Sunday, February 24, 2013

100 Follower Giveaway!

Happy Sunday Friends! I am SOOOOOO excited to share this giveaway with you!

( The border around my image is by Krista Walden. You can get it from TPT HERE.)
You have the chance to win some AWESOME prizes! I have 7 bloggy friends plus myself who are offering you something FOR FREE...And all by clicking some follow buttons. I have great prizes from these generous bloggers. ( Side note: I either own something or have something in my wish list from almost all of these bloggers. There is truly some quality work in these stores.)
Hippo Hooray for Second Grade

Covered in Glitter and Glue
The Traveling Classroom
This giveaway goes through next week Saturday at midnight. Good luck and thanks for following!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Link Up

This Friday finds me enjoying some girl time with my peanut.  Fins been wanting to sleep in my bed a lot lately and I do NOT want to start that. So I suggested that we have a sleepover on Friday and watch a movie on the dvd player in mommys room. Currently we are lounging in my bed watching Barbie: The Princess and the Pop Star and enjoying some popcorn.

First some cool news. I reached 100 followers last Friday, so I am going to be having a SWEET giveaway! I've had about 8 awesome bloggers offering to help me out as well. Come back on Sunday to register for a chance to win!

We actually had 3 whole days of school this scheduled day off for President`s day and then ANOTHER snow day! When I was grading math papers the other night I realized that of the 20 school days we should have had this semester, 10 of them have wound up being days off!

A couple of weeks ago I shared the winter people we made, but I never showed the bulletin board I made with it. Unfortunately, my hallway bulletin board is not large enough for student work so I usually decorate it with whatever theme I have hung up in the hallway. There are some bulletin boards that you use year to year.My winter board has never been the same in 6 years of teaching. But this one is so cute I might do it again next year.

We have been studying forces. motion and simple machines in science. I bought a packet from Common Core and So Much More during the Super Bowl sale and we have been using that. You can get yours HERE. Tuesday we did a push and pull scavenger hunt where the students looked for things in the room that we push and things that we pull. They put a sticky note on them and then recorded it on a Venn diagram. One of my favorites was a student put a sticky note on a tissue because we PULL out tissues. It was great. I highly recommend this packet if you are looking for one on this topic.

Today we learned about using comparison symbols ( greater than, less than, and equal). When I learned about this my teacher compared the symbols to alligator mouths and that stuck. So today we made alligator mouths to practice comparing two numbers. They were super simple to make. I  cut strips of construction paper that the kiddo's fastened with paper fasteners. Then I let them draw teeth on using a black marker. I wrote two numbers ( or two number sentences) on mini white boards. I placed them around the room and had the kids rotate through. At each one they chose the greater number. I really liked this activity because I was able to see immediately who was getting it and who wasn't. Plus after having inside recess this morning they NEEDED to move!

I'm on a hot chocolate kick, what with it being winter and having a bajillion snow days. So we have done these two crafts/ writing projects.

One was a how-to writing about how to make hot chocolate.
No these are not all of the writings. I have WAY more than 12 students.
 This is a close up of one of my favorite writings.

The other thing we worked on today was adjectives. We brainstormed adjectives that would describe hot chocolate ( with marshmallows). We came up with a great list. Then each student chose one word to use in a sentence about their noun ( either hot chocolate or marshmallow). I put these out in the hallway too. How do you like my free hand mug? I'm eh about it. But over all I think it turned out cute.

 A close up of my super cute sign. Love this font. I found it on Teachers Pay Teachers. You can get it HERE.

 This is a close up of one of the peanuts writings.
Ok, well speaking of peanuts, I need to go back and join mine for our sleepover. So I am going to go link up now. Check out DOODLE BUGS TEACHING and TEACHING MADDENESS for their Friday link ups.
 Remember to check back Sunday for my great 100 follower giveaway. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Well, I did it...through technically WE did it. That's right I have achieved a major milestone on my humble little blog. I have reached 100 followers! WOOT!WOOT!

