Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday "ROCK STAR" Smorgasbord

It's Sunday and time for my weekly randomness!  I finally feel like I have some school related content for this edition of the Sunday Smorgasbord!

Yesterday, we had one of those all day drizzlers.  You know the kind--it never really rained hard, but it rained ALL DAY.  Seriously, it rained for 9 hours straight!  BUT, this girl isn't complaining because I got SO much accomplished.  Here's a run down.

I bought myself this beauty and could not love it more.  I told my family last night that you know you are a teacher nerd when you honestly feel like this laminator changed your life!  Yes, CHANGED MY LIFE! HA!  Maybe I'm being dramatic, but, wow, do I love this thing!  I put it to work the other night getting my new word wall ready to go.

While it was raining yesterday, I was canning green beans.  I feel so domestic when I can beans!  I just get such a sense of accomplishment.  But wait, it gets better!  See my new BFF right there next to the beans??  That's right, while the beans were processing, I was laminating and cutting to get everything ready to go with my new Rock Star theme. Does it get much better on a rainy Saturday??  You feel me, don't you??

I got my name plates, book box tags, and coat hook labels all printed and laminated!  Go me!

And I got my Rock Star behavior chart put together.  It turned out better than I had it pictured in my head!  Don't you love it when that happens?

If you're interested, the behavior chart, names tags, and word wall are all available in my TpT store.  I'm going to TRY to learn how to create a zip file and bundle them all together as Rock Star classroom d├ęcor, but that scare me a little!  I'm pretty good at most techy stuff, but zip files just sound so "official!" 
And now, I think I should apologize in advance for my possible lack of blogging over the next two weeks.  Here's the reason!
If you've followed me for awhile, you know we are a big 4H family.  Next week at this time, we will be hauling those animals (the pigs and goats, not the kids!) to our county fair to start a CAH-RA-ZEE busy week for us!  My husband is one of the fair managers (and that means that I am by default!), so we pretty much live on the fairgrounds for the week.  Prep will start in earnest later this week, so if it seems like I'm absent, just remember, I'm at the fair!!
Now I'm going to go link this up over at Fabulous in First for Sunday Smorgasbord.  Head over there to see everyone else's randomness for the week!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Daily 5 and a sneak peek!


Today my monthly post over at Teaching Blog Round Up is all about my love for The Daily 5.  Head over there and check out the big reasons I'm such a fan of The Daily 5 in my classroom.  If you are on the fence about whether or not to implement it this year, my advice is DO IT--you won't be sorry! Click the button below to head over there and learn more!

I also wanted to share with you a quick peek at the Rock Star name plates that I'm working on.  They are all but finished, but I just need to do the extra steps to make them editable so you can type your students' names right on them.  Hopefully they will be up in my store by tomorrow.  Wishful thinking would say today, but if you follow me on instagram (@alwaysanadventureink), you saw that big ole bucket of green beans that I snapped yesterday.  Well, they aren't going to can themselves, so that's what's on my agenda for today!
Here's a peek:
Obviously, there is a boy version, too!  There will be 8 different name plates in all, 4 girls and 4 boys. I will also be including tags for book bins that fit perfectly on the front of the book bins from Really Good Stuff.  Stay tuned!
And, I'll leave you with a FABULOUS giveaway to check out today--And the next 25 days as well!  The Polished Teacher is celebrating her Bloggy Birthday with an Alphapalooza giveaway!  People, it's HUGE!  She will be featuring bloggers that begin with each letter of the alphabet for the next 26 days.  Today is Day 1-Letter A (obviously!) so you will find an item from yours truly up for grabs today along with several others Letter A bloggers! 

OK, I'm off to can those green beans--and I also have the laminator heating up on the kitchen counter, too!  You know, teachers are the best multi-taskers!
Happy Saturday!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom--"Must Haves!"

It's Wednesday and that means time to link up with Primary Possibilities for Wednesday Wisdom!  This has been one of my favorite linky parties of the summer because it has kept me thinking and "on-track" during these lazy (yeah, right! Nothing lazy about my summer days!) days of summer.

