Sunday, July 31, 2011

Office Max Teacher Appreciation Day

  This morning I got myself up for the Teacher Appreciation Day over at Office Max to ensure that I got my free tote bag. Of course I go there a few minutes early and already there were people waiting in their cars. Only a few but it was enough to know that I wasn't the only teacher out there trying to feel appreciated. So as the minutes got closer to 11am, the teachers got out of their cars and hovered around the doors... then the rain started. I got out of my car and got into the LINE of teachers. I probably was like the 10th person in line so I knew my tote bag was on the way. When they opened the doors we were lead to a table where we were handed our tote bags with our little treats inside and told that as teachers that "it didn't have to fit into the tote bag for you to get 20% off everything". Woo Hoo!! So I grabbed a cookie and set off to get a basket. I checked out the store paper ads and tried to figure out what I should I get. I didn't really have a plan of action except to get printer ink, which I did and got myself an 8-pack of batteries for my $50 purchase of ink free. So here's what I got

*Buy 2, Get 2 Free Expo Markers: I got 2 8-packs of the skinny markers, a 3-pack of the click-it chisel tip, and a 3-pack of the scented expo markers (which I never knew existed)-- These made me think back to my kids this year because every time they got a hold of an expo marker they kept saying they smelled good and what they smelled like... but they were just the regular ones.:)

*Post-Its 3X3 were on sale for $5 and if you bought 2, you got a fee tote (red with an apple on it)

* Schoolio crayons 2 24-pks for 1 cent a piece (limit 2)

*Composition books for .50 (I know I can get them at Target for .40 but you were only limited to 4)

*Buy 2, Get 2 Free: BIC 2 36 pk pens and 2 5pk plus 5pk free of highlighters (I think the highlighters were the better deal because you got 10 for only $3 or in my case 20 free)

* Office Max 4-pk glue sticks (3) at .50

* Buy 2, Get 1 free: X-9 Copy Paper

*Mr. Sketch 12-pk markers $4.99 (I got have got the 18-pk at 9.99 but I thought the scents would be too new and different for my kinders and I)

*Paper Pro One Hole Punch (Blue) $2.60 (It's supposed to hole punch through 10 sheets of paper, I thought I could try to use it against the index card dividers to make some of the projects I've seen on Pinterest this summer)

** They tend to ring everything up and THEN add the 20% off to everything which essentially makes the deal all the more sweeter. Of course half of these things I did not need but I got anyways because they were new. I've never owed Samba and Ultra Post-It Notes (includes red and purple paper) or Click-It or scented EXPO markers. And of course I just couldn't beat that BIC deal. So my volunteer in my room this year cannot say I don't ever have a pen because there will be TONS of them laying around.
   And in my tote bag
     --Office Max gave us a 2011-2012 monthly planner with monthly coupons to use in the store. And a few sample packages of post-it notes and labels and a box of PAPER CLIPS! Always need those.
     --Fireworks Brite Copy Paper with a rainbow assortment of paper (I haven't counted how many sheets)

So if you decide to go into your Office Max tomorrow make sure to pick up your tote bag. And I don't think you had to get there early because my store still had enough bags to give out to people along the way. Overall I had fun because I not only got snacks, water and pizza during my shopping experience the 20% off everything sweetened the deal!

DON'T FORGET: Teaching Heart Mom and Teaching Heart is still having their Back to School Bash and TODAY is the last day to enter for any of the prizes! So head over there and see which prizes you did not enter for yet.

REMEMBER: The BACK TO SCHOOL sale begins tomorrow through the 4th in some of our favorite teacher bloggers TPT stores... TPT sale is having 10% off plus the bloggers are offering 20% off when you use the code: B1T1S.  You can check out the LONG list of sellers that you can shop in their store for 30% off beginning tomorrow over at First Grade Brain... I'm sure there is more to add to the list. Just check out the seller's you are following to see if any are missed.
Have a great Monday, Desiree:)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Things to Do

I have a lot of Pringles to eat. I was reminded of the Math/Reading Power Towers game from Teaching by How about them Apples? and Mrs. Gilchrist's Class today. The power towers uses the concept of the cup stacking game and can be used with any skill. Check out the video, teachingtipster which uses the concept of math facts and sight words. Well with my kinders I wouldn't mind trying colors and shapes for the first 9 weeks and maybe even adding in numbers up to 30, then 50, then 100. Head over to Mrs. Gilchrist's class for her FREE labels or you could create some of your own. But currently having these math and reading labels I can print up how many I want... I just have to make sure I have the cans to put the cups in. I am already thinking about using the alphabet and making the upper case letters the one students need to say the sound while they just say the letters for the lower case ones.

Primary Graffiti (Mrs. Saoud) just finished her Data Notebook packet and she wants to share a copy of it with you before the Back to School TPT sale happening on Monday. Head on over to her blog and check out how you can get your hands on the document before it goes on sale!

Speaking of SALE, some Teacher Pay Teachers store bloggers are having a Back to School Sale at their TPT store starting Monday August 1st- August 4th. 

Don't forget to put in the code into TpT!  It's B1T1S

Happy Shopping!

And remember tomorrow is the LAST DAY in July but the first day of the Office Max Teacher Appreciation Sale!! Get there EARLY so you can get your tote in which to fill it with anything you want and get 20% off everything in your tote... I wonder how big it will be?;)
See ya, Desiree

Friday, July 29, 2011

Finds in Blogland

I have spent the better part of my day catching up on blogs that I have missed and adding new blogs that I haven't seen yet. Some highlights I found:
* Learning With Mrs. Parker and other teachers are doing a Teaching With the Alphabet Linky Party. The letters are all assigned you just have to check back periodically to catch some good lessons.

