Friday, December 30, 2011

A Liebster Thank you!

Wow!! What a week I've had! First, I have to send a huge thank you to Sally over at Elementary Matters for awarding me the Liebster Blog award. This award is given to newbie bloggers with under 200 followers and I am honored. Thank you so much, Sally!

Here are the rules:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

2. Thank the giver and link back to them.

3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

Now for the really fun part. I get to award 5 other new bloggers!! Here goes...


Teaching...My Calling

Congratulations to all of my Bloggy friends!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

50 Follower Giveaway!!

I've been stuck at 49 followers for quite some time and today, Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6 absolutely made my day.  Thanks, Stephanie!  She became my 50th follower and to celebrate this little milestone, I'm having a giveaway.  I thought about what I'd like that giveaway to be and Amazon popped into my head.  This probably sounds strange but I just 'discovered' how wonderful Amazon could be about a year ago - especially for books - so I'm giving away a $25 giftcard to

To enter, please follow these simple rules:
        1.  Follow my blog and leave a comment (or comment if you already do).  This equals one entry.
        2.  Blog about my giveaway if you feel like (no pressure).  This equals 2 entries.  Please leave two separate comments with a link back to your blog.
        3.  As a special thank you to Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6,  please check out her blog.  If you decide to become a follower, please leave a comment on this post for an additional entry.

VERY IMPORTANT:  Please leave your email on every comment so that I may contact you if you win.  If you are interested in this giveaway, please leave all comments by midnight of January 3rd.  The winner will be drawn on January 4th. 
         To all of my bloggy friends, thank you so much for your support!  Good luck!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Gifts

Well, here I am, the night before my last day before Christmas break and I'm finally getting around to wrapping my student gifts.  Thanks to my super fabulous daughter who ran to IParty for me while I brought my other daughter to the walk in clinic, I was able to get this job done pretty quickly.  For my student gifts, I always use my Scholastic bonus points to order a book for every child.  They all get the same book (to avoid any complaining) and I usually try to find one that's wintery but low in points.  AND, most importantly, I always order the year before.  One year, the books I wanted were backordered and did not come in on time.  I was NOT a happy camper.  So I've already ordered next year's gift with this December's book order.  It's tucked away safe and sound (which actually makes it sound even worse that I'm just now wrapping them!  Ha ha!)

I also try to find an inexpensive fun gift at the dollar store.  I found these old-fashioned gems at the Dollar Tree.  Love these games!

Anyway, I got them all wrapped up and looking cute.  I'm finally ready to celebrate with my kiddos. 

Merry Christmas, Bloggy Friends!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Fantastic Giveaway!

Oh Boy 4th Grade is hosting a 12 days of Christmas giveaway.  She has many fabulous bloggers who will be guest blogging about their part of the giveaway.  Click the picture below to check it out for yourself.  There's only three simple rules so you won't want to miss it!

So Excited!

Erika from The Honey Bunch has just honored me with my very first blog award!  You've totally made my day, Erika!  So, the rules are that you have to answer a few questions and then send the award on to other fabulous bloggers (This is very humbling to me!)  Here goes...

Favorite Color:  Black and lime green.  I redid my classroom with that color scheme this year and I am totally loving it.

Favorite Animal:  Dogs...most definitely!  I have two little babies of my own.  Aren't they so cute!

Favorite Drink:  Sangria!  Oh, was it supposed to be non-alcoholic...?  :)

Favorite Number:  13 - I like to beat the odds, I guess.

Facebook or Twitter?  Facebook for sure, but I'm not a good Facebook friend.  I don't check nearly often enough.

Getting or Giving?  Giving - There's nothing like the feeling of finding the perfect gift for someone.  I LOVE it!

Favorite Flower:  Sunflowers - They grow so steady and strong, despite the weather.

Now, here's the really fun, but very difficult part.  There are SOOO many really fantastic blogs out there that have given me so much inspiration.  It truly is extremely hard to pick just a handful but here goes...

First, I would like to honor Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files.  She is the reason why I even started blogging in the first place AND she is the very talented designer of my blog.  Thanks, again, Kristen!

Secondly, I'd like to give the Sunshine Award to Amy at Step Into Second with Mrs, Lemons.  She has fabulous ideas and is always willing to share.  Thank you, Amy!

Next, the Sunshine Award goes to Tara at 4th Grade Frolics.  She is an amazing teacher with strong faith which I find very refreshing in today's world.

