Sunday, March 31, 2013


It's time for Latoya's Weekly Link Up... I seriously am loving this. It gives me something different to blog about, makes sure I blog at least once a week since I am currently drained, and lets me get to know other fabulous bloggers. This week's topic is favorites...

Favorite Place to Shop
Hmm... well I love Target. I can't ever go in there for JUST what I need. I always come out with more.

Favorite TV Show
Good grief I don't have just one. And I watch mindless TV. Trash TV even. Here are some favorites:

Add to this list all kinds of reality tv..Biggest Loser, Big Brother, etc.

Favorite Sweet Treat
I think this one depends on my mood. I don't really have a favorite. I love frozen yogurt lately (ya know the kind that doesn't end up being healthy for you because you loaded up with the toppings).

Favorite Food
Hmm I love Buffalo pizza and wings (yes folks, there is a HUGE difference in the pizza you get in Buffalo and the pizza you get anywhere else). 

Favorite Restaurant
I think my current favorite is Huey's. I love their food and it is not insanely expensive. 

Now that you know a little more about me, link up with Mrs. Reed by clicking the linky button at the top so we can all get to know more about you. :)

PS--- check out the poll on the top of my sidebar on the right. Make sure you make a selection or two because once I get up to 300 followers I have a little fun up my sleeve :)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Looking for me?

You can find me over atChristina's Amazing Blogfor a guest post on the juggling act we call teaching and life. Christina is one of my favorite bloggers and I have been a fan of hers since before I even discovered TpT. And now I have the pleasure of posting over there. And if you go check it out, there is a little freebie for you :) (There should be a picture of my colorful lesson plans in the post but I have no idea what happened that it disappeared.)

You can also find one of my products in a giveaway over atThink, Wonder, Teach. Misty also has some other giveaways going on from previous days. Be sure to check those out too.

I hope to return to blogging more regularly this week.

Friday, March 29, 2013

My First Five for Friday including some fun Spring Cleaning

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for my first ever Five for Friday, where you share five random things about your week. I don't have a lot of pictures to share but I do have some randomness.

1. My observations for the year are O-V-E-R over! I had my final announced visit on Wednesday and my final unannounced on Thursday. My announced was amazing and I scored mostly all 5's from someone who is a stickler for the rubric. I was really proud of myself. I have no idea what my scores are from Thursday yet but that's ok. My principal seemed happy with the lesson. Thank heavens for some AMAZING friends for helping me out (you know who you lovely ladies are).

2. I didn't post this last week but last Tuesday on my way to work I was in a wreck....with a parked car. Yep ridiculous I know. The sun was so bright and just in that perfect spot that I could not see a thing. By the time I tried slowing down it was too late. Here are some pics of my car. (Mind you, up until this point my almost 7 year old car barely had any dents in it!) I am getting it back (hopefully- as long as it looks good) today! Scratch that... it wasn't ready. But here are some pics of the damage.

The damage I caused
YIKES! what it looked like once they took all the broken parts off!
And back to looking good.... I just couldn't take it today because something didn't sound right
3. Have you seen this blog design?! Christi did a fantastic job! I am in LOVE with this design. It is more than I could have ever imagined that it would be. If you want to revamp your entire blog or just some bits and pieces, I highly suggest going to her.

4. My daughter has learned how to do the Braves chop. We took her to two games last year when she was 1 and we are taking her to two this year too. She has been obsessed with watching the video of her chopping last year, and now does it all the time. It is hysterical. Check out the video.

5. It is spring cleaning time. And I do not mean cleaning your house. Because well, I hate cleaning. And I certainly am not going to bore you with Clorox and Windex. No no...this spring cleaning is MUCH MORE FUN. It is time to clean out your TpT Wishlist! Lots of bloggers/sellers are participating in this fun spring cleaning sale. I am marking my items 15% off for the weekend. And am hopefully going to clear out some things from my own out of control wish list.

Image from the lovely Krista

Monday, March 25, 2013

Get to know me & enter an AMAZING Giveaway!

I have to say I am LOVING Mrs. Reed's Let's Get Acquainted Linky! It is a nice get to know your fellow bloggers linkup. So if you haven't joined up yet, I highly recommend it. 

So without further ado, here is this week's topic... 

The Noun Game
Simply name your favorite person, place, thing, and animal 

Really... I certainly can't pick just I am sorry Latoya but I am breaking the rules. Tim and Payton are obviously my favorites ever. But really, everyone in my family is. I am a family person and really couldn't pick just one. So I am going to change it to favorite BLOG person. And that is my BBFF Jenn. I swear talking to her gets me through some days. Thanks for being so stellar Jenn!

