Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made It 7/29/13 - Guided Reading Bins and a *Freebie*!!!

It's Monday Made It with 4th Grade Frolics!! And.....It's time for me to start thinking about my classroom again! Not that I haven't been doing so ALL SUMMER LONG!!! 

Anyways....I have been trying to figure out the most efficient way of storing and organizing my guided reading materials. It always seems to get out of hand with papers ALL OVER the place.

This week I was driving past my favorite, The Container Store, and saw that the "Happy Organized Home Sale" had begun. So, I went in to look around and purchased two open file boxes for hanging files...for only $4.99 each! Deal! I decided this was a great tool for guided reading books and just *had* to personalized them! 

My theme from my old third grade classroom was "Harry Potter" so I changed it to "Owls" for my first grade classroom so I can still use all of my HP stuff.

Here are the labels. You can download them for *free* in my TpT store if you'd like to have them for your own bins!

I can't wait to be inspired to set things up in my room and get loads of ideas from everyone. Good luck with your own classrooms!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Are you a "no reply" blogger?

Thanks to my girl Erin over at The Short and Sassy Teacher...I realized I was a "no reply blogger"! This means that when I post a comment, people can't directly reply to me, all due to Google +. YUCK....but how was I supposed to know?!

 So here's a little tutorial for those of you who were in the dark like me! 

Tune Into Technology Linky 7/18/13

First of all, I'd like to celebrate a mini achievement....1000 page views on my blog this morning! WOO WOO!

Ok, now that that's out of my system....ON TO THE LINKY PARTY! I'm linking up again with the wonderful iTeach 1:1 for today's "Tune Into Technology" Linky Party! Today's topic is classroom websites and OH LORDY could I use some help with mine!

My district provides all of the teachers with their own website. Here is how I primarily use mine:
1. Post weekly classroom newsletter
2. Post monthly homework calendar
3. Post snack and water bottle rules
4. Post first grade handbook for the year
5. Spotlight pictures of my kiddos doing fun things
6. Provide my contact information
7. Link to our Scholastic Books Club website
*My main goal is to be more "green" this year. I'm going to email my weekly newsletter to parents and only print a copy for those who do not provide our district with an email address. I would love any new "green" ideas!!*

I think it's super lame and can be utilized in much better ways. That being said I've put the following into place this summer in an effort to be more "techy":
1. Wall Wisher (Padlet) for my students to write to me during the summer
2. My blogspot blog...not really meant for parents, but hey, they can check it out too!!

I can't wait to see what others have posted. I'm loving the idea of using Draggo to keep practice websites organized! I'm going to check it out today thanks to Amanda at Learning to the Core!! Keep the ideas comin' people!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Made It Monday 7/15/13

Linking up again this week with 4th Grade Frolics to present my newest "Made it Monday" project! 

Due to the fact that it's not wedding season...making it also engagement season....I've been working on a few special projects for my friends!! 

One of my best friends from high school was proposed to just this past June! She announced the same day that we were getting together the next evening to celebrate. TALK ABOUT PRESSURE! I immediately turned my attention to Pinterest to come up with some super cute engagement gift ideas. Here's what I came up with....

A little something to remember the special day when he popped the question! 

Here's what you'll need:
1. A frame (I used a black frame that fits an 8" x 10" photo)
2. Cardstock (I used black, white, and brown)
3. Ruler
4. Paper slicer and scissors
5. Pencil
6. Glitter
7. Computer and printer

Here are the steps I took to create this frame:

1. Trace or draw a man on one knee and a woman accepting the ring. Cut them both out.

2. Chop some card stock to the size you'd like for the names/lettering. Using the computer, type both names and the date in the appropriate sizes. Print!

3. Paste the lettering and the people to the background paper. I used photo squares to stick them on so it wouldn't be "puffy" or wrinkled on the background paper. Then, cut out the diamond ring and glitter that baby up!

*I originally thought I'd use blue background but changed my mind and used black!*

4. After the glitter dries, frame it and voila!

It was super easy, was full of thought for the couple, and was really a big hit at the party! She displayed it in the center of other various gifts. 

This is going to be my last Made it Monday dealing with "non-school" items for a while. I need to start working on my classroom again soon! I'm coming up with plenty of new "magical" ideas for my Harry Potter themed classroom this year. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Smorgasboard 7/14/13

Hey everyone! Happy Sunday! Today I'm linking up with Fabulous in First to present you with some randomness from my life.

People are always asking me where I get my clothes. The answer is always "Nordstrom" or "online". Here are a couple of my absolute *favorite* and totally *affordable* (key word for teachers!) online husband has "cut me off" for the rest of the summer but I can't wait to see what they post for the fall!

..and, currently only available on twitter or Facebook,
Lavish Boutique NC

I am a sucker for good skin care too. There's nothing like pampering yourself and feeling like you were just at a spa. I LOVE Lush Cosmetics. Their stuff is eco-friendly (most of the time) and made from natural good stuff. Here is what I'm currently using to keep it fresh for the's the best exfoliant made from sea salt! 

Also - I have super dark circles under my eyes, especially during the long winter months. My skin is really fair (practically clear)....SO my favorite concealer is...

Lastly, I'm obsessed with good smelling hair. Have you ever noticed how people walk past you and you can track their scent....good or bad? I'd like to be considered in the "good" group...I'm using the Westin Hotel's line of White Tea Aloe shampoo and conditioner available at AND ON SALE NOW!!

