Thursday, August 22, 2013

Getting Organized: Go Digital!

I'm blogging over at our 2nd/3rd grade collaborative blog Owl-ways Be Inspired today!  I have shared some ways to stay organized using digital tools and apps!  Go check it out {HERE} :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Best & Most Linky and TPT SALE!

Today I am linking up with Christina over at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge for some "Best and Most" yearbook style fun.  Here are my picks (based on purchases and feedback) for Teacher's Pet, Most Likely to Help Your Students Succeed, and The Best Couple - TPT product style!

You can find these items in my TPT store here:

Teacher's Pet:
Let's Investigate the...Characters
This product is voted as the Teacher's Pet, because of its ease of use, fun design, and engaging content for the students.  This unit takes the students deeper into learning about the characters in ANY story and how they respond to what's happening to them in the story.  It is MORE than just worksheets and will hit different styles of learning as well!  It's one of my favorites!

Most Likely to Help Your Students Succeed:
Find a blog post about these bundles {HERE}.
Voted as Most Likely to Help Your Students Succeed, these bundles will help your students to write authentic pieces of writing that have a focus on the 3 types of Common Core Writing: Narrative, Opinion, Informative/Explanatory, PLUS Shared Research Writing which is often overlooked in the Common Core Standards.  Check out the blog post I linked to above for a complete Q&A about my Common Core Monthly Writing Bundles.  These can also be purchased individually for each month.  The bundles will save you 20%.

Best Couple:
Common Core Quick Math Assessments: 2nd Grade Edition
These products being my all-time best sellers are a sure sign that they are my Best Couple.  Included are formative assessments that will assess each and every Common Core Standard listed in their descriptions (every single math standard and all of the literature and informational text standards for ELA).  They're my most prized creations and took me absolutely forever to create!  I also have both the graphic organizers and math quick assessments for 3rd grade and 1st grade in my store, and I have 4th grade graphic organizers in my store as well.

Now for the special surprise!

Cute Button created by Krista Wallden!  You can find her graphics {HERE} - amazing!

In case you haven't heard there is a HUGE sale this weekend at my TeachersPayTeachers store along with many, many others!  I will be offering 20% off every single one of my products and bundles, PLUS if you use the code BTS13 at checkout, you can get an additional 10% off.  Start filling up your shopping cart now for a savings of 28% on Sunday and Monday only!  Don't forget to leave feedback to earn credits to come back and purchase more!  That's what I do!  ;)  Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher Week '13: Organizing for Instruction

Y'all this is going to be a quick post, because let me tell ya... we are back in school and it's Wednesday night and I'm exhausted!  That alarm clock is not very friendly these days!  If you've been following along, you know that I have been linking up with the fabulous girls over at Blog Hoppin' for their week of fun called Teacher Week '13.  You can check out the calendar below to know what to be looking forward to and also to see if you want to catch up on some posts!

I will have to come back by and share some more organizational tips that I use in my classroom when I'm not so exhausted, but for now, I'm going to focus on ONE of my favorite online finds from this summer to keep me organized with my instruction.  Check out this bad boy from April at A Modern Teacher....

First of all, let's talk about how cute this teacher planner/classroom organizer is.  April from A Modern Teacher did a remarkable job with the design!  I mean, the black and white damask and hot pink is just adorable.  The picture does NOT do it justice, but remember I'm a tired teacher who is posting at the last minute with pics from her iPhone - don't judge :)  April's file is fully customizable, so of course I featured my favorite font designer Kimberly Geswein on the front cover.  Her fonts are beyond awesome.  Check them out {HERE}.  The one featured on my teacher planner/classroom organizer is KG Eyes Wide Open.  Isn't it pretty?!  If you don't think so, don't worry, she has plenty of other styles in her store!

OK, I must get past the prettiness of it and talk about the contents.  The entire file can be printed as is in a PDF format or she offers a fully customizable option as well.  You get to choose!  Since I'm pretty tech savvy, I opted for the customizable version of the file and made it work perfectly for me and my schedule.  I was able to use her awesome design skills and simply go in and change the dates, subjects, times, etc to work for me and to make it as pretty as I wanted of course! :)  {That IS important, right?!}  Check out the inside of my planner/organizer below...

Common Core Standards - That's where you start, right?

