Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Common Core is Hot, Hot, Hot!

Ok guys.. I am REALLY really REALLY excited about something.... !!!!! 
I hope you all find this as exciting as me! 
Common Core Math Hot Seats! My newest TpT item!
Keep reading for a freeeeebieeee!!!! 
What are Hot Seats and how to they work?
The pack includes 8 Math questions for EACH Common Core Standard. Cut out the questions on each page and organize them in envelopes or baggies according to standard so you are SET for an entire year of Math! Answer key included, along with a printer-friendly answer key cover sheet!

Stick these questions underneath your students' chairs with a small piece of tape when they are not in the room. When students take their seats, you can choose your time to announce that there are "hot seats" in the room. Students will excitedly check under their seats, and if they have a question stuck to it...uh oh! They will have to show you how much they know by attempting to answer the question.
Need help? Grab a lifeline!

You do not need to do Hot Seats everyday. You can save them for test review, lesson review, or even state testing review towards the end of the year. The more random this activity is used, the more excited your students get when it is "Hot Seat" time!

It is FREEBIE Friday!! You can download a free page of the Hot Seat questions to use with your class but downloading the PREVIEW on my TpT

Do you teach Kindergarten (or have friends that do)!? Lucky for you, I have an "in" with this 
really great Kindergarten teacher over at Kindergarten Smiles!
Download a free page HERE!! ...or buy the 
whole package so you can enjoy Hot Seats all year long!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sneak Peak!

I have been working in my room for 2 stressful, messy, sweaty days so far! It is awesome what you can complete in that amount of time! However, since I am not all the way finished...I am only giving a 'sneak peak' of some of the things I've got brewing in my classroom...

I've linked up with Made It Monday at Fourth Grade Frolics to show you what I have made!
Be sure to go check out what other people have made!

I can't wait to hear what you all think about it so far!!

Let's enter the room! First I have this great "Welcome" banner I got from a fellow blogger, Tammy, at Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten. I love how it will catch everyone's eye as they walk through the door to take a peak of the room on meet-the-teacher day! I think it adds a little something special! I will probably leave it up for a while!

When you walk in my room, you automatically notice that it is rainbow color themed! No actual "rainbows", but there are rainbow colors everywhere! I especially use the rainbow colors in my organization...not only with the students, but with my personal items!

There are 6 groups in my classroom, and each group is themed....that's right...with a COLOR from the rainbow!!! The groups are specified with the pom-poms that hang over them! I absolutely love pom-poms! I found a few different tutorials on them on youtube that helped me learn how to make them. The one below obviously labels red group!
Then, each group has its own bookshelf! Last year I went ahead and sucked it up...I spent the money on the shelves. Now, I am SO happy to have them! It really stops kids from getting up and down so often to grab paper, pencils, books, etc. Everything they need goes on their book shelf! Keeping items where I can see them, bookshelves are decorative and organized! I have jobs for certain members of the group, as well. A certain student is in charge of organizing the bookshelf if it gets messy, another student will be the one who gets up to get their group materials when needed, and another monitors levels of supplies on the shelf (so he/she can refill when necessary!). This has allowed students to be more independent in my class. They also surprise me with how protective they are of their shelf and the items on it! 
My favorite part is...each bookshelf is color coordinated to match their group color!!!!
1. Top basket: used for papers. Sometimes I pre-pass out 
papers they will need for class, other times I use it when I 
hand out papers I have graded. Sometimes, I even use it 
for supplies like rulers or protractors we need that day.
2. Painting: leadership quote written on it. Different quote 
at each group.
3. Journal: The journal is used when we do team-work. 
Sometimes we will do games or competitions as a team, and 
we use these journals for our scratch work.
4. Cup that matches group color: stores paper clips, binder clips, 
and anything else tiny that is used for organizing.
5. Larger container that matches group color: stores markers, 
highlighters, and other writing utensils. 
6. Markers set: Crayola markers for group-use.
7. White boards: personal white boards for different math activities.
8. Supply container: this is where students will put any supplies 
that they do not keep in their pencil pouch. I also put socks in their 
for erasing their white boards, as well as white board markers.
9. Paper: this keeps students from getting up and down all of the time!
10. Dictionary: My students use this mostly for help with spelling.
11. Textbooks: student text books or workbooks will also be kept on 
this bookshelf. 
**Pay close attention to the clear can that is on top of the shelf...I will get to that in a minute**

