Monday, August 29, 2011

I didn't last long today:(

 We got to go into work today from 10-3:30. Well of course I got there later, around 12pm. And I wasn't even there 20 minutes before I tried to hurt myself. I dropped a table on my toe! Ouch I know. I am still feeling the pain now. I am just praying that when I go to the doctor that it won't be bad, I just want to hear "ice it". I have the best team too because the "mommas" of the team made sure to take care of me and that I didn't do anything else to hurt myself. I had to dunk my whole foot into a bucket of ice... COOOOLLD! But once I found a system of making wrapping my foot, I was able to hobble around and try to get some work done. So out of 3 1/2 hours was able to put empty folders into my new portfolio bins, put supplies in my students' table buckets and to hang up 1 bulletin board.
 To me I feel very pitiful. And if we are able to go in tomorrow, I can't be much help to myself with my injured foot... This sets me back so much because I have so much more to do before I would even consider my room complete.
 Oh and my giveaway winners, I will make sure to put your things in the mail this week. I hope the week won't get too crazy but note that I haven't forgotten about you.
 I hope everyone who is currently setting up their classrooms can learn from my "rookie" mistake and protect yourself first over anything in the classroom... This time the score for me is Classroom 1   Desiree 0.
Night, Desiree

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reflection and WINNERS!

 Well after a most exciting day yesterday, we experienced an earthquake right in the middle of new teacher's training. How did everyone else fair? I can't stay up too late, I have to prepare for the next day of training. Yes I said training. I went up to the table yesterday thinking that the staff was going to tell me that I did not need to stay for new teacher training since I am no longer a new teacher. But since I was hired during the new teacher training last year and only stayed for one hour of training, I have to go through the process with everyone else. BUMMER! I just want to get into my room and get this moving process done so I don't have to feel so overwhelmed. Oh and the new teacher coming to our grade just found out this morning (at training) that she was no longer teaching her grade from last year but will be teaching kindergarten. Can you believe it? The morning of new teacher training one of our colleagues (not an administrator from our school) told her where she was going to be. And my kindergarten team knew she was going to be with us in the beginning of July. Wow, what a way to find out huh?
 Have you ever experienced this? Is your school district pretty good about communication with their staff? New things are happening this year so I am sure that this break in communication will change or be fixed... *fingers crossed*.
  I am sure you are wondering about the winners of my giveaway. Not many of you entered... and I am in the celebration mood because it is my BIRTHDAY today. Everyone who entered: Kelly B aka Queen Bee, Jody at Camp Kindergarten, Jennifer @ Herding Kats, B Roper @ Really Roper, Barbara @ Grade ONEderful, and mcgoumar were the only ones to enter my giveaway and good thing you did.
**Sorry I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the screen shot of the numbers. I guess I need to go have more Ladybug Teacher Files' training.**

#1 Grade ONEderful   #2 McGoumar  #3 Jennifer at Herding Kats #4 Kelly B  

CONGRATULATIONS to all my winners. And my last two (Jody and B. Roper) although you did not win the birthday giveaway prizes, please email me so you can get your "secret" prize. Because everyone is a winner in this giveaway.:) Email me your mailing address so I can get prizes out to you. Remember you have until tomorrow (25th) to respond.:) Thanks for joining in my BIRTHDAY celebration!
 I'm not too happy about having to go to new teacher training on my birthday.:(

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher

Today is Monday and that means it is Meet the Teacher for the start of Teacher Week. I totally forgot but now I am going to put my 2 cents in.

**I usually don't take pictures of myself so I apologize in advance if you can really sense that I don't want to take this picture. I usually turn or run when I sense a camera being pointed at me. Yup it's that bad! I'm on the right next to my best friend while we were at the Baltimore Aquarium this summer.

How long have I been teaching?
I've been teaching for 7 years. I first started in preschool and absolutely loved four year olds. I went to school and only wanted to teach 2 year olds... yes twos. But I landed the four year old job and LOVED it! I thought I would have been still there but someone suggested I go for my elementary degree. I did and now I teach Kindergarten. This year will be my 2nd year in kindergarten. WOW, I went from twos to 5 and 6 year olds.:)

You might not know...
That I am a published writer. Not counting blogging because our writing gets "published" every day. But in my "spare" time I like to write poetry and when I was in high school and college I had some things published. Nowadays I can usually come up with a great song instead of writing poetry like my Astronaut Song (tune of "I'm a nut" that my grade level sung at our Community Helpers performance last year. Here is part of the song:
I’m a little astronaut on the moon.
My little rocket goes zoom, zoom, zoom.
When we get to lift off, do you know
The man on the speaker says “off we go!” (can get louder on "off we go")

What am I looking forward to this year?
I am looking forward to having a good class and teaching them some of the things that I have learned this summer through all the teacher blogs I am now following. It was like I was in class again but I have gained much more valuable information to share with my kinders than I could have if I just sat in a classroom. 

