Indiana Goes Back to School $1 Sale

Are you starting to think about back to school?  School starts on August 10th for me, so I'm feverishly getting things ready in my classroom and searching for resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.  You can find 101 resources for only $1.00 each in the Indiana Goes Back to School $1 Sale!

Here are all the awesome deals available...
An InLinkz Link-up
Happy shopping!!


Monday Made-it Gone Wild!

Only two more Monday Made Its before school starts, and I've been busy!  I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics to show you all the things I've made for my classroom.

MY LIGHTBOX



 I bought a Lightbox at the beginning of the summer, and I've been in love ever since!  Yesterday I finally uploaded my Lightbox Letters to my TpT store (it's on sale for the next 24 hours!).  I'm still playing around with the other designs, so they're not in my store yet.


 REFURBISHED!



I've had this rolling cart in my room for years.  Since I no longer have primary colors in my room theme, I decided to give it a new look.  I think it turned out great (other than the fact that the drawers stick!).

This desk belonged to my grandfather, and I used to play school with it when I was little.  It's been up in my attic for years, so I decided to clean it up to take to my classroom.  I think I'm going to use it as a VIP desk.  I know the kids will get a kick out of its old school style!  


I bought two of these cushions at Hobby Lobby for my classroom.  Unfortunately, they didn't even last a year before my students destroyed them.  Instead of throwing them away I decided to duct tape them!  Four rolls of duct tape later and I think they're somewhat indestructible and kind of pretty!
FOR FUN!

 I love my Silhouette Cameo and use it to make lots of things for my classroom.  I decided to try working with heat transfer vinyl since  teacher t-shirts are one of my favorite things.  It took me several tries to cut and peel the letters, but I'm pleased with how my first shirt turned out!!
MY STORE!


If you've ever visited my TpT store, you know I have an obsession with jars.  I started using them for workstations ten years ago when I taught 1st grade.  They're portable, easy to manage, and fun!  Since I'm now teaching a 3rd/4th self-contained high ability classroom, I decided to make a jar for project based learning.  My Project Jar has 40 project cards for any topic.  I can't wait for my students to use it this school year!


I like to have lots of fun and quick activities for students to do during the first week of school.  This getting to know you All About Me iPad lets students tell all about themselves using iPad icons.  Students can be as creative as they want with their drawings and choose from the 12 icons included or make their own.

I still have a few more Made Its for next week along with my classroom reveal!  Head over to 4th Grade Frolics to check out all the other Monday Made Its!!

Using Proper Form with the 3M Gel Wrist Rest

I was recently asked by Shoplet.com Office Supplies to review the 3M Gel Wrist Rest for Keyboards.  I was interested in taking a look at the wrist rest because I spend so much time at the computer.


 The wrist rest is 19 inches long and more that covers the length of the keyboard and mouse.  I really liked that it had a nonskid backing.  It didn't slide across the desk as I was using it.

 The rest is gel filled and is two inches thick.  Below you can see how much give the rest has.  It's like a comfy pillow for your wrists!

 I was also able to use the rest with my laptop.  It rested further down my arm, but still offered support to keep my wrists comfortable.  I'm looking forward to using it for an extended period of time to see if there's a noticeable difference in my wrist and hand fatigue.
Here is a sample of all four types of pens. You can find other 3M productsmedical supplies, and cleaning supplies on Shoplet.com!



Door hangers for the entire school year


I'm joining Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!

I just added a fun new product to my Teachers Pay Teachers store!  I made 30 door hangers to for you to hang on your classroom door to greet students, remind students of upcoming events, and let others know where to find your class.  It also includes editable door hangers for you to personalize your own!

You can take a closer look at my door hangers here!  They're on sale for the next 24 hours!
Head over to 4th Grade Frolics to check out the other Monday Made Its!


How do you plan on planning?

Every school year teachers are faced with the same dilemma... What lesson plan book am I going to use this year?  For years I always used the boring plan book that was provided by my school corporation.  The only things I can remember about it were it's pale blue cover and enormous size.  The last few years I have used the Teacher's Lesson Planner from Erin Condren.  I love her lesson planners!
The Teacher's Lesson Planner has everything a teacher needs, and they are so stinkin' cute!  The only deterrent for me is the price.  The planners range from $55-$75.  If I decide to continue with an Erin Condren planner this year, I'm probably going with the geometric circles planner.


