Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Currently-January 2015

Happy New Year's!  I was thinking the other day about how crazy it is that I've taught for 15 years now.  When I first started I asked a more seasoned teacher how long they have been teaching and being in awe when they said 15 years.  I thought they must have seen everything and know everything.   I've seen and heard a lot, but I am no expert!  I have started to think about what's next for me though.  Farley's Currently is the perfect way to reflect on what's next!

Listening...we're headed to the neighbor's house to ring in the New Year but first we're watching a movie the girls got for Christmas.

Loving...I am not as organized as I was before I had kids but once in awhile I get a HUGE case of organization fever.  Last Saturday I cleaned out our kitchen cabinets, my girls' rooms and just about everything else in our house.  Our donation bin and garbage was overflowing and I can breathe much easier!

Thinking...I LOVE my job but I also love a little time off to recuperate and have fun with my girls.  

Wanting...I really feel content in my personal life and with my girls.  Professionally....

Needing....January is a HUGE month in our house.  Birthdays, cheerleading competitions, a trip to Vegas, school events, etc.  Thank goodness for family and friends who can help out!

Yes...I was doing really well on the road to healthy eating and then BAM!  I need to get back on track!

Maybe...I have always wanted to help other teachers become better teachers.  I've taught some classes and lead a couple of book studies but I am getting the itch to do more.  I'm not sure what or how but I'm ready.  

I wish...I've told people that I would love to go into a school who needs help with Guided Reading or Daily 5 or anything!  Starting my Reading License will hopefully help me get on the right path.  Maybe this is the year!

Link up with Farley with your Currently!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Stop. Swap & Roll!

Jungle Learners is graciously hosting a product swap!  So fun!

I got paired up with Gloria and Rick from
2 Scoops of Kindergarten

I was just switching out my math stations and needed something new for November so I jumped at the chance to try out their Thanksgiving Kindergarten Math Centers
Click on the picture or the link above to check it out for yourself!

Here is a sneak preview of what is included

You get 20 cards that have different addition problems on them plus a recording sheet.  I taped up the cards all over the room.  My students walked around with a clipboard and looked for the cards.  When they found one, they wrote the answer to the addition problem on the correct line.  Love it!  I usually don't introduce addition this early in the year but my kids caught on and did fantastic!

For this one, you have your choice of composing numbers to 5 or 10.  I picked 5 and printed off the yellow and orange feathers.  Here is my cutie making math problems with the feathers.    

This station is a SNAP to get going.  I printed, laminated and cut out the puzzles and threw them in a basket.  I love quick and easy prep so this station is my favorite!  Students had to to make a puzzle with the number, correct number of feathers, tally marks and tens frames.

I'm excited to giveaway their Thanksgiving Kindergarten Math Centers!  Don't delay because it ends on Sunday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit 2 Scoops of Kindergarten to see what they they tried from my store AND possibly win it!

2 Scoops of Kindergarten

Visit Jungle Learners blog to see all the other bloggers who participated in the swap and don't forget to enter the other giveaways!

Jungle Learners

We had a Professional Development day yesterday.  I always wonder why we have to differentiate our instruction but PD days are one size, fits all!  What have you done during PD days that has been super beneficial to you?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Seriously CrAzY for Creepy Carrots!

My kids are CRAZY for Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds!  

I love reading it during Monster Week because they are seriously creepy.  This video is the perfect intro for the book!

After reading the book we talk about how they would get rid of the creepy carrots.   Then, we made our own carrots.

Creepy, right?

You can check it out in my TPT store here.  It includes a CVC game as well.

The book Creepy Carrots is in the Scholastic Book Order this month for only $4!

This project is also featured on a blog post by Kidsbook Friends!

Angela's blog was on Aaron Reynold's Facebook page the other day.  
That's right, THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK!!   Eeek!

 Thanks for the shout out Angela!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Currently...September 2014

Today is turning out to be a great day!  It's my birthday and the weather is just perfect!  I had a nice breakfast with the fam and then got to go shopping for new clothes by myself.  Yep...all my myself.  It was pretty nice not to have an audience while I tried on clothes!  I squeezed in a short nap and finished two books.  Pretty much the perfect day!  

I'm trying to ignore the nervous feelings I have for the first day which is TOMORROW!  My district has two days of Assessment Days tomorrow and Wednesday.  Each student comes with their family for an individual appointment.  I complete a quick assessment and get to know each family individually.  Our first day alone is on Thursday and I'm super excited!

To celebrate my birthday I'm having a 20% off sale AND Buy 1, Get 1 FREE sale!
You can get to my store here.   Don't forget to e-mail me to let me know what item you'd like for free!

