Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blog Lovin'

My bestie is in town visiting, so I don't have time for a full post right now. However, I did want to get on the Blog Lovin' train.  So, Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ten Pin Linky!

Today I'm linking up with Just Reed for the Ten Pin Linky Party!! I just love pinning and sharing things! This week's theme is Math, so I've scoured my ~Math~ board for my favorites!

Pin 1

I played around with math rotations a little bit last year and the kids seemed to really enjoy them. I want to look into doing more with them this year. I'm not sure what system I'm going to use yet...

Pin 2

I love how basic and simple this calendar journal page is! I want to use or create something similar to this for my kiddos this year. Great way to save time on calendar by having them think about it ahead of time.

Pin 3
I want to put the minutes around the clock this year. I think it would be a great visual for my new first grade kiddos!

Pin 4

I love teaching Greater Than and Less Than using an alligator chomping analogy. These little guys would be great to create for a visual!

Pin 5

I sent this home with my students last year for practice. We practiced in the classroom first and they really seemed to enjoy it!

Pin 6

This would go so well with the classroom clock visual. This could be sent home for them to use at home for practice as well! Telling time is such a difficult thing for students to learn, especially since our society has become so digitized.

Pin 7

When learning math facts, I often suggest to parents to do an "I know" and "I need to learn" pile. I tell them to challenge their student to make the "I know" pile grow. This looks like a great adaptation of what I already use!

Pin 8

These are too cute. I think they would be awesome for a center when teaching and reviewing place value.

Pin 9

I found this one last year. I had some free time one day during math one day so I gave this a try (my kiddos had finished earlier than I predicted)! They were such hard workers this past year. My kids loved creating their own caterpillars.

Pin 10

This calendar board is organized so nicely! Last year, I did all of my calendar on the Smart Board, but I'm learning towards using a calendar board similar to this one this year. I thought this one was a great visual!
Well, that's my ten pins. I have a friend coming into town today, so I'm glad I got this all together before she arrived! Do you love pinning? Then link up over at Just Reed's and join in the fun!!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five for Friday

It's time for Five for Friday hosted by Doodle Bugs. This will be the last one until August so let's see what five things I want to pick.

One - I moved!!!

I moved from one apartment building over to the next apartment building this past week. Why? I was living in a 3 bedroom apartment which was way too big for me. In an attempt to downsize my stuff and my rent, I decided to move into a 1 bedroom. I like the apartments I'm in, so I stuck with the same place, just a different apartment. It'll save me nearly $200 a month!

Two - My bestie is coming tomorrow!

After an interesting week, my best friend offered to come down and visit. Things are all good in my world, but she's still going to come to see the new place and enjoy some fun!

Three - Camp Nano starts Monday!

Starting Monday, you will find me with my keyboard attached to my fingers. Okay, that may be an exaggeration. I will be spending a lot of time on the computer though. I will be participating in Camp Nano, a worldwide challenge to write a novel in a month. You can cheer me on over at my blog Stolen Moments.

Four - Moments to Teach is officially on Facebook!

You can now follow my blog on Facebook! Just click on over to here to find it. All of my posts and some additional tidbits will be posted there. I may even post a special goodie or two for my Facebook followers. :)

Five - My teaching bestie and I played tourist!

See yesterday's post about the perks of being a teacher and visiting areas in our city to read more about this!

That's my quick update of what's going on in my life.  What's happening in yours? Are you getting into back to school mode yet? I know I'm starting to! Summer's half over! Eeek! There's still so much to do.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Perks of Teaching

I know us teachers are commonly underappreciated and we try not to complain about it too much, but every now and then, we do get to enjoy a little treat. This year, local attractions in my city are allowing teachers to come visit for free. It was definitely nice to hear "Thank you for what you do." today as my teaching bestie and I visited two of the attractions on the list.

The first attraction we went to was a local art museum. There are no pictures from that one since they didn't want us photographing art. There were some good conversations about abstract art and what makes art qualify as art though.

