Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet the #TeacherBlogger

Hey y'all!
Kiddos all around the country are so excited to meet their new teacher this time of year, aren't they? So, my good friend Stephanie from Falling into First had a great idea for a linky party...
Meet the Teacher Blogger! 
Read on to find a little more about me.
I married my high school sweetheart and we have 4 beautiful babies.
If you follow me on Instagram you see pictures of this little toot often...that's only because she's a little camera hogger. 
And we all love her bunches...so the big kids take pics of her often as well. ;)

This year I'll be starting my 12th year of teaching...it's been an awesome ride! 
I love the way my classroom is turning out this year...a little change was in order...and these colors are just perfect for me right now. 


THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...
My little family. Coffee. Sweet Tea (I'm from Texas, y'all...sweet tea is a staple!) Mexican food. Reading. Blogging.

IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
A marine biologist.

THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
Creative. Loyal. Friendly.

FINISH THE SENTENCE, "________, SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!"

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?
John F. Kennedy (favorite president), Oprah, and my family of course! 

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?
This Crazy Life

Q: YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
Do y'all remember...
The older sister, Piper, had the ability to freeze time. 
I sometimes think that if there were more hours in the day, I could get tons of more things accomplished...well having this power would certainly help in that department. 
Have to finish report cards by tomorrow morning...hold on...let's freeze time...and unfreeze when we're all done...problem solved! ;)

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?

Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?
Definitely a night owl! 
It's not strange for me to go to bed way past midnight on school nights...I won't even tell you my sleeping habits during the summer. ;) 

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?
At the moment I have two...
I love these 2 products...they're the perfect resource to introduce Close Reading to the little bitties.
Science and interactive notebooks are a focus of mine this year...so I'm in love with these two new products. 

Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU!
I was on the dance team in high school...I love dancing! 

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Now it's your turn! 
I want to meet more of you...so link up with Stephanie! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Science Interactive Notebooks for Little Learners

Aside from the craziness of the beginning of the new year...I really do love it. 
I love its newness, the clean slate, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, the look of pretty new backpacks and shiny new shoes. 
It's wonderful! 
The new year is just a few weeks away...and I'm taking some time to reflect on what I want to focus on this year. One of the main areas I'd like to put my energy into is interactive notebooks. I love how these notebooks keep students organized and help them understand and internalize lessons previously taught. They're a great way to promote student learning...and they become a wonderful
resource throughout the year. 

Science has always been a favorite subject...I love the hands on activities...so I thought this was the perfect subject to introduce interactive journals to some little learners. 
I have created this little packet to be an introduction to science. 
It is full of interactive pages that will help your students learn some basic science concepts. 
As the year progresses, I'll be creating additional packets that will cover a wide variety of topics from magnets to the water cycle...I've got my work cut out for me that's for sure. ;) 

I'm excited to introduce the kids to interactive notebooks...I hope they'll love them as much as I do! 

Do you use interactive notebooks with your students? 
I'd love to hear more about it! 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wish List Wednesday

Hey y'all!
Once again I'm linking up with the lovely ladies over at Owl-ways Be Inspired for
I know that it's still summer...and that most of us are trying to wrap our heads around organizing for back to school or classroom decorating. But, if you ask me...it's never too early to start planning for this special day. My kiddos and I love the 100th day of school...and it's always a big deal in my classroom! 
We always use Hooray for the 100th Day to help us celebrate. 

Today I'll be hosting a giveaway both here on the blog and on my Facebook page...this means you'll have double the chances to win! 
Just leave a sweet comment with your email addy if you'd like to enter here...then hop onto my FB page and do the same...easy peasy, lemon squeezy! ;)
I'll randomly select 2 winners on Friday, July 18th.

If you're not the giveaway type...no worries...this 'lil unit will be on sale for 20% off until Friday.



