Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year SALE!

I am still in shock that 2013 is coming to an end! However, 2014 is going to be just as fabulous! I want to start the year off with a BANG! Tonight we are getting together with a couple of our friends and their little kidlettes to have an East Coast New Year on the West Coast-HA! We all have young children. Either we want the kids in bed at a semi-reasonable time OR the adults can't stay awake, so we celebrate the New Year 3 hours early! Waking up New Year's morning is my favorite because I can stay in my PJs, snuggle on the couch and watch the Rose Parade. The hubs hates the parade, so I have sucked the kids in as much as possible! Can't wait!
I am also ringing in the New Year with a SALE at my TpT store. Everything is 20%  off! I have been updating and adding new products during break. It's time to start planing the second half of the school year, and what better time to start, than now!. I hope you can find some things that you love!

Here are some items you may want to check out:

New Year's Resolutions:

Math: Data Collecting and Writing

Martin Luther King Jr./Black History Month 

Literacy Activities with Non-fiction texts and Crafts

Presidents' Day

Task Cards:

Math Interactive Notebooks 
(available for Grades 1-3)

Stop by my store and see what else is available!
Happy New Year and cheers to an incredible 2014! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Let's Ring in 2014 IG Style!

I hope each and everyone of you has been able to enjoy your winter breaks, celebrate the holidays with family and friends and get a little rest and relaxation into your days. 
We have been hustling and bustling over here with all the holiday extravaganzas. Things are now starting to slow down and get "back to normal".

I am linking up with Elizabeth at Kickin' It In Kindergarten for a Teachers of Instagram Linky. If you aren't following me in IG yet, I would love to have you join my crazy adventures. My user name is @brightconcepts4teachers.
Here are my top 3 pics from IG in 2013.

Number 1:
I got to meet my bloggy bestie, Aimee from Primarily Speaking! It was such a treat to finally meet in person and spend some time together. I am truly blessed to have met so many incredible people through blogging and being able to connect is a priceless gift. I am a better teacher because of it! Thank you for your friendship!

Number 2:
My love for baseball...well, really it's my husband and boys love for baseball, but I love it too! I love going to games, watching my boys play and rooting for the Cubs and Dodgers! I am glad I can share my obsession with all of you!

Number 3:
My classroom Elf on the Shelf obsession this year! This was the highlight of my students' year so far. We all had so much fun with Snowflake. Thank you for letting me share my antics with all of you. I love making learning fun and exciting for my kiddos. Teaching is the best!

Slide1

I am also always looking for new blogs to follow. Simply in Kinder is hosting a great linky to help us all find all those fabulous blogs in Blogland! Head on over and check it out! I am sure you will find some new blogs to obsess over too!

Thank you to each and everyone of you for making 2013 an incredible year! Between my blog, TpT and all my blogging friendships 2013 is going to hard to beat! Welcome 2014! Cheers!

Monday, December 23, 2013

New Year's Celebration Giveaway!

The end of the year is just upon us... hard to believe...yes! But, what a better way to start the New Year than with an awesome giveaway! I want to share a little New Year love with all of you. I am thrilled to be part of the New Year's Blog Giveaway Bash hosted by Britney at Tailor-made Teaching.

http://tailormadeteaching.blogspot.com/2013/12/2014-new-years-blog-giveaway-bash.html

There are 5 different prize packages to choose from. Find one that fits your needs OR enter to win ALL of them! Plus, you may find some wonderful, new blogs to follow!

I am offering my New Year's Resolution Craftivity packet, which is part of the second grade prize package, to one lucky winner!

Be sure to head on over to Tailor-made Teaching and enter today! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Weekly "Wrap" Up!

One of the best Fridays EVER.... 3 weeks of winter break have just begun! The alarm has been turned off and vacation is in full effect!

We finished our holiday gifts to our parents! The kids made these adorable snowman ornaments! Thank goodness for my amazing mom, who came in to work with each of the kids to make them. I made the salt and flour dough and she helped the kids make their creations! I wrapped them all up and attached these adorable tags from Sonya DeHart.


