June 29, 2015

Monday Made it: June 29

I can't believe June is almost over!
In ONE MONTH, I go for county wide inservice, and I know this month is going to FLY!
I have really enjoyed the blogging world this summer.
I have learned SO much and, to be honest, I am VERY overwhelmed.
However, I know it is going to make me a better teacher - which is my goal.

One of my favorites as been Monday Made It by 4th Grade Frolics!
This is what I did this week!

I have done a little for school - not much, but a little.
I am also working with the TPT Sellers Challenge this summer, and have enjoyed taking the first task to heart.
This week I recreated my calendar set and really like the way it turned out.

It is free right now in my TPT store and you can click here to read about what I did.

Last week we had the pleasure of my nephew and niece coming to visit us.
We had a great time
creating memories!!!
We had movie time in the tent inside our living room.
We watched movies and ate popcorn and M&M's.

We played outside in the sprinkler and with water balloons.

Although there is a HUGE age difference between my kids and my nephew and niece, they get along beautifully! It is always a special time when we are together.

While Walker and Lucy were here, we had VBS at church and I had 2 days of training (which I will blog about later).  So one night for supper we needed something quick, easy and light - it was almost 100 degrees every day last week.

One of my teacher friends, Belinda, had made this salad for us and it was a huge hit!
I decided to make it for supper one night.

Here is the pin for it.
Now, it calls for some kind of Ranch dip that I did not have and had forgotten to get when I was at Wal-Mart.  So, I used a package of normal Ranch mix and added 1 Tablespoon of taco seasoning to it. It worked!  The taco seasoning I use is from this recipe.  When a recipe calls for a package of taco seasoning, I use 2 Tablespoons.  It's good stuff.  Also, I did not add the Fritos to the salad. I kept them to the side because the longer it sits, the better it is.

Finally, the last thing I did this week was for my Sunday School classroom.  Like I mentioned earlier, we had had VBS this past week with an Egyptian theme.  Some of my UBER talented friends had used these decorations in their center and were going to throw them away!!! (SHAME!)
So, they let me have the decorations for my Kindergarten Bible classroom, and we (being myself and the kiddos) worked the magic to make everything look like this.

Maybe I will do more this week to get ready for school....
Or maybe not!

June 26, 2015

Cooking Up Success Calendar

When I decided to do a Cafe/Bakery theme a few years ago,
I quickly realized there was NOTHING out there for this room theme.
Therefore, I was made had to figure out to make different things to fit my classroom theme.
I have always seemed to make things harder than they really have to be.

One of the very first things I made was this calendar set.
It was BAD!
I put it up on TPT for free, and it was still BAD!

So, I decided to spruce it up a bit as well as add some things to it. 

Here are the month cards.
I figure you can use them as headers for your calendars, but could also put them at a center to put the months of the year in order.

 I then decided to add number cards to the set as well.
They were in a separate set, but, again, needed a makeover!
Again, these could also be used at a center to put numbers in order.

 In a previous set, I had some special days cards, but while I was on a roll, I decided to do a little more with them.

I love using these in my room, and can't wait to see how the new set looks in my room this year.
You can get this set here for FREE for a limited time!
I will be honest - 
It took quite a bit of time, so they will not stay free for long!
Hope these can help you
Cook Up Success
in your room this year.

June 25, 2015

TPT Seller's Challenge: Dare to Dream

I will be honest.
I was a bit shocked at this assignment.
I guess one reason is my TPT store isn't huge, 
and I haven't really thought about all I could do with it.
Sure, I have seen what others have done with their TPT store, 
but there was no way I could do the same thing.
When I first began my TPT store, I was just doing it to support my TPT habit!
However, after reading several others dreams, I realize I am selling myself short.
Don't I preach
to my kids?

Why am I not doing the same thing?

So thank you, Jen, Emily, Amber, and Ashley for encouraging me to think big and dare to dream. 

1.  PAY OFF OUR HOUSE - This is pretty much says it all.  If I can put extras toward the house payment, later on we can be free to do other things for our home and the family.

2.  TRAVEL WITH OUR KIDS - We love a road trip.  We have been pretty tied down lately due to other things that have popped up in our lives, but I would love to take the money I make from TPT to help our family see the great country we live in and experience it for themselves.

