Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Teacher Blog Tuesday!

Today, we are meeting Keri from 

1.                  Name of blog and link:
2.                 Why did you start blogging?  Well~ I was a blog stalker for so long that I decided to stop being creepy and create my own blog!  It has only been a couple months and I am still slowly figuring things out! It is definitely a work in progress!  Also, I spent so much extra time at work creating extra projects, games, crafts, etc. that I decided to share my ideas out in blogland!

3.                  Tell us a little about your teaching background.  I finished up my Elementary Education degree at Arizona State University and then my hubs and I promptly moved to Texas!  The hubs ~luckily~ was given a scholarship to Texas Tech and I started teaching third and then fourth grade.  I rarely saw my hubby so I figured I would go to graduate school too!  I went to Lubbock Christian University and received my Masters in Special Education.  After we both finished up grad school we moved to the greatest city in Texas ~ Austin!  I taught fourth grade for four years and this is my second year in first grade.  First grade is my absolute fave so far!

4.                  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Oh wow!  What isn’t?  I have very eclectic tastes! To name a few…
Where the Green Grass Grows – Tim McGraw (I’m a country girl at heart)
Dynamite – Taio Cruz (because let’s be honest ~ who doesn’t want to wave their hands up in the air sometimes and say Ay – O?)
The Prayer – Charlotte Church and Josh Groban (for my spiritual side)
The Scientist – Coldplay (for when I’m feeling moody)
Bring Him Home – Les Miserables soundtrack (sometimes you just want to sing along with a Broadway tune at the top of your lungs)
Short skirt/Long Jacket – Cake (for my quirky side)

5.                 What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Put the hubs through Law School was pretty dang hard but nothing compares to the 8 year struggle I’ve had with infertility.

6.                 What’s your favorite TV show? I love me some comedy! 30 Rock – Modern Family – The Middle – Grimm (so creeptastic!) and Person of Interest

7.                  Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?  DJ Inkers for sure but it has to be a kid-friendly font!  I feel like there are many “cute” fonts out there that are difficult for the kids to read!

8.                 Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake? 34!

9.                 What was the last book you read?  I would love to say Winston Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples but I love to read pure escapism like a good Lisa Jackson or Iris Johansen.

10.            What chore do you absolutely hate doing?  Do I have to pick one? I’m actually a pretty tidy person ~ I just don’t like the down and dirty jobs like scrubbing the toilet or tub! Bleh!

If you would like to be featured, email me at dml8609@gmail.com!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Teacher Blog Tuesday, I mean, Saturday...

Have you ever had a blog post that you wrote and scheduled to post (at least you thought you did) and then it disappeared?! Well, that’s what happened to me!  I got this post all ready and set to post on this past Tuesday and here it is Saturday and I just realized it never did!  I have no idea where it went, but I owe a big I’m sorry to Stephanie and Judith!!  Without further ado, here it is!

Our first blogger is Stephanie from  
1.             Name of blog and link:
It took me a LONG time to think of a cute name for my blog, after much deliberating and worrying about how it would be received/perceived I decided on MaMa Goose’s KinderGarden http://mamagooseskindergarden.blogspot.com
And in case you are wondering I am super happy with my blog title and loving every minute of blogging!

2.           Why did you start blogging?
June 24, 2012

3.            Tell us a little about your teaching background.
In 2005 I graduated with my MAT and began working as an Intervention Assistant for a school on Long Island. My first year I worked with 3 different 1st grade classes pushing in to work with at risk students. My second year I worked as a one-on-one for a 1st grade student diagnosed with being on the Autism spectrum. After 2 years at that school I was offered a full time Kindergarten position at a school with the New York City Department of Education. My first two years I had a small classroom and only 12-15 Kindergarteners (which was perfect!) My room was renovated and my third year I had a full sized kindergarten class in my new full-sized classroom. My fourth and fifth years I co-taught, my room was transformed into the ICT/CCT classroom. I am now beginning my 6th year at my school and I will continue to teach Kindergarten. This year I will be moving to a new room and going back to teaching by myself. I am looking forward to trying all the great activites, lessons and management ideas I have picked up from all the wonderful teacher bloggers out there! 

