Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunshine Plus Storms Equals More Freebies

When you live in the South, you never know exactly what to expect from day to day when it comes to weather.  In one week, you can have a sunny day, snow day, fog day, and then, when you least expect it, before you've even hit February, you can have a tornado day.  I'm sure you didn't figure it out, but today was that day.  The picture to the right is to give you an idea of what our day looked like.  It's a screenshot from of all the storms we had earlier today.  You see all of that white? Well, it got up close and personal with my state today.

This morning, within ten minutes of our day starting, we landed in our hallway.  The kids were great, but my stomach was flipping and flopping.  I have hated bad weather since I was a kid.  A teacher suggested we read books, so that's exactly what I did.  I went and got a couple of cute books and read to three of the classes while their backs were up against the wall.  It had never occurred to me to do that before, but I have a feeling for the rest of my career, I will always grab a couple of books when we have to move to the hallway.  Oh, and of course, it's to calm the kids... not me, how could you think that?  Yeah, right!

After that, the day seemed to drag on... and on... and on... and on.  When we first went back to our room, my kiddos definitely had a difficult time settling in, but by 10:00, we were good to go for the rest of the day.  Well, actually, they were good to go.  I was checking and Weather Bug every ten minutes.  We fully expected that we would be going back into the hallway.  At the end of the day, we were doing our typical routine - Daily 5.  I had also turned on some music to make them feel a little more at ease.  It definitely seemed to drown out the wind, rain, and little bit of thunder we were hearing outside.  Around this time, the decision was made that we wouldn't be dismissing on time.  I can honestly say, I have been teaching for eleven years and I've never had that happen.  I've also never been so thankful that they let us hold onto our kiddos.  We were under a severe thunderstorm warning and the idea of sticking them into a metal bus just didn't seem to be the greatest idea.  So, around an hour later, we took our kiddos up front and loaded them up onto their buses.  By the time the last child was loaded, our principal and assistant principal looked like they jumped in a lake.  They were my heroes because thanks to them, I was nice and dry!

Now, outside of the mega bad weather, I also have a little exciting news.  We had our annual Teacher of the Year announcement.  Well, my sweet teammate won!  She's going to kill me for telling my blogging friends, but I just had to tell you guys!  I have a great little sister, but Alicia is like my little sister at school.  We are so much alike it's a miracle that we can stand each other, but we get along great!  She also is the reason that I make you guys a lot of freebies.  She knows our standards backwards and forwards and has this sixth sense about what I should make next.  Every time I listen to her, it definitely pays off!  So, I had to brag!!!!  I am extremely proud of my teammate and although I'm excited, I'm not surprised at all.  I have the best team in the universe and they are definitely a part of my family!

Okay, so now that I got my "Proud teammate" moment out the way, I have two new freebies.  I know I kind of keep overloading you guys with lots of new stuff, but I guess I just want you to know what I'm about.  Hopefully, this weekend I will get a few new packets created.  I seem to always have BIG plans, but creating freebies is so quick, I just can't resist.  Now that I'm going in ten different directions and babbling, I need to wrap up.  My freebie pictures are below.  If you like them, click on them, and it will take you to them so you can download.

Hope you enjoy them and see you tomorrow.  Oh, last thing - if you have any ideas of what you want to see me create, leave me a comment below.  I try to stick to things between K-2.  I'll pick one item and make it as my surprise freebie tomorrow.  So, remember to comment!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Funtastic Linky Party

Some nights I struggle to think of what I should write about, but tonight is not that night.  I found a linky party that looks like a blast.  Even though it isn't quite February it is coming up fast!  This linky party is a little different.  I have to post about something I've created or found, post a freebie, and something funny.  Make sure you click below and go join in the fun!  I never thought the word "linky" would be in my vocabulary since it's a little 'fru-fru', but I have to say linky parties are a blast!

Fabulous February Feature:
I'm going to go in a different direction this time - clip art!!!!  There is a ton of great clip art out there, but one of my blogging friends I started following towards the beginning of my blog just started creating clip art.  The first thing she created was Valentine cupcakes.  The minute I saw them I had a million ideas run through my head.  I can't wait to use them!  So, I'm sharing them with you.  Below is a picture of them.  If you like them, then you need to go visit Erica at Blooming in First.

