Saturday, June 30, 2012

Turn up the Music, My Fabulous Find, & Feeling Lucky!

Happy Saturday Friends,
Thank you to all of the wonderful bloggers who participated in the Blog Swap and Hop! I really enjoyed getting to know these bloggers and was excited to get some new ideas to implement in my classroom.
Today I'm linking up with not one but 2 bloggers who I am inspired by everyday. First I am linking up with Amanda from Teaching Maddeness for her Turn the Music Up! Linky Party:
I listen to music everywhere that I go & sometimes even *try* to dance. I must tell you, it's not always a pretty sight. With that being said, I love using music to teach concepts in class, & you can see the difference with my students when I turn the music on. The vibe in the room totally changes & they are so engaged! Here are some of my favorite music finds for the classroom:
1. Pandora
 I love using Pandora in my classroom while my students work. If you aren't aware, Pandora is an online radio station with no commercials & a wide variety of music. They have several kids stations & my students perk up when I turn it on. I love to hear them singing while they work!
2. Jack Hartmann

 We were fortunate to have Jack Hartmann visit my school a few years back. We use his songs a lot in my classroom to learn reading & math concepts and for transition during centers. We LOVE his pirate song!: 3. Between the Lions & Electric Company music clips:
 I use a lot of Between the Lions & Electric Company music clips in my reading flipcharts to teach new word families. My students are instantly hooked and always ask me to repeat the songs.
4. Have Fun Teaching Counting Songs:

I love Have Fun Teaching's catchy songs. I am a big fan of their counting songs. They have several skip counting songs, as well as songs for many other subjects. It is a great resource for music! Go and link up with Amanda & share your favorite music finds for the classroom!
I may be a day late, but next I'm linking up with Elizabeth from Fun in Room 4B for her Fabulous Find Friday:

Here it is...My Erin Condren planner:
 Back in January, I had not even heard of Erin Condren. Then, I won a gift certificate to Erin Condren from Made for 1st Grade and went to check it out. I was instantly excited when I checked out her website and saw her amazing planners. here's the deal. I'm going to let you in on a little secret...shhhh:
Especially with my schedule being this busy during the school year:
 This planner helped me remember everything that I kept on forgetting on a daily basis.
 It has truly been my lifesaver. If you need a good planner, then you should check these out. They really are fantastic & I have heard several other bloggers who feel the same way! Do you have a fabulous find to share? Go and link up with Elizabeth if you do!
I'm giving a quick shout out for my friend, Jessica Stanford, at Mrs. Stanford's Class. She is ~soclose~ to 500 followers.

 If you don't follow her already, stop on by & follow her blog. Her blog is full of helpful tips and shares. She is one amazing & inspiring blogger. You will really enjoy her blog.
Just a quick happy is my *LUCKY* day!! I have won not one, but 2 giveaways's now 3 giveaways today!! I won Erica's entire TPT store & a Target giftcard from Sprinkles To Kindergarten and Jennifer's Totally Texas Giveaway from Herding Kats In Kindergarten. There I won a cowboy clipboard & other Texas goodies. I also won Chelsea's Common Core Math Journal Prompts from The Wild West.  Talk about exciting! I am so thankful to all of them for this opportunity. It made my day!
If I'm this lucky, maybe I should consider playing the lottery tonight! =).
Have a great Saturday!,

Friday, June 29, 2012

Get ready! It's our First Fabulous Blogger Friday!

Happy Friday Friends!,
Are you ready?!? It's our first edition of Fabulous Blogger Friday! I'm so excited about the response that I received back for this. I hope you enjoy getting to know these featured bloggers & maybe find some new friends along the way!
Today I am featuring...Lori Rosenberg from Teaching With Love and Laughter!

