Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Morning Letters {August 31}

I'm linking up with Michelle at Big Time Literacy for Sunday Morning Letters.  I'll be back tomorrow to blog about our first week of school, so be sure to stop back!

Font from Amanda Pauley.

Font from Kevin and Amanda.

I found the rainbow background papers on TpT.  They are free!  Thanks Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {August 27}

I'm linking up with Miss DeCarbo for Wordless Wednesday.

I see this scene at least 3 days a week either on my way to work or on my way home.  

What obstacles do you encounter on your way to work?

Troy from Classroom Friendly Supplies has offered to do another pencil sharpener giveaway on my blog when I hit 200 followers on Bloglovin.  We're looking for 6 more friends!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Classroom Pictures

I finally remembered to bring my camera home to share some pictures of my classroom with you!  I've been a bit absent from my little old blog. We are doing staggered start this year, so I met my first 12 kiddos today.  I think this year will be an adventure, but we had fun today!

This is the view while standing in my doorway.  I do not have a teacher desk in my classroom.  My guided reading table doubles as my desk.  To the left (where you can't see) is my sink, a couple cabinets and the kiddos' cubbies.

This one is from the back corner, standing next to the cubbies.

I'm liking my library this year.  This is the first time I haven't had it in the shelving right under the windows.  I need a little more storage appropriate for books (those big pink bins have puppets in them), but otherwise I'm liking it.

These little guys are taped to the floor so we know where to line up when it is time to leave the room.  They are from the Dollar Spot at Target.  This is the only area that is tiled in my room.  The cubbies are the right and the door is directly ahead.  Carpet is a blessing until one of my friends spills their milk during breakfast, which we eat in our rooms.

We are piloting Go Math this year.  These are my kiddos' workbooks.  They get a new workbook for each of the 12 units.  They are stacked in my cubbies.

Tomorrow I meet my other 7 kiddos.  Thursday we are all together for our first day with all our friends.  I hope to share our first few days with you this weekend.  6 more followers on BlogLovin' and Troy from Classroom Friendly Supplies has agreed to do another pencil sharpener giveaway!  Feel free to share with your friends. :)

What is your favorite place in your classroom?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thanks and Winners!

Thank-you so much for joining me on my blog journey!  When I started this blog, I wasn't sure what I was going to share (and frequently still don't!) but I appreciate your support in going along for the ride!

Congratulations to the winners for my 100 follower giveaway!

The winners have been e-mailed.

I'll be back this week to share my classroom with you!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Morning Letters {August 17}

I'm linking up with Michelle at Big Time Literacy for Sunday Morning Letters.

Dear Summer,
Where did you go?!?  Not only does it feel like fall here (it was in the 60s twice this week for highs), but school starts tomorrow.  As always, I feel like I didn't make the most of you, but I had a great summer full of memories.  Thanks for a good couple months!
Love, One Happy Camper

Dear Sammy,
I can't believe you turn 13 today!  It makes me feel old!  I still remember the call during MUC band camp telling me you were joining our family.  You are a great softball player and all around girl.  Have a great day and year ahead!
Love, Your Proud Cousin

Dear New School Year,
I'm looking forward to a great year with a new team and new class of kiddos.  Help me have patience when I'm frustrated, express appreciation when appropriate and give my kiddos what they need to succeed.  It is going to be a great year!
Love, A Kindergarten Teacher

Dear New Pencil Sharpener,
Thanks for making my life a little easier at back to school time.  It is the little things in life that are exciting to a teacher at this point!  Troy, your creator, has a gift and knows what teachers need; he is a teacher himself after all.  I'm super excited to give one away too.  Someone else will be very happy just like me.  You'll keep those kiddos writing all year.  Thanks for your help!
Love, Pencil Sharpener Operator

Dear Followers,
Thank-you for joining me on this blogging journey!  Many of you are new followers, and I hope you'll find something here that you can use.  Good luck in my giveaway that ends tomorrow evening!  You can win a new pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies and a back to school goodie bag.
~A Grateful Blogger

Make sure you head back to Michelle's blog and read the other linked up letters!  Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {August 13}

I'm linking up with Miss DeCarbo for Wordless Wednesday.

This was my view out my window last evening.  My question for you is: "What is your favorite inside recess activity?"

Make sure you check out my 100 follower giveaway!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

100 Follower Giveaway

I'm excited to share a giveaway with you to celebrate reaching 100 followers on Bloglovin'!  I love sharing the happenings in my classroom (and life) with you and appreciate you joining me on this journey.

I actually have 2 giveaways to celebrate!  The first is a Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpener.  You can read my review of the sharpener here.  I love it!  The winner will have the opportunity to choose the color they'd like (black, blue, green, red, pink). This is only open to those with US mailing address.

The second giveaway is a back-to-school goodie bag.  You can see the contents of this basket below.  It is a Thirty-One "Littles Carry-All" packed with Sharpies (including paint pens), Scentos stickers, word strips, tape, twistables erasable colored pencils, mechanical pencils (they sparkle!) and a Vera Bradley notebook.

Make sure you enter both giveaways below!  Thanks for joining me on my classroom adventures!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Made It {August 11}

I'm linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It.  This is my last one of the summer.  Good thing I made good use of my time this week!

This isn't really a "made it", but I did assemble, so I'm counting it :).  Thanks to Reagan Tunstall (Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits) for the awesome labels!  I put together my math journals.  Composition books were 10 cents at Office Max last week.  I might have made a few trips (and price matched at WalMart).  I added the ribbon to be a bookmark so finding today's page shouldn't be the most difficult thing about math journals!  Remember, I teach K, finding the right page can be torture!

