Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dollar Tree + Me = Happy! {I didn't plan to rhyme...}

After dropping the kiddos off at Music Camp today I decided to stop by one of my favorite stores for teaching things, Dollar Tree!  I LOVE DOLLAR TREE!  I love it so much that I {kind of} have to ban myself from going b/c I always seem to find some{many}thing that I want for my classroom. 
Check out my bounty of goodies!
 I think I will plan on creating some upcoming blog posts going one by one on how I will use each item in the classroom... kind of how I counted down to Valentine's Day with things I love.  Woo Hoo I am excited, BABY!
Do you have a Dollar Tree nearby?  If not, it might be a good thing.... although they DO have a website!  Check it out here ----->Dollar Tree

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Brighten Your Dad's {or Grandpa's} Day With This Sunflower Card Freebie!

As the kids and I were driving around during our first week of summer break {screaming, hooting and hollering inside!}, we drove by a wild patch of sunflowers ... or should I say FUNflowers!  We thought that it would be fun to cut some and put them in a vase for Andy or "Dada" as a nice little kick-off to Father's Day weekend.
  After going back home to get some scissors we were ready for our sun filled adventure.  It really wasn't THAT much of an adventure, but I like to find a little bit of excitement in even the smallest things we do. HA!  We found just the perfect ones that we wanted for our vase, and then noticed that they were teaming with those little leafhopper bug things!  GAG!  Luckily, if you just flick the stem the hop {hence their name, hee hee} to another stalk.  WHEW!
 Once home, I thought it would be fun to add a card telling him how we feel.  It seemed to pull it together nicely.  :)  I have added some for "Dad," "Dada" & "Daddy" depending on what your MAIN MAN is called in your home.  I have also created 2 for "Grandpa" or "Papa." 
I would be happy to add a name if you call your dad or grandpa something different.  Just note it in the comments or email me: SmartTartsLearning@gmail.com
 Hope your weekend is SUNNY too!

Get them here: TPT   or    TN

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 3 of Summer Vacation & I Still Have a Tear in my Eye!

Summertime is usually a time of jubilation, relaxation & JOY, but I have a confession.... I really miss my class!  This is the first year that I "looped" up with my entire class {plus a few new fabulous additions} from kindergarten to first grade.  We were ALL new to first grade, and I must say that I, we, really loved it! 

How cool it was to see kids that {in kinder} couldn't write their name correctly evolve into authentic writers and chapter book readers?!  How cool was it to start the first day of First Grade and they already new my personality {goofy as all get out!}, behavior expectations & teaching style?!  How cool it was to be able to refer back to memories {academic or not} from kindergarten like: "Remember when I tripped and almost sat on Matthew?!?!" {class laughing hysterically} or "What do you remember about seeds from kindergarten?"  "Wasn't it cool when the "Glitterbug" came and left us treats when we learned about recycling?" "Remember when we won the pumpkin contest?" What an ab*so*lut*ely FANTASTIC experience!
 But now ... now they're gone.  I wish I could explain the heartache & break on that last day of school.  Kids that never cry doubled over in shuddering sobs. Having to lead upset students to their bus or car and having to say "see ya later" because I didn't want to say "good-bye!"  How do you console an upset child when you are fighting back your own tears?  As I hugged and consoled them I had a realization.... They {and their families} were going from something so familiar and familial to an unknown for the first time since Pre-K. I know that they are going to rock it out in Second Grade because they are little Rock Stars.  :)
This next year I will be staying in First Grade {with plans to start looping again the next year}, and I know I will undoubtedly love my soon to be class - I always do - but, man, was this batch of "Tomme Tigers" special! 
 I am so thankful for that experience!