Sunday, August 31, 2014

Support Jen & Her Family in Their Journey to Adoption // LAST day!

I hope everyone is loving their three day weekend.  I'm currently in Seattle visiting some amazing friends that I met while studying abroad!  I'll be back later this week (I'm hoping!) to share what's been going on in our classroom!!  Be sure to follow me on Instagram to keep up with my travels and the day to day going-ons. 

For a few days, everything in my store will be 20% off!!  Don't forget, today is the LAST day to support Jen Bengel in her journey to adoption!  Purchase my Beginning of the Year product and $2.00 will go to Jen's family during this busy and amazing time. 

Happy Sunday AND Monday sweet friends!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

5 Days In!

Tired.  Oh so tired.  5 days in and I can't believe the bags under my eyes will ever go away.  I fall into bed every night and crash, not moving until my alarm goes off at 5.  But I wake up excited and ready-ish to go- Oh the life of a teacher.

Chinese take out, paper plates, and a glass of wine. Typical weeknight dinner.

And so much grading all ready
I am loving my 4th graders and every day we spend together.  I swear some day soon I will blog more than once every Monday- but right now I'm adjusting to life in a new school, learning the quirks of my kiddos, and early mornings.  Oh the early mornings.

So much learning to do!

I forgot how little 4th graders can be.  It's been a while since I started my year with them... and it has been quite an adventure.  Some of our 4th grade antics will kick off our Monday letters...

Dear 4th Graders... Thank you for reminding me never to take life too seriously with your oh-so-serious quips, like when I told you to "double check your entry," and you reply "isn't that a big meal?"  or when we're brainstorming what we know about the government, and you write "spream cork." Thank you for reminding me it's okay to laugh out loud sometimes frequently. 

Dear Classroom... Oh classroom.  You forgot how loud it could be.  How messy it could be.  And how silly it could be.  Thank you for hiding my paper-piles in your cabinets, being open so it's easy to air out those student smells, and for your amazing windows with their natural light, offering a soothing and welcoming environment. 

Dear Hubby... thank you for waking up early every day with me, making me lots of coffee and lunch, and sending me out the door.  Your support {and coffee} makes my day so much smoother.  There's no way I could do it without you!

Dear Kitty Cat... Happy 5th birthday!  We missed you so much while we were in Spain and are thrilled to have you back in our home after living with your "grandparents" for nearly a year.  Your "barks" at birds, love for raw chicken and turkey lunch meat, and frequent snuggles, are a much welcome part of our lives. 

 Inspired by Elle & Co., Monday Letters is a weekly installment where I write four letters each week.  Two letters are to my classroom or are school related.  The other two are for anything else in my world during that week. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teacher Week: Monday + Monday Letters

Hey friends!  Tomorrow is our first day of school and this teacher is all kinds of exhausted!  I still have a to-do list that, let's be honest, will never get completed.  But my classroom is as ready as it'll ever be and my 4th graders will be there tomorrow morning- bright and early!  I am so excited to be linking up with Blog Hoppin' to participate in their Teacher Week and share a little bit about me!

My name is Kelly Anne and this is my FIFTH {holy cow!} year teaching!!  I graduated from the University of South Carolina and moved out to Colorado where my husband and I lived for three years.  We loved Colorado and met some amazing friends.  Seriously, I met some of the most inspiring teachers and people during our brief time out there. 

 We were ecstatically married in Savannah, GA last Summer and then moved to Spain, where we taught ESOL for a year! 

Living in Spain was a dream of ours and I'm so glad we did it.  It was amazing and a great lesson in being humble, respecting other cultures, eating anything, and just going with the flow.  We had originally planned on staying in Spain for two years or more, but realized that we were definitely ready to be back near our family.  So, we moved back to the States this Summer and to South Carolina- the same beautiful state where we met!  

In my free time, I love riding my bike, taking pictures, enjoying a glass or two of wine, traveling, watching college football, and reading!  I love to read anything.  Teacher books, YA novels, Historical fiction, etc...  I love it all :)

Every Monday on my blog you can stop by to see a few letters that I write.  Two letters are to my classroom or are school related.  The other two are for anything else on my heart that week.  Monday Letters were inspired by the fabulous Elle & Co. Here's a little of what's on my mind tonight... among many, many, MANY, other things in preparation for tomorrow :)

Dear First Year Teacher... I know the feeling.  That nerve wrecking, terrifying feeling that you have so much to do but have no idea where to start.  I remember it all too well... and feel it too.  Every year that I teach.  Some years it feels better.  Other years it comes back with a vengeance.  No matter the fear or how prepared you are, that first day will come.  Don't forget, you will never have another first day of teaching.  Enjoy every moment {fear included}!

