Friday, October 10, 2014

Halloween Chills and Thrills LOPEZ Style!

Around my house, Halloween is treated like it is one of the most important days of the year! My husband and youngest daughter LOVE LOVE LOVE scary decorations, out of the ordinary and downright spooky costumes and trinkets. Ever since the kids were little, costumes and trick or treating have been THE most talked about items in our home during this season.  Now with our son away at college, our youngest daughter in Texas for boot camp, and the oldest one planning her January wedding, Halloween is a really sad time of year for Art and I!! We took out all of the boxes of decorations, yes, I did say BOXES!! But only took out a few favorites as the whole process made us sad.  Carly has only been away for Air Force boot camp for a week, so maybe in a few weeks we will feel more like decorating! For now, we have settled ourselves with indulging in good treats this season! For us AND our students!

My favorite costumes were always the ones the kids came up with that meant something to them! My son just had to be a camouflaged soldier. Art spent about an hour drawing on his face. Artie looked at himself for at least half an hour which made the time spent so totally worth it!

Missing one of Carly so I have to look again tonight! These are the days that I miss and that went by sooooooooooooooooooooo fast!!! Don't blink all of you mommas out there with little ones.. they will be all grown before you know it! I better get on with my blogging here before I water log my keyboard!!

I am excited to be participating in the The Teaching 2 Step's Halloween Bash 2014! This will definitely get me in the mood for fun and festivities!

Do you love making treats? When the kids were little there was always some activity, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, School,  where they needed to take something to share. My kids were always so excited about caramel apples!!! Love them, too! And now people are so creative at decorating them with all kinds of sprinkles, chocolate chips, and sugary goodies!


  • 6 apples
  • craft sticks               
  • 1 (14-oz.) package caramels
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon water
  •  Sprinkles, chocolate chips, crushed vanilla wafers, etc.                                

  • Preparation

    1. Remove the stems from apples after washing and drying them.
    2. Stick craft sticks into the middle of the core from one end.
    3. Microwave caramels, vanilla extract, and water until melted,
    4.  Stirring every 30 seconds or so to keep from burning.
    5. Dip apples into the caramel mixture, then roll or sprinkle on the extra goodies.
    6.  Place apples on wax paper that has been lightly greased so that they are standing up.  
    7. Chill or let set before serving.

    Ready for more Halloween fun? Download my QR Code Halloween Haunted Tale Story Starters to have your little ghouls writing with glee! Just print on cardstock, cut out, glue and you have a writing cube with 6 different story starter ideas that your students can make scary or sweet, their treat!

    Check out my Batty for Base Ten Exponents Task or Scoot Cards. They are perfect for practicing expanded form multiplication using base ten exponents!
    Want to win great prizes? Sure you do!! Enter the Rafflecopters below! You can't win if you don't enter!!

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    Thank you for joining The Teaching 2 Step Halloween Hop. I hope you enjoyed my post! Did you know you can follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter Hop through more Halloween Bash Bloggers below:


    Friday, October 3, 2014

    Numbered Spoons Are Your Friend~! Tricks and Treats Blog Hop!

    Someone tell me how October got here so quickly?  Before I even blinked, September was over.  While it feels great to know that I have 6 weeks under my belt, it stresses me out at the same time to know there are so many wonderful activities and learning opportunities out there that I can't wait to get to!!

    I am soooooo excited to be linking up with Jessica over at Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten for a TRICKS AND TREATS BLOG HOP!!! WOOT WOOT!! My very very first one!! I am almost shaking I am so excited!! You won't believe the amazing treats and tricks that are in store for you as you travel your way through our blog hop! Trust me! Once you see how cute Jessica's baby Madelynn is, you won't be able to stop yourself from scrolling through each blog to see if you can find a cuter baby!

    October in my classroom is one where I know my favorite Teaching Tricks are working and well under way!! We are a GLAD school, (Guided Language Acquisition Design) and one of our teaching strategies that we use is Numbered Spoons! Our students sit in teams of 4.  Before we start an activity, I will say, "Number Off 1 Through 4"  By now students know what to expect and are anxiously choosing their number. I grab one of my super inexpensive, super durable plastic spoons that are numbered 1-4.  I call out that number and then the task that I want that person to do.  Usually it is, put your heads together and Number 4 you are to report out 1 fact your group had about ways that rattlesnakes adapt to their environment. 

