Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cricut Newb!

I don't know if I've mentioned it before on my blog, but I DO NOT have the crafty gene. My sister has the gene. Then it skipped my brother and me and went straight to my little brother. I try to be crafty. My mother sent me to art camps during summer breaks. I loved it, but my work was not very good. When I was in middle school, all of my electives were some sort of art class. I couldn't understand why I would get C's. Art is supposed to be subjective, right? I had a sculpture class in high school and I sculpted an elephant. I thought it looked pretty good but I could feel something was off. I turned it over, spun it around, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I could hear my friends laughing at me, and I begged them to tell me what was wrong with my elephant. 
They yelled out, "It has eight legs!" Oh...yeah... that's why it looked weird.

I found this awesome picture on Pinterest that really sums me up.
Source: Facebook (so who know's?)
I'm very hesitant to do anything crafty and I am well aware of my limitations. So, when I started seeing the super cute vinyl Cricut creations on Ashley's blog, The Polka Dot Patch. I knew it was probably something I could never do. Recently, Ashley posted some information about her Cricut designs and how to make them for the classroom. It must have been kismet because Michaels just put the little Cricut on sale. The forces of nature were telling me to be crafty! I just had to give it a try!

New Pencil Baskets! Note to self: I need to get better ribbon for them.

Little trays I got at Target ages ago.  Home to my choice cards for the Daily Five.
Not as cute as Ashley's designs but I am stoked that I did it. I'm hooked!! Now, I'm hunting around my classroom and home for baskets, trays, carts, whatever I can find to vinylize. Also, I need to come up with titles for everything. "STUFF" just won't do. (Except, that's what keeps popping up in my head.) I need new fonts, too.

Maybe, 2% of me is a little crafty!

*Also: I feel bad about this, but when I read the EXTREMELY talented Babbling Abby's last post title I totally thought she was decorating her ceiling tiles. I said to myself, "MAN! She's even decorating the ceiling. I really need to step up my game!" Thank goodness I was wrong. I wish I had her skills!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Sky is Falling!

Once again this is not a teaching post. Sorry! But I am so jazzed about it that I have to share. My sister Jill (Kindergarten teacher) has always borrowed a hen from a local owner during her Farm Unit. (Which I always thought was gross!) But the kids LOVE it. They read to the hen. They share the responsibility of caring for her. They even take her to recess for goodness sakes!
In June, after discussing it with her husband, Jill decided to get some hens for the house. They live on five acres and have lots of room for a coop. Jill is an avid animal lover and owner. I can't remember a time when she hasn't owned a pet of some sort. Even when she went away to college, she had a parakeet. So, I wasn't too surprised when she told me that she was going to get hens of her own.
But we ALL were surprised (even her husband) when she came home with 9 little hens!
Jill made this after they named the hens.
The next step was building the coop. After scouring the inter-webs, we couldn't believe how much effort was involved with the chicken coop.
I mean, COME ON! This is nicer them some people's homes.
Building the coop was a process, but it needed to get completed soon. Those hens were growing fast!
the girls
After deciding on a plan and slowly gathering the lumber, netting, and wire, the coop was underway!
The kids loved playing in the house during the build.

Even the dogs wanted in the house!

Molly is getting the girls acclimated in their new digs.
Prior to the hen house, the hens were in a little coop that they kept on the back porch. As they kept growing, the lil coop was getting a bit tight. Until now, because the coop is finished and it is so cool!
Coop Complete!
The hens love their new home! However, the nighttime is a little scary for them, so Jill and Molly place them back inside their lil coop (which is inside the house.) I can't wait until they are full grown and start to lay eggs. It will be bananas!!

*Side note: Apparently, two of the hens are the type that will lay green eggs. So cool! I'll have green eggs for Dr. Seuss time!

We love Hoot!
Even though I am scared of the hens, I'm slowly beginning to love them, too. I even may ask Jill to borrow one for my class during our Farm unit!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fun in First's GIANT Giveaway!

