Adventures with Mrs. Key

Saturday, June 29, 2013


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Technically, I'm a little early to the party, but I feel late since everyone is already linking up.

It never fails, when my hubs tries to go to sleep, our girls feel the need to aggravate him. He wouldn't want it any other way though!

During the school year, I have a bed time just like my kids. Some nights, I even go to bed when my kids do. During the summer, I enjoy staying up late and sleeping late. My children are in the stage of life that they like to do the same, so it works great for all of us! 

What was I thinking by starting grad school during the summer??!! I'm sure  it really was a good idea, but there's a lot of work to be done. We had to come home from the beach a day early because I had an assignment to complete. 

There's a stray pup that has made himself at home on our porch. He is barking at everything as if he really is at home!

I stress over everything! It's giving me gray hair! Seriously! I must realize that stressing is not helping me!

Tips, Tricks, or Hints
Live, Laugh, Love. It's pretty simple stuff that we sometimes forget to do when other things take our time. 

Now, go join the party and link up with Farley!

Before I leave, I want to share a few of the pictures from the beach this past week. 
When we left, it started raining. It didn't matter because we were going rain or shine! 

I'm glad we did because it was beautiful. We got in a lot of beach time, pool time, and some shopping. 

These guys are 3/4 of my heart. We had to leave the other 1/4 at home because he had to work. 

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Listening Center Response Sheets and TpT Stores I've Found

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 I have updated another one of my first few products. It's my Listening Center Response Sheets. Much like my Word Work Mega Pack that I talked about updating (here), I use it for the entire school year. This product went from 6 sheets to 20 sheets. I aligned it with the first grade common core standards since that's what I teach, but it can be used in other grades.  It can easily be differentiated for many student ability levels. 

This is what it used to look like. Poor Thang! ha

This is what it looks like now! That cute little flamingo makes me smile. 
 There are a lot of printable options. Primary lines and single lines...Some of the single line sheets have a two per sheet printable option for later in the year when students have really learned how to write on one line. If you purchased this product, please go to your purchases and re-download it for free.

Before I go, I want to share a couple of TpT stores that I've found. 

First up is I'm Lovin' Lit. She has amazing prices that don't break the bank, and her work is fabulous! She has a Huge Sellers Bundle with lots of goodies for $5. If you are a creator or want to become a creator, this is a wonderful starter bundle. 

Next up is Primarily Au-Some. I love her fonts. You can download them for free for personal use, but I bought her commercial license for $1.00. Seriously, that's like hitting the Dollar Tree. We all know teachers love the Dollar Tree! As she adds more fonts, her commercial license price will increase. She has increased the price to $2.00, but that's still a great deal. 'Primarily Silly' is a great handwriting font. I love that all of the letters are formed correctly! 

If you'd like to win a copy of my newly updated Listening Response Sheets, leave a comment, and I will pick a winner tomorrow afternoon. 

Emails sent! Thank you for those that commented!

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Saturday, June 15, 2013


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I hear that Google Reader is going away as of July 1. After HOURS of trying to fix my RSS feed on Blogger, I have FINALLY been able to claim my blog. I'm so stinkin' excited! Golly! Click that button over there on my sidebar and follow me on Bloglovin'.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Finish the Sentence Freebie

I enjoy seeing my kiddos use their creativity to complete their work. In the beginning of first grade, we work hard on being able to make a complete sentence that makes sense. I'm going to use this center as an introduction to writing complete sentences. It will also help me see who comprehends what they see since their sentence has to match what they see or know about each picture. I thought I'd share it with you all, so I posted it to TpT. Depending on student ability, this center can be used from K-2. I hope you find it useful! 

Click the picture if you'd like check it out. 

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Canoeing Fun and Feelings

Hey y'all! If your summer break is here, I hope you're enjoying every minute. If you're still in school, I hope you're surviving the last few days. I know they're busy days!

In my last post, I said I was going to do something fun because I've been working so hard in this class. Well, we did just that! We went on our first canoeing trip. There are two options of going down the spring. You can go on a canoe or in a tube. I think we were the only folks in canoes. We definitely want to go again! 

I shared the pictures on Instagram. My kids were only in the boat long enough to take a picture. I didn't allow my 13 year old to canoe with the girls. Instead, I let him paddle me around for a while. Needless to say, we got stopped by several stumps that were in the water. :)

 We ended our day by getting Sonic shakes after dinner. If you wait until after 8 pm here, they are half price! Yum! 

Onto something school related. 

Let me start by saying that I have fallen in love with Melonheadz clip art!! I have only bought two sets, but I have several sets on my wishlist. 

When I saw the set of clip art for feelings, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them. 

I have found that most of my first graders have a hard time identifying their feelings or the feelings of a character in a story. I made posters to hang in my classroom to help with the understanding that we/characters can be more than happy or sad. 
There are nine posters with four printable options. You can pick yellow chevron, yellow polka dots, red chevron, or red polka dots. 
I'm printing the yellow set for my room. They are so bright and cheery! I love 'em!  

If you'd like to win a set, leave a comment and your email address. I will pick a winner tomorrow. 

I had my mother-in-law pick a number, so 
Michelle Jaquillard is the winner! Thank you for commenting! :)

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Happening Giveaways for You to Check Out

Oi! Oy! Oi! There's nothing like a grad class to stress me out! I worry and stress about everything! I sat at my kitchen table with my laptop, book, and a writing pad for 2 straight days trying to find good articles for my research proposal and get an assignment completed. I've got to do something fun today. I don't know what that's going to be yet, but it will be something fun!

Onto much more exciting topics...

Have you all seen the giveaways that are happening? I'm late to blog about them, so I'm sure you've seen them! :)

Sara from Miss V's Busy Bees is have her one year blogiversary celebration that's taking DAYS to give away all the great prizes. 

Marie from It's a Jungle Out There is having a Summer Giveaway that goes until June 12th, so there's still plenty of time to enter. 

Have a Happy Saturday! 

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Currently and an Easy Facebook Giveaway

Hello June! I sure am happy to see you! There's no waking up at 5 am for two full months. I love my job and teaching, but I do not like the alarm clock disturbing my precious sleep so early!

I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade. It's the only linky I've actually been able to keep up with each time it comes around. I can handle it once a month. Head on over and link up. 

My hubs and son both race karts, so they are tinkering with them. Right now, they are beating on the tires. Boys will be boys! Ha!

It's simple..It's SUMMER! :) 

I decided that I'm ready to work toward my masters. I signed up for an online class this summer, and I'm starting to think online classes are not for me. However, with 3 kids and a husband who works all the time, I don't see any other way around it right now. I'm going to hang in there and see how it goes. 

I love the beach. I'm ready to go even if it's just for the day!

On Mother's Day, I ran over my youngest daughters bike. It dented the front part of my car, so it's time I go get it fixed. 

3 Vacay Essentials:
I'm thinking about that beach trip I was just talking about that I want. All I really need is my family, some sunblock, and my cellular device for music and taking pictures. Technically, I also need a cooler full of food and water/soda so we won't dehydrate or starve, but I won't count that. 

On Facebook, I up to 99 likes! Yeah! That's so close to 100 that I want to do a quick and easy celebration. 

Click the button to visit my TpT Store. Pick out any item you'd like to have. Leave a comment on my Facebook post about this giveaway,and I will randomly pick one winner some time tomorrow. Feel free to share if you'd like. 

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Clip Chart Management System, Word Wall Letters, and a Freebie

Summer has started out to be pretty good if I do say so myself. I've been busy! That's pretty much how I like it to be. I can't seem to shut my teacher brain off. 

I've been creating some new things to use next year. I've also started my first graduate class. I'm pretty excited about it, but I'm very nervous because it's an online class. I enjoy interaction with people in the same field as me, so let's hope it works out and that I have the self motivation to complete all of my work correctly! I tend to get off track very easily. I was actually reading some in my book when I started this blog post. Oops! 

In the past three years, I used 2 different forms of a management system. I was using a banana clip system and a ticket system {at the same time}. My students were only allowed to move their clip down on the bananas..focusing on their negative choices. In order to focus on their positive choices, I would catch them being good and give them a ticket. When they got ten green dots for good days in their folder, they could visit the treasure box. When they earned 5 tickets, they got to choose 10 minutes of an activity of their choice (puzzles, big books, computer time, games, etc.). At the beginning of the year, I asked my students what extra activities they would like to do, so that's where the list came from. It worked fine, but I wanted to combine it into one management system. 
My teacher friend, who teaches first grade with me, used a clip chart in her room, and she loved it. I've decided to do the same. I created a Zebra Themed Clip Chart and a Chevron Themed Clip Chart. I only made the Chevron themed because I would decorate my room in chevron if it weren't already Safari. Zebra print is my first love. Chevron is a very close second, so it was fun to see what it would look like. 

This is the chart put together. I love it, and I'm looking forward to only using one management system. :)

 Students will start each day with a 90/A. They will have to earn a higher conduct grade. At the end of each week, I will average their daily scores together. Students will start fresh each day. If they have one bad day out of the week, it won't kill their conduct grade for the whole week. Does this seem fair? I haven't used this form of management yet, but I want to fully wrap my brain around the concept of grading student conduct before I use it next year. 

I also made some passes for the restroom, office, and library. They're in zebra, chevron, and polka dots. I printed them, laminated them, and stuck them in an id holder and put it on a lanyard. Doing it this way prevents students from laying the pass down and leaving it behind when they come back to the classroom. They're FREE if you'd like to use them. 

Just in case you want a matching product, I have the Word Wall Letter cards in Zebra and Chevron as well. They are square or round. Also, they are black and white, black and green, or black and pink.

Click on any of the pictures to check out a product!

Now, I'm going to get back to reading about Research in Education! Happy Saturday! 

Check out this great giveaway from Gwen at Learning with Mrs. Brinn

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