Friday, July 19, 2013

100 Followers Back to School Blowout!

100 Followers Picture
I am so excited to have reached this milestone on my blog, TpT, and Instagram all in the same week!  To celebrate, I will be giving away freebies, having items on sale throughout the week, and having giveaways!
Here is the first giveaway and some freebies!  I just finished updating all of my parent and student beginning of the year forms and all of my first week back activities. 
Welcome Back Pack!(new)
Click here or on the picture to download my parent and student forms for free!
I also finished my Welcome Back Activities Pack.  It includes a Fan-n-Pick getting to know you activity, a time capsule activity, Find Someone Who, “This is Me….,” file folder project, and a class banner activity.  These activities are a great way to get to know your students and start building a classroom community.
Welcome Back Pack Activities
To celebrate my 100 followers, this pack will be on sale for 50% in my store today and tomorrow, click here or on the picture to grab yours now!  It will also be part of the giveaway so make sure you keep reading until the end and enter!
Okay, hang in there, this is a long post but it’ll be worth it…promise! 
I have been planning for the first few weeks like crazy and updated my “Table Talk,” file AGAIN!  If you’ve already purchased it make sure you go download the updates.  If you haven’t gotten a copy yet, now is your chance!  “Table Talk,” will be part of my giveaway and will also be on sale in my TpT store until Sunday!  I added a few flap books since I will be using interactive reading notebooks this year.
Learning Conversations update2
Flap Book #1
Flap Book #2
flap book 3
Flap Book #3
I also made Table Talk questions to go with the story First Day Jitters.  I decided that I want the first attempt at Table Talk to be focused on having a conversation, looking at the speaker, and really listening to each other.  Not about trying to come up with questions to ask.  So, I made questions ahead of time for the students to use.  They will also serve a second purpose.  When we learn about the difference between “book questions,” and “brain questions,” we will go back to the First Day Jitters questions and sort them.  You can download the questions for First Day Jitters to use with “Table Talk,” here for FREE!
Now, here is your chance to enter to win your own copy of my Welcome Back Activities Pack, Table Talk, and any item of your choice from my TpT store!  The giveaway will end on Sunday so that I can get everything out to the winner before we go hang out with the cast of Dance Moms!  (more to come on that later!)
Thanks everyone for all of your love and support over the last almost year!  Love you guys!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Where I’ve Been….In Pictures

I wish I could tell you that I have been M.I.A. because I was on some amazing and relaxing vacation.  Unfortunately, the truth isn’t so glamorous!  It has been a busy couple of weeks.  So, here is where I’ve been, in pictures!
lemonade stand
This sweet boy from my class last year held a lemonade stand to collect donations for the fallen firefighters’ families here in Arizona.
lesson planning
Technically I still have 3 weeks left of summer break. But, I hate feeling overwhelmed and stressed out that first week so, I will be up at school this week for a couple of hours cleaning my room and putting it back together.  I have been working like crazy on lesson plans because there are so many changes coming this year with Common Core and the gifted cluster.  I like getting a head start on things.
lesson plan book
Putting together my lesson plan binder for the year. I reeeaaallllyyy want an Erin Condren planner but I just can't bring myself to spend the money right now.  If you have one I would love to know what you think and if it was worth the money!
As part of my lesson planning, I am working on putting together interactive notebooks for reading and math.  When I walked into Wal-Mart the other night and saw that the school supplies were out, I got a little giddy!  I {heart} school supplies!  I found these cute composition books and just knew they had to come home with me, and at 97cents who could argue!
new shirt
Sorry, I know this picture is blurry, I haven’t quite gotten the hang of selfies yet.  The Mr. and I had a date night last night.  We were invited to go see Jim Gaffigan, a stand up comedian.  It was such a fun night out and of course the occasion called for a new top to go with my slightly too tight jeans.  Ugh.  Need to step up the workouts!
recital shirt
THIS. SHIRT. UGH. This shirt (times 2) can explain away hours of my time. My girls’ dance recital is this weekend and they are in 13 dances.  Yes, you read that right….13!  One of the many things that I love about their dance teacher is that she gets that we have limited disposable income to spend on dance, so rather than order $70 costumes X 13 dances X 2 girls (that is $1820.00 for you math people out there), we make and piece together most of our costumes and they end up being so creative and look great on stage.  This is what she came up with for their angel dance.  We were responsible for all of the cutting and then they are jazzing it up with lace and paint.  I can’t wait to see what they look like on stage tomorrow!
Last, but not least, this book. 
My husband just finished it and said it was a must read.  Already I have seen how I need to change my parenting a little bit to make sure that my children are growing up with a strong sense of self and the ability to be independent and take care of themselves.
So, there are my excuses for being absent from Blog World for a while.  Not good ones, I know but I will try and do better.  I just found out that you can schedule posts, how did I not know about this before!  My goal is to set aside one or two nights for blogging and get some posts done and scheduled.  I think that will be much more manageable than trying to keep up with all of the fun linky parties and classroom happenings every day!
Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Throwback Thursday…A Proud Teaching Moment and a Freebie!

