Look What I Treated Myself To......

Couldn't have a giveaway with the awesome teacher portfolio from Doodle Bugs Paper without having one for myself!!  Well, mine came today:D  LOVING!  I also got a post-it holder!!  Thanks Kacey!!  If you haven't checked out her blog, Doodle Bug's Teaching or Doodle Bugs Paper, you have to!!

Are those cute or what?!!

I also wanted to post some little projects my kiddos have done...today we made food chains that start with Mangrove leaves.

This was our first TEAM (my kids sit in Kagan groups) project.  Wasn't sure how it would work out as I am still learning how they all "mesh" together.  There were 8 cards that each team had to label, draw on, and color.  I have to say, I was super happy with how it all went.  They really worked it all out without any disputes:)  Love that!!  I must just have a super sweet group as well because they were all so complimentary of each others artwork.  I'm hanging these over each team's desks.

We also did Life Cycle plates of Orange trees and Pine trees. (the pics aren't the best...they really look cool)

These are 2 plates with a metal brad (it is called that, right?) holding them together and the top plate twists to see all the stages.
And finally, I was too excited when I saw the self portraits with the groovy frames on my buddy Rebecca's blog Create*Teach*Share, so had to make some as well.  Go check out her blog cuz she give directions and has a download to do the too cute frames.


Word Work Launch.........LIFT OFF!!

  I have to confess that the idea of launching Daily 5 Word Work was giving me anxiety...I even put it off a week to build stamina in Read to Self and Work on Writing (or that's what I told myself).  It really made me nervous because everything was going so well I was afraid that it all might go away. 
  So when Monday morning rolled around I thought ok, here goes......well it has gone great!!  I introduced 2 word work activities I made (Word Work Scrabble and Word Work Stampin).  While some did that, others did Work on Writing.  I am oh so jazzed about how well it went/is going.  Today we practiced again.  Tomorrow I am introducing 2 more activities for Word Work with the hopes that by next week we can put all 3 that we have learned so far together:D
  Daily 5 has me baffled.....those of you who are pros at this, tell me......I just am blown away at how well it is going!!!  Is it the training, the practice, my kids this year, a combination????  What ever it is......LOVING!!

BTW, when I was keeping busy as I fight off my "miss my daughter" blues, I came up with a cute idea for my Word Work activities.  What do you get when you mix file folders with duct tape??? 
Cute, easy, fairly inexpensive storage for word work activities:))

My plan for now is...keeping the "flat stuff" in the folders.  Other things that don't fit (stamping sets...) can go in the 3 drawer thingy:)

Maybe I can really get my act together and post some of my word work activities;)

Mission Statement

Our school uses 7 Habits for Happy Kids.  Here's my 7 Habits wall in my classroom:
I have talked about 7 Habits before on a previous blog.  Each year we do a little more and a little more with it.  I love it!  It really teaches the kiddos good standards, morals and values and how to become wonderful leaders.  I am adding a little more to my data notebooks than what I had last year and this year each classroom is to come up with a mission statement.  Well, my kiddos and I set to work the other day and this is what we came up with: (sorry for the glare....the word that you can't read because of the flash glare is manatees.  That is our school mascot.)  This was all them....I think they did a great job:)

On a total non-school related note....good news, I got to see my daughter yesterday.....bad news, neither one of us is dealing with this separation very well.  We are both having a hard time adjusting to this new chapter in our lives.  I am praying things will start to get better for her as her classes start tomorrow and that will maybe keep her mind busy.  I am also praying that I can adjust as well...I truly thought I had but I have to confess, today I feel worse than the day she left.  I don't feel like doing anything but sleep...I know it's cause I'm sad.......... :,(  Deep breath, stay busy, pray and push on.


Winner of Adorable Teacher Portfolio

Thank you bunches to everyone who entered my giveaway:)  Here's the lucky winner of my giveaway!  Congrats!

IamNan, you have 72 hours to contact me with your email info and which yummy portfolio you want:)

Thanks again everyone!!!  Hope you all have a super weekend!!  I'm off to see my baby girl bang some volleyballs in a tourney today:)  Soooooooo happy to get to see her!!

Cute Idea, Update, and Reminder

Cute Idea(?):
Okay all, I am finally starting to feel better.  I can't believe how sick everyone is!!!  It's hot Florida here for crying out loud...we all have colds like it is snowing out!!  Anywho, went to one of my fave places...Dollar Tree yesterday.  I have to say, I am absolutely shocked and pleased with all the teacher stuff they are carrying.  I got pointers (forgot to take a pic).  It's one I paid $4.99 for at a teacher store a few years ago!!  The exact same thing!!  Now they also have super cute word magnets.

They had 3 different sets (at least that was all I could find).  One with compound words, one with sight words, and one with long and short vowel sounds.  As I was checking out, I saw these adorable metal boxes, they are supposed to be for a gift card. 

