Saturday, June 30, 2012

I LOVE my Cricut!

Apples and Buses for patterning and sorting
I have to admit, I am not a "crafty" person. I used to scrapbook, but I don't anymore.  I am creative, but not artistic. I got a Cricut for Christmas and I've played with it here and there, but have not spent much time with it.  The last couple of days I have been spending way too much time with my Cricut!  I have a cartridge called Doodlecharms and it has all sorts of fabulous things on it.  My Kinder team talked about purchasing some small Ellison die cuts with small apples, leaves, teddy bears etc... that we can cut out for patterns, sorting and such.  But my Cricut can do that!  And so much easier!  Here are some pictures of things I made all with that Doodlecharms cartridge.  I am so excited about them.  I am meeting with my team on Monday and it's just a social, get to know our two new members thing, but I am going to have to bring my cute stuff to show them!!

Sorry I don't know how to change the orientation
Popscicles with capital and lower cases letters for matching
A teddy bear counting game
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom math game
I made some Teddy Bear cards that you can use. They have numbers 1-10 and teddy bears 1-10. Here's the link-Teddy Bear cards
I also have the Chicka Chicka cards too with numbers and tally marks. Here's the link- Chicka Chicka Cards I know it doesn't really helps if you don't have the bus or palm tree, but you might find a use for them or be able to recreate the game in other ways.
If anyone out there has a Cricut, what have you made for school with it?  AND, what other cartridges do I need to buy??? 

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I decided to offer another FREEBIE on TpT and TN- it's a "Read It, Trace It, Put the Sentence Together" packet with 15 different sentences all about colors.  Here are a couple of pictures and the link to TpT.  These put together sentences were a permanent feature last year at my Working With Words/Sentences station during our literacy block.  I started off with the version where the students trace the sentence and as the year went by we transitioned to the version where they write the sentence.  I also used these sentences occasionally as morning work.  Believe or not, they never tired of the activity.  And I created sets of them for practically every unit/theme we had last year.  I have lots of them in my TpT store, so if they look good to you, check them out.  Enjoy the freebie and I would love to hear what you think of them!  And, if you have any suggestions of other themes I could make these packets for, I'd love to hear that as well.  Some that are in the works are- back to school, silly rhyming sentences (to go with the Common Core Unit 1), school helpers/community helpers, and five senses just to name a few.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Back to School Math GIVE-AWAY

This is my latest unit I've created.  It is called Back to School Math Activities.  It includes 5 different games that all align with Common Core Standards CC3 and CC4.  It's available at TN right now and will soon be at TpT- but I am giving away THREE.  Just be the first 3 people who follow my blog and TpT and TN stores and leave a comment on this post that includes your email address so I can send it to you. And, if you are a blogger, I'd love it if you'd mention this unit to your followers. This is my very first give-away and I am super excited about it!
Happy counting!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 3

Here are my thoughts on Daily 5 Chapter 3.

1. Establish a gathering place for brain and body breaks

The meeting area is such an important part of the classroom. It’s so important to make it an integral part of the classroom.  I had my carpet area at the back of my room, but this year I am thinking of placing it in front of the smart board in the center of the room.  I love the idea of calling my carpet area something. I am doing a Dr. Seuss theme this year- I bet if I thought hard enough I could come up with a Seuss setting that I could call our carpet…Hmmm- any ideas?

2. Developing the concept of "good fit" books

I loved her lesson using the shoes to teach about good fit books. 
I think I might do some other lessons prior to this one- save this one for a little later after we’ve learned about ways to treat a book, some classroom library procedures, and ways to read a book.  This is where I feel like the Daily 5 is harder to implement in Kindergarten.  All the examples she gave of selecting books really felt more upper grades to me.  I would love to hear from them a sample lesson on a good fit book in a kinder classroom.  Maybe reading everyone else’s posts will help me with this…

3. Create anchor charts with students How will these be visual in the room? Where will you store them? What about small spaces?

I love anchor charts!  We use them all the time, but I am guilty of sometimes creating the chart myself ahead of time.  Especially at the beginning of the year when their attention spans are SOOOO short, it’s hard to get the conversation where I want it to be and anchor chart made together before I feel like I’ve lost them.  But I definitely see the benefit of creating the charts together and I will work on that.  I am so lucky to have 2 clotheslines up high in my classroom that stretch from one side of the classroom to the other side (thanks to my teammate’s husband J).  I see some of my anchor chart going there at the beginning of the year and then finding more permanent places in the classroom library or in other work spaces around the room.

