Sunday, March 31, 2013


I am usually struggling to get in one-two posts a week and here I am posting twice in one day!  When I saw Farley post her currently for April, I couldn't resist!  I mean to do these every month and then I end up not getting around to it!  So this will be short and sweet, my sugar high baby, lesson plans, and sub plans for two days have WORN me out!  Not to mention the fact that we were up bright dark and early to make it to sunrise service at church this morning! :) 

Click on the image above to check out Farley's awesome blog and April Currently! 

To all my fellow Texas teachers, good luck to you and your students on the STAAR test!!! :) 

Going. To. Bed. Now. 

Happy Easter!

I hope your weekend has been relaxing and full of fun time with your family, mine sure has been! I've been busy at work this weekend, too!  Not only did I manage to stock up on some great items from TPT due to the wonderful sales, but I managed to update my Charlotte's Web Unit, already!  I added versions of the book in color as well as the black and white!  I also added vocabulary cards that go along with the book, with and without definitions.  If you already purchased the unit, please go download it again for the new additions! :)
As I began thinking about this coming week and what I am teaching for Social Studies.... I became a little worried that I needed something to help teach this unit.  In the past, I have always used the lesson about the Tired King, Louie and his kingdom, to introduce government.  If you don't have any clue what I'm talking about you can click here and find the PDF version.  Basically, it is a story about how the king divided up his responsibilities among three departments, the law makers, the guards, and the judges.  Students then participate in an activity where they read letter from the people of the kingdom and students must decide which department is responsible for handling the letter.  Since this lesson is always such a huge hit, I will of course use it again! :)

This is not where I began to panic, my panic set in about the days following this lesson.  I am supposed to teach about the three branches of government, their responsibilities, and about our government leaders.  I needed something to easy to handle that the kids wouldn't lose and could actively be used as a resource.  This is the same type of panic that set in when I decided to create My Communities Interactive Book!  Since this book was such a BIG hit not only with my kids, but also as a resource in my TPT store, I figured something of this sort would solve my problem! Thus, I created my What is Government Interactive Book! I'm really excited about this, mostly because my kids LOVE having their own little book to use as a resource!  Seriously, we will be working on an assignment and they will ask to use their resource(s).  Makes a teacher happy, or at least this one!  :)  This book includes a table of contents, headings, sub headings, pictures, bolded text, and a glossary to help reinforce those wonderful non-fiction text features.
Now that I have my panic resolved, I need to get on making sub plans for Tuesday and Wednesday since I am being pulled to test students on the STARR test.  Yay for standardized testing, NOT!  So in my attempt to get started and not be a huge procrastinator, I will leave you some pictures from this morning! 
Wishing you all a marvelous week! :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Egg-Cellent Five for Friday

Today is the start of what I have no doubt will be an Egg-Cellent three day weekend!! However, it is before seven and I am wide awake!  I am ready for summer so that I can retrain my body to sleep past 8 am!!  As promised, here I am back for my Friday weekly update, luckily I just happen to have enough energy to do this on a Friday and not my usual Saturday or Sunday!  :)

So here I go with my Five for Friday!
1.This week and week we spent some time talking about the night sky.  We have learned about where the moon gets its light from, the different phases of the moon, and how long it takes the moon to rotate the Earth. This week as we reviewed the phases of the moon the kids made a quick model of four of the most known phases.  I got this idea from a cute unit I bought last year, The Sun, The Moon, The Stars, from Yvonne Dixion over at Sassy in Second.  Wednesday and Thursday we spent some time talking about constellations and even making our own!  

2. If you ask my kids who my FAVORITE author is they will either tell you Mo Willems (my all time fave for chidlren’s books) and Gail Gibbions (I mean really who doesn’t love her books for teaching non-fiction!).  My favorite Mo Willems books though are all about Piggie and Elephant!  


