Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Few Treats

The desk fairy strikes again!

This time either your desk was a mess-s-s-s-s-s
or it was s-s-s-s-s-super neat!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures before the kids found
their snakes and once they found them, it was 
pretty much too late!

We had a rainy day and they played with them all recess- making
snakes houses, trading colors (they originally came all 
as one color), and creating "tribes" with the snakes.

It definitely was entertaining!
What a 20 cent snake can't do! :)

We have Accelerated Reader goals for each marking period.
Twice a year we have bigger prizes like an after school movie party
and roller skating party.  But, for the other times, they receive a little treat.
My kids were thrilled when they received these in their mailboxes for reaching their goal!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Fun Day

Last week we celebrated filling up our marble jar
by having a Fall Fun Day!

We made fancy caramel apples...

Played "I Have, Who Has"
with apple themed cards...
Click on the picture to buy the cards from Teacher's Notebook
Had a Football Scavenger Hunt
to solve word puzzles...

Click on the picture to buy all of the puzzles and hunt from
Teacher's Notebook 

Worked on our
Fall Fun Day Packets...
We used activities from these websites...
Learned how to make lanyards...
And had a lot of fun!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Desk Fairy...I Spy Edition

My students have eagerly been awaiting a visit from 
The Desk Fairy.  They have asked pretty much
everyday since I mentioned that she sometimes visits our
room to check for clean desks.
Well, today was the day!

The Desk Fairy found cute little magnifying glasses
at the Dollar Store which also happened to fit in perfectly with our writing
assignment this week where we wrote I Spy paragraphs.

Then, she typed out small little messages that either said:
I spy a very clean desk!
I spy a fairly clean desk.
I spy a messy desk. :(

They had to use their magnifying glass to read
the small message.

It was so fun to watch them use their magnifying glasses!
They wanted to read what everyone's note said
and they can't wait for The Desk Fairy to make her return. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Question about TPT and Teachers Notebook...

I'm wondering if you can help me out...

I have some items that I have created that I would love to share with you...
but the terms of use for graphics on this items don't allow me just to give them away,
so I've been thinking about selling them on Teachers Pay Teachers or Teachers Notebook,  
but I don't know what one is better...

Anyone have experience with either website?  Prefer one over the other?  Any advice?

Thanks in advance!

Monday, September 12, 2011

What are In Those Boxes???

In my classroom, I have a bookcase full of magazine files which are from
IKEA.  They are plain white and cheap. (You can view them here) I used
to let my kids decorate their own on the first day of school and while
it was a nice time filler for the first day of school, I realized that
1) A bit of me cringed when I had to look at a magazine file that
was scribbled over and misspelled the whole year
2) Most likely 99.9% of the students toss their magazine file
in the garbage 2 minutes after they finish 4th grade
I went ahead and decorated them myself.
A little scrapbook paper and glue does a magazine file some good.
I put some packaging tape over the paper to make them more durable
and added numbers so I didn't have to redo them every year.
This is their second year.  I might need to replace them next year,
but we'll see- they look pretty good so far.
Anyways, on to what is actually kept in the boxes...

I've tried doing these a few different ways, but this year I'm all
about keeping it simple.
Students keep the book they are reading as well as a
reading journal in their book boxes.  We may add some other
book information as the year goes on, but to start with- that is it.

The notebook looks like this:
(I can't figure out how to turn it around, so just turn your head, I guess)

On the inside of notebook cover there is a question guide.
The questions range from-
*What genre is the book?*
*What character are you most like and why?*

On the other page is a list of what each student is reading.

Here is the inside of one of my student's notebooks.
They pick the question each time they independently read,
write the date so I know what book it goes with and
writes down their thoughts and answers.

It's quick, easy and keeps each student accountable for their reading.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Lollipop Bucket

Doesn't it just look scrumptious?

I decided to make a lollipop bucket to use as a reward for challenge work this year.
My plan is to have challenge work out that students can choose to work on if they have finished all required work and have extra time.  I wanted to give them an incentive to do a nice job on it and to motivate them to try something a bit well, challenging. :)

I had an extra bucket that I had picked up at Target last year.  I think after Easter when they
were all on sale.  I used a lot of these buckets elsewhere in my room for scissors and glue and what-not, but still had a few left over.
I put Styrofoam in the bucket and then covered it with tin foil to hide it.
And then for the fun part... I stuck lollipop after lollipop into the Styrofoam until it was full!
I used Dum Dum suckers in my lollipop bucket- you can get a ginormous bag of them for a relatively inexpensive price and you can fit a lot of them in a bucket which makes it fun to look at!

My students were eying the bucket last week, but I have yet to introduce the challenge activities.
I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Whooo Loves School!

Where it All Goes Down Wednesday (Teacher Week)
or Thursday... I was a little preoccupied with visiting my new niece yesterday...

I said it before and I'll say it again,
I LOVE getting my classroom ready for the beginning of school!

This year I chose to do an OWL theme!

Here is the view from the door:

My desk area:

Always a good reminder...

Class Helpers:

School Theme Verse:

Book Boxes and Leveled Readers- finally organized!
(Don't worry- I fixed the book boxes on the bottom
after I took the picture- they look as good as new!)

