Thursday, March 28, 2013

March Madness

March Madness, for me, has nothing to do with college basketball.
March Madness 2013 went a little something like this:

-bought a bigger house
-quickly sold our current house
-had to pack up and move out of current house over spring break
-moved into a hotel with our 4-year-old and 7-month-old

All the while I'm guiding my kiddos through 4th quarter and trying to finish some more TPT projects, woah nelly!

But the silver lining is that our hotel has a great breakfast everyday AND they make you dinner M-Th!  I've loved coming home this week and changing my clothes to go down to dinner that has not been prepared by me!
And we have a pool, hot tub & exercise room, woot woot!

We await moving into our new BIG beautiful house at the end of May, but love it here at the Marriott so far!

Since March is winding down and April is on the horizon, I'm throwing a sale over at TPT, 20% off everything!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hooks for Books!

I've tried many different things over the years, as far as where I have my students keep their book bags.  I hit the jackpot last summer when visiting an IKEA on vacation because I found these black bags for .25 a piece!

And then it was my maternity sub, this past fall, who had (in my opinion) the ingenious idea of attaching a hook to the back of each chair for the bags to hang on!

Yes the hooks come off once in a while, but I just use a hot glue gun to reattach them.  I also put a hook on the back of each chair at my reading table so kids have a spot for their bags when they meet with me.

I'm hoping to reuse the bags from this year for my new first graders next fall.  But you could also use any old gift bag (which I have a collection of because I keep and reuse them).

I would LOVE to know if you have an ingenious idea regarding student book bags.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Not Too Late for St. Patrick's Day!

Even though this jolly green holiday fell on a Sunday, I'm going to let it trickle into my classroom on Monday the 18th.  I went to JoAnn's because I knew there would be some St. Patty's stuff left, and I found a few cute things to leave in the classroom (by Lucky the Leprechaun of course).

A leprechaun story has been a bee in my bonnet for the past few weeks because I was wanting to whip up a Readers' Theater play that had a leprechaun in it.  I'm pretty sure it was a level 16 DRA story from our DRA kit. 
I pieced it together best I could and came up with 

I'm sharing it as part of Manic Monday, so check it out and then go check out all the great FREEBIES!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five For Friday

I stumbled upon this really cute linky party last week and wanted to participate this week, it's called 

You share 5 random things from your week.
I really like this idea because it's not about selling or pushing any products, it's just a fun way to share random things from your life with teachers!

Here we go:

1. In the past month we: bought a house & sold our house.  The catch is that we have to be out by March 27th and can't move into our new house until May 25th.  Soooooo, the buyer of our current house is putting us up at the Marriot Residence for 2 months!  I'm super excited because I love hotels and there's a swimming pool.  So my daughter is going to learn to swim!  Sadly, I didn't get into the Gold Nugget Triathlon, otherwise I'd be getting my swim back on for the race.  I'll still swim, but it'll be cross training for one of the half marathons  I plan on doing this summer.

This is the hotel kitchen!
2. We are on spring break up here (Alaska) and we're using this week to pack, pack & pack!  It's rushed, but it's actually nice to take stock of everything we have and get rid of things that we don't need and other people might.

3. I've still been plugging away at Readers' Theater scripts for TPT & TN.  I absolutely LOVE writing them!  I finally remembered a leprechaun story, from a DRA kit, that I wanted to turn into a script and it's almost done...and will be free!

4. We went out to dinner last night...which I've been wanting to do for a while.  One of our favorite restaurants is the Bear Tooth and it was worth the long wait to get in and enjoy yummy food!

5. I took my son to get the second part of his flu shot this morning and he didn't cry or react to it at all!  I was waiting for the delayed reaction but he just smiled instead.  We call him Mr. Smileypants because he's the happiest little guy and has the best smile!  

So it's been a good week and I'll hit the ground running again next Monday!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Made It: Readers' Theater Stage

I whipped up a vision I had in my head a few weeks ago...but knew I needed to take my time and make it better.  

I love Readers' Theater and wanted to try to make a little stage out of PVC pipe so we could use it in the classroom for parent events and even during our Daily 5 groups for when kids do Read to Someone (I've been creating Partner Plays just for this group).
So here it is!

