Monday, July 29, 2013

Coming Soon....

August is nearly here and so much will be happening!!

First up, I am hosting a Back to School Sale August 1 and 2!  Everything in my store will be 20% off!

And, next weekend, I am participating in a blog hop that you won't want to miss!!

The week after, will be August's Facebook Frenzy!

And, with August, will come my August Brag Board linky party!

Be sure to follow and to share with all of your friends so that you won't miss it!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pin it to Win it Winner!

Are you the winner?? Roxanne Clinton!! Congratulations on your awesome win! You get to choose two items from my store!!
Thanks to everyone for playing!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

So much to do, So little time!!

So much to do, so little time!  Does anyone else feel this way yet?

I am down to just over three weeks left of summer and I am starting to feel the pressure!  Organizing, decorating, planning, creating....  While this is one of the most stressful times of year, this is also my absolute favorite time of year!!  I love seeing the back to school commercials and going down the back to school aisles and creating new decorations and printing students names onto everything.  I love it all!  I know, my non-teacher friends tell me all the time how nerdy that sounds!

To celebrate my favorite time of year, I am participating in lots of giveaways, blog hops, and sales!!  Yea, I know what you love! =)

First up, my Pin it to Win it Giveaway winner is going to be announced tomorrow!  Have you entered yet?  Only a few hours left.  The winner gets free choice of any two items from my store!

Next up will be my Hello August, Back to School Sale!  Everything in my store will be 20% off August 1 and 2.  You don't wanna miss it! It is the perfect chance to pick up all of those things on your wishlist.

Then, be on the lookout for a blog hop AND a Facebook hop.  Yep, that means LOTS of FREEBIES!!  We will be hosting a special blog hop beginning August 4.  Be sure to tell all your friends to follow so that you don't miss out. And our next Facebook Frenzy will begin August 9.  So many things happening!!

Be sure to keep checking back!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Morning Calendar

I am curious to know about your morning calendar routine.  What do you think is essential? How long do you spend on calendar time? What is your routine?  Do you have one student helper and the rest of the class answer?  How do you keep them engaged?

I have been tackling over morning calendar since I first started teaching.  It became so monotonous at times and it didn't seem to be working so I would quit half way through the year.  I felt like the kids were lost and it was "down time" for the rest of the students that weren't the "helper" for the day.  They weren't as engaged as I would have liked and I wasn't sure if they were even getting it. It wasn't showing in their work.  Does anyone else feel this frustrated with calendar or do I just have high expectations?  I don't like to feel like I am wasting my time with one thing when there is something else that I could be doing.

This year, I tried something new.  Let me tell you, I loved it!!  Here is what I did.  I created a calendar template with many of the things we cover during that time and printed it onto card stock.  Then I laminated it so that the students could write on it with dry erase markers.  I made one for each student in my class.  Each morning, as part of their morning work, they had to write the date and day of the week (it would take them so long to copy down some of those words so I would make them get it ready before we began calendar).  Then, as we began calendar, my helper would go through the calendar on the smart board (as we discussed each thing) and then the rest of the class would do it on their "dry erase board."

As the year went on, I noticed that the kids were participating more.  They were trying to answer questions.  They were trying to fill in the squares on their board before we announced the answer.  They were even noticing patterns in the different things that we were doing!  It was fantastic!  And best of all, I KNEW what they understood.  I could see it right there on their board.  I knew which kids were just copying the answers from the board and which ones were actually understanding the skills.

So, I am sharing my morning calendar with you!  We call it our Calendar Helper because it is so very helpful!  I am sharing it with you as a flash freebie for the next hour.  Be sure to grab it quick!

This calendar board is also a part of my homework and classwork helpers pack.  The pack includes phonics, math, sight words, reading comprehension, and now calendar.  You can check out this great bundle here!  If you love it, and have a chance, please leave some feedback!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Facebook Frenzy AND a Pin it to Win it!

Today is the LAST DAY of the Facebook Frenzy!!  Don't forget to hop over and pick up your 30+ freebies!  It ends tonight at 9:00.

