Friday, August 30, 2013

Five for Friday! {linky party}

It's Friday.  On a three day weekend.  Cue the happy dance!  

I'm linking up with... get a quick peek at my week. 

My eldest niece broke her ankle this week!  Yikes! 
I'm planning on visiting her tomorrow and sprucing up her tween toesies.

A little hot glue + yellow cups + dollar store table baskets = no more tipping pencil & scissor cups. 

Foo Fighters are an essential start to the morning during the beginning of the school year.

Boom!  Best iced coffee!  Also essential during the first weeks of school.

And, since it's been 90+ degrees in my non-A/C school, I adore this!  Bring on fall!

Have a fabulous start to the holiday weekend, and make sure you rest up!  There are little lovelies ready to see you again on Tuesday! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A first day and a cancellation.

Today was supposed to be Group B's first day of kindergarten.  Group A came to school yesterday.  Group C is coming tomorrow.  (We have staggered entry, only having about 6 or 7 children each day for the first three days.  Then, we all come together the Tuesday after Labor Day). 

Group B got the shaft from Mother Nature today, as she gave us dense fog.  

I received a text from one parent saying their child was so disappointed to not have school today.  I received an e-mail from another who said their little one was crushed.  

I had mixed emotions.  My first thought was, "Hooray!"  (Seriously, who doesn't have that when they hear they're cancelled?)  Then, I was like... "Whoa nelly!  I have a whole group who are going to miss their staggered entry day.  And, that means I'm not going to have as much time to get their initial assessments finished..."

I took it in stride though, and spent several hours at school... (along with a quarter if the teaching staff!) and organized all the paperwork I've been collecting over the past few days.  I was productive.  Now, I need to star planning for next week.  With all.  Of.  Them.  

To go with paperwork, I made a freebie at the beginning of the week in preparation for Open House.  

Keep track of your families that come to any school event with:
Click the pic to download for free in my TpT store. 

I made a copy of my Open House sign-in and put it in my teacher binder today, so there is no question who was there, and so I can turn it in to whoever looks at all those papers... LOL!

Tomorrow is Friday, folks!  Hooray for three day weekends, getting back into the school groove, and the excitement of new little learners!  Have a great evening and day tomorrow! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Oh my, Open House! {A top 5 list about today!}

5.  I got everything I needed finished before the families arrived.  AND, I already finished my PowerPoint for Kindergarten Orientation on Tuesday.  SCORE!

4.  Max & Mario, my two goldfish are a huge hit.  Read: instant kindergarten celebrities!

3.  A new kinder kiddo brought me gummi worms and M&M's after reading that they were my fav candies in my introduction letter.  And, it was HIS idea!  Sweetie!

2. There are no hugs like former student hugs.  I love them all!

And the number one thing about today... the excitement, anticipation, and hugs from my new kinder kiddos bring a smile to my face and warm my heart.

Bring it on 2013-2014!  I'm ready for you!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The classroom reveal... {Or. I THINK I'm ready!}

It's coming tomorrow!  The day I get to meet all 21 of my kinder kiddos!  
We have our Open House tomorrow, two days before school starts, and I think I'm finally ready!

Check out my classroom pics and get ready for a FREEBIE at the end!  Hooray!

Math area

Attention Getters from Teaching Maddeness!
Direction cards from Miss Kindergarten!

CCS and anchor chart area
Listening Work Station

Word Wall 
Writing Work Station

Classroom management area

My small group work area, note the empty Starbucks...

Whole group area

Ready for Daily 5's Read to Self, thanks to IKEA!!!

Table time

My area aka the most popular place to do Read to Self and Read to Someone!

And, since I'm "ready" for Open House tomorrow, I made these cuties to keep track of all the lovelies I meet.  

Click the pic to grab 'em for FREE at TpT! 

Okay, I'm off to write my wish list of things for families to donate to my classroom.  I can't wait to share about my little lovelies with you tomorrow.  Hooray!  Happy Saturday! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Beauty Tip Tuesday {Or, what I do when I'm running late!}

I was working through online safety training yesterday, and I was determined to get it finished before a lunch date with some of my besties.  I finished all the modules but only had a short amount of to get ready for lunch. Yikes!  What's a teacher to do?!

I'm a Birchbox subscriber, and Mrs. Wheeler was sweet enough to get me an Ipsy gift subscription for my birthday.  (We love our products!!!)  I have been pretty lucky with what I've received... especially these new go-to products... that I will be buying in bulk when my samples run out...

This is my new go to when I don't have time to dry my hair. 
A few spritzes (which smell like a heavenly beach!), a scrunch and tousle, and a 9 min. drive to school = hair full of body, shine, and volume. Loving it! 

Dare I say it?  I think this product is magic!  I use this with or without make up.  It absorbs quickly into the under eye and erases those dark circles.  I look like I've slept, even though I may have been up blog stalking or pinning.  

These are two new favs that I found at Big Lots!  The eye lash curler is superb, and the mascara doesn't smudge!!!  I've been looking for a smudge free mascara for a while, and this is the one.

So, what tips do you have for getting yourself gorgeous for school?  Do you have any favorite products?  Share in the comments below!  I'd love to hear! 

All right... I'm off to school to keep working on my classroom... make-up free and far from gorgeous!  Have a terrific Tuesday! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Three. More. Days. {And a sale!}

That's all I have left of summer.  Only three more days.  It seems unbelievable.  Where did it go?

My days now are full of laminating, cutting, ever changing rosters, and trainings.  Friday will be my first official day back at work.  My plan is to finish up my classroom and online trainings over the next three days so I can focus on Open House, Kindergarten Orientation, and the first few days with my kiddos.  Where are you in the back to school process?

Oh, wait, did I forget to mention printing?  With TpT's Back to School sale, I've been buying & printing to get ready for the new school year!

You can head on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store to snag some of my favorite products for 28% off!  

My "No Students!" Back to School Centers are only $3.20 right now.
I love starting the school year with these! 

I am also loving my Fry Word Wall for this school year.  I can't wait to show it to you when printed, laminated, and ready to go.  Only $2.80 right now!  I also have the second and third one hundred too! 

So, what have YOU snagged during the annual TpT sale this year?  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taming the Wild! {Teacher Week '13}

So.  I had kindergarten screening today.
And, I think some of those kiddos might need taming.  

Tomorrow, we're going to work to put all these lovely five and six year olds into classes, doing our best to control the chaos and manage the madness! :) 

In my little ole classroom, we use...
A Cupcake for the Teacher's
super cute, super effective, and super FREE clip it! behavior chart!!!!

Everyone starts on green and can either move UP to blue, purple, or pink!  Hooray!  I love the positive reinforcement!  Or, if they're having a rough day, they can move down to yellow, orange, or... (cue the dramatic music) red.  
I also use...
to monitor and record both positive and negative behaviors as well.

The one thing I adore about Class Dojo is how it creates percentages of positive/negative behaviors so you can monitor trends of specific students and the class as a whole.  Plus, did you know that families can monitor their student's behaviors during the day as well?  I had quite a few families download the app on their iPhone and check on their child's behavior throughout the day.  They loved being able to initiate conversations with their littles about any issues, big or small, when the arrived home during the day.  It became a great communication tool between home & school.  

I also L-O-V-E to work on class behavior goals.  I usually write the the goal (ie. popcorn party, stuffed animal party, pizza party, costume party) and mark of letters off as they receive compliments from related arts teachers or when they have consistent good behavior in the classroom.  When all the letters are marked off, it's party time!  The love it! 

So, that's a glimpse into my classroom management plan, but as they always say... the best laid plans... 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Classroom Digs {Or, classroom shambles!!!!}

Yesterday was my first real day working in my classroom.  I've gone in to drop things off or putted around a bit, but yesterday I had a mission.  In retrospect, I'm not sure what that mission was, but I have one new bulletin board 3/4 of the way finished.  (No applause, please.)

Oh, I also moved furniture.  Why is it, when we have no intention of moving anything after a successful classroom setup, we still do?  I moved bookshelves, my easel, and three sets of shelves.  I.  Must.  Be.  Nuts.

So, I'd like to introduce you to the BEFORE pictures of my classroom... 
This is my carpet area.  (Ignore the shambles on the shelf!)  Don't you just love that darling throw my hubs found at T.J. Maxx?  I know the kids are going to be fighting to sit on that softie when reading.  LOL!

Another view of the carpet area.  (I need to fluff my pom poms above my easel!)

This is going to be my Listen to Reading area.  Aren't those chairs perfect?  Only $3.00 on clearance at Walmart.

Blank bulletin board.  Word families?  Alphabet work?  Not 100% sure what that's going to be yet. Any ideas?

My Common Core objectives and anchor chart bulletin board.  Our "I can..." statements will go in the pocket chart under the appropriate subject area.  I'm getting a small curtain rod to hang on those Command Hooks for our anchor charts.  Thank goodness for Christina's inspiration on this one!

My math tub area and student tables.  I'm going to place my math tubs in that rolling shelf.  You can also see my SMART Board. 

My small group teaching area... Or, as I like to call it right now, my catch-all!

My word wall is under all those white papers!  We are lucky enough to be able to leave bulletin boards up during the summer, so I just cover them with paper to keep them unfaded and dust free!  

Wow.  Writing this and then reading everyone else's posts sharing their classroom digs makes me sick to my stomach motivated to get working!  So, I'm going to cut this short and keep printing things I need to laminate today.  

Check out other bloggers' posts or link up yourself!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet the Teacher Monday {I'm Blog Hoppin'!}

Hi all!  I am so excited to be linking up with the fine ladies who lead the way at...

Teacher Week is such great fun because you get a chance to know your bloggy buddies better and make some new ones!  And, today's post couldn't be more perfect as I'm in the process of getting my back to school letter ready for my my new back of kindergarten kiddos!  

 I don't remember meeting my kindergarten teacher for the first time, granted that was 28 years ago.  (Oh.  My.  Goodness.  That makes me feel elderly!)  And, I don't remember if I received a letter or card from them introducing themselves.  But, I do know how important it is to get the year started on the right foot.  

So, I just took an obscene amount of time whipped up this letter to send to my new batch students!  It's also the perfect way to let you know more about me! :) 

Thanks to My Cute GraphicsMiss TinaCreative Clips, and Hello Fonts for all the goodies I used to make my letter!  Check them all out for fabulous teaching resources!  

I'm going to copy these two pages, double sided, on neon colored paper.  (Seriously, who doesn't L-O-V-E neon paper?)  I'm torn between bright yellow (my classroom colors) and bright orange (my school colors).  What do you think?  

Okay, I'm off to go check out all my bloggy buddies posts for...
Teacher Week 2013!

I hope you check out, link up, and enjoy the inspiration before back to school!  See you tomorrow!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Setting up Saturday!!!

I went to school yesterday, and I worked for 2 hours!  This is good!  I'm building up classroom stamina!

I wandered in my room and look what I found...
Goodbye overhead!  Hello document camera!

I'm so excited to use this in my classroom this year!  How many of you have document cameras?  And, how do you use them?  I envision guided practice and collaborative learning with my kinder kiddos, as well as use during working with words.  

Also, it's always exciting when your construction paper and supply orders come in!  My buddy and I got our rolling chairs out to transport our packs of paper to our classrooms.  This is the finished product of my organizing...

When I have an open pack of paper, I immediately place it in a gallon sized baggie so I grab from that one before opening another.  (I am a notorious paper opener!)  This has helped my classroom volunteer and me stay organized!

After a little unpacking, I started to contemplate a board that I'm changing.  I want an area to hold my CC standards AND anchor charts.  I hopped on to Pinterest and was so H-A-P-P-Y to find a post from... 

She has a stupendous way to organize her info, and I'm using it as inspiration!  Thanks Christina!
Head on over to... Sugar and Spice to check out her post!

How have you been setting up your classroom this week?  I hope all is going well for those in school or those getting ready!  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

30 minutes {Or, the amount of time I was in my classroom today!}

Vacation is over.  I am back in Ohio after a fabulous trip to Florida and visiting my bestie in Atlanta!  I had a wonderful time, but the reality of school is looming sneaking here!

While traveling, I stopped at Target (of course!), IKEA (of course!), and Walgreens (of course!) to pick up school supplies from all over the country.

$9.00 worth of foam cut outs!  SURE!

10 cent folders!  Indeed!

Earlier in the summer, I found a basic $9.99 rug and wanted to spruce it up.  The hubs and I found the perfect shade of yellow duck tape to spruce it up.  Tonight, while helping me drop off my oodles of bags, he even helped me tape down my rug into a sitting place of perfection! 

Isn't he the best?  

Ignore the shambles elsewhere.

My plan is to head into school tomorrow...  I think...  After a trip to Walmart (Um, have you seen their school supply and teacher supply section?) and to lunch with one of my teaching besties.  So, I'll get there. Eventually.  T-minus 15 days until I officially report back to school! 

How's your back to school season going?  Are you in school?  Getting ready?  Or still enjoying the summer? 

Friday, August 2, 2013

DVD Deals for yoga in your classroom!

Yesterday's post was prep for today's excitement!  The DVD series, Move with Me Action Adventures, is on sale through my friends at Educents!

Now, as someone who uses yoga in the classroom, I am always looking for developmentally appropriate yoga activities for my kindergarten kiddos. Move with Me's child friendly language and story oriented programs help bring yoga to life in my classroom!  

Each DVD is centered around a story where the children use yoga poses to become part of the tale!  Who doesn't want to be a tree?  Or a bird?  Or a boat?  

With today's deal on Educents, you get...

9 Scooter & Me movement story video classes, along with... P/T Guides,16 self-regulation flash cards, 1 poster of self-regulation skill, and Activity Pages. 

All of this is for $45.10, a savings of 45%!!!!

To get this deal, head on over to Educents at...

This link will take you directly to the deal which has a short video link with more info!  

This deal is only good for 10 days so downward dog, er... hop on over to claim it!!!  


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Throwback Thursday {with exciting deals!}

Good morning, friends!  I'm waking up, again, on vacation!  However, I'm not going to lie... When I realized it was August 1st, I wanted to cry. I have to go to work three weeks from tomorrow.  I love teaching, but I love this too...
Seriously, who wouldn't???? 

I still have a few more days of time on vacay... But when I get home it's time to hit the classroom and get organized!!! 

I'm posting a throwback post today for...
Now, Cara isn't hosting today because of an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G giveaway!  Please hop on over to... and check it out!  It's unbelievable!  

I'm throwing back to a post from October 18, 2011.  This is because I am so excited about huge deal from my friends over at... is like Groupon for teachers!  And, one of my favorite yoga and movement series for children is going to be on sale starting tomorrow. Check it out...

A huge thank you!

As most of you know, I love yoga! 
As most teachers, I'm stressed and need to find ways to make time for myself.  Yoga helps me do that!  (Yee haw yoga!)

But, have you ever thought about your kiddos?  When do THEY have time for themselves?  When do they have the time to be mindful of how they feel, are given the opportunity to calm down and refocus their energy in positive and meaningful ways?

I've seen yoga do that with my kindergarten children, and I love sharing how good their bodies and minds can feel after even a short yoga practice! 

There are oodles of resources out there on the interwebs...
But, I have found lots of information at  Yoga In My School recently sponsored a giveaway with  Move With Me Action Adventures, and I was one of the lucky recipients of a Move With Me yoga DVD.  (Hooray!  Free things!)

Well, today was the 1st day we tried our new DVD and... it was wonderful!  My kindergartners LOVED it!  The guided practice includes a child friendly story about a little boy and his scooter, as well as all the things (people, animals, plants) they experience along the way.  I definitely want to invest in some of the other DVDs in the series!

Here are some pictures of my kindergarten kiddos using the SMART Board to complete their daily yoga practice before work station time! :)

Riding our scooters!

Here comes the sun!  

Putting our scooters to rest against the tree!

In our speed boats! 

So, thank you Yoga in My School and thank you Move With Me Action Adventures!  We love our new DVD, and I we thank you for expanding our kindergarten yoga practice!  
Starting tomorrow, all of this will be on sale at
... at a 45% off savings of $45.10. 

I'll have more about this awesome deal tomorrow!  I can hardly wait!!!!! 

Happy Thursday, everyone!  I'm off to the pool to soak up what's left of vacation!