Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Awesome giveaway going on at Eberhart's Explorers!

 To celebrate their many followers, Kristin (my new fav teach blogger), Jennifer of First Grade Blue Skies, and Erin are giving away a prize pack!

1. $15 Target card
2. $15 Scrapin' Doodles
3. Two items from Jennifer's TPT store!

Go over and check it out!

p.s. You must check out Kristin's blog! She is ridiculously hilarious and has this undeniable energy that left me when my daughter turned two. :) Enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Super Cute Word Wall How-To

I love word walls. I mostly love building them with kids... and although that doesn't always work out, this year I made a step in the right direction by creating a super cute, no-excuse-not-to word wall. I am sure I saw this somewhere on someone else's blog, but I have no clue. 

Step 1: Laminate 12x12 inch carstock (I bought a pack at Michael's for less than $5). Cut each piece into 6x6 inch squares.

Step 2: For each 6" square, make a mark in the middle (3"). I used a crayon because that's what my two-year-old had all over the living room. :)

Step 3: Using the half-way mark, hold your square on a diagonal and cut from corner to half-way mark. Do the same from the other corner. This will make your pennant.

Step 4: Use alphabet stickers for each letter and hot glue ribbon across the top. Just as a common sense tip that I almost forgot... Lay out your pennants to make sure they fit the space! I got lucky!

SUPER cute, super easy way to dress up your room. All for under $10! These pictures were taken before school started, and now it's full of words. We used black felt strips and velcroed (spelling, anyone?!?) our words to the felt! So easy! I'll see if I can get a picture of it now soon. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My first freebie!!!

I don't know about you... but I HATE grading homework. I know, don't judge me. There's just something overwhelming and annoying about it. And then... how do you handle the families who give no help - wether they have time or not. I do feel, however, that it's important for something to go home that is informative. We can't possibly grade every problem.

With that being said, I'm so excited to say that, thanks to my teaching partner, I have my first freebie! My partner works at the end of the week, thus the job of checking gobs of homework falls on her. We shared the Friday last year and now it's hers to have and to hold. :) She had the idea to create a check sheet to make checking homework incredibly easy for her, yet really informative and impressive looking for the parents. I've also got the Spanish version coming... so check back again next week.


Think of it as a progress report for homework. It's nothing fancy... but I know that I love a good, useable freebie so I though I'd share. A lot of other stuff I've made has clip art. Since I haven't had time to figure out what I can and cant use, I don't want to post it online. Dang intellectual property!

Anyway, here it is. Please spread the word for me if you have a blog of your own.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back to School Night

So, tomorrow is back to school night and I've mentally prepared a ton of great info for my families. Then I had a girl tell me today that her mom doesn't want to come because she doesn't like going to "those things". Seriously?!? Does anyone know how much time, effort, and selfish thoughts of THEIR child I have spent preparing for this? Ok, I know I seem irritated, I promise I'm not bitter. Especially when the majority of my class shows up with parental representation each year. That's a smiley for my scoreboard for sure, a drop in the bucket. I will admit, I have members of my own family who say, "I went last year, it's the same old thing." UGH!! I really think that the kids bugging their parents to death really helps my situation out just a tad. I mean, you know you've finally given in and bought your kid something just to shut them up, err... make them happy.

Anyone have any great ideas for helping your families really be engaged and get the most out of it? Or am I the only one with this problem?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So much to say!

WOW! The first couple weeks of school are busy! I think I forgot. Short-term memory loss, I guess. No seriously, this is the absolute busiest I've been at the beginning of the school year in my 5 years...AND I'm job sharing! I actually think that may contribute to my craziness because I have to cram pretty much a full week of work into three days. I'm taking a lot of work home, happily, so that I can find a balance between teacher and mommy. :)

Another reason I'm so busy is because we are implementing a TON of new things this year. Blogland is sure to kill my teaching partner! I've spent the entire summer researching, reading, and stalking some amazing blogs. It's landed me in "I've got to try this" mode. But honeslty, after 4 years of doing pretty much the same thing, I'm ready for a change. A lot of it is going well, some would be better next time with some tweaking, and some I won't do again....

Before I get all wordy and long-winded...


I am so amazed by the generosity of our friends, family, and Lakeshore Learning! In July, I wrote a project proposal for the teacher grant website, Lakeshore offered to give us a 50% match on the project that also included this classroom rug.  We had the funding in no time and even were able to give back by donating some of our funds to Donors Choose. If you've used Donors Choose, you know how excited I am... and if you haven't go there now! The coolest part is, my husband came to my school this afternoon and stayed with me until 6:00 p.m. to put it together for me! SWEET! 

Ok, so back to work...

Here's what we have or plan to implement that's new this year:

I'd love to know your thoughts on any of these awesome ideas! I plan on devoting a post to each of them in the coming weeks... but until then, please share! :)

Sons of Anarchy is on... so more to come soon! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Three for Thursday!!!

Well, since I started school this week... I've been slacking in the blog department. I have so many posts in draft in my head and will be updating a lot this weekend. Today was my Friday, so I feel blessed to have the time (TIME? Am I kidding myself???) or at least the drive to prioritize this to the top of my list. Blog Hoppin' is having Teacher's week as I mentioned in my last post and I just HAD to jump on this one!

My three favorites...

Favorite Font


So, for some reason there is an anti-comic sans movement sweeping the internet. I still love it. I can't print ANYTHING in my classroom with out it. I know, lame. I had so many other cute Kevin and Amanda fonts in mind... but I'd be lying if I didn't say this was my fav.


Favorite Blog

By far, my favorite blog is Mrs. Bainbridge's Class! She is the reason I recently began blogging and was the original inspiration in my very first 2nd grade classroom. Back then, everything was FREE! lol I still love her and all of her creative goodness! They have thousands of printables, all at a minimal fee for membership and some are even free. Check them out!


Favorite Online Resource

Hmmm.... this one is a toughy. The first though that comes to mind is also Mrs. Bainbridge's Class website... but since I already paid homage to my blogging friend, I will pick another good favorite: Scholastic Printables! They have thousands of printables for your entire classroom. A small fee is required for membership, but some of the files are free! 


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Blog Hoppin' Teacher Week!



So excited to have just found this blog! Compiled by fellow bloggers and teachers, they are dedicated to compiling resources of all sorts in one easy to find place. Next week they are hosting Teacher's Week with daily themes that will sure to be filled with ideas and goodies for the classroom. School starts on Monday for us... so it's perfect timing for my local friends to get some great ideas right off the bat!

Happy last day of Summer!!! :) 



Sunday, August 14, 2011


Soooo cool! Christina Bainbridge is having a giveaway! She is giving away a set of monthly check off sheets that are super cute.   Head on over to her blog post to leave a comment for a chance to enter. Follow her blog if your not already because she always has super cute stuff!  Good luck!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oh, the joy of going back to school...

Don't you just love going back to a room in shambles??? Part of me actually does. I know, call me crazy, but there is something about completely revamping a classroom that gets me excited.  I've got so many great ideas for this school year I am a little overwhelmed. Here's what my room looked like yesterday, even after I had taken some boards down. Check back soon for beautiful versions in a few days. :) 

Our desk/small group area... soon to be listening station, computer station, and a teeny tiny teacher corner. 

This is the back wall of our class with those lovely, dark, plastic table cloth boards and the library underneath. This area will turn into out small group and writing station area. 

Here are the horribly stuffed bookcases behind our desk... in need of an overhaul! But where do we put all this stuff???

A view from the front door.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ok... confession time!

I. Love. Paper! :) (Ok, I know they weren't really complete sentences, but it adds drama.) Every year, I spend nearly $100 on fadeless paper and redo my entire room. I've even tried plastic table cloths in the past which moderation. Last year my husband helped me set up our classroom and we went a little overboard with the plastic table cloth idea.... epic fail. Last may, I even vowed to keep it up just incase I might possibly think about using it in the fall.


My job share partner and I have already decided to ditch the not-so-fantastic plastic in exchange for smaller, more meaningful boards. See, the problem is, I see wall to wall bulletin board and I have this obsessive compulsion to cover the entire thing. Why on earth has it taken me five years to figure this out?

While stalking my favorite blog Mrs. Bainbridge's Class, I recently came to the realization that in her classroom, although she has tons of pin board space, she outlines smaller board space to make neat, organized spaces for learning and reference. You mean I don't have to take out a loan at GW on Fadeless paper?

I'll let you know how it goes. I'm "going in" for the first time tomorrow.

Which leads me to a completely unrelated topic...

A new, but dear, friend of mine passed away after a five year battle with cancer.

She was a wonderful mom of two school-aged kids and was amazingly good at what she did. Arlene Silvestro, our Academic Program Leader, was one of the first people I met when I came to my new school last year. She instantly jumped into my classroom and helped at every request. She got to know me right away...and right away we hit it off. We had so much in common (babies, fertility issues, husbands jobs, teaching philosophies etc.) and when I found out she had cancer, and that it had come back, I was dumbfounded. How could this energetic, funny, fiery, spirited woman have cancer?

When I think of going back to work, although she was out most of the year for her treatment, I know that  it will just not be the same. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the rest of our staff who really knew her and spent, in some cases, their entire careers with her. I am glad she is safe and healed in heaven. God must have really needed her, because a lot of us will be wondering how we will ever get along without her here on Earth.

God bless,


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Donors Choose

Check out my donors choose project page. We're qualified for 50% matching form Lakersore! Woohoo! Please donate if you can.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Too funny for words...

Just watch it. :)

My jump into Whole Brain Teaching...

I don't have time to post much right now. Sundays are always busy for me. Teaching Sunday School, church, lunch, the softball this evening. However, I finally followed my supernatural teaching instincts and looked up Whole Brain Teaching on the web. What in the heck have I been waiting for?!? And why in the world am I discovering this on my own? And why haven't some of my lovely colleagues tied me down and made me read this book? I, for one, plan on employing the WBT "Fair Use Agreement" and hope to reach out to plenty more teachers than the ten they require. The eBook is free, and a must read. Anyone out there using this with as much success and I anticipate? More to come!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Finally giving in...

Ok, so I admit it, I spend hours on end each week reading blogs. I guess that's not too surprising given that I'm on the life sucking "F" word (Facebook) for the same amount of time. I'm slowly going away - too much drama. I mostly frequent blogs of fellow teachers trying to find the next cure all for struggling students. Since I began teaching 2007, I've followed my teaching idol, Christina Bainbridge who now has her own blog that I can't seem to get enough of.  She has some of the cutest, most creative ideas, files, and saving graces!

So, like I said, I've been following her for some time and have a ton of her creations, some of which she is now selling on her partner website, The Teaching Oasis. The Teaching Oasis is a wonderful resource for all things primary. They make my little OCD heart go pitter patter. Right now she is having a flippy giveaway so head over there to check it out! (If you don't know what a flippy is - I just found out myself - check out her post.)

So anyway, this is my attempt to blog. I'd love to jump on the bandwagon... but I have to say, I'm usually an implementer rather than a creator of amazing teaching techniques. Stay tuned though I'm scouring the internet for long, lost Bainbridge twins.