Image Map

Monday, July 30, 2012

Make Your Students Feel Good About Their Reading with this FREEBIE!

Hello there!

Man, is it crunch time for me.  

I get married in 5 days!!!  5!!!  This will probably be the last post for me for quite awhile while I finish up everything for the wedding, then get married to a pretty cute guy, then dance a lot, and eat some cake (and s'mores, we're having a s'mores bar!! Yum!!!!), and then go on a romantic and worry free honeymoon for 10 days.

Hopefully Jenna will pop in a few times while I'm away :)

Anyways, on to the teacher stuff.

I am always looking for ways to make my little guys {and gals} feel good about themselves.  After all, we know how much a good compliment means to us, right?  Well kids like 'em too.

I plan on posting many of the ways I do this throughout the year, but today I'm sharing one I haven't done yet, but can't wait to start, come September.

I was inspired by this little picture on Pinterest.
How cute is this??

Which lead to me the website Grace is Overrated.  I love this website. I had actually pinned something of her's earlier.  See, the blog's author, Christie, is an amazing graphic designer who makes and sells all sorts of ADORABLE printables for adults.  Mostly journal pages, but also really cute stuff like that little note above.{Check out the free baby shower printable. Too cute!}

Christie writes that she was inspired by a comment on one of her posts about leaving random notes of encouragement for strangers in various places.  So she crafted the teeny-tiny inspiration note above.  Now, I'm all for random acts of kindness, and I do them regularly {so much fun, and make you feel sooo good!}, but the little note in the book got me thinking.

Which lead me to this. {Click on the picture to get your free copy!}
Graphics courtesy of My Cute Graphics.

Or, if you like the original version above, click here.

I'm going to leave these little note-doo-dads in the pages of my kiddos' books randomly.  Last year The Daily 5 changed my life.  I saw ALL of my kids reading for pleasure regularly.  Even my struggling readers.  It made me all kinds of happy.  And this year, I'm going to share the happiness!  I plan on leaving these notes in the pages of books I can tell my kiddos are really reading and enjoying.  I love that they'll stumble upon it, read it, start to feel pretty awesome, and then KEEP ON READING!!!  So cool!!!!

I even left the last one blank for an extra personal message.  Maybe something like this:

"You have really grown as a reader!  In September this book was too big for you.  Now it fits just right! Love, Mrs. H"

I'm gonna have to get used to that Mrs. H stuff.

I hope you can use them and enjoy them.  I cannot wait to give them a go in my room!

I'm off to practice walking in my wedding shoes, have a wonderful day!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm Backkk...

Well I know it has been quite some time since I have posted and I must apologize.  Luckily, my wonderful friend and grade partner has been keeping up to speed. I actually saw her yesterday for the first time ALL summer! ( HOW SAD Halle!) She has been busy getting ready for her big day and still manages to find time to make her little cutesy craftivities and worksheets for school. Almost a week away and I cannot wait to see how gorgeous she will look on her special day.

Whats new with me? Well, I just returned from 6 days in Vegas. It was Ant's (my boyfriend) first time there and I must say I did a pretty good job of making sure he saw and did plenty. We saw the fabulous Jersey Boys, The Beatles LOVE, and the hilarious Vinny Favorito. I also hit on a slot machine for $600 dollars. I never have that kind of luck, but I helped a woman in her wheel chair in the bathroom that night so I am considering my win, GOOD KARMA. We had a fabulous time and were sad to return knowing that we don't have another vacation planned yet. ( I have and would like to think that I always will be a jet setter.)

Aside from Vegas, I spent the week of the fourth of July in good old Sea Isle City, New Jersey. My grandparents rent a house the same week every year, its a tradition we've had for 22 years. My mom's side of the family all crams in a house and spends 7 days doing almost everything together. There are approximately 18 people in the house. The past few years my mom's cousin and their family come down which always makes for more fun when having dinner. You know how us Italian's are when we cook...we have leftovers for months! When heading to the beach it is almost impossible to miss us, there is up to a good 45 people on the beach. It's a week where we're bound to get on each others nerves, but it makes me realize how truly lucky I am to have such an incredible family. My Pop turned 86 on July 3. I am more grateful as each year passes to have such a wonderful man in my life. Here is a picture of us on the beach:

He is usually pretty sturdy on his feet, but we got him one of those wheel chairs with the big wheels. I was shocked he agreed to get in it, but he said anything to get to the beach with his family. ( We all know I'm his favorite) Here is another picture of him on his 86th birthday, He loves his Ray-Bans!

