100th Day Giveaway at Blog Hoppin'

Time is running out (giveaway ends tonight!)....
Hop over to Blog Hoppin' to enter this incredible giveaway of 100th day products!  You can win tons of packets for your 100th day celebration, including my 100th Day Fun for EVERYONE packet!!

Five For Friday and 100th Day GIVEAWAY!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five For Friday (a teeny bit late!)... 5 random things from this week!


After our Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, we enjoyed making these TLC Martins.  If you're not familiar with TLC Lessons, Kaye Espinosa has had a website for years--and just joined TpT.  This one was a past freebie lesson.  The pieces all start as squares or rectangles and the kiddos follow directions to cut the pieces and assemble their projects.  They always turn out so unique!!

We added speech bubbles to incorporate more writing and share Martin's dream.  This little one wrote, "All of us can get along.  We can go to the same school.  We can go to the same water fountain."

Our SHARE class was a great success this month.  We included a new game for our class participants.  You can find it here.  My daughter picked random number 3 to win a copy--J-Fed, please send me your email!    (Note to self:  next time I need to choose a different "random number generator" since she just happens to be 3!) 

Our class won Behavior BINGO on Friday--and the crowd went wild!!  They had voted on a kickball game:  Class VS Teachers... which may have to wait until spring!  LOL!

We really enjoyed our SNOW day on Thursday!  We built a mini snowman, made snow angels, and tried out the sled.  This was especially fun since we missed out on this last year--during our practically snow-less winter!!

Hop over to Blog Hoppin' to enter this incredible giveaway of 100th day products!  You can win tons of packets for your 100th day celebration, including my 100th Day Fun for EVERYONE packet--that will be uploaded to TpT this weekend.  :o)


I don't know about you, but I love a good snow day!!  (ha, ha... yes, I know you love them too!)  We didn't get much of the white stuff here in VA, but it was enough for a day to play at home.  My sweetie and I even built this mini snowman.  FUN!
I also wanted to tell you about something school related--our SHARE class.  This is the 2nd year my friend Kelly and I have led this class.  SHARE stands for Staff Have Awesome Resources for Each other... and essentially it's a great collaborative group for sharing ideas and resources monthly with other K-1 teachers in our district.  

One fun thing we do at each month's class is offer a "goodie"... you know how teachers LOVE a goodie!  :o)    We found these cute boxes and lowercase magnetic letters at Dollar Tree (SO happy to find lowercase!!). 

I made a cute little label, removed the ribbon, VOILA--a new station box!  

Here's the little game we included for our SHARE participants... 3 Ways to Play:  CVC game!!

The concept is simple, with this one set of cards... you can play 3 different ways (match the word to the picture, word to a sentence, or spell the word with magnet letters and match it to the sentence)!  There are 6 CVC words for each vowel making a total of 30 different CVC words included.  I just gave away some copies on my new Facebook page and you can win one here too--I'll pick a random number from the comments left before midnight.  :o)

Clutter Free Classroom Project 2013: Week 2 Challenge

It's week 2 of the Clutter Free Classroom Project for 2013!  

Our assignment this week was to establish a plan.  Last week I mentioned how I emailed my staff and had a FREEBIE Friday in the hallway outside my classroom door.  This was a great way to purge unneeded items and put them into the hands of teachers that could use the materials.  I will definitely do this again!  

SORT and GROUP!   I find that I have materials spread out around the room.  For example, there are math items in my closet, in the cabinet, in my tall cabinet, and in an shelving unit in the room.  I want to sort through these items first (to see what can be added to Freebie Friday) and then group the things I need in one location.   Whenever I think about this, I have a strong visual from the beginning of Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations where she helps a teacher sort through all her stuff!! 
 I know where I keep all these items in the room, but my assistant doesn't always know-- and I want her to be able to easily locate everything (especially if there's a sub).  Which brings me to the next part of my plan...

CONTAINERIZE!  As you can see I "unofficially" have stock in Sterilite--and I want to better utilize the tubs and drawers I already have.  

And, finally, my favorite... LABEL the newly organized tubs and drawers!  This one is easy--I LOVE to label!!  It helps the kiddos to know where to find (and return) everything... and I know it will help so much with having 2 teachers in the room (so my TA will know where to find things too).  

So the plan is:
4. FREEBIE Fridays 

This week I continued on my mission:  
I'm sure I don't need to remind you... but, in case you didn't see my closet disaster.....

(yes, that IS an empty shelf to the right--ready for my re-organized materials!!)

I'm REALLY excited about the transformation already!!  I still need to label--but I am very happy with all I accomplished this week.  :o)  Don't forget to link up so you can join in the fun too!!

And now... the winners!!

Congratulations to the 4 winners of my...

Check your email ladies!!  Please send me your 4 picks from my TpT store.  THANK YOU to everyone for following me!  I'm excited to make 2013 my best blogging year yet!!!!!

Clutter Free Classroom Project 2013: Week 1 Challenge

When I linked up my New Year's Resolutions for organization, I mentioned that I'm happy with my organization in so many areas of  my classroom--but there are a few problem areas that I'd like to re-organize and initiate a PURGE!!  

I decided to join the Clutter Free Classroom Project for 2013!  

The first week's challenge was to take a few before photos... so I will start with my first priority:  My Classroom Closet.  I LOVE my closet, but unfortunately, it often becomes the "dumping grounds" for my classroom (ugh!).  So, here goes nothing (the good, the bad, and the UGLY)!!

The Good...
Monthly materials

Monthly thematic books

Listening station books and CDs/tapes

The Bad...
Hodgepodge of science materials, paper, etc

Nightly reading books, with random items thrown in

Arts supplies and office supplies, but no labels

Class store items, pointers, and a slew of randomness!