Okay so back to the clear can you saw on the top of purple group's bookshelf...
The little can, seen here on orange group's bookshelf, is used for team points! Yay! 
All students love to earn points and prizes for their team. I use the little pom-poms to pass out points to the students as they work in their groups. A pom-pom may be used for little things, like answering questions aloud during a lesson; or bigger things, when all of the students at the group are working super hard on their classwork! I will also hand them out when students exhibit one of the Seven Habits, too! The really love earning mini pom-poms! Of course, they earn the pom-poms that match their group color...this way students cannot steal from other teams and put it in their jar! At the end of the week, the students count up their pom-poms and the winning group gets a prize! 

Below is a little bit of my organization. I love to organize a full week of copies and other resources so that during the week, I do not have to worry about what is going on the next day...it's all there and ready! Also, this greatly benefits me if I ever get sick out of the blue and need a substitute. Between my teacher binder with sub forms ready, and this great organizer...and sub can enter my room and know exactly what should be going on (as well as having all materials copied and ready). I have a section for each day of the week, of course in rainbow colors!

This "achieve" sign is something I made last year. The students really loved it! I also have ones similar that say "dream" and "learn". I really feel like words like those being around the room help students remember why they attend school each day! 
And....they are pretty looking...haha!

LASTLY, my "We Love Fifth Grade" banner! You guys have already seen this, but it was hanging over my kitchen cabinets...now, it is hanging proudly over my smart board/white board and I love it!!! :) 
I think this will be a great hit on meet-the-teacher day! 
I make these banners for all grades K-5, as well as banners that say "Math Focus Wall" and "Reading Focus Wall". They are on my TpT! Click here to explore my banners!

Thanks for stopping by! 
Please let me know what you think of my room so far.
I am so nervous excited for the BIG REVEAL when I am done setting everything up next week! 
I hope you can use some of my ideas in your classroom. 

Don't forget to enter my 300 followers giveaway! I am lucky enough to have some WONDERFUL bloggers contribute! You won't want to miss out ;)

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Everyone has them, no one wants them, and they are the only bug that doesn't 
totally make me scream...what are they? Jitterbugs!!!

I am linking up with Fierce in Fourth to let you all know SOME of my first day jitters!
(of course, there are more where these came from...)

1. New theme! We are beginning our Leadership theme this year - modeling everything we do based on Stephen Covey's book, The Leader In Me and Sean Covey's, The Seven Habits of Happy Kids. I am super excited, and I know I am prepared with materials - but I just hope that I am able to start living these habits 100% in my personal life, so that it is easier for me to model them in my classroom! I know this will benefit the students greatly!
2. New parents! I am always nervous for the new set of parents that come with a new class! I had such an amazing set of parents last year, and I just hope I continue to have that sort of luck! I am such a pleaser, so I usually can please all of the parents - but I have heard such horror stories! I always get nervous about the new group!
3. 3 way switch! We went down from having 4 fifth grade teachers last year, to just 3 teachers in fifth grade this year. This means we turned from a 2 way switch (where I taught Science and Math, and my team teacher taught ELA, SS, Reading) to a 3 way switch where I will be solely focused on Math for ALL of the entire fifth grade class! AHH! So now..all of those kids math knowledge rests on my shoulders! Yikes! That can get a little stressful if I think about it for too long.

Thanks for listening! It feels good to share my jitterbugs with you all! I know that we all have things we are nervous about, but that we all rise to the challenge! 

Link up with Fierce in Fourth to let all of us know what gives you your jitterbugs!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Oh my! I don't even know where to begin - with this blog AND with my classroom!

So I get to school to set up a little bit so that there is less to do when I go in to decorate...and this is what I find! Everything was very clean, thanks to the crew, but...AHHHHH!

We all know what this kind of thing does to us teachers - ahhh!
It makes us work furiously until we get all of the things in their proper place, even if it means climbing on other things, sweating, getting bruises, and making really loud noises as we drag heavy items across the floor. Does any of that sound familiar to all of you? I would guess - YES

So here is my room as I enter the doorway...

You can see the remnants of some of the cute things I will be showing you all once it is all put together...
like the cute little signs in the window...or the banner I had for the homework board (looks like that banner has seen better days...)

