Sunday, December 14, 2014

'Tis a Tender Tennessee Christmas

Y'all! I love the Christmas season! The lights twinkling everywhere, curling up by the fireplace, warm sweaters and gloves....the list could go on and on. This Christmas is no different.

So far this holiday season has been filled with lots of fun events. Last weekend I had the honor of riding in the Bartlett Christmas Parade with my dad. In my 31 years of life, I have never been in a parade, so this was a first! Once I was back in Nashville, I decorated my Christmas tree. It is Percy's first Christmas. I'm not sure she knows what to think about the lights.

I might have spent far too much money at Target decorating my house this year, but who can resist these adorable holiday themed applique pillows?

Yesterday I went to one of the most fun holiday events that I have experienced. If you live in the Nashville area, it is a MUST for next year. Downtown Franklin puts on an annual event called Dickens of a Christmas. There are costumed characters from Dickens' stories walking along the streets and caroling, fake snow falling, the smell of chestnuts roasting over an open fire, and a town sing-a-long in the town square. I felt like I had taken a step back in time.... it was literally a Christmas miracle.

Additionally, it was a great day to do a little bit of Christmas shopping and get some holiday inspiration. My friends and I had to stop at a local favorite, Lulu, to get some holiday decorating inspiration. It did not disappoint. From the Christmas tree with the burlap bows to quotable book art, this trip did not disappoint. I'm not going to lie....Lulu's is not cheap, but it is a GREAT place to get some DIY ideas.

I could blog all day about Christmas, but alas it is time to get ready for our Bible Study Christmas party! Cheers!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sight Word Essentials BUNDLE: Intervention and Small Group Resources

I had several requests to go ahead and create a bundle for my sight word essentials packet. This is a GROWING bundle and currently includes RTI Sight Word Fluency Essentials #1. Below is a list of resources that will be included in this bundle and when they will be added.

Sight Word Fluency Essentials #1: Intervention and Small Group Resources: Currently Available

Sight Word Fluency Essentials #2: Intervention and Small Group Resources: Coming January 2015

Sight Word Fluency Essentials #3: Intervention and Small Group Resources: Coming March 2015

Sight Word Fluency Essentials #4: Intervention and Small Group Resources: Coming May 2015

This product is discounted at 25% off, so you will save $10.00 by purchasing the bundle.

Each packet will include sight word resources for you to use with your students (50 sight words in each packet)! While I created this with intervention in mind, but you could also use this resource in guided reading groups or independent centers.

Sight Words included in Sight Word Fluency Essentials #1: Intervention and Small Group Resources are I, can, the, we, see, a, like, to, and, go, you, do, my, are, he, with, is, little, was, she, for, have, of, they, said, want, here, me, this, what, help, too, has, play, look, where, good, who, come, does, not, school, down, out, very, up, be, pull, jump, and move.

Each resource includes:

*Sight Word List and Progress Monitoring Assessment Form to keep up with each student’s progress.

*Daily and Weekly Lesson Plan Template

*Read It, Trace It, Write It, Highlight It for 50 sight words.

*Roadrunner Read for 50 sight words.

*Sight Word Fluency Passage for 50 sight words.

*5 Color-Coded I Have, Who Has? Sight Word Games .

*Sight Word Flash Cards

You can check out three weeks of intervention and small group resources for free here.

I hope that you find these resources helpful during your RTI time!

Check out additional intervention resources at the links below.

1. Kindergarten RTI: Letter Identification Essentials
2. Kindergarten RTI: Letter Sound Recognition Essentials
3. Kindergarten RTI: Phonemic Awareness Essentials
4. Kindergarten RTI: Phoneme Segmentation Essentials
5. Kindergarten Sight Word Essentials Bundle

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Happy Thanks-GIVEAWAY!!! FREE Interactive Notebook!

