Monday, July 9, 2012

My 1st Bloggy Birthday Bash...It'a a Biggie!!!!

{My beautiful Bloggy Birthday Cake designed by The 3AM Teacher!}

Happy Birthday to my Blog, Happy Birthday to my Blog,
Happy Birthday Making It As A Middle School Teacher,
Happy Birthday to my Blog!
{Be thankful you didn't actually have to hear me singing.}

Woo-hoo!  I am so excited that this day has finally come!!!

I have had so much fun, learned so much about blogging and teaching, and met some of the nicest people over the last 12 months!

It's hard to believe it's been a year since I sat at my computer thinking about whether or not I could really do this.  I took the plunge and have not regretted it one day!!!

However, I did still had my doubts as to whether anyone would really care what I had to say, or if I'd just be typing to nobody.

I feel very honored that so many of you have joined me along the way and are sharing the journey with me.  This blog really is like an extension of me.

There's quite a bit in store for you this week because who wants to celebrate for just 1 day.  This Bloggy Birthday Bash will be a week-long affair with lots of great prizes and fun things happening.  

I've been putting this together over the last 2 weeks and I can't believe all the wonderful prizes many of my teaching blog buddies have so graciously donated.

So, be sure to check back each day for a special little treat...and don't forget to enter at the end of this post!

Entries start today and end at midnight on Thursday, July 12th.  I will announce winners on Friday, July 13th!!!

Alright....let's get to the fun stuff!!!

As of right now {I may have a couple more prizes to add}, there are 23 special prizes that will be won by 23 different people.  That's right, 23 of you have a chance to win 1 awesome item each {some valued up to $25} from some of the best bloggers around.  

I will have Rafflecopter randomly select 23 winners.  I'll go straight down the list in the order presented in this post to determine who wins which prize.  You will then receive your special prize directly from the contributor by e-mail.

There's a wide range of grade-levels and content areas represented, so everyone is welcome to join in!

In the listings below, the product image links back to a TPT or TN Store and the blog buttons will take you to each blog.  Please be sure to visit as many of these amazing sites as possible this week and consider following them in appreciation for all their hard work!

Here's what up for grabs in the One Special Winner Category:

{Back-to-School Supply List Clip Art Collection from Michelle Tsivgadellis at The 3AM Teacher}

I am very excited to have finished my back 2 school supply list clip art collection!
All of the images include a black outline version for economy and black and white printing.
Image Information:
This set includes 137 high quality, School-themed clip art images.
* Dry Erase Marker Images
* Highlighters
*Over 40 crayons in a variety of colors
*Paper Pocket folders in bright colors
* Pencils
* Post-it sticky notes
*Push pins
*Tissue boxes
*Watercolor Paints
* And a few extras!


{Alphabet Beginning Sounds from Sarah Shelton at Kindergarten Corner}
This is a great unit to use as you introduce and review letters and beginning sounds. This 70 page pack includes:
-26 Letter cards
-5 beginning sound cards for each letter of the alphabet
-26 Drawing Pages for students to draw objects that begin with that letter
-26 Beginning sounds color pages that students can either color the 5 objects that begin with the letter they are studying (and X the rest) OR can write the beginning letter of each object on the page

Kindergarten Korner

{Poetry Package from Adria Williams of Addie Education - Teacher Talk}

This comprehensive package includes some of my BEST SELLING items on TpT! Includes Figurative Language Worksheet as well as detailed poetry writing rubric! Everything you need for all 7 projects (and 1 bonus worksheet!) is included in this poetry package. Download the preview for full details. This package would cost over $12 if all assignments were purchased individually!

- "Pet Peeve Poem - Practice Writing With Similes"- "My Life in 30 Words"- "From Prose to Poetry"- "Laughing With Limericks"- "Imagery Poem"- "Hero Music"- "Poetry Poster / Mind Map"


{Black Dot Math Words from Tanja Tlusty at The Journey of a Substitute Teacher}
Dotted frames cover these 21 pages (42 words) that are commonly seen through out math.

Words include:

And more!

{$15 Gift Certificate from Kristen Bowers at Secondary Solutions}
 Secondary Solutions Blog

{$10 Amazon Gift Card from Kim at Joy in 6th}
joyin6th Homepage

{Choose any product from Tara Eiken at 4th Grade Frolics}

{Spotting Subject-Verb Agreement from Abby Spann from Third Grade Bookworm}
Introduce your kids to subject-verb agreement using this fun-filled unit!

This packet includes a poetry connection, printable posters, 4 different paragraph tasks, reading partner work, and a small group/partner game.

