Splish Splash It's a Summer Time Blog Bash!

I'm celebrating the start of summer by joining up with more than 40 other bloggers for the 

We are each offering freebies exclusive to this hop in addition to fantastic giveaways!

In the summer I look forward to...

staying up late at night and being able to sleep in the next morning.  I love working in my yard, which is a good thing since we are now starting from scratch!  We have already gotten started on the yard work trying to prepare for Jake's open house in June.  Here are a couple peeks at what we have done so far...

Here's the before of the huge flower bed we started on last weekend and finished up Wednesday night after the 18th bag of mulch!

The plants look so little, I know, but in a few years they will look fantastic!

My favorite summer activity is...

hunting for antiques at antique shows and shops.  This summer I will be on the look out for a bench or narrow table to put by the back door.

My favorite summer place is...

Petoskey, Michigan.  We have a little cottage right across the way from my mom and dad's, and we have been enjoying taking the kids "up north" for more years than I can count.  Little Traverse Bay is so beautiful and the beach at Petoskey State Park is one of my favorite places to truly relax and read a book.

My must-have summer item is...

a good book!  I read all year long, but in the summer I really enjoy the extra time to read for fun. Here are some of the best books that I have read in recent months that you might want to add to your summer reading list...

Please let me know if you have a great book I should add to my summer reading list!

Since the school year is winding down or over (for you lucky ducks out there), my freebie is something you can put to use when you get ready to go back to school once summer is over.  (I know...you don't want to think about that yet!)  

My Desk Nameplates and Banner Bundle will surely brighten up your classroom in the fall!  Print out the PDF version to hand write your students' names or use the editable PowerPoint version to type them.  Just make sure you grab it quick at my TPT Store!  It's only free during this blog hop which runs from May 25-29.  As always, feedback is greatly appreciated!

Be sure to enter my giveaway below where one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card and will get to choose $20 in products from my TPT Store!  

Gettin' Ready to Hop!

Hope everyone is enjoying warmer weather as the school year winds down!  I have exactly 14 and a half days left!  I wanted to let you know that I have joined up with more than 40 other bloggers to celebrate the start of summer with Splish-Splash It's a Summertime Blog Bash!

During this huge blog hop you can round up all kinds of exclusive freebies and enter to win fabulous prizes!  The fun starts on May 25, Memorial Day, at 9 a.m.  Be sure to start hoppin' here at Forever in Fifth Grade!

Five for Four Fridays Left!

Just taking a quick minute to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday!

My week started out a little rough.  Bonny left on Mother's Day for China.  I'm not a fan of flying, and it wasn't enjoyable spending Mother's Day knowing she was flying over the Arctic and Pacific Oceans.  But she made it safely and is having an amazing time!

So excited to finally see a little green showing up in our yard.  Fingers crossed that we will have a lawn by June 20th for Jake's open house.  Timm also found time in between rainy days to get our first bushes planted around the porch.

It's hard to believe I have two kids graduating, one from college and the other from high school!  It started to sink in when Jake had National Honor Society Farewell this week. 

We are all feeling a bit burned out at school but trying to push through and get our last units finished up in the next few weeks.  We did take the time to enjoy the sunny weather on Thursday afternoon. These guys will be heading for the middle school soon where there is no more recess.  :(

My new favorite thing is Instagram!  I love that I can see all kinds of pics from my friends' kids to classrooms to adorable dogs!  I'm also having fun editing my pictures with the app A Beautiful Mess.  Here's a pic I posted to my Instagram today.

I'd love for you to stop by and check out my Instagram pictures!

Have a great weekend and take some time to check out all the Five for Friday fun at Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Teacher Appreciation Week

It's Day 2 of Teacher Appreciation Week and time to do some shopping!  My post yesterday was part of a linky with some great teaching secrets for your classroom.  If you want to check it out, click HERE.  In addition, you don't want to miss out on two great giveaway packages that are being given out this week.  Each package is worth more than $475!  Be sure to enter both of them below!

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #2 Here

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here

Today, we are offering a collection of high quality classroom resources at a huge discount.  Below is a list of Best Selling Resources that have been discounted by 20%.  You can receive an additional 10% off at checkout by using the code THANKYOU.  

