Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'm It!!!

Ahhh! I have been tagged by the fabulous DeAnne over at First Grade and Fabulous! How fun!

So here are the rules for this bloggy tag:
1.  Post the rules
2.  Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4.  Tag 12 people and link them in your post.
5.  Let them know that they have been tagged.
Ooh kay... here I go! 12 fun facts about myself!
  1. My shoe size is 5-6 {depends on the brand and style of shoe} tiny!
  2. I have a bit of an obsession with clothes/shoes/scarves... I have like 50 pairs of shoes {sandals, flip flops, boots, sneakers, heels}. I should post a picture... seriously scary!
  3. I love Arizona summers... yeah they can get as hot as 120 degrees but I prefer that than wearing a sweater/coat/gloves! I can't wait!
  4. I am highly qualified to teach middle school math! Yes, when I first started my teaching program, I wanted to teach middle school kids! I think I will eventually move but I love love love my firsties!
  5. I am 5'1''. 
  6. I LOVE cotton candy ice cream with almonds from Cold Stone! Yum!!
  7. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment! Tiny but I am afraid of getting a house!
  8. At my school, I am usually the first one to arrive and sometimes the last one to leave... so much to do!
  9. I do most of my lesson planning on Sundays.
  10. 7 years ago today, I started dating my husband! Happy dating anniversary, love!
  11. I will NOT EVER wear pajama pants in public! Haha I do not know why people just can't change into jeans when they go to the store or something...seriously my pet peeve haha! So that's why I won't wear pajamas in public!! 
  12. I do not know what else but here is my last one: I usually say what's on my mind but since I started teaching I have been biting my tongue since I don't want to offend anyone that I work with since this is my CAREER! I am soooo mature jk!
So there are my not so fun fact about me... now to answer DeAnne's questions!
1) What is your favorite recipe? (Would you like to share?)--oops that's 2 questions.
My best friend just taught me this recipe yesterday... it is sooo yummy.
Pollo en Salsa (Chicken in Sauce)
Fry some chicken (I used chicken breasts and thighs) in a pot.
Blend the following items together: 3 medium tomatoes, 2 jalapeno peppers, 1 clove of garlic, some pepper, 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon, 1 cup of water, and a quarter of a small onion.
Once the chicken is slightly fried in the pot, pour the tomato sauce in the pot and bring to a boil on high. Once it is boiling, add a bay leaf to the pot. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked. 
Serve with your favorite sides, we used rice and beans... YUMMY!
We didn't use any real measurements because it is an old recipe from her family but just eyeball everything haha!
We also used a lot more peppers because we love it spicy but try it and let me know what you think!
2) If you could have a profession besides teaching, what would it be?
I have always been interested in medicine {doctor, nurse}. I would need a whole lot more schooling!
3) Are you a sports fan?
Kinda! I love the Arizona Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks! I love going to their games!!
4) Do you have any hobbies outside of blogging and school related things?
Shopping!! Reading!! Spending time with my Aly bear!
5) What is something you won't leave home without?
I try not to forget my iPhone and wallet!
6) Where do you like to vacation?
I haven't really been on a real vacation but I would love to go to Hawaii or somewhere far and beautiful!
7) What is your favorite movie?
I don't really LOVE movies but I do enjoy comedies! I love to laugh!
8) Do you have a special talent?
Nope! I wish I could sing or draw but I can't!
9) Who is your favorite CHILDREN'S author?
Mo Willems is great!
10) Do you think technology makes things easier?
Yes!! I love that I can Google everything!! :)
11) Would you ever participate in extreme sports?
Yes, if I were good at it! I tried skateboarding once and I kept falling so I need something that I am good at!
12) What do you like most about teaching?
I love little lightbulbs going off. I love when kids are beginning to learn how to read and see their little eyes light up! Love Love Love!
Here are my new 12 questions:
  1. What is your favorite fruit?
  2. Do you prefer eating out or cooking?
  3. Do you have an iPhone?
  4. What kind of car do you drive?
  5. What are your school hours? Do you have duty? Do you have a prep?
  6. Do you have a Vera Bradley bag or what kind of bag do you use for your school things?
  7. Do you prefer chocolate candy or sour candy?
  8. How do you organize class jobs?
  9. How long do your kiddos get to eat lunch?
  10. What are the demographics of your school?
  11. What are you wearing right now?
  12. What is your hair routine? Blow dry, straighten, curl???
Coming up with these questions is hard!! :) I hope they are not boring! I am tagging:

