old wood shabby background

Monday, July 30, 2012

Michigan Hook Up - YUP!

We did it! We met together for coffee, (yeck!) drinks, water and a whole lot of talking! I was a bit nervous. . . .

Ok, I was a lot nervous!

But it wasn't bad at all.

 Everyone was so  open and friendly and ready to share and ask questions. We all look different, but it's amazing how many of our minds are going in similar directions.

I want to thank Kimberly Erin, and Maria for organizing this. (they are standing in that order) Kimberley is from Funky First Grade Fun, Erin is from Kleinspiration, and Maria is from Be the Difference. 
Thank you ladies, for taking the time to organize this and pull us all together.

We spent our time just asking questions and finding out what kind of blogs others do and why. We also realized that it can take up a lot of our time, but if we try to balance our lives we can be good parents, spouses, teachers, AND bloggers. . . . who don't go to bed before midnight!!!
 (Just kidding! That was just me who has that problem!)

It wasn't all ladies either. We were happy to have two men with us. One is Marquin Parks who has authored a book called Wrinkles Wallace. Cute story line. . . Wrinkles is 23 (I think!) and finds out that he had failed 5th grade. So he has to go back and complete it. Sounds like a fun book to read.

We also had Bethany and Rich from B2Squared.com  are a married couple who are in the beginning stages of creating a blog together. How cool is that! They are quite a team. . . they even brought their two children with them (in the background) and we didn't hear a peep out of them the entire two hours!
Great kids, you two!

But even most important was that I got to spend more time with my favorite bloggette, Christina.

I so look up to her, yes she is taller than me, but I have years on her in age! Her ability to teach, create, and share is phenominal! I owe her a lot for the help she has given me on getting my blog going. It was cute to listen to others, compliment her and say how much they too loved to follow her.
Who knew that this small town girl would be a big time Bloggette?

This is all of us. Nice size crowd for our afternoon.

Then there were prizes!!! Who doesn't love prizes???

 This yummy cookie was inside the pink and purple bags. . . there were a couple bags left over so I was able to eat one on the way home and use one for the picture this morning!
Right Holly?

I had to bring the Chicken Feet, since NOBODY (except maybe Christina) had ever seen them before. 

I was very excited to meet Holly from Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade.  She brought a friend who she wants to get into blogging. . . Come on "The Barb!"  You can do this if I can do it!

Thanks for a great experience. . . and these pictures will prove to my family that you all are real and aren't just "Cyber friends!"


Monday, July 23, 2012

Tell Me More - Am I Normal?

Tell me more, tell me more!!! {A Linky Party}  with Step into 2nd Grade

So this Linky Party wants us to share some things about ourselves. . . hmmm . . . ok. . . here goes.

1. I like to make those dots after I write something. . .. . . I think they have a name. . . . I think they are called elipse. . . is that right? I know they mean MORE TO COME! I love to teach that to my students and they love to look for them . . . . in books. .. . Sorry, sometimes I just get carried away with them.

2. I've been teaching since 1978 (Yes, I know. . . some of you were not even a blip on the radar in 78!) I could retire, but it's just not in me yet. I have ALWAYS taught 2nd grade. One year I started the year teaching a split 1/2nd class but that only lasted 6 weeks. A few years back I taught half day first grade and half day 2nd grade but only math and science. That's a whole lot of time with 7-8 year olds. Maybe that's why I still feel like a kid on most days. . . . I've never really grown up!

3. I have 2 kids who are both teachers and who are both married to teachers. My husband is a teacher, retired for two years and has been asked to come back and teach two classes this fall. My grandmother was a teacher, as is one of my sisters and my niece. I have a brother-in-law who was a teacher then principal and is now retired. I have another brother-in-law and sister-in-law who are also teachers and principals! Guess what we talk about when we get together?

4. I have been married for 32 years this summer. That's almost as long as I have been teaching!

5. My husband thinks that all of you that read my blog are make believe. He calls you my "cyber friends."

6. I teach in a small building. . . 6 classrooms, a gym, a music/art room, and a library. That's it! 2 kinders, 2 firsts, and 2 seconds.

7. I was called a brat a lot as a child. .. . I think I probably deserved it. . . but that taught me to NEVER call my own kids or my students names, because I remember the hurt.

8. My kids say I'm a gamer. . . I do enjoy playing games on my ipad, Hanging with Friends, Draw Something, Family Feud, and my newest: Matching with Friends. This causes me to stay up till midnight even though I have to get up around 6 each morning.

