Monday, February 18, 2013

You can have my heart {clipart} for free :)

So you know that feeling that teachers get on Sunday night as they are finishing up all their materials for the coming week, newsletters, interim reports, laundry, etc. ? Well since we didn't have school today, I have that feeling tonight. Oi vey. That is also why I have taken a break from it all, turned on the Bachelor and am writing this blog post :)

So let me start with a confession: This year has been tough for me. Tough like stay at work for hours and never feel like you're getting ahead tough. Tough like I drove to Wawa to get two apple fritters the size of my head because I didn't think I could look at one more piece of paper or lesson plan covering my family room floor :)

I know everyone goes through different things, but compared to other years, other experiences, other situations in my life, it's been {really} tough. It's easy to get caught up in what seems "tough" in your life when it's right there in front of your face. I won't get into the specific details, because that's not where I'm trying to go with this post...don't worry! However, there have been three big events throughout this year that keep putting my "tough" year in perspective.

One of these events happened just this weekend and it's a little {BIG} thing called THON :)

I went to Penn State for my undergrad and grad school and participated in THON. THON is a 46-hr dance marathon to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Dancers stand for 46-hrs straight. However, it is a HUGE year round fundraiser that takes thousands of committee members, fraternities, sororities, and organizations to pull off. I was never a dancer, but was on committees and spent the last four hours on the floor with the dancers two years in a row. It was amazing!

Here are some pictures from my THON days:

The last year I was in THON we raised $7.49 million dollars!!!

This year THON raised:

Yes, that is $12.37 million dollars! I watched the last hours of THON on the little screen of my iphone because my computer internet was so slow, but it was still amazing. Throughout THON weekend, THON families (children who have cancer, have had cancer, or families who have lost children to cancer) share their stories, remember, celebrate life and dance for a cure right along with Penn State students.

So my little "keep things in perspective" reminder was actually something pretty big. I'm sure many of you are having difficult years. In fact, I know many of you are having difficult school years. I see it in the faces of my co-workers, hear about it from my teacher blog friends.  Testing is starting, you might feel like you can't reach that student who has been struggling all year with no progress. There are 15693847 curriculum demands but no one can tell you how to fit it in during the hours of the school day :)

So, as we all go back to work tomorrow to whatever "tough" situations we will have to face, we can at least do it clipart :)

Snatch up some extra love for your {hopefully} four-day work week with these {FREE} little hearts!
You can have my heart (clipart) for {FREE} if you click HERE :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dollar Store Treasures- You have my heart...

You know those stores that you shop at so much that they start to know you by name, profession, coffee order etc? Well I have a few of those. The first being Dunkin Donuts. Although my heart will always belong to Starbucks because they were there for me during college when I was writing my thesis, Dunkin Donuts is filling that void because there isn't a regular Starbucks here in Dover, DE. Whomp- Whomp.

Every morning I get large black coffee and an egg white flatbread sandwich....every. morning. It started out just as a quick breakfast when I was running late, but now it is every. morning. It's ridiculous. They now know me by name, know I'm a teacher, know the license plate of my car (which is kind of strange and led to a conversation at the drive through window), they know I'm running late if I get to DD any later than 6:20am, and they definitely know my order. They also know that my order will change to iced coffee once it warms up outside.  This weekend I am going to try and make an "at home" version of the flatbread because this routine is getting expensive! You wonder why I crank out so many clipart sets to sell! 

The other store where they know me by name is....the Dollar Store. There is a Dollar Store right around the corner from me and it's deadly to my wallet. I'm sure many teachers can relate. However, when I see all the dollar treasures that I find, I forget about that :)

I made a trip to the Dollar Store a couple weeks ago and hit a jackpot (in my mind) and just never got around to taking pictures to share. So here they are! Prepare to get excited :)

These little sparkle clusters were in the gift wrapping section but the lime green and blue are PERFECT for my room! They are flat on the bottom so I am going to staple them to the corners of a bulletin board because I think they are ADORABLE! Nothing like a little lime green and blue sparkle in life :)

They come in packs of two for a dollar :)

My next exciting find was some bins. Hello, my name is Krista, and I have a bin problem. I really do. But let's be honest, teachers need bins! It's the only thing that will keep everything I buy at the Dollar Store organized! Although I have cut back on the amount of bins I buy (the reason being that I have most of everything I own already in a bin), I found these green bins and had to pick them up!

