Sunday, September 14, 2014

Storing Supplies and a Freebie

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Hi there, friends! Today I’ve decided to share with you the way that I collect and store my students’ supplies. It is the best method that I have found to work with my 3rd graders.

Many years ago I USED to collect all of my students’ supplies and we would divy them up into adorable bins labeled scissors, red pens, pencils, glue, etc… {They looked ADORABLE all organized and labeled!} Then whenever someone in the class needed a supply we would simply take it from the “class supply” bins.

That was a HUGE MISTAKE on my part! I soon realized that this was a bad idea… I’ll never forget the day one of my students was leaving our school and the parent requested that I return the supplies that they have given their child at the beginning of the year. {They wanted the specific highlighter, pen etc… that they had bought their child.} Uh ohhhh!!!!!

On repeated occasions I also had to deal with students wanting a certain red pen or highlighter that their parent had bought them. {I can understand their attachment to certain supplies, especially since I’m quite picky myself about the pens AND pencils that I use.} But I knew that my students could NOT keep all of their extra supplies in their desk.

So what was my solution?

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This fabulous rolling basket from Target {I have 2, a blue and a pink one} and these expanding Ziploc bags have been my life savers…

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Basically, I give every child a Ziploc bag that has a label with their name on it. If necessary, I give them 2 baggies. On the board I then write a list of supplies that they must keep in their zipper pouch at their desk. All extras get dumped into their personal baggy.

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What I love about these baggies is that since they have an expandable bottom, they store quite a bit.

After the baggies have been filled with extra supplies, my students come up and place their bags in either the blue or pink cart. These colored carts also make it soooo much easier for the kids to find their bags.

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Most importantly, we have a few rules that go along with the bins. If a student needs a certain supply, they know that they are only allowed to access the bins in the morning (They have about 30 min. in the morning to get settled in) or at the end of the day. If by any chance all 5 of their pencil points are broken, and their sharpener is not working, then I DO have a set of sharpened emergency pencils that they may borrow.

The best part about these carts is that they have wheels so the students can easily roll them in and out from underneath the sink…

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Then with a quick close of the curtains, our classroom supplies are stored safe and soundly out of sight.

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For the past 2 years, this system has been my salvation. If a child ever leaves my class or the school, all I have to do is find the baggy with his name on it. Simple, simple, simple!

And now for another simple solution! If you’ve been planning your parent conferences or searching for a form to document your meetings, here is a FREEBIE to make your life easier. (Simply click on either picture) BTW- It is EDITABLE!

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Happy teaching,

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A New Year and a Kind Heart

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It’s hard to believe, but Monday we began our 3rd week of school! Incredible how fast time flies… especially when you have been as busy as we have.

Our first week, was pure CRAZINESS! Between collecting supplies, getting to know each other, going over the rules, collecting more supplies, labeling folders and notebooks, going over classroom procedures, and collecting you guessed it… more supplies… (Please tell me you are as excited as I am to be DONE COLLECTING SUPPLIES! ) The first week was finally over.

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{Please don’t think I’m a mess when it comes to supplies. I do actually have a system that I’m going to be sharing with you really soon!}

One of the big problems I find with supplies is that they seem to trickle in during the first few days. And as a parent I totally get not wanting my child to carry half of Office Max in his/her book bag after a long restful summer. But the teacher in me just wants to be done with it all.

Can you relate?

Ok so besides supplies, we have also been learning all about being RESPONSIBLE, RESPECTFUL, TRUSTWORTHY, FAIR, CARING, PATIENT, PERSEVERANT, and how to be GOOD CITIZENs.

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We read stories that matched beautifully with each trait and we discussed what characters did right and even what some did wrong. (Lilly’s Plastic Purse and Angel Child, Dragon Child were classroom hits!)

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We then completed several flap books from my Character Education Unit which can be found here. We had a great time reading different scenarios and writing about how we could be caring and a good citizen. I really enjoyed reading my students’ responses and these scenarios actually led to many interesting class discussions.

Stay tuned for another post with more details on this unit coming soon!

