Monday, December 29, 2014

Faith, My One Word Resolution!

Hello!  Do you remember my little neglected blog?  It has been a LONG time since I last blogged.... six months!  For those of you who were actually reading my blog; I am sorry that so much time has passed by.

Life has gotten a tight hold on me and I must admit it hasn’t been the good side of life.  Something in my life must change in order for me to be able find that slice of happiness that we all deserve.

That brings me to this wonderful linky, One Word Resolutions, which is being hosted by Primary Powers.  The linky is simple, yet can be as meaningful as you make it!
The word that I need to live by for 2015 is FAITH.  I am going to have to embrace a true faith in God. I must realize that the plan He has for me is better than the plan I have for myself.  I hope to develop the faith needed to realize that things will get better and times won’t always be so difficult.  I must allow my faith to be bigger than my fear. Faith that while I believe things are falling apart, things may actually be falling into place.  Faith that my loneliness is not permanent, but temporary to give me time to reflect.  Finally, to remember that faith in God requires faith in His timing!

If you are still reading Thank you!  Writing this has been therapy for my soul and has given me a way to hold myself accountable.

If you have not linked up with Primary Powers; go now and share your One Word Resolution. 

I will be back and SOON.  I hope you will be, too!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It: Supply Drawers, Mentor Text Buckets, Binder, and Just For Fun!

Let me begin this post by sharing this pin I found on Pinterest.  I never thought of myself as being "crafty", until I began reading blogs and looking on Pinterest.  Teachers are so creative and sometimes their ideas are just too good to pass up. I am finding myself in the craft stores way too often.
I'm a craftaholic on the road to recovery. Just kidding. I'm on the road to the craft store. on Tan Quotes - 1.5" Pinback Button
It’s Monday, so that means it is time to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!
I have been busy this past week making letters on the Cricut for my classroom boards and making over some items I already had in my room.  I am not going to bore you with the letters, but I will show you the makeovers.
First up are my supply drawers.  I bought these three years ago from Michaels.  They were originally white, but at that time I painted them brown to match my owl theme.  This is how they looked.  Poor things you can even see some scratches.

This year I am changing as much as I can to denim, so I bought denim Duct Tape to pretty up my supply drawers.

Then I added cute labels to make it easier to find things.  I love how they turned out!
Here are all three sets of drawers.

Next, I bought this binder from the clearance section in Michaels. 
I paid $2.00 for it and I had plans to change it up from the moment I saw it. I will be keeping my lesson plans, long range plans, standards checklist, and schedules in it.  It stays on my teacher table at all times.  Here is the front.

And the back.

And the inside with dividers.
My third Monday Made It makeover are buckets to hold my reading and writing mentor texts.  After reading a mentor text, my students like to go back and independently read the books.  I like to have them out, so they don’t have to ask me to get them off of my private book shelf.  I try and keep at least 12 books in each of them. 

They were also found in the clearance section at Michaels. (Can you tell I live in walking distance of a Michaels?  Both of the assistant managers know me, and they are both full time teachers.)   I bought them two weeks ago for 60% off plus the teacher’s discount.  The end cost was under $4.00!  When I got them home I found out that the yellow was too light to match the other items I bought for my classroom.  This is what they looked like.
Here they are sprayed painted, with a ribbon, and labels.
They are larger than they appear in the pictures, so I grabbed some of my teacher resource books so you can see just how large they are.

Lastly, I wanted to add some new place value cards to my math rotations.  Place value is such an important skill and mastery is definitely important.
I made this new set which includes:
*a place value chart
*cover sheets with directions for each set of cards
*6 sets of cards (24 cards in each set = 144 cards total)
*student recording sheets
*answer keys

You will find the following sets of cards:
*place and value
*expanded form
*standard form
*comparing numbers, ordering numbers
*rounding numbers

They can be purchased here.

My first set of place value task cards include:

*a place value chart
*cover sheets with directions for each set of cards
*9 sets of cards (a total of 148 cards in all)
*student recording sheets, and answer keys.

You will find the following sets of cards:
*place value
*base ten blocks
*base ten blocks with regrouping
*standard form
*expanded form
*word form
*comparing whole numbers
*rounding whole numbers
*ordering whole numbers

This set can be found here.

Just for fun I will give away one of each of my place value sets.  If you would like a chance to win one of the sets, all you need to do is:
*leave me a comment with your email address
*tell me what is your favorite part of the school day

*If you would like two entries, pin one of the task cards sets and leave me a link to the pin on Pinterest with your comment.
The giveaway will end on Wednesday, July 16th at midnight.

Thank you for visiting today!  Don’t forget to visit Tara at 4thGrade Frolics to see all of the other Monday Made Its!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Made Its - Smile Box, Random Number Selector, and Overalls Organizer

Okay, yes, I am a little late to the party.  The good thing is that it is still Monday.
I am linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her wonderful linky Monday Made Its.
Up first is my “Smile Box”.  This will be used for my students to write thank-you notes to their classmates for doing something throughout the week that made them smile.  Each morning during morning meeting I will read two of three and the students will be able to add the thank-you note to their rings.  They will keep their rings on the side of their desk to read when they need a little pick-me-up.

I bought the tin container from Hobby Lobby on clearance for 80% off!  It was white and lime green, but I spray painted it to match my classroom decorations.  (This year I am decorating my room with denim, smiley faces, and daisies.  You can read about it here.) 

