Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Blogland finds and a Peri-"scope"!

Hello everyone,
 I thought I would share this wonderful freebie/idea I found in Blogland. I know many of you have started to put your classrooms back together and some have even started school.. Blah! So I have been pinning away all the wonderful finds and ideas I want to try with my kinders this school year... if I get the chance to greet them in September. :-/
 I was over at Fluttering in First Grade's wonderful blog and I was there following a pin that I got from them a while back and wanted to print it out.

Of course after I printed it out, I made a little detour over to their FREEBIES tab... woohoo jackpot! Well I don't teach 1st but two of my teacher buddies are moving from K to first for next year and I have tried to send them any pins or goodies when I find them. But if you are have a bit of time, especially any time you visit blogs, go through their freebies section and see what you see that you can use in your classroom. Sometimes you will read posts and want to buy the whole bundle and you wouldn't have found it if you hadn't gone exploring. I am "following" a TON of bloggers and I can't always catch up to their blog posts so if I stumble back on to them I try to take a few minutes to "catch up". So here I am catching up to Fluttering in First Grade's December 5th, 2014 blog post. It's a great one called Visual Reminders that Work! I started reading it only because we have the wonderful Whole Brain Teaching trend of reminders and call outs and I am always interested to see what else is out there to capture my kids attention. 

  The post really talked about some of their pet peeves which are mostly mine (or most teachers) peeves too. But I love their explanation of Name-O. How many of your students forget to put their name on their paper?? Pet peeve of mine! So Name-O is where you check to see if the kids remember to put their name on their paper. So the teacher says "Name-O" and if the kids have their name, they say "Yes-O". It is also a reminder to those who forgot to put their name and gives them a chance to put it on. So click on the link or picture so you can go grab your FREEBIES. :)

 So I am excited that now I found some reminders that I will actually get to put what I learned on Periscope today to good use. You all know of Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd? If you haven't heard of her, stop over at her blog. I love Periscope because you can put an actual talking person/face with their blog. I've been following Mrs. Schroeder since my journey as a teacher blogger but Periscope just makes it all real. Anywho, Mrs. Schroeder's scope today was on Enlarging Fonts and Images for Bulletin Boards. Which is an awesome scope and if you missed it, she has a link to it on her blog post. So I am excited to get started "blowing" up things for my classroom. And Mrs. Schroeder is a MAC user so some of the things she shows fits for MAC and I found that my latest and greatest Windows 8 didn't have what she was talking about and I had to go download an older version of Adobe Reader so I could print out in poster size... Fun, fun, fun!

 I'm off to print to my hearts content. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My BIGGEST Teacher Mistake!

Okay so I can attest to being a "victim" of the BIGGEST teacher mistake! I have been watching scopes on Periscope (it works best on your iPhone or Android) and I watched one from Hope King at Elementary Shenanigans. LOVE HER!! But her scope was about a mistake she made, yup she's human, that really got her thinking about making plans to correct it.

BIGGEST mistake: Not taking care of ourselves!! Yup, Hope's story was about how she was in her classroom and all of a sudden she couldn't move any part of her body. She had a freak out, called her husband but all the while she was thinking "the kids are coming in a few minutes" or "I've got to make sure that everything is ready, so I've got to be here!" But her body was really telling her nope, you need to take a time out. Anywho, she ended up being out of school for a MONTH with mono! I know it was heartbreaking to hear about such an inspiring teacher missing school because of a sickness. But you know what she learned?? She needed that month to focus on her and get herself better.

So as I am watching her scope, of course I am agreeing with everything that she is saying and thinking aloud too. In my last post I mentioned that I broke my leg during the school year (in May) and I was out of school for the rest of the year. I was scared not about what was wrong with me but about what my kids were thinking and if they were going to be okay, because they watched me fall and get hurt. But in reality, they were fine and the rest of the school year went on without me. Then Hope mentioned how sometimes we miss the signs of our body (or God) telling us that we need to slow down and do things that keep us healthy. I of course agreed with her because I was missing the signs... possible carpal tunnel diagnosis, pain in my hip, pain in my thigh... but I kept going because I thought that my class would not be able to function without me and I had to be there every day to be my very best. Well, spending time on my butt for the last 8 weeks has shown me that this was the WORST of my injuries and how could I have let it get this bad??