My sweet little girl, Dakota, got to come home yesterday!!! She had surgery this week to remove a mass on her back end. We have been trying to control it with antibiotics, but no luck. The surgery went well, but we know it is only a matter of time for it to grow back. We are going to enjoy every moment we have together. It is hard watching your "first born" get older. 

Today was our last day with our classroom elf, Snowflake. He was so much fun to have around. We found him sitting on the North Pole this morning! He left the kids reindeer candy canes and a sweet note! They were in love with him. 



These books were delivered to my classroom this week thanks to my amazing SIL and City National Bank! The kids were so excited to help open the box and see what was inside! We can't wait to add them to our classroom library!

I am super excited to be part of the Melonheadz Addict Blog! I now have this adorable button to add to my blog! If you want to find out more about it and how you can become a member click {HERE}.


Now it's your turn, link up your random Five for Friday pics!
We made it, my friends! Time to celebrate the holidays and winter break! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Elf on the Shelf Linky Party-Week 2

My kiddos are in love with our elf, Snowflake! I can't believe he has already been with us for 2 weeks. I am so excited to be linking up with Michelle and Mel to share our pictures with all of you.


On Monday, Snowflake brought my kids this adorable story about St. Nick's daughter who saves Christmas. He also left the kids some festive "kisses".

The kids have been writing in their Elf Journals each day. 

Snowflake was "flying high" on our classroom wire. He scattered some roam the room subtraction with regrouping cards and took the student recording sheets with him to the wire. Do you know how hard it is to get those papers down for the kids without touching, Snowflake? I could feel all 22 pairs of eyes on me as I did it. 

At the end of the week, Snowflake brought the kids some gingerbread cookies and we graphed and wrote where we took our first bites. It was torcher for the kids not to gobble them up in one bite, but they did a great job.

Share your Elf-antics with all of us by linking up with Apples and ABCs and Seusstastic!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Questionnaire!

I am so excited to be linking up with Michelle over at Fabulous in First for a Get To Know You Christmas Linky.

HOT CHOCOLATE or EGGNOG?
Hot chocolate fo' sure! I love me some peppermint in it too!

DOES SANTA WRAP PRESENTS OR JUST SIT THEM UNDERNEATH THE TREE?
Santa is a wrapper, no doubt about it! Wrapping the gifts is the best part and slightly therapeutic.

COLORED LIGHTS OR WHITE?
White lights, hands down. Simple, beautiful, classic! LOVE!

WHEN DO YOU DECORATE?
It's a slow process. I'm not sure it ever fully gets done until winter break starts, but the thought is there.

REAL OR FAKE TREE?
Real! I don't know any different. We would go as a family and cut down our tree every year. I love the fresh smell of pine. Fake trees are beautiful too, but not for me.

WHAT TOPS YOUR TREE?
Nothing. Our tree usually is too close to the ceiling to add anything on top. HA!

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MEMORIES OR TRADITIONS?
My favorite holiday tradition is decorating the tree. When I was little, we would literally string popcorn to decorate it. We would sit on the couch, watch TV and string away. We haven't done it for several years, but it is a tradition I will always remember and cherish!

DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR FAVORITE GIFT AS A CHILD?
Yes, as if it were yesterday. When I was 4 or 5 my dad made me a wooden kitchen set-stove and all. I loved pretending to play house and that gift was from the heart. He also made a wooden cradle for my favorite doll. And my mom sewed a matching pillow and blanket for it. THE BEST!

DO YOU PREFER GIVING OR RECEIVING?
Giving is the best! I love finding the perfect gift and seeing someone's face light up when they open it.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG?
Jingle Bell Rock

CANDY CANES. YUCK OR YUM?
Love nor hate. I love peppermint. Candy canes are nice, but not a must have.

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE?
A Charlie Brown Christmas

DO YOU SHOP ONLINE OR IN STORES?
Both! I love my Black Friday sales and then online shopping fills in the rest.

PHOTO CARDS, LETTERS OR STORE BOUGHT?
I am a photo card crazy person! I LOVE them. I take pictures all year trying to find the "perfect" pictures for our family card. I also love receiving photo cards. I look forward to seeing all my friends and their kids and how much they have changed (or not).