4.             What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
The soundtrack to my life is a large mix of various genres from country to classical to rock and roll! My top hits are: Keith Urban’s Making Memories of Us (my wedding song 6 years this summer), Tim McGraws My Best Friend, Jimmy Buffetts Brown Eyed Girl, Journeys Dont Stop Believin (cause everything and anything is possible), The Monkees’ I’m a Believer, Shaggy’s Angel (a blast from my past when my hubby and I started dating), every Bon Jovi song out there and finally for my little one Katy Perry especially the song she sings with Elmo! My little one lights up and dances and sings her heart out when Katy Perry is on!!

5.           What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
The hardest thing I have done so far is go back to work after having my little girl! I’ve done many adventourous things in my life white water rafting, camping, traveling with an infant but honestly, the beginning of the school year is probably the hardest thing for me. I have such excitement about meeting my new students and getting the year started but such sadness knowing I will be away from my little girl all day!

6.           What’s your favorite TV show?
One?!?!? I don’t have just one I watch lots of drama shows: both versions of NCIS, all the Law & Order shows, Cake Boss, Army Wives, Grays Anatomy, and so many more. Now don’t think I spend ALL my evenings infront of the TV actually I DVR a million shows and then watch them randomly over vacations and when I have free time.

7.           Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?
Now this is a fun question! If you had asked me a few months ago I would have said Times New Roman (or any other standard font/graphics) BUT now that I’ve found the blogging world. Oh the possibilities are endless I cant just pick one! I love so many different companies graphics and fonts and I’m having fun exploring and finding new ones! I also used to like everything to match and be completely uniform and am beginning to explore the endless possibilities of mixing and matching fonts and graphics!

8.          Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
30 ~ I know I can’t believe it either!

9.           What was the last book you read?
Don’t laugh Sisterhood Everlasting. Its the 5th book in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series which I read when they first came out. I enjoy reading teen books, they are fun and light hearted and quick reads (although this book was full of drama and sadness as well as happiness!) I’ve actually been a busy bee this summer reading as much as I can since I know once the fall comes I wont be able to read that much. I’ve read  Nicholas Sparks Safe Haven, the 50 Shades trilogy (yes I jumped on the band wagon), I read another teen trilogy by Wendy Mass. I cant think off hand what else I read but my next book is Until Tuesday which is a memoir!  

10.        What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Cleaning the toilets! I absolutely HATE to clean the toilets in the house!

Now let’s meet Judith!
1.            Name of blog and link: Teaching with J   http://teachingwithj.blogspot.com.au/  Would love to come up with some really snazzy, exciting blog name, but

2.           Why did you start blogging? After sitting on the sidelines for a few months stalking other blogs, the urge just took me to jump on in.  I was on the fence as to whether or not to do it there didnt seem to be many Aussie teachers blogging, so would I be accepted??? But the chance to connect with teachers from all over the globe from my study, wasnt going to be a chance to miss. And the knowledge I am absorbing is incredible. I am in awe of so many people I have never met, but share the passion of teaching with. Nearly positive half of you live in your classrooms how else do you get it all done???

3.            Tell us a little about your teaching background. Well, it started back in the 80’s and has covered Special Education, Preschool, and Primary teaching. I have the usual qualifications Dip Teaching, Bach Education, and a Grad Dip in Professional Development!!! Over the many, many years of teaching I have seen various programs come and go, and currently I am teaching in the first year of using the new Australian Curriculum. Cars change, governments change, but I just keep on teaching

4.             What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? Well, songs and me don’t really kick-it. Rarely do you come across a lower school teacher who is tone deaf, but here I am. Trying to hold a note on key is painful (so I am told!). But, does that ever stop me???? No way. I love music that gets me up and moving no elevator music for me!

5.           What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Building our home from scratch, by hand, and teaching at the same time. Must have done something right as we are still living in it 20 odd years later! But currently are revamping the bathroomshard, no. Messy, yes!

6.           What’s your favorite TV show? Give me a good detective show with a twist to solve and I am a goner. I have no patience for soapies, though for a brief period of my life did get sucked in by The Bold and The Beautiful! Overall, not really a TV junkie at all loved the Olympic telecast and tried to watch as much as possible.