{An author-autographed copy of Growing Up With A Bucket Full of Happiness by Carol McCloud from Barbara Gruener at The Corner on Character}

{$25 Shopping Spree from Krystal Mills of Lessons From the Middle}
Most of my resources are for grades 5-9; Math, LA, Back to School, Classroom Management etc.
Lessons From The Middle

{Math Stations for Middle Grades - Digital Download from Laura Candler at Teaching Resources}
Over 60 Pages of Math Station Games, Activities, and Blackline Masters.

{Choose any 2 products from Katie Lyon at Teaching:  The Art of Possibility}


{25 Book Reports from Mary Bauer at The Artistry of Education}
When conferencing or leading guided reading groups during reading workshop time, I need relevant projects for my fourth, fifth, and sixth graders to complete. About every four to six weeks I assign a book report from this packet. On the due date, I have the students give their book talks and I use the included rubric for grades.
Included in this packet are:
13 Fiction Book Reports
12 Non-fiction Book Reports
2 Rubrics
2 Progress Monitoring Sheets
2 Reading Logs for Weekly and Monthly Progress
The Artistry of Education

{Persuasive Writing Workshop Unit from Jennifer Runde at Runde's Room}
This writing workshop unit is a complete one month plan for writing a persuasive essay. Included in the 46 pages are 12 full lesson plans, a sample schedule, graphic organizers, posters, checklists, anchor charts, assessment rubrics, revising and editing checklists, publishing suggestions, and stationery. Download the free preview for a complete overview of the unit and a sample lesson plan.

{The Hunger Games Teaching Unit (Digital Download) from Tracee Orman at Hunger Games Lessons}
"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins COMPLETE Common Core Standards-Based Novel Unit - The #1 Best Seller and Best Selling Product on TeachersPayTeachers!

This is a comprehensive literature guide for the entire novel, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It is aligned with the Common Core Standards for grades 6-12 in English/Language Arts, including reading literature and reading informational, writing, speaking and listening, and language. Appropriate for grades 6-12 (recommended for ages 12 and up). 

{Companion lesson from the Warner Bros. movie The Ant Bully from Tammy Aiello at Teaching FSL}

{Choose a Digital Graphics collection worth up to $8 from Melissa Green at Dilly Dabbles}


{Old Yeller:  A Teaching Pack from Margaret Whisnant at Taking Grades for Teachers}
This forty-five page resource for teaching Fred Gipson's 1957 Newbery Honor Book has two components. (1) A series of chapter-by-chapter objective tests that test for factual comprehension and a whole book test, (2) A series of open ended questions and activity prompts based on the higher level thinking skills.

{SUPER Technology Template Bundle! from Liz Bucrek at Liz's Lessons}

This bundle contains student instruction sheets/templates for eleven popular websites used in education: Wordle, Glogster, Wallwisher,Stripgenerator, Bombay TV, Blabberize, Voicethread,Xtranormal, LiveBinders,Voki, and Bookemon. Just write in the new concept you are all set! The document also contains a list of links for teaching ideas for the sites, and checklists and rubrics for most of the assignments. Checklists can be used as a formative assessment check on a rough draft, and rubrics can be used for the final summative assessment.
Liz's Lessons

{Data and Probability Scoot Game from Lacie Brown at Polka Dots and Pencils}

This is a game I created to review data and probability. Students scoot around the room, answering questions, to review bar graphs, dot plots, tables, probability, and range. I play these review games with my students, and they love it!
Polkadots and Pencils

{Choose 1 item from April Wolfe at Wolfelicious}


{Geometry Fun:  a Supplemental Unit from Mandy Gregory at Mandy's Tips for Teachers}

This 77 page packet includes vocabulary cards, a student dictionary, three games, two sorting activities, two creative art projects and a short assessment. 
Included in this packet is 
-cover page (page 1)
-A Note to the Teacher (page 2-3)
-Kaboom! Game: Students identify and name a geometric figure when given a picture.(page 4-12)
-Geometry Concentration Game: Students match the geometric term to a picture. An answer key is provided for students that may have difficulty. (Page 13-17)
-My Geometry Dictionary-An individual student dictionary that students can complete whole class. Students complete the cloze passage definitions and draw a picture. (Page 18-47)
-Vocabulary cards- 24 cards with definitions and a matching picture. The vocabulary cards have the same definitions needed to complete the My Geometry Dictionary.(Page 48-56)
- Angle Sort- Students sort angles into acute, obtuse or right angles. Students then create a 3 flap book (black line master NOT included, but directions ARE included) and glue the angles under the correctly labeled sort. Printable angles and labels are provided. (Page 57-59)
-Triangle Sort- students sort triangles into scalene, isosceles, or equilateral triangles. Students then create a 3 flap book (black line master NOT included, but directions ARE included) and glue the triangles under the correctly labeled sort. Printable triangles and labels are provided. (Page 60-62)
-Geometric Robot and Geometric Snowman: Two creative craftivities where students create either a robot or snowman when given specific shapes and criteria to include. A grading rubric is included for both projects. (Page 63-66)
-Geometry Quick Write: Partner game in which students use white boards and draw the geometric figure when given the term. (Page 67-70)
-Assessment- A short 7 question mini assessment is included that covers triangles, circles, and polygons. An answer key is included. (Page 71- 74)
-A Thank You Page (page 75)
-A Credits page (page 76)
-A copyright page (page 77)

Mandy's Tips for Teachers

{Choose 3 products from Katie Klohn at The Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher}
Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

That's over $200.00 worth of prizes 23 of you will split!!!

