Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Spark of Inspiration Blog Hop!!

We have been WAITING for this day to come for months!!!  The teacher bloggers over at #A Classy Collaboration have been working on rebranding our collaborative blog into something new and better.  And we are READY!!!  Please give a grand welcome to...

A Spark of Inspiration!

Make sure to click the header above to go check it out!  And please follow us while you're their if you don't already!  We have added so many new authors and lost a few friends that we felt like we needed a new do!  What do you think of it!?  I'm in <3!!  

So we're having an inspiring blog hop to celebrate.  What's in it for you!?  Well, take a look!

First, all of the author's have chosen a free product just for YOU!  Here's mine:  

I've taken my Grammar Exit Tickets and pulled a few pages I hope you can use!  Just click the photo above and its yours!!  But WAIT!!  There's more!  

IF you hop through the entire hop you can grab a lot more freebies!!! Make sure to stop by A Spark of Inspiration to see if you've won!  Here's your next stop on the hop!

Have fun!!!

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Technology Must Haves - A Bright Idea Linky!!

Ok - so is anyone else super glad that January is over.  IDK about you, but that was a tough month.  My daughter got sick with pneumonia, everyone in the house got sick with the stomach flu, then we all got a cold, my washer went out, furnace is going out, husband was in a car wreck (don't worry - he's fine!), and school's been crazy.  February has been a lot nicer to far!!  ;)  Ha!  Anyways...  At the beginning of the year, our school went 2-1 on iPads in the classroom.  They have been great, but I must say, I'm very picky when it comes to what my kids do on them.  I just don't download apps and let them play.  What they do on them must be very meaningful.  So I'm going to share two AMAZING resources with you that are completely FREE that I hope you'll find as amazing as I have!  :)

The first one is an app called Show Me.  Can I say WOW!!!  This is a 'white board' type of app.  It has a lot of really fun features, but what I think it neat is its ability to take pictures and videos and save them to the app.  Oh the possibilities!!  I can see myself using this to keep videos on of math lessons for students who are absent.  They have a website that you can explore to learn more!

Here is a cute video of one of my kids using the app with cheese-its to practice area and perimeter!


The next amazing technology tool I want to show you is a website called  If you've never heard about this website I promise you, your jaw will drop!  I've created a little 'how to' video to introduce it!


If you don't have time to watch it, its basically a great website/tool that you can use for reading comprehension where everyone in the class gets his/her own username and password and can read short stories and take quizzes for points.  The neat thing is that the stories are differentiated and the better they do on their stories, the higher their levels go and vice-versa!  I hope you check it out!

If you liked this bright ideas, make sure to check out the rest of the link up!  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Unifix Cube Reflections

Having students reflect on their learning is not a new concept.  Lots of teachers have discovered ways to have students think about how they feel on their learning.  Thumbs up and down, turning in papers or exit tickets in color coded bins, and drawing faces on their papers are a few widely used.  However, all of those methods show a student's feelings at the end of the lesson (or beginning).  What about throughout the entire lesson?  How do you know how your students are feeling in the beginning, middle, and end - and all the times in between?  The answer - unifix cubes!!  

This is not my original idea.  A wonderful non blogging teacher at my school came up with it and I just think its too good not to share! (Thanks Stephanie C.!)   Here's how it works:  

Each student gets his/her own set of the 3 unifix cubes.  The colors all have specific meanings:  Green is "I'm good", yellow is "I need a little help" and red is "Lots of help needed".  (I bet you could have figured that part out ;)  )    The students keep them on the corner of their desk.  At the beginning of a lesson I prompt them to change the cubes to show how they feel about the concept.  If its an introductory concept we talk about how they shouldn't really be on green...  If its review then they get to freely choose.  Then as we teach, learn, and practice the students get to change the cubes as they need.  I can prompt throughout the lesson but after a few days of using them, the kids got used to doing it and didn't need much prompting.  

I love using this because it helps guide my teaching more than anything.  I'm able to ask questions to students based on colors they are showing me.  I'm able to approach students during group work or independent practice to assist and clear up any confusion.  It has proven to be very beneficial.  :)

But don't just take it from me - listen to these two lovely ladies!  


I hope you'll take time to read some of the other amazing Bright Idea Posts from the link up!

If you enjoyed this bright idea, I hope you'll consider following me on Facebook for more great ideas!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Snowball Fight Spelling!

I'm torn about the fact that I'm finding time to blog today.  My daughter was put in the hospital on Tuesday for pneumonia.   :(  She's only two and its so hard to see her so sick.  She's been having very rough nights and not sleeping well but luckily today she decided to take a 3 hour impromptu nap so I'm here!  This is a nice little getaway for me.

So before Christmas break, I came up with this super fun way to practice our spelling words.  We've done it once since and my little ones had a blast!!  We had a SNOWBALL FIGHT!!  So here's how the game worked:

First, I wrote out our spelling words two separate times on white paper and crinkled them up into snowballs.  This made about 20 snowballs for starters.  Then I made a misspelled version of each of the spelling words and wrote them on pieces of paper.  Since I have 24 kids I only needed 4 of those to start, the rest I kept on 'deck'.  So here's how we played:

Hopefully those rules make sense.  This made the kids accountable for being able to recognize which words were spelled correctly and which were not.  As students started to get 'out', I would add in a few more misspelled words to help make the game go faster.  The kids loved it - take a look!


(Sorry if the video is hazy - I'm not sure why it's doing that)  You can download the game directions by clicking the picture version from earlier in the post.  (Let me know if the download doesn't work).  I can see this game being played practicing lots of other skills besides spelling.  Long/short vowels, multiplication products, fact/opinion, etc.  I hope you find a way to make it work for you!  Let me know if you have any questions.  Need more fun winter themed fun in your classroom?  Try this fun context clue snowman activity!  Students get a kick out of learning how to talk like a 'snowman!'.  You won't regret it!!  Hope you have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Welcome Christmas!! Sale, Freebies, and Cute Baby Pictures (Duh!)

Can you believe that Christmas is actually right around the corner.  It feel like yesterday I was 8 months pregnant and school was just starting.  Why does time seem to go so much faster when you're an adult? I miss those days as a kid when it took FOREVER for something to happen...  If only we could go back in time and tell our young selves to savor that feeling!  But alas, we cannot.  So I've been super busy with family and school.  And because I don't think I have enough going on in my life (cue laughter), I decided to start selling Scentsy!  I've only been at it for a little over a week and I love it!  I had a 'holiday' party a few weeks ago that was more of an Open House type.  I had over 7 different sellers there anywhere from 31 to Scentsy and Pampered Chef.  It was so much fun!  Lots of friends got some great Christmas shopping done! :)  I finally got parent/teacher conferences done as well.  I had all but one show up...  Pretty good turn out!  And last week (yes, the 2 day week of Thanksgiving) I had my unannounced observation.  It ended up being on a really fun fact family lesson that the kids had a blast with.  I have my conference over it tomorrow morning.  *Fingers Crossed*.  So this week is the first week in a LONG time that I feel somewhat normal.  Nothing going on at home or at school.  Just a typical work and home week and I can't wait to savor it.  I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a lot of fun as well.  I haven't even begun to dig into the leftovers yet.  That's what this week is for!  

So we've been doing a lot of fun things in Room 129 since I've been back.  We learned all about division recently...

And what better way to understand than with cupcake tins and marshmallows!?  You can download the recording sheet we used below.  Students used the division problems and used the marshmallows as the counters and the sections of the tins (from dollar store) as their 'equal groups'.  They really did a great job and understood the concept of division!  Click the photo below to download the recording sheet.  

We've also been hitting our Bossy R sounds along with some other "R" sounds that we're getting mixed up.  "air" sounds and bossy "ar" sounds seem to be tricky for my little ones, so I made this fun little center game for us to practice reading both and knowing the difference in sounds and spellings.  

Students spin the spinner and then find a word that matches the sound they landed on.  If read correctly, they then color in their square.  The person with the most squares wins!  Get if FREE by clicking the photos above!  

So as I said, my unannounced observation was this week and we were working on x and division fact families in math.  I'm super excited about when they came because I had JUST made this activity and was super excited to try it out.  It has everything..  game, QR codes, questions, reflection, etc. Blueberry. My kids loved it!  I wish I could have taken pictures of us playing but since it was my observation I couldn't...  :(  Here's a few pics of it all printed nice and neat though!  

