My New BFF

At the end of every summer, a few of us teachers get together to have Game Night! We play board games, we eat dinner, we laugh, and have fun! :-)

So you can imagine my excitement when THIS (my new BFF)

showed up on my doorstep the DAY OF Game Night!!! Perfect! Who better to try out the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener than a bunch of teachers!!!

We tried it out. We loved it. They all wanted me to give it away as the prize for winning Game Night, but I said no way Jose.  

Look at how sharp those pencils are!!!

Here they are in action! Perfectly sharpened and ready to write!!!

Here are some of the things my wonderful teacher buddies said...

Kerry said: "You could stab an eye out with those pencils!!!"

Amanda said: "I didn't even hear you sharpen it." (And she was sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME!!!)

Priscilla said: "That could kill someone!"

and Summer said: "Hey look- you can sharpen the pencils one handed. Like at a rodeo!" 

I can't wait to find the PERFECT spot for my new BFF in my classroom!!! This is going to save me a lot of headaches, crying, and screaming that I previously went through every single morning in the lounge with the terrible pencil sharpener (my arch nemesis) (that had to be replaced 12 times and never really sharpened anything!!! They should call it the pencil breaker/headache giver!). 

Now, head on over and check out the Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener Ever out for yourself! :-)

And just to ensure you have a wonderful Sunday...I give you... the Corgi Cam!!! (One of my parents told me about this the other day and it is cuteness all over the place!) :-) 

Have a great day! 


I'm Out Today!

That's right!!! 

I'm guest posting over at my bloggy BFF's!!!

Please come on by and check it out!!!

Here's a little sneak peak of my post!!!

Now you have to go over and see what it's all about!!! 


Technology Tip Tuesday

Today is Technology Tip Tuesday! I am so excited to read everyone's technology tips and get lots of great ideas for my classroom next year!

I thought I would share one of my favorite videos with you...

It's not necessarily a technology tip, but it is definitely something to think about while planning an amazing year and thinking about the 21st century skills that our students need (which might include technology). :-)



The illustrator of this video is Peter Reynolds, who is the author of some of my favorite books like 


You can check out FableVision to get some amazing FREE technology posters and resources like this one:

Also, you MUST check out Technology Tailgate (if you haven't already!)!!! It is FULL of amazing ideas and resources from some AMAZING bloggers!!!

Whether you're still on summer vacation (lucky duck!), getting your classroom ready (that's what I'm doing!), or with your little ones, I hope you're having a wonderful Tuesday! :-)


Must-Haves Monday

I am so excited to be linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week! I didn't get to participate last year (because I wasn't blogging then!) but I am so happy to be able to link up this year! I love getting a peek into everyone else's lives (both at school and personally) so I am excited to see everyone else's must-haves!!!  

Here are some of my Must-Haves :-) 

My was love at first lamination! And the best $30.00 I've ever spent! Ever! 

A new lunch box. I hate packing my lunch everyday (because who really has time to eat...??? It's more like scarf down whatever I can find...) so having a cute lunch box helps! (Thanks mom! ;-)

Airborne & hand sanitizer & Vitamin C. This trio helped me stay germ free last year!!!

All of my "i" stuff...iPhone, iPad, and my Mac Book. I couldn't survive without this stuff!!! And I couldn't stay organized! And I couldn't create anything! And I couldn't email! Yikes!

Clipart by Corazon Dulce

Sharpies...gotta love the Sharpies!!! I use them all day everyday. 

And finally, my dogs! It's so nice to come home after a loooooong day and see these smiling faces!!!

What are some of your Must-Haves!?!?! Go link up!!! :-)


Sneak a Peek

The TPT Back to School sale was a so wonderful! (Considering I am starting to feel a little tiny bit sad about the end of summer...) 

I was so happy about all of my purchases, I immediately started printing and laminating...

Here are some of the great things I got that I am SO EXCITED to use in my classroom!!!!! (Click on the pictures to take you there!)

And this is only the tip of the iceberg...

It's been so fun seeing what everyone else got- Apparently I am clearly not done spending $$$ before school starts and have added just as many things as I purchased onto my wish list after seeing everyone else's purchases. ;-)


Keeping Kids on Track with Technology: A Mini Lesson

I think I've mentioned before, but my class will be going 1:1 with iPads next year!!! I am SO excited to get this technology into my 2nd graders hands!!!

At the beginning of the year, I plan on spending A LOT of time going over procedures and how to's and do's and don't's. Technology like this can be very intimidating (for the teacher!!!)!

I shared a class set of iPod touches last year, and this was one problem I had...

How do I really know what the kids are doing over there with the technology??? They're sitting at their desk with their device... They look engaged... They look like they're doing something productive. They're not disturbing anyone... so it must be okay.

This wasn't always the case (i.e. taking 479 silly pictures of themselves using the camera...productive? Not so much.)

And a (hopefully good) lesson for a solution to the problem...

I'll start off by talking about how we need to be responsible for our actions, how there's only one of me and 24 of them (I'm sorry for all of you out there who have 30+ little ones!!!), and how I can't always be sitting right next to them to help them make smart choices... you know the schpeel. :)

Then I pick up my iPad (and make sure the sound is off), and tell them I have a very important assignment to complete. And I start working. I look really engaged, with that "smart" look on my face. I look really intense, like I'm really working hard.

I ask the kids what they think I'm doing.

They always say working on my project.

So I keep working intently.

Finally, I show them what I've actually been doing...

I turn my screen around and what do they see...

There are always loud "HEY!!!!"s and "What!?!?!?" and "Mrs. Patterson!!!!!!!!!"

Then I ask them my three iPad questions (this will come in handy later when they ask me, "Can I do x app???")