3.  HELP WITH MISSION WORK - We are first and foremost Christians as we strive daily to live for Him.  We have so many we know and love who are out trying to reach others with the gospel message.  Our kids have also mentioned how they want to go on mission trips - especially to Haiti and New Zealand.  With the money from TPT, we could help fund these efforts.

4.  SAVE FOR KIDS' COLLEGE - My husband and I were both extremely blessed to have NO college loans when we graduated from college.  This is not something many can say, and we are so thankful for the sacrifices our parents made in order to see that happen.

Are those big dreams?
However, if I don't dream big and don't start somewhere, nothing will ever happen.
I am really looking forward to where this may take me.
I know it will be a lot of work, but I am willing and eager to do the work!

June 19, 2015

Happily Ever... Madeover

While my kids have been at church camp this week, I have attended TN Core training which I will post about later.  I have been on MULTIPLE dates with my husband! I started working with the TPT Sellers Challenge.

Our first challenge was to do a makeover on one of our products.  I chose one of the very first things I had ever made for TPT - my Preamble unit.  I extended the sale on this one, so pick it up while it's one sale.

I loved how it looked and so I decided to do some more.

My other unit that I enjoy teaching at the beginning of the year is our Happily Ever After Unit.  I love teaching about fairy tales for so many reasons.  Last year, we bumped it up a notch or two and incorporated more writing into the unit.  This unit includes:
our plan for the unit that can last as long as you want it to 
anchor chart ideas 
fairy tale characteristic cards
a chart for the students to record the characteristics they see in each fairy tale
writing brainstorming papers 
fairy tale writing paper

I added some extra pages from this past year of teaching.
I redid the cover as well.
You can buy the unit on sale here.

To go along with the unit, I redid the Fairy Tale Characteristic Cards you can buy separately.  I made them a lot bigger, changed up some of the clip art and added a cover page to it. 
You can buy it on sale here.
I am looking forward to using this pack in the upcoming year. I will be sure to write about it on the blog when I do. 
Unit then.... I hope you live your summer


June 15, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge Week: Makeover Madness/Monday Made It

What a day!  Both of my kiddos are at church camp this week.  LB went to church camp last week and, then, literally, went straight to Junior High basketball team camp for 2 days.  When she got home Saturday night - after I had been with C at his baseball tournament all day  - she decided she wanted to go back to camp this week.

Had we done any of her laundry? 
Only her uniform that she had needed for Saturday.

Had we any snacks for her to take?
Only what was left from the previous week, and my 13 year old girl can EAT!

Had we even registered her for camp?
Thankfully, we know the lady in charge of that!

I am glad she wound up going because she has an amazing cabin, and I have to be at Common Core training two days this week.  That meant I had today.

Today to sleep in at least until 8.
Today to clean the house.
Today to enjoy myself.
Today to do what I wanted to do.
(after I went and picked her up from camp, took her to soccer practice 
and then back out to camp)

So what did I do....

I was up at 6:00 am WIDE. AWAKE.
My body has NOT been told I am on summer vacation and have been for almost 3 weeks!!

I did my daily Bible reading that our church is all doing together.  I really have loved this program and, sad to say, I have read parts of the Bible I don't think I have ever read. SIGH!

Monday Made It #1

LB had requested me to make muffins to send to camp because apparently one of her friends wrote a silly song about muffins last week.  Said friend is at camp with her this week and she thought it would be hilarious for this friend to get a package full of muffins with a request for her to sing the muffin song in order to get it. (Camp tradition states you must perform some kind of silly song or something when a package arrives for you at camp.)  I bet LB was caught off guard when a package of muffins DID come, but ALL of the girls' names were on the package with the request that they ALL sing the silly muffin song! I am sure I will hear about it tomorrow!

What muffins did I make?  Only the East Chester Third Grade Team's most favorite muffins this year:

3 Ingredient Muffins

1 package of cake mix 
(Anything that says chocolate or triple fudge is really the best)
1 can of PURE pumpkin
1 cup ( or half the bag works well, too) of chocolate chips

Mix well.  Spoon into muffin liners in a muffin tin.  Cook at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.
You're welcome.

