Friday, April 26, 2013

Five For Friday {The Benadryl Version}

 Happy Friday... I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for her Five For Friday.  I went to work this morning so excited that it was Friday {dressed in jeans and comfy flip flops}.  About an hour after the bell rang my allergies started going NUTS.  There was mascara everywhere, sneezing... I looked like a HOT MESS!  They called in a sub to finish out my day and I was so thankful.  I came home and popped 2 Benadryl.  I had already taken my normal allergy meds this morning so I was OUT... like incoherent for about 3 hours!  I feel much better right now, but I won't be venturing outside very much this weekend.  Spring time in south Georgia is so beautiful, but it's horrible for allergy sufferers!

1)  My funny picture from my Chuckle board on Pinterest.  If you know the popular Thrift Shop song out right now... then you will think this pic is hilarious! :)
2) Anyone else in love with all the boutiques selling clothes on Facebook?  There is this really young teacher across the hall that is kinda curvy like me and she always wears the cutest clothes.  She is unmarried and doesn't have any children... so maybe there's something to that... ANYWHO... she told me about Sass and Class this week and I ordered this strapless maxi dress to take to the beach next month! I ordered, paid, and it was shipped all in one day!  Wowza! 
3)  A pic of my desk... I go to Starbucks every morning with my cup...  I order a grande iced mocha... it stays cold for hours and hours.  It is so yummy and a HUGE part of my daily routine.  The washi tape was a gift from a friend.... speaking of coffee and washi tape... did you enter my giveaway?  It ends TONIGHT...  I'll be mailing 1 lucky winner a box of my favorite goodies!   
4)  The hubs went out of town this week for a few days.  I'm gonna be honest... it was kinda nice to have the bed all to myself, go to bed early...  I told myself that I was going to get a bunch of house stuff done, TpT stuff done, etc... .but the truth is I went to bed early both nights... and this was my dinner one night! :)  {Disclaimer: I did make a real dinner for the kiddos and I had dinner after they went to bed}
5)  I did finish one project from my TpT works in progress folder {yay!}  This is a companion for Revolutionary War on Wednesday (one of the Magic Tree House books).  It has comprehension questions {with answer key for easy checking}, graphic organizers, and posters to display in the classroom of book characters!  I have several of my firsties who are reading though my set now... and even my own personal firstie has gotten hooked!  Do your students like these books, too? 

I hope that you will all have a great weekend and that it will go by SLOWLY!  We have 20 more days of school until school is out...  That's only 160 hours, y'all... if I were counting {ahem}!  Remember to enter the giveaway before it ends @ midnight!!!  Talk to you soon! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Issy Review and a Giveaway {Because I Can}

Have you heard of Issy books?  Up until a few weeks back I hadn't either... but I had a chance to review these books and my firsties LOVED them!  There were 11 books in the set that I reviewed (10 books with animals stories and 1 book about Issy).  The books are written and illustrated by a grandma/granddaughter team...  SO cute!

From their site:
Five-year-old Isybilla Gee (“Issy”) started creating artwork as soon as she could hold a paintbrush. Like the children who read the Issy Books, Issy herself is just learning to read, and her ever-present optimism and charm shine through her illustrations in the books. Issy’s grandmother, Pat Calfee—whom she affectionately refers to as “Gigi”—writes the stories that Issy illustrates. Pat Calfee is an educational consultant with 25 years experience as a teacher, curriculum coordinator, and staff developer. Issy and Pat both live in Washington, North Carolina.

So... what did I like about the books?  I liked that there were key vocabulary books for the kids to look out for.  I like that there was repetition.  This helped my strugglers for sure!   The kiddos LOVED knowing that another little person had drawn all of the illustrations!  My students are super interested in animals... so once they saw the covers... they were hooked!
Want to find out more about the Issy books?  Check out their website HERE! 

Bring on the fun...
I haven't had a giveaway in a while... and I'm nearing 500 followers so I'm in a celebrating mood.  I brainstormed some of my favorite things and decided that I would send a package to one lucky winner.  Isn't getting "real" mail such a treat?!!?  No one sends "real" mail anymore {sigh}.  The giveaway is going to run through Friday... and then I'll mail the winner's package out by Monday!  The package will have a $10 Starbucks card, a pack of Flair pens, a roll of Washi tape, and a Scentos marker!  Woohoo!!! 

How do you enter you say?!? Easy I tell ya...  check out the rafflecopter below... and good luck!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway I hope you all had a great Tuesday... talk to y'all soon!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Keepin' It Real

I have been very honest about my struggle the last few months...  I try to make sure that my blog is a mix of teaching ideas, but enough real life, too!  Do you ever look at blogs/FB/etc. and think that your classroom just isn't cutting it?  Ever look at people's pictures and wonder if your kiddos are the only ones acting like turds?!?!  I want my blog to be a place where I can be honest and be REAL!

The real deal is that there are stacks of papers laying around my room... waiting to be graded and filed.  I have at least 2-3 loads of laundry that need to be done.  I haven't mopped my floors in over a week.   My kids ate mac and cheese for dinner and I had a pack of peanut butter crackers. 
I feel very overwhelmed as soon as I walk into the school building... and very thankful each day when bedtime comes. 