4. Short, repeated intervals of independent practice and setting up book boxes

Stamina- I think the stamina part won’t be a problem in my classroom.  I know that this is something I can easily make happen in the classroom.  But I liked the Sisters suggestions and will try out some of their techniques for sure. 

Book Boxes- This is not my first time reading this book.  I keep coming back to it every couple of years. And one of the things that always prevents me from implementing it are the book boxes!  My first thought is “Where on earth am I going to store 28 book boxes??????”  I think and think about my classroom and think about creative storage options and I always get hung up on it.  So again, I look forward to reading everyone’s posts about the organization of the book boxes.  For what to put in the book boxes at the beginning of the year, I am not really sure I have enough books that are “good fit” for them at the beginning of the year.  I have lots of guided reading books at the lowest levels, but I don’t know if I want to use those for book boxes at the start.  This was another one of my stumbling blocks for implementing Daily 5.  I definitely have lots to think about.

5. Calm Signals and check in procedures

I have a few calm/attention getting signals in the classroom.  I have jingle bells that get students attention.  I also have some spoken signals.  I say “One fish, two fish” and the students respond “Red fish, blue fish” and I teach them that after they respond, I need eyes watching, ears listening and hands still.

6. Using the correct model/incorrect model approach for demonstrating appropriate behaviors.

At the beginning of the school year I always use the correct model/incorrect model approach to teach lots of different procedures.  It works really well for teaching all kinds of procedures and routines those first few weeks of school.  And the kiddos love it!

I enjoyed Chapter 3 and can’t wait to read all of your responses. I hope reading all your ideas will help me figure out how to overcome some of the misgivings I have about implementing the program. Check in at Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten to see other links.  Can't wait to read more!

Something Cute I found!

I just found the cutest set of letter, blend and digraph cards!  Krazee 4 Kindergarten has been hard at work on this adorable set!  You should definitely check it out!  The possibilites for use are endless!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Children as Teachers

Lately my son (he's 9) has become somewhat addicted to golfing.  He and my husband have gone out to play golf 3-4 times in the last couple of weeks.  He keeps asking me to go, and I keep conveniently finding other things to do.  I don't golf, but I have clubs that my hubby bought me a couple of years ago when I took a few lessons.  Well, today after he played 18 holes in 109 degree heat, he came home so excited that he decided that he needed to teach me how to golf.  He even made lesson plans for his teaching sessions with me!  He convinced me to go to the driving range with him.  He did all the things good teachers should- he modeled, he gave me guided practice (with him checking my grip and stance) and he gave me lots of encouragement (even though I was terrible), and he let me practice it by myself all the while watching and offering suggestions, tips and high fives.  It was so darn cute and I was so proud of him!  Having the opportunity to teach me how to golf did so much for my son.  That simple act gave him a boost of self-esteem, it helped him internalize the skills he was teaching me, and it was just really fun for him!
So, now I think about my classroom.  I reflect on the ways I let my students teach each other.  I have "experts"- a student that maybe picks up on a skill really quickly (computer, smart board, etc...) and they are the ones that children can go to in the classroom when I am unable to help.  When we do math word problems, I have students use the document camera to "teach" the other students how they solved a math problem.  Sometimes, I teach a small group of students how to play a new game for a station and then they are the ones who are the "leaders" of the game teaching the rest of the group how to play.  And, of course, there are other spontaneous teaching opportunities that come up during the day.  But, am I giving them enough opportunities to teach each other?
What are some ways that you let your students teach each other?

Such a Lovely Surprise!

Thanks to Linda over at Around the Kampfire and Penny at Superlative Science for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  Head over the check out their websites.  Linda has posted some great ideas about vocabulary and active participation strategies from Dr. Anita Archer.  Penny have some amazing science ideas- I love the Crime Scene/Mystery Madness!  And, the bearded dragon pictures are amazing!
Once you receive the award, you must follow 3 rules:
1.  Follow the person that gave you the award.
2.  Link back to the peson that gave you the award.
3.  Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers.

