Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Colorado Trip!

I've been wanting to share my trip to Colorado with you all, but unfortunately I didn't take any pictures so I have been waiting for my family to email me some. My dad emailed me a few today so here they are. We had a really fun time! We packed a lot in during the 9 days we were there. We went horseback riding, white water rafting (still haven't seen the pic of our hottie guide that my aunt took), hiking, ATV rides, Jeep rides, and even a little shopping! Ohhhh and TONS of family time, maybe a little too much :)

My mom and I on the mine tour in our goofy hard hats :)
Some of the cousins and my dad at the top of Trail Ridge Road.
My sister and I! It was crazy how many people stopped me on the way up the trail to say that they graduated from Illinois State too!
I leave for trip number two tomorrow! Can't wait to see my bro out in San Francisco! When I get back, it will be time for school to start :(

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made It/Flash Freebie

Only one more Monday after today until I go back to school :(.
 I love looking at everyone's Monday Made Its! I have pinned soooo many great ideas that I had every intention of recreating, and unfortunately I didn't follow through with hardly any of them! I'm linking up with Tara for her weekly linky party, even though I don't have much to share!

 I went to the teacher store yesterday to pick up desk tags, and I couldn't find anything that I really liked, so I decided to make my own! You can download them for free for the next hour or so at my TPT store. Click on any of the pictures below to pick them up! I would love for you to leave me some feedback if you download them :)

What things have you made for your classroom lately? How many days until you go back to school?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Classroom Library Inspiration and Flash Freebie!

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! I don't know about you, but I only have a few more weekends before school starts :(. I went into school twice this week and my room is ready to go now. I would have liked to get things copied, but of course all of the copiers were down....go figure! The one big project I still need to do is to organize my classroom library. My library is not organized what so ever! A couple years ago I had a student who was about as OCD as I am and decided to organize my library by color. It looks great, but it's not allllll that helpful :) Here are some classroom libraries that I love and hope to copy!
This first picture is from First Grade Fresh and the second picture is from The Applicious Teacher.  Unfortunately, the link was broken to the other picture.
bright classroom library
 Classroom library fun!
 I made some book bin labels to go along with my new, organized library. The labels will be free for the next hour in my TPT store. If you download them, I would love for you to leave me some feedback :) Click the picture below to check them out!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pen Pal Pair Up 2013

Today is going to be a great day! I am home from vacation and got to sleep in my own bed last night :), I get to go to a Luke Bryan concert tonight, AND I was reading blogs this morning and saw that Kelley at Teacher Idea Factory is hosting a pen pal pair up! I am so excited about this! I have always wanted to pair up with another class so that my students could have pen pals! If you are interested in this too, click the picture below to sign up!
Happy Sunday :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Talk Thursday...On a Friday

I am on vacation this week and have been reading like cRaZy! I may be a day late but I'm linking up with Reading Toward the Stars for her Book Talk linky to share some of the books I have read this week.
The first two books I decided to read came from a link I found on Pinterest:
14 Books To Read Before They Hit The Big Screen
14 Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen
1. The Spectacular Now by: Tim Tharp
Here is a what buzzfeed.com had to say about it: " Why you should read it: This is a classic I-unexpectedly-fell-in-love high school story that will have you rapidly flipping through the pages. The movie premiered at Sundance and received rave reviews, saying, “John Hughes would be proud.” "
I personally didn't care for this book and would have to disagree with "John Hughes would be proud." I would definitely not put this in the same category as a John Hughes film. Has anyone else read this book? What were your thoughts? Although I didn't care for the book, I still would like to see the movie :)
2. If I Stay by: Gayle Forman
Here is what buzzfeed.com had to say about this book: "Why you should read it: It’s an intriguing story about a 17-year-old girl who slips in a coma after a bad accident. She has an out-of-body experience, watching as friends and family visit, and needs to choose to live a difficult life or die peacefully. If you read before the movie comes out, then you’ll know what she decides and stress less at the theater."
Now this book I liked! It definitely kept me reading and now I can't wait to read the sequel, Where She Went.
This next book was a book that my cousin said was part of a requirement to read going into her freshman year of high school.
3. The Glass Castle by: Jeannette Walls
Here is what is on the back of the book:"The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family.
The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered."
My cousin thought this book was boring, but then again she is just going into high school, and I wouldn't have chosen this book for someone her age. I, on the other hand, LOVED this book! I saw online that this book may also become a movie and I would love to see it as a movie. I am also anxious to read Jeannette Walls's new book Half Broke Horses.
Now for the best book I have read on my vacation....for some reason my family thinks farts are hilarious (disgusting, I know). My little cousin, Casey, aka the tooter, introduced us all to this book:
4. Farts: A Spotter's Guide by: Crai S. Bower
This book kept us thoroughly entertained while on vacation and if your family just so happens to be as disgusting as mine....you might also enjoy this book :)
What books have you read lately? I am always looking for a good book suggestion!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Colorado Trip, National Geographic for Kids, and Exciting News!

Hello there! I am writing this post from Estes Park, Colorado. My dad's whole side of the family is out here for a family vacation. We are having a great time! It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL out here! We have been hoseback riding, whitewater rafting, and gone on lots of hikes. I have tons of pictures to share with you all as soon as I get back.
I have had a hard time keeping up on all of my blog reading while on vacation, but on one of the posts that I did read I saw a deal for National Geographic for Kids magazine. My students LOVE this magazine so I was super excited to hear about the deal. You can purchase a year subscription through Plum District for only $9.60 when you enter the promo code BACK2SCHOOL20. If you are interested click on the picture below.
National Geographic Kids One Year Subscription, Just $12
I am also excited to tell you all that I officially accepted the junior high girl's volleyball coaching position. I really debated accepting this position, but thanks to the encouraging words from a bunch of bloggers, I decided to go ahead and do it! I am very nervous, but excited. I know that I have a LOT to learn before the season starts and I will definitely be emailing some of you coaches out there for advice :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

10 Pin Social Studies and Science Linky!

Each week I read everyone's 10 Pin Reading Linky posts, but this week I am actually linking up with Ashley from Just Reed.