Okay, so it's about that time in the summer when my husband asks, "When do you go back to school?"  And I ask, "Wwwhhhhyyyyy?"  And he says, "Well, I'm just wondering when you'll start to get your paychecks again."  There it is. That's my hint. I have to stop my Back to School shopping.  Dang...
Of course, now I am seeing all of this cool stuff that I NEED! 
Thank goodness for giveaways!
Fun in First
Jodi @ Fun in First has hit over 1000 followers! Seriously, I can't even imagine that number. I'm so thrilled with having over 100 followers. To celebrate this fabulous event, she is having a giveaway. Please head on over to her blog and check out all of the cool stuff that is included in this monster giveaway.
To find out more information click {here}

Good luck!
{but I really hope I win}

Thursday, July 21, 2011


As much as I'd like to say that all of this running I'm doing has totally transformed my girlish figure into a lean, mean, fighting machine, sadly that is not the case. However, I did get a summer blog makeover! 
Becca from Jumping Jax Designs does fabulous work, and I couldn't be more pleased. She did such a great job, I decided to treat myself with freshly baked rainbow cupcakes (gluten-free, of course.) Yum!
Gluten free cupcakes don't rise as much as regular cupcakes but they sure are tasty!
As if that wasn't enough, my luck continued at Wally World. I purchased six packs of Elmer's Project Poppers Markers for $1 each. I saw them at Target for $4.99. I know this must have been a mistake, but I don't mind at all!
The bright colored ones were on sale for $3, so I didn't buy as many packs as the standard ones.
On to something that is totally not school related:
We made the best tuna steak burgers ever the other night. We found the recipe on Oprah's website. It is designed for turkey breast, but we chose to use tuna steaks instead.

My personal chef!

First,  get your tuna steaks (or turkey breast.)

Next, ground it up in the food processor.

Saute scallions, celery and apples in oil.

Add them to your ground tuna.

Make your little patties.

Instead of grilling them, we decided to cook them on the stove.

Voila, you've got the yummiest little burgers around!
If you'd like the recipe, click {here}

Hopefully, tomorrow I'll actually get some of that school work done!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Target Deals and Steals

Just got back from Target and our Dollar Spot has all of the lovely little gems I've been seeing in bloggy land - finally.
So many cute things there! It seems like they are selling more teacher supplies each year.

These little white board erasers are so cute and really cool. I've been using old socks as white board erasers (not any more.) Plus, they are magnetic. Come on!

Target always seems to have these little pails in their dollar spot section. My classroom has turquoise accents and bulletin boards so I couldn't resist these pails. I will find a use for them!

They have stickers for birthdays and rewards. This saves me the forty minute drive to the teacher specialty store.
Also, there are packs of darling bookmarks.

I found some wooden pointers to add to my 'Read the Room' bucket. (I have plenty of pointers, but I couldn't pass these up.)

Oh and don't forget, all of the Dr. Seuss stuff that I totally needed last March.

Good Deal: This wire rack is on sale for $13.99. I bought one last week for $17.99. So, I was thrilled for this sale because I was planning on getting another one.
I purchased these stackable baskets for the rack, I'm hoping to turn this into my Math Tub area.

Steal: My Target is slowly moving out their picnic, patio, & summer fun section to make room for school supplies. Well, I got two of these little foldable chairs for $2.99! I have a handful of these chairs for my students to use during Read to Self (Daily 5.) My kids love them!

Now, if only I could get into my room and start setting up! We are still waiting for the carpets to get cleaned and all of my furniture is wedged in the corner of my room.
It will happen soon enough! -too soon :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back to School Read Alouds

*Okay, so I'm reposting this and adding it to Mrs. Parker's Link Party. Although, I do love Kelley's blog, too. You know there are SO many blogs these days, I can't imagine how anyone can keep track of all of the Linky Parties.

Kelley @ Mrs. Randall's Learning Library is having a 'Back to School Books' Linky Party! Yes, I know, another Linky Party... but these parties are on great topics and so much fun! I have learned so much from all of you wonderful bloggers.