Here's what EVERYONE who enters will receive as a Virtual Party Favor Bag filled with 15 spectacular products valued at one $25:

{Powerful Verbs from Kristen Bowers at Secondary Solutions}
Over 1500 Verbs to Pack a Punch!
Over 1500 dynamic verbs to help students improve word choice and enhance their writing!

Help students avoid words such as did, said, was, were, am, are, is, etc. and choose words that add variety, interest, and power to their essays and creative writing projects! Help students get "unstuck" from that writing rut with a fresh list of vibrant and vivid verbs. 
 Secondary Solutions Blog

{Grade 5 - 8:  Divisibility Game, Poster, and Printable from Krystal Mills at Lessons From the Middle}
This is a great game for students to play and practice their divisibility rules. If students are beginning to reduce fractions or struggling with the concept, you may want to go back to the basics of divisibility.
I've included 2 versions of the same game - one is more suitable for grades 5 and 6 and the other for 7 and 8.
This resource contains a colorful game board, game instructions, and an optional recording sheet. As well, I've included a reference poster for your classroom containing the divisibility rules for 2,3,4,5,6,8,9 and 10 AND a black and white printable of these rules for your students' notes.
This game is perfect to leave for guest teachers as an extra OR perfect to add to your stash if your ARE a guest teacher.
It's easy and fun to play and best of all - the kids enjoy it!
Lessons From The Middle

{Comprehension Strategy Reading Response Mats from Stephanie Moorman at Teaching in Room 6}
These interchangeable mats include the reading strategies most often taught in reading class. Students will be responding to fiction text by summarizing, visualizing, making connections, asking questions, clarifying words, and predicting.

{Multiplying Decimals to the Thousandths Place Magic Square from Heather at HoJo's Teaching Adventures}

This fun puzzle has students practice multiplying decimals! They will need to know their basic multiplication facts as well as the concept of decimal place value.

HoJo's Teaching Adventures

{Whack-An-Integer Comparing Integer Game from Andrea Kerr at For the Love of Teaching Math}

This is a fun game to reinforce adding integers. Students are placed in pairs with a deck of the prepared cards. They will both flip over a card at the same time. The player to "whack" the card with the greatest value wins that round. The bright colors and cute gopher graphics are sure to capture your students attention.

{Fun in the Sun with Fractions from Kathie Wainwright at The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher}
This is a challenging file folder game that students can use to practice finding equivalent fractions. As students solve the riddle, " How do crabs and clams chat?", they are using problem solving skills while reinforcing important math concepts. This is a great file folder game that can be used in the classroom during workshop/ center time, small group instruction, or even for one-one-one/direct instruction. This game can also be used at home as supplemental homework. Or, with tutor or homeschooler. Download this game today along with several others. It will save you time and can be easily reproduced for one or several students! Easy assembly. Laminate for durability. 

{Door Hanger Decorations for the French Classroom & Students from Tammy Aiello at Teaching FSL}
Use these cute door hangers to decorate your French classroom, to indicate what learning activities are going on inside, or to communicate you've taken the class outside to work on a sunny day. There is also one which can be used as a prize, reward or gift for students, which can be personalized for their rooms at home.

{Division Anchor Charts from Angelia Grimes at Extra Special Teaching}

This set includes 10 anchor charts that can be used to accompany any division unit. You will find anchor charts for the following:
3 different examples of division problems with labels and
Definitions of:
Fact Family
Inverse Operation

{Poetry and Figurative Language Lapbook from Elizabeth Supan at Fun in Room 4B}

Need a way to review poetry and figurative language terms?
Concepts included in lapbook:
Foldable 1 includes:
stanza, line, repetition and rhyme scheme
Figurative Language flip includes:
simile, metaphor, hyperbole, alliteration, onomatopoeia and personification
Poetry terms flip book includes:
Haiku, Tanka, Diamante, Bio Poem, Ballad and Limerick
The last foldable:
Room for students to create a couplet, triplet, quatrain and cinquain
In the center there is a "Poet-Tree" with definitions on the tree and the term on the leaves.
Lots of great review and room for students to create their own examples.
For those of you who have copy limitations, I created extra pages for you to just print out the terms and the students can create their own foldables with construction paper. 