So Hope goes on to say that we need to start taking care of ourselves and each other. So she started the Periscope movement of creating ME GOALS. These are goals that are all about you, doing it to help you take your mind off of school and doing something that will make you feel good. She also tagged 3 bloggers to come up with their own Me Goals. I won't tag anyone just because I am just getting back in the swing of blogging again, but if you want to tell me a GOAL OF YOURS I would be love to read them.

My 3 ME goals:
1. Have prayer or do a devotional at the beginning of my day. (I haven't done this since college, maybe that's why I missed all the signs!!)
2. Walk more (not run... that's how I got my leg broken in the first place)
3. Leave school before 5pm. (Yes it's a ME goal because I will stay until 7pm M-F doing school work!!)

So tell me a GOAL or 3 that you would like to do take better care of yourself or something that you "fell" out of love with and want to get back to doing it because it made you HAPPY. See, that is the point of these ME GOALS... to make sure you have an outlet for happiness other than being at school and teaching kids.

**Writing this post really helped to lift my spirits as I was kind of down after my doctor's appointment today when my doc mentioned that I may miss the first TWO weeks of school (I'm not walking yet!) :-( But thinking of my ME GOALS and Hope King's scope really helped me to turn that "frown" upside down!**

Enjoy! Desiree

Saturday, July 18, 2015

I missed my blog!

I miss my blog! I have so much time on my hands this summer because I decided to run with my students and BROKE MY LEG! Yes! What a wonderful early summer vacation to have in May! So I have been longing to come back to my blog. I am sure that I have missed my blogiversary but I have to start over from the beginning. It's going to be my goal this year to try to blog more! When school starts I just seem to get too busy and my blog gets put to the background. My colleague Karmen from Tales from a Naturalista Teacha still has time to blog and I don't understand how she finds the time to Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and now Periscope! She is a well-rounded blogger!

I miss my blog and my bloggers. I still Pinterest and Facebook and now Periscope which is a pretty scary idea. I don't think I will every do a scope but I like watching everyone else broadcast! I'm a "lurker". I learned the Periscope vocabulary today while watching Lucky Little Learners live broadcast today. And keeping with my theme I am sharing a new collab website for 2nd grade teachers, I Teach Second. If you teach 2nd grade (my principal made some new 2015-16 so we have a new 2nd grade team that has to learn to work together), hop on over to I Teach Second.

I just wanted to say that I didn't forget about my followers, I just went through a blog dry spell. But I do miss my blog! How is everyone? I hope you are well.

Have a great summer day! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What a looongg time! I'm chiming in with a FREEBIE!

Yes, I know. I have been a slacker when it comes to my blog. I'm sorry! I'm saying sorry especially to you, my followers, as you are still "here". This summer what such a blog blur that I missed my blogiversary :( But we are 3 years old now and hopefully I will be able to chime back in, every now and again.
 Here's a chiming in day. I just created a new product for my classroom and I added it to my TPT store. I think it will be a permanent freebie! But my kids and I are slowly getting into math work stations again and I don't want to put away the pattern blocks since they love "exploring" with them and I need the for our study of shapes. Thus my new creation, Pattern Block Ten Frames. This helps my kids work on 1:1, counting to 10 and practicing recognizing shapes and numbers.
So I hope you are able to put it to good use. You can print them to use with pattern blocks or just laminate them and use with dry erase markers or another counter. It's flexible.:)

Have fun and Enjoy!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Save the Date(s): TPT Back to School Sale and others:)

A little birdie told me that Teachers Pay Teachers is having one of it's most amazingly big sales coming up on August 4th thru 6th. So although I am kicking my feet and screaming in my head "I don't want to go to school," it is that time again! My WHOLE store is on sale during the fabulous sale. Make sure to use the code below to rack up on the SAVINGS!! :-)

Plus I have so many things on my wishlist/cart that I need to get for the beginning of the school year to start off right!
Here are a few things on my wishlist...

I have a couple options for homework in my wishlist and a leveled one in my cart right now. I like both and one seems easier and one seems a little bit more differentiated (see below). PLEASE COMMENT: What do you use for homework in your classroom? Is it paper consuming or easily manageable each week/month by all involved?

Below are a few things in my cart:

I love the fact that this homework is leveled... The Kinder Life has the first 6 levels for free in her store! Our team is always looking for ways to engage students with homework.

