Breakfast Baskets

I decided to try something new this year for my morning work.  The idea had been spinning around in my head for a while, and then the fabulous Michelle Oakes from Fabulous in First (also my Vegas roomie!) came up with the name for me!

She created a fantastic product for her firsties:

morning menu

I wanted morning work to be something that could be done quickly, and wasn’t a big deal if it wasn’t finished.  Our breakfast goes a bit late and sometimes I have lots of stragglers coming in! I needed something to keep the kiddos engaged while I checked folders, counted lunch, did attendance, and so on. 

Michelle’s morning menu activities are too tricky for my kiddos right now, but I know around January this one will fit the bill.

So, in order to get my kiddos ready for the idea of Breakfast Baskets, I have put together baskets for 5 day rotations.    They are really simple, hands-on activities that the kids really enjoy! 

They will later morph to more paper and pencil tasks, books, and eventually to Michelle’s Morning Menu’s.

This is what the kids worked on for the first 5 days of school:


I got these cards from a scholastic book order once, and there are wikki sticks in the container.


Pattern blocks and pattern block mats (I got these from a friend, sorry I don’t have them!)


These are the Lakeshore lowercase letter builders.


Lakeshore number puzzles


Bear counters and patterning cards.  (I believe these came from Jessica Meacham’s site)

Here is how I manage the rotations:


Each table has an animal icon – and the squares are just the colors of the baskets.  This is really just for me to remember which table gets which basket!  It’s just in a small Target $1 section pocket chart. (It’s hanging on the blinds – that’s why it looks like it’s glowing!)

I’ll be back with the next 5 days of rotations soon!

Teacher Week 2012: Therapeutic Thursday

Here are my favorite ways to relax after a long week…


My husband and I LOVE going to movies. We don’t go as often as we like, but we love getting a big bucket of popcorn and catching a flick. I’m hoping to check out the new Bourne movie soon!

We also love this restaurant (we will often go there before the movie! If we have a babysitter, we better take advantage of it!).  It’s a local restaurant, but one of our faves.  The burgers are awesome, but my favorite are the potato chips!  They are cut right in front of you and delivered fresh out of the oil.  YUM.


I’ve always been a crafter.  I love to knit and crochet!  It’s fun to create something – often for my kids!


TV.  I never watch shows live – they are always recorded on the DVR and I watch them after the kiddos go to bed.  I like most of the Housewife shows, but BH is probably my fave.  I will NOT miss an episode of Parenthood. LOVE that show.  I was so bummed to hear the The Killing was cancelled this year.  I started watching it on Netflix this summer, and it’s great!

I have the best husband in the world.  He gives me foot massages. 

I love dreaming of beautiful jewels, homes, hair, craft projects…..

Of course I love hanging out with these two :)

And I love catching up with all of “you!”  Blogging and creating things are FUN and surprisingly relaxing for me!

So, how do you unwind after a long week?

Head on over to Blog Hoppin’ for more great ways to unwind!

Where I Work!

Sorry I missed yesterday! I promise I will be back on Saturday with Tuesday’s teacher tip!!

Today was our first day with kiddos! My girls also started today, one in Kindergarten and one in 5th!  We all had a fantastic day!


I quickly snapped some pictures of my classroom before I left school today…here goes!


This is my room from the back corner. 


From the back corner towards the front of the room.


This is where the kids make their lunch choice (yes, we have 5 choices), and where they build their rainbows.  This behavior system was created by Julie Lee.  You can read more about it {here}.


This is our coat area and where the children store their towels for rest time.


New center drawers (more on this soon!) and transportation info.




I no longer have the foam squares.  I was lucky enough to have my Donor’s Choose grant filled this summer.  Hopefully my carpet will arrive next week! Fingers crossed.

Hope you enjoyed my room – I’ll try to post more detailed pictures later!

In the meantime, head over to Blog Hoppin to see all of the other fantastic classrooms out there!


Blog Hoppin

Must Have Monday

It’s back to school week for many of us! I go back for teacher in-service and clerical days today, and my first day with kiddos is on Wednesday.  I am very excited to meet my little sweeties!

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin again this week for Teacher Week! 

Today is what we can’t live without in the classroom…

1.  Diet Coke.  I really need to stop this habit, but everyone else drinks coffee…why can’t I drink Diet Coke.  However, I will admit, I thought my habit was bad until I roomed for a week with Deedee Wills….that girl has got it BAD.

2. My Scotch Laminator.  My first one went caput last year after having it for 4 years, so I bought another one for school, and another one for home.  Love this baby.  I buy my laminating film at Sam’s Club.

3.  Pocket Cube Dice.  I use these ALL the time. Love them.  I found a great new resource for you too!  You can get 4 cubes for $14.95.  Just click on the picture to go to Resources for Learning!

ABCstuff MV324

4.  Do-A-Dot dobbers.  I love these, the kids love these, everybody loves these!!

5.  Katie and Company.  I seriously have about 30 of her flannel sets.  If you haven’t seen her goodies….you better go check them out! They are fantastic for Kindergarten and pre-K!

6. Music!! We LOVE to sing and dance..some of my faves are Shari Sloane and Jack Hartmann!



7. Heidi Songs!  We love to sing and dance with Heidi!  I love all of her DVDs/CDs.  They are fantastic for brain breaks and of course learning letters and sounds.

8.  This next one is a new one for me, and I HOPE that it’s going to change my life…. :)  My Erin Condren Life Planner.  It’s so pretty, why wouldn’t I want to carry it around with me and be organized? 


These are only a few on my teaching must-haves…head on over to Blog Hoppin’ to check out some other must-haves!

Blog Hoppin

What is on your “must-have” list?

Back 2 School Purchases

I’m super excited to show you some of the goodies I purchased!

I absolutely could not start the year without these two items:


And I’m super excited about doing a common core word wall.  I have an idea in mind for how to display, I just need to get into my classroom and do it!

I’m also very excited about Cheryl’s year round calendar prompts.  They are designed to slip behind your calendar numbers and she has tons of different season prompts to use during your morning meeting.  I plan on printing them on cardstock, putting them on a ring, and choosing one each day.

anna word wall  calendar prompts

Love this word family book too!

I’m going to add these classroom coupons to my treasure box for kiddos to choose from, and I LOVE these energizers/brain break cards!

coupons  energizers2

I also wanted to show you some of the goodies that sent me to check out.   You want to know what’s really neat about them – everything is less than a dollar at Wal-Mart!  My Wal-Mart had a TON of different things! Check it out…

 IMG_4167   IMG_4168



Now, head on over to Blog Hoppin’ and take a peek at other back to school must haves!

Blog Hoppin