Friday, May 31, 2013

5 for Friday--School's Out Edition and My Goals for June!

I have officially been out of school for 3 days and I'm loving it!  I can't really say it's been relaxing because we've been really busy, but it's a good kind of busy!
Today I'm joining two Linky Parties--Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday and I {heart} Recess for my goals for June!  I'm hoping that by actually writing down some goals and putting them out there for all the bloggy world to see, I might actually stick to them.  Stay tuned to find out . . . .

I {Heart} Recess
First up, my Five for Friday "School's Out" edition!
1.  I finished up on Tuesday.  I feel really good about how I left my classroom.  I didn't end up getting frustrated and shoving stuff in places just to "hide" it!  I actually got everything put away in its place.
2.  I usually treat myself to a "Yay! School's out!" treat.  This year, I splurged and ordered an Erin Condren teacher planner.  I can not wait for it to arrive!
3.  Our yard work got severely neglected because we were so busy with work, school, and my kids' soccer season.  One of the first things I did when school was out was hit the greenhouse and got some flowers planted around here.  I love the way they look on my porch and deck.
4.  I'm looking forward to doing the book study with the Freebielicious authors with "The Next Step in Guided Reading" by Jan Richardson.  Mine came today!

5. My daughter and I got mani/pedis done today for my cousin's wedding tomorrow!  It was so fun!  We have joked all week that we never thought we'd see the day this boy would get married.  He's just so laid back that we thought he'd never ask her!  She's wonderful and I'm very happy for them!  Can't wait to party with the fam tomorrow night!

And now for my June goals!  This is a great linky hosted by I {heart} Recess.
This house needs deep cleaned.  Like "move the furniture and scrub the walls" cleaned.  I try to do that right away as soon as school is out and I still have my motivation.
  My in-laws have a small pool and I hope to get my kids there as much as possible.  I get "me" time to read while they swim!
I'm going to mow the yard, workout with a DVD, kick the soccer ball with my kids, swim, walk, SOMETHING for 30 minutes each day.
I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head about a calendar journal to go along with my SMARTboard calendar.  I want to get started on that sooner rather than later!
I really am looking forward to the book study.  I did the Daily 5 study last year and got so many great ideas.  You really should think about joining in!
I'm finally getting around to reading Steve Jobs' biography.  I know it's old news, but so far it's really interesting.  I added Defending Jacob to the list after hearing Erica Bohrer mention it a few times. 
OK, friends.  Hold me accountable to those goals!  And head over to both blogs to see what others are doing this summer!
Now, I'm off to resume my summer vacation!



Monday, May 27, 2013

This is So Exciting!

I wanted to let you all know that today was my first day to post on the new collaboration of bloggers called Teaching Blog Round Up!  I'm really excited to be a part of this!  If you haven't checked it out yet, you totally should!

At Teaching Blog Round Up, we are rounding up the very best teacher blogs and posts on the web all in one place for you.  Each day will feature a post packed with ideas, tips and information (not just a quick freebie) from one of our teaching blog authors. 
Head over right now to read my first post and take some time to look back through previous posts to find some great ideas from great bloggers!

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Summer Bucket List

What teacher doesn't have a summer bucket list??  Yesterday was my last day with students!  Today we are undergoing safety training (I hear they are going to simulate an active shooter situation for us-YIKES!) and then Tuesday is our final work day and I can get to work on MY bucket list!  It's fairly simple and probably much like most teacher bloggers!
1.  I want to reach 100 followers and have my first Giveaway.  I have a ways to go, but I'm hoping with more time to blog and connect with others over the summer, that I might just reach this goal! 
2.  I want to have more time to make all my ideas for products for my classroom a reality.  I only started creating things over my spring break in March so it's taken me some time to really get the hang of it.  I have an evergrowing list and I want to get to work on it.  And that also, of course, means adding more products to my TpT Store!
3.  I'm going to begin contributing at Teaching Blog Round Up and I hope to make new blogging buddies over there!  If you haven't checked out this up and coming blog, please do!  I don't think you'll be sorry!  My first day to contribute is coming up next week and I'm very excited!
4.  Clean out and organize the basement.  Probably the least exciting item on the bucket list but the one that will make me happiest to check off!
5.  Enjoy every minute of our annual family vacation to Ocean Isle Beach, NC. I can taste the Sunset Slush already! 
6.  Take the kids to a Cleveland Indians game.  We haven't been to one since they were very little.  In fact, I'm not sure my 9 year old has ever been to a game.  We say we are going to go every summer, but we never do.  This WILL be the summer!
7.  Drink my coffee on the deck or front porch as many mornings as possible--probably usually with iPad in hand reading teacher blogs . . . .
Well, those are the biggies.  I could probably list a hundred things, but I'll spare you.  Sorry for no pictures.  No time.  I have to go get ready for our safety training.  I won't lie, I'm a little nervous about this one.  At least we know it won't be a boring PD day!  I'll keep you posted . . .
Now I'm going to go link up my bucket list with everyone else's over at Miss Kindergarten.  I can't wait to find  a few minutes this evening to read what everyone else wants to accomlish this summer!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2 Linky Parties for 2 More Days of School!