This week's topic is Classroom Must Haves. 
Here's a quick list of the "Must Haves" in my classroom.
In no particular order 
I must start every day with a Pepsi.  If I don't, well, it isn't pretty!
SB885ix - four Students And Teacher Board Left
I use my SMARTboard all day, every day.  When it went on the blink for a few weeks last year, I felt like I was lost!  I just love everything about it! Disclaimer:  That is not me or my kiddos!
I blogged about how I use my music wand a few weeks ago.  Go HERE to read that post.  I use this to signal the end of EVERYTHING!
Time Timer® 8
I rely heavily on my visual timer to keep me on track during reading groups.  This timer is actually for my kiddos that have trouble with transitions so that they can see that the end of an activity is approaching, but I think it helps me more than it helps them! 
I used a clip chart for the first time last year as my behavior management system, and I can't imagine doing it any other way, now!  This is the one I created to use in my classroom this year.  Unfortunately, I don't have it put together yet to post pictures, but you can click the image to check it out in my TpT store and see the preview.  If you don't know about clip charts for behavior, just google it! 
Those are my top 5 "must haves" for my classroom.  What are yours?  Head over to Primary Possibilities to link up and read what others are saying!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Smorgasbord-Pay it Forward!

It's Sunday, Sunday Sunday!  Time for me to link up with Michelle at Fabulous in First for a little bit of my randomness! And this post truly is random so be prepared! Be sure to read this one all the way through to the end to see how I'm paying it forward!

Yesterday my husband's cousin hosted a huge chicken BBQ.  It was just a fun summertime day complete with a serious cornhole tournament (yes, that's 4 sets of cornhole boards going at one time!) and a home made slip-n-slide! Fun times!
This little beauty jumped into my cart at Walmart the other day.  I haven't had a chance to even get it out of the box yet, but hopefully later this evening, I'mll be giving it a test run.  Everyone tells me I won't be disappointed!
I've been working on making clip charts with different themes.  My latest one is almost finished and should be up in my TpT store tonight or tomorrow. Here's a sneak peak.  I love the owls!
This weekend, my blogging buddies and I that contribute to Teaching Blog Round Up are hosting a giveaway and a freebie hop to get you through the Dog Days of Summer. You can read about it HERE and download all your freebies from the linky party.  Also, don't forget to head over to TBR to enter the giveaway.  It ends tonight!
And finally, you've made it to the Pay it Forward portion of this post!  Yesterday, I was the lucky winner of a fantastic Instagram giveaway by Stephanie of Primary Possibilities.
Primary Possibilities
We interrupt this post to bring you a Public Service Message: 
 1. If you haven't checked out Instagram, do it NOW.  So much fun goes on over there!
2. If you don't follow Primary Possibilities, do it NOW.  It's a super blog with lots of great information.
OK, back to the regularly scheduled post.  As I was saying, I was the winner of Stephaine's giveaway.  I never win everything so imagine my excitement when I'm scrolling through Instagram, and I see this!
Guys, that's me!  Yay!  Well, when I was downloading my goodies that the sweet Stephanie sent me, I realized that I had already purchased one of them and use it in my classroom every day.  The other day I blogged HERE about her It's Time for Lunch pack and how they make my morning check-in run so much smoother.  These lunch time choices were one of the prizes that I won. 

Since I already have them, and I think they are terrific, I had an idea.  After clearing my plan with Stephanie (she thought it was a FAB idea!), I'm going to Pay it Forward by giving away this set to one of my fabulous followers!  That's right, you could win this!  All you have to do is leave a comment along with your email on this post and at noon tomorrow, I will have my kids draw a number.  If it's you, I'll send it to you!  Fun, huh?!  I'm so excited that I can turn my prizes into a prize for someone else!

Whew!  I hope you stuck with me for all of that! 
  Don't forget to check out Michelle at Fabulous in First to see everyone else's Smorgasbord of randomness!