A Fantastic February Freebie:
This is my newest freebie and I have to tell you, I created it just for you and this linky party.  I've been wanting to make a few Valentine items, so I ran with it tonight.  By the way, one of the sheets I had to make twice.  I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing (I'm blaming Abby on Dance Moms) and I accidentally deleted the entire page.  However, I already had it in my mind, so I just couldn't pretend like it didn't exist.  Oh, and I decided to go with Valentine monsters.  I thought our sweet boys would enjoy these.  If you like them, click on the pictures to get them and definitely let me know what you think and if there's anything else you've been wanting.  I'm always looking for some good freebie ideas.

A Funny:
Today was one of the funniest days I've experienced this year.  Do you ever have days where you can't punish your students (Even when they deserve it) because they are so funny you can't help but laugh - today was that day!  Honestly, it wasn't even the whole class.  It was the red table.  First, you have to understand, we are still in the middle of table battles.  Yes, believe it or not, table battles are still working.  Who knew?  I would've started this months ago if I had known how competitive they were.  Well, the red table was a little chatty today, so we commented that they needed to calm down since they were Chatty Cathy's.  One of my students, with a grin, said, "We're special!"  By the way, this is where I wish I could insert tone because it was hilarious.  Later today, our speech teacher came by to pick up a few friends.  One of them hopped up without asking, so she commented that maybe she was taking my T.A. and me.  Without missing a beat, a friend at the red table said, "It's time to get down and party!"  Where do they get these things?  You'd think they had a silly first grade teacher or something.  Last of all, I made a comment this afternoon and apparently my voice went from normal to a high pitched chipmunk voice.  My T.A. couldn't resist pointing it out.  Well, the next thing I knew the red table was "mocking" me by saying things with high pitched chipmunk voices.  I realize that mocking probably isn't a good thing to promote, but I was laughing so hard, I ended up rolling with it.  Not sure what was up with my red table today, but love that teaching is so full of laughter.

Well, that covers everything for the linky party.  Now, if I can figure out how to lengthen a day, I will be in great shape!  Have a great hump day tomorrow!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pinterest, Robot Freebies, and Giveaways

This afternoon I spent probably 30 minutes pinning items.  Well, every time I do that I think I hit the refresh button 100 times.  If you are a blogger or on TPT, you know you do it too.  There is nothing more thrilling than seeing how many times one of your pins get repinned.  It is a little geeky, but in my world names like Deanna Jump and Jenaya Shaw mean more to me than Kobe Bryant or Jennifer Anniston.  Sure, those people are great, but I'd rather have a repin by one Deanna or Jenaya over an autograph any day.  

Now, if you are like me, while pinning you feel like you are looking through someone's photo album.  You see the beautiful wedding pictures, the family dinners, the candid shots, and then their "What were they thinking?" shots.  There are tons and tons of things to pin or I wouldn't have managed to pin around 4,500 items in the last year.  However, there are some pins that I can't understand.  The main ones are the kid food pins.  They are adorable, but really?  For example, the owl pancakes.  They are cute as can be, but do you guys want to eat bananas, Cheerios, chocolate chips, and a cashew on your pancakes?  Bless the heart of the person who came up with it, but I don't understand.  In my world the best pancakes just need butter, syrup, and a side of bacon.  
Alright, now that I've told you all about my Pinterest day, I have a few things to share with you.  The first thing is some of my new freebies.  I had TONS of people pin my compound sentence worksheet and my missing addend worksheet, so I'm guessing that most of us are wishing we had a few more resources for those specific standards.  So, this morning I created two more.  I used robot clip art because we are reading "My Robot" in a week or two.  I thought these would compliment the story.  The pictures are below the robot freebie, so if you like it, then click on the picture to go get it.  One of my teammates also asked for something with three addends, so I whipped up a Robot Center.  I am posting that one on TPT, so if you like it, you can click on one of the pictures, and go to my store to get it.  It's also a freebie, so PLEASE, I'm begging you leave a girl some feedback (Specifically, this girl).  