* Mrs. Scoma over at First Grade FUNdamentals is having a sale on her I Have, Who Has game of over 220 Dolch Sight Words! Her game for list 1 is free at her TpT store and you can buy I Have, Who Has list 2-11 for only $2. What a deal! Especially since this set has over 100 pgs!!

* Do you have a lot to get done and find yourself with mountains of post-it notes spread around? Well A Teacher's Plan shared a To Do List Freebie that is sure to make those post-its all come together.

* I have found TONS of activities about sight word practice while blogging this summer. What the Teacher Wants has wrote a post that has combined two ideas that I found this summer that I wanted to try out ASAP. I know I was wishing the kids back too early but these ideas are awesome: Today's Password and Growing Kinders' sight word chants!  Now make sure to print out the sight word chants and you are sure to find decorative ideas for your Popsicle sticks if you go to Pinterest or you can decorate them however you like. But it is such an awesome idea I want to try out. Oh and this summer I also bought Kindergarten Works' Sing and Spell Sight Words (courtesy of TBA's Christmas in July) that I can't wait to combine with these other ideas and get my students' learning. See in our school, our reading program does not have our students learning sight words until almost mid-2nd to 3rd 9 weeks. I have hopes to get a jump on the sight words so my students' won't feel so rushed near the end of the school year.

* Sunny Days in Second Grade is having a giveaway! Two ways to enter and you could get a bonus entry if you post on FB, Twitter or your blog and invite new followers to her blog. Just make sure those who post mention your name so that if they win you can win too. **So if you drop in on Sunny Days in Second Grade and become a new follower, tell her Desiree from Kinders on the Block sent you and maybe both of us will be winners!:) Good Luck!**

* Stop in over at Vintage Teacher for Friday Freebies.
* Teaching Heart Mom blog is still having their back to school bash of prizes. Hop on over there and get your name in the hat. One of the prizes are Hot Dots! Woo hoo, count me in:) You have to enter by July 31st to be considered for any of the prizes, so far there are 11 and you still have Saturday for prizes too.

**DON'T FORGET: Office Max Teacher Appreciation Days July 31st (Sunday) to August 1st. Remember the first 150 teachers gets a free tote and everything that you can fit into the tote gets 20% off. So how early will you be there?;) Sign up for your FREE teacher's card, print out your card so you can start being rewarded for your purchases.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Updates, Giveaways and Found Freebies!!

 So I haven't posted in about 2 days... what a record. I have been trying to keep up with all the blogs I am following over 115 of them and keep track of the giveaways going on. I keep seeing all the neat activities some of these teachers are creating and I just pray that one might have my name on it for free. I loved Christmas in July because I got to purchase some of items that were wishlist items for a cheaper price. Of course I still have wishlist items, those items I didn't really need during "Christmas" so I have to get back over to my TPT account and check out my wish list again.
 There are a ton of giveaways happening this week even into next week... like always people are celebrating their followers and now BACK TO SCHOOL. Yup I said those 3 words out loud. Some teachers are already back in school teaching their students to learn while I am still trying to hold onto the last of my vacation. I say last because it is almost August and I am itching to get into my room, well as soon as our new principal gives us the okay. But I am sure my car and my mom's basement would love it when my room finally opens up. Last year as a new teacher, I didn't know what to expect of the students, the curriculum or even what resources we were provided. I learned quickly that you had to go ask, ask, ask... just because you were a new teacher did not always mean that everyone was willing to help you. So this year I looked at shopping and gathering materials/resources differently. I knew the curriculum that I had taught this year and I want to change how I teach it next year. So all these neat activities and ideas that I have been downloading from the blogs I follow are helping me out a lot. It's nice because I know that I don't have to reinvent the wheel because many teachers have "shared" my thought process, only this time they have actually created something concrete. Oh and I can't wait to get all the classroom supplies out of my car and find a place to put them in my new room. I am getting so excited about this upcoming year, I feel better prepared for it... I feel better motivated to take what comes my way head on.
 Anyways, on to the giveaways, updates and freebies... good luck!!
Don't forget that Teaching Heart and Teaching Heart Mom blog is still having the back to school bash where you can enter to win lots of prizes, but you have to enter everything before the 31st because winners will be announced 8/2.

1-Office Max will having their Teacher Appreciation Day starting July 31st-Aug. 1st. And the first 150 teachers will get a free reusable tote plus 20% off everything you can fit inside. **Do you think there will be a line of teachers outside each Office Max when they open on Sunday at 11am? Kind of like when you camp outside for movie or concert tickets?**
2-Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business is giving away $25 gift card to and you have 7 ways to enter.
3.-Head over to Kindergarten Crayons or just add her to your blog roll so you know when she has posted some freebies and even samples of sets that she is creating. Those who have a MAC, lucky you... but for us PC loves head on over and get your freebies.
4- Michelle's Math in the Middle is having a Pintrerest Party, link up and get pinning!!
5-Pocket Full of Kinders is having a giveaway for items from her friend's HUE 529 store.
6-Primary Connections is having a giveaway for $20 to spend at TPT and she is also having a grade level linky party... so link up because that is one of your entries to the giveaway, make sure you blog about it and leave a comment! I linked up and so can you! Ends 7/31
7-Peace, Love, and Learning is having a giveaway to celebrate 500 followers and she even included a freebie. There are only 3 entries needed for you to win 5 things from her TPT store: FOLLOW, TPT and BLOG.
8-Erica Bohrer's Back to School Bonanza!!! You've got to go check out her blog to check out all 12 teacher donors to this wonderful giveaway. Now remember you only get 4 entries but you have to do the work for each person... FOLLOW (12 blogs)TPT (12 stores), FB (7 pgs),  BLOG. Make sure you follow the given prompt so you have a chance at the giveaway!! Ends Thursday July 28th... get busy.
9- Fun In First Grade celebrates 1000 followers WOOHOO! Now her giveaway is just like Erica's, only comments allowed but you have to do the work for 11 people... FOLLOW, TPT, BLOG ROLL, BLOG. Ends August 1st at 12:00. **UPDATE: For invited readers only, make sure you are on the list. I'm not but good luck!!
10-  Lil Country Kitchen is trying to compile a list of kindergarten teacher blogs. Link up with the party so you can see if you missed any blogs.
11- Check out Me and Marie Learning for freebie posts. Color Pack Freebie and Fall Clipboard Surveys Freebie