They are a great size because they are very wide and deep. They would make great turn-in bins because they don't scrunch the sides of papers, they are wide enough for notebooks and plenty of room to have a whole stack of them in there. Also, they are going to be great for putting out center materials because I can fit a manilla envelop in there and then any extra playing pieces of manipulatives that go along with the activity. Have I justified buying these yet? :) They are sturdy too- some Dollar Bins are pretty thin and can crack- not these babies!

I have saved the best for last....and if you have already discovered these and I am just late to the game, please don't crush my excitement :) I found the most precious little finger trackers for beginning readers....

Is that not the cutest thing you've ever seen? I just about died when I saw them (it was icing on the cake that they were green and blue which matched my classroom haha) My finger is huge compared to a kindergartener or first graders, so I could only get it on the tip of my finger. How perfect to have them finger track while they read and make the eyeballs "LOOK" at the words! Even though I know my third graders won't be using these, the first grade teacher inside me from last year couldn't pass them up, so I bought enough for a reading group of firsties....

They come in a bag like this:

There are SOOO many ways I could use these suckers! I love that they are called "finger spies" because then I could do a quick phonics game in small groups, too. To review vowels sounds or word chunks I could say, "I spy a word on this page that has a short "e" sound" and the kiddos would have to use their little finger spies to find and point to a word. They could also do this in partner pairs. I was also thinking they would be great for story retells, mini theaters, mini lessons on dialogue between characters....have I justified this purchase? haha 

I have many more things to blog about but I'll try and divide it up into posts so this isn't a marathon post like I sometimes do. I'll leave you with a few ink drawings of the clipart I'll be working on this weekend....I am finishing up a Police Squad Kids set and "hopping" right on to my easter/spring sets. I just can't get enough of this little bunny critter!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Lovely" Classroom Pictures and a Freebie :)

Happy Valentine's Day! I. am. exhausted. 22 third graders. 3 cupcakes landing face-down on the floor. 100's of candy hearts, brownies and cookies consumed (by the kiddos, not me.....okay a few by me). My goodness, Valentine's Day was a doozy- but great!

I haven't been good about posting pictures of my classroom decorations, but I thought I would squeeze in a few pictures of my vday decorations before I switch up the decor for Dr. Seuss next week. February and March require a lot of decoration changes! Valentines to Dr. Seuss, and then St. Patrick and spring!

Here is a peek at the pink and red that's been up in my room for a couple weeks :)

Mr. Monkey dressed all classy for Valentine's Day!

I added some "love monkeys" to my reading jungle.

Curtains made by Momma Wallden :)

Just a few red and pink decorations to jazz up my "Imagine" sign :)

Tomorrow after school, I'm making the switch to Dr. Seuss decorations, so more pictures to come :).

On another note....I couldn't find the comment, but someone had commented about the labels on my weekly planning organization drawers from one of my early blog posts. The labels she commented on are shown here:

 I know blue and lime green are popular colors for classrooms, and the comment was asking me to post these labels to my TpT store for sale, but I am just going to offer them up {HERE} through google docs. I just attached the labels to the plastic draws with velcro dots, so if I decided to change my colors or label, that would be easy to remove and swap out. I was a HUGE fan of velcro this year when I was organizing haha

So if you are a blue and lime green fan, snatch up the labels from the link above! Tomorrow's Friday and then a long weekend- that means sleep, relaxing, interim reports and new clipart sets! Ahh can't wait :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine Clipart Sale! $2.00 and $1.00 sets!

Hi all! Just a last minute post. I decided to mark ALL my Valentine clipart sets down to $2.00 or $1.00 until Tuesday for any last minute shoppers or if you wanted to stock up on them for next year. It won't come up as a "Sale" on TpT because I had to edit the actual prices of the listings to get them down that much.

Included in the Valentine Sale are these sets! I am going to be honest, I was too lazy to link all those images, so click {HERE} to zip over to my shop and check them all out :) haha 

Just wanted to give you a heads up! 

