Thursday, June 27, 2013

What's up with Bloglovin?! {you need to know}

You've probably seen a lot of chatter about Bloglovin' lately.  I have to admit - even as a blogger myself! - I didn't give it much thought.  Which was a mistake!

In a nutshell, Google Reader is disappearing on July 1st.  So if you use it to find out which of your favorite blogs has been updated, it's about to go bye-bye.  That wasn't a super big deal to me either because I often look at my own sidebar to see who's updated the most recently.  {over there on the right under my button where it says "Teachspiration"} bad.

What it also means is that I am losing track of my loyal followers!  Luckily, there is an easy way for you to stay updated with me & my glamourific teaching.  And there's an incentive for everyone who choses to do so.  ;)

It's super easy.  Go to and create an account.  Or just click on this little button below {which will be made cuter later} because we need to get this started, people!

Follow on Bloglovin

Everyone who clicks over to follow me before Google Reader goes away will be entered to win any item of your choosing from my TeachersPayTeachers store!  I will choose the winner Monday, July 1st.  Just leave a comment below to let me know that you've clicked that button and are following me at Bloglovin.

If you don't like change and aren't interested in signing up for anything else, remember you can always stay in the know with new posts by following my Facebook page.  I do recommend Bloglovin, though.  A major perk I've already noticed: you can categorize the blogs you follow!!  I now have a Kindergarten group, a 1st grade group, a 2nd grade get the idea...which will make finding posts much easier!  {you can also go into the settings and turn off all email notifications}

See you at Bloglovin!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Eric Carle goodness. {get it before it's gone!}

A few weeks ago I posted about my love for Crayola and clued you in to a bunch of Crayola items for sale on Zulily.  I do not work for Zulily, nor do I get anything for posting about their sales.  However, I have to share another one...Eric Carle!!!

What teacher doesn't love Eric Carle?  Honestly.  Look at some of these academic goodies!
{magnet letters in Eric Carle art.  capital & lowercase.}
{hardcover books.  board books.  books with CDs...listening center!!!}
{Eric Carle books in Spanish!!   repetition is SO good for language learners.}
{3D Very Hungry Caterpillar retell kit.  only $6.99!}
{pocket chart cards.  reading text & matching the picture.  fab for word work!}
Lots of classroom decoration options, too!
{vinyl wall decals.  love these for classroom decoration or retelling the story right on the wall.}
{bulletin board sets from multiple stories.  again...decor, retell, puppets, so many uses!}
{full color prints.  how great would these look in bright frames in the library?}
{a Very Hungry Caterpillar rug!!!!}
{teachers never have enough thank yous...and these notecards are adorable!}
And 2 more that may be drawing my attention because of the gymnastics currently taking place in my stomach...  :)
{Very Hungry Caterpillar foods in an apple!  hee hee!}
{little food board books that work on colors, shapes, etc}
These shops are only open for a few days at a time so don't hesitate if one of these caught your eye!  Click on any of the pictures to go to the sale. You may need to create a Zulily account to check it out but it's free, you won't get overloaded with emails & there is some seriously great stuff.  Happy Shopping!  :)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, June 10, 2013

Classroom Set-Up {then & now}

I was reading a post from Erica Boher and had to laugh out loud at a comment one of her pictures got on Pinterest.  The pinner said "Perfect 1st grade classroom.  How can she afford this?!"  I'm wondering if that was a first year teacher looking for inspiration who instead got frustrated by all of the overwhelming amazingness you all share.

But really, we've all been there, haven't we?!  My first classroom was a trailer {excuse me, cottage} and with the $0 I had to my name, I thought I was killin it with a few bulletin board sets from the teacher store!  Fast forward 9 years plus experience, time to add to my collection and the introduction of Pinterest & teaching blogs to my life and I set up my favorite classroom ever this past year.  Now I'm moving classrooms again and it's back to the Pinterest boards for ideas.

Whether you like a trip down memory lane or you just need some inspiration that you, too, can have the classroom of your dreams, pull out those old photos and link up below!

{1st year: 2004-2005}
{my first classroom was a trailer!}
{my 1st sophomores in high school!}
{the ONLY decoration I had was my calendar set.  corner 1 had all the color.}
{corner 2 held library carts & stacked bookshelves for cute baskets?!}
{more carts & random tubs sitting around for storage.  plus coats & backpacks in corner 3.}
{my desk & more coats for corner 4}
Ta-da!  Totally nothing special.  I laugh looking at these now, seeing how bare and empty it looks.  I remember buying window markers to write encouraging messages on the teeny tiny windows to try and bring in some color.  But if I didn't have student work on the wall, it was just boring nothing!  Luckily we spent a lot of time on the carpet and I'm pretty sure they all still had a great year.  :)

{9th year: 2012-2013}
{view from the front door}
{view from my teacher table}
{student cubbies - I will miss these next year!!}
{student book bins on top.  morning work, science journals & math workbook on bottom.}
{guided reading/small group area}
{listening center & library}
{student mailboxes & leveled library bookshelf}
{weekly copies, workshop rotations & calendar}
{workshop centers & groupings that rotate daily}
{word wall, fun center tubs & computer table}
{very cluttered writing center}
What I love the most about my classroom growth {besides the obvious need for color} is how I've learned to teach & set-up with learning areas.  It's so good for the kids to be able to write in the writing center, or read in the library or work on sight words from the word wall as opposed to doing everything at their desks.  It really helps them focus on the task they're meant to be doing and it challenges me as a teacher to rotate things through those areas to keep them fresh.

