Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I’m a Sucker for a Linky Party & Word Wall Suggestions

I found several more linky parties while I was blog hopping last night!  I sat down to work on my writing prompt journals for August, but I took a wrong turn and ended up in blog land for wayyyyy to long… So the journals still aren’t done, but I have some blogs to share with you!
Before we get to the linky parties, let me ask you about word walls.  Do you have one? If yes,, how do you use it?  I am thinking about putting one up this year.  I got the cutest room theme set from Clutter Free Classroom- check it out- I’m going with the “bright and cheerful bundle” (aka polka dots).  So, included in the set are the letters and header to make a word wall.  Today at Wal-Mart I picked up a roll of polka dot wrapping paper.  My though is, I will laminate the wrapping paper and use it as the background for my word wall.  Once it’s laminated, I can write on it or take my words up without the paper ripping when I remove them.  This idea is still in the planning stages, so I will let you know.  PLEASE tell me how you use your word wall!!
Now to the linkies! 
Bonnie from Living a Wonderful Life has a linky on obsessions.  I have so many I don’t even know where to begin…
The rules are: You can be as personal, or professional, as you'd like.
List as many, or as few, as you'd like.
Here are just a few of my current obsessions: OPI-nicki-minaj-pink-friday-nail-polish
Nail Polish- A friend, namely Gigi (who I know will get this via email), is to blame for this one.  It’s all your fault G!  It started as her obsession, but then she sucked me in.  As I type this, I have to keep reminding myself who I am.  I am NOT Nicki Minaj, I am only wearing her polish.  Will somebody please tell me who the eff I is?
Cleaning- I have this thing where I need my house to be clean and things in their place at all times. I’m trying to loosen up a little, as not to drive everyone in my house crazy, but it’s SO hard!
Blogging- This should probably be first on the list…If I’m not on the computer working on my blog, I’m walking around composing one in my head.  Hopefully that will wear off after I get it looking the way I want.
Fonts- I have so many fonts on my computer it’s ridiculous.  Everything I do at school is in a different font.  I re-do things others do if it’s in a “boring” font.  I get made fun of for my obsessive need for cuteness on paper, but I just can’t help it…Image634739695739840352
Starbucks venti white peppermint mocha with skim milk no whip- Another obsession.  I <3 it!  Peppermint white mocha is not just a Christmas drink!  It’s delish.
I know I have more, but that’s enough.  I don’t want you to think I’m crazy…
Second Linky-

Summer Blogging Bonanza Linky Party! from

Keep Calm and BLOG ON!
All you have to do is tell the blog world about your personal blog journey and post about it.
You can use these questions just copy and paste them in to your post:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2.  What blogs do you stalk?  What blogs inspire you? (These blogs can be teaching blogs, non-teaching related or both.  Make sure to link them so we can check out your blog favs!  Hello!?!?! We will certainly all need new blog reading material this summer)
3. Blogging tips, tools, and great ideas you have learned along the way
4. Blogging and balance
5. What are your blogging goals for the summer?
My Answers
1.  Why did I start blogging? I started blogging because of all the awesome blogs I was reading everyday.  I wanted to be just like them- cute blogs, wonderful activities and tips, awesome fonts (we already know I have issues with this…) etc.  Finally, one day I gathered up my courage and jumped in. Little did I know how obsessed I would become!
2. What blogs do I stalk? Just the other day I created a new page titled “Blogs I love”.  It’s one of the tabs at the top of my blog.  I did this because there were certain ones I go back to and I wanted an easy way to find them.
3. Blogging tips and tools I’ve learned along the way.  One of the best Smitten with Firstthing I’ve discovered is Window Live Writer.  Michelle from Smitten With First told me about the program.  I like it because you can do more with images.  This post was done I Windows Live Writer.  I spend many many hours last night copying and pasting codes {which I STILL don’t really understand} to create the template you see now.  After hours of Googling "how to blahblahblah” and some tears {when I thought I had totally ruined it because I thought I deleted the wrong thing}, and a several curses I was triumphant! BEHOLD, a cute (IMO) blog template! Before blogging, I felt fairly confident in my tech skills, but blogging is a whole new ballgame!  I found 2 great blogs with tutorials for different things:

 -with a post on linking your blog to facebook and creating a custom signature (both are on my to-do list today)
-with a post on creating a grab button (which I did!)
-another GREAT teaching blog!
4. Blogging and Balance.  Seeing as how I’ve been in a blog fog for the better part of he last 24 hours, I have no comment…See Obsessions linky above.
5. Blogging goals for the summer.  To get better at blogging so each post doesn’t take me as long!
NOW- If you’ve made it to the end of this crazy long post, you deserve a prize!
The first 3 people who join up with one/both of these linkies and comment here telling me you did, will get a prize from my TpT store.  Just leave your email with your comment!
Happy Wednesday!


This is only a test- BEEEEEEEEP

I've attempted to make a button.  Someone please grab it and tell  me if the code works.  If it doesn't, I'll scream & curse try it again.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

All About Who? You, that's Who!

Mommy and Me Creations

Welcome to All About Hoo? You, That's Who! Link party.
Here are this week's questions:

1) What are your favorite hobbies?
I seem to only have time for hobbies in the summer, and even then, I'm not sure if laying in the pool counts as a hobby... I like to read, shop, stalk blogs, and create TpT stuff.

2) What is one of your best talents?
I have no idea.

3) Are you right or left handed?
Right handed

4) Are you a spontaneous person, or do you like having things more planned out?
I think I am a combo of both. I like somethings planned and other times I like to let what will happen, happen.

Link up at

Mommy and Me Creations

I created a new page on my blog called "Blogs I Love".  Check out the tab at the top.  I have included some of my very favorite blogs.  Most of them are 1st grade blogs, but not all.

Also, Michelle at No Monkey Business is having a giveaway to celebrate 100 followers.  
Hop on over and check it out!

No Monkey Business

Monday, May 28, 2012

The announcement you've all been waiting for...

The giveaway for reaching 50 followers has ended and the winners have been drawn. I have emailed the winners and I thank you all again for taking time out of your busy day to read my blog!

I've just discovered a new-to-me blog that I now follow:

Sweet Seconds

She is currently having a giveaway for reaching 100 followers.  Great prizes- check her out!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

School’s Out for Me! Celebrating with a giveaway, a TpT sale, and a Linky!

WooHoo! No more school for 2 months!  While I am so excited about having free time, I also plan on creating many new TpT items and working on my blog.  What are your summer plans? Are you making new products to sale?
I have joined in with Kindergarten Lifestyle for a Memorial Day SALEabration!  Everything in my TpT store is 20% off from May 27-28th.
Click the image to see who else is having a sale and fill up your cart!

There are 10 hours left to enter my 50 followers giveaway!  Two lucky people will win 5 free items from my TpT store. Click HERE to enter!

I have also joined up with Teacher Idea Factory’s Rockin’ Resources Linky Party.
This little Linky is called Rockin' Resources: Things I Couldn't Live Without.  I am mainly thinking of the things/resources that you use in your classroom that you live and die by, but it could include other things as well.   I know I am in need of a few more "classroom tools," and who better to ask than my wise bloggy buddies??!!
Here are my TOP 5 "classroom can't live withouts..."

1.  Cute fonts- I could not make it with my fonts.  I have acquired them from many places: DJ Inkers, Kevin and Amanda(which is blocked at my school, grrrrr), 1001 Free Fonts,, and just to name a few.  Everything I do must be in a different, cute font.  I just can’t help it! :)2. My Elmo, Mobi, and projector.  I just don’t know how I taught before I had such wonderful technology in my classroom.
If you are not familiar with these products;
Elmo-   Mobi-
These items are very expensive.  Luckily my school received A LOT of federal money a few years ago, and equipped each classroom with these 3 items.  It has made teaching wonderful!
3. small white boards for each student.  Go to Lowes or Home Depot and purchase a sheet of shower board.  They will cut it for you in any size you want. 
4.  Composition notebooks.  These are so much better than spiral notebooks.  A while back, I saw an idea on Pinterest, of course, that I want to try next year.  Supposedly, Lowes or Home Depot will cut them for you, if you don’t have the means to do it yourself.  Has anyone tried this? How did it work for you?
5. My favorite websites! Teachers pay Teachers, Teacher’s Notebook, Pinterest, and BLOGS!  I couldn’t have done half of what I did without these sites. 
Join the Linky and share what you can’t live without! Thanks for stopping by and
Happy Memorial Day!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaching with YouTube

