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Monday, December 30, 2013

My Truth Monday: One Word

Well, Denise over at Sunny Days gave me a pretty enticing reason to come out of my blogging slump…

all I had to do was come up with one word for 2014.

2014 word

I chose appreciate because I kind of forgot to feel appreciate all the good things in my life towards the end of 2014. I’ve hinted before that this school year has been beyond stressful for me, add to that some struggles in my personal life and I’ve been feeling pretty unappreciative lately.

The truth is, I have SO MUCH to be grateful for.  A loving, supportive, encouraging, funny, and handsome husband.  Georgie, who so much more than just a pet…she’s a cuddle-bug, stress-relieving, furry bundle of joy (and my cat is pretty cool too).  My mom is my biggest fan and seriously the smartest, wisest, strongest person I know. I'm thankful for our relationship everyday. My grade partners make a stress-inducing year so much more tolerable.  So many bloggers that have offered a support-system, and family and friends that have provided an outlet time and time again.

Add to that all the other good stuff, like a new, cozy, warm home, financial security, good food..,and wine…and there is so much to appreciate.

I vow to pay attention to all that a little more in 2014 :)

Go link up with Denise and share your word for 2014!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Roam the Room Christmas Freebie!!!

Hi Friends!

6 more days until a much needed Christmas Break for me, how about you?

I’m just popping in with a quick freebie for you tonight!

It’s a FREEBIE designed after my “Santa’s Little Helper” Hallway Hunt.  We’ll be using it all next week to review some common core concepts in a fun way before we head off on Christmas Break!


You can read more about “Santa’s Little Helpers” here.

For this freebie, your students roam the room (or the hallway, in my case)  completing a mission for Santa. To help him, they need decide what part of speech is written on the word cards. 


Directions, word cards, and a recording sheet are included in the freebie.




To grab it head over to my Facebook page and click the “Freebies for Fans” tab at the top of the page. 

You will need to “like” my page to access the freebie.  Once you do, it will link you to a folder with tonight's freebie, as well as previous Fan Freebies. Grab them all while you’re there :)

I hope this little activity helps you get through these last few days before break!

Goodnight :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas {{GIVEAWAY}}

It’s officially December and I am officially in the Christmas mindset.

Christmas candles are lit, Christmas lights are up, and our tree is completely ornamented.

{{Ornamented might be a made up word}}

I’m also in a pretty darn good mood because the TpT Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) SALE starts tomorrow!!!!

My cart is stocked. 

See, I like to shop on Monday, earn credits, then go back for more on Tuesday.

It’s my version of “extreme couponing”.

My lil’ store is so stockpiled with Christmas goodies you might think I don’t sell anything else.

But I do!

It’s just, I love Christmas so…

Here are my NEWEST Christmas items. Hot off the presses and posted today! Today, you guys!!!

My Winter-Holidays Comprehension sheets are up.  They’ve also been added to the BUNDLED version, so if you own that, make sure you redownload before the holidays!

Christmas Comprehension Cover

There are 8 passages, and they cover such topics as…
*German Christmas Markets
*Santa’s Many Names
*Christmas in Australia
*Santa Claus
and, of course,

I can’t wait to use them with my kiddos starting this week.  We have just really been getting into going back into the text to support our answers. These passages are beyond perfect for enforcing such an important skill.

click to see button

I’m a million kids of excited about my newest Christmas addition…”Santa’s Little Helpers”


It’s an “Elf-Themed” Hallway Hunt/Read the Room Activity with 3 R/LA and 3 Math activities.  Common Core Aligned and Perfect for 1st and 2nd Grade!

To get your kiddos excited about the Hallway Hunt, I’ve provided some fun printables that they’ll need before they board Santa’s sleigh…

An “Official Letter”…

Boarding Passes…

ID Badges…

PS: They're not really gray. I don't know why Blogger is doing that.  

and then, of course, there are the “missions”






Not all “missions” are shown. There are 6 in all, plus recording sheets to keep your students accountable!

click to see button

And a few days ago I added my Christmas Clues Inferring and Context Clues Center. If you’ve seen my “Costume Clues” or “A Feast of Clues” it’s set-up a lot like that!

Christmas Clues Cover

click to see button

Those are the new items, but my hands-down favorite item in my store is my “Christmas Around the World” unit.


I created it because I wanted my students to have resources to read about each country’s celebrations.  I didn’t want to have to buy a bunch of books from Amazon, or rent them from the library, and I wanted my students to do the reading…


All mini-books are interactive, which means students read about different customs and traditions for each country and then complete an activity on each page…


4-star boys

1-scandinavia book

It’s a HUGE hit and the best part is that my kiddos RETAIN what they’ve learned because they’ve done the reading themselves and interacted with the pages.

Read more about Christmas Around the World in my classroom here.

click to see button

And here are some other items you might want to add to your cart..

Click the image to check it out on TpT!




Winter Comprehension Sheets Cover

Now, for the GIVEAWAY…I’m making it SUPER SIMPLE!  Just comment below with your email…I won’t even make you answer a question this time!  I will pick one winner to pick $20 worth of product from my store. You can have anything you want! It doesn’t have to be listed here!

I will pick a winner before I go to bed tonight. The winner will be announced on my FB Fan Page, so make sure you like me :)

Last time I did a giveaway a few people had trouble commenting. If that happens to you, email me ( and I'll add you to the "Husband Random Numer Generator List". Please only email me if you cannot leave a comment.

Whatever you’re buying, I hope you have shopping the sale tomorrow and Tuesday :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Week: Planned, Plus a Giveaway!!

If you are one of the lucky souls who is off all week for the Thanksgiving Holiday then keep on walkin’. We don’t want your kind here.
I kid. But also, I’m extremely jealous.

