My littles know that I take my crafting seriously.  I have specific crafting rules:  No loud voices, only whispering.  No walking around the room, especially with scissors.   No jumping ahead... we do everything together.  Only throw out scraps when all pieces are cut out.  Don't lose any pieces because I don't have extra {which is a lie, because I always make extra, because they always break this rule, haha}.

I've read that some teachers trace and cut out all the pieces.  I don't have time for that, and I think my hand would hurt too much!  So I just trace all the parts beforehand, and they cut them out.  But they can't start cutting until everyone has every single piece.  And no one starts to glue until everyone is done cutting {unless I say so... lol}.

I always make one sample in advance, and I usually make two along with the class, just in case someone misses a step.  I like this because then I have one to keep with my patterns, one to hang up, and one to give my mom... she loves when I bring home a new craft for her fridge!  It's like *I'm* in 2nd grade :)

Today, we worked on my football buddy craftivity!  I started the day by taking a class survey.  We are from NJ, so of course I knew how this vote was going to go:
I find that my kiddos always try to change their answers when they hear what others have to say, so I gave each student a post-it to write a "secret" vote {who else LOVES post-its?!}.  Then we tallied the votes:
As I said, I did this survey in the morning.  Then I spent my prep period tracing the pieces according to their responses.  After we finished our LAL and Math work for the day, I gave myself what I thought was enough time to complete the activity.... but I was wrong!  We didn't finish :(  Sooo not like me/us!  I promise to post completed pics tomorrow!

In other news, I went to AC Moore this evening and bought the stuff to create my Valentine gift for the Be My Valentine exchange!  It's something *I* would enjoy, so I hope my secret Valentine enjoys it, too!  Sorry, I can't share with you :)  Hopefully she will love it, and post about it when she gets it :) :)
Oh my goodness, I've been tagged... and tagged again... and I'm so slow I was tagged 10 times!!

Good thing this isn't a real game of tag :)

Here are the rules:
1) Post the rules
2) Post 12 fun facts about yourself
3) Answer the 12 questions the tagger set for you in their post, and create 12 questions for those you tag
4) Tag 12 people and link them to your post

{1} I'm a Libra {2} I love to sleep {3} I always have the TV on in the background {4} I procrastinate {5} I'm a germaphobe {6} I'm a perfectionist {7} I never eat breakfast {8} I am a daddy's girl {9} I tell my parents everything {10} If I won the lottery, I would buy all the cool school stuff I've always wanted, and I would STILL teach!!! {11} I make my husband cook... I prefer to bake cupcakes :) {12} I have expensive taste {my poor hubby!}

I can't possibly answer 120 questions {well... I could, but who would read the answers?} so I'm *cheating* and answering my favorite question from each tagger!  And two extra, unless I happen to get tagged two more times before I'm done, which is entirely possible :)

Since Kelley was the first to tag me, I will answer three of her questions:
1) How did your husband propose to you?  He asked me on our 5th anniversary, in front of the  NYC skyline :)
2) Are you a dog or a cat person?  I love kitties!  I'm a little afraid of dogs, I'm not going to lie.
3) How many siblings do you have?  I have a little brother... who is 20 :)
Sara asked:
4) If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?  Italy and Spain!
Lisa & Beth asked:
5) Are you a Smart Phone user?  Oh gosh, I LOVE my iPhone!!  I actually bought it *yikes* outside of a contract, but I justify the purchase because I used gift cards for half.... and it's amazing and so worth it!!!
Ashley asked:
6) School supply you could not live without:  Probably Post-its!  I write myself notes, stick them on everything, and use them when I teach!
Stacy asked:
7) What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?  Mint chocolate chip... and I prefer the white one to the green one, but of course I'll eat either!
Natalie asked:
8) What is your favorite shoe brand?  I have two pair of Juicy Couture shoes and they are SO.comfortable.  I also have quite a few from Aldo and Style &Co {Macy's}
Kristy asked:
9) What was your favorite toy as a child?  Barbie... oh my gosh I had soo many Barbies, and the Barbie dream house, and the convertible, and a Barbie camper!
Tammy asked:
10) What is your favorite thing to do in the summer?  Sleep, shop, vacation with my family, and get a nice {natural} tan
Dani asked:
11) What color polish is on your nails?  My go-to color is Jolly Apple red from Essie.. hmm a mani/pedi sounds nice now that you mention it :)
Sheri asked:
12) What is your favorite show to watch on television?  Desperate Housewives.... why is this the last season? :(

Here are my 12 questions:
{1} What's your favorite number? {2} In what month is your birthday? {3} What's your favorite song? {4} NSYNC or BSB? ... or New Kids on the Block {5} Heels or flats at work? {6} What's your nickname? {7} If you could have *any* animal for a pet, what would it be? {8} Where is your favorite place to shop for clothes? {9} Would you quit your job if you won the BIG lottery?  {10} If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be? {11} What's the craziest thing you've ever done? {12} What's your favorite vacation spot?

