Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Currently with Farley!

This may only be the second one that I've done.. but I really do love linking up and doing the 'Currently'. It's fun to see an insight into so many people's lives that might be a bit different from the normal blogging that they do!

So, these probably do need a bit of explanation this month!

LISTENING- We always hang out, my hubby and I, in front of the TV at the end of the day. So our movies/tv is usually just the background noise for us. But I swear, I do watch some of the movies... some of the time. I love the Bourne movies too. They are the perfect amount of action for me... ALL!

LOVING- I do promise that I'm loving that I'm going on vacation in 3 days. I'm looking forward to having a break with my hubs for a week. But at the same time (while I'm being driven crazy by them) I am a little sad to be leaving my kiddos behind. I know they'll be fine and have a blast with out us. Even though we're missing 4th of July with them :( Plus, I don't want to take them on a trek across the country... too little!

THINKING- This one is pretty easy. I can't forget anything! This isn't just a vacation, it's also a trip to bury my mother's ashes from January. It'll be hard. Not even imagining it yet. But, I really can't forget anything!

WANTING- I have little ideas rolling around in my head and I just can't nail them down! I just bought some seriously 'too-cute-for-their-own-good' owls. They need to be in a pack!

NEEDING- A new computer! I really want a new Mac like my hubs'. But it'll be like a year of kick-butt TPT sales away. Seriously. The cool toys are at the bottom of the list.

TIPS, TRICKS, HINTS- When I saw this one, I really thought of how to get through the rest of the summer. So my 'one thing at a time' seems the most appropriate. I feel like even though tomorrow is only the first of July, like my summers is almost over. I have vacation, traveling, Kinder Camp, and then I'm right back at school. YIKES! It's going to be crazy!!

Don't forget to link up with Farley!

Happy Spectacular Sunday!

I love Sundays! Don't you? I love that it's the beginning of a new week, you can relax a bit, look forward, look back, and just take in your family and your blessings.

I even got a tad bit reflective on my life this past year over on the new blog:

I'm so excited to be a part of this great new blog! The other ladies are really amazing!

You simply must click over and meet them all! Besides, what teacher doesn't want to hear about how other teachers (who are also mommies and wives) manage to fit fitness, blogging, teaching, and everything else into their lives?!?!

P.S.- Don't forget that my sale of 20% EVERYTHING in my store is going on right now!

Don't Wait! Differentiate! (Chapter 5: Talking, Drawing, Writing) and Linky too!

Chapter 5: Writing Words

Before I even finished the first page of the chapter, I had already honed in on one very important goal for next year: Don't wait, differentiate! The authors encourage us to begin writing and 'sharing the pen' on the very first day of school. Now, I'm not a control-aholic... at least I don't think that I am. But on occasion I know that I'd rather not give up my pen for an activity or two. I really need to get better about that I guess *looking sheepish*. I love to let the kiddos help me spell and write... but I usually wait until a few weeks in when we've covered a lot of the letters and many of the sounds. The first day? I see that beyond my comfort zone but differentiation is always good. So beyond my borders I shall go!

Usually about the 3rd or 4th week of school is when we get to labeling our drawings. I love the lesson (pg 99) about Listening for Sounds in Words. How awesome is the question "If there were words on this page, what do you think they'd say?" Such an awesome way to get your students thinking! I usually have my students practice their words by "chewing the word up" and "pulling it out sound by sound". They love it and it works so, so well!

I'm also in love with the lesson on 109 about going back and touching the words/letters you have written. This would have been so powerful for my class this year. I thought I had done a good job with explaining it this year. Upon reflection after this lesson, I can do a better job next year.

Great ideas and activities for the fall:

-Thank you letter to the Principal. Our principal or assistant principal always comes at the beginning of the year to read us a story. I'm thinking writing a thank you note is perfect to make it real so they own it, have them practice, involve all of the children, and make a great impression! It doesn't hurt to reinforce politeness either!

-These are words we know chart. Love, love this idea from the book! I would love to have an environmental print poster like this! The kids know them, know how to say it, wouldn't it be the perfect hop in helping them find the the beginning sounds when they need help.

