Friday, May 31, 2013

Five For Friday!

YAY! It's Friday! I survived our school field day - it was only about 96 degrees here. I have a mild sunburn, I think I nearly passed out by noon time. It was definitely a pop in a movie afternoon :) Time to enjoy a glass of vino and do my five for Friday!

I hope I have a "grape" weekend and go to the pool, too! :)


My kiddos and I have been studying maps, globes and US symbols. We participated in Primary Graffiti's postcard project early this year and are just reading our postcards now! We located the states on the map and taped up our postcards this week. We are using my unit on Maps, Globes and Community Helpers and Deanna Jump's America Math and Literacy Unit.


I spent a whole day on Thursday with our literacy specialist grading our wild cats informational writing assessment with our rubrics. It. took. FOREVER. I am happy to say that all of my kids made progress and many met the end of year benchmark for 1st grade. WHEW. A few kids wrote things like "Wild cats eat zebras, ponies and horses". Ponies and horses?!


I spent about 5 hours perfecting these invites to my Hollywood theme end-o-year bash. Seriously. Needed the perfect fonts, perfect clipart... Printed 20 copies this morning after e-mailing myself the PDF and guess what?! I wrote two different times on the invite!!! :( One hour and a bottle of white out (plus my OCD self attempting to mimic Cara Carroll's font) and it was fixed.. but not as pretty :( Here's a freebie version if you are interested :) Also, I posted my superlatives on TpT this week. I'm using these at my end of year bash. 

Graphics courtesy of KPM Doodles, Fonts Cara Carroll

Graphics courtesy of Ashley Hughes/Krista Wallden/Enlightened Elephant/Melonheadz

My 100 follower giveaway will be up by Sunday, I promise! So many wonderful bloggers donated items already! Thank you SO much! If you're interested in adding your product to my giveaway, click here to go to my post and fill out the google doc :) THANK YOU!!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In the land of end of year assessments and 4052805 things to do before the end of the year...

I think I made 5 separate to do lists this morning. And then panicked. I have been complaining about still having 20-something days to go here, but OMG - I'm never going to get all of this stuff done! I'm in the heat of common assessments (our district mandated assessments) and that alone is giving me hives. Here's a peek at what that looks like for us...
They watch a video about lions and "jot" notes at certain stop points. They also turn and talk to a partner at each stop point.

Here we are jotting and chatting...

These are the district mandated anchor charts (2 out of 3) that we use during the assessment. The informational book one is one we also used during our non-fiction unit so that we had practice with it.

This is the video - it's a good one! The kids love this part. 

When we finish the video, we then have a read aloud where we also jot notes about wild cats (thinking about what headings could be on each page, what information we learned, key vocabulary and key details). When we finish the read aloud, we also have a read-to-self task using a level G-H-ish text, "Tigers", where the kids read independently and are asked to pull out important information on a "jot" page. It's a lot of work, especially when we first give it in the fall, but I can honestly say these kiddos rose to the occasion! Tomorrow, we put it all together, use all of our notes and new knowledge, organize our information and write an informational book about wild cats! Fingers crossed :) Do any of you have district assessments like this? This one comes from Teacher's College.

After we worked for what seemed like 3 days on the first 3 components of this 4 part assessment, we had time for a little dance party. I SO wish I could show you the adorable cha cha slide video I took of them today... Makes me happy to  watch when the kiddos are driving me batty! 

I've been eying these contraction kites on Pinterest for months, and we finally had an opportunity to do them today! They came out so cute, I hung them in our window. I thought I had a finished product shot, but it's on my work camera and not my phone :( The patterns I used are here.

In other news, I hit 100 followers last night! WOOOOOO! Check out my post here - there is a google doc there if you would like to contribute something to my 100 follower giveaway, which will be coming soon! :) So many awesome bloggers have already contributed... THANK YOU! You rock :)

Monday, May 27, 2013


WooHoo!!! I have reached 100 followers on this little blog! When I started this blog, I didn't think anyone would even read it! I've "met" so many amazing teachers and gotten so many wonderful ideas, had a successful fundraiser for Martin Richard, and gotten some great feedback from you guys! This calls for a little giveaway celebration :) If you'd like to help out with my little 100 follower giveaway, I would so appreciate it!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Five for Frunday!

I'm a little late on the link up, but I have been neglecting my poor blog due to end of the year craziness! Here's my five for "Frunday"!

1. I just discovered Very Jane and I am beyond obsessed. I've already placed 2 orders... Ugh!
Ordered this in hot pink and white .... $8.99! 

2. I love Reagan's picnic themed centers! They align with everything I'm teaching and reviewing right now, and the kids love how cute they are!  I have the rest all laminated, and as soon as I work up the energy to cut them, we'll do those this week! This is her fruit salad synonym game :) 

3. Lola loves her new pool! She is set for summer.

4. Adding to my end of year craziness is the multiple house projects we have going right now. We just finished residing our house this week! 

5. Synonym buns! I kept seeing this cute idea on Pinterest so I tried it out with my kids this week. They came out super cute, even if the humidity kept peeling them off the wall..

I'm also linking up at the Summer Bucket List linky party!
(Go link up!) 

1. Move, unpack, organize!
I am moving schools and moving back to K. I am overwhelmed. I have moved every year! However, the good news is... new classroom, new theme!?! I went from primary rainbow colors to neon animal print this year, and I got the email from Carson Dellosa about chevron coming soon, so I'm leaning towards that for my new classroom theme - chevron with bright colors! What do we think? I'm hoping to have the whole thing done in July so I can have August to relax a bit.

2. TPT! I have a long list of products I have wanted to finish AND start!

My hubs and I are going in August. Can't wait! We got engaged in Disney over 6 years ago, and have been back a few times since.

4. Beach! I can't wait for beach weather. This is my favorite beach near me :) We're also on the hunt for some dog friendly beaches near us for our girl :)

5. Finish up our renovations and BE DONE renovating our new home! (Easier said than done!)

In other news, 23 days left of school. I feel like that's a ridiculously long time, but not nearly enough for me to cram everything in by the end of June! However, I'm a little jealous of all you peeps who are already on summer vacation... I'll be sweating for 5 more weeks (except today, because it's 44 degrees out... Happy start to summer!). I'm prepping to move schools and grades at the end of this year. I'm working on my end of the year slideshow for my students' families and sobbing a little every time I sit down to work on it :( I've had 5 of these guys for 2 years now and I have grown so close to their families. So, since it's a cold, rainy day, I'm off to work on my end of the year invitation and decor. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sorry I've been MIA... freebie and a linky!

What a week. Or two weeks. However long I've been gone! :) I already mentioned this, but I'm moving to kindergarten next year, and I'm moving to a new school in my district. I spent all of last week as a K teacher and a 1st grade teacher - bouncing between two buildings, two classrooms, and two positions. I spent my Tuesday at parent night for incoming K parents, meeting a new teacher who will be my teammate for the first time and getting back into my kindergarten groove. Then, I mingled with the parents - luckily, they were very nice :) On Thursday and Friday, I spent the day in my new classroom meeting the kindergarteners. So cute, but so little compared to my big first graders. On top of all of that, I still was teaching my kiddos in 1st grade and tried to explain my absence to them, but they still weren't thrilled to have a sub. Meanwhile, my dad has been seriously ill since last week, so I've had personal days thrown in there to be with my family. Whew! I am so ready for summer vacation. I have had no time to plan, and very little time to make anything fun :(

 I will share this quick freebie with you to make up for my absence, I hope you can use it! We're working on compound words this week, and I needed a quickie match game for the pocket chart :)

Also, I'm linking up with I {heart} Recess for a fun linky for bloggers with under 200 followers :)

Jess asked that we answer the following questions:

1. Why did you start blogging? Because I loved stalking following other bloggers and getting great ideas, and I thought I could do it too!
2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why? Writing - in the younger grades, there is so much incredible progress, they make you feel like a superstar teacher no matter what! 
3. Describe your teaching style. Flexible, versatile, and creative- I believe in teaching to the group I have, changing things up constantly to meet their needs, and being creative in content delivery :)
4. Give three interesting facts about you. 
   - I have never taught the same grade 2 years in a row.
   - My husband and I are high school sweethearts (dating since age 14)
   - I have worked for 5 principals in 5 years!
5. Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link :)
 Yes! Primary Buzz

Have a great night :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday's Freebie and Getting Acquainted!

I have a personal day and I feel like I still need to compulsively check my work e-mail, worry, hope the sub plans are okay, etc... Plus, I'm now doing the work of a first grade teacher AND a k teacher since this week is our K parent night, plus 2 days of incoming K visits. I'm moving schools AND grades, and it is nuts...

