Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Hate Spelling Homework!

Why? Because it is boring! Last year my kids hated doing spelling homework, and I couldn’t find another way for them to do it besides writing their words three times. Sorry kids!

So this year, I’m going to try this that I created. Go ahead and grab it and leave some feedback in the comments section if you have any suggestions.

With this spelling grid, they’ll still have to write their words, but it makes writing their words a bit more fun. What do you use for spelling homework?


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Center Checklist Freebie

How do you check your students’ work when they complete centers? I’m trying to come up with a simple way to do it this year. Last year, I painstakingly looked through every single thing they did in every center…TOOK FOREVER! Not to say that you shouldn’t check their work. But I figure that you can skim their work and tell who has it and who doesn’t, right?

I created two checklists that will hopefully help me this year. Centers are used to help supplement what you are teaching in the classroom. Therefore, if I find that a student isn’t “getting it” during direct and instruction and centers, then I know that is a student I need to work with at the teacher table.

In past years, I’ve felt like I had to do everything by the book. However, doing things by the book does not apply to students who do not learn like the book wants you to teach. I’m hoping this year to really loosen up and really just adhere to the needs of my students instead of trying to rush, rush, rush to get everything done.

I’d love to hear what you use in your classroom to check student’s work. Do you use rubrics or checklists? In the meantime, I’ve left the checklists I create and hope to use this year. Grab them down below for free.

School will be starting in my area very soon. I’m trying to get things printed, cut, laminated, decorated, organized, cleaned and all that jazz! I wanted to remind you that my first day frenzy pack will be on sale at my TPT store only until July 31st, so you may want to scoop it up!

frenzy1  frenzy2  frenzy3

First Day Frenzy at my TPT store here

Enjoy your Sunday!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Flash Freebie


I just posted my First Grade Spelling Words Displays which list all of the spelling words in the Reading Street series for first grade. You can view them here and here at my stores.


Use the Inlinkz tool and make sure to leave your email! The flash freebie will be open from 4:00 until 5:00 CST.

By the way, I totally missed Pin-Up Thursdays so I will have to make it up next Thursday! Forgive me!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Giveaway Winner Announcements!

Well it’s that time! I’m so excited that so many people participated in my mega anniversary giveaway. There were over 3,000 entries! So…the winner of all of the amazing prizes is…(drumroll please)…

Heidi!!!! And she just happens to run My Not So Elementary Life! Congrats Heidi!!


The second place winner who will receive 6 items from my store is Krystal!


And the 3rd place winner who will receive 3 items from my store is Katie!!


Congratulations to the winners! You will be notified shortly. Thanks again to all who participated and thanks to the wonderful bloggers and store owners who donated the awesome prizes!

If you read the last post, the Christmas in July sale is going on today, but TPT is doing site maintenance. I just checked the website and it still appears to be down. I’m not sure when it will be up. I think I may extend the sale to tomorrow and add more items…why not? It’s my anniversary month!!!! See you tomorrow for Pin-Up Thursdays.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Off Topic Tuesday

Hey y’all! I just wanted to give a BIG thank you to everyone that has entered my anniversary giveaway. I also want to thank everyone that helped out by donating something. Check back tomorrow to see who the big winners are.

While I mostly use my blog for education-related posts or things related to my stores, today I felt like doing an off topic post. Is that okay? Well, I’m sure you’ve seen these ecards on Pinterest and such. I find some of them quite funny, so I thought I’d share some:

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I admit that I am guilty of this sometimes! You know you are too…

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This is true; however, I don’t think they will ever make a show called “Hoarding: Buried Alive-Pinterest edition”. I think we’re safe filling up our pinboards!

Funny Workplace Ecard: The first 5 days after the weekend are always the hardest.

I think some teachers will be saying this after the first few months of school go by! Stay strong teachers, there’s always holidays and summers!

Also I’m participating in the Christmas in July Sale and Link up over at Blog Hoppin’. All of my seasonal items will be 20% off at my TPT store tomorrow only so make sure you stop by! Please note that TPT will be down from midnight until 8 AM tomorrow morning, so be ready for 8:01 AM!!



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Giveaway Is Still Going!

You still have time enter my awesome anniversary giveaway. Thanks to everyone who has entered so far. I’ve been able to discover new blogs and followers through this giveaway, so I am very appreciative. Tomorrow will be the very last day! Click on the graphic below to enter!


It’s been raining non-stop where I live, so between the thunderstorms and cable going out (lol!) I had nothing better to do than create a new product of course. It’s another edition of my common core double trouble packs.