Lori received State Teacher of the Year!!
Grade or subject you teach:
I teach kindergarten, first grade, and second grade writing, science, and social studies.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I am sure that I became a teacher for many of the same reasons as all of you.  I entered the teaching profession because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of my students and their families, just as my favorite teachers had done for me.  Teaching is more than just a job to me.  It's a calling.  It's an ever-surprising mix of grueling hard work and ecstatic successes, both big and small.  I knew that teaching would be a challenging vocation, but I also knew that my personality was properly suited for this profession.  When the job gets tough, sometimes it's only your sense of humor that can keep you moving forward with any sanity!  Each day I go in front of my students, I never know what I will say or do that will leave a lasting impression on them.  Each day, I bring the full force of my personality and expertise to the classroom, in the hopes of inspiring my students and molding their young, impressionable minds.  
Describe your teaching "personality":
I teach with love and laughter every single day. I am very casual, calm and laid back. I never raise my voice or get angry. My teaching personality is exactly the same as my "real life" personality. If I can't spend my days laughing and loving, then I may as well just stay in bed!
What is your favorite subject to teach?
Definitely writing. It's very challenging to teach it correctly, but so rewarding. Most young children don't think that they can write and I love showing them that they have been writing for years.
What made you decide to begin blogging? 
I stalked tons and tons of blogs for about a year before I realized that I was missing out on all the fun. The blogging community is such a wonderful place to spend my time. I've "met" so many talented teachers from all over the world and I can honestly say that they have made me a better teacher.
If you could give one piece of advice to your fellow teachers & bloggers, what would it be?
Keep on sharing all of your wonderful ideas because there are thousands of teachers whose students are benefiting from all the top-notch, quality activities you are blogging about.
Finish this sentence... You know you're a teacher when: 
you can quickly and easily identify every font in ads, on billboards, in commercials, and, just about everywhere else!
Personal Links:
Here is a freebie from Lori:
This is a featured product from Lori. Click on the picture to find out more about it!
Thanks to Lori for being my 1st spotlight on Fabulous Blogger Friday! If you are interested in participating, please leave a comment or email me at
Have a "fabulous" Friday!,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Winner of Pirate Palooza Mini Giveaway!

Happy Thursday Friends!!,
This is going to be a short post because little one and I are going to the zoo to play! I'm ready to select a random winner to receive my Pirate Palooza unit.
And the winner is:
#29: Ms. Lee!!
Congratulations! I will be emailing you shortly with the unit. If you are interested, my Pirate Palooza unit is in my TPT store. You can view it by clicking HERE.
I'll be back in a bit! I have some linking up to do!
Have a Thrilling Thursday!,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Versatile Blog Award & Pirate Palooza mini giveaway!!

Happy....what day is it??..oh yeah, Wednesday friends,
Seriously, I had to stop & think about it! That's when you know you're on summer vacation. How sweet it is!
I received some exciting news last night! I was awarded The Versatile Blogger award from Katie over at Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans and Claire at Live, Laugh, Love, Teach. Thank you so much Katie and Claire! That just made my day!
The rules for this award are as follows:
1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2.  Include a link to their site.
3.  Include the award image in your post.
4.  Give 7 random facts about yourself
5.  Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6.  When nominating, include a link to their site.
7.  Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.
Hmmm, 7 random facts about myself. Okay, hold on for the ride:
1. I am a die hard Florida State Seminoles fan! I went to college there & it was the best experience ever. I love Florida State football!!!
2. I am a car-aholic! I have owned 20+ cars and I am only 30 years old! I think I have had every type of car imaginable, except for a convertible. I'm the running joke among my friends! 
3. I used to hate country music when I was young, but now it's all I listen to. Zac Brown, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, you name it. I went to a Zac Brown Band concert in February and it was the best concert EVER!
4. I can't cook! I burn seriously, I have! Not many people want me to set foot in their kitchen. We eat take out in my house...A LOT!
5. My favorite TV show is Dexter! I may have told you about this already earlier on. Michael C. Hall is so dreamy!! I love the comedy & suspense of it. My friends got me hooked on it a few years back & now we have Dexter nights every week where we meet up at someone's house & all watch it together when it's on.
6. I have an obsession with icing! This is also a running joke with my friends. I can literally take a can & eat spoonfuls of it. I know, I don't get it either! 
7. I have been skydiving too! When my husband and I first got together, we went skydiving in central Florida. We dove at 15,000 feet in the air. Talk about one of the most thrilling and scary experiences of my life, but I look back & say at least I can say I tried it once in my life!
I'm passing this along to the following bloggers:
Jennifer at Kindertrips
Kristi and Crystal at Teaching Little Miracles
Stephanie at Falling Into First
Michelle at Smitten With First
Thank you again ladies for awarding me this!
Pirate Palooza is in the air!! I finally posted my Pirate Palooza math and literacy unit! It is 100 pages of pirate math, literacy, and writing fun!! Click on the picture to check it out:
If you are still with me, you are in for a treat! Leave a comment with your email address and I will pick a person via random number generator to win this pirate unit tomorrow morning!
I think Tropical Storm Debby has left the building. I am going to take the little one and venture out for the first time in a few days! :)
Have a great Wacky Wednesday!,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vistaprint Creations!!

