Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Freebie- {Shhh! We're Taking a Test!}

Happy Friday!  It's my last one before school starts.  The Mr. took today off and we're going to run errands (that means "go to Target") and eat at our favorite favorite favorite restaurant "Chinn Chinn"!  HOORAY!

I made this sign last night to hang on my door when I'm assessing and thought you might like it too!

Just click to download from Google Docs and leave me some love if you enjoy it!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Did You Bring Your Clip-Stick and Stop Bye Four Homophone Fun!

Ya'll know how much I love my clip chart.  And if you don't know, you can learn aaaaalllll about how much I love it on this little blog of mine.

Well, a little thing happened this summer called "I Got a New Job"... you might have heard me talking about that... and, at said job, our kiddos will be changing classes during the day... and we were trying to think of a way for us to use a clip chart for our behavior management without the kiddos having to a.) remember where each teacher said they should be on the chart, b.) having to have 4 clip charts for the four groups of kids we'll each have during the day, or c.) worrying about Johnny Sweetheart being told to move his clip down by one teacher and then "forgetting" to tell his homeroom teacher and thus remaining UP on the chart.

So... the CLIP STICK was born!

My awesome colleague BK painted these for us... Hi BK!!!!!  You're the best!

And I added the words and painted over them with Modpodge.

Here's mine:

It's a yard stick!  Each of our classes have one with our own clips on it and one kid's job will be to take it to each class as they rotate through during the day!  I LOVE IT!!!!!

A few weeks ago I got this box in the mail:

And I opened it...

And at first, I saw this:

And this was hidden underneath:

And (just to continue the "And" pattern) I love it!

It's a quick and easy center set for students to practice differentiating between homophones.  It's a flip chart and each page has four clues that students have to match up a homophone for each clue.

It tells you at the top of each card which four tiles you need:

And then students would look through the tiles to find the four they need.  I really like that part- they are being exposed to SO many words as they look for the ones they need.  I love all of the visual discrimination that will be taking place, the reading and thinking and sorting... LOVE!

Here's the best part though- it's magnetic!  So, students plunk on the four word tiles and then flip the page up to see if they got the answers correct.

Let's find out how I did...

YES!  You can check out this amazing product on the Lakeshore website.

So, who doesn't love Lakeshore Learning?  Can I tell you that two summers ago the Mr. and I went to the Mall of America.  What a trooper he was to take a vacation to go shopping!  And we went to both Lakeshore stores that were nearby when we were there.  I had never been to their actual store before... it was AH-MAZING!

The best part of this is that they are having a BOGO half off sale right now!  So, when you buy one item, the next is half price!  Just click above to go to the link to start shopping and saving!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Whirl-wind Wednesday

What a day... week, actually.

I've been busy with meetings and activity at school and, I must say... I LOVE MY NEW SCHOOL!!!!!!!  LOVE.  LOVE.  LOVE.

I mean this in the least crazy way possible, but I just want to stand and shout it from the rooftops!

Tonight was Open House and I got to meet my 3rd graders.  They're not scary at all! 
I'm hoping to be back tomorrow with a real blog post.  I want to show you 1.) what we did with our clip charts in 3rd grade (it's SUPER cool!!!) and 2.) show you an amazing product from Lakeshore Learning and offer you a sale promo from them too!  Who doesn't love Lakeshore Learning?!

In the meantime, there are still a few hours left on my 20% off sale at TpT and TN!  It's over tonight and regular prices will be baaaaaack!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Made-It... {Actually not}

I actually made these last week and posted about them, but doggone it, I'm proud of them and wanted to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics anyway!
Both of these are Pinterest inspired projects:

1.)  an interactive "respond to reading" poster that I designed and then had printed on Vistaprint.  I'm super excited to have my kiddos place a sticky note on their number to respond to questions about a text or concept.  I shared an uploadable template for this yesterday... click HERE to get it!

