Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Currently January 2015

I can't believe it's going to be 2015. Doesn't that feel like such a futuristic year? Maybe it's just me but I remember when it was New Years Eve 1999 and being so excited for the year 2000. I can't believe that was 15 years ago!

Listening- We've been binging on Netflix since we got home yesterday. My husband is watching "Crimes of the Century" right now while I'm reading "The Devil in the White City."

Loving- Our house is clean. I spent all week before we left (two weeks ago) making the house spotless so when we came home we would have one less thing to do and could relax. And now I've got my scentsy on with Christmas Cottage inside- best. smell. ever.

Thinking- about jury duty. We got home after 2 weeks of travelling all over the country (four Christmases) to a fun jury summons letter. Man, they don't give you much time to prepare! I'll have to take off a full week the second week we return to school. I am NOT looking forward to writing a week's worth of sub plans.

Wanting- I am going over to a friend's new house tonight for a party with lots of snacks, fun and games! Really looking forward to it and wishing it was 7:00 already!

Needing- More days off- I know. I'm greedy. I haven't relaxed at all yet though.

Yes to running- always my resolution!
Maybe to being open to opportunities.. more on that later in the month!
And I'm always wishing for a lifetime of happiness for my family and friends.
Happiness to me would be lots of travelling and memories in 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December BarkBox + 10% off

My favorite day of the month is when the BarkBox arrives! We were out of town for the holidays so we just got to open the December BarkBox today! Sometimes I think I'm more excited than my pup...

This is our dog- Brooklyn! She's a 3-year old miniature schnauzer. We had her annual vet visit today so it was a great day for a BarkBox after a bit of poking and prodding.

I love the cute wintery paper that wrapped up all the goodies in this month's box!

Two toys and a bandana in this month's box! 
The christmas bulb toy is by Orbee, one of our favorite dog toy companies! It has a strong minty scent to it so makes your dog's breath smell great when they play with it and it's made of thick, durable, bouncy material. 
The Penguin's belly is filled with crinkly plastic, which our dog LOVES.

Two edible treats in this month's box!
The bag of treats is HUGE. They're lamb biscuits from Superior Farms and the best part is that they're gluten-free!
The other treat is a Yeti Dog Chew- also in the largest size available. Brooklyn has had a Himalayan dog chew before and really enjoyed it. I like that they don't stain your furniture/blanket/carpet or wherever your dog decides to chow down on the treat.

One of my favorite things is that BarkBox includes a card in each box describing each toy and treat so that you know what you're giving your dog and also so that you can reorder if you need to in the future! All the toys and treats are made in the USA or Canada and BarkBox doesn't send sample sizes- it's all the regular size products from companies that you'll find featured monthly in each box. 

If you'd like to get in on the fun, click HERE to order. By clicking through that link, you'll automatically get 10% off your order! Then your pup can be just as happy as ours on a monthly basis!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

High-Interest Books for new, struggling or reluctant readers

I have a lot of students in my class that are English Language Learners (ELL). As fourth graders, they're drawn to books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Bone, Harry Potter and Dear Dumb Diary. Don't get me wrong, Harry Potter is my favorite book of all time, but I need my kids to be reading on their reading level and the vast majority of my students (22 out of 24, actually) are reading below-grade level.

For the past four years of my teaching career, I have consistently struggled to find high-interest books that intrigue intermediate readers but are also written at a lower lexile level for my ELL students.

SO!!! I would like to share with you this month's most popular high-interest book written for lower-level readers that was a hit in my classroom! My students were dying to have their turn reading this book, I even ordered more copies from Amazon tonight.

The Candy Corn Contest by Patricia Reilly Giff!

The book is called The Candy Corn Contest and it's appealing to all my fourth graders but is written at a 20 DRA level (Grade level 3.2; Guided Reading Level L). The book is a chapter book, is a good length (82 pages) and the text-size looks like a fourth grade-level book. I know that's a lot of details, but if a book looks too "baby-ish" to my kids, they often aren't interested in reading it. And it is, of course, perfect for October because it's about candy corn, but the book takes place in November after Halloween.

Here is the summary from Amazon: 
"It's almost Thanksgiving and Richard Best can't stop thinking about Ms. Rooney's Candy Corn contest. Whoever can guess the exact number of yellow-and-orange candies in the jar on ms. Rooneys' desk gets to keep them all. The only problem is Richard has to read a page in a library book for each guess. Smelly Matthew, who sits in front of him, knows they'll never win. "We're the worst readers in the class," he says. But Richard won't give up. He can already taste those candy corns."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Giveaway Alert!

