Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thank you & New things to share!

I have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to the bloggy world and the year 2011.
I started my blog in April, slightly unsure of it's direction and slightly sure. I knew what I wanted to post about, but wasn't sure how it would all come together. Before I knew it I was caught up in the teacher blog world and I. AM. LOVIN. IT. I also try to throw in my crafting and baking projects as well. I have to thank everyone in the bloggy blog world for helping me get my feet wet. Especially Hadar, who answered my endless questions about how to do this, and how to do that. Now I get questions like that and love it! I am so glad to help when I can!

I have 3 blogging goals for 2012:

1. Post more freebies.
2. Comment more on others blogs, activities, and freebies.
3. Learn blog design html. (I REALLY want to design blogs. Someone. PLEASE help!)

I'd also like to use this post to introduce some new bloggers I have found & new clip art sites I have found. Now we can all start 2012 with new bloggers & clip art!

New bloggers:

 Gina teaches second grade and has JUST started her blog. Literally, her first post was yesterday and she has 2 followers. This is her first year teaching and she sounds ready to jump into the blogging world with 100%. She's already posting freebies!

 Julia is also in her first year of teaching and teaches pre-k. I love finding other pre-k bloggers. She is starting to post excellent units in her TpT store and is looking for more followers. Right now, she has 20. In the next week or so, her and I will be teaming up to offer a giveaway for her Winter Activity Pack & my Brr! Winter Activity Pack. (no, I have not posted about that pack yet!) Be sure to start following her so you know when the giveaway starts!

 I've shared some things recently about Mrs. Russell's blog. She too teaches pre-k and her ideas are amazing! I was instantly inspired to do so many activities with my kiddos after reading through her blog posts. She has 23 followers and I'd like to keep talking her up too! 

New clip art sites:

 I recently purchased clip art from here for my Winter pack. ADORABLE clip art! And through today (12/31) you can get 2 sets free when you purchase 2. It's an Etsy based site, you must check it out!

  Lauren from the first grade diaries is new the blogging scene, but she also does her own clip art. Just in the past few days she has set up her Etsy shop with her first clip art sets. Be sure to check her work out! So inspiring. I wish I knew how to create my own clip art! P.S. her pricing is great!

Be sure to check out all of these blogs and these new clip art sites! I can't wait to see more and more units created with their stuff! And again, thank you everyone for a great 2011 with my new blog! 

P.S. Don't forget. Still looking for that blog design html help! :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm more than fashionably late for this party..

I stepped away from bloggy land for a few days. I went to visit my sister, her family, and the rest of my family. I didn't take my laptop because I didn't plan on staying as long as I did. But I'm back! And I have a lot of blogging to catch up on, AND a party to attend!

Hadar & Kristin have teamed up to have an 11 in 11 linky party.

They have provided some suggestions for 11 things for your to answer. I plan to take their suggestions, unless I absolutely cannot decide on an answer. Then I might come up with my own! :) 

11. Favorite movie you watched:
   - Well, this has to be MOVIES. Never have I ever been in to Harry Potter. After my boyfriend made me watch ABC Family Harry Potter weekend several times & flips the channel at every commercial so I miss some parts, I felt it necessary to buy & watch all movies. I actually really like them. (Shocked myself with that one)

10. Favorite TV series:
    - Gossip Girl. I know, I know, aren't I a little old for this show? I can't help it. I have every season on DVD and it's my absolute favorite. I've also taking a liking to the Walking Dead. Zombie apocalypse anyone? 

9. Favorite restaurant:
   - I don't know if I have a favorite restaurant. My favorite local restaurant is called Stingray Sushi. Love. Their. Sushi. If you ever find yourself at the Delaware beaches & you love sushi, you must go.

8. Favorite new thing you tried:
   - Selling items on TpT and TN. I still feel like I have a long way to go, but I'm glad I started this adventure. It is fun creating items for my own classroom & sharing them with others. I also love taking requests and making things people are specifically looking for!

