Sunday, February 1, 2015

Currently and a FREEBIE!

Welcome February! 
 So glad to be past the post Christmas blues and January blah-ness.  Bring on the pink and red!  I'm looking forward to this month and all of its busyness.  It's going to be fast and furious.  I'm not gonna lie, but I'm most looking forward to the long holiday weekend coming up soon!

So what are you up to currently?  I look forward to the start each new month so I can join Farley's party.  Here's what I'm up to Currently:

It's Super Bowl Sunday.  I'm not a big fan of pro football, I much more prefer college ball.  But I will watch, mostly for the commercials.  My oldest daughter just asked my husband who he thought would win.  His answer was, "The team with the most points at the end." 
I love the start of a brand new month.  I especially love the start of February because it's so short, there's a lot going on, and we get a day off.  Not to mention that we are knee deep into the 3rd nine weeks and that means that the 4th nine weeks will be upon us before we know it.
I have good intentions to blog, create TpT products, and update some of my older stuff.  But my lack of managing time inhibits me from doing those things.  When I get home, I'm so done.  I barely have enough energy to do what I need to do, much less anything else that's not a priority.  What little bit of "extra time" I may have is spent perusing Pinterest, Instagram, and playing Trivia Crack. And dang, that can be simply dangerous and often addicting at times. 
You know what would help with my time management issues, a daily meal delivery service.  If I could just have my lunches and dinners delivered daily, I would be set.  I wouldn't have to hit the drive-thru and we just might eat a little sensible around our house.  Too bad that's not gonna happen.  A girl can wish!

One of my new year's goals is just to simply be better than I was the day before.  Better at being a wife, momma, teacher, friend, and daughter.  As I was "wasting my time" on Instagram recently, I found someone's post on a book that caught my attention.  Several clicks, and lots of time later, I found Proverbs 31 ministries and the fabulous ladies who are a part of that organization.  Thanks to those posts and Amazon, I was able to order a few books that I am super excited about.



I also have this one on my wishlist. I'm going to order it as soon as I finish these.
And finally, my pageant title would be:
Queen of Wasted Time
No explanation needed for that.
Now, if you have read this long post (I'm making up for not blogging in a while), I have a freebie for you.  How about some February word wall cards.  This set of cards is part of my All Things February Literacy Print and Go Activities.
You can find it in my TpT store.
Click here for your freebie.
Happy February sweet friends!

Saturday, January 3, 2015


It's a new year.  Time to get organized.  I'm trying desperately to do just that.  Not exactly how I want to spend my last weekend of vacation.  But, it's got to happen.  I feel so much better when my files, desktop, and house are in order.  I can't function in chaos.  Drives me crazy.  My family.  Not so much.  Their lack, and desire, of organization kills me. 
As I was trying to create new accounts, access old accounts, and just plain login to anything today, I realized that I have way too many usernames and passwords to remember.  Anybody else deal with that?  I mean I have passwords, my girl's have passwords that I have to keep up with, and then there are the passwords for school I have to remember.  For security reasons, don't they tell you not to use the same password for everything?!  So that means tons of passwords to keep up with!!!  To remedy that problem, I created some nice little lists that will hopefully be helpful in keeping up with passwords for home and school.
Click here to download these lists for free! Please be aware that this is not an editable file.  You will have to hand write your information on the list itself.  I'm thinking of making multiple lists and keeping them everywhere in case I lose my original!
And onto that dreaded word, school.  Yes, school.  Unfortunately we have to return to that place that helps pay our bills and affords us to buy things for the room they allow us to supply things with.  We start right off with kids this year, no getting back into the swing of things with a teacher workday.  YUCK!  Fortunately for me, it's my long PE day.  I get an hour long break!  Yahoo!!!!!!!  That just might make up for not having a teacher workday instead!  Maybe.
If you are in need of something to get started back with, check out this little freebie I posted last year.
Click here to download.
Hope you all are enjoying your last few days of break!
  Have a great first day back!

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Happy New Year friends!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas season and a joyous New Year!  This is by far my favorite time of the year.  I love the feeling, and the meaning, of the season.  I don't love that "empty" feeling you get when it's all over with though.  However, I'm excited about 2015 and all of the possibilities that lie ahead.
It's been quite some time since I last blogged.  I'm determined to do better this new year.  And to do just that, I'm linking up with Farley for her Currently.

