Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Classroom Progress - Day 1

I got the keys to my classroom today! It is always exciting to get started on a new school year. :)

This is what I started with today:


I was up at school for about 2 hours just going through things and beginning to move furniture around.

I am really changing up the placement of furniture this year. I want to do more small group work, so I am putting my table at the front of the room.

I have my crate seats under the Promethean board because the kids like to pull them out and sit up close when I am doing a lesson. I have my teacher computer on the small table on the left. I am hoping the cords reach so I can keep it there. We shall see. The file cabinets will be leaving soon.


I have moved my desk closer to the back of the room. I felt like my desk was taking up space at the front where kids needed to be, so I have revamped my placement this year. I am using my large bookshelf that used to house my library for my teaching resources and basic junk. I do still have to decorate my desk...


This side of the room didn't receive much attention from me today. I want to go through my library books and decide which ones to sit out for the beginning of the year. I don't want them all out the entire year because it is too much. Book overload for the kids. I don't know how I am going to set them up because I kinda want the book boxes for the kids to use...

Decisions, decisions.

I will be going back on Thursday to work some more. I will post new pictures over the weekend!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Reading & Writing Notebook


I have been thinking about how to structure our reading and writing notebooks all summer. With the help of Pinterest and several awesome bloggers, I have my notebook set up!

I am so happy to share this with you!

The very first thing you will see is a personalized page. I am not artistically inclined, so I made mine on the computer.


You can see the tabs on the side. I used card stock, glued them down, and reinforced them with tape.


I do pick up journals and "grade" them every other week or so. This just gives the kids some feedback, shows them that I am holding them accountable, and gives me some more grades in the grade book. :) (True story...)


This is a great idea I found through Pinterest on a blog called the Life and Times of a Third Grade Teacher. Go check her blog out, you won't be disappointed. I cut some cute card stock into a triangle, glued the outside edges down, and then reinforced the edges with tape. So easy and now they have a pocket to hold spare pieces of paper for each section. Genius!


The first section (10 pages) is reserved for their reading logs. The kids will have these pages to glue into their journals. The log is simple, just the title, genre, and a rating system. The genre codes come from the Genre at a Glance resource on the left. I found this at IBTeachNU Language Arts blog. You can go check it out if you want it!


The second section (about 50 pages) is for student writing. This is going to be the bulk of the notebook. They will be responding to their reading, writing from their hearts, and writing from prompts. I found the adjective lists at Create Teach Share. Go grab your freebie!

The third section (about 30 pages) is for notes we take during reading and writing lessons. This is the most nebulous of all the sections to me because I won't have a format for it. This will look different for every lesson.

The last section (10 pages) is reserved for words. I created these boxes for mini-word walls. I had a student last year with accommodations and one of them was a personalized word list. I loved that idea and kicked myself for not using it with all my kids all year long. So... we will have one this year. I am going to encourage kids to look up words instead of asking me and then record them here. I will also have students record vocabulary words here and difficult spelling words, too. At the end, I added some synonyms for nice, good, bad, sad, happy, like, said, and looked.

These notebooks will sit in student's book boxes instead of in their desks. I don't want the tabs to die a sudden death within a few weeks! This notebook is going to be utilized during our Daily 4, so it will need to be stored with their books.

Are you ready for your freebie?

You know I wouldn't show you all this and then not give you the resources, right?

:)



Click HERE to download the pdf. Email me for the editable copy!

What do you think? Do you use interactive notebooks in your classroom?

******Side note******

I have started my journey to becoming a cyclist. I DO NOT have the body type or the fitness level to be a cyclist yet, but I am working on it. I really want to be one of those cyclists you see all decked out, riding down the street with intensity! Anyway... I started last Monday. This was the first time I had been on a bike since elementary school. (I tend to be a lazy person.)

Here are my distances last week:
Monday - 3.89 miles
Tuesday - 4.21 miles
Wednesday - 4.29 miles
Thursday - 6.09 miles
Friday - 7.04 miles

WooHoo! I was so proud of myself!

