazing Erica from Erica Bohrer's First Grade JUST posted a fabulous Q & A post answering these questions and more. 
She did such a superb job of explaining exactly what to do if/when each problem occurs there was no need for me to come up with my own post about it! :)

I hope this is helpful to many of you.

Happy Saturday! 8 days to go for me! WOOHOO!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beautiful Alexis!

Yesterday early in the weeee hours of the morning (3:06am to be exact) I became an Aunt for the 6th time.  This time it was my baby brother who blessed me with this precious little girl! First baby on my side of the family.  Holding my brother's little girl was the greatest thing and really got the "baby fever" going {something that has NOT happened with me yet, even after *almost* five years of marriage}.
I might be biased but I think she is the absolute cutest baby EVER! :)
Since this little bundle of joy came into the world at the beginning of the week and lives 2 hours away from me I got to take off work!!!  With only 10 days of school left and the kids on a whole new level of "crazy"... taking a day off was both exciting and anxiety provoking.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who finds it more stressful and more work to take OFF a day {especially at the end of the year} rather than just toughing it out and working?! My goodness! Praying my 20 little ones are behaving themselves for my brave sub!!
Speaking of end of the year approaching, make sure you check out my End of the Year Awards.  The "healthier" version of the candy awards! ;)
We will be getting our ballots ready and placing our votes for who deserves each award on Friday and having our end of the year award ceremony next Friday!  I'm also in the process of creating my end of the year slide show! I'm so PUMPED for this year's slide show! With all the cute fonts and clipart I've acquired over the past two years my arsenal of cuteness is reaching its max! hehe :)  Since I'm in such a joyous mood I've decided to have a 
Everything in my TPT store and Teacher's Notebook Store will be on sale for 20% off the rest of the day! {head over to my left side bar to find your way there}
Happy end of the year!   

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Out of this World

First of all Happy Mother's Day to all you lovely ladies!  I like to think of myself as a mother...I have two pups, 20 children I see 5 days a week, and a 20-something year old child at home! :)  

Okay. So the end of the year is quickly rapidly approaching! It's insane. 13 days to go! But who's counting? Ha!  With that said, we have been working on our space unit. I know many of you do your space-themed units towards the beginning of the year but for whatever reason I always end up doing it at the end of the year. Nonetheless, whenever you incorporate astronauts, outerspace, and aliens the kids are LOVING it!  Last week we became astronauts {even filled out an astronaut application} and headed for space!  This upcoming week we will be learning all about the sun and moon/day and night/and all things space!
I have used {for the past two years now} Abby's two units on space.  They are SO fun!  Lots of really cute activities.  Click HERE to head to her TPT store where you can find all these goodies or HERE to see her space post!

Since I had these two great space-themed units I needed some fun math and literacy centers to include in our daily five and math workstation rotations.  So without further ado here is my latest packet {YAY}:

Click HERE to head to my TPT store or HERE for Teacher's Notebook
I'm so excited to use these and offer them to you!
TPT and Teacher's Notebook have given me the opportunity to put my creativity to use and to help my little family FINALLY begin to see the light at the end of the financial tunnel! :)
Thank you all for the support and sweet comments.  I LOVE comments! :)

Enjoy your day wonderful mothers! You have the toughest job and should enjoy this day that has been set aside for YOU! I'm going to {in honor of MY mother...Love you momma}.  Headed to the pool!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Here's what I got

I had a GOBZILLION items placed in my 'wish list' on TPT and as much as I wanted to purchase it ALL, my check book was not allowing it.  I decided on four items to snag during this sale and here they are:

Find it HERE
I **LOVE** the mother-daughter duo that heads up KinderGals and am B-E-Y-O-N-D excited to get a chance to use and learn and GROW from them some more over the summer {as I read EVERY.SINGLE. thing they have written that is provided on the web} and use their fun products next year when I head back down to the sweet babies of kindergarten! :)  The above file was created by Megan {the daughter}.  There's so many great ways to use this product!

Here's what Mrs. Kim {the momma} made that I will be using during the first couple weeks of school when we're getting 'in the groove' and getting to know one another.  SOOO stinkin excited!

 Find it HERE

 I mean just looking at the cover page makes me excited.  
Side note: I'm so ready for THIS school year to be over I'm already looking into next year :)

Of course you have seen this *HOT* item:

 Find it HERE
Who doesn't love the amazing Michelle Oaks of Fabulous in First?!
 I mean she makes teaching the simplest {and sometimes boring} of items fascinating!!!!  Seriously, punctuation is now FUN! :)

Then another simple treat from the infamous Deanna Jump! Who doesn't love her? This little snag of a find will be used during my small groups as a fun sight word review activity/game! Simple. Fun. JUST LOVE IT!

 Find it HERE
Okay.  There they are.  My fun finds.  
Because I was so overwhelmingly busy the beginning of the week and literally got my goodies last minute.  I am extending my sale until Friday! 
 Thanks to everyone whose left sweet comments about my goods.  I'm in the works of finishing up another quick unit.  Hopefully before Friday.  Fingers crossed! Happy Shopping!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Have you heard?!

{click HERE}

I am so excited about this sale! I have so many wonderful items in my shopping cart just WAITING for me to press the 'purchase' button! I can't wait!!
 Fill your cart and get ready to be prepared for next year with all your fabulous goodies! :)

Now, have you been over to Rachelle's (and Natalie's) blog "What a Teacher Wants" {love her}?! Well the other day she posted this fabulous classroom management idea... along with a FREEBIE! So, I decided since my kids are 'out of this world crazy right now'  and I'm pretty much willing to do ANYTHING to ring them in, that I was going to take a stab at this idea!

What'd'ya works MAG.NIF.I.CENT.LY!
Here's how it works:
There are two teams. Team Beiber and Team Skywalker.  Before I told my sweeties what the two team names were I talked to them about using their 'poker face.' Ok.  I didn't use that terminology but you get the gist!
Then the discreetly came and chose their team without showing or telling anybody.  Once they all had chosen their team, we shared and showed our friends.  I taped the small team tags onto their desks (when you visit Rachelle's blog it will make sense!)
The whole idea is that everyone is working together as teams to earn points (I say "tallies").  Whichever team has the most tallies/points at the end of the week gets some sort of treat.  So whenever I catch someone doing something amazing or if I catch most of the team doing something amazing, that teams earns a tally.  This week I took away a tally because too many kids on one team were off task.  They have the chance to earn that tally back too.

My kids absolutely LOVE this little game and it has worked marvelously.  All I have to say is "Hmm...which team is going to earn that next tally" or something along those lines.  The second I say it, the rooms gets silent and they are all eyes on me!  I LOVE IT!!!!

You MUST go check out these goodies NOW! {HERE}