Saturday, August 15, 2015

Oh Snap! It's Almost September

 Where did summer go? 
I can't believe it's over and time to trade my flip flops for sensible shoes.
But I am anxious to meet my new group of littles, but when talkin' to them they are anxious in a different way. They are NOT ready to give up their free days and be in school all day.

Here is a fun activity that can sneak in some learning in a fun way.
All you need is
Just ROLL the dice across the floor like bowling balls into a corner or wall
and add the two numbers rolled and mark your answer on the record sheet.The first player to get all the numbers crossed off is the winner.
The game is very action packed with a lot of movement and with the rubber dice it is relatively quiet.

Game can be differentiated by Subtracting or Multiplying the numbers.
Enjoy Bowling 4 Numbers in Your Class for FREE

And then enjoy some other great Beginning of the year Products.

And Have a Wonderful, Stress-free Year!

Friday, August 14, 2015

DIY Project Birthday

Do you do treat bags for birthdays?
How do you store them? This was my dilemma.
I am a Summer Birthday and I always missed out in celebrating my birthday with my class. So I make a big deal about birthdays in my class. Everyone celebrates! And Summer Birthday kids use their half birthdays. (Makes a great teaching lesson on fractions or even showing that counting the months doesn't have to start at January)

At the beginning of the school year I make up all my birthday treats bags and store them in a clear plastic box. And put them in the closet. It would get buried, or forgotten. But it was too ugly to leave out on the shelf. So this year I decided to jazz it up to this!
No, I didn't decorate a plastic tub, but isn't it unsightly?
I started with this box that came from a friend.
It is a cardboard box with a flip lid and has a magnet closure.
I decided it would be great to repurpose it since the green does not fit with my home decor.
I started with some contact paper. 
I happened to have some left over rolls of these complementary colors and designs.
I covered the top with one long piece, 
starting at the bottom, up the back, across the top and a little beyond the front flap.
Key tip #1: Cut either a little less along the edge or make it big enough to fold under.
If you cut it exactly to the edge, the contact paper will eventually begin to pull up.
In the front I went about an inch longer, snipped the curve and folded it under.
For the sides,  I made a long strip and wrapped it around.
Key tip #2: Peel back small amounts at a time and push from the middle out.
If you do end up with a trapped air bubble, 
use a pin to make a small hole and then rub over the bubble.
Using double sticky tape, I applied cut outs, stickers, and ribbon.
I then went back and covered the top with clear contact paper to "laminate" 
the top and protect the stickers.
Finally I added dots and lines of glitter glue and rhinestones for some bling!
Here are my treat bags. 
Contents: A Sticker Badge "It's My Birthday", lots of little stickers, Birthday pencils,
bookmark, and a couple of party favors. (I don't do food due to food allergies).
I think it looks a lot better on my shelf, now.
No more closet hiding.

Contact Paper is so easy to transform anything. 
I have done a complete 5' bookcase with wood grain paper 
and people thought I had stripped it and refinished it. Ha!
Just go slow peeling and don't stretch it.
I hope this encourages you to try contact paper when you are 
repurposing an item.

Last I want to share a Target $1 spot find.
Aren't these the cutest! 
I'm going to use them for my Sharp Pens/Sharpen Pencils holders.
And those clips...well just had to get.

Back to school frenzy!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Let's talk PLANNERS #plannersobsessed

It's been 2 weeks since the Fantastical! Fun! TpT Conference...
AND I have been contemplating how to put into practice ALL the Super ideas and Great advice that I gathered while I was there.

FIRST I met so many new people!
Many were ones I have followed and I was completely awestruck, (I forgot to take pictures...duh!)
BUT everyone was so nice and friendly. I don't want to lose touch with my newbie friends and have been trying to get to everyone's blog or FB account to say hi.

However, I have found myself Ohh-ver-whelmed!
I am having Anxiety Attacks! Where? How? When?  Do I do all this?
Anyone Else feeling this way?

My top 3 take-aways from the conference were:

That said, I guess I'm not!!
There is not enough time in the day!
There is school stuff! Organizing, Planning, Preparing
There is Social Media stuff! Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, (I haven't even gotten my head around twitter or Periscoping yet!)
Teachers Pay Teachers stuff!; updating covers, changing fonts (don't use Comic Sans! I did not know!) and creating things for my class and sharing.
Oh yeah and Personal stuff! Relaxing, Reading, Babysitting, Tutoring (well that's kind NOT personal stuff).

Soooooo I am beginning with what I do best...Put all down on paper. Using PLANNER BOOKs.
This morning, I was watching Ashley's Periscope (from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd) about how she uses planners. I just kept nodding my head...Yes!  Me Too!

First, I am and will be using many more of the pages in Ashley's Blog/TpT Organizer Products!
The Blo(R)ganizer Product has EVERYTHING you need to organize your blogging, Linkys, Products, and more. AND ALL in one place.

