Sunday, December 30, 2012

Maternity Leave and a Focus Wall

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all! I have been enjoying my time off from school and getting a chance to relax, sleep in and visit with family.  With a week left of break I have found myself thinking about school. With only about 3 months left until I get to meet baby Lily, I have been making mental lists of everything I need to get done before I go on maternity leave. I keep telling myself that I still have time to get everything done and then I run though my list and it freaks me out a little bit. Here is the list that I have running through my head about what I need to get done before leaving my little ones with the substitute. 

               1. Map out the last two months of school
2. Clean and organize my room
3. Plan the end of the year party for the kiddos
4. Create my Focus Wall
5. Create everything needed for the focus Wall
6. Write out rough lesson plans for the time I am gone
7. Find or create any resources needed for the time I am gone. 

Here is what I have so far. I am sure there a lot more things I should be thinking about. I would love some ideas and advice on how to prepare for Maternity leave. This is my first child so I am pretty clueless on what needs to be in place and how much I can place on the shoulders of the person who will be taking over for me for the last two months of school. 

One thing that I know I want to get going as soon as break is over is redoing my Focus Wall. I have a large bulletin board near my reading table that is meant to showcase what is being currently taught in science, social studies, math and reading. This I have to say has fallen by the wayside. I have been looking at Focus Walls all day today and I have found a few that I am going to use as inspiration for my wall. I am going to start by making it a Literacy Focus Wall only! I plan on using it to display the current spelling words, vocabulary words, reading skill, writing skill, and the grammar. With this being said here are a few examples I have found. I will do my best to give credit to the correct person but all I did was Google focus walls so I am not sure if the links take me to the person who created the wall or not. 

I found this on 2nd Grade Stuff Blog

I found these on Mrs. Freshwater's Class    


I would love to hear if you have a focus wall and what you include on yours. Leave a link to your blog if you have a posting about Focus Walls. Again I would love input on getting this up and running in my classroom!!!

Enjoy the rest of your break and be safe tomorrow night!!!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Animal Groups

I am back with an update! I am in my 5th month of pregnancy and feeling so much better. I am feeling more like myself each day. I have been able to get back to a normal eating pattern and taking less naps. I am excited that I have the energy to start teaching and planning like I normally do.

If you have read my last post then you  know that I have been reviewing products for Creative Teaching. I have finished reviewing my 2nd product. This product is the Animal Group Mini Bulletin Board Set. Like the Plant on it could be used in many different ways. I used it both as a bulletin board in my classroom while teaching the topic. I also have plans on pulling it back out to use as a review center towards the end of the year.

I was truly pleased with this product and every other product that I have purchased from Creative Teaching. I would highly recommend using them from anything from boarders and posters to these bulletin board sets.

Keep your eye out for a giveaway soon! I am hoping to get a new product done shortly so that it can be added to the giveaway. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 3  more weeks and then it is Christmas Break....I need it!!!!


Monday, October 1, 2012


Photobucket   I am back! Sorry for the long break from blogging. Well actually it has been a long break from just about everything. Right when school started back in Mid-August I found out I was expecting our first baby. With the wonderful news can morning sickness and needing to nap all the time. I have barely been getting my normal school work done let alone anything else. Now that I am into my 2nd trimester I am hoping that I will be able to blog more regularly and get back to creating. People keep telling me babies aren't cheap so I guess I better start selling more on TPT and TN!

Right before the morning sickness and all the naps I agreed to review a couple of products for Creative Teaching. As everyone who reads my blogs I used their Black and White collection to decorate my room this year. I really think that Creative Teaching puts out some great products.

The first product is the Plants mini bulletin board set. I am in LOVE with this product. It can be used in so many different ways. Here is how I used it in my classroom. I punched it all out and had it laminated. Then I when I was teaching a certain topic I would pull those pieces out and use them in my lesson. Students and I would talk about the pieces and would place them on our focus wall. We just kept building out focus wall throughout the whole plants unit. Sometimes our whole lesson was placing items on our focus wall. For example we had been talking about plant parts you can eat, so we went and did a sort on our focus wall.

Other ideas I had were place them in centers and make the pieces self check. This would be a great way to review the concepts through out the year.

Creative Teaching has offered to give this product away in a giveaway on my site. Please stay tuned for more details on this giveaway!

Yay for being awake enough to blog!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Math Notebooks Round Two

Last week I presented at my school district's summer conference that they had to help teachers prepare for common core. Back in April I applied to be a presenter and well I was picked but I am not sure how strict they were since there were over 600 choices to pick from. I still felt honored and well terrified. My partner and I worked all summer on our presentation and we decided we would do a fun make and take session with Math Notebooks.

We took our math series which is Pearson's Envision Math and created foldables and journal entries for each lesson in the first two units. Along with the foldables there were I can statements for each lesson, directions for each activity and a grading sheet. After hours of creating and talking about what we wanted to say and making our flipchart it was D-day. I had never been so nervous in my life. I was terrified that they would hate it or that I would say something that wasn't right. To my disbelief everyone LOVED it and were so excited to use them this year in there room. They were so happy that it was a make and take session. They all left with the whole first unit done in their notebook.