Friday, July 19, 2013

It's the Dog Days! A giveaway and a Freebie hop!

It's definitely the Dog Days of Summer here in Ohio this week!  It's been 90+ every day this week with blazing sun.  Not a raindrop in sight.  My poor kids have had a two-a-day soccer camp this week and they come home mighty tired and mighty stinky!

Anyway, to help you make it through the Dog Days (which also mean Back to School for most of us), my blogging friends and I over at Teaching Blog Round Up (TBR) have put together a pretty awesome event for you.  There's a giveaway over at TBR and we are having a blog hop for freebies and sales!

Click this fun button to take you over to TBR and enter the giveaway!

Thanks to Michelle at The 3am Teacher for the cute button.
Now for the rest of the fun!
I have a freebie for you!  I think it's pretty cute, if I do say so myself! Just click the image to download.

This is a very simple number match game for your beginning of the year math centers.  I've included numbers 1-20 for those kiddos that are ready for the teens!  Seriously, how cute are those sneakers?  Isn't Ashley Hughes amazing??
Now remember, everyone linking up ALSO has a FREEBIE to share so be sure to check out all the links below.  If you have a freebie you'd like to share, feel free to link up!  The more the merrier, right??
So--here's your To-Do list!
1. Head over to TBR and enter the giveaway
2.  Download my freebie HERE
3. Check out all the other freebies BELOW
(remember to check back often because bloggers may be linking up all weekend)
4. Add your own freebie if you'd like!
Hope this makes getting through the Dog Days of Summer a little more enjoyable!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Flash Freebie!

My bloggy friend Janaye over at Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes has reached 1,000 Facebook Fans so she has set up a Treasure Hunt for everyone to track down some amazing free things over the next few days!

Inline image 1
I'm so thrilled to be part of Day 1 of this super giveaway!  The best part is, everyone wins!  All you have to do is follow her treasure map to the freebies!
Head over HERE to find out what you can get today because I'm not the only blogger participating today!  Yes, there's MORE!
I'm offering my Digraph activities AND my editable word wall for free on my Facebook page from 10am-2pm CST today.  All you have to do is head over to my Facebook page and become a fan.  Then look for the Freebies for Fans tab and you can download the items from there! 
That's assuming that I did figure out how to upload my items correctly and everything--these are my first fan freebies so we'll see how it goes!

And, remember, this is only DAY 1 of the 1,000 Facebook Fans giveaway so be sure to check back with Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes each day for more freebies!

Tales of Frogs & Cupcakes

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Only 1 iPad? and a SALE!

It's Wednesday again so I'm linking up with Primary Possibilities for Wednesday Wisdom.

This week's topic is Technology. 
Our school has not purchased any iPads so I use my own in my classroom and I only have one.  It took me awhile to decide how to use it effectively, but here's what I've come up with.  I hope I can explain it clearly!

I use the iPad as one of my Listen to Reading activities during my Daily 5 time.  Obviously, because I only have one iPad, only one student per rotation gets to use it.  I use the stick pick app (A LOT!) to choose which 5 students will be on the iPad that day.

Sorry about the bad picture!

  I know many of you assign your kids to groups and they rotate through the Daily 5 activities in a certain order, but I do let my students choose which Daily they go to (yes, it can be done in an organized manner even in kindergarten--but that's another post!).  The kids that will be on the iPad need to know that before we start choosing activities because they can't choose Listen to Reading until it's their turn for the iPad.  Have I lost you yet?  It goes a little something like this:

1. We gather on the carpet to begin our Daily 5 rotations.
2.  I use the stick pick app to choose 5 names.
3.  I jot those 5 names down on a little sticky note and say "Here's who will be on the iPad today!"

