Sunday, October 30, 2011

Holly Bloggy Giveaway #2!!

I'm so excited to announce our SECOND giveaway!  (There are still 7 more, can you believe it?!)  If you have not yet joined Holly Bloggy Christmas, check it out.  Sign ups for participants and sponsors end Monday, October 31st at midnight!  You won't want to miss out...the giveaways only get better and better.

This week we are offering you a chance to get a jumpstart on your Christmas cards!  Christmas is coming...  Fast.  And we want you to have super fabulous Christmas cards!  Jennifer Mecca Designs is offering one lucky participant a digital card design.  Her cards are absolutely adorable!  She will customize it with your photos and text, then email you a proof to upload and print your cards anywhere (Walgreens, WalMart, Shutterfly, etc). 

You have 3 chances to enter to win this fun prize!

-Visit Jennifer Mecca's etsy store and leave a comment here to let us know which Christmas card is your favorite.

- We want to know: When do you usually send out Christmas cards?  Are they ready to be mailed on December 1st?  Or do you send out "New Years Cards" because time slipped away?!  Leave your answer here in the comments.

-BONUS entry Sunday and Monday only: Blog about Holly Bloggy Christmas and our giveaway, letting people know that time is running out to join in the fun!  Leave a link to your post in the comments.  Since sign ups end Monday night, this entry will only be accepted today and Monday! 

This giveaway starts now and ends on Friday, November 4th at 11:59pm.  I will use a random number generator to select the winner.  The winner will be announced on Saturday, November 5th.

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A little fall fun!

Is it really only Wednesday?!  I swear, yesterday feels like forever ago.  And I'm still nowhere near ready for tomorrow. 

But even though my stack of school work is taller than I am, I wanted to share a little fall freebie with my friends! {Blogging is so much more fun than grading papers.}  This is going in my math stations next week as a little review of the ways to represent numbers.  There's a good chance I'll make a worksheet to go with it, but I haven't gotten there yet... {you understand, right?}

Cut them apart and the students match up the different representations of the number!  Quick review, fun, and cute!  Click here to grab a copy.
Oh, and a little funny to get through the rest of the week:

So I have my little kinderfriends lined up and ready for the hall when all of a sudden, this teeny tiny little one with glasses that slide off his nose ALL.DAY.LONG. and the sweetest, softest, most precious and hilarious little voice runs up to me...

"Teacher!Teacher!IleftmyjacketI'mgoingtogogettit."  {That is totally how he talks. All strung together and rushed and breathy.  Hilarious.  And yes, I still have 2 friends who call me teacher.  Even though I refer to myself in the third person eleventy million times a day.}

"Wait.  Where exactly are you going?"

"Tothebaffroom..."  {with one foot out the door...}

"Why is your jacket in the bathroom?"

He thought for a second and slowed down to tell me: "Well, I took it off so I wouldn't get poop on it."

All I could do is nod and point out the door, giving him permission to retrieve his unpoopy jacket.  I don't think I want to know what exactly was going on in that stall for it to be rough enough to take off his jacket.  Ohhhh, the children...they keep me laughing.

PS: If you're not signed up for Holly Bloggy Christmas.  Do it!  Now!  The first of NINE giveaways ends this Friday and you must be a participant to enter.  Check it out here.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oh boy, oh boy!!!

Hey everyone!  "Geez" is all I can say about my week so far.  Seriously.  Am I the only one who is just absolutely drowning in this year?  So much work, so little time.

BUT--- there's no time to even think about things that are less than amazing because this week kicks off the ever so fabulous Holly Bloggy GiveawaysSarah and I are so excited!  We have well over 60 people signed up to exchange gifts and lots of AH-mazing sponsors who can't wait to stuff your stockings with their wonderful teacher resources.  If you haven't already signed up as a participant or sponsor, you won't want to waste any time.  Monday, October 31st is the deadline!  And all of these crazy awesome giveaways are for Holly Bloggy-ers only.  I don't want anyone to be left out!

Now on to our first giveaway!  A super cute teacher banner from Whimzy Creations.  Check it out!
Aww, precious, huh?!  Sarah is hosting the giveaway this week, so head over there for all of the details on how to enter.
And to think...there are still 8 more weeks of these superfab giveaways!!  I can't wait to share the rest of them with you guys!  Good luck!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We have a winner!!

Amy over at the Resource(ful) Room is the lucky winner of my Fabulous Follower Giveaway!!!  Congratulations!!  I'll be in touch today to get you all of your fabulous prizes!

