Sunday, January 11, 2015

MLK Freebies

It's been a relaxing weekend with no specific plans for the first time in a long time. I managed to see the Mockingjay movie and spent most of it stressed out. It was intense! I've read the book, so it really shouldn't have been such a stressful thing, but it had been a long time and I had forgotten a lot of the storyline. 

Sitting down now with some hot chocolate, the pup by my feet, and my plan book to get started on this week's plans. With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day coming up next week, I thought I'd share some MLK freebies that are in my TPT Store. Hopefully they can help with some planning in your class! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday Earthquake Style

Hi Everyone!

My "What I'm Loving Wednesday" weekly linky party is up and running a day early. I hope you'll forgive me not prettying it up this week.

We had an earthquake on Sunday and my mind is elsewhere.

Everyone has been doing an amazing job of cleaning up and taking care of each other. Schools have been closed for the students and kiddos will return to us tomorrow.

I am working on three hours of sleep so my plan is to forego major blogging tonight and get some rest.

Thanks for understanding!

What I'm loving this week- friends and family. It's too bad it takes something like an earthquake to bring people together, but I am so thankful that we're safe and healthy. I love how everyone's been looking out for one another.

I hope you'll share what you're loving this week! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday- August 20th

Happy Wednesday everyone! We are on day six in my classroom and two things are happening: we're starting to see real personalities come out and little by little we're starting to understand our routines. I'm exhausted! Like in bed when the sun's out exhausted.

But alas, it's Wednesday and it's time to look to the positive with the "What I'm Loving Wednesday Linky!"

Bachelor in Paradise (or as I call it- "80/40," if you watch the show you'll know what I'm referring to). This show makes my Monday nights a little brighter. It is so stinking ridiculous, I love it. Draaaaama!

Working on my Parent Information Sheet for Back to School Night next week and I'm loving how it's coming out. Last year I made the parent flip-books which looked great, but took a lot of work. Hats off to those of you that put those together! I couldn't do it this year (see exhaustion at the top of this post), so I put together a quick one page front and back info. sheet that I'll copy on bright paper. 
Pumpkin everything is coming! I just ordered some pumpkin soaps and candles last night from Bath and Body Works and I can't wait for them to arrive! Yeah, it's still August, but it's never too early to start thinking pumpkin. 

With that...I'm going to go put on my pajamas because folks, it's already 6 p.m.!

Glitter Text @

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday and Classroom Pictures

Today is the first day of school my friends. The first day. Oy. There's always so much anticipation and build-up to the first day. I'm ready to be in a groove, in a schedule, with procedures down. Can we just fast forward already? :) 

Today is Wednesday so it's time for my weekly linky, "What I'm Loving Wednesday." 

First up is my classroom. I have to say that I love it simply because I've been spending so much time getting it ready. It feels good to finally be done. Or as done as I'm going to get before the kiddos come in.

Prepare for a photo dump!

My files for teaching for the week

My monthly read-alouds are kept in the black magazine files

Daily math papers in the crates sorted by lesson

Math wall and computers

Reading wall, cubbies, Friday Choice bins, and book boxes

Parent News bulletin board

Science and Social Studies wall and supply bins

Classroom library and small group table

Front of the room with the class rules

Front of the room

Carpet area at the front of the room

Another view of the front of the room

My desk
I'm also loving the genius idea I saw on Instagram about putting pool noodles in your boots to keep them from flopping over in the closet. 

I was shopping the other day and saw pool noodles for 97 cents so I had to try it out. I cut one up and put the pieces in my boots right away. Love it!

Last but not least I'm loving my new Substitute Binder that I printed out yesterday and am starting to fill in.

I feel like it's going to keep me super organized when it comes to substitutes, which always seem to take to plan for.

I'm hoping with all of this information already prepped and in a binder, the sub plans will be way easier!

 Check it out on Teachers Pay Teachers here.

Well, that's all I have for now. I have a couple more projects I need to finish up tonight for the first day tomorrow.

What are you loving this week? Make sure to link up!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Quick Tech Tip for Your Classroom

Hi Friends!

I'm here today with a quick classroom tech tip that I'm super jazzed about!

I recently found out about this free website that helps you create a fun email signature with clickable links to your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and more. The website is called WiseStamp and you must check it out.

You sign up for a free account and then fill in all of the information you want to include. There's a couple different settings you can play around with to create the look you want for your signature. You add the links you want to include and a picture and viola! 