Last week, I also volunteered to be a part of a couple of giveaways.  I hadn't done any giveaways before, so I decided I better get with the program.  Below are the giveaways that I have joined.  You can click on the pictures to go join.  Each of these giveaways got so many things donated that they broke the items down into grade levels K-2, 3-5, 6-8, etc.  All of them have some awesome products, so I hope you will go check them out.  

Hope everyone gets some rest tonight and has a great day tomorrow!  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Groundhog Day Product Review

Alright, pressure is on - I am stepping outside of my little box and trying something new.  Oops!  Yep, I tripped over the side, but it's all good.  One of my newest blogger friends is Jessica over at the Second Grade Nest.  It's a long story how we became friends, but now it feels like we've known each other forever.  I'm a Georgia girl and she's a Kentucky girl, but we definitely have tons in common!

Anyway, so between Facebook, blogging, and TPT, we discovered that we both had brand new Groundhog packets that we wanted to get out there.  I have a Groundhog Printables packet and she has a Groundhog Craftivity and Mini Unit packet.  The fun part about this is she teaches second grade and I teach first, so we were definitely going out on a limb to see if our products could work for a different grade level.

Well, today is our product swap day!  She's featuring me on her blog and I'm featuring her on mine.  I'm a little nervous because I definitely want you guys to see how incredible her packet is and I definitely want to do it justice.  I have to say, I cannot wait to do Groundhogs next week!  It was created for second graders, but I can definitely use every item in the packet I saw.  My favorite part was her writing craftivity.  I feel like her craftivity writing was exactly what I needed to fill in a few gaps and my kids LOVE to write about anything that they get the opportunity to experience.  The other part I like is she included a picture of what the final product should look like.  I'm so visual that without pictures, I'm always afraid I'm going to make a mistake.  I made a sample yesterday so that we can start it Monday.  It took everything I had not to show the kids what they get to do next week.  To save a little time, I ran the body of the groundhog off on brown construction paper.  Then, the other page I ran off on white.  I am also a HUGE fan of colored paper, so I ran the rough draft writing page on white and the final draft writing page on yellow.  I also mounted it on green construction paper.  It turned out really cute!

I also liked her prediction sheets and her word work.  She included several different sheets for the students to use to provide their predictions.  One of them had pictures that the students could cut out and glue and write two sentences about their predictions.  Another one of them had where students could write about what they predicted and then what actually happened.  I loved these pages because it will make it easier to differentiate work for my students.  My lower students would definitely do great with the pictures and my higher students would do great with the predictions and then writing about what actually happened.  We will probably do the first part of these sheets next Friday and complete them the following Monday.

The word work activity will be perfect for my higher kids.  They are given the letters that form the words "Punxsatawney Phil".  Then, they take the letters and use their recording sheet to write down all the words they can come up with using those letters.

Jessica also had another prediction sheet that I thought was adorable.  I went ahead and printed one yesterday and made an example for my students of what it would possibly look like when they are finished.  The reason I put a yellow sticky note on it was to remind me to have the kids write their predictions on a sticky note.  We have a vote box anytime we do elections, predictions, etc.  We make a HUGE deal out of not telling each other what we are predicting.  This way, I don't end up with 20 kids voting one way and 1 voting the other.  This sheet is the perfect opportunity to do that, so I know my kids are going to be excited.

Anyway, if you haven't checked Jessica out, you need to definitely go visit her.  She is one of the nicest people I've met since I started this crazy adventure!  Below are links to her blog and to her TPT store.  I promise you won't regret visiting her!

Second Grade NestSecond Grade Nest

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Five for Friday

For the last two weeks, I have been seeing these cute little pictures pop up one after another about the Friday Five.  It never fails that I think, "Oh!  How cute!  I HAVE to do that!" and then of course, I get busy and forget when I go to write.  The good news is that today I finally remembered, so here is my Five for Friday which is basically five random facts about my week.  At least I think that's what I'm supposed to do.  Oh, and if you like this idea, then go visit Doodle Bugs Teaching.  I just think her site is adorable!

