Bulletin Board Progress... and a Fail!

This week I've been working on putting up new bulletin boards in my classroom.  I'm fortunate that our school does not require us to take them down at the end of the year; however, I've had the same paper & borders up for 4 years, so I am ready for a change!

I have 2 adjacent boards just as you come into my room.  I've never really done too much with them... I can't really use them for anchor activities or teaching because they aren't in our teaching area.  So, I've mostly used them to display classroom rules and sometimes student work.

This is what they used to look like...  Blue paper and red/white checkered border.  {sorry, poor quality photo!}

I replaced it with black paper and red herringbone patterned border.  I also layered a green polka dot border at the top.

So, at this point, it looked better but, what to DO with it?  I've been seeing some super-cute student work boards on Pinterest and Instagram, so I decided to go with that.  I picked out 4 bright colors that went with the color scheme in my room and... voila!
I hot glued miniature clothespins to the top center of each piece of card stock.  This will allow me to easily change out student work.  I usually have 23-26 students each year, but I went ahead and put up 30 pieces of card stock.  I plan to put up some fun quotes in the extra spaces.  I'll post a picture soon of those!

Okay.  Now on to an epic FAIL!  Hopefully admitting my mistake will help some other teacher out there save some time & money!

I picked up some fadeless paper at our local teacher supply store in black.  What I didn't notice, until I was back in my classroom ready to hang it, was that I accidentally got GLOSSY paper, instead of regular paper.  Sigh.

I went ahead and hung it up, hoping for the best.  By the way, the boards I am using this on aren't actual bulletin boards.  They are white boards.  I have a huge amount of white board space in my room, but need more bulletin board space, so I usually hang paper up and use magnetic borders.

Long story short, when I came back in the next day, the paper had bubbled horribly.  I was already not loving the glossiness of it, and now THIS.  Worse yet, it wasn't just 1 board... I actually have 3 boards, just like this, with the horrible, glossy, bubble thing going on.  Ughhhhh!!!!! 

I wonder if it's because I'm covering white boards and not a regular bulletin board... maybe the sleekness made it bubble?  I don't know.

You can bet I ripped that right down and went back to the teacher store for regular black!  Ahhhhh!
Friends, if you don't like the glossy, bubbled look, read the label.  You're welcome!  ;)

Dollar Spot Find

While shopping the Dollar Spot at Target, I spotted some fun plastic toys and snatched some up.

First, I found these plastic figures and thought they would make fun game pieces.

 My Target had three different choices (shown above). 

How fun will these be to spice up your games?

Fairy Tales...
 Mystical ponies...

I also found some cool little building blocks and, since I've been on the lookout for some new, inexpensive indoor recess toys/games, I snatched up two of each.

The ones in the packages are kind of like gears.  They come in two different color varieties.
These ones also came in two different color choices but I didn't take a photo of the packages before dumping them in a storage container.
For a buck, I couldn't pass them up!

The back of the packages show some interesting things you can build with these.  I didn't take the time to be creative with them for the sake of showing you in this blog post.  You'll have to use your imagination!

Hope someone might find these useful!  Gotta love that Dollar Spot!!

Fun Friday

Happy Friday!  Of course, Friday is meaningless when you are on Summer Break!  Every day is Friday!!!!  Woot woot!

Anyhow, time for a Fun Friday link up with Freebielicious!

If you read any of the posts about the TPT conference in Vegas, or if you attended, then I'm sure you heard all about Go Noodle.  Or maybe you already Go Noodle in your classroom.  Did you see what I did right there?  I used Go Noodle as a verb and not a proper noun.  After all, Go Noodle is something that you do.

More importantly, it's something that your students do.  I live in a part of the country where we have indoor recess a lot.  I mean, a LOT a lot.  There are only so many things you can do for indoor recess and most of them don't allow kids to spend some of that pent up energy.

Enter Go Noodle.  I started using Go Noodle this last school year and let me tell you, my kids L-O-V-E-D it!  I mean, we're talking, they sing those songs in the lunch room, heading down the hall, at their desk...  The songs just sort of get stuck in your head.  Can I get a Pop-see-ko anybody?  {If you don't know that one, you will!}
Even my more introverted kiddos get into the fun.  I love that there are so many videos to choose from and they really get the kids moving in an engaging way.

Try it for indoor recess or for a much-needed brain break during the day!  It's free.  It's lovely.  It's the best thing since sliced bread.

P.S.  I have been known to join in on the fun right along with my students.  They always think it's so hilarious.  Hey, teachers need brain breaks, too, right?

Throwback Thursday

Happy Thursday!  Once again I am playing along with a linky party hosted by Freebielicious.  Today's topic?  Throwback Thursday!

