Saturday, August 17, 2013

Five For Friday, Saturday Snapshots, BTS13 SALE, Freebie

Five for Friday AND SATURDAY Snapshots! And I'm a little late on the Friday Linky...
But nonetheless, I am here and linking up with Doodle Bugs and Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera!
It's been quite the week!

ONE- Big Kid started HIGH SCHOOL! My HS already...sigh...
So far...she likes it! BUT the poor girl woke up with a nasty migraine today (Saturday). 
Here she is with friends walking to school...
TWO- We went to Find Your Way Day for Mid Kid. They go and get schedules, locker number/combo... and find classes. She tried out for "honors choir" and made it! 
Hubby and Big Kid thought it was funny that they turned around the locks of kids of left them immature! (Sorry if it was your kid-tee hee).
THREE- Made a FABULOUS Pennant Banner for my class! I LOVE It! It says 3rd Grade Rocks! and is available for grades 1-6 in my TPT store...You can get it by clicking on the picture. It features Melonheadz and Graphics by the Pond! LOVE (for sale on Sunday-Monday-just sayin').
How I made it... Printed...cut out the triangles...then laminated...cut out... punched holes in top and strung (is that a word) a sequined ribbon of pink and green through...I admit...the sequins were a pain in the butt! BUT I love how it turned out! You can't really tell by my not-so-good photo, but it sparkles from the ribbon. I chose to string it through the's some closeups...
I forgot to snap a pic of my bulletin board I used it on...but will remember sometime next week! It turned out super, super cute!

FOUR-Dang, I'm on 4 already... I made a little back to school, welcome back, it's gonna be a fab year...kind of gift for my teammates. You know...start the year off on the right foot! 

Found those personal sized tissues at Walmart. There was a big display of them. 
Mid Kid and I were there and cracking up at all the different choices! 
This is what I narrowed my choices down to... I felt each one fit my teammates. They seemed to enjoy them (I had my children "secretly sneak" the packages on the teachers' desks for a fun surprise).
I also placed a note pad and pencil inside.
You can grab the little notes for FREE in my TPT Store...Just click on one of the pics above and either will take you there!

FIVE- We had our Open House on Wednesday! Almost all of my new students stopped by! Lots of past students stopped in too (along with their parents). It was very nice (we aren't required to go to open house-not a paid day)... Well, some past parents stopped in (at least 7!!!!!) and they were chatting with my new parents and saying all these fabulous things about me! WOW. I have lots to live up to! 
One past parent said to me... "All the teachers here are nice, but you are inspirational". 
I got a little teary-eyed.
I don't want to be known as a nice or fun or tough teacher...
I want to be known as an inspirational teacher who makes kids think and WANT to learn! Who challenges their matter their level.
I did love the compliments I received...even though I'm not too good at receiving compliments.
Came home feeling GREAT.

SIX OR transitioning to Saturday Snapshots???- Ok, I know it's only supposed to be five... But gurrrrrlll, I got my hair done! I got some low-lites, and hi-lites...and a trim... Here's a goofy looking picture of me... HAHAHA. Terrible Pic, but it was the one I sent my sis to show her my colors.
SEVEN/Snapshots-Went to a bakery...Got cupcakes, donuts, cookies, pastries... If y'all live near Chicago Ridge in IL... I recommend stopping at Doughs Guys Bakery (I do not live was a long drive, but I wanted to check it out in person and give some love...especially because I would receive some goodies)!
Here's another pic...I look awful (that's before hair appt and I have a dumb look on my face)...
but whatever.

I'm joining the BTS13 Sale on TPT!
3rd grade teachers...grab those Math CC vocab cards for your wall!
Everyone grab that pennant banner!
Some other goodies in there too!!!
Don't forget to follow me!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Made It and Blog Hoppin' -Let's Talk About ME


First up, I made those cute little "call on students sticks and know who I've called on"...
This was easy peasy. In fact, I worked on this in-between laying out in the sun!
I gathered some thick popsicle/tongue depressors/ craft sticks...whatever you want to call them
and painted the sticks half  lime green with some craft paint on one side....
went outside...
came back in and painted the other half blue...
went back outside...
came back in and flipped them over and repeated above steps...

After they were dry, I took a Sharpie and wrote the kids' names on them.
Then I put them all in a cup on my desk.
SEE?! Easy!

Now... how do they work? Well I will have them all facing up...let's say...BLUE...
then I pull a stick to call on a student...when I return it to the container...
I will turn it over to LIME GREEN
Then I can easily see which sticks have been pulled...

