For the past couple years I've decided to choose a word that I would like to define my year rather than making a bunch of resolutions that I would inevitable not keep up with.

In 2012 I chose LET GO! I know it's two words, but it was really what I needed to do with a lot of things at the time. I did let go, and our whole life ended up changing that year! We moved to a new state, got new jobs, and began attending a new church! All great changes that we have been incredibly blessed by!

In 2013 I chose PRAY! Letting go was just the start and committing to prayer was the next step for me. I new God had been directing my life, but it's so easy to try and solve things on my own when they come up. I made a commitment to not give answers about major life choices until I'd prayed about it, to not get upset about things happening until I'd prayed about it, to make major purchases until I'd prayed about it, and it really did make a huge difference this year! I feel like I've grown so much in my trust for God and knowing that he has absolute control of my life, his plans are better than my plans, and his ways are higher than my ways. I have seen situations that I know in the past I would have made worse turn into great opportunities for me. God has been so faithful to me and my family and I know my commitment to prayer has again blessed my life all year long!

Last year my brother bought me a journal for Christmas that said "Keep Calm and Pray On!" across the cover, it was the inspiration for my OLW. This year when my mom gave me a new journal I knew as soon as I opened it what my OLW for 2014 would be! I knew what the next step in my life should be! So here it is......

Now that I've given God control of my life, it's time to experience the JOY he has created for me! I have so much to be thankful for. So many great things have come my way over the past couple years, and as I've taken steps to live in God's perfect plan for me it has brought real JOY even when I didn't really take time to enjoy it. So 2014 is all about living in the JOY of the LORD!! I know he continues to have great things in store for our family!

Here's the cover of the journal my mom gave me for Christmas.....

Thanks to Denise over at Sunny Days in Second Grade for hosting the One Little Word linky this year! If you want to know more about OLW, read about other's OLW, or link up with your own little word head on over to her blog!

Happy 2014!! 
Hi everyone! I can't believe we are already saying goodbye to 2013! It's been a busy few months for me and I haven't been here on the blog a lot! My resolution for 2014 - you guessed it, to get back to blogging and creating for my store!

I am finally feeling rested and ready to celebrate a brand new year! I hope all of you find many blessings waiting for you in 2014! I am thankful for each of you that follows and comments here! It means a lot to me that you take time to read what little ol' me has to say! So to say Thanks for a wonderful 2013 and Welcome to 2014 I'm throwing a sale!!

My friends over at Blog Hoppin' are also having sales to help you start the new year off right! Head on over to see everyone offering discounts for the next two days!

Happy New Year!
I am so excited to be participating in the December Freebie Frenzy on facebook! So many amazing teacher authors are joining together to brighten your holidays with fun freebies galore! So hop on over and pick up your gifts today!
Here are the links to the beginning of each hop
K Math/Science -

K ELA/Social Studies -

1st Math/Science -

1st ELA/Social Studies -

2nd Math/Science -

2nd ELA/Social Studies -

3rd Math/Science -

3rd ELA/Social Studies -

4th -

5th -

6th-12th -

Music -

Clipart - 
So many great freebies, available this weekend only!! Hope to see you there! 
I can't believe I've been gone for an entire month! I'm sorry everyone, I didn't plan to be away that long, but life has been sooo busy! First of all WE MOVED! How do you make a big move while teaching?!?!? It's so chaotic but in the end, it was soooo worth it and we are enjoying our new house very much. On top of moving I've been really busy with school, and tutoring, taking care of my own children, as well as teaching Sunday school each week, and I just haven't had the time or inspiration to blog about any of it!

I promise December will be better! I've already got some great plans I can't wait to share with you! Only 15 days of school before break!!! It's gonna be CRAZY, and FUN, and I can't wait!!

