Friday, May 31, 2013

I love yard sales ...and other end of the year shenanigans!

I know, I know, I've been MIA on this blog for most of the month of May. But you know how it is during the last month of school, frantically trying to squeeze everything in before the last day. Not to mention, we had two huge end of the year events: our annual water day & picnic and our super cute Kindergarten luau! Both events are pretty big productions and planning and prepping for them took up just about all my time! Our Kindergarten luau is our Hawaiian-themed promotion ceremony. We sing 6 songs, present the kids with a certificate and lei, and celebrate making it to the end of kindergarten! It's so fun and the kids just crack me up with their dance moves. I gotta admit, I always get a lump in my throat when they sing the last song...

I have loved every one of my classes dearly, but this group was the best class I have ever had. This group was something special. They rarely got into trouble, begged for weekly group hugs, threw spontaneous surprise parties for me to show how good they were being, loved each other, helped each other, and were so kind to each other. They randomly started chants ("Try your best!" was a favorite) and songs whenever the moment presented itself. They were super hard workers and smartie-pants... I got to do more amazing things with this class than any other because they were just so wonderful and well-behaved. I was completely and utterly spoiled by them... and I shed a few tears to see this group go. And I know I'm in for it next year, because you KNOW how these things go in cycles... one amazing year, one gray hair inducing year, and so forth... ha.

I have yet to fully feel like I am on summer break yet because I did not get to organize and clean out my room when I wanted to this year. The last Friday we were at school, we got a last second notice that they were going to be cleaning our rooms for the summer that following MONDAY. And, well, my classroom still looked like kids could come back and go to class the next day. So what did I have to do? Shove everything in whatever basket, cabinet, and container I could find and shove all my furniture to one side of the room. I was having a small panic attack at the fact that my room had become even more disheveled and disorganized! So I am waiting until I get the notice that they have, in fact, finished cleaning my classroom for the summer so that I can go back in and organize everything for the summer. When I finish that, I can finally relax and enjoy my summer. It was frustrating not to have the extra time to do it after the last day of school, but what can you do? 

One very exciting thing that occurred today is that my aunt stumbled upon a yard sale. But not just any yard sale, a retiring teacher's yard sale. A retiring teacher that had amazing things in her classroom yard sale. Folks, I cleaned house. I want to go back tomorrow and buy more books! They are all in impeccable shape and only 25 cents each! Do I have a problem? Possibly... but BOOKS! Here's a picture of my haul. I got a Caps for Sale big book, a huge multicolored pocket chart, Chris Van Allsburg portfolio picture set, Lakeshore rhyming words pocket chart set, popsicle sticks, magnet men, Dr. Seuss reward chart set, and 21 paperback books for $16. Sixteen!!! Thank you retiring teacher. Thank you. You have made my entire summer already.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Five for Friday!

Phew. This week was crazy! And it's only the beginning! The last month of school is always so packed with everything we have to get done. I'm participating in Doodle Bugs Teaching weekly Five for Friday party to share some of the fun!

1. Oh my goodness you guys. A parent brought me in a new Starbucks drink for Teacher Appreciation Week and it was AMAZING. Let me introduce you to the new Caramel Ribbon Crunch frappuccino. All kinds of YUM. And I got about 4 Starbucks gift cards from families during the week, so... guess what I'll be spending it on? Yep.

2. I actually purchased this product on TPT BEFORE the big sale because... it was too perfect for my kinders for end of the year review! These centers are from What the Teacher Wants - it's her Rockin' Math Centers for Kindergarten! She made a math game for every math standard! And nevermind that the kids absolutely thought it was the coolest thing ever that they were "rock star" math centers. Thanks Rachelle!

