Monday Made It

I finally finished the chair for my classroom!  I bought it at a garage sale two years ago but never got around to painting it.  It was at the top of my summer to do list because I wanted it ready for my new classroom.  Here are the before pictures...
The chair was blue, so I painted it black.  Next I started adding random dots all over the chair.  Here is the finished chair...
I also made three new crates for my classroom...
Head over to Tara at 4th Grade Frolics so you can see all the other Monday Made Its!

Using Asesop's 2nd Book of Childhood Adventures as a Mentor Text

I love to teach writing through reading!  One of my favorite ways to teach writing is through mentor texts.  I was recently asked to review the book Aesop's 2nd Book of Childhood Adventures by author Vincent Mastro.

This book would be perfect for teaching perspective writing.  Mastro has taken Aesop's well known fables and written them from the perspective of Aesop as a child.  Aesop is a cute little raccoon in the stories.  The stories all begin with Aesop's grandmother encouraging him to go out into the world to find answers for himself.  Aseop ventures out and tells the stories of "The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs", "Three Equal Shares", and "The Oak and the Grass" from his point of view.   He encounters characters along the way that help explain the fables to him.  This way of telling the story of these beloved fables helps children to understand the morals of the stories more clearly.  This book could lead into a wonderful writing activity. Students could choose another fable or fairy tale and become a character in the story.  Their character could tell the reader the story from an outsiders point of view.
Another wonderful piece to Mastro's fable books is his Common Core Teachers Guide for Books 1 and 2.  You can purchase it at Teachers Notebook.  A Book 3 is in the works!  You can find both books for sale on  Click on the pictures below to look inside each book.

Indiana Goes Back to School Blog Hop

Want some back to school freebies, ideas for back to school activities and the opportunity to win a $75 gift card of your choice?  You have come to the right place.  Indiana bloggers are having a Back to School Blog Hop!  A great big thank you to Stacy at Teaching Ever After for sending you my way!
My freebie for you is my Name Jar.

There are so many activities you can do with student names!  You can use the jar to draw names at random for responses, classroom jobs, or to put students into groups.  The Name Jar can also be used during workstation time or for early finishers.  Students can put names in ABC order, take photos of students and have them match names with photos, pull out a name and write a letter to that student, pull out a name and come up with rhyming words, make words from the letters in the name, or pull out several names and write a story using those students as characters.  The list goes on and on!  I've included an editable sheet for you to add your students' names.
You can download the Name Jar for free at my TpT store!
Need an activity to do during the first week of school to get to know your students and build community?  My Getting to Know You Jar is a great way for you to get to know your students and for them to get to know each other!
This jar includes 40 getting to know you questions, an interview sheet in case you want to use it as a workstation activity, and a label for your jar.  You can preview it at my TpT store.
Want a $75 gift card to use for back to school clothes or to buy items for your classroom?  Head over to Brenda at Primary Inspired for your chance to enter!
Now click on the Blog Hop button below to move on to your next stop and see what Amy at Math, Science, Social Studies...Oh, My! to get her freebie!

Out with the old, in with the new!

I have to chuckle when I look back at the products I made a year ago.  I remember at the time thinking that they were wonderful.  Today's thoughts... not so much!  I'm trying to revamp a few of my beginning products a few at a time.  This week I redid my Book Talk Jar and my Writing Prompt Jar.  Here is a comparison from then to now


So to anyone who has purchased these two product, PLEASE go and download them again!!  

On another note, I've been in science training all week.  Since I'm teaching a new grade level next year it has been very useful (and the fact that we are getting paid to go doesn't hurt!).  Several teachers in my group were wishing they had some type of display to help students with the components of the science notebook.  I, too, thought that this would be very helpful.  So I went right home and came up with this...

I included ten components in the packet but not all ten need to be used at once.  If this is something that you might find helpful, it's listed in my TpT store.

Rock 'N Learn CDs & Books

Looking for a fun way to help students learn about the solar system, presidents and U.S. government, or states and capitals?   Rock 'N Learn has the product for you!  I was recently asked to review these three programs for my blog.  Rock 'N Learn has CD and book programs to make learning fun for kids.  I reviewed Solar System, Presidents & U.S. Government, and States & Capitals.
Each of the programs includes an Audio CD with entertaining songs and an instructional guide book.
Solar System
This program has 10 fun songs to help students learn the eight planets (Pluto is not included) and the sun.  Each song includes facts about each planet.  Students will learn the order of the planets through the song, Journey Through Our Solar System.  The full-color book is an instructional guide for teachers and also includes fun facts and pictures for the sun and each planet.  All song lyrics are included.

Presidents & U.S. Government
The 10 songs on this CD will help students learn the order of the 44 presidents by number and last name, the three branches of government, and about each president.  There are two songs dedicated to Presidents Washington and Lincoln.  The book includes the lyrics to each song, a president word search, and a short bio for each president.

States and Capitals Rap
Students will LOVE this CD!  It includes four rap songs: Learn the States and Capitals ( Rap the states in alphabetical order, followed by capitals), We'll Say the State, The You Say the Capital, Learnin' States and Capitals, and Let's Learn the States and Regions.  The book/instructional guide includes the lyrics to each song, fun facts about each state in alphabetical order, and maps of the united states by name and number (for quizzing students).

