Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March Madness

The last few days have been the craziest whirlwind of excitement, emotions, dreaming, and exhaustion.   This time of year seems to always go that way for me.  Between my kiddos, SST meetings, report cards, spring fever, creating, etc., etc., etc., one minute I find myself feeling like a hyperactive six year old and the next I feel like a moody, tired teenager.  Just ask my teammates although in my defense, I rarely lose my temper.  

Anyway, in the middle of all of this craziness, I have had a few pretty neat things happen.  First of all, my kiddos and I FINALLY got to our St. Patrick's Day rotations.  I put out all of the tasks around the rooms and set them loose.  They loved the fact that they had partners and that I let them move to the next task when they finished one.  We still need to do it one more day so they can finish, but so far - so good.

My other neat moment happened today.  I got out of a meeting and had a text from a friend to call her.  Well, she was talking to someone about Easter and they were discussing an art project.  She said that she could paint, but couldn't draw, so she said she had an idea.  Yep, this is where you insert me into the conversation.  So, my friend called me and I am going to get the opportunity to paint a piano.  My heart is beating extra beats I'm so excited!  I noticed a painted piano at church a few weeks ago and it immediately went on my Bucket List.  Seriously!  Who wouldn't want to paint a piano? I know to most people that sounds a little crazy, but I am extremely excited!  Just so you have an idea of what a painted piano looks like, I'm including a few pictures I found online.  There's a site called where you can see tons of them.  The theme for the piano I'm supposed to paint is "Rescue" so I'm doing something to go with that.  Some people go to the gym to relax.  For me, hand me a pencil or a paintbrush and the tension immediately releases.
Alright, those are just two immediate things I thought I'd share with you.  I'm sure over the next few weeks I'll be sharing more.  If I thought I needed 36 hour days before, I definitely need them now.  Isn't it funny how right when you think you have everything figured out, God adds another layer to the scheme of things?  As one of my sweet boys would say, "Welcome to my world!"

Oh, and I'd love to say, "I almost forgot!" but yeah, I didn't.  One of my sweet friends was needing some two-digit addition and subtraction sheets that focused on adding tens, so guess what I have?  Yep... Volume 3 of the Easter Printables.  I know it's a little overkill, but I skipped making Easter stuff and we have testing in a few weeks, so I figured I'd mix up a batch of worksheets with Easter and standards.  Hope you enjoy!

Have a great night!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Easter, Freebies, & Fonts

Alright, this is going to be one of those posts loaded with freebies and pictures, but not a lot of writing.  Say what?  Yeah, I know, but my allergies kicked into high gear this past weekend and I'm finally coming back to life.  However, I definitely don't want to stay up to late because I am definitely not back to full Energizer Bunny status.  Did you know you could sleep almost four solid days and only take time to play Candy Crush and Blog?  Yep.  That's what I did.  

Anyway, I have good news!  I have three new freebies.  I know the packet looks familiar, but if you look closely it says Easter Printable Freebies 2.  I have three more Easter printables ready to go.  If you like them, click on any of the pictures and grab them.

In other news, I fiddled around this afternoon and found an app that allows me to make fonts.  Let me tell you, if you think you can waste time playing games, you can definitely waste time doing this.  Since I'm learning, here is a free font for you.  Hope you like it!  

Finally, I realized I've shown you guys all of my newer stuff, but not my older stuff.  Here's one of my first sets I ever created for TPT.  Even now it is one of my favorite sets.  If you like it, click on it and you will go straight to TPT.  I also attached a math freebie to the preview section that compliments this language arts set.  There are pictures of the freebie and the items below.

Alright, see, told you - I'm straight to the point tonight!  Hope all of you have a great Tuesday! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Top 10 Easter Ideas

I realize we haven't reached St. Patrick's Day, but this year Easter is literally right around the corner.  This is a list of my Top 10 Crafts or free items I've found for Easter.  You can click on any of the pictures and it will take them to the original blog or creator.  I definitely don't want to claim anything that isn't mine, but it always helps me find what I'm looking for if everything is in one place.  Hope you enjoy!

