Thursday, November 29, 2012

Don't Eat the Gingerbread Man!

I'm procrastinating happily getting ready this morning and thought I'd come by and say hey.  At least I have a double prep today :)  I'm going to start my new writing unit, "Don't Eat the Gingerbread Persuasive Writing Craftivity" today.  Students have to write a story as if they were a gingerbread man trying to persuade the reader not to eat them.  They also have to form an opinion and talk the reader into their opinion. It also includes a craftivity, optional gingerbread recipes, 3 different writing templates, graphic organizers, etc..It is Common Core Correlated  and includes I can statement for students.  If you want to check it out...here it is.


One of the graphic organizers

Well...I've procrastinated enough and it's time to get ready...Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Quick Tip

Just a quick little tip before I go to bed.  I haven't been blogging long so I hope this isn't against the rules to refer you to another blog using their picture...I apologize if it is but you just HAVE to see this neat iphone app trick for your TpT store.  Click the picture and it will take you to Sparkles, Smiles, and Successful Students where Amber walks you step by step through how to make a makeshift TpT app....gotta love this one!


Goodnight all :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

TpT Sale and Liebster Blog Award

I am incredibly grateful for all you out there in cyber world today.  I have received some nominations for the Liebster Blog Award. I absolutely love doing this blog and meeting new people.  It  is encouraging to have other people notice your blog...so thank you for the nominations....you have made my day.


Graphic by Graphics From the Pond


Before the blog award questions, I wanted to let you know that I am having a sale beyond what TpT is offering.  You will get 10% off by using the coupon code cmt12 on TpT but if you go to my store you will get an additional 15% off on Monday and Tuesday.  That's a total of 25% off!  Happy Shopping!

Liebster Award Facts, Questions & Answers

I was nominated by the fabulous bloggers...
Kathy at Third Grade Doodles
Jennifer at The Blessed Teacher
Brianna at The Price of Teaching
Melissa at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
Mrs. Dixon at Teaching Special Thinkers


The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers by established bloggers (less than 200 followers), in order to recognize them, let them know that they are appreciated, and to spread the word about new blogs. The rules are: 
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that the nominators set for you.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
  • Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
  • No tag back, (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so that I can learn more about you!)

So here goes.  Keep in mind I'm answering five sets of questions for the five nominations. These people took the time to nominate me and I want to take the time to answer all their questions as well.


Random Facts about Stephanie Ann


  1. I have a huge sweet tooth.  I had so much pie over Thanksgiving that I was eating it for breakfast, lunch , and dinner. I guess it's time to hit the gym tomorrow morning.
  2. I l-o-v-e reality tv...embarassing I know :) In fact, I don't think I've watched a sitcom in years.  Bravo and TLC are my faves but I watch it all!
  3. I don't like to cook and actually really suck at it.
  4. I love to organize things.
  5. I have stinky feet...it's gross I know but it's a true fact.
  6. My eyes change with the color I'm wearing. They can stay brown or turn green at times.
  7. I love to do craft projects but they usually turn out looking like a second grader did it.
  8. I swear I'm a hoarder when it comes to clothes...I love them!
  9. My graduating class only had 59 students.  I came from a very small town and we were the biggest class to graduate at the time.
  10. I don't have a spleen. It ruptured in a car accident so they had to remove it.
  11. My husband and I are high school sweethearts. I'm the luckiest girl in the world..he is truly my best friend.

