Sunday, July 29, 2012

Twenty-five Follower Freebie

Little freebie for tonight. I just made these for my own classroom, so I thought I would share.

Classroom jobs and 24 matching student number cards (I put these in a pocket chart)

Get them at my TeachersPayTeachers store.

A second freebie, is calendar numbers which match the jobs and student numbers. I have made 31 calendar icons and a few "no school" day ones too.

These are also available at my TeachersPayTeachers store.

Friday, July 27, 2012

This Classroom is Brought to you by Pinterest & Me :)

Here are a few pics of my "detective" theme room and the final products of my Pinterest items...
 Bins where students turn their work in - spray painted black and gave new labels to match the ones I made
  Classroom storage bins inspired by Pinterest - these are back to back along side my desk - one set is for students with printer & notebook paper, math manipulatives, and clipboards; the other is for me with craft materials, extra supplies (folders, new crayons, etc.), and other odds and ends. They perfectly fit the length of my desk. :)

 Drawers where I store pens, staples, etc. - inspired by Pinterest (spray painted)
 Clipboards - courtesy of Pinterest project
 New bathroom passes - final Pinterest project for the week
 Calendar board - would you believe I did this one board the most - didn't like anything I did
 Welcome back board - the red cards have all the different things we do in 5th grade and the yellow header says "Hot on the Trail of 5th Grade Success" - all are done in a cute font called Earwig Factory which looks like ransom letters
After the first week, I will change this to "Hot on the Trail of Reading Success" with my CAFE Posters and other reading strategy posters
 "Investigating Science" board - this will change to be decorated according to the unit of science we are studying - first up is The Scientific Method"
 New Guided Reading area set up - bookshelves hold all my teacher stuff, bins on top are for each reading group's materials, pink drawers will hold pencils, highlighters, post-its, etc. for groups, and filing cabinet has graphic organizers and forms, etc. for groups, as well as book units for literature clubs

 Math Problem Solving Board above my window - cute set that went with theme "Math PSI: Problem Solving Investigators" - each poster talks about the different strategies for problem solving exactly like our math series does

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Liebster Blog Award & Another Freebie

 To make my day the other day, I was nominated for another award! Thanks to Rebecca at First Grade Fascination for the nomination for the...

(This award is named for the German word "Liebster", which translates to "beloved" or "favorite" and is given to a "new, up and coming blogger".)

Here are the rules:
1. Link back to person who gave it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3.Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4.Leave a comment on the five blogs to let them know that they have been offered the award.

The 5 blogs I am nominating for this award are:

Sparkles, Smiles, and Student Teaching

Teaching is Bliss

The 4th Grade Adventures of Mrs. Tinez's Class

Teacher on the Loose

Live, Laugh, Love, Second 

I am giving away another freebie which you can get at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I made these smaller versions of the daily objective/schedule cards to use for my homework board so I can write the homework on a card which matches the schedule but takes up less space. Hope you enjoy these!

There are 14 cards and 2 blanks cards for you to label yourself. Here is a preview. Cards are 3" X 4".

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Busy Worker Bee Today & Freebie

I feel like I accomplished so much today, but when I look at my still to do list it is overwhelming.

Finished list...
  • Got all clipboards finished today (I definitely need more clipboards I discovered)
  • Got desks arranged
  • Finished all bulletin boards
  • Rearranged room
  • Made signs for the all the subjects for my front board for our daily schedule and objectives - keep reading for a freebie of these
  • Made a clip behavior chart!
  • Made CAFE signs!
  • Finished lining the rest of my drawers with scrapbook paper - thank you Pinterest (I think I can now do this professionally I have done so many)
To do list...
  • Spray paint draw holders - they are currently blue and I lined all the drawers with black/silver scrapbook paper so painting them all black
  • Change calendar - I don't like the way it looks with everything else in my room
  • Put kids' textbooks in desks and clean out cubbies from the summer
  • MAYBE make a cute little curtain to cover my teacher bookshelves & cubbies?
  • Get my teacher bulletin board area set up
  • Set up my desk (we had our school painted over the summer so EVERYTHING got packed up)
  • Make (OK edit) back-to-school PowerPoint I put up for Meet the Teacher
  • Finish editing back-to-school newsletter
  • Sit back, relax, and wait to meet the kiddies!

The fun news is that on my first day back to work, I get to celebrate by going to see the musical "Grease" with a bunch of family and friends and people from my dance studio. Should be lots of fun!

Freebie Time

Head on over to my Teacher Pay Teachers page and download this freebie.

There are 16 pages of cards (2 cards per page) for a variety of subjects and school events. I have also included a few blank ones so you may write on them yourselves. Please view the credit list in this document for information about the fonts used. Fonts for these documents are from

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Clipboards Made

OK so here are the clipboards I made. I am trying to decide if I like the tape ones better or the scrapbook/mod podge ones better. If anyone has done either of these before, how well did they last? I got this really cute tape for $0.97 a roll at JoAnn's last week.
Front of tape clipboard

Back of tape clipboard
Front of scrapbook clipboards

Backs of scrapbook clipboards

I finished doing most of my drawers today, but ran out of scrapbook paper. Off to JoAnn's in the morning for some more. I got a 20% off total purchase coupon through my app today so that will help. Trying to get everything done this week since teachers go back next Wed. Going to try to finish up the room tomorrow and Friday.

