August 22, 2014

Five for THE FIRST Friday! {Aug. 22}

I survived my first week of Kindergarten! And I would say it was successful. I mean... I only cried once! And some of the kids didn't cry at all! That's good, right?! ;)

It has been AGES since I hopped on board with a Five for Friday post and I've missed it! I have to apologize though... I didn't snag as many pictures as I thought that didn't have the kiddos' pretty faces in it. I just don't like posting them online... :)

Today we tried centers for the very first time! For pretty much every child in the room, this was the first time they had EVER done centers. Several of them did not know what a center was! Some children had gone to pre-school and seems like they had done some centers before.

They did a great job! We practiced rotating through centers in the morning with my cuing system of ringing a bell once for clean up and twice for switching centers. They thought it was fun to switch centers! And we didn't even have the centers yet!!

I tried to do some easy centers to get them in the groove. I have a para at the end of the day and I had her run a pirate themed (of course!) picture BINGO center.

I got the freebie from LyndaSLP123's TpT store. I wish I had been able to print it in color, but it didn't work out. I printed them in black and white and laminated them. The kids loved it and it was a fun, calm center. My para paid attention to the ones who could match the pictures and who needed to work on that skill. 

We also did Play-Do mats to make some uppercase letters. I only printed and laminated the mats of the letters we are focusing on for the first and second unit of our reading series so not to overwhelm them with mats to choose from (and not to overwhelm myself with printing all at once!). I got these babies for free as well from The Wise Owl's TpT store. FREE, PEOPLE! Hooray!

Although we really don't talk too much about patterns for a bit, I decided to do a pattern activity and introduce AB patterns. I cut large paper in half and wrote each child's name in pencil on them. Each child received strips of paper in two colors of their choice. They cut the strips into squares (which was NECESSARY practice for a few of them) and glued them in an AB pattern on their name!

Some did better than others... But they turned out great and they are (obviously) hanging from the ceiling for the kids to see Monday morning!

I have AWESOME news, ya'll! I am teaming up with a group of great education bloggers in a collaborative blog coming soon! I am excited about it! It is called Teaching 2 Step Blog and it will be ready to go shortly (don't worry, I'll let you know when...) I am in charge of all things Kindergarten for this blog, so kinder teachers make sure you check it out! Other teachers, check it out, too! We have posts, ideas, and freebies for all grade levels.

My dog is totally stoked that I leave really early in the morning now for school. The SECOND I get out of bed to shower that dog bolts to my pillow. Sorry this picture is dark... I didn't want to disturb my husband. But seriously?! She's sleeping on my pillow like a human! She won't be happy tomorrow when I sleep in!

I am super excited to tell you that my adult tap class was extremely successful over the summer and has been picked up to be taught once a week in the fall! How awesome is that?! People are signing up left and right!

The schedule of classes was just posted online, so if you live in the Central Florida area, check it out! Click the image above to go to the website for more info. I will be the instructor for both adult tap classes and a class called "Around the World in 80 Musicals" for ages 8-12.

I would like to say that I can't wait till next Friday to so another one of these posts... but I gotta say... I'm truly excited for the weekend and for sleep. Good night!

August 20, 2014


I gotta say... I am POOPED! And it is ONLY WEDNESDAY! This being my first year teaching, it has been a whirlwind of responsibilities and work this week. We also do stagger start at my school, so tomorrow is the first day I will have all the precious kiddos in one room... Wish me luck.

I had to do a brief post today to touch base with you all since it has been a while! I promise I am not neglecting my blog... I've just been passing out the second I get home this week!

Happy back to school!

August 11, 2014

Meet the Teacher!

I am a blog JUNKIE. I follow and read so many blogs and it's a daily ritual now to get online and follow/stalk all my favorite teacher bloggers! Right now, the internet is blowing up with so many wonderful ideas and new people to follow that I am incredibly overwhelmed! That's why I am so glad to have found the Meet the Teacher Linky over at Falling Into First. So many times I read and pin but I never take a second to read about the blogger and find out more about them! That's part of it, guys! Blogging is more than just grabbing ideas and sharing your own. It's about meeting people and making teaching buddies!

So, without much further ado... Welcome to Daisy Designs! I am Amanda (not Daisy... more on that later)!

I am a first year Kindergarten teacher and a theater instructor for all ages at a community theater! I am originally from Nevada but currently live in HOT central Florida.