Here are my distances for the last 3 days.
I am getting better every time! Although I did think I was going to keel over on Monday...

Back to School Goals Linky

I really love back to school time. I guess it is the feeling of newness and a clean slate. 

Or it might be the school supplies overflowing all the aisles at Walmart and Target!

I {heart} Recess is hosting a linky party for all of us who have back to school on our minds.

I {Heart} Recess



First of all, isn't this the cutest background? I love it!

I report for staff development on Aug. 19 and then school starts the following Monday, so I still have a little more summer. But... I have been thinking about this school year all summer. I just can't turn off my teacher brain.

Personal Goal: I am working on getting healthy. I am really overweight and I hate it. It is causing all kinds of issues, so I am changing. I have been riding my bicycle every night, last night I rode 11.12 miles!!! I can't really believe it. This school year, I am not going to be lazy and eat school lunches. I will plan ahead and bring healthy lunches and snacks!

Organization Goal: I always lose all the beginning of the year paperwork by the end of the year. You know the textbook count, technology list, parent emails, etc. It irks me every year. I have a binder all ready for those papers this year!

Planning Goal: I accomplished this goal for most of the fall semester last year, but it kinda fell apart in the spring. I am renewing this initiative because it helps relieve stress over the weekend.

Professional Goal: It is time to start working on my Master's Degree. In my school district you have 10 years to earn your Master's. They will partially fund it, but you will be let go if you have not met this requirement. I want to get an online technology degree through a reputable university. I have had a difficult time finding a program that meets those needs.

Student Goal: I want to focus on learning about each individual student in my class. I do this all year, but it is their school self that I am getting to know. I want to know about them as a person.

The motto says it all!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Manic Monday & Monday Made It!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

I love both of these linky parties, don't you? 

Summer is coming to an end... sigh. I have 3 more weeks until staff development. It always goes so fast, but I do enjoy all the back to school stuff. Not the staff development, but everything else! 
I accomplished 2 things this weekend: our class jobs board & our specials cards.
Last year I didn't post who was assigned what job. I meant to do it, but you know how it is. I just never got around to doing it. This is what I have come up with.

I bought a large foam board at Hobby Lobby, the pockets are from Mardel, and I made the labels and the title with PowerPoint. 
I will insert the student's name after I assign jobs. These are kids I had last year, I just wanted to make sure I had the formatting correct for the size of the inserts.

I feel like this is a simple way for us to see the class jobs. I also like that it is portable. I am pretty sure I will put it on a wall somewhere, but I have the option of placing it anywhere I want. I like options!

Here is the pdf file for the labels. As always, if you want the editable ppt version, just email me! I am always happy to share.  :)

I also "created" our specials signs. I say "created" because it just pieced them together with fake times. These won't be finished and printed until we get our school schedule the week before school starts. I just inserted the times I had those specials last year as place holders. I downloaded the clipart from Ladybug's Teacher Files. I am sure you have seen her amazing blog! She is a rockstar and my role model. I love everything she creates! 


I can't share these cards with you, but I am sure you can download her signs (FREE) and make your own with little fuss.


When I moved to 4th last year, I didn't post our specials times because I gave each student a schedule to put in their STAR binders. Well, I still got the questions about when we were going to gym or art, so...
This year I will be posting these in our classroom by the door. I will be able to just point when asked those questions. Anything to save myself a few words.

*Side note: Is it just me or do you try to save words? During the school day, I feel like I speak constantly. These past two years I have really tried to limit my speaking to when I am teaching or giving directions. That way when kids hear my voice, they might tune in a little more. I don't want to be one of those teachers that just drones on and on. I give looks, use hand gestures, and point instead of talking sometimes. I don't do it to be rude. Does this make sense?

Anyway...

Back to the "Specials" cards. I created the lunch clip art because I wanted one and Kristen didn't include that in the download. I love those circle labels! I created them so that 2 fit on a page when in landscape mode. I want to see them from across the room.

Happy Monday! Go check out all the links and link up your projects!

