Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dollar Tree - The Best Teacher Store Ever!

I'm lucky to have a great Dollar Tree store right here in my town. I've stayed out of it for most of the summer, but with just two more weeks of vacation left it's time to be making regular stops. Here is what I picked up on Friday:

24 total items!

I'm putting together a bag of recess things, so got a plastic bat, extra balls, a ball pump, and a set of bases. I have a kickball at school that I inherited from a retired teacher - the kids love it, but it has to have air put in every time we use it. I'm hoping this little $1 pump will do the trick. I also have some jump ropes and other items at school, so this will give a bit of variety.

The big blue tubs are for my STEM activities. They should hold all the supplies needed for each group.

Many of the other items are for my new VIP table. I read this classroom management idea on The Tattooed Teacher blog (click to read about it), and decided it would be fun to try it out in my room this year. I have put a number of items together and will add to it when I get back in the classroom. 

What are your best Dollar store finds this summer?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Made It: August 3rd

Thank you Tara for hosting this great linky again this summer. Now that I am two weeks from reporting back for pre-planning, and three weeks from the first day of school, I'm kicking it up a notch with the school made-its!

I made labels for these Dollar Tree tubs that I picked up for STEM lessons. I have 6 of them which will give me a tub for groups of 3 students and up. I place all the materials students need for a STEM challenge in the tubs ahead of time so they are ready to distribute during the lesson. Last year I used foil baking pans, so this is a great step up! I used some chalkboard labels from Graphics From The Pond and I love the way they look.

 I went to school on Thursday and copied all the pages for my students' math data booklets - enough to make 40 books - and used about 900 copies! We get copies by the month, so I wanted to get in there in the hope I had July copies. Plan B was to beg for them! Fortunately the machine was already programmed. I only have two booklets put together - the rest of the pages are at school waiting for me to cut them. I have my own binding machine at home, so I'm planning to stop in today and use the paper cutter and then bring them all home to bind. I divided the booklet into the 6 units we teach in 3rd grade and made a page for each standard. Students will graph their data.


This book contains lots of resources and lessons from last year on Growth Mindsets. We began this focus at the beginning of last year and I collected a lot of materials during the year that I wanted to organize. The think I love about books like this is that I can easily open them up and add more pages. I will definitely be doing that, since I have a big resource on my wish list waiting for this week's Back To School sale at TPT!


This made-it was inspired by a Pinterest find (see picture below). It does not have a link back to the original source, so if you know whose board this is please let me know. When I saw it I thought that it would be a great display for the board at the front of my room. I made signs with all the sayings. I plan to start the year with just the stair steps part on the bulletin board and then add the other things with my students, since we set aside the first 30 minutes of the day for the first 2 - 3 weeks to talk about our brains and our mindsets.

Last  year this was my "No Excuses" writing board, so when I was at school this week I switched that over to my magnet board, put up my new border, and got it ready to be the mindsets focus board.

So, this is the new writing board. That is an oil pan from Walmart that I have attached to the wall with the Command velcro strips. A few strips of magnet tape on the back of my signs and it's good to go. I refer to this board a lot when giving a writing assignment - it has my non - negotiable expectations of capitals, punctuation, and complete sentences!

I still have a lot to do to be ready in three short weeks!  

Don't forget the big sale - my store is 20% off.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

I hope your wish list is ready! I know I have been waiting for the Back to School sale and putting everything I'm interested in purchasing on mine. My entire store is 20% off for those two days. Stop by and check out the new and updated products that I have put in this summer.

Happy shopping!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Fiction Friday: July 31st

I've finished several books in the past week including a number of adult series books that I found myself just sitting and devouring. I love series, and I especially love it when I find a new one to love. Now I'm waiting for the next stories to come out in August and September. I only read one children's book, but I have several more of our Sunshine State books waiting for me to finish my currently reading pile!