#1 - Jello Carrots
Love the simplicity of this snack.  You get orange Jello and stick a green spoon into the Jello - Tada!  Jello Carrots.  If you can't find orange Jello, this would probably also work with Mandarin oranges.  You could even get Sunkist and put green straws in it.  Click on the picture to go find out more about this.  I found in on Lynlee's Petite Cakes and she has tons of really cute ideas!

#2 - Wacky Fact Families
I have to tell you, I saw this yesterday and was ready to buy it.  I was certain that to be that cute it was definitely going to cost me a little money.  Guess what?  It is completely free.  It was created by The Bubbly Blond, which I have to say is now one of my new, favorite blogs.  She has some really cute ideas and I can't wait to go through her blog more.  Until then, this little item is going to be the first thing I print as soon as I get more ink.  I still can't get over how perfect it is.  All I keep thinking is if her freebies are this cute, I bet her stuff she sells is even better.  

#3 - Bunny Mask
I absolutely adore this little mask!  It's simple and it uses items I already have in my classroom.  You can't get better than this.  Oh, but you can!  You can take a class picture with every kid holding up their little bunny face :)  This may not serve much of a purpose in teaching, but it could definitely be a cute Fun Friday idea.  If you know who created it, let me know.  I want to give credit to the creator, but this just goes to a picture.

#4 - Bunny Plate
Since the Bunny Mask is cute, I want to use the Bunny Plate as a craftivity with writing.  My kids LOVE the writing/craft combo.  There are also so many different things we could write about.  Since I skipped out on having a leprechaun, I may let them write about how they would catch the Easter bunny.  I also want to grab some scrapbook paper to make the little ties.  This way, they are all different.  I definitely need to make a Michael's or Hobby Lobby trip ASAP.  The crafts are starting to pile up :)  If you know who created it, let me know.  I want to give credit to the creator, but this just goes to Bing.  I went through ALL the pictures, but it never goes to a blog or website.

#5 - ABC Order Cut & Paste
This is an Easter Freebie by my friend Mo.  I always love these little cut & paste activities.  They are quick, easy, and the kids enjoy them.  I'm also going to put them on pastel paper.  You definitely won't regret grabbing this little freebie.

#6 - March Book Reports
This is one of my freebies on TPT.  The first two are St. Patrick's Day book reports, but the last two are Easter.  These have become a staple in my classroom.  My kids love doing them and it helps me keep track of if they are really reading their books.  A sign they aren't - "I didn't like any part of this book."  I had one of my sweet kids write that on five of them last week.  We had a long talk and discussed the fact that she has to find at least one thing in each book.  

#7 - Cheese Puff Carrots
I have seen these done in so many different ways - Cheez-Its, Cheetos, and Goldfish, but my favorite is the Cheese Puffs.  I will definitely be doing these before Easter if I can figure out the bags.  They are simple, but extremely cute!  I love fun snacks!  Plus, I like giving my kids different experiences that they may/may not ever get.  Anyway, this might just be my #1 snack.

#8 - Guess an Egg
I can't wait to do this with my kids!  You give each kid an egg and they have to hide an item in the egg.  They write down three clues and the other kids have to try to guess what's in the egg.  I may even send my students home with them so it can be a real surprise.  Obviously, if I do that there will be rules and I will check the eggs when they come back, but that will allow them to have a real element of surprise.  This is another definitely want to do it activity.

#9 - Growing Lollipops
Okay, not sure how I'm going to make this happen, but I am going to make this happen!  I know my first graders probably will think it's me, so obviously I'm going to have to have a sneaky friend.  I'm going to have my kids go outside and put their jellybeans on the ground.  I'm going to give them some Easter Bunny dust.  No, I have no idea what that is, but I have to make sure they don't try it at home, right?  Then, I'm going to teach.  I'll tell them it takes two hours for them to grow.  During that time, I will have someone sneak out my back door and pick up jelly beans and put out suckers.  The key to making this work for my little people is my T.A. and I will have to stay within their sight this entire time.  I'm pretty certain I won't have any issues finding an adult to conspire with me :)  Make sure you click on the picture to see more pictures and to get more tips on pulling this off.