Mrs. Johnson

I only picked 10 blogs {I hope that's ok!?} If you have already been tagged... please don't feel obligated to do this!!! I tried picking blogs that haven't yet posted that they've been tagged! :)

Have a fabulous Sunday!! :) Time to get ready and spend time with my little family!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

100th Day Pictures and STAPLES Finds!

Hello, hello!
Yes, I am blogging two days in a row... WOAH! I am feeling pretty accomplished.
Today was a much better day. I don't know if it's because I cracked the whip {a lot of my kiddos were moving their clips down and going to thinking time for talking/shouting out} or if it's because it was a half day! Our half days are pretty amazing. We go in at 8 and dismiss at 11:30! Super short... my day consisted of:
7:55- The first bell rings and I open the door to let my kiddos in. They grab their breakfast, put their folders in their cubbies, put their behavior charts in the purple tub, hang up their backpacks/coats, and get to eating.
8:17- Students clean up their breakfast and meet me on the carpet for calendar.
8:20- Calendar helper starts calendar. She goes over today's date, yesterday, and tomorrow. We also add a straw to our place value chart and add a dot to our 100's chart. While this is happening, my breakfast helpers are taking out the extra breakfast, cooler, and trash to the hallway and my messenger helpers are moving clips up for friends that brought in their behavior charts and put them in the purple tub.
8:30- We start Phonics. My district uses the Fundations program and I LOVE it! Well, to tell you the truth it is the ONLY phonics program I have We quickly practice letters and sounds, we did some writing on our dry erase boards, used our magnetiles to spell, and practiced writing in our composition books. I love how we use different methods to practice our spelling!
9:15- Start our reading block. This is when I use the basal- Harcourt's StoryTown. Anyone else use it??? It is aligned to the AZ state standards but know that we are going to start using Common Core Standards {next school year}, I am a little bit afraid that our district will change programs! In StoryTown, we do The Question of the Day, a read aloud, practice HFW, do some phonological awareness activities, phonics/spelling, reading, fluency, comprehension stuff, and other stuff I probably forgot. It is long but I do it for an hour a day!
10:15- Time for LUNCH!
10:45- Pick up the kiddos from lunch and do a couple rounds of The Daily 5!
11:25- Stamp behavior charts, pack up and dismiss at 11:30!!

See... it was super short and I have a half day again tomorrow {thanks to our Winter Conferences!}

Maybe I should of linked up to the linky party that was going around about a regular day. Maybe Monday?
Here are some pictures of the activities we did for the 100th day of school!

I told my sweeties to not look at my phone while I was taking pictures. They were acting all natural {do you see their smiles?} too cute!
Here, they are making the band for their 100th day crowns. They are writing their numbers {1-100}. Some kiddos that needed extra support were able to use their 100's chart!
This is the entrance to our classroom {as inspired by Pinterest- I just saw a picture}I just cut strips into long pieces of butcher paper. I used red and yellow to give it a little more depth and contrast and OHMYWORD you should have seen their little faces when I opened the door! They were so excited and they loved it. They even walked into the room slowly, enjoying the streamers on their face! Haha They were super cute. I really wanted to write something like "You Are 100 Days Smarter" like the picture I saw but I didn't have time! :( I was busy trying to cut the pieces straight! My door opens to the outside and I love it because it looks extra bright. We aren't "allowed" to keep our doors open because fire code or something like that but I had conferences that day so I propped the door open and had beautiful AZ sunshine shining through!
Inspired by Mrs. Jump's Class, we made our 100 year old portraits. They came our really cute but I wish I would have cut out some of the stuff for them because they were all over the place. Plus, I couldn't find googly eyes so I had to use beads! I will be more prepared next year.
I love how the one on the right has curls!

