Teacher Week '13- Let's Talk about Me!

It's Teacher Week and I couldn't be more excited to be joining this year!

Today is a day to share all about yourself and I have some fun things to share with you today and can't wait to read all about some of my favorite bloggers as well as reading about some new blogger friends today!
I wanna talk about me
Wanna talk about I
Wanna talk about number one
Oh my me my
What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see
I like talking about you you you you, usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about meeeeee
(Anyone know what I'm talking about?)

Alright to get started I have ten things I'd like to share with you today! 

1. I am a born and raised Wisconsin girl. Many people joke that we only have two seasons. Winter and Road Construction..and that's no lie! However, we do get to experience all four seasons and I truly enjoy living in a state where the seasons change! I am a huge Wisconsin sports fan and enjoy watching the Packers, Badgers and Brewers! It's not lie that we get A LOT of snow!

2. I am an only child and while there are pros and cons to it, I am often told I don't seem like an only child. Which I take as a good thing! I was able to experience many different things growing up that I might not have been able to do if I had brothers or sisters. I love the ecard below because when I ask my parents why they only had one child, that is exactly their answer!
 3. I am a HUGE fan of Disney World. As a child my family went every year for about 10 years straight. We also went a little before Christmas time and it was so pretty! I haven't been there for awhile but am already planning my next trip! I wish I had some pictures of myself at Disney World but they are all at my parents house.
4.  I had some amazing teachers throughout my years of being in elementary, middle, high school and college! One of my favorites and the reason I am the teacher I am today is because of my second grade teacher. I still talk to and e-mail her for ideas and suggestions! I hope to someday be the influence to one of my students that she was to me! I attended Lincoln Elementary School and we were the Lincoln Lightning! 
 5. In high school my gym teacher encouraged me to go out for cross country. During gym class free time when my friends and other classmates would be sitting around chatting and then pretending to play volleyball when the teacher came around, I was spending my time running on the treadmill. When it came time to run the dreaded mile, I was excited and always one of the firsts to be finished! I decided to do it and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I had a phenomenal coach and made some of the best friends I could ever have! I also chose to run track with some hesitations. Our 3200 meter relay team made it to state my senior year and we had a lot of fun!
(I am the one  in the middle with jean capris on. I must not have gotten the memo about wearing shorts that day. As well as the one in the middle front row with a black shirt on because I forgot my jersey top that day!)

6. I was a synchronized skater! This is one of my proudest accomplishments. Starting at the age of 3 of parents got me interested in figure skating and I didn't know how much fun it would be! I joined synchronized skating (which is team skating, kind of like synchronized swimming) and during high school joined a team about 30 miles from my house to compete at a higher level. We never imagined some of the things we got to do. We competed at Nationals and placed in the top six, earning us the experience to travel internationally and become part of Team USA. The years I was part of the team we competed in London, England and Milan, Italy. Dreams really do come true!

 7. After I graduated high school I attended one of our state schools, University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. This school was about three hours from my parents house and I never thought twice that it would cause me to miss them more than usual! After a year, I realized I wanted to be somewhere closer to home and looked into schools with great education programs. Starting my sophomore year I attended UW-Whiteweater and met some of my best friends! 
8. Speaking of them, our junior year of college we decided to get a house together. I had nine roommates and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Our house had an upstairs and and downstairs and there were five bedrooms upstairs and five bedrooms downstairs. It was technically a duplex so each part of the house had two bathrooms, a living area and a kitchen.
9. After graduating, we promised each other that we would make sure to get together as a group at least once a year. Most years we have spent a girls weekend in Wisconsin Dells. However, the first year we took a trip to Destin, Florida! We were there for 10 days and it was soo relaxing! I am envious of those of you that get to experience this daily!!
10. And last but not least are the two loves of my life, my amazing boyfriend of two and a half years and my teddy bear puppy, Murphy! They are pretty self explanatory! Cute and handsome :)

Thanks so much for stopping by to meet me and now that I'm finished I can't wait to go read more about you! Happy Teacher Week!