This school year was the first year YouTube has not been blocked in my school system.  I don’t remember how I made that discovery, but it sure made me one happy teacher!  There are thousands of educational videos that are great for the classroom!  If you have access at your school and don’t use it- I encourage you to start.  There are a few things I discovered that helped me that I’ll pass on to you:
1. Create a channel.  When you create your own channel you can mark videos as “favorite” and they will be saved there.  This makes it super easy to go back and find that one that you really liked, but just can’t remember the title…

2.  When you find channels you like, subscribe to them.  Subscribing to a channel creates a shortcut to that channel- it shows up in a listing on the side of your home page.
3.  Never search for a video while your students are watching. You never know what will pop up!  Even the most innocent search words can bring up some rough stuff…
4.  Use the pop out/full screen option for viewing with students.  This eliminates ads on the side that can be distracting and/or inappropriate.
Youtube linky
I have linked up with Mrs. Nelson from, Run! Mrs. Nelson’s Got the Camera, who is hosting a YouTube Linky Party to share your favorite videos.  Here are some of mine…
This video is from KidsTV123.  It is a GREAT channel!

This one is kind of long, so I only show some of it.  Does a great job of showing how things are recycled.
Shows how clouds are formed.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Giveaway to Celebrate 50 Followers!

I’ve reached 50 followers!  I know that’s not a lot, but it’s a big deal to me!  I still have a lot to learn about the ins and outs of blogging and I am thankful that you all have stuck with me!  To celebrate, I am having a giveaway!  5 people will win 5 items of their choice from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. AND- there are 5 ways to enter.  Just checkout the Rafflecopter below!

Thank you everyone!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Most Memorable Moment Linky and MY 1st BLOG AWARD!!!

I have linked up with Heidi at My (Not So) elementary Life for a linky party on the most memorable moment of the 2011-2012 school year. 
Click the picture above to link up!
One of my most memorable moments happened just yesterday.  You know how you always here the excuse “my dog ate my homework”?  Well, I actually received a note written by one of my 1st graders that said “When I went to the restroom, my dog ate my homework.”  I asked her about it and low and behold, it really happened! 

Also, Heidi from My (Not So) Elementary Life awarded me the Lovely Blog Award yesterday! I could hardly believe my eyes as I was reading her post and then saw my name.  I am so thankful and if you haven’t checked out her blog you should certainly do so!
Now it is my turn to award 15 new bloggers with this award.
I follow SO many wonderful blogs that it was hard to choose just 15! My choices are:
Deborah at The Paper Maid…

Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Several linky parties!

I've linked up with Miss Nelson's linky party on fav children's books.  Here are some of my favorites...

Every Kevin Henkes Book- some of my very fav:

Great read if you are having copy cat problems!
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read! To give you an idea- the chickens are tired of eating chicken feed, so the Rooster watches the farmer's wife's cooking shows and learns to make salsa and the animals plan a fiesta!  The only thing missing is the margaritas! OLE!

A linky party from Mommy & Me Creations

Mommy and Me Creations

Here are this week's questions:
1) What is your favorite color? 
2) What is your favorite food? 
3)What is your favorite T.V. show? 
4) Do you have a lucky number? And if so, what is it?

1.  I don't really have a specific favorite color...yellows, blues, and  polka dots.  
Do polka dots count as a color? 
2.  I love rice.  Any kind of rice.  Is that weird, because I feel like it's a weird answer... 
3.  The good 'ole DVR currently records Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, every Kardashian show, Duck Dynasty, and murder mystery shows like Snapped, Dateline and 20/20.
4.  No favorite number- unless we're talking about class size- then it's 15. (The number of kiddos I'm currently blessed with!)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Summer Bucket List Linky Party

