Gobble On

Thanks to Lori at Teaching with Love and Laughter for sending you all over here!

Some of my favorite bloggers and I have teamed up to bring you some fun freebies for Thanksgiving!  We want to show you how thankful we are for you!  

I'm sharing a few pages from my December Just Fold! Mini Books pack.  My kiddos loves these mini books and I always have a few available at our writing center as one of our writing choices.  I don't even fold these anymore -- my kids are experts now which means there is literally no prep at all for me, unless you count the printing and/or copying, but that's not hard as long as the machines are cooperating and, let's be real, the copy room can either make or break your day so here's wishing you a Cooperative Copy Room Experience Always.  I refer to it as CCREA for short.  ;)

I love that these Just Fold! Mini Books can be easily differentiated for your learners.  I encourage my kids to grab the book that is just right for them, whether it's tracing the sight word, filling in the blank, or writing their own sentences.
Click {HERE} to grab your freebie!
You get all four versions of the Stocking Mini Book.

I hope your kids will love these mini books as much as mine do.  I can't wait to put out new December ones when we return from break.

Now hop on over to Jennifer at Teacher's Open House to grab your next freebie!

Again, thank you so much for all of your support and kind words and comments and general nice-ness throughout all of my years on this blog.  I truly appreciate it!  I am very thankful for all of you!


Five for Fraturday

Happy Saturday!

This week was all about sequencing and we used Vickie Plant's Thanksgiving pack.  My kids LOVED sequencing all the stories and putting them back together.

Between the four of us on my team, we had all the books and we were able to do one sequencing activity each day.



And amongst all of those days, I didn't take one picture.  

Not one.  

I looked at my phone and I only had screenshots of things I loved on Instagram which are coming up later.

So . . . I went to Vickie's Facebook page and found this adorable image and I'm linking back to her because it's hers.  And that's fair.

Vickie's Facebook page can be found {HERE}.
Her store can be found {HERE}.

I have to say that I have never been a fan of the old lady who swallowed a this or that because it's just dumb, if you ask me, and the old lady should probably be in an assisted living community, at the very least, if not an actual institution of some sort, but this particular book made my kids crack up and chant with me on every single page perhaps she'll die.

That's right, everyone.  Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

Follow Corinna's (Surfing Through Second) Instagram {HERE}.


You would think this image is from a magazine or a catalog, right?  But nope.  It's not.  It's from Corinna's own desk.  In her own classroom.  

She drew it.

Not only that, she has a desk that is CHALKBOARD.  Whether she painted it herself or it came that way, I don't know, but that's neither here nor there, because she drew it herself.

I commented on her post that I would DIE (perhaps she'll die) if one of my kids took one of their little fingers and did a little swipe. 

Swipe.  Erase.  Just a little bit.  Someone dared them, don't you know.  It's so irresistible, don't ya know.  

I mean, this happens more than I'd like to admit just on my regular whiteboard because, when we line up, one of my lines has to line up right against our whiteboard, and all down the length of the whiteboard because there are too many of us, and so when there's a swipe directly down the middle of a letter or someone's name or a spelling word or a math equation, it's always an accident and/or we don't know what happened, Mrs. Oldham, it wasn't me.

Corinna told me that she used chalkboard MARKERS which need water in order to be erased WHICH IS THE MOST BRILLIANT THING EVER AND I DIDN'T KNOW THEY EVEN EXISTED.

Now I need a chalkboard desk and Corinna to come change the designs monthly for me.

Earlier this week, I blogged about what happens When Someone Walks Into Your Classroom.  I love the response I got.

Number One:  I am not alone.

Number Two:  I don't have it nearly as bad as some of you poor people who can have up to six adults in the room.  I mean.

Perhaps she'll die.

Anyways, because I blogged about being caught whilst Whipping the Nae Nae, Aris of Sailing into Second (also Aris of my Friend In Real Life) sent this picture to me.

I need this shirt.

Because I do enjoy a nice Chardonnay.

And I can sip it like nobody's business.

And after having someone in the room watching me all day or someone new coming in and watching me Whip the Nae Nae (am I even saying this correctly?), I need a glass of Chardon . . .



