July Currently....What?!?!

I almost had a panic attack when I saw July Currently.....this means that June is almost over.  I can't believe that on Monday it will officially be July.  The summer seems to be flying by!  Farley decided to post this month's currently a few days early I am so thankful because next week is going to be a busy one for me!

Without further ado.....here is my July Currently.

Listening:  I love summer for many, many reasons, but I definitely love the fact that it is so much easier to keep on housework like laundry during the summer.  That may be because I am not working or it may be because we end up spending so much time in our swim suits.  Either way....I love it!

Loving:  We have been having some beautiful summer weather here.  Perfect for playing outside with the kids.  I love having so much time with my kiddos during the summer.  It doesn't matter what we do we have fun and I love just being with them!

Thinking:  Vacation is only a few days away....much needed family time!  We will be spending our vacation relaxing, swimming, boating, and jet skiing.  Sounds like the perfect vacation to me!

Wanting:  Vacation to be here already!  :)

Needing:  I made a "to do list" for the summer.  Actually, I made 3....one for home projects, one for school projects, and one for TpT.  I had some new units/packs I wanted to work on.  I haven't gotten as much done as I wanted to on any of the lists.  My hubby said "Don't worry about it....it's summer and before you know it, it will be over.  You want to enjoy it"  Doesn't he sound perfect?  I decided not to worry so much about all the "to do's" on the list and instead just decided to enjoy my summer with my family and if things get done, they get done, but I am not going to worry about it!  {Yep, for those of you who know me well.....I did say I, Amanda Pauley, was not going to WORRY!!}

Tips, Tricks, or Hints:  I started blogging because it interested me and I loved reading other blogs.  I started making TpT products because I was making things for my classroom so I decided why not put them out there and see if anyone else would want them.  I only do these things because I love it!  Once it starts feeling like a job, I know I won't do it.  My advice is to do what you love and love what you do.  That's how I feel about teaching, blogging, and creating products.

I hope you will link up with Farley as well.  I love reading everyone's currently.  Also, be on the lookout for my 300 follower giveaway {probably next week}.  I have reached over 300 followers on bloglovin' and I want to celebrate!!

Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the two winners of my Bloglovin' giveaway.

Backgrounds & Fonts by Emily Wean, Jen Jones, and a cupcake for the teacher

Check your email ladies!  :)

Thank you to all my followers.  You are the best!

Cooperative Learning Linky

I am hosting a linky party today for Gwen while she is in professional development.  She and I both LOVE cooperative learning in our classrooms.

Today I am going to share with you two cooperative learning ideas/activities.  One is probably one that you are already familiar with....it is called "Find Someone Who".  This would be considered a classbuilding activity.  I love using this for "fun" getting to know you activities, but I also like to use it for review and learning.

Each student has a paper and pencil.  They find a partner and ask them something from their sheet.  I am providing a freebie where the students would ask "Do you know one of these letters?".  If the student knows a letter, they will write their name or initials in the box with that letter.  Then roles will switch.  Once both students have marked their initials on the OTHER person's paper then they take their own paper and find a new partner.

Did that make sense??  I feel like you have to see it in action sometimes to understand so I am going to provide a mock conversation so you can see how it would work.

Amanda: Gwen, do you know a letter on the page?
Gwen:  Yes, I know the letter S.  (Gwen then marks her initials on Amanda's paper in the box with S)
Gwen:  Amanda, do you know a letter on the page?
Amanda:  Yes, I know the letter M.  (Amanda then marks her initials on Gwen's paper in the box with M)
Amanda:  Thank you!
Gwen:  Thank you!
(Each student takes their paper on finds a new partner)

That made a little more sense now right???  Good, I was hoping so!  If you are interested in a letter and sight word version of find someone who, click here to grab a copy or click on the image below.

The next activity I would like to tell you about is awesome!!  It is called "Dot the Wall".  Ok, don't panic.....students are not actually going to dot your wall.  We all know I custodians would blacklist in an instant if we let that happen.  ;)

You make this game for whatever you are learning about.  All you do is hang papers up around the room and then students will come along and "dot" them.  Example:  In the beginning of the year, I put papers up with different letters we have been working on.  I might put a paper with an uppercase A, another one with lowercase a, another one with uppercase B......you get the idea.  I let the students each choose a marker or crayon (because writing is more fun if you don't use pencils) and then go to each paper in whichever order they want.  When they get to the paper, all they do is copy the letter.  It is handwriting practice without the students knowing they are practicing....hehehe!  Sometimes if we have a couple extra minutes I do this "game" because it takes very little prep.  Just some blank paper and tape.  I show the students where each page is and tell them what is on each page as well.