I could tell you about 20 reasons why I love Mo Willems, but that would make this post excessively long, so I will just share one of the reasons that my kids have become obsessed!  I’m sure if you haven’t read the Don’t Let the Pigeon book series that you’ve at least heard about it.  This was Mo Willems first book series and so when he writes about others the pigeon gets jealous and “sneaks” into the books.  The pigeon is usually hidden in at least one place.  In some books you have to REALLY search to find him, but he’s there! This week we spent some time working on different activities that go along with his series about Knuffle Bunny.  I actually bought Hope King’s KnuffleBunny unit impulsively last year when I saw it due to my obsession with Mo Willems.  I didn’t ever end up actually using it last year, but when I saw Hope post about it a couple weeks ago and her suggestion of using it for Easter time, I was sold!  I quickly pulled open the unit and went through it finding things that I could throw into centers that my kids would love! Needless to say they had a blast using one of their our favorite book series to work on their skills of cause and effect, creating dialogue in their writing, and some fun with a Knuffle Bunny Glyph!  Next week I will be adding a few more things from the unit and things I've added discussing character traits and comparisons between the different books! 

 This was probably one of their favorite writing activities ever!! One of the unique things about Knuffle Bunny is that the background illustrations are all black and white photos and the characters are all animated.  The kids tried to use his inspiration and create a scene of their own! :) If you haven't read Knuffle Bunny, it's a must! 

3. We made it through four more chapters of Charlotte's Web this week!  Let me tell you, this is the kids favorite time of the day!  I love that they are just as excited about it as I am, one of my kids said after we read one of the chapters the other day "Man, this book just keeps getting better and better!"  The suspense of what is going to happen next (even though most of them have seen the movie) is exciting!  We all know that the books are MUCH better than the movies anyway! 

4.  If you caught my post earlier this week, you learned that Sunday night part of my attic fell into my garage.  Yep, that was fun, NOT!  You also would have learned that I got my NEW MACBABY!!! One of the very first things I did after I backed up all of my files from old Macbaby thanks to the awesomeness of the time capsule was create something new and fun for centers.  For some reason, compound words are never explicitly taught in second, however a review, especially when there are compound words on our assessments, is always great for my centers.  So I made a little compound word FREEBIE to share with you all! There are two different ways you can do this, you can have them do it independently and have students complete the recording sheet so you can check to make sure they really understand or they can play memory or you can have them do it independently first and then play memory with a buddy.  All of the above are possible. I also have it in color and the cards in black in white.  Whatever is best for your liking!  Click below to grab it FREE from my TPT store! 

5.  I have decided to take part in the Egg-Cellent Sellers Sale!  Go check out my store to find what my favorite five sellers are! :) 

I hope you all have a great Easter weekend!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Nerdy Side

Whew, is it seriously only Tuesday?!?  Today, since I woke up, I seriously have felt like it is without a doubt a Wednesday.  Maybe it is because it is only a four day week and my body is trying to play along with the fact that today was like a Wednesday!  I am sure it is that the spring fever has fully set in.... it's the time of year that all I want to do is sleep an extra 10 or 30 minutes, that staying outside and enjoying the beautiful day is more tempting than heading back into the classroom (ok, maybe that isn't just because it's spring), and most importantly the panic with spring has set in.  You mean that I still have five bajillion things to teach in the next 9-10 weeks?!?!  Maybe I'm exaggerating about there being five bajillion things, but geez Louise, it feels like that many! 

Even though this week began rough due to the fact that my attic fell through into my garage.... yes, you read that right, part of my attic fell into the my garage on Sunday night.... my day was absolutely 100% made by one of my students and his mother today! 

 After school, I was in the office talking to the secretary and one of my little babies from last year walked in looking for me with the flowers pictured above.  I asked what they were for and he said "because your attic fell into your garage." Sweetest. Thing. Ever.  Yes, I'm talking about the kid and the gesture!  I was smiling ear to ear due to the sweet little thought that brightened my whole week! :) The picture of the garage may not look that bad, but the long, loud crash that I heard as I was getting ready for bed scared the you know what out of me!  I was terrified that someone was breaking in or my house was going to collapse.... Walking into the garage and seeing shattered glass ALL OVER the ground and debris all over the hood of my car almost gave me a heart attack.  There were probably 20 broken ornaments and a broken snow globe.  Thankfully, Berklee's ornaments were spared!!  I was, however, BEYOND thankful that it was the crashing of the garage rather than someone trying to break into my house or the crashing of the ceiling in my room or B's room! Yes, it stunk cleaning up glass all over the ground at 11 at night, but then again it could have been much worse.  It's all about perspective.