I have linked up my top seller, "Wonder" Common Core Unit Student Packet.  

It is my favorite read aloud of all time, still can't do it without crying!  It really will make an impact on your students.  

We have also put together a collection of $1.00 Deals to help stock up your classroom for the rest of the year and next year.  Don't forget to use the code THANKYOU at checkout for maximum savings!

I added my new Melonheadz version of my Mother's Day Student Booklet.  I love how cute it turned out!

I also added the lesson I just happened to do with my class yesterday...Rose Blanche:  Making Inferences with Historical Fiction.  I love how both the text and illustrations in this book lend themselves to an in depth discussion where students are naturally making inferences.

So, check out all the Best Sellers and $1 Deals below!

What Works Teacher Appreciation Linky and Giveaway

It's Teacher Appreciation Week, and I'm so excited to be joining Inspired Owl's Corner and Pawsitively Teaching along with a ton of other fabulous teacher bloggers for a huge linky and giveaway!  Each teacher in the linky will be sharing their tried and true teacher secrets that help to make their classrooms successful!  
Do you ever struggle with keeping your kids reading during IDR or reading workshop time?  Do they always want to book shop instead of read?  I found a great way to eliminate this problem!  I have two book racks in my library where each student has at least one spot that is just for him/her.  The students are expected to keep at least two books that they want to read on this rack at all times.  That way if they finish a book during reading workshop, they can just go to their book rack and grab one of those books quickly.  We designate some of reading workshop time on Friday as book browsing time so every Monday their book rack should be full for the week!

I am a bit of a neat freak...(I can hear my students saying, "A bit?!").  I don't understand how the classroom can look like a tornado blew through it thirty minutes after school starts.  Throughout the day I will use transitions to get the students to clean up.  For instance, I might say, "When I call your group for bathroom break, first find three things that need to be cleaned up or straightened."

At the end of the day we do Mystery Trash.  I walk around the room and find three things that need to be cleaned up or straightened.  It could be a pencil or piece of paper on the floor, a row of desks that is crooked, or maybe, heaven forbid, the kleenex box is not directly in the corner of the table.  The students watch as I go around and assess the classroom and write on my sticky note the three offending items that must be fixed so we can all sleep that night.  You must be sneaky, though!  You can't look at the pencil on the floor and then immediately write it down.  That's too easy.  Once I have found my items, I release the students to go and clean, clean, clean!  I try to discreetly watch so I see for myself who has taken care of each of my mystery clean up items.  Sometimes I miss one and just have to say, "Who straightened the book on this shelf right here?"  The lucky cleaners get a piece of gum and peace of mind!

Last but certainly not least, I have found that I have to have some kind of special behavior management system for the end of the year.  I have seen all kinds of great ideas on Pinterest...balloons with special rewards inside, chains counting down the number of days left...I'm sure there are a million and one ideas out there to choose from.  

My favorite thing to do at the end of the year is a monetary system.  The students earn money by doing the things they should be doing anyway, such as turning in homework, getting their planner signed, and making good choices.  They also have to pay for expenses such as rent, lunch, recess, and making poor choices.  Once students have had time to save up a little money, I like to offer fun things that students can pay for.  For example, you might take your students outside for an extra recess for $2.  That does mean that if students don't have the money, they can't participate.   On one of the last days of school, I hold a big auction where students can spend all the money that they have been saving.  Here's a look at last year's auction items.

My Classroom Economy Set is found in my TPT Store, and it is normally priced at $2.50.  To celebrate Teacher Appreciation week and all the hard work you do, I'm giving it away for free for a limited time!  Just head over to my TPT Store and download it for free while you can.  I would sure appreciate you taking the time to leave some feedback, and I'd love for you to follow my store!

Make sure you enter both of the giveaways below.  Each prize bundle is worth more than $475!  And check out all the other great teacher secrets in the linky!

Just take a look at everything you could win...One lucky reader will win this entire prize package!!!
Prize Bundle #1 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
We aren't finished yet....take a look at everything a second lucky winner will win!!!
Prize Bundle #2 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
Be sure to enter both rafflecopters for a better chance at winning one of these amazing prize bundles!

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #2 Here

You won't want to miss out on all the other great secrets being shared by successful teachers!  Be sure to check out all the other great posts below.