Monday, May 28, 2012

Mrs. Stanford's First Linky: Good Reads!

Mrs. Stanford is having her first linky party and I am joining up!  I am a little late to the party.  But I still wanted to join because maybe someone is looking for good reads for the summer or books to read in their classroom.  Because I was laid off this year, I don't really have any recommendations as far as teachers books, but I have written down a ton of them from the other linky party participants.  So if you haven't read through all the other links, go do so now!

Before I get started, I have a tip to share from my favorite retired teacher friend.  She keeps a small spiral bound notebook in her purse with all of the books she wants to read.  She has pages dedicated to her favorite authors or authors with more than one book she would like to read.  Once she reads them, she crosses them off carefully so you can still see the title.  That way she never rereads accidentally!  I have recently started my own notebook, which by the way says Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake!  I have dedicated the front half to specific author pages and the back half to stand alone books that I want to read.  Just had to share in case you were looking for a way to organize and remember!

Onto my good reads that I have read before:>!  Aside from these, I love James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult, and the Detective D.D. Warren series from Lisa Gardner. 

Product Details
I read this book earlier this year and it was a great read.  Be sure to read the specific details to know if it would right for you.  I loved it.  It is unlike anything I read before.

Product Details
Fabulous book that talks about slavery from two different viewpoints with a story of love laced in between.

I am part of a book club with some other teacher friends where I used to work and hope to go back to next year.  Most of the books on my want to read list below come from there.  I am currently in the middle of the second book in the Fifty Shades Trilogy too.  Very interesting to say the least!
Walking Back to Happiness
This is our book club book pick for June. Who doesn't love dogs?!  This is a story about a woman's journey through life and those that helped her along the way.  Can't wait to get started!

The Boy Who Fell to Earth
This is one of the books I hope we pick this year during book club.  If not, I will read it anyways.  It is a tale of an Autistic boy, Merlin, and his mother, who makes Merlin the center of her life, leaving no room for another man.  However, as Merlin grows, she tries dating again and meets a wonderful man for both her and her son.  Then, Merlin's father shows up begging for a second chance.  Does Lucy need a real father for Merlin-or a real man for herself?  That is the books description, leaving me wanting to know how it all ends!  Sounds like a must read to me!

And one more before I end the longest post ever!  One of my favorite picture book read alouds.
Product Details
A teacher read this book to my class in college.  I have been in love ever since.  It is a wonderful story about loving yourself the way you are and the I love the illustrations.  Be sure to check it out if you haven't before!
And I suppose that is all for now.  Have you read any of these books?  Do you recommend them?  Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.  And thanks to Mrs.Stanford for hosting this great party!


Sunday, May 27, 2012


That is what I am doing at this point.  Waiting.  My state has changed teachers retirement something or other once again.  I should probably know more about it, but I will not be retiring for about 30 years, so at this point, it doesn't affect me as far as my retirement.  The school district I worked at for three years offered a buyout this year.  At this point, there are TEN takers!  I am third on the list to be called back as far as elementary teachers go, so I am hoping to get the call in mid June saying I get to come back and my grade level.  But until then, once again, just waiting.  Cross your fingers and toes for me if you would.  I am dying to be back in a classroom again!  Being a teacher without a classroom for one year is long enough!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Manic Monday Freebie

I am linking up with Charity at Classroom Freebies once more to share a fun freebie!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Last week, I shared my Crafty Cupcake Mystery Message.  This week, I am sharing my Pajama Day Mystery Message.  Mystery Messages are a great management strategy, helping your students working together to earn a fabulous surprise.  And what student, and teacher, doesn't love pajama day!?!?  I use it as an excuse to buy new pajamas usually, which is always fun too:).  Enjoy.  And if you love great freebies, be sure to click on the Manic Monday button above and it will bring you to a bunch of great ones!
Pajama Day Mystery Message


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Winner & A Freebie

Hey all.  Sorry I didn't share my giveaway winner yesterday.  However, it was an extremely busy day and it left me all kinds of exhausting.  But without further ado, the winner of my $20 gift card to or Teachers Pay Teachers is Jennifer at Keys4Education!  Congrats:>!  Jennifer, I will send you an email so we can get the details nailed down!

And for those of you that didn't win, I am sharing a freebie!  It is a Summer Fun Word Search, ideal for any of the primary grades.  When doing word searches in my classroom, I had students work independently for a bit, then for those who struggled, they got to ask their friends for help during the last few minutes.  This really allows everyone to be successful!  And I found my students love word searches, especially this way!  Enjoy the freebie, as well as the rest of the weekend.  It is 55 degrees and beautiful in Northern Michigan!  We are grilling out tonight and I can't wait!
Summer Fun Word Search


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rule Breaker!

