Monday, December 31, 2012

Currently January

OK - so January is like officially an hour away, but I thought I would do this now while I had time. When I made it I was "listening to - Gangnum Style" but right now I am listening to something that I like better - Back in Time by PitBull - good way to sum up some of my greatest memories of life - especially the background track of "Baby" from Dirty Dancing. Like some of the pop culture references I am hearing however, if I could understand the whole song I might not like it as much LOL.

I am joining in Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade's Currently January Linky Party. 

Those of you living up north (or even those also in Florida) may laugh over my "wanting" statement, but I seriously was not made to live in Florida even though I was born and raised here. WAY TOO HOT this year! I want some cool weather - so far we have had like a day or too of cool weather then it's back to 80s. Ridiculous - that's not winter.

As far as my OLW, I am recommitting to MOVEMENT! I was doing very good previously about exercising every other day, then I had my car accident and I have seriously slacked off because it hurt so much. I need to get back to it though ASAP. My dancing is also a part of MOVEMENT, we are MOVING into recital time which creates lots of choreography MOVEMENT my favorite time of year! Also, MOVEMENT relates to my teaching job, as my kids need to make forward MOVEMENT in their academic progress. Got some ideas you want to share with me for struggling readers & mathematicians? - would love to hear them - feeling like I need some new stuff. Last MOVEMENT word is I MOVED lots of stuff in TeachersPayTeachers and feel so blessed with the positive comments I have received from teachers purchasing my stuff. Glad I can help others. Now, trying to think of new ideas for stuff to make for 2013.

Hope you all have a great January!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year

Wishing you and yours a very happy, lucky, and blessed new year!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

End of Year Giveaway / Winter Break Happenings

I am running a giveaway on my most popular product at my teachers notebook store. The item I am giving away is my original cause and effect game. This has been my best seller on both Teachers Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers. Three lucky winners will win the game. Hop over to enter today - giveaway ends on January 1.

This winter break I have really enjoyed so far some down time. It has been wonderful to catch up with my Tivo, my Kindle, and my family and friends. I also went to Tijuana Flats Teacher Hero Day on December 27 and got my free meal and my mom bought a meal - we were told proceeds were going to those affected by the Sandy Hook incident. What a great thing the people there are doing to help others and to honor teachers. I enjoyed some Christmas time with my brother and nieces as they came to visit and I am looking forward to seeing my nieces again with my sister-in-law when I travel to Universal for my birthday in a few days! What fun :) Going with my aunt and my little cousin, plus meeting up with one of my teacher friends and her kids for lunch one day. This has been a great break so far. Having a puppy at Christmas time was fun too - Snowball thoroughly enjoyed the holiday! I also celebrated my mom's birthday over the break.
Licking his lips after enjoying his new peanut butter bones!
Passed out after way too much excitement for the day!

On the teacher side, I got report cards done, lesson plans for first week back done, and I made one game because I know I have measurement coming up and teaching the conversions is always so difficult for the kids. I made an "I Have, Who Has" game for both customary and metric conversion practice. If you want one, comment below (good for 4th -6th graders). I will give copies to the first 2 people to comment with their e-mail address.

Hope everyone had/is having a great vacation. May we all be rested and relaxed as we return back in January (and may the light bulbs start going off for our kiddos when we return).

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

In Support

As a teacher, my heart just aches over what happened in Connecticut today. I can't imagine it. As teachers, especially at this time of the year, we wake up and say - Wow! Friday! Last day of the week. - Today, I just wanted to hug my students close as I learned of the tragedy in Colorado. May God bring peace to those who lost their children. I can't think of anything more horrific than this - a school is supposed to be a sanctuary for kids not a place of tragedy. I know we "practice" code red drills all the time, but you never in your wildest dreams imagine them coming true. My heart goes out to all those from Sandy Hook Elementary and in Newton, CT. Please know this country is aching for you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Item Freebie / Currently Linky

 Been super busy lately, but just made a new game for my fifth graders to use and have posted in in my teachers pay teachers and teachers notebook stores. These are "I Have/Who Has" games for practicing finding the Least Common Multiple and Greatest Common Factor of number pairs. There are 18 cards per game - one game for LCM and one game for GCF, plus teacher directions.  The first three to reply with their e-mail address will get a set for FREE!

Since I haven't been on a lot lately due to so much going on at work and school I decided to join Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for her Currently December Linky Party. She has also created a cute set of Currently's for use in your classroom. Check them out at her blog.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday Sale

I am throwing a Cyber Monday Sale in both my Teachers Pay Teachers store and my TeachersNotebook store! Check them both out! Sale runs Monday - Wednesday! :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there! This Thanksgiving I have so much to be grateful for.

