Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Modge Podge and a WINNER :)

I had my first experience with Modge Podge today and now I have these super cute bathroom passes!!

Here is how they came to be:  I bought these bathroom passes below from the teacher store at the end of last year. In the past I've had plastic passes, wooden passes, cheap passes, and the pricer ones -- but I've never  yet made it through the entire year without any of them being damaged in some way shape or form. So when I saw these passes which were new and made of rubber I thought, why not?

 At the time I hadn't decided on a theme, so I got these ones even though I wasn't crazy about the brown because I liked the polka dots. Then last week I designed my Owls 'n' Dots Classroom Theme and decided I wanted to try and make my passes coordinate with it.

So after hearing all about the magic that is Modge Podge this summer, I decided to give it a try. And it was super easy! I used the very scientific process of trial and error to figure out how big my rectangle needed to be on my computer to fit the pass.  Then I designed the passes and printed them out onto card stock.  I applied one coat of modege podge directly  on the pass to glue my cut out  out down and a second coat to the top to seal it once it was on.


And now I have passes that will match the rest of my room and the satisfaction of a DIY under my belt :)

Here's to my favorite linky under the summer sun :)

And quickly, since I'm already super  behind on this announcement -- Congratulations to Delighted!! She is the winner of my 300 Thirty One Follower Giveaway. Thanks again to Laura from Kinder Kraziness for helping me out with this giveaway!! If you're looking for a fun new bag in time for the new year, contact Laura and she will help make it yours :)

 First Grade Delight

Summer is not so slowly winding down for me. I'm hoping to have lots of pictures and projects to share over the next few days as everything (hopefully) starts coming together in my classroom. Stay tuned!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lots and Lots of Owls 'n' Dots!!

While the rest of you have been busy bringing your classroom flips, make overs, and themes to life, I have bee been on the sidelines cheering you on and simultaneously begging the coach to let me off the bench so I can join in on the action!! But this whole not being able to put pressure on one foot thing has been putting a crimp in my grand classroom make over plans for this year. But it hasn't kept me from digital designing in the meantime. So for the past 72 hours I have been eating, sleeping, and breathing owls and polka dots. Seriously people, I was actually seeing little neon colored owls in my dreams last night! Then around mid night last night I said "stick a fork in me" cuz I was D-O-N-E.

Until I wasn't done.

When I went to upload onto TPT it told me my Preview File was too big. I really should have realized it was going to be too big at around slide 17...but I was determined to showcase everything. In any event, I said some choice words, grudgingly went to bed. Then I woke up early this morning and carefully edited my preview masterpiece to an acceptable 5 MB. And now I can finally share my most recent labor of love with you...


(I challenge you to say the word EDITABLE five times fast... )

You can download the still awesomely fabulous regulation size preview in my TPT shop to see samples of everything included!!

One of the items you will find in this pack is an O.W.L. (Organized While Learning) Binder Cover. Every year my kids bring in a one inch 3 ring binder with a plastic folder inside. The folder pockets get labeld "Homework" and "Stay at Home." Every day students take home their homework in the "Homework" side and their graded work, spelling lists, newsletters, etc. in the "Stay At Home Side." Parents know to empty the Stay at Home section and send completed homework back in the Homework section.  Eazy peezy for them and for me! Prior to this year there were no owls in my classroom so I called this binder their F.I.R.S.T. Binder. I made up the acronym to go with my no theme first grade classroom and it stands for: Families Informed, Responsible, and Successful Together.

Click the pictures above to download your choice of either the F.I.R.S.T or O.W.L Binder Covers for free :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Caught Me!!

I know, I know I already said enough about me for one day. But I wanted to quickly post my Where I Was Caught Reading picture for Tori's super fun linky before it's too late!! Actually, it looks like I may already be too late. But I already took the picture so if nothing else, I hope it will bring your attention to the rest of the fun nominee pics that have been submitted!


The oversized bath tub that I rarely use in our master bathroom is a surprisngly comfortable spot to read now that I have to have this dumb boot on my foot. You can't see it in the picture but I have a pillow propped under my back and the ledge agianst the wall makes the *perfect* booted foot rest.  I've done a good amount of reading on my Kindle this summer. It's is my FAVORITE time of the year for reading because I feel like I can actually have the time to enjoy it and not necessarily like I should be doing a million other things!

