Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bright Idea for Guided Reading/Small Group Table

Since we are in a new school we just received BRAND NEW small group tables over Spring Break. I was so excited & freaked out after break when I saw this new table. I was so used to my new classroom just the way it was BUT I didn't have a group table set up yet. I was obsessed with getting it just the way I wanted it and trying my best to leave it clutter free. 

I use this 12'' pink Craftsman tool tote in my craft room at home. It's perfect to grab and go when I need it in another room. I filled it up & keep it under my new small group table. 

Here is what I am currently keeping in my tote for this month. 
1. Spring words for reading and writing practice. 
2. Colored index cards for weekly sight/spelling/vocab word practice. 
3. Phonic skill of the week words. 
4. 1 & 2 minute sand timer for fluency practice. 
5 & 6. See inside the boxes below.
  Dry erase markers & erasers for each student. 

This box contains all my favorites! Color coding labels (all sizes), washi-tape, full adhesive Post-it notes, and all different kinds of Post-it tabs. 
 7 & 8. Since it's poetry month I have poetry task cards from my friend Denise over at Sunny Days in Second Grade. I also have the monthly word cards from Caitlin over at Kindergarten Smiles. 
9. Poetry task cards
10. Comprehension ? cards
11. Scentos highlighters-used for highlighting phonics skills of the week. 
12. Spelling word shaker (small spelling words and fuzzies).
13. Poetry packet for the month. 
14. My tiara that I wear while I am "off limits" during small group. 
15. Special markers for underlining and circling WOW words during Work on Writing. 

If you want more great ideas, please consider visiting me on FACEBOOK, checking out my teaching resources on Teachers Pay Teachers, or following my PINTEREST boards!

I hope you enjoyed my bright idea for the month. Check out all of the other fabulous ideas below!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring Blogger Meet Up

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a blogger meet-up in French Lick, IN. That name kills me. Anyway, I was a little apprehensive at first about going but I am so glad I chose to attend. It was a complete blast & I absolutely adored every person I met.

This is Holly from Ehle Kindergarten Connections who was in charge of this fabulous get together. I absolutely adore her! She did an exceptional job pulling this all together & I can't wait to make this an annual meet-up. 
 Schoolgirl Style provided the decor for the center pieces for each table. Holy cuteness, right?  

I was completely shocked that each of us received a Vera Bradley bag! I wanted one of each! I can't believe how generous all of these companies were to all of us.

You probably already know how obsessed I am with Scentos. My students are obsessed as well. I am absolutely not sharing these new ones with them! I have them at my guided reading table right in the center just so I can stare at them. I can't wait till I can get my hands on more! 
The pen above....oh my love! I was making to do list on our 4 hour drive home using each color & then I would make the hubs sniff every scent. He is not that into Scentos but I am working on him 
We also received a $10 off gift card from Erin Condren
I can't wait to order something I don't even need. I definitely think I need another notebook. I just can't have enough of Erin's high quality products.

Holly was nice enough to package up all of these Jamberry Nail samples. These are the best invention ever!

There was also raffles for many great prizes including a SDE conference giveaway, Crayola products,  Boogie Boards, and a Hue Document Camera.

I won classroom accessories from Creative Teaching Press.  I can't believe how cute everything is!  I am looking forward to hanging this in my classroom. 

We also were able to bring in a favorite tool. Here are some of my favorite tools.....

There was so many tools that I need to have but these two were a must. The magnets are from Lowe's I believe and are super heavy duty. The neon window markers are genius! You know how much I love neon!

Not only did I meet some fabulous new friends I also learned a few things. Bonus!

1) I met the fabulous Dana from Common to the Core:
She shared some really good ideas. I already use the app -A Beautiful Mess- on my phone. This is my go to app for photo editing on my iphone. She also shared some tips and tricks from -PicMonkey. I can't believe I wasn't already signed up! After playing around with it I immediately signed up.
 I LOVE IT! Finally, she shared the app BlogTouch.
Blogging from my phone???? Say what!?!?  

2) Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard also shared some wonderful tips. My favorite was an app called Phonto. Amazing!

