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December 27, 2011

11 of 2011

11. Favorite movie

Tintin - It was gorgeous and I loved the detail. I also loved how true they were to the characters I grew up with reading about.

10. TV Series

This one was difficuly because I actually watch a lot of TV.  I watch TV when I fold laundry, blog, make dinner, and especially when I am waiting for my hubby to come home. Castle made the top of the list because it includes two of my favorite things, murder and brilliant people. I also love Numbers, Warehouse 13, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, and Iron Chef. (Just to name a few.)

9. Restaurant

Zupas - Amazing! I will pick this over anything else. Best salads and soups I have ever had. My hubby loves their sandwiches too.

8. New thing I tried

Just Dance 1, 2 and 3! I love getting together with friends and family for a dance off. I even managed to beat Hubby and my two sisters (who have a lot more rhythm than me) on a couple of dances. :)

7. Gift I received

Disneyland at Christmastime with my husband on our anniversary. I loved the Haunted Mansion! The Nightmare before Christmas has always held a special place in my heart.

6. Pin

I need this in my home. But the OCD part of me can not stand that it doesn't begin with a capital letter on this poster.

5. Blog post

Are you sparkling? One of my favorite quotes!

4. Accomplishment

Selling a product on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook. I did a happy dance around the house! I promise.

3. Picture

I hate photos of my self. So finding a cute picture is quite difficult. I settled for obnoxious. Here is my handsome husband and I right before we went zip-lining. I won't judge you if you snicker.

2. Memory

Meeting some of my favorite California bloggers over winter break! I promise to post more about this, I have just been crazy busy.

1. Goals

I have too many goals to pick just one so see my previous post here.

You can join the linky party HERE. It is hosted by the two amazing women on front left side of the picture above. Now you can put a face with the awesome blogs these lovely ladies write. The Teeny Tiny Teacher is the cute blonde and Miss Kindergarten is the cute brunette sitting right behind her.

Top Three Blogposts of 2011

Fern Smith is hosting a linky party about the Top Three Posts of 2011. You may recognize her cute face from her showcase in this week's TPT newsletter.

My top three posts are all found on Pinterest, and are posted below for your viewing pleasure. Just in case you missed them.

1. Pinterest Inspired 849


I created a simple organizer to appease my OCD tendencies. You can grab your own copy HERE.

2. Notes from a Substitute 727

After subbing a couple of days and seeing some inspiration online, I created my own sub page to leave for teachers I had visited. There are a couple of different patterns. Get your own copy HERE.

3. A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing 305

I shared a simple anchor chart idea and posted links to more great resources about nouns. Read more HERE.

Want to join? All you need to do is go into your blogger dashboard and look at your stats. Find the posts with the highest views and reshare them in a post. Then link back up to Fern's blog


I love this time of year. A year ago I married the man of my dreams. We have accomplished a lot this year and had many learning experiences together. As the year closes I can't help but spend time to  reflect and set goals for the future. In case you have not figured it out, I love lists and goals. It must be the OCD in me.

Some ideas I have been pondering:

"The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach." ~ Benjamin Mays

A goal without a plan is just a wish

"Set daily, monthly, and long term goals and dreams. Don't ever be afraid to dream too big. Nothing is impossible. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve it." ~ Nastia Liukin

You must make SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound.

This last week I started thinking about what I wanted to see happen in the new year. Here are some of the ideas that are floating around in my head.

1. Read five professional books
   a.) I am open to suggestions here. Anyone interested in another book study this year?

2. Create fun and educational ways for my students to reach their goals
   a.) Touch point numbers with clothespins
   b.) Sight word games
   c.) Handwriting exercises
   d.) Picture cues for common choices

1. Blog at least three times a week
2. Create one product/unit every month
3. Create one freebie a week
4. Redesign my blog by the end of the year
5. Connect to other bloggers through comments, linky parties, and giveaways

1. Exercise at least three times a week (Hubby even promised to run with me.)
2. Try a new recipe each week
3. Save up enough money for a trip to Japan
4. Declutter my home (52 weekly goals)
5. Get outside

Interested in joining the fun? Link up with Tammy from Live Love Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten HERE.

