Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hall Pass....fashionably late

I am linking up with the gorgeous & talented Reagan Tunstall from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits! 


Here is the original Reward Coupons! I can't tell you how much this has transformed my classroom! I would NEVER go back to a treasure box....EVER! This has saved me so much money it is incredible! And since we don't have kids I don't have to BEG everyone I know with kids for happy meal toys! 

Here is a pic of my kiddos on Friday trading in all their warm fuzzies for coupons. I had TWO FULL CONTAINERS & they literally almost wiped me out of coupons! 

I have received a TON of requests for more, more, more coupons! It takes me F-O-R-E-V-E-R to make my products...I'm just so anal! I have been working on these for months & am still about 1/2 way done....sigh. Below is a sneak peak of the coupons that are coming. They are currently in use in my classroom just to make sure they are well liked.

Where do I get the coupon ideas you ask? The old ones I interviewed my niece, some students & I came up with about 1/2 on my own.  This next round came from my genius students & previous students. Of course, I had to put it into a form of bribery classroom management. When I started thinking about doing another set they are the ones who got my bootie in gear...they begged...they pleaded...they cried...well they didn't cry but you get the point. I told my kids that I was looking for someone who was going to be the "coupon recorder". It could be behavior, effort, attitude, etc. that I was looking for. They L.O.V.E.D this & are still not done giving me ideas. They were so cute...they would write ideas down at home & come to the carpet with their ideas when it was time to give ideas! I also had several former students who are in upper elementary give me some ideas. It takes a lot of work behind the scenes for these but they are sooooooooo worth it!

I hope you are comfy for this one! We moved into a new home in September. We were the FIRST ones to see the house & made an offer right then! We fell in LOVE with it. Well, the love didn't last long because as soon as we got our own stuff in the house I was hyperventilating...kicking....screaming....until somebody gave me some $$ to go to  Home Goods, Marshalls, TJ Maxx & of course ETSY. I was losing sleep over this dilemma of mine. I am very into decorating & changing my surroundings but I'm not very all....well with the kids I totally am but not when I want something done. Anyway, after lots of work I have a TON few before & after pics. We are still on phase one (main level). Don't be scared of the before....O.M.G.

This is what the LR looked like when the previous owners lived here. 

Before you say you like the blue walls...they are GREY! Just a little tip before you paint.....try it on the wall first. Well, I thought I did since we had this SAME color in our previous house. Well, the lighting is COMPLETELY different & apparently I was supposed to know that! The hubs was nice enough to repaint the room coming up. I have to live with this color for at least a year :o( ...we shall see about that. 

 We actually thought we liked the green & told them they can leave the window treatments....vurp. See all the carpet??? That lasted about 1 week before it was completely trashed. Ms. Olive (Moo Moo) had a UTI & I refused to put her in a cage while we were gone. Soooooo thanks to Moo Moo we got new floors sooner rather than later! 
 This is the SAME room just made into an office/study. This is a view of my blogging workspace. I LOVE having my own space! The hubs has his own office upstairs & is no longer allowed in mine....he is messy.
I have redecorated once already people. I saw this teal stuff @ Marshalls & went all coo coo for cocoa puffs over this teal stuff. I had that brassy silver looking stuff on the top but then moved that stuff into the dining room.

 I wish I took a closer view of what is on the shelf but I didn't. I was too worried about getting my cool retro chairs in there.

The walls are pretty empty right now but I have a vision for this blank wall. I will post pics when it's done. I have two more pieces to get to complete this office. I want it in a U-shape so I can spin around & work on a few different things at once. Once I get those pieces then I will be on the hunt for a rug
 I purchased this refurbished apothecary to use as a tv stand. When I got my new office furniture I moved it into there. I've been crazy obsessed with grey, teal & black....don't even get me started on chevron! Anyway this lovely piece went into my office & I had to fill all the drawers & of course label them.
These fab chairs came from an estate sale for $25 each! I spotted that patent leather from across the room & dove for it. Well I was carrying it around with me & almost run into a lady...she was holding it's partner! O.M.G! I talked this woman into giving me the chair because why would you just want one??? So instead of her having the pair I made sure I did. I don't even want to repeat the sob story I gave her just to get them. 

I am completely obsessed with Annie Sloan chalk paint. This particular color is graphite. You don't have to prep the furniture AT ALL! This took two coats..that's it! D.O.N.E!


This is a view of the dining room from the previous owners...yuck. 

We are torn with the tabletop. We originally were going to stain it black but we might leave it..not sure.
 We upholstered our old chairs with fabric from Joanne Fabrics & painted them black....Cost-$20! 
This piece is incredible. My mom saw it at a resale shop near us & saw potential. It is over 100 years old from Germany. There is a whole huge story behind it...which I love. We had our friend paint & we also changed the hardware.

I hope you liked a peak inside our new home. I would love comments!


