Friday, May 31, 2013

Five For Friday!

Happy Friday Friends!

Linking up with DoodleBugs Teaching and Teaching Maddeness for their Friday Linky Parties.


#1 The countdown has begun! I wanted to do something fun to celebrate the end of school. I really liked the idea of hanging balloons and popping them, but my ceiling is WAY high and I am afraid of heights. So I made this paper chain instead.

This is a picture from last week. We are only down to 5 days! ( Plus 1 in service day for teachers!)
Each day before we leave we take off a chain and read what it says. We have done things like wear a hat to school and bring a book from home to read to a partner. Today they got to sit anywhere that they wanted to in the room.
They are really having a blast with it. Makes me wish I had done it in years past as well.  It has really helped with behavior too because we only get to do what it says on the link IF they have more tallies on the smile side of our scoreboard. So far so good. :)

#2 Next year we are switching from using Accelerated Math to TenMarks as a math enrichment activity. So we tested it out this week since they do have a component of it that you can use FOR FREE! You can check their site out HERE.

We were working on multiplication and division concepts.

Students can get help while working by watching a short video that explains how to solve a similar problem or get hints that will help them solve it.
When they are done I can check out how well they did, how many they got right/ wrong, if they watched any video prompts or needed hints. They will also be able to do this at home! It is pretty cool and I am excited to use it next year. 

#3 This is actually a picture from last week but since I didn't link up then I wanted to share it. These poor kids this year have had HORRIBLE weather to contend with. We had our Christmas Party rescheduled for two months due to snow days, we almost had an ice day for our last field trip, and then our fun movie day was cancelled because we had an Ice Day...IN APRIL!
So it should have come as NO surprise that it rained all day when we scheduled a trip for the zoo. And because of bussing and schedules there was no way to reschedule it. So it was now or never. We went and the kids had a great time...and of course it stopped raining after we got back on the bus to go home. 

This is all 75 of us huddled under a band shell in the zoo's park while we ate our lunch.
#4. Last Friday was my birthday. I aged backwards.  It was a modern day miracle. :) Ever since then, Peanut has been making me " birthday cakes" in her sandbox and singing me happy birthday. Love it, love her. I will REALLY miss my "Teaching Kids" but I am also SO ready to enjoy my summer time with her!

#5.  Stop by Hoots 'n Hollers blog. They are having a giveaway that yours truly is a part of. :) 

So that's my five. I'll be stopping by tomorrow to link up with June's Currently. ( What?! June already! Crazy!)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Classroom Quick Tips Linky #3

Happy Thursday Friends!

Angela and I are back with our weekly linky: Classroom Quick Tips.

Font: Jessica Stanford
Background: I Teach? What's Your Super Power?
Frame: Tonya's Treats for Teachers
Every Thursday we will be hosting for you to link up with the quick tips that make your classroom run smoother. The only thing we ask is that you don't link up with a paid product. (Freebies are A-OK!) And if you do link up, please include our button so other's can know where to join in on the fun! :)

( Also, if you didn't know, we have a Pinterest board where we pin all of your awesome tips every week. You can check that out HERE.)

Here is my quick tip!

It involves how I store my punch out letters and numbers.

This year I got two sets of these small plastic drawers. They are the perfect size to hold those letter sets, especially if you are like me and you only punch out what you need.

I keep each color in its own gallon size Ziploc baggie.

Then I keep them in rainbow order in the drawers.

They are easily accessible to me. ( I don't have to move anything to get to them like I did in years past.) And it is easy to find which color I want since they are in order and you can see through the drawers as well.

So that is my quick tip. Next week I will share how one of my grade level partner stores her letters. 

Have a quick tip?

Link up with us below! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer Bucket List Linky and Birthday Winner!

Well, I never made it to the Five for Friday Linky. Too much birthday party. :) So I am going to share my winner with you first and then share my summer bucket list. ( Even though I have two weeks of school left.)

So first things first. Winner, winner, chicken dinner goes tooooooo...

