Monday, August 27, 2012

Gotta Love a Shout Out!

I have some really amazing news that I am just sooo excited about!
Meghan Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade has just blogged about one of my items!!! 
I know, I can't believe it either!

So I made this calendar on my white board over the summer, and created all of these little magnets that go along with the calendar - like holidays, special school events, etc. and I am IN LOVE with it! 
I added it to TpT hoping that maybe some other crafters would be interested in creating their own large calendar...Lucky for me, an amazing blogger like Farley did! :) Woo Hoo!!

Go check out her link to her calendar by clicking HERE or the link to her blog above.

My calendar: on a white board in my classroom

Farley's calendar: on a sheet cut at the store of dry erase tile so that she can move it around the room!

The product via TpT!

A HUGE THANKS TO FARLEY AT OH BOY FOURTH GRADE!!! I am so excited about this! You made my day! :) Thank youuuu!

If you have made this calendar, PLEASE send me a picture because I would LOOOVE to see how yours looks! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My new tubs are in! :) and a FREEBIE

Hooray for their arrival! The eagle has landed!

I ordered these containers from Lakeshore Learning at the end of summer, and they arrived today! I am so excited about them because before them, I had clear containers that had handwritten labels on them :( which just drove me crazy because they did not look neat OR match my room decor! 

I absolutely LOOOVE these new tubs! They are super thick plastic, so I know they will last a long time, and their lids don't attach on so strong that they are hard to open (one of my pet peeves with containers).

I am so excited about the way they look! I am actually going to order a couple more for a different spot in the room because they are so great AND THEY ARE ON SALE now :) Of course...because that is what happens when you buy goes on sale a day later!

Now it's time for a FREEBIE! Yay!
We introduced The Seven Habits today in class! We talked about them and their meaning, did a few "get out of your seat" activities that reinforced the habits....and then we did this great SYNERGIZING activity! I was so excited to see how well my students synergized and got along! Like Jack Johnson AND the 7 Habits say, we are "better together" :)

This activity reinforces what the students have already learned about the habits because they are reading statements regarding real-life events or situations and they must categorize them into one of two categories: does this situation show the use of one of the habits, or not?

For example, the students in group 1 would be labeled the "Proactive" group - so they will be working with Habit 1: Be Proactive. I give them their sheet with their two titles ("Proactive" and "Not Proactive"). Then the students receive the sheet with all of the different situations on it. They must cut out all of the boxes (including their titles), and sort them into the two columns.

Below is a sample of what their poster will look like when they start sorting...
Each group also must add their own scenario to each column. 

I was so impressed with my students' group work today! I don't know if it was because we had just talked about synergizing, habit 6, or if they are just a great group! :) Hopefully a little of both! I am just so excited the year is starting off so well! 

Get this FREEBIE from my TpT store, along with a lot of other 7 Habits related freebies!

Here is the final product from one of my groups....
Obviously by the pictures, you can tell its a group of boys! But I love how they represented a tie score in the score board. They have two people in a conversation about whose TV shows they should watch....but in their speech bubbles, they are deciding to watch one person's show first, and the other after - Thinking Win Win! :) Yay for learning the 7 Habits!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Classroom Complete!

Woo Hoo! Time to cheer! My classroom is FINISHED :) 

My inspiration for this classroom color scheme is my obsession with organization! Is organization allowed to be my inspiration? That really sounds like I am saying I am inspired by my type A personality...haha!

Because I like to "color code" everything, I went with a rainbow color scheme this year! I absolutely love it!

I am going to be showing you two different versions of rainbow classroom decor in this post. I used the regular set of rainbow colors one year, and then the rainbow brights the next year. I wanted to be sure to show both options because some of you can use the rainbow brights decor and you may not have to change much of what you already have going on in your classroom - you can just add to it!

Below is a quick look at both versions of the rainbow classroom. I added some quick links of items you can see in these photos below each picture. I hope this allows you to easily navigate and shop this post.

Rainbow bright:
Rainbow Banner (to make it say whatever you want)

Primary/Regular Rainbow:

Not in pic, but will be in later pics:


We use a "raise a number" technique for students hand raising in all of our fifth grade that it remains consistent. They simply raise that number using their fingers and we can nod to them 'yes' or 'no' without having to stop class...because we know what they want/need by looking at their fingers. It has always worked really well!