12- New blog I was directed to from Empowering Little Learners, Just Reed is having a giveaway for 4 prizes: 3 author studies (Kevin Henkes, Marc Brown, Robert Munsch from her TPT store and Ms. M's A Teacher's Plan is giving away a pre-made lesson plan template. I love Ms. M's pre-made plans, I tried to recreate one on my own and I just couldn't come close. Ends Saturday at midnight.
13- Herding Kats in Kindergarten is having a giveaway for $10 gift card to Donorschoose. What a really great giveaway especially for those of you who still need your projects funded or who would like to donate to a project instead. You only get 2 entries, so make them count! Winners will be chosen August 1st.
14-Little Miss Kindergarten is having a ARTSKILLS giveaway where you can win over $50 in creative bulletin board items. Anyone started thinking about what their boards are going to look like? Wouldn't you want some help funding your big ideas? Enter!!

15- Frogs in First is having a giveaway for $25 gift card to AMAZON! Ends August 2nd at 5pm MST! Remember FOLLOW, TPT/TN, BLOG, BLOG ROLL, and FB!

*Update #16: Don't forget to stop over at Teaching Heart Mom's blog for giveaways that end July 31st.
Winners will be chosen on August 2nd. They are giving away goodies that any teacher would love to have. Make sure to add Teaching Heart Mom and Teaching Heart to your blog roll because by just doing that you get 3 entries into each prize giveaway! Good luck.

**This post took a lot longer to complete because as I was telling you about the giveaways I was trying my best to enter them myself. Now I am going to try to get in the big BONANZA giveaways especially Erica's that is ending TOMORROW!! And remember if you have something you would like to share with me, a comment, freebie or something that I have missed I am always open for ideas. Thanks:) Desiree

Monday, July 25, 2011

Behavior Clip Chart

 I finally created my behavior clip chart for my class. It wasn't difficult, but for a perfectionist like me you can get easily frustrated. But I had to say to myself "this is only the guinea pig and if it doesn't work out I can make a new one". But now that I am finished I hope that I don't have to make a new one because I kind of like this one. I think if I do have to make a new one, I will try to get thicker construction paper.

 Okay so what is a clip chart? The chart has 7 steps and students always begin in the neutral spot which is called Ready to Learn. Now everything before and after Ready to Learn is up to you. But on my chart starting from the  top is: AWESOME! (Purple-6 in. tall), Great Job! (Pink-6 in.), Good Day (Blue-6 in.), Ready to Learn (Green-8in.), Think About It (Yellow-6 in.), Teacher's Choice (Orange-6in.) and Parent Contact (Red-6 in.). Now I have seen so many different versions of this chart but if you want the source, click go to New Management. Of course the one there the colors are in different order. It is entirely up to you but when I think of red, I think of stop can't go anymore. And my measurements for each section will fit a class size of 20, keep adding on 2 inches for classes that are 24 or more. Just check the new management's site for the ebook on how to create your own (it's free!)
    When I was working in 2nd grade in 2009, they had a clip chart and at first I didn't really care for it because I felt that it was too many changes and too many chances for students to get frustrated about their clip. And then this year in my own classroom I just had a chart with 3 choices and no room for my good students to move up. Well I have come back to the clip chart and I am willing to try it in my classroom. Plus, I have gathered some great ideas while blogging about incentives for my students. One such idea is from Clutter-Free Classroom/Littlest Learners, that when students reach outstanding (or in my case Awesome!) they get a star sticker on their clothespin. And once they reach 5 star stickers they can trade in their clothespin for a new color clothespin, one they color themselves to put on the chart. So it really isn't focusing on the negative, students have an incentive to look forward to plus I bet the colored ones would look pretty cool compared to the plain ones. I found a behavior report that I liked on Mrs. Smith's classroom page then I created one like it to fit my chart. Go to her page for the original, just scroll down to where it says Behavior Management. Also Keeping It True in K-1-2 added the comment boxes on hers which made since, so I had to add them to mine :)

Here is a picture with the clips on. Sorry for the poor lighting and it's not laminated yet. Here is my behavior report too and the labels for the chart if you want to try it out yourself.
 Phew! I just put most of the good tips I learned this summer to good use... I even uploaded to Google Docs, something I thought I wouldn't get a chance to do, my creative juices are just not flowing.:-/


As a new blogger I have been trying to figure out this business of a button. It seems as if every blog I go to, their blog has a button which means that this button business cannot be as hard as it looks. Well thankfully to Mrs. Zrihen, who mentioned that my button wasn't downloading, I would have never figured out that my button didn't work. Well I went back to picasa web and my only picture for Kinders on the Block had changed its address. I am serious, the address that was up there was different than the address that I had copied before when it was working before. So how did that happen? How did that address from google just change and I was none the wiser? Well I am back at it for round 2. So if you have grabbed my button and it is no longer working please try to copy the new code into your blog and tell me how it goes. Sorry for your troubles... I am always up for anyone explaining how to keep my button url the same and not have it change on me. Thanks all, Desiree 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'm reading and learning so much!

