What's in YOUR cart? BTS 2015 Linky Party

Anyone else getting that excited/anxious feeling now that August is right.around.the.corner??!! So am I! To top it off, the big back to school sale on TpT is almost here! On August 3rd-4th, you can unload that wish list, move it to your cart, and save 28% storewide, using the code BTS15. My cart has been loaded for a while.

I am joining up with Jenna Rayburn from Speech Room News to share some items I am super obsessed   so excited to purchase during the upcoming sale. I also plan on sharing a few items from my store that I use each year and a new set I a really excited about.

Okay, let's kick this off.

First, I am going to share a few of the items that have been on my wish list for a while now. I was displaced at the end of last school year. I wasn't sure if I could stay in the same grade level and once I knew for SURE I was staying in 2nd grade, I knew I would snag these beauties during the big sale.

1. Interactive Anchor Charts: Reading Edition from The Applicious Teacher
    These templates look amazing to help keep my anchor charts, clean, simple, and productive for
    my kiddos. I love hanging my anchor charts on my windows to use as a reference during a topic or
    skill and cannot wait to use these!


2. Spelling Homework for any LIST for the ENTIRE year from SunnyDays
    I have so many products that I LOVE from SunnyDays. I wanted to use this homework in a
    different way for spelling this year. I plan on taking her idea of spelling homework in a notebook
    and using it for ALL of my homework needs. Hopefully, this turns into a great idea and not a
    headache!! :)

3. Dealing with Math Homework: 2nd Grade Math Card Games from Teachers Clubhouse
    I needed to revamp my math centers because I don't care for some of the ones that came with our
    current math program. I went to the Dollar Tree and grabbed Jumbo playing card sets and a few
    bright baskets so I am ready to go this year!

And if you want to swing by my store...these are a few of my favorites and a brand new line that I am ecstatic super excited can't wait to use thrilled to share.

1. Interactive Endangered Animals Packet
    This packet is great for not only studying endangered animals but teaching your kiddos about
    research, writing a research report, and giving an oral presentation. I added full color posters of
    each animal to correspond with the animal reports. My kids love this activity.

2. 2nd Grade Playdough Math Mats
    I made these to be used to supplement math lessons and be used in centers. I am making my own
   Jello-Playdough for my classroom this year with Jolly Rancher playdough. So excited!

And drum roll please....

3. Magic Tree House No Prep (ELA) Books 1-10 Bundle
    I am so excited about this! Currently, I am finishing up book #20 and should have a few more
    bundles to add. But this is a great way to focus on ELA grammar and phonemic awareness skills
    while practicing fluency with these amazing chapter books!


That's it...I would love to see what you are planning on purchasing during the sale! Be sure to stop by and let me know:)


Building Class Libraries

Do you scroll through beautiful classroom library pictures on social media pages and think, "HOW did they purchase all of those books? "WHERE did they get all of them?" And my personal favorite, "HOW can they afford that?!"

I know I panicked when I went from kindergarten to second grade a few years ago. I had no idea how I was going to build a classroom library without going broke. The year I transferred into second was a crazy year. Now wait, before you think big deal let me explain.

The year I moved into second, I moved houses Labor Day weekend. I got pregnant with my second son and I am sick ALL NINE MONTHS. My district closed 2 elementary buildings and my building had to move halfway through the year. We were supposed to move at Christmas, so I packed. We didn't move until February so I taught from boxes for 2 months. Once we moved, I had 2 days to unpack and set up a new classroom.

Yep. Told ya it was a crazy year!!

Ok, back to that library business. That year I had a wonderful parent who had 10 boxes of books and magazines delivered to my classroom. I remember standing in the door when the custodian delivered them saying, "These are all for me?!"

What happened was this parent went to the thrift store frequently and kept finding books she thought I would enjoy. She said she knew I purchased most of my own things and she thought this would help build a library for the kids.

Can I tell you I sat down and cried? I couldn't believe it. I never had a parent show so much generosity to me in my career. She got it. She knew I worked hard to make my classroom the best I could for my students but did a lot out of my own pocket.

After finding out thrift stores were a hidden gem for school supplies, I am a frequent flier. This week alone I was there twice and in just those two trips I bought nearly 80 {Yes, I said EIGHTY} books. Today, I spent nearly $70 but I did buy a few other things also. Most books are marked between 0.25 -1.99. You just have to read the signs. You can tell how long the book has been there by the date on the sticker. Sometimes if the book has been there for a while, the store will clearance the item.

This particular trip I scored over 20 books, a puzzle, a dvd, and the crate that is in the background for under $20!!

Each time I go I'm not always lucky. Sometimes I find a bunch. Other times I walk out without buying a single item. The key is to go frequently, park yourself on the floor, and dig through piles of things. I have several hundred books for my kids to use and very few of them were purchased outside a thrift store.

Many retired teachers will donate their classroom libraries over the summer so be sure to check back EVERY WEEK!!

One of my favorites is Goodwill. They have great employment programs for kids with special needs which is one reason I support them. {I am simply stating my opinion and am not being paid/endorsed by Goodwill or any other thrift store.}

Sometimes you will find many books that are on the same theme. This trip I found so many non-fiction books that I plan on throwing into writing centers that were all around $0.50-1.00 each!!

So my question is, is there enough gas in the car to find the nearest thrift store?? Check back and let me know what you find!! I LOVE a good deal:)


Holy moly! Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, emails, blogs, and periscopes {Ok, I have an account now but have not navigated my way through yet} and Pinterest {did I forget anything?} I swear teachers are lighting up the digital world!


It is great to be a part of such a social {haha, I had to} group of teachers who are willing to collaborate, share, and inspire one another! I am jealous of those who were able to attend the TPT Vegas Conference this year. From the looks of all the pictures those in attendance are having a blast.

Sigh. Not that I am not having fun myself but could this rain stop. For just a little bit? My tomato plants are going to either drown or win blue ribbon prizes at the end of the season.

So if you are following on any of the above social media sites, you may be aware that I am working hard on a NO PREP line for the Magic Tree House. I decided that I needed to add some sample pages for those who were interested in these products but didn't want to take the plunge yet. I have the first book Dinosaurs Before Dark up and posted on my TpT store. I will work on my other stores next.

Basically in a nutshell, I will be giving away 2-3 pages of the set as a FREEBIE. I may keep them forever or as a flash freebie. I haven't decided. I would love for you to check them out and let me know what you think! Each set does start out with the same phonics skills that I change for each book. The rest of the set covers a wide number of ELA skills for K-2.

Here's what you will find in the Dinosaurs Before Dark NO PREP (ELA) SAMPLE.

Get your kiddos blending with this adorable egg blending activity using words from the text!

Need practice on those tough root words? Here is a great way to incorporate that skill while reading the novel!

Such a hard skill for my kiddos! Here is a great practice activity that can be used in class, for morning work, a mini assessment or even homework!
That's it! I will be working on adding more samples to my FREE section on my stores and I hope you check them out and let me know what you think! I LOVE talking to new {and old} friends!!