{Sorry that I didn't have time to make a pretty little announcement.  I'm leaving for a weekend trip in 30 minutes and I'm not dressed, made up, or packed!!!  Aaahh!  Lord help the poor people who have to look at me if I can't get myself together in the next few minutes.}

And speaking of giveaways, check out the news about our amazing Holly Bloggy Giveaways!!!  You seriously won't want to miss out!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Holly Bloggy Giveaways!!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... 

Who am I kidding?!  It's still October.  And the only place that looks like Christmas is Cracker Barrel and Hobby Lobby.  But that's a start.  And, I mean, I did have some frost on my windshield this morning...  That counts, right?

Even though we haven't quite hit Halloween yet, Sarah and I are ready to spread some holiday cheer!  If you haven't already heard about our super fabulous Holly Bloggy Christmas gift exchange, click here to read all about it.  Then come back.  Don't worry, we'll wait for you.

Ok, now that everyone's caught up, we have something crazy awesome in store for you.  Are you ready??

9 WEEKS OF GIVEAWAYS!!  Forget about the 12 Days of Christmas!  The 9 Weeks of Holly Bloggy Giveaways is where it's at this holiday season.  Starting next week, we will have one giveaway a week until Christmas!  There will be different ways to enter each week, but you must be a Holly Bloggy participant and/or sponsor to win.  We have over 50 teacher bloggers signed up to exchange gifts and several awesome sponsors who can't wait to fill up your "virtual stocking" with teaching goodies, but you know how it is...the more the merrier {especially when it comes to gifts}.

Now, one of the best parts about Christmas is the suspense.  So Sarah and I want to keep you guessing, but sweet Sarah made this cute slideshow to give you a sneak peak at what's ahead in the coming weeks.  Our very first giveaway will be next week over on Sarah's blog, Kindergarten Korner.  Head over there and make sure you follow her so you don't miss out on the announcement!
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
This scrapbooking design created with Smilebox

I hope all of our participants are as excited as we are!  And if you want in on all the fun, shoot us an email at  The deadline for signing up is October 31st.  We can't wait to announce all of our giveaways and see what everyone gets from their secret pal on Christmas morning!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Well, that's brain damage!" -Bill Cosby

I love me some Bill Cosby.  Love him.  He totally cracks me up.  There are some days where ALL I can think about is this segment of his, "Himself" DVD.  Today was one of those days for sure.  Here's the clip if you've never seen it before.  My version is below...

We eat breakfast in our classrooms every morning since so many of our kids eat it at school.  So I looked up from checking folders and one of my second graders was rubbing his biscuit on his face.  {Maybe the flaky biscuits are great for exfoliating?} 

Me: Why are you rubbing your biscuit on your face?
Pillsbury Dough Boy: I don't know...
Me: Well please don't do it anymore.  Eat your food, don't play with it.

Fast forward not even two minutes.  Look up.  Biscuit on face AGAIN.

Me: WHY are you rubbing the biscuit on your face AGAIN?
Pillsbury Dough Boy: I don't know...
Me: What did I tell you two minutes ago?
Pillsbury Dough Boy: Not to rub my biscuit on my face.
Me: Then WHY are you still doing it?
PDB: I don't know...

According to Mr. Cosby, that's brain damage!

Then we're working in stations and an argument erupts because "she looked at me."  Oh, the horror.  I'm all, "Keep your eyes on your work and not on your neighbor."  And the kids are all, "But she looked at me first."  And I'm like, "Just stop.  Don't look at anyone.  And don't breathe in her air either."  

According to Mr. Cosby, that is why my face looks the way it does.  {So does that mean worker's comp will cover Botox?}

Oh but wait, there's more!  WHY do I have to repeat directions eleventy million times?  Seriously.  I'm sweet as pie the first time.  Nice the second time.  Then it's over. 

Scene: on the carpet during calendar with my kinderfriends...

Sweet as Pie Me, singing: "Are you criss cross, are you criss cross, hands in your lap, hands in your lap?  We are sitting quietly, we are sitting quietly, ready for math, ready for math."

{Three children STILL sitting on their knees, blocking the view for those behind them.}

Nice Me: "I still have some friends who are not sitting criss cross applesauce."

{My kindness has zero effect on these children.}

Me: Sit down.  On your bottom.  Sit down.  Sit down.  ON YOUR BOTTOM.  SIT, SIT, SIT, SIT....NOW!!!!!!

Whew.  I'm out of energy.  All because of this phenomenon Bill Cosby has coined as "brain damage".  And apparently all kids suffer.  I really think maybe we, the parents and teachers, suffer more than the kids because we put up with it!