Don't forget about the great Back to School Blowout Sale going on over at Educents. The sale will last for 2 more days with different types of bundles to get you ready for the new school year. Or for those already in school, it gets you pumped and ready to try some new projects with your kids.:)

Also don't forget about the Smooth Sailing Into a New School Year Giveaway with over 30 bloggers sharing their tips and freebies plus a GIVEAWAY per blogger!! Two more days to enter!

I will leave you with a newbie blogger to follow. The Kinder Life and she is the one who has created the awesome leveled and differentiated Kindergarten homework (above). I know she would love some followers, so make sure to stop by.:)

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Coil Clips

 I haven't really been blogging like I usually do this summer. I have definitely been getting my "professional development" from Pinterest but I have been kind of absent from BlogLand this summer. Well today I made something for Monday Made It. My friend Karmen has been creating and blogging all year and she loves to share with me all her wonderful creations... check her out at Tales from a Naturalista Teacha. So I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for...

 So my Monday Made It is my coil clips for my Erin Condren (EC) teacher planner.

 Anyone else own a teacher planner? Well this summer my sole focus has been trying to find out ways to utilize my teacher planner better than I did last year. I join a few Facebook EC groups, We Love EC and We Love EC RAK Group and found other EC lovers who share their woes, joys and even their RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness). I did not think of creating these coil clips on my own, the idea was brought to my attention in one of my EC groups and I even watched a youtube video from TheModernWife about how to create them.

 But it's easy, all you need are some Post-it Tabs, a pen (for drawing your holes), your EC planner ruler and a 1/8 hole punch. Line the tab up with your ruler, the middle holes work best as they are the length of the tabs, and use your pen to draw the holes on the tab. Then use your 1/8 hole punch to line up your holes with the puncher hole and punch away. But one great tip, (make sure to watch the youtube video as you get to watch it in action) turn your hole punch to the side when doing the end holes so you aren't left with a thin end on both sides. Then cut a slit in each hole so you can put your clips in and out of your planner. Voila you are done with your 1st coil clip. Just add it to what you want to clip into your planner, line up the holes and use your same pen to push in the clip so it won't come out. Once you start making them you will want to use them all the time. Remember your tabs are REPOSITIONAL so they can be used to hold many different things in your planner. Also the coil clip idea works in both the EC life planner and the teacher planner!

Also if you are new to Erin Condren and would love your very own life or teacher planner, you can click on my referral link, sign up and earn yourself $10 off your new planner. If you aren't interested in a planner you can use the $10 for anything in her store such as notebooks, clipboards, invitations/gift labels, candles, kid stuff, etc. Have fun and become a new EC follower today!:)
Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A wonderful STEM K-2 Conference

It is officially summer and I am off at a STEM K-2 Conference hosted by my Math Science Innovation Center (MSiC). I am still Pinning and "learning" lots of great ideas while at the conference. My hope is to write and create more this summer but we shall see. But I wanted to share insights that I have already learned at the conference and sadly today is the last day of the conference.

My Insights (Make sure to try them ALL out and share with others):
From the Technology Training with Tammy Tang (check out her website:
From her Opening Session: Random Name/Word Picker Add students' names or words and it will randomly pick it for you in a Fruit Machine or spell it out like a Typewriter. **Make sure to check out the other tools that you can use too.

 --Useful websites to teach your K-1 students how to use the mouse on a computer:
Baby Eyes (move the mouse)
Pop the Bubbles (move and click)-- can do pop the letters and choose 3 focus letters for students to pop
Feed the Monster (drag and drop)
Brush Teeth (click and drag)
 -- Kahoot! Visit and make sure to create yourself a FREE account. This site is a quiz generation website in which you can create quizzes to assess student's understanding. They have to look at your screen to get the answer choices and answer using the shapes on their screen (without the answer shown). Students are ranked by how fast they are able to answer the question among the other players. You can create a quiz in your account (, get the GAME CODE and share it with others. Make sure to check out the Public Library in your account to see the many that are already created. Could be used in groups if you only have a few computers in your room or in a computer lab where students are able to see what's on your screen as well.
--Draw a Stickman students use the mouse to draw a stickman and it becomes a character in a story. For K-1 students you may have to read some of the drawing prompts aloud and do as a whole group. **Pay attention to the letters that "pop" out after each drawing you complete in the story... this can be changed to say whatever you want!*
--This is Sand is just an interactive way to play with colored sand. Could be a "calming" activity for some students or something students can do if they finish early.