AND, as promised, I am hosting another Pin it to Win it Giveaway!  This one will be my best one yet!  With this Pin it to Win it, you get the opportunity to win any TWO products from my store!  It is YOUR CHOICE!  So here is how it works.  Hop over to my store and pick out the two things that you would love to have.  Then, PIN THEM!  Yep, that easy! After you are done, enter the URL into the rafflecopter below.  You get an entry for every pin and this time I am allowing up to 4 pins a day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Classroom Themes and a Word Wall

I have been working on my classroom theme, starting with a word wall.  I wanted to give you a little preview of it and see what you think!

I made four different sets!  There are two sets with a monkeys and polka dots theme, one print and one in cursive.  And there are two sets with just a polka dot theme, one print and one cursive.  Each set includes over 1,200 word cards!!

What do you think? I am currently working on the rest of my decor.  What do you think is necessary for a decor pack?  I would love to hear your ideas!  Meanwhile, you can pick up any of these word wall packs for only $2 today and tomorrow only!  Just click on the picture above or here to head over to my store!

Also, don't forget to go by my Facebook page for the hop!  You can pick up 33 freebies including the one below!

Friday, July 19, 2013

33 Freebies? Yes, Please!!

I know, I know....I completely dropped the ball this week with my Pin it to Win it Giveaway.  Can I make it up to you? =)  How about a Facebook Frenzy where you can hop around and get 33 FREEBIES?  Yep, 33!  Wow! I know!

Hop over and like my Facebook page so that you can start hopping and collecting your freebies!!

Here is a a little preview of my own freebie:

Make sure you pick it up, because it will only be free this weekend!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Let's Celebrate with a Flash Freebie!

Let's celebrate the Liebster award with a Flash Freebie!!  Last week, Terri Brown won my Number Sense Pack on the Pin it to Give it Giveaway.  If you entered but didn't win that's okay.  I am hosting a Number Sense Flash Freebie for the next two hours!!  Go get it now!!  If you download, please leave feedback!


Liebster Award! So honored!

I am so excited to announce that I have been nominated for a Liebster award!!  YAY!  I am so honored!  Pauline over at First Grade by the Sea nominated me and I cannot thank her enough!

The Liebster award is for new blogs with less than 200 followers.  I am honored to accept the award as well as to nominate more blogs like mine!

To accept the award I must:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me.
2. Nominate 5 - 11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted by your nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them.

My nominees are:
Samantha at Making Lemonade in Second Grade
Mrs. Black at Mrs. Black's Bees
Adrienne at A Day in the Life of a Kindergartener
Lindsay at Beyond the Worksheet
All Things Elementary at Forever a Teacher, Forever a Learner
Caroline at Educator Designs
Becky at First Grade Friend-Zee!

Pauline's questions to me were:

1. What is your favorite subject to teach? Reading is definitely my favorite subject. I recently got my Master's degree in Reading and Literacy.  It is kind of ironic, as I started out in college as a math major.  I always loved math and thought that I would be a middle or high school math teacher.  As the world of little ones was opened up to me, I realized that I couldn't want anything more.  I got my first job as a second grade teacher and was floored.  I was planning on teaching upper elementary and I felt like I truly had no idea what I was doing.  Fortunately I had a great principal and a great curriculum coordinator that was willing to send me to some amazing conferences!  I met Timothy Rasinski, Ruth Culham, Erin Gruwell, and more!  That's when I knew I loved to teach reading!  Now, as a first grade teacher, I think that reading, above all, must be your priority and hopefully your favorite!

2. Why did you start blogging?  I started into the blogging world as an observer. I enjoyed following teaching blogs and getting some ideas. The more that I go into it, the more that I realized that I could be more than an observer. I could create products to share. I had ideas to share. I could use feedback on my work. I could use a network of teachers to help me to become a better teacher. Then I started to blog.

3. What is your favorite part about blogging? I love getting feedback and learning new ways to make myself a better teacher. I love sharing ideas with other teachers, bouncing ideas around, and getting new strategies!  It is like having a huge "team" online!