Using labels from the same set above, I created my writer's workshop folders.  I picked up the plastic-like poly folders for $.50 each from Target.  In each folder, there is an "in progress" side and a "published" side.  I also added a zipper pencil pouch for students store a space man and vocabulary words (and anything I else we decide they need during the year).

I picked up some card games and know that K kiddos can have a difficult time managing cards, so I made some card holders.  I've seen these a few different places (blogs & Pinterest) and thought they'd fit my budget.  Here are my step-by-step instructions.

Gathered my materials: pool noodle (thanks Dollar Tree!), kitchen knife and a tape measure.

I cut the pool noodle into 12" sections.  You can get 4 pieces from one pool noodle.
Using the knife, cut a slit across the top of the pool noodle.  I left an inch or 2 uncut on each end.  I did not cut all the way through the bottom either.
Here you can see the slit.  I put black Sharpie dots at each end of the slit so my kiddos know which side of the noodle has the cut. 
Here is one of my pool noodles with the only little cards I could find (just cut those out).

I used the noodle shaped like a flower.  This way I did not have to cut the bottom of the noodle to keep it from rolling.  This shaped noodle stays put without any modifications.

I whipped up some pasta salad.  It has grilled chicken, chunked mozzarella cheese, zucchini, pepper, carrots and is tossed with red wine vinaigrette dressing.  It was pretty tasty!

That's it for my "made-its" this week.  Be sure to stop back tomorrow as I celebrate 100 followers!  There will be 2 giveaways happening.  One will be for a Classroom Friendly Supplies pencil sharpener.  You can read my review here. I'll hope you'll join me!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener- Beginning of the Year BFF!

I had the opportunity to review the Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpener.  It could not have come at a better time as we head back to school next week.  Knowing that my sharpener would arrive late last week, I brought some pencils home to try it out.

I was pretty excited when my box arrived with my new pink sharpener.  I pulled it out of the box and set to work.  I learned quickly that I should have probably watched the instructional video as my first 2 pencils were not "perfectly sharpened" as many other bloggers who reviewed have said it would be.

As soon as I watched the video and started using the sharpener correctly, I was totally impressed!  Every pencil I sharpened, even the cheap ones, sharpened easily and had a great point on them.  I took some pictures to show you how easy it was to use (the right way!).

The first thing you need to do is pull the front forward until it "clicks".  This was the step I missed before I watched the video.  It is a pretty important step!

Next you pinch the 2 black pieces together.  This allows you to insert the pencil.

While pinching, you can now insert the pencil.

Start to crank...I did not use the included clamp, I just used my other hand (the one taking the picture) to hold the pencil sharpener steady.  I don't believe I'll be letting the kids use the sharpener, so I'll probably continue this way for sharpening just a few, but clamp it for the sharpening of many pencils.

As you sharpen, the front piece that you pulled out in step one will slowly start to go back in.  When it stops moving (you'll be able to feel it) your pencil is sharp.  Just pinch the 2 black pieces again to remove your pencil.

This was my first batch of sharpened pencils.  After sharpening these, I emptied the shavings collection compartment.

This is what this little guy accomplished over the past couple days!
Overall, this was easy to use and left me with beautifully sharpened pencils!  I look forward to using it this year to keep my kiddos writing without fighting with my electric sharpener.  The sharpened comes in five different colors: black, blue, green, red and pink.  You can save 5% off your own sharpener with the code: W5GMY.  This code will expire 11/4/14.  Shipping is free too!  I would absolutely recommend this sharpener for your classroom!

What questions do you have?

Be sure to stop back on Tuesday to participate in my 100 Follower Giveaway.  Sneak peak: you'll have the opportunity to win one of these fantastic pencil sharpers!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {August 6}

I'm linking up with Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.

I quickly visited my classroom today for the first time this summer.  I had a PD this morning so decided to stop on in.

Here is the mess I left behind.  You can't see the cubbies, but they are stuffed full :(

Science curriculum materials magically started showing up today (we didn't know they were coming) so something has to give to get more storage.  My question for you is what is your "purging" rule?  How do you decide what gets to stay and what has to go?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Made It {August 4}

I'm linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It.  I finally had a productive week!  It is all school related, but it feels good to have some project done (and others well on their way).  Most of my projects were quite thrifty this week too, which always makes me excited!

I put together some little birthday treats for my kiddos.  I found the birthday stickers in my mess at school at the end of the year and brought them home thinking I'd find something to do with them.  I picked up the little party noise-making tubes at a local discount store.  They were 4 in a pack, 4 packs for 99 cents.  Finally, I got the little packs of Play Doh (33 in the pack) at the same discount store.  I printed little Happy Birthday labels and assembled in a snack sized bag.  The bags will go in a little Dollar Tree bucket I have from last year that has sparkly "Happy Birthday" stickers on it. Total cost: about 30 cents per child. :)

I had some extra zucchini leftover from making some bread earlier in the week.  I found this zucchini-oat chocolate chip cookie recipe.  It was a winner!

I have a to-do list from I Teach K! of things I want to do.  I loved Mary Amoson's (Sharing Kindergarten) presentations about centers.  She shared some similar information on her blog too. I was looking for a new way to organize my centers because last year it wasn't "free choice".  I missed that from previous years.  I made my clothespins and I'm waiting for Hobby Lobby to have poster board on sale to make the poster.

Mary uses construction paper to make her clothespins.  I took her advice to use Mod Podge on mine, but I decided to pick up some paint chips at WalMart so I could have a variety of fun colors.  I made some extras in case (for when) the kiddos break them.  I already had the Mod Podge, so this project only cost me $2, the cost of the clothespins.

The colors looks brighter in person.

I have a few "made its" in mind for this week.  Hopefully my productivity will continue and I'll have some new things to share with you next week!