Monday, February 25, 2013

Hall Pass Linky

I’m joining in the  

Linky at


Well, I just opened my store!  AND…I just sold my first product!  I’m beyond excited! I finally put together a few ideas that I presented at a workshop on integrating the CORE into literacy centers.  I had all of these things that I did and people wanted to add them to their routine, but I didn’t have anything concrete to give the participants – just examples of what I do. So, I finally polished some of the ideas and put them out there!




I just added three more centers this week! These are all things that I use or have used with my students.


The multiplication games have been a quick and easy way for my math students to practice their facts.  They are always engaged and I feel like they help make the most of my 55 minute math period!

I also really love the poetry task cards!  I am the champion of quick and simple centers because prepping can drive me crazy!  I think the magazine center will work the same way – they are activities I have done for years, just put into a pretty package!  Check them out by clicking on the images if you are interested!


So sad that my computer crashed last month.  I lost soooo much – lesson: back everything up! My room right now is not really picture ready – I never feel like it lives up to the rooms in blog land.  Frankly, it looks like my day exploded!  Here are some features that I love!


These are my classroom rules and it’s the first project my kids do together.  I got the idea from The Inspired Apple.


I just love my READ letters!  It just adds a bit of something to the room!


This is my Business Board (obviously!) My class birthdays are above the board.  I have everything that my kids need to organize their day here.   The lunch menu and special schedule it missing.  I also put any info on special events here.  This, of course, was the beginning of the year when it was pretty.  I got the idea for this board when I was student teaching eons ago and it has been a staple in my rooms ever since.  The board on the left is for bus changes.


Not the best picture, but this is my library in progress.  I found this shelf in the hallway, headed to storage, when I moved to the building.  It sat for months in my room, unused.  It was just awkward and I tried to give it away.  Then I realized that I could back it with fabric and it was on wheels, so it could be used as a visual barrier in the event we had a lock down and the kids needed to be out of view – sad how the events in Connecticut make teachers think differently about there daily choices. I finally found this buckets at the dollar store and chapter books fit in them nicely.  I need to do something with the board behind it.  This was my guided reading corner, but now my table is in front of the windows because this was the only place the shelving unit would fit. You can see my picture book shelf to the left.  To the right is a tall, skinny shelf with magazine holders that contain all if my seasonal and teaching books.


My favorite signal is part of my center routine!  I have my Promethean board set up to ribbit when each round of centers is up.  The board then plays a 30 second snippet of music.  The kids know they need to be settled in their next center before the music ends.  It works wonders and I don’t have to say or do a thing other than get ready for my next group! This is what my center board looks like:

Center Chart


How do I stay sane?  Do I stay sane?  I try to leave work between 4 and 5 each day.  That has been a challenge in a new grade and I have had a few late nights when needed.  I find that I am so much happier when I get home and it is still daylight and somehow, no matter how late I stay, I always get the same amount of work done!

I also indulge in coffee – frequently! I also love to read.  My tastes are all over the place.  Currently I am reading City of Bones and can’t wait for the movie to come out.  I also quilt.  There is something about sewing straight lines and turning scraps into something beautiful that is so methodical and peaceful!



It has been so much fun to check out everyone’s responses!  Check out the linky for yourself if you haven’t!

Have a wonderful week!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ahh! I’ve Been on Break!

I’m in my last hours of Winter Break right now and it can’t come at a better time!  In a new grade level, I always feel like I need a stretch of time to plan for the next chunk of time before a break.  I also know that I am planning on taking a class in May and June that is 2 days a week and time will be at a premium.  (Am I crazy?!?) We also have report cards going home in 2 1/2 weeks – yikes! I just calculated that and am a bit scared now!

I am working on planning for 3 subjects:

  • Social Studies: Polar Regions/The Inuit
  • Reading: Character Traits
  • Math: Fractions and Geometry

I can’t say that I’ve done a whole lot of planning, but maybe tomorrow Winking smile I’m not procrastinating or anything!

On to very important matters!!! I have had a few teacher and spring fashion hauls this week.  Here’s what I scored:

Old Navy

Women's Button-Front Stretch Cardis

I have been obsessed with the scarf and found it was on sale.  In person, it just doesn’t look as nice.  I think it is a bit to flashy for me and I will probably return it.


