While my daughter is at dance in the mornings, I've been going to school.  Anything I've been using at school the past few days are free until 8/1 at 8 pm!!! The picture links will be at the end of this post.  Please feel free to leave feedback if they help you in your class! 

Here are some of my projects.
1.  The bookroom.  I've done some new labels and made some signs.  I ended up using scrapbook paper.  I think I found the brightest color package that they sold at Michaels!  My daughter loved the colors...she wants any leftover paper :) 

However, I'm not sure if anyone will get my "Welcome to the Book Room" sign (because almost all of the teachers I teach with are about 25 years old!). I was trying to make it like the Guns N' Roses song, Welcome to the Jungle. That's why I even put it on the rainbow zebra paper!

Bright Scrapbook Paper

The bookroom area is under construction.  I'm still labeling, and trying to get all the colored baskets coordinated based on level.  I inherited a hodge-podge of baskets, but at least I have baskets, so I can't complain!!!

These are the labels I made to put in the baskets/crates.  I really wanted to put them on the front, but I couldn't figure out how to keep them attached! If anyone has any ideas, please share!!!  :)
This was a cart of Mondo books we inherited when an elementary school closed. 
2.  Files.  This is not much fun, but I've been working on cleaning out files and putting them in an order I like! Pete the Cat and the Mouse like sitting on my file cabinet :)  I'm sure they are happy that they are sitting on an organized file cabinet!

Last summer I decorated these galvanized buckets from Michaels.  The owls were in the aisle with the wooden letters, but they had a section of finished wood.  I love the owls :)  I keep small post-it notes, binder clips, and paper clips in the buckets.

3.  My notebooks.  I have four notebooks that I use for meetings. 
Progress Monitoring
Data (this is classroom teacher data)
Coaching Notebook

I progress monitor about 10 students, and I need their specific data for parent meetings.

My data notebook has progress monitoring and benchmark data for each grade level.  We discuss this data at our PLC meetings.

My coaching notebook has my lesson plans, observation forms, standards for each grade level, and the school schedule.

Our district is working on improving instruction in K-2.  This notebook is divided into 4 sections:  Guided Reading, Literacy Work Stations, Phonemic Awareness and Phonics.  This is my first year for this notebook.  I'm not sure if I need it.  Since I went to 3 days of PD this summer, I have lots of resources that I have put in this notebook.  Plus I've been cleaning out files and adding to my notebook :)

Next Project:  Bulletin board for our school wide reading program!  The colors are black, white, gray, and yellow.

Click below to access these back-to-school flash freebies:

Behavior Clip Chart


Inspirational Quotes

 Binders and Spines

Maybe everyone already knows about this app, but I got a text from a reading teacher this morning that said I MUST check it out Record of Reading!  It is by Clemson University.  It won't work on phones, just iPads (at least as far as I can tell). 

I'm a huge fan of running records because they provide instant results to the teacher about how a student is reading, and teachers can give immediate feedback.

I'm still learning (my poor children are my guinea pigs)!  These are some great benefits...
- records reading and you can listen to the students later or share with parents or literacy coaches
- does automatic calculations (I haven't figured this out yet!!!)
- paperless (can save running records as a pdf)
- free

Here are some screen shots.  There are drop down boxes, and places to type.  The check marks are made just by using your finger to make the check marks. 
I like how you can save these as PDFs!
It is going to take some more practice for me to give up my "old way", mostly because of speed.  I'm pretty fast at running records.  I wasn't always fast or felt confident with running records.  The more I did them, the better I became.  I think this would be similar :)  I cannot wait to figure out how the calculations work- that might just convince me to go paperless!!!!

I have had a GREAT time this summer on vacation(s)!  Here are some of my favorite pictures!  We got to do lots of hiking, which I LOVE!! I'm funny about posting pictures of my family online (even though they are the cutest and most adorable children I know). So what I'm saying is...you are going to get lots of landscape photos :)

Colorado- Rocky Mountains

Capulin Volcano (I've always wanted to go to a volcano!!!!)  This was amazing.  It was run by the National Park Service and they only let a few cars to the top.  My children became Jr. Park Rangers, and had lots of fun exploring! Once you got to the top, then there was a 1 mile trail around the top of the volcano, and then you could go down into it.

Angel Fire, New Mexico:  This was such an amazing place.  We went horseback riding, rode the ski lifts, and did TONS of hiking!  

Minneapolis, Minn:  This blue thing sticking out is the Guthrie Theater.  I loved the Riverfront area. We actually stayed downtown, but spent quite a bit of time at the Riverfront (we even did hiking)!  We also went to Mall of America.  I LOVE to shop, but that place is HUGE!!!!

