banner done!

I followed the tutorial by
Babbling Abby here and I think
it turned out great!

I enjoy sewing but loved this no-sew
project that I could start and finish during
nap time:)



it's getting closer

I can't believe that school
will be starting in just a few weeks!

My classroom was packed up at the end
of last year because several of us
had to move to different rooms:(

We won't be able to get into the school
until a few days before we are supposed
to report back for work so I will have
my work cut out for me!

This will be the fourth classroom I've occupied
in six years at my school
so I guess I should be getting used to
tearing down and putting it all back up again!

Anyhoo, I'm feeling energized from the girls weekend
I just got back from. 
Even though my summer isn't over yet,
{loving every minute!}
I'm feeling somewhat reharged for what lies ahead of me
and that will be creating a whole new classroom from scratch!

I love working with a theme when planning parties so 
I decided it would make all the work more ENJOYABLE
if I worked with a theme for my room.
I've never used a specific theme
so I considered a few options...

1. There are TONS of cute pirate stuff everywhere and
that just sounds like a load of fun. I know I mentioned
before about pirate stuff in the dollar spot at Target
but they also have cool stuff in the party section.

2. A western theme sounded great and there
are lots of places to find goodies for this theme.
{especially since I could wear my new cowboy
boots I found for $40 bucks,
and then I could dress the part for the first day!}

But, I came to the decision to not focus on
such a specific theme and I picked a color scheme
that I really liked and was noticing several stores
had lots to offer in these colors.

Here are some of my inspirations and goodies
I've picked up so far...

Isn't this mini fridge cute!?!
I was looking for one on craigslist
and didn't even think  I would find one to match
the decor!
It was a great price, too:)

Large poster I'm using for my doorway
to post classlist, emergency procedures, etc...
I also found  plastic shoe boxes at Target
in packs of 5 for $5 in some of these colors.
Oh, and I'm working on a fabric banner thanks
to Abby over at the inspired apple. She
did a post not long ago giving tips on a
no-sew banner.
Even though I like to sew, I don't have a lot
of time and this will be perfect!

I like to have an organized classroom that
is fun, bright, but not too distracting or cluttered
and I think this color scheme will do just that:)
{oh, and I'm in LOVE with paisleys}
I will definitely post pictures when I'm done
with my room because I love looking
at other teacher's rooms, too.
It will be a few weeks before I can do that
since I can't even start yet!

I'd love to hear if you have a classroom theme this year!



Mad Science!

Most of our curriculum
is pretty much laid out for us,
but I'm trying to make things more
exciting and engaging for my students:)

I was brainstorming ideas for
science while looking over the
benchmarks when I had the idea
for a Mad Science! theme.
We cover several different topics/units
throughout the year,
but I thought it would be fun to 
wear "lab coats" when 
we are doing science activities
and experiments!
I saw this picture and figured
I could design name tags
and print on transfer paper
and have a parent iron them on.

I'm planning on asking parents to
send an old, white, dress shirt to school
with their kiddo, but
I'm also going to check out thrift
stores to see if I can get some
for cheap!

Our regular science journals
could get a face-lift like this...

I just Mod Podge that thing right up!
Love that stuff:)

I also put the cover page on a spiral
notebook and the grayscale
print looks good too
but I think I definitely am
going to have to use the ink
for the color version.

If you'd like a blank copy,
{I typed in our units under
then you can download it by
clicking on the pic below.
You could have your students write
in the units you study as you go!
This fits a spiral notebook or
composition notebook pretty
good after trimming.

And I made one up for anyone
who wants to slip it into
the front of a binder.
You can download that
one here...

I really want to find
the time to do some good ol' fashioned
science experiments
like these by Mrs. Jump.
Just sprinkle them in throughout the
year during short weeks/half days.

These are only small changes to
my regular science routine
and I hope the kids
get excited about it.

I just need to find my old
science lab coat from college.
I hope I didn't get rid of it!

{I'm thinking I want to create more printables
to go with this!}



Warning: Dollar Spot Can Make You Cheap!

I LOVE seeing all the great
purchases that fellow blogging teachers
are finding in Target's dollar spot!

I had a little time to kill last week and decided
to see what goodies I could find.
I was thrilled to find some awesome stuff and I 
only spent $10!
{because I need to pace myself...still a few weeks left
before going back to work}

Aren't these reusable ice packs adorable!
I'm hoping to find a cheap mini fridge and
thought these would be good to keep in my room
for when we are busy and a student is complaining
that one of their limbs is "hurting". 
You know they are just wanting to leave the room
and "get out of" the current activity
but you feel guilty if you don't let them get an ice pack.
Perfect solution!

{by the way...there were lots of other pirate
stuff if you are planning anything pirate themed}

I'm hoping to make one of these I saw on The Inspired Apple.
Go there and see her cute idea and free printables
to go with it:)

So I picked up a few bags of Smarties!

Mini inkpad and alphabet stamps.
Thinking of this for workshop time
for students to stamp out vocabulary/spelling words.

