Blog Hoppin'

The beginning of school has just been CRAZY!  I come home exhausted and fall into a pile on the sofa!!  Way too many new things going on for the beginning of the year from new copy procedures to new evaluation procedures to common core integration to good-by classroom computers, hello iPads. Whew!

After being incognito for too long, I'm hoppin' over to Tori's Teacher Tips for her Teacher Tips Tuesday.  I'm sharing some of my tips for guided reading!  See you there!



And the winner is . . .

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to everyone who entered!  I hope to have another giveaway soon, so keep your peepers open!  Gotta run!  It's CRUNCH time!  School starts TOMORROW!!!



Hey, all!  I'm linky up with Farly at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the FIRST time!  It's August and Currently. . .

Tag, you're it!  Here's her button!


Whoop! Whoop! 100 Followers!!!

AMAZING!  That's all I can say!  AMAZING!  It's unbelievable that I've reached 100 followers since beginning this blogging journey in June!  A HUGE THANK YOU  to all of my sweet followers for making this possible!

So, it's time for my first GIVEAWAY! Woo Hoo!

These are the prizes that you could win:


Sound like a good deal??  There will be one winner!

Ok!  I'm going to try the Rafflecopter thing!  We'll see how it goes!  I'm keepin' my fingers crossed!

The giveaway begins today and ends Saturday at midnight.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and spread the word!


A New Award!!

I have been so very blessed to be awarded the

by two very sweet bloggers, Love to Learn and Sweeties in Second!  I cannot thank these two wonderful ladies enough for thinking of my little blog when they chose their 5 recipients!  If you haven't visited their blogs, you must go check them out as soon as you leave here!

Now onto the fun part!!  Here are the rules for the Liebster Blog Award:

        1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
        2. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
        3. Present the award to 5 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers and leave them a comment on their blog.

Easy-peasy rules!  So notice how  beautiful the award looks on the left!
And now I would like to award the Liebster Blog Award to the following amazing bloggers!

These are some wonderful newbie bloggers!  Head on over to their blogs and check them out!


Newbie Blog Hop

All over Blogland I’ve seen this


since I’m a Newbie, I thought I’d better link up with Janis at Third Grade is the Place forMe and share my Newbie facts:

          1. what state you are in
          2. your current teaching position
          3. your teaching experience
          4. when you started blogging
          5. share a blogging tip / blogging resource

1. I lived in Ohio until I graduated from Miami Univ. but now live in Indiana.

2. I am moving from first grade to second this year.

3. I taught Title I reading my first year. Then, I taught first grade for 30 years. I moved to second for the next 3 years and then I volunteered to move back to first last year because of budget cuts—only 2 second grades. Now I’m back in second!

4. I created my blog back in the summer of 2011 and sat with no posts for a year. I decided this summer to finally take the plunge and start writing.

5. Just be yourself! Google questions on how to do things—there are some great tutorials available!


Rainy Days and Tuesday!

That's not exactly how the song goes but it fits for today!  Rain has FINALLY descended upon northeast Indiana!! The brown grass is starting to show a bit of green!!  Hip Hip HOORAY!!!

I'm locked in the breakfast nook with my two best buddies, Cass and Maddie, (the dogs) listening to the sounds of my carpets being cleaned!  Boy oh boy did they ever need it!  Two big dogs running around with huge paws, drooly jowls, and who knows what else! sure makes for dirty floors!

BTS has set in with a FURY!  I am seriously panicking about the next few weeks.  I am headed off to Indy tonight for a Kristina Smekens conference on Launching the Writing Workshop.  I can always use more advice on starting that up since writing is just not my best quality!  Then next week I'm off to Bloomington for a 3 day Literacy Conference with some big names--Ellen Keene, Katie Wood Ray, Richard Allington, to name the ones I'm interested in.  Tim Rasinski was supposed to be there but had to cancel--drat!

So I've been TRYING to get into my classroom.  But, NO!  The maintenance dept. decides it has to tar the parking lot!  Thank goodness for RAIN!  At least I've been able to get in the last few days to get a few things accomplished but we've got some training coming up and you know how it is when everyone starts coming in - lots of TALK and not much work!  August 10th is going to be here WAY  before I'm ready for it!!

Here are a few pictures of my room before:

This is looking in from the door.
 The view from the right corner.
 The view from the far left corner.