Liebster Award

I am excited to share with you that I was nominated for my first blog award! When I first started this little blog I had high expectations for myself and realized over time, not to worry about the little things and just enjoy sharing my experiences in teaching with you all! So when I got an e-mail sharing that I was nominated I was slightly shocked and extremely excited! I was nominated by the lovely Cindy over at Mrs. Price's Kindergators! I wasn't quite sure all the steps I had to take in accepting this award but am pretty sure I am following all the guidelines! I wouldn't want to break any rules! 

To accept the nomination I must:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me (check!)
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for you by the nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees
6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them

Well so far I have one thing checked off! 

My nominees include: 

 1. Autumn from First Grade Teacher Lady
2. Kayla from Meet Miss Parker

Answered Questions from my Nominator:
1. What is your favorite grade to teach?

This fall I will be entering my third year of teaching and my third year teaching second grade. I student taught in first grade so I have a little bit of experience teaching in a different grade level. I would have to say second grade is by far my favorite! I love this age of students because they are still very loving of everything you do and think school is awesome! Yet, they are gaining independence and show a tremendous amount of growth throughout the year!

2. What is your favorite time of year and why?

This question is probably one of the easiest for me! Fall without a doubt! Living in Wisconsin we get to experience all four seasons to their fullest. Sometimes all in the same week! I enjoy my summers off, however I do not enjoy the hot and humid weather! I could not live somewhere where the average temperature is higher than the mid 80's. Seeing 80+ in the forecast makes me cringe. My ideal temperature would be about 65-70 degrees! Some may call me crazy but I love the fall weather! I love seeing the leaves change colors and the smell of hot apple cider! 

3. What was your favorite trip you have ever taken?

I have taken a lot of trips! I feel very blessed for the experiences I had throughout my childhood. I was on a traveling synchronized skating team growing up and we traveled the nation! We also got the opportunity to travel to Milan, Italy and London, England! Nothing gets better than going on a vacation with 20 of your best friends doing something you love so much! I don't think I could choose between the two but they were definitely life changing experiences!

4. What was the last conference you attended?

Fortunately, I was able to go to the Sister's Daily 5/CAFE conference back in April with some of my colleagues. We began implementing the Daily 5 and CAFE when I first started and our administration was ever so nice to allow us to attend their conference! I highly recommend attending if they are in your area! 

5. What was the last book you read?

I recently ordered two books off of Amazon that I had seen floating around the blog world and Instagram. So I have not finished either but I have two on my to-finish list before the end of the summer! The two books are "The Book Whisperer" and "Teach Like a Pirate". 

6. How do you relax during the school year?

Wow! That's a good question. I'm not sure "relax" and "school year" go together much. However, it is important to find time to get away from the teaching world once and awhile. I have an adorable puppy named Murphy who creates plenty of fun and takes my mind off of the stress that comes with any school year. Also, I would have to say blogging! Reading about other peoples days and experiences is sort of relaxing and inspiring. It's what keeps me going some days! 

7. How long have you been blogging?

I started my blogging journey at the end of March, so about four months! 

8. Where did you go to college?

In Wisconsin, most colleges are named according to the city they are located. There are about 13 state colleges as well as other private colleges. So I'm assuming none of your unless you're from Wisconsin will recognize these schools. I started my freshman year off at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. I transferred my sophomore year to the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater where I graduated in 2010. 

9. What's is your favorite product off of Teachers Pay Teachers?

Ok, this is THE hardest question to ask me! I won't even share how many products I have purchased off of TPT. So to pick just one would be impossible. However, some of my favorites include Deana from Primary Punch's Math Movers. There are a total of 10 different ones (I have them ALL!). I believe she is planning on creating a bundled version if you have not purchased any of them yet I HIGHLY recommend them. 