    I use this strategy so often during the day, that my students are anxious to see which spoon I call and what they will be doing.  In order to keep the person you just called engaged, you put the spoon back into the container and the next time you call a number, everyone has to be ready and accountable to their team.  By far, this is my favorite hands down Teaching Strategy Trick!! Try it and come back and let me know how it worked for you! We even use it to number students for PE Teams... trust me when I tell you, kids love this and it makes for simple, no fuss, no muss division of work, assignments, tasks, and material gathering!

    My students are totally into bats at the moment.  As you can see from my previous post, they are truly enjoying researching and learning all about BATS!! To celebrate this amazing Tricks and Treats Blog Hop, I have put the majority of my TPT store on sale this weekend for 20% off!! WOOT WOOT!!! Enjoy October everyone! Happy Blog Hopping! May you find a month load of tricks and treats ahead!!

    I know their bat obsession will carry over into math.. We are just finishing up Powers of Ten so I am hoping that Batty For Base Ten Exponents makes their day complete!!

    And a Halloween Freebie just for you!  QR CODE HALLOWEEN HAUNTED TALE STORY STARTERS! Students will love writing creative endings for the 6 haunted tale beginnings! Please take a moment to leave feedback!

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    Thursday, October 2, 2014

    Thematic Thursday Going Batty over BATS!!!!

    I know since it is October that the first thing I think of when I hear the word bat, is .....

    yes, the boys of summer desperately trying to become the boys of October! Missing my lil slugger who is finishing up his senior year of college playing, what else, BASEBALL in Texas!  Why do kids have to go so farrrrr away?!! Seriously, when I think of bats, the only kind I want are either metal or wood!! But not so true for my students!

    What is it about kids and bats? My fifth graders are finishing up a non-fiction week on Rattlers and the first thing they ask me is, "Are bats next?" Bats? Really?  Since we are a 1:1 ipad classroom, my students have multiple opportunities to use the internet to research given topics.  California does have bats so this topic wasn't too hard for me to gather some resources together for my fifth graders to devour!

    Upper grades love being read to! Bats bring in the perfect bat series!  And you can't go wrong with any National Geographic animal book. The BATS! one won't disappoint! The photos alone make my students day!

    My friend Carla over at Comprehension Connections has an amazing thematic link up every Thursday! This week happens to be about.. you guessed it.. BATS!! She has great links up of literature and creative fun for all! starts off with basic bat facts.   Multiple opportunities for further research with great links here, including one on how to build your own bat house!  Now I am all up for a Bat cave similar to my childhood after school afternoon treat of Batman and Robin featuring Adam West!! San Diego has bats as does Northern California so there are several sources featuring true facts on bats that live at either end of our state!

    My students, though, will be in bat heaven when we embark upon our Bat Web quest!! Do you use web quests to further students' knowledge? My 5th graders DIG Them!! They just think I am THE BEST when we spend our time READING, RESEARCHING, WRITING, and CREATING based off web quests!! A web quest is a bunch of activities that you complete using the internet to help you do the research. They usually have multiple links to take you to different sources or sites where you obtain your information.  There is usually a culminating activity, too, where students have to use what they learned in an engaging and meaningful way. There are great primary web quests as well. One More.   Join the fun!! Even if you only have one computer, think of what excitement will buzz through your room when students are allowed to use it to find bat facts!!  First one to the bat cave wins!

    Fifth graders are getting ready to transition our way into decimal place value using base ten.  I needed an activity that would help them gain confidence and reinforce place value concepts along with powers of ten exponents.  They can always use multiplication practice and the added bats make this a win win situation!
    I can't wait for them to use  Batty for Base Ten Exponents tomorrow!!As part of my participation in the Tricks and Treats Blog Hop, this product will be on sale 20% off all weekend!

    Happy Bat Hunting ya'll!! And goooo DODGERS!!!!   BECOME the MEN OF OCTOBER!!!

    Monday, September 8, 2014

    Currently September Link Up

    September isn't over yet, so technically I can still link up to Oh' Boy 4th Grade's CURRENLY Linkup party! Right?!

    I love weekends and wish they were all longer!!! I really think I could dig having a 4 day work week!!

    The biggest thing on my currently list that I have to buckle down and get cracking on is my daughter Susie's bridal shower! There are so many wonderful ideas out there that at times I am honestly overwhelmed!! The added pressure of wanting it to be perfect doesn't help!!

    I have spent time redoing some of my original TPT products.  They needed a sprucing up and color adjustment. I really have to find time to do them all......... Ever feel like that old Calgon commercial? The woman was overflowing with work so she calls out "Calgon take me away!"  I keep waiting on Calgon to show up.. hasn't happened yet so I better keep on getting on!!

    Have a great week everyone! I have Back to School Night on Thursday!! I will be ready for my weekend come Friday!

