Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dog Days of Summer? DOLLAR SALE!!

Wahoo! Indiana Teacher Bloggers are at it again! We're bringing you some relief from the Dog Days of Summer..............with a DOLLAR SALE!! Check it out...there are tons of terrific deals here, people!

Here's what you can grab from my store:

I have lots of games that are perfect for workstations or centers! Now is the perfect time to try them out!


Make sure you check out all of these fabulous deals! Don't delay -- it all ends Sunday night!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Colorize Your Classroom! #colorizeyourclassroom

Ever wonder why many restaurants use the color red? Why many medical offices are green or blue?
Color theory and research tells us that that the color red heightens the sense of smell and stimulates appetite. Blue and green are calming....the reason why medical facilities use those colors.  Color has the ability to impact student attention, behavior, and

I've always been interested in color theory, and definitely keep it in mind when I plan out my classroom decor every year (It's a nice light blue.....I'm going for calming! lol). I hadn't really considered the impact the color of materials/supplies might have, though. But doesn't it make sense that if the color of the environment makes an impact, the color of the papers they use would too? AND - don't forget about the impact color has on adults, too. The colors you use for newsletters, notes home, etc. also makes a difference. I'm excited to partner up with Neenah and Astrobrights Paper and colorize my classroom! Who knew paper even came in so many gorgeous colors?!

I welcomed families back to school with this awesome flip book. It has all the important information families need to know. I used bright colors because I wanted families to notice those sections specifically. Notice how the Remind 101 is red? I really, really wanted families to see that & get signed up. I also specifically put the Homework tab in pink so that it would stand out as well. Another plus for using the bright colors? It's easier to locate! It'll definitely be easier for families to find once they get it home!

Look how engaging this interactive notebook page is! My kiddos were excited just to get them to add their notebooks! (How easy was that?!) Seriously. That's all it takes?! Just give them materials on some gorgeous papers and they are all about it! Happy! Happy! All around!

Not only were they excited to create the page in their interactive notebooks...they were equally as excited to USE it! That's a definite win-win!

We used yellow for these pages in their language arts notebooks. They're loving getting to use some beautiful colors, and I'm loving how excited they get about just doing the activities! It's amazing how much using color impacts my classroom.  Have you noticed the same thing? I'd love to hear how you use color in your classroom......keep the ideas coming!

Have you heard? Neenah & Astrobrights paper is actually doing a Colorize Your Classroom campaign. One winner from each state will win a set of Astrobright papers...& ONE lucky person is going to get a classroom sponsorship from Astrobrights!! Click on the graphic below to head over & find out more about it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Set Up a Classroom FAST!!

 So -- my daughter finished her degree/certification in May and went on the job hunt. After a stressful, grueling (you know the feeling...right?) summer and a rather intense interview process.....

hApPy! HaPpY! OFF THE CHARTS EXCITED!  But the kicker? 
First day of school is only NINE DAYS AWAY!! EEK!

It happens a lot, though...doesn't it? Lots of times, people get jobs just days or even THE day before school starts. Heck....this year, my school actually hired two people AFTER the first day! Talk about whirlwind...right?! You've got to get the room set up, get your procedures in place, and don't forget the most important thing.....get your plans ready!!

The room needs to go up and go up FAST so you can get focused on those procedures and plans! We turned to our friend, Creative Teaching Press. They have complete & extensive collections of beautiful designer decor pieces for classrooms. It's like an awesome one-stop-shop for everything you need to get your classroom set up. If you know me, you know I LOVE my Dots on Turquoise...but Jenna chose the Black & White Collection for her room. She paired it with purple and I have to admit that I love the clean, crisp look!

Fabric on the bulletin board & the border goes up.

I love the look of the layered borders! It looks great with purple, but it would look great with just about ANY color!

She put the calendar and the math focus wall up in front beside the interactive white board. I'm a big fan of the bright, bold colors! Can you see the edge of the birthday wall over on the right? Love that big blue paisley cupcake! Jenna did something I need to do...She used the jumbo library pockets to store the calendar pieces right by the calendar. (I put all of mine in my flat file...then can't find them when I need them!).