7.           Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why? Give me DJ Inkers over Times New Roman any day! TNR is dull, unimaginative and plain. DJI has a certain quirkiness to it that just captures your imagination when creating with it.

8.          Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake? Really!!!! Are you meant to count all of them?????

9.           What was the last book you read? A Fitting End by Melissa Bourbon you have to be a sewing enthusiast who loves a good mystery to get this one!

10.        What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Cleaning the chicken coop (or as us Aussies say the Chook Coop) out. I am always paranoid of finding a snake in there never have, but you never know

If you would like to be featured on my New Teacher Blog Tuesday, email me at dml8609@gmail.com!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Do you like organization? If so, read on...

I recently ran across a blog titled Put It On Paper.  It's written by Sarah- a wife, student, Etsy shop owner, blogger, and soon to be mom. She has some really cool items in her Etsy shop- she offers PDF kits to help you plan and organize almost every event you can think of- meals, your blogging schedule, your life, and more!
She is giving away 8 different planner kits to one lucky winner. These kits have over 40 documents and are worth over $60!
Winner gets to choose color scheme for their kits. Kits are available in vivid and opaque color schemes, examples of both can be seen in the Etsy shop.

1. The Cleaning Checklist Kit

2. The Home Business Kit

3. The Family Finances Kit

4. The Health & Fitness Kit

5. The Blogger's Kit

6. The Home Maintenance & Inventory Kit

7. The Planner & Calendar Kit

8. The Meal Planner Kit

To Enter to Win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide, but printables are only available in English. :)

Giveaway ends 11/10/12.

Put It On Paper is an Etsy shop with tons of printable organization to keep your life, home, family, business, and even your blog organized.

Inside A House That Is Haunted FREEBIE!

Freebie Fridays
Here's a little happy Halloween freebie for you on this cold (at least here it it!) night.  We read Inside A House That Is Haunted by Alyssa Satin Capucilli the other day and afterwards I realized how perfect that story is for sequencing or retelling.  As usual, I got my bright idea AFTER the fact... So anyways, I knew I had the perfect clip art for the retelling cards that I wanted to make, so I got to work and created the freebie that I have here for you!
If you don't know the book, it is a Rebus book, everything that happens builds on one another and all occurs "inside a house that is haunted."  Most of my clip art came from Goodness & Fun.  I recently discovered her shop from my good blog friend Cherie @ The {mis}adventures of First Grade .  The font is from Ginger Snaps and is FREE!  The cute ghost border is also free and from A Turn To Learn.  You should totally go check these ladies out!

Get your retelling and sequencing cards by clicking the image below!

Need the book? Click the book below-

Monday, October 22, 2012

I've been BOO'D & some FREEBIES for You!

I've been BOO'D by a few awesome bloggers!
They have great blogs and I suggest you go check them out! 

Jennifer from Owl Things First
Kristen at Drowning in Paperclips

Marie at It's A Jungle Out There

Cindy from All Things Teachery and More...
All Things Teachery & More

To comply with the rules of the linky, here are some of my favorite Halloween activities-
I recently found this from Simply Kinder- very cute ideas for dressing up a pumpkin like a book character. There are many photos as examples and Jennifer even includes a book report template.  

I love this book and so do my kids!

I made this Halloween ABC Order page for you!

Here is a great FREE Halloween Syllable Sort from Deb at Fabulously First

I am sending out a BOO! to:
Fabulously First!- the source for the syllable sort above
Simply Kinder- the source of the pumpkin book reports
Ginger Snaps Tidbits and Treats for Teachers- a blog I regularly stalk.  She has the cutest FREE fonts!
The{mis}adventures of First Grade- has a great new BINGO game in her TpT store
Tattling to the Teacher- another blog I regularly stalk.  She makes awesome Treasures activities.

If you've been booed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post.
1.  Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!
2. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (yours or someone else),
or freebie(s) that you love!
3.  Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers- make sure you check this link to make sure you don't boo someone again:
And don't forget to tell them that they have been BOOED!
4.  Link up {here} so that others can find you and read about your October ideas!  And while you are there... check out the other great blogs!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My WBT Power Pix are a HIT!