What do I need to improve?
My organizational skills are LACKING big time. I have some ideas on how to collect completed work, when to take the time to grade papers and where to put papers when I am finished with them. This I did not know last year and my room became a complete mess. I want to make sure everything has its place now. 

What can I not live without?
My laminator... greatest buy this year!
My smelly markers, the kids LOVED them and I love getting a whiff too.
And my school notebook. I write everything down in there, staff/team meeting notes, ideas that pop into my head, notes from books I am reading (still reading the Math Work Stations book).

I can't wait to meet some other teachers too, so become a BLOG hopper and join the linky party! And don't forget to join my Field Trip linky party too!

Before I Forget...

  I just realized something today.I don't think I ever showed you what I received from Oh I absolutely love it and I have already tried to use it. I love and if you have never been then you should go because you can design your own projects or use the templates given to you. I decided to use the templates but add myself to each notebook I bought. I bought my notebooks during one of their many percent off sales, this one happened to be $8 off each notebook. Sweet. Currently they are having a sale of 15% off ALL PRODUCTS so hurry over and see what you can find!!
This is the front of my Kindergarten Rocks notebook that I plan on using as my school notebook. If you click on the picture you can see the way it looked originally. 

Here is the back of my Kindergarten Rocks notebook. On the template it left the back side blank where you could add your own quote. It is hard to read but it says "A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart~Author Unknown". It was one of the quotes I found online. 

Oh and when I saw this notebook I just had to have it even though I didn't know what I was going to use it for. But I did find a use for it... all my Girl Scout stuff I seem to be collecting. Isn't he cute?;)
And these notebooks are AWESOME because they come with DOUBLE inside pockets. And you get to choose whether you want the inside of your notebook to be white or black and I chose black. 

 I also went to my classroom for the first time... even though I have been trying to get in there all summer this was the first time all my stuff was there too. I didn't take any pictures of what it looks like because I didn't really do much, just cleaned. Who knew how dirty a classroom really can get? And since it is my new room I thought a heavy duty clean was in order. Yeah the custodians only mop and wax our floors, maybe clean our windows and doors, bathrooms, but that is it. We have to do all the nook and cranny stuff. 
View to the left of my back door

View from my back door (back to front)

View from the back looking to the right side

Picture of my windows near my back door

View from my front door looking towards the other side of the room. And woo hoo, we get a bathroom in our room. I haven't had one since I student taught in kindergarten (3 years ago).

I will try to add pictures of my room as I get in there on Wednesday and am able to move things around. I felt  overwhelmed today because over break I had planned out where all my furniture was going to go but then when I got in there today I didn't think it all was going to fit plus house all the things I bought too. But when I got home and took the time to work it all out (before my brain exploded) I felt better about my room. And with me trying to put in a math area (last year everything was under a table and I just pulled it out when I needed it) and a reading area (our reading program has TONS of stuff we need to house for the whole year. But I don't know if you noticed but I do have storage on the tops of my cubbies (yay) because the storage at the sink is so tight and nothing big could fit in there. And like I told my colleagues we could always but stuff in the bathroom...

  Tomorrow is the LAST DAY to enter in my giveaway. Giveaway ends at 10pm EST. Remember to join the linky party, it gives you 2 entries for the giveaway. Share in my love in reading and try to win the prizes. Good luck to you! My hope is to have the winners announced before bed tomorrow but we shall see if it goes into my birthday hours... 
See ya, Desiree 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Teacher Appreciation... and deja vu!

