Saturday, July 27, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday . . . Er, Saturday

Hiya friends!  Lindsay here . . .

Well this was SUPPOSED to be another Friday edition of Favorite Linky Friday . . . but as I was juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust drifting off to sleep last night I remembered that I never actually blogged.


Soooooooooooooooooooo . . . this is Favorite Pins Friday Super Duper Early Saturday Edition! :)

As usual, my pins represent all kinds of randomness . . . although I HAVE been thinking ahead to school starting in about a month (sad, sad, sad!) and I am REAAAAALLY excited and motivated this year to get my classroom extra organized!  So some of this week's pins are little things that I saw and loved and that I am hoping (fingers crossed) will serve as inspiration for me!
First thing I will need to tackle in my quest for a superrific-organized-I know where everything is-classroom is my teacher binder. 
I always have the BEST intentions of filing away each important paper and password and schedule, but they ultimately always seem to end up in a giant pile.  Granted, I am pretty good at finding things in "THE PILE" . . . but I think having a system with space dedicated to all of those important paper-y types of things will help . . . I hope!
Thanks to Luckeyfrog's Lilypad for sharing how she set up her binder:
The next area in my classroom to tackle: my meeting area.  I feel like I am a *fairly* organized person in regards to putting things away in my classroom . . . . But there are times when I feel like our meeting area looks a little like kindergarten exploded all over it.
So when I saw this photo of Reagan Tunstall's meeting area I about started drooling!  Its so . . . beautiful!  Its organized, calming, purposeful . . . I just fell in love.
(Sidenote: I would like to know if her carpet stayed that clean all year . . . It's just SO CUTE!  I had an unfortunate hot chocolate incident occur on my brand new 30 square Lakeshore rug last year and . . . well . . . let's just say my rug will never be the same.)
Another item on my "Getting my classroom ready TO-DO LIST" is: curtains.
EVERY year I have said that I was going to put up curtains in my room . . . and I think the time has come.  Yes, I still need to measure the windows, do some crazy mathematical equations in order to calculate the amount of fabric needed to cover my wall (YES . . . A HUGE WALL) of windows, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand pick my fabric.   Yikes!
So this little curtain DIY project was VEEEEERY interesting to me because I thought the big, bold chevron stripes were so fun!  And I am a teeny bit obessed with yellow.  But PAINTING stripes onto my curtains?  Am I crazy enough to try it . . . Hmmm. Still deciding.  But such a cute idea from The Blissful Bee that I thought was definitely worth sharing. :)
Alrighty . . . next up: bulletin boards.
Now my classroom is seriously lacking in the bulletin board department.  I have clotheslines hanging work and art, I utilize part of my white board as my math wall . . . but I still have to be VERY purposeful in what I use my bulletin boards for. 
I love, love, LOVE this idea (from Schoolgirl Style) of using my writing bulletin board as a student resource with graphic organizers!  With all of the nonfiction reading and writing that we will be doing with Common Core, I think that this would be a very meaningful part of my classroom - not only for students to use as a reference when writing - but also for adults and visitors to get an idea of the types of things we are working on in class as well!
A cute little freebie that I wanted to share with y'all was this Bucketfiller Poster Pack from First Grade Fever!  I know Kerri shared some of her cute Bucketfiller ideas in a recent Throwback Thursday post, and I think these adorable posters would be so cute in the classroom as a reminder to our kiddos to be bucket fillers.  Christie even set up a little wall space with a "classroom bucket" that gets filled - love it! (Oh man . . . another cute classroom idea to implement!)
My next pin isn't anything TEACHER related, but it is something I pinned for my future parenting endeavors .  . .
The 36th Avenue is one of my FAVORITE (non school-related) pinners that I follow, and this post was pure brilliance.  Yes, I know my two year old isn't anywhere NEAR needing an organized HW station yet . . . but just check it out.  It's a beautiful thing!
I love that she not only has the supplies organized and handy, but a calendar and a clipboard to-do list for each of her kiddos. How. Perfect!
Now for some TOTALLY and completely non school-related pins . . .
Maybe it's because I have been home now with my adorable (yet so naughty!) almost two-year-old for over a month now, but I am starting to get desperate for ideas of things for him to do.  I don't know if its the age or if he can sense that there is a little baby on its way and that he will soon have to share mommy . . . Whatever it is, that child has become like an appendage.  He won't leave my side.  He wants mommy 24/7.
It really is sweet . . . until you are desperate for a chance to go pee JUST ONCE in the day - by yourself!  Anyway, when I saw this toddler activity idea I knew I had to pin and share.  It's brilliant, right?  All you need is a cardboard box and crayons . . . check and check!  Thanks Berry Sweet Baby for the idea!
And finally . . . a little newborn photo shoot idea from Anya Maria that I pinned.  We are talking to Jack LOTS about how he is such a big boy (okay, now I'm gonna start to get all VERKLEMPT!!) and how he is going to have a baby brother . . .
And let me tell you - lately that kid has become OBSESSED with babies!! I'm not kidding.  He's like the pope or something . . . going out of his way to hug and kiss random babies and tickle their little toes . . .  We are just PRAYING that his love for babies will continue to hold up when he realizes we are bringing one home in November. Like, to stay.
So in the hopes of Jack LOVING his new little brother, I just thought these photos were precious.  Could it be possible to get a shot of Jack lovingly holding his new little brother and looking deeply into his eyes???!!  Let's get real - probably not!  But I still have it pinned - just in case. :)
Well, that's it for this week's pins!!  Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful weekend!  The last weekend of July people!  Make it a good one! ;)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Number Word Practice FREEBIE...and other randomness!