(Disclaimer: I am so very aware that brain damage is real.  And I do not think actual brain damage is funny.  At all.  And I would be offended if the joke was about people who truly suffer from it.  However, this specific type of "brain damage" is kinda have to admit.)

Please feel free to share your "brain damage" stories!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fabulous Follower Giveaway!!!

To celebrate having 200+ fantabulous followers, I have an insanely awesome giveaway in store!!  Check out these crazy awesome units from some of our favorite bloggers...

{Click on the pictures for more information about each unit!}

From Kathy at Kindergarten Kiosk... 90 Pages of Halloween Activities!!

From Ms. Thomas at The First Grade Jungle... Add it Up!

From Karen at Froggy Friends Fun... Amazing Apples!

From Rebecca at Teaching First... not 1, not 2, but THREE fabulous units!!

But wait!  There's more!!  A membership to Graphics Factory!  (If the winner already has a membership, I will use the random number generator again to choose a 2nd runner up to receive this great prize!)

The winner gets all of the above!  I told you it was crazy awesome!!  You get one entry for each of the following:  

Follow my blog. (1 entry)
Follow my fabulous bloggy friend's blogs! (up to 4 entries)
Follow their stores/shops. (up to 4 entries)
Blog about the giveaway. (1 entry)

Make sure you leave a comment for each separate entry, since I will use a random number generator to choose the winning comment.  Also don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you're the lucky winner. 

The giveaway will close at 11:59pm eastern on Friday, October 21st.  I will announce the winner on Saturday, October 22nd.  Good luck!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back to reality...

I spent my fall break at the beach with the fam.  I think the sun came out, oh...4 times.  Still managed to get burned.  And I always get the craziest burns.  It's not a solid burn.  More like spots.  That's spray on sunscreen for ya!  Anywho...I was about an hour away from home still feeling all vacationy without a care in the world and I checked my email.  Sarah from Kindergarten Korner and I had been emailing and I'll be darned if she didn't smack me right in the face with some reality.  All it took was two words: REPORT CARDS.  Aaahhhh.  I forgot that they're coming up.  Like next week.  (I think.  I still haven't looked at my school calendar to be sure.  That probably makes me a bad teacher.  It'll get done.  Maybe at 1am, but I'll make it happen.) 

I have about 90 little friends who need grades and comments.  I don't know why, but giving grades stresses me out majorly.  Not to mention the fact that I have to give two other teachers their homeroom's math grades and in return, I get my homeroom's reading and writing grades from them.  There HAS to be a better system than just copying and exchanging the pages in our gradebooks, right?  Help a girl out.  Should we try to Google docs it so we can type in our own grades and comments?  Is there some other way I can share an Excel document with two other teachers?  Seriously.  Help me.  It would make my life so much easier if we could just all input our own grades and comments on the computer.  And I know you're all reading this and jumping up and down at the chance to make my life easier...  It's the opportunity of a lifetime!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Rake it Up with Regrouping!

Hey gang!  Like the rest of you, I'm super excited that fall is here!  Two of my favorite things about fall: no more dripping sweat during recess duty (can I get an AMEN!?) and cardigans.  Oh, how I love a good cardigan!  One of my friends asked to borrow a pink cardigan and I brought her 12 different pink cardis.  Obsessed?  Perhaps.

Fall also brings beautiful leaves...which was the inspiration behind this fun freebie I'm about to share with you.  I'm getting ready to introduce regrouping to my second graders and I've been trying to come up with some fun games.  Here's what I came up with:

This includes directions and number leaf cards.  Students draw 4-6 leaves (depending on whether they're creating a two or three digit problem) and create an addition problem with the numbers they draw.  Their partner will help them check their work with a calculator.  If they get it right, they keep their leaf cards.  The partner with the biggest leaf pile at the end of the game is the winner!  Click here to download your own copy!

I'll leave you with a little funny:
{a freebie AND a funny?  Man, you guys are lucky!}
I was reviewing with my kiddos before a test the other day and we were going over all the different addition strategies we had learned.  I was writing them on the board and we were having this great discussion.  I called on one of my friends and asked him what strategy he liked to use... "God."

"Oh, ok!  Yes, I guess we can use God." I started to call on another student, but this particular friend is a wee bit persistent...

"But Ms. Preppy, you can call on God in times of stressness," he explained.

"Yes, you can absolutely call on God in times of 'stressness'."  I tried moving on again...

"Um, aren't you going to write that down?" he asked, kind of hurt that I didn't give his strategy a spot on our chart.