-Share chair. I need one. End of story. (Actually it's not, I'm thinking about just making a chair cover to slip on the back to snazz up a regular chair.

Check out this super duper awesome one from one of my favorites' Debbie Clement's page:

-It's okay to teach a lesson all about Doing Good Work During Writing Time!!!!! (and it doesn't have to be a lecture!... who knew?)

Don't forget to link up below to share your Chapter 5 thoughts. I can't wait to see!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Thank you Followers! A Gift for You!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you! To celebrate how much I appreciate you, I am throwing a sale of 20% off this weekend! Click below to get your shop on! I've even included my brand new Common Core Daily Math Questions!

Sale lasts through Sunday at Midnight!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five on Friday

So excited to be linking up for Five for Friday! I've had a pretty great week this week and am enjoying summer vacation! I do have to say thought that most of my 5 this week is all about shopping! I am really bad about not typically buying for myself. I've tried to treat myself as a reward a bit this summer.

1- I ordered these adorable shoes from Victoria's Secret. I have always loved, loved their clothes and shoes but never felt like I could wear them. With one child going into Kindergarten this year and one less day care bill, I figured one pair of shoes wouldn't hurt! Not to mention all the other things that came with the shoes ;)

2- I have also found the best little on-line store: The Chic Orchard. I ordered this maxi skirt and dress from them. I am in love with both! They are comfy, easily washed and dried (don't really like dry clean or irons at my house!) and are fairly inexpensive as this sight gets their stuff straight from the manufacturer.


3- I also got these awesome new shoes with a sole (ha ha) purpose in mind-- Running! I always seem to promise myself that I'll get better at running, that I'll lose weight, that I'll yada yada yada. Well guess what? These bad babies are my commitment! I even ran 5 miles last Sunday! Yep, pretty proud of myself!

4- I am also insanely excited to share that on my journey to lose weight and become a better runner. I have already lost...

I so excited! My clothes fit better and I feel better. I'm pretty gosh darn proud of myself too! Yay me!

5- I'm also excited about the great products that I've rolled out this week... and in honor of my 10 pounds gone, I'm going to have a sale this weekend for 10% off everything in my store even my brand new Common Core Sets! I am so truly in love with those things!

(Plus, I'll even up it to 20% off if I get those other 11 TPT followers!)

Don't forget to link up over at Doodle Bugs!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A note to my followers...

There are so many amazing things going on in the blogging community these days! This post is dedicated to several of the things that I've been honored to be a part of! I've been working personally on a lot of brand new and amazing items for next year. I had this fabulous idea for a Daily Math Question to correlate with the Common Core. SO... I made these:

I'm so excited about them that I put them altogether in a zip file for a discount!

Then I got to thinking about how I'd love to have a quick sale to get y'all through to the end of the summer. I'm already stock piling for the new year! Especially since I go back to work at the very end of July. Yikes! 

My goal is to throw a sale when I hit 100 followers on TPT... and I'm only 11 away! I'd love it if you'd click on over and follow me or share this post to help us towards a goal. Plus, how can you pass up all of that super adorable chevron?

Speaking of really, really great deals going on. Have y'all seen Ashley Hughes HUGE giveaway for her 4,000 follower mark? It's been going on all week but you can still join in the fun because it's prizes EVERY day!


I love her stuff, her giveaway, and really just her in general! She is so awesome! A LOT of my new products have her great backgrounds and images! I hope you click over and win!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Work Station Wednesday: Writing Station

I had to giggle when I read this chapter title. After having done my book study this summer on 'Talking, Drawing, and Writing', it was the perfect chapter to read in Debbie Diller's book!

Love this book! If you want to check it out, I'd love it if you would use the link above!

What does a writing station look like?

This is what I used last year as a writing table. I loved it! I may try and switch it out for a rectangular table instead for this fall, just for more room. I had magnets, metal sheet pans, stamps, stamp pads, crayons, colored pencils. I should also have different types of paper out for them to have access to, however, my class last year would not have been able to handle that. This next year I'm going to put that into my management and really work on it through out the year as needed.

What do they do?
In this chapter, there is a HUGE list of suggested activities for the students that are both meaningful to them and great writing practice. The first one even works in line with our book study this summer:

-TALKING and telling their partner a story or other ideas they want to write about DURING writing.

