Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Work Days & Birthday Giveaway-July 31

I'm headed into work today and tomorrow for team work days.  7 of us are getting together to weed out the Word Work activities we don't like (small job), look through our new Lucy Calkins writing kits (medium job) and differentiate math stations (HUGE job).  I'm excited to get these things off of my to-do lists and work with my co-workers.  I'm hoping it goes something like this... 



As I was playing it, I realized it would be a good clean up song for kids, too!  I'll have to add that to my list.

Meanwhile...

My friend Kelly from Kindergarten Kel is throwing a big
birthday/back-to-school giveaway and I'm excited to be a part
of it!  There are four prize packs to win from some
fabulous teacher-bloggers. You can check out all of the loot and
then entry the giveaway below!









































 Here is the good ol'Rafflecopter. Enter and share
away...have fun and good luck to you all!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Winner!

Congrats to the winner of our Best from the Midwest Giveaway!
A big congrats to Robin!  Today is her birthday, too!
Thank you to everyone who entered!  I also hope you picked up some goodies you can use 
from our blog hop.  
Personally, I can tell you how wonderful these ladies are and how nice it was to meet them and work with them!

Also, a quick note for those of you who are local.  There is still room for a couple more in my class on The Daily Five and my class on Math Work Stations (both on August 6).  If you are interested, click here for the info.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Best of the Midwest!

Last week we had our Minnesota Nice blogger get together.  I had to chance to meet these lovely teachers.
 It was so nice to talk and compare notes on everything teaching.  We also decided to work on something fun together.

I am so excited to announce our Best from the Midwest Freebie Blog Hop and Giveaway!


First, here is my freebie!  I make transportation tags for my students to put on their backpacks.  These are meant to be put in name badge holders.  I bought mine at Walmart for only $1.97 for a pack of 12.  I also picked up a pack of little zip ties.

I then made my tags to fit exactly inside the badge holders.
I'll add my students' names and transportation information once I get my class list. I put my name and room number on the bumper. 
They are black and white but I copies them on purple paper.  Each team number has a different color to make it easy for hallway helpers on the first few days of school.

Just zip tie the tag to their backpack and you're set!

To get your freebie, click below.

Head on over to my friend, Amber's blog to get your next freebie.
She is a BRAND new resident of Minnesota!

Don't forget to also enter our Best From the Midwest Giveaway, too!

Here is what you could win from the giveaway!








Wednesday, July 24, 2013

$1 SALE & Made it Monday...Wednesday edition

First, I noticed yesterday I had over 300 followers on Bloglovin!  This is also my 100th post!  To celebrate, my ENTIRE STORE IS JUST $1 for just today (Wednesday)!!  If you have anything in your wish list, this is the time to buy!  Just my way of saying thank you for following me!

Next, I know I'm super late for Made it Monday, but since I was out of town, I'm just linking up today.
 
I love buying and making sets of letters for Word Work.  I've found that kids are a lot more excited to build words if the material is changed out often.  They love novelty!  

I've seen alphabets made from glass beads and Modge Podge but I have a confession to make...
I am not friends with Modge Podge.  Nope.  Not at all.

A couple summers ago I tried to make the cute clipboards you've seen all over Pinterest.  I brought my clipboards outside, attached the cutest paper to my clipboards and went inside to get some lunch.  When I got back outside, some of my paper had flown away and the rest was a wrinkled mess.  I know it was user error, but I was so frustrated!

Then, last year a good friend made me a set of glass bead letters but when I took them out of my cupboard to use, they were all stuck together.  So dissapointing when I know she spent a lot of time on them!
 So, I got to brainstorming about how I could make letters easily.
Here is my solution:





I am so excited to use these with my kids and a cookie sheet.  An entire set took me only 5 minutes.  I put the vowels on the green rocks just so they would stand out a little more.

I also want to tell you about a great deal going on!  Remember when I posted about these new smelly markers from Toys R Us?
Well, this week they are buy 1, get 1 FREE!!!  I stopped by and got a price adjustment and a few more markers.  That means they are $.25 each.

Last, show my friend Desiree some love and enter her amazing giveaway!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Legends of Summer and Advice for new teachers

Oh. My. Word!  I have had the most amazing little getaway to Chi-town!  I met a friend there to go see Justin Timberlake and Jay Z for their Legends of Summer concert.

 We were a little worried because our seats were obstructed view but look..

I know it is a bit blurry but we were sooooo close to the stage!  We were even closer than the front row but we were on the side.  No big deal and so much fun!

I also wanted to link up with Latoya from Flying into First Grade.

BUY
 I have always used fabric for my bulletin boards.  It might cost a bit in the beginning but it is so worth the time and effort!  You can also check out the clearance section for some cheap bedsheets.

ALWAYS
It is really important to start positive parent communication early on!  I tend to call after the first week is over with some good things I saw.  This initial call makes it so much easier to call later if I have some not so great news.

NEVER
It is important to stay professional and calm with your students.  If you feel flustered or upset, they will be too.  Often, if it is a bad day, I reflect and usually see that it is my fault because I wasn't totally into the day.  Fake it till you make it.

FIND
My first year I had both a mentor and a good friend.  My mentor helped me with planning which is super important.  I also became friends with another new teacher.  We helped each other out so much plus, it was nice to have a person who understood what I was going through.

MAKE
I worked so hard my first year that I let some things slide that I really loved to do.  Take time for something just for you!

BE
like a Boy Scout and be prepared!  Enough said.

What helped you during your first year?