Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Break

I am officially on Spring Break.  I am so grateful to have ten days to rest and relax and get ready for the last quarter of school.  And I finished my report cards before I left school Thursday, so I'm feeling extra relaxed without those hanging over my head!

This is just a quick post to tell you about a few things...

Be sure to check out Sara's 100 follower giveaway.  She has 10 awesome bloggers giving away products!
And, I was featured on Sparkles, Smiles and Successful Students for Amber's First Year Friday Feature.  Read to see my tips for first year teachers :)
Right now I'm visiting my parents, but I hope to work on more of my 7 habits books over the break.  I'm a little behind... one of my students asked if there was a superhero for "Sharpen the Saw."  There will be...she's just not quite ready yet.

So stay tuned and if you're on Spring Break like me, enjoy!  And happy Easter!

Praise be to the God and Father of Lord Jesus Christ!  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
                                                                                                                             -1 Peter 1:3

p.s. I've been having some issues with this post and it being picked up by google reader, etc.  Sorry if you're seeing it twice.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Is it really spring?

So, I haven't posted all week because sadly our week was pretty boring.  It is the end of the quarter and almost spring break, and I didn't really think you'd want to read about all the fun assessments we've been doing.  We did talk a little about the first day of spring, and we went outside to observe signs of spring.  But then, the very next day (and remainder of the week) was freezing so we've held off on some of the other springy things we were going to do. 

We were going to write our Spring 5 Senses Book, but I held off for fear that they would write in spring they feel cold and see clouds and hear people complaining that they still have to wear coats.  Hopefully, we'll have a nice day this week to give us more inspiration. 

If it is actually spring weather where you live and you want to write about spring with your students, click the picture to go to my TpT store. 

Also, have you noticed my new "Keep in Touch" buttons to the right?  I am pretty proud of them.  And I finally have a Teachers Notebook store.  It is not as developed as my TpT store.  I'm still working on uploading more products and I'm just not as familiar/comfortable with TN.   I'll get there, though.  Check it out...

Be sure to visit Clearly Kindergarten for her 100 Followers Giveaway!  She has so many great bloggers offering products!  But it ends tomorrow so go enter now.

If you've made it this far...thank you for reading.  :)  AND, if you leave me a comment telling me your favorite thing about spring, I'll choose one winner to win both of my spring products (Spring 5 Senses Book, above, and my Spring is Here book).

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring is Here {almost} and It's Your Lucky Day!

Aren't you so happy that spring starts this week?  I am so ready for warmer weather and Spring Break!  In my class, we'll be talking about spring this week and using my newest book - Spring is Here!   It focuses on the sight words out, here, and come/comes.  Click the picture to check it out.'s your lucky day!  I'm linking up with Mrs. Wheeler for a St. Patrick's Day sale!  Everything in my TpT store is 20 percent only!  You could get my new spring book for only $1.60. Click below to visit my store.

And, be sure to visit my friend Traci for your last chance to enter her fabulous Lucky 7 giveaway!  The giveaway includes seven bloggers (including me) and ends tonight!  Good luck!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Leprechauns' Visit

Yesterday was so much fun!  Here's my Five for Friday/Friday Flashback - Leprechaun Style!

1. The kids came into this everywhere!  I always get a little nervous looking at the mess, but know it will be cleaned up quickly with all the kids working on it.  This year, I told them *as soon as we cleaned up* we'd go on our treasure hunt.  They were like tornadoes.  I've never seen them clean up so quickly!

2. We made our leprechaun traps in teams at school to work on the habit of Synergy/Teamwork.  I was really impressed with how well they worked together!  This student is checking his trap for leprechauns, and finding the glitter, stickers, and "emeralds" the leprechauns left behind. 

3. We used the shamrock clues to go around the school and eventually find these little treat bags.  My kids were so excited.  One of my students stopped everyone we met to tell them we were looking for leprechauns and to ask if they had seen them.  

4. They stayed super excited for the rest of the day.  Any speck of dirt they found in the room was a "clue."  They even found a little smudge of mud they said was a footprint.  During writing, I gave them the freedom to write whatever they wanted.  Most of them chose to write letters to the leprechauns, and leave them around the room.  When they went to recess, I was running around trying to make sure I picked them all up and hid them.  I love how this letter was written in rainbow color order - just like the shamrocks the leprechauns left.

Come out.  Don't worry.  We will not chase you.  I want you to be happy.  Please give us some candy.  All we want is for you is to...(goes on for a few more pages)
5. This was one of my favorite letters.  She was so serious.  Of course, she may have been yearning to see a leprechaun so badly because some of her friends were liars had vivid imaginations and "saw" many leprechauns throughout the day!

Now, we've got to start focusing on quarterly assessments, but in 9 more school days Spring Break will finally be here!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Preparing for the Leprechauns

We have been busy this week preparing for the leprechauns.  First, we wrote some letters...
And decorated them with glitter!

Then we made these tie-dyed shamrocks and hung them in the windows.  There's a great tutorial here.
Now we've been working on synergy (Habit 6)!  We've been working in teams to build leprechaun traps.  It is amazing the level of problem-solving and communication I'm seeing with these teams.  It's so exciting!