Then, we headed to the local Exchange Building and dungeon where we got to hear stories about the original walled city of Charles Towne. It was quite enjoyable to be a tourist in my own city for once.  Below are a few pictures from the day.

This is the front of the exchange building. I didn't think to get a picture of the front of the art museum.

This is one of the local streets. We had an awesome view from the top floor of the Exchange building, where we also got to "sign" the Declaration of Independence.

Here is a lovely pirate I found to hang out with. He wasn't exactly very talkative company, since he was fake and was missing a hand as well.

I found this sign to be a nifty little one. Talk about a fun way to learn history!  I wonder if I could incorporate something like this into my daily calendar routine...

What perks does your local area offer to you as a teacher?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer G.O.L.D. Week 3

Below you'll find the link for Week 3 of the Summer G.O.L.D. program. This week, there are reading cards and math games included!

In the midst of unpacking an apartment, I'll be back in the near future with plenty to share!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kick-Off Party Winners!!!

Drum roll please... The winners have been chosen using as my random number generator!! In case you forgot what the prizes are...

1st prize - Choice of 3 items from my TPT store
2nd prize - Choice of 2 items from my TPT store
3rd prize - Choice of 1 item from my TPT store

Now for the winners!
1st prize - Amelia
2nd prize - Mrs. Brown
3rd prize - Markisha
I will be contacting the winners today with the good news! Don't forget that you can still enter to win something over at Head Over Heels for Teaching.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ten Pin Linky

I found another linky that I just HAD to join today! Why did I have to join it? Well, it's all about pins...and I definitely love Pinterest! This one is the Ten Pin Linky hosted by Just Reed. For this linky, you share ten of your favorite pins on a given topic. This week's topic: Classroom Management!  Something that there's plenty of ideas on my pin boards for! Now, just to choose my top ten!

Pin #1
This pin is one of cute classroom norms! I think it'd be awesome to establish norms or rules and display them in such a cute way! Of course, the colors would need to be red, black, and white to match my theme. 

Pin #2
This pin looks at assigning different levels to prizes. This could be fun and incorporated with my points system I used last year! (More on that in another post!)

Pin #3
I like this pin because it shows where students are at any given time. I used a similar system this year and loved it! Mine wasn't as cute though. I think this is going on the school to-do list for my classroom this year!

Pin #4

I loved my early finisher options that I used this year. (More on that later too!) Second graders were able to remember their options. However, I'm thinking something more visual like this pin might be nice. Oh no! Another project for the list...


Pin #5
I love ribbon! I love cute things! Teaching kids about kindness is really tricky. However, this "kindness wreath" might be just the thing!!

Pin #6
I love table points. Kids love table points. I love monkeys. Kids love monkeys. Why not combine the two??
Pin #7
I had to share this one because I used this system this past year and it worked great! The kids were better with it than I was! During small group time, students aren't allowed to interrupt. Instead, they bring their clip and set it in a designated spot to let you know they need something. When you have a moment, you look at the name on the clip and help them out. The best part? Four times out of five they have solved the problem themselves while you were busy!

Pin #8
I hate taking days off. Not only do I worry about what the kids are doing, I also hate making sub plans. The reason I hate making sub plans is I make them very easy to follow. (As in you open the smart board and it contains EVERYTHING you need, along with clickable links.) This year, I took 6 days at the end of the year...I stored everything on a CD as suggested in this pin (which is where I got the idea). I got the best compliments on my sub plans in her letter when I returned! (My sub was a former teacher, which made the compliment even sweeter!)

Pin #9
Part of classroom management is making it inviting and maximizing storage. The crate seats below are another item on my to do list. Oh dear, this list is getting long...

Pin #10
This one doesn't have much to do with management - however it does have to do with enthusiasm and environment. Those are a part of management. I fell in love with this pin and the idea when I saw it! I'm definitely thinking about using it for Meet the Teacher night! It's too cute!
 Well, there's my top ten! This was definitely a favorite linky! Looking forward to participating next week!