Here they are working on their old people on the carpet. I love when they work together without me telling them to do so! Some are also wearing their crowns that were floating around Pinterest too!
These old men have teeth and my little old lady has sleeves in her dress LOL!
Yeap, that's a big mouth!

We also made 100 fruit loop necklaces. They had to make 10 groups of ten fruit loops and then string them to make a necklace. They loved it. It was fun but exhausting! I plan on being more prepared for next year because I didn't know what I was getting into since I didn't do anything last year!
This is a picture of my little sweetie wearing her sparkly pink Toms. I got them for her months, maybe a year ago, but they were too big and I did not want to ship them back. Well, she found them in her closet and really wanted to wear them. They are still a teeny bit big but not that noticeable! We {my daughter and I} have a ton of Toms and I love them because they are soooo comfy and the sparkly ones seem fancy {to wear to school}. I have 'em in gold, silver, and black glitter. I also have a ton of non-glitter ones... but I wont list the colors because there are too many to list... I might have a problem

STAPLES deals!!
I went to Staples today to find a gift for my valentine exchange and I found some good stuff on clearance!
Post-It flags for FIFTY CENTS!!! Guess how many of each I bought??? 
 How could I not. It is such a good deal and I love "tabbing" some stuff for my students! Score!
I also bought some paper trays for $2.50, Kleenex packs/hand sanitizer spray/Halloween stickers for 50 cents, and I finally bought the flat bottom file folders that I am going to use to organize my daily materials! I found a 12 pack for 15 bucks. That's the best deal I could find! 

Be prepared for a lot of pictures of my purchases below!
The NoteTabs were also fifty cents!
Wooh! That was a ton of pictures!! 
Thanks for sticking through this super long and random post! ;)
Good night and a big oh yeah for it being almost Friday!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's been such a long week....

So long in fact, that it feels like it should be Friday!!!

We had our late night conferences last night and I was super tired after that! I came home and was asleep by 9 o'clock! I woke up at 6 but I was stillllll feeling tired!

Yesterday was also our 100th day of school and we had so much fun!! I will post some pics soon!

My husband and I went to our baby girl's first parent/teacher conference today. We were ecstatic to hear that Aly loves school, loves to talk to her friends, and is so attentive! She genuinely loves to learn! Yes, she is just 4 years old but I can definitely see her graduating from college already!! Ha I am feeling so old.

On another note, I have been seeing some AWESOME giveaways over here in blogland... let me share a few and make sure you enter. You can't win if you don't play {I sound like the Arizona Lottery!!!}

Jess over at Rambling About Reading is giving away Kindle case, $10 gift card to Target AND one of her TpT products!! Woo Hoo!!

Made In The Shade In Second Grade
Lisa and Beth over at Made in the Shade are giving away 2 $25 gift cards!!! 

Ms. T over at Journey of a Substitute Teacher is giving you a choice of a subway art piece OR a $25 gift card to TpT!!! {NICE!}
Good night, all!! I'm about to hit the shower and head to bed!! I have 2 half days left and then a weekend!! Yipee!

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Favorite Follower Award!

I just received the sweetest award... The Favorite Follower Award! 
Thank you so so so much, Edana from Color Me Kinder.

Color Me Kinder
Now, I will pass it on to my favorite followers! My followers are growing daily and I really appreciate you all reading my little old new blog! Thank you so much to all my followers that take the time to leave me comments and feedback! I ready every single comment and I love to reply to the comments I receive so keep 'em coming! I am passing the award to:
Jessica over at 

Ms. M over at

Tammy over at Forever in First

These ladies are so awesome. They comment on my posts and leave me the sweetest comments! :) Thanks so much to all my followers.

I also want to mention that I would give this award to other bloggers {Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies and Erika at 2B Honey Bunch} but they've already gotten it! :) I wonder why???

Tomorrow is the 100th day of school. My kiddos are going to bring 100 things {that fit in a sandwich bag}, we are going to make old people portraits {Deanna Jump's idea!}, and have a small party celebration with 100 necklaces and crowns! I can't wait to share pictures!
Tomorrow, I am also having my late night conferences! My last conference is scheduled for 7:00! We will see how that goes!!
Send me some positive energy!! I will most definitely be using my giftcard that I got from Traci over at Dragonflies in First from her giveaway I won!!! Woop Woop!! I love myself some Starbucks!! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Woo Hoo and Feeling Pretty Great...

