Saturday, September 6, 2014

And, How Have You Been? And, Giveaway Winner Announced

So, I've been a little MIA lately.  I've been in a blogging/creating slump lately.  I've been overwhelmed with my job change (in a good way), and have wanted to devote all of my energy to my new position and to my family.  I hope you understand :)

However, I woke up with the most amazing feedback on Teachers Pay Teachers and it made me miss y'all.

Check out the sweetness:

It totally made my morning.

So how have you been lately?  Are you back into the swing of things at school?  Did you just head back?  I hope you all have a wonderful 2014-2015 school year!

Now to the winner of the BIC Giveaway!  Congratulations to Chris L.  You are going to love the goodies from BIC!  (I sent you an email.)

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

BIC Product Awesomeness Giveaway!

Back in early August, I was contacted by a BIC representative to review some new products and I was happy to check them out.  I've always loved school supplies.  What teacher doesn't?
Here are a few words from BIC:

Bic's main goal this year is to encourage students to write more often, because writing is by far one of the most important learning tools for a child's academic success in growth.  As you know, writing fosters children's emotional and cognitive development, helps foster critical thinking skills and improves academic achievement.

To help achieve our goal, BIC has launches the "Fight for Your Write" campaign, which reinforces how fun and empowering writing can be.  The campaign, which can be found at, offers information about writing and tips from literacy expert Pam Allyn to help parents, caregivers and students make a commitment to write more often.

From those words, I knew that I had to participate in their campaign!

Check out some of my favorite BIC products:

Do you spot some of your favorites in that pile?  I know you spot the 4-Color Ball Pen.  If you are a product of the eh-hem '70s or '80s, those were THE THING.  And, they still are!!

As much as I love those, however, I was even more excited to check out their newest products geared towards little hands.  Since I'll be teaching children with smaller hands again, I thought these tools would be perfect for my ESOL classroom.  The Fight for Your Write website states that these pencils were developed with teachers and kids and have a unique yellow guiding line for proper finger position:

I've already spotted these gems in Staples and picked up extras.  I know they will come in handy!

Here are a few of the other goodies in the product set:

Amazing items, huh?  Wouldn't you like to get your hands on this awesomeness?  Well, you can!  They have allowed for me to give one of my readers the same BIC product set.  Check out the rafflecopter and enter!  The winner will be announced next Thursday!  Good luck!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Making Bulletin Board Fabric Work {A Bright Idea}

It's that time again!
Are you ready for some...

It's Back to School 2014 and I know that some of us are already back into full swing!  But, I have a simple back to school tip (or really any time of the year tip) for making your bulletin board fabric smooth and tight.

Since I'm a little (ok, a lot) OCD when it comes to my bulletin boards, I've learned a few tricks over the years.

First~ I use fabric.  I know there is a lot of debate over the right covering, but I prefer fabric.  I'm lucky enough to be able to use it.  I know there are a lot of schools that don't allow it.

Let me show you what works for me. First, measure your board and cut your fabric slightly smaller in length and width.  Yes, smaller.  The reason is because you will be pulling that fabric to stretch it to make it more taut.

Next, iron that fabric!

I usually bring my ironing board, but it won't fit in my new, tiny car.  So, an old beach towel worked just fine.

Now, I think you could probably get away without ironing your fabric, but I like to make sure it's nice and crisp when I start.

Next, staple the center of your fabric to the center of your board.  Here's where/why I like using fabric.  It makes it easy for this to be a one-man job.  The beginning of the year can be CRAZY, and it's nice not to have to bug your neighbor to help your hang paper.

Don't worry, it didn't get wrinkled.

Next, staple one side.
Looks wrinkled, but hold on...there's more.

Ok, now that the second side is stapled, I have a HUGE problem. It's too big.  Shoot, I must have measured wrong.  Not to worry, a simple trick my mama showed me years ago to the rescue!!