December 26, 2011

Holly Bloggy Christmas

I was lucky to be included in the Holly Bloggy Christmas Exchange and just had to share some pictures of some of the great things I received.

My partner, Katherine from Third Grade Teacher Files, did an excellent job of wrapping my present. I love polka dots.

I received awesome recipe cards, hot cocoa mix, a cocoa cup, tissues, chocolate, and a very cute ornament. Such a cute gift idea. I also received a plethora of free digital resources. I love digital stockings. ;)

I sent my Holly Bloggy Christmas partner an owl themed present. An owl calendar, recipe book, and weekly meal planner. It was a valiant attempt at being crafty. I am quite proud of myself.

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Trying to express my love for Christmas is a difficult task. I don't love it for the presents, the cookies, or the glitter. Though they are nice, I'd rather spend time with family, make presents for the people I love, and take time to remember my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas friends! 

December 19, 2011

Currently December

Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade is  hosting one of her monthly linky parties.  
Here is a peek into my life. 

I am really excited about my 12 Days of Management. I wasn't on the ball enough to do 12 Days of Christmas so I thought I would do 12 Days of Management ideas for the first 12 days of the year 2012. Each day I will share an idea to use for a specific month. The first day will be January, the second February, the third March and so on. I plan on a daily linky party so start thinking of some great ideas to share.

I recently found The Organize Junky encourages people to come up with 52 weekly home organizing tasks.  I have brainstormed a lot of small projects to work on each week. Anyone interested in joining me? Interested in my plan of attack? I am really excited and would love some support. ;)

December 7, 2011

I finished something!

After a bout of severe guilt and a brief stint of organizing my dropbox I realized I had one product pretty close to being finished. So I made an effort (after all I did promise) and finished Math Mice. It is just two simple worksheets with answer keys, but I am so excited to have finished something! Click on any of the links and get your own copy. If you happened to leave a good rating I might even be inspired to create another product soon. :)


December 6, 2011

Dollar Days

I love a good bargain almost as much as I love books. And for those of you that don't know, I LOVE books. I own more books than clothes. Hands down.

I bring this up because Scholastic has Dollar Days every once in a while on some of their Teacher e-books and supplies. Great worksheets, minigames, and ideas. You can shop by grade, subject, or theme. With so many themes to choose from you are bound to find something that works.

Check it out as items are anywhere from 20-90% off. The sale goes from the 6th to 8th.

December 5, 2011

A Theory

I'm pretty sure ADHD is contagious and that you get it from your kids. I do not have any kids of my own, but I do come in contact with a lot of kids on a regular basis, so I must get it from them. Right?
I have also determined that I have creativity ADHD. I have started a lot of projects. Over 20 to give you an idea. How many have I finished? Two big ones. Yup. A measly two. And I started creating over 7 months ago. Yikes!
Does anyone else have this problem? You see a cute idea, fun clipart, a new book, a cool website and you get all jazzed up. And then a couple of days later you are ready for something new. No one? I don't know how all you amazing ladies do it. I get so bogged down.
I am currently flip flopping between an author's purpose mini-unit and a multiplication game packet. Maybe if I am super productive you will see one before the weekend. Which would you prefer? Looking for something else? I can't promise it would be done anytime soon, but I would start it.
Thanks for listening. Got something to say? Drop me a line.

November 23, 2011

I'm Walking on Sunshine

I love the Glee Mashup of Walking on Sunshine. It is a song that I love to crank up and rock out to in my car. It brings a goofy smile to my face and the hope that the day will get better. If you haven't heard it, I highly recommend it.

Yesterday Barbara from The Corner on Character brought an equally goofy grin to my face by awarding me The Sunshine Award. Thank you Barbara. You are the best!

