Tell me more, tell me more

I just returned from my 5 day history trip!  I'll blog about it in the coming weeks.  Now, I'm linking up with Amy at Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons for Tell Me More, Tell Me More.  What a great way to get to know your fellow bloggers!!  Here are some random facts about me and some of my quirks!

1. I get poison ivy every summer.  It always seems to find me (trust me, I don't go looking for it)!  In fact, I have it right now...
2. My biggest pet peeve is mouth noises.  I can hardly stomach sitting next to a loud eater or gum chewer!
3.  I ran 14 miles this morning!  I'm training for my 2nd marathon in October.  Trust me if I can run my first marathon at 42 you can run one as well!!
4. I kill plants!  It's true, no green thumb on this hand.  It doesn't matter how hard I try, my plants never survive!
5. I have two sisters.  My oldest sister has autism.  That's why my other sister and I became special education teachers (I've since moved to gen ed.).
6. I don't know my true hair color.  I've been bleaching or dying it since high school.  We're not sure but my stylist and I think it may be a light brown.  My hair color changes with the seasons!
7. I love Mackinac Island.  There's just something about riding bikes and eating fudge that makes me happy!
8. I am very punctual.  I've never been late for anything in my life.  This is a trait that I owe to my father.  In fact, the older he gets his punctuality has taken on a whole new meaning.  We purposely have to tell him an hour later than the time we want him to arrive.  He's early for EVERYTHING!
9. I am a loyal Coca-Cola fan.  I loathe the taste of Pepsi products.  Nothing is worse than going to a restaurant and asking for a Diet Coke only to have the waitress respond "Diet Pepsi ok?"!
10. I love quotes!  They help inspire me.  I put one in my weekly newsletter, I have quote art work hanging on my wall in my classroom and I have a journal full of quotes that I love.
11. Last school year I had my best friend's daughter in my class, as well as the children of six teachers in my building.  It was a fun year!!

Right now I'm part of two giveaways!!!  Sara at Miss V's Busy Bees is having a 200 follower giveaway!
April at The Idea Backpack is having a 300 follower giveaway!
I'm giving away my Comprehension Workstation Book Talk Jar in each one!

Also, I recently received two more awards while I was away!!  A big thank you to Miss Cosby at You Might Be a First Grader for the Liebster Award and to Gina at Third Grade Tidbits for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award!!

I'll be leaving for a family vacation to Tennessee tomorrow and may not have a wi-fi connection!  If that is the case, I'll see you in a week.

My Must Have Picture Books

I'm joining Lindsey at The Teacher Wife in her linky party!  I have so many favorite books and favorite authors but I was able to narrow down my must haves to three.  Drum roll please!  My 3 top choices are:
1. The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant
I love all things Cynthia Rylant!  In the story, the old woman, who has outlived all of her friends, gives names only to those things that she knows she won't outlive (her car, bed, house, etc.).  That is until a stray puppy comes to her gate.  It's such a touching story that kids love!
2. Someday by Eileen Spinelli
I love the illustrations in this book and the message it sends.  It inspires kids to think about their own plans for someday but also to live for today.
3. One of Those Days by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
I chose this book because it may be one that many haven't seen.  I like this book because it teaches kids that everyone has "one of those" days where nothing seems to go right but tomorrow is another day.  I also like this book because it gives you an opportunity to make a class "One of Those Days" book.  It's hilarious to see what students come up with!!

My first blog hop!!

Janis from Grade Three is the Place for me is having a Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop.
Since I'm a new blogger, I decided to join the fun!!  The rules are as follows:

1. What state are you in
2. your current teaching position
3. your teaching experience
4. when you started blogging
5. share a blogging tip/blogging resource

So here's my info:

1. I live in Indiana.
2.  This year I will be teaching 3rd grade for the first time!!
3. I'm heading into my 19th year of teaching.  I spent 8 in special education, 2 in Reading Recovery and 8 in 1st grade
4.  I started blogging on June 5th
5.  My blogging tip is to donate to all the giveaways that you can.  This will lead more followers to your blog!!


Prompt Jar and History Field Experience

I just finished my Writing Workstation Prompt Jar in the nick of time.  Tomorrow I leave for my Teaching American History field experience vacation.  I'll start with the Prompt Jar.  I'm so excited to add this workstation to my TpT and TN stores.  It is a favorite of my students.  The jar is perfect for those students who never seem to have anything to write about each day.  The prompt jar picks the topic for them.  It also helps prepare for prompt writing on standardized testing.  Here's a preview but feel free to check out my stores for a closer look!
Now on to the vacation field experience.  Tomorrow I will be traveling to the south with 12 other teachers to end our Teaching American History grant experience.  It will be a five day trip on chartered bus through Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.  Our topic this year was 20th century history focusing on the Civil Rights Movement.  We will be stopping at The King Center, as well as several other museums.  Our grand finale will be a short stop at.... GRACELAND!  Many may think I'm crazy, but I'm so excited!!  I grew up on Elvis music and movies.  I sure hope it lives up to my expectations lol!  Anyway, I'm not sure about the wireless connection that I'll have over the next five days but hopefully I'll be able to blog a few times while I'm gone!