Idea!!!  (insert light bulb!)  So I got 1 little box for each set of words.  They fit perfect and are too cute!  Hoping I will be able to use them with Daily 5 Word Work.....my intention when I got them was for a student I have who speaks no English.  I thought it would be fun for her to take a little box home to practice:) 

Daily 5 is still going strong:)  We are adding to our time (building stamina) every day!  Today our schedule was all mixed up because of an assembly, so other than first thing in the morning, we didn't have time for Read to Self.  BUT, here's the cool thing......I had a student ask me before we dismissed if we would have time for Read to Self tomorrow and I said yes and he said......."GOOD!"  Ya gotta love that!!  The Work on Writing is going great too!!  These kids love to write and beg for a little more time each time the timer goes off:)  Gonna kick off Word Work Monday, hopefully it will go as well as the others:)


If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my super cute teacher portfolio giveaway from Doodle Bugs PaperYou can enter here:)  Giveaway ends tomorrow night!!

Where it All Goes Down:)

Jumpin in with Blog Hoppin and Where it All Goes Down Wednesday.  I have posted pics previously of my classroom and have taken a few more so here's my classroom tour where my peeps and I hang all day:D

This is the view from my front door.  I have my kiddos in groups of 4 and 5.  I like to use Kagan activities so that helps.  I also have a pretty small room and groups makes it a little bigger. (at least it feels that way)

My "desk", small group area, guided reading group, catch all.....my space:)

Part of my library and reading area.  The bins in the cubbies hold chapter books.

More of my library.  I have two other book cases as well:) Love my books!!

I <3 my book bunting!  It hangs over the reading area.  I made it from laminated book covers and polka dot ribbon.

My computer area and above that my "sounds" word wall.  (I can't remember where I got the sounds cards:(  It was from one of you wonderful bloggers:)  )

My Daily 5 Check In area.

I tried to combine pics.  This is my CAFE board and Daily 5 board (which once I get the training done, will be daily 3.)

The kids book luggage, all full of Just Right books and waiting for my kiddos to come in again in the morning:)

Just added this this week.  We are doing The Book Whisperer in my classroom....start every morning with reading, 40 book challenge, genre requirements...anywho, the kids are keeping track of the books they read and the genres in their Data Notebooks (7 Habits) but I also wanted to have a way displayed...as much as I LOVE the ribbon things I have seen on Pinterest...I just don't have the space so, did this instead.  Once a student finishes a book, they fill out a notecard with the title, author, and their name.  Then I punch a hole and put it on a ring.  I have big pins holding the rings.  Hopefully at some point they will be too heavy to hang:)  Until the, they are displayed here:)
Hope you enjoyed the room tour Where is all Goes Down:))


Blog Hoppin Teacher Talk Tuesday

I am all pooped out and still sick....so, my brain is fuzzy but I'm gonna try to make sense....teehee..Blog Hoppin hook up today is Teacher Talk Tuesday, advice for new teachers.  I still feel like I'm a new teacher myself..could be because I have moved grade levels 3 times in 5 years...so here are my words of wisdom:)

1)  Classroom management a MUST, from DAY ONE.  Harry Wong's book is right here:)  I have seen so many classrooms where things are nuts because there is no classroom management.  Learning is not happening until that is in place, so make that a priority from day one:)
2)  Don't try to reinvent the wheel.  That's why I'm loving bloggin soooo much.  It's refreshing to have something shared with you and not have to make everything from scratch!!!  Look around and use the resources around you.
3)  Never stop learning!  I am so glad to have been introduced to Book Whisperer, Daily 5, and CAFE. 
4)  Pay it forward in any way you can.  It will come back around:)
5)  Be flexible (I'm still working on that one:) )

That's about all I have for now. Now I need to go read everyone else's advice....never stop learning, remember?  ;)


Meet the Teacher Monday:)

 Life is crazy busy as we just started week 3 and I am already sick:(  (if you haven't started school yet, stock up on your vitamins;)  )  So, I'm gonna try to do the Blog Hoppin thing all week....Today is Meet the Teacher Monday, so here's a little about me:)

Tell us a little something about you.....
I am happily married and have 2 wonderful teenagers that keep me super busy.  My life is nuts with starting the new school year and adjusting to my first child off to college.  It seems we are traveling somewhere every weekend to watch volleyball somewhere:)  I love reading and gardening is my therapy!  I am new (this summer) to blogging and can't imagine life without it now:)  So many wonderful things to learn and people to chat with!!  Love it!!

How long have you been teaching?
This will be my 5th year as a teacher.  Teaching is a "2nd time around" career for me.  I graduated with a Bachelors in Computer Information Systems.  Then got married and moved from Illinois, where I had lived all my life, to Florida.  I was blessed to have been able to stay home with my 2 children while they were growing up.  Then, decided to go back to school to get my teaching certification.  I absolutely love it!!  I started in K-2 ESE, then was moved to 3rd grade for two years and am now starting my second year in 4th grade.  Hopefully I am done being moved:)  I also have my ESE and ELL certifications.

You might not know.....
I love animals!  My husband doesn't like me to go into a pet store because I always walk out with something breathing!!!  (it's not that bad...)  But because I love animals, my hubby built me a bird aviary a few years ago in my backyard.  It's like a walk in room with several different kinds of birds from all over.

