Monday, August 13, 2012

AND The Winners ARE...

I want to say thank you to EVERYONE who entered my giveaway!  And thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes as well.  Today is my first "official" day back to school.  We have a PD technology day today.  We don't start school until Wednesday, August 22.  So I still have plenty of time (maybe) to get my TO DO list done.  OK - On to the winners...

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Congratulations and I will email you the files shortly!  Hope everyone has a fabulous day... if you didn't win, don't forget the TPT sale going on today.  Everything is 20% off, PLUS another 10% off with the promo code BTS12!

"OWL" See Ya Later!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

TPT Sale and a TON of Freebies!

It's Back to School time and I've been a shopping mama... taking my kiddos to buy school supplies, new shoes, clothes and all those things they "think" they need.  I found some AWESOME sales today and my kids are all revved up for school! Now that I got my kids all ready for school ~ I'm so HAPPY I get to "back to school" shop tomorrow at TPT!  {I have lots of items on my wishlist and tomorrow is my chance to get some goodies!} They are having a super duper sale.  Not only do you get 20% off but use the TPT promo code BTS12 and you get another 10% off! Most stores are participating... including me - but you can always check out all the fabulous teachers who are participating over at Blog Hoppin'.

Thanks to Amy Lemons for creating this CUTE image! 

Even though we don't start school for another week ~ I've been working in my classroom so that I can have several days to rest before my students show up and prepare lesson plans and all those last little things that just HAVE to get done {like pinterest inspired projects I really really want to do - SHHH}! 

[WARNING:  The following post is LONG ~ I got a little carried away but there are many freebies throughout.]

One of the first things I'd like to share with you is how I turned an UGLY green chalkboard into a whiteboard for only $13!  I was going to try and use the white board paint but it was $30 and you still had to prime the chalkboard first!  UGH!  Too expensive and too messy!  So I found some shower board (I've heard many bloggers talk about how they have cut it to make small white boards for their class).  It comes in sheets of 4 ft by 8 ft - so I took my measurement and had them cut it to fit!  YAY!  Instant whiteboard.  How to attach it???? I thought about using liquid nails - but worried if it ever had to be taken down it would absolutely ruin the chalkboard.  So - I put magnets on the back (since the chalkboard is magnetic and slid it underneath the metal track by lifting the screws and then tightening them.)  I have to give credit to my dad for doing this for me.  He's such a handy dandy guy!
 But wait... this is the before picture.  

Here is the after picture!

I love how the border filled in those tiny gaps where you could still see the green chalkboard - PLUS I put up my scoreboard in preparation of using some Whole Brain Teaching strategies!  If you want my Happy/Frowney Face - You can download them HERE

I've done ALOT {like a TON} of labeling this year.  I've had these baskets for years full of read aloud books that I use during my mini-lessons for Reader's and Writer's Workshop but just never took the time to label them.  Well friends ~ I FINALLY made some labels!

I also keep a basket of my favorite read alouds and science read alouds nearby.  Here is a close up of one of these labels:

I tied these labels on my baskets with some cute ribbon... I think they turned out a wee bit cutey patootey!  If you would like them ~ you can download them HERE

Even though I plan to implement whole brain teaching this year, I am still using my clip chart as I get more familiar with whole brain teaching practices.  I started out with a HUGE owl but decided real quick I just didn't dig him.  He was too big and made it difficult for the clothespins to attach to the chart.  I ended up with this idea and I am completely in LOVE with it!
I hot glued a "branch" I made out of construction paper to the top of the bulletin board, then used ribbon between each piece of the chart and finally hot glued the ribbon at the top to make it look like it is hanging from the branch.  Here is a close-up view:

I am so excited about implementing a new behavior reward system. {NO MORE TREASURE BOX... NO MORE CANDY!!}  Not that I am against those things - I just about go broke trying to keep the box and the jar stocked!  Plus, last year I had a kiddo with diabetes - so I did away with my candy jar last year and I realized that the kids didn't miss it at all!  Then on those special days when they did get a treat it was REALLY extra special! 
This year I am going to use "Warm Fuzzies" as my rewards.  This by no means is my idea... I've adapted this from Mel D. over at Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations
She has an awesome presentation that explains her behavior management plan in depth as well as freebies for all the behavior coupons that go along with this system. 
I have decided that depending on the color that a student ends on for the day they will earn "Warm Fuzzies". What is a "Warm Fuzzy" you ask?  They are just regular {or fancy} pom poms.

Here's what my bucket looks like on the inside.

So if a student ends up on green for the day - they have earned 1 warm fuzzy.  If they got to move their clip up to blue... 2 warm fuzzies.  If they were Outstanding... then they've earned 3 warm fuzzies.  However, if they end up on yellow {warning} for the day - they do not get a fuzzy.  If they end up on orange {consequence} for the day - then they OWE me a warm fuzzy.  If they end up on red for the day {parent contact} they will owe me 2 warm fuzzies!  Heaven forbid!
But if they get OFF THE CHART - when they are better than outstanding... which is a RARE occasion  - they get a GLITTER FUZZY!  {WHOA - Stop the world!}
These are worth 5 {YES I SAID FIVE} warm fuzzies!

Just take a look at these beauties!

They will put their warm fuzzies in a paint cup labeled with their student number... I didn't take a picture of the cups but I think you might be able to see them inside their book baskets in their cubbies in this picture.