After making the muffins and running LB to and from camp and soccer practice, my mom texts me to see if I wanted to go to Aldi (35 minutes away).  SURE.  Why not?  A chance to grocery shop without children throwing things into the cart.  
So I went.  
I shopped.
I ate at Jason's Deli.
I came home exhausted.
I decided to do my TPT Seller Challenge for the week.

Monday Made It #2

Because of my new role at school, I knew I needed to get with the program and jump into the 21st century before it leaves us all.  When Third in Hollywood said she and some other marvelous ladies were doing a challenge, I knew I had to get in it.  This week's challenge was to makeover something in our TPT store.  I chose to makeover my biggest seller - The Preamble Unit.
I enjoyed going back and looking over what I had made almost 3 years ago, and realized it did need some updating!

And so here is the new look of my Preamble Unit.

I really am glad I did this and, hopefully, after training, I can do some more makeovers on old projects.  I am including this in my Monday Made It because I feel like I really did make a lot of it over again!  Click here to get it on sale until Thursday, June 18.

Thanks to 4th Grade Frolics for the Monday Made It! 
I think I am going to like this blogging stuff!
Have a great week!

June 10, 2015

Favorite Read Alouds

*** For some reason I am having troubles with the links to the books. I will come back to work on it later.  Sorry!***

One of my favorite things each day is the time where my kids come to our library, I sit on the couch with the leader and I read to them.

I love seeing them involved so much in the book we are reading that they don't want to go to the special class that comes next.  
I love seeing them play Little House at recess. 
 I love hearing them beg for me to read to them during DEAR time because they have to know what happened after we stopped yesterday.  
I love hearing them groan when I stop at a cliffhanger - which I ALWAYS try to do.
I love hearing them cheer for Charlie when he FINALLY gets the Golden Ticket - even thought they know he is going to get it!
We cry together.  
We laugh together.  

It really is a great time.  The past two years these books have been our read alouds.  We (as a third grade team) chose 6 books to read to our kids.  We all read the same books at somewhat the same time/pace.  I admit I always get ahead and have read more than these 6 books to my kids - I will add the books I read extra at the end.

Stone Fox

We start the year with this book.  The kids have their hearts broken at the end, and always want to know the rest of the story - which leads to a great writing activity!

Little House in the Big Woods

My kids always love this one and this year they BEGGED to read the next book in the series Little House on the Prairie.  We read this one because I love it and bartering has been ALL OVER our state test in social studies. The kids always get the concept because of Pa!!

Indian in the Cupboard

This winds up being a favorite of the class as well.  They get so wrapped up in the characters. Many have gone on to read some of the others in the series.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The kids always THINK they know what this is going to be about, but find out that the movie is not always the same as the book - which turns into a great compare and contrast writing activity.  I love seeing them cheer (and sometimes shed tears of joy) when Charlie finds the Golden Ticket.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

This is one of my all time favorites.  The kids again get lost in the action, adventure and the language. By the end, they want to go to Narnia to meet Aslan themselves.  It is also great to talk about WWII and how the war affected the children.

Maniac Magee

WOW! What great lessons this book teaches us! The kids are always amazed at how people are treated and how others feel.  Sadly, some of my dears can relate to Maniac a little too much.  

Where the Red Ferns Grow

I will admit I have a hard time with this one.  My kids do as well at times.  We did not get to this one this year.  Even though I have a hard time with it, tears are always shed at the end!

Now, why did I take the time to write all of this?  As a team, we decided we needed to mix it up a bit! The reading teachers have been assigned the task of choosing new read alouds for the team.  I want to hear from YOU!  What are your favorite read alouds?  Which books do your kids enjoy?  Which ones do they hang onto every word?  

This year, I did read the following to my kids between the other books.

Little House on the Prairie

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Lemonade War

PLEASE share!!! I need your help and guidance!!!

June 8, 2015

Made It Monday: I Love Books

First, I am so excited about the look of my blog! Thanks to Blogs Fit For A Queen for designing it for me.I just love it and can't wait to really use everything this year! I AM going to do better!  To help me get in the habit, I am really going to try hard this summer. So here is my first go at it.

