Thursday, August 10, 2017

Name Activities

Setting up the classroom is very exciting and can be quite overwhelming, but there is always one thing on my mind that seems to take FOREVER to come! I don't know about you, but I literally can't wait for the second I get my hands on my class list! As teachers, we LOVE to label, label, label, label, and did I mention LABEL?!?!

As soon as I look through my class list I officially get into GO mode to get labels created and placed on what seems like 100+ different areas in my classroom. For some reason it makes me feel like my classroom is more ready to go and I feel so much more organized when everything is labeled! I am sure I sound nuts, but maybe there is someone out there that feels the same!

Another thing I absolutely LOVE about getting my class list is that I am able get a head start on creating my different Name Activities for each student.

At the beginning of the school year, I have a HUGE focus on working on names. I have some students that come into my classroom who are able to write their name, some who can almost write their name, and some who do not know how to write their name.

My first year of teaching, I remember thinking 'What in the world do I do with all these different levels of writing names?!', but I have learned that no matter where they are at it is absolutely great and okay! I love to do lots of different name activities that are fun, hands-on, and provide lots of practice. Even if a student already knows how to write their name, the activities include tons of fine motor skill practice as well as many other skills. Everyone benefits!

One of the most requested activities I have had over the years are my name activities that I would post on this blog. I just didn't know how to get them to other teachers since I would enter the names myself. FINALLY... I was able to put together my name activities that you can use in your classroom!

There are 10 different EDITABLE Name Activities that you can type in your own students names! I wanted to make this as easy and user friendly as possible. I have included detailed step-by-step directions with pictures on everything you need to do to add your students names into the activities.
All you need is a computer, PowerPoint, a printer, and you are ready to go!

Here is a look at the name activities included:

Trace, Rainbow Write, Write, and Build

Students trace their name, rainbow write their name, and practice writing their name on their own.

Next, students cut out the scrambled letters of their name at the bottom of the page.

Last, students spell their name correctly and glue the letters in the boxes.

Name Tracing

Trace and Write Names

Draw Self Portrait and Trace and/or Write Names (2 Options)
Option 1: Trace Name Only 

Option 2: Trace and Write Names

Name Puzzle

Students color the bus puzzle with their name on it.

Next, students cut apart the letter puzzle pieces and scramble them.

Last, students put the puzzle back together by spelling their name correctly.

Rainbow Writing

Trace, Write, Rainbow Write

Trace, Rainbow Write, Write, and Find the Letters in Your Name

 How Many Letters in my Name? (2 Options)
This is a great activity to show students how many letters are in their name in a variety of ways. If this is too difficult for the beginning of the year, it is a great activity to use after learning 
numbers 1-10!

Option 1: Students with 10 or less letters in their name. 

Option 2: Students with 11 or less letters in their name. 

**NOTE: If you have a student with more than 11 letters in their name, I would be more than happy to make you an activity for however many letters you need.**

Comparing Names
This is a great ice breaker activity to get your students interacting with each other at the beginning of the year! If this activity is too challenging, it is a great one to use when learning about comparing or length!

I have BUNDLED all of these 10 EDITABLE name activities HERE or you can click on the picture below:

Don't need all of these activities in one bundle? I have separated these EDITABLE Name Activities into 4 different sets. Click below if you are interested in any of these individual sets:

I hope you all are having fun setting up your classroom, enjoying the rest of your summer, or having a great start of the school year!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

7 Days of Summer Savings!

Can you believe we are rolling into the last week of July?!?! This summer has been flying by and I swear it just started! Back to School items are starting to be stocked in stores and I know we will be back in our classrooms before we know it!

Instead of counting how many days are left of summer, I wanted to have some fun this week and give you all some awesome deals!! Starting today, I am having 7 Days of Summer Savings!

Each day next week I will be having special deals, giveaways, and surprises!! Read below to get more details on what will be going on each day of the 7 Days of Summer Savings! You can also follow along on my Facebook Page to get the deals! You can click HERE to follow my Facebook page.

Day 1: Make a Deal Monday!
Monday, July 24th- Big DEALS today!! I have reduced the prices to these 4 products: Editable Parent Handbook Flip Book, Sight Word Sentences, Back to School Fun Unit, and Editable Rainbow Writing Sight Words

Day 2: Terrific Tuesday!
Tuesday, July 25th- When you buy my EDITABLE Name Printables you will get my Alphabet Hats A-Z and Number Hats 1-10 for FREE!! If you already own my Name Printable Activities make sure to download the file again to grab these FREEBIES!!

Day 3: Winner Wednesday!
Wednesday, July 26th- Time for a GIVEAWAY!! You can enter to WIN one of two $20 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Cards!! This giveaway will take place on my Facebook Page. Make sure to head to my Facebook Page HERE starting at 12:00pm CST for a chance to WIN!!

Day 4: Thrifty Thursday!
Thursday, July 27th- HUGE SAVINGS TODAY!!! Sight Word Readers, Alphabet Printables and Centers Mega Bundle, and my Numbers 1-20 Mega Bundle have been REDUCED! Grab these great deals today only!

Day 5: Fifty Off Friday!

