Tuesday, November 27, 2012

And Now For Something Random...

I just HAD to share this picture with all of you quickly...

Today, I had my students write in response to a journal prompt "I Ate So Much Turkey That..." and one little girl [literally, little and SO cute!] wrote how she ate so much turkey she felt like she was going to blow up. Her written response was not as adorable or hilarious [to me, anyways] as her picture....

I mean seriously, does this not crack you up!? I just loved it and had to share :)

Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Liebster :)

Well... it's been a while since I last blogged, so I guess I should pick up where I last left off before I begin again...

In my last posting, I hinted at changing my blog title because I looped with my class to 2nd grade. Well, I decided against it. I love my blog title and I AM truly blessed [but not quite witty enough to create another title just as cute] so I opted to leave it. Plus, I loved first grade as much as I am loving second grade, so if I ever move back it will fit once again. Also, I was blessed in my first year of teaching last year, so it can apply just the same in that regard as well.

Now to update you on life in second grade. One word.... AWESOME! I adore my students so giving them up last year was super sad [as you can read in my previous Tears post]. Imagine my delight when my administrator called in late July and told me I could loop with them! Talk about a great day! It was so nice knowing the level my students came to second grade on and as I teach our curriculum what lessons I could differentiate based on my teachings last year. It's so fun! Relearning another curriculum is challenging and I am constantly recreating items to suit their growing needs in a new grade, but it's still fantastic. I enjoy challenges and am certainly not bored! I was also asked to move my classroom to be down by the other second grade and to allow the new Kindergarten teacher to move in to my old room, so needless to say THAT was quite a challenge! Somehow, over the years [though they are few] I have managed to amass quite a large amount of stuff! Packing and moving is one thing; UNpacking, redecorating and reorganizing was a whole other issue! But, it's done and I really love my new room! I have 2 extra windows so our room is brighter [and cooler!] and I love the new setup... it feels much larger than the room last year!

So, that's a recap of the past few months since my last post. Here's what happened today...

I was nominated for an award! Seriously... Me?! With my 16 followers!? How fantastic! So first, I would like to say a big "THANK YOU!" to Cathy Hoffart at A Growing Class for nominating me! I see so many other bloggers [with much larger follower numbers] and wonder how that happens.. NOW I KNOW! Woo hoo!

So here is how it works!
1. Post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with less than 200 followers to nominate and link back to their blogs.
5. Leave a comment on this post if you were nominated so I can learn more about you and see who you nominate too!


1.  I have been married for [almost] 4 years now to an amazing man! Dave and I have been together for a total of [almost] 9 years and met in high school <3 

2. We are total dog people! [I converted my hubby!] We have a cute pup named Reagan, and I'm hoping to convince him for another puppy for Christmas!! [fingers crossed!]

3. We live in a small town in northeast Ohio and we LOVE it! We both grew up here with our parents 2 and 6 miles from our house :)

4. I am a HUGE football fan! GO BROWNS! ps.. the Browns beat the Steelers yesterday... WOO HOO!

5. My favorite color is orange, inspired by Rachael Ray. I love her, have her orange cookware, an orange Kitchenaid mixer and an orange fridge! [among other items in the kitchen too :)]

6. I love owls. Long before the big trend, I was decorating and collecting the cute birds. I especially love using owls in my kitchen combined with a bit of a retro feel!

7. I'm a runner. I love running! Though school has made it difficult to find the time, I still love getting out and having my sneakers hit the pavement. I've completed a half marathon and someday my goals are to complete a full marathon and triathlon as well!

8. I don't have any kids... yet. I get asked this question ALLLL the time. Even by my husband! We will have children, but I'm struggling right now because I really feel the Lord guiding me towards adoption. It will be a matter of prayer and discussion as a couple to find what the Lord really has set for Dave and I and our family someday. We shall see :)

9. I love to read. I picked up all sorts of books over the summer and really enjoyed them. When I pick up a good book, I become so interested I can't put it down until it's done! I HAVE to know what happens!

10. My mom is a breast cancer survivor! In October of 2011 we learned her diagnosis. It was scary. Her mom had had and survived it, so we knew she could [and would] too, but she's my mom. She's young. She hasn't been made a grandmother [yet]. Praise God that He kept her in His hands and healed her! I love you Mom!

