Monday, August 27, 2012

Snazzy Binder Covers

Or at least I think they're snazzy. ;)
 If you think so can download them for free.
If anybody needs a specific one that you DON'T see...
I'll be happy to make you one since you were kind enough to stop by my blog! Just get in touch and let me know what you need.

Today was my first day back to school and I am exhausted.  I think the rest of my evening consists of a glass of wine, the "Bachelor Pad" (I know, I know...ridiculously stupid television...I'm ashamed), and cuddling with the boys.
Oh - and maybe some more name tags. ;)
Happy Monday!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to School BOOKS Linky Party!

There is a linky party going on over at Blog Hoppin'...AND a chance to win $50 in free books!  Get on over there and add your link...


One of my favorite series of books to start the year are these by Mark Teague and Jane Yolen.
They are just precious.  The kids LOVE the illustrations...hilarious! They are quick, easy reads with tons of fun rhymes.  The best part is there is one for just about every topic...playing with friends, sharing, lunchroom manners, etc.
This one is PERFECT if you are starting The Daily Five or any type of reading workshop, literacy stations, guided reading, etc.  for your anxious lil' readers!
It is only a few pages and covers how to care for books, as well as how to continue to try your best when you get frustrated.  Such an awesome message (and perfect before or after a lesson on reading stamina!)
If you click on the books, it will take you to the new "Clever School Teacher" site which is an awesome resource for finding exactly the right book to go along with whatever strategy/curriculum you are teaching. Not to mention there is free shipping on orders over $25! I despise paying for shipping...on anything!
Also - I have a pack of "Ready to Read" reading printables that go right along with this book if you are interested.  It includes places to write and draw (or just write for the youngest kiddos) about what good readers look like and what they like to read about.


It also includes printables that go along with each aspect of The Daily Five if you are using that in your classroom this year. These are a great way to check for students' understanding after creating anchor charts and teaching the different parts of The Daily Five.

There are more than what is shown here...these are just a sample of what is in the pack.
I hope you can use them. :)

Freebies (continued)!

I know a lot of you have been back to school for a little while...but can anybody use this?? I always like to leave an updated one for a sub.
If yourself! :)

You will probably need more than one.  There are only 10 lines! 
Just click on the picture to grab it!

Happy "Back to School" to you!!  I'm busy soaking in my last official day of painting shelves for my classroom...
Oh well. :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Teacher Week Finale : Freebie Friday!!

What could be better than a bunch of freebies on a Friday??

Soooo excited to participate but we are on the road today headed home from vacation...and I don't have my flash drive so you'll have to come on back this weekend for some!?!
For now...if you don't have this math game...go ahead and grab it.  It's from my Super Simple Back to School Math Games pack, so you don't need a thing except for the game and some dice!! 
By the way...Dollar Tree is my favorite spot to find dice.  You can get a pretty big pack in different colors for a buck!
 That whole pack is full of quick, easy games that require very few materials and VERY few directions so that you can play them in the first few days and weeks of school when you are still working on getting everything running smoothly. 
Also - check out these free reading strategy cards (whether you do Daily 5 or not) to use in small group or to put on a board and teach with in a whole group setting.  I hope your kids love the characters as much as mine do.  :) They are in my TPT shop. 
Here's a little preview...
It helps them remember which strategies to use.  I have stuffed animals that match each one so we can display them and pick them up when we're discussing strategies!
There are also some headers for a reading strategy board that match these strategy cards in my TPT shop (for FREE) if you're interested!
And finally (for now!) here's a cute little weekly "teacher to-do list" that I hope you can use as we all start getting back on a schedule. 
Print in grayscale if you want to save on colored ink. The chevron stripes still show up in different shades of gray!
In the summer, I can find a recipe on out to the grocery store in the middle of the day...and leisurely make dinner any given night of the week.  Once school starts, the thought of having to go to the grocery store (or anywhere) after school is just awful.  I want to get HOME.  So I like to do my grocery shopping on the weekend if at all possible.
And you know there's always those little things you need to pick up for a science experiment at the store...
So here is a place to put EVERYTHING.  I use the "colornote" app on my phone for recording these things when I don't have my list handy, but I still like to transfer everything over to this paper list as soon as I can.  There's just something about a flair pen crossing out something on an actual piece of paper!  And yes, I am absolutely the girl that will write something I've already done on my list just so I can cross it out.  Reminds me of that Frog and Toad story called "The List."  Ha!
There is also a second page on the download which is a grocery list.  If I don't organize my list by section of the store...I am wandering all over that place retracing my steps.  I usually pick a few recipes for the week (from pinterest, no doubt) and organize my ingredients on this list so that my weekend grocery store trip is as quick as possible!
I can't post it as a document that can be edited because of the font and artwork, but I'd be more than happy to change something up if anybody needs a little different version!  Just get in touch. :)
Enjoy...and please come back soon for more freebies once I get home and start going through my "back to school" files on my flash drive this weekend!
Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Teacher Week: Therapeutic Thursday!

