May In Rewind {Busy Much?!}

Before I go any further, it must be said…


Happy summertime to you!  Our summer started yesterday and I’ve been spending lots of QT with my sweet boys since school let out.  LOVE THEM TO BITS!!!

To say this past month has been busy would be the understatement of the year.  Totally fast and furious…and now it’s all over.  Another year come and gone.  Hard to believe I just finished my 11th year in the classroom!  I was really nervous to go back down to Kindergarten this past year, but truth be told…it was WONDERFUL.  WAY better than I could’ve imagined.  I’ll be staying put this upcoming year and I’m looking forward to spending another year in Kindergarten.  And I already have a million and one ideas on what I want to do better/differently/etc.  Before we get to all that, here’s a little recap on our busy month.  Sorry I wasn’t around much to blog…life just gets in the way of all those other plans sometimes, y’know?!  However, if you’re following me on Instagram {@thefirstgradeparade}, then you’re pretty up-to-date :)

The middle of the May was crazy busy with lots and LOTS of end of year assessments.  I know y’all feel my pain, right?!


My kidlets graduated.  And I cried.  It was precious and perfect.  And I’ve never taught at a school that did the whole kindergarten graduation thing, so that was a new experience for me.  And let me tell you…I can’t wait for my boys to put on their caps and gowns.  Well…yes, I really can wait, but…you get what I mean.


And we followed up graduation with a little graduation writing craftivity.  We saved these for their writing portfolios and sent them home on the last day of school.  Tear.


Things definitely got pretty busy during the month of May.  I guess one of my sweeties could tell I was a little frazzled because this is the note he *passed* to me during Writer’s Workshop one day.  HA!!!


We finished up the last Friday of the school year with a little ice cream day because, well, who doesn’t love ice cream?!  Apparently, two of my sweeties didn’t like our ice cream in a bag at all.  Meanwhile, I ate a whole bag all by myself.  In their defense, I was a little heavy handed on the salt pour and some of it accidentally snuck into the milk bag instead of the ice bag.  I don’t think I’d like salty ice cream either!!  Whoops!

1may121may13 1may14

We got all of our fun little ice cream activities and printables from my Ice Cream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream Unit.  {If you currently own this packet, be on the lookout for a facelift and a few new additions to the unit this summer!!}

ice cream you scream

Much of my free time last week was spent getting my kids’ end of year gifts ready to give them {along with taking care of lots of paperwork, too!}


Of course, the kids got their coveted slideshows to watch at home with the fam.  I found these {FREE} darling printable gift tags at Bits of Everything. 1may15

And then I gave each of them a crazy little summer treat ;)  Crazy straws, Kool Aid packets, and sunglasses.  Of course, I found this idea on Pinterest {well, more like, a HUNDRED of gifts just like this} all in various forms. 


I used this printable and attached it to the back of the Kool Aid packets.  Click on the pic to download {FREE}.

EOY Gift Tags Preview

To go along with the “picture perfect” theme, I gave my room mom this DARLING frame I found at Hobby Lobby.  Ummm…I also bought one for myself :)  I had every intention of making her a little pot like I have in the past, but time got away from me and I hit the “easy” button instead…but heck if that’s not the cutest frame I’ve ever seen, so I’d have to say that it was a good trade off!


I put all their little gifts inside their writing portfolio binders and had them waiting on their desks when they came in on the last day of school.  They were SO excited!!!  Throughout the year, I collected lots of Writer’s Workshop writings from each of my kids and saved them to include in their portfolios.  I also saved a few reading response activities and several writing craftivities.  They SO loved their portfolios and I SO loved going back through their writing to see how much they’ve grown through the year.  Truly AMAZING!


The last few days of school were spent making checklists, writing myself notes, and organizing my classroom for NEXT year.  Yes folks.  Mark this down as a first.  I’m actually getting ready for next year NOW.  What a novel concept :)  I’m thinking about changing the layout of the classroom, but that will wait ‘til later.  I’m adding a few new things to the walls after I walked in several times this year only to find that some of my bulletin boards had fallen off the walls.  Can I just say that this whole hot glue/no staple thing is killin’ me?! HA!  However, I have an idea that I’m **praying** works!!!!  I’m sticking with the chevron décor I already have up, but I’m adding a chalkboard flair :)

1may11  1may10

My chalkboard organization labels will be in my shop tomorrow.  If you’re looking for a little chevron action to add to your classroom décor, you can click on the pics below to preview what I have in my shop.

****If you already own this packet, be on the lookout for an update SOON!  D’Nealian alphabet will be added as well as word cards to accompany the word wall headers.***





***If you own this packet, be on the lookout soon for an update.  I will be adding 3D shape posters to this packet, SOON!***


You can also grab the ENTIRE chevron décor bundle HERE.  Stay tuned for my chalkboard organization labels!!

Now back to the last week of school.  It was pretty sad here on the home front.  My boys were SO sad to say goodbye to their precious teachers.  I kid you not when I say that they were both crying the morning of the last day.  I guess they didn’t realize they wouldn’t be joining their teachers again next year and that made them both unbelievably sad.  As a mom, that made me feel pretty dang good knowing they love their teachers as much as they do.  I can definitely say that they were blessed with the best!!!  Look at this precious card Landon wrote to his Pre-K teacher.  He love, love, LOVES her and keeps asking if we can have her over to play :)


That was May in a nutshell.

Now that I **finally** feel settled into my new town and school, I’ll be lots more regular about updating this ol’ blog. 

HAPPY SUMMER, sweet friends!!!!  IT’s the most WONDERFUL time of the year!!!