11. Mustaches are my latest craze. I'm not sure why, except for a joke between a dear friend of mine and myself. But I can't even remember how that started!? I just think they are hilarious. In fact, my husband is turning 30 this December and his surprise party theme? You got it >mustaches!<


1. What's your favorite TV show (current or past)?

Oooh, I'll have to answer BOTH in the parentheses :)  Past: would be Will & Grace! I love that show! I own all 8 seasons on DVD and since we don't have cable at home, if there's nothing on I'll pop one in to watch for fun. I can quote WAAAYYY too many lines in this show! Present: The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother...  I would have answered Law & Order:SVU, but since Eliott Stabler left, I can't watch anymore :(   it' just not the same.  So BBT and HIMYM are my new faves - they are hilarious!

2. What's your ultimate vacation destination?

Though I would love to answer the beach, I can't. Dave would have to be a part of that ultimate vacation and the beach isn't his cup of tea. So a beautiful, secluded cabin in the mountains would be it. We took our honeymoon to Gatlinburg, TN and did exactly that. It was lovely and I can't wait to go back someday :)

3. If you weren't a teacher, what would you be doing?

Hmmm, that's a tough one. I like to do a lot of things. I would probably be a wedding planner though. I LOVED planning my wedding! If I were rich, I'd plan a wedding reception/party EVERY YEAR!

4. Would you save a million dollars or a million children? Why?

A million children. Money is great but I couldn't save a million children with it. It's much more honoring to God to save His precious children than money. How could I not!?

5. If you were a super hero, what would your name be?

probably, Super Tam! :) hahah

6. If you were running for public office, what "educational platform" would you run on?

I don't like politics. It's all a bunch of fluff. So if I tried to answer this question, that's probably all I'd be giving too.

7. What's your favorite thing to cook/bake?

I love to bake cookies. Especially sugar cookies that I can decorate with royal icing to look like adorable animals or something fun :) I also love cooking Italian food. My grandma has a fantastically delish recipe for homemade gnocchi, sauce and meatballs. MY FAVORITE MEAL EVER! along with her potato pizza, and string beans, and stuffed peppers.... [I obviously love to eat! lol] 

8. What is one wish you have for your biological children or classroom children?

I wish for them to have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior so they can sit in eternity with me! :)

9. What advice do you give your students every year?

to be creative... their imaginations are fantastic and I wish I had one as large as theirs still! Use it or lose it, right?!

10. If you were the boss, what one thing would you implement immediately?

I have to agree with Cathy on this one..... casual day, every day!! :)

11. What do you want for Christmas?

I have lots of items on my list this year :) mostly, a GSHP puppy! or another anniversary band for my wedding ring [you know, for the other side!] or some more Ugg boots, or more Rachael Ray Hoot dishes,or a North Face jacket, or stuff for my classroom....I love clothes and shopping, so I'm good with anything really! haha


[drum roll please.....]

It's a variety of teaching websites from different grades, ages and areas... we can all learn something from one another, right!? I should hope so, we teach our students that daily! :)

So, nominees, here are your questions to answer!

1. What is your favorite concept/subject to teach your students and why?
2. If you were given a million dollars tomorrow, would you retire from teaching immediately?
3. What is your favorite TV show currently?
4. What good book have you read lately?
5. If you weren't a teacher, what you be doing?
6. Would you consider yourself an "animal person?"
7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
8. What is one thing you really love about yourself?
9. Name three things you are thankful for today.
10. Do you like to do laundry?  [had to give you a silly one to answer! :)]
11. What's on your Christmas wish list this year?

Well, thanks everyone for reading [I know, it was A LOT! : /] Congrats to the nominees! My search for 11 nominees helped me find many more great bloggers to follow [including them!] and if this task seems daunting, just think of the networking and sharing you can receive through your time! :)

Have a blessed evening...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Better start thinking....

...about a lot of things!! As I hinted to in my last post oh, so long ago, I will officially be looping with my current group of kiddos to second grade!! I am so excited about it, as I just ADORED those children! However, I have to move classrooms, get a new curriculum and think about a possible BLOG TITLE CHANGE! ahhhh!!! So much to do!

I'd rather not change blog titles, since I absolutely love it, but it doesn't apply anymore since I won't be in first :( But what if I move back!? I don't want to give the title up, and thinking of a new once seems so daunting.. any suggestions??

