Monday, October 10, 2011

Let's Have a Holly Bloggy Christmas this year!

Hi friends!  It's Caitlin (aka Ms. Preppy) from Ms. Preppy's Adventures in Primary and Polka Dots.  I am beyond excited to guest post here at one of my very favorite blogs! I'm also excited that Anna is allowing me to share a super fun project that I've been cooking up with Sarah from Kindergarten Korner.  We are organizing a Christmas gift exchange for our fabulous teacher blogger friends!  I know it's early in October...but both of us already have visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.  I'm CRAZY in love with all things Christmas.  I just can't get enough of it.  The other day I was in a local home decor store and when I looked at the Halloween decorations I thought, "Man, it's way too early for pumpkins and ghosts!"  But I had no problem walking out of there with two new Christmas decorations.  {I told you.  Crazy!}  But I believe it's perfectly acceptable to be a smidgen crazy when you can turn your crazy into something good.  That's where Holly Bloggy Christmas comes in!

Here are all the dirty details!
- Holly Bloggy Christmas is a Christmas gift exchange for members of the teacher blogging community.  Participants will receive a gift from another teacher blogger AND a virtual stocking full of teacher resources from our sponsors!  It is free to participate, but sponsorship options are available and all donations will go to support TOYS FOR TOTS!
- Sign-ups begin NOW and will last until October 31st.
- In order to sign up, please send an email to  Copy and paste the questionnaire below into the body of the email and answer the questions.  We will send your answer to your secret pal, along with your address.  This information is TOP SECRET!
- Sarah and I will put participant’s names into a bowl and draw names to match you with your secret pal.  By November 10th, you will receive an email with the name of your secret pal and their answers to the questionnaire. 
- Get to crafting and/or shopping!  Be creative!  There is a $15 spending limit before postage.  Before you place your gift in the mail, snap a picture and email it to us.  On Christmas we will post all of the pictures of the super fabulous gifts everyone received!
- Send your wrapped gift in the mail (with delivery confirmation) by December 5th.  This way it has plenty of time to make it to your secret pal!
- Open your gift on Christmas morning!  NO PEEKING!  We will have a linky party for everyone to link up to a post about their gift and their wonderful secret pal!
Want to sponsor Holly Bloggy Christmas?
- Sponsorship is $5  All money will go towards TOYS FOR TOTS!
- Submit your donation via the paypal link in my sidebar.
- Sponsors have the opportunity to send us a product (unit, game, worksheet, etc.) that will be placed into a virtual stocking that all participants will receive on Christmas!  This is a great way to gain some exposure.  Please submit your product in PDF to
-Sponsors will also have their blog button or TpT/Teacher’s Notebook store button placed on the Holly Bloggy Christmas page of each of our blogs.
- For every $5 donation you make, you may submit one product.
- Email us at if you have questions.
Holly Bloggy Christmas Secret Pal Questionnaire
1. Full name or your “teacher” name (for monogramming!)
2. Mailing address
3. Email address
4. Blog/Website/Store (so your pal can learn a little more about you – but you don’t have to have a blog to participate)
5. Grade level
6. Favorite treat
7. Favorite colors
8. Not-so favorite colors
9. Give a little bit of information about yourself.  Married?  Kids?  Hobbies?
We hope you will all consider joining us in this fun Christmas exchange!  We already have several signed up, so I know it's going to be a good time!  Thanks again to Anna for allowing me to share about Holly Bloggy Christmas on her blog!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Calling Guest Bloggers!!!

Hey Sweet Friends! I feel so sorry for my poor neglected blog!!! The good news is that I only have 7 days left until I'm officially D-O-N-E with graduate school!! Wooohoooo!!! It's been a lot of work, but so worth it in the end!!

I would LOVE to have a few guest bloggers keep things going over here while I'm wrapping up grad school this week!! If you are interested in posting here, please send me an e-mail at!!

Can't wait to hear from you!!
P.S. Coming soon....

And then I promise I will get to work on a "Gobble, Gobble" adorable turkey themed packet & other Thanksgiving goodies!!! 

