I love linking up with Doodle Bugs!

1.  My quote for the week

2.  PE & Phonemic Awareness.  The PE teacher is going to use CVC words in his warm-up activities.  I'm so excited.  The students can do exercises and segment words!  I modeled for him some of my ideas (like hoping for each sound, and doing jumping jack moves for each sound). I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm CRAZY!

3.  I caved in and ordered a laminator.  Our laminator is on its last leg at school :(  This week has been so busy, I haven't even had time to unbox it!

4.  Author Studies.  I'm working on getting some author studies for our book room.  I'm looking for some great ideas for grades 3-5 (not series, just a variety of books by the same author).  I'd love any suggestions!!!  These are the authors I have so far:
Andrew Clements
Kate DiCamillo
Ronald Dahl
Gary Paulsen
Jerry Spinelli

5.  So far, no big plans this weekend...I know I'll be doing some running.  I have 3 races in the next 2 weeks.  One is a local race that is set up like The Amazing Race!  I cannot wait!!!! 

Here are my two Friday flash freebies (until 7pm CST)...


1.  Even though school has started, we've been trying to get in lots of outside time after school!  School All Day + Playing Outside Afterschool = Early Bedtime
My children fall asleep in about 5 minutes :)  This was the sunset the other night!

2.  Tying a Scarf.  I love this "new" way!

3. I LOVE this Subway Art from Where the Wild Things Learn!  I framed it, and it is sitting by Pete the Cat and the Mouse on top of my filing cabinet.

4.  I finished The One and Only Ivan.  What a great read aloud story for intermediate grades :) 

5.  My flash freebie is my newest product to help with phonics and phonemic awareness.  It will be free until 7 pm (CST).  It comes in both color and an ink friendly version :)
1.  My friend posted this on her Facebook page, and I thought it was a great inspirational quote.

2.  Kindergarten lunch duty!!! Yesterday was a super busy day.  I had no idea that someone must have spilled their lunch on me until I sat down in my car!  That was when I noticed my pants had salsa and pineapple all over them!! AHHHH!  Today I was extra careful. 

3.  My children go back next week, and I've had the worst time finding some shoes for my daughter! They have to wear tennis shoes.  Her basketball/volleyball shoes still fit, but she really wanted a new pair.  We finally found a pair :) We found these at Kohls and with the $10 Kohls cash from my mother-in-law and 30% off....I paid $15.99 including tax :)
4.  This week has been hard because my children are still out of school.  I MUST, MUST, MUST plan a menu and get my act together!!!!  Any suggestions (or apps that could help me) would greatly be appreciated!  PS I don't like to cook or grocery shop :)

5.  Sunday and Monday is the BACK TO SCHOOL SALE!  I love this banner made by Meredith Anderson

Don't forget to leave feedback on items you have previously purchased.  Those feedback credits are a great way to get additional discounts!

These are my favorite "Literacy" products in my store!
Essential Skills Bundle helps practice skills that are assessed by Dibels.  It includes First Sound, Phonemic Awareness, Fluency, and Nonsense Word practice. 

This final product is my favorite set in my whole store :)  My dissertation involves the new literacies of online reading and research.  This package covers the skills needed to teach students how to be successful online readers and researchers. This set covers Common Core State Standards for Reading: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas; Writing: Text Types and Purposes; Writing: Research to Build and Present Knowledge.


Taming the Wild...Here is a freebie to help with your behavior management plan.  This is my behavior management clip chart.  You can download it for free!
I also believe in being very positive.   Positive reinforcement combined with feedback about what they are doing right as well as what needs to be corrected is critical.  Students love recognition for positive behavior, and they also LOVE when their parents get a phone call home telling them how great their child's behavior has been!
I am a HUGE fan of having procedures.  Procedures for EVERYTHING!  In fact my older students will tell anyone that asks that I am a control freak :)  I tell them I just want things orderly and organized and everyone needs to know what to do.  Today my procedure pack will be half off!!

I'm excited to participate in the Let's Talk About Me linky!

This will be fast and furious because I have meet the teacher night tonight and a huge assignment due tomorrow!

