Monday, August 18, 2014

Teacher Week- Who Am I?

Well, today was our First Day of School and what better way to celebrate than linking up with Blog Hoppin. It's Teacher Week!

Today is "Tell us all about you". 

My name is Cara. I just turned 33 yesterday. I live in South Florida, where it is hot ALL year round. LOL I live about 20 minutes from the beach and rarely go to it (I would much rather live near the mountains). I live 5 minutes from the Everglades, where I see plenty of gators. 

I have a beautiful 4 year old little girl and an amazing husband, whom is also a teacher.

Favorite Things:

I absolutely LOVE me some VOLS. I am a big fan and ready for football season to begin. 
I am a Vera Bradley fanatic. I have over 25 bags. 
I LOVE Disney World.
I LOVE pugs. I had one for many years, but she passed away several years ago. I can't wait to get another one.
I also like Slurpees, good Southern BBQ, crafting, and making hair bows (I have a small side business). 

Thanks for stopping by and getting to know me a little better. Here's the schedule for the rest of the week.

Stop by Blog Hoppin' and get to know other bloggers. Click below and join in.

Friday, August 8, 2014

My aDOORable Door Hanger

After being in PD for the past 3 days, I'm stopping by quickly to share with you my new door hanger. 

I absolutely LOVE it! It is by Young Love aDOORable Decor. They make adorable door hangers for all occasions and seasons. They are made of wood, so they are very durable. You can follow them of Facebook here or check out their Etsy store here

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Is Almost Over- So Sad!

Well, my summer has surely passed by quickly. Last week, I was looking at this: 

 We took a long weekend getaway to Disney's Vero Beach Resort. Each morning, I would get up and head out to the beach for a sunrise morning walk. Awe, peaceful! Ironically, I live about 20 minutes away from the beach and hardly ever go to that beach. Ha, imagine that! Well, tomorrow it is back to reality, as I will be sitting in PD for the next 3 days. Our Charter School Company does this every year. All of our sister schools in the area gather for PD together, followed by a luncheon on Friday at a local hotel. Then next week, we head back to our campuses and begin working on our rooms and having meetings. I'll have 4 DAYS to setup my room before Meet N Greet. Yup, I said 4 DAYS!!!! I'm going to blog about if I will be able to get it all done. Can you see the sweat pouring down my face right now? I sure can feel it.

Besides making my new clip chart, word wall letters, etc., I have been busy creating for my students. First up, I wanted to revamp something that I started creating towards the end of the year for my students. My students needed more work on building sentences and handwriting. So, what better way than making something that they can practice while also manipulating. Below is the old version. 
In this version, my students had to read the sentence, write the sentence, cut apart and glue the sentence, and illustrate the sentence. Isn't my students illustration adorable! I LOVE the sunglasses and sweat coming off of him. Ha! Now, I started to revamp and added tracing to the sheet. Here is the new revamped version.
This time they read and trace the sentence, write the sentence, cut and build the sentence, and finally illustrate the sentence. Sorry, my illustration isn't as cute a students would be. I'll have to work on my details.

As I was making the new pages, I thought why don't I make some where they practice building words as well. So I created one.
My students will read the word, trace the word, write the word 3 times, illustrate the word, and build the word. This will be perfect for my Word Work Station in Daily 5. I can't wait to revamp my other ones and make more seasonal versions. You can pick up the whole set and get a FREEBIE of it at my TPT store.
While I finished up that project, I also decided to make a new "All About Me" craftivity. I wanted to make something cute and looked like a backpack. My brain got to cranking and I came up with this. 
I LOVE it! Isn't it ADORABLE! I can't wait to see what color combinations my students come up with. I chose a teal and pink construction paper combo for my backpack.
Then I printed out on card stock the items that go inside the backpack pocket. 
First up is the birthday cake. They color their birthday cake and then add their age circle to the center of the cake. On the crayon, they write their favorite color and color their crayon that color.
On the lunch bag, they draw their favorite food. In the photo frame, they draw a picture of themselves on the First Day of School. These are so simple to make. I can't say it enough about how much I LOVE them. You can pick up all of the things you need to make these.

Oh yeah, did you know that there is a SALE going on! I have already bought several items and am going to go back for more. Stop back later to see what I bought and I would LOVE to hear about the things that you snagged.

Well folks, I am off to the gym and then going to run some errands. I'm going to hit up Dollar Tree for paper tray bins like Greg's over at Smedley's Smorgasboard. I'm sure I will get other things as well. Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August Currently

August already! I can't believe it. This summer has flown by. Well, you know what time it is. It's that time of the month where many people link up and get to know what others are thinking about and doing. I LOVE completing a "Currently" each month with Farley at "Oh Boy Fourth Grade".

