Hiya Folks!

It must be summer because all day I was thinking I could write up my Five for Friday post tomorrow. But, guess what? It actually was Friday and not Thursday. One week into vacation and I've already lost track of the days. We are settling into our summer routine around here.

For the kids it includes poking at each other, using very loud voices inside and telling me how hungry they are constantly. My mom graciously watches my 3 kiddos three days a week during the school year and she always says if we didn't have to feed them it would all would be much easier...I agree!!

For me my summer routine so far consists of attempting to clean and organize all the areas I have been neglecting since September, making all the appointments I have neglected since September, tackling all those projects I thought I'd do this summer.... and the one day I plan to spend at the beach- it rains!!! And things aren't looking to great around here in the 7 day forecast. Lots of rain! I hope it isn't one of those rainy summers.

Even though it sounds mundane it actually feels good to catch up on all these little things. Clean and organized drawers and cabinets make me happy. I've got about 3 done. Only 48 left to go!!


So my 5...

1. Keep the kiddos busy! We took a trip to the library and my oldest got a library card and is keeping it in his very own wallet! He is growing up so fast. He also has two loose teeth. That news floored me more than the fact he's off to K in the fall. It a funny thing when the person you can trust most to help you during the day is only 5. Thank goodness he's the oldest because the middle one would leave me hangin' big time..I am so nervous for her teenage years! ps...The almost 2 year old will not be coming to the library with us on our next trip. She does better with wide open spaces where you can be loud. I respect that and will spare us all the pain next time.
Here they go heading in to the library...my son's shorts are too small (hehe).


2. Prepping for next year! My school gives us some money to spend on classroom items. Yippee! They provide us with crayons, glue, paper and other office type supplies. This money is more for us teachers to build our classroom offerings. Browsing through those catalogs is overwhelming! My math materials needed a little refresher. I do a Math Workshop model and needed more choices for the kids. And also more things I could rotate. Here's a few things I picked out for this year...


I have heard good stuff about these things. 
I thought they would be great for our "Math with Technology" area. 
Do you use Hot Dots?

I got these for my "Math Facts Area". I think they will keep the kids engaged, especially if I put them out for a few weeks. Then put them away. Then bring them back out later. You get the pattern?!

My neighbor uses Mancala with her class all the time. We borrowed the games towards the end of the year and my class loved it. I remember playing this as a kid and it's great.
 It really works the logic and thinking skills!

I have a million uses for these for math and ELA. It's nice to be able to create your own dice for a variety of purposes. I use them to create dice with different numbers, to put math signs on, to put suffixes and prefixes on, to make nonsense words with...and so on and so on.

I saved some of the money to spend on some TPT goodies later this summer!!

3. I bought this book to start my summer personal professional development. I am not signed up for any classes this summer for the first time in a long time! But of course I can't get away from teachery type things. I just downloaded this book to my Kindle app.
So far I am really liking it...I've only read 3 pages though!

I'd also like to check this book out. 
I feel like my reading groups are something that could use some zazoo! I also purchased this unit from the one and only Deanna Jump in the big teacher appreciation sale. 

4. It can't be all work and no play though right? My favorite author just put out a new book. Have you ever read anything by Elin Hilderbrand? She is a great writer of perfect beach reads! All her books take place on Nantucket which is an island of the coast of Cape Cod (where I live). They are perfectly beachy, nautical and preppy. She also has a way of describing food that makes you want to literally take a bite out of the book. 
Here's her newest book.

This book has been around awhile, but it is my absolute favorite of hers. 
It may be in my top 5 books of all time. 

I taught dance on Nantucket for several years. I flew back and forth every Saturday and allegedy she was at one of my recitals once! She also had a character in one of her books named Deirdre and I convinced myself it was after me. The friends she thanks in the back of the book are the parents of many kids I taught dance to. It is my small brush with fame! 