4th Grade Frolics

Next, there's Ms. Durning from Second Grade is Splendid.  She is super organized and is an excellent Daily 5 resource.  Thank you, Ms. Durning!


And finally, I'd like to award Mrs. McDaniel and her Second Grade Super Stars.  She started blogging this year just like me.  She has fabulous ideas and a really cute blog.  She could use some more followers so go check it out.  I'm sure she'd appreciate it!

 Mrs. McDaniel’s Second Grade Super Stars

In fact, you should check out ALL of these blogs.  I promise, you will not be sorry.  Erika, thank you so much for this award.  It's so exciting to be part of such a wonderful group of people!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blog Mistake!

Hi Everybody,
  This is just a quick post to let you know that my blog domain name has changed.  I decided that it would be better for my domain name to match my blog name so I changed it...BIG mistake!  I did not realize that it would mess up my own blog, creatively designed by Kristen over at Ladybug's Teacher Resources.  I had to contact this miracle worker for help in fixing all of the pages that would not work anymore.  Thank you, Kristen!  Then this morning, Erika at The Honey Bunch kindly told me that she was not getting my updates in her blog roll anymore.  Yikes!  That is definitely NOT good.  So I wanted to put it out there that it is totally my fault and I sincerely apologize.  I truly hope that you are somehow seeing this and will update your blogs to continue following.  Thank you, thank you!  I've also added a 'Follow by E-mail' gagdet to my blog, just in case you are interested in that.  Have a fabulous day!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Character Pumpkins

I can not take credit for this idea but isn't it great?!  I first saw these beauties on the  Clutter Free Classroom (one of my FAVORITE blogs!). 

So I purchased the set and showed it to my absolutely fabulous student teacher.  She is teaching the elements of fiction and wanted to give it a try.  The parents really seemed to like the project and the kids are so proud of what they've accomplished!  I just had to share their work with all of you.  Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Common Core App

Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher posted about this wonderful little gagdet to help us master the up and coming Common Core.  It's from Mastery Connect and it's totally free.  You can embed it right into your website or blog.  OR you can link directly to it with a little tab that will show up on the right side of your blog.  I chose this one because embedding it took up way too much space on my homepage.  It's very easy to do.  Just copy and paste the code into an HTML gadget and voila! you're done.  I'll have to figure out how all of you wonderful bloggers take pictures of things on the web and add all those fancy arrows and such...  Some day!  :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Finally finished!!!

Way back in August I had posted about a bench that was made by my daughter when she was in seventh grade.  I had painted it white but was undecided as to how I wanted to finish it.  Well, this beautiful New England weather must have inspired me because I finally got it done!
Jen is tickled pink that I'm using her very own hand-crafted work of art.  I, of course, am just as glad because she wanted to throw it away!  Here's a close up of the top:
I used ThistleGirl Graphics, of course.  She is my favorite graphic artist! And I simply added one of Dr. Suess' most famous quotes.  "The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you know, the more places you'll go." 
I can't wait to bring it into school tomorrow.  The kids love sitting on anything other than their chairs.  And then there are those students who simply do not have the body strength to sit on the floor comfortably.  I think this will work out just great.  My next project is going to be those milk crates I've been seeing on other blogs.  Here's a sample from Erika over at The Honey Bunch.

Aren't these the best creation ever!?  I'll let you know how I make out...   :/

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nook Books!!

My sister-in-law just showed up with a $15 giftcard to Barnes & Noble!  I can't believe it!  I'm so excited and now I get to go shopping!  Thanks, Jenn!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Amazon Giveaway!

Ashleigh over at Ashleigh's Education Journey is giving away $25 to Amazon.  What can be better than that!  Click on the button below to read about her giveaway.  It's super easy to enter!

Ashleigh's Education Journey

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Target Winner!

Congratulations, Erika (a.k.a. The Honey Bunch) is my first ever giveaway winner!  I hope you enjoy your visit to Target's Dollar Spot and let me know if you find any treasures.  Please email me your address so that I can get your gift card right in the mail.  :)

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway and became a follower.  If you had a blog of your own, I returned the favor. New Bloggy Buddies...yay!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Donor's Choose

If you have not heard of or used Donor's have got to check it out!  I have had three projects funded - totaling over $1000 worth of classroom supplies.  The first time I posted a project on Donor's Choose it expired before the project was funded.  My initial reaction was that it was just a scam but for some reason I decided to try again.  So I posted the very same project a second time and it was funded in just a few months.  The classroom rug that I had asked for arrived just before Christmas and we were all super excited! 
Our new classroom rug!