Dear New Home... Without any shelving or dressers (yet), please forgive our clothes, neatly stacked along your beautiful hardwood floors. Don't worry, I am faithfully scouring nearby thrift stores for any dresser that may fit the bill.  I won't just settle for anything, although in another week I may get desperate for something to separate my underwear from my t-shirts.  

Dear Beahvior Clip Chart... I don't love you.  I'm sorry.  Up on our classroom wall you hang, just like every other classroom on my hall.  I hope to find a way to successfully phase you out of our classroom as the year transitions.  How do other teachers feel about the lovely Behavior Clip Chart? 

Dear To Do List... You are endless.  Will you ever be complete?  I am off to try and check off some of your boxes.  Isn't that the best feeling ever?

Happy Monday sweet friends.  I will be back throughout the week to participate more during Blog Hoppin's linky and to share a little bit about my first week back to school :)

Sweet dreams :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Letters

Dear summer... Where oh where did you go?  All along I've been thrilled to get back into the swing of things and ready to be in my classroom.  Now, I'm not so sure.  5 am?  You are so not welcome back in my life. 

Dear classroom... You're slowly coming together and will be filled this week with staff meetings, families visiting for Meet the Teacher, and much Singer-Song Writer music from my Pandora playlist as I attempt to finish getting everything set up for my 4th graders.

Dear family... I had so much fun rocking out to Don't Stop Believing with you at our cousin's wedding this past weekend.  I will try to hold on to that feelin' as the school year starts to kick my tushie. 

Dear IKEA... I am sure yesterday's visit will not be our last.  Please stop trying to convince me that I must have your adorable kitchen accessories.  While I completely agree with you, my wallet just won't accept it.  I appreciate your cooperation in advance. 

Inspired by Elle & Co., Monday Letters is a weekly installment where I write four letters each week.  Two letters are to my classroom or are school related.  The other two are for anything else in my world during that week.

Past Letters:
Monday Letters


Monday, August 4, 2014

$25 to TpT + Monday Letters

You could WIN $25 to TpT... below!  Seriously, have you entered yet??  It ends at 11:59 tonight!!

Before you enter below, or after- if it's reaching 11:59 pm and you want to meet the deadline, I wouldn't blame you,or if you are scared you'll forget.  I'm not judging. But make sure you come back!  Have y'all heard of Elle & Co.?  She's not a teacher- but she shares the sweetest phone backgrounds {for free!} once a week.  They are all full of inspiration, prayer, and beautiful designs. She also has a fun thing she does once a week, where she writes 2 quick letters to her husband and then 2 random letters to whatever else is on her heart.  I love this idea and plan to begin sharing 4 letters on Monday... 2 to my classroom and then 2 to be determined receivers.
Click on the picture or here to grab this background!
So here goes my first four letters...

New Classroom... you are still all covered with sheets and have a freshly polished floor.  Who knows how long that shiny floor will last {not long!}. You do not know what to expect of this year with this new-to-you teacher and her class of 4th graders.  We look forward to many excursions in and out your door, tears {of happiness and sadness} shed on your floor, hundreds of books read in our heads and aloud, and hopefully very little vomit, boogers, and other 4th grade things shared with you. 

Soon to be 4th Graders... You do not now what to expect of 4th grade, what your new teacher will be like, what the expectations will be, what the schedule will hold.  Have no fear, I am just as nervous as you!  Those butterflies in your tummy are just like the butterflies in mine!  Sure I know the expectations and the schedule, but I do not know what our year will hold.  How exciting that what you will teach me and what we will learn together is still a mystery that we will get to solve together! 

Fabulous College Friends... It was amazing seeing you ladies this weekend in Savannah!  I love that we pick up right where we left off.  You take me right back to how it was when we were still 21, living in our cruddy apartment, eating ramen for dinner, always with a glass of cheap {boxed} wine to share.  Thank goodness for our new-found cooking abilities and our love for early nights.  We are friends who truly laugh together.  

New home... Today is our first day together as your new renters.  We look forward to filling you with our home-things {which we haven't seen for 18 months!} and getting to set you up and make you your own!  In this week of so much new-ness, we thank you for the shelter you will provide over this coming year and the stability of "home" you will give us travelers! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Favorite Things!

Happy Sunday sweet friends!  I am SO excited to be linking up with some great bloggers to share our Favorite Items for starting the school year!  Not to mention, there are some seriously FAB prizes to be had!  Please make sure you check it all out :)

So what are your must-have, cannot-live-without, items for going back to school?