1. I had to run to Target last night to get a few items.  I heart Target!  It is a good thing I didn't realize how great it was until I grew up.  Now, I try to only go once a month because otherwise I'd spend my entire check there.  During my trip I discovered some cute, new notepads in the dollar section.  I'm telling you, I have probably 30 of these little notepads in my desk.  I also discovered a new type of Starbursts.  The Starburst red bag was already pretty awesome, but the Very Berry bag is even better.  I have a feeling you guys are beginning to understand why I belong in first grade :)

2. I finally got to make slime with my kiddos today.  By the time we got to today, I had reached Plan E.  You know that pin that says it is good we have 26 letters in the alphabet?  Well, I think they were created for me.  We started at Walmart a week ago, then last night went to Target to get colored glue.  Well, Target didn't have any, so we went to Michael's.  Well, Michael's also didn't have it, so I went to the next plan.  I got clear glue and this awesome, fine glitter.  I decided we could mix it and it would be pretty.  Thank goodness it worked!  I also adjusted the measurements slightly so it would be a bit more flexible.  I used 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 of a cup of glue with a little glitter.  Then, I used 1/4 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of Borax.  Once the glue mixture was mixed, I mixed the Borax mixture.  Then, we combined the two.  It turned out much better.  

However, I do have a few hints for you.  The clear glue looks cool, but the mixture becomes more rubbery and breaks apart.  I ended up trying it with white glue and the texture ends up much smoother and more flexible.  The price of the glue is 1/2 the price, too.  Next year, I'm definitely going to do it with white glue.  Now, two hints - 1. Have 2 1/4 measuring cups.  Use one to measure the water and the other to measure the glue.  It made it much easier.  2. Have plastic cups and plastic bags.  The kids loved pushing it down in their cups and listening to the sounds and the bags kept their new toy safe.  Anyway, I can honestly say this looked like a messy project, but it really wasn't.  My kids LOVED getting to mix their ingredients together and see what happened.  

3. Have you ever seen those crazy pictures on Pinterest where you think, "Who takes notes like that?"  Well, that would be me.  I seriously can't focus if I don't draw and write.  I have a blank sketchbook that I write my notes in during church.   That way I can draw and write.  It is literally the only way I hear anything that is being said.  Ask anyone that sits next to me.  I don't miss a beat :)  So, the next time you think the person next to you at church or in a meeting is not listening, make sure you know how their brain functions first.  If I'm drawing, I will remember every detail I've heard.

4. I am extremely excited that Jessica is hosting a linky party and MrsMc is hosting a giveaway for 75 products.  CLICK HERE to go visit the Second Grade Nest linky party and CLICK HERE to go visit Buzz Three Times giveaway.  You won't regret either click :)

5. So, every time I get a TPT check, my hubby and I go to one really good dinner.  It's my way of celebrating a little before I get back to work and it's my way of thanking him for not chunking my laptop out the window when I forget to respond to his questions or say, "Bless you!" while I'm working.  Anyway, tonight we went to a place called McGuire's.  I got a rib eye and I have to say, it was one of the best dinners I've ever had.  

So, those are my 5 things for this week.  What is one of your random Friday facts?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Giveaway and Freebies

A few months ago, I began reading all this stuff about Pete the Cat.  Well, I can honestly say, I had no clue who in the world this cat was.  I had never heard of him.  I guess I probably should have, but I was oblivious.  Then, we got some money and ordered books with CDs.  Well, since I had heard TONS about Pete, I made sure I got the Pete the Cat CD.  Yesterday, some of my sweet, little friends discovered the books about Pete.  All of a sudden, I heard this book come on that kept singing with this beat, "I have white shoes... I have white shoes... I have white shoes... I have white shoes..."  All I'm saying is it is cute, but it has a beat.  Have you ever tried to do guided reading when a book with a "beat" comes on the CD player?  It is definitely time to invest in some headphones.  Every time the song comes on, my entire class comes to a stand still and sings, "I have white shoes... I have white shoes..."

Oh, and to add to Pete the Cat, there is a slight chance of snow tomorrow depending on what news source you check.  If you know where I live, you know that one flake is like being given $100 for absolutely no reason.  Well, one of my sweet children informed the class during dismissal that her Mama said that we didn't have school tomorrow.  I did my best to diffuse that thought process, but I have a feeling I may have a few out tomorrow based off my kid's comment.  A day in first grade is definitely never dull.