Happy Thursday, Folks! Kerri here...

I wanted to share a little FREEBIE that I posted to TPT a few days ago, in case you didn't already know about it. It is a Super-ific Number Word Practice Pack, as a companion to my Super-ific Sight Word Pack!

If you are looking for your kidlets to get some practice writing number words 0-10, then this pack is for you! Click on the picture above to go and download it. Would you pretty please leave me some feedback if you do? Thanks Peeps!

In other news, I started a new Yoga program called The Ultimate Yogi with Travis Eliot...

I am on Day 3 of 108 days. Yes, you read that right. 108 DAYS OF YOGA! HOLY VINYASAS!!

I think I must be cray-cray, but so far, I've completed 3 whole days! Yay me. It is H.A.R.D. peeps! But, at least Travis Eliot is easy on the eyes...
my new Yoga boyfriend...
Finally, I wanted to highlight a couple of back to school products that you might be interested in for your Kinder or Firsties to help them practice their ABC's and Numbers...

I use both of these packs with my Firsties at the beginning of the year to help them review their ABC's and Numbers before we get into all that First Grade learning goodness, and they LOVE it. 

These packs are PERFECT for your Kinder kidlets as well, to help them LEARN their ABC's and Numbers. My daughter is tutoring an incoming Kindergartener this summer and she is using all of the activities in these 2 packs! Her tutoree loves them. You can check them out by clicking on either picture above!

Alrighty, Friends. Big Brother is calling my name! I'll keep you updated on my Ultimate Yogi journey. Right now, my muscles are killing me! I guess that means its working right?? :)
XOXO Kerri B

Monday, July 22, 2013

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy CVC Practice Pack . . . and a random little Bachelorette survey!

Hiya peeps!  Lindsay here . . .

Tonight's post is going to be brief for two reasons: 1. I am still sick and just want to snuggle on the couch and blow my nose; and 2. The Bachelorette is on!!!

Yes, I am hopelessly addicted.

But I know I'm not alone . . . I know my fellow Bachelor/Bachelorette junkies are out there reading this and thinking how they can't WAIT to see who Des falls in love with/gives the final rose to/lives happily ever after (hopefully!) with.

