Sunday, July 20, 2014

waking up in vegas- tpt 2014

Teachers take over Las Vegas!!! It happens every year, but this year was a whole new level. When hundreds or teacher bloggers and Teachers Pay Teacher get together at the same's the kind of experience you just need to re-live again when you get home. I promised I'd share some hilights with ya' here we go! #vegasrecap

I flew in Wednesday and started the trip off having lunch with some of my fave girls. From there we headed up to the exhibitor booths and started running into lots of familiar friendly faces. :)

This was my third year attending the annual Blogger Bash hosted by What The Teacher Wants. Every year, it's just a little bit bigger than the last. Well this year surpassed "just a little"...cuz the room was BUZZING with over 500 teach bloggers and blog readers!!! Electric energy and conversations! It is always such a fun time meeting the faces you know and love from the internet. I had a blast catching up with old friends and meeting new ones!!! The majority of the people there just wanted to exchange gratitude for the things we've learned from each other via. blogs over the years. It was crazy to think about how much as a group all the people there (and those who couldn't be there) have added to the teaching community!!

 Thursday we got rained out of the pool, so we wandered around the Venetian for about an hour...lost...trying to find I Heart Burgers for lunch. For those who have never been the Ventian/Palazzo are like a city within a city. What do bloggers do when they don't know what to do? #takepictures.

  {I wanted that  sign for my classroom.}
 We eventually made it and met up with Hadar, Traci, and Annie for a delicious lunch.
If you ever have a chance to eat at I Heart Burgers...order all the fries and share. 


Keeping with the theme of losing your way around the Venetian/Palazzo, in attempting to wander back to my room myself that afternoon, I had a little celebrity sighting. Paul Edelman...walking straight towards me. So I stopped him and said. "I'm sorry but are you PAUL...from TPT!?" Luckily Paul couldn't have been nicer! He stopped to talk to me  listen to me babble at him for a few minutes. What can you say to the man who founded the thing that has blessed your world in so many ways other than, THANK YOU. He was so nice, he offered to take a selfie of us!!

That night the fabulous gals from GoNoodle hosted a little #Champyhour. It was awesome to meet Holly, the girl behind the screen that introduced me to the GoNoodle phenomenon, and  helped save my afternoons earlier this year!

Then it was out for a little fun on the strip with these two!!! At the top of the city on the newly built Highroller in Vegas - the world's tallest observation wheel. 
Then Friday we were up bright and early for the first ever TPT Conference. 

 The hilight of my day was the keynote from Amy, Paul, Deanna, and John. Amy got the crowd pumped up, John wowed us with the stats, Deanna made us laugh and tear up sharing her story, and Paul cried because he loves us so much. Which in turn I'm pretty sure had every other person shedding some waterworks too. I left feeling so blessed to be a part of this incredible organization.

My blogging bestie & roomie Kelley presenting at her session. She rocked it!!!

After a day full of sessions, we wrapped with the little Happy Hour...TPT style!!

I was EXHAUSTED.  It's a whirlwind three days...but I wouldn't have it any other way!

 {A little tribute to Paul & Team TPT from the sellers.}

Hands down the best part of this TPT jounrey has been the friendships I have made along the way. If you're just getting started, don't be afraid to reach out to fellow bloggers, collaborate, host giveaways together, guest blog for each other, join Facebook groups. These are where some of the strongest and most unexpected friendships can be born.

 #tptvegas15'....I'm already ready for you!!!!

This blog post is coming to you live from ocean side MAUI! I hopped home for just 24 hours in between Vegas and vacation with the hubs. Just enough time to throw in a load of laundry and jump right back on a plane. When I get home this time...Back to School prep will be in full force. I promise to dive into all of that with you...after I soak up just a little more fun and sun. ;) 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fireworks Flash Sale

Happy Independence Day!!! 

Today reminds me of BBQ, Pools, and triffles with berries. 

