Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made It

I'm linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for Monday Made It.  Might be my last one until next summer with school just around the corner... we'll see.

#1 - Binders & Covers
 Ahhhh!  Do other people LOVE organization as much as I do?!  I really do just like to look at these freshly made binders and dream of the organization that they offer.  I'm not a huge binder person like some people with their 54 binders, but I do find it necessary to have some to keep things organized and together.  The binders/covers that I made are: Student Assessments, Substitute Binder, Guided Reading, Writer's Workshop, and Lesson Plans.  Love.

#2 - Catch Up & Absent Folders
Get these folder covers HERE.
I've always made an Absent Folder to collect papers for absent students and then send home when they return to school.  But this past year I had some students who kept getting behind on unfinished work in their "working-on tray" and wanted to come up with another way to catch them up.  So I made the "Let's Catch Up" folder to send home unfinished work that my students need to catch up on at home and then return to school.  I made three folders each, then I laminated them for durability.  After I laminated, I made sure to cut open the pockets to be able to put papers inside.

#3 - Copy/Laminate Folders
I saw this on Pinterest and wondered why I hadn't thought of it before!  Things I need to copy or laminate always end up in a pile somewhere and when I'm ready for them I'm hoping they're all there.  Well now that I have these two guys, I'll have everything in one place.  My plan is keep them in a file organizer behind my desk.  I also laminated these for durability.

#4 - Pennant Banners
I had a few pennant banners in my classroom last year but I've really gotten into them this year.  So I made more.  The top picture is my Star Student board.  The second picture is my writing area.  This area is looking different this year and I can't be more excited about it!  I attended a Lucy Calkins Homegrown Institute just a few weeks ago and I'm inspired to make some changes.  More on that during another post.

#5 - Picture Frames
I don't have a before picture but I purchased these three frames from the dollar store.  I've been wanting to add more of this blue color into my color scheme this year.  I do like green but realized I had a lot of it in my room and wanted to break it up a bit.  We had these paint colors left over from other paint jobs and they were the perfect choice to liven up the frames!

I spent the day Saturday in my classroom and it was actually really nice because I was the ONLY person there.  I don't know if I should be ashamed of that or not.  But it was kind of nice not to be distracted by anyone and just work the WHOLE time.  I got a lot done.  And now I'm off to work in my room again today, but I know a lot of my colleagues will start going back in this week as well.  I'll have to check out everyone's Monday Made It projects tonight!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Five for Friday

I'm linking up for my first ever Five for Friday!  How fun!

I went to THREE different Walmarts and THREE different Targets to find these two guys.  I'm trying to add more blue into my classroom colors (they didn't have a good blue round tub).

I made a small snack bag for my hubby.  Weird or just like being prepared?  You decide.  He went out of town this morning because he plays for a traveling men's softball team.  Sometimes they play ALL day and he doesn't eat!  So I threw this goody in his bag this morning.

My mom (who temporarily lives with us) made this angel food cake last night.  It's not one of my favorites but sounds really good because I haven't had it in a long time!  I'm waiting to have a piece for dessert tonight.

I have been working hard on adding some items to my TpT Store.  Click on the items above to see what great things are included in these sets, or just go to my TpT store to see what I have that can help you get ready for the upcoming school year!

I'm helping out with a giveaway over at The Craft of Teaching.  Nichole has a ton of stuff she's giving away.  Among the prizes, the winner gets to choose ANY one item from my TpT Store.  Go check out the giveaway by clicking on the picture above.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I"m Part of a Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I'm popping in to let you know that I am part of a giveaway over at Nichole's blog The Craft of Teaching.
She's celebrating her new job and her followers and she has a TON of stuff that she's giving away!  I am providing ANY item from my TpT store - winner's choice.  So be sure to head on over there and enter her giveaway!

Good Luck!

Remember to follow me on Bloglvin' here and my TpT store here.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It

Linking up with Fourth Grade Frolics today for Monday Made It.

#1 - Hallway Gallery
So we repainted our house almost a year ago.  While repainting, my hubby took down the picture frames that were in our hallway and I never got to putting them back up.  About three months ago I got one of our wedding photos enlarged and ready to hang in our hallway and never got around to it.  I finally made the time this weekend to put the frames back up in the hallway.  You may be able to see, some frames are empty so it's not completely finished, but I love having special pictures back in the hallway.

#2 - Laminating/Guided Reading Activities
CVC Word Practice
Beginning Sounds Practice
I have been working on a variety of different guided reading activities to begin at the beginning of the year with my students who will not be reading texts yet.  Last week I finally made it up to school to complete all the laminating.  After attending day 1 of our Lucy Calkins Homegrown Institute, I came home and cut out lamination all night.  Let me tell you, my fingers were cramping halfway through.  My hope is to include these activities in a set for TpT but need to get it all organized first.