Listening: Whenever I am cleaning, cooking, creating, blogging or if there isn't anything on TV, I tend to have the Food Network on for background noise. I'm not even sure what is on right now. LOL

Loving: Tax Free Weekend Baby! Each year my state has a weekend (it use to be a week), where clothes, shoes, and school supplies are tax free. Of course that means, getting those needed supplies for the classroom, as well as, getting new pieces for my wardrobe. Today, I got a new pair of shoes, a dress, and 2 lightweight cardigans.

Thinking: I'm making a list of any other items I need for my classroom. I want to try and get them this weekend.

Wanting: Of course, I am wanting to get into my classroom to setup. That won't be happening anytime soon. My classroom and several others were used for Summer Camp and today was the last day. Next week, they will be cleaning, painting, and waxing our classrooms, which means I won't be able to actually get into my classroom until August 11th. I'm majorly stressing out, because I will only have 4 days to put my classroom together before Meet N Greet. Ahhhhh!

Needing: I seriously need to finish organizing my house. I'm going to use the next few days to finish going through closets, dressers, and toys and donating things that we no longer need. 

1st day for my is August 6th. I will be attending PD from the 6th-8th. Then, I will be heading into my classroom on August 11th to finally start setting up. I'm sure we will be interrupted with meetings and such. Meet N Greet is on August 15th and the kids start back on August 18th.

Make sure to stop by Farley's site to check out other "Currently"s. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Flashy Fireflies

Good Morning! Man, can you believe that it is already August? I can't! I go back next week for PD and then I will be at my school the following week to setup my classroom. My brain hasn't fully accepted the fact that I will be back so soon. I guess I need to get my little self into gear.

Anywho, I have been home with my daughter for most of the summer. My husband and I sent her to camp at her school a few days during the week. I still worked with her throughout the summer on letter recognition and sounds. One night when I was volunteering at her VBS, they were doing an activity with flashlights. The kids absolutely LOVED it! We put pictures of farm animals up all of the hallways, turned off the lights, and the kids had to go around shining their flashlights onto the pictures. This got me thinking and I came up with this.

(Click on the picture to go to my store.)

I tested it out with my daughter. I hung up the picture card fireflies in the hallway, turned out the lights, and then had her come in with a flashlight. I would say a sound and she had to find the firefly with the picture that begins with the sound I said. 

She really enjoyed using the flashlight and finding the fireflies. I can definitely see this being a hit with my Kindergarten students. I made 2 versions of this activity for you. One is picture cards for identifying beginning sounds and the other set is an alphabet version for letter recognition.

Check out these beauties that I found in the Dollar Section at my local Target.

They are perfect for $1 each. I got 10 of them all in silver. They had green, blue, red, and silver. I decided to get all the same color so that I didn't have anyone complaining about not having a certain color. 

So, what do you think? I can't wait to use it with my students. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Stitch Fix

Some of you may have heard of Stitch Fix before and some of you have not. I came across this company through several other teaching blogs. At first I was hesitant to try it out, but I decided to take the plunge last month and do it. I didn't post about my first fix, but have decided to start posting about them from now on. 

Before I get started, let me explain to you about what Stitch Fix is and how it works.

Stitch Fix is a personal shopping/styling service. You fill out a personal style profile, answer some questions, and then for $20.00 a personal stylist picks 5 items for each fix and sends them to the comfort of your home. The stylist looks at your style preferences, size, and any recommendations into consideration. You can make recommendations for special events, such as, a wedding, vacation, etc. on upcoming fixes. With each fix, they send you styling guides to help you pair the items sent up with things that you might already have. After you try on the items that they sent, you log into your account and decide whether or not you are going to keep them or send them back at check out. If you decide to keep anything, the $20 styling fee will be credited towards your purchase. If you choose to keep all of the items, a 25% discount will be applied to your purchase. Any items that you decide not to keep, just simply place them into the prepaid envelope and mail out. It's that simple! 

I really look forward to getting my Stitch Fix. I'm not much of a shopper. Majority of the times when I go into a store, I see something and would never even try it on. This program makes me try on things that I would just skip right over in the stores. With my first fix, I bought a beautiful statement necklace and a adorable dress. With that fix, I was also sent a pair of cobalt blue pants that I adored, but didn't want to spend that much money on, and two tops that I had to part with. One, the area around the armpits was really tight and the other one was to short. Enough about my last fix, let's see what was in my box this fix.

I opened my box and took out the carefully wrapped items. This is what was in my box.

I see some potential items. One item, I wasn't very fond of the pattern just looking at the stack. I then took out the sheet with the styling cards and tore them apart. I do this with each fix and try and pair them up with things that I have in my closet. Here is the personalized note from my stylist.

Looking at the styling cards, I saw a few things that I could pair together. Remember, I'm just starting out so I don't have to much in my wardrobe right now. Also, I have been working very hard on losing weight. It is a goal of mine. So far, I have lost 15 pounds. I asked for items that are loose fitting and items that I can wear in the extreme South Florida heat. As I began unpacking the items and hanging them up to take pictures for you all, I noticed that my stylist really didn't pay to much attention this time to my request. Here are the items I got this fix.

