Friday, May 18, 2012


I have TOTALLY abandoned my blog over the past few months, and for that I am extremely sorry. My class was going through a lot of changes and I simply did not have the energy to post. Well, yesterday was our last day of school (PTL), so now I have tons of time to create new products and post on my blog! Yay for summer! Can I get a woot woot!?

Anyways, I need your help. I have been seeing these adorable borders/frames all over products on TPT and blogland and I just have to have them. I have been searching all over the internet, but cannot find them. Do you know where I can get them? Here is a picture from the awesome blog, LIVE LOVE  LAUGH so that you can see the border/frame thingy. Thanks for your help!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Do you "Just Dance"?

My teamies and I made a recent find on YouTube that has been a TOTAL blessing for all of these rainy (where is the snow!?) indoor recess days. Instead of letting the kids wreck my room play in centers for indoor recess, we have been dong Just Dance videos on our projection screen.

OH.MY.WORD, people. This is the best idea since peanut butter and jelly! The kids beg to do it every day, even if we don't have indoor recess. The best part? The students are exercising!

My class really likes the Just Dance 1,2, and 3, but there is also a Just Dance Kids, for the younger ones. I was a little cautious about some of the songs that my students wanted to dance to because I was afraid that it would have the explicit lyrics, but the game designers took most of those out of the songs. However, I will caution you to not do the Black Eyed Peas Experience, because it does contain explicit lyrics. My students also LOVE the Michael Jackson Experience, especially Thriller. It's so funny to watch them dance around. Check out this video I took of them just a few days ago. They were dancing to Willow Smith's "I Whip My Hair." Enjoy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I've Created a Button and Tristate Teacher Meet Up

I've created a button for my blog! I can't even begin to tell you how technologically challenged I am, so I am pretty proud of myself right now! If only I knew how to link the html code into this post..... Oh, well. Baby steps. Here is what my button looks like. If you want to grab it, just go to the scroll down box on the left side of my blog to get the html code.
Did you attend the Cincinnati area blogger meet up today? I did! I was in awe at all of the amazing bloggers that are around this area. I met so many "famous" bloggers! Here is a pic of me with Abby from The Inspired Apple and Michelle from Fabulous in First.
They are both just as stinkin' cute in person as they are on their blogs!

I also got to meet Katie, from Queen of the First Grade Jungle. I was really excited to meet her because I use a lot of her ideas in my classroom. Plus, my sister-in-law is Katie's student teacher right now. {Is it okay to admit that I am jealous about that!?}

I got to meet a lot of really great ladies {there were about 50 of us there!} and I hope that we are able to do it again sometime soon!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Harcourt Storytown Freebie!

Are you a 2nd grade Harcourt StoryTown user? Check out my freebie that I have created for the story "Big Bushy Mustache." Please let me know if this is something that you could use in your room because I would LOVE to share all of the other weekly study guides for each story as I create them. I know that many schools started before we did in September, so if you let me know which lesson you are on, I will be sure to create those study guides first!

You can download it here or by clicking on the picture.
You can also visit my TpT store for many other great Storytown freebies, like this one:

You can click on the picture to take you to these awesome resources in my store!
On another note, I will be attending the Cincinnati Tri-State Blogger Meet Up in the morning! I am sooooo excited to meet some AMAZING teachers/bloggers! I don't know if I'm going to be able to sleep tonight!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Centers Organization Linky Party

One of my new years resolutions this year was to organize my centers so that they don't drive me crazy are more effective and easier for my students to put back when they are finished, so I thought that I would join in on Lesson Plan Diva's Center Organization Linky Party!

I am lucky enough to not only live in a city with a wonderful resource, like Crayons to Computers {a teacher free store for eligible schools in the Cincinnati tri-state area}, but my school is eligible for me to "shop" there once every 5 weeks. This place is AH.MA.ZING! Here is a picture of one of my recent finds there:
These are clear boxes that apparently stored Air Heads. These things are PERFECT for centers! So, here's what I have done with them.
I placed these numbered signs {I don't remember from where I got them on blog land - if they are yours, please let me know so I can give credit!} on 10 of the lids. I love this because I can simply switch the lids of the boxes when I need to change the center. {I then write the name of the center on the side of the non-numbered box and store it in my classroom closet. This way, I don't have to find new storage while the center materials are not being used. Does that make sense?}
This is what the boxes look like when they have a center in them.

In each box, I include the directions for the center and then all of the necessary materials inside of a ziploc baggie.
For the recording sheets, I have a folder with the numbers 1-10 written on them. I place the recording sheets for center #1 in folder #1, etc.
I write the words "completed" on the left side of the folder and "new" on the right side of the folder. My students know that when they choose their center, then they also grab their folder from the folder holder {see pic below}. They grab a new recording sheet from the "new" side and then place their completed work on the "completed" side of the folder. This new system has made my life sooooo much easier {especially when I have to check their center recording sheets}. Now they are all in one simple place!

Here are all of the folders in the folder holder and a picture of the centers where they sit on my bookshelf.
Welp, that's all I have for tonight!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Place Value Freebie!

Before I get to the place value freebie, let me explain where the inspiration came from. 

 Life has been a little crazy in my 2nd grade class since we came back from winter break three weeks ago. The administration at my school decided that it would be a *wonderful* idea to mix up our classes after the break. There are 2 first grades and 2 second grades at my school. Amongst the four classes, we {the teachers and admin} saw a HUGE gap between most of the students in our classes. Just to give an example, we had second grade students reading 0 and 2 words per minute. C R A Z Y! On the other hand, we had students in the same class that were performing on a 3rd grade level. THe same was happening in the 2 first grade classrooms. There were students that were performing well below grade level and students who were performing well above grade level.

To solve this problem and better serve our students, we all agreed that it would probably be a good idea to mix the classes up and have 4 different leveled classrooms. One class would be the low students (1st and 2nd graders performing below a 1st grade level), another class would be the medium-low (1st and 2nd graders who were performing on a 1st grade level), the third class would be the medium-highs (1st and 2nd graders performing at a 2nd grade level) and the high class (yes, there are 1st graders in there). Guess which one I got?
At first, I was totally pumped. You mean I could actually have students who could read their own directions on their morning work? What!?
However, I am now pulling my hair out.
After 3 weeks of being with my new students (which has basically been like starting the school year all over again with procedures, etc.), I have come to the realization that there should NOT be any 1st graders in my class. It is WAY too high for them. Not only are we moving at a really quick pace {per admin's direction}, but we are using a different curriculum that is not used in the first grade.
These poor babies! Most of them are lost already because they were not in 2nd grade for the first half of the year, thus missing all of the review for the first grade content. UGH.
I went ahead and gave our first math assessment to the class today. Let me just say, DISASTER! I feel like banging my head against the wall. These little guys don't even know their place value, let alone be able to just jump right in to addition with carrying to the thousands place.
I know it is my duty as an educator to meet these kids' needs. With that being said, this whole next week will be one GIANT review session. I took their tests and broke it down by the types of questions asked and figured out who needed help with what. I figured that place value would be the place to start since it is critical when reading a number, being able to do multiple digit addition, etc. So that is the place that we will begin at tomorrow. SIGH.
So, I made this a poster about place value that I will not only hang in the classroom, but I will also send home in my communication binder so that parents have it at home as well. Since you were so great and listened to all of that craziness, I have posted it in my TpT store for FREE! Click here to go directly to my store for the free download. I hope you enjoy! :o)

{Sorry about that little rant. I've been holding that one in for a little while.}

Friday, December 30, 2011

MLK Day Freebie!

Holy wow! Have I really not blogged since before school started!? I guess regularly updating this poor blog will be at the top of my resolutions list!

Anywhos, as I was beginning to plan for the first few weeks back at school {I can’t believe break is already over in 3 days :o( }, I was having a difficult time finding morning work {a.k.a. worksheets} for MLK, Jr. Day that was appropriate for my students. So, I took matter into my own hands and created this beauty!

 Head on over to my TpT store here for your free copy! Please leave me a comment as well if you download it. I LOVE comments!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Printed Duct Tape LOVE

While picking up my 10 cent composition books at Staples this week, I needed at least 5 dollars worth of items to buy to get the extreme deal. {They sure know how to sucker more money out of us, don’t they?}
Anywhoos, I saw these beauties on a display and knew I JUST. HAD. TO. HAVE. THEM.
They’re zebra and leopard print! PERFECT for my jungle/safari theme!
So I got them to my classroom and was just staring at their beauty, pondering what in the world I could do with them. And then it hit me. Why don’t I jazz up my book boxes? So this is what I did.

I took my book boxes that I had purchased last year from Target's dollar spot {have I ever mentioned how much I love that place?} and simply added two pieces of the duct tape to the end! They turned out so cute!
Here are all of the boxes together sitting on the counter. On the first day of school I plan on taking each student’s picture and then adding them on top of the animal prints. This will make it quick and easy for them to find their boxes.
Don’t you just love the simplicity of it? I think these are my new favorite items in my classroom! :o)


Classroom Pictures...So Far

So life has been pretty hectic the past few weeks. I have one last final week of summer break before going back for a 3 week “boot camp.” I’m not going to complain though, because one of those “boot camp” days includes a special speaker - - the one and only RON CLARK!!!!!! (I CAN’T WAIT!!!)
Anywhoos, I have spent many hours in my classroom already, but feel like I have SO much more to do! A little bit of background on my school: it’s a charter school in Cincinnati. There is already one campus (K-12) on the west side of town and they are opening up a new campus (K-6) on the east side. I was lucky enough to be able to go to the new campus. I can’t wait until all of the kiddos arrive on September 6th!
On Tuesday this past week, I decided in the afternoon to head out to get some things done in my room since the hubby got home from work early.  BAD IDEA! I should have just stayed home because not even 5 minutes away from my house, this happened:

I know, right!? And I had JUSt gotten these tires last September for my birthday too!
Well, enough griping. How about some pictures of my classroom? I am doing a jungle/safari theme this year.

This is what my classroom looked like the very first time that I saw it  - completely blank!
After a few hours here and there, this is what I have so far:

This is where the student mailboxes are located. The cute little animal trash cans are fm Target’s dollar spot (last spring). They are going to be the “scrap bins” for each table whenever we have a cutting project. I hate it when kids are out of their seats to throw away little scraps of paper. Such a waste of time. The students will put all of their scraps in their table’s bin and then the classroom helpers will empty them at the end of the day.
This is the beginning of the library. All of the items here were also found at the Target dollar spot last spring.

I have an ENTIRE wall of windows in my classroom and not even close to the amount of wall space that I need, so I decided to turn each window shade into a different bulletin board!
This is the first one. It is for our weekly mystery reader. I got all of the items that I needed for this from Mrs. D at The Silver Lining. Here is the link to her post.

I found these “Bucket Filling Essentials” that Hope over at 2nd Grade Shenanigans created from Ron Clark’s Essential 55. LOVE!

I can’t take the credit for this behavior chart. I about fell out of my seat when I saw this posted here on Queen of the First Grade Jungle. I just knew that I had to use this for my room!
“Treemendous Words” Can you guess what this is? Lol!

This is the front of my room. I’ve already banged my head on that blasted tv at least 20 times!
This is a picture standing where the tv is.

As you can see, there is still a LOT of work to do, but not too bad for starting with a clean slate! :o)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Classroom Decorating and Emmie's 4th Birthday

So I went into my classroom for the first day of organizing and decorating today. I have been stressing out about getting my classroom together for this upcoming school year because I am moving to a new school and a new grade. Eeeekkk! I have actually been able to get into my classroom since mid-June, but there was really no point in going except to drop off my buckets and buckets of classroom stuff until today because there was no furniture at our new school yet. 

Well, the desks finally arrived on Friday, so I headed on in today. I got quite a bit done and was actually surprised and pleased with myself. Sad thing is, I FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES BEFORE I LEFT!!! UGH! I was really excited to show my dear husband the pictures of what I had accomplished today and realized half-way home that I never took any! Ooops! Oh well. I guess I'll have to remember to take some when I go in later this week.