Happy Thanks-GIVEAWAY! November marks the ONE YEAR anniversary of my Teachers Pay Teachers store! I am so thankful for all of you who have made it such a success. To say THANKS I am offering either a Thanksgiving Interactive Notebook OR Christmas Interactive Notebook FREE when you like my Facebook page. First, like my Facebook page. Then send me a message with your e-mail address telling me which interactive notebook you would like me to send to you! This offer is good until the end of November 2014. Happy Teaching!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sight Word Fluency Essentials for Intervention and Small Group

I am so excited to have FINALLY finished the first round of Sight Word Fluency Essentials. Seriously, it took me about three months to complete the first set, and I am so excited that I get to share it with you! Learning sight words can be difficult for some of our little learners, so I wanted to create engaging activities that I could use during my intervention block. You can use this during intervention or in your small group block. I have included the first 50 sight words in McGraw-Hill's Wonders Reading Series, but you do not need the Wonders curriculum to use this resource. Each sight word is numbered so that you can keep everything in order!

I have included one "Read It, Trace It, Write It, Highlight It" activity for each sight word. This activity can be used to introduce the sight word for that week.

The Roadrunner Read is my students' favorite activity. The words are spiraled so that students continue to practice words for several weeks at a time. This can serve as a warm-up for students each day. You can choose to time students each day to monitor their progress throughout the week.

The Sight Word Fluency Passages are a great way for students to continue to practice their sight word fluency. If you print these in color, you will probably want to laminate these and use them year after year. On the first day, I have students highlight the focus sight word with a yellow highlighter. Then have students go back and highlight other sight words that they know or words that they can sound out on their own in a pink or blue highlighter. Afterwards we review the unknown words. Students practice this passage throughout the week until they can read it independently with expression.

I have also included 5 sets of "I Have, Who Has?" games that can be used in small group. This is a great way to review sight words each week.

Last, I included sight word flash cards that can be used in small groups or sent home for students to practice with at home.

I hope that you enjoy these! Be sure to check out the FREEBIE! Let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions for future products!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Nightstand Diaries #2: Halloween Edition

It is OCTOBER y'all! Where in the world did the time go? I have already succumbed to the deliciousness that is pumpkin. I have bought every one of Trader Joe's new pumpkin products, so it's safe to say that I am in pumpkin heaven. But with pumpkins, comes thoughts of Halloween. And when I think Halloween, my first thought is not candy. Instead, I dream of mysteries and scary stories. I've gone through THREE of them in the last month. So, I thought I'd dedicate this entry of the Nightstand Diaries to some of my favorite mysteries and/or creepy stories.

I know that Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is all the rage right now. I've read it. Loved it. BUT. Read Sharp Objects if you have not done so. Creepy does not begin to cover it. The premise is that Camille, the narrator and a journalist, returns to her hometown to cover the story of a missing young girl. This is not a "fun" book, by any means, but it is gripping. From the get-go it is revealed that Camille struggles with her own demons. Flynn explores the causes of Camille's mental illness and the illnesses of those within the case she is working so hard to solve. If you want to be disturbed, this is your book.

I've read all of Gillian Flynn's books and wanted to read more books that were equally as twisty and turny. I found several websites that recommended reading books by Tana French. Many call her the Irish version of our own Flynn. Tana French's first book, In the Woods, had me hooked from the first page. One afternoon in 1984, three children do not return home from playing in the woods. When the police arrive, they find one child gripping a tree with blood filled sneakers and two missing bodies. Fast forward twenty years and we meet the found boy, Rob Ryan, a detective for the Dublin Murder Squad. When he and his partner, Cassie, are called to the scene of a twelve-year-old girl murdered in the same woods where Ryan was found, they must uncover the truth of the mystery at hand as well as confront the ghosts from Ryan's past. I literally could not put this book down. I have also read French's second novel, The Likeness, which is just as amazing, but is told from Cassie's point of view. French currently has five books out, each one following the story of a different Murder Squad detective.