Day 6: Surprise Saturday!
Saturday, July 29th- As a thank you for following along on my 7 Days of Summer Savings, I have a surprise for you! Make sure to check out my Facebook Page starting at 1:00pm CST. There will be a Flash Freebie waiting for you! 

Day 7: Sunday Sunday!
Sunday, July 30th- It's the last day!! So let's end the week with a....?????? Check out my Facebook Page at 11:30am CST to see what the ????? is!!!

I hope you are able to grab some great deals, a FREEBIE, and maybe even win a $20 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card this week!

If you forget what the deal of the day is, you can always check it out on my Facebook Page!

After these 7 Days of Summer Savings, I have some NEW products I have been working on this summer that I will be posting in the coming weeks! I can't wait to show you what I have been working on!!

I am so excited to get the week started! Hope you are all having an amazing summer!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

And I'm BACK!!... with some news!!!

Hi everyone! I can already tell from typing those first two words that this is going to be not only an exciting post for me, but also an emotional one. Where to begin???

This post is going to be quite different for me, but I promised to share with you all why I have been MIA lately. I first would like to apologize if I have taken a little bit longer than normal to get back to you and for not being as active on my blog, Facebook, and Instagram. I have kept busy working and creating some new products, but I had to step back a little and take care of some personal things.

Well... I am about to get real personal with you all!

I have always made my life outside of teaching pretty private because I didn't think many of you would really want to know what goes on outside of my teaching world. However, I have learned that I am not the only one that has struggled with this and wanted to share with you all my personal journey with infertility. 

I can honestly say that I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. What I remember even more is that I wanted to be a mother before I ever wanted to be a teacher. I can recall people asking me when I was very young what I wanted to be when I grow up and my answer was always... a Mom.

My husband and I have been married for 7 years this month and we had made a plan shortly after we got married that we would start a family once he was almost finished with chiropractic school. 

That time had finally come to start a family...

How hard can it be right?? We had in our heads and were completely naive in thinking that we would get pregnant the very first month of trying or maybe three months at the most! Well, month after month went by and it just wasn't happening. Soon month after month turned into a year with no luck at all.

How could this be?? I can't begin to describe the rollercoaster of feelings each month that we did not get pregnant. It seemed as though everyone around us was getting pregnant and so many were not even trying. Don't get me wrong, we were over the moon happy for all of our friends. It was just hard to not feel alone and like I was the only one not able to get pregnant. It left me constantly asking myself, what is wrong with me?

After a year of trying, I had in my gut that something may be wrong. So my husband and I went to the doctors to get a checkup and to run some tests. We both got tested and they all came back NORMAL. 

That was a relief! So obviously we were just trying to hard and needed to relax. We told ourselves that we would definitely get pregnant now... WRONG! Over the next 8 months I think we tried every advice from family/friends and everything we could find on Google (ohhhhhh the internet) to get pregnant and it still was not happening! 

Now what??? Tears would fill my eyes and roll down my face every month and I started to feel like we should just give up. My tears soon turned into me venting to my husband:
Maybe I just can't have kids. 
Maybe I am not supposed to be a mother. 
Maybe we just need to buy some land and fill it with animal babies.
(Jokingly) Maybe you should find a more fertile wife who can give you lots of children. 

I know it sounds crazy, but it was so hard not to feel that way. I hated that it wasn't happening and I wanted my husband to get to be a father just as badly as I wanted to be a mother.

If it wasn't for my husband I think I would have either stopped trying or taken a very long break because I just didn't think I could take it much more emotionally  His constant support and encouraging words that it was going to happen was literally the only thing that lifted me up and pushed me to the next step. 

We decided to go see a fertility specialist. I couldn't believe that we were at this step, but knew it was the right step to achieve our dream. The fertility specialist had a lot more testing than what we had done at our OB/GYN. 

We had very extensive testing done with the specialist and everything came back completely normal... again. I also underwent a procedure to make sure my tubes were open and he said they were perfect. The specialist sat my husband and I down to tell us the final results... UNEXPLAINED INFERTILITY.

My heart sank into my stomach. To be honest, I didn't know if I should be happy or sad. I was happy that my husband and I were healthy. At the same time, I was sad because I thought to myself that maybe if something was wrong with one of us that would be the answer. All we would have to do is fix what was wrong and I would get pregnant! Unfortunately that was not the case.

My husband wiped my tears and looked me in my eyes to tell me that it was time to start some treatments. As he looked at me, tears began to fill up in his eyes and I could just see how badly he wanted a family. We were told how much time, emotional energy, and physical energy these fertility treatments were going to take. We took a deep breath and I told myself that we are starting a new journey to get pregnant and that I would have my best friend by my side every step of the way. We were ready to go!

The next 8 months I went through a lot and I mean A LOT of fertility treatments. We started with not as invasive treatments which ALL unfortunately did not work. Then, we moved to much more invasive fertility treatments at the beginning of this year. I can't even begin to tell you the amount of shots my husband and I have had to inject in my stomach and some other areas daily. 

