December 31, 2012


Another year . . . come and LONG gone!  Can you believe it??  I sure can't.  But, I do believe these next 365 are going to be downright R-A-D.  Bring it, Twenty-Thirteen . . . bring it!

On that classic 80's note, I am delighted to tell you that was invited to join in on a very special sale with a very special crew of ladies!  

A HUGE thank you to the eva-talented Hope King
for making us this fab-oo button to use!

All of my goods will be on sale in my TPT Shop for the next 24 hours (all of New Years Day) . . . 20% off.  I even managed to get four new things posted this holiday break.  



Well, that's it from little old me today.  I hope your very first day of 2013 kicks the year of right!  I'll see you soon :)

December 30, 2012


Well, I haven't spoken to my darlin' husband much in the past 24 hours and I managed to finish my latest pack - Antonym Mittens.  He moaned a little bit, but I think he secretly loved the uninterrupted time with his "Dark Souls" computer game ;)  

I have been doing this craft with my kiddos for the past 6 years and it is always a crowd pleaser.  In addition, it is a very easy craft to get up on those bare as all get out post-Christmas classroom walls (was that a mouthful or what)!  

Sorry to inform you . . . this cuter than cute model of mine does not come with my packet! However, this "winterized" antonym collection has a little bit of everything in it!  

We're talking 51 pages in all.  From a tea party and center games to independent worksheets this packet will keep your kiddos engaged and working hard for a week or two!  It even comes with a rockin' tune by Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes. Yup, that's right folks!  It's included in the download!  Somehow I talked him into it . . . ;)

CLICK HERE to listen to a sample!
I am going to offer up one of the Mismatched Mittens Color By Code pages for you to grab if ya like.  I figured you needed a little parting gift today!

CLICK HERE to download!
Thanks JW Illustrations for the sweet little mittens!

Before I go today I wanted to link up with one of my bloggy buddies over at The Teachers' Cauldron.  Jen is a doll and this linky is oh so timely . . . I can't' think of a better combination to get me jazzed about joining a PAR-TAY!  

I am supposed to list a personal and a blogging goal for good old twenty - thirteen.  After thinking about it for most of the afternoon, I narrowed it down to one per category.  

This goal may be a little out of my hands, but it is definitely the thing I will strive for the most this year.  My personal mission is going to be to get healthy this year.  I'm not talking about exercise or eating right.  I already am pretty good at these things.  I am looking at it in a larger sense.  Here's the short-n-sweet version of the back story on this.  I have a gnarly case of endometriosis and a not so hot surgery last February has blown up my life quite a bit (I'll spare you the icky details).  I am so tired of feeling like crud every day.  It's time to find a new crew of doctors and PTs to help me get back on my feet again.  I am promising myself that I will stay on it this year . . . to fight like heck to find the answers I have been looking for.  You all are my witnesses!  Game on broken body parts . . . game on.  

I am going to set aside time to seek out new bloggers.  I have been so consumed with finding the balance between blogging, teaching, and being a wife that I have dropped the ball in this area.  It's time to start stalking again!  I can't wait to make good on this promise!  

Alright all you alls, I am off to check in on Mr. Dark Souls himself.  I haven't seen him in a few hours.  Merry New Year {almost} to you friends.  I'll see you again VERY soon with a special treat.

December 28, 2012


I am coming at you from every which way today, but stick with me friends . . . I've got some serious winter goodies for you!    

First up today, I have a low-prep art project for you - Snowman Pointillism Painting.  My kids did this the Friday before Christmas Vacay and it calmed them to the core.  Sounds like I am spinning a very tall tale right about now, huh??!  But I am super cereal!  You could have heard a pin drop (on PJ/Polar Express Day and only 4 days before Santa's arrival mind you) . . . they were so focused and content.

This could be a great one to use that first week after the break to ease 'em back into the routine while creating something for those naked walls.  Can you say win-win??!!  All you need is the snowman template (snatch it up below), blue construction paper, some tempra paint, Q-Tips, and the directions . . . 
  1. Copy the template on blue construction paper.
  2. Prior to painting, roll up all your kids' sleeves.  Uh, lesson learned . . . can you tell I don't have kids yet??!!
  3. Give each pair of kiddos white and brown tempra paint (they don't need much) and a handful of Q-Tips.  
  4. Model how to dip the Q-Tip into the white paint and "dot" paint their template.  Be sure to remind them not to rub the Q-Tip back and forth!
  5. The kids should paint the snowman before doing the arms.  I also like for my babes to finish all of these steps before I add the black paint to their pallets (for the face).  They tend to get all antsy and paint the face before they are done with the white and it can jack things up.  
  6. When they are dry, trim them up (see photo below).  You also can have them add construction paper hats and scarves at this time.
CLICK HERE to get the template!
Next up, I finished my Good Morning Work Reading Packet for January last night.  I managed to get 'em both out pretty close together this time.  However, my brain must have been on vacation as the covers don't look all that similar this time.  Good one, Dolling!  