Cut, and rip it right on the seam.  The beauty of cotton is that it will rip right up at the seam in a perfectly straight line.  Good thing, because I can't cut a straight line worth a toot.

Cut, and rip to the top.  I usually cut the final little bit, just to be safe.

Then, start stapling the bottom.  Don't worry, it will look like this at first:

But, as you stretch and pull that fabric, it will begin to look more like this:

You will notice that it doesn't go to the edge of the board.  I do that on purpose, because the border will cover that right up.

And from the side, you can see it a little better that there are NO bumps or buckles in the fabric:

 Because that would drive me batty.

I hope you found a new little trick while visiting!

If you are new to my blog and enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram or at Teachers Pay Teachers for more great ideas!

For more bright ideas tons of different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting! 

What are you waiting for?  Have a great time checking out the links to find more

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Made It {August 4}

August?  For real?  Where has the time gone...

I'm a little late linking up today because I have been busy working in my classroom and spending time shopping!  Have you emptied your TpT cart yet?

My entire store is 20% off right now (and actually through Wednesday) and with the extra from TpT, you will save 28%!  Click on the banner above to head on over.  That's why I have been busy shopping.  I asked for some advice from some bloggy friends, but I could use your advice, too.  I'm looking for materials for my new position.  If you know of any TpT sellers who make materials geared towards English Language Learners, I'd love for you to leave me a comment letting me know who to check out!

On to my Made Its:
I finally finished Math Moves for 5th Grade!

Yay!  It's on sale right now!  Check it out {here}.
I finally put all of this fabric and craftiness to good use:

You saw the toolbox and file box last week {here}, but now, I've made curtains and a chair cover with the fabric!  First the rocking chair:
And now the curtains:

You can also spot the finished pink table in the picture.  Sorry the picture is so dark.  The room is so bright (which I love!), but it makes taking pictures rather difficult.

And one final Made It is not really made by me except that I decided what colors to make my cover....
Isn't she a beauty?  I am loving this new Erin Condren Life Planner.  I can't wait to jazz it up with some washi tape and stickers and post-its and paper clips and tabs and, and, and....

Have you ordered an Erin Condren planner before?

OK, off to go do some more shopping before the sale is over.  Don't forget to give me some suggestions :)

Have a great week!

Friday, August 1, 2014

5th Grade Math Moves is Ready! {A Daily Common Core Spiral Review}

It's finished and ready to go!  Yay!

Last summer, I spent time creating Math Moves for 4th grade.  After using it for a year, I can tell you it is by far worth the time I spent creating it.  I knew what my students needed this last year.  I knew their strengths and weaknesses.  I knew how to differentiate for each student based on their needs...all by using Math Moves.

I wanted a spiral review that was aligned to the Common Core State Standards and didn't find anything that completely fit my needs.  I wanted to have a review that covered all 5 domains each week and also provided a separate assessment each week.  So, I spent my summer creating one.

And, I did that again this summer for 5th grade!  I had promised so many people to work on it. And, I like to keep my promises (for the most part). :)

And, I'd like to share this new resource with giveaway form :)
Let me tell you a little bit about the pack:

It is my belief that one of the most effective ways to foster mastery and retention of mathematical skills is through a daily cumulative review.  Students are exposed to skills and concepts that touch all 5 mathematical domains each week. Math Moves allow you to scaffold instruction to meet the individual needs of each student.

Included in this 150 page pack you will find the following:
*Daily Work- 4 questions per day; 16 questions a week; all 5 domains covered every week!
*Weekly Assessment- A separate weekly assessment page covering the same standards from the daily work; 15-25 tested standards each week; all 5 domains covered every week!
*Answer Keys for daily work and assessment.
*Common Core State Standards listed on each question on the answer key
*Tiered approach-the questions get progressively more rigorous throughout the year
*Questions written to meet the standards for mathematical practice
*Common Core State Standards checklist for a visual of when standards are being addressed

Math Moves works great for morning work, but can also be used for homework.  It can also be used for older grades as a review or for lower grades as enrichment!