As with any good PD session we had giveaways. This was in place just in case they didn't like our session. One of my giveaways was my I CAN posters to go with every lesson from the math series. This was a huge undertaking alone. I thought I would debut these poster here on my blog.  Here are a couple of the posters that I made.

Sorry for the photos. I took it on my phone from my computer screen. These are available at both my TN and TPT store. Keep an eye out because they will be on sale SOON.

I hope everyone is having a great summer....well I guess summer is pretty much over. I started on Tuesday but students don't start until this coming Tuesday. I am almost done with my classroom and once that is done I will post some pictures.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blog Hop, Giveaway and Christmas Eve

First off I have linked up with the Newbie Blogger Blog Hop. I am so excited. Janis over at Grade Three is the Place for Me. is the one hosting the blog hop. She has posed some questions for everyone who has linked up to answer so here are mine!
1. Tennessee
2. I am teaching 2nd grade and LOVE IT.
3. This is my 4th year teaching but 3rd year in 2nd grade. I taught one year of technology.
4. I started blogging back in March. I love how teachers are so willing to share what they know and use so freely on their blogs. I strive to provide useful information on my blog.
5. My blogging tip is when you download a freebie from a blog leave a comment thanking that blogger for providing you with an awesome FREEBIE.

 Herding Kats in Kindergarten is having a giveaway. This is a great giveaway.... I wanted to keep it to myself but I would want someone to share this with me so her I am..... Go on over an enter!

I am having my own linky party! Link up and Blog about it. Make sure you answer the following questions when you blog about this party. I am so excited about getting back into my classroom and get it ready for my new students. I want to know what you do to get ready for the new school year.

1. What grade do you teach
2. How many year have you been teaching
3. What is one thing you are doing different this year
4. What is something you do every year for your new students
5. What is your theme this year
6. How do you feel the night before school starts

Here are my ANSWERS

1. I teach 2nd grade
2. This is my 4th year teaching
3. I am having balloons on that students chairs with their name on it. This will happen on the first day of school.
4. I always have a little welcome gift for the students.
5. I am using the Black and White collection from Creative Teaching.
6. The night before school feels like Christmas Eve to me. I am so excited to see all my new students and get the year started that I fall asleep late and wake up early!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Its been while..... Pinterest creations!

I am back....I am slacked on my blogging. I FINALLY created some pinterest inspired items. Here they are.
Here are two signs. One is a place to pin No Name Papers. Students will be able to check this spot when they have a missing assignment. This will save me the time of talking to all the students asking which paper is there. I plan on leaving a sticky note on their desk if they have a missing paper, those students will then go check the board, find theirs, and then write their name on it and re hand it in. 

The second one is where students will pin notes that they have for me. Last year I had a HORRIBLE system. This year I hope this is better. Students will look through their binders each morning and if they have any of the following they will pin it to the board: Notes from parents, transportation changes, lunch money or field trip slips. This will make it easier for me to find them instead of me looking on my desk where notes would get buried sometimes. Once I remove the ones that need to be passed along to someone else then other can remain hanging and I will know where they are at all times. 

These are my new How I Get Home items. Last year I had the standard poster that was laminated and then I would write on it with sharpie. Well when changes would happen I would have to cross the name out and then rewrite it where it belonged. This way should be easier to change. I will place each students name on a clip and then clip it to the ribbon. Students will be able to change their clip if they are going home a different way for a day or so. This will also make it easier if a student moves during the year. 
I am getting so excited about getting into my classroom and getting it ready. It is like the weekend before Christmas right now. The days seem to drag. Monday is THE day.....First day I can get into my classroom and start getting it set up. This year is more exciting because I moved to a new classroom at the end of the year last year so my room is a blank slate ready for me to do wonders with. I plan on documenting my journey on here so stay tuned for LOTS of before and after pictures.   Photobucket

Monday, July 9, 2012

Math Notebooks!

I am presenting at my school systems summer professional development conference. I will be talking about how to use math notebooks with the math series we use. I am pretty sure I had lost my mind when I applied to present. I really didn't think that they would ask me to present but here I am getting ready for the big day. I am a nervous wreck thinking about having to talk in front of all those teachers!!!!! My presenting partner and I have been working hard on all our foldables and activities that we are going to present and send home with those teachers who come to our presentation. I am done with the first unit and I thought I would share it on here and get some HONEST (but not too mean feedback). Here are some pictures of what the notebook would look like. At the end is the first entire unit worth of foldables for FREE. Just download browse through it and then give me some feedback. I need to know if I need to make any changes before the end of July.

Don't worry when you print your tree will be green and brown..I was running low on color ink!

CLICK HERE for your own copy of this 35 page item for FREE....Enjoy.
Oh yeah we use Envision Math Series


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Creating ADD and a sun burn

Today I decided that I wanted to take a break from creating and working and go to the pool and just relax and swim. Well lucky for me my friend has a pool and she is very nice I allows me to swim whenever I want to. Second lucky event is that my friend has a TV in the pool house that you can see from the pool...So while I floated I got to watch the Walking Dead marathon. Well long story short is that I DID NOT use sun screen and laid in the water longer that I thought and well I am red as can be!!! OOOPS.

