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5 for Five {A Day Late...}

Morning Y'all!

So I've linked up with another fantastic group of bloggers for this week's 5 for Five, hosted by Fantastically Average and Party of One! If you are unsure how this works, start here.

This last week, I did phenom if I do say so myself...

The goals I reached are in green. The goals I did not are in red.
1. Go to the gym every weekday over this vacation week! I did this! I actually went to the gym every single day last week, not just on the weekdays. I'm very proud of myself :)
2. Create things from Pinterest! I did this too! As inspired by the Pinspired Linky Party hosted by Learning in Wonderland. See my previous post for specific projects I was planning on created, and stay tuned for a follow-up post showcasing the things I did create :)
3. Attend a spin class! Oof! Did this one too...much to my body's disapproval. It was awesome, and tough, and sweaty. I would love to do one again (when time allows...)
4. Do yoga with The FiancĂ© every night this week! We did this together :). In just a short week, he has improved 10-fold, and is gaining confidence as we go. I love to see him make progress and share something that I have a passion for, with me.
5. Plan for the week after vacation! Yes ma'am! Please see my previous post for this week's Visual Plans!

5/5! I'm so excited, considering that I've never achieved 5 out of my 5 goals for the week! Let's see if I can do it again...

Goals for next week:

1. Go to the gym 3 out of the 5 weekdays! I have class until 10 pm on Mondays and Thursdays so I'm unable to go to the gym those days, but I'm going to make it Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday!!
2. Start to modify one of my products on TpT! I had a request (actually 2), to make a UK friendly version of one of my products. My first, somewhat small step, is to contact those interested for the specific wording that would be helpful. Small steps...
3. Begin my HUGE research project for grad school! This is a multi-step task, which requires multiple goals. My first goal is to get started, by speaking with my advisor and outlining my project.
4. Bring my dinner from home to my Thursday night class! In an attempt to continue saving money, I am going to pack my dinner from home and bring it to my Thursday class. On the menu: baked lemon pepper chicken, quinoa, and asparagus! Yum :)
5. Finish my taxes! My neighbor technically completes my taxing for me, but I need to complete my steps: gathering all the materials. I still need to gather my student loan information and my tax-deductible donations from last year.

Hope you can join me in the fun link up. I'd love to see what your goals are for this week's 5 for Five!

Here's to positive energy, Photobucket

Visual Plans - First Time!!!

Happy Monday!

First day back from vacation = worst day! Rough day in Ms. S's room...yipes! Only 6 weeks until April Vacation though (only...)

In an effort to brighten up my spirits, I've decided to link up with some great bloggers, because I love me a good linky! Mrs. Wills at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten is hosting this super fun and creative link. I've been dying to check it out, and finally gave it a shot. Mine doesn't look nearly as professional and engaging as the other bloggers, but it was still fun to do!

I haven't figured out how to format it so it doesn't look like a weird scroll bar. I'll work on that (advice is always welcome!)

If you would like to link up, please do so above! I'd love to see your visual plans for the week :)



Quickie Update: Giveaway Bonanza!

Check out all of these FAB.U.LOUS giveaways from some exceptional (and generous) bloggers! Act NOW, because some of them end tonight!

Adventures of Room 129 is hosting a HUGE 600 Follower Giveaway! Make sure to stop by, enter, and give her some love :)

Diving into 2nd Grade is hosting a 100 Follower Giveaway! She has personally "tested" each one of her donators products, so you know you are getting top quality loot :)

Wanna win the Naughty Leprechaun Story pack? Make sure you check out Khrys' giveaway! Keepin' It Kool in Kinderland is hosting this fun giveaway :)

Tonya at Tonya's Treats for Teachers is hosting a fabulous 700 follower giveaway with 2 winners! Enter now!!

FONTS?! Who doesn't love fonts?! Enter for your change to win a great set of fonts from Curls and a Smile! Act fast --this will be gone tonight!

Do you want a free blog design?! Check out this fabulous giveaway from Taingamala. She is offering the chance to win a free blog design!!! But hurry, it ends...like now!

Okay, off to finish my other blog post! Yes, sorry...look for another one from me soon. I just wanted to make sure you got these before some of the giveaways ended!


Teacher Wishlist + Giveaways!

