Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Annual Family Letter

Here's a more personal look at my life.  I decided to post my annual family letter.  I never seem to get it done in time for it to be a Christmas letter (although I did add Christmas graphics to it!).  You my bloggy friends have become my friends as well this year so here it is:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Excited BEYOND Words!!!!!

Yes, I have NOT fixed my last post yet, but I've been trying to get my Google Reader down to ZERO unread posts before the new year (we'll see if it is possible) & I read Hadar's post from December 3rd about a Southern Cal. get together for bloggers!!!! Whooooo Hooo!!! Yes, I am changing doctor's appointments to go join these amazing ladies & get to meet them in person!!!  So far I know it will be Hadar from Miss Kindergarten, Annie from the Moffatt Girls, Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher, Fran from Kindergarten Crayons, & Kerri & Lindsay from Teacher Bits & Bobs!!!  I love all of their blogs!!  It feels like I'm getting to meet celebrities!!!  Well, I guess they are in my world!!  I'm waiting super anxiously patientlyfor Hadar to write back to see who else I get to meet!!!!  So much to do!!...last post to correct and finish, after Christmas family letter to write, manicure to give my 8 year old... be back when I know who else will be there!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Pinterest Kind of Christmas!

First of all,  a VERY Merry Christmas to all of you wonderful bloggers!  I pray you have had a blessed time with your families!!
This year I've had a 'Pinterest Kind of Christmas' which I will prove to you in this post!!
I think it all started with our classroom Christmas Party.  I wanted something more than just food passed out and then eaten, but nothing too complicated.  We used to have room parents who coordinated parties, but that hasn't happened in years.  I found this WONDERFUL idea on Pinterest:
Pinned Image
Click HERE to go to original site.
I loved this because it would involve the students and yet we only needed one color of frosting!  The kids LOVED it and many of the teachers at my school who saw the finished products said they wanted to try to do them next year too.  Here are just a few pictures of my students' creations:

I just realized how VERY tired I am so I'm going to upload my pictures and go to bed...tomorrow I'll share the Pinterest links, and details, and organize it!! So if you look at this tonight or early please check back soon!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Edublog Awards & Clouds!!!

Right now the Edublog Awards are going on. 

There are several blogs/bloggers that I am voting for and I wanted to share with you who I am voting for and encourage you to vote as well.  
First, TBA (Teaching Blog Addict) is up for the best group blog...then, Erin Klein of Kleinspirtation is up for best new blog...also Richard Bryne of Free Technology for Teachers is up for both best ed tech/resources blog & lifetime achievement...the amazing Kristen of Ladybug's Teacher Files is up for best individual blog...and finally Heidi Songs for best media.

I would LOVE to hear if there are blogs/sites that you love and are voting for!!!
I have always loved clouds and now there is another kind of cloud I love besides cumulus, cirrus etc.....Web Clouds!!!
I have so many different flash drives and work on several different computers so I have been placing my files on the various clouds to be able to access my files from ANYWHERE!  I do have a premium membership with Evernote, but I may not renew it because if I modify a document it doesn't change it automatically.  The three I've been recently using do have this awesome feature!
The first one is 'Box'
I also am using Dropbox
here's the link....
I use Sugar Sync as well
here's the link...
All 3 of these are free and I have been organizing all of my files trying to get them in a logical order...all of my Storytown/Excursions files, personal, grading, downloaded resources, subway art...
Let me know what clouds you are using and how you like them.

Today and tomorrow I'm at district training on Common Core Standards.  Yes, California chose to include that extra 15% that states were allowed to add so ours aren't quite like all of the other states.

Happy Blogging!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Great Giveaway for the 12 Days!!!

Okay, each day I hope to see my "All Items(1000+)" in my Google Reader change to something LESS than 1000+!!!!!  I've been scrolling through blogs several times a day trying to get it down.  I figure I must have been around 3000+!!!  

Well, I've got it far enough down to be up to date on a great giveaway:
ALL of these blogs/bloggers are some of my FAVORITES!!  Now, I must admit that I have mixed feelings about blogging about this because the more of you that know about this great 12 day give away and enter it, the smaller my chances are of winning!! ;-)
Head on over to the 1st Day at Farley's Oh' Boy 4th Grade.  Just let me know if you win any of the days; I'll try not  to be too upset with you! ;-)

Monday, November 28, 2011


Hello Blogging World! No, I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth...although it's felt like it a few times!!!  I was determined to link up with this linky party after my report cards were finished....well, it's Monday morning before school (so I'll still count it as part of Thanksgiving weekend!) and they are STILL not complete, so I am posting ANYWAY!!! (I may never post again if I just don't jump in a DO IT!!!)

