Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Show Us Some Bloglovin with a Giveaway

Hi fabulous followers!!

You have probably heard by now that Google Reader is going away on July 1st.  Well, Google Reader may be going away, but we don't want YOU to go away, so we hope that you will consider following our blog through bloglovin!  We know that change is we thought we might sweeten it up for you a little bit!

We are doing a giveaway for all of our fabulous followers that take the leap and switch over to bloglovin.  You may have already switched over!  In that case, this will be an easy entry!

If you have not yet switched or are not following our blog through bloglovin, then there are a few easy steps to follow.  You can go to our sidebar (that's the column on the right over there that shows our followers) and you can click the button that says "B with a heart on it".  Or, you can go into the Rafflecopter below and click the link in the first entry, and that will take you to our blog on bloglovin.

You will need to set up an account with bloglovin so that you can follow us.  Please be sure to leave your bloglovin username in the Rafflecopter entry.

If you want to go ahead and move all of the blogs you follow from Google over, you can go to this post and it will take you through the super easy steps.  BUT, please go to our bloglovin link and make sure that you are following us through bloglovin.  To be sure, make sure that the blue button at the top of our bloglovin page has been clicked (it should be gray with the word following- if it's blue, please click it to follow!)

So, if you follow us by bloglovin, please enter our giveaway!!  We will be picking 2 WINNERS and each winner will get their choice of 2 UNITS FROM EACH OF OUR TpT STORES!  That's four units for each winner!!!

*Carrie and Caitlin

get the InLinkz code

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sunny Summer Days Linky

Summer seems like it's going by so fast!  I can't believe that it's almost July!  We took a week off from our Sunny Summer Days linky party last week since we were busy with our giveaway.  But, we are back this week!

So what have you been up to so far this summer?  Have you been on any fabulous vacations or created anything exciting for school or your TPT store?  If so, link up with us to share with everyone.  

Here are some things we've been up to.
The husband and I are trying to fix up things around our house so we can put it on the market.  We are ready to move to a bigger place.  We need more space, a basement, and 2 bathrooms!!  So we hired someone to paint - the whole house (all but one room).  It has been a lot of moving things from room to room and packing up things that we didn't hang back up.  

We also spent a lot of time fixing up the yard.  Here are some flowers I planted.

I've also been working creating some princess tags for a custom order in my Etsy Shop.

This week my parents are here visiting.  We are planning on doing some shopping at Woodfield Mall and IKEA, going to the movies, out to eat at our favorite place (Wilmot Stage Stop - my dad and I love the lobster there) and mom and I are going for pedicures.   

We are also preparing for our vacation next week.  We are going to Outer Banks in North Carolina for a week on the beach.  We rented a house with the in-laws.  We've been in the past and I love waking up in the morning and walking outside to the beach.  It's so relaxing!

One thing about me is I am a HUGE Dave Matthews fan!!  Let's just say that's usually what's playing in my car or on my iPod. We go every summer to see them play at Alpine Valley, but this year we will be on a family vacation in the Outer Banks, NC, during that concert.  So, we are leaving early and going to Darien Lakes, NY, to see them perform there.  The tickets arrived in the mail over the weekend and I am super excited!  Can't wait!!

(It's actually 8 days till Dave, but this was the Instagram pic I had of the tickets!)

In some of my free time, I've been creating some new units for next year.  We are going to be using the Dolch Word List for our sight words next year.  So I created a few different word wall packets.  I haven't decided on a theme yet, so I've been making a few different kinds to see which ones I like best. Here are some previews of the different themes.  Which ones do you like best?

I've also been working on a "Manners and Expectations" Posters Packet.  This packet includes a variety of "manners" and "expectations" posters that can be used in a variety of ways in your classroom.  These are great for posting a manner or the week or can be used in a variety of social emotional learning lessons.  There are also three headers you can use to post in your class - Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful.  These are the main expectations we use in our school.

We would love for you to link up and share what you've been doing this summer!!  
Please use the picture below to link back up to our blog and check out some of the other blogs that have linked up as well!!  We can't wait to hear what everyone has been up to!

In case you are new to Linky Parties, here are some helpful directions! There are a few ways to copy the image for the Linky Party.  
1. You can right click on the picture and choose "Copy Image," 
2. You can take a screen shot.  I'm not sure how you do this on a PC, but on a Mac press "shift command 4".  Then trace the object you want to take a picture of.  It will save the image to your desktop.  
Now you have the image to insert in your blog post and link back up to our blog.  


Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Made It!

It's definitely a Monday Made It post for me this week!  I have been non-stop working by butt off since school ending on June 12th!  I had 2 days of summer break and then I was back at again with teaching Summer Reading Recovery lessons, common core summer work (30+ hours), and tutoring!  Today was my last day of summer reading lessons and finished up common core work yesterday!  I am so excited to enjoy the whole month of July with relaxing days at the pool, catching up on some reading, and spending time with my hubby, family, and friends!

Earlier in the week as I was working with one of the students I tutor we worked on the strategy of "Reading is Thinking!"  We read a cute little book called "The Burglar Next Door."  This was a great way for my little guy to learn all about the different things we think about as we read.  On his post its, he wrote about a part he was surprised by, a question he was wondering about, a prediction he had, and his favorite part.   These cute little "Reading is Thinking" cards with sentence stems were a perfect way to help him write complete sentences about his thinking!  You can get a copy of these cards here!  Click here to learn more about how we used the "Thinking with Post- Its"during guided reading!