Listening:  I love college football.  It's so fun to watch all of the different bowl games that appear on our TV's after Christmas.  Right now the Oregon vs. FSU Rose Bowl game is on.  I don't have a favorite team to pull for with this particular game.  Makes it more enjoyable to watch!  Less stress that way!
Loving:  While I'm sad that this holiday season is almost over, I'm excited about 2015.  I haven't made any resolutions yet.  For me this year, I just want to focus on being the best that I can be. 

This quote hit home with me.  In this blogging/TpT world, it's hard not to compare yourself to the next teacher.  This year I want to focus on "me" as a teacher.  I want to go in my classroom each day and try to do a better job than I did the day before.  I don't want to waste my time, or energy for that matter, worrying about how I measure up to others that I haven't even met.  I want to take that energy and put it into being the best that I know I can be and just be happy with that.

Thinking:  Gracious.  I'm already breaking out in a sweat thinking about having to go back to school on Monday.  In this new year I want to figure out how to manage, balance, survive this thing called life.  Mr. M is going to have class 2 nights a week for a semester, my youngest has basketball practice and games, the oldest has her thing going on, and I have my full plate of things to accomplish.  And, I can't forget about our spoiled fur baby Bella who is tugging on my heartstrings because she has recently started having seizures.  That's enough to make me want to put on my pj's and go hide out in my bedroom and not come out!!!!!!  We know that can't happen so I've got to figure out how to do it.  I know things will get done, I'll just have to prioritize and give up some things that may not be very important at the time.

Wanting:  This year I just want to do the best that I can and be happy with just that.  I want the confidence to know that I can do it and do it to the best of my ability.  No comparing.  No sizing myself to others that I don't anything else about other than what I have read or seen in pictures. 


Needing:  Just a little bit more time!!!!  All I've felt like I have  done this break is clean, prepare food, and clean some more.  I want a little bit more time to do what I want to do.  I want to sit and feel like I don't have to be being doing something.

Yes:  Healthier choices.  Gotta do it.  It's not going to be easy, but it's necessary.  Gotta take care of myself so I can take care of everybody else!

Maybe:  Trying something new.  Stepping out of my comfort zone.  Expanding my horizons.  NO REGRETS.  I'm to old for that!

Wishes:  ?????? I honestly don't have anything I wish for. I just want happiness and health for my family and friends.

It feels so good to blog again.  I'm excited for this new year.  And, I'm excited to share my 2015 journey with you. 
Have you linked up yet?  Head on over and do it now! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Today I'm linking up with Christina from Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice for her weekly Wordless Wednesday linky party.  Such a great idea! 

Character wall. 
 This year, instead of putting up a "family" tree, I decided to create a "character wall" instead.  This character wall is in my classroom library, which I thought was the perfect place to display it.  My students love seeing all of their favorite characters displayed and it's been a great reference for making connections with other books that we read together.  One of my most favorite things about teaching first grade is being able to share fabulous literature with my students.  This character wall is an extension of that love.  Speaking of loves, Rocket has stolen my heart.  Love him.  If you haven't read a Rocket book, you must do so soon.
(side note-my students thought that Rocket looked a lot like Harry the Dirty Dog.  SCORE!!!!  Love those text to text connections!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I'm finally linking up with Miss DeCarbo for her Wordless Wednesday linky party.  Love this idea!  So simple and easy.  Just what I need these days!
Scholastic Book Fair
Couldn't help myself this time.  There were so many great books to choose from!
It's not to late to link up and share a picture.  Head on over to Christina's and join the party!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Woo hoo!  It's October!  Can. Not. Believe. It.  Wasn't it just summer?!  I'm not complaining though.  I'm looking forward to the upcoming months.  There's so much to talk about and do.  Love that we will be busy, busy, busy!  Now if I could just get into a solid routine.  I've changed my daily schedule about 3 times so far this year.  The most recent being today.  I just need to suck it up and stick with what I have going and figure out how to best make it work.  Less is more.  I'm trying to do to much and I'm making myself nuts in the process.  Keep calm, let it go, and do what I know is best for me the children!
So here's what's happening with me Currently.........
I'm so loving that tomorrow is Friday.  As hectic as they can be, I'm ready for some time off.  However, I can't help to feel already overwhelmed about what needs to happen this weekend.  I need to clean house, wash clothes, do school work, finish some things for TpT, spend time with the family, work in the yard, and do whatever else has to be done.  Hmm, I don't know about you, but I don't think there's enough time in the weekend to get all of this done.  Which leads to me to wanting a day off just to myself.   I would love A DAY just to sit back and enjoy everything around me.  A day where I could just sit with my coffee and enjoy a good book.  No worries, no to-do list. 
So my trick for you is REMIND.  It's a fabulous app that is free.  You can use it to send texts or emails to your parents about upcoming events in your classroom.  I love that I can send a quick reminder to my parents about PE or library day.  I love that I can send it without worry of them finding out my personal information.  And, I love that they can't respond back.  I don't have my whole class signed up, but I do have more than half.  Check it out.  You'll love how easy it is to sign up and invite your parents to sign up as well.
What's happening with you Currently?  Head on over to Farley's and link up.
Here's to the weekend friends!  Enjoy every minute of it!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Making Connections