  Yesterday I decided to try and put all the things that I have been saving this summer on a jump drive so it can just go anywhere. Well when I just copied the folder I have everything in, I had over 750 files!! And this is just from starting blogging and "stalking" mid June. So I have to say to all the teachers who create activities and games to share with their fellow co-workers, thank you. Your contributions will help making my kindergarten class a little bit more successful this year.
   Of course I am still not done... I have to catch up with the Math Work Station blog because I have only read up to 3, I am currently in chapter 4... If you have yet to jump in on that discussion you can find chapter 1-2 blog party begins at Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten. Chapter 3's blog can be found at Learning With Mrs. Parker. Chapter 4: Beginning Number Concepts can be found at Kindergarten Crayons.
   And if you are even further ahead of me here are the remaining chapters... all 8 chapters have been done so make sure you go and read all that everyone has shared.
Chapter 5: Addition and Subtraction at Primary Graffiti
Chapter 6: Place Value at Oceans of First Grade Fun
Chapter 7: Geometry at Patton's Patch
Chapter 8: Measurement at Lory's Page
Happy Reading and Downloading!:)

 While I did not post yesterday, I missed being on my blog. I have come to enjoy having a blog and being able to share my thoughts. And I especially love telling you when there is a good giveaway going on, just in case you are following too many blogs and are unable to catch them all... LIKE ME! I wish that google reader was so smart that they would just divide up new posts into posts vs. giveaways and that might cut down on the time I spend reading and downloading. Don't get me wrong I love reading everyone's posts because they are often so informative about little crafts, ideas and activities to do with my kinders or even to do for myself. I just don't have time to go through them all and plus when I keep following new blogs daily, I know I will never get to all the post. Currently I have over 550 posts to look through and I keep getting more and more everyday. If that was a linky party, what would you wish for, I would wish for more time in the day!! But enough about that, I did want to share about some giveaways happening before I went on a sidetrack.

Post-It Party (just click on the post-it for linky party directions) over at Create Teach Share… 5 ways to enter but 6 ENTRIES!!
       1. Follow blog (comment) 2. Join Post-It Linky Party, make sure you have created a post where you share how you use post-its in your classroom. (This gives you 2 entries, 2 comments) 3. Blog about party and giveaway (comment) 4. Grab her button and put it on your blog with your link (comment) *UPDATE: 5. Follow her new DIY Create Share Inspire (comment). 
        So remember 5 ways but 6 chances to win over 1540 Post-Its valued at over $30. And as teachers we always need a post-it. I especially love their new labels with the different designs. I just picked some up the other day, knowing I didn't have a purpose for them yet but I am planning to use them. (I have made a lot of those "planning to use" purchases this month...)

First Grade Pandamonium is having a giveaway for her First Grade Book Club packet for those high readers you might need to entice. Giveaway ends Monday July 25th at midnight. Make sure to follow her blog, blog about it and then leave ONE comment saying that you did the top 2 with your email address for your entry.

Mrs. Bainbridge’s giveaway for “Flippy Books” (cute books about different subjects which can be a book without staples). Check out her list of books in each set: Holiday Set, Grammar Set, or Science Set to choose from and get over there by 7/27 for a chance to win... there might even be 4 winners:) 

AND DON'T FORGET... Ingles 360's HUGE giveaway. You have until the 27th to get all those entries completed, remember one comment for each thing and there are like 4-5 chances per person so that is over 36 entries. Get clicking and looking so your name could be among the winner of this giveaway!

Make sure to stop by Teaching Heart for their annual back to school party on July 24th (today) thru July 30th. "Teaching Heart ( ) is hosting their annual back to school party on July 24th till July 30th.  Each Day a new prize!  Gift cards, Books, Teaching Heart Products, and more!!!  Plus a free printable will be posted during the week.  You need to visit the blog at-- 
daily to check out the prizes each day and enter for the ones you want to win!!!"

You still have time for this giveaway: 

A Teacher's Treasure is having a giveaway which ends August 12th... I know thinking about August already sorry. Mrs. Zrihen is offereing 2 books, Sensational Sight Word Games and 10 Reading Comprehension Games to celebrate 50 and 100 followers. Good job for reading:) 

I hope you enjoy your day. And I hope you enjoy your week of learning, teaching, sharing and inspiring because remember you are GREAT at what you do and we all can learn from you. 


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day #5 of Clutter-Free Classroom Linky Party

Day 5 Prompt: Write a letter to the author of the blog you admire. Be sure to include a link to the blog and the reasons why you enjoy reading it. 

