Good Deal on Books

One of the best ways to add books to your classroom library is to look at yard sales during the Spring and Summer!  Before I became a teacher, I bought tons of books at yard sales and at Goodwill.  I have lots of books to use if I ever become a teacher of little ones.  
This weekend I went to a yard sale and scored lots of books!  33 to be exact.  I got several Jan Brett books....
Several Social Studies related books...
Several Science related books...
Lots of holiday related books... (even upper elementary grades still love reading holiday books!)
And a random assortment of books that I couldn't pass up!
I also got several books for my 3 year old.  He loves elephants so the two elephant books were great.  The underwater alphabet book is super cute.  And the Kindergarten books will be perfect to use later when it's closer to time for him to go to Kindergarten!  

July Currently

Y'all, it makes me sad to think it's already (well, almost!) July!  How in the world did that happen?!  My summer vacation is going by too quick!  Time to link up with Farley's July Currently!
Listening:  Silence because it's 10:30 and everyone is asleep except me.  
Loving:  Very Jane!  I have just signed up and started buying on there and I am loving it!  3 orders waiting to arrive and I can't wait!  
Thinking: I hope my 3 year feels better tomorrow.  After being a grumpy little man at his cousin's birthday party, I realized when we got home he has a fever.  :(  Makes my heart sad when he feels bad.
Wanting:  While we are in Tennessee for the week, I really want to see friends of mine and spend time with family while we can!
Needing:  REST....I think that's part of my little man being sick.  Seriously, since summer started we have:  Spent 4 days at the beach (about 7 hours driving), rested for 3 days, had company stay at our house for 2 days, went back to the beach for 6 days (no naps and spent about 6-7 hours driving), stayed at our house for 1 day before coming to TN (8 hours driving, 16 total when we go back next week), and went to a birthday party tonight.  I think it is just wearing us down physically and mentally!  It's been SO much fun, but I think it's taking a toll on my little man.  
Tips/Tricks/Hints:  Look at yard sales this summer for books!  Before I became a teacher, I bought tons of books at yard sales and Goodwill!  I cannot wait to show y'all the books I got today at a yard sale of a teacher and daycare owner!  Big time score!  

Fun Finds

While I've been out shopping here and there, I've picked up a couple of fun finds for my classroom and thought I'd share some with you.  Honestly, I can't seem to go anywhere without finding something that I could use in my classroom!  As one of my friends told me, "You are ALWAYS a teacher and in teacher mode".  It's true.  

Target's dollar spot is always a favorite!  I found these cute to-do lists and lead pencils.  I picked up one of each for myself and one of each for my secret pal that I participate in at school each year.  I thought it'd be a cute and fun first week gift!
While shopping at Barnes and Noble, I've picked up the following books related to Social Studies.  Thanks to Brandee for the recommendations!  

While shopping at Toys-R-Us for my niece's birthday, I found this super cute owl bag for only $6.99.  Although I don't do anything in my classroom with owls, it was too cute to pass up.  It worked out great as a beach bag, but could be a cute teacher bag!
My favorite find of the summer are these chevron pillows from Hobby Lobby!  They were 80% off and will be perfect for my classroom.  Good luck finding any...they went super fast!  I also have a set of turquoise ones! Yay!

Have you found any good classroom finds lately?  

*Click here to follow me on Bloglovin'!  The doom of Google Reader is near!

Monday Made It

Good morning from the beach, friends!  Since my little one is sleeping late, I have time to link up to Tara's Monday Made It!  :)  

This week my time was spent printing, cutting, and laminating!  First, I printed off this free Happy Birthday set from The Resource(ful) Room!  What a great freebie!  I always buy a poster every year for birthday, but this will be even better.  
Next I started searching for 5th Grade Common Core "I Can" statements and found this set on Teacher's Pay Teachers. I purchased the Math and ELA set and cut, printed, and laminated those as well.  
It doesn't look like much, but I am glad to have it finished (my hands were killing me by the end!).  Now, time to get ready for the beach!  :)  

On my last post, I talked about using Bloglovin'....over on the right you can click to follow me using that if you'd like.  Have a great day, y'all!  

Blog Lovin'

Just like many of you, with the doom of Google Reader, I am beginning to use Bloglovin' to keep up with all of my favorite blogs! I would love for all of you to follow me there so we won't lose track of each other! :) I have a button over to the right for you to easily click on to follow me there! 

 This will I'll be blogging from the beautiful Fripp Island!