For those wondering about my kick-off giveaway, I'll be announcing the winners tomorrow! I spent today doing crafts with my teaching bestie so I didn't find the time to properly determine the winners!

Our monograms from our craft day today:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Last Day of the Party!

Don't forget that today is the last day to enter my Blog Kick-Off Giveaway. You can do so by clicking my button below. 

I've been packing up to move to my new apartment this week, but I hope to be back to the blogging world next week with bigger and better things!! Some new homework ideas have been formulating in my head lately and I'm rather excited about them. :)

This is my life right now:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Another Giveaway!

I'm giving away an item of choice from my TPT store over at Head Over Heels for Teaching.  She's celebrating 300 followers! Head on over and enter to win one of several great things!

Also, don't forget to spread the word about my Blog Kick-off giveaway!!
Happy summer!

Summer G.O.L.D. Week 2

I'm not sure if anyone is actually using my Summer G.O.L.D. newsletters or not, but I thought I'd continue linking them as I create them.

You can find the week 2 document here:

It comes complete with two BINGO boards for the students.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Official Blog Kick-Off Party

It's officially been a little over a week since I started my Moments to Teach blog. In fact, it's been a little over a week since I started this blog and my more personal blog (Stolen Moments). I feel it's time to celebrate achieving a goal from my list (more on this list in future post). So, I'm hosting a kick-off party.

No party is any fun without guests or prizes. I'm having both, so listen closely because the party is about to begin.

The Guests
We'll start with the guests - that would be you! At the bottom of this page, you'll find a linky (I hope anyways - it's my first time playing with them). Link up your blog and I will be sure to check it out and leave you a comment on one of your posts! I'm looking to find new blogs and interesting bloggers to befriend.

The Prizes
With this party, I'm hosting a giveaway. There are three prizes right now (I may up the prizes depending on number of entries).
1st prize - Choice of 3 items from my TPT store
2nd prize - Choice of 2 items from my TPT store
3rd prize - Choice of 1 item from my TPT store
How do you enter to win the prizes?
I want to keep it nice and simple, so there are three easy ways to enter my first giveaway. You can earn 1 entry for each of the following, so feel free to pick and choose what works for you!
1. Follow me on TPT
2. Follow my Moments to Teach blog (this one!)
3. Follow my Stolen Moments blog
Enter by commenting on this entry and telling me which entry routes you used. At the end, I'll pick three winners through random selection!
The party's open a week, so don't forget to link up your blog and enter to win something!

Also, be sure to visit my TPT store for more freebies! Several of my items on there are free right now. :)

Summer G.O.L.D. Week 1 & ScootPad

I blogged about my Summer G.O.L.D. program last week and included the introduction newsletter. I'm back this week to give you the newsletter and materials for Week 1. I'm keeping it all pretty basic.  You can access the file here:

I wanted to talk about a website that I was introduced to by a friend on Pinterest. It's called Scoot Pad. It's a free website where you can set kids up with a username and password. Then, you can give them assignments or they can work on different standards at their own pace. For more information, visit their website at or click on the banner below to read an awesome blog post about it.  I'll be blogging more about it once I've had time to fully play with it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Made It - Clip Charts

My first Monday Made It! I'm excited to participate in this one. It's hosted by Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics.

Last year, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try out the infamous clip chart that is floating all over the place. I'm referring to the clip chart with 7 colors (the colors often vary in order) where students start in the middle and can move up or down. I was looking for a more effective management system and after lots of searching, I settled on the clip chart.

I quickly realized I would need a chart if I was going to make this system work. I originally planned on using construction paper and laminating it. Then, I got a crafty thought. I thought of craft foam and how much more durable it is. I quickly set out to find craft foam and devised a chart from it. Well, actually, I created two charts - one for me and the other for my friend down the hall.