This common core double trouble pack focuses on short and long vowels. And in true MrsMc fashion, the first two people to comment on this post will get it for free! If you don’t comment in time, don’t worry. You can check out this pack and the others at my stores here and here.

Happy Sunday, God bless!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pin-Up Thursday

I’ve been going Pin-Crazy!! If you are not on Pinterest you are missing out! Anywhoo…before getting to Pin-Up Thursdays I have to remind you about the giveaway. It ends Monday! Click the pic below to enter :-)


And now…


I have lots of things to share today. The first is a focus wall. I posted earlier this week that I needed help to decide what to do with my bulletin boards. A focus wall was suggested, and I think it’s a great way to display what your students will be learning during the week.

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The next thing I found was a cute back to school treat using starbursts. I always put something like this in my kids’ first day goodie bag. I have similar cute sayings in my First Day Frenzy pack here.

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The next thing I found kind of goes along with my bulletin board dilemma. Last year I had a word wall, but with fewer bulletin board space this year I wondered where I would put it. This pin shows a portable word wall using manila folders. It includes all of the words the students will use throughout the year. I love it because I can set it up anywhere in my classroom and the kids can easily access it. I definitely want to use this idea this year, but I’m not sure if I’ll add the words beforehand or add them as we learn them…

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Finally, my favorite pin of the week, I found a teacher’s literacy center stations. The pin is from Serenade to Second Grade, and she details EVERYTHING. The great thing about visiting her blog is that she provides a lot of free materials so that you can use it in your classroom (I don’t think she uses the blog anymore; however, all of the materials are still available to download). You may have to modify it for the grade that you teach, but the resources are awesome nonetheless! I really want to create awesome literacy centers for my firsties and this pin was a jewel for me. I have a lot of storage in my new classroom, so I will have lots of room for these centers.

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What interesting things have you found on Pinterest? Leave your pinterest link(s) below or if you are doing a linky, leave your blog post link below!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Morning Work Freebie

Just a quick post today. My brain has been swimming with several ideas for the new year. One of things I want for this year is to have something for my students to do every morning. I've done morning journals (which I love and will probably keep doing) but I just want something else that would be quick and simple. I created this one-page sheet that they can finish every morning. I may revise it or do different ones, but it's located below so that you can grab it! Enjoy!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway! See you tomorrow for Pin-Up Thursday!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bulletin Board Dilemma

I finally got the chance to work in my classroom this week and I feel so overwhelmed!! Here’s a few pictures of my new “home.”

image     IMG_0918[1]

This was the first day I was able to work hence the covered items. Now here is the dilemma. Even though I have fewer bulletin board space than my last school, I can’t seem to figure out how to decorate the few that I do have! Yikes!

One of the boards is going to be my quality board which will have AR graphs, grading graphs, and some other things I haven’t thought of yet. This is the board I’ll use for quality. It’s in the front of the classroom near the door.


Now, here are the two boards that I don’t know what to do with.

IMG_0919[1]  IMG_0921[1]

I don’t want to fill the boards with “nothingness.” I really want it to be a useful, meaningful display. I’m thinking that the long board could be used to display student work. We have a few more weeks until school starts, so I have time to come up with something.

What bulletin boards do you have inside of your classroom? I need your help!!! :-) Any suggestions are much welcomed.

Before signing off, I want to remind you about my mega giveaway and new products in my store.

The giveaway ends Monday so if you haven’t entered, do so by clicking here. Many great people have entered already and there are amazing prizes.

I’ve added two new products called Common Core Double Trouble, with each focusing on a different first grade common core standard in math. You can see the picture below and click to be directed to my store. AND since I’m all about giveaways, the first two people who leave a comment on this post giving me a bulletin board suggestion and their email will receiving both products for…FREE! Yay!

tensones1     time1

Have a good afternoon!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Flash Freebie

Happy Friday! Hope you have survived this week. I’m trying to get my mind re-programmed to go back to school. Summer has been oh so relaxing but July is going to be over pretty soon! I’m starting a new school this year so that should be interesting. I’m still waiting to start working in my classroom. I’d rather get it done sooner than later.

This year will be a little different because we are starting Common Core. Now, I’ve overlooked the standards and such, but our district has not had any “training” on it at all. Not sure when that will take place, but hopefully soon. How have you adapted to Common Core?

Don’t forget to enter the great big giveaway! There’s still a week left!


Before signing off, I have to do…


I hinted at it yesterday! I’m giving away my First Grade Common Core Reading and Math Displays which are new to my TPT and TN. Check them out here and here.


