Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's Inspiring You?

I'm linking up with Covered in Glitter and Glue for

and Mrs. Plemons Kindergarten for

I find this concept pretty intriguing.  I do call the students to the rug at the end of the day to talk about what we learned that day.  This would be taking it another step further by actually writing it down.  Click on the picture to get this freebie.

 How cool are these rice bags?

I think they would be great for "word work" where the students could use the letters to make words or words could be added to the rice bag that they find and write.  Click on the picture to get directions on how to make it!

My district is beginning to shift from a Daily 5 reading model to Balanced Literacy.  This anchor chart and lesson would be a great introductory lesson.

What's inspiring you?  I always love hearing your comments.


I'm linking up with Sugar and Spice for


I finally made it to my happy place yesterday- the beach!

Where have your travels taken you this summer?

Monday, July 28, 2014

More than chicken nuggets...

Last week was my very first post on 4th Grade Folics "Monday made it."  I loved it!  Such a blast!  I'm so thrilled to be back again with another post for...

I am proving to myself that I really am capable of making more than just chicken nuggets.  Who knew?!

If you have been following my blog at all you know that I am in love with Schoolgirl Style for classroom decor.  This year I am using her Preppy Nautical theme.  

I made this banner just by printing out the labels and attaching it to a piece of ribbon. The whale and anchor, I cut out and glued onto the green/white striped paper that is also part of the set.  Here's some close ups:

I also made this adorable pencil vase from an idea I saw on Pinterest. 

I literally hot glued those pencils onto a dog food can. True story.  It was all I had on hand. Don't judge.  :)

 Last but not least, I made some "I can" statements for the Common Core Standards to post in the classroom.  They are a neon chalkboard design that are on sale in my TPT store.

I'm really starting to like this crafty thing.  I have no idea what I'll do next week but this is too fun to miss!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

More Tips and Tools for Back to School...

The Primary Peeps are back!

This week,Coast to Coast Kinder is sharing this week's Tips and Tools for Back to School!

Autumn shares with us how she organizes and runs her literacy centers plus she has a great freebie you don't want to miss!

Head on over to Coast to Coast Kinder to grab some free center signs and learn ways to organize center rotations!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

High/Low Linky Party

    High/Low is a weekly "linky party" in which we share our highs and lows of the week.  Link up by clicking on the "add a link" button below to share as many highs or lows as you like! Make sure to grab the logo above and the arrows (if you would like) and link back to me.

I'm thrilled to have found this at Walmart today for only $20!

This is the least expensive price I have found and it is the "in store" price only.  The laminator costs $10 more online through  I was resisting buying a laminator since I have one at school but I can't deny that it is soooo much easier to have one at home!  It's like a one mile walk to the laminator at my school (o.k. maybe a half mile), you turn it on and come back to discover someone has shut it off.  Grrrrr!  Does that ever drive me bonkers!  Here's to getting the job done!

I love having the extra time to spend with this little big guy!  School is not easy for him so I'm the "bad guy" during the school year trying to help him with homework and extra work he has to do to catch up.  It's nice to enjoy the fun time too with my son, Tyler!

I'm also enjoying spending my summer with this little guy.

Bentley is our 2 year old beagle that we rescued.  It's fair to say that Bentley is my shadow and literally follows me around everywhere (the bathroom is no exception). He whimpers when I'm in the shower and he howls and cries when I leave.  It's going to rock his world when I go back to school in another month! And maybe mine just a bit too.

 So I had a fight with this...

and it won! Actually, I think I caught it from rubbing against the dog's fur.  Nonetheless, this itches like CRAZY!

I mean, seriously....I could be dying.  I have tried everything: Calamine lotion, Caladryl, Technu, bleach (yes....bleach).  I even read that white vinegar and water help.  Nothing stops the itch.  I have now resorted to the fact that I just have complaining rights because this is just redic!

I'd love to hear about your highs and lows this week! So link on up!

Friday, July 25, 2014


My dear blogger friend, Laura from A Grace Filled Classroom has reached an important milestone!  She has reached 200 followers in her Teachers Pay Teachers store!  To celebrate her success many of us fellow bloggers are having a giveway!

Two winners could win all of these products!  

and these!

 Also, a grand prize winner could win a $30 Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificate!  Imagine all the back to school resources you could buy for $30!

Now's your chance to enter to win because the giveaway is over in just 3 days!  Ready, set.....Go!  Click here  to enter to win at A Grace Filled Classroom!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to use Picasa to make picture previews

        One of the great things I learned at the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference is that you can use Picasa to make a photo collage and then that photo collage can become your preview if you sell on Teacher's Pay Teachers.  Say what?!!  All this time I have spent hours making page previews.  My struggle is real.  Hours. Screen shotting, clicking, dragging.  Repeat.  I about fell out of my chair when I discovered Picasa for page previews.  I have used Picasa before for storing and editing photos but this opened up a whole new world for me.