5. Lastly I am hard at work these days on some phonics printables. We are moving away from Scott Foresman Reading Street. But, we still need to teach phonics. I am a gung-ho phonics person! We will continue to follow their order of introducing phonics skills and use the decodable readers, but we are adding in more quality text in our class and our groups. That said- I never really liked their workbooks. Some things were great, but most didn't work for me. Sometimes kids need some good old fashioned skill practice. Today's freebie is a taste test from my upcoming PHONICS PRINTABLES pack- which I am headed to the library to work on later because I can't get a thing done in my house! 

Click Here to check out my short a freebie!
Let me know what you think!

Don't forget to check out this post to enter the super duper bloglovin' giveaway!



You have probably heard by now that Google Reader is going away on July 1st.  Well, Google Reader may be going away, but I don't want YOU to go away, so I hope that you will consider following my blog through bloglovin (if you haven't already!)!  I know that change is hard...so I thought I might sweeten it up for you a little bit!

I'm doing a giveaway for all of my fabulous followers that take the leap and switch over to bloglovin.  You may have already switched over!  In that case, this will be an easy entry!

If you have not yet switched or are not following my blog through bloglovin, then there are a few easy steps to follow.  You can go to my sidebar (that's the column on the right over there that shows my followers) and you can click the button that says Follow this Blog with bloglovin.  Or, you can go into the Rafflecopter below and click the link in the first entry, and that will take you to my blog on bloglovin.

I don't want to do overkill on the bloglovin' thang but there is a fun linky and a GIVEAWAY going on so i had to join in. Here's how you do it (put up your dukes let's get down to it). 

You will need to set up an account with bloglovin so that you can follow me.  Please be sure to leave your bloglovin username in the Rafflecopter entry.  Then, go to this post on bloglovin and "like" it.

If you want to go ahead and move all of the blogs you follow from Google over, you can go to this link and it will take you through the super easy steps.  BUT, please go to my bloglovin link and make sure that you are following me through bloglovin.  To be sure, make sure that the blue button at the top of my bloglovin page has been clicked (it should be gray with the word following- if it's blue, please click it to follow!)

So, if you follow me by bloglovin, please enter the giveaway!!  I'll be picking 2 WINNERS on July 1st! Each winner will get their choice of a goody from my TpT Store and a bonus surprise!





a Rafflecopter giveaway



get the InLinkz code
<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6623909/?claim=depzpy89d4y">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Linking up with Doodle Bugs for another fabulous Five for Friday because yesterday was my 
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! 

Hooray!! I made it through another school year. All in all it was a good one. This class certainly liked to chat, but I had no real behavior issues. I always love the starting anew part of teaching! It's the perfect clean slate. The summers off are amazing too!

In keeping with the theme of 5...
the 5 best parts of this year
1. launching the Daily Five- best thing ever!
2. Sending my teacher desk and all the kids' desks out on the last day. Hello tables!! Can't wait to blog about this more later!
3. we got a boodle of money this year for sets of trade books...my first grade team has a closet stocked with books!
4. did I mention the Daily 5- awesomeness!
5. this picture! See you in September!

the 5 worst parts of this year
1. new teacher evaluation- exhausting to say the least
2. getting caught in the pouring rain 1/4 mile from shelter with 20 first graders- worst field trip ever...
3. finding out we won't be getting ipads for at least 4 years- how is one supposed to follow 21st century standards with 20th century technology...just sayin'. On the upside we may get 6-7 year old refurbished computers...yay (she said sarcastically)
4.  making lunch- blech
5. the tragedy in Sandy Hook- I felt unhinged for months after the event. I still think about that community and those families often. It has so changed the face and security of education.

Now my real 5!

1. Bloglovin'

I'm sure you've heard the news around the campfire. Google Reader is flying the coop. Don't you worry your pretty little head though. Bloglovin' is to the rescue! You can sign up and then through the magic of technology it just sucks all the awesome blogs you've been following into your bloglovin account. Try it now by clicking on the little button to the right that says "follow me on bloglovin'". Go on...try it...I would {heart} for you to follow me...

