Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chair Pocket Project (Part 2)

A few days ago, I began my chair pocket project and walked all of you through my first few steps.

With the labels complete, I was dying to put the chair pockets into action and see the "finished project."

Therefore, I decided to venture into my classroom today to complete the project and do a New Year cleaning and rearranging.

Would you like to see pictures of the chair pockets? Well here they are:

I was thrilled with the length of the nail apron strings because I was able to wrap them around twice. I knew the knots would agitate some of my students (as they would me). Therefore, the string length allowed me to avoid this issue. For this reason alone, I was pleased with my design choice.

As I mentioned in my last post, the home depot logo did not suit my style needs. Therefore, I started the process of applying Velcro to the labels I had created (see Chair Pocket Project Part 1 for a FREE copy of the label). The Velcro allows me to interchange labels based on need or design.


Overall, I am pleased with the final result. The chair pockets are everything I have been looking for, but at just the right price (FREE)! I really hope this post inspires you to venture to your nearest Home Depot and try out a set for your own classroom.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Setting New Year's Resolutions

As teachers (or at least this one), I am always setting resolutions and goals for myself. I am constantly looking (aka pinning) new and better ways to organize, manage or improve my life, classroom, etc.

January is a natural time of year to begin setting resolutions for the new year...therefore, I feel I must link up with Teaching Madness and Teaching with Moxie to share some of my New Year's Resolutions.

I am really trying to keep it to a minimum, so here goes nothing...

Teaching Maddeness

My Classroom:
This year I am dedicating my time to improving my planning skills. I have great organizational skills and ideas for my classroom, but I am not always so great at planning my thoughts that far in advance. I would really love to make an effort to complete my plans 2 weeks at a time.

My Life:
My life is truly great, but I have really begun to let my house, time management, and relaxation go to the wayside. My true goal is to manage my time better. I would like to come up with a consistent routine for housework, grocery shopping, laundry, blogging, etc. I would like to prepare my lunch and school outfit the night before, as well as devote 15 minutes to picking up the house. I would also like to allow myself at least 30 minutes of quiet reading before bed time (The finance gave me a brand spankin' new Nook for Christmas - I must put it to good use). With the right routine, I truly think I can manage it.

My Blog:
Improving my blog is truly a big goal for me. I would love to create my own linky party, organize my 1st giveaway, and create an organized schedule for blogging. When I began this blog, I was overwhelmed with my masters program and life took over. With some of those milestones complete, I can now devote the time this blog needed!

Now that I have confessed my goals, check out some of my fellow bloggers' goals (maybe you will be inspired to put your goals into words, as well).

Friday, December 28, 2012

Chair Pocket Project (Part 1) & Freebie

Let me begin by saying "Thank You" to Sharon from Teaching with Sight for officially welcoming back to the blogging world! Your support is so appreciated and I will be emailing you with a sweet treat as my Thank You to you!

After blog stalking and exploring many Chair Pocket options, I settled on Home Depot Chair Pockets. I was most inspired by Ladybug's Teacher Files 2 part chair pocket project. Her advice and thoughts gave me the courage to attempt this project.

Part 1 of this project was to create labels and purchase the Home Depot Nail Aprons (Feel free to click on the image below to learn more about the Home Depot Nail Aprons and check you store inventory) . A few days ago, I popped into my nearest Home Depot in search of the nail aprons. I found the nail aprons with help from an employee, who ultimately ended up donating the nail aprons to my classroom. I will be sure to send my thanks to such a caring and supportive store! (Home Depot - I hope you know that your donations are what keeps the teacher world going!)
After purchasing the chair pockets, I was eager to create labels to cover the Home Depot really isn't my style :) I settled on the design you see below...

In honor of the end of my hiatus, you can pick up my Editable Home Depot Chair Pocket Labels for FREE!

I am linking up with the Teaching Blog Addict's Freebie Friday! It's a must see blog filled with so many amazing freebies!!

Stay tuned for Part 2...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

MIA and so much more!

Wow, it feels like forever since I last posted a meaningful blog post. So here it begins...

First, I must begin this post by mentioning how saddened I was to discover the news about Sandy Hook Elementary. Those events struck me to the core and reminded me how precious life is. I am a teacher and everything I do is for those beautiful, little children. The events reminded me, that while some days are challenging than others, these children offer so much joy, love and hope. My prayers and thoughts are still with Sandy Hook and I recognize that the recovery has truly just begun.

As some of you may have noticed, I have been MIA for quite a few months. My apologies. When the school year began, I was swamped with 3 online masters courses, 1 reading specialist practicum, 10 second & third graders, 1 reading specialist MTEL to pass, and 1 wedding to plan. With all of that,  something had to fall by the wayside...unfortunately it was this blog.

However, with the new year upon us, I am ready to re-enter the world of blogging. I have finished those 3 courses and 1 pracitcum. I have a mini-vacation from my those joyous second and third graders. I have passed my reading specialist MTEL (this was my Christmas gift to myself). The 1 wedding to plan is still a work in progress (7 months away to be exact).