It's also that time again...

Listening...My girls are making art out of cotton balls and Starburst wrappers.  Watch out Rainbow Loom...a new trend is starting! ;)

Loving..My favorite weather on my special day!

Thinking...Have I mentioned how excited I am to meet my kinders?  I already know several families which is super nice.  

Wanting...While I went shopping my husband got me my favorite ice cream.  It's called This $&@! Just Got Serious.  Smooth salted caramel ice cream brimming with rich sea salt fudge and salted cashews.  Drool!  
He said I had to pick either cupcakes or ice cream.  I am a HUGE cupcake fan but this ice cream is too good to pass up.  If you live near a Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream shop try it out!!

 Needing...Nothing!  I am completely ready for tomorrow and the week.  It's only taken me 15 years to figure out how to get it all done in time for the first day.  :)

3 trips...
Have you been to any of the 3?  Which one is your favorite?

Thanks Farley for hosting again!  Check out the other Currentlys and find some new friends on her blog here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Websites I Love

The Blogger Bonanza was a huge success!  Teachers from both Wisconsin and Minnesota actually showed up!  Even better?  They were an amazing group of teachers!  It was a lot of fun and everyone walked away with a prize or something they could use in their classrooms.  A HUGE thank you to our sponsors and to the bloggers who donated prizes.  I presented with Amber and LuAnn from Kindergarten Rocks and Anna from Gluesticks 'N Giggles.  These three ladies are top notch!  Check out their blogs if you don't already follow them.  We decided to do it again sometime in 2015 and hope to make it even bigger and better.

One part of my presentation was on websites I use and love.  Here are a few of my faves that are totally free! (who doesn't love that?!?)...

Remind    (formerly
This is an easy way to connect with parents WITHOUT having to share your personal phone number.  It is a snap to sign up (click the link above).  There is a PDF you can download that tells parents how to sign up.  You don't have to do anything else.  Parents can sign up three ways.
1.  download the app and get "push" notifications
2.  Get text alerts
3.  Get e-mail alerts

When you have something you want to tell parents (ex.  Library day is tomorrow!) simple type it in the box and push send.  Or, you can schedule it for later.  They also allow you to add an attachment.  Perfect for sending pictures of the class from a field trip!

The best thing is that parents can quickly be notified of something quickly and easily.

I love playing YouTube videos on my SMARTboard.  I DON'T love when I have to wait for ads.  Don't even get me started on what some of these ads are for!  I have raced to my computer to turn off an inappropriate ad/video more than once though.    Now I don't have to deal with that because I use Safeshare.TV for all my videos.  All I do is find the video I want to show and copy the URL into the box on the safeshare site.  They give you a safe URL that doesn't have ads or anything else distracting.  I've saved these safe links to SMART Notebook files to I can easily find them for my SMART board.   

During Daily Five I want my students to have access to several different sites for stories BUT my kinders are not great at finding these sites on their own.  I've tried using bookmarks but now I have an even easier solution with

You sign up for free and simply enter the sites you want your students to use.  Here is what mine looks like.

When a student sits down at the computer they can pick where they want to go from these seven sites.  Super easy to use for both the teacher and the student.  

Do you use any of these?  Share how you use them!  If you don't use them, give them a try and tell me what you think!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Currently-August 2014 Edition

I have missed the last couple of Currentlys because my computer crashed.  I just couldn't fill one out with the fonts that were available on the loaner computer.  I'm a font snob.  True story. 
Now that my computer is fixed AND I won Khrys Boxland's font collection I am back!

Thanks to Farley for hosting once again.

Listening:  My girls are the ones watching but I do laugh at Dez sometimes.

Loving:  I have wanted a minivan for a couple of years now and finally got one!  I'm loving the sliding doors and that my girls can invite friends to go with us to places.  It came with Sirius radio and I've been playing the 80s and 90s station non-stop.  C&C Music Factory anyone? 

Thinking:  Because my computer crashed I spent the first half of the summer doing NOTHING for school.  It was pretty awesome to just read for fun but now I'm feeling the pressure to get stuff done!  I did get one thing updated yesterday.  My Daily Calendar Pages needed a major facelift.
Click above to check it out on TPT.  It's on sale this weekend and of course for the big TPT sale starting Monday!

Wanting:  More time!

Needing:  A new printer!  I'm considering buying the Hewlett Packard LaserJet Pro 200.
I saw it on Growing Firsties and I know Greg has one.  Anyone else have one and love it?