****** Mind you this was just in the MORNING session of Day 1!! *******
What I am excited about for my students with STEM?
1. Creating class sets of Rekenreks-- if you don't know what they look like, check out my new Pinterest board. But they are all about subitizing (quickly seeing how many) in hands-on form for students.
2. Introducing my students to love bugs and all their wonderful details by using magnifying glasses, a loupe (it was a FREEBIE in one of my sessions) and my EyeClops (hand held magnifier up to 400X; learned about this from a librarian!)
EyeClops Bionic Eye
3. Establishing a mathematical community within my classroom where my students are able to share, work and make mistakes and all of their input is valued and respected. How do you establish your Math Talk with students in your room?

I can't wait for Day 3's sessions. On to more great learning! Enjoy :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Who's Who...

 I want to tell you about an awesome blog that you can get great tips and ideas for your kiddos. Sometimes I may just pass along the blog post for the day to my upper grade friends but there is always something that I can learn or share. I am talking about the Who's Who and Who's New. I have signed on to get their new posts emailed to me and I love it because I can always read it on the go without having to stop by their blog. Saturday's post: If They Don't Use It, They'll Lose It! It is all about making sure that your kids have a summer packet that goes home with them from kindergarten! Make sure you are following and even sign up to get their posts emailed, you will love it!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mystery Readers Surprise!

 It's been a while since my last post... sorry. I'm stopping in for a short bit today. My fellow blogger and colleague Karmen from The Naturalista Teacha and her 3rd graders visited my kindergarteners as our Mystery Readers for the morning. My class did a great job! They were great listeners and even the ones that I thought might have trouble enjoyed listening to the 3rd graders read to them. Check out her post filled with great pictures.
 I have started doing the Mystery Reader reading initiative in my classroom each year around Dr. Seuss' birthday. It was something I saw in a magazine or something and it has just taken off. I first used mystery readers when I taught preschool and that was many, many years ago. But the process behind it, if you haven't done them before, is that parents/teachers/staff sign up to read to your class. It can be any book they want, doesn't have to be Dr. Seuss themed, and they can just read to your class or they can bring a prop or dress up. I have only had about 2 people dress up and a few people bring props. One year I had an aunt of one of my students dress as The Cat in the Hat (face paint and all!). One year the Spanish teacher came to read to us, first in Spanish then in English and the kids got to make butter while listening to the story.
 It doesn't have to be complicated, I really just want the students to take the time to do some fun reading and active listening. Plus it gives the parents/teachers/staff an opportunity to put their job aside for a few and take a breather.
 Do you have readers or mystery readers who come to your classroom? Don't forget to check out our Mystery Reading Buddies post from Karmen.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Creative LAST days of break, Freebies and a Giveaway!

As I try to enjoy the last few days (hours) of my break, I wanted to share some new things with you.

I am having a sale at my TPT store. Kind of like a last hurrah before break is officially over on Monday. My whole store is 20% off minus my winter stuff which they have their own special pricing... which leads me into number two.

I have been on a creating spree. My good friend and fellow blogger Karmen from Tales from a Naturalista Teacha has been creating up a storm. She let me edit one of her products and after that night I just felt like creating... I haven't really created this much since my summer break. Do you know there are some AWESOME clipart artist out in blog land? Well my bestie CA's (Clipart Anonymnous) are Creative Clips and Ashley Hughes. I really have been using them for like ever, but just this go around I used them A LOT! If you don't know who I am talking about, feel free to check out their amazing work.

Follow their blogs too as sometimes you can catch a freebie. Plus Creative Clips is doing something each month where you can pay $10 for monthly graphics but you can get new sets each week of that month.
(P.S. The April Set is on sale for $8 as she has already put in TWO weekly sets)
Anywho, on to my creations. Please continue reading until you get to the bottom of this post as you won't be disappointed.

It's on sale for $1.50. And if you download the PREVIEW you can snag a freebie!

The next items are discounted in my store for $1. 

And don't forget to click the PREVIEW button as you might stumble upon a freebie!

Here's a FREEBIE just because! Keep reading though!

And since I LOVE Giveaways I thought about doing a giveaway here. Just enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win one of my new products! Yup, you can choose from any of my new creations that are listed above if you win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway