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Exhaustion and Excitement

I feel as though I haven't posted a blog post in quite some time... I find it so hard to balance teaching, creating items for TPT, blogging, and life in general. Does anyone else have this issue? My husband and I don't even have children, so I have absolutely no idea how teachers who are moms find the time to do anything! You are quite impressive!

2 things recently occurred of which to take note (and celebrate!).

1. I survived another round of Parent/Teacher Conferences. This year my school did them on a Tuesday and Thursday--right after a regular school day. Was it hard and exhausting? You betcha. I am glad it's over! Sleeping never felt so good! 

2. The next exciting occurence was that my TPT store recently gathered over 500 followers! 500!!! It felt like not too long ago I was celebrating 300! So in my excitement and joy I have decided to host another fabulous giveaway. This time I asked for donations from other TPT authors-- who so kindly sent me all kinds of FABULOUS goodies. Be sure you enter this giveaway!

Grand prize? A bundle of over 15 TPT resources! Items range from 1st-4th grade material-- and there are items that cover math, reading, writing, and MORE! You don't want to miss out-- so be sure you sign up below. 2 runner-ups will receive a $10 TPT gift card. Check it out:


Feelin' the Stress from the Test... Plus Another Giveaway!

Anybody else tired of standardized testing? I feel like since spring break all I've done is make my students practice, practice, practice for our end of the year MAP Test. I feel kind of bad because we don't have much time to do anything fun! Missing that month of school for snow/ice has been a killer!

I've spent so much time prepping my kiddos (and myself) for the test that I haven't had much time for my TPT store or Facebook page! But I finally reached another milestone-- 200 followers on TPT! And one of my free products was even featured in the newsletter! I was so happy that I took a screenshot of the email! :)

If you're looking for some fun spring freebies-- check out these out:

To celebrate my TPT milestone-- I am hosting another giveaway! 1 lucky winner will get a $15 gift card to Target (because who doesn't love that store??) and 2 other winners will be able to pick ANY item from my TPT store for free. Enter below for your chance to win :) Best of luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spring Has Sprung: Poetry Blog Hop

Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog on your way through the hop! 

The topic I would love to discuss today is a relatively simple one: Haiku poetry. I just introduced my 3rd graders to haikus last week-- and they seemed to enjoy it! In fact, I caught one of them creating more haikus after finishing classwork (which always makes my heart glad). 

I love haikus because they are simple-- yet require critical thinking. Just in case you're not familiar, I will show you a few examples! The first is a silly haiku:
But of course, haikus can also be serious and thoughtful:
In case you haven't figured out the format of the haiku-- it's super easy. A haiku is 3 lines long. The first and third line have 5 syllables. The middle line has 7 syllables. A total of 17 syllables. Here is how I used it in my class:

1. Brainstorm topics and words that relate to spring. Have students fill out a graphic organizer for their 5 senses-- I have also included a graphic organizer in my haiku download (at the end of this post).
2. Have students pick 1 topic and write down a few sentences about it (this will help them come up with better haiku sentences and phrases).
3. Introduce the idea of haiku (read a few, show a few on your Smart Board, etc.) Explain the syllables and practice counting them.
4. Pick one topic about spring and work as a class to write a haiku. 
5. Let students write their own springtime haikus. I let mine do it on the back of their planning sheets. 
6. After the kids finished their writing, I went around and checked the number of syllables and spellings. Then I gave them a copy of the final draft paper (also in my download). 
7. I stapled those babies up on my spring themed bulletin board. A fun and easy decoration! 

Here is the finished product:

Click HERE to download your FREE haiku planning sheet and final draft templates.

Thanks for stopping by and downloading! Make sure you click the button below to hop over to the next blog!

40 Earth Day Freebies

I absolutely love searching around TPT and Pinterest for fabulous ideas to use in my classroom. This past week I've stumbled upon several different Earth Day activities and printables-- so I've decided to share! 

Here we go! Click the links below the pictures to visit the products and/or read the original posts!

FREE Earth Day Writing Activities

12. Coffee Filter Earth (Black Hand-prints)
FREE Earth Day Academics
  1. Earth Day Cause and Effect (2 pages)
  2. Earth Day Center: Homophone Match
  3. Earth Day Game Board and Blank Task Cards (4 pages)
  4. Earth Day Article: "Fighting For Our Earth" (2 pages)
FREE Earth Day Printable Posters
  1. Earth Day 8x10 Printable Freebie-- from "Nothing But Country"
  2. 12 Free Printable Posters
  3. Love Earth Poster
  4. Reuse, Reduce, Recycle Poster
  5. I "heart" the Earth and Trees Poster
FREE Earth Day Clip Art
6. Earth Day Tree Clip Art  

Lastly, here is 1 more freebie (my own)! Make sure you follow my store on TPT to receive updates about new products, sales, and giveaways! I only need a few more followers before I reach another goal and can host another giveaway!

