Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Adding a Little Flair to Your Filing Cabinets

Hey there!

Just popping in quickly to share a new freebie that I just added to my TPT store. I made these last summer, but with a different pattern as the background and quickly outgrew that pattern so I made some new ones to match all the bright, fun colors in my classroom.  I am enamored with them and can't wait to print, laminate, and hang them at school tomorrow.  The labels were definitely a great addition to my filing cabinets to add some extra color and make it easier for me to know what subjects or topics were in what drawer.

We are officially on summer break {PTL}, but I have been going in this week to do my cleaning, organizing, and overall set up for next year. Some may think I'm crazy, but I did this the year I was pregnant with my daughter and I didn't end up going back in to school all summer long.  Let me tell you-it was the BOMB.COM! I haven't done it since and every year I find myself stressing out and basically living in the school for the whole month of August.

The labels fit the filing cabinet really well and I just simply add magnet dots to all four corners of the label and they really do stick on the filing cabinet really well. I even have a couple of drawers that have two or three of these labels on them and they still work.

I hope some of you find them useful! Let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Indiana Teacher Blogger $1 Flash Sale!

If you live in Indiana this weekend is not just Memorial Day weekend.  In fact, I'm pretty sure if you walked around any random place asking what weekend it is the majority of the people would tell you, "IT'S RACE WEEKEND!" We're kinda proud of the Indianapolis 500.  So my fellow Indiana Teacher Blogger friends and I are joining up again to throw a $1 flash sale for the next two days!

There are SO many fantastic products that are included in this linky party. All of the products are marked down for a $1 and if you take the time to carefully sift through the other items in my store I have some others marked down to up to 50% off for the duration of the flash sale.

Here are my items that are marked down for $1 for the next two days.

I hope you find some goodies! I would absolutely love it if you would follow me on BlogLovin' and/or my TPT store!

It's never to late to start shopping for next year!  Happy shopping!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thinking About Next Year...Already?

I'm 99% sure that I'm not the only one in this department right now.  And let's be real, it's okay if you are. I think, as teachers, it's only natural and by golly we just can't help it!

Having said that, I have a couple of new things that I've added to my TPT shop that I do NOT want you to miss out on because they're great resources and two of which have!

First up, my job cards.  I like to have them as a visual for both the kids and I to quickly reference and see who is supposed to be doing which job. I have a card for each job in my classroom with a magnet dot on the back so that I can put them on the chalkboard.  At the beginning of the year I take a picture of each of my firsties.  I cut it down so that it is the same size as the job cards and then I put a small magnet dot on the back of their picture.  It makes them easier to change and move around every two weeks when we switch jobs.

Here is a picture of my old job cards.  Sorry it's not my new ones. I have them all ready to go, but am waiting for this year to end before I use them, but you can get the overall idea.

You can head over to my TPT store to grab a set of these for $3.00 in my Can I Get a Job Please {Classroom Job Cards}.

Next up is a freebie that I've updated.  Hopefully you all have a Pizza Hut around you and have heard of their program BookIT!  If you have absolutely no clue what I'm talking about right now, then let me enlighten you. BookIT! is a program through Pizza Hut that encourages kids to read and as a reward for their hard work they can get a coupon for a free personal pizza for the next month.  BookIT! runs from October to March.  The kids keep track of their nightly reading and fill in a calendar. Once the month is over, the parents have to sign off on the calendar to verify that their child read the required minutes or days for that month.  When the completed calendar is returned to school, the teacher can fill out a coupon and give it to the kiddo to use within 30 days.  

I like to add the extra incentive that if a student completes every month of the program then I will have a pizza party for them at the end of the year with none other than....wait for it...Pizza Hut pizza. Clever, I know.  All kidding aside it really is a worthwhile and additional way to motivate and encourage your kiddos to read. I keep track of which kiddos complete their calendar each month by using my tracking sheet shown here.

You can get my BookIT! Calendars and Tracking Sheet pack here.

Brand NEW tonight is my Monthly Parent Volunteer Calendars pack.  Folks, let me just tell you right now that if you want some extra help in your classroom or want some additional ways for parents to volunteer in your classroom, this. is. for. YOU! 

