Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday ~ Morning Meetings

I'm linking up for the first time with Second Grade Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday. 

 For years I've wanted to start the day with a Morning Meeting, but our schedule never allowed for it, until this year. I snagged this great book, but my question to you is...

What are some great greetings and activities I just have to include in our Morning Meetings?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It

Monday Made It #1...I made it through the first day of school! Yup, today was the day! I spent the day with 24 newly minted 5th graders! We had a blast, and each year the first day gets easier, but man, the exhaustion of day one must be mandatory!

Ok...on to the real "made its"...

Last week my super duper little sis treated me to a night of Party with Paint, and we did a version of "Starry Night". It was a lot of fun and I love how this piece came out! If you are in Arizona, I highly recommend Party with Paint, I've been previously, and will be going again soon!

Speaking of awesome little sisters, mine also gave me a set of Nubar Nail Polish. It's non-toxic, vegan, all that good stuff. It was perfect timing because I had recently received some Jamberry samplers from the awesome Tamara of Pretty Nail Wraps. I'm trying out my first Jamberry and they were super easy to apply, but I don't think I did it right because the tips are already starting to peel. Any tips from Jamberry experts?

Made It number 3 is school related! The amazing Diane from Fifth in the Middle was kind enough to give me some great ideas and tips for using brag tags in the classroom. I know she has posted about them before, but it finally clicked that I needed to try these out. I bought her template and have started to build my stash of brag tags. I'm excited to introduce them tomorrow to my new 5th graders!

Each kiddo will start with one that has their name on it. I love the chalkboard background and the KG Melonheadz font! 

Each kid will hang them on a hook next to their writing display folders. I found some push pin hooks that are PREFECT for this!

The computer did not seem to want to print all of the ones I had made. I was able to get my birthday and "tidy table" ones printed, laminated and cut. 

I've also got some Class Dojo ones to print! 

Everything is going to store neatly in this craft organizer that was only $2.99 (plus an additional % off with a coupon!). I also now have a lifetime supply of ball chains (100 for $22!).

Do you use brag tags in your classroom? Throw your ideas, tips, products, etc. at me! And thanks again to Diane for your help with getting me started :D

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It

Today is my final day of summer break, silly me, I spent 5 hours of it at school starting to get ready! This Monday Made It is a bit of a cheat, it's very similar to the same one this time a year ago, but with one important change...

Last year I started using reading workshop in my classroom and I bought cardboard magazine files for the kids to use for book boxes . I even reinforced them with colored duck tape. This year I did the same, but improved them a million times by using....GALAXY duck tape ! How cool is this tape!? Not only does it look amazing, but it fits with our study of space.

The tape really helped reinforce the boxes and they lasted all school year. I ended up tossing most of them though because the white box became dingy form 5th grade fingers. Still, a good investment!

This year I also changed the number styles on the boxes. I did have Ladybug's Teachers's beautiful numbers last year, but I had to laminate and glue them, and several fell off. So, this year I chose a different font for each number, printed them on Avery labels, and slapped them on!

All ready to be filled with OUT OF THIS WORLD books!

Here is my Monday Almost Made It (4thgradefrolics, can you make that a thing?)! My mom bought me this meta cat puzzle. Not only is it a picture of cats, but the puzzle is shaped like a cat. That has made finding edge pieces a bit challenging. I was really hoping to finish it today, but it's not looking likely.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

BB Part 10 - Clothing Fails and Wins

Wow, I can't believe this is the last post for my Blog Backlog: Playing Catch Up series...that also means my summer is coming to an end. I just got back from the TpT conference in Vegas, and although I don't have to report to work until Tuesday, I'll be going in tomorrow to get started. My last post of this series is partly catch-up, partly current. I've always struggled to find clothes that are well fitting, fashionable, and affordable, so, if you aren't into clothes, then this post isn't for you. If you're into clothes, then keep on reading!

First, my clothing fail, sort of. Other bloggers have been raving about Stitch Fix. You pay $20 to have a personal stylist choose 5 articles of clothing (and possibly accessories) to match your style preferences. These are sent to you and you keep (and pay for) the ones you like and return the ones you don't. The items range in price, and the $20 fee goes towards your purchase. Keep everything and you get a 25% discount! Well, because Stitch Fix is so popular I had to wait about 3 months until my box arrived, I was soooo excited. Then I opened my box and the first thing I found was a pair of white, distressed, skinny jeans (4) and my heart sunk. I can't do white pants! They look great on so many people, but not so much on me, and I would get them filthy in no time. I tried them on they they fit like they were made for me, but at about $100, they were a definite no. Everything was a no, hence no photos of me in the clothes!

There was also a crop top (3) - no one wants to see my belly, a peplum top (1) - I don't have the right figured for peplum, a maxi dress (2) - it was actually petite, but was too sheer, and a pair of really boring earrings (not pictured). Bummed, I sent it all back. I contacted Stitch Fix and explained how disappointed I was and guess what...they offered me a second chance (giving me another $20 credit) and I took it! I'm glad I did!