-Make sure to stop by to link up for Day 5's prompt. It is really tough to pick just one because all the blogs that I have seen since I first began my journey in June have been amazing and each one has helped me get to where I am now... writing in my own blog. So here goes:

 Dear Leslie of Kindergarten Works,

  I am feel so lucky to have found your blog this summer. It is jam-packed with goodies and excitement that I just feel as if I could burst if I don't read everything you write. You have some AMAZING ideas and activities that I and my kinders will be truly blessed from your generosity. I love your Sing and Spell Sight Word activities and I even snagged the Poetry Notebooks activities when you were having a Christmas in July sale. I feel so pumped when I check into my Google Reader and find a post from you because I know it is always filled with tender goodness. Your blog bubbles over with energy from you and the fact that you love to teach... whether it is kindergartners or big people like me. 
 I will continue to support your efforts in teaching while you continue to help me along the way in the classroom and the blogging world. As long as you continue to share your thoughts, insights and a piece of your creative mind with your followers we will always be there to shower some support on you. 
 Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do. May you have a wonderful summer and spend some time for you because you deserve it. And have a great year with your kindergarteners:) 
   Thanks, Desiree 

**And THANK YOU Littlest Learners at Clutter-Free Classroom for doing this linky party. I have learned a lot about myself this week and was able to learn from many of my fellow colleagues. I had a blast!!

Friday Finds of Freebies and Giveaways!

    Okay so I know that it is currently Saturday but when I started writing this post, it was Friday... and I was trying to finish this one so I could get in my fill for the Clutter-Free Classroom Linky Party but this post is jammed packed as it is. Just read what you can and of course feel free to come back to finish later. There is a lot packed here and I know I did not get it all. Just remember that any blogs that you follow you can view their posts in your dashboard on Blogger or in your Google Reader. Either one works pretty good but I am definitely a googler (not even a word I know).

Friday Freebies: 
 I don't know if you are like me but I love getting free things. And I just happen to be following other teacher blogs who have a whole day dedicated to FREEBIES. If you want an all out access party to tons of blogs, just subscribe to Teaching Blog Addict and you will definitely reap the benefits. I am just listing the freebies I found for today... and I know there are more! I also was finally able to go through Google Reader and catch up with other blogs and also found some of their items they shared with their followers, happy downloads.

 Definitely make sure you try to follow Vintage Teacher's blog as she has Friday Freebies weekly. But here is the post for today, week 8.

 We just found this and wanted to share in case any of you need some clipart this month. Use coupon code JULY2011 at checkout for 15% off your order of $5 or more! Hope it's useful for ya!

 Sunny Days in Second Grade: While having a giveaway reached over 500 followers and decided to give a FREEBIE to celebrate her good fortune. 

 If you have been on Pinterest you might have seen this cute ABC chart, What a Teacher Wants decided to recreate the chart and is offering it up as a FREE download. 

 Remember Saylor's Log is having a giveaway for a $25 gift card to but she is also sharing some freebies... Where the Wild Things Are (just scroll down as she explains the procedures of how she uses this story) and First Day of School. 

 F is for First Grade-- ABC chart and Blends chart. I am glad that I found this one because she uses this in small groups especially for struggling readers... and I need all the help I can get with that.:)

 Check out Kindergarten Hoppenings for her Poetry Notebook ideas... When I student taught kindergarten, my teacher did poetry notebooks but only to circle sight words and then to glue them into a notebook. I know there is so much more that you can do with poetry notebooks and I am always looking for new ideas.

Student Welcome Gifts from Simply 2nd Resources

 The Organized Blog is having a giveaway for the Educational Insights Batter Up game. Just click on the link and you can be directed to the entry form. Good luck!
 Tonya's Treats for Teachers blog has tons of activities and ideas that you can download for free.
 Stepping into First Grade shared an activity to go with Morris Goes to School. It looks like a cute book I might need to pick up... hmm me adding more books to my HUGE library.

 First Grade O.W.L.S. shared her Safari Restroom passes this time and before that I snagged her other restroom passes from her TPT store. I don't know how the bathroom works for you in your classroom but this will be the first year that we will have a bathroom in our room and I am trying to figure out simple but cute ways to make sure everyone respects each other going to the bathroom. I had thought to use the passes and put each student's number on them and when they need to go to the bathroom they just need to put their pass on the outside of the door that way if someone comes up next they will either know someone is in there or whether it is a girl or a boy. Cute passes huh?

Word Ladder Freebie from Little Literacy Learners... I pinned it earlier today but I thought I would give you guys the link to her page... and she has more ladders on sale at her TPT store.

**** And on a good note, Jennifer from Empowering Little Learners got a makeover and it is just so adorable. She shared a Lakeshore Whiteboard software download FREE for your enjoyment. Head on over to check out her new digs and to catch the download. In celebration of the makeover of her NEW NAME, NEW LOOK and NEW FRIENDS... she is having a giveaway for an additional game cd-rom edition of your choice. And there are so many ways to enter! ****

 A Day in the Life of a Second Grader Teacher is having a giveaway which ends July 29th. Hope on over and check it out. 

 First Grade Awesomeness is having a HUGE SHOE Giveaway... all the shoes you could even want for... well on paper that is. Check out her giveaway... How to enter: Just blog about the giveaway and put your email address in the comment box when you let her know.

 Surviving A Teacher's Salary is having a MYSTERY BOX giveaway, it is to start off the Back 2 School Bash. The more entries, the more stuff she will start listing off the contents in the box. Good luck and make sure you enter.

**If you haven't heard, BORDERS stores are going out of business. (This does not include I think the store in our city closed a while ago but I can get to one if I need to. They are having a 40% off sale for going out of business.  Happy Shopping!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day #4 of Week-Long Linky Party

 Time for Day 4's prompt: Share a recipe that you often make during the school year. Bonus points will be awarded if your recipe freezes well or it can be made in the crockpot. 

My Recipe is for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
 It is a recipe I got from a colleague who used to make them for our Thanksgiving Feast when I was in pre-k. I don't know about freezing them, they are usually gone so quickly that we just don't have a chance. And nope you cannot make them in a crockpot... 

