Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Y'all, I have been caught up with life lately.  My family arrived in Spain this past Sunday and I have been so engrossed in showing them around and working that I COMPLETELY forgot about my giveaway I was hosting.  What a horrible host!  I apologize.  So to make up for my error, I have chosen two winners.  The first winner will get a $25 gift card to TpT and the second winner may choose any product from my store!  I am so excited to announce that the winner of the $25 Gift Card is Carolyn K. and the winner of any product in my store is Kelly M.!!  Ladies, please check your e-mails for your prizes!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered!  Y'all are the best and I'm so thankful for y'all!

Enjoy your Tuesday and have a happy LAST week before break!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Students get excited!

You know those giant packs of books you order from Scholastic?  The ones that have a huge variety?  And ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have this book in them... {And are absolutely PERFECT for reading on days like today... Friday the 13th!!}

Scary Stories
Well, guess what?  They're turning it into a movie!  Check out the article, here and spread the word.  I know my 5th graders from last year will be so excited and so I had to share the news.

Horror stories/movies/thoughts have never been my thing.  But some students just LOVE them.  More power to 'em.  And hopefully they'll  get to see the movie too.  How do you feel about scary movies??

Don't forget to enter my giveaway to celebrate 200+ Followers in my TpT Store!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S.  True story- I was born on Friday the 13th!!  Happy happy days for my family ;)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

When Teaching {Inevitably} Gets Stressful

What do you do?  When teaching gives you lemons, how do you react?  How do you cope?  As we all know, teaching does get stressful.  Teaching does get hard.  And most of all, teaching does get frustrating.  Parents, data organization, observations, discipline, conferences, report cards, scheduling changes, school mandates, and on and on.  The things they never teach you in school.

My first reaction is to cry.  That's just how I cope.  Preferably in a corner where nobody else sees me or draws attention to me.  {I don't love this quality about me...} But then my second reaction {and probably the most appropriate of the two} is to grab my mentor teaching texts.  Such as Wondrous Words by Katie Wood Ray.  Or Still Learning to Read by Franki Siberson.

These are my lifelines.  My friends.  My confidants.  They remind me of what's important, what matters, and help me clear up or fix any problems.  When I'm stressed, I look to these guys to help me focus on what's important.  Or when a new school mandate frustrates me, I look to these guys to figure out how I'm going to make it work in my classroom.  I find solace in these books.  Their flagged pages, broken and unglued spines, highlighted quotes, notes in the margins, and folded down corners remind me of how far I've come as a teacher.  And how much further I have to go.  They help put me in my place.

And after I reference my teaching books, I go to your blogs.  Your wonderful, wonderful blogs make me laugh, nod my head in agreement, and learn.  Y'all help me grow- so thank you.

I started writing this post because I ran across this article a few weeks ago and started thinking about books and how they impact teachers.  I've read most of the books on this list and absolutely love some of them!  Some of them just don't do it for me...

Peter Johnston... Always a favorite!
Which books are your besties?  Your go-tos?  Please share.  I'm always looking for a new friend!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Grade-In??

Have you been involved in a Grade-In?  I saw this today in the news and just had to share.  Some teachers across the nation have taken to hosting "Grade-Ins" where they gather in a public place and work.  The goal is to show how much extra work teachers take home.  All professions need to work outside of their jobs, but sometimes people dismiss how hard teachers work.  This is a unique way of showing how time consuming our jobs are.

Now if only they could see how hard we work outside of grading and lesson planning, as well!  Thank goodness we all love our professions :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday!  It's been a great week and I'm so excited it's Friday!  How about you??

My American friends and I celebrated our own Thanksgiving this past Saturday.  I was in charge of a turkey, and in Spain that's no easy feat!  We ended up ordering one ahead of time from a butcher.  He informed us that when we went to pick it up he would prepare it for us... Meaning the head and some of the feathers were still attached when we first saw it.  
But no worries... they chopped and plucked for us.
That was a new experience.

Turned out pretty delicious!!
We've been working on question words in my ESL classrooms, which is the perfect excuse to play some hot potato!

I use english music while we pass around my cell phone case.  And when the music stops, whoever is holding my cell phone case must answer the question I ask them.  This makes it super easy to 1) differentiate and 2) have a little fun :)  If you can see the blackboard in the picture below, I draw small pictures, like 10 circles, 8 hearts, 9 stars, etc.  I'll add more or less depending on the grade level.  Then when I ask a question, I can ask "How many stars are on the board?" or "Where are you from?" depending on how I feel.  I plan to mix it up once they get better with the questions and have fun with it throughout the year.  

My hubby and I went on a nice overnight Thursday.  Neither of us had to work on Friday because it was a holiday and we wanted a quick trip.  We took the bus to the next town over.  And it was absolutely amazing.  
Our B&B had kitty cats that FORCED us to hold them in our laps and not move for an hour.  Look at how tortured I am.  