Sooooo .  . . who do y'all think she'll pick?  Let's make it an informal survey . . . My money is on Brooks.  I mean, who could resist that hairdo, right??? 

Alright.  Back to business I suppose . . .

Tonight I just wanted to share my newest summer TPT project.  Introducing "The Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy CVC Practice Pack"!!

This project has been on my to-do list for a looooooooooong time.  I made some CVC word building mats a few years ago using some freebie clip art I found online and I never even laminated them because I KNEW that I could make something much, much better!

So I did. :)

Using some of my FAVORITE clip art from Pink Cat Studio I created 100 different CVC word building mats for my kidlets to practice with, as well as worksheets and a dice game "roll-a-word" mat and recording sheet as well.  Check it out here:

And a closer look at what's included . . .

The reason I love this set is because I know it is something that will get sooooo much use in my classroom!  Not only will I be using the worksheets and word building mats in centers, but eventually I can pull them out and use them with my RTI students that may be struggling with their blending and segmenting and who need a little extra practice!

So I know that NONE of us want to think about the school year starting (it will be here before we know it folks!!), but head on over to my TPT store and check this new CVC pack out.  I guarantee it will be a great resource for your kidlets!

Well, that's it for now folks!  I am off to swipe the clicker from my husband and get comfy on the couch.  Hope you all have a great night!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Another edition of . . . Favorite Pins Friday!!

Happy Friday y'all!  Lindsay here . . .

I'm bummed.

Today should be a happy, wonderful day.  I mean . . . its Friday, I'm on summer vacation, Target is full of school supplies just waiting for me to purchase them (yay!!) . . . .

And then I got sick.


There is something so annoying about getting a cold IN THE SUMMER.  Can I get an amen??!

I'm DETERMINED, however, to put aside my lil pity party because its time for this week's linky with the First Grade Parade for Favorite Pins Friday!!!!

Well this week I found lots of fun lil Pinterest goodies to share!!  First up: this adorable word wall idea from Ashleigh's Educational Journey!  I LOVE the colorful ribbon and just the different look of the whole thing.  (And if I do say so myself, it looks nice and easy!  Even I can do that!!)

Another classroom set-up idea I found was this one for sectioning off your white board from The Good Life.  I swear my white board at school must be at least 40 feet long, but then I never seem to have enough bulletin board space.  I think this is a great way to make use of wasted white board space for objectives, a focus wall, etc.

Another classroom idea that is absolutely adorable?  These chalkboard clothespins from Create-Share-Inspire.  I love anything having to do with chalkboards lately, and these tiny lil ones seems easy to make, and you can just erase kiddos' names from year to year to update them! Perfect!!

Another cute school idea I found this week was a holiday gift idea for a room mom or volunteer (or for someone not at school at all perhaps!).  I always dread trying to come up with something for my amazing room moms at Christmas, and a cozy blanket seems like it would be something anyone would love.  The adorable printable and matching ribbon are a must, of course! Thanks Jacolyn Murphy for this nifty gifty idea!

And . . . because I know the first day of school is in the back of all of our minds (yikes - it will be here before we know it!!) I had to pin and share this little cartoon.  Sigh.  All those rules and procedures to teach again!!!! Thanks Tracee Orman for sharing!!

A non-school related pin that I fell in love with this week was this travel keepsake kit idea.  I love taking pictures, keeping ticket stubs, etc. when I travel . . . but I am TERRBILE about doing anything with all of it!  I love how these little boxes are painted so simply, but are so darn cute and displayed so that they can be shared!  Hmm . . . I feel a summer project coming on . . . Thanks Martha Stewart!!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand . . . just for old time's sake: a "Hey girl" to make y'all smile! :)

Well, that's it for tonight folks!  I am off to bed and (fingers crossed!) hoping that lil kidlet of mine decides to sleep in tomorrow . . . it WILL be Saturday after all!!!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Randomness...and a NEW UNIT ON SALE!

Happy Summer, Bloggy Friends! Kerri here...

