Lunchbox Linky Party!

What a fun idea for a linky party! Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics is having a Lunchbox Linky party.....what a great idea!
Here's my lunchbox. It was my first piece of Thirty-One. My daughter now sells thirty-one, so I've acquired a number of pieces. I think it's about time for a new lunch tote, too. Have you seen the new cinch-up thermal totes? SO cute!
I'm currently on a quest to lose some pounds (doing Weight Watchers), so my lunches aren't too exciting. They're healthy....but not too exciting. As you can tell, I take tons of fruits & vegetables. I over-pack so that I can have some fruit or veggies after school. ( I am STARVING by the end of the day!). In addition to the fruits & veggies, I also take planned leftovers. Today was taco salad (minus the chips so there are fewer points).
We eat a little early....11:05. At my school, the kiddos go to recess before lunch. We've found they eat better after they've been outside burning off some steam. We used to do lunch first & recess after, but found that once the first finishers were done, all the others stopped eating & tossed their trays finished quickly and headed out to play. I either have recess or lunch duty nearly every day. My grade level teamies & I rotate. We each have 1-2 duty-free days per week. Regardless of which duty we have, we all get 30 minutes "uninterrupted".Of course, you all know once we walk the kids down & go back to pick up,'s really more like 20 minutes.
Once or twice a week, I invite some kiddos to eat lunch in the classroom...."Lunch Bunch". I use it as a reward & it's one of my kiddos favorite treats. I think it's fun eating in the room too!
SO-- there you have it! Click over to 4th Grade Frolics and check out the Linky Party....I'm on my way right now.....

Classroom Design

Okay-- how many others are already thinking about classroom design for next year? Are you like me? I am constantly tweaking my room! So, with only 40 days left to go (YES-- That's right.....40!), I'm already thinking of next year.

While blog hopping yesterday, I lingered over at School Girl Style & browsed around. Have you seen her classroom designs?! Gorgeous!
I'm LOVING this carnival theme....the colors would work so well with my room.

I already have lots of turquoise, and some of my furniture is red............hmmm. A definite possibility for next year....

But, then I came across One Extra Degree's Very Hungry Caterpillar Giveaway. Wouldn't this look terrific in my classroom? I can picture a pretty cool color scheme using these in my classroom too. Hmm.....what a quandary!

Stop by One Extra Degree & check it out yourself! OR -- Don't. (I'd like to win this one!).

Winner winner, chicken dinner!!


Congrats, Charlotte! You've just won my Blogiversay Mega Pack!
Be on the lookout for an email....

Wow! The giveaway just got bigger & better!

I've been celebrating my blogiversary all week...freebies.....giveaways...flash freebies...& a BIG giveaway that ends tonight!.Thanks to two more awesome bloggy friends, my giveaway just got bigger! 
Can you believe it?!
Now you can win items from 9 bloggers! Check out this prize pack! Super awesome...right?!?

To enter, click on the picture & follow the steps!

Teaching schwa -- Flash Freebie!!

One of the phonics skills my students always have a hard time with is schwa. Schwa sound like UH!.....Just like a cave man!

My students really enjoyed these cave man activities, & it really helped them remember that schwa sounds like "UH"!
I used this poster to introduce the concept, & then we wrote words that have the schwa sound on bones & put them up on the "animal skin" anchor chart. We continued to collect words as we discovered them in our reading.

We also made caveman necklaces! Kiddos wrote schwa words, on the bones, colored the caveman, & cut out all the pieces. (Here is a link to the activity sheet).

To get your copy of the activity pack, just click on the Schwa Poster. But hurry! This is a FLASH FREEBIE, and will only be available for the next 2 hours!
The Flash Freebie is over, but please grab a copy of the activity sheet.

Before you leave, make sure you enter my Blogiversary Giveaway! Click on the prize pack below to enter.

Reading Strategy Posters WINNER!

Ali-- the poster set is on its way to you! Hope you enjoy using it in your classroom!

For those who did not win, stop by my TpT store for your set!

Beanie Baby Comprehension Strategy Posters--Flash Giveaway!!

Today's the day!  My little blog is ONE YEAR OLD!
Boy, time flies!

Today, I'm celebrating by giving away one of my most popular items...

Beanie Baby Comprehension Strategy Posters
Using beanie babies as representatives of reading strategies is a powerful way to get kids to learn and internalize the strategies. I often hear my students make comments like, "I used Rocky Raccoon to help me visualize." or "I'm like Questioning Owl, so I'm wondering....."

I've only included a pic of a few of the posters, but the real deal includes:

  • Rocky the Raccoon - Visualize as you read!
  • Spinner the Spider - Make connections as you read
  • Questioning Owl - Ask questions
  • Rocky Raccoon - Visualize as you read
  • Digger the Dog - Determine the important ideas
  • Iggy the Inferring Iguana - Infer as you read
  •  Fix Up Bear - Monitor your read & fix up when needed
  • Jabber the Reteller - Synthesize and retell

This is a FLASH giveaway! I'll be drawing the winner tonight at 11:00 PM
Here's how to enter:
Leave a comment below(with your email address) telling how you like to teach retelling in your classroom.
Let's share ideas!

Meanwhile-- Grab a freebie! Click on the posters to get a freebie of Jabber the Reteller.