We travel quite a bit, and I must say, I love the Vera Bradley hanging organizer.  I bought it at an outlet for $19.99!  It has been the best travel organizer I have ever owned. I can put jewelry, make-up, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, and more in it.  There are so many clear pockets, it is easy to find everything!
This summer I had great experiences finding gluten free food (and one funny experience).   My daughter and I do not eat gluten, and Colorado was AWESOME!  They had gluten free restaurants, and a gluten free concession stand at the Rockies game!  However, one time in Oklahoma, I asked if something was gluten free, and the response I got was, "Nothing is free, you have to pay!"

Fire Pit :)  Our weather this summer has been CRAZY!  Usually it is in the 100s, and it has been pretty mild!  The past few nights it was cool in the evenings (I needed a sweatshirt) and we made smores on the patio :)

Click on the picture below to access my classroom clip chart freebie!!

Happy Saturday!!!!  This is the ELA Free eBook for grades 3-5. This eBook has lots of free resources and tips for implementing the Common Core in your classes.  As soon as the K-2 ELA version is out, I will add a link! 


Here is the K-2 link!

I'm still on my blogging vacation, but I'm going to have to start working on the book room at school (I moved it in June to a new location).  These are the labels I'm going to use. I wanted to share!!! Click on the picture below, to download them for free :)

I'm headed to Michaels tonight to get scrapbook paper (on sale)! I had debated about using cool digital scrapbook paper as a background, but sometimes our printer doesn't print things quite as bright as they appear on the screen! 

Since it is summer, I put a bunch of items on sale in my store for $1 to $2!! Many items are over 50% off :)

Sale is thru Friday 7/27!

Another blogger talked today about the fear of missing out (FOMO), and it made me stop and think.

I have less than one month left until school starts, and I realized I had a fear of missing out on the rest of my summer!!! I love blogging and I LOVE reading everyone's fabulous ideas. However, I decided that I need to take a break from blogging and enjoy the rest of my summer.  I'm not very good at balancing my time, and I feel like I've been spending too much time on the Internet this summer.   When school starts I give 500%, and for the next few weeks, I need to give 500% to my two little ones, so I don't miss out on anything :)

This week I went with things that make me happy!  I hope everyone has a happy weekend!  You can follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link on my blog :)  If you click on any of the pictures, it will take you directly to the blog/website with these awesome ideas! 
These free anchor charts make me very happy.  Oceans of First Grade Fun did an AMAZING job :)  I have terrible handwriting, and I hate putting up things that look sloppy.  I know how important it is to make anchor charts with students. These are a great resource to use while making anchor charts with students!!
Fun sight word activities make me happy :)
Mom to 2 Posh Lil Diva's shows how to make this Connect 4 sight word game!
 Next Comes L has these bright colored sight word popsicle puzzles. 

I thought this book hospital by Learning in Wonderland was too cute and a great idea!

I love this birthday idea from Erica Bohrer!  Students love having their pictures posted, and they LOVE birthdays!

This quote by Oscar Wilde makes me happy and I love the style of work from The Shabby Caterpillar.

I love scarfs.  That's a good thing and a bad thing.
I have too many, but I do not have one with butterflies.  This is from a company in Australia, so I'm on a mission to find one at a store near me!  I also have them all piled on a shelf in my closet.  AFTER TODAY, NOT ANY MORE!!!  I already was making my weekly trip to Wal-Mart..now I just have 2 more things on my list :) 

When I went to training a few weeks back, I learned about stop consonants.  I had never heard of them before.  Please forgive me if this is "old" news!!

Stop consonants are consonants that are formed when the flow of air is completely stopped  somewhere in the vocal apparatus, and then the air is released.  

What are the stop consonants?

  /b/     /d/    /g/     /k/      /p/       /t/ 

If you practice saying them and then compare them to other consonants, you'll see how the air flow is different.  I'm sure we looked ridiculous at this training saying /t/ /m/  /p/  /f/  over and over so we could see the difference the sounds make :)

Why is this important in blending?
It is much harder for emergent readers to blend words that begin with a stop consonant.

When teaching beginning blending, it is much easier to start with words that DO NOT begin with a stop consonant.

 It is much easier for emergent readers to blend
than it is for them to blend

This way incredibly eye opening for me to learn this.  I felt like this was an easy "thing" to implement, and I know when I have had students blend words in the past, I didn't know that some consonants are harder to blend than others. 


Linky Party

I thought this linky party was fun.  I'm kind of obsessive compulsive :) This is what I brought home.

 For the first time in 5 years, I did not have to move rooms at the end of the year!!!!  I actually was able to get almost everything filed and all my binders cleaned/organized!!  This was HUGE!!! I had to move the bookroom, but that is different ;)  Here is my "stuff"!!!
I brought home a tub of my favorite teacher resources along with a few notebooks and papers that need to be filed.  I also brought home a small crate that has the files that still need to be cleaned.  Guess what? Until this linky, I hadn't pulled out this "stuff" all summer :)  I store it under my table in the craft room.  You can link up with Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge by clicking on the link below!

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