As if today wasn't already a great enough day, I also received my new MacBaby that I ordered a little over a week ago!! Talk about one happy momma, yep, that's me! :)
I've had the itch for a new computer for well over a year now and since my old Mac and my school Mac are both "glitching" .... no they aren't smiling, they are truly crapping out!  It makes me frustrated when I am trying to create things and the computer is freezing or going super slow or just won't work period.  So this Mac snob lover, just upgraded!  Whomever said "once you go Mac, you'll never go back" was NOT joking!! I am seriously illiterate when it comes to using a PC after 5ish years with my Mac!  I love that my district is completely Apple!  One of my co-workers actually made quite a bit of fun of me for just how nerdy my excitement about this computer was/is, but I just can't help it! :)

We only two more days to a three day weekend, HOORAY!!!  I hope you all have a great week and I plan to be back Friday with a fun freeebie! :)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Five for ..... Saturday

As I mentioned last week... On Fridays I am so stinking exhausted,  even though I have every intention of writing, I can't gather the energy to do it!  I mean seriously, our Friday night staple for dinner this past month has been pizza, because I literally don't even have the energy to think about cooking!!  B doesn't complain though, she loves it!! She devours at least two pieces and sometimes three!!

So here I am, on Saturday night, sharing my Five for Friday and can't wait to because even though it was a stressful week back, it was a great week! :)

1.  Well I know I posted this picture on Monday, but last Friday my best friend came to visit.  The main purpose of this visit was for our race that we completed on Saturday... WARRIOR DASH!  It is a 5k with 12 obstacles... INSANE!  Seriously, the first third of the race was all up hill on a rock trail... We were about 2/3 of the way through and I began thinking to myself...."SERIOUSLY... not only did I sign myself up for this, but I PAID for it too?!?!?!?"  I was beyond excited to be done and honestly am contemplating doing it again!! Next time though, I will NOT forget my inhaler in the bag I checked... had I of had it, the race would have been much more enjoyable and quicker!! :)

2. On Monday, not only was I SORE and SUN BURNT from the race, but most excitingly we began CHARLOTTE'S WEB!!!!!! :)  I know, I know... I've shared this photo, too... but SERIOUSLY, how can you not be excited about Wilbur, Charlotte, Fern, and Templeton!!  I just LOVE reading and working through Charlotte's Web!  My kids are LOVING the new unit that I made, it is making my life teaching different elements of the story SUPER easy as well! :) 

3.  Tuesday was our field trip, the first one of two for my kiddos this year!! We went as a grade level to H-E-B (a large grocery store in Texas) and our county Museum.  The kids and parents were quite skeptical of our choice of a field trip, and well you may be too as you're reading this, but seriously it was a blast!  We did the same field trip last year and it was fun, this year it was even more enjoyable!  At the grocery store they talk about eating healthy, what a portion size is, the different parts of a grocery store and the kids even got several samples... bananas, freshly made tortillas,  as well as yummy salmon and pork!  I think know their favorite part of it though was when they got to "pet" the crab and lobster!  :) The museum was also really cool, I love learning about the history of our area and even though it is the third year we've gone, I learn something new every year because they are constantly changing out some of their displays!  My favorite part was the little old lady in character like she lived during the 1800's!  My kids were glued and completely drawn into her presentation as well! :)

