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Hello all (if you are still out there!)

I can't believe it's been almost an entire year since I last published a post on here.  But what a year it's been!

New grade level, new principal, new curriculum, new room, new team, new everything!  I'm so excited to approach the upcoming year, and I can very honestly say that the excitement had been long buried beneath a lot of the other "junk" that comes with teaching.

I've been digging deep (well, officially) into my curriculum and having a year to teach it, I'm really excited about taking it further and creating lessons and materials to use.  Last summer I sat and twiddled my thumbs a bit... when you change grade levels, you don't want to come in as a "know it all" or overstep any boundaries.  No, I absolutely didn't have a clue 90% of what this lesson or standard would look like in my room, so I kept quiet.

My district uses UbD (Understanding by design) to unpack standards in reading and math.  It is quite the daunting task.  While I am NO means an expert on the topic, last night I played around with unpacking my first standard solo... I'll share when I finish it completely.

Just wanted to say I'm planning to be a little more proactive this summer and share some of the things I'm doing in my classroom.

See you soon!
The past few weeks, I've not thought about school, well, in the sense that I've not bought, made, browsed, or even been to my new classroom.  It's been in the dark, deep, recesses of my mind (haha) but not in the physical state.

That's about to change.

The return to school date is looming ever so closer on my non-existent calendar.  So after my east coast tour from Lake Erie to the Atlantic Ocean (literally- we went from Toledo to the Outer Banks in the course of two trips and two weeks!), it's time to turn my attention to my classroom.

But first...shopping!

I went to Target with the hopes of hitting up the dollar spot for some goodies for my classroom.  My theme is still owls, but I want to incorporate more turquoise/blue because it's one of my favorite colors.  As I entered the doors of Target, I could see that the dollar spot had been butchered.  That's what I get for being on vacation.  There were hardly any "teachery" things left!  I did find a cute banner that is turquoise.. There were lots of file folders, bulletin board boarders, and pencils...none of which were on my list.  So sad.

Target Dollar Spot Finds Target Dollar Spot Finds

I was looking for this that I saw on Instagram:

Target Dollar Spot Finds
Follow @targetteachers on Instagram!

Was it there?  Nada.  Target, you really need the dollar spot online.  I don't even care if it doesn't qualify for free shipping.  Well, maybe I do, but you get the point.  They also have lots of colors of Sharpies in singles...$1.50.  I got...you guessed it... 2 in turquoise!  Semi-redemption for the dollar spot sell out.

But my real surprise... The hubs had to run into Home Depot to pick up an order, so while we waited, I looked around.  Swoon!  They had lots of goodies up front... I must have had some kind of goofy look on my face because one of the associates came up to me and asked me if I needed any help.  No, I replied, I'm just a teacher and loving these! (as I pointed to the blue stackable containers that I later purchased.)

BTS Finds at Home Depot BTS Finds at Home Depot

I'm thinking about using these for lunch boxes or homework... When I taught 2nd, I had my kids put lunchboxes on top of the cubbies... But my cubbies are a little taller, so I have room to stack these below.  We'll see how it works out.  Besides, they were blue.  And $4.88 a piece.  And I wanted them. The wooden crates were a great deal, too, at $9 and change, but didn't need them.

Tomorrow, I plan on going to my room and getting things set up.  Be on the look out for pics of my new 4th grade classroom!  In the meantime, share your Target finds or great teacher/school finds from anywhere!
So, I'm writing today with some mixed emotions...

I found out recently that I'm moving to 4th grade next year.

I'm still in denial that it is happening... The majority of my career has been in 2nd grade, which I big, puffy, squishy heart love.  But, as the volundrafted person to make the move, I will obviously make the most of it.  Packing up years of stuff is not the most fun thing to do!!

Thankfully, as far as blogging goes, I'll have some new and exciting experiences (and hopefully materials if I'm not too bogged down!) to share with you all.  And even better, I don't have to change my blog name!! Like that's the biggest challenge I'll face!!!

If any of you all know any good 4th grade bloggers or sellers, leave me a comment.  I'm checking back in my blog lists and seeing some that I remember have moved grades, too!  'Tis the season!

Also, any encouraging words will be appreciated... Moving back to a testing grade was not exactly one of the things on my bucket list, but again, I'll make the most of it.

Thanks all!
I'm excited to be linking up with Elementary Antics and this awesome Springing into Learning Blog Hop!  I can't wait to see what everyone has to share!

Not sure about you, but when I think of spring, I immediately think of flowers blooming, butterflies and critters going about helping to create our beautiful world.  I also start to think of a new way to teach my unit on life cycles.

