Sunday, July 20, 2014


I am sure by now most of you, if not ALL of you, have heard about the amazing TpT Conference that was held last Friday in Las Vegas! Some of you may have even seen me there! (If I got a picture with you, send it to me!) 

What an AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING trip it was! I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more! TpT really is an all-around kick-ass company! The people I met, all the way from the TOP (Paul) to the likes of me :) were just as sincere and sweet as they could be! Here is just a glimpse into my time in Vegas:

Got to meet SO many fabulous bloggers and TpTers! Including Deanna Jump, Hope King, Whimsy Workshop and Greg Smedley! Not to mention, I carpooled from AZ to Las Vegas with Katie from Kindergarten Craftiness!

And, WOWZA...I met Paul in person...for this man to have created TpT, he is the most HUMBLE and NICE guy ever! He must have taken HUNDREDS of pictures, but still smiled and spoke so kindly. I also got to finally meet the ladies behind Fluttering Into First, AND Amy, from TpT!
My girl Tamara, from Mrs. Russell's room and several other bloggers went with me to see New Kids on the BLock...and YA'll?!?!?! THey still got the right stuff!!! :)

I also finally got to meet Valerie from GA Grown Kinders!
All in all, a FABULOUS trip....needed some coffee to keep me awake for parts though! LOL

Ahhh...Vegas...the last chance I'll have to get all fancy for a while! LOL

ANd probably the last time I'll be serenaded for a while too! LOL

If anyone out there hears of NKOTB coming to a city near you, my advice would be GO GO GO!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer Randomness and Teacher Tshirts!

Hello, my name is Marie and I am a blogging slacker. I haven't blogged regularly in months and am beginning to think of myself as a blogging, I do have a pretty good excuse. Actually, I have several excuses.

Excuse #1: One of my little darling children shoved what looked like dried bananas into my laptop's charger input hole....yep....I had to clean it out then figure out how to fix it so I could charge my laptop again. Not gonna took me about a month to realize (with help from a friend) that I could just look this up on YouTube and find a solution! AND VOILA....I can now charge my laptop.

Excuse #2:
Yeah...believe it or not...I have actually been getting AWAY from my class/blog/teacher work for a little summer break. This is the first time in years that I haven't spend half my summer break (at least!) in my classroom. And, DAMN does it feel good!

Excuse #3:
I went with my kids on a family vacation to GA and FL where I got to explore and let them hang out on my dad's farm and see cool scenery that they just DON'T get out here in the Arizona Desert:

Excuse #4: 
I adopted this amazing pitbull mix from our local pound...and he is ABSOLUTELY the sweetest thing I've ever seen!!! I'm enjoying taking him for walks and having him here at my feet right now as I type this :) and my children LOVE having a dog. It's the first one we've had since I have had kids....

Now that I'm all out of excuses, my computer is fully charged, and I am well rested, it is time to get some SERIOUS classroom prep done for the upcoming school year....and it's time to get my craft on! :)

I will be posting much more regularly beginning next week and you will NOT want to miss my posts about creating ready-to-go math and literacy centers as well as some fun classroom decor and organization ideas!

BUT, before I go, I also need to hare my Aunt's new FB page that shows off her cool Tshirt creations. She has several for teachers and can custom create ANYTHING you can think of pretty much. 
Just click her link below:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Summer Reading List! Linky Party

Well, I made it! I made it through another year of teaching Firsties...without going into all the little details, I can honestly say this school year has been the TOUGHEST year of my life. My husband asked for a divorce in February and moved out in March. Going to school each day and seeing my students has been a huge blessing...a great distraction. 

Since school is now out (our last day was Friday) and I have some extra time when my kids go visit their dad, I've decided that I really want to take up READING FOR PLEASURE again...

This idea used to make me laugh...until yesterday. Yesterday morning, I grabbed a book that I've been meaning to read for a couple of months now and I sat outside of a Starbucks in the sunshine and read...


I didn't just read....I read that whole dang book! In ONE SITTING I read a book....and it was a book that had no other purpose than to just take me to another place....

Here's what I read:

After I finished this book, I had such a sense of closure...and I felt this weird sense of accomplishment...
but mostly,

It occurred to me that the last time I read a book for pleasure had been at least a year ago...and the last time I took the time to read a book in less than a month was over 6 years ago.