Today, I am being a rule breaker, posting twice in one day.  Farley posted her Currently Linky Party and I just had to join.  So here's what I am doing, thinking, and feeling currently!

As far as my pageant title, when I was laid off from my previous district, along with 19 others, my school gave out awards to everyone at a little ceremony.  I was given sparklers for being the "spark" that got things going at my school.  I still remember the day and the nickname so fondly.  I hope and pray that I get to go back to my friends and my fabulous school family!

Oh and be sure to enter my giveaway for the chance to win a $20 gift card to either Teachers Pay Teachers or  It is the last night to enter!


A Reminder...Plus a Cutie

Just wanted to remind all of my fabulous followers that today is the last day to enter my 20 dollar giveaway. It's just a few posts down!

Also, if you loved the Otter Creek recognition idea from my last post so much you pinned it, there's been a little change. If you could delete that pin and replace it with the one where the child's face is covered, both the handsome young mans teacher and I would appreciate it.  I kind of wondered when I posted, but I just loved the idea so much, I had to pin it right away!    Please and thank you bunches!  Also, in Patty's email, she mentioned that when a student passes an individual test, they get to stand on their chair while the class cheers on.  She calls them Chair Cheers.  LOVE that idea too!  I will definitely implement all of this should I be in a district with Otter Creek or a program like it!

And now I leave you with this little cutie.  This is my nine and a half month old niece, Miss Emma.  While being Stay At Home Auntie yesterday, I helped her create this masterpiece to give her mom for Mother's Day.  Her first art project!  It was messy but I think it turned out absolutely adorable.  

One more day until the weekend.  Enjoy my friends!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What I'm Pinning Wednesday

Today I am linking up with Laura from Kinder Kraziness for What I'm Pinning Wednesday!  Who doesn't love a little Pinterest linky?!  Here's what I am pinning lately!

This is the new and improved playroom from Jen over at IHeart Organizing.  I absolutely love every single thing she posts!  And if I had her skills, I would do this in my home someday too!  But what I really fell in love with is the shelving unit from Ikea.  I think these would be perfect for classroom library shelves.  They come in bigger units as well.  They are a little pricey, but I hope they would be a forever investment for the classroom.

This pin comes from Patty at Second in Line.  And no, your eyes are not fooling you.  That is a child standing on the teacher's desk!  As a reward for passing Otter Creek, a math facts program, students get the coolest rewards.  If they pass the addition tests, they get to stand on their desk and have their picture taken.  If they pass the subtraction tests, they get to stand on the teacher's desk and have their picture taken.  If they pass the multiplication tests, Patty has a window ledge students get to stand on as their classmates cheer for them.  And if they pass the division tests, they get to stand on the same ledge and cover their friends in silly string.  Each time they reach one of these goals, their picture goes on a wall of fame too!  How easy and FREE is that!

This colorful pin comes from Kylie at Down Under Teacher.  She did not have room for a word wall so she utilized her windows.  I doubt I will ever have a classroom with such a large wall of windows, but I was still greatly inspired by this photo.  Next year, I want to have a carnival/circus theme classroom.  I think, using a bulletin board, and covering it with a background color, then adding the individual colored paper for each letter would be adorable.  It may also help students distinguish where the words belong.  Plus I think it would add a lot to the theme.  Cuh-ute!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
So this last pin has absolutely nothing to do with being a teacher, but I would love to find these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes, from Kevin & Amanda, on the teachers lounge table.

Be sure to link up with your Pin loves!  And don't forget to enter my giveaway if you want a chance to win a $20 gift card to Amazon or Teachers Pay Teachers!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tippy Tuesday-Candy In The Classroom?!

My first year of teaching, after trying many other ideas, candy became my go to behavior management tool.  The behavior challenges I faced that year were hopefully the most difficult I will ever face in my teaching career.  I know how awful that sounds, but the challenges I faced that year in kindergarten were nothing short of super stressful.  I was a happy first year teacher, happy to go to work everyday, but near the end it was difficult.

This brings me to today's Tippy Tuesday post.  I am challenging myself to use candy as less of a reward when I get back in the classroom, fingers crossed, next year.  I want to choose more positive, healthier rewards for my students.  Plus, if it is not in my room, I won't eat it, and hopefully next time at the dentist, I won't have 10 cavities!  Of course, for those special occasions and  holidays, bring out the candy!  But other than that, I want to limit it! 

So here is today's tip.  Use positive notes to let students know you are proud of them or that they are on the right track.  I know this is nothing new, but it is definitely something I could of done more of that first year I taught.  The example below is test week homework.  It comes from the blog TIPS (Teach, Inspire, and Prepare Students) and I love the message it sends:>!  Head over to Mrs. Jordan's blog to check it out!

What do you think about candy in the classroom?  Leave me a comment with your opinion.