4.  However, Thursday was probably one of the BEST days!  My mom was on spring break this week, it's wild that even though we are neighboring communities that we have different spring breaks!  Anyway..... She planned to pick up B early from her baby sitters and came to meet me for lunch!! I don't know who was more excited, my kids or me!! :)  My kids have been DYING to meet B for MONTHS!!!  The pictures and almost daily stories are NOT enough for them!  They were in complete awe of her and well she was in heaven being with so many "BIG" kids!  The best part of the whole thing though was the sweetest compliment I received from my team mate on Friday though. As we were talking after school she said that it was so sweet to see me with B and that when I was holding her that I was just glowing!!  Sweetest. Compliment. EVER!  Thanks, Kristin! :) So even though I didn't get a picture of her in my room, I did get a picture of her before the day started, the only way I was able to get her to pose for the picture was by telling her she was going to see her Gama!! She is definitely a Grandma's Girl!!
5.  I'm going to start this one with a picture and then explain.....

So... I am definitely that teacher that has crazy silly rules in her classroom.  One of them being we DON'T say the "c" word.... you know the one that starts with "craaa" and ends with "eee" .... That is how one of my kids described it to me last year and I cracked up laughing.  Yes, I do not allow my kids to say crazy.....  WHY?!??!? I'm sure that is what you're thinking.  Well, let me explain.  As a child that word was a NO, NO!  It was disrespectful to call someone that and inappropriate to say that something was crazy.  Plus, I admit that even myself now as an adult use the word too openly.  When I began my first year, I vowed that would be one of my rules.  It takes the kids a week, maybe two max to really be able to control themselves from saying it.  On top of the fact that I don't really like the meaning of the word and how loosely we use it in todays society, it makes the kids practice self control over the things they say and THINK before they think.  Something that TOO many kids today lack. :-/  Ok, so now let me explain the picture..... My first two years of teaching, I was NEVER caught saying the "c" word in my class.  This year, in the last two months though, this phrase above has slipped out of my mouth TWICE!! You should see my kids faces too when they realize what I've said!! Their eyes become bugged out, their mouth drops open, and they are in complete shock.  Thankfully, my first two times of slipping up, they have been easy on me and given me "warnings!" haha...

I hope you all have a great weekend!  Mine is going well, minus the fact that I think my little miss may just be getting sick :(  I am going to get back to watching my trashy tv reruns of old school Real World and my glass of wine! :)

Oh & a just because sale is now going on in my TPT Store! :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Make that one Tardy....

As much as I wasn't ready for spring break to be over, I was eager to see my 22 kiddos. You would think with all of this excitement that I would of remembered one of the key things needed to start my day...... Turning on my alarm!! However, that was not the case this morning. I woke up to a sleeping whine of my daughter thinking "why are you awake already, it's Sunday!" ..... Only to realize seconds later that yesterday was in fact Sunday and that today was Monday! Light was peeking through my blinds as I turned over in a panic to check the time........ 6:55, the time that I usually already have B dropped off at her babysitters! Needless to say I was "tardy" my first day back from spring break. I hope this is not an indicator of the way the next 11ish weeks are going to go!!!

Regardless of the hectic morning, my day was overall very exciting and productive!

Once I actually arrived, almost 30 minutes late, and the kids excitement subsided ... We dug into math. We began reviewing multiplication strategies that we learned before spring break, to my surprise, they actually remembered!! :) After we reviewed multiplication we began with division strategies!! This is one of my favorite math lessons ver to teach!! :) *** disclaimer: while I say multiplication and division... I don't call it that in my class, we don't actually use the multiplication and division signs. I explain to them that what we are doing is the begging steps to these processes, setting them up for multiplication and division in third grade....  ***. Each year, for the past three years, I have read The Doorbell Rang. Such a cute book and great intro to this strategy! After we work our way through the book, the kids had the opportunity work through some problems with cookies of their own, cookie crisp that is! :) They enjoy this lesson just as much as me, wish you could have seen their excitement! Nothing like a fun and engaging Monday!!

