Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2nd Grade Common Core Packets Complete!

As I have had several ask to be kept apprised of when I complete Common Core Packets for each grade level, I thought I would blog about my latest completion! I am really excited about this packet as I have added a few components. As I was creating the 2nd grade common core packet, I thought about how I would have liked to keep a record of when I taught the concepts and what their assessment scores actually were, instead of just checking a box. I also thought about how sometimes we need to offer remediation and this would also need to be recorded in an organized fashion. Therefore, I updated this packet to include these items. So, this is what the 2nd grade packet includes:

~ Student checklist of each strand written in simple language. These would be perfect for Math journals or folders! The student can then check off their own achievement and see a record of it at the end of the year! Pretty exciting! Here it is in the apple print and zebra print:

~ Teacher checklist which includes a more detailed list of these strands which includes a place to record instruction, assessments, and grades. It also includes a remediation section where you can list any student remediation that was necessary. Here it is in the apple and zebra print:

Lastly, I have created signs that correlate to each standard. This creates an easy method of posting the strands for instruction. They also match the student checklists so that each student can visualize their own growth. Here is a sample in both prints!

Both packets can be found at my teacher store! I hope you will check them out! I am currently working on grade 3!!

Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth - TeachersPayTeachers.com

Are there any themes you would be interested in?? Comment below!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Dreams and Classroom Flashbacks...

So Olympic fever has taken over our house, especially of the gymnastics variety. There is a whole lot of toe pointing going on! My living room is used for the floor exercise, a footboard has been transformed into a beam, and my couch arms have become a vault! What is so surreal is that my sister and I would do the exact same thing. The USA women's gymnastics team is looking really strong this year! I am looking forward to a great competition.

On the school front, this week is going to be spent setting up our school room! Just as a flashback, I thought I would dig up our classroom picture from our first year of homeschool. Here it is!

This was for 3rd grade and Kindergarten. I now have a 6th grader and 3rd grader!!! O.o  Wow! So we now have bigger desks and another theme, you can see my new theme here! We also have a K-3 student added to the mix. ;) So this year will definitely be exciting. I will post pics of our new classroom when I get it finished. My goal is to be finished by Friday. We shall see...

Oh, and just as a bit of exciting personal news, I went back to the gym for the first time in about 2 months! I am hoping to get back into routine and get rid of some of this (ahem...) baby fat. Never mind that my baby turned three today.

Happy Blogging!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Freebie Friday and a New Award!

Freebie Fridays

It's another Freebie Friday and I am offering an Open House packet that includes a foldable triangle table-top sign, a sign-in sheet, a student interview, a parent interview, and a scavenger hunt. I hope it is a help to you during the busy Back to School rush! Click here to get this download at my TeachersPayTeachers store. Click here get this download at my Teachers Notebook store!


In other news, I was so excited to see that I had been given the Lovely Blog Award by two lovely bloggers! Lesa at Moore News: Hoppin Into Second Grade and Donna from Working 5 to 9 Math have honored me this morning! I am so glad that you like my little corner of the Bloggy Universe! Thank you so much ladies!

So, here are the rules for accepting the One Lovely Blog Award.

~Follow the person(s) who gave you the award. DONE!
~Link back to the person who gave you the award. DONE!
~Pass this award on!

Here is a blogger who deserves this award as well!  Once Upon a Third Grade Class!  So cute! 

Here's another LOVELY blog! The Grade Three Jamboree    

And another! Teaching With Hope

I will post more bloggers when I find them! I am off to explore the blog hop! :) Happy Blogging!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Birthday Party!

Today is an exciting day here at the vacation home! My youngest, whom I will name Sunshine, will be having her 3rd birthday party complete with Minnie Mouse theme!

It is amazing to think back over the last 3 years. She was a bit of a surprise for us as three children had never entered the equation for DH and me. We had always talked about having two but we were so beyond blessed with a tiny blond bundle! I have called her my Sunshine since she was born as she smiled early and had such a sweet nature. She rarely cried, was my best sleeper, and weighed in the smallest of my ladies as she got down to 5lbs and 14 oz. One surprise we have gotten as we have watched her grow is that she has blond, curly hair! My two oldest have always taken after me with straight, brown hair. I have had to learn what to do with her golden tresses. She has been such a sweet addition to our family and this day is bittersweet as the past three years have flown by way too fast in my opinion.

So, here's to my beautiful Sunshine! Happy Birthday pretty girl! You have never failed to make Mommy smile.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Okay, so I have a confession......

wait for iiiiiiiit....... (In my best Shawn Spencer impersonation...)

I am having one of the most relaxing weeks with my family. Obviously, that means that anything for next school year has been put on the back burner. However, just in case you think I have quit teaching during this time, I say: "Nay, nay!" We are officially in swim school and my baby girl who is turning 3 in a couple of days is learning how to swim! She is so much like her sisters and seems to really enjoy the water. I have bought her a swim suit with floats in it and she has been doing well. She is learning to kick although most of the time it is more of a frog kick than a scissor kick! :) In fact, she will say "ribbet, ribbet!" LOL My niece who is 4 is also learning how to swim so there is a lot of clapping and squealing going on out there! So far, we have not gotten any strange looks from the neighbors. Of course, it probably helps that they are at Disney World or Sea World. It is like we have the block to ourselves! Woohoo!

It got me thinking on how I learned to swim and to be honest, I can't remember! My husband learned to swim when his Dad threw him out in the middle of the pool. Of course, he almost drowned, LITERALLY! So, he was a little pool-shy for a while after that. Do you remember how you learned to swim? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fun in the Sun and Curriculum Planning!

So, this week my husband has a conference in Central Florida, Orlando to be exact! Since my brother-in-law and my father have to attend this same conference (we are surrounded by preachers! LOL) my family has rented a house close-by with a game room, pool, etc... While the men are making serious decisions and taking part in all day meetings, the ladies and children have an entire week to relax in the pool, eat, shop a bit, eat a little more, and play a few games. Yes, it is a tough job but someone has to do it! We can't very well take children into those all-important meetings! ;)  And... yes, I brought my stretchy pants! The gym will be there when I get back!

We arrived yesterday and the house is FANTASTIC! Five bedrooms and four bathrooms so there is plenty of room to stretch out. The best part is it is cheaper to go together on this big house than on a tiny box of a hotel room! It's a win-win!

This is our last hoorah before getting school back into gear. For homeschoolers, it is a bit different than traditional schools. For a homeschool teacher, we must choose curriculum for the year, plan out the calendars, create the lesson plans, and set up the space. So, there is really a lot to do but totally worth it! I love the fact that I have control over the curriculum rather than having to use what someone else thinks is effective. Over the past few years, we have used the A Beka curriculum with the videos. I loved watching some of the great techniques these teachers offered. This school also keeps the girls' records and they receive progress reports as well as report cards throughout the year. As a new homeschooling family, this was great for us. However, I am looking to do a few changes this year. While we will use some of the curriculum from A Beka, I will be branching out to use a few different things. I am really seeking to match curriculum with my girls' learning styles. With the growth of homeschooling, many of the main curriculum distributors that are used in the classroom offer homeschool packets. :) So, while we are having some fun in the sun, I will be finishing up my research on the books for next year. I will be sure to share when I get it figured out. There are a lot of great options! Do you know of any you would like to share? Comment below!

Hope you are having a fantastic day!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Heart to Heart Sunday

My hubby, who is also my Pastor, spoke this morning on integrity. It really spoke to my heart that we should be true to what we believe at all times. There are so many others watching what we say and do. This is definitely applicable when we are around students. Young ones are so impressionable and LISTEN to things you don't want them to hear. I wish they would listen to instruction as closely! :) It just got me thinking about how we should be careful about what we say about others, even when the principal or grade chair just doesn't do something the way we like! For my own sake, I need to watch how I operate through the day understanding that what I say and even the things that I prioritize are being watched and noted. Integrity seems to be what everyone desires to see of others, but is sadly lacking in many of our own lives. I hope that I will keep this Word and remember that integrity is key to effective leadership, in the classroom and without.

Happy Blogging! I hope it has been a restful day!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Additions!

So, I never want my blog to become a running advertisement of what I have in my teacher store. However, I did want to share something I am really excited about!  Over the last few days, I have been creating Common Core Standard Math downloads that include a three prong approach.
  • It first includes a student Math journal page that lists all the standards in a checklist format with simple wording. This could be included in the front of journals or at a Math center for each student. Then, as they master a certain standard to the teacher's satisfaction, the student can then check off what they have learned! At the end of the year, they will then see all they have accomplished! 
  • Secondly, it comes with a corresponding checklist that includes the Common Core Standard strands. This can be used in student portfolios to track and measure progress of a student throughout the year. This record would be kept by the teacher. 
  • Lastly, each standard is written in the same simple language on classroom signs that the teacher can post during instruction. This gives the student the opportunity to correlate their instruction with their achievement which I think is pretty exciting! 