This flash freebie will last from 11:05 A.M. to 12:05 P.M. (central). Make sure that you leave a working email below and I will send this item to you if you get your entry in on time! Have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pin-Up Thursday

Happy Thursday! Hopefully you have stopped in and entered my great big anniversary giveaway. If you have not, what are you waiting for? Click on the graphic below so that you can! Some of my awesome friends are helping me give away great items.


I also wanted to shout out Lacie B. at Polka Dots & Pencils who is having a giveaway as well. She helped me here with mine, and I graciously returned the favor. Over there, I’m giving a way my new product First Day Frenzy, which you check out at my TPT and TN stores. Click the image below to enter her giveaway.

I promise I’m getting to Pin-Up Thursday…

Just wanted to tell you about my newest product, First Grade Common Core Reading and Math Standards at my TPT and TN stores. (shh…this might be tomorrow’s Friday Freebie).


And sidenote: I have 200 followers now! Get out of town!

Now, finally…to Pin-Up Thursdays.


My pin this week is such a wonderful writing activity that I think my students will love, and it can be an early finisher activity as well.

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It is described as “Whole class journals..each student can write in them on a certain topic and the class can read them at different time.” As you can see on the labels, the teacher creates a topic and applies it to the front of the notebook. The students are asked to write a paragraph or two (for my firsties it may not be able to be that long) about the topic. The label then says “When we aren’t writing in this journal, we will be reading it.” Since I started teaching, I’ve always pushed writing to my students. It is such a critical skill even in first grade where I’m trying to set the foundation for their basic writing skills. And besides practicing writing, I think the kids will have fun writing their sentences and reading their peers’ responses to the topics. I guess I need to head to Walmart’s school supply section and pick up a few notebook, right?

Well, what interesting things have you found on Pinterest? Leave the Pinterest link below or, if you are using this as a linky, leave the link to your your blog post about this topic. I will re-pin all links to my Pinterest page.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

MEGA Anniversary Giveaway (closed)


I’m happy to announce my first big giveaway on my blog. I’m celebrating the one year anniversary of my TPT store as well as my blog. I got some awesome bloggers to help me give away awesome things. The 1st place winner will receive everything listed below. The 2nd place winner will receive 6 free items from my store, and the 3rd place winner will receive 3 free items from my store.

I’m using Rafflecopter to help me with this giveaway. Simply sign in and enter the almost 40 entries (yes, lots of chances to win!) and that’s it! Make sure to leave a valid email, and also make sure that you actually do what the entry says because I will check when verifying the winner.

Now, I’m sure you would like to know what you will be receiving if you are the mega winner, right? Here goes:

The 1st place winner will receive…


10 items from my store as well as all of the items that I add to my store from August 2012 to July 2013!


What’s In A Name Glyph Activity from Denise at Sunny Days


Making Words Lesson With CVC Words from DeAnne at First Grade and Fabulous

Fishing and Camping Cover from arlene

Fishing and Camping Word Work Activities from Arlene at LMN Tree

colorful polka dot classroom set from Crystal

Polka Dot Classroom Set from Crystal at Kreative in Kinder

Brain Freeze from Tanja

Brain Freeze: 2nd Grade Fry Words Game from Ms. T at Journey of a Substitute Teacher


Time Stations from Lacie B. at Polka Dots and Pencils


Fluency Center: Sentence Shuffle Fun in the Sun from Michelle at Teach 123

quiet as a mouse pack from melissa

Quiet as a Mouse Pack from Melissa at Dilly Dabbles

candy land from mellisa

Candy Land from Mel D. at Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

STARBUCKS $10 gift card from kim

$10 Starbucks Gift Card from Kim at Finding Joy in 6th Grade

beginning sound pack preview from sarah

Alphabet Beginning Sounds Unit from Sarah at Kindergarten Korner


Back to School Book from Ashleigh at Ashleigh’s Education Journey

beginning sounds scoot from Lori

Beginning Sounds Scoot Game from Lori at Teaching With Love & Laughter

circus themed bulletin board border from molly

A choice of 5 border packs from Molly at Classroom Confections

language arts summber packet from ashley

Language Arts Summer Packet from Ashley at The Resource Room Teacher


Pocket Chart Concentration Math Game from Greg at Smedley’s Smorgasboard of Kindergarten


$10 Target Gift Card from Sara at Miss V’s Busy Bees

Whew! That’s a lot of great things so get in as many entries as you can! The giveaway will end July 24th at 12:01 a.m. (central) and the winners will be announced the next day on July 25th! Good luck and thanks for helping me celebrate my anniversary!


a Rafflecopter giveaway