Monday, December 31, 2012

Currently for A New Year ~2013~

I LUV my playlist ...not sure anyone else in the free world would, but hey, that's why it's my playlist, Jack! (Duck Dynasty.....don't ask!)

Love my new watch I got for Christmas from the hubby:

                                             Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

My daughter came up and asked me if I was staying up tonight and I was so confused....
until I realized it is New Year's Eve.

My kids have been sick...I have been sick and now we are almost all finally feeling better and of course it is time to go back to school {insert sad face}

I WILL exercise at least once before I turn 40.  promise.

OLW: Balance

Balance work and play
Balance my stress
Balance with my moods
Balance my schedule
Balance my expectations with reality
Balance, Balance, Balance

Link up with Farley! Seriously, you should.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Simple, but Cute Penguins & a Freebie! Plus Flash Giveaway!

Keeping in line with my recent theme of simple crafts and activities, I created this pack!  These are penguins I made before we got out for the holidays and everyone loved them...not to mention they were SUPER easy!! But the pack is filled with more than just the craft and optional glyph/writing activities...I have included a penguin emergent reader, writing activities (for Tacky and more), graphic organizers, a patterning activity, and more!

Check out the pack on

Oh, and I am having a *flash* end of the year sale in my TPT shop today and tomorrow!

And for your freebie, go the TPT listing and choose 
"Download Preview" under the "add it to your cart" button.

For a little more challenging level, I have another penguin craftivity pack, check it out here

I hope you all have a great and Happy New Year!  I appreciate all of you for making this year so special for me and my blog!  

Leave a comment below and I will choose three random folks tonight to win the pack! Don't forget to leave your email address!

We have winners:   and some extras were included, too...I just can't stop clicking the random number generator thingy!! lol

Thank you for all the super sweet comments!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chinese New Year Update & Freebies

Finally finished an update on my Chinese New Year Pack!
I am loving the changes and I think you will love them, too!

Here is a shot of the other items in the pack:

The freebies below are available here...just click the "download preview
option under the add to cart button!

Find the pack on TPT or TN

If you have already purchased the pack, you should be able to go to your purchases page and simply download it again and you will get the revised pack!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Organize Me.... Please Linky

I am linking up with Hope over at Second Grade Shenanigans to share some of my organization tips from the past and to also share some of my resolutions!

My resolution is to organize my fonts.  I sense that I would do it a little quicker if he was here to help!

And now for a couple of ways I organize my classroom!
 I have shared before the way I organize my letters.  Perhaps most of you already do this, but if you haven't done it, trust's worth the time!!  I had a parent get it started for me years ago...and each year when I add letters, I have a new parent to organize them!  I bought this super cute file case at Walmart... then I separated each of my letters into piles of each letter...then put them in Ziploc bags. The bags are then put into the corresponding section in the case.  Voila!

Well, one of the best things I have ever done maybe...
Last year I got so frustrated when I tried to find a book I was looking for -and couldn't remember where it was.  So I decided to fix that problem once and for all.  
Here's what I did:

Little by little, I would take a group of books from a location in my room and type the titles in a word document. At the top of the list, I would type the location of the book- which most times also serves as the subject of the group (like: Science bucket, or my library, or red dot books, or listening station, etc)  Then I would get another group of books and do the same thing.  By the end of it, I had a list compiled of every book in my classroom, listed under where it was located.
I thought it was going to take forever, but honestly it didn't take that long.
Has it made life easier?? YES!

This is what the document looks like in reference to the subjects:
 Here are the 5 gallon bags and baskets where those books are found:

Not only can I find books, but I can use the search function in Word to search for a
specific letter or sound...or word.
Here is a picture of the "search" in a document
 For instance, last week I needed a book that had an r controlled vowel in it.  I decided my best bet was the word "more" I type it in the search function box and in the document it found "Bear wants More" and "Always Room for One More."  
A few days later, one of the other teachers in first grade came over and asked if I had a certain Frog and Toad book...of course, I couldn't be 100% quickly I typed in "frog" in the document's search box and although I have several of them, I didn't have that specific one, but I knew immediately.
 Easy enough, right?
Much better than running around, poking through baskets or shelves!!

Here is a picture of what one of the pages in the document looks like for authors
which are organized in the bags on the shelf:
 This is where you would find the levelized "dot" and thematic books listed in the document:

Now, keep in mind, the spelling/capitalization isn't always perfect in  the document...I was in a hurry and I keep meaning to go back through it and fix things.  It will happen...eventually!

Of course, I also have all my books in the listening center listed, the books
in my non-fiction baskets listed...everything!
Oh, and I am sure to add all titles that I purchase or order from Scholastic as I get them!

Hope this gives someone out there some useful ideas. 
You may not like doing it, but you will be SO happy if you do!

Link up now and share yours!
(and there is a flash giveaway to enter, too!)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Years Resolutions! Techno Style Linky

I am linking up with Growing Kinders and her friends to share some of my resolutions in the new year concerning Technology.  I will be honest, I have a lot!

My first issue I have is that my Smart Board (which I LOVE) is too high for my Kinders to use and manipulate.  I really need to get a bench for them to stand on...problem solved. (I hope)  

The other thing I need to work on is the iPad that I so wonderfully won from Lysol....I have apps added to it, but really need to get it in rotation during stations.  So far, my own personal kids have been testing out the apps and these are the ones they are crazy about and that I can't wait for my Kinders to try:

 Love the books by CTP?  
This app is awesome AND FREE until January 31st!

Shape-O is great for early learners:

 Howie Find Vowel is super fun!

Feed Me is probably my kids' favorite so far:

 Meet Millie is too cute, too!
 And of course Letter School is a must for any early learners out there.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Melted Snowman Bulletin Board & Freebie Pack

Help!  I'm melting!!

Just kidding.  Before we got out for the holidays, I had to take down all the Christmas/Holiday themed things in the hallway and I just couldn't leave the halls bare. 
We have also been working on plus (+) and equal (=) the equation was sort of an ode to that!

  I gave my Kinders some construction paper, demonstrated how they could cut and glue it to create melted snow people.  They cut and placed things all on their own.  
(I let go of the control ...not easy for me =)

Don't forget I have a freebie Snowman pack on TPT:

Check out this super cute melted snowman board over at Sunny Days in Second Grade, too:

I sort of based my melted snowmen on the cookies I have seen on Pinterest. Too cute...and YUMMY!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Even though my kids are all sick in varying degrees, Maggie being the worst off, I want to wish all of you a happy holidays!  (PLEASE, PLEASE  let Maggie feel better tomorrow morning!!!)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thank you, Educational Insights!

I came home last week to the sweetest thing.  I received a package from Educational Insights that contained a pack of their Smens Scented Pencils!
Love, love, love them!

They are awesome!  And they are perfect for Smelly Writing Station activities because they are easier for kids to fit words on lines than markers!  

A huge thank you to Educational Insights for the gift!

Consider using the pencils with Smelly Spelling:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook & Photos

As many of you know, the PTSA in CT is collecting Snowflakes for Sandy Hook.  You can learn more about that here.  My class made snowflakes from large coffee filters (for kinders, it was a NEW experience!)

 We took the easy road on crafts this year and painted one snowman with our fingers. The ornaments were in the Dollar section at Target with 8 in a pack.  Great Deal AND not glass, so no breaking!

 I also attached foam pieces for the kids to create Christmas cards.  I got the antlers last year after Christmas at Target (I think they were for drink stems on wine glasses or something like that)  

And...we painted the traditional snow people with our feet.  

My Silly Kids:

You can find this pack on TPT and TN!