Of course, you've got to have a goals & objectives wall.
And student self-assessment is oh-so-important. She used Adventures in Room 129's self assessment board. How cool is this?! (And how gorgeous is that border?!).

Awesome that the collections have so many coordinating pieces! It takes all the guess work out of making those decisions when you're standing in that teacher supply store! Here's her alphabet headers for her word wall, for instance. We just glued the graphics on Creative Teaching Press's Designer Cut Outs. Just gorgeous!

Of course, you need a job chart....
Check out those flowers to the right. The teacher before her had these neat sunflowers by the closet door and outside her classroom door. Jenna decided why not keep the vinyl up there and use the sunflower stems as the stems to her Black & White Jumbo Flower Cut Outs? Neat..right?! 

There were also vinyl flowers in vases up above the cabinets. The smaller BW Flower Cut Outs work there perfectly! Isn't that adorable?

And speaking of those flower cut outs...I love this little tweak. There was this empty VCR shelf under the mounted TV. Kind of an eyesore, really...but definitely distracting. Jenna bundled up some silk leaf garland and tucked in a few of those flower cut outs to help it blend in a bit. Super cute....right?!

We got this room set up & ready to roll in just TWO days...and that was just working on it 3ish hours each day! The designer decor sets and all the coordinating pieces make it SO easy to get your classroom set up quickly, easily, & beautifully!! Seriously. New teacher...right out of the gate...TWO DAYS! Gotta love Creative Teaching Press! She felt so relieved to get that part taken care of so she could focus on setting her procedures and start working on those PLANS!

I did tweak a few things just for her classroom to fit her color scheme. She has the Calendar Math Pack in purple & black...we also re-did the Classroom Number Line Posters in black & white. And, of course, the Animal Word Wall headers are there, too. I'd love to give a couple sets (Calendar Math Pack in Purple & Black, the Number Line Posters, & the Word Wall Headers) away! Just enter your info in that rafflecopter down there & cross your fingers!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Shark Week! FINtastic freebies!

EEeeeeek! It's Shark Week!!
Are you ready for some FINtastic freebies?!
All teachers know that kids learn more when they’re excited and engaged. Today a team of bloggers come together to help your students take a BITE out of learning with a theme your students are sure to love!

One way I help my kiddos get excited about learning is using games & fun activities in the classroom. I am a true believer in the power of games in learning. Honestly, sometimes it's almost like kiddos learn in spite of themselves! HA! They are so engaged, are so focused on winning....while they're strategizing they're really internalizing concepts. Look at that smart thinking over there on the right! Check out those combinations they've put together to make a yard! And the big plus...they're so engaged!

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My Shark Week freebie is a shark themed I Spy. I've had LOTS of people ask me to make these for subtraction, and this is my first one! If you haven't tried one of my I Spy's yet, you are in for a treat! They're perfect for workstations and really are print & go! Just add magnifying lenses & kids! Kiddos LOVE these....they use the magnifying lenses to search for subtraction equations. One the recording sheet, they have to tally the differences they find, then turn the data from the tally chart into a bar graph. I love that they're getting a little boost in creating tally charts, graphs, and interpreting data.

Click HERE to try it out!

Make sure you swim all the way through the linky party below. Every blog in the Shark Week Blog Hop features a FINtastic freebie for you and your students- but hurry! Shark Week only lasts until Sunday, August 17th  : )

Friday, August 8, 2014

Triple Scoop of Second Grade!

I love second grade! I'll have to admit to you....second grade is really my first love (when it comes to grades to teach, anyway!). I taught 4 years in second before going down to first when I began my 1-2 looping career. I did that loop for 4 years, then last year I started teaching the 1, 2, & 3 Multi-age. Second grade & second grade skills are definitely solidly in my reportoire! So, I was super excited when we all decided to do this Triple Scoop of Second Grade Linky! So here's my triple scoop......

These I Spys are my kiddos favorite workstation activity! They are SO engaged when they're doing joke! I LOVE that they are intently looking for equations in the picture...head bowed & so focused! They are super engaged and concentrating so hard...once they find an equation, they have to solve it, then make a tally chart of the sums. After they find all of the equations, and the tally chart is done, they have to translate that data into a bar graph. Ya gotta love when you can get so many skills in (& the kids are happy about doing it!): fact fluency, tallies, tally charts, creating and reading bar graphs.......WIN-WIN!! I've discounted it 20% off this weekend in case anyone wanted to check it out! Another WIN!

