Sunday, December 2, 2012

Two Hundred Follower Giveaway?

Hi, Friends!

I'm two bloggy friends away from 200 and would love to have a giveaway. Oh, what the heck...198 is close enough! And I'm dying to try out this Rafflecopter thingy. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Update:  Thank you so much to Linda from Around the Campfire for the Rafflecopter tip!  She is also having a giveaway so you should check out her blog as well.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Helping a Bloggy Friend

Hi Friends,
It's been so long...I know.  I really admire all of you wonderful teachers who manage to keep your blogs up to date and teach!  I just don't know how you do it!  Anyway, one of my favorite blogs, Buggy for Second Grade, has opened a TpT shop.   You should head on over to check it out and become a follower while you're there.  Why not, right?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Earbud Organizer

For those of you who were interested in the numbers for my earbud organizer, I've finally uploaded the PDF to GoogleDocs.  It's nothing fancy...just numbers that I printed on labels and then mounted onto lime green,royal blue or yellow paper and then added a black background.  Help yourself!

Click here to get the earbud numbers.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Crate Seats

Hi Friends!

It's Monday, again. Yay! I decided that this past week was a good week to finally make the crate seats I had seen a year ago on Erica's blog called The Honey Bunch. Yes, I did say a year ago...I'm a very slow project person but Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics has really gotten me motivated.

I already had three of the black milk crates so I only had to purchase three more. Target had them on sale for $3.97.


Then I went to Joann Fabrics and picked out my material and ribbon. Erica had given me advice about using a darker material to hide the grime so I did just that. The two patterns I chose match perfectly although it's a little hard to see in the photo. My oldest daughter was helping me and she has a good eye for these things. I am very happy with her find. She also found the matching ribbon. :). The last thing we needed here was the cushiony stuff. I had a couple of 50% off coupons so total cost here was about $21.


Our next stop was Home Depot. I went to the lumber department and explained what I was doing. I also added that I wanted to do it the cheapest way possible. A young gentleman went in the back and came out with a $19 piece of plywood. It was ugly but that didn't matter at all. So he measured my milk crate and cut the 6 pieces that I needed....for FREE! (I forgot to take a picture of the plywood pieces...)

Later that night,I borrowed my husband's staple gun, measured, cut and stapled away. Here's a photo of the back of the seat...not pretty but that's okay, too.


And finally, here are the seats all put together. I LOVE them! Thanks, Erica and Tara!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Table Organizers

Hi Friends!

I so enjoyed Tara's Monday Made It linky party last week that I actually finished more projects!

The first thing I did was to work on my table organizers.  I found these at Bed, Bath & Beyond. DSCN1208

They were a 'not-so-fabulous-find' as they were $12.99 each.  But, I looked and looked for what I thought would work best for me and these drawer organizers were the only thing that even came close.

Then I bought these baskets at The Dollar Tree...a much better bargain! They fit perfectly in the two big slots on the left side of the organizer. DSCN1210

Now, here's where the craftiness comes in.  I spent weeks looking for smaller baskets or containers that would fit into the 3 slots on the other side.  No such luck.  So finally, I decided to get a little creative.  I found this duck tape at Target.  It was $3.49/roll.


And these plastic, Chinese food containers at Michael's Crafts. They were $0.99 each.


I spent the next 3 hours wrapping the containers in the duck tape.  I've gotten six done and have six more to go.  DSCN1207

I'm not sure how I feel about it.  From a distance, they look good.  But all I can see are the crazy seams I made all over the place.  However, I'm not changing my mind now...maybe next year...

My second accomplishment was the earbud organizer.  I found the earbuds at The Dollar Tree, of course!DSCN1197

And the storage container came from Michael’s Crafts.  It was in the beaded jewelry section but I can’t remember what I paid for it…maybe $7.00.DSCN1198



Then, I spent some time making numbers for each section…     DSCN1196


…and a cover for the top.  Here it is all put together.


That’s it for this week.  I know I am sorely lacking for the ‘home’ made-its but it is what it is.  Hope you all are having a great week!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cards, Anyone?

Hi, Friends!

This idea may not be new to some of you but I just redid my cards so I thought it would be a good time to post. Basically, I'm talking about decks of cards. If you use cards in your instruction, then you will most definitely like this idea. The idea came from a girl working for Everyday Math. She had come to my school about ten years ago when my district first purchased the program.

How do you organize and manage all of the different decks of cards? It is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and oh so efficient! You take a deck of cards and color the top and bottom with a marker. Let's say red, for example. Then, take another deck and color both of the sides with the same red marker. That way, I've gotten two decks labeled but only used one color.

Here's a picture of my 'red tops' and 'red sides' decks.

I did the same thing with several other colors.

Next, I picked up some index card holders at CVS. I tried to get the holders to match the colors that I used but the selection was very limited...

Finally, I printed labels for the index card holders, stuck them on and there you go...all decks of cards are labeled and organized for easy set up and clean up.


Here's the best part! When a card goes astray or decks get mixed up, you can easily tell what doesn't belong by looking at the tops or sides of the deck. The oddball card will stand out because of its different color. It's ingenious! And I can verify firsthand that it really does work. Easy to setup, easy to organize and easy to maintain. Give it a will be glad you did!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Made It Monday...Finally!!

Hi Everyone,

I've been dying to participate in Tara's Made It Monday linky party but unfortunately, I'm one of those that starts a million things and finishes few...  :/  It's a problem, I know, but I'm working on it.  :)

The first thing I finally completed was the crayon organizer which I found on Pinterest but came from the infamous Miss Squirrel at Going Nutty.  It was one of those "Duh! Why didn't I think of that?!" moments.  I bought the mini-drawers and managed to get into school for my crayons.  My daughter sorted them for me and the labels were made by me.  That's what took the longest which is ridiculous because there is nothing fancy about them but I'm happy that it's done.