Daily #1-Susie
Daily #2 Johnny
Daily #3 Joey
Daily #4 Sally
Daily #5 Timmy
Now the first few weeks I had to constantly keep reminding them when it was their turn to do listening.  I use my SMARTboard to choose Dailys so I would just move that child's name right into the Listen to Reading box before I even called any other names to choose so that they remembered.  But, trust me, most of the time they remembered!  This system worked really well for me and it got everyone on the iPad at least once a week.  They all knew that because I was drawing sticks, they would get their turn eventually so there was very little "when's it my turn for the iPad???" going on.  If that doesn't make sense, please ask any questions in the comments and I'll try to explain myself more clearly!  I know exactly what I'm trying to say!  HA!
Now here are the apps we used the most.
And do you remember that I mentioned a sale in the title?  Well, this morning I discovered that I had 250 instagram followers and 200 blog followers on Bloglovin'! 
I thought it was cool to hit nice round numbers on the same morning so I thought we needed a little celebration!  My TpT store will be 20% off all day and hopefully there will be a couple new items added before midnight.  No promises though--my kids have 4H project book judging tomorrow and my son may or may not still have quite a bit of his book to finish today so we'll see how that goes!  If you are a follower, THANK YOU!  My hope was to reach 100 followers before school started so to get to 200 before the end of July is an awesome surprise!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Smorgasbord

It's Sunday night again!  Time for me to link up with Michelle at Fabulous in First for a little bit of my randomness!  As I sat down to write this post, it hit me though--these carefree Sunday nights are coming to an end soon!  Boo!  Well, enough about that sad subject--here's what I've got for ya tonight!

I've been working hard at creating some things this week.  Kind of like that mad dash to catch up on everything I had planned to do this summer, but haven't gotten around to yet!  One of the things I made was this pirate behavior clip chart.  I love how it turned out!  And I especially love the preview I was able to create thanks to THIS great tutorial I found over at Ideas by Jivey.  I knew there had to be a better way to create previews than the way I was doing it!
You can find this clip chart HERE in my TpT store.  I love making these and have several other themes in the works.  If there is something specific you are looking for, leave me a comment and maybe I'll add it to the list!
Much of our time now is taken up with getting our kids' 4H animals ready for the fair.  I've been spending a lot of time with these boys.  They are so cute, but they can be such a handful.  Please start praying now that one of them doesn't drag my son through the show ring at the fair!  The bigger they get, the harder it becomes for him to handle them!
We also have three pigs that we are prepping, too.  Lots of animal walking going on around here!
I don't know if you knew this or not, but I also contribute to a collaborative blog called Teaching Blog Round Up. There are quite a few of us and we have something pretty exciting up our sleeves for you on Friday.  Head over HERE to follow TBR so you won't miss out!
Here are a few other random facts from the week:
1.  We had a pretty good storm on Wednesday and our power was out for 24 hours.  Before you feel too bad for me, I should tell you that we have a standby generator that kicks on automatically.  It doesn't run the whole house, but it does do most of it--and it's worth every penny!
2.  I got THREE pool days in this week!
3.  My kids start soccer camp tomorrow and I have to have them at the high school at 8:30am.  WHAT??!! 
4.  I'm super jealous of all the Vegas talk and pics going on all over bloggy land and instagram-ville.  I already told my husband that we are taking a mini-vacay next year and going to the conference.  I want to meet you all!
And one last thing--
The fabulous Amanda over at Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten has hit 400 followers on Bloglovin' AND TpT.  She's put together a tremendous giveaway that you should totally head over and check out RIGHT NOW!  I'm so thankful that she let me be a part of it!
Now I better hit the sack since I have to get those kids to soccer camp bright and early ALL week!  Don't forget to check out Michelle at Fabulous in First to see everyone else's Smorgasbord of randomness!

Friday, July 12, 2013

My First Favorite Pins Friday!

Today I'm linking up with Cara at the Frist Grade Parade for Favorite Pins Friday.  I've never joined this party before, but I've been reading everyone's posts and decided to join the fun!