(Yes... that is a shameless Selfie!  I've been in my office alone far too long today by myself - I needed a quick laugh!)

Click on the photos to check it out!  

So when I made the fact family lesson I was also in need of a fun plural noun lesson, so I did a similar activity with plurals!  We're doing this lesson tomorrow.  Man are plural rules hard to remember!  Any advice on how to get them to stick with the kids? Click on the photo to check it out too!

Can you tell we've been busy!?  And that I've been busy?!  

These two stinks keep me busy too!  They are turning TWO in less than a month. Can you believe it!?!?  And their baby brother is growing like a weed!  

Here's to your next three week of school going smoothly!  Also make sure to check out the HUGE cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale going on TPT right now.  Lots of huge savings!!  Click on the picture below for direct access to my store!  I hope you check it out!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Only One Week Left... :(

I only have one week of maternity leave left.  I can't believe these past 8 weeks have flown by this quickly.  I will definitely miss the snuggles, naps, snuggles, quietness, and did I mention the snuggles??  I know my first day back will definitely be hard, but I'm hoping 26 other smiling faces happy to see me back will help.  So I'm spending my last week preparing as much as possible for my first week back.  Lots of planning, creating, and organizing.  (Did I mention I got a brand new office for my birthday!?  It's not completely put together yet but when it is I'll definitely share pictures!)  To top off my last week I thought I'd also throw together a week of some amazing savings deals. Spooky Savings!  I'm not gonna lie - Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I'm super sad to be missing this week with my classroom...  :(  But I hope you all have a great week and do many fun and spooky activities to enjoy it!  Check out all of this week's spooky savings!!

Click on the picture to take you to the paid product

Click on the picture to take you to the paid product

Click on the picture to take you to the paid product

Click on the picture to take you to the paid product

I hope you'll find a deal that you'd like to take advantage of!  Make sure you don't purchase the 'free' item.  You will e-mail me at with your TPT username and I'll e-mail you the free item!  

Tuesday's deal you may not recognize the paid product.  It's my newest - Color Me Crazy (November Edition).  It's full of no prep printables that all involve coloring in some way shape or form.  My kids LOVE to color so if I involve crayons somehow - they are ecstatic!  

Oh ya - and I have a giveaway winner to announce!  Congrats to...

Heather - You should be getting an e-mail from me very soon!  Thanks to everyone who made my birthday blowout giveaway a huge success!  I hope you all found some new blogs and stores to follow!  :)  

Well, I'm off to begin planning for the week.  Any advice on how to make this a smooth and tear free transition?  I'd love to hear!!  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Birthday Blowout Giveaway!!

Soooo... I'm another year older : /  Don't know how I feel about it.  I didn't hit a milestone so that's something to smile about right!?  The big 29.  I feel so old but yet so young.  I never in my life would have thought I would have 3 kids by the time I was 29 - but yet I do!  I'm so happy about where I am in my life and can't wait to find out where else my (our) life takes us.  So my birthday was actually Tuesday.  I woke up to balloons hanging off of the couch and a big banner hanging from the ceiling.  Too fun!  My husband wouldn't tell me what we were having for dinner that night.  He invited over his family and my parents.  We ended up having Pizza King pizza, which is my FAVORITE!!!  My mom even ordered a birthday cake - candles and all.  I can't remember the last time someone actually sang "Happy Birthday" to me - but yet it happened.  I felt like a kid again!  :)  On top of all this, my husband got me a new office for my gift!  A brand new desk and his mother got me a new bookshelf.  I can't WAIT to put it all together - don't worry, I'll post pics when I do!

So now that I've celebrated with my family I'd love to celebrate with all of YOU!  Myself and a few blogger friends of mine have come together to put on this amazing Birthday Blowout Giveaway.  Let me tell you... it's packed FULL of amazingness!  $25 TPT gift card, $30 shopping spree in my store, over 20 sellers have donated products - including the amazing Melonheadz Illustrating!!!  I LOVE her clip art!!

The giveaway ends next week Tuesday - October 21st so make sure to enter soon!  One winner will be picked to win it all!!  Check out what's included below.  Happy Birthday to ME!!

I hope you enter!  Make sure to share it with your friends! :)  I can't wait to see who wins!!!  Good Luck!

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