My personal day allowed me to finish this unit:

YAY! This has been a work in progress for months. I bundled concepts about maps and map skills, the United States, the continents, and community helpers, because I have taught K, 1 and 2, and these are the units I taught! For me, it makes sense to have 'em all together. This unit is now available on TpT at a reduced price for the next few days! If you're like me, you're teaching this stuff right now, which is why I *needed* to finish ASAP! :) Click the pic to hop over to the TpT listing and check out the preview.

I am linking up in a few different places today. First, Classroom Freebies! I have a freebie from this unit to share. I was thinking about how cute it would be to do this kind of Pinterest inspired photo shoot for the end of this year OR back to school, or just to do this fun activity! The freebie is 3 variations (out of 5 included in the unit) of "When I Grow Up...". I hope you like it! 

Also, I am linking up with Latoya for Let's Get Acquanited! 

This week's questions:

1.  What made you decide to become a teacher?
I have always wanted to be a teacher, ever since I was little. However, when it came time for college, I majored in social work and counseling! Immediately after graduating from college with my bachelor's degree, I entered a master's program and received my master's in early childhood education 2 years after that. During that time, I worked as a kindergarten assistant and fell in love with the little ones :)
2. What has been your most rewarding experience as a teacher?
Being able to loop with 5 of my students from K-1. Watching those 5 kiddos bloom has been so rewarding! I can't believe their growth and progress. Having that special relationship with them and their families has been so rewarding. I wouldn't trade it for anything! It will make the end of the year that much harder :(
3. If you were not a teacher, what would you be?
I would be a baker! I LOVE baking. I make cupcakes and cake pops for every friend's child's birthday or special event. It is so relaxing for me :) 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Five for... Fraturday?

I'm a day late, but this is my favorite post to do every week! :)

1. We went plant shopping.
We built a stone patio in our backyard and we now have 2 huge raised flower beds to fill along with some other areas to add flowers too. I'm so excited! It's our first spring in our new home that we moved into last summer :)

2. This dog.

This dog is the cutest thing in the entire world. Until you walk into this.

Oh... my... gosh.

3. I survived.

I'd like to report that I survived the birds of prey show during our zoo field trip. I only flinched a few times. I don't think the people next to me heard the ticket collector say "do not eat anything during the show - the birds will eat it". I, on the other hand, was telling my class "don't even look at that lunchbox". I didn't need these things any closer to me. The family next to me was popping cheezits! I was a little nervous.

4. This packet from Cara Carroll is the CUTEST! These books came out so cute! We were doing mine whole group and we got to the "My mom is as tired as...." page and one kid said "Wine! My mom drinks wine every night and it makes her sooooooo tired". And that is why I love first grade.

5. I'm working on a new unit on maps, globes, and community helpers, and since we're doing that right now in social studies, we completed one project that will be in that unit :)

Have a great Mother's Day to all of the moms out there :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I did a little shopping...

I am too tired to compose something educational, so I'll link up with Blog Hoppin' and show you all that I bought during the TpT sale! I think I went overboard. Allow me to introduce myself. Hello, my name is Sara, and I'm addicted to clip art.

I'm writing a unit on maps, globes and community helpers, so I couldn't resist these guys from Melonheadz...

I am addicted to Krista's clip art!

So many possibilities for these ones!

and Ashley's too!

I'm using these for my "fancy words" wall!

and these are just plain adorable! :)

Look at these cute things from Sarah Cooley!

I already got my baking sheet hung up and my brownies laminated! Can't wait to use this- we need all of the behavior management we can get now that it's May ;)

This one is from Christie at First Grade Fever!

Click these talented ladies' names to visit their TpT stores!

I feel like this week has been nuts, but I have been snapping lots of pictures and I hope to have a "real" post for you this weekend :) We're off to the zoo tomorrow!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Sale and THANK YOU

Hi everyone! I'm just in from a cookout to conclude our very busy weekend. Still a bit frosty in these parts for cooking outside!

First, I wanted to thank everyone who donated to my fundraiser for Martin Richard's family. We raised $540! Thank you to the fabulous bloggers who donated their products to this great cause :) I can't wait to send all of that money over the the foundation!

Second, I'm linking up with Learning with Mrs. Leeby. Many fellow TpTers are teaming up for this amazing teacher appreciation sale! I am too - all of my products will be 28% off May 7-8. Stock up for next year (or finish off this year!) Working on non-fiction? Grab my posters and Woodland Animals unit! The pictures below will take you to specific products in my TpT shop. I know that I will be emptying out my wish list this week! :)

Have a great week :)