2.)  a First Day frame!  This kiddo is actually going in to 2nd grade... but was kind enough to model my frame for me.  I'm super excited to have my 3rd graders pose behind this on the first day!   I got the frame at Goodwill for $1.99 and had the ribbon & bunting border (it's something I bought from Creative Teaching Press)... then I just whipped up the text part and... done!  So quick and easy!

3.)  I DID make something that I'm *SO* jazzed about for my classroom... but the picture I took stinks and so I'm going to try a new picture today and then I'll show ya tomorrow!

And... just a reminder:
TpT     and     Teacher's Notebook

I'm off to a new employee orientation and then ELA meeting... thus begins my last week without kiddos!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Winner, Sale, and *THE* Template for Responding to Reading

I'm back to my old blog design for the moment... though I loved my other one, SOOOO many other bloggers have that template... so it's this one while I wait for my check from TpT so I can buy a new, custom, just for me template!

Hooray and congrats to...!

You are the winner of 5 custom pages of stickers from My Teacher Stickers!  I'm e-mailing you right now!

If you didn't win... don't fret!  They are super affordable... and I hope you'll pick yourself up a page or two of stickers... and maybe some for your co-workers too!

Tomorrow begins a few days of meetings to get ready for kiddos next week Tuesday!  Woot woot!  So, I'll be making frantic last minute purchases this week, laminating, printing, and copying like crazy!

To celebrate (?), everything is 20% off at my TpT and Teacher's Notebook shops until Wednesday!  I'm lovin' this button I made for the sale-
My TpT store     or     my Teacher's Notebook shop

Yesterday I shared this "Respond to Reading" interactive poster I made on Vistaprint and had lots of requests to share the file- I tried to upload it to Google Docs in Publisher so ya'll could edit it yourselves... but it converted it to a Word document, which didn't work... so I tried to move it over to Word and it won't accept the table and I can't get the formatting right...

Here's mine:

So, here is a plain version of the file.  It's plain.  No Lilly Bimble graphics, as I'm sure that violates Vistaprint's terms by allowing someone to re-print graphics that they do not have the rights to.  You know what I mean?

So I tried to cutsey this up as much as I could without using any graphics so I wouldn't violate anything... It is a ZIP file and has a page for 25, 30, and 35 students.

Sorry it's not fancy... I don't want to make Vistaprint or Lilly Bimble mad at me so I'm just trying to follow licensing terms with printing and graphics!  You would just need to upload whichever page you need to VP and then order it as a large poster.

Hope that helps!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Responding to Reading- Interactive Poster

This just arrived from Vistaprint and I couldn't be happier!

Now, I can't remember which blog I saw this on, but someone else used VP to make an interactive "Respond to Reading" poster which is what inspired me.  So, sorry I can't give you a shoutout, mystery Vistaprint inspiration!

Anywho... this is the large poster (which wasn't free, but still inexpensive!).  So I made the file in Publisher, saved as a PDF, uploaded, cropped, and... there you have it!

So, now it's laminated so I can write a question at the top (that is me, learning how to write in D'Nealian... yikes!  I have some practicing to do!) and students will respond by taking a sticky note (inside the bucket hanging on the knob), writing their answer, and sticking it on the spot that corresponds with their student number.  The first question is an easy one, but I plan to do lots of higher level comprehension questioning with this one.

I do have four classes of 3rd graders I'll be seeing for reading... I'm thinking I'll mainly use this for my homeroom group more than I will the other three groups... but it would be a GREAT quick "exit slip" type of thing or way for students to be held accountable during read to self time as they could answer a question or write a way they've been using our comprehension skills in their reading.

I'm pretty geeked about this one!  I even got my first ever message from Vistaprint that my image may be too distorted when blown up to this size, but I decided to order it anyway and it looks great!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for 5 sheets of personalized stickers!  It ends tomorrow... just check out yesterday's blog post!

Happy Saturday, peeps!

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Friday... How Does a GIVEAWAY Sound?

It's Friday, Friday... gotta eat a bagel on the couch with my backpack on the weekend!

Anyone know what I'm talking about?  Anyone?


Do you know the website My Teacher Stickers (formerly known as Three Dog Graphx)???