Don't forget to stop by Owl-ways Be Inspired to snag those other Owl goodies.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

For the Love of Books: The Trashy Crafter's Story

Y'all know how much I love books...especially children's books...there's just something so refreshing about reading kidlit. I love it! So...when Kim contacted me and shared her story with me I knew she had to stop by the blog and share it with you all as well! I hope y'all sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee while you read all about Kim's passion and love for books.

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Welcome, Kim!!
Books are magical, they give you the ability to go on a jungle safari one minute and a deep see dive with mermaids the next, but what happens when books have gotten lots of love from years of use? The pages get creased, dog-eared and ripped, they bend or even start to fall off.  That’s where my Mom Helen and I come in, and this is where the story of Trashy Crafter begins. 
My name's Kim, and I have pretty much been a crafter since I was old enough to hold scissors in my hand and not eat the Elmer’s glue.  As a little girl I would come home from school each day, and as long as my homework was done I could create crafts all afternoon at my Grandmas house until my Mom and Dad came to pick my sister and I up after work.  My Grandma made beautiful crafts and sold at lots of holiday craft shows, crafting ran in my blood and it was bound to become a part of my life some way or another.
One day when I was in my senior year of college my Mom and I went to the local thrift store. While there we noticed they had these auction bins out front of the store full of damaged and outdated books.  We found out that when books would not sell at the thrift store due to being damaged or outdated, they auctioned them off, and if the folks sifting through the auction bins thought they could not sell the book or it was too damaged it was just thrown away. 
 Needless to say my Mom and I were heartbroken that all those beautifully illustrated children’s books were just thrown away…so we grabbed about 25 books each in our arms and took them home. I was really busy with school at the time, so the books sat in the corner of my room for about 3 months.  I was trying to think of a useful thing to turn the books into when it hit me!  I was very lucky to have a 3rd grade teacher that was very crafty, her name was Mrs. Bryant.  She had taught us how to roll magazines pages into paper beads (I’m sure many of you have done this in girl scouts or grade school).  I made my first few beads and knew from then on, I was hooked, the most magical part about it is that you not only create beautiful, colorful unique beads made from something that was going to be thrown into a landfill, but you know what book or item it was made from!
Everyone has stories, and connects with them so well, the reason we continue to create recycled book beads, map beads and sheet music beads is that when people purchase a set at a local craft show or online they have a story behind what they wear. Perhaps they went on a road trip across the country, and that map bead bracelet they wear reminds them of the fun they had, or they had a band teacher that taught them to play an instrument, so they give them a sheet music bracelet as a token of appreciation…or even a gift for a mom or teacher that read you a book as a child that connected with you and stayed in your memory to this day.  As humans we all connect universally with stories, and it’s a beautiful thing to throw away, so my Mom and I plan on fighting the good fight and continuing to turn old books into beautiful, wearable works of art.

Our Process:
My Mom Helen and I gather the books from a lot of different places, sometimes we find them in cardboard boxes outside of libraries, in thrift stores on the clearance shelf or in the bins, and even get books, maps or sheet music donated from folks that love and support our mission. Once we gather all of the books we measure and hand cut the book pages into long narrow triangle strips and roll them one at a time onto lollipop sticks.  Once they are on there we coat each bead 3-5 times depending on the thickness of the paper.  Once that is done we spray them with a matte finish and then we start to make them into the finished jewelry. We purchase damaged necklaces and bracelets from the local thrift store and strip them apart to repurpose the beads. We create the jewelry with a mixture of the paper book page beads we made along with the repurposed beads. Once that is finished, we hand cut recycled cardboard bracelet holders and place the book labeling on to each set so folks know what book their bracelets were made from J

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Thank you Kim for recycling those precious books and transforming them into something beautiful!

If you want to learn more about Kim and her amazing jewelry...you can visit her websites...I'm sure you'll find tons of inspiration. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday: My 2012-2013 Classroom

Hey y'all...happy Thursday! 
You know what that means, right?
It's time for another...


