Friday, November 30, 2012

Let It Snow: Literacy Centers for Winter {Common Core Correlated}

Hi, friends!  I just wanted to write a quickie to let you know that I wrapped up my winter-themed centers, just in-case you're not able to do any Christmas related centers!  :) I was planning on waiting until January to work on this, but I had a little extra time now that grad school is finished.  My students are LOVING centers this year, and I am SO excited to be able to share my center packs with you!  Plus, TODAY through SUNDAY you can snag it for 20% off! ;)

In other news, we are still working on our study of Communities, and my students have been hard at work as "City Planners".  I will share lots of photos when they are complete, but in the meantime, this is an anchor chart that has helped my kiddos distinguish between the three different kinds of communities.  :)  It was a quick-draw, so it's really nothing remarkable, but it did help my visual learners. 

Honestly, I don't have a lot of pictures to share from this week.  I've been battling my THIRD upper-respiratory infection so far this year.  I'm also starting to get a tummy ache... and considering that my students have been dropping like flies... that's not a good sign.  The flu definitely has a stronghold in my classroom right now...and strep.  You can only imagine how much hand sanitizer has been used in my classroom this week.  Clorox wipes too!  We will see if I can avoid catching anything else! Ha!  It's like I am a brand new teacher all over again this year! It's crazy! 

So, since I don't have a LOT to share, I'm going to leave you with this little note from a student.  It's yet another reminder that what we do MATTERS each and every day!  Happy weekend, friends!  This tired teacher is going to BED!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

When I Was in... Third Grade {Linky Party}

I usually really stink at participating in linky parties!  I always think I will get around to posting and playing along, and then life happens.  I inevitably forget, and then I feel like a total wallflower...and a slight jerk!  :)  So, since I have a few free minutes and a slight case of self-diagnosed ADD tonight, I figured WHY NOT!?  Why not participate in a super cute linky party?!  :)  So, I am linking up with Mrs. Daniel at Second Grade Sparkle and sharing my third grade picture! 

This is what I looked like when I was just a little thirdster in 1992!  As you can see, I am rocking a little polka dot tunic... with a matching hair bow and snazzy faux pearls.  Of course!!! :)   Bahahahaha! 

Mr. Wonderful is especially fond of the foliage!  He cracked up when I showed him this!  Don't you love the old school backgrounds.  I totally have a few with lasers in the background too, because what was cooler than lasers in the early 1990's?!  Maybe LA Gears.  And slap bracelets.  MAYBE!  :)  As you can see, by third grade, I had matured, and preferred a much more sophisticated background! Ha!

This is a more recent school picture.  :)  Now I teach thirdsters... and LOVE it!

Want to play along?!  Head over to Second Grade Sparkle to join the fun!!!  :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE a good sale! I spent a long time lurking on TPT yesterday on my day off... trying to snag a few goodies for my classroom with the discount! :) It made me realize how many great products are out there!  So, with that said, I just want to take a moment to recognize other sellers and give a few shout outs! I also want to remind you that you still have a few more hours to score 28% off of the items in my little shop... and all over TpT!!! Happy Sales! :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Life Beyond Teaching... and a SALE!

I promise you... I do have a life outside of teaching, blogging, and TpT.   :)  Sometimes, I definitely feel the pinch, but overall, I really TRY to carve out lots of family time.  {I'm not gonna lie... I like ME TIME too!}  Seriously, it has been SO nice to have a few days off to catch my breath before the holiday frenzy that always ensues between Turkey Day and Winter Break!  Although it's so tempting to use the time to create classroom goodies to get "ahead" {as if that is even possible},  I have been using this time to spend time with my extended family, my parents, my sister, my hubs, and sweet Loralei too!  We even found some time to START decorating for my favorite holiday... YAY!

You know, I've only been married for two and a half years, so I am still in the process of learning how to be a domestic goddess, but I LOVE to cook!  I really enjoy making meals from scratch, because I LOVE a challenge!  :)  So, even though we ate Thanksgiving dinner at my parents, I still whipped up our own little feast at the Nickerson homestead!  Can we say, yummy!?  You have to try these recipes, friends!  For real!  So delicious!  (Click HERE for the green bean casserole recipe and HERE for the stuffing!!!)  Please excuse the lack of presentation... I write a teaching blog... not a food blog! ;)  Maybe some day I can channel my inner- Cara Carroll.  Someday...
Mr. Wonderful said this was the BEST green bean casserole he has EVER had.  ;)  You have to try it! 
If you like food with a little kick... you will LOVE this!  I think it would be GREAT with pork chops!

Okay, this is my first "BIG GIRL" turkey... and let's just say... I majorly messed up the trussing process! Ha! :)
During the holiday festivities, our garbage disposal kicked the bucket... and so did our dishwasher.  It was a double-whammy.  As you can tell, it was the kind of problem we couldn't ignore.  Fortunately, we were able to take advantage of the Black Friday sales, and we will have a new dishwasher delivered soon.  Don't you just HATE unexpected expenses though?!  Ugh!