The view from our bedroom window.  My favorite part is that you can see the sea in between the mountains!!
ADORABLE kitty cats snuggled up in a planter.  Heart swoon.
Beautiful flowers and an old door.  I don't think I can ever get sick of Europe.
Same kitty cat snuggling with me in my lap holding me hostage.
My hubby and I are spending our Friday night in watching Aviones.  Or better known as Planes.  He's a huge fan of Cars so it's impossible to go wrong with Planes!  

Lastly, I am hosting a GIVEAWAY to celebrate having 200 followers on my TpT Store!!  Please enter so you can also have the opportunity to win $25 to TpT!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!  XO!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

GIVEAWAY! I just couldn't help myself...

Like really.  I just couldn't stop shopping y'all!  I had so much fun in my jammies, sipping tea wine, and browsing for new products that I obviously had to have!  Check out the purchases I made, below my exciting announcement {and click on the picture to go to the link}!  I love every single one of them and cannot wait to use them... even if I can't use all of them in my ESL classroom right now.

And I have some very exciting news- I have reached TWO HUNDRED followers on TpT!!  Y'all are the best and I am so thankful for the kind words and encouragement you send.  So to thank YOU, I am hosting a Giveaway!  I will be giving away $25 to TpT.  That's right- just in time to pick up any of those products you managed to forget during the big sale {how does that always seem to happen!?}.  So be sure to enter below so that you can WINWINWIN!

But first... here's what I filled my shopping cart with this cyber holiday!! {I'm all over the place tonight!}

So going to use this with my ESL kiddos- they will swoon :)

I can NEVER have enough of Mrs. Cahill's math games- perfect!!

So fun, right??

If you haven't used these, go check them out NOW!  So fun...
I have to admit even I love doing them.

Again, math games are the bomb.com  Amazing

Who doesn't love some decimal work?
This will be great for simple math vocabulary in my ESL classrooms!!

And now.... drumroll...
Be sure to enter to win $25 to TpT!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 2, 2013

Morning Work for Upper Elementary

Who loves screaming kids first thing in the morning?!  Not I!  I am all about a quiet classroom to start our day.  One of my teaching friends who I just adore is totally fine with a little chaos in the morning- but that just isn't for me.

So I spent every single morning last year writing a letter to my kiddos on the white board.  It would tell them a little about our day and then provide them with a quick writing prompt.  They would use their "Morning Journals" to respond to the prompt and my fab co-teacher and I would grade and respond to them each week.  As much as I *loved* this aspect of our classroom- I knew it was a waste of my time.  I was constantly struggling to come up with a prompt and get the message up on the board each morning.

Solution? I have created a set of 25 pages for morning work in the month of December!  I think this packet is perfect for all Upper Elementary kiddos!

It allows my kiddos the chance to work quietly and purposefully, but without me having to rack my brain for new ideas every day.  This also gives me the ability to differentiate in my classroom.  Most days I plan to give each kiddo the same page.  However, with 25 pages to choose from and only 20 teaching days {on average} each month, there's some wiggle room to play and adjust as necessary!  The packet is mainly quick writing prompts for my learners, but it also includes a few activities and review pages for literacy and math!  I think it is SO important for kids to have pen-to-paper time as writers, so this definitely helps make up for our constantly shortened writing period... but still finds time to review important skills.

Even though I'm not currently in a strictly upper elementary classroom, I plan on using this in my High School ESL classroom this year.  The prompts and activities are relevant and fun for them as well!

Be sure to check it out in my {TpT} store!  Especially since there's quite a sale going on now!!  Whoop whoop!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What what!!?

Thank you Creative Clips for the adorable clip art!
Are y'all as excited as I am for TpT's upcoming sale?!  I have a shopping cart full of items just itching to be purchased.  Make sure you stop by Teachers Pay Teachers tomorrow and Tuesday for some wonderful sales!  Everything will be 20% off and then I have made everything in my store an extra 10% off.... for a total savings of 28% off everything!! Hallelujah!!

If you're an upper elementary teacher- be sure to check out my store for some simple and fun activities!!

Some of my favs are...

New and ready to be used!!
A 4 week unit on teaching Opinion Writing- a HUGE 5th grade standard
Don't want to spend much money?  No problem!!
This super simple and fun game is perfect for you!

Math Games that are Common Core Aligned!!

Do you like to think ahead?  Get prepared for February with some fun Valentine Themed Math games!!
All Common Core Aligned!!
Be sure to check back later this week to see what I've got on my shopping list!!  

Enjoy the rest of your Turkey Day Break!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Another amazing giveaway!!

It's that time of the year again!!  Time to be thankful, joyous, and get a much needed break :)  I'm teaming up with Kristen over at Easy Teaching Tools to throw a spectacular Giveaway!  There are TWENTY FIVE amazing teachers participating!  Including some amazing Ten Sellers and products for all ages!  Be sure to enter the giveaway below or at Easy Teaching Tools!  :)

Giveaway ends on December 1st

Here's what all 26 of us teachers came up with!  You can click on the photo to see more.  All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below!  Ready, set, go!!!