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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Start Making Your List... and Check it Twice

I'm super excited about the big Cyber Monday (& Tuesday) sale on TPT.  I've already started making my own list and now it's time for you to start making yours.  Start shopping tomorrow (thru Tuesday) and save 28% off every item in my TPT store by using the promo code CYBER.  I've got lots of items for Christmas and winter for kindergarten and 1st grade.

Isn't this a super cute sale banner?!  Thanks Krista at Creative Clips!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall Lovin' in Kindergarten

Phew, I can't believe I haven't blogged since my classroom pictures in August.  I'm a terrible blogger.  I always forget how busy I am during the school year... ahhh, the freedom of summer spoils me.  Anyways, I'm still here and I am loving all of the fall activities with my kids.  Have I mentioned that I L.O.V.E. fall?!!  It's seriously my absolute fav!

Last week we focused on leaves.  We began by reading my big book "We're Going on a Leaf Hunt".

Then, we actually went on a leaf hunt.  My school has an environmental focus and sits on 17 acres of land so we had an ample supply of colorful leaves to choose from.  After each student had chosen the *perfect* leaf they put it in their Ziploc bag (labeled with their name).  Upon returning to the classroom we discussed our leaves and made observations.  Then we put all of our brainstorming about leaves onto a graphic organizer.  They really did great with this!  I collected the leaves in bags to keep safe until the next day.

The following day we reread "We're Going on a Leaf Hunt" and I pulled out the leaves again.  Each child dictated their sentence on the predictable chart.  "My leaf is __________."  We pointed and read all of the sentences once the chart was complete.

On the final day we once again reread my big book, read through the predictable chart, and then completed our pages for the class book.  Each student cut apart their sentence, glued it on their page in order, and then wrote their sentence.  We glued our leaves to the page and then I laminated them.

Here's the final product:

I just love the last page that says, "My leaf is dirty."  {It was indeed a very dirty leaf!}  This is hands-down their favorite class book of the school year.

A few other things we've been up to... we finished unit 1 of Kim Adsit's Reader's Workshop.  Here are a couple of our celebration projects.  They loved this!

Today we had the local fire department come with their fire safety house to teach the kids how to get low and crawl out.  This was so cool!  The trailer was actually set-up like a house-- a living room with fire place, kitchen, stairs, bedroom.  After learning how to get out safely the kids actually got to practice while a smoke machine and smoke detectors went off.  It was a great learning experience!

Next up-- APPLES!  Today we labeled an apple diagram, tasted, and described apples.  Pictures to come.  In the meantime, head over to The First Grade Parade for some amazing apple ideas!  :)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Classroom

Well, I've got the first 5 days of the school year behind me.  I love my new group of kinders.  They've got a good foundation of skills and I'm loving their personalities.  The downer for the week was definitely the heat... upper 80s + no AC = miserable.  I'm looking forward to this week with the big cool down at 75 degrees.

Here are some pictures that I snapped of my classroom:
This is a view from my door.
I left some blank space here to fill with anchor charts I make with the kids.

Another view from my door.
I'm loving my new polka dot carpet from IKEA
and the red polka dot valance my sweet husband hot glued up for me.

And another view from my door.

Last view from my door.

My group meeting area.  I kept my calendar pretty simple this
year because I'm going to be using a calendar book with my kids.

This bench was truly a labor of love.  When I got it at a garage sale it was ivory with ladybugs all over.  My sweet husband transformed it into a black beauty and my stepmom recovered the cushion to match my classroom theme.  This is great because there's room for a 'special friend' to sit next to me when needed.

Ready for the first day.

My leveled classroom library and individual book boxes.
{By the way, I am doing the Daily 5 this year and my
kiddos are up to 6 minutes in only 4 days!}

Computer Table

Supply Center- I'll house my Daily 5 materials in the colorful drawers.
On the shelf is my pencil sharpener, glue sticks, scissors, pencil drawers,
and table supplies will go in the bottom red boxes.

Listening Station-  My hubby removed the table legs and I got the red pillows at IKEA.
I think it'll be a cozy place to listen to reading.

Lunch Choices

Vowels & Writing Resource Board

This is where I'll put the snack calendar, current newsletter, etc. as a quick reference.

Our school follows these 6 measures of excellence.
I thought this would be a fun way to display them.

There's still some finishing touches I'd like to add, but it's a fully functioning classroom for now!  :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale

Who's excited about the ginormous back to school sale on TPT?!  ME!  I'm so pumped to stock up on some great new items for this school year!

