Sunday, April 28, 2013

Teachers + Instagram

I'm doing it.  I've bit the bullet and created my own Beg, Borrow, Steal Instagram account!! :)

The wonderful ladies of What the Teacher Wants and Apples and ABC's have created a SUPER fun way to share fun teaching pics every Tuesday

All you have to do is Instagram a picture every Tuesday with the hashtag #teachertalktuesday

Here is a little Instagram 101{per Michelle}:
1. It is like Facebook, but with only pictures
2. You can make your profile private if you want
3. You can make write a caption under your picture and comment or like photos

Here's my Instagram Homepage.
It's lacking photos because I JUST created my account, but rest assured it will be filled in NO time!  I'm slightly addicted to Instagram! :)  Can you tell I need some followers?! 

Thanks Jennifer for the button!

Now it's your turn to join in on the fun!
Follow me:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Product Swap!!


I am so excited to be part of my first ever PRODUCT SWAP!!!
Jessica is one amazing lady for creating such a great opportunity for fellow bloggers to meet other bloggers and share wonderful products! :)

Let me preface my post.  There were a few 'hiccups' at the beginning of this process so I did not have enough time to fully dive into utilizing this amazing resource in my classroom. :/    I did use the activities in my classroom for two days this week with my kinder babies and they LOVED them!  I did completely slack on the taking pictures but I have a good reason....I've been preparing for my BFF's bachelorette party {I'm currently sipping on a yummy beverage at the beach :)   jealous?}.
So...without further ado:

All of Colleen's products come with fully detailed instructions, ideas, examples, and wonderful recording sheets for each game.  Well thought out and age/developmentally appropriate!

You MUST go visit Colleen!  Tell her I sent you and check out a little something from my TPT store! :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Candy Land Math....freebie!

What a week it has been so far!  This proctoring for the state testing is B.O.R.I.N.G. 
Seriously, an hour and a half of staring at 17 third graders who are staring back at me, in a daze, smacking on their gum, and using their #2 pencils as chopsticks. Ridic. Onto some fun with a classic game board:

I love Candy Land.  My kids LOVE Candy Land.  
A couple years ago I was introduced to the idea of turning game boards into sight word games.  I made Candy Land into Sight Word Candy Land, as well as Jenga into Sight Word Jenga.  My kinder babies {firsties for the last two years} loved, loved, LOVED playing these games during word study.  I've never seen so much sight word recognition growth before!  They really do learn them even when "playing a game!"  :)

I first take out the "character cards" and do not let the kiddos use the "bridges/rainbows" to skip ahead.  I like to 'force' the kiddos to play for a LONG time and read their words over and OVER! :)  It also doesn't give them much time for anyone to 'win' so there's no fighting or anything!

I wanted a super easy way for my kinders to practice their math facts.  Since my kids fell in love with sight word Candy Land, I decided to just snag another game board.  Luckily I have plenty of nieces and friends with their own little ones. 
This freebie contains numbers 0-20, number words 0-12, tally marks 1-10, ten-frames 0-10, and addition fact to 10.  You can use what you need and/or want your kids to focus on! Love it!!

I'm off to bed.  Another day of staring at 3rd graders again! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Prep, Play, and Punch!

Welcome to my smorgasboard of RANDOM.
This week has been one of those weeks.  Unruly parent, allergies, a little pink eye, arts and crafts galore, meetings, and whole lot of fun!
Grab a cup of joe, I've got a lot to show ya! :)

Next week begins our state wide testing.  Our *fun* test is called the FCAT.  I have kids I taught in K who are now in 3rd and 4th grade and I get the pleasure of proctoring a huge group of my kiddos next week.  One of my dear teacher buddies got a little crafty this week to really pump the kids up. 
Here are the fun crafts her 3rd graders made:

F "cats"
Here they wrote all their test-taking strategies!

Their "I'm going to 'ace' this test" letters to themselves.

And the one I love most... "I'm gonna knock the FCAT out of the park"  Each baseball has a letter from parents, siblings, friends, and former teachers with words of encouragement to each student.  I just love this idea!!! So stinkin' cute!

This week was our second week spent learning about the ocean.  My group of kinders absolutely LOVED learning about the ocean this year and were all into it!  We made the usual crafts for each animal we learned about, did a lot of hands-on exploration, and learned about the layers of the ocean.  
As a culminating activity, I had the kiddos create their own aquarium.  I originally saw this adorable craft on Pinterest and I absolutely love how they turned out.  Each hand print is a different sea creature; fish, octopus, jellyfish, and one even made his hand print into a shark {but I forgot to snag that picture}.

I also turned my housekeeping area into Yummy Pizzeria.  I set up most of it this past week and still have a few fun things to add {pizza boxes, Velcro pizza parts so they can "make" the pizza according to their "orders," etc..}  The kids are BEYOND excited about getting to play in this center next week.  I love changing the center every month or so.  

You can find all the fun things needed to incorporate this center here:

I'm still working on fine-tuning my doctors office and then I will begin working on my grocery store, bakery, and vet office packets! :)  

Now I'm off to sip on this delicious drink!
To bad I will also be carrying Sinex, Clariton, nasal spray, and allergy eye drops with me! Oh the joys of being allergic to the outside world during spring time {my favorite season nonetheless}.
Happy Saturday, friends! :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


If you're anything like me then you love to look at pictures.
Every time one of my blogging buddies posts a picture of them in their "personal" life I get all kinds of excited.  It makes me feel like I know you a little more! Anyone with me?  Just me?  
Well, like it or not....i'm sharing a pic:

This is me and my oh-so-handsome hubby!
We NEVER, I mean N.E.V.E.R. take pictures.  Every year I make a goal to take a picture of us every month but that never happens. We're lucky if we get a picture taken together that YEAR! :/
My sister-in-law has one of those fancy smancy cameras, so when she whipped that bad boy out, I jumped on it!
This pic was taken on Easter.  
Can you tell I dyed my hair?!  Ombre' style.  ALL.BY.MYSELF. 

