Monday, July 29, 2013

Super Shopping and Monday Made It ✎♥✎

Hello my darling friends! I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend! I had a fabulous mini-vacay with my family in Orlando. We went to Animal Kingdom and got to see animals on the safari up close and personal, which was awesome! :)

Alright, so althought a little late, here is my Super Shopping Saturday post! 

Right before we left for our trip, I got my package from Mardel!!! I was only able to tear the box open and snap a quick picture, but it was more than enough to sustain me on my trip :) Here are some of the goodies I bought:

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this T-shirt and cannot wait to wear it!!! :)

I must confess, I don't know why I bought the border. I have so much border already!!! It was an impulse buy. It was there, it was on sale, it was I bought it. Ay ay ay.

Make sure you link up your shopping goodies, friends! We will be doing a little giveaway as a thank you for linking up and showing us your finds! :)

For my Monday Made It post, I finally got my pencil dispenser!!! I was really thinking about making it super cute with some mod podge and scrapbooking paper, but honestly I have so many other things I want to get done, I went the cute and simple route. I put some stickers on that baby and voila! Here is my pencil dispenser. I have to say, I am loving it!

What have you purchased lately for your classroom? Let me tell you, my to-do list is getting longer and my summer vacation is getting shorter. I don't have much time left. So sad, yet so exciting!

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Classroom design...yes, there's an App for that!!

I know that you've been thinking about your classroom set-up. I have. I've been thinking about this year's set-up since last year! It's a little crazy, I know, but it's so important. I need to make sure that everything is exactly where I want it. I was drawing on paper, but that didn't work out for me. I also tried the post-it notes method where you get a large board and use post-its as your "pieces" to move around. Well that didn't work for me either. 

In comes Educreations. Educreations is an app that turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard! I love this app. I used it last year to design my classroom and it was fabulous, amazing, marvelous!!! I love it so much.  
I took a video of my classroom and uploaded it to the app. Then the fun began. So I took some snapshots of the video because I did this for myself last summer and it does not sound pretty as I think out loud. I just want you to get an idea.  Also, excuse the mess. I had just moved schools and, well, you can imagine.

As your draw on your video, it records what you say. So you can think out loud as you draw or say notes you might want to remember when you play back your video. In the slide below, I drew where I wanted things placed, exactly where the posters I was going to hang up are from, etc.

In the slide below, I talked about this being my word wall and how I needed to divide it in order for it to be even. :) I talked about the colors of the border, the color of the background,  and about how I was going to move the computers to make the wall accessible.

In this slide, I talk about my manners posters, the student of the week section, etc.

I love this app and I truly think it makes classroom set-up so much easier. If you don't have a video of your classroom, you can just use pictures. You can even share when you are finished!!

Of course, you don't have to just use it for classroom design. You can do tutorials of anything! You can explain a math problem, explain homework to post on your website...anything! The possibilities are endless. Here is the BEST's FREE!!! Yes my sweet friends, FREE. Go get it and use it and tell me what you think! ♥

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blog Hop, Shopping Linky, Oh my!!!!!! Second grade teachers are out of control! We are having a fantastic blog hop being hosted by Tori, over at Tori's Teacher Tips! 23, yes you read that right, 23 amazing bloggers are offering exclusive freebies, but ONLY through Sunday!!! I am offering my iSnoop Double Digit Addition with Regrouping!!! It's all starting over at Tori's Facebook page, so just click the picture below to get there!

Ok, on to the shopping linky party.

Ya'll I have shopped 'til I dropped and I KNOW you have too! Trust me, I've seen your Instagrams! This fabulous linky party gives you a sneak peek into everyone else's shopping goodies! Here's how it works:
  1. Snap some pictures of your back to school finds.
  2. Blog about your school supplies.
  3. Put the image above on your post and link it back to this blog.
  4. Come back and add your blog to our linky party.
Wait...there's more! You can link up today and for the next two Saturdays. At that time, the linky will close. We'll draw names to select one shopper as the winner! If you win, you'll get to pick an item from each of our stores as our thank you for joining us. The hosts of this marvelous linky are: Moi! And the fabulous...

So here is my Super School Shopping Saturday Share: 

The beautiful picture you see below was taken at Big Lots. I had to share's like the holy grail of bins. I bought 3 medium baskets of each color for my Guided Reading books and 21 magazine bins, 7 of each color to use as my kiddos' book bins. Beautiful!