What are you looking most forward to this school year?
Hands down it's gotta be Daily 5 and CAFE and the results/successes of implementing those things into my classroom.  I am brand new to both and have only been doing Daily 5 2 weeks and hoping to start CAFE soon but, love what I have seen so far with my group of kiddos.  I am very excited to see how this affects the lives of my peeps this school year:)

What do you need to improve?
Esh.....there are several things I need to work on.....One that stands out in my mind is trying to relax more and not be so "high strung".  I really need to relax and go with the flow at times.  I can say I am getting better at that but still have a ways to go.

What teaching supplies can you not live without?
I can't live without my laminator, lots of printer ink, my laptop, my yummy smelly markers (forgot what they're called), cute notebooks and binders, fun colored ink pens, and COFFEE!!!!!


Daily 5 Work on Writing Freebie!

We are getting ready to enter week 3 of school and week 3 of Daily 5 (which I adore!).  I have introduced Read to Self and Work on Writing.  ( We have also done quite a bit of Listen to Reading, it just hasn't been officially introduced yet.)  I was going to introduce Work on Words this week but am thinking of pushing that back a week as we work to build stamina in the others and continue practicing.  Of ALL the wonderful words of wisdom I have received from my bloggin friends, the one that I get the most is: DON'T RUSH, take your time.  So that's what I am doing:)

Now for the freebie!  Pinterest is killing me!!!! (in a good way;)  )  Anywho, came across this idea to add to my Work on Writing from Laura at Delightful Daily 5.  She has made topic or theme journals that the whole class could contribute to.  During Work on Writing a student may choose a topic journal and then the next day, someone else can and so on.....then you have a collection from a mix of students.  I have given my kiddos the opportunity to share some of their writing during check in last week and am blown away already by their creativity so think they will do great with this!  I so loved this idea, I had to make some for my 4th graders:)  Here is what I came up with:

Thank you to my super amazing daughter for creating the covers for me:)))  She came home from college for a visit this weekend after a vball tourney....my heart is singing!!!!  The covers she made for me are my freebie for today:)

If you haven't done it already, don't forget to enter my giveaway for an adorable teacher portfolio from Doodle Bugs Paper!!  You can enter here:)


Giveaway Time!! A Teacher Must Have:)

I have been so busy in the back to school whirlwind I cannot believe I am almost to 500 followers!!!  I am oh too excited and in honor of that I am having a too cute giveaway!!  I am teaming up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Paper for this giveaway!  The winner will get to choose a portfolio from Doodle Bugs Paper!!  Are these the cutest or what?!  Every teacher needs one:)

So, here's what you have to do to enter enter:
1 - Follow my blog and leave a comment (if you already do, leave that in a comment)
2 - Follow Kacey's blog - Doodle Bugs Teaching - leave a comment here
3 - Go to Doodle Bugs Paper and pick which portfolio you would love to win - leave comment here

That's it:)  3 Super easy ways to enter this fun giveaway:)

Good Luck to all:)  I honestly wish I could get a portfolio for every one of my followers!!  I have so enjoyed blogging and the amazing ideas, encouragements, and inspirations I have gotten from all of my wonderful followers!!!  Thank you just doesn't seem like it's enough!!

RULES: Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. Must be 18 yrs or older. Giveaway ends Friday, Aug.  26, 2011 at 11:59 EST. Rules must be followed. Winner is selected using Random.org and will be emailed and given 72 hours to respond. In the event of no response, a new winner will be chosen.  Prize will be shipped directly from Doodle Bugs Paper to the winner.  By entering this giveaway, you agree to have read these rules.


Work on Writing Great...Word Work?

I love Daily 5, I love Daily 5, I love Daily 5....I looooooooooove Daily 5!  (That was my singing voice btw;)  )
Ok, is this terrible?  I am kind of nervous and keep waiting for the "honeymoon" to be over.  I can't get over how well this is all going!!  Starting my morning off with reading (The Book Whisperer idea) has been wonderful!  It starts the day in a peaceful way AND because we are reading sooooo much, the kids really are falling back in love with reading instead of "reading for a job or assessment".  They even complained when I dinged my chime today for check in after a Read to Self practice.  I'm not believing this.....and they are doing the same with Work on Writing.  Thanks all for the advise.  So far when we have practiced Work on Writing they have stayed in their seats and I have given them something specific to write about reminding them that as we build our stamina, they will have freedom to chose what they write and where they sit.  They are doing awesome with this too!!!  I am oh so excited!!  Yikes, our Lead Teacher popped in today with our county reading person and now they want to come back and film!!!  EEKK and I don't mean the Daily 5 EEKK!!!  I don't like being filmed.  She liked what she saw so I guess that's a good thing:)

I have to say that I don't feel that this would all be going as well as it is without the advice from my bloggy friends who have "been there and done that" with Daily 5.  So THANK YOU and I'm here asking for more wisdom....anyone have any advise for the Word Work??  What to start with.....only a few in the beginning...what you do....????

Vintage Earring Hair Clips

Quick post to tell you to head over to Create*Share*Inspire where I am a Creative Contributor and check out my post on making some neat hair pins and clips out of vintage earrings:))

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