   Yesterday I had all my dates mixed up. I thought I had to get up early to catch the Staples and the Office Depot's Teacher Appreciation Sales. But alas, Staples was the only one having their appreciation period (not day) from 9am-1pm and it was only at select Staples. So while the one by my house was appreciating teachers until 1pm the one in the West End was not. But I took that as a sign to go find out about Office Depot, to even find the one that is closer to my house.
  I did find it, I did notice that there was no Teacher Appreciation stuff going on so I decided to go online and check out what happened to my planning. Well the appreciation stuff will be starting today and the breakfast is scheduled for August 27th. So I now have it all in my calendar and I hope that I will get it right. And what I felt bad about was I was adamant that Office Depot's stuff started yesterday and I sent one of my colleagues out on the wrong day. And when I tried to get in touch with her to tell her of my mistake... I couldn't. So I felt pretty bad but I hope she got my message(s) to start shopping today.
 So let me help you guys learn from my mistakes... check Office Depot online and type in Teacher Appreciation. Then click on "Find My Event" that way you can find out if the store that is nearest you is even having an event and if it is this week. I hope that helps and good luck to you.
  Don't forget to sign up for my birthday giveaway... ends Tuesday! And my Field Trip linky party! 
   And today is technically my LAST day of my summer vacation as tomorrow I will be going into my classroom (along with many of my other colleagues) because we couldn't get in any earlier than that. But I am not complaining because as I was reading some other bloggers' posts they noted that they only had 3 days to put their room together before the kids came for open house. WOW!
    That is like deja vu for me last year when I was only able to get into my room the third day after all those meetings and that was only because I was "dipping" out from the professional development sesssions. The first time I stepped foot into my room, I cried because I walked into an empty room with only 1 table, 2 filing cabinets and a teacher's desk. I met up with another teacher who introduced me to the other teachers and helped me to scavenge my current furniture. Then when I was able to spend the whole day in my classroom, I had a visit from the big wigs who said "she has done a good job with what she has but she's going to need more of this, this, and this." Phew without that visit from that big wig I don't think I would have really gotten anything in my classroom. So the higher ups are not only there to push us for performance but there to get us help when we need it. But I did get my room halfway decent in time for the parents and kids to arrive for open house but it was no where finished. And since I had that feeling I think I stayed late everyday during the school year just so I could get a handle on all the stuff that was thrown at me late and I just stuffed in a corner somewhere when the parents and kids came. I am hoping that this will not be the case this year.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't Miss Out!

 I don't want anyone to miss out on the chance of my birthday giveaway just because it is now hidden among other posts. You have until Tuesday August 23rd to enter the giveaway. So hurry up and enter, you even get bonus entries!
 And I have my first linky party going on right now. Tell me about your favorite field trips or some trips that you plan to take this year. It sounds simple enough to remember your fond memories. And if you don't have a blog feel free to leave your memories in the comments section.
 Another giveaway that is going on and ends TONIGHT @ 9pm... 3+3 Giveaway from Really Roper and Frogs in First. Three lucky winners could win 1 item from Really Roper's store and 1 item from Frogs in First. So head on over to enter into the giveaway. Remember FOLLOW (2), TPT (2), BLOG. Five entries to put your name in the hat so you can win! 
 Enjoy Desiree

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Several Posts in One!

 I'm trying something new out this year... something else to get my mind off school, for a little bit. I have needed to fill my evening schedules with something so that I am not spending my nights, yes my nights still at school in my room. Last year was great. I got along with the custodial staff and was able to stay in my room until they were finished their work. It felt just like old times when I was at my preschool job and the center (we were a part of a community center) didn't close until 10pm at night. I didn't stay that late every night... But this year is different. I have to re-learn our new custodial staff because all kindergarten teachers are in the main building with the rest of the grades unlike last year when we were in a different building.
 So since I don't know the evening staff too well, I had to find something for me to get engrossed in at least ONE day of the week. So I have managed to get myself into Girl Scouts. And I am totally excited and nervous about what we will be doing and how everything is run. For most of my life I have always felt like that outsider looking in, dying to know what they are doing and finally I took the plunge and went to find out. We have some great girls in our troop and it is going to be a fun year. I was even excited about having to purchase myself a vest and maybe even add on some patches for myself... well that got shot down quickly. Volunteers (me) only are required to wear a Girl Scout scarf and pins. That's it! But as I am typing this I wonder if they will still let me get the vest or should I just find something else to put my patches on.
 Now while that is in my mind, the other stuff is rolling around... trying to understand all the terms (or people titles), to learn the Girl Scout promise just like the Boy Scouts have their honor. As the school year goes along I hope that I can make time for my class and my troop too. Exciting!
 Don't forget to enter MY GIVEAWAY and join my Field Trip linky party. It's my first ever so I'm loving just having a few people enter.

 Other Finds:

 Have you guys ever tried Wordle? Well I was reading Mrs. Zrihen's post and I thought I would check it out. I have seen them before and thought that looked too complicated so I didn't try. But yesterday I thought why not see what I need to do and do it. Well it is way easy once you get into the "groove". In order to get started make sure you begin your "list of words" in a document that way it is easier to copy and paste right into the create box. You just come up with your words that you want in your wordle. Mrs. Zrihen's suggestion was to use your kids' names (once you get your roster of course). But you could use any words such as 100 ways to praise a child (include some), favorite authors, favorite books. Now once you get into spacing of the word it gets tricky. A trick I did learn is that if you have words that you want to stand out, include them together but multiple times. Say you wanted the word "reading" to be big in your wordle, you would type it: reading reading reading. And in your wordle "reading" would be bigger than the other words. Now I mentioned spacing would be difficult. If you have a word that has a space, just type it in without the space. Such as "social studies", put them together to make "socialstudies"... wrong on your document but cool on your wordle. Now check out Mrs. Zrihen's post to see some examples of a wordle. I haven't quite decided what I wanted to do yet. But when I do make one, I want to do one meaningful to either me or to my students for this year.

