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Saturday, June 29, 2013

July Currently and More

We are linking up with Farley's Currently for July.  There is so much to share in this post.
* Listening
I am listening to Blake Shelton's new album.  Is anyone else obsessed with him?  I loved watching The Voice and enjoyed his humor.  He is very witty and cracks me up.
* Loving
I am loving everything about summer, t-ball games, Chicago Cubs baseball, sweet tea, and watching my boys splash in the blow-up pool on our deck.  (Yes, we are too cheap to buy a big pool.)

My 4 year old son just finished his last t-ball game today.  My husband and I coached with some friends.  It was so much fun.  The "teacher" in me kicked in a few times. (wink wink)

* Thinking
This past Monday we took my 3 year old son to a routine eye appointment.  He has to go every 5 or 6 months to an opthamologist about two-hours away.  He was diagnosed at 5 months with congenital glaucoma.  He has had several eye surgeries and is doing great.  The pressure in his eyes are exactly where they should be and his vision is also right on track.  However, his doctor did notice his left eye "drifting".  This is unrelated to the glaucoma.  He has to wear a patch on his good eye for at least 2 hours a day.  Do you know how hard it is to keep an eye patch on a 3 year old?  He does pretty well when I bribe him to go outside.  :)  Please keep him in your prayers and hopefully the patch will do the trick.

* Wanting
My husband and I have been "new vehicle" shopping the past few weeks.  I know we probably should get an SUV or something a little bigger, but when I saw this F250 BIG-HONKING black truck.....  Let's just say, I wanted it.... BAD!!  I have always been a Chevy girl, but I loved this truck!!  Needless to say, my husband said, "no."  : (  He said I would have to buy a step-ladder to carry around with me if I bought it just to get in.
* Needing
I am seriously needing a tan.  Even though, I have spent several hours on the deck with my boys, I still need a tan.  I worked in the melon fields for many years growing up, so I am use to being dark tan in the summer.

* Tips, Tricks, Hints
Okay, so Stephany and I have had many conversations on blogging and blog posts.  We are trying to get away from posts simply to promote products.  It seems many of the blogs that I visit are about what they made, what they have in their TpT store, and what they are trying to sell.  I know, I know.....  We have been guilty of this early in our blogging/TpT days.  We are trying a new linky on Wednesdays called Wednesday Wisdom.  We are using this day to talk about organization, planning, classroom libraries, teacher tips and tricks.  You know....  Those "bag of teacher tricks" all teachers have.  As we have mentioned in our Wednesday Wisdom posts, it is a summer series that everyone is welcome to contribute to.  Some bloggers need a little motivation to post about educational-related topics this summer so we came up with some topics for each Wednesday.  As teachers, we know how valuable your time is in the summer to get some things organized and planned for the coming year.  We want this blog to be a resource in your teacher's bag of tricks.  We are focusing our topics a lot on tips and tricks of the teaching trade for the classroom.  If you feel that this linky is right for you, feel free to link up this Wednesday.  The topic will be "Your Classroom Library".  Share how you organize your books in your classroom.  Where do you keep those "special books"?  Tell us what kind of labels, baskets, etc. you use to give it that extra magic.

Endless Possibilities,

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five For Friday with some Giveaways!

1.  Google Reader is going Bye-Bye so if you need a new way to follow your favorite education blogs check out Blog Lovin'.  You can follow us there by clicking on the Blog Lovin button on the sidebar or below!  If you follow over there, click the "Like" on THIS post there and we will pick a three random winners who will each get a free product of their choosing from any of our stores!   (Don't forget to check out the linky at the bottom of this post for links to other blogs holding similar Bloglovin' Giveaways!)

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2.  Have you all heard of "Scentos".  Stephanie asked me to pick some up for her in at Michael's  craft store because right now they are 49 cents there (usually a dollar).  They are super cute and are all scented.  Kids love to sniff their papers after you write a little note or put a smiley face on their paper.  The little things that make kids happy in Primary :) True to teacher style, I totally cleaned that Michael's out.  
By the way... you can follow me on Instagram. Instagram   That's actually starting to be a great way to find out about deals like this when bloggers share them as they find them!  

3.  Don't forget to enter our Play-dough activity giveaway...It ends tonight!  You can win all of our play-doh activities packs (6 in all!!).  Super easy to enter!  Click HERE!  

4.  Whose already working in their classroom for next year?  I tell myself to stay away but I have already arranged my room, put up fabric for bulletin boards and bought my border for boards.  Not to mention taking on a major classroom library overhaul.  It's like a second home... I can't stay away!  And it just keeps getting messier each time I go in evidenced in the photo below!   By the way have you ever looked at a bulletin board at the end of the year and thought..."Why did i think that looked good?'  That red bulletin board is U-G-L-Y and it came down super fast!

