Our public library offered a free bison tour...limited to 12 people.  My two children were SUPER excited :)  I thought we'd just see them from far away...NO!  We were up close!!  It was just 10 minutes from my house :)  I never knew!!!




I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper today!!!  
I've been using interactive notebooks this spring with tutoring groups in kindergarten and first grade :)

The students love them!!!!  They are engaging, fun, and they are practicing lots of literacy skills :)  I try to incorporate writing into them as much as I can.  I have a strong belief that reading and writing need to be taught together.  The pictures below are from two different interactive journals that include lots of sight word reading and cvc word reading






I completed my first summer project :)

We have a new little furniture store that opened up close to where my daughter takes dance.  They had these ADORABLE boxes that had "This" "and" "That" labels.  Unfortunately, they were $35.  Before I bought them, I'd thought I'd see if I could make some. 

I went to Michael's today and found three photo boxes (similar colors, different patterns) for $1.42 each.  Then I found some thicker paper for 59 cents to use for the labels.

I made labels on the computer, and voila...I had my boxes!!!! The labels measure 2.5 inches across and are 1 inch tall. 

These boxes are so versatile!  
They are storing DVDS, my children's markers/crayons/twistables, and CDs.

In a classroom, they could be used to store art supplies, scraps of paper, and even guided reading books!  For the classroom, I would have the labels say exactly what was inside of the box, otherwise I'd go a little crazy trying to find what I needed :) 


1)  Pool time!!  Last summer we went to the pool almost every day we were home.  It was so much fun for my children.  They requested lots of pool time this summer.

2)  I believe I will be chauffeuring quite a bit.  We have lots of morning camps this summer...dance, football, Boy Scouts, theater!
3)  I plan to continue to run.  Last summer I did the Squat Challenge, and I think I will do it again!  I also plan to run the Castaway Cay- 5K in June :)

4)  Barnes & Noble...this is a favorite hangout for the kids and me!

5)  Hike at Badlands National Park.  

I like to go to a new place each summer.  This year, I'm taking a road trip to South Dakota with my children!  We love to hike, so the Badlands National Park looked like the perfect place to visit.

6)  We also plan to visit Mount Rushmore!

7-10) Household Projects
I've bought two desks at garage sales that I was planning on refurbishing!  I also MUST organize my children's school memories.  I'm awesome at keeping up with their scrapbooks, but all of the "stuff" I've save from school are in two giant under-the-bed Rubbermaid tubs!   I've also been looking at some fun Pinterest projects for my house!  Here is just one of the "fun" things I've pinned :)





I've been looking at Pinterest on ideas to help organize the packing-up process.  I like leaving school knowing that things are cleaned and organized and I'm not returning to a mess in August.  These are somethings that I always do each year.
  • Organize filing cabinet
  • Clean out files
  • Throw stuff away!!!!!
  • Finalize Data Notebook
  • Clean/Organize Desk
  • Update computer files.
I love leaving school with my binders organized!  This usually takes a half-day (usually I do this on the Saturday before school gets out), but it is totally worth it.  I try really hard to file everything on Friday before I go, but the last weeks of school have so many priorities, this doesn't always happen.

Since I keep a binder system,  I also keep the same system electronically.  My files are all in folders that match the same title as my binders!  I love it :)  That's the last thing I do before I leave.  Sometimes my electronic life gets a little out of control and things just end up in Downloads or on the  Desktop (so I don't loose them).

Here are some of my favorite packing ideas from great bloggers.

This is my favorite way to organize anchor charts at the end of the year!  Thanks to Teaching With a Mountain View for the great idea!


Conversations in Literacy has a great packing up post with lots of idea!  You can tell we think alike in terms of throwing stuff out!  She also discusses having a classroom map done before you leave!



True Life I'm a Teacher has a great freebie to keep you organized!

Here is a link to my classroom packing Pinterest Board where there are ideas on packing, organizing, and even possible ideas for organizing files next school year.




1.  My daughter is reading Flora and Ulysses..I can't wait to borrow it :)

2.  Teacher Talent Show...When you are in elementary school, and your teacher dances on stage, they love you even more :)  This was the song we did...and we stole some moves from this guy :)

3.  My husband and I played in a flag football tournament to support Relay for Life!  We didn't win, but we had fun!   

4.  Cold weather...I never thought my son would still be wearing uniform pants on the last week of school, but it has been very cool - high of 55 - 60 degrees (usually it is closer to 80).  My son's uniform pants are practically uniform capris, and they are wearing out in the knees... Fingers crossed his pants last 4 more days!

