My First "Back to School" Purchases for My New First Graders!

About Me

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Welcome! I hope to use this blog to share some of the amazing things my class and school does to make learning fun! I have been teaching for 15 years already! I started teaching 3rd grade in a Parochial School, then I was hired to teach 1st grade for three years, was moved to 5th grade for 2 years, and then came back to 1st grade in the district where I attended school. I love that I'm able to give back the the school district that guided me to become the teacher I am today! I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, certified 1-8; a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction; and my Administrator License Pre-K-12.

Blogs I Love!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Easy Peasy as Mac & Cheesey Linky Party!

I am so excited about this Linky Party!  
Miss Squirrels is hosting a yummy linky party that you must check out!
Miss Squirrels Blog
What?!?!  You don't know her?  
You're totally missing out on some hilarious posts and great ideas!  I love how she's like we're sitting at Starbucks (sporting our Cutie Coffee Cozies, of course) just chatting the day away!  
You haven't seen her Cutie Coffee Cozies?  
Oh my must check them out!  Mine arrived yesterday!

Click here to visit her Etsy shop!
Thanks Miss Squirrels!  I love them!

Anyway...onto her Linky Party!
Here are her rules:
1. Make sure it's EASY!  Minimal prep and cook time.
2. Add a recipe with common ingredients (if we are going to eat it, we should be able to pronounce it).
3. Pictures are completely optional-but we all know that we are sensory motivated creatures-so if we like the way it looks, we'll try it.

Check out her linky and join up!
I am loving this idea!  My family meets every Wednesday during the school year for supper.  We call it Supper Club and we rotate houses through the year.  Yesterday, we decided that our first Supper Club will be hosted by my parents, the next week will be at my sister's house, and then it will be my turn to cook for everyone.  We have a few weeks before we start up for the year so you have plenty of time to head over and link up!  I'm always looking for new recipes to try out...even though there's always a little bit of drama when it's hosted at my house.  I try to keep things super easy so it's usually soup, chicken, or a casserole dish when it's my turn to cook.  My family will say otherwise, but I'm never really thrilled with what I whip up.  See, I'm single with no children living with me, so dinner for me is usually take-out during the school year or a snack or something.  I know Wednesday nights are going to be the nights that I get to eat a good meal with my family.  (Weird fact about me...I don't like leftovers of any kind.  Even from a restaurant!  I mean, I'll be polite and take it home if I don't finish it all, but chances are, I'll throw it away before I eat it as a leftover.  Even when it's my turn to cook, I usually pack up all of the leftovers and send them home with my sister's family and my parents.  Odd.  I know.  And I don't really have an explanation for it.)

Just thought of an idea...maybe I should post our Supper Club Menus on my blog!  My family could be my guest bloggers on Wednesdays! Hmm...what do you think, Scott (brother-in-law who keeps up with my school life by reading my blog)?  How about you Tricia (sister who is married to Scott)??  I could also include my other sister, Michelle when she comes home...and my parents too of course!

Okay...onto my Easy Peasy as Mac and Cheesey Recipe!

Click here to visit the Kraft website where you can print out a clean copy of the recipe!
Family and Kid Approved! 
I usually throw some red skin potatoes together as well as a salad or some other veggie to make it a complete dinner for everyone.
There you go!  Quite yummy and super easy...even for me!

Well, today's plan is to go and work in my classroom for the day.  It's cloudy and my sister is organizing her new office, so I need to make today productive if I want to be able to still enjoy some summer during the next few weeks before school starts!

Have a great day!

Monday, July 30, 2012

It Lives!!!!!

Thank God!
My dad and I worked on my tree yesterday and we were able to bring it back to life!
I love my tree!  My family, a very good friend and I created it last summer.  We change the leaves to match the seasons we have up here in Northern Ohio so I'll do a better job of taking pictures of it and sharing it with you throughout the year.

Heading to the nearest Lakeshore store with my sister (it's her first time) and my partner in crime today! I have a list this time!

Can't wait to see everyone's "Monday Made It" projects!  I so have to join that linky party next year!  You're all so crafty!

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I fell out of the loop for a few days because I was finally able to get into my classroom!  (Sorry for all of those who are still waiting to get in there...I would be getting super anxious if I were in your shoes.)  I'm very grateful that we can come and go as we please at our building.  I like to go in during the evenings to get work done because the building is usually free of distractions...aka chatting it up with my teacher friends.  Don't get me wrong, I like catching up with everyone but the downside is, I GET NOTHING DONE! So we had a little family party this afternoon and I decided I'd stop by school to see if I would be motivated to do anything.  After being highly disturbed by the person standing on a step ladder with one of those grabber claw things going through one of the school's dumpsters, I did accomplish a few things!  (She was putting whatever she was finding in her car...awkward!  Seriously...what was she finding in there that was so valuable?)

