Back To School "What's In Your Cart?" Linky Party

Friday, July 31, 2015

It's time for the TpT Back to School Sale!!  I've been adding items to my wishlist all summer long and now is the time to make my final decisions.  Oh, how I love shopping!  I always hope that I will sell as much as I buy to keep the hubby happy.    Is it August 3rd yet??

So, if you are interested, here are some great products from my store to help you get your year off to a great start.

These Animal Facts Comprehension and Close Read Passages are super engaging for your readers.  Kids love learning about the different animals and the real pictures completely captivate and excite them.  The comprehension pages ask different questions.  I use these over the course of a few days.  First, I read it aloud for information.  We discuss.  Then I give the kids their own copy (I just print in gray scale and it looks fine) and we reread and highlight important facts.  Sometimes the kids do this in small groups, or with me, or independently.  Then we discuss what parts we thought were important.  Finally, I give them the comprehension questions and they use those to go back into the text and find information to answer the questions.

increase reading comprehension with these passages

Another item that I think you'll absolutely adore are these games.  

practice different skills

In small groups we love to play "I have ___, who has___?"
These games are great for reading fluency, comprehension, and they cover so many different skills.  I have them for sight words, for CVC words, for word blends, for long vowels, for math concepts... you name it,  I've probably got it.  (If not, message me and I'll make you exactly what you want!)

Our speech teacher uses these games with her small groups as a reward and the kids are practicing speaking while they play- Win-Win!  Such a fun way to get some practice in during a real world speaking experiences.

And here's another great activity that I know you'll love!

Kids practice rhyming by rolling the dice.  They say the pictures out loud and if they rhyme then they cover a star on the board.  I use big dice in my room, but you can use the small dice that are included in the unit.  (I sometimes put those small dice in a center just to change it up).

phonemic awareness rhyming activity

phonemic awareness rhyming center

And here are a couple of things that are in my shopping cart.

I LOVE A Teeny Tiny Teacher's Reader's Theater Partner Plays.  I use them with my reading groups, I use them as a center activity, my kids choose them during free choice time... I just can't get enough of these!  So I'm back to purchasing more.  These are great for working on reading fluency and reading with expression.  The kids love them!

Here is another item that my kids love.  I own this, 

so I need to purchase the CVCe activity.

Well, now I'm off to blog hop around the linky to see what everyone else has in their carts.  I always find such great products by doing this!

Happy shopping everyone!  And thanks for stopping by!

Five for Friday Summertime Fun

Friday, July 17, 2015
I'm linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching again for their fun Five for Friday Linky Party.

I'm wondering what everyone else has been doing with their summer time.
I myself have been INCREDIBLY lazy.  Time to get started on all those projects I was looking forward to tackling during the summer.  Can someone please help get me motivated?

Even though I've been lazy, I've been busy.  Yes, those two can be mutually exclusive.
Since I live just 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean, I make sure to get to the beach at least once a week.  Typically Wednesdays are my beach days, but if my friends can't make Wednesday, then any other day will do.  This week Monday worked out just fine.

I also try to do something around my beautiful city.  When you live somewhere you take it for granted, and I have to remember that people actually pay to vacation here, so I try to use my summer time to get out and see San Diego.

On Tuesdays the museums at Balboa Park are free to residents.  OK, that fits into my summertime budget (since not working equals no paycheck).  Well, as wonderful as free admission sounds, it does come with a price- CROWDS.  I'm not just talking moms in strollers and other city residents, I'm talking KIDS.  I think that every summer camp uses the Free Museum Tuesdays- I'm talking EVERY SUMMER CAMP!  So I tend to breeze through the museums quickly because I'm not a big fan of crowds.

Here is a photo of the outside of the museums.  As soon as I snapped it, a million (I might be exaggerating, but I don't think so) school kids came out of the museums to eat their lunches.  So picture it COMPLETELY full of bodies.    I thought, oh great, now the museum will be empty- WRONG.

Fun with friends.

My neighbor teaches art to children and adults and she hosts a weekly painting class.  I've been to quite a few of them and they are always a lot of fun.  Here I am with 3 of my besties and our finished floral paintings.  

What I love about these classes is that each of our paintings come out looking very different.  They truly reflect each of our personalities and styles.  So much fun!

My girls.

My last random thing for the week is how I spent last weekend.  My daughter plays lacrosse and her team competed in SummerStorm in Oceanside.

Here is a sequence of photos showing her scoring a goal.  Go Paige!

Have a great week.
Thanks for stopping by!

Oh Snap! It's Almost August!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Can you believe that it's almost August?  Where has the summer gone?

If you are like me, you are starting to plan for the upcoming school year.  Join this fun link up and find some great resources for the upcoming school year.

The wonderful bloggers at 
are starting a monthly link up where we can all share our favorite resource for the upcoming month.  Isn't that perfect?!  It's just what I need to stay ahead of the curve and on my game.  

Since it is almost August, I'm thinking about the start of the new school year.  I contemplate what worked well last year and what things can be improved.  

