Mons-TERRIFIC Crafts!

Well, today I'm going to be on the road traveling so my "Saturday Shares" will be pretty simple.  I'm just going to share some of my new Monster-Themed stuff I've been working on!  So, I told ya'll on Thursday that I was going to get my Mod Podge on for the first time.  *Sigh*  If only, I had read Megan's (from I Teach. What's Your Super Power?) comment first..."Practice with something you don't care about first." 

Too late.  And, apparently Mod Podge (or crafting for that matter) is not my Super Power.  You see, I planned to mod podge my classroom stool.  This stool has been sitting in my garage for weeks now as I planned what to do with it.  I had initially started painting it.  The primer and base coat of problem.  But then, I tried to pain a monster face on it using acrylic paint.  AGH!  The red was not "popping" on the turquoise and the paint was cracking.  After SIX coats I had given up.  Enter mod podge.  I had heard everyone talking about this and thought, why not?  So....I drew the monster face on cardstock, cut it out, used Elmer's spray glue and stuck that bad boy to the top of the stool.  Adorable!  Then I pulled out the mod podge (read every word on the bottle because that's how I roll).  Sounds easy enough.  I applied a generous coat using a paintbrush and stood back to admire.  This was going better than I thought!

Then, I went inside to begin on another craft (my monster clipchart...more on that in a moment) because I'm not patient.  I can't "sit tight" or "kill time."  After a few minutes, I couldn't wait to see the final result so I head back to the garage....AGH!!!  My sweet little monster had all of these bubble rolls in him!!  I quickly found a marker and used that to try to "roll" the bubbles flat but the mod podge had already become tacky and that just lifted some of the cardstock off with the marker.  {insert major whining and pouty face}  I got a cup of water, wet my fingers, and just tried to roll the bubbles flat with my hand.  Not perfect, by any means, but better.  I let this dry and then added another coat of mod podge.
Looks pretty good from a distance.
But, up close and in the right light, you can definitely see the wrinkles. :(

I had initially wanted to paint the legs with polka dots and stripes and all sorts of wild designs/patterns.  But, after my first attempt at painting on top of the turquoise, I knew I better go another route.  So, I bought those little red circle stickers, stuck them all around, and mod podged right on top of those suckers!  Easy peasy!
I still have some finishing touches to put on it (think fur trim) but the main work is done.  All in all I think it was a good first attempt at mod podge....I learned from it.  I might even try another stool to see if I can perfect it, but this one will be good enough for the students....I think they'll think it's fun! :)

Clip Chart Management System
Last year I used the clip system and loved it, so I wanted to stick with that this year.  However, last year I had one of those students who didn't know about personal know the kind, right?  And, well, every time he walked by our cute little guitar, he knocked off half of the clothespins...sometimes breaking them.  So, this year I wanted to find another way to do this system (without using clothespins) while incorporating my monster theme.  I saw a picture on pinterest of someone using a "big oil pan" as a magnet board and this gave me an idea!  Why not create my clipchart on the oil pan and have magnets for the students to move up or down.  So....that's what I did!
I haven't decided if I should draw little mouths on them...what do you think?
These magnets are for another board in my classroom, but this gives you an idea.  I would love to find magnets that are a bit chubbier so they'd be easier to pick up and move, but I still want to be able to write numbers on them.  Anyone seen any great magnets around that would be perfect for this?
My plan is for Mr. Madden to make it so that it will hang on some of those great 3M hooks...right on the bathroom door in my classroom.

While I was at Hobby Lobby (yes, AGAIN!) buying supplies for the above projects, I was SUPER excited that they had this sign I'd been wanting for my classroom.  I saw it weeks ago, but didn't buy it because it was $40.  Then Mr. Madden reminded me that I always have a "40% off one item" Hobby Lobby coupon with me (thanks to the GeoQpons app on my iphone). {smacking head...why didn't I think of that?} So, I went back to purchase it, but it was GONE!! :(  Well, yesterday, they had them back in...I think it's just perfect for the classroom.  Maybe somewhere near our clipchart or classroom rules.
And, last but not least, I found a great deal at Barnes and Noble!!  I always have a class mascot with a traveling bag and matching book (I use this with my Pet Pal Project...I'll do a post on that soon!)  With my new monster theme, I thought this "Ugly Doll" stuffed animal and bag would be PERFECT (and 50% off!!)  Of course, I had to snatch up another monster book to go with it! :)
That's it for today!  Headed to the SC coast to put my toes in the sand and a book in my hand!  I'm sure I'll be playing LOTS of Song Pop, Words with Friends, and Scramble with Friends while in the car...hit me (AmandaMadden) up if you're on there!


