Tuesday, July 31, 2012

All About Me {a Writing Craftivity}... for Back to School!

Each year we get to know {and come to love} our new bunch of students.
We learn about each of their little personalities, their likes, their dislikes...
Why not make the learning process fun and cute with this little All About Me craft?!
Your kiddos will make a girl or a boy craft, and fill out an All About Me booklet:
This project would make a great first week activitity or Open House display!  It would also be a great addition to an "I am Special" unit, or your Star of the Week activities!  *And* it doubles as a great keepsake for your students and their parents for years to come :)

all about me {a writing craftivity} comes with the patterns to make the cuties above, plus two booklet options!  You can choose the booklet with space for drawings, or the one without space for drawings {it's less pages}.  There are some slight variations between the two options.  Here are some pics of the booklet:
If you'd like to pick up a copy, head to my TpT shop!
I hope you love, love, love it!! :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Frankenstein {a Craftivity}

I know what you're thinking.

"This cupcake is cuckoo for cocoa puffs!"

I promise you, I am not!  I can't get into my classroom for another couple weeks, so instead of decorating, I'm just creating whatever pops into my head!  Even if it is a Halloween craftivity ;)  What do you think?
I made these cutie monsters with my little ones last year, and knew I had to turn this craft into a little pack to share with you!  I included two writing prompts {one for a boy and one for a girl}, and each prompt is available in full or half page, with primary or secondary lines!
Your kiddos will use adjectives and descriptive writing to describe their Frankies!  See how I made it a mini lesson? ;)  Here is a project from one of my sweeties last year, with a sample writing page that I made up to go with it:
If you're interested in my frankenstein {a craftivity}, you can pick it up in my TpT shop!  I love your feedback, so let me know what you think!  I hope you love it!!! :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

The ABC's of Me

I'm fashionably late to Amy's linky, but I couldn't pass it up!

I stole Hadar's "ABC" idea to tell you a little more about me:

A- Age - 26!


B - Bed size - Queen.  I slept in a twin up until a year ago!  Wah!


C - Car - I drive a bright red Infiniti G37!  LOVE it!!! Dream car!! :)


D - Dogs or cats - I'm such a cat person!  I want to take home every cute kitten I see!!  Here are my babies, Zoe and Jack:

E - Essential to start your day - I always check my email, FB, and game alerts on my iPhone before I get out of bed lol.


F - Favorite color - I love red, bright blue, and hot pink.


G - Gold or silver - Platinum!  hehehe I'm spoiled ;)  I also prefer white gold!


H - Height - 5'6"


I - Ice cream - My favorite is Mint Chocolate Chip!


J - Job title - Teacher!  Here I am, during craft time:

K - Kids - None yet!  But I'd love one boy and one girl when the time is right. :)


L - Live - New Jersey.  And no, we are not like Snooki!


M - Matt - My husband.  Love, love, love.

N - Nickname - Teri!  My real name is Teresa.  Ter-A-sa. :)


O - October - My birthday month!  And who doesn't love Halloween??



P - Pet peeves - Hmm I have a lot.  Too many to pick!  lol


Q - Quote from a movie - "Milk was a bad choice!" haha it's the first one I came up with.


R - Right or lefty - Righty.


S - Siblings - I have a little brother who just turned 21!  Isn't he handsome?


T - TV - I looove television.  My new favorite show:  Dexter!  Old faves: LOST and Desperate Housewives.


U - Unknown fact - I refuse to touch/prepare uncooked chicken!!! Refuse!!!!


V - Vegetables - Yuck.  :)


W - What makes me run late - My husband.  Gosh, he's late for everything!!!!


X - X-rays - My teeth and my foot.


Y - Yummiest food - There's nothing like a good slice of pizza!


Z - Zoo animal - Giraffes!  Here's my buddy, Harrison:

And there you have it!  The ABC's of me! :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Attendance Board, Box Tops, and More!

Since I missed last week's Monday Made It, I'm here today with three completed projects!  First on the list is my new attendance board!
Yup, I found yet another use for those freebie numbers of mine!!  To make this board {if it isn't obvious, lol} I used two baking sheets from Dollar Tree, printed-cut-laminated-cut-again my classroom numbers, and popped mini magnets on the back of the pieces:
Easy peasy!!  Of course, you could use any magnetic surface to make this attendance board {chalkboard, filing cabinet, fridge?}.

I made a major update to my classroom numbers freebie on TpT and added:
 *numbers up to 100
*I am here/not here today labels
*I am in the bathroom/nurse/office labels
*I am having hot lunch/cold lunch/my own lunch labels
*library sticks directions & label
Download your updated freebie {here}.  And can I just add that last I checked, 13,483 of my closest friends downloaded it?!?  WOW!!!

Moving on... my second project is a Box Tops holder.  I've been seeing them pop up on Pinterest and other blogs, and I knew I had to make one.  You see, Box Tops and I go way back.  Two years ago, my class collected 800 and we won a pizza party.  Last year, my class collected 1000 and somehow we lost.  So this year.... well this year, I'm going to bring it!!  And with my new fancy Box Tops holder, I just might win it again!! {I'm not competitive at all.} ;)
This was another easy one!  Here's what I used:
The best part about using a Strawberry Nesquick container is that my Box Tops now smell like Strawberry Nesquick... it's delicious!  To make it I just Mod Podged the zebra paper on, added a band of pink paper, Mod Podged over the paper for a nice finish, and hot glued a little label to the front.  Simple!!

