Sunday, May 24, 2015

Catch-Up & a Freebie!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Whew! What a week! 
I took a week off from blogging and I really missed it. 

Last weekend, we had a visit in Florida. I made a new friend:

The sand crabs were out in the morning - they are FAST! I'm sad to report that they can run faster than me - no joke! 
Maybe because of this?

Oh. My. It was good!

We received some very sad news while we were there. I definitely coped with lots of tears, hugs, walks on the beach, and chocolate. We waited all week to hear about travel plans to go back to our hometown, however we just learned we won't be traveling for another 2 weeks. Thank you to everyone who reached out - it's so appreciated during this difficult time ♥

Our last day is June 16th...we have 2 weeks left full of learning and testing, then a week of more "fun" activities with a field trip, field day, and the ascension ceremony. Home stretch!

Here's a few fun pictures from the past week:

I posted this on my Instagram - my student yelled this out during the NWEA, lol!

I stopped by our amazing Kindergarten Science teacher's room to scoop up some littles for testing, but instead I joined their fun! They were learning about soil layers and recreated them with a salsa recipe! How awesome is that? 

I found out that one of my students CUT CLASS and took this bag of pennies to the Book Fair! He was in line to purchase a science book when he was "caught." I was holding back giggles as we talked about the seriousness of not being in our assigned area and how we were so worried about him. This is my "Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!" student - I absolutely adore him!

My Power Hour students f-i-n-a-l-l-y earned their Playdough Party! To be honest, I wasn't sure it was ever going to happen. I forgot to snap a photo of our gem jar, but it's finally filled up to the "party" line (a piece of zebra tape on the side, haha). This is a group full of big personalities and we definitely needed to find something to celebrate ;)

The Playdough Party consists of six stations indicated by 6 red bins spread out around the room. Each bin contains playdough, tools, and my Sculpt It Pages:

I have this party every single year and plan on continuing it - my students ♥ it! Here's a throwback freebie to get started!

How do you celebrate accomplishments in the classroom?
Please leave a comment to share - thanks!! Jen

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Quiet Week

Hi,  just stopping by to drop a quick note. 
We had a death in the family and will  be traveling to spend as much time with loved ones as we can. I'll be back soon! ♥ Jen

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Style Me Bloggers: Summer Travel!


Hope your almost-weekend is off to a wonderful start!

I'm excited to have my final-quarter Guided Reading "hurrah" featured over at today - please check out our colorful visual tracker based on one of my favorite books!

I'm also linking up today with the fabulous Style Me Bloggers to share my summer travel plans...

As you are reading this, I'm already on my first adventure! Right now I'm in my favorite place on earth...Redington Beach, Florida.

We still have a month of school left, so technically this trip wouldn't be considered "summer," but it's close enough! 

We couldn't get here during spring break a few weeks ago & it actually couldn't have worked out better...I really need the break RIGHT NOW :)

I try to visit 3-4 times a year and we're actively looking for ways to move here when we retire (in 17 years!). I can't imagine a more perfect place to be!

In July, we are also visiting Vegas and staying at the Venetian for #TPTVEGAS2015 Conference! I'm beyond excited and actually a little nervous to attend. I love people, but can be a little shy in huge groups...presenting in front of 200 teachers? No problem. Socializing in humongous groups...yikes.

I report back to school July 29th, but summer travel plans won't be over yet... we are also traveling to our hometown Dayton, Ohio at the end of August for a family visit and my high school reunion (!!). I already booked the flight, so there's no backing out now, haha!

Any adventures planned this summer? 
Please leave a comment & share!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Giveaway, TPT Treasure, & More!

Happy Wednesday!
Lots to share and I'm going to keep it as "wordless" as possible:

Thank you Miss DeCarbo for the linky!

Check out this awesome week of giveaways & a classy blog reveal:
The Balanced Teacher

The button IS cute, but you really need to check out the entire blog by clicking here. Crystal has worked tirelessly to gather up a TON of bloggers to help her celebrate with daily giveaways! Yesterday was fitness and today is food. My "prize" hasn't come up yet, I sure hope I'm not on the "balance" day, because that wouldn't be such a great match this week.

Check out my daily schedule from now until June 16th:

Thank goodness for our sacred math block and my sweet K students! They are the highlight of my day. I'm working with K because our fabulous Kindergarten Special Educator is on maternity leave. How cool is it that I'll be finishing the year knowing all about my incoming 1st graders?

