Did someone say Spring Cleaning?

Gosh, the weather outside is starting to shine and I am just ITCHING to do some spring cleaning! Aren't you?

 Well, Georgia Grown Kinders is feeling the same way and is hosting an enormous Spring Cleaning link-up! All of the stores listed are throwing spectacular sales over at their TPT store (mine included!). So hop on over, get some great deals -- save yourself money and time as we roll into April!


200 TPT Follower Giveaway!

That's right!  200 followers over at my TPT store and that calls for a HUGE giveaway!

It's easy to enter and the prizes are FAB-U-LOUS!  Nearly 50 submissions were donated from some amazing TPT sellers!    Here's the scoop -- All you have to do to gain entries is follow some AMAZING TPT stores!  That's right!  Go show them some loving and you could WIN!  One winner for each bundle will be drawn on Friday, March 28th!

The giveaway will start at midnight tonight! 

Check it out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Made It! Almost..

 Man!  I've been working all day on a TPT project and don't know if I'll have it ready for tonight.  Hmph!

Well, I'll try to finish it..  but before I do I HAVE to tell you about it!  I am so excited about the possibilities for new readers..

First things first..

The idea.

Did I ever mention I love sticky notes?  I might be a sticky-note-holic.  I have them everywhere as I write down so many little notes to myself.

Okay, so on paper my idea doesn't look that great, right?  Right.  I'm going to glue something under something and have some cute boxes.  Got it!

After many hours of painstakingly lining up teeny tiny boxes, Voila!  Word Family Flips!

You can pick this one up for FREE over at my TPT store for the next 48 hours!  Thanks and have a wonderful week!  (And hey..  Leave some feedback if you like it!  <3)

*Flash Freebie!* Word Family Flips!  Word families

Thanks and have a GREAT week!

Finding the right book for the standard

Teachers have it rough.  Teaching the common core? Check.  Teaching in a fun and engaging manner? Check.  Differentiating so every student is being taught on a level that meets their specific needs? Check.  Assessing so that you CAN differentiate?  Check.  Oh, and by the way.. Make sure to respond to those parent e-mails, the principal, and don't forget trivia night on Thursday!


That's not even the half of it but I couldn't see myself doing any other job. 

One of the problems I always find myself facing is a lack of time.  I don't have time to sit and thumb through a long list of books to see if they will fit the needs of my kiddos -- 'cause quite frankly there are too many books in my local library!  Luckily, Jen Jones (over at Hello Literacy) has a solution..

She created a list of K-2 appropriate books for a plethora of comprehension skills and strategies directly tied to the Common Core State Standards!  Yipppee!  She even bundled them up and has been giving away the list for free on her TPT site.  Go check it out -- it'll save you a ton of time and hey, you might find a book you're not familiar with to add to your own library!


Liebster Award! Aww, YEAH!

Holy Moly!  A few days ago I was greeted with an AWESOME comment from Kristin over at The Readbox.

She graciously nominated my blog for the Liebster award!!  I couldn't stop (and still can't!) smiling from ear to ear!  It is such an honor to be recognized and to accept this award!

The Liebster Award is presented to upcoming blog authors with less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, and beloved! Perfect adjectives to describe us teachers! ;)

How does it work?!

  • Link back to the blog that nominated me
  • Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
  • Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator
  • Share 11 random facts about myself
  • Create 11 questions for my nominees
  • Contact my nominees and let them know that I nominated them

My Nominees:

11 Quick Facts about Me!
  1.  I have a dog named Koda (Doh-da, as said by my toddler) and a cat named Dasher!
  2. I love to go bowling.  I even have my own shoes!
  3. I am addicted to my smartphone.
  4. My favorite word is "droplet".  It just sounds.. so funny?
  5. I am a picky eater.
  6. I don't like to go shopping unless it's for someone else, namely.. my baby girl!
  7. I've known my husband for just about 15 years! (I'm not even 30 yet!!)
  8. I love horseback riding.
  9. I spend way too much time on Pinterest.
  10. I love to learn programming languages, even though I'm not very good at any of them, yet!
  11. I LOVE spring cleaning!

Questions from The Readbox:
1. What TPT item are you most proud of? 
First Grade Guided Reading Quick Starts!
I am SO proud of my Guided Reading: Quick Starts!  Whenever I have had small reading groups in the lower elementary grades, I've always had students come up and ask questions about what they're supposed to be doing before I can even open my guided reading book!  It was frustrating because the students I had at my table would be twiddling their thumbs, playing, or otherwise be occupying their time when they could be LEARNING.  Thus, my creation ensued.  Quick starts are individual and partner activities that the students can work on WITHOUT the teacher and deal with -every- -single- common core standard in reading for a particular grade level (first, second, or third so far)!  I can have my students working on a skill while I'm busy telling a student (likely for the third of fourth time) that if the computer is broken... they need to make another choice (who hasn't had to repeat that a bajillion times?).

2. If you were a character from a TV show, who would you be and why?
Hmm.  I am dating myself here, but I would totally be Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show with Angel and Spike).  Giles was an AWESOME mentor to her and I would just love to be his student!  Plus...Angel?  Yeah.  Angel!

3. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would eat mozzarella sticks.  With parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  And maybe with some ranch sauce.  I am such a sucker for appetizers!

4. If you were stranded on an island, who would you need there with you?
I would totally need my husband!  He is the light of my life -- keeps me calm when I'm a nervous wreck, and has a quick wit and sharp mind.  He keeps his cool under fire and would make for an awesome adventure if we were stranded on an island!  