Organizing Social Studies Binders

A few weeks ago, I shared the binder covers I created on Monday Made It!  Click here for that post if you wanted to see the others I created.  I am going to link up with Optimum Organization to share this idea!

A big goal of mine this summer is to study my Social Studies standards.  As you know, I'm moving from 4th to 5th grade so I have all new standards to learn and new materials to gather!  I decided to use four binders for Social Studies: 

1) Reconstruction, Westward Expansion, and the United States as a World Power 
2) World War I, Roaring 20's, The Great Depression
3) World War II, Cold War
4) Collapse of Soviet Union - The U.S. Today
The teacher who left gave me lots of papers that she used during the time she taught so my main goal was to get those papers organized once my binders were set up.  To start with, I used orange paper and typed up the overall theme/topic, along with a short version of the standards.  Next, I place the actual state standard so that I would have easy access to it.  After the orange paper and the standards, I placed any materials I have for that topic.  I repeated this several times in each binder, as I have several topics in each.  The orange paper makes it easy to separate topics in the binder, as you can see below.

If you're like me, you need a visual so I took pictures of the binder I'll use first.  We start with Reconstruction so on the orange paper, I typed the topic and a short version of the standards, followed by the actual standards on the next page.  Behind that is everything I have on Reconstruction: papers, tests, website lists, etc.
Right after Reconstruction in that same binder, I have another orange sheet for the next topic, Westward Expansion, with a short version of the standards and then the actual standards so I can see them quickly and easily.  After that, I have anything relating to Westward Expansion.
Again, in the same binder after Westward Expansion, I have the last orange sheet, United States as a World Power.  Same thing: topics under that standard, the actual standards, and then everything I have on that topic. 
I made orange sheets, followed by the standards and the materials I have for each binder.  I still have a lot to add to the binders as far as curriculum resources, but I am happy that my binders are set up and organized!  I debated using file folders for each specific standard, but binder organization has worked well for me.  I love my binders, so I am continuing that method of organization!  

Now, time to start brushing up on the history and finding more materials to add to my binders!

Monday Made It {sharks!}

Today I am linking with up Tara for Monday Made It!  I love getting ideas from everyone who links up with this series.  Since I was at the beach last week, {take me back, please!} I didn't have a lot of time to work on projects.
While I was at the beach, I bought a shark (see last post for details) and shark teeth. I thought it would be neat to have some way to display them without the kids touching them or better yet, stealing them!  So, I made this little display to put beside the shark!

This week I plan on working on my Social Studies binders for next year, organizing all of my new materials!  Time to get organized!

Monday Made It

I have always enjoyed Tara's link up, Monday Made It!  I have always gotten so many ideas from them.  I've got lots to work on this summer with me moving up to 5th grade!
My first goal was to set up binder covers for my new binders that will hold all new 5th grade materials!  This may not seem like a lot for all you tech-savvy teachers out there, but I am completely new to making things like this.  I made new covers for all of my Social Studies binders! 
I also made two for Reading/English Language Arts. 
And two for my teacher binder (which is currently at school) and one to hold my lesson plans!
Now that I have cute binder covers, it's time to start filling them up with 5th grade materials!

Wish List

During the last few weeks of school, we got an email from our assistant principal to be thinking about what we would want to include on a wish list for next year.  

I really tried to make a list of items that I *knew* I would use and that wasn't too expensive.  I thought I'd share my list with you!  First, I ordered more USA Studies Weekly magazines.  I got these for the first time last year.  I plan to utilize them more next year in 5th grade!  
We have an AWESOME vocabulary series, but the vocabulary workbooks (called Writer's Logs) were not ordered again this year so I added it to my wish list.

My new partner teacher uses this real world math set often in her classroom and really likes it so I thought it would be a good addition, too!
I found this History 6 book set, which covers several of our standards.  It's always good when you can integrate Literature into Social Studies.
All of the other items I included were materials that we use all the time in my classroom! Construction paper, of course...
Seems like you can never have enough glue! 
I have dry erase boards for every student, but I am always lacking dry erase markers.  Hopefully these will be ordered! :)
I am going to try using tape in our notebooks this year.  The teacher I am joining in 5th grade uses tape and likes it so I am giving it a try!

Last year on my wish list, I ordered book pouches for every student.  At a school I visited, I saw that she had hers hanging underneath her Smart Board using these hooks.  What a great use of what otherwise would be wasted space!
Each Monday we send home a weekly newsletter and I like to copy mine on colored paper.  They seem to stand out a little more than every other copy.  I love this bright paper from Office Depot so I requested a bright blue and bright yellow.   

