Monday, February 17, 2014

Liebster Blog Award!

THANK YOU THANK YOU to Vilena from Classroom In Paradise for nominating me for the Liebster blog award.

 According to Vilena's blog - the Liebster Award is an award for new blogs. Liebster is a German word that means: BELOVED, CUTE, LOVELY, DEAREST, and WELCOME.

To accept the nomination I must:

1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator (Vilena)
4. Share 11 random facts about myself
5. Create 11 questions for my nominees
6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them

Here are my nominations!

1.Techie Turtle Teacher - This blog is not necessarily "new." It was created last year, but I just love reading her posts. Every Tuesday, she has a "Tech Tip Tuesday" linky. So great to get weekly technology tips! It's so hard to keep up as technology is ever changing! :)

Techie Turtle Teacher

2. Hanging Out With Mrs. Strout is SO early childhood friendly. Her blog features many fabulous ideas to keep those littles engaged. Can't wait to read more posts from her!
Hanging Out With Mrs. Strout

3. Dynamic Dual Language provides incredible resources for dual language classrooms and lots of fun phonics activities as well!
 Check out my Facebook page!

4. Creative Teaching Supplies is a wonderful blog from Australia! Her timeline is a little different than ours in the US, but she still has some FABULOUS ideas to borrow! :)

5. Strawberry Shake has some pretty great Social Studies and Science resources as well!!

Strawberry Shake 
Now for the questions from Vilena...
1) How do you spend your free time?
Lately, I have just been obsessively watching The Walking Dead....only took me a little over a week to watch all 3+ seasons. (I know, I have a problem...). Other than that I spend time with my husband and my puppies!
2) How do you juggle your family life, teaching, blogging and creating lessons? Do you use a planner?
I just got married in November and my husband works fairly late, so I am lucky to have a lot of time alone at the house where I can come home from work, work on my TpT materials and blog before he gets home. I've also gotten pretty good with time management to where I can usually handle all of my teaching stuff before or during school hours (plan periods are the best!).
3) Do you work out?
I worked out EVERY SINGLE DAY before my wedding and was in such good shape...and then I got married...and now I haven't been in three months. But I swear today is the day I'm going back....!!!! :)
4) Are you scared of anything?
I have an irrational fear of any noise in the house. I am convinced that it is a murder...zombie..etc.
5) Describe yourself in 5 words.
Talkative. Boring. Smart. Caring. Nerdy.
6) Cake or chips?
CAKE. Do you think that is why I've gained 10 pounds since I got married?
7) What was your favorite toy as a kid?
I remember loving the game of Life. And then I loved the computer game The Sims whenever it came out.... I'm a nerd, okay? :)
8) What is your biggest achievement in life?
Bagging my handsome husband.
9) Your funniest moment in the classroom.
Oh my am I supposed to pick just one when I teach Kindergarten??? Last week my sweetie with a speech impediment was reading classroom names and pronounced "Phoenix" like "Pee-nix." You can imagine what followed. I had to hold in my laughter!
10) Your celebrity crush.
PEETA! Is Josh Hutchinson his real name? I don't really care. I would want to call him Peeta.
11) If you were granted 3 wishes, what would they be?
1. To go to Disney World (and Harry Potter World) ASAP. 2. To magically have the money to trade in my sweet 1999 ride for a new one! 3. To be able to eat all the cake I want without gaining 10 pounds. :)

11 random facts about myself...
1. I was TERRIFIED of dogs until I got one of my own.
2. I now have TWO sweet dogs, Maisie and Cooper.
3. I have been married three months. (best three months of my life!)
4. I JAM in the car when I am alone...or with friends..doesn't really matter much to me.
5. I will pretty much eat anything sweet.
6. I hate grocery shopping.
7. I sleep on my stomach with my arms underneath me. An adult swaddler.
8. I have only taught for two years.
9. I am 5'11. (but I frequently claim to be 5'10 because I think it sounds better)
10. I can never find shoes that fit my big ole feet.
11. I still text my mom every single day. 

Here are my questions for the nominees...
1. How long have you been teaching?
2. Coffee or Pop?
3. What inspired you to start blogging or join TpT?
4. What is your favorite thing to teach in the classroom?
5. What made you want to become a teacher?
6. What grade do you teach currently/What grades have you taught in the past?
7. What is your go-to, favorite outfit to wear to school?
8. What is your favorite thing to do after school?
9. How often a week do you update your blog?
10. What do you do with your summers?
11. What is your biggest pet peeve in your classroom?

