Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Christmas in July $1 Sale & Giveaway Winner

The temperatures here in Indiana have certainly cooled off this week to make it feel more like winter. We are in the low 70s this week!  And it's been pretty windy.  I mean, I wore a long sleeved shirt when I mowed the yard today people! This crazy Indiana weather.

So it's only appropriate that we throw a $1 Christmas in July sale for the next two days. For the sale, I have discounted 4 great products to a single, solitaire, dollar!  Here's what you can grab for $1 today. See the linky below.

Finally, Katie Gorman Pick was the winner of my Classroom Library Book Bin Label Bundle.  Congratulations and enjoy! I have emailed you the pack!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Christmas in July Sale!

Sorry to be the Debbie Downer, but July is halfway over! I'm sure you all are feeling the exact same way that I am right now in wondering how in the world this has happened and so quickly! It just does not seem possible.  When I realized today that I officially have less than a month before the first student day I wanted to cry. Hysterically.  Don't get me wrong. I love my job. But I love summer more. #sorrynotsorry

So I figure the best way to try and cheer myself, and others of course, up is to throw a sale.  Today and tomorrow everything in my store is 20% off to celebrate Christmas in July.  I have added quite a few brand new products to my store that are already discounted 50% off for the first 48 hours they are on TPT, so now would be the perfect time to snag some of those goodies up. They're practically a steal!

In addition to that, I will feature a product at a steep discount each day from tomorrow thru the 26th to go along with the Christmas in July that the ladies over at BlogHoppin' are having.

It's the perfect time to stock up and get preparing for the school year. I know I certainly will be!

Here are some of my new products that are EXTREMELY discounted for the next two days. You can click on the picture to take you directly to the product.  Make sure that you follow me on BlogLovin', my Facebook page and TPT store so that you know when updates/new products/giveaways/flash freebies happen.  We Indiana Bloggers have something special coming up real soon that you won't want to miss.

Here are some other products that may help you get ready for the new school year.

Punch cards

This activity makes for a great first homework or open house activity when your kiddos are dropping off their school supplies and they just can't wait to use their brand new supplies.  The best part about it is you can then use it as a great show and share ice breaker activity during those first couple of days and then make them into your first class book.

Help your kiddos manage all of those pesky computer logins and passwords.

This homework binder has made managing missing homework SO much easier!

The math rotation board now is in primary and bright colors.

Use these fun monthly word building cards in a pocket chart to help your kids build new words.

 These word sorts are perfect for practicing or reviewing new spelling skills and the kids LOVE them.

 Cookie spellers are the perfect incentive to help motivate your kiddos to practice those spelling words and do well on their weekly test.

Help boost parent involvement in the classroom with these parent letters and calendars.  Parents can come in to make copies for you and/or work with students one-on-one or in small group.

Monthly reading logs for your students to track nightly reading.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for my Classroom Library Book Bin Labels {The Bundle}.  It ends early this afternoon!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Classroom Library Makeover {Plus a Giveaway!}

This year will be my 7th year teaching.  My first two years I was a reading specialist and taught K-1 music {not by choice, might I add}. Then I got RIFed from my corporation due to budget cuts and was fortunate enough to get hired at a smaller district as a 1st grade teacher.  Since my 4 years of being in the classroom, I have gradually worked to improve things and learned thru trial and error what worked and what didn't.

I am a complete bookworm.  Have been since I was a kid. My parents used to always give me a hard time because no matter where we went, I always took a book, or four.  Ya know, just in case I got finished with the other three in our short trip to run some errands. And I wouldn't even finish the book I was reading. But I always wanted to be prepared and I always had a book in my hands.  My parents knew how much my books meant to me as a kid and were nice enough to store them for me until I got my own classroom.  Now, the books that were a part of my collection at home, are now a part of my classroom library.  In addition to hundreds that I bought at our twice a year local public library book sales, publisher warehouse dollar sales, and of course Scholastic.  When I was in college, I worked for a daycare. Whatever room I was in, I would get the Scholastic book order flyers from that teacher and order some books each time for my future classroom.  I was only supposed to allow myself about $30 each order, but given my obsession with reading and books that obviously never happened. It was more in the neighborhood of $100. #majorfailbyme

Anyways...When I finally did get my own classroom, I had already established a collection of just over 2,000 books.  And let me just tell!  Still does! Of course my obsession over books has not gone away and I have WAY more books than are probably necessary, but I hope that I can give my firsties an opportunity to read a wide range of books and to instill a love and passion for reading like I had when I was their age.

