Finally Five For Friday!

Yep, that's right...It's Friday! And you know what that means....It's time to link up for this week's Five for Friday!
1. The hubs wanted some "healthy" granola to have in the house. So, I called up my best recipe source-MY MOM- and she gave me a recipe for a "Better Granola" which used egg whites and agave nectar as sweetener- delicious!

2. It has been super hot the last couple days. We have done a lot of swimming and the kids sucked me into playing this:

3. Grandma took the kiddos to see:

4. And while they were at the movies, I got to have some time to get a mani and pedi! Let's give a shout out to grandma! Love ya, Mom! This color is a bit "out of the box" for me, but I think it is super fun for summer. I am diggin' it!

5. I had a life changing experience while I was shopping at Michaels. You can read the entire story HERE. I am happy to report that teachers are still appreciated by some people in this world!!

Hope you have a fun Friday and great weekend! Don't forget to link up so I can read what you all have been up doing with you summers!

Pay It Forward and a Little Bloglovin'

I have to share an incredible story with all of you! If you follow me on Instagram, you got a sneak peek into this story yesterday. Now I want to share the details with everyone.

Yesterday afternoon I took a trip here
This is every teachers favorite place to hang out during the summer, right? I don't have a Hobby Lobby near me so this is the next best place from what I understand. My creative juices were flowing. I selectively loaded up my cart with several things I "needed" and got into line to check out.

As I was standing in line, two young men in front of me started talking to me. 
Two Guys: Did you just have your eyebrows waxed? 
Me: Why, are they still red?
Two Guys: Yep. 

Lovely. Just my luck, right? They continue talking to me as I am looking in the dollar bins for any last minute  "goodies" I may have missed. They asked what I was buying. They wanted to know what I was making with all the things in my cart. Here is a glimpse of what they saw:
One guy thought the white square was an art canvas. I explained that it was a magnetic white board. He wanted to know if I was making a "chores" list for my kids at home. I said, "No, I am making a chores list for ME at school." Then the conversation went into me being a teacher, what grade I taught etc. AND if I knew where the nearest COIN car wash was. R-A-N-D-O-M...

Now the good part... (are you still with me?) 
A lady, three people behind me, in line says, "Excuse me, did you say you were a teacher?"
Me: Yes.
Lady: Then I want to pay for everything in your cart for you.
Me: Really? No, that is not necessary. That is very kind, but not necessary.
Lady: No really, I am not kidding. I am paying for your items. Teachers spend so much of their own money in their classrooms. I want to do this.

W-H-A-T?!?! Who does that these days? Who does that E-V-E-R for that matter? We chatted briefly in line. She gave me a 40% off coupon. I gave her my teacher discount. The cashier rang me up. She paid for the WHOLE thing!! Simply mind blowing!!! 

It is experiences like these that make me realize how kind and generous people can be. I am forever grateful to this lady for her random act of kindness. 

P.S. I can't wait to show you what I am making with all my items during Monday Made It this week- Stay tuned!

One last thing... As many of you know Google Reader will no longer exist as of July 1st!  I made the switch to Bloglovin" and hope you will too. I wouldn't want any of you to miss reading my random thoughts and crazy teaching adventures. Tori at Tori's Teaching Tips has a great blog post with step by step directions on how to create an account and make the switch to Bloglovin'. It really is a simple process and does not take much time at all. Make sure to join in all the fun! 

Five for Friday Fun!

It's my favorite day of the week, my friends... That's right, F-R-I-D-A-Y!!! Can I get a HOLLLLAAAA??? I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for this week's Five for Friday!
1. This has been my first FULL week off for summer, so I did a little shopping. Look what I picked up at Old Navy. This is my new color for summer. I am completely drawn to it! I have a lot of it in my closet right now.It seems to be all that I want to wear :)

2. I was at another local school and saw this quote painted on the wall. I love the message!!! Maybe this can be some subway art in the near future....
3. I have been busy finishing up some projects I started awhile back. And when I say AWHILE, I'm talking last summer. I just finished up Math Common Core Vocabulary Cards for Fifth Grade. There are over 50 cards with a picture, definition or graphic to explain each word.

4. The one new item I am REALLY excited about is my new Classroom Decor Pack! I am going to have a turquoise and black classroom theme this next year and I needed to go all out. This pack has it all...signs, labels, birthday board, word wall and more!

5. I have saved the best for last! My dear friend Aimee (Primarily Speaking) and I are going to be having an AMAZING joint giveaway to celebrate each of us reaching 500 followers!
We are pairing up to bring you the ULTIMATE giveaway! It will start July 8th. Make sure to stay tuned and tell all your friends. 
Don't forget to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Also, just a reminder, you can follow my blog with Bloglovin' and on Instagram!

Throwback Thursday Linky!

