Monday, October 29, 2012

Motivational Monday

I literally just posted about a half hour ago, but I can't deny a Linky party :) My friend Sara over at Smiling in Second Grade posted a Motivational Monday Linky.. This linky is also provided by The Learning Tree and Classroom Cupcakes who I love too :) I just found Sara's first! But going back to it, who DOESN'T need motivation on Mondays?! They are always so crazy for me and I feel like I am running around with my head cut off have the time trying to organize and get set.
I have many goals for my health, my teaching, and everything else, and I need to just breathe, and conquer them (the health ones will hopefully come with time).
I love to think of teaching as sparking a fire in a child's heart and mind.  Allowing the flame to burn will spark other fires (learnings).  What a beautiful thing!
Ain't that the truth!! I am always coming up with ideas, and I don't always follow my lesson plan.. okay, I RARELY follow it word for word.  I know my students best, and if something works out better or they create a "teaching moment" then hey, I say go for it!
Be YOU! :) You are all such wonderful teachers, and no one teacher (or student) is alike... do YOU the best you can, and always love who you are.  If you make mistakes, pick yourself up, and try again - they are allowed and it is how we become better people.
:) You are all special.  Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

I have to post before the power goes out!

I am definitely praying and thinking of those of you that are affected by Hurricane Sandy.. where I live, we will probably get hit with some strong winds and power outages, but I think overall we will be okay.  I am fearful that if and when the power goes out, I won't be able to stalk all the lovely blogs that I always do... and of course, do teacher work.

Thank you so much for the support with my freebies that I have recently posted.. it gets me motivated to keep making more.  I have been going crazy busy with everything, and every weekend there is SOMETHING.  Last weekend was so much fun walking the runway in the fashion show!! I give models a lot of credit of switching outfits so quick ;) Hey, I'm not skinny and I am not tall, but I still worked that runway :) Wish I could've afforded some of the clothes!
I love this time of year.. I am so very excited about my anniversary with my boyfriend coming up (3 years!) and my 27th birthday.. not too old yet :) I will have to have a celebration on my blog by giving away something!
My wonderful, beautiful friend Miss V is having a GIVEAWAY!! Check it out, she has FIVE different winners (and you can win one of my units as well) ;) Starts tonight at midnight!! Become a follower, she's fabulous!
I am just finishing up teaching about Native Americans, and I have to say, my students LOVED writing in Native American Symbols... here is a picture of our bulletin board that is set up.  Definitely a good project to look up with your kids.  It teaches them the power of communication and the creativity of telling a story.
Teacher's Notebook is so wonderful and supportive... please consider buying one of my teaching activities at my Teacher's Notebook store, because any money I raise between now and Veteran's Day will go directly to the Green Mountain Pug Rescue. The founders of Teacher's Notebook are so wonderful and sweet, that they are going to MATCH whatever I make!! WOW.. .how wonderful.  Honestly, that just shows how much they support me and the other teachers.. *Make sure you buy an activity from my Teacher's Notebook shop, not Teachers Pay Teachers.
 And to my sweet friend Miss V for making a donation on my behalf, THANK YOU.. it means so much.  I struggle to pay my own bills, but animals mean everything to me and I want to do what I can.  I can have food on the table and a warm apartment, I am okay.. and this means a lot to me.  XOXO I loved my Lucy more than anything and I am hoping I will someday find a way to have a less broken heart (it hasn't settled even after a couple years)
I am having a Thirty-One Party (my first party... ever!!) And if you would like to purchase something let me know and I will send you the link to my party :) No commission, but I hopefully will get a free product or two! :)
I hope everyone takes care and is safe inside from the bad weather.. it hasn't started yet for us, but I am sure it will.  God bless you and your home.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pug Rescue, Great Deals, and a Freebie

Hello lovely bloggers.. how is everyone doing on a Sunday?  I will be watching the Giants game in about an hour, and hopefully they will be winning against the Cowboys :) I am dreading to start working on report cards soon... I always want them perfect and have to really reflect on what grade I am going to give them.   I know that's what every teacher should do, but it is so time consuming! Might be a couple late nights...

