Grateful For So Many Reasons!

     Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I was overwhelmed with the support and response I received for My New Blog Design Giveaway! Again, I cannot express how excited I am to be on this journey with so many fabulous educators! Congratulations to Melanie A....I can't wait to hear more from you about what you have chosen for your giveaway prizes!

     As if watching the entries for the giveaway roll in wasn't enough excitement for me, Jen from Kindergarten Coffee Talk left me an EXCITING AND SURPRISING comment on one of my posts!
She has nominated me for the Liebster Award!
     I am so honored that she thought my blog was worthy of this award. For those of you that do not know, The Liebster Award is an award given to new bloggers with a growing audience to help welcome them to the exciting world of blogging. Along with the nomination, Jen has provided me with some questions to answer to help the "blogging community" get to know about me a little bit better. These are my Getting To Know You Q & A's...
1.  Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging? 
I started blogging because I wanted to share my classroom experiences and my TPT experiences with people who were interested. I have been blogging for about one month now.
2.  What one word sums up the heart of your blog? 
Authentic! "What you see is what you get", is often how my friends and family describe me. They say it is a GREAT quality to have...I, however, am not so sure sometimes!
3.  How many hours a week do you dedicate to your blog/TPT/social media? 
Well, now that summer is about to begin, I will be able to devote more time to it all. During the school year, I probably spend about 12 or more hours a week on everything. 
4.  Where does your blog inspiration come from? 
My love for what I do! I have been told for years that I should share my thoughts and ideas with those who are interested. I am finally doing it, and I am so grateful for the new friends I have already made!
5.  What category of blog posts do you like to read best? 
Anything about the classroom that can help me to become a better teacher!
6.  What is your favorite aspect of blogging? 
I have always enjoyed writing and I have always been very reflective of things that I do...Blogging is the perfect marriage of those two things! 
7.  What idea from a blog would you like to try yourself? 
I really want to be part of a blog hop... but it looks very complicated1
8.  What do you like to do when you are not blogging or teaching? 
Reading, napping, being a mom, coffee dates with friends, and laughing...a lot of laughing!
9.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
10.If you weren't a teacher, what career would you choose? 
I can't think of anything else I would like to do...( I am not sure if I should say insert applause here, or insert sad face here!)
11.What is your favorite grade to teach? 
1st! I have been doing it now for 23 years and I feel like it is my home away from home!
I would like to spread the love, and nominate the following up and coming bloggers for the Liebster Award:
Emily from Polka Dots Please
Crystal from The Balanced Teacher
Amber from Mrs. Masters Kinder Love
I would love for these bloggers to answer the following questions:
    1.  Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging?
2.  What one word sums up the heart of your blog?
3.  How many hours a week do you dedicate to your blog/TPT/social media?
4.  Where does your blog inspiration come from?
5.  What category of blog posts do you like to read best?
6.  What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
7.  What idea from a blog would you like to try yourself?
8.  What do you like to do when you are not blogging or teaching?
9.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
10.If you weren't a teacher, what career would you choose?
11.What is your favorite grade to teach?
                                                  Here are the Liebster Award rules:
  • Link back to the blog that nominated you (me!)
  • Answer the 11 questions posted by the nominator
  • Nominate 5-11 blogs (with less than 200 followers) and link to them in your post
  • Provide them with 11 Getting To Know You Q &A's (the same you were given, or some of your own)
  • Contact the nominees and let them know they have been nominated

Thank you again to Kindergarten Coffee Talk for nominating me! I feel so blessed to be nominated for this award!


It's A Giveaway!

I am so IN LOVE with my new blog design by Megan Favre from A Bird In Hand Designs that I just had to throw a NEW BLOG DESIGN GIVEAWAY!!! 
Prizes?? Yep! Got them, and just in time for summer break! The giveaway runs Sunday, May 24-Thursday, May 28. Hurry and enter the Rafflecopter so that you can be the FANTABULOUS WINNER of...
a $25 Gift Card of your choice! (Target, Starbucks, Amazon, or TPT)
A $10 Gift Card to MY TPT Store!
Good Luck to you friends! I have my fingers crossed for you! 


