July Currently!!!

6/29/2013 / 7 comments

Listening: To zen music whilst my dogs snore! Well, Phoebe's snoring loudly, the others are quiet sleepers!

Loving: These lazy summer days! Not that I enjoyed the outdoors today, it was way to humid for me!

Thinking: About which project I should finish up next! I started one but of course hopped to another. I think I have product ADHD!

Wanting: To try nail striping again. I have the tape which helps, but it was a disaster last time. I think it's time to try again!

Needing: To save money in a big way! Not getting paid in the summer is no fun! So no more shopping for me for a looong time!

Tips, Tricks or Hints - Do what is natural for you! At first I was compelled to try and blog each day, but that is just not me. So then I stopped blogging because I was stressing myself out over it. Now I just go with it and only blog when I really feel I have something I really want to say!

Click the picture below to head on over to Farley's to link up!
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Homophone Puzzles

6/28/2013 / 10 comments

One of the hardest skills for my students last year was spelling, especially when it came to homophones. They would be calling me or asking their friends for help on how to spell lots of words. I cannot tell you how many journal entries I read that used witch instead of which, or there instead of their!

I wanted to put together a game that would be a fun way for them to connect the different spellings of these words with contextual sentences.
There are 100 puzzles in this set, a total of 50 homophone pairs.
Each context sentence has two of the different homophones that could fit in the sentence. I am going to laminate my puzzles, so my students can either circle the correct homophone, or write the word on the line with dry erase markers.
I included score sheets, and a sample, so students can work on this independently in literacy centers or small groups during Word Study. I like to use these score sheets to quickly assess their understanding after they have finished these activities.
I included a homophone dictionary that gives a simple definition for each word. If the students are unsure on which spelling of the word would complete the puzzle they can use the dictionary as a reference tool.

For example: Tie this belt around your _______. They may not be sure which waste/waist is correct. If they use the dictionary they will read:

waste: Unwanted or leftover material.

waist: The narrow part of the human body above the hips.

This will help them to be able to make the correct choice: Tie this belt around your waist.

I included an Answer Key as well. I like to have my students grade their score sheets themselves before handing them in. They simply check their answers and give themselves 1 point for each sentence that matches the homophone correctly! It is a quick way to have them see and understand what each spelling and context means.

This set is available in my TpT shop!
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Favorite Beauty Items!

6/27/2013 / 5 comments

I am linking up with Across the Hall in 2nd Grade for their Favorite Things Linky! This week is all about Beauty Basics!

First up is hair:

I recently switched to Joico's Smooth Cure for my shampoo and conditioner. I love that it is sulfate free and it really does make my hair a lot smoother. I have curly hair which has the tendency to feel dry and coarse but this stuff makes it so soft, not just when I straighten it too,  even when it's curly!
Styling products: These two have been my styling staples for years. I love Garnier Fructis Curl Scrunch Gel. I use this first when I get out of the shower to scrunch my hair. Then I rescrunch with Ouidad's Climate Control. This stuff is amazing - it really does cut down on the frizzy's!
Face and body: I have used Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion for years. My face feels so tight and icky if I do not put it on right after I wash my face!
I adore Aveeno's Daily Moisturizing Lotion, it is the only lotion I use now! I like that it has a nice low rating on the Skin Deep Database too! I have been trying to switch over all my products to lower rated items using that site!
Lips: I never leave home without Burt's Bees Lip Balm. Of course I don't have to worry about that, as I have one everywhere I go! I used to swear by Chapstick, but then I saw how many chemicals they had and I made the switch. Burt's gets a nice rating of 1 on the Skin Deep website, and you cannot go wrong with that!
Makeup: I love bareMinerals! I use their foundation, bronzer and mineral veil most days. They are easy (and fast) to apply and they never leave my skin with that heavy foundation feeling!
Eyes: I use bareMinerals High Shine eyeshadow and No7's Exceptional Definition for my mascara. I wear these most days since I am not a lipstick person. Plus I adore super shiny eyeshadow!
Lastly we have some of my favorite beauty tools! I love my Tweezerman tweezers! Not only do they work amazingly well, they are adorable too! <3!
Sephora's Eyelash and Eyebrow Comb! These are a great quick fixer for messy eyebrows and clumpy lashes! Sadly I don't have a link for this one, it seems like Sephora is not carrying them anymore!
Those are all of my beauty basic favorites, now I am off to check out everyone else's! Click the picture below to hop on over!
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DIY Bracelet Stand and Giveaway Winner!