I saw on Lindsey's blog (Miss Johnston's Journey) where she had a Made It Monday posted today. She is getting married this weekend and shared some of the items she has made for her wedding.  I can't wait to see pictures of the wedding because everything she has posted has been adorable.  I just finished a wedding this weekend whose theme was Wallace Love Story.  Now, two things you need to know about me.

1.  I LOVE a good wedding.

2.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good book.

So, when you put the two together, I am a happy happy camper.  I was so pleased to be asked to help Mary Beth (whom I have seen grow up) prepare for her big day to her prince charming Matt.  I was even more excited when she told me the theme was Love Story and books!  So, here are some of the items I made for her big day.

Our Love Story

This was one of the things that was a must for Mary Beth at the wedding.  She found an old frame with glass in it.  We painted it with chalkboard paint and, then using chalkboard markers, I wrote the words out like she wanted.  I was so nervous she would not like it, but she loved it! Whew!!!  Also, since she is planning on keeping this forever, I sprayed it with a clear coating to protect it.


As a way to label different venues, Mary Beth wanted different pennants. She gave me full rein over what they looked liked and the design, so I kept with the Love Story theme.  I used purple (the color of the wedding) cardstock cut on my Cricut.  Then, I used old book pages to make the second layer on the banner.  Using my Cricut again and my Jasmine cartridge, I cut the letters on black cardstock.  Again, they were a hit with the bride!

Love Quotes

 The next item that I made for the wedding was the love quotes for the reception tables.  Mary Beth and Matt had gone through books (and I'm sure the internet) to find great quotes from books about love.  Using pages, I made the quotes on cards which we attached to place card holders.  I used the Elegant Typewriter font from dafont.com to make the cards.

Book Wreaths

These were probably my favorite things I made for the wedding.  I made four of them.  I used an installation tube from Lowe's that cost a whopping $0.97.  Then, I cut them in half for the big wreaths. I cute them into thirds for smaller wreaths I made.  Using duct tape, I formed a circle to hold the ends together.  From there, I followed the directions from this website.

I just love that these girls ask me to help plan their special days.  It makes my heart happy.  Here's a look at the happy couple.  There was NO DOUBT how in love they are! I pray they always have that love in them.

What have you made today?

June 5, 2015

Join Me on BlogLovin'

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14116729/?claim=hjp4t7vfmna">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I am getting ready to launch my new blog design!! I am so excited! One thing I am doing is linking up to BlogLovin'!  I can't wait to explore and connect with so many people through this!

Just trying to cook up some success....

June 2, 2015

June 2015

A day late, (and more than a dollar short) but I am determined to do better this year with this whole blogging thing now that I have a new "title" other than "third grade teacher."  I am going to be working as our school's Reading Curriculum Coach.  I am not really sure what all that entails, but we are going to go for it!!

So, thanks to Oh Boy 4th Grade for doing this for us.  Back to this month and what is currently going on in my life....

Listening:  When I first did this, my husband was channel surfing, but now he has landed on America's Got Talent.

Loving: The end of the school year was kind of rough for us for many different reasons so I am LOVING just being at home with my two kiddos.

Thinking:  While I am enjoying being at home, I am thinking of all the things I would like to get done this summer from house cleaning to school stuff.

Wanting:  Blogs Fit For A Queen is working on my new blog design and I am so excited! I got the preview last night and it I just can't wait until it is up and going!

Needing: I think I say every year that I am going to do a better job at blogging, but I am REALLY serious about it this year.  In the past, I had another blog for my students and this one just fell to the side.  However, we can now get blogspot at school, so this is the ONLY blog I will be using.  I am so excited about the possibilities!

Summer Lovin':  I love relaxing, reading what I want to read (as well as some PD books) and playing all kinds of games with my kids.  Right now we have a Phase 10 summer tournament going with BIG stakes on the line (winner chooses lunch the last day of summer break and possibly more, but don't tell them that!).

I can't wait to meet some of you and learn from you! That is why I am wanting to do better at this - for the simple fact that I want to be better tomorrow than I was today!