#10 - Easter Printable Freebies
These are my newest freebies.  Keep checking back because I am definitely planning a few more!

Alright friends!  Go enjoy your Saturday!  I'm going to go finish my ChickfilA and BEG my hubby to go out and get me my first SnoCone of this year!  He's sweet like that, so sure he will get me one later.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five for Friday

Well, it's a Friday post, so you know the drill... um... at least, I hope you do.  I'm going to link up with Doodle Bugs Five for Friday linky party.  I'm also going to link up to Freebie Friday at Teacher Blog Addict since I have some new freebies for you.

#1 - St. Patrick's Day
I was going to do these tasks with my kids this week, but things got away from us.  Well, they didn't really get away.  I realized that we still needed to get a few more assessments in before the our quarter ended, so now we are doing these activities Monday, especially since I promised my kids that we would do something fun on Monday and they wouldn't take ANY tests.  Do you ever feel like you test more and teach less the closer you get to April?  

 Anyway, here are some of the activities we will be doing.  I made sure I included pictures of the counters we'll be using and the packet.  My kids LOVE it when I run their papers on random colors :)  I'm going to place all the tasks around the room and then let my kids pick what they want to do.  There will be two rules.  One, there can only be two people at a task at a time.  Two, they can't switch until the timer goes off.  This way all the mass chaos will happen at once.

Even though these were made for St. Patrick's Day, they would be fun to do any time of the year.  If you are interested, click on any of the St. Patrick's Day pictures and it will take you to this item in my store.  If you don't have time for centers, but you want to do something fun, I also have St. Patrick's Day printables.

#2 - Dr. Seuss
Okay, so I know A LOT of teachers love Seuss and a lot dislike him.  I've wavered a little on my feelings the last few weeks.  When you start understanding copyright and trademarks, it can make you feel a little worn out on a topic.  Here's the conclusion I came to for me.  I've always enjoyed the books and my kids have always liked the books.  They are goofy, silly, and sometimes do not make sense at all, but they are some of their favorites.  Plus, honestly, there are LOTS of cute activities to do and you can do them and stay within rules.  It just will never be something I give away or make money doing which is fine because there are 100,000 other things I can do.  

So, last week we did a Cat in the Hat craftivity.  I found the idea for the craft on KINDERGARTEN KHRONICLES and slightly adjusted it for my kids.  Then,  I got the paper from Party City.  The paper I bought didn't have handwriting lines, so I made my own lines and transferred them onto the paper.  We read five or six Dr. Seuss books and then the kids wrote book reports.  It went great and it was one of the best writings I've seen from ALL of my students this year.  They did the craft one day and the rough drafts/final drafts another day.  It went great!

#3 - Easter Freebies
Since I created a St. Patrick's Day Printables Packet and a Spring Printables Packet, I skipped Easter, so for the next few weeks I will be making a few Easter printables.  Here's my first round.  If you like them, then click on the pictures to download them.  

#4 - Laptop Protection
So, my biggest fear is having my laptop stolen or dropping my laptop and it breaking, so I decided to solve problem #2 last week.  Mom and Dad, this is what part of my birthday money bought me.  A nice, tough case!  
#5 - Blog
I haven't decided when, but I've decided that I want to redesign my blog.  I am pretty certain I found a packet I love, so once I hit April, I'm going to grab a designer and let them go to town.  I'm pretty certain that I know exactly what I want, so I may do it in Power Point and then send it to whoever helps me out.  I've loved this design, but I'm ready for some new colors :)  Stay tuned...

Alright, hope you guys have a Fantabulous Friday!  Definitely check my blog tomorrow night.  I'm working on an Easter Top 10 and I already have some AWESOME freebies I have found!