Happy Sunday Y'all

Last day of February Vacation...Boo. Oh well, I can't complain. This week has been full of relaxation, productivity, and tons and tons of blogging :)

To keep the streak going, I've decided to join up with First Grade Smiles's linky party, Teacher Wishlist Linky! What a fun way to see what other teachers are coveting. Also gives me some ideas of things I may need to spruce up my classroom as well :)
Mrs. Machan at First Grade Smiles has the following sections to join the linky:

  • Your FAVES that you can't live without
  • Your WISHLIST of things that you want for your classroom

So here it goes:
You may be able to sense a theme in many of my Faves...I'm obsessed with organization. Or at least pretending that I am organized. As someone who struggles with executive functioning, I make it my mission to find the perfect organization system, which I still have not found yet. But these little gems are helping me to find my way to a clutter-free, organized classroom:

1. Accordion File + Binder: I love this little thing...I keep all of my plans for the week, along with my unit plans, and any worksheets I will need for my lessons. I separate the expanding files by Day of the week, and add file folders for each subject. I use the binder portion for any assessments, notes, observations, and future lesson plans/unit plans. I also add student work that I would like to add to their portfolio, or put up on display for our next Bulletin Board. So far, I love this system.
2. Hanging File Folders: I use this bad boy for all things related to morning work, enrichment work, unfinished work, or homework. Because all of my kids are working at different levels and on different skills on any given day, this helps me to organize the worksheets or activities that students will be working on. I simply add a label to each folder, designating one for each student. This also makes it easy when it comes time to add homework and notices home in their mailbox, as I can just grab it and go!

3. Velcro: I use Velcro, no lie, every single day. I use it for our behavior board, my students individualized behavior plans, and all of my visual checklists. With my Velcro, I need its faithful companion...
4. Foam Poster Board: I use these nearly as much as Velcro. I use it for all of my visual checklists and activity schedules. I also use it for students' individualized plans, and more!
5. Magnet Tape: I use this ALSO for many of my visual checklists, activity schedules, classroom schedules, Fundations materials, etc. Huge must have. I'm also running out!

6. Classroom Pencil Sharpener: Yes, this made the list. It's a newbie, but a goodie!

7. Overhead Projector: I know how old school this is, and trust me, if my classroom were more technologically advanced, this wouldn't make the cut...but alas, my SmartBoard free classroom cannot live without our archaic friend. 

Here are all the things I want need for my classroom. Keep your fingers crossed that I get these for next year...
You can also sense a theme here: technology!

1. A Personal Laminator: So we have one of these at school (two actually), but because I'm super lazy, and often don't want to walk ALL the way down to the Resource Room to turn on the laminator, then wait 20 minutes, and pray that someone doesn't turn it off before I get to use it, I've decided I need one of these IN my classroom. It would cut a lot of time usually wasted waiting for the big machine to heat up, walking back and forth, and then finding that someone turned it off while I was back in my classroom. 
2. A SmartBoard: I am one of 2 classrooms in the Lower School that do not have a SmartBoar (!) so I'm really crossing my fingers that I get one next year. While I love my handy-dandy overhead projector, my teaching would be made so much more interactive and innovative. My kids keep asking when I'm going to get one. In due time chillins, in due time...

3. A LabelMaker: Because many of my kiddos need significant help with composition, a LabelMaker would be incredible! I would use this bad boy for things like labeling nonfiction features, filling in BrainFrames, and writing small short answer questions on worksheets. That way, the student doesn't have to worry about their handwriting, letter formation, etc, when I am not assessing that (as in Social Studies or Science). Writing is such an arduous task for my students, and this would cut down on the work refusal, exhausted little fingers, and behavioral issues that come from requiring my students to physically write everything.
4. iPods/Mp3 Players: I NEED these! I have lots of books on CD and I'm constantly having to re-burn the CD because they are scratched from improper use and clean up. I would love to incorporate more Listening Center time, if I only had the technology to manage it... le sigh.
5. iPads/Tablets: As a teacher for students with special needs, I am always on the look out for functional apps. Unfortunately, I only have a personal iPad, and while I enjoy sifting through the App Library for the best special needs apps around, I find they don't do me much good by myself. I would love to incorporate more of this type of technology in the classroom, for both students' academic purposes and for data collection purposes.
6. Talk Bar: I've been trying to win one of these forever now! Every time I see one up for grabs in a giveaway, I enter, praying I get the winning number. But alas, I have not won yet, and I think I may just have to suck it up and purchase this gem myself. 
7. Rechargeable Batteries: Until I get my mp3 players, my CD players will have to do. If they are going to remain functional in my classroom, I need to get me some rechargeable batteries! Those suckers drain all of my batteries so quickly, but with rechargeable ones, I won't have to continuously shell out tons of dough to keep my kiddos literate!

