Nope - not happening.  Not showing you lot an ugly grumpy photo.  Just imagine it.  You're all teachers, imagination is your middle name!!

Why am I grumpy you ask?! Well because I'm an idiot.  I'd like to use a less derogatory adjective about myself, but I can't think of one!  (Please take this post in the lighthearted nature it was intended... I'm not hatin' on myself right now!!)

Ok - back to why I'm such a dork... Well you lot, yes all you lucky American's, living in the country of my dreams, teaching fun little American kids all the fun American things - you lot started school in August right? (ok so some of you started in September, same difference!)  And as a good teacher, I pinned on pinterest, liked on Facebook/bloglovin, and saved away some AMAZINGLY AWESOME!!!! ideas to use when this week happened.  Yup this is the week before school starts.  And can I find any of those AMAZINGLY AWESOME ideas that I pinned, liked, and saved? Uh nuh!   ARGH!!!

So now I'm trying to remember if what I am thinking of is real, or if I made it up!
1 - Is there a Doctor Seuss book about world travel? (NOT Oh the places you'll go)
2 - Awesome homework tips for year 6 (5th graders)
3 - morning work ideas/products for the same.

Any help is awesome...


By the way, my class looks awesome!! Will do a post this weekend.  I want to do a quick video - but feel weird talking to myself when people are always popping in and out of my room.... You'll just have to wait to see the masterpiece! I'm super proud of it...

AND my pin it to win it winner is.... number 5 (Susan K!!) I will be emailing you straight after this post :) (I'd show you the picture of the random number generator, but I can't figure out why it's not showing... Blogger doesn't like me either apparently!

Thanks for playing along people.

Today is Saturday.  I nearly didn't see Saturday this week.  As you can tell from my title, I nearly died this week.  As you can also probably tell from my title, that isn't exactly true!

It all started on a peaceful Friday afternoon.  I was putting fabric and ribbon on my walls (more about that later) when all of a sudden, out of no where, a ream of black card attacked me and cut my finger open!!
Ok so it wasn't peaceful, but the rest of the story is true!  I got the WORST paper cut on my thumb yesterday.  I wont show you a pic, because this is a G rated blog, and well, blood and guts are gross.  But really, think 10 pieces of thick card, all slicing down the side of your thumbnail, and you have the worst papercut known to man.  It bled everywhere and kept me awake most of the night with throbbing pain!!

I don't actually have any other wild exaggerations, but I will make up 4 more, just so I can link up with Doodle Bugs 5 for Friday.  

2 - I saved MILLIONS of dollars in the shops today.  I went to have a look around my favourite places, and didn't buy anything!! Well that last part isn't quite true, but I did leave pretty much everything I wanted in the store!  Go me.  Chalk that one up to self control.  I did get this super cute each bag (that I'm pretty sure will be my teacher bag this year) for a mere $7!!  AWESOME.  You American's have totally converted me to liking chevron by the way.

3 - My class is taking FOREVER to set up.  That isn't an exaggeration.  It really is.  No pictures yet though, I will do a reveal post this time next week.

4 - I can't remember how to plan.  Only slightly an exaggeration.  6 weeks of no planning and I feel like a beginning teacher again!! How does this work again?

5 - I have a million and one things on my to do list before school starts on the 3rd of Feb.  Again, only a slight exaggeration.  If anything, an understatement!

Might take a nap now, my thumb is hurting again.  Hopefully it doesn't fall off in my sleep!!

PS - Remember to Pin it to win it - Winner chosen on Monday!

I've been pretending to do school work this week...  I've been in to school twice, and done about an hour of work altogether!  Hmmm might need to change that tomorrow!

I've moved into a new classroom this year, again, and that means I've got a whole lot of sorting and decorating to do as NOTHING could stay the same in this new room.

In an attempt to make my class a fraction of how pretty all the classes I see on all of your blogs, I've made some bunting!  I'm having a pin it to win it competition.  There are 5 colours, and all you need to do to enter is pin the colour you like the best, then add your pin link in a comment below!  This weekend is a long weekend in Auckland, so I will pick a winner (or two if I'm feeling generous) to give away!  Go check them out from my TPT store.   I've made it easy for you and added links to the pictures!  Just click and it will take you straight there.

Right, now for some before pics!

Wonderful high ceilings with massive windows above them

About a 1/4 of one of my walls - I'm very lucky to have lots and lots of wall space

The view to my teaching area and a whiteboard

Not sure what to do with this area...

The rest of my back wall, and the mimio to the right
Mimio Board

Super excited about these huge bifold doors!

Library corner, I've started covering this wall and now I just have to put stuff on it

Right - go get pinning!!

So summer officially ends when the kids start back at 9am on the 3rd of February.  Ok so really it probably ends on the Friday before, but I'm all about stretching things out!  Whose with me?! No one?  Oh ok...


Well in any case I went in to school today to set things up, and start my planning, and generally get my head in the game.  (Did anyone else start thinking High School Musical just then? No, just me? Oh come on guys!) haha

So I have a to do list a mile long, as you do at the start of any school year.  And I've ticked off moving my furniture! hmmm got a lot more to do! I think tomorrow I might spend it making labels... All the important things first!

