Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sweet Treats for Sun(Satur)day: Delectable Fall Math Freebies!

It is almost fall, y'all, and I can't wait for all things pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon! In celebration, I'd like to share some FREE fall math resources and ideas with you! Enjoy...

How cute! I love this math "...Any Way You Slice It!" craftivity idea from Sunny Days in Second Grade! This really could be adapted for any grade level! Think tally marks, base ten blocks, and ten frames for younger grades, and decimals, fractions, and scientific notation for the older kiddos!

Check out 14 pages of awesome autumn math printables by The Moffatt Girls, focusing on concepts such as sequencing, adding, and counting by 10s! So handy! 
I discovered this autumn "Rounding...Matching Game" last year, after searching for a fun way to review rounding rules with my then 4th grader who I still tutor. :) Helpful and hands-on! Thank you to The Fabulous Life of an Elementary!

Lastly, the "Pumpkin Pie Puzzles" by FlapJack Educational Resources are a newly found activity I plan on using with the two 5th graders I tutor, as they are currently working on place value to the thousandths and changing decimals into equivalent fractions, vice versa! I'm excited to use it this upcoming week...

Thank you to all of the bloggers and TpTers who offered these fantastic fall freebies! I hope you're all enjoying a beautiful (almost) fall day with lots of fresh air...Sam, Dudley, Baby, and I should be off on a nice hike within the next few hours! Did I just say baby?!?! YES, I DID! A special blog post to come! <3 <3 <3

XO <3, C

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Sunday Scoop, a New Linky Party!

Happy Sunday Night, everyone!

Tonight I am linking up to Teaching Trio's "The Sunday Scoop", a brand new linky party that just started today! For once I am on time with this blogging thing...even though it's 11 pm and I should be in bed! I guess that's what happens when you take an hour and 1/2 nap during the late afternoon...

Anyway, here goes nothing! :) the looks of this my life looks a little ZZZzzzzzzzz, but if you only knew what my "secret" appointment and "mystery" classes are all about...hehehe. Any guesses?!

Night night!

XO <3, C

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sweet Treats for Saturday: Delectable Freebies!

Hi everyone,

I thought I'd start a little blogging theme for Saturdays to encourage myself to keep more up-to-date with A Chocolate Dudley.  This Saturday marks the first edition of "Sweet Treats for Saturday", a *hopefully* weekly blog post I will write offering delectable freebies and ideas!  I'd like to share a lot of Pinterest finds at this point, because Lord knows I pin a TON, plus a few of my own freebie creations/ ideas from time-to-time.

First thing's first (I'm the realist)...

Courtesy of Mandy Douglas
Snap some pics of your students to make a perfect little flower garden decoration for Open House and/or your classroom all year long!

Try something more along this line for something that is a little more kid-friendly. My 3rd graders from a couple of years ago made me those cute little tulip cups as a "Welcome Back" gift for my return after being out of school for over a month with mono. Instead of "Welcome Back" messages, place student pictures on die-cut flowers.

Today's K-2 freebie is all about Pete the Cat!  Yesterday, my school had an assembly for the kids to discuss school rules and get everyone pumped for the year. The speakers shared a cute little Pete the Cat video clip from the Harper Collins Publisher site. You can also download some great Pete the Cat songs from here as well. Click on the picture to go right to the website.

Check on these other FREE Pete the Cat resources...

Courtesy of Peace, Love, and Learning

Courtesy of The Groovy Teacher

My 3-5 freebie for this Saturday is a "taste" of my "All About Me" Autobiography Poem resource, which is perfect as a Back to School or End of the Year writing activity, but really can be used at ANY POINT throughout the year. This freebie includes an example autobiography poem as well as a fun graphic organizer to help students brainstorm! Click on the pictures below to download it!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

XO <3, C

Sweet Treats for Saturday logo & buttons were made using clip art by Krista Wallden, Ashley Hughes, & Glitter Meets Glue Designs, as well as fonts from Kevin & Amanda.

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Currently

I can't believe it's September already! I am so super excited for fall this year, which is kind of a new thing for me.  Usually I have a love/hate relationship with it. I LOVE warm fall weather, but hate the gray raw days of November. I love heading back to school, but hate the stress that it brings. I love looking forward to autumn activities, but dread the winter blues that pop up after the fall. This summer wasn't my favorite for a variety of reasons, mostly due to feeling quite sick for weeks on end, so this year I am welcoming September with OPEN ARMS!

