Monday, July 29, 2013

I Went Shopping! Plus a Facebook Flash Freebie :)

I'm unable to get into my new classroom until who knows when (!!!!) so I am home laminating my adorable new alphabet from A Year of Many Firsts. My laminator and printer are not happy right now. Chalkboard decor uses a lot of ink! But how cute is this new alphabet?!

Anyway, I also did a little shopping! I got these goodies at Michael's super cheap! Those birthday crowns were under $3 with my teacher discount. I was inspired by Erica Bohrer's cute frame project and bought one of my own ($1.99 on clearance!) and some purple paint to make a "First Day of First Grade" frame! I got the plastic tote for a guided reading and conferring tool kit. While at Teacher's College, we learned all about being prepared on the spot with mentor texts, stickies, all that jazz, when working with our students. My cameo will make them pretty :) The chevron ribbon will be part of my new classroom job chart. I am going to put the jobs on velcro on the ribbon and hang it vertically and my kids' names will be on clothespins. I'll get to that project... eventually :) 

Meanwhile, at Target, I scored these bright colored binders! Perfect for our birthday binder, mascot binder, and my anchor chart binder (where I take photos of my anchor charts and print them as 8x10s and store them in a binder for year-round reference due to limited wall space!). I think Pete the Cat is going to be my new mascot :) Skippyjon needs a vacation. I also scored adorable pencils, a cute metal bin with chalkboard, and of course, an abundance of laminating sheets!

MY PLANNER IS HERE! I just love it :) I was hesitant about spluring on the Erin Condren planner, but oh my gosh, I am SO happy I did. AND it's a cute chalkboard theme to match my new decor! YAY!!!!!

Okay friends, tonight on my Facebook, I have a flash freebie! My chalkboard themed behavior chart is FREE from now until I remember to take it down/my laminating is complete! Go snatch it up, it will be regularly priced tomorrow :). Don't forget to "like" my page while you're there - Dreamlike Magic made me cute new buttons for Facebook, Pinterest, and Bloglovin! Woo! 

Finally, the winner of my chalkboard decor mega pack is:
Yay, Christin! I am emailing you my pack as we speak :) 

Is there anyone out there who has uploaded a big PDF to TpT? I have a 176 pager (the decor pack) and it just WILL NOT UPLOAD. I turned it into a zip file and everything. Any tips?!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Little Giveaway

Hi everyone! I'm currently struggling to upload my mega decor pack to TpT, and I thought I would have a little giveaway while I wait! I bundled all of my items that coordinate with my chalkboard decor in my TpT shop . I just added my new chalkboard style classroom norms tonight! While I struggle (anyone else have issues when it's a larger file? advice?!), enter my Rafflecopter giveaway to win the decor pack!

Enter below :) All you have to do is follow on Facebook (where I just added Fan Freebies!) and follow my blog if you wish. Leave a comment, too! I'll keep struggling with my upload :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Things I've Learned From Teaching :)

Today I am linking up with Miss Kindergarten for 10 Things I've Learned From Teaching!

1. Be organized from the beginning. Spend the extra time over the summer getting yourself ready for the school year. Labels will make you happy!
2. Leave on time. Don't stay til 7:00. Give yourself a time limit so you have some me time or you will go crazy!
3. Use parent volunteers, but in the best ways possible, not because you "have to". My first couple of years I had parents in for everything because I felt like I had to. This year, not so much. I had parents signed up to help cut laminating, help copying, and help with science experiments/big projects. They still got to help, but it was really HELPING me, not making it harder :)
4. Become friends with the custodians. They clean your rooms, and a little bribery goes along way when it comes to getting your room cleaned first over the summer :)
5. Give yourself a budget on what you can spend on your classroom, especially in those first few years where you want to buy every cute thing you see at Lakeshore and Michaels! 
6. Be silly. The kids love it. Don't be afraid to be a little crazy. I used to over think it - now I just go with it ;)
7. Find a friend. It might not be a friend on your grade level, but who cares! Get someone who you can trust and go to when you're having a rough day. 
8. Buy a lot of hand sanitizer and lysol. Better yet, get the parents to donate it. My kids each bring a bottle of purell or lysol wipes at the start of school. There are months where I want to take a quick bath with lysol wipes when I look around at all of the kids coughing and sneezing. GROSS.
9. Find a pick me up and keep it handy. For me, caffeine. I keep k-cups in my desk. Sometimes, chocolate. Find what works for you! 
10. Leave your negative energy at the door. Give it your all everyday. Your mood sets the tone for the classroom everyday!

