Wednesday, July 31, 2013

201 Followers...A BIG Thank You Sale

I am so excited to announce that I now have 201 followers on bloglovin.  Thank you to everyone who is reading this blog.  I appreciate you so much.  As a thank you, for the next 24 hours, my entire TpT store will be 50 percent off.  This means the majority of my products are available for a dollar!

And now for the winners of my Word Family Posters...
 Jill S.
Roxanne S.
Debbie K. 
Veronica P.

Check your email, ladies!  (Debbie, please leave a comment with your email so I can get yours to you.)

Thank you again, to all my readers.  When I started this blog, I couldn't imagine getting five people to read it, much less two hundred.  I love this awesome teacher blogging community!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Monday Made-It

I'm excited to post on Monday Made-It for the very first time!  Now that summer is drawing to an end (can you believe it's almost August?), I'm starting to work more on my classroom projects.  Last week, I found this cute rocking chair at Goodwill.
I washed it off, sanded it, and then painted it blue to match the colors in my classroom.  I still need to spray it with some sealant, and possibly touch up a few spots, but it's mostly done!
As usual, Harper "casually" walks by so she can be part of the picture.
The color is a little brighter in person, but I'm really excited with how it turned out and what a cheap project it was.  The chair was seven dollars and the paint cost about five, so 12 dollars total for a super cute chair!  I wish I could find some more for that price! 

Also, one of my goals this summer was to look back at my older TpT products and see if I needed to edit them.  One of the very first things I made was my Word Family Poster Set.  I decided they were a little boring, so I spiced them up a bit.

My new and improved Word Family Posters for the 37 Most Common Rimes..Now with Bright Chevron Background!
Click the picture to go to TpT.  If you previously purchased my word family posters, you can download these for free!

I really liked how they turned out, so I decided to add two other options for the posters as well.  Pastel Chevron:

And Polka Dots:
Other than the backgrounds, the poster sets are all the same.  (They contain the same word families and the same picture and anchor word for each family.)

I'd love to give a few of these away.  Leave me a comment with your email and which set you'd like and I'll choose 3 winners later this week.  Happy Monday!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Giveaways and Summer Blogging Slump

So I've taken a little unplanned blogging hiatus.  I think it's hard for me to find inspiration to blog when I'm not in the classroom.  But I am doing a summer literacy night at school tomorrow, and I've been starting to work on some new projects for my classroom, so I promise to blog and share all about them, soon! 

For now, I just wanted to quickly post about two giveaways I'm a part of:

Both of these blogs are super cute, with awesome ideas.  And they have so many amazing bloggers participating in the giveaways, so be sure to check them out!

Also, I'm only 11 followers away from hitting 200 on bloglovin'.  I'm trying to decide if I'll do a giveaway of some sort, or something else to celebrate and thank everyone.  If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear about them in the comments.  Thanks!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Liebster Award

I am so excited and blessed...three sweet bloggers nominated me for  the Liebster Award!  The Liebster Award is for blogs with fewer than 200 followers.  Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the blog that nominated me.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.