So I wrote it down.  I now have a poster that has addition strategies such as counting on, using a number line, using your fingers, and God.  Because you can call on Him in times of "stressness".  And apparently math is crazy stressful for first graders.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Freebie, etc...

I've enjoyed two rainy days at the beach...  Of course that's how it would work!  But I'm hoping for prime beach weather today!  The sun is trying to peek out as I'm typing...

I wanted to share a little Halloween freebie with my bloggy friends!  It's a little game called BOO!  I cut out all the addition problems I want to use and put them in a bucket (think Halloween pumpkin bucket) along with the BOO! cards.  The kiddos take turns drawing a card.  If they can solve the problem, they get to keep their card.  If they get it wrong it goes back in the bucket.  Whenever they draw a BOO! card, they have to put all of their cards back in the bucket.  They love it!  Now...I like to recycle this game again around different holidays, so the addition problems aren't themed, but the BOO! cards are.  (Around Thanksgiving they become Gobble!).  Just a way for me to conserve my cardstock!  Grab your copy here.

I also wanted to share a new blog I discovered during my rainy days here at the beach:  Cole's Little Pups!  Mrs. Cole actually teaches in a neighboring district.  It's so cool to meet people on here who live so close!  She teaches kindergarten and has some super cute ideas on her blog, like this fun game hammering initial sounds.  I'm totally adapting this for some math concepts!  Looks like so much fun.
 I hope you'll head on over to her blog and check her out!

I also hope you'll head over and check out the Holly Bloggy Christmas gift exchange!  If you haven't already signed up, you won't want to miss out.  We have lots of super fabulous bloggers who are already getting in the Christmas spirit with us!  Sarah and I are also planning some amazing giveaways for participants!  You definitely won't want to miss out on them!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fun giveaway!

Hey friends!  Head on over to Kinder Latino today...she's celebrating 100 Facebook fans with a fun giveaway from several bloggers, including moi!  Check her out and follow her blog and Facebook page!  But hurry--this fun giveaway is for today only!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fall Fun!

I'm SO excited to be on my way to the beach today!  Thank God for fall break!  I definitely need some time to sleep in and relax.  And get a tan..   Let's face it though, I'll spend quite a bit of time planning for what I'm going to do after fall break.  But it's all good because I can do it on a balcony overlooking the ocean.  (I'm thinking I should move somewhere coastal, then all of my planning sessions can be done by the beach.)

I was lucky enough to be a quick commenter over at Castles and Crayons earlier this week.  She was kind enough to send me a copy of her super cute Spin and Graph {Apple} Activity.  It will be so perfect for my first graders when we get back from break.  They will love working with a partner to create their own graphs.  To give them more of a challenge, I'll probably have them create a couple of story problems about the data their graph displays.  Thanks again to Kelli for giving away a few copies of this awesome activity!

Castles and Crayons

{PS: Don't forget to check out Holly Bloggy Christmas and join in our Christmas gift exchange!  We already have several participating!}

Friday, October 7, 2011

Holly Bloggy Christmas Gift Exchange!

I am so excited to let you guys know about a project that Sarah of Kindergarten Korner and I have been cooking up!  We both had personal blogs for friends and family for a few years before we started blogging about our classrooms.  Back when we were doing that, there was a fun blogger gift exchange called Pink Christmas where bloggers all got a secret pal and exchanged Christmas gifts.  Sarah participated but I was always too late for the sign ups!  Sooo…this year we want to do our very own Christmas exchange with our teacher blog friends!  We’re calling it a Holly Bloggy Christmas. 


Here are all the details:
-        Holly Bloggy Christmas is a Christmas gift exchange for members of the teacher blogging community.  Participants will receive a gift from another teacher blogger AND a virtual stocking full of teacher resources from our sponsors!  It is free to participate, but sponsorship options are available and all donations will go to support TOYS FOR TOTS!
-        Sign-ups begin NOW and will last until October 31st.
-        In order to sign up, please send an email to  Copy and paste the questionnaire below into the body of the email and answer the questions.  We will send your answer to your secret pal, along with your address.  This information is TOP SECRET!
-        Sarah and I will put participant’s names into a bowl and draw names to match you with your secret pal.  By November 10th, you will receive an email with the name of your secret pal and their answers to the questionnaire. 
-        Get to crafting and/or shopping!  Be creative!  There is a $15 spending limit before postage.  Before you place your gift in the mail, snap a picture and email it to us.  On Christmas we will post all of the pictures of the super fabulous gifts everyone received!
-        Send your wrapped gift in the mail (with delivery confirmation) by December 5th.  This way it has plenty of time to make it to your secret pal!
-        Open your gift on Christmas morning!  NO PEEKING!  We will have a linky party for everyone to link up to a post about their gift and their wonderful secret pal!
Want to sponsor Holly Bloggy Christmas?
-        Sponsorship is $5  All money will go towards TOYS FOR TOTS!
-        Submit your donation via the paypal link in my sidebar.
-        Sponsors have the opportunity to send us a product (unit, game, worksheet, etc.) that will be placed into a virtual stocking that all participants will receive on Christmas!  This is a great way to gain some exposure.  Please submit your product in PDF to
-        Sponsors will also have their blog button or TpT/Teacher’s Notebook store button placed on the Holly Bloggy Christmas page of each of our blogs.
-        For every $5 donation you make, you may submit one product.
-        Email us at if you have questions.

