Editable Calendar

I think I figured out how to create my calendar AND have the calendar area be editable.  Click on the picture below to download.  Please let me know if it worked :)


Free Calendar

Confession...I love calendars.  I think most teachers do because we all like to be organized.  Here is a calendar that I created using Thistlegirl graphics.  AND, since I have hit 800+ followers, it's a FREE DOWNLOAD.  Click below to download.

I'm thinking about creating more, so if I get numerous requests for a particular format, I will create and post it.  Enjoy!


Change-a-Word Circles

I had quite a few people show interest in the Change-a-Word Circles I posted a week ago and they wanted some more.  I created some more and have posted it to TpT.  If you are interested, I have a packet with 32 Change-a-Word Circles (4 of them are the free ones from last Friday.)  Click on the picture below to take you to my TpT store.



I posted some of my purchases from Vistaprint last week when I was discussing behavior management.  I also use Vistaprint for many other things in my classroom.  I love it!  I have always had good luck with quality and getting things in a timely manner.  I always choose 21 day shipping because it is cheaper, but most of the time, my things come before that.  Here are some of my purchases from last year.

My students LOVE this one :)


I put this one on my student's shirts if they have an important paper in their backpack to sign. 

I put this on top of student work that needs to be worked on at home.

This one goes on all of my personal classroom books

I send this home at the beginning of the year for parents to hang on their refrigerators.

I use these to write student's names on.  They are great for grouping, centers, ...

This also goes home at the beginning of the year for parents to hang their child's work up on the refrigerator.

(I send these positive postcards in the mail throughout the school year.)


I put this on at the end of the day to discuss what we learned

Stickers - I stuck these to the front of their homework folders.

Brochures - MY FAVORITE Vistaprint item - GREAT QUALITY!!

Small Car Magnet - Stuck this to the white board when we sang this song

The birthday student was able to wear this shirt for the day.  Then I took it home and washed it for the next birthday.
I have ordered other things from Vistaprint and many of these items are ideas I found online or ideas that I recreated and made them work for my needs.  It's a lot of fun to create things and even more fun to get them in the mail :)  I can't wait to start putting in my orders for this coming school year!


These Change-a-Word Word Circles will be great to use as a whole group at the beginning of the year for my 1st graders.  They would also work well towards the middle or end of the year for students to complete individually.  Click on the image below for the FREE download.
I'd love to know what you think and if you'd find these useful in your classroom :)

Friday Favorites

My Friday Favorite this week doesn't necessarily relate to my own classroom, but I can totally see where I can use this with some of my students at the beginning of the year.  I chose this as my Friday Favorite because I have been using it all week at home with my 4 year old.  If you have small children at home, you MUST check out The Moffatt Girls.  I have been using their Ready2Read program with my daughter who just turned 4.  I love it and more importantly, she loves it.  Here are some pictures of her using the FREE downloads from their site.

 And...head on over the The Moffatt Girls right now to enter her giveaway for a Target or Amazon giftcard.

Really Good Stuff Blog Contest

I just saw this information on One Extra Degree.  It's the 2011 Really Good Stuff Blog Contest.  I've already nominated some of my favorite blogs.  Have you? :) 

It’s time!  Time to submit your favorite classroom/teacher blog for the 2011 Really Good Classroom Blog Contest!  We are looking for the best blogs around.  They could be ones that amuse you, help you, provide ideas, or highlight the happenings of their class.  With three categories to highlight (K-4, 5-8, Specialty) there is a great chance for your favorite blog to be spotlighted.  Simply click here to nominate the blog you feel has the stuff to be a 2011 Really Good Classroom Blog!
Entries must be received before 9pm EST on June 30, 2011.  All blogs who are nominated and whose authors agree to participate in the contest will be required to place a badge on their blog with a link back to The Teachers’ Lounge.  All submissions will be reviewed and blog authors contacted within 48 hours.  Voting will take place July 1-7, 2011 and one winner from each of the three categories will be chosen.
How it works:
  • There will be three separate categories.  Entries will be accepted for K-4, 5-8, and Specialty (counseling, reading, etc) blogs.  The blog should focus on events in your classroom and other teaching related topics.
  • Entries will be accepted June 13, 2011 through 9pm EST on June 30, 2011
  • Once the blog has been reviewed (to be sure that it qualifies as a class/teaching blog), a contest badge and link back to the contest voting page will be sent.
  • Voting will be from July 1st – 7th, 2011.
  • One winner will be announced for each category on July 8th.
  • Winners receive top blog roll placement, badges that indicate the award, a Teachers’ Lounge blog feature, invitation to guest post on The Teachers’ Lounge, and a $75 Really Good Stuff gift certificate.
  • Runners-up get Teachers’ Lounge mention, link backs, and a contest badge

