Friday, July 29, 2011


     Most of the teachers in my school (including myself) have been trained in the Responsive Classroom approach. If you are not familiar with it, the Responsive Classroom approach is a research-backed approach that increases academic achievement, decreases problem behaviors, improves social skills, and leads to more high-quality instruction. If you want to read more about it, you can click here.
     One of the most helpful books that I refer to is called "The First Six Weeks of School", by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete. This phenomenal book has detailed guidelines for structuring the first six weeks of school. This book has allowed me to develop the rule-creation process that I use at the beginning of the year.

     The "brief" version of my rule creation process is: 1. discuss our hopes and dreams for the school year 2. brainstorm a list of rules we think we need to have in order to accomplish our hopes and dreams 3. revisit and condense our list of rules to 3-4 rules 4. post and illustrate our rules and revisit them often. As we condense our list of rules, I try to guide students and point out that most of our rules fit into these three categories: take of yourself, take care of others, and take care of our school.

    I have created these posters to hang in my jungle-themed room. After I post the rules, I give each student a blank index card, have them choose one rule, and draw a picture of what someone would like following that rule. Then I hang their illustrations around the rules. If you'd like a copy of my rule posters, click here or on any of the pictures below.


Scrappin Doodles Sale

With just a few days left in July, time is running out to get 15% off a $5 order from Scrappin Doodles (my favorite clip art site). Click on the link below and enter JULY2011 at checkout.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back to School Shopping and Other Fun Stuff

I have to admit that I LOVE back to school shopping. I love new pencils, crayons, glue sticks and other supplies. I also can't help going into the Goodwill and leaving with a whole bag of books to add to my classroom libaray. In fact, I think that the Goodwill is my favorite place to find unique items for my classroom. Recently, I found some items that have inspired me to try a jungle theme this year. (Like this light-up palm tree for only $3.99!)
And these cute palm-tree lights, which I have turned into chicka chicka boom boom lights by adding some foam letter stickers. (They were only $1.50 for two strands and the stickers were 50 cents!) Maybe I can hang these around my word wall.

And this little guy...

I also picked up this lamp for only $3.50 and I am going to cover-up with giraffe printed fabric. (After picture to come...)

I also have to say that I love the penny sales at Staples and how they allow the teacher-limit of 25 items, as opposed to 2. I was able to get: 25 packs of index cards, 25 packs of pencils, 25 packs of highlighters, 2 packs of markers, and 3 plastic shoe storage boxes for only $7.14! Thank you Staples!

Even Snickers is mesmorized by the amount of items I got from Staples.

I also owe a huge thank-you to Lyssa from "My Mommy Reads". (Check out her blog for lots of great book suggestions!) I won her giveaway and was SUPER excited to get this wonderful pack of Think-Math cards in the mail from her.

These are really neat... I think I will hole punch each card and hang them in my calendar area for a "problem of the day". 

Last, but not least, I made these cute "magic reading wands" last night. All you need are some sparkly pom-poms, some wooden rods, and hot glue.

Glue them together, put them in a cute cup...

and have your students use them to track the print as they read!

Two Giveaways

Check out Hope King's blog, "Second Grade Shenanigans". I love her new math camping theme unit! You can enter for a chance to win it in her giveaway.

Another blog that I love is "Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade Tidbits". She is also having a back-to-school giveaway. Check out her blog for lots of great back-to-school ideas.
Back To School Clip Art

Friday, July 22, 2011

Library Book Labels - Updated

Mrs. E at "The Sweet Life of Third Grade" is having a linky party showcasing many wonderful classroom libraries. I just love looking at pictures of other classroom libraries (and classrooms in general) as a way to get ideas to improve my own! 

I have recently updated my own book box labels for my classroom library. I just can't stop buying books, which results in the need to add more categories! If you'd like a copy of my updated labels click on any of the picture below. (These are just some of the labels.)

If you'd like to read my original posts about my classroom library, click here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm Back!!!......(with a freebie, too!)

I'm back from the happiest place on Earth! I had such an amazing time. We spent time at Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal. Let me just tell you, we were exhausted on our way home! Here are a few pics from our trip.

And now for the freebie! (Inspired by the Toy Story Ride)...

Click on any of the pictures to download! Enjoy!