    Monday, September 1, 2014

    4 Days Under my Belt!! Let's Celebrate!! Product Updates!

    We have 4 days under our 2014-2015 school year belt!! I currently have 31 students and unfortunately will probably lose at least one next week as my school starts to move students around to rooms that are under enrolled. While I don't want to have 31 students, it is always a difficult procedure to do once students have been with you for several days. They are used to your teaching style by then and you are used to their learning style.  I always cringe knowing I have to shift a student out.  A few years back, I had to shift 3 students as I was really over. One of those students never spoke to me again the entire school year. She took the move really personal! One was glad to leave because he knew my reputation for being tough.. haha!! And the other took it in stride. I always try to put myself in my students' shoes when making these moves. Keep your fingers crossed for a smooth transition!

    Several of my blogging friends are hosting some amazing giveaways!!
    I am always amazed at teachers' creativity!! There are so many products on here I want to win!!

    First on your giveaway journey, head over to The Learning Center where I and a bunch of other fabulous stores have donated products and winner's choice items to help Danielle celebrate having 500 followers!!

    Then check out Mrs. Beattie's Classroom where she is celebrating 1000 followers with several giveaways, including $20 spend in her TPT Store! She has donations for K-2, 3-5,as well as 6th! Not just one donation either.. Check out these cool blogs today to win BIG!!

     How was your 3 day weekend? I won't see another one of these babies until November, so I tried to really enjoy it! I spent time with my girls, (20+ year olds still count as girls, right?!), my hubby who continued to celebrate his birthday, read, played my ipad games!, and revamped my 2 Powers of Ten and Base Ten Exponent card sets. One set is for matching the 5 ways students need to be able to recognize exponents and the second is a Scoot/Task Card set. All in all, one relaxing weekend!

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

    Comprehension Connection

    My blogging friend Carla over at Comprehension Connection has a series of amazing posts and giveaways to get us ready for back to school literacy and learning. Check out the fabulous freebies that she has posted as well! She has my motor running thinking of the endless possibilities!  She's Cooking up, dishing and serving real deals you have got to steal! Fingers crossed with my entries in her giveaways! Today's freebie is PERFECT for upper grades!

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

    Back to School Giveaway & TPT Storewide Sale!!

    TPT is having its annual BTS Back to School Sale! From August 4th through August 5th using code BTS14 you save an additional 10% off the already 20% off savings!! With what is on my WISH LIST, this savings is gonna allow me to grab extra goodies! I am thankful my computer was able to be fixed so I could finish my new Would You Rather? 44 question card set of engaging questions to ask your students to get to know them better while practicing Opinion Writing. Perfect for oral or written tasks, ELD, SCOOT, and homework!

    I am so excited to be a part of Teaching With Hope's Back to School Giant Giveaway!! There are so many prizes in this giveaway that there are actually 7, yes 7, prize packages! My item is in Package 6!! Just enter all of the Rafflecopters for your chance to win all of those amazing goodies!!

     Over 100 TpT sellers and Etsy creators have donated these products. There are 7 prize packs and each are grouped by grade level. You can enter to win them all! The more entry tasks you complete the better your chances of winning. Plus you can share this giveaway on your Blog, Facebook or Pinterest once a day for an additional 10 entries each day! So without further ado.....

    Prize Pack #1 includes 18 products from TpT sellers, a handmade "welcome" banner for your classroom from M Paper Designs and a personalized teacher cup from Sugar Stitches Designs!
    Click any of the pictures below and a link will take you to the listing for each product. 

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    Prize Pack #2 includes 19 products from TpT sellers, a teacher planner  from The Nifty Planner, and a  personalized teacher sign from Blended Creations Inc.

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                                                              Product of your choice!

    Prize Pack #3 includes 17 products from TpT sellers, a handmade classroom garland from MPaper Designs and a pencil door sign from Details in the Deisgn.
     Prize Pack #4 includes 18 products from TpT sellers, a handmade classroom garland from MPaper Designs, and a personalized pencil door sign from Bows and Bells Hangers.


    Prize Pack #5 includes 15 products from TpT sellers a personalized sign from MACInspired Crafts plus a personalized teacher block sign from Blended Creations Inc!

    Prize Pack #6 includes products from 16 TpT sellers a personalized door sign from Cara's Southern Designs, and a personalized teacher cup from Mommy's Latte Fund!

    Prize Pack #7 includes 16 products from TpT sellers, a teacher planner of your choice from Little Drop Designs, a personalized door sign from MACInspired Creations plus a personalized teacher cup from Mommy's Latte Fund!