Oh well, until I decide I better get to thinking about how I can make another year with the same teacher just as exciting and engaging for my students. If you have any advice, please share! It's only my second official year of teaching [hmm, my first year was in first, my second will be in second.. quite a pattern developing!] so advice from more experienced teachers [or anyone!] is always appreciated.  I hope y'all are having a super summer so far! It's time to get back in the groove of creative thinking and planing for another great school year :)

Have a blessed one!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012


There were many tears today as it was our last day of school :(  This year marked my first official year of teaching, so naturally I became attached to my class. It was emotional saying good-bye to them for the summer. As I told them all how much I love them, tears came to my eyes and I couldn't help crying as I thought of how I wouldn't see their faces for the next few months and feel the love from their many hugs each day. I felt horrible, then, when 4 of my precious little girls started crying and didn't stop! I was heartbroken to see them leave today. On the bright side, there is a chance I may looping with them to 2nd grade next year and would be their teacher once again! I won't know until summer what God has in store for me here at our school, as it will all be based on enrollment numbers [we just keep growing and growing!] but I know I will see their smiling faces again soon :) I'm praying for whatever He has for me, whether it be to stay in first or move on with them!

I did give them their Scrappers tickets [mentioned in an earlier post - Counting it Down] and they are all so excited to come visit me at a game! I also gave them each a piece of baseball themed writing paper with my address attached so they could write me a letter telling me about coming to the game and all they are doing this summer. I certainly look forward to receiving some great pieces of mail soon!

I hope you all have a blessed summer, or rest of the school year, whichever applies. I'll be writing soon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Counting it Down!

We have only 9 more days of school left!!!! and boy, can I tell! The kids are crazy with excitement and chatter going into the homestretch. I was so happy to complete my last bulletin board for the year yesterday too! I have to share with you, because it's probly one of my faves! I found the sunglasses idea on Pinterest here and just ran with it! The sunglasses have pictures the kids drew of what they "visioned" for their summer. I decided to make it more of a "craftivity," if you will, and added the thought bubble (from Microsoft Word). They wrote about their "visions" in the bubble and that's what they had to draw. I simply drew out the sunglasses and cut them out for them. They drew on small white papers that looked like sunglass lenses and we glued those onto the black sunglasses. I took their pictures and put the sunglasses on them and put the thought bubble coming off them like they were thinking about their "visions." They had such a good time doing this, I decided to do one too! [sans picture of course! :)] The title just came to me and is a perfect fit for it - as I said, one of my favorite boards for the year! What do y'all think!?!

We also had another fun activity added to our room a la Pinterest [man that site can get me in trouble!] I found the idea to put up balloons to countdown that last few days of school. The idea I found here counted down the last 20 days. However, my little munchkins would go nuts for that long [and so would I!] so I trimmed it down to 10 days. I hung the balloons in my room this morning and we are popping one per day to find the fun activity inside. Here's what I listed to help with ideas:

Day 10. 10 minutes of free time
Day 9.  extra snack (cookies and hot cocoa :)
Day 8.  sit wherever you want today\
Day 7.  extra recess
Day 6.  dance party!
Day 5.  surprise guest (probly my sister for a craft/read aloud)
Day 4.  field trip (love how that worked out!)
Day 3.  popcorn and a movie (we are reading Charlotte's Web so we will watch that)
Day 2.  hat day
Day 1.  school carnival and class "baseball" party

About the "baseball" party... I work for a Minor League baseball team in the summers, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers [Cleveland Indians affiliate]. This will be my 9th season there, so as an end of the year gift I am giving each of my little learners a free ticket for any game of their choice, along with a coupon I found in the phone book (LoL!) for buy one, get one free tickets. They can come visit me as I sell "ice cold pop!" all around the stadium.  I have worked there for going-on 9 seasons now, so I can't give up the fun job of vending! I have had many former students from where I worked in the past come visit me there, and wanted my kiddos to have a chance to come visit too. I made a fun "Have a BALL this summer!" letter telling them about it, along with the ticket. I am going to find some baseball pencils and suckers to give out too, and we're going to munch on some peanuts and cracker jacks (of course!). Hopefully there will be a time and place on the last day for us to play baseball as a class also!

We had a great time popping the balloon for Day 10 today! I think it was more exciting than the activity listed inside!

