Saturday, July 28, 2012

What's Cookin' Linky Party {Homemade Pizza Crust}


I am linking up with Susan over at TGIF in her What's Cookin' Good Lookin'? linky party.

We are pizza lovers at my house.  We eat it at least once every 2 weeks.  If Colton had his choice, we would have pizza every day.  lol

Quite a few years ago my husband and I would buy those tubes of pizza crust at the store to make our pizza.  One night we really, really wanted pizza, but neither of us wanted to run to the store.  So my husband went digging on the internet and found this recipe.  I wish I could share where he got this recipe, but honestly I haven't seen the actual recipe in years.  This is one of those recipes that we use so much that I have it memorized.  If you know who's recipe this is, I would love to give credit.

Ingredients:
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or one small packet)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup hot water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Steps:
1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Put yeast and sugar in a bowl and add hot water.  Let rise for 10 minutes.
This is what it should look like after it rises.

2.  Add flour, salt, and olive oil.  Mix until it forms a ball.  (I use my trusty Kitchenaid Mixer.)  Let rise another 10 minutes.
Before mixing.
After mixing.
3.  Spread dough out on sprayed pan.  Then cook for 8 minutes.
Before cooking.
After cooking.
4.  Removed from oven.  Add desired toppings and return to oven until cheese is melted (approximately 12 minutes).  
With toppings before being cooked.
Ready to eat!

We made hamburger and pepperoni on this occasion, but we have also used this pizza dough to make bbq chicken pizza, cheese pizza, and even a pirate ship pizza.  :)


Click on the picture below to download this very easy pizza crust recipe.  We also use this recipe to make garlic breadsticks.  The directions for breadsticks are included at the bottom of the recipe.

I hope you try this recipe.  It is the best homemade crust that I have ever had.  Make sure to jump over to Susan's blog too to check out all of the other great recipes.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tell Me More!

I've been having so much fun reading everyone's Tell Me More posts that I decided to link up with Amy Lemons in her Tell Me More Linky Party.


1.  I grew up in a very small town in Kansas, like 250 people small.  I loved growing up in such a small town.  Was it hard sometimes because everyone know everything about you?  Yes, but I have found out that Las Vegas is kind of like that too.  lol

One of my best friends posted this video on Facebook about a year ago. Biff Henderson from the David Letterman Show visited my hometown.  It was fun for me to watch this and recognize everywhere he went.  The school that he walks into is the school I attended from Kindergarten through 8th Grade.  Yes, I know he's spoofing on a small town, but it's fun all the same {even if he pronounces the town's name incorrect the whole time  lol}.


2.  I married my husband on my parent's farm.  Actually it's the farm that my dad grew up on.  My parents moved there when my Grandma moved into "town."   We joke that people come from all over the world to get married in Las Vegas and we left to get married in Kansas.


3.  Disneyland is my son's "Happy Place."  Truth be told, it's mine too.  I love watching Colton enjoying himself so much.  He has such a great time and is able to do everything that "normal" kids do.  He enjoys riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  On our last trip, the couple behind us got such a kick out of Colton screaming as the roller coaster went around the curves and down the hills.


4.  I like to decorate cakes.  My favorite cake that I have made to date is my son's 2nd birthday cake.


5.  I love lighthouses!  I didn't see my first lighthouse until I went to Oregon with my husband.  I fell in love instantly.  My favorite lighthouse is Haceta Head Lighthouse.  For our honeymoon, we stayed in the Haceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast.  We plan on going back next year for our 10th anniversary.

The view of Haceta Head Lighthouse from our room.

6.  I have one puppy.  Ok, really she's not a puppy anymore, but she sure acts like one.  I always wanted a cocker spaniel growing up and had to wait until I was 27 before I got one.


7.  I'm addicted to sugar.  No, seriously I love candy, cakes, cookies.  Every time I go to the grocery store I tell myself I'm not going to get any candy.  It never works. lol  Some of my fav candies are Starburst Jelly Beans, Mike & Ikes, and Twizzlers.

8.  I'm also addicted to diet pop {or soda as I have to call it now}.  My faves are Diet Sunkist, Diet Dr. Pepper, and Diet Coke.

Wow!  I should probably stop now.  I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me.  Have a great Friday!

