Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

I just wanted to take a second and let everyone know how blessed I feel to have such a wonderful husband, a great family and six totally cool furry kids (three dogs & three horses).  This past year has been a difficult one for me with lots of challenges, but my hubby, my family and my critters have been there for me through it all.  I am looking forward to a fresh start and new friendships in the new year.  Thank you Happy New Year!!!
My hubby, Brian & me

Tuff- My chunky weiner dog

Naptime for (left to right) Cowgirl, Robin & Aspen

My Aunt Debbie, Mom (back) &
My sisters Michelle, Julie & Me (front)
Dad took the picture

Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Backgrounds & Frames FREEBIES!!!

Like I said earlier I am enjoying my time off.  I may have a gone a step deeper into the abyss.
Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic, but I've been told I tend to dramatize things.

Soooo, I tried my hand at creating backgrounds, frames, etc. They certainly aren't as great as some other bloggers I follow but I don't think they are too bad.  I don't have any fancy graphics program, just Paint, so the quality isn't perfect.  But sometimes I think imperfections give things uh, uh, uh...personality I guess.  Anyway, I posted a bunch of them on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Five of them are FREEBIES!!!  You can grab them by clicking here.  This is a little sample of them:


Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Working With Base Ten Blocks

So my husband thinks I am obsessed with this.  Hmmm. Maybe so, maybe not.  I just have the time right now.  When school starts back up I'll be back to the normal juggling of work and life. So why not take advantage of the time when I can.  Well that I have been doing...

I have made another activity kit.  This one goes with the Math Common Core Standards.  It has activities using base ten blocks.  You can get it here here at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  The fun thing (at least it's fun to me) is that ALL of is is created by me.  I made the fonts using, and the backgrounds and graphics using Paint.

So maybe I am obsessed....


Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Facebook Feed

I am attempting to create a Facebook page solely for my blog.  I have added a gadget to my sidebar as well as a Pinterest link.  I think I have the Pinterest link working but figuring out the Facebook link is something else.  Maybe I'm just tired and need to get away from my laptop and attack it with a fresh mind tomorrow.  Until then...

Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

New stuff!!!

 OK first of all, I am having an awesome time learning more and more about blogging and creating.  I found this way to "glitterfy" my signature (check it out below). Isn't it awesome?!?!

Also, I became a Teaching Blog Addict.  I admit it, I have an addictive personality.  It's a good thing I'm addicted to healthy things like my horses and well...this. As my husband would say "blah, blah, blah."

So I have made a few new items that I have posted on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

The first one is mostly about New Year's Resolutions.  Plus it has a comparison study of two Cinderella (meeting Common Core Standards)-type books and it connects them back to resolutions.

The next one is a short Martin Luther King Junior (duh!?!-like you can't read that for yourself!?!?!) Unit.  It focuses on his I Have A Dream speech. Plus it meets Common Core Standards and uses graphic organizers.

And then these are cute baggie toppers for Valentine's Day snacks.  They say "Have a Beary Sweet Valentine's Day!" I plan on putting teddy grahams in the baggies. Awww.

And my last new item (at least for this post-hahaha): I made these posters that go with our building's Spelling program.  We are piloting the F.A.S.T. Spelling program.  So far we LOVE it (okay, at least I love it but I do think my teammates do as well).  It teaches kids to "pinch and write sounds", plus it give hints for kids to visualize sounds-that's what the posters are for...aha!!  You can check out the program at .  I do think that the posters will work with any Spelling program.  Up until this year we really had NO Spelling Program and I would have loved something like this to help guide my lessons.

Currently, I am working on creating my own backgrounds, borders, fonts and graphics.  I am still just a beginner, but I did use one of my new fonts in the Wild New Year unit and my new backgrounds in the MLK, the Valentine Baggie Toppers and the Spelling Posters.  I still have a lot to learn, but I'm trying to do it slowly so I do it right.  It makes me crazy that new things don't happen faster, but I keep repeating the mantra "slow and steady wins the race"-although there is no race and nothing to win-but it keeps me sane.  If anyone can give me hints at making images transparent, I would love it.  I don't have any special graphics program...just Paint for now and I am drawing by hand and scanning.  Anyway, once I have those things figured out, I think I'll put them up for others to use.