Every item in my TPT store will be on sale Sunday, August 18 and Monday, August 19!  It'll all be 20% off, plus you get an extra 10% off with the promo code BTS13 {that'll be 28% off}.

{Click the image or here to go to my store!}

Happy Shopping!  :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vegas & Ohio Meet-Up

I'm a little late on posting this, but I wanted to share my adventures in LasVegas for the National SDE 'I Teach K' conference.  First, the conference was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  I saw a ton of different sessions and wonderful educators who I follow online-- Shari Sloane, Kim Adsit, and Deanna Jump just to name a few.  Seriously, these women are great and it was so helpful to hear them speak.  I walked away with a notebook and head full of new ideas for my classroom!

On Tuesday of my trip I attended the big LasVegas blogger meet-up, which was hosted by a group of sweet bloggers and sponsored by TPT.  Thank you!  It was fun to see the actual people behind the blogs.  They also gave away a ton of great prizes.  I won a gift certificate to TPT!!  The best part of the night was probably meeting the one and only Deanna Jump!  She is seriously the sweetest person.

Onto another meet-up in Ohio.  On Friday I met up with some local bloggers at a great little restaurant on the docks.  It was a beautiful day so we sat outside and chatted the time away.  It's nice to chit chat about all things school related.  Kate told me about a new must-have teacher supply... FriXion pens.  Seriously, it's an erasable gel pen!  Sign me up!  :)

{Thanks Kate for sharing the picture!}

Here's who joined me at the meet-up: {left to right}


Friday, July 26, 2013

Table Caddies {with a promo code}

As most of you know from experience once a school year has come to an end you start planning for the next.  I, too, am guilty of this.  I still enjoy my summer and take breaks from school work, but I truly enjoy what I do and find it hard to let it go for so long in the summer.

Next year I'm doing a polka dot and apple theme.  Everything will be black, white, green, and red.  I wouldn't normally go for red, but the tables and chairs in my classroom are red so I needed it to all match.  I'm quite happy with my progress so far.  {I'll post my apple decor unit as soon as I'm finished with it.}

Ok, now on to my new table caddies... the whole purpose for this blog post.  Thanks to the wonderful folks at I now have the perfect table caddies to keep my kiddos organized at their tables.  I always have trouble finding just the right basket to fit all of the materials in a useful way so I was super excited to find these utility caddies from  What I love most about these baskets is that there are two big open compartments vs. small divided areas that don't fit anything.

The awesome thing for y'all is that is offering 15% off all plastic storage by Romanoff with the promo code 'StorageSpecial15'.

I've dolled up my caddies to go along with my theme and now I'm trying to decide exactly how I want to organize the materials in them.  I know for sure that each student will store their crayons in a small food storage container like pictured below.  I have used this for a few years now and it's been amazing.  I just print out an address label with each child's name and stick it on.  Last year pencils were quite the battle so I'm trying to figure out exactly how to deal with that.  I'm leaning towards little tape flags in different colors on each pencil so kiddos know exactly which is theirs.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ohio Blogger Meet-Up

Next week I'll be heading to a northwest Ohio blogger meet-up!!  If you're local, I'd love to meet you and chat about all things teaching!  :)

Be sure to let Julie know if you can come by emailing her at

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Vegas, here I come!

I'm packing my bags and heading to Las Vegas tomorrow morning.  I will be attending the 'I Teach K' conference all week and couldn't be more EXCITED!  I am registered for some amazing sessions!!  I'm also very excited to be attending the big blogger meet-up.

The unfortunate part of this whole adventure is actually getting to and from Las Vegas... I HATE FLYING.  {The people who sit next to meet probably hate it too when I make full use of the complimentary air sickness bags!  TMI?}  I usually travel alone so at least for this trip I'll have people {and Dramamine} with me to keep me distracted and hopefully not sick.

I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures and ideas to share when I return!  Any other bloggers heading to Vegas this week?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What are you reading? {Linky Party}

Ahhh, summer!  I feel like every school year goes by more quickly than the prior one.  I love what I do and the freedom of summer is a nice treat after 10 months of constantly being on the go.  One thing I enjoy doing in the summer is picking up a good book {or two or three}.

Recently, I had the pleasure of getting a copy of Love and Other Subjects by Kathleen Shoop.

