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!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Please Say You Remember Me! and June Currently

Hello, Blogging World!!

I am sure no one remembers my poor little neglected blog.  (sad times)  Life has kept me busy and feeling extremely tired. 

I think I am ready and will be able to make the time to begin blogging again.  I have many things that I would like to share with you.  I hope you will find my upcoming post of interest to you.

For now, I am linking up with Farley at Oh Boy, Fourth Grade to share my June Currently with you.

I promise to be back very soon!  I hope you will come back and visit.  If you are a blogger and have some linkys that are happening soon, please leave me a comment.  I would LOVE to join. 

Take care and I WILL be back soon!