November 19, 2015

Standing Desks on a Budget or even FREE!


A Stand2Learn standing desk and stool. 
(Courtesy of Stand2Learn)

I really want to try those STANDING DESKS I keep reading about in educational journals and blogs. I was researching how to do a flexible seating arrangement in my classroom when I came across this concept about standing desks. I looked online to purchase one of those cool tables with a fancy pendulum footrest and realized that I didn't have the funds for one. 
My principal suggested that I can save a "whole lotta" money by simply raising the legs of my students' desks! Um...why didn't I think of that? I raised the legs of a couple of student desks I had in the classroom. AND...my kids love it! They love doing their work in the standing stations! 
Granted, this will only work maybe up to third grade as desks can go only so high.  
Ok...ok...you might have beat me to the punch, but I just found out about this wonderful easy way to get them for free! So, I am spreading the love to those who want to try out standing desks! 
You're welcome! 
 
A few of my students like to sit in the high stool while working. 


 They use a stepper for the whole one leg up thingy that comes when you actually purchase a standing desk...oh, yes, the pendulum footrest...that thingy. We found that a step stool does the same thing. 


Move two desks together and you have a four top! Wala!

October 23, 2015

I Never Met A Pumpkin I Didn't Like


Here's a quick and easy pumpkin bulletin board for ya! I actually stole the idea from a great teacher friend of mine. I looked on Pinterest for the How To.  I found KinderCraze and her link for a free pumpkin template. I used clear contact paper and had the students fill in the pumpkins with colorful tissue paper I cut up into squares (they cut out their own pumpkins). Then lined the top with more clear contact paper. For the vines, I just squeezed colorful tissue paper and added die cut leaves. Our hallway is decorated with tons of Fall colors. And of course, I needed to add more darker colors to add that pop! Plus, it ties in when my tree by my door. Students will take them home for Thanksgiving Break so that they can hang them on their windows. 

Happy Fall Y'all!

October 14, 2015

Organizing my guided reading groups


Here's another tweak from Pinterest. Organizing and keeping track of your reading groups with two simple tools. Check out What the Teacher Wants for more details on how she uses her file folder. 

You can get as creative as you want! I just simply printed on pretty paper and used these labels for my reading levels. Laminate the file folder. I printed and laminated students' names on card stock.  This year, I used laminated heart shaped die cuts for their names. I added adhesive putty so that I can move my students' names from level to level after assessing them with running records. You can easily erase the levels and rewrite on your choice of post it labels. 





Teachers use several different ways to keep track of their anecdotal notes on each student.  One of the best ways are our index cards with a ring to hold them together. I love washi tapes and decided to washi mine up! 


I colored coded my reading groups based on their reading levels. 
 


And towards the back of my stack ~ a sheet of colorful letters! 
I am better organized with these two tools! 
Happy Guided Reading! 

September 15, 2015

Yummy Reading Strategies!


This yummy book is a great resource for reading strategies! It is worth every penny to have in your reading toolbox.  I will show you some of its yumminess! 

The author, Jennifer Serravallo, has collected 300 reading strategies to fit every reading level. She has set them up into thirteen goals starting at pre-emergent to improving writing about reading. She has color-coded each goal.


 For each reading strategy she offers you different ways to understand the strategy so that you can implement it right away.  She gives you a teaching tip to help you understand how to use the strategy or a lesson language to show you how she might explain or demonstrate it to students. Serravallo provides prompts to help you scaffold during student practice.  There is a section she devotes to who the strategy is for. I love this part! In the beginning of the book she teaches you how to use your running records to determine your students goals and strategies to use. I love how she lets you know what reading levels the strategies will work for best. 


Now, for the yummy part of this book! The visuals in this book are to die for! They are both colorful and aspiring! Aspiring because I CAN DO THIS! I can teach the strategy and create anchor charts and tools using the examples. I am a better reading teacher because of this! 


You can't go wrong with this book!  Purchase one for yourself on Amazon or perhaps your school can purchase a copy to share. 

There is a great book study from a group of teacher bloggers who call themselves the Reading Strategies Crew. Each teacher blogger did one goal for their book study. I have linked the first book study by literacylovinggals. She begins with a  more detail description of the first goal. You will then follow the links to the next goal. 

The Reading Strategies Book works well with my Reading Workshop and Daily 5.  I love this book and all its yumminess! 

Enjoy! 


