Super Storage and Organization

Thanks Pat from A Time to Share and Create for pointing out the cute boxes from Michaels.  I had to run right out today and grab some.  (they didn't have the ones with the patterns:( )  Lots of cute colors and so many things you can use them for.....LOVE organization in my classroom:)

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Time for the Circus

Set this Circus Down is having a super fun linky party and giveaway.  The party is linking all new bloggers and I am too excited about that because.....I'm a new blogger:)  The giveaway is a $25 gift certificate to Amazon and there are lots of opportunities to enter!!!  I love a circus:D
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Fun Poster Maker Download

I was lucky enough to be part of a cadre this year along with 2 other teachers from our school.  It was pretty intense (and at times overwhelming) training on all kinds of technology to use in our classrooms...ipad, photostory, premier movie maker, photoshop, picasa......the list goes on.  One of the fun downloads we got is called Poster Forge. (I'm pretty sure this is the right link for the download....if not google Poster Forge)  It's a free download and you can make posters, wanted posters, movie posters...it's fun.  They already have the template and then you add your own pics and text.  Check it out.  Here's a few quick samples I made:)


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Vocabmics

My kiddos tend to be very visual learners and also tend to be very artistic.  To help them with learning tougher vocabulary I created Vocabmics.  The students are to pick a vocabulary word (write it on the line so I know what they are illustrating:)) Then create a comic that illustrates that word.  They really liked this activity and did a very good job with it:)  See my previous blog about Mental Image Comics.  Can ya tell my kids like to draw;)
          
                          Click to download:)

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Another Target Giveaway!!

Kelli at Castles and Crayons is celebrating 25 followers and giving away $15 Target gift card.  Love Target.  Hop over there to enter and check out her adorable blog:)

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Coming Soon to a Blog Near You.....:D

(cue the movie preview music....teehee)

Preview #1 - 60 and a Giveaway
  What a blast this new blogging thing has become to me and to think I actually have followers!!  So, I am getting close to 50 so I thought I would shoot for the stars and have a giveaway when I hit 60!!  Not positive but pretty sure the giveaway will include my 2 fave places: Starbucks and Target (in that order....gotta have my coffee while I'm shopping:))  So spread the word:)  Thanks to everyone following me now (and future followers).  This whole blogging has been a much needed, positive adventure for me.  I had somewhat of a tough year last year and blogging has been the hope, inspiration, and spark that I have needed:)  It makes me smile!!  We need to do that so much more daily:)  Like this morning, for example, I was riding my bike and saw a big old puddle....yes, I went through it and then laughed about it!!  Simple things can bring a smile.  Comments that I have gotten from my followers have done that too, so thanks!!
Preview #2 - Rolling out some TPT stuff with my BFF
  Again, a blogging newbie....started it with my BFF Cindy (who has an awesome, yummy blog at Sweet Time in 1st Grade).  We are working on some things to make our TPT first appearance.  She teaches 1st and I teach 4th so we are going to try to come up with some activities for both (her younger version and my older version of the same activity)

Stay tuned and thanks bunches!!
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The Book Whisperer - It's a Gotta Have!

So when The Book Whisperer book club talk all started, I thought, I'll join in and see what it's all about.  So, I went to the library and checked it out.  Read the intro. and first chapter and decided the library book isn't going to be working out to hot for me:/  There was too much I wanted to highlight and stickie note!!  So today went to lovely Books a Million and bought the only copy they had!!!  And yes, just re-read chapter 1 and highlighted away and started chapter 2!  Seriously people, if you haven't, you have to read this book:))
Just sharing:)
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Big Giveaway from a New Blogger

Erica at Erica's Elementary Excitement is having a huge giveaway!  $50 Lakeshore Learning Card AND $25 Target gift card!!  Winner gets both:))  Her blog is super cute too!!  Get over there and enter:)
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Multliplication Rap :D

Having trouble getting those kiddies to memorize their multiplication facts?  I know I had some struggling with it.  I searched itunes for some multiplication songs and found this!  It's call Multiplication Hip Hop for Kids, Learn  Math the Fun Way.