First up was the Mixed Dot  Blouse. When I first picked it up, I liked that the material was sheer which means that it will be fine with the South Florida weather. 

The styling card suggested that I pair it with a light pair of denim jeans or a navy pencil skirt. I had neither so I choose a dark pair of jeans.

I'm not 100% sold on this shirt. It looks a lot better on the hanger than it does on me. I'm not to sure about the dots.

My next fix was the Print Blouse. This is the one item in the fix that I did not like from the start. It reminded me of something I would have seen in my Grandma's house.

Let me tell you that my gut must have been telling me something because this shirt didn't even fit over my chest. So it was definitely out. 

So onto the next item, let me tell you I absolutely loved this next shirt when I saw it packaged up and when I saw the styling card. I tried on the Dash Button-Front Chambray Shirt. This shirt looks just like a denim shirt, however it was super soft and very light weight. Well, I quickly became very disappointed as I put it on the hanger to take a picture. It was completely the wrong size. The tag on the sleeve said the correct size, however, the actual tag on the shirt was 2 sizes smaller. So, I knew I wouldn't be trying this one on and would be sending it back.

The final 2 items I tried on together. I tried on a pair of black polka dot pants and teal knit top. The pants were the same pants as the pants in my first fix except that they were a different color. I like the fit of them, but am not a huge fan of the polka dots. (Secretly, I was wishing that it was the original pants from the first fix.) The teal shirt surprised me. It was long sleeve. I didn't want long sleeve and I specifically asked for items that I could wear in the Florida heat. 

Well, I was surprised because it you could actually roll up the sleeves to make them shorter. 

I tried it on and knew that the sleeves would definitely need to be rolled up. For the picture above, I changed out of the polka dot pants and paired it with a pair of dark jeans. I think this shirt would also be good with a pair of khaki pants or capris. 

What do you think about my fix? I was a little disappointed by some of the items I got in this fix, but will be letting them know. I'm going to keep the teal shirt, but send all the others back. I liked the pants, but really wasn't a fan of the polka dots. I hope you liked finding out about Stitch Fix as much as I liked sharing it with you.

If you are interested in getting your own Stitch Fix of your own please click below for my referral. Check it out! It's a lot of fun. I can't wait for my next one.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hitting the Dollar Spot

Can you believe that it is July already? I can't. In exactly 1 month, I will be headed back to begin prepping for the new school year. I've started marking things for my classroom, but am very hesitant about it. My school was looking for a new principal at the end of the school year and one was appointed last week. We had a Staff Meet N Greet last week and briefly met her. This week, she asked everyone to come in for one on one meetings. My meeting was yesterday. We discussed possible grade levels and leadership team opportunities. We are suppose to find out what grade level and team member assignments by this weekend. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will remain in Kindergarten. Last year was a rough year for me and I am looking forward to this year being better. In fact, I am determined to make it better no matter the circumstances.

I have begun thinking about my classroom for the upcoming year. Not knowing which classroom I will be in has been nerve racking. So I've started planning and marking things that I could use in any Primary grade level. Of course, I needed to pick up a few things for my classroom. You know what that means! Shopping!!! Of course, I hit up the Dollar Spot at my local Target. I have 5 Target stores near me within 25 miles. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Haha! Well, I went to the one closest to where I live and they had only unpacked flashcards. I didn't need flashcards. Grrrr! I was on a mission for supply caddies. (See my old ones have become so dirty and grimy that no matter how much I scrubbed and cleaned them it didn't help. I tossed them and was determined to get new ones this year.) Well at this store, I turned and saw the huge carts with unopened boxes. Not one employee was insight. It took everything in my not to start opening up those boxes. Plus, my husband was there and holding me back. Ha! I decided to hit up another Target 3 miles away from this one. 

I walked in and started to go down the first aisle. Nope, nothing, nada! My husband left me and started in a different aisle. Then, I hear him say "I found them." I, of course, rush over and he found the supply caddies. I was looking for green, but they didn't have any. Bummer! They did have black, white, bright pink, and bright blue. Those seem to be the colors this year, as I saw several other bins in those colors. I quickly regrouped and decided on the bright pink and black caddies. I bought all that they had at this store. I got 2 bright pink and 2 black. I continued to look around and found some sparkly pencils that my students loved last year and some apple erasers. Here are my finds:

I did end up heading to another Target and scored 2 more black caddies. Even though, they weren't the color I originally wanted, I am SUPER excited with what I got. They will definitely fit into my classroom theme this year. I have to add some ribbon and labels to the caddies. 

Have you begun preparing and buying things for your classroom? I would love to hear what you have bought.