Saturday, August 29, 2015

Five for Fraturday! We have Giveaway Winners!

Hey everyone! I am here with a Five for Friday BUT it's Saturday so I am calling it Five for Fraturday! One of the BIG things I have going on is that I have winners to announce for my giveaways so be sure to scroll down to find out who won!
Working away in the classroom these days! I was in 6 days! And people say teachers have such a long summer break! I was back in after 6 weeks to set up (and that is after going in the day after school ended to clean and pack up!) 

The big thing I was doing was painting a really ugly cabinet. Here is an in process image on the left matched with a close up of the finished project. Yay! Much better!

Also I really LOVE opening new crayons, colored pencils, pencils, etc. There is just something about new, sharpened school supplies!
I organize my crayons by color. It takes a bit to set up at first but then I never have to deal with: "I can't find a purple"- plus the kids just take the colors they need to their desk and not an entire container!
Also I set up my clock - remember Care Bears? LOL! This is for our bathroom sign out sheet. I really feel (with occasional help) kids at the beginning of second grade should be able to figure out the hour on the clock on the wall but at the beginning of the year I let them see the minutes. Later in the year I take away the first minutes digit (covered with a bunch of stickies taped down) and at the end of the year I unplug the clock!

I am LOVING this Blair Turner Paper notepad! Its been so helpful and its fun!

More fun stuff! I love this Wonder Woman cup I found at Barnes and Noble! Inspiring!
Also this is just great! No cones! (unless its an ice cream cone!)
And have you seen and tasted these grapes? They really do taste like cotton candy! It's nuts!!
And I saw this a few weeks ago and wanted to share it here - thanks so much to Mel from From the Pond - she is a talented, creative teacher blogger and I love how this celebrates teachers supporting each other!
Now here comes the winners!
I had so much fun with the giveaways! So glad so many of you did, too! I already informed the winners but I also wanted to give a shout out here to them!

Kathy I. won Giveaway #1!
Michelle J. won Giveaway #2!
Christine S. won Giveaway #3!
Callie W. won Giveaway #4!
Deborah F. won Giveaway #5!
Amy M. won Giveaway #6
Congratulations to everyone and we hope you will enjoy your prizes!

Friday, August 28, 2015

How to Set Up a School Supply List on Amazon

Hey everyone! Just want to share what I found out about Amazon. You can now set up an official school wishlist! Parents will be able to go to Amazon and find teacher lists by searching by teacher name, town, school, etc. And they give you links to share and you can even email your list to parents right from Amazon. I made a short video (only 4 minutes)  to show you how to do it!

Hope it helps! Let me know if you make one!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tips for Interactive Notebooks in Grades 1-3

Hi everyone! I am bringing you some tips for using interactive notebook with your students!

 I teach second grade so based on my experience I came up with these tips to help you help your students with their interactive notebooks  and help you keep organized and manage them.

People often debate whether to use glue sticks or liquid glue. I think both have merits but I personally prefer liquid glue. I feel glue sticks can be a little on the wimpy side and the pages tend to fall out. My goal is to get my new class to use a few dots of glue, not a river. Erin from I'm Lovin' Lit has great tips for glue and INB's (though she teaches middle school) on her post here.

A solid interactive notebook has a table of contents that can be edited or has blank spots for students to write in as they add activities to their notebooks, which you may appreciate, especially if you are not going to do everything in an interactive notebook product or do things in a different order.  My tip is to leave enough space for the table of contents Have your students leave 10-15 pages or so blank at the beginning of their notebook. Get those table of contents pages glued in early in the year (maybe during morning arrival time). Then you can add your first activity.

Label page numbers in advance! I don't mean the whole book in one sitting, but have kids label out what you think is reasonable. I usually had them do 20 or so pages and then if they had an extra 3 minutes at some point, do 10-20 more.

As your students do each activity, have them add it to their table of contents. It can be hard, especially as kids are running out of time at the end of an activity so if they don;t get to it have them do it the next chance they get. I also admit, last year I did end up helping certain kiddos fill theirs in. But not too often! I have enough on my plate. This year I am considering having buddies help each other out - it might be a good task for a kiddo who is always done early with their work to help a friend catch up.

Storage and monitoring! My kids have desks so they keep  theirs in their desk. I know some of you like to keep supplies like this in a community storage area so that's up to you. The task that was hardest for me when I got started using them is monitoring the notebooks. A lot of times students completed them at a reading center while I worked with small groups. I would get behind in checking them very easily. So I tried two things. First, occasionally during reading groups I would have kids bring their notebooks and we would check them together and make edits as needed. Secondly, I also tried collecting 5 a day, taking them home to look over, and returned them the next day (with sticky notes if edits were needed) or I grabbed a kiddo if they needed extra help. The combination of these two strategies helped me as a teacher.

Interactive Notebooks are wonderful! Kids get so engrossed in the activities and it really is a fun, meaningful way to work on concepts and skills. If you have not used them, maybe it's time to give them a try!

If you want to check out my interactive notebook series, click here to go to my Teachers Pay Teacher store and search "interactive notebooks" or click on any of the covers below! Happy notebooking!


Friday, August 21, 2015

5 for Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I linked up with Doodlebugs Teaching for their super fun 5 for Friday link up to let you know what I have been up to!  Be sure to head over to her site afterwards and see who else linked up this time. Just click her blog button at the end of this post!


So I went in this week to set up the classroom. YUCK! It was so hot and even though I put a map on the classroom door, every piece of furniture (except my desk and the 2 file cabinets which were never moved) were put back in the wrong spot. On a positive note my amazing mom stopped by and helped clean! She should get a mother of the year award for being in this hot classroom!

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

And another plus - we got a brand new reading series- Journeys. I think  I got everything unpacked and put away! The kids' books look so bright and fun!

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!


PAINTING! I decided to paint this ugly area next to the door. It was very old, non magnetic blackboard. Last year I had my kids highlight their names and kept the highlighters nearby. They would hold their papers up on it and highlight away, highlighting the blackboard in the process. 

Here's a during (I totally forget the before) and after shot! 
5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!  5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!
I also had these really ugly cabinets in the back. I am not 100% done with them. Something was up with the doors. Maybe they were fiberboard or a hybrid put the paint was not taking. It took  6 coats so I didn't get the tape off and hardware back on yet but here's a during shot and then an "almost done" shot!

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!   5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!


Trying to clear out the guest room! Here are some things I was sorting through! 

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!
Sorry cords, if I don't even know what you are, you're outta here!

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!
And why did I have all of these glasses cases? Most were empty. And remotes to unknown devices! LOL

I'm excited to get this on DVD from Amazon any day now! (Click on it to head over and check it out!) I am watching seasons 1-4 in the meantime and very excited for Fear the Walking Dead to start on Sunday night! 

 The Walking Dead Season 5

And don't forget my huge giveaway!  $100 in gift cards, a Heidisongs DVD, a Classroom Friendly Supplies pencil sharpener, Jamberry Nail wraps  and gifts from over 40 teacher bloggers! You can see the details on my Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 posts and if you want, I will post the rafflecopters below! Enjoy! 

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 For Friday Link Up with my Mega Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway