Jun 30, 2014

July Currently

Can it be July already...what?? I can't hardly keep the day of the week straight and now it is a new month already.  It is that time again for linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for the July Currently.

Listening to the hubs and my son watch the Bachelorette.  Thank goodness for DVR.  I hate commercialswe often will watch something else that is taped rather than live TV just so we can watch it later and fast forward through the commercialslol.  I am listening, so that I will know what happened for Teeny Tiny’s Talk About it Tuesday.

I am loving my summer breakexcept that it is going by way too fast.  I love not having to set that alarm clock.  Although for the first two weeks I was still waking up at 5:30am no matter what.  Now I have been able to sleep in until 6:30lol.  At least I can take a nap if I need itand the boys will let me.

I am thinking that I can’t wait for the I Teach K conference and Blogger meet up next week.  This will be my first time attending and I am sooo looking forward to it.  It is going to be great learning lots of wonderful techniques and strategies for the classroom as well as meeting and having fun with all the other teachers/bloggers there.  I am flying out Sunday afternoon and I have a ton to get done before I leave! 

Wanting to finish decorating my newly expanded classroom.   If you have been following my blog you already know my room was expanded, so now I have an additional 18’ X 25’, and you're probably sick of hearing about it, sorry.  The extra space is so fantasticbut now I am rushing to try to get it in shape.  I have to teach Kinder Camp for 2 weeks as soon as I get back from Vegas.  I want it to be at least half way organized.  I am however, not totally finishing it because I want there to still be some fun surprises for the kiddos on the first day of school. Like my jungle tree with vines reaching across the room. Sshhh...don't tell!

Needing to paint my bathroom.  We have been remodeling our bathroom forwell too long.  We now have the new tile on the floor, Jacuzzi tub and shower tile all finished.  Now I need to paint the walls and vanity so that they can install the granite top and new sink.  Then we will finally be finished.  I will post pictures when we do get it all together.

Our plans for the 4th are to attend an annual BBQ with some of our closest friends and family.  It is fantastic food including homemade ice creamusually 5-6 different flavors.  Then we all head over to the local high school football field and spread out our blankets and enjoy the fireworks show.  Nothing fancy, but it’s tradition and I can’t imagine it any other way.

What are you currently up to??  I would love to hear all about it!  Be sure check out Farley's link up to read what everyone else is doing.

Blessings for a wonderful week!!


Monday Made it! and Monday Meet Me!

I am having double the fun today.  I am joining 2 Linky parties!  First up I am joining 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!

First I must admit neither of these projects are my original ideas.  I am a fantastic copier. 

My first project was phonics phones.  I am sure you have seen these around.  You can even buy them from many teacher supply companies.  But I wanted cute onesI first saw this on Pinterest, where else, last year.  That was before I was blogging and I didn’t save the pin.  I saw it and figuredI can do that.

First gather your materials.  You will need ¾ PVC pipe, (2) ¾ PVC elbows for each phonics phone you want to make, duct tape (optional), tape measure, sharpie and either an electric or hand saw.

The first step is to measure where you will cut your PVC pipe.  I choose to measure out at 3” pieces.  I actually tried 4” first and decided that was a little too big for my kinders...they look small but trust me once you put the elbow pieces on they are much bigger.  I am making the mistakes so you won’t have toolol.  Anywho, take your sharpie and mark at 3",6",9"you get the picture.

Next you will cut your PVC at your markings.  I used the electric sawit was availableand who doesn’t love using a power tool.  But a hand saw will work just as well.

Next wipe off the saw dust and wrap cute duct tape around the center of your 3” piece of PVC.  I have a jungle theme in my room so I went with zebra duct tape, $3 at Walmart.  I found the easiest way to do this was to hold the roll of tape between my thighs with the sticky part of the tape facing up.  Lay the PVC on top and roll toward you.  Then turn it over and cut the tape.  Continue until you have rolled all your tubes.

For the final step, just push one elbow on each end of your tube.  I did not use any type of glue.  If you push them on tight the kiddos won’t be able to get them offalso then if one gets super dirty or broken you can take it off and replace it.  Super cute and very helpful for your students to really hear how they are pronouncing their words.  A skill which is so important for beginning readers.

My next project was Pool Noodles for composing and decomposing numbers, and using base 10. This is from the fantastic Mr. Greg at Smedley’s Smorgasbord of Kindergarten

This project could not have been easier.  Get your pool noodles, I found mine at the Dollar Store, you will also need a tape measure, sharpie, cutting board and knife. 
First step is to measure.  I first cut my base 10 rods, Make a mark at 15”, 30”, 45” next measure for your ones, make a mark at 2”, 4”, 6”, 8”, etc.

Next take a sharp knife and cut your noodles on the marks on your cutting board. It cuts super easy by the way.  Viola!  That’s it.  Now your kiddos can make numbers 1-120. 

Here is 26.  For super cute numbers and a recording sheet check out Mr. Greg’s post for a Place Value Freebie! Any ideas on how to store these?? 

So what have you made lately?  Be sure to head over to 4th Grade Frolics and check out what everyone has been up to.

Now for my second link up for today.  I am joining the gals at The Teaching Tribune for Monday Meet Me.

This week is all about 3 things we are thankful for.

The First is my family.  They may be crazy at times but I love them all the same.  My husband is a wonderful father and best friend and takes care of us all.  I have the 3 best boys in the world, I may be a bit biasthey keep me busy but I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  We are also fortunate enough to have another 20+ relatives including our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins within 30 miles of our home.  It is a blast when we all get together.

Secondly, I am thankful I know my God and have a personal relationship with him.  I know that everything we have is because he provides it.  We can do all things through him who gives us strength, Philippians 4:13.

Lastly I am thankful for a job that I truly love.  I have this job because of #2 above.  I had left full time teaching to raise babies and when the time came I was content to just sub for some extra play money.  2 years ago I got a call out of the blue to do a long term sub at a small rural school in our area, I said yes, I thought it would be fun for a few months.  During that time I told my husband if I was ever going to go back to full time teaching I would like to go there.  Well God had his hand upon that situation and a few months later they called and asked me to come out to talk.  They wanted to know if I would consider teaching again at their school in the grade of my choice.  Well, I took that as a sign and jumped on board.  I have never looked back and love everyday with my kiddos.  Don’t get me wrong, there are days I would like to strangle give a time out to a few kiddos but overall I love it.  Despite the fact that the alarm goes off at 5:00amI am not so much of a morning personuntil I have had my coffeelol.

So what are you thankful for...I would love to read your comments.


Jun 27, 2014

Five for Friday

Well where did this week go?  I tell ya my list of things I want to get done just seems to get longer and the time to get them all done is getting shorter and shorter.  I am linking up today with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday.

I will admit since this is summer vaca there is very little about school and pretty much just a recap of my thrilling  quiet week.

I got the call this week that they had finished cleaning my classroom and removing the wall to expand my room.  Well I jumped in the car and sped  slowly drove over to check it out. I’ve got it down to 12 minutes don't ya know.

I know it is summer and I am not supposed to be thinking about school, but I was sooo excited about my room expansion that I just couldn’t wait to check it out.  The new addition is obviously all the area with nothing on the wallslol.  Where the black fabric and green jungle paper stops are where my room ended last year.

I am so excited to plan what I am going to do with all this extra space.  Be sure to check back the beginning of August for the big room reveal.

I have also spent quite a bit of time this week working on the computer.  I am finishing up a special freebie for all ya’all and a few other items for my TPT store. I am very excited to get that new endeavor started.  Anywho, I was burning the midnight oil and had to take a quick potty break.

I came back to my spot on the couch and this is what I foundlol.  My little cutie snuggled up on my sweatshirt with her paws folded up on the track pad of my laptop.  I guess she thought she better help me finish so we could go to bed.  I swear I did not pose her this way.  I was surprised she stayed like this long enough for me to grab my phone and snap a pic.  I think she didn’t move ‘cause she thought she was going to be in trouble.

I took a run to town to hit the dollar store to see what I couldn’t live without for my room.

 I got these great caddies to hold supplies on my tables and the little green bins for crayons. Who doesn't like a math game with giant foam dice.  The little shot glasses are for a special project I will share with you next week.  No we are NOT playing drinking gameslol.

I also picked up a few other supplies for some Monday Made it projects.  Check back Monday to see my results.  

I also enjoyed my bi-monthly therapy session this weekalso known as getting my nails

When you live with a house full of boys and spend your days with 5 year olds sometimes you just need some girl time. So every other Thursday you will find me chatting it up and treating myself to a wonderful manicure.

Isn’t Monica da bomb!  She hand paints everything.  No stickers, templates, or air brushing. I just love the colors she picked for this week.  

Well it is Friday Fun Day.  Each Friday during the summer we try to do something fun all together.  Today we are going here

The boys have been anxiously awaiting the release of this latest Transformers movie so we will be spending the afternoon in the dark enjoying some movie popcorn, so much better than the microwave stuff at homedon’t you agree. I can never stick to my healthy eating plan when we go to the moviesit would be a sin to not enjoy the popcorn with the movie wouldn’t it??  I do just drink water instead of the soda, so that makes it not so bad right?  Don’t answer.

So what fun have you been up to this week?  I would love to hear about your adventures. 


Jun 23, 2014

Monday Meet Me ~ 3 Random Facts!

Hey 'all I am linking up with the gals over at The Teaching Tribune  for another edition of Monday Meet Up.

So here are three random facts about me that you probably didn’t know.

I started taking dance lessons when I was 6 years oldand it’s a good thing.  Just ask anyone I am a major klutzlol.  My dad jokes that it would be scary to think how klutzy I might have been had I not taken 10+ years of ballet lessons.  Anywho, because I loved dance I became a cheerleader in high school and then in college.  It paid my tuition and it made memories that I will never forget.  I even had the opportunity to dance for a semi-pro football team, the Bandits and had a blast.  I always thought I would be a dance mom, but with 3 boys that didn’t exactly happen.  I now love spending time at the race track and at robotics competitions.

Okay I know this sounds a little cuckoo, but it just drives me crazy if any of the food on my plate touches anything else.  Also, if there is something on the plate I am not planning to eat, like lettuce, or onions, I have to remove them from the plate immediately.  Yes, I know I am certifiablelol.

My favorite place to just relax is at the beach.  Thank goodness we are only about a 2 hour drive away, so it is not too far.  I could just sit and watch and listen to the waves and smell the salty air.  Just thinking about it brings fond memories to my mind.  We are going for a whole week next month and I cannot wait to go.

I would love to hear your thought and comments.  Make the the most of your day!


Jun 20, 2014

iPads, Clipart, Cooking and Fun! Five for Friday!

How’s that for a random titlewere you thinking what?? I am not a professional writer, obviously, but that pretty much sums up my week...  Welcome to Five for Friday, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs again for one of my favorite linky’s. 

Although it is summer I feel like as teachers we never stop learning and improving.  I feel that is the only way we can keep passionate about our job and be the best that we can be for our students.  This week I attended the annual Tech Boot Camp in our area.

For three days you can choose different sessions about using technology in the classroom.  I learned a lot and am super excited to share with you, and with my student's, just all the fantastic things I experienced.  This next year I am fortunate enough to be going 1/1 with iPads in my room and I was looking to get some good ideas of how to best take advantage of this opportunity.  Boy, did I ever.  One of my favorite classes was tips and tricks of the iPad and a program called Doceri to present and teach using the iPad.  Plus going paperless, apps galore, everything Google and so much more!  Stay tuned, next week I will be sharing with you all the information I learned.

I also spent quite a bit of time organizing all of my clip art this week.  I may need an intervention.  I did not realize how much I have and this has just been for personal use, so far.  One of my goals for this summer was to get my TPT store up and running.  I felt like really getting organized was the first step, so I can dive right in on the list of things I have been wanting to create.  Thanks to Cynthia at My Kind of Teaching for helping me out too!

I just love to cookbut not clean upbut somebody’s got to do that too and it is usually me...but back to the cooking. I must confess during school, especially at the end of the year my recipes get pretty boring.  Just whatever is quick and simple.  So this week I got to spend a little time in the kitchen. (no judging on the photo I know I need some

I even made one of my, and the families, favorites.  I call it veggie spaghetti.  It is a homemade, no cans or bottles here people, marinara that is chock full of fresh veggies.  I use tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, and mushrooms, plus green, red and yellow bell peppers.  My special spices and lean ground turkey finish it off.  Boil up some whole wheat linguine and you have a perfect one bowl meal.  I am not a huge salad fan so with this you get everything in the sauce no need for a side dish of greens. Yum, Yum!

My oldest will be leaving for college in September so we are trying to make the most of these last few months before he goes.  We both love the show The Good Wife.  However, we missed the first 2 seasons.  It is now available on Hulu Plus, so this week we started from the beginning and managed to squeeze in 4 episodes over the last couple of days.  This is a great way to unwind and spend some down time together just hanging out! I am really gonna miss him when he goes...

Today we are off for a day full of fun and sun with all the familynieces, nephews and cousins included.  

We are going to a local water park, it is a summer tradition. They have a wave pool, water slides, kiddie zone, and cabanas to just hang out.  The boys have been looking forward to it all week.

Keep enjoying your summer!  Leave a comment and let me know what fun you will be up to today or later this summer!  


Jun 19, 2014

Teacher Tip Thursday!

Today I am linking up with The Teaching Tribune for Teacher Tip Thursday.

Here is my tip

There a lot of fantastic teaching tips so be sure to go check them out!


Jun 13, 2014

Five for Friday and It is Finally Summer!

Woo Hoo!  I am finally on Summer vacation!  This was my first week of vacation and it has seriously flown by.  I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday

Being that I am on summer vaca I didn’t have a whole lot going on this week.  I really just needed a week towellnot do much of anything. 

Monday, I did have to go into school and move all of my furniture in the class on to the linoleum so that the carpets could be cleaned. 

I drug my oldest son with me, actually he was happy to help, to lift the heavy items.  I already had everything packed our last day on Friday, so all we had to do was move and stack.  With the two of us we were done in about 45 minutes.  

I am thrilled to say the ugly yellow wall in my room is coming down this week too!! I have a teeny tiny room and I will now have about an extra 18’ X 10’ of space, and I cannot wait.  Don’t worry I will be sharing the after pictures, later this summer.

Tuesday I did spend the day at a Kindergarten conference with Heidi Butkus aka Heidi Songs.  If you have not heard of her be sure to check her site out.  She gave lots of great tips for integrating music and movement into your classroom.  Research shows that by incorporating more areas of the brain in learning, (seeing, hearing, speaking, moving) the better the retention of what was taught.

I sooo did not like this picture of me with Heidi. In my defense I had been up since 3:45am  to drive to the   All I had with me was my iPhone and I had to ask a stranger to take the photoso this is what I ended up with.

The boys and I made a trip to the city to Hobby Town USA.  No, this is nothing like Hobby Lobbylol.  It is basically a store for big boys toys.  They needed new parts for their remote control cars, not just run of the mill remote control cars.  These have independent suspension, 4 wheel drive, go 45+ mph, you get the picture.  We bought the cars for gifts, but they are responsible for any parts or upgrades. 

We also enjoyed a fun game of A, B, Con the way home. I am pretty competitive and they have yet to beat their motherlol.  When they were younger we made teams and I would help them.  Now it is every man/woman for themselves.  We actually have a lot of fun!  Do you play games in the car with your kids?  What kinds of games? 

I did indulge in one thing just for myself.  I got a much needed pedicure.  It is amazing what just 1 hour to yourself and a Starbucks can do to relax you!

I waited until I got home to snap a pic of my beautiful new toes.  I was afraid if I took it during the pedicure the salon would think I was some sort of lunaticwell sometimes I might be, and no my feet are not dirty, those are tan lines from my favorite sandalslol

Pretty much the rest of the week I spent hanging out with my boys and my fur babies. You've seen the here are my fur babies.  They kept me company while I did some computer work.

This is Mandy, our family dog of 10 years. We got her as a puppy and she was supposed to be a mini dachshunddo you see anything mini about her.  She, like her mama, hasn’t missed any meals.  She weighs about 18 lbs.  According to AKC , mini is under 11 I am pretty sure she doesn't qualify.  Nevertheless we love her to pieces.

Meet Trixie, stray #1, a deer legged chihuahua.  Yes, you are sharp that means there is a #2 Poor thing when she showed up on our porch she was skin and bones.  I even thought she was deformed because her legs bowed out so much when she tried to walk from being malnourished. But, as you can see she is healthy and happy now.  I always wanted a little lap dog and now I have one. Ignore all the mess in the background.  SInce it is my first week of vacation I didn't make the boys clean up after themselves...I know, I know.  But, research has shown that kids who live in a less than perfectly clean home do build up a better immune system...and mine are like never sick...just saying.

Meet Jack, stray #2.  We are such suckers! There must be a sign somewhere that says if you need food and a home go here!  He showed up at my hubby’s shop in the winter of 2013.  Poor guy was hungry and freezing, so of course my hubs brought him home.  As you can see he is quite at home nowlol.  

Have a fantastic weekend!  I would love to read your thoughts and comments!