Let me tell you, this blogging gig is pretty tough. I want to share about my day, tell some funny stories, and  tell you everything I know but I keep finding that by the end of the day I am *exhausted*. I take forever writing my posts {seriously like hours... am I the only one???} because I am re-reading them, adding pictures, fixing my grammar, and all that fun stuff {FYI I started typing this during my prep at 10:17 am}. I don't know where I am going with this but I just want to apologize if I say I will post something tomorrow and I don't!!! Don't be mad at me LOL!

So I will add the picture that I promised about the MLK Jr. activity that my kiddos did. They are cute beyond words! I love them!
Aw! Sooo adorable and they loved drawing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr!
Hehe! They were given a sentence strip and were to write a word that Dr. MLK Jr. stood for! They loved thinking about all those wonderful words!
So this is the "bulletin board" that I made out in the hallway. My classroom door opens outside so I don't have a real bulletin board. It's just butcher paper stapled to the wall of a hallway! I like it because it's bigger than real bulletin boards! 
(Do you all see the MLK Jr. with the mean mustache??? LOL)

I am soo happy that I finally had time to clean out my desk and here it is!
It's super clean and empty!!!

Our wonderful custodian said that he would move it today after school and I went in about 4 o'clock and the big chunk of a desk was still sitting there! He must've been super busy or something because he is usually on top of everything at my school!! So now it's sitting right in front of the door and hopefully he can move it on Monday!! :) YAY!

Now I need to explain my Woo Hoo from my title. I was so excited to find out a couple of days ago that I won a giveaway from ImageStuff (makers of Brag Tags) on their blog! The giveaway was for a set of addition Flash Tags and a subtraction set of Flash Tags!! I am eager to get them so my firties can practice their math facts with these! They look awesome!
These are it! :) Don't they look wonderful!?

I am also feeling pretty great about reading! One of my personal goals this year is to read more books! In the past week, I have read more {me-time} books than I have in the past 3 years {thanks to my Kindle}! Yeah, a fast-track teacher program and first year of teaching will do that to someone!! I am genuinely happy when I get to read! I love it so much! Back in high school, I would get in trouble for reading books during Chemistry! Ha! I finished The Hunger Games and Catching Fire in a couple of days and now I am on to numero 3, Mockingjay. I am 49% into it! They are sooo good!!! :)

I lost a student and got a new student on Thursday! He was absent today so I hope he comes back. I have 23 students in my classroom! 

Oooh before I forget!!! 2nd Grade Stuff is celebrating 100 followers with a $10 TpT gift card!!! Go on over and check her out!!! 

Good Night, All!! :) I am off to read my book! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Scoreboard and a MLK Jr. Day Activity!

Hello all and happy {almost} Wednesday! I haven't had the smoothest day so this is going to be short and quick so Aly and I can go to bed!

I wanted to write a little more about The Scoreboard I use in my class. This is a Whole Brain Teaching Strategy!

This is one of my scoreboards. I have two that I use in my classroom. This is a portable one that I use during carpet time. I used painter's tape to make the partitions. You can use any colored tape and I had it handy! The smiley and the frowney are written in dry erase marker.
This is my second scoreboard that is on my whiteboard. I use this mostly during "desk time". It's all written in dry erase marker so I have to be careful when I erase!

The scoreboard changed my room completely!! :) The kids love earning smileys. The class can earn smileys by doing what's expected and they earn frownies by not doing what's expected. Pretty simple! Here comes the fun part:

Smileys: (tally on the smile side) When the students earn a smiley they can have a one hour second party by shouting out "OH YEAH!

Frownies: (tally on the sad sideWhen they earn a frownie, they all have to do a mighty groan {the sound and shrug}. You can see an example in my last video.