7. Favorite gift you got:
   - I love gifts. I love surprises. I love giving gifts. My boyfriend hands down gave me the best Christmas present & surprise this year. I wasn't expecting it. No it wasn't an engagement ring, but it's a lovely accessory for my arm...can you guess?

6. Favorite thing you pinned:
   - Okay. Really. Do ya'll honestly expect me to answer this one? I love everything I pin. I can't honestly choose just one thing. I just recently posted about multiple items I attempted off of pinterest. You can check that out here.

5. Favorite blog post:
   - This is a tricky one too. But I do have to say, I loved sharing how I organize ideas for themes. I think it's a great system and everyone should do this! You can check the post for that out here.

Um. Hopefully no one noticed my (clean) laundry in the background of this picture before I edited! How embarrassing! Embarrassing blog moment of 2011!

4. Best accomplishment:
   - I was proud of myself for completing my first year of teaching in June. I was also proud of myself for applying and getting accepted into the Masters program I wanted! 

3. Favorite picture:
   - I don't think I can answer this one. At least not yet. My boyfriend hates having his picture taken so I honestly don't think we've had one since last Christmas. I always love our annual sister Christmas pic in front of the tree, however, my camera battery was dead so I have to wait and get the picture from someone else! 

2. Favorite memory:
   - My sister announcing that she is pregnant with baby #2! She is going to be the 10th girl in the family, due in April! 
The first ultrasound picture!

1. Goal for 2012: 
  - General life goals: go to the gym at least 3x a week & DRINK.MORE.WATER. Don't we all have this goal? I'm absolutely horrible. 

  - Blogging goals: more freebies & comment more on other blogs!

Head over to Miss Kindergarten or Teeny Tiny Teacher to link up to the party! I'm sorry I'm so late. Hopefully they will still let me in! :)

P.S. Don't forget that the 50% off sale at my Teacher's Notebook store ends tomorrow! (Friday)

Monday, December 26, 2011

2011's Top 3 Posts

So Hadar has posted about this lovely linky party to post your top 3 blog posts with the most page views. It's being hosted by Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!

While I will never have 59,000 like Hadar does on her table top organizer, I was shocked by some of my numbers. However, this has made me wonder about a few things.

#1. Why do so many of my much older posts have the most page views? Have I gotten boring?

#2. Have all 4,254 of you actually tried to make the pumpkin puppy chow? Because I'd love to know how it turned out since I came up with this recipe all my own, AND I only see 2 comments. Hmmm.

#3. I don't have anything for three. Maybe I should have just said a couple things.

But, on to the Top 3. Drum roll please!

#1. Bug Word Clips- 6,614 page views
#2. Substitute Binder- 5,361 page views
#3. Pumpkin Puppy Chow- 4, 254 page views

I was PUMPED to find numbers in the thousands, let me tell you! Actually, shocked. When I first looked I'm thinking about maybe a couple hundred here, coupe hundred there. Nope. I was wrong.

I never look at my individual page view stats, so this was fun for me to actually take a peek. Now I might find myself doing it 2, 3, 4 times a day, but hey, it can be my secret.

Make sure you head over to her page and link up! You know, so I can compare yours to mine and everyone elses check out your top posts & make sure I've seen them before!

50% Off Teacher's Notebook Sale- Wednesday!

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up to check out my Teacher's Notebook store starting Wednesday December 28, 2011 through December 30, 2011. Every item originally priced over $1.00 will be 50% off! Now is an excellent time to stock up on any items you've been waiting to purchase!

Now remember, this is ONLY in my Teacher's Notebook store! Don't forget to add my store to your favorites while you are there! :) Happy Shopping!

P.S. I'm working on some winter/snow/snowmen/penguin activities over the break. Is there anything in particular you are looking for along these themes? Suggestions are welcome!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

January Calendar Cards- FREEBIE

Ideally I wanted to have these done before we were out for Christmas break. Ideally I wanted to have all of my planning done for after break before we left. Ideally I wanted all my centers to be set up and ready for our return. Ideally I wanted everything together are ready for my 2 new students when we return.

Realistically, I will be doing all of this over Christmas Break! But that's okay, I'm excited about planning for winter, snow/snowmen, penguins, and more!