Well if this isn't obvious, I am not sure what to tell you, DISNEY!

Books. And pens. I love to read (and so I could say my nook is my favorite thing too since it contains half my books). And what can I say, I have a pen obsession. I just bought the Bic Crystal bold pens today. I LOVE them!

My dog Roscoe. He isn't smart but he is sure cute and I love him. Outside of pets, my favorite wild animals are bottlenose dolphins and killer whales. 

Now, I know I mentioned a stellar giveaway. Have you heard of Greg at Kindergarten Smorgasboard? If not, hurry and go follow him. He is hilarious! And really creative too! But I don't need to brag on him because you will love him as soon as you "meet" him too. He is having a HUGE celebration right now. He has reached over 1000 blog followers!!! There are 5 different giveaways going on with all different grade levels. On top of TONS of other prizes in each giveaway, you can enter to win a prize from my store too. Go check it out here

Seriously if this button doesn't make you want to get over there and check him out, idk what will!

Well that is all for me for tonight friends. I have to get some sleep and prepare for a big week of observations, test prep, guest blogging, etc, etc, know how it is!

PS Stay tuned... in a couple weeks I will have a brand spanking new blog design! And no more having to delete my signature because I can't figure out what on earth I did to it!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lie revealed

Last weekend I linked up with Mrs. Reed and shared 2 truths and a lie. It is time to reveal the truths and the lie... 

1. My husband and I met online- This was the lie. We didn't meet online. We met when we were both pledging fraternity and sorority in college. We both ended up depledging and never saw each other again. Until about 3 months later we randomly found each other on myspace and started talking again. So NO we didn't meet online, we just reconnected online. Here is a picture from when we were dating...

2. In the span of 5 weeks, I once spent 3 of them in Disney. Yep I did. In early 2009 my husband and I planned our honeymoon to Jamaica. And so when an amazing deal came out for summer my best friend and I booked a trip to go down to Disney for a week for my bachelorette celebration. (This trip was scheduled for about 3 weeks before my wedding.) Then my husband and I decided that the deal was so good we could spend 2 weeks in Disney for less than our 5 days in Jamaica (and we do LOVE Disney). So we canceled our Jamaica plans and booked two amazing weeks in Disney. So I went for a week in the first week of June and then we went for two weeks starting June 29. It was the most amazing time ever!
Two pics from our bachelorette trip...

And some pics from our amazing honeymoon...

We were in the parade at the Animal Kingdom. It was AMAZING

3. I am terrified of birds and all living things that fly. This is as serious as ever. I run if a bird is close, and if a bird is in my path, I walk another way. Or if I am with someone I make them go first so the bird flies away. My students bring ladybugs to show me, and I make them go away. TERRIFIED. NO JOKE! Obviously I have no pictures here because I won't ever be close enough to take one. 

So, I said that I would pick a winner to receive a product of their choice from the people who guessed correctly. 4 people guessed correctly so I put 1-4 in and the number chosen was 1. So congratulations Karyn! Email me at thirdgradetidbitsATgmailDOTcom to let me know what item you would like!

Now, I have another set of winners to announce! Jenn and my giveaway has ended and rafflecopter has chosen two winners to receive our four products!! Lisa M and Susan S you will be hearing from each of us soon! (Jenn is currently in the process of moving, so she will try to get in touch soon!)

Thank you to everyone who entered and welcome to all my new followers! I am 44 people away from 300 followers and that is just amazing to me! I have something pretty fun planned for when I get there!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Test Prep Tuesday

It's that time of year here. State testing time.. dun dun dunnnn... and I really thought long and hard about HOW we were going to review for state tests that wasn't just the boring workbooks. Now, I AM using the workbooks because they do have test style questions in them, but I did not want my kids working out of a workbook all day every day. So I was on the hunt for some good ideas.

And that is when I came across the most amazing Test Prep Unit ever!! Lindsay has created the most exciting way I have ever seen to prepare students for the "big game". And when I started looking this over, I decided that I was going to go all out...

And I did. I decided to go with a baseball theme since baseball season starts soon, I used to play softball, and we are going to Atlanta to go to two Braves games again this summer. I dressed up for the part...(please do not mind this disgusting "closet" which is really an out of order bathroom in the trailer)

Today was the first "practice". We are warming up to the testing idea. {I seriously LOVE how Lindsay has everything sports themed in this packet.} We talked about what rumors are and how they get started. Then each student got an index card where they wrote down their concerns, questions, or things they have heard about TCAP. We then came together to discuss these concerns and questions and made this cute chart. (I know, it isn't as cute as it could be, but we are short on time for cutesy right now.)