And last but not least, I'm tagging: A Teacher's TreasureFirst Grade Glitter and GigglesGlyph GirlsKindergarten SmilesThe Bubblegum Tree... and that's all for now :)  I'm sorry to break the rules!
I've been hiding behind the "Cupcake" since I started blogging two months ago.  I admit I was afraid {of failure, perhaps?} but I've reached 500 followers {WOW!}, I've made so many new teacher friends, and I get so much support for my crafts & ideas from everyone.... what the heck?  Here I am:

On my wedding day {I had to use a wedding pic, of course!}:
Again, with hubs this time:
Here's one of my non-wedding faves, me on my birthday:
And because I *giggle* everytime I get a comment or an email that begins with "Mrs. Cupcake..." my first name is Teri.  

Well, there ya go!  That wasn't so hard :)

But shhh... only four real-life people know about my blogging adventure: my husband, my parents, and my brother... it's still a secret!! :)
In honor of my husband and his love for football, I decided to make a little Super Bowl buddy!  Use him to help your students predict the outcome of this year's Super Bowl!  Or, create your own football buddy in YOUR team colors, and write about your prediction for next year's Super Bowl win! ;)
This cutie {plus writing prompts} can be found on TpT and Teacher's Notebook!

Today was a fun day.  I took my littles on a field trip!  I love field trips :) Except for.... the bus ride.  I have a couple school bus horror stories, but I will only share one.

To make a long, horrifying story short:  Once, on the way home, our bus driver decided to stop in the middle of a four-lane highway.  Yes, I said stop.  In the middle of a FOUR-LANE HIGHWAY.  With tractor trailers whizzing by.  And then he tried to get out of the bus.  Yes, I said out of the bus.

I was screaming, my teacher friend was screaming, and one of the parents in front who realized what was going on was screaming.  "You can't STOP here!  GO!  Oh my God, drive!!  You're going to get us killed!!"

The driver only spoke Italian.  No one on the bus spoke Italian.  I think he forgot how to get back to school?  I don't know.  Finally we somehow convinced him to get back on the bus and keep on moving.  But the entire time all I could picture was the 6:00 news story that could have been.

*Sigh*  Does anyone else have a school bus horror story to share?

And last but certainly NOT least..... Thank you to everyone who entered my 400 follower giveaway!  You're amazing :)  Unfortunately, there can only be one winner:
I'll be contacting you, girl!
Hey there!  I have another *fabulous* giveaway to tell you about!
Miss Kindergarten is hosting a February Goodies Giveaway!
If you want to enter, visit her blog. :)

Check it out:
Preparing for February? Wouldn't you love to get all these great activities for free!?

Here's what you can win!


A Cupcake for the Teacher

First Grade Blue Skies



Head over to Miss Kindergarten and find out how to enter!
The giveaway ends on Monday, January 30th.
Hey all!  This is going to be a quickie post because I have to go food shopping {blahh}.  I wanted to let you know that I started contributing to My Fabulous Finds, along with Hadar {loveee} and some more wonderful bloggers!

It's a site for... you guessed it... our fabulous finds!  Go check out what I discovered at Dollar Tree, and how you can use it as a cute, quick, and cheap Valentine's Day gift for your little sweeties!!

{Giveaway now closed}


I made it to 400 followers!  LOVE love loveee that!  Thank you ALL for your support.  I appreciate you guys & love bloggy land so much... so let's have a giveaway!

Raise your hands if you would like to win a $15 gift card....
I googled "raise your hand" for pics and found this... I couldn't resist!!! Lakeshore Learning....
....or Target!!! {I like to provide options :)}
Here's how you can enter:
That's five ways to enter!  And they are easy peasy lemon squeezy {as my littles would say} :)  The giveaway will end on Wednesday Jan. 25th at 8pm and I will use the random number generator on Wednesday night around 9ish to pick a winner.

Good luck!

PS:  Don't forget to check out my newest TpT unit: best friends forever {a craftivity}!!  See the post on it here! :)
February is getting closer and closer, and with it comes Friendship Week!  This year, Friendship Week will be celebrated from February 6-10.  Are you ready??  If not, maybe I can help :)

I got an idea yesterday at work and put it together as soon as I got home.  I came up with a craft {plus labels, not shown},
That's me and one of my besties, my brother
six different writing prompts {with different versions/clipart for each},
and a create-a-word game.
Almost 25 pages in all!

You can get your pack from my TpT or Teacher's Notebook stores.  I *love* your feedback and input, so please write me a little something to let me know what you think!

Here's a little friendship freebie to add to the fun:

In other news, today I was given a NEW award, the "My Favorite Follower Award," created by Mrs. Lamb from Views from Room 205.  I'm seriously flattered because each day I try to show the love to my fellow bloggers, and it's so nice to see that Mrs. Lamb recognized that!  Thanks, girl!! 
Please pass this award on to a couple of YOUR favorite followers... the ones who are always sure to leave you some love, and who make you feel really good about whatever it is you posted!

