Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Back-to-School Mixer LINKY PARTY

I was inspired to create this linky after reading all of the Liebster Award posts. My favorite part of reading & writing my own post was the 11 random facts, which leads me to this linky.

It's a mixer, so it's all about the random facts about you that we wouldn't normally know from reading your blog. Link up your post with 10-20 random facts about you (try to include pictures when & where you can, not necessary, but always fun) and remember the rule of 2, be sure to leave some comment love on 2 other bloggers' posts that have linked up.

Now without further adieu here are random things about me:

1.) I'm CDO - that's OCD but alphabetized, everything has it's place & I will be right behind you putting something back correctly or shifting it's position if you didn't put it where it belongs and at the right angle. Books, dvd's, & anything else that can be is alphabetized or in numerical order.

2.) My toe nails HAVE to be painted if I'm wearing any kind of open-toed shoe, it kind of sceeves me out to see unpainted toe nails in sandals.

3.) Nestle's Bunch-a-Crunch is my all time favorite candy. There's just something about that chocolately crunch that I can't get enough of.

4.) I don't particularly care for small dogs, they make me nervous. The 2 times I've been bitten by a dog in my life both times were by small dogs & unprovoked. I will take my in-laws 175lb Great Dane any day over a little anything.
My big guy (not 175, but was pushing 80 lbs when he died)

5.) I  grew up in a log cabin, not like back woods style, but my dad's house is built from logs & has log walls (brown everywhere & not a paint can in sight).
My hubs & I long before we were married, but you see what I mean by log walls...everywhere!

6.) My closet is color coded & my shoes are organized by style (sandals, flip flops, heals, sneakers, boots, etc.) See #1 if necessary.

7.) My husband & I have been married for 3 years, but have been together for 10 (this past March).
Just a few shots of us through the years, most of these are more recent, except the bottom left. 
But we've been together since I was this young. Sorry I don't have a picture of the 2 of us together @ prom on this computer. But I was 17 here, this is from my Senior prom. We had started dating about a month before this & been together ever since.
Senior Prom 2003

8.) There are 9 grand-children in my family & my sister & I are the only ones that don't have a brother, we're the only ones with a sister.  And she's my BEST FRIEND!
My sister & I, she's my rock!
My poor dad...he didn't finally get the boy he'd been wishing for until he had a Grandson.
The apple of Grandpa's Eye!!!
9.) I LOVE zombies (I think I've mentioned that before). But not just movies, video games & tv shows as well.
We were shooting zombies on the Wii & my sister thought it would be a good photo op.
10.) This is so weird but when I was pregnant, I craved the smell of tires (rubber). I didn't want to eat them, I just wanted to smell them. I would walk by the tire section in SAM's Club & linger a little as I walked out, but that wasn't concentrated enough. I really wanted to go to a store that sold nothing by tires....a real concentrated smell.
Me @ about 34 or 35 weeks (I think, I don't remember, I delivered @ 36&1/2 wks)

11.) I've seen 3 litters of puppies born & helped raise 2 of those litters for the 1st 8 weeks of their life.
My boy as a baby, before he was officially ours. 

12.) We are nuts about our dogs (if it wasn't obvious by the 3 litters of pups I've seen born & how much I talk about them). Even though there are 3 litters we are still close with the majority of the pups & their families & every fall we have a birthday party for all of them (The 1st litter was born in September, the 2nd the following October, which is why we celebrate in the Fall & once the new pups came we just threw them in there too.)
This was from 2 years ago (before the new puppies were born) Out of 17 total puppies, there were 14 there that day plus their dad & grandmom (she's the black lab). 

13.) My dad started a Sunday night ice cream tradition with me when I was about 2. And now milkshakes/ice cream are my extreme weakness.

14.) When deciding on a name for our son, my husband was going through superhero's & was saying "No" to all of them, until he came to Wolverine. I liked the name Logan. So I agreed. My husband thinks of Wolverine with the name Logan (because that was his real name in the movie), while I think of Logan from Gilmore Girls. It's a win win!!!

15.) This one isn't about me but since we've been together just shy of forever & I think this is quite funny, I'm going to mention it. In the 11 years since we started driving, my hubby has had 4 vehicles & all of them have been in the red family. These are the vehicles he's had (these aren't his, just pics I found to give you an idea).

16.) I love going "down the shore" (can you tell I'm from New Jersey or what), but I don't particularly care for the sand or the ocean (mainly the things in the ocean)...ok let me revise this then I LOVE going to the boardwalk, especially to walk the boards in the evening.

17.) I love the smell of a campfire, it reminds me of spending a week in Maine camping every summer growing up.

18.) I've been on the scary looking roller coaster "King da Ka" @ Six Flags Great Adventure 3 TIMES, the first time I almost cried when it was over because nothing can prepare you for that ride.

Here's a little video I found on Youtube of someone on the ride. Yes the height is scary, but it's the speed that gets you. According to Six Flag Great Adventure's website you go from 0-128mph in 3 point 5 seconds, it's unreal.

