Warning: this is a very random post.

I don't usually get too personal on my blog, but I wanted to explain why I have been super MIA lately.  I am just wrapping up my Master's program in Early Childhood Education and had a TON of things due last week (including a two inch thick portfolio that proves I meet all of the state's professional teaching standards) and my oral comprehensive exam tonight.  It was completely horrifying, but I am SO glad to say that I passed!  Woo hoo!  Relieved doesn't even begin to describe it.  I was living, breathing and eating grad school plus working two extra jobs that both end this week too!  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be done with all of this stressful stuff.

Another thing that is adding to that feeling is that I have won three giveaways in the last couple weeks.  How is that possible?!?  I refreshed the webpages, rubbed my eyes and blinked about 100 times before I could believe it.  I don't think I have ever won anything in my entire life.  In fact, I am the type of person who usually has the worst luck on the planet.  Split my pants while dancing in a crowded bar?  Yep, that's me.  Last week, to be exact.  Get about 10 trash cans thrown all over my poor little car while tutoring?  Me again.  Push on a glass paned door and have it explode in my face, and cut me in a few places?  Yep.  Fall up the stairs in front of everyone?  That was this morning.  Not making this stuff up, and that's just the tip of the iceberg!  So I would like to thank Erin from Creating and Teaching, Erin from Eberhart's Explorers and April from Chalk Talk from the bottom of my heart.  If you have not already checked out their amazing and inspiring blogs, you should! 

I will be back in action and blogging a lot more really soon, I swear.  I also have a super fabulous giveaway up my sleeve when I reach 300 followers!

Last but not least, my baby sister is in a modeling contest for BCBG.  It would mean SO much if you have time to take a second to vote for her right {HERE}.  To sweeten the deal, if you do leave a comment with your email address and I will send a freebie your way!
 My sister and I a loooongggg time ago...

And here we are at her college graduation!

The Book Fairy - Freebie!

Last week we were on vacation, and on our first day back at school we found a message from a special visitor... THE BOOK FAIRY!

Sorry for the horrible phone pic quality, and for the weird handwriting... I was trying to disguise it so they really thought that the book fairy was the one who wrote it :)

Before vacation, The Book Fairy came and dropped off a reading log for each child.  Everyone who read ten books over vacation got a prize from our treasure chest.  Trust me, they were super motivated and excited about reading!  It's all they could talk about when they got to school.

I made up a mini-packet that includes The Book Fairy challenge sign (above), the ten book reading log and an award for all of the readers.
You can download your copy {HERE}.

Clip art from Scrappin' Doodles.


And the Winners Are...

The winner of a $25 gift card is Amy, who said "I follow your TPT store."

The winner of my Vegetable Games unit is Aubrey Laine, who said "I follow your blog."

Congratulations, Ladies!  I've emailed you.  Thank you so much to everyone who played along.  Happy Saturday!

Last Chance to Win $25!

My giveaway ends in 3 hours, so make sure you enter!  It is super easy... all you have to do is follow my blog :)

Click {HERE} to enter!

Fill in the Blank Friday

1.  Today is a great day because,   it's beautiful outside, I am on vacation AND I went to yoga this morning! 

2.   Tomorrow I will   go to the gym, get a pedicure and {hopefully} make tons of progress on my grad school work.  

3.  My favorite time of day is     the evening     because    I love dinner, dessert and watching trashy television.  I have found that nighttime is definitely best for all three of these endeavors, although I am definitely not opposed to watching Bravo or eating dessert during the day either.

4. Sometimes you just have to    do something for yourself without feeling guilty about it.

5. A song that I just can't get enough of lately is    somebody that I used to know by Gotye.  I HATED it at first but it is so darn catchy!

6. My favorite accessory is   probably a fun purse.  or shoes.  or maybe a necklace or earrings or bracelets.  Can you tell I love accessories?  

7.  My favorite thing about this week was   being on V-A-C-A-TION!!!!  Even though I didn't do anything outrageously fun, I loved having this time to get my life together and catch up on stuff for grad school.

Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a $25 gift card OR my Vegetable games pack.  I will pick a winner in exactly 24 hours, so get on it!
Click {HERE} to enter!

Vegetables Galore!

I LOVE teaching my kinders about plants and vegetables.  It is my favorite unit of the whole year!  They love learning the new vocabulary, learning how each veggie grows and  taste testing them.  

I just added an emergent reader to my Vegetable Math, Literacy and Science Games packet.  It now has vegetable bingo, vegetable memory, a vegetable garden graph and the "What is a Vegetable?" emergent reader.  A pretty good deal for $3, if I do say so myself!  The reader will help your little ones practice fluency and learn new vocabulary all at once.  Also, the last two pages have them add their own words and  illustrations.  Click {HERE} to check it out!

