Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hurry and enter my GIVEAWAY! :-)

 Hurry up and enter in my giveaway as it will be ending in FOUR hours! I thank you all who are "Bloglovin'" and are my new followers. Don't forget to check the other blogs that are participating in the Show Us Some Bloglovin' Giveaway. As those bloggers who are still linking up have giveaways ending later than mine. But click on my button and hop on over to my giveaway if you haven't entered. And click on the 'Show Us Some' button to find other blogs with giveaways that you need to follow and enter to become a Winner!

P.S. Stop by The School Supply Addict and enter in her LAST day of giveaways. Plus you can gain a few of her freebies and you can enter in a giveaway on Facebook too! Fun stuff!

Thanks and Enjoy!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Top Teachers Link Up! That means you!

 I hope you all are well today. I have started to begin my mornings checking in at my Bloglovin' page. And with all the new bloggers I have started to follow my little list of 200 now says 405. That's 405 blog posts that I need to read or in my case "skim". I have been seeing lately a lot of linky parties that other bloggers join like the Five for Five by Doodle Bugs... although it will stop for the month of July. Another one I have seen is "Currently..." I don't quite understand how everyone gets their currently onto the same Currently page... but I guess that is for another time of Technology Exploration.
 One linky party that caught my eye was this one:

 When I first saw it, I thought to myself "oh the linky may not be that long" as I was thinking of the TOP Sellers on TPT. But after another look (today from Lil' Country Librarian) I decided to check it out. And boy was I wrong about the Top Teachers. I'm a Top Teacher and so are you (if you are a TPT seller). My Most Wishlisted Item is: Read the Room with Ding 1 and Ding 2. It is usually all the "rage" during March for Dr. Seuss month. And I love to celebrate Dr. Seuss for the WHOLE month. Check it out if you need something to help you celebrate Dr. Seuss and his wonderful way with words.

 So the reason behind having this linky is for YOU to have an entire list of popular lessons in order to help you be the TOP TEACHER of your classroom for the upcoming school year. I did click on many of the links for my grade level--by the way the lessons are listed with grade levels attached--and found lots of TPT sellers that I hadn't heard of but I am glad that I did. Like Teaching With Sight's Five Senses Graphic Organizers & Writing Prompts. While I was just looking at the preview pages I was thinking to myself that I could probably laminate a few sets, put magnets on them and make it interactive. Or you might find a blogger who you have been following since Day 1, mine is Kinderglynn. I found out about her Success Kits which have tons of differentiated activities and recording sheets to keep your students busy. Plus it is over 350 pages long!! That's a first that I have seen on TPT.

 If you are interested in getting a jump start in making your classroom of students soar this year, click on the above button and explore. Remember to check your TPT product statistics page and you can join in the WISHLIST fun!

 P.S. I found a NEW blog, Learning In Progress, through the Linky Party. Stop by the blog and begin following, make sure to leave a comment and tell you are a new follower. Let's give Learning In Progress a warm welcome. **Plus she is having a giveaway for lucky winner to win her Top Wishlist item.**

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I'm a Giveaway Winner...

Here is to show that all those clicks and name entries really works!! I won a giveaway! First time this summer :) From Third Grade Galore who just hit over 200 Followers!!

But it is for some awesome stuff. And remember I only clicked and added new people to follow and I earned some FREE stuff!!! Wooohooo! You can do it! Enjoy!:-)

Lots of Giveaways Part 2!

 So if you have seen my previous posts Bloglovin's is taking over the blogger world! It is a good thing that we have something to fall back on, plus it is so EASY to use. If you haven't checked it out, do so before Google Reader is gone July 1st. *Side note: This sort of reminds me of the rush during Y2K... but really Google Reader will be gone, it says so when you log on to it. For those who have moved over and my new followers, thanks for BLOGLOVIN' :-)
 Anyhoo, I jumped on a few linky parties to celebrate my bloggin' adventure.

 Yesterday from the time I got back from my lunch adventures with Karmen's Kinders, I was clicking on blogs and entering in their giveaways. At the time there were only 101 blogs that I needed to visit (minus mine). So I took on the task (and my Google Chrome tabs did too) of clicking on 6-8 blogs at a time and scrolling up the screen from the bottom until I reached the top. I think I really finished (with maybe two breaks in b/n) around 10pm. I know I didn't give you an exact time frame of when I began but just know it was after 3pm... So anyhoo, I entered in most of the blogs, even though a few linked to "nowhere" land. But for the most part I entered and followed through Bloglovin' and placed blogs into my groups the best I could. My groups are by grade and at the time I did not know what to do with the multi-level blogs, but as I write this post I now have a new group to add: "Multi-Level". What are some of your Bloglovin' groups?

 So if you want to take on the endeavor of entering in giveaways to see what FREE stuff you can win, scroll down and click away. Just remember to not stress yourself out because some blogs have TONS of entry buttons to click on as they are giving you lots of chances to be a WINNER. Think of it that way before you get frustrated on how many times you have to enter in your Bloglovin' name and/or your TPT name. Some blogs have gotten clever with their Rafflecopter questions and I vow to save those ideas for my next giveaway (I think my blogiversary is coming up...I have to check!). GOOD LUCK and have FUN!!
 P.S. If you decide to join the Show Us Some Bloglovin' Giveaway, make sure you share the post (and all the links-get code here) to your blog before going on the giveaway clicking adventure. Many blogs have "Share about this giveaway" as an entry so you can be one step ahead, unlike me who now has to go back and find the last entry I missed due to not having shared before my adventure.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lots of Giveaways

Stop on over at Mind Speaks and complete her Rafflecopter Giveaway for one of the amazing packs she has listed for her prizes due to 100 followers! Woohoo! I know when you saw Rafflecopter you probably thought... "More?! Like I haven't done tons of the other giveaways you sent me on?" Well just think, you could be one of the winners on one of the giveaways you took the time to complete. So taking some time to follow everyone's blog at Bloglovin', follow their TPT store and maybe even leave a few comments is nothing compared to maybe 1 or several wonderful products you can add to your lesson planning this summer. Keep that thought in mind:)

Here's more... just take some deep breaths:)




Google Reader soon to be gone...July 1st!!

So according to Google, Google Reader is obsolete and will be shut down on July 1st. Maybe Google has  another way for its subscribers to get to all those blogs they want to follow and have an EASY way of keeping track of them all. But until that new program comes out, in comes Bloglovin'. Man Google is sure missing out on capitalizing on this, but no worries we bloggers now have something in place to help us make a smooth transition.

If you are not familiar with Bloglovin, it is easy to get acquainted. It is like Google Reader that all the blogs you follow are all in one place. It is easy to read and like other blog posts. But since not everyone knows about Bloglovin', we (other bloggers) are bound to lose some of their followers due to this switch. But alas, there is a solution. Tori from Tori's Teacher Tips is hosting a Bloglovin' Linky Party. Woohoo! It is a chance to get better acquainted with Bloglovin' (a tutorial is on her blog), find other bloggers who are also using Bloglovin and maybe even gain more followers.

So click on the button at the top of my blog to follow me.

Once you have clicked on the button, you will be taken to my blog page on Bloglovin', click on FOLLOW... and you are done. You are now following me. However if you are already a follower, when you sign up with Bloglovin' my lovely blog will be transferred automatically when you use your Google Reader info and give Bloglovin' permission to transfer over all of your blogs.

And as an added bonus to signing up with Bloglovin and following my blog, I am offering up my brand spanking new TPT product, Search the Room: Blends style...that I just finished yesterday. It will be FREE to the first TEN of my Bloglovin' followers, who leaves a comment. You just have to come BACK to this blog post and leave me a comment with your email address saying "I'm Bloglovin'!" If you are already a follower: Thank you, you're awesome!!

And if you miss getting this product don't worry as I am participating in the "Show Us Some Bloglovin'" giveaway. Click on the button and it will take you to Laura over at Love to Teach and you can find other blogs that are participating in the giveaway and win MORE good stuff.

So after you have followed my blog, come back to this post and enter into my giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 24, 2013

Reflections...and would love your help!