Yes, I gave myself I high-five! :)

I promise to post more "educational" posts later but just wanted to share! 

happy hump day friends!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Five for Friday {April 5th}

This is a sad Friday for me.  It was the last day of my intern teaching full-time. I must admit, it was quite nice being able to pull small groups and work with kiddos one-on-one {uninterrupted} for 6 weeks.  Not to mention not having to do my own lesson plans!  Oh, how I love my intern.  She was amazing!
Here's some fun things we did this week:

We started one of my favorite units....the ocean!  Yes, I realize it's spring and I should've saved the ocean theme for May, however, this is how it began to flow in my room and when the kiddos started talking about ocean animals it was time to rearrange.  All about flexibility over here! :)
This adorable seahorses were inspired from Pinterest {of course} and were made after we spent a lot of time learning lots of facts about the tiny creatures!

I love these sharks!  We made these guys yesterday and wrote facts about sharks this morning to go with our craft!  I think they turned out so stinking cute! :)  I will post again this weekend with craft templates and writing freebie!

I had to share.  In my classroom we do "share time" a little differently.  I created a 'take-home-bag' called the "Mystery Bag" that my kiddos take turns taking home.  It's a black drawstring bag {so nobody can peak}.  The kids take it home and are allowed to put ONE toy {or whatever they choose} inside.  But that's not all, they also have to write 3 clues for their item.  The next day they read one clue at a time and the rest of the kiddos take turns guessing what it could be.  We guess until we get it right and/or we're all just way off! :)  
This sweet friend brought in his camera and insisted on taking a picture of the class.  He was very 'professional' about it too!

Marvelous Monday folders.  These babies are the brainchild of THE Kim Adsit.  After attending her DI for the Little Guy conference last spring {read about it HERE} I knew I HAD to begin doing this in my class.

How is works:
Kiddos write in this journal every single Monday.  They are allowed to write about anything they want.  I keep all their papers in these binders.  These binders are great for showing growth to parents and to the kiddos.  My kinder babies love looking back at their first couple entries and comparing them to how they write now.  They are always so impressed with themselves.
The first picture shows a students "writing" the first day of school and the second shows her writing from this past Monday.  Thank you, Kim for the wonderful idea!!!

Wednesday, me and the rest of my kindergarten teammates enjoyed a delicious breakfast during our half-day planning day {we call them "wacky Wednesdays}.  I will admit...I ate every last bit of that deliciousness! YUMMO! Do you get half-day planning days?

Leave some love if you makes my day! :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


The world we live in is different.  It's different from when I was born in 1984.  It's different from a decade ago.  Even a year ago.  
Our world is changing, evolving, moving.  
Our government is different, our schools are different, people are different, the way we THINK is different. 

In this fast paced world, it's hard to forget what life is really all about. It's hard to think about what really matters in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Today is Autism Awareness day.  
It's an important day.  I do not know the statistics but I do know that there are more kiddos diagnosed with Autism than ever before.  I have two in my classroom this year.  They are amazing.  But they are "different."  {I really do not like that word}.  If you have not made yourself aware of what autism really is and what all it entails, you must.  Knowing what I know now has helped me in teaching my sweet kiddos to the best of my ability.  I love it!  
Make yourself aware.

I would also like to make you aware of one phenomenal lady.  Her name is Kaitlin Roig. She is the incredible woman behind Classes 4 Classes, a place where kids pay it forward.  Kaitlin is a first grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary.  After the horrific tragedy that took place last Fall she realized that there was no explanation for what happened and it should be our mission to teach younger children about love, kindness, empathy, compassion, and hope.  She wants to change the course of young students lives and mold them into wonderful human beings.  I could not agree more!
Kaitlin created the website, Classes 4 Classes, as I way to bring classrooms from different schools and/or states together with one common goal.  The website is set up to help you create projects for other classrooms.  Through this, students are able to work together out of the kindness of their hearts to give a gift and/or experience that will enrich the education and lives of not only others, but theirs as well. 
This is a website you must check out!  

Just wanted to make you *aware* :)

Monday, April 1, 2013


I'm linking up too early this morning with Farley!

I can NOT believe it is already April.  No foolin'!  It's just crazy how fast this year is going {for me at least}.  Okay...Here it goes:

Yes, the weather in FL has finally reached consistent warm temperatures.  I even switched out all my "winter clothes" for spring/summer! So excited because that means pool/beach days with good friends and family {my favorite thing to do} :)

Okay.  I do need to get ready for work. It's my last week my intern is full-time teaching.  It's been so nice having her with us.  Speaking of an intern.... what do you do for your intern at the end of their teaching time?  Do you give them a gift?  What do you do?  Would love some ideas!!

*** I "rushed" out this morning and didn't provide you with the link to all things heavenly....Banana Chocolate Chip Baked Donuts.  My hubby and I have already eaten half of them! :)  They are so scrumptious! 

And the warm weather...with it comes humidity.  Trust me, FL is not where you want to be come late April-mid September.  It's misery.  And ladies {and gents}, lets not forget the pollen.  Uuuuggghhh!  I just became allergic to the outside world.  Literally.  I carry Visine and a pack of tissues with me at all time until about May.  But, yes, wearing a maxi dress today was a nice change! :)