Sunday, January 27, 2013

Monster Mash

I am so excited to finally post my newest little packet!
I love the adorableness of these little graphic monsters!! :)

{check it out HERE}

Here you will find lots of goodies to help make your classroom Valentine’s Day party a Monster Mash of a good time! :)

 Letter to parents/party treats sign up sheet
reminder note to parents
  “Happy Heart Day” pennant banner {2 versions}
  name plates
  Gift tag labels {print pages, cut out, glue/tape sides together.  You can also print on sticker paper and just print and stick! } 
Straw flags {again print, cut, and glue/tape OR print on sticker sheet, cut, and adhere to straw}
  Food label cards {one set blank}
  toothpick decorations {print and adhere to toothpick, place in cupcakes or cake, etc… to add decoration flare}
  Valentine’s Day cards {4 different kinds}
  Monster Mash Bingo game! 4 boards, 1 spinner, #’s 11-20

This party is based off of my Valentine's Day Breakfast Party.  The letter and place cards were created using the most common, easy, and healthier breakfast items such as fruit, muffins, scrambled eggs, etc...  I have provided blank place cards for items I have forgotten that you would like to add. :)

Did I forget anything?  Something I could add {decorations} to make this little packet even more monsteriffic?! :)

Next up...Love Birds Party Kit!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Linking up with LOVE!

First, I would like to brag.  This week was only a 3-day week for me {whoop whoop}!  Monday was MLK Day and yesterday {Friday} I got to take off and head down to visit my parents and visit one of my new loves...continue reading to find out!

I'm linking up today with Tessa from Tales from Outside the Classroom.  This is a new blog that I recently ventured to and I'm glad I did!  

Here's how this lovely linky works...I have to tell you WHO I love, WHAT I love, and what PRODUCTS I'm lovin' right now!  Here we go:

I "meet" new amazing teachers daily through BlogLand and there are SO many lovely ladies {and gents} that I love!  Here are just a few:

Sour Apple Studio
Kelley from Teacher Idea Factory.  She's amazing.  Simply amazing.  She comes with a wealth of knowledge and creates the most amazing packets and units that are just *perfect* for every primary classroom!  This is not someone you "pin" for later....this is a blog you go to RIGHT NOW! Well... after reading this post! :)

Amy.  I'm sure you've heard of this incredible woman.  She is one of the first ladies I began "stalking" when I began my blog 2 1/2 years ago.  Every time I read her teacher and personal blog, I leave feeling a little closer to God and a little more knowledgable as a teacher!  Like I said....incredible.

Lyndsey from A Year of Many Firsts.  There are no words for how incredible her packs and units are.  Her blog posts are full of fabulous ideas and creations and she is one of the nicest people. Just go visit!  You will be mad at yourself if you don't.  Trust me!

We can't forget about this man. {pic is about 2 years old}  Goodness I love him to pieces!

Okay. Okay.  On to the next.... WHAT I'm lovin'

IKEA!  Have you been?  If you have then you MUST share the same obsession and love for this FANTASTIC store.  This is where I spent my Friday. My mom and I were there for TWO hours and that was going "fast!"
I walked away with a HUGE bag full of goodies and only spent $58! new obsession!

{naturally, at least ONE photo will not turn the right way..grrr}

I got this adorable and amazing find at Forever 21.  I do love some Forever 21 but not yesterday.  Not feeling their new stuff BUT I am in LOVE with this necklace!  My hubbers thinks I'm going to constantly put it on my face and speak in a British accent  and he's RIGHT! Can't wait!! :)

And then what PRODUCTS I am lovin right now:

This unit was created by Christie Lamb.  She does not have a blog, but her TPT store if FULL of absolutely adorable units/packets!  I'm excited to use this one next week.  

I know you know who Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills are!  
Their writing series has completely transformed the way I teach writing to my precious kinder babies.  If you didn't begin with Unit 1, it's not too late!  Or just stock up for next year!  These packets are in my "use forever" drawer! :)

If you are like me, then you are OBSESSED with all things graphics!
The Moffatt Girls, MelonHeadz Illustrating, and Teaching in a Small Town
are just a few of my favorites!  The image above is a pic of my favorite borders right now.  They're from The Enlightened Elephant, a new find! LOVE!