What would you include on a classroom wish list? 

Registration Packets

Today I wanted to share something we did at the end of this year to help prepare for next school year.  At our school, registration begins around the first week of August.  Last year, my partner teacher and I created registration packets so I knew I'd want to do that again.  My new partner teacher and I worked hard this past week to get everything ready for them.  So when parents come to register their child for 5th grade, they can pick up the packet with their child's name on it.
Inside their packet, they will find 4 items:
  • Welcome to 5th grade pamphlet:  Inside this we welcome them to 5th grade and review basic back to school information.
  • Class t-shirt letter:  We order t-shirts at the beginning of the school year from a local company.  Since our field trip will be in the fall, we wanted to make sure to include this.  
  • Class party letter:  Since we already know the dates for our two class parties, we wanted to go ahead and send this out so they can mark their calendars early.
  • Handle With Care:  I really like this form that parents fill out about their child.  On it, there is a hand for just about everything:  academic strengths, weaknesses, concerns, disciplines strategies that have and haven't worked, goals, etc.
    The only thing that I like to include that is not currently in this packet is field trip information.  We did plan and book our field trip for the fall, but do not have all of the details worked out just yet.  The place we are visiting has a scholarship fund where you can apply for free or half admission if you are a Title 1 school.  We applied, but it takes about a month to hear back. Hopefully we will hear back soon! We do have a field trip letter typed and just need to add the price to it as soon as we hear.  We will add that letter to the packet this summer!

    Having these packets completed already is a great relief and helps me to feel organized and prepared for next year!  It also gives parents time to fill out the information before school begins.  

Last Week of School Recap

Since it's Friday and this was the last week of school, it's the perfect time to link up for Five for Friday at Doodle Bugs Teaching! 
1)  Due to rainy weather, we had our field day indoors this year.  It actually turned out really good!  The kids had fun and I didn't feel all sweaty afterwards...haha!  Works for me!  I had a picture, but I realized I put Field TRIP Fun on it instead of Field Day Fun.  I think I've been in survival mode this week!  LOL!

2) Today was our last day of school!  My room is all packed up for the summer.  I know lots of other teachers have to pack everything up too.  It's such a pain, isn't it?  I tried to keep things organized, but it didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. 
3) Today was bittersweet for several reasons.  First, we had to say goodbye to one of our 5th grade teachers.  She is moving back home to New York.  I was sad to see her go!  Also, it was my last day working with the BEST partner teacher ever and my last day as a 4th grade teacher.  I am looking forward to working with my new partner next year and I know we will work great together.  But, I will miss my team partner that I've always had.  She has truly became a best friend to me and I'll be teaching her daughter for the 2nd year in a row next year!  This picture shows the third grade team, the fifth grade team, and then me and my partner teacher which makes up the fourth grade team. 
4)  Have you ever used the pens called Bottle 2 Pen?  I know every teacher loves a good pen and these are awesome!  Must get more!! 
5) Now that I am officially on summer vacation, I am looking forward to the BEACH!  Luckily, I will get to go the beach a few times and I am so excited!  Countdown is on!

Almost There!

So many of the teacher's whose blogs I read are already out of school & I have been quite jealous! ;)  This week has been super busy, but the school year is winding down so fast.  Today was actually my student's last day.  Tomorrow is the teacher's last day!  As much as I've loved my class this year, I am ready for a little break!  This school year has been really busy and somewhat overwhelming with regular teaching duties, masters class work, and all of the duties that come with being a wife and also being a mommy to a toddler, and living 7+ hours away from all of our family.  Whew, it makes me tired just thinking about it!  BUT,  I am about 4 weeks away from finishing my last masters class.  I will feel SO relieved when I am finished!!  

I have lots of things that I hope to post about soon:
  • Super cute binder covers
  • Wish List {one where I actually get the items!}
  • Field trip planning
  • Field day
  • Welcome packets
Right now, I feel somewhat in survival mode!  Ever feel that way?!?!  Although, I did see something recently that totally made me smile!!  Every now and then I look at the stats on my blog to see how people make it to my blog.  I saw one entry website called Top Masters in Education and I wasn't sure what it was.  So, I clicked on it and was taken to a link that is called Top 25 Elementary School Teacher Blogs of 2012.  
I could not and still cannot believe that my blog actually made the list!  Sometimes I wonder how many people even read it! :)  Although I don't think my blog is worthy of that title, it really did make me smile and made my day!  I have loved reading so many amazing teacher blogs and I think it's such a great community!  
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