Behavior System

I have had some questions lately about how I like using the Behavior Clip Chart and how it works in my classroom. 
 My response... I LOVE it!  I first saw the idea on Proteacher so I take NO credit for this.  I did change up the color order though.  The orginal clip chart has red at the top, I think. My personal preference was to have yellow, orange, and red below green and the blue and purple above. 
First, I created a word document and uploaded it to Vistaprint.  If you have never heard of Vistaprint, it's a great site that allows you to purchase "business" items for free.  There is a shipping charge, which is pricier than normal, but the overall final price and quality is definitely worth it. 

Click on the picture to download the document
I uploaded this image onto a small vinyl banner at Vistaprint.  The quality was great and it held up SO well.  I will be able to use it for years.
I wrote each of my students name on a clothespin and I was all set.  At the end of each day, I have students fill out their behavior chart.  I sent these home each week for the parent to sign.
Click on the picture to download
   Another incentive that my students LOVED was to provide stickers for any student that ends the day on blue or purple.  I also ordered these from Vistaprint (address labels.)

 If a child ended the day on Red, a note was sent home letting the parent know the reason.  These were also ordered from Vistaprint (note pad).

I just finished my 9th year as a teacher and this system is hands down, the best discipline system I have ever used.  I love how students can move up for good behavior, which is a great reminder to others to step it up.  Plus, I love that a student can make a mistake and move down, but they have the chance to move up later for a good choice.
Another fun idea: For a student that is really making good choices and you feel that they are beyond purple for the day, take off their clip and wear it around on your shirt for the day.  Anyone that asks about the clip, make a huge deal about it and say that this student's behavior was "OFF THE CHARTS!"

Our Picnic Day

On Monday, I had a Picnic Day in my classroom.  I arranged for the cafeteria to provide sack lunches for my students.  I bought some red and white checkered tableclothes and we spread them out on the front lawn and had our picnic.  It was such a great day!  The kids loved it and it was wonderful to sit and eat with them on the last week of school.  I planned picnic themed activities for the entire day as well.

This unit is perfect for the end of the year, but it would also be great anytime throughout the year that it's nice outside.
You can click below on the picture to check out a sample from the unit.

And...don't forget!  Everything in my store is 20% off now through Monday, June 13th. 

School's Out - Time for a sale!

School's out for summer!
(Are you singing that song now?)
Today is our first day of summer break and I'm so excited to spend time with my two girls.  It always takes me a little while to get into a summer routine, but I want to take advantage of every second.  They are growing up way too fast.

To celebrate my summer break, I'm throwing a 20% off sale at my TpT store through Monday, June 13th.  Head on over there and stock up for next school year.  Click on the sample below to go to TpT.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Mixed Up Chameleon

To finish up our Eric Carle author study, we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Mixed Up Chameleon and completed the following graphic organizers.  Just click on the pictures for the FREE downloads.


The Foolish Tortoise

We continued our Eric Carle author study by reading The Foolish Tortoise. This book has a lot of great vocabulary for 1st graders.  Before reading, I quickly discussed some of the interesting words we would hear.  Then while I was reading the book, I made sure that the students knew what the words meant.  After reading this book, we talked about how the tortoise felt in the beginning and what he found out during the book.  Then we made tortoises.  I didn't have a pattern for this so I just let the students free hand a turtle with brown paper.
This student did a great job.  Hers was so much better than mine.
 Then the students cut out the words of all the things the tortoise was afraid of after he took off his shell.  They glued the words onto the turtle body.
 Finally, each student cut out a shell from green paper and glued on the word PROTECTION to represent that the tortoises shell provided him with protection from all of these things.  I stapled the shell at the top to create a flap that could be pulled up.
 You can download the attachment with all of the words by clicking HERE.  {The vocabulary words that we discussed are included at the top of the paper.  You can use these however you wish.}
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