I have completed Kindergarten and First Grade but will be working on 2nd grade through 5th grade over the next week or so. I currently have them in cute themes such as Zebra print, a Beach theme, and even cute owls! BTW, on a side note, I couldn't find any clipart that I could use for free, so I decided to make my own! I think they turned out pretty cute! What do you think?

Here are a few peeks at my new project! I hope it can be a help in the classroom. I know it is something I would have loved to make for my own if I had only had the time! Hopefully, it will save you a few minutes in all the back to school rush. If you have any comments or suggestions, I would love to hear them! You can find all of them at my TeachersPayTeachers store and my Teacher's Notebook store, which you can click on to the right.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Freebie Friday and a Newbie Blogger Hop!

I wanted to celebrate today by giving away a FREEBIE!! This week I have decided to give away a Reading Reflection worksheet that can be used while a student reads their chapter books or even their textbooks. I hope you can use it! Check it out here:

If you use Teachers Pay Teachers, you can find this freebie here:  TPT

So, Grade 3 is the Place for Me! had a wonderful idea to create a linky party for newbie bloggers! This is a perfect way to find others such as myself who has just entered Bloggersville and are looking to make connections! So I thought I would link up and explore the many awesome blogs that are also taking part.

Here are the five questions that I am to answer:

    1.  What state are you in? Florida
    2.  Your current teaching position- Homeschool teacher to a 6th grader, 3rd grader, and K-3
    3.  Teaching experience- I was certified in Elementary education and taught first grade for 4 years in the public school system before deciding to homeschool my girls.
    4.  When did you start blogging? I started blogging in mid July.
    5.  Share a blogging tip:  I don't have alot of experience but I have had to remind myself why I blog. It isn't to impress others but to connect with others. That should always be my goal.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

You serve!!

Just thought I would drop in and explain my absence over the last few days. My server is not working correctly and so I am unable to get on the internet at my home. (I am actually on a computer at my church.) So, as soon as this is resolved as the Terminator would say, "I'll be back!" :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Heart to Heart Sunday

So I have decided to start "Heart to Heart Sunday" where I would just share with you what is on my heart. Maybe it won't be too scary. ;)

Today is Sunday and it made me consider how so many of us tend to ignore one of the most important activities we can do for ourselves: REST! Throughout the week, we are running to fulfill obligations, prepare for something coming up (like a brand new school year!) or trying to get all of those pesky doctor appointments in before it is time to go back to work. It is easy to push aside a time of rest as just a hindrance to productivity! We consider how much we can get accomplished with those late hours or busy minutes. One thing that I have learned over the past few years is that if we do not take care of our bodies, it can rebel!

I am amazed at the many physical issues that result from lack of rest. Over the past 5 years, my body has been on quite a roller coaster. This ride has brought me to the point that I had to re-prioritize my life. So, I decided to focus on God and focus on my family. It also forced me to REST!!! So I thought I would share a few things that I do to get some rest.

First, I don't beat myself up when I sit down!! This is such a biggie for me. I used to feel that if I sat down, I was wasting time. I would also feel ashamed if I laid down in the middle of the day (when the opportunity came up). I wouldn't want anyone to know! Over the past few years I have learned, rest is a natural process that is normal, not the running on a hamster wheel life that I used to live! So, now rest is a priority, and I no longer feel ashamed! Yes, there are days I take a power nap. Woohoo! Also, I sit down on the couch sometimes and do absolutely nothing! Not even read! Sometimes it takes a bit of unwinding to give me the charge I need!

Secondly, I find time to spend with my family. I have found that if I refocus on what is the most important, things just fall into place! That includes making God a priority. So, I spend Sunday with my church family. It is amazing how much I can accomplish when I have dedicated my days to God and have spent time worshiping Him on that first day of the week.

Thirdly, books are my friends! If I need to just completely forget everything, I will spend some time in a book.

So, I know you may be thinking, ummmmm.... don't have time for any of that! Or maybe, you don't like to read! Believe it or not, I have met a few teachers who didn't. But let me say, find something that helps you unwind and don't feel guilty about doing it! If you sit on the couch after school and your house needs help, take a power nap before tackling it! You will be amazed what 20 minutes of rest can do! Maybe you have little ones that won't let you rest in the middle of the day, put them to bed 20 minutes earlier and let them read while you spend a few minutes to yourself, and force yourself to not try to accomplish something during that time! I give you permission to just sit with a cup of hot tea or a cold Dr. Pepper and just put your feet up! Watch the carpet grow! ;) Even blogging during this time would be a no-no since this will just give you a whole new to-do list you will feel you have to accomplish. :) Oh yes, I know how you are because I am the same way.