Next, I worked on these place value tent cards that I found at Teaching in the Early Years.   Shelley's post is full of information on making/using/storing this tool, as well as where to find the templates.  It's definitely worth your time to check it out.

Here's a picture of what mine look like.

I used bright colors to match my room.  This is probably cheating but I'm technically NOT done with this project.  I decided that there was far to much laminating involved to do on my little laminator at home.  I will finish the laminating at school but I wanted you to see the finished look now so you would have time to make your own if so desired.

For my final project, I used water bottle caps for a making words center.  I've checked my Pinterest boards and I've googled and googled but I can not find the original source.  I have (in the process of searching) found lots of other great ideas for bottle caps but not the one that gave me the inspiration.  If this is you, please tell me so I can link back to you and give the proper credit. 

Word Building Center
This box of bottle caps will be one of the choices for Working With Words (a Daily 5 structure).  I'm thinking sight word practice will be good but vocabulary work or the spelling skill of the week would also work.

That's it for my completed projects.  It's 9:27pm and I'm just now getting this posted...good grief!  I hope someone gets some inspiration from my post because I have most definitely been inspired by all of your posts!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

iPad Giveaway!

Teacher Created Resources is having an awesome giveaway! One lucky winner will win an iPad and five runner up winners will win a new writing app.  Click here or on the picture below to check it out.

You can also earn entries through referrals.  For example, I entered through the Penniless Teacher's referral.  She earned an entry because of that and then I was given my own personal link which I would love for you to enter the giveaway with.  If you do, you will then be given a link to share and earn your own entries.  It sounds like a win-win to me!  Good luck!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Classroom Pets at TBA

Hi Friends!

I'm linking up with Michelle at Making It As a Middle School Teacher and TBA. Michelle is hosting one of the "There's No Place Like TBA" posts. Her focus is on classroom pets - one of my favorite things to talk about! Click on the links below to check out the entire will be well worth your time.


So let me introduce my babies. Meet Daisy and Lilly...two of the friendliest pets I have ever had!

Daisy is the black, white and blonde guinea pig and Lilly is the brown and white one. You can tell by this picture that Daisy is much more outgoing and Lilly is more shy but they are both so darn adorable!

How did these girls come into my life? Through a wonderful foundation called Pets in the Classroom. If you are considering a pet, you simply must check this out. The grant application was so easy, then you wait about 4 to 6 weeks for approval and you're good to go.

You will need to have done your research ahead of time because the application includes questions about the type of pet you are looking to adopt. There are so many choices for pets. There are also four types of grants. Click here to read my previous post about Pets in the Classroom.

Moving on to my girls...these cute little critters have brought more joy to my classroom than I ever thought possible! I teach second grade and I confess that I was extremely nervous that my students wouldn't be gentle enough or kind enough or able to control their excitement enough... Boy was I WRONG! Not only were they gentle and kind and controllable (for the most part ;) ) but their desire to learn more was unbelievable. These little babies were the inspiration for many writing pieces and from several genres. Readers workshop read alouds often featured a guinea pig as the main character and my students brought in the books from our school or local library. Math lessons were easily executed and it didn't really matter which lesson I needed to teach. Daisy and Lilly always seemed to fit right into our topic of the day. And when it came to Science, the value of having these little girls as our classroom pets was priceless. Obviously, they fit right into our life science lessons but they also managed to be relevant during our physical science lessons as well. And believe it or not, we learned that guinea pigs have even been sent into space!

Lilly (snuggling with my oldest)

Daisy at two months old.
Yes, having classroom pets (especially these girls) was probably the best decision I've made in awhile. Many of my students have never experienced the joy of having a pet until this year and what they've learned about being compassionate will stay with them as they grow.

What about weekends and holidays? Well, before I decided to do this, I made sure that I would be able and willing to care for these animals on my own if I had to. My plan was to ask parents if they wanted to be "piggy-sitters" on weekends and/or school vacations. Ten of my 19 families happily agreed. I was SO nervous about letting the girls go home with people that I didn't really know but after the first couple of weekends, I was fine. My classroom community grew! The parents were so excited to help, as well as the older or younger siblings. Almost all of my families asked for a second turn and a few that declined at the beginning jumped on board as well. The guinea pigs were such a huge hit that two of my families adopted their own! My girls had play dates with their girl guineas. The travel bag that went home with the piggies included a journal and a camera. The pictures that came back were so cute! Unfortunately, they are all on my school computer right now. :(


I would most definitely recommend classroom pets to any teacher. It doesn't have to be guinea pigs (although they are known for their friendliness). Your students would be excited about any kind of pet, I'm sure. I'd have a dog in the room, too, if it were allowed. :). Speaking of dogs, my home babies were getting jealous of Daisy and Lilly so here's a picture of Moose and Ember. By the way, my guinea pigs are with me for the summer. Several of my students begged to babysit but I wanted time with them, too. Is that selfish?

Moose - a 7 year old Shihtoodle
Ember - a 1year old deaf dachshund mix


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Award



A big THANK YOU goes out to Molly at Psyched to be in 2nd for giving me The One Lovely Blog award.

Molly is new to bloggy world but she has a lot of great ideas to share. Please return her kindness by checking out her blog and following if you like what you see. Thanks!

When you receive this award, you must follow 3 rules:
1. Follow the person that gave you the award.

2. Link back to the person that gave you the award.

3. Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers.


Here are my choices (although there are SO many fabulous blogs out there...)

Welcome to 2nd Grade Pad

Swimming into Second
Grab My Button!
My Photo
Sugar and Spice
A Class Act
Buggy for 2nd Grade
Sweet Seconds


My Second Sense
2nd Grade Pig Pen