Speaking of vegetables, here are some of my very favorite books:

I try to read a lot of nonfiction texts when I'm teaching about veggies ever since I went to a professional development that pointed out that in the average classroom children are exposed to WAY more fictional texts than nonfiction.  I still love those fictional books too, though!

Do you have any favorite vegetable books?

Also, don't forget to enter my Spring Giveaway {HERE} for a chance to win a $25 gift card, or this Vegetable unit!


I am so happy to have so many lovely, amazing and fabulous followers.  I have not been able to blog as much as I would like to lately (I blame that on two after school jobs, babysitting and grad school!).  As a super huge thank you I am having a Spring giveaway. 

Here's what you can win:

First Place
A $25 gift card of your choice {from either Target, Barnes & Noble or Amazon}

Second Place
My Vegetable Games activities

And here's how:

The only thing you need to do is follow my blog.  

For additional entries, you can
Follow my TPT Store
Blog about this giveaway {and link back to my blog}
Post about this giveaway on facebook {and link back to my blog}

This Giveaway ends on Saturday, April 21st at 12 noon.  
The winner will be chosen at random using

Please leave one comment for each thing you do.

Thank you, and good luck!!!

Educator Appreciation Week - 25% Off!

On Friday I had a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day.  The kind of day where you leave the house at 6:15 am and get home at 8:45 pm.  NOT on purpose.  NOT because you were doing something important or fun.  Because you worked until 3, tutored until 5:15 and then sat on the on-ramp to the highway for 25 minutes not moving.  Now when I say "not moving" I do not mean that traffic was stop and go.  I mean that I literally DID NOT MOVE.  I sat and sat and sat until the people behind me started doing crazy u-turns, then I did a crazy u-turn too. Then I took a wrong turn, accidentally went the wrong way on a one way and got completely lost.  When I found civilization again  I went to Old Navy, finally found one pair of pants that were not heinous, then started the drive home again.  Traffic was still excruciating, as in 14 MPH in a 65 excruciating, but at least it was moving!  Come to find out that not only was the first Red Sox home game letting out, every single runner in the Boston Marathon was picking up their bib and all that jazz.  Plus everyone was getting out of work.  All of those combined equaled the worst traffic I have ever seen in my life!

The next morning I went to the gym and randomly decided to hit up Barnes and Noble to buy The Hunger Games.  I am officially on vacation so finally have time to read it!  I strolled in, still kind of grouchy from the horrible 14 hour day and found the sweetest lady at a table full of goodies.  It was the first Educator Appreciation Day!  Everything in the store is 25% off for all teachers with the free B&N educator card!  They also gave me a coupon for a free Starbucks coffee (amazing!) and tons of free goodies.  My weekend was officially turned around :)

 Here is what I picked up: A ballerina activity book for my niece's birthday, a super cool Brown Bear sliding board book for a friend's baby, In My Ocean and In My Barn for my classroom (I already have In My Den and In My Pond and my kids ADORE the colorful illustrations and fun finger puppets), The Hunger Games for myself and this Keep Calm and Garden On decoration thingy for Mother's Day.  The total came to about $45.  

And here are all of the magical freebies I scooped up!  Some of my favorites were a Kevin Henkes poster, free pens and pencils, a Shel Silverstein bookmark and a Charlotte's Web teacher's guide.  There are tons of other fun book posters and reading guides too.

I highly suggested you walk run down to Barnes and Noble and grab something fun for your classroom or yourself!  

*Note: I have absolutely nothing to do with Barnes and Noble... I just LOVE a good deal!

Plants and Seeds FREEBIE!

I just finished making TONS of updates to my Plants and Seeds Math, Science and Literacy Fun! unit and I am SO excited about it!  It is already my best selling unit and I am so excited to have made it even better!  It is 87 pages of science, math, literacy and fine motor all rolled up into one super fun unit!

If you have already purchased this unit, please go to TPT to download it again.  I have added Common Core Standards and a sweet emergent reader, plus tweaked a few other things here and there.

Here are just a few of the fun things available in this unit:

To celebrate Spring, here is a copy of the Emergent Reader that I just added to this unit.
Or click {HERE}


Oh So Random...

1.  Have you ever heard of this book?  I hadn't, until I read it three years ago as part of our curriculum.  It is a beautiful story about friendship, creativity and color.  Seriously, check out how gorgeous these illustrations are:
My students were so inspired by this book that they wanted to make their own mural.  Why not do it in a "cave," just like the lion did?  
 So we taped a huge piece of white paper to the back of a bookshelf. draped two blankets over the shelf and a chart stand, threw in the book (opened to the cave mural page) and a bunch of colored pencils and there you go... a super easy, fun and artistic way to make text-to-self connections!