Implementing the use of these parent volunteer calendars is hands down the most beneficial thing I do all year long as fas as help in the classroom.  This can change your life as a teacher if your school does not have anything in place to help teachers make copies and get parents to participate in your classroom.  My school is fortunate and has copy room parents that come in on a daily basis to make copies, but unfortunately parents don't show up last minute and there's lots to do with 30 something teachers to make copies for.  This has been my quick, easy solution so that I am not spending all my "spare" time in the copy room.  And if I'm brutally honest, I would say that I have only made about 10% of my copies this year because one of my parents has volunteered once or twice a week to make copies for me and get this-she stays until she's done with everything I've left for her! You know those awesome crafts that are over TPT that have the same piece of the pattern duplicated on one page? Yeah, she'll cut those so they're separate and all the kids have to do is go get the piece and cut it out. I don't have to do it after I'm done copying.  Oh, there's more. I team teach/co-teach with another first grade teacher and fellow blogger Whitney at The Crazy Schoolteacher.  She will make her copies for her also!! And her son is in my class!  She is even so kind as to count out all of the copies so that I have enough for my kiddos and Whitney has the copies for her kiddos. It's A.MA.ZING! Now I'll be honest. It hasn't been like this every year. She's been my hidden gem! But I've still had great success and quite a few volunteers every year that help on a consistent basis and take some of the relief of copying things off of me. Which, let's be honest, is nice.  

That's what this pack with do for you!  This pack includes a description and outline of the organization of the system, a sample parent letter that I include on the back of the initial sign up calendar, parent letters that go on the back of the final monthly calendars, as well as calendars for each month. As is the case with all of my new products, it is 50% off the first 48 hours it is on sale.  It's marked down to $2.50 for the next 2 days.  Start planning ahead for next year and grab it!

Finally, I added Monthly Reading Log Calendars to my TPT store for holding your kiddos responsible for their nightly reading homework.  It's also marked 50% off at $1.75, but only for 24 more hours!

Whew....I'm off to watch my Orange County Housewives and 24.  So happy Jack is back!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Week {Day 5} Flash Freebie!

I'll be honest. I almost didn't even open my computer tonight. We had our big annual Mother's Day Tea program today from my Tea Time pack and this girl is T.I.R.E.D.  On top of feeling like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off all day, I'm pretty sure I didn't sit down all day from setting up, trying to keep the kid's excitement contained, and cleaning up.  And not sleeping very well last night definitely didn't help. I can't complain much because it was a complete success complete with lots of smiles and tears of joy and pride from the sweet mommas in my room.

Needless to say it's going to be another quick one.  I have continued to get spoiled by my class all week this week. Monday was Starbucks gift cards, Tuesday was candy {Reese's, peanut M&Ms and peanut butter M&Ms}, Wednesday was sweet cards, and today was flowers.  I have never been treated so well and recognized so much throughout the week! I feel extremely blessed!  And so I digress.

I was actually able to make my purchases last night in the midst of the TPT train wreck that was going on. But for those of you that haven't, my store continues to be marked down 20% off.

My flash freebie for today is my Homework Binder. This was the first year I have used it and let me tell you-it. made. a. difference! I cannot believe how even my more unreliable, inconsistent kiddos have turned around and made it a priority to get their homework turned in on time. And the usefulness to just have that information documented and at your fingertips at a moment's notice when a parent asks about it is great. One of the best benefits is that it literally does not take any of your time to do it. Yes, of course you have the initial set up of the binder, but once you have it put together it's all up to the kids.  Then you can have one thing checked off your to do list when the new year rolls around.

Head on over to my TPT store and grab it! This will be a quick one!

Here's a picture of my cutie that joined us today! Can't wait to see her be a part of this program someday! Brings tears to my eyes already just thinking about it.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Week {Day 4} Flash Freebie!

Hi there friends!

It's going to be a short one tonight because I've got Mother's Day Tea snacks to make for our tea tomorrow. relieved it's finally here. As much as I love this unit, by the time the day rolls around I'm ready, the kids are ready, and it seems like once the tea is over it's a quick downhill slide to the end of the year.

My freebie for you tonight is my Bang Addition Math Facts.  I print these on labels and stick them on large popsicle sticks. It's definitely a hit with the kids during math stations.

Head on over to grab yours now! I'm off to make some goodies before I finish the night with some TPT purchases! Eek!

Wish me luck for our tea tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teacher Appreciation {Day 3} Flash Freebie!

Hi friends!

Just popping in really quick to announce my flash freebie for the day.  Head over to my TPT store to grab a cookie of my big spelling incentive/motivator that I use in my classroom, Cookie Spellers. It's a quick, low-key way for your kiddos to maintain responsibility and motivation to do well with their weekly spelling words. The best part is that it can be easily implemented with any spelling list or program!

