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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's Cooking Wednesday!

If you follow me on Facebook, you already know that I baked A LOT--wore myself out!!  137 cupcakes (not counting the ones that made their way to my belly in the process) later, I don't care if I see a cupcake until....okay, today.  My mind is on cupcakes.  It's always on cupcakes! :) 

But this time of year, I'm thinking of summer, picnics, pool treats, BBqs, cook-outs, roasts, etc.....whatever it is--I"m thinking of get togethers and food! :)    This weekend, with it being Memorial Day, we are camping.  I'm also celebrating my son's 7th birthday (We won't be out of state for his birthday in June.

When I have birthday parties for family....I found out that I like to "entertain."  I like making appetizers, and party foods.   Since we are camping, I'm limited to what I can make, but I'm still putting somethings together.  That brings us to What's Cooking Wednesday!!  Hopefully you will find a simple recipe for the upcoming holiday weekend.

 First up, I LOVE fresh fruits and dip.  I've had several dips, but this is my favorite fruit dip.  I made it YEARS ago when I was in 4-H.  (I won with it YAY!)  For those of you that follow me on FB, you've already seen this picture.  For those of you that haven't, ignore my fancy china!  :)

Fruit Dip
1 box of instant pudding mix (I like french vanilla or cheesecake)
1 (8 oz.) container of cool whip, thawed (frozen whipped topping)
1 c. sour cream
1 c. milk

Mix milk and pudding mix together.  Add sour cream.  Stir well.  Fold in whipped topping Store in refrigerator.  Serve with fresh fruit.  

*Fruits I like with this (They are all easy to dip) :  
Strawberries, apples, bananas, grapes, pears

Cucumber Sandwiches!!
These are a perfect treat.  I LOVE Them, but don't fix them often because I don't want it to get "old".  I can only handle so many of them, and get togethers are a perfect time!

1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese
1 pkg. Italian Dressing Mix
Cucumbers, thinly sliced
Bread--I like Rye, or sweet bread in from our grocery store 
(I like using something that is small to cut into slices so that I don't have a lot of bread taking over the taste.)
Dill Weed

Melt cream cheese just a bit to make it easy to stir. Stir in the dressing mix.  Spread onto the bread slices.  Top with a cucumber and sprinkle dill weed on top.

Ever heard of Gorp?
This was one of my favorite things as a kid when we'd go camping.  It's so simple-and cheaper than buying a trail mix. I took it camping with us Mother's Day Weekend, and it was a hit.  I was surprised that others hadn't heard it or made it before (but this was also the first time I made it for my family.)  I don't have a picture of it---BUT
I did a google search, and here's one similar. 

What I put in mine:
*Lucky Charms (it's what mom used to use when we were little--and I think it was my brother's favorite cereal way back when)
*Honey Dry Roasted Peanuts
*Reese Pieces
*M & Ms

Pour in the cereal first, then add the other ingredients.  That simple.  I actually had my kids do it last week before we left.  We didn't measure, we just poured in....of course you probably want more cereal than Reese Pieces (okay maybe not WANT more, but should have more!) :)

And what's a post without a sweet treat?

I didn't have a picture of this "cheeseball" so the source of the picture is HERE.

This is a peanut butter cheeseball.  I've made it for birthday parties before and LOVE it.
You need:
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese
1 to 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3/4 to 1 c. peanut butter
3 T.brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 c. peanut butter chips
1 to 1 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips

Mix the first 4 ingredients together.  Place the mixture into the center of a sheet of Saran Wrap.  Form into a ball shape, and twist the corners together as you wrap it.  Place it in the freezer for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Mix together your peanut butter chips and milk chocolate chips.  Unwrap the ball and roll it into the chips, and using your hands to help cover the peanut butter "cheeseball."  Serve with graham crackers, or apples.  
Both are good with it. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

End of the Year Tips for Teachers

As most of us are winding down our days, I thought I'd go through what I've found to be helpful for me at the end of the year.