2. Dropbox

I am in L- O- V- E with Dropbox. It is like your own personal hard drive that you can access anywhere you go without every having the carry one of those little flash drive sticks around (I never liked those things anyway). The best part- it's free!! I think eventually you have to pay for more space, but if you like them on facebook or follow them by email they give you more free space! Now that i have been creating for TPT my computer was getting all jammed up with stuff (clipart, borders, papers, products, etc...) - although it is 5 years old and I think it is dying a slow death. I have a ton of stuff in there now and I'm still not full and I haven't accessed anymore free space by liking them yet- so there's a ton of space! Now I can make products or download clipart and click "Save to Dropbox" and it's not clouding up my computers hard drive. Hooray! You can access your Dropbox account from all over- phone, ipad, other computers...amazing!

3. Writing Portfolio

This year I saved a whole bunch of my kids writing. We made a nice cover (which they did awesome on) and packaged them all to take home and impress their parents with all they did this year. They and I loved seeing the progress they made over the course of the year. I will definitely do this again next year, but I think I will make things a little smaller so they can fit in a binder. Having a million 12 x 18 pieces of paper piled up on my file cabinet drove me a bit nutso. Live and learn, right?


4. Bubble Day


Stacy (bne- best neighbor ever) got us some great supplies and we had a Bubble Day! We switched classes (I just read a book and did a picture with my group) and she did tons of fun with bubbles with the kids. They watched a little movie then they each had their own tray of bubble mix and supplies to make loads of bubble with. They experimented with making bubbles with straws, elastics and a variety of math manipulatives. They even dropped pennies into their bubbles and made bubbles inside bubbles. I don't remember doing fun stuff like this in first grade!  

5. Erin Condren Planner

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw- "Hello Lovah!". I am in love with this planner. It is organizational bliss. I haven't written a thing in it yet. I forced myself to be truly done with this year before we can move on to next year. The time has come! I finished yesterday. Time to start filling in!
I know it's pricey, but in my order I got $40 in $10 off coupons for future purchases. I think that is so generous. You got me hook, line and sinker Erin!

HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE!!
I hope to swing by here often this summer!


Hi There!
I feel like I may be coming undone here!! It is that time of year for me. While many of you teachers out there have been on vacation for a week or two and are settling into a hopefully relaxing routine I have officially hit crunch time. And it's it funny that we so look forward to summer vacation, but we always seem to forget about the mounds of paper work and cleaning that needs to be done to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. My light is so dim right now! I have loads to accomplish in 5 days.....sigh.....

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for a very late the the party Five for Friday.
I had a big weekend celebrating my parents 45th wedding anniversary with my family!

We have been having loads of fun in my classroom with our camping unit. 
Big thanks to The First Grade Parade and Flying High in First for all the amazing materials and activities. This has become a two week event and I think I could stretch it out to 3!
The kids had an awesome time all contributing to out camping mural. 
Great activity as we near the end of the year!
Sorry blogger does not want these pictures next to each other...ergh.


 Camping centers were a great hit. I just love this time of year when they can do so much. 
It is such a short time and then we are back to square one. You all catch my drift...



Best neighbor ever, Stacy, came up with a cute idea too to have the students make camp schedules for all the things they would do in their camp day. It was a great way to "review/ practice/ realize how much kids forgot" about time. It was great because many students based all their activties around their camp name. Then we also created brochures of our camp that were so so cute! They loved these. Every time we had a free moment they were sneaking back to them to keep working. Good stuff.
Love that he included "downtime"
This kid will be an artist someday!!

Some of my friends still need to work on spelling...

I may sign up for this camp. It's called "Crafty Cheery Camp". Love it!

Lastly we played some fun games and sang songs. One game we played was one that I've been doing with kids for a long time. It's right up there with 7-up and Hangman. It's so simple, but they love it. 
I call it FOUR CORNERS.
Today we did it with a camping theme.
One classmate stands in the middle and covers their eyes. The kids dash off to the corners we have labeled. The person in the middle counts to 10. Then picks one corner. All the kids standing there are then "out". I then let the person in the middle pick the next middle person. They choose from all the kids that are "out". We played this with camping words, but you can also play it with holiday words, winter words, halloween words, spring words, new vocabulary, etc, etc...
Here's one of my cuties counting. I already asked her to save these overalls for my daughters! 
They are covered in hot air balloons...adorable.

