Favorite Things & Mentor Texts!


This week's topic in Latoya's fun linky is all about our favorite things. I'm joining in again...but I'm a wee bit indecisive so there are going to be several favorites listed for each topic, since it's hard to pick just one!

Place to Shop:

 My favorite places to shop include Kohls, Target, & Hobby Lobby!  

Favorite TV Show:

Duck Dynasty, How I Met Your Mother, &  Law & Order: SVU.

Favorite Sweet Treat:

Something with chocolate :)
Favorite Food:

Tough one... steak, pizza, lasagna, I like to eat a lot of different types of food, often, haha!
Favorite Restaurant:

Willes Sports Bar is a local restaurant in Manhattan, KS. They have really great food, as well as it being a good place to catch K-State games when they aren't at home. We frequent there often. Texas Roadhouse & Olive Garden are other top favorites.

Onward to something else that is a favorite of mine....Children's books and using them as mentor texts!

Be on the lookout each week for another great linky from my friends Amanda & Stacia @ Collaboration Cuties: All about Mentor Texts. These gals are even going to organize the linky parties on their blog so if your ever in need of a mentor text, in math for example, just a couple of clicks and you have several teacher recommended books. This first week is just sharing a book of any kind, so be sure to link up!

I think I've mentioned one of my undergraduate professors, the teacher who encouraged each aspiring teacher to have at least 1,000 books in their classroom library to better accommodate all students in the room (the same one my husband calls "the enabler"). Anyway, every week in her class she would read a book to us and had a recording sheet so we could record the book title, author, and any teaching applications. (Can you see why, a bookaholic like myself loved this class?) The book I'm linking up from there is one that was shared with me in this class.

The gist- The girl in the story wants to write the best story ever for a contest. She seeks help from many friends and family members, and each person critiques her work and offers suggestions. Finally, she realizes that her story is the best when it is truly hers: and has her flair and her own voice.

A super cute story that encourages kids to tell their own story with their voices as authors.


100 Follower Giveaway Winners!!

Hello everyone, I'm super excited to announce the winners of my 100 follower giveaway. I'm sorry for the double posts, I wasn't thinking when I scheduled the bulletin board post. I hope you'll forgive me!

Again I am completely overwhelmed with the generosity and support of so many bloggers and store owners out there! I hope that through this giveaway you've found some new bloggers/stores to follow and have showered all of these individuals with some love. They've all been truly great to work with!

Without further adieu, our winners are:

The K-2 Pack Winner:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The 3-5 Pack Winner:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations ladies! Be on the look out this weekend for many emails full of goodies!  Thank you to all who participated!

There are many Spring Cleaning & Easter Hunt sales going on at TPT with many of the prize contributors joining in on the sales, so if you weren't a winner and had your eye on something be sure to check out all of the sales going on. My store will have a few sales going on as well.

I hope you all have a fun time with family this Easter weekend!

Winter Interactive Bulletin Board

I should have posted this sooner.. but I forgot and it did snow over spring break and there is a chance of snow again tonight, so snowmen are still possible! Though maybe not as wanted as spring showers :)

There were a few more snowflakes, but I forgot to take pictures until it was time for Mr. Snowman to come down.

This bulletin board was pretty simple to make. Just create a snowman and add some snowflakes. The cool part about this board is that when you cut out the snowflakes fold the paper over and cut so that the tow sides are still attached together.

Easy way to make a self-checking and interactive bulletin board display!

Here's hoping that April holds more showers than snowstorms! Now to think of something more springy for my bulletin board!


Spring Fever!

Today was a glorious day outside. Seventy-five degrees. Great weather for a day off!

Aside from a little spring cleaning, I played with the dogs a bit, and even enjoyed a little pinning from the comfort of the back porch. A night with the hubby with an ice cream date planned later in the evening. It's going to be a great way to end Good Friday. The weather looks to be a little more springy, I hope it stays nice for all of Easter. It'll be much more pleasant for all of the family festivities if it does! :)

Onward to more springy things. Last night I posted my new ELA centers and I'm doing a random number draw to see who the winner is.... and here are the results:

My husband did the honors of clicking "generate" for me. So you can blame him if you didn't win. :) Congrats to Diane from Fifth in the Middle she's the winner of the centers!

If you would still like a copy be sure to check out TPT, these centers might possibly be one of the centers on sale. You'll have to hunt up all the deals starting tonight!

The last few hours on my 100 followers give away are currently happening too, so if you'd like a chance to win a bunch of items, be sure to click the picture and then check back tomorrow to see who as won!


Fabulous Day!

Update. I don't know why I said it was Friday in the title. I know it's Thursday, but jeans days always feel like Fridays. (Whoops!)