After spray painting the container, I added the smiley faces on two sides and denim pockets on the opposite two sides.  The pockets will hold the slips for the students to complete.  The completed forms will be placed inside the container.


My second project was desperately needed!  Each of my students have a number that they use for various things in our classroom.  Previously I have used popsicle sticks with numbers written on them with a black sharpie marker to assist me in randomly calling on students.  I see so many beautiful ones on Pinterest, so I decided it was time for me to step up my game.  Here is my new set.  I like these so much better.

Lastly, are my helpful overalls.  My mom bought these for me from a thrift store and sewed the legs up and folded them in the inside.  I will use this beside my small group table to hold all of my favorite writing utensils and small group supplies.  After I get my classroom set up, I promise to come back and show you pictures of how it looks with my actual supplies in it.  I will purchase a cute child size hanger before it goes in my classroom, so please ignore the oversized back hanger. 

I am happy to have these three projects completed.  Don’t forget to stop by 4th Grade Frolics to see the other Monday Made It projects.
Take care!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Free Conversation Starters for Reading Conferences

Hello!  Two posts in two days I am on a ROLL! This is going to be a short post, but I wanted to share something with you.

At the end of each year (just like any good teacher) I reflect on the previous school year to see what needs improvements and what went well.  Last year, I had a difficult time stimulating conversations during reading conferences with my students.  I found having a list of questions handy helped to begin the conversations.  If a student began to focus in a new direction; I allowed them to lead the conversation and found that 9 out of 10 times I learned a great deal about the student as a reader.  There are those times especially before I know the students well that a conversation started was needed.  I use the cards below to help me.

After printing, laminating, and cutting them out, I punch a hole in them and place them on a binder ring.  There are cards for students who:

·      just started reading the book.

·      are in the middle of a book.

·      have finished reading a book.

I also included some blank cards if you would like to add your own to the collection.
This is just a sample of the set. You can get a FULL set of the cards for FREE by downloading them from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  I hope that you will find them useful.  If you have a moment, I would appreciate it if you left me feedback either on TPT or by commenting on this post.

You may also like my Reading Graphic Organizers.  They can be used with any book.  I use them quite often during reading workshop. They really have been a BIG time saver.

You may also like my Reading Interactive Notebook Flaps.  They are also frequently used during reading workshop time.  They are simple flaps for the students to cut out.  I prefer having the students recording information on the flaps rather than spending too much time cutting and pasting.  Students enjoy working with the flaps and having a resource that they made and can use as a reference throughout the year.

I also posted random pictures of my classroom from last year under the “Classroom Pictures” tab above.  I had a camping theme last year and my students and I really enjoyed it.  You can read about my theme for next year HERE. 
Enjoy a relaxing weekend!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five for Friday - Changes to My Classroom - June 27

Hello all!!  Today I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday Linky.

Every year I am in search of a new theme for my classroom and this year I decided to go with smiley faces, daisies, and denim.  Denim is always a part of my classroom from the seat pockets, denim fabric on my boards, denim fabric covering my benches, to the paint cans that my mom has covered for me.  I L.O.V.E. denim because it goes so well with almost everything! 

I make most of my classroom decorations with the help of my mother’s creativity of turning someone else’s junk into my treasure and using my Cricut machine.  This year I was happy to find denim classroom decorations from Eureka School.  They have the perfect line for me called “Design It Denim”.  I am so happy I found it.  I just wish they had more products in this line.  I have already placed two orders with them for the upcoming school year.   I won’t be working on my classroom until mid-August, but I will be sure to share my classroom pictures with you.

I found another great store to get some items for my classroom.  It is called  I never knew there was a store dedicated to selling all things with smiley faces!  My wonderful mom found it for me.  I think she knows that ordering from this site is going to cut down on the items I NEED want her to make for me.  I will be placing my order when I get my next TPT payment.

I decided to do whatever is needed to improve writing workshop time in my classroom.  My first step is going to be improving the launch.  I purchased “Launching the Writing Workshop: A Step-by-Step Guide in Photographs” by Denise Leograndis.  It is an easy read with lots of great photos, useful ideas for setting up and managing the workshop, and great ideas for books to use to help with the launch.  I either already had in my classroom library or purchased most of the books recommend by the author.  I am still hoping to get the last four books from Ebay.  If not, I will purchase them from Barnes and Noble before the school year begins.

 Launching the Writing Workshop: A Step-by-Step Guide in Photographs

Do you remember the TV series “Hart to Hart”?  It aired from 1979 to 1984.  I can proudly say that I was born, but too young to be interested in watching this type of show.  I now must admit that I spent last week hooked on watching the first and second season of this series.  Something about this storyline kept my interest literally all weekend.  Please don’t judge me based on my television viewing habits, but I love old TV series.  I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.
Here is a copy of the storyline:

Jonathan Hart was a self-made millionaire--the CEO of Hart Industries, a global conglomerate. His gorgeous wife Jennifer was a freelance journalist. They were both amateur sleuths, and in every episode found themselves up to their eyeballs in murder, smuggling, theft and international espionage. They also managed to find time to snuggle together, as they loved each other very much. Max was their loyal, gravelly-voiced butler, cook & chauffeur, and Freeway their pet canine. Written by Marty McKee <> 

Do you know of a store that sells adorable smiley face items or an old TV series that I should be watching this summer?  I would love to know about it.  Please share your comments I definitely will respond.

I have begun working on some items for my room, so I will be linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics on Monday for her Monday Made It Linky.  See you then!