4. What would you have done if you did not become a teacher?
If I had not become a teacher.... I have no idea. I have always known I would be a teacher. Some thoughts that I have had though: a children's author, a cartoonist, a social worker, a counselor, a singer, a wedding planner... LOL I guess the world would be pretty open to different opportunities!

5. What is something that is on your bucket list?
To write a children's book. I have so many ideas, but have never thought my writing to be good enough for publishing. So for now, I will just keep writing down my ideas. Maybe one day I will be brave enough and find enough time to turn into an actual book!

6. What is your dream vacation? Italy! I have always dreamed of visiting Italy. To be able to see the ruins, and visit Florence, and ride one the gondolas. I imagine it would be amazing! 
7. Where did you go to school? I went to school at Bridgewater College in Virginia. It is a small school in the Shenandoah Valley and it is wonderful. I loved going to a small school, where the professors actually knew me and I knew them. I felt like I was a part of something and not just a number.

8. What is your favorite children's book? Oh that is a difficult one. I love so many! Let's see, one of my favorite children's books is Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon! This book is absolutely adorable and great for the beginning of the year and teaching about how everyone is different and that is what makes us special.

9. What is one goal that you have made for yourself this year? To make my math curriculum more challenging and in depth. I started this goal toward the end of last year and plan to continue it with the upcoming school year. They have just made the Virginia standardized test more difficult for both math and reading and I feel like the pressure is coming! While my firsties don't have to take the test, they still need to be challenged more and have a more solid grasp of the concepts before moving to second grade. That is why you see me posting so many math products lately! =)

10. What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life? My children. I have three amazing, smart, crazy, wild boys! While they keep me very busy, I could not be more proud of the young men they are becoming.

11. Are you married? Do you have children? I have been married for nearly 8 years and we have 3 boys together!

11 Random Facts about myself:

1. I love to read.  I can pick up a book and be lost in it until it is done.  I will laugh and cry with the characters!
2. I used to draw cartoons.  I know it sounds silly but I used to love drawing cartoons and when I was in third grade won an award for it at our county fair. 
3.  I have been teaching myself how to do designs for my blog and graphics.  I research it online and try it out until it works.
4. My husband is from England.
5. I have my Master's degree in Reading and Literacy.
6. My family used to raise pigs when I was a little girl.
7. I went to Hawaii for my honeymoon and can't wait to go back.
8. I have a little sister and became an aunt in April!
9. I used to live and teach in South Carolina.
10. I gave my boys unique names because I was one of 5 "Jessica"s in my graduating high school class and one of 3 on my first grade team. My boys are Jonah, Carson, and Grayden.
11. I love a pretty garden but cannot keep a plant alive to save my life.  I always worry when I teach plants at school!!

Questions for my nominees:
 (I liked Pauline's questions so much, I stole hers! Can't wait to see your answers!)
1. What is your favorite subject to teach?
2. Why did you start blogging?
3. What is your favorite part about blogging?
4. What would you have done if you did not become a teacher?
5. What is something that is on your bucket list?
6. What is your dream vacation?
7. Where did you go to school?
8. What is your favorite children's book?
9. What is one goal that you have made for yourself this year?
10. What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?
11. Are you married? Do you have children?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bloggy Brag Board

New idea!  I was thinking that we all need one place where we can brag about ourselves just a little bit!  what do you think?

So here is how it works. Each month I will host a Bloggy Brag Board!  You can look for the monthly board, put up your own "brags," and then link up so that we can all follow!

Here is the July Brag Board:

On the Brag Board there are lots of categories for you to brag about!

1. Products: Brag about a product.  It can be your product, one you just purchased, a great freebie, whatever you like! Think about what you are working on, what is seasonal, what you have just posted, and what is popular!

2. Blog: Brag about what is happening on your blog.  It can be giveaways, linkys, new posts, new buttons, whatever is happening!

3. Pinterest: Brag about great Pinterest finds or show off your Pinterest "re-creations!"

4. Classroom: Brag about your classroom!  (Not like we don't do this ALL the time!)  Here is your chance to brag about things you are doing, things your students are doing, show off their work, or just share something special that happened!