I think Moms are so busy...and working women are so busy...that we forget the simple pleasure of just sitting and reading one of our favorite authors.

SO, I'd LOVE to hear what you're reading right now, or what you'd LIKE to be reading right now. You can leave a comment, OR if you are another blogger, you can LINK UP with your post  below telling us all about your current SUMMER READING LIST! Just be sure you link back to this post in your post and use the image from the top of this post.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Currently and FREEBIES!

MAY...oh, sweet beautiful May....I have only 16 days left of school and you are just a sight for sore eyes! I love my kiddos...I really do....but the beach is calling my name and I could use a break from planning and emails and discipline plans and report cards and....well, you know!

Teachers just need a BREAK!

So, to get me in the spirit of May, I'm linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for the newest edition of CURRENTLY:

Listening: much as I'd like to say I'm sleeping soundly right now, instead I'm finishing lesson plans and working on my blog posts...and listening to my son's sweet lullabies sound machine :)
Loving: That I am gonna see my family in just over a month!!!! I live across the country from my entire family, so when I go home it's a BIG deal.
Thinking: I need to hit up some Goodwill stores and Kirklands and maybe Home Depot to get some inspiration for a new bedroom design ON A DIME.
Wanting: What I ALWAYS WANT...enough said. lol
Needing: To laminate my centers for Cinco de Mayo!!! BUT, unfortunately, I'm also needing laminating pouches. I ran out and have been too broke to buy new guess what I'm doing this weekend since tomorrow is payday? Yep...exciting stuff.

Before I go, I wanted to highlight a couple of new freebies in my store, just in case you haven't seen them yet:

 AND, if you haven't checked out Kindergarten Craftiness yet, you are missing out! She is a new up and comer in TpT that you WILL want to watch if you teach Pre-K or Kinder! 

Kindergarten Craftiness

Here is one of her best sellers:
Early Skills "Clubs": Posters, Assessments, Recording Char

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

1,500 TpT Follower CELEBRATION!

Happy Wednesday All! 
I have to say, before even starting this celebration, that this is not something I EVER thought I'd be celebrating. When I began blogging and creating for TpT, I truly thought it was just going to be a hobby...something that I did occasionally when I was working on my own classroom plans and lessons....WOW, what a wonderful couple of years it has been. I have gained some AMAZING blogger friends and have really grown as a teacher! I'm joining one of my blogging BESTIES for an amazing way to celebrate BOTH of us passing 1,500 TeachersPayTeachers followers.

We are going to be celebrating with FIVE DAYS of FREEBIES, DAILY DEALS, and a Rafflecopter giving away a $25 Amazon Giftcard!

Today's DAILY DEAL is my Building Better Paragraphs packet! 
This stoplight method of writing includes writing activities to really get students thinking about their topic, details, and ending/conclusions!!! 

Today's new FREEBIE is all about EARTH DAY!

The rest of my daily deals and freebies will be featured on my FACEBOOK PAGE and NOT on my if you aren't following me yet, YOU SHOULD BE! 

THank you again for supporting us on our journeys!!! Please enter for that $25 Amazon Giftcard below, and then head over to my friend Tamara's blog to see what her daily deals are!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tamara's Blog

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Choosing a Class Pet: Ziggy Tales Giveaway!

I am super excited to be taking part in the book tour for Ziggy Tales by Kathleen M. Wainwright. 

This book is adorable and the characters are so easy to love. It would be great for a longer read-aloud, or you could even use it in small groups with your higher Firsties or Second grade readers. I have some Firsties that already know all 600 sight words and this would be a great book for them to read and dive into with some of the companion activities that Kathleen has created.

In this book, Ziggy Tales, Marley begins by trying to choose the perfect pet. Some of her ideas included a horse, tarantula, hamster, rabbit, and a cat. Marley did research online with a friend and didn't make her decision right away. She took time to think about each of her pet ideas and what they needed. 

So...let's talk about choosing class pets.

First, if you haven't heard of Pets in the Classroom yet, please click the picture below! This link will take you to their site where teachers can apply for grants to help with getting and maintaining classroom pets!


If you have a classroom pet, you have probably learned a lot already about having the pet you chose. You could make a list on the pros and cons of having your pet that was chosen...