Oh my.  It's been quite a while since I posted.  I have good intentions.  I even have some ideas to share.  It's just a matter of sitting down and getting those ideas out that I'm struggling with.  Ya'll, the struggle is real.  There's just never enough time to get everything done on that to-do list.  Sometimes I just want to sit and do nothing.  But I can't even manage to do that!
This is how I feel at the end of every day:
and this is how I feel by Friday:
Today I'm sharing with you some books and activities for teaching children how to make connections with literature.  As an adult, this is an easy task.  But for children, especially those with a limited vocabulary and experiences, it's often a difficult task to comprehend.  As a teacher, right from the beginning, we have to model this skill for our students.  As we bring their attention to what we are looking for, the majority of the children will naturally pick up this skill. For those children that still aren't understanding, more modeling and practice will be needed in small groups.
Today I want to share with you 2 books that can be used for teaching students how to make connections.  First up is Wemberly Worried.
Let me just say first that I love Kevin Henkes books.  I love that you can use them for teaching so many different skills.  As a young child, and an adult, I can totally relate to Wemberly.  I tend to worry ALL the time.   And at the beginning of a new school year, I think that all children worry a little bit about something.  That's why this particular book is a such a great choice for teaching children how to make connections.  Prior to reading, you can set the stage by reading the title and asking the children what they think the word "worried" means.  After hearing all of their answers, you can then clarify their answers with your intended answer and give an example. 
"Boys and girls, today we are going to read a book about a little mouse who always worries.  When we worry about something it means we are a little bit afraid of what might happen to us.  For example:  When I was little,  I was worried about starting back to school because I didn't know if any of my friends would be in my class.  As you listen to me read this book, I want you to think about a time when you were worried about something."
Throughout the book it will be very important to stop and model how to make those connections with the text.  On one page, Wemberly looks up a huge tree and says that she is worried that it might fall on her house.  I can model how to make a connection with that page by saying, "This reminds me about a time when I was little.  There was a big tree outside of my bedroom window just like the one in the book.  When it stormed I always worried, like Wemberly, that the tree would fall on my room."  After modeling a few times, you will have lots of children ready to share lots of their very own connections!  At the end of the book, you can even have the children "turn and talk" with their partner about a time they worried about something.
To finish up, I created a little flip flap book for students to respond to the story with.  My children love flip flap books and they are a great way to engage students with what they have read.  All they need to do is fold the paper in half (I tell my kids to make a hamburger fold), make a tent with the folded paper (so they won't cut both sides of the paper), and then cut the line up the middle.  Easy peasy.  You can click here to download this freebie.

I also created some conversation starter cards that you can use to prompt students when talking about making connections with the text.  You can click here to download them.
Another great book for teaching children how to make connections is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
We all have bad days, no matter how old we are.  And children can relate very easily to Alexander and all of his troubles!  Again, with a little teacher modeling, students are sure to make those connections with the text.  Pairing children up to "turn and talk"  also allows for those who may be a little shy to share to open up and talk about their connections without fear of making a mistake or being wrong.
After reading and discussing the book, you can follow up with a response sheet.  You can click here to download it for free.

Hope you are enjoying this first weekend of Fall.  It has done nothing but rain here for over a week now.  The weather forecast shows no sign of relief either.  We've still got more rain coming our way for the beginning of the week.  Fun.  More inside recess.  Gotta love it!