Happy Friday!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A two year old, 21 first graders, and grad school, OH MY!!!

Y'all....My little teacher brain is spinning right now!!! Between running around playing trains and  imitating Buzz Lightyear with my son, teaching 21 first graders, going to one meeting after the other, typing up graduate school papers left and right....I.AM.SWAMPED!!! I only have 12 days until I finish graduate school... Can we say COUNTDOWN?? I am soooooo excited to dedicate more time here once I complete my Capstone presentation on October 15th {say a lil' prayer for me}! I have so many ideas to share and can't wait to say "bye-bye" to graduate school and "hello" to blogging!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

And the lucky winner is......

Congrats to Mrs. Sienknecht!!! You just won a $25 OfficeMax gift card and 3 of my TpT products (of your choice)!!!!
E-mail me at to give me your mailing address and to let me know the products you would like from my TpT store!!!

A BIG thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway!!! Y'all are the BEST!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Math Journal Prompts and Centers!!

Happy Fall, Sweet Friends!! Just wanted you to know that I just posted my Fall Math Journal Prompts on TpT! You can check them out {HERE}! 

Also, check out my fall themed math and literacy center packets. Click on the pictures to go straight to my lil' TpT store!

Have you enter my Fabulous Fall Giveway to win an OfficeMax gift card and 3 of my TpT products? If not, go {HERE} now!! The contest ends on Wednesday!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!!

Graphics courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fabulous Fall Giveaway with OfficeMax!!

I'm teaming up with OfficeMax to throw a FABULOUS FALL GIVEAWAY! You could win a $25.00 OfficeMax gift card AND 3 products of your choice from my TpT store!

There are 5 ways to enter! Please leave a comment for each one you have completed.

1. Follow OfficeMax on Facebook and tell me how you would spend the $25 gift card!
2. Follow my Facebook page!
3. Follow my blog!
4. Follow my TpT store!
5. Blog about this giveaway! 

 The contest will end on Wednesday, September 28th. I will use Random Generator to determine the lucky winner!!!

Thanks for playing with me!!! HAPPY FALL, Y'ALL!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Classroom Jobs

 Hey y'all! It's day thirty-one of school and I'm just now implementing a classroom job routine..HA!...I guess LATE is better than never, right?!! I've always had my students help me out, but decided to add a little structure to it!! Luckily, we've been learning about goods/services & consumers/producers, so introducing our job chart fit right in with our social studies standards!!

Everyone has a job each week! At the end of the week, I rotate the names. My kiddos are SUPER pumped up about their service to our classroom!! Love it!! Here is a picture of my classroom job chart.....

Here's a little description of each job:

Center Inspectors-make sure centers are put back in their place after center time.
Clean Up Crew -makes sure that there isn't trash on the floor and  puts trashcans outside of the door before dismissal for pick up service.
Pencil Helpers -make sure to collect unsharpened pencils at the end of each day.
Teacher's Assistant -helps me pass out papers, send things to the office, etc.
Library Helpers- make sure that the library is organized and our books are taken care of in the classroom.
Line Leader- *self explanatory* helps lead our line.
Door Holder-*self explanatory* holds the doors for us when needed.

Click {HERE} to download the classroom job labels!
 Graphics courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles.

Also, many of you have asked about my next set of math journal prompts! They will be ready to post this weekend!! Can't wait!!!


I want to give a BIG HUG and THANK YOU to.....


for giving me the Versatile award!! WHAT AN AWESOME HONOR!!
Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!

Tomorrow I have a special giveaway planned for YOU! Stay tuned SWEET bloggy friends!!!!

Happy Last Day of Summer!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weather Part 2 *finally*

I'm BACK and excited to share with y'all some more activities that made teaching weather ohhhh so much fun!!