What are your favorite product you can't live without? What about what's on your wishlist? I'd love to know! Link up with the Teacher Wishlist Linky, hosted by First Grade Smiles! Who knows...maybe someone will get you one of your wishes?

Also, check out That's So Second Grade's 300 Follower Giveaway! There are three amazing prize packs to win! Check it out :)

Remember: just a few days left to enter my Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener Giveaway!


Look at My Finds!

Hi Friends,

So I made a spontaneous Target run today after reviewing some of my posts from earlier this week. I realized that, in order to finish the projects I wanted to get done for my Pinspired Linky, I had to make a trip to the store.

While it looks as though I went on an all-out Easter Shopping Spree, it just so happened that the dollar bin was full of Easter/Springtime goodies. Let's break it down and see what I got, shall we?

I think I decided what I'm going to do for my Listening Centers! I got 8 bags (2 extra, just in case), so each of one of my kiddo gets their own bag. I have also created simple Book Bag Tags, that I plan on printing on either colored card stock, or mounting on colored card stock and laminating for durability.
But I have to wait until I get to work to complete this product (for use of card stock and lamination). So, this is still a work in progress. But, I'm still pleased to be this far along in the process :)

I'm {SUPER} excited about this little guy. It is a stack of Burger Coasters; another Target Dollar Bin find. I saw them, fell in love, and had to figure out a way to justify buying them. So I stood there, stared at them, and thought...

Then I remembered the different writing strategies that use the burger metaphor:
A fun Burger Book Report from Unique Teaching Resources

A great writing rubric created by Erin Morrison from The Open Door Classroom. Check it out on her TpT Store!

Another fun writing rubric from Cottone's Dream Team

I think I need to buy another (or 2 more) so I can do all of these ideas! I think I'm going to make the writing rubric out of my current burger coasters. I will have to go back to Target and get another set. They have lots of different sets: Burger, BLT Sandwich, Donuts, and Cookie. I ultimately chose the Burger Set because I figured that would be the food my children would be most familiar with (not BLT), and would have some sort of order or sequencing to it. I think I will start with creating a modified version of Cottone's Dream Team's writing rubric. I may purchase another Burger Coaster Set and make a modified Burger Book Report, but instead use it for students to answer comprehension questions. I also might purchase the BLT Coaster sets and create the more advanced writing rubric, seen in Erin Morrison's product. When that is all completed, I'll be sure to post pictures :)

A couple of Mini Cars...bought in mind so I could finish My Sight Word Parking Lot game:

Check out this fun Sight Word Game from Plato Academy!

Who doesn't have a huge bag of Easter Eggs? I have two. I've been meaning to make some sort of literacy games using Easter Eggs for a while, but haven't actually found Easter Eggs (until Easter-time....shocking right?).

My inspiration from Mrs. Kelley's Kindergarten:
Mrs. Kelley used these cute little eggs to create a word family center. I have also seen others use eggs for sight words, or rhyming, so I have some brainstorming to do...

And now...onto my latest and greatest project...
My first step was to buy these round stickers. I have bought these before when I made an anniversary gift for my fiancé, so I knew just what I needed as I started my project adventure

As mentioned in my previous post, I am creating this gem from Vicki Moore

I then gathered all my saved up bottle caps...
I designated certain colors to certain letter sounds: yellow for consonants, purple for vowels, and green for digraphs. I decided to do it this way, modeled after the Fundations layout that we use in our classroom.

Here are all the bottle caps for my first set with blank stickers.

I created my first set, using the 21 consonants (yellow), 5 vowels (purple), and 5 digraphs (green) modeled after the Level 1 Fundations Unit

 I decided to double the set, so kids would be able to create words with the same letter twice, and also for the inevitable...lost bottle caps!

I then began to create another set, so that two kiddos could be working on this center at the same time, and wouldn't have to fight over the letters.

I am so excited for my recent purchases! I'm even MORE excited for this purchase:
Those things are hot right?
I'm completely obsessed!
These slippers are so incredibly comfortable, soft, and warm. I never want to take them off. They are sturdy, so there is none of that floppy feeling I get with other slippers. 
Naturally, it's from Free People...because I love them, and they are amazing.

And yes, I am currently wearing them. While I am writing this post. And for ever. And ever...
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