Today was a great day!
  • State Reading Assessments are O-to the V- to the E-R, OVER! (My kiddos pleasantly surprised me as well, so that's a double bonus!)
  •  A student who took on a challenge of a book of much greater length, and slightly above her reading range, finally finished her book. No reviewing. Rocked her AR test with confidence and got every question correct (and the 5 points the book was worth too). Such a great moment, seeing a kid realize that they can do it!
  • Enjoying the 65* temperatures! Took my small skills group outside for our intervention time to soak up the sun.
  • I know we just got off of spring break... but I'm super excited for the 3 day weekend that starts tomorrow. Maybe it's the actual spring weather that was lacking most of last week, but I am super pumped!
  • Finally, I have my new spring centers all ready to go! {You could win them too!}


Over the last couple of weeks I've enjoyed trying to "Pin it to Win it" so I thought I'd try here too. Just pin one of the pictures here (or from TN or TPT) and copy your pin URL on a comment along with your email address. Tomorrow evening I will use the number generator to pick a winner.


Workshop Wedensday: Mentor Texts

I'm loving that I can join in from time to time with Jivey's great linky. This week I'm joining in a little late in the day. My school day started with a student literally getting their hair stuck in a pencil sharpener and ending just now {my grad class went over, plus the 45+ minute drive home} I'm exhausted. With a topic I'd love to add plenty on, I'll just highlight a couple of books {very briefly as my bed is calling my name tonight}.

The first is Memoirs of a Goldfish, Jivey herself mentioned this as a favorite when I first started following her (as did several other bloggers). I had to check it out. So cute! It's also a good book for voice as well as cause and effect.

You can check out a unit that Jivey has for it here!
Another book that I checked out recently was Three Hens and Peacock another super cute book that would showcase voice very well.  As the characters find out what it's really like to "walk a mile in someone else's shoes".

Tomorrow, be on the look out. I've got some spring centers coming and a chance to win a set too. {I'm just not sure I'm awake enough now to post them, haha!}


Tried It Tuesday: Measurement on the iPad

I am linking up with Holly for her first linky party called Tried It Tuesday (for all the hits and misses whether professionally or personally). I'm all for sharing the highs (and lows) and I'm excited to read up from other bloggers and join this linky regularly too!


We are covering measurement in one of my math classes. It amazes me the troubles that my 5th graders still have with using a ruler. It's as if everything (aside from a full inch) is lost and forgotten between fourth and fifth grade.

One of the paras I worked with found a great website, that is iPad compatible, self checking/correcting, and can be differentiated for different specifications of accuracy.

Here she is. I love the ladies I work with :)

One warning though, the on-screen ruler is very touchy, so you should make sure to pull on the screen to enlarge the picture before hand, because otherwise it might sense two movements and count the student wrong. 

That's the red x if you get something wrong...or hit more than one spot
Aside from that, the kids thought it was great. After a couple of rounds and figuring out how things worked, or remembering how may lines there were in a specific measurement (ex. 1/4 in.) they were off! There are multiple levels for each measurement, after three strikes, you start back over at level zero, and you gain points for every correct answer. I had one student who had over 2,000 points, which inspired the rest of the students to try and beat his score.

If you would like to try out this site just click here:  wartgames.com/themes/math/rulers.html

**This is a website so it works for non iPad classrooms too!! Thank you Holly for pointing that out!**

Be sure to link up and share what you've tried!

This week is also my last big push for my 100 follower giveaway. So many great bloggers have helped to contribute, that I just can't help sharing. Click the picture if you'd like a chance, the giveaway ends on the 30th!


SomeBUNNY... Blog Lovin'

Happy Monday. I just love Mondays. Particularly Mondays after spring break. {If you can't tell these two statements are oozing with sarcasm.} So to brighten up the day I bit I thought I'd share a little blog love.

Jessica from Joy in the Journey, shared a little blog love with me through the SomeBUNNY Loves your blog linky from Christina's Bunting, Books, & Brainbridge blog so I thought I'd share the love too.  (Jessica is super sweet & has a great blog, so you should check out her blog if you haven't already!)

I've made so many blogging buddies in just the past few months, in addition to Jessica, there is another Jessica aka. Jivey, Diane, Amanda and Stacia, and Joanne. I'm sure I'm missing a few too. There are just so many great gals that I enjoy learning from through blogs, corresponding with through email, and building friendships with.


Today though I'm highlighting someone else (although all of the ladies above deserve recognition too!) The blogger I'm letting know that Some BUNNY loves their blog is Regina from Kinder Krazy. A fellow KSU alum we took a few classes together, and we are both first year teachers. She started her blog this summer and inspired me to do the same. She has a ton of great ideas and products for Kindergarten, so be sure to visit her blog and leave her some love while your there!

If you need a pick me up.. this is the last week that my 100 follower giveaway is going on.. so if you haven't entered yet. You should :)


N-O-U-N Game

I'm back to join in the fun of Latoya's "Get Acquainted" Linky Party! It's a ton of fun to get to know other bloggers in a totally different way. A new topic is posted each week. If you haven't joined in already, you should!

This week it's the NOUN Game! Tell your favorite person, place, and thing. Here are my favorite nouns :)

My favorite person is my husband. We've been together since I started college. He supports me, challenges me, and is always there for me. We've been married just shy of a year, and I'm excited for everything that's in store for our marriage!