Here's my progress so far...

I'm really loving my black chalkboards!  They were brown and my sister and I painted them with chalkboard paint.

Our school colors are red, black and white.  I think it's really important to instill a sense of pride in my kiddos, so I use our school colors to decorate my room.  Our mascot is a pirate so there will be some pirates throughout our classroom too...eventually!

And then I have tables full of piles to be hung up or put away...somewhere!

I'm nowhere near finished, but I feel a little better knowing that most of my furniture is arranged and all of my bulletin boards are covered with black fadeless paper and red, black and white borders.

I also spent a lot...A LOT of time on my classroom library this week!  (Sorry this picture is fuzzy.)  Every book is sorted and I'm on the hunt for a few more red and black baskets.

I then made labels for every set of books.  A label for the book box and coordinating labels to stick on every book.

Ta da!!!  It's going to take a bit of time to organize my books like this but I think it will pay off in the end!  I'm hoping that this will make it easier for the kiddos to help shelve their own books after they're done reading them in their book boxes.
Really hope this works for us!

On another note...I am no longer permitted to use spray paint.  Enough said.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Merry Christmas Vera!

So I almost forgot about giving away my little basket of treats (even thought it's been staring at me all week!  Vera, of Bedford, Love, and Teaching won this fun little basket of goodies!

Are you familiar with her?  If not, you really need to take a peek!
Click here to visit her site!
She's embarking on lots of new things this summer...big move from Texas to Massachusettes and a new job too!  I really like reading about her adventures and can't wait to hear about her new school!  

So...Vera!  Please e-mail me your new address so I can get your basket of sweets in the mail to you just in time for you to set up your new classroom!

As for school, I was finally able to get in and do a little organizing this week.  So much more to do of course...but at least I have a small start!  :)  Pictures coming soon!

Have a great day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cloudy Day=School and a Shout-Out!

So the weather isn't cooperating for a day in the sun today which means I must go into my classroom and get busy!  (Those orange bars better be off of those doors or I just might lose public this time.)   If I could just get my room looking like I was ready for the kiddos I'd feel a lot better!  Our staff days are August 21-23 and our Open House is exactly one month from technically, I still have time but here's the thing...there's a lot of other stuff that needs to be squeezed in during that time and I need to be able to still have my pool it's crunch time for me.

Have you seen that cute idea about melting used crayons in those shaped ice cube trays?
Like this...
Well, I bought the cute ice cube trays, peeled my old crayons and seth them outside...
like everyone else did.  
Day 1: All day on the table which resulted in no melting.
Day 2: All day on the pavement (concrete is hotter, right?)...again, no melting.
Today is Day 3...the sky is full of clouds and I'm feeling a lite sprinkle which tells me that this idea is a bust for me.  Oh well...too many other things to work on in the meantime.  Maybe I'll just keep them outside for the rest of the summer and see if they're done in time to be a Halloween treat or something!  :)

A little shout-out to Tamera, from My Heart Belongs in First.  
She is having a little celebration with lots of fun prizes!
Enter Tamera's Give-Away Here!
Head over to her blog and check her out when you have a chance!  She shares a lot of fun stuff!

Now...I'm off to being least I better be!
Have a good day!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pirates, Elections, and 2 Celebrations!

Hey!  That title has some rhythm!
Happy Sunday friends!
So I went to school yesterday to do a little work before heading to the pool but all of the doors had that huge orange bar on I could not get all.  Apparently our school was on lockdown due to the floors being waxed...I was bummed....
so I went shopping instead...

I found these cute pirate treat bags at WalMart for less than $1.00.  All of you with pirate themes this year...go and pick them up!  They're so cute and colorful and you could use them for just about anything!  I'm thinking I'll use them for my treat bags for my Open House.

Then, I headed to the Family Dollar Store (aka Election Headquarters) and picked up a few things that other bloggers have shared, but also found some Election garb.  I'm not sure how we're going to "do" the election as a grade level but I had to pick these up!
 They had fun stickers too!  I'm going to use the "I Voted" ones for our Election Day and I'll use the flag stickers on Constitution Day.