The Rules:
1. Say thank you to the person that nominated you
2. Answer some questions
3. Pay it forward

Favorite colors: green, blue, and yellow
Favorite animal: dragon
Favorite number: 27
Favorite drink: Hot cocoa
Facebook or twitter: I spend more time on blogger and pinterest.
Giving or getting presents: Definitely giving. I have the HARDEST time receiving presents. I HATE to be the center of attention.
Favorite day: I love Thanksgiving. Good food, minimal stress, rest, games, and family.  Favorite flower: Sunflower or gerber daisies

10 amazing blogs you should check out:
Minds in Bloom, Pitner's Potpourri, One Extra Degree, Sub Hub, Ms. Kindergarten, Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes, Step into Second Grade with Mrs. Lemons,  Classroom Freebies, Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations,  and Confessions of a Homeschooler.

List of 10 other amazing blogs

I wanted to pay it forward by sharing some of my favorite quotes with you. Feel free to print these out and post them in a place where you will often see them.

November 21, 2011

Winner Winner Turkey Dinner

Thank you to those of you who entered my giveaway. Sorry to those of you that missed it. Our lucky winner is number 7.
Martha email me with your address as soon as you can.

November 20, 2011

I'm Thankful

I am blessed. 

I am thankful for my husband. He is my best friend, my problem solver, and my support whenever I want to try something new. 
My two favorite guys!

I am thankful for my family who love and support me. I am blessed to have two sisters who live less than half an hour away and I am more than a little upset I will be moving away from them both next year. I have a great parents and some amazing in-laws. I am also thankful for my little brother who makes sure to introduce me to his new favorite things.

I am thankful that God knew what I needed more than I did. I have been so blessed to be a substitute this year. I have had more time to blog, find ideas, and be the creative person I once was.

I am grateful for my Dropbox. It holds all my great teacher materials so I can pull them up wherever I am. 

I am grateful for all the amazing bloggers who have inspired me to be a better teacher and have shared their ideas with me. 

I am thankful that What the Teacher Wants started this linky party and I encourage you to link up.

P.S. In an effort to share some of my gratitude I have a small giveaway that is open until midnight. Don't forget to enter!

November 17, 2011

Home for the holidays

Sorry I have not been updating as often as I would like. Life is a little crazy and only bound to get crazier.  Mr. Handsome is stressing with deadlines and I am trying to keep my head above water. Why is that my dirty dishes seem to multiply when I am not looking? I have to tackle them again. Right after I finish some errands, take out the trash, pack for Thanksgiving and finish the laundry.

Know that I will be back and don't forget to enter my giveaway. Right now I only have 1 entry. Your chances of winning are high. :)

November 16, 2011

Chinese New Year Freebies

Panda Express is offering a resource pack to teachers for Chinese New Year.

Inside you will find:
Panda Express' Year of the Dragon DVD
Year of the Dragon Fact Sheet
Jade Emperor's Interactive Game & Activity Sheet
Chinese New Year Decoration Art Activity
Lai See Activity Sheet
Bookmarks (with a Free Kids Meal with purchase coupon attached)

Chinese New Year is not until January 23, 2012.  But it never hurts to be prepared or get resources for free.  This pack is geared for grades 2 – 4.

Looking for more? This website has a lot of great Chinese New Years Resources including printables, coloring pages, crafts, recipes, and reading suggestions.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway before Monday.

November 15, 2011

Give Thanks

Sometimes I find it hard to believe how much my life has changed in a short year.
I met and married my best friend.
I found blessings in unexpected trials.
I grew personally and professionally as I tried new things.
I gained a lot of great friends and resources from the web.
And I got to share some of the things I love with teachers around the world.
I am blessed!

In an effort to share some of my happiness I am throwing a simple giveaway for a $10 Bath and Body Works Gift Card.

How to enter:
Leave a comment saying you follow my blog.
Leave a comment telling me about your favorite post.
Leave a comment telling me something you want to hear about.