1. My God
2. My family (this includes my loveable fur-baby, Snowball)
3. My friends
4. My jobs
5. My class
6. The great family/work trip I just took (read more below)
7. Three Golden Apple Teacher nominations
8. Facebook so I can keep in touch with family and friends spread far and wide
9. Time off
10. The holiday season
11.  LIFE!
12. All the goodness God has given us...
13. And more things than I can even think of.

 Work/Family Trip

    This week I went to Orlando for a combined work/family trip. Over the weekend we attended a wonderful dance convention called Dance Revolution. It is a faith-based dance convention, but the steps and technique and joy brought to the kids is just amazing. My acro team go rave reviews! It was their debut performance. But, what brought me to tears of joy was my little niece (ok she's really a thrid cousin, but we think of ourselves as "aunt" and "niece" - easier for her to understand) won a scholarship to go back next year - only one from our studio and only one in her age division. SOOOOO PROUD of her. This is only her 2nd year of dance. The scholarship was based on her attitude, work ethic, and skills in classes. :) She was wonderful. This little girl has come so far in the short time she has been dancing...she used to be shake when someone she didn't know would try to talk to her; this weekend she RAN up on stage all by herself in front of probably a thousand people to accept her award. NEVER would have happened without finding confidence from her Lord and in the love of the teachers/owner of our studio and all the friends she has made there.
    On the family front, after Dance Rev, we met up at Universal and enjoyed some great family time. Would have been better if we weren't all so sick and it hadn't been so blastedly cold in Orlando. Forgot how much cooler it can be there than in this area. It was ridiculously cool, but we still had an enjoyable time. Looking forward to maybe going back up for my birthday since we got an amazing price on tickets - $115 for 2 park unlimited until Jan. 31. This is the first time my birthday has fallen over winter break in a long time, so it would be fun to get to do something for it.

Kayla with her two favorite Dance Rev teachers - Ms. Misty & Ms. May Beth.

Harry Potter Land - can't believe it is still so crowded there

My first and probably last Butterbeer - way too sweet & way too expensive, but after reading all the Harry Potter books I had to try it for the experience

My LOWEST score on Men in Black ride...when I lived in Orlando I used to ride this ride like 10 times in a row at least, I was addicted to it - what can I say, I am ultra-competitive - was happy to see after 7 years of not riding this ride, I still had this skills; however it killed my hand

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Working Hard But No Time to Blog/ Reading ?

I have been so crazy busy with school and my second job, plus catching whatever lovely cold my kiddos are passing around I have had no time for blogging world lately. I plan to get nicely caught up in a few weeks. Just wanted to post for a minute to say I'm still here.

Right now I am reading Island of the Blue Dolphins with my class and remembering why I loved it as a 5th grader myself. Our school bought these great common core book units from S&T Publications which are phenomenal. We are all taking turns doing various novel studies and using these units instead of the textbooks. I am trying to figure out which book to do next: suggestions, please?! Choices are: Bud, Not Buddy; Watsons Go to Birmingham; Hatchet; Joey Pigza Swallowed a Key; The Boy in the Striped Pajamas; and I forgot the other title. Let me know your thoughts please.

Hope everyone has a great turkey day! Can't believe it's next week already.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sale in My Stores

Check out my stores at Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook. I am holding at 10% off sale of many items in both stores - and at Teachers Notebook you can also register for my giveaway! Who knows, you might be the lucky winner? :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

MIA & Problem/Solution Freebie Game

So I've been missing in action all week - spent the week in the hospital - so not fun. Of course, this is my "haha" for lesson planning all the way to Thanksgiving break the day I went into the hospital. So much for trying to get ahead. I still don't know quite what's wrong, but I am going to try to go back to work on Monday. Hoping all stays well and that I can survive the week until I can get in for a follow up with my own doctor on the following Monday. While I was sick, I apparently picked up some new followers so I am giving away my newest game to the first 3 people who comment below with their name and e-mail so I can send it your way. Made this game up today since I am working on problem and solution in class next week. Thought this would make a fun center game.

You can also purchase these at my teachers pay teachers store or my teachers notebook store.

Hope everyone has a great week. :) 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Great Day

Love days like today when I can just thoroughly enjoy my class.