Ok. Now I really am done for the day. Good night peeps :)

Expose Sunday

Hi friends!! The lovely Laura at Kinder Kraziness has been kind enough to feature me on her Someone New Sunday this week. Every Sunday she features a new blogger! Pop over to learn a little bit more about my teaching/blogging life and also snatch up a popular freebie from my TPT shop.

In other Sunday news, Amy at Step into 2nd Grade is hosting a Tell Me More linky.

So I've decided to go ahead and make this a full on expose Sunday.


1. The first thing Amy shared about herself was that growing up she HATED having red hair.  Which instantly made me giggle because growing up I hated NOT having red hair!! I have always been obsessed with red hair (the Little Mermaid may have played a role in this.) and I started dying it red in high school and didn't really stop until about 2-3 years ago when I started doing shades of brown again.

(one of the red shades I rocked in college)

2.  I was born and raised in New York but now I reside in my husband's home state of Colorado. (If you are a Colorado blogger, let me know!! I'm always on the look out but we seem to be a rarity in the blogging world.) I love both states!

3. I'm adopted.  I've always known, my parents never tried to hide it from me but growing up only immediate family knew. I never FELT adopted though so I didn't really feel the need to tell people. It wasn't until I was about halfway though high school that I even brought it up to my best friends. (And it blew their minds a little lol) Now I'm so proud to share this with people because I think it speaks volumes about the kind of people my mom and dad are! I was also able to share this fact with one of my first graders who was also adopted and I wish I could share with you the look on her little face when she found out we shared this common bond :)

Cheers to you Mom and Dad <33

4. The country I'm adopted from is Chile. I lived, travel, and studied Spanish there for 8 weeks as a gift to myself after graduating college. It was also a dream of mine to visit the country I was born in.  I can also kinda sorta speak good Spanish. Unfortunately though since I don't really use it often I have lost a lot of it.

Wrapped in a Chilean flag at a soccer game I attended :)

5. I've shared this tid bit  before but it's worth sharing again -- My hubs and I first met studying abroad in Australia my sophomore year of college. We are both serious beach bums!!

 Beach Bummin

6.  I got my first and only tattoo in Australia too. My best friend and I went on the Down Under adventure together and we each got the same tattoo before we left. It's the Southern Cross which is a national symbol in Australia and also a star constellation that is only visible in the Southern Hempsphere.

My foot is one the right, ha.)

 7. Back in the day cafe these boys could make my heart flutter like none other!! The word obsession comes to mind. I can still put myself in the best mood ever by throwing in one of their CDs and having my own private jam/dance fests!

8. Misquitos think I am a walking feast. The one and only time I went real camping, I thought those buggers were going to eat me alive!
This is called mountain chic

9. My husband and I booked our wedding venue and date BEFORE we "technically" got engaged. We knew we wanted to get married and we also knew when and where, so we decided we would start planning and he could surprise me with a proposal and a ring sometime between then and the wedding date.  He ended up flying me to Hawaii for a surprise trip to propose. He's a keeper ;)

Beautiful Hawaii

10. I have two dogs and a rabbit roaming around my house and they all get along like a little pack.

Ariel is sweet and well behaved. She's also much bigger now, this is her puppy throw back pic.

Ziggy is the trouble maker who is too cute for his own good.

Emmit is the diva who thinks she is queen of the universe. 
We named her Emmit thinking she was a boy but  found out at the vet a few years later that "he" was actually a SHE.  
She flew with me on a plane from NY to Colorado when I moved.

11. You know those kids in class who NEVER stop talking in class no matter what you do? I was that kid growing up. In 2nd grade my teacher moved my desk behind the door to stop me from talking with the people around me. Pretty sure that management system wouldn't fly in the classroom these days, but to her credit it did work.


12. Halloween is my favorite Holiday because i absolutely LOVE dressing up and making costumes!! One year I made myself a Christmas tree costume that was my pride and joy!

Ok, enough about me for one day!

Link up with Amy so I can learn more about all of you :)


Saturday, July 21, 2012

What's Cookin Good Lookin!?


Not much is usually my answer to this question!! I have all these great aspirations to become a good cook and my Cuz I'm an Eater Board on Pinterest is proof that I love me some good eats!! All the items on their look deeeelicious. But I always feel like it takes me 10 hours and every dish in my kitchen to cook anything significant, which is part of why I shy away from it.

But my buddy Susan is hosting her first linky right now and it's about favorite dishes you like to whip up in the kitchen. I love Susan and I love food so last night I decided to do some photo documentation of my go to quick and easy dinner meal. I swear, if I can make this, you can too!

