Saturday, July 5, 2014

Book Check-Out Station (Free Pocket Chart Cards)

Are your books disappearing?  There's nothing I love more than seeing kids get excited about books and want to take them home to borrow!  But, I can't help but notice that not keeping track of the books I send home with my students is starting to take a toll on my class library selection.  :)  I'm going to try the check-out system that Christina Bainbridge mentioned she uses in her classroom and see if that helps keep better track of which books are and aren't making it back into the classroom.  Students will record the title of the book they are borrowing on a slip of paper and place it behind their classroom numbers on a pocket chart.  My pocket chart cards are below (designed to best fit the small, $1 charts at Target).  Click any image to download {free}! 

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Favorite Attention Grabbers {Free Poster}
 I love using fun sayings and jingles with my students to get their attention.  It keeps me from sounding "naggy" and the kids love it!  Best of all, it works like a charm!  It seems to work even better when having a variety to choose from  (keeps them interested).  I've found a ton, but have compiled my favorites into a poster to display in my classroom next year.  Grab it - if you'd like! 

<------- Click to download!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

DIY Blog Design Tutorial Links

Want to try your hand at designing your own blog?  I have played around with blog designs quite a bit over the last few years and each time I learn more tricks for making the layout look less "generic".  I would say at least 50% of my time designing is spent on searching the internet for good tutorials.  I would have LOVED for someone to tell me where to look or give me a list of sites they used when designing.  I'm hoping to save you some time by sharing all of the tutorials I've found and used!  :) 

 Before You Start:

1.  Sign up for a Photobucket or Image Shack account to upload your images.  Image Shack is now charging a small monthly fee, but I use this program because my images appear much clearer.

2.  Look at other blogs to find some ideas and inspiration for your new layout!  :)

3.  Buy coordinating clip art sets and digital papers to use with your design.  {Be sure to check the Terms of Use.  Some sellers don't allow their products to be used with web design or commercially.}  Etsy is a great place to start your clip art search!

4.  Before you change a thing on your blog, be sure to BACK IT UP!  

5.  Understand that it takes time, patience, and a ton of tinkering around to learn the process and to  get your blog the way you want it.  Good luck!!  :)

Design Tutorials:  

Advanced Blog Background and Clickable Header Tutorial {This is the one I used for my current design.} With this tutorial, you will need to create what's called an "image map", which allows you to incorporate clickable links within your header.  The tutorial suggests using the online program, Image-Map, but there is now an outrageous fee of $6.99 a month to use it.  I found a FREE program called Image Mapper that is easy to use!

Blog Button

Blog Post Dividers 2 {How to create your own}

Adding Cute Headings to Blog's Sidebar (i.e. "Blogs I Follow", "Meet the Teacher", etc.)

Detailing Tips:

If you get completely stumped, feel free to leave me a comment and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.  :)  Just remember, this is still very new to me and I have a lot to learn!  I will continue adding to this list as I find more helpful links!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Nurse Passes
Getting some small items made for next year... Nurse Passes!

I know - Try to contain your excitement.  ;)

Click the image to download {free}.
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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Voracious Reader Tickets
Now that I've just finished up my first year using CAFE for reading {LOVED IT}, I thought I'd change my Reading Star tickets into Voracious Reader tickets.  I often pass tickets out to students who are going above and beyond with the amount of reading they are doing or for completing their home reading logs.  They have also been a motivator to my reluctant readers when trying to get them to read/finish more books.  Students get to place their tickets in a jar, which I then pull from at the end of the day for small prizes, candy stickers, etc.  It's nice, too, because I can tie these drawings into my dismissal routine.  The class can earn more drawings at the end of the day, depending on how well they pack up and listen to directions.  This makes for a stress-free dismissal...usually.  ;)

Click the image below to download the "Voracious Reader Tickets"{free} I'll be using next year!  :)

Updated July 25, 2014 - I found a tin to have the students place their tickets in and made a label for the front.  Here's what mine looks like:

The label is included in the free download!  :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Writing Steps Chart

This is my first summer creation!  :)  With students writing at such varying paces, there were many times this past year that I wished I had a better system in place to keep track of where students were at.  I created a chart {below} to display in the classroom.  I'm hoping this will be a quick, visual reference that will help our class keep our writing more organized!  It's the newest addition to my TpT store.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Teacher Binder - Pink, Navy, & Teal Set

I created a pink, navy, and teal version of my teacher binder.  If this fits your color scheme and you'd like to check it out, click on any of the images below!  :)

Updated June 2016:  Here is the new "look" of the binder:

Not loving this color scheme?  Check out my other sets below!  :)
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Teacher Binder Updated for 2014-15

I've updated my Teacher Binder for the 2014-15 school year!  If you've purchased this, please head to my TpT Shop to redownload the file.  I found some beautiful teal and yellow papers from an Etsy seller, Huetoo, and just had to incorporate them into the upgrade.  I've included the new style, along with the original version, in a zip file!

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mother's Day Book {Free Template}

If you are in need if a Mother's Day gift, here is a free download with a planning page, label, and book pages to have your students each create a book!  You can really do anything for the cover... but what I did was fold a piece of construction paper in half and pasted their pictures on the front with a paper flower and the "Happy Mother's Day" label.  I also laminated them for durability.  The kids plan their writing on the planning sheet and then copy their sentences (one sentence per page) on the book page templates and draw a picture to go with it.  Click on the images below to download the files!  :)

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Several Odds & Ends Freebie Downloads

We are on our second snow day in a row! (Actually, school has been cancelled because of the cold temperatures with the wind chill...and next week isn't looking much better.)  With our time off, I'm trying to get a few odds and ends things done.  I've, of course, seen the adorable snowman craft idea from the We Heart Art blog (original idea from Artsonia) and wanted to make it with my students.

They were supposed to finish up their Day In the Life of a Snowman writing this week and make the snowman to go with it, but the snow days are pushing it off until at least next week!  I couldn't find a pattern already made, so if mine could save you some time, you can download it below. 

At our school, we are also trying out the Reading A-Z Assessment with our students.  I'm hoping it will be an accurate indicator of our students' reading levels!  If you could use the binder cover I made, click the image below to download.  :)

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bee-ing Verbs {Linking & Helping}

Well...once again, a 20-minute project has turned into a 6-hour one!  My newest pack is for introducing and practicing "being" verbs (linking/helping).  Check out my bee-themed verb packet by clicking either of the images below!

I've searched the internet for the original source of the "Helping Verbs - Jingle Bell" song, but haven't had any luck finding who came up with the catchy song!  Since it is not my original idea, you can download a free-bee version of the song below.  :)  If you know where credit is due, please let me know!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Snowman Writing

Out with with SNOW!  I made writing planners and paper for the following two snowman-themed prompts:  A Day in the Life of a Snowman and How to Build a Snowman.  I'm happy with where my students are at with their writing for the halfway point of the year.  It's time to shift our focus to expanding vocabulary and adding description!  After making a list of descriptive winter words, we'll be practicing adding details with these two writing activities.  The printables are in my TpT store!

There....I've officially done one productive work-related task!  I'm having a hard time getting anything done while reading these books....

I hope everyone else is relaxing and enjoying winter break!  :)

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