So, this is just a reminder... rest is the opposite of lazy! You are accomplishing something very important: recharging your system and giving your body permission to restore itself. I pray today is a time for you to recharge for another busy week ahead!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Math Journals!

Math Journaling is an amazing concept to me! It gives the students opportunities to "personalize" math concepts and show comprehension in a manner besides a basic recall assessment. So I thought I would post some great websites and resources I have found that give great Math journaling ideas! I have broken them up into grade levels to make it easy for you! Just click on the picture to go to their site!


Kindergarten, Kindergarten has some great journal prompts to get your own creative juices flowing.

Kathryn has so many amazing ideas, she set up a new website and you will not be disappointed! Wow is all I have to say! You can find it here.

First Grade

Homeschool Swag is offering a freebie that has 114 pages of neat math ideas for a First Grade Journal. It also includes a few religious pages if that is something that you would like to use. You can find it here:

Second Grade 

My Second Grade Journal shares how she sets up her second grade math journals.

Third Grade

K-5 Math Teaching Resources is an amazing site for more than just 3rd grade. This link will take you to an entire page full of links to 3rd grade journaling activities complete with Common Core Standards! Excellent resource!

Fourth Grade

Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes has a blog full of awesome math journal ideas! You can find her here:

Fifth/Sixth Grade

Runde's Room has an amazing blog that features Math Journal Sundays where she blogs about Interactive Math Journal ideas with pictures!! So cool!

Any Grade

Simply Second Resources has a post that gives great ideas for foldables in the Math Journals!

Happy Blogging!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Freebie Friday!

Freebie Fridays

I am so excited to take part in my first Freebie Friday! I have been creating a 25 page packet about the Fact Family! The packet will include a colorful read-aloud that teaches the patterns and procedures of creating a fact family that could be used for guided instruction or in small groups. It could also be used for struggling learners or for young learners ready for a challenge. It also includes supplemental pages for further instruction or practice on the patterns of a fact family. Lastly, it includes 5 worksheets that progress in level of difficulty. The entire packet creates a unified and consistent plan to teaching fact families that will encourage knowledge retention, which is the mission! I used to teach the Fact Family this way in my classroom with great success. So I would like to pass it along to you! Make sure to follow my page to get the entire packet as soon as it comes out!

Your freebie today will be two of the worksheets that are a part of this packet! They can be used as practice pages after instruction, as homework, or at centers! Please let me know what you think about it in the comments!

Click on the link below to get the freebie!!

If you have an account with Teachers Pay Teachers, you can also get this free download here!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


As I have been reading blogs, I have been reminded of how many creative and generous teachers are out there in bloggersville! Classroom themes and decorations, shopping trips, and awesome resources fill the pages. It is such an honor to be a part of such a fantastic group of people.

Keep up the good work ladies as the job you put your hand to do is one of great importance. You make a difference with each lesson you write and each curriculum change you endure! You make a difference with each paper you grade and each shoestring you tie. You make a difference! Here is a poem I found that I thought was great. Hope you enjoy:


Paint their minds
and guide their thoughts
Share their achievements
and advise their faults

Inspire a Love
of knowledge and truth
As you light the path
Which leads our youth

For our future brightens
with each lesson you teach
Each smile you lengthen
Each goal you help reach

For the dawn of each poet
each philosopher and king
Begins with a Teacher
And the wisdom they bring

Kevin William Huff

Another Award!

This is how I am feeling today!! I was so excited to log-on and find that not only did I have new followers, but I have also received a new award! Hooty from Hooty's Homeroom, (one of the favorites you might recognize from my side bar) has nominated me for the Liebster Blog award! Thank you Hooty! You will definitely want to check out her awesome blog.

Here are the rules for the award:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you. Done!
2. Post the award to your blog. Check!
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers. Check!
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award. Done!

So I would like to nominate....
Donna at "Working 5 to 9 Math"

Working 5 to 9

Penny from "Superlative Science"

Superlative Science

Linda at "Around the Kampfire"

Jenna at Diving Into Learning

Ms. Mindy at Kindergarten Kidlets

Thanks for the honor Hooty! You made my day! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

An Award!

