Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back To School Sale!

This year I will be participating in the Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale. My whole store will be 20% off plus the site gives you an extra 10% off! The sale will be August 4-5. Click the link below to check out my newest products and start filling up your shopping carts.

My Store

Don't forget to check out what these other great sellers have.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Tutoring Looking for a hands-on phonics activity for center work or independent practice? his set included 30 cards focusing on 5 short vowel sounds (a,e,i,o,u). Each vowel has 6 corresponding cards and an answer key. I even color coded the cards by vowel sound for easy organization and cleanup.

Hey everyone!
This is my first summer not working full time. In the past I always worked at a summer camp or taught summer school, but this summer I'm free.  Although I LOVE the free time, I needed some extra cash to help sustain me through summer.

I started tutoring a student this summer to keep my pockets full. Sounds like a great plan right? The only problem is I left all of my personal resources in my classroom this year and I can't get back in there to take anything out.

I found some great resources on Teacher Pay Teacher to help supplement my instruction, but I still needed a hands-on activity.  Out of necessity I created these CVC  Clip and Build Task Cards. I had the student write letters A-Z on clothes pins (I had him make a few extra vowel clips so that he could build more than one word at a time). I wrote the answers on the back of the cards so that he could check his work . I also color coded the cards by vowel sound so that he could easily focus on one sound at a time.

Click below to snag your own.

CVC Clip and Build Task Cards

Saturday, July 26, 2014

DIY Saturdays

Hey everyone! I'm busy getting ready to September how about you? 

I'm the type of person who can't just veg out and relax on the couch all day. I need to have something to do or someplace to go. I'm starting a new series focusing on different DIY (Do It Yourself) projects you can complete over the weekend.

The first project I want to focus on is a great back to school idea!

DIY Pocket Charts

As some of you may know I recently changed my classroom decor from Dots on Turquoise to bright Chevron. I was able to keep some of my cute creations. Yay!!!! I am keeping  teal/turquoise in my new color pallet but in order to add  the other colors I had to recreate some of my classroom favorites.

I know they make really cute Chevron library pockets at the teacher store, but my little Kinders will not be able to read the labels (picture clues are a must in my class). This year I recreated my  Class Job Chart using images I found on Picture clues help my students understand their job function and take ownership of the classroom.  So lets get started!!

Poster Board:
Envelopes (3 X6)
X-acto Knife

After you decided what type of pocket chart you need, you have to design the outside of your pockets. I used Photo Shop to easily customize my images. Once your  images are complete you have two options...  
  • A print the image directly to the envelop saving you time.
  • B print the image on paper and then cut and glue it to the envelope.
Unfortunately my printer would not accept the envelopes as a printable surface so I had to take the long route. If you are going with Plan B you have to first seal the envelop so that you have a complete pocket. Then you can glue your image and trim the excess portion of the envelope off the top.

Once all your envelopes are complete you can begin laying them out on your poster board. Now that everything is in place glue the envelopes to the poster board.

Run your poster through your local laminator. I would suggest using a slower setting so that the pockets don't lift up and to guarantee a tight seal.

Some of you may be thinking... WAITE!!!! How am I supposed to use the pockets if they are sealed by lamination? This is where the X-acto Knife comes in. You have to carefully slit open the top of the pockets so that you can use them.
Now you are ready to start using your pocket chart!

Thanks for stopping by and good luck on your new DIY Saturday project.

Check out Teacher Times Two to see how other teachers are getting ready for September.

Teacher Times Two

Monday, July 21, 2014

Back to School Advice for New Teachers

Hi everyone!
Today I'm linking up with Happy Teacher, Happy Kids, and other amazing teacher bloggers to give advice to new teachers. Although I am fairly new to the teaching field I have a few tips based on my own experience and advice that I have received in the past.

1. Know that what you do matters.
Sometimes you feel unappreciated or under valued, you may think your students just aren't getting it, and you might even feel like giving up. Know that you are important and the your teaching will have an impact on your students. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday.  Remind yourself that what you do and perhaps what you don't do, matters.

2. Make friends.
It is important to make friends with people that can help you, custodians, secretaries, support staff and your grade level team. When the bulb to my projector went out three days before my observation I was  glad that I took time out to build a relationship with the IT crew.  They were able to get me up and running in no time. Yes, they would have helped me regardless of our friendship, but a smile can expedite things.  We instill in our students the importance of teamwork and collaboration, the same must be true with teachers. There is enough stress and drama to deal with in the world, don't add to it.

3. Never underestimate the power of a good bargain.
I love, love, LOVE  dollar stores and thrift shops. Many dollars stores have a teacher sections where you can pick up cheap stickers, organizing bins, and supplies. This summer I picked up super cute neon baskets to organize my classroom library. I have also scored many great deals at various thrift shops. I've purchased boardgames, bookshelves, indoor recess toys, and read-aloud books without breaking the bank.  You can also use your Teacher ID card to get discounts at many clothing and craft stores and even save money on your wireless bill.

Now head on over to Happy Teacher, Happy Kids, to read some more great tips.
More Great Tips

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Treasures

Hey everyone. I'm linking up with a fellow blogger to discuss the joys of summer. Here is a list of things I enjoy doing in the summer.

