Throwback Thursday!

How much fun is this linky party hosted by Cara at The First Grade Parade?
Click the precious picture to join the fun!

Here is my throwback post! This was originally published on October 24, 2012. I love cooking with my kids and I want to do it even more this school year. I hope you will print out this little recipe and stick it in your file for the Fall. 

I really enjoy cooking with my kids. They absolutely love it and it's a fun thing to do on Fridays. Last week we made the easiest pumpkin pies. I always try to choose recipes that are fairly easy and don't involve lots of ingredients and preparation. One of my co-teachers shared this amazing recipe with me.  I have no idea where it originally came from, but it is so great and easy. 

Isn't that so easy? My kids loved it. The biggest secret is to make sure and use the canned pumpkin pie MIX. If you just use the filling it is yucky and not sweet enough. I have been so busy lately that I haven't had much blogging time, but I wanted to make sure and share this recipe for your classroom cooking needs : ) 

I will try and update this post with some pictures of us cooking. I left my camera at school, BOO : (


Beginning Sounds BINGO, Click to WIN!

I am just on a roll today! I have gotten so many things checked off my to do list AND it's only NOON. Woo hoo! 

I am really excited to finish my Beginning Sounds BINGO game. On Fridays for phonics time and during my guided reading groups, I always like to play a fun game. I created this game as a fun  review of beginning/initial sounds. I love BINGO games because they are so easy to play and the kids really have to be paying attention to win. It is perfect for phonemic awareness. And it's Common Core and TEKS friendly!

Twenty four different game boards are included in the set, so you can play whole group during phonics time! If you happen to have more that 24 kids in your classroom God bless you and I can make you more game boards. 

I can't wait to use this activity this Fall! 

And now for the fun part! I will email Beginning Sounds BINGO to the first THREE people who PIN this activity and leave a comment below with their email address. Easy : ) GO! : )


New Teacher Tips (from an "old" new teacher)

I am so glad to have one year of teaching under my belt! I know I am still a new teacher, but at least I am no longer the newest! I CRINGED every time someone asked me, "How long have you been teaching?" I hated telling parents that their child was in the hands of fresh meat. But, it felt good to exceed their expectations too. 

Today I am linking up with Sharing Kindergarten to share some New Teacher Tips. This time last year I was a new teacher and it was the most amazing feeling. I was so blessed to get hired for my dream job right out of college and I spent the entire summer preparing. Here are a few tips that made my first year the best! 

Tip # 1: Know how all of your babies will get home from school.

Oh my goodness! This is one of the most stressful things about the first day of school. Make sure that you visit with all of the parents and that you know EXACTLY how each child will be picked up from school.  It really helped me just for the first day to make name tags for each child that included how they got home from school. That way if a child got separated from the daycare line another teacher would know where they were suppose to be. Because let's face it most  Kinderbabies on the first day of school don't even know their last name, let alone the name of their day care.  

Tip #2: Beg, Borrow, and Steal.

Use all of the AMAZING resources available! Can you imagine teaching in the days without the internet, blogs, Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest? I sure can't! I am constantly inspired and encouraged by all of the amazing blogs I read. I also pin things for my classroom 24/7. Set up an account on BlogLovin and find some great blogs to follow that inspire you! Also, use Teachers Pay Teachers! There are SO many free resources and tons of amazing resources for only a few dollars. Take advantage of the online teaching community! 

Tip #3: Your co-teachers are your best friends.

Make an effort from the beginning to get to know your team teachers and let them help you! But, make sure you do your share too! Do something nice like surprise them with cookies or a great book to read the first week of school. Your team mates will be the ones to offer to split your class when you fall over in the middle of the day with a headache, watch your kids when you run to the bathroom and let you borrow their awesome LeapFrog Learning DVDs to watch at the end of a long week. Make an effort to form a friendship with them! It makes a huge difference and makes school even more fun! I am so blessed to seriously love everyone that I work with. 

Tip #4: Recruit some AMAZING moms. 

I am a control freak. Seriously. I had a few sweet moms of kids in my class who would offer and offer and offer to help me with whatever I needed. Everyday they would say, "Do you need anything?" And you know what I said, "I can't think of anything. Thanks so much though." Then I would bring millions of things home from school and stay up late getting them done. Finally, second semester I let some of my control freakiness go and let the moms help me. Now, there are lots of things that you have to do yourself, but trust me: moms are great at cutting lamination, making copies or grabbing a few last minute items at the grocery store for a cooking activity. It really helped me to use my time better and not have as much to do at night or on the weekends. So, if you are lucky enough to have parents willing to help you, LET THEM.