5.  I went to an indoor trampoline park with my children and their friends...we took six of them on Mother's Day :)  It was AWESOME!!! If you have never been to one, they are so much fun...and a GREAT workout :)


What is on your "fun" summer reading list?  I cannot wait to sit by the pool and read.  Although that never really happens, because I must be responsible and make sure my children do not drown!  It is a nice thought.  Someday, I'll be able to relax at the pool :)

 
I'm linking up with Carla at Comprehension to share my "fun" summer reading list! 

I have three books that I'm waiting to pick up from the Bookmobile.  I must first tell you that I have the most AMAZING library in the world :)  I simply go online, pick my book, and it gets placed on the Bookmobile.  The Bookmobile comes to the grocery store I shop at three times a week - for about 5-6 hours at a time!!!  It is so convenient and easy!

The two books I'm going to read first are Orphan Train by Christina Baker Klein, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and The Invention of Wings.  I read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, so I'm excited to read this book!







Oh.My.Stress!  This year the last day is Friday, and I REALLY want to be done!  Usually I have professional development or school improvement meetings after Memorial Day, but this year I can just relax :)

This bag has been getting a work-out!  For the past two weeks, I've been filling it up with "my favorite resources."  That way if anything ever happened to the building over the summer, my prized teaching possessions will be at my house!

I still must:
  • Organize filing cabinet
  • Clean out files
  • Throw stuff away!!!!!
  • Finalize Data Notebook
  • Clean/Organize Desk
  • Make sure the bookroom inventory is complete.
The last item is a BEAST!!!  What do you need to do to be able to leave school and RELAX?



I found out our state and county library both have subscriptions to TumbleBooks!  This means students have access to thousands of books at home if they have Internet access.  TumbleBooks can be accessed through computers, iPads, Kindles, Nook Colors, and some Android phones.   It is worth looking into seeing if your local or state library has a subscription. 

TumbleBooks are animated, talking picture books that have been created by taking existing picture books...adding animation, sound, music and narration to produce an electronic picture book which students can read (or have it read to them)!

Here are just a few titles that are available!






I'm participating and giving away my Interactive Notebook Bundle!  Here is more info from Curriculum to the Core!

There are prizes from over 90 TPT sellers!!!!  Lots of different grade categories, and gift cards :)


I'm linking up for Five for Friday!  This week has been amazing!  To say I was spoiled this Teacher Appreciation Week would be an understatement!


1.  Everyday there were presents waiting for us!  This was Day 1- a spa bag!  It was filled with soaps, lotions, scrubbing mitts, bath salts, and more! 


2.  My husband bought me flowers...I love the bright pink!!!! Plus the vase is in my favorite color :)

3.  I gave all the teachers at my school this easy gift that was Pintrest inspired!


4.  For the teacher's at my children school, I gave them Starbuck's gift cards with this cute saying (also Pinterest Inspired).

5.  Probably the highlight of the week was when the PTO turned our teacher's lounge into a Coffee Shop.  They actually borrowed the espresso machine from a local coffee shop.  While we had our weekly team meetings, they were the baristas, and they would bring us espresso, smoothies, and fancy coffee :)  IT.WAS.AWESOME.  Plus, the lounge smelled heavenly all day!!!

I hope everyone had a great week!  Click here to download the Teacher Appreciation tags!  I need to give a shout out to Cara Carroll's Fun Fonts!  They were used to make the tags :)




This is Day 2 (and the final day) of our Blog Hop! I hope everyone is getting spoiled and enjoying their week!  Todays topic was a tough one!! I have so many favorites, it was difficult to narrow it down to three!

1)  I've talked about this book so much, but The Next Step is Guided Reading is a MUST!  It helps teachers plan and organize their guided reading lessons.  There are lesson plan templates as well as specific checklists about skills teachers should be focusing on during guided reading depending on the guided reading levels.  It actually starts with what guided reading looks like when students are not reading (Pre-A Level). 


2) Kindergarten Helper by Michelle Oaks.  This has helped so many of my kindergarten students learn their beginning sounds!  The students also use it when they are writing.  It is like their own personal anchor chart!
3)  This was a tough one..I ended up picking the laminator I purchased from Amazon.  It is nice to be able to work on projects at home, and not have to rush to school early to use the laminator (only to find out it has been jammed or it is out of laminating paper).  I primarily use it for workstation games.  It is heavy duty quality...much better than at school. 




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