Best find ever!

One of the things that I am most thankful for in blog world is learning about products that other teachers love and recommend.  That's why I look forward to Elizabeth from Fun in Room 4B's Fabulous Find Friday!!  My fabulous find today isn't anything I found on my own, several of you have blogged about it.  However, I'm so in love with it that I had to let the world know!  It's the Scotch Thermal laminator!!
My school has a laminator but of course it's usually either empty or broken.  I was a little skeptical when I first purchased the laminator a few weeks ago.  I decided to give it a try yesterday after I printed the welcome sign I purchased from Tara at 4th Grade Frolics. The laminator worked perfectly and I love how it turned out (you'll have to wait to see the final product when I have my big classroom reveal).
I have a feeling that I'll be using this thing a lot in the coming weeks!!  On a final note, I'll leave you with a little laminating inspiration...

Busy and guilty!

It seems like forever since I posted!  I've been busy this week with the final week of my Teaching American History class.  We had an overnight "field trip" to the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY, our final projects are due tomorrow and we leave for our 5 day field study on Monday.  After our return next Friday, my family leaves on Saturday morning for a week at Norris Lake in TN.  Where has summer gone???
Anyway, as I was checking all the other blogs this evening I came across Ashley's (from The Resource Room Teacher) Linky Party!  What a fun one!!
I've narrowed it down to three!
1.  A non-fat, no water Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks.  It's like drinking velvet from a cup!

2. Lindt Orange Intense dark chocolate.  I can eat the entire candy bar in one sitting!
3. The Big Bang Theory.  I absolutely love this show and I love the fact that it's on Thursday nights.  I look forward to the laughs all week long and when it's over, I know TGIF is right around the corner!!
Obviously, it doesn't take much to make me happy!!!  Can't wait to hear your guilty pleasures!!

Made it monday and miscellaneous

Mondays are my favorite!  I love seeing all the crafty projects!  This week I decorated a paper towel holder to use for all those anchor charts that walls cannot hold.  This was my inspiration:
Here is what I came up with:

I took a wooden paper towel holder, painted it black then added the dots (dots are also my favorite).  Next, I added three metal rings and the clear plastic paper protectors (I placed card stock in each one to keep the protectors upright).
Now all I have to do is take a picture of my anchor chart before taking it down and add it to a protector.  Students can use it as a resource all year long.  The sad thing is that my holder looked much cuter without the protectors attached to it.

Now on to the miscellaneous...
A great big thank you to Liz at Teaching in the Valley for awarding me the Liebster Blog Award!!  Check out Liz's blog.  She's a new 1st grade teacher in Phoenix!
There are also, of course, some wonderful giveaways going on right now!!
Lacey at Polka Dots and Pencils in having a 100 follower giveaway
Nicole at Rowdy in Room 300 is giving away the cutest burlap door hangers!!

Book Talk Jar and Fabulous Find Friday

It's here!  I just finished another Workstation Jar!  My Comprehension Workstation Book Talk Jar includes 24 comprehension strips for individual students or buddies to use after reading or listening to a book.  The jar initiates conversation through oral comprehension questions.  Check out my TpT or TN stores to preview or purchase my Book Talk Jar!

Also, I have been working hard in my classroom and can not wait to post the after pictures!  I found a few new items for my class this week at Big Lots.

I bought the cutest polka dot table clothes.  My plan is cut them to fit the top of several file cabinets.  The adorable hand magnets will be used on my front board.  I'm most excited about the paper towel holder.  I am in the process of painting it for a pin that I found on Pinterest.  Hopefully it will be my Made it Monday!!  Stay tuned!!

Giveaways Galore!!

I can't believe how many wonderful giveaways that are going on right now!  I also can't believe how many new blogs I find each day through the giveaways!!
Lauren at Life in Middle School is having a 100 follower giveaway!

 Chanty at The Teaching Bug is having a 100 follower giveaway!

 Kate at EduKate and Inspire is having a 100 follower giveaway!

 Miss Nelson at Run!  Miss Nelson's Got the Camera is having a 500 follower giveaway!
 Marlana at Lil" Country Kindergarten is having 1,000 follower giveaway!!

Stay tuned tomorrow for the reveal of my newest Workstation Jar!!!

Blog award!

A great BIG thank you to Amanda at Inspired in Second 
for awarding me the
So here are the rules:

1. Link back to the person who gave it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

So I am giving the award to...
1. Tracey at 
2. Jenny at 

3. Cherie at
4. Teri at
5. Hooty at 

Be sure to check out all of these wonderful blogs!!