Friday, July 19, 2013

Super Quick Freebie

One of my fave parts of summer is having a lack of schedule and not many places we HAVE to be:)  Thus the impromptu 3 day trip to our cabin 21 miles away... But since we were gone, I didn't have a chance to spend much time on a blog post, so I am posting a freebie in a preview of a product I just posted:)

So, my latest project has been working on a Where the Wild Things Are unit. I have a Literacy Pack  and Literacy Pack B finished.  If you click on the combo, there is a freebie in the Preview:)

 Literacy Pack A & B... picture of freebie within the preview is listed below!
Literacy Pack A

 Literacy Pack B

As always, don't forget to link up or venture on over for some great freebies!!! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Liebster Award... Yay:)

So last night after a girls night out to see the movie The Heat (which btw was hilarious and I loved every minute of it) I came home and crawled into bed and checked my blog and email like the addict dedicated individual that I am and found that a fellow MN blogger  Jameson at Lessons with Coffee had liked my blog and thought I was creative enough to nominate for the Liebster Award. I had seen this award on several other blogs and always wondered about it but never thought I would be cool enough to be nominated.  Well, step back folks because it happened:)  For those of you that are unfamiliar with the award, it is for newer bloggers to get their name out there and recognize their efforts in the blogging world. I have to admit that I don't blog as often as I should and to this point I have done more blogging about the creations that I have made to share them than actual happenings in my classroom. However my goal this year is to blog more and share more about how I am using my things and the gains that I see. I was so busy this past year creating and then printing and laminating and then starting to use that I didn't' have time to reflect on much.  We will see what this year brings.

So, here are the rules for the Award...
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me (done)
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers (see below)
3. Answer the questions by the blogger that nominated you (done, see below)
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself (done, see below)
5. Create 11 questions for the bloggers whom you nominate (done, see below).
6. Contact the bloggers you nominate and let them know how to proceed. (done)

So here it goes:)

What made you start writing a blog? I originally started a blog about my family about 3 years ago. Things were happening so fast and I wanted a way to remember events and timelines of things that happened with my babes as well as a way to keep extended family updated on our family happenings. I didn't keep up as much I would have liked to after the first few months. Now I find myself writing funny comments or happenings on facebook as a way to save those things to look back on. I should totally keep a journal but have been procrastinating.  For this blog, I started creating things for my Kinders who were struggling as a way to get the motivated and excited about the skills we were learning. I had heard about TPT and decided to try it out as I had been picking up freebies left and right with Freebie Friday and Manic Monday. I had been chatting with a Kinder teacher I work with (see her below as she is one of my nominees) about creating a blog to tie into TPT and share the things I had been making and their successes with fellow teachers. We talked about co-writing the blog and actually started it together (Campwewannalearnalot was her idea) but since she is in school for her Masters she needed to have her own. I wasn't tech savvy enough to know how to change my blog name so we kept the same name but hers has dashes in between:) 

What song do you most listen to when you are in need of a pick-me-up?  Anything by Zac Brown Band, however Chicken Fried is one of my favorite summer loving dance around the room singing like a rockstar (my poor family) songs.  

Can you name a movie adaptation that was better than the book? The Notebook. I loved the book but they actually did a fantastic job with the movie and it is one of my watch over and over again movies! 

What children’s book describes the meaning of life best in your eyes? OR What book (children or adult) changed your life and why? I love the story "I LOVE YOU FOREVER". It is a true circle of life and shows about how a mother's care and love for her children only gets stronger and stronger each day. 

What obscure pieces of trivia are you most impressed with yourself for knowing? I am horrible at trivia. I consistently second guess myself and always have a gut feeling but then talk myself out of it:)  That being said, trivia is not my forte and I can openly admit I don't know much trivia:(  I am much better at puzzles and word games. For instance when we play a game such as Scene It, my hubby and I make the best pair because he rocks at movie trivia and I am pretty quick at the word games:) 

What are you thinking about doing for Open House this year? This one is a bit different for me being a sped teacher. I dont' get many families that come to my room for open house.  Usually around 5. I have never really had a classroom theme but we are in a new building this year and our rooms are rather bland currently so I have been thinking about some bulletin board ideas and tying it all together. However there are so many that I like that I cannot decide.  Will have to think more on that one:) 

What are you thinking about doing for first day of school this year? The first day of school is a bit different for us sped folk as well. In our building, we don't start pulling kids to the resource room for instruction until the 2nd week of school. I have a firm belief in students building their classroom community and being a part of that unit first and foremost with my services as an additional part of their day.
If you had to pick another career what would it be? Since I was a little girl, I had always dreamed of being a dolphin trainer. I have never even swam with them but it is on my bucket list and hopefully will get checked off the list this Christmas when we take the kiddos to Mexico for 9 days:)  A bit more realistic is a travel agent. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE (did I say LOVE ) to travel, especially beachy exotic places. I also love planning the trips and organizing everything. If I could get paid for it, holy cats dream come true.  However, I have also thought about going back for my masters as an early childhood teacher.  Bottom line, though friends, is I truly believe I am doing exactly what I was meant to do. I love kiddos and I love being excited about going to work!!!