- Fran over at Kindergarten Crayons posted pictures of her homework folder with FREEBIE downloads. I like it sort of. I like it because it has letters, numbers and sight words on the homework. I think that is essential for students to practice. I've been trying to figure out how I would get that info on our composition notebooks. I may go packaging tape crazy and stick info on the inside and back covers... I don't know what to do. Last year was my first time doing homework and I was just a newbie at it. This year I am still a newbie but since I've began blogging this summer I want to be able to show my team some things I've learned.
- Have you heard that Ladybug Teaching Files is on vacation this week? Don't worry, her blog is not going silent... Kristen has lined up some other teachers to be guest bloggers on her site. Check it out, it's called Kristen's Printables Paradise weeklong giveaway. You get a freebie a day. So while Kristen is on vacation she is treating us to a "mini spa" of great ideas and freebies.

- Check out the post from I {Heart} Teaching about using book trailers to "tease" their interests about a book you are about to read to them.
- Check out Mrs. Jump's blog as she shares first week of school ideas and offers up some freebies. You know I can never pass up freebies because they are always helpful no matter what. I like to star the freebies when I "read" them (skim them) so I can bring it back to you and see if you can use the freebies and maybe learn about a new blog or make you aware of posts you might have missed while you were on "vacation".
- Check out Kindergarten Kiosk's Give Me Five poster. She is offering it at her TPT store for only $1. Isn't it cute? I've never heard the give me five chant sung so I am excited to start it with my new class.

- Spunky K Teacher is in her 2nd week of school. OMG! And is sharing her Shape Spin and Graph game. I always love that especially since we are doing shapes at the beginning of the year. And since I am trying, trying, and trying to incorporate math work stations into my classroom this year I love getting games like this that will help my students.

- Over at 2nd Grade Shenanigans she is offerings some great Freebies. If you love colorful covers for your teaching items (notebook, student files, etc.), so head on over there to snag those. Also there is a Hollywood/ Movie themed alphabet set if anyone is doing movie or popcorn related themes. Oh and her Record Number Line from 1-100 which is a HUGE file of over 50 pages!! Isn't that wonderful and it's all free.

- And I just had to share this one from Little Miss Kindergarten. She has shared some of her ideas to use with the book Mouse Count. Like I would have never thought to go to the Dollar Tree's cat section and pick up some items to go along with the story. I don't think I have it in my large library so I will have to borrow it from my team or the reading specialist. I have made myself a promise not to buy anymore books until I have complete the "I have NEVER read aloud" list. Might be an uphill battle as I LOVE shopping for books, especially when the Scholastic "bus" comes through our city and we can get discounted books. Oh and another one of her ideas... penny stamps. I can't wait to make them and if don't know where they are click on her name to find out.

 I have included LOTS so enjoy your week! Desiree

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Birthday Giveaway and Linky Party

My birthday is coming up and ever since I started blogging this summer I have wanted to do a giveaway and a linky party. I just never thought that I would do it all in one swing. But here goes. To celebrate my upcoming birthday (next week), I am having a giveaway which will benefit FOUR winners! The winner list has grown of course from my original TWO but I thought that I might as well spread my love of reading around. The winners will be chosen randomly and the first number chosen will get the first prize and so on. Thank you to all my followers for sharing in my birthday bash!:)
#1 A copy of Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown (this of course is the original storybook, nowadays it's a chapter book too) AND a $10 gift card to Target

#2 A $10 gift card to and a copy of Animal Strike at the Zoo, It's True! by Karma Wilson 

Winners: #3 & #4 A copy of Animal Strike at the Zoo, It's True! by Karma Wilson

As you can see I love Animal Strike at the Zoo, It's True. And if you have ever read it you know how much fun it is. Last year I bought my whole class (my first class) this book for them to have. Many of my students do not have books of their own at home and I wanted them to continue their love of reading over the summer.

And for those doing a postcard exchange this year, reading the story of Flat Stanley leads to a similar project. When I taught preschool we did a Flat Stanley project and the people just sent back postcards or pictures of places that Stanley had traveled and made sure to send him on the next person. It was a neat project because even at that age, they got to see that there is a world outside of  their own area. 

Make sure to leave a comment for each entry that way they will be counted. Here is how you can win these prizes for bloggers and non-bloggers alike:
1. Follow my blog-- 1 entry
2. Add me to your blog roll (non-bloggers-- subscribe to my blog by email)-- 1 entry
3. Join my linky party and blog about it. (Non-bloggers-- use your Facebook or Twitter status to write about my giveaway and linky party)-- 2 entries, 2 comments

Bonus (for everyone)-- TWO entries, make sure to leave 2 comments
  Read TWO separate posts and leave a comment on each. Maybe even check out the freebies I've found. Come back, comment here and tell me which posts you commented on.  