Well, at Donor's Choose, when you get a project funded, you earn points to post more projects and boy, was I hooked now!  I knew technology was the way to go next so I posted a project for an IPod Touch.  Once again, it was funded before it expired and the IPod was delivered by April.

We use it (and a couple of older ones that my kids weren't using anymore) as a Listen to Reading choice during Daily 5.  My students absolutely LOVE this activity!

My last project was funded over the summer.  It was for two Nooks.  As it turned out, the Nooks that I had posted from Best Buy were no longer available so they offered me a slightly cheaper version at 3 for the price of 2!  Can you believe it?!  Our three Nooks arrived today and the kids can't wait to get started with them.

Donor's Choose is an awesome site for public school teachers.  It is so worth checking out!  Good luck!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Oh my God! It was so easy to add numbers to your comments thanks to Kristen!  Your tutorials are unbelievable!!  So here is my first giveaway - yay!  I am a huge fan of Target's Dollar Spot so I thought a $10 gift card form there would be just perfect.  If you'd like a free $10 than simply become a follower of my blog and leave a comment that you did.  Or, if you are already a follower (Thanks!), just leave a comment so you have a chance to win.  This giveaway will end on Friday, Sept. 16th.  Enjoy your school year and good luck!

First Week

Hi, Friends!  My first week of school is finally over (delayed a week due to the hurricane!) and I have to say that it was very successful.  I have a student teacher whom I absolutely LOVE!  She is soooo ready to be a teacher that it's more like co-teaching than student teaching.  I can't believe how lucky I am!  As for the students...they are fantastic!  They are already mastering the basic routines and the child who will be glued to my side for the whole year ;) was off the chart today for great behavior.  Things are looking pretty darn good right now.  I'm exhausted but very, very happy which is putting me in the mood for a giveaway.  I'm going to head over to Ladybug's resources to learn how to number my comments.  Hopefully, I'll be back soon...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hurricane/Power Outage

Hi Friends!
I'm very happy to say that after Hurricane Irene and almost a week of no power, no phone, no cable television AND no Internet, that I am back online.  We were very lucky with this flooding and no damage.  We did lose some trees but they fell away from the house thanks to the grace of God.  The loss of  power was truly the worst of it and to be honest - it was nice to simplify life for a little while.  Having said that, we were supposed to start school on the 29th but now will be starting on Sept. 6th.  We already have 5 days to make up and winter hasn't even begun!  I'm sure there are others who are in the same boat.  My thoughts and prayers go out to Vermont who clearly suffered the most damage.  I hope all is well with all of my Blogging Buddies.  Take care!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Got a Little Creative!

My youngest daughter decided that she would like her room repainted for her 16th birthday.  While I LOVED the idea of saving some money, there was much to be done before painting could commence.  She and I made a deal.  Her father and I would paint her room as long as she cleaned and decluttered A LOT.  She got right to work.  One of the things that she wanted to throw away was this bench that she had made in 7th grade. 

I was ABSOLUTELY not going to 'throw it away' and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.  It was going to become a Read to Someone bench in my classroom.  So then I got right to work.  So far, I've only primed it and painted it white. 
I'm between ideas for the rest of it.  I used to paint B.C. (before children) but it's been quite awhile...20 years to be exact!  I've never used Mod Podge before but I've heard good things about it.  I just don't know if it would hold up to being sat on and stepped by many children.  Anybody have any good advice?

Classroom Photos

Here in my part of the country, we are starting school on Monday...pending the hurricane, of course!  My room is ready and I finally took some pictures to share with all of you.  Before I do, though, I really want to thank ALL of you fabulous teachers out there.  Your blogs, ideas and insights are so wonderful and exciting.  I can't wait to start the year!

Bucket Filler Display
Birthday Board & Sink Area

Sink with curtain made by my wonderful mom!

SmartBoard & Easel
Classroom Library
More of the classroom library
Cute lamp and pencil spot
Student tables
Writing Center
CAFE Menu Board
Clip Chart
Weather & Job Board

Leveled Library

That's pretty much the gist of my room.  I just realized that I don't have any 'whole room' pictures, just close-ups, but you get the idea.  I'm very jealous of many of your entrance displays.  We are not allowed to hang things in the hallway so it looks VERY blah!  Here's to a wonderful school year to everybody.  Feel free to ask questions or leave a comment.  Thanks!