You can use this activity with many different things.  Here are some ideas I have done:

  • letters
  • name practice
  • color words
  • sight words
  • number practice
Do you use cooperative learning in your classroom?  I would love to hear how you are using it or some activities you have done.  Grab our button, link up below and tell us all about it!!  :)

Feeling the LOVE on Bloglovin'

Hi friends....I hope you are all enjoying your summer.  I know I am.  It is great to spend some much time with my kids and not feel like I have a million things to do for school.  {I do feel like I have a million things, but I feel like they can wait....for now :)}

As you know {because everyone keeps telling you....including me}, google reader only has a week left before it will be no more.  I have claimed my blog on bloglovin' and you can easily follow me by clicking the image on the right --------------------->

Today I am linking up with Tori's Teacher Tips to not only share my blog on bloglovin' but to also find some new blogs to follow.  I LOVE reading the blogs and finding new blogs to follow.

What are you waiting for???  Go to bloglovin' and sign up.  You can easily just import all the blogs you already follow when signing up.  If you have a smartphone, you can download the bloglovin' app.  I have it on my iphone and I love it.

I am excited about this new change and even more excited that so many people have already started following me on bloglovin'.  Through GFC I have 319 followers and I already have over 200 through bloglovin'.

I am also linking up with the Collaboration Cuties for a giveaway.  I have decided to have a little giveaway for my fabulous bloglovin' followers.  Just follow me on bloglovin' (if you haven't already) and leave me a comment below with your email address.  I will choose two winners to win two products from TpT store.  {Once I reach 300 bloglovin' followers, I will have another giveaway so help a sista out ;)}  I will choose winners on Friday morning.  Good luck!!

Here are a couple other giveaways you should enter as well.  :)


Five for Friday

Another Friday and another Five for Friday :)

#1 We went on a road trip to hike at Starved Rock park.

#2 A two year project is finally complete at my school.  We have been fundraising for two years to get an addition for our playground.  This is all the equipment we had before:

Now we have that playground plus this beauty:

We have five new slides!!!  I am so excited!

#3 We spent a lot of time outside.  Here is my little princess "tanning".  {Don't worry she has LOTS of sunblock on!}

#4  Remember those jalapeƱos from last week?  Well they were ready to pick.  The first thing from my garden.  :)

#5  If you follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store, you may have noticed I have put some new brightly colored products for classrooms in my store.  I am gearing up for next year by making some new products that I will be using in my own classroom.  I thought some of you might be on the brightly colored trend so I am uploading all that I am making to TpT.  I plan on using bright colors with a mix of polka dots and chevron.  I am loving it so far.  Too bad I can't get into my classroom right now to start updating my bulletin boards.  {They are waxing my floors right now.}

Click on any of the images to check out that product.  I will be uploading some more things as I finish them.  Follow my store so you can see the products as soon as they are uploaded!

My dear friend Elizabeth is celebrating her birthday today.  Stop by and tell her happy birthday.  While you are there, you should enter her fabulous giveaway!

I am sure you know that google reader will be no more as of July 1st.  Click on the button on the right to follow me on bloglovin' friends! :)

Have a great weekend!



Good things have been happening for my family and I want to celebrate with you all!  One of my products was featured in the TpT newsletter this week and my son tried out for the soccer travel team and made the team!  :)

I decided to throw a little sale in my TpT store to celebrate.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday all the items in my TpT store will be 20% off.

Monday Made It!

I am linking up for my first Monday Made It of the summer!  :)  I have pretty busy so far this summer that I haven't had a ton of time for creating.  I am so glad I was able to finally get my craft on.

Made It #1

I am helping coach my daughter's softball team this year and the weather is starting to get hot.  The girls all try to roll up their sleeves at the games, but they never stay and then they end up playing with their sleeves.  I decided to make shirt sleeve holders for all the girls.  It was super easy and inexpensive.

Here are the supplies I needed:

  • 1 1/2 inch ribbon of your choice  {You can also use fabric, but it would require cutting it into strips}
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • Velcro "Fabric Fusion" {The kind you iron on}
  • Iron & Ironing Board

Here is a close up of the velcro I used:

First I measured out and cut all the ribbon into 6 inch pieces.  I also measured and cut the velcro pieces into 1 1/2 inch pieces.  After you cut the ribbon, I use the lighter on the ends so it won't fray later.  BE CAREFUL using the lighter.  Just run it across the ends of the ribbon a couple times being sure that it doesn't catch fire!

Then I attached one side of the velcro to the printed side of the ribbon.

The other side of the velcro gets attached to the non-printed side of the ribbon.

Then just iron the pieces for about a minute to a minute and a half.  {You iron on the opposite of the fabric or ribbon than the velcro is......for example, for the piece of velcro on the printed side of the ribbon, I put the iron on the non-printed side of the ribbon.  Full directions on this are in the velcro packet if I am confusing}

Here is the end result:

The girls loved them and they looked so cute!  :)

Made It #2

I was shocked yesterday when I checked my email while half asleep on my iphone.  {This is my morning ritual before I get out of bed}  I was scrolling through the TpT newsletter when I saw this:

Yep, that Classroom Rules Signs product is MINE!!!  I am beyond thrilled that a product of mine was featured in the newsletter.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that would happen.

