Monday, July 21, 2014

Florida Teacher's Blog Hop

My blogger friends and I would like to welcome you to our Florida teacher blog hop! But before we get started why don’t you go grab yourself a nice tall cup of coffee… Now sit back and relax while we take you on a quick tour of The Sunshine State. While here don’t forget to grab yourself a few FREEBIES and remember to enter for a chance to win our Bundles of Sunshine!image I live in Miami which is about 3 ½ hours from Disney World…my family’s second home! We are very fortunate to live so close to the parks and so we usually make at least one trip a year to Disney. As a matter of fact, just last week we were up in Universal and Islands of Adventure visiting the brand new Harry Potter rides….AMAZING… they were definitely worth the 5:00 am wake up call!!!!! image I’ve lived in Miami pretty much my entire life… except for the 5 months that I went away to college in Tampa, FL. I will be honest, though, in telling you that my husband and I have considered moving due to how congested and over populated Miami has become. However, for the time being this is still our home :0) imageLiving in sunny South Florida sure has its benefits… especially for those like myself that HATE the cold weather. You see one of the best parts of living here is that you can wear flip flops, shorts, and tank tops pretty much year round. You see the weather in Florida is H-O-T, hot!!!!! And I must say for the past few years it has been a scorcher. 
Many people hear Miami and automatically think of South Beach. However, my family and I don’t get out to SB quite often. Instead, one of our favorite places to go on a Saturday is to Everglades National Park. This park is said to be one of the most unusual public parks in the US. and I happen to think it is also quite amazing! Take a look …  Female American Anhinga with Young at Nest - Everglades National Park, Florida Dollarphotoclub_24105585 The Florida everglades is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles can co-exist?… Interesting… This park has so much to do and see… you can boat, hike, bike, canoe, fish, and camp just to name a few activities you can do here. What you will surely see in this park is plenty of wildlife such as alligators, manatees, spoonbills, egrets, and these amazing birds called anhingas that appear to scuba dive underwater looking for fish and then suddenly emerge on the surface. So now that you’ve learned a little bit about Miami, it’s time for a few FREEBIES! For the next 3 days you will have an opportunity to check out each of our blogs to snag yourself some wonderful ideas for your own classroom. To grab my freebie all you have to do is click on the image below.
image This freebie would be a wonderful Back to School activity to use with your students during those hectic first few weeks of school when you’re getting to know your students. You can also check out the 3 packs below that are wonderful Back to School resources. They will be on sale for this weekend only!
The Florida teachers below have two fantastic giveaways for you! You can enter once from each one of our pages. All you have to do is follow my blog! Hop around to all the blogs listed below, and be sure to follow them to get more entries. The more entries you have, the more likely you are to win! Each pack also includes a Starbucks gift card (because, well, a teacher's gotta have a coffee!).

Come find out more about the beautiful state of Florida by reading about these other sweet teachers!


Monday, July 14, 2014

The Adventures of Ai

Slide1Just recently I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy (e-book) of New York Times bestselling author Craig Bouchard’s latest children’s book called The Adventures of Ai.

This adventure story which debuts in just a few short days (July 16th), is part fantasy and part non-fiction; and although it targets boys and girls between the ages of 9-12… I quickly became immersed in the plot right from the beginning and enjoyed the adventurous ride alongside Ai.

Here’s a sneak peek…
The Adventures of Ai game and book trailer

So now that I’ve caught your attention with beautiful sights and sounds, what exactly is this story all about…

The Adventures of Ai is a tale about never giving up! A topic which hits close to home with many of our own students.

Ai, a young, brave girl learns that with every struggle she faces while on her adventure to find the secret treasure, she learns a valuable lesson in return. One of the lessons she quickly realizes is that she cannot do it all alone. She needs the help of her animal friends and family.

While on her adventures with her faithful horse Chuugi, a bluebird named Honmei, and a deer called Yorokobi Ai encounters magical trees, monsters, secrets, and treasures. There is never a dull moment!

Besides painting a beautiful tale through the use of fantasy, Craig Bouchard incorporates art, history, poetry, music, and even some math through the story.

