Sunday, March 31, 2013

April Currently

I hope your Easter was filled with family, friends, love and laughter!!
(And yummy food, tasty treats, bunnies, eggs, and jellybeans!!)

Wow...April already!?!  

When I was a little girl,
I remember thinking that there must be something very wrong with adults.
It seemed like the adults in my life were always watching the news.
And if they weren't watching it...they were reading it.  
And getting their fingers covered in black newspaper ink.
(Remember when newspapers did that?!)
So now...whenever I watch the news, I feel very "adult-like".
But, now I wonder if my little boy thinks there must be something very wrong with ME!

I'm a Jesus-girl.
I love Him!!
I love Easter and the HOPE it brings to my heart.
I love being reminded that death has been defeated.
I love knowing with absolute certainty that sin will never have the final word.
And, I love the words of my pastor when asked if he
believes in the resurrection...
"I not only believe it...I'm counting on it!!"  
He is RISEN indeed!!

Thinking & Wanting
So, my dear sweet friend from my small-group at church invited me to Yoga.
I almost said no.
{Big Sigh}
Then, I said yes...reluctantly.
So, now that I've committed, I have to follow through.
Someone please tell me this will be a good thing!!
I really want to get back to feeling like the best version of myself.  
Life is too short and precious to spend even one more day
just wishing change would come.
Time to act.

Whew...having a house for sale is no fun at all.

I'm such a newbie!!
In other words, I'm completely under-qualified to offer advice.
But, I know I struggle with balance.
I love blogging & creating for TPT!!
But, I have so, so, so many other things going on in my life.
Bigger, more important, essential things.
Things that deserve a place of honor in my life.

Bible study
being a good wife & mother
taking care of my own wellness
graduate studies
"me time"

So friends, be kind to yourselves.
Blessings are found in balance.

I'm linking up!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Bunny Blog Hop

A Tisket, A Tasket...Freebies for your Basket!
Several phenomenal teachers and bloggers are joining forces for an amazing bunny blog hop!  As you follow us along the bunny trail, you will visit some of your favorite blogs and discover a few new blogs too!  Each with a fabulous freebie just for you!

Thank you for hopping on over to my blog! 

The FREEBIE I'm sharing with you today is a
Bunny Trail 10 Frames math station activity.

You can use this versatile activity for your math stations/tubs or as an intervention lesson.  I hope you enjoy them!!

I'm having a Spring Cleaning SALE on TPT this weekend.
Everything in my store is 20% off!!
This is the perfect time to clean out your wish list!

Be sure to check out my unique & engaging
Ninja Bunny differentiated math & literacy stations!

And, you can get a GREAT deal on my Sight Word Snapshot Bundle!!

Be sure to get entered to WIN BIG in my
100 follower MEGA-Giveaway!!

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!
If you are new to my blog and like what you see,
don't forget to follow me!

A Tisket, A Tasket...
Next up with a Freebie for your Basket is
Leah from Learn with Leah.
Hop on over!

Just in case you didn't join us from the beginning,
here is an ordered list of all the participating blogs.

Stephany from Primary Possibilities
Sally from Elementary Matters
Lory from Fun for First
Linda from Primary Inspiration
Nicole from Mrs. Rios Teaches Second Grade
Brian from Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings
Liz from The Happy Teacher
Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers
Sarah from Learning is for Superstars
Teresa from Fun in K/1
Nikki from Teaching in Progress
Faith from Kindergarten Faith
Renee from Fantastic First Grade Froggies
Amy from Happy Teacher Heaven
Leah from Learn with Leah
Nicole from Teaching's a Hoot
Kristy from The Phonic's Phenomenon
Rich from Mr. Giso's Room to Read
Susanna from Whimsy Workshop
Amy from Motivate to Learn
Lola from Preschool Wonders
Kimberli from Mixing the Next Batch

Freebie Fridays

Saturday, March 23, 2013

100 Follower MEGA Giveaway!!

WOW Friends!!!  
You all really know how to roll out the welcome mat for a new girl!!

I've been so blessed and encouraged by your comments and support.
I'm so excited to have met my first big milestone...100 followers!!
To celebrate, I've gathered up some absolutely incredible prizes for YOU!!

Feel free to Pin-It or grab this picture and share it on your blog or Facebook page.
Use this link:
Share the love with your followers!!

I was blown away by the generosity of these teacher bloggers!!
I never expected this giveaway to be this MEGA-BIG!!!  
I've separated the prizes into 4 raffles for you to choose from.
Feel free to enter as many as you'd like!

The WINNER of the Sight Word Snapshots Giveaway that ended yesterday is

Congratulations Cherie!!

And, head over to Tori's Teacher Tips...she's celebrating 600 followers with a rockin' giveaway!

Check out the awesome 200 follower giveaway at Lovely Literacy & More!

One more 100 Follower Giveaway over at The Eagles Nest!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Displaying Student Work: Lattice

When designing my classroom wall space,
my first priority is a place to display student work!  