I am looking forward to reading everyone's answers. Good luck! :)

Mrs. Briggs.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Community Helpers

UPDATE! Still haven't stopped obsessively watching The Walking Dead. END UPDATE.. ;-)
I actually just wanted to share a QUICK little update about what we have been learning about the past week and are currently wrapping up.. Communities & Community Helpers!!
We started off our unit by making a list of what we thought a community was...
(My favorite is "rock.") :) HA!
We then read all about communities, talked to experts, and did research online and on our iPads. We then read this FABULOUS book... Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran.
I am NOT kidding. If you haven't read this book or you don't own a copy - go buy one. RIGHT NOW. Have you bought one yet? Because you should. It breaks down the idea of communities into the most simple of ways. Long story short - these little kids create a community out of rocks & boxes. Get it yet? ROXABOXEN? Yes. Too cute.
But this REALLY helps my kids understand the idea of what it takes to make up a community. So we then made up a list of all the things we think it takes to make up a community using those post it's you see there and we also listed them on a small chart tablet along with what a community REALLY is. :)
After doing all of this we decided to make our own community using construction paper! I can't lie...this was a little stressful with just me + 24 kids, but I did my best to keep calm and collected. HA! I divided the kids up and they each decided what they wanted to contribute to the's pretty amazing what we came up with!

Isn't that the cutest thing you've EVER seen???
They added homes, churches, veterinarians, a mall, doctor's office, school, train, road, fire station, police station...they had it ALL!
I was so proud of them! And even though I was insanely stressed out, it was worth it & turned out SO wonderfully. We are still talking about community helpers and we are finishing up the unit with a little "easy reader" action. A little book from my Communities Unit where they have to fill in the blanks with information about each community helper. Talk a sneak peak!
They are LOVING this little activity. It will be great because they can keep this in their book box or take it home and share what they learned with their parents at home. I love it!
You can click on the picture above to purchase this from my shop!
Alright...back to The Walking Dead!!! AHHH! :)
-Mrs. Briggs

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Giveaways & Freebies, Oh My!

Just thought I would drop in and share a couple things with you this evening. The first is that I have joined another give away! You can easily click the link below and head over to An Apple For The Teacher's blog and join in on the fun! :) The give away ends in only 5 days, so go ahead and enter to win TONS of K-2 and 3+ TPT goodies.
Now the big thing I am working on this Sunday evening...while obsessively watching The Walking Dead... {how have I never seen it until now???? - I'm only on season 2 and haven't stopped watching it in two days....whoops!} are my kiddo's valentines! :) I wanted to do something fun and creative this year, but had no idea what it was I was going to do - so when I found these crazy heart straws at Mardel's for 5.99 I knew this was it!
I then made these sweet little tags and attached them to the straws like this..
You can download this little freebie right here! Just click the image below.
Valentine's Day Crazy Straw Freebie!!
Hope you enjoy!
-Mrs. Briggs

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Finally a 100th Day

In Oklahoma, we have had, as my coworker from Texas called it, a "hard" winter. I asked her if she was Laura Engels Wilder after a comment like that. :) Having lived here my whole life - I don't think it has been too bad, but we have been off of school quite a few days. Some of those days it was just plain too cold for the little ones to wait for the buses. Regardless, we have used up every single one of our allotted snow days. If we miss even ONE more, we will officially be schoolin' in June. Which is not something this kindergarten teacher would be too thrilled about! (too honest?)
I was FINALLY the 100th day of school. I have to admit, I am NOT usually the teacher that goes all out for events like this. When you have 24 five/six year olds in a classroom that I deem too small for that number of little people and you then mix in all the excitement from special events - oh boy! They go insane. Coupled with the fact we haven't been able to have outside recess all. week. long.... eek!
Again I digress...back to the 100th day. I didn't go all out like some do. Although that is a goal of mine - to eventually do more fun and exciting 100th day themed activities.. BUT I did have all of my sweet little ones dress up like they were 100 years old. Which was adorable. Here are a couple photos...

My attempt at a bun on top of my head was a total failure. As was my cat tshirt, broach, keds, and sweater. I promise I will try to do better next year... ;-) BUT dang - those little ones looked pretty darn adorable! And they're what is important, right?
10+ parents donated small snack items that could be counted out simply. For example..cheerios, raisins, chocolate chips, goldfish, etc. So my assistant (who wore curlers in her hair today! - bless her) set out all the items on our reading table and my students, three or so at a time, went around with Ziploc bags and counted out 10 of each item until they had 100. It was such a fun way to practice counting by 10s. We then watched a little Netflix for our "brain break" today while we enjoyed these yummies - and took the rest home to eat for an afternoon snack. They LOVED this activity and it was extremely easy and took barely any preparation...which is sometimes how I need things to be!
Here's a pic so you can get an idea of what I am talking about!
Like I said, my kiddos loved this and it took about 6 minutes of prep time. Today we had art and computers AND had to prepare a poster about Sweden for our Winter Olympics parade tomorrow so, again, like I said..time was of the essence! :)
Anyways I will stop babbling and leave you now in peace.
Talk to you soon!
-Mrs. Briggs