Friday, July 19, 2013


Hi friends!  Happy Friday!  This is just a super quick post to tell you that today I'm blogging over at the new 2nd/3rd grade collaborative blog Owl-ways Be Inspired.  You really need to check out the awesome list of contributing authors on this blog.  They are some of the best 2nd and 3rd grade bloggers out there!

Over there, I am offering an exclusive FREEBIE that is only available at Owl-ways Be Inspired.  You won't find it available for download anywhere else so head on over and check it out by clicking the picture below.  You can download from there.  Also be sure to check out the previous posts and future posts, because each day an author will introduce themselves and offer another FREEBIE!  Have fun!

Have a great weekend! :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Smorgasbord!

With it being the middle of July and all, I figured it was only appropriate to link up with Fabulous in First's Sunday Smorgasbord post.  My brain is all kinds of scattered right now as this post is about to prove.  This little fiasco will explain why I am linking up with Sunday Smorgasbord.  It's been a smorgasbord of paper lanterns kinda week.  So here goes...

The Things a Teacher Will Do....for paper lanterns.

Yes, it's true.  I admit it.  Teachers are a bit crazy at times.  Especially when it comes to classroom decor.  Yes, yes, I did drive two hours just to get the perfectly colored paper lanterns to hang in my classroom {GASP!}.  AND my hubby drove me there {WHAT?!}.  Yes, it happened and I am NOT ashamed.  Nope, not one bit.  Here's the story....

Mission: Find paper lanterns in lime green, bright blue, and hot pink.  No biggie...

First, I drive to the Parent-Teacher Store in my town.  Well, guess what?  They were ALL OUT!  The ones they had were out-of-stock, but were PERFECTION I tell ya.  I needed those paper lanterns!  I MUST find those paper lanterns.

Plan B: Party One Superstore.  They will definitely have paper lanterns.  They did have paper lanterns, but they were red and navy blue, which would look crazy ridiculous in a classroom of black and brights.  Moving on...

Next, I move to Plan C.  I drive to The Dollar Tree (my all-time fave teacher bin and bucket store).  Wowie, they had paper lanterns AND with a AAA battery, they even lit up!  Holla!  Well, I get excited and buy 9 of those bad boys (they were only $1 each).  I bought three colors lime green, bright blue, and.....wait for it....purple!  I know, I know, not what I had in mind.  Definitely NOT hot pink, but it would tie in with the purple baskets in my room, so why not?!  They would suffice....or so I thought.

Well, I get them home and YUCK, they are just NOT the right color purple and they're certainly not hot pink....

On to Plan D.  I know who will have some awesome paper lanterns - Dollar General!  I saw them there last week!  So I walk in, ask the lady if she had any paper lanterns in lime green, hot pink, and bright blue, she looked at me like I was a lunatic, and then showed me where the paper lanterns were...or at least what they had left.  That was NOT a good sign.  I found ONE, I repeat, ONE paper lantern in a bright blue that would go perfect, but nothing else.  No bright pink at Dollar General AT ALL  (they didn't even make them), only bright blue and a dark blue (at another DG location).  I pick up the bright blue, fight back a few tears (kidding...kind of), and purchase the one paper lantern and some brightly colored cups to match my classroom to make me feel better.  The bright blue lantern was a little more plump, nicer looking, had a light inside, but what can you do with ONE bright blue lantern.  Do I go track down 8 more at the DG stores in my town?  Then, what am I gonna do with ALL bright blue paper lanterns?  How boring!  Ugh.  I NEED lime green and pink...

At this point, as any teacher would, I am ready to throw something!  The colors in the cups above are my classroom colors and I can't find paper lanterns to match my colors ANYWHERE!  AND the ones I have will require like 378,389 AAA batteries throughout the year.  I am picturing myself standing on a ladder at the end of every day to turn them off and replacing batteries as needed.  The more I think about it, the more desperate I become.  I do NOT want light-up paper lanterns.  Even if I leave the lights off, I still don't have HOT PINK!

So I am on to Plan.....hmm...what am I on now Plan Z?  That's what it feels like.  I think this is Plan E.  I do the unthinkable.  I googled it: Parent-Teacher Store.  The nearest Parent-Teacher Store is one hour away.  But the big question is...will they have my paper lanterns??  So I press the Call Us button on my iPhone, take a deep breath, and ask the sweet sales lady if she had what I was looking for.  You'll never guess what she said, "YES!"  Well do you know what I told that sales lady?  I told her to hold every single one of them , because I'll be there in one hour to get them!  And off I went!  I drove 2 hours round trip to get my paper lanterns.  I bought 5 packs (3 per pack) so I have 15 paper lanterns!  WAY too many, but goodness!  Through all that trouble, I went ahead and stocked up for years to come!

