Saturday, October 12, 2013

It's Time for a Sale!

Wow! A super-secret, unexpected Teachers Pay Teachers sale! Use the promo code FB100K and get 10% off everything, site-wide, this weekend only!

Many teacher-authors are also hosting sales, up to 20% off. As soon as I heard about it, I jumped over to TpT to list my own sale, and then got to work clearing my wish list! I just loooove a good sale!

Happy shopping, everyone!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

It's Giveaway Time!

To celebrate 500+ followers on Teachers Pay Teachers and 750+ followers on Facebook, I'm hosting a giveaway! 

Among other prizes, you might win a $10 TpT gift certificate. You can enter every day this week for a chance to win.

Thanks to all of you for following me on this journey! I love learning from all of you. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale

It's finally here! The Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School sale has arrived! I've marked down my products 20%, and if you enter the code BTS13 at checkout, you get 10% more off of the already discounted prices - for a total of 28% off! Wow! The sale starts late tonight and ends Monday night. Clear out those wish lists, empty those shopping carts, and peruse your Pinterest boards for those items you've been waiting to purchase. :) Don't forget to submit feedback on all of your previous purchases, while you're at it - you earn TpT credits you can redeem on any item for sale - even if it's on sale! Yay!

Thanks to Mrs. Balius for the cute ad! :)

To celebrate the sale, I'm having a Pin It to Win It contest. Act quickly - it ends Sunday night at 11pm Eastern time! For every 50 entries, I will be giving away one free product. I just announced the contest this afternoon, and I've already had enough entries to qualify giving away one item. I hope that I will be able to give away many more. :)

Here are the details:

Repin any of my products from my Pinterest board, and enter to win that item. You must enter with each different URL on this form to be eligible to win - and multiple entries ARE accepted! For every 50 entries received, I will award one winner. Participants may win more than one prize, as well!

Go to this Pinterest board to get started:

After you repin the item, use this form to submit your name, email address, and the pin's URL. Comments on this blog will not be eligible entries. The deadline for submitting pins is Sunday, August 18 at 11pm Eastern time. The drawing will take place at that time. Winners will be notified via email Sunday night.

Thanks for participating!

Now I'm off to fill my own shopping cart. I can't wait!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer Inspiration Linky - Week 4

I have a few teacher friends who are back to school already this week - some of them even with kiddos!

I report next week, and kids start two weeks from today. Yep, it's crunch time. My focus this week is on planning my entire first week, down to every activity I want to use with my students. I know I'm not alone in wanting to have lots of ways to build a classroom community and get kids learning classroom routines and expectations. Therefore, that's the focus of this week's linky party!

This week's focus is Back to School activities, units, procedures, expectations, guides, etc. - all for grades 3-5 - start choosing what you'll use with your students the first week of school! 

Check back throughout the week for products that are added to the linky. I hope you'll be inspired to cross off your summer to-do list! :) 

Link as many of your products and/or blog posts as you'd like. If they're FREE, be sure to list that in the title. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Inspiration - A Linky Party - Week Three!

In this series I have hosted a linky party for Math Task Cards and one for ELA Task Cards. If you didn't get a chance to check them out, be sure to go visit them after you finish reading (and linking up) here!

Once again, here's one way to get focused and organized to prepare for the quickly approaching school year. Each week in July (and maybe August? We'll see how I do once school starts for me. Ha.), I'll be setting up a themed linky party on Monday to help you focus on one item or idea that you'd like to accomplish in the week ahead. My hope is that you'll be inspired by things you see here and get things ready for the first weeks of school, week by week!

This week's focus is novel studies or units for grades 3-5 - start thinking about which novels you will use with your whole class or guided reading groups. 

Check back throughout the week for products that are added to the linky. I hope you'll be inspired to cross off your summer to-do list! :) 

Link as many of your products as you'd like.

Next week, be ready to link up math or language arts assessments for grades 3-5! Change of plans - Back to School Items are the theme next week!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday, a Bundle, an Award, a Freebie, and 20GB of free cloud storage?

This is going to be a loooong post. Stick with me, please! Favorite Pins Friday, a bundle I'm SUPER excited about, an award, a freebie, AND 20GB of free cloud storage!

Favorite Pins Friday!

Today I'm linking up with Cara from The First Grade Parade for Favorite Pins Friday!

