Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Calling all OHIO Bloggers.....

I would LOVE to invite all my Ohio Blogging Friends to a very special lunch date on Friday July 26.
Michigan bloggers, of course you can come! 
 This invitation is open to any teacher blogger in the area that can make it!  
background frames: Mrs. Russell's Room
ice cream clipart: Ashley Hughes
circles: ZipADeeDooDah Designs

Please send me your RSVP on or before July 22.
Hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 6: A Finale Ending to a Sweet Week of Giveways! Hurry, for Your Last Chance to Win!

Welcome to Day 6 of my sweet bloggerversary!!  Today is the grand finale of prizes!  Oh, and before I get to that, let me just give a quick shout out to Ms. Lori Raines!!!  Lori was the winner of my Day 5 prize pack!  CONGRATS to you Lori!  

Could 2 Cafes be better than one?
Most Definitely!
How cool is it that 2 teachers both love their CAFE themes SO much, we title our blogs after them!   I thought my bloggy-handle was pretty cool but then I found the very beautiful and talented Jeannine from Creative Lesson Cafe.  Her blog is totally CAFE-BLINGED out!  I just love it!  What's even better? She does her own graphics and just made the most fabulous set of Facebook buttons ever!  We have shared some hilarious emails, back and forth, just enjoying our new friendship!  
Jeannine has totally overwhelmed me with her gracious celebration donation!  She is offering a Winner's Choice item from her TPT store...but that's not all!  She has also happily donated a 
$20 egift card to the winner!  
Guess where?
Jeannine totally gets me and how I love to stick with a THEME!!!
(insert the big cheesy grin here!)
Thank you so much Jeannine for helping me celebrate this very special occasion with me!

And finally, winding down this very special celebration with me, is the very lovely and talented author, Sarah from Sarah's First Grade Snippets.  In the fall of last year, I was dabbling my feet with Sarah's products for my first graders.  Less than a month later, I was emailing Sarah, asking her questions and buying up her store!  Not only has she shared her teaching units with me but she humbly offers insight and her genius on how to run and effective first grade classroom.  Just yesterday we were emailing back and forth, and I suddenly realized that every time Sarah shares a special unit with me, I learn something really amazing from it!  She has this killer-awesome Rainforest unit coming out and through her dialogue and craftiness as an author, she explained to me, several key aspects of reader's workshop that I completely overlooked before.  Management pieces that completely failed for me in previous years suddenly became crystal clear!  And that was just reading 2 pages of her unit.  Sarah is the kindest teacher and every day, she reaches out to share her wealth of knowledge and creativity with others.  I am honored to have her not only as a teaching comrade but also a very special friend.
Thank you Sarah for your amazing friendship!

I want to take a moment before I go and give each and every one of you, my fabulous followers, a big hug and squeeze!  I am honored to have you following my blog!  Thank you for your kindness and generosity.  Thank you for allowing me the opportunity as a teacher to grow and learn and explore new ways of teaching through your eyes and ears and experiences!  I am so blessed to feel apart of such an amazing community of teachers across the country!  Thank you for allowing me to become apart of the family!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 5 Giveaway! Hurry, Don't miss it!!

Happy Friday!
A very special CONGRATS to #324 Jessica E. Reinartz!
She is the winner of yesterday's awesome prize pack!

Being a teacher often comes with the ability to self-sooth yourself, especially on "those days."   For every 10 excuses or complaints, we might get one sweet compliment. 
I think as teachers we often compliment ourselves,
to give us the mental BOOST that we need to be exceptional for our students.  Perhaps it is a mental note of "Man, I ROCKED that reading lesson" or "I can't believe we got that done in one day...WOO HOO!"
I don't know of any other profession where the gift of compliments means so much because for the most part, that is all we get.
No bonus or raise for the extraordinary.
No fancy celebration for a job well done.

We take our compliments straight to the heart,
and nestle them away,
so on "those days"
we can reach in and say, 
This is why I am a teacher.

I had such a moment recently and it was so special to me, that I wanted to share it with all of you!
Last week I received the most amazing message on my Facebook Page.  I don't know about you, but it's not every day that a famous person stops by and leaves a very special message for me!

How about that.  
This compliment could very well get me through the entire year!
If you don't know who Barbara Odanaka is, let me tell me you that she is an AMAZING children's author and last year, when I started using my beanie babies to help me teach the CAFE strategy lessons, I used her book to help me launch the first 5 strategies.  I have never used one anchor text over the course of several weeks to teach multiple strategies before, so this was definitely a first for me.  The kids LOVED it!  We spent a little mini-lesson every other day reviewing previous strategies and when it was time to add a new one, we moved on to a new section of the book and it worked perfectly!  Barb's book title definitely entices the "WOW" factor for me and thus came my inspiration for my "Critter Cafe Collection" last year! Since I officially just "met" Barb on Facebook last week, I don't think she knows about how much her book inspired me!  So I am dedicating this Happy Friday celebration post to my new friend Barbara.  Thank you for the inspiration!