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Ingredients: You will need everything pictured below PLUS -- 1 egg (not pictured) to make 8 servings.

Materials: 1 or 2 (depending on size) oven safe pans. I use pyrex.


1. Start by per-heating  your over to 400 degrees. 

2. Boil a pot of water and cook 8 lasagna noodles. (The first time I did this I was perplexed as to how to cook lasagna noodles when I didn't have a pot big enough to submerge the whole noodle. Turns out you just stick them in and as they cook they slowly bend until the whole thing lowers itself into the pot.)

3. Microwave your spinach pack for 6 minutes as directed on the box.

4.  Put a little bit of your tomato sauce in a cup and mix with water for a liquidy tomato sauce. Then coat the bottom of your pyrex pan/pans.

5. Mix the Spinach, 8 oz. ricotta cheese, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup (or your best guesstimate) of tomato sauce in a bowl.

6. Drain the cooked noodles and spread them out onto a cutting board or a plate. Spread the bowl mixture onto your noodles like I did here. I'm sure you're supposed to just do this with a spoon, but here's my secret -- I usually do the bulk of the spreading with my fingers! (Sometimes I put too much filling on and it starts to come out of the sides while I'm rolling. No worries-- scoop it up and add it to your next noodle!)

7.  Once your noodle is covered it's time to roll em up and put em in the pan! When you are done with all your noodles add some more tomato sauce to the top of each roll then sprinkle with shredded mozzerella cheese. 

8. Cover with aluminum foil and pop them in your oven for 35-40 minutes and you're good to go!!


This is one of mine and my hubs favorite meals!! 
I've never done them with meat, but I'm sure it would be easy to cook up some ground beef and add it to the spread.

Ok, I shared and now it's your turn! Click the button to link up with Susan and help me find some new meals to try -- please!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

300 and THIRTY ONE Follower Giveaway

Hello Fabulous Followers!! I need to start by telling you, this post is late. It was supposed to be announced the day I hit 331 followers which happened shortly after I came home from Vegas. Around the same time that I broke my foot. Which inadvertently put this lil giveaway I had planned for yall on hold a few days. I contemplated waiting for 431 Followers to do it, but I want this puppy to go to someone just in time for the brand NEW school year!! 

So without further adieu, it's time for my....

I purchased my first Thirty One bag this past school year at a party one of my friend's had at their house.

Isn't she a beaut?

She is now my official teacher bag and she comes to and from school with me every day. And she's so much more than just a pretty face! (even though I'm so obsessed with the design I would probably still carry her around even if she wasn't!!) She is also large and handy!! I keep my grading, lesson plans,and my school lap top in here. This is in addition to the pens, keys, sticker, snacks, and supplies I tote around in any of the SEVEN pockets that border along the outside of the bag. She's known as the Organizing Utility Tote in the Thirty One catalog and thanks to my friend Laura from Kinder Kraziness -- one lucky follower is going to win their own Organizing Utility Tote in the pattern of their choice!!

Part two of this giveaway wins you a  Thirty One Key Fob. I got the matching blue fob on the right when I ordered my bag and I keep my school keys on it. You can spot mine hanging out in my swag drawer over here.

Use the handy dandy Raffelcopter down below to enter. 

One of the Raffelcopter options is "Pick Your Favorite Pattern". Here are step by step directions for completing this option :)

1)  Visit Laura's consultant page HERE

2)  Then click "View Our Catalog." 

3) Browse through and check out ALL the fun products!! 

4) Find the section where they list the available styles for the "Organizing Utility Tote"

5) Leave the name of the style you would choose in a comment on this blog post!

If you find some other goodies in the catalog that you would love to get your hands on just give Laura a hollar and she will be able to get you whatever you need.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you all so much for following my lil blog! It brings me more happiness than you know!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Daily Five Jump and Jive

Ok so I can't actually jump right now seeing as my foot is still good and broken. But in my head  I am absolutely jumping and jiving!! Why you ask? Well, for the past three years I have wanted to get started with the Daily Five in my classroom. I bought both the  Daily Five Book and the CAFE Book as a first year teacher. (They've accompanied on many a Spring/Christmas break, and I've read them more than once.)