In honor of the day, I'm  having a little *FIRECRACKER FLASH* Sale here,  in my store

Have a safe & happy Holiday!!! Catch ya'll soon from Vegas!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Falling Into Summer

About to wrap up week number three of Summer Break over here. How does it even happen so quickly!? At the same time I have teacher friends who just finished this week and others who are still in school through the end of June. I never realized how truly all over the place school year's begin and end across the country until I started blogging. Usually I end the year with a last week recap of sorts, but time just kind of slipped away from me. Field Day, Awards, Memory Books, then BOOM. The last day came and went in a blink.

 So I thought I'd do some catching up with a little Five for Friday action.


This year fitness was always falling to the bottom of my priority list during the school year. Sad but true. So this summer, it's at the very TOP of the priority list! I signed up for an 18 week plan with an online trainer and have begun lifting weights and cleaning up my eating. I'm totally hooked!! I wake up everyday, strap on my sneakers, and hit the gym. In three weeks I've already seen changes in my body, dropped 7 pounds, and feel amazing!! During the summer I'm blessed to have that extra bit of 'me time' to really create new routines and habits and I'm taking advantage of it for sure.


This is not something I knew I was going to have to do on the last day of school. Nor was it something I wanted to do!! Never the less, it happened this week. Bless all of you who have to pack up your entire room at the end of every school year. It's a job and a half!!! Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile may remember how overwhelmed I was two years ago when I moved into a room {that was overflowing with all the stuff the previous teacher left behind} less than a week before school started. So at least this time I get a blank slate and I've got more than half my summer to fix it up. If you're wondering if a new room means a new grade, kinda sorta. I won't be teaching a 1st/2nd combo next year, but I'll still be teaching one of those grades! More on that later this summer.. :)


 {Source: Instagram @Fallingintofirst}

"Summering"'s a verb. It's that time of year when I can wear my yoga pants everyday and just take a moment to breathe!! I've got books to read, recipes to try, a new house to decorate, a yard to landscape, pool hours to log. So while I like to save the blog posts for longer shares, you can catch me daily over on  Facebook and Instagram! Join the conversation for TEACHER TALK TUESDAY on my Facebook page each week and you can check out all the daily "summering" going on via Instagram!


After two weeks of shutting off this part of my brain for some much needed R&R, my creative side began stirring again this week.  Today I'm thinking I'll start by finishing this Communities Unit that has been an on and off work in progress since last Fall. After that I have a nice little, okay long,  list of  things I've been looking forward to tackling this summer!


Vegas is the first of two summer trips I have planned. I can't waaait to cause some trouble with my roomie {Kelly from Teacher Idea Factory} and all the other blogging buddies who are going to be in town. Chit chatting at the annual blogger meetup, Meeting the GoNoodle crew, and attending the TPT conference are all on the agenda. Also, that pool at the Venetian has also been calling my name since last summer! Just sayin.

So there's a peek at what I've been up to lately. Now that summer is in full swing and I'll be able to blog a little more often and catch back up on all the happenings each week!!

Until next time... Happy Weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

End Of The Year Memory Book

Today was field day! It was a blast but I'm pretty sure the only person who goes home more tiered on field day than the kids is the teacher that partakes in every event right along with them. Ha!! So I'm just stopping by quickly tonight to show you the latest result of my Melonheadz clipart addiction. I got rollin' this week on making this little End Of The Year Memory Book for my class. I like my kids to feel like superstars during our end of the year celebrations so it has a Rockstar theme!!

I'm 28 years old but I still LOVE coloring with my Crayolas. It's relaxing. #justsayin

{Coloring some pages for my teacher sample.}

This cover says First Grade Rocks but there are covers for K-2 and also, a general one.

Back in the day I read somewhere (Most likely a Mailbox Magazine) about stapling  books that students make into folders as a "binding" solution. I particularly love this idea for the memory books because they look more "official" and will have longer durability. These make for some precious keepsakes that your kiddos will have for years to come!!

Keeping with the Rockstar theme...a Papparazzi page where you can add class or student pictures!