Here are the lovely blogs I am passing the award to.  Click on their buttons to visit their blogs!


Friday, June 22, 2012

In Pictures and In Words Chapter 1-6

      This book study could not have come at a better time.  This past year was only my 2nd in Kindergarten (I've been teaching 18 years).  Writing has always been one of my favorite things to teach and writer's workshop has been a big part of that.  But writing in kindergarten is a whole different beast compared to other grades.  And this past year, writing was a challenge.  It was partly due to our adopted program "Write From the Beginning" and our lack of training on how to effectively implement it.  In my opinion from what I see from others using it in my district and what my students produce when I use it, students' writing is very controlled and contrived.  It was not individualized- everyone's writing looked very much the same.  Of course, due to lack of training, we might not be implementing it correctly.  Don't get me wrong- I am not bashing Write From the Beginning, but it definitely did not mesh with my philosophy of teaching writing. 
But the good part of it is that for Kindergarten, there is a two part rubric- a drawing section and a writing section.  This year as we gave our writing assessments and talked about the results of them, we often devalued the drawing section and focused on the writing section because we saw writing as more important- especially because in 1st grade, there is no drawing section at all on the rubric.  Anyway, long story short- along comes this book study and these two other books as well.

There was a big A-HA moment for me as I began to read these books- it can be done and I can LOVE to teach writing again and my students can LOVE writing even more than they did this year!  So, that's a little background on where I was before I read the book...

 Here are some key ideas that really spoke to me from each of the chapters. 
Chapter 1 Why Illustration Study Matters to the Development of Young Writers
I love the idea that creating picture books allow children to "try on the roles of writers and illustrators."
The discussion of "teaching out of illustrations and into words" OR "teaching into illustrations" was important for me.  I am guilty of saying to my students at a late point in the year, "The words are more important than the pictures."  So this was BIG for me- I will try to do more teaching into illustrations and less teaching out of illustrations.
Chapter 2 Building Stamina for Writing by Supporting Children's Work as Illustrators
 I absolutely loved when she was talking about the curriculum of time and she said "When children regularly fill time with work they've made for themselves they will come to understand what it means to do the creative work that writing demands."(page 22)  As opposed to that, "children who spend their school days completing work that is laid out in front of them- work they can see- are doing scooping-poop work (mundane chores) all day long!"  Wow, did I laugh out loud at that one- she talks earlier about her writing process and all the mundane chores (folding laundry, vacuuning, ironing, scooping poop) that she enjoys sinces she spends so much of her day writing.  How much "scooping poop" work do your students do each day?  I love it!  And I have to admit, when I think about it, much of my writing last year was the type that was very laid out in front of them!
The last big things that I highlighted and starred in my book was this quote, "Children can't do what they mean to be doing if they are always doing what someone else tells them to do." (page 34)
Chapter 3 Writing and Illustrating as Parallel Composing Processes
I am guilty- I hate teaching the writing process.  And, when I reflect, I realize why- I don't write that way.  I don't pre-write!  Maybe I should, but I just don't!  I write my draft, edit and revise along the way.  So I can relate to the idea of not needing to teach the writing process before beginning a writer's workshop.  I loved when she spoke of the writing process and said, "These aren't steps writers follow, they're just the names for kinds of things (sometimes lot of kinds of things) that happen along to way when writers write." (page 39)  I think if we realize that the composing process is really about showing them new ways for them to write and illustrate then we won't care so much about that darn writing process.
Chapter 4:  Teaching an Essential Habit of Mind
I loved this chapter.  I loved all the examples she gave of reading like a writer- and doing it purposefully.  I loved the idea of beginning with just noticing- paying special attention to the details of the words and pictures.  Then having that noticing progress to being "articulate" about what they notice.  That thinking about why- the choices the illustrators and authors made and the reasons why they might have made those choices- is so important.  Because from that understanding can come the new possibilities that the children will be able to see.  And think about all those possibilities!  Wow! It gets me so excited about trying this next year!
Chapter 5: Learning Qualities of Good Writing from Illustration Techniques
The big important idea in this chapter for me was the idea that if we look closely at the decisions that illustrators make in picture books we can help children understand important concepts of quality writing.  I liked the idea that illustrators make meaning with pictures and writers make meaning with words- but that they are both making meaning.  And that's where the shift in thinking needs to happen- understanding that thinking about writing and thinking about illustrations are the same.  That's where my Write from the Beginning problems came in this year.  I wasn't seeing these two processes as the same- I wasn't putting equal emphasis on the drawing AND writing- writing was always more important.  And I certainly didn't do any in-depth thinking with my students about the choices that writers and illustrators were making. 
Chapter 6: The Writing Workshop
I enjoyed reading the framework for illustration study. It really helped cement my ideas of what I need to do next year and how to begin to implement these ideas.  I have lots of work to do, and I am sure that I will stumble along the way, but I feel so much better about beginning the process of changing the way we do writing in my classroom.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!  Check our Mrs. Wills Kindergarten to read what other people are thinking.
 And check back next week for Chapter 7.