Monday, July 23, 2012

My New Clip Chart and My First Award

Do you use the clip chart system?  I do and I love, love, love it!  I loved how I could reward good behavior instead of just focusing on the bad behavior from years past.  But there was a problem.  My clip chart from last year was very bulky.  Some of my little ones couldn't even reach the highest level.  They had to ask for help every time they reached red {the highest spot on my chart}.  I wish I had a picture to show you, but I didn't even take a picture of it before the end of the year.  So I decided to make me a new one for this year.  I even cutesified it.  {I'm pretty sure I just made up that word.  lol}




It will be so nice to have my students be able to reach each level.  I am so excited to hang this in my classroom this fall!


I want to thank Amy {what a great name btw} at Adventures In Teaching for my very first award!




Amy awarded me the Liebster Award.  


The rules for this award are:


1. Link back to the person who gave it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to at least 5 blog who have less than 200 followers. 
4. Leave a comment on all of the blogs you have selected to let them know that you are passing on 
    this award.


Jaymie at Kinderbabies




















Heather at Krazy About Kindy




































Go check out these wonderful blogs!  You won't be sorry.  :)


Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Teach K Highlights {Wednesday & Thursday}

I am back with my second half highlights of the I Teach K conference.  I hope you enjoyed what I shared in the first installment.  :)

Wednesday
The first session started out with Melissa Leach again.  This session was on differentiating math centers.  She shared ideas some fun activities to take right back into the classroom.  I especially liked all of her ideas for using a 100 chart.

The second session was also with Melissa Leach and it was on differentiated instruction.  I really enjoyed this session.  I want to use more differentiation in my classroom and I got a lot of great ideas from this session.  She shared a great app called Stick Pick.  You are able to put your students' names in and it will randomly pick the names.  It also lists sentence stems for the different levels of Bloom's.  It's currently only available in the iTunes store.  I hope they get the Android version up and running so I can get it.

Our third session of the day was on quick and easy science centers with Heidi Butkus.  She shared so many great, and easy to implement, ideas on how to add a science center into your classroom.  She shared different experiments that you could use throughout the year.  She also shared picture books that could be used to reinforce the science concepts.  If you went to the conference but did not attend this session, I highly recommend downloading the handouts for this session.  Lots of great ideas!

Our last session of the day was with Sherry Sloane.  She shared some of her favorite songs for Rockin' and Reading.  I especially liked how she put her books that she used when singing the songs.  Pages flipping down - what a great idea!

Thursday
Our first session on Thursday was with non other than Deanna Jump.  This session was on how she organizes her classroom.  OMG - I loved everything that she shared with us!  Her new room looks amazing!

The next session was also with Deanna Jump on math centers.  She shared so many ideas for activities.  She was so sweet too.  I loved all of the activities that she shared to do with dot cards and tens frames.  At the end of each session, Deanna (am I allowed to just call her Deanna?  lol) gave away some great packets.  My bestie won her new math packet!!!  She's so lucky.  It's probably because I gave her a ticket. I knew I gave her the wrong ticket. ;)

Our last session of the conference was on homework bags with Susan Mazzarella.  Unfortunately, my bestie got very sick and we had to leave early into the session.  We did get to see how she uses reader response journals in her classroom for homework.  I liked how they could be easily differentiated depending on the child.

So, that's the I Teach K conference in a nutshell.  Well, the nutshell that I got to see anyway.  lol  I hope you enjoyed reading all about it.  I plan on using so many new ideas I got in my classroom this year.  If you get a chance to attend the conference, I highly recommend that you do.  It's well worth the trip to Vegas or in my case, a 15 minute drive.  :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Teach K Highlights! {Monday & Tuesday}

I just have to say that I had the best time at the I Teach K conference this year!  I've been to the conference two times before, but I enjoyed myself so much this year!  My bestie was there with me and we had a blast!  It was fun seeing some new presenters and going back to see presenters we saw in the past.  I'm going to break this up into two different posts, because there is a lot to talk about. :)

Ok - this is going to be a little long.  Are you ready?  :)

Monday
Opening ceremony with Jack Hartmann, Sharron Krull, and Donna Whyte was so much fun!  I just love singing Jack Hartmann songs in class and he didn't disappoint.  He even taught the group the signs to One Small Voice.  I felt like an A+ student, because I already knew the signs. lol Sharron Krull taught us some fun ways to use scarves to add some movement to our songs.  Donna Whyte shared a fun piggy game to play with students.

