What I'm Reading this Summer

Y'all....THIS is how I started my summer vacation....

That's poor little B with a fever - but she insisted on still being wrapped...
And A had a fever too!!!

We went to the beach on Saturday, and then Sunday fevers took over....It's Wednesday, and I THINK we are over it now...although B still isn't sleeping right and still doesn't have her appetite fully yet. My poor babies...

I'm exhausted from lack of sleep and 72 hours straight of carrying/holding B (She wouldn't even sleep without me holding her - ugh!), but I HAVE to get out of this house - especially since I'm out of coffee creamer now...lol.

I wanted to link up about what I'm reading this summer....

for work?? I'm only reading one book (notice I said BOOK, because I'll be reading all y'alls blogs!)...

No More "I'm Done!": Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades

This was gifted to me, actually, by a blogger!! THANK YOU TAMMY!!


I'm FINALLY going to get to read these:

Product Details

The Hunger Games

Yes...I'm a little behind the times....what?!!?

I have good excuses...lol


Memorial Day Sale!

Hey y'all - I'm just poppin' in real quick to let you know that I'm having a sale for Memorial Day!!
My sale is for Sunday and Monday!!
Check Sassy in Second's blogpost to see others who are having a sale too!!

Sorry, I've been MIA - Friday was last day, and I had to say goodbye to one of me best friends (she moved to Indiana!!) and then we had to celebrate my friend NOT turning 30....and yesterday we were at the beach all day.
How can you not smile with her looking at you like this???

I have some super cute pics from our last day, I will be back to show you.

Hubs is working all day and it's supposed to rain all day.
So the girls and I are having a PJ day while Momma gets this house (and car) all cleaned and organized!
Have a great Sunday!!

Chasing Rainbows

Tomorrow is the last day for kids....

Then I can chase more rainbows at the beach!


Graduation cake

I have nothing educational for you today...lol.

Instead, I just wanted to show you one of my clever Suzy-home-baker cakes I made last year.

This is when I graduated last year with my masters.

I made my own cakes and cupcakes for my party. lol..yes...I know.

The cake on the right is a sheet cake, and the cap on it is a round cake covered in black icing.

I dyed the icing with gel. SOOO much better than food coloring.

It comes in little jars like this --->Product Details

Anyway, the top of the cap is just a piece of cardboard that I covered in black fondant - and the tassel is purple fondant that I snaked and cut.

The cupcake toppers.....

Reese's peanut  butter cups, turned upside down. Take off the outside wrapper, but leave the black wrapper on.
Then, I found little square candies and covered them in black fondant.
Again, I snaked yellow fondant for the tassel.

Anyway - with the end of school coming, maybe some of you can use this.
I had fun making them!


We're hittin' the beach!

This week, we're hittin' the beach!!

No....not on a field trip - although my kids have told me that REALLY would love that as a field trip - I think I'm rubbing off on them! haha!

We've been doing my beach-themed centers...

They brought in their towels and sunglasses and have been doing centers while lounging on their towels.

Tomorrow I'm bringing my beach umbrella and maybe beach chair - since you know...they're always in my car anyway...ha!


You never know when you're going to make a trip to the beach...right, Corinna?


Back on track.

Another activity we did today was a glyph from this book that I got during Scholastic Dollar Days Deals... (still going on, I think!)

Now, let me say that I never really did glyphs because I thought they were just too easy - waste of time - yada yada yada...

Oh my.

Was I wrong.

Ummmm....they had a HARD time with this!

I think it's the following directions they struggled with (go figure).

We did the beach pail one since it goes with our theme, and they were a little confused on it - lol.

So I've decided, I'm doing a glyph AT LEAST once a month next year (along with Reagan's quilts!)...and maybe with my themes :)

Only 3 more half days!

Which, ok, I'm excited about.

But that also means that one of my best friends and fellow 2nd grade teachers/podmate and Autumn's friend (her daughter) are moving away!!

Insert sad crying face here.

I'm a little sad.

Ok - a lot sad.

This is THE sweetest, nicest, kindest person you'll ever meet. She has done so much for our family and been such a good friend to me and Autumn.

I was doing the dishes tonight after dinner and started thinking about how I'm going to have to say good-bye, and I actually started tearing up.

Ugh. I'm going to hate Friday.

Oh well my friends.
Friday isn't here yet- enjoy what we have right now - right?!

Hope y'all had a Terrific Tuesday!


Themes - input??

Amber is having a linky!

What worked!

Well....A LOT worked!!! I was able to FINALLY figure out how I wanted to do center, both Reading and Math, in my room - it took a lot of trial and error, but I figured it out.

AND I was able to get back into my creative mojo - thanks, in part, to y'all!!

Speaking of centers....

I have to tell you.

I'm sick...

No, not physically sick.

But sick, as in, I can't make my mind turn off. ahhh!!!

Planning for next year already.

I'm doing a pirate theme -  (or should I do a beach theme!?! You KNOW how much I love the beach and those colors - but my kids don't really relate to the beach AND I already have a lot of things that are black/white/red.....what do you think?!?! Help me!!!)

Anyway, assuming I'm doing pirate theme - I've made some desk pockets for my behavior cards and some name tags and center labels to go with them...


I have lots of different versions of the desk pockets and name tags..

And I'm getting ready my pirate A.R. pack...
like the bookmarks and logs and such...

NOW....I'm seriously debating the beach theme - I'm having a HORRIBLE time deciding....
and if I do, then that means I have to redo my stuff - including my A.R. pack, which is fine. I don't mind doing that - but I just can't make up my mind!!!

What else worked??

Theme teaching!!!


I fell in love with teaching ALL OVER AGAIN!!!

But that also leads me to my what didn't work.....

trying to cram all the theme teaching into ONE week!!

I just CAN NOT do that with 2nd graders - my 3rd graders?? sure...but I have learned that I need 2 weeks for my littles..


That's where you come in!!

What are your favorite themes to teach???

So far, I have:
(side note: I DO follow the standards, pacing guides, and skills in the reading and math series - I make a scope and sequence and make my themes match the skills I should be teaching. Same with Science and Social Studies - I usually tie those in AS the themes throughout the year.)

(kids come back the 8th)
beach (the first 3 days - TOTALLY doing Corinne's Surfer craft!!)
Back to school theme 
Goldilocks (she helps me teach just right books!)

Author for the month - Kevin Henkes
Cynthia Rylant (Henry and Mudge)

Charlotte's Web and Farm Theme
Apples (Johnny Appleseed)
and possibly football
Pirates (National Talk like a pirate day)
Constitution week

Authors for the month - Doreen Cronin (goes with farm)
Marc Brown (Arthur)



Authors for the month: Mercy Meyer
Robert Munsch



Author for the month:
Tomi dePaola 
Franklin (book series)

Somewhere in there is the 50th day too...


Gingerbread Man
Christmas around the World


New Years
Chinese New Year

Author for the month: Jan Brett


Vday (although, I'd really like to just skip this one- ha!)
President's Day

Author Study: Laura Numeroff


Dr. Seuss
Basketball (march madness)
St. Patty's day


Earth Day
3 Billy Goats


3 Little Pigs
Cinderella unit
Mother's Day
Beach theme (it's a circle! start and end with the beach - ha!)

And those aren't all my themes I want to do -
I want to do:
super hero
teddy bear
Jack and the Beanstalk (I can fit that in with plants)

and that's only what I can think of right now!

but again, I have one theme per week, and that is NOT going to work....

Ok - so do you have any favorites for those months????

Or, better yet - what are your favorite themes to teach??



Japan, Olympics, ants, and capsules

Hi y'all!

This week, I really didn't do much teaching..lol.

That's a lie.

I did teach.

But we painted A LOT too.

We were getting ready for Multicultural Night.

We were Japan, I kind of claimed it since our pen pals are from Japan - which is SUPER cool to the students!!