Ruffle Front Polka Dot Tank Dress -

Filigree Drop Earrings -

I LOVE the dressy jeans from Maurice's.  Overall, I have a love/hate relationship with the store.  Sometimes I feel a bit old when I walk in.  Lately, it has been a flashback to the 80s and I did that era once.  I also struggle with the sizes and fits.  I am planning to return the dress and the cowl neck sweater.  The dresses usually have a high waist and I feel like it’s a bit too young looking and just doesn’t look right on my petite frame.  The cowl neck sweater just bugged me.

The Bath and Body Works

Coconut Leaves 1.3 oz. Mini Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body WorksWhite Barn Renew & Refresh 1.3 oz. Mini Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body WorksHoneysuckle 1.3 oz. Mini Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body WorksLilac Blossom 1.3 oz. Mini Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works

I am liking their candles!  They are a bit more modern than Yankee Candle and the scents are nice.


Dollar General



Yes, you read that right, the Dollar General.  Where I live, other than a CVS and local grocery store, DG s the only other store.  I find a lot of good things there and their store versions of food and beauty products are virtually identical!  I have found a few cute clothing items!  The tunics/dresses/bathing suit cover ups are bright and summery.  They can be worn as a summer dress or as tunics over skinnies or leggings.  I think I might wear them with leggings, boots and a cardi when I need a pop of spring.  They would be cute with flats too.  The peasant tops are cut nicely.  They are a little thin, but would be great with a cami or layered.  Best thing – $12 a piece!  I really think it is not where you buy something, but what you choose for your shape and how you style it.

I did get some school things too!


They had some cure foam stickers and stamps.  The stickers are princess themed, ocean themed, and kids.  The stamps are ocean and zoo animals.  I also found some cute animal calendars for 1/2 off!  What would I use them for you ask???  Writing centers.  They make great picture prompts. Actually, the stickers and stamps are for writing prompts too.  I find with a little gimmick where the kids can greater pictures or use items makes the writing center fun and productive.

Plus, they match perfectly with a product I started creating a while ago!  I have always used these items in my centers, but only recently got together the charts and papers to create a cohesive pack.  I made it look all pretty and am going to put it in my TpT store – hopefully tomorrow!

I have to say that I am going to try really hard to limit the amount I talk about TpT.  While I would like my store to be successful, I don’t want my blog to be all about advertising and linking to my store.  I promise to only announce new items I create or link items as they are relevant.  I know this is against selling 101, but I am just not a salesperson and I know I don’t follow blogs that are all about selling. 

Have a great remainder of the weekend and hopefully I’ll be back soon!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The TpT Plunge!

I am so excited to announce the grand opening of my Teachers Pay Teachers store!  I am starting out with 6 products – 3 for reading, 2 for mathematics, and 1 for writing/sight words. To celebrate, I am going to give away all the products in my store to 1 winner!

Leave a comment on this page for each of the entries you make. The giveaway will end Sunday, February 17th at midnight (the same time as the sale will end in my store). Ways to enter:

  1. Follow Leaping into Third
  2. Follow me on Pinterest (click on the left or go to:
  3. Follow my TpT Store
  4. Blog about this giveaway and link back.

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This is such a scary endeavor for me!  As my frequent readers know, I have gone back to school and I am really hoping to offset the costs a little as I pursue my doctorate. Please share any feedback!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine’s Books

I have been on the look out for some great new books to read to my students.  After moving back to third after teaching first for so many years, I have realized that there is so much value in picture books.  For some reason, I rarely read picture books to my third graders a decade ago. I have been trying to purge my collection a little bit and have found that many of my books are too young for my third graders. So, I am trying to let go! 

I have been sorting big time!  I have a copy paper box under my desk and every time I go through a container or box of books, I have choosing some to toss in there.  From there my plan is to sort the books into books to donate and books that I might be able to put on Ebay or Craigslist.  I am sure there is a new teacher who could use a cheap collection of books for the classroom!

Any woo, here are some of the favs this year:

Product Details
arthur's valentine

I used Arthur to review story sequence.  The Day It Rained Hearts is great for making predictions, asking questions, and making inferences.  I just plain love Mr. Hatch.  It is great for taking about positive behaviors and character traits.  There was another lesson that I used it for, but I can’t think of it for the life of me right now. 

Any other great Valentine’s picture books for the older students?