Here are some of my favorite pins from this week. Yep, I totally subscribe to this belief:

If you choose to link up, here's the only rule:  please make sure to link back to the ORIGINAL poster and not to Pinterest. :)  

Here are some of my favorites from the week:

Favorite TEACHING related pins

I absolutely love this post from Kim on her blog, Let Me Start by Saying. It's for her kids, but it absolutely has a place in my classroom, too!

This is an AMAZING idea from Reagan at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits! I am in love. Reagan's system for morning work makes me miss 2nd grade. I just need to find a way to make this work for 4th graders... I'm only teaching math, science, and social studies, so it has to be filled with that content. I start school in a few weeks and my to-do list is already a mile long, so I don't see it happening for the beginning of THIS year. Maybe mid-year? Or next year? If anyone has great 4th grade ideas for adapting this, let me know!

Seriously. In love.

My favorite FOOD pins

We bought an ice cream maker this summer. It has been getting a LOT of least twice per week! We've been using nonfat Greek yogurt, nonfat sweetened condensed milk, and fresh fruit to make all sorts of DELICIOUS frozen Greek yogurt. We are addicted! But we don't want to get stuck in a rut, so I've been pinning other ideas..

This simple base recipe for vanilla ice cream. We can't WAIT to make it and add Heath bars, or Reese's cups, or pumpkin pie filling, or... Yep, we have an ice cream problem in our house. ;)

My favorite SCHOOL SUPPLY pins

Erasable pens. Seriously. Just do it. I pinned it, I bought them, and I'm in love. I am finicky about pens, and these are phenomenal. Perfect for my teacher planner, so I don't have to keep scribbling out changed meeting times.

Magazine files. Miss A's Kindergarten let us know that Target is ALREADY putting out back to school items. This was the first place I saw it, but lots of folks are pinning, blogging, and Facebooking about their Target Dollar Spot finds!

Favorite JUST BECAUSE pin

This idea is just brilliant, even for big fingers.

If you want to see what else I'm pinning, come follow me on Pinterest!

If you'd like to link up, go visit Cara's blog!

A Bundle

My "Find Someone Who" activities have been selling like hotcakes in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, so I decided to bundle them!

When you buy the bundle, you get all of my grades 3-5 Find Someone Who math activities - for life! When I add new versions, you can re-download the bundle with the newest editions included. Every time I add a new edition, the price will go up, so the earlier you buy the bundle, the better deal you get. The bundle itself is 30% off the regular listed price. Don't miss out! I have several more versions in editing stages, so the price will increase soon. Click now to see it in my TpT store!

An Award

Wow! This week I was nominated twice for the Liebster Award! Thanks, Erin (Mrs. Beattie's Classroom) and Lisa (Grade 4 Buzz), for the nominations!

To accept the nomination, I must:
1. Link back to the blogs that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for me by my nominators
4. Share 11 random facts about myself
5. Create 11 questions for my nominees
6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them

I am nominating Katie from Rock and Teach, Renee from Growing a Teacher, Mary Kate from Windy City Learning, Sarah from Write on Fourth Grade, and Carla from Comprehension Connection. You know you've spent too long drafting a blog post when several people you nominated have received the award in the meantime. :) Chalk it up to great minds think alike.

I'm going to answer questions 1-5 from Erin, and 6-11 from Lisa. :)
1. In my career, I am most proud of sticking with it during a really rough first two years. It was unbelievably trying, and I persevered. I wouldn't be the teacher I am today without those experiences!
2. Outside of the classroom, my favorite thing to do is relax with my family and friends. I don't truly stop and do just one thing very often, so when I do, I appreciate it completely. 
3. My favorite place to travel is San Diego, CA. It's beachy, calm, cool, and close to Disneyland. :)
4. If I could change one thing about myself, it would be my horrid habit of multi-tasking. I wish I could shut it all down and just concentrate on one thing fully. While I'm working on this blog post, I'm also working on another, organizing pin boards, listening to a TV show, and checking emails. It's an illness.
5. In my classroom, I rely most on my SMART board/document camera/laptop combo. I've had them since my second year of teaching, and I just can't imagine life without them. The one or two days that I've had technology mishaps in the past 10 years have really challenged me!
6. My favorite thing about summer is the pace of life. I feel like I have time to breathe and enjoy things.
7. Besides my technology, my most-used resource is Teachers Pay Teachers. I LOVE using ideas from other teachers, and spend more than I should.
8. If a movie was made about my life, I'd like Candice Cameron or Elisabeth Shue to play me. I've been told I look like each of them, and I enjoy watching them as actresses, so why not?
9. If I wasn't a teacher, I'd love to be a curriculum writer. (Isn't that really the other side of a teacher?) Some days, I wish I had a full-time curriculum specialist to design my lessons, so I could focus on the delivery and reaching all kids. Other days, I wish I was that full-time specialist, so I could help another teacher have time to teach all of his/her kids. 
10. I started blogging because I love expanding my network of teachers and fellow learners. I love to learn, and learning from teachers is the best!
11. I think people would be surprised to learn that I've graduated from college three times - once with a business degree, once for education, and once with my master's degree.