19.) And let's finish with a few random favorites:
  • Color: Red
  • Food: Pierogies
  • Coke or Pepsi: Coke
  • Show(s) Past & Present: Real Housewives of NJ, Top Chef, Shameless, Nurse Jackie, Roseanne, 90210 (the original)
I hope to see you join this fun B2S Mixer Linky Party & get to know more about all my fabulous followers. And feel free to spread the word!!!

    Tuesday, July 30, 2013

    Back-to-School GIVEAWAY of the Quietest Classroom Sharpener

    About a week or so ago I did a review for The Quietest Classroom Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies & now this week I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY!!!! Wahoo!!! Check out my review here.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    This really is the best classroom sharpener, enter for your chance to win one for your own classroom. Good luck!!!

    Sunday, July 28, 2013

    Sunday Smorgasbord & Let's Get Acquainted

    Today is a double linky kind of day. First up is Sunday Smorgasbord with Michelle from Fabulous in First.

    Yesterday my little guy & I tagged along with my dad & step-mom to take the dogs to the beach. It was an impromptu trip on our part, we stopped by for a visit & they asked if we wanted to go, which is why my little one is only in his diaper instead of a bathing suit. But he had fun watching all the dogs (we were at a dog beach), playing, & being with Nan & Grandpa.

    We met these big cuties while there too. They were so sweet & my little man just loved the "BIG doggies" so much that he tried to follow them down the beach. I just love Great Danes & always wanted one & one day we will, which will make my hubby happy, he grew up with nothing but Great Danes.

    And my saga on obtaining a full time teaching position continues. This "hiring season" I've gotten 4 interviews (the most I've ever gotten in a season). I had the chance to interview for a resource room position at our 3rd/4th grade building, which happened almost a month ago & I still haven't heard anything. Now that building has another position open & come to find out a teacher from my building interviewed for the position, along with 3 part-timers in the district. Now for me this is a dream come true, I would love for the teacher from my building to get the job because I WOULD LOVE a classroom position in my building. So right now I'm full of anxiety & hoping this will work out the way I'm hoping it will.

    Join me on Wednesday for my B2S (Back-to-School) Mixer Linky party. You can link up anytime during the month of August. It's a mixer so you can share any random things about you that we might not know just from reading your blog. As we ourselves prepare Getting-to-Know-You & ice breaker activities this will be a fun way for us to get to know more about each other.

    The next linky I'm joining today is Mrs. Reed from Flying into First's Let's Get Acquainted Linky & this week's topic is Upcoming School Year Goals.

    Implement Guided Math more effectively. I went to a workshop hosted by my district's math coach on Guided Math & my eyes have been opened. Apparently it is not as lengthy as Guided Reading, you're only suppose to spend 5-15 minutes with a group. I feel like this is more manageable now. The centers portion I have that down, it was the pulling groups part that I was struggling with.

    Guided Reading. Who isn't forever tweaking their approach or organization system for Guided Reading? Every year I feel that it ends up looking different for me & that's even as the year progresses. This year I want to find what works for us at the beginning of the year & stick with  it.

    I want to be more organized this year. My room is already pretty organized, yet I always end up with piles of stuff laying all over, especially behind my table & it bugs the tar out of me. AVOID the piles, this is my goal!

    I can't wait to read your Sunday Smorgasbord posts & your goals for this year. AND I hope you'll link up with me starting Wednesday for the B2S Mixer!!!

    Friday, July 26, 2013

    Giveaway Winner & Favorite Pins Friday

    First, we have a winner for my Brights & Polka Dot Classroom Decor pack giveaway. Congratulations to Michelle C!!! Check your e-mail! 

    For everyone else everything from the giveaway will be posted in my Tpt store in just a little while & remember to check out my Facebook Fan Freebie (hint, hint something from the decor pack is there...wink, wink)

    Ok moving on....

    I'm linking up (okay maybe not so much "linking up" since Cara is in Chicago this weekend, but I'm still posting some of my favorite pins) with Cara from The First Grade Parade for Favorite Pins Friday.

    I'm so sorry I completely forget who posted about this website to their Facebook (if it was you let me know & I'll give you credit for it...sorry), but I really love it. It covers math, word, & reading games. Click the picture to check it out for yourself.

    I wish I would of saw this or thought of it when I taught Kinder a few years ago, because it would of saved me a lot of aggravation when the wind would blow the kids' projects off the window sill.
    Source: Apples and ABC's

    Who doesn't want to be a part of a club? And these monthly themed homework tags are adorable & I'm sure the kids would love collecting them.
    Source: Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera

    I love this idea because of the magnets with the kiddo's pictures in them. I think it's just more fun for them when they are moving a magnet with their picture in it instead of their number.
    Source: First Grader at Last

    Ok that's it for now. These were just a few of my favorites from this week, now I need to work on uploading this decor pack to Tpt. 

    Oh P.S....I'm thinking I would like to host a Back-to-School Getting-to-Know-You/Ice-Breaker linky...real soon...maybe next week. I'll start working on the button & the logistics this weekend. Watch for it next week!