But what is all the fuss about fuzzies?  Every 2 weeks my students will get to shop for reward coupons.  Each coupon is worth 5 warm fuzzies.  {Hopefully an incentive to earn a fuzzy a day by at least staying on green}.  These coupons I printed on cardstock {I got them from Mel D} laminated them and put them in a craft box to keep them organized.  These coupons are things like - sit by a friend, 15 minutes computer time,  kick your shoes off in the classroom, bring a stuffed animal to school, read a book to the class, etc.  There are so many more and they cost me NOTHING!  But the kids go crazy over these kind of rewards!  I'm so excited about this idea and will keep you posted how this new system works out.  OH and if you liked those cute Warm Fuzzy and Glitter Fuzzy Labels - you can download them HERE!

Do you do the Daily 5 and Cafe?  We changed CAFE to FACE so that our first graders would relate a little better to the concept "the face of a reader".  I redid my board this year {Yep - you guessed it - OWLS}!

What I am super excited about this year is that all of my strategy cards have been redone, match the color owl on my FACE posters AND {wait for it} have the CCSS on the card! Give me a 10 finger WOO everybody! LOL
Take a look at what I mean:

The purple owl is on all of the fluency cards, outlined in purple and if you look very carefully the CCSS {and there are sometimes more than one} listed on the strategy card by the owl.
Here is how I have mine organized:

I said there was gonna be a TON of freebies... so if you've made it this far in this post - Here you go!
You can find my FACE posters AND all of my strategy cards with the CCSS {FOR FIRST GRADE} HERE!

Do you do a "Star of the Week"?  This year since I have kinda drifted away from camping but still have that outdoorsy forest feel... I decided to go with "Ranger of the Week".  I ran out of room on my walls so put our display on the inside of our classroom door.

I found the cutest little polka dot rug and some owl pillows - I will probably regret it but they were impulse buys - you know - just too cute too pass up!  

I know there are not many Saxon users out there - but we use Saxon Math - and I just HAD to get rid of all that YELLOW for our calendar wall.  So I cut around each piece and made labels to put above each concept area on our wall.  I don't mind it as much anymore. :)

If anyone does Saxon and would like my labels - just email me and I will send them to you.
WHEW!  I told you it would be a long post... I hope I didn't bore you.

Don't forget about the "Back to School Sale" at TPT tomorrow and Monday.  I know I will be shopping!  Oh and don't forget tomorrow is the last day to enter my giveaway for Deedee Wills Writing Work Stations The Complete Set and my Everything OWLS Classroom Bundle!  There will be 4 winners that will receive both items.  I will announce the winners on Monday, August 13th!  

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"OWL" See ya later!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching Freebies and a Giveaway!

CLAAAAASSSSSS! (Then you say .... YEEEEEESSSSS?) I am just lovin' the Whole Brain Teaching strategies.  The first day of school is just around the corner and I wanted to be ready to teach my class the 5 rules.  There are so many cute WBT rule signs out there and I really liked Stephanie's over at 3rd Grade Thoughts.  I used the same graphics as her, but made them to blend in with my dots on chocolate decor.  Here is how they turned out:

If you would like a set for your classroom, just click on the picture above to download!

I am also lovin' the concept of the Super Improvers Wall.  I think this will really motivate students and I love how motivating it is for individual students.  This can really tie in with RTI and student goals for improving.  I really liked Tara's Super Improver Wall over at Little Minds at Work.  I especially loved the wording she chose for each level.  But to keep with my theme  - I can't help myself - I decided to create my own Super Improvers Wall using OWLS (imagine that!) I did change the wording just a tad but here is how it turned out.

I used our die cut at school and punched out stars in each color that I will hang next to these signs.  If you would like the owl signs- click on the picture or you can download them HERE.

So I've been working in my room the last few days and I am by no means finished but I think my room is coming along.  Here is a sneak peak of what I've done so far:

Thanks to Pinterest, I decided to use my four bookshelves to separate my tables this year.  I'm finding all sorts of ways to organize all my math manipulatives, table caddies, etc.  I'm already LOVING it this way. I also made the signs over each table from tissue fans from Party City and the BIG Dots on Chocolate from CTP.  The idea, of course, was from Melanie over at School Girl Style [I just ADORE her creations!]

I would love to show you SO MUCH MORE but I have bigger and better news!  I am having a GIVEAWAY!  To celebrate back to school and my birthday [let's just say it's a milestone for me]... I decided to have a giveaway.  I just happened to mention it to my friend Deedee Wills and she kindly offered one of her best sellers... so get ready to enter!  Have you seen her Writing Work Stations?  They are FABULOUS!  Well I will be giving away 4 (yes - I said 4) Writing Work Stations THE COMPLETE SET worth $32.00!  AMAZING!  

BUT WAIT.... THERE'S MORE!  In addition to the Writing Work Stations, the four lucky winners will also get my new Everything OWLS Classroom Bundle worth $20.00.  It includes my OWLStanding Clipchart, OWL Write! Writing Choice Board Packet, Owl Themed Desk Nameplates (in both Brown Owls and Bright Colored Owls), Cubby Labels Numbers 1-28, Blank Labels for book boxes, baskets, material tubs, etc., Color Word Owls to display color words, and OWL themed Restroom Passes (3 different designs for boys and girls)!  Take a look:

There are 4 ways to enter - so there will be 4 winners!  The giveaway starts today - August 7th - and ends Sunday, August 12th.  The winners will be announced on Monday, August 13th!  
In addition to my giveaway, I will be running a Birthday Sale in my TPT Store today.  Everything is 20% off for today only!  Happy 4- th to me! [Can you tell I'm having issues?]  

"OWL" see ya later!

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