Friday, July 15, 2011

700+ Follower Jungle FUN Giveaway!!!

I'm teaming up with Donna from Kinderglynn and Jodi from Clutter-free Classroom to throw a HUGE jungle themed giveaway!!! I'm SO excited to celebrate having over 700 awesome, amazing, wonderful, inspiring (I could go on and on) followers! Thanks again for all of your support!!!

There are 5 ways to enter!

One Entry for Following all our blogs
One Entry for Following all our TPT stores
One Entry for Following all our Facebook Pages
One Entry for Putting all our Buttons on your blog
One Entry for Reposting this giveaway on your blog or facebook page

Please leave a comment for each one you have completed. I have put links under each person's giveaway. Their buttons are located on their blogs.
10 Jungle Themed Math and Literacy Centers!

Jungle Themed Reading and Writing Strategy Posters

Jungle Themed Classroom Kit!

Not only will you receive all the wonderful goodies above, but I'll also let the winner pick one product out of my TpT store!! This giveaway will end on Tuesday, July 19th at midnight!!! The winner will be announced the following day!!! HAVE FUN & GOOD LUCK!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Weather Math and Literacy Fun!!

Woooohooo! I finished my Weather Math and Literacy Fun center packet and posted it on TpT!! It includes 10 hands-on, weather themed activities (5 math and 5 literacy)!! Click on the picture to check it out!!

Here's a sneak peek of the goodies!!! They would go perfect with any weather unit!!
Math Centers
1.Rainy Day Addition
2.Sunny Subtraction
3.Rainbow Number Compare
4.Snowy Odd and Even Sort
5.Twister Math
Literacy Centers
1.Rainy Read the Room (/ai/ and /ay/ words)
2.Making Words with Weather Forecast
3.Rainbow Rhyme
4.Cloudy Cause and Effect
5.Wonderful Weather Sentences
I'm working on an additional math center (number ordering) to go with this packet! I will post it as soon as it is ready{for FREE}!!

On another note, I'm thrilled to have reached 700 followers! I can't thank you enough for giving me a reason to share what I love doing with all my heart here in this amazing blog world! Y'all are an inspiration to me!! To celebrate YOU, I am going to throw a big jungle themed giveaway with some wonderful top seller TpT products. Can't wait to get the party started tomorrow!!! YEAH!!!

Hope everyone is doing well! Happy *almost* Friday!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Ready for some Q&A fun!! Let me warn you, this is loooooooong!!!
What is your schedule?
7:30-8:00- Morning Routine (attendance, lunch count, morning work, etc.)
8:05-8:50- Activity/Planning Time: Yep! That's right!! We basically begin our day by going to activity. I have a love/hate relationship with it!  I love having planning first thing in the morning to get things organized for the day. However, it really stinks to get everyone in the classroom and then immediately  send them off...especially at the beginning of the year!!
8:55-9:45- Extension: This is when our gifted and EIP students receive their services while the rest of the class stays with me to review previously taught skills! I love this time with my kiddos. We usually play math and literacy games in pairs or together as a whole class!!! It's also a time for me to pull small groups to provide remediation.
9:45-9:55- Snack...YUM! Usually during this time, I read a book or the kiddos watch a United Streaming that has to do with a concept I'm teaching that day/week!
10:00-11:15- Math: I begin my lessons with a whole group activity and then let students practice the skill(s) taught in small groups. Sometimes the small groups are leveled and sometimes I just use flexible/mixed ability grouping. We always come back together around 11:00 to summarize what we learned together!
11:15-11:45- Reading Small Groups/Centers: When my students are working on their math and literacy centers, I am pulling leveled guided reading groups. I try to meet with every group for at least 15 minutes. I do have parapro in my room during this time to help me. She is either circulating the room or pulling a reading group to work with her. I'm also very lucky to usually have tons of parent volunteers! The volunteers also pull groups or help students when needed with their centers.
11:45-11:50- Wash up for lunch
11:55-12:25- Lunch
12:30-1:15- Reading Small Groups/Centers cont.
1:15-1:45- Science/Social Studies/Health- This time is to cover science, social studies, and health standards, but these are also integrated during our reading/center time. How else could I cover everything??
1:45-2:15- Recess
2:15-2:25- Get ready to go home/Dismissal

Can you tell me more about the centers in your classroom?
We work on centers Mon.-Thurs. for about 1.5 hours. If needed, Friday is our day to continue working on centers. When students have completed all of their center work, they get to have "Free Friday". This is a time when they can play a math or literacy game of their choice. Click here for more info about my centers! More updated info coming soon...