Kathy's Questions...
1.  What is a recipe that you are famous for making.
I'm definitely not famous for anything I cook.  It's a good thing I married a firefighter who loves to cook because I suck at it.  I can make a mean calazone on occasion though.
2.  Why did you start a blog?
I started following some blogs this summer.  I actually never knew about teaching blogs until Pinterest.  You all seemed like such a close knit group of people who really support and uplift each other.  I wanted to be part of that.  
3.  What is your favorite subject to teach?  
I really like them all now that I've discovered Pinterest and blogging. It has renewed my enthusiasm for teaching a great deal.  I guess if I had to pick one it would be reading.  There are just so many creative ways to teach it.  I teach third grade and that is when most kids start loving to read so it's very rewarding to me. 
4.  What is a favorite website that you use with your students?
I just started ScootPad with my kiddos so I can't say much about it yet, but it's a great site to practice common core standards.
5.  What is the hardest thing about teaching? 
meetings....period!
6.  If you could go anywhere, where would you go?  
Bora..Bora.  All I need right now is some sunshine.
7.  Describe in a sentence or two, your ideal classroom.
  • more "up to date" (Our school was built in 1953 and it has definite wear and tear).
  • lots of space so I can incorporate all my cozy ideas to organize.
  • wall space to hang anchor charts/make bulletin boards/etc..
8.  What is a favorite teaching theme or bulletin board idea that you've used?
My AR mountain climber wall from years ago.  A parent painted me a huge mountain years ago.  Each child made a mountain climber.  I marked off base camps going up the mountain until the summit.  When a student reached a base camp they got to pick a prize (I had tons of stuff from Oriental Trading Company).  When they reached the summit, I took them and a parent out to lunch on a day when someone could cover my class for an hour or we would go on a weekend.  I will always remember the special times I've had with these students.  Many of them are married and starting their own families now but they still come visit and the remember the AR mountain along with going to lunch the most.
9.  Who is your favorite music artist?
Probably Cold Play but I love lots of different music....love Van Morrison as well
10. What is your morning poison? (i.e., coffee, tea, sugar, etc.).
coffee...definitely...I'm not a very good morning person.
11.  If money were no object, what one thing would you buy for yourself?  For your classroom?
Of course I'd buy clothes...I'm kind of a hoarder when it comes to clothes I have to admit.  But what I really need is a new car.  My car is just not big enough.  I have two girls (10 & 13).  They constantly have friends over.  I don't think one summer night was spent without at least two extra kids at our house.  So I need a bigger car to fit all of them in.  I really want a new Pathfinder but we'll see...my husband says for sure not until February can I start looking...but at least that's not a no :)
I'd probably buy more things for the classroom than for myself to tell you the truth.  I'd just love for everything to match.  So I'd buy matching furniture (my furniture now is all different styles and  sizes and drives me nuts).  I'd make sure to get anything to help keep organized...I love to organize things.  There are so many more things as well, but that's where I'd start.

1. Why did you want to be a teacher? 
First, I had a wonderful first grade teacher, Mrs. Barksdale.  She wrote me letters in the summer, invited me to her house to play with her daughter, and she made learning fun.  I wanted kids to feel the same way about me as I did for her.  Last, I had a really bad teacher in high school drafting class.  I'm a little "spatially" challenged so drawing was a challenge to me.  He would ridicule me in front of the class, make fun of me, and did not appreciate that I came in before and after school just to "get" it.  He is one of my reasons for being a teacher as well because I knew how I didn't want to be as a teacher.  I would be the opposite of him.
2. What is your favorite subject to teach?
I really like them all now that I've discovered Pinterest and blogging. It has renewed my enthusiasm for teaching a great deal.  I guess if I had to pick one it would be reading.  There are just so many creative ways to teach it.  I teach third grade and that is when most kids start loving to read so it's very rewarding to me. 
3. What's your favorite thing to do on your days off?
I love for my house to be clean and organized...so after this is done I love to shop for a while (if it's close to pay day :) and go to soup Sunday at my mom or sisters' house.  My parents and two out of three sisters live approximately 10 minutes from me so we alternate houses each Sunday for "Soup Sunday".  I love it!  I also like to sit by my fireplace with my computer either making units, blogging, planning lessons for the week, etc... It's just so relaxing and cozy.   
4. How does your grade level plan together?
We have late start every Monday morning so instead of starting at 8:15, we don't start school until 9:45.  Every Monday is planned for us before the school year begins.  During that time we usually have team collaboration, grade level district meetings, and sometimes individual planning.   
5. What is your favorite blog for inspiration? 
To pick just one is so difficult!  You are all amazing and incredible inspirations in my life right now.  But there is one that I tend to go to every day and that is Dana's blog 3rd Grade Gridiron. Her ideas and posts help me make it through my day sometimes.  I don't know her yet, but it seems like we'd be great pals right off the bat.  
6. What are you afraid of?
losing loved ones, snakes, flying, and heights 
7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
The ability to stand up for myself.  Sometimes I'm taken advantage of  because I would do anything for anyone and always give people the benefit of the doubt.  I've struggled with this lately and sometimes I really need to just stand up for myself instead of always trying to please others.
8. What is one teaching area you are working on improving this year?
writing 
9. What is your favorite vacation spot? 
anywhere near the ocean!
10. How long do you spend getting ready for work in the morning? 
I'm usually checking out blogs in the morning so I'm pretty quick at getting ready because I don't want to stop. Most mornings I'll just deem a "sock bun" morning and I'm ready in 10.  But if I shower  I'd say it takes me 20 possibly 30 minutes... I'm pretty sure it shows though and I should take a little more time.
11. Do you pack a lunch or buy?
50/50..if I have time, I'll pack some leftovers or a sandwich.  More often than not I'll grab fruit and some sort of power bar and run out the door. 