This post is going to a whole bunch of randomness from my summer thus far, plus some info on my newest unit. We'll start with that...

I don't know about your kidlets, but mine LOVE to solve riddles. Just say the word "riddle" or "clue", and they are immediately intrigued! So, in order to capitalize on their strange obsession with riddles, I created my newest pack... Riddle Me This! Read and Match Literacy Centers!

The premise is SUPER simple. There are 10 sets of riddle cards and illustrated answer cards (one for each month of the year-themed to the month of course!). 

The kids choose a riddle, read it, match it to the appropriate answer and VOILA!! Mystery solved! 

Little do they know...  all they are actually doing is reading sentences, using context clues and sight word knowledge to figure out the answer, and matching the cards together. AWESOME reading practice right?? (Insert evil laugh) They THINK they're solving a giant mystery, but they're ACTUALLY just practicing reading. HOLLA!!

HAHA!! Take that, you kidlets! Tricking you into some great learning!! 
These centers are designed for independence and the format is the same each month (the words get progressively harder), so you can just plop these in your Literacy Stations each month and you are good to go! :)

Here's what's included...
And here's a sneak peek...

This unit will be 20% off until Saturday, so you can get a killer deal on it and get those riddles laminated and ready to go for the upcoming school year!

In other news, here is a summer update (warning...lots of schooly/crafty pictures commencing!) from yours truly...

1. My friend Amy and I took a painting class at Timree's Studio in Newport a couple weeks ago, and it was SO.MUCH.FUN! Seriously, I felt sooo fancy...

Me and my girl Amy

It's sooo pretty on my kitchen wall!!

2. The OC Fair has started! On the first night, my bestie Yvette and I went to see Colbie Caillat. She was AMAZING-sooo pretty and sweet and such a fabulous singer! LOVE her... 

I have decided to get into the Washi tape craze, although I am TOTALLY a novice and I am still trying to figure the stuff out. I got these rolls at Target in their school supply section. Why is is called WASHI, BTW?? Weird name, if you ask me...
Pretty clips for my behavior chart. Of course, I sealed them with glitter mod podge!

I kind of have an obsession with turquoise and red, as you can see from the pic below. The red chair was $10 on clearance at Target, and the turquoise (TURQUOISE!! OMG! THEY ARE GORGEOUS!) stools were only $6 at IKEA! Oh, IKEA, how do I love thee! 

I am going to go back and get 5 more for my Computer area, and I already got 6 for my listening center area. WAYYYY better than those ugly, bulky blue chairs in my room!

This carpet is TO. DIE. FOR! I'm going to put it in my library. And I got it on!! Like $30 (including the shipping), I think? Click here for the link. :)

Another OMG new teacher planner from Erin Condren came is it is SOOO darn pretty. I want to stare at it all day!

WOW...lots of randomness, huh? Hope your summer is blissful and happy, like mine is!
XOXO Kerri B

Friday, July 12, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday - More Little Pinterest Loves To Share!

Happy Friday peeps!  Lindsay here . . .

Well I'm back today with another edition of Favorite Pins Friday {a linky with The First Grade Parade}!!!

Yup.  You guessed it. In addition to chasing around my increasingly naughtier (Lord grant me patience!!) toddler I have been busy pinning this week . . . and there was some good stuff! 

Soooo . . . here is my Little List of Pinterest Loves to share with y'all!!

First off . . . in honor of a recent argument, er . . . eh . . . "discussion" that I had with my husband this week, I HAD to share this bit of humor brought to you by Humor Train

So true, right ladies???
Now I love, love, LOVE when I find some fun, easy to implement center games, activities and printables to use in my classroom, and this week I hit the jackpot with all things MATH:
I am a sucker for all dice-related math activities, so it was no surprise this caught my eye!!  Love it - a great freebie brought to you by The Lesson Plan Diva!!