Tip #5: Be a germ killing freak. 

Slather your little children in soap and hand sanitizer. I went into my first year expecting to be sick all of them time. The first semester I handled it like a champ and only missed two days of school when the fiance had ear surgery. Now, I had some common cold and headaches, but nothing major. Then after Christmas the germs ate me alive. I had sinus infections, migraines, allergies, pink eye, cold, mono, etc. It was MISERABLE. I realize that some of this is just part of them job, but do everything you can to prevent sickness and germs from spreading in your classroom. Teach your kids how to properly wash their hands, and sneeze and throw Kleenexes away, and get Germ squirts  from day 1. I have become so passionate about killing yucky germs I may do an entire post on it...

Tip #6: Remember why you became a teacher and what an amazing person you are!

 I won't lie to you, this is one of the hardest jobs in the world. But, you already knew that : ) Some days you may ask yourself, "Why on earth am I doing this?" Why do I spend forever perfecting a note for parents that never gets read? Why do I send home books that are never read? Why do I spend tons of my own money on supplies that get ruined?  Some days it's easy to be discouraged and feel insignificant, but remember why you became a teacher. You are a special person to choose this career and to make a difference in the lives of children and families. Make yourself a little box with all of the cards, pictures and notes you will get from your students and parents to help you get through tough days. I also have these two bible verses on my desk at school:

So whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
Colossians 3:23


I have this exact cute little poster on my desk. Here is the source. 

Find something that speaks to your heart and keeps you uplifted. Remember that you have one of the most important jobs in the world.  At the end of the day, no parent really cares if you are a new teacher, they just want to know that their child is loved and cared for. And learning a little something helps too! : )

I am off to read everyone's tips! Even "old" new teachers still have lots to learn! : )


Five For FRIDAY!

I keep forgetting that today is Friday! Summer messes up all of my days. I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share 5 random things from my week. Click below to link up!

1. School was out Friday and I headed to Austin, TX on Sunday for a few days of wedding planning! Here is a (panoramic) picture of the gorgeous place we are getting married in. We also took engagement pictures at a ranch in Dripping Springs, TX. I am hoping to have the pictures back sometime next week! 

2. While I was in Austin I always have to go to Lakeshore Learning. I absolutely love this store and only get to go a few times a year. Here are a few of my treasures, but I can't get them to rotate the right way. Grrrr.

3. Yesterday I completed my first of many little summer projects. I found this at Home Goods and I added the knobs and turned it into a little necklace holder. It turned out really cute!

4. I have had the smallest version of the Cricut for about 2 years and I have been thinking about upgrading to the Cricut Expression 2. I just happened to mention this to my room mom and she had a brand new one that she made me a deal on. I can't wait to play with it more this summer. You can see my old Cricut lurking in the background. 

5. I woke up this morning and found that my little hibiscus was blooming. Also please note my green grass. YAY! 

I hope everyone's summer is off to a great start! : ) I love having time to catch up on all of your blogs. 

Reading Rodeo

SURPRISE! It's me! I finally found out what was causing me to feel terrible every week...MONO. After weeks of being sick with everything from the stomach bug to headaches, I finally had some blood work done and found the culprit of the yucky-ness. I am finally feeling better and getting some of my usual energy back.

The end of the year is so busy! Oh my goodness! A week ago we had our big Reading Rodeo. This is one of the signature things that my school does every year. The kids earn points for every book they read and then they can spend these points on fun activities and snacks. We had everything! Mechanical bull, game trailer, bouncers, candy, wrecking ball, snow cones, photo booth, cotton candy, obstacle course, popcorn, giant slides and even a rock wall. The kids LOVED it. This year for kindergarten each child was given 50 points to kind of get them excited and motivated to read for the next year when they have to earn every point.

The other big highlight of Reading Rodeo is an author coming to visit. This year we had Kimberly Willis Holt. Most of her books are for the upper grade levels, but she does have a few picture books for the younger kids too. It was really interesting to hear her speak. 

Last year I was hired a few weeks before Reading Rodeo and I was able to attend and see Susan Stevens Crummel speak. She was amazing to see!

Friday was the last day of school! It was very bittersweet. I am really going to miss my sweet kids so much. I will have some pictures to post once I find my camera : ) Happy SUMMER!