I'm sharing the Favorite Follower award with these amazing ladies:

Kindergarten Is a Hoot


First Grade Blue Skies

Color Me Kinder

Thank you *SO* much girls, for always making me feel good about my ideas and creations!!

As I'm writing this, I have 387 followers.  So many of you leave me sweet comments each day, and I REALLY appreciate all of it!  In fact, I'm itching for another 13 followers so I can throw a 400 follower giveaway to celebrate all of you :)  Please know that you are ALL my favorite! :)

{Wow, this was a looong post!  Thanks for sticking around!!}
I was inspired today to make some fun printables for Groundhog Day... and you can have them, FREE!  {Who doesn't love free?}  You'll get six pages total: two class surveys, two writing pages, a create-a-word worksheet, and a word search!
Grab your copy of groundhog day {printables} on TpT or Teacher's Notebook now :)

If you do download these freebies, I just ask that you leave feedback wherever you DL it, and leave me some sweet notes here!!  I really love reading and replying to your comments!
After three and a half years of teaching and crafting month after month, I've accumulated a lot of patterns... most of them my own, and some from the lovely bloggers out there :)  I used to keep my patterns in an accordian file box.  It worked well for like, a year, when I only had one or two patterns per month.  But I never stop creating... I've taught siblings back-to-back years, and this year I actually have some of my kids from last year, so I try to change things up.  After three and a half years of "changing things up," I have a.TON. of craft patterns for each month.  The accordian file box just doesn't cut it anymore, so I bought a bunch of these from the craft store:

They are Iris 12x12 storage containers.  I feel that they are the perfect size.  I currently use one box for two months of patterns {Sept. and Oct. share a box, etc.} but I will probably need to invest in more boxes one day, so I'll have one per month.  Here is a look inside my Jan./Feb. box:
There are my President's Day patterns! :)
To keep my patterns together, I use Zip Loc baggies.  I put my finished sample in the bag along with all the pieces, and then I write the name of the pattern on the label with Sharpie.  Love Sharpies!

I hope this post helps someone out there!  I am trying to stick to my OLW... organize!!!
In my classroom, I like to keep students organized by color.  My kiddos sit in groups of four, and each group is referred to as a color.  For example, I will call the "red table" to line up, or get snack, and they know who they are.  I currently have red, orange, yellow, purple, and blue tables.  I have exactly 20 students this year, which is *awesome* and pretty much *unheard of* in my district... so we all fit into five groups.  I designate tables by using these caddies from Lakeshore:
The caddy sits in the middle of the four desks, and houses the group's crayons, scissors {also color coded... the red table has red handled scissors, etc.} and glue.  Crayons are the only "personal" supplies in my classroom.... everything else is "community," to eliminate the "she's using MY glue" arguments.  Sorry for this bad quality photo:
I use slider pencil cases {that I snatch up for $0.25 each in the summer time at Staples} for my students' crayons.  I hate the cardboard Crayola boxes that always fall apart within DAYS. So my kids keep their crayons in the sliders instead.  I don't color code these because I have to change seats every so often.

My closet is also color coded.  I don't have cubbies or anything, so students hang their backpacks and coats on hangers that match their table caddy:
I have five hangers in each color {hmm, where's the 5th purple hanger in this pic?} so everyone has a hanger, plus there's an extra, and there are no arguments.

I found some other great color coding ideas at Lakeshore, and thought I'd share:
I have a few ideas about how I'd use these cute bins.  My kiddos could store their library book bags in them {red table in the red bin, etc.}, or their journals & computer notebooks, or... there are so many uses!
These magnetic display clips would be great for displaying student work, if you have unused blackboard space, or a magnetic area somewhere.  I always cover a portion of my board with posters and charts, so if I find another place for those, I could make a "brag board" with these.

Luckily, I have a green caddy and green hangers handy, because neither of those products include purple!  I'd have to swap out my purple table for a green table, which kind of makes me sad, haha.

Does anyone else color code?  If not, how do you keep things organized?

Deedee at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten is having a Linky Party to support a great cause.  It's all about helping fellow teachers and their students, in a time of need.  Click on the heart above to learn how YOU can help, too!!
Woot, woot!  After missing out on the Holly Bloggy Christmas exchange, I am SUPER excited to be able to participate in Caitlin and Sarah's Be My Valentine exchange!!!
Be My Valentine
Click that cute little button to learn how to join!  You have until January 22nd to sign up, and then the festivities begin :)

Today, after some test taking and some guided reading, it was Fun Friday.  I needed a cute decoration for my door, so I quickly made a pattern for a smaller version of this adorable snowman:
I believe he originated from We Heart Art, but I've seen him aaaall over Pinterest and other teaching blogs!

To make a mini, I cut a 9x12 piece of blue paper in half.  I made the patterns to fit, and here's how the completed projects turned out:
Love!  And 20 of these mini projects fit PERFECTLY on my classroom door :)  I'm excited to be greeted by them on Tuesday when we go back!
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