5.  You know you are desperate with an overload of lamination to cut when you bribe your friends 5 and 6 year old to help you!  And it all actually got cut out!  Their mom was super happy about the bottle of Sunkist they earned! ;)

Head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up with "Five for Friday!"


Have a great weekend!

Other Bloglovin Giveaways!  Hosted by Collaboration Cuties

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom (June 26)

It is Wednesday again!!  It is time for another Wednesday Wisdom topic.  This week's topic is Planning.  Do you have a cool hip plan book or are you a digital planner?  Share you thoughts and any teacher tips on planning.  Link up your post below so that others can also share tips and tricks for planning.
Below is the Wednesday Wisdom schedule for upcoming topics.



My planner is a large 3 inch binder.  I usually purchase a durable 5-star brand binder.  I spend a little more on this binder just because I use it so frequently.  The first thing I put in the binder is a 3-ring hole-punched zipper pouch.  I use this pouch to keep my flair pens, a few paper clips, a white out pen, and a few other necessities.


I am a digital diva.  I type my lesson plans into a template each week.  I save the files so that I am able to use, tweak, and add to them.  I add student learning objectives, re-teaching, assessments, and modifications in my plans.  If for some reason I am out of the classroom, a substitute can easily know what is expected.
Stephany also uses the form below to visually organize her literacy and math stations for the week.  She keeps a copy of each page with her past lessons so she can easily flip back and check on what students have worked on and who was in what group for the week. It's easy to see what skills a certain group has worked on when you are differentiating in your stations.  CLICK HERE to go download it for free from GoogleDocs.

I use color-coded tubs to store my materials in each week.  These are the tubs for the "week of".  I have them labeled with the day of the week so that I can sort, store, and organize my materials.  
I have my days of the week color-coded to match my tubs.  I like to be as organized as I can possibily be.  I also have file folders with the same colors to match each day.  I use blue for Monday, red for Tuesday, yellow for Wednesday, orange for Thursday, and green for Friday.  
You can also use a crate with file folders.  Stephany has use this system before to organize.  She has two plastic file folders of each color.  The tabs are labeled Monday AM, Monday PM, Tuesday AM, Tuesday PM and so on.  She copies all of papers for the week and places them in the file folders along with read-alouds and anything else she needs for that week.

I also keep a six drawer roll cart with the days of the week labeled for the following weeks ahead.  This helps for future planning and keeps my lesson materials organized.  They can pretty much be purchased anywhere.  Here are some I have found that work from Office Depot and Hobby Lobby.

Below is the finished product of how the labels fit onto the drawer organizer.  All of these tips help me when I plan.  I hope there are a few tips and tricks you can link up below and maybe a few you are able to use from this post.

Don't forget to link up your own ideas and tips for planning down below!  Everyone's ideas are welcome!  (Also don't forget about our Play-Doh activity Giveaway that we have going on right now!)

And remember to follow us on BlogLovin'!!

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Planning Possibilities,

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monthly Math Journals Freebie!

We are linking up with Manic Monday over at Classroom Freebies!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Stephanie is in the process of making these awesome math journals for each month of the year!  They are Common Core aligned and each page has the standard right at the top.  Each page has two copies (top & bottom) of the page.  All you do is send them through the copier, staple and then cut in half.  Viola!!! Math journals for the month!  She is offering the month of August for free!  If you like what you see be sure to follow her store so you will get updates when the other months are posted!  Click HERE or the picture below to go grab it up!  And as always, feedback is greatly appreciated!!

Don't forget...  We are having our Playdough Pack giveaway still going on here.  For your chance to win 6 different sets of Playdough Math and Literacy Stations for your classroom.

Have a great Monday!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Play-Doh Fun!

Who's looking to put a little more fun into their literacy and math stations?  If you're struggling with they new vigor vs. fun dilemma in education right now, you need to keep reading this post.

I know that my kiddos LOVE anything to do with Play-doh.   Seriously... is it the Play-doh scent?  I think it might be...

Anyway... if you are looking for ways to incorporate fun and standards into your curriculum, look no further!   Here are some must have ideas for your classroom that involve the all-time favorite Play-doh.  By the end of this post, we hope to give you several ideas and two of you will have a chance to win ALL of the stations in this post.