  1. Oh, Cara, I LOVE your chalkboard labels! I am doing a blackboard/red color scheme next year, and created a whole calendar set for my room. I'd love it if you stopped by my blog and took a peek at it:) I'm giving the set away until midnight tonight, and then it's going to TpT. Yay for summer, and lots of time to create, right?

  2. I love the layout of your room! So colorful and cheerful without looking too crowded! :) I'm moving to kindergarten and a new school next year and I might have to steal some of your ideas ;)


  3. I am "into" chevron too! I will be purchasing some of your great things!

    Rest up and enjoy your pool! AHHHHHH!

    Jeanne at

  4. Chalkboard labels are awesome!! I want to know what you put in those monthly bins...please tell :) And I love that note the little boy gave you. So sweet. Last year one of my students told me that I needed an assistant. I told her she could let her mom know! hahaha

    Jessica (boo, my Hey Paste It link isn't working)

  5. I'm sure your little sweetie couldn't have said it any better. You are the best teacher (for your kinders and all of us that love to peek inside your classroom for inspiration).
    Excited for the D'Nealian Alphabet.
    Enjoy your days off.

    School Is a Happy Place

  6. I love your little love notes! I feel you on the busy-ness of the year. I was there and JUST left. I think my blog grew some cobwebs :/ I feel horrible. So happy for you that you love your new place in K! Oh, can I have your storage drawers? Thanks!!

    ~ Ms Apple Blossoms
    Apple Blossoms

  7. Your labels are precious! Can't wait to put them in my cart.

  8. Thank you for all of the end of the year sneak peeks! I teach Kindergarten (just finished my 4th year teaching, 3rd year in Kinder) and all of these ideas are fabulous! Can't wait to see more :)


  9. Oh honey, isn't May in kindergarten just nuts?!?! Every May, I start to think that I need a change and threaten to transfer grades, but then graduation happens and I suddenly forget how hard one has to work to teach kindergarten. It's kind of like how holding your baby for the first time makes you forget the nine months of misery and days-long labor. :) I think I will probably be a kindergarten teacher forever... Not because I have to, but because I LOVE it. :)

    I have the same problem with things falling down in my room. I love using spray adhesive, but around April, the southern Indiana humidity causes it to fall. Oh well... a little spray adhesive goes a long way. :)

  10. Thanks for the link to the Picture Perfect gift tags. I make a DVD as an End of Year gift for my Firsties every year. I made my own tag, but this one is so much cuter. I hate it when that happens. Ha ha! I'm loving this chalkboard font I've been seeing. Gotta get my hands on it!

  11. I am so glad you are in the Kindergarten club! I am planning for next year too! I can't wait to see all of your great ideas. Enjoy your summer! :)

    Yeehaw! Teaching in Texas

  12. I always love your posts! Have a GREAT summer with your darling boys!!

  13. I've been teaching for ten years, but next year is my first year in first grade. I'm too excited. I love your chevron decor and intend to purchase it for my classroom. I particularly like the ten frames on the number posters, but have you considered adding tally marks? If I could get number posters with ten frames AND tally marks I would be uber excited. Love, love your blog.

  14. Love! Your last line put a Christmas song in my head..."It's the most wonderful time...."

    Have a great kick off to your summer!

    A Rocky Top Teacher

  15. I have been teaching 11 years too! Hard to believe it goes by SO fast. I've been at the same school (and grade) for 11 years now!!! I LOVE the end of the year tags for the gifts and the link to the slideshow tag. I've always done an end of the year scrapbook but I am going to attempt a digital one this year too!!! :) Thanks for sharing!

    Kindergarten Korner

  16. Cara, even your sidewalk chalk drawing skills are amazing. I completed a project inspired by you (your frame collage wall). Would love to have you stop by and take a peek.
    Primary Paradise

  17. I have both packets and am looking forward to the updates. However, I am REALLY looking forward the to chalkboard items.

  18. Love your end of the year ideas. Your chevron packs are adorable and I will be incorporating it into my decor for next year. On a side note, I just printed off your conference notes for the Chicago Extraordinary Educators conference. Can't wait to meet my favorite blogger in person and hear your fabulous teaching ideas. :)

  19. Ahhhhh your boys are super cute! Happy summer vacation! In the picture with your labeled drawers by month what do you use those for?

    Thank you!
    New Teaching Video: Target Teacher Haul
    Sprinkle Teaching Magic Blog

  20. Cara, it is safe to say that you are just the peachy-est peach, the cheery-est cherry, and the brightest bulb in the bunch. I just adore ya! I can't wait for the ice cream face lift and to see all you do better and different next year... though I am betting that it is more "different" than better because your ROCKED kindergarten.
    Katie Knight

  21. Cara,

    I've been anonymously following your blog for about 2 years now. I am a first grade teacher and I have used your ideas so many times. I've come across your blog during my first year of teaching and I so love your ideas. I've been very encouraged by your organizational skills, juggling family and work, and all your lovely and creative creations. Especially with this post, I love the idea of the students receiving their own portfolio at the end of the year. Many times, I would collect their work, and I send them home at the very end of the year. I like that you have presented the students' work to them so that they themselves can see their own progress. I am very interested in doing this for next year. How did you choose which work will go in their portfolio? Did everyone receive the same number and genre of writings? Did you include any drawings? Was there a special template you used to conduct the writing activities? I'd love to hear your suggestions and ideas.

    Also, since you teach kindergarten this year, it gave me great ideas to use for my first graders next year. I love your math ideas as well. You've posted various ideas that will help with number senses.
    Please continue to grow and upload your lovely ideas so that I can grow as well!
    Thank you for all you do. Have a wonderful summer.