Monday, January 30, 2012

There's A New Blog on the Block

Caitlin and I are SO excited!!!! We finally have a blog to host all of our giveaways!!! Let us introduce to you the NEW blog on the block.....Teacher Blogger Exchange.


 
From now on, all exchanges, giveaways, winners, etc will be done through this new blog. That isn't to say that we won't sometimes send gentle reminders through our own blogs, but the majority will be on that blog. Make sure you grab our button and add us to your google reader!


Button



You don't want to miss out! Having said that...our 1st giveaway(s) begin on Wednesday. I will post the giveaway and winners all in one post. We are just selecting participants via random.org and no extra entries are needed so don't fret that you are missing out. We have FABULOUS sponsors and giveaways.

While you are here...I need your help. I am having TROUBLE with a capital T (okay...all caps) with my kiddos and b's and d's. I mean they ALL get them backwards. They read them backwards, write them backwords, make them backwards. You name it...it is backwards. We began the year really sorting them. I even teach them to make a d you  say c (and make the c) then d (and draw the line to make it a c to a d). I have NO idea what is going on, but it is KILLING me! Also, I am looking for cute Valentine crafts and ideas. I'm just at a loss! So...what do you do to get those b's and d's straight and what are you doing for Valentine's day?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Valentine Exchange Update and a Freebie

Well, it just hit me that is the 25th. Well, not really. The 25th is payday and I start waiting for that every 26th so I am WELL AWARE of when the 25th is. But it did just hit me that parent/teacher conferences are at my school in uh...a week from tomorrow (EEK!) and that Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Seriously? How did that happen. I am just now pulling Valentine's things and I usually have that done way before now. One of my kiddos favorite things to do is graph...with candy preferably, so I created this little freebie. The students sort the candy hearts by color, graph, then answer the questions! Feel free to grab yours in my Teachers Notebook Store!




In Valentine's Exchange news, I am working on getting all sponsors emailed this week, so be looking! We were overwhelmed with the response and you will be happy to know there are almost 3 giveaways every day February 1-14! Yup. I knew you would be excited! So sponsors, be looking for an email. I think Caitlin got all of the partners emailed yesterday so you can get to shopping and crafting!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Interventions

I am curious as to what you use for interventions for your Tier III and Tier II kiddos??? That is an area we are REALLY lacking on. We have a pretty good reading series and a GREAT 2 hour reading block (that I love so much), but I feel like we are really failing those Tier III and Tier II kids. We do our best to pull them for 30 minutes 4-5 times a week, but are seriously pulling random stuff from here, there, and everywhere to work with them. It is CRAZINESS and we all know those kiddos are the ones that need the most routine, predictable schedule. Well....I think we may have found it. I went yesterday and observed at a school in our district because I had heard they had an AWESOME intervention program. I have 1 word for what I saw...WOW!!!!! I was so impressed. It is by Fountas and Pinnell and is called Leveled Literacy Intervention.



It comes with EVERYTHING you need. Did you hear me? EVERYTHING. That is what I love. It is not extra work for me. Everything is laid out for you...you just follow the program. I love that it is repetitive. They do the same thing everyday/week so the kids know what to do. I swear. I watched a 30 minute lesson and these kiddos were ON TASK and WORKING HARD. You know...the kids who always say "I can't read." "I can't do it." Not these kiddos.....they can't say that because they WERE reading. They WERE and were proud. Each day they read a little reader. (It comes with 70 different books like this.) 
 Then every night, the students take home these cute bags with the same book in black and white (they are consumable so you don't have to worry about it not coming back), a very descriptive letter for parents on what to do, along with other activities. Can we say FABULOUS???
The teacher I observed said the CD that has the materials for you to print and copy is WONDERFUL and can create games, records, etc. Obviously I didn't see everything, but what I saw in 30 minutes MADE ME WANT IT!!! With that being said...it is NOT cheap. It is like $2000 per teacher. I went straight back to my principal and said "I don't care where you get it or how you get it, but I need $2000 for that program...PRONTO". We are meeting tomorrow (all of K) to discuss wants/needs/and I'm sure where are we gonna get the money. It was so worth every penny. I was so excited to finally find something that worked. How do I know it worked? Well, my friend from the school I observed sent an email that had these results in it:

I mean, really? 50% gain...WOO HOO!
**All of this information and pictures came from http://www.heinemann.com/  I am in no way paid for saying any of this! I loved it THAT much. You must check it out if you are looking for a good intervention program for your K kiddos. So, I'm curious...what do you use for Tier III and Tier II kids. Do ya'll even call students below grade level that? I'll let ya know if when we purchase it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A tiny dream come true

So guess where I went last night? Give up? Flash mob practice. Yep... I'm gonna be in a flash mob! :) A high school friend of ours was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer about 2 months ago. He has started chemo and is such a inspiration. We are having a benefit for him this weekend at a local bar  establishment. All proceeds go to help him in this journey to get well. One thing he has always wanted to do was be part of a flash mob and we are making it happen! How awesome is that? A friend of ours owns a local dance studio. She created it. My friend who the benefit is for starts it and we all join in! I've ALWAYS wanted to be a part of a flash mob. My favorite episode of Modern Family is this one:



I crack up everytime I see it. So..I know it is totally not related to teaching, but I just wanted to let ya'll know. I got a root canal done this morning (so much fun...2 1/2 hours with my mouth pried open) and the rest of the afternoon have been working on our Sponsor list for Be My Valentine Exchange.