1. What I am thankful for in my classroom...
My students! :)  They are the reason we are here, aren't they!?! I'm also very thankful for my doc cam & my school's hard to imagine teaching without them now!  There are hundreds of other things I could list, but I'll leave it with that! ;-)

2.  What person am I most thankful for...
Because my husband will be listed on # 5 I will be more specific..The person in the Blogging World that I am most thankful for is Tamara from Teaching with TLC & The Teaching Blog Addict!  She truly amazes me.  She homeschools, has written books, has a beautiful family, keeps TBA growing and interesting...she seems to have it all!  What I admire most though is her encouraging spirit, vulnerability, and her focus always on God first.  Although everything seems perfect in her life she has shared about the recent trials she and her family had gone through and she is quick to give the glory to God for seeing them through!  She also allowed me to be one of the authors for TBA...I hope in the future to be able to find the time to post all of the things my heart desires to post, but can never find the time to get squeezed in!  Thanks Tamara!!!

3.  What 3 blogs am I most thankful for...
Ok..Only one will be a teaching blog, I hope you will all forgive me, I value all the wonderful teaching blogs out there but...

Blog #1  The Krazy Coupon Lady has helped my family financially these last several months, (ok I'm going to cheat I follow 2 other coupon & saving blogs that I check multiple times a day; Money Saving Mom, & Hip2Save & all 3 have save me a lot of $)  I have already got much of my Christmas shopping done for DIRT CHEAP thanks to these sites...I must admit that they are also part of my reason for not posting...too busy cutting coupons & finding online bargains!Oh, & trying to keep up with their posts...about 25-30 posts A DAY!!!

Blog #2 Building the Blocks ... As I was just discovering teaching blogs last spring someone posted about a contest/giveaway at Building Blocks. (They probably had a link, but I didn't realize it...too green then)  I Googled "building blocks" and stumbled upon(in human terms...but was directed in spiritual terms!) The Building Blocks.  Amy Block and her family were living in Texas.  They had 4 biological children and had adopted 5 beautiful children.  The doors had closed to American adoptions from Guatemala and they felt led to move to Guatemala and love, serve, minister to the orphans in the orphanage Eagle's Nest.  They moved this August and I have been so blessed, convicted and touched by what Amy has shared in her blog!  Her view from her home is breathtaking and the images she has posted of the beautiful children there have touched my heart forever.  God has most definitely given her the gift of photography!  I had already had it on my heart to raise more awareness about the issue of orphans around the world and finding Amy's blog was what motivated me to approach my pastor to recognize Orphan Sunday this November, which we did a week late! :) Amy you are an amazing blessing, please keep sharing what God is doing in and through you.

Blog # 3 Ladybug's Teacher Files  I HAD to list Kristen's Blog.  How she does it, I just don't know!  She helped me get my blog up & running last spring and I have gained SO many valuable tips, resources, and information & inspiration from her!!  My library wouldn't be what it is today if it wasn't for Kristin & her blog!

4.  What guilty pleasure am I most thankful for...
DARK CHOCOLATE!!! Okay, I'll settle for just about any candy treat, but dark chocolate is my fav... :)

5.  What I am most thankful most definitely my family!! My wonderful husband Jim has put up with all of my obsessing over computer stuff, report cards, my classroom & everything else!  He is a wonderful man and I am honored to be his wife of almost 10 years now.  My children bring me so much joy and happiness!  Tyler continues to teach me more of what it means to love someone and I am constantly in awe of his many gifts.  Andrew is my tender heart and has always been MY heart.  Sieanna who's name means 'Gift From God' has been that...I love not only having a little girl, but having HER as my little girl..she is my joy!  I am thankful for parents who have always believed in me and encouraged me.  I am thankful for a mother in law who has been such a wonderful grandmother to the kids.  I am thankful that she is now recovering well from two major surgeries in the last few months. (another reason for my absence here.)

Last of all I am thankful for all of you out there in Blogland!!!  Whether you are a blogger, a stalker, or both you are making the world a better place by sharing!! :)

Now if I can just FINISH those report cards!!!!! I'm posting now...I'll come back and check later for typos!