We had a great play this morning to go to...each year our school does a program we call PARP - Parents As Reading Partners. In this program, the kids log minutes reading weekly for 6 weeks. They get small prizes for participating each week and a bigger prize if they do at least 5 out of the 6 weeks. However, the best thing about it is always the plays the teachers put on. The teachers kick off the program with a play the Friday before the kids start reading and introduce a problem that the kids can solve by reading the required amount of minutes. The program always closes with the second act of the play which is what the kids REALLY look forward to. I have never been in it myself (even though I love the stage) due to the time constraints of my second job I would have no time to attend practices. However, I really must give KUDOS to my fellow teachers who do this each year (and yes it is almost the same teachers every year). The play always goes along with our theme, and this year it was written by our wonderful media specialist. Since our theme is "Diplomat is on the Case of Learning" (secret agents, mysteries, etc) she created a very cute play of Scooby Doo and Crew solving the case of why the Big Bad Wolf was so upset all the time (and tied in many storybook favorites - Sleeping Beauty, Hansel & Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, Belle, Goldilocks, and Little Red Riding Hood). The play was fun for kids and teachers too! The cast really did wonderfully.

We then came back to our room to make fun campaign posters for Judson Moon the boy who would be President from the book we are reading The Kid Who Ran for President. The kids are loving this book and their posters were truly original.

Finally, best part of the day was a compliment party. The kids elected to watch Shiloh Season since we had just recently read Shiloh and watched the movie they wanted to know what happened next. I crazily allowed them to bring in any fun snack they wanted and a soda to go with it. I have never done this before, but they were so AWESOME about it. They truly worked hard for this compliment party and deserved every minute of it. I thoroughly enjoyed our day and hope they did too. This class makes teaching fun! :) I LOVE IT!!!!

Just had to share because it's so easy to get bogged down, but when you have a day like today it's nice to share with fellow teachers because it's really what it's all truly about.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Algebra Games - Exponents & Equations

My kids are sooooo excited to be doing algebra...we are such BIG kids. Poor things have been stuck doing long division since school started at the beginning of August so no wonder they are excited about it. And boy are the GOOD at it. Because I love having kids practice skills using games, I made these cute "I Have, Who Has" games for my teacher pay teacher store and also have posted it at my teachers notebook store. Because I am now just 1 follower away from 40, I am giving it away for FREE to you!!! If you think this can work great in your classroom for a review, just comment below with your name and e-mail address and I will send it your way. Thanks for following. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Favorites/ New Item Freebie/ Currently Linky

I love Fall. Even though I live in Florida and fall is just an illusion (especially with the heat and crazy stormy weather we've been having lately), I love the season. I just got my classroom all decorated for fall (the kids love it, but they ain't seen nothing yet - Christmas is even more fun).

Right now I am reading The Kid Who Ran For President by Dan Gutman with my 5th graders. It is on the lower end of the 5th grade Lexile range, but I am finding so much to teach from it. First we have talked about the election process, the rules of government, the ages/rules etc. for the different offices. Second, the book is rich with idioms and figurative language. Then, an unexpected teaching lesson came about. I have a few old copies of the book and bought 17 new ones to make a class set since 17 of my old ones walked away over the summer. Well, interestingly enough the book isn't EXACTLY the same as the original. Names have been changed to protect the innocent or not-so-innocent. LOL Instead of jokes about Arnold "The Terminator", now the jokes are about Chuck Norris. The new book references Google, You Tube, texting, etc., while the old one references calling directory assistance and using a video camera. Why? Well the book was originally published in 1996 BEFORE all that stuff came out. What a great lesson for my kiddos who think that stuff just always existed. We even turned it into a center where they looked up the dates the stuff was invented - and get this - they actually asked to do that! I LOVE it :) SO much better than just reading a boring old textbook story, they are actually diving in and getting to know characters and learn about real life, plus they are developing a love for books.

In keeping with the fall theme, I just made a fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving center at my teachers pay teachers store for the younger grades (2-4) for practicing ABC order, making words, and finish a story prompt. Check it out at here. Comment below - first one to comment favorite fall memory will win a FREE set. PS - I will be holding a 10% off sale on all my fall items and a few others October 8-10 at teachers pay teachers.

Finally, I am linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for her Currently October Linky Party. She has also created a cute set of Currently's for use in your classroom. Check them out at her blog.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Teachers Notebook

Just opened my Teachers Notebook Store. I am so excited by how well things are going on Teachers Pay Teachers that I decided to check them out too. If you use either site, or especially if you use both, please comment with your thoughts of which you prefer and why. Thanks :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cause & Effect Game Fall/Halloween Edition & Winter Edition

Just created and posted a cause & effect game for use in literacy centers to go with a fall/Halloween theme. These are for sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I hope you enjoy them. I know I am looking forward to using them in my classroom! My kids loved the first cause & effect game I made so I am sure this one will be a hit too. :) Click on the pictures to go to the store.