In other news, I decided that I wasn't a huge fan of my super blonde hair.  I am naturally a strawberry blonde, so I decided to go back to my roots.  Literally.  :) While I am convinced that my natural hair color does not come in a bottle, we were able to get it pretty close.  It's just a little more red in person!  :)  This is just one more example of how the grass isn't always greener on the other side.  Sometimes, we just need to be ourselves.  Lesson learned!

Okay, and if I am being completely honest, I did work on teaching stuff a little bit.  :)  I added three more centers to my Christmoose Wishes centers!  It is now a 93 page file, so again, if you have already purchased the centers, you will want to go back in and download the new copy!  Now I am completely satisfied!  Ha!  You can check out a few of the additions below!

I am really enjoying making centers for my kiddos this year!  If you are interested in picking up some centers during the BIG Cyber Monday & Cyber Tuesday sale, I want you to know that I will be making them for every month!  My kids LOVE them, and it's a great morning work component in my classroom.  I just can't stop now! :)  I would have disappointed kiddos!  If you are interested in checking out the other sets, you can click on the cover pictures to take a closer look in my little shop!

 I have already started working on a winter set for January.  I'm open to suggestions.  Are there certain skills that you'd like to see included?  I haven't done a whole lot so far besides the cover and an ABC order, but I am hoping to have it done by next weekend!  Fingers crossed!  Here's a little sneak peek at the cover!

Of course, EVERYTHING in MY STORE will be on sale... not just my centers!  Since basically every seller will be throwing sales and TpT is taking another 10% off the top... you can score goodies for 28% off!  This is the perfect time to snag some of those items in your wishlist!  I know I have a few purchases to make myself!  ;) Does it get any better than getting a great deal?!  I think not!

Graphic by Ashley Hughes!  Isn't it too cute?!
Lastly, I wanted to let you know that I just added a FREEBIE to teach your kiddos how to infer using Tanny McGregor's fabulous trash can lesson!  I used it last week for an observation! :)  ENJOY!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Thanksgiving is a special time to give thanks for things that we may take for granted.  It's a time to celebrate our loved ones and our blessings.  I think sometimes it's so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day stuff that we can lose sight of all of the important things.  Sometimes we need to take a day to be "present" and truly appreciate what we have.

Personally, I am so thankful for a Creator who loves me no matter how much I falter.  I am thankful that I am married to my best friend.  I am thankful for my sweet family and friends.  I'm thankful for my precious golden fur-baby.  I'm also thankful that I get to go to work and do what I love.  I get to touch the lives of children and share my enthusiasm with them!  It's SO much more than just a job!  :)  I am also immensely thankful for the blogging community!  I have grown so much as a teacher, and I want to personally thank all of you for helping propel me to continually improve.  Today and every day, let's take a moment to be present and truly appreciate the blessings we have.  The things we take for granted... someone else is praying for!

Okay, in somewhat related news, I have to admit I am so excited to be uploading my updated Christmas centers.  I have been slowly pecking away at my Christmoose Wishes centers to align them with the Common Core and give them a face-lift that is more consistent with my other center packs.  Now it's completely revamped, and I am loving them!   If you're interested in checking them out for your little kid-diddles,  you can check out the updated file HERE!  If you already own it, make sure that you download the new file!  You won't want to miss out on the new additions! :) 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Inference Detectives: Fun on the Farm! {Rule-Breaker!}

Okay, I really TRY not to post twice in a day, because I realize it can get confusing!  I'm sorry friends!  (If you want to read my post from earlier today and try to win a fabulous teaching tool, you can find that HERE!)  I just realized that I totally forgot to add a little footnote about a new resource called Inference Detectives: Fun on the Farm!  It's a unit I put together last week to work a little harder on inferring.  I've noticed that many kiddos are still struggling with making those connections, so I wanted to have a way to make it a little more fun and add a little fall flair to the lesson while I was at it!  Unfortunately, we didn't have time to fit it in last week with all of our extras, but I am going to make it a point to fit the lesson in before we leave for Thanksgiving!   I am determined!!!!  I usually wait until after I use a product myself... but since it's almost the end of November, I wanted to get this out there faster.  Before you know it, snowflakes will be falling, so I am trying to cram in all of the fall fun I can in the meantime... although techinicaly... I think I could use this in the spring too!

 I wrote my own little original song to introduce this... to the tune of Old McDonald!

  The whole group part of the lesson centers around the following posters that could easily displayed on a SMARTboard, Promethean, or other projection device for whole group discussions.  :)  A corresponding recording sheet that goes along with the lesson and includes a reflection piece.

I also gave my inferring sentence stems poster a teeny tiny face lift by making it festive and autumn-themed.  :)  As an additional resource, I created sentence stem strips to use with my kiddos.  I figured I could build on the whole group lesson by creating an anchor chart or I could use the strips in a pocket chart to write inferences on sentence strips!  I think I'm actually going to go the second route using stories that we're already studying in class to reinforce the skill.  For that reason, I also included two additional inferring sheets that can be used with almost any book! 

I'm super excited!!!   I hope you'll forgive my double post!!!  As always friends, have a great day!!!