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Sunday, November 25, 2012

We Won an Award


We are award winners.  We were nominated by The Realistic Teacher and Literacy Sundae for the Liebster Award. Thanks for the love guys!

Step #1: Is share 11 random facts about ourselves. Here we go:

1-Kelly and I live around the block from each other. 

2-This year our classrooms were moved to separate sides of the building and although this seems miner, IT IS KILLING US!

3-Christmas is my favorite holiday and I start playing Christmas music right after Halloween.

4-Kelly is completely responsible for my Harry Potter themed classroom.  It was her idea my second year of teaching and was one of the best choices EVER!

5-Favorite TV shows: Mine is Glee and Kelly's is Dance Moms

6-Our favorite place to go out is The Melting Pot.  Cheese and Chocolate Fondue, not to mention Sangria.  A GREAT combo!

7-One of us has 2 kids and one of us has 2 dogs. 

8-Our teaching styles are very similar and we are hoping that one day we will be teaching the same grade level. 

9-We met when Kelly borrowed my new teacher scissors and didn't return them for a day or two.  

10-Although reluctant to change grades, Kelly is now loving teaching second grade!

11-I took a baking class this summer and have been baking up a storm since then. 

Step #2: answer 11 questions: 
1. What is your favorite smell?
Kelly- Pine trees

2. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
Damien- Tickets to Disney World
Kelly- House on Lake George

3. Do you have, and what is, your end of day routine?
Damien-School: Talk to my teacher buddies  Home: Lay in bed with a few shows from Tivo
Kelly-School: Tell joke of the day after kids line up.  Home: Blog hop until I can't see straight

4. What is your favorite TV Show?
Damien- Glee
Kelly- Dance Moms

5. Do you have pets?
Damien- Yes- 2 dogs, Copper a retriever mix and Tucker a Hound mix
Kelly- Yes, a dog named Shadow, a black lab. 

6. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Damien- Thanksgiving night as the family played Scene It!
Kelly- Can't remember

7. What is your favorite book to read to your students?
Damien- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Kelly- Franny K. Stein Lunch Walks Among us by: Jim Benton

8. Why did you start blogging?
Damien and Kelly: Kelly found TPT and the blogging world and we thought it would be a next great step to start our own. 

9. What is your favorite type of weather?
Damien- I love the fall, but here in Jersey its about 4 days between summer and winter weather.  
Kelly: 60 and no humidity (does Jersey even have that kind of weather)

10. Are you a "list maker"?
Damien- YES! Can't remember a damn thing if I don't write it down and I take great satisfaction on crossing things off my list. 
Kelly: Yes!

11. Do you workout, go to the gym, exercise in general?
Damien- Whenever I want to torture myself.  
Kelly: Sometimes.

Here are the blogs I am nominating: 
A Great Title
Fifth Grade Follies
Every New Beginning
Confessions of a Fourth Grade Teacher
Liv To Teach
Mrs. Quimby Reads
Mrs. White's 5th Grade class

Have a Happy Day!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cyber Monday SALE!

Hello Buddies-

We hope you ate up on Thursday...

Shopped 'til you dropped on Friday...

And are now ready for your fingers to do the work.

We are participating in TPTs Cyber Monday sale. Our entire store is 20% off combined with the percentage that TPT is generously giving off of items and you can save 28%!

Out TPT Store an be found HERE: Reading Buddies on TPT

It's time to empty out those carts and clear those wish lists. 

Happy Shopping!
Damien and Kelly 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reading Buddies How-to-Guide

Hello Buddies-

Happy Saturday! Kelly and I spent some time today finishing up a product that we have been working on for a while.  A How-To-Guide for our Reading Buddies program.  Kelly and I have been doing Reading Buddies for years, it's actually one of the reasons we have become so close.  

Reading Buddies pairs up a student in my fifth grade class and a student in her second grade class for a year long reading partnership.  The students share books together, read to each other, are read to, and participate in many reading activities and celebrations.  

The guide can be found at our TPT Store: Reading Buddies How-To-Guide

Our TPT Store Freebie is also part of the guide and can be found hereReading Buddy Questionnaire

This is the PERFECT time of year to start Reading Buddies.  Below are some pictures from THIS Friday when Kelly and I got together to introduce our kids to their buddies.