You can use regular or mini muffin tins for this recipe. But of course, since I am looking for it, I can't seem to find the details of the recipe. But there are other recipes around like the one on for Chocolate Pumpkin Chip Muffins. And Kosher or pareve doesn't mean anything is bad in it, it is just by the way it is made. I taught at a Jewish school for 5 years and I have found foods that I like that I never would have tried if someone made me... such as matzah or matzah ball soup. Sorry I couldn't find the one that I use but this recipe is very close to the one I use so I hope you enjoy. And remember you don't have to make it in a muffin tin, you can just make it in a square or rectangle pan and cut it into pieces. 

 Do you love a giveaway where everyone is a winner? I do and Faithful in First is having that kind of giveaway to celebrate what... FOLLOWERS! She is celebrating 200 followers, congrats and of course thank you to the followers for making this giveaway possible. So enter to win her 200 Followers Giveaway and the prize is monthly No Homework labels, 12 different files of labels to reward good behavior. All you have to do is blog about her blog, follow her TpT store and/or Teacher's Notebook and leave 2 comments that you did the first 2 items leaving your email address and she will send you the files.:) Great!

And check out Fresh Starts and Big Hearts... a new blog like me!:)

Some Good Finds

Kindergarten Common Core Standards: Choose which one suits you--
Burkie's Banter--> Common Core Standards Also she is a new blogger so I urge you to stop over and check her out.:)
Peace, Love, Learning--> A Less Scary Common Core
 I will try to see if I can find who else has CCS for first and up. Maybe this will help you in your planning.

Hop on over to First Grade Awesomeness for a look at the FREEBIE she is willing to give away about shoes. Who doesn't love shoes? Well at our school last year, one teacher used her student's shoes as a way to count by 2's to 100. You could always use feet to count by 5's if you are willing to try a color that won't stain (like red or pink and sometimes purple). Just remember that you need to BLOG about her post and include your EMAIL ADDRESS in your comment on her page. Enjoy!

Remember don't forget ingles360's giveaway. I think I made a comment for each entry she said you could have... there is like over 35 entries you could have, so get started on your treasure hunt so you can win your prize!:)

The Teacher's Lane is having a Grade Level Linky Party. All you need to do is link up your blog and check out the other blogs in your grade level. How fun is that? To have other blogs in your same grade level you can bounce ideas off of.

I will post again so I can complete Clutter-Free Classroom's Day 4 prompt... Recipes! Go on over there to see how you can get started on the party.:)

Check out Three Boys and an Old Lady's blog for her Loveable Labels giveaway which ends 8/1. I've never heard of Loveable Labels until today so I am going to check out their website and see what I can find.

Oh and stop over by Crystal's blog Surviving a Teacher's Salary where she posts giveaways, coupons and some really great deals:)

I've gotta SHOUT!

  So as a new blogger I've been trying to keep up with all the happenings in the blogging world and have been gaining a few followers. I LOVE IT! But what surprised me was Jennifer over at Empowering Kindergarten gave me a SHOUT! I was featured in one of her posts, made my day about how my blog name reminds her of JLo's Jenny on the Block. Of course now the song is replaying in my head but it's a good repeat song to hear.

   And while I am trying to "bask in the glow" I found Mrs. Moyers' new blog and she is a new blogger also. Wow I love new bloggers because all the other pro bloggers can take us under their wing and get us going. So I am definitely not stepping up to the pro roll yet but I did want to SHOUT out Mrs. Moyers' blog so she can gain some followers as well. Plus check it out, she is having a Back To School Thirty-One Sale over at her Thirty-One website. I have to say that until I found her blog, I hadn't heard of Thirty-One but I found lots of cute bags. And bags are my biggest love, well besides teaching but I just go goo-goo eyes over a bag.
  That's one thing I like about teacher blogs, we all are learning from each other. We each have a sparkle to share with others and blogging really allows us to do it from all parts of the world.

Whole Lotta Linky Party Day 3

 Okay so it is day 3 of the week-long linky party over at Clutter-Free Classroom. The prompt for today says: Who is your favorite children's author? Add details to support your answer. 

 I like this question because I get to choose the author that I wanted to do yesterday but David Catrow won out. My favorite children's author would have to be Judy Schachner of the Skippyjon Jones series. I was in Barnes and Noble's this evening and saw a Skippyjon Jones book that I don't have yet, Skippyjon Jones and NO school. Well it might have to be an early birthday present. I also saw one of her first in the series in hardcover with a cd that included 5 of her stories read aloud by her. Awesome! And her illustrations are amazing too, you just feel as if you are there with Skippyjon in his "story".
Plus I also saw the stuffed animal of Skippyjon Jones and I think I might need to have him for myself. Look at his cute ears:) 


1. Ingles 360 is having a giveaway with 8 other bloggers to celebrate Friendship Day over in Argentina. Happy Friend Day to you too. But check out her blog and make sure to check out the HUGE list of other giveaway prizes that you can win. Remember to follow all of their blogs, their TpT stores, Facebook pages and grab their buttons, and of course BLOG about this giveaway for this wonderful day. What great friends to share their goodies with us. GIVEAWAY ENDS JULY 27TH. 

2. Down Under Teacher is having a giveaway that ends JULY 21ST so hurry over! And you have 9 entry chances so make them count.:) Good luck!

3."Teaching Heart ( ) is hosting their annual back to school party on July 24th til July 30th.  Each Day a new prize!  Gift cards, Books, Teaching Heart Products, and more!!!  Plus a free printable will be posted during the week.  You need to visit the blog at-- daily to check out the prizes each day and enter for the ones you want to win!!!"