  Giveaway will end Tuesday August 23rd (a day before my birthday) at 10pm EST and winners will have 24 hours to contact me with their mailing address so you can get your prizes. Remember leave ONE comment for each entry. GOOD LUCK!

 Now for my first linky party... you can find it here. Thanks for celebrating with me! Desiree 

Monday, August 15, 2011

My First Linky Party

It's gonna be my birthday soon and I am celebrating with YOU. Make sure to tune in tomorrow to check out my giveaway. And if you join in my linky party you already have an entry into the giveaway. So since your mind is already on school I wanted some ideas on one of my favorite things to do with your class... FIELD TRIPS.

What are some of the class field trips you enjoy going to? Or what field trips in the past have you gone on? 

Last year was the first time for me to go on so MANY field trips with my class. We literally went on a field trip a month except for September and January. My favorite field trip that we went on last year was to the zoo. I have been to the zoo as a nanny but never to the zoo as a teacher. It was so much fun, the parents took a few kids and I only had 2 with me and we go to take our time exploring the zoo and seeing what we wanted to. Feeding the animals, at our zoo we can feed the giraffes... that is so much fun. 
  So as a start to my birthday celebration... tell me about some of your favorite field trips that you have taken? Maybe even describe the ways that you prepare for a field trip. As a new kindergarten teacher, my field trip experience last year was different than my preschool field trip experiences... as one parent put it "you can't just go on a field trip anymore and just be with YOUR child." And I never looked at it like that I just always thought that if a parent signed up to be a chaperone that that they wouldn't mind hanging out with other kids too. I can't wait to hear about all the trips you guys get to take... it will be like "traveling the world". Don't forget to enter in my giveaway to begin your own "traveling". {You know what I just thought of, what if you could write to the places you are planning to visit (as a class) and they could write back telling the class something that they might see or to look out for when they get there.} Just a thought. Good luck and thanks for celebrating with me! Desiree 

I'm Back

My mom and I had a good time in Elizabeth City. We even drove up to the Outer Banks and stuck our toes in the water. And I haven't been up to the Outer Banks since my "beach week", not going to say how long that has been... I will try to insert pictures later.

I am itching to get in my room. I found out from some of my colleagues that we can't technically get into our rooms until next Monday. Ugh!! Frustrating because I have so much to do. And plus I get the county's mandated New Teacher's Training for ALL of next week. But luckily there is a clause that said if I attended the new teacher institute training from last year then I don't HAVE to go. Woo hoo! That is like music to my ears. But I may still go because last year the new teachers got to take their pictures for their id badges and I didn't because I didn't get hired until that Thursday almost the last day of the training. And they took pictures on the first day. So I hope that they will do that this year too and I will get it taken then go work in my room for the rest of the week. And I really wanted a badge... do you know how many stores honor teachers with discounts if they just show their school id? TONS!!! And all year I have been missing these savings. 

Check back tomorrow as I might be posting about my birthday giveaway and linky party.:) Enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Finally a vacation...

So tomorrow my mom and I are going on a mini trip for 3 days to Elizabeth City, NC. I have been there but never stayed in a b & b there. Bed and breakfast inns I absolutely love. And if you have never had the chance to stay in one, you should do it. They have one all over and most have delicious breakfasts as well as the best scenery in town. But of course before I go (my next post may not be until Monday/Tuesday) I want to leave you with some things I've found.
 You definitely have to go over to First Grade Fanatics for their 3rd day of their 14 Days of Summer. Erica Bohrer donated a freebie but it is definitely an AWESOME freebie to the cause. Thanks Erica!
 Time 4 Kindergarten is having a giveaway to celebrate 200 followers.
For all those upper grade teachers, Vintage Teacher is having a giveaway to Reward a Friend. Hurry giveaway ends August 14th.
 Check out Growing in Pre-K for some neat ABC center ideas. I was just in Hobby Lobby today and I wish I would have seen this post before walking out of there. I would have whipped the block idea up quick before leaving for my trip.
 Head on over to The Teacher Wife so you can snag yourself a copy of these awesome postcards.

And as I stumbled upon First Grade Factory (I've never been there before) I saw a post for Class T-Shirts. A colleague and I was thinking of ways that our kinders would have matching shirts they could wear for field trips. But I might try to persuade my colleague to this idea and see how it goes... Mrs. Lochridge (First Grade Factory) has had her class t-shirts made before. The company is called Whitney Daniels Designs and the shirt only costs $7 and that covers the shirt and the printing. Isn't that awesome? I know you want to see what one looks like... here is one from Mrs. Lochridge's class. If you click on the link (or any of her names) it will take you back to her original post. Let me know if you are thinking about getting your class to do this. I wonder how it would be with kinders, but I know we could definitely do it since I want to try self-portraits the first week of school anyways. 