I will start this blog post with a freebie :) My kids have homework every weekend consisting of 3 journal entries... they can pick and choose which days they want to do their entries, but they are ultimately due every Monday (Thanks to Tara, she gave me all my wonderful homework ideas)  I would have the students write in their planners of what the homework would be for each night.  On Fridays, I write down 3-4 writing prompts to help them for the weekend.  Why would I make my kids write these out each Friday?? And I am only giving them a few choices/suggestions... so of course, I put my thinking cap on, and created this freebie :) 28 Reading Response Journal Starters!
Please check out my Reading Journal Prompts on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook... don't forget to provide me feedback if you have time :)
If you haven't tried GROUPON yet, you don't know what you are missing.  This might be another thing that K-2 is Splendid got me started with too... wow, she's good.  Groupon is a site where they offer discounts towards items, trips, restaurants, and events.  You can normally get great deals, especially on services and events.  I will often buy them for massages and restaurants. 
Check it out here and see what they have in your local city!!
I actually just bought a groupon that gave me 70 dollars worth of VistaPrint products ( I got to choose )... it was only 17 dollars! I got all my kids Christmas presents with it, and one of my special helpers in my classroom as well.  I can't disclose what I got them here (you never know!) but I will be sure to post them after Christmas :) It's adorable..
I love animals.  Period.  They are adorable and mean so much to me.  Over the years, I have definitely began to love animals even more, and began making decisions of my lifestyle based on animals too.  I grew up in a house full of dogs, cats, birds, and my sister even had a guinea pig and pet rat once.  Currently as you know, I have my baby Pancake, a syrian fancy hamster who I just adore. 
I moved out of my parents house, but when I lived with them, we had many dogs over the years - our golden retriever Jesse died when I was young, I had my cocker spaniel Sandy when I was about 7 years old to 21 years old (most of my life), and then there was Lucy.. my beautiful baby pug who loved me more than anything.  I picked her out and we got her when she was just weeks old.   She was the healthiest, happiest, most joy I had ever gotten from a dog.. when I moved out of my house, I would visit so often and she would cry and run at me not to leave every time.  We spent a little under three years with Lucy, and then she developed a brain disease called Pug Encephalitis.  She was the healthiest dog ever, and we never suspected anything.  She came and went so fast, just our little baby... she suffered for only a short time, and then my mom and I went to go put her to sleep, because the surgery (that might not have done ANYTHING for her) was thousands of dollars.  She was licking my mom's hand as she was sent to heaven.. even in all that pain, she still wanted to be with us, and it just still hurts my heart... I have been able to get over everything and move on from deaths and difficult times, but this is by far the hardest.  She was still my little girl and too young to go.. I had Sandy for 14 years, my whole life, but she had a FULL life.  If I could go back, I would've paid every penny I owned to try and save Lucy.  It still hurts and I cry as I write this...  my parents got another pug, Zoey, after the pain had settled, and I love her so much.. she's wonderful and I am so grateful for her, but she's just not "my pug" and it's not the same <3 p="p">
Here is a picture of me and Lucy when she was just a baby... love her forever!
I want to donate all the money I can to the Green Mountain Pug Rescue.  This is a group of volunteers in Vermont that rescue pugs (from puppy mills and other terrible places) and give them homes, healthy meals, and treatments.  I have donated leashes and harnesses to them before, but I want to do more.  I have my own bills and living finances as well, but this is important to me.... so any money I make from Teacher's Notebook for 2 weeks, from today 10/28 to Veteran's Day 11/11, I will donate ALL of it to Green Mountain Pug Rescue.  Please consider shopping and looking for a unit that will help your students learn, and help the pugs stay safe.                       
Here is a cute picture I came up with, if you want to help spread the word.  I used an adorable border from Michelle from the 3AM Teacher, and the pug on the cover is Lucy when she was probably around 2.  If you would like to consider donating right to their site, please check it out here.
Thanks so much for listening to me rant, and I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Sunday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Freebies and Updates