With other some of duties completed, I have taken to the time to start a product I have been dying to create. I am making a large States and Capitals bundle, but I am breaking it into smaller Regional Packs.

Let me introduce my first completed pack..........

Ta Da! I am so proud of myself!!!

I am really looking for 2 interested teachers, who would be interested in reviewing and editing my pack. Feedback is so important to me and for those interested parties I will be providing you with a FREE copy!!

If you are interested, please email me at, comment here or message me on Facebook!

I am so happy to be back and I want all of you to know you inspire me, each and every day!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm Back with a Thank You (with a surprise twist)!

I have really slacked this past week with blogging. My beautiful sister and nieces just flew in from Colorado to spend the next two weeks in Massachusetts with my family and the last week in Florida on our family reunion trip! Also, I have been swamped with endless amounts of work. I wonder what I was thinking when I thought it was a good idea to take 3 masters courses all at once...I guess I wasn't really thinking clearly, hehe. Here's to staying afloat for another 8 weeks!

First, I wanted to give a special "Thank You" to Corinna over at Teaching Fabulous Firsties for also nominating me with One Lovely Blog award! She was so generous to recognize me and I wanted to share my appreciation with all of you!

Second, I wanted to give another "Thank You" to my many new visitors and followers! All of you inspire me to grown, learn, share and create and for that I am most appreciative!

In honor of all the love I have received in the last week, I am giving my Fundations Level 2 Benchmark Assessment  (Check it out HERE) to the First 2 comments for FREE!!! With your comment, please leave your email and I will be happy to send it right over to you!

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to visit and I promise to be better with my posts!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I hope I win this...(Giveaway!)

Have you seen these?



 These are amazing and there are so many uses for these in your classroom. Well, Lori from Teaching with Love and Laughter, is giving one away. Secretly, I would love to not say anything so I can improve my chances, but I know so many of you would benefit from one of these!

If you want to win one, check it out!

Here's to hoping your I'm the winner!

Monday, July 23, 2012

One Lucky Gal

I woke up this morning to NOT one, but TWO Versatile Blogger Awards! This is such an honor for me and I feel so fortunate that even in the early stages of blogging I have others who are willing to recognize me!

The first Versatile Blogger Award came from...Andi! Check out her blog by clicking on the link below...she gives tips about couponing! (Who doesn't love a good coupon?!)

Mommy, Teacher and More

The second Versatile Blogger Award came from...Emily! She has an amazing blog about teaching. It's a must-see!

Tangled with Teaching

Now, I must share 7 random facts about myself:
1. I have been bit by a Black Widow Spider
2. I love Football and anything sports related. I literally watch the Draft, I know it's crazy!
3. I was born and raised in Colorado.
4. I will be getting married in 1 year! Beyond excited for that day!
5. I have to admit that I am addicted to watching Bachelor/Bachelorette.
6. I spend every Thursday night getting together with my family for dinner.
7. I teach in a school with about 40 students total.

Here are the 5 amazing blogs I have chosen to nominate! Please check them out, you won't be disappointed...I promise!

1. That's So Second Grade
2. Fancy Free in Fourth
3. Two Tacky Teachers
4. My Silly Firsties
5. 4th & 5th Grade Happiness

Top 5 Teacher Must Haves - Rockin Resources Linky

Kelly from Teacher Idea Factory and Rachelle from Life is Sweet...In Kindergarten are both
hosting linky parties where you share the resources you couldn't live with out! We all have those go to items, so I knew I had to participate!

Here are my Top 5 Must Haves!

#1 - Raz-Kids
Raz-Kids is an amazing website where students can read or listen to leveled stories online. After each reading, they can take quizzes to test their comprehension. Each story and quiz, earns the reader stars they can use to decorate and create their spaceship. My students LOVED this website last year and cheer every time I mention it!

#2 - Interactive Whiteboard
My school installed one in my classroom 2 years ago. I knew I didn't NEED this item to teach, but I am telling you now that I CAN'T live without it. My students are always engaged in the lessons on the board and there are so many uses for it in the classroom! 

 #3 - Plastic Shoe Box Containers
These containers have helped me organize so many areas and materials in my classroom. They also cost less than $1 a piece. The organizer in me would not be able to function in our classroom without these. (Sorry about the blurry picture, there will be more of these and my classroom in an upcoming post.)

 #4 - Evan-Moor Take It To Your Seat Centers
I LOVE Evan-Moor's seat centers. I came across these when I read a post on I started with just two sets and now I am up to seven and hoping to get more. These have helped me out when a sub comes in or when I have a last minute meeting. I tape the cover to the front of the folder and the directions on the back. I then laminate the folder and all the materials. Everything gets stored inside the folder. My students are able to work on these folders independently. These are a must-have. 


And last but NOT least...

