Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More camping...

I really think I have A.D.D. like many kiddos out there...  I can't keep my thoughts on track and get anything done!  When I come up with an idea-I run with it.  In the process, many other ideas pop in there too....  I think that's why I don't sleep.  I used to L.O.V.E. sleeping.  Now-I can't.  Of course, my 2 kids have trained me well for no sleeping.  :)  My first one slept through the night at around 4 weeks---BUT he was an EARLY riser... I'm talking 5am...  5am in the summer makes a day DRAG.  Once he turned 3, I bought him a clock and he learned the numbers 7:00.  He was not allowed out if it said anything other than 7:xx.  Now he's 6 and can tell time beautifully! ;P  (I also had some bribes in there that if he did sleep past that, he wouldn't have to take a nap, etc..)  My second son.... didn't sleep through the night till he was around18-20 months!   AND he still is up often at 26 months... ugh.

See-I'm off track!  lol  I was thinking more about our upcoming camping day and how I'm going to lay the day out.  I have lots of "paper" activities that I'm using that they'll keep in a camp "log" (just a folded construction paper folder-nothing fancy).  We were cleaning out my 6 year old's desk this weekend and I found his s'more that he made in preschool.  It was 2 cardboard box squares, black construction paper and a bunch of cotton balls.  We are totally doing that since we are not allowed to have food in school at. all.  My teammate is also making toilet paper tube binoculars.  If I get enough of those we will too.  She's having her kiddos paint them, I am in L.O.V.E. with duck tape!  We are going to make fashionable binoculars with the duck tape I bought that we made mother's day pens with!  (which I realize I did not share those beauties!!).  Then we'll take a stroll outside to "look" at nature. 

In the midst of thinking about all that, I realized I need a little movement in the morning and I thought back to my "Leap Day" activity where the kiddos jumped from letter to letter to spell words.  And that's where my "Campfire Hop" was born!  It's the same concept as the Leap Day activity, only the word is obviously "campfires."  I'm going to play it off as they need to spell the words quickly because they don't want to burn their feet!  They will play in teams and only record on one paper together.  I'll set the timer for 5-10 minutes, depending on how well they are doing/not doing...  and then we'll compare our words at the end!  Click on the picture below to grab yourself a copy!  (it's on my TPT store because of licensing)

(I was in the middle of making my September Math games when this popped in my head...  so I'm headed back to working on that now!)  Thanks for sticking with me!  Hope you can use this activity!

Here's my Camping IN packet that you can find on TPT if you are looking for more things to go with it.  I like to think that my games and activities are fun but also still very educational and engaging! ;)  I'm not sure how this group of firsties will do with just cleaning and doing things that are out of our "routine" during the last week which is why I have more structured things we'll be doing.

Monday, May 28, 2012

1000 and counting! (& a thank you sale!)

Wow.  I started this journey on a whim in January.  I'd give it a try to see how it would go, and wasn't too sure that I had anything to offer that anyone would want to read, let alone follow!  Here I am today-with 200+ followers on my blog, 250+ followers at my Teachers Pay Teachers store and getting closer to 100 each day on my new facebook page.  It has actually motivated me to be a better teacher.  Yesterday I hit a milestone that I didn't even imagine or even have set for myself starting out.  I had my 1000th sale on TPT!  My 1000th sale was actually from a person that has bought many things from me and has always written very nice, motivating feedback.  I would love to thank this person by giving her my September Math Unit (whenever it's done--I just started), but am not sure how to contact her.  So, if you are Jenny that has bought many things from me, leave me a comment with you email and I will send you it as soon as I get it done!  I want to THANK YOU!  =)  (OR-send me a comment/question on TPT with your email-which I can verify that it's you much quicker) ;)

I want to thank the rest of my new fans and old fans too----I know everyone else is having sales this weekend too---which kinda takes away the uniqueness of it, but I'm going to have my store on sale today only anyway!  Happy shopping and thank you for stopping by!  I'm looking forward to creating things for the first half of the year now!  (And, I did mention, I'm working on my September Math unit--I'm going to try to get it done in the next 9 days or so, so that I can get it ready for September before I leave school.  Sorry that I couldn't get it done for those of you already out---you lucky ducks!  And I'm adding black and white pics as well as color for recording sheets this time for an added option!)