1) When you inventory your textbooks (if you have them), keep a copy for yourself and put it a folder.  Label your folder End-of-The-Year or something simple even like, Inventory.  Keeping a copy of this for yourself will help you with your inventory the following year.  If you don't let kids take books out of the classroom, chances are your book inventory will remain the same. Also, when going through your books, sort them. Keep all like books together. 

2) Don't be an out of sight, out of mind person.  That was me a few years ago.  I was SOOOO Ready for summer.  As long as my counters were cleaned off, and nothing was in my student's desks, I didn't care WHERE I shoved things.....until I came back in to prep my room for Back to School. EGADS!  Take a few minutes to put things back at the end of the year.  Make your craft supply cabinet neat, your bookshelves neat, etc.  I even try to do this at the end of every day.  As my students pack up, I tidy up the room.  It helps me keep things organized.  Seeing how I never know when I need a sub (with a 11 year old and a 6 year old---they do get sick).  If I know where everything is at, I can easily tell my sub where to find things too.

3) If you haven't used it---toss it or give it away.  Do you realize that teachers can be quite the group of hoarders/pack rats?  It's hard knowing what to pitch and what to keep.  Trust me, I still have 4th-6th grade things and I truly should give them away because LORD help me if I can keep from it, I won't go back.  Not to mention through the years I've discovered blogs and TpT.  I could get rid of that MASSIVE Rubbermaid Tote of things, and maybe help a new teacher in the way.  That's my end of the year goal---see if I follow through and hold me accountable someone, please! :)

4) As you're going through your things, consider putting them into monthly binders.  Start a binder/folder for each Month.  Place your reproducibles, craft ideas, story ideas, centers, etc. into one binder.  This will make easy prep for you for next year.

5) I have labeled my room in years past--including my filing cabinet.  I do this so that my coworkers, subs, etc. can find things in my room.  My room is kind of a you can borrow from me if you want.  I label my classroom book bins too so that everyone can find things.  When you're packing up, maybe this is something you'd want to consider.  For example, I have all of my phonics worksheets/sorts in folders.  Each folder is labeled with its own specific skill.  short vowel a, long i/silent e, digraphs, r- blends---you get the idea.  I also have Mailbox books and other teacher resources that I've purchased through the years.  I put them all in a filing cabinet drawer together.  Below that, I have all of my reading/language skills labeled in folders (main idea, cause/effect, etc) and in that drawer I have my writing resources as well.  I've done this for math, science and social studies too.  Labeling it all has also helped me REMEMBER what I do have. 

6) Let your students help out with cleaning up. They enjoy taking ownership of their classroom too.  Let them dust your bookshelves, and make sure that books are back in the proper bins.  Let them erase your boards, and pitch markers that are dried up. Have them put together puzzles and check out to see if you have pieces missing from inside recess games.
**I usually do this on one of the last two days of school.  I don't have a lot of students that show up after our Memorial Day holiday. 

7) If you have to draw a diagram of your room....take a photo of it. It helps the janitors know how to set things back up.

8) Reflect back on your year.  Think about the progress that was made with each student.  For me, it's been a challenge this year.  But when I think about the student that only knew 5 sight words at the beginning of the year, and didn't recognize letter sounds...and is now reading at the end of a first grade level...well, it really puts things back into perspective with why I do what I do! 

