Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Music of the Stone Age" Unit + A Funny Story

Happy Saturday friends! I hope you are having a fabulous weekend so far. I've just finished the Treasures unit for "Music of the Stone Age." I'm not a big fan of those Time of Kids weeks because they just don't have a lot of content. It's a lot of stretching during the week. I tried my best to make this unit fun so I hope you enjoy it. Here's a preview:

Now I only have 2 more Treasures units to create. Yeah! These last couple of stories are not very exciting.

Onto my story...This week, I taught the story "Mice and Beans" and we were focusing on reality and fantasy. If you don't know this story, a grandmother is throwing a birthday party for her granddaughter. A group of mice keep taking things from her to throw their own party. Anyways, we were reviewing yesterday and one of my kiddos raised his hand. I called on him and he said, "I know the real reason that mice can't throw parties." And I said,"Okay, what would that be?" He said, "Well, they don't have opposable thumbs." I mean, seriously, he's in 2nd grade and he speaks like a 30 year old. Cracks me up each time.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Some of My Favorites

What a crazy week! I can't believe Spring break was only last week. It seems like weeks ago.  I thought I would share with you some of my favorite things from the past few weeks.

#1 My new carpet from Donor's Choose
 My Donor's Choose project was funded last week and my carpet has already arrived. I was so excited to see it come in the school! Then, I realized how big it is. I kind of visualized the space that it would need but it was even bigger than I thought. So I took to rearranging my room. Call me weird but I love to rearrange furniture. I used to make fun of my mom for this so I get it naturally.  I've had to completely flip part of my room around but I'm loving how it looks now. My kiddos are so excited about the carpet too because it's so plush and they have room to sit comfortably. Thanks to everyone who donated to my project!

#2 Phonics videos
I've found some great videos lately to teach phonics skills. My students are loving a few of them and want to watch them everyday. I catch myself humming them pretty much all day. Here are a few of my favorites:

#3 Stacking Baskets from The Container Store
On my recent trip to Atlanta, we stopped at The Container Store. We don't have one of them near where I live so I had never been there. I found these great baskets for a reasonable price and, best of all, they match my classroom colors. They are great for organizing books and materials. I plan on using them to store more of my chapter books. I have so many that I don't know where to store them. I may have to order more online. I could only fit 6 in my car and I could use a few more.

#4 Great New Blog -- Zeek's Zoo
I found a great new blog via Pinterest and she has some great writing resources. This picture is what initially drew me to her site and I was not disappointed. 

#5  Scaredy Squirrel

Scaredy Squirrel is one of the cutest series of books that I have read in a long time. My kids love him and I die laughing at some of his antics. Just picture, a squirrel that is scared of everything and makes a plan for everything. I love the little diagrams and captions in the story.

You should check out these books. You will love them!

What are some of your favorite things right now?

Have a great Friday!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Common Core for Third Grade

Hello everyone! I'm just doing a quick post to let you know that I've finished up my Common Core Standards posters for 3rd grade. I've had many requests for these and I apologize it took me so long to get them done.  I've changed the cover of these but they have coordinating graphics with my other sets. I also added reference numbers on the student standards so you know which standards match the teacher version. I've also done that with the 2nd grade version. I'll be updating the 1st grade and Kindergarten versions soon.

Tomorrow is the last day of spring break. I am not ready for it to be over.  
I had to put my sweet 20 year old cat, Heidi, to sleep yesterday and I'm having a really hard time with it. I had her since I was 8 so I really can't remember a time before I had her. It's been much harder than I thought it would be. It's not how I wanted to spend my spring break. 

If you are starting your spring break, I hope you have a great one! If you are going back, enjoy your last day off!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mice and Beans freebie

I was looking through my files from last year and found a cut and paste I used for the story Mice and Beans. This is such a cute story by Pam Muñoz Ryan.
Graphics from Thistlegirl Designs
Click on the image above to grab a copy of the free cut and paste from my TPT store.

Yesterday, I had a great day in Atlanta. I went to Ikea for the first time and I am in love with that store. I could have spent the entire day in there. We also had a great lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Now, I'm off to do my taxes. Ugh! I know it has to get done but I hate doing them. Have a good day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TPT sale

In celebration of reaching 1,000 followers on TPT, I am having a customer appreciation sale today through Saturday. Everything is 20%. Happy shopping!