I also wanted to share about this AWESOME TPT Treasure:

I have maybe 1000 sight word passages, but I ADORE these! The font, passage, graphics...are just perfect for both my K and 1st graders. I need to make a decision on how I will incorporate these pages next year...laminate to use with dry erase, highlighters, or tuck into homework packets?

Before I sign off, I wanted to share my latest "makeovers" that were added to my Phonics Bundle this past weekend:

I'm having a BLAST doing these makeovers and making the packets "perfect" for my students. Next up...Short I and Short U are almost done! All of the packets are available individually or in one mega BUNDLE

Thanks for reading! Jen

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Milestone Freebie & Gratitude!

Happy Sunday!

Yesterday, it finally happened!

I had been stalking refreshing Teacher Pay Teacher's page waiting all week! Thank you TPT for being such a providing supportive and creative outlet for all of us. I truly can't imagine teaching without you ♥

We have a little over one month of school left before summer break, but you wouldn't know it with our school building temperature. It's SIZZLING inside. On Friday, we had a mixed-up schedule with make-ups for speech and testing. I found myself with only one little friend for our math block, so we did math outside under a shade tree:

You wouldn't believe me if I shared how much I struggled with this student! From August through October, it felt really bleak. We were looking at different placements, implementing the BIP, trying e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g while fighting to keep him with us in our school. We were successful gaining a 1:1 (Temporary Student Aide) in November. 

Flash forward to present day - I can't even begin to explain how awesome this little guy is doing! I look forward to working with him everyday and all his defiant behaviors have now turned into special "quirks" that I secretly find hilarious even when I have to use my teacher tone. This child flipped my Type A teaching world on its head this year & I couldn't be more thankful. 

Today I'm busy finishing up giving these phonics packs makeovers:

I'm also almost finished with my Th Digraph pack and Short I. They are available in my store individually and also in my new Phonics Bundle!

Thanks for reading! Have a super week!

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Friday, May 8, 2015

5 for Friday: Shopping Finds!

Happy 5 for Friday!

I'm linking up with Kacey to share about the week!

I hope everyone has felt appreciated this week :)

It's been WONDERFUL many sweet expressions of gratitude and a great reminder of why we ♥ what we do! 

My week kicked off to a fantastic start when I woke up to an email from Donors Choose that my project was funded - thank you so much to the generous donors:

12 printer ink cartridges!

We have also been showered with tokens of appreciation throughout the's just a small, but sweet sampling:

I'll post more this weekend!

I also had a blast shopping at the huge TPT sale! My favorite linky after the sale is where other bloggers show off the deals they find - there's just so many creative products out there!

This time of year, our schedule tends to be disrupted by celebrations and more testing. It's a TERRIFIC time to try out new activities and see what "sticks."

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was intrigued by the idea of incorporating more art/creativity, yet I NEED to attach it to academics. I tried out directed drawing this week and my students really liked it! 

Here's our first attempt:

Scaredy Squirrel or Scary Squirrel?

This is an adorable freebie from Cara Taylor. I used it as as incentive..."IF we finish our math, THEN we can work on this project!" This particular student was ALL about it, and so was I...
he receives OT and pencils have not been our friends in the past (SO. MANY. BROKEN. PENCILS).  He did a great job!

I do need that academic piece though so I can rationalize it. Whimsy Workshop Teaching had EXACTLY what I was looking for and I purchased this:

She also has an African Animals set and I've asked for more  
(she said yes!).

I'm also slowly purchasing all of the monthly sets of The Moffatt Girls writing prompts for beginners:

Writing prompts are always one of those things I feel like I want to customize for my students. I've had an open file of prompts that I add to every year and literally have created over 200 for my students! 

Yet, Annie's seem to be magical...the student checklist, the pictures, engaging topics... they are perfect! The picture above is from her May No Prep Journal Prompts for Beginning Writers.

I also purchased tons of craftivities (!) to supplement throughout the year, and of course, clipart.

What awesome deals did you find?

My store continues to be on sale through tonight.

Please watch Teacher Pay Teacher's facebook page...there should be an special announcement very soon (today!) about my store :)

Have a fantastic Friday! Jen

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Savings Sale!

Happy Thursday!

I hope you're having a sensational Teacher Appreciation Week!

We are getting spoiled at work - perfect timing as our school temperature has reached SIZZLING! 

I hope everyone had fun with the mega-sale at TPT...
I may have had too much fun. 

My store will continue to be on sale...
everything 20% off through Friday!

Happy Shopping!

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