For now I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for December's Currently, here's what I'm up to.....
It's all pretty self explanatory! We are in the Christmas mood around here! Decorations are up and I'm loving it!! Christmas movies, Christmas music, Christmas cookies! It's all going on at our house this weekend! Now I've got to head back to work and I still have a million things I wanted to get done, but haven't! Anyone else with me????

My favorite Christmas Tradition is spending the evening at my Mom's on Christmas eve. My brother, sister, and I, along with our families all head over to Mom's for a nice dinner and exchange gifts. We use to do this with  my Mom's mom when we were little, and my mom has carried on the tradition. I look forward to days ahead when It becomes my tradition to have my kids and their families come to my house (at least I hope they will continue the tradition with me!). It's always a ton of fun, and I wouldn't want to miss it for anything!

Before I go I wanted to remind you that there's a big cyber Monday sale going on at TPT for the next two days! Look for my New Christmas Fluency packet in my store SOON! and stock up on other sets, you always get the updates for free once you purchase! Click on the picture below to head on over to my store!
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are getting into the Christmas mood too!
First off let me Congratulate Alison Rose! She is the winner of three David Shannon books including his latest, Bugs in My Hair! Congrats Alison, I've sent you an email and hope to hear from you soon!!

Now for the Nonsense fluency fun! I have a group of first graders this year and I love working with them. After teaching 4th-6th all morning it can be refreshing to have the little ones who just love hands on activities and eat up everything I've thrown at them! Here's a look at how we've been practicing our nonsense word fluency!
This is from our sticky word hunt. I wrote words on different colored sticky notes and hid them around the room. I gathered everyone on the rug and said "find a greed word card",  they found the words, brought them back and we read them. Then they decided if they were real or nonsense and placed them on the correct side of our sort chart. We looked again for blue words and finally yellow words.
These graphs are from our timed fluency practice activity you can find as a part of a new unit I have for sale HERE! We have word cards with various nonsense words on them and I time them reading the words to me. They record their number correct in one minute, then practice the words again. Each day we time ourselves and record our words read.
 We used tongs to "grab" letters (bottle caps with letters written on them placed in a basket) and then made words from the letters. We read our words together and decided if they were real or nonsense.
 We recorded our words on this chart, you can pick up HERE!
 We used letter beads and put them on pipe cleaners to create words, then sorted the real from the nonsense.
 More word building with letter bubbles (I made these a few years ago and they have been so useful, I've used them with almost every grade level to practice spelling, sight words, and making words.)
 Foam letters too! One of my little guys was so excited about the words he made, he really wanted me to get a picture!! Can you tell who his favorite characters are??!!
 We played hopscotch with the hopscotch board I made a few years ago as well (it's plastic pockets taped together so they can have different words placed inside, they read the words as they hop on them)
We did a nonsense and real word ball toss. I wrote words on ping pong balls, then placed two buckets one for real and one for nonsense words in front of the group. Each student got a ball, read the word, tossed it into the correct basket, and got back in line for another turn! At the end we recorded our real and nonsense words on THIS CHART!

We made words using these CVC word cards I got a few years ago online, unfortunately I couldn't find them now to share where I got them from. I glued them to cute animal print scrapbook paper and laminated so we can write on them and wipe it off.
I made these clip cards using some Martha Stewart Labels (that I got for free at our Teachers Store!! Love that place!!) and bright cards stock. I put one real word and one nonsense word on each card, then using these little apple clips I got in the dollar section in Michaels, they clipped the real word on each card! 

This fun sort came to me one morning while I was thinking of getting out the fall decorations, I thought why not use trees to sort real and nonsense words. I cute the trees out of brown construction paper. I had these cute little owl sticky notes from Target's Dollar spot that worked perfectly. I wrote real and nonsense words on them and placed them on the table. 

The students took turns choosing words and sorting them onto the correct tree! They loved it!!
This activity was easy and fun! I created this page of leaves with real and nonsense words on them, the students colored the real words yellow and the nonsense words orange. It turned out to be a great assessment for me. You can get this sheet HERE!