So DUH on me...I just noticed I already posted the Baggie Toppers. HAHAHA!!                                                                                

Glitter Words

[ - *Glitter Words*]

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Valentine Baggie Topper

Okay, okay.  I know it's not even Christmas yet. 2 more days by the way...
But I thought of this super cute idea and made this adorable baggie topper-you know those neat little things that you see on Pinterest where you put treats in baggies and give as gifts.  So I made this using graphics from (LOVE her graphics!!!). It's a bear and I thought you could put teddy grahams in the baggie.  Hee hee (okay, my hubby would say I'm a dork-but I guess that's why I teach first grade-you can be a dork and be proud of it-LOL!!). You can click here: Valentine Baggie Topper at get it at my TPT store.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Elf on The Shelf-Last Week

I have been neglecting blogging but it's been a crazy week.  We had our First (I think it will be Annual) Family Night Holiday Event at our school.  It was a ton of fun.  Originally we had over 430 people say they were coming.  We really scrambled to prepare for that.  We had only about 250 people come- unfortunately because we have been having lots of illness-flu, stomach virus, you know-the typical crud.  But it helped our Family Night run smoothly.

Anyway here are the pictures of Tickle-our Elf- from this last week of school. She had a girly night with the princesses, sat by the fire to warm up with friends, went to Hawaii and came back saying "Mele Kalikimaka", took a hot tub soak in candy canes, and finally left a sweet note for my monkeys. I love how my kids described what Tickle was doing each day. Here are the last pictures:

I'm planning on working on some new units over my Winter Break.  I'll let you know when I have them ready and available.  Until then, I hope you all have a beautiful Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gingerbread Man-You Can't Catch Me

In an earlier post, I talked about my Gingerbread Unit that you can get at my TPT store.  I was talking to our Instructional Coach, Cyndi, about it and she and our computer teacher, Crystal decided to make a gigantic travelling Gingerbread Man.  He is huge-taller than me (which I guess isn't that huge since I'm only 5'2"), but still. Anyway, he is going to visit a bunch of different classrooms so the students can write about him.  It was hilarious when I was taking him down the hall and into one of the 2nd grade classrooms.  The kids couldn't see me behind him so some of them thought he was really moving by himself.  I actually heard a couple kids say, "Look he really is running, let's try to catch him!" LOL!!! Then he poked his head into the classroom and the kids reaction was great.
Thanks Cyndi & Crystal for making the big guy!

On a more serious note...

My heart is completely broken and all of my prayers are going to the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.  I will never understand how anyone can deliberately hurt and watch someone die by their hands-especially innocent children.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE??!!??
I found out the news during my lunch and when I picked my students up after their recess, I could hardly function.  All I could do was look at them and imagine the babies that were taken from this world in Connecticut. I pulled it together and continued teaching throughout the afternoon but with a heavy heart.  God bless those families.

More Elf...

Tickle had a rough time this week. She was touched twice-not by my students but by visiting students.  My monkeys were devastated but I texted Santa and he visited while the kids were at recess and restored Tickle's magic.  She got herself into some trouble.  Wednesday she had a run-in with a tiger in the jungle, but she was able to defend herself with a sharp pencil. Whew!!

 On Thursday she tried to take the dog for a walk, but the dog seemed to be walking her.

Then on Friday, she was playing with our word muncher and he accidentally  munched Tickle instead.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Elf on the Shelf-Zipline Style

 I had lots of fun with our Elf-Tickle- today.  This morning she left a note under the doc cam for my monkeys and they were so excited.  In it she said she went to the mountains-out here on the plains of Colorado, we are still knee-deep in drought instead of snow-so she had to go to the mountains for this trick.  It was hard to convince the kids that snowman poop tastes just like marshmallows. LOL!!!  but they were good sports and played along to keep their loco teacher amused.