Here is a before shot so you can see what I started with...
Everything neatly stacked in the corner
It doesn't seem like much, but there's a bit here!
I will show you more as it comes to light!

First off thanks to everyone who helped me out with my 100 followers giveaway! I hope you all followed along as many of them as you could!

Here are the winners for those draws.  I will be in touch with you over the next couple of days to get your prizes out to you!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next up, I'm so excited to be linking up with one of my favourites, and one of hers to celebrate their 300 followers milestone giveaway!

Go over and check out their blogs for the rafflecopter draws that you need!
Miss Lifesaver and Middle School OCD
I'm going to be donating a prize pack of New Zealand goodies, both edible and stationary.  You don't want to miss out on the prizes that are up for grabs!!
Middle School OCD
Miss Lifesaver
This giveaway they have going on is all about your favourite teacher.  My favourite teacher was my year 8 *7th grade for you American's* teacher - Miss Halloran.  She was AWESOME.  Miss H taught me more about life than anyone else I had.  She helped me with my confidence and really cemented my desire to be a teacher.  I was an awkward kid, and didn't have many friends, but she did what she could to help me through that year, and I really appreciated her for it.

There are about 4 days left before I'm heading back up to the city, and back into real life.  Gotta make the most of the sun til then, so I'll catch you all later!!
Graphics and Fonts by Confetti Graphics, The Learning Site, Lovin' Lit, and Shelia Melton

Not long to go now - less than 24 hours!  Get your entries in to win your share of the prizes!!

Go here to enter 

Hey everyone!! I'm so excited, today I'm featured on Amanda's blog Teaching Maddeness for her budding blogger showcase!  Head on over there to see what else she has in store, because she ALWAYS has some gems!!
Teaching Maddeness
Here's what I wrote for her!

My name is Erin, and I'm over at Learning to be AWESOME.  I got started blogging at the start of 2013 as a way to get my class more excited about writing.  What started as a simple look back each week at what we had learnt, quickly turned into an amazing resource that has connected me with so many wonderful teachers out there!  I have learnt so much in this past year, and I can't wait to see where this adventure takes me in the future.

Alrighty then!  Let's get to know me.
Amanda has some questions for me - so I'm just gonna go right on ahead and answer them!

Personal Info (state/family/pets/interests) - I am from a little country at the bottom of the world (or the middle of the earth, depending on who you ask), called New Zealand.  I grew up in a beautiful town called Taupo. My parents still live there, right next to the Waikato River - awesome for swimming in the summer!!  And the mountains are about an hours drive away (the same mountains as in the LOTR's).  It really is an outdoor paradise.  I am the eldest of 5 kids - two brothers then two sisters.  One of my sisters is in her final 6 months at Oregon State University - GO BEAVERS!! (hehe)
I love everything about music, drama, and the arts.  I play and teach the piano in my spare time (what is that?!). I also have one cute dog called Ollie - She lives with my parents because I live 3 1/2 hours away from paradise in the big city of Auckland.

Most of us kids (and my brothers GF) at a cousins wedding earlier this year.

I'm totally legit famous.  You should get to know me for sure!

Aunty, brother (about to do Ironman New Zealand), ma, pa, other brother and me

Three crazy sisters

Literally the ONLY family photo I could find with all of us in it - about 20 years ago.
Grade you teach/How long have you taught? - This coming year I have a class of year 5/6 students. MOST of these kids are year 6, with just a handful of 5's. (Year 5/6 is the same as grades 4/5 in every other country.  Here in New Zealand, school starts at age 5, and they have 13 years of school).  I have just completed 7 years of teaching, and in that time I have taught ages 2-18.  I have only had my own class in years 4-8 (g 3-7), but have relieved in a range of schools from ECE to high school.

What is your favourite subject to teach? - With out a doubt, it would have to be literacy.  I love teaching writing in particular.

What would we likely see if we popped into your classroom unannounced? - Depends on the day and the time!!  No really you would see chaos.  Organised chaos, but chaos none the less.  Kids would be everywhere - under tables, upside down, curled up on the beanbag.  All learning, but where ever they wanted to be.  I would be hard to find, and it would be pretty noisy!  I have music playing in my class as often as I can.  I love it!

What gets you through one of "those" days? - Laughter.  I have "those" days reasonably often at my school, they are tough cookies!! But I just find that they are so weird and wonderful that it isn't hard to find something to laugh at!!

What is one "can't live without" teaching resource? - Oh gosh! I can't live with out my iPhone.  It documents our learning through photos, keeps the music playing, has class dojo on it, and picks the next student for answering plenary questions - among other things.

Give us a glimpse of your teaching style by sharing a brief summary of a favourite classroom activity/project. - This is a hard one.  I think the best thing to share would be my Friday afternoon "Free Art" time.  For the last 30 minutes of most weeks I give the kids free reign of the art supplies (within reason) and let them go for it.  Most of them go back over what ever it is that we have been learning in art at the time, or copy something that they have seen somewhere.  I love the unrestrained creativity of it all!  The kids love it, so do I.
What is one of you blogging goals for this year? - I love blogging, and learning from other people.  My blogging goal for this year is to find something that I really love in my teaching programme and get it out there to the world.  This will probably be in integration, or assessment for learning techniques, as these are the big driving forces in our school at the moment.