{Occupation ID -- A Two-Part Activity in Celebration of Labor Day from Margaret Whisnant at Taking Grades for Teachers}

Occupation ID challenges students to study sets of 5 words and phrases that connect to a particular occupation and then make a correct identification. Each of the two parts is composed of 28 items. Answer keys are included. Six total pages counting cover.

This product was written and formatted with 6th-8th graders in mind, but some 4th and 5th graders might also approve. 

{Wordle:  Create Word Clouds Online from Liz Bucrek at Liz's Lessons}
Wordle is a great and extremely simple resource that can be used across content areas! This document comes with ideas for using Wordle in your class, and student/teacher directions with screen shots from the website for easy use.
Liz's Lessons

{Perimeter Tic-Tac-Toe Partner Math Game from Mandy Gregory at Mandy's Tips for Teachers}

This is a math game that uses the tic-tac-toe format to practice perimeter word problems.
Students will practice finding the perimeter of a given shape and finding perimeter with word problems.
The only materials needed to play are a pocket chart and the provided game cards.
This 12 page file includes:
*cover sheet
*teacher direction (Note to the Teacher)
*student directions
*9 perimeter problem cards
* one sheet of 6 O cards
* one sheet of 6 X cards
* Student recording sheet
* thank you page
* credit page
Mandy's Tips for Teachers

{PLUS 3 products from me!!!}

Whew!!!!  I'm tired!  How about you?  That's a pile of stuff being given away, so be sure you enter below for your chance to win.  Total of 10 entries available!

Enjoy :)
Making It {and smiling},

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Jana!
      I'm going to have some ice cream today to celebrate. :)


  2. Happy, happy birthday! I have enjoyed following you this summer and can wait to implement some of your ideas this fall. Thanks for taking the plunge!

    1. Thanks, Debbie! I'm so glad you've enjoyed my blog...that's always a great thing to hear!

      I hope to have lots more great ideas to share during the year. I've really been inspired to implement some new strategies in my classroom and I'm so excited to get them in place.

      I appreciate you coming by today! Hope you entered for a chance to win. :)


    2. Where do you find the time? Seriously... where do you find the time?

  3. Love this! I didn't donate a product because I want to win! LOL! :) This is a wonderful giveaway!

    1. I was surprised myself when I sat down to write this post and finally realized how many great items had been donated!

      Hoping it will be a great event for everyone!


  4. Awesome giveaway!! Happy Blog Birthday!!

    Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks

    1. Thank you so much, Aimee! My blog is such a part of me that I've really felt birthday-ish today!

      I appreciate you stopping by. :)


  5. I posted about your giveaway at the Corner - congrats on your amazing success and the synergy you've created with your birthday bash. It's always better to give than to receive!

    The Corner On Character

    1. You're so sweet to share this for me, Barbara...and thanks for the kind words!

      I've spent a good bit of time at your blog and I love it! You're on my to-do list for e-mails. I want to ask you about something...curiosity up? lol Planning to get to it Tuesday.

      I so appreciate you coming by. :)


    2. Just came by to enter and yes, you have PIQUED my curiosity. Email me anytime . . . gruenergang {at}

  6. Happy Blog Birthday!!! That's awesome!!! Love the cake design from 3am.... too cute!!

    From Blood to Books!

    1. Thanks, Jess! Michelle, The 3AM Teacher, is amazing and so easy to work with. She has a very giving spirit!

      Thanks for coming by today!


  7. Happy Blog Birthday! Thanks for including me, Michelle! :)

    1. You are certainly welcome! Thank you for donating such a wonderful product! I know there'll be lots of teachers hoping to win it. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!


  8. Thanks for letting us share in your celebration.

    1. My pleasure, Mary! That sounded like I'm a

      Thank you for being here to participate with me!


  9. Replies
    1. Thanks, Melissa!

      Glad you came by. :)


  10. Replies
    1. Thank you, Susan! I'm very excited to share the fun with everyone!


  11. Happy, Happy Blog Birthday!!!!!!

    1. JoAnn, thank you! It's been such a happy day doing this!

      I appreciate you stopping by. :)


  12. Replies
    1. Thanks!

      Glad you stopped by today. :)


  13. I thoroughly enjoy your blog! I know I am late, but I think birthdays should be celebrated for at least a week! Enjoy what is left of this week!

  14. Congratulations on your blog birthday!

  15. Happy blog birthday! I was singing along with you as I read the words in your post :)

    One Class, One Sound

  16. Happy blog birthday! It is saying that the contest is over even though your post says it is going until midnight tonight. I was trying to enter.


  17. Happy Birthday!

    I tried to enter but it says the contest is over, although it is well before midnight on July 12th!

    My email address is

  18. same's only 8:44 PM and it says contest is over :( (can't remember if I entered the other day when I saw it or not...probably did)

    Fourth Grade Fanatics