Thursday, January 31, 2013

Subjects/Predicates.. and My Birthday!

Do you remember learning about subjects and predicates when you were younger?  I sure don't.   But, I also don't remember learning about letter sounds, words, sentences, verbs, nouns, etc..  The ONE thing I distinctly remember learning about was long division in third grade.  Ugh.  One of my classmates had to help me at the round table because I was struggling.  So embarrassing.  :(

Enough about long division... ew.

We're working on subjects and predicates.  It was SO confusing for my students at first.  I just kept pushing through and now I feel like it has finally clicked.  (Let's hope so because the test is today!)  We did a silly activity to review for the test today.  Here's what we did...

I wrote a bunch of sentences on sentence strips.  Each student got their own sentence.  They worked in pairs so they had someone to check their answer with (just in case they didn't feel confident enough).

Then, the students talked about the subjects and predicates in their sentences.  After finding both, they cut the subject off of their sentence strip.  They all checked the subjects and predicates to make sure that the cut was in the right place... and there was only one little mistake in the whole class!

Next, we said all of the subjects and realized that they were all people or things.  :) 

Then, we switched our subjects and made some really silly sentences.  They had a BLAST.  I hope it helped with finding subjects and predicates... I guess we will find out after they take the test!

Oh... and it's my birthday!  So I'm having an AWESOME flash sale on everything in my store!  Buy yourself something cute for my birthday! ;) 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Graphing - Part 2

The weather is CRAZY here.  It was 60 degrees and, according to the weather report, it's supposed to drop down to the 20s and we will be waking up to snow... all in a matter of 24 hours!  

Anywho... do you like teaching graphing? 

We've been having lots of fun graphing in Math this week.  We used our survey cards a couple of times.  After surveying their friends, they created bar graphs to organize their data.  Here are a couple of pictures of their graphs.  Nothin' fancy...

We also started with picture graphs, too.  After talking about how a picture graph is special, we made our own in class.  

After collecting data, we started interpreting it.  The questions like "How many more people like elephants than lions?" still confuse the kids so we still have some graphing work to do.

We also did some fun subject/predicate work in class today!  I will be posting about it tomorrow!  :) 

Have a great night!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top Pins Tuesday

Here are my favorite finds of the week!

My Top Saying/Quote Pin:

So it's not really a saying or a quote... but it's funny (and true).  We have a walk-in closet and there are always clothes all over the place.  Some days I try on 5 different things before I'm happy and comfortable.  It's a constant battle to keep that floor clean!

My Top Style Pin:


I'm not a jewelry wearer.  I like my normal wedding rings and that's about it.  I want to be a person who picks out the perfect necklace or earrings to go with an outfit.. but it's just not me.  I'm also really cheap and I would rather spend my money on clip art than jewelry. ;)

My Top Educational Pin:

This is SUCH a great idea!  They are thank you cards turned into a little flower... better than all of those regular old thank you cards!  What a great idea for speakers, visitors, or helpers in the classroom.

My Top Food Pin: 


YUM.  Baked cinnamon sugar churros.  What else can you say?  MMMM.  

My Top Cute Pin: 

How can you not smile when you look at this little cutie.  :) 

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sale and Graphs!

Don't forget to stop by my Teachers Pay Teachers shop to get some good deals on my digital paper packs!  My favorites are 20% off which makes the paper about 10 cents each.  :)


We did some graphing in Math on Friday and we all had so much fun!  I decided to toss our boring workbooks aside for some real hands-on graphing experience.  Luckily, I had these wonderful little dry erase clipboard math survey cards for the students to use!

Source: Lakeshore Learning

Each student had their own clipboard and their own dry erase survey card.  They walked around, surveyed their classmates, and recorded their data.  Everyone had a blast! 

After collecting our data, we organized it by creating a bar graph.  Time was getting short so I forgot to take pictures.  But, I plan on doing this activity again on Monday so I'll have another chance to snap some pics. 

Don't forget to check out my sale!  Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Can't Stop... plus a FREEBIE!

I can't stop making digital paper.  Sadly, my digital paper on TpT is not my best seller.  :(  How do I remedy that?  A HUGE sale, of course!  I'm creating some REALLY cute, creative, new digital papers for the big sale, too.