A less expensive option than the Erin Condren planner is the Today's Teacher Weekly/Monthly Lesson Planner from Blue Sky.  I was recently asked to review this planner and their Today's Teacher Desk Pad Calendar.  I was thrilled to review the planner and compare it to the planner that I had been using.
 There are so many things about this planner that I love!  I love the bright colors and dot design on the planner.  The cover of the planner also allows you to insert your own cover or photos!  The planner has a clear pocket in the front for miscellaneous papers.  Another feature is the inspirational quote at the top of each month (I love the quote for July!).  It is set up a lot like the Erin Condren planner.  Each day of the week is a different color on the the planning pages.  I like that the weeks are already labeled for you!
 Some other features of the planner are the references pages.  It has a page for class birthdays, weekly activity schedule, yearly holidays, and pages for notes.
This lesson planner provides many of the same features as the Teacher's Lesson Plan at a fraction of the price ($19.99).  It is a definite contender for the upcoming school year!
I love that the planner has a matching desk calendar that can be purchased separately ($14.99).  I hang a monthly calendar in my classroom by the door with upcoming events.  The desk calendar has two holes at the top that allows for hanging.  I also like that it has plastic corner sleeves to keep each page in place.  There is also an inspirational quote at the top of each month!
Another option for planning is online planning from planbook.com.  I haven't used planbook.com, but my two teammates used it last year and loved it.  It has so many options for planning, and you can re-use lesson plans from one year to the next.  There is a yearly subscription fee of $12.  This is an appetizing option for planning.  The only drawback for me is that I'm old school.  There's just something about having the planner in your hands and at your fingertips.  I worry that I would feel lost without my planner in my bag at the end of each school day!
I'll let you know as the school year draws closer which planner I decided to use.  I would love to hear your thoughts on planning!  


Get a grip... on good handwriting (and a giveaway)!


This year I had a few students with very strange pencil grips.  One student held the pencil between her index finger and middle finger.  She had decent handwriting, but speed was an issue.  Another student held the pencil with all four fingers!  It had no resting place.  She lacked in speed and neatness.  I usually don't have to deal with pencil gripping techniques in fourth grade, so when I was asked to review three pencil grippers from The Pencil Grip, Inc. I was thrilled.  I was sent their Three Step Training Kit which teaches comfort and control with three different grips.

The first step is the Crossover Grip.  The wings of this grip prevent the student's fingers from crossing over.


 Students then transition to The Pinch Grip.  This grip balances structure and freedom.  It keeps the hand and fingers in the proper position but allows more freedom than the Crossover Grip.




The final step to the correct pencil grip is the The Pencil Grip.  This is the #1 grip recommended by therapists.  The ergonomic design allows fingers to fall naturally into place.


The training kit worked wonders for my student that held the pencil with all four fingers.  She quickly transitioned to The Pencil Grip and continued to use it for the remainder of the school year.

If you would like to try the training kit, you can purchase it through The Pencil Grip, Inc. or through Amazon.
I would love to give away a 3 Step Training Kit!  If you would like an opportunity to win a kit, please complete the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Pens and more pens

Reviewing items that can be used in my classroom is so much fun!  Recently Shoplet.com Office Supplies asked me to review various pens from Pilot.  I was thrilled to do so because I knew I could use them in my classroom throughout the day.  My students love to write with pens!  It's almost like they feel like they're getting away with something when they do.  Students write with pen when grading their work or when writing a rough draft and I don't want them to erase.

 The pens I reviewed were Acroball Pro Hybrid Pens, Acroball Ballpoint Pens, Acroball Colors Pens, and the Dr. Grip Frosted Pen (they're so new, they're not even on the site yet!).
 The Dr. Grip Frosted pen is wonderful!  I really liked it because it was comfortable in my hand and the grip allowed me to control my pen strokes easily.  The girls in my class will love this pen!

 The Acroball Pro Hybrid pen is a medium point pen.  I prefer fine point pens, but this one worked well.  It contains a hybrid ink that is smear proof.  The pens come in three different ink colors.

 The Acroball Colors pen is also a medium point pen.  It writes like the Pro Hybrid pen, smooth and comfortable grip.  The pens also came in three different colors.
 The Acroball Ballpoint pen was my favorite!  It has a fine point which writes very smoothly.  I loved they way it felt in my hand.  I was really hoping the ink matched the pen color, but unfortunately all the pens had black ink.

Here is a sample of all four types of pens. You can find other Pilot products, medical supplies, and cleaning supplies on Shoplet.com!