I am super excited to dig into by blog archives, so I can link up with The First Grade Parade for:
A lot of us have just started our summer break and we are already getting ready for the next school year! Insert picture of me raising my hand and jumping up and down-that is me!!!!  I thought I would revisit a blog post from last summer about how I plan and organize myself. I know a bunch of you have your Erin Corden planners. I just can't bring myself to get sucked into it. I think I need to touch one and feel one before I take the plunge. 

Here is my oldie but goodie planning post from 8-12-12.

 I love to plan and planning is what I do well. I am always thinking ahead to the next thing. Planning during the school year is a complicated task though. There are so many variables that get into the way: assemblies, music, art, computer lab, P.E etc. I think it is important to be flexible but the most important thing is to have a solid road map to take you on the journey. Here are a few ways that I plan during the school year.

1. My Team Partner:
My team partner and I are like peas and carrots (Forrest Gump reference here!!). We bounce all our ideas off one another. Once a week we sit down and physically plan out our following week. We check in with one another to see how the kids are responding to the lessons, if we are meeting all our goals and discuss any changes we need to make. 

2. District Pacing Plans and Guidelines 
My day to day lesson plans are guided around our district pacing plan. It provides a framework to work from and helps me make sure I am teaching all the necessary standards. What is also great about it, is that I can check off the standards as I teach and assess them to make sure I have covered all of them. This summer, I created a grade level check list of all the Common Core Standards for ELA and Math. Since common core is new, I want to make sure I am teaching all of them. The pictures show how I am using the checklist in my lesson plan book and an example of one of the ELA checklist pages. I have created them for kindergarten through fifth grade. You can grab your grade level checklist HERE.

3. Lesson Plan Book
This is my go-to resource! In this binder I keep my monthly calendars, daily lesson plans and my Common Core Checklists. It is everything I need to plan, all in one place!

On my monthly calendar, I write in important assessment dates and any events that may interfere with our "regular" schedule so that I can adjust my lesson planning. 

I also have a detailed lesson plan for each day. I have completely changed how I view my lesson plans this year. Before now, I always hand wrote in my weekly plans in a planner I found at a local teacher store. Don't ask why...I just don't think I knew any better. I decided that this year I was going to make my own template and type them out. I saw so many ideas and versions on Pinterest and other blogs and this is what I came up with.

The biggest change for me, is that my daily lesson plans are on one sheet of paper, instead of all 5 days on 2 pages. I have planned out the first two weeks of school and so far I like the way it is working. I can add lots of details and still have room to write in last minute changes and ideas. 

That's it in the planning department for now. I hope all of you are having a great start to your planning and getting organized for this school year! 

Head on over and link up to share one of your oldie but goodie blog posts. I can't wait to see what everyone writes about!

Common Core Vocabulary and Mind Blowing Giveaways!

I have just completed a task I started over a year ago...Yes, that's right...LAST summer!!! I started making ELA and Math vocabulary cards for my second grade classroom using the Common Core standards last summer. Then I had some teacher friends that taught different grades, who wanted them for their rooms too. I have slowly but surly made these cards for all the grade levels EXCEPT fifth grade.  My first task this summer was to get fifth grade complete! I am happy to say that both sets of vocabulary cards are finished and have been uploaded!!!

The ELA set has over 100 cards, all color coded by strand. Each card has the word, picture, definition and/or example to help your students remember their meanings.

The fifth grade Math CC vocabulary cards are also color coded by strand! There are over 50 cards with pictures and examples to engage your students.
 Click on any of the pictures above to take you to my TpT store where you can see more details about them- all grade levels K-5 are now available!

Now for the fun stuff.... GIVEAWAYS!!!

My sweet blogging friend, Tori from Tori's Teacher Tips is celebrating 800 followers with a HUGE Back to School giveaway! There are so many amazing bloggers that have helped her out. I am thrilled to be a part of it as well. Head on over and check out the goodies that are being offered!!

Also, Magic, Mistakes and Mayhem is have a 200 follower giveaway! Head on over there to win a $20 gift card of your choice PLUS tons of incredible teacher resources! I am donating a Winner's Choice item. 

Have a great Tuesday everyone! I am off to Michael's to do some damage. Can't wait to see what I will find there!

Fabulous Feedback Lovin'- Is YOUR feedback featured?

Although I am a day late to this party, I wanted to link up with Christina at Bunting, Books and Bainbridge for her Fabulous Feedback linky party.

On the second Friday of each month, Christina is hosting this fabulous linky to feature all the wonderful feedback that is left at our TpT stores. So, make sure to check out all the links on her blog to see if YOUR feedback is featured on any of our blogs!

FUN STUFF: If you see your TpT user name or feedback on my blog post, leave me a comment with your email address and I will give you a FREE product of your choice of similar value from my TpT store. Make sure to keep reading to see if your feedback was featured!