 I finally got started with my Power Pix a few weeks ago and I can't even tell you how much my kids love them!  We have learned 4 a week, and at the moment have 8 on the wall.  We've got 4 more we are working on and our goal is to know them well enough by Friday to put those up as well.  If you don't have a clue about what I'm talking about, click {HERE} to read my explanation post.

   Here is how I do it-  On Monday, I introduce 4 pix that relate to either what we have just learned, or will learn that week.  I go over the question, the student answer, and the gesture.  Remember, you don't have to make this up- it's printed right on the picture!  We review each one several times.  We've done this for 3 Monday's now, and every Monday I think the same thing- "gee whiz, they are never going to remember all of this!"  But low and behold, by the time Friday rolls around, we've all got it memorized and can do the gestures in our sleep!  It's awesome to see them get so excited about being able to remember-although, it's probably mostly due to how much I gush over them when they do it correctly-remember me of little faith on Monday?!  We practice during the day at various times.  While lining up, waiting to enter the gym or library, while they are walking to the carpet, or during a transition between subjects.I downloaded the ones from the WBT website for 1st grade and most of them apply.  In some of my spare time (HA), I am going to look through the kindergarten and 2nd grade Power Pix to see if there are some that would be appropriate for my curriculum. 
   Do you use Power Pix?  I’d love to hear about your experiences with it!
Here is a close up of one of the cards.

See?! I told you the question and answer are on the card.
The gesture is printed at the bottom.
My Power Pix wall

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Teacher Blog Tuesday!

First, let’s meet Amanda from Sweeties in Second
1.                 Name of blog and link:
Sweeties In Second

2.                 Why did you start blogging?
I originally started “blogging” because I wanted to have a place to organize all of my favorite bloggers so that I wouldn’t have to keep going to their blogs via my bookmarks.   Then, I started thinking…”Hey, maybe I could do this!”  I may not have ALL original ideas all the time, but I think that it’s great to showcase other teachers’ ideas and how you have used them in your classroom, too.
3.                  Tell us a little about your teaching background.
I actually graduated in 2005 from West Virginia University with a Bachelors in Music in Education.  While doing my Music Ed student teaching, I realized that I did NOT want to be anywhere near a middle or high school.  I LOVED my elementary placement, but I still craved that bond that I saw classroom teachers have with their students.  Soo…I went back to Graduate School for Elementary Education, graduated in 2007, and was recruited to work in Virginia.  I taught First Grade two years—one year in one school district, then the next year in my husband’s school!  I was so fortunate to be hired at my husband’s school, but I was transferred one year later to a new school after redistricting.  I have been at this school (same district as my husband) going on 4 years now and have been teaching Second Grade there ever since I was transferred.

4.                  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
This is a REALLY difficult question for me to answer because I feel like music has been SO influential in my life.  It’s like asking a chef what his favorite dish is or an author what his favorite book is.  I can tell you a few really special songs in my life, though.  I could go on for days on this…
            -Theme from “The Notebook”—this is the song that was playing when I walked down the aisle when I was married
            -Rachmanioff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: II, Adagio sostenuto—I play this song EVERY year on the first day of school as I am preparing to meet all my new students.  It helps calm my nerves.
            -“Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen—no, I actually hate running, but this was the first song that my husband and I played for our now 2 year old daughter “in utero” with the headphones on my belly.
            -“Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber—this got me through some hard times in college.  I was privileged to see it performed by my college symphony when I was a student.  It is just BEAUTIFUL!
            -“Fight Mountaineers/Mountain Dew” by the Pride of West Virginia—yep, I was a band nerd—all 4 years of undergrad, I was in the WVU Marching Band.  This was one of my favorite songs that we played, probably because it featured the piccolos. ;)

5.                 What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Two things…
            1.  Living in a divorced household(s)—This was the hardest thing EMOTIONALLY I’ve ever had to do.  It was a difficult situation for me growing up, especially when one of my parents moved really far away.  I somehow managed to make it through life seemingly without too much damage.  :P  I think I have a soft spot in my heart now for my students who are struggling in their home lives because I can somewhat relate.
            2.  Being pregnant/Giving birth—This was the hardest thing PHYSICALLY I’ve ever had to do.  I was SO sick when I was pregnant.  There was no such thing as MORNING sickness with that chickadee.  It was ALL DAY sickness.  Then, the little stinker decided to be rear-end down, and I had to have a C-section.   My doctor said that I would “forget” the pain, but it is 2 years later, and I have NOT forgotten that pain.  With that being said, I would do it a million times over for my sweet girl.  She was VERY worth it!