And for those students that at first might not pick up a book of this nature, there IS a 3D videogame for iOS, Android and Kindle that might just be the spark they need. Click here to check that out.

Finally, I am happy to share that in celebration of the book launch, I am hosting a giveaway in which 2 lucky winners will receive an e-book copy of The Adventures of Ai . The winners will be selected on Friday, July 18th. All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck to All!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lets talk patterns & a FREEBIE

power of patterns

We live in a world surrounded by patterns and half of the time we don’t even realize it!

Every day we drive through neighborhoods of neatly organized houses, we walk into stores filled with aisle upon aisle of merchandise that have been carefully categorized, and we stroll through parking lots of neatly spaced cars. Yet, do we ever stop to realize that these are ALL patterns and that they make our lives easier?


Patterns are EVERYWHERE and most of the time we fail to take notice of them. Unfortunately, our students do the same thing…

I don’t think we place enough emphasis on the Power of Patterns in our classroom. At least I know that I don’t…


Just recently, I attended a 3 day workshop that opened my eyes to the importance of teaching our children to recognize patterns all around us. Not only are most patterns BEAUTIFUL to look at, but they also bring order to our world and make our lives much easier!


Because math is a study of patterns, if we can encourage our students to be on a constant quest for them, math will become MUCH more exciting and engaging! Let’s not even get into the long term benefits (such as Algebra) that our kiddos will reap from learning such a simple concept at a very young age.


Why else should children be pattern detectives? Why is it NOT enough to teach about patterns when we get to the chapter in our books on patterns?


In an effort to introduce my students to patterns right from the very start of the school year, I have created the following BACK to SCHOOL Coded 100 Chart Activity that I can’t wait to share with my 3rd graders. (If you’d like a free copy of the activity simply click on any of the pictures below.)

Pattern Puzzle cover page JPEG

Since my students are still on summer break, I tried the activity out with my own son and he absolutely LOVED it! As a matter of fact he made a point to tell me that if I make another one, he wants to be the first to “test it out”. (That’s a winner in my book!)

So what is this activity all about? Basically, students are given a mat that resembles a blank 100’s chart grid.

mat JPEG

They are then given 15 puzzle pieces and their goal is to work with a partner to assemble the puzzle. The key to solving this task, however, is to figure out the patterns that are present.Slide9

Now when you complete this activity with your own students, I want you to try REALLY hard NOT to offer them any clues. Instead guide them by asking questions such as… What do you notice about the different puzzle pieces? What do you know already about puzzles? What strategy you think you should try out first?


Remember, the goal is to get your students to notice the patterns…


When the puzzle has been completed join your students in doing the HAPPY DANCE!!!!!!! Then discuss ALL the patterns they were able to find and how it helped them solve the puzzle.

I hope YOUR students will have as much fun as my son did completing this Back to School Pattern Puzzle!

Stop… look around… do you notice any patterns?


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Giveaway Winners

Thank you SO much to everyone that participated in this weeks Parent Notes Giveaway!

Todays 3 lucky winners are none other than….. drumroll please…


Congratulations, ladies!

I will be contacting you today so that I can get your prize out to you as soon as possible.

For those of you that participated and did not win this time around, I do have some great news to share! There is another GIVEAWAY right around the corner, so hang in there and stay tuned…


Monday, July 7, 2014

Manic Monday Freebie

Slide1Hi there! Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend and were able to enjoy some glorious fireworks…

Now that the weekend has once again slipped through our fingers, it’s back to Monday. Although it’s not exactly a Manic Monday for me since we are off from school, I’ve still decided to go ahead and link up with Charity Preston over at Classroom Freebies.

Since in a few short weeks most of us will be scrambling once again with Back To School prep., I’ve decided to share a resource that I think is a necessity for every teacher’s bag of tricks. Today I’m sharing with you my Editable Weekly Behavior Chart which is part of my Parent Notes Bundle. I told you all about yesterday, but if you missed it just simply click here to go check it out.

Slide6What I love about this freebie, besides the fact that it is F-R-E-E, is that it is EDITABLE! If at any time you feel the need to customize the behaviors or work habits listed, simply click on the text boxes and voila. You can customize them to your liking. It’s that simple!