So, now it's time for the giveaway....Complete the rafflecopter for your chance to win. This contest ends Sunday night at midnight.  So, hurry!  If you can't wait for the giveaway to end, I've discounted the price to $7.50 (from $10.00) until Sunday night, too.  That way, you don't even have to wait on the sale if you are eager to get it now :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made It {July 28}

It seems this is about the only thing I can set my calendar to this summer...Thank goodness for Tara!

I have a few Made Its that are school related.
So, I've been working away on Math Moves for 5th grade.  Guess what?  I finished!!  It's not quite posted, but the bulk of the work is over!  Yay!!

Who teaches 5th grade and would like to do some editing?  Email me at if you are interested.  I'd GREATLY appreciate it.  Once all of the editing is complete, this will be posted!!

More organization--- it just makes me happy.  Spraypaint is my friend:

I had a toolbox and set of drawers that needed an overhaul since I'm changing the colors of my room.  (I am still using the more pastel colors from the beginning of the summer in my office at my second school.)

First up, I changed the "Copy/Grade/File" drawers to "Copy Paper/ Pencils/ Notebook Paper" and painted the drawers.

That one isn't quite 100% finished.  I still need to tape the paper inserts down, but I couldn't find my packing tape and my sticker maker ran out of sticky.  So, that will have to wait....

I created an editable version of this set if you'd like it.  It was made to fit this type of drawer, though (the one I used was an old-old-old one that I repurposed):

You can find the  EDITABLE file at Teachers Pay Teachers {here}.

To go with that, I repainted my Teacher Toolbox, too.

You can grab this EDITABLE file at Teachers Pay Teachers, too {here}.

And, you see that fabric in the picture at the top?  Well, those are going to be used for my curtains and a cover for a rocking chair.  Off to get my craft on....

Have a great week!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It {July 21}

How has your week been?  I've been busy...not with too many crafty things (just the two below). Instead, I've been busy moving my in-laws into their new home in my hometown!  They moved to South Carolina from Oklahoma and we are so happy to have them here!
When I wasn't helping unpack, I was able to create two "Made Its" this week.  Funny thing...neither one is for me.

The first one was a favor for a friend who needed me to cut some numbers on my Silhouette.  She made this awesome ruler to use to track her daughter's growth.  I just cut out the numbers. But, she's allowing me to count it as one of my Made Its...Holla, Stacy!
How adorable?

This is another project created on my Silhouette.  Another friend, Jennifer, wanted me to cut out the words "Instagram Books" so that she can use it on a bulletin board where her students will "post" about which books they are reading.  When the entire board is put together, I'll share that with you, too.  She is so creative and it looks FAB-U-LOUS.    But, here are the letters:

I want to share with you a few tips on how to create this on your Silhouette if you are interested.

First off, did you know that the word "Instagram" was actually enhanced a little bit back in 2013 to look a little different.  Here are the differences:
Picture source:
Therefore, the word "Instagram" as it looks now, isn't a font.  To create the word on the Silhouette wasn't as simple as typing in the word and hitting "cut".  Instead, I had to find the image, save it as a png, load it into the software, modify it...etc.

It's easier to explain in pictures. After I found the image above, I saved it as a png.  I opened up the Software and opened the image.  Once it was on the screen, I used the following steps to get the image ready to cut.

 After a lot of trial and error, I was able to finally get it!  I hope this little tutorial can help you out.  By the way, this is the same method you would use for pictures, too.  If you don't want a ton of those extra lines that show up, you have to unclick the "High Pass Filter".  It is automatically defaulted to have that uncheck and you won't pull out your hair!!

And finally....this is my project for this week:
I finished weeks 1-27.  I'll be finishing up weeks 28-36 this week (and maybe next week).  I hope to have this ready for everyone looking for the 5th grade version by the beginning of August...I think I can, I think I can....

Now, I'm off to my new school to do some organizing and measuring for window curtains!

Have a great week!