I'm adding a few more things to this little beauty and should have it up by tomorrow afternoon!  :)  Come back and check it out!

Happy Weekend sweet friends!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

'Snow Much' Fun Giveaway!

I am so excited about this giveaway!

My kiddos and I are still learning all about the wintery season.  We just wrapped up our unit on Penguins and are on our way to playing with Snowmen!!  Since we will be learning all about snow {which we do not have and only ONE kiddo in my class has ever seen...the downside to living in sunny FL} we are going to make our own snowy-themed games and do some investigating.
In my search for the perfect lesson plan ideas I found the next three items! These three ladies are fantastic and have some awesome items that they are so generously going to giveaway to ONE lucky WINNER!

Here's what you could win:

Click on the links below each image to take a peek at these awesome packets!!
You will not be disappointed!

Now for your chance to win:

The winner will also receive this NON-related packet :)   
Just have to finish it first! Ha!! 

So glad I have tomorrow off!
Good luck and happy Sunday friends! :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Five for Friday!

click image to link up!
I am so excited to participate in my first Five for Friday! woohoo!

1. Penguins.  
The beginning of this week we wrapped up our learning on penguins.  We LOVED learning about penguins.  Just like many other teachers have blogged about, it was so awesome to watch and hear the kiddos soak in all the information about penguins and then use that knowledge/terminology in their daily work.  Regurgitation, fledglings, etc... 

This is our "schema file" for the week.  Isn't he cute?! We named our chart Patty the Penguin! :)  

We also completed our tree map on penguins. I love that my kiddos can name each kind of chart! We also painted our penguins in their natural habitat but I completely forgot to take that picture.

2. Character Day
This week was also Celebrate Literacy Week in my district {maybe the state, I dunno}  Monday was Character Day.  The kiddos got to dress up as their favorite book character.  Needless to say, there were a lot of princesses and heroes! :)  Just take a look:

Here's a pic of some of the rest of my fellow colleagues:

Of course, I'm front and center...and the only one with my book! 

3. Read to Self.
I **LOVE** watching my kiddos reading during our Daily Five rotations.

I also love catching them when they are into a book.

4. Boutique find.
The sign says it all!

5. Weather.
I know we have all be feeling it.  On Monday, I could've gone to the beach and SWAM! It reached 80 degrees.  Today is a different story.  FREEZING!

I will be enjoying this tonight! :)

Come back this weekend for a quick giveaway!
Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Snow... in Florida!!!

I lied.  It's not snowing in Florida.  In fact, it's quite the opposite.  It will reach 80 degrees January.  I don't like it.  If it's suppose to be cold then it should be cold!  I'm pasty white and in no condition to be wearing public, but it's just too hot to be wearing pants! I know many other teachers who live in the South where it's hot and humid are loving the warm tempartures returning but I am NOT one of those people.

But I am one of those teachers who love having pretend snowball fights in my classroom! One of my first blog posts two years ago {that's just crazy!!} was all about a snowball my classroom...with sight words!

You can read more about it HERE!

I have had a snowball fight ever since and the kiddos could not love it more!
Something about getting to throw crumpled up paper at a friend just gets everyone so excited! Lots of giggles and smiles.

I've noticed a lot of other teachers have begun to use this *phenomenon* :)
They've put a little twist to it and I LOVE it and can't wait to use their ideas.
Check these out:

Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade used "snowballs" {crumpled up paper} to use in a whole group greater than/less than activity.
I'm also thinking of using this activity but have the kiddos place "snowballs" to fill a ten-frame.  In her post HERE you can read all about **THREE** awesome math activities she used in her classroom for whole group lessons.  I mean ... brilliant!

Then, there's this:

Becca Foxwell from First Grade in Foxwell Forest created a mini-unit specifically for a classroom snowball fight activity!  This snowball fight focuses on real and nonsense words!  She's even created a recording sheet to go with it!  I love this idea of having the kiddos record their findings after playing in the "snow"!! 
This would make a great center or small group activity as well.
Click HERE to check it out!

There are so many things you can do with a crumpled up piece of paper.  Let your imagination run wild and let the kiddos have the time of their life! 