So....our students made Kimonos and Fish...with watercolor paints - and LOTS of it.
(sorry - I tried fixing this 3 times, but it wants to stay vertical)

I didn't know this until I asked Suzy Q, but the fish symbolize the boys growing into strong men,  because these fish go against the stream...

I think. ha! It's been a long day.

Also, this week, I finished reading them this book....

So we did some phonics skills with the -ant word "family."
We started by brainstorming some "ant" words...

They did great! I only gave them like 2 or 3 words, they did all the rest.

They each got their own word to write a sentence about and illustrate.
Then they made an ant craft and colored their picnic blanket - and voila!

Aren't they SUPER cute??

I was going to make a pack for the book, I had some GREAT ideas to do with it, but time was running out and you know - I just can't do everything I want to do! I wish I could, but I must let go sometimes - in fact I think that was my word in January...hmm...I'll have to check.

We also read one of our SN...

I just LOVE these things!!

We did a double-bubble comparing summer and winter Olympics, the we made torches.

I love them :)

And so did they - they decided to have a fish fry...lol.  They're so silly. 

That goes with our camping theme at least.

Oh wait.

That's right.

I never got to my camping theme this week!!!

Yes, I'm dead serious :(

But they did get their time capsule from the beginning of the year - and compared themselves to their string from the b.o.y....I always love seeing how they grow.

They love reading how they answered their questions...not so much what their answer was,  but they commented on their letter reversals and invented spellings...hehe - it's so cute.

Ok - that's it for now.

Time to go give B her bath.

Updated Beach Pack - added a center!


I'm exhausted - just got home from working 7am-7pm - we had Multicultural Night - we were Japan - since our pen pals live there.

It was fun.

I have no pictures - but I will take some of our crafts to show you. They were cute!

I just wanted to let you know - if you bought and downloaded my beach pack...

I added another math center!!

So now there are TWELVE centers in the bundle - 6 of each.

It was a suggestion from a buyer. I liked it, so I added it - ha!

So, now it's 98 pages, and still the same price!!

*updated 5/17/12
We ALL know how much I love the beach, so for me, these centers could be used all year 'round! But they are also a great way to end the year right before summer.

The Literacy skills include:

-Picture Perfect Summer: Labeling a picture, illustrating it and writing a caption. My kids LOVE doing these in my room!
-Sail Away with Syllables: sorting syllables and breaking apart the syllables
-A Day at the Beach Writing: 3 word banks with pictures and writing templates
-Surfing with Sentences: sorting types of sentences with missing punctuation and students write out the sentences
-Summer Sentence Scramble: unscramble 6 different sentences to write out. The capitalization and punctuation are missing to make them think!
-Summer Sorting: Sorting nouns, verbs, and adjectives

The Math centers include:

-Getting Ready for Summer: going shopping to get ready for summer! there are two cards for each item, one is the least amount of coins, and the other is a different combination of coins. The recording sheets allow the teacher to choose one way for the students to match, or you can use both ways!
-Fractions of the Beach: identifying parts of a group
-Mermaid Math: For this center, the teacher has the option of deciding if the students do 2 or 3 digit numbers as well as addition or subtraction. You can also mix up the number of digits or addition and subtraction. Or you can have them do all the cards. This center is very easily adaptable so that you can differentiate for your students. 
-"Just Beachy" Numbers:For this center, the teacher has the option of deciding if the students do 2 or 3 digit numbers. There is a page for either option. You can use a deck of cards, or I have provided cute themed number cards you can copy off! I did 4 copies for one set and each set was a different color. Students do +/- 1, +/- 10, +/-100, 
-Time to Catch a Wave!:For this center, the teacher has the option of deciding if the students do hour and half hour, or to add in quarter hours. This center is very easily adaptable so that you can differentiate for your students. 
*NEW ONE ADDED*- Summer Matches: Matching single digit addition and/or subtraction to the sum or difference (9+7= or 15-8=). You can do both sets or just addition or subtraction!

I added that center because I could totally use that in the beginning of the year next year - this whole pack is differentiated enough for me to be able to use it in the beginning of the year and the end!

