Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday "I Made-It Through Last Week"

Oh I'm just going to jump into the Made Its I worked on this week. I'm not sure how I managed to get any work done this week, but I managed to squeeze a few more school things in. I really need to get back into school to work on stuff, but who knows when I'll have time to do that.

(1) Classroom Journals

I found these little magazine holders at Target and I knew I wanted to try and implement classroom journals this year. I've seen them on Pinterest before, but I wanted to do them a bit differently. We do 4 major units throughout the year... I only had 3 notebooks. So I prepared these 3 and we'll see if I get around to the fourth. 

Each notebook has 5 tabs (1 of which is a catch-all "wild card"). 

On in the inside of the cover are some reminders. I want students to read entries of their classmates before they write their own, so directions for that are here. Then, I spaced out the tabs. Each tab includes ideas on what can be shared about in that section of the journal as well as an "entry checklist" to make sure their writing is ready for others to read. The tabs are essential categories or topics that fit under the larger genre on the cover. It'll provide a bit of support for those that struggle coming up with ideas.

Here's a few examples of what I came up with based on our units of study. 

During the printing process, my printer decided to become difficult. This has happened at least 3 other times. When my printer works, it works great and I love it! But when it does this, I loose it! It's so frustrating. But I went to bed and tried it again the next morning and it must have gotten my message. It worked. 

(2) Graffiti Wall

Shout out to Farley for this project. Only thing- it's not done yet. But once I get into my room again, I'm going to hang it up and then it will be done. I got all the materials at Michaels: 2 wooden stakes (underneath those strips of ribbon if you couldn't tell), roll of easel paper, ribbon, and double sided tape. I have magnetic hooks and rings at school so I'll use those to finish this project then!

(3) Rubric Binder

I'm honing in on my rubrics this year. So I am putting together a binder with rubrics to help me set expectations for myself as a teacher in a variety of learning outcomes. I want to know what I want to expect because quite honestly, sometimes I don't even know what I expect my kiddos to do on a task so I've got to think things through a bit before hand. Thanks to the AWESOME new book by Serravallo titled The Reading Strategies Book, I'm feeling so much more prepared to know what to expect from my students when we analyze characters. 

Do you teach reading at any age in elementary?? Then you NEED this book. For real. It's straight up gold! Go get it and enjoy the beauty of it within.

If you want to know more about how I implement rubrics (and get a little freebie) head over to the iTeach Third blog and check out my post over there- alllllll about rubrics!

And that's it for this week. Now I'm off to do one of my favorite things: look at other Monday Made Its over at Tara's Blog.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Back to School In a Flash: Teacher Faves

I'm joining Layla, Courtney, and Jamie and the 3-5th grade "iTeach" families to share in the fun of the back to school time season! I love the beginning of a new school year! Fresh beginnings, new ideas to implement... I could never work in an office space where it's the same old stuff everyday. 

To share in this fun time of the year, I'll be sharing some of my "teacher faves." Even better, I look forward in hearing from you and other bloggers what their favorites are so I know exactly what to go after for the back to school season.

I picked just a few of my favorites to share with you. First up:

I have an addiction to anything adhesive or things to make other things stick to them. Glue guns, Velcro, tape... you name it. But two of my favorite things to use in the classroom are magnets and glue dots. I love me some magnetic tape that I pick up at Lakeshore. When I run out (as in that picture above) I also have a baggie of small magnets that I can just peel and stick to whatever!

Glue dots are my LOVE! I especially like the glue dots that come in the strips as they work perfect with the letters I cut out from my Cameo or for skinnier surfaces like these clothespins. They come in a large variety too. When I want something to pop up a bit, I use the raised circle dots. They are clean and super sticky... a must have in my opinion.

I also like to make things POP in my room. I try to use things that are inexpensive to do this. I'm a Mr. Sketch lover to heart! I've gone through multiple packs and they are my go-to utensil when we are making anchor charts together. Not to mention, when I'm feeling frustrated, I just whip out that blue raspberry and take a whiff and smile.

All is well in the world.

I've got a collection of boxes- this was the first box I bought. I went to Lakeshore to pick up my new pack for the year and was sad to see they no longer carried the older box... call me nostalgic but I liked the old school feel of the "blue box." Oh well. I'm just excited to have my new juicy set of markers and to create some awesome charts with my kiddos.

I also love to use paper plates for lettering. They come in a variety of colors and patterns and are pretty cheap. I use binger rings to connect them together and hang them, but they can also be attached to bulletin boards for headers. I simple cut out my letters and Mod Podge them on. Sometimes, I also take plain white plates, flip them over, and paint my own colors or patterns before putting the letters on. So essentially, they are reversible!