For me, I cannot live without my binders.  I have a binder for EVERYTHING and everything has it's place in a binder :) {And I just have to share, I am not an organized person, but this system works for me.}

Anecdotals?  Yup!
Reading notes?  Yup!
Writing notes?  Yup!

And it goes on and on. 

I always assign my students a number- like so many other great teachers out there.  It saves times and money every year since I can just keep the numbers the same and switch out my tiny little list. 
the list
For if you're feeling not-so-rich...
For if you're feeling rich...

And then each tab in my binder(s) is numbered!  All you have to do is find the student's number and insert their work.  Easy peasy!  Let's be honest- it's is all about working smarter, not harder, if we want to keep our heads above the water.  Would I go around numbering student desks?  NO.  But some things are just better being numbered :)

And NOW, for the fun stuff!  First of all, see that ugly label on my binder up there?  I'm going for longevity this year in my classroom.  I want to make binders that can last over the years.  That little Guided Reading label will just not cut it.  So I made these guys below.  Binder labels, numbers, and a numbered class list.  Grab them from dropbox, here!  I plan on laminating, and gluing or taping these guys on.  {I would have pictures BUT my stuff is still locked away in Storage for another week.  Waaaaahh!}

AND WAIT!  It gets even better... be sure to enter below to possibly win all sorts of goodies!  Be sure to visit all 30+ of us participating to see all there is to see!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 2, 2014

TpT Back to School Sale!

Have you heard?  Have you heard?  Y'all- Monday and Tuesday, TpT will celebrate their annual Back to School Sale!  My store will be up to 28% off!  Just be sure to use the Promo Code BTS14!

You can snag this in >> my store << for FREE :)

Have you entered the giveaway and heard about Jen Bengel's amazing adoption adventure I posted about yesterday?  Please make sure you take a second to see what's going on.  It'll blow your socks off! 

Have you entered my giveaway?  Make sure you do to win $25 to TpT... just in time for the big sale!! 

Speaking of the sale, I am so excited about some of the products I have available {and some of the products on my Wishlist!}

Visit my store to check out these products!

Writing Units & Math and Science Activities
Behavior System & Beginning of the Year Activities
Math Games
Classroom Library Labels, Organizing Bundle, Emergency Sub Activities, I Have Who Has Game, Picture of the Day,     Fall Clip Art, Backgrounds, Back to School Postcards
Plus maybe a few 50 more things... What's in your wishlist?  Time to fill up your cart!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Paying it Forward { + Blog Hop & Giveaway }

We teachers know all about journeys.  Many of us are getting ready to journey back to our classrooms to prepare for the new school year.  Each school year becomes a journey of sorts, with its own set of students, challenges, and rewards.

We teachers also know all about support.   Year after year, we give so much of ourselves to help our students learn, build confidence in their abilities, and empower them to become the future our world needs.  We also support our fellow teachers, our families, our communities.  In the midst of it all, it becomes easy to forget that, simply put, teachers touch lives.
 Every. Single. Day.

Graphics credit to Melonheadz;  Font credits to Hello Literacy, Miss Tiina, and DJ Inkers.  Thanks to Joey Udovich for designing!

While many of us are thinking of back-to-school, the sweet Jen Bengel and her family have been preparing for a journey of another kind.  They will soon be traveling to Uganda to adopt a child!  Check out Jen’s blog post HERE! (Prepare to be inspired, y'all!)

A number of fellow teacher-bloggers have joined forces to offer a measure of support to Jen and her family as they prepare for their special journey.  Each of us has chosen a resource from our store that, between now and August 31, a portion of each sale’s proceeds will be donated to Jen’s adoption fund!

This is the resource I have chosen:
Between now and August 31, I pledge to donate $2 of each sale of this resource to Jen’s adoption fund.

Hop around to the blogs featured below to see what my friends are pledging!
Apples & ABC's
Beyond the Worksheet
Crafting Connections
Create Teach Share
Flapjack Education
Learning with Mrs. S
Miss V's Busy Bees
One Stop Teacher Shop
Tales of a Teacher
Teaching Trio
The Teacher Desk 6

We hope you will find this to be a win-win opportunity, where you can purchase some great resources for the upcoming school year, knowing that you are supporting a meaningful cause at the same time!

Note that Jen also has a fundraising bundle available at her store. Don’t miss checking this out, too!

Finally, to make it worth your time to check out all the resources, we are also hosting a raffle giveaway!  The winner of the giveaway will score a great prize package, full of resources from our team – just in time for BTS!

From me, the giveaway winner will receive a notepad of their choice from my store,
shipped to their home or school!:

So, hop around, check out some fantastic resources, support a cause, touch a life!