Gettin' Christmas Crafty

One of my FAV linky parties is "Monday Made it" with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics.. so even though I have been super/crazy/nutso/ off the wall busy... but I always manage to squeeze a craft or two in there, cause well, they're just fun!

My first few made-its are for our new house:) They are of course, Pinterest inspired (duh, where else would you get craft ideas?!? ;)

My super fab sissy-in-law helped me with this little number. (Silly me didn't take before pictures... woops.. sawwryyyy) We used cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby. The N is painted white with white glitter over top, the O is a dollar store stick wreath with lights wrapped around, the E is painted brown, and the L has scrapbook paper modgepodged on. We didn't put a whole lot of Christmas decorations up this year with the crazy move, so I love the pop of cheer this brings to our mantel:)



This next one is suprisingly NOT a Pinterest inspired craft. Nope, it is all my SIL and I's awesome craftiness!! Yeah yeah, I'm bragging a little:) Hubs and I didn't feel complete up for setting up National Lampoon style Christmas decorations this year after the big move, but I still wanted SOMETHING to show our spirit so we didn't look like the Scroog or Grinch of the street! So I took this plain wreath that I had lying around and we spruced (pun intended, I crack myself up!) it up. Here's the before picture:



And the after hanging on my door! A glitter covered table and husband later, I think it turned out pretty good :)

My husband's family does a "Made in the USA" Christmas gift exchange, which I LOVE. But as you can imagine, it can be difficult to find gifts. So SIL and I continued our crafty day by picking up these beautiful numbers, made in the USA wine glasses and using a.... go figure, Pinterest inspired craft. We got enamel acrylic paint, and used pencil erasers to dot the glasses. We let them dry in between layers. When all layers were dry, we put them on a baking sheet in the oven, let them heat up to 350 degrees, bake for a half hour, then stay in the oven till the cooled. I LOVE how they turned out!

We decided to do a "You've been Grinched" day at school. My teaching partner and I had a BLAST with it and so did the kiddos. We started off the day by reading the book aloud, and having the students use silly adjectives to describe the Grinch. Then we watched the movie and ate Green Grinch Juice, and popcorn! Next, the students had to do a First, Next, and Last writing of "How to make the Grinch Smile." These turned out HILARIOUS! Lastly, we put our crafty minds together and put together this craftivity you see in the last picture. Students LOVED making them! You can pick up the template in my TPT store for FREE :)








 
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone! See ya'll on the flipside :)
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Substitutes and FREEBIES!

I don't know about you... but I would rather come to school sick than have a sub! It just seems that so many times it becomes more of a hassle. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some WONDERFUL subs out there! But I always seem to get the good ones. I was out yesterday, feeling very under the weather, and I left DETAILED... I mean DETAILED plans! Come on people, ya'll know how CRAZY we teachers get with our plans when we're gone.. wanting things just so. Now usually, I just wouldn't have the sub do anything new. But with Christmas break coming up, we just HAD to get some things finished. I mean I put instructions in three different formats, even in a Smartboard lesson for the sub to pull up to remind him! What do ya know.. I get here today and my kiddos inform me of all the things he didn't do. I mean, blatantly ignored my instructions...... REALLY?!?! After a few "Mrs. Cap, he didn't tell us to do that either!" I was ready to go absolutely nutso, wacko, scream and pull my hair out crazy! I took a deep "belly breath" and just retaught it all... ugh! Happy Friday, right?! :)

Thank you all for listening! For being such wonderful listeners, I am linking up with Freebie Friday to share with you some things I'm using in my classroom!

We have been working on Figuartive Language in my classroom, and focusing on Metaphors and Similes this week. I wanted my students to be able to really understand how to write similes so I created this freebie for them to write similes all about themselves, someone else, and then do a fun homework with similes. Here are examples of some from my room and you can pick up your free copy here.



My teaching partner and I were trying to think of a fun game to play with the kiddos next week during our Holiday party that wouldn't be too messy, but still fun for our fourthies. So I created this fun Holiday Charades. Simply print, cut into strips, and place in a hat or bowl for students to pick from! We can't wait to play :) Click here to download your copy for free!
I hope everyone enjoys these freebies!
I just want to end by saying how thankful I am to work in such a wonderful community. I can only imagine what everyone in Connecticut is going through right now. Let's all send lots of thoughts, love, and prayers their way during this difficult time.
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CURRENTLY it's cray cray!&a birthday sale!

I think I'm going nuts. I went into my phone to edit something on this post and it deleted the whole thing!!! Then I decided to just retype it the best I could on my phone, and halfway through it deleted it again!!! Grrrrrrrr I am so mad at this app right now but I couldn't leave y'all out there in blogger world with a blank post... So hopefully third time is a charm!!