Friday Sale!

It's been a while since I did anything with my TN store, so this morning I uploaded my nursery rhyme and color units. So, I decided to have a Friday Only Sale. My newest products are 10% off!  Here's a link to my TN store.
KinderKarla's Shop at TN  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Color Unit and FREEBIE

Besides participating in the Daily 5 Book Study, I have been hard at work on two units- the nursery rhyme unit I finished a couple of days ago, and a Color Unit which is now complete.  I chose to use some common books Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?, Mouse Paint, and Go Away, Big Green Monster.  There are mostly math games in this one, but there are also put together sentences in this one as well.  Please see the link to get a sample of some of the activities included.  It was a lot of fun putting this together and I can't wait to share it with my team and district teachers as we better incorporate the Common Core Units this year.  Color Unit FREEBIE!!! 
And, if you are interested in the full unit, here's a link to the item at my TpT store.Color Unit
Happy 1st Day of Summer!

Daily 5 Chapter 2

1.       Do you trust your students? How do you build this trust? Are you able to trust them and allow them to be independent throughout all aspects of your day? Are you going to be able to stay out of their way?

I develop trust in my students as the year progresses.  I think that they need to learn about the classroom, classroom procedures, how to use classroom materials and how to “do” school those first few weeks of school.  As they gain this understanding of what kindergarten is all about I release more responsibility to them.  I don’t think that walking in on day 1 of Kinder any of them can be independent throughout any aspect of their day.  Yet, it’s a goal for us and we build up to that as the year progresses. My goal is to allow them to be independent throughout all/most aspects of the day, but that’s a lofty goal.  I think some of them will always need more support than others.  But if I can get most of the class to work independently, then that’s great.  I think I can stay out of their way if we’ve taken the time at the beginning to learn how to be independent and make the correct choices throughout the day.

2.     How much choice do you give your students throughout the day? Do you go over your daily schedule with your students or is it just 'posted' in the room?

I need to work on this.  When students go to my stations, they are assigned to a group and assigned to stations for the day.  Within the station, there are some choices of activities to do.  For example, at the Games and Puzzles station, there are always a few choices of activities.  At the writing station, they are making a choice about what kind of writing they do and what they write about within a theme.  So, I guess within each station there is a little bit of choice, but they do not choose their stations for the day.

Our schedule is posted- at the beginning of the year I am always good about going over the schedule, but as time goes on, we forget that part of our morning routine. But that’s definitely something that I need to bring back as an important ritual in our classroom.
3.     How are you going to create that sense of community where students will hold each other accountable?

That sense of community develops over time as we learn and grow together.  I think in Kinder there is a fine line between holding each other accountable and “tattling” because someone is not making the correct choice. So I need to model how to do that over and over again.  Making anchor charts is a great way to talk about it and visually display it so students are reminded often of what to do in a situation.

4. Student ownership in learning? How do you instill this in every child?

Some children are more intrinsically motivated to learn than others.  I find that some really love learning and others could do without it.  So, I think you need to get to know your kiddos those first few weeks of school.  Which ones are you going to need to “sell” this idea of learning to and which ones are already on board and ready to go? Then make learning fun and exciting and hopefully more will realize that what’s going on in the classroom is interesting enough to get their attention.  I agree with the idea the Sisters shared about making students understand the urgency of what we are doing.  I try to explain to students why we do the things we do- how these activities will make us better readers and writers. 