 #5 - Personal Laminator
Anyone who knows me in my school would call me the laminating queen, as you can tell from the description of #4. Who wants to have to deal with ripped up paper and materials. I live for laminating things I love and want to keep for a long time!
Come and link up! I would love to know what your must-haves are!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I just had to join this Newbie Blog Hop since I am about as new as it gets. I am so thrilled to be learning from the many amazing teacher bloggers out there, as well as share what I think will help others. So here it goes:

1.  what state you are in
 I currently live in the Green Mountain State of Vermont.
2.  your current teaching position
I have been working in a small, rural school in Massachusetts. I teach 2nd and 3rd grade and will have   only 9 students next year. I can hear the gasps now! I feel very fortunate to work with so few students that I can really support each one individually.
3.  your teaching experience
I have been teaching for 4 years, but I have been working in schools for about 6 years. The first year was as a ELL tutor and the second was as a behavioral classroom assistant.
4.  when you started blogging
I began blogging at the beginning of this month. I am still getting acquainted with the whole process, but I love sharing what I know with others, as well as learning from them. I have learned so much more than I could have imagined.
5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource
This post has so many great tips to support newbie bloggers. You just have to check it out!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Paying It Forward

I was so graciously given the Liebster Blog Award yesterday and now it's my turn to recognize others who are just getting started. These 5 fabulous blogs are well deserving of this award. You must check them out! Enjoy ladies!


My Very First Blog Award

I came home last night and discovered that I had my first follower. As well as a follower, I discovered that Miss Cayer (my 1st follower, yay!) awarded me the Liebster Award. I feel so honored being that I am new to the blogging world. Miss Cayer thank you so much for honoring my blog! You have made my day. Also, thank you for giving me another great blog to follow...yours! Your job now is to check her fabulous blog out. Over the next few days, I will be working to pay it forward and spread the love to others!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching Website {Free Materials)

Sorry about my absence over the last week. My fiance has been home and I have been taking in every moment I can with him, as well as working on my 3 graduate courses! Yes, I said 3 courses. Crazy, right?! Well I am back in the swing of things, but wishing my Mr. was home. 

Anyways, I'm back. I just had to blog as soon as I discovered this amazing website. It's called Whole Brain Teaching and provides teachers with FREE (Did you hear that? Free!) materials to support math fact fluency, sight word fluency and many others. I have just began to download the materials and there is so much to see! The only requirement they have is that you share their website with 10 other teachers. With all the teacher blogging in this world, it seems to be a pretty simple task to me. 

I hope all of you will check out their website and take advantage of their FREE items! 

Please let me know what you think. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Wonderful Day {Freebie Included}

What a busy and wonderful day! I had summer school today and ended up with only one student. That's always a treat! She is such a hard worker and it makes for a fulfilling day. From there, I had meetings with the staff, which was accompanied by lots of laughter! The day ended with my lineman fiance finally coming home from storm work (10 days later) and taking me out to dinner...I can't even begin to tell you how happy that made me! If you saw me right now, you would see a permanant smile, hehe!

The best way I can honor the day is by sharing the love with a FREEBIE!!

I have begun working on my Polka-Dot theme for this year and I made Clock Labels that fit the color scheme perfectly! I hope you enjoy them and please let me know what you think...any feedback is good feedback!


Hope all of you have an equally wonderful night!

Monday, July 9, 2012

NEW Teacher Blogger and Fundations Assessment

Hi everyone!!

I am soo beyond excited to be joining the blogging world with so many amazing and talented teachers! I have been watching so many of you create, share, and support other teachers that I just had to join in too.

Before I get into anything about teaching, I just have to tell you a little about myself. I am a Colorado native, and I still have family who lives there (THANKFULLY, none of my family was affected by the fires). I now live in Vermont, in our new house, with my fiance. We are set to get married July 27, 2013. I am so looking forward to that day! I have been teaching for 4 years at a small, rural school with about 40 students total. I will have 9 kids this year...I can hear many of you now, "Did she just say 9 kids?" Crazy, right?! It's an amazing school to work at and you REALLY get to know all of the kids in the school. Okay, so enough about me!

When I set out to start a blog, I realized how difficult it was to come up with a creative title. However, I knew that the two things I loved were teaching and style. As I wracked my brain, I noticed the T.J. Maxx commercial and I heard them say "Maxxanista. It's simple to say from there Confessions of a Teachanista was born. I don't feel that I have to give up style just because I am a teacher, I can really have the best of both worlds. Honey Bunch Designs did an amazing job in combining the two things I love...I just adore my blog!!

I wanted to start of my first blog by sharing an item that has become extremely important to me. During my 2nd year of teaching, we were introduced and required to start using Fundations to teach phonics skills. I loved the program and the unit assessments. It took me some time to become familiar with the program, but now I am able to create so many great activities to go with it. The one thing I felt that was missing or at least I couldn't find was a benchmark assessment. So the following summer, I went through the units and created my own assessment. It's simple, user-friendly and only takes maybe 5 minutes to give. What more does a teacher want?

I have decided to share my assessment with teacher friends. You have all been so helpful with the many items you add to your stores and share! You can find my Fundations Level 2 Benchmark Assessment on my TPT store (Click HERE). There is also a link to a student copy which is FREE. Right now I am running a sale on my's ONLY $5! I hope you find that it is as helpful to you as it has been for me.

Thank you for letting me rant a little bit...I can go on forever (this is what the soon-to-be husband would say).

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