Enjoy the goodies! Can't wait to see what others have posted!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Great iPad Apps for Classroom Management!

Oh how I love a good iPad app! Not only do my iPads keep my students engaged while I can differentiate instruction or provide small group assistance, but they are actually learning rather than simply wasting time until I can get to them. 

That being said, today I'm linking up with iTeach 1:1 for the "Tune Into Technology" linky party. Today's topic?? iPads!!!! WOO WEE! Today, I'm including some of my favorite classroom management apps, because I truly believe that a happy classroom relies on respect for the rules and a fun atmosphere. That way everyone gets a chance to learn!!  

*I teach first grade, but I think that every classroom needs routine and consistency. This app gives teachers and students a customizable visual display of your day's events. This is perfect for students on the spectrum, as you can link a video or activity schedule to your daily planner to provide more support.

*I plan on using this fancy app this year to track student behavior in my room during my independent literacy centers and guided reading time. It's available on the computer, iPad, iPod, etc. You can project your class and their own personal avatars on the board. Whenever you see a child doing something good, you can reward their avatar. It adds up points and says what they did that was good! If a child is not following the rules, they will lose a point. I like this because students always have a chance to earn points, even if they aren't having the best day. The best part is that teacher don't have to "call out" the good behavior. Students love to peek up at the board to see who is getting points and for what and they can self-monitor. Sounds like a lot of work but I think once I'm in the routine it will work!

*This app monitors the sound level in your classroom. You can adjust the sensitivity of the microphone to suit your preferences. If the noise is suitable there will be a smiley face, if not, the graphic image will change. This is the perfect app for libraries and computer labs! I like to use it during my required independent reading time as well!

I can't wait to see what others have posted so I can add them to my own classroom iPad "wallet"!
Talk soon!

Monday, July 8, 2013

My Favorite Primary School Character Education Books!

Thanks to First Grade and Fabulous for hosting one of the best linky parties I participate in! My ever-growing list of books I wish to get for my classroom keeps growing every week!!

One thing I absolutely LOVE-LOVE-LOVE about teaching first grade, is the chance to mold their minds and form positive habits. Bully Prevention is a huge push not only in my district, but all over the world right now! Here are some of my favorite books to read to my kiddos to make them realize they are special and so is everyone else!

#1: You Are Special by Max Lucado
This is a story about the Wemmick's who go around every day giving others star stickers for being popular, or dot stickers for being different than the others. So, sadly, all the special Wemmick's have a bunch of icky gray dots while the popular Wemmicks have shiny gold stars. Punchinello is a dot Wemmick who meets a very special Wemmick - one who stickers don't stick to! Although it has religious sub-tones, there is no mention of God in this story. It's a great book to introduce students to the idea that they were all made by someone special (I talk about parents and family..not God), and that others should not be able to judge them. SUPER CUTE!

#2: Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies by Howard Binkow and Susan F. Cornelison
This story follows one of my favorite rabbits, Howard. When he's being picked on by a pair of pig bullies, Howard learns to "be brave, be told, a teacher must be told". ADORABLE!

#3: Whoopi's Big Book of Manners by Whoopi Goldberg
A hilarious way to teach children the basic manners. This story has a FANTASTIC ending that kids love! 

#4: Ruby the Copycat By Margaret Rathmann
This story helps students learn how to cope with copycats in a helpful, not hurtful way. We've all been there!!

#5: The Boy Who Wouldn't Share by Mike Reiss
The illustrations in this book are just priceless! A boy learns how to share...a great lesson book for all students. My kids constantly had this book checked out from my class library and into their book boxes ALL YEAR LONG!!!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to follow my blog!

Made It Monday July 8, 2013

Made It Monday is here! A special thanks to 4th Grade Frolics for hosting all us crazy crafters!

 I was a slacker last week..but BOY DO I HAVE A GOODY THIS WEEK
As soon as July rolls around, I start thinking about the upcoming school year. I know, too soon...but I can't help it! If there is anything I enjoy about summers off, it's the chance to organize and plan for the new year! 

The one thing I SUPER despise about each school year is the typical office-purchased lesson planner. Yuck! The lines are teeny tiny, the paper is too thin, there are no cute graphics, and it doesn't hold all of my things in one place. I need a "one-size-fits-all-of-my-things" approach. That being said, I made a new lesson planner for the year! ANNNND.....It's available in my TpT Store here! I've included some pictures of what I've created below.

Here's all the inside goodies:
Class Roster Page
Student Information & Transportation
Birthday Calendar
Student of the Week Schedule
Monthly Calendars
Quarterly Plans Divided by Subject 
Curriculum Notes Pages
Data Collection Log (for homework or field trip $ or whatev...)
Lesson Plan Format (print as many as needed for the year)
Professional Development Log
Teacher's Notes Section

And now for the pictures!
Cover - My suggestion is to print it on card stock and laminate it for durability.

A little peek at the roster page and information/transportation page.

A peek at the monthly calendars.

A peek at the "quarterly" pages

Data collection log.

A peek at the lesson plan format..along with space to write the standards!

I always need note space for staff meetings and the such!

Did I mention...this file is totally EDITABLE?! Yep, that means if you purchase it from my TpT Store, you will receive an editable file so you can type in all of the information for your own class. If you'd rather hand-write it, that one is available for purchase here as well! Voila! Thanks for tuning in to my Made It Monday!

Talk soon!!