And last but not least on my list is this:
This cutie has made it's way around the blogosphere and it just landed here at my place!  The original idea comes from Mrs. Plum at There's No Place Like Second Grade.  She has a little freebie packet to go with it, so check it out!!  Unfortunately, I could only find three lightbulb stress balls {at two different Targets!}, so let's hope only three of my littles need to de-stress or brainstorm at a time! ;)

I hope you like my projects!  For more crafty goodness, visit Tara's linky!

Before I leave you, I wanted to share an awesome website I found for discount school supplies!!  I was recently contacted by Discount Office Items by a sweet representative, asking me to check out their site from a teacher's point of view!  Being an admitted "School Supply Addict," I said "YES!" of course!  {Plus, it doesn't hurt that I am going to get some goodies to try out and *share with YOU* in a giveaway later!!}

This site has a ton of products to offer!  You can pick up anything from pencils to dry erase boards, and even cute classroom decor like this:
 Best of all, they're having a Back to School sale, AND they have a section just for teachers!  


Along with great discounts, this site also offers low, flat rate shipping on all orders... and free shipping on orders over $75!  Which isn't hard to spend at all ;)


Click on the picture if you want to check it out:

Happy Crafting and Shopping!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Back From Vacay With a Giveaway!

Hello sweet friends!  I'm back from vacation!  {Did you know I was away?  I tried to be *sneaky* and say I had "limited Internet access" last week, lol.}
I spent a wonderful week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with my husband, my parents, and my brother and his girlfriend.  The weather was gorgeous and I finally have a tan!  We spent our time swimming in the pool and ocean, eating great food, mini-golfing, and shopping...
Oh, did we I shop.  My debit card took a beating last week!  I went swipe happy.  But I did get lots of goodies!  Wanna see what I picked up? :)
{1} New kicks and some neon socks from the Finish Line "outlet."  "Outlet" in quotes because the prices were not discounted!
{2} Funny tees from David & Goliath... love!!
{3} Shirts to lounge/sleep in.
{4} Tee and sweatshirt from UD!  I started my college career there and forced demanded asked hubs nicely to stop in on the drive home so I could get some new gear ;) "Happy Wife, Happy Life," right??  hehe

I also got this:
I needed this sign the second I saw it.  Anything teachery must be mine!

And that was the end of my shopping!

Just kidding!

I also picked up several funny magnets, a couple goodies for school {which I will show you after I turn them into something}, and some gifts.  Seriously, I am hiding my debit card for at least a day or two for a while!

Speaking of gifts....  I bought you something. :)  Well, one of you anyway!  I stopped in at the Coach outlet {a MUST} and I saw this super cute apple photo frame key fob:
Clearly I needed it.  And the price was so good, I thought that one of you needed it, too!  So I bought two!  Perfect timing, as this little cupcake has almost 1800 followers :)  If you'd like to win this FOBulous little gift, check out the Rafflecopter below:
Good luck!  This giveaway ends at midnight on Tuesday.
If you need me, I'll be glued to the computer all day.  ;)  I have some catching up to do!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

*Update!* Guest Post // A Teeny Tiny Teacher

Hey everyone!  I'm happy to be guest blogging for Mrs. Cupcake while she is on vacation!  I'm so happy and distracted about it that I can't think of anything to write about . . . of course.
So after talking to Hadar, she gave me the idea of writing a re-run.

Maybe some of you haven't seen this before because you don't know who I am, and this will be brand new for you.  And maybe the rest of you have seen it, but you forgot about it, and it will inspire you to create it before the new year begins!  And if you fall in the category of "I've seen it, I already had it, let's move on, shall we?" then I apologize.

Centers are always a favorite in my room.  If you do the Daily 5, you could use this for Work on Writing.  It's one of the most popular centers in my room every year.  It's the Post Office Center.

My post office center looks like this:
The kids get to write to each other on special stationery (I have 4 choices) or they can even write to kids from other classes.  They put the notes in the mailbox and, when I remember, I deliver the mail to the appropriate cubby or class.  Some kids like to write to their kindergarten teachers and tell them how much they miss them.  (I frown upon that, but I do encourage them to write to me, and I hang a HUGE word bank with ideas right next to the center.  Examples include beautiful, smart, adorable, funny, pretty, amazing, You, Are, The, Best, First, Grade, Teacher, Ever!, etc.)  Letter writing is not a "standard" in first grade but our second grade teachers seem to appreciate the frontloading (big word!) that we do with this center.

I suggest READING the notes before delivering them.  Some first graders think they can tell others that they LOVE them and want to be their boyfriend or girlfriend (gasp!) and others think they can tell their friends that they are stoopid, dum, and uglee.  And still, even others think they can tell me that I am SHORT.  In all of these instances, the culprits SIGNED THEIR NAMES because I taught them how to do that and so they did that and they incriminated themselves.  CSI - FIRST GRADE.

