Saturday, August 24, 2013

Five for Five!

Hey everyone! It seems like it's been a bit quiet on the blogger front! Could it be that everyone has either started school or is on the verge of starting? Have you? I won't start with kids until right after Labor Day! I've been busy setting up my classroom, taking pictures, and getting ideas together for the first week of school. But I'm also looking ahead after routines are in place, and they are a bit more independent.

I've finished my latest product on Using Nursery Rhymes for Daily Five Activities. This is a collection of nursery rhyme activities that encourage students to work independently during word work time while the teacher is busy with guided reading groups.  Not only can these activities be used during word work time, they allow for independent reading and building fluency since they are familiar with rhymes. 

Some activities include: reading rhymes, look and color frequent sight words, identifying rhyming words, drawing beginning middle, end, cutting and gluing rhyming words and matching to pictures.  Check it out if you'd like.


Below is a preview of some of the activities.


I've included the link to my Nursery Rhyme Pinterest Board.
This is a five (5) dollar value product (54 pages) but can be free to you if you email me five (5) new followers - here and at my TpT store!  I will be selecting Five (5) winners who email me the names in five (5) days.  Ok, this Beezy Bee has got to Buzz off to grab some Z's!  Good night!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Got Keys!!

As you know I'd been waiting to get my keys to get into my classroom and now that I have them I've been working furiously to organize, decorate, throw out, and file - all at the same time! Although we don't start until next week, kindergarten has a building to set up not just a classroom! Now I can't complain - it's lovely to have so much space but 14 bulletin boards to put up can be a killer! So with the additional space comes the added workload! As I set up an area I took the liberty of taking some pictures. So here it goes! 


The first four pictures are of the front door and hallway.  Where you see an animal rug hanging it may be there to cover some of the peeled off paint!  Or it may be that it’s a filler to cover the blank walls until we get children’s artwork up!

 This second picture shows my word wall and 4 bags that hold daily riddles and questions about the learned skills from the week.  At the end of the day a student from each animal group goes and pulls out a riddle and work together to come up with the answer. 

Picture 3 shows the tables I use for fine motor time and literacy centers. I use the zebra, giraffe, tiger, and leopard to form four teams.  These do change every quarter.  Their take home folders also match their animal print theme. 

 Picture 4 shows my trash cans!  Aren’t they too cute!  Animal print is so easy to paint that even I managed to paint them AND even made tissue boxes out of animal print poster board!  I have the pattern if anyone cares to create their own! Just email me or leave a comment.

This picture shows my files.  Anyone who knows me knows that I hate to file so I have to work at it to stay organized! The animal print platform is for the kids to stand on since our Smartboards are mounted at the same level throughout the school.  How do you like my paint job?


The last picture shows a display of animal print poster board that I used to make my display numbers, tissue boxes, student portfolio folders… the list goes on.  So here it is in a nutshell.  Hopefully I will be able to take pictures of the back room where we have loud centers.

Before I head to bed, does anyone think poster board is a great idea for another giveaway?  The German stores carry every kind of print! It’s amazing what styles you find.  I hope to remember to carry my camera into a store one day to take pictures of the different designs.  Love to hear from you – if you think this would be a great giveaway idea! Buzzing off to bed!


Friday, August 16, 2013

More Pinteresting Finds and a Sale!

I'm still not able to get my keys to my room until next week, so my search for new ideas continues! Look at some of my Pinterest Finds!
I am so going to make one of these.  I believe you can buy one but how easy would it be to make one out of bulletin board paper?  Simply take some white paper, draw the lines and cut out the holes, take a clear vinyl or shower curtain – tape over it,  and provide the kids some markers.  Great for kids who just need a change!

Also found this Spelling Hopscotch on Pinterest and I’m gonna change the color of the letters or the background to go with my classroom theme. Hope to show you when it’s all finished and taped down. 
Love this bulletin board – looks simple enough to set up!

As I was searching for Pinterest ideas , I came across  TpT’s back to school sale that starts this Sunday and goes through Monday.   Many of the stores will have their products on sale including me!    Things are 20% off and with the TpT code – an additional 10% off.  I’m headed over there after I finish on Pinterest!  Buzzing off!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Kissing Hand

It seems like everyone has either started school or is getting ready for the start up.  We don’t start back for another couple of weeks and I still don’t have keys to the building, so I thought I’d start planning out my yearly activities and goals.  One book I came across on Pinterest (don’t you just love Pinterest?!?)  It’s like my digital filing cabinet now!  Anyway, a book, I think I’d like to try is The kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.  I’m sure it’s an old book for you all but I like the lesson behind it.

Chester the Raccoon is not ready to start school and simply wants to stay with his mom.  She tries to encourage him by telling him about the new friends, new toys, and activities he’s going to experience.  Then she goes on to share a family secret – the kissing hand that will comfort him while he’s away from her.  Now why couldn’t I think of this simple little lesson in life to write about and make me successful!  Anyway here are some pictures of activities, and the link to my digital filing cabinet that has links to freebies and a link to the video!  Enjoy!  


Monday, August 12, 2013

And the Winner is...

Well it’s after midnight – Tuesday morning for me, and I said I would announce the winner of the Amazing Whisper Phone!  Before I announce the winner I would like to say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to all of you that participated in this giveaway – my first one!  Before I started blogging I had my doubts because I wondered how I was even gonna get anyone to come over across the pond to visit my blog.   I am proud of my little blog! It’s growing slowly, but surely!  Thanks to you all.  If I could I would give all of you one but unfortunately I only have one to give away!  Don’t be surprised if I announce to give another one away in the spring!  Random generator would only spit out one name and again I wanted to have all of you win. 