These three CDs are guaranteed to leave an impression on your students and they'll have fun at the same time.  I can't wait to use them in my classroom this year.
All three programs are on sale now through July 29th on Educents!!  The Fun Facts Bundle is 50% off regular price!  Click on the picture below to  get all three for your classroom!

Using Quotes in the Classroom

My newest jar activity is finished!  I've been wanting to make some jar activities for upper elementary grades since I'll be teaching a 3rd/4th split next year.  Earlier this summer I made a Figurative Language Jar to help students with comprehension.  I decided to go with the same skill and do another jar to help students with higher level comprehension skills.  My Quote Jar will help students interpret famous words that others have said.  I didn't have to look far to find quotes to use for my jar.  I love quotes and find them to be very inspirational and motivating.  In fact, I keep a journal of quotes on my nightstand.  The jar has 56 quotes for students to interpret.  This can be done as a workstation activity, an early finishers activity, or as a whole class activity.  I've also included a worksheet for students to write their thoughts.  You can click on the picture below to check it out in my TpT store.
I'll leave you with these funny words... "If there were no schools to take children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers." -Edgar W. Howe

Monday Made It

I love Monday Made It with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics because it keeps me motivated to do some type of creating each week.
At the beginning of the summer I bought this on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $3.99.
Super cheap but also super boring!!!   I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I tucked it away for future use.  Thanks to Hope at 2nd Grade Shenanigans, I found the perfect idea!  She recently posted this freebie on her Facebook page (make sure you go and like her page to get your freebies)...
It is part of her absolutely adorable Desire to Inspire Motivational Subway Art.  I have the quote in a frame ready to go but loved it so much that I decided to change my pencil to this for outside my classroom door...
I painted every part of the pencil but the yellow.  Next I used my Silhouette Cameo (the love of my life) to cut out the letters on vinyl adhesive.  I finished the project by spraying it with spray lacquer.  I think it turned out great!!
Another project I made on my Cameo recently was this...
We spent a few days over the Fourth of July holiday in Tennessee at our friend's new lake house.  I brought them this filled with goodies as a "lake house" warming gift.  I bought the bucket at Lowes for $9.99.  Again, I  used vinyl adhesive to make the anchor and their last name to stick on the bucket.
Head over to 4th Grade Frolics to see all the other Monday Made Its!!

Indiana Teaching Blog Meet-Up

I always get so jealous when I read about fun blogger meet-ups in other states.  I don't have to be jealous anymore because the Indiana bloggers had their first meet-up yesterday!!  We had a wonderful time getting to know each other and can't wait to get together again.  Here's how it went...
Heather from Teaching Through Turbulence and Ciera from Adventures in Room 129 made it all possible.  When I arrived, this cutie was on my spot at the table.  Ciera made one for everyone!!

After introductions and lunch, we played a little Dirty Santa game which we affectionately renamed Dirty Teacher.  Bloggers were asked to bring in a product from their store or any other teaching item.
There were so many great gifts!  I ended up with these, which are my all time favorite!!
I did feel awful stealing them from Mary Beth but nothing stands between me and anchor chart markers!!
Here is a picture of everyone that was able to attend.
What a wonderful group of teachers!  Click on their name below so you can meet them for yourself!
Brenda at Primary Inspired
Mary Beth at Run Teacher Run

Finally Finished!

I had this great idea at the end of the school year...  My students love playing Roll and Cover during math workstations so why not make a game for each month of the school year?!  That's how it all started.  40 Roll and Cover games later and I'm finished!  I wanted all the games to look similar, so I decided to use clip art from Melonheadz Illustrating.  Nikki's clip art is so stinkin' cute that I couldn't decide on just 12 categories!  So each month has a game plus eight more just because I have no will power when it comes to buying clip art.  I made 20 three addend addition games and 20 multiplication games.  Here is a list of all the titles...

All 40 games and the two bundles of each operation are listed in my TpT store.  Click on the pictures to take a sneak peak.  (I hope to have them listed in my TN store soon.)  Right now the two bundles are on sale for a short time.  If you would like to sample the Roll and Cover games, both the Race Day Three Addend Addition game and Race Day Multiplication game are free in my store.

Made It Monday

I finally accomplished something off my to do list!!  Early this year my husband took out our wall oven and range and replaced it with an freestanding range.  This little remodel left us with a gaping hole where the wall oven used to be.  After months and months of trying to decide what to do with the whole, this is what we came up with...
My husband built some shelves for the inside and this chalkboard cabinet door for the outside.  I think it turned out great and cost less than $100!  I'm hoping the menu side with encourage me to cook!  But I'm sure it soon be filled with "take out" or "every man for himself".

Today my youngest daughter left for England for ten days!  I'm excited for her but I know I will be a nervous wreck the entire time!!  Her soccer team will be training in Saint Albans and playing in tournaments.
 Her team at the airport
Her best friend is on her team

I didn't get to take her to the airport because my oldest daughter was in a photo shoot for her dance studio.  She's excited to be an only child for the next ten days!!

I'm hopping to work in my classroom this week to keep my mind busy.  I don't yet have a key to the building (which is driving me crazy!!).
Thanks for sticking with my non school related post!!  Head over to Tara at 4th Grade Frolics to see all the other Made It Monday posts!