11 Random Facts About Me:
1. I have lived in MN, AZ, and FL.
2. I celebrate a milestone birthday in a few months. Eek.
3. I love Crystal Light and Diet Mt. Dew. A little too much.
4. My sister and I revisit our boy band love whenever we can. NKOTB and friends this weekend, Backstreet Boys in the fall, and Justin Timberlake in December. The men in our lives just roll their eyes. ;)
5. I love TV. I DVR way too many shows, and don't keep up with most of them. But some days, a few hours vegging with comfort TV is just what the doctor ordered.
6. I love books. I own too many books. I was reminded of this when we moved earlier this summer.
7. In a perfect world, I would be perfectly organized. This isn't a perfect world, and I'm never organized to my liking.
8. I tend to start too many projects at once. I'm a starter. I LOVE the feeling of finishing a project, but I love starting new ones more.
9. I have a slight addiction to office and school supplies. I'm on a buying freeze right now, outside of the essentials. I hope it lasts.
10. I don't like coffee - never have.
11. I hate clothes shopping and love new clothes. Great combination.

Questions for My Nominees
1. Which is your favorite subject to teach?
2. How long have you been teaching?
3. How often do you go to the movies? What's the best movie you've seen lately?
4. What are your top 3 must-haves for a new school year?
5. What is your favorite children's book?
6. What is your favorite grown-up book?
7. What is your favorite TV program?
8. What is your biggest strength as a teacher?
9. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
10. What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
11. Where do you hope to travel in the next 5 years?

Phew! That was a BIG post! Thanks for sticking with me! If you made it this far, here's a quick freebie for you. The link will only stay live until Saturday, July 13, so grab it while you can! :)

Be sure to follow my TpT store to see when this becomes available for sale! 
It was available as a flash freebie for one day only.

FREE 20GB of Cloud Storage - Really?

Yep, you read that correctly. I know many of you use Dropbox. Have you filled your free space yet? I have, so I wanted a place to store more - and to backup the ultra-important files again. I found this spring, and I am thrilled with it! It works just like Dropbox, but comes with more free storage. You START with 15GB (or 20GB if you sign up with a referral link, like this one) - and can earn an UNLIMITED amount of add-on storage for free. You get 5GB of storage every time someone signs up with your link! That's a great deal! Go check it out - you won't be sorry!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Inspiration - A Linky Party - Week Two!

Last week, I hosted a linky party for Math Task Cards. If you didn't get a chance to check them out, be sure to go visit them after you finish reading (and linking up) here!

It's now July 8, and many teachers are gearing up for a return to school. Three more weeks of vacation for me - and I know I'm not the earliest one to return!

Once again, here's one way to get focused and organized. Each week in July (and maybe August? We'll see how I do once school starts for me. Ha.), I'll be setting up a themed linky party on Monday to help you focus on one item or idea that you'd like to accomplish in the week ahead. My hope is that you'll be inspired by things you see here and get things ready for the first weeks of school, week by week!

This week's focus is language arts task cards for grades 3 through 5 - easy to print, cut, laminate, and go! 

Check back throughout the week for products that are added to the linky. I hope you'll be inspired to cross off your summer to-do list! :) 

Link as many of your products as you'd like - and if you want to post this linky party on your blog for others to link up, please grab the link and do so! The more, the merrier!

Next week, be ready to link up novel studies or units for grades 3-5!

get the InLinkz code

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Planning Giveaway Stop C-5...almost there.

Summer Planning Giveaway Stop C-5

Begin at

Thanks for stopping by on the scavenger hunt! 

There are 12 secret words to collect for Pack C. When you do, you win EVERY product you see pictured above! Every person who plays, wins! If you're just starting the Summer Planning Scavenger Hunt, start at  

Grab my secret word by following me on Pinterest (you may want to go find A Few of My Favorite Things - among other popular teacher boards) and Teachers Pay Teachers, and be sure to follow my blog with Bloglovin' by clicking the button on the top right of this page. Here is the item I've donated to the giveaway:

Begin at

Use these cards as a great way to break the ice with your students the first week of school. You can use them to teach different routines in your classroom, or simply as a sponge activity.