You can see the item I am referring to on the left side of this picture, click the links below to view it on Teachers Pay Teachers (depending on which color scheme you'd like). It is important to put this somewhere in your classroom where all of the kids can see it. Once they learn which number means what, they won't need to look at it anymore.

Raise A Number Posters:
Regular Rainbow
Rainbow Bright
Rainbow Bright with Black
Pink & Blue

The students are told not to abuse this system, though. They know that they should not raise a 3 in the middle of the lesson, for example.


Now for the bulletin boards.....

We'll start with the rainbow brights and lead into the regular rainbow!

I think my favorite part of my classroom every single year is the wall calendar. I always do mine on white board space, because I happen to have a lot in my classroom. You can totally do this on bulletin board wall space, as well! I make my pieces magnetic using adhesive magnetic tape from the office store, but you could use Velcro or push pins on a bulletin board!

ALL Rainbow Bright Bulletin Decor Links:
Editable Bulletin Board Square Letters
 Rainbow Bright Science Alphabet
Rainbow Bright Welcome Banner
Rainbow Banner (to make it say whatever you want)
Rainbow Bright Full Wall Calendar
(not in pic) Rainbow Bright Math Alphabet
Rainbow Bright Classroom Board Tiles for Organization

 I have a Math Vocabulary bulletin board where I will keep the vocabulary we are using at that time. Once we move on to something new, these words will move to our Word Wall, and new ones will take a place on this board.

 This is usually a favorite bulletin board for the students - Super Work! They LOVE for their work to be displayed here! It is directly over the spot where we turn in homework, so it is right when you walk in the door...where everyone sees it! It is always excited to see the students' faces when they walk in and see their work on this board! I, of course, try to rotate the work as often as possible so that all students get to know this feeling!

All Rainbow Bulletin Decor Links:
A to Z pennant banner - make your own


 I just love the class jobs I created! This is my latest creation for my Leadership classroom :) There are 49 different jobs available to choose from! The other students are "sharpening the saw" while they do not have a class job that week. I am sorry for the quality of this picture - it's awful!

These jobs target Leadership classrooms! I am super excited about them. I tried to use real jobs as the job titles. For example, rather than "Line Leader", we have a "Navigator" :) and rather than "Announcer" or something simple, we have a "Public Relations Spokesman" :)

Important note: In the photo above, the bottom piece says "Sharpen the Saw" because we are a Leader in Me school. Due to The Franklin Covey company's strong copyright laws, we are not allowed to use their terms of their habits. For this reason, I have two options in the pack for sale - one card has a pre-typed page that says "Take Ten" (which still means those students are taking a break at that time). The other option is a card exactly like the one seen in the picture above; however, the words that say "Sharpen the Saw" are simply left out (blank) so that you can write your own title there. Sorry about this!

Links for Class Jobs:
Pink & Blue


This is the view from the back of the room. You can see my math alphabet (FREEBIE), and the "We Love 5th Grade" banner hanging over it. I just love the bright colors and I know it is going to make me so happy to be in a room so colorful :) Is it bad that I already can't wait to keep adding to the decor?


I have talked about this calendar before, but I just love it so much that I had to add it to my final classroom design post! You can see my "how we get home" poster to the left of the regular rainbow calendar. I don't have mine posted on TpT, but my sister at Kindergarten Smiles, has an AWESOME one of these for sale in different color choices!

These calendar sets are on sale on my TpT. You can make your own of these if you have the space! I used electrical tape and magnetic sheeting. I cut up the magnetic sheeting and hot glued it to the back of my calendar set pieces. This is working like a charm and I just LOVE it! I can't wait to display all of our special events on this calendar! I love viewing the whole month at once. A student's planner does not allow them that luxury, so I am glad that they will be able to see the whole month at a time in my classroom!

Rainbow Bright version OR Regular Rainbow version
(not in this post, but there is also a pink/blue/teal version)


I absolutely LOVE pom-poms...if you can't tell. I took this picture while standing on my computer tables because I felt like I was up in a pom-pom wonderland while I was standing there to hang things up! I am just so excited about it! I have 6 for each color of the rainbow. The rest of my room just involves LOTS of rainbow colors everywhere!