Report cards....DONE!!! Now parent conferences tomorrow 8:30-12, 1:00-3:00, 5:00-7:00...then a 1/2 day with the kids Wednesday and conferences from 1:30-3:00.

I did find a few mistakes...and I forgot to provide the link to the linky party!!! I had to do this linky party since my user name for many sites is 'thankfulndw'...I really do try to keep an 'attitude of gratitude'! I'm headed to the wonderful 'What the Teacher Wants' Blog to add what I'm thankful for!

AHHHHH!!!!  I waited too late to post!!! It's closed! :(  Well, I don't regret posting this even if I'm not linked up!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Charts, Charts, Charts!

I've been looking at other teachers' blogs for about 9-10 months now and I have been inspired in countless ways.  One way I can count is the inspiration I've received by looking at all of the amazing charts!

This summer I bought these markers:

I must say that I have been happier with the Elmer's Popperz pens than I have been with the Art Skills pens. 

I started a board on Pinterest for 'Anchor Charts'.  Some of the charts I pinned for the content, others the visual, artistic, or aesthetic qualities, and for some both.  I am not naturally artistic so I need to get as much help as possible to make my charts appealing.  You can view my Anchor Charts board HERE

I have begun making charts for my classroom.  Here is what I have so far:

I'll be adding what the students put onto the post-its onto the charts. Each child could take 3-5 post-its to add to any of the four charts.
I thought I had a picture of my 'Estimate the Difference's a lot like this one!

As I was searching on Pinterest for Anchor Charts I found Nancy's Anchor Chart Notebook, 

which in turn lead me to her amazing blog, Teaching my Friends!
I loved this idea because I'm already running out of room in my class and it's only early October!  Here is my version of the Anchor Chart Notebook:
I hope something here has inspired you too!!!  Happy teaching!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Wonderful Find!!!

I decided this was a good time to 'use' my honorary title that was bestowed on me by Tamara (the REAL Queen of TBA!) to shed a light on a wonderful blog I discovered this morning!  I think teachers of all levels would love what she has posted on her blog.  She has had it since August of 2010 and she only has 41 followers!! 

I follow about 540 blogs and this is the first time I have put out a call for bloggers/stalkers to go check out a blog.  Let's fill her bucket and have her followers jump into the hundreds!!!!
Go check out:
I think you'll realize you also found a real jewel!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Whole Brain Teaching Webinar!

I copied this from my email.  I don't know if I'll be able to watch it tonight, but I thought I'd share it with all of you.  I love Whole Brain Teaching!!!
Thanks, Nancy
Nervous About Student Scores
On State Tests?  
Watch WBT TV!

Please don’t miss our next program, “Prove It!”  Discover WBT’s powerful, new game that raises student scores on state tests!

Whole Brain Teaching Live
“Prove It!” 
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
5 PM Paific and Mountain
7 PM Central
8 PM Eastern

To view the program, click on the link

Free!  Free!  Free!

Yes, you read that right.  Like almost everything at Whole Brain Teaching, this program won't cost you zip.
Got questions?  Email me directly at

Power to the Teachers!
Chris Biffle
Director, Whole Brain Teachers of America

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wow, Thank You!

I am feeling very humbled and honored to have been chosen by three different bloggers for the 'Versatile Blogger Award'!  Thank you so very much to Nan at Third Grade's a Charm, Kristin at First Grade O.W.L.S, and Rebecca from The Teacher's Chatterbox!  Two of these blogs were new to me and I am excited to be following them now!!! 

First Grade O.W.L.s
Now, according to the award I need to share 7 things about myself with you.

1.  I love that I enjoy listening to a lot of the same music as my kids!  We turn up some songs really loud and sing along in the car.  We love 'kid' music~~Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Lemonade Mouth, Phineas & Ferb; American Idol Contestants~~Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreedy, Brooke White, Mandisa, Danny Gokey...; and Contemporary Christian music~~a couple of our favorites are Shackles by Mandisa or Mary Mary, 10 Simple Rules by Mercy Me, & Crazy by Steven Curtis Chapman. I never remember singing along in the car with my parents :(

2. I love watching American Idol, America's Got Talent and The Next Food Network Star.  I get kind of sad when the seasons end.

3.  As a child some of my best childhood memories were going down into Baja to a little town called La Salina and having family vacations there.  My kindergarten teacher had a two bedroom, tile floored home with no electricity.  We would use kerosene lanterns and spend our days on the beach.  Mr. and Mrs. Reagle were so gracious as to let us join them many summers and then later let us use their place when they were traveling.