You must check them out!!!!!

It is a Michigan based company that prints SUPER inexpensive personalized stickers for teachers!

Let's be honest here... what kid doesn't love getting stickers?  Even big kids!  And how cool is it that they will have your name on them and a little phrase too!

I have bought several over the years and, for the past two years or so, have gotten them as "happy new school year" gifts for my grade-level partners!

I just ordered some surprises for other teachers and some birthday stickers for me!  Since I'll be seeing about 110 kids a day for reading, I thought it would be nice to give each one a little sticker on their b-day.

I've bought this cat one in the past (don't worry... this is a stock photo from their site... I am not now, nor have I ever been, Mrs. Smith)!
And I love this one too:

Here's the good news for you... Tom at My Teacher Stickers has generously offered to give away FIVE different personalized sticker sheets to one lucky winner!

All you have to do is go to their website, My Teacher Stickers, look around and tell me which sticker is your favorite!  Leave me a comment with that info and your e-mail address and you're entered!

I'll let you know who wins this awesome giveaway on Sunday morning!  In the meantime, check out their products... I'm not joking about how inexpensive they are.  The shipping is CRAZY fast too, so you won't be waiting long for your sticker-y awesomeness!

After you check out their products, come back and leave me a comment to let me know which one you love the best!

That's it!  Good luck and happy stickering!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Day Frame... Thank you Pinterest! And {LOTS} More... Room Pics and Updated Freebie!

Yesterday was a LONG day.  I did nothing but school from about 7:00am until 9:00ish pm.  Nothing.

I did get a visit from two friends and some kiddos at my new room which was *SO* nice!  I snagged one of the kiddos... C, who was one of my firsties last year... so I could show you what I made... thanks PINTEREST!

I'm glad I did this photoshoot because now I know that I need my kiddos to be against a solid background so this "pops" a little more... but I love it!

Next... I got a sweet surprise in the mail last week.  I was sitting at the computer (where else would I be?) and the dogs started barking like maniacs.  Just as I was about to furrow my brow at them, the doorbell rang and I got there just in time to see the UPS man sauntering away after dropping this on my porch:

A box of free craft supplies from   They sent me some amazing items earlier this summer, but I knew those were coming... this was a TOTAL surprise!  So now I have a stock of pony beads, paintbrushes, fuzzy pom-poms, craft sticks, pipe cleaners, construction paper, and magnets for the art projects in my classroom!  I know all of these products are available at Wal-Mart too if you'd like to get some for yourself!

And last... (what'd I tell you the other day?  It's a blog trifecta AGAIN- frame, box, pictures).

Here are a few more classroom pics:

Here's my partner reading table with my super fun partner reading activities in the green basket.  I can't WAIT to teach my kiddos how to check each others' understanding by playing those games during "Read to Someone"!  The white basket has books that are perfect for partners and the wicker basket with stuffed animals has a cat, dog, and bear with books "How to Read to Your Cat", "How to Read to your Dog", and "How to read to your Bear".  Kiddos love reading those books to the stuffies... at least 2nd graders do so I'm hoping 3rd graders will too!

Just had to show off that chevron rug!  There's my listening station too.

Here's my area... I had to go back and get *ANOTHER* colorful rug from Big Lots!

And then truly last... so I guess this isn't a trifecta... it's a quadfecta?

The Collaborative First Day Tips and Tricks handbook that I shared a bit ago has had a few more ideas added to it and I have re-uploaded the file to TpT.

Click the pic below to get your free updated copy!  It's full of 1st day ideas for establishing classroom norms.

That's it folks!  I have another busy day ahead... hoping I can relax and breathe a little this weekend before starting my LAST WEEK before school starts!  Yikes!

Hoping to post a giveaway tomorrow... stay tuned!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Winners... Sale!... and Daily Five Freebie!

I'm all about the blog entry trifecta.  I think most of my posts have three items in the title...!

Right now I'm sipping on my coffee... after practicing getting back up at 6:00am.  When it's still dark.  And my husband is asleep.  And the sun isn't out.  6:00am folks.  I'm not joking.