Today I was at Wal-Mart and I ran across this beautiful 12-foot banner. 97 cents, my friends. 97 cents!! I am thinking I can cut out and glue some cute letters and make it a welcome banner for open house :)

These letters are adorable! Love the colors and patterns! Also at Wal-Mart!

I just had to show you this beautiful washi tape. Glitter!!! You can make everything sparkle and beautiful. You can go crazy with this tape...because it was 97 cents!! Whaaaaaaat?!? Wal-Mart has really stepped up their game. I'm a happy teacher :)

There you have it sweet friends. Some back to school shopping. There's alot more where that came from :) Make sure you link up!!! I MUST see your goodies! ♡♡♡


Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Made It- II :)

I am trying to make today a productive day. I am starting to feel that rising anxiety of school starting too soon. Next week I will be at a Common Core PD for two yeah, anxiety rising. I'm going to make it to the teacher production lab and get somethings laminated. Yes. That's what I will do. I am writing it down here because then it means I am going to do it, right? 

Alright, enough of that. I made another Monday Made It! Yay me!!! I actually made two, so yeah, how about that for over-achieving? First up is my Writing chart. I have been reading "No More I'm Done" by Jennifer Jacobson and I am totally inspired to implement what I have read. One of the struggles I have during writer's workshop is keeping up with where every kiddo is at any given time of the writing process. I have seen variations of this on Pinterest and other blogs, and adapted my own version....TADA!!!! Here it is:
I am working on the clothespins that are going to go on the chart with the kiddos' names. There is also going to be an adorable little bow on the top left, but I left the rest of my ribbon at school, so I will have to add the finishing touch when I get back. I absolutely love it and I am so excited to implement it when school starts. 

On to the second Made It. Earlier this summer I bought several unfinished, wooden frames from Michael's. I absolutely loved the scalloped edges and thought it would look adorable with subway art to inspire the littles. Well, I painted them some fun colors and printed subway art from Hope King and here they are! I have a couple more to do in purple and green, but you get the idea :)

I am so excited about these and I think they are going to look great in the classroom. I hope that you enjoyed taking a look at my Monday Made It. See ya later, alligator! :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Focus Wall Freebie and a Winner! ☁

Howdy Doody, everyone! Thank you all for your super sweet, supportive comments yesterday. You all are just amazing! So for the Brag Charms giveaway, I used Random Number Generator and the winner of the Brag Charms is:
Congratulations, Katie! Please leave me your e-mail so I can send the Brag Charms your way! 

Now, I wanted to share a little freebie with you all...Focus Wall Headers! 

I made these back when my theme was robots and polka dots. They are very simple, but I feel like they have to be because a focus wall is usually very busy. Here is a page as a sample:

I am still debating whether I'm going to do a focus wall this year. I do love having an area where everything is cohesive...we'll see. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, if you like these and can use them, just click on any of the pictures above to download from TpT. Enjoy! See you later, friends! ✎

Friday, July 12, 2013

Brag Charms! A Fabulous Management Tool and a Giveaway! :)

Happy Friday, friends! Another summer week gone by, boo! Today I wanted to talk to you guys about a classroom management tool that I simply ADORE, as do my kiddos. 

Click on the picture to go to my TPT Store :)
 Two years ago, I used Brag Tags© in my classroom. They were amazing! My kiddos loved them and felt so special every time they earned one. After that year though, I could not justify spending the money on the brag tags, especially considering that the kids take them home at the end of the year.

So...last summer I decided to make my own! Of course they weren't beautiful plastic, but I used cardstock to print them and that was good enough :).  I had a "sweets" theme for rewards, so I made them all "sweets" related. Cupcakes, candy, bubble gum, gumball machines...the works! Not only did I make them for behavior, I also made an AR set for point clubs. Oh.My.Word. These kids ate it up!!! They kept up with what they earned, calculated way in advance where they would was a big deal. These are last year's charms:

This year, I decided to go away from the theme and just make them fun. Although I loved the brag charms and so did they, I feel like the same graphics got a little boring over the course of the year and they were bigger than I I made 60+ different designs for the fall!!!