Today I am linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for her "Currently" par-tay.

Listening ("Reckless", "The Bridge", "Mistresses")- Pretty obvious.  Those are my favorite summer shows! "Reckless", a cop/lawyer drama + romance, is new this year, and I'm really hoping it will be renewed!

Loving (warm days and cool nights)- Yup, I'm just ready for this fall! I would like to try out our new fire pit, a 1st anniversary gift from my brother, sometime very soon! S'mores, anyone?! I'm also really loving this September "Currently" template! I would so love to go camping this fall, as long as it's not too chilly.  My number one camping goal: spot a moose for the FIRST time (a wish I've had since I did my first report ever on moose in the 2nd Grade)!

Thinking (family and first grade)- I've spent a lot of time thinking about my family recently for so many reasons. I've realized that my "first baby" isn't really my little Dudley pup, but instead my little brother, who continues to melt my heart every single day. First Grade has also been on my mind a ton. Since I'm new to the grade, I've been reading a lot of First Grade blogs and researching First Grade literacy ideas/lessons on Pinterest. I'm wondering when I will be able to start planning for my small groups...eeek! :)

Wanting (OIL and a shower!)- Ummm...yeah...we ran out of oil AGAIN for the 2nd time this year. I suppose I should probably be held equally accountable for the household responsibility of ordering oil, but c'mon that's really Sam's job....!!! I'm really wanting a warm shower right abut now!

Needing (new fall clothes)- This is both unfortunate and fortunate! Love to SHOP, hate spending money!

3 Trips (Greece, Alaska, Switzerland)- Sadly, these are not 3 places I've traveled too, but instead 3 DREAM vacations. Sigh...

Happy September, everyone!

XO <3, C

Friday, August 29, 2014

Five For Friday and Ending my Blogging Hiatus!

This whole blogging thing isn't exactly working out. I definitely just disappeared for oh-almost-half-of-a-year.  :( It's not that I forgot...It's just that I was totally annoyed with my computer and didn't feel like dealing with it, but now I have no excuse because I FINALLY have a BEAUTIFUL NEW laptop! I think it will be too hard to update you all on the past 5 months, so let's just join the "Five for Friday" party and talk about the past week instead... :)

Today, the Chocolate Dudley himself and I returned from the vet (per the usual), only to find a package from DELL awaiting in between our two side doors. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for several months for a brand new laptop, but kept putting off ordering a new one due to the expense. I have to say, Windows 8.1 is quite different, and it's going to take a bit of getting used to, but so far so good! By the way- I am writing this post, while LAYING DOWN in bed and the computer is UNPLUGGED! Can you believe it? I forgot what this was like! No more overheating and shutting down if I ever so slightly move the power cord just one millimeter!

 I am no longer a stay-at-home wife/ Dudley-mom!  THANK YOU, GOD, I am BACK at SCHOOL! After having the whole year off, and after the incredible disappointment of the California adventure falling through, I am extremely grateful to be working in an elementary school again this year!  I don't have my own classroom, and even though I would really love to have that again one day, I am ECSTATIC about my new position! I'm working as a part-time literacy aide in a first grade classroom, and get this- the school is less than 5 minutes away! How amazing is that?!?! It's like a dream come true after teaching in a district that was an hour away.  I love that I can now feel part of my OWN community, and I don't have to leave the house so super early every morning only to be disappointed that I am still one of the last arrivals at school.  Hooray! The other fabulous part about this position is I am working in one and only one classroom.  I am so happy to have a batch of my own students that I can bond with and inspire!  Check out the beautiful bouquet of "Happy Back to School"/ Belated Anniversary flowers from Mr. Samuel...

Even though I am back working, I have to say, I really am still LIVING the LIFE!  Since I only stay at school 'til 11:30 each morning, I have plenty of time to hit up the beach while the summer weather sticks around. Check out the pictures below from this past week, on the first FULL day of school for first graders!  Those poor kiddos had a longer day than me! It's very strange for me to walk out in the middle of the day.  I feel guilty and as if I'm sneaking out... Can I really just leave and walk out like that?! So far this new schedule has been the perfect mix- allowing me to participate in my passion, but also stay super stress-free!

First graders are waaaaay different than the third graders I am used to, but that's pretty obvious isn't it?  I have met some cuties who are already melting my heart! Here are some funny first grade observations I have made so far...