I have been slacking in the Blogger world and my December currently is a little late because it has been CRAY CRAY up in here for the past week! We had two sets of conferences, report cards due, and hubs was out of town! To top it all off, we decided to move this past weekend! Needless to say, I'm sure y'all can relate to how I feel! But I can't resist me some Farley Currently!! So here goes nothin' :)

Currently:

Listening: To my awesome birthday balloon my teaching partner got me! It sings when you bump it.. How cool, right?! The kiddos and I are going to have a blast with it!

Loving: This time of year. I love the Christmas season and the goodness it brings out in so many. It is a time of joy and love and it's wonderful to see everyone happy and jolly!

Thinking: I have an unbelievable hubby and family. They all made sure my birthday was wonderful! I couldn't ask for a better man by my side and 2 amazing families!

Wanting: To put up Christmas decorations!! It has been tradition since I was a baby to put up our tree and decorations on my birthday. It is something hubs and I even carried on. But this year with the move we just haven't had the time yet. I'm really hoping we can this weekend! I can't wait to get our new house all decked out:)

Needing: To unpack and organize!! Seriously guys... I'm having some major OCD/anxiousness/a little crazy over all the boxes! We had so much help moving that so much got done.. But I strongly {dislike} staring at unopened boxes and stuff now exactly where we want it! I did get rid of 12 boxes of clothes to Goodwill...( I know, I am a serious shop-a-holic!!) but it felt good to get more organized with that!
Here's all the Goodwill bags!

RAK: Every year hubby and I participate in a gifting at our church. Our church chooses an organization and makes a giving tree for parishioners to choose families off of. toThis year we chose two families who needed some things. I had so much fun picking out bath towels and sets and other necessities for them. These are always my favorite gifts to give! Another reason I love this time of year!

I have been slacking in the TPT creating department as well, and I have so many almost finished great projects to post! Hopefully I can get to those by this weekend. In the meantime, I am throwing a birthday sale over at my TPT shop!! Through Friday everything in my store will be 20% off! So head on over and check it out and shop:) I have a fun holiday spelling unit and a Holiday Themed Rolling with adjectives and adverbs word work activity. Enjoy!! Ill leave you with some photos:) I will update with pictures of our new home as everything comes together! I see lots of Monday Made Its in my future!!:)






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Fun Friday means FREEBIES!

I know I'm breaking the 2 posts a day rule, but I absolutely love the Freebie Friday linky party, and I just had to link up real quick. So this will be short and sweet! (at least as short and sweet as I get since we all know I love to talk!)



Last week in my room we began our Chapter Book studies. One of the things my students were most excited about in 4th grade reading is that to them, 4th grade meant they "get to read more chapter books!" {insert excited 4th grade voice here.} I use this big time for differentiated instruction, and my groups and books are by DRA level. In order to keep this organized, I have a binder for each class, which has 5 groups. I will blog more about this later, but today you can pick up my group data sheets for free here!

My next freebie came to me today! We have been working on making our writing more "vivid and colorful" in our classroom. My fourth grade friends have been using lots of vivid adjectives and adverbs this week, and let me tell you, their writing is improving! I wanted a word work activity today to practice adjectives, and so my "Roll the Adjectives" activity was formed! I am now working on an entire roll the dice unit for different parts of speech for word work, but you can pick up the first piece, adjectives, at mt TPT store. There is a black and white as well as a color copy for whatever your needs are. Here's a preview. Click on the picture to download it for free!
 
(p.s. I was SO excited when I saw Melissa's free bright chevron paper over at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late. I snatched this AWESOME freebie up and already used it on this pack! Get yours here)

Enjoy your Friday Freebie shopping everyone :)
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I heart giveaways and followers!

I have to say, one of the most exciting things about this whole blogging experience has been gaining followers! It is so hard to do... and I get seriously giddy when I log in and see I have a new follower!!!! :) So today, when I saw Melissa over at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late was now following me, I was so excited! I love reading comments and was pumped about the comment from her:) Low and behold, I head on over to her blog, and find she is having a 100 follower giveaway!!


 I have to say, I'm slightly jealous! I cannot wait until I have enough followers for a giveaway! I'm thinking maybe at 50? :) Anywho, her giveaway is absolutely WONDERFUL! It includes one of those awesome quiet pencil sharpeners that I would just DIE to have in my room.

There are SO many great activities from many wonderful blogs on there as well! I will keep my fingers crossed and hope I win:) You should head on over and check it out for yourself!

