Monday, July 23, 2012

Tell me more, Tell me more!! {Linky Party}

Hello friends! Today I am linking up with Amy Lemons for her "Tell me more!" linky party to share a little bit more about myself. Go check it out here to join in! It's fun learning about everyone's lives and interests. :)

1. I was born and raised in Arizona. FYI: It's HOT. But I can't imagine living anywhere else!

2. I am the oldest in my family, I have one younger brother. My family is super close and amazing.

3. Every few years my parents would save up and take us on these amazing cross-country road trips. We'd drive the entire way and I saw so many incredible places along the way. It made some of the best memories of our lives!

4. That being said, one of my favorite places to be is Disneyworld. I was fortunate enough to travel there with my family for 4 years in a row during my college years. It's so magical!

5. I played college basketball for 2 years in Nebraska on a full athletic scholarship. I never thought I would get the chance to play past high school, so it was a really cool experience. I played on the team that won its 10th straight conference championship.

6. My favorite, FAVORITE book is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. She has 6 other books in the series which are equally as incredible and is currently writing the 8th book! But I have to wait till 2013 to read it (not fair). Any other Jamie/Claire fans out there?

7. My favorite movie is It's a Wonderful Life, which also happens to star my favorite actor, Jimmy Stewart. I love old movies.

8. I am a Christian; and my relationship with God is one of the most important things in my life.

(graphic courtesy of Cara Carroll)

9. I am a HUGE sports fan, especially of hockey and baseball. I will cheer, win or lose, for my hometown Coyotes, Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Suns, and Arizona State Sun Devils. And... I will be the first person to turn on the game if it is on TV, probably before even any guy would get to it. Haha. I have gotten to witness many amazing feats in person at many of these sporting events!

(Me with one of my favorite players, Ian Kennedy (left) and Bryan Shaw.)

10. In keeping with the sports theme, I have the honor of saying that I have been CIRCLED WITH THE TELESTRATOR on TV during a D-backs game by one Mark Grace. My sign said, "I love it when Gracie reads promos!" It was referring to an inside joke the TV broadcasters had running at the time...

11. I love music. I sing on the worship team at my church. My favorite bands are Switchfoot, The Civil Wars, and Jars of Clay. Here's a fun pic with my favorite band ever! (Switchfoot)

12. I play a sport called pickleball. It has a silly name, but it is so much fun! I would best describe it as a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping pong. I've played in competitive tournaments and won gold, silver, and bronze medals!

Well, that's enough about me! Link up over at Step Into Second Grade to find out about more of your bloggy friends!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lakeshore, Target, and Kohl's finds this summer!

Well today I took the first of many back to school shopping excursions and came home with lots of goodies! Since a lot of my bloggy buddies have been posting their new finds, I thought I'd share mine too! I haven't been back to school to assess the situation that is my classroom (aka: hot mess) so I've held off on buying too much stuff until I see exactly what I need for the year.

In the meantime, though, I took an excursion to Lakeshore, Walmart, Kohl's and Target and found some great stuff!

Here's the haul from Lakeshore in the picture below. A ton of this stuff I got in the clearance section! They are also having a huge storewide 20% off sale until after Labor Day. The reusable bag was free -- woohoo! I found 6 non-fiction books for $1.99 apiece about various subjects we learn about and I am so excited to use them. I don't know why, but every year my kids love non-fiction learning. I was able to use 2 coupons on the games I got - the green box on the left ("Pop and Win Letter Sounds Bingo") is the one I'm most looking forward to showing my kids how to play. Anyone remember the board game Trouble? Well it comes with 3 different letter dice inside the popper thing - so the kids press down to pop it and roll the die to show which beginning sound they need to identify! How fun is that? The "Sight Word Steps" activity box on the right are non-slick nylon circles to put on the floor and play sight word games with. There is a pocket on the front of each circle to slip a word card inside, and I am also planning on making my own cards for different subjects to play other games with too! I'm excited to come up with different ways to use those...

Lastly, I found the Creative Teaching Press (love them) Chocolate Hot Spots circle stickers in the clearance bin, and they are PERFECT for some center games I need to make, most particularly for a couple of units I bought from the fabulous Mrs. Lee's Kinder Kids! Not to mention they also match my super cute paisley borders I have on my word wall. And of course I got the plan book for free with purchase, but I don't use it for that. Does anyone even write out their lesson plans anymore? It's typing all the way for me. Anywho, I use that every year as my calendar planner instead of buying one! Works great!

Oh, and just in case you didn't see my amazing new nametags for this year in the background, LOOK LOOK LOOK:

Really? So dang cute. And I think I may be forced to go back and buy the matching Eric Carle border. Maybe.

Next up, my Target Dollar Section treasures. I didn't go as crazy as I usually do buying teacher stuff there -- is it just me, or did they not have as much stuff this year? I got some new caddies, bins, and Dr. Seuss bracelets for Read Across America Day. I always like to give my class a little Dr. Seuss related treat on his birthday, especially since we do a big school wide Family Literacy Night to celebrate. I also snagged some paper plates in their summer clearance section - every year I hit this section up; the paper plates were only 29 cents! And the owl corkboard isn't for my classroom, it's for my apartment... but it was too cute not to share!

And raise your hand if you love the Kohls' Cares book section every time they bring a new theme in. The one going right now, if you haven't already been, is SkippyJon Jones. My class dies laughing every time I read his books, but I have a feeling it's more because of my terrible Spanish accent I try to use during the characters' dialogue. Haha. Anywho, I already owned all of the books that were there, but I bought the mini-Skippyjon because my kiddos will flip over it. So cute.

All I bought at Wal-Mart was gluesticks, because they are on sale this week for 10 cents apiece! The Wal-Marts here in Arizona don't have as much of the 88 cent teacher resources that some people have been posting around here, so I guess I'll have to live vicariously through you all in your excitement.

Tell me in the comments section about some of the great things you've found while shopping! Love seeing everyone's purchases!

I am going into my classroom for the first time tomorrow! Time to get the huge stash of stuff out of my house and into my school where it belongs!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blog Award

I am honored to say that I've been the recipient of the "One Lovely Blog" award from a few people, most recently from Fun Games 4 Learning! It's a fun little way to learn about some new blogs, too. Here are the rules:

1. Follow the person who gave you the award.
2. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
3. Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers.

Here are some of the cute blogs I found while scouring blogger! Some are new, some are more established, but they all have great ideas! 


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Currently... Farley's Link-Up for July!

Good news! It's July 1st, which means it's time for Farley's "Currently" Linky Party! It's always so fun to get a little glimpse into everyone's lives and get to know them a bit more! The last category, "reads", is for you to choose your favorite read-aloud book and your favorite professional book. The first time I read Mars Needs Moms to my class, I almost cried! I had never read it before and it is such a sweet and moving story. My professional go-to book, Teaching Writing in Kindergarten, really helped me with different writing techniques to help my kinder kiddos' skills grow during my first year of teaching 3 years ago. Anywho! Here's mine for July:

Hope you'll go link up too! Check out her post here: Farley's "Currently" Linky Party!