I married this goofball a whopping ONE year ago (anniversary post HERE) and he and I make a super silly team. His name is Ryan and he's my wonderful baldy best friend. He has his own YouTube channel (mostly about video games and leadership skills) that you should check out! He's kind of a big deal. And I may or may not be featured in a few of the videos... <3 Here's the link: BrutallStatic

We do not currently have children (one day!) but these are our precious fur babies! LOOK AT THIS CUTENESS. I can barely contain myself!!! The sweetie on the right is Daisy! That's right, Daisy as in Daisy Designs! She's my name inspiration and a sweet snuggly (and sometimes extremely loud) 4 pound chihuahua! The other baby is Pudgy. She's also a chihuahua... except much larger... hence the name. She is the snuggliest dog I have ever had! Doesn't this picture just make you wanna squeeze 'em?!

As mentioned before, I am a theater instructor as well as a Kindergarten teacher. I have taught at a community theater for about 6 years now and originally my degree was in Theater! I hated the lifestyle and truly stopped enjoying performing, which broke my heart. So, I changed majors and couldn't be happier! I haven't been in a show in a few years, but choreograph many children's productions. The two pictures above are from a couple of shows I have been in. On the left, I'm front and center as Tiger Lily in Peter Pan and on the right I am Minnie Fay in Hello Dolly! That dress and makeup on the right sure made me look like a baby, huh?

Alright, now for the fun stuff!


Plastic cups with straws (just like Stephanie at Falling Into First!), Netflix (specifically binge watching Netflix), Civilization V for PC (with all of the expansions of course), rollercoasters, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and cheesecake.


I would love to be a graphic designer. I'm not great, but what I have dabbled in I am fascinated by and love the opportunity to be creative. I've toyed around with taking some courses or at the very least teaching myself more on the topic. 


Creative. Silly. Driven.


It's okay, I have PLENTY of dry erase markers.


Sam Heughan. Diana Gabaldon.


The Hair That Cannot Be Contained


Time travel, without doubt! How amazing would that be? Seriously!


The classic: "If at first you don't succeed, try try again."


Candy by Mandy Moore. Don't you laugh at me. I'm a 90s kid.


I was always a night owl until this past year. I am apparently pretty good at changing my preferences because ever since I started waking up early for school, I've been great at mornings! (Not every morning, mind you... but I'm getting there).


I LOVE my Fairy Tale Unit. It was created for a camp I taught and I tweaked it to make it work perfectly for a general classroom setting. I had so much fun creating and implementing the activities in it and I love looking at it (I said, don't make fun of me!).

So much pretty.


I love computer games! I may have mentioned it before in a blog post long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away... but I am a nerd. Surprise! Right now I'm playing a lot of Civ V but I have also been known to play a lot of League of Legends and World of Warcraft. 

So, there ya have it! Head on over to Falling Into First to read about Stephanie and to meet some other amazing bloggers! Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to follow me on Google+ or BlogLovin!

August 10, 2014

Let's See Your Classrooms!

Share with me your blog posts about your classroom setup! I really want to see them! Leave a link to your blog in the comments below and I will view all of them and comment on all of them!

That being said, here's mine. I am extremely pleased with it! I'm even linking it up with Monday Made It over at 4th Grade Frolics because my mom and I totally raided The Dollar Tree for the materials for most of these projects! I am so excited for my #pirateclassroom !

This is a picture of my reading corner. I did hang a couple of small posters up to the right of the mast about picking a "just-right" book and the procedures of choosing a reading buddy (stuffed animal) and putting books back, etc. but I took this picture before I hung them. Oops! This project was so easy!

I found this beauty and bought them for $1 a roll! For this project it took 1 and a half rolls of the contact paper.

Also at The Dollar Tree, I found a white plastic table cloth and two pool noodles. I duct taped the pool noodles together and wrapped it in the wood grain contact paper for the mast.

This picture cracks me up! That's my mom under there! We cut a hole in the center of the table cloth the size of the pool noodles and put the noodle through it. For extra support we used Scotch tape to secure it in place on the noodle. We then just used packing tape to attach the bottom of the noodle mast to the wall towards the bottom (by the floor). 

