Friday, December 13, 2013


If you are looking for an affordable way to spoil your students this Christmas, then you have come to the right place.  How about a Christmas coupon book? 
Last year I gave these out and my students LOVED redeeming them throughout the rest of the school year.  It was really cute to see who spent them all in the first week and who saved them right up until the end of the school year.  Those coupons sure did burn a whole in the pocket of some of my students. 
This book of coupons is completely free and you’ll only have to print, cut, and staple to prepare your booklet.  The following five coupons along with a cover page are included:
  • No homework pass
  • 20 Minutes free computer time
  • Eat lunch with your teacher
  • Switch seats with a friend for the day
  • Bring a stuffed animal to school
I have updated the coupons with an expiration date of "last day of school" and I have changed my name to “your teacher.”  The pictures shown are from last year, since I’m currently on maternity leave and won’t be seeing my students this Christmas. Just click on the picture above to download the coupons. 
Since I love all that glitters, I also gave my students a set of sparkly pencils with a cute gift tag. 
Again, I have changed the date to 2015.  Feel free to click on the pic to download your free set of gift tags!
Time for me to get back to my sweet bundle of joy who is one month old today!!! OMG, where is the time going??
Disclaimer:  This post is a blast from the past and basically an update of a post I wrote last year after receiving requests to change the datesSmile

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cyber Monday and A Special Delivery

Hooray! Tomorrow is Cyber Monday and I know I’ll be glued to my computer/phone/tablet trying to snag some good deals. Did you hear that Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Cyber Monday & Tuesday sale?  All day Monday 12-2 and Tuesday 12-3, you can save up to 28% off every item in my store!  Woo hoo!  Be sure to enter the promo code CYBER at checkout to receive the full 28% discount!  Click on the picture below to head to my store.

Cyber Monday Sale Button_3_Creative Clips 

Just added to my store is a resource I’ve been working on for my classroom for quite a while.  I’ve created a student dictionary for my students to keep in their desks to use as a spelling helper.  They use this dictionary when they write and they add to it as new words are introduced in class.  Anytime I introduce new spelling words or word wall words, the students highlight them or write them in their dictionaries.  Included in this book are the first 300 Fry words and the first 220 Dolch words.  Click the picture below to check it out!


And I’ve saved the best for last!  I gave birth to my precious baby girl three weeks ago!  She is absolutely perfect and I’ve been enjoying my time at home with her and her brother.  So, if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the last nine months, the answer is “pregnant.”  Now I’m just loving every second I get with my sweet family. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale

Has school started yet for you?  Whether you’ve already met your new students or you’re lucky enough to go back after Labor Day, this is the perfect time to stock up on your teaching resources!  Tomorrow and Monday, August 18th and 19th, everything in my store will be 20% off.  But wait, it gets better…if you enter the promotional code BTS13, you’ll receive an additional 10% off.  Wow!  Huge savings!  The next sitewide sale won’t be until November, so don’t wait! Click the picture above to head right over to my TpT shop to stock up for the school year ahead.
For all of you who use my HM Theme Resource Packs, I have great news!  I’ve finally finished Theme 10 and it’s in my TpT shop.  Click on the picture to check it out.
Now that Theme 10 is complete, I was able to put together two new HM bundle packs.  Click on either of the pictures to have a look.
I CANNOT wait to empty my wish list right into my shopping cart tomorrow morning!  I have at least 20 things I’ll be purchasing!  Don’t forget to use the promotional code BTS13.  Happy shopping!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Meet the Teacher