Check out some of my pretty new papers by clicking on the picture below.  Don't forget to browse around my store, grab the freebies, and wishlist some packs you want for the big sale!  All of my digital paper packs will be 20% off... so, that will come to just $1.60 for up to 16 digital papers.  What a deal!  But, the sale will only be running for one day so you are going to have to be quick! ;)

Here is a little sneak peek of my Black Tie Affair paper pack... it's my absolute favorite pack so far! Click the pic to grab them. :)

Don't forget to check out my 20% off digital paper pack sale tomorrow! :) 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ready for Routine with a little FREEBIE!

Don't get me wrong, I love extra days off.  But, after my 4 1/2 day weekend, I was ready to get back to my normal routine.

After MLK Jr. Day, we had a snow day.  Let me tell you... it was FREEZING out.  I had planned on going to a professional development course yesterday.  But, when I found out we had a snow day, I was not venturing out.  Well, that's a lie.  I was not venturing out for a PD.  I DID go out to shop. :)

I'm happily back to my normal routine today and it feels good!

I'm sticking with my goal to plan ahead... and I'm already thinking about St. Patrick's Day!  (I kind of skipped over Valentine's Day, huh?).  Anywho, I made some cute digital papers for the lucky holiday.  Click the pic to get a couple of freebies from my full pack.  If you are interested in all 12 papers, you can find them in my store for just $2!

If you grab the freebie, please leave some feedback!  I'd love to hear what you think. :)

I also started pinning some cute St. Patty's day activities.  Check out my board here!

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top Pins Tuesday!

Before I stare my favorite pins... don't you just HATE when you find a great pin, try to follow the link, and it leads to NOWHERE?!  It's so frustrating.


Well... here are my top pins for the week!

My Top Saying/Quote Pin:
It's true.  :)  My Tobey is my little therapist. 

My Top Style Pin:

My Top Educational Pin:


So, this isn't technically "educational" but I thought it was just too cute not to share.  What a fun way to pass out valentines in the classroom! 

My Top Craft Pin:

I don't really have anywhere to put this tree... but I think it would be fun to make. :) 

Here is an extra pin that I thought was super interesting...

Teachers rarely use chalk anymore, right?  Smart boards and Promethean boards seem to be popping up in tons of classrooms.  But, don't throw that chalk away!  Take the chalk home...


Apparently rubbing chalk on a stain will "dry it up".  I never knew that.  Pretty interesting! Or, should I say, "pinteresting"!  ;)

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Clip Art License

Good morning!

I ordered a new license from Scrappin Doodles so now I will be able to offer freebies (w/ Scrappin Doodles clip art) on Teachers Pay Teachers!  That makes me happy because I have TONS and TONS of clip art from there.  :)

I'm hoping my TpT freebies will attract more people to my store.  Fingers crossed!

Don't forget to take a peek at my store later to see what freebies I've posted!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Reading Bags and a FREEBIE

After getting rid of our Direct Instruction Reading program, I realized how FUN learning to read can be for the students.  It warms my heart when I see one of them CHOOSE to read a book.

But, it breaks my heart to know that some of these kids go home and don't have any books to read.  I'm definitely not comfortable enough to send home my personal books, though.  Some of the students have a hard enough time keeping track of their go-home folder... who knows what would happen to my books! 

So, I decided to print off some books from and stick them into gallon size Ziploc bags.  Each student received their own "reading bag" with books at the perfect level for them.  I also added some flashcards with sight words that they are working on.

They are OBSESSED.  Some of my students even asked to take their reading bags out during inside recess.  It melts my heart.  <3

These "Reading Bags" are embarrassingly simple. They are quick and easy to make...and they will get the job done!

Here's my plan:  The reading bags will stay in their backpacks but they can take them out at home.  When they feel confident with a book, they will read it to me.  If they do a good job with it, I'll give them a new book.  When I hear that they are ready for a bigger challenge, I'll give them a book at a higher level.  I don't have it completely figured out but I'm going to do some sort of sign-up.  I know each and every student will want to read to me at all times of the day... so I have to find a way to organize it before it becomes a hassle.  