I have had 3 friends offer to help me out with a giveaway and I will be contacting them this week to set that up. Thanks in advance to Amy Howbert at LITTLE MISS ORGANIZED , Angela Nerby at HIPPO HURRAY FOR 2ND GRADE ,and Dinah Ely at The Traveling Classroom who have already volunteered to help me out with a giveaway. If you would like to help out with my giveaway please let me know ASAP ( by Wednesday would be great) .

SO excited! I will leave you with this great Hey Girl Ryan Gosling picture. I would like to pretend he says this every time I post and I thought it was appropriate for a post about people who read my blog. LOL!! :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Link Ups and Giveaways!

Happiest of Friday's friends! Once again I find myself coming off of a super short week... 2 days this week instead of the 4 we were scheduled for... And that makes snow day number way we won't have to make this mess up.  Today and Monday are scheduled days off, so we for sure won't even have the hint of a full week until the last week of this month. Crazy!

I am linking up again with DOODLE BUGS TEACHING and TEACHING MADDENESS to share about my week.

So! Here is what went down in our room the past 2 days....

We have been working on 2 digit addition. We've made it to adding 3 two digit numbers with a sum greater than 100. That's a mouth full! To practice, each table got a recording sheet and some 2 digit numbers that I wrote down on scrap paper. They had two minutes to write down and solve the problem on their own. Then they had 1 minute to talk about how they solved it and what answer they got with their table. After that one person would write their problem and solution on our white board. Any amounts that they got correct they added up at the bottom of their sheet and the group with the largest number at the end won. ( But because I am big on teaching them to work together as well, I also chose a winning group that worked together the best.)

With yesterday being Valentine's Day and a make up pajama out of uniform day I incorporated as much Valentines-y stuff as I could into our day.

After our morning work, they were able to decorate their bags that would hold all of their loot. One of these years Valentine's won't sneak up on me and I will get cereal or shoe boxes and then we can create some REAL masterpieces. Instead, every year I get lunch bags and foam stickers from the Dollar Store and I let the kids go to town. Every year they have a great time decorating maybe I should just stick with what works? :)

After lunch we did a SNOWFLAKE MEASURING ACTIVITY by THE TEACHER WIFE that I got at the super sale on Super Bowl Sunday. ( Along with about a bajillion other things...and a bajillion more I left behind.)  Its a nonstandard unit of measure activity. They have a snowflake ruler that they use to measure some winter pictures and then graph. I paired them up around the room and let them work together. Then they were able to go around and measure other things in our room with their " rulers". A couple of them measured how tall I was. In case you were wondering, that's 71 snowflakes tall.

The last hour of our day was devoted to our party. We did a candy heart probability experiment first. I let them snack on some Chex mix and apple juice while we did that. After that we played Roll a Love Bug and then we made ice cream sundaes. ( Both items I got off Pinterest and can't find my pins. If this is from you PLEASE let me know so I can give credit!!)  It was a good time. In fact I think it was one of the better parties we have had in our room....And I was a meany. I only gave them about 5 minutes to look at their loot and I wouldn't let them eat any of it. :)

 I made these valentines for them. I think they turned out really cute...especially for one of my first forays into using borders and fonts to create something. They need just a little something more to "juj" them up and then they will be perfect for next year, but for this year they worked great. :)

I used a cute free font from Graphics by the Pond. You can find it HERE. The border came from SLP Gone Wild. You can get it HERE.

Anybody have a real romantic Valentine's Day? I thought so...but then again, my love language is acts of service. My husband made chicken alfredo for dinner and then put Fin to bed so I could hang out with one of my girlfriends. Today he actually had the day off too....almost never happens, he usually puts in 50- 60 hour weeks... So we went out to lunch and saw the movie Beautiful Creatures. ( Side note: One of the weirder book to movie adaptations I have seen. I won't say anything to spoil it but there were definitely some changes to the plot. I'm still not sure how I feel about it.)