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Right along with our study about being caring, I did an activity with my kiddos that I call “Having a Kind Heart”. I found the idea while searching on Pinterest.(I’m not sure who the author is, but if you’ve seen this before and know who I’m talking about, please share with me so that I can give them the proper credit.)

This activity is really easy to put together and really touched many of my kids. Their faces were priceless… Slide3 All you need is a red heart cut out of construction paper (Make sure that it’s width is not larger than a sheet of paper.), a white sheet of paper, and glue.

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Basically, I made up a story on the spot about a boy named Timmy. I explained how a classmate told Timmy that he couldn’t sit next to them in the cafeteria and how this broke Timmy’s heart. I then ripped a piece of the heart and tossed it to the floor. I continued on with how two of Timmy’s friends teased him in class because he wore glasses. I tore another piece of his heart. I continued with a few more examples and a few more pieces of a broken heart.

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We then discussed what each classmate did to break a piece of Timmy’s heart and how we could have shown him a “kind heart” instead. As students gave me suggestions, we glued Timmy’s heart back together onto the white paper. It was adorable to hear my kids cheer once Timmy’s heart had been healed :0)

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I then proceeded to give them their own heart and each student wrote ways that they could have a kind heart towards others. We agreed to put their hearts up in the classroom and to have everyone sign Timmy’s heart as a reminder to have a Kind Heart this year.

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Now that I’m all weepy thinking about this activity, I think I’ll go hug my own kids now. G-night to all and remember to stay tuned for my upcoming posts.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back To School SALE

FREETpTBacktoSchoolBoostSaleButton (1)In celebration of going back to school TPT is hosting a ONE DAY SALE tomorrow August 20th and I’ve decided to join in on the fun.

As a result EVERYTHING in my store will be 20% off and if you enter the promo code BOOST you can earn an additional 8% off. Now that’s something to celebrate!!!! I’m already stocking up on items that I know are must haves for this school year.

If you’re not exactly sure what you’re going to need , here are a few suggestions… feel free to check them out and let me know what you think :0)Intro. to Science: {includes the scientific method}

Parent Notes Bundle {EDITABLE}Pictographs: Graphing Unit

Learning about THEME in LiteratureGrammar Galore: Bundle Pack

Happy shopping and I hope you have a WONDERFUL school year!

XOXO,

MELISSA

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Few Of My Favorite Things…

Do you know what time it is? It’s…

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You’re probably asking yourself why should you be excited about seeing the lazy days of summer come to an end? I have three ok four words for you…GIVEAWAY and LINK PARTY!

Although this mommy of 2 and teacher of many is weeping inside at the thought of once again having to wake up at 5:30am and having to check homework, I do always get a bit excited about a new school year!

I look at a new school year as a fresh beginning, or a chance to do it all again, but even BETTER this time around. And to make Back To School a little less painless for you, I have teamed up with a FABULOUS group of bloggers to offer you a chance to win over $370 in Amazon gift cards.

Can you imagine how much damage you can do on Amazon with that much moo-lah? That’s surely enough to make you a Back 2 School believer, don’t you think?

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So let’s talk Back 2 School Favorites… Below you will find a list of my top 10 Back 2 School MUST HAVES. I kid you not, I cannot start off the school year unless I have each of the following items.

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Item #1 are Labels-I am a bit label obsessed! I mean I label EVERYTHING in my classroom. It saves sooooo much time and helps to keep my kiddos organized.

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Item #2 is cardstock. I like to print all of my cover pages, job charts, classroom labels etc… on sturdy cardstock paper and then laminate so that they last a long time. I have found that Target and Walmart have the best prices.

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Item #3 is a place to store the materials I use throughout the week such as copies, flip books, art supplies etc… These GORGEOUS bin labels were created by the talented Mrs. S. from Learning in Wonderland.

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Item #4 Is one of my favorites and my students favorites as well. We use Post It Notes all the time in class. Why? Because they are colorful, sticky, and make learning FUN that’s why :0)

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Item #5 are table skirts from Party City. They are about $7.99 and can turn the ordinary into something extraordinary. Take a look at my desk before and after… doesn’t it look much nicer with the skirt. I also use this skirt around my computer tables to hide all those ugly cables.