Steve and I saw it yesterday. 

It was good.

It wasn't my favorite.  But it was my least favorite book, too, so maybe that's why.  

But I made a commitment.  I mean, once you've seen the other three, you have to see it through to the end.

I mean, you have to.  

So I did.  With some junior mints.  Because they are half the fat of regular candy.  Or half the fat of a York Peppermint Patty which is way bigger.

I don't have a picture for this last one, but you can picture it in your mind.

I am officially on Thanksgiving break.  

I am so excited for an entire week off to rest and sleep and watch TV and read and eat and go to the bathroom whenever I want and wear pjs and not put on makeup.  Last year, we went to the Dominican Republic which was amazing, but I have to say I am looking forward to having Thanksgiving with both of our families this year.

But that's not until Thursday.

Which gives me five days to do . . . well . . . absolutely nothing.



When Someone Walks In

I'd like to start off by saying I have nothing to hide.


I'm an open book.

I'll tell you everything I know, plus even some things I don't know (but think I have a pretty good idea about), and then I'll even tell you some things I shouldn't tell you (because it's not my business, but I can't help it), and, by the way, when you suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) as I do, it makes me feel as if I have to be in the know all of the time so that I can tell you even more things.

Like I said -- Open Book.

I'm even this way in my classroom.


It's true.  Come on in.  



There are those times When Someone Walks In.

And things aren't going as planned.

You know what I'm talking about.

This year, I have a student who needs a full-time aide which means someone is always in my room.  And, although she is working with that student, and she is not my aide, and she is busy with that student, I still feel as if I AM BEING WATCHED.



Which makes me feel as if I'm on all of the time.

There is no time to just . . . well . . . not suck in my gut, for one thing.  

I have a thirty minute period in which my aide goes to lunch and it is GLORIOUS.


And, I am an open book.  I'm not hiding anything.  It's not as if the aide leaves the room and I become a grumpy ole teacher who yells and puts the fear of THOU SHALT NOT HAVE FUN IN THIS CLASSROOM BECAUSE NO ONE IS WATCHING AND SO EVERYONE JUST SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET, IT'S TIME FOR MY NAP ALREADY.

If anything, I almost feel as if I become a better teacher when no one is in the room.

I'm more relaxed.  I act even crazier than I normally do.  Because it's just the kids and me and I don't have an adult in the room wondering if they should call for back-up and a straight jacket stat, she's lost her ever loving mind, I've never seen a case this bad.

Today, my aide had to leave early so my administrator had another aide from a different class take over.

And when she walked in . . . well . . . it was her first time to ever come in my classroom and we were Whipping The Nae Nae.  

Watch me Whip.  

Watch me Nae Nae.

And I can do it like nobody's business, let me tell you.

I mean.


That poor aide.

PS  It was a brain break with a purpose because we are learning about digraphs this week and whip has a digraph, just in case you were wondering.

Not that it matters.

Because brain breaks are important for all of us, if you ask me.


Stamping Giveaway!

Happy Sunday!

I think we already know about my love/hate relationship with stamping.  And stamps.  And ink pads.  And disasters.  

Case in point:

It was an accident, Mrs. Oldham.
I don't even know how it happened, Mrs. Oldham.
Will it come off, Mrs. Oldham?

You have got to be kidding me.

You can read more about my relationship with stamps {HERE}.

Recently, I blogged about coming across a friend's Instagram and seeing some incredible, didn't know they even existed, SELF INKING ALPHABET STAMPS

I bought 4 sets and we've already used them and they have been a HUGE hit!

Click {HERE} to see a recent post about it.

My kids LOVE these stamps.  There have been no mishaps, we have not lost any, they do not fall out of the little box, the center is never a mess . . . IT IS MAGICAL.  

Well.  Wait.  Let me be honest.  Once you've gone through and taken off the shrink wrap of every individual stamp (I still can't believe they come individually shrink wrapped - like, really?  Why?  WHY???!!) and then, if you're so inclined, marked the top of each one with a sharpie dot so that the kids know where the top of the letter is . . . well, then it's magical.

So much so that Miss Kindergarten and I are teaming up and we are each giving away her Stamp It Up pack AND a set of Self Inking Alphabet Stamps!