6/24/2013 / 3 comments

I know I have mentioned this before, but I have tons of jewelry. Click here if you want to see how I have stored some of it in the past. My necklaces and earrings have stayed organized with those stands and displays.  My bracelets however...they were out of control!! I decided to make a bracelet stand for my sanity's sake!

I was going to use a paper towel roll but upon further inspection it was way to flimsy. I cut a foot long piece off of a gift wrap roll instead. The heart shaped lid came from an anklet I got a few years ago. 
I sliced and folded the end I cut back a bit to give it a solid base.
I painted the lid with some black nail polish that had gotten thick. It worked perfectly on the lid but not so well on the roll. Nail polish is definitely meant for small areas only!

I electric taped the ends of the roll for a closed top and base. I don't want my bracelets falling inside - or a dust filled stand either!
I used this pretty zebra tissue paper a few years back on some candles I made as a Christmas gift. I mod podged the paper onto the roll and presto! Now it is a lot less hideous looking! I used hot glue to attach the roll to the lid.
After it had dried I put a few, or maybe a zillion, bracelets onto my new holder. Then I noticed this:
I had made the leaning tower of bracelets!! I switched those bracelets with my bangles, hoping the lightness would help, but alack no. It fell over everyday last week!

This weekend I took the roll off the lid and reattached it with the ever fabulous Super Glue!
Finally I was left with a fully functioning, and a straight, bracelet stand! I am loving how easy it was to make too!

Click on over to Tara's blog to see the rest of the Monday Made Its!

Last but not least, the giveaway Winner!! Congratulations to Michelle! You are the winner of the Neon Month, Day and Date Template! I will be emailing you today!
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Five for Friday - 1st Day of Summer Edition!

6/21/2013 / 5 comments
It is my first week of summer and I am loving the weather and the relaxation!! This week I am going to link up with Doodle Bugs for my lazy summer day Five for Friday!!

1. Running with Friends - I adore this game, so much so that it is like when I was a little kid and played to many video games. Remember how you would start to see Tetris blocks when you closed your eyes? Seriously, I swear to you I have been seeing this at night when I sleep all week!!
2. I finally gave in to the Candy Crush! This one has not been quite as addicting, not yet at least, but I do like it a lot!
3. iPhone makeover! I love Skinit, they have the best decals. I took a yucky black iphone case I had laying about and jazzed it up with one of their gorgeous stickers. I love the pretty blue sparkly one too, but this one seemed more summery!
4. My Kindle! I got this about 2 weeks ago and I am hooked! I went with the new paperwhite. It is so nice to be able to read at night without the lights. I also love how all my favorite classics are free on Amazon!
5. Lastly we have my new favorite Pandora station: Britney Spears Radio! Yes I will admit, I am a huge Britney fan and this station rocks! It is definitely my go-to right now!
Hop on over to Doodle Bugs to see what everyone else has been up to!

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Neon Month, Day and Date Template

6/20/2013 / 6 comments
I like having the majority of my message written out for me ahead of time each day, so last year I had a houndstooth version of this set on my whiteboard:
I liked it, mostly because I adore houndstooth, but I wanted to make something that would match my room decor a bit better. 

I made signs for all 12 months: Each sign is 3 1/2 inches wide and 10 inches long. If you hang them side by side they are 20 inches long.
There are six different neon backgrounds, I changed the order around to give each month a new look!

These were a huge time saver for me this year. I printed, laminated and binder clipped these last summer. Every time a new month rolled around I was ready to go! My 5th graders loved stopping by in the morning to help me fill it out too!

This set is available in my TpT shop!
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Follow Me On Bloglovin!