I am fortunate enough to be in a room where I can staple into the walls. We stapled the top two corners of the sail into the walls on either side. Then we took some string which I had leftover from a project I did several years ago and tied a big loop on either side of the sail to make it look kinda bunchy. Isn't my mom cute with her nautical shirt on? She's so supportive!

This idea came later in the process. Originally, I wanted the letters attached directly to the sail, but as we were working with the plastic table cloth, we quickly discovered that it is hard to get things to stick to it. So since we used string to bunch up the sail, I had the idea of making a sign to hold the word "Adventure" in "Reading is an Adventure." We used leftover contact paper on some cardstock and attached the letters I got from a teacher supply store (on clearance!!). My mom chopped up the edges a bit to make it look like a piece of wood on a pirate ship.

We used a mini stapler and simply stapled the cardstock sign to the strings that were tied around our sail.

Using the same kind of string as the sail, we created a draping string of letters with some different letters I also got at the teacher supply store to spell out "Reading is an." We tied the strings of lettering between the two strings that bunch up the sail and they looked great!!

Here's another picture of the finished project but with my super cute chevron rug. I found that at the flea market brand new for $12, ya'll!! It looks like bright colored waves in the ocean!

Here's a breakdown of how much this project cost me:
1 white plastic table cloth = $1
2 pool noodles = $2
1 and a half rolls of wood grain contact paper (I used the rest in another project) = $1.50
cardstock (leftover from another project out of a pack of 12x12 with 100 sheets) = $0.05
Lettering (out of a huge pack that have a lot more letters to use) = approximately $0.75

TOTAL: About $5.30

MORE PICTURES of my classroom:

"Captain's Corner"
4 rolls of wood grain contact paper = $4
polka dot plastic table cloth = $1
1 pool noodle = $1
4 polka dot paper plates (out of a pack of ten for $1) = $0.40
red duct tape ($3 total and used for another project) = approximately $1
parrot cutout (part of a pirate classroom decor set for $10) = approximately $0.25
skull and crossbones printout (printed by myself onto cardstock) = approximately $0.10
2 leftover science fair display boards = free for me (but about $3 a piece)

TOTAL: $7.75

iPhone Job Chart:

1 oil drip pan for cars = $11
1 black plastic table cloth = $1
6 sheets of cardstock and color ink =  approximately $2
Mod Podge (a whole bottle cost me about $6) = approximately $1

TOTAL: $15

For more info on creating the red polka dot word wall with paper plates, click HERE for a previous post or click the photo above!

For a previous Monday Made It post on how to make the Teacher Toolbox, click HERE or the photo above.

This is an old DVD shelf that my sister-in-law gave me years ago that I have had in my living room for a while and then in storage for a while waiting to be used. Once we moved into our new house, we didn't want it anymore, so I repurposed it as a shelf for my classroom by covering the backs of the shelves with colored paper and some fish die cuts I had from a yard sale. The shelves are the perfect size for our reading series leveled readers and small things like flash card sets, dice containers, small containers of manipulatives, etc.

These are on each table. Each frame was 99 cents!

This is a rules poem I found online and loved. I typed them up and printed them to put into more 99 cent frames. They are hanging next to my white board.

If you love my classroom, I have bundled all of the printables and materials needed to recreate these projects into a Pirates and Polka Dots Theme Pack on my TpT store. There's much more included! Here are images of the preview which you can also see HERE.


August 5, 2014

My Amazing Week

What an amazing week so far and it is ONLY Tuesday!! Yesterday began the super fun Back to School Sale on TpT and I was able to get a lot of good deals (as you already know from my previous post)! I also am feeling so blessed and extremely fortunate to have such a fantastic team of teachers on my side at my new job.

Sunday I attended the youth production of an incredibly difficult musical called "13" at The Ocala Civic Theater and it was nothing short of impressive. I was blown away. The entire cast was made up of kids from 7th-11th grade and it was professional grade. Congratulations cast and crew on a spectacular run!!

Yesterday I spent all day in my classroom working hard! My supervising teacher from my internship was so sweet and she came to help me for a few hours! It was nice to see her and catch up. It was so neat to see her get excited that I'm teaching Kindergarten! I also had a chance to go to other classrooms, one of which was being pretty much gutted after a teacher moved across country and didn't want to take all of her classroom things with her. You can see where this is headed... I inherited some AWESOME classroom supplies for free that will help me tremendously. I can't believe my luck! I didn't snap any photos, but plan to tomorrow when I go back to work.

