Contests to Enter!

It's been quite a while since I've written in my blog!  I can't believe that we're almost one fourth of the way through the school year! I've had lots of wonderful blog ideas swirling in my head- but somehow never sit down to write them.  Hopefully it'll get easier.

I want to let you know of some contest opportunities to enter to win some amazing prizes.
The first is a chance to win an Amazon gift card- $50!!!

TpT $75 Give Away!

Wow! How did almost three weeks fly past since school started? I've had all kinds of blog posts swirling in my head, but somehow they've never made it to the point of getting written!

I'm just popping in to let you know that you have an opportunity to win a $75 TpT gift certificate right now! I know I still have a lot of items on my wish list and could use this right now! 

Here's the scoop on how to enter. 


Teacher Pay Teachers $25 Giveaway

Win a $25 gift certificate to TpT!

I'm just popping in to let you know about an opportunity to enter a giveaway for a $25 TpT gift certificate!  This would be the perfect time to get some extra money to spend there since most of us are heading back to school soon!

Florida and Two Giveaways

My Florida Trip

I am having a hard time getting back in the swing of things since returning from Florida.  I had a wonderful time at the TpT conference and also vacationing with my husband and grandkids!
I arrived in Florida alone a few days before the conference to meet up with my good friend Jeanie, from 
Mrs. Humphries Class.  We had a great day at the Magic Kingdom before the conference started.


Reading Strategies Goal 4: Teaching Fluency

I'm back! 
Today we are continuing our study of  


Reading Strategies Goal 3: Supporting Print Work AND a $75 TpT giveaway!

We have now reached week 3 of our book study of
The Reading Strategies Book Your Guide to Developing Skilled Readers.
If you haven't purchased this book yet, go grab it fast! This book is full of wonderful strategies to use with your students.  It's easy to pick up and implement new strategies right away.  I have picked up quite a few strategies to try when we return for the new school year!


Life Happens and a giveaway!

Well, I had intended to try to blog about some school related things this past weekend.  But, as my title suggests, other things took the front seat.

I live in the area in California where the huge fire called The Erskine Fire is happening right now.  The last few days have been a blur.  My house is fine and I never was in grave danger (only a few scares).  I feel incredibly blessed, but also extremely sad for all the people who lost their homes- 250+ at last count. My son-in-law's mom's house burned down.  My sub, who covered all the weeks for me while was on the jury trial 2 months ago, her house burned done (second time she's lost her home to a fire here).  So many sad, sad stories.

What has been wonderful is the outpouring of support and care from my community and beyond.  People have brought truckloads and truckloads (and truckloads) of water, clothing, food, baby care items, hay for animals, pet supplies, etc.  I am amazed and blessed at the goodness of people. Volunteers coming out to help.  The Red Cross is set up at my school.  A lot of community members are going through the process of becoming a Red Cross volunteer (myself included) so we can help out there.

Nothing like going through an experience like this to remind you of what is important!

Book Study

Now, on to other things.  Have any of you read the book The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo?  Can I just say- AWESOME book!  I am part of a group of bloggers that will be blogging about this book each week until we go all the way through it.

You can read about the first goal here:

An Apple for the Teacher

I will be blogging about goals 3 & 4  two weeks in a row.  Check back to hear what I have to say about these goals (good things!).

Now, time for a giveaway!


Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by:  An Apple for the Teacher

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 7/1/16 and is open worldwide.


Who loves Amazon and a giveaway

Amazon and I are BFF's!

I have a little addiction- it's called Amazon Prime.  I love this website.  I seriously get probably an average of 3 deliveries from Amazon every week. 

 When I first got my account I was buying mostly books because I liked the idea of getting them in 2 days.  Well, I'm waaaaay past books now (I still buy a lot of books, but a good amount of my personal books are purchased as Kindle books now that I can read on my iPad).  

I buy so much on Amazon for my classroom and home.  This week I ordered quite a few different metal organizer shelves & basket organizers, and a rolling laundry basket.  I am determined to get my cabinets and drawers organized this summer!  I also regularly buy toiletries, dog toys, dog treats, dog collars, cleaning products, exercise DVD's, gift cards, etc., etc., etc.

I love that when I need a book for a lesson I can pop on Amazon & order it and POOF in two days it arrives.

love Amazon Prime!

I have joined with some other bloggers to offer you the opportunity to win a $25 gift card to Amazon.  


Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by: An Apple for the Teacher

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter below to enter.  Giveaway ends 6/22/16 and is open worldwide.

Hopefully you'll win and can shop away on Amazon (I am not being compensated in any way by Amazon with this post- I just really love Amazon!). 

$25 Gift Certificate to TpT Giveaway!

I love summer!

I just finished my first full week of summer break.  How about you?  At times this scares me because I think that the summer is going to fly by,  then I remind myself that sometimes in July I always start feeling the urge to start getting my room ready and plans all laid out for the next year.

Tomorrow one of the other first grade teachers in our district is coming over and we are going to do some planning!  Too soon?  I am an organized person, so I actually like getting things laid out so I know what other planning/prepping I need to do during the summer.   