1.  I've lived all over the United States.  I like living by the ocean the best.

2.  Amazing Race is my favorite tv show.  I've auditioned, but did not make it (yet)!

3.  We love to travel.  Some of my favorite places to visit
St. Kitts
British Virgin Island
Angel Fire, New Mexico
New York City
Mystic, Conn

My wish list of places to visit are the following:
New Zealand

4.  I have been married for 17 years, and have two children :)

5.  My daughter and I cannot eat gluten. 

6.  Cooking is my least favorite activity in the entire world!  Since I don't enjoy cooking, I only cook one thing for dinner.  If I make spaghetti...we have gluten free pasta and regular pasta, but the same sauce.  I have been able to find lots of YUMMY meals that are actually gluten free that everyone enjoys!

7.  Books!  I love books!  I read all sorts of books, but I really like books that make you think and have deep moral dilemmas.

8. If I wasn't a teacher, I would love to a dancer.  Does this mean I can dance, NO!  I have an incredible appreciation of the time, dedication, and talent involved.  It is so artistic and beautiful when performed, and.....I'd stay in pretty good shape!

9.  I am a girly, girl!  I love purses, shoes, shopping, manicures, accessories, and more!!!

10.  I do not like drama!  I avoid conflict if at all possible, and I want everyone to be happy :)

1.  Just downloaded The One and Only Ivan.  I cannot wait to read it!

It was $3.99 for the Kindle, so I thought it was a pretty good deal :)

2. The Power of a Positive Educator. My sister is a teacher and sent me this blog post.  I LOVED it!  It is a quick reminder of the influence teachers have and how important it is to be positive!  I think my favorite part was reading the following:
The research shows you can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time so when you combine gratitude with physical exercise, you give yourself a double boost of positive energy. You flood your brain and body with positive emotions and natural antidepressants that uplift you rather than the stress hormones that drain your energy and slowly kill you.

3.  Running :)  Even though I am not a great runner, and I'm exhausted when I get home from school, I feel SO SO SO awesome when I'm done!!!

4.  PASI Screener.  Today I spent time learning about the PASI Phonological Awareness Screener.  I've been trying to make sure we have the resources to support the results!

5.  Candy Crush.  Anyone else play this? I'm too embarrassed to let people know I play it, so I won't be asking for lives on Facebook!

We had storms last night and lost power!!  I was so afraid I would be late on the first day back!  Thankfully, I correctly fixed the alarm in the middle of the night, and I was early :)

I'm offering my latest product for free until tomorrow at 7pm!  I'm off to bed!!!! 

Teacher's at my building are starting to get their rooms finished.  I saw these fun tissue paper puff balls, and you can buy them at our local party store, but they are EXPENSIVE!!  I'm cheap!  If I was a queen, I'd be called Bridget the Cheap! Sometimes I feel like I've missed the bus, and am 10 steps behind everyone in the coolness department.  If you already know about these, please forgive my excitement.  I'm just catching up to what is "cool!"

You know in Despicable Me how she says, "It's so fluffy!"  Well, I look at them and smile and say, "It's so puffy!!!!"

I went to Michael's and used a 40% off coupon and bought a big pack of tissue paper. I got a variety pack with 8 colors.  Since you only use 10 sheets per puff ball, I had extra left over that I'll use in gift bags. I paid a about $5.50 with tax.

I turned this into a family fun project (which means my daughter and husband helped).  My husband wishes I wouldn't get these ideas!  When he was done with this, he hid in the basement, so I couldn't recruit him for anymore projects :)

I used this blog to help me, as well as this video. I thought the hardest part was the cutting.  The more you cut off at the ends, the smaller the balls.  I cut the ends into a point (kind of like the tip of a triangle). 

**We tied the string that will hang from the ceiling BEFORE we undid them.  It was much easier.  You'll want to make sure the string is placed correctly, otherwise they aren't balanced.

The Book Whisperer
"Reading changes your life. Reading unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education."

The Book Whisperer inspired me to read more young adult novels and children's literature, and make sure students know how much I like reading. 

The author really knew books and she knew her student’s interests.  I feel like I know picture books pretty well, but not as many “cool” chapter books.  The author reads at least a book a week, plus lots over school breaks.  Only books that she has read are in the library (at least she had to have read the author).  This book gave me so many ideas for chapter book suggestions.  I now have a long list of “fun” reading, because many of these books are brand new to me!  

It is so important for students to have time set aside during the school day to read.  This is where they can practice the strategies they are being taught.  In 1977, Richard Allington discussed how students were not reading enough during reading instruction.  The author agrees that 40 years later this is still true!  My school district is really wanting to see "eyes-on-text" when teachers are observed during guided reading time.  This book advocated for lots of "eyes-on-text!"  

