Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Weekly Pill Organizer to ABC organizer

This has been a fun addition to my Words center. I used an weekly pill organizer and put mailing labels and then ABC stickers.  Inside I put alphabet wooden beads that I purchased at Walmart. Add some pipe cleaners for stringing, and voila! A fun way to practice spelling words. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Author's Purpose Poster

It's time to teach author's purpose to my new students!  I love the way the new poster turned out. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Planboard for Lesson Plans

I'm trying out a new resource for lesson plans this year. (It's free!)

It's called Planboard, and I really like the layout.  For one thing, it has a calendar layout that can be configured for any class schedule.  It is easy to insert your standards by simply clicking down a list. Also, it is easy to shift plans to the next day if you don't get to everything. You can view your plans by week, day or class. When you are finished, you can generate a .pdf file in a weekly or daily format for submission.

If you'd like to give it a try, please click on the link below:


By using this link instead of the web address, you and I will both receive 100 MB extra storage space for free!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Folder Holders (Simple and Affordable)

Have you ever wanted to purchase a seat sack or chair organizer, but couldn't afford them?  They are SO expensive!  This year, I got a decent deal on some homemade denim seat sacks.  Then I dyed them and added a ribbon detail.  When I (finally) finish my classroom and post pics, you will get to see them.

My son starts Kindergarten this year, and one of the K teachers saw my seat sacks and wanted to make some.  So I thought I would try to come up with a design for her to use.  Her room has a jungle theme. I think these turned out really cute and they were not difficult or expensive to put together. 

With folders:
Without folders:
How to make them:
I  bought this in the fabric section of Walmart for about $8.
13 1/2 inches wide worked nicely for me.  The plastic is 9 feet by 54 inches.  Cut it into 54 inch strips that are @13.5 inches wide.  Then fold cut that in half so that you have two 27 inch strips that are 13.5 inches wide. You only need one strip for the folder holder.

Begin by taping one short edge with duct tape. There are so many cool duct tapes now; you can find one that matches your classroom design.

Then you want to fold that strip about 1/3 of the length of the strip and staple the sides.

Then flip it over and fold the other end in the other direction and staple the sides again.  One pocket will hold the folder. One pocket will go over the chair back. 

Then add duct taper border and put it on the chair!  Very simple!

I don't know how strong these will be.  They will hold folders just fine though!  I may work on other designs in the future.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Spin and Summarize

I plan to post this on my door instead of a standard ticket-out-the-door, we can add a little chance and a little fun to wrapping up our learning!

Spin and Summarize

Download HERE.

Free Poster

Download HERE.

I'm printing this and layering it on printed paper and solid paper with scalloped edges to hang in my classroom. OR I may use that red frame I painted. .  . Hmmmmm.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Their EIEIO Farm

If you've ever wished that social media came with a red pen app.. . . . today's post will make you very happy.  Since so many adults apparently struggle with how to use the words they're, their, and there, it's no wonder that students have a difficult time mastering the skill.  However, there is hope!  I have written an original song which makes it really fun and easy to teach.  You can view the FREE SONG VIDEO here:

Their EIEIO Farm Song Video
But if you'd like the unit, complete with lesson plan, presentation, printables, and much, much more, click on the link below to visit my teacher store!

It's visually engaging, with cute farm graphics, and you should have everything you need to teach!  Thanks in advance for your support!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bucket Seats for Guided Reading Table

Obviously, this is not an original idea. I got the inspiration from Pinterest.  But the pirate design is all mine, and I love how great these look!  The buckets are going to be real space savers, so not only are they super cute, but super useful!

A couple of hints: 

Do not waste your time on cheap spray paint.  Get the Rust-oleum that  works on plastic.

It's OK to use the cheapest Home Depot orange buckets, but if you can find them already the color you want, that's great too! They are $2.60.  The lid is $1.28. 

A light duty staple gun is awesome for this project! Here's the one I used.

Sneak Peek of My Pirate Themed Classroom

Wow!  It's been a while since my last post.  Having a whole lot of fun on vacation, but I've managed to sneak up to school a couple of times.  I wish I could say I was done, but is a teacher ever really done?

Anyway, here is a sneak peek of how it's going.  I can't wait for it to be complete, and then I can post a full tour.

I made this.  Yes, I did.

I'm in love with my reading corner this year. So cute.  Makes me wanna go over there and curl up with my Ipad.  :)

In my own little corner of my own little room. . 