Now, real quick, I am taking part in my first giveaway.  I am super excited.  One of my new blogging/TPT friends is celebrating hitting a few milestones, so she is having one of the biggest giveaways I've ever seen.  Definitely go check out her blog.  You will not regret it!  Some of my favorite bloggers and TPT people are a part of this one.  Click on the picture below for more information.

Also, I've been working on some word work items for my team, so I thought I'd share a few with you guys.  They are sheets for Y as a vowel.  That being said, one of them could easily be used to practice syllables even if you aren't covering that specific sound.  If you like the pages, Click on the images below to get them.

Alright, time to get a little rest.  You want to know how I know?  A girl walked in where we were eating and made eye contact with me and I waved at her.  Normal, right?  That would be a negative.  I looked at my hubby and said, "I don't know why I waved at her.  I don't have a clue who that is.  I've never even seen her before."  Yep... sad, but you know you are laughing at how goofy I am right now :)

Happy Thursday night (before Friday)!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Merry Go Rounds and Freebies

Do you remember Merry-Go-Rounds?  I used to love getting on them and just spinning around and around.  I think we always chanted, "Faster!  Faster!  We need another master!"  We would run as fast as we could and lean back with our heads inches from the ground holding on for dear life.  Yet, we were fearless.  It never occurred to me that I was on a piece of metal more dangerous than a bike, car, or tank.  So where am I going with this?  That's how I feel lately in this excited world of blogging, Pinterest, TPT, Facebook, etc.  It is fun and I love every second of it, but even when I'm sleeping I'm dreaming of hitting refresh buttons.  I feel like I'm yelling "Faster!  Faster!" and I'm leaning back loving every second so much that it never occurs to me that I need to probably slow down a little.  I can't tell you how many times I have thought if God had made 36 hour days instead of 24 hour days, I could come much closer to accomplishing everything running through my mind.

Anyway, if you are on this crazy Merry-Go-Round with me - welcome!!!  It's definitely more fun with some friends, especially my first grade team and my blogging friends.  I think you guys understand this crazy combination of teaching, blogging, and creating better than anyone.

So, since you took a few minutes to read my "I probably should go to bed early" paragraph, I'm going to give you two freebies.  Two of my teammates requested these, so I whipped them up tonight.  I hope you like them :) If you do CLICK HERE to get them.

Don't forget to check out my other freebies on my blog and my TPT freebies and new packets on TPT.  You can  CLICK HERE to go to my TPT site.  As a head's up, if you need fairy tales, you may want to get my bundle instead of the individual sets.  The bundle will save you $4.  No pressure!  Just wanted you to know where you could save a little :)

Also, I know this is a Wednesday post, but I'm linking this item up to Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies on January 28.  You may want to go check it out.  This site is loaded with some awesome stuff for every grade level.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Have a great night!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Lazy Monday and a Fairy Tale

I love my kiddos, but pajama days are definitely an awesome thing!  There's nothing better than not getting ready for a day.  It sounds funny, but I even had my hubby drive my car to work today so I would be certain to stay home and get a little rest.  I ended up watching listening to Netflix all day and even ate chocolate cake for breakfast.  I love finding television shows that I've seen in the past and listening while I create.  So, that's what I did today - created, pinned, listened to old television shows, and talked to a few friends on Facebook.  Don't tell them, but I'd have more done if they weren't so distracting :)  Of course, I'm just kidding.  I'm just the ultimate procrastinator.  Seriously, if you aren't sure about that ask the two friends I talked to today.

Anyway, yesterday I finished my Groundhog Day Printable packet and today I finished my Goldilocks and the Three Bears Fairy Tale packet.   I'm also working on putting all of my fairy tale packets together into a mega packet. 

Below are pictures of my new packet.  All of the pages are standards-based.  If you like it, CLICK HERE to go get it at my store.  Oh, and if you download the preview one of the pages below is a freebie.  I know... now you want to know which one.  Go download it and you will see :)  

Hope you guys have a great night!  I'm off to eat dinner and hopefully get a few more things done.