#3 - I Have, Who Has (Beginning Sounds)
If you don't know about the game I have, Who Has you are missing out.  It's a fun game that gets students engaged and shows understanding of a concept usually already taught.  I just made a new IHWH for beginning sounds.  The cards are already in alphabetical order so I know my Kinders will have that extra help when we play.  It's in my TpT store in you're interested.

#4 - Student Mailboxes
So this student mailbox center was handed down to me.  Notice all the stuck on tape and stickiness on most of the cubbies.  It also had some contact paper stuck to the top of it that I finally peeled off.  I decided to try my chevron duct tape on it, and I think it turned out just fine!  It gives it a little freshness for this upcoming school year!

I was really hoping to get into my classroom this week to get a lot done, but we had an asbestos situation in our primary hallway and we are not allowed in.  Which means I'll only have next week to work until we officially go back the following week!  So instead, my plan is to work on EVERYTHING I can at home to be as prepared as possible.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It

Today I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Frolics for Monday Made It.  I've definitely been in work mode the last few weeks trying to get things created and ready for my classroom.
#1 This upcoming school year I'm doing something different for student birthdays.  Every year I've made play dough for my students for different reasons.  I saw this on Pinterest and thought I'd do it for my student birthdays this year.  I'm waiting until school starts to make the play dough so it will be fresher; but I have already made the containers for it.  I bought the containers at Walmart, like these, made the labels, and hot glued them onto the lids.
If you like the labels, I've included them in my TpT store.  They are a FLASH FREEBIE today and tomorrow ONLY.  **This freebie has expired.

#2 I also made a Vacation Journal for my students this year.  Last year I had a lot of families travel during the school year, and even had a few parents ask about a journal.  So I finally made one that fit my needs.  If interested, it's in my TpT store, clicking on the picture will take you to it.

#3 I bought these Composition books last year, wanting to use them with my kiddos, but ended up not using them.  So this year I knew I wanted to put them to use!  Since I'm teaching Kindergarten I figure my kiddos won't be needing full pages, so I sweetly asked my hubby to cut them in half as I've seen on Pinterest.
My husband used some kind of saw he had in the basement, but the cut didn't come out super clean.  So I researched a bit on where to take them to get them cut.  I've heard Office Max will do it, so I took them there.  They said they charge for each cut and could do maybe two books at a time.  Although it would have only been around $5.00, I figured I could buy another set of books for that price so it defeated the purpose.  I also checked with FedEx.  They also charge but they were offering a little cheaper price.  The man that worked there cut one for me so I could see the cut.  In the picture below, you can see the cut from FedEx comes out a lot cleaner that my hubby's saw.  But in the end, the frugal part of me decided the cut isn't so important and I took the free route.

Now I'm off to a Homegrown Institute for Lucy Calkins Units of Study!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Parent Gifts

I know all of our minds are on the school year coming up... in like, three weeks (EEKK!), but I thought I'd share about some small ideas for parents gifts that I used at the end of the year.

Gum.  Super easy right?!  I used these gems as the gifts to my parents who volunteered throughout the school year.  Just something small, but it lets them know their help was appreciated.  I got the idea from Pinterest and created my own tags to attach to them.

Gift Cards.  Easy and usable.  Parents aren't throwing these puppies in the trash when their child brings them home.  Again I saw this idea on Pinterest.  I actually used a similar idea for parent gifts a few year ago (you can see them here.)  I had three "room parents" this year that planned our class parties and such.  I purchased three $5.00 gift cards to Starbucks, had my students sign the inside of all three, then attached the note to the top.
If you want the labels for the Starbucks gift cards - you can grab them here for FREE!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How To Clean Your Supply Tubs

Just popping in after being MIA to give you a suggestion for cleaning the tubs in your classroom (if you haven't had luck with typical cleaners, like me).

These are the tubs of shared supplies that I put on student tables for the school year.  Obviously they get some wear and tear throughout the year, but, boy, did my Kindergarteners really put some wear on them this year!  I decided to bring them home to see what I could do to refresh them.
And voila!  I used a magic eraser to scrub on it.  The yellow tubs are worse as they are lighter and show everything.  You can see I didn't get the corners too well... I figure you're not going to see most of it with the new supplies going in them.  It took about 3/4 of a magic eraser just for this tub, so I need to grab more at the store next time I go.  I have nine more!

I've also been working a bit on my Guided Reading Binder for this upcoming year.  Last year was my first year teaching Kindergarten, so I have a lot of ideas on what I want to do for my reading groups this year now that I know more about what to expect of my Kinders.
The new binder cover I made.
Some new cards I plan to use with my kiddos.  These cards are for matching with magnetic letters.