So I was feeling a little better and remembered that I needed to get a little something together to celebrate my 200+ followers!  Since we're all either on our way back to school or already with our newbies, I thought I'd just throw together a fun treat box to help us with our back to school jitters!  I've included a couple of treats from my cousin's shop, Wendy Kromer Specialty Confections.  She's designed wedding cakes for Martha Stewart and is incredibly talented!  She has a little cafe in our downtown area and sells lots of yummy stuff.  She also designs these fun cookies!

So leave a comment on this post and I'll choose a winner by July, of course!  :)  In the meantime, I've uploaded a few more items to my TPT shop for free from now until Christmas.  They're yours if you want them!
What to do with a Map!...FREE download!
Word Wizard...FREE download!
 And remember these??  I posted them for free on my blog first and then in my TPT shop.  I've had a lot of new followers in the past weeks, so I'm making them free from now until Christmas so go and get your downloads!
Let's Sort Pirates and Firsties...FREE download!

Monthly Reading Challenges...FREE download!
One more thing...
Andrea from
Reading toward the Stars Celebration!
is having a 207+ follower giveaway and is giving away a ton of fun stuff with the help of her friends!  If you're not following her yet...head on over to give her a shout and join in on her fun!

Well...since working at school is out of the question today (BUT I REALLY NEED TO GET IN THERE!) I guess I'll head to Soak City to soak up some more sun and fun with my nieces and nephew!
Have a great day!
5 Sundays left...until my first day!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Must Have Picture Books Linky Party!

Well, I'm a little behind, but I used The Teacher Wife's linky party to motivate myself to finally go through my books to find my absolute favorites!  

Remember this drama??

Yeah...that was the day I brought in all of those crates and boxes to sort, took one look at them staring back at me and had to take them back out to the was just too much to manage at the time.  But thanks to Lindsey from The Teacher Wife they are all sorted and are waiting to be put on the shelves.  Her linky party actually lit a little fire just where I needed it and I spent yesterday sorting through my books to find a few of my favorites!  It was hard to keep my list at just five books...but I forced myself to follow the rules!  :)
So without further are my "Must Have's"!

I love reading this story when we come back from Christmas Break!  It's such a beautiful story about Wilson Bentley and his determination to take a picture of a snowflake with his camera.  

This book is about a dragon who is invited for tea and one thing leads to another and there is a fire.  The rhyming text and silly pictures make it a fun read aloud that also teaches some important fire safety rules.

Now this one is so much fun to read aloud!  It's about a cute little spider who only wants to be the family's pet so he does things around the house to impress the family.  Unfortunately, the family screams and puts the spider outside whenever they find him.  I love to read this one aloud to the kiddos because I literally scream...and they all jump...which is a little bit hilarious!  :)

Great classic!  It's so much fun to talk about how the mice outsmart the fox.  I love the illustrations too!  If I were a dentist I'd have these illustrations hanging around my office.  So cute!

5. Thanksgiving at the Tappletons', by Eileen Spinnelli
This one might be hard to find.
The publisher has republished it, but has illustrated
it with animals instead of people.
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday!  No Thanksgiving is complete without this family story!

Well...there you go! 
On a different note, I was just looking at my calendar and had a bit of an anxiety attack...I have something going on every weekend from now until school starts...YIKES!  I think the time has officially come to start buckling down and making some headway in my classroom!  This was my very first summer without classes or having a summer job EVER!  Okay...I probably started working the snack stand at the local pool when 10-12 years old...but still....that's a long time to have my summers filled with assignments and jobs.  Weird feeling but I've loved it!  Can't believe it's coming to an end...

Oh!  Due to my birthday celebration, I've also reached 200+ followers!  Holy smokes!  So tune in tomorrow to see how we're going to celebrate this milestone!  :)

Oh...and one more thing...I think I fixed that robot box thing!  That was like coming home and realizing you have spinach stuck in your teeth after a night out with friends!  (Although my true friends would NEVER let that happen to me!)  Something made me check it by leaving an anonymous comment on my blog last night (make sure you log out of your blog first).  Sorry for all of the vision tests I've been giving those who leave a comment...we should be good to go now!  :)

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Drumroll Please...

We have a winner!!!
Heather, from Hoot Hoot's your lucky day!!!
You can e-mail me at:!
As always, my little give-away has grown from the $25.00 gift card to Target to some more fun!  My new friend, Terri from The First Grade Princess has sent a few goodies from The Aloha State to help in my celebration and I've found a few more fun things throughout the week while shopping.