This comment was left on my product My Future Is So Bright-Beginning and End of the Year Writing activities. As soon as I read the comment I had a HUGE smile on my face just picturing those sweet kiddos with their giant sunglasses taking pictures-precious! If you are "snowdoll" leave me a comment below to redeem your FREE product.

 NEXT UP....
This feedback was left on my Common Core Standards Checklists for Kindergarten. These grade level checklists for ELA and Math Common Core standards have been a great resource to help implement the new standards in my classroom. I am so glad others are finding them useful too! If you have the user name "bino" leave your email address in the comments below, so I can send you the FREE product of your choice!

Thank you to everyone for your fabulous feedback. If your feedback wasn't featured this time around, be sure to check back on the second Friday of each month to see if you earned a FREE product of your choice.

Summer Vacay Five for Friday!

My first week of summer vacation has flown by.... Summer S...L...O...W... down, please! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for this edition of:
1. This week my youngest son (AKA Little Guy) turned six! Where has the time gone? He just finished kindergarten, has a couple wiggly teeth and is 6!!!! What?? When did this all happen?? In a blink of an eye, my friends. Sniff...sniff... I tell him all the time "Please stop growing!" He laughs and says "I can't, Mom." He wanted a GIANT "6" on his breakfast waffle...

2. My oldest son finish baseball playoffs this week. I love this picture of my husband and son right before his last at bat. It just makes my heart smile. The "coach" as a father dynamic was amazing! They both love it so much! 

3. I've been working on getting things ready for next school year. I created these name tags for my new kiddos. I just love how they turned out. I am adding them to my turquoise and black decor theme!!

4. I started "working out" this week. Well, I went running one day with my Couch to 10K app! Then I had lunch here:
Guess I need a few more days a week of "working out" if I ate this. But... boy was it yummy :)

5. I FINALLY finished my ELA Common Core Vocabulary Cards for Fifth Grade. I finished kindergarten through fourth grade last summer and never got around to fifth grade. I had many requests for a fifth grade set and I am happy to say they are now up and ready to be downloaded!! There are over 100 color coded cards in this packet! I am working on the Math cards as we speak... Stay tuned!!

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

A Few Of My Favorite Things-Morning Must-Haves

I have been MIA from my blog for the last week. I have been super busy wrapping up my school year, organizing several birthday celebrations for my youngest son and little league playoffs. Today was the last day I had to go to school for one last meeting, finalize my room and official paperwork. To start my summer off right, I went straight to the nail salon for a pedicure!!! Let summer begin, my friends...

                       Favorite Graphic
1. I have to start my day with my morning moisturizer with SPF. I love this one from Murad.

2. I also need a caffeine jolt in the morning. My favorite is a vanilla latte. Hot or cold works wonders!
3. I like to also have a yogurt parfait in the A.M. Mine don't look this fancy. All I need is some plain yogurt, fresh berries and granola and I am a happy camper!
4. I also like to read the headlines of the paper in the morning. It gives me just enough information to know what is going on in the world. I also like my kids to see me reading. They always want the sports section.
5. Once I get in my car, I love listening to my satellite radio. Sirius is great! I don't have a long commute, so I really want to listen to the songs I love instead of commercials or people talking. I love Hits 1! 
There you have it folks. My morning must-haves during the school year! I don't think much will change during the summer though :) Hope you stop by and link up too!

Currently June

It's hard to believe, but it is that time of month again....I am linking up with Farley for the June Currently:

1. Silence is golden and I hardly ever hear it! However, right now it is as quiet as can be in my house and I couldn't be happier. I actually might take a 5 minute cat nap when I am done here. Hope I can sneak it in.

2. I decide to commit to a classroom color scheme for next year- turquoise and black. I have never fully implemented a color theme before, so this is a first and I am super excited about it! I have started making lots of things for my room to go with it.

3. This school year has flown by. We have 5 more days with kiddos and then summer vacay starts!! I guess time flies when you are having fun, right?

4. I really hate waking up to an alarm clock every day. I can't wait to turn it off for the summer and wake up on my own. I don't mind waking up early, I just like doing it on my own terms:)

5. I really need to finish up my report cards. I have been procrastinating by making things for next year, but now it is crunch time and I need to finish up my grades and input them into the computer.

6. My vacation essentials are my phone. I need to stay up to date with all my blogging peeps and stay connected on Instagram. I also don't go far without my computer. I never know when I am going to get the inspiration to create things for my classroom and I want to be ready. I also love my beach bag. I have several I use, but they all have the same purpose. I can throw everyone's things into the bag and be ready to go at a moments notice. Towels, swimsuits, sunscreen..Check. 

Can't wait to see what you are all up to this month-make sure to link up!