Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lowell Milken Center Discovery Award

Explore an Unsung Hero with the Lowell Milken Center Discovery Award!Want to give your students an exciting way to explore history? The new Lowell Milken Center Discovery Award gives an opportunity for students to use their creative talents to research and uncover unsung heroes in history who serve as models for how to improve the lives of others.

The award is open to student between fourth and twelve grade the top entries come with cash prizes: First place is $10,000, second place is $2,000 and third place is $1000.

Discovery award submissions can take the form of a documentary film, a stage production or a website.

For more information on how to apply, selection criteria and eligibility visit the Lowell Milken Center Discovery Award page.

The Lowell Milken Center was founded by education philanthropist Lowell Milken in 2007 and is based in Fort Scott, KS. For more information, please visit

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My TPT Finds and Friends

Hello all! :) I am linking up wtih Tales from Room 112, the wonderful Erin and her linky party!! I always love this time of year (and back to school) when TPT has their huge sales where (I hope) all of my teacher friends are VERY successful!  This year, I don't have much money so I only made a few purchases...
My favorite is Rachel Lynette.  How wonderful is she?  One of the TOP sellers, I could not help but buy her task cards to help my students in my classroom.  I am very excited to use these!!
 Even though my budget is tight, I want to direct you to my favorite sellers and some of them happen to be my very best blogging buddies...

Please click on each picture to visit their TPT store and enjoy their wonderful sales!!!
Nicole Shelby... AMAZING! I would buy her whole store if I could!
Rachelle Smith is like a celebrity to me.. her products are PERFECT!!
Sara Ventrella... wonderful, talented lady, sweet as can be! (My BBFF!)
Hadar Moar... my extremely talented beautiful friend and has the most perfect primary products (a little alliteration right there!)
Where else would I get my graphics?! Michelle Tsivgadellis from the 3AM Teacher!!! Amazing clipart, especially for the holidays!!
I could probably go on and and on with my purchases. There are too many teachers/sellers to name that are just incredible and that I love.  One Extra Degree, Sunny Days in Second Grade, Jodi Southard, Amy Lemons, Ashleigh, and so many more... I wish I had time to write about all of them! :)
Don't forget to check out my own sale as well...
I was looking at all my products and I have THIRTY freebies featured!! Holy cow, that's a lot.. I will have to go through them all someday and tweek them to make them even better.  Someday when I actually get a free minute.
They include:

My Writing Posters
And so much more!!! Please check out my stores and become a follower and leave feedback... it means so much to me :) Every purchase counts in helping me succeed as a teacher and pay for all the "little things" (and of course big things like food and rent).  Thank you again!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

TN and TPT sale event!

I hope you all had a wonderful and warm Thanksgiving, and a successful (or relaxing!) Black Friday.  Breaks, even small ones, go by so quickly.  It's only the end of November and I am so TIRED.. but I am going to keep on researching, making, and working for my kids.  It's all I can do! I don't have much time to make any new products lately, but I assure you I am going to make a unit soon! Maybe a freebie AND a unit :) I will work on it!

Please check out my TN Sale that is going on now for 3 days... I am running my sale for 30% off, and members will receive an additional 10% off of that 30%! Please enjoy!! The creators of Teacher's Notebook, Debbie and Steve, are absolutely wonderful people and they do whatever they can to help us teachers.  Thank you to them!!
And also, my successful TPT store will be having a 2-day sale starting Monday.  You can save up to 28% off of all stores.. And you will be able to save 28% off of mine!! Thank you to everyone for helping to make this store a (small, but enough for me) success because it really helps with my bills; TN and TPT both do.  You are all wonderful and I am excited to earn my first paycheck in the mail next quarter!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Almost Thanksgiving!

So excited for our mini break of Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday :) I can't wait to spend Thanksgiving with my family.. I love going over to my parents and eating their amazing cooking (my favorite is the stuffing.. it's out of this world, and I wish I was the only one who felt this way so I could have seconds and thirds :P) Mike and I will also be venturing to his mom's house as well.. it should be a great day!

How will you be spending your Thanksgiving? I hope everyone spends their day with a nice meal, and even if you don't have family around, just spending it with people you care about - that's the most important! I will also be loving the fact that me and my BFF will be going Black Friday shopping aaaand my parents got me tickets to see Wicked! Yay, bonus!! :) I have been wanting to this for a very long time! Anyone went to see it? Loved it? Liked it? Didn't care for it?  What about Black Friday deals?! Anything good??