I am sure Barbara would agree with me that anchor texts are the most important piece of learning we can give our kiddos.  There is nothing more powerful than our daily read alouds.  Look up, in the middle of reading a great text, and you know exactly what I mean.
Our kids linger in our every word, and amplify every expression we make...  Read alouds challenge beginning readers to become RISK takers so they can go off and try it on their own.  It is truly the highlight of my teaching day because for 10 minutes I get to be the great story-teller... An actress with many voices... that whisks the kids away into some grand adventure or a spooky dark night....  
Sharing a love for reading couldn't be any sweeter than this special time in our day!
So, to help me celebrate my love for literacy, 
Barbara has gracious offered to raffle away one autographed copy of "A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe"
to one very lucky winner today!
And to keep with a theme, how about a set of 44 reading strategy posters to help guide your book discussions?  

Good Luck my sweet Friends!!!  

See you tomorrow for the Grand Finale' of my week-long celebration!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Day 4 Giveaways! Stop in and Celebrate with Me!

Good Morning Friends!
I have some AWESOME news!
The winner of yesterday's prize pack was...... 
Sarah Jacobson!
Congratulations Sarah!  
Day 4 Celebrations starting now!  
I have two very special treats for you today!
The first sweetie pie is Mrs. Katie author of Teacher to the Core.
She is an outstanding teacher and I love the feeling I get when I leave her blog with a notepad filled with new ideas!
   And speaking of her blog, isn't it absolutely adorable?!  I think Mrs. Katie did that on purpose so we will stalk her blog all the time!!!  GUILTY!  
Katie's sense of humor and down-to-Earth goodness is why I just adore her!  Thank you so much Katie for celebrating with me today!

My second sweet surprise is this fabulous duo!  How cool is it that they work together, blog together, and TPT together?! 
Fluttering Through First Grade
Christy and Tammy are amazing.  I remember feeling so incredibly special when I saw their button suddenly appear in my followers section.  In the short year we have known each other,  the girls and I have shared a ton of funny emails and my terrible sense of humor!  Christy and Tammy have been so generous to me and today I want to thank both of them, so very much, for being two of the most creative and thoughtful teachers I know!  Thanks ladies!  xoxoxo

So what are you waiting for?
Get to that rafflecopter and have fun!
Happy Thursday my sweet friends!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 3....YIPPEE! More Giveaways so Join Me!

Congratulations to Elisabeth Howell Haywood!  
She is my super-lucky winner of Day 2 Prizes!
Time for more celebrating!!!

Liz Deal is one sweet blogger!
Her latest post had me scrambling for my notebook so I could jot down all the great ideas!
I love reading her blog and hope that you stop by and share the love with her today!
She is offering one fab teacher this incredible Landforms Unit!
Thanks so much Liz for celebrating with me today!

Now this giveaway wouldn't be complete without the amazing, 
mouth dropping, 
I can't believe my ears, 
QUIETEST PENCIL SHARPENER on the market today?
That's right folks.
My man Troy has GRACIOUSLY offered one lucky winner a brand new, pick-your-own-color pencil sharpener to start the new school year off right.  
(And yes friends, I speak of Troy like he is my best bud!!!)  He is totally awesome and his brilliant product is saving me a ton of money!  For what I was spending on electric sharpeners and Tylenol for the noise, 
I could have bought one of Troy's sharpeners for every child in my classroom by now!
Troy, Thank You so much for celebrating with me today!

Be sure to click the "Like" button on 
Troy's Facebook Page too!

I will see you back here tomorrow for MORE sweet giveaways!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 2 Giveaways! Don't Miss Your Chance!

Day 1 Giveaway results are in!  Congratulations to Karen Rowland over at Adventures with Firsties!  

Welcome back sweet friends to Day 2 of my blogging anniversary celebration!  How amazing is it that our teaching connections can reach all the way to Australia!  The super-talented Kylie from the Down Under Teacher has helped me tremendously with writing essentials in the classroom.  I bought her VOICES writing menu last year and it worked wonders for my first graders!  Kylie also has a ton of great tips and advice for Daily 5 and CAFE.  Today she is offering one of her fabulous TPT products...Best part?  The winner picks his/her favorite item in her store!  
Thanks so much Kylie for celebrating with me!