I'm happy I read this book.  I think any book that inspires me to make a change in myself to help more students is a good read!

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
 "You have to work hardest for the things you love the most."
I would normally not pick up this kind of book (not really my style), but I heard about it at the PLC conference I went to, and knew I must read it!  It has given me so much to think about, and I know I will use it not only with students I work with, but my own children!

Growth mindsets involving believing that anyone can succeed with effort, motivation, and education.
Fixed mindsets are when people believe their qualities are already carved in stone and intelligence is more important that hard-work and effort.

I decided that I have a growth mindset, most of the time.  As long as I enjoy something, then I have a growth-mindset.  If I don’t enjoy it, and cannot find value in it, then I definitely have a fixed mindset. I must note that I don’t have to be good at something to have a growth-mindset. 

For example, I started running when I was 34 years old.  I am not fast.  I keep working and reading articles on how to improve my times.  I would say that I have a growth mindset when it comes to running, and I know that if I continue to work hard, I will get faster.
Golf on the other hand is something that I definitely have a fixed mindset about.  I do not like golf.  I am not any good at it.  I have no desire to spend my free time working on improving my game.  I think Mark Twain said that golf ruins a good walk, and I would have to agree!

The funny thing is when I was reading this book I started playing Candy Crush.  I got so frustrated, I just deleted the app!!!!  Then I felt guilty because I had a fixed mindset about Candy Crush.  I redownloaded it :)  Although I do not have time to play it!!!!  Every so often if I'm waiting for my children to finish an activity, I'll try it.  I doubt the author's had Candy Crush in mind when they wrote the book!!!!

Based on this book, if I want to have a growth mindset, I must have a plan, with steps on how to achieve the goal.  I also must take responsibility for my success or lack of success in my endeavors.

There was an entire section on working with gifted students (from a teacher and parent perspective).  Many times gifted students are praised for their intelligence, and sometimes they don't want to take risks because they are afraid of failure.  Some important questions that can be discussed at dinner with the whole family are the following?

What did you learn today?
What did you work hard at today?
What mistakes did you learn from?

I work with students from poverty and I have seen first hand how much effort plays into their success in school.  This book reinforced what I already believed, but also gave me specific strategies to help more students achieve a growth mindset.

Linking up with Doodle Bugs  and reflecting on my summer.

1.  I read lots of fun books and two professional books.  My favorite fun book was Wonder!  It is about a fifth grade boy who goes to school for the first time!! An AMAZING story.  I loved the two professional books I read.  I'm working on reviews for them, that I'll post next week!

2.  We had lots of pool time!  However, I don't get to relax by the pool, because my son is six, and he likes staying in the 4 foot section playing with his diving sticks.  So we hang out together!

3.  I did lots of cleaning and organizing around the house.  In fact, I had to buy more label maker tape! My last supply lasted a few years! 

4.  I had an amazing time traveling!! This year was the first time since 2010 we didn't leave the United States for our summer vacation.  This was one of my favorite vacation pictures after a storm in the mountain!  It was about 7:45 pm, and the sun was setting.


5.  I'm going to savor these last few days, and as Sheryl Crow says, "soak up the sun!"
Next week is back to school!!! I've been going in almost every day.

I've been trying to do a little "deep" cleaning every day.  I feel like my house is pretty clean and organized.  I still need to wash windows and then clean out my car.  Then I'm done!!! I love that feeling of having things all organized and clean :)

I think every teacher can relate, the "to do" list never ends and it keeps getting longer!  I still have to finish some things (like the book room, more labels, and some school wide bulletin boards) but I've already had a couple texts and facebook messages from teachers that they love the new book room.  I guess they can't see the vision I have in my head!

Every morning I wake up and want to freeze time!  My children are so much fun to hang out with, I really don't want the summer to end!

I love Command Hooks (I just wish they were a little cheaper).  My pet peeve is having things fall off the wall!!!!! I also find that when I get super busy, my workout schedule gets pushed to the side.  If I schedule when I work out right into my calendar, I have a much better chance of doing it :)

99.9% of the time I have a positive attitude!  However, sometimes people aren't quite as excited as I am about literacy, and I'm not going to let them get me down!
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