Here are some read alouds and a couple chapter books that my kids read by themselves and to the younger students of the school.. My great friend Tara taught me the trick to request all the books I need online at the library, and go to pick them up! It's that simple, and spreads the literacy in my classroom.  Thank you again, Mrs. Leander :)

 We had Literacy Day at our school today, and we wore the shirts that we made (the iron-on sand paper shirts!) See the post here for the cute designs the kids came up with!) Below is the design I came up with.  It was inspired by the 3am Teacher but she does waay better art than me ;)

Speaking of OWLS, check out my cute new lunch box from Thirty-one!! Love it!! I had a great time hosting my Thirty-one party, and received some free gifts for myself and for my family for Christmas, so it was very worth it.... hmm.. I think I want to host another one maybe after the holidays or towards Spring time with all my friend K-2 is Splendid and Love for Early Learners! What do you gals think? :)

Ok, back to Literacy Day!
We made Stone Soup with Heather's class.. what a lovely idea from her! The kids loved it and were really engaged with the story and making the actual soup.  We had some local celebrities come to read stories to the children as well which they loved.  It really was a good day, but I am EXHAUSTED.  We also had milk and cookies... yum and yes, I ate them too. Of course!
 serving up.JPG
 Christmas is quickly approaching and okay yes, I am one of "those people" that just put their tree up before Thanksgiving!!  I couldn't help it.. I actually had time this weekend, and I decided I might as well get started because with lesson planning and getting things ready, I never have time for any of that fun stuff.
Christmas comes and goes so quickly as it is, and I wanted to make sure I could really enjoy it this year.  Still extremely tight on money, but I don't mind working extra hard to make a little more so I can give great presents for the holidays.  My parents are so wonderful and caring and don't want me to spend a lot of money on them, so I have also been crafting :) and coming up with amazing ideas!! I sooooo wish I could show you now, but I will have to wait until AFTER the holidays so I do not spoil any of the surprises.  But I will be most definitely putting up my craft finds on here and Pinterest as SOON as Christmas is over!
We have a beautiful new Christmas tree this year, thanks to Jocelyn and Skyler! :)

One of my wonderful parents gave me an early Christmas present... the best smelling hand sanitizer I have ever had from Bath & Body Works (Twisted Peppermint) aaaand two books on my wishlist from the Scholastic Book Fair :) Wonderful and so unexpected!

And I will leave you on the note that I won the Teacher Rock Contest.. I made an apple and a sandwich :) A few people were making fun of my rocks (that my principal named "Lunch") but I worked hard on them! ;) Here's a picture of them.. aren't they cute? I raffled them off to my kids after the contest.  One of my students won the most patriotic rock.  A cute idea for paper weights.

I love you all! Take care :) So happy I have been on this journey will my blog and my bloggy friends.. you really are amazing to me.  Thank you, thank you, thank you! And I haven't even been blogging a year! I can't imagine if I actually had time to sit down and come up with great ideas and really connect with you all, but thank you for being patient with me and for ALL YOU DO!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Word work, goals, and more

Oh holy moly I am so glad it is Friday... I woke up this morning, and I said "Wow.. it has been quite the week." My kids did a Thanksgiving activity since it's around that time :) I found this turkey clipart on google, and just used it how I wanted to; for the kids to write what they are thankful for (very basic, but reflective when we talked about it).  I also let them glue on cute googly eyes :)

After Thanksgiving, Christmas is coming!! I am so very excited :) I already started decorating my apartment a teensy bit.. I found this cute snowman sign to hang up on my front door at the Dollar Tree - you really can find the cutest things there, especially for Holidays!!!
I also have pictures to share with you from my word work of my students...
I bought this set of stamp markers, and it was probably like 3-5 dollars at Walmart with alphabet stamps and other fun cute pictures... the only negatives: sometimes the stamps can come out messy, and they are really, really small! I still LOVE my big stamps from Really Good Stuff, and still will always choose those over this set, but at least it's another alternative for OLDER students.. definitely too small and messy for younger :)  Below are pictures of the Really Good Stuff stamps that I absolutely love.