Losing my daughter and knowing that she was supposed to be here next month makes each day leading up extremely hard.  There are moments during each day that I feel completely paralyzed by my thoughts... truly unable to move or speak.  I am surrounded by people who want to help me... I just don't know what I need {does that even make sense?}

I always appreciate people's honesty in real life or on Facebook, blogs, etc.  People who will say, "The dinner I made tonight sucked!" or "My kids are really being turds today!"  I think it helps to know that other women {and men} are out there doing this working mom thing... and dealing with real life stuff... and making it work!  So here's to us... the multi-taskers! 

If you're struggling... please know that you are not alone!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Magical Product Swap


Seriously... how cute is she?
I am so excited to be participating in Mrs. Stanford's Magical Product Swap for the 2nd time.  This time I was lucky enough to be paired with Amanda from Mrs. Richardson's Class! She also teaches first grade and her TpT store was full of products for me to choose from. I chose her Tick Tock mini unit and it didn't disappoint! 
It was hard to narrow it down, but I went with what my students were needing right now... help with time to the hour and half-hour! 
As soon as she sent the file to me, I got busy copying and laminating.  This mini-unit has hands on activities, foldables, worksheets... all in all... 9 (yes, NINE) activities centering around time.  JACKPOT!
Getting ready to post these around the room for the scavenger hunt!  

The kids loved the scavenger hunt and walking around the room with their clipboards and recording sheets!  So much fun!

Here's one of my firsties working hard on her flip book.  They really loved doing this and I was expecting lots of cutting mishaps but they SURPRISED me and completed them perfectly!

We started working on our clock craftivity that is included.... and the writing component was awesome.  Some of their responses made me chuckle.  Like the one below (BFFs @ recess... very important!)

As an added bonus, there are posters included that have digital and analog clocks... so cute and colorful.  I am going to keep these up all year long to be a reminder to the kiddos!  She did a great blog post about this unit with even more pictures of it in action.  Want to see more... check out her blog post!!! 
So... RUN... don't walk to Amanda's blog by clicking HERE and be sure to check out her store HERE... {you'll def want to be one of her groupies like me}
Hope y'all had a great Saturday... 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five For Friday

Howdy, y'all!  Omigosh... it's finally Friday!  I am seriously counting down the days now... only 25 days of school left... that's only 200 hours {jazz hands!}.  Linking up with Doodle Bugs for her linky today...  without further ado...

1)  My all-time favorite polish color.  Sure I cheat sometimes and stray to other colors... just to see what they are like... but I always find myself back with this one.  It is Cajun Shrimp by OPI and it's FAB!  It has this orang-y-ish (yes, I just made that a word) tint to it... is bright and just makes me happy.  I take my pedicures very seriously... I go every 2 weeks.  Let's call it an attitude adjustment.  I started going when I was pregnant with M1... when I couldn't even see my dang toes... and it became an addiction.
 2)  The hubs is from the Chicago area and we are huge Cubs and Bears fans... well, this week Adrian Peterson (go Bears!) came to visit at our school.  The boys wore their Bears gear, got to meet AP... and get him to sign books.  AP went to and played football for Georgia Southern University here where we live... and he travels here often to meet with groups of kids... how cool is that?!!?!?!
 3)  Had date night last Friday night in Savannah.... had some amazing shrimp and grits on River Street (nom...nom...nom) and then talked Mr. Funky Fresh into taking me to Target to stalk the dollar bins.  I found these treasures and snatched up several a few.  I am going to Wal Mart this weekend in search of yellow sponges to cut into the shape of french fries!  I am planning on making them into a math center... and I'm so excited about it!
 4)  I've had a very laid back kinda week... lots of spending time at home... trying to find the perfect balance of work, home, etc.... This is my 11th year and I still haven't found that perfect balance... but I still try!  Took my crew to Steak and Shake for dinner... even though it was going to mean a late bedtime... even though it was unhealthy... here is my crew at dinner {proof that I am obviously the only normal one in my family!!!} 
5)  Didn't do much with my TpT stuff this week.... in fact I bought a bunch!  That's the beauty of the website...  when I know that I won't have time to make something... there is always something worthy when I look!  I did make a cursive practice pack {Let's Conquer Cursive} and I have had a good response with it so far!

I hope that you guys had a great Friday... and hopefully will have an even better weekend.  See y'all soon!  {oh... what is your favorite OPI polish color if you have one?}

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Toontastic.... {best classroom app I've seen in a long time}

Have you heard of Toontastic for the iPad? Have you used it in your classroom on?  Check out this intro video!!!  What a fun and engaging way to teach story elements while using technology {and it's FREE in the app store!}

From their website:
Toontastic inspires the artist and writer in every child while teaching key storytelling principles that help to promote Creativity at a young age.

Toontastic’s drawing tools bring kids’ wildest ideas to life alongside virtual playsets chock full of pirates, princesses, far away galaxies, and many other characters and settings to spark the imagination.  