Looking forward to getting all of the Christmas decorations taken down this weekend...or at least stacked on my dining room table until Easter ( long story- suffice it to say I have A LOT of decorations and I sometimes get overwhelmed with putting them all away.)

 Don't be scared but those boxes are only for 3 rooms in my house...All together I have about 25-30 boxes for my house....AND GROWING! :)

NOW! Before I go! I have two giveaways to share with you. One is actually happening right now...One will be happening in the very near future. :) My bloggy friend Angela Nerby over at HIPPO HOORAY FOR 2ND GRADE is having a flash much as I would like to keep the competition low so I can get another sweet item from her TPT store, I also want to share her amazing-ness. So go over and check out her giveaway. It ends TONIGHT!

ALSO! I am only 3 followers away from 100!!!! SOOOOO excited. I have had a couple of people offer to help out with a giveaway when I hit 100 and if you would like to as well that would be the only things I have in my TPT store are freebies! :) So, if you are not a follower, join up so I can give some cool stuff away. :)

Have a super 3 day weekend friends....and pray for no more snow days for me! :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

A to Z of Me Linky ( AKA: ANOTHER Snowday!)

It's getting pretty ridiculous around here friends. Today we are having snow/ice day number 9!!! And what else do you do on a snow day...certainly not the laundry piled up in the corner...You search through blogs of course! While doing that I found a blog I was not previously following THE POLISHED TEACHER from a comment she made on the COLLABORATION CUTIES 250 follower giveaway.  She is having a linky and I thought I would work on this post throughout the day today and join up. :)


( PS: I am having a hard time lately adding a picture link. If anyone can refresh my memory on how to do that, so people can just click the pic and go that would be awesome. :)

A: App: My favorite App is actually the Christmas countdown on my phone. It tells me to the second how long until Christmas. ( As of typing this there is currently 10 months, 13 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes, and 11 seconds) LOL!

B: Book Character: I have a thing for strong female characters. I love Olivia from the Olivia books and Annie from the Magic Tree House books and Clementine from the Clementine series. I love Olivia's tenacious and flamboyant behavior. I love Annie's boldness and kindness. I love Clementine's curious nature and impulsivity. I find all of these characteristics in my daughter too. That's probably why I love them so much. :)

ClementineMagic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-4: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past NoonOlivia

C: Clip Art: I am too new to making things using clip art. I don't really have a favorite one... yet.

D: Dollar Spot Find: Oh Dollar Store...How I love thee....Mine stocks borders and punch-out letters and numbers. They have great baskets in many fun colors. And I love to get stuff for my prize box there. About once a month I take 15-20 bucks and blow it there. It's one of my favorite places to shop. :)

E: Essential to Start the Day: A shower! My hair gets super greasy easily ( Thanks Dad!) and also I need that water to really wake up. Once I am awake though I MUST have my iced coffee. This is the kind that I super love.

Mixed with a cup and half of non fat milk. So Delish!

F: Font:  KB Striped Pajamas by Khrys Bosland is my favorite font.  You can get it HERE . AND best of all its a FREE one!!

G:Game: We try to have a family game night once a month with my family. Two of the games that we love to play are Apples to Apples and Truth Be Told.


With my classes though I love to play I Have, Who Has games.

H:Holiday: I think anyone who is reading this post will be able to answer this question. Hands down, Christmas. A close second is Thanksgiving for two reasons. 1: I don't cook. My husband slaves away in the kitchen for our AMAZING dinner. 2: Its Christmas Season Eve. :)

I: Ice Cream: Mint Chocolate Chip. Any brand. SO good!

J: Jewelry Piece: First if my wedding ring, second would be the Relic/ Fossil watch my husband bought me for Christmas. I wear both almost daily.