You might also be interested in my Equivalent Fractions Task Cards, which you can purchase in my TpT store for only $3.25! There are 48 cards in the set, and they come in 3 sizes, so you can use them in learning stations, math journals, or small groups. 

3 different sizes for flexible use in the classroom (4, 6, and 9 to a page - all in one set!)

Good luck planning for your school year, and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Finding and Following Elementary Teacher Blogs - Linky Party


Do you miss Google Reader yet? Have you jumped on the Bloglovin bandwagon? I have - and I am so glad I did! I can follow my favorite blogs - and I have them all sorted into categories, so I can prioritize my reading. Love it! If you haven't yet set up a free account - why are you waiting? :)

If you didn't import all of your favorite blogs from Google Reader, you may be trying to remember all of them, and figuring out how to follow them all. Or maybe you're just looking for a few new great blogs to follow! For this reason, I've joined Laura Candler's Blog Hunt. Be sure to check back often to find new links to great blogs.

If you'd like to follow Love. Learn. Teach. on Bloglovin, just clink the link at the top right of this page. It's that simple!

I'm adding this to Laura Candler’s blog hop to find other great education blogs. Click on the button below to follow along or on the linkies under the button!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer Inspiration - A Linky Party!

This morning I was reading blogs over on Bloglovin'. (Are you there yet? I'm lovin' it, and the way I can sort blogs into groups!) I came across a linky party that I totally wanted to join. Only one problem - it was geared toward K-2 teachers. I asked Linda over at Primary Inspiration if she would mind if I took the idea and adapted it. She graciously gave her blessing. :)

When I realized today was July 1 (eek!), I mildly panicked. We go back to school in four weeks. Four. Weeks. I'm not too thrilled about that. My summer has flown by this year! I have been pinning and wish-listing items all summer long. There's a time and place for brainstorming and gathering ideas, but it's time to get cracking on those lists!

Here's one way to get focused and organized. Each week in July (and maybe August? We'll see how I do once school starts for me. Ha.), I'll be setting up a themed linky party on Monday to help you focus on one item or idea that you'd like to accomplish in the week ahead. My hope is that you'll be inspired by things you see here and get things ready for the first weeks of school, week by week!

This week's focus is math task cards for grades 3 through 5 - easy to print, cut, laminate, and go! (If you're looking for K-2, head to Primary Possibilities to join in the fun there.)

Check back throughout the week for products that are added to the linky. I hope you'll be inspired to cross off your summer to-do list! :) 

get the InLinkz code

Winner, Winner, Winner!

Congrats to Brianne, Lori, and Jennifer! They have each won their choice of two products from my TpT store! 

Look for an email from me explaining how to claim your prizes.

Keep your eyes peeled for more giveaways in the future - and don't forget to follow all of your favorite blogs on Bloglovin! :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Facebook Freebie!

Happy weekend, everyone!

I know that my summer is flying by. It's hard to believe teachers report back in 4 and a half weeks here. Eek!

To celebrate 100 followers on my Facebook fan page, I've set up a Facebook fan only freebie. Go check it out! Click this link to go get it. Just click the "Fans Only" tab under my cover photo on Facebook, and you're in!

This is a great Back to School - Getting to Know Your Teacher task card set.

Don't miss out - this will only be a freebie until July 15!

Stay cool! 

I've also linked up with Erin for her Back to School Bonanza - go check out all the great things available for back to school time! 

Revised Sunday, June 30: Due to the previously posted freebie being uncomfortably close to another product listed for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers, I have changed the free card set that is available. Thank you for your understanding!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday!

Okay, so I haven't been blogging long - or much - but there's one post I'd love to share with you today as part of Throwback Thursday. I'm linking up with Cara at the First Grade Parade - and wow, there's a bunch of great posts to see!

This was originally posted on April 15, 2013. I only had a few followers back then, and was really hoping to hear from people and get some input. I'm still in touch with my student teacher, so it's not too late to offer her advice. ;)


This school year, I've purchased so many great resources on Teachers Pay Teachers! I know I'm not alone.

Some of my favorites are pictured here:
Task cards from Teaching with a Mountain View

Math Skills Scoot Bundle by Math Mojo
Assessment Posters & Forms by 3rd Grade Thoughts
Vocabulary Task Card Bundle by Rachel Lynette
I would love your input on the following. My student teacher has asked for advice, and I have shared what I do, but I don't experiment much. It made me wonder if other methods are better!