9. I also am a reality TV freak. . . Yup, I'm hooked on Big Brother, Bachelor and Bachelorette, Dancing with the Stars, and The Apprentice.

10. I like to use the !!! key a lot.  I think sometimes I feel that my life is so exciting and that everyone must want to know about all the fun things going on in my life! I want to express that in my writing. . . maybe I think that shows voice in my writing.. .. ya think?

Now it's your turn. Click on the Red Link above and add your name to Amy Lemons party.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

My TPT shelves have STUFF now!

Do you see it? It's right over there on the right hand side!!!

I am now the proud owner of a little sign that says I HAVE A STORE!!!
Can I get a whoop whoop?

If you just click on that RED letters above, it will swiftly and smoothly take you on a whirlwind trip to my store. Small but still a store! There's even a couple freebies there in case you didn't see them before.

Please Please Please let me know if you stop by there. . . I want to feel the lovin of those who think it's a decent start of a store. . . . and then come back often because I just might add a few more things in the next few weeks.

Today I added a couple more things. I'm starting out small and cheap. . . not that I don't take pride in my work, I just think these are simple little things that I've made. However, simple or not, these activities will stretch your student's brains and make them think a little differently I hope! I have no crystal ball, just my own opinion!

I'm counting the days to next Sunday when I get to meet so many of you at the Michigan Meet Up! I think this will be fun, interesting and probably confusing to remember the names of the people and the names of their blogs.

Will we wear nametags? Should we? How will we all talk at one time and possibly hear what everyone else is saying? Wait a minute. . . this will be no different from when my family gets together. In fact, the day before we are having a family reunion with many members whom I haven't seen in years. I'm sure they won't remember my name, or who I'm connected to. . . so will we wear nametags? Should we? How do we all talk .  . wait, that's just repeating everything above. . . . . ok, you get the picture!

Time for Big Brother. . . . I'll be back soon


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Winner Winner If only to be thinner!

I wanted to get to this sooner, but I took a nap. . . I know . . . A NAP!!! and it wasn't just one of those power 20 minute naps. It was a full fledged new baby 2 and a half hour nap! Jeesh! I just couldn't sleep last night. . . maybe because of too much caffiene in my diet cokes (yes, not one, but many!), maybe it was over stimuluation from the computer. . . . That's the ticket! or maybe it's just weirdness!

However, there was a perk to staying up so late. I watched a big storm come in and drench us (we are in a serious drought in lower LOWER Michigan right now!) for about an hour! I do think I heard the grass, trees, and shrubs say, "AAAAAHHHH!"

Thanks to all who helped me launch my first activity to sell on TPT. I asked you to guess my favorite number. I told you there wouldn't be a true way to prove it. . . . sort of.. . .but there really was. . . . My favorite number is THREE . . . . 3. .. . and that's how many guesses I was going to accept. . . so I did tell you my favorite number!
Since only 2 people guessed the correct answer and since I promised 3 prizes, I decided to go to the next closest answers. . . but that made it into 4 winners. So Storie, you are the BONUS!!! Yea for you! Each of you will be getting the file in your emails. . . but it will be later tonight. I have to go to a golden birthday for my niece who turned 18 yesterday on the 18th!

Congrats to the winners and now I'm anxious to see how this project sells.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Contractions, My first thing to sell! + a giveaway

Middle of the summer. . . . what have I done?

hmmmm? well I certainly have had a lot of fun. . . .

Eating, walking about 4 miles a day with my sister, gardening, watering, eating, watering, and spending time with family. . . and oh, a little more eating!

And of course I spent a lot of time holding that new baby in our family!

My daughter is on her way back to Houston today, so I need to push myself to get things done that I know I'll be mad if they DON'T get done by the time September rolls around.

So today I completed my FIRST thing to SELL on Teacher's Pay Teachers. I haven't a clue as to how well this will do, and I don't know how much money will come in from this. So many of you have been singing the praises of TPT, so I'm ready to take that gamble!

I made a Contraction Spelling activity. Click on the title to go to it. I hope you all remember how you struggled to price your first thing you sold. That's where I'm at. I priced it at $2.50 for 7 pages.  Changed my mind! I'm selling it for $1.75. . . see, I'm wishy washy and that seemed too high! I hope that price is better!

This activity teaches kids to look at 4 different spellings of a contraction and to decide which one is the correct spelling. I hope you love it like it!