Do you have a formal Writer’s Workshop?
I wish!! I just work writing into our day as much as possible. We write the most during our small group/center time! I'm in the process of trying to tweak my schedule a bit to incorporate a 20 minute Writer's Workshop for next year!!! If only we had 12 more hours in a day...right?!?!?
What do you have your students do first thing in the morning?
They come in and unpack their bookbags. Then they take their "Daily Folder" and turn in any important notes, money, etc to me. I have a system for this and will share as soon as school starts back because you really need pics to see how it works! They put their folders in their cubby when they are done, make their lunch choice on the Smartboard, and begin their "Wake Up Work". I love using the Monday-Friday Daily Review sheets in these books....
 Daily Math Practice, Grade 1Daily Language Review, Grade 1
 They are short and simple, but provide student with the daily review they need to keep skills sharp! Each day of the week has a half a sheet of problems that can be completed in 10-15 minutes! Highly Recommended!!!
What behavior system do you use in your classroom?
When I began teaching, I used the standard green, yellow, and red behavior card system. Since then I've transferred to a school that uses a positive discipline model. The color coded behavior chart I was using is not encouraged with this model. We have all probably experienced that pulling a card doesn't always change a behavior. The positive behavior model has helped me in many ways focus more on a solution than a punishment. To learn more about it check out this book!
Positive Discipline in the Classroom, Revised 3rd Edition: Developing Mutual Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in Your Classroom
I believe it's a teacher must have in any classroom!!
I also attended an awesome workshop at my school on “The Seven Habits of Happy Kids” thanks to my principal and our amazing PTO. If you are familiar with Stephen Covey, you know that he is also the mastermind behind “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.
1. Be Proactive (You’re in charge.)
2. Begin with the End in Mind (Have a plan.)
3. Put First Things First (Work first and then play.)
4. Think Win/Win. (Everybody can win.)
5. Seek first to Understand and then to be Understood. (Listen to others before you say what’s on your mind.)
6. Synergize (Work together.)
7. Sharpen the Saw (Balance of work and play feels best.)
The 7 Habits of Happy Kids
I always use the habits to reinforce positive character traits and behavior in our school and classroom! It's a wonderful resource!!! 

How do you encourage your students to behave when walking in the hallway?
I use the 2 P's- PRACTICE and POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT!!! During the first week of school, I model and model, and model how we walk in the hall. I share my expectations for student behavior in the hallway and then we practice it together! I don't give tangible rewards for walking in the hallway quietly, but I do let my kiddos know how awesome they are when they are following the rules!

Are you planning on creating more Making Words activities??
Yes! Stay tuned for a holiday edition!!!

Are you planning on creating more thematic center packets?
Yes! I'm SO close to finishing my weather packet!! My goal is to add 1-2 products each month to my TpT store. It takes a lot of time to create the centers, but my TpT store is slowly growing!! YAY!! You can receive e-mails when a new product is added if you follow my store:)
Whew! I hope this answers many of your questions! I love all of your e-mails and I'm sorry that I got behind this summer personally answering all of them due to grad school craziness!!! Looking forward to another Q&A session in the near future!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Vote for Parker!!!!

This is the first time I've posted something that doesn't have anything to do with teaching!!! BUT I need your help!!! My son, Parker, is in the Gerber Generations Photo Contest on Facebook and needs your vote! It only takes a few seconds if you click on his picture!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! 


Hey y'all! Just got back a couple of days ago from a wonderful beach trip with my family! I enjoyed every precious moment with my son, hubby, nieces, and in-laws!!! It gave me a chance to turn my teacher switch OFF, rest, relax, savor the simple things, eat a lot of yummy fresh seafood, and get a really good tan!!!
Here are some pics from our lil' vacation!!

Earlier this morning, I went to my classroom just to pick up a few things to bring home...HA! I ended up working for a couple of hours before I could drag myself out! It's hard to believe my new sweet group of first graders will be arriving very soon - August 10th!
My goal this year is to be super organized!!! This motivated me to create resource binders to *hopefully* make it easier to find things! I bought several huge 3 ring binders (the ones with the clear pockets) and created fun covers to label all of them! Love it!!! I tell you what...cute Scrappin' Doodles graphics and Lettering Delights fonts make organizing SO much better!!BTW- POI is our intervention program at my school....not sure if you use that or not, but included it anyway just in case you did.