So, it feels like months ago, but recently I was nominated by two different bloggers for the Liebster Award.  I figured this was the perfect way to help you get to know me a little better.  Vanessa from The Educated Crown nominated me, so thank-you, Vanessa!!!  I was also nominated for this award by Caitlin from Always Sunny in First.  Thank-you, Caitlin!  Click on their links to check out their cute blogs. 
According to Vanessa’s blog, The Liebster Award is defined this way:
Liebster is German and means "dearest," "lovely," "cute," "beloved," and "welcome".  What a great word!  Since blogging is about creating community, this award is a fabulous way to spread the word about new blogs.
To accept this award I must do the following:
1. Link back to the blogs that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees- my nominees can answer the same questions I did. 
6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them 
Here are the 11 questions presented to me by Vanessa at The Educated Crown.
1.  What grade do you teach? Is this your favorite? I teach first grade.  Yes, it is my absolute favorite.  I love the age of my students and their sweet personalities, I love the curriculum, and I could not imagine teaching any other grade.
2.  What's your favorite season? Without a doubt, it’s the fall/back to school season.  There’s something about seeing high school football practice outside my classroom window that just puts me in the fall mood.  I love the temperature of the air in fall, the changing color of the leaves, everything pumpkin (especially foodSmile), and the many festivals and markets that pop up in the fall season.
 3.  What is your favorite sweet concoction? I just LOVE New York cheesecake.  Sometimes with strawberries or cherries, but usually plain.  I also LOVE Diet Coke with cherry syrup, like the kind from Sonic.  Yum!
4.  Do you have children? Yes! My son turned two in February and he is the apple of my eye!  Every day I am amazed by the smart things he says or remembers, like finding octagons when we go on walks!  We are also expecting a little girl this fall!! 
5.  Do I have any pets?  Yes, our first “child” was our dog, Mr. Pooker Boo.  He’s a poodle mix.  He is 7 years old and was our only “baby” for five years.  He’s adjusted well to the role of big brother and now lives a life more like a dog, but he’s still pretty spoiled. 
6.  What is your favorite subject to teach?  Definitely math!  Even though I have my master’s degree as a reading specialist, I really enjoy teaching math.  I love moving from point a to point b with my firsties and making it fun and meaningful along the way. 
7.  What is your favorite TV show? Breaking Bad, which starts tonight!!!!  I also like Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Modern Family, and Parks & Rec. 
8. If you weren't a teacher, what career path might you have chosen? Nursing.  My husband was seriously ill many years ago, which really interested me in medicine.  For much of that time, I was his nurse at home.  That experience taught us both so much, but most of all it taught us to appreciate every single second we have and not to take anything for granted.  The fact that we are now able to have children and raise a family is honestly something we at one time were sure we’d never get to experience.
9.  Do you use a MAC or PC? I use a PC. 
10.  5. How do you relax? What?  Relax?  This does not happen with a two year old.  I do however, fall asleep from exhaustion on the couch most nights! Lol!
11.  If you could learn something new, what would it be? I would absolutely love to get a “good” camera and really learn how to use it.  I am terrible at taking pictures. 
11 Random Facts About Me
1.  I LOVE glitter, sparkles, & sequins!
 2.  I love RAINBOWS, especially rainbows with puffy clouds. 
3.  I also love pretty much anything else from the 80’s. 
 4.  I love Jay-Z!  Who would guess by looking at this 35 year-old mama that I love rap?!
5.  I know how to drive stickSmile!
6.  I cannot whistleSad smile.
7.  I am obsessed with pop music from the summer of ‘91.  Weird, I know!
8.  I am extremely self-reflective, almost to a fault. 
.  I run into people I know ALL THE TIME in random places, like Boston and Philadelphia.  We just moved to a new town and I ran into an old friend, right in front of our house, about an hour after we closed on our house!  I had no clue she even lived in this town. 
10.  No one I work with knows about this blog!  Shhhh!  Actually, only my mom and husband know about it!
11.  I HATE steak!
Here are the 5 blogs that I am nominating for the Liebster award:
Sample’s Superstars
Look Who’s Teaching
Over the First Grade Rainbow
One, Two, Three Math Time
These are some really great blogs that you should definitely check out!

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Back to School Center *FREEBIE*

Hi loyal readers!  I know I’ve been absolutely MIA from this blog for a few months!  To make it up to you, I’ve just uploaded a brand new freebie to start the new school year.  This is a math center that focuses on patterning.  Use the pretty cover sheet and student directions to display at your center.  There’s even a recording sheet included to hold your new firsties accountable for their work. 

Click the picture to download.


We’ve had quite a bit of excitement for the last few months!  I have exciting news to share!  I’m expecting a baby girl this fall!!!!  And…we moved into the house of our dreams last week!  Woo hoo!!!!  It’s been a rough road getting to this point and it certainly looked like it could all fall apart quite a few times, but here we are and we couldn’t be happier!  I hope that helps to explain why I’ve not been blogging for a while! 

Since yesterday was the first day of August, the official “back to school month,” I went into my classroom to work all day yesterday.  I mainly spent my time purging all the junk I’ve accumulated over the last 12 years (gasp!).  I have SO much more to do before school starts!  I’ll post pictures as soon as things start to look presentable.  Enjoy the freebie!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hello bloglovin’!

In case you haven’t heard, today is Google Reader’s last day.  If you follow hundreds of blogs through Google Reader like I do, you’ll want to make the switch to bloglovin’

bloglovin’ is easy to use and making the switch is super quick.  You’ll just need to use your email to create a username and password and bloglovin’ will transfer all of the blogs you follow.  Seriously, less than five minutes is all it took for me to make the switch.  Click here to head to bloglovin’ to read Shining and Sparkling in First Grade and all of the other great blogs you follow before it’s too late!

And I PROMISE to be a better blogger really, really soon!  Life has been VERY hectic at our house with a move and a new baby on the way.  Blogging, Teachers Pay Teachers, and other school-related happenings have been on the back burner for a few months, but I plan on being back and better than ever before too long!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Brand New Freebie for You (No foolin!)

No, this is not an April Fools joke.  I’ve created a great freebie for you to start the month of April.  Hopefully this will help those of you who are suffering through spring break withdrawal.  This is my last day of break, although we only had off Friday and today, so it’s more like a long weekend.  I can’t believe the spring break some of you get.  This girl is JEALOUS!

Onto the freebie.  When I looked at my students’ most recent MAP test results and also as I discussed their report cards at my most recent set of parent-teacher conferences, I noticed a recurring theme: We need to work on computation.  It seems that as we’ve gotten into other math skills, such as money, tens and ones, etc. I haven’t been reviewing addition and subtraction enough.  So, this teacher is making a change.  I’m finding addition and subtraction worksheets, centers, and games wherever I can to help my students review these skills.
Of course I wasn’t completely satisfied with what I found, so I created this freebie to use at my math center and I wanted to share it with all of you!
You can click on the picture to get from google docs.  It is also available in my TpT store.
If you download, please become a follower of my blog.Smile
I've linked up with the wonderful blog Freebie-Licious for this post.  Click the pick at the top of this post to head over there for more great freebies from all sorts of bloggers.  PS~If you did not check out their blog hop yesterday, you must do it now.  Sooooo many awesome freebies!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hippity Hoppity, a sale is on its way!

To celebrate the {finally} warmer spring weather here in PA, I’m slashing prices in my TpT store for the weekend.  Hop on over to my store for 20% off of all my products!  Fill your basket shopping cart full of the eggs teaching resources you’ve been eyeing up. The sale starts tomorrow, 3-30 and runs through Sunday night, 3-31.


While you’re shopping, be sure to check out my newest product!


I’m just in love with these cute pages to teach the sounds of y!



Friday, March 15, 2013

Five for Friday

We had a great week this week.  From 19 parent-teacher conferences in one day to cooking pancakes for my students, we did a lot of learning and had a lot of fun too.   


1.  Swooning over spoons!  This week our phonics skill was the oo sound like in the word spoon.  So, we made this adorable anchor chart. 




I wrote on plastic spoons with a black Sharpie, then taped them to chart paper.  Easy-peasy!

2.  We held Traffic School in our classroom.  An important concept of print is interpreting environmental print.  The MAP test we take has a bit of a focus on street signs.  So off to traffic school we went!


I posted 10 traffic signs around the classroom and the students used clip boards to draw pictures of the signs and try to interpret their meanings. 