This is the picture that really worries me!
This is the view from behind my desk... Looks like a shelf was too heavy so they unloaded all of the books into my recycling bin!
All I can say is...I CANT WAIT to make this CUTE!!! Stay tuned for after pictures!!!

 Here is a little something for all of you who use TpT...
I hope I am not the only one who thinks, "this is SOO me!"

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Sweet" Giveaway!

It is getting to that time of year...I don't really want to say it...no...don't make me...back to school! Ah! For most of us, this is a crazy time of year where we realize how much we have "to do" and how little time there is to do it. You're probably searching TpT for ways to make your life a little easier...or great ideas for your upcoming year. Stop searching! Rachelle at Life is Sweet is having a Back to School Giveaway with fantastic prizes, including my grade specific "We Love" banner!! 

Gotta love a giveaway!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Finished before the weekend!

So I have had a productive week of sitting on the couch...painting, blogging, making items for TPT, and cutting out things I had laminated!

I am so excited about the things I have finished so far, that I wanted to share them with you! I just can't wait until I get them in place in my classroom though.

So at this point I was thinking...
what did I just get myself into.....!?

Even my little Turkey looked at me like, "are you really going to cut all of this out?"
 I was so excited when I got everything cut out, that I wanted to see what it would look like in my classroom - so I set everything up!
 My Common Core Math Standards to match the rainbow colors of my classroom. 
You can find these here on my TPT page. I personalize them to match teachers' classroom colors!
Sorry about the image...it was taken with my cell phone.
Since this is our first year using the Seven Habits at my school, I want to give something to my classroom parents that they can take home with the habits written on it. A bookmark will be something they can use, while learning the habits! Now they can keep up with their kids when they come home talking about what they have learned at school!
The bookmarks are FREE on my TPT! 

 This is one of the items I am most excited about because I LOVE to be organized! 
This teacher binder will keep everything I need in ONE PLACE! What could be better!? 
I can't wait to fill it up with everything! Yay!
I have had some requests to make the same binder with a 
different look also, so that there are choices! This is something I plan on doing next week! 
Leave a comment below if you are interested in a certain color combo or theme! 
I make this banner in all grade, Kindergarten through Fifth.
I was really happy to see this come together! Sorry I had to hang it in such a strange place...the kitchen! The lighting was strange and it's not a great spot, but it worked! 

Now...time for the PAINTING PARTY!

These canvases are little enough to sit on a bookshelf, but can still be read if hanging on a wall. I have six groups in my room, one for each color of the rainbow, and each group is going to have a canvas on their "group shelf". I am really hoping you all like how they turned out!
 I cut a tiny piece of the only sponge I had to texture the background of my red canvas! 
"First we make our habits, and then our habits make us" - Stephen Covey

 Use a toilet paper roll to make perfect circles!! 
"See every problem as an opportunity to exercise creative energy" - Stephen Covey
 Hand painted stars...oh how I wish I had a stencil! But I always remind myself that my students won't judge me based on how perfect my stars are!
"Leadership is a choice, not a position"
 I don't really know what this came out to look like, but it started as a make-my-own zebra print ... which I couldn't quite execute. My husband came home and asked me if it was seaweed!! How rude... ;) The quote on this canvas is kind of ironic...I should have realized I was going in the wrong direction when the first stripe didn't look like a zebra!
"It doesn't really matter how fast you're going if you're going in the wrong direction" -Stephen Covey
 This was one of my favorite ones! I hand painted the "basket weave" look and I actually REALLY like it! Maybe I am just loving the purple?
"We recognize the right of everyone to be different"
 I used the toilet paper roll trick again for this canvas! The only different between this one and the orange one are the polka dots!
"Each of us makes his own weather"
(My favorite of all of the quotes)

I can't wait to get these all into my classroom and take pictures for you guys of my room! I'll make sure to get some good "before" pictures...also know as "the point of high stress" - Yikes!
However, I head out of town today to a place with no internet until Sunday :) and we are ready for this little get-a-way....after a nap...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

To do, or not to do? Linky Party!

Tonight I am linking up with Lorraine Vasquez over at Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies and her "to do list" for these last few weeks of summer! What? Last few weeks of summer!? Holy Hannah!! I am shocked to see those words on my screen! Yikes... I have also been trying to tackle my summer "to do" list. I don't have any kids yet to worry about, but I did get married this summer, go on our honeymoon, attend a friends' wedding, and spend 3 weeks in the NC mountains with family...and there is still so much more left...ahhh!!! This linky party might be freaking my freak, as Ellen would say... 