Click HERE to grab yourself a copy of the folder covers! Spine labels are coming soon!!!

 A couple of weeks ago, I shared a kindergarten and first grade making words activity HERE. By request, I created a second grade version, too! Just click on the picture to download it!!

I plan on having a little Q&A blogging fun tomorrow to answer questions from many e-mails!! In the meantime, I'm working away on my Weather Math and Literacy Fun center packet that should be finished in a couple of days! Weather is our first science unit and I can't wait to use the centers in this packet to go along with it!!

Coming Soon.....

Friday, July 1, 2011

Jungle FUN!

Hey Everyone! I finished my Jungle Math and Literacy Fun Center Packet last night and posted it on TpT! It includes 10 hands-on centers/ work stations (5 math and 5 literacy) full of adorable zebras, monkeys, elephants, giraffes, and much more!! The centers reinforce skills on telling time to the hour and half hour, counting coin combinations up to $1.00, number ordering from least to greatest, making 10, fact families, reading/phonics, making words, fact and fiction, and sentence structure!

This packet is on sale for 20% off today since I didn't have it ready in time for my summer sale!! Click {HERE} to swing on over to my TpT store to check it out!!!

I'll be away this week enjoying some much needed R&R time with my family! I'm going to try really hard to turn my enormous teacher switch off for a bit and "sharpen my saw"!!! Look forward to a post on how I introduce Making Words to my kiddos, organizational printables, and lots of back to school activities when I get back!!! Until then....

I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Last Day of Summer Sale!!!!

Hey Sweet Friends! Just wanted to let you know that today is the last day of my summer sale where you can get 20% off my TpT products! Click {HERE} to check it out!!

 I finally finished a very time consuming summer semester in grad school.......I'm excited to have more time to blog now!!! Wooohoooo!!! I'm pulling together Back to School goodies to share here with all of you for FREE during July/August!

Happy Monday!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Making Words Fun for YOU!!!

Well, I sure do have my productive pants on today!! I'm super excited to have finished a grad school paper AND a couple more Making Words activities!! Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Making Words activities?!?!?! HA! Seriously though, my students can't get enough of these activities!!! They are great for encouraging your sweet kiddos to explore words, letter-sound relationships, and letter patterns!

Click on the picture for Making Words with First Grade!

Click on the picture for Making Words with Kindergarten!

Please click here to check out my Making Words Fun packet that includes 25 activities like these!

On a very important side note, I am THRILLED to have reached 600+ followers! A special welcome to all of my newbies! Thanks so much for checking out my blog and being a part of my teaching journey!!! I've said it before and I'll say it again, y'all are THE BEST!!!

I'm working hard on finishing up my Jungle Math and Literacy Fun packet by the end of next week!!! It's going to packed full of fun, hands-on jungle themed centers/work stations!
Coming Soon.......

Really Good Stuff Blog Contest

It’s time!  Time to submit your favorite classroom/teacher blog for the 2011 Really Good Classroom Blog Contest!  We are looking for the best blogs around.  They could be ones that amuse you, help you, provide ideas, or highlight the happenings of their class.  With three categories to highlight (K-4, 5-8, Specialty) there is a great chance for your favorite blog to be spotlighted.  Simply click here to nominate the blog you feel has the stuff to be a 2011 Really Good Classroom Blog!
Entries must be received before 9pm EST on June 30, 2011.  All blogs who are nominated and whose authors agree to participate in the contest will be required to place a badge on their blog with a link back to The Teachers’ Lounge.  All submissions will be reviewed and blog authors contacted within 48 hours.  Voting will take place July 1-7, 2011 and one winner from each of the three categories will be chosen.
How it works:
  • There will be three separate categories.  Entries will be accepted for K-4, 5-8, and Specialty (counseling, reading, etc) blogs.  The blog should focus on events in your classroom and other teaching related topics.
  • Entries will be accepted June 13, 2011 through 9pm EST on June 30, 2011
  • Once the blog has been reviewed (to be sure that it qualifies as a class/teaching blog), a contest badge and link back to the contest voting page will be sent.
  • Voting will be from July 1st – 7th, 2011.
  • One winner will be announced for each category on July 8th.
  • Winners receive top blog roll placement, badges that indicate the award, a Teachers’ Lounge blog feature, invitation to guest post on The Teachers’ Lounge, and a $75 Really Good Stuff gift certificate.
  • Runners-up get Teachers’ Lounge mention, link backs, and a contest badge