Our first session was with Catherine Kuhns.  She shared a lot of great books to use during math.  Pattern Fish and Pattern Bugs were two of my favorites.  She also shared a math activity called "Algebra Triangles."  I will share about these in another post. All I can say right now is that I love, love, love this idea!!!

The second session we attended was on Nursery Rhymes and it was with Vanessa Levin.  She was such a fun presenter and gave a lot of good ideas for using Nursery Rhymes in the classroom.   I especially loved how she broke down the nursery rhymes into different themes throughout the year.

The third session was with Sharron Krull and it was on circle time activities.  She shared a really great book called A Soup Opera by Jim Gill.  I could really see my student's getting into this book.  It's now on my list of "To Buy" books.

Our final session of the day was with Kim Adsit on things that you can use from dollar stores.  Do I really need to say anymore?  She is a great teacher who is very, very funny.  She had a ton of ways to use things that you wouldn't even think of.

Tuesday
Our first session of Tuesday was with Melissa Leach on balanced literacy.  She was one of our favorite presenters from last year so we decided that she was on our list of must see this year.  This was a great refresher in what is best in a balanced literacy classroom.  I think the best reminder that I took from the shared reading portion was that you don't have to cover everything every day.  On the first day, read the book and let the kids get all of their "stories" out so that you can really use the text for the rest of the week to teach and reinforce concepts.  Such an easy thing, but I have gotten away from that.

The second session was also with Melissa Leach.  It was on blogging in the classroom.  Unfortunately, I don't think that this would be allowed at my school, but it is such a great idea.  If you are interested, she shared kidblog.org as a great resource to use if you want your students to blog.  The safety features are great.

The third session of the day was on the first 30 days and it was presented by Donna Whyte.  I loved that she had one rule:  Do the right thing.  Doesn't that just epitomize what we want our students to do?  Of course, you will need to do mini lessons on what the "right" thing is and isn't.  It's so simple and I love it!  I also liked her idea of an expert book.  In her expert book, it had pages for things like tying shoes, opening milk cartons, etc.  She then put pictures of students in the expert book so that other students knew who to ask for help.  I'm so doing this!

Our last session on Tuesday was on integrating math and science with Kim Adsit.  What a great session!  So many great ideas on how to easily put those math and science standards together.  I thought her idea of a winter clothes relay would be so much fun.  The idea is to have two students draw a card with a winter clothing item on it.  Students would then have to make a prediction on who would take more time to put on the item.  I think my students would love playing this game!

I hope you enjoyed the run-down of my first two days of the I Teach K Conference.  Stay tuned for the second half of the conference!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Mini Shopping Spree and I've Been Caught Reading


I have been having such a wonderful time at the I Teach K conference this week!  I have seen so many great presenters and have learned so many things that I can bring right into my classroom.  I plan on doing a post about my highlights later in the week.

I have felt bad for all of the fellow Kindergarten teachers who have had to deal with the Las Vegas heat.  It's been very, very warm and when I say warm, I mean HOT!  My husband took this picture of his car yesterday.  Thankfully, the car I drive now doesn't have a thermometer.  I would rather not know.

Yes, that says 119.
Yesterday was the big blogger meet-up.  Unfortunately, I was unable to go.  We have dinner every Tuesday with my husband's family.  It's a nice time to relax and visit, and I don't like to miss it.  So anyway, after dinner was over, I did a mini shopping spree.  I haven't done a lot, well really any, school shopping this summer.  It's about time I started.  lol

First I went to Target to check out the Dollar Spot.  It's been a whole week since I've checked it out. {Trust me, that's a long time between visits during the summer.}

Here are my goodies I picked up.


Aren't those the cutest little containers?  I love that the ribbon and the inside of the containers are blue.  They match my classroom perfectly.  To be honest, I have a lot of the blue bowls at school, but it never hurts to have extra.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the cups, but I'm pretty sure that I will have to go back and get more.