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Item #6 A brand new journal to keep track of notes during staff meetings, PD’s, planning mtgs, etc… What I love about this journal besides the $4.97 price tag at Walmart is that it keeps ALL of my notes for a school year together. No more lost loose sheets of paper.

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Item #7 3M Poster Strips. I use these to hang up anything that tends to fall down throughout the school year. Especially things that are hung up high on my walls. These do NOT remove paint from your walls, and they last ALL year long!

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Item #8 Fadeless bulletin board paper… Need I say more!

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Item #9 Renuzits to keep the classroom smelling clean and fresh, and of course to keep the Fire Marshall happy… he doesn’t like plug ins :0(

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Item #10 Last on my list are the low odor Expo markers in a variety of colors. I’m a visual learner and find that many of my students tend to be visual too, so I like to use different colors to write on my boards. I also have to have LOW ODOR markers otherwise I get really bad headaches.

Now it’s your turn… I want to know what items you can’t live without during the school year and why?

Before you leave though, don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Remember that the more entries you have, the higher your odds are of winning! GOOD LUCK and have fun reading about other teachers favorite back 2 school items.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Florida Teacher's Blog Hop

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My blogger friends and I would like to welcome you to our Florida teacher blog hop! But before we get started why don’t you go grab yourself a nice tall cup of coffee… Now sit back and relax while we take you on a quick tour of The Sunshine State. While here don’t forget to grab yourself a few FREEBIES and remember to enter for a chance to win our Bundles of Sunshine!image I live in Miami which is about 3 ½ hours from Disney World…my family’s second home! We are very fortunate to live so close to the parks and so we usually make at least one trip a year to Disney. As a matter of fact, just last week we were up in Universal and Islands of Adventure visiting the brand new Harry Potter rides….AMAZING… they were definitely worth the 5:00 am wake up call!!!!! image I’ve lived in Miami pretty much my entire life… except for the 5 months that I went away to college in Tampa, FL. I will be honest, though, in telling you that my husband and I have considered moving due to how congested and over populated Miami has become. However, for the time being this is still our home :0) imageLiving in sunny South Florida sure has its benefits… especially for those like myself that HATE the cold weather. You see one of the best parts of living here is that you can wear flip flops, shorts, and tank tops pretty much year round. You see the weather in Florida is H-O-T, hot!!!!! And I must say for the past few years it has been a scorcher. 
Many people hear Miami and automatically think of South Beach. However, my family and I don’t get out to SB quite often. Instead, one of our favorite places to go on a Saturday is to Everglades National Park. This park is said to be one of the most unusual public parks in the US. and I happen to think it is also quite amazing! Take a look …  Female American Anhinga with Young at Nest - Everglades National Park, Florida Dollarphotoclub_24105585 The Florida everglades is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles can co-exist?… Interesting… This park has so much to do and see… you can boat, hike, bike, canoe, fish, and camp just to name a few activities you can do here. What you will surely see in this park is plenty of wildlife such as alligators, manatees, spoonbills, egrets, and these amazing birds called anhingas that appear to scuba dive underwater looking for fish and then suddenly emerge on the surface. So now that you’ve learned a little bit about Miami, it’s time for a few FREEBIES! For the next 3 days you will have an opportunity to check out each of our blogs to snag yourself some wonderful ideas for your own classroom. To grab my freebie all you have to do is click on the image below.
image This freebie would be a wonderful Back to School activity to use with your students during those hectic first few weeks of school when you’re getting to know your students. You can also check out the 3 packs below that are wonderful Back to School resources. They will be on sale for this weekend only!
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The Florida teachers below have two fantastic giveaways for you! You can enter once from each one of our pages. All you have to do is follow my blog! Hop around to all the blogs listed below, and be sure to follow them to get more entries. The more entries you have, the more likely you are to win! Each pack also includes a Starbucks gift card (because, well, a teacher's gotta have a coffee!).


Come find out more about the beautiful state of Florida by reading about these other sweet teachers!





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