Although you may not be using a weekly behavior chart at the beginning of the year, it is always good to have one handy. So save this puppy to your jump drive and you’ll be thanking me later on :0)

I wonder

Do you have a Weekly Behavior Chart that you use with your students? Or were you like me… frustrated that I hadn’t found the right one yet? I’d love to hear from you…


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Parent Notes and a Giveaway


In preparation for next year, I decided to update my Parent Notes bundle…  I’ll be honest… it has taken me FOREVER and on numerous occasions I even felt as if I was giving birth, again!!!!!

But it’s okay, because I am sooooooooo proud of the finished product! It is PERFECT and BEAUTIFUL and JUST WHAT I HAD HOPED FOR… thanks in part to all of my IG friends and their input!

Not only are ALL of the notes EDITABLE, but they also come in black/white and color. I don’t know about you, but whenever I print in black and white I like to use brightly colored paper …



So how do I store all of my notes? Especially since there are more than 45 of them? It’s simple, I store them inside of this plastic expanding file that has 25 pockets.



In case your wondering how I fit over 45 notes into 25 pockets… I don’t. You see I like to print ahead letters that I use frequently or letters that don’t need to be modified.


I also like to group some letters together. For example, I store my parent conference letters in the same pocket as my conference reminder sheets…


If you’re not too keen on the idea of an expanding file you can keep them in a 1 inch binder or print them on need basis.

The key is having the letters written and accessible. I can tell you from experience that if I have a weekly behavior chart handy and ready to go, the chances of me using it are greater than if I have to sit there and create it from scratch.

Slide6 I’ve even included a few blank cards …


Now that I’ve shared my 3rd child with ya’ll, it’s time for a GIVEAWAY.

On Wednesday, 7/9/14 I will be giving 3 lucky winners my Editable Parent Notes bundle.  To be entered to win, all you have to do is…

giveaway JPEG

(If you click on the image you can download it from google docs)

Good luck to all of you! I can’t wait to see who the winners are…


Friday, June 27, 2014

An apology with a FREEBIE or two…

Hi there, Bloggy friends…

Well, I HOPE you’re still my friend even though I’ve been a very BAD buddy lately!

I know I’m guilty of not writing or sharing with you in a while and for that I APOLOGIZE PROFUSELY! I cross my heart and girl scout promise to try to stay more in touch and connected with you. Actually I have a few surprises and giveaways in the works that I am quite excited about!

In an effort to try to make it up to you… (this is not a bribe…wink… wink…) I am linking up with Teaching Blog Addict for todays

  Freebie Friday at TBA

The first freebie I would like to share with you is one that I find to be greatly useful at the beginning of the school year during those CRAZY back to school days!


When you download this resource from my TPT store you will receive an editable calendar for the month of august…


You will also get…


And also…


…Finally all of these items ARE EDITABLE and come in both color or black in white. Aren’t they adorable. I love how this August set coordinates with each other. They just make me smile!!!!!!


All About ME Writing Papers FREEBIE JPEG

These 6 different writing sheets are not only ADORABLE but perfect for the first week of school. While you’re collecting, sorting, and storing supplies you can have students work on their All About Me writing papers.

In the blank space at the top of the sheet you can have them draw an illustration of what they like to do, what they did over the summer, their family, etc… and then on the lines they can choose to write you a friendly letter telling you a little bit about themselves.

Or you can simply have them write to tell you about their summer, their favorite subjects in school, what they think the school year is going to be like, what some of their goals for the year are… The possibilities are endless!

One of my favorite parts, besides the writing of course, is the self portrait at the bottom of each sheet. (I always enjoy seeing what facial expressions my students choose to draw on their faces. It’s amazing how much information you can gather simply from a self portrait.)

When students finish writing, mount on construction paper and attach to a bulletin board. Voila you have your first bulletin board of the school year finito/ done… you’ve also learned about your new class, and their precious works of art will bring oohhhs and ahhhs from everyone entering your classroom!

Freebie picture JPEG

… especially in the beginning of the school year when time is extremely valuable to us!

Take care my friends… I like forward to chatting with you soon!


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