Thursday, December 13, 2012

I {heart} Lakeshore Learning

I can't believe it - it is only 11 am and I have had 2,194 pageviews today! What!!

I am so humbled that I can write and share ideas that teachers from all over can use and benefit from!

Well, right now I am in bed sick with Bronchitis and Strep Throat!! (I also believe that I have the flu even though I wasn't tested for it.) The body aches I have felt in the past 24 hours have been horrible. I am finally feeling well enough to sit up and touch my computer. And once I logged onto my blog and saw the number of pageviews, I just couldn't resist writing to thank everyone!

Yesterday was such a neat day 12-12-12. I wish I could have linked up with Stacy over at Simpson's Superstars to commemorate 12-12-12 with 12 random pictures. But, I was so sick that no pictures got taken... well, except for this one

Nice, huh!!

My son snapped this picture of me at the doctor's office yesterday morning. Me at my finest!!

Okay, on to more exciting things...
I received a question about my classroom, so I wanted to share the answer with everyone!

Here is a current picture of my classroom wall.

I was asked about these frames:

They come from Lakeshore Learning.

You can purchase them on Amazon by clicking here.

There are 12 in a pack (four of each color: blue, yellow, and green) so I bought 2 packages. They have pre-made holes in each corner allowing the frames to be hung vertically or horizontally. I bought inexpensive ribbon at Walmart and tied a loop for hanging.

I also bought Command strip hooks in clear to hang the frames on. Here is the link to order the Command hooks from Amazon:

Click here to check the frames out!!

Once I am up and feeling better, I have a giveaway that I will be posting, so stay tuned.

Now it is back to bed for me (only 1 hour and 45 minutes before the kids get home from school)...yikes!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Address Labels = Formative Assessment Tool

I know we have all been super busy this school year. I don't know about you, but I feel like I can barely keep my head above water right now. I am just doggie paddling along.

One way I have discovered to make formative assessment as easy as possible is to keep my cruisin' clipboard loaded with peel off label sheets. As I walk around helping students and observing their work, I jot down notes onto the labels.

You can find labels like I use here:

Later in the day, I remove the labels and affix them to individual student sheets I keep in my Teacher Notebook. Each student has his/her own number and I found numbered tab dividers here:

I slap my formative assessment sticker onto the page and I'm done. Super easy (and quick).

My GOTRBCF (Girls on the Run Best Coaching Friend) Brittany gave me this inspiration. She even uses a different colored pen for each quarter - so smart!! Well I started off with pencil (I have an obsession with mechanical pencils), so I guess next quarter I can switch to maybe...hmmmmm

Now what?!?

I highlight the comment I made on the sticker if the student didn't seem to have mastery of the skill. Then, I know that I need to spend some time pulling this student during intervention to continue work on the skill. Something I haven't done yet, but plan to do is to write (and date) a comment next to the highlighted sticker as to how I helped the student once I saw they were experiencing trouble.
There..I have documented the problem and my plan for helping the student.

Need more information on my cruisin' clipboards or formative assessment? Click here to read my previous post.

Now here is what my desk usually looks like (if I'm not up to my eyeballs in paperwork):

All of the important stuff is right there, easy to access. My lesson plan book, teacher notebook, cruisin' clipboard, and the quick reference guide with all the common core standards for 3rd grade including the North Carolina Essential Standards. Most importantly my diet Coke. Can't get through the day without it...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

No More Name Plates

The most frequently asked question when visitors come to my room is "What did you use to write the names on your desks?"

Well, my friends, I can't stand name plates. Nope, don't like them at all! The kids pick at them, tear them, write on them, and they basically look a mess!

So, my teacher buddy (Kathy at Kathy's Coordinated Class) and I came up with the PeRfEcT solution...

Sharpie Paint Pens!

These pens rock!!

They are like your typical Paint Pen (shake and shake and shake, press and press and press and finally paint starts flowing).

The best part is - they don't wipe off! Yep, that's right! They stay put, no mess, no fuss.


my second most asked question is "How does it come off?"

Let me tell you my friend it is simple!

Just rub well with an Expo marker, wipe clean with a Kleenex, and voila! It is gone!

If you are still seeing some of the Sharpie or the Expo marker, add a dab of hand sanitizer to the tissue and wipe a second time.

I have a video on this technique on my Facebook page. Be sure to follow me - see the link below!

(Btw, this little trick works with any smooth slick surface that is written on with Sharpie. For example, my laminated birthday posters have names and dates written with black Sharpie. At the end of the year, I clean with my Expo marker and the poster is ready to go for the next school year. Cool, huh?!)

The markers come in a variety of colors. Click on an image below to purchase these markers:

So, go - hurry - pick some up now and start your next school day with a clean, neat desk top!