I've decided to get January calendar cards checked off my list early AND link up with TBA for their freebie Friday!

Head over to TpT or TN to download these calendar cards for free! We're moving from an AB pattern, to an ABC pattern! The kiddos have definitely caught on to the AB patterns! 

Head on over to TBA's freebie Friday to check out more great freebies & link up if you have something to share! Now that my errands are done for the day I'm ready to relax and read them all!

Freebie Fridays

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pinterest lovers, eat your heart out!

SO. Last week when I looked around my classroom I realized I had taken my students on a journey through my pinterest boards. There were pinterest activities going on everywhere. And how often do we all say and/or think, "Man I have so many things posted on Pinterest, but I never make anything!"

I was actually pretty proud of myself for creating so many things off of my pinterest boards that I just HAD to share them with you. And hope that you give an ounce of care about what projects I'm ACTUALLY doing off of my boards. (Hello, this blog is SUPPOSE to include crafts too. I try to remind myself of this!)

1. Let's start with some Reindeer. I had my students make their hand prints in brown paint. When they were dry I laminated and hot glued on eyes & a nose, & added a string so they could have them has an ornament for their parents!

2. Moving on to snowmen. I pinned this idea a while ago and just love it. The one I pinned is with hot glue, but we made ours with Elmer's glue and they turned out so cute! Definitely give yourself plenty of drying time. My sample one took a few days.

3. Size sequence trees. I'm not sure of the originator of this idea, but I saw them pinned many times on pinterest. I love how individual each one of them turned out!

4. Triangle Santa. I found him on A Cupcake for the Teacher & pinned it. I think we made him like two days later! Loooove loooove this idea! As you can see, my faces are a little different!

4. Glitter ornaments. I pinned this one over the summer I believe! The one I pinned uses ink & glitter. I happened to find a simpler one using a floor polish & glitter. I LOVE them. They look store bought & are so easy! What an excellent way to easily make ornaments in the exact colors that you want! Click here to check out the floor polish version.

Closer up on my crafting table while they were drying.

5. White chocolate peppermint popcorn. The first time I saw this idea it was with chex cereal & I didn't pin it. In my quest to relocate it, I found the popcorn version & loved this one even more. I thought it was different since you see SO MANY different chex recipes. Not to mention it turned out to be DELICIOUS. My mom and I ate so much of it! We also added powdered sugar to it. The recipe didn't call for that. You can see in the photo above how I packaged it to give to some teachers at work for gifts! :)

6. This one isn't a pinterest idea. This was mine & my para's gift to the students. I've had several children mention that they don't have crayons at home. I think every home should have at least 1 box of crayons! So, one of us bought crayons & one of us bought the coloring book. Both can be found for a little under a dollar so it wasn't necessarily that expensive. We bundled them up and voila!

PS: Like my PINK tags? My printer was clearly low on ink!

Hopefully you are either out of school already, or today was your last day. If you have to work tomorrow, I have incredible sympathy for you! Do you have any plans to actually get around to anything on your pinterest boards while you're home on break? Any delicious cookie recipes you have found and want to share?!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Currently I am...December!

SO excited that Farley posted this! I was hoping/wondering if she would, but wasn't going to bug her about it with her fabulous giveaway event she had going on! So now, this is really like a Christmas gift to us all!

Now I really hope that I am not breaking any rules for the stalking piece. Last time I checked, I wasn't! If someone stole my answer, I'll be sad! But either way, you need to go check this blog out RIGHT NOW. She has some adorable ideas on her blog and only 9 followers. YES, 9!! Let's get those numbers up for her!!

Now, time to put away this bag of doritos, take my iced coffee down to the basement and finish making these Christmas ornaments. Which, I can't wait to share with you when I'm finished! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In the Classroom

Breaking the "rules" & posting twice in 1 day! (It was almost 3 posts, but I'm waiting & I'll do Farley's link up tomorrow!)

Do you ever wonder what I'm ACTUALLY doing in the classroom? Check out my classroom blog! I try to update once a week (usually on the weekend). I started it as a hopeful way to communicate with my families, but I'm still working on how to see how many of them really are checking it out!