6. Contact your nominees by commenting on their blog or sending them an email to communicate the nomination. 
24/7 Teacher: Amy Harrod
The first person to nominate me was the awesome 24/7 Teacher.  Here are her questions for me:
  1. If you could be any animal what would you be and why?  I guess a dog, because I love my dog and they seem like they are always happy.  Or maybe a dolphin, because I love to swim. 
  2. Have you read anything lately? If so, what? Tell a little bit about it. I read The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan.  She is one of my favorite authors!  My favorite book by her is Commencement.
  3.  If you weren't a teacher what would you be? A social worker.  One of the main reasons I got into teaching was to help children who needed support outside of their family.  As a social worker, I could help them from a different angle (though I think that job would be even more heart-breaking than teaching can be.)
  4. What is your favorite T.V. Show?  Currently on the air... Grey's Anatomy, but of all time... Friends.
  5. What hobby do you have? I like to knit, jog, and write.
  6. What is your favorite store at the mall?  My favorite store is Target, but since that is not at the mall, Gap. 
  7. What would be the perfect hours for a school day and why? My school day starts at 7:30 and I actually don't mind it, because then we end at 2:30.  In my ideal world, I'd push it back a little, maybe 8:00, but wouldn't want it to be too late because then I feel like I'd stay at school all evening!
  8. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why? I want to go so many places, but I'd love to go to Italy.  I've seen so many beautiful pictures of it.
  9. If you could win any prize what would it be? (Grammy, Oscar, Emmy, Pulitzer, Olympic, Nobel Peace Prize or any other) The Pulitzer...I love to write!
  10. What is your favorite subject to teach? Why? This changes a lot for me, depending on my students and what we're learning about, but in general, math is my favorite.  I really enjoy seeing how kids explain their thinking and how their number sense develops.
  11. What is your dream vacation? I would love to take a trip around the take a year, and go everywhere.  
Katelin from Katelin's Kreative Kindergarten also nominated me! Here are her questions:
  1.  How many years and what grade level have you taught?  Which one did you like best? I've taught 4 years...3 in kindergarten, 1 in first.  I like kindergarten more, but I loved my year in first because I looped with a super sweet group of kids.
  2. What is the best think you have learned from the blogging world? How to make really cute anchor charts!  And lots of technology tips.
  3. Why did you start blogging? I was reading so many amazing teacher blogs, and I wanted to get connected to people...I find it to be such a positive, encouraging community.
  4. What is your favorite unit to teach? I love teaching about community and community helpers.  Also love all the holiday units!
  5.  If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? I want to go so many places, but I'd love to go to Italy.  I've seen so many beautiful pictures of it.
  6. Are you a mountains or ocean vacation type? Definitely ocean.
  7.  Do you like to order dessert or an appetizer? Dessert.
  8. Would you rather dress up or dress down? Depends on where I'm going!  I typically dress pretty casual, but I love a good reason to dress up!
  9.  What is your favorite theme day at school?  Pajama Day.
  10. What is the hardest part about blogging for you? Keeping myself from feeling overwhelmed or comparing myself to other bloggers.
  11.  After a long, stressful, crazy day at work, what do you do? Take a long, hot bath.
ABC's and Polka Dots
And Jill from ABC's and Polka Dots also nominated me!
  1.  What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Ben and Jerry's S'mores Flavor. 
  2. What is your favorite type of music to listen to? Country! 
  3. What is your favorite subject to teach? This changes a lot for me, depending on my students and what we're learning about, but in general, math is my favorite.  I really enjoy seeing how kids explain their thinking and how their number sense develops. 
  4. Where did you go to college? UNC Chapel Hill 
  5. Do you prefer sweet or salty? Both! 
  6. Name 5 things that are currently in your purse. iPhone, wallet, knitting needles, a purple pen, and chapstick 
  7. Where is your favorite vacation destination? Hilton Head, SC 
  8. How long have you been teaching? 4 years
  9. What is your favorite children's book? This is a hard one!  I love The Pout Pout Fish and The Dot.
  10.  Do you prefer the mountains or the beach? Beach.
  11.  Name one special thing about the town you live in. I live in Durham, NC, where the movie Bull Durham was set (about our minor league baseball team).
And here are 11 random facts about me:
  1. I've lived in 5 states (Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina), and no, my family's not in the military.
  2. I love Carolina Basketball, and anything Carolina blue.  Go Tar Heels!
  3. I have a dog named Harper Grace.
  4. I was valedictorian of my high school class.
  5. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was 8 years old.
  6. I love going to concerts, especially for country music.  I'm seeing Luke Bryan this Friday!
  7. I spent a summer in London in college, and I wish I could have spent a lot more time there.  It was an amazing city!
  8. I love to read and I hate to get rid of my books.  I have four overflowing bookcases in my apartment.  
  9. I'm the middle of three girls.  Growing up I always identified with Stephanie from Full House, ha!
  10. I got baptized one month ago!
  11. I have the best niece and nephew, who currently can't pronounce my name.  They call me "Dan-la". 
And now for my nominees...
And here are my 11 questions:
1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
2. If you could meet one famous person, living or dead, who would it be?
3. What is the best concert you've ever been to?
4. What grades have you taught? What is your favorite grade to teach?  
5.  What is the best holiday or celebration to have at school?
6. What is your favorite book for adults?
7. What is your favorite children's book?
8. If you were not a teacher, what would you do?
9. What is your least favorite part of teaching?
10. What is the best teaching advice you've ever gotten?
11. Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Thank you again to all my nominators! It was so fun to answer all the questions :) 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Just a Few Random Things...Homework and Habits

Today I'm linking up with a couple great bloggers!  First, The Applicious Teacher for her weekly share.  The topic this week is homework.  I don't know about you guys, but homework drives me crazy.  I've tried doing it lots of different ways, but no matter what, I find kindergarten students need family support to complete homework.  Unfortunately, not all of my students have that support, so I've never prioritized homework.  I send it home for the kids who want to complete it, but I don't let it take up a lot of my time.  (Plus...I don't think homework should take up much of their time either.  They are five and they need plenty of time to play!)

I do prioritize our bags of books, which I send home each week with 5 new books.  Kids are rewarded if they bring their books back on time and my assistant or I try to check in with them and listen to them read a book or two.  For the rest of homework, I've found a monthly calendar works best for me.

At the beginning of the month, I look at our monthly goals and write simple activities that can be completed at home.  Here's an example.
Parents initial the completed boxes, and kids return it at the end of the month for a treat (special pencil or eraser, dojo points, etc.)  I like it because it helps parents see what we're learning and it also incorporates choice.  How do you do homework?  Link up with Leigh to tell us!

And now, I'm linking up with Amy to share a few new products!