Tip #1: After using stamps, make sure your students use a piece of paper to "blot" the stamps to make sure that there is no ink left on them. It will save your stamps and your ink pads from getting ruined  :)

Tip #2: When using the new marker stamps I purchased, make sure you use thicker paper or cardstock because it will go through the paper! :)
Another tip I have is for students to be creative and have fun with their word work... I always use dots on all of my writing and one of my students displayed the neatest writing with "dot" colored letters :) Love it!


Okay I did terrible on my goals... I did eat better but I only got to exercise twice this week, not three times.  The only goal I really got taken care of was to clean out my pile of clothes.  I have been very stressed lately and I am pretty sure I did not give myself anytime to relax every day.  Except during my favorite show, X Factor.  I don't have cable (to save money) but I do get the lower channels, so X Factor is pretty much the only show I follow right now.. how the times have changed! When I was younger, I never missed one of my episodes ever in all the 5-10 years they were on.. it was sick.  Some favorites I had were One Tree Hill, Real World/Road Rules Challenge, and things like that.  Oh, memory lane!! But anyways, on X Factor I do have many favorites that I am passionate about, but my favorite since the beginning has been Carly Rose Sonenclar. I am so glad the audience agrees with me and votes for her every week.  I'm such a dork, but I love her!!!

I am exhausted and it's only 9:45pm... I have to wait up very early to help set up for my school's Vendor Show.  I live at school each weekend it seems too.  I did make cute signs for the Vendor show though! I just need more free time, that's all.. hopefully I will get it during Thanksgiving!

Take care everyone!!
PS-THANK YOU FOR VOTING FOR ME FOR THE MARY KAY CONTEST! Out of thousands of people, I was voted into the TOP 100 FINALISTS! So thank you very very much :) 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Motivational Monday and Goals Linky

Hi my wonderful teaching friends! How is everyone?  I had a wonderful birthday filled of TONS of love from my friends, family, and Mike... I am so gosh darn lucky, I really am XOXO

I know it's not Monday, but it sure feels like it since I had yesterday off... So I am linking up with Sara over at Smiling in Second Grade and Kimberly over at The Learning Tree for their Motivational Monday!! :)
When I saw this quote, it really hit home to me, because I am definitely an overachiever and always try to do EVERYTHING and be superwoman, but I just have to remember to be the BEST person I can be :) 
Life is too short! And how cute is this puppy? :) You DESERVE to be happy and fill your heart with love and happiness rather than waste it on hate and complaints.
 I like this picture because it reminds me of how great I feel when I accomplish things.  Right now, I want to accomplish my goals with teaching and losing weight, but even more, making more time for myself.
 Haha how cute!! For my entire life I depended on others for my happiness, but you have to remember that you can be your own hero too!  You can be independent and make yourself happy too!

Well, that's for my Motivational Monday (Even though it's Tuesday!) I am still feeling motivated soo...

I am also linking up with Jenn over at Party of One and Jessica over at Fantastically Average.. but have you seen Jessica?! She's such a cutie, definitely not average! I am a new follower of Jenn and Jessica, and found her through my amazingly wonderful bestie, Sara!! Love her! This is my first time linking up with Five for Five goals, but hey, it's never too late to start...

So here goes my list!

1.) For this week I will eat healthy every day in the morning and in the afternoon, and I will also make 3 out of 5 dinners healthy and NOT EAT OUT! :) I need to do this for me, and also throw in exercising at least 3 days this week. Insanity, here I come!
2.) Clean out my clothes that are scattered in my bedroom.  There is a huge pile that I pick through and leave a mess (which is sooo not me) so my goal this week is to clean it up!
3.) Another goal for me is to read. I need to find a good book for me to pick up and start reading in my "free" time.  Even just to start one, it will be good for me to get back into the enjoyment of reading.  I am open to suggestions!
4.) Try something new with my kids...whether it's a new art project or game or way of teaching, I am switching it up this week.
5.) Last but not least. it's actually most important, I need to at least find a half hour a day to RELAX.  I literally never do, and don't remember the last time I have (which is why my back and neck ache from knots.. my massage therapist told me she has never in all her career seen the pain and knots in me!) so that is important for me to do. RELAX!

Wish me luck!! And don't forget to link up! :)