This helps you make a picture catalog of items you have purchased, downloaded, or created...
Your choice!
You choose how to categorize it. IT's EDITABLE!
You can see in the background 
the thumbnail pics of my products.
Next, I use the forms in the Weekly Planning Checklist in so many ways.
I am now creating a page for personal "to do's" this summer.
This is the old cover.
It's been updated to include A LOT MORE!

Here is sample of my TO DO checklist. 
I  check off the items as I plan them and pull the masters (or create the master).
When I have made my class copies, I color in the circle.
I keep this page with all the masters in a binder until the week is over.
This way if I need extra copies, they are right there...handy at hand, along with the answer keys.
I usually try to have a month completed ahead of time.
All in my binder. 
You could use a file cabinet.
Go see Ashley's Awesome store. She has so many organizational Helps!!
You will want them all.

And I have other planners! I'll quickly show you.
We have to do lesson plans on the computer.
I am a paper kind of Gal,
So I plan and plot on paper.
During the summer I do a rough plan or time line of lessons using my freebie from Lakeshore.
I had a coupon from their catalog.
Get on their mailing list on your phone.
Planners for my Purse for day to day 
tid-bits, mostly like a journal of things to remember. 
The smaller one I'll use for my tutoring schedule.
And I just received my Erin Condren Planner.
I won one last year and thought 'How Nice.'
I bought one this year because I L-O-V-E-D having everything 
in one place and not falling apart!

These are just a few!
So back to my point of this blog!
I am trying to get organized for what I need to do.
Picking a few things to start...(like Blogging at least once a week) Baby steps...
Help my brain by doing one thing at a time.
And I'll wait to join Twitter (I do have an account, but I don't know how to navigate), and for now I will be lurking  dropping by for a visit now and then.

This is me being real.  Now I'll work on the consistent part.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Shark Week Sale and Link up

Shark Week!
Sail... no...a Sale!
I'm joining Mrs. D's Corner and some other super bloggers and teachers in a summer sale.
Everything in my store is 20% from now through July 7th, including my newest 
Hard or Soft G Product from my Teaching the Difference Series.

Visually, colorful clear rules.
Copying on bright paper, whether you use this activity in a Interactive Notebook, or as a flap book,
makes it more interesting and fun.
This Auditory Practice, listening and sorting activity
 helps to show how and where the 'G' makes different sounds
while visually seeing how the vowels work to change the sounds.
Using Kinesthetic learning while cutting and coloring vowels,
 show how the rules affects the sounds.
Coloring the vowels and consonants with different colors, 
clearly show how the placement of the letters according to the rules,
 change the sound of the letter G.

These activities have made a big difference in the scores and ability
 of my class for the past two years.
And they love doing them more than worksheets.

Remember to Follow My Store to be the first to hear of new products and sales.
Newly published items are 50% for the first 24 hours.

Don't forget to follow this linky at

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Two for Tuesday! Half Price Deal

I have just figured out how to make items in my Tpt store 50% off!
 AND just in time for Two for Tuesday!

So to celebrate I am joining Cyndie from Chalk One Up For the Teacher
with her Two For Tuesday Linky Party
My first product is BRAND-NEW called 
Hard or Soft G Sounds
part of my Teach the Difference Series.
It has Interactive Activities, Games, and Recording Sheets
as well as directions to teach the difference.

31 pages of kid-tested fun!
In addition I have also included a companion product
Phonetic Rules fro Spelling with Anchor Posters and Cheers!
You can find them by clicking on the pictures above.

I'll leave them at this price till Wednesday Noon since I posted this about noon on Tuesday.
A 24 hour sale should be 24 hours, don't you think?

for more fantastic HALF OFF Buys!

Terrific Tuesday!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

What Do You Do With an Idea?

What teacher doesn't like books? Here is a new one for me although it was published in 2013. It won a Independent Publisher Book Award. I received this from a student in my class for Teacher Appreciation and it touch me so much with its huge message. And if you haven't seen it it is a must.
What Do You Do With an Idea? 
by Kobi Yamada
Link to Barnes and NobleLink
 Barnes and Noble:
This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. 
This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what ...

I love how it starts with the idea being in color and as the story (idea) develops there is more color.
My class loved this book as much as I did.
And it generated a lot of dialogue about ideas and not giving up on ideas.
I told them about how computers began as an idea.
Original computers were as big as our classroom and with many ideas from many people they computers are now in our cell phones.
No idea is silly!
Other people may not understand your idea!
And maybe your idea doesn't work BUT it could make a better idea.
I think this is going to be our class theme this year.
I not sure what it will look like...
but I have an Idea!

What do you do with an idea?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I Am NOT the only Container-holic !??