Extra Supplies:

Birthday Hats!

Reading Board:

I know I'm missing a few pictures- it was a little late last night
when I finished putting the finishing touches on the room,
but overall there is my room this year!

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' Teacher Week
and can't wait to see everyone's classrooms!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Week- Meet the Teacher

This week is Teacher Week over at Blog Hoppin'!

Last year, I participated in Abby's (from Inspired Apple) Teacher Week
and had so much fun meeting teachers and seeing their ideas.
It seems like over the year teacher blogs have popped up like crazy,
so I'm excited to meet some more teachers and discover their blogs.

And yes, today is Tuesday and this post is for yesterday...but I think it'll be okay.

So, here we go-

Tell us a little something about you.

I've been married for 3 years.
We are expecting our first child- a baby boy- in November.

We also have a labradoodle named Winston.
Who is not so little anymore.

How long have you been teaching?
This year will be my sixth year teaching.
Which sounds crazy to me.
All six years, I have taught 4th grade.
And all six year, I have been at the same school.

What are you looking forward to most this year?
I love setting up my classroom. So, I always look forward to that.
I also am excited to see what personalities I will have in my class this year-
every class is just a little bit different!

What do you need to improve?
This year, my goal is to be very organized.
Since I'm planning on having a long term sub in my room,
I want to make sure that she can find everything!
I've spent quite a bit of time this summer going through
cupboards, labeling boxes and tossing things that aren't necessary any more.

What teaching supply can you not live without?
Hmmm, so many little things, but probably
the biggest would be my computer. I have so many
documents and resources on it- I'd be lost with out it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Teacher Planner Love

Last weekend, my teacher planner from Erin Condren!
I've been patiently (or not so much) waiting
for it to come!

It is the perfect planner!
They have thought of pretty much everything to put in it.
There are pages for seating charts, absent logs, monthly calendars,
birthdays, sub notes, student check list,note pages, holidays, planning pages,
a folder and a pouch to hold all that extra stuff...

and it is super cute! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Markers, Crayons and Colored Pencils- Oh My!

I love having crayons, markers and colored pencils available
for my students to borrow.
It makes it easy to keep going with a lesson when a
certain color is needed since my students know
that they can borrow one if they can't find their own.

In the past, I have used photo boxes for containers,
but I found these lovely containers for this year.
Of course, from... where else?
The Target Dollar Spot. :)
(Although I saw pretty much the same ones at the Dollar Store too)

They are plastic (=sturdy), colorful and have
handles perfect for little hands!

I also decided a bit of labeling was necessary,
so out came the Cricut and some vinyl...
hit a few buttons and wah-lah!

Don't they just scream- "Use Me!" ?

Friday, July 29, 2011

It's About that Time Again...

Can you believe we are about to flip our calendars over to the month of August...
the month that school begins!!!?

Although I LOVE my summer vacation, I also L-O-V-E setting up my
classroom for a new school year.

I've been already working hard in my classroom, trying to get things super
organized for the new school as I will be on maternity leave
for 12 weeks during the middle of the year.

I think I'm almost done organizing all of my cupboards/desk.
Take a peek...

I have lots of little projects to share with you for
getting ready for the new year plus a
new classroom theme!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

End of the Year Scrapbooks

Who's counting the days of school left?
6.5 for me.
We have lots planned in those 6.5 days and but I also have lots of "stuff" to
finish up such as report cards and fun things like that.

But, I did accomplish one end of the year task today... scrapbooks!

I love making these and love giving them to my students on the last day!

I assemble a paper bag scrapbook for each student.
I tried to find you a video on you tube to explain how to assemble them,
but they have way more complicated ones that I make,
so I'll do my best to explain it.

Take two jumbo paper bags. (Target is the only place I have found these.)

Place them on top of each other in opposite ways, so that
each side will have an opening of one of the bags.

Fold the bags in half.

Punch four holes along the side. This will be your binding which
you will tie together using ribbons.

Then, it will be time to glue down your paper.
I use all different types and patterns of scrapbook paper.
It is easiest to take your scrapbook paper to school and use the
heavy duty paper cutter there to cut it into the size squares you need.
You will need 7 papers for each book.

I like to use rubber cement to glue the papers in.
However, I discovered this year that it is a regulated
product, so you have to give the cashier your date of birth
and phone number. So, don't plan on using too much. Or stock up now. :)
Who knew?

Your book will have two pockets in it.
One I use to stuff the left over pictures that I have of the students in as well
as a note that I write to each student.
The other I use to put a copy of the DVD that I make for the students.
They work perfectly!

Once all the papers are glued in, then it is time for the pictures!
I take lots of pictures throughout the year and print off at least 6 for each
student (it is nice to have a couple extra to stuff in their pockets).

The final touch is adding their names.
I use letter stickers and plain colored cardstock.

Ta-da! My students always seem to love looking at theirs on
the last day and it is a nice memory of the year that they can take with them.

If you don't have time to make them for this year, you can always
start making them this summer for next year. Just put the books together,
glue the paper in and then next year you just need to add the names and pictures.