How would you use a snowball fight in your classroom?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Okay.  I'm going to need you to think back {you know open up your "schema file!"}.  My last post.  The sweet boy whose mom totally put a stigma on him the first day.  I feel awful.  I'm sick to my stomach.  My heart breaks. 

My sweet new kinder is on the "spectrum."  That wonderful teacher term that we use when speaking of disabilities.  At first I thought maybe he was slightly autistic.  Then today, it hit me.  My sweet little boy {all though not so sweet} could very well, possibly, I'm about 90% sure....has Aspergers Syndrome. 
Cry.  Not for me....for him.

I want to hug his mom.  I want to hug him but he does not like affection.  I want to go back to Monday and instead of just leave my conversation with his mom at "thanks for the heads up" {about that so-called behavior issue} and ask her to elaborate.
I received his "getting to know you" sheet from his mother this morning and I wanted to cry.  I still do.  I'm actually holding back tears now.  She doesn't know what to do but knows that her son is on the spectrum.

The good news is I am already his biggest advocate and have snagged my awesome resource teacher friend on board.  We are still waiting on his official paperwork to arrive from his previous school, however, have it lined up to get him re-evaluated.

Here's where I need your help.  I don't know how to teach him.
He does wonderfully during the Daily Five and transitions fine.  He is very socially awkward and after 12:20 {when we return from specials} he is in his own little world.  He talks to himself.  Does not listen, pay attention, or show any interest in anything.  He will actively raise his hand, however, will give an answer from out in left field that is BEYOND off topic. 

He has letters and a majority of his letter sounds down and that is it.  His writing is that of a preschoolers and he has difficulty even coping work.  I did have him trace today and that was better, however, he would only trace one word.  

He fixates.  On RANDOM things.  Like today, instead of completing his math work with or without me, he stared at his pencil while twirling it and talking to himself.  When I went to work with him one-on-one, I knew he would need lots of explanation and example, however, he had no interest and would just talk about something off the pencil.

What do I do?  How do I help him?

I don't want him to be a lump on a log while he's in my class.  I also don't want him to be a distraction to the rest of my class.

HELP!!! Please?!

Monday, January 7, 2013

OUT OF SHAPE + winners!!

No, I did not go to the gym and am now sore.  Although I did the other day and the title does ring true for that.  But I'm not talking about that.  I'm talking about being out of shape with TEACHING!
Did anyone else go back today and are now just getting home, sitting down for the first time, and are just plain ol' EXHAUSTED?!
I mean's kinda sad.  I loved getting to see all my precious kinder babies.  I loved getting to hear all about their vacations and presents and all the fun they had.  But then, at 8:45 just 15 minutes after getting in and settled and starting our routine I get a knock on the door.  

A new student.

I am one of those teachers who takes all kiddos in.  I really am.  Most students, if not all, grow on me and I end up wanting to teach that class forever.  This class is one of those.  I love my class, how we function, how we mesh together. All our quirky personalities.  What I do not like is that we get no warning, no heads up, no nothing.  Just a knock on the door and then a kid shoved in.
That's it.  And I'm suppose to just get him unpacked, show him around the room, what we're doing, how to do what we're doing, all while keeping the rest of the 19 little bodies in order.  Thankful this class is different.  They're not 50 shades of crazy.  They're great.  They know what's expected and they know what to do.  But getting a new kiddo can be exhausting.

Here's the real fun part.  Mom.  Oh, sweet mother of this curly haired, too tall to actually be a kinder baby, cutie.  Within seconds of me first meeting this new friend of ours she says to me "good luck."  I look at her a little perplex.  She proceeds "The last two 'first-days' he has had at schools (yes, this little one has moved three times in the past the same district) the principal has had to call me due to behavior issues.  I think he'll be okay though."
Say WHAT?!?!  
NOT.OKAY.   You can NOT come into my classroom, drop off your child, as well as that little bomb, smile and peace-out! 
Talk about putting a stigma on your child.
Needless to say I watched him like a hawk and we had zero problems! PHEW!