I needed to make something to fill the space before and after my cursive alphabet above my white board...
So I went with some of my favorite quotes...
I just needed 4...and I know there are some ADORABLE quotes for sale on TPT, but I just whipped some up...
Since I'm outta ink at home...and have no current plans to get any yet...and wanted this done before work today...
I saved the document as a JPEG, uploaded to Walgreens 1-hour Photo and ordered myself 8x10s to fill the frames...
I bought 4 cheapies at Dollar Tree with the intent on painting them solid colors...
After I picked up my quotes photos... I opened my frames and 3 of the 4 were busted frames!
Me...being a little annoyed and slightly impatient...
HAD TO THINK FAST... (I wanted this project DONE for work today)...
SOOOOOO, I stole my daughter's Duck (Duct) Tape and taped the frames...

I thought they turned out cute.
They are all hanging in my classroom now (forgot to snap a pic).

AND now for the LET'S TALK ABOUT ME...
Fun, fun, fun linky to hook up with I'm Blog Hoppin'. Just click on the pic to take you there to link up.

1. As you can read in my About Me...I married my HS Sweetie... It was meant to be... I went away to college (2 1/2 hours away) and he stayed home and worked. I can't imagine myself with anyone else and love him matter how much he drives me crazy... We were married in 1997. Looking at this picture on the looks soooo old! WOW.
I took a picture of our wedding pic on the's a huge pic with lots more foresty background...

2. I'm a Sorority Girl-Alpha Sigma Tau... and my youngest daughter just wore one of my college t-shirts to bed the other night! It's dated 1994!!! I about busted up laughing when she came downstairs wearing it! I had to snap her pic and text it to my dear friend -whom I love to death (met in sorority)... She moved off to Texas and I'm here in IL.

3. Speaking of Texas...I'm a HUGE DALLAS COWBOYS fan! All my life, I've been a fan! I'VE NEVER EVEN BEEN TO TEXAS! In my school memories book, my kindergarten year... I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader when I grew up... That didn't work out for me...LOL.

4. I swear...a lot. I think I've said this before... but I do. I can turn it on and off. I never swear in front of my own parents (even though my siblings do) and not in front of other peoples' kids. But for sure in front of my own...and they don't swear (around me anyhow)... In fact, we were at a ball game earlier today (got rain delayed and we were outta there)... and the sign said something about foul language... so I turned to my oldest and said "aw sh!%, I better watch my mouth"...

5. I LOVE music. LOVE. It's on all the time. My children LOVE music... they have it on all the time.  I play lots of music in class...I sing (not well, but I don't give a ----). I like most genres of music...with a few exceptions. Right now...I'm loving Blurred Lines...can't get enough of it. If it's on one station, finishes and is playing on another station... I will listen again. I love concerts. I love Pink. She is Kick-@$$.

6. My favorite movies that I quote often are... My Cousin Vinny, Steel Magnolias, Breakfast Club, ELF!!!!!, 13 Going on 30...Love murder mysteries (fiction)... Addicted to James Patterson (book-wise), TV---- Law and Order SVU, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds... Scandal...

7. I AM passionate. I fight for students. I fight for teachers. I speak my mind (even if my mind gets me in trouble). I fight for my children...I cheer them all on... I put all of myself into everything I do! I adopt too many animals that people get rid of... I love nature... I love outdoors, science, environment, worms...I've been passionately teaching for 16 years (entering 16th year).

8. Love to talk and talk and talk (and listen---conversations). I can talk to ANYONE. I've been known to talk to random people and random people talk to me. I chat in lines, at restaurants... I'm chatty. My husband and kids are sometimes embarrassed, but then want to know what was said. I also love to learn about people. Definitely a people person.

9. I'm a piler. I make piles of papers. HOWEVER, I can find the needed paper in any pile like nothing...UNLESS someone has touched my pile! My husband HATES this!

10. I AM LOUD!!!! I get excited! I can't help it! My family (meaning getting together with sisters and brother) is loud! Now my house is loud too! We are LOUD!  One of my students says that everything I say should have an exclamation point after it. Ha ha!  I love to laugh.

OK, at first...I'm all "how am I going to say 10 things about myself" and now I'm all "dang! I can write 10 MORE things!"