Lordy!  Got to organize these books soon. HELP!  Haha

Cool scene setter from Oriental that looks like a pirate ship deck.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Painted Frames

Pinterest is a lot of fun for a lot of reasons, but particularly if you are a teacher. If you, like me, have seen picture frame projects you want to try, let me give you a tip.  I bought this beautiful frame at Michael's for only $8.  It's solid wood and awesome.  I almost hated to paint it, but I wanted it to match my classroom decor.  The reason it was so cheap is because it was an "OOPS" (It actually had the word Oops! written on the back.) from the framing department.  There were several to choose from. 

There was no glass or backing of course, but that makes it perfect for those Pinterest projects where you don't need that stuff anyway.

I'll post again when I decide how I'm going to use it. I may add my own backing. . . . 

(to be continued. . . )

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cute Signs for Reading Corner

Question of the Day: Are teachers ever really on vacation?

Today on an outing with my son, I went to Michael's to scope out some teacher deals.  Teachers get a 15% discount (I did not know this until yesterday!), so be sure to bring your work ID.  I didn't have mine and the lady actually let me use my United Healthcare card!  First time this year, I've found that thing truly useful.

Anyway, I did find some cool stuff.  Stretched artist canvas squares are 1/2 price right now. So I made some signs to go in my reading nook (with my couch, pillows, and chairs).

PS Yes, the "A" is missing.  I have to go back and get it on Friday.  It's been ordered. However, I thought the signs turned out cute.  I just covered the canvas squares with scrapbook paper.  The red bows at the top are attached to a spool of matching ribbon. Score!  So I will hang them with the ribbon, and a cute little bow is already made for decoration! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fluency: Let's Get It Poppin'!

Today I'm thinking about fluency.

On standardized tests, the passages are typically very long.  This is a challenge for kids--not only because of reading ability, but because of maturity levels and attention spans. Fluency and stamina are important for success.

One thing that third graders (and all kids, really) hate is to have to do something more than once.  In writing, it's the revising they hate the most. At first, repeated readings of the same passage get the same blank stares. "But we already read that!"

So, I like to go ahead and explain what fluency is and why/how we practice it.  One super fun way is to begin with a high-interest passage and add a treat.  I call this fluency lesson, "Let's Get it Poppin'"!  But there are  lots of other slogans that would work, like "Fluency Rocks." The basis for the lesson is a reading passage based on the candy Pop Rocks.  At Dollar Tree, I purchase bags with 22 individual packets of "popping candy" for only $1.  What a deal!  I pass the candy out when we start to read.

The kids LOVE it and want to do it again and again.  I sometimes give out Pop Rocks later in the year when the enthusiasm has waned somewhat.

The PPT I use, including the passage are absolutely free on my Teacher's Notebook store and you can click here to download:  Fluency: Let's Get it Poppin!

Have fun with this.  Hope you and your students have a rockin' time with repeated readings and become amazingly fluent by the end of the year.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Painting Rugs

If you have seen cool looking rugs on Lakeshore or some other teaching site that you wanted but couldn't afford, you should consider painting your own!

I have this one from Lakeshore:
A Place for Everyone Classroom Carpets
It's $469.00!  If I replace it, I will never pay that amount again.  With a little painter's tape and a trip to the hardware store, you can create this rug yourself.  That's right!  Paint directly on the rug.

This all started when I had a big carpet remnant left over from a remodeling project in my house.  I decided to paint it to use in my son's playroom, which had a concrete floor.

 You can see that before it was  a plain oatmeal color, and then I just taped out a pattern and started painting on it with regular latex paint.

Since then, I've painted a few others.  Here is one that I painted to go in front of my classroom sink for next year.  My classroom is going to have a pirate theme, and I think this is going to look great!


If you try it out, send me a picture of your rug painting idea!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hurray, my very first post! I love summer time.  I can work on a project/presentation and have the time to add all the details I love.  During the school year, I am so pressed for time. I just finished my Power Reading Strategies and Skills posters that I will post in my classroom next year.  I can't wait to print and laminate!  If you like them, you can get them here:

Power Reading Strategies and Skills

You can also always click on the link to visit my store.  I have tons of presentations and lessons that I am polishing up, and I should be adding many more in the coming weeks.

Thanks for stopping by and happy teaching!