Also, check me out on Facebook for live videos, photos, tips, and tricks!

So many readers have commented with additional suggestions on removing permanent marker from surfaces. Old expo (dry erase) markers are my favorite, but there are many other options. I suggest testing a small area first before committing to your entire room. While I have yet to run into a problem, I have heard from some readers that they have not been as successful. Insert sad, crying emoji.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Essential Standards Checklist

I am Baaaccckkk!! I can't believe it's been so long since my last post! I have been busy, busy, busy!

Let's start back at the classroom! Here are some pictures of my room this year.

It has been a great layout and I enjoy the pleasant atmosphere my room creates (considering I spend more time in my classroom than anywhere else).

Now down to business...
I have created two new items that can be found in my TpT store.

The first is a checklist for the North Carolina Essential Standards for Science and Social Studies (3rd Grade).

Click here if you would like this checklist.

I also made a skeleton cut and paste for the NC Essential Standard 3.L.1.1. In this sort, students decide which bones are needed for movement, protection, and support.

If you would like this activity, visit my TpT store.

Now that I am back at it - I can't wait to share all the things my class has been up to.

Stay tuned...

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Teacher's Fashion

This has to be one of my favorite Linky Parties EVER!!!

I love fashion almost as much as teaching!

I am linking up with Jess at From Blood to Books.

Here are the guidelines...
1. Tell me your favorite store(s) that you like to get your "teacher's fashion".
2. What are some of your favorite accessories?
3. What type of shoes do you teach in? (i.e. heels, flats, wedges, etc.)
4. Do you have a "go-to" item in your closet? (i.e. sweater you wear weekly, shoes you wear daily, etc.)
5. Have you ever had a fashion "uh-oh" at school? (i.e. heel broke)

1.Favorite Stores:

I love both of these stores! I can find great deals and I love the mixing and matching available at both of these stores. Loft has a great Petite selection!

2.Favorite Accessories:

I heart my watch! I scored mine from Ebay!

This is not my exact handbag, but close enough. Mine is shiny! I love me some Michael Kors!

I wear lots of jewelry to spice up my outfits. I wear everything from interesting rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. This is my newest bracelet. I really like it. It mixes the gold and silver look together in one piece. Check out Sira & Mara for great jewelry at even greater prices!

And of course the Bubble Necklace is popular! I have one in yellow that I got from Ebay. Original J. Crew Bubble Necklaces go for around $150. So check out Ebay instead. I paid under $15.


I wear all kinds of shoes to school (except you will hardly ever find me in a pair of tennis shoes at work).

I sport flats, heels, boots, sandals and flipflops. Here are some shoes on my wish list:

I would love to have a pair of these Hunter Wellies! They have a British version, too, with the British flag. How adorable for those living in England!



The Pencil Skirt! I really love my Pencil Skirts! I have the one above. It is on sale now in many fabulous colors - check out!

My other go-to-item...

the skinny belt! I wear these a lot. They give a pop of color to many outfits.

5.Fashion Uh-Oh!

Yes, I had one! Actually is was really funny!

At my old school, we had those tennis balls on the bottom of the chairs.

Well, I stepped right in one with my heel piercing through the hole. I was walking around for a minute or two and was wondering what felt strange, when I looked down, there was the yellow ball.

Ha, Ha!

We snapped a picture of it for the yearbook. I'll have to dig up that picture and post it!

Now it's your turn! Go link up and let us know your fashion must-haves!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Blogger Meetup and Currently

Better late than is after all Aug. 6th.

I am linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her August Currently.

So here it is:

I guess I better explain the "new stupid laminator" part. Take notice I said "new" - that implies that I have one and need another.

Yep! I do {or did} have a brand spanking new laminator. But after only being out of the box for approximately 20 minutes, it is now in the trash can.

That's right folks - I said TRASH CAN!!!

I should have read rule number 3 in the directions and then read it again and then highlighted it before reading it yet another time!

It says - well I can't quote it exactly because I was so mad that I shredded the directions - do not leave children unsupervised around the machine!

So that precious beast child I mentioned early in the Currently tried to laminate something while I was gathering more items to have fun with laminate! She not only had the laminating sleeve inside out, it was fed into the machine - gasp - open end first {I did read that rule}.

Needless to say, the whole thing got stuck and the release handle DID NOT help. Now melted lamination is wrapped around the rollers and the thing makes terrible noises and once my husband jimmied the thing open it does not function any more...

cue sobbing!!

Now I will HAVE to buy another! I loved that thing - even though it only lived a short life!

Lesson here - ALWAYS read directions thoroughly!!! {And watch your children carefully}

I did not actually leave a 5 year old alone with the laminator. We had worked together on several pages, and when I was sure she had it down (or so I thought) I let her try one on her own. I happened to be looking down at my lap full of pages to see which would be next up and when I looked up as she was placing the film into the machine. It was too late to grab it before it started automatically feeding into the machine. Oh well...

On to a happy note! I had a great time at the Charlotte blogger meet up!

It is so much fun meeting your idols fellow bloggers! We chatted about the Common Core, children {our own}, our classrooms, our favorite blogs - just about everything that long time new teacher friends talk about!
These lady were awesome with a capital A! Thanks Amber and Elisabeth for organizing the meet up.

Check out all these ladies on their blogs:




And Rebecca

well, you'll have to wait for her to start a Principal's Blog :D

That's all for today folks! Hope tomorrow {and laminator number 2} are better!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fabulous Finds and a Makeover

What do you think of my little blog "make-over"? I love the soft colors and the uniqueness of it. Hope everyone out there likes it as much as I do!

Today I am linky up with Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B for her Fabulous Find Friday!

First up this fabulous necklace!

I picked up this necklace from Jeweliq. It is an online company with many gorgeous pieces ranging from earrings to necklaces to bracelets all under $25.

Best of all I paid only $15 for this piece! Everything ships FREE!!

So go check them out - you won't be disappointed.

Next up I spent a little lot more than the necklace for this baby...

I was so tired of how slow and unreliable my old printer was, so I popped into Staples and picked up this beauty!

I am most excited by its wireless and e-print capabilities!

Here I am printing Ginger's Back-to-School Glow Stick Gifts. {Check it out here at Ginger Snaps.}

I love how fast and easy it has been to use! I also love the touch screen on the front. And that it can print 2 sided! It was on sale this week, so if you need a new home printer - go check it out!

Last, I picked up these magnets at Target.

I've seen other bloggers post about them, so when I was in Target this week and saw them hanging on an end cap, I decided to pick them up as well. They will be a fun addition to a word work station!

Okay, now I am off to do some more printing...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday Made It {and Winners Announced}

It wouldn't be Monday Tuesday without a Monday Made It!

I am linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics.

I have been so inspired by all the talent and creativity I have seen this summer.

This week I worked on a few simple Pinterest inspired projects.

First up, my notebooks:

I plan to have the kids keep their math notes and vocabulary as well as foldables we create all inside this notebook.

I used composition books that I purchase at Big Lots (they are less stiff). I hot glued ribbon to the back cover for an instant bookmark. I used ribbon bought at the Dollar Tree and cut it into 8 in. strips. Finally, I glued an envelope to the back cover (also a Dollar Tree purchase). The envelope will house any items that are not made in the notebook (example index cards).

Next up:

I made these birthday balloons. I cannot remember who I got the template from :0(

(If you know, send me a message so I can include it in this post.)

I bought giant Pixie sticks from Dollar General.
I copied the birthday balloons onto colored card stock after shrinking the image a bit. My room has a mostly green and brown color scheme with accents of yellow and blue, so I went with the yellow and green card stock (purchased from Walmart).
I hot glued the balloons onto the Pixie sticks and arranged them in an empty jar I had. I hot glued a ribbon around the jar and an extra birthday balloon for decoration.

I hope the kids like their birthday treat!

For my grade level teamies - I assembled these:

Finally the hubs and I made these:

I was so excited about this project!

I purchased 3 crates at Walmart for under $4 each. I headed over to JoAnn fabrics and purchased foam and fabric. I spent around $25 total there. Then my husband and I went to Lowes for the plywood with crate in hand. He was not sure about how this whole thing was going to work, but I reassured him that I saw plenty of blogs about it and I even saw it on Pinterest! {still not sure he was convinced at this point}

Since I was only making 3 crates, we didn't need those big pieces of plywood, which would result in tons of leftovers. So...we found smaller pieces along the wall thanks to the friendly, helpful associates. These pieces resulted in the perfect size for my little project. An associate cut my chosen plywood piece into 3 rectangles that perfectly fit into my crates! I had very little left over waste, so that was great! The price for the sheet of plywood was $14.

The final step was to assemble it all! My husband was all into helping - yeah!
We laid the plywood pieces over the foam and cut. I had enough foam to use two pieces per crate resulting in added comfort! We then laid the foam and wood over the fabric (upside down) and cut the fabric, leaving enough around the edges to wrap and staple.

The final product is sturdy enough for me to sit on and for a 5 year old to stand on and jump (as I frantically yell at her to stop)!

Total for the crate project = $50
The experience of making them = priceless

NOW for the giveaway winners!!

Drumroll please...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to everyone for entering and for being a follower!
I can't wait until I hit 200 followers - I have an idea for a spectacular giveaway!