Also, sorry for not posting in FOREVER! I'm finally able to stay up past 8pm.
To see why I've been going to bed so early, visit this post on my personal blog. ;)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Day Preview

Ah, sorry for the lack of posts. I just finished one of those weeks of school that
I dread every year...report cards were due and we had parent/teacher conferences.
Somehow I also decided to throw in Spring Fun Day which made for a crazy, crazy week.

We had a lot of fun on Spring Fun Day! And I have plenty of more details and
activities to share later, but I thought I'd start with these two...

For this activity we practiced sorting verbs, adjectives, and nouns.
The clip art is from Lettering Delights.
I LOVE lettering delights- they have such cute things!

It really is pretty basic.
The kids put down the rainboot, umbrella and sun down on their work area
and then pulled out the raindrops and sorted them into the correct groups.

*Update- I added this activity to my Teacher's Notebook store.
You may purchase them here.*

I love this next activity!
You could do it as a class or put it out as a challenge activity.
I used pinwheel clipart which was from the same set as the pictures above.
Students need to add, subtract, multiply or divide the four numbers
so that they equal 24.
I got my puzzles from mathplayground which would be a fun game
to play in the computer lab too.
My students worked hard on this activity and it was
great to see them using math skills we have practiced this year!

*Update- I added these to my Teacher's Notebook store.
You can purchase them in my store here.*

More to come! Hope you are having a relaxing weekend!

Monday, March 14, 2011


I may or may not have mentioned that I am teaching an
arts and crafts class for 13 little ones after school.

It's only for 7 weeks and I'm doing it with another teacher.
Thank goodness since I don't think I could have
knotted thirteen bracelets this afternoon without going crazy.

But, it is fun and I do love working with the little ones.
They give me random hugs and tell me that I'm awesome.

I'm pretty sure that most of my 4th graders didn't think
I was that awesome today after I told them about their
two tests this week and was on them like glue to do their work.
But there's always tomorrow... :)

Anyhow, last week our project was to make tic-tac-toe boards.

First, I had to make best friends with Steve
(or at least I think his name was Steve) at Lowe's.
First, he nicely cut my boards into 9 by 9 squares.
Which I thought was perfect and nicely said thank you and goodbye.
However, I counted, multiplied and added wrong.
But, was too embarrassed to go back, so I drove down the road to Home Depot.
Unfortunately, Home Depot would not cut squares that small.
So, back to Lowe's I went, hoping just to get a different worker.
But, Steve was there again and nicely cut my wood into 8 by 8 squares this time.

Lesson learned: Go to Lowe's. Calculate correctly.

Anyhow, I had the boards and just added paint and rocks in the mix.

From there it really was very simple.

Put out paint and paintbrushes and let them go!

There were some VERY colorful game boards!

It was such a fun craft!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Classroom Tour

I'm linking up to Always First Grade's Link Party.

Welcome to my classroom! Each year I try to do a different theme.
I've done a water, travel and safari theme in the past, but this year I did a western theme!
Yee haw...let the tour begin!
This is the bulletin board outside of my room.
Each cowgirl/cowboy has a lasso with a student's name in it. I'm not going to lie- I would never make those cowboys/girls again, they took me FOREVER!

Our door...come on in!

This paper was my first inspiration to make a western themed classroom.
Martha Stewart- you make everything beautiful.
Too bad I could never find this pad of scrapbook paper again.

The rainbow of locker tags... I heart the turquoise one.

This is not the best picture, but each chair had a bandanna wrapped on the back of it. As you can imagine, the boys had them around their necks in 2.0 seconds the first day, but they did look adorable while they lasted. This was my mom's idea- she is planning my sister's wedding right now and thinks maybe she has spent a little too much time looking at chair covers. :)

Write 'Em Cowboy!

Lasso A Great Book!

Part of our writing center...

Our calendar and schedule area...

Boy and Girl Bathroom Passes...

Mailboxes, our school's theme verse for the year, and colorful book boxes...

Our Book Nook organization area...

Our vocabulary words will go here...right now they just have western words on them.

Our library area... and the huge cowboy boot that is a hit in our classroom.

Our wanted bulletin board. I took pictures of the kids the first day dressed up in a western vest, cowboy hat and bandannas and then printed them in black and white and hung them on the posters. I wish I could show them to you- they turned out so cute!

I love birthdays! And who wouldn't love a birthday hat with their name on it?

Boot Scootin' Behavior Board...
we can only hope that I don't have to use this much this year.

Our job board...

This is above our door. It turned out larger than I had imagined,
but I actually like it that big...it adds some color to our room

Wrangler of the Week...each student gets to bring in pictures to share.
I always start out with a poster about me.
Yes, the large picture in the middle is me when I was in fourth grade.

Oh, how I love decorating my room. I think that is one of my favorite feelings...the feeling you get when your classroom is all decorated...the name tags are perfectly on each desk, the books are all in order, the notebooks are all new, the locker tags are all straight, and everything is in it's proper place just waiting for students to come. Ah! Too bad I have to wait until fall for it to come again. Until then, we will saddle up for the rest of the year...it's going to be a good one!