Monday, August 29, 2011

I've been a bad blogger...

So, it's 5:38 a.m. (I'm sure it will be a few minutes later when I finish this post, but you get the's early). Anywho, I feel like as of late I've abandoned my poor blog...even blogging all together. The first 8 days of school have had me exhausted! I've so enjoyed meeting my lil love muffins, but they seem to "suck the life" outta me the first few (or more) days. I'm sure this week is going to be so much easier b/c we're all starting to "catch on" even if it's just a little bit!

I do have some things I'd like to share with you all, but as I was trying to create a blog post on Satuday morning, my digital camera was not wanting to cooperate with my computer! Ugh!!! AND it's too early today to mess with them both. I hope the next time I try they are both in better "moods"!

I hope you all have a fantabulous week! Hopefully you will hear from me soon!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to Civilization...Back to School

We had a great time camping and fishing this weekend. 
Here's me and the little man with our first day stringers...

And today it was back at school (at least it was my first "official" day).  Funny how I'm supposed to have everything ready to go in the ONE full paid day we get.  We had our district meeting this morning, lunch, and time to work in our rooms this afternoon.  Tomorrow, we will have a building meeting, lunch on our own, and time to work in our rooms.  Wednesday, my new little love muffins we be all mine!  I've got a lot to do (LESSON PLANS) before they walk in my door!

I wanted to share (probably a little late for most of you) the pamphlet I typed up for my students' parents.  I got the pamplet idea from Mrs. Cole at "Cole's Little Pups".  It explains a little bit about me, tells about our classroom, and provides them with a daily schedule.  I didn't have this done (actually I did, but when I went to print it at school, I realized I didn't have the font loaded on my newly "imaged" school computer and didn't have the time to change everything around) to give out orientation night, so I mailed it with a letter I typed up for my muffins.

Well...I wish you all a fantabulous school year.  The boys start school tomorrow (me on Wednesday). Tanner is going into Kindergarten and Kohl into 4th grade.  They were both so excited tonite, especially Tanner.  He was "reading" books to us.  He's finally got his teacher's name down, and he's soooo proud of that.  We were reviewing where he would go after school, picking out his first day outfit, and planning for his snacks and lunch.  I told Ray that's why I love Kindergarten...they are just so darn excited about school! 
I so wish they (me, too) could hang onto that first day enthusiasm!!!  

Friday, August 12, 2011

We've got a WINNER!

Thank you all for entering my 101+ Follower Giveaway! But, as you all know, there can only be ONE winner so...

Congratulations Cindy!  You will be receiving a SUPER cute clipboard as soon as I get your mailing address!!!

Again, a special thanks to
for helping me out with this giveaway.
She does have a coupon for 15% off that is good for the rest of the month!
Coupon Code: BTS15
**Make sure you mention my blog with your order!**

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kindergarten Orientation AND Homework?!?

Last night, I met my new little group of "love muffins"!  They're so cute with their new backpacks and sportin' new kicks (aka tennis shoes).  They're smiling, eager, and don't understand why the don't get to stay...I L.O.V.E. it!  AND as much as I loved meeting them, and seeing them so excited to be at school, and with all of their new "stuff" I still sent them home with a homework assignment!!! 

Now before you get too excited, and think that I'm this SUPER tough teacher, finish reading the post.

I received a homework assignment (for my new kindergarteners) from a teacher across the hall, and fellow blogger, Jackie, from "Here We Go Loopty Loo".  She had gotten the idea (and possibly the original letter) from presenter, Donna Whyte, at the Missouri Conference for Kindergarten Teachers (I attended the conference also, but must have missed this session).  Anywho, I tweaked the letter (just a bit) to add some of my "voice" to it (I feel so 6 Trait-y when I talk like that).  So, this idea and letter is by no means my own, original work...and I'm hoping this is not considered plagiarism.  If it is, I'll remove this post immediately...please let me know!
1. I do not mean it to be.
2. I'm giving credit to those that the original idea/letter came from and linking to the sources.
 (That's kind of like documenting, right?)
3. I've actually stated that "this is by no means my own, original work".
4. I think this idea is just SOOOO good that I want to share it with all of my blogging buddies!!!
(Gosh, after all of this, I hope you all like it too!)

So without further ado...
I'm so excited about this!  I really think it is going to help with that first day of "Read to Self"(for all of those Daily 5'ers out there).  The kids seemed SUPER excited about having homework (we all know that won't last too long).  I'm also posting a picture of my "book bag".  This will be the first year I've used the envelopes, so I'll let you know how it goes.  In the past, I've used gallon sized zipper seal bags and just exchanged them out as needed.

**Disclaimer: My pics are not of the best quality (taken with my phone) and they're sideways.**

The envelopes are plastic and have a clear plastic pocket on the front. On the back side there is a pocket that has a "button and loop" closure (well, that's how I'm describing it).

I hope you all have a SUPER weekend (yes, I realize it's only Wednesday)!  I'm going to enjoy a 4-day weekend with my guys...we're going camping!  I'll be back at it on Monday and Wednesday is our First Day of School!  Happy Blogging!!!

Owl Pattern

I previously posted a picture of my "welcome wall" for my new Kindergarteners. Since my classroom theme is owls (well at least you'll find many owls hanging out)I wanted to use owls for my wall? I bought these super cute wall art owls from Target and got the bright idea I'd create some from scrapbook paper. I found some cute girly paper in "The Dollar Spot" and found some more manly paper in the scrapbook section (I think it was $1.75). Anywho, I created a pattern...

Cut, glued, cut some more.  (I wish I had taken some "process" pictures.  I had the living room floor A MESS!!!)  Added some google eyes (already had these at school)...

and their names...