Hi everybody :) Week is flying by, that's for sure! I have been extremely busy trying to get all of my schoolwork done and it is very difficult to do during the day when I am running to Dunkin Donuts on my break, and tutoring and teaching piano straight through the evening.
I am actually excited because tomorrow I am getting together with Tara from K-2 is Splendid because it is her BIRTHDAY! Please head over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday :) She's the best. I will be joined by another wonderful lady, Joanna over at Love for Early Learners.. she is a new blogger and quite creative and amazing ;) Please make sure you check out her blog!!
I will be walking the runway for a designer of outerwear and accessories this upcoming Saturday.  It is a fundraiser for our school called "Fall into Fashion" and they asked some of the teachers to model.  At first my answer was "absolutely not" but after I thought about it, what other time would I ever be asked to model... but then I realized that we should all love ourselves how God made us and even though I'm not a size 4, that's okay. :)  At least that's what I make my boyfriend tell me! ;) Um and plus I am 5'1 so I am a little under the height requirement ;)

I was busy this week creating a couple freebies for my kids and of course, you :) The first is an European Explorer freebie... this comes with fact cards about John Cabot, Henry Hudson, Christopher Columbus, and a few other famous explorers.  I have also included 2 pages of notes about the background of this time period relating to my textbook (that I rarely have the children read from)... I hope someone will be able to find it useful!! Check it out here on Teachers Pay Teachers and here on Teacher's Notebook.  Let me know what you think!

My second freebie comes from the fact that some of my students really needed a boost with comprehension.  As my kids begin to read more difficult chapter books, the content often will have a deeper meaning that I want them to understand.  My coworker Heather uses thinkmarks in her own way, and I decided to do the same! I created this freebie tonight, and made up the chart below with my students.  This will be perfect for them to keep track of their progress while reading.  Check it out on TPT and on TN :)
I haven't been sleeping great lately, so I am heading off to the couch to relax and hopefully fall asleep before 11:30 tonight... Take care lovelies!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

First Year Bliss Linky and a New TPT Shop

I am linking up with my lovely friend Michelle from The 3AM Teacher.  She is too sweet to me and I just love her products and designs. 
I don't really have one specific memory that I have loved during my first year of teaching.. I think I began in February, so it has almost been a year for me as well :) The only thing that really makes my heart happy about blogging is meeting all my wonderful, wonderful blogging friends that have been so kind to me... I started out with Tara from K-2 is Splendid when I taught with her last year.  I started TPT first, and she told me, "You should get a blog" I checked hers out and LOVED IT.  She had the amazing designs of Ladybug Files who I just adored!  I remember starting out and saying "Geez I just wish I had 20 followers" and now I have over 200, almost 300 :)
Some wonderful, wonderful people have helped me out over this time.. I love you all!!

I was also very excited when I had this post on my blog:
It featured some freebies and my Teacher Appreciation Week.. I had pinned this Lottery Ticket Bouquet and on Pinterest, I have received over 700 repins! Definitely my best :)

I have definitely grown more in the last couple months than I have in most of the year.. I guess that means I learned a little bit, right? My head is spinning to create more, blog more, and share more, but it is so difficult to find the time. I feel like I am getting a sore throat and feeling under the weather today, and I am STILL on my laptop.. I can't help it :)
Honestly though, love you all.. thank you for everything and all the happiness you have given me over the year!!! :) Congratulations, Michelle!! You truly are a superstar!

