Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Retriever

I am just now jumping into the world of iPad and iPhone usage in the classroom. A couple weeks ago I came across an app that will eventually change your classroom library-check out system. The app is called Book Retriever.

It is still new, so the creators are constantly working on it. There's an update about once a week. The best part is that they take all of our suggestions into consideration. My favorite part of this app is that you can scan your books into your library. The books that are not recognized or don't have an ISBN can have labels printed. As of this week, the app does not recognize older ISBN numbers, but they have told me that their next update WILL include 10 and 13 digit ISBN numbers! YAY!

Now my favorite part about the app.... I have never been able keep up with who has what book of mine. With this app, you can add your students to your class roster and have your students check out a book. I am ecstatic! No more writing down or clipping who has what book.

The app costs $0.99. It is well worth the money.

I can't wait to see how this app develops! Let me know what you ladies and gentlemen think of this app!

Happy Blogging!


Sunday, July 29, 2012


My first giveaway! Yay! A few days ago I posted I'm Lovin' Synonyms. I'm going to give away 3 copies of the pack to some lucky blog readers. Since I am a newbie to blogging, I need some more followers! All I am asking you do is follow me! Make sure to leave me your email address in the comment box!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm Lovin' Synonyms! Adding "Pizazz" to Writing

I was trying to figure out how to make my synonym word wall more interactive. I came across the idea, but I had no intentions on handwriting my entire board. So, that's how the I'm Lovin' Synonyms pack was born!

How it works:
The kids come to the board looking for an alternative for an overused word. The kids choose a word they want to use in their writing from the fry bucket. They return with their chosen fry to their desk, add it to their writing and return it to the fry box.

Yes, you're probably thinking, "What about those kids who forget where the fry belongs?" Don't worry, I thought about that too. I coded each word with a corresponding picture. So, if for some reason a child forgets where his or her word belongs, they can use the picture to match it back to its corresponding container.

I have placed a link to the pack if you want to take a peak :)

Happy Blogging!



Friday, July 20, 2012

Back to School Ice Breaker

I went to a professional learning earlier this summer, and they had us to an icebreaker with our group. It was actually fun, so I took the activity and made it kid friendly. Hopefully this will get the kids to have some kind of interactive conversation. I suggest using this with upper elementary. Very easy, not much more to say! Enjoy!


Graphics by:


My New Best Friend.... Duct Tape :)

One problem I have in my classroom is that I have no space for communicating with my students. Since my math partner is moving next to me (the adjoining room), I wanted to optimize our space. What I needed was a communication board for my students located somewhere between both of our rooms.

Yesterday, I went to Home Depot and purchased a 2' X 4' panel and had in cut to 3'.

Included in my purchase was chalkboard spray paint, paint pens, and duct tape.

After applying four coats of spray paint, I added a duct tape border (my room is polka dot themed).

This is what it looked like when the basics were done.

I used paint pens to write the date, agenda title, and homework.

The final test... CHALK! I think it turned out pretty cute! On to my next project... freebies for everyone!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Time Saver... Vista Print

I am all about cutting corners and saving time. For those of you who don't know me, I have OCD, so I love making everything match. One of my FAVORITE places to frequently visit is VistaPrint. Not only do they have frequent deals and offers, but you plenty for your order (at least 250).

As a teacher I find the business cards very handy. They can be used in many ways. I have used business cards to design small name plates for my tables and desks. My school is departmentalized, so I have two sets of classes. I have found that the name plates stores sell are too big to have 2 sets at each seat.

I just logged in and designed a name plate to post as an example.

At the beginning of the year, we have to create breakfast cards for our kids. Once again, to save time, cutting out a class set, and labeling, I designed breakfast cards for my homeroom.

Another time saver for those of you who have a personal laminator.... NO CUTTING! Grab the business cards laminating pouches from the store, throw the "business card" inside, laminate, and Viola! You're done! A pack of 20 laminating pouches costs about $1 at Walmart.

Like I said, there are many ways to use the cards. I just ordered these for my wedding favors. They're directions for how to plant the seed that they will receive inside a box. We received 250, WAY more than what we invited, but I can't complain $13, and they threw in free return shipping labels. Instead of using them as return address labels I turned them into stickers. I love this site! Look out for sales, and never pay full price because they always, always have some kind of deal!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Grouping & Partners Made Easy

I was reviewing materials from two previous trainings I had this year, Eric Jensen and Rick Duvall, when I found a picture that I drew on a post it. It was a reminder to recreate this handwritten grouping sheet that was placed at the center of each table.


We were paired in various ways for different activities. The team pages make it quick to split off into groups or partners. I always struggle to get kids to find groups. I thought this was a clever way to group together instantly, and the best part is that your kids will never know what option you're going to choose!

I added a few elements to the page to make it a little more kid friendly. Grab this freebie in my teachers pay teachers store. The front page shows different ways to use the team sheet to group students. There are tons of various ways, and none are right or wrong. I just wanted to give you guys an idea of how to get started.

Graphics by:


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quiet Critters

I started one of my Pinterest projects. They're called....

Quiet Critters!

I thought the idea was a great twist for classroom management since I am going to a new management system, "Habits Cash." It will pretty much work like character cash. Long story short, when I want silence in the classroom I plan to place these cute little critters on the corner of each child's desk. Any child who still has the critter after the specified time will earn extra cash. I hope it works! I know I will have to give them parameters, like no touching or moving critter. You guys know how kids can be.

How to Make these Cute Critters

If you're interested, please please don't spend any money outside of the Dollar Tree. All of the items (pom-poms, wiggly eyes, and foam paper) can be purchased there. I used little heart shaped foam for their feet, but you can also cut the foam pieces.

I didn't see directions on Pinterest. I am crediting teaching chick for the idea, since I stumbled upon them from her pin.


Student Information Forms

The first day of school is quickly approaching. What does this mean? Yes, I am at it again- tweaking forms and cleaning up files. I know everyone has forms they use at the beginning of the school year, but this one form has been a life saver!

My school has a large number of Spanish speaking families. One thing I have created that has helped us out is a bilingual contact form. Yes, your office may have all of this information, but I have found it to be a life saver on more than one occasion. I have translated the English form. I have also created a section with sibling information. This comes in handy during conference scheduling. I learned this my first year of teaching. I found myself searching through binders of student information trying to locate which children had siblings and what teachers they had.

Check out the freebie and let me know what you think... I updated it for this school year, so if I forget to update it later on, let me know and I will change it ASAP!

Thank you!

School Form

About Me!

I'm super excited to jump into the world of Blogs!  I'm a 4th grade teacher in metro Atlanta.  This year will be my 6th year teaching.  My school is departmentalized, so I teach reading, writing, and grammar.

It's about time I try out something new.  Long story short I have OCD, and those of you who work with me know that I spend a huge chunk of my personal time creating new projects, worksheets, lessons, and so on.  Most of which I enjoy, but at times it drives me nuts because I can't always just take something and go with it (It's hard to explain.  Just know its annoying).  After a friend of mine, Abby, showed me her blog, and a few others I about died!  I never knew about this whole other side to blogging...and the best part was that I found a TON of stuff I can use.