Am I learning?
Am I being productive?
Am I disturbing anyone around me or making anyone uncomfortable?
(This one emerged from the kiddo's fascination with taking pictures of their friends. Which is fine in some cases, but not always. We talk about how sometimes people don't want their picture taken, so it's always important to ask someone before taking their picture "Excuse me, may I please take your picture?")

The answers SHOULD be yes, yes, and no. For this particular lesson, the answers are no, no, and no.

We have a talk about being responsible, and making smart choices (one of our iPad rules), even when no one is looking. (I LOVE this poster from technology rocks. seriously)

Then I show them how we can check which apps they've been using. By pressing the home screen two times, quickly, it will pull up a row of open apps, in the order in which they've been used.

Graphics by Corazon Dulce


Now, of course I won't have Angry Birds installed on the student iPads, but this can help when we know it's math time and instead kiddos are doing Google searches with their friends' names. (Yes, it really happened....) I'll be able to tell they were not on their math app, but instead on Google, and ask them about this.

I have a poster with my three questions for them to refer to. Kids will often time come ask me, "I'm done with my work, can I do x app?" I always refer them to the three questions. If the answers are yes, yes, no, then they can do it. This prevents them from coming and asking me every single time and interrupting a group.

You can grab the poster by clicking the picture below. :-)

I hope this whole little lesson will help my kiddos be more responsible and make smart choices when using their iPads!

I can't get into my classroom until next week, so I think I'll do something fun today.... beach??? It's been unbearably hot this last week! See: 

(The poor dogs just sit in front of the fan all day & night...) 

I hope you are staying cool and having fun, and for those of you that are back at school, wishing you luck and a great start to a great school year!!!

Back-to-School Sale!!!

Maybe you've heard... ;-)

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sale!!!

Who doesn't LOVE a sale!?!

Especially when it's for stuff for your classroom!!!

Graphics by Scrappin Doodles

Here are a few things you'll find in my TPT store...



Short Vowel { FREEBIE }

Hi friends!!!

I am in an exceptionally good mood today because we are headed to the happiest place on Earth for one last mini vacation of the summer!!!

                                                                          Source: via Tracie on Pinterest


Then I PROMISE to get back into my Back-to-School-Crazy-Girl mode!!! (The List keeps getting longer and longer...And longer...)

I have a Literacy Work Station freebie for you!

(Click either picture to download it)

You can read about how these literacy activities started { HERE }.

This activity comes with a scoot and a sort- you pick! Teacher directions (for parent volunteers), student directions (for an independent station), recording sheets for both activities, and answer keys (so the kiddos don't have to bug you with "Is this right!?!?!").

AND it comes in color and black and white!

AND it's aligned with Common Core. 

AND I hope you can use it! 

It would probably be best for firsties, second graders, and even struggling third graders. 

You can find more FREE literacy stations by clicking the tab on the top of my blog!!!


Since we are headed to Disneyland, I did some chalkboard art on my chalkboard

What do you think??? 
(About the freebie and the chalkboard art!?!?) 



Transitions and Cutting Music with GarageBand- An Easy Cheesy Tutorial

A while back, I did a post about using music for transitions in my classroom. Lots of us do this and it's simply brilliant. Whenever my mom comes into my classroom, she says my kids are "trained like dogs" because they respond so well to the music.

Well, I used to have all of the songs on my iPod that was hooked up to the speakers on the SMART board. Anytime I needed a song to play, I would have to get up (from wherever I was in the classroom) and put the song on (because I didn't want my kiddo's grimy little hands touching my personal iPod). This was not very convenient for me, but it worked. So, you can imagine my excitement when I had this serious lightbulb moment thanks to Pinterest!!!

                                                                       Source: via Sandy on Pinterest

Mrs. Lirette at Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives is a genius! 
Embed all the songs in a SMART board file!!! Duh!!!! Now I can have it up all day, the KIDS can press the song we need (when I tell them to of course!!!) and I'm not having to worry about my iPod all day!!! 

So, I got to work and started to create my SMART board file.
(I am obsessed with this background!!! It's from Maree Truelove!) 

You just press the star to play the song! But the songs I've been using (for the last five years) are starting to get on my nerves... So I picked some new songs from iTunes- some of my favorites:

Pink Panther
Austin Powers
I Like to Move it


Problem: The songs were too long. I'm sorry but the kids don't need 3 minutes and 47 seconds to line up.

Enter GarageBand.

I created this tutorial (this is my FIRST tutorial!!! Ever! I hope it turned out okay!) to show you how to cut the songs down in GarageBand and embed them into a SMART board file. It's super easy. And if I can do it, you can too! Trust me!!!

What songs do you use for transitions??? Any fun ones?!? Like, I said, my old ones are driving me nuts and I need new ones! 


Hope this helps you! 


August Currently & Box Tops

AAAaahhhhhhhh! It's already August!?!?!? What happened!?!?!?!?

We don't go back to school until after Labor Day, so I still technically have a month. But I know that month is going to be filled with laminating and cutting and hanging and prepping and copying and begging (my family to help me!!!) and planning!!!

Here is my August Currently:

My B2S must haves- I always always always have a Sharpie on me. Always. 

I cannot say enough about this laminator- it's made my life so much easier! And it works SO well!!! And now I can laminate all my stuff, at home, in my jammies, on my couch, and not worry about my hair getting caught in the big old clunky one (that always works and never ruins my stuff) at school! :)

And my friends- especially school friends who understand just how stressful this time of year is. It's just nice to be working alongside people I consider good friends- it makes going back everyday at 6:30 am not so painful! :)

Thank you for hosting Farley!!!

****Side note- I made this for my Box Tops:

You can click the picture to get the label (if you want it).
(The little tub is from... where else!?!? The dollar spot at Target!) 

Happy Friday!!!