6.                 What’s your favorite TV show?
Umm…yeah…can’t narrow that one down either, so I’m going to just say—Reality TV.
7.                  Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?
I actually don’t have any DJ Inkers fonts, but I’m definitely not Times New Roman. J  I like cute stuff, but if I need something more “traditional,” I go with Arial.
8.                  Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
29—this is the big year!!!  In October, I’ll be 30.  Most people don’t believe me when I say that.  I even had a guy at the gas station RECENTLY (like within the past 6 months) tell me that I didn’t look old enough to be PUMPING gas…I guess I’ll like looking half my age when I’m 50, but right now…it gets in the way of getting respect, especially when parents meet me for the first time.

9.                 What was the last book you read?
“Sylvia” by A. Elliott Archer—this is actually a book that my Uncle wrote about my Great Grandmother and our family history.  It was quite an interesting book to read, even though it did paint my Grandfather in a sort of negative tone during his adult years. 

10.            What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
I HATE putting laundry away.  I will do any other part of laundry—washing, drying, hanging on the clothesline, taking off the clothesline, folding, etc., but I do NOT like putting it away.  Come into my house at any moment and there will be a pile of clothes neatly folded, but not put away.

Our next new friend is Angela from Hoppin in First Grade
1.                 Name of blog and link: Hoppin in First Grade

2.                 Why did you start blogging?
I love blog stalking. I have met a lot of cool teachers by reading blogs! I decided that even though I don’t know what I am doing I wanted to be a cool kid and blog! I can’t wait to start creating Freebies and connecting with other teachers!
Reason number 2… I don’t want to get in a teaching rut. I want to be energetic and fun in my teaching. I think blogging will help me do just that!

3.                  Tell us a little about your teaching background.
I am starting my 13th year! Ohmiword! I can’t believe it! I have taught first grade at the same wonderful school the entire time. (It about broke my heart when my first group of firsties graduated high school in May!)  I have both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Ole Miss! Hotty Toddy ya’ll! In 2010, I became a National Board Certified Teacher! What a process that was! I can’t believe my career is half over! I can’t wait to see what the last half holds!

4.                  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
I love music! This is sooooo hard!  I have chosen a wide range of songs…. I love music all genres! Here it goes……
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)- Chris Tomlin, Don’t Stop Believin- Journey
Far Behind- Candlebox, Redlight- Jonathan Singleton and the Grove, In Another Life-Katy Perry, Who You’d Be Today and There Goes My Life- Kenny Chesney, It Had to Be You… Frank Sinatra

5.                 What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
I will share 2 stories.. one light and one heavy! Right now I am going through DIET COKE DETOX! It is killing me! I am trying so hard to be nice ! I was a DC junkie! I drank way too many a day! I have decided to try to be healthier and quit cold turkey in July! I miss it so!
The hardest moment in my teaching career happened a few years ago… I had a student’s daddy that passed away suddenly.  I had to tell my class of little ones that their friend had lost her daddy. We hugged and cried. That class showed God’s grace, mercy, and love. They became her encourager and were a good support system for her that year. That class will always hold an extra place in my heart. I went home many nights and cried in awe of how caring they were. 
See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:10

6.                 What’s your favorite TV show?
Confession time! I am a Bravo junkie! I love most of the Real Housewives of …… shows. I especially love the OC and NJ! Sad huh? I think I love it because it’s a total escape of reality!
7.                  Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?
DJ Inkers… because it is sooo cute! J

8.                 Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
34! YIKES!!!!

9.                 What was the last book you read?
I hate I am answering this question…. At my school we have a book exchange for teachers… in our library teachers swap our books that we have read… I picked up Glamour  by Louise Bagshawe ----- total chick lit but a good  summer read!
I am also re-reading The Daily Five and Café !

10.            What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Folding laundry… I don’t mind washing and drying but I HATE folding clothes!

If you would like to be featured, email me at dml8609@gmail.com!

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