Let me know what you think of mine. I like to hear feedback!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Winners, Class Notes, and an Update

Congrats to my winners:

Kristen & Kim



I sent you ladies an email!

★        ★        ★        ★        ★        ★        ★        ★        ★        ★

Now I want to share some notes with you from a writing class I have been attending. Region 10 has a class, Write in Texas, that is a 3 day workshop. If you are a writing teacher in Region 10, sign up for this class NOW! It was great. Our presenters, Nancy McGruder and Sharon Runge, were fabulous!

Day 1
How do I feel about myself as a writer? Good question. I really had to think. The first day is all about coming to know yourself as a writer. The more you know about your writing strengths and weaknesses, the more effective you will be as a writing instructor and guide. We talked about writing processes and reasons to write. We had to list our writing territories, or the things we are "experts" in and could write about knowledgeably. I was able to create those lists without too much difficulty! I am more of a writer than I realized. (Blogging, duh!)

Main take-aways from day 1:
  • Writing is bigger than school.
  • Everyone has something valuable to say.
  • We never stop refining our own craft. (I really want to show students my mistakes this year.)
  • Each person has a unique writing process. (This one is hard to deal with in a school setting.)
  • No set of rules governs all kinds of writing.
  • The more a writer can use her natural process of writing, the more invested she will be. (True story.)
We really discussed how we tackle the writing process. I was amazed, when I gave it some thought, that I don't like to pre-write. (Incidentally, I don't like to teach it either.) I just want to start writing and then edit and revise as I go.

Book resources used:

Families Writing, Peter Stillman
Lessons That Change Writing, Nancie Atwell
Choice Words, Peter Johnston
On Writing Well, William Zinnser
Author Talk, various authors

Day 2
We began the day talking about state testing. I am vowing now, before all of you, that I am not going to bash my kids with the STAAR all year long. I don't want to feed test anxiety to my students. I need to set it aside and feed them confidence instead.

We spent some time talking about transitions in writing. This is something I need to pay more attention to  in my writing and my student's writing. Transitions are so much more than first, next, last, therefore, etc. I am going to provide plenty of mentor texts that have awesome transitions between sentences and paragraphs, that way students can begin to emulate that in their writing. I will focus on teaching them to "mind the gap" between sentences, paragraphs, and ideas. The instructors encouraged us to check out BrightHub.com for more resources. A suggestion for revision involved sticky notes, and who doesn't love sticky notes? Instead of having kids mark up their paper or tear through it with their eraser, let them rewrite sentences on sticky notes. I really like this idea, because it values their work. It will really show how much effort they put in their piece of writing.

Writing is a collaborative process and we need to embrace that in our classrooms. Teachers must model how to talk about writing and how to work in small groups to collaborate. We are social creatures, so teachers need to capitalize on that and put it to work in our classrooms.

Conferences were also a major discussion point. I was glad to see they were making the same points as The 2 Sisters with CAFE and the Daily 5. I will be using my pensieve this year! We watched the following video clip of Nancie Atwell conducting two short conferences.


I noticed these things:
  • Ask leading questions.
  • Begin a sentence and see if they will finish it with their own idea.
  • Students should speak about 75% of the time.
  • They need to share their writing first, then the teacher will focus on one or two things to improve.
  • Find the good and show them your interest.
  • You are trying to bring out their voice, see variations in their words, and get them where they need to go in their writing.
Basics of writing conferences: (I bet you know, but here they are anyway...)

  • Be realistic. You can't meet with every student writer every week.
  • Find the "Critical Need" students.
  • Go to them instead of them coming to you.
  • Be efficient.
  • Document everything.
Do those sound familiar? Gail Boushey and Joan Moser have these same ideals! Take a look at this video on keeping track of conferences.


Our discussion led us to details versus well-chosen details. We took a look at the STAAR writing rubrics and they mention details.

Score Point 3 Development of Ideas for Expository: The development of ideas is sufficient because the writer uses details and examples that are specific and appropriate, adding some substance to the essay.
Score Point 3 Development of Ideas for Personal Narrative: Specific details add some substance to the narrative. For the most part, these details contribute to the writer's portrayal of the experience.