4. Mrs. Stamp's Kindergarten is having a SWEET giveaway which ends July 24th. You could enter to get a $10 or $15 Cold Stone gift card, yum! Head over there to get your treat.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Linky Party #2

So I just found the linky party Clutter-Free Classroom was hosting, a week-long party in fact and I had to jump in. I am combining Day 1 and Day 2 into one post that way I will be caught up and ready for tomorrow's prompt.

Day 1- Prompt: How I am spending my summer vacation?
  I have technically been non-stop school every since that last day of school on June 21st. I stumbled upon all these teacher blogs and I fell in love. I couldn't believe that I didn't find all of these when I was first beginning my kindergarten career last August. But I have found them now and I am still finding new blogs I haven't even read yet... exciting. And when I wasn't "blog hopping" I was out shopping for school supply deals so I could implement some of the new ideas I found. Ideas like the Making Words Folder from What a Teacher Wants, any DIBELS ideas (our school uses the Voyager program, but same thing) because I want my kinders to be on grade level or emerging by the time they get to first grade, writing notebooks (I started reading Kid Writing by Eileen Feldgus and Isabell Cardonick), and of course math work stations will definitely happen- I did a lot of whole group math last year- and this year I am up for a change/challenge.
 In all of the school work, I have found time to meet up with some friends and enjoy the summer nights. I even went up to Baltimore and visited the aquarium and the African American museum. And on the way home my friend and I took a boat tour which took us under the Bay Bridge in Annapolis. Being under that bridge definitely makes you realize how small you are compared to our architectural advances these days.:)

Day 2- Prompt: Complete this sentence. Based on the illustrations alone, my favorite picture book is ____". Use photos or additional sentences to support your choice. 

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!
Based on the illustrations alone my favorite picture book is I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! By Karen Beaumont and illustrated by David Catrow. Okay so anything with David Catrow on it, is in my book cart fast but I just love this book. The kid is obviously having so much fun that it doesn't matter where he paints because he has a canvas of his own. My kids and I usually do an activity where they have a blank body and they pretend what their bodies would look like if they were allowed to paint them. Many of them often ask if they could see the book so they could copy the swirls and stripes. It is such a fun book that we often read it several times throughout the year. 
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont Illustrated by David Catrow 

   Head on over to Clutter-Free Classroom to join the linky party. Have fun! Stop by Kleininspiration because she is having a giveaway, $75 gift certificate to Really Good Stuff, ending on Thursday the 21st. 

Linky Party #1

So as a  new blogger I guess I want to try out all the new things I have been learning this summer and linky parties is one of them. I guess no one really notices that the people without blogs would really like to put their share too but don't really have a way to link up. I had to ponder this but then realized that a linky party is a really great resource for those who have blogs/twitter/FB so they can share with each other as well as with the ones who don't have a way to link up. If you are blogless, like I was for awhile, you can just use the links to find other ideas and blogs in which to follow and learn from. In the end, it does feel a little like you are left out if you don't have a blog but just think about all you can LEARN from clicking on the links. Like this summer I "stalked" the Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations linky party and gained a TON of activities to use with my kinders this year. And I am always looking for more linky parties so I can learn so more. 
  On to Linky Party #1: Yearn to Learn is hosting a linky party called Blog Mixer Linky. It is where you can answer the following questions--
 1. A blogger who is a "New Kid on the Blog" (with less than 2 months/less than 200 followers exp)
 2. Post a blogger in your same grade level.
 3. Post a blogger in a different grade level.
 4. It;s all about the button. Find a cute blog button and post it.

 I like these kinds of blog "icebreakers" because you get to meet people from all over and even do a little research on the blogs you follow to find things that you like. I mean you know you like the blogs that you follow but could you really make a top pick... difficult I know. But I am going to take a shot at it. And remember you can definitely link up with this blog mixer and sharing your thoughts. Also if you don't have a blog, it is okay remember just go learn something new.:)

1. A "New Kid on the Blog": That would be me. I just started what 2 days ago creating Kinders on the Block. I'm pretty new in the blogging world only started learning about "blog hopping" and "blog stalking" in June. 

2. A blogger in my grade level: I like Kindergarten Crayons because she seems to have really neat and fun ideas for her kiddos. Right now she is creating activities to go with the Pete the Cat books. I have never heard  of them but her ideas have made me want to introduce Pete to my kinders. Go check out her blog. 

3. Different grade level: First Grade FUNdamentals is one that I love because she has really cute and creative ideas that she often shares on her blog. She also has the Making Words All Year Long kit that I got for my class to try in small groups. 

4. A cute button: That is a difficult decision but I got it down to two. Sorry!
Live Love Laugh
The Teacher’s Heart

And let me not forget to tell you that Yearn to Learn is having a giveaway to celebrate what... FOLLOWERS! I know how exciting it is to notice when you have followers, so thanks guys:) Remember to check out the linky mixer and her giveaway which ends July 25th. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Giveaways are Happening!

Okay so I might be breaking some kind of blogging etiquette but technically this is my first post on Monday, after being up way to late into the wee hours of Monday. But I wanted to mention the giveaways happening this week. Not only is it Christmas in July but as bloggers all reach certain milestones in the blogging world they have giveaways. I hope that one day I can do one as well but we shall see. I am going to try to give a rundown of the giveaways happening this week so you can make sure to catch them.
Giveaways ending TODAY so hurry!
Vintage Teacher's giveaway can have 400 winners so make sure that you are one of them. All you have to do is decide which interactive program you want to win, email (use her form) her with your choices and add the company FTC Family of Companies to your FB/Twitter accounts. Good luck and hurry over!