ALSO, I watched Ashley Hughes' tutorial on creating a facebook freebie page and I am HOPEFULLY  all set up! 
These table numbers are featured free for Facebook fans! Click HERE to go pick them up (and cross your fingers that it works - I needed this blog post to get the image for the download, so if it doesn't work right away, it's because I am on trying to get everything uploaded- try again later!)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Advice for new teachers!

I'm linking up with Latoya at Flying into First with some advice for new teachers. I've neglected my poor blog in favor of a long weekend away, sorry! I met tonight with a former aide from my district who is interviewing for a teacher position in our district tomorrow morning, so what a perfect time to join this linky! It's all about advice for new teachers :)
Buy: Comfy flats. I have TRIED heels. I gave it a go. It doesn't work for me. For all of you who can manage heels, I envy you. Comfy, cute flats are a definite must! I have invested in all colors, all styles, something to match every outfit for every season!
Always: Plan ahead. Plan your week out on Friday during a prep time so you aren't scrambling on Sunday night (maybe I should take my own advice...? ;)) Make sure you over plan - there is nothing worse than running out of things to do! I'd rather have to scrap something from my plans because we had so many other tasks to work on than be unprepared for my kids. ESPECIALLY at the beginning of the year when you're assessing and you don't know your kids! Copy ahead of time and have it all set to go. Nothing worse than having to scramble 5 minutes before the bell to pull your lesson together for the day. Plan, plan, plan! 
Never: Display a negative attitude. There are days where you want to scream. The kids were awful, the staff can be mean, a parent is driving you crazy. The worst thing you can do is show it. In your first year, everyone's watching you! Find a trusted friend and vent to them, but keep smiling at school :)
Find: Friendly colleagues. My first year of teaching was a little bit tricky. My grade level colleagues were not the co-workers I found myself going to. Instead, I connected better with the special education staff. You never know who you will connect best with, and don't be disappointed (even though it is challenging) if you don't connect with your grade level colleagues. Find some friends and buddy up with them - eat lunch in the teacher's room at least once a week even when you want to eat at your desk and finish working. Do it! :)
Make: Time for yourself. My first two years were spent working around the clock and doing nothing but creating, planning, answering parent emails at all hours of the night, and worrying about NOT working when I was taking time for myself. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. The classroom will still be there and the kids will survive if you leave the classroom before 7 pm. Really!
Be: Flexible. You don't know what you're going to get in your first year - crazy parents? Crazy kiddos? Crazy colleagues? Grade changes? Moving classrooms? Moving schools? Check, check, check, check, check - for me! Be flexible! Be open to other's opinions. Let people help. Ask for help. Go with the flow. Teaching is constantly changing- you have to change with it :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Clock Label Freebie and Some Fun Giveaways/Exchanges!

I'm spending my day working on finishing up all of my chalkboard decor for next year because this little beast of a dog is home recovering from our long night in the doggie ER after she ate a corn cob last night! UGH!

Luckily we got her there in time. I'm going to take a brief moment to brag about my fur child:
Lola won this photo contest through Educational Insights! YAY! We just had a photo shoot and we're waiting to hear if they use her photo in a new game! 

Since I've been home with the patient today, I got a chance to finish up my chalkboard themed voice level printable posters! 
Click the pic to see them on TpT :)

I also finished up my clock labels to match the decor! It's free on TpT and it's posted below :)

Have you seen this?
How cute is this? I feel like I just got out of school (because I did, haha) but who doesn't love a little back-to-school pick me up?! I just signed up. You should too! Click the button above to visit the Covered In Glitter and Glue blog and sign up! You can visit Adventures of Ms. Smith, too! :)

My friend Amanda from Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten is having a HUGE 400 follower giveaway that I am a part of. Stop by her blog by clicking the button below and enter. She has so many awesome prizes to give away! 

Off to work on more chalkboard stuff :) 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

An award for me?!

Oh my gosh, 3 awesome bloggers nominated me for the Leibster award! I am flattered :) The Liebster award is an award for new blogs meaning beloved, cute, lovely, dearest and welcome! The Teaching Twosome, Always an Adventure in Kindergarten, and the Bilingual Teacher nominated this little blog! Thank you so much!

Here are the rules for accepting this nomination: 
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 250 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Contact your nominees by commenting on their blog or sending them an email to communicate the nomination.

Now, I have to nominate blogs that I love! 