I use a ton of different signals but my go to is "Eyes on me in 3...2....1" or "We're quiet in 3...2....1." I also pull out "Hocus Pocus----everybody focus". The noise level in my room does not get very high at all. This doesn't just "happen" it takes work. We practice by placing our hands on our necks...can you feel your voice vibrate? If so, you're too loud. This goes hand in hand when I am teaching Daily 5 & working on building our stamina. When the voice level goes too high they broke stamina & then they are done. Trust me it gets L.O.U.D occasionally especially when I'm out of the room every other day testing.

This is how I keep my sanity. I love to blog when I have time....wish there was more hours in a day! School this year is EXTREMELY demanding I've never thought of leaving before sucks! I absolutely LOVE my kids but the other stuff from our district is going to make all the good teachers leave. We haven't received a raise in over 4 years and more and more and more gets put on our plates. I am not saying I am leaving the classroom but I am tempted. Anyone want to open up a Montessori school with me???? I am not going to go into detail for fear of retaliation.
Besides blogging, creating, & decorating I love spending time with the hubs & our babies. They keep me sane.

I'm sneaking some Val Day stuff in here! You have to see how adorable our pics came out! I love photography too!

 My dad had flowers delivered to school! I was so excited! He also sent them to my niece at school :o)

I had about 30 props to choose from.....they got to choose their own.  They had so much fun! I will print these out & give them to them. They took one by themselves, one with two friends & we took a class picture. The parents love when we do pictures! I know I would appreciate it as well! I already am working on that doctor person who was born in March & St. Patty's St. Patrick's Day copyrighted? Uh-oh!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Filling Your Hearts!

The fabulous Freebie-Licious Authors are having a blog hop with loads of freebies! 

This freebie is a homework pass that I copy on pink or red paper & hand it out to the student. I will also attach an additional Val Day treat to it.
These are "love notes" that they get to write during "Work on Writing" in Daily 5. I have this cute little pink mailbox that they put them in when they are finished. They can write to their friends, teachers, parents, siblings, etc. This is their favorite thing to do during "Work on Writing".

 Click on any pic to grab your freebie.

Click on the blog hop button above to grab your next freebie from the fabulous Donna Glynn of Kinderglynn! 

So here is a brand new product I created. My kids are O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D with coupons...I wonder why. Anyway, I made a coupon book for them this year for Val Day. I made 10 different ones but also included a replica of each coupon that is editable to fit your classroom needs. I printed all of the coupons included which are:
No Morning Work
Read to the Class
Show and Tell
Journal Share
Write a Love Note
Classroom Helper
Sweet Treat
Sit by a Friend
No Homework
Extra Reading Time

I also added 10 additional ones that we came up with together which are:
Double fuzzy day (They get double fuzzies for a whole day)
Time Keeper (sets the timer & carries it around during Daily 5 or any timed activity)
Hug Mrs. Dillard (don't think I am horrible...if they didn't need a coupon I would have one hanging on each limb...not kidding)
Choose 1st for indoor recess (they fight over certain games)
Be Mrs. Dillard's Spy (don't ask me but one of their favorite reward coupons is teacher spy)
Bring a Game From Home (board game or any kind of card game to play during indoor recess)
Choose 1st for Daily 5
Extra Classroom Job (they LOVE helping so I give them an extra job since they all have at least one)
Borrow a fuzzy friend (they are obsessed with my stuffed animals in the library...they get to hold onto one of my animals for the day)
Choose Daily 5 Word Work (they get to choose what we do for word work that day)

I placed all the coupons on a table. They got to choose 5 coupons each. This was a tough decision but I only let them pick 5 each. They were not happy with me when I limited them. I will keep the extras & hand them out when they raise their clip...Sssh they don't know that yet. I copied them on white...well because we ran out of hot pink, red & pale pink paper. I actually think they turned out super cute since they got to make it their own.

I will allow them to give me one coupon/day but it has to be BY THE BELL. That means get here, get to business. I will only take one each of certain ones. If someone beats them to it then they have to wait. This should get us through February.

In order to instill more responsibility at home as well as school I created this Valentine's Day coupon book to give to the parents from my students. The parents will LOVE & appreciate this thoughtful gift! I made 10 different coupons with different sayings, they include the following:
Cleaning my room
No fighting!
Going to bed when I'm told!
Helping clean up after dinner.
Picking up my toys without complaining.
No Interrupting!
An extra chore!
Taking care of our pet!
Taking out the garbage!
Doing my home when I'm told!
Each coupon comes in black & white with adorable graphics. I also included extra coupons that they fill in themselves to fit their own needs.
There is a cover page that says "Happy Valentine's Day!"
The 2nd page says "I Love You!" & they can sign their name.
The coupons come next.
The last page has an adorable graphic that says "Just for You".
They can color each page with their own sweet little touches.
Last page you can write who it's to and from or leave this page off. 
Click on any pic to check it out! 

For those reward coupon fans I just wanted to pump you up that I have been working on another set for weeks! I will blog about it as soon as I get them done. This is by far my BEST SELLING product and the best thing I ever did in my classroom. The kids absolutely LOVE it! Entire school systems have purchased these! With over 1000 ratings here are some recent ones that make my heart smile :o)