Holly Bloggy Christmas Secret Pal Questionnaire
1.      Full name or your “teacher” name (for monogramming!)
2.      Mailing address
3.      Email address
4.      Blog/Website/Store (so your pal can learn a little more about you – but you don’t have to have a blog to participate)
5.      Grade level
6.      Favorite treat
7.      Favorite colors
8.      Not-so favorite colors
9.      Give a little bit of information about yourself.  Married?  Kids?  Hobbies?
We are very excited and hope this will be a fun way to get to know each other better!  Please spread the word by posting about Holly Bloggy Christmas on your blog! Just grab the button in my sidebar! The more participants we have, the more fun it will be!
Please email the questionnaire by October 31st if you wish to participate.  Feel free to contact me or Sarah if you have questions.  Make sure you follow both of our blogs since we will take turns posting updates and you won’t want to miss out on any important information!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Over the hump!!

Aaahhh...I love Wednesdays!  I'm getting into a groove at school and my to-do list is slowly but surely turning into a ta-da! list AND the end of the week is in sight.  It's probably sad that on Wednesday mornings, one of my first thoughts is, "I only have to hear my alarm clock two more days...two more days...two! more! days!"  I love, love, LOVE my job, don't get me wrong.  But I could totally do without waking up at the crack of dawn in order to get there on time!

I've finally found some time to post some more things in my TpT and Teachers Notebook stores.  I just added a new Tic-Tac-Know game that my second graders have been enjoying.  We've been working really hard on addition without regrouping and they're doing such a great job at it!  I put this game in math stations last week and they've had so much fun with it.

This game comes with six different boards and is listed in both of my stores, but I'm going to give it away to the first five people to comment on this post!  Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 3, 2011


Rebecca over at Teaching First just posted a super cute Itsy Bitsy Spider Unit (with language arts, math, science, and art activities!) in her TpT store.  She posted a preview on her blog and it looks absolutely darling!  I think I was number ten for the freebie {sorry!} but maybe I miscounted the comments!  You guys definitely need to check out her blog if you haven't already...lots of cute ideas!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Long time gone...

Whew!  It's been a long time!  So glad to find some time to show some love to my blog.  I've missed all of you and have spent the whole day catching up on your blogs...perfect Sunday evening activity!  Gets me all ready for the week ahead.  And my, oh, my is this week ever so busy.

This is our last week of school before fall break {yippee!}, so I'm trying to wrap things up as much as possible and finish units and assess so I don't have to re-teach when we get back just to give a test...  We also have two groups of visitors coming to see our school in action this week.  Our school was chosen to present at the National Model Schools conference this summer and as a result, we've had visitors every week since we started back!  It's exciting to have people in and out...keeps us on our toes and focused.

On top of everything going on at school, I'm also getting ready for a week at the beach!  Aaahhh...can't wait to smell the ocean and dig my toes in the sand.  But first I have to get a pedicure for those toes.  And I'm due for a highlight.  And I need to clean my house.  (Am I the only one who has to have a SPOTLESS house before going on vacation?!)  And I need to make sure I'm planned and ready to go for the week after fall break so I don't have to spend Sunday at school when I get back.

But I have some posts in store for you this week because I love you all oh so very much!  I'm super appreciative to those of you who nominated me for awards over the past couple of weeks! 

2nd Grade Rocks was kind enough to give me the I Heart Your Blog Award!
Then several of my bloggy friends gave me the Versatile Blogger Award!  Thanks to Queen of Sticky Notes, Third Grade's a Charm, Carried Away in Kindergarten, Bee The Change, and The Silver Lining in Teaching.  Thanks guys!
Alright!  Time for me to head to bed so I'm ready for our visitors tomorrow morning.  Our principal sent out a phone call saying they would be at school and ready to see us in action by 7am!