For those of you who may not know about my Good Morning Work Packets, let me quickly explain.  I have created a monthly collection of worksheets that provide the perfect INDEPENDENT, yet highly rigorous, warm-up for your kiddos. I give both sheets to my babes every morning and it helps us spiral back and revisit all of those key common core standards.  The best part is that they free up precious moments during that hectic morning rush!  

As always, I am offering up the "Try 'em before you buy 'em" deal.  Click on the link below to try out a few worksheets with your crew.  If you dig them, come on back and buy the whole set.  
CLICK HERE to download these reading pages.
Read more about January's GMW Math Packet + get the tester pages HERE

Finally, I wanted to see if any of you are attending the PK1 Conference in Santa Clara, CA next month??!!  Well, I will be there.  And guess what??  I am a presenter this year!  If you are interested in attending my session (Phonics is Fun - F8), I'd love to have you sign up.  I am hoping that my class "makes" and I get to keep my slot . . . my fingers are crossed!!  I am the very last session on the last day of the conference.  However, I promise to make it worth your while.  I'll have lots of freebies, easy-prep ideas/games/activities, and oodles of laughs up for grabs!  If this just isn't the session for you and your needs, no worries . . . just come and say howdy.  I'd love to meet you!!  Oh, and don't forget that Ron + Nancy Brown (Intelli-Tunes) are also hosting a session.  You don't want to miss out on this one.  They are FAN-TAB!  Click on the pic below to learn more!

Wow . . . was I ever full of it today!  I hope you found a thing or two that you could use in all of that :)  I'll be back soon with a few other winter goodies.  My hiney is firmly planted at my computer for the rest of the weekend (sorry honey)!  Be sure to pop on over to TBA to check out all of the other sweet goodies up for grabs!  I heart me a good Freebie Friday.


December 26, 2012


St. Nick himself wasn't too sure if I was going to pull through the horrific stomach flu that I have been in an all out war with since Friday.  However, I turned the corner late Christmas Eve and was good to go for Christmas Day! Although I was sick for a portion of it and the hubs caught the sniffles, the holiday was just perfect. It was a rather quiet year, but my parents did it up right (as always) and I loved getting to hang with the in-laws last night. My better half even surprised me with pearl earrings this year - BOOYA!  I am one lucky lady :)  I hope your holidays were just as merry and bright.

Being sick slowed me down a bit, but it didn't stop me from plugging away at the computer when I could.  Therefore, I managed to get January's Good Morning Work Packet (Math) up in my TPT shop.  

CLICK HERE to snag this pack!
As always, I tried to be very mindful of what kiddos can and can't do independently at this time.  I also stuck with the idea of "chunking" my topics. In other words, the pack targets a specific set of skills for five days in a row before moving on to 3 or 4 new common core standards.  This helps the kids feel more successful and allows you to milk a few extra "question free" minutes out of your morning!

This month's pack covers a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Skills include: addition, subtraction, fact families, word problems, skip counting, place value, comparing/ordering numbers, odd + even, tallying, estimation, date writing, and more!  Yes my friends . . . all of these common core standards for firsties are covered in one little pack!  I aim to please :)

Sound like this is something for you?  Well, why don't you "try 'em before you buy 'em!!"  Here are three FREE pages for you to run with in your room.  If you like them, come on back and snag the whole pack :)
CLICK HERE to get these FREE tester pages!

Switchin' gears a bit . . . I am hoppin' in on a fa-boo linky party hosted by the one and only Christina Bainbridge over at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge.  This lady helped me find my "footing" as a blogger and I big old {puffy} heart her! In this par-tay, we are supposed to highlight some of our best moments on our blog, so here goes nothin' . . .   

My most popular post this year was my WOW vs. BLAH Sentences Packet Review.  If you follow me, you know I always like to shake up the "standard" quite a bit :).  This one still makes me giggle!

I love to give freebies away on my little old bloggy blog. I try to link up with TBA every Friday (give or take a few) and I like to throw in some extra no-cost goods on the weekends.  It seems that the fan favorite this year was Sketchin' Out Spooky Sentences.  