Rewards: At first, you can just have the kids win. After a while you can give them a small reward like going to lunch 2 minutes early, 2 extra minutes of recess, or 2 extra minutes of center time. I usually play a song as a reward {Justin Bieber, Harry Kindergarten, Tony Chestnut, Cha Cha Slide, YMCA). You can even make the reward something that you are already going to do. For example, while we were studying bats their reward was watching a short video on bats {that was already on the lesson plan}!! Double WIN!

3 +/- Rule: You need to keep the score fairly close. You never want to win by 4 or more or lose by 4 or more!! The win has to feel attainable and if you have 30 more tallies on the frownie side than the smiley side, your students might give up! :(

{I think} that's all I have to say about the scoreboard! If you have any questions... comment below! I will be super happy to try answer them! :)

MLK Jr. Day Activity!

First, we read A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. By David A. Adler.

It has really nice illustrations and my ELLs understood most of the language!!

Then, we made a bubble map describing MLK Jr. and his beliefs! (Sorry, no picture!)

After, we did the cute MLK Jr. drawing that I got from Mrs. Miner's blog. Click {HERE} to check out her post and freebie!

Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business

I did the drawing step by step on my document camera and the students did the drawings at their desks! They came out soooo lovely!!! :) Here are a couple of pictures!

Oops! I forgot to take a picture of the finished portraits :/ I will take a picture of them tomorrow! 

Have a fabulous evening, friends!! :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012


:( I'm sick! I have a headache, my eyes are so sensitive, my body hurts... the works! I thought I was going to enjoy my 3 day weekend! At least I don't have to work like this. I hate being sick and teaching because I feel like I don't have the energy and enthusiasm that my kiddos need!

I'm happy about joining Ms. Preppy's Be My Valentine Exchange!

Be My Valentine
Go on over and join up! :)

So I got my new toy a couple of days ago and I haven't been able to put it down! My first read is The Hunger Games... SOOO GOOD!

This obviously isn't mine. I wanted to take a picture with it and post that but I'm pretty sure I don't want y'all to see me right now! I am looking like a hot mess! Poor husband is going to see me in a bit when he comes from work. I mean, I'm still in my pajamas!!! 

Go check out Taming My Flock of Firsties for an awesome giveaway!
Ah! He just walked in! I'm off to bed to read my Kindle!! Good night!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Clutter-Free Classroom Project Week 1:

Before Pictures!
I didn't want to post any before pictures but I saw some brave blog buddies doing it so I had to!
I am joining The Clutter-Free Classroom Project!
I am so nervous to post these because what if I don't organize and my room keeps looking like a hot mess??? Hopefully you all will keep me motivated! :)
Here we go!

This is right by my door and my coat rack. It used to hold my math manipulatives but it is now the cubbies! I have gotten 3 new students in the past few weeks and the 4x5 wasn't cutting it! I love this 5x5 but if I get more than 2 new students I will be in big trouble! I still need to add names and numbers. I have my orange "turn in" tub on top, some tissues, hand sanitizer, a tub to hold some awards, and the purple envelopes hold their class money! I really need to pass them back out! I would really like to put some sort of decorative contact paper on top and on the bottom of the cubbies but I don't know if I have the energy for that! Maybe!
This is {supposed to be} the bookshelf where I keep all of the guided reading books and other Harcourt materials. The books are pretty organized by level and lesson but I hardly use them because they are just too hard for my ELLs. I also keep random stuff in there so I want to make it a little more efficient by keeping the books that I use more often. Right beside this bookshelf is my horseshoe table that I {am supposed to}use for small groups. I've had so much junk on it that I have been pulling my small groups on the carpet and on the students' desks! That is soooo bad!

So this is the infamous horseshoe table that needs to be cleaned up so I can use it for my small groups! I want to make those cute Pinterest snowmen with the shaving cream {as you can probably tell}. I am organizing my emergency sub plans in the red tub! The rest of the stuff is just miscellaneous cra... I mean, stuff!

This is my portable bookshelf/storage-thingy. I have a love-hate relationship with this thing. I love that it holds a ton of stuff (there are shelfs on the front and in the back-this picture is of the back) but then I hate that it takes up sooo much space! I am in the process of organizing this bad boy! I plan on having all of my art materials in their own little tubs with labels! I can't wait! I just have to make the labels and organize them... such hard work! I have a tub of books just hanging on top. I either need to organize them in my library or donate them!

