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Carson Dellosa Reveal & Giveaway!


This past February, I had the honor or working with the Carson Dellosa family and some of my blog besties yet again at Annual CD Blogger Summit 2015. It was a whirlwind weekend, but some amazing things came out of it! I was asked to work with two adorable sets - Colorful Owls and Color me Bright. I created a snapshot of how you might use some of these decor products in your classroom. The picture above shows the finished product as it appears in the lookbook.


This picture below is how I left things at the Carson Dellosa offices. They did some picking and choosing and tweaking to make everything look incredible for the lookbook. So much work goes into the production of that book. Make sure you take a peek through the whole thing!



Here's a close up of one of my favorite little parts. This bookshelf serves as a great place to store your math games and manipulatives. I used the owl cutouts to label the area. If you're using an owl theme, these decorative eggs in a jar make the perfect estimation station!



This was my favorite board! I have to give a big shout out to my husband. He came with me this year and was a giant help. He's a teacher too, so he totally gets it. We used the giant letters from the welcome set to create the top of this board. So cute for a back to school board! Love the addition of the artificial tree leaves to the tree cutout. If you look closely, you'll see some little bird nests on the board too! The little owls are sitting in them on the tree. 



I thought this was a clever way to use the pennant banner and library pockets. Just clip the pockets to a ribbon. I used laundry line clips I picked up at Walgreens. Now you have all those little things you need handy at your fingertips - bandaids, passes, bookmarks, stickers,  reward pencils, etc...




If you love these little owls as much as I do, you can win the entire collection! Just enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.

My Favorite Teacher Planner {Video Review & Giveaway}

I've been using THE most amazing teacher planner by April from A Modern Teacher for the last year and I'm super excited to start setting up my new one as well. When I tried to write up a blog post with pictures to tell you about this planner, it was just not coming across the way I wanted to. So I stepped way out of my comfort zone and decided to do a video review. So take a peek inside the planner, and then enter to win one for yourself using the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway ends July 21 at Midnight EST. Enjoy!






Raise a Hand for Teachers!

Have you all heard of thredUP? It's a fashion resale site that I've recently become addicted to. The basic concept is simple. If you have brand name clothing in excellent condition, thredUP will sell it on your behalf on their site. You can use the earnings to shop the site, donate to a charity, or cash out on PayPal. For under $100 I recently purchased two pairs of shoes, a dress, and a Vera Bradley bag!

thredUp is committed to supporting causes that strengthen communities and keeps clothing out of landfills. So you can purchase designer clothing at up to 90% less than retail while you support charitable causes and help the environment. It's a win-win! 

Today thredUP is partnering with AdoptAClassroom.org to launch Raise a Hand for Teachers, to recognize and thank teachers for their hard work and the positive impact they make in children's lives every day. It's a fact we all know too well, but it's estimated that teachers spend an average of $500 of their own money each year on supplies for their classroom. 70% of teachers have purchased clothing like jackets, socks, and shoes for their students. So, to honor and assist this commitment, the Raise a Hand for Teachers program will award 3 teachers with $2,500 for classroom supplies AND $500 to thredUP! 50 runner-up winners will receive $100 to spend at thredUP.


When I heard about this program, I knew right away who I would nominate - Alisha Peare. I know Alisha through blogging, of course. You all know her as The Bubbly Blonde Teacher.


I've known her behind the scenes for a few years now, and I remember her talking about kids who would walk to school in freezing temperatures with no hats or gloves. But she didn't just talk about it and feel bad about it, she went out and bought those kids hats and gloves. She purchased socks and coats for students who didn't have them. Her students receive her unconditional love and care, and are so lucky to have her.  But if you ask Alisha, she'll tell you that she's the lucky one. Alisha teaches in Omaha, Nebraska in a high poverty, school burdened with gang activity. Her students are low-socioeconomic, culturally diverse, and in great need of help. As many of you probably do, Alisha routinely purchases supplies for her students as well. Alisha knows that before her students can learn, their basic needs must be met. She makes sure that when her kids walk through the door, they feel loved and cared for. Unfortunately, I know Alisha is not alone in her generosity. There are so many other teachers out there who deserve to be recognized for all they do. Are you thinking of one such teacher right now? Then click here to nominate them! The contest starts today and runs through the end of August.

Think about nominating a deserving teacher you know and I'll be back to tell you more about my thredUP experience very soon!

Christmas in July!

My sweet Blog Hoppin friends and I are all celebrating Christmas in July this week. What does that mean for you? Big savings on some great essentials to get your year off to a great start. I know, it's hard to think about back to school already, but I've heard from some of my friends that school is starting up again in just a few weeks. Yikes!

So, every day this week, a different product in my shop will be on sale. I know one day sales are hard to catch in time sometimes, so I'll put each item on sale on the day below and then leave it for a few days.


Monday - 50 Printables for Early Finishers & Enrichment. See it in my shop HERE and read more about it HERE. Usually $6.25, on sale for $4.25.

Tuesday - 50 MORE Printables for Early Finishers & Enrichment. This is the sequel to the first pack. I love this pack even more than the first one. See it in my shop HERE and on the blog HERE. Also on sale for $4.25.

Wednesday - Telling Time Teaching Resources. This is packed full of activities, printables, games, centers - everything you need to keep your own sanity intact while your kids are engaged. See it HERE in my shop, and apparently I never blogged about this pack! I'll have to do that soon.