 Okay I've got to go to bed to be ready for our travels tomorrow. And maybe when I come back there might be a giveaway in the works to celebrate my upcoming birthday... be on the lookout. Enjoy your weekend.
See ya, Desiree

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy Wednesday

Yesterday I made a purchase on Zazzle. I had never heard of the website before this teacher had mentioned that she just got her new binder from there. So I went and check out the site and of course I HAD to get one of my own. I can't wait to see what they look like and to transfer all my things into my new binder.

I also checked out the site freecycle... never heard of it but I guess it is like the classified except you can get or give things away for free. I haven't really made contact with anyone yet, I'm still trying to figure things out. But you can just type in your city and state and you can find the "group" in your area. And there are people there offering or needing certain items. And you can post what you are offering or needing too. Seems neat but I would love to see it in action.

Here are some freebies for you that I found:
  And you have to check out First Grade Fanatics as they are celebrating 14 Days of Summer. Today is day #2 which means that we need to catch up and get downloading the freebie from yesterday. They are also having a HUGE giveaway too. Isn't that wonderful? So if you don't win the giveaway you still had the chance to get all the neat freebies they are offering in their 14 Days of Summer bash.:) Good Luck!
   Fran over at Kindergarten Crayons is so awesome and wants to celebrate back to school that she is giving away her back to school patterning book for FREE. Oh I am soooo glad that she decided to give it away, it was a wish of mine. Oh and she also offered her Tiny book for students.
   Mrs. Miner over at Kindergarten Monkey Business posted her Birthday Monkey Number Sense activity. She also posted her "colorful" book for free which is an extension of her Colorful unit that you can find at her TPT store.
   First Grade is Fantabulous offered her back to school pack glyph
   Mrs. Bainbridge's Class offered a freebie because of her reading of Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations.
   For any Spanish teachers (or those who want to do an extension of a Spanish special) Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons has created a Spanish alphabet for you to enjoy for free.
   Little Warriors is already thinking about Open House and I bet many of you have already had yours. I haven't yet but I will at the end of this month. But for those of you who still haven't met your kinders, she is offering LOTS of freebies for you. And don't forget to enter her giveaway. 
  Ever heard of a kindergarten round-up? No? How about Kinder Camp? You know getting the future kindergarteners eased into kindergarten by meeting with teachers and testing them on their basic skills. Oh that would be a wonderful time if we could just set something like that up at my school. They have summer school but this is something entirely different. To have time to test the students before they come to school on their basic skills, obviously you don't know who will be in your class when you are testing them but just to find out what they KNOW before they come to you the first day of school would be wonderful. If you think this might be something you might want to try at your school check out Mrs. Stamp's post and see if you can make it happen. I think I might bring this to my team this year and get it ready for next year.
  Kinder Journey is offering up her August/September and October calendar pieces. And these couldn't have come at a better time just as I was thinking I had to make another set for September as I did not like the pieces I used last year.

A tip that I bet many of you know and probably already do.... New Student Packets.
   Last year I scrambled around trying to find things that I needed to get for my new student. I was told that I would get new students throughout the year but never did I realize how many I was going to have coming and going in my room. But this year I have a head start and I hope keep up the new student bags. Check out Two Things in Common's teacher tips on a snowy day which also include her post about the student bags and many others. How many of you use fabric on your bulletin boards? I didn't know about it until 2 years ago when I worked with 2nd graders and I LOVE IT! The paper at our school is often dull and fades but I had my fabric bulletin boards up all year and they work just fine... that tip is in that post too.:-)

Have you ever done Mystery Readers in your classroom? Well last year was the first time I did it in my kindergarten classroom but I have been doing it in my pre-k classroom for several years. In my preschool classroom, I usually had the parents sign up and they could bring a prop or dress however they wanted too. I had a great turn out, I worked at a parent-driven school. I had parents dressed the part, bring goodies for the kids or just come to read to us. I even have about 5 or 6 dads come to read to us and that of course is spectacular. So last year I wanted to try it in my new school and see how it went. I always wanted to invite the administration and staff so they could enjoy too. Well I had a great turn out of staff, even a few pre-k classrooms came to visit our room and read to us. I only had one family member come but that was great too because some of my colleagues weren't thinking any of them out come. It is sad but I can't wait to do Mystery Readers again next year... I usually do it in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday (and sometimes it lasts through April) but I know some other teachers who do it year round. I've never tried it year-round though.
    If you are thinking about doing Mystery Readers in your room like me, hop on over to the Clutter-Free Classroom website and there is a whole post on managing mystery readers. And you can also buy her activities from her on her MY PRODUCTS page, if you come to find that doing mystery readers is something that you might like.
DON'T FORGET: To enter in the many giveaways from my previous posts too. Good luck!:)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

You are...

 You are kind. You are gentle. You are a nice person. You continue to do something that most people say they couldn't or wouldn't do. You are funny. You know your smile could light up any child's heart. You pay attention to detail. You are creative. You are skillful. You're happy during the times when most people are sad. You are compassionate. You speak your mind. You are organized. You are patient. You are a good listener. You are a hard-worker. You are successful. You are wonderful.

 I bet you are wondering why I said those things to you. I mean them, from the bottom of my heart, even though I have never seen you and we probably live miles and miles apart. But you deserve to be VALIDATED. You deserve to once in a while hear things about yourself that you might have forgotten. We are going into a new school year and there might be times when you get stressed, worried or just plain frustrated. These are times when we need to pick ourselves up even more.
 So I was on the School Express website, and if you have never been you should go. They have lots of free worksheets and tons of free websites to go to. And you can get a weekly newsletter sent to your email that has free worksheets and even a free unit. Next week's unit is going to be about "money". They don't really specify the grade level until you go to download it and you look at the materials but hey free is free. But as I was on the website something said "We all need to be Enjoy this video as you stand in line to get validated". I clicked on the link because I thought it was something new I needed to do in order to get the free unit but it was something different entirely. It is a video clip/short film called "Validate". So go on, go stand in line and get validated. Enjoy:)

Oooh Goodies!:)

Okay so I have missed 2 days again of blogging. This time I was dog sitting... who knew dogs were so nosy? Anyway as I finally got back into blogging again I found 2 teacher blogs that are new bloggers with only a few followers like me. Thanks for following me though! So I thought I would tell you about them so you too can check them out, if you haven't already.

Grade ONEderful, cute teacher blog with lots of ideas and thoughts about her favorite grade... FIRST. For all those first grade teachers out there, this could be another blogging colleague. She has also added her game, Double Dice Adding which I even thought of how to tweak it for my kinders. And she is having her FIRST giveaway and although I am not thinking about the October holiday I hope I win the stickers.:)

One Happy Teacher, she is a teacher with wonderful ideas. She even posted her "talk me through it" routines. You know those routines that need to be done daily in your classroom in order for your classroom to really function. Well she has posted it in very good detail and even includes her monthly routines as well. I like this because like many others out there, I am going to try to be MORE organized this school year. Since I am moving into a bigger classroom with more space to "put" things. I want to make sure everything has a place and not clutter up the space. Hmm... that should be my new motto:) Oh and she even posted about her "Think Sheet". It's her classroom management tool which when a student makes a not so good choice after that student has calmed down she will conference with the student and help them complete the sheet. It's a neat sheet... I just wonder how I can fit it into my busy day.

I also found one blog that I now cannot live without because of her generous love of sharing... Cindy's blog In the Teacher's Lounge.

And let me not forget to mention the wonderful giveaways happening this week and share a few freebies I've found:
Camp Kindergarten is celebrating 100 followers with a chance to win one of the 3 Teacher's Notebook items. Giveaway ends August 13th.

How About Them Apples? Hip Hip Hooray she got over 100 followers YAY! Giveaway ends on the 12th.

2nd Grade Shenanigans decided to share her pirate I have game if you missed it on Saturday and an explanation about how she uses money sticks. Money was one of my to do things for this summer... to find other ways to teach my kids money because they all knew how to spend it last year but could not remember what each coin was worth. This year I am on a mission.

Labels for your classroom from Mrs. Wills... if you are still looking for labels like I am you might want to check out these. I think I have downloaded tons of labels this summer but I haven't been able to find the ones that fit with my classroom but I plan on mixing and matching.

Fresh Starts and Big Hearts shared her hoppin learning to count activities. And as my theme for my room is turning into a jungle this will go perfect in one of my math work stations.

Ingles 360 is having a Back to School sale at her Curr-click store, up to 50% off. And if you saw some of her items when she had that big giveaway a few weeks back then you know what she can do. I love her work because it has Spanish too. And last year when we lost our Spanish resource mid-year, my students still wanted Spanish and I did my best to try to incorporate it into some of the things we did for the rest of the year. Oh and while you are over on CurrClick check out some of the other stores because they are having a Back to Homeschool Sale, up to 75% off.

Effective Teaching Articles has shared a great deal of FREE items for back to school.

Little Warriors is having an AMAZING giveaway because it features on of my favorite teacher bloggers, Mrs. Wills'. She is sharing 4 of her wonderful activities for this BIG back to school giveaway. I would love to win any one of these because she is such a talented and creative person. Head on over to Little Warriors and don't miss out on owning some of Mrs. Wills' creativity. There are 5 ways to enter and the giveaway ends August 13th at midnight. And remember to check out Little Warriors blog as she has some great ideas to share, especially her baseball unit.