Here are my top 10 social studies and science pins!

1. Water Cycle Simulation Game-I actually did this with my students last year and my students loved it! They also learned a lot from it!
Ready for Some Water Cycle Fun?
Source: www.sciencepenguin.com

2. 15 Science Experiments: This site is full of fun science experiments that could be used when teaching the scientific method!

Source: www.momto2poshlildivas.com

3. Fake Lung Experiment: How cool would this be in a human body unit?!

Breathing - lets make a lung, Science Sparks
Source: www.science-sparks.com

4. Pool Noodle Race Track: Fun activity to use in a force and motion unit!

Source: www.ramblingsfromutopia.com

5. Energy Coasters: Definitely want to do this activity in my energy unit next year!

Source: www.mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com

6. State Project Brochures: I am definitely doing this next year with our states studies.
State brochure - Using this with our 50 states exchange project.
Source: www.theinspiredclassroom.blogspot.com

7. State Cookie: This is also from The Inspired Classroom. This project would go great with the state brochures.

Source: www.theinspiredclassroom.blogspot.com

8. Explorers Foldable: We learn about so many different explorers in 4th grade. This foldable would be great to add into my instruction! P.S. can you tell I LOVE The Inspired Classroom's blog?!?!

Source: www.theinspiredclassroom.blogspot.com

9. Scientist Poster: I love this poster! Unfortunately the link to this poster is broken, so I'm not sure where this design came from. I think something like this would be great for starting out science at the beginning of the year!


10. Me on the Map: In social studies, I start the year out with a review of the continents and then discuss where we live. I love this project for the beginning of the year!

Source: www.clutterfreeclassroom.blogspot.com

What great ideas have  you been pinning lately??


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Math Task Cards Flash Freebie!

I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! I spent most of the day today trying to figure out how to fit 9 days worth of clothes into a carry-on bag...it wasn't easy! We leave for Colorado Thursday morning. We have planned to do horseback riding, ATV rides, Jeep rides, train rides, white water rafting, and lots of hiking. It should be a good time!
I also worked on another set of math task cards. These cover the Common Core Standard 4.OA.4, which covers prime and composite numbers, factors and multiples. They will be free in my TPT store for the next hour. If you download them, I would love for you to leave me some feedback :) Click the picture below to check them out!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made It!

I'm excited to be able to link up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It linky party! I have just a few things to share with you...majority of which are ideas I have copied from other Monday Made It linkups!
First up is a name stick holder. I got this idea from Fifth in the Middle. I have always used popsicle sticks with student names for various activities throughout the day. In the past I have just kept them in a Ziploc bag, so the idea to make a holder for them caught my eye! The holder has two spots so you can keep track of the names you have already used. You take a stick out of one side, then place it into the side with the lid. When you are out of sticks, switch the lid to the other side and start over.
I used Crystal Light containers,  Modge Podged on some scrapbook paper, added some decorative tape, and cut a whole in the lid.
Next up is a back to school gift idea that I got from Paper Wings. Who doesn't love sticky notes?! For this project, I bought some clear frames from the Dollar Tree and then used scrapbooking supplies to decorate. I hot glued a sticky note pad onto it and viola!
Lastly, I have a simple home project that I made. I filled some glass Ball jars with forsythia branches that I bought from Jeffery Alans and some boxwood branches that I cut from one of my bushes!
What have you been up to? Link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sister Update, Gardening Help, and a Sale!

We are home from Chicago! My sister's surgery went really well. She was absolutely hilarious when my mom and I went back to see her in recovery. She just could not stop giggling! She kept swinging the arm that she had surgery on, around because she felt like her arm wasn't attached. We made it almost all the way home before the nerve block wore off and then the rest of the way home was rough, but hopefully now that she is home and has pain meds that she can take, she won't be in so much pain! As soon as she can take the wrap off of her arm, I am posting before and after pics!
I have mentioned before that I love to garden. Three summers ago my mom gave me some starts from one of her raspberry plants and I don't think they have grown yet! I looooove raspberries, yet I don't think my plants will EVER actually grow berries at this rate! Does anyone have any advice for me on how to get these babies to grow??
Lastly, I am having a  sale at my TPT store!  I am linking up with Latoya from Flying into First Grade for my 4th of July sales :] I am actually having a sale July 3-5 at my Teacher's Pay Teacher's store. Enjoy your 4th of July!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Giveaway Winner and Chicago!

Anddddd we have a winner! Congrats to Mandy B. and Karen H.! You two won my Bloglovin' giveaway. A big thanks goes out to all of my followers...old and new :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm headed up to Chicago this afternoon for my sister's surgery. Long story short...... my sister, who is 9 years younger than me, broke her arm riding a scooter when she was younger (I was supposed to be watching her.....oops). She had the worst break I have everrrrr seen and now 5 years later she is still trying to get it fixed! The poor girl went up to Chicago for surgery a month ago and it ended up being much more intense than we all thought and the doctor wasn't able to fix it all in one surgery. So today we go back for round two. I am hoping and praying this surgery goes much better than the first!
Lesson of the day to all you parents out there.....don't let your kids ride scooters down steep hills!