And the winner is...

Thank you to everyone who entered this super fun giveaway! I wish all of you could win. But there can only be one, so congratulations to....

Rafflecopter randomly chooses one person from all of the entries. It looks like Emmalee was entry #155 and chose the option to "Follow my blog".

Congratulations!! I have your email address (blacked out above for privacy). I will send it to Katie at Wise Decor and she will be contacting you soon!

Let me know which Wall Word you choose! :) 



I am so excited to be hosting this giveaway for all of my blogger friends and followers!

Katie at Wise Decor Decorating contacted me asking if I would like to do a Giveaway and product review of their Wall Words products. This family-run business has been creating custom decorative wall decals, words, and quotes to help us decorate our homes since 2003. 

I jumped at the chance because let me tell you...my friends and family are obsessed with vinyl decals like the Wall Words and Wall Decals! 

In fact, about two years ago I somehow talked my husband to let me put a huge vinyl "wish" on our old bedroom wall :) It is beautiful and I am secretly hoping we have a baby girl one day so we can keep it up since that room would be the nursery. 

Katie was kind enough to let me choose the Wall Words I would be reviewing :) This was a difficult yet easy process. 

Difficult because there is SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM...and I wanted to choose just the right one! They even have a special spot dedicated to classroom-perfect Wall Decals

On the other hand, choosing my Wall Words was super easy because their selection, editing, and ordering process is fool-proof! There are many colors, fonts, and sizes to choose from that make it all that much more fun and personalized to you and the space you intend to place the product!

So here is the quote I chose

Students may forget what you said, 
but they will never forget how you made them feel

I decided on this very special quote because I felt like I might need this reminder throughout this school year in particular. Being a National Boards Candidate I have been told that I will be overwhelmed, stressed, unsure of myself, and constantly challenged, busy, out of time...I don't ever want to lose sight of why I am teaching nor why I am going for my National Boards. I believe in the power of quotes and positive thoughts, and this one is perfect!

FYI: I chose purple... my favorite color :)

When I received my package (YAY!) I was a little nervous because applying the "wish" in my bedroom was extremely challenging (not a Wise Decor Decorations product). At one point I wanted to just rip it all down and throw it away! Thankfully my husband is much more level headed than I am and was able to help me get it on our wall. So I was a little apprehensive to be applying these Wall Words all on my own. 

Included in the package were step by step directions and a little squeegee to help support me.

All I needed was my Wall Words, masking tape, pencil, ruler and the squeegee. Five easy steps later...voila!  It was on the wall! I love it!!!! 

It is in the perfect spot... my work space at home. I spend A LOT of time in that chair!

Now for the Giveaway! You have many chances to enter (using the Rafflecopter below) and win your own $75 gift certificate to Wise Decor Decorations! Hurry, hurry! You have until Sunday (8/25/13) night to enter! I will announce the winner Monday morning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!


TPT B2S Sale

I know you already know, right?! Well here's one more reminder. 

Get to TPT right away! August 18th and 19th are two of the biggest TPT days of the whole year. We all look forward to this time! Absolutely everything in my store is 28% off, even the items that are only a dollar!

Here are a few reminders:

1. Go give your feedback for items you have already purchased!!! Feedback = TPT credit toward your next purchase!

2. Don't forget your Promo Code: BTS13 to enjoy the entire 28% off!

3. Think in the future... not just BTS items, but what about your winter stations, or Halloween stations... are you ready for that? Wouldn't you love to get something now that you can tuck away until later then pat your self on the back and say "Oh yea! Remember how smart I was when I bought that on sale way back in August?!"  :)

Have fun! 


Teacher Week: Day 4, Taming the Wild--Classroom Management

Linking up with Bloghoppin again! I missed yesterday but it is ok, I don't quite have my first month or week figured out yet :) I really appreciated being able to take a sneak peek into all of your planning though!

