Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Made It! Desk tags that STAY on!

I am excited to share my brilliant new finding with all of you today for Monday Made It

One of my wonderful partners showed me these awesome, plastic, self adhesive, name plates from Really Good Stuff. I loved them because they are very sturdy and when changing the students seats, they pull out their index card and move. This does not involve scraping the desks with razor blades, peeling stickers, time, energy, or a mess. 

These sturdy little stickers are quite pricey though, I will warn you. I needed enough for fifty students. Although I have seventy five lucky fourth graders, the other twenty five do not have assigned seats and often sit around the room for Second Step lessons. I ended up paying $63.00 for three packs of 18 tags. These suckers better last all year!

So far the kids were THRILLED to be able to design their own index card and slip it in the sleeve. 

Once the kids found out I'd write their name in bubble letters or cursive for them, I ended up doing everyone's name tags to their liking. The students colored them while they waiting for others to finish their morning work.

So far, so good! :)
I am so excited to link up for Monday Made It today because - See more at:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Spark Student Motivation for Writing... With a Healthy Snack!

First of all, I must say, I am very excited to be back blogging. I feel like the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of copies, planning, meetings, and teaching. In between my school life, my daughter started Kindergarten, which has been exciting and hard to believe. I am also teaching all subjects except for Math this year. This is a huge adjustment, going from just Reading & Writing to adding Science and Social Studies. It's fun to try to incorporated the ELA standards throughout the subjects, and I am starting to get the hang out of it. 

I am linking up with my friend, Joanne, at Head Over Heels for Teaching.

That brings me to next week's plans. I am so excited to combine Science with ELA. We are going to have an apple taste test and record data to help decide what type of apples we like best. From there we are going to come up with questions about the type of apples we like and even research to answer our questions. The end product will be an informational narrative, focused on word choice, description, and incorporating facts into the story. We will be busy, but I am excited to see what the students think. 

When making this unit, I thought about my class and about all the different learners that would be involved. I differentiated a few of the worksheets and even wrote a sample narrative for the students to see exactly what I am expecting. I love writing, so for me this was fun. I want my students to see my love for writing and even "catch" it during this project.

I guess I am cheating for this linky, sorry Joanne, because I actually haven't done this yet, but I am SURE my reluctant writers will be thrilled to start off their week by getting to taste test apples and write about their favorites. Just giving a student choice, is a huge motivator in the classroom so for the fact I am adding food to the equation, I am certainly hoping for excited students. 

You can find this unit by clicking on the picture above, or here. Let me know what you think and I will report back, with pictures and of course student examples! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last Chance Sale! :)

Have you heard the fabulous news? Teachers Pay Teachers is giving us a second chance sale to pick up those Back to School items we missed out on during the first sale! Most sellers will be marking their store down 20% on Wednesday, August 20 and TPT will be offering an additional 10% off with the code BOOST.

So, what did you buy during the first sale that we must make sure to get this time? What is still on your wishlist that you WILL buy this time around? And what item in your store is a must-have for everyone? You'll be able to grab the banners and product display pages at the bottom of the link-up. Feel free to join in the fun!

Here are my second chance items!

 I am grabbing Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reasons's Wonder & The Julian Chapter Unit while it is on sale. I read Wonder last year to my students, some of the students thought it was life changing. I am SO excited to hear that The Julian Chapter is out and even more excited that Nick has already made a novel study for the book. These will be a huge help this year and save me a ton of time! 

Last, but not least, if you missed out on grabbing my Morning Work for the WHOLE Year during the first sale, you will definitely want to get it this time! I think it's crazy not to grab this up while the sale is going on...a year's worth of leveled ELA morning work at what comes out to under 70 cents a week? Yes, please! Your students will love how different each week is, enjoy coloring the black and white clip art when they are done with the morning activity, and learn a TON. The parents will also love seeing what their child is learning every week.

See what some other awesome teachers are saying about this amazing morning work product! 