When we did assessments this week these little guys and gals hit it out of the park!! Most of them doubled their correct letter sound scores and all of them increased their whole words read!! Proud teacher I am!! I was so excited to see those scores! I look forward to continuing our adventure into reading!

Bugs.....In your hair!! I know you itch just thinking about it, and you don't want to talk about it at all! I hate even thinking about it, but I've got a new book to share with you that will have you, and your students, laughing about those bugs (and scratching your head) as you read!!

One of my favorite Author's has done it again! His latest book is hilarious, and the kids in my class love it! What's it about?? Well - LICE, Ick, I know we don't want to talk about that, but take a look at how David Shannon has made an ugly issue easy to talk (and laugh) about!

If you've ever seen them, had them, or had them in your home, you know these little things can take over your life completely. In his usual style David Shannon make shares the problem in a funny but realistic way, that kids will identify with and laugh at.

Even though those little guys are barley visible, they feel like they are huge. What are they doing hanging out on our heads anyway, it's just one big party right!!

Sending them backing isn't the easiest thing to do, but when mom gets out her special lice weapons they will have to go!
This book is another great read from a great author. My students laughed right through it and I did too. It's not the easiest topic to talk about, but many of us as teachers have dealt with them in someway or another. I think the book is a great way to introduce a touchy subject and have a candid talk about how frequent they real do show up.

You can read more about the book and the author David Shannon, watch a video, and find links to purchase the book HERE!

Now here's your chance to win three great books, including this latest, by  David Shannon.
Enter using the rafflecopter below, one winner will win all three titles above, open to US residents only (sorry), prizes are courtesy of Scholastic!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading, and Good Luck!
I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last shared anything here on my blog! It's flown by and I've been overwhelmingly busy. I have thought about and planned to share several times but things just kept coming up, so It's  been a while, but here I am finally with something to share!!

First of all I did a lot of searching this summer and decided that I really wanted to use Interactive Notebooks with my students this year, the plans for both math and reading notebooks have morphed over the past few weeks and didn't turn out as I expected at all, but they've been great! Here's a look at the awesome Notebooks that I've been using for reading, they are made by Michael Friemood and can be found in his TPT store A Home for Teaching Resources.

This product comes with a variety of reading graphic organizers that you can choose from and put them together to make this little reader's notebook. It was perfect. There were 12 chapters so I choose 12 pages, we were working on Character development and compare/contrast, there were several pages for each one. There are also several open ended question pages so I put a few of those in too.
 Each day we read a chapter from the book and filled in a page about the characters, at the end of chapter 3, 6, and 12 we also answered the open ended questions. I choose to make those compare contrast questions so one was comparing the character to  yourself, one was comparing the character to the character of another book, and the last one was to compare the book to another book.
My students loved working in the little books and I could see their thinking developing as we completed each page. Once we finished the book I decided to expand our compare and contrast into a project we could display. We created Venn diagrams in pairs comparing characters from two of the books that we read.

They used their diagram to write a five sentence paragraph that told how the characters were alike and how they were different. Then we used these Character Doodle-A-Face clip art from Krista Wallden of Creative Clips to draw the two characters.
 And here are the finished products hanging in the hall! I think they turned out great and I was so impressed with the work my students did!
I hope to be back soon with information about the Math notebooks we are using, I am loving them! I've also had a lot of fun teaching first graders this year! We do Success Block in our school and I am paired with different grade levels last year I worked with 2nd and this year it's 1st. We've been working on Nonsense words, I've got lots of great activities and some freebies to share!! Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Where has the time gone?? Has it really been that long since I've blogged?? Yes!! It has, and I can't believe it!! It has been a busy start to the new year, but a great one! I haven't had time to share all that is going on but I will, hopefully soon! For now here is what I am up to Currently.....

I always love hearing my husband playing his guitar, well almost always, sometimes when I really need to concentrate it isn't so helpful, and he is usually always playing when he is home!!

We  had a picnic at the park today, great food, games, family, friends and gorgeous weather!! It was perfect!

Now I am home, trying to get ready to go back to work, realizing how much I still need to do, and feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have two new groups starting tomorrow. A fifth grade reading group working on compare and contrast and a first grade group working on non-sense words. I am making some resources for both and wanting to have it really well planned so they get off to a great start!

I would love to have someone to cook and clean for me, this time of year I always feel like it's never done, and I just can't keep up. I know it will get better as we all settle into a routine but right now it's crazy!! A few more hours in the day would be soooo helpful!!

I would love to jump in the shower and head off to bed early tonight, but it's not gonna happen!! Again back to school season is the season to be totally EXHAUSTED all the time!! I don't feel like I can get enough sleep either!!

My three Love Me's are simple, yet I don't do them! I rarely eat breakfast, I am rushed in the mornings and I just don't! I know it's not good for me and I want to change that but I've tried and failed several times now. I am trying to start this week with at least a nutritious fruit smoothie in the mornings. I would also love to get some planing done during my plan time AT SCHOOL, uh huh, at school!! It never happens because there are always people to talk to, kids to help, duties that need to be done, but I am hoping I can get better at managing that time. I have been in the biggest creative slump for the longest time now!! I want to create but the creative juices just aren't flowing, so I'd love to finish just one product this month!! Any ideas for getting started again???

There you have it, what I am up to!! In the classroom we have been working on setting goals for ourselves and I've created a goal planning sheet I wanted to share with all of you! If you want to get your students involved in planning out their own goals, this works great!
Click on the picture to pick up a copy for FREE! I hope to be back soon, until then Happy Teaching everyone!
Who's that Blogger Reveal & Winners!!!

I have labeled the childhood photos with the matching blogs for you all to peek at!! Because of the volume of entries, winners will be notified throughout the weekend. I appreciate your patience as we send out emails and prizes.

Click on each image to see the photo

Winner of the $125 Amazon Gift Card!!!

Thank you so very much for playing!!

Welcome Everyone!!

         Are you ready to have some fun??
                                              ....Play a game?
                                                              .....Win  prizes and cash?

I have teamed up with 65 AMAZING blogger buddies to put together the ultimate Back to School Linky/Giveaway!!!

Each one of my blogger buddies submitted a cute childhood photo & generously donated something special from their online TpT shops for this occasion!! We have included a fun game for you to play for a chance to win over $300.00 in prizes and a BONUS  CASH-PRIZE raffle you can enter at the end of this post!! 


The game is easy to play....

 Your job will be to try and match each blogger with their childhood photo!!! With over 60 childhood photos and bloggers to match up, this might get tricky!! As I mentioned above, each blogger has generously donated one awesome prize from their TpT store. Successfully match a blogger and childhood photo, and you win the prize offered from that blogger!!! The more you matches you make, the more prizes you win!!! 

Check out some of the prizes you could win!!!

but Wait....
That's not all....

ONE lucky follower will win a $125 Amazon Gift Card!! Scroll to the bottom & follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win $$$

The link below will open a form that will allow you to submit your answers for the match up. 

Use the blogger links and numbered images to help you along the way!! Each childhood photo has been assigned a specific number. 

Once you open the form, use the drop-down menu beneath each blog button and select a number that corresponds to a childhood photo. 

The form results will be collected throughout the week. At the end of the week, each submission will be "graded" and you will receive a prize for each blogger and photo you successfully matched up!!

The game closes on Friday, August 23rd at midnight (Arizona Mountain Time). Answers will be announced on Saturday, August 24th. Winners will be notified through email throughout the week. 

Use the blog links below the photos to search for clues!!
Click HERE to Play the Matching Game!!


Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $125 Amazon gift card!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for participating!!! Good Luck!!!

If you would like to post about this linky/giveaway, grab the special image below to display in your post and link up below!!! Make sure to use the link to the actual post,,,

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