Happy Days!

I love the fact that I can end the month of August on such a positive note!  I am feeling super blessed right now!  Sometimes it's just too easy to lose sight of all the wonderful things in your life!  August has been the most amazing month for me personally and I am so thankful.

Not only was I featured in the TpT Newsletter (WOW!), bought a new (old) car (WOW x 2), but the biggest and best news of all is that I have finally been passed fit for a return to school!!!!!!!!!!!  After 7 very long months, it has been decided that I can finally return!  My Principal has agreed a 4 day week, so I get to take a small step back.  (Ideally I would like to resign my leadership post, but I think that will be for another time.....)  My treatment continues to go well, without any major problems and I go to hospital at the end of September to check if it's working.  The doctor reported I have a 'reasonable range' of movement (my other little medical problem!) and was happy for me to return with some small conditions.

I already have my first week behind me.  PD and meetings for most of the week, then the kiddos arrived on Friday and what a mixed bunch they are!!  The class has had some leavers, so we're down to 28 - yay!!  I have a student with high-functioning Aspergers, one with Autism and two with ADHD - sadly all boys!  I have a large low ability group (10 students) who are withdrawn daily for reading intervention.  Other than that, they are a lively bunch - after such a long time at home, the noise was a huge assault on my ears!  Lol!  
Unfortunately this class has a terrible reputation, so the next few weeks should be pretty challenging.  I think if I get can get through this, I can get through anything!!  I am so happy to be back and pray that everything goes well.

Below is a list of some of some things I will be putting to good use next week:

Writing Checklist (Free)
Reading Stamina (Free)
Back To School With QR Codes (Free)
All About Me (Paid)
Writing Prompts Year Book (Paid)
Calendars (Paid)
Speedy Work Desk Mat Motivator (Paid)
First Day Jitters ~ Book Activity And Printables Unit For Back To School (Paid)


And the moral of the story is.........

Ok, this is only tenuously related to education, but I have a strong need to share a car story with you! (Apologies for the randomness!)

My car is was (sadly now deceased) 13 years old. For some time the following had not worked: heating, air conditioning and hazard warning lights. A couple of months ago, one of the windows (passenger side) just disappeared into the door panel. My darling husband said, don’t worry, super repairman is here! He did indeed sort a permanent fix. He took off the door panel, pulled up the window and shoved a piece of wood underneath, so it could NEVER EVER  fall down again! (In the winter, an ice box and in summer, a sauna! Great!) In the process of the super repair, he broke the door handle and the central locking system! Did he think that maybe I might need to know this when parking in the middle of town to run errands with all my precious ‘stuff' strewn stored neatly in my car? No, such facts are obviously unimportant! Ok, I thought, worst case scenario, I never have to grocery shop again – yay!

Could it get any worse? Could my little blue baby survive any more trauma?

I had arranged to meet the school custodian one morning to get into my classroom. I was running slightly late and managed to get caught behind a learner driver. I spied a short-cut through some farmland and thought (smugly) – this will save me some time – and promptly got stuck behind a herd of cows! This is when I first noticed a burning smell, but didn't see anything untoward. I drove on (oblivious to danger) when suddenly a red flashing light appeared on my dashboard – screaming STOP!! I rang my husband (hands free, of course) and asked what this might be. Now he is screaming STOP at me! I was very close to school, so decided to drive on. I reached the car park, switched off the ignition and noticed the burning smell again! It was only as I was unloading my ‘stuff’ for my classroom, that I finally noticed smoke belching from the engine!! Now I understood the dashboard’s (and husband’s) urgency! I ran to find the custodian (as much as one can with a bad back) and he discovered I had not one drop of oil in the car! My dear hubs arrived, fed the thirsty beast and all was well. 

Some hours later, as I was leaving, the custodian warned me that when slowing down, the car might cut out because the oil needed time to lubricate the engine (or whatever it’s supposed to do). Duly noted, I started off on my journey home. In the next village, the car cut out, but I got it started again. Just a mile to go and feeling a sense of relief, I was turning off in the direction of home when the car suddenly died! I couldn't get it started again AND the burning smell had returned! Rang hubs, hubs arrived, lifted the bonnet – this time the radiator had overheated – no water! He grabbed the nearest thing to hand – a can of diet coke - and poured it in. A kindly passer-by then gave us a bottle of water and it finally cooled down enough to start again. Eventually I arrived home safely and the engine was treated to the water hose. 

Anyway, the moral of this story is ALWAYS maintain your car or LEARN to maintain it. NEVER assume that your other half has been doing it for you and (bonus advice) open a store on TpT, because in times of dire need (school starts next week), the added income is such a blessing! Thanks to TpT I have been bailed out – this is my new ride and only 7 years old – yay! 

The point of all this waffle is that not only have I learned a big (car) lesson, but I feel really blessed to have TpT in my life. In the midst of what has been one of the craziest years, some amazingly good things have happened. Not only have I found something that I enjoy immensely and helps me financially, but it has also brought many wonderful people into my life – ‘virtual’ friends that I hope to meet for ‘real’ someday soon.


Back to School Sale info and a freebie!

I'm sure you are all aware by now that TpT is having a mega back to school sale on Sunday and Monday.  I just missed this one last year, so I'm really excited to be taking part in it!  Everything in my store is 20% off, plus TpT's added discount, you get 28% discount in total!!  Remember too, that you have your credits to use if you've been leaving feedback!  My wishlist is overloaded and I'm on the look-out for some new 1st grade resources to add to my growing files - I love starting off the new year with something fresh!  My sale will continue through until Monday (without TpT's discount, so 20% off only), as I am never sure of the time differences and the cut-off.  It may also help those coming late to the party!!
I have an extra reason to be excited about tomorrow, but can't divulge that info until a certain something is published.  Some of you may already know.  Let's just say I feel very honored and blessed right now!
Anyhoo, I've put together some pics of 'stuff' you may be interested in....

I hope you find something useful for your classroom!  As an added bonus I am doing buy 2, get 1 free!  See below for details.
Now to a little freebie for you!  If you read my blog post yesterday {here}, you will know that I did a room reveal.  As part of that, I showed a pic of my birthday board.  The birthday balloons are made of colored zebra print and I thought someone out there might find them useful for their classroom.  Just click on the pic below to grab your Google Doc freebie!
Wishing you all loads of fun at the sale!  Thanks for stopping by!

Room Reveal!

I'm back! Have been lazy busy this last while! Decisions to be made and things to do! I decided it was time to tackle my classroom, so have been in school for over a week - fiddling! I won't know until August 27th whether I can return, but see no reason why it shouldn't happen. I shouldn't 'officially' have been in school, but just couldn't leave it until my return. (Also felt it would be good to have it all set up for a sub, if necessary).

I love my classroom, but it's quite small.  I have never done a theme before - you will see why when I add some pics - and 'ummed' and 'ahhed' about it for ages!  My room is primary colors:  red doors, yellow walls, blue carpet and blinds, green woodwork, red cupboards, green chairs and colored tables - I'm sure you get the idea!  On top of that the ceiling is vaulted, so I can't hang anything and I'm not allowed to put anything on the walls.  I have 3 bulletin boards and 2 walls of windows - all very limiting!  Of course I chose a safari theme - coordinates very well with primary colors - haha!  After an interesting discussion about themes on facebook, I decided to commit 100% and have had loads of fun setting it all up - printing, cutting, laminating, cutting, blisters - I'm sure this is familiar!
I still have my library to set up and other bits and bobs, but it's more or less ready for start of term - yay! I'm afraid photography is not my strong point.....but here goes....
View from my desk - thanks Cyndie for the stripe idea!

View from back of room
'Work to roar about'

Birthday board:  the balloons are meant to be colored zebra stripes and the students are tree-frogs!

Calendar on the back of library book shelves and table points system which needs a clever safari name! Number words have moved to another board and have been replaced by library posters.
Library posters

My very small, yet to be sorted, library!

View towards back of room

My focus wall - remind me to move the letters over to the right!  This includes a 'must do', 'may do' board.

My behavior system - I have ordered cute little animal clothespins!

Task board to the right of the focus wall.  This relates to the 'may do' board.

View to my other wall of windows!
My safari alphabet and desk.  Yes, they are on the wall!  My bad!

My other bulletin board - seasonal, plus a small reading stamina board.

Creation station, yet to be completed!

Useless vaulted ceiling!

Play drawers.

Registration system.  I have lost 2 students so now have 30 - yay!

So, that's it - I hope you enjoyed the tour!  I am itching to get back in the classroom, but will have to be patient!  I'm sure many of you are back in full swing - wishing you all a fabulous start to the year!

Our Final Day!

I can hardly believe it's August already - the last 10 days have just flown by!  Thank you to everyone who participated in our Back to School mega hop - it really was such fun!  I hope the freebies will be of use to you as you begin planning for your return.

In case you missed out on the event, I'm just popping my freebie up again for those who may happen by. Just click on the pic below to grab a set of task cards to use with newspapers.

Our final prize for the this event is a fabulous Google Nexus Tablet, plus a case and stylus pen.  Don't forget to enter you total in this last rafflecopter - you never know your luck - it just might be you!!

Just click on the pic below to go to the rafflecopter to enter one last time!

Lastly, just in case you haven't seen them on TpT:  

"TpT sellers have been busy this summer! Implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a priority for many teachers. To help you get started or add to your CCSS resources, we have created a collaborative eBook: “A Bundle of Tips and Common Core State Standards Resources from TpT Authors.”
This particular file is for teachers in kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade. Each page is packed with tips to help you incorporate the Common Core standards into your classrooms. Be sure to look for the link to a free item on each page". (Deanna Jump)

I was very fortunate to be featured in the one above and know that it is packed full of resources!  If you click on the pic above, it will take you directly to Deanna Jump's store to download.  (Deanna hosted the K-2 ELA).

Below is a list of links to the other fabulous ebooks:

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