Key points for choosing details:
  • Adjectives are overrated.
  • Nouns and verbs are underrated.
  • Details should add depth.
The instructors focused on 7 types of well-chosen details:
  1. Unexpected Fact
  2. Interesting/Unusual Generalization
  3. Interesting Noun
  4. Interesting Verb
  5. Character's Revealing Action
  6. Visual Image
  7. Visual Image That Causes Inference
Book resources:

Papers, Papers, Papers, Carol Jago
Lazy Littler Loafers, Susan Orlean
Ruby's Wish, Shirin Yim and Sophie Blackall
Odd Boy Out, Don Brown
Satchmo's Blues, Alan Shroeder

Day 3
The last day of the workshop was all about code switching and mentor texts for teaching.

Code Switching: the alternate use of two or more languages or varieties of language, especially within the same discourse

You can go check out a video called, Do You Speak American? on YouTube to learn a little more.

Key points about code switching:

  • There is no such thing as a single standard version of language. It depends on age, cultural group, geographic area, and socio-economic status.
  • We need to be careful when talking about "standard" English.
  • What a student speaks at home is their "standard," so don't discount that.
  • STOP JUDGING students and parents by how they speak.
  • Equate code switching to kids by talking about the way we dress for different occasions or activities.
Teachers must teach students how to speak professional English; the kind of English that is spoken in college classrooms, board meetings, and interviews. This is paramount to their education. The ability to speak, read, and write well is a ticket to the top.

We can teach our students about code switching with mentor texts like The Joy Luck Club and Flossie and the Fox. There are books out there that support learning about code switching. We must value all language and learn where best to use it.

Our final discussion topic was about using mentor texts to teach grammar. I am guilty of wanting to find and use a program that teaches it in isolation, but not anymore. Just looking at the few picture books they passed around and talking with my fellow participants, I am completely sold on using mentor texts to teach grammar in context.

I am going to grab some books from my classroom next week and begin working on mini-lessons using those books! I will share what I come up with!

Book resources:

Code Switching, Wheeler & Swords
The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
Flossie and the Fox, Particia McKissack
Mechanically Inclined, Jeff Anderson

★         ★        ★        ★        ★        ★        ★        ★        ★        ★

Update on iBook

My iBook, Earth Science, is being reviewed. I am hoping there won't be any issues and it will be published by the beginning of next week. Stay tuned for the link and more information once it is available!

What do you think about all this? Do you have something special you do for writing? Please share!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Laminating @ Home - the CHEAP Way!

Did you know that you can laminate at home without spending hundreds of dollars? 

You can!
(Does that sound like the beginning of an infomercial?)

Anyway... I have been wanting a personal laminator forever. I mean it! I am a nerd like that. The laminator at school is great, but I like to get things done at home. 

You only need 3 things:


That's right! Go buy a pack of laminating sheets, plug in your iron, and grab a towel! I like to do this at my kitchen table, that is why I use a towel. You can definitely use your ironing board if you want!

All you have to do is place your paper inside the laminating sleeve, set it on the towel or ironing board, and run the iron over it. I read a post about this last summer and she said to put a towel over the lamination, but that just makes it take longer. I set my iron on the nylon setting and just iron right on the laminating sleeve.

That is how I laminated my brag tags!

Downside: This only works for things you want to laminate that are 8x10 or smaller. 
Eh, what can you do? I said it was a cheap way to do it!

✄     ✄      ✄     ✄     ✄     ✄     ✄     ✄     ✄

Do you have a trick that you do at home to save you some money with all this back to school mania?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Brag Tags Part 2

I am joining the Brag Tag team! Check out my first post about them.


I was inspired by Miss Nelson. Go check out her post!

These are mine:


You can get a copy of them HERE.

You can get the new ones HERE.

I was able to get the ball chain necklaces at Hobby Lobby. It comes in a large roll. I just have to cut it and add the clasp! Plus it is on sale for half price right now.  :) That's a win!

Here is the finished product!


They are all spread out and I don't have a name tag on here, but you get the general idea!