Hope you found some inspiration today!
Have a blessed day :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm probably biased...

...but I have the SMARTEST students ever!  Today, I gave my students some "free" time after testing, but told them they had to either read from their book bins, or do a Word Work activity [I wanted to be certain they actually did something worthwhile for 15-20 minutes!] My usual suspect finished first and found an activity from my Word Work bin. Well, he thought he found an activity. He pulled out an envelope filled with sentence strips of nouns. He wasn't sure what to do with them, and then told me he wanted to put them in alphabetical order. He then noticed he was sitting on my alphabet rug and decided to use the rug to put the words in ABC order! I loved his sudden inspiration to challenge himself! To be honest, I was a bit jealous I hadn't thought of it myself! What a smart kiddo! Hence, the title of today's post. I loved the idea so much, I took a picture and made sure I wrote a post so everyone could see his awesome idea! Cheap dollar store noun strips and an ABC rug is all you need!

Friday, April 20, 2012


With standardized testing taking place all this week and next, not much fun has been happening in our classroom. Well, scratch that. One thing did! We planted our bean plants this week to finish up our science curriculum, and are really enjoying watching them grow! We're recording our bean plants in My Plant Journal that I created. Every few days we illustrate how our bean looks, measure it in centimeters (eventually it will be in inches) and write what we notice about them. They have grown a lot already this week. It's amazing what you can do with store-bought lima beans, wet paper towels, and Ziploc baggies!

I hung them across the windows on yarn with clothespins so they get more sunshine. I added some questions we had about our experiment with window chalk!

And now to the title of this blog.... SALE TIME!

School will be over in just 32 days (for me anyhow!) and I know many of you are even closer to being done. So, to celebrate I am throwing a sale at my TpT store! Click the word CELEBRATE under the sale tag image below starting Saturday, April 21 and purchase ANY of my items for a whopping 20% off!! The sale lasts until Monday, so check it out! If you like My Plant Journal I described above, you can get it even cheaper this weekend and have your own plant experiment in your classroom too! Your students will love it!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Success! and Easter Break....finally!

The Phonics Egg Hunt was a success!!! Everyone did an awesome job, and it was much-less chaotic than I thought it would be, and it took about hald the time I had planned too! I will definitely be doing this again next year! The kids LOVED it and loved the treats I hid inside for them too :)  Please comment below if you tried this out! My Pinterest was blowing up after I posted it on Monday and got a ton of views, so I know someone else did it too! Please let us know how it went!

I got it to work! Here's a picture of a student looking at his clue and the egg to see if he found the right word:

In other news, the countdown to Easter break is on! Just one more school day after today and we are off for a WHOLE WEEK! When I went to school growing up, and even where I worked for the past 2 years, we only got Good Friday and Easter Monday off, but now I am so blessed to be off an entire week! With the weekend it totals to 9 days of freedom! I'm going to walk my dog, ride my bike, start training for a fun 5K race in June I'm doing (more about that later!) and repaint my bedroom! Plus, this Saturday my husband and I are FINALLY getting our new bed delivered that we ordered about 4 WEEKS AGO! I can't wait for my beautiful, queen-size sleigh bed! (We had a full size now and it's way too small!) and (of course) it's coming the same day I get to babysit my adorable 2 1/2 year old nephew. Oh well, we'll make it work! I am so excited because I haven't seen the Cubster (our nickname for him) in ages! We're gonna have fun eating fruit snacks, playing with my pup Reagan (she's so cute, I had to post a picture below!) and playing outside in the gorgeous weather! What are y'all up this weekend!? Are you off school too? Comment below and let us know!
Come on now, you have to admit shes's the cutest! :)

I also need to work on a Plant Unit I have been conjuring up in my head for the past month. Myself and the other 1st grade teacher are going to plant bean plants after we come back for break to finish our Science curriculum when we study plants. So I'm working on a Plant Observation Journal (which I need a much cuter title for) and other fun activities to integrate other content areas. I will definitely post some FREEBIES when it's finished and put the link up to my TpT store.

Well, thanks for reading and have a blessed Easter!

Tami :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring everyone! I love this weather! We have been *SO blessed* here in Northeast Ohio with AMAZING summer-like weather for the past few weeks! Yesterday we welcomed Spring with 80 degree temperatures and it continued today! It is just gorgeous out! So, to help get in the mindset of Spring, we did a little journal activity to incorporate Spring words.