Hey Heather...Here's what's coming your way!

Straight from Hawaii, you're getting some postcards, a Hawaiian calendar, a few keychains and a Starbucks gift card that just happens to be a collectors edition because you can only get them in Hawaii!

From the Buckeye State (that's me), you're going to get your gift card to Target, some silly post-it notes, an obnoxious squawking chicken that works as a stress reliever as well as a "non-verbal cue" to get the attention of your darlings (ha! ha!).  I always like to throw in a splash of Ohio so I picked up a huge souvenir map from Cedar Point!  It's bright and colorful and could be used in so many different ways!  I'm also including two new activities I'm going to upload to my Teachers Pay Teachers shop this weekend and the book to go with one of the activities!

I can't thank everyone enough for joining my give-away!  It was so much fun to get all of my new followers too because I now have TONS of new blogs to stalk!  :)  Love it!

Now...a special bonus surprise...if you're interested...
I'm going to send one of those huge Cedar Point souvenir maps to the first three friends to comment on this post with their e-mail address!  Here's what it looks like when it's opened up:

Tons of potential for fun...and oh yeah...learning too!  :)

Okay friends...that's it for today!
Talk soon!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Last Call for My Give-Away!

Today is the day!  I'm heading to the post office this morning to pick up a certified piece of mail from Hawaii in about an hour so you have through today to enter my giveaway!
Enter My Give-Away by clicking here!
Hawaii??  You ask???
My friend, Terri from The First Grade Princess offered to send something from The Aloha State for me to add to my celebration!  So nice!  She's in Hawaii right now and I've loved reading her posts while she's there...quilting with friends, looking for shells, and today she posted the most beautiful pictures.  I kind of feel like I'm on vacation too!  :)'s the deal!  I'm taking my mom and my two sisters to see Mama Mia tonight in Cleveland (Mother's Day Gift) so if I have a burst of energy when I get home, I'll post the winner tonight!  If it doesn't happen tonight I PROMISE I'll post the winner tomorrow morning before I start my day!

Off to the post office!  Have a great day!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Celebration Updates and Timber!!

Happy Sunday Friends!

Terri's (First Grade Princess) package from Hawaii didn't arrive this weekend but we're expecting it in the next day or two!  I can't wait to see what she has added to my giveaway!  This means you still have time to enter and I will give a "Last Call" once it's arrived and then I'll choose the lucky winner!
Click here to enter my give-away!
Speaking of Celebrations...Marie from The Hands-On Teacher in First is celebrating reaching 300 followers!  She is totally amazing!  If you aren't following her blog you really must go and do it now!  I love reading about what she's up to!
Click here to visit her blog and join her celebration!
And one more...ummm...with my whole birthday celebration I've jumped super close to 200 followers...I'm seeing a 200 follower giveaway in my future...and I already have an idea for that one!

I ended up spending a few hours in my classroom this afternoon...and TIMMMMMBERRRRRRR!

Yeah.  My heart stopped.  We have limbs everywhere friends which means they were either taken of with gentle loving hands or they snapped off in the move.  (My dad and I drilled those suckers into the trunk...with big screws.)  Either way, it's still my fault.  I was told that everything was going to come out of my room...just wish I could have had a little heads up when it was my room's turn to be cleaned because I would have come in and moved it out for them.  Poor tree.

Then I found one of my bookshelves...
It's one of those cheap ones and it was getting a little wobbly by the end of the year, but I didn't think it was this wobbly.  Cue the hammer and nails.

So today I was Miss Fix-It...and learned several things...

1. Nails are different sizes and types for different reasons...of which I do not know yet.  My book shelf is nailed back together for the most part and I still have all of my fingers...good day.
2. Red spray paint will still get on you even with a gentle breeze.  Next time, I need to assess the wind direction before going crazy with the spray can.  I had pink spray paint (I think the red blended with the sweat...eww!  Gross!) all over my right hand and arm...and a nice pink spray paint line on my leg.
3. Chalkboard paint still splatters.  I now own a pair of paint shorts.  Geesh!  (I'm turning my brown chalkboards to black so that it goes better with my colors!)
I have two boards like this...hope it works!
 4. Using paint thinner to get the paint off of your skin works, but you'll smell like...well paint thinner for awhile....even after a good washing.

My chalkboard paint needs to dry for a good 24 hours so I'm going to try to recruit my sister (yep, you...Tricia) to come in and do the second coat for me this week sometime.

Whoa!  6 Sundays from today will be my First Day Eve!  YIKES!