Now it's your tun my friends. Link up and join in the holiday fun!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Elf in the Classroom LINKY Week 1

This is my first year having an elf in my classroom. I felt like I missed out on all the fun last year, so I knew I HAD to join in this year. I am linking up with Michelle and Mel for:

And of course, I couldn;t do this alone, so I bought an elf for my team partner too. One boy and one girl....

Our "elf"capades started on Monday and have been full steam ahead ever since. This is what my kids saw when they came into the room:
Our elf left the kids a note on the board and he had an armful of pencils for the kids. I read them the story and then we named our elf.... Snowflake!

Later in the week, Snowflake was hanging from our classroom READ sign.

My kids freaked when they saw this sign in our room. We had a little vocabulary lesson on the word "surveillance" and then they were in awe! Thank you Mel for the adorable sign!

The week ended with this arrival in the basket....lumps of coal for the kids. WHAT??? The kids were NOT happy. I asked them to write a letter to Santa explaining why they think he made a mistake by putting their name on the "naughty" list. I hung up their writing with pretend lumps of coal for all to see. Thank you Hope for the great writing idea.

If you are looking for some "Elf"ish activities to use in your classroom, check out my little packet in my TpT store.

We have a TON of fun antics prepared for this week. Make sure to check back and see what Snowflake and my little second graders are up too.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Freebies Galore & What I Have Been Up To

Who doesn't like a freebie, right? I haven't met a teacher who doesn't jump up and down with glee and appreciation when a freebie comes their way. 

1. It's FB Frenzy time! There are hundreds of great resources up for grabs. Head on over to my FB Page, like my page and you can grab this fun math craftivity!



2. There are only a couple days left to grab a ton of awesome freebies during Erin over a I'm Lovin' Lit's Winter Planning Giveaway.


3. We worked on opinion writing this week. My kids had to explain why Rudolph or Olive, the Other Reindeer would be a better guide for Santa's sleigh.

4. With only 10 more days until winter break, it was time to start our holiday gifts for our parents. My mom came into my classroom today to help the kids make salt dough snowman ornaments. We got the first stage completed today. They have been baked.  Next week we will paint them and spray them. I can't wait to show you the final product.

5. My kids came into the classroom and found this today. They each got a lump of coal (black Rice Krispie ball) from Snowflake our elf. Then, they had to write an opinion letter to Santa explaining he had made a mistake. They HAD to be on the nice list. Thank you Hope King for this creative writing idea.



Link up and share your week of fun with all of us!



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Run, Run, Rudolph & A Surprise!

We are in full holiday mode in my classroom. I am trying to get several "festive" bulletin boards complete because they will only be up for a couple of weeks. Spontaneously, I scrapped most of my language arts lessons today to tackle a writing assignment I had been wanting to complete. That is right my friends... no reading series lessons today... just pure holiday fun! GASP! Shhh... don't tell! And guess what? The kids loved it!
 I read the kids two stories. The first was Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the second was Olive, the Other Reindeer.

We made charts about what they thought they already knew about Rudolph. We discussed "all of the other reindeer" and "Olive, the other reindeer". The kids were in awe once this was pointed out to them. Hilarious!

Next, we compared/contrasted the two stories. We listed reasons why reindeer would be great sleigh guides and why Olive, the dog would be a great guide. Then, I gave the kids the task of writing an opinion piece about which guide they thought would be the best to help Santa. As a class, we brainstormed the "perfect" main idea sentence for each. Then, it was the kids' job to give at least 3 reasons why they felt this way. They had to reference things from the story. They couldn't just say because they like dogs. 
They did a FANTASTIC job writing their stories. We even did some peer editing too. 
We also made our reindeer craft to display next to each of the stories.

The kids loved diverting from our "regular" routine. Although a few of them asked when we were going to do our workbook pages. Gotta love 'em! These writing ideas and craft can be found in my Baby, It's Cold Outside unit in my TpT store.

This Friday, I have a BIG surprise to share with all of you.  Make sure to follow my Facebook page so you don't miss out!
Happy Hump Day!