Hope you have a great Memorial day.  Here's a little picture preview of my September Math games!   Click on it to take you to my store. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Camping IN

I'm dragging again today!  What is it with the end of the school year?!?!  And this week seems to be going in S.L.O.W. motion.  I loved hearing about your end of year ideas!  Here are the 2 winners!

Congrats to Amy B. and Suzy Q.!  I'll make sure I have your email and send it out tonight!  Congrats and thanks for "playing"  =)

Sunday, May 20, 2012


So, what do you do with your kiddies on that last home stretch of a week before school lets out?  We are doing a lot of new things this year, which puts our last week of school a little "different" too.  First, we switch our firsties for Reading and Math blocks.  Our last day with those kiddos will be June 1st.  We will then have our homerooms till June 11th.....  So, we've decided to have "theme" days to get us through that last long week-where they are officially checked out anyway.  :P

Monday-we'll have Beach Day---which is just a fancy word for Field Day.  Our school doesn't do a traditional all school field day, so pretty much each grade does their own, if they want.  We have parents help and then also invite parents for lunch, outside.  In the afternoon we watch Finding Nemo.  We used to make "sand" with some gummy sharks hiding inside, but we are no longer allowed to give food to the kids.  period.  By the way-if you need a tool to help organize/get parents to help and/or RSVP----check out SIGNUPGENIUS.COM!  FREE!  So easy to use.  I highly recommend it.  We used it many times this year.  It's just PERFECT!

Tuesday-we are going camping!  I made up a packet to go along with this day.  First, I'm going to transform my room.  I have no camping gear, so everything will be made of paper!  I'll post pics after we have the day.  I'm going to make a tent cover my rug, where we'll sit and listen to stories.  This "tent" will start at the ceiling (attaching it to the ceiling somehow---clothespins possibly, and taping it to the floor---I'll use brown.  It'll be open in the front and back.  So---for you visuals.... umm... it'll be an upside down V)  I'll have paper "campfires" at each of my groups.  I have 5 tables that go around the rug, that is in the center of my room.  I created a packet that I will put up on TPT.  It includes writing, reading and math activities that will fill your day of camping fun.

Wednesday-I have a meeting all day----so I'll have a sub!!!!  AHHH!  It's going to be our Charlotte's Web Day.  Hopefully I will finish the book before that day!!!!!

Thursday-is our Bear day where we have the kids come to school with their bears.  We break up the classes into there 2nd grade classes and they go from class to class with bear activities.  I usually do jump rope.  Not sure if I'll do that again or not this year.

Friday---is our Step Up Day.  We meet our new kids for next year.  Afterwards is a game of volleyball--teachers vs. 6th graders.  We'll be working on our memory books on this day.

The following Monday---is their last day!  We have them for about 3 hours, so we'll continue to work on the memory books and clean up the last bits we need to.

What do you do during your last week of school??  Maybe there's a linky out there for it already!  I might need to search.

Click on the picture to grab a freebie from my bear unit!  It'll take you to my TpT store where it is listed.  You'll need to click "download preview" for the actual freebie!  (I cannot do it on my blog.)

Tell me what you like to do during your last week in the comments below and I'll randomly give away 2 packets to those who post by Wednesday!  I want to reward my followers, so please make sure you are a follower in order to win!  Have a great week friends!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Random and a Freebie for Reading

I was dragging today.  I'm not going to lie!  :)  I stayed up late watching the series finale of Desperate Housewives----so sad my Sunday night show is gone..  :(  The weather was less than perfect today--and just made me wish that I was home in bed.  Indoor recess, on a week that I don't have duty...  Kids who think it's June 11th already.  2 hyper kids at home-stuck inside.

I was looking at the calendar today and I started to panic a little.  While I'm excited for summer, there's so much to do and it's coming to an end quickly!  We group at our school, and I only have till June 1st to get everything done before our last week of school fun, where we will be keeping our homerooms!  I still have to get my Making {Common Core} Waves math games out!!!!  Hit the breaks!!! 