Teachers report on August 25 for four days of workshop.  The kids come in on either September 2 or 3 with their family for a half hour session with me.  Then they get their picture taken and get DIBEL tested.  It's nice to get to know families individually and they can get all their questions answered.  The first REAL day is September 4.

Have you filled up your cart yet?  I have some stuff picked out and can't wait for the big sale!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Beginning of the School Year Blogger Bonanza!

My friends Amber and LuAnn from Kindergarten Rocks had a FaBuLoUs idea after they returned from the I Teach K Conference.

Exciting, right?  Here is everything you need to know:

Here are the bloggers that will be there.  
Casey Jane from Wiggling Scholars
Amber and LuAnn from Kindergarten Rocks
and Me!

I hope to see you there!  If you are coming and are struggling with a part of your school day, let me know what you hope to learn at the Bonanza!  I'll be sure to include something to help in my presentation!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Poor Blog!

Yikes!  Has it really been that long since I've blogged?  I'm afraid it has.  I've been mentally thinking of blog posts but by the time I get home, make dinner, help my kids with homework and do a little of my own work for school, I am beat.  Tell me I'm not alone!

Anyway, here are a couple of things I've been meaning to blog about :)  

Because of the cold/snow days we have had quite a few days off.  Nice, right?  Well, now our district wants teachers to make up 30 of the hours.  I went in one day to finish leveling my library.  I have a pretty large library.  36 bins to be exact!  That doesn't include my leveled library that is on the other side of the room.  
  I was using the Scholastic Book Wizard site to level my books but the other day I finally noticed there is an app!  A FREE app!  
Here's how it works:
1.  Download the free app to your phone.   
2.  Find a book you want to level. 
3.  Scan the barcode.
4.  Ta-da!

If your book doesn't have a barcode or doesn't scan, you can type in the name of it for the same result.

This app helped me whip through the last of my books!

I also did my first Run or Dye run last weekend.  A coworker and I braved the cold and wind. 

We decided next year our whole team is going to go!

 Last, I want to share some of the fun things my kids made during inside recess today.
 It's been crazy cold, windy and rainy here in Minnesota.  Today I even saw the dreaded sNoW!

I promise not to take so long for my next post.  Let me know if you use the Book Wizard app!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Fever?!

I officially have Spring Fever!  Today it got up to about 60 degrees today.  If you live in the south you have no idea how amazing that feels after dealing with temps like -20.  Love it!

I have to share a non-school related picture quick.  This weekend we celebrated my youngest daughter's 5th birthday.  This girl is larger than life and is so excited to start kindergarten next year.  This about sums her up...
I am also excited to blog about a really cool app I had the opportunity to test drive called Rhyme to Read.  The Rhyme to Read app features 20 books that each focus on a word family.  There are 4 stories for each short vowel.
I love that they give the option of purchasing individual books for only $.99 or the whole enchilada for $9.99.  Seems like a bargain to just buy the entire thing!

Here is a snapshot of one of the pages inside the book Pat (-at word family).
On the left is a running list of all of the -at words from the book.  The top right shows all of the sight words on the page.  Kids can touch those words and it will read them.  That way they can try to read the center text without trouble.  My birthday girl played with this app on the way to grandma's house today.  She was so excited that she could read! 

The ladies who made this app know their stuff.  Notice the color coding?  It encourages kids to use visual and auditory discrimination.  They also have made sure to introduce 35 sight words in these books.  Awesome!

I also love that they give so many ideas for how to use the books.  It makes it super easy for both teachers and parents to use.   I plan on using it during Daily Five: Listen to Reading and at the guided reading table. 

Here is the link for the app so you can get it for your class!  Let me know if you do and what you think!

Please note that I did receive this app for free BUT my review is entirely my own. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Currently-March 2014

Friday was our end of tri and now we are on Spring Break!!!  It seems very early but I'll take it.  My two girls DON'T have Spring Break so I'll be home alone. heard that right...alone!  Monday is chock full of boring doctor and dentist visits but I have nothing on the agenda the rest of the week until Friday when my girls have off for their end of tri. 

I need to catch up on some blogging, too!  Here is my Currently for March!

Pretty self explanatory, right?

My thinking is that I am NOT going to go into work during Spring Break.  I brought some stuff home but that is it.  Scouts honor!

The last one you have to figure out.  I left the answer and you have to guess the question.  Any guesses?

Link up with Farley for your Currently here.  Don't forget the rule of 3!

Also...if you have purchased my Tally It Tuesday pack, go to TPT and download the updated version.  I fixed a couple of pages that needed better spacing.