There are SOOOOO many amazing educators that I have met on this journey. Ms. Susan Moran (Thank God It's First Grade), the eva-fabulous Katie King (Queen of the First Grade Jungle), and sweet Jessica Stanford (Mrs. Stanford's Class) will forever hold special places in my heart, but my love for others doesn't stop there.  Steph, Alisha, Gladys, Oregon, Hadar, Squirrels, Michelle, Lori, Nicole, Vickie, DeAnne, Tessa, Cupcake, Holly, Arlene, Jen, Ashley, Monica, Heidi, Sandra, Kristen, Reagan . . . see . . . the list goes on and on and on (and I wasn't even through naming them all).  You see, I can't narrow my faves down to just a few.  That would be like asking a world traveler to narrow her favorite destinations down to two itty-bitty towns.  Look down the side of my blog to catch all of those ladies who have made a HUGE difference in my life in 20-12!  

Alright, that's it from this girl.  Why don't you pop on over to Bainbridge's blog and link up too??!!  I'd love to learn about your best bloggy moments of 2012! I am finally off to shower (it's only 3:13 pm here . . . I am doing pretty well today). I'll be in touch soon with some winter goodies and my Good Morning Work Reading Packet for January.  Whoop, whoop!!!  It's done . . . click here to see the Good Morning Reading Packet and snag some more tester pages :) 

December 23, 2012


Holy Christmas carols people . . . what a week. WHAT A WEEK!  I know all you alls out there can relate :)  Sorry I have been so MIA.  These past 5 days have been an absolute whirlwind, but we had an absolute blast I tell ya.  

Our last day was Friday (a full day mind you) and I thought the babes would be off the chain, but was I ever wrong.  In all actuality, it was one of my TOP 3 DAYS as a teacher.  Yup.  It was absolutely magical.  

Why was it so magical you ask??  Well . . . it SNOWED as the kids were walking to class.  We never get the white stuff here and although it didn't mound up outside, it did stick some and it snowed off and on for over an hour. 

After this fabulous start (on PJ/Polar Express Day mind you), we finished a word search in teams and rolled into a fun little art project.  Then we broke out the paint!  Both of these winter ditties will be blogged about later this week!

After lunch, we started the Polar Express on the BIG SCREEN (thank you projector), decorated sugar cookies, and drank hot cocoa!!!

You lookin' at the BEST Mommy Helpers around.
I couldn't have asked to share this day with a better crew.
They even wore their jammers :)
 Thanks ladies . . . from the bottom of my heart!

As you can see, it was a day to remember my friends!  But it ain't over yet. How did this magical day end for little old me do you ask?  Uh . . . well, I puked my guts out for the rest of the night and into the next day :)  Merry Stomach Flu!  I wouldn't have traded my day for nothin' though . . . vomit or no vomit this one chalks up super high on the list :)

I had this sweet girl to keep me company.
The hubs ditched me for the spare room, but this doll wouldn't leave my side.

I'll see you very soon with a handful of fun winter projects, packets, and freebies.  Oh . . . and January Good Morning Work will be out this week. Working on it NOW :) Merry Christmas my dear friends.  

December 17, 2012


I am going to be honest and say that I really don't know the best way to get up and going again.  Everything feels so different and my heart is still so heavy. However, after taking the weekend to reflect and grieve, I want to take a small step forward.  I am going to do this by celebrating what my own first grade students have been doing.  I know it doesn't change anything, but returning to some sort of "normalcy" is how I am able to work my way through the healing process.  So, here goes nothing . . .  

Last week my kids were wrapped up in everything Christmas.  We made our parent Christmas gifts, crafted Christmas Cards, and studied holidays around the world.  My favorite country we visited (as it is every year) was Australia. My "cold Christmas" kids flip when they think about it being warm at Christmas time.  To help us really celebrate Australia and their traditions we ate BBQ chips and made super cool Christmas "Sunnies" or sunglasses with our BIG 7th grade buddies last Friday.

This is a definite crowd pleaser every year in my room and it may be just what you are looking for as you round the bend and head on into Christmas Break (if you aren't there already).   

CLICK HERE to get more details! 
Switching gears a bit, our parent ornament gift turned out absolutely delightful this year.  The kids giggled their way through the 2-day process.  I always love to see which kids jump in and get messy and those who can't wait to wash their hands.  Oh, it's the little things I tell ya :)  

Please excuse my ugly mug . . .
I forgot to take finished product shots.  Duh, Dolling!
I got this wonderful idea from my mom's teaching besties (I heart ya Tina and Vickie).  They even came in and ran the ornament creation station for me . . . I am one lucky lady.  If you are interested in tucking this project away for next year, I have attached the directions down below.  

CLICK HERE to download the ornament directions!
A huge thanks to Tessa over at Tales from Outside the Classroom for her awesome border :)

Before I head out, I wanted to leave you with a quote my dear friend and coworker, Erin, pinned on Saturday.  I have always admired this great man and his words helped me find comfort in the world this weekend.

Originally posted on the Glamorous Housewife.  


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