Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bright Idea: Book Checkouts from Your Classroom Library Made Easy!

I'm back for another monthly edition of the
where teacher-bloggers are bringing you all kinds of great tips and tricks with zero product promotion! 

Today I'm sharing a quick tip that's going to save you a TON of time and headaches!
Want to send home books with some of your students but check out lists and keeping track of who has what got you down? 

I have a super simple solution for you!

Follow these easy steps for a stress-free, hassle-free book checkout system!
There you have it! My secret to a no paperwork checkout system that takes about 5 seconds to check to see who still has a book out! I hope this is a helpful tip for you and you are able to checkout books to students and trust that you can manage the "who took home what" issue with very minimal time spent! :)

If you enjoyed this bright idea, be sure to check out my other bright idea post about an easy way to make sure 100% of papers turned in have a name on them, and consider following me on Facebook and Instagram for even more bright ideas!

Please browse through the link up below for even more bright ideas from more than 100 different bloggers! Simply search for a topic/grade level that interests you! 

Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Trashy Crafter {Giveaway Inside}

Wow y'all!

I am beyond excited to share something and someone new with you today!

I love to shop and my favorite thing to shop for is jewelry! All my fellow jewelry addicts raise your hand! :)

So with that being said, I have to introduce you to Kim aka The Trashy Crafter! She is a fabulous lady who makes jewelry out of recycled books! I know what you're thinking! People can actually do that?!? Oh YES they can and Kim is wonderful at it! She uses books that are damaged and outdated and recycles them into jewelry. I just love, love, love this because it means she is saving books from being tossed and discarded and turning them into something beautiful! 
Kim was actually taught how to make paper beads by her 3rd grade teacher! Kim and her mother work together to hand cut, roll and create beautiful paper book bracelets, earrings, and necklaces! I truly love this because of how unique each piece is!

I just adore the way Kim packages her jewelry! Look how cute and fun!
Ok, I can't wait any longer! Check out the AMAZING bracelet I received from Kim! I'm a HUGE Disney fan so I am in LOVE with the fact that my bracelet set is made from the book Cinderella! 

I love the bright, bold colors and the uniqueness of it! I can't wait to wear it to school and show it off to my co-workers and kiddos! How amazed the students will be to hear about how it's made and how special it is! I've also been skimming her blog and it has some great ideas!

If you're loving this jewelry as much as I am, visit Kim at The Trashy Crafter on Etsy and pick out a set that fits YOU! There's Dr. Seuss sets, Harry Potter sets, sheet music sets, and even sets made out of maps! And guess what? Kim has generously given me a code that you can use this week for 15% off of your order! Simply use code TC2014 at checkout! Woo!

That's not all though! Kim has graciously agreed to giveaway a set of Recycled Book Bead Earrings! I'm so excited! The winner will receive one pair of Recycled Book Bead Earrings {and what book they are made from will be a surprise!}

Enter below for your chance to win! I wish you luck!

You may be wondering after reading through this post if Kim and her mom do CUSTOM orders. The answer is YES and they LOVE doing them! A custom order is truly YOUR story! They can make custom orders from multiple types of things as long as they're paper such as books, maps, sheet music, letters, and children's drawings! You simply send your favorite book or other special paper product to them and they create your set! How AWESOME! If you're interested in a custom order from Kim, email her at

If you know of anyone who might be interested, feel free to share this post or pin any image to Pinterest!

Be sure you check out The Trashy Crafter on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up to date and follow her amazing work!

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Monday, August 4, 2014

TpT Sale {BOGO Deal Inside for FREE Products}

Hey friends!

This will be short and sweet!

If you didn't know, the TpT B2S sale is happening NOW through the end of tomorrow! My entire store is 20% off plus use the promo code BTS14 for a total of 28% savings!
This adorable sales button is by Kimberly over at The Learning Tree!

But wait!

Not only am I having a sale, I'm also offering a very special, limited time offer!

Yes you read that right! You can save 28% AND get FREE products too! I really hope this deal helps ease some of the B2S financial stress us teachers always suffer from! 

So Happy Shopping!

Here's some of my top sellers and follower favorites: 
(Just click to check 'em out on TpT)

Also, I would love to hear of any great TpT finds you have found to buy! I've already gone shopping once but can always go back for round 2! :)
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Positive Reinforcement {w/Freebies}

Hey guys!
My post isn't going to be super long but I do hope it will be useful for you! And yes, there's TWO freebies for you
 I want to talk about positive reinforcement in the classroom in order to manage your classroom.
I have a tough group this year. I am departmentalized so I teach reading/writing to two classes for a total of 51 students
 at the moment. It's different and definitely an adjustment! I do enjoy only planning/prepping for two subjects though so it
 has its perks!
But nonetheless, they are extremely chatty and very quick to argue with one another over the SILLIEST of reasons!
They often leave me looking like this:

We all know it's easier to focus on the negative rather than the positive so I've really been trying to get better at focusing
 on the things students are doing RIGHT versus the wrong choices they are making.
As a result, I have implemented several things in my classroom this year and I'm trying my best to be consistent and 
deliberate in following through each and every day with both classes.