I teach 2nd grade in Virginia, so my science standards for life cycles include butterflies, white tailed deer (an all too common critter in Virginia!!) and plants. I looked on Pinterest for some cute (but educational) craft ideas and this is what I found! I linked up my Springtime Pinterest board, too!

I thought to make it geared more toward my standards, I could add some clipart to make the egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly.

So adding my clip art, this is what I came up with!  You can also download the life cycle wheel as a freebie during this weekend only!  It is a little different than what is pictured above, I edited it to make it complete, instead of cut/paste...and copier friendly!!

Hope you can use this cute (but importantly....educational!!) craftivity!  Check out what else everyone is doing as we Spring into Learning! 

Thanks for hopping by!!
I'm a little late in joining up this month with my favorite March Pinterest Picks, but I'm going to share with you all anyway!

I'm once again linking up with the wonderful ladies at PAWsitively Teaching, Just Reed, and the Inspired Owl's Corner for my favoritest March pins!

Okay, seriously, this is a no brainer.  An activity that incorporates a number of math skills, graphing, computation, sorting, number sense...and getting to eat that delicious March themed marshmallow cereal?  Sign. me. up.  It will only cost you the cereal.  Maybe a few extra calories...

These paper shamrocks are so stinkin' cute!  I made them last year with my kids (wish I had pics, boo!) but they were super easy to make.  They look very impressive!

Here's a cute book I found that would be great for a March read.  I haven't read it personally, but I came across it looking for some new March themed books.  The review on Amazon are 4.5 stars, so it's one I'm going to put on my wishlist, especially since it's NOT St. Patrick's Day themed.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my other March pins below!
See what others have found in their Pick 3 March Pinterest finds!
Being a teacher most days is pretty awesome.  Even when I have the days I want to pull my hair out or beat my head against the wall, it beats doing anything else with my life.  So when I come home and complain about my day, and the hubs says, go do something else...these are the things that pop through my head and I know how lucky I am.

{drum roll please...}

My Top Ten Reasons I'm Lucky to be a Teacher

1.  Drawing with Mr. Sketch markers
2.  Containers.  Plastic, shiny, beautiful containers.
3.  Colored pens, pencils, paper
4.  Early illustrations from tomorrow's future artists and authors
5.  Snow Days.  Yup. I said it!
6.  Brand new Sharpies
7.  20+ Valentines on Valentine's Day
8.  Dancing to GoNoodle and it's acceptable
9.  Stickers.  Smelly and Stinky.
10.  The most obvious reason...the kids.  Our future <3

What are the reasons you are lucky to be a teacher?  Head on over and celebrate our luckiness and enter to win some ahhhhhhmazing goodies!!

There's a giveaway for multiple grade levels, and enter the first/second for your chance to win my "Whooo's So Lucky?" writing/craftivity!  It's one of my favorites, personally!!

Thanks to Countless Smart Cookies for organizing this giveaway!!

Pre-K and Kindergarten Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway
First and Second Grade Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway
Third-Fifth Grade a Rafflecopter giveaway
Middle-High School a Rafflecopter giveaway
SPED a Rafflecopter giveaway
Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

Hope you are getting lots of chocolate and family time today!

It's been awhile since I've linked up, but today I'm joining the ladies over at The Teaching Trio for the Sunday Scoop!

Laundry... I despise laundry.  But, it is frowned upon in society if you wear smelly clothes...and the hubs wouldn't like me to buy new clothes for three girls each week, so I better suck it up and get it done.  Toddler socks...worse than adult socks for getting lost.  They go to that mysterious place where all the missing tubberware lids and bobby pins disappear.

Tonight and into tomorrow, my part of Virginia is supposed to get hit with some winter weather.  This time, it sounds more like ice, so more than likely, no school tomorrow which *almost* sucks because tomorrow was supposed to be a make up day from the week we missed at the end of January.. so it's like missing two days tomorrow...

So, after watching the weather, I'm hopefully going to grab my Sunday nap... I don't know what it is about Sundays, but after lunch I get so sleepy!  Doesn't hurt having a two-year old snuggler, either.  Then I suppose I'll paint my nails. Yes, very random, but if I am home for the next two days, I'll need something on my nails to keep me from biting them off.  I'm already down three and they've just grown back from the aforementioned week off in January.

So, with a pot of white chicken chili cooking on the stove, the sleepy hum of NASCAR qualifying on (thanks hubs...) I'm off to switch out some laundry and work on that nap.  Hope you all enjoy your Valentine's Day!  Head over and see what some of your other favorite bloggers are up to today!
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