CURRENTY and Teacher Block Party

Hey friends,

I'd like to give a shout out to Dollar Tree :-) I read all the time about Dollar Tree deals on other teachers blogs, but as a sixth grade teacher I don't think I every truly appreciated Dollar Tree. I just didn't get it. But now, that I am preparing to teach first grade, the Dollar Tree is my new best friend! I priced baskets for my classroom library at teacher supply stores (yikes $$$), and on Amazon ($$), and a few other websites, and then I went to Dollar Tree ($). Have you seen the wall of brightly colored baskets in all shapes and sizes that are there right now?! See below:

This is the stack of baskets I purchased for my library and for math /science tubs. $1 per basket = happy teacher! 

But my shopping spree didn't end there. Now, I've bought just about everything I need for classroom decor and organization purposes from TpT or Teacher's Notebook. Gotta support my blogging peeps :-) But I needed some borders, so I went to Teacher Heaven. Since I couldn't commit to birds or owls, I've decided to add a little of both to my chevron!

Next, I bought a laminator from Amazon because all this stuff plus the resources I've printed and cut out would amount to one HUGE laminating bill. The pic below doesn't even include everything!!! Anyway, the laminator was only $19.95, so I'll let you know how it works out.

Finally, I am linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for my first ever CURRENTLY linky party.

And, now I'm going to check out her Teacher Block Party Linky! You can link up with your grade level and meet some new teacher friends who teach the same grade as you. Fun, fun!

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Class Designspiration and Ten Pins for Math

Hey friends! I've been making the most of my summer hanging out with my girlies by the pool, at the movies, visiting the zoo, and more. My three year old had her first dance recital last week and she did great!! She wants to know when she can perform onstage again  - her dance teacher has created a monster :-) That's us backstage in the pic below. 

Today I visited Hobby Lobby. Oh my! I wanted every bird and owl decor item I saw, but I didn't want to pay for them (ha!). So, I practiced some self control and headed for the fabric department cuz fabric is what I came for. I have to create my own bulletin, literally...out of foam core board or something because my room doesn't have bulletin boards. Instead, my room has accordian walls. Anyway, I was inspired by a yellow & white chevron print I saw at Step Into Second Grade and a gray & white chevron print that I swore I'd buy when I saw it at First Grade Magic. The gray was totally sold out and I spied the yellow, but decided to go with hot pink and teal instead. Hot pink is so me :-) Then, I found a floral print I liked to break up the chevron. I think the floral fabric will be a "Something to Tweet About" work board. "Tweet" because I bought this amazing ( I wanna say amaze-balls. Can I say amaze-balls?) bird decor from The Moffat Girls.

Besides the birdie decor, I bought Cara Carrol's chevron pack and downloaded some of her other chevron stuff from The First Grade Parade that I loved, regardless of the print, like the Do You Have a Writer's Eye and her Reading Strategies Mini Posters. I also bought her chalkboard themed organization labels. As you can see I have spent free minutes over the past few days printing and cutting out resources. I love the punctuation super heroes from Journey of a Substitute Teacher and the Glue Bottle Vowels from A Teacher Wife (I think). The polka dot owl name tags are from Flap Jack Designs. I have plenty more to cut-out and my laminating bill - I don't wanna think about it!!

I saw this tree at Hobby Lobby and snapped a pic. It, or the trees on the Moffat Girls Bird Decor, will be my treespiration. Every first grade classroom has a tree, right???

I just ran across this picture of my bulletin boards when I taught 6th grade. Uhhhhh...last year! They weren't finished when I took this pic, but as you can see my neon pink fetish has been developing for some time now. You probably can't tell, but that's neon pink and neon green zebra print fabric on the bulletin boards and the curtains. I loved that black & white giraffe print too. I gave the fabric and curtains away to another teacher when I packed up at the end of the year. Hope she enjoys them as much as I did!

If you're still reading I'm linking up with Just Reed to show you my ten fave math pins.  I love her Ten Pin Linky Parties - my favorite of the summer thus far.

Now, let me remind you, I've never taught first grade before. 2012-2013 will be my first year with firsties. I pinned these things because I THINK they are good ideas. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Hello! Why didn't I htink of that?

Books for teaching math :-)
No more flying dice! Duh.
Editable math. I love editable lessons. Let's NOT talk about my weight.
I love hands-on!
I would use it for addition or subtraction fact families. Maybe. Haven't thought it through yet.
Pool noodle place value! Love it.
QR Codes. Kids love technology. Nuff said!
Seriously? YES! Scratch off tickets to reveal the answer!!
Use blocks to teach time.