Just looks like a lot of tables and chairs, doesn't it!  Well, there are about 2 more tables in there than I had last year.  Go figure!  

I did manage to get things arranged, my room library back on the shelves and a few things up.  Here's what my word wall looks like.

This is actually the picture from last year.  We don't have the computers this year - now we have 4 iPads - so I moved the word wall down so it's more at kid eye level.  I really like using the Target Dollar Spot pocket charts and I'm hoping that with it being lower this year, it might be a bit more interactive!

No shortage of giveaways this summer!  Everyone must be joining up new blogs left and right!! Here are the latest!

Jenn at Finally in First is giving away her Decoding Strategies for Parents, an awesome reference guide to keep parents on track with what's happening at school! 

Amy at The Resource(ful) Room is have a Blogiversary!  Hurry her giveaway is almost over!

Sara at Miss V's Busy Bees has lined up some wonderful prizes from her bloggy friends!

Check out the giveaway at Teaching Joys!  Kohl's and Starbucks!!

Ta-Ta for now!


iPhone apps, Blog Design, Etc.

I absolutely LOVE my iPhone!  My sweet son, Gregory, got it for me on my birthday 2 years ago.  He even added me to his plan and pays for it! Isn't he a doll!

I don't know what I did without it! I am amazed at all the apps available and so when I saw on FB that Hope at 2nd Grade Shenanigans was hosting a linky party for iPhone apps (she just joined the crowd!), I had to link up!

Isn't this button just the cutest thing!!

Well, for my app I'm going to recommend a teacher tool that I use all the time - Groovy Grader.
I am forever misplacing my easy grader and this app does exactly the same thing!  And, best of all it is FREE!

Now, if you don't have to give grades, here is another app that might be useful to you - Common Core Standards.  That's right!  You can download the standards right to your iPhone or iPad and have them with you ALL the time!  Just what you wanted!!!  You can get the standards for K-12 with one app or K-6 with another.  And, they're both FREE!

On to blog design - I've been craving a new design for my blog!  As I'm wandering around visiting all the beautiful designs in Blogland, I'd like something that is lighter, more airy, and a bit more school themed.  I'm  a pastel kinda girl!  So, when I saw that Christi at Ms. Fultz' Corner and Design by Christi is giving away a blog makeover, I'm so signing up!!  If you have any suggestions for me, leave a comment!  

Okay, now it's etc. time which of course is GIVEAWAYS!!!  

Hey, this is so worth it!!  I won 2 Hot Dot sets and a Hot Dot pen at Denise's Yearn to Learn Giveaway!

Courtney at Swimming Into Second us celebrating 1000 followers with 10 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS!


I have tried to win one of these Easi-Speak Digital Microphones from Learning Resources in so many giveaways this summer!!  Next chance is at Teaching with Love & Laughter in Lori's giveaway!

Almost the weekend!


Must Have Picture Books!

I'm excited to join my first linky party for:

over at The Teacher Wife!  This is such an awesome linky because who doesn't need more books!  I already have well over 2000 but who's counting???  I love when my new students walk in the first day and spy the books filling the shelves over their mailboxes.  Then, their eyes catch sight of the room library.  But by far my favorite part is when, for some reason, I open one set of the cupboard doors over the cubbies and they catch a glimpse of the shelves of more books hidden there!  Eyes get huge and whispers start--she's got even more in THERE!  Love it!

So, with that many it's hard to decide but here are some of my favorites:

Kiddos are fascinated by the pictures in Steve Jenkins book Actual Size because true to the title all the animal parts included are the actual size.  Awesome fold-out pages!

Helen Lester is one of my favorite authors for the classroom!  She sure knows kids and Hooway for Wodney Wat is one of her best!  I love the story of poor, bullied Rodney, who can't pronounce the "r" sound, but becomes a hero when he defeats the new classroom bully!  A great story for BTS!  

Another fav for kiddos is David McPhail!  For beginning readers, you can't beat Edward and the Pirates! Edward is a voracious reader and teaches the illiterate pirates a thing or two about reading when they visit him one night!

A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue  by Julia Cook gives kiddos the tools to determine what is tattling and what is telling.  Josh doesn't have any friends because of his tattling until he gets a visit from the Tattle Prince and learns the "rules."  Kids love MYOB-Mind Your Own Beeswax!