Let me tell you, I did NOT feel qualified to be injecting shots!! I am not a fan of shots (who is though?!?!) and cried every day the first 2 months of taking them. You would think that one would get use to a few shots every day after a couple weeks, but not me! It took me a couple months to toughen up! It was very very very overwhelming and scary, but we knew that all we wanted was a family and that we were willing to do whatever it takes. Even if it made me cry, have bruises everywhere, become emotionally unstable, and exhausted! Let's just say my husband deserves the best husband of the year award to deal with me during all of this!

I had a couple more big procedures with this more invasive fertility treatment that we started in January. 

It is now April and time to get blood work done to see if I was pregnant. I remember the drive to the doctors thinking about what our next steps are going to be after this. I told my husband that after today maybe we should take a break because my heart can't handle much more disappointment. 

He reassured me that this was our journey. He said, “no matter what life throws at us, whether its having a kid, fertility treatments, adopting, or never having children, as long as we have each other that is everything we need.” I completely agreed. He said, "I am not even close to being ready to give up so you better not be either."

When my name was called to get my blood drawn I hesitated because I didn't think I could go through this again. We were told that they would call to let us know the results that afternoon, but I already had in my head that I was not pregnant. I just didn't want to be let down again.

My husband and I decided to stay together all that day. He knew I was going to be a complete mess and devastated when that call came through and that he would need to continue to be my rock to lift me up. 

The phone rang. I hesitated again and just looked at my husband. He looked at me and said, "You can do this be strong". I put the phone on speaker for my husband to hear and all I remember is hearing the nurse say... YOU'RE PREGNANT!!!

I screamed with excitement and I sure did turn into a mess, but a different mess this time! I was crying with shock, excitement, more shock, and almost disbelief!! I even asked the nurse if she called the right person!! My husband was a mess too! We were jumping up and down like little kids in circles, crying, and gave each other one of the biggest most wonderful hugs that I will never forget! I ended up calling the nurse back shortly after we stopped crying because I think we both blacked out and didn't hear anything else that she said!

One of the first things we did was drive to the store to purchase a pregnancy test because after 2+ years of trying to get pregnant I have never once had any glimpse of a positive test. I don't even want to begin to count or tell you how many tests I have taken!! My husband says that we should have bought stock into pregnancy tests at this point!! 

We got home, I took the test, and it was POSITIVE!!! I swear it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen! As gross as it may be, I will be keeping that test forever!!!

I had blood work done a few more times to make sure my numbers were doubling every couple days and they were!!

We are currently 14 weeks pregnant and have officially entered the second trimester! The first trimester was pretty rough. Lots of exhaustion, nausea, food aversions, but I LOVED every minute of it because I knew our dream had come true! I would take all of those shots and all of those symptoms again in a heart beat. It has been worth it all!

I am so incredibly blessed to have a super supportive husband. A HUGE shout out goes to my husband Chris. Without Chris's support and all of the times that he let my cry on his shoulder and bring me back to reality during this journey. I couldn't have done this without him. He has absolutely been my rock. We've grown even closer and stronger through this, even though it's been extremely stressful emotionally and physically. Thank you my love, there's no other person I would want to be on this journey with!

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope my story will help others find encouragement and to not give up.

I am now getting my energy back and am feeling much better! Since I am finally feeling like myself, I am very excited to jump back into my blog posts, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, and to share with you lots of new resources. I have a lot of things I am working on and can't wait to share with you all!

Baby Miller will be arriving in December 2017 :)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Beginning and Ending Sounds FREEBIE!

Hi everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful beginning of spring and have had some time to rest and relax during spring break! It has been a couple months since I have written on my blog and wanted to apologize for that. Life these past few months has gotten busier than I ever imagined! I always think that I can do it all, but I have come to the realization these past few months that I sometimes can't. I look forward to sharing with you all about what has been going on these past few months in an upcoming post. I apologize again for being MIA!

However, things are FINALLY slowing down and I am back in action! With all of the things going on here, I have been squeezing in as much free time as I can to make some new and fun activities for the spring and more!

I am so excited to share with you a new activity that I can't wait to bring into my guided reading small groups next month!

This 'Missing Rabbit Ears' activity is an interactive way to allow students to practice their beginning and ending sounds.

In this activity, the rabbit is missing his ears. Students need to determine the correct beginning and ending sound letters on the ears that go with the picture. When students find the correct beginning and ending letter sounds, the rabbit gets his ears!

And... I have this activity FREE for you all! :)

What is included?
- 2 different options to choose from for the activity cards.
- ‘I Can’ kid friendly poster for student independence.
- 2 different recording sheets to choose from and for student accountability.
- Answer Keys
- Instructions and pictures of the activity in action.

I have included 2 sets of activity cards for you to choose from. The first set of cards do not have a middle vowel letter. The second set of cards includes the middle vowel letter on the rabbit. There are also 2 different recording sheets to go with these 2 different options.

Here are some more pictures of this beginning and ending sounds activity in action:
Option 1- no middle vowel letter

Option 2- middle vowel letter included on the rabbit

This activity would be great for centers, intervention, guided reading, small group work, and more!

You can grab this freebie HERE or click on the picture below:

I hope you enjoy this FREEBIE and look forward to sharing lots more with you soon! :)
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