Top Ten Things to do this Summer!

Today is my first official day of summer vacation!
It seems like the year flew, especially after Spring Break!
Hello, summer!

Sweet Deanna Jump decided she would make a list of ten things she wanted to actually DO this summer, and I think that's a great idea, so here goes:

I really, really want to do these things in the next 10 weeks!


 School Stuff First!

 1) I want to find some new chapter books to introduce to my firsties next year.
I'd like to find at least 3 new books, so...
I'll be reading some kiddo chapter books this summer.
I'm taking suggestions, by the way!


 2) I also plan to read a few "Teacher" books.
These are on my shelf right now.
http://amzn.to/1kzRylP

http://amzn.to/1kzRDWP

Ready to reread this one! My favorite!!
http://amzn.to/S3zciw



3)  For the first time, we had to turn in our keys for summer.
Well, until July anyway.
When July comes, I plan to spend one week working on my classroom then letting it go.
"Let it go!" "Let it go!" Singing that song to remind me!



4) I plan to update several products in my TpT store this summer.
Goodness, some of them are overdue! 
 Okay, not this one. I really like this one!


5) Hopefully, I'll be moving these two into their new home.
My parents just sold their house (my childhood home)
and are in the process of house hunting right now!
Scary and exciting!
 They are just so cute!


6) I plan to read some big girl books, too!
Can't wait to dig into some of these books on my Pinterest board
http://www.pinterest.com/llmartin1/books-are-good-for-the-soul/



7) I want to spend a few days in my pjs doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
Hopefully rainy days. Is that terrible??



8) Next month, I'm getting together with my best friends from high school.
I'm ready to see them and spend a few days catching up!



9) I also plan to spend a few days in New Orleans next month
at SDE's Reading, Writing, and Math conference.
Love quality PD and ADORE that city!
So happy NOLA is only a few hours away!



10) Lastly, but not least...I Teach 1st and TpT Conference in Vegas this July!
I am over the moon about spending a week with my bloggy friends
and meeting everyone in person!
So excited!

Link up with Deanna and share your Summer To Do List!!
Happy Weekend, friends!

NEVER LOSE A PUZZLE PIECE AGAIN!


If you teach lower elementary, chances are you have puzzles in your classroom. 


And...if you have puzzles in your classroom,
you've probably dealt with lost puzzle pieces
or unsuccessfully tried to repair broken boxes.
How DO they get that way???

I feel your pain!

I want to share with you how I FINALLY organized my puzzles.

Super Easy Puzzle Organization Steps

1) Have your students put the puzzles together and check for lost pieces.


2) Once the puzzles are put together, assign each puzzle a number.
Have the students write that number on the backs of all the puzzle pieces
AND THE INSIDE COVER OF THE BOX.

Whenever we find a lost puzzle piece, we know right where it goes!

3) Throw out all the sad looking boxes (perfect way to lose pieces)
and replace them with plastic containers.
Move the pieces to your new puzzle containers.



It even looks cleaner!


4) Cut out the front covers and place in the plastic containers with the puzzles.
Then place the tops on the containers.
 Somehow my camera took a pic of the solar system puzzle instead of the bugs puzzle. Mind of its own...



5) Number the containers to match the puzzle inside, then put those babies on the shelf!
FYI: This year, I plan to put the number AND name of the puzzle on the outside!
Now the puzzles are ready for the kiddos to use!
That's it, friends! Super Easy!
This system has been a life saver in my classroom! 
Give it a try! You'll love it, too!




Booking Across the USA: Down South in Mississippi!


Have you met Charlie? He's traveled to every state in the USA!
I'm so happy I got to spend some time with him in Mississippi!

Can you tell I'm just a little excited to take part in the Booking Across America linky? Well, I am!

Jodie from Growing Book by Book did a terrific job putting this huge project together, and Blue Apple Books provided the adorable books about Charlie!
Thanks so much, Jodie and Blue Apple! 

Now, let's talk about Charlie! Charlie is this sweet little pup who has a thing for traveling!
He visits every state in the USA through Miles Backer's Travels with Charlie series.

I was given the opportunity to read and share Down South,
a super fun and informative book about the Southern states.

My kiddos and I read about all the southern states
but focused our attention on our home state. 


Then we created our own magnolias-our state flower!
          




I am a native Mississippian and love the diversity and personality of my state!
Oh, could I write some posts on the way I feel about this place!!
My home state is filled with soul!
Here's my Pinterest board for more on Mississippi! 


Did you know?
The Mississippi Children's Museum has the only licensed life size Scrabble board.
We had a great time building words on our field trip in April.


Root beer was invented in Biloxi. 
Pine Sol and Dr. Tichenors also come from MS. 



Belzoni is the Catfish Capitol of the World. (Hello, Doodlebugs!) 



And, He is one of us...

I don't know about you, but I'm thinking a root beer, some catfish,
and a little Elvis sound pretty good right about now!


If you want to join me, come on Down South!
-OR-
You could join Charlie on his travels through all the 50 states! 
Check out the linky below!
http://growingbookbybook.com/booking-across-the-usa/
Want to win a set of all 4 Travels with Charlie books?
You can! Enter to win right here!