Once you sign in to your email account and compose a new email your signature is ready for you!

You can also follow this tutorial for how to set up your signature in Outlook. 

I created one for my blog email and one for school with my info and links to our school's website and Facebook page. I'm pretty excited to use it for emails in my classroom.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Daily Five Second Edition and Free Printables

I've been spending some time this weekend getting ready for the first week of school (T-minus four days people!) and what I want to teach and how I want to teach it. The beginning of the school year is so critical in getting procedures and routines in place. I feel like there's a small window of time to get the structure I want in my classroom so I like to be very thoughtful in how I go about implementing things. 

I'm recommitting myself to implementing The Daily Five this year and spent some time this summer reading the second edition of the book. 

I've poured over Pinterest and found a lot of great information through some book studies as well. There are so many great resources out there that so many wonderful teachers have put together. 

I finally convinced a friend of mine to join Instagram and Teachers Pay Teachers and they have some great printable posters for your Daily Five room in their store for free! 

I am excited about these because once I teach the students the basics with all of my anchor charts, I run out of room to put the chart paper posters and my reading bulletin board isn't that big. These printables will be perfect for my size wall. I printed them out and laminated them and am excited about them going up on the wall after I introduce the information.

If you're an Instagramer, take a minute to follow my friend. Lots of flash freebies and giveaways happening on there.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Organizing the Paper Clutter To and From School

The other day I posted a picture on Instagram of my G.A.T.O.R. Binders being put together thanks to my mama's help and some people were asking what was inside. I decided to do a blog post about these babies. 

G.A.T.O.R. stands for Getting All Things Organized and Ready and the gator is our school mascot. The binders are a way to keep all of the paper clutter that goes to and from school organized. 

Each year my second graders are given their G.A.T.O.R. Binders on the first day of school after a lengthy talk about what's inside and how to take care of them.  The students and families take great care of them for the most part and I've had nothing but positive feedback from parents.

 The inside cover is where the students put their homework each week. This binder is ready for the first day of school with their only homework being a Student Information Sheet. I make a big deal out of the fact that really, this homework is for their parents. The students think it's funny that their parents have homework. 

 The first thing in the binder is this pouch. In the past I've used it for money that's brought to school for field trips, book orders, or lunches. This year I'm going to be putting a deck of cards and math games on a metal ring for their homework inside. 

Behind the pouch is a description of the different parts of the binder. This stays in all year and is a great introduction for parents and students. I can also easily refer back to this page if a little one needs a reminder to not color or tear out any pages. 

Next I have a Spelling Menu in a plastic sleeve that will be used throughout the trimester for homework. I have a couple different plastic sleeves behind this housing a monthly calendar of events, a writing calendar for homework, and directions for how to login at home to a computer program our school uses.

I bought these poly folders from Walmart for their Friday Folders. Friday Folders are where they put their weekly papers that come out of their cubbies. Parents look through the papers and clean it out each week. I initially thought I'd have trouble with families never cleaning out their binders, but the parents have been really great about keeping the binders in tip top shape. 

Behind the Friday Folder is a Room 23 News spiral notebook. We use this spiral notebook as a communication tool between the parents, students, and myself. Each morning when the students first come in the room, they copy down a letter to their parents that is written on the board. We talk a lot about the five parts of a friendly letter, handwriting, spacing, etc. at the beginning of the year. The letter usually consists of something that they did at school or an event that's coming up. In the evenings they take their binders home and their parents read the letters and sign them. As the students are writing their letters in the mornings, I walk around and stamp for parent signatures from the night before. What I love most about Room 23 News is that if a parent has a quick note to tell me, they write it underneath their student's letter and I see it first thing in the morning and we have an ongoing collection of our communication. 

After the students have written their news in the morning they put their binders on this corner shelf. Throughout the day if I have a paper that needs to be sent home to a particular student, I can easily go grab their binder and slip it inside. 

This year I'm going to have the students personalize the very back of the binder however they'd like. They can include photographs, drawings, etc. 

I let the families know at Back to School Night that if a student or family happens to lose the binder or it's damaged beyond repair, I will supply an extra one for $5.00 for materials. I've only had to replace one in the last seven years!

That's the G.A.T.O.R. Binder in a nutshell! I've seen a lot of acronyms used for these binders- B.E.E. Binders, M.O.O.S.E. Binders, etc. I'm pretty sure there's an acronym for any type of binder you want to create if you search the Internet. 

Questions or comments? Leave them below!