Lots of pages to choose from, you can pick the handwriting lines best for your class.
You can preview these rockin' memory books to see everything included. 

 I hope your last days together with your class ROCK!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Turtle Close Read Freebie

It's Ocean Week!! Today we were focusing on sea turtles. They're a pretty cute creature of the sea by my standards. Especially the babies. My kids wanted to know everything they could about those little guys. I also pulled out this baby sea turtle craft that I've been using for years now. It's also been a FREEBIE in my store for a long time, but I recently updated it. It's now a complete excerpt from my Ocean Life unit but also includes one bonus writing page.

We started off this lesson by doing some reading detective work about sea turtles.
My students know to highlight the "evidence" in the text to show where they got their answers.

{Two levels so it's easy to differentiate in your room.}

Then we pulled in some information from the books in our room to gather more facts. 

Each child picked a fact to write on their sea turtle. When you put the whole classes together they can see what it looks like when a freshly hatched group of sea turtles is headed for the ocean together!

If you're studying Ocean animals too, go grab yourself a copy!! :)

You can also check out my previous All About Ocean Life post, here.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

All About Ocean Life

It's so crazy to be writing a post right now about our LAST SCIENCE UNIT OF THE YEAR....!!!!

It's that time though. We're going under the sea to learn all about Ocean Life.

If you saw my Insect Unit, you know my students were getting mail for awhile from an Entomologist named Eddie. They were a little bummed out when we stopped getting letters. But they sure noticed right away when the mailbox flag went up again this week! Inside was our first letter from Ollie, the Marine Biologist.

Ollie introduced himself then presented us with a task he needed help with, classification. Ollie sent us eight ocean animal photographs from his studies. He said he needed help classifying them. I went ahead and set us this little display above our ocean books.

As we learn more about each animal through our own studies, we move the pictures under the correct classification. So not only are they learning more about each animal, they also know the difference between fish, mammals, reptiles, and invertebrates.

After we've sorted them all, we will write Ollie letters, and see how he responds! ;)

We're also diving into lots and lots of shared research with this unit. Which happens to be one of those CCS Writing standards. Not that you'd ever know because my kids are SO into ocean animals, it's insane. Perhaps it has something to do with Colorado being a land locked state, and thus the ocean and everything in it is still a big ol' mystery to many of my kiddos.

For every animal Ollie asked us to classify, we record information about them in our research journals. Right now our room is loaded with non-ficition books on the ocean and everything in it.

{Sharks, always a favorite. Love love love the images in these books!}

These are just a handful of the books floating around the room right now. A lot are mine and a lot are from our school library. Together, there are more than enough to go around.When you can't bring kids to the ocean, books are the best way I know of to bring the ocean to them. Even though we spend a lot of time learning about ocean animals, I also want them to learn about the different layers of the ocean too. This book is hands down my all time favorite for information about the ocean layers.  I mean let's be real, the Friz know her stuff!

Something new I tried out was making a jellyfish in a bottle.

{I think I tried about 100 times to catch an "action shot" for you. Ha! That jelly moves fast!!}

This is everything need to make one. I followed the directions in this video, here. My first attempt was a flop. The second time I cut the tentacles much thinner (than the one pictured above.) and followed the instructions of the video to not have more than 10-15. Which made jellyfish number two a much bigger success. I haven't introduced it to the class yet, jellyfish are coming up next week! They are going to want to get their hands all over it.

Another fun activity is making these little Octopus crafts. We make these every year. This is a picture from one of my cuties two years ago showing off their creation. Just ask parents to send in extra toilet paper rolls and add a little paint. Easy, but always a crowd pleaser with the kiddos!

The Ocean Life Unit is packed with text passages and questions for close reading, vocabulary cards, an experiment, graphing, writing, and crafts.

{Text Passages, Maps, Pictures from Ollie}

{Inference Craftivity is possibly my favorite.}

{Vocabulary cards to display}

  Check it out in my TPT shop. You can download the preview for an even closer look.
  Have fun diving into your underwater adventures!!