Sunday, February 1, 2015

Currently, Februrary

I wish I could bottle up the sound of my children's deep belly giggles.  It would be that special cure for those days when nothing seems to go right.

Being a Washington native, you can hardly turn on the TV without seeing some mention of the Hawks.  It has been an incredible season and I'm so happy to see them in the big game for the 2nd year in a row.  Go Hawks!

Our new house is still under construction and won't be done until summer.  I am a very lucky girl to get a little reading corner in our master.  You know....the room with the AMAZING mountain views. The doors are up and whether they are open or closed, it's going to be one of my favorite spots in the whole house.  For now, I'll just have to curl up with my Kindle at the dark....with a little book light....while trying NOT to wake the hubs as I read myself to sleep.

We had the most glorious day of sunshine last week.  It may have only been 50 degrees, but it was warm enough to take both kids outside to play.  My son enjoyed a short little stroller ride as my daughter had time to ride her trike and scooter around the neighborhood.  Now I've got that itch to get some stroller walks in with the kiddos.  I just need the sun to come back and play awhile!

I am running out of ideas for meals.  I feel like we've gone through the same 10-12 meals over and over and over again.  Don't get me wrong, they are our favorite recipes, but I need to put a little life back into meal time.  I'm sure this qualifies as a need to browse Pinterest....right?  

Pageant Title
A hoodie really is a great choice for many occasions.  With the cold weather, I've actually been wearing one while playing soccer, too.  Did I mention I play INDOOR soccer?  If the day ends in y, I'll wear a hoodie.  There are a few places I won't wear one (wedding, interview, etc.), but when I come home, I'll slip into one once again.  I love hoodies!

Head over to Farley's blog to see what everyone else is up to!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Favorite February Resources & Freebies

February can be filled with so many great learning opportunities.  I usually focus on Groundhog's Day, Valentine's Day, and President's Day.  Here are some of my favorite resources for these days.
This one is FREE.  Click here to grab it.

Another great freebie I found last year comes from Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies.
I made an attempt at a groundhog craft about 2 years ago.  I drew a template for the kids to use.  They attached them to their shadow predictions.  The kids were so proud, but I will be completely honest - they looked like beavers!   That is why you will NOT find pictures of them on this blog.  Yep, using someone else's template from now on.

Some of my favorite read alouds for this day are:

Then comes Valentine's Day.  For some kids it's the only holiday that exists in February.  Before we open Valentines and enjoy sweet treats, the students get time to create a really quick and easy craft.  This is by no means my creation, but I made myself a set of printables for when the die-cut machine isn't available or handy.  Just click on the picture to grab them:

Are you looking for a new book to use with a small group of students?  Both of these books take place around Valentine's Day and the kids absolutely adore Harry and his friends!

If you're looking for a quick and easy printable for morning work or to keep your students busy while you prep for your Valentine's Day party, check out this word search:
This one is FREE.  Click here to grab it.

Here's one last idea I saw online that could be really easy for you to make with your students:

 Next up is President's Day.  Usually we are still working through our Nonfiction unit at this time, so we use the following texts to learn about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  You can grab the graphic organizers from First Grade Fanatics.  The books are from Scholastic's Easy Reader Biographies set.

Here's our bulletin board from last year.  These crafts are from Amy Lemons and Carolyn McCleary.  After gathering information from the texts above, we did a shared writing piece for each of the two presidents.



I don't know about you, but my students love word searches.
This one is new and also FREE.  Click here to grab it.

One more day until the big game.  I am so excited!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Arrays for Days

When my friend, Erin, made a request for a new math game, I couldn't resist.  She was looking for a new game to help students practice arrays and repeated addition.  The CCSS for 2nd grade have students working with arrays up to 5x5 in size.

Here is my interpretation of the Memory-style game she requested.  Half of the cards contain pictures of arrays (up to 5x5) and the other half contain repeated addition problems.  There are 32 cards in all to keep the set manageable for students.

I couldn't stop there.  My 3-year old LOVES games. One of the games she enjoys playing is Old Maid.  Have you ever tried to play Old Maid with 2 players?  Ha!  To top it off, she actually WANTS the Old Maid.  She knows she loses if she ends up with it, but she tries to hide it in her hand and keep me from getting it.  It was after playing this game for the 17th time on a Tuesday that I decided I had to make an Old-Maid inspired game for my friend, too.  That is how Playing with Arrays came to be created.


By the way, if you play a lot of card games in your classroom and students have difficulty holding them all, you should invest in some card holders like the ones shown above holding the Playing with Arrays cards.  The pic below shows the other side.  They are a lifesaver for tiny hands!

If you've been a follower of mine for awhile, you also know I have an obsession with a passion for using dice and spinners in the classroom.  They are my go-to math manipulatives.  I had to add a few re-usable games, too.  These can be printed on cardstock, placed in a sheet protector, and written on with a dry erase marker over and over again.



Finally, we all know that while YOU can gauge student learning and understanding through observations and game play, sometimes your administrator wants concrete evidence of learning.  So, I added three worksheets with answer keys to the mix.

So that shows you what's included.  You can check it out by clicking on the picture below.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

You're the Winner!