Now, I am not the type of teacher who likes to have the same plans every year (and just change the date.) However, there are some lessons and books that I love too much to pass up year after year.

1. Chrysanthemum by: Kevin Henkes
Kevin Henkes writes about experiences and feelings so well. I could read all of his books at the beginning of the year and have lessons to go along with them. I chose this book to share because I love the math/class community lesson that goes along with it.

2. 50 Below Zero by: Robert Munsch
When I am learning about my kiddos and they are getting to know me, I like for them to see that I love all things silly. What better show this than to read a Robert Munsch book. Mr. Munsch has several books that crack me up but 50 Below Zero and The Paper Bag Princess are my favorites! They are so much fun to read aloud. You get to create these funny voices and sound effects for the kids.
When they laugh at me, it is magical!

3. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by: Betty MacDonald
This book is one of my favorites from my childhood. I remember my fourth grade teacher reading it to us and I just couldn't get enough of the stories. When I taught fourth grade, I read it to my class and they loved it, too. However, when I moved down to first grade I was nervous that my little firsties may get bored with it. I gave it a try anyway and to my surprise they loved it, too. I have to change some of the wording because it is a tad dated (my kids have NO IDEA what a moving picture is!) I'll take this read aloud slow, go through each "remedy" and have discussions about the behavior and the cure. What I love about this book is that it helps some of my kids use their imaginations.

So, that's just a few of my favorites I pull every beginning of the year. Also, I like to talk with the K teachers and find out which books and lessons they use so I don't find myself repeating something that has already been done.

This was FUN!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pinterest Linky Party Y'all!

If you are wasting several hours pinning or repinning, then you will appreciate this Linky Party.
It's a Pinterest Party!
Randi from Teach it with Class blogged a little while ago about this party.
It is over on Kim's blog, The Teacher's Lane.
This site seems really huge to me so it will be nice to follow teachers I kinda know from the bloggysphere. (Or at least I'll get to know y'all better!)
Join the party {here}
Poster I love and just repinned.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thank you, Lindsey!

I'd like to give a huge THANK YOU to Lindsey at the teacher wife for hooking me up with Pinterest!

Recently, Lindsey blogged about Pinterest. She explains what Pinterest is and how to use it. I am so glad I came back to blogging to catch this post. It was so helpful for someone (me) who needs things visually spelled out. 
Apparently, you can't just join the site right away. You are either placed on the wait-list or you have to be invited from a member. Thankfully, Lindsey offered to send invites to anyone who left a comment on her blog.

Once I was a member, I spent countless hours playing! Even my husband wanted an invite (wow!) 
My boards
Anyway, I'd like to pay it forward and if you want to get started on the fun, please leave your e-mail address in my comments box.

Thank you, Lindsey!

Monday, July 4, 2011

I'm Still Here

Sunset at Humiston Beach
Goodness Gracious! 
It has been such a while since I have posted on my blog or read others' blogs. Actually, yesterday was the first day I had turned on my computer since the end of the school year. It has been a relaxing and well-deserved hiatus.
I'm back to family time, cleaning/organizing/getting rid of stuff, reading for enjoyment, and most importantly running.
Big Boy likes to help me dust the fans.
Swimming with my niece, Molly.

Night walks on the beach with my pooks
is my FAVORITE summer activity!
My nephew Bryan and my dad are testing out my
brother's new kayak in the pool on Father's Day.
Also, I know I'm a little late on this one but, if you haven't read The Hunger Games series yet, you should really add it to your book list.
It was a great read. Very thrilling!

I'm slowly getting my head back into the "school" game. Gotta love this, teachers in my district report back to school on August 16, however THEY have scheduled workshops for teachers during the first two weeks of August. So, my summer is sadly a lot shorter this year : (
However, I guess I'd rather attend the workshops now then the craziness that is the first nine weeks.
Ta ta for now, but I won't be gone for long this time!

Happy Independence Day!