Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Back to School Organizational Tip

First, I want to start by congratulating Kristin Buford who won a $50 Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificate from yesterday's giveaway.

Secondly, I would like to apologize because I goofed...yesterday I had said that today (Wednesday, July 31) was the last day of our giveaway and would be the final day to enter to win an amazing prize.  Well, my goof was for your benefit, because there is still ONE more day after today!

We have a giveaway going on all day today (which closes at midnight) and then have the FINAL giveaway of our Back to School blog hop giveaway TOMORROW, Thursday, August 1.  Tomorrow's rafflecopter will begin at midnight tonight so that you have a full 24 hours to enter (for all of you night owls like me).

Head on over to The Teaching Tribune, where today I am so excited to be featured as one of the two new collaborators on our collaborative blog and share a back to school organizational tip.  I can't wait to share one of the ways in which I like to organize my classroom.  From there you can complete our Back to School blog hop (where you can collect tons of free teaching products) and enter our giveaway.  Don't forget to tell all of your teacher friends!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Setting Up My Classroom: BEFORE

Summer is just about over.  Teachers at my school go back to work this Tuesday, and the first day with students set for next Wednesday.  What does this mean?  #1 - My days of sleeping in are now over.  #2 - it's time to get my classroom back into shape and ready for kids.

I decided to get a head start this year by going in last week to start getting the basics done:  moving furniture, cleaning things out that I don't need anymore, etc.  I still have a lot left to do, but wanted to show you the process along the way.  Here's what my room looked like when I first walked in:
When it comes to my classroom, I don't like to have a lot of "stuff" or clutter.  5th graders are much larger than Kindergarteners and, therefore, take up more space.  I like to use bright colors to try and create a fun and exciting mood when my students walk in and have an inviting classroom to foster learning.  

Check back over the next week or so as I finish it up so you can see the final product.  I can't wait to update you all as I get further along in my room!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Georgia Blogger Meetup!!!

This past weekend I was incredibly lucky to meet a bunch of other teacher bloggers from Georgia (and even Tennessee!).  We met for lunch in Atlanta and most of the group even went on an excursion to Ikea afterwards to grab some fun new items for their classrooms.

We received adorable goodie bags from Nicole of Lanier's Lions filled with sweet treats that are native to Georgia (a hat from The Varsity, classic Coca Cola bottle, and more!)  I was so excited to finally meet Heather from 2 Brainy Apples.  I've been communicating with these wonderful teachers and it's so great to be able to speak with them in person and get some great teaching tips from them.
I was also elated to meet one of the most creative and passionate Kindergarten teachers out there, Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard.  He keeps his students entertained and engaged and loves to wear silly hats, as you can see below!
I'm so glad I went to meet these fantastic teachers and I can't wait for the next meetup!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hot Off the Press! Back to School Exclusive!

EXTRA! EXTRA! It’s time to read all about it!
I am so excited about teaming up with twenty other awesome teacher-bloggers to get ready for Back to School.  My summer has flown and I'm finally ready to get prepared for a new year with a  new class.  In order to make the new school year exciting, we've decided to work together and set up a fun and exciting Back to School blog hop.  For 10 days, we will be giving away freebies from our stores as well as a prize each day.  THAT'S 10 PRIZES IN 10 DAYS!  Read below for more information.
Every day, you will have the chance to enter and win one of 10 great prizes!

This is what you can win during our Back to School Exclusive…(in no particular order) 
Each day a winner will be drawn and one of the ten prizes will be awarded. To keep it fun and exciting, you won’t know what prize you have entered to win until the winner is announced the next day!  You never know what you might win! I know I would visit every day to enter for a chance to win the Google Nexus Tablet!
Step 3: Hidden in each freebie is a QR code, which looks like this…
You will need to scan all 20 QR codes for a cash value with your smart device.  For those of you without a smart device, head on over to Sugar & Spice where she has the solution for you!
Click below to go to the start of the hop!

Prize #1 Quiet Pencil Sharpener & a $25 TPT from Graphics from the Pond  $50 value
Prize #2 Bright Chevron Classroom Decor Set $50 value
Prize #3 Teacher/Classroom Gift Basket $200 value
Prize #4 Teacher/Classroom Gift Basket $200 value
Prize #5 Google Nexus 7 Tablet with case & stylus pen $250 value
Prize #6 Scotch Laminator  $25 value
Prize #7 K-2 TPT Product Bundle  over $100 value
Prize #8 3-5  TPT Product Bundle  over $100 value
Prize #9 Blog ("Cuter" Design by Christi Blogs!) $70 value
Prize#10 TPT Gift Cert $50

This is the IMPORTANT part. Please read carefully. EVERY DAY, FOR 10 DAYS, you will need to visit the final stop blog  each day to enter to win and to see if you were the previous day’s winner! 

To win one of these great prizes, just follow these steps

Step 1: You will need to download and print the Hot Off the Press Cheat Sheet.  Click the image below.

Step 2:  You’ll need to collect your freebies. This hop will take you to all 20 blogs where you will collect freebies along the way. You can start at any of the blogs, follow the “next stop” buttons, and it will take you in a  loop to all 20 blogs.  The very last stop will be The Teaching Tribune.
  (Note: This is just a sample image. You do not need it for any reason.)  Find the QR code.

After downloading the freebie at each blog stop, be sure to record the amount in the QR code onto your cheat sheet. 