You can follow me on Pinterest at 
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'Tis the season for linky parties and I would like to join them all, but I can't find the time to do them ALL on the designated day. My girlies, ages 3 and 1, and I are too busy to do ANYTHING but play, play, play. My house looks like a tornado vomited inside it, but hey, we're making memories here. After they go to bed, if I've any energy left, I try to catch up on my blog reading. Tonight I'm keeping my eyes pried open so I can linky party. Some of these are better late than never kinda linkies.

First up, I'm combining two classroom management linkies.  Just Reed's Ten Pin Linky Party - Share your ten fave pins on classroom management. Fun! Fun! And, The Applicious Teacher's Weekly Idea Share: Classroom Management.

Here are my ten fave classroom management pins (in no particular order):

1. There are lots of great books that help with classroom management. Here's one. A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue - this is a great book for teaching children the difference between tattling and telling.
2. Rewards - Students earn a chance to draw a tile and place it wherever they want. When the prize is completely spelled, the class gets that reward.

3. ClassDojo is a classroom tool that helps teachers improve behavior in their classrooms quickly and easily. It also captures and generates data on behavior that teachers can share with parents and administrators.
4. When the kids take a book from the basket they clip their name clothespin to the basket so they know where to put it away.
6. Partner wheel: Put the kids you don't want together in the smaller circle and match them up to the kids in the larger circle.

7. Pencil fidgets - They allow the student to have something to move around in their hands. Students that require such fidgets have a need for sensory stimulation, and fidgets provide that within the classroom setting. I know about 50 kids... and myself who would benefit from these.

8. Settle Down Jar: tell a child he/she needs a break and may come back when everything has settled to the bottom.
9. Each student stands on a number. No more running and pushing in line!

10. Whole Brain Teaching. I found this video on YouTube

Next year, in first grade,  I am sooooo doing WBT (#10).  In sixth grade, some classroom management strategies that I utilized were conduct logs/parent communication logs that went home weekly, ticket systems (collect tickets to buy prizes), extra recess, and free computer time. Positive reinforcement still works on kids that are taller than you are, or who have facial hair :-)  I always had success with good phone calls/good notes home. If I had to make a bad phone call home for a student,  then I made a good phone call home for a different student. And, I made it a point to send out a few positive emails and/or notes (old school - in an envelope with a stamp) every grading period. Parents were usually surprised to hear from me when I called home to say something nice or they received a letter in the mail praising their student. I love hearing how happy  parents sound to hear that their child is doing a great job!

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Are you still with me? I know this post is getting lengthy, but, but, but...well... Next up, is The First Grade Parade's Throwback Thursday Linky Party. Don't hate me. I've been blogging for a month. Maybe. If that. I can't throw back, but I just wanna link up with Cara Carrol! The First Grade Parade and The Inspired Apple were the first two edublogs I ever encountered. I was hooked immediately and I didn't even teach first grade!!!!! Hello! I guess I could copy and paste a post from last week, but then I'd just feel silly. Wait, I already feel silly. 

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My last linky party (I'm running outta steam) is from Fun in Room 4B and Ladybug's Teacher Files. I don't know about you, but I'm all about organization on the cheap :-) The following are a few ideas I found online that won't cost you a fortune.

Save up your coffee canisters, ladies! Spray paint them, stick a cute label on there, and you've got custom made center storage that you didn't have to save up to buy. 

Do you have tons of markers, highlighters, grading pens, pencils, etc. taking up space in that shallow, center drawer of your desk? My pens and markers overflow the the desk drawer organizer. Sad :-( But, next year all I need is a shoebox, some decorative paper, and a heap of toilet paper rolls to make this neat-o writing utensil organizer cute enoug to grace the top of my desk. 

If I only had walls, so I could put up these amazing rain gutter book shelves. Two of my four classroom walls are fake accordian style walls, one has floor to ceiling storage, and the other is the white board. No gutters for me, but I love this idea for you!

Much love,

Ten Pin Linky Party

Ashley at Just Reed is having a fun weekly linky party! You just link up with your ten fave Pinterest pins related to a given topic. This week is classroom decor. I have an entire board dedicated to that!

In no particular order, here are ten pins I like:

1. Border around your shelves.
2. Back to school bulletin board, Too cute.
First Grade Blue Skies
3. Crate seating. Choose fabric to match your theme/color scheme.
Kinder Gals
4. Bath mats to designate individual/partener reading space.
First Year Teaching Tales
5. Color coded shelves - need to be shorter shelves for Firsties.
The link for this one is now gone???

6. Love the colors. Love the owls.
School Girl Style
7. I can just picture this as my classroom library. Books would go in the baskets, of course!
I Heart Organizing
8. So doing this next year!
Queen of the First Grade Jungle
9. Use in place of Daily Five book boxes.
Frugal Teacher
10. I heart this word wall!
Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits