Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First Days of School with a FREEBIE!


Yes, sadly it's been a month since my last post. So much has happened in a short amount of time that I had to put blogging on the back burner. I found out that I am happily, unexpectedly, expecting BABY#2! It was unexpected because my first little one is only 9 months old. Eeek! I will be one busy momma! Although we were surprised we certainly feel blessed! And... my baby started daycare... *BIG* sighhhhhhh. Needless to say it's been worse than I expected. She's been sick 2 of the of 3 weeks she has been there. It breaks my heart. Hopefully all this sickness with give her an iron-clad immune system ASAP!

I am finally in the full swing of things as Master Teacher at my new school and I love it. I am helping with PK-1st grade (with my little ones is where my teaching heart always is).

As a Master Teacher, I will have the opportunity to discuss a wide array of topics with my fellow teachers. Our first topic of discussion is: Standards and Objectives. Our discussion questions are as follows: How do you communicate standards and objectives before, during, and after each lesson? How do you ensure that most students demonstrate mastery of the objective? How do you keep expectations high and information relevant?

In the spirit of this discussion many teachers referred to their Agendas hanging in their classrooms as good visuals for them and their students. I always needed a visual to refer back to as I was teaching. We collaborated and this simple and bright freebie pack was born.

 
Click to get it on TpT!
 
 
 
Teachers discussed the importance of keeping the agenda simple and colorful for our younger elementary learners. We also discussed the importance of the standards being represented in "kid friendly" terms, but still containing the common necessary college and career ready language weaved within the standards... great stuff!
 
How do you clearly communicate standards and objectives to your students? Like I said, I always need that visual, but some teachers are fine just putting it in their heads and pulling it out at the perfect times in their lesson. (I envy you...hehe)
 
Stay inspired. :)
 


Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Made It!

Linking up for another Monday Made It with Forth Grade Frolics!



So I admit, I am a sucker for stickers! At the beginning of each school year I would go to School Aids and hit the sticker aisle ... big time! I needed all the new stickers, holiday stickers, and any cute sticker "staples" that I use throughout the school year - like my standard "star stickers" and "smiley stickers."

Why the craziness about stickers you ask? I used them as a reward at the end of each day on the kiddos behavior chart. If they ended the day on "A" - they got a sticker. The parents would even get into the sticker madness a bit, sending me FREE stickers that they would find with little notes like - "Thought you would enjoy these around St. Patrick's Day."


 

So when my the hubby was cleaning out the shed I saw this old box, I assume an old bread box - but who knows. I decided that it would be a perfect place to hold my quite extensive collection of stickers! Now, although I do create graphic art, I am not a very skilled paint artist - but I think it came out cute!
 
What do you have a large collection of? Any sticker-a-holics out there like me?
 
 
 
Finally - just a little hint of what's to come... I am working on a giveaway for my blog! I have reached over 100 followers in my TpT store and want to celebrate!
 
 
Thanks for looking!
 
 
Stay inspired. :)
 

 

Monday, July 15, 2013

CLIPART AND COFFEE TALK FEATURING..... ME!!!


GIVEAWAY WILL LAUNCH ON HER BLOG AT 4:00AM MONDAY!

I am SUPER excited to be linked up with This Little Piggy Reads for a Clipart feature and GIVEAWAY! Deniece is so amazing to be doing a clipart feature on her blog each week to help newbie clipartist - like myself, get a chance to showcase their work.

Here are the details of my FEATURE - GIVEWAY ....Oh and I almost forgot to mention FREEBIE!

Go to This Little Piggy Reads and use the rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. (There are a few options to get more chances to win.)

Here are the details:

This is my giveaway - You will win a choice pack of the three clipart packages, the bunting package, and the best selling teacher planner!

Click to go to the GIVEAWAY!
 
 
 
Now for the FREEBIE! If you might not have guessed, I am a teensy...Uh-hum...ok a lot obsessed with bunting and Chevron. So what did I do, make CHEVRON BUNTING! I have a large pack available in my TpT store (click here to see the large pack). But, for the duration of the giveaway only you can get these two welcome signs FREE! They come in red and blue, but I thought that if you print them in gray-scale they would look cute too! :)
 

CLICK TO GET IT NOW!
 
I would like to give my sincerest THANKS to Deniece at This Little Piggy Reads for showcasing my clipart on her blog. I hope you enjoy the freebie if you download and good luck! Thanks for looking!

Stay inspired. :)

Monday Made IT ... AND MY FIRST GIVEAWAY!

Linking up again for another Monday Made It!


I L.O.V.E teaching writing, especially when I taught First Grade. First Graders make such a HUGE transformation in a short period of time, especially in reading and writing. I would compile all of their writing in Writing Folders and long about April, pick them up and just stare in awe of how far they had come from "just out of Kindergarten" to "almost 2nd graders."

I made this huge writing packet for my store on TpT that compiles all my favorite topics, bulletin board ideas (I loved showcasing their writing on the hall bulletin board), and GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS, anchor charts, and MORE! Every lesson and independent activity in this packet I have done. Some of them are very dear to my heart. (especially "Fishy" and "Trees in Fall") Check it out if you have a sec and let me know what you think. :)

CLICK TO SEE IT AT TpT!





Graphic organizers, in my opinion, are like a 1st grader's best friend when it comes to writing a story. To move my young writers to the next level, we would always:
BRAINSTORM - PLAN (using graphic organizers) - then WRITE! 
 
I am pretty sure a lot of other 1st grade teachers feel my pain when I say - at beginning of the year, getting a first grader to stay on topic in a story is.... well... is sometimes a "challenge." By using graphic organizers to plan a story beforehand, it helps them not stray off topic.





Finally, I am SUPER excited about my very first GIVEAWAY since starting my blog! Deniece at This Little Piggy Reads has featured me in her Clipart and Coffee Talk feature! Go check it out and enter to win!

Here is what you'll get if you win!

 
 
Oh - and there is a freebie, too - to celebrate my obsession with CHEVRON and BUNTING BANNERS!
 



 
If you enter in the giveaway good luck and if you download my freebie I hope you enjoy. One idea I had - (for those of you that don't like red or blue) you could print out the banner in "gray scale" and back it with a color you like! That would be really cute!
 
 
Thanks for stopping by!
 
Stay inspired. :)
 


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

So exctied to be nominated for the Liebster Award!

 
WOW! So EXCITED and honored to be nominated for the Liebster Award from two fellow bloggers! Thank you to Sarah at Kinder Kakes Kakes and Veronica at Teaching with Giggles for the nominations. To accept the nomination I must:

1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about myself
5. Create 11 questions for my nominees
6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them

I am nominating the following blogs I discovered through Linky parties and follow on
Bloglovin':

Second Grade Stories





 

11 Random Facts About Me:
1. I worked as a cook in a restaurant in High School because I was SOOO bad at waitressing! My boss threw me in the kitchen and I thrived.
J
2. I knew in first grade that I wanted to be a teacher.
3. I love every shade of blue there is.
4. I sometimes wish I lived on the beach.
5. I have recently lost 40lbs since starting a new diet! Whoohoo!
6. I am an admitted purse-a-holic.
7. I am married to a guy I NEVER would have thought would be my husband when we were in high school together.
8. I wanted to create clip art so badly that I taught myself how.
9. I have been wrong about EVERY pregnancy prediction I have given (boy/girl) – including my own.
10. I wish I could play a musical instrument, particularly a guitar or drums.
11. I love, love, love to cook. I always say that I would have been a chef if I didn’t go to school to be a teacher.

11 Questions for my Nominees: (From Kinder Kakes)
1. What is your favorite dessert?

This is a tough one – but I must say apple pie with vanilla ice cream.
2. If you could be a Disney Princess, who would you be?
Belle
3. What is your dream car?

I am not really into cars… I know NOTHING about them! Haha! However - I love the car that Desiree drives in the show the Bachelorette, love the color the most I think…so that one!
4. What is your favorite TV show?

Big Brother
5. What is the last song you listened to?

Baby Einstein CD….always the Baby Einstein CD
6. What is your favorite animal?

Tiger
7. Which holiday is your favorite?

CHRISTMAS!
8. What is your favorite fruit?

Apples
9. What was the last thing you ate?

Boiled Egg
10. If you could meet a character from a picture book, who would it be?

Pooh Bear J
11. Where would you vacation if money was no object?

Europe….everywhere in Europe

 

11 Questions for my Nominees: (From Teaching with Giggles)
1. How long have you been teaching?
7 years
2. What is your favorite grade to teach?

I loved my sweet Firsties!
3. What is your favorite college memory?

Watching a large group of people try to find a guy “Timmy.” (One of those –ya had to be there- moments.)
4. What is your favorite grade school memory?

My first dance in 5th grade, so cute!
5. Have you lived in more than one state?

No, Louisianan all my life
6. What is your dream vacation spot?

Europe – probably Italy to be more specific
7. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what would you take?

Wilson! ….haha kidding… a flashlight, or some fire starting contraption because I am terrified of the dark.
8. Do you prefer hot or cold weather? Why?

Hot weather, I HATE cold weather
9. If you won the lottery what would be the first thing you would buy?

My own house on the beach!
10. What is your dream car?

I am not really into cars… I know NOTHING about them! Haha! However - I love the car that Desiree drives in the show the Bachelorette, love the color the most I think…so that one!
11. What is something you never leave home without?

Cell Phone!


Questions for my nominees:


1. What was your best Halloween costume ever?

2. What is your favorite meal?

3. What reminds you of home?

4. What is your favorite article of clothing?

5. If you could meet any character from a book, which would it be?

6. What do you obsess over?

7. What is your favorite word?

8. What makes you laugh the most?

9. What is your favorite classroom office-type item?

10. What grade was your favorite in school?

11. What is the last vaction you went on?
 
Thank you again so much for the nominations! They made my week! :)
 


Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made It!

 
 

Excited to be participating in my first Monday Made It linky with 4th Grade Frolics - even though it's a bit late...

When I saw this linky I knew exactly what I wanted write my post about - My Word Garden! In my first grade classroom, I had a Garden Theme (click HERE to see a bunch of pics). My Word Garden was one of my favorite pieces of my classroom decor.

 
I made those letters (large and small), flowers, and leaves with my Cricut, found the paper at a local school supply store, and printed the words on the computer.
 
 
It was so cute, the kiddos loved it! I have posted this picture to Pinterest and it has been repinned quite a few times, I even had a few emails about the letters and other decor. Seeing this inspired me, and that is how this pack was born!
 
Click to see it at TpT!
 
After realizing there was interest out there for garden themed classrooms I created this cute Garden and Chevron themed pack! The pack includes:
 

1. “WORD GARDEN” aka Word Wall Bunting Banner
2. Word Garden Alphabet cards PDF
3. “LEARN AND GROW” Bunting Banner
4. 11 Blank - CREATE YOUR OWN BUNTING BANNER
5. Center Group Signs
6. 14 Center Signs
7. 4 EDITABLE Center Signs that match
8. Sizeable Center Rotation Cards
9. 5 Different NAME TAGS
10. CALENDAR – Chevron 12 Months and 31 Numbers with cards for holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween) and birthdays (5).
11. LARGE ALPHABET
12. CLIP ART – I have included the images of the flowers and leaves I made for this pack so you will be able to create and match your own d├ęcor for your classroom to this pack.
(see my TpT store for full description)
 
I absolutely love this set. It kind of makes me want to go back to my old classroom and decorate up a storm! One of my favorite parts (besides the Word Garden) is the blank bunting! I am actually thinking about uploading them as a pack on TpT all by themselves - so many possibilities. Here are some images of my favorites:
 

 

 
Anyone else have a garden theme in their classroom? What are some of your favorite decorations?
 
Stay inspired. :)
 


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Optimum Organization Linky!



I must admit I am an organizational junky when it comes to my classroom - a there is a place for everything and everything in its place - kinda teacher  = ME! When I saw this linky with Fun in Room 4B,I knew it was for me, HOWEVER- I have limited resources available to share, being on vacation and all. :) For some reason our service here is terrible, so my iPad is running like the old dial up system... worse actually.

One of my favorite organizational tools: A TEACHER BINDER



This planner is available at my TpT store. I have used a version of it every year, adding parts to it as I needed. This year, I have made it CHEVRON - I {heart} Chevron - and added parent-teacher conference supplies, including exit tickets for parents. They are EDITABLE! So you can type up helpful websites, resources, advice- whatever- and hand the ticket it to the parents as they walk out
the door. They print 4 to a page - which makes them small enough to be "refrigerator friendly."

It has other great organizational tools like a To Do list, Common Core Planner, and my favorite - the Small Group Instruction Planner. When I sit down with the kiddos for small group ELA each week this chart helps me remember what I did days, weeks, even months before. I put everything down on it, from what I taught to which student needs extra practice, who got bumped up a group.... The list goes on and on...

Another great thing about this whole planner is the margins are set so that you don't punch holes in the actual charts, and its colorful! I need fun stuff to look at when I'm being organized! ;)

If you would like to own this planner you can find it at my store on TpT for only $4.00. I'm trying really hard to keep things in my store under 5$ for my fellow teachers- we spend so much on classroom stuff already.... Big sighhhh

Anyway, can't wait to participate again!

Stay inspired. :)


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

CURRENTLY... Linky with Farley

 
 
Yay! My first Currently Linky with Farly! Here is mine...
 
Listening: My sweet baby girl (Aubrey) just made 8 months old! Needless to say I think she is teething (finally) because she has been really fussy all through the night. Fussy baby = Tired Mommy = More Coffee!
 
Loving: In preparation for my second beach trip of the summer I happily bought some new shades! I love them! They are brown with light blue trim and BIG! They might make me look like a big 'ole bug but I think they are stylin'!
 
Thinking: Surely going to the beach on the 4th of July guarantees you will see fireworks, right? I hope so! I also want to see Aubrey's reaction when she sees them for the first time. I wonder if she will love them or be scared of them. I have heard mixed stories from other parents so we shall see which category Miss Aubrey will fall in! :)
 
Wanting: For some crazy, strange reason I have been craving Nachos - with peppers - of course. I have been thinking about eating them on the beach while I watch the fireworks pop in the air. The hubby doesn't know it yet, but he might be on the hunt for some nachos tomorrow night!
 
Needing: With the little one at home with me all the time, I haven't had the time to go and get a pedicure. Pre-baby this was the first thing I would check off my to-do list but now, huh, I am lucky if I get to go to the grocery store by myself. Haha... comes with the territory I guess and I am loving it! The beach won't mind my non-painted toes anyhow!
 
Tips: I have read a couple of posts on the Seller's Forum at TpT that some sellers have been selling for months and didn't even know the Seller's Forum existed! There are some AMAZING people on there that are willing to help with anything so I would highly recommend that new sellers, like myself, check out this resource! It also helps get your name out there, too! :)
 
Well, that's it! Can't wait for the next Currently with Farley!
Happy 4th everyone - be safe and have fun.
 
Stay inspired. :)
 


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Win an item from my TpT Store - Enter Polka Dot Palace's 100 follower giveaway!

 
My fellow blogger friend, Stephanie, has reached 100 followers and is having a HUGE giveaway - I'm telling y'all there is some great prizes and 4 categories! One item you can win is a WINNER'S CHOICE item from my TpT store! Go check it out and enter to win! Good luck!

Stay inspired. :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five for Friday Time - with Doodle Bugs Teaching

 


I was so disappointed that I missed out on last Friday's linky, but I have been super busy! I am excited to be here this week though! Here we go...

1. As a blogging newbie I am kinda learning the ropes from all the other amazing bloggers I follow. One thing I learned is that the end Google Reader is swiftly approaching. I signed up with bloglovin' so my many (hopefully) followers can stay up to date with what I post. If you would like to follow me, go to my sidebar and follow me on bloglovin'!

 
 
2. I have and always will be a list person. I make lists of ...well a lot of different things. I love the feeling of "checking things off" the list. When I started my blog and TpT store I made a list of goals to be reached before school starts back up in August. Here it is:


 
Here is where I am at:
  • 47 followers at TpT!
  • 21 followers on Pinterest!
  • 25 products sold on TpT! (Yay - halfway there!)
  • 13 followers on bloglovin' 20 followers on Google
  • No Linky Party yet but I am working on that, I am however being featured on This Little Piggy Reads Clipart and Coffee Talk! (details below)
  • With the exception of my vacation week, I have been posting regularly!
  • I currently have 16 items in my TpT store and many clip art and digital paper items.
I'm doing pretty good I'd say! :) I love reading all the teacher blogs out there and connecting with other passionate educators! I am learning so much!
 
3. Speaking of clip art, I finished another pack last night! My newest product is a pack of 50 bunting banners. I must admit I am a little obsessed with them. I think they are so cute and perfectly add a bit of cuteness to anything! (the one I added to my list above is one of my faves) If you are in need of bunting banners for your creations click the picture below to get them at my TpT store!
 
 
 
4. I am SOOOO excited to talk about my first interview/feature hosted by Deniece at This Little Piggy Reads (www.thislittlepiggyreads.blogspot.com). I will be featured Monday, July 15th and with the feature will be my first GIVEAWAY! If you are interested in winning a pack of my clip art, follow me and Deniece. She's also featuring many new clip artists, most will have giveaways, too!
 
 


 
 
5. On my last 5 for Friday post I was leaving the next day to come back home, back to reality, from the beach. Well, my mom surprised the family with a quick 4th of July getaway! I'm headed back to the beach for the second time this summer! Ahhhh....I can't wait, sun, sand, and drink in my hand. :)
 
 

 

 
So there you go, last 5 for Friday until August! I read on Doodle Bugs Teaching that she will be taking July off! See you guys at the start of the new school year!
 
 
Stay inspired. :)
 
 
 
 


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Talk Thursday with Reading Toward the Stars Linky Party




Saw this Linky Party while visiting Reading Toward the Stars' blog and had to chime in with one of my all-time favorite books to read to my students, that also has a special meaning to me. My book for book talk Thursday is The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.

I came across this picture book at one of my college book stores when taking my block classes before student teaching and graduating. It was one of many that I grabbed that day, as I was searching for a good book to use in my very first lesson to my very first group of First graders. (I was so excited.) Armed with three or four books (The Dot being one of them), I went back to my college apartment to plan my lesson for the kiddos. Although all the books I had chosen that day were all great their own way, The Dot shined above them all.

www.peterhreynolds.com
Here is a quick summary:
Vashti believes she cannot draw, but when her teacher gently tells her to “just make a mark, and see where it takes you” she draws a giant blob on a blank sheet of paper and signs her name. The next week, to Vashti's surprise, her art teacher has framed the dot and has it proudly hanging up. With the encouragement from her teacher, Vashti begins her journey of artistic freedom and self-discovery, becoming more confident than she had ever been.

I finished the book in tears because not only did I find the book I was to read to my very first group of students - EVER! I knew - in my heart - that was the type of teacher I wanted to become, the kind that INSPIRES.

The Dot speaks to the choice teachers make every day: to be a symbol of negativity in a child's life, or to be a symbol of hope, encouragement, and inspiration in a child's life. It also sends a positive message to children that if they are just to try, something extraordinary can come of it.

As a final note, if you look at my blog banner it has a quote inspired by the book - "Make your mark... and see where it takes you."I have carried this quote with me since the very first time I read it aloud to that first group of children 8 years ago, and I will continue to carry it with me.

If you are ever having a down day in the classroom read this book - it will lift you right up! 

Also remember, if you are feeling stuck and unsure - remember to just
Stay inspired. :)



Seeing In Zigzags and Little Triangles!

So I had no idea that when I started making clip art and decided to sell it on TpT that I would be having so much fun doing it. I am honesty learning so much, mostly by trial and error and some by researching or consulting the forum on TpT. I am proud to say that I have 15 (will be 16 after today) products in my TpT store now. These new items are Chevron themed. I am super crazy in love with chevron pattern, its so cute! So I created those last week and finished them up. I decided to take a hiatus from Chevron for a while. Check out my Chevron themed products at my TpT store or under my "Products" page. I hope you love them as much as I do, especially this guy...



 
Click to get it NOW!

This week I have been working on a huge pack of Bunting Banners! If you don't know what I am talking about here are a couple samples from my pack!

 
 
I am hoping to have these guys up by this afternoon, at the latest tomorrow. I must say I am a little bit obsessed with them! After this week I am definitely seeing in zigzags and little triangles! (but it's totally worth it)
 
Stay inspired. :)
 


Monday, June 17, 2013

Chevron Mega Pack is FINALLY Finished! And a bonus...


Whew, I must say when I started this project I didn't think it was going to be this large. I thought..."oh, I'll make a flipchart with a bunch of cutesy Chevron backgrounds (because I love Chevron so much) and that will be it." Huh... many backgrounds, voting templates, buttons, speech bubbles, and pulls later, here it is, my Chevron ActivInspire Mega Pack!


Click to get it at my TPT store!

Did I stop there, NOPE! In the works is a large pack of Chevron Digital Paper with bonus Chevron Frames (which i am very excited about). Needless to say after these two projects, I will be dreaming about little zig-zags! If you purchase this product from my store, I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it. :)

Stay inspired. :)
 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Five for Friday Linky with Doodle Bugs Teaching

 

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my first linky! I have been following many for awhile that take part in this linky so I am super excited to be linking up with my new blog! I am on vacation in Florida this week, but have used the time to get on the sellers forum at TPT, visit many blogs, and learn, learn, learn. I plan to join in weekly for this linky and have some great ideas for the upcoming weeks. So here we go... my first Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching. 

I found this quote and love it! Goes perfectly with my old garden theme from my first grade days. I plan on finding a place for it at my new school, maybe even give it a perminent home here on my blog, it does include one of my favorite teacher words, "inspire"...hmmmm.




 

Since I have been away from my desktop this week (only working from my IPad) I have been researching ways to use my IPad to creat clip art. After a few tries, I definitely need to practice and learn more about the tools, but I do like it.
Art Studio App
 

I am on vacation in Florida this week, looking around our condo I have found great inspiration for a beachy clip art pack! Will begin working on it as soon as I am back home at my comfy desktop.

 

Speaking of beachy, here was my view for the week, one of my favorite places.
Can I stay one more week?
 

 

I reached over 30 followers inmy TPT store! Woohoo!
 I love that what I create, others love or can use. :) 
 
 
 
So there it is, my first Five for Friday Linky! Back home... and back to reality tomorrow...sighhh...again..can I stay another week?

Stay inspired. :)