I will leave you with a wonderful TPT shop that I have recently found... Her name is Felisa Williams and she is wonderful!! I love her freebies, perfect for the upper grades and for teaching things like lines, line segments, angles, rounding, multiplication, and more.  Please make sure you check out her store!! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness, Projects, and Teachers Notebook

Hi all! Hope you are enjoying your weeks.. It is only Tuesday, but it'll be Friday before you know it! I have lots to do this weekend (including working!) and a Breast Cancer Walk that is held in Albany, NY every year.  My boyfriend's aunt is a breast cancer survivor, so I wouldn't miss it since she is family to me :) My dear childhood friend Ashley also suffered from cancer when she was so young.. I cannot even imagine, but I must say, they are both fighters!
My class made beautiful Character portraits and summaries today that I just had to share them with you.  They each got to pick a character from a story they like, and sketch and tell me a little about the character they chose.  I just found a random character sketch online, added lined paper, and voila! Masterpieces :)
 I took a picture of the characters before I hung them up, and after I hung them up :) They were just too cute nad my kiddos worked so hard on them!
 Tell me that doesn't look EXACTLY like Greg Heffley?! ;)
One of my favorites, Geronimo Stilton! (I helped him with the nose!) Love it!

SALE ALERT!!! I found a huge sale at CVS this past weekend.. all of their dollar bin back to school supplies were 75 percent off... 25 cents each!! These are a couple things I got! Make sure to check out your local CVS too!

I bought this for pretty inexpensive at Scholastic because I thought this could be a great addition to my library for my students.  They were so moved and interested in the tragedies of 9/11 that I want to make sure I give them as much literature as I can that interests them.  I will be reading this soon to make sure it is appropriate for my kids first, but let me know if you have purchased this book or have read it your kiddos?
I know it is only the middle of October, but my paychecks and money have been making me think about Christmas already.  I am the type of person that tries to save every penny I can to afford wonderful Christmas presents for my family, friends, and of course, my guy.  Our 3 year Anniversary is November 7th, and my 27th birthday is November 10th.  That is A LOT in one week ;) I love that because I was born the day before the wonderful holiday of Veteran's Day, I receive a 3 day weekend this year!! (Normally, it's just a day off!) As I grow on tremendously on Teachers Pay Teachers, I don't want you to forget about Teacher's Notebook either!
I am going to be having a HUGE sale on Teacher's Notebook very soon, and ALL my earnings are going towards Christmas Presents for the people I love most in the world (and of course my students!) Teacher's Notebook is fabulous because it gives 100 PERCENT of the earnings to Teachers!! How incredibly generous of them!! [And also my prices are normally a bit lower on TN since I earn 100%] I will most likely be having a big sale on TPT too and love my quarterly earnings ridiculous amounts, but if you buy from my Teacher's Notebook shop, I will be able to use the money right away for gifts... I thank YOU all for giving me smiles and wonderful feedback to my shops.. it really makes a difference in my life and being able to spend money on myself sometimes, so THANK YOU SO MUCH.
If you missed my giveaway on facebook a week or two ago, I am giving away my Fourth Grade Common Core Unit on Teacher's Notebook now until the 21st... please check it out HERE.. 2 lucky winners!
Second Grade Smartypants reached 350 Followers!! What a Milestone! Check out their giveaway HERE! :)
Shout out to my girl at Fourth Grade Lemonade!! She has reached a wonderful 100 followers and is also having an amazing giveaway right now! Please head over and check it out by clicking HERE - I am giving away one of my units too!!! ;)


Monday, October 15, 2012

I've been BOO-ED!

I have been boo-ed by the wonderful Fourth Grade Flipper, The 3AM Teacher, and Primary Teacherhood.  Thank you so much to you fabulous ladies! You are all too sweet :) If you have not already checked out Holly, Michelle, and Ashley's blogs out, please do so!! They are so creative and talented, and great people!
Sooo I am going to try and BOO bloggers that I don't think have gotten boo-ed yet.  (If any of my lovely ladies that boo-ed me would like a freebie at my store, let me know too! XO)
Here's how to play. Choose a fellow blogger that has MORE followers, another that has about the SAME number of followers, and last, someone that has LESS followers.
Lastly, leave them some love by offering them a goody from your store as their "treat."