It is official. I am on summer break. It took me wayyyy too long to finish packing up my classroom. I guess it was because last Monday we still had a teacher workday even though the kids got out that previous Friday. Teacher Workday?! Yeah right! As I spent most of that day adding more paperwork to records that I thought were finished...nope. So of course I had no time to really work in my classroom and get things packed up.

I of course had to return on Tuesday, Wednesday AND Thursday to get my classroom in a packed up manner. Well technically if I was really "dumping" and "stuffing" I could have been done on Tuesday. But I wanted to take this "extra" time to actually go through stuff and organize so everything is neater for the upcoming year. While doing this I did not use as many boxes as I have in previous years, yes we have to pack up our whole classrooms each year... especially when the principal doesn't tell you what grade you will be teaching next year!! Frustrating. But I packed to stay in my current classroom, so fingers crossed.

The one thing I enjoyed doing while "packing up" was organizing my literacy work station materials. How do you all do it? This was the first year that I completely did LWS in my classroom. Like I wouldn't budge even to go back to our boring reading program stations. I did literacy work stations all year. However, I did slack off on a few key activities that my kids loved to no end but they of course got me back on track. But I LOVED stations and the way everything worked out this year. When I first began planning for stations back in July while I was blogging and checking out everyone else's ideas, I did not have a clue how to really "start" stations. You know, starting by having the conversations about rules and procedures... there really isn't a script around that can tell you all that you need to know. I did start off with three stations at the beginning, as I was trying to follow our "boring" reading program, then every 3 days I would add on another station. For the first two weeks I think the kids 4 stations they were rotating out of. And each week it seemed as if I would add on another station thus ending with 9 stations before I introduced computer station as last. I just knew that my kids would fight to get to computer station even though they did the same programs over again. Anyone have any other literacy websites your students use on your computers? We mostly used and (only on Fridays). In total, I had 10 stations, with one station on each rotation not being used. I still have to figure out how to truly call my students to my table as I was not a station.
This summer I need to think of other ideas to make several of my stations more fun and exciting... I always love any ideas anyone wants to share. Those stations are:
-library (not just reading a book, but what else can they do?)
-magnetic station (I need to implement the ideas from Make, Take, Teach to enhance my station)
-pocket chart station (This was the most dreaded station...even if I tried to have poems, sorts, etc in which they could practice previously taught skills... trying to add in a recording sheet wasn't making it better either.)
-listening station (I just need to perfect the task cards and better model the recording sheets)

**Deciding what I want to really keep and what they can really take home every week. Because I was left with a lot of things that I did not have a date for and really had no clue what they were talking about (library and listening station recording sheet). Plus, I need to fit in a sharing time... where do I really find the time?

As reflections go, I just need to figure out how to be more organized. In addition, I also "TRIED" to do math work stations. Were they successful? Somewhat. Now those stations I definitely slacked off of and that was due in part to testing that always comes up at the end of the school year. I didn't really realize that I had been skipping math work stations until one of my students asked (pointing to the math area of the room) "how come we don't go over there anymore?" At first I didn't understand what she was talking about then it dawned on me. So we had been missing it enough that she not only forgot what we did over there but asked why didn't we go there anymore. Alas, I want to do better with that too. So my to-do list is not long but it is definitely broad categories that I need to tweak or figure out a way to implement for next year.

To Do List:
-Tweak literacy work stations
-Re-organize math work stations (I kind of like Kindergarten Works' ideas)
-Implement a writing program!! (my grade level does not have a good program we all follow, it is just random things put together. I want something in place that tells me concept by concept of writing my students should doing each month and where they should truly develop with their writing by the end... any ideas?)
   -math journals? (a bust this year)
   -writing journals? (fell off the way side around March)
   -poetry/word study notebooks (wanted a place for spelling tests to go and a place to work on our poems too)

That's enough reflecting for now... on to making some things work. Oh don't forget that Google Reader disappears July 1st so head on over to Bloglovin and let them download all of the blogs you follow. And Follow my blog with Bloglovin It is simple but if you need a tutorial check out it out here.