As I was tutoring my little friend, I thought it would be beneficial for me to check up on how he was doing with reading the 2nd grade dolch sight words.  Instead of placing flash cards in front of him or a sheet with a list of words, I created a colorful and engaging powerpoint to assess dolch sight words.  Here are some pictures and a small snapshot video of how to use the dolch sight words for assessment. I was pleased to see that he was able to read 95% of the sight words tested. Now I have a better understanding of where I need to continue or re-teach sight words while tutoring him.  You can pick up this pdf powerpoint here!

Later in the week I had the pleasure of playing in a "Parent-Kid" baseball game! {Side not, I am not a parent yet, but I got to play against my little 7 year old brother and his team with my mother-in-law!} We had such a fun time playing against the kids!  I was terrified for my life when my little bro-in-law was pitching against me!  I thought for sure I was going to get nailed by the ball!  I didn't know whether to whack it or let him strike me out!  I, of course, had to play hard ball and hit it! :)
 After the game the team had a fun picnic dinner at the beach in Barrington, Illinois.  I couldn't resist taking a few pictures! It was so quaint and cute!  Beautiful homes that overlooked the lake and fun little beach for the kids!
Later that night, little Ethan {brother-in-law} came over and we got to do a fun scavenger hunt around my house with double digit addition and subtraction task cards with QR codes!  He absolutely loved it!  He had no idea he was even doing academics!  Perfect way to get some extra practice in over the summer!  You can grab this fun activity here! You can also check out my post from earlier this year to see how it worked in the clasroom.  Click here for the post!
One of my newer things I am trying to do as I become all grown up is to be a better cook!  I really don't find any part of cooking enjoyable, but I do love good food! My mother-in-law introduced this yummy recipe to me last summer and I just had to make it again for a little summer get together I had with some of my teacher friends! This is a great orzo shrimp pasta dish that is a perfect side dish!   Click here for Barefoot Contessa's Orzo Shrimp Recipe!!
Lastly, these past 2 weeks have been very busy with making activities for Kindergarten Common Core units.  I had the pleasure of working with our K team and creating supplemental activities for helping our beginning learners to recognize numbers from 0-25.  This 100+ page package is filled with common core aligned activities that are colorful, interactive, and allows students to become familiar with numbers in lots of different ways! Click here to get a copy of your own package!

Hope you enjoyed today's Monday Made It!  Thanks so much for stopping by :)


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Giveaway Winner and Hello Bloglovin

Our 100 Followers Giveaway has come to an end.  First, we want to send out a BIG thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, followed us and other amazing bloggers, left sweet comments, and shared our giveaway on their blogs, facebook, instagram, and pinterest!!  We also want to send out a huge THANK YOU to our new blogging friends who were so generous to donate their AMAZING items to our giveaway.  We definitely loved hosting this giveaway and it will not be our last!

This has been an exciting celebration for us and we are thrilled to announce the winner . . . . . 

Congratulations Lori!!  I will be emailing you to make sure I have the correct email address.  Then over the next few days you will start receiving all of your amazing prizes!!  

Now, as most of you know, Google Reader is going away.   So, if you haven't converted the blogs you follow over to Bloglovin, here's a quick tutorial to help you out with this!  You don't want to lose out on keeping up with all of the amazing blogs out there!  So, I created a little tutorial to help.  

This should give you all you need to know about -  
"claiming your blog" (so that you can keep track of who's following you on Bloglovin)
importing the blogs you follow on Google Reader
creating a "follow me" button for your blog 
creating a counter to keep track of your followers

I have been a fan of Bloglovin for the past few months.  It's super easy to use and I love using the app on my phone also.  Check out a previous post I did on Bloglovin for more information.  Hope this was helpful for everyone!!  



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fantastic Giveaways and Under Construction . . .

We are working on updating the look and layout of our blog so please bear with us!!  We're trying out some different layouts to see what we like best and of course some of our previous widgets aren't cooperating and don't look quite right.  We hope to have it all worked out soon!!

But in the meantime, please be sure to enter our 100 follower giveaway if you haven't already! There are only 2 days left and it's full of amazing prizes!!

We are also participating in some other fabulous bloggers giveaways.  Be sure to head on over to Tori's Teacher Tips for her 800 Follower Giveaway.  800 Followers - AMAZING!!  We hope to reach that many teachers someday!

And Teaching with a Touch of Twang is having a 300 Follower Giveaway!!  Be sure to check out Day 1 and Day 2 of her giveaway!

Also, stop on over at Head Over Heels for Joanne's 300 follower give away!! She has 30+ bloggers and 40+ prizes to give away!! Her gave away is broken down from teacher bloggers grades 3-6 and K-2!!  Head on over there for some more great prizes!

We didn't get a chance to post our Sunny Summer Days Linky Party, but we will have that up next week, so be sure to check back!  We hope everyone is having a relaxing and fun summer!!

*Carrie and Caitlin

Saturday, June 15, 2013

100 Follower Giveaway!!!

We are beyond excited that we have reached that first milestone of 100+ followers on our blog!  We are also celebrating that we are close to 300 followers on our Instagram site.
(We love Instagram!!)

We just started our blog in January and have enjoyed connecting with other teachers out in the blogging world.  It's been such a great experience to learn new things from other bloggers and to share what we are doing with other teachers out there.

So as a thank you to all of our followers, we are hosting a fantastic giveaway!!  And some fabulous fellow bloggers have donated some amazing prizes for our celebration!!  We are beyond appreciative of these wonderful ladies!!!  Couldn't have done it without you!!

So, check out the fantastic prizes you could win!  Then fill out the rafflecopter!  Not only are you entering to win some amazing prizes, you are also going to be discovering some amazing new people to follow!!  

Now fill out that rafflecopter so you can get as many entries as possible!!  You don't want to miss out on  these amazing products!!  And thank you again for being fantastic followers!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Carrie and Caitlin