Learning a bit about our new friend using the questionnaire

Working together!

Working in beanbags on the carpet!

Wishing you all the best for the upcoming week!
-Damien and Kelly

Thursday, November 15, 2012

99th and 100th follower GIVEAWAY!

Hello Buddies-

We are almost at our 100th follower-CRAZY!  We are looking to give away 2 free items from our TPT store to celebrate the milestone.

If you are our 100th follower- YOU WIN!  All you have to do is please leave a comment below, with your name, e-mail address, and the 2 free products you would like. 

ADDENDUM:  WE ARE ADDING TO OUR 100th FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY!  If you are our 99th follower we will give you 1 free item from our TPT store.  

You can visit our TPT store here:
Reading Buddies TPT Store

Thanks so much for your continued support. 

Kelly and Damien 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Trunk or Treat

Hello buddies- 

Tomorrow is our first day back to school since October 23rd due to the destruction of Sandy.  We weren't able to celebrate Halloween because we were in the midst of the storm and although minimal considering the chaos and destruction Sandy brought, but quite a bummer for our kids.  

So today, we had our first ever Trunk or Treat event. Have you ever heard of trunk or treating?  Basically you trick or treat but in a safe location and from the trunk of people's cars. We opened up our fields, parked our cars together (Kelly and I trunk shared) and decorated our trunks with Halloween decor. 

It was a BLAST having the kids trick (or trunk) or treat to people they knew.  Kelly and I loved seeing the kids, especially after our unexpected break. It was a blast and hopefully a tradition for our school.

Awaiting the arrival of our Trunk or Treaters.  Notice my lounging Harry Potter
Handing out candy to one of my favorite "goblins".
Some Trunk or Treaters from Kelly's class

Remember- look at our last post to see the GIVEAWAY we are participating in. It's a biggie!

Damien and Kelly

Friday, November 9, 2012

Another Giveaway!

Hello Buddies-

We had so much fun participating in Rockin' Teacher Materials giveaway that we (actually Kelly) decided to join in another giveaway. 

We are participating in...

We are giving away our "The Lorax" SMART Board product and are part of Prize Pack #5

Hop on over using the following link: Classroom Compulsion

It's a GREAT giveaway (we even entered to win some of the other wonderful products available).

Best Wishes Buddies!
-Damien and Kelly

Monday, November 5, 2012

More than a school...a community

I am writing this post after a week that has been unbelievable. I am sure that many of are unaware that Kelly and I live in Middletown, NJ. A shore town for sure. A few days ago Hurricane Sandy left us without heat or power but left us safe. As the storm passed, and information began to poor in, we heard that some of our colleagues were in worse shape. Two of my fifth grade colleagues had their house flooded and one was likely to lose her home of the past 20+ years. A second grade colleague and her newborn baby were now homeless. 

Being who we are we sprang into action. Over the past few days I have been reminded of why I LOVE my school, my community, and my colleagues. As I spent one morning removing soaked memories from a basement with my co-teacher, spent one afternoon packing a kitchen with a first grade teacher across the hall, and emptied paper boxes at my powerless school with my principal I know these are people you can count on for more than a much needed bathroom break. I am reminded that we are more than a school, but a community. We take care of each other and pitch in whenever and wherever. Teachers in work boots, with shovels, and with a mission. Spending days off because of an emergency working hard to help those in need. 

When I left my home in an area that only suffered power loss and headed to my colleagues house I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Homes have been destroyed. House condemned. Families left homeless. The devastation is something out of a disaster movie. 

Over the past week I have witnessed:
-storm winds like no other
-hours of darkness
-homes destroyed
-the National Guard coming to my home town
-boardwalks destroyed
-water everywhere
-roads closed 

But I have witnessed so much more:
-a community helping its neighbors
-food donations from people who have little to begin with
-people from out of state traveling in to help
-utility workers leaving their homes to help others
-friends working together
-families supporting each other

School is closed until the 13th due to the devastation. Tomorrow I will be at another super teacher's house trying to help them clean up and rebuild. Tuesday our teachers will be at the closed school without power opening it as a collection site for those in need. 

Small tasks, but it is something. 
Stay safe!