This is my Sand and Silt FOSS kit. It is an awesome and easy way to teach science and it correlates to our standards! :) We are all finished with it so I just need to fill out the paperwork so it can be sent back to the district warehouse where they replenish it and send it off to another teacher!
That big ol' pile of paper on top is {ungraded} homework!! I need to fill up their sticker chart so this pile is a priority!
My sink and counter area are just a places that hold random things. I have some danish butter cookies a container with paint cups that was left by the old teacher.

More random stuff, disinfecting wipes that don't fit in my newly organized cabinets, more hand sanitizer, a basket, papers, and my pencil sharpener! Blah! I need to clean, clean, clean!

This cabinet is also portable and it holds lots of stuff, which is good because we don't have any built-in shelfs and stuff (beside the teeny ones above and below the sink). I have tubs of math manipulatives that I don't use in there and my bee-u-tiful construction paper! I will take a pic tomorrow!
Above the cabinet is where the mess is! As I was organizing, I put all of the stuff I didn't know what to do with up there! I want to go through and either throw it away or find a place for it all! 

The baskets under my calendar wall are supposed to be the classroom library! I need to organize them, label the books and the baskets, and keep it that way! I just haven't had the motivation to label each book! I would really enjoy seeing my kiddos using it efficiently though!

Here are all of my math manipulatives and my old cubbies {the 5x4}. I need to re-label the ones on the left and need to throw out some stuff on the right! If you look closely on top of the right shelfs you can see me as a first grader! I keep my Kindergarten and First Grade picture for my kids to see so they are reminded that I was once their age too! I love my heart pillows but they are such a pain to keep on the floor! I hang my read hearts on the coat rack but they take up so much room!

This is a bookshelf that is behind my math manipulatives. I keep crayons, scissors, markers, notebooks, and junk all over it! I know I can find a better place for all of those materials!! I just know it!
There is also a pile of picture dictionaries on the floor. I need to start using them!
If you squint you can see a picture of my sweet Alyssa on the whiteboard! I love that child!

This table is supposed to hold my daily plans and materials. It is just under my whiteboard so when I try to write I have to be on my tippy-toes. It is a mess. I still have stuff in the baskets that I was supposed to use before the holidays! I want to get rid of the baskets and use hanging file folders for my daily materials!

Now to the scary part of my room -my desk area! I just use it to hold my lesson plans and the rest of the stuff that doesn't have a place! Good news is that all of the drawers are empty and I just need to organize the stuff on top and this baby will be GONE! The table behind the desk is where I keep my laptop, the document camera, projector, and speaker. I didn't take a close up picture but there is always junk on that thing!

This is a side view of my desk area. I stuff all that wonderful fadeless paper in the corner, leave all my junk (bags, cart, and Target shopping bags). Sometimes I can't even walk through there! YUK!

This is another messy bookshelf behind my desk. I have teacher resource books, Harcourt teacher editions, markers, Biffytoons, page protectors, CD's, airfreshner, and a collection of stuff on the surrounding floor area! I know this space can be used more effectively!!

This is my writing table and next to it is my listening center. I need to get rid of the extra boom box, get rid of the rocks my sweeties brought from home during our Sand and Silt unit, and find another place for the paper and my box of borders that is overflowing!

I don't even want to talk about this picture of the stuff on top of my filing cabinet! Blah! Gross! Mess!

This is a close up of the bookshelf behind my soon-to-be-gone desk! So many note pads!

WOWSERS!! Those are a ton of "MESS" Pictures! I really hope blogging about my progress makes me have progress! LOL

I wanted to show you all my class rules with the updated picture for Rule #5! Yes, I did tape my face to the rule! :) They walk by it every morning and see my face! Ha!

I would love to hear some encouraging words about my hot mess of a classroom!

So I don't know if anyone got to the end of this *HORRIFIC* post but if you did, I thank you!! Yay! It's almost FRIDAY!!!