My Students Gave a Standing Ovation...and Awards!!!

Last week, I saw that Amanda over at The Teaching Thief was having a Fiction Friday linky.  I was a little late to the party, so I've been saving this little gem all week so I could participate this Friday.  I wanted to share my ALL-TIME fay-vor-ite read aloud!  I just discovered this book a few years ago, and I cannot even tell you how much my kiddos loved it!!!  But, I'll try.

After finishing this book, my entire class simultaneously stood up and APPLAUDED!!  {I may have shed a tear or two here}  So, what book, you ask?
"DOLLS??  Oh, my boys would never like that."  Even my boys loved this has adventure, history, science, a little bit of everything for everyone.  Here's a little summary of it from Amazon - Review

Annabelle Doll is 8 years old--and has been for over 100 years. Nothing much has changed in the dollhouse during that time, except for the fact that 45 years ago, Annabelle's Auntie Sarah disappeared from the dollhouse without a trace. After all this time, restless Annabelle is becoming more and more curious about her aunt's fate. And when she discovers Auntie Sarah's old diary, she becomes positively driven. Her cautious family tries to discourage her, but Annabelle won't be stopped, even though she risks Permanent Doll State, in which she could turn into a regular, nonliving doll. And when the "Real Pink Plastic" Funcraft family moves in next door, the Doll family's world is turned upside down--in more ways than one! Fans of The Borrowers and Stuart Little will love this exciting story of adventure and mystery. The relationship between the two doll families, one antique, one modern, is hilariously, wonderfully drawn. The Funcrafts are reckless and raucous, with fearlessness born of their unbreakable plastic parts. The Doll family is reserved and somewhat prim, even though they occasionally break into '60s tunes like "Respect" in their sing-alongs. Annabelle is a heroine with integrity and gumption. Ann Martin (The Babysitters Club series) and Laura Godwin create a witty, intriguing tale, illustrated with humor and a clever eye for detail by Brian Selznick. (Ages 7 to 11) --Emilie Coulter 

 Well, the day after my students gave it a standing ovation, my students were entering the classroom, gathered around their backpacks, when I heard a collective GASP!  I turned to look and saw that they were all peeking into one of my girl's backpack.  Oh my...what in the world did she bring to school, I wondered.  When suddenly one of my boys yells, "SHE FOUND THE SEQUEL!!"  Oh my goodness.  I didn't even know a sequel existed! {GASP!}  Needless to say, we started reading it that day.  Was it possible?  With the edition of a character named "Mean Mimi" my students were even more enraptured with this book!
Of course, by this point, I had already checked to see if the series continued and was thrilled to find out that it was a trilogy.
Before we finished the trilogy, over half of my class had persuaded their parents to go out and purchase these books for them.  They were bringing them to school and sneaking them out to read and reread any moment they could.  They just couldn't understand why there weren't MORE of these books, so (on their own) they began writing letters to the authors to persuade them to write more books or to make a movie out of the books.  Of course, we never heard back from them, but it was a great learning experience!

I've continued reading these books to my class for the last three years, with the same result.  I try to save them for later in the year, but I always end up reading them earlier than I planned...I guess I'm that excited about them, too!

Have you found a book that your class loves as much as this?  Please share....or better yet, link up to Amanda's Fiction Friday by clicking below.
I also wanted to take a moment to thank all of the sweet bloggers who have awarded my little ole blog with some amazing awards recently.  

Thank you so much to Sara at Miss V's Busy Bees, Aimee at Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks, Brittany at Stickers and Stamps, Linda at Around the Kampfire, Jodi at Southern Sweetie in Second, Christa at Sweet Life of Second Grade for awarding me the One Lovely Blog Award!!  The rules for this award are...