*Homemade Rain Gauges*
These are super simple to make with your sweetie peas! Just ask for 2 liter bottle donations for a couple of weeks before you plan to do it with your whole class. 
 Cut the tops off of the bottles before you pass them out to your kiddos. The cut should be done just where the slope starts. Cut all the way around until the top of the bottle can be removed. Place the cut-off bottle top down into the bottom so it creates a funnel. Now, tape around the edges where the two bottle parts meet. Then pour a little  water into the bottle. It should be filled just past the bumpy bottom legs of the bottle. The top of the water will be your base point. Mark the top of the water line with a permanent marker. You can print out a paper ruler for your students to take home with them {here}.
Now, it would be really nice if it would just rain here in Watkinsville, Georgia so we could actually measure the rainfall..HA! Rain or shine, my students absolutely loved making their own rain gauge! Maybe...just rain dance will work this week!!!

*Rain Poem Fun*
In the writing center, we wrote "Rain Poems". This activity reinforced the color words we've been learning about to help us describe things in our writing. I used the umbrella die cut at my school & scrapbooking paper to make the umbrellas. The little girl was also made with a die cut at my school. If you don't have these die cuts available at your school, I would just let your students draw them on their own picture!
Click {here} to download the Rain Poem writing paper!

*Weather Fun Math and Literacy Centers*
To integrate our weather theme into center time, I created Weather Fun Math and Literacy centers! My first graders loved working on them!!! You can get your copy at my lil' TpT store {HERE}!!  It's on sale for 20% off TODAY!!
Here's a sneak peek of everything you'll get in the packet!!

We are HUGE fans of reading the room in my classroom. Here's a weather themed Read the Room that focuses on /ai/ and /ay/ sounds for YOU. Click on the picture to download it!

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Sunday afternoon!! I'm loving the crispy cool Fall weather we're having here....can't wait for Parker to wake up from his nap so we can go play outside again!!!
Speaking of my Parker...check out these pictures of him playing while I worked in my classroom yesterday! At one point, I looked over and all I could see were his little legs poking out of the cardboard box...didn't get the camera in time...dang it!!  Too cute!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Under the Weather...

Hey Sweet Friends! I was planning on posting more weather activities, but I'm actually feeling a little under the weather right now...YUCK! All I have to say is thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!! Can't wait to catch up on my blogging this weekend!! Happy Friday Eve!! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weather Fun!!!

We just wrapped up our weather unit last week! It was so much fun to start the year off learning about something we experience every day!! Here are some of the activities we loved....

We made the cutest cloud flipbooks. The kiddos created cumulus, cirrus, and stratus clouds out of cotton balls and labeled them in their books! Click {here} for the labels!

We learned about dangerous weather and weather safety! Then we made a tornado in a bottle!! COOL stuff! The children couldn’t get enough of this activity…they wanted to do it again and again and again…

We also enjoyed learning about weather instruments. Everyone was so excited to work with a “real” thermometer! And putting them in cold and warm water to explore temperature changes was a BIG hit!!
 Hands-on learning ROCKS!!
We fell in love with these precious lil’ wind vanes!

Super easy and cheap to make! Here’s what you’ll need:
-wind vane pointers {Click here to download}
Step 1- Decorate & cut out the pointers.
Step 2- Tape the pointers to the ends of a straw.
Step 3- Stick a pin in the middle of the straw.
Step 4- Stick the pin into the middle of a pencil eraser.
 Step 5- Go outside and test them out!!
Stay tuned for more weather activities tomorrow!

Happy *almost* Hump Day!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Grade Common Core Essential Question Posters!

Hey y'all~Several sweet people have ask me if I had a Common Core essential question poster set for sale on TpT after posting pictures of the posters in my classroom! I just uploaded them on TpT tonight! You can check them out {HERE}!

 The First Grade Common Core Essential Questions packet includes 150+ essential question posters (8.5 x 11) that cover all 1st grade Common Core Standards. They are full of adorable graphics that are sure to get your students' attention!

I'm also working on my next packet of math journal prompts! I plan to have it uploaded in about a week!!

We just finished our weather unit and I have lots of goodies to share tomorrow...can't wait!! As for now, it is time for this teacher to get some sleep!! Sweet Dreams!!!