Egg Hunt Winners!

Thanks for playing along with my Egg Hunt Challenge! There are 44 eggs in the preview image so the first three people who guessed correctly were Meagan, Jen, and Donna from Kinderglynn :) I emailed the set out to you ladies this morning.

Thanks for playing and I have a BUNCH of new clipart sets posted in my store and in the works, so I am planning another clipart challenge for a big "Clipart Release Party" coming up! Stay tuned and have a great weekend!

I'll leave you with a little collage of my Spring Pastel "line" of coordinating colors.  Haha is it possible to try and make clipart sound classy?  :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Easter Egg Clipart Freebie Challenge!!

Happy Saturday!! You know Saturday's usually mean new clipart because I can finally work on different sets since I don't have any time during the work week. I started off my Saturday with a mozzarella omelet and some Lindt chocolates.....then I finished up my newest set called Easter Eggs Galore! I know, it might be a little early for easter, but it was just what came about when I started doodling. There are OVER 50 DIFFERENT EGGS! :) That's a lotta easter eggs.
There were so many easter eggs in this set that I couldn't even fit them all on the preview! The first three people who post and tell me how many correct easter eggs are in this preview will get the set for free! Don't forget to leave your email. This might sound like an easy challenge, but I tried counting them on the screen and my eyes kept getting mixed up :) Good luck!

If you don't make it as one of the first three, you can snatch up the set from my TpT store {HERE}.

PS. I am working on some adorable police officer clipart for one of my favorite TpT sellers Rachelle Smith from What the Teacher Wants so stay tuned for that! She has the cutest idea for a product with the clipart and I know you are going to love it!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Free Little Leprechaun Clipart!

Oh did I have a case of the Mondays this morning....and today....and this evening. Actually I am golden once the kiddos come bounding into my room in the morning, but the time before and the reality of the work I have ahead in the evening bogs me down. Oi vey.

So what do I do when I can't focus on the load of work and need a bit of a lift? Well, it's a two step process....

Step 1: I have a solo dance party around my apartment. This time it also involved me trampling all over the clothes (dirty and clean) that are all over my floor right now. Tonight's soundtrack of choice was "What a Feeling" by Peter Luts and Dominico (yes the techno song- I don't mess around with solo dance parties)

Step 2: I draw clipart! In this case, a little friendly leprechaun. Actually, to be honest, I also continued to rock out to "What a Feeling" while I worked on this little fellow, so my lines may not be as straight as usual :)
Anyway, if anyone else is having a case of the Mondays, I suggest downloading that song for 99 cents from iTunes. BUT if you want a free pick me up, you can snatch up this little leprechaun friend for free from google docs if you click on him :)

I'm off to finish that work that I pushed aside until I could tolerate it :) Happy almost Tuesday right? :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Last minute items added for SALE!

Hi everyone! I really quick wanted to post and let you know that I put up some new items just in time for the sale- but I don't think the notification emails will get out to my followers in time.

I have always wanted some more substantial frames for the covers of my products and resources than just doodle borders, so I have created my new line of "Fancy Frames"! They are more of a clipart image, rather than a border and they have really high resolution, so they can be enlarged to the size of a whole paper and not get grainy. **Note** If there is a certain color scheme of these Fancy Frames that you need specifically to match a product or resource, let me know and I can alter the colors for you!

I also needed some detective clipart for some lessons I was doing this week, so I whipped up a Detective Mini Pack with some detective essentials :) The magnifying glasses come with white centers and transparent centers. Click on any of the images to check them out at my TpT store!

Just wanted to give you a heads up so if these are something you could use, you didn't miss out on the extra savings today! Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fact and Opinion, Freebies, Borders and a SALE!

Two blog posts in one month? Are you shocked!? :) I seriously am trying to give my blog a little more TLC because it has been the first thing to go in the craziness of this year. So cheers to two posts so far!