Okay, I'm sorry...I'm sure you've had enough but I just love that man to pieces! In other life news..I've reached the big 2-7! My birthday was July 15th, I think this will be my best year yet. Well, aside from my year in Hawaii, that will be pretty impossible to beat.My laptop is currently  not working ( womp, womp...again), So I am using Big Deb's for now( my crazy mother).  Ant and I are still on the mad hunt for our *PERFECT* yet reasonable apartment in the city. Boy it is tough! All I want is one year in Philadelphia, then it's back to Jersey for us! We are trying to save so we have a price limit, but we can't seem to fins any place that we love and has availability for our price.  Now is the best time for us to do it, so why not? I'm still bartending and cannot wait until the day that I don't have to do it anymore. I also have been teaching summer school the past few weeks and trying to get myself motivated to get my butt and classroom in gear for this year. It isn't easy considering all of the changes that are being made. I am trying to work on some new exciting projects for my classroom and as soon as I am complete I will share. I cannot believe that we only have about a month left of summer! However, I did see an old co-workers post from Hawaii and they went back on Tuesday! Okay, that's all for me for now...heading to A.C. Moore, Target, Office Depot, and Lakeshore! Here's to hoping I don't spend too much money! Have a wonderful Thursday!

Monday, July 23, 2012

All About Me: A Linky Party!

I always love learning more about my favorite bloggers, so when Amy Lemon's decided to host a "Tell Me More, Tell Me More" Linky Party I had to jump right in!

Here are some things you may not know about me:

1} I'm terrified of drains.  When I was a little girl, I somehow convinced myself that Mr. Rogers said a little boy fell down the drain of his bathtub! I'm not sure what Mr. Rogers actually said, or if it was anything remotely close...perhaps a story about a boy, or a drain, or a bathtub?  But I still won't go near my shower drain during a shower, and I'm 29!

2} My grade partners call me Captain.  I love my grade partners.  Jenna, who occasionally blogs here when she's not living a fabulously exciting life, is one of them.  At the beginning of the year last year, they started calling me Captain, because I NEED everything to look cute.  My favorite way to cutesify any paper is by using fonts.  They're my addiction. You can find my favorites here.

3} I'm getting married in less than 2 weeks!!  It's crazy to think that something I've been planning for a year, is all of the sudden 12 days away!  On top of all the wedding stress, we're having 8 people stay at our house the Thursday and Friday before the wedding, so we've been putting together our fair share of Ikea furniture, and painting our fair share of guest rooms.  There's a chance I may wear a straight-jacket down the aisle.

4} Speaking of preparing for the wedding, I got my teeth Zoom Whitened today.  The good parts: It was a Groupon, and therefore significantly cheaper than the normal cost of the procedure and my teeth are definitely whiter!! {Not that they were that bad before!} The BAD parts: I have sensitive teeth, and I am experiencing the side-effect the dentist called "zingers" and let me tell you these zingers HURT.  They come out of nowhere, and if you have sensitive teeth, you know the pain I am talking about {just multiply it by 10}.  OUCH!!!

5} I'd pick TV over movies any day.  I'm not a big TV watcher in the first place, but I would pick a "Say Yes to the Dress" or "Friends" marathon over watching a movie anytime.

6} I'd make an exception for Clueless.  Hands down favorite movie of all time.

7} Cheeseburgers are hands down my favorite food.

8} I wish I was a southern belle.  It doesn't help that almost every blogger I love {Cara, Abby, Amy, Hope} is from the south!  What is up with that?!

9} I'm not a fan of the term "furbabies", but my dog Georgie Girl is definitely my baby.  I wish she could come to school with me everyday!

10} I LOVE ruffles. 

11} We're honeymooning in Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley, and San Francisco...and I CANNOT WAIT!!! I love my wine, but I am slightly intimidated by the thought of wine tastings.  Any advice?

12} My favorite stores are HomeGoods, Target, Forever 21, and that order

This is the actual face I make every time I get a "zinger"!!!

13} My teeth still hurt.

So, there ya go...nothing too amazing, but I do hope you learned a little bit about me!  And if you have any remedies for sharp, shooting, tooth pain, I AM ALL EARS!!!