My second sweetie pie is the lovely Kelli from Castle's and Crayons!  I started stalking Kelli's blog from day 1.  She has the most incredible Roll and Dice units that I used throughout the entire year with my firsties!  The kids LOVE all things DICE and her units were a HUGE hit!  Kelli also has this amazing SPOTLIGHT SERIES happening now so be sure to check it out!  
Thank you so  much Kelli for celebrating with me and being such an inspiration to me!

Enough said.
(wink, wink!)
No, that's not true.
I have a TON of sweetness to share about my fabulous blogging bestie Lisa.  She is, by far, the most eager and outgoing teacher I have had the pleasure of following this year!  She is a FIRESTORM on TPT and has the most amazing giveaways for teachers!  Talk about a generous heart!  She knows what teachers like, especially us first grade teachers, and her products reflect that!  Lisa has been such an inspiration to me this year and it is the greatest honor to have her celebrating with me today!  Lisa, I love you tons my dear! and PS: The Facebook surprise yesterday was A+++ awesome!  I am so excited!!!

Stop back to tomorrow for more celebrating!!!!

Day 1 of Giveaways! Don't Miss Your Chance to Enter and Win!

I am so honored to have you here today to celebrate my first anniversary of blogging bliss!
One year ago today, 
I anxiously pressed that bright orange "publish" button and sent my first post out into cyberspace.
Much to my delight,
comments began to appear,
and new friendships started to bloom.
On my anniversary, I am thinking of how lucky I am to have so many new and amazing friends because of this fabulous thing we call "blogging."
Today is my day to say thank you,
to YOU,
my dear friends,
for following my teaching blog and making me a better teacher!

I have a few friends in particular that offered to help me celebrate my blogiversary with a special little giveaway each day this week!
One such special friend is my sweet girl
Kelly over at First Grade Fairytales.  
Kelly and I are both night owls,
loving all things first grade,
and most of all, we have become great blogging besties!
Her comments and emails are sunshine to my day and I just adore her!
Kelly, thank you for being a beautiful friend!
Kelly is letting the winner of today's giveaway go "shopping" for two new TPT items from her store!  WOO HOO!

Another sweet ray of sunshine is the little Miss Krystyn over at Ms. Richard's Musings.  Krystyn is so thoughtful and her sweet comments and emails always give me that extra PEP in my STEP!
Thank you Krystyn for helping me celebrate and sharing this special week of friendship with me!
Today's winner will get to shop for one fabulous item in Krystyn's TPT store!  Oh Yeah!

How adorable is my girl  Emily over at Curious Firsties!  You will leave her blog with some fantastic first grade ideas every time you visit!  She is a gem and I am so grateful to have her celebrating with me!  Today's winner can zoom on over to TPT store and pick up your favorite product!  How awesome is that!?!

Check back every day this week for more chances to win some incredibly fabulous products by some of your favorite teachers!
Happy Anniversary to me!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

And the Winners are....

Happy Sunday...almost Monday!
I have some great news to share..
The contest results are in and congratulations to these 5 friends!

Ladies, please check your emails!  
Thank you EVERYONE that participated!  And if you didn't win this time, NO WORRIES!  My very sweet 6 days of Giveaways starts in just a few hours!  Stop back every day this week for a chance to win some AMAZING products from some very talented teachers!  

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday's Favorite Pins

I couldn't possibly pass up the opportunity to link up the with the sweet Cara TWO days in a row!
Favorite Pins Friday....
Really friends?
You know I have a slight pinning addiction... 
What is it now, like 8,313 and counting!

Here are a few of my random pin picks for today!

Diary of a Second Grade Teacher has this awesome "Where are You" idea which I am just LOVING!

Here's another similar idea by Spectacular Second Grade-
"Where Are You" sign  (make the little numbers and glue them onto magnets, so they stick to the baking sheet.  Click the links to get your own free copy of the labels and the numbers!)

First Day anchor chart
First day of school

POWER PELLETS by The Lemonade Stand 
power pellets...love everything on her blog!


Don't forget my dear sweets, we have 2 days left of my 
Critter Cafe Collection giveaway!
The NEW and IMPROVED Critter Cafe!  44 reading strategy posters featuring our FAVORITE beanie critters!  Giveaway for your chance to win ends soon!  visit firstgradecrittercafe.blogspot.com to enter!
Be sure to enter here for your chance to a win a copy.

And a very special celebration is just around the corner!
I am celebrating one year of blogging bliss!
Starting Monday, be ready to join me for 6 days of special giveaways to my faithful & fabulous followers!
Get ready!  6 days of giveaways coming soon!

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