9) Finally, if you are super organized----start on next year.  Sometimes it's nice to have writing journals, or personal dictionaries ready to go.  Even a simple coloring sheet for them to use their brand new school supplies on is nice to have on hand.  If you make mini-offices, this would be a good time to laminate them.  Me--I'm not that organized, but I hope to get there someday! :)

Do you have any other tips or advice for teachers packing up at the end of the year.  Leave your idea in the comments! :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

End of the year---with subs

So, here it is the end of the year coming to a halt.  We're wrapping up with review, we've finished our Treasures stories......and now we're doing assessing. Friends, let me tell you about my day---we are doing one-on-one assessing for state data.  (I'm not sure what it's for or why, just told that we have to do it.)  They got us subs so we can do it.  The state allotted about 85 minutes PER child for these tests (that I was just given last week).  Luckily, it isn't really taking them that long, but it's still taking 20-30 minutes per kiddo.  I started today and only got through 9 (and a half) tests.  EGADS!  They are getting us subs for Wednesday too, and I sure hope I can finish because somewhere in there I have to give a state writing test too.  Friends, I have 7---SEVEN days left.  End of the year paperwork is NOT my favorite thing to do.    I also think it drove my kiddos crazy that I was in the building, but not in there with them.  My little sweeties were asking me if I'd be there tomorrow (which I'm out for other reasons--and then a sub again on Wednesday for more tests.)  OY!  Okay, rant over.

So in the process of all this, I needed to create something for my subs to do AND I had to share one of my favorite stories---AND since camping is one of my favorite things (Can't wait for a long camping weekend!!)  this book is PERFECT for me! :) (Okay, that was a really long sentence and a complete run-on---ignore the grammar, have I mentioned I'm pooped lately? lol)

I love this story.  I actually love rhyming stories because they are fun to read, and my kiddos like to chime in when I'm reading if they think they know the word.  I made a few things to go with this to make a little mini-lesson on common/proper nouns, and a few writing prompts.  

First up, a prediction page.  This is good to use in two spots of the story.
It can be used when the bear is sneaking up on the camper where he spies a bag of marshmallows, 
or the page where he sees the camper in the stream.  

 Then after reading the story, they can write about their favorite part.

You could use this quick little comprehension page to check their listening comprehension.

If you'd like to extend the story into a common and proper noun review, here's a quick little whole group activity with a student worksheet.

 Maybe you want to check their background knowledge of camping, here's a writing activity for that too.

The great graphics are from Pink Cat and Scrappin Doodles.
If you'd like to grab you a copy of these activities, you can click HERE!

Have a great week!! :)

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Ahh, yes.  It's almost upon us now.  I can feel my toes in the sand, and a cold TEA in my hand! I am looking forward to a few days of sleeping in too.  BUT, reality is I still have a few more days of school left.

 I think my firsties are feeling it too.  I wanted to keep them engaged with literacy centers, as I still have running records and other one-on-one assessments to give.  SOO---I looked for some adorable summer graphics and came up with this CUTE set!!

This set includes:
Compound Words
Contractions with is and not
Sight Word Game
Plurals with s and es
Journal Prompts with a Word Bank of pictures
There is a recording sheet or worksheet for each activity except the Sight Word Game.

A lot of you follow me on FB, so you may know my intentions of this packet. 
I think I am truly blessed in life.   These two quotes are perfect for me right now! :)

I feel it's my turn to pay it forward.  

One of my coworkers is going on a missionary trip. 
Both my coworker, and her husband have been accepted to attend a Discipleship Training School (DTS) through Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Kona, Hawaii. They will be attending the Compassion Ablaze DTS. This DTS is a little over 5 months long where they will be equipped and released into the nations to reach out to the lost and broken with the compassion of Jesus. The focus of this DTS is on bringing restoration to orphans, woman at risk, the poor, and those facing injustice while also bringing revival through worship and intercession.  

In order for her to do such great services, they need to raise money to sponsor the trip.  I thought I'd try to see if there's something I could do to help.  I'm  asking for a $5 donation to be sent to the paypal account below in exchange for the summer packet.


When you've sent payment, would you please email me at mrsdeannedavis@hotmail.com with your paypal account name?  I will send out your packet as quickly as I can (hopefully within 24 hours, though I hope sooner).  This offer will stay in effect until 5/30/2013.  
I appreciate your willingness to help me help my friend.  
Thanks so much!!  

How do I use paypal for an email address? 

