Adventures in First Grade

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

FREE Books?! Yes, Please!

Can I get a show of hands for all those out there who like FREE?  Me too!

I have discovered a great way to earn points to get Amazon or Paypal giftcards.  By doing this, I have earned over $120.  A little more than half of that I used around Christmas time for gifts.  But I have used about $50 to buy books for my classroom from Amazon.

I can hear you asking, what is this amazing thing you have discovered?  What is the catch?  Do I have to promise my firstborn in return?  The answer is...surveys.  You can earn cash in three simple steps.  Click HERE and sign up.  Take surveys.  Earn points that you can then exchange for Amazon or Paypal cards! 

I don't blame you for thinking, could this be as good as she is making it sound?  I know that I did at first.  Around Thanksgiving I was on Pinterest, hunting around for some easy ways to make a little extra money before Christmas.  I came across a pin about taking surveys, and thought, why not? Once I earned my first 1000 points, I could exchange them for a gift card.  This was the real test.  Would I really get a code for an e-card, or did I just get scammed?  To my astonishment, in my inbox, an e-mail with a redeeming code appeared.  Again, I remember thinking, okay, but will it work when I go to use it.  Um, yes.  Yes it did!

And that is how my classroom world has changed.

I have a pretty large classroom library.  My mom was a teacher and I "inherited" all of her goods when she retired.  However, I was lacking in guided reading sets.  Over the past month or so, I have gotten (FOR FREE) these books to add to my guided reading arsenal:

5 Copies

4 Copies

4 Copies

4 Copies

4 Copies

So.  What do you think?  Are you going to give it a shot? 

Aside from Scholastic, does anyone have any other tips on how to get free or super cheap books?  I'd love to hear your tricks!

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

WHERE have you been?

I know, I know.  I've been missing.  For a long time.  Almost two years.  Where have I been?

To begin, we put our house on the market almost three years ago.  After about a year, we finally sold it!  We then bought a 37 acre farm that was under foreclosure.  It had been abandoned for several years.  To put it simply, it was a MESS...which might just be the understatement of the century.

Here are some before pictures that we took on the day that we closed.  Outside:


Detached Garage


Horse Stables:  we turned this into a shop for my husband.  It is one of the reasons we bought the property.

Inside the house:

View from living room into dining

View from dining into living


As you can see, there was just a little bit of wood paneling in the house.  Just a bit.

We closed in May.  For the next THREE MONTHS, we lived in our camper as we gutted the house.  I mean, we took it back to the studs. Thankfully, my husband is a contractor and we were able to do most of the work ourselves.  When I say "we," of course I mean "he." 

Here are some outside after pictures:

The garage with new roof and shutters

Barn with the beautiful barn quilt that my sister painted for me
 Here are some after pictures of the inside:

View from dining into living.  You an see that we took down the wall  between the kitchen and living room.

The new and improved kitchen.  I love the concrete counters that my husband created.

Of course, we have SO much more to do.  We keep telling ourselves that the farm was abandoned for years, so we won't be able to have it in pristine condition quickly.  It is definitely a work in progress!

Now you know where I have been for a huge part of the time when I was missing.  I'll be back soon to add to the story!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I'm Baa-aack!

Well.  Hello.  Long time no post.

I was looking through my old blog posts for the first time in a few years, and couldn't believe all of the memories that I had forgotten.  That walk down memory lane inspired me to begin my blogging journey again.

I'm going to ease back in slowly, by sharing my February Currently.

Stay tuned, because I will be back with a lot of updates from my almost two year hiatus:  almost changed grades, moved classrooms, philosophy changes, guided math, guided reading, the list just goes on and on.

Happy Saturday!