One of my favorite mysteries that I've read is Social Crimes by Jane Stanton Hitchcock. I haven't read this book in years, but it sticks out to me whenever I think of books that are FULL of surprises and had me addicted from the start. Additionally, everyone that I have recommended this book to has loved it. If you love New York, socialites, and intrigue, then you will love this book. Jo Slater, a New York socialite and patron of the arts, is knocked down the social ladder after she befriends a mysterious French Countess, who is new to the city. In an effort to regain her fortune and place in New York society, Jo uses her knowledge of one of the most historical swindles of all time - a true story involving Marie Antoinette. This book is clever, savvy, and fun. Trust me. You will not be disappointed. If you love it, be sure to check out the follow-up, One Dangerous Lady.

Over summer vacation, I was craving books that would allow me to travel to far away places without actually going there (yet). This led me to buy Book Lust to Go, which gives great book recommendations based on geographical location. What I found, was a wonderful mystery series written by Dorothy Gilman The Mrs. Pollifax series contains 14 books. The first one was written in 1966 and the last one was written in 2000. The first book, The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, follows Emily Pollifax, a retired widow who is tired of attending garden club meetings. Naturally, she decides to become a CIA agent to give her life some excitement. Her first assignment takes her to Mexico City where her simple job goes terribly wrong. Mrs. Pollifax is quite delightful and very entertaining. I have ordered several of the other books in the series and can't wait to read them. Mrs. Pollifax's dangerous escapades take her around the glove to Turkey, China, Sicily, Morocco, and more, so if you like learning about history and new places, these books are excellent.

I LOOOOVE being from the South. And I love mysteries. So the combination of a good southern mystery makes me want to grab a glass of sweet tea and stretch out on the front porch. I just finished reading Bones of a Feather by Carolyn Haines. These Sarah Booth Delaney Mysteries are smart and funny. Between Sarah, her beloved hound dog Sweetie Pie, and friendly ghost Jitty, this series has me hooked. I might have even gone to the used book store this morning and bought most of the series (for under $15!!!). If you love a little laughter and southern drawl with your mysteries, this series is a must.

Hope you have a spooktacular October!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Falling In Love With Breakfast Tacos (And Other June Fancies)

Oh my goodness! I can't believe that it is the LAST day in June, but what an amazing month it has been. I am excited to share the moments and things that I have fancied this month!

1. ROAD TRIPS: I had a wonderful trip to Florida with my girlfriends filled with sunbathing, bike riding, sunsets, and lots of laughter. This beautiful sunset was in Watercolor, Florida. I also have to brag that the very friendly Greg Kinnear took our picture on this beautiful bridge. Of course we realized this as he rode away on his bicycle into the sunset.

2. AUSTIN, TEXAS (i.e. BREAKFAST TACOS): I went to Austin for the very first time and discovered that it was very similar to Nashville, except that it had more restaurants and less churches. It might have been a teeny bit hotter as well. My favorite were the breakfast tacos. I could definitely get used to eating those every day. I was only there for three days, but Tacodeli was my favorite while I was there. Their "Jess Special" taco was delicious, and I was loving that they served local handcrafted beverages by Maine Root.

3. MINDY KALING: Y'all. If you've watched my pretend best friend's tv show, The Mindy Project, then you already know that Mindy Kaling is hilarious. If you need a laughter fix until the new season starts up, then reading her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is a must read. The book is made up of short essays, so it is easy to read bits and pieces at your convenience. I will be posting my next What I Read blog in a few days, so you will most likely see this one again!

4. GREEN ORANGE DREAMSICLE SMOOTHIES: So the last two months I have been eating smoothies most mornings (minus vacations and the tempting breakfast tacos in Austin), and this Green Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie recipe from Oh My Veggies is my new favorite. I altered it a little bit to fit my personal taste (I add 1/2 frozen banana to add creaminess and a few drops of vanilla extract). Trust me: this will be your new favorite dessert this summer.