5. What was your biggest mistake/regret in teaching?
I think one of my biggest regrets was dealing with a parent during summer school a few years ago.  Our summer school program was an at-will type of thing, so if your student was acting up or really didn't want to be there (which was evident by lack of participation, behavior issues) then we would inform the parents that their student wasn't welcomed back for the remainder of the semester.  I had one student that would literally sprawl himself on my floor and refused to do any of the work (even though it was FUN stuff.. like building rockets, painting...).  I had spoken to my principal about it and he shrugged it off.  I talked to the parent and offered "another chance" because the mom REALLY wanted her son in the program.  The next day he's still not cooperating and my team and I have had enough.  At dismissal, I was talking to the mother and was just getting to the point where I would tell her that her son wouldn't be coming back when the principal comes up to the two of us and interjects his own apology BEFORE I had approached the subject with his mom.  Confused, the mom looks at me and then BLOWS UP because she thought her son was turning the corner.  Sigh.  Then, I got chewed out by my principal for leading her on even though I did no such thing.. 

Since then, I have learned to take the direct route when talking to parents about their children.  I don't think I was trying to sugar coat the situation, but during our summer school program if the kids had perfect attendance they received a $100.00 gift card!  Who wouldn't want their kids to stay in the program?  I had never had to deal with this type of situation before and am glad to have learned so much from it.

6. What made you decide to enter blog world?
I have loved seeing all of the fun and exciting things that are going on in classrooms around the world.  I wanted to add my OWN unique experiences to the bunch!

7. What is your favorite childhood memories?
I loved going to sporting events in my childhood.  My mom, dad, and brother would pack up and go to hockey and baseball games whenever we could afford to go.  I have so many fond memories of cheering on my favorite teams with my family!

8. Who is your hero?
My hero is my dad.  He is Mr. Fix it, laid back, enjoys a lap dog/cat, and is one of the most hard working individuals I have ever met.  He is always willing to help in whatever way he can and puts everyone else before him.  He is kind hearted, and always looks to make you smile with a bad joke.

9. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you pick?
I would travel to Australia.  I would love to see their wildlife!

10. You're a superhero! What super power do you think you would be given?
I think I'd want the ability to read minds...  with the ability to turn THAT ability on and off!

11. If you could change one thing about the world...what would it be?
I would change how we treat and view one another.  I am always so saddened when I hear about my students who are dealing with bullies (cyber or otherwise) and how parents tend to look the other way because "they're just kids".  No, it's not about kids being kids, it's about parents, educators, and other adults taking a stand to show our children that it's not okay to hurt someone else.  We have so many valuable resources at our disposal and we throw them away or never realize their true value until it's too late.

Questions for my Nominees:
  1. Who inspires you?
  2. What's your favorite TPT product that you created?
  3. Who was your favorite grade school teacher and why?
  4. What's your favorite sport to watch or play?
  5. If given a personal chef, what would they always have to have in the kitchen for you?
  6. What's the funniest "classroom moment" you've had?
  7. What is one thing you have carried with you that you learned while student teaching?
  8. Why did you start blogging?
  9. What would you make with the following:  two rolls of duct tape, 4 paper towel rolls, 1 bottle of Elmer's glue, and a box full of feather, glitter, and buttons?
  10. What do you always take with you to and from school?
  11. How do you prepare for the First Day of school?

Currently, March!

I'm linking up with Oh Boy 4th Grade for this March Currently!

Listening: Blues Hockey.  I am probably one of the biggest hockey fans... ever.  Six year wedding Anniversary?  Let's go to the game! (My husband is from Texas and cares about as much for hockey as I do dirty socks..).  Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Olympic break did them much good.  Sigh.

Loving: TPT Sale.  I am absolutely in love with all the great resources I purchased during the 3 Million teacher sale over at TPT.  There are so many fantastic sellers that pour their heart and soul into what they do and it shows with their products, blogs, and amazing FREEBIES! :)

Thinking: Is my laundry basket really THAT full?  I never knew a toddler could go through so many sheets.  And blankets.  And pants.  Lordy, when that girl has to go...she GOES.  Right through the diaper and ... you get the picture.  Ugh.

Wanting: Snow day!  No sooner did I finish my Currently image did I get a call from my district that the ice was far too thick and the roads too treacherous for travel - no school tomorrow!  Yippee!!

Needing: To Clean!  See how my thinking and needing go hand in hand?  I have been so lazy this weekend.  I think that's been my mantra this whole winter -- lazy.  I need to find some sort of pick me up, pronto!

????:  Some of you are SO close to guessing what my secret question is.  Close enough...  That's what I am CRAVING right now.  Yum, yum..gosh.  I didn't get a chance to eat dinner tonight.. so I'll dream of a baked potato with butter and salt....Mmmm

Here's to a safe and quick week!


Dustin over at teachertipsters had this AMAZING idea that I just had to share with everyone.  I found out about these "One breath boxes" about a year ago when I was trying to find new and interesting ways to teach my struggling K-1st graders all about sight/dolch words.


These are SO easy to use!  All you have to do is print and you're ready to go!  Students take one DEEP breath and try to read all of the words in the box, using only that one breath.  The magic to this method is that if the students come across a word they are unsure of, they usually can't finish the box in one breath --  which is the LAST thing they want to happen!  Students can practice the words before hand (in a different order, maybe if you present them with flash cards?  Something else?) so that they can take the "One Breath Challenge" with confidence!

I made a tracking sheet for my students so that they could mark off each "one breath box" that they successfully completed.  My only rule was that they could only attempt one box per day.  They loved these!  You can get the printable FREE from Dustin!

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