I've been working on recording sheets that are pretty generic that can be used with any book, etc.  Today I have another flip book, because my kiddos are just loving them!  This time it is for story elements.  There's space to write and draw.  Click on the picture to grab your copy!  I like to have things like this handy for when I'm out suddenly, so I don't have to panic so much about having extremely detailed plans.  As with the other flip books I have made, make sure to double side copy EXACTLY how it comes out of the printer! :)

I hope everyone is having a great ending to their year.  I have a heavy heart with all the cuts and teachers moving jobs around me (not in my district yet).  My one BFF's district is really hurting--cutting drastically!  Teachers with over 10+ years of experience........  KINDERGARTEN!   It's times like this that is making me feel grateful for what is happening in the blogging and internet world.  We are all posting and/or reading and finding ways to help our kiddos-and saving money and time, to some degree.  We are being inspired by each other and in some instances taking minds off the economy and shaky educational system.  I hope that things start to turn around soon------not only for the teachers but for the sake of the KIDS and our FUTURE!!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Summer Bucket List!

Hadar, Teri, and April are hosting a Summer Bucket List Linky! What fun!  We still have 20 days... but it is certainly going fast!

Here's a few things I'd LOVE to accomplish or find for the classroom this summer:

Find this storage thing to create this!  (and figure out what will go in each) :)

Reorganize my book shelf of read alouds to look more like this, but with my seasons/months/themes organization that I have them in....  It needs better dividers like in the picture! :)  (and of course, maybe throw some cutesy owls on there!!)

Create these!  ;)

And this!

I need to mentally prepare for school next year since our LA curriculum will now match the Common Core----and not to mention we will be getting another new math program-that matches the CCSS nicely.  And I think I am presenting (with my partner in crime) about the revised pacing and the new math program at an inservice in August before school starts?! 

And for the home summer bucket list......

1.  Use the 2 weeks I have off (before we leave) to PLAN PLAN PLAN our trip to:

(That my kids don't even know about yet!!! and might not know till we head to the airport!!!!  And who am I kidding?!  I already have it all planned out---for the most part.  Dinners, parks...  We went last year at that time and I had planned quite well, being that it was close to a holiday week-we waited no longer than 10 minutes for any ride!!!  But-that's a lot of pressure for a repeat trip---on our own this time!  But, I do need to pack, which takes quite the planning...)

2.  Enjoy my boys.  I'd love to say sleep-----but they are up at the crack of dawn...  and that's on good days!!!!!!!   

3.  Organize our basement to have a workspace area for all the junk art supplies that my kids have acquired through the last 6 years-and to give my 6 year old a space where he might actually have to do homework at!  gasp!  So-really this number should just be a TRIP TO IKEA!!!!  (with a big truck?!)

4.  Maybe find time to read.... to catch up on the crazes out there right now.  I'm really behind on everything.  I need to read the Hunger Games.  (At least I've read the Twilight books-so I'm not THAT far behind)....  

5.  And I would just love to fill my summer bucket with sand........   I can hear the beach calling my name.  (Or is it me screaming my kids' names....  ah, either way-the beach always makes me happy-whether I can actually relax, or if I'm chasing kids in or out of the water or off other people's blankets...  or away from the seagulls... etc... etc.) :)

Ahhhhhhh..... summer.  It's so close, yet so far away!  There's so much to do before it comes!  Testing, personal day, field trip.... "fun" days.....  headaches, exhaustion...

Head over to Teri's site to check out all the other great bucket lists!  My list is just going to keep on growing and growing!  :) 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

So.... what did you buy???

I was blog hopping last night instead of doing my online grad work----I'll post later about this fab online/college that I've been taking classes!!! (both affordable, fairly easy BUT really useful!!)

I came across Erica Bohrer's blog and she's having a little linky about what you bought on TpT!  I'm still buying and browsing, but only have a little time left!  ahhh!!!   (Click on the pic to take you to her blog where we are all linked up!!!)