-Writing cards- I'm thinking shared writing of a thank you note that they get to create the card and paste in a printed copy of our letter OR even write it themselves.

-Work on their writing workshop writing.

-Practice their letter formation- play dough, paint bags, jelly bags, stencils... so many possibilities!

Anything else?

Debbie Diller also suggested having a Help Board for the students to refer to. It has ideas to write about, types of writing, and ideas of where to go for help. I'm REALLY excited to set this up for my students because I know exactly how I'm going to do it!

If you haven't read any other chapter yet, you should definitely read this one! It has lists broken down by grade level, station possibilities, expectations, modeling suggestions, etc. It's simply too much to post all at once.. I'd really have to copy the whole chapter for you and that's a no-no. 

But.... I can leave you with an awesome FREEBIE!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blog Lovin' Blog Hop!

You definitely want to check this one out! This is the perfect way to find some new blogs to follow (grab a few new ones of your own) and even find out how to get started with the whole blog lovin' thing! Go link up and find some new friends!

Pardon me while I claim my blog :)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wow oh wow! It's finished! Common Core and Differentiated!

I am so excited to share this with you! I slowly created each of these over the past few weeks:

How awesome would it be to already have DAILY math questions that are differentiated AND common core!?!? Plus, it's already done for you! I have created each set with at least two days worth of questions for each CC standard. PLUS, there is a teacher poster to post for your calendar/morning meeting time. Plus a student page to print so that your students each have a copy to glue in their math journal. How great!

Want more? Well, I have it! You can totally buy each pack separate or you can buy them ALL at once for a discounted price. Super awesome right?!

Just click on each picture to get them!

Teach Junkie Creative Ideas

Have you heard?

Have you heard about Blog lovin'? As of July 1, Google Reader is going away. What does this mean for you? Well, two things.

#1- If you have a blog, you need to do some switching.
#2- If you follow my blog, please click the button to the right! I'm also going to add it to the bottom of this post too. Just click it to follow me. I'd love to have everyone who follows now continue following!

Follow on Bloglovin

Plus if you want this adorable Bloglovin' button on your blog too check out Melissa Mazur's tutorial here!

Have you seen this?!

OH. MY. GOODNESS! Have you seen what Ashley at The School Supply Addict has going on?


It is a huge, huge list of amazing bloggers that have contributed to this amazing giveaway. Click over to find out how to enter! It's super easy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Edible Estimation

I shared this last Friday over on Kindergarten Lifestyle! But I also wanted to share it over here too!

Week before last week I went to our cluster's Math Institute and learned so many great, great things! You can read more about it here, here, here, and here. I did a recap for each day!

One of  my favorite ideas was to have weekly estimation in order to help my students strengthen their number sense. Even though estimation is "technically" not in the Common Core, we all want our students to have stronger number sense, right? So, I'm planning on doing Edible Estimation next year! I am so excited!!!

What do you need?

- a small see-through jar (think baby food jar, marshmallow puff jar, etc.)
-a sign up from parents who are interested in contributing (freebie below!!)
-a parent reminder letter (freebie below!!!)

How do you do it?

(This is how I plan on putting this into practice this fall. I'm taking what our instructor told us last week, what I've read, and what I think will work for the way that I teach!)

-Show students the jar during a morning meeting or activity time. Allow them to pick it up, examine it, discuss with friends. Have one of the items on the top so they can really focus on what 1 of the items look like. Students should record their estimate on a class chart.

-Discuss what 10 looks like using this item (so they realize that fruit loops are larger than skittles). Show the students.

-Have the students write their estimate on a sticky note. Post the sticky notes on your number line (a must that I'm adding next year!) Discuss who was close. A good rule of thumb is 5 on either side of the number is a close estimate.

I'm going to create a magnetic "window" to show my students who had a good estimate.

-Count out the items (have students in a math circle or use your document projector) making sure to show the students how to put them in groups or rows of ten to make their counting easier.

-Discuss the actual number of items. Go back to your number line to explore and discuss some more!

