Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dollar Store Confessions

I have a confession. I have tried to deny it, but it just won't stay hidden any longer. I am a dollar store addict!
I go in for one thing, and come out with 20. Every. Single. Time.
This morning I went over to get some pool noodles so that I can make some card holders for my word work center. I ended up leaving with all of this-
and forgot the pool noodles! Sigh. I am going to have to go back in.
Jokes aside, I can always find lots of goodies for my classroom. I am going to make letter cubes for word work with these:
I have always wanted the unifix cubes with the letters on, but at about $16 a set, I think I will stick to these! They don't connect, but I like that they came in 4 colors so that I can make 4 sets and have different letters on each side of the cubes. I plan to store them in my new green tubs.
I also found these sentence strips in bright pink, green, and blue. How perfect! We use the Reading Street series, and I plan to make cards to go with our spelling words each week. They will go very nicely with the (forgotten) pool noodles that I plan to make!
I saw these cut-outs and I thought they would work well for some kind of matching activity, maybe contractions or place value.
I've seen a lot of pins about cool down cubes and have always wanted to make them. I think that these bright cubes will look nice and be good for giving kids options for when they need to cool down.
As for the rest of my purchases, I am still thinking about how to use them! I will have to make another trip to the dollar store this week to get those noodles... maybe I will make it out without buying anything else this time!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Made-it: Lots of Labels!

It has been a busy week here! I have been working on the finishing touches of my lanai redecoration project in addition to my classroom projects. I hope to have the final lanai pictures up for my Monday made it next week!
Here is a little sneak peak...
Maggie is enjoying it already!
I am linking up with Fourth Grade Frolics for another Monday Made It.
First up, my new desk nameplates! I am using the same format as last year, but I updated them to use my new colors.
I had them printed at Staples and laminated at the classroom store for durability. They are all ready to go!
I figured that I might as well make new cubby numbers while I was at it, so I put these together.
Ever since I discovered the glow effect in Publisher, I can't seem to stop using it! I think that the white glow really makes the numbers pop!
Now for my favorite made-it this week, my magnetic letter labels!
I found these magnetic letters in the dollar spot at Target last week and had to have them! I have a set of bigger letters at school, but they don't fit in any kind of storage box with compartments that I can find, so they are all mixed up in a plastic box. I have always wanted a more organized system for magnetic letters and now I have done it!
 I am so pleased with these labels! It took a long time to make the, get them all cut out, then get them taped into the compartments, but I was so determined to have labeled letters that I didn't even care!
Here is the most exciting part of this whole project, I didn't just make one box... I made three! Woohoo!
It may be a bit odd to be this excited about storage, but I just can't help it! The magnetic letter part of my word work center is going to be so much more efficient this year!
I may have gone slightly overboard in labeling the outside of the boxes, but I wasn't sure which way they would fit on the shelf, so I labeled two sides and the tops.
Maggie thinks they look pretty good!
That's it for this week, I'm off to enjoy my (nearly finished) lanai with Maggie.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Classroom Rules Makeover

Summer has officially started and I am ready to show off my first Monday made-it of the year: my classroom rules makeover!
I recently made the decision to use a little less pink in the classroom and a little more blue/turquoise. For the past two years, my classroom rules and school expectations board looked like this:
I like it, but the pink background looks too dark in the room and I don't like how busy the canvases look.
I wanted to re-do the rules, but didn't feel like buying new canvases or peeling off all of the old paper, so I just slapped some Mod Podge on and put the new paper right on top!
I used a roll of Fadeless paper and it was thick enough to cover the old canvases without showing anything through! BIG time saver! I really like the plain black paper background. The old polka dots were cute, but it looked too busy.
 I had the new rules papers printed at Staples so that the ink wouldn't smear when I put the top coat on and I think they look great!
The new school expectations:
My new rules:
I am going to get some blue felt to cover the board with in August. I think that this will really brighten up the room and make everything easier to see.
Now I'm off to the classroom supply store to get some new borders and get my new nameplates laminated!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Summer Afternoon with Maggie

So I was sitting on the couch, enjoying my completely unscheduled summer afternoon, when Maggie says to me, "Hey mom (she calls me mom), I want some treats."
Unfortunately, we were completely out of her usual treats, so I quickly looked up homemade cat treats and found a recipe that I had all of the ingredients to make (It must have been fate!).
It features tuna, which is Maggie's absolute favorite thing ever! She very rarely gets to have any tuna, so I let her sample a bit while I was mixing up the batter.
After mixing everything up, it looked pretty unappetizing, but smelled much like something Maggie would eat, so I continued on.
I got them in the oven while Maggie waited very patiently about one foot away from the oven.
Then it happened... I took them out to flip them over and my sweet kitty the wild beast went crazy! She was yowling, pacing, trying to get on the counter and very nearly climbed up my leg. Ouch!
They ended up being way bigger than expected... but I left them to cool while I kept the beast busy with her feather wand.
Then it was the moment of truth, Maggie waited to sample the first treat...
...mmmm... smells good...
At this point, I figured I would try the whole "throw the treat so the cat chases/eats it" thing...
...which was apparently not enough incentive for Maggie to eat my amazing homemade tuna treats.
Fine. Maggie doesn't want my treats, then-
until the ones I just ordered online arrive on Friday!
Before I go, here's a little preview of what I'm working on for Monday Made it next week!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Word Family Printables Giveaway!

Well, school has been out for a couple of days and I have just finished one of my biggest projects for next year!
I wanted something that I could use with my first graders at the beginning of the year as morning work. One of my main criteria for was that it needed to be something that could be done independently, while giving them good practice with early first grade phonics targets. I wanted something that I could explain/demonstrate once, then let them work on their own while I work with small intervention groups.
Each word family has the same activities in the same format, which allows for easy word family practice.
There are seven pages for each word family, including: 
secret code spelling
word family sentences
word hunt
word frames
word building
spin and write
spin and say
roll and record
picture labeling
rainbow writing
emergent reader with comprehension questions
This includes printables for 28 different short vowel word families, so that should keep the kids practicing for a while!
I am so excited about finishing this project that I am giving away two of these bundles!
Check out my Facebook page to enter the giveaway! 2 winners will be chosen and emailed the printables on Friday, June 12.