Random Integer Generator

Here is your random number:
So congratulations E. Reyes at Reyes Remarkable Rants. You can pick anything for free from my TPT store and when I actually have some free time ( in two weeks) and I can start working again on my TPT items I will send you the first one I make for free! :)
( Side note: Seriously cannot wait for my Reading Assessment class to be done.  So far it has actually been SUPER beneficial but it is sucking ALL of my spare time...and you know there is very little to be had to at this time of year. I just want to CREATE!)

Now for my bucket list!
Summer Bucket List 2013
Today I took some of my precious free time during Peanuts nap time and went through my Pinterest boards. I created a new one called SUMMER 2013 BUCKET LIST, which you can check out HERE.
Pinterest OBVIOUSLY has SO MANY great ideas and if you are like me you can get a little overwhelmed with all of the things you have pinned. So I went through my boards and picked out a mix of things like recipes to try, things to make for my classroom, clothes to wear, things to do with Peanut, books to read and projects to do at home. I tried to pick things that I have either A) wanted to do for sometime or B) thought I would ACTUALLY accomplish. I mean I love some of the sewing projects I have but I don't know how to sew! :)
These are some of things I am going to try to do this summer.
Make This: Spray paint a branch wreath a bright modern colorMake This: Thin Mint Puppy chowMake This: Love this DIY Project...  Recover an old desk chairMake These:Easy stools for extra seatingRead This: ( With a box of Tissues) If this womans blog is any indication this book will be amazing!Wear Cuter Clothes :)Try this: Wasp trap.....we need this in the summertime!
 (Check out my pin board for these pins addresses. )
 Enjoy your shortened week for those of you IN school. And for those of you OUT of school sleep an extra hour or two for the rest of us. :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me!

That's right! Today is my birthday but I am giving YOU a present! Keep reading to find out what!
Usually I take the day off for my birthday, but we are having track and field day today and I didn't want to saddle a sub with it miss it. :) I usually get McDonald's breakfast as a special treat, so I at least upheld that tradition and made a pit stop there before school this morning. 

 So on to your present! I don't have a lot in my store but all that I DO have is 20% off through the weekend to celebrate. 


You have a chance to win any item of your choice from my store, PLUS the next item I create FOR FREE! It is super easy and simple to win. All you need to do is leave a comment ( with your email address) telling me about how YOU usually celebrate your birthday. 

That's it! I will do a random number pick later this weekend and then I will let you know who the winner is. :) 

I'll be back later to update with the Five for Friday part of this post. :)

Enjoy your day!   

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Classroom Quick Tips Linky #2

Happy Thursday Friends!
Last week Angela ,from Hippo Hooray for 2nd Grade, and I started a new linky party called Classroom Quick Tips. AND we were SUPER psyched when we had 8 other people who also linked up with us!

Want to link up with us? Here is what you do! It's super simple. Just take a slow walk around your classroom. Take a close look around at EVERYTHING. What's something you have/do in your classroom that makes your life as a teacher easier? The key words are "Quick Tips." Snap a photo and tell us a little ditty about how your tip helps you. The only rule is that you may not link up with a paid product. Freebies are A-OK!

Font: Jessica Stanford
Background: I Teach? What's Your Super Power?
Frame: Tonya's Treats for Teachers
SO! Here is my quick tip! It has to do with your classroom calendar. This is mine.

My quick tip is that I put Velcro on the back side of all of my pieces. Then I put the corresponding Velcro piece on the calendar grid. Each month it is SUPER easy to take down the old pieces and put up the new.

My calendar came from one of my mentor teachers. I admired her calendar and how cute it was. So when my time was done, she bought one for me! I have used it for 7 years now and I think of her every time I use it. This fall I had a pre-student teacher in my classroom. When her time was done in my room, I also bought her a calendar. :)

So, there is my super quick tip. Do you have a quick tip to share? Link up with us below! OH! And check back tomorrow for a special giveaway! :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five for Friday!

Happy, Happy Friday!
Linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching and Teaching Maddeness to share what went on in my corner of the world this week.