Be sure to enter Melissa's 1000 Follower Giveaway at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late! Today is only day 1 and already it's packed with prizes. In today's two giveaways, you can win prizes from 8 different TPT teacher sellers including a $5 Winner's Choice prize from my shop!

You can also enter to win the quietest pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies!

Hop on over {here} to congratulate Melissa on 1000 followers and enter these giveaways! Don't forget to check back tomorrow for more!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Currently September!!

Ok so here's what's currently going on!

Listening: My hubby and dog can fall asleep so quickly. I'm much more of a night owl so that explains why I'm awake at this hour. I am pretty much nocturnal over the summer when there's no alarm set.

Loving: I am loving this 3 day weekend. We were able to go up to Pittsburgh to visit my husband's grandma. We went to Ribfest at Heinz Field and hung out with my in-laws and nephew. We've been travelling a ton lately and it's nice to see them so often. We'll see them again in 2 weeks!

Thinking: Of course my mind is on Tuesday- it's our first day of school! Yep, that's right, we still haven't started school yet.

Wanting: Lots of fall clothes! I just signed up for Stitch Fix and spent the night on Pinterest making my perfect stitch fix pinterest board. If you'd like to check out Stitch Fix click {here}. It's like Netflix but for clothes from a personal stylist. They get your measurements and you create a personal style quiz. Then you can create a pinterest board for them to look at while they're styling a box of 5 items for you!

Needing: I have been DYING of allergies. I'm not sure if they're indoor or outdoor allergies.. I've never had allergies like this before. My eyes are swollen shut and I could barely breathe on Friday. I've been taking Allegra and medicated eye drops and I guess I'll just have to make a doctor's appointment next.

3 Trips: I've been to Italy but it has so many different cities, I'd love to go back. I also flew through Germany once and was amazed and so want to go back, but I wanted to choose places that were really diverse for this! So I chose Ireland, Bora Bora and Budapest. Ireland is my family's homeland so that's pretty self-explanatory. Oh and plus irish accents? Swoon!! The Hilton at Bora Bora is just too picturesque to resist. And then Budapest has always intrigued me. But if I could add a fourth it would be Greece because I love Greek food. Clearly I just need to backpack around the world.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tried Teacher Tip: Life-Changing Product!

This might be something that most teachers already know, but this was a life-changing realization for me!

I used to buy magnet tape like this for my classroom:

Love that it was adhesive, but as we all know, by December, the adhesiveness is wearing off. And the fact that this tape is curved means that it's pulling away from the paper I stuck it to. I am always re-hot gluing the magnet tape to things in the middle of the day. SO frustrating. 

Finally I wised up and decided to order business card magnets from Amazon. They're intended to place on business cards to make them magnetic, but for me they're rectangles of flat magnet amazingness. I cut them into fourths and voila! My schedule cards, calendar, objectives posters and everything else that I need to be magnetized is done. There's no peeling away from the paper, so I don't foresee needing to hot glue or redo these in any way!

This set from Amazon is for a pack of 50.

Hope this changes someone else's life as well!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Two for Tuesday Sale {8.19.14}

It's time for Two For Tuesday time! These two products will be 50% off in my store TODAY ONLY! Everything on sale today will be chevron-themed!

The first item for sale is Chevron Name Plates. They are simple, clean and chevron to put on your students' desks. These are SUPER cheap so check them out {here}.

The second item for sale in my shop today is the Chevron Class Calendar cards. Use the included cards in this resource to display a calendar on a bulletin board, pocket chart or your board! I used to have a purchased calendar from a teacher store, but I lost a few of the cards so I had to make this one. This way if you lose a piece of your calendar (a month or a day..) then you can just reprint! Check them out {here}.

And speaking of sales, did you hear that TPT is having a ONE-DAY back to school BOOST sale?! It's tomorrow!!!! Every single item in my shop will be 20% off. If you use the promo code BOOST you can get 10% off on top of that! Check out my store {here} to start adding items to your wishlist for tomorrow's sale!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five for Friday {8.15.14}

Linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!!

Shopping, lots and lots of shopping this week! I love back to school season. New clothes and fresh new school supplies. And I found that cute lil dog figurine! He's going to go on my desk at school :)

My sister's birthday was last weekend so we had a whole weekend of celebrations planned!

I love my green smoothies. That is all. 

One of the activities we had planned last weekend was paintball! It was SO much fun. I'd been before but that was in high school. This place was so awesome so if you're ever looking for paintball places in the Northern VA area, check out Hogback Mountain Paintball!

I started a facebook and an instagram for Fourth Grade Lemonade! Click the pictures to follow each!

Can't wait to go through the linky and see what everyone else did this week!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Meet the Teacher!