I also made a game using a winter theme with sentences about the snow, Santa, Hanukkah, Christmas, giving gifts, families, and New Year's to engage students while practicing cause and effect. I think my kiddos will really like this one! These are also for sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Click on the pictures to go to the store.

Friday, September 21, 2012


 So not school related, but it's Friday - the weekend - and I'm D-O-N-E done. Going to be making a new item for my Teachers Pay Teachers store on idioms, but right now going to share my adorable puppy pictures.

After a bath (which he hates).
Enjoying his yummy peanut butter puppy cookies.

How was your week? I don't know why 4 day weeks seem to take forever, but it was a long one. On the plus side we had a training this week in which I actually got to learn something new and usable in my opinion. Is anyone familiar with Odyssey? I don't mean like Odyssey of the Mind, but it is a computer software program in which you can assign students tutorials, quizzes, practice exercises, etc. You can assign just what some students need or you can assign stuff whole class. I am soooo excited about it. I used it Thursday in my classroom and my kids were BEGGING me to give them more work to do on the computer. Uh? When do kids ASK for work?! I love that I can give them what they need or have my whole class review a topic. Stuff is based on our Florida Standards and Common Core also. Such a neat tool. If you use this at your school, do you have any input on how to best implement in a classroom with only 5 student stations?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Greek and Latin Roots / 30 Follower Freebie

Spent the day resting and then creating 2 new items for my Teachers Pay Teachers store. In fifth grade, we work on Greek and Latin Roots, however it doesn't come up in our textbook until after FAT (statewide test). I decided to make a game that they can use in centers now, with little instruction to at least give them some exposure to the topic. The games I made this weekend are the first batch I am going to make. These games have students match the root to its definition. The next batch I plan on making will have students sort words and match up with their appropriate roots. I plan on making a final batch in which students will figure out the definition of a word, based on using the knowledge learned of the roots.

Check out these games. You can purchase them by clicking on the picture which will take you to my Teacher Pay Teacher store. The first 2 people to comment below with their name and e-mail and how they will use them will WIN them free in honor of my getting 30+ followers!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Busy, fun day

Not only do I teach school all week, but I teach dance classes 4 nights a week and Saturdays. Our studio has recently undergone construction and expansion so today we had our grand re-opening. Our teams performed their new routines and then had a nice night out with some great parents and kids from the studio.Gotta love a fun day like this. Above is part of the acro piece my dancers are doing this year. Below are some fun pictures from today!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Want to Win a Free Laminator?

Heather over at Sensational Seconds is running a contest to win a free personal laminator because she loves her new one so much. I just signed up to follow her blog. Check her out and you might win a free laminator.

Soooooo Early

Up at 3:00am today because the dance studio I work at is being featured on our local Fox News Morning show from 5am-8am. I am super excited for this opportunity for our dancers, but right now am wondering how I will survive the day (plus Wednesdays we have our super fun-filled faculty meetings to implement common core!) - I think I will need a Starbucks IV to make it through the day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2001

I can still remember this day exactly. I was teaching in my first classroom in second grade at English Estates Elementary in Fern Park, FL. I had a parent volunteer come in and tell me a plane just flew into the Twin Towers. I said "Oh, OK" and went back to teaching. Then, about 5 minutes later, I walked back to her and said "What?" when it hit me what she had actually said. At the time, all the principals in our district (Seminole County) were in a district meeting and off the school campuses. Our school was also having picture day just to add to the craziness. I can remember shortly after the announcement from the parent, an announcement on our intercom to tell teachers to turn off their tv's. I think at that moment was when I realized how serious it was. I didn't actually get to see any footage until my lunch break when we all huddled around a tv in an office. A member of the emergency team came around to classrooms to keep teachers posted - I was worried about family members in NY and a friend who lived in DC. Then, the parents started coming to pick up their kids which added to the confusion and nervousness of the kids and teachers. I know it was being talked about that Orlando could be the next target since it was the home of Disney World or the Kennedy Space Center. Which is why our parents were coming in droves to collect their kids and get home to be together.  I know we all have our stories, but this is mine. What's yours?

If you are teaching September 11 today in your classroom, there is a great Brain Pop video that I found out about from the Joy in the Journey. I showed it yesterday and found it to be a very informative and well done, easy to understand video to start off discussion probably most appropriate for 4th-6th graders.

Prayers today for all those heroes of 9/11 and those who lost their lives that day. May we never forget.