2.  Head on over to My Fabulous Finds to check out what I did with this yard sale muffin tin (trust me, it will make your life so much easier!)

3.  Also, I just wanted to share that my blog was featured on {this website} along with tons of amazing blogs that I totally aspire to be one day.  I am so flattered!

Currently April

I am linking up with Oh Boy Fourth Grade for my fave linky party!

I'm going to elaborate a little on all of these:
1.  I LOVE TRASHY TV.  Anything and everything on Bravo is my favorite thing to watch.  Something about the trashiness of it is addictive, plus I can do tons of other things while I watch.

2. Two words: APRIL VACATION.  Unfortunately this year I'm not doing anything fun, like going to Mexico.  BUT I will finally have time to catch up on my to do list, get our poor house organized, do some yard work and finish up my master's degree!

3.  SUNDAY. NIGHT. BLUES.  Hate them!  I haven't found any cures yet, although a glass of wine does seem to ease the pain.

4.  Enough said!

5.  I have been working 70 - 80 hours a week teaching, working two tutoring jobs, going to class at night and babysitting.  Enough already!  I have only been going to the gym about once a week which is not nearly enough.  I am in my BFF's wedding in less than three months and I need to get in shape STAT!  I also have NO cute clothes.  Don't know what happened to them all, but this sista needs to go shopping!

6.  I have ALWAYS wished for the power to stop time.  As in everyone else would be frozen, and I could just stop time to do whatever I needed to do.  Big long line at Target?  No problem... just freeze time and jump to the front.  Huge paper due?  No problem... stop time and work on it.  Sleep deprived?  Little troublemaker in your class driving you crazy?  See how it works?  It's the ultimate super power!!

How to Embed Pins in Your Blog Posts

 A few weeks ago I was determined to figure out how to embed pins into my blog posts.  I finally did (it's actually pretty easy... much easier than separately copying and pasting and linking to the source of the pin).  Here's how:

 1.  Click on the pin you want to embed.

 2. Click on the "embed" button.

 3.  Change the image width and height (this step is optional).

 4.  Copy and paste the HTML code.

 5.  In Blogger, paste the code into the HTML tab.  Click back over to the Compose tab, and this is what you will see!

Voila!  Here is the finished product.  You may need to fiddle around with the text below the pin if you are centering it.  I haven't figured out how to get it to center, so I have to just use my spacebar to make it look centered.  If anyone knows a better way, let me know!

I am Egg-static about these Eggs!

I was searching for "Easy Easter Crafts" on Pinterest and I found this adorable idea!  It was SO easy and it came out beautifully, if I do say so myself.  I was by myself the other day (no para, me and 22 kids) and was kind of traumatized at the idea of doing a messy art project without any help.  I hemmed and hawed and finally just decided to go for it. 

Anyway, here's how to make the world's easiest Easter craft.

1. Cut out tons of eggs using white construction or art paper.  Mine were about 10 inches tall and 7 inches wide (almost the size of a sheet of paper).

2.  Put tons of shaving cream in a tray or other shallow container.

3.  Sprinkle the top with a few colors of liquid watercolor. (I let the kids pick 3 colors).  You could also use food coloring or acrylic paint, but I happened to have watercolor lying around and it made the colors so pretty and vibrant.

4.  Have each little one stick one finger in and swirl it around.  Don't swirl TOO much, or it will turn out all brown/gray/yucky.

5.  Press an egg shape face down into the shaving cream paint mess.  Of course, I forgot to take a photo of this step.  I had the kids lightly tap it for about 15 seconds.  Then we pulled it out of the shaving cream and placed it on the table.  I had them smush shaving cream onto any places that were left bare (and yes, smush is the official shaving cream art term), then waited another 10 - 15 seconds for the paint to sink into the paper.

6.  Use a squeegee or other item to scrape the shaving cream off.  In our "we are so not fancy" case we used a thick piece of cardboard.  I held the egg and the kids scraped.

Voila!  A gorgeous Easter Egg!  The kids literally thought it was magic.  The other great thing about this is that one tray of shaving cream made about 10 eggs!  I did freshen up the paint after about 5.  Then we refilled the tray and did the next 10 with different colors.  Loved it!

We also made some adorable bunnies, but of course I forgot to snap a picture.  We didn't use cottonballs on the face.  We did similar ears, a pink triangle nose and googly eyes.  They drew on their own mouth and whiskers.  We did do a little cottonball tail on the back of the plate, which they loved.

Another super easy project that the kids could do almost independently.  Cute, right?  They even have a little cotton tail on the back :)
Hoppy Easter!

If you are looking for something to get your kids excited about writing, come check out my April Words unit.  I love using this with both my ESL students and my native English speakers alike.  There are lots of fun activities to make their writing hoppin'!