My favorite place is my Grandma's kitchen. My grandma is a phenomenal cook (I hope to become half the cook, and woman as she is someday). So much laughter and fond memories stem from being around the kitchen table, or working side by side with her, in that kitchen.
My favorite thing is probably my iPhone. It's a recent purchase, and rounds up my little Mac family quite nicely.

I'm going to have to go with animals for this one... and go with pets. The two girls in the following picture bring a lot of joy to our house. Remi (short for Remington) is a yellow lab and about 4ish months old. Someday, she'll be a great hunting dog (or at least that's what the husband hopes.) Phoebe is a puggle (a beagle/pug cross), she's just about two years old and thinks she's much bigger than she is (not even the bull mastiff from puppy training class intimidated her).

Can you guess who was more excited for the 2 hour car ride to see my folks over break?

There are a few of my favorite nouns... be sure to link up so I can learn some of yours too!

 Oh... last week my giveaway is live, so if you haven't entered you should (just click the picture)! Just sayin' :)


2 Truths, 1 Lie.... Revealed

This week I've had a fun time getting to know several bloggers in a new way through the Let's Get Acquainted linky. I think I read more posts than I commented on. Too many bloggers out there are way better at this game than I am!

I should have known better than to use the word "never" in a clue :)

Here's a little more background:

1. I grew up in a very small town in northwest Kansas. It had a population of 150 (if you counted all the cats, cows, chickens, and goats in the city limits). The town has a claim of fame of being "The goose capital of Kansas." The town sits near a National Wildlife Refuge.

100% true! My graduating class was the largest before consolidating, there were 15 of us (public school). We had a few smaller businesses in town (library/city office, cafe, repair shop, post office, church.) It was 15 miles to the nearest grocery store  that and more than one aisle and the nearest stoplight. To get to McDonald's, Walmart, or a mall was at least another hour ( a much better mall was an hour and a half to two hours away.)

2. Although my dad is a game warden (think cop for wild game, stopping poachers, etc.), and I have helped and passed my hunter safety course I have never been hunting. I enjoy shooting handguns, targets, clay pigeons, and fishing, but I just haven't went hunting.

Almost an untruth, but I have been hunting before. Nothing to show for it, though; I'm much better at fishing. I think I scare all of birds and game away. I haven't seen much when I've been out. My Dad is still the local game warden. He does a great program for kids and adults showing skins and skulls of native Kansas animals. I grew up around that, I'm just not a very avid hunter; my husband is, so I may make it out more. Maybe.

3. I love my husband dearly, but in order to appease my father (you need a regular degree before a Mrs. degree) the two of us were engaged for 599 days.  While being engaged is fun, and there is lots of planning, 599 days is just a whole lot of waiting!

Ugh, I wish this was a lie. Longest 599 days of. my. life! As an only child, I felt that I needed to appease my father. Tony was my only boyfriend. We dated shortly after I started college, almost 2 years into dating we were engaged, and another year and a half plus till we were married. So even though, we haven't quite been married for 9 months yet, it still feels like we've been together forever (in a good way.) The day of the wedding (which was the best day of my life to date!) one of my friends was the one who had figured out (or Googled) the length of my engagement, told me engagements expire after 600 days, so I better get down the aisle while I still could, haha.

There you go! I'm looking forward to finding out if my gut was right on other posts.... be sure to link up on Sunday for another round of Let's Get Acquainted!

Don't forget, if you haven't yet, enter to win a ton of great prizes here!


Graphic Organizers on the iPad

I'm linking up with the marvelous Jivey for her Workshop Wednesday. This week's topic is graphic organizers, and I've decided to put a bit of a technological spin on things to showcase a couple of apps we are using in our Written Communication's classes.


I love working with iPads. Had I touched one before the school year? Nope. Am I still learning along with the kids. Yep. {In fact, I think I learn more from than about the in's and outs of this technology; crazy!}

The first app is a paid app ($1) Tools4Students.

This is an app that is strictly graphic organizers. Tons and tons and tons of graphic organizers. That save as students type. It's a pretty sweet app, that we've used from time to time. Students can choose one that suits them (or that they are directed to) and type the information in. Typed information is saved automatically.

Here are a few screen shots (via iTunes)

 Story Kit is an app that lets you write your own book or story. It has features to add pictures, text, sound, or drawings via a paint function. When we used this, students were given a couple of minutes to draw a specific character from Because of Winn Dixie. Then, students were given a few minutes to type out character traits to surround their illustration. This process was continued for the rest of the main characters.

Right now we are starting the book, Tales of the Bronx I've never heard of it before, but it's been a great read and the kids are loving it {it's not too often that they ask to continue reading for multiple chapters.} The book starts by introducing the 7 main characters on the block. We've been using Pic Collage & Strip Design to create pictures about each chapter after they've been read, but Story Kit could have been easily used too. With all of the detail given about the children, a student could have drawn or added an image to symbolize the characters and then added details about the character around that image.

(Again pictures via iTunes)

Last, but not least, since Jivey is contribuiting too, I wanted to share my giveaway with all of you. K-2 & 3-5 prize packs. Click the picture and enter! :)