As I was thinking about the rules posters I had created {Click here to get those}, I thought I can make those even better.  I was getting all kinds of wonderful feedback though about how people like the simplicity of the original signs so I decided to just make a new set with the same rules.  {Click on the images to get your FREE copy of the rules.}

In this set I changed a couple of the pictures and I added the colored borders because at my school each rule relates to a specific color.  We all use the same rules and colors in our entire school for consistency.

Did you make something?  I would love for you to also link up with Tara and tell all about it.  I love seeing all the wonderful ideas on her linky!!

Five for Friday!

It's Friday!!!!  I had a very busy week.  I thought it would be fun to channel my inner Michelle Griffo and do my Five for Friday #hashtagstyle :)

#getting a green thumb





Link up with Doodle Bugs for your Five for Friday!


Reader Bundle Sets

Oh my goodness friends...I have been working on quite the project for a couple of weeks now.  I have bundled my emergent readers by season.  In the process, I also created a lot of new readers that for the time being will only be available in through the purchase of a bundle.  Here is what I came up with:  {You can click on any of the images to get a better look at the products}

This set contains 5 different emergent readers with simple text for back to school.  

This set contains 12 different fall themed emergent readers.

This set contains 12 different winter themed emergent readers.

This set contains 12 different spring themed emergent readers.

This set contains 5 summer themed emergent readers including an end of year memory book.

Then I also decided to bundle all my bundles together and you can purchase all of my readers in one large bundle.

This has been a labor of love for sure.  I LOVE using readers with my class and try to do a couple a week if possible.  The students later use these during literacy centers when they have to read to self or someone.  It's great because I know these books are familiar and easy to read.  They also get to read these books when they finish work early.

Leave a comment below with your email address and I will give away one of the season bundles to a lucky follower.
Hurry because I will be choosing someone tomorrow night!
Giveaway is over......Congrats goes to #13 Kindergarten Squared!


Five for Friday

It is Friday.....which means Five for Friday.

Here are five random things about my week.

1.  Watching my son play soccer...his favorite position is goalie!

2.  What do we do on a day with crummy weather?  Why we read Pete the Cat stories and then the kids act  them out.  {This is why they have shoes on their hands because Pete has four shoes.}

3.  Eating healthy....my favorite breakfast.

4.  I have been doing the 30 day ab challenge as well as the 30 day squat challenge to get my booty in shape.  I have also been working on the C25K.  I am on week 6 of that.

5.  I found this and thought it was hilarious.

How was your week?  Link up and tell us all about it!

Cooperative Learning and a Freebie

Gwen from Learning with Mrs. Brinn is hosting a linky party all about one of my favorite topics......cooperative learning.  If you follow my blog, you have probably already heard me say that I have been to many Kagan Cooperative Learning trainings during my years at my district.  I have even been trained to be our school's Kagan Coach.....a job which I am proud that they chose me for.  :)

I use cooperative learning for many things in my classroom.  I like to use it in the mornings after our chit chat message so the students can share with someone else about what they know about our topic.  I use it when learning about shapes & colors.....the students have to make a verbal list of items that are that color or shape.  I use it for brainstorming.  I use it for sharing ideas or work.  The list is endless.  Today I am going to share about a way to use it for just plain FUN!  Did I say that??  Yep, I sure did.

The use of cooperative learning in the classroom promotes a feeling of community.  We all have to work together.  I LOVE this idea.  This is also why I like to do classbuilding and teambuilding exercises throughout the week.  My students sit at tables and that is their "team".  I place my students at their seats based on behavior and ability.  I have mixed abilities at every table.  The first thing I always do once my students have a new "team" is to do a teambuilding activity.  It helps them unite together and work together.

Teambuilding activities are not to have academic content.  It is basically so the students can get to know one another.  One of the easiest activities to do is called a Round Robin.  The teacher appoints someone to be first {in my room I have the numbers 1-4 in each corner so that the students know if they are closest to the number 1 they are number 1}.  I don't always have number 1 go first; I like to mix it up!  Each student will take a turn sharing about the topic the teacher has given.

Here are some topics you could use:

  • your favorite game to play and why it's your favorite
  • tell three things about yourself
  • what do you like most about school
  • what do you want to be when you grow up & why
You get the point.  :)  I am sure you can come up with many other ideas.

Once I announce the topic, I give the students time to think about what they want to say and then I start them off on their sharing.  As they are sharing, I walk around the room, monitor, and listen to the conversations.

Once the students are finished, we do a team cheer to celebrate.  I think this may be the students favorite part!

I promised you a freebie too.  I am working on changing up my classroom theme/decor so I made new numbers to hang in my corners.  I am offering them to you if you would like to use them as well.  Just click on the image below to grab them.

Don't forget to link up with Mrs. Brinn to share some cooperative learning ideas too!