5.  Everything Else: Here you can brag about anything else you like!  It can be something from school, home, the "bloggy world," your personal life, etc!

To add your "brags" just save the picture and open it in an editing program (photoshop, pixlr, powerpoint, etc).  Add your text and then save the entire image and upload to your blog.

So here is my July Brag Board!

I finally finished my Number Sense Pack!  It is 450 pages of number cards, sorts, posters, workmats, and worksheets!  It includes numbers, number words, ten frames, tally marks, base ten blocks, tens and ones, money, addition, subtraction, and more!  It is great for students to explore the relationships between different sets of numbers, finding matches, and making comparisons!

I would love for you guys to check it out!

I have been hosting a weekly Pin it to Win it giveaway.  This week it is going great!  If you haven't already entered, be sure to do so below!  You will get a chance to win that Number Sense Pack I was talking about! ;)
Pinterest is EXPLODING with pins about classroom organization and decor! Everyone is thinking about Back to School ALREADY!  I thought I would share two of my favorites that I have found this week.

This first one is for organizing a classroom store.  I don't really do a class store, just a treasure box, but I like the way this is organized.  I don't know about you, but it takes my first grades FOREVER to pick out their prize from the treasure box.  It gets so frustrating that I don't do treasure box nearly as often as I should. I am thinking that organizing the treasure box like this would help them to make their choice quicker.  No more digging around for 10 minutes only to go back to the first thing they picked up!

The second pin was for white boards.  I use white boards in my classroom constantly!!  I also laminate card stock to create white board activities, so I am always on the lookout for ways to make this an easier and more organized task.  At the moment, we have been using pieces of felt as our erasers.  These work, but I have noticed that it leaves my kids' fingers black when they are done.  I found this pin that is using Dollar Store facial cleansers as erasers.  How cool is that?  I love the Dollar Store!

I am about to start my first classroom decor set.  I am thinking monkeys and polka dots.  I love the safari themes that some people do, but most of the ones that I find have a lot of greens and browns.  I want something that is bright and fun to go with my monkeys!  I will keep you updated with how it goes!

Everything Else!:
I have three boys and my middle son is about to start Kindergarten.  We have been "preparing" for it the past few days and it just amazes me how big he is!  Where did the time go?  It breaks my heart to think about how quickly the time is passing and how quickly they are growing up!

So, that is my Bloggy Brag Board.  What do you think?  I hope that you will love it and link up!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Pin it to Win it - Number Sense

This week, as I promised, I am coming back with another Pin it to Win it Giveaway!  This week you get a chance to win my new Number Sense Pack!  That is 450 pages of material! WOW!

My new Number Sense Pack is great for building a sense of how numbers relate to one another and how counting different number sets is similar.  It includes posters, sorts, work mats, and worksheets.  Sorts include number and word cards, money, ten frames, tally marks, ones and tens, base ten blocks, and more!


To win this pack, simply pin the image above and enter the URL into the rafflecopter.  You get an entry into the giveaway for every pin!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pin it to Win it Winner!

My Pin it to Win it Winner is Veronica V.!  Congratulations Veronica!  Remember to check back tomorrow for another Pin it to Win it Giveaway.  I will be giving away my new Number Sense Pack.

Also be sure to follow my Facebook page as we will be doing a Facebook hop here soon!  You don't want to miss out on all of the great freebies!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ready for some Number Sense and giveaways?

I finally got my number sense pack up and running! Yay!  I would love for you guys to check it out.  It will be on sale for today and tomorrow for 50% off!  It is 450 pages of number cards, sorts, posters, task cards, work mats, and more!

Perhaps next week it will be up for a giveaway! *hint* *hint*

 Also, don't forget to check out my Pin it to Win it giveaway below!  Only two more days to enter to win my Chunky Monkey pack!
And....coming soon! I am going to be participating in my first Facebook Hop!  It starts on July 19th so hop over and like my Facebook page so that you don't miss out on some great freebies!