 I taught my firsties to do Read to Self...and I started incorporating more work work centers..but I never really had either up and running. Then this past year my wonderful student teacher introduced it to my class because we had an extra 30 minutes of down time every morning due to the state testing schedules for a good month. Being as it was near  the end of the year, they very quickly were able to do most of the pieces with minimal training. (Oh the beauty of 4th quarter independence!!) So everyday they would rotate through a round or two of Daily 5. They liked it so much I called my friend in second grade in to watch, and she in turn got her class doing it too.

Then our school hired a new principal. {I will spare you the long never ending saga of drama that has surrounded- and continues to surround - the decisions that led to my school hiring a new principal, as it takes away from the happy I've got going on} But I will say I'm super excited to work with her. She is a former instructional coach and has already spent oodles of time working with staff in preperation for next year.

Well a few of my colleges and I approached her to discuss Daily Five/CAFE and our desire to incorporate these programs into our literacy block. And she was all about it!! She purchased the books and sat down with us yesterday to begin discussing how we can merge these programs with our current Basal curriculum. She also wants us to put together some professional development workshops to present to the elementary staff. And guess who volunteered their room as a "model room" to show the rest of the staff what a room that is set up for the D5/CAFE would look like....Oh yes, that would be me, the girl who recently broke her foot and hasn't even begun putting her room together as a result. But I couldn't help myself!! Apparently jumping and jiving will make you do irrational things. I'm sure I will figure it all out though. I have been all about owls lately. Not real ones, just the super cute one's popping up in classrooms across America.

owl themed classroom.

Visions of Owls +Polks Dots + Daily Five/CAFE have been swimming around my head all day!!

So that was my news to share. I'm preparing to lose myself in a world of Daily 5 resources over the next few weeks. I'll be diving back through all the book study posts that have been popping up all summer long-- there have been multiple great ones going on!! Rachelle from What The Teacher Wants shared a post with some great D5 freebies today too. If you are a Daily Five/CAFE veteran-- any particularly awesome resources you would like to send my way are greatly appreciated! If you're a Daily Five/CAFE newbie like myself-- where are you at in your planning process??

Finally, if you've made it to the end of this post -- I have a super fun giveaway I want to share with you!!  Christi from Mrs. Fultz's Corner has recently begun designing custom blogs and she is doing some REALLY cute stuff!! You can see for yourself over by vising her design site titled, Design by Christi, and checking out her portfolio.

 Right now she is giving away a custom blog design to one lucky winner! I love my blog design, but I can't help thinking I would love it even more if I could customize it entirely. But even if I don't win this giveaway, I'm hoping one of my fabulous followers will!! Stop by here to get yourself entered :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Must Have Picture Books Linky

Good Morning Blogland!! Waking up today I saw that Lynsdsey over at The Teacher's Wife is having a linky to share some of your favorite class read alouds. I am ALL ABOUT the Read Aloud in 1st grade! I use stories to introduce new concepts and ideas whenever I can. So I had to jump on board.

My first book is a little gem I discovered randomly at my local library when I looking for a book about owls. It is a sweet  story about a nameless owl who travel likes to see the world. He finds a tree full of beautiful brightly colored owls that he tries to make friends with. But the little white owl is too plain in their eyes so they don't care to make friends with the little white owl. Then the little owl starts to tell his stories and they other owls come to see what an interesting owl he is. Beautiful illustrations!! 

Two ways I like to use this story...

1) This book is a great beginning of the year to introduce how we are all unique and have special things to share with the world. I was inspired created my Whooo's In Our Class {Writing and Craftivity Kit} after reading this book, I will begin these activities after reading The Little White Owl one of the first days of school.

2) This story is also a favorite of mine to introduce writers workshop when we're talking about how everyone has stories to tell,  our purposes for writing, and how stories in our minds can be transferred onto paper.

My second book is one that keeps my kids giggling the whole way through. The Incredible Book Eating Boy is about a little boy who likes to eat the pages of books. The more he eats the smarter he gets! Eventually though the pages start to make him feel sick to his stomach, so he has to find a new way to enjoy his beloved books. It's a great book to get kids excited about learning to read!


Finally, Martin's Big Words is a must read in my class. (Random fact: Martin and I share the same birthday- January 15th!!)  I love love LOVE the illustrations in this book. I also love teaching about this powerful man and everything he stands for. I had a mom one year write to thank me for whatever I taught her child about Martin Luther King Jr. because her daughter came home so inspired the day after we learned about him that she insisted they make a cake to celebrate his birthday :) 

I'm hoping many of you will link up too so I can add to my list of read alouds for the upcoming school year!!