BUT WAIT!! Don't leave until you get in on the BIG GIVEAWAY! Click the prize pack below to enter!

Word Sort Freebie!

One of the ways my kiddos practice with phonics and word families is word sorts. We do word sorts each week. I program the words to fit the phonics skill and add in sight words...ones we are currently working on and ones that they still need practice with.

Click on the picture to get your own copy....It's in word, so you'll be able to program it to fit the skills YOUR class is working on! The one you'll download actually has two Word Sorts: Long o: o, oa, ow & Long i: i, igh.

Before you leave, make sure you check out my Blogiversary Celebration Giveaway! 6 terrific bloggers have contributed and the prize pack is awesome! Just click on the picture below to enter!

Blogiversary Celebration! Just Got Better

Wow! It's been 1 year! My blogiversary is coming up & I'm ready to celebrate!

I remember when I first started how absolutely thrilled I was to see I had 6 followers! Seriously! I was even texting people! "I started a blog! It even looks like a real blog! And I have SIX followers!"

One year later, I have over 400 followers (which I never dreamed would happen)!
I've met so many new friends and found so many wonderful ideas! What a wonderful community this teaching blog neighborhood is! I am constantly inspired and encouraged by you, my bloggy friends!

My actual blogiversary is March 21, but I'm 
celebrating all week!

Check back each day for a surprise of some kind...
freebies...flash freebies...flash giveaways...
 and a BIG giveaway to end on Saturday, March 24th.

Several of my good friends are helping me celebrate with an awesome giveaway!
Check it out....

Woohoo! The giveaway just got better! Now we have SEVEN wonderful bloggers who have contributed! Don't miss out!

Here's what's up for grabs....
Party Time Math Pack from Journey of a Substitute Teacher
Snack Literacy Center from Sunny Days in Second Grade
Slides & Ladders (Fry Words 101-200) from First Grade a la Carte
Common Core Cheat Sheets for YOUR Grade from Learning with Mrs. Parker
Candyland Compound Word Game from Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations
When Pigs Fly- oi/oy Dipthong Game from Extra Special Teaching  
Boggle Bulletin Board Set from  A Teacher's Treasure
How Does Your Garden Grow? from Mrs. Albanese's Class

from ME...
a Thirty-One Cinch It Up Thermal Tote in Aqua Circles

So cute!!

Here's what you need to do...
  1. Be a follower of all 9 blogs & leave one comment saying "I follow all 9 blogs".
  2. Follow all 9 TpT or Teachers Notebook stores & leave one comment saying "I follow all 9 stores".
  3. Blog about the giveaway OR post about in on facebook. Leave a comment to let me know.
**Don't forget to leave your email address in each post!**
Remember-- Giveaway ends on Saturday March 24th at 10:00 PM.

Here's a cheat sheet for you:
Follow these blogs & their stores:

(& don't forget mine!)

Sunny Days in Second

Learning with Mrs Parker

Follow all 9 stores & leave a comment stating "I'm following all 9 stores"

Journey of a Substitute Teacher's Store
Sunny Days in Second Grade's Store
First Grade a la Carte's Store
Learning with Mrs. Parker's Store
Seusstastic's Classroom Inspirations' Store
Extra Special Teaching's Store
Primary Inspired's Store
A Teacher's Treasure Store 
Mrs. Albanese's Store 

**Don't forget to leave your email address in each comment!**

Vocab Strategies Flash Freebie!

I'm celebrating my blogiversary this week! 
Here's the first of the daily's a 
Check back tomorrow to see what's the day's surprise is!
For the next few hours, you can get my Vocabulary Strategy Posters

Hurry and get yours....they'll be free for the next 3 hours!

Linking skills with characters & engaging posters really help kiddos internalize & apply strategies. I have a set of Vocabulary Strategy posters that are a fun way to help kids remember those strategies. There's:
  • Picture Clue Sue -- who reminds us to use the picture clues to help figure out a word meaning.
  • Context Clue Lou -- reminds students to look all around the word to determine meaning.
  • Word Part Bart -- Use what you know about root words, prefixes, & suffixes to find the meaning.
  • What I Know Moe -- Activate that prior knowledge. "Hey! I already know about that!"
  • Dictionary Larry -- "I can look it up!"

To get your free set, just click on one of the posters!

Before you leave, make sure you check my blogiversary giveaway!
Five fabulous bloggers have teamed up for this awesome prize pack. Click on the pic below to enter!

Giveaway Alert!

New blog on the block and she's hosting a giveaway!
Stop by & say hi!

I won! & a new blog on the block

I am SO excited! I just found out I won this awesome hanging bookshelf 

Oh.My.Gosh! How cute is this going to be in my classroom?! SUPER cute...that's how cute! I can't wait to get it.......I know JUST where it's going!

I found the giveaway through Teacher's Market which led me to an awesome new blog discovery...Pen Pals & Picture Books. You need to stop by & check it reviews (who doesn't love books?!)...coordinating activities (again--who doesn't love these?).


Winner! Winner!

Congratulations to Kelly B aka Queen B!

A copy of Circus Vowels is yours! I know you and your students are going to love it!

For those who did not can order your copy of this wonderful book from author Jodi McMaster.