I'm sure I could make this a mandatory thing but I don't want to extinguish their desire to read.  So, if they choose to practice their books, I will give them more.  If they don't practice them, I won't force it.  I already force them to read so much throughout the school day. :) 

Do you send books home with your students?

You made it through this long post!  Yay! To say thanks, I made some cute Valentine's Day writing papers for you!  There are two sets... one is horizontal and the other is vertical.  Both sets include papers with handwriting lines and regular lines... depending on what you and your students prefer.  :)  Click the pictures to grab them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 18, 2013


 I'm loving the fact that I have the next 3 days off.  Thank you, Martin Luther King Jr.! :)   Since I have such a long weekend, I'm going to relax tonight.  Just me, the couch, and my huge cup of hot chocolate.  MMM!

We had a "Records Day" at work today.  Most of us were already done with our grades so it gave us a little extra time to finish the thousands of other things we had to do.  It also gave me time for some quality chats with my co-workers.

After chatting, I realized that I need to branch out a little more (and stop using the word 'kiddos'... wink wink!).  I was pleasantly surprised that they all seemed so supportive.  I loved listening to the advice and encouragement.  <3

I am very weird about people in my personal life knowing that I blog and sell on TpT.   Is that normal? Honestly,  I'm worried that they'll think what I write is silly or that I sound fake.

I guess the talks with my co-workers eased my anxiety just a tad.  If they are so kind, supportive, and encouraging - the other people in my personal life should be, too... right? Anyway, enough over-thinking it.

My first step is to link my personal Facebook page to my blog's Facebook page.  I might get enough courage to even share a blog post on my personal Facebook page....ahh!  It makes me super nervous (I'm weird)... but I'm ready to network!  :)

Oh... and.... Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Here goes nothin'!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Top Pins Tuesday!

I am a Pinterest addict.  I could spend hours on Pinterest... searching, following, pinning.  I'm sure you are the same way!

I decided that I needed a day where I had a "theme" for my post.  Since Pinterest is an a-m-a-z-i-n-g resource for teachers, I thought I'd share some of my favorite pins.  So, every Tuesday will by Top Pins Tuesday.  :) Of course, I'm not going to limit the pins to just educational things though!

Click on any of the pictures to see the original pin/follow the links.  Enjoy!

My Top Quote/Saying Pin: 

Who doesn't love a good quote?  My resolution was to find the positive in everything and this quote fits perfectly with that!  Think happy.  Be happy.  :)

My Top Style Pin:
I am IN LOVE with this watch.  I never wear watches but, if I had this one, I would.  I was thinking it was probably close to $1,000... which is WAY over my budget.  I followed the link to find out that is is...

$8,500!!!!  WHAT!  Sheesh.

My Top Educational Pin: 

This is such a great idea!  The sight words are printed out and you put it on a ring.  Students earn a sight word when they read the word correctly.  What child doesn't love a sticker?! So cute. 

My Top Craft Pin: 


I definitely have gotten the craft bug lately.  With my new sewing machine, I'm always on the hunt to find a cute, new craft to make. You don't need a sewing machine for this one though!  Just a bin, fabric, and some spray adhesive.  Such a cute idea! 

Have a great Tuesday! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Lost My Paddle!

I feel like I'm swimming upstream with no stinkin' paddle.... when it comes to teaching Reading.

I know I posted about our (lack of) Reading program before.  We used to use a direct instruction Reading program.   All of our students were placed in a group that was just right for them... which meant that most of my babies were reading at a Kindergarten level.  I didn't like the program but I thought it did an okay job teaching decoding to the kids.   Well, we don't use that anymore.

There was talk about Four Blocks and we had a little professional development on that.  Then, we were told that we weren't really going to do Four Blocks.  HUH?!   Come on, it is DECEMBER!  Can we figure out what it is we ARE supposed to be doing?

We were pretty much just left on our own to do what we thought would work.  So... here I am.   My paddle is WAY back there.  I feel like I'm not doing enough for these kids.  I'm afraid they aren't making enough progress.