Sorry the pic is so small, that is all I could find.  How did I use this you ask??  Well, every morning before we started Math, I would pull up one of the facts (like 6's).  I would say "Ok, everybody up" and as soon as they heard that, they knew;)  I turned it on and off we went.  They were allowed to dance as long as they stayed right by their own desk BUT couldn't dance UNLESS they were rappin the facts!!  Girls loved this because what girl doesn't like to sing and dance but the boys really got into this because it was rap!!  We had a blast and yes I was singing and rappin right alone with them!!  Each song/rap runs each fact from 2 - 12.  (6x2=12, 6x3=18...)  You get the idea.  It was really catchy because each song had a different rhythm and I would catch the kids hummin or singing the rap throughout the day to themselves.  We would only do one a morning, so it only took minutes.  Started the day out fun!  They got to like it so much that on days when I was busy or thrown off by something that had come up and would forget about it, they would remind me and ask for it:)  I bought mine about 3 years ago...the cover looks like the one above but I couldn't find that exact one now:(  I'm thinking they have changed covers.  Usually you can listen to a sample for free. 
Happy Rappin!!
                                                

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The Book Whisperer - I like this journey already:)

My Wordle for Chapter 1 of The Book Whisperer

Wordle: book whisper

How did you feel as you started reading?
I felt like she had been standing in my classroom observing me before she wrote this book.  Or that I was walking in her shoes.  Feelings: relief, lots of light bulb moments, HOPE!!
What were your first thoughts, connections, insights?
Sadly I connected with her when she worked so hard to prepare that lesson and the students just did what they had to to get through it and didn't connect with the characters like she thought they would.  I've had that feeling before.  Thankfully I have been teaching comprehension and reading strategies and have seen improvement but still have that handful of kids that just don't seem to care.  I want to reach all my kids!!  So I am looking forward to the rest of this book:)
Were you like me and finally felt as though you had found someone who was speaking your language?
Yes!!
Which part jumped out at you and made you say "aha!!, I knew it"?
I have always tried to get my students as passionate about reading as I am, telling them that reading is an escape, you can go to another place and be someone else, away from everything else if you want.
I have to join in with others and quote her with the amazing words of:
"Reading changes your life.  Reading unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time.  Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education.  Through characters - the saints and sinners, real or imagined - reading shows you how to be a better human."
Those are some powerful words!!

(using the discussion questions from Thinking of Teaching's Blog)



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Giveaway with awesome jewelry!

First Grade Frenzy is celebrating 100 followers and having an awesome giveaway!!  One of the prizes is amazing jewelry that her friend Rachel makes!!  You've got to get over there and enter:)
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A Super Giveaway!!

Ms. M is having a giveaway!  She is giving $5.00 certificates to Digi Web's Studio.  That will go a long way because Digi Web Studio is having a site wide sale!!!!  Everything is $1.00!!  I was already there this morning and got a ton of adorable clip art sets I can't wait to use:)
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Creating Mental Images the Fun Way

Ok, so one of the strategies we work on is creating mental images or visualizing.  I teach struggling readers and my kids really seemed to be struggling with this.  So I came up with Mental Image Comics.  I choose a short story and mark with stickies 5 different places throughout the book to stop.  I give them each a blank comic strip and tell them to find a spot to be creative.  Some stay in their desks, some under their desks, they just scatter.  Then I tell them I want them to close their eyes and make "mind movies" as I read. (now before this we have had some mini lessons on visualizing)  We kind of make a game out of it.  I say "close your eyes" and I read until the first stopping point.  When I get there I simply say "draw "and they have about 90 seconds to draw in the first box of their comic strip.  I know that doesn't sound like a lot of time but they get it down pretty quickly.  Then I say "close your eyes" and I read again until the next stopping point and "Draw!".  We continue this until the story is finished.  Once we are done they each have a mini comic strip of the story.  The kids take turns showing theirs on the ELMO.  They really enjoy it and it gives me a quick assessment of how well they were understanding the story using visualization. 

Check back later....I have another version of this I call Vocabmics.  It's comic strips with vocabulary words:)

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Another Fab Find at Marshalls:)

Too cute!  In the same spot I found the adorable magnetic letters (see previous blog) I found this super cute paper punch.  Super cheap, $3.00 with bugs on it.  I have a few different ones of these.  I use them when I am grading their writing papers and do a little punch out at the top of the page (butterfly, teddy bear, heart), the kids love to get their papers back and see what punch out they got.  I also like to use them to grade any old paper....again, the kids love it.  Makes it a little fun and isn't that what it always should be? :)


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Gotta Enter This!

Yearn to Learn is having a 100 follower giveaway!  Not 1, not 2, but 3 winners!  Scoot over there and enter.  It ends Monday.
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Third Grade Gridiron Giveaway!

100 follower giveaway over at Third Grade Gridiron.  $25 Target card:)  One of my fave stores to shop at!!  Lots of ways to enter...go check it out.
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Multiple Choice Made Fun:D

I don't know about anyone else but due to the economy and budget we have some books/workbooks that should not be written in so they can be used again.  Also, tryin to keep the copies down....so, I came up with this idea I have used for 2 years and wanted to share.  During guided reading with my groups there are times we read a reading comprehension passage that has multiple choice questions at the end.  Instead of the kids writing in the book, I use these "popsicle stick fans".  I got the wide sticks and wrote A,B,C,D on one side and F,G,H,I on the other. 