Hot Pink, Lime Green, and Bright Blue....ahhhh!  Was it worth it?  Absolutely!  Am I a little crazy?  Perhaps.  But I'm so excited to hang my perfectly-matched paper lanterns in my classroom now!  EEK!  Come on now, tell me you haven't done something similar?!  Or at least lie and make me feel better - ha!  You can head on over and talk about your random happenings at Fabulous in First or leave a comment below to make me feel better!  :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday's Favorite Pins and a New Blog

Today I'm linking up with Cara over at The First Grade Parade for a little Pinterest fun!  We are showcasing some of our favorite pins from Pinterest today!  Head on over and link up too!

So here are a few of my favorite pins!  You should be able to click on each pin and it take you to my Pinterest account for you to repin, comment, see the blog it was pinned from, etc.

So a few of my favorite TEACHER PINS:

Writing on your desk with dry-erase markers when you have a sub or ANYTIME! Wonderful idea from Farley!

Love this incentive for good behavior from A Cupcake for the Teacher!

You can't go wrong when you blog stalk Ladybug's Teacher Files!

Love this practice of Making Ten from Books, Blocks, and Baskets!

Love these bath mats as rugs. Super idea from First Year Teaching Tales!

I'm going to make one of these to hang outside of my door for Open House instead of the boring "Class List". Love this pin from Polka Dotted Teacher!
To celebrate birthdays in the classroom from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits!

And on to some FUNNY PINS: 
Is this not the truth from
This is a typical summer time debate in my own mind... :)


Love the chevron and the message :)

Such a good reminder...

And a gentle message that is so comforting!

So those are a few of my favorite pins floating around Pinterest right now! If you don't already follow me, hop on over to My Pinterest Account and follow me there!


 In other news, I am overjoyed to announce that I will be a contributing author to a brand new collaborative blog called "Owl-ways Be Inspired". This blog will be authored by many of your favorite 2nd and 3rd grade bloggers. 

You'll have to head on over and check it out, because there is a HUGE Grand Opening Giveaway going on right now that is full of awesome back to school products from all of us.  It's easy to enter, so connect with us here:

So that's it!  See you soon!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Back to School Planning!

I am getting ready to head outside and enjoy some sunshine, but I wanted to share my newest creation with you super quickly: Back to School Math and ELA Centers and some other back to school fun ideas!

This collection of Math and ELA Centers are designed to be used in a 2nd grade classroom. They will serve as a review of 1st grade Common Core Standards since the centers are designed for the beginning of 2nd grade. The 10 specific standards covered are noted below:

Math Centers:
1. Add Three Numbers (Review of 1.OA.8)
2. True or False Sort (Review of 1.OA.7)
3. Adding Bigger Numbers (Review of 1.NBT.4)
4. Working with Shapes (Review of 1.G.3)
5. Tens and Ones (Review of 1.NBT.2)

ELA Centers:
1. Long and Short Vowel Sort (Review of 1.RF.2)
2. Words with Similar Meanings (Review of 1.L.5)
3. Fix the Sentences! (Review of 1.L.2)
4. My First Day of School Narrative Writing (Review of 1.W.3)
5. Correct and Incorrect Sentence Sort (Review of 1.L.1)

You will get ALL of this and more in your purchase:

I have included both full-color (chalkboard background) and printer-friendly versions (white backgrounds) of the task pages and sorting mats. The full-color versions are in the document as is, while the printer-friendly versions are all located in the back of the file for your printing convenience. Simply click File, Print, then select the pages you wish to print (either the full-color pages or printer-friendly pages). I hope you enjoy the extra option of printer-friendly pages!  You can see the two versions, both included in the pack, below:

You can click on any of the pictures above or click {HERE} to check them out in my TPT store.

If you're slowly getting ready for the back to school madness, you can check out my other back to school activities in my store also!  Click on each picture below to see the individual product in my store.

This activity pack is easy to use and fun for the kiddos!  This includes several printables for getting to know you, understanding the classroom rules, the first day of school, and also a goal setting activity complete with a bulletin board/classroom display!  I think you'll love it!

Need to add some brightly colored decor into your classroom?  There is over 130 pages of decor in this pack at a super great price.  Check out the pack below!

I also have this popcorn-themed back to school activities pack that includes 3 back to school writing craftivities!  This is a pack that I created last year for back to school fun!

Last, but not least, I have my Back to School Common Core Writing Activities.  I have an entire post that explains the concept behind these monthly Common Core Writing Packs that can be found {HERE}.

OK, that's all!  It has been raining in Kentucky for what seems like weeks, so I'm off to enjoy some fun in the sun FINALLY!  If you don't have time to check these out now or if you are also enjoying some fun in the sun, you can easily Pin It for later by using the nifty little Pin It buttons beside each picture!  Thanks for stopping by, my friends!  I'll be back for some organizational tips for your classroom in the next few days!