Here is a short and sweet list of the things that are therapeutic for me.
These guys would have to be my #1 way to unwind.  They are both so sweet and FUNNY. Being around them always makes me laugh and not take things so seriously. :)
I try to get to the ocean any chance I get.  I absolutely love the beach.  So much so, in fact, we have decided to get married there this spring. 

This is the exact spot we will say I do!

When I'm not at the beach...this is my favorite spot in my screened in porch.
And do you know what goes great with a screened in porch?

Sprinkle in some "pinteresting," some guilty pleasure TV programming (Bachelor), some cooking, a loooooong shower,  and maybe some broccoli cheddar soup from Panera...and you've got yourself one relaxed teacher.
What do you do to unwind??
Link up over at blog hoppin'


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where I Teach Wednesday...Kinda!

I'm pretty sure this is my favorite day of teacher week! I just love seeing the little nooks and crannies of everybody's classroom.  That is why I'm a little sad that I can't fully participate.  I am on vacation and so I obviously can't get in my room to get some updated pictures.  I worked pretty hard on it last week knowing that we were doing this end of summer getaway.  It was nowhere near done but when I head back to work on the 27th, I hope to finish it up pretty quickly and spend the bulk of my week planning, etc.  I think I say that every year though...and I end up scrambling all week to get names on everything and decorate. 
Since I can't take you inside my room, I will share some of my favorite products that you will see when you take the tour!  My favorite teacher store is creative teaching press.  Love their stuff!
These borders are everywhere in my room!!  They go with all of the "poppin' patterns" and "dots on black" collections from CTP.

These sweet little apples come in stickers, notepads, cutouts, 'em!

I am going to use these this year for my students to collect their "tickets" that I pass out for good behavior and keep in their desk "drawers."

Click here to view larger image
These come in a pack of over 200 for 5 bucks! 

Click here to view larger image
Everything in my room is labeled with these guys.  A 2x4 label fits perfectly in the blank space so I can use my cutesy fonts, print them out and stick them right on. I even used these for names in cubbies last year...and probably will again!


(My kids' favorite product from CTP has to be their extensive line of scratch and sniff stickers!)
Click here to view larger image

Here is a sneak peek at my room.  I have a GIANT bulletin board outside my door that is a pain to get ready, but makes hanging work with a stapler super easy during the year. I use fabric to cover all my boards.  It lasts for years and looks so crisp!
  It is all set and ready for some cute first grade work!!
Come on back  next week for a "real" tour of my room!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Teacher Week : Technology Tips Tuesday!

I don't exactly feel "qualified" to be giving out technology tips today after I didn't link my blog post correctly to yesterday's "Must Haves Monday" linky party!


If you missed my "must haves" (which your probably did...) you can scroll on down and check them out!  Sorry!

And on that's a little laugh for you in honor of Technology Tuesday!

I know there are a ton of bloggers out there that know WAY more about technology than I do but I wanted to share a few technology "things" that I love to teach with!  Be sure to head back over to Blog Hoppin' to get more ideas!

My ipod touch

Obviously, there are a lot of fun apps for the kids to play but I also like to load all of my books on CD and songs that I play in the classroom onto my itunes account in a "first grade" folder so that I don't have to search for and change CD's when we need to get down & boogie in the middle of the day! 

Also - you do not need a fancy ipod dock of any kind!  A plain ol' cord like this will connect right into the headphone jack of the ipod and into any CD player.

United Streaming through Discovery Education
I love, love, love this site!