Then my wonderful hubby drilled little holes in the bottoms of each stick and then we got little screws, washers, and nuts and screwed the sets together.


I have to tell you, the kids absolutely LOVED using these.  When we came to a question they each had their fan of sticks and would choose and then show me their answer.  It made this time more fun and we saved lots of trees:) 



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I did it!!!!!

I did it, I did it!!!  I made my own blog button! (and it sparkles, teehee)  Now, hopefully it works:)  If you happen to "grab it" please let me know if it works or not.
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Only some of my Faves...

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Fun Find!!

So, on a trip to Marshalls (one of my fave stores ever!!) looking for college things for my daughter we came across these too cute magnetic letters!!


Found them in the section with notebooks, notepads, and journals.  There were only 2 boxes so I snatched them both up....soooooo cheap!!  Never know what you'll find unexpectedly!  I love those kinds of finds:)


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Huge Giveaway!!

Teaching in High Heels is hosting a HUGE summer giveaway!  Get over there and enter...so many neat things to win and lots of ways to enter:)

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Super Fun Writing Idea

Ok, so already posted about Mrs. Rojas' Teaching Resources giveaway with a twist:)  Well, it got me thinking.....wanted to share another cute writing idea I have used and the kids love it!! Don't know if anyone if familiar with the World According to Humphrey series...If you are not, you have to be. 




Great group of books!!!  It's about a classroom hamster and all the adventures he goes through helping the different kids in the class.  It's even neater if you have your own class hamster:)  Ours is named Truffles and she's a cutie.  Anywho, back to the writing.....these books are told from Humphrey's point of view.  After I had read at least one of the books aloud to my peeps, I purchased 2 Zhu Zhu pets and 2 journals and 2 baskets. (I totally had to get the little blankets too:))  At the end of each day, I would draw 2 names of my students.  Those students got to take home the basket and their homework for the night was to write about their adventures with Humphrey.  They were to write from his perspective, like the book which was a little difficult for them but story by story they got better.  The kids loved reading aloud their stories and couldn't wait to make their own adventure bigger and better:) Very creative and very fun:)  I can't take credit for coming up with this idea...thanks to Angie R.  We started it out together when I was teaching 3rd grade.  So give it a try and happy hamster writing:)
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Doing the book club and too excited;) Giveaway included!!

I just got the book The Book Whisperer to join the book club read along that kicks off on Monday.  Too excited and can't wait to jump in it.  Go over to Thinking of Teaching, she's having a great giveaway to go along with the kickoff.  Will probably have to purchase a copy so I can mark it all up and have it for my library.



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Giveaways galore!!!

And yet another great giveaway at Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher.  Celebrating 200 followers with a $25 gift card to Target!  One of my favorite stores:)
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Another Great Giveaway with a TWIST:)

Mrs. Rojas is having a gift card giveaway with a twist.  Head on over to her blog Mrs. Rojas' Teaching Resources to check it out and enter:))  It's a fun one!! 
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Check it out!!

Life isn't Always Frogs and Cupcakes is having a giveaway!!!  Hop over there and check it out!!  3 Winners:)

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More Cute Domino Pics

Since I am so new to this blogging stuff I can't seem to post more than one pic at a time:(  So, here is another pic of the cute dominoes I was talking about earlier.

 
These little cuties are 1 inch by 1/2 inch and there are 28 in a pack.  Check them out:)  Too fun!


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Other Goodies

I also got several packs of these adorable dominoes.  Dollar Tree also!


They are little and fun colors.....not sure what I am doing with these either....some multiplication practice comes to mind right off the bat.....review of basic multiplication facts (multiply the 2 numbers on your domino), multiplication war ( 2 students, multiply their own and compare...)
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Shopping Success:)

Yahoo!!!  Love to find goodies:)  Got the adorable trays posted by Amanda from One Extra Degree.  Thanks Amanda!  Too cute, not entirely sure what I'll use them for BUT I will find something:) 





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Shopping trip to Dollar Tree...

Love all the ideas I'm seeing on other blogs so I'm off to the Dollar Tree myself to see what goodies I can find.  Color Me Happy in Kindergarten and One Extra Degree blogs both have super cute ideas from goodies they got there.  So, I'm inspired to head out and see what treasures are in store for me:)

Hopefully I will be posting some pics with my finds soon....
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Slowly......

I think I am ever so slowly getting this blogging thing....Believe it or not, we have been out of school for weeks and I can't seem to put the computer down!!!!  Can't wait until I can learn how to share some of my own stuff but sure love being able to get ideas from others:) Photobucket
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