Friday, June 29, 2012

Here she is . . .Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies!

Well, here it is! I promised you a guest post from an amazing blogger . . .and here she is! 
 Thanks bunches Jennifer! XO 
I really appreciate you being a part of our celebration for reaching 300 followers (okay 299 to be exact) but close enough, don't ya think?

I am so honored to be a guest host for Lory
to honor her reaching 300 followers!
I am Jennifer from 
I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss labeling.  I get a lot of great feedback from teachers concerning my labeling packs, my husband calls me the 'labeling queen'  
But I want folks outside early childhood teaching to know that there is a reason why I (and so many other teachers) use labeling in our classrooms. 
In the past, I have had people ask why I do labeling... 
is it on our "curriculum" or part of our "standards"?

Labeling is definitely something that is important for early learners, it adds connections to words- that the word has a meaning, it is something concrete (a noun usually). Young kids need practice making those connections between print and their world, it also leads to being able to independently fill in graphic organizers, identifying and describing parts of things later- most anything that encourages writing, speaking, reading in a station is valuable for young children.  Most early childhood teachers have and use labels all around their room, it is just part of our classrooms to label the "door", the "desk", the "computer", etc. 

 I don't know that labeling is a "standard" itself, anymore than 'playing with dice' is...but it is a valuable tool that teachers can use to get their students to practice skills that are standards.  We are generally talking about early childhood when it comes to labeling, kids who are focusing on print rich environments are not always capable to doing a ton of things independently without a lot of practice in stations...labeling is fun to them, something they can be successful with, and it gets them involved in a thematic unit.  While they are working together to complete one, they are having to sound out words (generally decodable) and then write them for the correct part. 

Here is a little here or on the picture to get your copy =)  
Labeling is fun to include in seasonal and thematic units, as well as in your writing station.  I don't exactly teach "labeling" in my is just a tool to make connections and to get my kids reading, writing, and interacting. 
(and they love it, too!)

I hope you enjoyed this little talk and share about why I do labeling in my classroom =)
Visit my blog:

Winner for Linky Party!

Winner! Congratulations to Lisa from Stuff N Such for winning the Melonheadz Clip Art for participating in the Crafty Linky Party! Thanks Lisa! Check your email. :)

Surprise Guest Blogger Saturday and Classroom Decor Find

Hey EveRyBody! I hope you had a great week. Today I wanted to share something I found recently for my classroom. Well, remember when I told you about that awesome large table/ottoman from Hobby Lobby? Pretty much a life changing event! Well, last weekend I was in Burlington Coat Factory and guess what?! I ran upon these two bean bag chairs and little table! (not to mention the little magazine box) There were only 2 of these chairs in the store and they matched PeRfEcTlY.

How is that for great luck :)

My other big news is that I have a super awesome surprise for you tomorrow. We will be visited by a guest blogger who is well. . .AMAZING! She is so creative and fun and is just a wonderfully generous, helpful person. I'm not going to tell you . . .you will have to wait until Saturday morning to find out who it is.  . .:)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

News and Fun (Bright Animal Print) and Free Melonheadz

Hi Everybody! I hope you are having a nice evening. :) I have great news! For those linking up for the Crafty Linky Party, remember that once the party is over, 
I will be choosing 1 person that linked up, through random  
number generator to win 1 set of clip art from Nikki at Melonheadz. Well, Nikki has offered to throw in the matching set in b/w as well! Thanks Nikki! That will make it a full set in color and black/white. yay!

Also, guess what! My Washi Tape came today. I have to figure out what I am going to try with it and get busy. . .I will keep you updated on that. . .:)

I found the most adorable bright animal print paper on ETSY. I love it. I decided to try it out for my own Teacher's Notebook. Have a peek:

There are 26 pages in total.
I have added it to my TpT Store.
Click HERE

Bye for now!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Washi Tape Newbie and Crafty Linky Party!

Greeting everybody! Did you know that there is something called "Washi Tape" that is great for crafts? I think most everyone but me knew about this nifty item! Once again, late to the party! Well, I saw some on TV the other day and decided to give it a try. I ordered a set that has various colors in it, it looks like fun. While I am waiting for it to arrive in the mail, I have to know, "What do I do with it?" 
Have you ever used Washi Tape for any kind of craft or project?

Here is one idea I found from
I think it would be cute for ink pen storage on my desk.

  Show me your idea . . .

So then I thought, lets have a Crafty Linky Party! 

If you have a craft you love either with or without Washi Tape then come on and link up. It will be fun. :)

Here's what you need to know:

1. Share a favorite craft idea. It can be school or non school related. It can be a description or a photo, original or an idea you've seen somewhere else and think looks interesting, and hope to try one day.
2. Link up below.
3. I have included a graphic for you to use in your post, so that others can find their way over here to join in.
4. One person will be chosen by Random Number Generator at the end of the Linky Party to win 1 set of clip art, of your choice from Melonheadz Illustrating.

Link up below! Yay!