Step 4: Once you have all 20 cash value amounts, add them up, then you will enter the total value  to win a prize a day on the Rafflecopter. All prizes will be posted on The Teaching Tribune blog.

It’s time to get started! All you need to do is click on my freebie below to download.

Find the QR code hidden in my freebie and add the value to your cheat sheet for stop #9 
THE NEXT STEP: Click on the Next Stop button to head over to the next blog to grab your freebie!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Crate Seats!!!! My First Pinterest Project for My Classroom!

I'm not typically a very crafty person, but I'm trying to get a little bit more creative and hands-on with decorating my classroom this year.  I have been doing a lot of research on Pinterest and talked with a  several other teachers about great ideas for sprucing up my room and was extremely interested in making crate seats.  I've seen several pictures of different color concepts and ideas that other teachers have done in their own rooms and couldn't wait to try it out myself.  The best part is that it's not only a seat, but an extra place to store classroom supplies!

For those of you interested in creating this in your own classroom, I've created the steps you need to make your own crate seats.

I hope this helps and I can't wait to see how my new students like them!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Where Did the Summer Go?!

I don't know about all of you, but my summer has FLOWN!  I return back to school for pre-planning on July 30th so my mind is spinning with ideas on how to get ready for the new school year.  I would love to spruce up my classroom this year, so I've been browsing through pinterest for some new ideas.  I started a new board for all of my new classroom decor ideas and I'm trying to narrow some of them down.  Here are some of the adorable ideas that I'm considering for my room:

I love the idea of turning crates into little seats for the kids.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure how this would hold up with 5th graders.

I would love to make my desk a little more cozy and cute with some little lamps and decorations like in the photo below:

Polka dots are absolutely adorable, but I'm not sure if the 5th grade boys would be too excited about it.

I would love to see some more examples of what all of you have done with your classrooms in the past.  Please feel free to comment with any links to pictures, stores where you get your furniture and decorations, or pin them to my pinterest board.

I can't wait to hear some new ideas!

Monday, July 8, 2013

And the Christmas in July Winners Are...

Congratulations to Timyko Oneal and Tonya Dye for winning the Christmas in July Freebie Hop!  I hope everybody had as much fun as I did while collecting so many amazing free products.  With the beginning of school just right around the corner, remember to keep checking back for more amazing contests and giveaways! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Christmas in July Blog Hop

It’s Christmas in July. And guess what? It’s time to unwrap your presents!

I have teamed up with 16 other amazing teacher-bloggers and we thought it wasn’t enough to just run a sale this weekend, so we are bringing you some amazing winter holiday themed freebies and the chance to win your choice of products from each of our stores. Yes, that’s right, you will get to choose a product from all 17 stores. We will have 2 grand prizes, one for a K-2 primary teacher and one for a 3-5 intermediate teacher!

This hop will take you to all 17 blogs where you will collect TPT freebies along the way. If you're not already following our stores you might want to do so when you collect your freebie. It's a great way to receive information about upcoming sales and specials.

Hidden in each freebie found on TPT, is a flamingo hanging out on the beach. Look for a Christmas song written in the sand. Find the underlined word. You will need to collect all 17 words for the grand prize. Once you have all 17 words, then you can enter by listing the words on the Rafflecopter for a chance to win the grand prize on the final stop.

If you are looking for another pink flamingo, then you are at the right place!
I am the 17th stop on the hop.

Are you ready? Well, what are you waiting for? Get going…All you need to do is click on my freebie below, follow my TPT store, and download your freebie. Find the word hidden in my freebie and add it to your list. While you're there, take a look around because my store is 15% off from July 5th thru July 7th.

You will make a complete loop to all the blogs, freebies in TPT with the pink flamingos, and then the final prize. Don’t forget to follow our TPT stores and blogs along your travels! You never know what we might be up to next…

Hint..Hint..It just keeps getting better!

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Trip to Italy and a Foreign Currency Project FREEBIE!

Well I just got back from 10 glorious days in Italy and I have to say that I think I mastered the jet lag!  I had an amazing time with a friend from college as we traveled to Milan, Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Florence, Orvieto, and finally, Rome.  I had some incredible food, bought a few souvenirs, and had quite an experience with the locals.  This was my 4th trip to Italy, so most of the places were familiar, and I was lucky that I know enough Italian to communicate with those who didn't speak English.  Here is a collage of several of the places I visited:

One thing that I love to do is take some of my hobbies from my life outside of school and connect them with the curriculum in my classroom.  For the past few years, I have used the end of the school year (after testing is over) to teach my students about foreign currency and exchange rates.  I love traveling to other countries, and so do some of my students.  Since we teach multiplication of decimals, this is a great way to incorporate real life situations into the classroom.  I have several worksheets that I have found online to have my students practice converting from one currency to another so that they can practice this decimal multiplication, as well as understand the idea of how money and currency rates differ from country to country.

A lot of my students take trips overseas during the summers, so it's fun for them to learn how their American money will be worth a different amount in the country they are visiting.  After I teach my students how to convert, I give them a Foreign Currency Conversion Project.  This is a free project that I have created in which students create a business in another country.  They make a visual for their business (either a store window, restaurant menu, etc.)  They learn about the country's currency and create their own real world word problems for their business in which another student will need to solve problems that involve converting money to a new currency.  Here is what the activity looks like:

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the highlights of my trip and I look forward to hearing how this activity works in each of your own classrooms!