1. Follow the person that gave you the award
2. Link back to the person that gave you the award
3. Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers

Also, a BIG thanks to Jessica at Mrs. Heeren's Happenings, Katie at Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans, Tammy at 1...2...3 Teach With Me, and Angie at Timeouts and Tootsie Rolls for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award.  The rules for this award are as follows:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to their site.
3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link to their site.
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

So, here are my 7 random facts about myself.

1. I don't have an athletic bone in my body (I actually have enough trouble just walking without falling down), but I will do any adrenaline extreme sports including, skydiving, bungee jumping, zip lining, and rock climbing.

2. If I weren't a teacher, I would secretly like to be a CIA Agent. (Think Syndney Bistrow from Alias)

3. My taste buds never grew up with plate is usually 50 shades of yellow :); what can I say, I love my carbs!

4. I haven't eaten red meat or drank sodas in over 20 years (teenage phase that stuck with me). 

5. I go to the gym 5 days a week with my mom.  We even run together...I HATE running, but always feel better afterwards.

6. I watch WAY too much television and my #1 favorite show that still airs (sorry LOST) is Dexter! Love that serial killer!

7. I love jalapenos and high heels.  I would eat them/wear them everyday!

I am passing BOTH of these awards on to the following bloggers...

1. Kristen at Bless Your Heart

2. Chrissy at First Grade Found Me

3. Olivia at Liv to Teach

4.  Mrs. Dwyer at Mrs. Dwyers A+ Firsties

6. Miss Dennis at Notes from Miss Dennis

7.  Sara at Sarah at School

...okay, okay, I know that's not 15 bloggers.  I'm on the lookout for others! :)

1, 2, 3, 4...Four Things That Make Me Smile Some More

Why is it that we teachers always need to alliterate or rhyme? I love it though - the fact that we're a breed of our own! So, that's the first thing that makes me smile...

1. Teachers - That's right!  You guys...I love checking in to see new blog posts and get very excited to comment on your posts, or to see that you've commented on my posts.  But, I'm still very annoyed that I can't "reply" to blog comments.  Well, not so much because, you see, even if you have a template where you can "reply" to comments, the person isn't notified that there's a reply...they would still have to, by chance, come back to that post and look at the comment section again to see it - who does that?  So, what makes me smile, is when my bloggy friends have their settings turned so that they can receive EMAILS!  Then, I know that you will get my reply to your comment, which puts a BIG smile on my face!

This is NOT a default is how to change it.  Go to "Settings," then click on "Comments," scroll all the way down to the bottom and put an email address in where it says "Comment Notification Email."  With an email address entered here, you will receive an email notification anytime someone comments on one of YOUR posts.  Then, if they have entered an email address in this section, you will be able to reply to their comment directly using your email!!  If they haven't, you'll get a "no reply" address for them...which is what I get for most of my bloggy friends.  {sad face}  I know most of us have email contacts on the front of our blog, so it's not like we're keeping our emails private.  This just saves the step of having to go back and locate one (let's be serious...I'm not going to go search for it, are you?).

So, go....go now....enter an email address so your bloggy friends can reply directly to your'll put a smile on their faces! :)

2. VistaPrint - Yep, I bought that amazing Groupon that was $17 for $70 for VistaPrint and spent last night designing some new items for my Monster-Theme!  Here's what I ordered...
Contact Cards
 Conference Cards
Classroom Banner
Thank You Cards
VistaPrint always makes me smile! Here's a TIP's $3.49 to upload your own photo.  For some of these I wanted to upload multiple monster images to one design...that was adding up quickly!  So, I just opened my images in PowerPoint, grouped them together and saved as one image to upload to VistaPrint - problem solved! :)

3.  Students - At the end of the year, I always add a self-addressed envelope in my students "farewell buckets" so they can write to me over the summer.  I've received several letters this summer and love to hear about what they're doing.  I just received two more in the mail, so I'm off to write them back!  I love to see that they haven't forgotten how to write those friendly letters correctly! {smile}

4.  Linky Party - Every time I get a little email notification that a new link has been submitted to my little "Turn the Music Up" linky party, I just get giddy!  I cannot wait to hear about the music you use in your classrooms.  I have found so much new stuff to add to my collection!  Thanks to every one who has participated.  Go check it out and find you some new tunes, too!  

And, don't forget to join my 300 Follower Giveaway that ends on Monday!