I also rely quite a bit on this Writing Workstation Pack for my workstations, and it's also a favorite with my kiddos (I'm noticing a favorite workstation activities are the ones that my kiddos find most engaging. hmmm). Anyway - one of the reasons they like it is because it has that element of student choice. There are lots of writing tasks: Draw & Write, stories, books, letters, cards, poems, acrostic poems, and even recipes! Each pack is also filled with lots of writing paper choices. I usually print them all out, add them to our writing workstation and let the kiddos choose the paper that they want to use. It's a very popular choice during workstation time! This is an awesome deal right now...the bundle is already discounted 25% and includes 7 seasonal packs. I'm going to be adding a Back to School pack next week (& then 3 more in the coming months) and the price will go up when I add the new pack! So, purchasing now is like getting the other 4 packs for FREE! PLUS - it's an additional 20% this weekend!
I am super excited about adding this to my math instruction this year! Adventures of Room 129 has a brilliant set up for helping kiddos master those pesky word problems (why ARE they so hard to master?!) She's had phenomenal success using it in her classroom, AND it's research based! I am super excited about the impact it'll have with my kiddos. 
She's got so much in here! 
*Anchor Charts
*Pre/Post Tests (3 versions)
*Rubric to help grade
*Example Answer Key
*8 Detailed Lesson Plans 
*I do, We do, You Do printables for each lesson
*3 end of the unit games/activities
I'm happy that this'll give me THREE weeks of math already planned and ready to go!

We've got lots more scoops of second grade for you! Make sure you stop by & check out everyone else's triple scoops! There are some real treats in store for you!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Back to School Setting Up & a SALE

Whew! Does anyone else have the B2S Stress?! I'm really feeling it here! My first teacher day & our Meet the Teacher Night is Thursday and school starts with kiddos on Monday! On top of son is getting married on Saturday (SO excited!!), & my daughter also is getting her very first classroom ready, so I've been helping her with that (bulletin boards went up tonight). That's her over there on the left.

Her color scheme is going to be different from mine, so I've been updating a couple of my 'gotta have it in my room' packs for her. Hopefully, I'll get them all uploaded by Tuesday afternoon, but I wanted to share some of the progress with you. Here are the 'gotta have its'.....

Calendar Math Pack. This one product has made a HUGE impact on my kiddos' learning over the past couple years. I developed this pack after reading Laney Sammons' first Guided Math Book. As she suggested,  I took a look at the Common Core Standards & thought about the skills my kiddos typically struggle with or need more practice in. Wow! Was she ever right! It's definitely a gotta have it for any classroom in my opinion! You can read more about it in my original post.

I wanted people to be able to match the focus wall with the room decor, so I the pack has lots of color options in it as you can see in the picture below.

But it doesn't have the colors she's using, so I've been working on a new pack. What do you think?

I'm also working on a brand new Classroom Number Posters Set for her room. Right now, I have Gingham & Pastel and Turquoise, Lime & Pink in my store. The new set is Purple & Black. It's going to be super cute! 

Of course, it's not all about classroom decor! We're also printing out some super easy to prep activities for her (& me!) to use those first few days. My kiddos always LOVE doing these I Spys....I love that they're learning, working on fluency, AND on graphing skills! I also love that you just have to print, grab some magnifying lenses, and you're ready to go! Over the summer, I bundled them all up so that they're more economical to buyers, too. And they're an especially good deal right now, because I am going to be adding to each of these bundles...and when I do, the price WILL go up! If you buy now, it's like getting all the additional packs FREE - you'll just have to download when the new ones are added!

They're actually and even BIGGER bundle right now because, to help alleviate some of the B2S Stress, I decided to throw a SALE!! EVERYTHING (even the big bundles) in my store is 20% off until Tuesday night!! Make sure you stop by, maybe clear a few things off your wishlist & get rid of a little bit of B2S Stress!