So how do I use them in the classroom? Students earn brag charms throughout the year for different recognitions. For example, I might give a "Math Mathematician" brag charm to a little who got a 100% on the Math Test. I might give a "Bucket Filler Extraordinaire" charm to a little who has been filling buckets left and write with meaningful kindness. They get to put the charm on their necklace when they earn it (or at a point when I say it's ok) and wear it for the day. At the end of the day, they put the necklace back on their hook (push pins work too) on the bulletin board. It is up to you whether you want to let students take them home at the end of the year! I am not yet allowed in my classroom, so I have made a "sample" bulletin board with how to use the brag charms:

A couple of teachers asked me if this is my only behavior management tool. The answer is no. This is more for recognition and bragging rights. I still use a clip chart system in my classroom in addition to Dojo points with a classroom store. For whole group management and rewards, I use a Warm Fuzzies (from Jessica Meacham circa 2007, love her!!) bucket. I believe that brag charms help students' confidence, it's a visual reminder of their accomplishments. :)

Teachers, your kiddos will love it! Let me know if I left anything out or if you have any questions. These are now in my TPT store and if you would like them customized, there is an option for that too. Stay tuned for the AR Point clubs version. I hope you adore them as much as I do! :)

I would love to give one away!! Leave a comment telling me anything you want and I will pick a winner tonight! :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hello, bloggy world! I have to tell you that it has been so much fun getting the hang of being a "blogger," which seriously I can't even consider myself one. I barely know what I'm doing and only have three posts! Either way, I am loving it and have already had the pleasure of "meeting" such fabulous teachers. I can't wait to continue on this wonderful journey.

So....drumroll please...I was nominated for the Liebster Award by three marvelous bloggers: Jen from Sparkling in Second, Jen and Cheryl from 2nd to None, and Stacey from A Ray of Kindergarten Sunshine!!! I was all like, what?!? An award? No way! But yes friends, its true. Let me tell you, I was floored. What an honor!

 Ok, so I learned that the Liebster award is an award given to blogs with less than 200 followers. If you are nominated, you get to answer questions about yourself so that everyone gets to know you a little better. I also get to nominate other bloggers. So exciting, right?!? Well, to accept the nomination, I must:

1. Link back to the blog that nominated you

2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers

3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator

4. Share 11 random facts about yourself

5. Create 11 questions for your nominees

6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them

If there are repeated questions, I am just going to answer it once and delete the duplicate, I know your time is valuable :) 

And awaaayyyyy we go...

Jen from Sparkling in Second Grade asked:

1. Why did you start blogging? I have been considering it for a long time. I love creating, I love sharing, I love meeting teachers who are as passionate and crazy about education as I am. I think the blogging community is amazing and I want to share the little bit that I can with it :)

2. What's your favorite holiday? Christmas...everything about it from the weather, the smells that linger in the house from all the baking, the colors, the energy everywhere you go...

3. If you weren't a teacher, what would you be doing?I can't imagine being anything else, I really couldn't, but If I had to, I would design and make digital educational products... maybe working with a publishing company like Scholastic!

4. What's your most embarrassing teacher moment? Oh goodness, that would have to be when I had some bean dip from a teacher’s luncheon and when I got back in the classroom with my kiddos, I had a piece of bean on my tooth. Yeah, giggles galore!

5. What's your favorite mode of transportation? I would have to say the monorail at Disney is pretty cool. I wish it were a daily form of transportation! Unfortunately, in Florida we don't even have a subway. I would have to say that car is my preference...or those really fun cart rides where there's a guy on a bicycle and you're sitting in the back. What are those called anyway?

6. What's your favorite thing about your classroom? I adore my decor. It's bright and inviting and just so fun!

7. What is something on your "bucket list"? I don't have a bucket that sad?

8. What are you most excited about for the 2013 school year? I am excited to implement all the wonderful things I am reading about and learning in writing. So excited!

9. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? I would go to the Galapagos has such a fragile ecosystem that I would love to see it before its destroyed.

10. Do you cook? If so, what is your favorite recipe? I do cook, although not as often as I should...when I do cook I love to make tacos! Easy peasy lemon squeezy tacos. Just some ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a dash of cilantro!