1. First graders are big into hugging, especially when sad, and love to sit on adults' laps. So incredibly sweet!
2. They're criers. Many of them miss mommy and daddy during the first week or so, and some completely panic after leaving a teddy bear on the bus. Precious!  (I definitely had my fair share of criers in third grade too, though).
3. They never know if they brought their lunch to school or if they are buying hot lunch from the cafe, even though they peaked in their lunchbox an hour beforehand during snack time!
4. Many of them panic when asked to write their last name, despite the fact it is spelled RIGHT in front of them on the nameplate on their desk! Haha!
5. The fact that vowels make more than one sound is a totally foreign concept to them, and writing the lowercase alphabet is just plain tricky! :)

Due to observation #5, I found some very useful tools on Teachers Pay Teachers that I'd like to bring into the classroom once I officially begin working with small groups. Check a couple of them out...

I plan on printing out this great Alphabet Chart included in "Phonics Charts for Guided Reading and Writing" by Haley O'Connor. It's super cute and FREE! The resource also includes charts with digraphs, blends, vowel teams and r-controlled vowels!

These short vowel songs sung to the tune of "BINGO" by The Crazy Schoolteacher should also be useful to some of my kiddos as they aren't so hot with their vowel sounds. This resource is F-R-E-E as well, and great news- The Crazy Schoolteacher also has a Long Vowel Songs freebie!

Last but not least for today, the classroom teacher I am working with has a great little set-up for student work that needs to be turned in.  Next to the basket she uses to collect completed work, is a sign and a bucket of yellow highlighters that remind children to highlight their NAME on their papers.  This is a strategy I could for sure bring into an upper elementary grade as I know all too well how my third graders (and fourth) consistently skipped writing their name on their work, which can be very frustrating! I wish the picture below was from the classroom I work in, but this Pinterest photo will have to do instead.
This photo is from Pinterest, but did not link to a website. If you are the owner of the photo please contact me so I can give you credit! :)

Enjoy your LONG weekend, everyone! If you're interested in linking up to the party, click on the "Five for Friday" button at the top of this post!

XO <3, C

Monday, March 10, 2014

St. Paddy's Day & March Linky

First off, let the countdown begin- Nine days until spring!  THANK GOODNESS! It sure has been one loooooooooooong winter, and temperatures are still so cold and below average for this time of year. Here's to hoping things will WARM UP soon!
Frame & Clip Art by Creative Clips

On another note, to get in the mood for March and SPRING, I thought I'd throw a little linky party, and I would LOVE for you to join in on the action. For this linky party you may post a link to your blog or TpT store, highlighting a St. Paddy's Day or March themed freebie, idea, or paid product.  If you choose to link-up a blog post, don't forget to copy and paste the above graphic into your post and link it back to the party! 

I am going to be linking up my newest product, Luck of the Irish, which includes a deck of St. Patrick’s Day Multiplication Cards that can be used for a variety of matching games.

It includes Student Instructions for 4 different card games that are new twists on old favorites.

The first is 'Lucky Pot of Gold Multiplication', a variation of “Old Maid” in which 1 player is left with the “Lucky Pot of Gold” card and WINS the game. 

The second is 'Mischievous Leprechaun Multiplication', which is played the same way, but 1 player is left with the “Mischievous Leprechaun” card and loses the game. 

'St. Patrick’s Day Search' is a version of “Go Fish”. In this activity, the player who receives “The Mischievous Leprechaun” card, gives 1 pair of matching cards away to the player to their left at the end of the game. The player who receives “The Lucky Pot of Gold” card, collects 2 pairs of matching cards from the player to their right at the end of the game. 

The 4th game, 'Celtic Concentration', is played like “Concentration” or “Memory”. In this version, if a player flips over the “Mischievous Leprechaun” card, they must flip their cards back over and skip their turn. The player to flip over “The Lucky Pot of Gold” card collects 2 pairs of matching cards from the player to their right at the end of the game.

Check out Luck of the Irish on TpT for more information and/or to download a preview. I hope it can add a "taste of" the Irish to your classroom!

Now onto the linky...Thank you to anyone who joins! :)

XO <3, C

Friday, March 7, 2014

March & Moving On's March, and here I am still in New Hampshire.  I repeat, I am STILL in NH!  Everything about California completely fell through.  Everything.  After many  months of anticipation and freaking out with excitement, we were told the trip was CANCELLED.  I thought I'd be sitting here updating you with all of my road trip and SoCal adventures, but nevertheless, I am not, and instead I could talk about the freezing cold weather that will never leave...but I guess I won't do that either.

We found out this disappointing news ONE day before we were supposed to leave.  By that point, everything was pretty well set and planned.  All of the motels were booked, and I had detailed typed notes about each of the cities we were going to visit on our trek out West. I was so stunned when Sam told me the news that day after work.  For the first minute or so I stared blankly, until the news processed, and then I burst into tears.

This was supposed to be our big adventure before starting a family! This was my chance to live in a completely different place without the hassle or more permanent decision of moving. I was going to soak up the sun, EXPLORE, and visit with Kayla and Andrew.  The news broke my heart.

The first week after the blow was tough. Honestly, I was pretty depressed, and felt like there was nothing I could do to cheer myself up. Luckily, day-by-day life went back to normal.  I unpacked my suitcase.  I cancelled each motel.  We (or Jeff) ate our road trip snacks... And oh yeah- Sam and I booked tickets to St. John to visit his sis, Sophie, and Mom and I reserved tickets to Savannah...

Yup, thankfully the two loves of my life were ready to cheer me up with new adventures to look forward to!  Thanks, Sam and Mom!  I am really spoiled. :)

Keeping busy, trusting there must be a REASON our San Diego adventure was cancelled, and looking forward to two vacations has helped me move on. Lesson learned- Nothing in life is ever certain, but it's still important to take a chance.  I have no regrets leaving behind my past teaching position for SD, because it was the push I needed to make a change for many other reasons.

Now let's move forward to what is CURRENTLY going on.  I linked up to Farley's Oh Boy Fourth Grade Currently "party" again.

listening- Anything Could Happen and Best Day of My Life have helped to boost my spirits this past month.

loving- Downton Abbey!  I'm sad to say my DVR deleted nearly all of the episodes I had recorded, so I just HAD to go out and buy not only Season 2 but Season 3 as well. I couldn't even think about joining a waiting list at the library.  I am not that patient!

thinking- I was exhausted when I filled in the above chart last night.  I was up way too late working on a new TpT product.  I have been exhausted in general this whole week as I have been pushing myself to stay busy, workout, and be highly productive.  It's been a successful week!  Can't wait to continue planning my St. John and Savannah/Charleston vacations! This will be our 3rd time to St. John, so I'd like to experience new parts of the island and check out St. Thomas for the first time.  If I get my new passport back in time, I'm hoping we can ferry to the British Virgin Islands. I'd like to visit "The Baths" on Virgin Gorda.
Amazing, right? "The Baths" are huge boulders on the coastline that form small pools of water and caves. Love it!

wanting- WARM weather and spring! Enough.Said.

needing- I still need to head back to yoga. At least I've been doing well with "gyming it"!

????????- A dog, pearls, and Peppermint Patties is my ANSWER to my own secret question.  Can you guess what it is?  I'll let you know soon..


XO <3, C

PS One day, Sam and I will take that road trip I planned. The only difference- we won't be staying at Motel 6s. :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Currently

Happy February, everyone!  I can't believe the month I have been waiting for is HERE!  So much to do and so little time! :)

Today, I am linking up with Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade to join her Currently "party".

listening- I'm loving all of those songs, but Lady Gaga's is my go-to for the gym, since I have recently been forcing myself to workout to help with my tension headaches.  (Note the word "forcing").

loving- Homeland. I'm obsessed with it.  I've been wanting to watch it for over a year now, but we didn't have a subscription to Showtime.  We finally bit the bullet and purchased it, and now watch Homeland multiple times a week.  We're almost at the end of Season 2!

thinking- I need to book one last motel for us for the trip out to SD.  According to my plans, it should be around Bisbee, AZ, and I'm feeling like the options around that area may be limited. I don't think I'll plan the trip home until it gets closer to that time, just in case anything changes.  Aside from booking the remaining hotel, there is a TON to do.  Prepping the house for our house-sitters.  Packing CLOTHES.  Packing Dudley's belongings & obtaining copies of proof of his vaccinations.  Shopping for road-trip necessities...Fixing my break pads. :( Boo! My car was inspected yesterday, and I just received that bright piece of news.  Here is to hoping Sam can fix the breaks, because otherwise I'll be throwing 350 bucks to the auto body shop.

wanting- A clean car. I don't remember the last time it was vacuumed, and I cannot stomach the idea of traveling in it for 8 days straight under its current disgusting condition.  I really need a day of "warm" weather so I can get out there and vacuum it!

needing-I haven't been to yoga since before I came down with that flu last week. I must get back into that routine asap!