-Allow students to enjoy their sweet/yummy treat :) Keep 5-10 to use as a benchmark for the next week.

** If the treat is something that you can get, you could even give your students their own container another day to estimate, count, and explore as a math activity.

One of my favorite books to read to my Kinders!

Freebie time!

I hope you enjoy this cute parent sign up sheet and reminder letter!

Teach Junkie Creative Ideas

Chapter 4: The Craft of Drawing

Wow! Chapter 4 is packed with lots and lots of great lessons. I wanted to hit on the high lights that REALLY stuck out to me.

One of my favorite quotes of the whole chapter was "Effective writing is built from specific, accurate pieces of information."(pg. 70)

The drawing aspect is really the students showing you what information they know. A goal for my class in the fall is to STOP and really LOOK at books that we are reading. It's so important for us, as teachers, to show our students how to observe and learn from books- all parts of the books, pictures included. I created this adorable little poster for my kiddos:

By the way, I am currently in love with the chevron pack from Blair Turner.

One of the other ideas that I love is using a checklist to keep track of what my students are writing about from day to day.

My favorite lesson was (pg 94) "Going Beyond Safe Drawings". Do you have students who draw the same thing day after day after day after day.... *both hands up in the air over here*

I'm also going to grab the picture books that were mentioned!

Don't forget to link up here!

Teach your children well..

As parents, our most important job is to teach our children before our kids are even in school. I don't mean to teach them how to read, write, add, etc. (although you can, it definitely doesn't hurt!) but teach your children how to be kind, polite, and about traditions.

Since my mother passed away in January, I have battled with my memory about the "hows" of my family traditions. There are so many memories (especially food) that I can't remember the step by step of how they are done.

I've had some definite emotional moments when I want to teach my own children about the smells and tastes that I grew up with as a child... and I can't remember.

So, with that in mind. I had my littles help me make these delicious yummies for breakfast Saturday morning.

What family traditions do you share with your children? Do you teach them the 'hows'? 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Chapter 4: The Craft of Drawing Link Up!

Hey all! I can't wait to see what you learned from this week! Each of you have had fabulous thinking and learning going on. Plus, your ideas have been AH-mazing for how you are going to implement in your classrooms! I've come by to visit everyone and have been totally blown away! I'll be linking up tomorrow to share. Can't wait!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Coming Soon!

I had this fabulous idea during my math institute last week and I'm excited to get it off the ground! What would you like to be included in this pack? I'm planning on doing one for each domain.

Reflecting on the Common Core

As I reflect on the common core, I really look at how it is simplifying what we teach. After our first year of teaching it (just this past year), it seems that there were things that we over thought and will do better at next year. It is an amazing set of standards that allow for really going deeper and having the students to develop understanding.

I created several awesome packs for my TPT store: High Kickin' Math Centers and Arrgg Matey Math Centers. How cute does that sound?!

My students (especially my boys who were tired of the cutesy things) were in love with them! These are the perfect items to have your students work independently in math tubs. 

What was your favorite thing about starting the Common Core?

Christmas in June!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted that I was having a Thirty One party through my friend Megan. So, so excited because my order came on Friday!! I had to show you what I got!

The whole bundle! It's just like Christmas over here. I'm tellin' you what!

I got my new Utility Tote, lunch box, and the hostess Beauty Bundle gift. Plus I ordered that cute little piggy for my daughter for (actual) Christmas!

I love, love this purse! It's huge, and slouchy, and wonderful! It has the perfect amount of pockets inside too. I seriously only have my wallet and my calendar in the main pocket. It's awesome, awesome! (You can see my reading for the day/summer over there on the edge :) )

This month's deal was the Large Utility Tote... I got 2! I've already put one in my trunk to organize all the stuff that's been rolling around for the last couple of months.

This was my other hostess gift: the organizing bag. There are tons, tons of room inside. I'm thinking that I need a brand new Mac for blogging to slide into it. :D

Have you ordered anything lately? I'd love to see it!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Guest Post: Kindergarten Lifestyle

Hey all! I'm guest posting today over at Kindergarten Lifestyle! Go check it out it's all about yummy Edible Estimation!!!

Thanks Jeannie for letting me come visit!