I've watched so many of you give away teasers so I think I'd like to start with one too. I will give away this activity for FREE, (yup that means no money exchanged between the two of us!) to the first 3 people who can guess my favorite number. You'll just have to believe me when I tell you what it is, since there isn't any way to prove it to you. . . . sort of. .. . But anyway, leave me a comment with your guess and your email address. Here's a clue:  It's between 1 and 15. So guess away and come back and check tomorrow afternoon and I'll award the winners.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Coffee Cup Heaven

Once upon a time, a teacher who was very loved by her students, decided to clean her cupboards during her summer vacation. She found that she was needing more space and wanted to downsize somethings she didn't need anymore.

In this particular cupboard, she found an excess of coffee cups. Strangely enough this teacher is a non coffee drinking teacher. Don't get me wrong, she loves a good cup of hot chocolate in the middle of the cold Michigan winters, and occasionally she'll have a spot of tea when she's feeling a little sick. But she certainly had no need to have all these wonderful cups.
She kept 4 that matched with a snowman theme and 4 more that matched her dishes, but what should she do with the rest? She could keep them all because of the sentimental value of receiving them from well loved students. And she hated to throw things away. . . after all she was a teacher who scavenged many things and packed them away like a pack rat.

She thought and thought and figured there must be someplace they would be loved more than at her home. Would a nursing home need them? How about a church where many gather to have a cup of joe together? Maybe the Bingo Hall? But no, those places are filled with the exloved cups of other wonderful people. Could they be used as Christmas ornaments to hang on the trees? Could they become bird baths for birds who are overheating this summer?

Is the trash the best place for them? Or giving them to Goodwill? Can you make a craft out of them? Is there such a place as Coffee Cup Heaven that they could go to?

What do YOU do with your excess cups?  I'm sure this teacher isn't the only one who gets a boat load of them. Please share and maybe someone out there has a great idea for all of us.


Maribel Sheehan  from Learning in Wonderland has a great activity that I have previewed and totally fell in love with. I think you will too!

It's a Morning Work set of activities that would be super for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students (maybe evne some of your higher 1st graders) and is good even if you do math in the afternoon! These are math activities that will allow your students to practice many areas over and over until they get it really absorbed into their brains.

So click on over to her blog and check this out. It's well worth your hopping abilities. While you're there, click to follow her. . . she is at 95 followers and would be so happy (you remember the feeling!) to get to 100!


Monday, July 9, 2012

My First TPT and it's absolutely FREE!

I did it.

I truly, finally did it.

I joined the ranks of so many of you.

 I made a TPT page. . . or do you call it store?

I think I have it all set up correctly and I think it looks normal. . . so I'd love to have someone take a look at it and see what you think. Of course it's cheap, inexpensive.  . . no, it's just FREE!

It's an activity on matching verbs to their other tenses. Click HERE to go to it.  . . Since this is my first one on TPT, I'd love for you to let me know if the directions are clear or if there is something missing. Each girl has a verb under her. The boys all have connecting verb tenses, but one of them is spelled incorrectly. Once you copy them, laminate them, then cut them out, they will be shuffled all together. The students must first sort them into words that go together, then decide which one should be discarded because it is either not spelled correctly or that it doesn't make sense.

I used the grapics from digiwebstudio.com

And the background from Corinna at Surfinthroughsecond. She has these wonderful blue stars, stripes, and polka dots. She also made a set like this in reds. Check out her work. . . she's purdy dern good at what she does!

So check out this freebie. . . and just TAKE it! GRAB it, DOWNLOAD it, and then don't forget to let me know what you think. . .

Muah to all of you for inspiring me to do all I can to stimulate the minds of my students.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Snip Its!

I don't have any exciting news, freebies, updates, or anything to share. . . .

And I didn't want to become stagnant and not change my blog at least once a week. So you get this bit of rambling from me today.

  1. I'm so glad the heat wave seems to be leaving us.  We visited my parents home yesterday, although we were afraid to go since they don't have air in their big old farmhouse. . . they do have an inground pool. I had been forewarned about how hot it was to sleep there, but we took our chances. As it turns out, in their part of Michigan it wasn't so hot yesterday and the pool water was more refreshing than I thought it would be. (We had 24 people there ranging in ages from 1 month to 90 years old!)  In the evening the temps dipped low enough that we could use the word "chilly" and we built a campfire. . . just had to have s'mores!
  2. My grand daughter turned one month old today. . . If the rest of her life goes as fast as that first month, she'll be dating before I know it!!!