I am still beyond exhausted.  Just from that.  That's it.  Nothing crazy happened today.  I didn't chase a child or had to lift anything heavy. I was only off for two weeks.  How did I become so lazy and unfit?! 
All I can chalk it up to is a really relaxing break! :p

Lets get to the real reason you're here...the WINNERS:

Check your email ladies!
Thank you to all that entered and became new followers! 
I hope you stick around! :)

If you didn't win, no worries.  I am putting my Mrs. Wishy Washy unit on sale for the rest of the night!  Click the picture below!

I'm off to cook up some dinner for the hubs and then it's time to prepare myself for tonight.  The Bachelor!!!!
I could not be more excited! Screw going to bed early.  I can be exhausted for one more day.  :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Day at the Farm with Mrs. Wishy Washy!

I know it's January and we're all still in *winter* mode but I just finished a super fun unit and I'm so excited about it!  Why not go ahead and share?! :)

Okay, so I {{LOVE}} doing a farm unit with my kiddos. I really do.  Maybe because I grew up on 14 acres.  Maybe because my bus stop growing up was on a dairy farm.  Maybe because I find those barnyard animals absolutely 
Either way, I love it.  The problem is there's just so much going on in the fall that it's hard to devote more than a week on the farm. (at least for me)
But at last(!!!!!!) I found a way to solve the problem:

I-{{puffy}}-heart-kind-of-love some Mrs. Wishy Washy.  I love the story, love how the kiddos get into the story, love that I can teach the farm based off this simple story, and I L.O.V.E. that I get to dress up like Mrs. Wishy Washy.
I have a picture somewhere...I'll find it for ya!

This unit is perfect for incorporating the farm and meets TONS of common core standards!  It's jam-packed with emergent readers, reader's response, pocket chart activities, literacy centers, math centers, science activities, graphing, and (for the first time) craftivities with tracers!!!!
Here's a closer look at what's inside of the 121 page unit:

click on picture to enlarge
Disclaimer: I realize I took a picture of that cute piggy and COMPLETE forgot to add the pipe cleaner tail! :(  Oops!  Minor oversight. Don't forget yours! :)

I am so excited about this unit that I'm going to give two away! 
Enter below!  

Check it out HERE.  While you're there snag this little freebie:

and make sure to follow my store!

It's my last day of break.  I know it is for many of you as well.  My day is going to be spent on my couch, relaxing.  It's raining outside so I think that qualifies for a Lifetime Movie kind of day! :)  
Happy Sunday to all of you!

Friday, January 4, 2013

when life gives you lemons (don't you love them btw)

Of course I am referring to Amy Lemons and her adorable husband. 
I ADORE them.  
Lately I've been presented with the "big man."  You know the one who handles all things. The one with THE master plan. I like to think of myself as a person of values. Values which stem from Christianity mixed with a little modern twists but by no means can I say I am a Godly woman and walk the Christian walk.
 Honestly, it has been YEARS since the last time I set foot in a church other than for weddings and/or funerals.  It's sad.  Really.
This past month the "big man," Mr. G-O-D has been speaking to me.  It's crazy.  But he's been there and he got to me through the world of blogging. 
He first slapped me on the face when Amy and her husband began speaking of Him and the power that is Him after her surgery.
Then He nagged me again when Abby spoke of her life and His plans.
He's all over the place and I feel like He's out to get me.  But in a good way.  Rather... great way!
I have never felt more at peace with my life than I do now.
2012 was an insane year for my hubby and I.  Through money issues (which really stems all other issues), stability, job woes, job hunting (still in the process), having to sell both of our beautiful vehicles to "downsize," family issues, etc... that I was pretty low on myself and really felt like it was never ending for us.  We just kept taking it. Blow after blow.  I started to wonder when God was going to start taking our side.  We are good people. Why was this all happening to us? 
Then, this past month he quieted my worries.  My hubby and I have our own "master plan" but it's not a set-in-stone kind of plan.  We have a vision for our life, for this year, and I just can FEEL God working on getting us there!
It's so exciting!

So exciting that this morning I got up went straight to Hobby Lobby {come on...any excuse to go there} snagged up a cork board and have been working on making my our vision board.  
I think back to Oprah every time I think of a vision board.  
{She spoke wisdom to me. :) I miss her at 4pm still every day.}
It's still in the works but I'll share with you when it's done!