Yearly Planning Pages

Monthly Planning Pages

Weekly Planning Pages

Notes Pages (How pretty are they?!)

There is a LOT, LOT more to this planner/organizer.  But out of respect for April, I didn't want to give too much away!  I promise you she didn't leave ANYTHING out!  Anything you could possibly want/need in a classroom planner and classroom organizer is included in the two files below.  Both the Lesson Planner and the Classroom Organizer can be found in her TPT store and she is wonderful to work with, so I'm pleased to give her a shout-out, because this bad boy is going to help me out so much in organizing my instruction right down to the planning!

A Modern Teacher's Lesson Planner
Click {HERE}

A Modern Teacher's Classroom Organizer
Click {HERE}

Oh, before I leave you, let me add that I printed from my home printer so that I could print in the pretty colors and I could get it double-sided just the way I wanted it.  I printed the front cover and back cover on card stock and laminated.  Then I took it to Staples and they spiral bound it for me for $4 - what a great price for a fully customizable planner and organizer!  I combined the two products into one notebook to condense.  This little gem makes me WANT to plan!  :)

Now, go link up with the Blog Hoppin' girls and share your own tips for organizing your instruction.  I promise I'll be back with more organizational tips later, but this one was definitely worth sharing.  :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Classroom Tour 2013-2014

Hi there!  Today I'm linking up with the sweet girls over at Blog Hoppin' and Courtney from Swimming Into Second to give you a tour of my 2nd grade classroom.  Make sure to hop on over and link up to show off your classroom.  Click the buttons below to join in on the fun yourself or to simply browse through other classrooms!


Let me welcome you into my 2nd grade classroom for the 2013-2014 school year!  There are several things that are the same as last year's classroom tour post that can be found {HERE}, but some are new and fresh.  Let's begin!

The View from the Door to the Right

The View from the Door to the Left
The numbers up top are from Amy Lemons.  They are her Classroom Number Words that I just printed on brightly colored card stock to match my room decor.  You can find them {HERE}.  My small group table is lowered so that my kiddos can sit on the floor during small group.  It cuts down on the "wiggles" in chairs around the table.  The lime green and pink boxes are full of math manipulatives that still need to be labeled.

The View Straight Ahead
The bulletin board pieces below can be found as an exclusive Facebook Fan Freebie on my Facebook Page.  The baskets on top are from Really Good Stuff and the baskets below are from The Dollar Tree and store my multiple copies of different pieces of literature.  The paper organizer on the left was given to me from a former teacher.

My Teacher Area 
Before you ask, YES, my teacher's desk is pushed up against the wall!  This is to allow as much room as possible for my kiddos.  My classroom is designed to be all about the kiddos.  It's their space, not mine!  What teacher has time to sit down at their desk anyway?!  :)  The Whole Brain Call-Out Posters on the bulletin board can be found for FREE from Christie over at First Grade Fever {HERE}.

My Classroom Library
The letters R.E.A.D. are from Hobby Lobby.  The square baskets for chapter books are from The Dollar Tree and the larger baskets on top for the picture books are from Really Good Stuff.  The lamp is from Target and the rug is from Dollar General.  The stool to the right is just a fun place for my students to sit at different times throughout the day, along with the beach chairs to the left.

My Tech Table
This table houses my 3 iPads and 5 iPod Touch devices along with my printer/scanner.  I purchased this with my own money and it's so handy to make a copy of a parent note or if you run one short of something.  I have Acceptable Use Policy Posters that give some rules for using the iPads/iPods posted above the table.  They are FREE from Soaring Through Second Grade and can be found {HERE}.  You can also see a couple of my crate seats and two fun beach chairs that the kiddos can sit in during different times throughout the day.

A Closeup of my Supply Caddies
These little gems came from Michael's.  If you follow me on Instagram, you will remember the day I found these!  I was so happy to find them that I bought 9 of them - 3 pink, 3 green, and 3 purple!

One Last View of the Entire Room
You can see some crate seats (I have 8 in all) for my students to sit on throughout the day.  They love the alternative seating choices that I offer.  :)

Well, that's it! As you can see, I added some new things and upgraded a few things, but I chose to stick to my color scheme of black and brights.  I absolutely love it!  I am wishing each and every one of you the best school year ever!  I'll be back tomorrow with another post for Teacher Week '13 over at Bloghoppin'.