Woohoo!! This is me doing a happy dance today! I found out that I have been awarded the Versatile Award by Donna at Working 5 to 9 Math. Thank you so much Donna! I love your blog!

So here is what I get to do!
The Rules for accepting The Versatile Blogger Award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. check!
2. Include a link to their site. check!
3. Include the award image in your post. got it!
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself. check!
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award. ummm how about 4 that I really like? :)
6. When nominating, include a link to their site. got it!
7. Let other bloggers know they have been nominated.
7 Random Facts about Me:
1.) I absolutely love music. I play piano, drums, bass, and keyboards.
2.) I am a pastor's wife at a beautiful church in sunny Florida!
3.) I am a Sci-Fi fan! I love Stargate and any kind of superhero movie! (Avengers... LOVE!)
4.) I would love to one day publish an adolescent chapter book. I have done most of the manuscript for the first one. :) Maybe one day...
5.) Pixar is my favorite movie production company! ("I will call him squishy and he shall be mine. And he shall be my squishee!"- Comment below if you recognize this one!)
6.) All of my girls' names end in lee- Emalee, Natalee, and Lillee
7.) I want to one day travel the west on a road trip with the family. (Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Route 66...)

And my nominations are..... drumroll please......

Dee at Deelightfulmoments
Carrie at A First Grade Teacher's Passions and Obsessions

Stevi and Tamara at Two Crazy Texas Teachers
Ms. Smith at Adventures of Ms. Smith

I know the directions say to post 15 but I only wanted to post ones that I am a member of and ones that I really enjoy myself! I hope you enjoy them as well! :)

Thanks again Donna for the award!

Favorite Classroom Projects Linky Party

It's another Linky Party! Amanda from "Teaching Maddeness" is having a Linky Party to showcase some of our favorite classroom projects. Here is the link to join in on the fun!

Here is one of my classroom projects that I am most looking forward to! I am always looking for ways to record what we have learned in an interesting way so that the kids will WANT to go back and read through it. So this year, we will be having a Pony Express. As we are having a western theme, which I talked about here, we are going to create a weekly newspaper! Throughout the week, my kids will have an opportunity to work on writing articles using information they are learning that week. They will then follow the writing process to prepare it for "publishing" on Friday.

At the end of the week, the kids will have an opportunity to place their article onto a chart that looks like this:

Each week will have articles by all three, even my K-3 daughter. She will be featured in the Artist's Corner with a picture she created that week. The finished product will look something like this:

Each Monday, we will flip the chart for the next "newspaper" layout. At the end of the year, we will have a year's worth of review! We can reread the newspaper and look at how we have learned and grown throughout the year! This could be integrated into any homeschool or classroom! If I had a full size class, I thought about including newspaper reporters in my classroom helper lists. Those who have the jobs could create articles for the end of the week! Do you have any suggestions? Comment below!


Corinna from "Surfin Through Second" is having a classroom theme linky party and I thought I would join! You will definitely want to check out her site! It will definitely be worth your time to cruise all of the insipiration there!
I found another linky party at 3-6 Resources.
So I thought I would link up! There are so many fantastic ideas floating around as we are all getting ready for a new year.


In the past I have done an Americana theme, Dr. Suess, and Jungle time complete with monkeys! This year I am doing something new and we are heading WEST pardner! 

Here are a few things I am doing this year! My room is going to be filled with these kinds of decorations:

I will be creating a Rootin' Tootin' Wall of Knowledge where I will be creating information boards for Science, History, and Math. This will focus on the vocabulary and topics that we will be studying throughout the year. I will also be creating a Reading Corral for the classroom library.  On another wall, we will have a Write 'Em Cowboy board where we will have the writing process chart and some examples of their published work. We will also have a Pony Express chart where each week the girls will be writing articles about what they have learned, cut them and place them on a large writing tablet in the look of a newspaper. I am working on the signs for these and can't wait to get it together! At the end of the year, we will staple them all together and make some kind of cover. We can then read through the information we have learned all year.

For more decorations, I have rope and red bandannas. I also picked up an awesome doorway curtain from my Mom, also a teacher. It looks like this:
I think this one is from Party City.

 I have cute galvanized buckets for supplies and I will also be bringing in a bright yellow color with sunflowers. I LOVE sunflowers with a rustic theme. This will also open the door to hang some of these over the Reading Corral:

Anyhoo, I can't wait to get it all set up! This is by far one of the most exciting things about the beginning of a brand new school year! Can't wait to check out all of your amazing ideas!