Another favorite is, Sarah from First Grader at Last's Monthly Imagination Writing Prompts. She currently has January-May finished and is working on August-December! Great addition to any writing center!

My students loved Abby from The Inspired Apple's Candy Corn Bandit and Sweetheart Snatcher activities  These are adorable and perfect around Halloween and Valentine's Day! 

The list could go on and on and on. Maybe I'll do a post sometime about more of my favorites! 

10. Do you use a Smart Board in your classroom?

Yes and no. I have an interactive board in my classroom but it is not a "Smart Board". I have a Mimio. I am one of two classrooms in my school that has one of these. A few years ago, someone thought these were the rage and bought two. They then changed their mind and realized Smart Boards were the way to go. I wouldn't at all be sad if they got rid of my Mimio. It works but isn't as efficient as I would like. It runs off batteries that in my case run out all.the.time! 

11 Random Facts about Me
1. I am an only child, but often told that I show no signs of the "typical" only children. (I guess that's a good thing!)
2. My biggest fear is needles! Even hearing the word shoot or blood freaks me out! I have a very low pain tolerance and bruise like a peach! 
3. I used to HATE country until I went to Country USA and now I can't get enough! 
4. I refuse to have a soda before 10:00 a.m. I am a fan of Diet Mountain Dew but if I am craving one, I make myself wait until after 10:00.
5. I was a part of Team USA in synchronized skating. It's not an Olympic sport yet but was able to compete internationally! 
6. I graduated Magna Cum Laude and was president of Kappa Delta Pi, an International Honors Society in Education. 
7. I enjoy laminating and cutting out laminating. I am kind of picky and don't let many others do it for me. 
8. Lately I have an obsession for anything chevron. It's very hard to pass up anything I see with a chevron print! 
9. I talk to my dog like he's a baby in cute little voices that probably drive him crazy! 
10. I prefer to not wear shoes! After my students leave I usually take my shoes off while I work in my classroom. Sometimes I walk through the school without shoes on and students that are still around in after-school study hall question why I am not wearing shoes. 
11. One of my favorite dance songs is the Cupid Shuffle! I will be the first one to start dancing when that song comes on. I even try to do the dance in the car!

My Questions for my Nominees
1. How long have you been teaching for?
2. If you could trade places with any famous person for the day, who would it be and why?
3. What's your favorite time of the school year? 
4. What are some of your favorite blogs?
5. What is your all time favorite store to shop at?
6. If you could only watch one T.V. show for the rest of your life, what would it be?
7. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
8. What is your greatest accomplishment? 
9. What is your favorite form of social media? (Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter)
10. What is your favorite organizational tool to help you stay organized through a busy school year?
11. What is the reason you decide to become a teacher? 

Whew! I think I made it! I had a lot of fun posting and share some information about myself. I hope you enjoyed reading! Good night and I'm hoping for another post tomorrow. Two days in a row?!? Call me crazy! 


Favorite Pins Friday

Happy Friday! One thing about summer blogging that I am loving is all the fun linky parties that are happening!  I am linking up with Cara from The First Grade Parade tonight to share some of my favorite Pinterest Pins! Sometimes I wonder where anyone ever got ideas before Pinterest! I have many boards and will share a few of my favorite pins from some of my favorite boards!

Classroom Pins:
One thing that hasn't worked for me the way I've wanted is how I handle classroom jobs. I am excited to do something similar to this idea that was posted by T is for Teaching

Since I began teaching two years ago, my school jumped on the Daily Five train and have loved the independence our students demonstrate throughout the year. This year I am going to give the Daily Five Math a try! Dots and Spots has a great post about how she handles Math Workshop in her classroom. 

My word wall is also in much need of an update. I am so excited to try to idea from the wonderful Ashleigh at Ashleigh's Education Journey

If anyone has suggestions on where to find adorable ribbon like this please let me know! I've searched Hobby Lobby AND Michael's and was not impressed by their selection. Don't get me wrong. I am a HUGE fan of both stores but when looking for a variety of different kinds I didn't see more than two I loved. 