Ya'll are gonna be SO excited!!!! We have SO many sponsors and giveaways. Just a reminder...tomorrow is the deadline to be a sponsor.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Frosty family unit and a freebie

Well, I tried to finish my unit by Tuesday, then Friday, and today it is Monday but it is done! I feel bad sitting at the computer when I really want to be playing with little bit…so that is what I have been been doing. We are working on short vowel word families right now so I created a little unit to go with it.
ff2
It has games for each vowel and then a few games that you can play with all vowels. I’m glad I did a snowman theme because you can use it through March (well in Kentucky you can!) Check out my new unit in my Teachers Notebook store! I’m also participating in Mrs. Wills Love to Joplin and donating this unit to those teachers in Joplin….I just can’t imagine!
joplin
I also loaded a small portion of it as a FREEBIE for you! This unit has all of the short a word family cards (3 different families) and the recording sheet for students to sort and place the words in ABC order. Just click on the picture to grab your copy.
short a 1
I’d love it if you would leave some feedback and make me one of your favorites too!!!
In other news, Caitlin and I cannot believe how many participants we have in our Be My Valentine Exchange!
Valentine_Exchange1

WOW!!!!! We are super excited and have so many giveaways. Ya’ll are the best! We have so many giveaways we may just have 2 a day!! Because of the awesome support and participation, we are going to close the sign ups for sponsoring this Wednesday. This will give us time to get it all organized! Thank you so much for being so awesome. Like I expected anything less??? If you haven't signed up and want to participate, just email us at teacherbloggerexchange@gmail.com  Enjoy the rest of your day. Little bit is down for a nap and I’m gonna blog stalk the whole time! Smile

Friday, January 13, 2012

Do You have a valentine?

Who loved Holly Bloggy Christmas? I have to say, Caitlin and I had so much fun! We had so much fun, we are doing it again…Valentine style! We heard so many positive comments (except for those of you who didn’t receive your gift…I’m so sorry!)
Here’s the scoop:
Sign Up to be a Participant:
-Sign ups begin now and close on Sunday, January 22nd.
-We will send out partners by Wednesday, January 25th.
-Craft and/or shop and send out your gift by February 6th to make sure it arrives in time.
-$10 limit, excluding shipping.  Be creative and fun!
-Please make sure that you follow through if you sign up.  It's no fun to work so hard on creating a special gift for a new friend and not receive one in return!
-Our Canadian friends will be able to participate as long as there are other Canadian friends!  Please note in the subject if you are from Canada.
-To sign up, email the questionnaire below to teacherbloggerexchange@gmail.com by January 22nd.
Be My Valentine Questionnaire
Name {for monogramming}:
Email:
Mailing Address:
Blog/Website {not required to participate, but will help your partner get to know you better}:
Grade level:
Favorite color(s):
Favorite candy/treat:
Favorite fast food:
Favorite magazine:
Favorite lip gloss/nail polish:
Anything else you want your partner to know:
Class Exchange:
We are also organizing a class valentine exchange.  More details will come on this in the next couple of days.  If you are interested in participating in this part of the exchange, please send an email to teacherbloggerexchange@gmail.com with "Class Exchange" in the subject line.  Include your state, grade level, and number of students in your class.
Sign up to be a Sponsor
The giveaways for Holly Bloggy Christmas were so much fun!  This time, we plan to do a giveaway each day from February 1st through Valentine's Day!  Simply participating in the exchange will be your entry for each giveaway.  We will use random.org to choose a winner each day.  But...to make this happen, we need some fabulous sponsors!  We want to give away some units/products for K-2, some for 3-5, and then some things that are just plain fun like gift cards, jewelry, decor, etc.
 Sponsors will be mentioned in any email sent or blog post made about the Be My Valentine Exchange!

GRAB OUR BUTTON

Be My Valentine
Hope you will join in the fun!  As always, if you have questions feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email!

Guess what I got?????