I am super excited because I finished my 7 Habits Superhero books!  The last two books are Sarah and Theo Seek First to Understand (Habit 5) and Superheroes Synergize (Habit 6).  Like my other habits books, these are simple stories to teach the habits - perfect for primary students!  I have included large versions, great for the classroom library, and smaller versions (in color or black and white) to send home.  I hope you like them!  (Update 8/22/15: Franklin Covey has asked that all 7 Habits products be removed from TpT, so this product is no longer available.  So sorry!)


And now that I've finished all 7 stories, I am offering them in a bundle for a reduced price.  By purchasing the bundle you will get one and a half stories free!  So if you haven't bought them yet, this is perfect for you!  (Update 8/22/15: Franklin Covey has asked that all 7 Habits products be removed from TpT, so this product is no longer available.  So sorry!)
If you have already bought the first five stories, thank you!  I so appreciate your support.  Proactive Pete is my number one selling product!  I don't want you to miss out on the bargain, so if you've bought all five of the previous books, send me an email or leave a comment with your TpT username, and I will email you the last two books for free.

I really hope you all like them!  I am so excited to have a full set of superhero books to teach the 7 habits to my kids this fall.

Thanks for sticking with me through my rambling.  Do you have anything "sweet" to share?  Link up with Amy !

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ten Pins for Reading

Today I'm linking up with Ashley for Ten Pins about Reading!  Seriously, what did we do before pinterest?  I love all the new ideas I get from there.  And Ashley's linkys help me find the very best pins for teaching!  Since I teach kindergarten, I use the Daily 5 format with some modifications.  I include developmental centers along with my daily 5 centers, but I work a lot on building their stamina for independent and buddy reading throughout the year.  Here are some of the best reading ideas I've found lately!
Brown Bag Book Club: Students fill out the reader response form. Fill the back with popcorn and divide students into groups to discuss the story. They can snack as they share what they learned.  
This is a super cute idea from Cara Carroll.  Brown Bag Book Club!  There are so many ways you could modify the responses.  You could even do picture responses for beginning kinders.  I think my kids would love to talk about the books we've read while munching away on popcorn!

I really want to do a Reading Web this year.  Each paperclip is one book read at home.  It would be so cool to see it grow throughout the year!

Don't you love this?  The quote is so very true and the giraffe wearing glasses is adorable. 
I've used these Daily 5 motions a lot to practice cross-checking with my students.  I love the idea of making it into a poster - especially a poster featuring the students.  They love to see themselves around the classroom. 

Cute, simple anchor chart.  Perfect for introducing books at the beginning of the year.

I went to a training this spring on the importance of vocabulary instruction.  Since then, I have tried to be more purposeful in how I teach vocabulary, and which words I choose to teach.   I think this is a great idea to help keep those words fresh in everybody's mind.  It would be cool (for one's where it could apply) to add a picture clue next to the word, too.

Love this simple pointer to help kids highlight sight words when reading!
These reading boxes are so cute, especially the pictures on the front that show each kid reading.  Perfect way to remind them they are readers, every day!

I love the book Peter's Chair and this looks like a great way to teach theme!

This is another great anchor chart for making connections.  I love the detailed pictures and descriptions.

Now it's your turn! Go to Just Reed and link up all your favorite reading pins!
Also, I wanted to tell you about another giveaway I'm a part of.  Polka Dot Palace is celebrating 100 followers with 4 great giveaways! 
And if you are a fellow Carolina blogger, want to meet up?  Go to Amanda's blog and read about a possible North and South Carolina get together!

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Currently: July

Can you believe it is already July?  Eek...where is my summer going?  Anyways, here's my currently...
Listening: Highway Don't Care - Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift.  I love that song.
Loving: Summer Thunderstorms.  I know some people around me have lost power lately so I'm sure they are not loving it, but there is nothing so relaxing as hearing the rain pour while I laze around in bed.  And it's so nice how the storms cool down the hot temperatures a little bit!
Thinking: I really need to go to yoga class...which starts in an hour.  But I've spent the last week being really lazy at the beach and it's hard to get back to good habits!
Wanting: Chocolate ice cream...I'm such a sucker for ice cream pretty much all the time but especially in the summer.  And doesn't watching The Bachelorette with a bowl of ice cream sound better than yoga class?  I think so.
Needing: Motivation.  Summer is so relaxing, but it makes me feel like I have all the time in the world and I have so many things I want to do for home and for school before I go back to work in August. 
Tips/tricks/hints: I'm a relatively new blogger and TpT seller, and it is so easy to compare myself to big bloggers like Cara Carroll or Babbling Abby.  But doing that is just discouraging, so I have to remind myself that at one time they were just starting, too, and only had a few followers.  We all have to make our own pace with this and keep it fun!

Before I sign off, congratulations to Lori, Missie, and Rachel for winning my Owls and Chevron products.  Check your email!  To everyone else, these two products are 20 percent off through Thursday (click the pictures below)!  And please let me know what other Owl and Chevron products you'd like to see!

Also, be sure to check out my friend Amy's awesome giveaway at 24/7 Teacher. You have the opportunity to win so many amazing things including those really cool pencil sharpeners!  Good luck!
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