5. Stamina! How are you going to build stamina with reading? independent work? Will you use a timer? Will you set goals?

I think the key is move slowly!  I always get too eager to begin the real tasks of school and forget that we need to work slowly.  I think setting small goals is important at the beginning and work our way up to what we ultimately want to accomplish.  I love timers- so, yes, I think a timer will really help with reading and independent work goals. Head over to Kindergarten Smiles to link up and read what everyone is talking about.

Kindergarten SmilesKindergarten Smiles

We will be back for Chapter 3 at

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nursery Rhyme FREEBIE!

Well, I think I am finished with my Nursery Rhyme Literacy and Math Acitivites unit.  It has 13 Read It, Trace It, Put the Sentence Together Sentences for popular nursery rhymes.  That comes with 2 versions a traceable sentence version and a version where students write the sentence themselves.  Also included are Pocket Chart Printables and Poetry Folder pages for Old Mother Hubbard, Little Bo Peep, The Eensy Weensy Spider, Hey,Diddle, Diddle, and Humpty Dumpty.  There are also three rhyming games- Humpty Dumpty's Rhyming Wall, Old Mother Hubbard's Rhyming Cupboard and Jack and Jill's Pails of Rhyming Words.  But wait-there's more!  Two math games- Hey, Diddle Diddle Let's Make a Pattern and Little Bo Peep's Sheep Number Match.  Whew!  It's probably the biggest things I've done- 121 pages in all!  AND, here only, I have a freebie for you.  Follow this link to where (hopefully-if I did it correctly) I uploaded a sample for you Nursery Rhyme Literacy and Math Activity FREEBIE.  And, if you like it, please check out my TpT store for the entire unit!
Happy Monday!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Inspiration Comes in the Strangest Places

For the last few weeks, I've been struggling to think of units to make to use at the beginning of the school year.  I knew I wanted to incorporate the Common Core units Common Core Curriculum Maps but I just had a brain freeze.  Blame it on summer, too much blog hopping, laziness etc..
But today I took my son to an indoor playground called Makutu's Island here in the Phoenix area. To be honest,  I bribed him because I had to go to Lakeshore Learning to laminate first and it's on the way home...
Anyway, I brought a book to read and a notebook just in case I got bored.  We always stay for several hours so the chance of that were pretty good.  It's kind of loud and I really couldn't concentrate on the book I was ready. Good thing I brought the notebook.  I don't know how or why, but I found my inspiration!  Unit One is called "A Colorful Time with Rhythm and Rhyme."  I've got plans for a big nursery rhyme unit with the poems for pocket charts- I had already created a few of those-, rhyming games based on nursery rhymes, some Read It, Trace It, Put the Sentences together, and some beginning math games.  We'll see where it takes me, but I am excited to get started.
After I wrote down all my ideas for that, then I started thinking about the color portion of the unit, and my brain just started going with ideas for a color unit as well incorporating some popular books that are listed in the unit's resources.
So, anyway, we are home now and I need to get busy!
Oh, one more thing before I get busy on my unit- a HUGE thanks to Alicia at Dreamlike Magic for the new blog look!  It's so much cuter than I ever could have done on my own! Love it, love it, love it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 1 Questions

Okay, here are my answers to the questions posed for Chapter 1. Be sure to stop over at Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten to see other bloggers posts.

How do I teach new behaviors?
Model and practice, model and practice, model and practice, model and then practice some more! The beginning of the year is tough because you have your kinders in mind from the end of last year and all that they could do. Then the first day hits, and you realize that this group doesn't know ANY of those things yet... model and practice, model and practice, model and practice...

How do I teach expectations?
Some of my kiddos come in with NO preschool experience, so some of them have literally no idea what the teacher expects of them in school. Again, I think it goes back to modeling and practicing and a lot of talking about it. Charts, visuals, samples help too.

How do I monitor student behavior? Whole group? Small group? Individual?
I admit it- I do a chart with green, yellow and red cards. But I don't have the students names on them. Each student has a number assigned to them and the number is on the chart. That way, students don't know really whose card is red a lot (who am I kidding, yes they do). I am planning to go to the clip system next year. How I monitor whole group and small group depends on the class that year. Each group has its own personality and what works for some groups- table points, stickers, etc... doesn't work for another. So I have to experiment a little at the beginning to see what motivates the group as a whole.