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to shop one more time!  Don't forget to use the code BOOST this Wednesday! :)

Link up and share what we need to make sure we get this second chance TPT BTS sale! (Blog link-ups only- direct store links will be deleted.) You can grab the banners and display pages by clicking here!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Made It: A Picture Tutorial of Making a Big Kid Crate Bench!! :)

I am so excited to link up for Monday Made It today because I've had this project in the works for a few days now. I saw a million pins on Pinterest for crate seats, but I thought a bench would be more useful in my classroom. I have fourth graders that range in size and we spend a lot of time reading on the carpet. My students LOVE sitting on fun seats and I think a crate bench or two will surely make the students enjoy time on the carpet too. I do like how it came out, but I'd like it more if it was chevron. I let my son pick out the material because all the chevron material had white in it, and I knew better than to use that. If this material doesn't last, I will recover it with a plastic table cloth from the Christmas Tree Shop. It will be easy to wipe down and stay thick.

*2 yards of fabric (dark colors will hide dirt)
*3 sturdy crates (I found out local grocery stores or gas stations will donate some to you)
*1.5in plywood (cut to the length of your bench/Home Depot will cut it for you if you ask nicely!)
*A staple gun
*A glue gun 
*Foam, old chair cushions, or some type of fluff for the bench
*(6 of each) 1.5 inch hex bolts, 5/16 in diameter, 5/16 nuts and fender washers that would span the diameter of the crate 

I took pictures through every step to help out anyone interested in making a crate bench! I hope this makes sense. Please let me know if you have any questions! :)

SO if you'd like to try making one of these, here are the steps you can take...

I hope you like them! I will let you all know how they last! :)

Don't forget! You can't miss the TPT sale (it's actually August 4-5th)!! My whole store is on sale!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Super Back to School Sales, Five for Friday, & a Giveaway!'ve been super busy this week crafting some fun projects for my classroom, packing for Disney, and getting my two year old son ready for a peanut challenge. I did want to take some time to stop in and link up for Five For Friday to share some good, some bad, and some exciting news.

So first off, I am teaching Social Studies for the first time this year. I am excited and nervous and hoping my TPT and Blog friends can help me plan my way through the year. When I ran into my classroom for a quick second this week, I noticed the lovely (yuck) globes had been passed on to me. Where the heck am I going to store these!?

Did you hear about the quick sale at Educents? From July 30 - August 2 (Wednesday - Saturday), they are bringing back all of their favorite and most popular bundles for INSTANT download at up to 77% OFF! There is something for everyone and it is their BIGGEST sale of the year!

Ready for another Back to School Sale? Ready or not, it's coming!! Everything in my store will be marked 20% off, except my bundles will be marked down 10% since they are already such a huge savings. Then, use the code BTS14 to get an ADDITIONAL 10% off! That's a huge savings! You can really stock up on some awesome stuff to get ready for your year! Need some ideas of what to buy?

Here are the two most wishlisted items in my store: My most wishlisted item in my store is my most recent! Our Morning Work Bundle for the WHOLE YEAR will only be $24.00 during the sale! Our Reward Coupons are also huge hit and even more of a deal while on sale!

And of course, my wishlist keeps growing, but I have to share something with you that I'm going to buy during the sale!  The Complete NO PREP Reading & Writing Units for 40 Popular Mentor Texts will only be $18 during the sale! This will be PERFECT for my kiddos this year! In fact, after I grab this goodie, I am heading to Barnes & Noble to make sure I own each and every book used in the bundle.

I feel SOOO much better already knowing I have morning work, homework, and actual reading lessons set for the YEAR! Check out some other products people are wishing for or buying, by clicking on the links below!

Sooooo don't you need some extra money to spend during this sale??? We've got your back!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Two for Tuesday: Editing/Revising Around the Room!

Happy Tuesday Friends, 

It is your lucky day if you've been wishlisting my Edit Around the Room activities. I am putting my two new favorites on sale for TODAY only! 

