Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Shopping!

I almost missed the June party, but I think I made just in time to join the fun!  Kristen over at Ladybug's Teacher Files is having a:

School just got out in RI so there's not a ton of stuff in stores yet, but I hit Target at the right time!  Here's what I got:

- 5 trays (orange, yellow, blue, purple, red)
- 5 bins (orange, yellow, blue, purple. red)
- 2 dry erase boards with lines on them (looks like loose leaf paper)
- cut out stars
- summer magnets (those  might stay at home)

Here's what I didn't get:
- Dr. Seuss pencils
- Dr. Seuss stickers
-Dr. Seuss bookmarks
-Student of the Week chair cover

Yep, that was all in my cart but I decided to show some restraint.  Even the small amount of stuff I got prompted the cashier to ask, "Are you a teacher?"  I laughed and said "How did you guess?!?"

I'm sure I'll have a lot more to share in July and August!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Best One Yet! And a Freebie!

Have you ever made a product that you are just super duper proud of?  I mean, I'm proud of everything I make.  But this one takes the cake!  I created morning journals for my students:

It includes writing prompts for every day of the school year - and then some!  There are over 300 writing prompts in here people!!

I also made monthly covers for the journals:

And included different pages of line paper:

These are one of my favorite things that I use in my classroom.  My students each receive their journal at the beginning of the month.  Each journal has a cover, a calendar and enough journal pages for the month.

They keep it in a folder in their desk.  After they come in and unpack every morning, they take out their journal and start writing about the prompt for that day.  Then they draw a picture to go with it.  We start with 2 sentences at the beginning of the year and gradually reach 5 sentences by the end of they year.  And I always say "at least" because they are welcome to write more than the required 2-5 sentences!!  I give them about 15 minutes each morning to work on their journals.

This is great for me as well.  While they are quietly writing, I am able to work on attendance, lunch count, etc without interruptions.  It also means I only have to gather morning work once a month, rather than every day.

The journals I created don't have dates on them, just days of the week.  This way, they can be used year after year!

Check them out:

Take a peek at my July Writing Prompts for free!

I'm sharing it as part of TBA's Friday Freebie!

Freebie Fridays

And Classroom Freebies Manic Monday!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Also, Beth Ann of Taming My Flock of Firsties is having an awesome giveaway!!

My *brand new* Book Basket Labels is just one of the many great prizes!!  There are a lot of entries already so make you sure you go check it out!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Short Lived Inspiration

So, today I saw this awesome post by Marie over at The Hands On Teacher.  She made this super cool clipboard with duct tape.  I was so inspired that I immediately went out to get the supplies to make my own!  I knew that I wanted polka dots, so I found this:

Cute, right??  Then I went to get a clipboard.  I looked...and looked...and looked.  No clipboards to be found anywhere in Target!  What?!?

I didn't have anymore time to shop because I had to come home to this guy:

So maybe tomorrow I'll venture somewhere else to get a clipboard.  Oh well.

P.S. ~ click on his picture to see more photos at my {severely neglected} photo blog.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Flash Sale!!

Everything in my store is only $1.00!!

Tonight only!
 June 24th 5pm - 10pm EST

Get your goodies now!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Behavior Management

First, I want to tell you that I have something BIG planned for you all tomorrow. BUT you need to be a follower of my Facebook, Twitter or TpT store to hear the announcement.

Seriously you don't want to miss it!! {And I am so excited about it!}

Now, onto behavior management.  Since I started teaching (a whopping 3 years ago), I have used a clip chart to track students behavior.  Here is an awful picture of it:

Each student has a clothespin with their class number on it.  All the students begin their day on the color green.  If a student shows positive behavior, they move their clip down to blue.  If they show more positive behavior, they move it down to the superstar.  The same goes for the other direction.  If a student is showing behavior that is not so positive, they move their clip to yellow, then orange, then red if the behavior continues.  

The students only move their clips one block at a time.  For example, if they are on green and do something good, I'll say "move your clip down" and they move it to blue.  However, if they then show a negative behavior, I will say move your clip up and their clip only goes to green.  The clips move a lot during the day, which show the students that their behavior is important all day long.

At the end of the day, the students fill out their behavior charts.  They have a weekly or monthly calendar with smiley faces.  Each student must color in their smiley face for the day that corresponds to where their clip is at the end of the day.

As you can tell from the picture, I use a lot of positive reinforcement in my class.  It is a rare day when a student moves past yellow.  If I see a child behaving incorrectly, I will praise the students around him/her for doing the correct thing.  It usually gets their attention!