Said "dumping ground"!
Disaster of Science materials!

Now, I know that this week's challenge was to just take photos... but I was all sorts of inspired to begin--so I did!!  I did an initial HUGE purge of items that I just didn't need any longer.  I helped keep myself on track all week by sending out an email on Monday to my entire teaching staff Announcing--FREEBIE Friday--in the hallway outside my door on Friday afternoon!  This did wonders to keep me on track... and to keep adding items to my Freebie Friday giveaway.  (We have 4 new teachers on my staff this year, so they got a special "Sneak Preview" email so they could snag goodies 15 minutes before it started!)

It felt so good to know that the items I was purging were going to classrooms where they would be utilized!  The saying IS true--one person's trash is another's treasure.

Just look at my science materials now (This is the same, exact shelf as the previous photo, it just needs labels)!

PS Time's running out... 4 Picks 4 You 400 Follower Giveaway (with 4 winners too)!

4 Picks 4 You... 400 Follower Giveaway!!

Thanks to your support... I'm having a

It's simple... since I'm celebrating 400 followers-- there will be 4 winners who can each pick 4 items of their choice from my TpT store!  Hurry... it ends on the 14th!

NEW Facebook Page!!

I took the plunge and tried my first new thing of 2013....
Here's my NEW Facebook fan page!!!
I hope you'll visit me there too!

OK... who's going to be my first "LIKE" on Facebook!!??

Currently... January and my TOP 5!!

The lovely Farley has another edition to Currently!! 
Be sure to link up what is currently happening in your world!  Don't forget to follow the rule of three as well... it's a great way to "meet" a few new bloggers each month.   

NOTE about Currently LOVING:   If anyone has any AMAZING finds from Lakeshore, please let me know--I get to spend a fabulous gift card thanks to my amazing class (and fantastic PTO classroom rep who organized it all!) and I'd love any suggestions you have!

And now.............. the moment you've all been waiting for...........
My TOP 5 (most viewed) Blog Posts for 2012:

Number 5:  VA Blogger Get Together!
This was the post where Kelly and I were recruiting VA, MD, and DC bloggers.  We did have a wonderful time chatting it up with other VA bloggers at Red Robin!! 
Clockwise from left:  Me, Cindy (Kindergarten Love), Kelly (From Kindergarten With Love), Heather (Beg, Borrow, and Teach), Andrea (One Teacher's Take), and Shai (Ms. Winston's Blog)

Funny enough--we saw almost everyone shopping at Jo Ann's afterwards--since we were all chatting about our LOVE of vinyl over lunch!  :o)

Number 4:  Agenda Calendar and Blogiversary GIVEAWAY!
Although I would LOVE to think this post was so popular because I updated my agenda calendars...  

but, I know it was because you love a giveaway!!

Number 3:  Celebrate 300 Giveaway!
See what I mean about loving giveaways!?  Well, I can't blame you-- when 18 fellow authors on Blog Hoppin' donated 18 teaching packets AND a TpT gift card!  I was OVERWHELMED by their generousity--and still am!!
This was on the day of the INCREDIBLE jackpot... and I had missed the sign up.  So, I wasn't part of the linky, but still wanted to give back to my fabulous followers!  I gave away my Kindergarten Round-Up as a freebie for the day. 

Number 1:  Data Notebooks and Leap Year SALE!
My number one, most popular post of 2012 was about my Data Notebooks (250 pages of data goodness)!

What a fun year!!!  But, my favorite post was definitely Kim Adsit's post about visiting my room... I was so "star struck"--she is truly as AMAZING as you think she is!!
If I ever have a bad day, you can guarantee I will re-read her sweet post!  THANKS Kim!  :o)

New Year's Day SALE and a FREEBIE!!

Happy New Year!!
May all your dreams come true in 2013!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support in 2012... you're helping my family in so many ways!!  To thank YOU and to CELEBRATE, enjoy 20% off everything in my TpT store until 12 Midnight! 

Thank you Hope King for giving me permission to use your adorable graphic!!

Oh--don't forget to rate your prior purchases!!  You can earn TpT credits (1 credit for every $1 you spend)... and they round up!  I know I forget to check "my purchases" and do this too-- but, I know I'll be checking in today to fix that (this is also where you find out if sellers have updated their files--so you can re-download the most updated version!) 

It will be hard to head back tomorrow (the extra time with family has been priceless)... but I know the kiddos will make it easy--with their excitement for the new year! 

One of the fun activities we did last year was make Confetti Hats!!  Simply take strips of construction paper (various colors) and the kiddos write goals for the new year.  After they finish writing a bunch, glue them in a row to a sentence strip to make a hat.  The goal strips go every which way when the kids move... just like real confetti! SUCH FUN!!

This year, I'm giving each child 10 strips and they are making a Confetti COUNTDOWN Hat!  We will number the end of each strip (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1) and then glue to a sentence strip in order.  Can't wait!!

Here are some examples from my kiddos last year... I'll post pictures of this year's edition tomorrow.  :o) 
+ In 2012, I will play games.  + In 2012, I will read every day and every night.  +In 2012, I will learn to tie my shoes.  + In 2012, I'll be respectful.  + In 2012, I'll be nice.  
+ In 2012, I will help my family.  + In 2012, I will be responsible.  + In 2012, I will listen.  + In 2012, I will get better at patterns.  

Another activity we did on our 1st day back was New Year's Toast (with butter!).    I added this one as a FREEBIE on TpT... click the link below.  This is just another fun way to practice writing and goal setting--by writing on a slice of toast with butter.

Some examples from my kiddos last year:
 +I will listen to my teacher. +Write a lot!

Click below to grab this FREEBIE on TpT!