Since I was nominated by 3 different bloggers, I'm going to answer a few of each of their questions for me :)
1.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Massachusetts :) I like where I live!
2.  Why do you blog? I wanted to meet other teachers who teach K-2, I wanted new ideas, and I wanted a forum to share my ideas :)
3.  Do you collect anything? I collect Yankee Candles. Weird, but true.
4.  Name two of you favorite school supplies and tell why they are your favorite. I love Mr. Sketch Markers (who doesn't!?!) and I love Post-it notes of all shapes and sizes- they're so fun! 
5.  What is your favorite children’s book? My favorite children's book is definitely Splat the Cat. 
6.  Where did you go to college and did you originally major in something other than education? I went to Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire as an undergrad - I majored in social work and counseling! 
7.  What's the best thing about blogging? Meeting new bloggers, connecting with other people who "get it", and getting great ideas :)
8.  If you could leave for a vacation tomorrow and go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

9. Are you married? Have kids? I am married with no children - just furry children ;)
10. What grade do you teach? Is this the grade level you want to teach? I teach first grade and this is the grade I want to teach (for awhile, anyway!) 
11. What is your favorite piece of clothing? I am a cardigan addict.

11 Random Facts About Me
1. I've worked for 6 principals in 5 years of teaching.
2. I've taught 3 grades in 5 years.
3. I've worked at 5 elementary schools in 5 years! (Noticing the trend?!) 
4. I have a french bulldog puppy named Lola and 2 cats, Harvey and Vinny. They are my furry children :)
5. My hubs and I have been married almost 5 years, but together for almost 13 years (since freshman year!) 
6. My favorite color is pink.
7. I love to bake. 
8. I am terrified of birds.
9. I'm a bit of a coffee addict.
10. I'm also a bit of a Coach addict- guilty pleasure :)
11. I love summer, but I can't wait to get into my new classroom to decorate :) I'm a planner, and I'm a little OCD! 

11 Questions for my nominees:
1. Do you have any pets?
2. How many years have you been teaching?
3. What's your favorite grade to teach?
4. What's your favorite food or drink?
5. What's one teaching tool you can't live without?
6. What is your ideal vacation spot?
7. Favorite children's book?
8. Favorite quote?
9. Best moment/experience while teaching? 
10. If you weren't a teacher, what would you be?
11. Why do you blog?

That's it! 

Monday, July 8, 2013


I'm working hard on my chalkboard decor. I got my 3-D shape posters done! YAY! Soon I hope to have all of my chalkboard stuff bundled. Grab your freebie below :)

I just stumbled upon this ADORABLE freebie from Sparkling in Kindergarten. I love them! I just downloaded them for my kids this year... chalkboard and chevron is my new theme! Thanks Stephanie!   Her blog is super cute, go check her out!
Are they not the cutest?! I'm going to laminate them, but any tips on how to stick 'em down so they stay?

Have to rescue a baby bird in my yard, so off I go... never a dull moment :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Back from NYC!

Last week, I got to go to Teachers College at Columbia University in NYC for the reading institute with one of my colleagues. SO MUCH FUN! I learned so much, I seriously could blog for the rest of my life solely about the reading institute! I can't wait to start creating and using some of the ideas I got from the institute! Fabulous in First's Sunday Smorgasbord Linky is perfect for me today - this is a bunch of random! :)

Teacher's College swag bag- love!

My coworker and I got to have a private lunch with KATHY COLLINS. She is my teacher crush! She is absolutely amazing to listen to. She also delivered the closing speech for the week for the institute.

My birthday was July 4th! We were in NYC for it. We decided to brave the 100 degree (felt like 100000 degree) weather and the millions of people and visit the statue of liberty and the 9/11 memorial. I'll admit, we took the ferry to Liberty Island, saw the AMOUNT OF PEOPLE ON THE ISLAND WAITING TO RETURN (Oh, my, gosh...) and said no thanks to departing from the ferry! So we took some nice pics from the ferry instead :)

The night before my birthday, we saw Wicked on Broadway! It was absolutely amazing. 

I heard about SO MANY AMAZING READ ALOUDS this week! I could do a whole blog post just about read alouds. I think I spent $100 on Amazon while I was away loading up my cart! This is one that I purchased while in NYC. It is SO cute, the language is incredible, and the vocabulary in this book lends itself to some great vocabulary work :) I recommend it! (Plus, it kinda looks like my dog Lola...)

I was spoiled on my b-day even in NYC! My mom shipped me some chocolate covered strawberries :)

I plan to be back tomorrow with a new chalk themed freebie :)

Link up!