3) Tip 3 is the amazing teachers from all over the US. I was shocked to find out that many flew & drive hundreds of miles to be there. We met to collaborate and share ideas on our own dime. This makes all of us highly effective in my book!
Don't be jealous of all the fab things we received. You have a chance to win your own!!!!! Can I enter? Keep hopping to enter to win the following. Good luck!

Hop on over to Set This Circus Down!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Organizational Seat Sack Ideas

As you know I have moved into a new classroom in a brand new school! I was lucky enough to get a class set of the Ultimate Organizer Set from

My all time favorite item is this seat sack. It's unbelievably well made out of extremely durable material. This is so important when you have to use something year after year. You want to make sure the product will uphold wear and tear.

We use 1 1/2'' binders that go back and forth between home and school. I honestly didn't even think that this would be able to fit inside. To my surprise it did!!!! Wahoo! This has left us with clutter free desks! Since we have new desks, we do not have any kind of storage underneath. This problem had already been solved but they still had to have their binders on their desk the entire day. This is perfect! They also store their books, desk folder, & interactive journals in the seat sack. I am saving so much instructional time not having them go back & forth to their lockers or cubbies to get materials! Love it!

I wasn't too sure what I was going to do with these since my students already have their own school boxes. I am finishing up a unit on time & ding...ding...ding...the light bulb went off! Duh! I can store math manipulatives in here!!!!!!

In each bag I put a deck of cards, a set of dot dice (soft & hard),  a set of number dice,  a mini clock & flashcards! My supply manager will pass these bags out almost daily! No more wasting time passing different materials out. They get the bag with everything in it & BAM...WE ARE DONE!

These pouches are incredible! They come equipped with heavy duty Velcro. It took me about 10 minutes to put these on each desk. Since I do warm fuzzies this is what I will store their warm fuzzy containers in. As you can see the name tag is numbered. These are their student numbers so I can use them year after year. On the other side you can put their name or number as well.
This pouch would also work well with these pencil cases. I am going to put these cases on my supply list for next year. The pencil issue absolutely kills me! With having completely flat desks, their pencils roll off ALL.DAY.LONG!

This pouch has hand sanitizer, scissors, pencil sharpener & a glue stick. There is still a ton of room!
I am so bummed that I forgot to take a picture of these Read-n-Go book bags. The quality is incredible. I LOVE that it is clear with a handle! I am currently using these at my new small group table. I will be blogging about that soon. I had to include the photo above because I think that is such a neat idea! I am obsessed with those Command hooks!

Stop by and check out this new ULTIMATE ORGANIZER SET! I highly recommend it! Ask your PTO or write a grant for a class set. You and your students will be ULTIMATELY organized!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Cleaning & More!

I have to admit, I caved under the pressure to have a sale. I'm so happy I did! I haven't showed too many pictures of my little nuggets in action this year so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity.  Packing up 10+ years of a classroom...perging.....packing...unpacking.....decorating....redecorating...I have been a tad busy.
Now here I am at the very end of my Spring Break.....WAH! It actually snowed.............
Who let him here? I just look at this pic & laugh! This is Chicago my friends. It snowed on Spring Break & we grilled. Yes, when it's March....we grill no matter what. And we stop wearing coats. Am I right my Chicagoland friends????

I will be planning all day tomorrow. Part of my plans are pulling out more of these bad boys for the 4th quarter....BAM! What a great way to start off the Monday after Spring Break..with a little teaser of what's in store. They WILL take the bait.

So here is one of my nuggets counting up her fuzzies right before Spring Break. Did you know when they don't have fuzzies, I take coupons. That was no accident that they traded them all in right before break.