K: Kid-ism: My daughter is 3 so she doesn't always speak correctly. I am not an advocate fo speaking baby talk to your child or encouraging them to say things wrong on purpose. However, my daughter uses she instead of her. So for example tonight she said " Mommy can you put a pony in she hair. I will hold on to she." I don't know why, but I love, love, love when she says it.

L: Location to Travel: I am not really a big traveler. I do like going to Chicago or to Lake Michigan to the beach over the summer.

M: Management Technique: I really got into Whole Brain Teaching over the summer. Amanda at TEACHING MADDENESS is going to a WBT workshop over the summer and I am SOOOOOOO jealous! I watched this VIDEO on You tube ( I found it through Pinterest) over the summer and I was hooked. I have implemented some of the things this year but have a LONG way to go.

N: Nail Polish: Clear is about all I have time for...even though I super love when my nails have color...go figure.

O: Open House Idea: We do a back to school night/ meet the teacher night but not really an Open House where the parents get to come in after school has started. Ours is done before school starts. I leave a treat bag at each seat and an instructional packet. That way I can remember who came and who didn't.

P: Pinterest Find: IMPOSSIBLE to answer. I LOOOOOOOOVE Pinterest. As of this morning I have 95 boards and over 5,000 pins. That's like asking someone who their favorite child is. LOL. I don't have a link on blog ( yet) to get to my pinterest page so you can follow this awesomeness. But if you click HERE it will take you to my boards.

Q: Quote: This was a hard one to choose...because I have so many. I narrowed it down to these three though.

 This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. I know it's not very educational-y ( even though it is from a book) but I had to include it.

R: Read Aloud: I LOVE the Wayside School books. They are one of the few books I have read every year I have been teaching. I love the humor in them. I love when one of my peanuts gets some of the obscure humor and I love being able to do different voices. My kiddo's always LOOOOOOOOOVE them.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School Publisher: Harpercollins

S: School Supply: Glue sticks, glue sticks, glue sticks. I think I would choose this because they seem to disappear SO quickly and if I got a bunch at the beginning of the year I would be so, so happy. ( My room mom last year stocked up ALL summer long and brought me in an entire take out bag's worth. Yet somehow we are STILL dwindling down this year. I think they grow legs!)

T: TPT product: I would have to say really ANYTHING Amy Lemons makes is fabulous. I have two favorites though. Her WINTER FRIENDS CRAFT and FRACTION SUNDAES . Those were some of the first items I ever bought on TPT, so they hold a special place in my heart. :)

These are pics from when my kiddo's made them. :)

U: Unofficial Hobby: Pinning. I am known for it around my school. Also I am a VORACIOUS reader. I can't get enough of books. I am currently reading the Beautiful Creatures series and I love it!

V: Video Brain Break: We love the Adventure Fitness videos...especially when we have inside recess....for the 4th a row... You can find it HERE and the best part is it's FREE!

For inside recess

W: Way to Spend a Day Off:  Shopping. Is there any better way to spend your time. Second would be cleaning my house. I have a sickness.  And of course over all it would be doing both with my peanut. I love spending time with that kid. :)

X: Xtra Special Blogs to You: Oh goodness, how do I choose.

One is Hippo Hooray for Second Grade. Angela Nerby is the creative mind behind this blog. Go HERE to follow her. She and I started out blogging around the same time. I don't understand how she doesn't have like 500+ followers by now. EVERY time I check her blog I learn something cool to do with my own peanuts...or bunnies as she calls them.

The holy grail of blogs for me has to be Button. Who in the blogging world DOESN'T know about this girl?! But if you don't you can check out her blog HERE. She has the cutest idea's and I will probably wind up owning every single item she has for sale on TPT some day.