It's the most expensive time of the year! I swear I spend more money during the summer for the next school year than I do on Black Friday & Christmas shopping, but!! I was sooo happy when Katie from Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans blogged about an awesome Groupon deal the other day. It was $17 for $70 worth of Vistaprint. I didn't even blink...I headed right over & picked one up.
*I am linking this up to Christina's linky party at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge!!
Have you used Vistaprint before?
 If you haven't, you are missing out. Vistaprint is a printing company that offers many freebies & you just have to pay for shipping. There are items that they charge for too, but everything is very reasonable. Here are some examples of items that I've made for my classroom:
I hang this up at the beginning of the year & for Meet the Teacher.
This is my class birthday shirt. If it's a student's birthday, they wear the birthday shirt. I make sure I wash it in between each use. They love the recognition!!
I send these postcards in the mail once I receive my roster. The kids love getting these in the mail!!
I use this poster for practicing sight words, math problems, & other skills we are working on. It is their "entry pass" into the classroom.
I use these labels for good test scores or quality work. :)
I hand these magnets out at Open House for my parents to keep on their refrigerators.

I use these postcards for data collection. We do FAIR testing in Florida so I laminate them & write on them using permanent marker. I use Magic Eraser when I need to update scores.
This magnet goes on my door for back to school time.
We learn new word families every week. I keep this magnet on the board and write on it with dry erase marker. It comes right off!
This hat has helped me minimize interruptions in my classroom. I love it!
I did adapt some ideas above from pictures I saw of other Vistaprint creations around the web. If you haven't already, head on over to Vistaprint and check it out. They really have a lot of great deals you don't want to miss out on!
Also, I'm taking part in another giveaway! Beth Ann from Taming My Flock of Firsties is having a summer giveaway. I'm giving away my "Pirate Palooza" math and literacy pack which I will show you pictures of soon. Head on over to her blog and check out her great giveaway!
Have a terrific Tuesday!,

Monday, June 25, 2012

My First Monday Made It!!!

Happy Monday Friends,
Yay! I'm so happy to finally be able to take part in Tara's Monday Made It!!
 I've been wanting to link up for a  few weeks now, but haven't been able to with school ending late and our vacation that followed. I saw this on Pinterest a while ago & put it on my summer to-do list:

Source: Fun for First
I have a pirate theme in my classroom, so I added some pirate themed scrapbook paper to the drawer to match my theme & whipped this up...
I'm actually THRILLED with how this came out! Last year I had 2 containers for pencils: sharpened and unsharpened. It served it's purpose, but if I heard the pencils get knocked over and come crashing to the ground one more time, I thought I might go crazy!! I think this will solve my problem.
Now with this crazy and hectic thing called life not getting in the way so much, I am fully on the "Monday Made Its" bandwagon. I am going to try and tackle a big project for next Monday. Stay tuned...:)
Go and link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made Its!
Have a Marvelous Monday!!,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Someone's thisclose to a giveaway!!

Happy Sunday friends!,
I am giving a quick shout out for my friend Tonya over at Tonya's Treats for Teachers! She is so close to a 200 follower giveaway!!
So head over & check her blog out if you haven't! She has some great ideas & she just did a blog post a few days ago about creating classroom reward scratch-off tickets that you don't want to miss. It's pure genius!
Also, thank you for the amazing response for my Fabulous Blogger Friday feature idea!! I received a great number of responses. If you said you were interested, please check your inbox. I emailed several questionnaires out between yesterday and today. I'm so excited!!!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fabulous Blogger Friday??

Hey all!
Hope your weekend is off to a great start! I have been running around like CRUH-A-ZY getting ready for my daughter's birthday tomorrow. She is going to be 3 and whoever said that 3s were worse than 2s with behavior ...well I'm starting to see that they are not far off! *sigh* LOL. 
I'm going to put a feeler out there for you today. I was thinking of doing a "Fabulous Blogger Friday" blog post every week to feature 1 blogger, so we can expand our circle of blogs. I am just as crazy about finding new blogs as I am about pinterest! This about sums up life:
For "Fabulous Blogger Friday", I would love to feature any blog, whether you are a new blogger or if you have been around for a while, because you may be new to someone else out there! I would email you a small list of questions to answer for the post about yourself & your blog, and you can also share some pictures of your favorite personal creations or a freebie with that post if you'd like. If you would like to participate and be a featured blogger, please either comment below or email me at Based on the response I receive, I'll see if it's a go-ahead!
Let's see if we can continue expanding this ever-growing circle of bloggers!
Have a great Saturday,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Writing Resources!

Oops, slap me on the wrist! I am breaking all of the bloggy rules today & posting twice! I just wanted to give you a heads up about writing resources. You may not know it, but there is a new blog in town called Endless Pinabilities
Endless Pinabilities!
Sweet Tonja from Journey of a Substitute Teacher has set up this blog so we can share all of our  pinterest finds with each other. I am one of many authors on this blog, so stop by there! I just wrote my first post  over there about various writing ideas that I have found on blogs and pinterest that may be of help to you.
Also, I just found a new blog called Krazee for Kindergarten! She has created some of the cutest mini office writing packs!! 
 She has some for kindergarten, advanced kindergarten, first grade, and second grade! I can't wait to get one!! Head over there and take a peek!
Until the next time!,