There are different ways to get subscriptions in different states I believe, but my school district has a subscription.  If you do not know about united streaming, ask your technology person in your school system and see if they have looked into it.  I didn't even know our system had a subscription my first couple years of teaching!

It is a site with TONS of videos on all different kinds of topics that are searchable by subject and grade level.  I use it mostly for science and social studies.  A lot of the videos go right along with our Virginia standards.

Last but not least,  do your babies also have trouble finding the Ctrl+Alt+Del buttons to log in on the computer?
  Bless their little hearts and tiny hands! 
Quick tip:  put tiny dot stickers on those buttons so they can easily find them and put all their effort into sttrreettcchhinng their itty bitty fingers to turn on the computer!

I have a pinterest board dedicated to apps for ipods and ipads as well as smartboard activities, etc.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Must Haves Monday!

It's Teacher Week over at Blog Hoppin'!
 Make sure you get over there and check out everyone' "must haves".  You might find a few things to add to your WISH list like I have.  I have decided that I "must have" a laminator for home and a camo silhouette based on everyone else's rave reviews of both. :)

But for now, these are my must haves!!

1. First things first...gottta have some comfy shoes! 

I am a big fan of wedges.  I will wear them as long as I possible can this fall until it gets too cold and my toes start to freeze.  Then I will wear socks...but I won't be happy about it. My feet (and back) actually hurt less if I wear these as opposed to flats.

Clarks, Naturalizers, Danskos, & Nine West are some of my faves!

2. Flair Pens

Enough said.  These are the best...and you gotta get the big pack to get all the pretty colors.  GOT to.

3. "Fake Jeans"
(as  I like to call them)

You see...we don't have "casual fridays"  at my school.  So...technically if these cute skinnies from Loft are in red...or yellow...or pink...or mint green (my fave)...they're not blue jeans.  So...I think they are totally acceptable.  Right?? fiance does a mean job folding my trouser jeans  blue pants so they have that fancy crease down the middle...also totally acceptable.

I should have just added Ann Taylor Loft as one of my must haves!
And I love that they have awesome sales and ALWAYS 15% off for teachers...all you have to do is show your teacher ID!

 4. Hazelnut Instant Coffee

I don't actually love the taste of coffee, but I love the "idea" of drinking coffee...something about holding a warm mug!  So...this stuff Andy calls my "fake coffee" (Ha! Fake coffee and fake jeans...a theme??).  It's probably full of sugar and what not...but I love making a cup for my desk when I get to school. I also like to drink it out of my Bon Jovi mug...but that's a whole different post. ;)

5. Book Boxes (and lots of bright plastic baskets) from Really Good Stuff

Durable Book And Binder Holders - Neon Colors
I use these for the kids' individual book boxes for the Daily 5.

6.  Ticonderoga Pencils

Only pencils that don't make me want to pull my hair out!  You can sometimes find good deals on the big 96 count packs on Amazon!

7. Multicultural Crayons

These are perfect for the self portraits we do during the first week of school!  I keep this in a separate place in the room so anytime we're drawing people, we can get them.  So much better than everyone picking peach or brown!
And by the way, this is a precious book to read before you do your self portraits.  It gives fun, unique names for different skin color like honey, cinnamon, and amber! 

8.  LABELS (and lots of 'em)

I use labels for EVERYTHING!  One of my favorite things to do is print tons of "class sheets" with one label for each child so that anytime I need to put names on something..I can just grab a class sheet of labels and stick them on!

9.  Cordless Glue Gun
I have painted cinderblock walls in my classroom so I hot glue EVERYTHING to the walls.  It's the only thing that stays.  I even hot glued a pocket chart to the wall where our meeting area is and it stays just fine!
*I just realized the ironic thing about this "must have" is that I don't really have one!  My colleague down the hall does and lucky for me...she shares!*
10. Something sweet to come home to

...because after a hard day, that's all that really matters!

This is a picture from this morning in the outer banks.  Sawyer woke up at 4:30 am, ready to start the day! Sunrise on the beach turned out to be not such a bad idea...but I see a family naptime in our future.

Best wishes to those of you headed back to school today!  We are trying to soak in a few last moments of sweet summertime...but I'll be there soon enough!