I've got to practice though... as it's only two weeks until GO TIME!  Though I haven't slept past 8:00am except for once or twice all summer, getting up two hours earlier than that is just YUCK!

Oh well!

Today I'm off to get my class pet, Gerbie the gerbil, who has spent the summer with one of my classroom families.  I get to introduce Gerbie to her new classroom home!

Then I'm going to laminate (and try not to a.- run the roll out again and b.- stop the laminating film before the WARNING tag creeps up on me!), start copying stuff, and getting things around for the first few days!

But anyway... Monday Winners!

Yesterday I did an impromptu giveaway for my new monthly and themed word wall signs...
 Check out the file on TpT          or          Teacher's Notebook

and I've decided to give away two copies!

The winners are...

CONGRATS!  Heather- I left you a comment on your blog and LaSchu... you're a "no-reply comment" blogger so I couldn't e-mail you so, hopefully you see this and can e-mail me at!  :)

The next tier of the blog trifecta is the sale... just at Teacher's Notebook... everything is 20% off today only!  That means you can get that new word wall pack for just over $5.00 today!

And last... a Daily Five Freebie, which I shall preface with the statement that I did not create the Daily Five and it is a trademark owned by The Two Sisters who do not endorse or promote this product.


I won't be doing huge, massive anchor charts this year for my 3rd graders.  I'll be teaching four sections of reading and so I just thought it would be easier to make some small Daily Five signs to go over with each group of readers.

Once we've gone over them all, they will be hung on a bulletin board.

So, I included all of the posters (I changed a font though so when you see mine someday, they might look different!) even though one of them is strictly designed for my room- the one about the fun spots.


You can download them at my TpT store for free by clicking the pic below!

I'd love some comment lovin' if you enjoy it!

PS- 17 hours left on my Donor's Choose project... it's down to the wire...!!!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

One Last Hurrah and Your Chance to Win!

One last hurrah...

My Donor's Choose proposal for 2 Nooks ends tomorrow.  I would *love* to get this funded and this is my last ditch effort!  If you have unused DC $$ from a project that didn't get funded or any gift cards with no project to donate to... those Nooks would love to find their way to room 108!  HERE is my project if you'd like to help (or know anyone else who would...!)

This week I have been asked to speak to some new teachers who have been hired in my county and I am so excited to share with them the collaborative "Tips and Tricks Handbook" that you all helped me create earlier this summer.  I have re-opened the link to the Google Doc, so if you have a first day/week tip to share with new teachers, please add it to the doc.  I will be closing the doc on Monday so I have time to format and upload the revised handbook!  Click HERE to access it.

I'm down to just two weeks left of summer vacation... and really once since I have PD next week.  I'm so excited about starting school and have been busy creating things for my classroom. 

My latest creation set out to simply be a set of word cards organized by month for my writing center... and then I added a page with birthday words... and then came food words... and animal words... until I had a collection of over 30 different word wall posters for each month of the year and tons of other things too!

Would you like to win a set?  Just leave a comment and I'll pick a random winner tomorrow morning while I sip my coffee and listen to "The Golden Girls" in the background!

Check out the file on TpT          or          Teacher's Notebook

I'll be working on school at home today... finishing some organization and starting to think about what we'll be doing the first day or so!  I know lots of you are back already... blogs are taking a backseat to "back-to-school mode"!  Just about the time you all are back in your routine and starting to blog again... I'll be starting school and I won't be around to see it!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Well, after 189 of you downloaded one of my freebies yesterday, someone pointed out that there was an error on the file.

Hopefully you haven't printed it yet!

Please check out yesterday's post to get the link to the CORRECTED version of the "Going Home" sign.

I'm just going to crawl under a rock now and lay low while I let this embarrassment fade away for the day!

Sorry friends!

Friday, August 17, 2012

This Post is a Biggie! Winners, TWO Freebies!, and Something Cool!

As stated in the title of this post... it's a biggie!  Full of winners, freebies, and something super cool that you HAVE to try!