In my classroom I use a color system and it looks like many classrooms out there use a similar classroom management system. So you know how it works!

There are a few things about this system the I love:
*All students start each day on green "Ready to Learn!"
*Students not only work to stay on green, but they work to move their color up! If they make it to the top of the chart then they get to choose  special take-home note letting their family know that they had an "Outstanding" day!
*If students move their color down, they can earn their color back! They still have a chance!

At the first school I ever taught at we used a school wide color system but students could not move their colors up, and they did not have the chance to earn their color back.

I had an extremely challenging student that year. I mean, he made me question why I just spent 4 years in college preparing to be a teacher... it was that bad. But the color system did not work for him! If he had to move his color down he would just come undone! I tried to get him on his own system but was not supported by my principal. So I proposed letting him earn his color back and she agreed to that! 

It made all the difference. When he moved his color down he didn't go into a tail spin. He would actually talk with me about what happened (or just listen) and then I would suggest things he could do to earn his color back. I watched him like a HAWK to catch him doing something, anything that could earn him his color back!

So when I moved to a new school the following year I designed (or so I thought) this new color system! I seriously did think I was the only genius out there to give students the opportunity to move their color up and to earn their colors back. My teammates at the time thought it was great and innovative and all that jazz....

...then Pinterest came along! hahaha :) I quickly learned that MANY teachers use a very similar system.  But it is good to know that it works with other kiddos, too!

At the beginning of the school year I always tell my students that it is my goal that by Spring Break no one will be moving their colors down, at least not past yellow "Slow Down". This ends up being a great challenge for my students and I can honestly say that we don't have students moving to orange or red after January usually! They just get it. 

I spend so much time going over expectations every single day.

I make a conscious effort to give praise and positive reinforcement to the students who are following expectations rather than scolding or managing the few who are not following expectations.

I watch for my class leaders to emerge. It makes my heart happy when they encourage each other and keep each other accountable. Plus it makes my job easier, too!


Teacher Week: Day 2: Classroom Tour

Well, my students don't come until September 4th...we have open house August 27th which is also our first contracted day back to work. I have been in my classroom for two half days this summer but only because I moved classrooms at the end of last year and I am revamping my classroom theme.

This year (and hopefully I won't want to change it again next year...) my theme is bright chevron!

I created a Classroom Basics product that includes:
Welcome Banner 
Student Name tags
Supply Labels
ABC display posters
Number Posters
Daily Schedule Cards
Word Wall Letters
Mini Flags
Birthday Display
Days of the Week
Months of the Year
Table Numbers
Pencil Exchange

I LOVE this product and can't wait to get it all put together in my classroom! I have a few pictures I can share with you... but not many, sorry!

Word Wall

Please revisit me in a few weeks to see more! I am completely redoing my Writer's Workshop area and I am super duper excited about it!

Link up!! I love seeing other classrooms, you are all so creative and push me to keep decorating mine :)


Teacher Week, day 1: Let's Talk about me!

Welcome to Teacher Week, 2013! This week the lovely ladies over at Bloghoppin are hosting an awesome link up!

I am loving all of the blog posts today! Getting to know the people behind my favorite blogs is interesting and fun! I am linking up with Bloghoppin' too!

1. I am training for a half marathon. Ugh, I said it now I really have to do it! :) I have been training since May. When I started I could BARELY run a mile without stopping. Now I run 4 without stopping, then 2, rest, 2, rest...and so on. That is my running plan! But can I tell you a secret. I am not really loving it. I mean, I like running every now and then, but the pressure to run 3 - 4 times a week which adds up to nearly 25 miles a week... I am just a little over it. Maybe I shouldn't have started training so early, or I should have chosen a sooner half marathon. After September 17th, I am taking a running break!

2. I am in love with my first nephew, Nolan. He is just over a year old now and is the most perfect little boy ever created! I always thought that I would be heartbroken if I had a boy first but even though Nolan is not "mine" he has totally changed my feelings on all of that. He is so sweet, funny, curious, and suuuuuper cute! And I love that he is getting to the age where he recognizes me!