One more thing!!! Tania, over at My Second Sense, is hosting a giveaway, and we're taking part.  You can win any item from my TpT shop, as well as some other awesome gifts by other awesome bloggers!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Have You Heard About These Amazing Giveaways? Plus, My Number of the Day Freebie for You!

I could've sworn today was Thursday.  So much so, that even though my iPhone said Friday, I turned on the TV just to make sure.  And it's not Thursday, it's Friday. Shucks.  I feel like I lost a day somehow.

Thanks to Casey's giveaway over at Second Grade Math Maniac, we went from less than 100 followers to over 100 followers pretty quickly!!!  {Thanks Casey!!}  And since we didn't have the chance to put together a big giveaway for you, I decided to whip a freebie up for you instead!

It's my Number & Word of the Day sheets.  I plan on printing them on cardstock back to back and laminating them, then using them as morning work weekly.

Have any of you done something similar before?  For example: Monday: Journal Writing, Tuesday: Number of the Day, Wednesday: Word of the Day, etc?  I never have, but I thought I might give it a go this year.  If you have an opinion about it, I'd love to hear it!

Anyways, you can grab the sheets at our TpT shop.  I made 2 different leveled math sheets, thinking I'll use one for the first half of the year, and switch over to the second one the second half of the year.

You know I love feedback, so please leave it here or at our TpT shop if you find yourself downloading the sheets!

And now for 2 giveaways that put my freebie to shame.  Seriously.

Amanda Madden over at Teaching Maddeness is having a 500 Followers Giveaway, and you can win a $50 Amazon giftcard!! Yes!! How cool, I know, and she's made it so easy to enter!  Head on over.

Courtney over at Swimming into Second is offering 10 days of giveaways to celebrate 1,000 followers. Wow!  Congrats Courtney.  She is giving away some amazing prizes, so make sure to enter each day!

Have a good one!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

You Know I Can't Resist a Picture Book Linky!!

Hello everyone!

The Teacher Wife is hosting a Linky Party for favorite picture books, and it has been killing me that I haven't had the time to post mine.  I took place in a linky like this before, and since it's so hard to pick just 5 books, I'm going to pick 5 different books.  But seriously, check out the books I wrote about before, they are awesome.
The Teacher Wife

Without further ado...

1} When the Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant.
The copy that I have of this book is so old and beat up, but for good reason.  This is a book my mom read to us when we were younger.  It's about a family reunion, and I love how perfectly Cynthia Rylant describes the whole experience {eating, hugging, talking, hugging, kissing, hugging}.  The pictures are great, and my kiddos love it.  I usually read it during Back-to-School because the book just screams summer memories to me.  I have never used it as a mentor text for anything, I just love reading it my class for pure entertainment, but this book could be used for so many skills.

Buy it here
(Amazon doesn't have an image for it.  I wonder if it may be out of print.  If it is, scoop it up right now!!)

2} When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant

Yes, another Cynthia Rylant book!  This is another favorite from my childhood.  This book is partly autobiographical.  Again, Cynthia Rylant does such an amazing job of painting a picture with words of what it was like growing up in the mountains.  I am in love with all of Cynthia Rylant's books, including Henry and Mudge!

Buy it here

3} Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran (and illustrated by Barbara fave!!!)
I actually use this book to introduce communities, but I have an ulterior motive every time I read it.  This book celebrates imagination.  It goes back to a time when kids didn't have video games or laptops.  I am always trying to tell my kiddos how important it is to get outside and use their imagination.  This book actually makes them listen to me, because it makes using their imagination look fun!!  And of course, the pictures are beautiful, because they're by the wonderful Ms. Barbara Cooney!

Please buy it here.

4} Dogzilla by Dave Pilkey
Your kids will go gaga over this book.  I don't care if you teacher Kindergarten or 6th grade.  The concept is gross and funny {really bad dog breath}, which is a guaranteed successful formula for read alouds.  When I taught 3rd grade, I read this book without showing pictures to reinforce "voice".  My students laughed the whole time, sans pictures!!!!  It was the perfect book to show how important it is for voice to come through in one's writings.  Now, in 2nd, I use it for fun, with a reinforcement sheet afterwards.  Amy Lemon's just posted some great ones that I'll be sure to have on hand!

Buy it here.