Y: Yummy Desert: There are very few deserts I don't like. Overall my favorite would have to be dirt pudding. My mom makes this for my birthday every year...even though I am going to be *coughs* 31 * coughs* I know she will still make it for me. :)

Z: Zoo Animal: I  have always liked seeing the bears. There is just something about seeing those massive creatures that I really like. However, we went to the zoo the first weekend after school got out for the summer last year ( and we are hoping to make it a tradition). At the zoo closest to us, John Ball Park Zoo, they have a bird cage where you can go in a feed the birds. They land on your stick and eat right out of your hand. Finley had so much fun and made those girly squeals of delight that tell you a little girl is really having the time of her life. Because of that, those silly parakeets are probably my favorite now. :)

PHEW! There you go. The A- Z's of me. So if you have a snow day like me or an hour to spare. Go link up! :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Perusing Facebook while my kiddo watched an episode of Bubble Guppies and came across this sweet giveaway. Go check it out HERE AT TEACHER IDEA FACTORY.

Also, I am only 4 followers away from 100! What! That's crazy!!!! When I do hit the 100 mark I will DEFINITLY be doing some sort of  giveaway for that because that is amazing! If you would be interested in helping me out with that please let me know. I only have two things in TPT right now and they are both free so it wouldn't be much of a giveaway. LOL! But I will think of something! In the meantime go check out this FAB giveaway!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Another Friday, Another Link Up

Happy Friday friends! I hope you all had a good week. I am back to link up again with DOODLEBUGS TEACHING and TEACHING MADDENESS to share about our weeks. I am doing this from the comfort of my own home because....dun, dun, dun...We have another snow day! ( If you are counting, this is number 8, and I think we may be in making this up territory...yikes!) But for now, I am living in the moment and enjoying my day off with my peanut.
My BIGGEST news is that I now have a BUTTON for my blog. I am so happy and excited. My husband's friend is a computer whiz and he figured out how to do it for me. So now when I link up I can have a cool picture like everyone else. :) So psyched!
On Monday I mentioned that I was bummed about not having my Boggle board done in time for Monday Made It. But that I was excited to bust out my personal laminator for the first time. This baby is UH-MAZING! I think I prefer the lamination on this one. It's much thicker than the one at school, which makes me feel like it will be WAY more durable. Unfortunately, I don't have the board done yet to share. I am still trying to figure out where it is going to go too!

Please ignore the horribley beat up t.v. tray and princess bear in this picture and just admire the beautiful laminator....OOOO...AAAHHH! :)

This week in writing we started our research report projects. I have the kid's choose a scholastic science vocabulary reader on a topic. We use this reader to kill many birds with one stone. Obviously, we use it for the research for our project. They also take an AR test on it, earning points, as well as use the book to talk about nonfiction text features. After writing their report they will then create a visual aide (poster) and write notecards for a presentation. The first year I did this I was SO impressed by their presentations that it has caused me to look forward to this project every year since then. This is possibly one of my favorite lessons.

This is one of my peanuts during our walk around. I spread the books around our tables and let them take 5 minutes to browse and chat with friends about what one they found interesting. They picked their first and second choice in topic. Then I called them after that to choose their book.
This week we started our forces, motion, and simple machines unit. I purchased a pack by Common Core and So Much More during the big TPT sale. You can get yours HERE. It is a great packet and I highly recommend it. During our unit we go sledding so the kiddo's can see force and motion in action. It's a lot of fun and its FREE. The high school right across the street from us has this large hill next to it. So we walk over and sled on it. The janitor's rope off a section of the parking lot so no one parks there, and we always have plenty of parents who help with crowd control. LOVE this day. :) 

After that we came back inside to enjoy some hot cocoa and cookies.

 BUT! The teacher in me couldn't JUST let them eat cookies and cocoa without something educational too. So we started another how-to writing project. ( So I can finally take the Christmas one's down! Ha!) They filled in their organizer while I got the cocoa ready.
I purchased this hot cocoa how to writing packet back during TPT Black Friday sales. I wanted to do it last month but between conferences and snow days we never got a chance. You can check it out HERE.

Well, that's all for my week. I need to finish cleaning up a little bit. We are having some of my husbands family over for pizza tonight. YUM! Have a great weekend everyone and go link up!