Head on over to my Facebook page to enter!  :) 


Five for Fraturday

Happy Saturday!  I'm finally linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching after a two week hiatus.  

Last weekend, I went to Arizona with my immediate family (mom, dad, two sisters, and my brother) to celebrate my Grandma's 95th birthday.  Kerry flew in and then we rented a Suburban and picked up my aunt on the way.  No spouses or kids came . . . we wanted to keep it low-key for my Grandma and Grandpa.  However, this is my teeny tiny family.  My dad only has one sister and she never married or had kids.

I have mentioned before that my Grandma lost both of her legs in a horrible freak accident when she was 89.  She is absolutely amazing to all of us.  She is always smiling, always positive, and never wants to upset the apple cart.  She won't tell us if she's cold or in pain or tired or anything . . . she just has the best spirit!  And, in spite of her accident, she LOOKS AND ACTS THE SAME AS SHE ALWAYS HAS.  

It's like she never missed a beat when most people would have wanted to give up.  It's so inspiring!

She and my grandpa (who just went through chemo) live on their own.  They have a caretaker come in from 8:00 to noon every day, but other than that - it's just the two of them.  I KNOW!!!  The caretaker took the picture of us and had a difficult time keeping her hand still which is why the photo is blurry.  

Which is why all 20 photos are blurry.  Oh well.  Blurry means less wrinkles to see on my forehead.

It was a great weekend!  I love spending time with my family.  We laughed a lot and ate junk food and spent a lot of time in pjs.  It was awesome!

While driving in the car for six hours each way, I managed to read two books.  I am so happy that I can read in the car (even in the very back of a Suburban) without feeling sick.  It makes car rides very enjoyable.  Also, my older sister pretty much drove the entire way (both ways) because she says she loves to drive.  I honestly think she didn't want to have sit in the very back and/or sit in the middle of the second row.  I had to do both.  My mom, Kerry, and I took turns.

In between rotating seats, eating Mike and Ike's, chit chatting, and laughing, I was reading.  

If you have not read Me Before You, get it.  GET IT.  I am reading the sequel now.  GET IT!!!  That's all I'll say.

Obviously, I don't want to get into any controversy or upset anyone over Scientology, but I love Leah Remini and watched King of Queens every Monday with Steve when we first moved into our house.  I have a distinct memory of saying Yay!  It's Monday!  The King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond is on tonight!  And Steve saying something like you're weird.

Anyways, this book is FASCINATING.  I would read certain parts of it to anyone in the car who would listen.  

It also gave a little glimpse into Tom Cruise's life which was a bonus.

I do not have a picture for number three this week.

Number three this week was Veteran's Day.  I am thankful to all of our veterans, especially my father-in-law, Den, who is a retired Marine.  When Steve and I first started dating, Den was overseas during the first Gulf War.  When he finally came home, Steve and I had been dating for over a year when I first met Den.  And meanwhile, his mom was raising FIVE KIDS on her own on base.  It's a hard lifestyle and definitely a sacrifice.  

Being thankful for veterans is hard work so I made a plan to stay home all day and not leave the house.  Steve supported my plan and kept saying I needed to rest and enjoy the day so he made it possible.

Really.  He made it possible.  He brought me a Starbucks in the morning and picked up dinner on his way home.  I am not ashamed to say that I never opened the door of my house and I never got out of my pajamas.

It was a GLORIOUS day.  I started binge watching a show on Netflix called Chasing Life.  It's no Parenthood, but it's pretty good.

One other thing I did on my day off was start working on a Holiday pack of Partner Plays featuring Murphie and Milo.  I enjoy writing so this wasn't work.  I have an Advanced set of Holiday plays, but I've received some requests for ones with Murphie and Milo.

Who am I to object?  Christina of Mrs. Winter's Bliss asked me to write one that shows how Murphie and Milo met, and gave me the idea that Murphie gets Milo for Christmas . . . I think Christina loves these characters more than I do.  :)

The Advanced Plays are my very favorite to write because I don't have to worry about CVC words and picture clues, etc.  I hope to finish this pack up by the end of the week so I can prep it for my class and have it ready when we return from Thanksgiving break.  I have a group of about six students who are ready for this level.  :)  I can't wait to introduce them to Murphie and Milo!