  3. Last week I went to Shipshewana, Indiana, which is about 20 minutes from my home. One of my favorite things to get there is Chicken Feet. . . . ever heard of those?  Here's a picture of them. . . They are so delicious. . . they are peach flavored, but you'd never guess it by looking at it. So if you're in a candy shop, look for these, you'll be happy you did.
  4. I got crafty and started making the magnets for my students to use for their lunch counts. I covered them with that cutsy duct tape they sell at Wal-mart and I put magnets on the back. Once I get the official class list, I'll but labels on with their names on them.
  5. I shared with my mom about DJ Inkers buying my project. (My mom is pretty tech savy for an 89 year old. She emails, and plays games on the computer and even skypes like the best of us.) She got into her "Mommy Protective" mode and wanted to make sure these people weren't going to make millions off me and that I wasn't getting paid what I should!! That's funny for me to hear. . . because I know no one is going to make millions, but I like that she wanted to be sure I was being taken care of!! Then she said the magic words that will stay with me for ever!! "I'm very proud of you! I'm glad you showed that to me." That is all I needed. Isn't that funny that as a 56 year old, I'm still looking for recognition and acceptance from my mom. . .  Maybe that's what being a "middle child" is all about!
That's all for now. . . I am working on school stuff and I hope to have some freebies soon. I continue to blog stalk and am so inspired by all that you are doing. I think Blog Stalking should be a class. . . we should get credit for the amount of hours we do it. . . I've learned so much more from your blogs than I EVER had in a college classroom. Thanks Friends!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Yesterday, in my Currently, I said that I was LOVING that I got some exciting news but that I couldn't share it with you yet... . .

Well NOW I can. . . .

I know I didn't give you much time to wonder about it, and for some of you, you didn't even know about it. . . but good gracious,  I just couldn't wait!

You see that button over to the right? The one about D.J. Inkers? Well I just love her clip art and I love creating with it. So I made an activity called Fraction Frenzy and they bought it from me and now YOU can buy it from them!!!  Go to DJInkers digital downloads and look for it there.

Isn't that just the BOSS!!! I wasn't sure when it was going to be released, but last night,  I found out that it was and so I wanted to share this link with you, in case YOU too wanted to buy it. I don't have a Teachers Pay Teachers store yet, and I know I can't sell D.J. Inkers there anyway. But this way if you want to buy my activity on fractions this is the perfect place to pick it up. It's only $2.99 and it comes in black and white and color. So you can print the easiest way for your budget!

And if you like it, would you let me know. . . I'm thinking of some other things to sell to them so I need to know if you think it looks valuable or not!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Currently - My first one!

Hey! I'm doing it! I figured out how to do one of  Farley's Currentlys!!! Woo hooo!!
It's hard to believe that July is here already, seems like we just got out of school. . . . well, actually we did! When you're in school until June 15th, July really sneaks up on you!
So here are my thoughts!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Me? Little ol' me. . . an award? How about you?

This morning I found that Storie at Stories by Storie. gave me this award. I love awards and find them very exciting. Thank you Miss Storie. You are so sweet to give this to me. As I read more about this I find that I have to do some things in order to accept this award.

Ok, so game on! Today I spent a long time trying to find others who had not received this award. I don't want someone to be greedy, so I did research these blogs. Either they didn't have the award, or they don't post the awards they receive.

I'd like to thank my parents for putting me on this earth and instilling a sense of worthiness. . . .
Oh wait that sounds like the Oscars!

This award comes with its own set of rules:

1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you. (done!)
2.  Include a link to their site. (done!)
3.  Include the award image in your post. (Done!)
4.  Give 7 random facts about yourself. (Done!)
5.  Nominate 15 other bloggers, include their link, and let them know. (done!)

Here are some other blogs I found: (Can you see a theme here?)

In honor of my grandaughter's name TENLEY, I have chosen all blogs whose names begin with T. . .
THAT was a hard task to do!

Seven Random Facts About Me!
  • I have a green thumb I love to take care of my flower gardens at home and at school.
  • I live 2 and a half hours from my home town, yet I still get together with my high school girlfriends every Christmas. . . been doing this for 40 years now!
  • My husband is going back to teaching part time after being retired for 2 years. (oh wait, that's not about me! . . . but it is. . . because it affects me!)
  • My favorite number is 3.
  • My parents are 89 and 90 and so alive and kicking! They just drove to Des Moines, Iowa from Michigan for a license plate show.
  • I saw Magic Mike today. . . . and well, that's all I can say. . . .
  • My claim to fame is that the late Michael Kennedy, 2nd son of Bobby Kennedy slept in my bed at my parents house. . . I wasn't living there at the time. . . but my mom took pictures and saved the sheets for me till I got home!!!( ha ha! True but freaky about the sheets!) If you want more of the story, you'll have to ask.
Thanks again Storie, and I hope all of you new award winners have lots of fun taking on this task!