Adventures in Room 129 is having a 300 followers giveaway. There is an opportunity for 3 winners so stop on over and step on it!

First Grade Fanatics is celebrating 400 followers, woo hoo! Head over to their cute blog so you can be one of the 4 to win 1 item from their TpT store.

From 7/19 through 7/22
 Mrs. B, Busy Bee  and Mrs. Bee's Kindergarten are teaming up to give away TONS of goodies ends 7/20

  So Kristen over at Ladybug's Teaching Files is having a giveaway to celebrate 1000 followers. AMAZING! And of course congratulations. Her blog was the first of many blogs that I found on my first "blog stalk". I just happened to be searching the web in June and stumbled upon her blog with the cute graphics, detailed posts and colorful pictures of her classroom that she loves to share. Plus if you need help in the blogging world she is the person to see, check out her Video Tutorials and her Technology Tips for all your blogging questions. Now on to her giveaway... she is offering up 4 different prizes for 4 different winners. So if you need to spruce up your blog, like I do, or you are just looking out to start one then this giveaway is for you. She is offering a few of her blog templates, so go check out Ladybug's Teacher Files, ends 7/20.

Oceans of First Grade is also celebrating 1000 followers, one day... one day. And offering your one item from her TpT store. And if you don't know what TpT is, it is like the best thing since Mailbox magazines except now you get a plethora of ideas, worksheets and activities to use in your classroom. Some are FREE (that's right) and some you could buy under $20 and get probably about 10-15 different activities. It's like the Dollar Tree or the Family Dollar for Teachers. Giveaway ends on July 22nd so hurry over!

So First Grade O.W.L.S is celebrating 100 followers by offering up a $25 gift card. And I know how we all love Target especially the Dollar section. Stop over to the giveaway for your chance at getting some of Target's goodies for you or your kiddos. And not only that you can get something from Mrs. Wills' TpT store too. And if you haven't been to Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten then you should go check her out too. What a wonderful gift. Giveaway ends July 22nd, good luck!

First Grade Splash is celebrating 25 by giving away a $20 gift card to Amazon, wonderful. For a new blogger like me that is really inspiring to celebrate followers. Meaning someone actually reads what your thoughts are, that they are no longer stuck in my head collecting dust.

Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business is having a "smelly" giveaway. If you haven't read her post called Teaching Left and Right then you might want to head over there now. I also found that other teachers use the smelly lip gloss for rewards. This year I used the smelly markers and they were like GOLD to my students but I also LOVE this idea too. If you check out the dollar section at Target I found some other smelly flavors to add to my collection. Head over to Mrs. Miner's giveaway so you can start your collection of "yummy" treats.

If you are feeling "wild" head over to Crazy for First Grade's blog. Celebrating over 700 followers with a HUGE giveaway. Make sure to follow all the blogs so you can have a chance to go "wild" this year.

Celebrating 300 followers, Mrs. Saylor's Log is giving away $30 to Doodlebugs Paper. And I have to say I had no idea what was Doodlebugs but now with this giveaway I love all the cutesy ideas. Now would be trying to figure out what to choose... Giveaway ends 7/25th and 5pm.

 Okay so I know that was a lot to take in but hopefully you will come out on the winning side. I'm sure that there are more giveaways going on, this is the world wide web, so if I have missed anyone just let me know and I will make sure to add on to your celebration. Congrats to all who have followers and congrats to the followers for reading their thoughts and taking in their ideas. And remember if you don't have a blog (like I didn't have one until last night) you can still enter the giveaways... don't be discouraged. Good Luck to you all.
 P.S. Can someone tell me how to add blog buttons in my post so that they go straight back to the person's blog? It may look fancy but I just kept adding in the .png file but I want it to link back so HELP. Thanks.


Christmas in July

  I just love Christmas. Buying gifts for the family and gifts for those unsuspected visitors. Well this is not that type of Christmas. But it is the gift of giving, discounts that is. Many teachers from Teaching Blog Addicts are having a sale on their Teachers Pay Teachers store. There are over 30 teachers having a sale. And if you haven't been over to Teachers Pay Teachers and gotten yourself a free account, don't hesitate get on over there. And the fun part is that so many teachers have an account that there is many classroom activities and management ideas to choose from. Many are low priced and there are even that are FREE. Yup you read right, colorful and font engrossed activities FREE. I just love skimming the links and trying to find ideas for my kinders for next year. Just keep your wishlist handy if you find that you are adding too many ideas to your cart.
  Click on the link Peace, Love, Learning to find out some of the great sales going on. But remember on some you only have until the end July 18th. Good luck shoppers!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Woo Hoo my first post!

Wow it is my very first post. I thought I should get out into the blogging world after "stalking" all the wonderful teaching blogs I have found this summer. My name is Desiree and I teach kindergarten in Virginia. I am loving it and this upcoming year will be my 2nd year teaching kindergarten. Before that I taught pre-k for 4 years.
I am very excited to use all the wonderful ideas I have learned this summer by just following teacher blogs. I was introduced to Lettering Delights, DJ Inkers, Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers, Teacher's Notebook and Teaching Blog Addict and it is only the middle of July. I'm an avid reader of all grade level's blogs so drop me a link to your blog and I probably can tell you if I have read, heard or even seen your blog. Oh and if you don't have a blog yet, get one, I did and it was pretty easy. Just think of what you want it named and voila (if the name isn't taken) it is now yours to do what you want. In my case it will probably be to showcase the ideas I found this summer and my journey throughout kindergarten.