It can be lengthed out or up by adding additional, smaller, pipes.

Here's what I used.
The width was pretty much 3/4 in. and the length was 24in.

From behind
A "foot"...integral to making the entire thing
balance and not tip over!
One of 3 "posts"

I can't wait to use this...I'm going to spray paint the pipe shiny metallic gray though :) If you decide to make this, I'd LOVE to see pictures and hear all about it!

Go check out all the cool things that teachers have made, over at:

Readers' Theater Partner Play FREEBIE

I've really been motivated recently to create more partner and trio plays for my students to use during the Read to Someone group of our Daily 6. So I was looking through my classroom library, trying to pull out some stories that lend themselves to being retold by two characters and I came across Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain...such a classic!  Do you remember seeing it on Reading Rainbow as a kid??

Someday I want to travel to West Africa and see what I've only read about in books.  I especially want to visit Senegal because I speak French and have worked with some great Senegalese people via Concordia Language Villages.

Go check out all of the great FREE activities and lessons over at
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

The Three Billy Goats Gruff Freebie

I have been doing most of my Readers' Theater lately in my small reading groups.  I did the Cat the Hat with 2 groups of 7 and Green Eggs & Ham and I Can Read With My Eyes Shut with groups of 2.  I really push fluency hard this time of year with my first graders and I'm hearing some wonderful results!  

I downloaded a Fluency Bootcamp packet from MrsJordanReads last year and finally pulled it out and am using parts of it right now.  She categorizes fluency as: pace, phrasing, expression & punctuation.  I had never really thought of fluency broken down like this, but I agree and am enjoying stressing pace, phrasing and expression and the kids have totally picked up on the lingo!

Speaking of's my FAVORITE way to work on it: Readers' Theater!
I hope you enjoy this script!

Is the grass always greener on the other side?
I know 3 billy goats who think it soon as they get past a grumpy old troll!  This classic tale can be brought to life by your students with this Readers' Theater play.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Beautiful Nails...

I'm not a girl who has her nails done, but I envy those who do.
Don't get me wrong, I love pedicures and always get one when we're going on vacation and my toes are sure to see the light of day.  But I once had a manicure and hated it, even though I love the look of well polished fingernails.  I just don't have the time or the still hand to do my nails regularly.  But I'm going to make more of an effort because I came across a new for me anyway.  

A nail polish pen seems like an easy, time-saving solution!  

I started using another product again recently to make my hands/fingers/nails look and feel smooth. I bought this a while ago and kind of forgot about it and there was just a bit left.  But I saw something on Pinterest, I think, about mixing olive oil and sugar for an exfoliating hand scrub.  So I added both ingredients to what was left and now keep it in the shower so I can treat my hands daily!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Great Dr. Seuss Camera App

Our school is celebrating "The King of Rhyming" (as my kiddos and I call him), Dr. Seuss, all this week.  I came across a VERY COOL iPhone app this weekend via AppsGoneFree.  It's called Dr. Seuss Cat Cam:

There are various foregrounds to choose from and then you line your camera up with a student, so they appear in the picture.  I'm going to take pictures of my kiddos with their favorite Seuss books and make a book out of it!

Monday, March 4, 2013

How to Choose a Book Poster

Click on the poster to grab it!

Go and check out all the great Freebies being shared on the Manic Monday blog, run by the fabulous Charity!

Classroom freebies

Sunday, March 3, 2013

TPT Sale!

Three great things are or have happened recently:

#3 I've hit 100 followers on TPT! 
#2 It's Dr. Seuss week in my classroom
#1. We bought a fabulous new house AND sold our 
       current house in less than 24 hours!!

I'm so happy I'm throwing a sale at my TPT store on Sunday March 3rd & Monday March 4th!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Two Dr. Seuss Partner Plays

Saturday March 2nd is the immortal Dr. Seuss' birthday and I know we're all planning lots of fun things to do with our kiddos to celebrate his literary genius! Add these two partner plays to your list of things to do to bring his books to life.

I've seen lots of cute Dr. Seuss snack ideas, so I'm planning a special snack (that we'll all make) for each day next week.  Of course we'll eat green eggs and ham!

Find lots of more great ideas and free things over at Freebie Friday