I'm off to try a little project with Mod Podge for the first time....obviously I've been living under a rock!  Wish me luck!  Hopefully, I'll be able to share it with you tomorrow. :)


300 Follower Giveaway and Linkup!!

It's time for another giveaway - THREE hundred!!

But, before I get to that, my husband walked in on me jamming away to music you all submitted at my Turn the Music Up Linky Party (Can I just say this is the best linky party I allowed to say that if it's my party? Well, I am, because I have already added sooooo many new songs to my lessons for next year! Y'all continue to AH-maze me!!) Anyway, he was like, "Oh, I KNOW you shared your Black Eyed Peas song!"  But, you know what?  I didn't.  I totally forgot!  So, here's one more in case you haven't seen it (but I'm betting you have since it was HUGE a few years ago)...but, it's still a favorite, as my kids B-E-G for this one all the time!
Catchy, huh?  That's why I annoy my husband every time the REAL song comes on the radio because I sing the "reading" version.  (Ah, those poor teacher spouses!)  Well, as we were looking for this one on YouTube, I remembered seeing another flash mob by 4th/5th graders to a Flo Rida song, Good Feeling,  in order to prepare for their big state test.  Y'all know, I LOVE some Flo Rida!!
Don't you know they have the BEST times doing these, and they have to get them pumped up for the test!  LOVE it!  But, we actually stumbled upon our favorite video of all, completely on accident.  These teachers changed Flo Rida's "Club Can't Handle Me" to "Test Can't Handle Me" and created a video for their middle school students!!  Oh, the things we teachers will do for our students!!
I'm actually very surprised that the guy can remember all of those words and keep that beat!  And, don't you love the principal's look! :)  HATS OFF to those teachers!!  I'm linking these up with Miss Nelson, at her YouTube party!

Okay, on to the giveaway (that's what you're here for, right??)  Rafflecopter was a success last time, so I'll be using it again.  Since this is my 300 Follower Giveaway, I'm going with that 3 theme!

Teacher's Clubhouse 
is donating
 (If you're an intermediate teacher you can select units from Lightbulb Minds)
  and I'm also giving away
$25 Macy's Giftcard
$5 Starbucks Giftcard 
There are lots of ways to get your name entered below.  
This giveaway will end on Monday, July 2nd! GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Turn the Music Up Linky Party

Teaching Maddeness

Okay, so I LOVE to play music in my classroom.  Whether it's using music to teach concepts or just having background music playing while students work...I love it!  Unfortunately, I don't have a musical bone in my body so having the actual music is a MUST!  Sigh...I teach with some pretty musical gals who can just whip up a song in a second or belt one out like they're up on stage...not me!  I need music to help me along {just ask my poor students who occasionally have to endure me suffering through without it!}  I'm thinking of placing an order for a few new CDs for my classroom, so I want YOU to tell me what music you love in your classroom!  I'll share my favorites with you (below), but if you want to join in this linky party (my first, so fingers crossed I'm doing this right), just follow these steps:

1. Use the button at the top of this post at the top of YOUR post (copy and paste the code below the button to the top of your post).  This will link back to the linky party so others can find it and join in!

2.  Blog about your favorite music that you use in YOUR classroom.  If you want, you can follow this guide - 1)Post about your favorite educational CD/Music, 2)Post about your favorite "just for fun" CD/Music, 3) Post about CD/Music you're considering but need feedback to help make that decision.

3.  Come back to this post and add your POST LINK using the button below.  (Please do not post the link to your main blog page or it will be deleted.  The link needs to be directly to your music post so that new visitors to your blog can find it easily!)

One of my favorite educational CDs to use in my classroom is Do Re Mi Geometry.  The lyrics and rhythm is catchy which makes it stick in students' heads quickly and they love to sing along...while learning at the same time!  (Click the CD cover below to preview all songs and/or purchase, or watch a preview of a song through the YouTube video below.)
I have to thank my sweet {musical} friend, Kristen, for introducing me to my ABSOLUTE favorite non-educational, "just for fun" CD - The Merry Goes Round by Jewel.  Oh.My.Gosh!  I would seriously listen to this in my car (is that horrible?!)  My class always asked for this CD and their favorite songs were "Sammy the Spider" (my favorite!) and "Bucky the Bull".  (Click the CD cover below to preview or purchase.)
And, of course, as a child of the 80s, I don't think you can ever go wrong with the Kidz Bop 80s CD! :)  Everyone knows I love the 80s (I even had a parent buy me the 80s sharpies that were out this year...of course, I had already purchased them for my fab 80s themed Halloween Party.)