As teachers, we know that students (and their families) feel more 'at home' in our classrooms when the walls surrounding them are personalized by student work.  Students also feel so proud to have their work on display!  And for me, when I walk into my classroom {even when my desk is piled sky high and my centers look like a natural disaster area} my eyes immediately go to the colorful student work on the wall!!  I can only hope the same is true for the visitors to my classroom...and that they realize learning is messy sometimes!  

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of wall space in my kindergarten classroom.  I'm lucky to have a lot of cabinets and cubbies, but they come at the expense of wall space.  I also have huge curtain wall between my classroom and the classroom next door.  This makes it difficult to find the space to create student work displays.

Fortunately, my teammates had the perfect solution!

I went to Home Depot and purchased 2 pieces of plastic lattice.  Each piece is 4' x 8' and costs about $20/sheet.  You definitely want some help getting them moved and hung!  My Mom and Dad help me get my classroom set up each year.  I'm so thankful for their help because I could never have done this on my own!!  (Sorry about the glare...ya' gotta love fluorescent lighting!!) 

Each sheet is hung with 3 pieces of sturdy (and cute, color coordinated) ribbon and metal ceiling hooks.  I already had my hooks, but I'm sure you can find them at the hardware store.  I had some plastic ones that I purchased at a teacher store, but I worried they would break.  Since this is hanging right over my literacy station area, I wanted to be sure the sheets were secure!  

Here is a close-up of the ribbon and hooks:

My sweet Momma worked really hard making sure the ribbons were exactly the right length so that the lattice would hang straight.  This is REALLY important!  Because the lattice is plastic - obviously - it bends.  So, if you don't hang it just right, it will ripple.  That's the kind of thing that drives me we worked really hard until we got it just right!  You can see from the first picture that there is a little ripple in the first sheet, but it looks worse in the photo than in really is.  I was trying to get the whole wall in the photo, so it was a weird angle.  It's not that noticeable from a normal vantage point.

I use colorful little clips that I found in the Dollar Spot a few years ago to hang student artwork on the lattice.   But, clothespins work great, too.  I love how simple it is to change out the projects that are on display!  No hot glue or masking tape!!  :)  HOORAY!!  I can change out the projects in about 5 minutes.  :) 

Since pocket chart stands take up soooo much space, I love using the bottom of the lattice to hang pocket charts for students to use during literacy stations.  I didn't get a terrific picture of this, but you can get the idea by looking at the picture below.  Again, I just use little clips to hold it on.  It works like a charm and is just the right height for my kinders!!  

I've seen other teachers hang the lattice vertically and perpendicular to the wall to create a little "mini-wall" or "cubby" between stations.  However, my guided reading table is so far away from my station area that I felt like it limited my ability to supervise the area.  But, it's a great idea if your classroom set-up will allow it! 

Even if you don't have a curtain wall, I would really recommend displaying student work on lattice if you have any kid of large wall space to cover.  From a convenience standpoint - it can't be beat!!  Putting up and taking down artwork is a snap!  And, I think it provides a pretty backdrop that makes the students' work stand out in a special way, too!!  

Do you have an Open House or Celebration of Learning coming up this spring?  If so, this might be just what you need to put a fresh spin on your classroom displays!!  And, when August rolls around, you'll be thanking yourself that you got this project done early!

Make sure to pop over and enter my Sight Word Snapshot Bundle GIVEAWAY!!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sight Word Snapshot Giveaway

Hi Friends!
I'm so excited that I've finally created enough Sight Word Snapshot sentence writing fluency books to BUNDLE them!!  Wouldn't you just love to have them ALL?!
Haven't heard about this fabulous product yet?  
Click the picture above to check it out on TPT.
Click here and here to read all about it.
Click the picture below to download a FREEBIE to try with your class!!

Enter the Rafflecopter below to WIN all 11 Snapshots - a total of 99 pages!  This bundle will last you the remainder of the school year and I know you will see your students' writing fluency and confidence skyrocket!!  :)

Please feel free to grab the picture below & share it on your blog or Facebook page to spread the word about this fun giveaway!  Just be sure to link your post directly back to my blog.  Or, click the little red "P" in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture to "Pin It" and share the giveaway with all of your Pinterest followers.  Thank you!

Share this link: 

I'm working on more Snapshot books right now!  I'll be adding them to the bundle as soon as they are finished.  You know what happens next, right?  The price goes up.  However, if you buy the bundle NOW at just $15 ($20 value), you'll be able to come back and download my updates for F-R-E-E!!  What a deal!!

Spread the word to all your friends and you can earn additional entries!  Sharing is caring, right!?

This contest is only open from Wed. March 20th until Friday, March 22nd at midnight.  
Good luck!! 

I'm also putting together my 100 Follower MEGA-GIVEAWAY!!  I've already got some fantastic prizes from some TOP bloggers lined up for you.  ( excited!!!)  If you'd like to donate a product, please fill out the Google form or click the photo below.  All entries are due by Thursday, March 21st.  Thank you for helping me celebrate!!  