First up is the NONFICTION football themed set. Need to get your boys (or girls, yes, I had female football players in my fourth grade class before) enthusiastic during language arts? They are going to LOVE the crazy facts they will be editing while looking for posters around the room. Everyone is guaranteed to be interested and learning in this engaging activity.

Next is everyone's other favorite Around the Room activity, the NONFICTION Owl themed set! Not only is this set adorable, but it is also amazing to read all the owl facts around the room.

My students love this activity and even my summer school students found success while getting out of their seat and moving around to edit. I allow them to use partners if needed and it is a great change of routine for the students. It does not matter what sentence they start with, just make sure they write them in the correct order on the recording sheet. When everyone is finished, we correct the worksheet as a class. 

I hope you will add these two sets into your fall plans. Not only will you love seeing your students engaged in editing activities, but the students will be motivated by the content to work to their best potential! 

Check out the other deals today at The Teaching Tribune's - 2 For Tuesday!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made it! First time trying spray paint!

I am SO excited I can actually link up with Tara this week for Monday Made-It, and I can finally focus on SCHOOL projects, now that my summer has started!

I don't know about you, but I am not the craftiest person. The thought of painting something is scary enough, but when you add paint in a can that sprays many feet away, I am pretty petrified and certain of a disaster. If you remember pictures from my classroom for the past few years, it has been hot pink and zebra. Although my room couldn't have been brighter, I was ready for a change. I decided to change up all of my bulletin board borders to teal and white chevron. I love teal and hot pink together, so that became my new theme. I am excited to finally be starting some projects for my classroom (now that summer school is finally over).

Up first was #1 of many Sterilite paper sorters.

I struggle with organization and this year I will have 75 students, I need to be on top of things. I came across some free labels that I feel in love with on TPT.

They inspired me to try to make a pretty paper sorter. I decided to label the three trays, Morning Work, Home Work, and Lined Paper. I will only have 24 students for ELA so this will work out perfectly. I have and am SO excited to use our new weekly morning work for the WHOLE year that is given out every week in a packet. I also have homework in packet form for the whole year. Every Monday, I plan on stocking this bin and leaving it up to the students to get their materials for the week. I think this will be a great responsibility for the students to take on and develop into a routine. The bottom drawer for lined paper will just be a helpful and neat place to keep paper for every day projects. So how did I do this...well that is the fun part of this post.

  • I picked up the spray paint at Walmart for $3 a can. I made sure it was special paint to apply onto plastic.  I bought hot pink and teal, but only have used the teal so far. 
  • I grabbed an old plastic table cloth and put it on the grass outside. I placed the Sterilite container on the table cloth, shook the spray paint a few times and started to spray. 
  • A freak rainstorm came out of no where and soaked me, my container full of wet paint, and my table I ran in the house. 
  • Five minutes later I tried again...When I started to spray the container, some flying bugs jumped on the pretty container and got stuck! Every time I tried to brush them off, I ruined my paint job. 
  • A big gust of wind came and blew the table cloth right on top on the wet container and I actually had to PEAL it off... 
  • At this point, I gave up and brought it into the house to dry. Later on I tried a second coat and it covered everything (included the dead bugs) up. 
Because of that crazy experience I have learned some tips! 

  1. Check the weather before painting outside. 
  2. Paint in the sun where bugs won't bother you. 
  3. Use a plastic table cloth, piece of material, or old sheet to protect the ground, BUT use weights to hold down each side. 
  4. Shake the can (like the directions say) for a good two minutes and while spraying.
  5. Spray 6-8 inches away from the object and keep your hand moving. 
  6. Light and thin coats work best. 
 I think my first project of the summer was pretty successful. I was not scared away by the spray paint and will definitely be using it on future projects. I already started making over my teacher tool box because I found matching labels! I will post more about that...when I finish!

I hope this will help you and inspire you to brighten up your classroom with a little paint!