So I have a few separate to do lists... which probably stresses me out even more..

The new house:
1. Check on it just about every other day to make sure they are making good progress with the building (should be done Labor Day weekend!)
2. Buy a refrigerator
3. Buy a lawn mower
4. Clean out my closet before we pack!
5. Buy a hose
6. Buy paint

Things for the classroom:
1. Complete my inspirational quotes on canvases
2. Clean entire room
3. Put everything back where it goes in my room, since they moved it ALL into the hallway to wax the floors :(
4. Think of what I am doing for the kids for "meet the teacher" and make it!
5. Print and cut out more "7 habits notes home" so that I wont have to stress about it during the first few weeks
6. Re-do the welcome packet I used last year with new, updated information
7. Find little jars/buckets (one for each color of the rainbow) that will be placed at each group (to match their group color)
8. Make pom-poms to hang from the ceiling
9. Bulletin boards
10. Decorate door
11. Will I try to tackle that home depot tool box thing that everyone has done such an amazing job on? ...probably won't get to that...
12. Get the first few weeks of lesson plans roughly laid out so I will have less to think about later
13. Birthday flower pot with birthday pixie sticks/pencils that look like flowers 

For TPT or blog
1. Keep trying to get better at this blogging thing! I still feel so new!
2. Complete all custom orders and send them to everyone before August
3. Complete the three units I am currently working on!
4. Blog when I have actually completed all of those cute things for my classroom so that everyone can actually see pictures of my room! :)

Events to attend:
1. This weekend at the lake for my mother-in-law's birthday ...no internet there!
2. Wedding in West Point, NY for my husband's best friend at the end of July
3. Aug. 15th...FIRST DAY BACK for teachers! Oh no!

Oh gosh...seriously? What have I been doing with my time!? I need an assistant!!
I didn't even mention all of the TiVo I have to watch!! I got really backed up when I was on vacation in the mountains... So many shows, so little time!

Am I forgetting anything!? What do you all have "to do"? 

Sweet Caroline!

I am so ridiculously excited to announce that we are planning a big ol’ Carolina meet-up…y’all! ;) And no…not just for bloggers…stalkers other teacher friends are welcome to join! :) We are planning on meeting at some delicious restaurant where we can gab for a few hours about all things school! Poor people won’t know what hit them! I better call ahead! ;) I can’t wait to meet everyone!! I have been to several meet-ups and they are always way too much fun and NEVER enough time! I am sure that this meet-up won’t let me down!
So, If you will be in the Columbia area on September 15, I would love to see you there! I know this is still 2 months away, and we are still in the beginning stages of planning, but I wanted to give you 
PA-LENTY of time to put it on your calendar! Time and location will be announced once we have a general idea of how many people to expect.
Please head over to Second Grade Shenanigans and leave a comment under Hope’s Carolina Blogger Meet-Up Post {HERE}.
Please make sure that you leave your email address so that we can contact you with further details!
Is it bad that I am already excited?!? Love my blogging/blog stalker buddies! :)

Monday, July 16, 2012


Oh gosh! I had big plans today when I woke up...and it all sounded so easy in my head! So I headed out to all of our favorite stores: Office Max, Michael's, and Target! I got all of my colored copying done and bought all different kinds of supplies for the things I want to make for my classroom! Some of these are items I have either been selling or are free on my TPT...I finally got them printed out for myself! 

This just brings a smile to my face! I can't wait to get crafting!
Items in the picture:
-buckets and bookmarks I got from Target
-rainbow colored ribbon from Michael's
-my "We Love..." banner in the front (of course, I am doing 
the fifth grade one, but I sell it in all K-5) - cant wait to add ribbon
to it so that it is super cute and ready for meet-the-teacher day!
-my Leader of the Month display posters (not yet on TPT)
-my Teacher Yearly Binder I can't wait to set up
-7 habits name tags and bookmarks (FREE!!)...which I need to cut out
-and other materials I need in order to complete all of this!

Here is a close up image on those buckets I found in the Target DOLLAR SECTION! 
Woo hoo! 
Those little stars are chalkboard paint!! I plan to use one at each of my groups for their pencils and things. I am going to write their group name on the bucket with chalk!

