Saturday, March 30, 2013

Say It Isn’t So!

Ugh!  Has everyone heard that Google Reader is closing down in July?  What?!?  I thought it was awesome that everything I needed was somehow connected to my Google Account.  It made everything soooo easy to keep track of.  Now they are closing down Reader.  I can’t believe the company thinks that will be beneficial! I actually started using Google because of Reader. 

I have been trying out two other services.

BlogLovin has a similar format and you can easily import your Google Reader connections.  The site automatically accesses and organizes what you already have.  So far, I am liking this site lot.  The learning curve is much smaller – which is good when there are so many other things to do!

The other site I started with was Netvibes.  This site has more viewing options than Google Reader and BlogLovin.  You can set it up to look more like an iPad, with tiles.  I found it a bit more challenging to navigate, but it does the job.

What are you switching to when Google Reader shuts down?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Freebie Linky and a Spring Break Sale!

Oh, my!  I am finally on spring break and am beyond exited about it!  10 whole days of sleeping in.  I plan to spend a lot of time working on the mega research project for my college class, but it is actually fun, so I don’t mind too much.

In celebration of spring break, I am having a 10% off sale in my TPT store until Monday!  Stop by for a visit and see if there is anything that interests you!

Teacher Tam’s Educational Adventures is having a Spring Freebie Linky Party!

I have had a nice start to my TPT store and am excited at the chance to share couple freebies!

I was suddenly inspired to create this freebie especially for this party and it turned out pretty cute!  Click on the images to check it out!


My Kindness Chains have been a pretty popular download.  They inspire random acts of kindness in the classroom.


The Spelling Freebie is one of the sample pages from my Spelling Activities for Any Unit.  The freebie page is a syllable sorting page.


Please check out some of these freebies and my other items if you are interested!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spelling Packet Winner and Freebie

Congrats to Julie Ann!  She is the winner of a free copy of my new spelling packet on TPT! To grab a freebie from the packet, click on the image below:
Click on any of the images to grab your own copy of the full packet with 18 printables for any spelling unit!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A New Product Giveaway!

Whew!  It’s been a crazy two weeks in my neck of the woods!  I have been playing around with updating some of the printable activities that I use with my students to practice spelling words. Click on any of the images to visit the TPT store.

Here’s the description:




My students are loving the activities and they are practicing many great skills using their spelling words!  I actually made a class set of each of the activities to have on hand in the event I need something for a substitute or for those days when you need something extra!

I will give away one copy of the new product to one person who comments.  The rules:

1. Share your favorite spelling activity in the comments.

2. Include your email address.

3. Entries close at midnight on Sunday.  The winner will be announced on Monday!

I am working on making pretty versions of my spelling pocket materials.  I keep laminated activities to include in a plastic envelope from the dollar store with a whiteboard for students to use during centers.The idea of having instant center activities that were reusable seemed really appealing to the participants in my workshop a couple months ago and I thought it would be helpful to create a product including all the things I use. I’m all about simple! I will upload that sometime this weekend.


Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Two Truths and a Lie

I linked up with Latoya's fun new linky, Let's Get Acquainted!

Can you guess which one was the lie?!?

1. I have moved my classroom 3 times in my career.

2. I own at least 50 pairs of shoes.

3. I have had a variety of pets including a cow, turkeys, and donkeys.

Here are the facts:

1. I have NOT moved my room 3 times – I have actually moved my room 7 times in 12 years.  Sadly, it looks like I will be moving again at the end of the year.  I HATE moving my classroom and will do a serious purge before I move again.  It’s getting old people!

2. I do own over 50 pairs of shoes.  I had a student challenge me to wear a different pair every day of school for the last 6 weeks last year, and I did it!  I have tried really hard to par down to what I really do wear – and that is the goal of my entire wardrobe!

3. I have had a menagerie of pets!  I grew up on a farm and married a dairy farmer.  I had a cow named Trudy Bell when I was growing up.  We also had two turkeys – Tom and Bertha – that lived in the same pasture as our horses and my cow.  They were constantly diving at people and cars that would visit! My horse’s name was Brandy.  We had many, many dogs and cats over the years.  I even had a pet woodchuck…yes, I said woodchuck.  His name was…wait for it…Woody!

On the farm we have ducks, chickens, turkeys, cows, cats, dogs, lambs, goats, and three donkeys – including Eve who was born on Christmas Eve. Sadly, she died earlier this year from unknown causes.

Oh, and I have a turtle named Dude who lives with me, my husband, our dog Bear and our cats Murphy and Mazey. I have never had a normal pet like a gerbil of hamster!

So, did you guess correctly?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two Truths and a Lie Linky

I’m linking up with Latoya's fun new linky, Let's Get Acquainted!

This week's topic is Two Truths and Lie. Hmmm…

1. I have moved my classroom 3 times in my career.

2. I own at least 50 pairs of shoes.

3. I have had a variety of pets including a cow, turkeys, and donkeys.

Can you spot the lie?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Three Random Things About Me: Let's Get Acquainted Linky

I am linking up with Latoya of Flying into First Grade and sharing three things about myself using my initials.

