Sunday, July 29, 2012

CHEAP Valance Makeover!

Hi Friends!
Like many of you, I spend WAY to much money on things for my classroom.  Every year I tell
myself that I don't need anything else, but then all the new "stuff" comes out & I just can't help
myself.  I'm picking up things at the Dollar Tree, Target, Walmart, Staples, Hobby Lobby,
Michaels and everywhere else I happen to go.  I know many of you have the same problem.
So, if you've only got a few dollars left to spend, here's a cheap idea to make window
valances with an expensive look!
I bought two $2.00 plastic table covers at Target.

Next, I opened them up and cut off the design part on each side.

Last, I used velcro dots to attach each valance to the rod above my windows.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fact Family

Hi Friends!
"We are family...I've got all my sisters with me!"  Do you recognize those song lyrics?
If you are of a certain age, I'm sure you can sing along.  It's Sister Sledge from 1978. 
Today I am going to share a fact family idea that I've added to my daily math meeting.
 Here's a picture of what it looks like and a short description of how I made it.

I used a 18"x 24" magnetic whiteboard for the background. I made the ladybug out of construction
paper and laminated it.  The spots are magnets that I bought at Office Max and spray painted white.  The fact family worksheet is one I found online, but I can't remember where I got it.
 Last, I added a title with sticky letters from Hobby Lobby. 
This has been a great visual for my students when we are working
 on fact families during our daily math meeting.
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Liebster Award

Hi Friends!
I want to thank Mrs. M. from for nominating
me for the Liebster Blog Award.  I've since learned that Liebster is the German word for favorite.
This award is given to someone who has less than 200 followers and is a "favorite" of someone
that follows your blog.  So, thank you Mrs. M.!!!  You are too kind:)
Now I get to choose 5 other blogs to pass on this special award.
Here they are:
1.  Lovely Little Learners @
2.  First Impressions @
3.  Creating Bookworms @
4.  New Adventures in First Grade @

Please take a few minutes and visit these wonderful blogs! 
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spotlight on Writing

Hi Friends!
Today I'd like to share something new I am adding to my classroom this year.  It's called "Spotlight
on Writing."   I got this idea on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.  I've modified it
a little, but the idea is the same.  Spotlight on Writing is a way to showcase student writing
in a more "formal" way.  All you need is a picture frame and a spotlight of some kind.
Here's a picture of what I bought at Kohl's to set up my "Spotlight on Writing" area in my classroom.

I am starting with one frame and one light, but you could do more.
These two items cost me $31.05. They were both on sale & I had a 15% off coupon.
I am SURE there is a cheaper way to do this, but I really liked these two items.

Here's what it looks like with a writing sample and the spotlight on it.
It's hard to see how nice it looks because the picture is so dark.
It looks fabulous in person!!!
So I took it outside and snapped another picture. 
Here it is.

The light is attached to the frame and it does need to be plugged in.
Here's a picture of how I attached the clip to the frame.
I plan to showcase my students' writing throughout the school year.
Now I just need to make a sign that reads, "Spotlight on Writing."

Here's a picture of the orginal idea I saw on Pintest.
You can read about it here:
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Smarty the Dog - Class Mascot

Hi Friends!
Do you have a class mascot? 
I have one called Smarty.  He's a dog.  Well, not a real dog or a stuffed dog, but a metal
dog planter that I turned into a class mascot.  He's really cute and best of all he carries
around Smarties all the time.  In fact, I named him Smarty because I
 wanted to use the Smarties candy as a reward for being a smart thinker.
  If you're on Pinterest, then you've probably seen the
little pair of child sized jeans that are filled with Smarties with a sign that says
"Smarty Pants."  It's really cute! I thought about making the jeans, but then I
saw this cute little metal planter and chose to use it instead. 
I decided to write a book about Smarty as a way to introduce him to my class.
In the book, Smarty tell the kids why he is so smart.  He tell them that he listens
to his teacher, he uses good manners, he follows the classroom rules, etc.
The kids LOVE Smarty!!!!
Smarty lives on a shelf in my classroom with a sign that reads, "Smarty Lives Here."
Here's a picture of Smarty & a few pages from my book.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Best Purchase EVER!

Hi Friends!
Today I'd like to share one of the best things I have ever purchased for my classroom.
It's actually a garment rack that I bought from Walmart several years ago.
I have used it more than any other item in my classroom.
Here are some pictures with descriptions of how I use it.
This is no ordinary garment rack.  It has four sides, a top and bottom shelf & it's on wheels!!

I hang my blue pocket chart on one side & red one on the other.

On this side I hang a small tablet chart with jumprope rhymes for our brain breaks.

This side has a metal arm that comes out where I can hang anchor charts. The other side has one, too.

The top has a shelf where I store lots of my big books and charts.

The bottom shelf is where I store tubs of listening center books/cd's.

There are so many ways to use this garment rack.  I love it because it doesn't take up much space,
I can move it around quickly because it is on wheels & there's lots of storage options.
I went to and typed garment rack in the search box.
It looks like they still have it available.  It's around $50.00.
Here's the link.
Best puchase EVER!!!

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Hi Friends!
I was so surprised and honored to get a Versatile Blogger Award from
Tamera at
This is my first award as a new blogger.   THANK YOU, Tamera! 
Now, I have the honor of passing this special award on to 5 awesome bloggers.
But, before I do, here are the rules that go along with this award.

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you & include a link to their site
2.  Include the award image in your post
3.  Nominate five other bloggers for this award, tell them they've been nominated & include a link
     to their site
4.  Share seven random facts about yourself

Here are the 5 awesome bloggers I am nominating:

Number 1

Number 2
First Grade Gallery - Lessons For Little Learners

Number 3

Number 4

Number 5
Finally, here are 7 random facts about me:)
1.  I love candy!! It doesn't matter if it's expensive or cheap.  I will eat it.
2.  I've been trying to lose weight for 15 years, but I keep saying I'll start on Monday.
3.  I have a crush on all 4 guys on Impractical Jokers, but Joe is my favorite!!
4.  I HATE public speaking, but am forced to do it from time to time.
5.  I am a 2 time National Karate Champion in forms. ( USKA 1978 & AKA 1981)
6.  I have 5 brothers and 2 sisters and we all live within 10 miles of each other & our mother.
7.  I've been teaching for 26 years and all my colleagues know I LOVE being a teacher.
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