And WAHLAH!  Some super "scrappy" (and cute) owls!

I know...this is the wall BEFORE the names, but take a good look, close your eyes, and just "make a picture in your mind" of what it looks like WITH the names! :)
Actually, I'll try and get a FINAL pic this afternoon and replace it with this one in this post!

Wutcha think?

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a SUPER CUTE clipboard made by the fabulous "Kute Klipboards by Amy"!  If you haven't checked out her Etsy store...head there now!!!**

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This is the Sun Winners

Congratulations to...

Pam and Jody!!

Ladies please email me your addresses so I can get them in the mail! 
Thank you to everyone that entered.  I'm currently holding a giveaway for a super cute clipboard to celebrate reaching 101+ followers!  Make sure you check it out!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hip hip hooray! I reached 101 followers today!

In honor of reaching 100+ followers
I'm having a...

for this little "gem"!
This clipboard is super cute! Even if I have to say so myself!
(A special thank you to Kute Klipboards by Amy for a little help with this giveaway!)

There are 4 ways to enter...

1. Follow My Blog and leave me a note

2. Blog about this giveaway on your blog and leave me a note (please include link)

3. Visit
add it to your favorites and leave me a note
**Amy is offering free shipping to anyone that mentions my blog if you place an order! She also has some really cute clips.**

4. I've got a bit of an OWL theme going on in my room and am looking for some great sayings for...welcome wall, student work, student of the week, behavior, etc...  Leave a note with an OWL themed saying for a **BONUS** entry!

A winner will be randomly generated on Friday, August 12th!

BTW-Thank you to all of the bloggers out there that are following me.  I hope I do not disappoint.  I can't wait until school starts (well, you know what I mean) and I can share more ideas that I use in my classroom.  I have learned so much from you all this summer...I'm definitely addicted found a new hobby! ;) You have great ideas and share so much!  I look forward to sharing this FABulous school year with you all.  Happy Blogging!!!

Classroom Update

So, I spent MUCH of last weekend in my classroom (about 11 hours) but I feel pretty good about my progress thus far...
**I apologize for the poor quality of my pics, they were taken with my phone  AND I didn't take the time to edit them.**

my Word Wall
(Oh My Goodness...the glare from that light is HORRIBLE! Again, my apologies.)
cabinets in my classroom library
(I moved my library -not sure just yet if I like it- and will include a pic when I'm happy w/it!)

possible entry wall saying
(I'm having a bit of a "creative slogan" block!)

and my entry wall as it looks right now
(I still need to add student names to the owls, but I'm waiting until a little closer to our orientation.  Our class lists seem to be changing daily!!!!)

If you're wondering, YES, I did make my own owls.  I used scrapbook paper I found in "The Dollar Spot" and then another package of scrapbook paper from Target (I think it was only $1.75).  I had google eyes school.  So, we're talking about a $3.00 project!  I'd change a couple of things...
1. some of them are a little "busy" and I think the owl gets "lost".  I would mix/match my prints a little better next time. 
2. I would use the JUMBO google eyes.  I think they would really bring out their eyes!
I'm bummed now that I did not take an upclose picture.  Maybe I'll do that today.  I also have my pattern to share if anyone is interested, of course it needs to be scanned. 
Have a great day blog friends!  If you need me...
I'll be my classroom! :0)

Monday, August 1, 2011

This is the Sun & My 1st Giveaway

I've been waiting patiently to make this post.  I didnt' want to spoil Cristy's surprise!  But, here it is...

For my Christmas (in July) book, I chose This is the Sun.  I actually found it in "The Dollar Spot"! 
 (I know you all are thinking that my partner got the "short end of the stick" since her book came from "The Dollar Spot", but I also sent Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes!  (There have been so many GREAT ideas and activities posted on various blogs to use with "Pete".) 

Anywho, as I was skimming through This is the Sun, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it!

The Gist:
When I taught 2nd and 3rd grade, my students loved to do squiggle stories.  I would give them a paper with a squiggle on it and they would have to turn it into something, then write about it.  I was always amazed at how differently the students "used" the squiggle, and it usually wasn't anything I expected or saw myself.  This is the Sun takes different objects and turns them into other objects (a sun becomes a sunflower, a lion, and a dandy lion).  My idea (I'm sure it's not original) was to have my students turn the shapes into "something" and then "write" about it, then combine the individual pictures and create a class book.  Just as the squiggles, I know the students are going to surprise me with what their shape becomes!

Below, you can "download" the pages for a class book titled, This is a Circle.  I will post other shape class book pages in the near future.
Other variations/activities:
  • Print or provide cut-outs of a circle in various sizes and allow students to choose any sized circle.  Students can glue the circle on their paper (where they would like it to be in the picture) and then create their illustration.
  • Go on a "Circle Hunt"!  Give students a magnifying glass and head out around your school hunting for circles.  Dont' forget the digital camera!  Students can be the photographer (my lil' love muffins LOVE to be photographers) or you can take them yourself.  A class book similar This is a Circle can be created with the printed photographs.  Instead of creating their own illustrations, they will glue the photos on the page. 

Of course ideas above can be done with any shape...even the solids.  I plan on trying out the "squiggle" with my students, too.  I think they will LOVE it!
I just happened to pick-up two extra copies of This is the Sun that I am going to give away (this will be my first give away).  I realize it's not a BIG score (only worth $1) but it's FREE and comes with a ready-to-use activity! :)  If you'd like chance to win a copy, all I ask is that you follow my blog and leave me a message that you are a follower.  I will "randomly generate" two winners on Sunday, August 7th! 
Good Luck!