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August 1, 2015

I LOVE Back to School! {Giveaway}

It's official!  Summer is over. I was at a training this last week, but today I get to start setting up my classroom for this coming school year.  District meetings start later on this coming week.  The fun is about to begin!  

Several of us bloggers have come together to give you some awesome ideas for Back to School Books! These books can be used to set up your classroom community, begin a good lesson, or just as a fun read-aloud.

The book I'd like to share with you is...

I read this book every year with my 4th graders during the first 2 weeks of the school year.  It is set up as a picture book, with one story for each habit.  Each day I take about a half an hour to read the story full class, and go through the discussion questions afterward.  We complete an activity together as we read - sometimes we create our own skits to show comprehension, sometimes we draw a picture, write up a goal, etc... something to turn the habit into something personal to easily remember.   In my classroom, I then display these posters (one per day) as a way to remind students of the Healthy Habits we have learned, as well as our Character Pillars and Classroom Rules.

Have you heard? Teachers Pay Teachers is having a site-wide Back to School Sale August 3rd and 4th, so you will be able to get the Eagles Classroom Poster Pack 28% off using the promo code BTS15!

We know what else really "lights a fire" in you, and that is fabulous technology! We are giving away a brand new Kindle Fire HD6 to one lucky winner! 

Enter the rafflecopter below by hopping through each of our blogs and entering the secret word that can be found on the tablet in each of our posts. Also make sure to follow our TPT stores because the winner will be announced through a message in your TPT inbox! 

We are also giving away a $25 gift certificate to Creative Teaching Press!

Good luck! We hope you have a successful start to your school year! 

July 31, 2015

Five for Friday

Five for Friday!  This week the blog has been really quiet and for good reasons.  I've barely been home!  So today before I head out the door again, I wanted to jump in and share a little about what I've been up to this past week.


The teachers at school decided to have a paint night.  I've never done anything like that before, but I'm so happy that I went out of my comfort zone and attended.  One of the parents from school is an artist, she kicked off our Art Docent program at school for the kids, and she graciously donated her time to teach 6 teachers how to paint.


This week I've been at the CA NGSS Early Implementers conference.  It's been eye opening to say the least.  Not exactly what I expected, but in a good way.  I've been learning about the new standards, etc.  Every day they give us a functional gift... a seat cushion, a water bottle, a tshirt, a magnifying glass, a prism... I have loved my science swag!  I better make mention (since I know they read the blog), that my Mom, Dad, Sister, and Husband have been wonderful taking care of the boys as I've been gone for 10 hours a day.  Best present knowing that family comes through when the going gets tough!    


One night this week my oldest decided he wanted to try creating his own teacher resources in order to  (get this), "Help other kids learn how to understand what they read."  Yep, my kid.  He did it all himself.  Borders, cover image, text boxes, tables, clip art, planning it out beforehand on paper, etc.  So proud!  He wants to add more pages before I show you the end product.


Like I mentioned - this week has been filled with science - experiments and what not.  

...and yesterday I spent the entire day in a Sacramento church first listening to a pipe organ, and then learning about sound and light waves in a community room.  It was interesting!  


I also wanted to share that my 2 Donors Choose projects were funded this summer.  I'm so happy!  Thank you so much to the donors that helped my class.  I really appreciate you!  

Have a great day! 

July 27, 2015

Monday Made It: Craft Time

What do you get when you put a glue gun, washi tape, and a laminator in the same room?  Can't figure it out?  It's Monday Made it!  Ha ha ha... my sorry excuse for a joke.  I hope you are having a leisurely morning - maybe you got to sleep in... maybe you were able to finish your coffee when it was still warm... maybe you are still in your PJs...  

Well, take a minute to feel my pain.  I had to be awake way too early to go meet up with my teaching friends way too early, to travel an hour away way too early, to arrive at 7:30 am for an All Day Long, All Week LONG workshop.  I'm hopeful there isn't as much traffic as I'm expecting, and I'm hopeful that I won't be bored out of my mind, and I'm hopeful that I will actually learn something that will help me as a teacher.  Did I mention that this was optional?  Yep!  Way back in March this sounded like a good idea, but now that it's the last week of summer I'm not so sure.  :)  New science standards, here we come!  Linking up on this fine Monday with Tara to share what I've been up to this past week.   

I made up my markers and erasers this past week. All 132 of them.  Just those little dollar tree puffs glued onto the top of the marker to act as the eraser.  It works!  I also didn't burn myself with the hot glue, which was a win all by itself.
  I've had some questions about these... 
1. They do last for the length of the marker - My class just needs to have a talk about proper etiquette.  
2.  I choose to glue onto the cap so that when the cap falls on the ground the neon puff makes it easily able to be seen.
3.  I know the cap can't go to the back of the marker because of the puff, but honestly my class never puts the caps on the back anyway.  This way they write with one hand, hold the eraser with the other, and when done they snap the cap back on.  

I also labeled up my new group baskets.  These hold community supplies for 4 kids.  2 years ago I gave up community supplies, I'm bringing them back ONLY for the things that partners share.  They have their own pencil boxes with the majority of the supplies (i.e. scissors, pencils, colored pencils, glue sticks, highlighters, whiteboard markers, pens), but these baskets will hold the 2 glue bottles, 2 tidy tubs, 2 crayon boxes, 1 hand held pencil sharpener, and one package of markers.  I'm going to try it one more time...  

This was my thrift store find.  It's a magnetic easel.  I added a little washi table and those laminated name tags to it.  The plan is to replace my desk post it note frame with this since I can use it as a way to stick post it notes, write notes on the laminated part, or stick notes on it using magnets.  It has a smaller footprint and won't take up as much room.  :)  

When the washi tape was pulled out I also tagged my popsicle sticks.  I wrote my  preliminary class list on them (because even if a couple of kids change, I will still have the majority complete).  The blue tape are boys, the green are girls.  I will add another layer of colored tape when I learn more about my kids so they will still look "random" but they aren't that random.  Yes, it's sneaky, but it helps me meet their needs. 

I also laminated a ton and prepped them for the journey back to the classroom, went through half my brand new package of laminating pouches... Isn't that always the life?!?

Hope you have a wonderful day!