We had a hard time with the "TCAP is boring one". We talked about how not everything they do can be as fun as the lessons I plan for them... but that they still have to do it and that I would do my best to make PREPARING for TCAP fun.

The last thing I did was to give my students their SMARTIE folder. I found this from Lesson Plan SOS and was originally planning to use it as a testing week treat. But I decided that with all the things we would be making for review (foldables, notes, bubble maps,etc) they needed somewhere to keep it all. So I made everyone a folder and gave them a pack of smarties inside. (They LOVED the folders. I mean- cherished them. Didn't want to put them away, wanted to know when we could put stuff in them, when can they take them home to show their parents. It was really sweet!)

I have decided to do two of Lindsay's "practices" a week with my kids because there are 10 total and 5 weeks leading up to TCAP. I really want them to feel comfortable with the test and not be so afraid of it. Tomorrow will be practice 2...where we look at old formative assessments and take note of the types of things we see on tests and the formatting of the test. 

If you want to know more about this fantastic unit, check out Lindsay's blog post here. I promise you will NOT be disappointed in this.

(Disclaimer: I was NOT given this product in exchange for a review. I just love it so much I wanted to share with you.)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Are you lucky?

The post title asks if you are lucky.... well I have been lucky enough to get to know the LOVELY Jenn from Rowdy in First Grade. If you don't know her, you are sure missing out! She has been such a HUGE help to me the past month or so and I just love that I have another amazing friend through this TpT/Blogging journey. She has quickly become my bloggy bff and sometimes our random texts are what get me through the day.Too bad we can't play scrambled states and put TN next to TX.

I know St. Patrick's Day is over, but Jenn and I have been slacking a little enjoying our spring breaks instead of getting this post ready. Maybe you had to drag your tush out of bed today like we did, or maybe you are still waiting as the weeks draaaag by until your spring break. But now that we are both back to work we have something spectacular to share with you- to help ease the pain!

Maybe you are lucky in friendship too (and I sure hope you are)... but now is your chance to get lucky with our giveaway! Jenn and I have teamed up to offer you 4 of our newest products!! We will each pick a winner from the rafflecopter so TWO people will be lucky enough to win these beautiful units...

From Jenn: (clicking on the image will take you to the product listing on TpT)

And from me:  (again, clicking the pic will take you to TpT listing)

Simply enter the rafflecopter below and we will announce the winners on Saturday (I have this thing set up to end Friday... but I am not sure if it means Friday morning or Friday night. So just save yourself from missing out and enter now :) )
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 17, 2013

2 Truths and a Lie

I am linking up again with Mrs. Reed at Flying into First for her Let's Get Acquainted party. This week's topic is 2 truths and a lie. I am leaving three statements below. It is your job to guess which of them is the lie and leave it in the comments section. To make it even more fun, I will choose one person who guesses the lie randomly to win an item of their choice from my store! I'll reveal which is the lie at the end of the week. Put your guess, your product of choice, and your email in your comment below.  

1. My husband and I met online. 

2. In the span of 5 weeks, I once spent 3 weeks in Disney World. 

3. I am terrified of birds and all living things that fly. 

Come back at the end of the week to find out the stories behind the truths, which one is a lie, and the winner of the giveaway. 

Hopefully tomorrow I will have another giveaway going on with one of my BBFFs (that stands for bloggy bffs). We are slackers and just haven't gotten it posted yet, but we will! Be on the lookout!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Jerry Maguire post... Inspired by Ari

Jerry Maguire.... Show Me the MONEY! Well.. ok, I won't be showing anyone any money in this post. And I sure won't be having anyone throwing any money at me, but I do love that part of the movie. In the movie (in case you haven't seen it) Jerry writes his own memoir...and thenAri from The Science Penguinwent ahead and wrote hers. And after reading it, I decided (after asking her if she minded) that I was going to write mine. Ari shared that getting 6 years out of a young teacher is what is expected. I have also heard that a large percentage of teachers don't make it past 5 years. Well... I am about to be finishing up my 6th year so hip hip hooray for going past THAT hurdle.

And so I decided to follow Ari's lead and make a list of things I would like to incorporate, fix, or do next year. Yes, I am already thinkng about next year. Now, some of these things may not stick because I am not sure what grade I will be teaching next year, but for the sake of this post, let's just assume I will be teaching third or fourth grade.

Now enough of my ramblings...

1. Homework- ONLY give spiral reviews. I would love to say I won't give any homework, but it won't happen. Math and Language spiral reviews. Ashleigh makes amazing spiral reviews that I already have, so that is easily taken care of.