1. Reading on the beach.
2. Going to lunch with my mom.
3. Going to the gym during the day when it is empty. I loving having my pick of machines.
4. Ice Cream.
5. True Blood! (Last season Boo)
6. Wearing Maxi Dresses
7. Making new things for my classroom. I decided to go with a chevron theme this year. Hop over to my TPT store to grab this fresh new freebie. Freebie

Check out some other great Fall Freebies over at Teaching Science with Lynda!!
Teaching Science With Lynda

Saturday, July 12, 2014

You Oughtha Know

If you are a pintrest fan like me, you may already know that you can make Ice Cream in a Ziploc
Bag using ice and salt. What you might not know is that you can make Diary-Free Ice Cream using a variety of milk substitute products.

The other day I was having a big BBQ with the whole family. I thought that making home made ice cream would be a fun and cool way to entertain the young ones on a hot Saturday. My cousin is lactose intolerant and can only drink Almond Milk. I didn't want her to feel left out. The teacher in me thought this would be a prefect excuse to conduct an experiment. We made a special batch just for my cousin using Almond Coconut milk while the rest of the kids used whole milk or half and half.

Me: "Honestly, I don't think the Almond Milk will work."
Kid 1:  "You can't make ice cream, you can only buy it silly."
Kid 2: "Almond milk will taste the best. Yay!"
Grandpa: " If that bag of salt water leaks it will kill my grass. Please don't kill my grass."

  • 1 Cup Milk (We used Almond milk, but you can use any type you want.)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Gallon Sized Freezer Bag
  • 1 Quart Sized Zippy Bag
  • 1/2 Cup Salt
  • Ice
  • Sprinkles and Toppings
Pour the milk, sugar and vanilla into the smaller zippy bag. Make sure to get most of the air out and seal it all the way. Fill the gallon sized bag up half way with ice and salt. The put the small bag inside the gallon sized ice bag and shake it for 10 minutes or until  you have ice cream. If it is really hot you may need to add more ice as you shake. Things can get slippery as the ice begins to melt so your best bet is to do this outside. Spoon into a bowl, add your toppings and enjoy!

The Almond Coconut milk -successful, but it was a little icy.
Whole Milk- successful, tasted like ice cream
Half and Half- successful, very creamy and rich.

Thanks for stopping by!
Patriotic ELA/ Math Freebie
Here is a 4th of July Freebie for your time. 4th of July Freebie

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guest Blog Post

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Before I locked down a tenured track position in my current district I spent some time bouncing around as a long-term maternity leave substitute. This gave me insight into how others organize and manage their classrooms. In the primary grades there are many small math manipulatives that can easily be lost or broken. I have seen these manipulatives organized and disorganized many ways. This week I want to spend some time discussing helpful tips for organizing Guided Math centers and manipualtives.

One of the most helpful things you can do to keep things clean and organize is to involve your students. Let them take ownership and responsibility over their materials.  I know, I know, easier said than done. My students would be lost without picture labels. Label all of your bins with pictures and words so the students know how and where to put things away. A quick search on Teachers Pay Teachers will lead you to many free or cheap labels.

Next organizational tip... Math Bags. Each of my student has a Math Bag(Zip Bag or Manila Envelope) to store their materials and a small check sheet to so they know what supplies should be in there. If they discover something is missing they can go over to the labeled supply bins and retrieve what they need. When it is time for independent practice or Guided Math Centers the students take their Math Bags out and can get straight to work without wasting instructional time passing out supplies.

 In the beginning of the year I involve the students in the distribution of the math materials. I split the students up into teams and then have them sort the counting cubes by color and then into towers of 10.Each student selects a tower of 10 to add to their Math Bag and the rest get stored by color in Freezer Zip Bags for the future. The students also add dice, counting chips, a spinner, shape blocks, and of course a pencil to their Math Bags.

This is a great team building exercise because students attack the challenge differently. Sometimes each student picks a color or object to sort by , sometimes they sort altogether, and yes sometimes they argue and require some conflict resolution. Either way you get a glimpse at how the students work in groups.

Now that all of your manipulative are organized for the year it's time to start introducing your Guided Math Centers.  If you are unfamiliar with Guided Math Centers or Math Workshop there are a million great resources out there that explain different ways to get started. 
Like many others I use the acronym B.U.I.L.D. for my Math Centers. BUILD stands for... 
B.U.I.L.D Guided Math Signs
  • Buddy Games, 
  • Using Manipulatives, 
  • Independent Practice, 
  • Learning with Technology, 
  • Doing Math with the Teacher.  
Each center corresponds with a different cloth bin housing all the activities needed for that week. If the students are at the Buddy Game center they take the "B" bin  and can get started playing Buddy Games that correspond with the chapter we are focusing on. When it is time to switch centers, all the materials go back into the appropriate bin so that the next group will be ready to go. Click the link below to grab your own copy of my B.U.I.L.D. labels. I Love Freebies

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Back to School Deals!!

It's that time again. Every year teachers stock up on Binders, folders, colored pens, cute paperclips  sticky pads and many other supplies for their classroom.. You know what I love more than buying school supplies... getting a great deal on school supplies.  So when I hear about great deals this summer I'll pass the news on to you.

This week Office Depot kicks off their 1 cent deals.  Starting July 6,   2 pocket folders, erasers, and index cards are a penny a piece when you spend $5 in the store. The catch is there is limit to how many your can purchase.  
Whats better then 1 cent office supplies?

Here is a sample of my new nautical inspired binder covers. Click the link to score your own editable binder cover.
Editable Preppy Binder Covers Freebie
I Love Freebies!
Entire set