 Students will earn the tags through good behavior, extraordinary effort, or by making good grades.  I am excited about these!

♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥

Enjoy your day! Leave me a comment if you have any ideas for brag tags that I am missing!



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Notebook Giveaway!

I was contacted by a representative of these companies to review a few of their products.

The notebooks are so cute! They are perfect for kids of any age. Just grab a few sharpies and you are ready to customize your notebook! I will be offering these in our first class auction this year.

The notebooks are an environmentally friendly product that is made from sugarcane. They are durable with bright colored, poly covers. These are perfect for middle school, high school, and college students.

I think these are my personal favorite. I would have used these and only these in college! After I took this picture, I realized I have a right-handed bias. The spirals are not in the way for people who write with their right hands... I think this is a great idea for spirals! I always hated writing on the back page.

I am giving away some of these to my wonderful followers! Enter for a chance below. I will pick 2 winners on Friday and they will each receive a Genesis notebook and a Cross Over Notebook!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Monday Made It ~ iBooks Author Style


I still have 5 weeks until school starts for us. Well, 5 weeks until our week of staff development. I am not planning on getting into my room until August, so I haven't really started printing things yet. I am still trying to enjoy my relaxing summer!

★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  ★

I am so excited to share my iBook with you!!!!

video
Part 1


video
Part 2


video
Part 3


video
Part 4


video
Part 5

(Sorry this is in so many pieces! I made the videos with Screenr and the free version only allows 5 minute videos.)

I have been working on this for a few weeks and it is almost finished! I just have to tweak a few of the glossary items.

This has been quite a project, but I love how it has turned out!

My plan is to share this with all my students at the beginning of the year. I want them to be able to work through it during reading time or when they finish their work early. This will give them a strong knowledge base for when we do our experiments in small groups. I will have specific time where we work through parts of the book together, but I want this to be an individual resource.

When I publish it, I will send out the link for anyone who would like to use it.

What do you think?

Education Laws in Texas

The Briefing from the 83rd Texas Legislature is out and I read through it to see what the changes are for education.

Here are the new laws that pertain to elementary teachers:

HB 773
-requires the daily recitation of the pledges and a moment of silence
-requires the display of state and national flags in each classroom

HB 1501
-a minute of silence will be observed on Sept. 11 every year if that day falls on a school day
-following the moment of silence the teacher will reference the memory of all the lives lost that day

HB 5 Sections 5,6, and 8
-limits the removal of students to 10% of their class time for tutoring or test preparation

HB 462
-we are not allowed to use the Common Core Standards

HB 897
-requires a CPR course at least once for students in grades 7-12

SB 816
-Special Education has 45 (instead of 60) school days for evaluation after receiving signed parent consent

HB 308
-We may educate kids on the history of traditional winter celebrations.
-We may display scenes or symbols of those celebrations with certain conditions.

HB 590
-requires an orientation and mobility (O&M) evaluation as part of the Special Education eligibility for students with visual impairments

HB 1009
-School districts can appoint one school marshal per 400 students. They are allowed to possess a hand gun at school, but can't carry it if their primary duty involves direct contact with students. They may keep it in a locked safe.
-The school marshall would have to keep current with a school marshall license and a hand gun license.

SB 1556
-establishes a school safety certification program for school districts
-establishes a School Safety Task Force

HB 5 Section 31
-2012-2013 STAAR test will be released this summer
-2014-2015 and 2015-2016 STAAR test will be released after the last test administration that year
-STAAR results will be reported within 21 days of receipt by test contractor

HB 462
-our assessments can't be based on the Common Core Standards

HB 866
-This will take effect Sept. 1, 2015 if the waiver is granted.
-STAAR tests per grade level will be:
reading 3, 5, 8
math 3, 5, 8
writing 4, 7
science 5, 8
social studies 8
-Students who score below the minimum in math and reading will take the test in 4th and 6th respectively.
-State must come up with a formula that predicts student achievement.

HB 5 Section 37
-School districts are allowed to administer no more than 2 benchmarks tests per state test during the year.

