10 Things I Want to Do This Summer

http://mrsjumpsclass.blogspot.com/2014/05/top-ten-things-i-want-to-do-this-summer.htmlI've got 8 more days until my summer starts, so I'm itching to get started on this Top 10 list!
At the same time....I feel a little stressed about getting it all in. I only have 7 1/2 weeks, friends! Only 7
1/2 weeks! My first teacher day is July 31. Aaaagh! I'm going to have to hit the ground running to get all the summer fun & relaxation in!

So...here goes!

10 Things I Want to Do This Summer (in no particular order)

SLEEP! Oh, goodness! I feel like I never get enough sleep. I stay up too late, then don't want to get up in the morning. Why is it that it's so hard to get comfortable and relax at night...but in the morning there's NO WAY you're NOT totally and completely comfortable? haha
And I'm such a night owl! Once summer starts, I stay up just a little later, a little later, and a little later until it's nothing for me to stay up until 3 in the morning. My goal this summer is to avoid falling into THAT trap! It makes it so hard to get back in the routine when school starts back up!

FITNESS! I really want to start taking care of myself better than I do now. I'm looking forward to walking and maybe even checking out a gym.

VEGAS! I'm super excited about going to Vegas in July for the first ever TpT conference. It's going to be great meeting bloggy friends in real life. Bloggy friends are the BEST friends! My husband and I are going out early and making a vacation of it. It'll be the first vacation we've taken just the two of us in 27 years! We plan to rent a car and head over to visit my brother and his family in California (it's just a 4 hour drive!), check out the Grand Canyon, and of course, paint the town red in Vegas!

HANG OUT BY THE POOL! Oh my gosh, I am so looking forward to just sitting by the pool and soaking up the sun and the warmth! That winter really made me long for the heat of summer. I can't wait to relax by the pool!

SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME WITH MY BABIES! Are these just the sweetest little faces you've ever seen? Love, love, love my babies! I realize they're not babies, of course. They're going to be four soon. Granddaughter #1 will be four next Tuesday, and #2 will be four exactly one month later. SO much fun! I joke that I'll probably call them "Babies" until they're adults! haha Can't you just picture it? "We're going the the babies' graduation next week"! HAHA. The really funny thing is that they respond to it! Seriously..."Come on babies, let's get in the car." "Babies-- do you want some cookies?"

http://www.castawaytheclutter.com/before-and-after-photos.htmlORGANIZE AT HOME! I'm planning to get some major organizing done at home. If there's not a place for it...it's gonna go! I'm going to do some serious purging! We have what we call 'The Big Closet' at our house. It's about 12 feet long, has a clothing rod on one side with two shelves on top of that. The other side of the closet is lined with shelves. It's been organized, but over the last year or so, it's come to the point where people are just opening the door and throwing things in (I suspect! haha). I'd love for it to look something more like this one...

ORGANIZE MY  VOCAB STUFF @ SCHOOL! I've been using this awesome vocabulary resource by Melissa over at F is for First Grade. It is just simply fabulous. Using books that you probably normally use for read alouds, teach vocabulary from within those rich, engaging stories. She has 52 books, each with 3 robust vocabulary words. If you use one book a week you will only need about 36 of the books, so you can pick your favorites. Included are vocabulary word
cards to print and create a word wall and printable student activities to extend the vocabulary practice. I've used this pack for the past two years with great results. I've just never taken the time to get the books all pulled together and organized with their word wall cards. I'm on a mission to get that done this summer. 

HANG OUT BY THE POOL! Did I mention that I want to spend some quality time hanging out by the pool, soaking up the sun and warmth? I did? Well...it still stands!

VISIT NEW ORLEANS!  My blogging bestie and I are heading down to New Orleans to hit this SDE Conference. It's definitely a new adventure for us....we're going to be setting up in the Exhibit Hall! It's definitely going to be a unique experience. I'm really looking forward to meeting lots of new people and maybe some old friends, as well!

MEET UP WITH MY INDIANA BLOGGING FRIENDS! Blogging friends are the BEST! We always have so much fun when we get together! 

 So what's on the agenda for YOUR summer? Make sure to stop over and check out the linky at Mrs. Jump's Class...it's so much fun to read what everyone's plans are for the summer!

Bright Idea - Puzzles for Centers?!

I hope you're loving these Bright Ideas! I know I'm finding loads of great ideas to put into action in my classroom!

I wanted to share a quick and simple way for you to add an effective and super fun activity to your center or workstation rotation.Incorporate PUZZLES!

The beauty of this workstation activity is (besides the fact that it's economical and easy to prep!), is that it really and truly helps kiddos build that sight word fluency! The way it works: Kiddos turn all the pieces face down, taking turns, they each read a word. If the word is read correctly, they get to turn the piece over. The goal is to read the words and turn over all the pieces as quickly as possible. The puzzle cannot be assembled until ALL the pieces have been turned over. My kiddos LOVE it!

Prep is super easy-- gather puzzles...you can either purchase, collect from friends, or send a note home for donations from families. Choose a word list and write the sight words on the backs of the pieces.

