Friday, November 21, 2014

Guess Who?!?

At my school, we have conferences next week, the week of Thanksgiving.  The kids do not come to school on Monday and Tuesday, and we have conferences scheduled with parents from 1:00-8:00pm.  It is quite the long day/night, but I have heard that some teachers have conferences after they have been teaching  YIKES!  

To entertain the parents in the hallway for a little bit while they wait, we created these GUESS WHO! projects.  They turned out super cute and the kids are beyond proud.

The kids are so looking forward to seeing if their parents can guess who is who before they lift up the flap!!  Click here if you would like a FREEBIE of the Guess Who! paper that is shown below.  :)

If you would like the letters I used, here they are!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Liebster Award!!

I am so happy that I was nominated by Jennifer over at 4th Grade Funkytown for the Liebster Award!!  I am so excited when ANYONE comments on, views, or follows my blog!  I get a smile to think someone else is reading what lil' old me has to say.  To think that now I get to meet more new bloggers and get my name out there more, I am thrilled!!  I am excited to meet new bloggers through this Liebster Award!  This was sooo fun!  :)

As I learned from Jennifer...The Liebster Award is is awarded to new bloggers with less than 200 followers. This is a great way to recognize other bloggers with excellent ideas but have yet to be noticed! As a part of the Liebster Award, you get a chance to know me a little better by reading a little about me in 11 short questions I get to respond to! After that, I nominate 11 other blogs that I admire and love! Let's get started!  :)

1.) Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
I started this blog about a year ago, but have really started to keep it updated in the last two or three months.  :)  I started blogging right before I went to the TpT's Conference in Vegas!  As soon as I got back, I was inspired to step up my game!  The rest is history...   :)

2. ) What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Hopeful.  I say hopeful because if something I have to say or show can help one person out there, it will all have been worth it.  :)

3.) Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before?
I wish I knew to get involved in Blog Hops and Linkies earlier!  That is how I really began to meet other bloggers out there!

4.) What is your favorite past time other than blogging?
Other than blogging, I love to explore new territory. If that means finding a new mall and walking around with my daughter Emma, or going on a hike with my husband, exploring is fun!

5.) How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?
Life gets in the way sometimes and I don't spend as much time as I should. However, once I come back and get back in the swing of things with posting and commenting and looking at other blogs out there, I get so excited about this other world.  :)  This is a great form of professional development in so many ways!!

6.) What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
My favorite category of blog posts would be the ones where I get to peek into other teachers' classrooms.  Sometimes I see the same things at my school that when I see a new idea from another school across the country, I get excited!! 

7.) Where does your blog inspiration come from?
At first I found that I was blogging just about my new TpT products, but now I know that blogging is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!!  I am going to being blogging about what is going on in my head about teaching and also about what is going on in the actual classroom!  I am excited to make this shift!

8.) Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my Writing Camp for Kids post from this past summer.  This was the first time I really showed what was going on in my classroom, even though it was a summer school writing camp.  I designed this writing camp and tailored it to the group of students I had, and I was impressed it how amazing it turned out!!  :)

9.) Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have postponing it for a while now?
Yes!  I really want to get in on a Made it Monday by 4th Grade Frolics, but seriously, Monday comes and goes each week without me doing it!!!  I will get there...maybe over some of the breaks coming up.

10.) What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
My favorite aspect of blogging is that it is so similar to a diary online where others can read and comment and also be inspired.  I love that I get to read other blogs and find out what other amazing teachers are doing out there!

11.) Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you most likely to try yourself?
Jennifer had an adorable idea for a wreath with the first initial of her new last-name-to-be!  I love it!  I want to create on with a "C" in the middle!!  Thanks, Jennifer!

I had so much fun, and hopefully you will as well!
Here are my nominees for the Liebster Award:

To those nominated, here are the rules:
1. In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out."
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you (the ones I answered above).
3. Nominate 11 blogs of your choice that each have less than 200 followers. Provide them with 11 questions to answer or have them answer the questions above.
4. Let your nominees know that they've been nominated and provide them with a link to your post so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so that s/he can learn more about you as well! (You can just put your post link in the comments below!)

Monday, November 17, 2014


Have you ever heard of Make the Case?
Have you ever heard of the Book Worm Angels Program?
How about Open Books?

Well, I had not....UNTIL about a week ago.  A friend asked me to come decorate a bookshelf in the Logan Square Auditorium last Friday evening.  I said, decorate, SURE!  I love to be creative, but had NO CLUE what to expect.  Well, this experience was a breath of fresh air and something I had never done before.  I am definitely glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone and took my friend up on her offer.  :)  To think that we decorated a bookshelf that will now be donated to a Chicago area classroom in order to help a student be inspired to read... truly. remarkable.  Makes me smile.

Full house!

The winner!  Reading is Awesome!  :)  Yes, it was meant to be sung to the tune in the Lego Movie. 

I think this is awesome!  We made those cases to brighten a student's interest in books, books, books!

Just using the materials on that table...I would say we did a great job!  :)

Some of the other cases!! :)

And after the work was done, we had a little fun in the photo booth!  :)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Loving fall!

Fall in the suburbs of Chicago!  :)
I want fall to stay for awhile longer before all the cold and snow decide to show up!  I am not liking what the forecast is saying for next week, but time will tell!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

November Currently

Hello everyone, it's Kari from Teaching with Smiles! I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for this month's CURRENTLY linky party!

Listening:  While my husband has some football games on, I am listening to some Maroon 5 which I am currently loving.  I have always been a Maroon 5 fan, but since the Voice has started back up again for this current season, I have been listening to them pretty much 24-7!

Loving:  I just cannot get enough of my daughter's skinny jeans OR her jeggings.  :)  I think they are absolutely adorable!  We get so many comments every single day she wears them.  :)

Thinking:  November, really?!?!  How can it be November?  How can Halloween be over and how can we be moving into the holiday season already?!?!  Boy time sure does fly.

Wanting:  I really do want report cards to be over.  This is my least favorite time of the year.  The trimester just ended on Friday and now it is a sprint to finish the report cards.  However, I guess in order to be finished with report cards, I have to had started.  :)  That leads me to my next section of this post...

Needing:  I need to start my report cards!  I will start Sunday afternoon when the house is quiet.  :)

Reading:  My daughter and I are currently reading as many Elmo books as she can find!  She just discovered Elmo and now basically everything red she calls ELMO.  It is quite funny.  :)  I really do love the rediscover Elmo with her because Elmo sure does have a way of engaging others!

That bring us to the end of this November Currently!

Have a great rest of of your weekend and a great week next week!  :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Did You Know Animal Facts

Did you know animal facts are fantastic in having kids do research, while having fun and finding out new and exciting pieces of information!

What is included?
-Ideas Page
-Research Notes Page Template
-Student Book Template
-Written Piece Template
-Pictures of student book final product

*Teacher can decide the final product:
-Student Book (template included)
-Google presentation
-Written Piece (template included)
-Tumblebook recording, etc...

Kids would then LOVE to share their final copies during a Writers’ Celebration!

Check my newest product out here!