This throwback seems so long ago, but, you know, we're sort of half way around the calendar to winter again, aren't we?  Sigh...

This picture is a pretty winter scene outside my classroom window.  I say pretty now, but I'm pretty sure I was dreaming of summer, know what I mean?

Enjoy your summer, while it lasts!

So what is outside your classroom window?  Hmmm?

Oh!  I'm supposed to share an old post to throwback at you.  This one is from last summer where I talked about pennant banners.  Click here to go read that post.
This is my word wall.  I will have updated pictures in the coming days because I just ripped that blue paper down and replaced all the borders.  "Coming soon!"

Have an awesome day!

Wonderful Idea Wednesday

I'm linking up with Freebielicious again today.  This time it's Wonderful Idea Wednesday!

The idea I'm sharing has to do with Scholastic News Magazine, or any other subscription magazines you might receive in your classroom.

First of all, when I order my magazines, I usually order 3-4 extras.  So, if I have 24 students in my class, I order enough for 28.  That way I have extra for any new students added to my class throughout the year, plus a couple of extras for me to KEEP.

I just love Scholastic News, don't you?  I think the subject matter is so timely and my students always find the content engaging.  Why use an issue just once, and never again?

So, I laminate the extra copies and keep them in a book bin for future use.  When it's Columbus Day, for example, I have the last few years worth of issues which covered that content.  I keep the bin in our classroom library for students to pull issues from to read independently.

I also laminate the "Teacher's Big Issue" that comes with the student set.  During Daily 5, when my students read with a partner, they love getting out the big issues, spreading them out on the floor, and using a pointer to read together.

So, that's it.  My Wonderful Idea.  I hope someone finds it useful!

Do you receive Scholastic News in your classroom?

Tell Us About You Tuesday

I'm linking up with Freebielicious this week for a fun linky party!  Today is Tell Us About You Tuesday!

So, here are a few things about me...

Family:  I'm happily married to my husband, David.  We both grew up in California, but moved to Indiana 11 years ago.

I have 2 juniors:  My son, Matt, will be a junior in college this year and my daughter, Julia, will be a junior in high school.

Pets:  I have 2 doggies.  Sugar is probably about 14-15 years old, we think.  When we rescued her the vet thought she might be about 2-3 years old, so we really don't know her exact age.  She is super sweet, very loyal, never causes any problems.  The only thing is, she is very afraid of strangers, and more specifically, men.  She's even afraid of my husband most times, although she runs to him for comfort during storms.  She's a bit odd that way.

Our other doggie is Bentley.  Our son talked us into getting a puppy - you know, the 'ole this is my last chance to have a puppy bit - and then he promptly left for college.  Good thing we adore Bentley.  All of us do.  He is super sweet and so much fun.  Loads of personality, can you tell?

Teaching:  I'm a second career teacher.  If you would have asked me when I was little what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said teacher.  You know, I used to play school with my dolls and stuffed animals as students.  But, somehow, this desire got lost in high school and I went a different route.  Later in life, after my kids were both in elementary school, I began to feel the tug again towards being a teacher.  So, I went back to school and got my degree.  This will be my 5th year in the classroom - all in 1st grade - and I love, love, love it!  I'm living my dream!

Camping - we own an RV and like to go at least a few times a year, whenever we can manage to get away.

Stamping - I was a Stampin' Up! demonstrator for 15 years.  I began teaching rubber stamping as a stay-at-home mom and had a successful business doing that.  I gave it up this year, just couldn't manage another thing in my life anymore.  You know?  But, I have a huge craft room in my basement that I like to escape to when I'm feeling creative!

Blogging/TPT - I used to have a stamping blog, so blogging is not new to me.  However, this blog is!  I'm loving being able to have a creative outlet in the world of teaching through blogging and creating things for TPT.

So, that's a little snippet of me!  Have an awesome day!

Must Have Monday... on a Tuesday!

I'm doing my first link up - how fun!  I ran across this linky party from Freebielicious today and it looked like so much fun, so I'm joining in!

Only thing is, I'm a day late and a dollar short.  So, here's my Must Have Monday... on a Tuesday!

Since I'm late, I'll just share one quick must-have with you...


 Do you all use this?  Have you heard of it/seen it? 

I started using it 3 years ago and it has been life-changing!  These aren't my plans, just screen shots found online, but you get the picture.

What I love about it:
1.  I just copied my entire lesson plans from last year onto this year with a click of a button.  What?!?!  This is such a huge time saver.  I can simply go in and make any necessary changes based on curriculum changes, changes in the calendar, etc.  But the basic curriculum mapping is all done including all the detailed lesson plans for each day.

What?!  You need more reasons?  Okay, but that was a big one for me!

