Monday, February 23, 2015

Sitewide TpT Sale!

Have you heard?  TpT is having a sitewide sale this Wednsday, February 25!  We are putting everything in our store on sale for 20% off!  When you use the promo code HEROES you'll get an additional 10% off which comes out to 28% off!  Start building your wishlist now!

Don't forget to go back to your "my purchases" page and leave feedback for all of those items you've purchased and even your freebies!  You'll earn credits to use at check out!  Win, win, win!

With March right around the corner, it's the perfect time to get your St. Patrick's Day and Spring themed resource for centers and tubs!  Here are a few things from our store that we are getting ready to add to our centers and tubs for March!


Now I'm off to fill up my shopping cart!  Woohoo!

Sunday, February 22, 2015


We just returned from the most amazing week in San Diego and High Tech Elementary in Chula Vista!  The highlight of the trip was spending time with my colleagues having fun!  Truly!  Just joking around at dinners and having great conversations with the people I work with!


Of course we did a lot of "work" too.  The goal of this trip was to see how the teachers at HTe plan and implement projects as part of their Project Based Learning focus.  We went to HTe Chula Vista for this experience.  We were greeted with the cutest tour guides to start with...4th graders!


After our tour we were encouraged to walk into classrooms and visit with students, look at student work and observe.  The students are used to having visitors and were eager to share their learning and their school with us!


In addition to the teaching and purposeful planning for learning, what struck me was the purposeful design of the school, playground and classrooms.  Every inch of the school belonged to the students.  There were not areas of the playground where students were not allowed to be.  I kept thinking of how when you have a 2 year old, you "toddler proof" your house.  Instead of constantly saying "no" your child has a safe home.  The same is true at HTe.  The classroom design is purposeful, as well.  In order to provide teachers with storage options, every classroom has a built in loft for students to read on!  Under the loft is storage for teacher supplies and units.

Every classroom has at least 7 of these cubbies to build a library.  The classroom libraries are organized purposely so students have easy access to the books they want!  

Now, back to this post title!  Validated!  Why?  Because my wonderful colleagues and myself realized that we are already teaching this way!  We just need to tweak a few things to truly call what we do PBL.  How awesome is that?!  We had great conversations with teachers and instead of just receiving all their insights, we exchanged ideas and shared insights.

It was a great experience and valuable professional development.   I've got a lot of ideas swirling around in my head and can't wait to get back to my classroom!  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Holidays are for resting?

My school had Friday and today off for President's Day!  Friday was a day of rest, for sure! I enjoyed spending time at home with  my girls relaxing.  Saturday we drove to see my DD who's in college and spread some Valentine's Day love to her and her roomies!  We, also, went to see 2 Oscar nominated movies (Whiplash and Birdman) so we will be ready for the big night.  Yesterday, we took care of a few things around the house, including making homemade cookies (that are not on my diet).
But have your ever had a day when you can't believe how much you accomplished!  Today was one of those days for me! I'm still catching my breath... holiday from work (lol)...


  • met the dishwasher repairman at the door this morning with a smile and was thrilled when he fixed the problem for free!
  • loaded the working dishwasher and ran several cycles to sanitize.
  • made chocolate chip pancakes for my girls.
  • went to the Dentist for myself :).
  • went to Starbucks.
  • washed load after load of laundry...lost count for real!
  • folded and put away loads of laundry!
  • washed the sheets for two beds and remade.
  • shopped for a partial week...I'm leaving tomorrow.
  • ran kids to and from activities.
  • got the car washed and vacuumed (I'm driving a group of teachers to airport tomorrow.)
  • went to Starbucks...again.
  • picked up prescriptions.
  • packed for my trip.
  • cooked dinner.
  • watched my youngest at gymnastics (while holding my breath during every back hand spring).
  • watched a little tv with my girls before bed.
  • cuddled with my dog...she'll miss me!
This week is going to be A.W.E.S.O.M.E.  I'm getting so excited for a Professional Development opportunity this week.  My school is part of grant that is allowing 13 teachers, including Käri and myself, to participate in a residency progam at High Tech High in San Diego!  I'm so excited to see how this amazing school implements Project Based Learning in the primary grades! The training is specific for our school!!  We'll spend Wed-Friday there and we leave TOMORROW!  Now read that list above again and you'll understand the excitement! It's a working vacation!!

Follow us on Instagram,,  for some fun pics from San Diego!  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fan Freebie!

I'm linking up with Teaching Blog Addict with a Freebie...a little late, but worth the wait!

Clip its!  These are easy to print and prep and keep my kids engaged with a variety of math practice!  I realized I haven't really blogged about this little jewel that I use in my math tubs!  So here goes!

This is the Valentine's version!  Student's clip the answer with clothespins. 

This version reinforces "part, part, whole."  

This student is clipping the answer and then will use the worksheet to record her work!
My kiddos are engaged and it helps with those fine motor muscles while practicing important concepts.  The idea is simple!  Solve the problem, find the answer, clip the answer!  I have coordinating worksheets if you choose to have your students turn in evidence, as well.  Sometimes I have my kiddos take a picture of their "work" with the iPad instead of completing the worksheet!  Just go to my Fan Freebies tab and check out my "Cat-with-a-hat" themed Clip-it's!

This freebie will give you a taste of this resource which I have available in a variety of themes!


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Five Penguins for Friday!

I'm linking up with Kacey over at Doodlebugs Teaching for her Five for Friday!  I don't often do one of these, but I'm so ready for Friday this week, it just seemed natural!  :)

Today we celebrated Antarctic Adventure Day!   This is the culmination of our big unit learning about Penguins!  I love how into the study our kiddos were this year.  They really learned so much!  So here are my Five for Friday...Penguin style!

We played penguin scoot!  It's more math than penguins, but they loved it!

We waddled like first they "cheated" a little, soooo to keep them honest, we had the kids hold a ball between their knees!  This created a true waddle...the relays were much more fair!

Our A.M.A.Z.I.N.G art teacher taught the kiddos how to draw a penguin using only 2 lines!  It was something to watch!  I envy her talent..and that of my firsties!

I hope I'm not the only one late to this party, but did you know about all of the online / digital resources available through Scholastic News?  O.M.G.  Not only is the paper copy available as a digital copy to project and read aloud together, but it has imbedded videos and interactive games for the kids to play!  My kiddos had so much fun!  You can even access "archived" issues from years ago!  Very cool resource I am happy to have discovered!

 And last, but not more amazing piece of artwork!  This was a collage piece presented to the students by the amazing art teacher...the kids had so much fun designing their penguins...princesses, chefs, football players!  So much fun and individuality!

Well that's it for me and T.G.I.F.!  I am so happy for the weekend!  Cheers!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"Fantastic" News!

Hi Friends!  I'm visiting Renee's pad today!  Hop over to Fantastic Froggies to read what I've been up to and grab a sweet freebie!