Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back to School: The Nesting Bench & Tuesday Folders

The Nesting Bench

I have been teaching 4th grade for quite some time, and one thing I have learned is that 4th graders DO NOT like to sit on the rug or floor.  So, this summer I had a vision.  This vision will hopefully be my mini lesson savior :)  I call it the The Nesting Bench. 

Look closely.  At first glance, it looks like a bookcase, but in reality it is a bench within a bench.  The first bench serves as storage.  It never moves. When the children come to the rug, they use the handles on the side, and move it back. 
When the bench is pulled back, it will reveal another bench.  The benches are sturdy enough for both storage.  When the mini lesson is over, two students use the handles and return the slightly taller bench back over the small storage bench.
These are so great, that I am returning to Home Depot tomorrow to create another bench for the other two side of my rug.  If you're interested in making these they cost about $205 without the staining. 
Materials needed to make benches:
* 2 x 10 x 16 piece of wood  (ask the home depot guy to cut it into 2- 15 inch pieces, 2 18 inch pieces, 1 3 1/2 ft board, 1 4ft board, and the remainder as shelf for little bench)
* #8 screws
* Drill
* 2 braces (for the taller bench)
* 2 x4 hardboard (backing for the tall bench optional)

Tuesday Folders

On Tuesdays, my school sends out information, newsletters, and school wide letters to parents.  They go home in a red folder called Tuesday Folders.  My math partner and I decided to save time and send their weekly work home in these folders. 
I want to share how I get everything out to students.  In the picture below are my homeroom's mailboxes.
Mine are numbered because I have a large student turn over rate.  In the past, I have labeled their mailbox with their name.  Throughout the week, I have students return papers and graded work in the mailbox (along with all of the school papers).  When Tuesday rolls around, students grab their folder (left side of mailbox) and take all of their papers out.  They go home, have them sign the page stating the parent looked through the folder and return it back the next day.  It is super easy and the children do it all on their own. 
Summer has flown by. I return to school tomorrow. Keep a lookout for back to school freebies. I predict a large list of freebies to come (within the next few days).
As always, happy blogging!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My new love Art Studio, I made it, & New Blog Design!

I have started to dabble in an app called ArtStudio. I love to draw, and so I wanted to try my hand at clip art making.  After playing around with the app, I found it very easy to work with.  I definitely suggest using your sketches to create art, instead of doing it from scratch in the app.  Anyways, here is a glimpse of what I would possibly look like if I was a cartoon.

Once again, I have found another way to post daily objectives and homework for students. Our county provides agendas for all of ours students.   As part of their morning routine, students are required to write in their agendas.  These are super easy to make and use.  Once they're done, you can write with Expo marker and wipe off easily.

After all was said and done, the total price of this project was less than $10.  The frames are actually from the Dollar Tree.  The frames I used were the 8X10 certificate pop out frames. The other thing you need are command hooks. 

All I did to make these simple frames was find a cute little border that matched my class theme. Then I typed the title of all the sections in the agenda. After that, I printed the paper, placed in in the frame, and hung it up in my room.  I didn't post a picture of it on the wall because I need to work on getting the gunk off the left side of my board.  You can see it in the second picture on the top left corner.

I am SUPER DUPER excited to show off my new blog design!  Nancy Messenger from


 just finished (literally like 10 minutes ago) redesigning my blog!  She was so wonderful to work with! If you are in the market for a new blog design, please stop, visit her site, and show her some love.  Everything was custom designed to what I wanted, and best of all it was very budget friendly!

Be on the lookout for the next few posts.  I am currently finishing a new bilingual parent and students information page and a new idea/twist on how to get big kids to gather at the rug. 

Until then, happy blogging!

(don't you love my new, cute signature!)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Welcoming Parents and Freebie

My school has many parents who speak Spanish. I can't count the number of times they have come to the school asking how they can help their child. I just started a series called "Bilingual School Stuff". My vision is that the set will contain across the curriculum items that we use or activities from the classroom and explain it to parents in Spanish. As I was creating the set, I was thinking of all of the various situations we have in the school. I realized I also needed to make a set that contained English and Spanish because we also have families with language barriers. The older some of the kids get the less they use their Spanish, or in most cases, many of the students never learned how to read it or speak it. I figured having both languages on the cards would help those families because the child and the parent can read the card and both understand what questions they need to answer before, during, or after reading.

Of all of my work, I am really proud of this set. I struggled with reading when I was a child. My parents, bless their hearts, tried to help, but the language barrier was such a problem. Hopefully, these cards can help a few parents and teachers out there!

Please check out READ WITH ME at my TpT store!

Here are what some of the pages look like!

Now...for all you cute template people out there! As for now I am making these free. I had so much fun making these cute, that I couldn't sell these. I have made, what I (hopefully) think, is a cute nurse pass/note set. These should make you life easier when you send a student up to the nurse with a note. Everything has been filled in and all you have to do is check the child's symptoms! I think I covered all of the reoccurring symptoms. If you happen to catch one that I overlooked, let me know and I will add it on the nurse list. Enjoy! Here is the link to my store to grab these!

Happy Blogging!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Going on a Blog Hunt

Well as many of you know, Google Reader has vanished. Laura Candler created a fun blog game called Going on a Blog Hunt. I will admit I am having to go through and find everyone I was following on blogger and now add them to Bloglovin. This site is wonderful. If you haven't joined yet do it after you read this. It is super easy! All you do is create an account. After your account is created, all you have to do is go through and search for blogs. When you find one, click follow and it automatically updates for you. The most updated posts are in your feed for the day.

Take a moment and sign up for Bloglovin. I would love for you to follow me and go to Laura's blog and find some new blogs to follow!