Here he is being my ring bearer... he fell asleep before his duties :) Oh well :) Still love him to pieces!

3. My husband and I LOVE cupcakes! We are kind of cupcake snobs actually. We found the best cupcake shop, Celebrity Cakes, and lucky us it is only 5 minutes from our house!!

 YUUUUUUUMMMMM! I love the Pink Champagne and anything chocolate. Josh is adventurous and always gets their new seasonal/special flavor :)

They made our wedding cake, too! Simple but yummy!

4. I made our wedding invites and programs! Since blogging and making products for TPT I have become obsessed with fonts! What better way to explore more fonts then to make our wedding invites and programs :)


I also made a story board that gave a timeline of our life together. I love this and just can't throw it out!! It is leaning up against a wall in the upstairs "big room"... I just don't know what to do with it!

5. My husband introduced me to Theater shortly after we started dating in 2010. We have seen Wicked three times! Once in New York, and twice in Washington state. It is our most favorite show to see! We have not seen it in 2013 yet... it isn't coming anywhere close to here :(

These are the shoes Josh surprised me with the night we went in 2012!  He said he just had to get them for me because they were green and sparkly! :) So sweet :) I had to bring flats to change into because that heel was so tall! Such a sweet idea, but my teacher feet are not used to heels!

 6. We just finished a HUGE renovation at our house. We started in December and are pretty much finished. We have little things to do like we want to buy a new front door and I still need cupboards in my new laundry room, but for the most part we are finished! My dad has worked in construction all of his life and we were VERY lucky to have him pretty much build our entire addition himself. He needed help from time to time but he did it all :)

We took off the back 6 feet of our old house (it was a really old addition) that had a laundry room, bathroom and mudroom. We added on 20 feet and a second story! We added a master bedroom (with walk in closet), master bathroom, 2nd bathroom (YAY!!! We are no longer a one bathroom household!), laundry room, and an upstairs room, which we call the "big room" because it is big and empty right now. One day it will be Josh's game room.

SHHHHHHHH! I am saving my TPT money to buy him the new Xbox One when it comes out in November :) It will be perfect for his game room!

Day one of demo (December). The roof coming off the back of the house is the top of the old addition that came off that day.

About a month in (January)... my dad and brothers finished the subfloor and are working on the walls for the first floor.

A few weeks later (Feb) ... the bottom floor has walls, we have a second story floor and the trusses are up! Now they are sheeting the roof so we can have the roofers come. Windows don't go in until the roof is on just incase something flies off the roof we wouldn't want it breaking a window!

Working on the inside. My dad taught me how to waterproof the walls in the shower and then how to tile! That was way more work than I thought it would be! 

FINISHED! (April) The top picture shows the back of the house and the bottom picture shows the back yard looking from the back of the house. That is our mini garage back there :) Josh's next goal is to expand that! Notice that I changed the color of our house slightly. Josh had painted the trim black before we met... and it just didn't seem welcoming to me. He was kind enough to agree to change it to white and the tan/yellow shingles to a light sage green! Looks awesome I think! He does too :)

7. I wasn't a huge dog fan before meeting Josh and his dog Malone. Now it is safe to say I wouldn't feel complete without my buddy. He follows me around everywhere, even to the bathroom... He sits at my feet (well off to the side...) when I work on my computer. I just love him to pieces!

8. Washington state (the Pacific Northwest) is the most wonderful place to live! We live moments away from the water and just a short car ride away from islands (via ferry) to go exploring for whales! We have gone to the San Juan Islands every summer since we met. Josh took me kayaking for the first time and now we do it every summer! 

9. I believe that the crockpot is the best invention out there. ever. enough said. 

10. I am working toward my National Board Certification this school year. Is anyone else out there???!!

Alright friends! If you are still reading I applaud you! That was much longer than I anticipated! 

