Monday, December 1, 2014

Currently it's December!!

Well, Hello There! Long time no see!!! I always love how Farley's party brings me out of my blogging hibernation.  So, here we go!!! 

Most of these will probably be pretty self explanatory...but...since I love to ramble....

Listening: You know those sappy, cheesy, love-dovie Christmas movies that make your stomach hurt because they're so syrupy sweet? Yea...I love those.  I cannot tell a lie. I just eat them up like an elf eating spaghetti and syrup. 

Loving and Thinking are going hand-in-hand this month for me. I love how relaxed I was this past weekend and able to enjoy family and friends and I am looking forward to counting down the next 15 hectic school days until Winter Break! 

Wanting: My Sissy!!! She is coming in from Texas for a month next week and I cannot wait for a whole lot of sister time!!! 

Needing: As I type this I have a luncheon to prepare for, lamination to cut, plans to make, things to wrap, and a bag full of grading...pretty much everything except what I'm doing right now is on my To Do List.  

Giving: Did you see Farley's post about how she teaches students the importance of giving?? I loved it! I've done random acts of kindness in February with Valentine's Day, but I just may incorporate it along with this season as well.  

In the spirit of giving, I'll be sharing any one of my products from my TPT store with the first three people to comment on this post. :) Be sure to leave me your e-mail, so that I can send you the file of your choosing.  You may want to peek at my newest set of Winter Wonderland centers.  This pack includes 8 games that are engaging for students and simple enough to be managed independently.

Happy Holidays!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Tis the Season to spend lots of money! My wish list has been growing and I cannot wait to get my hands on those goodies!

The adorable Ideas By Jivey is hosting a fun link party where you can showcase a few of your TPT items along with things on your own list.  So here it goes:

My most wish listed item is my Reading Strategy and Skill Poster Set.  I adore Little Red's clip art and the bright colors.  In my classroom I use these on my classroom focus board.  You could also shrink them into a mini booklet for students or glue them into interactive reading notebooks.  

My second most wish listed item is nothing fancy to look at, but the idea is there.   In fact, I believe it was one of my first products for TPT.  My students love a great scavenger hunt around the room.  It's always an engaging 20-30 minute lesson we use to review or introduce new information.  This set on the Seven Continents is a crowd pleaser.  

I adore everything created by LittleRed. I also love any interactive activities I can incorporate into my  Science and Social Studies curriculum.  This pack on Habitats throughout the world and animal adaptations looks like a great addition for my classroom! 

This informational text pack by Jen Jones looks amazing and I've only heard great things about it.  While it is a bigger TPT purchase, I know it'll be worth it! 

While I should be running over my lesson plans for tomorrow, I think combing through my TPT Wish List sounds like a much better idea.  Don't you agree???

Don't forget to leave comments on all of your previous purchases to earn free points and use the TPTCYBER code December 1-2. 

Happy Shopping!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

5 for Friday

Well, hello there!  Since this happened to be the longest week EVERRR, I figured I ought to document some of the happenings on this ole' blog.  I'm not sure if I was in a funk because of Day Light Savings Time, the Chicagoland cool temperatures, or the fact that I was battling an awful cold.

Either way, here is my belated 5 for Friday! 

First up I actually finished my next set of literacy centers. Although they're a tad late, I figured my kiddies will welcome the change! I love how easy and low maintenance these center games are.  This set does not have a holiday theme to it, so I'll be able to pull these games out anytime of the year.  You can check them out HERE.  

On Wednesday I had the great privilege of visiting Kristin from iTeach1:1 and her adorable classroom!  Kristin is SUCH a doll and her students absolutely adore her.  A co-worker and myself headed over to her classroom to observe how she incorporates her iPad technology into their school day.  It was really interesting and I can't say enough about how impressed I was with the independence level of her little second graders! 

We've just wrapped up our Weather Unit in Science and my kiddies were SO excited to make their Weather Forecasting Presentations.  Who new forecasting weather could be so exciting?? It's the little things I tell ya'. 

Hey! Guess what!? Not only did I finish a pack of centers, but I also made two multiplication math game FREEBIES.  My kids always love a math game that includes dice and I hope your kids will feel the same way.  You can check these out HERE and HERE

I was so excited to make it though the long week and even had enough energy to dress up for the 50th Day of School.  I was in love with how my faux saddle shoes came out! The idea of course came from Pinterest.  I bought a $4 pair of tennis shoes and grabbed a Sharpie marker and went to town.
Just make sure you crack a window to help avoid those permanent marker fumes.  WHEW! 


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Currently it's Novemberrrrrrrrrr!

Hello All! I'm taking a break from the madness of completing Quarter 1 report cards and lesson planning to link up with the adorable Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade.  