Maybe it's the 23 days of 90 degree or over temps that made me think of this book!  Stranger in the Woods is one of my all time favorites!!!  The pictures are outstanding and the first pages describing the snow are beautifully written!  The story is written from the animals point of view about the "stranger" and you can have a blast with the animal sounds.  Carl Sams II and Jean Stoick based the story on actual experiences they had with forest animals.

That's my 5!  I hope I chose some new titles for you to think about the next time you're in the book store or shopping online!

No post would be complete without the summer's latest and greatest giveaways, so here goes!

Simply Kinder is giving away a $25 gift certificate to TpT!

Lory at Fun for First is giving away amazing prizes with her bloggie friends!

Win 6 items of your choice from Ms. Fiorini's Stadium store and a $25 gift certificate!

Fabulous in First is having an I Love CTP! giveaway and you could win the above set!

 Nicole at Rowdy in Room 300 is celebrating 500 followers and will custom make one of these adorable burlap signs for 2 winners!

Miss I's Class has soooo many prizes in her giveaway!  Check it out!
Good Luck!


Shopping Spree & Giveaway

Two of my FAVORITE things!  Doesn't get any better than THAT!

Let's start with THE giveaway:

I am soooo excited to be part of my FIRST giveaway!!  I am contributing this


Marie's 300 follower giveaway at The Hands-On Teacher

So head on over there and enter for some AMAZING prizes!  Three winners will be selected on Sunday, July 22!

On to SHOPPING!!!  With so much talk about BTS sales and Target putting out their Dollar Spot items, I decided on Saturday that I better hustle on down to Fort Wayne to check it out before everything was GONE!

So here are my finds...

The markers and the rulers on the left are for my birthday box.  I love the mini pocket charts and I don't have any in purple, so I got a couple of those.  I can always use more non-fiction books for my boys as well as book marks and stickers.  I really like the quarter-size  lined dry erase boards.  I think they'll be perfect for everyone to show an answer quickly during instruction.  Might have the kiddos keep them in their seat sacks??

Here's pix #2 of Dr. Seuss stuff:

The bags are just adorable!!  I'm going to use them for Read to Someone reading bags.  I'll share more about that later.  I got enough pencils and erasers for everyone in March for the birthday celebration.  There were stickers in the pix above that I missed for this one!

After Target, it was off to the Dollar Store to see what goodies I could find there!

Not as much of a haul but I did find a few things:  tap lights for Michelle Harper's Tap Light Cards, verb sentence strips for the word wall or maybe for a grammar wall, two writing frame pages to get us started at the beginning of the year (All About My Trip and My Favorite Things), some mechanical pencil lead (go through a TON of that with running records!) and the cutest dry erase markers to use with my dry erase boards from Target!  They even have an eraser on the end!!

Still need to visit the teachers' store but gotta check my supply at school to see exactly what I need!

Nothing like SCHOOL SUPPLIES  to get you in the mood for school!!

Before I let you go, there are some other giveaways happening out there in Blogland!

Casey at Second Grade Math Manic is having a giveaway featuring second grade bloggers!  Check out her amazing prizes!

Mrs. Castro is celebrating 100 followers at Mrs. Castro's Class with not 1, not 2, but 6 fantastic giveaways!

Denise at Yearn to Learn is giving away the winners choice of 2 individual sets of Hot Dots cards and one Hot Dot pen.

Sandra at Sweet Times in First is having a giveaway for math materials from Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks.
Good luck!  Have a great week!


Friday the 13th

Is 13 your lucky number???  I'm hopin' entering all these giveaways on Friday the 13th will be my lucky charm!

Janine at Faithful in First is celebrating 400 followers with a BLOCKBUSTER Giveaway!

Stacy at Simpson's Superstars giveaway will have 15 winners!

Jenn at a Pirate's Life for Us is celebrating her blog's first birthday!

You could win this adorable El Sippito Costume Set for your Kohl's Cares for Kids Skippy Jon Jones from Cheryl at Crayons & Curls.

Lacie at Polka Dots & Pencils has AWESOME prizes for her 100 follower giveaway!

Krissy at Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business has an easi-speak Digital Microphone to giveaway!

Candace at 005 Watkins' Way is hosting her first giveaway for 100 followers!


Lacey at Wild About Teaching has a MASSIVE giveaway going for 500 followers!

Okay!  In Indiana, you have about 50 minutes before lucky 13 runs out!  

Have a wonderful weekend!