I just wanted to say thank you for all your support on my blog and in my stores. I never imagined that I would have this many followers and blogging has been a huge blessing in my life.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Stirring Up Memories"

The Treasures unit for "Stirring Up Memories" is now available on TPT and Teacher's Notebook.

For this unit, you should also check out The Teacher Wife's freebie for a and an on her blog. Click here to view it.

Well, I'm off to move all my things back into my office. I got the carpet cleaned today and had to move a ton of stuff into the hallway. Hope you are having a great week!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Kinder - 2nd Linky Party

I'm joining the Kindergarten through 2nd grade linky party over at Kindergarten Lifestyle. There are a ton of blogs already linked and I can't wait to find more to explore.  Check out the linky party by clicking on the image below. I hope you find some great new blogs!

I'm finally on spring break this week and, of course, I've gotten sick. Hopefully, I'll be all better tomorrow so I can enjoy my spring break. If you are on spring break too, I hope you are enjoying your time off!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Amazing Astronauts

We are starting our unit on space this week and I am so excited. I love teaching about space because there are so many fun things to do with this unit. Our main story is "The Moon" and we are going to start researching the moon in the next few days for a writing project.  I am mostly focusing on the moon this week. I am loving Cara Carroll's unit on the moon. It is adorable and full of great activities. I also love Babbling Abby's moon unit. These are great resources if you are teaching about the moon.

I am a big fan of crafts and love to include one a few times a week. I usually don't have a ton of extra time so I try to do a quick one in the middle of the week and a more involved one on Fridays. One of my little girls has got me figured out and told her mother that she can't miss school on Fridays because that's when we do crafts. I guess I've got them hooked too!

I came up with this fun astronaut craft to use with my kiddos.

It comes with all the patterns to make the craft, 6 pages of writing paper, and bulletin board letters. You can check it out in either of my store. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did!

The first 2 people to comment on my blog and leave their email address will get the packet for free.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mice and Beans

My unit for "Mice and Beans" is now available. I love teach adjectives so this unit is one of my favorites plus I think the story is adorable. Here is a small sample of the things available in the unit:

I've been working on a craftivity for our space theme this week. I thought I would get it finished today but it didn't happen. I hope to be back tomorrow to post about it. 

I'm loving this extra hour of sunshine today. It's feeling like spring. I got a completely new haircut yesterday that is totally different from what I usually do. I have curly hair so my options are really limited. I found a cute haircut on Pinterest and I just went for it yesterday. I'm going to have to get up earlier tomorrow so I have time to fix it.  Have a great night!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

After Many Requests

I've had many requests to share about how I organize my Treasures materials with all the games and pieces. Since we had a teacher workday on Tuesday, I took some pictures of how I am organizing everything.
The Target dollar spot is really helping me with my organization  I found these pocket folders in the dollar spot in several colors so I bought a few. I am going to use the small one to organize my vocabulary cards, high frequency word cards, and standards correlations for each story. Each week goes in a different pocket.
The larger one is for games and game pieces that go along with the week. All the game pieces that I've laminated and cut out go in the pockets for the story.

I had this perfect organizer that I got a few years ago. The large and small pocket folders fit perfectly in the spaces. We only have 6 units in the Treasures series so I'm using the other spaces for math and unit resources.
I put all of my big charts and activities in a laundry hamper. They usually fit perfectly in here and are pretty easy to find. I used to store them in a cabinet but I had a hard time finding what I needed. This is working well. 

I keep the hamper right beside my large rolling cart that I use for carpet time. If I need something fast, it's right there.
I also found these teal fabric cubes at Target in the dollar spot. I grouped all my resource manuals together so it would be easier to find them. I plan on going through them and sorting them but I haven't gotten to that yet.

