Tomorrow begins the

Be sure to hop on over to Ms. Smarty Pants' blog first.  
You can find her right here:

Then you'll be hopping right back here to me on February 2! 
See you then!

 So the Superbowl is upon us once again!  Are you a football fan?
Thanks to one of my darling students, I have found a renewed love for the sport.
He and I have had a fun time this season.  You see, he is a die-hard Colts fan and I, 
well, I prefer the Packers.  Sadly, I am still eating crow from the Packers loss to the Colts, but it made for a fun time.  Especially when this dear sweet boy came to school to find his desk decorated something like this...OK, exactly like this:
Ignore his thumbs down booing sign!
Fortunately, his mom is a coworker and friend and gave the OK for this.
I even tried to make all of the Colts luck run out by hanging the horseshoes upside-down, 
but it didn't work.  

Of course, mind you this was the same day that this
was brought to my classroom by the same child!
Gotta love a kid who can dish it out as well as he can take it.

But the bottom line is neither of our team's made it to the Superbowl.  
(Guess the Colts "Luck" just ran out! HA!)

So instead, we have been having fun this week working on some CCSS activities using our football theme.  In one of my small reading groups, we worked on rhyming words with the Rhyming Rookies game.

Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows!

I believe we have a winner!  \

At the end of the day a couple of my students had time to play the Superbowl Syllables game.  
In fact, they didn't want to clean up to go home!

If you're in need of some football action yourself, don't drop the ball and shuffle on over to check 
out any of these cool units by my friends or myself!

Both of these activities came from my unit
 available here.

Here are some Football Math Work Stations available from Teach With Laughter and a  
Math and Language Superbowl Activity Pack from Crayonbox Learning and a Football Attendance File from One Room Schoolhouse.

So while I still have to contend with this

I prefer to 

Enjoy the Superbowl!

Can you believe we're just about to put January in the books and start February already?
And, you know, as soon as you flip the calendar to February the students start counting down to
 Valentine's Day! 

I know personally that there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done.  Well we're here to make your life a little bit easier!  I have joined up with 13 other teacher bloggers to bring you the  
14 Days for the Love of Teaching FREEBIE Blog Hop.

Who doesn't love a good FREEBIE?
Well, these FREEBIES are guaranteed to make your heart go all a-flutter!
You'll love the wide variety of items that are being offered...and, of course, you can't beat the price!

We hope to make your planning a little easier and bring some educational fun to the classroom, as well.
So be sure to mark your calendar!

The blog hop will begin on February 1, at Ms. Smarty Pants.

Make you sure you stop back by to grab your freebies!
So, my partner-in-crime, Mrs. P and I have been going round and round about what to do on 
Valentine's Day.  We are pretty much over the deliciously-frosted cupcakes, the sugar-coated cookies and the melt-in-your-mouth heart-shaped candies.  (Can you tell I'm on a diet 
ummmm....I mean life style change?)

Anyway, we'd like to simplify it a little bit.  Of course, we still want them to exchange Valentines and I always buy extra boxes for those who don't have them to exchange, but...what do to for the party part?

I'd absolutely love to hear what all of you do.  
Inspire us!

I did find something absolutely adorable gifts to give my students, though.  
Have you seen these on The World's Best Collection of Things You Just Have to Make and Do! 
(a/k/a Pinterest!)? 

Check out these SUPER CUTE Valentine ideas on Making Life Whimsical !

I am doing the S'mores ones.  My sweet son is a S'mores-maniac!  I think my kiddos will love it, too.  
Have you seen those huge marshmallow hearts?!??!  Ran across those the other day at the grocery store.  
I think they'll be perfect!  A little bit of chocolate, 
a graham cracker square and you've got a cute gift that won't break the bank!

Here is a picture of the package.  Obviously, this is the diet version!  It is cold and rainy and I just couldn't drag myself to the store, but you get the idea...right?

You can find the FREEBIE right here in my store:

Thank you to my sweet friend, Melanie at Frogspot From the Pond for her adorable graphics!

You can also check out her TPT store right here: run and get the freebie, check out the blogs and TPT stores and don't forget to leave me a comment and tell me what you do for your Valentine's Day party.

Well, everyone, I have been wanting to try out Rafflecopter for a while and today is the day!  
Now through Saturday at midnight EST, you can enter for a chance to win one Room Theme from my TPT store!'s what you have to do.  Answer the question below for one entry and then follow Chalk One Up for the Teacher on FB for extra entries!  
I can't wait to see who wins and which themes you've loved doing in your classroom!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I think I need about a million of these different Keep Calm posters!  I constantly go into panic mode every time something upsets my apple cart.  Tell me I'm not alone!
So who likes to decorate their classroom?  Who uses a theme?  Who starts thinking about it just about this time of year?  YEP!  I raised my hand to all of those.  
For the first time ever (in more than 20 years of teaching) I kept my theme from last year.  
It is really showing wear and tear. :-(

If you do a theme, do you keep it from year to year or change it every year?