Login to your PayPal account.  Once logged in you will see blue tabs at the top of your page.  Click the blue tab that says send money.  Enter the email address, and $5.00 as the amount.
 **Though I am sending you a product in exchange for your donation, please don't click on goods/services.  If you would please choose sending money to family or friends--and opt to use your PayPal balance/bank account or cover the 36 cents for the paypal fee. Remember this is a donation and I don't want them to have to cover the costs.  Thanks so much!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

K is for Krazy?

Yep!  OH MY!
I am not sure if it's that summer is quickly approaching us, if there's a full moon, or what--but 
I think my kiddos thought K was for KRAZY!  

I'm beginning to think it needs to be for Koffee or Kookies....or something with KAFFEINE!
Anyways---moving on! :)

Today, for the letter K, we did a quick (very quick) activity with Kites.

I drew two kite templates.  One kite was bigger than the other.  The students chose a color of construction paper that they wanted their background to be.  Then we used a piece of white computer paper for the smaller kite.  We folded the smaller kite into four sections, glued it onto the bigger kite, and then began our kite glyphs.  

Students were asked to draw and write the following for their glyphs.
1) One thing they learned this year
2) One thing they hope to learn next year
3) One thing they would like to do this summer
4) One place they would like to go this summer

I forgot to take pictures of a final one, but we added colorful yarn for the kite string, and hung them up after they shared them with the class.  They turned out pretty cute!

I thought that I could even do this as a Get-to-Know-You Activity at the beginning of the school year.
They could do their favorite color, favorite food, favorite sport, favorite inside activity, etc and we could title it Flying into a New Year! :)  (maybe corny...but it would be fun!)

They enjoyed their kites.  I told them that they WOULD NOT FLY, but do you think they listened?  As I was taping the yarn onto them, they were dragging them behind them.  At least they had fun, right? :)  (Yes, I could use a pat on the back for a little sympathy here!) ;)

Here's another little activity you may want to do.  Some of my kiddos have a hard time with some spellings of their sight words.  Below, if you click the picture, you can get you a sight word worksheet on spellings.

We are a Leader in Me district, and we're to review/teach the 7 Habits.  We did a little review on good choices and bad choices (perfect for this time of year too to keep everyone on track!)

We read  Harry the Dirty Dog.

I didn't do anything fancy, but we sorted the good choices and bad choices that Harry made.
This is also a good story for easy sequencing (written retellings), and for antonym discussions.

So what's in our plans for tomorrow?

L is for lollipops!

What a great treat for a review of adjectives! :)

Here is a quick craft for lollipops using adjectives and your 5 senses. 
 You can copy this onto colored paper or have students color in the circles after they write.

How to use it:
1) Tell students they are going to use their senses to describe their lollipops.
2) Doing one circle at a time, have students brainstorm words to describe their lollipop.
Record their ideas on chart paper or on the board.  Students will record on their pages.
3) Students will color the circles (unless it's on colored paper), and cut them out.  
Staple the circle pages together.
4) Attach a craft stick or straw to the back of the last page so it resembles a lollipop.
Don't forget tonight is the last day of the Teacher Appreciation sale on TpT!  :)
We're halfway there friends....enjoy what's left of YOUR week!!  :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

E-F-G-H-I-J-K!!! (elemeno p?)

What have we been doing for our countdown days?
Me--Surviving! ;)
The kids--having fun! 

I didn't take a lot of pictures the last few days.  There's something about spring--life gets so busy--and moves so fast, that before you know it----the day's over!!  

For the letter E, my first grade teamies and I took our students out for EXERCISE.  
We only get one scheduled recess a day in our building and it's after the lunch time, and the days we don't have specials cause for long days for the  teachers kiddos.  

One of my teammates decided we would roll big dice and add them together, and that's how many exercises our students would do.  So the dice were rolled, they were added up, and the students did a variety of exercise.  10 Jumping Jacks, 5 toe touches, 12 arm circles--you get the point.  Then we let them have a few minutes of EXTRA recess.  :)

For the letter F, we did frogs. 