As I began reading the first chapter I was immediately sucked in.  This book incorporates love and teaching-- what teacher wouldn't be sucked in?!  The main character, Carolyn Jenkins, is striving to be the best teacher she can be fresh out of college while trying to find love at the same time.  Carolyn was raised in a well-to-do suburban area, but finds herself slightly out of her element teaching at an inner-city school with a principal who is out to get her.  The writing style of the author, Kathleen Shoop, is easy to read and she truly captures the struggles and successes of a first year teacher in the classroom.  I found myself making many connections as I read the book and thought back to my own struggles as I began my teaching career.  {Although my experiences weren't nearly as extreme as the ones in the book I should add.}  I definitely recommend this book to other teachers out there who are looking for an enjoyable summer read! :)

My current read is more school-related, but still very enjoyable.  Upon the recommendation my blogger friend Kate from EduKate & Inspire, I bought a copy of No More "I'm Done!" by Jennifer Jacobson.  This has amazing information about creating a classroom of independent writers.  I highly suggest it if writing is an area you'd like to improve in your classroom.

So, here's your chance to share with us what you are reading this summer.  Please grab the image below and link up with me on your own blog to share what's on your must-read list for the summer months.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Teaching Character Traits

This summer I've been teaching summer school so I've been staying after school a little each day to get my new room ready for the upcoming school year.  {Don't worry-- it's only a half day so I still get plenty of free time.}  This week, however, we have the week off.  This translates into a lot of Pinterest time!

Here is one pin that stood out to me:

I don't use the 7 Habits {although it sounds wonderful} so I created my own set of character traits posters.  I plan to have one set hanging {in my coat closet area} as a constant reminder for my students.  I also plan to have a second set displayed, like the one pictured above, in my group meeting area.  My set has 9 positive character traits so I will teach one per week each marking period.  I think it will do them good to have a trait repeated 4 times throughout the year.  {I also included 2 editable pages in my document so you can add your own.}

Stop on by my TPT store to check it out!  :)
UPDATE 8/16/15:  This product is no longer available.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Win a File-tastic & more!

Remember this great product I shared with you awhile back?  Well, you could win one for your own classroom along with 2 other products of your choice by participating in my giveaway!
All you need to do is select 3 products from the Education department on and blog about how you would use them in your classroom.  Seriously, how easy is that?!  The winner will receive the 3 products that they blogged about!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reusable Dry Erase Pockets

I have just discovered a huge time {and paper} saver... reusable dry erase pockets!  Many of you probably remember a post I did awhile back about my amazing Filetastic.  Well, I'm back with another great product from  The wonderful people at Mardel have sent me a few different products to use in my classroom-- one of those products is their reusable dry erase pockets.

These pockets are amazing!  All I have to do is print out 5 copies of the recording sheet for any station, stuff it in the pocket, and it's ready to go.  {It saves me time and paper!}  Some of my kiddos get so upset when our station time is up and they haven't finished their recording sheet.  Then, we have to deal with them storing the paper and attempting to do it on their own at another time... what a mess!  That problem was eliminated this week since I was using my new reusable dry erase pockets.  When the timer went off they simply showed me the work they had completed and then erased it.  {By the way, these erase so nicely... you don't even have to rub super hard and it actually comes off!}

I'm super excited to put these to use in my classroom in the fall.  I have enough for each student to have one so at the beginning of the year I'll just print out a tracer sheet with each child's name and they can go to town practicing!  This will save so much time and paper.  Yes, please!

Mardel is so wonderful that they are offering 20% off any of their reusable dry erase pockets with the promo code DRYERASE20.  The code is good until June 24 and is good on all four reusable pockets they offer.  They even have individual pockets for sale so you can just get enough for your small group or get a box for your whole class!  Go check it out and don't forget to use the promo code DRYERASE20 at checkout to save 20% on your reusable dry erase pockets.

I'm also working with Mardel to bring you a great giveaway opportunity for fellow education bloggers!  The best part about this giveaway is that you get to pick your own prizes from the Education department on  Click the image below to learn more about this amazing opportunity.

Classroom Products Giveaway

UPDATE 6/25/13- This giveaway has ended.  Entries will be reviewed and the winner will be announced by the end of the week.

I'm working closely with to bring you this amazing giveaway opportunity.  All you need to do is choose 3 products from the Education department of that you'd like to have in your classroom. Simply create a blog post about how you would use those products and email me the form with your information.  The winner will receive the 3 products they featured in their blog post!  How awesome is that?! I know we all love new products for our classrooms.... especially for the start of a new school year!

After blogging about the 3 products of your choosing,
email me this form to officially enter the giveaway contest.

{Contact Me to Enter}
Email to

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Giveaway Winner

Check your inbox for my email!  :)