As you may be able to tell from this picture...and maybe you saw my earlier posts about it...Each color is color coordinated to match their supplies on their bookshelves! I love this about the room because I am seriously OCD about things like this! I looooove organization and coordination! The kids always know where things belong and they understand they cannot take from another group's bookshelf! Take a look at this picture below to get a better glimpse at green group's bookshelf.

So on the top there is a basket where I pass out papers that we will be using in class that day. I do this in the morning so that while I am teaching, their materials and work is already there waiting for them! No more passing out papers while I try to talk :) There is also the clear, little cup where they receive team pom-poms if they are on tasks or doing great that day!

The top shelf has their canvas with inspirational quote, group journal, team leader pin (team leader for certain activities gets to wear it!), paper clips and binder clips, pens, pencils, and highlighters (which are their group color, of course!). 

The middle shelf has their mini dry-erase boards, the bin with socks for erasers and markers, and loose leaf paper.

The bottom shelf is home to the group dictionary right now, but will be home to their morning work journals and other class related things that we don't need to stuff in their cubbies or desks :)

The reading corner is full of pom-poms, too! I also have class supplies on the shelf where my "Catch a Habit" station is (explain in a different post). I just looove the reading corner because it has that cozy, closed feeling, but it is open enough for me to see everyone in there!


This shelving is behind my desk. It has anything and everything teacher-related on it! On the top, I have our buckets with our treasure prizes in them, all of m "7 Habits" materials, my CD player, and our buckets where I put students work once it is graded and ready to be taken back to the correct homeroom for filing. (I teach math to all 3 of our fifth grade classes, so I have to send student work back to the proper homeroom. It is so simple to just put it in the proper bucket and send a student over to the classroom with it!)

This filing organizer sits on my desk. It has anything and everything on it! The blue folders are where I put class homework once collected. The purple folders have papers I need to grade, and possibly take home to complete. The green folder is my "Later Gator" folder, for things I just need to put aside and get to later! The yellow folders are things that need to be filed, copied, laminated, or created into a poster. The orange files are empty for the most part, but I use them when I send a message to another teacher or someone in the office. There is a folder for each person I ever send a message to, so the student will not forget where they are going! The red  folder is for forms that I have collected, like field trip forms :)

I have already posted about this, but figured I would add it here, too! These are my plans for the week, organized by class, subject, and day of the week. This is sooo great when I have a sub because everything they need is there and I do not really need to write a lot on the sub plans, since it is already filed by subject and class :) This is one of my favorite things in my room! It has definitely come in handy!


I hope you enjoyed looking at my classroom! I am really pleased with how it turned out. I hope that the students love it as much as I do! I can't wait to meet my students and get started on this new year! It feels so great to know that my room is done and I am ready for school!

You can check out other blogs at 4th Grade Frolics
in the fabulous Made It Monday posts! Go check out this great linky party!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I know it's back 2 school when...

AH it is back to school time!

Us teachers all have things we relate to back to school time... new clothes, smiley parents on the first day of school, new classroom decorations, a clean classroom....and more! There are always those few things that you relate only to back to school...I love reading the other teacher's comments about back to school because it usually is exactly something I relate to! I love it! 

Whether its new supplies, your new roster, or the lack of sleep...we all relate to some of these things! Below are the two that definitely remind me of back to school time!

I am ADDICTED to TiVo !! I love all of those silly reality TV shows...ABCfamily shows...and of course, Friends..
I record soo many things each night, that sometimes I cannot even turn on the TV in that room if I am not watching it because too many things are taping for me to watch something else! My husband hates it! He ends up having to watch his sporting events in the other room....oops...
Anyway, TiVo is great and all...but you need time to go back and watch the shows you have taped. Where IS that time during back to school? It is spent blogging, checking out other blog ideas, working on plans, making data charts for my new students....or searching TpT for things that might save me time! I don't even have the time to watch my TiVo! Does this happen to any of you? Do you end up thinking about the level of priority you have for some of these "hmm...that one is not as important, I will just delete it..." hahaha! I always do that! I never end up even watching certain things like Housewives of Atlanta..which just is not as interesting to me as the Housewives of New Jersey! I mean, c'mon...would you rather watch people stuck in an RV fighting, or watch someone think about opening a funeral home? hahaha!