We use the 80s CD a lot for celebrating achievements or short little dance party brain breaks in my room!  (Can't mention the fab 80s Halloween party without a pic...just glad my friend Kelly doesn't teach any longer.  She shouldn't be stalking teacher blogs now, so I should still be alive tomorrow!)
I DID NOT want to wear that outfit around town for the day.  That is just a horrible rumor Mr. Madden started for no reason at all! ;)

And now, for some CDs I'm considering for my classroom....I really love the Beatles and Motown music.  Anyone have feedback on these to help me decide if they'd be good for the classroom?
I can't wait to hear about the music you use in your classrooms.  Link up below!


Mastery Club: New Monster Edition

Many years ago, I began using the "Mastery Club" in my classroom as an enrichment activity.  Since I'm changing classroom themes this year, I needed to update this from an O.S.C.A.R.S. (Outstanding, Studious, Clever, and Remarkable Students) Club to something monster related.  I finally decided on The M.O.N.S.T.E.R.S. (Magnificent, Outstanding, Noteworthy Students Taking Enrichment Really Seriously) Club.

How It Works
In my classroom, the Mastery Club is an optional activity for those students (or parents) who want extra homework or an additional "challenge."  I introduce this club during the first or second week of school.  I explain it to students and then it is solely up to them to participate.  I put the summary page in a clear sleeve in all students' MONSTER folders so that they have access to the categories at all times.  I also have the large categories (above) posted on the wall outside of my classroom, along with the sign and a "Hall of Fame" section.  If a student chooses to participate, he/she just completes the activity at home (example, writes down the name of 15 mammals that he/she knows along with the category number 52 at the top of the page with his/her name).  Then the activity is turned in (students turn in all items to the teacher in a "teacher mailbox" in my classroom).  Whenever I have a chance (usually during dismissal time at the end of the day), I call students up and "quiz" them on their category.  If they accomplish the task, they earn a star (I put their name on a large star cut-out and give them a tiny star sticker with the category number written on it).  Any students who earn 15 stars by the end of the year get their name listed on my Mastery Club Hall of Fame and it stays there FOREVER!!  

Do you use the mastery club in your class?  Have new ideas on how to implement it?  Have questions about using it?  If so, leave a comment. :)

Sundays in the South: Concert Edition

It's finally Sunday favorite day.  Time for some rest and relaxation!  I told you that last night I was going to the Lady Antebellum concert and I wanted to share a couple of pics and tell you a bit about it.  When I went to get my pic from my phone, I discovered LOTS of concert pics and thought I'd turn today's whole post (well, almost...there some unrelated questions for you at the end) into a concert edition!  There is nothing my husband and I love more than going to a good concert!  Since we live in the South (and not in one of the huge cities like Atlanta or Charlotte) our venue mostly gets country musicians, and Mr. Madden (okay, so I've started writing his name like this after reading Fifty) is not a huge country fan.  Luckily, I have a couple of sweet teaching friends who are BIG country music fans to go with me!

Here we are last night at the Lady A concert!  I love these girls! You'll be seeing and/or hearing from them on my blog more, I'm sure!  We teach 2nd grade at the same school and there are days when I couldn't survive without these girls! :)  Alright, so back to Lady A....the opening act was Thompson Square, who were great, and Lady A was amazing, as always (though, I must admit I think I love their music more on the radio...a little too slow for my concert taste).  But the BEST PERFORMANCE of the night went to Darius Rucker!!!!  Can I say how much I love him?  I've loved him since his Hootie and the Blowfish days.  He sang his country stuff, his Hootie stuff, a little Prince and a little Hank Williams.  I would go see him again at the drop of a hat, hopefully headlining the show!  I was in college when Hootie was really getting big, and those songs always take me back to those days.  I'm sure I love him even more since he's from SOUTH CAROLINA and Hootie formed in college (yep, at THE University of South Carolina!)  Loved his garnet and black guitar and shout out to our baseball team who will begin trying to win their THIRD National Title in a row tonight (y'all are watching and pulling for the Cocks, right?!) #fearthefish  (Those of you not from the South, you have to visit to realize how BIG college football is down here...H-U-G-E!)  Speaking of college football, the highlight of our night (well, Susannah and I since we're Gamecock girls...we're still working on our {die hard} Clemson friend, Kristen) was that we stalked saw Nathan Pepper (former USC football player) at the concert!  Of course, we totally embarrassed him {along with his wife and his friends} by getting our picture with him {and starting a trend for the night for him...sooo sorry, Nate (I can call him that now since we're good friends and all.)}
Over the past year, I've been to numerous concerts (with these girls or with Mr. Madden) and thought I'd share some pics.  Unfortunately, I don't usually take my "big girl" camera into the concerts and the iphone camera just stinks!
Some of the concerts I've attended this past year include...

Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker
Zac Brown Band (the BEST country concert performance)
Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan
Nickelback (twice...great show and my husband Mr. Madden really likes them)
Kenny Chesney and Uncle Kracker
Cyndi Lauper (my 80s dream finally came true!!! :))
Prince (wow...I hope I can still dance like that when I'm his age.  Okay, let's face it, I can't dance like that now, especially in those fabulous heels!)
Miranda Lambert
and....(I'm going to save my favorite one until the end).  Here are random pics from all of these!
(I just spoiled you a little with those "big girl camera" pics...sorry about all the iphone pics below.)
Oh, yes, Cyndi Lauper still worked it! lol
Nickelback...the most interactive with the audience of anyone.
 Me and my girls again, waiting for Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean!
The one country concert Mr. Madden wanted to attend and it was so worth it!  Maybe no pyro like a rock concert, but there were people flying through the air! :)
Kristen and I at the Miranda concert!  L.O.V.E. Miranda.
And this is me and my sweet {non-country music loving} friend, Jenny, at my #1 concert of the past year (okay, probably ever!!)  It was sooooooo H-O-T (think 100 degrees outside in Charlotte), or maybe it was because of......
ADAM LEVINE!!!  That's right...we went to the Train and Maroon 5 concert.  *sigh* Now, that I've inserted that picture, I can't even write anything else about this show, I'm too distracted. *sigh*
I'm not sure the upcoming year can top THAT, but we do have some really great concerts coming up still!  In July, Mr. Madden and I are crossing one off that's been on our bucket list for quite a while...
And then in November, we're (or possibly, I, since Mr. Madden is now trying to wiggle his way out) is crossing off my other 80s {flashback, to 5th grade talent show} icon, 
What are the best concerts you've ever been to? {Pretty sure that New Kids on the Block Concert when I was 15 still tops that list somewhere..hehehe!) 
Who is on your "must see" if they come to town list? {My list right now includes 

1. Maroon 5 (obviously), 
2. Bon Jovi (stays on this list), 
3. Katy Perry (laugh, if you want, I LOVE her!), 
and my #1 want-to-see-I-stalk-his-tour-list-all-the-time is 
5. Flo Rida (Mr. Madden refuses to go with me because I'm pretty sure he knows I would embarrass him greatly... can'!)

Now, I really think I need to improve my concert pics.  I just don't always want to carry around my Canon Rebel (it's so big and bulky!), but the iphone is just not cutting it.  I've been drooling over looking at that little Nikon camera forever, and want to know if any of you have it?  I don't expect it to take the same exact quality of pictures as my "big girl" camera, but I would expect it to come pretty close at its price!  Anyone used it before?  I would love feedback on it!  I'm pretty sure Mr. Madden knows it's on my "want" list (my birthday is coming up!) 

Also, I was wondering how you all {my blog experts}, read your blogs on the go?  Do you have a great app that you love?  I've tried several this week and think Streamified is the best one I've found yet.  If you have an iphone, check it out - you can follow your google reader, facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest....all in chronological order.  Loving it so far, but just wondered if there's something out there that you love! 

Off to Target, another Sunday tradition, to wonder around aimlessly drool over that little Nikon.  Then home to watch the {road course} race (Go 24!) and then baseball with my Gamecocks....just another Sunday in the South!  :)

Saturday Shares and WINNER!