If you are still here with me... you must like to chat too! ;)
Have a fabulous day!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

BTS, Linky, Linky

I'm hearing lots of you are bummed you didn't join in on the Back to School Blogger Exchange hosted by
Well, it was really exciting! I was under some real pressure having one of the hostesses as my Blogger Exchange! I had Ms. Smith! 
AND Ms. Smith had me! It was so fun receiving a package in the mail! I was like a little kid! And I tore into the wrapping... to reveal an awesome box, I can use, filled with greatness!

Loving the Zebra Print Spiral and clips! Cute mini clipboard and colorful notepad/pen... 
Let's see...Hubby STOLE my Ice Breakers... Little Kid STOLE my Goldfish... and Big Kid keeps saying "Mom, just give me the trail mix"... NO THESE ARE MINE! MINE! MINE!...leave them alone! Why is it when *I* get family thinks it's up for grabs?! And they wonder why I hide things...
So go and check out Adventure's of Ms. Smith!

Her blog has been around for quite some time and she has accumulated some fabulous posts! And she has a huge following (so jealous)!
Thank you to Ms. Smith and Covered in Glitter and Glue for organizing such a fun exchange!
I am excited to visit every blogger (and follow them) who participated to check out what they got.

Visited with my parents, sister and her kiddos at my parents' farm. Mid Kid is giving Rosie some hay.
This is Abby...wanting to get out and run in the pasture... 
My parents have lived on the farm for about ten-ish years...I've never walked all the way out to the back of their property to the creek. So we went exploring...walked in FLIP FLOPS through cut straw (ouch on the legs-all cut up) and here are two of my kids and my niece walking down the hill to the creek. They kicked off their shoes and waded through the water. 
The horses were let out to the pasture and were running around... 
Very pretty at their house... Didn't have this growing up!
Made my book bin labels...I have your typical red, blue, yellow book bins and they don't really match my decor...but what can I say? I got them at Dollar Tree for a buck each...
Thought I'd use MelonHeadz pencils...make them nice and fat and label them to cover some of those not-so-matching colors...
BETTER! Love them! I laminated them and just attached them with clear packing tape that I bought at Walgreens for $.99! Which is a STEAL... That carpeting is hot pink/fuscia zebra print...can't really tell with the sun coming through the windows.
The fest is this week and Mid Kid performed there for Poms and we went to the Carnival after the performance. Little Kid is my daredevil. She will go on alll the rides. While she was on the Ferris Wheel with friends, THE POWER WENT OUT in the whole carnival!!! What?! One of the transformers blew and went up in smoke (literally)... Hubby about had a heart attack with his baby girl stuck up there...
After 10 minutes, they got the power back on and Little Kid didn't even know she was stuck. HA! Below, Little Kid is riding the Matterhorn with friends...blurry because it was going sooo fast. We all had a blast!
These are my Locker/Cubby tags. I LOVE how they turned out! Got the little iPods from Graphics from the Pond. I love Mel's stuff! I've been asked to post these to TPT, but I don't know how to do Editable....yet.
I am so proud of my accomplishments yesterday! 
Got my desk name tags, birthday certificates, grading check list, mailbox labels, some laundry DONE...
AND ran errands, got crickets for the Bearded Dragon, ran kids around...
Destroyed a wasp hive...with my allergic to bees self... without dying
AND laid in the sun, made dinner...and other in between things... (like a few rounds of Candy Crush, Pinterest-----haha)...
Feeling pretty good...  
What do you have going on?!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Monday Made It Linky and First Day in Classroom

I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics...late again...but I was tired and had a huge headache after my first day back at work!

Here's my Monday Made It...Birthday Goodies!
For years I've made these little birthday treats and the students have LOVED them.
First- you have to collect paper towel and toilet paper rolls-enough for your class (I make a few extra).
Then I keep an eye out for good bargains to stuff inside those tubes. I always get bouncy balls. I usually get mini pens or pencils, some sort of sucker (even though we aren't supposed to use candy at school), and confetti (Rock Star from Party City).
Here's what I picked up this summer...

As you can see, I got mini pens AND pencils. Michaels had pencils and erasers on clearance plus my discount! I picked up the pens at Walgreens for a dollar per pack of 6. The boom box erasers are from Target Dollar bins, bouncy balls I found at Walmart and Party Like a Rockstar homework passes I made myself.  I didn't pick up these things all in one day. I keep an eye out for stuff as I shop for other things.