My classroom library is one of those things that has constantly been a work in progress.  Each year I added or changed some things that I thought might make it better and more manageable. By the end of my second year, I knew what I needed wanted to do but I was dreading it because I knew it would be a bear to tackle.

So I started with the book bin labels. I made labels for all of my books based on popular characters, authors, and themes that I had in my collection of books.  Adding just the book bin labels helped with organization and allowing the kids to easier find where the books needed returned, but there were still books all over the place and in the wrong bins. I'm not gonna lie-IT.DROVE.ME.CRAAAAAZZZY! Honestly, I paid A LOT of money for these books, and I wanted them to be taken care of and put back nicely and neatly.

Insert the labels for the books.  I added these last summer and they were a game changer! Whitney, at The Crazy Schoolteacher, and I team teach.  We dedicated about 2-3 days {maybe 4} to sorting all of our books by the characters/authors/themes from the book bin labels.  We printed off all of our labels and started putting them on every. single. book.  We wanted to put the labels in the same spot of every book so that it was consistent and so that our firsties knew exactly where to look every time they weren't sure where a book went.  We decided to put all the labels on the top left hand corner on the back of the book.  Now, if one of our firsties grabbed a book, read it, and wasn't sure where it needed to be returned, all they have to do is look at that label on the back of the book and find the book bin that has the matching label.

Yes. It was time consuming. Yes. It was a lot of work. Yes. We realized we had have a serious book obsession. But I'm not kidding you at all when I say it was SO worth it.  I'm pretty sure the number of gray hairs that I gained this year from being asked where a book went and telling the class a book wasn't in the correct spot, decreased drastically in comparison to past years. It just was not a huge issue this year, where in years past it had been a constant, nagging pain in my neck!

So enough babbling by me.  Here's my labor of love.

 These labels are printed on standard Avery5167 mailing address labels. There are a couple of pictures per label to help maximize the use and number of the labels.
These book bin labels just need printed, laminated, and cut out to be ready to put on your book bins. The book bin labels are made specifically to fit the skinny book bins from Really Good Stuff found here, because that's what the majority of the book bins are in our classroom.  However, we also have an assortment of bins from Dollar Tree, the Target dollar spot, and Walmart that they fit perfectly as well. I just put the laminated book bin label in the label holder on the Really Good Stuff book bins and glue them with rubber cement to any other book bins.

Since they are a new product they are marked 50% off making them $7.50 for the first 48 hours.  There is still plenty of time this summer for you to get this done for next school year. I promise you will not be disappointed and it will make your life SO much easier! Here's the link to them in my TPT store.

I also have just the book bin labels for sale in my TPT store if you're not interested in putting the labels on every single book you own.  They are also marked 50% off for the next 48 hours for $4.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday 'Merica!

I hope you all are enjoying this special holiday with your family and friends.  I'm getting ready to take my little firecracker outside to play on our slip n slide!

To celebrate this special holiday, my TPT store is marked 20% off for today only.

I also wanted to encourage you to follow my Facebook page.  I'm currently doing a 40 minute FLASH FREEBIE on my new punch cards. I've had 2 other FLASH FREEBIES this week already, so you don't want to miss out on any others!

Once the FLASH FREEBIE is over, the punch cards will still be marked 50% for the first 48 hours, so you can still get a good deal.  I love using these in my classroom as part of my classroom management and behavior plan.  The kids really love it also.

Here's how I use them in my classroom.

I use a clip chart.  Everybody starts on green every day.  In order for them to get a "punch" on their punch card, they must finish the day on a color higher than green.  In our class, that means blue, purple, pink, or sparkling.  They get one punch for finishing on one of those colors. Once they get 4 punches they can get a prize out of our class treasure box.  Once they fill up the whole card they get a treasure box prize and they get to choose a reward out of our classroom binder of rewards. Then they start over again!  Totally motivating. Totally worth it!

I'll blog more in depth about how I manage all of that and what my binder rewards consist of later in the week, so stay tuned.  I'm working on getting my binder rewards finished to add to my TPT store.

Happy 4th friends!