And then another fun math game you can do with those two-sided counters that are collecting dust in your math manipulatives shelf (or maybe that's just me!!) . . . This this activity is one of many from First Grader At Last's TPT store - check out her Fun-tastic Ten Frames pack!

And finally . . . I loved this visual for my kiddos of the different strategies they could use when solving a math problem!  So good for when they are doing their CGI math problems!!  Again . . . its another TPT goodie that is on my Wishlist - brought to you by Class of Kinders.  Check out her Solving Math Problems {Strategies Posters For Addition}!

Another fun teaching idea I found was a Language Arts activity using chip trays from the Dollar Store (seriously such a good purchase - I use them for everything!!).  I like how From Kindergarten With Love used it to sort beginning sounds . . . I am already thinking this would be a great idea for a digraph sort!!

On a less academic, but still school-related note, I found this cute idea for a class faces garland.  How cute would that be to hang up all year, or even for Open House???  I love it!  Thanks to Classroom DIY for such a cute and EASY d├ęcor idea!!

And because, as y'all know, I LOOOOOOVE me some organizational ideas and printables, I couldn't help myself when I saw this adorable "This Week" planner page.  Its FREE from The Harmonized House Project so hurry up and download yours today!!

And last but not least, I am still drooling over this vegetarian (just for you Kerri!!) quinoa taco recipe!!  I haven't made it yet, but it will be making its debut in the Messyhair household very soon! Thanks to Cooking Classy for this delicious looking dish!  (Although I know my version won't come out looking quite that pretty!!)

Well, that's it for today folks!  Our lil family of three (and a half) are headed to Palm Springs tomorrow (holy heat wave!!) for a couple days of relaxation, so I am off to pack!  Or at least . . . to make lists about eventually packing!!!

Chat soon!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sight Word Winners AND Throwback Thursday with Bucket Filling!!

Happy Thursday, Friends! Kerri here...

Wow!! Thank you all for entering our Sight Word Extravaganza and leaving such sweet comments! We have 2 winners, and both of you will receive both Lindsay and Kerri's new sight word packs!



Drumroll please...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Val and Marybeth, we will be emailing you with our packs!! YAY!!

We are linking up with Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade for her Throwback Thursday linky party!

Our Throwback Thursday post is from September 8, 2011, and is my favoritest thing OF.ALL.TIME. to teach during the first couple weeks of school! I'm sure you've all heard of Bucket Fillers, right??

Well, check out this old school post all about Bucket Filling...

Hi Peeps!!  Kerri here...
Well, we are three days in, and DANG...I am tired! And, OF COURSE, it gets hot as blazes here in Cali on the first day of school. Fantastic...24 tired, sweaty, "used to the Kinder schedule" Firsties, who are beet-faced and exhausted by noon! Anyone feel my pain??  
Having said that, they did a WONDERFUL job these first 3 days and I am already in love! I think they are going to shape up into an awesome bunch of kiddos--yay me!

I read Have You Filled a Bucket Today? with my kiddos yesterday, and WOW! What an inspiring and powerful book. This is the first year I have read it to my students, and they all really took the message to heart. We made a fun chart with all of the ideas that they brainstormed about how they could fill someone's bucket. They especially liked the shooting rainbow rays! 

We also wrote about how we could be bucket fillers and drew a picture to go along with it. Click on the photo below to download the file:

Bucket Fillers Writing Paper

Today, we made our very own buckets as an art project. It was very simple, all of my students were able to make theirs successfully, and they had SOOO much fun!! Check them out...

I also bought a clear plastic jar and put heart stickers all over it. I told my kidlets that this was our class "Bucket". Every time I catch someone filling another person's bucket, or when the class as a whole fills up my bucket, I will put some warm and fuzzies (pom-poms) in  the bucket. When the bucket is filled up, we will do something fun together as a class. They were STOKED!!

So, that's it for today! I would love to know how all of you teach this book to your class. Do you have any fun activities that you do?? It would fill my bucket if you would leave me a comment about it!! :)

XOXO Kerri B