October was a hard month on some of my friends, so I'm happy to move onto a new month where hopefully we will see some positive and uplifting changes! 

Listening: The silence is beautiful and quite necessary at this point.  It's been hard to stay focused and on task with these report cards this week.  Good thing I'm not distracted by Pinterest, Bloglovin, and Etsy....whoopsies ;) 

Loving: I absolutely love the chilly fall weather in Chicagoland area.  There is so much fun to be had outside and I love snuggling in my big comfy scarves.  What I don't love..wet, gray fall days. 

Thinking: That brings me right into October 31st where I thought the snow flurries were a very unnecessary preview of winter.   I don't know if it had something to do with all of the Elsa and Oleg costumes, either way, I was NOT a fan.

Wanting: These dang report cards done.  This is my second year using a Standards Based Report Card, and it is difficult! I see the benefits as well as some issues using one.  I just am taking my time as I carefully evaluate each piece and each child. *Insert exasperated sigh here*

Needing: Speaking of those precious children, we are in need of some more consistency in our daily schedule.  I'm not sure about them, but there poor teacher just might lose her marbles by Winter Break if something doesn't get figured out.  I'm feeling like my classroom is a revolving door of aides and specialists.  While I know all of these people are absolutely wonderful and greatly appreciate everything they are doing to help my students...sometimes I would just like to shut the door and for everyone else to pretend that we weren't there.  I hope you don't think I'm too awful of a person for admitting that...

Reading: I've been reading all sorts of fun things is what's currently on my bedside table

Children's Lit: 

Map Trap by Andrew Clements 
I LOVE and can't wait to use this for a map skills unit.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt 
ADORABLE, I just presented this book at school to 100 students who were rolling on the floor! It's quite cute and great for a lesson on point of view or voice.


Proving to be a great resource as I plan for my upcoming writing unit. 


Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

SPOOKY and perfect for this season. 

Don't forget to check out all of the awesome teachers linking up with Farley this month! 
Happy Fall Y'all! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Understanding Multiplication

Well, Hello! This year has been moving quickly, I can hardly believe we are in the middle of October!  This week we began our first of three chapters on multiplication in third grade.  I absolutely love, love, love Go Math's Understanding Multiplication chapter and how their self confidence grows as they learn each new strategy. 

On Day 1 we glued this fabulous foldable from The Busy Class on TPT, throughout the week, we filled out each strategy portion.  

Our first strategy was Drawing Groups...or pizzas with pepperoni...or cookies with chocolate chips, you'd think those little darlings never ate. Good grief.  So, after our debate about drawing groups/pizzas/cookies we continued on to move around the classroom with dry erase boards and recreated multiplication word problems using ordinary school supplies like the example above.  

This is my second year in a row starting off my unit with this lesson and I've been happy with my results both times.  Kids end the lesson feeling excited and confident about multiplication. Win! 

I always have fun working with arrays! I'm pretty sure my students love them just about as much as I do.  This year we created simple arrays during Computer Lab using Pixi and virtual stickers.  I love this dog sled racing team!

Since my kiddos grasped onto arrays quickly I decided to do a mini lesson on area.  This game was a ton of fun way to work on that skill and absolutely no prep work for me.  Again....WIN! Students needed graphing paper for each pair/trio, a separate color crayon, and two dice.  Players rolled the dice and created an array to match the multiplication equation.  The student who filled up the most boxes with their color wins.  

However, the showstopper for these little thirdsters was taking snapshots of arrays around the classroom and hallway.  I loved seeing my students find math within our real world! It's so exciting to see them so enthusiastic! 

The activity really was not anything Earth shattering...we used Show Me to import our pictures and write the appropriate multiplication sentence.  

Wish us luck as we attempt to tackle on the serious stuff next week....interpreting multi-operational word problems. Yikes! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Currently It's October

Okay, I've been really out of the loop with being on-line...but I've been doing important stuff. I promise.  Not to worry, I decided to come out of the wood-work along with a ton of other bloggers for Farley's Currently party.  

That lady makes me laugh I tell ya.  She just cracks me up! 

Okay, without further ado....

Listening: Modern Family- I can never decide who is my favorite character.  I love them all SO much!

Loving: I've been taking advantage of having a Keurig machine in our lounge these past few mornings.  It's been a fantastic convenience (not to mention it makes standing outside on a chilly morning for bus duty much more tolerable)

Thinking:  I can't be the ONLY one.  This week has been one of those, really? REALLY? REALLY!? kind of weeks.

Wanting: The other week I headed out to the apple orchard and loaded up on some delicious Honey Crisp and Gala apples.  I may or may not have overdone it on my purchasing...but I couldn't help it! They're delicious, I just hope I eat them all before they go bad!