1. If you could chose one famous person to meet, who would it be and why?
David Beckam...need I say why :)  I'd also love to meet Reece Witherspoon.  I just think we'd hit it off for some reason.
2. What is your favorite smell?
cupcakes or brownies (I buy candles that smell like these too)3. Other than your computer, what do you hear right now?
my daughter and her friend trying to talk me into going to a movie today...they won the discussion...I'm a pushover :)
4. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
a deluxe log home (I've always wanted one...so cozy!) 
one of those huts on stilts in Bora Bora
new wardrobe (l-ov-e clothes)
I would take my entire family on one of those three week Hawaiian cruises.
5. What is the top item on your Christmas list?
new laptop!!!  I might as well keep dreaming :)
6. What do you do most when you are bored?
search blogs for ideas, work on a new unit, take my kids and go to my parent's house, and bite my nails
.7. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
don't laugh....a professional roller skater
8. Do you have pets?
one dog...Maxx
two cats...Harley & Carly
9. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
my 10 year old tripped the other day...she kept bouncing off certain things in slow motion.  When I made sure she was ok we laughed so hard we cried.  Don't know why it was so funny...just had to be there I guess.
10. What is your favorite children's book?
Where the Red Fern Grows & Bunnicula
11. If you could compete in any Olympic sport, what would it be?
definitely skiing...I wish I was that good!







  • What's your favorite thing to do in your spare time?   spend time doing anything with my family like hiking/camping/skiing/etc...I'm attempting to start running again...it's so difficult to get back going when you stop for a period of time. I also like to work on school stuff or units for TpT or browse TpT for new units to teach.
  • Which appliance best represents you and why?I guess right now I'd be a blender because I'm in so many directions that I'm all "mixed up"  ha ha :)If you were on death row, what would you choose as your last meal?
  • steak (fillet) and Lobster with a garlicky Caesar salad and Lobster Bisque.
  • What's your favorite Christmas read aloud?
  • of course...The Polar Express but any other ideas are welcome
  • Coke or Pepsi?
  • diet coke...most definitely
  • If you had to choose one song as your theme song, what would it be?
  • this is a great question...I can never remember the names of songs so I guess mine would have to be Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison.
  • What famous actor/actress would you have play you in the story of your life?
  • Reese Witherspoon...I just think she's a good, kind person and also down to earth.
  • What's your favorite vacation destination?
  • anywhere by the ocean
  • What made you decide you wanted to teach?
  • First, I had a wonderful first grade teacher, Mrs. Barksdale.  She wrote me letters in the summer, invited me to her house to play with her daughter, and she made learning fun.  I wanted kids to feel the same way about me as I did for her.  Last, I had a really bad teacher in high school drafting class.  I'm a little "spatially" challenged so drawing was a challenge to me.  He would ridicule me in front of the class, make fun of me, and did not appreciate that I came in before and after school just to "get" it.  He is one of my reasons for being a teacher as well because I knew how I didn't want to be as a teacher.  I would be the opposite of him.
  • What do you most want for Christmas?
  • new laptop
  • If you could have any dessert every day and not have to worry about calories, what would it be?
  • cheesecake...any kind!
    1. What made you start a blog?
    I started following some blogs this summer.  I actually never knew about teaching blogs until Pinterest.  You all seemed like such a close knit group of people who really support and uplift each other.  I wanted to be part of that.  
    2. What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
    I love for my house to be clean and organized...so after this is done I love to shop for a while (if it's close to pay day :) and go to soup Sunday at my mom or sisters' house.  My parents and two out of three sisters live approximately 10 minutes from me so we alternate houses each Sunday for "Soup Sunday".  I love it!  I also like to sit by my fireplace with my computer either making units, blogging, planning lessons for the week, etc... It's just so relaxing and cozy.   
    3. Name one person you admire and why.
    I sincerely admire my husband.  First off...he puts up with me and I'm sure that's not an easy task.  I admire him for his work ethics, his level head, his kind and forgiving heart but most of all I admire him for the father he is to our girls.  I could only hope my girls marry someone who even comes close to their dad.
    4. Do you like sports? If so, what’s your favorite team?
    I like sports to a point.  My favorite team is the WSU Cougars from Washington State University (where I went to college).
    5. Why did you choose to be a teacher? 
    First, I had a wonderful first grade teacher, Mrs. Barksdale.  She wrote me letters in the summer, invited me to her house to play with her daughter, and she made learning fun.  I wanted kids to feel the same way about me as I did for her.  Last, I had a really bad teacher in high school drafting class.  I'm a little "spatially" challenged so drawing was a challenge to me.  He would ridicule me in front of the class, make fun of me, and did not appreciate that I came in before and after school just to "get" it.  He is one of my reasons for being a teacher as well because I knew how I didn't want to be as a teacher.  I would be the opposite of him.
    6. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do with your money?
    I would take my entire family on one of those three week cruises to Hawaii.
    7. What is your most memorable moment so far in your life?
    By far my most memorable moments were the births of my daughters.  They were really premature and it was stressful but they are my everything.  I don't know where I would be without them.  They have made me a better person.
    8. What do you want the most for Christmas?
    a new laptop
    9. Do you like to shop? Where’s your favorite place?
    How long do you have for this question???  I can shop for anything...anywhere...but prefer online shopping.  My favorite stores would have to be....Amazon, TpT, Nordstroms, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, REI, Altrec and the list goes on... 
    10. What are three blogs you constantly read?
    3rd Grade Gridiron
    Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher
    3rd Grade Thoughts
    11. What are your future goals?
    to be happy and healthy as well as raise well adjusted, confident,  and happy children
    a goal for my career would be to someday work with curriculum somehow...writing my own or for someone