The first thing is that I use a classroom BINGO board. It's very simple but the kiddos really get into it! I print the 
bingo board, laminate it and hang it up in my classroom with a dry erase marker strung up beside it.

When I see a child setting a great example for any reason, I will simply say "So and so, go put your name on the Bingo 
board." Up they hop and scamper to the board! They are allowed to put their name anywhere on the board. Every
 Friday, I use bingo cards to draw a letter (B I N G O) and number (1 2 3 4 5) to pick a winner. If I draw B5, the child 
in the bottom spot of the B column wins! I let them pick lunch with me or treasure box as a reward. Sometimes I pick one
winner, sometimes I pick up to three!

Some variations for this can be:
1. If you use numbers for your students, have them put their classroom specific number in a box instead of their whole
 name. Saves room and time!
2. You can draw however often you want for a winner! Weekly, biweekly, monthly, daily, whatever! It's totally 
what works best for you!
3. I have teams in my room and if the whole team is doing a great job, I will sometimes tell them to put their group 
name on the bingo board. Then, if I draw that square, the whole group gets a reward! They love when that happens!
4. If the WHOLE class is on-task and doing great, I put MY name on the bingo board! That means if I draw that square, 
the whole class gets a reward such as extra recess! :)

Like this idea? Good because you're in luck! Here's a freebie to help you get started in implementing this in your 
 Click here to download! I did LOTS of backgrounds so hopefully one will work for your classroom! :) Feel free to
pin and share with friends!

The second new thing I have implemented is what I call "Count It Up!"

In my class, I have 6 groups of students. Each group is a TEAM. This idea is all about rewarding the team 
as a whole. It encourages students to take responsibility for themselves and for their teammates. 
We talk about how to positively encourage group members and how not to "yell" at them or shush them to try 
and be ready.

Anytime I see a group that is on-task and working, they get a point/tally. I also award points/tallies to groups for
 being ready the quickest, being quietest the quickest, getting materials out the quickest, etc. The list goes on and on 
but you get the idea. At the end of the week, I tell the Team Captains to "Count It Up" and they know to go to
 the team points board and count up their team points for that week. Team with the most points gets.... you got it, 
a reward! I give them options and let them choose. Extra recess, treasure box, lunch with me, no homework pass, etc.

The kiddos really like it because it's a healthy competition. Students will usually get their act together quicker
 because they don't want their table mates upset with them. In the end, it has worked out well for me!

If you like this idea, I have another freebie for you! Again, I included lots of background options! I also have
 versions for FOUR teams and SIX teams as I realize classes often differ in size! :)

Click here to download! Again, feel free to pin and share!
I sure hope you  have enjoyed my post today! I hope you like these ideas and can use them in your own classroom. 
If you do, I would love to hear about it! :)
 Thanks for stopping by today!
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B2S Blow Out SALE! Don't miss it!


 I am so excited to announce that is having a HUGE back-to-school blowout sale and I am going to be featured in one of the curriculum bundles! From July 30 - August 2 (Wednesday - Saturday), they are bringing back all of their favorite and most popular bundles for INSTANT download at up to 77% OFF! There is something for everyone and it is their BIGGEST sale of the year! Take a peak into what is on sale! Tell your friends, because there is something for everyone who teaches children in PreK-8th grade!

My top selling SPACE UNIT can be found within this awesome bundle!!!!

First Grade Literacy Bundle - 74% OFF


My space unit is very comprehensive and includes the following:
1. An Anchor Text (810 Lexile)
2. A Student Mini-Book to accompany the anchor text – the mini-book is on an approachable level for 1st grade students.
3. 4 Concept Maps
4. Vocabulary Cards
5. 5 Experiments/Demonstrations – All with an accompanying worksheet/recording sheet
6. My Night Sky Diary Homework Mini-Book
7. Collaborative Grouping Cards
8. Space Test
9. 5 Math Centers – Focusing on: Addition, Subtraction, Tens Frame Card Game, Measuring, and Counting
10. 5 Literacy Centers – Focusing on: Sentence Structure, Long and Short Vowel Sounds, Past/Present/Future Tense Verbs, Singular/Plural Nouns/Pronouns, and Root Words/Suffixes
11. Various Worksheets and Recording Sheets to accompany centers and anchor text.
12. Alien Craftivity with Writing Extension & Graphic Organizer
13. Rocket Craftivity with Writing Extension & Graphic Organizer

Check out some photos from my classroom of this unit in action!

Don't Miss It!

And please, feel free to PIN or SHARE anything in this post!!! :)


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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Two Stars and a Wish: Start Your Year Right!


I'm excited to be joining some FABULOUS teachers for this fun linky!

The idea is to check out some blog posts where we are sharing Two Stars and a Wish! 

The STARS are great, simple to implement ideas and the WISH is something we want to improve upon for this year! 