It's that time of year!  We are all going CRAZY trying to get everything done, right?  I have 2 days of school left with kids (plus 2 work days) and I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!  In honor of
 I'm joining 2 linky parties with this post!  See, more bang for your buck right here!
First up, it's time for another Get Acquainted Linky with Mrs. Reed.

This week she is asking us to introduce you to 2 of our blogging buddies (see, I'm sticking with the "2" theme)!

1. Kristy from The Phonics Phenomenon
The Phonics Phenomenon

Kristy is the reason I even have this blog!  She and I are lucky enough to teach in the same building and have become very good friends.  We think so much alike!  She's an intervention specialist and she is AMAZING at what she does!  She started her blog first and kept encouraging me to start my own.  Well, here we are both anxiously awaiting summer so we can start turning all our ideas for products into reality!

Here's a great freebie that you can find in her TpT store.

Word Family Cards with short vowel word families

2. Teaching Blog Round-Up

This is a new adventure for me, but I've recently become a contributor to this blog.  I can't really call any of the other contributors "friends" yet, but I'm sure it won't take long!  You might want to take a look over there and watch for lots of great ideas from a variety of bloggers!

Now, on to the next  . . . . (bonus points if you know what TV show that's from!)

Linky Party #2 is from I {Heart} Recess

She's hosting a Budding Blog linky for anyone with less than 200 followers!  What a great idea!  She has asked us to answer a few simple questions about ourselves.

1.  Why did you start blogging?
Well, why not?!  Seriously, I became a follower of blogs last summer and became totally addicted!  I wanted to be able to share my ideas and network with other teachers so I hopped on the blogging bandwagon!

2.  What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
Easy--Language Arts.  I have a lot of additional training in reading instruction.  I'm Reading Recovery trained and I have been a Reading Intervention Specialist for 8 years before returning to the classroom this year.  I love being able to give kids strategies to help them become readers and seeing them use those strategies independently!

3. Describe your teaching style.
Hmmmm . . .   I like to keep it pretty structured and routine oriented, but also light hearted.  I love to be silly with the kids and just have fun.  I use the Daily 5 for reading instruction and I love the "structured flexibility" it gives me (if that even makes sense)!

4. Share 3 interesting facts about yourself.
I'm really not very interesting, but here goes . . .
*I'm currently teaching in the same building I attended all through elementary school.
*We raise show pigs to sell to kids for 4H projects and at some points in the year, we have over 200 piglets to care for! That also means we spend our summers showing pigs all over the state.
*Our county is the home to the largest Amish population in the entire world!  And, no, I'm not Amish.

5. Do you have a TpT store?
Why, yes, I do!  You can go HERE to visit it.  There isn't much there yet, but remember that part about having 2 days of school left??  Stay tuned . . . .

Wow--maybe that was too much for one post, so if you're still here, then thanks for sticking with me!

And don't forget to head over to Flying into First Grade and I {Heart} Recess to get to know some other bloggers!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Six for Sunday!?!?