Happy February! Can you believe it? I am {thankfully} shocked that it is already February. I was ready to pack up my winter decorations and cover my room with pink and red! If you have seen my pictures of my classroom, there is a lot going on in there, and holidays add even more decorations. I always wondered if my kiddos were going to suffer from a little stimuli overload, but they LOVE IT! Two weeks into January, I had students asking when I was going to change the decorations! I told them we had only had winter decorations up since Christmas (two weeks at that point) and had to wait haha They will be happy to walk into the room on Monday and see hearts :) I will post pictures tomorrow because you know Valentine's Day means new curtains and a new monkey costume too! If you have missed my monkey costumes, here are a few of his wardrobe changes so far:

This is how he started out the school year.....Classy with the zebra and blue theme of my classroom :)

 Then he became a pumpkin for October and a turkey for November!

I forgot to take a picture of him as an elf in my classroom, which was my favorite costume so far! But here he is sitting at my parents' house when he got "sized" for his costume :) That hat fills an entire garbage bag and another bag for just the shoes! This was no small elf!

I am kicking myself for not snapping a picture of him as a snowman! He had a full white snowball suit, top hat, boots, scarf and mittens. I will post a picture of his Valentine's day ensemble with my classroom decoration pictures. I do NOT take credit for these adorable costumes. My mom makes them all! She creates the jumbo patterns for all of them and makes them out of felt. I have one talented mama! :) And I know she reads my blogs (so even if no one else does, I always have an audience! ha!) so thanks Mom :)

So! Lots of things to share about today. One day I am going to be one of those bloggers that have very focused blog posts and they have themes for each day to talk about.....someday....won't be today, so here we go :)

This week has been crazy busy in Rm 133. We have been learning about Fact & Opinion in reading and the kiddos love it! They have really been *getting* the difference this week. Although they have had some fact and opinion in lower grades, we started with a fun activation activity with Goldfish Facts & Opinions. I love to teach with food....I know I can't feed my students all the time, but my gosh it helps them learn! ha! So goldfish it was....

I gave the kiddos cards with facts and opinions about goldfish crackers. Each partner pair got a set and then each table got a bag of goldfish crackers so they could use the bag to "verify" and "prove" (some of our fact signal words) which ones were true. Students had to read the nutrition facts, small print, etc. They spent a lot of time searching that package, so they certainly know a lot about these orange snacks by now!

I have made SO many materials for Fact and Opinion, I am finally going to bundle them into a pack for my TpT store. I have been so obsessed with creating clipart this year that I haven't posted a new lesson pack to my store since September! My gosh! Anyway, this will be included in the pack, along with anchor charts, matching games, foldables, recording sheets, graphic organizers, games, and more! Like I said, I've been creating! I'll keep you posted on when it's done :)

Do you like the borders on the sorting mats? They are part of my newest border pack: Border MEGA Pack 2! I have been wanting some new borders because although I probably have hundreds, I needed a change in my "go-to" borders. I have been creating a few different packs of borders in the last few weeks. I posted my newest one yesterday and I think it's my favorite!! Not kidding!

I really tried to make some different borders than what I have seen out there. I could only fit a few of them in the preview image above. Some of them are simple and others are more elaborate, so can you spice up the simplest resource with just a single border. A lot of them would work great as frames too because they have that "look" to them. If you want to check them out, you can click on the picture above, or you can click {HERE}.

Here are some closer up thumbnails of six of the frames. There are 34 frames in this pack for just $4.00!

But, in the spirit of Saturday and for all my border lovers out there, here are two of them for {FREE}  so you can check out the style and variety :) Just click {HERE} to download them in png formats :)

Click {Here} and {Here} for the downloads....I didn't know how to combine them :)

If you haven't checked out my other border sets
I have some others. Border Mega Pack 1 and Borderz Bundle

If you have made it this far through the post.....thank you! Now I know why bloggers try to make their posts more focused! This has been a marathon for an out of shape blogger.

On a last note.....I'm having a sale at my TpT shop on Sunday and Monday (Feb. 3-4th)! Everything will be 20% off and then TpT is giving everyone a coupon code for an additional 10% off. That combines to an overall 28% off (because the 10% coupon comes off of the already discounted price).

Stock up on all your TpT favorites while the gettin's good! Don't forget to use the code SUPER when you check out to get the additional 10% off!

Here are some of my newest products if you have been eyeing them :) Click on the previews if you want a closer look!

Okay that's all! I promise more focused, shorter posts in the future. Phew.

Have a great Saturday!!