Mrs. Gilchrist's Class felt creative and made some cute FREE t-shirt designs. Check out her post to download the designs and get creating.:)

Mrs. Magee, First Grade Brain offered her free specials labels over at her TPT store.

Mrs. Freshwater just posted some FREE items in her TPT store, do be sure that if you do download any of her items to follow her store and follow her blog. Enjoy!

And if you are feeling creative you can try your hand at Whisper Phones. Check out Primary Graffiti's post and see if you are feeling the creative bug.:)

Okay so I will leave you to stew on all this wonderful stuff. Just remember when you follow a blog you can always "try" to keep up when them using Google Reader. I say try because as of right now it says I have over 1000+ posts that I need to sift through. I wonder what the TBA Queen of Blogs does to keep up with her 460 blogs she follows. :-/ I might need some help!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hurry to these giveaways

I am just making a quick note of giveaways you need to hurry to: Good luck!:)

Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business is giving away a class set of her welcome gifts to students. Hurry because the giveaway ends TODAY AT NOON!!

Can Do Kinders is having a giveaway for those awesome alphabet and number stampers (3 sets). Any of you trying to put together a stamp center in your classroom like me? Well head on over there and enter her giveaway. Remember FOLLOW, BUTTON, BLOG. Giveaway ends TODAY at 10pm (doesn't specify a time zone so hurry over!!)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Clip Charts

 I don't know if you have noticed but the clip charts have been all the rage this summer. I created one just by using what I had from Word and thought it looked great. But of course as I was blogging this summer I found many more creative clip charts that I wanted to try instead. If you want a themed clip chart to match the theme in your classroom this year, head on over to Grasshopper Learning and she has many themed charts to choose from. And they are there for you to use but make sure you share some love and leave her a comment.
 And I am saddened that I have to say this because as a new blogger who just loves getting materials from other teachers, it needs to be said. Please if you get some of her materials make sure to leave her a comment but do not use her work as your own. She created the materials as a way to be helpful to others and not to have it sold by someone else. So remember if you didn't create it, please don't make money off of it.
 Okay that being said (SORRY), I just hate reading other teacher's posts who have shared their generosity with others to say that they can no longer offer their materials as free or on their blog anymore and you can now find them in their TPT or their Teacher's Notebook stores. Don't get me wrong I love going to their stores and purchasing a few of their materials. But it just saddens me that before they shared their materials freely with others but then something or someone changed that because of greed or misuse and ruined it for teachers like me who would have used their materials for their classroom only and is not out to make a profit from other's creations. So that was my spiel on copyright infringement... on to better things.
**Don't forget the teacher bloggers are having a sale in their TPT stores. Some sales end today while others go on through Saturday. Just check out the stores that you are following to see if they are having a sale of their own. Use the code B1T1S to get an additional discount of 10%.
 Enjoy, Desiree

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I won another one!

 Remember me telling you to get over to Teaching Heart Mom's blog and enter for her giveaways? Well... I won at one. I got to choose one of her Teaching Heart Packets. And since I don't own any of her work currently (I'm a new follower) it was a difficult decision trying to pick out something. Of course I weighed the options of what I could use in my classroom vs. what looked fun to make. Although I like those really crafty ideas, I'm not always the creator. So I didn't want my giveaway win to sit on a shelf somewhere not being used. So I opted for classroom practicality.

Check out the various teacher blogs out there, many giveaways are happening.
Pocket Full of Kinders ends August 7th
Here We Go Loopty Loo is having a giveaway, head on over and check out her giveaway which ends Aug. 8th
Yearn to Learn is having a Graphic Organizers Giveaway ends Saturday the 6th.
The Moffatt Girls is having a 30 Beginning Readers Book Set Giveaway, winners chosen on FRIDAY!
2nd Grade Shenanigans is having a giveaway to celebrate the opening of her TPT store by offering up some unit materials until Aug. 3rd at MIDNIGHT!

 So I have given you just a few, to choose the one that's right for you. You can enter only one that you see, but between you and me... The more you enter, the better your chances are. And who knows it might be you who holds the winning star. Good luck!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

So guess what? I'm a giveaway winner! I won over at Herding Kats in Kindergarten's giveaway for $10 Donors Choose gift cards. I'm pretty excited and shocked because all that "hard" work of trying to enter myself in giveaways finally paid off.

So if you ever wonder when you do all the tasks a giveaway asks of you if it is really worth it.... it really is! Because one day it will be your number chosen by the generator and you will be the excited one!

Don't Forget about the TPT Back to School sale going on now for some sellers until the 4th but the sale goes until the 6th. Use the code B1T1S for some extra savings!:)

See ya, Desiree