11. What is your favorite place to shop? I love shopping. I guess overall Target has everything I need!

Jen and Cheryl from 2nd to None asked:  

1. What is your favorite grade to teach? 2nd, 2nd, 2nd! My first and only love.

2. What is your favorite food? I love mexican or cuban food. Delish!

3. How do you spend your free time? Hanging out with my family, reading, or creating things for school

4. What do you like least about your classroom? The size. I wish I had more space. We are so cramped!

5. What are you currently reading? I am reading "No More I'm Done" by Jennifer Jacobson. Its so good!

6. What is your favorite pet? Doggies :)

7. What is your favorite TV show? Dexter, Good Luck Charlie, Breaking Bad, Friends...

8. What is your must have beauty product? Baby Lips and mascara

Stacey from A Ray of Kindergarten Sunshine asked:

1. How long have you been teaching? This is my 3rd year and I learn something new everyday.

2. Did you always want to be a teacher? If not, what did you want to do? Always, since I was in Pre-K!

3. What is your favorite thing about teaching? The children and their families. <3

4. How long have you been blogging for? I just a week?!

5. Do you have a favorite techie tool or any techie advice? If yes, what is it? Just make sure you all the time!!

6. What is your favorite dessert? (I love dessert!) I love cupcakes and cheesecake, yummy-o!

7. What is your favorite movie of all time? The Wedding Singer (not animated) and Beauty and the Beast (animated). I have seen them over 50 times each, no joke.

8. Are you a dog person or a cat person? Dog :)

9. What was your favorite toy or doll from childhood? Do you guys remember Jem and the Holograms? Well I used to have her keyboard, which opened up and turned into like a play stage...although it's definitely a tie between that and My Little Pony!

1. I dislike pickles. No, I hate pickles..the smell, texture, juice..eek! It cannot touch my sandwich!

2. Although I hate pickles, I LOVE cucumbers! So refreshing!

3. My boyfriend and I were high school sweethearts!

4. We have 4 dogs and they are our babies!

5. I have three sisters, no brothers

6. I love thrift stores! Love vintage finds.

7. I love alternative rock of the 90's: Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, RHCP, Stone Temple Pilots, Offpsring... the list goes on and on

8. but I also LOVE 70's, 80's, classical, Elvis, music!

9. Go Gators!

10. I hate making my lunch every day. Growing up stinks.

11. I love shopping. Love it!

Wowie, Wow, Wow. I feel so egotistical writing all this stuff about myself, lol! It was really fun to reflect though! Love this! 

Alright say the following in the voice of the MTV Movie Awards announcer: Here are my nominess for the Liebster award (please follow these fabulous bloggers if you don’t already!):

1. Aly @ Just a Primary Girl
2. Bridget @ Hardcore Teacher Resources
3. Sarah @ The Eager Teacher
4. Charlotte @ Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun

Alrighty girls, here are my 11 questions for my nominees:

1.    Crunchy or Smooth peanut butter?
2. If and when you create things for your classroom, what program do you use?
3. What is your favorite color combination?
4. What is your most favorite subject to teach?
5. What is your favorite restaurant?
6. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
7. How long have you been teaching?
8. Did you have another career before becoming a teacher or have you always been a teacher?
9. Who is your favorite adult author? Children's book author?
10. Do you like scary movies?
11. What school supply can you just not live without?

I hope you learned a little more about me…found that we have something in common, and connected with a new friend. Talk to you all soon!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chevron and Black and White Toolbox Labels- Freebie! ☼

Ok, for real, is it just me or does summer need to slow down? I cannot believe it's the 9th already! Geez Louise!  Today I wanted to share with you my Teacher's Toolbox Black and White and Chevron labels! It's the first item I put up on my TPT store, but I think that it would be helpful to have some more information about it. 

 Okay, so I bought the 18-drawer teacher toolbox at Lowe's. There were a couple of other options available, but I felt that for the items that I have, this would be the best one for me. 

I came home and got right to work. I measured the drawers and got crackin' on the design. Now, I love color. Anything neon, bright, saturated...I'm there! However, I need to start conserving some toner because momma prints way to much and toner is expensive! Now, I have one of those darling little 10-drawer carts full of I started thinking and I realized I could make a super cute design in black and white and then cut it out and glue it onto bright that's what I did. I used chevron cardstock I bought at Michael's and voila!!!

What I love the most about these black and white labels is that you can print them on any color! For example, do you have a bee theme? Print it out and glue it on yellow and black chevron or polka dots or stripes, whatever you want! The text does have a color glow to help it pop, so if you want that all black, make sure you change your print settings. I love that the possibilities are endless. If you want to save the cutting and gluing and just print it in color and move on,  I have included a color option as well. 