Thanks soooo much for stopping by and seeing a little bit about me here!  Check my blog out by hitting the button below.  I'd love to see you round and get to know you a little bit!

Learning to be Awesome

Hey everyone!
Well I am starting to see back to school posts, so I'm hoping the weather is starting to calm down for you all there!! We had thunder and lightning storms today, and then a crazy hail storm!

SO the reason I'm totally nailing my resolutions is because I have just created my very first paid product on TPT! haha go me.  It's a pack of 16 Valentines day hearts that I totally created all by myself!
They are on sale now for only $1 (and will go to a full price of a bargain of only $1.50 next week), but I'm thinking that because you wonderful people are just so wonderful, that I will give away a pack to one lovely person.  If you would like your own set of these cool, funky hearts, leave a message below telling me one thing you do in your class when it comes to Valentines day.  (We don't really celebrate it in New Zealand classrooms, so I'm looking for some cool ideas!)
I will pick a winner from these ideas on Sunday!

A few days ago now I woke up to a lovely little surprise from my wonderful blogging buddy Amanda over at His and Hers Hobbies!

It was an award nomination! It seems that it is Liebster award time again - And I am so honoured to be nominated by them!!

Here's how it works (I just copied the rules straight from her post)
This award is for bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  It works like this  - you start by being nominated by a fellow blogger who likes what you have been posting.  Then you tell 11 random facts about yourself; answer the 11 questions they have left for you; then nominate 11 bloggers yourself and give them 11 questions to answer.

So here are my random facts

  1. My favourite colour is green
  2. I have 2 brothers, and 2 sisters
  3. I always had this dream when I was little that I had an older brother too.  Not true.
  4. I can wiggle my ears
  5. I have learnt/can play the piano, ukulele, guitar, flute, recorder, bassoon (very badly), and I can sing
  6. I wrote a child's song about odd socks, which my class loved singing last year
  7. When I was teaching my class the odd socks song, I was wearing odd socks, which made them laugh
  8. I laugh uncontrollably several times a week, and love it when that happens
  9. I can't really move my eye brows - and it makes me sad that I can't raise one at a time to catch kids attention
  10. I would give just about anything to teach in America for a couple of years
  11. I think that the word spaghetti is weird

AND here are the questions I've been asked.

1 - Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging as a way to get my kids more excited about writing.  And to give them an authentic writing experience.  It expanded quickly from there and I love hearing what others have to say about the same issues I face each and every day.

2 - Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
Where I live - No.  But my parents look after my dog Ollie.

3 - What is your favourite thing about your job?
I love kids, and I love stationary.  Being a teacher is the best of both those things.

4 - What is your favourite de-stressing activity?
I'm working on making it going for a run.

5 - How do you spend a typical day off from work?
I really don't have a typical day off routine, but it usually includes sleeping in, getting takeaways for dinner, and checking out the op-shops/$2 stores

6 - What is your Favourite City?
Within my own country - Taupo (not really a city, but close enough.  Home is always my favourite)
Outside of New Zealand - a toss up between San Diego and San Francisco

7 - If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I'm going to go broad and say Mexican.  I love nachos.

8 - If you had a time machine, what would be the first place and time you would visit?
I love the little house on the prairie books, and would love to meet Laura Ingalls Wilder.

9 - What movie would you like to see have a sequel or a remake?
I'm normally disappointed by remakes, but I would love to see some of the old school Disney movies given a revamp.

10 - If you could choose and book, TV show, or movie character as your new best friend, who would you choose?
No question, Anne Shirley (Blithe)

11 - What one song would you never want to hear again?
Oh my gosh there are so many songs that I can't stand.  The one I never want to hear again is a bit controversial.  The kids at my school NEVER sing the correct words to our National Anthem and it drives me CRAZY!!! More so because the teachers just can't be bothered teaching them the correct words. (most of our kids are ESOL, so I don't blame them).  I NEVER want to hear my National Anthem butchered again.

Now to the fun part!! Here are the people I nominated.  I nominated these blogs because I enjoy reading what they have to say, and I think you should read them too!

Kayla - at Rooting for Third Grade
Lindsey - at Journey of a Beginning Teacher
Lisa - at Grade 4 Buzz
Gary - at Scrappy Guy Designs
Sheila - at Sprinkle Teaching Magic
Kristin - at This Old Art Room
Mai - at Diary of a Grumpy Teacher
Meredith - at 1, 2, Eyes on You
Heather - at Learning with Mrs Langley
Monica - at Roland with iPads
Carla - at Surviving 6th Grade

My questions for you are as follows

  1. What is the one thing that makes you Awesome?
  2. Where have you travelled to?
  3. Where would you like to travel to?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
  5. If money were no object, what would you do with your life?
  6. Why do you blog?
  7. What is your favourite colour?
  8. What is your favourite TV show?
  9. Are you still friends with anyone from when you started school?
  10. What is your favourite summer must do?
  11. Would you ever become a ninja?

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