I was really excited to find these bookmarks in the Target dollar section, as well. Since I teach math, these are going to be really great when we are learning how to measure to 1/8th of an inch! I love how the 16th's of an inch are not labelled on these rulers...sometimes that is really confusing on the first day of measuring to 1/8th of an inch. I can't wait to use these in my class!

This is going to be my FAVORITE part to my crafting this week...painting!! 
I plan to paint inspirational quotes on these canvases (by hand, so we'll see how they work out! Wish me luck!) 
I got this set of 10 canvases from Michael's. It sells for $19 normally, but they had the 15% off for teachers, and then the woman at the counter gave me 25% off because...well, I guess I don't know...she did not really give me a reason! But I am so grateful she scanned that little coupon she had behind the counter because it brought my total down to $18 for those canvases, the paint, and the ribbon! :) That is less than the canvases were supposed to be on their own!

I am always looking for new crafts for my rainbow colored room. 
Any one have any ideas for more crafting I can do!?

Friday, July 13, 2012


I don't know about all of you, but basically every day there is some sort of unexpected meeting or 'place-to-be' during the ONE TIME that you thought you were going to be able to get things done! Who else scrambles through their desk to find what they need as quickly as possible? Even though I really do feel like my desk is super organized...I STILL have a problem finding things when I am confronted with something unexpected. This past year I used a Teacher Binder that I created, and it was the best thing I've ever done for myself!

I have revamped my teacher binder from last year...adding forms or dividers I felt I would like to have in my binder. I also added a whole new "Sub Information" section that I am really excited about! I used to keep my "Sub Stuff" separate...but I realized that since this binder always sat directly on the center of my desk, it would be a great place to put the substitute information! 

Check out everything included!!
Click here or on any of the pages for this item on TPT
...but keep reading because ONE OF YOU WILL WIN THIS!

The cover page - I am willing to print your name on this if you contact me!

The "Sub Information" section includes these sheets: schedule, safety procedures, "how we get home", sub notes, teacher notes, student roster, good/bad behavior list, and allergies.

Lesson plans, Grade book, and Standards dividers!

Student information - includes 3 separate sheets you can choose from depending on what information you would like to keep handy!

Parent contact - includes three sheets: 1) a form you can use during a conference to help you with the flow of conversation and keeping things on topic, 2) a form with a student progress checklist so you can see any areas of weakness (as well as areas of strength!), including how the student is demonstrating the 7 habits, and 3) the same as form 2 but without the 7 habits section, since some schools don't use those!
A curriculum calendar with pre-numbered months from August 2012 to July 2013. Lastly, a meeting notes section for your faculty meetings or grade-level meetings (with 2 forms to choose from depending on which one you like the best).

Get it right and I will e-mail this great teacher binder for FREE!! 
Good luck!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Let's Get Started!

Well, here I go...my first blog post! Yay! I have gained so many great ideas from different blogs over these past few years of teaching. I can’t wait to share how I have used others’ ideas in my classroom, as well as some of my own ideas! 
Thanks to Alicia, at Dreamlike Magic, for beautifying my blog!
You probably want to know a little bit about me first. My name is Bridget and I am about to start my 3rd year teaching fifth grade. I attended Auburn University (War Eagle!), and was lucky enough to get a job right away teaching the grade that touched my heart, fifth grade! Once my then fiance graduated, we moved to Charleston, SC! I was so excited to move to such a beautiful city and get a job teaching my favorite grade, once again! I got married about one month ago and feel so lucky to be with such a great guy. Last school year was full of wedding planning, which kept my weekends super busy. I am so excited to start this new hobby...blogging! I have to thank my sister, Caitlin (at Kindergarten Smiles), for getting me started! I have used all of her tips and tricks so far. I am still trying to pick her brain for ideas! 
My school is a CD-5th school, and we just adopted the Leadership program! Have any of you read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” or “The Leader in Me” by Stephen Covey? If so, then you know what the 7 habits are and how we will implement them at our school. I will be sharing a lot of my ideas involving using the 7 Habits in your classroom on this blog, as well as my Teachers Pay Teachers page. I will also be posting Common Core based activities and resources, forms I use for the beginning of the year or with parents, and more! Please click here or on the image to enjoy these FREE posters for your classroom! Even if your school does not use the 7 Habits in your curriculum, your students can still benefit from practicing these habits!