My first Star Idea is probably not anything earth shattering that you haven't heard before... but I'm going to say it again because it's THAT IMPORTANT!

Nail down your policies/procedures/expectations BEFORE you meet your kiddos and welcome them into your classroom! This goes for before you meet their parents too! You never know what you might get asked at Meet the Teacher and you want to be prepared for the kiddos and their parents so that they are confident in their teacher for the upcoming year!

Advice my principal gave last year that really made sense was "Think about what really annoys you and gets under your skin and make sure you have a procedure for that"... I was like WOW, that really makes sense. Most likely if your kiddos are annoying you, that's because you didn't teach them a way to deal with whatever the issue is. So there you have it! Start thinking about that stuff and how you want it handled in YOUR classroom so that everyone has a happy year!

One of the BEST resources EVER that I utilize for this is this fabulous freebie by my wonderful friend Tamara over at Mrs. Russell's Room!

Focus on the POSITIVE in your classroom! I had a pretty rough group last year in regards to constant talking, off task behaviors, etc. and I really went home each day feeling horrible because I felt like I had been so negative. Every day I told myself I was going to focus more on the positive and by the end of the year, I had gotten much better at that! 

I created these two resources to use in my classroom to help with just that! When YOU focus on the POSITIVE things in your classroom, so will your students!

Feel free to check these out and give them a try in your room this year!

One thing I wish for this year is that I do a better job of examining Non Fiction passages with my students. It comes easy and natural to me as a teacher to jump into fictional passages and find right there information because that's what the basal (that I have to use) focuses mostly on. The times it does have non fiction passages, they are super lengthy and often too difficult for many of my learners who come to me below grade level. 

I created a resource to make me more accountable for that this year! Students HAVE to be able to find the right there information in all genres! My wish is that, by using these high interest passages, they will enjoy the process and therefore internalize the oh-so-necessary skill of proving their answers with text based evidence!

You can click the pic to check it out in more detail if you would like.

I invite you to follow me on FB, TpT, and Instagram if you enjoyed these star ideas!

And don't worry, the fun doesn't stop now! Check out all of the other wonderful teacher-bloggers who are linked up below and get some more fabulous ideas/tips!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Jamberry Nails + Reviewers Wanted!

I'm beyond excited to have joined Jamberry as an Independent Consultant!

You can follow my Jamberry adventures on my FB Page too!

Have you heard of Jamberry Nails? If not, you've been missing out!

Jamberry nails are vinyl wraps that are heat and pressure activated. Manicures last up to 14 days (and sometimes even longer) and pedicures last 4 weeks or more!

They are applied directly on to your natural nails by simply heating them up and putting some pressure on them to seal them! You can also use them on acrylics!

Can't afford to go to the salon every two weeks for a new set and touch ups?? Me neither!
Are you a nail biter? Using these nail wraps will help deter you from biting allowing you to grow out your natural nails!

My favorite part of Jamberry (besides the easy and cost effective application) is that they are not polish based so they are CHIP FREE!

I don't know about you, but I can't go a day without chipping nail polish off my fingers! And with a 3 year old, who has time to sit around for nail polish to dry?? Not me!

Here's some other benefits of Jamberry:

Wondering how Jamberry nail wraps look on your nails? Here's some of my recent jamicures!
And you can click on the pic to head straight to that style on the website for easy ordering if you fall in love with a design! :)

Click picture for chevron wraps, click here for Teal Sparkle!

Jamberry has over 300 designs including Jamberry Junior wraps made especially for little girls ages 3-8 as well as Mommy and Me wraps for the perfect mother/daughter bonding time! 

They have collegiate wraps, sorority wraps, solid wraps, sparkle wraps, french tip wraps, and so much more!

I really encourage you to check them out!

Not sure if you would like them? I invite you to participate in my 7 Day Chip Challenge! I will mail you a free sample and in return, you put the sample wrap on one nail and paint your other nails with polish! Take a picture on Day 1 and on Day 7 and see which has held up the best! Hands down it will be Jamberry! Make sure you email me your photos or post them to my FB Page!

Plus, every month I pick a photo from my Chip Challenge album on FB to win a free half sheet of wraps! 

Want to give it a try? Sign up for the chip challenge here!

Ready to shop? Go here.

Want to host an online Facebook party where you can earn TONS of FREE Hostess Rewards? Click here.

Want to have it all and join my team? Go here!

Lastly, if you are a blogger, I have a special offer for you! If you are interested, I'm looking for Jamberry product reviewers! 

You sign up, and if chosen, I'll send YOU a free half sheet of wraps to do a FULL MANICURE on yourself to show off to friends and try out! After a few days of loving it, you will write a blog review about the Jamberry Nail Wraps! Upon completion of your blog post review and satisfying a few other minor requirements, you will receive a free sheet of wraps from me that you can pick! If you don't want Free JAMBERRY for your review post, I will send you 5 TpT items from my TpT Store! It's a win-win for everyone!

Wanna sign up to be a Product Reviewer for me?
Click here!

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