HB 5 Section 58
-TEA must develop a website called "Texas School Accountability Dashboard" that displays disaggregated data for all school districts and schools.

Whew...

That is quite a lot.

I am going to be interested in seeing how my district reacts to only 2 benchmark tests a year. We do a lot more than that! I am all for less testing...

Do you feel smarter after reading all that?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Teaching Kids to Blog

Good morning!

I am linking up for Manic Monday!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Do you have a class blog? Do your students have individual blogs?

Since I will be implementing a 1:1 iPad classroom this upcoming year, I will be having all my students set up a blog. They will have the Blogger app and an account set up through our school district. 

Scary? Just a little... Or a lottle...

This is my husband's new thing to say.  :) Cute, huh?

So the logistics of having my kids create and use their own blogs is a little overwhelming. We will have to start things on laptops so they can choose their layout and all that. I do want to spend the time letting them personalize it, because that is half the fun!

I really want to incorporate their blog into our writing during the year. I am hoping that they will produce 2-4 posts a week. Maybe more as they become more comfortable with it.

Their blogs are going to be interactive because I am going to use the RSS feed feature in Edmodo to subscribe the class to all the blogs. I have a page all set up called We Blog. I will give the kids the code at the beginning of the year. Once I add the blogs, they will get a link to each blog post! Yay!

Part of our blogging with be commenting on other blogs. I want this to really be a positive experience. I feel like last year I had the kids do a lot of writing, but I was the only one that saw most of it. When I took the time to have the kids share their writing, they learned so much more! The downside is that it is SO time consuming to do that! Now they will have access to each other's writing all the time! They can go through and read them anytime and leave comments. Real world reading and writing practice! 
Love it.

I have been thinking about the elements I want to see in their blog posts. Here is a visual I created:


This is the Blogger app view of writing a post. This is what we are going to mainly use, so I wanted it to look familiar. I have also adapted a Blog Post Rubric to fit my needs. 


You can get your FREE copy HERE.

Heather at HoJo's Teaching Adventures posted a rubric that I modeled mine after. She was gracious enough to allow me to use hers as a template. She has tons of great resources on her blog for all elementary levels, you should go check our her blog!

What do you think? Do you have any tips for successful student blogging?

Friday, July 19, 2013

SmartFab Winner!

Thanks to all who entered my giveaway!


The winner is...

Jennifer Reese

:)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Numbering Backpack Hooks


Do you number your backpack hooks? These are mine. These numbers lasted all year, but I wanted to change them this year. I want to streamline them, so here is what I have come up with.


Free copy HERE!

They are going to be about 2 in by 2 in. I am going to print them on yellow paper and use a Xyron to transform them into stickers that I can just stick to the shelf with the hooks.

Have you used or seen the Xyron products? I want ALL of them!

Check out a fun video.


I have the 1.5" sticker maker, but I really want the larger sizes. My Hobby Lobby has these products and I drool over them every time I go. It really is as easy as the video makes it seem. Just run it through and you have a sticker! 

Do you have one? What would you use it for? Let me know what you think of the numbers. If you want the editable copy, email me!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Idiom of the Week

"This job is a blessing in disguise."
"I wish he would get that chip off his shoulder!"
"Good intentions are a dime a dozen. I want to see results, after all actions speak louder than words."

What do all those have in common? 
(Other than my students don't understand them?)

They are idioms!


I really want to focus on idioms this year. It can really break down comprehension when a student comes upon an idiom without realizing it is a phrase with a hidden meaning. My goal is to hear my kids use idioms in their daily language and to see it in their writing. So I have devised a plan!

We are going to focus on learning 10 idioms every six weeks. I don't want to do too many because then they would forget as we move on. We are going to be doing our best to integrate these idioms into our  classroom vernacular. 

We are going to start our discussions with a QR code scan that takes them to the meaning and examples. This is just a way to give them an idea of how that idiom is used. Then we are going to discuss it together, in small groups, and as we are working throughout the week. Towards the end of the week I will have them scan the activity code. The activities could be a blog post, an Edmodo post, an Educreation video, or writing a short story. I am trying to be creative! 