Why didn't I go in today you ask? Well, that's because today is my one year wedding anniversary! My first anniversary, ya'll! My hubby and I had an incredible lunch at a local restaurant called The Ivy House and it was nothing short of fantastic. If you are ever in the Ocala area, it is a must go. It seems fancy and expensive because of the decor, the building, and the quality of the food, but it was very affordable and we stuffed our faces!!

When we first started dating almost 6 years ago, Ryan took me to a restaurant called Ipanema and called ahead to see if they could surprise me with anything special. Apparently they were known for their pretty calligraphy on the plates of desserts, so he went with that on a delicious slice of caramel cheesecake. Well, today he asked for the same at a different restaurant. He explained to me later that when he asked they were reluctant to do so because they never really did it before. But they pulled through. They made an exception for us and while it wasn't script writing or a work of art, I was so touched and felt so special during our lunch. And the chocolate cake was the best chocolate cake I've ever had in my life... and I don't say that lightly. It might be worth just coming to Ocala for that one piece of cake, so come visit!

Camera phones have come a long way, wouldn't you say?

In addition to taking me out to a delicious lunch, Ryan also surprised me with more flowers than I've ever been given before! Look at this loot!

That little white paper says, "PS Check the fridge..." where I found cheesecake!

It has been such a wonderful week so far and it will keep on going that way, too. Tomorrow I go back to work on my glorious pirate classroom and Thursday I begin my New Hire Orientation with all the other friends of mine that I graduated with a few short months ago.

Here's to a great year!

August 4, 2014

Aren't You LOVING The Sale??

I had to link up with my purchases! I HAD to! Money is a little tight, but I made it work to buy 4 items that have been on my wishlist for AGES! (And to be completely honest, I will likely go back and stock up on super sweet clipart... but I digress).

So, what did YOU buy?!?!

I love looking at what other teachers bought! But it is dangerous as it makes me load my cart up again...

Here's what I snatched up:

I seriously LOVE all the products by KindergartenWorks and have followed Leslie's blog for a long time now! And now that I know I'm teaching Kindergarten, you better believe I stopped by her store. As you may know, I'm doing a pirate theme this year and HAD TO HAVE THIS. I adore it already and I haven't even used it yet! Her products are fantastic with great images, great fonts, multiple printing options for those of us who need to save the ink, and everything I've gotten from her has great detailed instructions for us teachers to refer to. I cannot WAIT to print these bad boys out and have them ready for my little pirates!

How adorable is THIS?! There are TONS of activities in this download (seriously... so much more than I thought I was getting...) and for anyone who teaches Kindergarten, you know that teaching the kids how to get along and be a team takes a lot of time and practice. I love that it is pirate themed for my classroom theme this year and that the activities will work for my class all year.

What kind of TpT sale would this be if I didn't have a Moffatt Girls product in my cart? I decided to go all in and download the bundle. I knew based on the preview and the reviews that I would love them and couldn't decide on a season to download. I would hate to only download the Fall packet and then have to go back and download Winter, Spring, and Summer. With the sale, it made the bundle very affordable and much less than buying them all separately. I just went through and drooled over how awesome the printables are. To say the least, I'm very pleased with this purchase.

This one was a purchase I have been debating on since Krista started doing these VIP memberships. Based on the reviews, I've been missing out. So while I don't have something to show for this download YET, I love the idea that I will be getting something new every week. Her clipart is so precious and is one of my absolute FAVES, so I'm excited for this membership. Anyone else download these?

So now that I've spent the money I allowed myself to yesterday, I of course still have a few things in my cart that I'm still itching to buy. I probably will load up tomorrow.... Haha.

I've got some clipart by Educlips in there that is so cute I can't stand it. I especially love the Thanksgiving set and with the Fall months sneaking up on us, I might go ahead and jump on that.

I also have more KindergartenWorks products in there. I'm thinking that one just isn't enough...

And I also have the School's In Session packet by Julie Lee.

The sale is still going on through tomorrow so make sure you stock up! My entire store is 20% off with the additional percentage off with the BTS14 code! I know there a lot of people who have some products wishlisted. Now's the time people!

Here are the products that have been very popular during this sale that you may want to check out before time runs out! Click the pictures to take a closer look.

Click here to check out what other people are buying!!
And click HERE to see what people are THINKING about buying! This is fun.