It's usually a $5 item and it's free for a couple hours! Head on over to my store to grab your own copy. I would appreciate any feedback and as always, would absolutely love it if you were kind enough to follow my blog here, through BlogLovin', and/or my TPT store.

Have you bought any goodies from the TPT sale yet?! I have resisted for now, but I'm sure I'll buy some tonight and some tomorrow. Maybe that will make it seem like I'm not spending as much money. What do ya think?

Well, I'm off to support my mother in law. She is running for county recorder for the first time, so we're heading to town to show our support as the votes come in and she's announced as the winner {although she is running uncontested}. But that's not before heading by Chipotle to take advantage of their Teacher Appreciation buy one, get one deal tonight!

Until tomorrow...


Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Week {Day 2} New Flash Freebie!

Hello, hello!

I hope your first day of Teacher Appreciation Week is treating you nicely. I know I definitely got spoiled already. I got 5 Starbucks gift cards this morning!! Wowzers, was that unexpected! Usually I'll get a thing here or there, but never that much. I definitely made out like a bandit.  Too bad I'm not a coffee person.  But this girl does love her birthday cake pops.

Anywho...Today I'm gifting you my Primary Polka Dots Math Boggle Pack as a flash freebie! Get it while it's hot!  If you have a spare minute or two and can leave some feedback, I would love to hear from you.

BOGGLE Math {Primary Polka Dots Edition}

And of course, if you would be so gracious to follow my blog either here or BlogLovin' or my TPT store I would love that!



Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Giveaway and a Flash Freebie!

As I'm sure many of you know, Teacher Appreciation week is this week!  To say I'm excited about the TPT sale would be an understatement.  The amount of money I'm sure I'll spend would be highly frowned upon by husband. Guess it'll just have to be my little secret. #sorrynotsorry get the week kicked off I'm giving away my best seller, and personal fav unit of mine, my Tea Time {A Mother's Day Packet}.  You can only enter the giveaway for a day so you have to act fast! I'll announce the winner tomorrow night.

I've also decided to celebrate each day of Teacher Appreciation week with a Flash Freebie.  At some point throughout each day, I will discount one of my paid items on my TPT store for free for a couple of hours. No, I can't tell you when the item will be marked down but if you follow my blog you'll have a little heads up when I blog about the discount.  

So without further ado, my first flash freebie is My Absent Folder and Makeup Memo that I use when my firsties are absent.  Head over to my TPT store to grab it right now!  You would absolutely just make my day if you follow my blog and my TPT store!

Happy Teacher Appreciation week bloggy friends! I hope you get spoiled at some point this week!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's Tea Time! {The Hats}

Hey there friends! I'm linking up with BlogHoppin' today to share my baby with you. Not literally but definitely something that I've worked extremely hard on and is near and dear to my heart-my Mother's Day Tea packet aka Tea Time.

I have done this since my first year of teaching and I must admit that it is my favorite part of the year. It is by far one of the most rewarding, if not the most rewarding, part of my school year both with my firsties and with my classroom mommas.

Every year when we get back from Spring Break I tell my firsties that I have a really big secret that I need for them to help me keep.  They must promise that they will not tell anyone. No brothers or sisters. No friends. No pets. And DEFINITELY no moms!!! I tell them that we will be having a Mother's Day Tea for their moms.  I then outline the main events that outline the tea-read some stories, recite a poem, sing some songs, and shower our moms with gifts.

This unit is my favorite for many reasons-one of which is the beautiful, unique hats that we make for the moms. Each child brings in two 12x12 inch pre-cut pieces of wrapping paper. I also accept donations of artificial flowers, ribbons, tulle, and netting.  

Day #1 is the actual making of the hats. We put the two pieces of paper back to back and cover one side completely with liquid starch. Then we place the "glued" pieces on top of a hat mold so that it holds the shape of an actual hat.  We then design.  I ask the kids if they want ruffles, if so big or small, if they want to roll the sides a little or a lot, or if they want to make it like a baseball cap.  The hats are left to sit and dry overnight.  

Day #2 the hats are dry and I take them off the molds. Now is the fun part....decorating! Now I'm not going to promise that you'll have the top layer of skin on your fingertips at the end of this, but I do promise it'll be worth it.  Let's just say you'll have some sore fingers from your hot glue gun.  I call the kids up one at a time to pick out whatever flowers, ribbon, tulle, and other decorations they want to put on their hat.  Once they've decided on their decorations they tell me where they want everything and I glue it for them. And VOILA! You're done!

I'll be back later to share more about the tea, but until then feel free to hop on over to my TPT store and check it out!