I also HAVE to share that I just finished my last DRA!! They are all in the computer, logged on the folder, and filed!!! Can I get a WOOT WOOT!!! I have 56 students, and for those of you that have to do DRAs I know you can relate. For those of you that don't, they take FOREVER!! They are a good reading formative assessment tool, but with this many students, it's tough. Needless to say, there will be a few yummy drinks in my future this evening:)

Happy Friday everyone :)
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SURPRISE! I've been nominated!

I logged in this morning, and much to my surprise I found I had been nominated for the Leibster Blog Award by Danielle over at Classroom Cupcakes! My excited scream had my husband wandering in to see what was going on, and he shared in my excitement to be part of this cool blog award :) So here it goes!

11 Random Things About Me:
1.) I'm allergic to shellfish. I know, all you seafood lovers out there feel bad for me. My family and hubby LOVE seafood, but it obviously doesn't love me!
2.) I absolutely love being active. Whether it's running, playing volleyball, or tennis with the hubster, I love to move!
3.) In complete contrast with the fact above, I LOVE fastfood. Like seriously guys, it's a problem. If hubby wants to cheer me up, or take me out for a celebration, it's not fine dining for this girl... I love me a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger, with Big Mac Sauce, a large fry and a Diet Coke. Seriously... it is my favorite.
4.) I am a Diet Coke snob. Yes, I am one of those people at restaurants who asks "Do you have Coke or Pepsi?" and then kindly refuse the Pepsi product or get GIDDY when I hear Coke.
5.) I have FAR too many clothes. I seriously could go an entire school year and not wear the same outfit. That includes shoes, too! When hubs and I got married, we got a 50 pair shoe rack, and he told me what didn't fit, had to go! Needless to say I filled that up and "boots, flip flops and running shoes don't count!"
6.) I {heart} book stores. I would spend an entire day in any bookstore if I had the time. Going to the library is like shopping for me, I'm a kid in a candy store!
7.) I am the biggest Harry Potter nerd. I read the first one in 6th grade, and I've been hooked ever since. No really, I mean NERD. I went to every single midnight book release, AND movie release. And yes, I dressed up... even when I was 21 and in college (insert embarassed face here.)
8.) I want to have 4 children (at least that's what I say now, I guess we will find out when we start!)
9.) Hubby and I are proud owners of half of our high school gym floor. It is currently sitting in storage at bro-in-laws garage (Thanks Andy!) When they built our new school, we bought the center court since we  both played on it (hubs basketball, me volleyball) and plan to make it our basement floor one day!
10.) I don't like coffee or tea, but wish I did! I love  the smell!
11.) I've been to Disney World over 20 times and I still think it is the happiest place on earth!
 
Questions from Danielle with my answers:
1} If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
 "I like to move it, move it" by WilliAm from Madagascar. I feel like I am constantly on the move with no time to just chill.. but I love life that way!
2} Why did you choose to become a teacher?
Honestly, I didn't want to be a teacher since I was a kid like most. I wanted to go into Physical Therapy. But, I got into coaching my senior year of high school, and realized I {loved} working with kids. I couldn't imagine doing anything else!
3} Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I was inspired by Christina over at Second Grade Sugar and Spice. I student taught in her building, and I was in awe of her teaching strategies and I loved reading her blog for more ideas.
4} What has been the best thing to happen in your years as a teacher?
The best thing to happen to me is getting the job I have now. Don't get me wrong, I loved my old school too, but this place feels like home. If I stayed in my same position until I'm retired I would be more than perfectly content.
5} Skittles or M&M's?
Definitely M&M's. I am a chocoholic!
6} What was the last book you read for you?
Rapture by Lauren Kate. I started reading the series last year because my 6th graders were reading it and I tried to keep up with what they liked. I ended up really enjoying the series and the last book just came out so I recently finished it.
7} Apple or Android?
Apple. I am seriously in love with my iPhone.
8} If you could create a new species, what would it be?
A Tusky! A combination of a tiger and a husky.. my two favorite animals!
9} Acrylic nails or au naturale?
Neither. I get gelish on my nails and I love it!
10} What food makes your mouth water just by saying it's name?
Besides McDonalds? Hungarian Chicken Paprikash... but it has to be my families recipe. My all-time favorite food and what I ALWAYS have on my birthday.
11} What are your plans for the holidays?
Spend lots of time with family and friends. Hubs and I are lucky that both of our parents live in the same town as we do, so it makes it easy for holidays. My family comes and spends Christmas Eve with his family, and we all see eachother on Christmas Day. Christmas Eve with my in-laws is one of my favorite traditions. We have homemade fried seafood (Lake Erie perch that I can eat!) LOTS of pasta,  and broccoli. It is the meal I look forward to all year!
 