#1. Angela ,from Hippo Hooray for 2nd Grade, and I hosted our very first linky party yesterday!
What's even more exciting is that we were not the ONLY ones to link up! :) If you want to link up this week you  still can. ( Go HERE.) It's up until next Thursday, when we will do it again. :) Angela also came up with a genius idea for a Pinterest board that will have all of these awesome tips on it. You can check that out HERE.


This week we had a fun assembly to celebrate MAP testing being done. It was called the Ned Show. ( Ned stands for: N.ever giving up, E.ncouraging others, and D.oing your best)The guy speaking is named Gary. He did all sorts of neat tricks with a yoyo and some other magic tricks while spreading his message about how to be a champion. It was one of the best assemblies we have ever had. You can check it out at their website HERE.

Changed out my bulletin board for the last time this year. :( I got a sailboat bulletin board set at JoAnn's back in September for like $2! I have been saving it for the end of the year.

 The little sailboat creations on the bottom are by Amy Lemons. You can check them out HERE.

The bottom part is a little booklet. ( There is actually 5 pages but for some reason that picture is turned the wrong way.! Woops!)




Today was Mr. Schroeder Appreciation Day. Mr. Schroeder is my principal. Ever since he became our principal 5 years ago,  we have had a special day at the end of the year where we celebrate him and all he does for us and our school. The kids make him cards, sing songs, write him letters etc. And we also do a potluck lunch. My kiddo's made this cute poster for him.

My favorite one is the top right corner ( of the poster board). One of my kiddos said " I like how you dress up." So cute!


Finally, who doesn't love a picture, letter, or craft from one of your peanuts. The ones that are even more special to me are the ones that they do at home because they had to take their own time to make it.

One of my peanuts brought this to me this morning. Mrs. Robinson is WAY too emotional to not have teared up at this.

Oh honey, *I* WILL miss you. 
14 more days....that's it. And then this years babies move on....Ok, Mrs. Robinson is WAY too emotional to think about it right now...

Enjoy your Friday night friends and have a FABULOUS weekend!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Classroom Quick Tips Linky!

HAPPY, HAPPY, JOY, JOY! It's Thursday and it is the VERY first linky for Classroom Quick Tips. This is really the brainchild of my BBB Angela over at Hippo Hooray for 2nd Grade. (If you are not following her yet, stop reading, go over to the side of my blog list where I have some of my favorites, click on her name, and FOLLOW her! That girl is seriously AH-Mazing!)

Angela and I both started our blogs with the intention of sharing our classroom with other teachers. Lately though we have been feeling the immense pressure to buy and sell on TPT. NOW! Don't get me wrong. I LUH-HUV TPT. I love making stuff and I love buying stuff. What I'm not so much into is when that is all someone posts about or uses their Pinterest for. So Angela and I thought we would get back to our bloggy roots and share the things we DO in our classroom. And that is exactly what our new linky is all about.

Font: Jessica Stanford
Background: I Teach? What's Your Super Power?
Frame: Tonya's Treats for Teachers
So this is what you do. It's super simple. Just take a slow walk around your classroom. Take a close look around at EVERYTHING. What's something you have/do in your classroom that makes your life as a teacher easier? The key words are "Quick Tips." Snap a photo and tell us a little ditty about how your tip helps you. The only rule is that you may not link up with a paid product. Freebies are A-OK! This linky is set to launch TODAY! and will continue weekly on Thursdays. We hope you'll join in on the fun with us!

And now, here is my quick tip. I do Literacy Work Stations in my room and one of our stations is the Listening Station. My tip has to do with how I organized my books and c/ds.  Here is what I did to help keep my books and c/d's organized. Put a sticker with a number on the book. Put another sticker with that same number on the c/d. That way the kiddo's know to look for the same number and they aren't wasting a bunch of time searching for the matching book and c/d.
Now, if you are like me you have a TON of books and c/d's. I used to let the kiddo's choose any book and c/d but as my collection grew that just stopped being feasible. So I use the numbers to also have my kiddo's practice their ordering skills.  I put out about 10 books and c/ds at a time. I place them in order from smallest to largest. Sometimes I put a chunk out in order ( like below) and sometimes they are random numbers. They are responsible for making sure that they stay in number order when their time at listening station is done.