2. Brain breaks- incorporate them. Include many different ones. There is a responsive classroom book I plan to order with all kinds of energizers in it. I was going to get it for this year but never did. And next thing you know, here we are in March and I still don't have it.

3. Forget the mound of paper work. I say it every year but I really have to figure out a solution here. I am thinking limit the amount of work students turn in for grading. If that means decrease papers they physically write on or grading papers together as a quick check method, just decrease it.

4. On that same note, if I haven't graded the paper in over a week, get rid of it. Return it to go over together, mark it for completion, etc but do NOT just hold onto it. At that point it is too late to worry about it anyways because we have moved onto a new skill.

5. Writing- From day one we have got to go full force with writing. My kids are STILL struggling with writing a paragraph that flows and makes sense. I just can't deal with another disastrous year of writing. LuckilyKate has some good ideas and suggested a greatbook to me that I plan to buy (I can't currently remember what it is called though).

6. Start from week 1 (ok maybe 2) with times tables. I am sick and tired of my kids not learning them. I am determined to get these kids to memorize their facts.

7. Consequences- plan them and enforce them from day 1. Try to be more proactive with this. KNOW what to do when a kid doesn't do their homework (the plan for this is to have extra copies and make them do it during free time) and other situations.

8. Lots more positives. Yes I know I just posted about consequences, but in reality I am hoping that if I can offer more positive recognition, then the consequences will be few and far between. For example- do a homework Lunch Bunch.

9. Realize there is 1 of me, 20+ kids, and many family members. I can't please everyone, but I can do my best to make sure I do my job. Which is to make sure that I teach these kids and make them feel like they are in a safe environment.

10. Breathe. Smile. Laugh.

Do you have any ideas of things you know you want to do next year?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Getting Organized

One of my goals every year is to be better organized. I am the type of person that has to do lists all over the place. And honestly, if I don't write it down, I don't remember to do it. Even simple things not work related I have to write down. I am that person that could go to the store for milk and come out with everything BUT milk.

I have a lot of ideas of things I want to blog about. And yes, they are written on random lists all over the place. This was NOT working for me. I have lists on my computer desk, lists typed in my phone,lists in my ipad, and lists on my school to do lists. It was a DISASTER to say the least. A couple months ago I knew I needed a way to organize all my blogging things. I tried a few different things, but nothing was working.

Yesterday, on Spring Break, I took a day to NOT do anything for work, and instead I created my very own blogging calendar. This thing is 80 pages of pure organizational cuteness. And I LOVE it. And a big fat thank you to Valerie from Georgia Grown Kinders for helping me add some last minute touches :)

Every month has a calendar page, a "list" page for blogging ideas, a giveaways page (color background and white background), a linky party page, and an expense page.

I plan to use the calendar to list what days I want to post each topic. There is a spot for each day to mark off once the post is actually scheduled as well as a spot to mark off if you share the post via different social media. This will help me to keep track of when I pin or share something on my FB fan page. The giveaway pages are going to be especially helpful because I donate to a lot of giveaways. And then I forget WHAT I donated, when it runs, and to share about it to all my lovely followers! I added the linky party page as a suggestion from Valerie at Georgia Grown Kinders. This page is going to help remind me what linky parties I want to join and whether it is a weekly or monthly. The expense page is to help keep track of things I buy for creating my products (clipart, font licenses, etc). I am not sure I WANT to see those totals, but it is needed.

At the end of the 12 months I have included some other pages as well. There is a page to keep track of your pinterest collaborative boards. I know a lot of boards have many posting guidelines and it is hard for people to remember them. So this chart is a simple form to keep track of what boards you belong to and what the guidelines are. There is a TOUs page as well. If you are like me and have a LOT of different clipart artists you buy from, it may be hard to remember the TOUs. This page will help keep track of the TOUs as well as how to credit the designer. I added a bloggy friends page to use as a quick reference when you want to shout out someone. There is a blank notes page (I printed 20 of these). I plan to use these to keep track of ideas that pop into my head for creations, to do lists, things to add to certain blog posts, etc. The last thing I included is a statistics page to keep track of followers, views, etc.

I know we are halfway through March but I decided to post this on TpT anyways because I am sure there are plenty of other people that need to get themselves organized. Clicking any of these pics will take you to the posting. I am hosting a pin it to win in on my facebook page that will end tonight after dinner. Once I choose the winner, I will put this on sale for $4 for a couple days, and then it will go back to full price of $5 (which still isn't a lot considering the amount of pages in it!) Mine is already printed and bound together!!

*The pages are not blurry like they appear in the pics. The pics had to be enlarged so they turned out blurry, but the pages are clear and crisp.*
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