OK, OK, I know I'm pretty late linking up with Five for Friday so to make up for my tardiness, I'm throwing in a bonus and making this Six for Sunday!  This weekend was just crazy and this is seriously the first moment my computer has even been on in about 5 days!  That's unheard of for me!
And I should also add that I just discovered that I haven't posted since the last Five for Friday.  End of the year craziness has set in.  4 more days and then summer break!  I can't wait to have more time to blog and create more products for my TpT store!
1.  On Monday, we had our annual picnic in the park.  We are lucky enough to have a park pretty close to our school and each grade level takes a day and spends it there as an end of year celebration!  We ordered pizza for our kiddos this year.  Here is my lovely colleague serving up some pizza!  It was a chilly day, but lots of sun and everyone had a ball!
2. Tuesday was letter T day in our ABC Countdown to Summer.  Everyone brought in Teddy Bears.  When I returned to my room from taking the kids to their special, this is what was on my carpet.  So cute that they left them like this!
3.  For letter V, we had veggie day!  I read them Stone Soup and then we made our own version in the Crockpot.  It's always so fun to see them get excited over the simplest things!  Seriously, dump in some broth and a couple bags of frozen veggies and let them get hot.  You would have thought I made them a gourmet meal!  "Oh, Mrs. Feikert!  This is the best soup we've ever eaten!"  Why, thank you, fine friends!

4.  Another highlight of the week was our Watermelon Hunt for letter W.  We traded watermelons with another Kindergarten class and hid them.  Then we hung up clues around the building so they could find their watermelon.  We ended up on the playground eating watermelon slices!  It was so much fun, but can you believe that I got so caught up in hunting the watermelon and slicing it that I forgot to take pictures??!! 
Insert sad face . . . .
5.  We've been celebrating summer birthdays this month and I am lucky enough to have one student that has a mother who has a small baking business.  He brought in the coolest cupcakes!
And here's my bonus since I was late in linking up . . .
6.  My daughter plays on a Spring League Soccer Team and they finished their season undefeated yesterday!  I just love the girls on this team and they all get along so well.  And they are good, too!  There's a big tournament next weekend so we're looking forward to that and hoping to have some more success!
Now I'm going to head over to Doodle Bugs and check out what everybody else has been up to this week!  See ya there!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Five for Friday--only 1 more Friday for me!

OK folks!  It's time for Five for Friday again!  I seriously LOVE this linky.  I find myself throughout the week thinking "Oh, this could go on my 'Five for Friday!'" 

I have 9 days of school left so you can imagine that it's getting pretty crazy!  Oh, who am I kidding?  It's beyond crazy both at home and at school!  If I survive the next two weeks with my sanity and my family still has clean clothes to wear, it will be a miracle!  Today's list is going to be a mix of both school and personal happenings!
1.  We are doing an ABC Countdown to summer.  In fact, we are using this wonderful TpT product for our countdown thanks to Tammy at Live, Laugh, Love.  For letter Q, we decided to do a baby picture quiz.  I had the kids bring in a baby picture in an envelope so no one could see which picture they brought in.  I taped them to the board and numbered them.  Then I gave them each a class list and had them write the number next to the name of who they thought was in the picture.  They LOVED it.  And they took it VERY seriously!  How cute is #17 in the corner?  His mama happens to be on my grade level team in my building.
2. TpT sale!  Oh my word.  I could shop for hours and hours!  I scored some great things.  My co-worker and best blogging buddy, Kristy at Phonics Phenomenon (if you haven't checked out her blog, you totally should!) and I were texting frantically back and forth about what we were going to buy and how many licenses we need and yadda yadda!  The purchase I am most excited about is the Writing Through the Years bundle from Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills.  I can't wait to get started with this next year!  I also bought some a TON of clip art and fonts so be watching for some new products as soon as school is out and I can breathe again!
Writing Through the Year Unit 1 {Aligned with Common Core}
3. Mother's Day!  I had so much fun making our Mother's Day gifts with the kids.  We used the Mother's Day Purse from Miss Kindergarten and we made keychains.  I owe a HUGE thanks to Kristy again (see above!) for helping me get those keychains done.  I was starting to sweat! Gotta love an intervention specialist who LOVES to do crafts!
4.  If you haven't read about it in other posts, we are a big 4H family.  It's that time of year again and tonight we went and picked up our goats that my kids will show at the fair.  Aren't they adorable??
5.  And continuing with the 4H theme (I told you it was that time of year!), we have been busy prepping for our 2nd (and last!) hog sale of the year.  We raise and sell pigs for kids to show as 4H projects.  Today I had a personal day to help my husband get things all ready to go since we also have to squeeze in 2 soccer games tomorrow before the sale.  75 babies are all spiffed up and ready to go and the paperwork is all done!
Thanks for reading my Five for Friday!  I'm off to go read up on what's been going on in everyone else's lives this week!  You can link up HERE!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Sale!