Years ago, I came across this LINK and I loved the information in it.  The Venn Diagram is perfect for my students too.   My students had fun helping their FRIENDS with their FROG wordsearch.

We talked about the frog's life cycle--and I have these great resources from LMN Tree.
  You can click HERE to see her great blog post too.

And because sometimes, I just like a SIMPLE color craft...

 As you can see, me just going around snapping a few pictures here and there was NOT good enough. They decided that they had to line them up and I needed to get all of their frogs in the picture!  
I did as I was told! ;)

If you like that simple craft, you can click HERE for the link.  

They also enjoyed looking at various types of frogs on the internet, and 
we all enjoyed these two books.

My F day was originally supposed to be a Freeze-Ice, but can you believe that they don't freeze overnight? I really thought they would. 

The Freeze-Pops became a Good Treat for GREAT behavior for our letter G day! ;)  (Lazy?  Perhaps CREATIVE?? Yes, let's go with that one!)

For the letter H, we had some interruptions in our daily schedule.  We had fun doing Hidden Picture Puzzles the last few minutes of our day though.  You can find some from Highlight's website.
 Click HERE for the link.

I was our insect day.  We read some great Eric Carle Books,
and did a few activities from this pack that I'm still working on.

And one of the stations they are working on this week included bugs as well! :)

 But again, they want all of the stuff they are doing in my pictures.

*THEN, after I take a picture---they have to see it! ;) 
They are so cute and funny! ;)

Today was the letter J---I took the quick route out again and we JUST DANCE-d it up!
Here's a great link for Just Dance Kids--someone already set up a channel. ;)

Tomorrow, we will be doing something with Kites!!
Maybe I'll have a freebie to share with you! :)

Teacher Appreciation

I hope you're all enjoying your week so far!!  I just wanted to THANK YOU for all that you do!!  

Teachers truly are special people, and I'm not saying that because I am one!  I have always loved school, and I was fortunate enough to have great teachers from elementary through college.  I am so thankful for all they have done for me through the years to help me get to where I am now.  

In honor of Teacher Appreciation, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sale!
I am also having a sale in my TpT store.  Most products are 20% off.  The two mega sets I had were already discounted, but you still receive the extra 10% off if you enter the code at checkout.

I want to showcase some of the products I've made that I feel have truly helped my students.

I had many pre-primer students coming to me this year from Kindergarten.  One of my little ones only recognized 5 sight words the beginning of the school year.  I can now say that she's mastering many words, and her reading has SOARED!    Her mom told me at conferences that she believed these stories helped her and thanked me!  (How wonderful to hear, right?) :)

Making Words activities have been a favorite for both myself and my students for several years now.  I like them because it provides them with letter manipulatives to use to build words.  Students like them because they get to use the letters to build given words.  It makes it "easier" than just building words with given letters.  I also like it because the layout is easy for subs too, as there are directions to read for each lesson.  I have a few others in my store as well, but these are the ones I used this year.

This was a fun day of lessons that I left behind for my sub.  It worked perfectly for them, and she loved the little pig craft that the students did.  It is so nice to be able to have a quick lesson for those emergency days.  

But, now that we are nearing the end of the year, here are some things that my students are enjoying.
This picture above will take you to the combo pack. 
Once there, there are two links in the item description that will take you to the math pack, or the language pack if you need separate centers.
These centers do not require paperwork.  They are fun games to add to your tubs.  However, if you'd like work to go with them, I did make a printable pack with the same skills as the game.

My students also enjoyed our digraph/blend game.  This also would be simple to add to your centers.

If you're already thinking next year---YOU ARE AWESOME and CRAZY at the same time! :)

**Clicking on the images above will take you to the product listing.  If you would like to visit my store and browse, you can click on the image below.**

Thank you for all the support you have given me as I've grown as a blogger, and TpT-er. 
 I appreciate all of you! :) 

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