4.  One of my favorite life experiences was having the chance to play Shelbly in the play Steel Magnolias at our community college here about 18 years ago.

5.  I hate to spin!  I DON'T like the teacups at Disneyland, I couldn't even handle the spinning ladybugs in the little kid area of California Adventure!

6.  Speaking of Disneyland, it is one of my favorite places!!  We haven't been able to afford to go these last few years, but I hope we will be able to sometime this year! For me it lives up to it's name 'The Happiest Place on Earth'

7.  Two of my favorite foods are crab and artichokes. My husband thinks they're more trouble than they're worth, but I think they ARE WORTH all the trouble!!

I decided to pass this award on to some fellow 3rd grade teachers!  The first two may not be new to me (they're probably two of the first 3rd grade blogs I found) but they definitely are Versatile!  Fern got Julie started at couponing and now...well let's just say I'm hooked on one MORE thing!! (how can you argue with 48 razors for free + $4 extra to count towards other purchases!!! (that was Walmart Thursday!!))
Find Fern at 

and Julie at

Lutton 519


Ashleigh's Education Journey

Wiggins World
All of these teachers have and are making me a better teacher!! Thank you for all you share! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hi My Name is Nancy and I'm a Vistaprint-a-holic!

It's true, I just can't stop ordering from Vistaprint!  I know that I've had several other posts about Vistaprint including THIS linky party.  I'll end up linking this post to the linky party since I have so many new things I've ordered!  Our school is the Montara Roadrunners, so when Vistaprint had a sale on their Polo shirts & free shipping I uploaded a roadrunner bought two shirts and got everything I could free!
Then I asked at school if anyone wanted me to order one for them too.  Several did so each order of $40 (2 shirts) I got free shipping so, I've received a lot of GREAT stuff!!
I've fallen in love with the car magnets!!  I love their size and that I can use them on the white board, but move them out of the way if I need the board space.  They also work on my classroom door and on the side of my 'file box' desk.  Here are my new ones: 
I got this from The Teacher Wife

 I got this song from Fern Smith's Classroom
This is for our classroom door, I got the idea from another teacher.

 I use Whole Brain Teaching in my room and this is for my 'Mighty Oh Yeahs' and 'Mighty Groans'  It works great with the dry erase markers and I can easily move it as needed.
 I uploaded this image and cut the sign in half when the magnet arrived.  It heads up my Must Do/May Do lists.
I have this with my weekly restroom sign out sheet attached to my 'file box' desk.  Right now they bring the sign out to me and tell me the time and I write it down.  Later I will have them write the time down.  The policy in my room is that they may use the restroom no more than once a day, no more than twice a week, or I need to contact their parents and have them move their clip down each time they use it over the allowed amount.  (they know there are exceptions for medical situations)  This way I have a record of restroom use that I can show the parents.
 This is a window cling and I'm getting them one at a time with the orders.  I got them so that they go on the inside of the window.  I look forward to giving these out to my 'Student of the Month' each month.
Right now I'm loving the labels.  I'm using these for MY books.  I love using literature in teaching any skill I can find good literature for.  These are the labels I have ordered so far.  Maybe later I'll do a post of the books I have in each of these categories.
 I still have several other labels I want to make.
  I ordered this for our school; it arrived at the district warehouse the day of Back to School Night!  Just in time.
  I order this for all of our Book Fairs at school.
 I trimmed this down and it's in my classroom library.
Cindy at Mrs. Gilchrist's Class created this great resource as 4 separate pages.  I condensed down the three and put them on the back of the brochure.  She said that I could share about it here.  These are in my Roadrunner Notebooks
The business cards and flyers are both for Mastery Club.  It's an idea I found on and are in my Roadrunner Notebooks.
Business cards that are another tool to use in creating a room full of bucket fillers!
A key chain to add to my stuff for 'sale' at the end of the year.

I found the idea for this cap somewhere in cyberspace, if it was from you, let me know & I'll give you credit!
This is a magnet.  I plan to give these to the parents at Parent/Teacher Conferences.  (for their fridges!)

 These notecards will be saved for next year since I already missed a few birthdays.  I'll have the whole class sign them.
 This is for our librarian!

 I modified the 'I Pick' to fit the 'Apple Basket' I didn't notice the read lines from Word until they came in :(

Well maybe something here inspired you!  All of you bloggers inspire me so very much!!!

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