House Pins:
Almost a month ago my boyfriend and I bought our first house together! We were very fortunate to find a newer home that needed little to no updates. However, we have been looking to add our own little touches to make it feel more like us!

I love how this refrigerator door looks! Not too cluttered! I also love how they tied in colors to fit the overall look of the kitchen! 

Each week we sit down and plan out a menu. We write it on scrap paper and attach it to the fridge. This idea would definitely make our weekly menus have a whole new look to them! With a frame, some scrapbook paper and some letters this would be a simple craft! 

Wedding (Someday) Pins:
Although there is no ring yet, a wedding will be in my future someday and what better place to start planning than Pinterest. This has to be one of my biggest boards when it comes to collecting ideas. 

This organization makes every teacher happy! I feel like with all the stresses that come from planning a wedding this is one thing I could do to ensure that the set up goes smoothly! 

This pin came from but is now showing up as page not found!

I loved this idea for decorating the bathroom and adding a little color! I loved it so much as I was looking through my board I noticed I posted it twice!

That's all I have for tonight! I will be back next week with some more of my favorite finds! The boyfriend is at a Brewer's game tonight with some friends so it's just me and the pup! Hope ya'll have a great weekend! 


Monthly Organization Bins

Happy Tuesday! Only three more days of summer school left for this teacher, who is in major need for some sleeping in days during the week! I am very excited to share with you an organizational tool I use in my classroom to keep all my monthly activities together. On Sunday I posted this picture on Instagram and was asked what I all keep inside of these bins!


So I started making a list of everything I had in my March bin. I looked at my December one and it was overflowing! It's also the home to Elf on the Shelf until December rolls around again. I wasn't quite sure I wanted to tackle that bin today. For a month with very few school days it's definitly one that's bursting with activities! Maybe I'll share that one later! However, most of my bins contain a lot of the same resources, just themed to a different month. As I created this list I couldn't be more thankful and blessed with the amazing teachers who have such an amazing talent to create such wonderful products! Here we go, in no particular order!

1. The Busy Teacher's Best Friend- March Addition

2. March Printables Pack

3. Spring Graphic Organizers

4. Imagination Buidling Prompt Cards

5. March Math Journal Prompts

6. March Writing Activities

7. March Super Sentences

8. Common Core Crunch March

9. Math Movers (Spring Edition)

10. Reading Comprehension Passages (Spring Edition)

11. St. Patrick's Day O' Fun

12. Marshmallow Math

13. Pot O' Gold Literacy and Math Units

14. Learning with Jamie O'Rourke

15. St. Patty's Day Pack O' Fun

16. Lucky Leprechaun Math Centers

17. Lucky Me! St. Patrick's Day Literacy Centers

18. Catch a Leprechaun Craftivity

19. Mix of March (Literacy Centers)

The awesome thing about most of these packs is that most of the creators have these monthly! I hope this has helped you see how I stay organized with my monthly activities. The wonderful Ashley of That's So Second Grade created the bin labels! If you are interested click on the picture to pick up your own! She also is creating labels for content areas as well. She has Math and Science finished so far and is working on making Social Studies and Language Arts!

Finally, there is something else I use to stay organized! Inside these bins I have a binder for each month as well! In the binders I keep more of the paper copies of worksheets so they are easy to find! I created these binder covers myself a couple months ago but never mentioned them on here. If you are interested in covers for your binders, head over to my store! 

One last picture before I go enjoy the rest of my afternoon! This was one of the most time consuming posts I have made and am quite proud of how it turned out! Meanwhile, this little guy has waited so patiently! I think it's time for a walk! Have a great afternoon!


Bloglovin' and Summerlovin!