So, I'm going to swim REAL hard today (and hope to find my paddle).  I'm off to scour the internet for guided reading (pretty much any kind of reading) materials so I can make a beneficial plan for my kids.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Super Synonyms and Dreadful Regrouping

Before I start out... have you followed me on Facebook?  I'd love it if you would.  :)  Click here!

Thankfully, I figured out what I was supposed to be teaching on Monday.  Phew!  2 weeks off really clears your brain.  :)

In ELA, we are starting synonyms.  Awesome!  I thought we would be at pronouns... but not just yet.  So, synonyms it is!  

Since I wasn't too prepared on Monday, I just introduced synonyms and talked about why we need to know what synonyms are.  I related it to their journals and how they use the same words OVER and OVER.  Good, good, good... everyone thinks everything is "good".... Santa is good.  My family is good.  School is good.  It's our go-to word.  And, I'M SICK OF IT!  So, I basically told the kids that.... in a nicer way. ;)

I ran to the library last night to grab this book....
The book was great.  The synonyms are a little advanced for first graders but they enjoyed it. 

After reading the story and picking out the synonyms, we listed some as a class.  

Then, we started talking about our journals and writing.  I told them about the boring words that I'm SICK OF READING... and they had to brainstorm other words that meant the same thing.  They had a ton of fun. 

Because the word synonym is so much like "cinnamon", we had some cinnamon bun cereal.  The kids were silly when they were trying to say the two different words - so cute.  I think the cinnamon cereal helped them remember what the word is because we said it about 100 times in class. :)

I really feel like it was a lesson that will stick in their brains!  Hopefully it does... we're going to have a little surprise synonym quiz tomorrow. :)

In Math, we're working on place value.  We've (sadly) moved on to regrouping.  Ugh.  Dreaded regrouping.  Base ten blocks drive me CRAZY.  The kids love to play, build, and not pay attention.  They start trying to regroup - grabbing cubes, taking cubes, getting ride of cubes, and dropping cubes. Yuck. 

But, this group is so different.  They did an INCREDIBLE job.  We just worked through some problems with the tens and ones.  We learned that we can trade 10 ones for 1 ten!  We call the ones "little guys" and the tens "sticks".... weird, but it works.  So, we traded 10 little guys for 1 stick.  AND... they got to do a little writing on their desks again. 

Tomorrow we're going to practice with the base ten blocks and then HOPEFULLY work on some written problems.  I just hope that connection happens between the "tens/ones" and writing that stinkin' 1 in our tens place on our problems.  We'll see!

I still have to do a little work for tomorrow.. so that's all for now! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Positively Happy!

No more waking up without an alarm!?  No more wearing pj pants all day!?  Ugh.

I shouldn't complain.  Teachers are so fortunate to get lots of time off for the holidays.. and I enjoyed every minute of mine!  :)

To be honest, I'm okay with going back.  I'm excited to see the kids and I'm ready to teach, teach, teach for the next 5(ish) months!

I'm being pretty positive - especially for waking up at 5 am... huh?

I'm really working on my resolution of being POSITIVE and keeping my OLW in my mind... happiness, happiness, happiness.  :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cleanin' Up Shop!

When I started making things for Teachers Pay Teachers last July, I just started putting up things in hopes to make money.  I wasn't really thinking about making a valuable, well thought out resource for other teachers.  I just wanted to be a seller.  I wanted to make money!

I was adding some new (awesome) items the other day and noticed a lot of things that have NEVER sold.  They were the things that I threw up there in an attempt to just have more items.  I will be honest with you - they weren't my best work.  

I want people who purchase items from my store to know that ALL of the items for sale are worth buying.  So, I deleted those random ones that I wasn't 100% proud of.  Now, I can be completely proud and confident with each and every item in my store.  My next job will be to make those deleted items perfect and worth-the-money.  A lot of them were made in Word.. so the biggest job will be just moving all of the cuteness over to PowerPoint. 

So... enough rambling.  I want to spotlight some of the items that I'm really proud of.  I also wouldn't mind if you took a minute or two to pin a few of them for me.  Please?  I know that's horrible etiquette... but, I'm throwing etiquette to the wind right now.  I want my awesome items to be seen... that's all.  :) 

Thanks for checking my items out and listening to me ramble! :)