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We have used Systematic Sight Word Instruction for Reading Success for the past 4 years and really like it. We use the worksheets as spelling homework and play fun sight word games for spelling practice in class.  One of the games I like is Roll and Read.  I have the students play it with a partner.  Each pair will need one dice.  After they roll, they read the sentence and tally the number.  I have them play until they get 20 tallies. Here are 35 weeks of Roll and Read to go with the sight word sentences used in this program.Click here for Roll and Read

Link Up

Good Morning! It is 4:57 a.m. (on summer vacation, no less) and I am up on the computer because of a sinus headache! Blah! I am linking up with MJ of Teaching in Heels for

Honestly, while I am writing this with a stuffy nose and aching head I at this early hour (when I just went to sleep about 1 am to begin with) I have no idea if today is Tuesday or yesterday was Tuesday and it requires more thinking than I can do, but the linky party is still open so here I am!

MJ just listed her first item at TpT, which is so exciting. I have to say I love TpT! So many wonderful things all in one place. I don't think I ever visit without buying at least 1 thing. My hubby has made more than one late night trip to Walmart to buy ink for the printer so that I could print out my purchase. :) He is a patient man . . .

I have started my own TpT also, although most of my items  are free. Come on over!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

FUN Find at Hobby Lobby and Freebie!

Hi Everybody! I mentioned the other day that I went inside a "Hobby Lobby" for the first time last week while we were in Las Vegas. Well, I am so jealous of anyone that lives near one of these awesome stores. We are  few hours away, which actually might be a good thing or I would be there all the time. Anyway, WOW. . . so much stuff to look at and such a great variety! I happened across a piece of furniture that I really, really wanted for my classroom. Well, it was quite large and so my husband said let's come back and get it on our way out of town tomorrow so that we can measure and make sure it will fit in the car. That's what we did and here it is . . . . I think it will be super cute in my reading corner. It would have been PeRFEcT if it had been purple instead of pink on the top but it will still work well. It is quite a nice size at 32 inches wide by 16 inches tall.

Also, I have a freebie to share if you pass out a folder of important papers at Back to School Night. I run mine off on card stock and glue to the front of a file folder.  
The printable file includes Kindergarten through Third Grade

Click HERE to print

Have a nice evening :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Idea and Teacher Notebook Freebie

Happy Monday everybody. It is beautiful weather here in Southern Utah. My big project today has been cleaning out and organizing my closet. It is a big job but is very rewarding at the same time. Over the weekend, my organizing task was the drawers and cabinets in the master bathroom. I am going to keep working my way along . . .I wanted to share a book with you today.

 I have been reading:

and I really like it. 
One of the sections in the book is about setting up a Teacher's Notebook to help with organization.
We have had a semi-version of this at our school in the past, but it wasn't cute (which is important, right?) and it was more narrow in focus. I have decided to tweak it a little and have started deciding what I will include. I am sure it will be a bit of trial and error to see what works for me. 

Here is what I have started . . .some divider pages for the different sections. I am going to trim mine and attach to cute card stock, and then put in page protectors. There are 3 complete sets in the file (81 pages total). Print your fave pattern  or mix and match! If you think of a section that I didn't include and you need, email me and I will add it to my to do list and send it to you when finished.

Have a great day!

Click HERE to print

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

I am linking up for Classroom Freebies at Manic Mondays!
CLICK HERE to pop on over for lots of great free resources!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hi Everybody! Thanks for the warm wishes! Trip . . .

Hi friends! I want to thank you sooo much for the thoughts and wishes last week for our family and the loss of my father-in-law. You are so sweet and I really appreciate the support of this little community. We got through the week and everything was very lovely. Our 19 year old son who is a trumpeter had the honor of playing Taps for his own grandfather, who was a WWII veteran. A very poignant moment . . .

The last couple of days, we have been out of town in honor of my husband's retirement. He is a long time educator in both the public schools and on the university level. Yep, for the first time, I will be the only one getting up to the alarm when school starts in the fall . . . trudging to work uphill both ways in the dark and cold  . . .

Anyway, back to the trip. We went to Las Vegas for a couple of days, which is about 2 and 1/2 hours drive from our house. We go every once in a while to shop, eat buffets and have a change of scenery. Yes, you read that correctly, unlike other people who go to Vegas, we really do go to shop! We have Dillards, Walmart, Costco, Kohls, JC Penney, Bed, Bath and Beyond etc in our area but if we want more variety than that we either go 2 1/2 hours south to Vegas or 3 hours north to Provo.

Well, I surprised my husband with where we stayed in honor of his retirement. We stayed at "The Cosmopolitan" and it was beautiful. We had a balcony and an amazing view of the Bellagio Fountains.

Here are a few pictures, but they will not do it justice. . .the property and suites are beautiful.

But wait, here was the most exciting part . . .The. Parking. Garage. I am so serious . . .we loved it. First of all, there are digital signs that tell how many open parking places are available on each level . . .no more driving around and around looking for a non-existent parking spot. 

Wait, there's more . . .all of the individual parking spots have a light over them (green-available, red-taken, blue-handicapped) so that you know exactly where you can park as you look down each row!!! (Sorry for the poor picture)

We decided that it was completely worth the price we paid for this outstanding hotel just to see the parking garage . . .I know, I know, we are goofballs!

Well, that's it for now. I've got some school stuff I will start blogging about soon, as we start to get re-organized here at home. I hope you have a nice evening!

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