At the end of the year this year, I decided to toss my clip chart.  It was falling apart and completely faded.  I wanted to stick with the same concept though.  The only thing I wanted to change was to move their clip up for positive behavior and down for negative behavior instead of vice versa.  I also wanted to add some word reminders on the posters.

Here is the brand new clip chart:

Yes, on my kitchen table.  I don't go into school much during the summer.  And, yes, it's polka dots!

You can grab it in my stores: 


Phew, that was a lot of information.  Are you still with me?  Don't forget to check my Twitter, FB or TpT Store tomorrow for a BIG announcement!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Bin Labels

Yesterday I blogged about my Guided Reading binder being my most prized possession.  Today I'm here to tell you about my favorite part of my classroom - my library!  Apparently reading is my favorite!  I arrange my library and rearrange it...and rearrange it...and rearrange it.  Well you get the picture.  I want it to be the best it can be for my kiddos!  I just want them to love reading, that's all! 

I have posted many pictures about my classroom library.  Here is one post.  I decided to make new labels for my book bins because only my non-fiction bins had pictures on the labels.  I often have students who are very low readers so I've decided to make ones that do have pictures.

I was also inspired by a post over at Classroom DIY.

Nicole from Teaching with Style uses plastic badge holders for her book bin labels.  That way she doesn't need to laminate them, but can switch them if she needs/wants to.  Genius!  So I created my new book basket labels to fit perfectly in the badge holders she suggested.  These are the badge holders from Amazon:

Here they are:

You can grab them in either of my stores.  It's on sale in my TpT store for tonight only!!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reader's Workshop Binder

My prized possession in my classroom is my Reader's Workshop binder.  It has all the data I need and it's all in one place.  And it's BIG!  You can't really tell from the picture, but this baby is huge.  I think it's  a 3-inch binder?

Here's the cover:

I got the beautiful cover from somewhere in blog-world, but for the life of me I can't remember.  If it's yours or you know who made it, let me know so I can give them credit!

On the inside cover, I have two pages back-to-back in a sheet protector.  The front side is my students names and their levels during each month of the school year (no pic for privacy).  The back side has correlation levels:

We use Guided Reading Levels, Rigbys and DRAs in our school.  This chart helps me keep all those numbers and letters straight!  A colleague made a pretty colored one for us for next year though!

Next, I have a pocket for each student.  Their names are on the tabs on the right.  In the pocket are any assessments I do with that student.

Behind the pocket, I have a chart that shows how the child is progressing throughout the year compared to where they should be.

{This kid did great!}

After that, I have a CAFE menu for each student.  I place a check next to the ones the student has mastered. 

And finally, I have my anecdotal notes for each child.  I take notes on an Avery label and then stick in the binder later on.

You can get this chart in my {TpT} store for free!

So that's what my Reading Workshop binder looks like!  What's in your binder?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Manic Monday Freebie!

Students go home so many different ways and it's hard to keep track of them all especially in the craziness of the end of the day!  I've created posters (with name-tags) to show which way each student goes home after school.  And it's free!  If there is something you want me to add, please let me know!  

Click to get it from my {TpT} store for free!

And I'm linking up with Classroom Freebies' Manic Monday

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Go check out all the other free stuff you can grab today!  Aren't Mondays in the summer the best?!?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Morning Routine

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the Morning Routine in my classroom.  One of the tools that I use for our morning routine are the posters below:

I use words and pictures as I have some students who have difficulty reading, especially in the beginning of the year.  I had a few people ask for the posters and...well...apparently I didn't save them on my computer!  Silly, silly me.  So I created some newer (nicer) ones to share.  They are on sale until Sunday night so check them out!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Birthday Celebration!

I'm teaming up with Mrs. Bainbridge for her blog's first birthday!  She is having a huge giveaway with lots of great prizes (including one from me)!  Click the picture to head over to her blog and enter!

I'm giving away my Writing Mini-Offices.  They seem to be a big hit in my store!

Head on over to *Mrs. Bainbridge's Class* to see what else you can win!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We Have a Winner!

Congrats to Whitney Kibler!  She won a $10 giftcard to Teachers Pay Teachers - happy shopping!  Thank you to all who entered my giveaway.

I am definitely enjoying my vacation so far and it hasn't even been 24 hours!  I've already gone to the gym, done laundry and taken care of this little guy:

Meet Raleigh!  We just got him last night and I am in love!  He definitely keeps me busy too.  I'm feeling accomplished and now I get to sit with my coffee and catch up on my blogging.  Happy Summer!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Most Fascinating?