Let's begin with literacy...
Forming letters and numbers with Play-doh is a great reinforcement for students because they really have to "think" about how to form the sounds and letters as they make them.  While their doing it they are thinking about whatever skill it is they are working on.  Double reinforcement! (K.RF.1)

If your students are beyond letter making skills, maybe they can use the following cards for ordering letters in alphabetical order or making sight words. (K.RF.1, K.RF.3, 1.KL.2)

 Students can practice their short vowels sounds and reinforce them even more by making the letter.  (1.RF.2a, 1.RF.2c)

Now moving on to math stations...
These set of cards help with numeral formation and also reinforces counting.(K.CC.4)

If your students are ready for ten-frames, then they might be ready for these cards. (K.CC.3)

If your kiddos are ready to practice solving addition problems up to ten they can start practicing with these cards.  (K.OA.2)

Student can use Play-doh to practice story problems and number sentences.

Students can use play-doh to press base ten blocks impressions to make numbers. 

 Students can use play-doh to make the hands on a clock and then record the times on a recording sheet. (1.MD.3)

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chevron Crazy

Today, I got home from swimming and began looking through the newspaper ads.  You will never believe what I saw in the Dollar General ad...  a chevron shower curtain!!  I love love love chevron.  I just can not believe I am seeing it EVERYWHERE!!

So, I started thinking...  What else is in chevron??  Look what I found...
A chevron mattress!!  Really??  I understand the purse, pillow, and clothes... but a mattress!!!??

 So then I went to Teachers Pay Teachers and searched for "chevron".

Can you believe it?  2,868 results just with the word "chevron"!!  So I did the only thing I knew best...  I bought Ashley Hughes' paper bundle with all the chevron papers.  What a great buy!!
Then, I went through my Attention Grabbers Packet and changed all the backgounds to chevron!!  I also made a few other minor changes with some cute fonts and clipart.

So in honor of CHEVRON...  I am featuring a special for the remainder of the week on my Attention Grabbers Pack.  Enjoy...
Endless Possibilities,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom Linky Party (June 19)

Welcome to Wednesday Wisdom!!  This will be the first of several in this summer series.  Everyone is welcome to contribute at the linky at the bottom of this post.  We were discussing how we needed a little motivation to post about educational related topics this summer and came up with some topics for each Wednesday.  As teachers, we know how valuable your time is in the summer to get some things organized and planned for the coming year.  We want this blog to be a resource in your teacher's bag of tricks.  We are focusing our topics a lot on tips and tricks of the teaching trade for the classroom.


This week the topic is ORGANIZATION.  What is your best tip for organizing your classroom?  Share a tip or two of what you wished you would have known from the start.

To get us started, I will share my favorite organizational tip.  At the beginning of each school year, I have parents purchase a folder of their choice for their child.  This folder is called the child's take-home folder.  Students use this folder for homework and notes from home.  Students bring this folder to school daily.  There are times when this folder is empty for a few days and that is okay.  We do not always have homework in kindergarten; however, I do check take-home folders each day.
Students also have another folder that I purchase at the beginning of the school year.  This is the "organizational tip" that I would like to share.  This folder is called a Work Collection Folder and I only use for graded work.  I only send home graded or completed work on Mondays.  This helps me stay organized, as well as keep parents informed.  Below is a picture and link to the folders I use.
The neat part about this folder is the cover.  I use it to store my signature sheet.  My signature sheet reads: "After reviewing your child’s work collection with your child, please keep completed work at home and return any information that needs to be returned in the “return” section of the folder.  I am confident that going through this work with your child each week will allow you to see the tremendous growth your child is making, as well as help in any areas he/she is struggling in.  If you have any questions regarding your child’s work, please contact your child’s teacher.  Sign and date the form and return to school the next school day."  I use this sheet when a parent comes to me and says, "I didn't know he was doing poorly in math."  I also use this sheet for parents who want to send lunch money to school.  They write the amount and stick it in the front of the folder.  It serves as a "pocket".  This sheet is also good for when a parent wants to write a little note about their child's behavior or communicate a special event or early pick-up time.  Remember, I only send this home once a week.  This is a "special" folder.  I tell parents at Meet Your Teacher Night that this is a time when you need to sit down with your child and go through each completed paper and activity.  Discuss strengths and weaknesses with him or her.  I usually do not send homework home on the night of the Work Collection folder.

They come in many colors.  I usually get blue, just because it's my favorite color.  The kids refer to these folders as their "work collection folders".  I send these folders home on Mondays.  I include a weekly newsletter in the "work collection".  The newsletter includes word wall words for the week, skills, math facts, as well as birthdays and special events for the week.

I am including a link for your free copy of the signature page. 

Link up below with your classroom organization tips!