I hope that you find these useful and have fun being creative and getting organized. If you have any questions, please contact me. Remember to follow me on Bloglovin' and on TpT. Click below to visit my TpT store and download your labels! Please leave feedback if you download!!! ♥ 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made-It- My first link-up! :)

Hi friends! Today I am doing my first Monday Made-It and linking up with 4th Grade Frolics! So exciting! 

So I took a trip to Hobby Lobby (yes, a trip, because I have to drive 40 minutes each way!) and they had all these frames on clearance from $39.99 to $8.00! They are really nice, sturdy, awesome quality frames, they just had a very kiddish, unappealing ladybug as the artwork. I just knew I could take them and make something I would love out of I did! I bought two of these frames (sorry the picture is awful):

I also bought some fabulous fabric:

I took an x-acto knife and cut the back of the frame. Then, I wrapped and taped the existing artwork in the chevron fabric like so:

Finally, I took my finished piece and put it in the frame. I decided that it would be perfect as dry-erase frames for our home office! I can write notes, to do's, you know...all that fun stuff :)

The whole project cost $20.50....not bad :)

I hope you enjoyed my Monday Made-it Post! Stay tuned tomorrow for a post on my chevron labels and teacher toolbox! Talk to you soon! ♥

Sunday, July 7, 2013

iSnoop Math Stations- Rigor, Engagement, and a Sale! ♡

Hello sweet friends! I am so excited to show you one of my very, very favorite math stations. I have been using these in my classroom and they are hands down my students' absolute favorite station. I'm going to admit it, its my favorite too, because the set-up is easy peasy lemon squeezy! Although they love it and I love it and everyone who uses them loves it too, I have to tell you that they truly are rigorous and highly engaging for the littles.

Without further ado, I introduce you to my iSnoop: A Curious Case of _____ stations. The reason for the blank is that there are many themes and skills that will be part of the iSnoop line. They are CCSS aligned and offer even more skills than meet the eye.

In order to set up the station, all you will need in addition to this packet is a bin, a clipboard, a pencil (or a dry-erase marker if you want to laminate the recording sheet), and a hand lens. 

Now if you want to kick this station up a notch and have your little sleuths happy beyond belief, add a little detective hat and glasses from the dollar store. You can use regular glasses or glasses with the Groucho eyebrows and mustache like the one below. Oh Em Gee. They will be over the moon. And so will I, and so will you, because having students who are learning, engaged, and quiet is a true gift. 


If you can't find a plastic detective hat at the dollar store, don't worry. Just print a really fabulous one from MyCuteGraphics and glue it on a sentence strip. Yeah, I know how to be cheapo, ha! They also have really wonderful tan fedora's on Amazon for about $6. 

My friends, I am telling you, they will love these stations. The graphics are beautiful and I try to put scenarios and characters together that are aesthetically pleasing and highly engaging. Oh yeah, and as a little easter egg, you know those little surprises left behind in movies and stuff, I change the graphic in the hand lens of the 'top secret file' in every iSnoop product. Just for fun! Like in this one, it's a star, but in the subtraction one it's a superhero mask. Yeah, nerdy, I know...but I love it! :)

For today only, I am going to put my store on sale for 20% off. I know you will love them as much as I do! Please contact me if you have any questions or requests. Thanks for stopping by! ♡

First person to leave a comment with their e-mail address will get my iSnoop: Superhero Triple Digit with Regrouping for free!

Friday, July 5, 2013

My First Post ✎

Hi and welcome!  I have been working on starting this blog, and every time I started, conditions weren't "perfect" enough. I wanted the perfect template, the perfect words, the perfect button, the perfect signature, the perfect time, Google Reader was being discontinued (what?!) get my drift. Yet like most things in life, nothing is ever perfect, so I thought to myself, "just do it." Yeap, just like the Nike slogan. So here I am! I am a second grade teacher and I absolutely ADORE the littles at this age. I could not imagine teaching any other grade level. I really couldn't. I get anxiety thinking about it. Anyway, I love to create things. I have been creating and designing since I was a sophomore in high school. I never that that being editor of the yearbook would come in so handy, but it did!! I have created so many things for my classroom since I started and with the wonderful world of technology, I get to share it with you! I am looking forward to being a part of this wonderful, beautiful online community and I can't wait to meet you. I'll be working on making this prettier, more fun, more to what I envision, but for not, make sure you follow me on Bloglovin' so you get my updates. Talk to you soon! ♥

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