First off, it is summer and I am all kinds of happy! The end of the year was pretty crazy for multiple reasons! Two Fridays ago was our last day of school as well as the day we closed on our house! Because the last day of school/the end of the year isn't crazy enough our relator decided we should close on that day as well! We had a half day that day with students and a half day to finish report cards and everything else (Yes, all we have is HALF a day! That's it! It still shocks me that we don't get any more time but what's one to do!) We were able to leave at 3 and I needed to be in a different town by 4 for our closing. We moved the next Saturday and it's felt like home since we've moved! Along with that our summer school classes start the next Monday School ends Friday and summer school starts Monday (talk about no break!) This is the second week of summer school and I'm already looking forward to the last day next Friday! I enjoy the laid back half days but I can't wait to sleep in and relax!

With my time off this summer I plan on posting and joining in on some fun linky parties! But this is all I have the energy for today. I believe I have figured out Bloglovin (fingers crossed!) as Google Reader will no longer be available as of July 1. I transfered over all the current blogs I follow and you can as well as long as it's BEFORE July 1!

Also, I have been a huge fan of Instagram the past couple of months. If you don't already follow me you can find me at @ivegotitmadeinsecondgrade I am up to about 350 followers which makes this newbie to the blog world very happy! I am hoping to do some sort of a giveaway once this little blog of mine reaches 100 followers so keep checking back!


Instagram Fun Tuesdays

I recently just joined Instagram and obsessed! It's like Facebook but just pictures! I LOVE it!

Rachelle and Natalie from What the Teacher Wants and Michelle from Apples and ABC’s have come up with this awesome idea called #teachertalktuesday! Every Tuesday teachers can search the hash tag and find all wonderful teaching ideas! I am so very excited

My instagram user name is #ivegotitmadeinsecond Please head over to Instagram and follow me!


Earth Day and Grandparent's Day

Happy Monday everyone! It was a wonderful Monday for me! Wonderful and Monday usually don't EVER go together in the same sentence but today was really nice!

It was Grandparent's Day at our school today! I was kind of skeptical with it being on a Monday, it is usually on a Friday. We have two grandparent's programs so that there aren't a ton of people at our small school at the same time. They come either in the morning from 9:00-10:30 or in the afternoon from 12:30-2. We celebrated in the morning! At 9:00 everyone who had morning session gathered in the gym and sang a really cute song! Then we headed back to the classroom! I didn't take a whole lot of pictures because the hour and a half went so fast! I had a schedule for the grandparents to pick up as they came in and the kids showed their grandparents around our classroom! We sang another song and then I had my students broken up into two groups. One group read aloud "Just Grandma and Me" by Mercer Mayer and the other group read "Just Grandpa and Me". After they finished I had a Grandparent's Day word search they did. This was a HUGE hit! I had a room full of 18 students and 18 grandparents and it was nearly silent! 

We have recess in the morning so the grandparents headed outside for recess! When they came back in the kids shared some work they did with their grandparent and also gave them a bookmark they made that I laminated. They turned out so cute and of course I didn't get a picture of it! After that they did an interview with their grandparents. This was also a HUGE hit! At the end of the day I asked the kids what their favorite part was. Most of them couldn't pick and said everything! But the majority loved doing the interview. I don't have it saved on my computer but will upload it to TPT tomorrow so you can take a look! 

This afternoon the Environmental Group at my school had a trash pick up that our whole school did. It was a lot of fun and sadly the kids found so much and some interesting trash around our school! 

Yes, we are STILL wearing winter coats! We head back in and did some fun Earth Day activities, which I didn't get any pictures of either. I am still getting used to remembering to take pictures! We used Heal the Planet from Halle at  Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

And You've Got the Whole World in your Hands unit (which makes me want to sing!)from Lyndsey at A Year of Many Firsts. Both have great resources to use for Earth Day!
That's all I have for tonight! I have Dancing with the Stars and some chicken and mashed potatoes waiting for me! Do you do Grandparent's Day or VIP Day at your school? I'd be interested to hear how other school run something similar!