Since I am the one putting them out it is very easy to put them away ( in number order) and I don't have to worry about searching through the stack for a match. The numbers are right there.
So, that is my quick tip. I hope you will link up and share a quick tip from your classroom!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A New Linky Party!

Happy Wednesday Friends! I am SUPER happy tonight. Let me tell you why!

First, we got an automated message from our Superintendent that we do NOT have to make up the extra snow days we had this year. Our governor signed legislation where we only have to go by hours and not days. Woot-woot! So that cuts off a full 3 days! June 7th is our last day!

Second, and MOST IMPORTANTLY! My BBB ( best bloggy buddy) Angela over at Hippo Hooray for 2nd Grade contacted me about a week or so ago with an idea for a new linky party. And I was IMMEDIATELY on board!

I don't know about all of you but sometimes this bloggy world that I LUH-HUV to be a part of can drag me down. I want to see visuals of what neat things people are doing in their classroom and maybe some cool freebies. I started blogging because of all of the amazing things I saw going on in people's classrooms on Pinterest. But lately, it feels like I am being bombarded by people using their blog and Pinterest as a means to get people to buy their stuff. Don't get me wrong. I have a TPT store and I promote the items I make on my blog. But I have been feeling an immense pressure to do more, sell more and that was not the point of this blog.

So getting back to basics and the reason I started this blog in the first place, this is the linky that Angela and I will be hosting.

It's super simple. Tomorrow, just take a slow walk around your classroom. Take a close look around at EVERYTHING. What's something you have/do in your classroom that makes your life as a teacher easier? The key words are "Quick Tips." Snap a photo and tell us a little ditty about how your tip helps you. The only rule is that you may not link up with a paid product. Freebies are A-OK! This linky is set to launch this Thursday and will continue weekly on Thursdays. We hope you'll join in on the fun with us!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Get Aquainted Linky

Hello and Happy Tuesday! It really is a happy Tuesday for me because for the first time in 3 weeks my mind hasn't been racing, wondering how my peanuts were going to do on our MAP tests. ( We have tested every Tuesday for the past 3 weeks.)

So today I am linking up with Latoya over at FLYING INTO FIRST GRADE. She has been having a Sunday linky for awhile now. I really liked the questions this week. So I wanted to make sure I linked up. 


 These are the questions for this week. 
Linky Questions
1.  What made you decide to become a teacher?
2. What has been your most rewarding experience as a teacher?
3. If you were not a teacher, what would you be?
I became a teacher because I was too practical to be a starving artist. I really love acting and musicals and being on stage. However, I knew I wasn't good enough/ didn't have what it takes to pursue that as a career. When I was a senior in high school a family friend asked me if I had ever thought of being a teacher. She was in charge of the Sunday School program at my church and I had been teaching a group of second grade age kids. She said I was really good at it. I didn't know what else to do with my life so I thought " why not?!"  
My first year and a half in college I HATED it. All I had were beginning education classes with NO classroom experience. But I stuck with it because I was determined not to be the person who switched their major 14 times in college. Besides I didn't know what else I would do! My mom is a teacher, as I have mentioned before. At the time she taught 7th grade self contained at a small Catholic school. She needed a sub one day and I got to do it. It COMPLETELY changed my mind about teaching, from being something I was going to do to something I WANTED to do. And I have loved it ever since. 


Honestly, every year during this time when I see how far my peanuts have come that makes me feel incredible. When I think back to the beginning of this year and how I thought I would never make it to May without being extremely burnt out and I look at my kiddos now...I don't think I have ever seen such a dramatic transformation with regards to behavior and academics as these peanuts have made.They are truly one of a kind and I cannot believe our year together is almost over.
 ( Also, if I am being honest with myself I should say that I think this every year. I wrote myself a sticky note to remind me that no matter what period of adjustment September brings, by October life will be good again. LOL!)


