Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Made It 8/18/14 {Table Signs and Classroom Magnets}

Good morning! I'm back again for this week's "Monday Made It" with 4th Grade Frolics!'s official....I'm back at work. In my district we have "Administrative Trainees" that help out with certain administrative tasks, and I'm one of those people. That means I stay a week extra after school lets out in the summer and go back a week earlier in the fall among many tasks we each have during the year. It's always a nice week that is full of class lists, planning, ordering, and organizing. The downside is that I don't get time to work in my room during these special weeks so I try to cram it in during the rest of the summer. The kids return next week! Eek!

Anyways, I have two "Made Its" for you again this week!!

Now that I have tables in my room, I've been working on getting things organized and labeled. I made these adorable table signs for my tables. You can pick them up {here} in my TpT store if you have a magical Harry Potter classroom like me! (Send me a message on TpT and mention that you saw my blog and I'll send you the file as a freebie!!!)

Secondly, I have my "Back to School" presents for my first grade teaching team. I stole this idea from The Short and Sassy Teacher who made adorable glitter magnets for her classroom last summer. You can check out that post {here}. So I got crafty and made each team member some magnets for their classrooms this year. I used clear stones (the kind you use for vase filler), scrapbook paper, magnets, mod podge, and hot glue:

They turned out really well!

(I packaged them in these adorable little bags from Michael's!)

I hope you enjoy my little makings this week!

Talk soon,

Monday, August 11, 2014

Made It Monday 8/11 {Go Math posters and "Building Stamina" Anchor Chart!}

I'm back again this week linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for another rendition of "Monday Made It"! I have two items for you this week, as I am now officially in back to school mode. Enjoy!

I attended a training last week on our new Go Math! curriculum and have a renewed interest in math! One of the things I really love about the CCSS is that there are essential questions to focus the students on each day for each lesson. I was inspired to make some posters for my class for each of the lessons in the Go Math! first grade curriculum. You can download them at my TpT store {here}!

I was also in my classroom getting things ready for the first few (critical) weeks of school and decided to make this cute poster to help get my firsties excited about building stamina for "read to self" time! I love training little cuties to become independent readers and they LOVE having a book box of their very own!

Can't wait to be inspired by the other Made Its this week!!!

Talk soon,

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Made It! 8/4/14 {Shared Supplies}

DID THAT BLOG TITLE REALLY JUST SAY AUGUST? August only means one thing to teachers on summer vacation....the days are dwindling....and according to Calvin, I have to come out of the coffin.

I, however, have been in B2S mode since the beginning of July. I moved my classroom down the hall and we had some major changes happening in the building. Plus, I got bored with my old classroom stuff and needed some new things.

SO, I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics again this week to bring you my "Monday Made It"! Two weeks in a row! That's a record for me!

Last year I had more of an "owl" theme than a Harry Potter theme. I don't really know how that happened, seeing that my original idea was to have a Harry Potter room. Alas, most of the gifts and things I received from students last year were all owls. Although I love and appreciate any and all gifts, the owls were a little out of control. The plan for this year, more Harry, less Hedwig.

We are starting this year with brand new tables in first grade. I'm pretty excited to have them. Our old desks were outdated and a mess. They didn't stay propped open and always SLAM-SLAM-SLAMMED all day. So now the new to do this whole "table and shared supplies" thing?!

I started out knowing that I did not want my students to have a million supplies to play with on their tables all day, so I purchased mini caddies for $2.99 each at Hobby Lobby. You can order some {here}! I bought the neon green to match some things I already have in my room. They only had blue in my store. I will keep scissors, glue, markers, etc. in these bins and keep them on a shelf off the tables until we need them.

I also knew that I wanted my students to have pencils and crayons on the tables all day, so I purchased small crayon bins (2 per table) at the Dollar Tree. They were only $1 for a set of 4! So I bought 3 sets. SCORE! I got them in the store, but the pickings were getting slim. I think teachers stalk out the Dollar Tree waiting for shipments. You can order in bulk on their website {here}! I, again, purchased the neon green which magically matches the Hobby Lobby bins! I love it when things work out for me that way!!