I just heard about it a few weeks back during story time with our librarian.  She split my class into 3 groups... she took a group, I took a group, and her student teacher took a group.  Over the course of a few sessions, we developed a story arc on paper and we just created a finished product this week.  The kiddos were SO excited. Check out our first video here:

I think anytime you can find a tool that the kids are THIS excited about... it's a keeper!  The kids get to pick the setting, the characters, etc.  They can even use pictures from the camera roll as a setting and/or draw their own!  The librarian had only played around with it for a bit before trying it out on us... and I think that trial and error was actually a really good way to learn!  I am excited to let my kiddos jump in and start creating even more!
Need a planning sheet for your kiddos?  I made this... and you can download it HERE

Hope you all had a great Thursday... be back tomorrow with my Five for Friday post.  See y'all soon! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five for Friday

Happy Friday, y'all!  I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday linky {love reading all the posts}.  It appears as though my spring break is nearing its end.  Normally that would make me super sad, but I am energized and ready to knock out these last 30 days {Our last day is May 24th!}

1)  Found this bracelet at one of my favorite shops here in town this week.  I love anchors for many reasons...  they help calm me.  I have a tattoo on my right forearm with an anchor and the date we delivered Frances underneath.

2)  Worked on several units this week that have been in my works in progress folder... lots of ideas that just kinda "happened"...  Finished my greater gators... laminated and cut out.  Love the way these turned out and can't wait to let the kiddos use them.

3) That bread!  I "may" have made this a few times lately... do you LOVE the Pioneer Woman as much as me? 
4)  Achoo! {I didn't take a picture... you're welcome!}  Holy moly...the pollen!  The dark circles under my eyes are giving me a run for my money... as in... I just keep buying any concealer that promises to transform me into something more human looking! 

5)  Say "Cheese Dip!"  My kiddos love going to the local Mexican restaurant... these kids can put down some food.  No trip is complete without cheese dip!  We "may" have been more than once this week...
Hope y'all will have a great weekend.  It's back to work for me on Monday!  See y'all soon! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Clip Art Anonymous and 400 Followers!

Hi, my name is Stacy and I am addicted to clip art {Hi, Stacy!}.  Seriously... I love all things clip art, borders, digital papers.  I buy lots of clip art with a specific product in mind, but sometimes... clip art just finds me! :)  That happened recently and I ended up the proud owner of ninja images from Lettering Delights!  Ninjas... what the heck was I going to do with NINJAS!?!?!  Does this ever happen to you?  I decided on double digit multiplication task cards... with QR codes to make them self-checking...  and Number Ninjas was born! :)
I am going to think of something for my firsties that will use these images as well... but I'm taking the rest of the afternoon off to have dinner with a friend for her birthday!  Have you ever tried QR codes in the classroom?  If you have a smart phone or other smart device... you can find the Red Laser app (there are tons of other ones, too!).  Give it a try with this next image... the app will even read the QR codes on your computer screen!  
I am beyond ecstatic at reaching 400 followers!!!  I am going to begin preparations for my 500 follower giveaway now...  it's going to be BIG!!!  I've been thinking about this giveaway for a few months now... stay tuned!  
Hope you all had a great Thursday!  See y'all soon! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Choosing to Be Fully Present

Today I didn't work on anything even remotely school related and it was really nice.  Today is day 2 of our spring break...  my boys and I met up with a friend and her kidlets for lunch at the local Mexican restaurant... nom nom nom!  After lunch we hit up the pottery painting place.  I have never taken my children before out of fear... fear of not knowing how they would do... with visions of broken pottery everywhere... and they did GREAT!  My M1 chose a jet to paint and M2 chose a skull (he's got a dark side...).  We have to wait 7-10 days which is the hard part when you're 5 and 6 years old... but I know they'll be tickled when their painted pieces are ready!
After we were all painted out... we went to get cupcakes downtown.  Altogether... it was the perfect day.  I have a Stouffer's lasagna in the oven (don't judge) and am washing some laundry... tomorrow we are driving to Savannah to have lunch with the hubs and check out the dollar bins at Target!  Hope y'all had a great Tuesday...see you soon! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Food For Thought...

Ok...  spring break edition continues...  Today was a good day... worked on some Teachers Pay Teachers stuff (more on that in a minute), did some laundry, and took my boys to the local Raptor Center.  They loved being outside and even got to sit in on the Slithery and Slimy class... so much fun for little boys! 
Everything I have made recently to put on Teachers Pay Teachers has been food related... can you tell I like to eat?  I posted about the Sunny Side Up Eggs over the weekend... but there's now more food goodness... 
Silly Breakfast Sentences... kiddos put together sentence components (on breakfast pieces) onto their place mat and record their silly sentences on the recording sheet.  Early finishers can illustrate their silly sentences if desired.  My own firstie LOVED this activity!  
 I also made a food related product called the Delicious Donut Shop which is geared towards 2nd and 3rd grade students.  Kids use the Delicious Donut Picture menu to answer 1 and 2-step addition and subtraction problems dealing with money.  Once they are finished, they can construct their own perfect breakfast on a plate and total up their meal on a guest check!  Check it out! 

I hope that you had a great Monday... and that your week will go by quickly (unless you're on spring break like me... in that case... I hope your week goes by super slowly!)  See y'all soon!