I am suffering from creating ADD. I can't seem to finish anything. My to do list keeps growing but not many items are getting checked off. I was wondering if anyone else is having this problem this summer. I just need to focus these last couple of weeks and prioritize my list of must dos.

Suggestions on how to sure my creating ADD are welcome!!!!!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

An Award and A Hair Cut

Man it has been a LONG time since I have posted. Since I posted last I have been award the Versatile Blogger Award. I am so excited to get this award. I still can't believe how much my little blog has grown since March. I want to thank the following people who have given me this award.

Heidi: My (Not So) Elementary Life
Sara: Miss Elementary
Jackie: Third Grade's A Charm

Here are the blogs that I am awarding the Versatile Blogger Award to:
1. Jennifer: First Grade Blue Skies
2. Jen: Hello Mrs. Sykes
3. Yvonne: Sassy in Second
4. Amy: Step into Second Grade
5. Brittnay: Second Grade Sweets
6. Cynthia: 2nd Grade Pad
7. Linda and Mckenna: Around the Kampfire
8. Doodle Bugs Teaching
9. Nicole: Today in Second Grade
10. Tiffany: The Learning Effect

Grab the Award. Then Link back to my page and award this award to 10 bloggers. YAY for awards!

Last I finally finished one of the items on my Pinterest To Do List....I got my hair cut! Here is my new hair!
 I cut off SEVERAL inches. It is a bad picture but the only one I have! I have received only positive remarks...So I am guessing it looks good. I always second guess hair cuts for the first week or two!

I hope everyone is having a great summer!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Another Milestone Already!

I can't believe I have over 100 followers. I am not even done with my giveaway for 50 followers and I am at 100. This is just crazy to me. I am so excited and I told my husband and he was not as excited as I was but hey...he is not a teacher so I will forgive him. 

I have been seeing these FLASH sales and freebies all over the blogs lately. Well I thought I would join the party. I am going to have my S'more fraction item for FREE, yes I said FREE on my blog until Sunday night at midnight. CLICK HERE to get it. I am offering this on MY blog only and I am only advertising it here on this post only! So if you teach fractions then go ahead and grab it. 

Thank you for everyone who took part in my flash FREEBIE. The link has been closed. Hope everyone enjoys their item they downloaded. 

HUGE thank you to everyone one who has helped me reach this milestone. I can't believe how much my blog has grown over the past couple months. I can't wait to see what the future brings for myself and my blog!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


 needed new binder covers for my binders that hold all my pacing guides, curriculum guides and standards for each subject I teach. I thought why not share them with everyone! Here they are. Each cover comes with a sheet for the spin of the binder.
Click the picture to get your copy! Would love some feedback.
Huge thank you to everyone who has joined in on my giveaway so far and those who have linked up their blog to my blogs page. I promise I will get to each and every blog that gets linked up.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Expanding My Blog

I am trying really hard to be all Techy by expanding my blog. I have added a Blogs page. I have opened this page up for the next week for fellow teachers to post their blog on my blogs page. I am hoping to find new blogs and to have some of my favorites at my finger tips.

Make sure you list your blog in the correct grade level spot. I only want teachers or home schoolers to add their blogs. My blog is education related and that is how I want to keep it. If I think that your blog does not fit my criteria or it is not appropriate I can and will delete your link from my page! 

Happy Linking!

Don't forget my GIVEAWAY


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Two New Products

I can check off two products from my summer to do list. I thought I would display them here.

1. S'more Fractions: This one goes along with my two other S'more math packs. It is 14 pages. You can get it at both my stores.

 2. Novel Study using Get Ready for Second Grade Amber Brown. This is a great story for the first week of school. The story is all about a girl getting ready for her first day of second grade.

I would love some feedback on these items. This was the first time I used Power Point to create my products. I really liked how easy it was. Shout out to Ladybug Teacher Files for the how to videos! If you get a chance jump over to her blog and check out her video tips.

Don't forget about my GIVEAWAY.

I hear my husband calling me to bed. GOODNIGHT blog world.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

I Saw It On Pinterest Linky Party


Amber over at Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher is having a I saw it on Pinterest Linky party. Here are the items that I hope to try over the summer.

 1.This is a MUST DO this summer....I have seen many different forms of this but I will be making one for the fall!

2. I think this is a cute idea. I think I will alter it a little bit. 

3. I have a taller version of this already but it is not cute like this one...So this fall I will be doing a drawer makeover on mine! 

4. This one is not teaching related but this will be my new hair cut this summer!!!!

5. I have decided I need to have a party this summer so that I can make this one happen.

6. I love this! I am going to make it on a canvas. 

Those are my Pinterest must dos this summer! Stay tuned for updates and photos of completed projects. 

Love it if you followed my pin boards!!

PS. Don't forget about my giveaway! CLICK HERE TO ENTER

Happy Pinning!