September 6, 2015

Crushin' on my Classroom Theme







When I was a Pinterest Newbie, my first boards were all about teaching. Then, I stumbled upon a blog about classroom themes, Schoolgirl Style. I never thought of decorating my classroom with an actual theme. I just sticky taped cute posters all over the room as my "decor". Alas, I ran into Melanie's site and found the cutest classrooom decor, a bird theme, her original one. I loved how she told me exactly where to go to get the items I needed to create my theme. I purchased her birds (and couple years later- her new birds). But I still love her original blue birds. There is such a sweetness to them. They greet me every morning and tweet me adieu every afternoon. My bestie created a whimsical tree for my hallway last school year.  I didn't do alot of changes this year but change the letters to more colorful ones. I am so crushin' my hallway decor!
Last year

This year!

I will hang my students' work here.


The other side of the hallway.

Added a writing table.

Added a few chandeliers...


August 24, 2015

Fluffy Fuzzies Once Again!


I use Pom-poms (or fuzzies as we call them) for my classroom management. Students who earn 20 fuzzies can turn them in for a coupon. You can get freebie coupons like this one from Stories by Storie. Or make your own coupons. I do take away a fuzzy if students are not following our classroom rules. But...what I wanted to share happened upon me by accident. After a couple of years, my fuzzies were beginning to look icky. I would spray them with Lysol to kill the germs, but it just made them look so sad! 

The other night, I washed my apron and forgot that I had fuzzies in my pockets. I never saw them when I transferred them to the dryer.  After a good wash and drying time, they came out fluffy! They almost looked new. I decided to take the rest home and I washed and dried them in a lingerie bag. I have fluffy fuzzies once again! 

Enjoy! 


August 19, 2015

First Day of School Teacher Gift


I love giving a little something for my children's teachers on the first day of school. I nabbed these adorable school theme clips from Target One Spot. I also purchased the school theme gift bags. My favorite one is the wide ruled paper!  I simply added a yummy Starbucks gift card and created a tag to go along with the ruler, paper, and pencil theme. Easy Peasy! 


Click HERE for a free download



Border Credit
Font Credit

           

August 17, 2015

Back to School!



It's that time of year...BACK TO SCHOOL!  
I found these cute Parent-Wish Jar on TPT created by Kimberly Gillow.  This is so sweet to ask parents to write down their wish for their children at a Back to School Night or Open House Event. I asked parents to write their address and students' names on an envelope I provided for them.  I read them afterwards, and I put them away for the school year. Ms. Gillow keeps them in a jar to reread them throughout the year. But I thought it would be neat to send their parents' wishes to the students during the summer. I decided for this school year to make my own to match my classroom theme. Enjoy! 
Here's a sample of a parent's wish to her daughter. I just simply folded it up and sent it with a card and the envelope my parent filled out at BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT.
Click here for the Zebra Print.


Click here to download these





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Font Credit



July 14, 2015

HEY, LET ME ADD THAT TO MY PLANNER!

I started participating in this crazy but fun and crafty world of planning your days with planner books. I did a lot of research on different planners and decided on Websters Pages Color Crush Planners. It had to be small enough to fit my teacher bag. You can purchase cute inserts for it via Etsy, but I love the ones that came with the planner itself. 
Since I am not as creative as I liked to be, I watched how others (instagram) decorated their monthly, weekly, and day by day planners. I will admit that I knew I would not have the time to do it all! Some planner people have more than one or two planner books! For me, I needed ONE centralized organization for all upcoming events in my teacher, mother, wife, friend, and so on world!
I did sorta (maybe a lot) went overboard in preparing myself for this planner crazed world. However, I was frugal! I purchased all of my stuff either on sale, on clearance, and always with a coupon! I did purchase some of my planner stickers through Etsy. 
I decided not to decorate my monthly calendar pages. I use it to jot down the important events. I set a time on Sundays to decorate the upcoming weekly pages. I check on my monthly pages to see what is coming that week. Decide on either a theme or color scheme I will use to decorate my weekly. I find it relaxing and fun to craft my weekly pages. My very first week I themed it to my favorite, Hello! It doesn't take long to figure out which washi tape, stickers, or dashboards to use. So far with my new planner book, I feel like the most organized and decorated person on earth! You wanna what? Hold on...let me check my planner to see if I am available.

                         My Michaels Haul

Wrap Washi Tape around used gift cards. 
Easy to travel with.

Travel Pocket

Week One

Week Two

                                    Week Three

Dashboard

And to hold it all together, a pink Craftsman Tote!