{Another tip - if you're lucky enough to have any "fun center" time with blocks, legos, etc - keep those areas separate from your main learning stations to keep clear boundaries of what happens where.  My students can read anywhere during independent reading time to allow them to spread out but when it's time to play with blocks, they stay on the block carpet.}

If you can't find pictures of your very first year or you've been out of the classroom for a while and don't have a current room to show, it's ok!  Just choose 2 classrooms to post and tell us the dates.  Post one, post a ton...up to you.  And by ALL MEANS do not think your classroom has to be award winning in order to share.  There's no make-over prize for the winner but hopefully everyone will find some new ideas!  :)

Who cares that it's the end of the year...aren't we always thinking ahead to what we can do differently in the fall??  {be honest ladies.  don't let me be alone in my admission of over-planning here!}

Saturday, June 08, 2013

fun bracelets.

This is a glam post.  Not school related at all except that you should buy these and wear them to school.  Chances are good they even come in your school colors if you need to convince your husband of their necessity or write it off as an educational expense.  {kidding}  I have one in pink, orange, yellow, green, blue & purple.  Like I 'em.

They're from Insist on Awesome on Etsy and while they're usually $13 each, you can get them {or anything else in her shop} 30% through June 14th using the code XOXO30.

I get no kick-back from this post.  Just sharing some glam-love and helping you save a little moolah.  Happy Summer to you!!  :)

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

EOY & currently.

It's June!  Yay!  Juuuune!!!  We had our kindergarten graduation today and now I really feel like the end is here.  But more about that in a minute.  It's Currently time with Farley!

Pretty sure I'm always watching/listening to Friends while I blog in the afternoon.  God love ya, TBS!

I am 6 months pregnant this week.  This whole pregnancy is flying by!!  The latest so fun thing is feeling baby girl move.  On the reg.  And she has moves like Jagger.  I love it.
{cookie dough on top of ice cream?!  ummm...yes!}
I have a linky party going live on Monday!!!  It's going to be super fun and a great way to wrap up the school year & get excited for fall decorating all at once.  Here's your hint: start pulling out old pictures of your first classroom then come back Monday & get ready to share!  :)

sigh.  Yes.  I admit that I miss my wine.  Especially on days like today when I came home exhausted but happy.  I want to sit in my hammock, soak up some sun, read my InStyle magazine & sip on some nice chilled pinot.  3 out of 4 isn't bad.  ;)

Go-go Gadget arms, legs, etc.  I found out that I am moving classrooms again.  And while it will be a MUCH easier transition this year - moving from room to room without having to bring it all home first - it's also a little more difficult as I can't lift or maneuver as well as I'm used to.  So much for not going in on our non-required workdays.  It'll take me both days to move!

{vacay essentials}
I'm not so sure we'll actually be taking a vacation this year since we're trimming up the budget for baby girl, but I can pretend the pool days in my near future are vacation days just as well as I can pretend that my ice water is a mojito!  I obviously need my iPad for surfing, pinning & reading {with my Kindle app}.  On that note, Revenge Wears Prada came out today and I can not wait to start reading it!!!  Also Banana Boat tanning oil spray.  Mmmm.  Smells like summer.  :)  And super bright nails are a must for summer.  I went ahead and wore my Flip Flop Fantasy {by China Glaze} for the last week of school.  I guarantee you, it is much more neon than it appears.  Which is a super fab way to make yourself look tan...another vacay essential!

For my end of the year student gifts, I got these cute buckets & shovels for my students in the Target dollar bins.

A little tissue paper fancies them up and the Summer Homework Calendar from Fun in First makes them practical.  Plus some Smarties, a special pencil & a few water balloons for more fun.

I'm also sending home a packet of memories that we've been working on all week from our EOY printables pack.

And their certificates of course!!  The front has their pictures & a few of their favorite things.  {I usually put their 1st day of kindergarten photos on, too, but pregnancy brain made me forget & I accidentally laminated them before I glued them on.}

The inside has their certificate and Robert Fulghum's Everything I need to know, I learned in Kindergarten poem.

Then the back has a letter that I always send home.  It wasn't originally written by me but I can't word it any better!

My external harddrive got dropped at school {noooo!} and I can't get anything off of it right now.  But I'm hopeful some technological genius will be able to fix it for me and when it's revived, I'll post the poem & letter for download if you want it.

I have 3 more days until I say good-bye to my almost 1st graders!  Hang in there if you're still teaching with me.  And remember to come back on Monday for some linky fun & classroom inspiration!!  ;)
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