3.  Parent-Teacher Conferences

Well, no more parent-teacher conferences until next year.  I had 19 conferences on Wednesday afternoon/evening.  I was sp-ent by the time I got home that night.  Lucky for me I only had 2 conferences on Thursday. 

This is the sign above my classroom windows, that they parents faced as they sat with me at my table. 


4.  This baby came with our class book order this week!  I spent pretty much every bonus point I had on this sweet puppy.  Cannot wait to use it!


5.  And finally, today I made my first graders pancakes.  Our main story this week was If You Give A Pig A Pancake.  So, of course we read a recipe so that we are understanding how to read to perform a task.  Then I got busy and cooked pancakes for my class. 


I had some toppings to pretty up our pancakes (cherries, whipped cream, syrup, chocolate chips, and sprinkles).  The students were allowed to choose 2 toppings.  050

The students had to complete this paper to write about what they asked for when I gave them a pancake.  I’ll compile all their responses into a class book to add to our classroom library.


I’m looking forward to next week, when this will be at our pocket chart center!



Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Five for Friday

Well, it was quite a week!  We had a *Snow Day* Wednesday for what was predicted to be over a foot of snow, but what amounted to maybe six inches.  The snow was pretty much melted by noon and then it rained for a little while.  So I enjoyed an extra day off with my little guy and spent some time working on report cards & drinking lattes.
Speaking of report cards, in my district we do them SIX times a year.  Yes, six.  I feel like I am constantly doing report cards.  We will be handing them out next week at our spring parent teacher conference.  And here is the start of my Five for Friday.
#1---I am so glad I created this Parent-Teacher Conference packet.  It has been invaluable in helping me prepare for my conferences.  It includes anything and everything you could need for before, during, and after parent-teacher conferences.  Click on the picture to check it out in my little store.1
#2---We made cupcakes and birthday cards to say happy birthday to a certain famous author who has a March birthday.  015017
#3---We learned about the long o sounds spelled with oa and ow.  Check out our fun anchor chart:014
My kiddos really loved these two videos as a part of our oa and ow learning. 
Electric Company oa owElectric Company oa racer
#4---Our sparkly shamrocks!  These were created from an idea featured in an old issue of The Mailbox magazine.  It’s a simple craft using small paper plates, gold glitter, green paint, and a craft stick.  I’m planning on “planting” them in green floral foam next week to display during parent-teacher conferences.018
#5---Cupcakes!  Our pocket chart center this week is one of my favorites: Cupcake Compound Words.  Check it out in my store!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nouns, Verbs, & Sweet, Sweet Adjectives

So, we are still in Valentine candy leftover land in my classroom.  After our party, we had sooooo many leftover conversation hearts, with no real plan for their use.  At our party last week, we did the old favorites: we estimated how many will fit into a large heart and graphed how many of each color were in our bag.
But there were bags and bags of these suckers left and these little hearts were really starting to bug me.  I just couldn’t decide what to do with them, until….Voila!  It hit me! 
I gave each student a bag of hearts and their assignment was to read the fun messages on the hearts and find two nouns, two verbs, and two adjectives.  They L*O*V*E*D this activity.  There was giggling all around as hearts with phrases like, “Shake it,” and “Let’s Boogie,” were read. 
This activity was part of a week spent learning about adjectives.  Yesterday, we watched this School House Rocks video on You Tube about adjectives and I still can’t get this song out of my head.  My kiddos are humming it constantly too!
School House Rocks Adjectives
Then I gave each student a word card with an adjective written on it.  I gave out words like cold, fuzzy, clean, fancy, etc. and the students had to put it with something in the room that could be described by their adjective.  Again, they L*O*V*E*D it. One student left her vest on her desk, which was subsequently labeled with the words soft, plain, and smooth.  Another student had her desk labeled as clean and her water bottle labeled as fancy.  And here’s the best when we discussed this activity from yesterday, every.single.student remembered their adjective and the noun it described!  LOVE those moments!  I have definitely added all of these activities to my bag of tricks when teaching about adjectives.
Click on any of the pictures above to head to links for these activities.  Have a great weekend friends!