I found Sink or Swim by Valerie Coulman because I have been collecting titles to use in our lessons about the brain and growth mindsets. This is the second book about Ralph the Cow but I have not read When Pigs Fly - yet!
This is a great book for teaching about what having a growth mindset - positive attitude - can do for you when it comes to learning. When Ralph is told that cows don't swim his response is that he can't swim - yet! However, he is determined to learn and he perseveres and problem solves until he is enjoying the coolness of the pool.

Hopefully I'll have more for next week! And don't forget the Back To School sale - 20% off!

300 × 300

Monday, July 27, 2015

MMI: July 27th

Three weeks from today I will be back at work for our week of pre-planning. I feel like I still have so much I want to accomplish! I am certainly going to have to get a few more school made-its done.

 This week I picked up some wooden letters at Hobby Lobby plus some Turquoise paint. Several coats of paint plus clear spray and I have these ready to put up on one of my walls. I was originally going to go with "READ" and at the last minute decided to make a STEM sign instead.

 This is a Marzetti dressing bottle that I re-purposed to be a pretty desk decoration. It's plastic, so no worries about it breaking! I'm picking up some artificial flowers - two or three - so I can vary what's in it.

I finished a new Kindergarten math product and uploaded it to my stores. I am totally addicted to Graphics From The Pond clip art, so just had to use the popsicles for this one.


I also finished 80+ pages of my new data books but have to get them all bound before I can show them off. These will replace my old folder system for students to record their progress. I'm writing about this now to give me a push to have them done for next week's Monday Made It!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fiction Friday: July 24th

Last week I was mostly reading adult books so never got a FF post done. This week I finished several though!

My first book is one of our Florida SSYRA winners for grades 3-5. I really liked the story, and thought it would make a great classroom read aloud since the chapters are fairly short.

(click to go to book)

White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan tells about Zoe's family. Her dad is a vet and her mom rescues dogs, Great Pyrenees is particular. The story of them with the dogs is sweet, but there is of course much more. A couple with a young boy rent the house next door and it turns out that the little boy does not speak. He is living with his aunt and uncle while his parents try to work through some problems (no details are given) and these are adults who are not used to children and don't really know what to do with young Phillip. As Zoe, her sister Alice, and their mom try to befriend Phillip and his aunt the dogs are a bridge to the child. I'm going to make myself stop telling the story so you can discover it for yourself!

(click to go to book)

Last summer I read the first book in this series by Katherine Applegate and added it to my classroom library for my many students who need below level texts. Never Swipe A Bully's Bear is the second book of the series and when I had a chance to pick it up free I jumped at it. Roscoe is a first grader who tries to stay out of trouble but always seems to end up in some sort of complicated situation. Kids can definitely relate to him and teachers probably know him well! In this one, Roscoe's beloved stuffed pig disappears and he is convinced that it was taken by the class bully. He ends up trying to get even which (spoiler alert) does not work out very well!

(click to go to book)

This is another of our SSYRA winners for this year. I loved this story by a debut author. Midnight Gulch used to be a town filled with magic - before a curse ended that. Felicity, her little sister, and her Mom with the wandering heart come back to Mom's home town for what they expect, or in the case of the girls dread will be a short stay, it may turn out that there's still a snicker of magic there. The heart of this story is the relationships - between the family members and between residents in this charming town.

So, what have you been reading? My TBR pile is down to 36 titles so I'm looking forward to hearing about some good additions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New In Stores Now!

As I previously blogged, I am branching out with my math products to primary grades. My newest product went live in Teachers Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers last week. These recent kindergarten-targeted products have come out of my experience of have several third graders each year who don't have an understanding of the number ten -- and it's crucial!

 This one uses a Popsicle theme (graphics from the wonderful Mel at Graphics From The Pond) to give your students practice with decomposing ten and finding the number that makes ten when added to another. I know I'll be prepping it for my own classroom for those kiddos who are struggling with this in third grade! I'm sure there are a lot of first and second graders who need to practice, too.

If you think this might be helpful, please check it out in your own favorite store. Maybe put it on your wish list to prepare for this year's Back To School sales -- that's what I'm doing now when I see new products :)

Click Below for Teachers Notebook

Click Below for Teachers Pay Teachers

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