Congratulations to Amanda at Sweeties in Second, Jennifer at Herding Kats in Kindergarten, and Stacee at Tiggerific 2nd Graders... you've each won 35 custom brag tags and chains from!  I'll be getting a hold of you later today so I can get you in touch with the fabulous Kim at so you can order your tags- Stacee @ Tiggerific 2nd Graders... you didn't leave your e-mail so you need to contact me at!  Thanks to everyone who entered... I hope I have helped introduce you to an amazing product you can use in your classroom to motivate and cheer on your special kiddos!

On to the TWO freebies!!!!!

My third grade team is departmentalized and we wanted to keep consistency between how our students do certain things in our classroom.  So we came up with five "things" they might need to ask for and assigned a number 1-5 to each.  If a student needs to use the bathroom, they hold up 1 finger.  If it's an EMERGENCY bathroom request, they hold up 2 fingers, 3 for drinks, 4 for pencils or tissues, and 5 to ask or answer a question.

Then I made a poster set that (in my humble opinion) is SUPER cute!  You can click the picture below to grab it at my TpT store!

Next freebie...

I have had this sign hanging in my classroom since I began teaching in 2006.  It hangs by the door and, at the end of the day, kids LOVE to say one of these to me and, if they do, I'll say one back!  Over the years, more have been added and kids have even come up with a few of these (J came up with "Have a great day, blue jay!" and C came u pwith "Toodeloo, Kangaroo!").

The kids especially love it when they say the one to me that I had on the tip of my tongue to say to them... then they get to see their teacher get tongue tied as I quickly try and think of a different one to say!

You can click the picture to download it at my TpT store!

Neeeext... something cool that you HAVE to try!

Hate it or not, I am an incentive-y teacher.  My students have lots of opportunities to earn 1 M&M (did you know a kid will do anything for 1 M&M... or 1 Nerd?!  I hear big kids will do the same for 1 McDonald's french fry!) or a clip up or a point on Class Dojo or a trip to the prize box.  I am an "intermittent praise" kind of gal, but I do love doling out my incentives.

Well, I didn't want to do a prize box this year with my 3rd graders.  One- it gets expensive.  Two- when things get hectic on a Friday morning, prize box is easy to forget to do and that makes for some sad kiddos.  Three- where do those prizes end up?  Probably shoved in a desk or forgotten about completely.

So, when I came across Tori's idea during a Monday Made-it a few weeks ago, I knew I had to try it.

Tori made scratch off cards for her kiddos... you know, like scratch off lottery cards and underneath is the prize they win!  I don't have a specific time in mind for when I'll hand these out.  I think I'm going to use them as "Caught ya being good" type of things.  Or, on Friday when I hand out the rest of my awards, I may give out one or two of these too.

Anywho, Tori offers you to download her cards that are pre-made on her blog and some MORE on her TpT store for FREE FREE FREE!!!!!  But, since we are departmentalized, I won't have my class all day long, so I needed to make my rewards a little more specific to my time constraints.

I used some of her ideas and some of my own too.  You can see one page of my rewards below.  I also added: get a stamp or sticker, choose a fun place to sit during Daily Five, skip morning work, choose a greeting (during Morning Meeting), sit at my table, your group gets 1 extra free choice minute, I'll buy you a bag of popcorn, and you can choose where you want to sit at morning meeting.

But, even though I need to make my own, I LOVED how Tori's looked so mine are very similar.  She was kind enough to allow me to share my (her) design with you.
She gives a full tutorial on her blog about how to make these, so I'm just going to give you a quick one.

And... last but not least...

This is of interest to 3rd grade Treasures users only.  Everyone else, feel free to head straight to GO and collect $200.00.

I just added a set of focus wall cards for 3rd grade Treasures to my stores.  The set contains cards for each week's story title and author, genre, comprehension skill or strategy, vocabulary skill, and grammar skill.  The cards all define the topic and most give an example too.