  • Do you print in color or grayscale?
  • At home, school, or even a copy store?
  • Inkjet or laser printer?
  • Do you laminate at home or school?
  • Do you cut materials apart before and/or after laminating?
  • Do you cut by hand, or do you have a favorite paper cutter or trimmer?

Please share your strategies and any specific products you use and love. We only have five weeks of school left, and I want to be sure to send her off with the best advice possible. :)


Here is the one and only comment I received, from Courtney at Polka Dot Lesson Plans. I'd love for you to join in and share, too!

Dawn, I'm so glad you posed these questions because I've been thinking this same thing myself! In the last 2 months I've used up 2 whole color ink cartridges just printing goodies from TpT! 
Color or Grayscale? Color for games, task cards,and anything I plan to laminate and use again. Grayscale for anything I'm going to make copies of for the students. 
I do color printing at home and grayscale both at home and school. 
I have a small color ink jet printer/scanner that I use just for color printing and then a Brother grayscale laser printer for everything else. The laser printer has been a great investment. I print until my heart is content and have only replaced the cartridge roughly 5 times in 4 years. Because of that I'm so tempted to buy a laser color printer!
I laminate at home and I cut before I laminate. I have a Scotch Thermal laminator (from Wal Mart) that I love! 
I also use a fiskars paper cutter (from the scrapbook section) to cut most things. 
Sorry to have written you a book here...I didn't realize I had so much to say about copying and laminating! I'm anxious to hear what others have to say. 

July Goals

Wow. The switch over to Bloglovin has sure kept me busy this week! I want to be sure I keep up with all of the blogs I love - plus I've found so many great new ones! Don't miss out on the HUGE link-up of giveaways!

I'm linking up with Jess at I {Heart} Recess to share my goals for July. This summer is flying by MUCH too quickly. :/

Personal:  I need to work on getting 8 hours of sleep per night - no more, no less (within reason). My inner night owl comes out in the summertime, so I'm staying up late. I'm also adjusting to a new house (which gets a LOT of early morning sunlight) and working on settling down my brain from a lot that's happened the past 7 or 8 months. Most nights I'm sleeping about 4 hours, off and on - but when I get really tired, I catch up and sleep 12. Not a good cycle, especially since I'm back to school the end of July! Any advice for getting on a good sleep cycle? It has been so long, I don't remember how...

Family:  My parents, sister, brother-in-law, and my boyfriend and I all live within 5 miles of one another. Yet we sometimes go a week or more without all spending time together! A goal for July is to be sure to see them all at least once a week - for a family dinner. Do you live near your family? How do you spend time together?

Health:  We moved less than a month ago into a new house, and prior to that, had lots of problems at our old house, so we were eating out WAY too much. Not only is that not healthy, it isn't good for our wallets! We've done better the past two weeks, but need to cut it down a bit more. What are some of your favorite simple, summer recipes?

School:  At my school, each teammate is responsible for planning one subject area for the entire team. My subject is math (which I LOVE). Last year, we implemented common core for the first time. I learned so much from our successes and failures over the course of the year. Now it's time to map out next year, to be sure we have enough time to be sure students have deep understanding of concepts. How do you map out your year? Are there special tools, resources, or websites you use?

Blog/TpT:  Blogging is tough for me. I enjoy it, but I really struggle to make regular posts. I see so many fun linky parties that I get overwhelmed. I know I need to take baby steps, and just enjoy the process - not worry so much about others. I know I have a lot to share as I enter my tenth year of teaching. I also have about a billion and one ideas for TpT products, and I just can't keep up with all the ideas I have. I want to plan it out a bit, to help keep myself on track. How often do you blog and/or create products? Do you have a schedule, or just play it by ear?

Outside the Box:  At the new house we're renting, the owner has a small desert landscaped front yard and a nice-sized backyard that is partially desert landscaped and part grass. I haven't mowed a lawn since I was in high school, helping out my parents. I certainly have never had a mesquite tree that sheds an incredible amount of seed pods in the summer - let alone two of them. It is really fun (ha.) to rake and sweep up pods when it's 110 degrees, and bugs love the pods and crawl in and out of them. Eww. Luckily, my boyfriend doesn't mind yard work - but I can't let him have all the fun...can I? :) 

Pretty shade tree.
Lovely pods covering the ground - not so pretty.
Be sure to link up and share your goals for July! Stay cool, my friends!