How about you?  What do you like to do during the summer to get ready for the next year?

I am part of a group of bloggers who are bringing you another chance to win a $25 gift certificate to TpT.  That would sure help to get a jump on your back-to-school prepping!

You can enter below!


Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by:  An Apple for the Teacher

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 6/18/16 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monthly Giveaway of a $75 dollar TpT gift certificate June 2016

How fun would it be to win a $75 dollar give away to TpT?  Think of all the products you could buy to help you get ready for the 2016 school year!  I know I'd love it!
I'm joining with some of my bloggy buddies to bring this give away to one of our LUCKY readers!!!


Prize: $75 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: An Apple for the Teacher

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 6/13/16 and is open worldwide.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A few of us also have a $25 give away that started 6/4.  Maybe enter this one also while you're at it!  Click the picture below or HERE to to be taken to that given away.


Another Year in the Books and a Giveaway!

School's Out For Summer!

On June 2nd I closed the door to my classroom for summer break for my 23rd time.  I was ready for a break, BUT am really going to miss all my little cutie pies.  This was such a wonderful class this year.

We try to plan lots of fun activities during the last week (we actually only go 2 1/2 days during the last week).  On Tuesday afternoon afternoon we had a sprinkler party (this is a yearly tradition).  We turn on the sprinklers on the front lawn and let the kids run crazy though the water.  A good part of the front lawn is shady, which feels really great when it's almost 100 degrees outside!  We usually drag out a hose during this time to add to fun.  Right before the activity began, our custodian noticed the old spray thing-a-ma-ging was not working well.  You have to have a well-spraying thing-a-ma-ging to have any fun.  He hurried to the hardware store and bought a new one just in time.  As a side note- it was a beautiful shade of purple (insert a very happy face of me here :-)  ).  Something comes over me when I get that hose in my hand.  All the other teachers spray nice and gentle.  Not me!  I like to make them run and scream- all in good fun!  They like to tease me to get me to hunt them down spray them.  I guess I'm quite a sight because the secretary was watching me through the window and came out to take a picture of me .  I had no idea she did it until I received the picture in a text.  All in good fun!

The next day we have an awards ceremony which takes about one hour.  When we came back to our class I got out some containers of new playdoh.  The kids had a blast trying to spell words using the playdoh.  At the end I let them all take the container home with them.  They were so thrilled I almost thought I'd be awarded Teacher of the Year for doing it!

In the afternoon we emptied our desks and thoroughly cleaned them.

They always love this activity!
When the desks are all cleaned I do a "raffle" with all of the junk treasures I no longer have need of from  my cabinets.  They love this activity.  I pull out a Popsicle stick with a name on it & that person gets to go pick something to keep.   They love this!  I think we went through 6 rounds before everything is gone.  Great way to clean out cabinets!  I even throw some chocolate candy bars into the raffle.  Those always go first!

On the last day of school we always go to the little theater in our area.  We watch a movie, eat popcorn, drink soda.  FUN!  Well, it's fun until 50 of them have to go to the bathroom from drinking all of their soda.  
From the movie we are taken to a park near our school where we have a picnic (they all bring their lunches) and then they get to play, play, play!  The park is shady and it feels lovely.

This was one of my cuties after school in the after-school program.
I think the week of fun was a success!

Giveaway Time!


Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Co-hosts: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher),  Stephanie Rye (Forever in Fifth Grade),  The Chocolate Teacher, Kamp Kindergarten , Mrs. Roltgen, and La-Nette Mark.

Giveaway organized by: An Apple for the Teacher

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 6/11/16 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let's Celebrate With a Birthday Blog Hop!

Celeste is having a birthday and some of her bloggy buddies have gotten together to help her celebrate!  We are helping her celebrate with four separate giveaways (yep, four!) and you might also pick up some freebies along the way too!

I am always on a quest to find a way to help my students use my word wall to assist them in their spelling.  I have tried many different ways to get them to LOOK AT THE WORD WALL- lol!!  I decide to create a simple word wall to hang in the front of my room so they could easily look up and copy words.  I decided to keep it simple and only put four words on a card.  I picked words that I knew were ones the frequently misspelled in my classroom and also words that I found on the internet that are the most commonly misspelled in primary classrooms (I had to add some words in on some letters just to keep it consistent- like the letters q, v, z).  So far it's been a hit in my room!  This is a paid product in my store, but I am offering it for free only during this blog hop.  You must click through this blog to get this product as a freebie (it is still a paid item in my store).  It'll be free from June 1-8, 2016.  
Click on the cover of the product or here.

This unit also comes with an individual word wall for students to keep in their desks.  I ran them back to back on card stock and laminated them so they'll last.    

If you get a chance, let me know sometime if this helped your students out with their spelling!

You can download a copy of the ebook that highlights the different prizes being given away during this blog hop.  There are four different prize packages available!
Grab that here:

The only thing left to do is to enter the contests below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to see some other tips and maybe snag some freebies?  Check out the other blogs participating in this hop.


