Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Made It - Library Pockets and Word Crackers

So today I have decided to show you how you can create classroom essentials for little to almost no cost at all!

First let me say that before I create anything for my classroom I like to reflect on what did and didn't work for me this past year to see what I need.  With that in mind I knew I had to create something for taking lunch count and checking out books from my class library.  I hate to admit this, but my lunch count took up way too much time in the morning!  Our district actually has breakfast in the classroom and taking lunch count was one of the many things that needed to be taken care of in that small block we call arrival time.  Then I never followed through on making my students sign the check out log for my class library, I figured out that I'm really not worried so much about that as long as their reading!  
So today while at Joann's Fabric I spotted these Jumbo Library pockets from Creative Teaching Press and knew I could use them for something, plus they were a steal at 1.80 for a pack of 12!  Of course I grabbed all of the ones I could find.  Then I went to Michael's and grabbed some beads and pipe cleaners to make some tools for my students to use during word study and guided reading.

Project 1: (less than $2.00)
I used the large pockets and colored card stock to create a lunch count display.  Students have 4 choices for lunch which I wrote on the pockets with expo marker (after laminating). I cut the strips of paper into pieces and wrote students names on them.  When students come in they will grab their strip and choose what they want for lunch, then my helper will count and record it before morning announcements are over. Quick and easy and now I won't have anymore delays!  

Project 2: (less than $2.00)
Library pockets!  All you need is card stock cut into strips, library pockets, hole punch, and rings.  Place a hole at the top of the pocket and place the ring thru it and attach to a book basket.  Give students 2 strips of paper with their names on them to use for checking out books.  Students will choose a book from your library by placing their strip of paper in the library pocket of the basket the book came from.  When the student is finished reading the book and has returned it they can get their strip of paper back. This will allow me to see what genres each student is reading, how long they've had a certain book and if their placing the books back where they belong.

Project 3:  Word Crackers (less than $4.00 for enough to make 25)
These are very simple to make, all you'll need are some beads, pipe cleaners and some card stock. These need to be made before allowing students to use them!  First place 10 beads onto a pipe cleaner.  Next take a strip of card stock and poke a hole through it on both sides with the pipe cleaner.  Once the holes are poked pull the pipe cleaners through and tape it down on the back.  Then your all set to use the word crackers in class!  These can be used to practice counting syllables, compound words, stretching words, and so much more!  These also can be used in Math (rekenrek) for adding up to 10.  Below my daughter used the word cracker (green)to determine how many syllables were in the word umbrella. As you can see she slid over 3 beads because she heard 3 syllables.

I can't wait to see what you guys have created!

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Well it's that time folks, time for my kiddos to take STAAR! My students have worked so hard this year and I am confident that my kiddos will ROCK this test!  Since we only have 6 days left to prepare I decided to let my students write their very own STAAR PLAN using dots-n-spots New Year's Eve Resolution guitars.   (click the link to go to her store)

My students loved planning how they were going to be successful on our big test.  Everybody loved reading my students plans.  Take a look!

I went a head and ran with the Rock Star theme during our daily math review. My kids love solving problems that have cute clip art and bright colors.  I projected them with my projector and my students solved and explained the process during our think-pair-share time.

I've also been working hard to applaud the efforts of my students since this is such hard time of the year, so I've given my students their very own "mini me" to go in their STAAR folders.  The students earn badges (stickers) for making their target score on their quizzes.  My students love this more than anything I've every done! I will definitely continue this next year. If you plan on doing something similar in your class I would make sure its kept some place that is private.  This isn't something you would want everyone to see. My students keep theirs in their folders. 

Lastly we've been using my using my Reading and Math strategy packs from my TPT store and my students grades have increased tremendously!  If you follow me on IG then you've seen my post about my students scoring 88% passing on our district 9 week assessments.  Believe me when I say we celebrated hard in room 22!  

I'm planning on ending our final week of STAAR prep with a rock party so I used one of the extra guitars from our STAAR plan activity as an incentive. Each time we get 80% on a quiz as a class one of my students will add a guitar piece to the board.  Once our guitar is complete I plan on surprising them with a rock star party including go noodle, star pencils and goodies as a reward for all of their hard work.

Well I'm off to cook a roast I saw on Pearls, handcuffs and happy hour for Sunday dinner. Would love to know how you guys are preparing for State Test.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Starting the New Year off right!

I know I'm late but I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year!  As always I've started my New Year by setting some goals for myself professionally, spiritually, and of course physically.  

Professionally:  My  students are taking the STAAR exam this year so I've been really trying to make my lessons and activities more rigorous.  I'm  also reducing the number of worksheets I use, instead I'm relying on hands on activities that make my students think.

Spiritually:  I received a bible companion journal for Christmas that has weekly lessons to help better understand the bible.  I plan on reading it for inspiration and strength.