This one is very important! My mom always visits sometime near the beginning of school and when she does...she makes chicken salad and freezes sausage for me to make later! I looooove this chicken salad for lunch the whole first week of school and my husband loves coming home to spaghetti and sausage!! It just wouldn't be "back to school" without mom's food! I will have to wait until September for it this year! Sad :( 

What things do you relate to "Back to School" time? Tell us all by joining this linky party! Click the blank chalkboard above to find out how :) Can't wait to read everyone's ideas about back to school time!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Leadership all around :)

Many of you know that my school is a "Leader In Me" School. If you don't know what that means, I can briefly explain: We follow the idea from "Leader In Me" by Stephen Covey. We use the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in our every day curriculum...integrating it into as much as possible. I absolutely LOVE the effect it has on the students. They become more responsible for their actions and their future. They care more for others, showing empathy rather than giggling when someone has a question or needs help. I just love how they turn into Little Leaders :)

I have done a lot of Leadership-ing in my room this year! I wanted to share some of these things with you all because I really do think any student, any where, can gain from learning these 7 habits. 

It all starts with the basics! The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey is a great way to teach the 7 habits in an "elementary" way, with fun stories that the students can understand!

I created these posters which you can find FREE on my TpT store. I added some ribbon for fun :) and to add a little bit to my rainbow themed room! I used these same clip art pictures in a lot of different decorations in class. That way, the students can recognize the images as a representation of that habit, no matter what they are looking at (whether it be a poster or the little notes - FREE - that I send home when I catch them using one of the 7 habits).

Yay for rainbows!

Don't you all just love when students compliment each other? I DO :)
This "Catch a Habit" station is something I just came up with the other day and I cannot wait to use it!! If a student sees one if his/her peers demonstrating one of the 7 habits, then they can find free time to hop over to this station and grab a small sheet of white paper from the pink cup. They fill out the student's name who they saw demonstrating the habit, what he/she was doing to prove the use of the habit, and then sign their own name to the bottom. Once the sheet is filled out, they place the paper in the cup that matches the demonstrated habit. 
I do not have a habit 7 cup because I did not want to have a bunch of forms turned in when people are caught "sharpening the saw", since that is simply...relaxing!! 

Grab the sheet of paper from the pink cup...

Place it in to the cup that matches the habit you saw a peer demonstrating...

Last but not least...
The Leaders of the Month!! I am really excited about these. Basically, I will just pick a leader of the month for each habit and display their picture on this wall! I feel like it will look really cute once their pictures are up! I will also let them right a brief description of what that habit means to them and add it up there next to their picture :)
I will be adding these as a free item on my blog and TpT very soon!

Well thanks for reading, everyone! I am currently watching tv...on my couch...with my cat...and LOVING it... this is all going to change tomorrow when school starts :( ahhh

Hope you all like some of my Leadership additions to the classroom! Even if you are not a Leader In Me school, you may be able to incorporate habits into your curriculum anyway! It is super cute to watch them learn the habits, and then start showing how they are incorporating them into their daily lives, as well :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

TpT Sale!

TpT Back to School SALE coming August 12-13th !!! Wooooo hooooo !!!!

Get items on sale from MANY MANY MANY different TpT stores! So many different TpT sellers participate in this, so you can receive this sale on thousands of different items from Teachers Pay Teachers! 

ALL of my items will be on SALE - click here or the button below !!! :)

Some of the many items I will have for SALE are...

**The Planner/Grade Book that matches the Teacher Binder**

**All of my WE LOVE banners!**
There is a banner created for all grades K-5th

**The A to Z Banner, so you can design a banner to say anything you want**

There are a really fabulous game that not a lot of kids have played, 
so it really is exciting for the students !!
You can download a FREE PREVIEW of this item on TpT before purchasing if you would like! :)

**Common Core Math and ELA Grade 5 Standards Posters**

I encourage you to do lots of blogging today! There will be so many great bloggers with TONS of TpT items for sale! 

Be sure to enter to win in my 300 follower giveaway !!! 
Going on NOW until Sunday !!!
* Good luck *