Smores Decor & Freebie!

My bestie recently redecorated her classroom with an adorable camping theme and needed a few things to complete her project. Here are a few of the things I made for here. Click on the pictures below to find them in my TPT store.
Don't forget to grab the Word Wall Words for ~FREE!~

More Chalkboard Decor!

For all of my Chalkboard Décor loving friends...I just finished up my Learning Center Signs and Labels in the Chalkboard Theme.  They will look great on my new neon colored baskets and bins!  If you are interested, click on the picture below to grab your copy now!

More than 50 Learning Center Signs include:
Block, iPad, Computer, Word Work, Game, Library, Read to Self, Buddy Reading, Partner Reading, Meet With Teacher, Writing, Sight Word, Making Words, Read the Room, Write the Room, Journal Writing, Creation Station, Puzzle, Snack Table, Pocket Chart, Listening, Big Book, Games & Puzzles, Music, Reading, ABC Center, Math, SMARTboard, Interactive Whiteboard, Game Center, Whiteboards, Alphabet, Home Living, Spelling, Social Studies, Science & Discovery, Art, Poetry, Bean Bag Center, Drama, Lego, Make it-Take it, Language Arts, Fine Motor, Magnetic Letters, Pokey Pin, Sticky Word, Magnet Play, Play Dough, Sand & Water, Cooking, Overhead Projector, Sensory Table, DVD Center, Manipulatives, Lincoln Logs.
Pair these with my ~FREE~ coordinating Color Words Posters...
...and Chalkboard Alphabet...

...and Chalkboard themed classroom Leaders/Helpers Job Chart....

Chalkboard Freebie!

Last year I added some black chalkboard décor to my classroom to tone down some of the many bright colors I had going on. I firmly believe in a bright and cheery classroom but I think I had gone overboard with all of the colors and it was becoming a crazy over stimulating mess! The black really did tone it down and made those bright colors pop like I originally intended.  If you are into the Chalkboard décor, I would like to offer you my Chalkboard Color Word Posters freebie!  Click on the picture below to grab your copy! Don't forget to follow me on TPT and leave some feedback love!
If you are happy with these, you may want to consider purchasing my Chalkboard Alphabet Posters.
...or my Classroom Leaders/Helper Jobs Chart.
Hope you are having a wonderful summer break!
Be Blessed!

Got Lunch?

If your students must enter a lunch number on a keypad you may be interested in the letter below that asks parents to help their child learn their number at home.
Click on the picture to download it for free!

Project iPads

Thanks to several grants, I  currently have 5 iPads in my classroom. Since introducing them into the classroom, I have used them in small groups and in independent learning centers.  However, it didn't take long for my little smarties to figure out how to download non-educational games and videos to play when they were supposed to be on learning games.  So now I am on a quest for ideas for iPad projects that will keep those little darlings engaged in learning activities using the iPads as a tool rather than a toy.

Here is one idea that I found that kept them on task. Students worked with a partner or two using our jumbo magnetic numbers (flashcards will work just as well) and went around the room creating sets to match each number using objects they found in the classroom. As evidence, they had to take a picture of their sets and include the number in the picture.   

Once the students finished their number sets, I let them exchange iPads with another group to share their number set pictures and check to see that the other group had the correct number of objects in their pictures.

How have you used iPads in the classroom?

Decorating Mayday!

One of my favorite things about being a kindergarten teacher is creating a cozy and fun classroom that is super kid friendly and conducive to learning.  I love using bright primary colors with the little ones but somehow over the years I have gotten carried away and all of the bright colors became too "busy" and overwhelming. An easy solution I found was to add in a black chalkboard theme to tone the colors down a little and I loved it! Here are some pictures of my former classroom that I found that show some splashes of the black.




I love that our walls were painted Concrete Gray because it offered a neutral background for all of those colors and the sink storage cabinets and trim around the doors was red.
Well, now that I got a job in my top choice school, its almost time to start thinking about getting the new classroom ready! I haven't actually seen "my" classroom yet. There are 3 classrooms to choose from but I have only been able to see 1 so far because the floors were being waxed and carpets cleaned.  However, I did take some pictures to start getting some ideas. I was absolutely blown away to find out that all of the classrooms have a teacher office in them! A big office! With lots of storage cabinets!
So this is where I need your help! I LOVE the huge classroom and office but I am not very fond of the colors on the cabinets and cubbies. They were popular colors from the late 80's and early 90's...dusty mauve and hunter green! Not primary colors at all!  Ugh!

Look at that huge classroom and office! I'm in love!
But what should I do? Go ahead with my black chalkboard and primary colors and just hope the pink and green cabinets & cubbies under the windows blend in? Or do I change my color scheme all together and try to go with something that centers around the cabinet colors?  I'm not sure I should ask if I can paint least not yet.  My former principal didn't care what we did to our classrooms as long as the school looked kid friendly....(paint furniture, shelves, file cabinets, wall murals, curtains, etc). Fortunately, he trusted the teachers and as a result, our school had a great reputation of being very well decorated, inviting, and kid friendly.
Do you have any ideas for me?
How about your school? Do you have freedom to paint and/or decorate as you wish?

Cleaning out the Cobwebs!

Anyone out there?

Let me dust these cobwebs off of my little blog and explain how this place has become such a ghost town!  If you have time, grab a cup of coffee or bottle of water and sit down and take a little journey with me! If it gets too lengthy, feel free to take an exit out of here but I just feel the need to share the highlights of the last 5 months of my life! It has truly been unbelievable!

As you probably remember, our lives turned upside down last September when our 16 year old, Logan had a car accident and spent a month in the hospital and 4 more months recovering at home & doing home bound school.  Praise God, he is now completely healed and back to a normal life!