I am still fairly new to the blogging world so I can’t throw it back very far.  This post was from back in March during our favorite time of year…..March Madness!  Oh how I miss you college basketball!  It was one of those great moments in teaching when they “get it!”
*******Originally posted on 3-26-13******
I had one of those moments today,  you know the one I am talking about.  The one that makes your eyes fill up and you can’t even find the words to tell them how proud you are.  I had one. 
We have been working hard on using evidence from the text to support our answers.  (Yes, I am gearing up for full-fledged Common Core next year.)  We have also been working on close reading and reading text for different purposes.  Today we did our 2nd read of Wilbur’s Boast from our reading series.   The students were given a question that they had to answer and they had to show evidence from the text to support their answer.  I was super nervous.  I thought for sure that it would be one of those times I would have to really spoon feed them and we all would end up frustrated.
We did a quick review of showing evidence by making this anchor chart.
Evidence anchor chart
As we reread the text, the students used sticky notes to “stop and jot,” spots where they found evidence to support their answers.  Afterwards, we talked about how to take their “stop and jot,” notes and use the sentence starters to write an answer to the question.
It was when they started finishing up their responses and bringing them to show me that my moment occurred.  I couldn’t believe the responses I was reading.  They were so well thought out.  They had actual evidence, that actually supported their answer! 
I made this rubric to use to grade their responses.  You are welcome to download it for free!  Just click the picture and it will take you to it!
This week we also have been working on the prefixes re-, un-, dis-, and pre-.  We made this anchor chart.
Prefixes anchor chart
Then we did a little cooperative learning activity using the prefix cards in my spring centers pack.
You can check out my “Bring on Spring,” centers by clicking the picture below.
I will close with this little gem.  As you may already know, my family is pretty much basketball obsessed.  March Madness is like some crazy holiday in our house!  I always love when I have a student who loves basketball as much as I do.  As I was grading vocabulary sentences this week, I came across this…..
Aaron Craft sentence
It is sentence #3.  “Aaron Craft wasn’t boasting after he made the winning shot of the game.”  Love it!  Melt my heart, this kiddo shares my love for college basketball and Aaron Craft! 
I may or may not have Ohio State winning it all in my bracket…I’m just sayin’. 
Go Buckeyes!
(If the link to the freebie isn't working by clicking on the pic, use the link to the original post and try it from there!)

Bloglovin Giveaway Winner!

Today as you are enjoying the holiday, please take a moment to pray for the families of the firefighters that lost their lives and also for the ones still battling the wildfires here in Arizona. 

I apologize for taking so long to post the winner of the Giveaway.  I also want to say thank you and welcome to all of my new followers.
For the past few days this was my home away from home……
We got to relive our college days up at Northern Arizona University while my husband coached basketball at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp.  What an amazing experience it is every year! 
I had a bit of difficulty with the internet connection in the dorm so I apologize for keeping you waiting for so long!
Bloglovin Winner
I did manage to contact Bren while I was at NAU to congratulate her (thank goodness for iphones!).  Here are the products she chose…..
Irregular Verbs
You can click on the pictures to see them!
And now for some exciting news!  Thanks to all of my wonderful new followers, I have almost hit that magical milestone of 100 followers!  Both my blog and my TpT store are just about there….only 8 or 9 new followers needed!  I am very hopeful that I will reach that mark soon, so I am going to start planning a big giveaway now!  Thank you to a few of my blogging buddies who have offered to help with it…you are awesome!