2 truths & a fib- I wish Sam's trip had been extended!  So far it hasn't, so that was my fib!  It is true we will only have valet parking available to us at the hotel we'll be staying at in SD.  That will for sure take some getting used to!  Speaking of parking- apparently it costs $38 a day.  Thank Goodness Sam's work will pay for it for his car...but for my car?! We may be footing the bill, which will mean we'll opt out of receiving a rental car and just share 1 car while we're there.  Looks like I may be driving Sam to work every day at the crack of dawn, so I can take the car to explore.  Lastly, yes, our hotel is located about 500 feet away from PETCO Park, home of the SD Padres. So exciting!

Thanks for reading!

XO <3, C

Friday, January 31, 2014

Five For Friday!

Happy F-R-I-D-A-Y!

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching again for the Five For Friday linky party!

Here are five very random things about my week...

This week, Sam & I found out where we will be staying in San Diego!  I'm going out on a bit of a limb here by sharing this with you, as you never know if this information will change, but as of now, we will be living here for about 7 weeks:
This is the Residence Inn located in the Gaslamp Quarter, which is right by the harbor.  Kayla and I stayed in this same area a couple of years ago, and I LOVED it! The Gaslamp Quarter is a historic downtown area filled with restaurants, pubs, boutiques, theaters, and museums. Sounds pretty fabulous, right?
Kayla and I had the absolute best, but also a very short-lived trip to San Diego. 

Even though we only had one full day in SD, we made sure to check out the zoo, of course! I was crushed to leave so soon  after arriving, and remember thinking, 'I HAVE to come back here someday!' I can't believe it's actually happening!

Yesterday I posted my most recent product, Grade 4 Common Core Math Vocabulary Posters, which goes along with Topics 9-16 of the enVision MATH program.  Between division, fractions, measurement, and geometry, the second half of the 4th Grade topics are very vocabulary heavy.  These posters are eye-catching and are fab to use as visuals during your lessons and/or as a reference on a math bulletin board or word wall!
I think you can see from the collage above, how language-based this program can be.  Craziness!

For more information about the Grade 4 Common Core Math Vocabulary Posters, head to my product description on TpT.  You can also head here to read about the posters for Grade 4 Topics 1-8, and/or read my blog posts about Grade 3 Topics 1-8 and Topics 9-16.

I am participating in another GIVEAWAY which starts TOMORROW and runs until Saturday, February 8th!  This time I am donating The Blustery Blizzard Roll & Sort, a hands-on noun, verb, and adjective activity with a winter theme.  If you'd like to read  more about it, hop over to my TpT store here or check out last week's Five For Friday post.

Check out the S.O.L Train by Pam & Brittany if you'd like a chance to win The Blustery Blizzard Roll & Sort as well as MANY other fabulous prizes.

I subbed in a Kindergarten classroom this morning, and was able to attend the K-2 school's Olympic-themed "All School Meeting".  It was so fun, I just have to share it with you!  The school was split into teams or "countries" that participate in the Olympic Games. A Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade classroom joined together to represent each of the chosen countries.  For example, the Kindergarten class I was with represented Australia, along with a 1st and a 2nd Grade classroom.  The assembly began with a song, in which each country greeted the school in their own language.
Of course each team was decked out with their country's flags.  (Click on the picture above to head to print out a variety of flag coloring pages).
The little Australians also wore a DIY hat, like the one above, to represent the Sydney Opera House. Too cute!

During the assembly, the principal gave a brief background of the Olympics and explained their school would be completing a large bar graph on the gymnasium wall to keep track of each country's winnings in the real Olympics.  It looked very similar to the display seen below.

He also announced their school would be holding their own MATH version of the Olympic Games.  Go MATHletes! :)  After each team was revved up, a real Olympic torch was used to "light" a large DIY "torch" that will be "kept lit" for the length of the competitions.

The school-wide assembly concluded with some traditional Opening Ceremony music.  Winners will be announced at their next school meeting in about a month. :)

Last, but not least, my little bro's birthday was earlier this week.  Happy 26th, Jeff!  I remember peeking at you in your bassinet at the hospital on the day you were born, when I was only 3.  I was very excited to finally be with you, and Mom & Dad again...I was also mesmerized by the smokestacks I saw out the hospital window at the end of the hallway.  The things we remember! Love you, J-Bear!

That's all for now...

XO <3, C