You can do one, all, or none of the above. :) I told you I was trying to keep it simple.

The giveaway will end this Sunday November 20, 2011 at midnight.  I will announce the winner on Monday.

November 12, 2011

Reaching Out Beyond the Classroom

This is Part 4 of the book study. If you would like to catch up click on one of the following links:
The End of the Molasses Classes 12, and 3

I greatly enjoyed this book and heartily recommend it to teachers and parents alike.
The principles I loved the most:

Teach parents how to tutor. Parents often want to help and have no idea where to start. I think it is important to send home different ideas, strategies, and hints. Parents are like new teachers, they just need someone to teach them the skills. Whenever I can I try to share great websites, resources, and books. Some of my favorites: Starfall, Read Kiddo Read, and

Accept the fact that if children like you all the time you are doing something wrong. I love kids, and I love having fun with them, but I know that education and working with kids is not always fun. Sometimes they need you to set limits and guide them. Don't be afraid to be firm.

Remember the little things in life make a difference. The children will remember the little things you do, the parents will notice and your colleagues will be inspired.

Whenever I read professional development books I always feel a mixture of inspiration and guilt. I see some things I am doing right, and some things that leave room for improvement. I must be a glutton for punishment and inspiration though, because I am always looking for more great professional development books to read. Does anyone have any recommendations?

November 10, 2011

The Best Thing About Subbing

The best thing about subbing is the fact that I get to see amazing examples of organization, management, and ideas in every classroom I enter. This week I was blessed to sub four times and I got lots of great ideas to share. Stay tuned for some great phonics games and art projects.

November 8, 2011

Oh Say Can You Say?

Oh, Say Can You Say?
by  Dr. Seuss

My husband, Mr. Handsome loves rhymes. He is my personal Dr. Seuss and my inspiration. So when I saw this book I knew I had to pick it up.

The book encourages children to practice and recognize phonic families and blends as they read hilarious short stories.  Write out a page or two for your children to practice reading. Once they can read through the pages fluently, have them highlight different blends and vowel patterns. If they have extra time, encourage your students to write their own rhymes.

Click here for your copy. :)

November 6, 2011


I know this is not a normal blog subject, but Mandy from Cooperative Learning 365 has inspired me to talk about cancer. I hate it with a firm resolve. I have seen too many friends touched by it.

I pray for those who are currently suffering, I offer a listening ear to those who have beat it, and I urge everyone to be aware. Inspect yourself, go see a doctor when you have a concern, and do not be afraid to rely on friends.

There are big ships and small ships. 
But the best ship of all is friendship.

November 5, 2011

November 4, 2011

Daily Feats

Are you on of those people who likes to mark things off your list?  What about someone who likes to make small goals? I love making lists and thinking of small ways to make my life better. It is the little things in life that make me happy. And l love and think you might too.

The site was made to inspire people to do more good in their lives. People are encouraged to make small goals for the day, week, or weekend. These goals, called feats, can be something as simple as "take a deep breath" or "drink orange juice." Participants log on and keep track of their accomplishments. For each feat you accomplish you get points. Those points can then be used to get discounts for nearby businesses or to claim gift cards.

This site encourages me to try new things and take better care of myself. It also helps me be more aware on what I am spending all my time and energy on. The best part is I get to help myself and other people. One thing I really love? All the feats that teachers can mark off every school day. For example:

Share inspiration 4 pts, write 2 pts, read from a book 3 pts, do mental math 2 pts, read a book 1 pt, stay calm under pressure 2 pts, make it through Monday 3 pts, listen to a kid 20 pts, read with a child 3 pts, teach your kids 10 pts, teach 20 pts, teach the alphabet 10 pts, and lead by example at work 20 pts.

Check it out here, and let me know what you think. :)

Want more information? This website has been written about here, here, and here.

November 3, 2011


Today is Mr. Handsome's birthday! And in order to celebrate I thought I would share some good news. I opened my very own Teacher's Notebook Store!