I love to add music to our classroom for various reasons. Here's my playlist on Pandora that I pull up at different times of the day. And yes- you'll see a lot of boy band stations- those are for me when I'm "cleaning" or "planning" in the room. ;)

1) Great for independent writing, art projects, or other quiet work times
2) I love the Piano Guys- they take popular songs and turn them into instrumental music- we play this one sometimes during writing time or during transitions
3) Another one we play during writing time
4) When we do our research units for the rain forest or ocean animals, we play this one to "set the mood"
5) When we are looking for some fun! -Be aware: some songs are not Kidz Bop- be ready to "thumbs down" it if you don't find it appropriate.
6 & 7) Another quiet time... my 5th grade teacher always played classical music during writing time so I like to have different options to play

Do you have some favorites that are a must in your classroom? Join the link-up and share!

(Save and use this image if you'd like to introduce your favorites)
I've still got some time before I head back to school (September 8th is our first day with our students) but that hasn't slowed me down in preparing for the new year! I'd love to see what your favorites are! And don't forget to check out what others are sharing this week!

Check back next week for another "Back to School in a Flash" event!

An InLinkz Link-up

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Made It... Surprisingly

This summer is anything but low-key... but I'm alright with that!

The baby nephews are now home which means I've gotten to spend a bit more time with them up close and personal. They are the coolest.. just saying.

Oh, and we are off to our house inspection later today- let's hope it's all good! And we're doing it on our 2nd wedding anniversary!

So it's a miracle that I'm getting school stuff done, but let's face it- I kinda have to since August isn't going to be any slower and come September, it's back to school not only for the kiddos but for me as I'm going back to finish my last course for my Master's degree. And I'm on Leadership this year. Plus my other committees. And we'll be doing remodeling in our new house (pending inspection of course) and I still have those adorable baby boys.

Yea. Life ain't slowing down.

But I like it that way. :)

So- uber fast- here we go.

(1) Spelling Center

Pardon the pictures- something called sunlight can make things complicated. I've decided where my spelling pockets are going. And my awesome husband is spray painting my magnetic letters I got at the Target Dollar spot! Except he did it when he was back at his parents house because they have a garage and we do too but we are at rental and I just don't want to spray paint in their garage because I get nervous so I had my husband do it when he went back to our hometown to golf. And he did! So thankful. But they were not dry when he had to leave. So we will get them another time. 

But the letters will go underneath the pockets for one of the spelling activities. Yay for progress!

(2) Labels

Ok. Hopefully this is the LAST time I'll need to make and print and cut labels. Well to be honest, I don't HAVE to, but I like to, because I like things to match. I still need to cut these out though. We'll save that for The Bachelorette: Men Tell All.

(3) Make-shift Bulletin Board Thingers

I've got this ugly curtain in my room. If you've been around the blog for a while, you'll know my distaste for them. Well, I think after 3 years, I've found a solution. I used 6 foam boards from the dollar store, some bulletin board boarder and some clothespins to make spaces to hang up our anchor charts easily. I began to make headers using paper plates from Target, but I ran out of paper for my letters (go figure). 

And don't judge how the board and letters aren't even yet. I have to do some adjusting (maybe- if it begins to bug me enough, which it probably will). 

I used some tools from around my room to try to make things as even as possible without wasting too much of my time (as you know I am not patient with measuring). But I now have space for Reading, Writing, and Math and I can hang up 2 of my smaller chart paper size or one of my bigger ones which is awesome! And the clothespins will make it easy to switch out. Woo Hoo!

And since these are only hung at one point, if my teammate and I need to close our curtain for some reason, things won't rip or fall to the ground! We like to keep it open. We have our "curtain" moments when we need a quick 5 second break. Or I need a stapler or something. 

Well that's all this week- pretty simple. I'm just trying to get into my room and do as much as I can without putting too much out where it gets all dusty and then I have to dust it because I don't like doing that either. But I want it out. So I don't have to go in at all during August. But I know I will- here and there. 

Ok enough. I'm rambling. 

Oh wait! I forgot! Many asked about the Show 5 signs from last week. I finally found some time to get them up for you and you can enjoy them as a Flash Freebie as part of my Brightening Back to School Series:

This is my 3rd Flash Freebie this summer.  
(click on the picture to be taken to it)

You have until we return from our house inspection and I remember to change it. So... probably until around noon on 7/20. Catch it while you can!

These resources were previously flash freebies or already discounted resources that are now at a discount until the end of the month. Click on each picture to go check them out and snag them before they go back to full price!


I'm planning on putting some of my already created resources as flash freebies over the 2 weeks of July in order to say thank you and to celebrate the "going back to school" season! Check back... but don't wait, because they will be gone in a flash!

Now, go find some serenity over at Tara's blog for more Monday Made Its!