5. KITTENS: Even if you are not a cat person, who can not love a kitten? I brought my sweet little kitten, Percy, home this month. She is cute, sweet, and very entertaining. Not to mention she is always putting a smile on my face. Love her!

6. HOLLAND MARIE: My feisty and talented friend, Holland, has released her first EP and it does NOT dissappoint. Her album DR. Radio is like Miranda Lambert's music in the sense that as you are listening you realize that EVERY SINGLE SONG IS FANTASTIC. It has quickly become my favorite country album of summer. You should probably head over to ITunes and have a listen. And the best part for all of you Music City locals is that she plays frequently at local music venues such as The Stage and Crossroads. Happy Listening!

I am sure I could go on, and on, and on...but alas it is time to head to the gym. Mama would be proud.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Nightstand Diaries #1

Hey, y'all! Welcome to the first installment of "The Nightstand Diaries"! Being the avid reader that I am, friends and acquaintances often ask me for new book recommendations. Searching through my home library and pondering on past reads to find the perfect book for a friend gives me such a thrill! So what better way to share what I've been reading than through this blog? Now that summer break is upon us, I have had a little bit more time to read which make my heart happy.

I absolutely loved The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro. I love historical fiction books that entwine different decades, and this is no exception. Although a bit dark at times, it is worth reading about socialite Grace Monroe as she unravels the mystery of her past one scent at a time.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. If I could use one word to describe this book it would be captivating. Outlander follows World War II combat nurse, Claire Randall, as she falls back in time to the Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland. This was one book where I just felt smarter once I finished reading it. I had to look up many words that were specific to that time period (thanks, Nook!) and I learned about a piece of history that I was completely unfamiliar with. You are entranced the moment you begin reading. And the best part? So far there are 8 books in the series. Additionally, STARZ debuts the tv show version in August, so I'd suggest reading the first installment ASAP. This is not a novel for the faint of heart. It boasts over 800 pages, so if you are looking for a quick beach read this may not be the book for you. Speaking of beach reads....

All The Summer Girls by Meg Donohue is a delightful beach read. Three childhood friends, whose lives were forever changed one hot summer day, have reunited at the Avalon beach house where it all began. I read this in two days, so it is perfect to stash in your beach bag and read poolside with a fruity beverage in hand!

I'm heading to the beach on Sunday and would love to hear what you are reading this summer!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lots of Love: Valentine Giveaway!!!!

Hi, friends!!! One of my personal goals was to blog more often, and here it is practically the end of January and it is my first time on in the new year! 2014! CRAZY! I feel like it was just yesterday when I was looking forward to ringing in the new MILLENIUM. Feeling old right about now.

Well, now that February is almost here it's time to get ready for one of my favorite times in the classroom. VALENTINE'S DAY! I love the red and the pink, the sweets, and the love that my little kindergarteners have to share. Nothing is more sweet than watching them bring in their valentines and filling each others boxes up to the top.

To put my kiddos in the Valentine's Day spirit I created TWO sweet resources to use with my little friends! The Valentine's Day Extravaganza features 23 Math and Literacy Activities that can be used in small groups or independent work stations. Althought I made it for my kinders it would work for 1st grade as well.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am also a HUGE fan of interactive notebooks. I created Love and Cupcakes: Valentine's Day Supplements for Interactive Literacy Notebooks to support my notebook obsession! Snag one if you haven't already!

I can't wait to use these with my kids! Can February get here any faster? To celebrate the love I am having a LOTS OF LOVE Giveaway! Here is how it works:

1. Purchase Valentine's Day Extravganza (23 Math and Literacy Centers) on TPT between 1/21/2014 - 2/2/2014.
2. Follow my TPT store.
3. Leave me feedback on the product including your e-mail address

I will send you Love and Cupcakes: Valentine Supplements for Interactive Literacy Notebooks for FREE!!!! Thank you for all of YOUR love and support. Happy Teaching!

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