This last week I finished my Pirate Text Feature Treasure Hunt. With some help from Tara from 4th Grade Frolics it is ready to go.

The mini-unit contains a lesson plan, vocabulary cards, worksheet, a mini-book about pirates, two pirate fast finishers, and a writing prompt. Interested? Click on the picture or the link above.

Don't worry. I would never plug for a product without a freebie. Get your two pirate fast finishers HERE.

November 2, 2011

A noun is a person, place or thing

One of my good friends teaches fourth grade and she makes the most amazing charts. And this last week I got to sub in her class and make some awesome charts too.  The great thing is these charts can be used for almost any grade level and they are super easy to make.

Create three charts: A thing, a place, and a person. In small group we discussed the difference between a common noun and a proper noun. The fourth graders then had to brainstorm example of each. They had a lot of fun and did not realize that they were learning to identify proper and common nouns.

I love the use of color and the fact that no two words are written the same way. Don't you think it is rather cute?

While I was working on this post I remembered some great resources that other teachers have shared.

Check out Crazy For First Grade's free noun sort.

Or Teaching First has a fall noun sort. (I had a hard time getting the link to work on her post. Try clicking on the picture below instead.)

Or Ladybug's Teacher Files has four cute noun posters.

Want to find more cute anchor charts? Head over to Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes and add your own ideas to the linky party as you search.

November 1, 2011

The Little Red Pen

The Little Red Pen 
Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel 

The Little Red Pen in this story sets to work grading papers only to find Scissors, Stapler, Pencil, Highlighter, and Eraser won't help her. But when she falls into trouble all the school supplies rush to the rescue. 

Sometimes as a teacher you feel a lot like the Little Red Pen. "If the papers aren't graded, the students won't learn. The school might close. The walls might tumble. The floors might crumble. The sky might fall. It might be the end of the world! Who will help me save the world?" 

I'm hoping to make your day brighter by sharing some of my ideas and resources.

Some excellent ideas for this book:
  • This story is an wonderful example of personification.  It will have your students looking at school supplies in a whole new light. You can discuss the importance of treating supplies with respect. 
  • As you read this story you can also discuss the importance of teamwork, knowing ones strengths, and being willing to try something difficult. 
  • You can hold a class conversation about the importance of reviewing what was marked wrong and learning from it. (It drove me crazy when I would spend hours grading papers, and have half of the papers were lost in backpacks never to be seen again.)
  • You can discuss alternate ways of grading. Teachers do not have enough time to spend all their time grading papers. Parents, students, and volunteers are an excellent resource. Use them.
  • This story can also be compared and contrasted with the Little Red Hen. 
    • Get a simple Venn Diagram HERE.
  • Yearn to Learn also found an excellent resource for this book. It includes a comprehension worksheet, a readers theater version of the story, a writing prompt, and a fast finisher. Click HERE.
PS Did you know Janet Stevens also wrote one of my favorite books? Tops and Bottoms

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I love cute clipart and have a hard time paying full price for it, so when it goes on sale I am delighted!

Current price for color and blacklines? $2.50

Today until midnight KPM Doodles is having a 50% sale on her clipart.
Wow! She is also doing a buy 2 get one free promotion.
And if you happened to follow her blog there is another discount code hidden in this week's posts.

Show her some love, follow her blog to be up to date on more discounts, and get some cute clipart.

I got 9 sets for just under $9. Sweet!

Plus if you find the treat on her blog you get a free clipart set. Good luck! It took a little searching.

October 28, 2011

Help Wanted

I am working on a pirate lesson about text features and need some feedback.

I have a lesson plan, a short example story, vocabulary cards, and some fast finisher sheets. I need two people to look it over and give me honest feedback on what you liked and what you might change. Interested? Leave me a comment with your email and I will send it to you ASAP. If you help me out I will send you a finished copy before it is ready to sell. :) Thank you in advance.