Last week I received my second box and kept a couple items!

1. A jersey maxi dress, it fit perfectly and was so comfy. But it was pricey, and because it was rayon I knew it would shrink, so back it went. 

2. This is my type of top! Perfect for Arizona summers! Instant keeper! (No idea why my lips look white in the photo?!)

3. Bermuda shorts...these were cute/comfy, but they were a bit too big and a bit too much, so they were returned. 

4. I was on the fence about this striped cardi...I posted a photo to FB and the consensus was to keep, so I did. 

5. The pair of chino pants fit nicely, except the length was odd and they were out of my price range, so they went back. 

Stitch Fix was fun the second time around, I may order a box a few times a year, but not on a regular, monthly basis. If you'd like to try it out use my referral link!

Now onto a bigger clothing WIN! I've blogged a bit about Gwynnie Bee before, but I've been using the service now for a few months and I love it! GB is Netflix for (plus size) clothes. You choose the clothes and place them in your "closet". GB mails you items from your closet and you keep them as long as you like. When you are ready to send them back, you place them in the return envelope, no need to launder! Then they send you something else from your closet. You even have the opportunity to purchase the clothes at the discount! I've bought 3 dresses that I just couldn't let go of! Here are some of the fun outfits I've had over the past few months.

Gwynnie Bee has an amazing offer...your first 30 days for FREE! I loved my trial and have continued. This service has helped me have an awesome awesome variety of adorable work clothes. The cost is reasonable, and I have less laundry to do! It also helps that I get so many compliments. I even got a compliment from our male PE teacher (who wears t-shirts and gym shorts everyday)! If you are size 10-32 get your free trial started! A quick thanks to several readers who used my referral link to get their free trial! I hope you enjoyed GB as much as I have!

Well, that's it for my Blog Backlog series. Thanks so much for reading. I hope this year to stay better caught up on blogging. Tomorrow I will have a Monday Made-it to share! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Quick pre-Vegas post

I am finishing up my packing and last minute stuff before heading out to the airport, so this is a quick post.

I've been using Instagram for over 2 years, but didn't really consider using it as an extension of the blog. Adding one more social media platform seemed like a chore, but I love how there is so much more interaction on IG. I'm terrible at commenting on blog posts, and I know many who are similar. Since I'm off to Vegas for the TpT Conference I figured what better time to get started. So, if you are an IG user and would like to follow me, here's the linky and I hope to meet some of you tomorrow!

A couple of years ago I created some Math Common Core data trackers that have all the standards for grades K-8 and are great for students to color in as they master each standard. I wasn't planning on making ones for ELA, but I continue to get requests, so I went ahead and made some. All versions are the same style and color scheme, here's 5th grade.

The ELA versions look so much better than the Math ones, I may just have to go back and revise those a bit! If you were one of those interested, they are now available! Just note, these took up two pages because there are so many more standards in that's two posters and two blackline masters for students to color in.

First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade
Seventh Grade 
Eighth Grade

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

BB Part 9 - Poet BINGO

Despite the fact that I have to go back to work next week, I'm getting pretty excited about finishing up my Blog Backlog series, and of course, for VEGAS!

I always tend to be a bit behind on some of those timely activities. Although I really wanted to spend April buried in poetry, we were caught up in other activities, so poetry got pushed into May. A colleague had a pretty neat activity for poetry in which students were to look for poems from different poets, but unfortunately it was a bit ancient and many of the poets were difficult to locate. So, I revised, updated, and added activities for Poet BINGO. 

Students were all give a bingo sheet with 24 different poets on it, some were classical poets, and some were modern. The middle space was a "free choice" space. Depending on time and what you would like to accomplish students can get one bingo, multiple, or blackout (great for differentiation). We checked out pretty much every poetry book from the library and I placed a stack at each table for students to peruse. 

The students kept track of the poems they chose, gave them a star rating, and wrote a comment about it to remember it. Then they used some of the poems to complete the analyze, synthesize, visualize, and compare/contrast. 

If you'd like a copy of Poet BINGO, you can find it here in my store

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fabulous Fourth Makeover and Sale

Happy Independence Day! The American Revolution Lapbook/Interactive Notebook was one of the first things I created for my class and for TpT, it also happens to be my bestseller! Well, because it was one of the first things I created the cover was unflattering to the product. I figured July 4th was the perfect time for a makeover! I found some pretty adorable graphics from Apples 'n' Acorns that are perfect, I wanted to use all of them, but settled on Thomas Jefferson and George Washington (sorry Ben Franklin!).

Doesn't that cover look so much better! Well, I also decided that I'd put this on sale. A whopping 50% off today! That's a steal! 

Since we are celebrating our country today I figured I'd make my Tour America: State Mobile Project half off as well. Get these two today!