Snow, Grace, & Springtime FREEBIES Linky

We've had more snow days-- MORE-- which makes about... 24 days now. I'm pretty sick of snow and cold. 

Thanks to all the snow and such I've had a LOT of time to work on my stuff for my Teachers Pay Teachers store. But I am missing my kiddos and my classroom. So sadly I don't have any stories to share right now... 

I think I need to step away from my computer and create something just for myself. Have you heard the song "How He Loves" by David Crowder? I just love those lyrics-- and I saw this really cool canvas on pinterest where they paint it to look like an ocean-- and then have some of the lyrics on the painting. I think that's my next "project". Here is an example: 

On to other news-- I recently met a "milestone" (if we can call it such) by gaining over 100 Facebook followers! Yay! If you aren't following me yet-- click HERE-- make sure you click "Like" and download your "Fan Freebie".

Because of my excitement I'm going to host another giveaway-- and the 3 winners will get their choice of ANY item from my store (whatever best fits their needs)-- But we will get to that in a second!

Here are a few of the items I've made over these superfluous snow days (Click the pics to see the products and their descriptions):

Now on to the FREE stuff! First things first-- enter my giveaway to win an item from my store. And then-- if you have made (or you have used) a FREE item about spring for your classroom, then I want you to link it up. The first one is my FREE spring acrostic poem template-- just revamped it this week-- be sure to check it out! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And here is the Springtime FREEBIES linkup! I've already posted a few I found to get us started!


The Big Day! (Plus a GIVEAWAY!)

The big day has finally arrived! I know it seems silly when other TPT creators have over 1000 followers-- but to me 100 is a big deal. I am so excited that I'm hosting a giveaway! Check it out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway I also finally finished my packet for Main Idea & Details. It has a fun football theme-- I'm pretty excited to use it with my 3rd graders. My boys ADORE anything football related-- so I wanted to make sure it was something they would like to use! Here are a few pics-- click the cover image to visit my TPT store and download it!

Forcefully In Motion

If there is one thing to be said about so many snow days-- it's that you act like a whirlwind of teaching when you return to school. We calculated 2 more full weeks-- then a week of spring break-- then only a few more weeks after that until our end of the year state test. I am officially starting to worry. 

My biggest struggle is not that my students may do poorly on a standardized test. I am more worried about sending them to 4th grade unprepared. It is almost March, and I have yet to teach them about fractions and decimals. Having taught 4th grade last year, I know that fractions and decimals are an essential skill. I apologize in advance to my fellow teachers! 

Enough ranting-- here are the 5 things I've loved this week!

 In science we have to cover the topic of forces and motions. I had absolutely how to teach this in a fun way-- until I remembered I had purchased this unit last summer:
Forces and Motion: A Science Unit for Kids!
You can click the link to visit the entire unit-- it's from Miss Decarbo's store. One of the activities in the unit involved 6 hands-on centers to experiment with some different forces and motions. My kiddos LOVED it! They didn't need very long at the stations-- but it was a great way to introduce the idea of friction to them. Here are a few pics:
Experimenting with a top
Bouncy ball station
Pushing a car
Marbles station
 If you teach 3rd grade science-- this unit is a lifesaver!
One thing I'm super excited about is one of my freebies from my TPT store (I wrote about it last week)-- Well, I put in on a link up-- and it got chosen to be the featured item! Click below to check it out!
The 3rd thing I'm loving this week is the start up of my TPT store Facebook page-- I know this all sounds silly-- but I never even knew these possibilities were out there! Click the icon to see my page-- Click "l.ike" to be in on special offers and deals from my store :)

The fourth thing I'm loving this week is this one piece of clipart that I drew on my computer. It is so hard to draw using a mouse-- I will probably never attempt it again. I am going to look into a stylus for my tablet-- maybe that would work better. But the picture is goofy and makes me smile. Here it is (please don't judge!)

Lastly, I am loving all the Olympic coverage-- I'm sad it will be ending shortly. I wish it could be on all year long-- but I guess that would make it less special. *sigh* I will wait another 2 years for the summer Olympics to return!
If you click the pic-- it takes you to a website with a countdown. As of now, only 895 more days! Yay!

Hope you had a great week!

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