Hi all!  I have 1/2 a day left of school - 1/2 of a day!!  Well, technically, I have a full day, but the kiddos have a 1/2 day.  I spend the afternoon cleaning and packing.  Does anyone else find this depressing?  I am so excited to be on vacation, but it's so sad to see my classroom without all it's bright colors!  I am going to miss this crew sooo much.

In other news, I've been nominated for Most Fascinating Blog of 2012! But...uh...look at the award...

Art Teacher?!?  I'm confused.  I am not an art teacher.  I am not EVEN close to being an art teacher.  I highly admire the work of art teachers and think they do a wonderful job, but that just isn't my cup of tea. what?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!  You can win $10 to TpT - how great would that be for back to school?!

Just click the picture!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Milestones Giveaway

Yes, you read that right.  I'm celebrating multiple milestones today!  I've reached 400 blog followers, 300 TpT followers and 100 Facebook followers.  Thank you thank you!  To celebrate, I'm giving away a $10 giftcard to Teachers Pay Teachers!

You have until Wednesday to enter because that will be my first day of vacation!  Woohoo!
Enter using the Rafflecopter below:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Awesome Resource

My state has this pretty awesome resource for teachers.  It is called Resources for Rhode Island Education.  It is a big warehouse full of amazing recycled products for teachers to use.  A lot of the products they have are items that stores and factories would normally throw away, but a teacher would love!  For example, they have HUGE piles of different size and color poster board.  They have ribbon, empty jewelry boxes, pieces of cloth, petri dishes, and so much random stuff.    It is a great place to get things for classroom projects.  

They also carry quite a few Avery products as well.  Binders, labels, post-its, business cards, postcards, etc.  Some of the items are individually priced but the products are mostly sold by weight.  They have a giant scale and you put everything you want on the scale and pay by the pound.

Today I walked out with this:

for only $2.00!!  It would have cost me over $25 at Staples.  They also accept donations, which I always give!  I am so thankful that I can get a lot of the resources I need (and many I don't!) from this place.  There really are people out there who want to help teachers!  Click here for more information.

In other news, I think I have a sticker problem:

I kinda organized it:

But I'm sure it will get messed up as soon as I touch it again!  I need a better way of storing my large collection of stickers.

Also, I have hit 400 blog followers and 100 FB followers (at the same time)!  Look for a giveaway soon!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Currently it is June but feels like March.  50 degrees and rainy??  Ah well it's better than 90 degrees on these last few days of school - but that sun better come out when I'm on vacation!

If I could go anywhere in the world, I would choose Australia.  I have no idea why but I've always wanted to go there.

I went to Disney World with my family over spring break in April.  We had so much fun!!

In July I'm going on my honeymoon to Hawaii.  Another place I've always wanted to go!  I absolutely cannot wait!

Monday, June 4, 2012

You Know It's Summer Vacation When...

Okay, I'm not there yet but it's almost summer vacation!  I'm dreaming of it already!

In the meantime, Kindergarten Lifestyle is having a fun summer linky party.

Seriously, my non-teacher friends make fun of me when I am yawning over dinner at 8:00 on a Friday night.

Sunday nights are the worst during the winter, but in the summer they are no big deal!

How do you know when summer has officially arrived??

5 and 1/2 more days - I can do it!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Your newsletters that is - did you read them??  My products were in BOTH the TpT and TN newsletters this weekend - oh my goodness!  I am beyond excited!  Just ask my husband, I think I scared him when I jumped on the couch Tom Cruise-style!

The Teachers Notebook newsletter featured my Summer Fun Activities and Centers.

And the TpT newsletter featured my Elements of a Friendly Letter Poster freebie!

I especially wanted to share how I use this poster in my classroom because we refer to it all. the. time. in my room.  My students practice writing letters throughout the year.  Every Friday we write in our Friday Journals to our parents (read more about that here).  My aunt also teaches second grade in California, so our students are pen-pals with each other.  They love it!  And I work really hard with my students on writing thank-you notes throughout the year for adults or students in the building who have helped us in some way.

Here is a picture of my writing anchor charts hanging in the back of my classroom.  The letter one is smack dab in the middle!

Some of my other posters are also available in my TpT store as well.

I'm also sharing my linking up with Classroom Freebies Manic Mondays

Go check out all the other freebies that are there and maybe even link up your own! 


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