2.  It's super simple to use.  Even if you're not a techy teacher.

3.  You can "bump" a lesson back a day and it will just move all subsequent plans back a day for any given subject.  Or, you can extend a lesson into the next day.  In other words, no bothersome cutting and pasting.  Who has time for that?  Not me.

4.  You can look up standards by state and subject and simply click on them to fill them in, rather than type them out manually.  You can also set it to view the standards within your plans or just list the standard number.

5.  You can print out plans by day, week, month, or by subject.  You can also save them as a PDF, which is what I do when I need to submit them to my principal.

6.  You can change the colors!  That's so important, isn't it?  Ha!  We do like our pretty, don't we?  You can also change the font.

7.  You can attach pictures and files right into your lesson, then click on them to open.

8.  You can keep your planbook open on your school computer, or iPad, for reference, rather than printing out plans (i.e. wasting paper).  You know, for those times when the administrator walks in and wants to see those plans out.  Ahem.

9.  You can set it to display as much detail as you want, or you can collapse it to just show headings for each lesson/subject.  You can show homework, notes, standards, etc. or hide them from view to make it look more concise.  It just depends on how much you want to view at one time.

I'm sure there are other things to love about Planbook, but since it's summer and I'm not using it much, I can't think of any others presently.  :)

10.  I lied.  Let's round this to 10 things I like about Planbook and include the fact that it only costs $12 a year to subscribe.  That's $1 a month, people.  #worthit

Have an awesome day!

Daily 5 - Grab some Scheduling Cards for FREE!

Do you do Daily 5?  Here are the scheduling cards I use.  My students use them to make a choice during each round of Daily 5.  They simply select a station and put the card in their pocket (labeled with their name).

You can read more about how I use these here.
To grab the scheduling cards for FREE, visit my TPT shop.

Have an awesome day!

Pencil Labels FREEBIE

A little FREEBIE for you on the blog today.  Print these labels out and use them to label your pencil containers.  There are a couple of different wording options, depending on your preference.  Enjoy!

Visit my TPT shop to download these free Pencil Labels.

120 Chart Puzzles

Developing number sense is so important in the primary years. One of the ways I help my students with number sense is through extra practice using the 120 chart. 

In case you're wondering... "What's a 120 chart?", it's just like a 100 chart most of us teachers have hanging somewhere in our classroom, except it goes to 120 now. 
 Image result for 100 chart
Since the adoption of Common Core standards in many states, in first grade we now teach numbers up to 120.

Good thing, too, because I always have a group of students who get stuck going from 100 to 101 or from 109 to 110.  They write 101 as 1001 or 110 as 10010.  Do your students do that, too, or is it just me?  Ha!

I made these 120 chart puzzles with my own students in mind.  {Excuse very ugly table they are sitting on, please.}  I use them in small groups to give those students the extra support they need for mastery, and I also use them as math centers or for early finishers to grab and go.


I'm pretty sure you do have students like mine who need extra practice, so I have uploaded my 120 Chart Puzzle packet to TPT.  There are 12 different puzzles - each in a different color making it easier to find where missing pieces go.  It also includes a 200 puzzle, which kids can use to build the entire 120 chart or go beyond to 200.  Simply include the numbers you'd like them to go to.  My kids love to work on the 120 chart together in groups of 2-4.

I hope you and your students enjoy working with these puzzles!

Have an awesome day,

New Blog Design! Woot Woot!

Shout out to Designs By Tenille for giving me a blog makeover!  It was so fun to give her my color scheme and ideas and then have her creatively design a look that was precisely what I wanted!  Thanks so much, Tenille!

I think it's stinkin' cute!  What do you think of my new look?  Comment below!

Turquoise Chevron Desk Tags Are Now Available!

I've added another color / pattern to my growing collection of desk tags available in my TPT shop.  I just love the way these Turquoise Chevron tags turned out.  These are EDITABLE, meaning directions are included to be able to type in your students' names.

There are 48 different kids / images to choose from.  Imagine being able to personalize desk tags for your students with their name and a kid resembling them.  My students loved coming in to our back to school night, finding their desk and a name tag with a kid on it that looked kinda like them (i.e. hairstyle, hair color, and skin color).  Here are a couple of examples from my own classroom.

I used the Red Chevron pattern in my room to go with my d├ęcor.  There are lots more chevron and polka dot patterns and colors to choose from in my TPT shop.  Have a look!

Pink Polka Dot Name Tags Now Available!

New Classroom Nameplates have been added to my TPT shop.  These are in Pink Polka Dots and are EDITABLE!  Use for desk tags this school year by typing in your students' names or use them to label drawers, cabinets, bulletin boards, etc.
Classroom Nameplates (Editable Desk Tags) Pink Polka Dot

To see these and more colors/patterns, visit my TPT shop.

To see how I use them in my classroom, see this post.