For easy assembly, we set up an assembly line...I wrap some tissue around the tube using two small pieces of tape and tie off one end, then one of my children help stuff. I guess Big Kid and Mid Kid are too old to help... Here's Lil' Kid helping me...
After she stuffs everything, I tie off the other end and we're done! I place all the stuffed tubes in a basket at work and leave it on a shelf. When it's someone's birthday, we sing a quick happy birthday and the birthday girl or boy can choose out of the basket...
It's exciting for the students to "pop" open the tube! They always want to bring home the confetti.
And even though all the gifts are pretty much the same, they still get excited for every birthday in our classroom!

I didn't get to Monday Made It yesterday because I went into my classroom for the first time to set up. I brought my girls and Big Kid's friend to help out with the tedious stuff. I had a list to complete...BUT supplies weren't there, I couldn't print from my computer, and someone screwed up the laminator. GRRR.
BUT I did get lots accomplished...could have gotten more accomplished if the world cooperated.
I had the girls unpack all the book bins and load them up on the shelves.
They stuffed my flattened bean bag and started passing out student books.
While I was trying to print (ended up borrowing a team mate's computer) and fighting with the laminator (more on that later)...
THIS is what the kids were up to!
Seriously?! These are highschoolers! Ha ha ha.
Back to the LAMINATOR... So I'm printing away and ready to's jammed. A teacher in the building must have laminated and screwed up. THere was lamination wrapped around a roller...wrapped and wrapped!
ONE would THINK the guilty party could have left a STICKY NOTE on the machine to say "out of order" or "broken" or SOMETHING.
SOOOOO, one of the bestest custodians who knows what she's doing...but doesn't want me to spread the word...helped me Fix the machine! It took us an HOUR to get it back to normal.
What lesson do you take away??? If you mess up a machine and no one is around to tell...LEAVE a  NOTE ON IT! Duh. 

Here's a before and after shot of what I got done on day one... 

Now, without painting all my red, blue, yellow book bins, I need to come up with a simple way to make them match my teal, purple, hot pink, and other Rock Star colors... I'm thinking of making new book bin labels since some are donned with sticky notes...

Got a good start...but LOTS to do!
Here's an AWESOME Triple Play Giveaway by 4th Grade Frolics, Run Miss Nelson and Farley!!!

Enjoy your days of unpacking and decorating!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

WINNERS! And Rock Star of the Week

First, I have the WINNERS of the $10 Target Gift Card and the Mystery Box of Goodness!

Jen C. won the Mystery Box of Goodness...
I'll snap a pic before sending and post it later.

Katie S. won the $10 Target Gift Card!
Spend it on YOU or on your classroom! Whatever you like! Woo hoo!
Congrats to both!
Last year my 3rd graders LOVED being Rock Star of the Week! They got to sit in this awesome chair for the week...
Every Thursday or Friday, I send home this letter to Parents explaining what's in store for the following week. You can grab this letter in my TPT Store. Just click on the pic to take you there.

They filled out an "All About Me" Poster and brought it in on Monday for display. Before I displayed it, the Rock Star would present it to the class. What an easy way to get in front of the class and practice speaking and listening! 
The student also brings in his or her "Grammy". This is basically a Show and Tell. Then, if they wanted me to, I would keep it displayed right by my desk on top of the filing cabinet. I don't know why, but they loved this! 
These are the Posters I purchase. I have seen lots of various posters on TPT, but the store bought ones work for me. The posters I like to use are by Scholastic.
Tuesday is Paparazzi Day. The student brings in 5 photos of choice to display in picture frames I made.  All I did was take some lamination (from work...the wasted amount on the ends), cut it to the preferred size, folded, and used pink zebra print Duct Tape to seal the sides (and frame it out). I left one end open to simply slide photos in. This way the photos aren't ruined.

On Wednesday, the Rock Star brings in a favorite book to share.

Thursday is Backstage with... The parents (and even siblings wrote) write a letter about the Rock Star and send it to school in a sealed envelope for the teacher to read aloud to the class! THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE WEEK! Some letters brought sweet tears to my eyes, some brought laughter tears to my eyes! Parents were creative or simple or just sweet or busted out their child (in a fun way) in front of the class. 

Friday is Fan Club and Music Day. For the Fan Club part, I trace and cut out a guitar for the student, place their photo from the first day in the center and each student writes something positive about that student on the guitar...I make sure to write a little something too! On the back, I glue the letter from Backstage with... and finally laminate for the Rock Star to remember their special day. The student is also allowed to bring in school appropriate music (no swearing or violence) and I play the music choice throughout the school day.
Here's a sample of the guitar from last school year...

That's all for today! I have some school things to prepare since I'm heading in for the first time tomorrow! Wish me luck! I'm feeling overwhelmed and I haven't even gotten there yet!