Here's what I bought so far to use in the next 2 weeks----forgive me for I have NOT been able to figure out how to get the cute covers to show up appropriately......
We are having a Mobile Ag Lab come in a few weeks and our schedules will be completely off for the day and I needed some farm things to help get by in the morning enhance the lesson!  This will fit perfectly! :)

Then there's the adorable Knuffle Bunny packet from Hope King!  My reading group is just going to LOVE doing this next week!!!!  I can't WAIT! :)

I'm still eyeing up a few more things, but I have so much going on right now!  I'm not sure I'll get it all!!!!  Good thing the hubby has taken the kids out tonight to "go to the pool store---but mommy can't come with us."  (Code for----shopping for Mother's Day!)  ;)  
What have you purchased that you are LOVING?!?!?!


Monday, May 7, 2012


I'm choosing the title "Wow!" for a few reasons.  First, I am just in shock/awe over what happened yesterday!  I signed up to be apart of the Teacher's Jackpot, not knowing what would happen.  I thought I would be helping out a few teachers and gaining a few more bloggy friends, at most.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe that in 24 hours (give or take a few hours, because I was SLEEPING and wasn't waking up to put my product back for sale) that I would have over 4000 downloads!  Never did I expect to have over 50 new followers on my blog and TpT store!  It really makes me feel appreciated.  My goal was to thank you for all that you do.  I know (obviously) what it's like to be a teacher.  We have ups and downs.  Most days the only appreciation that we get is knowing that another child's light bulb went off.  We are taken for granted-but that's okay!  We are making a difference, whether or not they know it. 

Teacher appreciation week couldn't happen at a better time during the school year.  This is the time of the year that becomes "crunch" time.  Testing is looming.  The end is in sight, but there is just SOOOO much more to do.  We don't sleep at night.  Then, something like the jackpot hits.  I'm hoping that you started the week with a "high" of having so many new freebies that can be used at different parts of the year from all of the other wonderful bloggers----and I have a new "high" of knowing that there are so many people who took the extra time to comment, leave feedback on TpT and/or just to follow me!

The flip side of Wow!  is..... MOM! ;)  This week is a big week in my room.  First, our caterpillars have just climbed to the top and are starting to get into their cozy home for the next week or so.  I've been so intrigued by this-----I really wanted to see how on earth that chrysalis becomes---but I think I'm missing it as we speak.... Every time I went to watch today, they were just hanging up there wiggling or appearing like they were sleeping (or I had one slowpoke that was back down on the ground, eating maybe?!) :)   Some of the fun activities that I'm doing with my Reading group is reading Clara Caterpillar and coming up with some fun caterpillar (and butterfly) alliterations.  I'm also having my kiddos work with partners to come up with a "Life Cycle of a Story" writing.  They are going to tell the story of a caterpillar where they will be figuring out what problem the character will have, etc...... it's still a work in progress too, as I had it while I was trying to sleep last night!!!!  ha!  :) 

With all of that excitement, we also need to fit in some MOM time!  I whipped up this Mother's Day booklet for my kiddos to work on this week.  (hopefully none of my mom's come across this blog!)  I know there are so many different things out there to do for mom, but none were completely MY style.  I wouldn't say this one is complete, but it is for this year.  After I see how my kids do this year, I'll know what more to add for next year.  Click on the picture to grab a copy for yourself!

I didn't add my copyright onto each page because I just didn't want it to ruin the booklet for mom.  I know that is putting myself out there for copying and the possibility of someone selling my product, but that is something I will deal with if needed. The cute borders are from Fancy Dog Studios.  (I LOVE them!)

Have a great week!  Remember that the TPT sale is STILL going on for one more day!  Use the code TAD12 for an addition 10% off!  You can get mine for a total of 28% off!  Check out this post for some of my kids (and mine) favorites!

Oh-and I set a crazy goal 2 weeks ago that if I hit 200 followers by the end of school, that I would have another giveaway!  OHMYGOODNESS!  I'm almost there!  I better start figuring out what to do!!!!!!!!!!!  (I do have 2 lined up for back to school----------in case you need another reason to follow me!!!!  They're good ones too!!!!!  But you'll have to wait till August....)  ;)

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