 ...and the winner of my 100 Follower Giveaway is...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations, Lindsey T!  I sent you an email. :)

Saturday Shares
Lots of RANDOM shares from the week for you today!
It seems I'm not the only teacher spending her summer creating a new blog! :)  Since I know how mind-boggling it can be to watch your "follower count" and wonder if you're ever going to have more than just a handful of followers, I thought I would showcase a "new budding blog" each Saturday.  I'll be on the lookout for a blog that catches my eye, provides informative posts, and has fewer than 200 followers.  Last week, before I started the "Best Budding Blog" showcase, I found Jodi over at Southern Sweetie in Second.  If you haven't visited her blog and become a follower yet, do it now! :)  Well, this week I stumbled upon Hooty's Homeroom and was excited to become her very first follower!  She has some cute math journal ideas.  Go visit and show her some love! 
Who doesn't love a good deal??  Especially on books...and when they're children's books we (teachers) just can't resist, right?  My first "Steal of a Deal" this week came from one of my followers, Rebecca, who commented about on my Poetry and Folktales post.  She let me know that they had the "You Read to Me, I'll Read to You" {hardcover} books for $3.99!!  HOLLA!  I couldn't resist and went right over there.  I ended up getting a few several other books that had been on my "want" list for a while, too!  All for under $20 - WAHOO!

My next "Steal of a Deal" is not school related, but I thought I'd throw them in because they're so stinkin' cute.  I got these adorable grey and white striped flats (with a flower....those who know me know that I LOVE anything with a flower or ruffles)!  I found them at Charming Charlies for under $20! L-O-V-E!

Since I'm already sidetracked from school stuff, I'm going to throw out something I pinned on pinterest a while ago and then FINALLY found and purchased.  I'm so excited to use it at the beach in a couple of weeks!
Do you see what that is?? A lounge chair made for reading while on your stomach!  Yes, it has a hole for your face and openings for your arms so you can lay comfortably and read with your book under the chair!  {Oh yeah, I know this from experience since I tested it out right in the middle of our living room...and, of course, the hubby came walking in from work right in the middle of my test session!  He didn't say anything...he knew better...he just walked away with the shake of a head.}  It has a flap with a pillow that covers up the hole when you want to lay on your back.  I'm an avid reader at the beach and it always irritates me that I can only read on my back.  It took me forever to find this chair.  I stalked Target for weeks and then finally found ONE left at one of our local, I had to snatch it up!
I wanted to share a technology goldmine that I found this week.  I'm sure you've seen it, as it's been spreading through the Bloggyville like a wildfire this week, but just in case you've been living under a rock...  The Clever School Teacher - It's a great new site where teachers can find books and/or book sets related directly to teaching strategies.  Looking for the perfect picture books for teaching reading strategies, genre studies, writing traits??  They've got you covered!  How easy is that??  A great time-saver for teachers, for sure!
I'm going to end my Saturday Shares with my guilty pleasures for the week.  What you may not know about me is that in addition to being an avid reader, I am a reality TV junkie!  Especially, husband gets so annoyed when he comes home and turns on any television in the house and they're all on Bravo!  What can I say, I love background noise while I work and instead of flipping channels, I'll just turn it to Bravo and watch whatever episode of whatever Real Housewives is on for the 259th time! ;)  I'm also a sucker for the Bachelor series, and am in LOVE with this season since my {reality TV} BFF, Emily, is the bachelorette!  Well, this week I stumbled upon Kristin's "Talk about it Tuesday" Bachelorette recap...can I just say HILARIOUS!!  If you watch this show, you must check it out here. I'm also a sucker for well-written dramas (can you say LOST!) and am having withdrawals from Revenge and Once Upon a Time, but I've recently caught up with the new Dallas on TNT and I'm surprisingly LOVING it!  Have you been watching?  

I'm also highly addicted to the iphone game, Song Pop, at the moment.  Have you discovered it yet?  It's kind of like Name that has music from every genre!  I'm not the best at it, but it sure is fun!  Hit me up with a game {username - amandamadden} if you give it a try!

Speaking of music, I'm off to the Lady Antebellum concert with a couple of my sweet teaching buddies tonight...and then it's my favorite day of the week, Sunday! I'll see you tomorrow for "Sundays in the South."
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