Monday, July 23, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you to Natalie at Being the Queen Bee Isn't Easy for awarding me the One Lovely Blog Award.

1. Follow the person who gave you the award  DONE - I am now following!
2. Link back to the person that gave you the award DONE
3. Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers.

OK - so I only passed on to 5 so far. I will try to find 10 more later, but have to get ready for my other job of teaching dance!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Meet the Teacher

I am beginning to think about getting ready for Meet the Teacher night at our school. I have done some cute things in the past for this. One thing I usually create is a "scavenger hunt" for the students and parents to do, that way they have something fun to keep them occupied while waiting for a turn to speak with me. I feel this is so much better than parents standing around or me giving a big "speech" to the whole group. The kids get to find out about the classroom and parents get involved. Then I can take time to welcome families individually to my classroom.

Click on the picture above for a free copy of a scavenger hunt I made for the theme "Lights, Camera, Action, Learning" my school did. I hung signs with the names of the streets over each area I wanted parents to visit. I will probably be updating this same sheet this year with Detective Headquarters, Courthouse, Sheriff's Office, and some other cutesy detective place since our theme this year is "On the Case for Learning".

Versatile Blogger

I've been nominated for The Versatile Blogger award!  Thanks to Tales of a First Grade Teacher for this nomination.

So now it's my turn to nominate
Versatile Blogger Award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. DONE
2. Include a link to their site. DONE
3. Include the award image in your post. DONE
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself. DONE 
5. Nominate 5-10 other bloggers, include their link, and let them know.  DONE 
7 Random Facts about me:
1.  I teach - not only school - but dance classes 4 nights a week and Saturday mornings.
2.  I have traveled only the east coast of United States, but would love to visit all 50 states one day.
3.  I am a book-a-holic. I LOVE to read. I finally caved and purchased a Kindle which has made my addiction so much worse because books are easier to get. LOL
4.  I have a wonderful Maltese puppy named Snowball. He is 9 months old and totally a package of cute and trouble all mixed up.
5.  I have found Pinterest this summer - not good! Way too many neat ideas to do in one summer, but having fun making great projects.
6.  One of my best dishes I make is lasagna (the secret is in my sauce) and a second one is broccoli casserole.
7.  I am an aunt to two wonderful nieces - Kira and Tia - who I wished lived closer so I could spoil them more often.

And the nominations go to.....

Daily 5 & CAFE

OK, so I have been trolling the Internet this summer (via Pinterest my new, most favorite addiction), and I have come across the world of Daily 5 and CAFE. This is NOT something I have seen implemented in my school anywhere, but I LOVE it. I am looking for comments on those of you who use it, especially in the upper grades on how it works. I "did" centers all year last year (as I have "done" centers every year since I began teaching), but I don't feel it's meaningful. I try to come up with fun, creative centers. I have made many fun, cutesy games that allow them to practice the skill we have been working on, but I love how authentic the work seems to be in the Daily 5/CAFE from what I have seen. Do you still include "games" for practicing weekly skills or computer time? I think I have seen Daily 3 for the upper grades, which maybe would then allow for these others. I have found some wonderful ideas on blogs, but looking for advice. Please post your comments/thoughts here. All suggestions are WELCOMED! Thanks

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Free Giveaway at Teaching Maddeness

Teaching Maddeness is having a 500 Follower Giveaway!

To celebrate 500 Followers Teaching Maddeness is giving away a $50 Giftcard to Amazon!

If you don't win that, you could be one of four runners up to receive...
$5 of resources from Teacher's Clubhouse or Lightbulb Minds

Friday, July 20, 2012

Newbie Blog Hop

Since I am new to blogging, and I discovered this today, I thought I would join in on the Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop being hosted by Janis at  Grade Three is the Place for Me. I'm excited to be a part of this!

1. What state are you in?


2. Your current teaching position?

      Fifth grade teacher - all subject areas

3. Your teaching experience?

     I began teaching in second grade. I have taught two years in second, two years in third, two years in fourth, and I am beginning my 6th year in fifth grade. I have looped three times, as well as done a team teaching assignment once.

4. When you started blogging?

    This summer

5. Share a blogging tip/blogging resource.

   I don't have any to share since I just started like a week or so ago, but would love to have you all share some with me in the comment section!

Check out the blog hop:

Making Pinterest Projects

   Today I began making my new Pinterest inspired classroom drawers (hiding the stuff inside with the bonus of making them look cute on the outside. I also tried 2 different ways to repair old clipboards. On one I used some very cute packing tape I found at JoAnn's for $0.97 on clearance - cheap option as this barely made a dent in the tape roll. For the other two I attempted, I tried different ways to Mod Podge some scrapbooking paper on them (got a pack of 5 sheets of paper from Dollar Tree and used a 50% off coupon from JoAnn's for the Mod Podge so this was a cheap option also). I can't decide which ones I like better.