And then the decorating and labeling began. Here's what I've ended up with for each of my tables!!

{Crayon bins for each table}

{Supply bins, one per table}

I'm ready to get these things in my room and see how they work out! Now to go check on what other people are making!! :)

Talk soon,

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Currently and Back to School Thoughts

I can't believe I actually made it to "Currently" on the first day of the month! This might be a first for me!! I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy, 4th Grade to bring you some thoughts on this oh so wonderful "Back to School Month" Friday!

I'm feeling it...I'm feeling it...That familiar excitement for the return to a brand new school year. The end of last year was *rough* for me, make that ROUGH with all caps. I was losing my creativity and had no energy and didn't think summer break would ever be long enough. Now that I've moved classrooms and gotten a few new things made, I'm getting ready again! I think my favorite part of the beginning of the year is the shiny, brand new supplies, and the anticipation of the school year ahead. (It's always peaches and cream in the beginning isn't it?)

Anyways, enough rambling. Here is my currently! Can't wait to see what you all have for me to read!

Listening: to the soothing sounds of Roseanne on the Logo TV Network...ha! I love this show! Tuning out to some trashy TV is such a luxury after a day spent working and creating and thinking and thinking and thinking....and thinking.

Loving: I've made so many cute new things for my room this year. Continue to check back each Monday as I post my creations as my Monday Made it! Next week I'll show you how I'm handling shared/community supplies in my classroom for the first time ever! Eek!

Thinking: I can't stop thinking about planning and organization lately. It must be the pregnancy brain in me..."nesting" they call it? Can you "nest" in your own classroom???

Wanting: It's a Friday tradition in our home to make or buy pizza. We call it "Pizza Friday" and it's the one night a week I look forward to dinner because it's easy, yummy, and my husband can do it all on his own with minimal instruction from me!

Needing: More money is always a necessity. There are so many containers and things I've purchased for my classroom - but I'm pretty good with coupons, discounts, and gift cards. I NEED to get this room finished next week!

Talk soon,

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made It! 7/28/14 {Bulletin Board Clips}

I finally made it to a "Monday Made It" this summer! Linking up 4th Grade Frolics this week after an *eh-hem* extended "made it" vacation....

 It's been a little nutty trying to get things ready for a new room in the first grade wing, new tables, and *finally* shared supplies! I've been hard at work crafting things for my Harry Potter themed classroom, so today I bring you my latest and greatest idea. 

Last year I displayed my student work on a large bulletin board with the usual staples. Every time I wanted to switch work around (usually once a week or every other week), I would inevitably rip and tear my students's work. GAAHHH!!! So frustrating. So in the middle of year I decided that next year, there had to be a change and TA-DA!....the idea was born. 

I started out thinking I wanted to hang student work in the hallway on string using clothespins. I did this and it worked out well, until someone opened the door and blew all of my papers right off the wall....again ripping or tearing them. Oh, the headaches.

This year I'm going to use my large bulletin board WITH CLOTHESPINS! {What, you say? Clothespins can't be affixed to a bulletin board you say?!!?} Well, genius me decided to glue thumbtacks to the back of mini clothespins to hang work from! No more rips, no more tears, no more sad teacher ruining hard work!! Here's how it works:

I started with the following supplies:
1.) Mini clothespins
2.) Hot glue gun and glue sticks
3.) Thumbtacks (the kind with the semi-flat end, NOT push pins!)
4.) Yellow acrylic paint
5.) Black sharpie

I hot glued a thumbtack to the back of each mini clothespin until I had an army of them ready to paint. Since you only see the front of the clothespin, I only painted the front of the clothespin. {Why make more work for yourself?}

After the paint was good and dry, I drew a lightning bolt on each clothespin with black sharpie, because (duh) Harry Potter has a lightning shaped scar. 

I'm super excited to get these babies up on my board at school and display some fun first grade projects! I made sure to make some extras in the event that thumbtacks come unglued or clothespins come apart. Can't wait to see what everyone else is working on for their rooms!