The three black containers are magnetic. I plan to put them on my magnetic marker board near my teaching area to hold all of those little things that you always need, but can never find.  The blue strip is magnetic also.  I'm still trying to think of a great way to use it.  The duck tape was not in the  dollar spot, but I needed it none the less.  I just couldn't resist.  I mean it's blue with white polka dots - it matches everything else.  lol


The dollar spot also had these cute puzzles.  I love having puzzles available for my students to use in the classroom.


This is actually not for me.  I bought 3 of these for Colton's teacher and assistants as part of their end of ESY gifts.  Because Colton uses sign language, I thought these would be perfect for them.  There were several different pens that had the hands doing other things, but I can't remember what they were.

I then had to go to Staples to buy replacement cartridges for my printer.  For some reason, it seems like ink runs out so much faster when you print lots of stuff off.  Who knew?

As I was walking around I found these.


If you read my post on my favorite resources, you may remember that I said I loved Bic pens.  I also said I wished that I had some green ones.  I was so excited when I saw these last night!  My husband did not get my excitement when I showed them to him later.  I'm not quite sure why.  lol

I had so much finding things for my classroom last night.  I finally feel like I'm getting ready for the new year.  Shopping always does that for me.  :)

Tori over at Tori's Teaching Tips is having a very fun linky giveaway.


The idea is to get "caught" reading in different places.  Well, I knew I wanted to participate, but wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  That is until Saturday.  We decided at about 8 pm Friday to go to Disneyland for the weekend.  {Love annual passes.}  This is my entry for where I got caught reading.  {Please excuse how bad my hair looks.  We rode Splash Mountain right before this.}

Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland.

Try to think of a fun place to get caught reading and join in on her linky.  So much fun!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Blog Hopping Day!

I am all about blog hopping and today is International Blog Hopping Day!  I didn't even know such a day existed until I  {wait for it} blog hopped.  lol

Kreative in Kinder is hosting the linky party for the Freebies portion of TBA's International Blog Hopping Day.  I decided to link up, because after all, who doesn't love a freebie {or 100}?


Follow for Freebies

I am sharing a new freebie that I made just for this blog hop.  I hope you enjoy it!

Click on the picture to grab your copy.  
Now, go check out all of the other wonderful freebies over at Kreative in Kinder and have fun blog hopping!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July and a Freebie

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Fourth of July!  I hope that everyone has a fun and safe holiday!

The Fourth of July is a very special day in my family.  Both my parents and my in-laws were married on the Fourth of July.  My parents are celebrating their 42nd anniversary today and my husband's parents are celebrating their 48th anniversary.  In honor of my parents and in-laws, I made some graphics in red, white, and blue.  This packet includes three circle tags, three 5x7 frames, and five papers.  Click on the picture to get your set.  I hope that you enjoy them!



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Organizing My Classroom Library Part 2

Yesterday, I posted about how to use the Classroom Organizer online.  Today, I am going to share with you how you can use an app on your smartphone to add books to your online library.

The very first thing that you have to do is, of course, download the free app from either Google Play {for Android phones} or from the iTunes Store {for iPhones}.  I have an Android so all of my pics will be from an Android phone, but I'm sure it doesn't look too different on an iPhone.


After you download the app, you can sign in and get started right away.


Once signed in, you will get a screen that looks like this. {Please ignore the fact that this screen shot looks a little different than the rest of the screen shots.  Apparently, I forgot to do this one last night and my husband updated my phone today.  lol}


You will need to find the bar code on the back or inside cover of the book.  Once you find it, you will need to hit the scan button.  You will also need to have a generic bar code scanner, but that is another free app.  {I want to thank my husband for taking the next picture.  It was hard to explain to him why I wanted a picture of me using my phone.  lol}


Once the bar code scanner recognizes the code, it should look like this.  Just as a warning, you may have to scan a couple times and sometimes it may not come up at all.  Those books that didn't come up with a title were just put into a second pile for me to manually enter the ISBN number in by hand.


Once you get a screen that shows a title, you just hit the Add to Library button and it will join your other titles in your library. Be careful to only hit the button once.  There were a couple times that I accidentally hit the button twice and it added two copies into my library.  It was easily corrected by going online and deleting the title and rescanning.

I hope this gives you more information on how to use the Classroom Organizer app.  I love using it!  Even though it doesn't add 100% of your books to your list, it does add enough to make it worth it for me.

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