6/19/2013 / 1 comment
I switched over to bloglovin' yesterday and I must say it was incredibly easy. I downloaded the app for my ipad too and I must say I am loving it! It is so easy to pick right up where you left off last time you read. This comes in handy if you are easily distracted like me!! Don't forget to switch all your blogs over too! 

Click Here to Follow Me on Bloglovin!

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Nail Art - Nude with Glitter Tips!

6/18/2013 / 2 comments
I never wear nude nail polish but I always love how it looks on other people so I figured I would give it a whirl!
I used OPI Bubble Bath for the base and Zoya Mimi for the glitter tips. I poured some glitter onto a paper plate and then dabbed a cosmetic sponge into the paint. I like to cut my sponges into little triangles, it makes it a bit easier to work with them that way.
I liked the combination of the colors but I would definitely go for a gradient look next time. I have a tendency to do my nails late on Sunday nights which makes me rush a bit!! Still I really loved the nude and will definitely be using it again soon! Oh yes and please excuse the chipped tips, I took these pictures at the end of the day on Monday. It is amazing how quickly one day can destroy a mani!!

What's on your nails this week? Are you rocking a solid shade, statement nail or nail art? Tell me about it in the comments below!!
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Teacher Toolbox Trio Linky!

6/17/2013 / 2 comments
 I am linking up with Alison from Eberopolis for her Teacher Toolbox Trio Linky!

# 1: Something I Made:
My Word of the Day set has been a great resource in my classroom for years! It is a fun way to introduce my students to a variety of new words, and it is a quick activity too! It fits easily in wherever you have extra time.

This year we used it during Intervention for our Opening. Once the kids were settled in their seats I would choose one to read the word, one to read the definition and one to read the context. We would then take turns using the word again in our own sentences to reinforce the meaning. My kids always get a kick out of finding these words in the books they are reading in their Intervention programs!!

#2: Something I Purchased:
I purchased Fun Games 4 Learning's Math Problems and Math Brain Teasers set a few months ago. I wanted to incorporate some interesting math problems into our Intervention block. A lot of students were finishing their assignments early and we all know how that can lead to chaos with some groups!!

Everyday I would write one of these problems on the board and we would read it as a group at the start of class. In the beginning just my early finishers would try them, but as the year went on more and more students joined in. Teresa came up with some really fun and interesting problems! I actually found myself solving them for fun when I first purchased this set!

#3: Something I Wish Listed:

I adore these Bright & Clear Library Labels that my fantastically talented sister Kristen made! They have been on my wish list and are something I will definitely use when I get my own classroom! I love the colors and the clip art she chose, that girl just has the best taste!! 

Click on over to Alison's blog to check out all the other link-ups!
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Field Trip(s) Recap!

6/11/2013 / 4 comments
Three field trips down, one more to go!

#1: Hiking with my 5th graders!

It was the perfect day, a bit humid, but not enough so that you would notice it in the woods. It poured the day before, so it was a tad slippery on the way down. The kids and I had a blast all day - and the view from the top was amazing! They could not get over how it looked, one of my students kept mentioning how it didn't even look real!!

#2: The Zoo with my 3rd graders!

Another beautiful day, warm and humidity free, just the way I like them! We saw so many awesome animals - unfortunately my camera died halfway through the trip. It showed that it was fully charged the night before but apparently it was lying. Lesson learned, always charge your camera before every field trip!

#3: The Science Center with my 1st graders!
This was the last trip of the week, it was supposed to rain but did not. Yay for that!! The deer and the bears were a bit antisocial, so we only got pictures of their backs. The river otters had a blast doing tricks for us and we loved watching them! I think the bobcat enjoyed having his picture taken, he kept sneaking by us again and again!

The zoo and science center were back to back last week so I was just a wee bit exhausted last weekend. I had so much fun on all of these trips! I must give photo credits to my students - not many  brought cameras so I let them use my Powershot. I thought it would be cool to see the trips from their perspective. I think they take better pictures than I do!

Tomorrow we are off to see a play and then we end our week with an all day field day. It will have been a very busy last two weeks but I have loved every minute of it!

What was your favorite field trip this year?
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