Sadly, all good things must come to an end.  My milestone giveaway is over, but never fear because you are all winners! 

Congratulations, Suzy.  I'll be contacting you soon for your TpT gift certificate.  I hope you can pick up some fabulous products with it!

Thank you to everyone who entered the cleaning spree guessing game.  The correct answer was 4 hours, 6 donation bags, and 2 garbage bags.  There are so many winners so it may take me a day or two to get your prizes e-mailed.

I cannot thank you enough for your support over the last 2 1/2 years.  Whether you're a new reader or have been here for the long haul, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Click here to grab one last little freebie.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

More Giveaway Fun

Happy New Year!

I'm back, but only for a flash.  The hubby must have sensed I had the desire to clean because he helped keep the kiddos occupied so I could do just that.  Luckily I was only working on my closet, dresser, and other pile-up areas because let's face it:

My cleaning spree will be part of the next giveaway fun.  If you can correctly match the answers to the descriptions, you can choose an item from my store ($5 or less). 

The answers are 2, 4, and 6.

The descriptions are:
# of hours spent cleaning
# of bags to be donated
# of bags for garbage 

To enter, send me an e-mail ( with the subject heading Cleaning Spree.  In the message, leave me your answer AND the product you would pick (click here to shop my TpT store).  Do not leave your answer in the comments.  Please have your answer submitted no later than Sat. Jan 3rd at 9 a.m. PST.  Only one entry per person.  I will announce the winners here on Sat., but I will send the prizes via e-mail.  Good luck!  

The answer to the last guessing game was Dora and Alana (though I'm sure my daughter WISHES they had been under the tree).  There were only 4 winners who guessed correctly (Priscilla, Brigette, M.L., and Tina) & your products are on their way very soon! The largest number of you (13 people) guessed the golf clubs.  Her papa sent them to her for Christmas.  We're still working on her form and NOT using the clubs like a baseball bat.  Ha!!  

Time is running out to win the TpT gift certificate.  Make sure you have your entries in before it's too late!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Currently, January

There is something so peaceful about baby snores.  Sometimes just watching your baby's chest rise and fall with a little snoring sound can bring your whole world to a stop, but warmth to your heart.

We did it...again.  We traveled to two sets of grandparents homes to celebrate Christmas.  We say we'll never do it again, but it continues to happen.  This year we did dig our heels in a bit and allowed our kids to be home on Christmas morning.  Either way, the drive home yesterday was filled with freezing temps (20 degrees or lower), but sun rays for the entire drive.  Today is just as wonderful as I'm stuck inside catching up on laundry.  A girl can at least daydream out the window, right?

I only get to see my side of the family two times a year unless someone heads over our way to visit us.  The time together is never long enough, but it's nice to just veg out with family.

Our house is a DISASTER.  It's a combination of a toddler, infant, two dogs that shed, a hubby who works super long hours, and a mommy who just doesn't have the time or energy to clean.  However, I have the itch to clean and purge.  It never lasts long, so it will be nice to dig into the closets and dressers and get things out while I still have the motivation to do so!

Over break I started reading a book that was a last minute pick because all of the other books on the waiting list weren't available.  I started My Sister's Grave by Robert Dugoni.  It has all of the ingredients I need for a book: murder, mystery, suspense, twists & turns, etc.  It also takes place in Washington.  I'm almost to the end and I need to finish!

Yes - Maybe - I Wish
Yes - Acceptance
I knew losing baby weight was hard.  I already had to do it once.  I am beginning to accept that it will take even longer than planned after baby #2.  I am beginning to accept that I need to start with baby steps and mini changes now until we have a working schedule for our family.  I am beginning to accept the new me....not improved, just different.  Change is hard, but I'm learning to accept it a little more each day.  Acceptance is my yes for 2015!

Maybe - Forgiveness
I'm not sure if forgiveness is the right word or maybe I need to channel my inner Elsa and belt out, "Let it Go!"  I need to quit dwelling in the past and forgive myself for the things I cannot change.  This one is a work in progress.  Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't.   

I Wish - Adventure
Starting new projects and adventures is always exciting, but also nerve wracking.  We have a lot of exciting changes happening for our family in 2015.  I can only wish and hope these changes live up to our dreams and expectations!

Happy New Year to you all!  Don't forget that there's only a couple of days left to enter my giveaway:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Little After Christmas Giveaway

In case you missed it....

Yep, that giveaway is happening right now.  We're halfway through the celebration, so I thought it was time for a little giveaway fun.

If you can guess which of the following items my daughter did NOT receive for Christmas, you can choose a FREE product from my store ($5 or less).

 Pancake Pile-Up Game:

 Toy Golf Clubs:

Disney Princesses:

Dora and Alana:

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Pals:

To enter, send me an e-mail ( with the subject heading Christmas Gifts 2014.  In the message, leave me your answer AND the product you would pick (click here to shop my TpT store).  Do NOT leave your answer in the comments.  Please have your answer submitted no later than Thurs. Jan 1st at 9 a.m. PST.  Only one entry per person.  I will announce the winners here on Thurs., but I will send the prizes via e-mail.  Good luck!  

Oh, and if you're still reading, you can click here to grab a little freebie.