We have all half-day this week up to Thanksgiving, but Monday and Tuesday are also conferences.  I am convinced this is to make me feel extra thankful on Thanksgiving. Nothing like a a few stress induced days to take you into the holiday weekend.

One benefit of a short week filled with half-days is that I don’t have to worry about fitting in our basal series in reading, science, or social studies. We get to do fun Thanksgiving stuff instead!

If you’re working like I am this week, here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving products to get you to Turkey Day! 

Don’t forget to comment below to win “A Feast of Clues” (my Thanksgiving Inferring Centers)

A bulk of our learning will be from Stephanie’s “All About Thanksgiving” unit.  I love that it’s common core aligned, so even though we’re taking a break from our regular curriculum resources, I’m still tackling all the skills I need to be.  There is so much to this unit, math, reading, and vocabulary resources, and of course a cute craftivity or two :)
Read more about Stephanie’s unit here. Buy it here.

We’ll also be using my friend Tracy’s “The Trouble with Turkeys” ebook and correlating unit. My class loved her “Wendy the Witch” ebook, so I know this will be a hit!

Read more about it here. Buy it here.

I’ve been pulling from Katie King’s November Busy Teacher all month and I won’t stop this week! Our math series doesn’t introduce time or money until much later in the year, so I’m going to introduce money this week and follow up with a few of Katie’s sheets. We do a “time check” on a  regular basis in our classroom as well, so her November telling time worksheets will make great morning or math journal work. I am addicted to Busy Teacher…cannot wait for December!

Read more about it here. Buy it here.

We’ll be rounding out the week with my Thanksgiving Inferring Center, “A Feast of Clues”. My kiddos loved, loved, loved the October ones, so when my friend Alisha suggested a Thanksgiving-themed one, I jumped at the opportunity!

Feast Preview Cover

It works a lot like “Costume Clues”. Students read the description of a Thanksgiving food item and decide which item is being described.  There is a primary version as well as an “upper primary” version, perfect for 2nd and 3rd graders.


And follow up sheets to use with the center.

Get a closer look and buy it here!

Or, win it below!

To enter, leave a comment telling me your favorite Thanksgiving food item. Mine is definitely mashed potatoes! Don’t forget to leave your email. I will announce the winner on my Facebook page tonight, so make sure you like me on Facebook by clicking the icon at the top of the page!

Wishing you a sane week at school if you’re stuck there like me, and a restful and stuffing Thanksgiving with the people you love!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween Mania {Our Week in Pictures}

I feel a little silly writing this post considering anything and everything I saw in the stores today screamed Christmas.  How is it that Halloween was 3 shorts days ago but it seems so forgotten already? I love Christmas, but give me time to catch up people!

Anyhoo, here are some picture from our last few days of October.

The day before Halloween, I read “Room on the Broom” to my kiddos.  “Broom” has always been one of my favorite Halloween read-alouds.


You guys, I taught the most perfect lesson with this book on Wednesday.  It was nothing extra special…just good old cause and effect. But, every student was engaged.

Every student was engaged.

Even the one who normally picks his cuticles the whole time I’m reading.

Even the one who, when I ask if anyone has any predictions for what might happen next, raises her hand and asks, “Can I get a drink?”

On October 29, 2013 all was perfect in my little classroom for about 23 minutes and 37 seconds.
I am forever indebted to Julia Donaldson and her adorable little rhyming story.

Here’s our anchor chart BEFORE:


And here it is after my totally engaged students helped me fill it out!


The day of Halloween was jam packed with fun, and of course, a parade and a party.


To make room for all the 2nd grade classes to watch a movie in our room, I arranged students’ desks into one large group.  This earned me the title “Best Teacher Everrrrrr!!!!!” It's the little things.

We did the book character costume thing in our hallway this year. I was Fern and my grade partners were Pinkalicious and Junie B. Jones.

My awesome room mom organized a few fun spider crafts. Blow-Pops, Oreos, and spiders. You can’t go wrong.








We also played a Halloween game from Christina Bainbridge.  The kids loved it because it involved candy. I love it because it involved math.  And also because there was leftover candy.



Our day was so jam-packed that we didn’t get to half of what I wanted to, including Halloween centers and a few more read-alouds.

Hence, Friday was crowned “Halloween Take Two”.  That’s right, we rang in November with candy corn, costumes, and witches brew!

We spent our morning rotating around spooky centers.  This was a big deal for them because I do not do centers this way in my room.  The rotation thing was a little overwhelming at first but I was really happy with how quickly they settled into it.



My Costume Clues center was a big hit!!!

So were Katie King’s “Costume Capers”


Students also played math games and did spooky reading, where they read with the lights turned off while listening to spooky symphonies on Pandora.


We ended the day by making witches brew together.  I pulled elements from my Witches’ Brew unit but when push came to shove, we didn’t have a lot of time for many of the activities in the unit.  Darn it.  There’s always next year!

I whipped up a condensed version though, that I plan on adding to the unit soon. 

First, students buddy read the witches’ brew poem that I wrote.


Then, they used the poem to write the recipe for witches’ brew.  Once their recipe was approved by me they were allowed to make their brew.



After they were finished making their witches’ brew, students came up with their own recipes while munching on their brew.



It was a really fun way to end our week and keep the craziness at bay the day after Halloween.  It was a little different than doing the whole she-bang like we usually do…you know, teachers dressed up as witches, talking in our terrible witch voices with fake rats and spiders.  I felt bad that my class this year missed out on that experience but I think the scaled down version was appropriate for the day after Halloween while still being tons of fun for them!

Plus, this here teacher is still dog tired, ya’ll.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween and a restful weekend!  We only have school 3 days this week due to our state’s teacher convention so that’s what’s getting me through!

Have a good night!