Click here to head on over and see what fun Gingerbread activities we did! Here's a sneak peak:

And PS if you are a pinterest lover, you might see a few familiar things! :) And there is always a link over to my classroom blog at the bottom of my right side bar!

Award Slacking & Thank Yous

So I've been slacking on some awards I have received and I feel bad. The first one I received when I was dying sick. And the second was given to me during my holiday funday event. So now it's time for me to get to some serious THANK YOUS!

First, the Sunshine Award was given to me by Julia at Loving & Learning in Pre-K. Of course I love Julia because she is another pre-k teacher with a blog! Head over to her blog and start following her!

The Sunshine Award rules are...
1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.
2. Answer the following questions below.
3. And pass the award to 10 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them.

1. Favorite color: pink
2. Favorite animal: domestic animal would be dogs. But I love elephants & giraffes too
3. Favorite number: 2 or 4. I don't like odd numbers.
4. Favorite drink: coffee or caffeine free diet dr. pepper
5. Facebook or twitter: I have both. I use facebook more.
6. Your passion: teaching of course! It's literally my life.
7. Giving or Getting presents: GIVING! I love giving gifts & making people happy.
8. Favorite day: Friday. Being a teacher has made me love Friday. It's my favorite day to go to bed because I'm exhausted so my bed feels 10x better & I don't have to wake to an alarm the next day!
9. Favorite flowers: peonies

10 fabulous bloggers (in no particular order):

Second, the Liebster Award from all the great ladies over at Fun For First! These ladies have such a cute firstie blog! Thank you guys so much for this award! And PS to Lory- loving the craft ideas on your other blog too! :)

The Liebster Award rules are...
1. Copy & Paste the award on your blog
2. Thank the giver & link back to them
3. Reveal your top 5 picks for up and coming blogs and let them know by leaving them a link on their blog.

Top 5 picks (in no particular order):

I am so sorry to the lovely ladies who gave me these awards for waiting SO LONG to post about them! Please forgive me! :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Alphabet Present Game- FREEBIE

Well, today is the last day for holiday funday! It's been a lot of fun sharing all of these great freebies with you! I hope you have enjoyed them and found them useful! It's not too late to blog about this event and be entered to win a free item from my TpT or TN store!

Today's freebie is an alphabet present game!

Cut out the presents and pick one to hide the bear behind. Students identify a letter they want to check behind and look to see if that is where the bear is hiding. I use a pocket chart to play this game and it works perfectly! Click below to download!
UPDATE(11/25/12): This item is no longer available for free download. You can find this item in my "Tis the Season for Holiday Fun" Unit.

I hope you have enjoyed this week of freebies! I've had fun sharing with you! I know my timing for this wasn't the best. Maybe next year! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Snowman Roll & Color - FREEBIE!

I remember when I was student teaching in Kindergarten a while ago, I loved roll & color games and the kids did too. I have created a snowman roll & color game for your freebie today! You can print out the dice for the game & the recording sheet.

Here is a picture of the recording sheet with the lines.

I would have loved to add more to this recording sheet so the students could count and record how many they had of each picture, but I ran out of room! :(

Click below to get a free copy of this game for yourself!
UPDATE (11/25/12): This item is no longer available for free download.

We only have one day left in the holiday funday freebie week! I promised a giveaway if I could reach 400 followers by the end, but we still have a ways to go! :) **Here's a little incentive!** Blog about this event & post a link to your post in the comments section. I will randomly select 1 person to pick any item of their choice from my TpT or TN store for free! SO, get to blogging! :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Counting Cards- FREEBIE

I know you enjoyed the counting clip cards SO MUCH that we are just going to continue with our counting skills! :)

Those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning (or since July at least) will probably find these counting cards familiar. I made them for Christmas in July and had them listed for sale in my TpT store. I took them down because I was unsure of my clip art rights/license/legal hooplah. But now I'm just going to give them to you for FREE.