On Friday, the leprechauns will visit and send us on a hunt through the school.  Each letter is written in a different color of the rainbow and they take us through the school until we finally find our treasure.  The shamrock letters aren't that exciting, but if you want to download them, just click on the picture.  (I saved it as a powerpoint, so the formatting will look weird on google docs, and may look different if you don't have the font (HelloJunieB).  But...I just wanted it to be editable so you could insert your own clues.)
We'll end by finding our violet colored shamrock attached to this bag...
Inside is a little treasure (M&M's and golden coins) for each kid!  I'm so excited.  I love this project every year.  I still remember trying to catch a leprechaun when I was in kindergarten, and I hope my students will love and remember this day forever, too!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Classroom Jobs, The Bachelor, and a Freebie

I'm sitting here watching The Bachelor.  Is anyone else super bummed about Lindsay?  I was sure she was gonna win.  I just thought she and Sean made such a good match (no offense to Catherine).

Anyways...I know it's a weird time of year to be thinking about classroom job charts, but that's what I've been working on!  As part of promoting the 7 habits and leadership at our school, we are trying to give students more agency and opportunities to exercise independence.  So...I thought it was time to pump up my classroom jobs.

I've always had a leader, a Star of the Week, and a fish feeder (till our fish Batman bit the dust), but I decided to add more jobs.  I made a list of all the things I ask kids to do all the time (turn off the lights, push in chairs, erase the board, etc.) and then I had to figure out where to put a job chart in my room.  I had the idea to just use our name chart and add magnet labels to the side of each name.  So, I made some small job cards that match our other owl-themed classroom decor. 

For just a dollar, you can buy the 18 classroom job cards (in two sizes)...just click the picture.

And if you want to try them out, click the picture to download six job cards for free!
I'm also open to adding more cards.  So if you like these and want others for different class jobs, feel free to leave a comment here or on TpT and I'll see what I can do. 

If you haven't yet, be sure to enter my friend Traci's 100 followers giveaway.  You can win products from 7 different bloggers (including me :).  
Happy Monday!

Friday, March 8, 2013



So, so glad it's Friday, and one week closer to Spring Break!  I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday and TBA with a freebie (scroll down to number 4).  Here are my five!

1. We celebrated Read Across America this week.  I saw the idea for these hats from Khrys.  Today kids were able to come as their favorite book character, and we made these so students without a costume wouldn't feel left out.  They loved them!

2. Here's another fun thing we did for Read Across America.  Using "Cat Cam" we made these pictures and used them for writing inspiration. 
3. We didn't do as much with Dr. Seuss this year, because I was also trying to prepare my students for a Charlotte's Web play that came to our school on Thursday.  We didn't have a chance to read the whole book, but we read enough for them to have a sense of the characters.  The play was wonderful!  I love the story and they stayed very true to it.  I teared up a little when Charlotte died.

4. We also began to prepare for a leprechaun visit.  We wrote letters to the leprechauns telling them all the wonderful green, gold, and rainbow stuff they can find in our room.  (Click the picture to download the writing page.)

5. Last but not least, be sure to check out Traci's Lucky 7 Giveaway - 7 chances to win.  You could win some great products from TpT stores (including an item of the winner's choice from my store) and Traci is also giving away gift certificates for clip art!  You can enter now through St. Patrick's Day.  Good luck!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Read Across America

We are celebrating Read Across America this week.  Have you seen this super cute app - Cat Cam?  Look at the pictures we made:

We're going to use the pictures to write tomorrow "If I was the Cat in the Hat" or "If I was Thing 1."  There were about ten picture options, but I just limited the kids to choosing from these two.  They loved seeing themselves as Dr. Seuss' characters!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Digraph Freebie

As usual, I'm a little late but I'm linking up with:


Here is a book we used in my class last week to review ch/sh/h.  It's an easy read (level B) so the kids can focus on writing in the missing digraph.  Click the picture to download and let me know if you have questions!

And be sure to go to by Fifth in the Middle to link up and find bloggers from your state!  So fun!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Currently

Listening/Watching - Chicago Fire, one of my new favorite shows!

Loving - laying here in my pjs and watching tv and not feeling pressure to go anywhere or do anything, at least for a little while.

Thinking- of all the things I need to do (like tackle my huge pile of dirty laundry) after I finish my lazy Saturday morning

Wanting- Warm weather to get here for good.  We keep getting these pretty days and then the next day, it'll be 30 degrees again.  I'm so tired of the cold...

Needing- to go running...and I will as soon as the weather warms up a little :)

Like, love, hate- This was hard.  First, because I don't think D has the best word options to offer.  Also, because I'm not good at using just one word. 
-dojo: Have you seen the site  It's an awesome tool for behavior management.  I have used tickets in the past, which I love, except if I pass out tickets on the carpet, they play with them.  And my less responsible kids lose their tickets before they can come to the store on Friday.  This is so much easier.  I can still give points for positive behavior, but I can do it on my phone, iPad or computer.  The kids LOVE it and will quickly settle down when I start giving out dojo points.  Seriously, check it out!

-dancing: I have started doing Zumba classes a lot, and I love it.  I am a terrible dancer, but it's so much fun and such a good workout.

-disappointment: pretty self-explanatory.  No one likes it, right?

Have a great weekend, everybody!

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