I have a notebook of resources that I use often. I place these pages in the clear page protectors so I can just copy them through the plastic and put them back in the notebook. We use Scoot all the time in my class so this one gets lots of use.
I organize everything for each day in this organizer from Lakeshore. It is quite handy and helps me find things easily. You could do the same thing with the plastic tubs from Target that are $2.50 each. That would be much cheaper than this item.
I have a bulletin board that helps me organize the Daily 5. We actually only have time to do 3 choices plus Meet with Teacher.  My schedule has had to change many times this year due to kids being pulled out for groups. Our state has a new law starting next year that students who don't pass the TCAP in 3rd grade must be held back if there is no history of interventions. So my group now will be the first ones that affects so we are working hard to make sure that doesn't happen. I have over 2 hours when someone is out of my room.
 On the pages with the animals, I have removable Post-it notes for each reading group. If I move someone out of the group, it's easy to change the names in each group.
On our Daily 5 board, the choices and group names are attached with Velcro so it is removable. I know that Daily 5 is all about choice but my kiddos this year just couldn't handle choosing. I was spending too much time redirecting when I should have been doing reading groups so we went to a uniform choice for their reading group. They still have an element of choice in what they choose to read and write. I also have AR as part of the rotations because we don't have any other time to do it during the day. This way, they all aren't trying to take a test at the same time.

I organize my reading group materials in the $2.50 bins from Target. My kiddos use these for their book boxes and I had a few extra that I could use for reading groups. This way, if I am out, it is easy for the sub to find materials for the groups and I don't misplace the books or their papers.
 I hope this helps! I would be glad to answer any other questions that you may have.

On another note, I was one of the winners of Christina Bainbridge's 1500 follower giveaway and I got this great Ocean themed pack from her. It is adorable and will be really handy next year. You can check it out by clicking on the image below.

Also, don't forget to enter my linky party about end of the year writing ideas. I would love to see what you do and how to organize your students' writing. Have a great night!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Writing Portfolio/End of Year Writing Ideas Linky Party

Lately, I've been thinking about how to organize my students writing for the end of the year. When I taught first grade and last year, we glued all the students writing to 10x10 pieces of drawing paper. The students decorated a cover with their names. After we laminated the covers, we bound them into a book.  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of what it looks like. The parents really loved the final product but it took me weeks and weeks of gluing the pages down. I tried to have my students glue last year but they would often put too much glue or not enough glue and I would have to do it anyway. 
So I'm looking for new writing portfolio ideas. I went searching on Pinterest and here's the only picture that I've found online:

This is somewhat similar to what I did except with much bigger pages. I would usually leave the crafty part of the writing, if there was one, with the writing. I would just fold down the top or fold up the bottom so it fit in the book. In a sense, it was like a scrapbook of writing from the year.
Since there are no Pinterest ideas and none that I could find on blogs, I thought maybe other people would be interested in this topic too.

So I thought I would host a writing portfolio/end of year ideas linky party.

I would love to see how you organize your writing for the end of the year. Do you create a special collection or project? I'm a bit desperate for new ideas so I don't have to spend hours and hours making the writing anthologies like before. Share your ideas below.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th grade for her monthly Currently linky party. I look forward to these each month.

For the 3 words, you are supposed to pick only 3 words that begin with the first letter of your last name . These words are supposed to describe how your students, your friends, and your family see you.

* My students think I'm busy. They are always amazed at how many meetings I have to go to every week. Me too!
* My friends think I'm bashful until they really get to know me.  Funny story about that. My parents always tell a story about how I would never talk when I was in Kindergarten. They always asked me if I said anything when I got in the car each day. One day, my dad asked me and I told him that I did talk. He asked me what I said and I said, "Here." I've come out of my shell more in the last few years but I'm not as outgoing as most of my friends.
* My family thinks I'm blonde. I definitely have lots of blonde moments.

Well, I'm off to have dinner with a friend. Have a fabulous night!

Monday, March 5, 2012

I'm Guest Blogging Today!

I'm guest blogging today over at Teaching in High Heels.

I have a great freebie available so be sure to check it out. Have a great day!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Winners and New Treasures Unit

I'm so sorry that I'm posting the winners of my giveaway so late today. I ended up having a fuller day than I had anticipated. Congratulations to the following winners! I will be emailing you soon.

My new Treasures unit for "The Moon" is now available on TPT and Teacher's Notebook.  Here's a small preview of the unit.