I have posted a couple times about our upcoming unit over Charlotte's Web! Well, today was the day, we FINALLY got to begin!!! I make such a big deal out of this for my kids because it is our first, well their first, novel study!! I read this book in elementary school and I read to my kids from my original book from elementary school!! It's definitely weathered over the years, but it's still overall in great on condition!!  Reading from my copy as a kid makes it even more special to them.... And me!  I love that they are always amazed with it!! :)
When we headed in from recess, I told the kids there was a surprise for them! During lunch I set out their Charlotte's Web study book, bookmark, and Charlotte's Web book for them on their table. Thanks to a generous parent, ALL of my kids had their own personal copy!! :)

On top of all of this funness... I decided for our brain break to try out the ants in your pants dance video for our brain break today... Let's just say, it was HUGE hit!! If you haven't checked it out, you must!! :)

Tomorrow is field trip day and this momma is exhausted and still sore from completing the warrior dash this weekend, so I will leave you with picture of my best friend and I from the race!! I hope you all enjoy your week!!! :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five for Friday & Freebie

It's hard to believe that my Spring Break is basically over. :(  While it has flown by, B and I have had a blast, I sure do love my one on one time with her!  For WEEKS I have been wanting to link up for Doodle Bugs Five for Friday.  Usually by the time I get home on Friday though I am so tired exhausted drained, mentally and physically, that I don't have the energy to write, well that and I usually don't have pictures of the things I want to share because of my horrible memory!  I told myself that this week would be my exception! :)  So here it goes.

One: Monday we went to the Dallas World Aquarium.  If you are a Texan and have never been, put it on your list of things to do.  Seriously, it was awesome, minus the fact that it was PACKED!!  I like to be able to move around and there were several times that we had difficulty doing due to the abundance of strollers and gawking. 
Two: Tuesday we had another fun packed day at the zoo!  A friend of mine lives within walking distance of the Ft.Worth zoo so we made a full day out of it!  We made it to the zoo by about 11, left around 1:30 since little miss NEEDED a nap badly!  After her nap, we hit the zoo for round 2 and stayed until they closed at 5!  B was exhausted and so was I after two days on the go!! We were happy to finally make it home late that evening!
Three: Wednesday we made a trip to the park, as if we hadn't been go, go, go enough!  :)  This little girl loves any and everything to do with being outside, so this week has been a dream come true for her!

Four:  Since I get a little anxious staying inside the house all the time, we met Bubba for lunch on Thursday.  Berklee thought she needed to be in control of the salad mixing!
Five: I FINALLLYYYYYYYY finished my Charlotte's Web Unit!!  Yeesh!  I have been working on this in spurts for the past two weeks.  My problem is that once I get into it.... I lose all track of time and am oblivious to everything else going on around!  I am super excited about it... mostly because it is going to be SOOO helpful during our unit!  When I get to doing fun things like book studys, I HAVE to have it laid out specifically, exactly like I plan to do it, otherwise I get distracted and it doesn't go so well.  This is my third year doing Charlotte's Web and I am super-duper excited about reading this book with my kids!  Each one of my kids will have their own copy this year thanks to a generous parent who purchased a class set of the books!  I also was able to bind their study guides together, we make a BIG deal out it!! :)  I don't have a picture, because of course, I forgot to take one of the bound books, but I have put everything together for purchase on TPT!

This unit is by far, my favorite unit I have created yet!  There is a study guide that has pre-reading questions/vocabulary and then a reading reflection.  I have also included 8 different foldables, 4 comparing characters and 4 that students can work on throughout the book so they can see how the character has changed from the beginning, middle, to the end.  A formative assessment/quiz that students must read the clues to identify the correct characters and TWO, yes, TWO different tests with keys!  Along with all of this there are templates for acrostic poems, writing paper, and extension activities listed by chapter!  A lot of work went into this, but it is going to make the next 6 weeks or so of reading a breeze when it comes to planning! :) Click the picture below to check it out in my TPT store, I will have it on sale through the weekend! :) 
Also, if you didn't get a chance to download the bookmarks that I made to go along with this as a freebie, click the picture below! :) 

I hope you all have a great weekend!! I know I will, my best friend is on her way NOW and tomorrow we will compete in Warrior Dash!! I can't believe it's already that time!! :)  For those of you just starting spring break, ENJOY.... for those of you that are ending your spring break, savor the last few days!!