My initials are CNG

(All of my names rhyme – figure it out if you dare!  And yes, I did realize my married name would add to the pattern, but what can I say, I love the guy!)

C – Coffee and Chocolate!

Oooh!  How I love coffee and chocolate…better yet, chocolate raspberry coffee.  My Kuerig is my bestie!  Starbucks is not.  I know that people swear by Starbucks, but I really dislike their coffee.  The new blond blend is much more enjoyable.  I’m a Dunkin’ girl, Tim Hortons is a close second. My favorite candy bars are ones that include peanut butter – right now, Take 5 takes the prize!

N – New Student - Again

I have gone back to school…again!  I am in my second class as a doctoral student in Teaching and Curriculum.  I am loving every minute of it!  School was always my thing – I’m a reader.  Somehow, even though it is a big time and financial commitment, it’s so enjoyable for me.  It gets me out of school earlier and thinking in a different way about education.  So, hopefully, by 2017 (yes, 2017!) I will finish my degree!

G – Great Books

I LOVE to read.  I will search and search until I find just the right book to work on.  Right now I have a pile so high that I run out of re-newels at the library before I can get them read.  I really commit to reading for my own personal joy as often as I can.  My tastes vary widely, but lately I have been into the City of Bones series and I just checked out The Host.  Both books are coming out in the theatre and I am a book snob.  I love going to see the movies and then saying how they just didn’t do it justice on the screen – pretty disappointed with the movie version of the Hunger Games (they just didn’t capture the main characters for me, and then the downright fabrication of the origin of the mockingjay just frustrated me!)

Okay, this one was just funny…I think I need to frame it!

Thanks for hopping in!  Check out the linky!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Visualization Activity

I have been neglecting my companion blog this year. If you are a new reader, or just didn't know, I started a blog a couple years ago to track some of the books I use in the classroom. It was mostly for myself, but others have found it useful.  I know I go back to it every week or so. The posts contain a couple brief ideas for mini-lessons, and the site is organized by skill.  So, if you want to look for ideas and books fir visualizing, click on the skill on the side bar and all the books relevent to the skill will pop up. 
My most recent post focuses on visualizingusing Jane Yolen's books:
If this site would be helpful for you, click on the button to check it out.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Secret Linky Party

Anchored in 3rd Grade is hosting her first linky party!

And it’s all about our dirt little secrets!  This could be really funny, or really dangerous!

Well…let’s see…the first thing that pops into my mind is that I love junk food (I know, who doesn’t right), but when I buy a bag of chips or a container of cookies, 1 – I start eating them in the car and 2 – I usually eat the whole thing at once.  I’m sure it will catch up with me one day, but my goal is to enjoy it while I can!

Hop on over to Anchored in 3rd Grade and join the party!

Monday, March 4, 2013

March Currently

I'm linking up with  Farley's March Currently!


Listening: We are currently in a report card period.  It is hours and hours of additional time!  Has anyone else’s school gone to online progress reports?  I get the idea that everything is linked with student information and data, but web-based programs are awful!  Each report card is loaded 7+ time because it needs to upload every time a narrative comment is written. Can I say how much I miss my 1 page front and back, hand-written report cards???  My method of coping – 80s movies and junk food!

Loving – Oh how I love the fact we are finally remodeling our bedroom! We have done so much work in our house, but nothing in the bedrooms.  I am finally customizing my closet to maximize my space!

Thinking – Me, the crazy chick, scheduled my observation this week…on top of progress reports.  If you are living the dream of teaching in NYS right now, you know how important this is!  I have to give myself some credit in that I thought progress reports were next week when I scheduled it.

Wanting – Spring!  Not that I mind winter, but we have been swinging between beautiful days and overwhelming winteriness.  It seems like we have to acclimate to snow every few days.  It just needs to be over at this point.

Needing – Proofreading! Ugh! I hate proof reading.  I just want to get then out of my hands because I will wordsmith up to the very last minute.

Like – I am really liking the Old Navy spring line!  I am not normally a fan of Old Navy, but they have really cute summer things!

Loving – Of course, I always love books.

Have – Okay – not all reality shows, but the ones my husband watches.  He watches all those gold, logging, and swap shows. Oh and then there’s the pawn store shows, storage locker shows, and picking shows.  So down with it!

Here are some new items I added to the shop.  The poetry center and the classroom magazine centers have been great hits with my class!  The sight word activities are pretty versions of great things I used when I taught younger students.  The Mystery Egg is just plain fun!  It helps foster speaking skills and inferencing.  Check them out by clicking on the image if you are interested :Smile 

Task Cards for Poetry CentersInstant Magazine CenterPolka Dot Dolch Word Wall KitimageMystery Egg Activity

Well, that’s it for now.  I’m hoping to pop in with another post sometime this week.  Have a great one!