5} The Pain and The Great One by Judy Bloom

Yet another book from my childhood.  This book is told from two perspectives {The Pain and The Great One}.  I'll let you guess which one is which!  I feel so fortunate that my mom exposed me to so many wonderful books as a child, books that stood the test of time!  THANKS MOM!!!  This book is perfect for teaching points of view.  I use it to launch a writing piece that I'll blog about in the future.  It's also fun because your students will identify and side with one character or the other, despite Judy Bloom doing a wonderful job of showing both sides. {I'll let you guess who I side with, being the oldest sibling ;)}

Buy it here.

All the links to buy the books are for  I am a Prime member, which means I get everything {Prime Eligible} in 2 days when I order from Amazon.  Prime has saved me so many times when I need something last minute {fake mustaches for my class for example!!}, so I am a loyal {non-paid} fan of Amazon.

I hope I was able to turn you on to some new books!  I have loved finding new books from so many of you!

Have a good one!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Name is Halle, and I am a Font Addict: A Linky Party!

Good Morning!

Miss Nelson, over at Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera is hosting a Linky Party of my favorite sort, A FONT Linky Party.

I am addicted to fonts.

I have been forever.  Since before the very first teacher blogged.  When my first lap top crashed, I didn't mourn the pictures lost, I mourned the fonts.

I used to pay for fonts.  I still will, if I really love it.  I almost dropped 80 bucks on a font for my wedding invitations, until I found a suitable *free* replacement.  But now, through teacher bloggers mostly, I've discovered site such as Kevin and Amanda, Really Quite Lucky, Miss Tiina, and dafont.

So, without further very favorite fonts {it was soooo hard to pick!}
Click on the picture to make it larger.  Sorry it's sooo small!
My go to font is ck handprint.  Google it, it's free.  I almost had it as my favorite font for student sheets, but some letters {like to O} in ck handprint don't show up as capital.  And since I am so strict about proper capitalization in my classroom, I feel like sort of a hypocrite when I use ck handprint for student sheets.

While I was deciding on my favorite fonts by using {thank you Miss Nelson!  Genius!}, I rediscovered what I already knew...I have a specific addiction to dot fonts.  See image below: the picture to make it bigger!

It has taken more forever to find the perfect dot font.  Right now it's Hello Dot Stick, but before that it was Scrap Circles, and before that DJ Doodlers.  I just think dot fonts scream "TEACHER!!!  TEACHER OF ELEMENTARY STUDENT RIGHT HERE!!!!!"  Although, I know a middle school teacher at my school who uses Scrap Circles, and I am obsessed with everything she does and makes.  She's amazing.

So there you have it, my favorite fonts, broken into categories {great idea Miss Nelson!}.  Most of them are free, but I think anything that starts "LD" or "Scrap" I purchased from Lettering Delights.

Go check out Miss Nelson's blog to find some new fonts, or share yours!

Run Miss Nelsons got the Camera

And just to remind you, I'm giving away 3 sets of cute classroom labels here.

All you have to do is leave me a comment with marriage {or any} advice.  I've gotten a lot of good advice already, so thank you if that's you!

Have a good one!


Monday, July 16, 2012

New Classroom Labels by ME, means a Give Away for YOU!

Hi Friends!

Happy Monday!  {Our superintendent would be so proud of me for saying that}

I've been perusing your blogs all morning, and it made me feel pretty lazy with all of your "Monday Made Its".  I'm gonna have to get on that train.  But, at least you inspired me to get my butt in gear and finish my classroom labels...finally.  They've been a work in progress for months, I keep neglecting them to work on something else.

There are so many cute classroom labels out there, and I want to buy them all and label everything in my classroom times 10. I especially need them this year because I will have 5 ELL students, most of them from Burma.  Creating a print rich environment is one of the best things I can do for them, as well as the rest of my kiddos.

  BUT....Dave is gonna kill me if I walk in the door one more time with another colored ink cartridge.  So, to avoid any pre-wedding throw downs, I designed some cute, cute, cute labels I can print in black and white, or more specifically: grayscale :)

Then, after I made the "Dave Approved" labels, I thought to myself, "These would look cute with a POP of color".  So that's what I did, I added Jessica Weible's cutsie-patootsie doodle kids {don't tell Dave}!!!