UPDATE (11/25/12): This item is no longer available for free download. This item can be found as part of my "Tis the Season for Holiday Fun" Unit.

**These images I took back in July. There IS A TYPO in the images, but it has been fixed in the actual document. The clipart from these cards came from Lettering Delights & Digi Web Studio. NOT Scrappin Doodles like I listed. (oops!--I LOVE Scrappin Doodles, I didn't mean for that to sound negative!)**

One plus is, I printed and prepared this activity back in July! So there's one less thing I have to do! :) I hope you'll find a use for these in your last few days in school! By the way, do your students go AT ALL next week, or are you done on Friday?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Clip Counting- FREEBIE!

I just love the idea of these clip counting cards. I'm not sure whose genius idea these ever were, but they are PERFECT for my classroom. The kids practice their counting skills, AND fine motor skills. As a special ed. program, I have several students who receive Occupational Therapy (OT) services for fine motor skills. This makes great additional classroom practice!

SO we are going to continue the fun today! You can download these clip counting cards for FREE--of course! There is also a recording sheet for students who are practicing writing their numbers. Each clip card has a number in the top left corner. Students match that number to the spot on the recording sheet and write the number they counted! Easy Peesy!

Idk why this is blurry. I promise the actual cards are not! :)
Xmas Clip Count

These could make great extra practice for those few students who you plan on pulling during the holiday movie you are are not showing next week! :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gingerbread Man- FREEBIE!

Let's continue with the Gingerbread man. We're doing gingerbread this week in the classroom. Yesterday we read "The Gingerbread Man" and went on a scavenger hunt through the building and found gingerbread men cookies at the end! We enjoyed them for snack and LOVED them!

What the kid's don't know, is when they come to school this morning there will be a gingerbread house in our dramatic play/house area!

I love how it turned out! If you want some step by step directions or have any questions let me know! It's pretty much a $5 sheet, some duct tape, and hot glue!

To go along with the Gingerbread Man, here is a freebie of story sequence cards. I also included a bowl of dough and a gingerbread house. Depending on the variation of the story you will read these might work for you! There is also a sequence worksheet at the end.

Click to download this fun activity! Be sure to share this with your friends! We have four more days of holiday funday freebies!
UPDATE (11/25/12): This item is no longer available for free download. You can find this item available when you purchase my "Tis the Season for Holiday Fun" Unit.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Patterns- FREEBIE!

Let's continue this holiday funday shall we?

Today's freebie is pattern practice! Three pages of pattern practice with cards to complete the patterns. Pattern practice with AB, ABB, and AAB. Also includes a pattern practice worksheet. Students identify the pattern and color the pictures to match the pattern! You could also encourage students to draw their own pattern images on the back of the paper when they complete the front.

Pardon the iphone photo! I laminated my pattern sheets on patterned cardstock.

Click below to download this fun freebie!
UPDATE (11/25/12): This item is no longer available for free download.

Let me know if you've snagged this one to use in your classroom or home school program! Don't forget to share about this event with your friends! We want to hit 400 followers for a giveaway at the end!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas! - FREEBIE!

I love Christmas. And I love having followers. So I'm going to give you FREE stuff! 

Sunday December 11 - Saturday December 17

Tune in for one free Christmas/Holiday/Winter Freebie each day! Everyday will be a holiday funday! Be sure to share this with your friends! If my blog can make it to 400 followers or more during this event, I'll have a giveaway at the end!

Let's kick this event off with a great freebie...Christmas Puzzles!

Click below to download this fun game for free!
UPDATE (11/26/12) This game is no longer available for Free download. When you purchase my "Tis the Season for Holiday Fun" Unit you will find this game included there.

Print out as many puzzles as you would like/need. Students put their puzzle in number order to find their picture. Use the writing prompt at the end of the pack to have your kiddos write about the picture they have!

This is my first time including a writing prompt in an activity. We don't use these in pre-k, but I know that a lot of followers will. Do you have any advice for making prompts like these in the future? Particularly with the lined background! :) 

If you grab this freebie, leave me a comment! I'd love to know how you plan on using it in your classroom or home school program!
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