    The blogs I nominate for the Liebster Blog award are

     the following:

    Funky Fresh Firsties
    Anchored in 3rd Grade
    Teaches Third in Georgia
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans
    Drowning in Paperclips
    The Teachaholic
    Whooo's in Second?


    Questions for the blogs I nominate to answer: 

    1. How long have you been teaching and what grades have you taught?
    2. What do you usually do on a Friday or Saturday night?
    3. What do you like the most about the school that you teach at?
    4. What do you like best about being a teacher?
    5. If you hadn't become a teacher, what would you have been and why?
    6. What is your best teaching memory?
    7. What is your worst teaching memory?
    8. Who or what is your inspiration for being a good teacher?
    9. Chocolate or fruity?
    10. In the spirt of cyber Monday, what is your favorite store to shop online?
    11. What blog was your biggest inspiration when you decided to start your blog and why?


    Have a great week!




    Sunday, November 18, 2012

    Christmas Math Games & A Freebie

    Here is a preview of some Christmas math games or centers I've been working on today.  They are like my Thanksgiving Math Centers....Turkeylicious....only better.  I tweaked and added to get them exactly how I wanted them this time.  I can't wait for my students to try them out!

    Report cards are coming up and I'm stressed this time about them.  Having been on leave after school began for six weeks, I feel like I don't have it all down like I usually do.  The grades have all been entered by the sub but I guess I'm just a control freak and wish I had been there to do it.  I can't change it...but I can only wish that I could...right?  I'm sure it'll be fine but if I don't have something to stress about...I'll usually find something :)  Anyway..I'm going to start sending home weekly progress reports.  I'll let you know how it works as I have a true mixture of student backgrounds this year.  Or better yet...you can try it too and we can collaborate. Attached to the picture is an editable version for you to input what you need in order for this to be successful for you.  We can chat soon about how it's working. Let me know if you have trouble downloading as my dropbox public folder has not been working out lately.

    Have a great week...unless you are already on Thanksgiving Break...and in that case I'm insanely jealous :)

    Editable Free Weekly Progress Report
    Gingerlicious Math Games for your Winter Centers








    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Family...Factors...& Foldables!