You can check them out if you're interested!  This image includes one card from each week of Unit 2 and the preview file contains all of unit 1 so you can see what's included with each week.
Check it out on TpT          or          Teacher's Notebook

So, there you have it!  A blog post full of great things!  I'd love some bloggy lovin' if you download my freebies.  It's been quiet over here lately... I think everyone must be back at school with kiddos or back at school getting ready for kiddos!  Me... I still have until September 4th until kids come back!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm Not Here Today... Come Find Me at Heidi's Blog!

First up... today is the last day to enter my Brag Tag giveaway!!!!  Click the pic to go enter!

I'm so excited!  I'm doing my first guest post today over at Raki's Rad Resources!  Come find out how I plan to shove in condense my spelling practice this year!  Did I mention there's a freebie in it for you?!  Go go go!
Raki's Rad Resources

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Teacher Books... how to keep 'em organized!

I'm not here today!  I'm guest blogging over at the famous Holly @ Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade!

Head over and find out how I turned this:
Into this:

And to grab yourself a great freebie!

Here's a hint...

Go see me at Holly's!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Partner Reading Party Pack Fast, Fast Giveaway!

Happy Tuesday!

My printer has been out of ink for days and I'm going crazy waiting for it to be delivered... I have to much to print and laminate!!!!

Last night I revised a pack of activities to update graphics and fonts so now I have even more to print and laminate!

I've been using this set in my classroom for a while, but am absolutely *in LOVE* with how it turned out after my re-design...

Find it on TpT     or     Teacher's Notebook

It's a Partner Reading Party!  This pack had 5 spinners to help facilitate discussion between students, Somebody-wanted-but-so reminder cards, Roll 'n Read activity to find out how partners will read, Fiction Go Fish game and directions to turn that game into a memory game, and signs for a partner reading area & expectations for that time.

I am *SO* excited about this pack!!!!!!!  Since it's up the day after the big TpT sale, I've discounted the price 20% for today!

So, I'll send a copy to the first 2 people to comment and promise to blog about this after they've had time to look it over... I love it!

Don't forget about the Brag Tag giveaway going on over here either... I'll announce the 3 winners of 35 custom tags and chains on Friday!

Monday, August 13, 2012

*SEW* Easy Chair Pockets!

I made some chair pockets!!!!!  I had a set of 25 I bought several years ago, but my class list is around 30 for this year so I needed some more.  The ones I currently have a denim, so I bought some denim and figured out how to make them.

They were so EASY!  I couldn't believe it!  I'm am not a sewer... (that would be so-er... not a gross and dirty SEWER, which I am not either), but I had so much fun making them that I want to learn how to make more things!

Using the denim made it really easy because I didn't have to sew two pieces of fabric back to back to have chair pockets that had a different looking top and bottom.  You know what I mean?

Anyway, here's a pic of what I made.  I'm not at school today, so I can't show you on a chair, but here's how one looks laying on my dining room table:

Sew, I made a little tutorial on how I made them with pictures and directions in case you're interested!  Just click the picture below and you can see how I did this.

When I was done, I had some extra fabric left so I toyed around and made myself something...

Now, don't mind the scraggly edge... I should have hemmed it on the other side... but, for a first attempt, I'm so excited!  I'm going to attach it via the button and button hole to the frame of my easel to hold markers!  My easel ledge always gets so full with books and sticky notes and this and that... my markers are always falling off!  So now I'll just keep them in the pockets and my easel ledge will be free for my other stuff.

And now for some reminders...

1.)  The Back to School sale at Teacher's Notebook and Teachers pay Teachers ends at midnight tonight!  Everything in my shops is 20% off and TpT is offering an additional 10% if you enter the code BTS12 at checkout!

My "Monthly Calendar and Diary set" and flippy books have been selling like hotcakes!  Check them out if you're looking for some fun new ideas for your classroom!  You can see how I use the diary & calendar set here.

2.)  Have you entered my Brag Tag giveaway?  You MUST check out that post and enter!  It ends at midnight on Thursday!

Ok... that's it!  Enjoy the day!  Head over to 4th Grade Frolics to see what everyone else is making today!
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