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Friday, July 25, 2014

Christmas in July Sale!

Gosh ya'll!  We can't seem to get our minds wrapped around the fact that school will be starting again without being bombarded with Christmas already!  I have seen pictures of a few stores that have already started stocking Christmas stuff.  GASP!!!!!  Yep, let's just bring out ole St. Nick and put him right next to the Crayola crayons.  Makes sense, doesn't it! 
If you're into doing a little bit of holiday shopping this weekend, consider heading over to my Teacher's Notebook store.  I'm hosting a sale, all of my products are 20%.  And, Teacher's Notebook themselves is running a little bit of a promotion as well.  All purchases made July 25-27 qualify for double reward dollars (for every $10 spent, receive $1 reward to be used towards a future purchase). To earn rewards, members need to rate and provide feedback for purchased products.

You can click here to start to visit my store and start shopping.
I also want to share with you a giveaway one of my friends is hosting.  Megan, over at Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade Tidbits, is having a 4 Year Blogging Birthday Party.  She's giving away TpT gift certificates (who wouldn't want one of those right now!), Starbucks gift cards (who won't need one of those when school starts back?!), an Alex and Ani bracelet (yes, please!), and lots of other wonderful prizes.  You've got about a day left to enter, so head on over there now! 
Don't forget that I'm giving away my new Bear and Buddies pack.  Head here to leave a comment.  I'll be picking a winner tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I'm finally linking up with Jessica over at Covered in Glitter and Glue for the first time this summer!  It's been on my list of things to do for a long time, but somehow I always forgot about it.  Not today though!
1.  The family and I spent last week on a cruise to the Bahamas.  My husband and I have cruised twice before, but this was a first for our girls.  We purposely booked a short cruise because of this.  We only had 2 ports of call, Coco Cay and Nassau.  I was worried that the girls wouldn't like it, would get sea sick, and be miserable.  I worried for nothing.  They loved it!  We got to snorkel and kayak in the beautiful Caribbean.  All you could eat ice cream on the pool deck wasn't so bad either!  I mentioned in my post yesterday about my favorite part (Starbucks)!  Will we do this again?  YES!  Definitely!
2.  I've tried very hard to ignore the fact that I have to go back to school in 3 weeks.  But, it's becoming increasingly difficult with all of the BTS sales that are going on.  Somebody on Instagram posted a picture of their Dollar Tree finds one day last week.  One of her finds was those dry erase pocket holders that I tried desperately to find last year.  I knew that I had to have those this year so I set off to find them.  It only took 2 stores.  I grabbed 8 of them and a "few" other things.  I purposely didn't get a shopping cart or basket on the way in to the store.  I had my youngest daughter with me so I threw everything at her to hold.  I made asked her to hold everything while I texted my teaching buddy pictures of everything I found!   I guess school can start now that I have my dry erase pocket holders!

3.  At the beginning of summer I ordered several PD books from Amazon.  One of them was the Guided Reading book by Jan Richardson.  I'm so glad that I did because it is a wealth of great information.  I love how she has each chapter broken down by reading level.  It's also an easy read and makes SENSE.  I'm looking forward to using the information to set up my groups for this year. 

Click on the picture to check it out on Amazon.
4.  Lastly, I'm loving my new literature pack Bear and Buddies.  I absolutely love the Bear series by Karma Wilson.  It's great for rhyming, repetition, and engaging students while reading out loud.  Not to mention, Bear is so adorable!
When I saw that Nikki from Melonheadz had created a set of graphics to go along with this book, I knew I had to create something.  It's currently on sale in both my TpT and TN stores until Friday.  A little FYI for you, you can find these precious books in the kids meals at Chick-fil-A!  We eat their quite frequently so I've picked up a few lately!

And last, I leave you with this.  I shared it yesterday on my post for Collaboration Connection
Do you have nightmares about starting back to school?  I had my first one last week while on the cruise. This will be my 20th year of teaching and I still let my worries turn into bad dreams!  
What kinds of bad dreams do you have at the start of a new school year?  Leave a comment below and share.  I'll pick one response on Saturday to win my Bear and Buddies pack.  Don't forget to leave your email too! 

What are you loving today?  Head on over to Jessica's blog to link up and share!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Measuring Up Some Fun!

Hey Ya'll!    I'm really enjoying my summer. Are you?  I can't help thinking about this time last week though.  The family and I were on a cruise in the Bahamas.  It was beautiful!  And we were spoiled greatly.  Didn't have to cook, clean, pick up dirty towels.  A true vacation indeed.  There was a coffee shop on board our cruise ship that sold Starbucks.  Yes, Starbucks!  We purchased 2 beverage packages to share and Starbucks was included in it.  Ya'll, I got my fix every single day, several times a day!  My oldest daughter got in on the deal as well.  Do you know how hard it is to go from that to absolutely NOTHING?!  Cruel.  Unfair.  Disappointing.  Back to Reality.

Back to reality indeed.  I finally mustered the courage to look at the calendar to see how many weeks I had left till I had to go back.  3.  Three little weeks left.  And we all know how fast they will go by!  So in thinking about this fresh new year, I want to share with you a quick, easy to prepare, and engaging math activity that your kiddos will absolutely love.  But, you will have to head on over to Collaboration Connection to read all about it!
Congrats to Vikki for winning my Fun with Froggy literature packet!  Check your email Vikki, I've sent it your way!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fun With Froggy!