A   snow    day. A    snow    day. A    snow    day. (Did you see my snow day dance?) I am SUPER excited. Not only because I get to be home with little bit, but I just figured out something last Tuesday. I have had a doctors appointment with my endocrinologist (2 hours away) for 3 months. It was scheduled for next Wednesday. No biggie, right? Well, it was supposed the 100th day of school!!!! I was TORE UP that I was going to miss this big day. I LOVE my substitute. She was a parent of one of my kiddos last year and was my assistant's sub for 3/4 the year last year so I totally trusted she could do it, but I was so upset I was missing this big day for my kiddos. Well....now I don't have to!!!!!!!! Woop Woop! So I get a 6 day weekend. Huh? Yep, today's snow day created a 4 day weekend for us. I'm out Tuesday for a root canal (no fun I know) and then my doctors appointment on Wednesday. So, on my agenda today.....
-finish that unit and post it with a freebie
-clean this house for a showing (again...man I'm sick of this)
-spend time with my little girl
-catch up on blogs

We didn't get much snow, but roads were super slick and it is like -20 outside (okay, not really but close..I think it feels like 4 or something). I teach in a real rural county...we get out if it spits snow! Either way, it's too cold to get out so I am cozied up in my sweatsuit! What are ya'll doing?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What is up with this weather?

Okay, seriously?? What is up with the weather here in Kentucky? It has been warm…like 55-60. In January?? I am in some need of snow days. I know, I know…I have only been back at work for 4 days but we are usually expecting a blizzard right about now. I seriously cannot remember a year that our 100th day of school was held on the same day it was scheduled for at the beginning of the year. We have always had to reschedule it. I can remember one year (maybe last year), it was scheduled for a Tuesday. Well, we missed school for snow on Monday and I had parents emailing and calling asking if we would still have it on Tuesday. Uh…no? That would be the 99th day now….I don’t think they got it! There is nothing I love better than that call at 5:45 in the morning saying “School has been cancelled”. Yumm! Wishful thinking. I know we have to make them up, but I love random days off in January and February.

Since I will be going to school because we aren’t getting snow, I have been creating new units (hope to have done soon with a freebie) and searching for great ideas on Pinterest. In the past, I created a shirt with 100 something on it. I actually think I have only done 3 in 10 years. They held up pretty good. Now that I have a little one running around, I just don’t have time to glue 100 of something on my shirt, so I am creating one of these bad boys for all the K staff. I found this via pinterest from Mrs. Gilchrist’s Class.

shirt

I’m still working on the other activities. We start school the very beginning of August, so our 100th day is scheduled for next Wednesday, the 18th. I better get busy, huh? In other news, Loving and Learning in Pre-K has teamed up with Creating and Teaching to giveaway 2 units! These are some awesome units. They are both so stinkin’ cute!  If you haven’t entered…hurry up and get on over there. It ends tomorrow at 3. Oh and…they both have freebies on their blogs right now!

I’ll be back soon with my unit. I’m shooting for Tuesday. I have some tooth pain (similar to child birth pain) that is requiring a root canal this week. My nights have been shot as I am taking some good meds to kill the pain, hence making me fall asleep. Hopefully I’ll get it all done by then!

Keep looking out for an announcement from Caitlin and I. We are looking to do a Valentine’s exchange. We are starting a new blog dedicated to this so be watching!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Awards and Back TO THE REAL WORLD

Well, today was our first day back. I have to say my kiddos were really good considering! We had a great day and made these really cute New Year faces I found via pinterest.

new year guys

On the agenda for tomorrow…these snowman found via pinterest as well!

snowman

I have to thank The Littlest Scholars and Inspired By Kindergarten for giving me The Versatile Award!

blogger award

So, the rules of the award are:
1.  Thank the person who nominated you with a link back to them. (I did this above!)
2. Tell 7 things about yourself (see below)
3. Pass this on to 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know they've received an award! 

Here are 7 things about me:

1. I have a slight shopping problem when it comes to clothes for my little one….I LOVE to buy her clothes.

2. I am the BIGGEST CHICKEN. Like I would not go in a Haunted House if you paid me $1000.00. I don’t watch any scary movies…never seen Wizard of Oz the whole way through.

3. I don’t cook. I fix little things like Mac-N-Cheese for little bit, but my hubby and I eat out everynight….we are working on that! Smile

4. I love to craft/sew/embroider. I love, love, love it!

5. I have Type I diabetes (only diagnosed in the last 5 years) and just got on the Omnipod (an insulin pump).

6. My mom is one of my best friends. We have so much fun together.

7. I could do without TV anyday…just don’t take away my internet. I can be home all day and I would never turn on the TV! :

Here are the blogs I love and would like to give this award to (they aren’t necessarily all new to me..just a few of my favs):

Chalk Talk

Live, Laugh, Love Kindergarten

Life is Sweet

Keen on Kindergarten

First Grade Blue Skies

 Loving and Learning in Pre-K

Miss Kindergarten

I could give out a TON more…but little one is begging me to play…so I’m off! Thanks so much!