As we progress through the year, I plan on having them take more control over their activity, but at the beginning of the year, we will still be learning how to use most of the apps on our iPads, so I want them to have more direction.

This is what the pages look like:
You can grab your copy HERE 
(Free of course!)

I will be working on more and I will post them when they are finished!

Do you teach idioms? What do you think of my idea? Let me know if there is a great website for idioms that you have found!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chevron Canvases

I am a crazy person. I know it. I have come to terms with it.

I have been preparing for the 2013-2014 school year all summer. I have been enjoying my summer, don't get me wrong, but I have also been slowly getting things ready for this year. I have been able to check some things off the list and that always makes me feel prepared (even if it is just an illusion).

This is my newest creation... I printed a free chevron template and traced the lines onto the 12 x 12 canvases. Then I used a foam brush to hand paint the colors. It was pretty quick and easy! I am really happy with how they turned out.

Then I went and found a few quotes I like from Pinterest. I typed them up and adjusted fonts and colors. I added a border, printed, and cut them out. I thought about using ModPodge to adhere the card stock, but I just hot glued them.

Click HERE to get the quotes if you are interested.

I have a plan for these. They are going to decorate the top shelf of my tall bookshelf. 


I am going to repurpose this tall bookcase. The canvases are going to go on the top shelf. I am going to put this shelf behind my desk. It is going to hold all my instructional stuff, but I want it to look nice! Here are the things I have so far.


Most of these are from the Dollar Tree. I am going to go back this week and see what else they have. I am hoping they have restocked, because I would like to exchange the blue for purple.



I have these still in my room! I think I am almost set!


What do you think?

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's a SmartFab Giveaway!!!!

SmartFab contacted me about reviewing their product and I was happy to agree. They sent me 5 rolls to experiment with! (pink, yellow, black, red, and blue)




I haven't seen this type of fabric before. You can do anything with it. Watch the video below to see what I mean.

Click HERE to see their website.
They have plenty of pictures detailing the ways people have used their products.

Click HERE to become a fan of their Facebook page.
They have give aways and share ideas.

Click HERE to follow them on Pinterest. 
They have some great pins!



They were nice enough to send me 3 large rolls (yellow, pink, and black) and 2 small rolls (red and blue). This is what I made:


Wreath Instructions: (if you are interested)
  1. Cut the fabric into 6 inch strips then cut that in half so you have 3 inch strips.
  2. Take each of those strips and cut them so they are 6 inches long.
  3. Now you have strips that are 3 inches wide and 6 inches long.
  4. Tie each individual strip onto the wire wreath frame.
  5. This is very time consuming...
  6. When you have a section finished, fluff the fabric so it fills the space.
  7. Tie on the ribbon as decoration!

I love that this fabric doesn't fray! The edges are pretty without me having to do anything!

The material is the perfect material to work with in your crafts. It is easy to cut, bend, twist, and tie. I am going to use the rest when I go back to get my classroom set up.  I am going to use it for wall decoration, maybe a border, as curtains, and maybe to decorate my desk! I will share pictures in August when I am in school mode.

I love that the colors are so vibrant.

Are you interested?

How would you like to get 3 FREE rolls? 

Enter my giveaway! I will announce the winner on Friday!


Manic Monday & Monday Made It

Hey guys! Some of you may have seen these freebies, but I wanted to share them again since I am linking up with Charity Preston at Classroom Freebies.


Go check out all the awesome freebies that are linked and maybe following a few new blogs!

Here are my freebies and if you are new to my blog I want to let you know that I don't sell anything. Everything I share is FREE. I think teachers need to share more often. If you ever want an editable copy of my resources, just email me. You can find my email in the about me section to the right of the page.

Now on to the freebies!!!

Download HERE

Download HERE

Download HERE

Please let me know if you like these freebies. I enjoy reading your comments!



I had to make a wreath! I have been seeing them everywhere.


I love chevron everything, so I made my own. I have these in another post later this week...

What do you think?