I used paper sized craft foam and punched holes in the corners to allow ribbon to thread through. The ribbon (along with tape on the back for reinforcement) was to hold the chart together. The top colors (the positive ones) were bigger than the bottom to encourage students to move up and not down. I used a pants hanger to keep the entire thing hung in the classroom. The clip charts are shown here hanging on a closet in my apartment. They hung well in the classroom all year and are stored away awaiting a new bunch of kids next year!

Well, I've got a friend in town so I'm keeping this one short, but I wanted to share something I'd made. I'm looking forward to many more crafts this summer!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Five for Friday

It's another fun linky party! This one is Five for Friday from Doodle Bugs Teaching. Let's see - what's five big things from this week?

1. Summer break officially started Sunday. Our last teacher workday was a Saturday. My room is packed and I'll be moving to first grade next year.

2. It has rained ALL week!! I don't think we've had a completely dry day yet. The end of the week was due to Tropical Storm Andrea but I don't know what was the culprit for the beginning of the week. I do know that I'm ready for some sunny beach weather!

3. Half of my apartment is packed and ready to go. I say half because there is still more to pack. I have about two weeks until I move, so I have time to get the rest packed up and ready to go.

4. I had a great day on Wednesday hanging out with one of my besties at work. I'm going to miss being on the same hall as her next year. Don't worry though - we've already got a plan of how to make sure we don't grow apart just because we're hallways apart. :)

5. My long distance relationship with my boyfriend (who's in the Coast Guard) officially started this week as he arrived in California. Yet another new adventure for me.

My week has been relatively slow with school being out. Part of me is enjoying the slow down that comes with summer. The other part of me is missing the keep-you-on-your-toes-excitement that comes with teaching.

Tomorrow, my best friend arrives for a week long stay. I'm sure I'll have PLENTY of things to share in the next Five for Friday!

Friday, June 7, 2013

June Currently

I found a cool new blog with a fun monthly event! It's called "Currently" and it's hosted by Farley at  You should join in!

Listening - When I filled in the graphic, I was listening to a Mumford & Sons song. This seemed fitting since they are a new love of mine. They come on my Imagine Dragons Pandora station all the time and every song I hear by them is great!

Loving - I'm loving being on summer break. I've found time to blog and the time off is definitely helpful with my upcoming move. It's been helpful having time off to pack and enjoy myself. I'm sure in a few weeks, I'll be more than ready to get back to the hustle and bustle of the classroom that I love so much..

Thinking - I'm thinking about going to bed. I know - not that fun sounding, but it is getting late and my best friend is coming into town tomorrow to visit for a week! (Don't worry, I'll still find some time to blog for you lovelies as well!)

Wanting - I'm wanting this year to go quick. I say this for one reason - in a year, I might be setting off on another grand adventure that is important to my life. This year, I face making a long distance relationship work. I know the year will be full of ups and downs (as every other year is).

Needing - I'm needing lots of things to keep me busy. This one relates to my "loving" and "wanting" sections. I'm loving summer break, but I also get bored easily. Lots of things to keep me busy definitely helps!

Vacay Essentials - This one was trickier than I could have pictured. The first item was definitely sunscreen because I burn insanely easy! Even with sunscreen, I've still been known to get some scorching burns. The second item was the company you bring. I've found that it doesn't really matter where you go as much as who you take with you. The third item is a camera. I love taking pictures - I'd be lost without my camera on a vacation!

This was fun. I can't wait to participate again in July. Look like fun to you? Then head on over and join in on the fun!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I Have a Wonderful Dad

Two years ago, I decided that I wanted storage benches in my classroom. I had seen lots of these on Pinterest that were bought from a store or made out of shelves turned on their sides. I proposed the idea to my dad and of course he took it a step further than simply turning a shelf on it's side. He built them himself out of wood, cushion, and fire proof material. They are a favorite in my classroom. Teachers come by and comment on them, the students love working on them, and I love the way they provide seating and organization. I just had to brag a little about the wonderful father I have. I've got a few projects thought up that require his help this summer. I'll post them once they are complete.