I'm joining in on the Teacher Appreciation Sale at TpT!  This is my first sale, so I'm quite excited.  I just wish I had gotten more products finished and uploaded.  Oh well, that's what summer will be for, right??  Did I mention that I only have 13 days of school left?! 
Anyway, head over to my store and check it out.  And be on the lookout for some great things coming soon (with all the clip art I'm going to be buying during the sale)!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Currently May Edition--It's May Folks!!

It's time to link up with Farley again for the May Edition of Currently!  May!  It's May! 

So without further ado, I present my May edition . . . .
And here's a little more 4-1-1 if your interested . . .
Listening  Yes, folks, it's finally warm enough here in central Ohio to keep the windows open for more than three hours in the afternoon!  I can hear the birds chirping as I sit here blogging at my kitchen table!  Yay!
Loving That's right. Only 15 more days of school for this girl! Well, 17 if you count the two work days after the kids are done. AND I'm off tomorrow to go on my son's field trip AND I'm off next Friday to use my last personal day! Woo Hoo for three day weekends, but Yikes for getting everything accomplished!
Thinking  Oh my goodness, did we have all kinds of fun today!  I have so many pictures I want to post for you all, but I'll try to hold myself back!  We had a gorgeous day for our trip to The Farm (that's what it's called!) and the kids were so good!  Success!

There are so many more that I want to share--maybe I'll  just do a photo dump blog post about it!
Wanting   Is it possible for the next three weeks to fly by, but yet never end?  I have SO much going on at school and with my own kiddos that looking at my calendar gives me a panic attack. I'm ready for summer and less commitments.  But, I love love love this class of kiddos and I don't want to give them up!  I'm going to try to enjoy every moment!
Needing   With the aforementioned busy schedule, I'm thinking the house cleaning is just going to have to wait until school is out.  Hopefully, I can keep up with the dishes and the occasional load of laundry just to keep us going . . .
Summer Bucket List  Pretty self-explanatory!  I should probably move that basement one to #1 because we really need to do that!  Our kids are of the age that they will be having friends here A LOT now and they need their own space!
Ok, go HERE to link up and read what every one else is up to for May! I can't wait!

Homework in Kindergarten--and a freebie!

Do you have homework in your kindergarten classrooms??
My grade level team sends home a homework sheet at the beginning of each week to go with whatever letter or digraph we are working on that particular week.  Yes, we have homework in Kindergarten! 
 Here's my philosophy:
1.  It builds responsibility and gets kids and parents into the "homework" routine but with little stress and no consequences.
2. It builds a home-school connection.  Parents know what we are working on that week and they get a chance to see what their student can do.
3.  Practice makes perfect so what does it hurt to spend a few minutes at home practicing the skills we are working on all week?
I send the worksheet home on Monday and it's due back by Friday.  I keep track (sort of!) of who brings it back and who doesn't, but there is no consequence for not turning it in.  It's strictly extra practice.
We focus on a letter a week (but we don't work strictly on that letter), but we are at that point in the year when we've done all the letters and we are now working on digraphs and other spelling patterns.
A while back I blogged about my digraph pack that I used in my classroom. The kids loved it and did such a good job with it! To read more about those activities, check out this post.
We discovered that we did not have any homework sheets for digraphs that we were satisfied with.  So I created some!  Included are worksheets for digraphs sh, ch, th, wh, and ck.
(Please forgive the crazy border thingy--I was messing around with the editing feature and somehow lost the original pictures and only had these to post!  Oops!)
Head over to my TpT store to get these free digraph worksheets!
If you're interested in my digraph activities pack, click here!

I'm linking up with Freebielicious to bring you this freebie on the first!  Head over there and check out all the amazing free products!

Also, don't forget to visit Sara at Primary Buzz to participate in her fundraiser for the family of Martin Richard, the little boy who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Primary Buzz

 And Miss Williams at Fluttering in First Grade is celebrating 100 followers with a great giveaway!  Click the link to her blog to go enter!