I am so sad about the attacks in Paris.  I have been praying and will continue to pray.  

Hug your loved ones close.

And enjoy your weekend.


Songs! More Songs!

First, let me say I am so thankful to all of our Veterans who have served our country, especially my father-in-law!  Thank you, Den!  :)

Okay, so now . . . let's talk about songs again.  More songs!

I've blogged and blogged and blogged again about how much I love to use music in the classroom.  It makes me happy!  And I also feel like it makes our classroom environment happy.  Which means that if things are . . . let's say . . . going awry . . . I can play a song to lift the mood or calm the mood or just plain . . . 


I use an old iPhone as an iPod in my classroom and I highly recommend it.  It's easy to switch songs back and forth all day long when they're on an iPod.  The last time I checked, my iPod had over 100 playlists on it.

I KNOW!  Believe me, I know.

I can't help myself.

I also can't help it when songs get stuck in my head and I'm singing the "want" song from HeidiSongs in the kitchen and Steve wants to know if he should go buy cookies.  The song lyrics say I want a cookie, want a cookie, w - a - n -t . . .  The answer is YES, Steve, go buy cookies, whether I'm singing the song or not.  Hello?  Do you not know me but at all?

So anyways, I finally got Sing & Spell #6 Jammin' With More Sight Words from HeidiSongs which pretty much completes my Sight Word Song collection.

The words on this CD are perfect for first graders and have many words listed from the first and second grade Dolch sight word lists.

Not to mention, the music is FABULOUS and totally catchy.  Which is very important when you want your kids to get songs stuck in their heads because then they will be able to read and spell some of those tricky sight words effortlessly.

I use the Sight Word Songs for teaching - obviously - as well as for transitions.  We also sing them when we're walking in line.  Any time I can get the kids singing, it's a win-win because then they are not talking or even trying not to talk, and everyone knows that when you're trying not to talk, you can't help it and you talk.  Or is that just me during church?

I have separated the sight word songs into playlists according to our spelling/phonics pattern each week (our spelling lists include two new sight words each week) so we sing the sight words multiple times daily.  

Then, on Fridays, when I am giving the spelling test and it's time to spell those tricky sight words, I hum the songs.  I usually have to say I'll hum the songs, you write the word, do not sing out loud, this is a test, just write the letters when I hum the song! because when I start humming, they inevitably start singing.  Although, as the year has progressed, we have gotten better about this.  Progress is key.

And, yes, I am most likely helping my students way too much when it comes to this, but I'm all about those Common Core standards that say with guidance and support and I like to apply them willy nilly wherever they suit me.

So there.

I cannot say enough about these songs.  They come in handy when we're writing, too, and I start to hum the song for the word have before my kids have the chance to write haf.  No.  No.  No no no no.


In the meantime, since we're off today, I'm going to enjoy a day without a sight word song stuck in my head.

And I'm going to eat a cookie.  Obviously.



Reader's Theater


Two weeks in a row without Five for Fraturday?!  What is the world coming to?  You must feel so sad not to know five things that happened during my week.


I am out of town.

I'll tell you all about it in this coming week's Five for Fraturday because I plan on being prepared and having all my ducks in a row and I am determined to link up with Kacey.

In the meantime, I am also trying to think and prep for this coming week at school and I am so excited to switch out the Fall plays for the Holiday plays!  If I have to hear I see a Spider! one more time, I might just lose it.

Reader's Theater is an absolute favorite in my class and while I might get tired of hearing the same play over and over and over again, my kids don't.  It's a phenomenon.

While reading some blogs this morning, I happened upon Mandy's post over at The Primary Peach and she has some great links for FREE Reader's Theater!  They are more for a large group of students (not partners) but they look like a lot of fun, and most are based off of children's read aloud books.

I'm already checking some out -- I feel like my kids would be experts because of all the practice we get with my Partner Plays.

In the meantime, I'm giving away my Reader's Theater Holiday Bundle pack over on my Facebook page . . . so get on over there and enter for your chance to win one!

Have a happy Sunday!