On top of that amazingness going on I got the notification today that I WON this giveaway:

Remember, I blogged about HERE.
Seriously, could not be more excited to have won these great products from two inspiring and talented women!  If you have not checked out their products and/or MUST.
I just love Blogland!!!!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Did you hear?

Mailboxes are TOTALLY "in" right now?! :)
But they really are.  I purchased one this summer to put in my kinder classroom after reading THIS post by Cara Carroll.  It inspired me to use this little white mailbox as a teaching tool.
I use my classroom mailbox for the Postcard Exchange I hosted back in August.  {props to those of you who were able to ACTUALLY get your postcards out before the holidays, if you are a procrastinator like me there's still plenty of time.  Mine will be going out in the next two weeks!}

I have also debated teaching my kinder babies how to write letters.  Since there are so many standards that need to be taught and mastered before this one {since it's NOT a kinder standard}... but they so enjoy getting and giving letters {even if you can't read them!} :)
The past two years when I taught first grade before heading back to 'k' I used THIS amazing resource from Erica Boher:

It's the perfect tool to introduce students to letter writing.  

Now look at this:

click image to head to giveaway

Reagan Tunstall {of course you know who she is...LOVE her} and Kelley {my new obsession} have teamed up for the perfect little giveaway!
Here's what you could win:

What a great addition BOTH of these little babies will be!  I mean, the work is already done for you! :)  I love when that happens!!
Writing has been such a "tough" subject for me to teach but this year is a whole new ballgame and my kinder babies are doing AMAZING and I know it's thanks to all the fabulous bloggers out there who have taught me how to teach writing better and have provided me with so many outstanding resources!
Love, Love, LOVE!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013's safe!

It has been 19 days since tragedy struck Sandy Hook Elementary and the surrounding communities.  I know many of you are planning on mailing student-made snowflakes to help in supporting those sweet, young survivors as they return to school this new year.  Mine will be participating as well.

Some of you might want to donate money but are a little weary of doing so since there is complete SCUM out there scamming people to make a profit! {did you hear about that awful woman who did that...pretended to be an Aunt of one of the victims?...SCUM} - rant over - 
Well I have found a perfectly safe and secure place to do just that.  Donate.  What you can.  If you feel the desire to. Here's how.

click HERE is a great website that has daily deals on all things MUST HAVE!  I first heard about this little online store sent from Heaven from Abby and immediately  I purchase something off their site at least once a week.  It's ridiculous.  But SUCH good deals!
ANYWHO.... they are holding a Sandy Hook Fundraiser where you can donate $20.  That's it.  You can add more "quantity" if you want to donate more.  They even have a fun little gift that you can receive as well, if you wish.
You will have to 'register' in order to donate, however, you can always immediately 'deactivate' your account. You probably won't want to though!  :)

Just wanted to share!  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Currently. New Year's Edition.

First, Happy New Years from my little family to yours.  We were horrible procrastinators this year and did NOT get out our annual Holiday Cards so I whipped this little baby up to send out to friends and family via email/FB. Don't you just love FB for things like that?! :)

I hope you all had a safe and wonderful New Year's Eve last night. Mine was "calm" but lots of fun!  
Ok.  Lets get to it!

Explanations {because you want them} previously stated, I had a relatively "calm" night with friends but there was champagne involved.

Loving...I've hopped on the Cameo board and could NOT be more happy! 
Does anyone else have off until the 7th?  I hated that we worked until the 21st of Dec. but am OH.SO.GLAD to not go back tomorrow like my poor mother! Sorry Mom!

Thinking...really no explanation needed here.  

Wanting...with this years linky parties, I'm pretty sure I have quite a few people who will hold me to those resolutions.  What did I sign myself up for?! 

Needing...if you didn't read THIS post, then read it or just make an educated guess.  It's depressing.  All my goodies...GONE. :(

OLW... Drive.  
This year my resolution is to have a little more DRIVE to get things done.  A drive to accomplish all the goals I have set for myself.  The drive to get things done.  The drive to make a difference in my own life. 
Basically to keep my BUTT in being lazy or thinking it's "too hard" or will take "too much time!"  

Ok.  Now it's your turn {if you haven't already beat me to the party}.  
Head on over to Farley's and link up!  Don't forget the rule of 3!

Last chance! 
Thanks Holly for the adorable graphic!

Happy 2013!