Then my friend and fellow teacher, Jessica, helped me with Tickle's stunt for tomorrow.  We set up a "zipline" for the Elf.   I think I am having as much fun as my students are.  Jessica & I hung a string from the door, across the room above the students' desks to the window.  Tickle is attached to the zipline by a paperclip.  So simple and yet so, but fun.                                

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Elf on the Shelf

My last post was long-winded.  My non-teaching husband said he lost interest after the words "It is..." HAHAHA.  So I'll keep this one short. I just wanted to stay up to date with our friendly little Elf on the Shelf-Tickle.  Here is a picture of her trying hard to not get bucked off.

Gingerbread Man Unit

It is so exciting spending a lot of time on something...especially when you finish it.  I finished a few things this week.  I made Christmas cookies-yum; I finished my Christmas shopping (I think hope); I finished my class that I teach at our local community college; and I finished my biggest unit yet.  It's a Gingerbread Man Unit.  Every year for the last bazillion years, I have been doing a Gingerbread Unit. This reminds me of my principal (whom I adore and I'm not just saying that for brownie points ;D), who has on more than one occasion reminded us that it's important to make learning fun as long as we can meet the Standards while we are having fun. {That seems like a super long run-on-yikes!} Anyway~back to the Gingerbread Man Unit~it seems like every year I search my not-so-organized bin with my holiday activities and my Gingerbread Man things (which I put away neatly the year before) are all over the place.  I hate that when I can't find things.  Most of my fellow teachers think I'm pretty organized.  Soooo~again I digress~I developed this unit.  Basically, I converted my activities to my laptop and made all of my activities cutesy and put them all in one place.  I think it's not too bad so I thought I would share. You can get it here at my TPT store.  For this unit, I made both colored and blackline slides.  It's 25 pages long.  It took me almost a week to do it because I kept finding more things to add.  Plus I figured out how to make my own font and upload some graphics that I drew myself. I included a parent note that's both in English and Spanish and directions for how I make a "gingerbread" house.  I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Elf on the Shelf 2

My kids have been so excited about our Elf-Tickle.  Yesterday she went for a joyride in the boys' toy trucks and this morning she took a ride on our Objectives Elephant.  I have been so amazed at the self-restraint my little monkeys have. Even my special needs child has not touched Tickle.  Oh they look for her and talk to her, but so far they have not touched her.  It's only day 3 though so we'll see if it continues.


I love the Christmas Season...especially in first grade. It's just plain fun.  So I saw this on Pinterest.  I couldn't find who actually made the original bulletin board to give them credit, but I wanted to post it because it turned out so cute. I put it on my door. Then I did the reindeer craft where the kids trace their foot for the face, their hand for the antlers and then make eyes and a red nose.  I think it turned out so cute.
Then I made a giant Santa that I put upside-down in a "chimney.  I am going to read the story Santa's Stuck by Rhonda Gowler Greene and have the kids make that craft (again I saw it on Pinterest-I know I'm a total addict). When the students Stuck Santa's are done, I'll post that picture.  Here is the giant one I made:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Elf On The Shelf

YAY!!! The elf has arrived.  "She" (according to my students) finally got here yesterday.  WOW! The impact our little friend has on my monkeys' behavior is amazing!!!  We named her Tickle and my kids LOVE her.  I also have my cell phone ring tones set as various Christmas Sounds (sleigh bells, the Grinch, Christmas carols).  This is the only time of the year I don't silence it.  When it goes off, my students look up and they think Santa is watching.  LOL!!!

I also want to celebrate my mother-in-law again.  Every year, she makes stockings for my kids.  I have been hanging them by my classroom "fireplace" for the last 20 years. I love them.