For my fellow blogger that has MORE followers, I am choosing Teri from A Cupcake for the Teacher!! I love her, she's so creative and amazing, and also she has supported me from Day 1 when I was starting my blog.  It was very hard in the beginning (and I do feel I am STILL in the beginning stages!) to find other teachers that to support you and she did XOXO Thank you Teri!

For a fellow blogger with the SAME number of followers, I choose Jessica over at The Polka-dotted Teacher! I am so very happy that I found her blog because she has great activities and ideas!! Please check out her blog and become a follower :)
For a fellow blogger that has LESS followers I choose Darleen over at Third Grade Love.. I remember when she FIRST started out her blog, and she has almost the same amount of followers as me now (so it's not really too much "less followers!)  She has always been so supportive and upbeat, and I love that about her!  Definitely check out her freebies and ideas!!
Those that I have just BOOed, please check out my store and select any product from TPT for free!! :) E-mail me once you have decided
Have a wonderful night everyone!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Favorite Freebies and Giveaways

Well, it's Sunday.. and tomorrow is my least favorite day of the week! No matter how easy or smooth a Monday goes, it is still a MONDAY.  I have a long week ahead of me with a few late meetings and working a little more since my anniversary, my sister and dad's birthday, and Christmas are all coming up, and I need to put something aside to buy some nice gifts.  I go through this every year, but this year more than ever, I feel like "Where is my money?" :( All I want to do is give the best presents to those that I love, and I am determined to do it!

I went to a wedding this weekend about 3 1/2 hours away with all my friends.  My friend Corey from high school got married, and I am so happy for him! It's crazy how we graduated 9 years ago, but we are all so grown up now (but still will always be close!) Here is my boyfriend Mike and I outside by the lake.  It was a little chilly, but I love pics ;)
Soo I decided to do some favorite freebies! I was busy all weekend and did not get to create anything new, but there are new freebies every day posted on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook, so I figured I'd share a few :)
My first freebie that I wanted to share are The 3AM Teacher's Fall Borders :) They are not clipart images, but PDF files - they will be super cute to print out and hang in your classroom!!
Another freebie that I am very excited to share with you comes from Teaching from a Mountain View.  It is an amazing freebie of Multi Digit Multiplication Strategy posters... my kiddos are very visual, and will love when I post these in my classroom!
My friend Misty from Think, Wonder, Teach has amazing products for the upper elementary grades.  She is so wonderful and creative :) On TPT and Teacher's Notebook, Misty has her 2012 Election Picture Prompts for free!! So important for our kids to know what is going on in our world and our government.  They are our future you know ;)
Mary Rosenberg has a wonderful product on TPT consisting of Prefixes and Suffixes Cheat Sheets! She was very kind to add color and b&w freebies.. this will also be perfect for my kids to reference to while we review prefixes and suffixes :) Thanks Mary!
And last but not least, I'll leave you with one of my old freebies.. I really liked my Multiplication Worksheets, and I have had almost 900 downloads, but no feedback.. I am just hoping it's okay and people are liking it so let me know ;)
I had to feature The 3AM Teacher because she is so wonderful... look at the amazing banner she created for me on TPT!!! I love love love it ;) The graphics on TPT by Michelle and other artists are just incredible.. they honestly make all of our products so much more engaging and enjoyable for the kids.. and that is so important!
I wish everyone a wonderful week.. I will be continuing to type up outlines of notes for my 4th graders in science and social studies, and if I think one is a good one, I'll feature it as a freebie very soon ;)
There are a few great giveaways going on right now!!

Over at Fourth Grade Garden, Liliris has a fabulous Monster Mash giveaway with great prizes, including a read aloud hard cover "I need my Monster" and fun activities!
Also, Tara at 4th Grade Frolics is having a 2,000 follower giveaway.. WOW! If I could only be so lucky someday ;) She has amazing prizes and so many teachers linking up!! Check it out, she's incredible!
 Aaaand last but CERTAINLY not least... Rikki over at the Hive!! I am so glad I follow her, she has some real cute stuff! She teamed up with the best sellers and clip art expertises.. love them all!! Really hoping to win this one too :) Check it out!