Talk soon,

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tune into Technology Linky Week 1: Integrating Technology Into Reading

Today I'm linking up with Kristin at iTeach1:1 for her Tuesday summer linky party, Tune Into Technology! If you want to link up and blog along, go visit Kristin's blog, grab the graphics, and let's go! Here are the weekly topics:

This week's topic is using reading in technology. There are two very important ways that I use reading technology in my first grade classroom. Last year my district adopted the Houghton Mifflin CCSS series, Wonders. While I'm not always a fan of a basal series, I am a fan of all the awesome technology I get to use on the iPads and SMARTboard in my classroom. To start, I get to make all of my plans, input my students, and choose all of the resources I like to pull up on my SMARTboard. This is so much nicer for my firsties than the typical, "Get out your book. Open to page 134. Stephanie, please read for us." BORING!!! There are several different voices that read aloud for students for when they are sick of my voice :), which (let's face it) does happen!!

Here are some things I have my firsties do:

1.) They love to practice their grammar with the online games and resources. Another class favorite is the grammar song, which we all clap and sing along to!

2.) My students can use the iPads to access the Wonders app to read their stories for the week, and have access to their guided reading books both in the classroom and at home! They love to play the games on the Wonders app that match the skills we are practicing for the week as well. I often use this during literacy centers time.

The second thing I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to use in my classroom for reading is Scholastic News. Each year every first grader gets a subscription to Scholastic News, a print magazine for students with plenty of informational text. Each month has 4 issues related to things happening that month. For example, there will be an issue about Spring, weather, and St. Patrick's Day in the March issues.

Although my students get the print issue, I do the entire lesson on my SMARTboard using the online resources on It has plenty of little "extras" such as vocabulary words highlighted in purple that students can click and hear a definition and see a picture to match the word. My students love to come up to the board and choose the answers to the quizzes on the back of each issue, as well. There is a skills game and a opening (preview) video for each issue for students to enjoy as well. 

Can't wait to see all the new ideas that I can integrate into my classroom! Go link up! 

Talk soon,

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Blogger Meetup and Currently July!

This week started with an awesome Monday Blogger Meetup at Brio inside the lovely Yorktown Mall property! I met so many nice ladies and a nice guy to follow and blogstalk. Thank you to Erin at The Short and Sassy Teacher for hooking me up with this cool event!! What I found most helpful was putting a face to the blog name and hearing how others use their blogs to spread ideas and make themselves a little cash using TpT. Now, I'm not very good at the whole marketing aspect of blogging, but I loved hearing what helped make them successful! 

After we shared some tips, ideas, a little about ourselves, we headed up to The Chalkboard for some teacher shopping. I was able to pick out some new borders and things for my new classroom (not a new grade, just a new room away from the stinky corner I so lovingly called "pee corner" because my room was directly across from the first grade boys' can imagine what that was like day in and day out...) My goal for July is to NOT ENTER AND SET UP THE CLASSROOM. I need a solid month off to reboot....but that doesn't mean I'm not at home crafting and planning...and planning...and planning!!! 

Linking up a day late with Farley at Oh Boy, 4th Grade for July's edition of Currently...

Listening: I believe it was Anchored in 3rd that said she was a sucker for trash tv in her free time. Amen, sistah! I'm enjoying the early days of RHONJ when the drama seemed more real and the ladies were VERY "jersey".

Loving: I've only been on summer break officially since June 19th so I'm loving getting some much needed sleep and relaxation.

Thinking: They come between 12 & 2. SO EXCITED!!!

Wanting: Being pregnant means I have to watch the caffeine intake. I really would love a Coke right now!

Needing: I'm currently reading about 12 books...okay maybe not 12 but a lot. I need more time and faster processing in my brain to absorb all the goodness!

4th Plans: ALWAYS the parade in the morning and this year we are having a shin-dig at my aunt's. Complete with a fireworks show at the park! I love the 4th of July but this is usually the mid-mark to summer and I feel like I've only just begun!

I'm on the search for a cool way to store shared post coming soon!

Talk soon,