If you've made it this far you are a lucky duck!! I am having a GIVEAWAY!! I have hit some awesome milestones this week. I am over 100 followers (blush blush), over 200 instagram followers and over 200 pinterest followers. I am overwhelmed. I am offering any 3 items in my TPT store to THREE lucky winners!! Leave a comment and follow my blog to enter! Check me out on instagram and pinterest if you'd like too...You have til Wednesday to join in the fun...

I am so excited to be a guest blogger today over at Fun in 1st Grade
If you are visiting from Dana's sweet site WELCOME! 
Hope you'll poke around and stay awhile. 
If you are looking to be inspired about teaching (aka spend some time procrastinating) this summer feel free to follow me on pinterest, facebook and instagram. I use those spots often! 




Hi All!!

It's super late on Monday night, but I had to share this little bit of fun with you before bed.

Do your students have the hardest time understanding the equal sign? With the roll out of the Common Core I see the students as needing to know the equal sound doesn't mean just an answer, but that they need to balance the equations on either side of the equal sign. This is a really hard concept for kidlets so my response is my special new friend...CARMINE THE EQUAL SIGN!

Carmine is loaded with a class reader, practice books, a mini math activity book, a memory game and a blank equal sign for students to use in a variety of ways. 

I can't wait for next year to really spend some time focusing in on the equal sign with my new friends!
Click here to visit Carmine in my TPT store. He's looking for some pals!

The first 1....no 2...no THREE commenters will get Carmine the Equal Sign for FREE!!
Be sure to leave your email address. I'd love for you to follow me too!




Hello All!!

Two fun things to share with you.

1. We are right in the middle of this weekend's SUMMER STEAL.

In case you didn't hear the news- every weekend this summer one item in my TPT store will be on sale for $1. That's crazy, right? Up this weekend is a fun little pack called "Graph and Laugh- Interviewing and Graphing with Friends". You can read all about it here. It is on sale until Monday morning at about 7 when I get up (hopefully not too sleepy).

2. CALLING ALL New England Bloggers! It is time to SAVE THE DATE. Kayla Parker of Meet Miss Parker fame is organizing a summer meet-up in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island. Save the date of Wednesday, July 10 for some good times!! More details coming soon. Please email Kayla if you are interested!


Looking forward to meeting some of you this summer in Newport!
Happy weekend everyone!!

Currently almost passed me by! I've been waiting impatiently for the end of the year, but somehow June 1 tiptoed passed me and I didn't even notice. Linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for the linky of the month.


I love the sound of the nighttime silence in my house. it is so very very good. My son has never been a good sleeper. Well, he sleeps great...it's getting to sleep that is an event unto itself. Drinks and bathroom and light on and so on and so forth. It's a big sigh of relief when he settles. And then a cow could lay on him and he'd never know he sleeps so deeply.

I am loving this weather!! I think I mention weather in every blog post. But these warmer days are making me one happy chiquita!!

I am thinking my classroom is in some post apocalyptic movie (hopefully staring Brad- or better yet Channing Tatum). You all know this time of year- there are no "good" pencils. They have all been sharpened to a shadow of their former self. And an eraser? Forget it! That's finding a needle in a haystack. There are 3 markers that still work well...and they are all brown. A good glue stick is even harder to find than a pencil with an eraser. I've been letting them use glue bottles- that ain't pretty!! And the kids- well they have given up on you too...I am like a clown juggling fireballs with whistling Yankee Doodle trying to keep them engaged and attentive. Thank goodness for field trips and all the fun stuff we save til the end. I can't wait to clean every drawer and closet and get ready for a fresh start!!

Which leads to me wanting some alone time at home and school! I have a hard time getting stuff done anywhere. Someone is always on my heels! It's good to be loved though!

Therefore I need vacation...like now...if not sooner. 12.5 days- I can do this....Just keep swimming.

And that vacation will include a good book- I am embarrassed to say I haven't read a real book since the Hunger Games over a year ago! Ack. And I love me some yummy drinks (Smirnoff Ice anyone?) and some good snack-age. I could care less about a meal- especially in the summer. Savory salty snacks followed by sweet desserts. Yum!! Time to go raid my frig!!


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