   I do know, I love the drawers and I am now going to do this with all of the drawers in my classroom. May even do them for my dance studio's drawers too. I will be adding cute new labels to the front where the old blue ones are, once my order arrives.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Quietest Pencil Sharpener Ever

I have seen a lot of teachers writing about these and I am anxious to try them out. I have so far seen only 100% positive reviews on this sharpener. Since pencil sharpening drives me crazy, I am looking forward to seeing if it truly works, but I believe it will based on my research!

Check it out by clicking on the picture or here.  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Book Report of Choice Project

     Another book report project I enjoy doing with my students is the book report project of choice. Students all fill out the same packet which asks them to find publishing information, describe main characters and setting, summarize the main events, identify/illustrate the problem and solution, and write a book recommendation.

    In presenting the book, the project is differentiated in that students select which style they want to use to present:
  • Scrappy - make a scrapbook of the main character's life
  • Artistic - create a poster showcasing the main events in the character's life
  • Dramatic - act out the major events from the book
  • Constructive - build a scene using materials of choice
  • Choice - students can submit other ideas - most of mine choose to create a Power Point or a Windows Movie Maker file
This is a fun project, because it's always so neat to see what the students come up with for their projects. This is usually the second project my students do during the year.

Click here to get a free copy of the first page.

Click here to purchase my book report project of choice.

Cereal Box Book Reports

     Another fun thing we do in my classroom, is cereal box book reports! However, we add a special twist. Students read a biography about an athlete of their choosing and have to come up with a creative name for their "cereal" based on either what their athlete does for a sport, their name, or the team they play for.
     Students decorate the front of the cereal box with a picture of the athlete in their uniform and with any equipment the athlete would need to play their sport, as well as the cereal name and the athlete's name.

     On one side of the box, they list their athletes' ingredients: this is a listing of facts about the athlete: parents, siblings, date of birth, place of birth, teams played on, current age, awards, etc.
On the other side of the box, students list the "nutritional value" of their athlete. This is something they come up with on their own. EX: 60% determination, 10% great coaching, 20% parental support, 5% faith, 5% practice time = 100% great athlete. On this side, students also glue on their bibliography.

     On the back, students write a four to five paragraph essay in chronological order about their chosen athlete. They are given a research packet to help guide them on finding information and what should go in each paragraph. One of the main parts is about learning how their athlete "gives back" to help others.

     Inside the cereal box, students make "cereal". They use strips of paper to write down the awards and achievements of their athlete.

     On the day of sharing our reports, students get to wear their pajamas and bring in cereal, a bowl, and spoon. (I provide the milk.) This always makes the first big oral presentation of 5th grade a lot more relaxing. Students only share at their table and everyone is having fun eating the cereal so it helps calm down the nerves about oral speaking.

     I started doing this with one other teacher on my team, and now almost all of our 5th grade teachers do this as the first project of the year. Usually, our principal and assistant principal come around and look at all the projects too and listen to some of the speeches which is fun for the kids. Finally, I take pictures of all of them to post for curriculum night next to their projects. Which makes something easy to share too.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wax Museum

One of my favorite things I do in my classroom (and that we all do in fifth grade now) is Wax Museum. Each student selects a person to research (in my room the topic is Famous Americans - they must select a figure in American history who has made a positive contribution to our country). They research using books, news articles, and the Internet. The final project includes a science board complete with a hand drawn "headshot", timeline, biography, family tree, and 10 fun facts about their chose person.  Students then dress up as their person and give a speech. The "wax" part comes in here - students must remain frozen solid until someone puts a ticket in their bucket to make them come to life. Once they come to life they are to remain in character of their person and give their speech. We invite the whole school to come around on the day we present our wax museum. It is always a lot of fun. After doing this for 5 years at my school, kids come to my class now on open house all ready to tell me who they will be for a project we don't usually do until April/May. I love that this makes them so excited to learn! Plus, it incorporates social studies, language arts, reading, memorization, creativity, technology, and so much more.

My fur-baby

Snowball around 4 months old
My adorable Maltese puppy (he's currently 9 months old as of July 13). His name is Snowball. He is trouble with a capital T right now! He's into sneaking out of the house, chewing on shoes, and walking all over my keyboard while I am trying to set up my blog. However, he is so cute and cuddly and lovable :)


Welcome. I am currently a fifth grade teacher in Lee County, FL. I am entering my 12th year of teaching...I can't believe it. I have taught second, third, fourth, and fifth grades. I have team taught, looped three times, taught in three different schools (two in Seminole County and one in Lee County). I have always wanted to be a teacher! Besides teaching school, I also teach dance classes 4 nights a week and Saturday mornings. It is my passion to impart in children a strong sense of self, good moral character, and the educational tools to succeed in life.