On a non-school related note, my little girl turns 4 tomorrow. 4! I can't believe it! Check out this cute little face!

We’re surprising her with a trip to the zoo and Build-A-Bear tomorrow. She is also getting her ears pierced because she wants to be like the “cool girls” that live across the street. :o)


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Super Cute New Blog!

I found a super cute new blog this morning called A Little Kinder Told Me So and she is hosting her first giveaway! She is giving away a customized tote bag, a $10 gift card to Target, and a $10 gift card to Sonic!!!
Head on ove rto her blog to find out how to enter and to look at all of her cute stuff!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bulletin Board Linky Party!

So I'm doing my first ever linky party with  Sunny Days in Second Grade to share some of my bulletin boards over the past few years. I hope I am doing this right!

I know that I have a lot more pictures of bulletin boards, but I just can't seem to find them right now! Oh, well. I am already planning for my new classroom at my new school with my new grade {2nd}! I hopefully will be able to get into my classroom some time over the next week. I have been gathering some great ideas from all of teh awesome linky parties that are going on in blogland! I'll post some pics of my new room when I get some things on the walls!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cupcake Addition!

I have posted my first products on Teachers Pay Teachers and I thought I would share it with ya'll! I am so excited to finally be able to find the time to post these products! :o) Anywhos, the first product is an addition math center game, which includes a recording sheet. Below, you will find the link to teh game on Teachers Pay Teachers. I hope to be posting more games and units soon!

Cupcake Addition

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My First Attempt...

Okay, so here is my VERY FIRST attempt at creating a game or anything of the sort to share on my blog.  PLEASE let me know what you think!  I could REALLY use your feedback!!!!!  Thanks!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I just LOVE finding ideas on the internet and being able to use them in my classroom.  Why reinvent the wheel, right!? I do not recall where I found the idea of book pointers in the library area of your classroom, but I loved it - especially when I found these adorable bee cutouts at the teacher store.  I just laminated them for durability, hot glued them to a craft stick and put them in a cute decorated can (see previous post).  I plan on adding the student names to each bee so that they all have their very own pointer to use as they are reading books in the library!

I also put together these awesome "Read the Room" pointers for the students to use while in the word center.  Check out First Grader...At Last! for directions on how to make these.  I love Sarah's blog and find GREAT ideas there.  For the holder, I covered an old beer bucket that my husband acquired from someone with scrapbook paper. Ironically, he doesn't even drink beer! Anywhos, I decided to cover both inside and out to make it really interesting looking.  I think it turned out great and I can't wait to see my students using these pointers as they walk around the classroom. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Bees Knees

Okay, so if you haven't been able to guess yet, my theme in my classroom this year will be.....BEES! :o) I have found some really great ideas online that I am planning on using in my classroom. One of the ideas that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE (and can't wait to make) is Our Five 'Bees' Promise from  First Grader...At Last!.  I have also been in the process of making many more bee related items for my classroom.  Unfortunately, I don't have any new pictures to include since I have not been able to start setting up my classroom yet, but I promise to post some as soon as I get in there!  I was able to find a picture of my Kindergarten classroom door two years ago that inspired my decision for the bee theme this year.

In addition to deciding on the theme of my classroom, I had a genius idea as I was opening up a can of peaches for my daughter. It's strange how we teachers can come up with crafty ideas to "turn trash into treasures?" :o) I decided to turn the many soup, vegetable and fruit cans that we use in my house into nifty little pencil holders for the students to keep at their desks.  I used scrapbook paper to cover each can and then "laminated" each one by covering it with packing tape.  I then added a label to each one to write the student names on as soon as I get my class list.  I also plan on adding a piece of Velcro to the bottom of each can to keep them secure to the desks.  I am *hoping* that this idea will actually work.  I'm curious to see if it will help my students stay organized.  I guess time will tell.

Finally, for all of you that are parents of infants or know someone who has an infant, ask them to keep their baby wipe containers and formula canisters.  I wrapped mine in scrapbook paper and again "laminated" them with the packing tape to use as inexpensive manipulative holders!  Here are a few pics of the ones that I have created recently.