Monday, July 29, 2013

Made It Monday Linky

I just love summer!  So much time for family, fun and crafting!!  After a week full of family fun at the beach, I came back home and got busy crafting!  I feel pretty lucky that I still have a few weeks left before I go back to school!

I am linking up again with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for her Made It Monday linky party!!

My first project was a frame for the first day of school.  I have been pinning and loving these since last year, so I am super happy to have finally gotten this off my long list of crafts to try!  My little frame is missing a "t" but not to worry, I found it and will reglue it tomorrow. 
Next, I was determined to give my table bins a quick face lift, so I got out my glue gun and some ribbon and went to work. 
Who knew black and white polka dotted ribbon would make such a difference? 

My next two projects were totally inspired by my zebra Duct Tape find at Staples!  I have a thing for Zebra and thought for sure I could find a good use to a few rolls of Zebra Duct Tape! 

I covered a few icing containers and added a cute red bow to make these pen holders.  I still have the lids so I could also use these to store all sorts of things in the classroom.

After I finished with the icing containers I covered this old cardboard wall cubie. 
They turned out so cute and only took me about 15 minutes.  I still have one whole roll of duct tape left over!  What should I cover next??

Make sure you head on over to 4th Grade Frolics to check out all the other fun projects! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Made It Monday Linky

I have been checking out this fun linky from 4th Grade Frolics, all summer and being inspired by some pretty amazing "Made It Monday" projects that you all have completed!  I finally put the finishing touches on some of my own projects so I decided to link up this week! 

Last year I bought this pick pack of calling sticks with stars, hearts and circles.  I used the stars last year but wanted to switch it up this year so I got creative with the hearts and circles. 

The heart shapes turned out to be perfect little froggie faces!  I love, love, love these!! 
Then I turned the circles into little monster faces!  Acrylic paint, painters tape and steady hand was all it took to create these fun new calling sticks!!
While I had my paints all out all over the place I went ahead and decorated these plain clothespins into polka dotted cuteness!  I left space on the other side to put my name labels on to use on my behavior managment chart!

My next project was inspired by Teacher Tipster!  He had the brilliant idea of using noodles from the dollar store to create large place value manipulatives!  I cut 3 green noodles into thirds which gave me 9 tens and then I cut 1 pink noodle into small "ones" which game me over 25 ones.  I put them all into a big laundry bag (from the dollar store of course) and now I have a set of manipulatives for less than $5! 

As always, thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to hop over to check out some of the other Made It Monday projects!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Back to School Sale

This summer I have been busy putting together some great things to use at the beginning of the year! I'm having a sale on my most popular back to school items!  Hop over to my TPT store to take advantage of the sale that will run from today til July 18th!

One of my favorite things to do at the beginning of the year is to spend time as a class getting to know each other.  I created this interactive Activstudio flipchart that is a great way to have students get to know each other while practicing some fun writing and word work activities. 

Another thing love doing at the beginning of the year is getting my students excited about writing.  I have writing journals for each month of the school year and a bundle for the whole year - now is a great time to go check them out and snag them while they are on sale.    During our Daily 5/guided reading rotations I use my Writing Center Menus to keep kids on track to success at the writing center.  They love knowing what choices they have each day of the week and I love that the writing center is productive and easy to maintain!

I hope everyone is having a great summer filled with family fun!  My daughter shared with me today that there are officially 40 days left of summer!  Yipee!!  40 days of family fun and 40 days to finish all my TPT "to do" items!  :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Back to School Giveaway

Fun news - Danielle at Live Love Math blog is having a huge giveaway for back to school items!!! 

I donated my Going Buggy place value center to the giveaway so  make sure to hop over there for your chance to win some that and other great new products to start your year out! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Character Education Books Linky

As I was surfing pinterest and teacher blogs, I found this awesome Linky Party over at First Grade and Fabulous and just had to join in the fun!  I love books and at the beginning of the year I am always looking for great picture books that reinforce character education lessons. 
 My favorite might be the book Have You Filled A Bucket Today by Carol McCloud.  If you have not read this book, you need to check it out for sure.  It is a wonderful book all about treating each other with kindness.  It shows kids (and adults) that we all have an invisible bucket that gets filled or "dipped" into by our actions.  There are some fantastic lessons to go along with bucket filling and I have even used it in my classroom as a behavior plan before!  Check out the book and my board on pinterest for more info.
Another great book for character education is My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook.  This is a funny book about a boy who always interrupts his friends and teacher because he wants to share what is in his head.  It gives those students who have trouble with blurting out a tool to help them work on controlling that behavior so they can be better listeners.
The book, Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson is a sweet story that would be wonderful for cause and effect as well as teaching about how kind deeds can have a reaching effect on many people.  Mary does one kind deed that causes another person to do something kind,  then that person decides to do something kind and it keeps on growing until the one deed is felt by many.  I think this book would also be great to use in a math lesson too! 