Physically:  Last, but not least I made a goal to slim down!  I've met so many inspiring teachers that have done the work and slimmed  down, that I think I can do the same.  I know that I have a long road ahead of me but I truly feel that I can accomplish this with the support of my ig friends.

So to keep up with my physical goal I'm linking up with Teaching with a touch of Pixie Dust to bring you my slim down Saturday.

I did really well this week because I planned and prepared all of my meals in advance.  I stayed away from the drive thrus and drank nothing but water and green tea.  I also started using MFP again but had a hard time continuing to track everything, but I plan to do better.

I also plan to hit the gym!  It's been super cold and wet here so all I wanted to do after work was come home and snuggle up on the couch.

 I continue to look for motivation from all of my ig buddies, if they can do it, I can do it.  

Quote of the week:  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

December Currently

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As you can see I'm liking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade to bring you my December currently.  This post isn't just to link up, it's also my way of coming out of blogging retirement!  From the photos on my blog you can see that I have been busy coaching a cheerleading squad.  Well I'm thrilled to say that the season has ended and me and my cheer babies are on a well needed break until next season.  So no more neglecting my poor blog.

Currently I'm listening to my 2 year old explain why he shouldn't be sleeping right now.  This normally doesn't happen except my husband let his sleep until 8:30 so my munchkin is wide a wake in his room.

Loving:  I love everything about Thanksgiving and Christmas!  I love the colors, smells, clothes, weather, food and of course the time off!  I love my students but sometimes we all can use a break.

Thinking:  I'm so not looking forward to setting my alarm to wake up at 5 tomorrow.  Just the thought of it makes me want to cry.

Wanting: This one could get long....  I've asked Santa for a new hard case for my dell along with a colorful keyboard skin, blanket scarf from American Eagle, Erin Condren gift card to replace my life planner, and black and white cheetah nike running shoes.  I also want my husband to stop telling me that he doesn't want anything!!!!  I promise he's the hardest person to shop for.

Needing:  To wrap gifts!!!!!

Giving:  I want to give all of you major kudos!!!!  For constantly doing wonderful things in and outside of your classrooms for your kiddos.


Have you guys filled up your cart yet?  If not there's still time to take advantage of the huge sell going on!  I can't wait to show you guys all the goodies I grabbed.

Don't forget to check out my Christmas units and math stations.

Friday, July 11, 2014

You Ought to Know About....No more spiral drama

I’m linking up with Buzzing with Ms. McClain to share some helpful ideas, strategies and projects that teacher’s ought to know about.

Today I'm going to talk to you about how to avoid Spiral Drama!!!!  I don’t know about you guys but my kids love taking the spiral coil out of their spirals which of course causes their spirals to come completely apart.  Last year I tried buying a class set of the composition books so that I could avoid the drama with the spiral all together but they cost so much more than the spirals. This year I was able to get a class set of 17 spirals for a little over 2 dollars versus paying 50 cents for 1 comp book. 

With that savings I was able to buy some decorative duck tape and VOILA! 

Just one strip of duck tape practically turns your spiral into a comp book!  Now my students can’t take the coils out and I won’t have any more Spiral Drama! 

I hope you guys can use this idea in your classrooms!  Check out the other bloggers in the You Ought to Know Blog Hop!

Monday, June 30, 2014

July Currently!

It can not be July already!  I guess it must be so because the hubs and I are planning our anniversary weekend and Farley's July currently is up.  So while I have some alone time at my computer I shall entertain you guys with my currently list.

Listening:  I'm currently listening to my daughter ask me questions so she can try to stay up longer than she's supposed too!  Of course mommy does not play that!

Loving:  This summer I've been on a dress kick for some reason.  Usually I try my best to stay away from them but lately I've been in nothing but dresses and couldn't be more happier.  I've found tons that will be perfect paired up with a cute cardigan for back to school.

Thinking: I've been thinking way too hard about what I'm going to get the mister for our anniversary.  He's the type who never wants anything which makes it super hard to figure out what he wants.  So far I've narrowed it down to some new coaching gear since he coaches a lil league football team or some Ray Ban glasses both of which I think he would love and tell me to take back because he doesn't want anything.

Wanting:  My husband has surprised me with a brand new rocking chair for my classroom for our anniversary.  So I would love for the one and only Laurie Cole of Laurie Cole designs to paint my rocking chair for me.  She made my teacher sign for me when I started teaching and I get nothing but compliments when people see it.  

Needing:  I so need to finish cleaning all the closets in my house so I can donate all the goodies we don't wear and need to make space for everything else.  

4th plans:  We're going to enjoy fireworks, BBQ, and enjoy our anniversary!  

Well that's all for me.  I hope you all have a safe and fun fourth!