Who is your celebrity crush? 100% Channing Tatum.  Holy Cats is he fantastic to look at:) 

What is your favorite thing about your mate or best friend? Matt is head over heels in love with me. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have a person that truly thinks the world of me (I drive him absolutely crazy a lot of the time with my quirks and way of doing things) but he truly adores me. It is such an amazing feeling. Besides he is a clean freak (so much more than me and sometimes I feel like he follows me around picking up after me and it makes me go nuts) but he is constantly cleaning. He is an amazing dad whom my kiddos adore. He is super smart and can fix almost anything. He works hard and doesn't complain about it. My family adores him and tells me almost every time we see them what an amazing man he is:) 

What is one piece of advice you would give a new teacher? It will happen just the way it is meant to happen. I remember one of my first years doing the best that I could but feeling totally inadequate, especially in the area of reading. However after some PLC's, book clubs, etc, I finally feel like I have a good grasp on teaching reading to those struggling readers. I have found that the centers and manipulatives that I am creating have really helped pull in those reluctant kiddos because they are more game like centers and not so much drill and practice. Keep taking it one day at a time and it will happen. You will be GREAT!!!
*I am not even 5'1. I have accumulated many nicknames in my 29 years because of my petite size:)
*I got married at age 19 (no I wasn't pregnant or in need of insurance Jess:):)  We had a house together and just knew.  We waited 4 years until I was done with school to have kids.
*I have a obsession with schedule and things going according to plan. I knew exactly what month I needed to conceive so that I could have a spring baby to work around school and when it didn't' work during that month we had to wait another whole year because it wasn't in my plan:) I knew which position and what time of the month for which gender is supposed to be better (some say myth but it worked).  My mom jokes that "things have to go according to Danielle's schedule or else" but it really isn't that dramatic... I think:) That being said, I have learned a lot in the last few years having young children. When things don't go they way I saw them going in my head, I am now able to take a step back and realize the world isn't over.  (Could you guess that I have pretty high anxiety:))  I now just try to do more of the 'go with the flow.' 
*I color code everything. My friends used to give me such a hard time in college because my notes were color coded and highlighted very neatly. They used to all want to use my notes if they were absent or whatever. Now even in my workplace, my colleagues will bring 4-5 different colored pens to meetings just to poke fun at me:)
*One of my favorite treats is microwaved marshmallows. After they get huge, I take them out and put a small square of chocolate on them. Then wait a few minutes and woola.  Yummers!!!
*  Beyond my family being my TOP priority, I have some interesting things that are at the top of my list. I build a lot of my day around vacations and when my next trip to someplace tropical is and sleep. I need at least 9 hours of sleep or I dont' function well. and I am not a morning person. (however according to my hubby I am not an evening person either:) )  I do have a thyroid disorder so I tend to be tired a lot if I forget to take my meds:)
*The first 5 guys I ever kissed names' all started with J.
*I love to make people laugh. When I am conversing I tend to be sarcastic and love to giggle and smile:)
*I desperately want to travel to Bora Bora and stay in one of those gazebo style over water bungalows... Someday it will happen:) 
* I am a HUGE bachelor fan. I have watched every season religiously and truly do believe in it. I know how ridiculous that seems and how so much can happen in the fantasy world that they set up, but because I am such a romantic at heart, I get wrapped up in each season and feel like I totally know them! 
1. If you could travel anywhere in the world
2. Did you start out college knowing you were going into education or did you change your mind along the way?
3. What is your dream teaching job and are you currently doing that?
4. What reality TV show do you feel is most like your life and why?
5. What is the happiest teaching experience/memory you have?
6. What is the saddest/toughest teaching experience/memory you have?
7. When do you do most of your blogging (at night, right after school, etc)???
8. If people could use 3 words to describe you, what would those 3 words be?
9. How long is your summer and at what point do you start thinking about going back and are okay with it?
10. How long do you keep something without using it before throwing it away (at home and at school)?
11. What is your go-to meal for dinner?
My good friend Jess at When I read her posts, she uses such funny words and I totally find myself laughing out loud. Although I know she hasn't had a lot of time for blogging lately with being in school and teaching full time, I know she gets anxious and excited every time she thinks about being done with school so she has time to create and blog more:)
Portrait of a Second Grader
My Photo
My Photo
happy weekend everyone!

Friday, July 12, 2013

One Cool Cat Centers, Freebie and Chance to Win

Well happy Friday ya'll... I missed posting last week because we had a busy 4th... Between hauling 16, yes 16 tons, of rock for landscaping, a movie, a carnival, fireworks, swimming at the lake, a bbq with great friends from high school and their families, I just took a break from the blogging world and even creating. But on Monday back at it I was and created my latest unit from start to finish based off the story Pete the Cat.  Typically I will post the entire unit, a math pack and literacy pack and many individual centers on TPT... However this time I did it a bit differently.  Because my skills were great for beginning Kinder-1st Grade, I divided them up a bit.  Click on each title below to go to my TPT store to check them out... I absolutely cannot wait to use them:)


One of the Literacy A Centers.  It is a letter match and trace:)
If you want to win any of the following centers, please take a peek at them and comment below which is your favorite and why... I will randomly pick a winner on Tuesday evening to snag any 1 of them for FREE:)
If you like this freebie, I am sure you will find soooooo many more over at TeachingBlog Addicts Freebie Friday and Manic Monday:)

Happy Weekend!  My summer is technically 1/2 over today... Boo:(