Both options are up in my TpT store if you wanna check 'em out!  There are labels for all the items in your classroom as well as days, months, and years.  Plus, there are blank labels if you want to use them for binders or anything I may have forgotten.

 Andddd, since we have so many new followers from Casey's Super-Spectacular, Second-Grade Give-Away, I am going to give a set of your choice away to 3 followers who comment on this post.  All you have to do is give me one piece of marriage advice...since my wedding is LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AWAY!!!!  And if you're not yet married, give your favorite piece of teacher advice.  Or style advice.  or advice in general.  Oh, and, don't forget your email!!!

I'll pick the winners via one of those random number generator thingies by tomorrow night!

Oh, and PS...go check out Casey's Giveaway.  We're participating, and you can win my Back to School {MEGA} Book Pack as well as lots of other goodies.  Target gift card, anyone?


Sunday, July 15, 2012


Hey there!

Just a quick post to let you all know our friend Casey is having a pretty sa-weeeeet giveaway over at her blog, Second Grade Math Maniac!

And we're participating!  You can win my {Halle} Back to School {MEGA} Book Pack.  I might be partial, but I think it rocks, and that it's so totally necessary for the beginning of your school year.

Casey {and tons of your favorite bloggers} have some awesome items to give away...and you don't even need to be a 2nd grade teacher!

Stop on over and check it out.  You will fall in love with her blog as soon as you see it...I know I'm lovin' it!



Friday, July 13, 2012

We Have a Button!!!!

Yes, I know.  I am so much more excited about having a button than you are.  Hence the 3470974 exclamation points!

I'm just getting home from a super fun Bachelorette Weekend in Baltimore, followed by 5 days of pure relaxation in Ocean City, NJ. I'm serious, I didn't even touch a computer. I am so proud of myself.  My vacation, combined with a fast approaching wedding (3 weeks!!! Ahhhhh!!), is leading to a serious lack of any teacher thoughts what-so-ever, so I don't have much to offer today.

Just wanted to check in and show off our button.  Grab it if you'd's over there, to the right!


Now I'm off to catch up on my favorite teacher blogs! Hopefully you guys have some good inspiration for me!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Baltimore Here We Come, and a {FREE} Book Log!!!

Hello there!

I'm getting ready to head to Baltimore for my Bachelorette Party, and I am so excited because it means seeing my "Ohio Bridesmaids". (Quick Back Story: I'm from Ohio originally, and many of my nearest and dearest still live there).  We're gonna lay low Friday night, then go all out on Saturday, including a Pirate Grog Cruise (read: Pirate Booze Cruise)...I mean how cool is that!!!????

As a thank you for making the trip (even my Jersey girls are looking at a 2+ hour drive, and that won't be much fun come Sunday morning...), I put together a little "Morning After Kit" to help them with their hangovers. 

(Yes, I realize none of this is educational, but it's summer!)

Not so good picture
Here's what I included:
-face wipes
-Pill Box with Motrin
-a mini-bottle of vodka (You know, bite the dog that bit ya!)

And how cute are those containers?!??

So tomorrow it's Baltimore or Bust!

And since you read through all of that I am rewarding you!  My mom tutors, and asked me to make a book log for her student.  I thought since I already made it, I might as well share it.  You can get it from our TpT shop for fa-ree!   There's a boy, girl, and neutral version :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th!


Monday, July 2, 2012

My {Very First} Currently!

I've loved reading everyone's Currentlies (I think I just made up a word) for as long as they've been around, but for whatever reason, I never did one....well today is the day my friends! I am linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade!

It should come as no surprise that I absolutely love Miss Rumphius!  

I've also hinted before that I love Razzle Dazzle Writing.  I comb it over every summer.  Especially this summer, because I am really trying to overhaul my writing instruction {it's the one subject our school doesn't currently have any sort of curriculum for}.
If you are in charge of your writing program, or if you need something extra to add to it, I highly recommend this book.  Melissa Forney makes writing fun!!!

Click Farley's button to head over to her blog and link up {I don't know what I love more, the bunting or the mustache}

And, just a reminder that sweet Mrs. Stanford is hosting the mother of all give-aways over at her blog.  Go check it out!

I'm off to follow the Rule of 3!

Have a great day!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Mother of All Give-Aways!

Just popping in to let you know about Mrs. Stanford's Give-Away over at her blog.

I have never seen so many fabulous prizes.  Ever.

Check it out!