What I hope to do is make some future point coupons to give to those who go all out in not only following me on TpT, bloglovin, leaving comments, but referring others to follow me as well!    My head is generating lots of ideas for giveaways and I can’t wait to share those with you so you need to keep checking back!
Ok without further ado.  The winner of the Whisper Phone is…  Click here! 

 Again, thanks so much for helping me put my blog back on the map!
Buzzing off!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mosel River Valley - My Home!

Good afternoon/morning everyone!  I wanted to share pictures of my home!  While I was driving home from the grocery store - I noticed the vintners were busy tending to their vineyards.  They were busy preparing the vineyards for the wine harvest which means WINE FESTS!  This is a beautiful time for this area.  I'm not the best at capturing the views but you can see the grape vines!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Seeds of Success Webinar

I had the pleasure of joining 5 lovely, intelligent ladies for my first webinar session last night – well for me it was 2:00 this morning! It was worth it! The session – Sowing the Seeds of Success was a live back to school webinar hosted by Laura Candler, Christi Fultz, Mandy Neal, Rachel Lynette, and Ari Huddelson. They each did an 8 minute presentation on sharing tips for sowing the seeds of classroom success that will allow students to grow and thrive all year. It was absolutely worth my time and if you missed it – you can catch the recorded session here.  I'm excited to discover another way to maintain connections to the latest trends in education in the US! So thanks ladies!

The clock is ticking and I'm amazed at the turn out for the Whisper Phone giveaway! Remember, I plan to announce the winner on Monday, Aug. 12 midnight EST - which for me is Tuesday Aug. 13! So hurry and keeping pinning, following, liking.... You're doing a fabulous job! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Happy National Smile Day!

Happy Smile Day!  This week starts National Smile Week (first full week of August). What’s free to give, fun to give, and a joy to receive? A smile!! Yes, it might sound crazy but for me it’s precious!   Forget about what the others will think, and give freely. So I’m gonna go out of my way to reach this neighbor of mine who never looks our way! Wish me luck!  It’s also National Work-like-a-Dog Day, too! Have a nice week and make someone smile!  It’s contagious!

On another note, I am working on my Spring Math Journal.  After several requests to do a Winter one, I decided to complete the entire threesome.  I wasn’t planning on uploading the Winter one since it was a pre- order.  What do you think?



Sunday, August 4, 2013


Hello Everyone!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to  Teachinginbluejeans Blogsite!  This is certainly a milestone birthday for sure! For Amy who’s completed her first year of blogging and boy what a stand out she’s  made it to be!  If you haven’t stopped over there – what are you waiting for!  She’s creative, kind, and has been so helpful to me as I’ve started up mine this year!

That site has been a wonderful place to celebrate all things teachery,  the support for me, and for taking charge of getting us together in Vegas!
I’ve taken a trip down memory lane to read several of her past blog write ups and I’m so glad I did!  I got a lot from her and only hope one day to be as successful as she’s been.    

Coincidentally, or maybe not so coincidentally, it’s also Friendship Day! So let’s celebrate all the new and wonderful friends I made in Vegas BECAUSE of Amy’s take charge personality who got us together!  Also Happy Friendship Day to all those friends I met and will continue to make in the future as we welcome other new teachers to the  world of blogging!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My Corner of the World

While attending the I Teach K Conference in Vegas, I was asked numerous times how I came to live and teach in Germany. Well to make a long story short (ha!) – my husband and I were back packing in Europe in the early 80’s (yeah I’m old) and were sitting on a bench in Genoa, Italy waiting for the overnight train to Rome. Much to our surprise – two high school girls came up to us and asked if we were Americans and would we mind sharing an overnight sleeping compartment on the train. (We were impressed with their maturity and their conscious effort to be safe!) In our discussion we learned that the girls had been backpacking throughout Europe as a graduation gift from their parents. We did learn, they were American students who had lived in Europe all their lives. Their parents were civilian employees for an American school district in Germany.

When we got back, we decided to apply thinking neh it’s not gonna happen. Well it’s history now and we have been in the same country (not necessarily the same schools) for almost 25 years! That’s a long time considering our intention was to come over for two years! Here’s the link to the schools’ headquarters if you are interested in learning more about DoDDS/DoDEA.

Being that I’ve lived here so long I’m not sure what would be of interest to blog about! Perhaps my likes and dislikes (like my love/hate relationship with my German washer and dryer)? Life in a different culture? Teaching? Food? Language barriers? Medical support? Things I miss? Things I don't miss?
Feel free to email me questions about what it’s like to live in a foreign country or simply leave your questions in the comment section.
On Another note, don’t forget to follow me on bloglovin, google+ …. for a chance to win a Whisper Phone! I’ll be selecting a winner on Tueday Aug. 13!
Buzzing out!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum!

A favorite back to school story I like to do with my kinder is Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.  This is a story about a little mouse who believes her long name is perfect for her until she starts school.  She begins to doubt herself when mean spirited classmates make fun of her name for being long and named after a flower.  One of the important lessons that can be learned from Chrysanthemum is being proud of your name as well as learning that you don’t have to put up with bullying in school.  What better time to make connections and understand compassion than the start of a child’s education!

Click on the image to check out the book!
Here's the story on Youtube.
Here are some sample art work found on Pinterest!

For more Chrysanthemum activities, check out my Pinterest Board.
I also have a new Chrysanthemum product , if you want to check it out!