Thursday - This was last summer's baby. I worked on this pack night and day for months! Researching spelling patterns, phonics structures, homework activities, printing options - but I loved it. And I'm super proud of the finished product. See it HERE on the blog. See it HERE in my shop.

Friday - Friday's product is a set of bulletin board banners that makes it a snap to keep things updated and seasonal. The set includes 25 different printables that the kids complete, color, and cut and you hang up. Boom - done! See them HERE in my shop and HERE on the blog.

Have fun shopping, my friends. I know I'll be scoopin up some stuff this week!











Working Handwriting into your Literacy Block




Fitting in handwriting practice is becoming more and more difficult due to the forty bajillion other things that we have to fit in each day, but it is really important. Yes, the world is going digital, but does that mean we are going to just ignore handwriting and raise a generation of kids who can't write legibly? I sure hope not.

I've been searching for something to integrate into my routine to help strengthen handwriting, but couldn't find quite what I was looking for. So I made my own! The practice pack I've created has 180 pages of practice that all follow the same format: a short seasonal or content based rhyme to trace, then copy, then label and color. Coloring is optional, of course, but it might be motivating for some kids and make the practice seem like less of a chore.

I used a special licensed font to create this pack, so all of the letters should match the Zaner-Bloser style of manuscript handwriting.  {After sharing this pack on Facebook and Instagram, I've had several requests for cursive versions and a d'nealian version. I have those in the works and should be able to post those in the next couple of weeks!}


Here's a page from the first few days of school. You can see how the rhyming words are right at the end of each line, making it really easy for the kids to read and find the rhymes.


Now here's a page from further in the year. You can see that because we're now using longer sentences, the rhyming words don't appear right at the end of the line. This is a great opportunity to remind the kids to read through to the punctuation, not to stop at the end of the line. To reinforce this concept, consider having them use highlighters to identify the rhymes. I'm planning on modeling this with the kids for a bit until they pick it up on their own.

I specifically made these practice pages rhyme because I found that my kids really seemed to be having some difficulty with the concept over the past couple of years. Now this can be another way to work on that skill. You can also work in some mini-lessons on word families and spelling - see how wear and hair are the rhymes here but are not spelled with the same pattern? Little opportunities for a word work discussion are present throughout the pack.

I included a cover page for each month just in case you want to print out a little pack for each student for the month instead of keeping track of and passing out individual pages each day.
Get all 180 days of practice and cover pages for each month for just $9.50. 
Click HERE to see it on TpT.
This year Im going to start off by using these handwriting activities for my whole class for a few minutes each day. I'm not sure what my schedule looks like yet, I'm thinking maybe when we come back in from lunch or those awkward few minutes that you always have somewhere in your schedule. As the year goes on, I may just move to having the kids who really need the practice work on the pages, or even just send them home with a few. It all depends on the needs of the kids. How do you think you might incorporate some handwriting practice this year?

Also available in Modern Manuscript (similar to D'Nealian) and now Cursive!

Happy Handwriting!




Win a DSLR camera!


I am so thrilled to be joining up with some of my fellow teacher bloggers to be bringing you this amazing giveaway.  If you've ever had an interest in getting a "good" camera, then this is your chance. I actually have this exact camera and it's pretty amazing. I must admit that I don't yet know how to use it to its fullest potential, but that's on my summer to-do list.


Check out these prizes!


 1. A Canon DSLR T5 Camera:
 2. An additional 50mm lens - great for those blurred background bokeh effects:
3. This super adorable JoTotes camera bag to haul it all around!

The combined value for this prize package is $655! Be patient when you enter because to bring you a prize this big, lots of us joined forces. There are quite a few of us collaborating on this one, but you only need to follow each of us in ONE way, so not too bad. And seriously, with an awesome prize like this, it's worth a few clicks! The contest ends in one week, so you have until next sunday 6/28 to enter. Good Luck!



Wish List Wednesday - Weekly Word Work

It's Wish List Wednesday again! Already! Geeze Louise, where does the time go in the summer? Well, for us, it was mostly spent shuffling the cars in for routine maintenance that turned into costly repairs. I HATE when that happens, but what can you do. Gotta be safe on the road, right?


So I'm just popping in today because I promised to keep up with Wish List Wednesday. And I really, truly believe in this product. I've been using Weekly Word Work for years in my classroom and I see HUGE gains by the end of the year. If you're NOT using CCSS, don't let the title scare you. The correlation is not on the product itself anywhere, but there is a separate chart for you that lists the skills if you need to document them in your plans. 

I have this product for first, second, third, and fourth grades and they all follow the same basic format. Each covers a defined set of skills that are presented in the same format for the entire year. At the beginning of the year, I do a few questions each day with my students so that by the end of the week we've finished the whole week's work (one double sided page).  By the end of the first quarter, they are pretty much ready to complete it on their own. It's such a versatile resource - I've used it for morning work, Daily Five word work, homework, and independent work.  I do have some resources posted around the room that they can use to help them when they run into a skill they're not totally independent with yet. For us that always seems to be plurals and possessives. 

By tackling the skills like this, you are really front loading them and pre-teaching. I love when it comes time to actually focus on a skill, like possessives, for example, and they pretty much already know it because of the exposure from Weekly Word Work!

So, for today's Wish List Wednesday, I'm linking up with Jen at Teacher by the Beach and offering each of my Weekly Word Work sets at 20% off, that's a saving of $4 on each set.  The discount will be in effect until this Friday 6/19.  To see each set in more detail, just click on the images below and check out the previews on TpT.  







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