I will admit, I haven't been on Pinterest a lot lately because I just got overwhelmed!  Between reading blogs, keeping up with Instagram and Facebook, and trying to just enjoy my summer, I had to let something go and it was Pinterest.  I know, I just heard a collective <GASP> from everyone!  Now that Back to School is not far off, I need to get back on there and start gathering ideas again!
Here's a few of my favorite pins that I've found recently.
2013 Blogging Planner {FREE Printable}
I haven't printed this yet, but I think I'm going to!  As my blog has gained more followers, and I've gotten more serious about what I'm doing, I think I need to be a little more organized about it.  I know that will be hard when school starts again.  I have an Erin Condren Teacher Planner and I was thinking of using those calendars for blog reminders, too, but I think I'm going to use this instead.
My New Behavior Reward System
I've read this blog post a million times.  I want to do this so bad, but I'm worried about the management of it all.  I'm not sure I can keep up!  I'm sure I'll bite the bullet and get this going before school starts.  It comes from one of my fave bloggers, so I'm sure it must be terrific!
FUN Hallway Behavior Management Idea. Before you leave the classroom pick a chip with a students name but don't tell who it is. They are the mystery walker and you are watching that student the entire time. If they do a good job in the hall, they get a ticket or prize.
I'm definitely implementing this next year.  I love the idea! 
And, finally, because I haven't read nearly enough this summer because I'm just not that into the books I've chosen, I'm going to try to make it through all 14 of these!  I probably won't even go see the movies because they never do the book justice!
Now go link up with Cara and see what everyone else has been pinning this week!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Workin' It Wednesday Wisdom--and a FREEBIE!

How's that for combining two linky parties in one post?!

Today I'm linking up with Primary Possibilities for Wednesday Wisdom AND Surfin' Through Second for her last Workin' It Wednesday <sniff, sniff>

First up, a little bit about some of the procedures I use in my classroom that keep things running smoothly. 

1.  Get one of these--NOW!
I bought one last year to use as my Daily 5 signal and I love it.  I use it to signal the end of EVERYTHING!  The kids hear it and they immediately stop what they are doing, clean up, and return to our carpet area.  I can make it be as loud or as soft as I want depending on how hard I hit it against my table. (Funny story--when I was working as a reading interventionist, I once saw a sub whack one on the table so hard it broke! Really??!!). It's small so I can easily take it to where I'm going to be working.  I love that I can bring everything to a stop with a quick, simple <ding>!  I bought mine from THIS WEBSITE.

2.  My kids often have free choice as they arrive in the morning until after announcements.  I have the choices on the smartboard along with their names and they just move their name into the box for the activity they wish to go to.  When it's time to clean up and get started, I play this video on the Smartboard.  It counts down at the end so the object is for everyone to be cleaned up and on the carpet ready to go before the video is over.  They LOVE it! 

3.  I use this awesome product for my lunch count and attendance in the morning. 

It just happens to be from Mrs. VanMeter at Primary Possibilities and she just happened to blog about it today, too.  Also, it just happens to be on sale today because of that.  Honest--I didn't know she was going to blog about it and she didn't know I was going to blog about it!  Great  minds think alike I guess!
You can find it HERE.  I put the lunch choices for the day in a pocket chart and they each put their name under their choice.  This way I can take lunch count and attendance all at once because if the name card is still laying out, they must be absent--that is, if the name card is still laying out after I've asked 5 times for them to be sure they've chosen their lunch!  I use these for my name cards. I have several different backgrounds that I use throughout the year.  I'm making these FREE in my store today.  They are editable so you can type names right into them!  I wish I had a picture of my lunch/attendance pocket chart, but I don't.  Boo.
Click HERE to get these for FREE today.
And now, my Workin' It Wednesday
I've been doing really good with my workouts right up until we went on vacation last week.  I haven't worked out since we've been home and I can already tell.  Why does it take so long to get results, but they go away so quickly???  I will get back with it TODAY!  I've been reading a lot about many of you doing "challenges" and I'm ready to jump in.  I'm going to start with a sexy leg challenge.
Sexy Leg Challenge
100 jumping jacks??  Yikes.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Don't forget to check out Primary Possibilities and Surfin' Through Second!