You'll also want to check out the big give-away happening over at Clearly Kindergarten!  Sarah is celebrating 100 blog followers and has soo many great products up for grabs.

I donated my Ninja Bunny Sneaky CVC Pocket Chart hop on over and enter to win!

This is an unbelievable deal if you're a TPT seller and you'd like to start using KG fonts in your work.  You can purchase a commercial license for ALL of Kimberly's amazing fonts for just $199 (reg. $249!)

Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Pat's, Friday 5 & a SALE!! :)

There's a fun little freebie at the end of this post!

I'm celebrating my IRISH heritage & kicking-off Spring Break by throwing a 2-day SALE!!  Pop on over to my TPT store and check it out!!  :)  With prices this good, you'll be able to stock up on great products to spruce up your spring lesson plans and still have plenty of gold left in your pot!!

If not, NOW is the time!! :)  

I've combined all 11 books (99 pages) in a BUNDLED set.  
It's a great deal and will provide you with 11 weeks 
of sight word & sentence writing practice.
Take advantage of my sale and SAVE even more!!

I also listed a new "Ninja Bunny" literacy pack and math pack that are SO much fun!!

Developing strong number sense, including concepts of 10 and decomposing numbers, is critical for future math success! Includes cards for Making 10 and cards for those Tricky Teens. 

This differentiated math pack is perfect for adding a bit of Easter/Spring merriment to your lesson plans! For added visual & kinesthetic support, consider adding some mini egg erasers for students to act out the number adds FUN, too!! 

This product has 2 tiers for differentiation. 

Tier 1 includes "Making 10" cards to help your students master decomposing the number 10 AND your choice of 4 recording sheets to tailor the activity to meet the needs of YOUR class!

Tier 2 includes "Making Teens" cards to help your students master the concept of "10 and ___ more" to make a teen number. Your choice of 2 more recording sheets are included to tailor the activity for YOUR class! 

Ten frames are included on the recording sheets make the learning more visual and concrete!

These cards can be used in so many ways! 
Read & Write the Room
Math Tubs/Math Stations
Small-Group Math Lesson
Intervention Lesson

These clever little Ninjas will be a huge hit with your class!!  
This fun-filled Spring/Easter themed Pocket Chart activity can be used as a whole-class lesson, small-group mini-lesson, center activity, or literacy station. 

Print, laminate, and cut apart the CVC egg CVC word cards and Ninja Bunny characters. Arrange them in a pocket chart. Hide the Ninja Bunnies behind the egg CVC word cards. Use as many or few as you wish.

A medial sound word sort and sentence-writing recording sheet is included!

And now it's time for...
I'm now officially on Spring Break!!  :)  I've got a bloggy to-do list that 4,692 miles long and I can't wait to get crackin' on it!  On the top of my list is Teaching Blog Traffic School.  I purchased a membership a few weeks ago, but haven't had time to do anything with it yet.  :(  I'm excited to learn more about my new adventure in the wild world of blogging!!  I feel sooooo very LUCKY to have Charity's expertise and the support & wisdom of the entire TBTS community!!  

Today was a super-fun day because I got to attend my very first Blogger Meet-Up!!  Sweet Miss Leanne Prince of Mrs. Prince and Co. was our planner extraordinaire!!  It was really great to meet these lovely local ladies.  I was even surprised to find out that 3 of us are from the same school district!  We enjoyed a yummy (long) lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and lots of stories & laughter.  I'm already looking forward to the next gathering!  I just wish I would have remembered to snap a picture...bummer!!  Be sure to check out their blogs!  I'm so LUCKY to have met such amazing new friends...I've said it before and I'll say it again...teachers are the BEST!  The teacher-blogger community has been so welcoming and encouraging to me as a new blogger.  Happy Teacher Heaven!!

My Scholastic Book order arrived just before Spring Break...which was exciting because I used bonus points to purchase a fancy-schmancy listening station for my classroom.  I had purchased the headphones earlier in the year and finally had enough bonus points to buy the stand!  I am LUCKY to teach in a school where parents support their children's literacy development by participating in Scholastic book clubs each month...and the teacher rewards ROCK!!  

This little baby blog of mine almost has 100 followers!  I'm having so much fun, learning TONS, and I have a long list of ideas to share with you.  I'm so grateful for each new follower and each new comment I receive...y'all put me in Happy Teacher Heaven, for sure!!  I'm excited to start planning my 100 follower giveaway! I am lucky incredibly BLESSED to be a part of this wonderful community of teacher-bloggers...I'm having SO much fun and learning more than I could have ever imagined!  Win!!

(finally) FIVE
Here's that FREEBIE I promised you.  :)  
I hope you & your kids enjoy these crazy little bunnies!!

Happy St. Patty's Day!!

I'm linking up with TBA and Classroom Freebies ...
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

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