After we count 500,000 fuzzies they have collected, I put the date on the chart below along with how many fuzzies they earned. This helps me see if they are really trying to earn more or if they slacked off a bit. Most of the time, they get about the same or more. The little boy above is better at math than I am so he keeps track of how many coupons they get & how many they have left. For example, she had 230 fuzzies. He let her know all the different combinations she could get. Future President..not kidding.
Here is my "teacher's assistant" making sure this one didn't take any extra coupons. She takes her job very seriously. She kept track of everyone's totals & called them up one at a time. After they were finished, she would highlight their total & call the next student up to trade.
With over 100+ choices, this might take a while each week so I call in my little troops for help.
As you can see both sets have 10 coupons per page, full page option & organization ideas & tips.
Someone turned in a brain break coupon ....the whole class gets to enjoy this! Cost=Nothing!
This little one cashed in his fuzzies in order to bring his Ipod to school. That costs 200 fuzzies!

These girls cashed in the "Buddy Read Aloud" coupon. They are really into Wayside School right now so they chose to read our chapter for that day.

These cutie pies turned in the "Comfy Spot" coupon in order to pick their spot first.
She is showing us her talent! She handed in the "Got Talent" coupon. I used to be able to do this!
If I tried now...the ambulance couldn't get to me fast enough!

These boys turned in a "We've Got Talent" coupon. They were going to tell some jokes & then they got shy. Too cute!

This one is my coupon queen! She loves the ones worth "10" so she can have a HUGE stack! She guards them with her life! Anyway, she handed in a "Line Jumper" coupon so she was able to cut everyone in line to take her AR test first.

I don't know if I ever blogged about Moo Moo before. I will this summer, I promise. I purchased Moo Moo, because she looks just like my Moo Moo (Olive).
Sorry...she looks like a hot mess here. She is on top of Bentley right So since I don't have kids I talk about my furry babies all the time. Our classroom elf, Cubert, decided to bring them a dog & I somehow talked them into naming her Moo Moo. They are obsessed!
My girls above are holding Moo Moo & her babies. Yes, our fake dog had puppies! We had our Scholastic book fair & I had to buy them another one! Then, they said she felt like she was still pregnant. Guess who went to buy another one??? $24 later...we have 3 dogs in our classroom. I.AM.NOT.BUYING.THEM.CLOTHES! I figure if I type it on here then I won't buy them clothes which they are asking for! I put some little bandanas on them, now they want more clothes! Look what I start! I can't help it...they are my babies :o)

These two are two peas in a pod...always together & never them! One of them gave me the "Borrow a Furry Friend" coupon. Of course, guess who they borrow???

Check out my Reward Coupons Set 1 HERE and Reward Coupon Set 2 HERE.
The feedback on these is beyond amazing. Is it too late in the year for you to start???? UM, NO! Start and see just how much the atmosphere changes in your classroom. Get out the kinks now & start fresh. Do you have to print all of them out?? Um, NO! You know your kids & you know what will reel them in...print those out ;o)

I have a mile long Candy Land to do list friends. I am just so busy...wah! Candy Land will be my main focus this summer. I will get to all of your requests. Click on any cover to grab any of these games on sale!
Here are my kiddos during math stations. At least once a week I will pull out all the Candy Land math games & they can pick their partner & pick which game they want. I will rotate them every 7-10 minutes. I will be introducing the Time Candy Land game tomorrow.

I finally finished all of the Journey's first grade games. You can click on the pic above to grab it for a big discount.

Now that we have learned all of our long & short vowels...this is a great review for them!

Do you know what you are doing for Mother's Day??? If you are ambitious start the project above. I will be updating this year after year. This was an incredible gift to our parents. They absolutely LOVED it!
I can't really express how much my kids LOVE writing now. I have NEVER had a year where I actually reached them & kept them engaged and interested in writing all year long! I am patting myself on the back. I have finally given them the love of writing in first grade....that is a very hard task! I am working on set 2 right now but I am pretty sure it won't be ready until the summer. I work painfully slow.

Check out my new writing center HERE! The feedback makes my heart melt!
Here is a peek into my Spring-a-licious ELA & Math unit! It's so colorful & fun...I just love it!
Is that the sun peeking through our window? Why yes it is!

Finally, if you didn't see my candy bar end of the year awards...check them out HERE. I stole borrowed the red carpet idea from my blogging buddy Reagan over at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits. I literally whipped these together at the last minute & had no idea how popular they would be with my students & parents. I have something up my sleeve for this pack...hint..hint.