I've Almost Made it!

Three Days of School Left!

I'm almost to the finish line!  I can't believe how many teachers have been posting that they're already out of school!  We'll be done on June 2nd.  I've been busy cleaning & organizing my room so I'm ready to prep for the new school year when I come back (probably in July- our school starts in August).

Yesterday we had our school carnival- what a blast!  By afternoon I WAS BEAT!  I remembered that we have videos available to our school from Art With Joy.  I don't know if you have these videos available- but they are fantastic for walking the kids through drawing step by step.  The one I used yesterday is always a favorite of mine- castles.  My first graders ALWAYS do a fantastic job with them.  

Aren't they wonderful! The kids are always so proud of them!

To help you kick off your summer- how about a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to TpT???
You can enter to win below.  Good luck!

Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: An Apple for the Teacher
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 6/4/16 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Hello, It's Me (and a give away)

Hello, It's Me.  I've been thinking about you.....
Haha.  Somehow that Adele song has been stuck in my head for awhile.

Life has been crazy!  I can't believe it's been several months since I last even looked at my blog.  My life was turned upside down when I got selected for a jury on a murder trial!  The jury lasted 6 weeks,  we had a two week break in the middle, so I actually only was gone for 4 weeks.  One of the weeks was my spring break- now that is just plain wrong!!!!  There should be a law against first grade teachers having to be out of their classrooms for a trial.  haha
I live in a rural area and had to travel an hour every day to show up for the trial (one way).  The thing I find hilarious is that we got paid 34 cents a mile ONE WAY!   How am I supposed to get home????   HMMMMMMM.


Since I returned school has been wonderful.  I really do think I appreciated my class so much more when I returned to them!  I have 8 days of school left and am not feeling the normal- I am barely making it to the finish line- feeling.
We've had a lot of fun recently.  Last week we took a field trip to a family farm.  It was over an hour ride on the bus and my biggest fear was BARF!  I am pleased to announce that I had no barfers.  Maybe it was all the peppermint candies I gave them, or that parents drove their kids who got really carsick.  I don't know- but I'm rejoicing.

I an absolutely the worst at remembering to take pictures!  At the farm we got to each pick a basket of organic blueberries and eat all we wanted as we picked.  They were the best blueberries in the world!

We each got to take home the big basket of berries we picked.  When I noticed one child didn't have his basket of berries anymore, I asked where they were.  He informed me he had eaten them all. Uh- oh, it was probably at least 2-3 cups full of blueberries (plus all he ate when we were picking).  I was a little worried about the bus ride home, but thankfully we had no incidents due to the excessive berry eating.

We got to go on a hay ride around the farm.

They also had a huge thing called a bounce pillow that I of course didn't take a picture of.  That was probably the kids favorite activity.  It was under an open structure so it they weren't exposed to the hot sun.  I think 2-3 classes could be on it at a time!  

Well, this is a small bit of what I've been up to recently.  


I am participating in a give away where you have a chance to win a $25 gift card to TpT (oh ya, can we say advance planning???).

Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway organized by:  An Apple for the Teacher
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 5/28/16 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have a great week!

Featured Teacher Tuesday

NOOO!  It’s come to an end!  This is the last blog post for a while of the Featured Teacher Tuesdays!
Heidi Neels from Flipping for First is a spunky and organized first grade teacher!  
Years of tumbling, cheerleading and a passion for teaching made her blog name come to life!  She has been teaching for 9 years, 6 of those being in first grade!  She has truly found her teaching niche!
Heidi has been married for 15 years (yep, he’s tied up in the basement) and has two beautiful girls ages 15 (don’t do the math) and 10!  Faith brings joy in her life each and every day!  God has blessed her family and teaching career!  She is a middle child (typical middle child syndrome) and requires lots of attention from those around her!
Organization fuels Heidi through first grade!  (It may be a disease!)  Check out her blog for some amazing tips on how to organize Words Their Way, Listening Stations, Behavior Management, Erin Condren Planner, Common Core Assessments, Classroom tips and so much more!

Laughing is important to Heidi!  Mo Willems, first grade quotes, and National Lampoon movies can put a smile on her face.  Just like Wimberly, Heidi can worry a lot!  Therefore Heidi clings to
Psalm 46:10  “Be still, and know I am God!

Heidi’s best seller is her Editable Daily Behavior Chart!  This is an amazing product that every teacher who has a student with challenging behavior needs!!  Heidi loves to hear success stories about teachers using this in their classrooms!!
Fry’s First 100 Sight Words came about when she had 30% of her students struggling with sight words!  Yikes!  To overcome this obstacle, Heidi created a product that focuses on teaching the words in context using pictures, repetition, and motor skills!  She ended that year with 100% of her students knowing all first grade sight words!  Love it!
Heidi’s First Grade Common Core Math Assessments are a full year’s worth of assessments!  She even has a blog post with a yearly calendar to help you plan!
Assessment Bundle Cover IMAGE.gif
Check out one of Heidi’s freebies!
Don’t forget to join me in following Heidi!

Back to Top