Link up! I want to learn about you, too!

Here's what's coming up for the rest of the week!


B2S Blogger Exchange!

A few weeks ago I signed up with Covered in Glitter and Glue and Adventures of Mrs. Smith for their Back to School Blogger Exchange. I completed a simple questionnaire about myself, including my mailing information and something  my blogger exchange buddy might want to know. One thing I included in that part was that my favorite color was purple :)

When I received the information about my blog buddy she had indicated that she loved pink! So I got straight to work on her pink package!

I mailed it off before our set deadline of August 4th

Then I waited for my package to arrive...

Then on Thursday....

It came, it came, it came!!! I received an email from our PMB (personal mail box...it's like a PO Box) letting me know that I had a package to pick up... I knew just what it was! My Back to School Blogger Exchange Package!

I begged my husband to stop on his way home from work to pick it up...he watched me package the pink package for my blog buddy and I think he was secretly just as excited as I was to find out what was in my box!

Want to see what I got?!

:) :) :) I was all smiles when I opened my box! And I laughed out loud when I saw the "Playful Purple" package of all purple crayons because I got her the "Pretty Pink" package of all pink crayons!! 

Check out all of the other purple stuff I got! I am so excited about the reusable purple cup. In the picture about I placed it next to my current purple water bottle that one of my students gave me a few years ago :) Even my students know how much I love purple!

I also really love the purple lanyard (bottom right corner of the picture)! Much prettier than the school-district-issued one that I use now!!

The other fun part about this blogger exchange was that I sent a package to Ashley @ Flying High in First, and she was the one who sent the package to me! It kind of made it more fun that way!

Well, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, Ashley! This totally made my day! You are awesome! And I hope you enjoyed all of your pink stuff :)

And a big THANK YOU to the girls who put this all together! It was so fun! I kind of hope they plan to do some more!!! :)


Year Long Plan + Grammar Posters

Happy Friday! Our weather is swiftly changing back to typical Washington summer weather with rain and thunderstorms expected this weekend. Oh well, my plants will love it :)

I am trying my best not to think about it too much, but my summer is quickly coming to an end. I have started going to bed on time, getting up before 7, and planning out my year. 

Since I am working toward my National Boards Certification I have a few extra things to get ready before school begins. One is an updated yearlong curriculum map. 

So I have been working on that for the past week and I am actually VERY excited about it! I am meeting with my 2nd grade teammate next Thursday to share it with her and make any necessary changes. I somehow managed to fit in EVERY SINGLE 2nd grade standard! Even Science and Social Studies! This may seem silly, but we always find ourselves struggling to fit it all in...holidays, days off, conferences, sick days, Professional Development, mandated assessments...

But this year is going to be different! I am so hopeful that if we have a plan, work hard, stick to it, and have fun then we really can get through every single standard in a meaningful and engaging way. I will share my yearlong plan with you all next week after I meet with my teammate :)

One part of the plan includes the phonics and grammar skills we will teach each trimester. Our reading curriculum includes wonderful Phonics posters, but nothing for grammar. This leaves us creating posters throughout the year. Although I love creating these posters with my students and they love recreating them in their ELA journals as a work on writing activity, I felt like having colorful, engaging, student friendly posters was something we would all benefit from!  

Plus, I love the thought of grabbing a poster to use as my visual for students as we learn about and review these sometimes difficult grammar skills. My ultimate hope is that my 2nd graders will see these posters over and over and will use them as references...and maybe, just maybe, remember what a possessive noun is, or present tense, past tense, compound words... We expect a lot from our young little kiddos, why not give them visual reminders to help support their thinking and learning!

So I got to work!! I even woke up early this morning, when my husband left for work, to finish them! I was that excited! Here they are!! Click the pictures to go to my TPT store for some additional information and preview pictures!

What do you think? Do you see some grammar skills in their that you teach?!