After those stressful months of being stretched to my limits, I felt like I had been isolated and going through a depression. I went from round the clock nurse, teacher, mom, cook, etc. to having my life one needed me. I just felt lost! I knew God was doing something inside of me but I didn't know what. Little did I know, He was just preparing me to shake my life up a whole lot more!

You see, the wonderful man that I married 24 years ago grew up in Florida and has always wanted to move back. But before we knew what hit us, we were married, had good jobs, 3 little boys, a mortgage, and roots! We had planted our roots in the same hometown where I was born and raised and life was good!  Just like I always dreamed of.

Now, fast forward 24 years and you will find us getting close to entering the "empty nest" stage of life. Our oldest has moved out to go to college, the second son just graduated high school and the youngest is in middle school. We have been blessed beyond measure!

Now the important part that I left out is that over the last 10 years or so, the ocean has been calling to my hubby and he has reminded me many, many, many times that he is ready to go back to Florida. I’m not sure exactly how many years I have ignored his request but in the last couple of years that request has become more of a desperate plea and longing. To be completely honest, I truly worried that he would disappear one day and head south without us. He never gave me any valid reason to believe that he would but I began to prepare myself financially and emotionally to be a single mom…“just in case”. Looking back I realize that was selfish on my part just to ignore him and not even consider talking about it for so many years. I just didn’t want to uproot our boys and take them (or myself) away from my family & life as we know it.

Well this past February, hubby was again saying he was ready to move and our youngest began crying saying he did not want to move. For some reason, this time it just irritated me and in frustration, these are the words I said....

“There is no reason to cry!
I don’t want to move to Florida either so if that is what God has in His plan for us then He will open our hearts & minds to the idea and He will change our desires. God loves us and won’t take us kicking and screaming so there is no use in crying about it.”
Why didn’t I just keep my mouth shut?!?!
Within 1 short month, I had applied for and received a Florida teaching license, began preparing our home to sell, searching for a home in Florida, and applying for teaching positions! Now it is the beginning of July and I am packing the last few things and will be making the big move in just a few short days!
You might wonder how did so much change from February until July? The only answer...God!  (Me and my big mouth!) He began changing my heart and answering my prayers literally within minutes and hours of praying! It was completely crazy and actually became quite comical at the number of answered prayers I received.  My coworkers came in each morning asking what God had done to get my attention in the last 24 hours!  Here are just a few examples...
Miracle #1- An open mind and change of heart in me was the first miracle but I'll spare you the details of how that happened! Lots of tears and tissues involved!
Miracle #2- Hubby went to "Sea School" and got his Charter Boat Captains license and has dreams about beginning his own chartering company. So one morning while praying, I asked God how could I let him follow his dream, but yet still give our family stability (his health insurance coverage is now a must for Logan's future complications from car wreck) and a steady income. When hubby woke up 15 minutes after my prayer, he told me that a coworker had told him that there was a job opening in Destin, FL doing his exact same job with his same company!  No loss of benefits or financial security and he can begin the charter boat business on weekends and evenings until it grows and takes off!
Miracle #3- The following morning I was praying again & telling God that we can't move...we have a mortgage on a home that will be paid in full in just a few short years! We can't just walk away from that! Again, 15 minutes later, the hubs woke up & told me that a neighbor stopped by the night before and said "hey, if you ever think about selling your home just let me know because we need a bigger home & yours would be perfect." Ummm, we had told NO ONE we were even discussing a move AND he has never even been inside our home!
Miracle #4- I can't leave my oldest son! He will be a senior in college, will marry someday and have some grandchildren for me. I don't won't to live far from my future grandkids! This one took about 8 hours for an answer... that evening, our oldest sent me a text asking how to get in-state tuition for Florida State University!  When I questioned why he was asking, he responded that he had been considering a change of scenery & fresh start somewhere & FSU had a great business department and a paintball team!
Now by this time it is getting pretty hard to convince myself that these are all just coincidences. Just for good measure (and to "test" God) I decided to write a wish list for what I wanted in a new house. I love my home so He is really going to have to show off to make me happy with a new home. Just to be difficult and a bit of a spoiled brat #1 on my wish list was to be close to the beach (for me!) and/or the bay (for the hubby's fishing pleasure).  I'll post that wish list below...note the highlighted items...those are things our new home has! Looks like I will be putting up my own fence!
I have always doubted if I was hearing from God or not so He made it VERY clear to me that this is His will for our lives.
And the miracles continued! 
Among some of the other answered prayers...

  • I got a job at my first choice school in my first choice grade (kindergarten) AND it is just 1 short mile to the beautiful beach and 1 mile from my new house!!! Did I mention that I found out that I have a 3rd cousin that works at this school?!? We haven't seen each other in 20 years & I had no idea she had moved to Florida!  Small world!
  • My husband did interview for and received a job transfer with no loss of benefits and a few added perks.
  • My little one that always cried at the mention of moving... he now says he will be disappointed if we don't move!
  • BIG MIRACLE! We were able to pay our current home mortgage off IN FULL and also have money for a good down payment on our new home! 
  • The new home was a model home and wasn't available for us to move into until end of November so we walked away without signing a contract and told them we would have to pray about it first. Twenty minutes later we got the call to name our closing date and they would make it happen!
The list can go on and on but I guess this peek into the last 5 months of my life explains my absence and slow responses to TPT feedback and questions. I am certainly not telling you all of these events to boast or brag...I give God ALL of the Glory!  Trust me, I have asked God "why" many times. The only answer I hear is "watch and see". I can no longer doubt that this is just His plan for my life and my steps are ordered by Him!
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20 
May I suggestion you write down your wish list for your life?!?