BUT, if you don't have your pet yet, here are some things you should definitely consider:

#1 For starters, make sure you are aware of the social needs of your potential pet. Marley found out the hard way that her pet Ziggie was bored at home. She needed to find ways to keep Ziggie entertained. 
If you choose a pet that needs lots of attnetion, planning classroom "playtime" each day would be a must and you would need to schedule different volunteers to take your pet home on weekends. (Unless you do this each weekend)

#2 You must consider student allergies. There are some students who may be allergic to certain pets. For example, a few years ago I had a student that was allergic to rodents. We had show and tell and one student brought in a guinea pig. The student with the allergy LITERALLY broke out in hives. 

#3 If you are on a tight budget (let's face it...most teachers are), you need to consider the costs. How much money will the start up cost? Will your pet need a cage, heat lamps, sand/soil/rocks/woodchips, toys, food, vitamins, etc....And, then upkeep costs: How often will you need to buy food and change out the cage terrain?

#4 Speaking of changing out terrain, the next question to ask yourself is how often will your pet and/or their cage need to be cleaned out and how much work would that entail?

#5 Something else you may not be thinking of at the time you buy your pet: What is its life expectancy? Are you buying a pet that has a short life expectancy? If so, will you be giving the "He/She is no longer with us..." talk soon? OR, on the other hand, are you buying a "lifelong" friend that will be with the class (AND YOU) for 20 + years? Just something to think about.

This is our class pet, Mr. Zip Hamperbottom :) ...(yes, the students named him)

He is a leopard gecko that I bought last year when he was just a few weeks old. He is almost ONE YEAR :) and I could not be happier with him. 

Here are some reasons why I think I chose the PERFECT classroom pet:

#1 He does not bite...and even if he did, it would not hurt. 
#2 He lives in an aquarium with sand and a few tunnels. I only have to change out his sand about once every six weeks. I do have to scoop his poop, but it is very easy and not messy at all.
#3 My students can hold him and let him climb on their shirts....which they love and he also seems to really enjoy! (We MUST sanitize our hands after we hold him.)
#4 He doesn't make he is not a big distraction. 
#5 I have a pet helper each week that is in charge of making sure he has enough water, enough crickets (we drop in about 6 live crickets twice per week), and pets him on his back for a few minutes daily. 
#6 He is so low maintenance that I have no problem when I ask for parent helpers to keep him over weekends or long breaks.
#7 If I don't have a parent helper, I can put in about 8 live crickets and fresh water on a Friday afternoon and he is FINE until Monday morning. 

Now that you've read all about my classroom pet, I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment telling me what you have in your classroom and why you picked that pet!

OH, and be sure to enter the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, please check out this super cute and kid-friendly book...written by a great friend of mine!

And before you go, here is a little Class Pet Freebie from the author herself! :)

Take a look at some of the other stops along this book tour:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Product Swap: Lucky to Be in First!

One of my favorite things to do in the blogging world is participate in a PRODUCT SWAP!!! 
And, this one is no exception....

Thank you to Cassie from

Adventures in Teaching

Cassie got this whole linky Product Swap organized...which is a huge ordeal!!

For this swap, I got the chance to review a product from Molly over at 

Lucky to Be in First

When she sent me her store link and asked which product I'd like to review, I'm not going to was the first time I had ever made my way to her TpT store.

And, I felt like a kid in a candy store!!! 

It was a really tough choice, but because of a current situation with two of my struggling readers, I chose her Camp Comprehension packet.

One of the first things that I noticed about this packet is the variety! It is a packet all about different types of animals and for each animal she gives two differentiated passages. The pages look so similar though, your students probably wouldn't even notice that they were working on different levels! :)

On each page she gives different types of questions and there are several different directions for students. I'm not sure about you, but following directions is a huge area that we focus on in my class, so just the fact that these pages offer more practice in that is HUGE!

If you do any sort of animal unit, or camping unit, this packet would be a great addition. But, more importantly, if you are like me and need some kid-friendly passages for building reading comprehension skills then this is for you.

Here are a few more items from Molly's store that I thought looked AMAZING!

Molly will be reviewing my Science With Peeps packet this week, so if you want to learn more about that product, please click on her blog button up top to go check it out!
You can also click this picture below to see the item in my store:

Lots of other Firstie Friends are linking up and reviewing products!
Take a look:

We are also having a GIVEAWAY!!! How would you like to win Molly's Comprehension packet or any other packets you see below???


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...