Last year I found the book, The Little White Owl, while I was searching Amazon and just had to buy it for the cute owls and the publishers description of the book.  What a find!!  Not only are the illustrations beautiful, the story is sweet and I was able to use it for a lesson about discrimination and then again as a writing lesson.  The owl lives all alone with no parents but is so happy and when he meets other owls that treat him differently because he is plain he is undaunted and shares his story telling skills with them and teaches them a powerful lesson about how being different is OK. Make sure to check this story out because it is a sweet book that I know your students will enjoy!

While I am sharing books that are good for exploring differences, I would be silly not to mention a teacher and student favorite; Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.  This book is a great book to use at the beginning of the year to have students explore their names and is also great to introduce the topic of teasing and treating each other kindly.  Be sure to check out my Kevin Henkes author study unit in my TPT store for cute follow ups for this and many other Kevin Henkes stories.

This linky is so much fun!  I could go on and on with my favorite character education books but I will stop after this last cute book.  Enemy Pie is a funny story where the main character is upset because someone new moved to his neighborhood and he is convinced that the boy is his enemy.  His father takes a different approach and tricks his son into understanding why it is important to get to know people before judging them.  This book is available as a read aloud on the website Storylineonline, make sure to go and check it out before school starts!

Thanks for stopping by!  Make sure to go back to First Grade and Fabulous to see all the other cool blogs!  Amazon, here I come...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Summer Piles Linky

I found this cute linky party today over at Bunting, Books and Bainbridge and could not resist showing off my summer piles of teaching materials!  I have been enjoying seeing everyone's piles and reading all of their blogs!  It helps to know that my house is not the only one with piles of random teaching materials all over the place.  So here goes, check out my mess:

This may not technically count as a pile but it is definitely school stuff.  This little cabinet is a cool storage place for my kids school stuff and our arts and craft supplies.  As you can see they each have a drawer for their things with baskets for all the items that I find laying around the house.  This system works pretty well during the school year but now that it is summer, I have taken it over.  The plants and pets from my classroom live here for the summer.  Pancakes and Sprinkles (gerbils) also have taken over a shelf for their food and that big ugly bag is full of their bedding and other supplies!

 This pile of stuff is in my dining room and is a collection of empty containers that I am planning to find a use for this summer.  I love pringles cans for power towers and icing containers are great for holding dice, calling sticks pencils and other small items. 

The orange container is actually a drawer from my classroom that was a hot mess at the end of the year.  I brought it home and organized it one night while catching up on Grey's Anatomy!!

This pile is currently in my family room but moves between the family room and my office depending on where I am working at the time.  It is my plan books from last year, some laminating that still needs to be cut out, my ipad and my super important notebook where I keep all my different lists of things to do!  The best thing in this picture is my cute little kitten named Ollie!  We just adopted him from my teacher friend who found his litter abandoned in the woods behind her house. 
This pile is also in my kitchen.  In fact it is on top of the kitchen table.  It is my paint box and a few classroom crafts.  I already got the calling sticks painted so I can cross that off my summer list.  Next I will be painting the clothespins to use on my behavior chart next year. 
Make sure to check out the linky party and join in the fun!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday

Yipee, it's Friday and I'm linking up with First Grade Parade and her fun Favorite Pin Friday linky!

While I have time this summer, I have been working on some fun classroom decorations.  Here are a few of my favoite pins from this week.  

This cute classroom picture is from Crafty Kinders.   She has so many cute pictures with great ideas about how to add color to your classroom.  She uses zip ties and colorful crates to create cubbies for her students. 

I love this cute guided reading table!  I found this over on Schoolgirl Style's blog and she has tons of other cute pictures showing off this beach themed classroom.  I tried to use an umbrella but could not get it just rights, so now I am on to plan B.   I am working on a tree that will hang over my guided table.  Hopefully I will be posting pictures of that soon, but be sure to hop over and check out Melanie's blog for some fun beachy ideas!

This little owl was my inspiration for creating a tree in my guided reading area.  Check out Dollar Store Crafts for this and other cute ideas!  I love this site!

Thank you pinterest for keeping us all collaborating and sharing these amazing ideas!!

Don't forget to hop over to First Grade Parade to see some more Favorite Pins