This bench was used at my writing center. The blue bins were being temporarily stored there as I set things up. Eventually, paper and dictionaries were stored beneath the benches so that they were nearby at all times.
This is the back corner of my room last year during set up. You can see how I arranged the benches to create a reading center for my students. The bins of books were stored below them. I don't have a good shot of my fourth bench - it has a flat top instead of a cushion and fits perfectly under my Smart Board. I use it to hold additional station materials for our Station Hops time. I'll post more about how I organized my reading workshop time in a different post. It'll be good for me to reflect on the Station Hops I used in second grade Iand figure out how to adjust them for this year in first grade.

What is your favorite piece of classroom furniture?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer G.O.L.D. Program

At the end of this year, I offered my students and their parents the opportunity to sign up for a FREE program via email over the summer. This program is one I've created to help keep them learning over the summer. I named it Summer G.O.L.D. (Getting Organized and Learning Daily). The goal of this program is to keep my students learning over the summer.

Since this is my first summer doing this, I'm going to share the items on my blog for others to use. New newsletters and activities will be posted every Tuesday for download. Spread the word!

You can get the first newsletter here:

Feel free to use it and modify it for your personal use!

Monday, June 3, 2013

End of the Year Craziness

Before I found out that I was moving grades, I planned on posting about the end of the year and the craziness that surrounds it. Needless to say, the news of moving was so large that it overtook everything else. However, I felt the end of the year would be a good place to start now.

The end of the year always brings lots of interesting things - last minute conferences, excited kids, field day, crazy schedules, and a little bit of packing. I found out this year that it can also bring a few other things. On the last day of school, I had three different parents email or call to thank me for helping their child over the course of the year. I had students coming back from their dismissal lines for a second hug and others crying about leaving. One or two even joked that they weren't going to leave. It truly was a different ending this year. I have loved my kiddos this year and I'm certainly going to miss them.

One of my favorite moments at the end of the year was Awards Day. I decided to give each child a unique award in my classroom after the official Awards Ceremony. I've wanted to do this in the past, but never found the time to create them. This year, I made sure I found the time. Before handing out the awards, I showed them the class video that I made - complete with songs and pictures to store the year's memories. (On the last day, they received a copy on DVD with their report card. They were thrilled!) We had a good time handing out the awards and students were guessing the recipients as I read out the award. Often times, they were right! It really made for a fun-filled day of memories.

You can find a copy of these animal awards to download yourself in my TPT store. I printed them out, filled them in, and then glued them to scrapbook paper to add a little more color to them. The kids loved them!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Changes, Changes Everywhere

I decided at the end of April that I wanted to start a teaching blog. I spent part of May working on the layout and deciding what I wanted to focus on. The problem is, I never quite was able to pick one simple focus. There's too much that goes on in a classroom - you can't quite box it in, even for a blog. So, the focus will be all things teaching - sort of a hodgepodge. In this decision to focus on whatever fits, I forgot to figure out the first post. I knew it would be on June 1st, but I didn't know what my topic would be. Then, suddenly, I found my topic!

 Afterschool yesterday (a half-day), I got an email from my principal requesting a meeting at 1:00pm. I spent a couple of hours wondering what the meeting might be about. I made a mental list of possibilities before heading to the meeting. The item of discussion was not one of the possibilities I had prepared myself for. I was told I will be moving from second grade (where I've spent the past 3 years) to first grade. While this is a surprising change, I'm looking for the positives and hoping for an awesome year. It's just another change in my constantly changing life.

So, I spent today packing my entire classroom up so that it can be moved to another classroom. I had awesome helpers, including my parents and close friends on the grade level. We got it done for the day even officially was over. Yes, we had our final workday on a Saturday this year. I am officially confused about what day of the week it is!

So, since I'll be moving from second grade to first grade, this blog will follow some of that transition. My summer posts will mostly be about second grade stuff, but I'm sure first grade will start slipping into there.

"If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living." - Gail Sheehy