Last year I really LOVED my calendar wall.  Why, you ask?  Well, I took my old standard calendar and updated it with more math stuff.  I began with the standard monthly calendar where we turn the cards over each day to reveal the number and the pattern.  We do Yesterday was ____, Today is ____, and Tomorrow will be ___, (those are the teddy bears).  I also have the daily add a straw count that groups ones, tens and hundreds.  I have the months of the year (train) and the days of the week.  The teddy bears in the trains are the kid's birthdays (they each decorated a die cut teddy bear and I put them in the train far for the month).  And of course we have the 100 chart and the weather.

The number of the day and the shapes are part of my Calendar Companion.  I also have worksheets that my students use to learn about the different parts of the calendar.  

I also have a daily schedule cards that we review in the morning so the kids know what things we will be covering that day.  You can grab these for just $1 for the next 3 days!  I laminated these and put them on velcro.  I can rearrange them based on the day and the things that we will be doing. (The schedule cards are the pencil shaped cards that are hanging under the clock).

kindergarten classroom calendar wall

I encourage you to browse around the links to see what things you can add to your calendar wall.

Click here for a FREEBIE!  It's just one small part of my Calendar Companion.

calendar activity

Just slide it in a page protector and staple it to your calendar wall.  Use a dry erase marker to count the number of girls and boys at school each day.  I have my calendar helper do this each day.
Check my Freebies section for more fun FREE stuff.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  Hop on over to the next great blog and get more great STEALS AND DEALS for August.  Link up your own great product/tip for August.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals- Get Organized

Friday, July 10, 2015
Hi everyone!

I'm joining the folks at Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals on the 10th of each month to provide you with a fun and amazing deal.  Be sure to follow both blogs!

This month I am sharing my absolute favorite system for organizing all my teaching units.  I have been teaching for over 20 years (I'm not going to say how many years over 20- I'll keep that my little secret) and I have tried many different organizational methods.  I've purchased big Rubbermaid tubs and stored all my things for the month in there.  That was great, but boy did it take up A LOT of storage space.  I ended up storing those tubs at home in my garage which meant that my car lost it's inside home. (Boo hoo)

I've tried to put things into filing cabinets.  Once again, this takes up a lot of space and it seems like stuff was constantly getting mis-filed or not filed at all.  I could never find what I was looking for until I found it weeks or months later in the wrong place.  My blackline masters were always getting torn and crinkled as well.  I currently have 3 filing cabinets full of stuff!

Last year, my coworker began putting her blacklines into 3 ring binders.  I waited to see how she liked it before getting my own binder system going.  Well, she LOVED it.  So mid way through the year I began to slowly organize my stuff by units into 1 inch binders.  I also purchased a few bigger binders for those huge subjects that needed more space.

binder organization labels

As I finished or planned a unit, I would put my blacklines into page protectors and into the binder they went.  My blacklines stayed pristine and organized.  They were easy to find when I needed them and I no longer got them mixed up with my stuff when I was making copies.  I simply copied them and then they went right back into the page protector for safe keeping.  It was super easy to find what I was looking for, prep it, and then get the precious masters back into the binder.

notebook spines and covers to organize teacher curriculum

I'm still in the process of getting rid of those 3 filing cabinets.  I'm going in to school one day a week during the summer and going through each drawer.  My goal is to have only one filing cabinet left at the end of the summer.  I will use that to hold the sample projects that don't fit into the page protectors.  I am so excited about the amount of classroom space I will be gaining!
binders and spines for organizing with notebooks

Make sure to follow that blog because you'll get a daily Deal or Steal (or both) from fabulous TpT authors and bloggers.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Currently July 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I don't know about you, but I look forward to the start of a new month so I can see what everyone else is up to.  So,  here's my currently status this month...

So I'm listening to Apple's new streaming music called Apple Music.  
I like the mix the DJ plays and I love having access to literally ANY song in the world.  Love it!

I'm loving this summer vacation.  I've only been on break for a couple of weeks, but they seem to be slowly drifting by, which is heavenly.  It's a lazy, relaxed summer with nothing on my agenda except the things I want to put there.  So I go to the beach every Wednesday, the museums on Tuesdays, and leave the other days open for whatever I want.  What a glorious, lazy summer!  Just what I need.

I don't know about you, but I can't turn my teacher brain off during the summer time.  I don't know if that is a blessing or a curse, but I'll think of it as a blessing.  I can use my summertime to plan new things, organize my stuff, and get new ideas.  It's delightful!

I can't wait for Sunday's soccer match!  Go team USA!

I am needing to get my family together.  My oldest daughter is away at college and she chose to stay up there during the summer to work and earn money for her upcoming semester in Germany.  I'm proud of her choice to make money, but I was really looking forward to having her home for the summer.  The good news is that we have a family vacation planned and she'll be home for that- hooray!

All Stars
My kids are my ALL STARS.

Both of my girls play lacrosse and field hockey. (In high school and college)

Here is the link to the Currently Linky Party.  Hop on over and join in the fun.
Thanks for stopping by!

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