I admit it! I seriously need help.
 I am a Container-holic!! 
Especially in the summer.
I cannot pass up plastic containers...
big, small, tall, skinny, with lids, without lids, etc.
And if it comes in colors, OMG!, I have to get more than one color.
I don't even have a plan for many of them.
But potential! I see a lot of potential
If I wait, well we all know what happens...
They will be GONE!
Here's the story this week.
I went to target to get 1 thing. ONE thing!
and I passed the Dollar (aka now the $1 to $3) Spot.
with chalkboard labels
and look at that nice aqua color!
and the lighter green than last year.
So I had to get them
But now I need at least 4 or 5 more of those aqua ones to make a group!
Meanwhile I also saw these Dry Erase clear Pockets (which last year I ended up needing a few more for a class set). So I bought 6 orange ones in case I needed to color group them.
 And the sentence puzzle game (center activity) 
and look at that cute little polka dotted bucket,
 (which you can never have too many of!)
 Pencil die cuts for my writing folders (saving ink this year)
Grade book for $1 (also great for check lists like homework, field trip money...)
The US map is actually for my friend who is moving to 3rd. This map has the US capitals on it so I thought it would be useful.
Okay the continuing saga of the containers.
I then stopped at 2 more Targets looking for those Aqua bins (remember I only have 1 of the 5 that I need want) with no luck.
Then I remembered the posting from Miss Kindergarten about her Early Finisher's Center.
She had the cutest 2-drawer containers which she got at JoAnne's Fabric. 
From MissKindergarten
So I stopped. They didn't have the nice, bright colors, but they had black and I knew I could brighten them up
But not at $29.99!
I looked and found a 60% off coupon,  and excitedly went to make my purchase for only one with the plan of finding another coupon. BUT I couldn't use the coupon because it was already on sale for $17.99.
Okay I thought, I can always return it.
Back to my car and off to one more Target Store near my house,
Still looking for 5 more aqua color bins!
And no bins BUT found these at $7.99 each!
 Not crazy about the ridges but loved the price. Bought the 2 that I needed and went back around the block and returned the black one to JoAnne's.
Time to go home, however I was passing the $1 Store, where I had not been to since the week before school was out (which was 2 weeks ago). Decided I needed to just check in.
I'm afraid they will close if I don't come by regularly.
And yes I found these PERFECT little bins for some small center games.
They are 7.5" X 5.5" with the clip lock handles. They will hold a half sheet of paper for recording and pencils or markers if needed, or scissors and glue and have it all contained without having a big box taking up shelf space. (I have no shelf space. In fact I have a small room with very little space.)

So there you have it!
I know I am NOT the only one.
Container-holics Unite and we will organize the world.
I am still looking for 5 Aqua Plastic File bins...come on Target...Please get some more!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Going Big with Regrouping Big Numbers

I know its the end of the year. 
I only have 5 teaching days left + a fun day at the water park + an awards assembly + a kinder graduation = 8 days!
But there's still learning to be done!
And Last week I had a handful of kids that still have trouble with regrouping. 
Some just don't see that difference between the one and zero from that ten (which is a one and a zero). I know it's a number sense understanding thing, 
so with 11 days of school left I tried something new. 
I made a giant tens/ones mat for the floor, 
cut up egg cartons into 10 frames
 and took out the tub of unifix cubes.
And we started building!
I noticed that my littles could do fine with the 10-frames and they could make 10 with unifix cubes
but switching to place value blocks (rods and cubes) just totally put them over the edge.
So I combined what they knew and were used to and we started from scratch...
We counted 82 blocks by putting them into 10-frames (egg cartons).
Yes, it took a lot of time, but these are still very concrete learners, so you gotta let them.
Then we made rods by joining the 10 cubes in each egg carton together and moving them to the "tens" side of the mat. They now started 'seeing' the 1-ten, 2-ten, 3-ten...8-tens!
Then when we added more, we went through the same process and then counted the ones left over.

Since that seemed to work I started working with my littles who were having difficulty with regrouping in subtraction.
 So after building the number 74,
they 'saw' that they needed to get some blocks in order to subtract.
It finally made sense to them that they could just take what they need from the tens side,
"cuz it wouldn't be a ten anymore!"
So they broke up 1-ten and put it back into the 10-frame egg carton
and then they could 'take-away' 48 or 4-tens and 8-ones.
I loved it when I heard, "This totally makes sense to me now!"
And it must have because they kept doing it over and over.
Simple and BIG sometimes does the trick.

Have you ever had one of those days that don't go as planned,
that there just seems to be one interruption after another?
Leaving no time now for reading groups?
So on Thursday I did Buddy reading with a twist.
Maybe some of you have already thought of this, 
but I always have them read the same book and take turns.
So this time
I buddied them up outside of their reading groups and they had to read each other the story from their basel readers. Lows reading with highs, 
highs reading to lows and middles...
They loved it and they were discussing the story
Just wanted share a little 
Hope you are having a good end of the year.