We thought of as many Spring words as we could as a class.

Then, students drew a sky with 10 fluffy clouds in their journals and wrote 10 Spring words inside each one. They had lots of fun drawing, coloring and writing! It was a short, fun activity to integrate Spring into our day!

Have a blessed day and Happy Spring! :)


Monday, March 12, 2012


Today we worked on learning about capacity! It was kind of a tough day, considering all of the new lingo that goes along with the concept [quart, pint, gallon, cups - even capacity itself!] So, to help my first graders get at least some grasp of the concept, we made Gallon Guys and Gallon Girls!

As you would assume, the boys made Gallon Guys and the girls made Gallon Girls. I had used this in the past when I worked as a Title One Math Coach for third and fourth grades, and didn't think I would be using in first grade, but when we came upon our measuring unit in our curriculum this year, it was a perfect fit to teach my little ones! It worked really well and was a great visual for how many cups in a pint, pints in a quart, and so on.

We'll see how they do on some assessment worksheets, but with the answers they gave me to verbal questions today, I'm confident they all will do fabulous!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Word Work Mania!

One of my favorite parts of the Daily 5 is Word Work time! I love finding new ways for my students to practice our words and phonics sounds any time they can.  Today, we had 2 students absent, and it's Friday, so I decided to delay my math activity to Monday and break out lots of materials for the remainder of the day (which really was only a half an hour).

Some students used alphabet stamps....
I created a sheet to accompany this activity. My students were using regular computer paper or writing paper and it was such a mess! I had to create something scaffolded and more organized. This is what I came up with! [Spelling Stampers is available in my Word Work Activities packet].

Other students used bendy stix to create letters and words...

A bunch used letter tiles (their favorite!)
I found that the tiles can be noisy on their desks, so I bought felt and cut it into large squares for themt to lay them out on to reduce the noise (a little!)

Other students broke out spelling words I had used when I taught at a different school last year.
I just recently introduced these and they are becoming a fast favorite of the class! They were quite labor intensive when I first made them (printing, cutting, mounting and laminating - I'm particular!) so I'm glad they are putting them to use!

One other student broke out my latest addition to our (quite large) Word Work section... I saw this on Pinterest and modified it a tad...
Using clothespins to spell out spelling words. Another growing favorite!

Lastly, some students used puzzle pieces to spell words...
I can honestly say this was my own idea! I didn't find and adopt or modify it from anyone! It hit me one weekend when I was off scrapbooking with my mother-in-law (yes, we get along QUITE well!) Anyhow, I was just sitting there and saw her puzzle punch and it just hit me! Why not let students make spelling puzzles.  I have tons of letter stickers that are just left over, not enough to spell out one whole word any more, so I used those and lots of scrap paper to make tons of puzzle pieces! It's one of my favorite, but it's not a huge hit with the kids :(

They seem to go in waves of what they like to use during Word Work time. The bendy sticks were a hti for a while at the beginning of the year, then fizzled off and almost NO ONE used them, and now they're a hit again! Oh well. As long as they are loving to make words, I'm okay with that! I can definitely say that there is a plethera of choices in my Word Work section and my students LOVE it :)

Hope you found some new ideas!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Into the Unknown...

As you can see, my blog is a bit, well, plain.  I've NEVER blogged before! This is quite the work in progress, and to make matters worse I don't have internet at home (yet!) I've been following blogs, like The Inspired Apple (LOVE her!) and creating fun activities on TpT so I thought it was about time to create a blog of my very own. Here's a little bit about me (in case you're wondering!):  I am a 1st grade teacher and LOVE what I do! I say that teaching is my lifestyle, more than it is my job, or even career. This is my first year full-time, so it's a bit overwhelming but I am loving every second of my life right now. I teach in a Christian school (which I had never really considered in college) but it's better than I could have ever imagined and the people are fantastic. I love having the opportunity to minister to children about Christ!  I am married to my best friend, Dave, and we have a puppy dog named Reagan (the cutest pup ever, if I say so myself!) We live in Northeast Ohio and strangely, we love it here! We have 15 acres and a small house (in progress!) I'm super excited to share my journey with you into my first year with my own classroom and all the fun things I do with my 14 fabulous little learners!