Only 6 days and 2 hours until that glorious final bell rings and we go out and wave goodbye to all the buses.  As soon as they are out of sight, we do our happy dance in the street, then run for it!  Just typing about it has me smiling.   I.  CAN'T.  WAIT.  
I have so much I want to do this summer- here are a few of them:
 1. Float in the pool.
2.  Float in the pool.
3.  Float in the pool.
 after 1-3, maybe I'll do something else like...
~create new TpT products around Common Core Standards
~Clean out some closets
~organize my classroom filing cabinets {a project that could take all summer}
~blog stalk
~get better at using Blogger

This linky party inspired me to give my students an opportunity to share their summer plans so I created a sheet for them to fill out.  You can get a free copy at my TpT store.  After you've downloaded it, please leave me some feedback!  Follow my store, if you're not already.



Great new reminder app to use with parents!

Teaching Blog Addict: Brand NEW App to Connect with your Class!

What a great app to communicate with parents! I've just downloaded it and plan on using it next school year.  Best of all, it's free from the app store. Is anyone else using this app?  If so please leave a comment and tell me how it's working for you.  I'll keep you posted on how it's working for me.

:) Dana

Monday, May 14, 2012

Summer Reading List Linky

 Reading is definitely on my summer to-do list!  I am sure this linky will just cause me to add more titles to my list... I would like to finish 

I would also like to read

{ONLY because we are switching to them next year}

How about you?! Link up and let us know!
You can also link up with the Clutter-Free Classroom and share what your reading.  You may also win the contest!

:) dana

And the winner is...

Congratulations   Sarah from The Fabulous First Grade!!!
Click HERE to go to my TpT Store and choose ANY ITEM FOR FREE!!!
Just let me know what you want and I will get it to you.

to all my followers!

:) dana

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy happy Friday!

I am SO glad I can say those words- Friday at last! It has been a good Friday in my little part of the world. It was field trip day. I don't know about you, but I like field trips. They get us out of the classroom, the kids experience a new thing or two, and there's always something memorable that happens! Today we went to the Nashville Children's Theatre to see Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type. It was a gorgeous day so instead of eating in a classroom at the theater we ate outside. It was perfect and the play was really cute. I wondered how they would stretch the book into an hour of entertainment, but they did it. Now, i don't know about you, but I have a problem with children's plays and movies...... I tend to fall asleep during them. I don't know why or how to stop. Does this happen to anyone else?? Surely I'm not the only one. Anyways, it only happened once today, so by my rating scale that means it was a pretty good play. I give it 1 out of 5 snores (you want a low number on this scale). :)
Made it back with all children and no incidents so chalk up another successful field trip!!

A few posts back, I said I would have a give away when I reached 20 followers. Well, I haven't forgotten, life just got in the way. My mission for the weekend is to figure out how to do it. I've decided the prize will be any 1 item from my TpT store. By Sunday night, I WILL have it posted!

Little update on the teacher appreciation week bathroom renovation- its not finished. Guess the contractor doesn't appreciate me THAT much...ha. Just kidding, he's doing great, just not finished.

I've rambled enough, so I'll quit now, but remember:
1. Tell me how to stay awake during kid plays/movies
2. Leave me tips on using a giveaway widget

:) dana

P.S. this is my first time to blog from my phone using the blogger app, so forgive me if this post comes out all crazy.
Ok, I'm really gone now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fabulous Finds at the TpT Sale

I wanted to show my appreciation to some amazing teachers by sharing with you some of my purchases I made yesterday.

Weather Doodles Digital Clip Art combo (BW & Color PNG files)
By C & C Teach First

So You Want to Be a Wildlife Biologist? K-2 Animal Research Project

May Math & Literacy Color by Codes

Fun with Firsties! {Back to School for First Grade}

GeoBoard It! A Fun Math and Geometry Station

What Plants Need Craftivity

Polka Dot Word Wall Words

Polka Dot Word Wall Labels

You've got a few more hours of the TpT sale using the code TAD12 to receive an additional 10% discount.  Don't forget about Teacher's Notebook either.  There are a lot of sales over there too!  Check out my shops while you're there! :)

Click here for my stores:

Click here to hop over to Erica Bohrer's blog- She's hosting a linky party highlighting many purchases made the past few days!

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