Storage-- I've found it's easiest to store each puzzle in a ziploc bag. Cut the picture of the completed puzzle off the box and store it in the bag along with the pieces so students may use it for reference.

If you enjoyed this bright idea, consider joining me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

For more bright ideas from more than 130 terrific bloggers, please browse through the link up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you!

Hello Indiana! #bookingusa

Booking across the USA! I am so excited to be part of this super fun hop! There's nothing better than a good book, right?! And travel is not far behind! Being from the wonderful state of Indiana, I was excited to check out Travels with Charlie- Across the Midwest, written by Miles Backer and illustrated by Chuck Nitzberg, and published by Blue Apple Books. Yup. That's us-- Hoosiers. Smack dab in the Midwest.

I do have to say this book is totally cool. It's not just a book of facts...it's actually a search & find book. The illustrations are gorgeous! The artist has these super fun illustrations of some of the notable
places for each state. In each picture, there's a teeny tiny little Charlie hiding. I read this to my almost-4-year-old granddaughter as soon as we opened the package, and she was just thrilled to look for and find Charlie. So cute!

We've got a saying here........
"There's more than corn in Indiana."

Here's Indiana..

We've got a lot going on here. I've been to almost all of them. We've got some awesome caverns down in southern Indiana. One of my favorites is Squire Boone Caverns. Squire was actually Daniel Boone's brother. Squire and Daniel discovered the caverns in 1790. We've toured the caverns a couple times. So cool! Kids love it! It is a little creepy (& yet sorta cool) that Squire Boone's actually buried there and the trail through the cavern takes you right by his coffin. Yep. You can see it in the picture there on the right.

You might be wondering about that picture of Santa down there in Southern Indiana. Santa Claus, Indiana is a sweet little town. All of the streets and lots of the businesses have Christmas themed names. Lots of people send or take their Christmas cards to Santa Claus to have them post marked with Santa Claus, Indiana. Santa Claus is also home of one of the first amusement parks in the United States. Holiday World. THIS is what my family thinks of when we hear 'Santa Claus, Indiana'....

May is a pretty big month here in Indiana. We're all gearing up for 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing'...the Indy 500. If you talk to anyone from Indiana, you're bound to hear lots of great stories related to "The Race". My own family has gone to the race since 1964 when my dad and his six brothers started going. We've gone every year since then.

My son is in media (he's now a news producer) and actually worked at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the media staff for a few years when he was in college. That's him right there in the black shirt with the headphones behind Danica Patrick.How cool is that? As mom, I am very proud of this picture.

Photo Source: Mum's Grapevine
In my classroom, I really like to capitalize on the excitement surrounding the Indy 500. Here are some of the race-themed activities we'll be doing in the next few weeks. You can get all kinds of science and math in!

We're going to make our race cars out of recycled materials. Then 'race' them. Do you see where I'm going with this? Measure how far they travel, collect data, organize data in different ways, determine mean, median, mode, and range. Oh my goodness! There's just so much you can do!

I'm also planning to throw in a focus on Science and magnets and make these fun little racers. How fun is this going to be?!
Photo Source: Sophie's World
I loved using Across the Midwest in my classroom, and I'm excited to get the other books. SO, so fun! Can you just imagine all of the fun projects you could do in your classroom with these? I can't wait!
Make sure you stop by Growing Book by Book and check out all of the other state projects. There are some fantastic things going on! AND - there's a GIVEAWAY for the entire set of books!

a Class*y Blog Hop! FREEBIE!

Thanks to Bubbly Borders & More!
First....let's start with Happy Mother's Day! I hope everyone is enjoying the day!
 And now, to add to your day........several of us from a Class*y Collaboration are working together to bring you some fabulous FREEBIES and a pretty awesome giveaway, too! I'm your first stop on this hop, and here's what I have for you.


My kiddos are in the middle of working on this one, and it has been FUN!! You start out by giving your kiddos a blank piece of paper with two sets of eyes glued on. I was inspired by this picture from House of Baby Piranha.


Kiddos get to draw two characters....the only rule is one must be a superhero. The other character can be a superhero, villain, monster, alien, puppy, kitten, even themselves!

Aren't these adorable?!

After drawing their characters, they start thinking about the story...and are asked to draw in the background.....wherever their story is happening....in the sky, outerspace, city...the sky's the limit! Literally!

After the picture (but before coloring), I gave them a planning sheet that asked for their characters & setting, the problem, and the solution. Then we got busy writing!! They've already been writing on these stories for two days! I can't wait to share the finished products with you!!


To grab this activity for yourself, just click on that image up above. If you like what you see, please leave some feedback love! And consider following my TpT store so that you find out about new products & freebies!

Make sure to hop through the end and follow each blog and get your entries in for our giveaway! A $50 Amazon gift card AND a product of your choice from each of the 12 blog stops is up for grabs!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Your next stop is my sweet friend Kathy over at First Grade a la Carte. See you over there!