Ok - I must go put my feet up - and eat ice cream!!

I'll show you what we've been up to this week tomorrow - I promise.


School is Cool

One of our projects this week was given by the fabulous Hadar!!
She posted this a little while ago, and of COURSE I had to do it!!

(I just LOVE his smile on this one!!)

(look at how intent they are working...lol)

 I love them!!
Although, I didn't think through the background choice I guess...I should have reversed the colors. But I wanted to do orange and black since those are our school colors...lol. Didn't think about when black hair was going to be on black background...oh well...you live and learn, right???

Click HERE to get her pack!

With her tracers, you get a few different variations of the writing part - but as we were brainstorming things to write, I realized that my kiddos needed something different, so I created a different version of the writing - 

click the pic to download :)

You can use them for End of Year or Beginning of year, so I might do it both!!

I'm interested to see how Reagan does her writing portfolio for the year with the kids - my goal next year is to save all these fun cute things we do and somehow send them home with the kids at the end of the year - do any of you do that?!?!

I'd love to see how you do it!

On a sadder note...

Here is what my room looks like...

That's 1/4 of my boxes....

How BORING does my room look now??

I'm mean golly - it's so sad looking :(

But do you see that tall book shelf of books??

Those are my picture books - and I have THREE of those tall bookshelves FILLED with books that I have to pack - and that's not including the rest of my stuff.

(But I still have my quilts up! ha!)

Why am I already packing when I have 8 days left?? 
Because I have SO MUCH stuff...seriously. I have about 12-15 of those bins already, and probably need about 6-10 more -ugh!!

But on a happier note!!

Today I got my May Birchbox!!

wrinkle cream, perfume, hair restoration conditioner, ans some super pretty coral color nail polish!

I am super excited about the nail polish!!
For my toes...lol..since we all know I don't' have any fingernails! Maybe that could be on my Summer bucket list?? To stop biting my nails??
Click here if you wanna check it out - best part is, everyone gets something different!!

And ONE more side note - Amber just made me spend more money!! lol

But I did really well!! I only spent $5!! lol..I had to stock up on arts and crafts books - after almost 10 years of teaching, I have TONS of the "important" books - now it's time to get the "fun" books...and you know, glyphs and "following directions" books are still academic, right?! lol

And I have to leave you with a funny...

I was reading to A in bed tonight, we were reading a Bethlehem book...we get to the baby Jesus...
"Mommy, who is that?"
"That's baby Jesus."
"Aww....baby Cheese-it! He's my friend!!"

There you have it. She knows that Cheese-It is her friend. 


Summer Bucket List

Happy Mother's Day!!

Where else do you think I would have spent it?? lol

Sorry for the 2 posts in one day, but they're both short and sweet, I promise.

I wanted to quickly join the Team of ladies who are hosting a Summer Bucket List Linky!

Well...you all know I plan to do a lot of this....

and hoping to get in some of this...

Get back into this...

I have TONS of ideas written down in THIS...

to do for school...LOTS of things going on in my head - it never stops! ah!!!

I have LOTS of crafting ideas...with the sewing machine and the cameo

In fact, I've been trying to pin lots of cameo projects to do this summer...

Catching up on my reading - umm...Hunger Games??? 50 Shades??? yeah...I'm a little behind. 

and we're taking a trip out to CO...

(this was A's first plane ride when she was just 10 months old - she's been on lots since, but it'll be B's first time.)
We're having a HUGE family reunion out at my parents' house for the 4th of July - LOTS of big birthdays in our family this year....
Where I hope to be climbing this again...

Speaking of B'days - 

It's my BIG 3-0 this summer!!!
I'm actually pretty excited!! I've had such a WONDERFUL first 30 years - I've traveled the world, started my career, got National Board Certified, got my masters, got married and had TWO BEAUTIFUL daughters...I'm excited to see what the next 30 years can bring...

To celebrate???

I think I might go do this again....

(yes, that's me!)

Don't forget...
In honor of Mother's Day, I'm throwing a sale at both my stores today only! Everything is 20% off.

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