 3. Our Mother's Day cards turned out so cute.. but silly me forgot to take a photo of the finished product! Sad. On the front of their cards I painted their handprints, glued a flower pot underneath it, and they fingerprinted dots for flowers at the end of each of their fingers. They turned out SO cute - I'll share in my next post! I did get a picture of the awesome mom survey my kids filled out about their mothers. It's from Teacher Bits and Bobs Mother's Day pack. Here's one of my boys' favorite responses in the middle of the photo: "I wish mom could be my princess." Awww...

4. I got absolutely spoiled this week during Teacher Appreciation Week. Between our school PTO feeding us every day and getting us awesome gifts at the end of the week and my students showering me with thoughtful gifts, I felt like the most loved teacher in the world! This is a glimpse of some of the stuff I got.. and it's not even everything I did receive! So grateful and thankful.

5. Last night two of my favorite things in the world collided together: Arizona Diamondbacks baseball and my favorite band, Switchfoot! They played a free show after the game. At first, we were very far away:

But this is why I love and adore my favorite band. Jon Foreman came to hang out with us people in the boonies and ran around the ballpark hanging out with us even more than he was on the stage! It was so much fun:

It was an amazing way to end off the week! Check out more about the band here: {}

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Show Us What You Bought Linky

Has this week felt crazy to anyone else? I always feel extra pressed for time once the calendar turns to May. I made myself feel better by lightening the load in my TPT cart during the great sale they just had! I'm participating in the Blog Hoppin' "Show Us What You Bought" linky to share the great finds I had!

1. For Mother's Day I saw this super cute survey from Teacher Bits and Bobs that I just had to have! It's in her packet My Cup of Tea: A Mother's Day Celebration. Some of my kids' answers have been absolutely hilarious. I can't wait to share some of them with you in my Mother's Day post I'll make tomorrow!

2. I honestly have never purchased fonts in my life. I only use the free commercial fonts to make my stuff. But Cara Carroll made the cutest fonts ever and I just had to have them! Check out her CC Fonts pack here!

3. I bought Ashley Hughes' CVC words clipart bundle. It was too good of a deal to pass up! I can't wait to use this great set.

4. Finally, I splurged and bought Deedee Wills' Poetry Stations Complete Set. I hadn't purchased any of these before, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but after downloading the sets I'm so glad I did! My kids always love using their "special notebooks" (AKA: composition notebook with their name on the front in fancy stickers) every year, so they are going to flip next year when I have double the items to glue inside thanks to these poems! Check her set out here!

What kinds of fantastical products did y'all buy? Share it with the world over at Blog Hoppin'!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Sale and a FREEBIE!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! I hope you felt appreciated for all the incredible work you do! I, for one, took advantage of free Chick-fil-a with a teacher's ID for dinner tonight. If only it could be like that all the time... ha!

I know I've got a bunch of stuff on my wishlist that I want to get, especially in preparation for the beginning of the school year since I'll actually have a moment to put it all together during the summertime!

Everything in my TPT shop is on sale for 20% off... and you can get an extra 8% off from TPT using the code TAD13! Here are a few of my most popular products that you can feel free to check out. Click on any of the pictures below to go directly to the product in my store!

My most popular item in my shop is Shapes Galore for the Common Core!, a 2D/3D shapes unit.

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I also have a Plants and Living Things Observation Journal available... my neighbor teacher is currently using this with her kiddos and she says they are loving it! My students did, too, when we were busy planting our bean seeds!

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My latest product is a decomposing numbers 3-9 activity pack, How Many Ways? I tested this pack out with my kiddos before putting it in my store and the counter activities helped them understand the concept so well!

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Because it is Teacher Appreciation Day, I wanted to share something with you to let you know how much I appreciate YOU! During our farm unit, we read the cutest book, Hogwash! by Karma Wilson. 

The book is so funny! I was fortunate enough to get it as a gift from one of my students at our last book fair and I'm so glad! Anywho, I made a little response sheet to go with the story where the students had to write about what happened in the beginning, middle, and end in their own words to retell the story. It's yours by clicking on the picture below! Enjoy!

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Little Shape Fun & Teacher Appreciation TPT SALE!

Happy Sunday friends! I've got a short little update on a couple of shape activities we did last week along with an exciting TPT announcement that I'm sure all of you have already heard about!

I wanted to go back and review shapes and attributes with my kiddos, so for a couple of days we went back and did some shape activities for identifying how many sides and vertices the shapes had. When I re-introduced the concept, I drew a bunch of shapes on the whiteboard and we practiced how to visually identify each of those attributes. To identify and count the vertices, we drew a dot at each corner. To identify and count the sides, we drew lines along each side. This way was so helpful for my students because it helped them keep track of the ones they already counted!

On day two we created our own shapes to practice identifying sides and vertices using a ball of yarn. I chose a bunch of students to hold and create a corner of the shape wherever they wanted to put it. Then I chose remaining kids to lay down underneath each "side" so that we could have a visual to count for how many we had. They loved this! They were so cute using their shape vocabulary as we were creating our new shapes, too. Squint your eyes closely to see our shape! The yarn kinda blends into the carpet. :)

After we practiced counting sides and vertices on our shape creations, we did this little activity sheet that one of my fabulous teammates made. They used highlighters to mark and count the sides and vertices, and then in the last box they had to create their own shape just like we did! The friend below made themselves a "tree" shape! They also had to identify whether the shapes had curved or straight edges.

We also did a few activities from my best-selling unit, Shapes Galore for the Common Core!

And great news! Teacher Appreciation Week is this week! TPT is throwing a huge sale May 7-8 where you can get up to 28% off your purchases by entering the code TAD13! And EVERY product in my little shop will be on sale! My wishlist has been piling up so I am super excited to get a few of those products I've been keeping my eye on too! Click on the picture below to go straight to my store!

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Thanks to Beth from Zip-a-Dee Designs for the super cute graphic!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Currently!

May 1st nearly completely passed me by. I don't know if it's that I thought it couldn't POSSIBLY be May yet, or my end-of-the-year brain is so frazzled that I just didn't think of it, but I barely remembered to go pay my rent with exactly 5 minutes to spare before the office closed and I completely forgot about Oh Boy 4th Grade's monthly "currently" linky until now! Oh well, better late than never, right?

{Listening}: Well, my Coyotes didn't make the playoffs (*sniffle*) but here I am still glued to the NHL playoffs. It's the best sports playoffs next to March Madness!

{Loving}: At the end of the year, we always have a kindergarten luau-themed promotion ceremony. The kids sing and dance to 6 Hawaiian/Ocean-themed songs and they are so much fun! Even I love practicing and singing these ones with my kiddos!

{Thinking}: Seriously, my to-do list is a mile long, and the activities I want to complete with my kids is large, but why is May seriously the fastest month ever? I always still feel like I am cramming activities in at the last second in order for us to finish them. We have 2 huge kinder events, ocean themed learning activities, and school-wide fun to participate in and it's tough squeezing it in to 3-4 weeks!

{Wanting}: Really, the stacks of papers in my classroom are officially out. of. control. I have so many papers to grade, file, and sort! That's always the thing that seems to go further down the list when new responsibilities pop up. Might be due for a Saturday morning at school one of these weekends!

{Needing}: I can't wait till all of my end of the year assessments are done so we can just focus on the FUN learning! I have 4 more kids to assess in math and one last social studies DBQ to give and then we are donnnne.

{Summer Bucket List}: 1. I haven't been on a vacation/road trip/etc. in about 5 years. I'm due. I want to go somewhere! 2. RELAX. And... RELAX. 3. I play pickleball... haven't heard of it? It's a sport that's a cross between tennis, ping pong, and badminton. It's super fun! However, this year has been the most ridiculously busy school year of my life, so I haven't been able to get out there and play in a long time. I want to get back out there in the summer as much as possible... even though it will literally be 100+ degrees outside.

It's almost Friday! YEAH! Link up with Farley and join in the fun!