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013

    Ten Pin Linky - Back to School & my giveaway

    Linking up for the last time with Ashley from Just Reed for her Ten Pin Linky. :( This makes me sad, I really loved this summer linky. This week's theme is Back to School Ideas & here are some of my favorite ideas.

    1.) Check out this Classroom Job pack from Andrea Knight's Tpt store. I just love the idea of having applications & interview questions for classroom jobs & you can adapt her pack to younger students as well.
    Source: Andrea Knight

    2.) What an ingenious idea. Having a color cup system as student tables to help them manage their voice levels. Check out Charity's video post about it. 
    Source: The Organized Classroom Blog

    3.) This is such a cute idea to have pictures of the students with the class rules as speech bubbles.
    Source: The Ins and Outs

    4.) If I still taught Kinder I would definitely do this (maybe even 1st or 2nd). I sent my Kinders magic dust to help them not be nervous on the first day of school & this reminds me of that. Love! Love! Love!
    Source: A Cupcake for the Teacher

    5.) I'm such a word game nerd that I would definitely do this bulletin board, if the space was available. I would have so much fun just figuring out where to put whose name. 
    Source: Fine Craft Guild

    6.) I love this Heart Map as a Getting-to-Know-You activity for older kids (2nd [maybe] & up)
    Source: The First Grade Parade

    7.) And I love this one for the little guys (K&1st)
    Source: Miss Kindergarten

    8.) When I saw this activity I thought it would be such a cute activity for the beginning of the year & the end of the year & see the kids answers & how they've changed.
    Source: Sailing into Second

    9.) I'm really loving the idea of asking the students what they expect from me and the school year and themselves.
    Source: Mrs. Robinson's Classroom Blog

    I also like these options.

    Source: Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

    Source: Teaching and Learning Together

    10.) Such a cute idea to see the reflection of summer in the sunglasses.
    Source: A Love 4 Teaching

    Don't forget to link up with Ashley & share your favorite Back-to-School ideas! Check out my Pinterest page for more ideas.

    And if you haven't checked out my Brights & Polka Dot classroom decor pack, check out my post & enter for your chance to win it before you can buy it, you have one more day to enter!!!

    I can't wait to see your favorite pins!!!

    Monday, July 22, 2013

    Hosting a Giveaway & won a giveaway

    Just a quick post tonight. I wanted to give a big thank you to Amy from 24/7 Teacher. I won her Book Set #3 from her Book Giveaway. I was so excited when I got the mail today & saw the box, it was like Christmas.

    I'm SUPER excited about the book "I Wanna Iguana" I have a pin about using that book as a mentor text for persuasive writing. Click the picture to go to Conversations in Literacy's post about it.

    And Dooby, Dooby Moo. Come on who doesn't love Doreen Cronin's books? I think they're hilarious. I have this book, but it'll be nice for my kiddos to have a copy in the classroom library as well. :)

    And make sure to check out my classroom decor giveaway. My first go at creating a classroom decor pack & I'm pretty proud. I plan on using it myself this year.

    Everything in this pack will be up for sale in my Tpt store by the end of the week as a bundled pack & individual items.

    Make sure to stop by my Monday Made It post & enter for you chance to win the decor pack & "may the odds be ever in your favor!"

    Sunday, July 21, 2013

    Monday Made It & a GIVEAWAY - Brights & Polka Dot Classroom Decor

    I feel like I've been neglecting this little blog of mine because I haven't posted anything since Thursday & honestly I've barely been blog stalking either {gasp}. I know, I know. Shame on me. But my Monday Made It is the reason why I've been so absent lately. I'm FINALLY FINISHED my classroom decor pack. I got a spurt of inspiration to finish this weekend. So I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It to show it off & host a win-it before you can buy it giveaway.
    First I have to give a shout out to Jivey for her post about using Picasa to make collages to use as previews and A+ Firsties for her post specifically on Picasa. I've used Picasa before but it's nice to have a point of reference when doing something for the first time.

    With that here are the previews for the different components of my Brights & Polka Dots Classroom Decor pack. Each picture will be linked to my Tpt store by the end of the week, but for now I will be hosting a giveaway to win the entire pack before it goes up in the store.

    Alphabet Posters

    Calendar Pieces

    Days in School Cards
    Do you keep track of how many days you've been in school, as a part of your calendar area? These pieces will be perfect for that.

    Daily Schedule Header
    Let your kiddos know what will happen during the day with schedule cards.

    EDITABLE Schedule Cards
    Use these editable cards (in Powerpoint) to fit your specific classroom schedule.

    Name Tags
    Perfect for the kiddos desks.

    Number Posters

    Class Set of Numbers
    Need numbers for your students cubbies, folders, book bins, etc. Here they are.

    Word Wall Headers
    I will be creating Dolch Sight Word cards for the different lists to go with this pack & if I have time I'll also make the Fry words.

    Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow


    Everything will be up in my store by the end of the week, individually & as a bundle. Enter the giveaway below to win it!!! The giveaway will run from July 22 to July 26.