Click on the rocket stationery above to get all of the stationery.  (PS  I had to trick my Mac with the margins.  It looks like you need legal sized paper but you don't.  You just have to be smarter than a Mac.)

Later in the year, I extend the Post Office center by having the students write to Wrinkles.  Wrinkles is a very stressed out dog.  Man, does he have problems.  I mean, look at his little face:
Doesn't he just look worried?  He has big problems.  Here are some examples of his problems:
The kids read his problems and then write back to him.  They try to come up with solutions and I really encourage them to ELABORATE.  Occasionally, I will find this in the mailbox:  "Dear Wrinkes, yes.  Love, First Grader"  or "Dear Wrinkles, no.  Love, First Grader".  Wow.  Profound.  Wrinkles can rest easy now.   
The kids end up LOVING Wrinkles.  Even WITH all of his problems.  Personally, Wrinkles makes me tired.  As soon as I help him solve one problem, he's got another.  It's just never ending.  I imagine you could use any kind of stuffed animal that you have around your house or classroom . . . but I'm partial to dogs.  And I've said it before but I'll remind you that rule number 3 in my classroom is Must Love Dogs so there you have it.  (plus, do you see a cat having this many problems?)  

Click on the pictures above to get this stuff if you want it.
I hope you've enjoyed this re-run.  Next week, an all new episode will air.
Thanks, Mrs. Cupcake, for me letting be a guest over here!

***Hi everyone!! Teri here :)  Kristin was having a teeny tiny {couldn't resist} problem with her links, so she uploaded them to Google Docs for you!!  Click {here} to head to her blog post, and grab your freebies!!!  Many thanks to Kristin for guest posting here to keep you company! ;) I'll see ya over the weekend!  I sure do miss you guys!!***

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One Year Wedding Anniversary

Today is my one year wedding anniversary! :)
I can't believe it's been a year... time sure does fly!
Here are some pictures of our special day:
{one of my favorite portraits}
{pink details}
{matron and maid of honor, and more pink}
{best men}
{a moment alone, dancing to "This I Promise You" hehe}
{cutting the cake}
{showing off our bling}
{proud father of the bride}
{all danced out & happy as can be}

Check back Thursday for a guest post from another one of my fave bloggers!
{Hint: She's teeny tiny, like this font!}
I'll be back to full Internet access by the weekend... see you then, friends!! ;)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Guest Post // Miss Kindergarten

Hey, hey!  I won't be online much this week, so I asked a couple of wonderful gals to step in for me!  Today I bring you my best bloggy friend, Hadar!  Enjoy!! :)
- - - - -


Hi everyone! It's me, Hadar, otherwise known as Teri's bestie!!! I'm so excited to be guest blogging for her today! I wanted to share with you a fun classroom management activity that I did with my students to teach them about classroom volume levels. I refer to volume levels so often during the day, I figured I had to hit it big! So sit back, relax and enjoy!


Last year, I introduced volume levels to my class and had a really positive response. It not only helped in managing students as a whole group, but was really helpful in teaching individual students appropriate volume levels throughout the day. So when I started with my new class this year, I knew I wanted to teach them about volume levels.

{Jessica from Under the Alphabet Tree made this for me! Also, Katie at Little Warriors has a bunch of great volume charts!}

I recently attended a professional development workshop put on by some wonderful professors from the college I attended and learned some great ideas on how to actively engage my students during a lesson. I knew I wanted to engage them in this volume levels lesson for two reasons...one, I wanted them to be engaged because this is important! and two, I knew that would learn a lot more from it if I had them actively participating than if I just sat there and lectured at them.

{Side note: If you're interested in some new ways to actively engage your students I highly recommend this book!}

Anyway, I prepped the lesson by printing out several volume level charts {I selected "2 to a page" before printing} and several daily schedule cards that I purchased from Mrs. Bainbridge {I selected "4 to a page" for these cards and they were the perfect size for their little hands}and then cut them into strips. I put all 5 volume level cards and about 8 schedule cards into an envelope.

I started the lesson by introducing the volume levels chart and explaining the meaning of each number. We briefly talked about where it would be okay to use a level 5 outdoor voice, and when we would want to use a level 1 no talking voice. Then I split the kids up into groups of 4 using their desk letters, so that A's worked together, B's worked together and so on.

Here they are sorting their cards under the volume numbers:







I gave them about 5 minutes to sort their cards and loved listening to them working together to figure out where each activity belongs. Their dialogue was amazing!


We ended the lesson with sorting the larger cards on the board and sharing where we thought each activity card should go. This part was great because the groups where able to move their cards around after hearing a few examples up on the board. The students were so engaged!
{we decided that spelling referred to a spelling test which is why it's under no talking :)}


The kiddos did a great job with this activity and I think they totally left with the knowledge of appropriate volume levels. We constantly review this throughout the day too. When I hear them working to loud I say "volume check" and they chorally {well, for the most part!} respond with the correct level and adjust their volume. It's awesome!


Thanks again Teri for allowing me to be a guest on your blog!
~Hadar~