    I've been a terrible blogger this week.  It was so much easier when I was on leave and not working.  I've been up to the wee hours (of the next morning) trying to get caught up along with working on TpT units.  I need to not be so a-d-d and finish a project before starting another one...I hope you can all relate :)  This year has flown by like no other!  I can't believe it's already Thanksgiving.  I'm so thankful for so many things but most importantly I'm thankful for my family.  They are always the ones who are there when everyone else is not.  I'm blessed with an amazing family.  We support each other and are there for each other through thick and thin.  Here are a couple pictures of my fam... These were taken a few years ago but they were the last family pictures we took and the only pictures I could find of everyone and their families...missing a few that have been born since.  We'll take some new ones this Christmas.

    My adorable mom and dad
    My older sister Christi and her family


    my family

    My youngest sister and her family minus Kennedy (wasn't born yet)

    My sisters and I
    My sister Heather isn't in a family on because she is still single and she wouldn't let me put one on of just her :)

    The Fam

    I'm so very fortunate to say the least.

    In school this week we're learning multiplication.  I've been working on a multiplication unit because our curriculum is severely lacking but don't have it done quite yet.  I was searching for fun ways to teach multiplication when I found these videos (there are 8 of them total) on multiplication tips to remember your facts.


    Rap-Ability Hip Hop Multiplication: Part 1

    The kids loved the videos so I decided to take it a little further with a foldable.  I had them get 7 different papers in different colors and fold them into a flip book.  I had to help with this because this is their first flip book but next time it should be a lot easier.  I had them title each flap with a title of each video and then give the definition and examples of each multiplication tip.  These will now be hung in the hallway for a bit and then go in their interactive notebooks.  They worked so hard on this.  I was so proud of my little talkative class :)




    Hopefully most of you enjoy your WEEK off.  I only have half of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off so I'm insanely jealous of you all "week off'ers".

    ....a couple more thing....my friend Gina at Third Grade Tidbits is have a 100 Follower Giveaway!  She has some awesome units to win...head on over because it ends soon!!!

    &
    Nicole at Teaching With Style is giving away a comb binder.  Can you imagine all you could do with this!


    Good Luck!

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    Turkeylicious!

    Better late than never, but I finally finished my Thanksgiving Math Centers...Turkeylicious!  I plan to do them over the next week and then again the entire morning before Thanksgiving.  That day is a half day, so I'm going to throw my student's pajama breakfast and have a "Turkeylicious Center Day."  In this packet is all the things I want my students to practice while I'm teaching new skills.  Turkeylicious includes the following centers:   addition (Add it Up) - subtraction (Zero the Hero) - rounding (Round & Round) - cute Thanksgiving dinner themed multiplication 1's-5's (Clear your Plate) - pumpkin pie greater than less than (Winner Takes All) - pumpkin pie fractions (Part of a Whole).  The best thing about these centers are the ease of preparation.  Centers always freak me out because there is so much prep work so instead of cutting out tons of game pieces, the students cut and carry their own 1-9 number cards.  They then manipulate numbers according to the directions in the center to complete their recording sheet.  From there, they take their cards to the next center, and so on.  It's SO easy!  I can't wait to introduce them tomorrow...my kids will be so excited! You can find them here.




    Turkeylicious Math Center
     
    I apologize for ignoring my blog the last few days.  What is that saying called...you've got too many irons in the fire???  I have so  many new units going (it's almost the end of the trimester so I'm preparing for 2nd Trimester).  It was also one of my daughter's tenth birthday. So we celebrated by renting a room at a local motel with a few a her friends...lots of swimming and giggling :)
    Have a great 4 day week!



    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Tis the Season...Already!

    Ok...I know this is way early but you don't even realize how much I love Christmas!  I wanted to decorate right after Halloween, but my husband grumbled too much about it so I will wait until the week of Thanksgiving (which only gives me a month of cute decorations:)  But I'm also a little OCD about taking it down too...it has to be down by Christmas day or the day after or it drives me crazy!  I'm definitely not one of the Christmas lights in July people, but those are my issues :)  So....I made a unique pentagon shaped banner with owls.  I hung it up really quick (you know I wanted to keep it there) and my students OOO'ed and AWWW'ed so I guess it's a hit.  They loved the cute little Christmas owls.  I have a regular banner too that says Happy Holidays with adorable owls as well...I'll get that out on TpT sometime today seeings how it's 7:05 and I haven't hopped in the shower for school and I need to leave by 7:30...it's one of those hair in a sock bun days for me!
    Catcha Later...

    Merry Christmas Owl Banner/Bunting







    Teaching Units Including Many Free Items