I really love home design. My favorite TV channel is HGTV. My Pinterest boards are almost as full of design ideas as education...notice I said almost. :) I think I would like to be a house flipper or someone who stages houses before they sell. Sometimes I think I could be a stay at home mom to my Peanut....and then we have a long break and reality sets in and I realize I DO NOT have what it takes to do that. Our summer break is plenty. LOL! 

Check back tomorrow for an exciting announcement from Hippo Hooray for 2nd Grade and I.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Happiest of Fridays friends! I haven't done a Friday post in 3 weeks!!! These past 3 weeks have been entirely consumed by 3 major things. First, was my husband covering 3rd shift and his ( and therefor ALL of ours) schedule was completely thrown off. Second, was my poor peanut and this horrible thing called allergy season. She got a cough that progressively got worse. In fact, it got so bad that we took her to the ER a little over a week ago because she was coughing so much she threw up! Her allergist prescribed a rescue was not the instant miracle I thought it would be but it definitely helped. I was finally able to sleep through the night again ( since she was too)...and I was doing it all alone which caused extra stress and tiredness ( see thing #1...awesome time for the hubs to work 3rd shift I know)

Poor peanut...looks so pathetic. :(
But the biggest thing that has been consuming my brain has been MAP testing! My peanuts finished this past Tuesday and I have never felt such relief before. We got to see our test results for the past 3 years and my math and language usage are good. ( This year they were GREAT! 100% of my kiddos met, with most exceeding, their math goal!) However, my reading has been consistently at about 60% of my kiddos meeting their goal. Any suggestions from those of you that take the MAP on what I could do to get that up for next year?

So! On to my 5 for Friday. I am linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching  for the Five for Friday link up. This is what went down in my neck of the woods this week.
First off, Happy Teacher Appreciation Week.

I had to start this Five for Friday with a picture of my Morfor ( grandpa in Swedish). He celebrated his 90th birthday this year. He was a college professor ( at Ferris, my alma mater) and started a Chemistry program while he was there. The program was celebrating its 55th anniversary this year. So Ferris had a nice dinner and program to celebrate both.  There were several speakers ( including my Morfor). It was very neat to see how many of his former students came to see him and celebrate with him. ( Some from far away too!) It really warmed this teachers heart to see her Morfor being treated like a total rock star. People were lining up to take their picture with him.

My best friend Leah's daughter, Katie, went to prom on Saturday and she used my house as her home base. Then we took about a bazillion pictures of her, including this one of us ( including our other musketeer, Heather) and our daughters. I love these girls!
To celebrate MAP testing being done, and my kiddos were due for a class reward, I planned a pizza and movie afternoon for Wednesday. Then my daycare lady needed that day off to go to a funeral for an uncle. So I emailed my principal and asked him if Peanut could come to school with me in the afternoon and celebrate with us. He thought it sounded like fun, so that is what we did.  

She had such a good time eating pizza and then playing at recess with the kids. They were all so kind to her and all of the girls wanted to hold her hand and play with her. ( At one point I looked over and saw at least 4 of my girls holding on to her in some sort of way...even holding the end of her braid and shirt sleeve! LOL!)  When she went out for recess and ran right away from me to go play with the kids it was sort of comforting. I got a small glimpse into her actually being at school...and I loved the confidence she had. ( It's coming...WAY too soon. One more year and she will be starting Kindergarten! Crazy how time flies!)

It was very exciting in Room 29 today as this...

...Has become this!

Today we took those dollar store find clay pots I posted about a couple of weeks ago and painted them for mothers day.  These are all of the materials that you will need to paint the pots. I used craft paint. It costs about 80 cents at the store.

Some shots of them painting their pots.

After they dried we planted a flower inside of them....

And this is what they took home to their momma's today. They turned out really cute.

Peanut is going to be doing the same thing for her grandma and aunts this weekend too.
Well, that is all for me...  Feels so good to be back with my usual Friday night ritual. Have a good weekend friends!