Hey bloggy world! My name is Caitlyn. I'm a 25-year old teacher in Virginia. This will be my fourth year teaching fourth grade. I'm so excited to be in fourth grade again this year because I just love that age group.

I married my husband last September! We met at Beaver Stadium at Penn State a few days before freshman year started. We were friends first and started dating a few months later. He's been my best friend ever since.

We have a puppy named Brooklyn. She's a miniature schnauzer and she'll be 3 in October. She is the snuggliest, laziest fluffball you've ever met.

This summer I've been travelling, reading and spending time with family!

Top Chef, Running and coffee!
I'm addicted to Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee. I go to bed excited to wake up in the morning to have my coffee.

I originally went to college to be a journalist, so maybe some type of writer. When I was little my dreams included ballerina and marine biologist. I can also type really fast so I would have loved to be a Mad Men era secretary to channel my inner Christina Hendricks. Clearly I have no viable back-up plans!

Dedicated. Caring. Loyal.

In the spirit of going back to school- I love going to a million PD meetings rather than setting up my room said no teacher ever!
My district has teachers go back a week and a half before the students so we can go to tons of workshops. While many of them are useful (I love SIOP!!!) they're time-consuming and you're just dying to finish laminating, hanging, sorting, taping, etc.

I'd have to go with Harry Potter. (Hey, it didn't say anything against fictional characters!)

The Girl Who Loved Carbs

Definitely teleportation. I work about an hour away from my house because I love where I work and I love where I live, but I do NOT love the drive.


Home by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. I'm a terrible singer, but I love the song.
I love Jose and Alexa from RealityChangers' rendition of it here:

100% Night Owl. I become basically nocturnal during the summers.

I put a ton of hard work into my Literacy Centers Starter Kit. It's for 3-5th graders and I created it because I remember being so lost about creating centers my students could handle independently. Now that I've got a handle on it, I wanted to share. These are super easy... just print, and hand out! Most of the activities can be applied to ANY book, so you need minimal supplemental resources :)

I had the chicken pox three times as a kid!

You can join in on the fun too!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Made-It {8.11.2014}

We start school relatively late in my district, but I've been seeing everyone's back to school posts and it really had me inspired this week so I have been crafting and creating like crazy!

I got this idea from Shanyn at Coffee, Kids and Compulsive lists {here}! I loved it because it's SO simple... one of those ideas where you wonder- why didn't I think of that?!
All of my popsicle sticks got a washi tape makeover! I got blue and green chevron washi tape at Michael's and wrapped the tops of the sticks. These are the sticks that go in a jar that I pull to pick names. If you notice in the top right picture, make your "seams" on one side so that you can write the students' names on the neater side.

But I didn't just make these because they were cute, there's a reason!
Step 1: All the names in a jar, washi tape up.
Step 2: Pull out a name.
Step 3: Put the name stick back in the jar, washi tape DOWN.
Step 4: NOW I know which names I've called and which names I haven't because I can tell which side the washi tape is on. Brilliant!
Since I got a whole set of popsicle sticks and washi tape, I continued using them to finally make an idea I've had for a while!

Team Name Generator!!!
I always, always, always have my students pick their team names whenever we're playing some sort of game in my class (and we play a lot of games). It makes them excited about the activity and gives them ownership of their group. HOWEVER, sometimes it takes a long time and a lot of the time it leads to bickering between students about what the team name should be.

Enter... team name generator.

I put one washi tape (blue chevron) on half the popsicle sticks and another color (green chevron) on the other half of my popsicle sticks. On the green popsicle sticks I wrote a bunch of adjectives (sparkly, angry, courageous, polka-dotted, purple, funky...) and on the blue I wrote nouns (penguins, unicorns, tigers, bears, eagles...)

Have each team pick one blue and one green popsicle stick and....
They've got their name! In this case, it was the cheerful sharks, ha!

I thought this could be fun, but it also reinforces adjectives and nouns. I'll be saying "Ok, pick an a noun..." all year.

I also made a calendar display for my chevron-themed classroom this year:

It includes the months, days of the week and days 1-31 for you to display in your classroom. I had a calendar that I bought from a teaching store, but I lost the "31" number so then it looked ridiculous with my homemade non-matching 31 so I put this set together. Now if I lose a number, I can just reprint.

You can have this set too if you'd like! Hop on over to my TPT store.
You can also purchase all of my chevron-themed classroom sets in a brand-new bundle {here}.

Aside from chevron, I'm also obsessed with anchors and anything nautical. So, I also made a set of nautical binder covers! The set includes fifteen binder covers for all of your back-to-school organizational needs. Every year I say I'm going to be more organized so this was step ONE!