You can also link up with Courtney from Swimming Into Second for a Show Off Your Space Linky Party!  Hop on over to her blog by clicking the button below.  :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Teacher Week '13: Let's Talk About Me!

Hello everybody!  I am joining up with a big group of bloggers who are participating in a little something called Teacher Week '13 over at Blog Hoppin'.  Throughout this week (if I can get all the posts written) I will be participating in this daily fun!  Click below to see what's on the menu for Teacher Week '13 and link up for yourself :)

So today is Monday which means I need to tell you a little bit about me!  You might already know all these things about me, but here goes...

I am a 30-something Christian, mother, wife, blogger, and teacher.  You could say that my life stays pretty busy at all times.  I love to learn!  I have 3 degrees and 2 endorsements - my Bachelor's, Master's, Rank 1 Certification (Master's +30), Gifted Endorsement, and Math Specialist Endorsement.  I *might* be considering going back for my doctorate, but don't quote me on that!  My husband says I should be done for a while and I somewhat agree.  Keyword: somewhat.

I teach 2nd grade and have also taught a year at the university level which I loved.  This is my 10th year in education.  I blog and create products for TeachersPayTeachers (as I'm sure you know).   I love to exercise, read books, the great outdoors, and watching mindless reality TV {cringe}.  I'm a country girl born and raised in Kentucky.  That means I like to hunt, fish, hike, and I even like to swim in creeks/rivers (hence my Instagram pic last weekend).  Being raised in the country, I've learned about working hard for a living and I wouldn't have it any other way!  Hard work = success.

I have an awesome husband who is loyal and supportive in so many ways.  He puts up with the long hours spent on the computer and doesn't complain too much when the laundry piles up ;)  We have a sweet son who will be 8 years old soon (just typing that made my heart skip a beat).  They grow up fast.  He is amazing in every sense of the word.

I'm super techy and when I say techy, it's a really nice way to say that I am a total nerd.  I love all things technology.  I don't leave home without my iPad.  I have owned every single version of the iPhone from the 1st generation to the iPhone 5.  The same with the iPad.  Every piece of technology we have is Mac and it *might* be a slight addiction.  And I *might* have passed it on to my 8-year-old son who is incredibly nerdy techy as well!  I love posting fun things on my Facebook Fan Page and seriously smile at every single "like" that I get on my page.

Being a blogger has been so much more than just an outlet for me to share ideas and products.  I have met some absolutely amazing fellow bloggers that I can now call my friends.  I have met them {in real life}, talked to them, collaborated with them, and shared laughs and even prayers at times.  I am so very grateful for this platform to share my ideas, tips, and tools, but feel more blessed to have met some of the best friends from around the world through this little ole blog.  Below are a couple pictures of some of my best blogger friends at our last blogger meet-up.  I love these peeps!

That's me in a nutshell.  I love my job.  I love TPT.  I love my hubby and kiddo.  And I love Jesus.  Now you guys click the button below and link up so that I can learn a little bit about you.  See you tomorrow for my classroom reveal!  You will LOVE all the pictures tomorrow!

Have a great Monday night!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

And the winner is...

Congratulations Kayla!  I will email you within the hour with the two prizes!  Thanks to all who entered to win!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Easiest Giveaway EVER!

Hello friends!  Good morning to ya!  I have good news!  In case you haven't heard, Katie King from Queen of the First Grade Jungle is moving to the wonderful world of 2nd grade - Hooray!  I'm so happy that she's going to be joining our little circle of 2nd grade bloggers.  She is seriously awesome!

So to celebrate, we are offering you, no joke, the easiest giveaway in the blogging world!  We are tag teaming to give away a copy of her 2nd Grade Busy Teacher's Best Friend pack and a copy of my August/Back to School Common Core Writing Activities.  Katie's Busy Teacher pack is so useful for morning work, quick printables, homework, or even sub plans and I'm so happy she is now making them for 2nd grade!

It's so easy to enter this giveaway.  Are you ready for this?  All you have to do is.......leave me a comment on my blog.  Yep, that's it!  I know you all are busy getting ready for back to school, so forget the Rafflecopter this time and just leave me a sweet comment with an email address and you'll be entered to win both packs!  Is that easy enough for ya?  :)

Good luck!  The winner will be announced on Sunday at 9:00 pm CST right here on my blog and on my Facebook Page.  Have a great weekend!