Oh Picasa, how I love thee!

  Even if you aren't making and selling products Picasa rocks!  Imagine the possibilites.... A photo collage for parents as gifts, for your classroom volunteers, for end of the year slide shows, and the list goes on. So today is your lucky day (I can almost hear the cheering you are doing right now) because I'm going to show you how to use Picasa to make a photo collage on your PC (sorry, I have no clue how to do this on a Mac)  and if you do sell, imagine all the pages of your product in a small screen view.  I know...right?  Awesomeness.

First, you need to download Picasa. Now, I must warn you ahead of time. Pour yourself a glass beforehand.  Be careful what you click on or download as you go through the process so you don't end up with a whole new toolbar, 15 flashing screens and an entry into Publisher's Clearinghouse.  Get the drift?  Ok. Here we go...

1.)Save your product in a PDF.  I use Adobe Pro.  In the file menu click save as other then Image, then JPEG. If you secure your documents in a PDF make sure to do this step before securing.

 You should see this while it is saving:

2.) Choose a folder to save your document in. I create a folder for each one of my products.  Click save as, making sure its in the folder you want and then click o.k.

3.) Open Picasa.

4.) On the left hand side you will see all of your folders. (If you're like me you have a mini panic attack every time you see how many folders you have!)

5.) Double click on the folder where you saved the images from the PDF.

6.) Double click on create photo collage which is the middle button at the top left of the screen.  Or you can click on the create tab and then choose picture collage.

 7.) Your photos will then be put in a collage.  Like it?  Great!  Save it and move one to step 8. If you don't you can use your mouse to move the images, shrink, enlarge rotate, etc.  Right click on an image to move it under or to the top of the collage.

8.) Once you have it the way you want, double click on create collage.  Your screen will then look like this with the word DRAFT across your collage and "in progress" underneath.

9.) When it has finished just click on save as and save your collage to a folder.  Done!  Wasn't that easy? I hope this was helpful. If it wasn't-pour another glass. 

Happy Creating!

Monday, July 21, 2014

And it's not chicken nuggets...

    I have been waiting all summer to link up with 4th Grade Folics to do "Monday made it".  However, if it's not chicken nuggets I haven't been making it.  The truth is, I'm not all that crafty.  I have the creativity piece, just not the patience. Miraculously, I got tickled by the "crafty bug" because I was giving Martha Stewart a run for her money this weekend!

Labeled clothespins for student work- I found small clothespin chalkboard labels at Michael's Craft Store for $2.  I covered the boring clothespin part with green/white polka washi tape and wrote student names on the front with colored chalk.  I hot glued (o.k. see now? This is serious. I even whipped out the glue gun- for real) a thumbtack to the back of each clothespin.  I will use these to hold student work up on a classroom bulletin board.  I leave the same background and border up all year that color coordinate with my classroom.  Now all I will have to do is switch out the student work samples! This also ensures I include every student's work since the labels are already on the board.

Lesson Planner/Binder- Missy from Dirt Road Teacher makes these gorgeous lesson planner/binders.  When I saw that she had one in a blue/green nautical theme I just had to have it!  I printed out the pages and had it bound at Staples for $11.  That counts as a "made it," right?

Flower- I've saved the best for last!  I love this!  I found the idea on Pinterest and had to re-create it.

 Adorableness, right?  I found the green pail at Target for $1. I got the pom-pom ($7) and the dowel ($1) at Hobby Lobby. I placed a round Styrofoam ball into the pail.  I cut the dowel (actually I snapped it because as I said- I'm impatient and I didn't want to wait for my husband to saw it). Next, I painted the dowel green, and poked it into the pom-pom and the Styrofoam ball in the pail.  I cut out 4 green leaves from scrapbook paper and glued them onto the dowel. Lastly, I added artificial peat moss to the pail to cover up the Styrofoam. Wholla! 

This was so much fun I may have to pick up knitting or something just so I can link up again next week!

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

More Tips and Tools...

It's time for another...

This week the fabulous Marissa from Inspired Owl's Corner is sharing how she has a "back to school" party to celebrate the first day of school.  Marissa learned of the idea from her mother, also a teacher.  This is way too cute!  Hop over to Marissa's blog to learn more about how you can party on the first day and to grab the freebie below from Marissa. Just click on the pic!

Make sure to stop by next week for more Tips and Tools for Back to School with the Primary Peeps!