I thought I would post some of my pics of my past themes.
I can remember my very first classroom was decorated in a dog theme.  Boy, was that a while ago!

Here is my bee-themed room.  It's how my room looks now.

This is my "beehive".  My dear, sweet, wonderful dad constructed it out of PVC pipe.  It has been a pirate cove, a space station, a jungle hut.  I wonder what it will be next year.

These are my team signs.

Whoever created these crate seats in genius!  I always have to have them.

Got this great idea from Proteacher!  If you like them, you can buy them in practically any theme in my TPT store!

My wonderful son made this for me!

This is my work display board.  The bees have the students' names on them.  I used pipe cleaners to make antennae.

Anyone use this in their classroom?  This is a large magnet from Vista Print.   

This is my door stop that my wonderful friend, Chris made for me.  Is she just so talented?  

This is my space-themed room. 

This was my progress monitoring board.

Here's the space station that I was talking about.

This picture is blurry, but I used icicle lights as stars across my white boards.
Here is my work display board.

Here is a close-up of the astronauts on my board.
 So, I can't wait to hear what themes you've done or plan on doing!

Yep!  5 more FREEBIES coming your way.  
I have been dabbling in something new.  I keep thinking about how our local school supply store (that is no longer in business) had all of those wonderful bulletin board sets.  I always spent a great deal of time browsing through them.  So, I'm going to try them out.  And, starting now, through Saturday night, you can check my first one out for FREE.  Here's a preview of it.  If you download it, 
I'd LOVE to hear what you think!!

You can find it right here!

There are at least 4 other FREEBIES, so poke around in my shop and check them all out!  
Happy Weekend!!!!
Thursday night, our grade level is hosting an "I'm Making a Difference in My Child's Life Night".  Catchy title, huh?  Each teacher (7 total) is hosting a 10 minute, quick tip session that will really help our parents when working with their child at home.  We are covering:  sight words, reading to and with your child, websites, building sentences, comprehension strategies, writing and sounding out and writing difficult words.  Oh, and my topic is why it's important to read 20 minutes every night.  I made a (if I do say so myself) cute PowerPoint that I hope will grab the parents' attention. 

So, in order to get parents in we are offering:
translators for each class
free babysitting (each teacher pitched in $5 to pay for the sitters)
raffle prizes
Do you have something that is a sure-fire get those parents in the door tip or trick to share?  
I'd LOVE to hear it!

Do you think it will work?
I hope so.  It's really been minimal planning, but we hope to get a lot of bang for our buck!
We even created a paper for parents to use that had a quick highlight of what we talked about along with a place for taking notes.

So on that note, who is up for a giveaway?

Here's the deal...we have approximately 130 first graders.  
How many of their parents you think will show up?
The person who guesses the closest will win 2 items of their choosing from my TPT store!
Leave your answer in the comments!
So, my friend and I were talking and we decided that we are going to celebrate the 120th Day of School this year.  This stems from the idea that our first graders are now responsible for counting to 120.  Any thoughts?  I've already started a unit based around the 120th day, but wondered what everyone thought about it.  So, all comments and feedback are needed and appreciated. who has gone back to work already and who goes on Monday?  Me?  I'm going on Monday.  I was talking to my friends about it and think the Wednesday to Wednesday deal sounds better.  Two half weeks sounds the week that school gets out (when all the kids have ants in their pants and Santa on their brain) and one to get back into the routine.

I'm already counting down until the next 3 day weekend!  (Oh, come on, you know you are, too!)

So...what productive things did you do over the break?  (or non-productive?)
My son and I went to see Monsters Inc., 3-D.  Cute movie...always was.
The biggest chore was cleaning out.  Boy, that was long overdue, but we pretty much finished everything that didn't get done over the summer.  I have to admit that I kind of liked having all of this extra time after Christmas to get things done.

Of course, it would be wonderful to have something like this
going on in my closet, but since that's about the size of my bedroom, I don't see that happening anytime soon, but a girl can dream, right?

Also, wanted to share with you the "birth" of my FB page.  Not sure how many of you are on FB, but if you are, would you mind hoping over and "liking" my page?  There's a little surprise when you get over there.

AND....some of the freebies are still up at my store, so grab 'em while you can. 

Now get out there and enjoy your weekend!!!
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