Questions for blogs I am nominating:
1.) When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
2.) What's your favorite holiday tradition?
3.) What movie was made after your life?
4.) If you had a day to do anything you wanted, what would you spend it doing?
5.) What/who are the top 5 things in your life?
6.) Fruity candy or chocolate?
7.) Coke or Pepsi?
8.) If you were a millionaire, what would you do?
9.) What habit of others annoys you the most?
10.) What's the craziest thing a student has ever said or done in your classroom?
11.) What could you not live without in your classroom?
 
Blogs I'm nominating:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks to everyone who read this post! I love getting to know new bloggers and spreading the word about wonderful up and coming blogs! Those that I nominated, remember to comment when you post (if you choose to, which I hope you do!) because I am excited to read your answers and ge to know you more! :)

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Cyber Monday beats Black Friday! :)

I have to say.. I am well rested, warm and cozy right now! I did not brave the crazies and go Black Friday shopping. I value my sleep and time with my family too much! For those of you that did, I hope you got wonderful deals. :) I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving filled with lots of food, family and love. I know I did!

I am excited to announce that I will be participating in TPT's Cyber Monday + Tuesday sale!!!! While I'm not a Black Friday fan, I am a HUGE Cyber Monday fan! I love the idea of shopping in the comfy coziness of my own home, and still getting great deals! I {love} that TPT is doing this sale! Everything in my store will be 20% off, and then TPT will give you the 10% which will make everything.... 28% off!! (Don't ask me the math, that's how they do it! I teach Language Arts anyways ;) )

Thanks to the 3am teacher for creating this great graphic!
 
 
A great thing about this sale is I JUST posted my Holiday Spelling Pack! It is over a weeks worth of activities with Holiday spelling words. Pick it up with your discount during the sale :)
Here's a preview of all of the awesome activities! Click on the picture to download :)
 
Pick up this pack and all of my other products with your discount on Monday or Tuesday!
 
Getting into the holiday spirit, and in the spirit of giving. I have also uploaded my December writing prompts. You can download them here for FREE! If you like these, you can also download my entire year's worth of writing prompts here.
 
Enjoy the rest of your days off! Happy Shopping! :)

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LOTS of thankfulness from this blogger!

When I logged in this morning I saw TWO awesome thankful linky parties!! In the spirit of being thankful, sharing, and loving.. I thought, why not do both?! So first up, Stephanie over at Teaching in Room 6, has this awesome linky party to thank all of our blogger friends out there :)
1.) I am just thankful for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful community of online teachers! I feel seriously fortunate to have found out about blogger, and been able to get a site up and running! I have gotten SO many great ideas from many of your blogs, and feel like I've made so many friends already out there in cyberspace...and it's only just begun! It is a beautiful thing.


2.) The first blog I saw/stalked was Christina over at Second Grade Sugar and Spice. I actually student taught in her building, and I was in awe back then of her wonderful teaching skills! When I taught in her district for a year, I followed her blog religiously... and now, even at a different district, I still get SO many good ideas from her, and love reading about her fun and loving classroom! She truly was my inspiration to get this thing off the ground, and I am so thankful for her :)


3.) So much of my classroom organization has come from Teri over at A Cupcake for the Teacher. She is such a wonderful, organized, and fun-loving teacher! I absolutely LOVE reading her blog and seeing her creative ideas. I am thankful everyday that she pops up in my feed of new postst!

4.) I absolutely love finding other upper elementary teachers on here and I was so excited when I found Tara over at Fourth Grade Frolics. She was also one of my first blog stalks, and I love reading about her blog, linking up with her, and getting all sort sof great ideas!

Now time for the second linky party. I am linking up with Lyndsey over at A Year of Many Firsts for her great Thanksgiving thankful linky! I feel thankful for so many wonderful things this year, so it'll be hard to tell them all.. but here are my most wonderful things:

1.) My AMAZING hubby. Seriously, without him, I wouldn't be the same person I am today. We have been married for almost a year and a half, and going on being together for 8 1/2 years. We were high school honeys, and he truly is my best friend. His love and support through good times and bad never fail. I am SO thankful to be married to such a wonderful man and have him for the rest of my life :)

Us at the Tim Mcgraw/Kenny Chesney concert this summer!
