Needing: I really need to replenish my supply of tanks, tees, sweatshirts, and yoga pants.... does anyone have any favorite brands are stores?

Trick or Treat: TREAT! I've just uploaded my new Halloween Literacy Centers and have them on sale for 20% off the $4.00 until October 4th. The file includes four different center activities...that's less than a dollar for a center people!

Have a spooktacular month!!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Building Teamwork and Community

Hey There! I've officially been back at school with the kids for 8 days now and we've just begun our first five day week....let's hope I'm still standing by Friday! 

While I'm still awake and functioning I figured I should update this little ole blog.  

At the beginning of the year, I love to focus on character education, effective communication, and building teamwork amongst my students.  

One of my all time favorite books to start off the year is Leo Lionni's Swimmy.  After I share this read aloud we talking about how Swimmy and his friends had to cooperate together to work as a team to defeat the big nasty tuna.  

Following our discussion I challenged my students to work as one large team.  The first challenge was the 'Ocean Waves' challenge.  Using one hula hoop, borrowed from our P.E. teacher, I demonstrated to my students how they each needed to climb in and out of the hula hoop until it has gone around the entire circle of 27 third graders.  The major challenge...NO ONE could let go of each others' hands.  
We had a lot of fun and a lot of giggles!

Next challenge was with our table groupings.  For this I again borrowed a hula hoop for each group, 5 in all.  Since I do a lot of table/group work, I wanted to start the year off right with my students practicing effective communication with one another.  

For this challenge each group had to lift their hula hoop off of the ground using only two fingers on each hand.  Except we had to use the tops of our fingers, that way we couldn't curl them underneath and around the hula hoop.  

Once the hula hoop was up, the teams had to spin the hula hoop around, so that the small piece of wash tape on it made it all the way around the circle.  

Fun, simple, effective. SCORE! 

When the teams returned back to their desks I asked them each to write their name on a little red fish, so that we could build our own team, just like the characters in Swimmy.

When it was all done, we added our thoughts about teams, I was so impressed with their thoughts.  Can you you see the giant fish we build out of our little fish?   I have plans on displaying this chart for a while. 

Our final touch was adding Swimmy onto our Cooperation Theme poster.  You can read more about these posters HERE

Wishing you all of the best in your own classrooms!!! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Currently: September

First off I cannot believe it's already September...and secondly I can't believe that I'm linking up to Currently so early! Usually I figure out the beautiful Farley has posted after being alerted by bloglovin that 50 million other people have joined the link up! 
Okay MAYBE that last part was an exaggeration..but for reals. I'm always late. 

Listening: Can you ever get tired of Friends? The answer is no. 

Loving: My team has underwent some changes this year and lost two former members.  One of our sweet teammies became our school Reading Specialist- yay for her! The dynamic of the team seems lighter and happier this year with the loss of our other teammate. I'm excited for the new possibilities! 

Thinking: Come on, try and pretend you weren't thinking the same thing!

Wanting: I happened to find THE perfect leopard print scarf on and now I can't stop obsessing over it.

Needing: Alright Ms. Erin...get off Pinterest and start ain't on summer break anymore! 

3 Trips: These are places I've never been, but would LOVE to visit...Ireland and Scotland...I love the history and gorgeous landscapes!!!
Yosemite National Park...while I'm not really an outdoorsy backwoods kind of girl, I love animals and think this is just someplace every American should visit.

Thanks for checking out my Currently, I'm off to go and visit others!!!

Five for Friday...errr...I mean Sunday!

This was a short work week jam-packed with a lot of action! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching, a little late, but still fun! 

This week started with my first ever Origami Owl party! A friend of mine has started selling their adorable little creations! If you haven't heard of them, you should check them out! 

They are customizable lockets filled with sweet little charms! I can't wait for my Lanyard locket to come in to wear with my teacher ID!!! I'll go from drab to fab ;) I mean, just look at that little teeny tiny pencil!!!! How could I NOT order that!?

My first day jitters completely melted away when two of my new third graders brought me bouquets of flowers on the first day of school! I just adore this Lithuanian custom! 

Can you tell we are loving the first day of school!? I never get tired by third graders' enthusiasm! I think we've got some fast friends in the making looking at that silly picture above! 

Day 2 of third grade was all about teamwork! Check back later to read about how I introduced the importance of working as a team with my class. PS- We had WAY too much fun and MAY have had to close our door because we couldn't stop our giggles! 

Finally, our school's Reading Specialist, a former teammate of mine, came to my classroom for a read aloud.  The theme were things that scared us...I am just cracking up over this response from one of my students! 
Having a sword fight with a clown sure does sound scary to me!!! 

I hope you're all enjoying your three day weekend!!!