Did Somebody Say Camel?

 Well...another field trip in the books...and this year our animal park adventure was all about the camel! We got to see, pet, and feed lots of different animals from all over the world, but the animal that we came back talking the most about was the camel! Those buggers were very happy to see us! (Happier guessed it...a camel on Hump-day!!!) I am so sorry, but I couldn't resist.

As you can see... taking care of all those crazy camels was


It's Field Trip Time!

     It is so hard to believe that the year is coming to an end! I have had such an INCREDIBLE adventure this year with my firsties, and I am hanging on to every last minute with them! Our annual end of the year field trip is coming up this week and we have been busily preparing for what to expect during our time away from school.
We have been reading and rereading our new social story, (Click on the cover for a link back to my store) which explains all the things we can expect to happen on a trip away from school.

We have used social stories a great deal this year, and my students absolutely LOVE them! It has seemed to take the apprehension and fear out of so many of the "big events" in the lives of my first graders, that honestly, in the past, have turned into huge behavior and management issues. We have used them for fire drills, assemblies, lunch room behaviors and more. ( I will be blogging about these more in the coming stay tuned!)

Besides preparing my students, I wanted to prepare myself and my chaperones, so that we could be relaxed on the trip and enjoy the students. So I created this Organization Kit that has all the things you will need to help you stay cool, calm, and collected!
Click on product cover for a link back to my store

So... I think we are ready...oh...did I mention we are going on a wagon to feed HUGE animals up close and personal??


Mother's Day Love!    
     Another Mother's Day has come and gone, and I cannot allow it to pass me by without mentioning my mother Dee. She is the one I have to thank for my artistic talents, my organizational skills, and my tenacity. I love her dearly, and have learned so much about being a good mom from her!

This year in first grade, we tried a new craft. I had seen beautifully painted Mason jars with handprints on the fronts on Pinterest, and thought it would be SUCH a cute idea to do with my firsties...however, as with so many other projects I plan, I ran short on I improvised and made it my own.

I nixed the painting on the inside of the jar, and just filled the jars with shredded paper. Then I put each child's painted handprint on the fronts of the jars. I wrote a little poem to go along with the jar and put it inside.
Click on product picture below to grab this freebie!

We also made some great Mother's Day books. As always, the portraits of the moms were stunning!!!


Hooray! Hooray! It's An Exciting Day!

Welcome to Spreading Joy One Giggle At A Time!
I am so glad that you are here!
This is my very first OFFICIAL post....are you ready???
  The picture above is my friend Constance and I taking a trip down the "rolly" slide on our field trip last year. I chose it because our faces represent how I feel about beginning my journey as a blogger...excited, thrilled, invigorated, and TERRIFIED!!!!
  • I am EXCITED because this has been a dream of mine for many years now, and with the guidance and support of some very special friends and colleagues it is finally coming true!
  • I am THRILLED because I can now share all this great "STUFF" that I have been storing in my head for so many years now!!!! Maybe I will actually be able to think clearer once I can get it all out of there, you think?
  • I am INVIGORATED because in my quest to begin this journey I have met so many other educators who also LOVE WHAT THEY DO!!!! It has been such a blessing to be able to share ideas, troubleshoot, and learn from others who are also passionate about the teaching profession.
  • I am TERRIFIED because blogging is the UNKNOWN to me and as with any unknown, fear sneaks up on you...but I also know that my new blogging friends have my back and won't let me drown in the blogging unknown!
     I suppose I should give you some background information about me, so you don't think I just spend my days riding "rolly" slides with Constance.

     My oldest son is a junior in high school, and just went to his first prom. (He would like to know if I am going to ask him EVERY day for the rest of his life if they had a good time....the answer is YES!) My youngest son is in seventh grade and spends his free time playing baseball.

     I have been teaching first grade for over 20 years in the same district, and I absolutely love my firsties!

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