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.