These are mini white boards...just two rows of lines on each
one and they come 4 in a pack.
I'm not sure how many students I'm going to have
so I bought several.
Can't beat that for $1 per pack.
Overall, there were tons of stuff I could have
bought but I held back:)

I wish I would have snagged the plastic book
boxes I saw them putting out about a week ago...because
on this trip I didn't see any.
I thought about getting them the first time but when I 
saw they were $2.50 instead of only $1, I decided not too.
I thought, "wow, that's expensive for the dollar spot"!
I'm sure if I would have spotted them at this price in another
part of the store, I would have thought, "wow,
awesome! Great deal!"
That's because they are a great deal! 
Now I'm kicking
myself for not picking up even just a few:(
Oh, well...that's just my cheap side coming out
from getting spoiled from all my great $1 finds!



Minnie Minimum & Max Maximum

During my student teaching,
another teacher I worked with
came up with a cute little story
to introduce the words
"minimum" & "maximum".
She named the characters Max Maximum
and Minnie Minimum.
The kids absolutely loved it!

The only copy of the story I have
is locked up at school,
but I revamped the vocabulary posters
I made by adding clipart and a cute font:)

Feel free to download below
and use in your classroom!


Bucket Fillers

I'm sure a lot of people have
heard of or read the book,
Have You Filled A Bucket Today?
by Carol McCloud.

I stumbled across the book about
two years ago and it instantly became
a big part of my classroom!

It just might be one of my favorite
children's books of all time.
Anything to promote treating others
with kindness and respect gets my vote and
I just think the kids really "get it".

In case you've been living under a rock,
{just kidding...ha!}
the book explains how we each have an imaginary bucket.

We can either choose to fill each other's buckets
or dip from them.
To be a bucket filler means you say kind things,
you are respectful, generous, etc. and you fill
others' buckets and make them feel good.
A bucket dipper does things that are unkind,
hurtful, etc.

Anyways, I just thought I would share a photo
of our classroom "buckets".
{sorry, its kind of blurry}
I got the buckets from Wal-mart in the party section
and they were very reasonable and I've reused the
same ones for a few years.

I like to use the printables from
Christina Bainbridge's website.
The poster on my bulletin board is from there
and I also use the notes she created for the
kids to fill out and place in each other's

They are just too cute and the kids LOVE
to fill these out and then check their own bucket
at the end of the week!

You can download the bucket filler poster,
notes, and TONS of other awesome
printables from Christina's
classroom website here.

Feel free to share any
"bucket filling"
ideas you use!

{yeah! my first follower...thanks, mom!}


a linky party?

I had never heard the term "linky party" 
before in my life,
so I was anxious to see what it was all
about and if I could figure out how to
participate....so here goes:)

Mrs. Lamb is hosting one about
what I could not teach without, love that!

Ok, here's my list...

At the top, without question, is my SMART Airliner. I don't like
funtioning without it. I just love the mobility I get when
teaching a lesson and using the computer/projector.

I've never had electric pencil sharpeners in my room until
now and I think they might just change my life.
At least I hope they do, because kids trying unsuccessfully
to sharpen pencils might just be the one thing that
could drive me absolutely nuts!
Hopefully the two I purchased will be awesome:)

Especially the color ones.
Did you get yours this week at Walgreens for $3.99?!?!?!
{sorry, I know this isn't a money-saving blog but
I just can't stand not sharing a great deal}

Next, colored file folders.
I organize my files with each subject as a different color.
It really helps me find what I'm looking for fast when
they are all over my desk.
I also use these sometimes instead of pocket folders
when I don't necessarily need the pockets.
{i.e. for our math facts program, I staple their goal sheet on
one side and their sheet with a rocket on it
where they keep track of their level on the other side}

I'm not a big soda person.
I wasn't even a coffee drinker until
last school year.
My friend, Lizz, took me to Starbucks last winter
and told me which drinks were good so I tried one.
I ordered a tall white chocolate mocha.
It was VERY good.
So.......I don't drink coffee every day,
but I did find myself stopping for a cup a few mornings
a week towards the end of the school year, so I'll
add it to my list!
{who can resist their frappes in the summer? love them!}

Lastly, I couldn't teach without
Avery labels.
In all different sizes!
{especially the full sheet label...just used those
for a math game}
I use these to label tubs, student items, folders,
anything and everything:)

What can you not teach without???



I'm thrilled to start a teaching blog!
And what better time than the summer, right?
I know that any of my teacher partners reading
this are probably saying, "are ya crazy?"
Well, maybe I am, but I'm excited for another
creative outlet.

I've been blogging over at made by lee
for about a year and a half and I love it!
It's my way to document my family and also
crafty projects.

And now I'm excited to have a new little spot to
document my teaching life!

I was inspired when I discovered the world
of teaching blogs and wanted to be a part of it.

If you check out the blogs below and are not inspired
or get even just a little excited about starting
a fresh, new year...then I don't know what's wrong with ya:)

Seriously...take a sec to look if you haven't already...


 I just wish I had discovered them earlier!
Soooo many cute ideas.
Oh well, its perfect timing actually because
this is just the little nudge I needed to 
get excited about the upcoming school year.

Don't get me wrong, I wish summer was longer!
But, if I have to go back to work...I think {hope}
that this little blog will just add to the fun:)