I should be packing for our upcoming family vacation.  Instead, I'm sharing with you my newest product that I actually sat down and created!  It's taken me a little over a month to actually sit down and start on my "TpT to-do" list.  I guess it's better late than never!
I love children's literature.  I guess that's because I'm an early childhood teacher.  I especially love those books that engage the students and allow them opportunities to interact with the text.  Our district follows the Balanced Literacy model in the lower grades. One of my favorite components is the interactive read aloud.  As a teacher, I absolutely love reading to my kids.  And with the interactive read loud component I still get to read aloud to them, BUT, I get to dig a little deeper into the text and be a little more purposeful with the types of text I read.  I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't that thrilled with all the "turning and talking" that the CCSS calls for.  But over the past year I have seen how easy it is to do  as long as I'm intentional with what standards I'm wanting to cover with a particular text.  Previewing the text prior to reading takes time, but I have found that it is a necessary evil when preparing for lessons.  My class last year really became great thinkers because of this model.  They amazed me with their connections and relevant questions during our interactive read loud time.  This was all due to the fact that I was teaching them how to engage themselves as active listeners and learners.  And, because I had a great planning team that really took the time to find great literature to use for the standards we were teaching at the time!
As I mentioned above, I love books that are engaging and allow for the students to be active participants in a read aloud.  One of the most engaging book series that I can think of is the Froggy series by Jonathan London. Who doesn't love that green frog?!  Can't you hear your students now?  FROOOGGGGYYYYY?  WHAAAAAATTTTT?  I don't know a kid who doesn't love these books!  And as an 1st grade teacher, I sure do love reading them in class!  When I found out that Nikki, Ms.  Melonheadz herself, had created graphics to go along with this series, I KNEW I had to create something to go along with this series of books.  So I did.

This was a fun unit to create.  And the graphics were just adorable!  I tried to include lots of different activities that would match any of the books in the series.  There are a few "book specific" activities, but for the most part the other activities can be used with any Froggy books that you may have in your library.
Here's whats included in the pack:

I can't wait to use this with my new class.  I hope they love Froggy as much as I do!
If you would like to check this new unit out, you can find it in my TpT or TN store.  I've marked it 20% off until Saturday.
What's your all time favorite interactive read aloud book?  I would love to know!  Leave a response with your email address and I will pick 1 winner to receive my new Fun With Froggy pack.  I will pick the winner Sunday night before the family and I set sail for the Bahamas Monday morning!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sticky Notes

I want to share with you today a little tip that I kinda just stumbled upon one day this past year.  One of the things that I always do at the beginning of my small groups is go through sight word flashcards.  The words that we review depend on what group I am working with.  I do this to practice fluency and to see who is "getting it."  One week I noticed that one of my little guys consistently struggled with one particular word.  Like most teachers, I have a little basket of materials that I keep on hand that I can grab from when I'm meeting with groups.  So I reached in and grabbed my sticky notes.  I wrote the word that this little fellow was struggling with on the sticky note and told him to go stick it on top of his desk.  I told him that whenever I came around his desk I was going to stop and point to the sticky note word.  When I did that, he would have to tell me what the word was.  BOOM!  That's all it took!  By the end of the day, he had that word down pat!  That little trick worked so well that I continued to do it with several other students that struggled with certain sight words as well.
So, one easy little tip that won't cost you an enormous amount of time or resources.  Any teacher I know always has a ton of sticky notes on hand.  They don't even have to be fancy!  The plain yellow ones work just fine.
So, when you are out doing a little back to school shopping, throw a few packs of sticky notes into your cart.  There are lots of other ways you can implement this tip into your class as well.  You could even use them for addition or subtraction facts, vocabulary words, important symbols, dates, number identification, letter identification, etc., etc., etc..  The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


What?!  It can't be July 1 already?!  Where is the summer going?  I mean, the next time I blink, I will be headed back to school.  Now that's a thought I don't care to even remotely think about right now.  I'm kinda liking this laid back summer thing.  So here's what I'm doing Currently!
My oldest daughter has become quite obsessed with the Boy Meets World series.  I think she is trying her best to watch every episode that was ever made.  Along with that, she has also become quite obsessed with the new show, with the same cast,  that is out on the Disney channel.  I have to admit though,  I prefer these shows over the Dance Mom shows that she also likes to watch.  Ugh!!
I will be the first to admit that I haven't really accomplished anything on my to-do list this summer.  It's not that I don't want to, I just can't seem to get the motivation that I need to start anything.  I'm enjoying watching everybody else get their mo-jo on while I sit back and relax!  I feel guilty that I'm not pumping out TpT products and making things for my classroom.  But, I just needed to relax this summer.  I'll get busy soon!
There are so many things that I want right now.  A new car, tons of new clothes, things for my classroom.  I'm totally taken in by all of the "summer sales" going on right now.  I've also found that you can buy just about anything on Amazon.  Do I really need all of that though?  No.  I'm blessed beyond belief.  Whenever I need a reality check, I just have to remind myself to look around.  I also need to remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side.  Hard advice to swallow.
So, what are you doing on this fabulous, first day of July?  Head on over to Farley's, link up, and share!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Reading Buddies

Hey ya'll!  Are you loving summer as much as I am?!  Let me just tell you.  I had big plans for what I was going to accomplish this summer back on June 3 when my vacation officially started.  Have I touched those plans?  NO.  Not.   At.  All.   My mind is telling me to start, but my body is enjoying these lazy days of summer!  Part of me wants to feel guilty for not starting my long list of things to do, but the other part is telling me to enjoy every last minute and just relax a little.  So that's what I have done.  And, I'm lovin' it!!!!!!
However, I did take a few minutes away from my lounge chair and book to share how I use reading buddies in my class.  But, you're going to have to head on over to The Collaboration Connection to read all about it!
Happy Summer Y'all!