2.) My TWO unbelievable families. Seriously people, I feel like I hit the family jackpot. Not only was I raised by two WONDERFUL parents, with an amazing brother and sister, but I married into an another amazing family. I gained a best friend for a sister, a wonderful brother, and two parents who love me as their own. Add in our extended family, and it surely doesn't get any better!
Here is Joe and I with both of our wonderful and supportive parents on our wedding day! They are both models for us on how love and marriage should be.

3.) My close group of friends. Joe and I have been blessed with some rockin' best friends. What's even better, we share a lot of the same friends! When choosing our wedding party, we were so happy to be surrounded by supportive people! We have friends Thanksgiving, Christmas, and celebrate birthdays together. We have Friday night game nights, and all support each other as coaches, teachers, or whatever job we do.











Here is some of our amazing support group at our wedding! I just love these pictures with our gals and guys :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4.) Two wonderful jobs. I pinch myself everyday, in disbelief that I ended up in such a wonderful building with teachers who collaborate, help each other, and want each other to succeed. We really are a family here, and I look forward to coming to work EVERYDAY! My teaching partner is AH-mazing... and every teacher and administrator in this building is awesome to work  with! I am SO thankful. Speaking of my school, we were just recognized as a NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL!!! We were one of only 13 schools in the state of Ohio to receive this recognition. WOOHOOO!!! Total bragging rights for a while :)
 

Here's our principal Steve, and one of our teachers, Tami receiving the award and last nights board meeting.
 
I am also blessed to have a coaching job where I LOVE my girls and the school I coach for, and have an amazing athletic director supporting me. My travel JO team is equally wonderful and I truly enjoy coaching (even with the long hours!)

Here is my awesome high school team!
 
As you can see, I have lots to be thankful for and I truly feel blessed. Again, I'm thankful for all of you readers out there! Thanks for following and reading :) Enjoy your Thanksgiving with loved ones; I know I will! :)


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TESTS, TESTS, TESTS!! (and trying to squeeze in learning!!)

I know all of you teachers out there have felt like this at one point or another... I am SO over standardized testing!! 2nd and 4th graders in our school took the Iowa's all last week, and we are now taking the COGAT's this week. Not only are our fab fourthies worn out, but so are their fab teachers!! aaaaaaahhhh! If I have to read "Please open your test booklet to page 25. Please read the directions along with me as I read them aloud. They say:" one more timeeeee..!! I just have to keep telling myself **two more days, two more days! Now I know, sometimes testing can be nice because you have time to grade and plan, but I want time to TEACH! Our mornings have been completely taken up, and with specials in the afternoon, and lots of other extra things, that leaves us very little time with each of our groups.

Okay, thank you for letting me rant! I feel much better now :) Onto more important things... the learning we have been doing :)

I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving. I love the history behind it, the meaning, and everything that goes along with it! It ties PERFECTLY into our Ohio history curriculum, because we just wrapped up our early Native Americans unit (which I can't wait to share with you the students projects soon!) Speaking of their projects, here is a free download for a project I do with my fourthies every year! It is one of mine and their favorites! Students have to create a model of a Native American home, and complete a report with it. Click here to download the directions for this for free. Here are some pictures of past projects:

Every year they turn out grade and I LOVE seeing all of the new things students come up with!







Now back to Thanksgiving. When I was student teaching, I discovered this great interactive Scholastic website for the First Thanksgiving. Since then, I have been using this website to teach all about it, and supplementing with other books. This year, I decided to make a 4 day unit on The First Thanksgiving. I introduced the unit last Friday, and this week, since we have a 3-day short week, we are finishing the unit just in time for Thanksgiving. This unit has students predicting, inferring, researching, forumulating opinions, organizing writing and writing an opinion piece. Here is a preview of this unit:

Click on the picture to download this unit for only $1.50. Also, for being such loyal followers, the first 2 people to comment on this post will receive this unit for free :) Just leave me some love and include your email please! I LOVE reading all your comments!

Lastly, in addition to all this testing. I am up to my ears in reading chapter books! I decided to work into my Daily 5 a literature study. I grouped my students by DRA level, and we are reading a book on their level. Here are most of the books we are working with now (James and the Giant Peach not pictured)
So far this is going really well. The students LOVE their books, and I can work with students on strategies at their level. Which works SO much better than our basal! I am working on creating comprehension packs for each of these novels that covers all of the common core literature standards, and a non-fiction pack as well. I hope to have these up in a week or so! You can download my graphic organizer for main idea and summarizing non-fiction texts here.




Before I leave you I have to show you the yummy cookies I made for our staff Thanksgiving today.

 
Don't they look AH-mazing?! They were such a hit! Thank you, Pinterest! :)
 
That's all for now! Thanks for reading, folks :) Remember to comment to receive your Thanksgiving pack for free!
 
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