What do I do when a student is not exhibiting desired behaviors?
I like an immediate consequence and one that is a natural consequence of the behavior. If they are playing at a work station instead of the task, then they miss the work station for a brief period of time. If the behavior continues, they turn their card and miss recess. I know- it's awful right?

Whose classroom is it?
It is our classroom! We live their together. We have to establish routines, procedures, and rituals together. But I am the driving force and, yes, the one who has final say on decisions.

Locus of Control
That's hard- I don't want to give up control.... I am working on that!

Where are the supplies stored?
It depends on the supplies. Pencils, scissors, glue sticks, paper are all out there for students to get and use when they need them. Other specialty supplies are kept in places accessible to students, yet they need to ask to use them (stapler, markers, colored pencils etc...)

Next up is Caitlyn from Kindergarten Smiles. Head over there to see what's in store for Chapter 2.
Kindergarten Smiles

Leave a response here- would love to hear your thoughts. And head to Tammy's blog to see links to what others are saying.

Happy Reading!Karla

Monday, June 11, 2012

Daily 5- Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Introduction

I can totally relate to the description of the first years of teaching
- that constant redirection of those few students
- the piles of center activities that kept the students busy
-the time spent changing out centers

Okay, that hasn't been me for a long time.  My workstation routines are fairly established and most years my kiddos move pretty independently through activities.
But the quote that really got me thinking was- "But did those things just keep our kids busy or were they engaged in literacy tasks that will make a difference in their literate lives?"

For me lately, I am always questioning my work station activities- is the activity linked to a common core standard, is this something meaningful for the students? I try really hard to do that- but still, in the back of my head, I sometimes feel like I am just keeping them busy while I meet with a small group.

That's why this "student driven management structure designed to fully engage students in reading and writing" appeals to me.

The cynical teacher in the back of my head questions how my kinders will stay engaged in a literacy block like the one described in Figure 1-4 on page 14.  Some of my kinders could barely stay focused on something for more than 5 minutes...

But I need to remember a point that keeps popping up in everything I am reading this summer- I need to let go of a little control and TRUST in the students more... trust that they will have that internal "locus of control", trust that they will be able to make the decisions they need to make about their literacy learning, trust that they are invested enough in the system to fully engage in reading and writing.

I am excited to be a part of this book study. I look forward to hearing your comments and I can't wait to read more!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Daily 5 Book Study

I am linking up with Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten and some other fabulous blogs to study the book The Daily 5.  Join me as we learn and grow together.  My next post with discuss Chapter 1.  Feel free to leave comments or link up to join the fun!

Friday, June 8, 2012

My Brain is Too Busy!

I know, I know, summer is a time for relaxing by the pool and taking time away from school thoughts!  But, right now my brain is on overload with lots of new ideas and thoughts!  First of all, I am reading the book In Words and Pictures by Katie Wood Ray simutaneously with her other book About the Author.  I am in awe of the classrooms she visits and works with and I am inspired by her insights.  I have not been happy with writing in my classroom lately- too much controlled, contrived Write From the Beginning type writing- and her ideas fit perfectly with how I really want writing to look like in my classroom.  So, I have a lot to think about to make changes to my writing time.

Then, I have been blog hopping too much and I am getting too many ideas from some great sites.  Over at the Kinder Gals blog I started thinking about math and making some math anchor charts for numbers and for strategies. 

Then I see this  over at Kreative in Kinder's blog and I make the decision that Dr. Seuss will be my theme this year.  I did it a couple of years ago and really liked it- was thinking about it for this year- and seeing this just made my decision so much easier.

So then I went shopping at Teachers Pay Teachers... 

Then I found some Whole Brain Teaching stuff that intrigues me and I decided to watch some YouTube videos and download some of their materials.

And it's only 8:15 in the morning!

So, realizing that I am overwhelmed and a little out of control (LOL)- I decided that what I really need to do is blog about it- and then go and make a list of things I need to do. A nice checklist where I can mark off things when I have finished them.  That way I will feel like I am accomplishing something instead of just sinking in a pool of great ideas!  Speaking of the pool, maybe that's a better idea...

Happy Summer!