This time we're going to revisit my Dots on Chocolate (via Creative Teaching Press) classroom...this is one of my favorite classroom designs I've had. 
Hope y'all like it too! 

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I'm finally sitting down to post some pictures of my classroom set up for this year. Pheeeww! The first two weeks of school have been crazy busy...my sweet class has had to put up with all the craziness of the beginning of year...but they're troopers all 22 of them..and they are absolutely fantabulous!
Okay..so without further delay here are my classroom pics..
small group table..and part of classroom library..this is where the magic happens. ;)
another angle..here you can see the bulletin board that will be full of reading anchor charts..once we get started on those important reading strategies. I {puffy} heart my numbers with 10 frames..it's a great visual for my little firsties.
my dots on chocolate calendar set is awesome! My whole group area is in front of this white board..{no smartboard for this teacher..yet..boo!} but unfortunately I forgot to take a picture {double boo!}
Christie's good listening rules are in my whole group area..my firsties recite them every morning during our morning meeting..and y'all they really help with their behavior on the rug!
Thanks, Christie!!
I'm in love with that "Reading is a Hoot!" bulletin board...can you spot the dots on chocolate border? I'm obsessed..I tell 'ya! ;)
computer center..with more owl decor.
listening center..I want one of those chevron rugs..that my bestie Alisha snagged up at Big Lots for this area..if only we had a Big Lots in my tiny town..{sigh!}
word work center..as you can see from my alphabet  I am OBSESSED with chevron..lovely!
I'm also thinking a small rug in this area would complete the look..though I love my concrete floor..it's hard and cold for my littles.
my writing center bulletin board..looking fabulous thanks to Creative Teaching Press, Cara, and Lindsey. A humoungous thanks goes out to all of them..they make my life as a first grade teacher..a little bit easier. ;)

I {puffy} heart my classroom...and I know that lots of learning will take place within these four walls..I hope that everyone has a FABULOUS school year!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wish List Wednesday

Hey y'all!
Today I'm linking up with the amazing ladies over at Owl-ways Be Inspired for
One of my most favorite products...and one that has been wish listed the most is my All in the Family {a Fact Families Mini-Unit} this little ditty has always been a HUGE help in introducing fact families to my littles. It's so student friendly and the kiddos love the story that I tell to help them make that connection. 
I adore it! 

So today I am here to offer an old fashioned giveaway (again)...no Rafflecopter today (#sorrynotsorry) just leave a sweet comment with your email addy if you'd like to win. ;)

I'll randomly select the winner on Friday, July 11th. 
If you're just not the giveaway type...you can snag this little unit for 30% off until Friday. 

Don't forget to stop by Owl-ways Be Inspired to grab the other Owl goodies.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Five for Friday

Oh summertime...how I love thee!
Isn't this the truth?! ;)

Today I'm linking up with the ever fabulous Kacey over at Doodlebugs Teaching for 
Okay...so let's get this party started!
Y'all...this has been our summer so far...playing, swimming, reading. That. Is. All. 
We're lovin' it!
This week I received these amazing book bins from Steps to Literacy...they're fabulous! I can't wait to start reorganizing my classroom library! Stay tuned for a little giveaway, once the organization process gets started. ;) 
So, I've been going back and forth about which planner to use this year...because we all know that for us teachers...the real "new year" is the beginning of the school year, am I right?
Anywho...as much as I love a very popular planner out there...this year I knew I wanted to try something different and this Lilly Pulitzer Agenda is just what I have been looking for...it's perfect!
 
I've been working on these Print and Go Activities that will supplement the Journeys basal series we use in my district. I'm having so much fun creating these...they're perfect for those little firsties. 
In honor of Independence Day...I'm having a little sale over at my TpT store...20% off everything! I hope y'all have a little time to stop by and visit me between your July 4th festivities. 

The sale will run through midnight! Enjoy!