Wednesday, June 27, 2012

...Out of this World!

For my back to school theme this year I am using the phrase/theme:

I have been working on some craftivities using this theme for the first few days back to school.
The first one I would like to share with you is my spaceship craft. In this back to school writing
activity and craft, students will create their own spaceship and write about why they think
their new grade will be a blast!

In this download you will find:
-Spaceship tracing templates
-Journal sheets for 1-5th grade

Click HERE to find it on TPT.
Keep checking back for other space themed back to school ideas and freebies!
Next up: Alien "All About Me" Glyphs.

QUESTION: Do you use a "theme" during the first few days of school? 
If so, I would love to know what your theme will be this August!

Have a happy afternoon!
-Ms. Smith

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Made It!

I am SO excited to finally be able to participate in Tara's Monday Made It!

I have been contemplating my classroom decor (as you all know) since school got out.
I decided on basic primary colors (just using an assortment of bright colors)!
I searched high and low for a new ABC banner for above my board and had no luck finding one.
So, what did I do? I made my own!
(Click on the image for a larger picture!)
My classroom floor is getting waxed, so you have to just imagine how 
it will look in a classroom rather then my old fence! haha!

(Close up!)

I am not crafty AT ALL, so I am very please with the way it turned out.
It also didn't cost me any more then it would have cost me if I would have purchased a pre-made banner online or at my local parent/teacher store.

How did I make it?
Tons of cutting, gluing, measuring and tracing, hole punching, and stringing.
I also got it laminated so that it will last longer.

Let me know what you think!
Can't wait to see what all you other crafty people have been up to this week.
Don't forget to go link up with Tara!

I also want to take the time to link up with Miss Nelson @ Run! Miss Nelsons Got The Camera.
She is having a FUN linky that includes a giveaway! Go check it out.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Whew! I had such a productive Monday yesterday. It felt so good to actually get some stuff done. I did NOTHING for the past week because I have been enjoying some sun and sand. It was so great to spend a whole week relaxing. I haven't done that since I got my job!

Other than vacationing... I have been thinking/dreaming/debating my color scheme (I'm avoiding a "theme") for next year every single day. I am horrible at making decisions! I have decided on just using a RAINBOW of primary(ish) colors. (So basically I decided to not pick a color scheme and use every color...HAH.) I haven't been able to find an alphabet wall banner that fit my classroom, so I decided to make one. I am SO happy with its beginning stages. Tomorrow I am going to get it laminated and then I will string it together. I am excited to show you guys the finished product as soon as I get done.

Sneak Peak =)

I also can't stop thinking about the first day(s) of the new school year. Because I started my job in November, I still haven't had to do any sort of back to school stuff. AHH I am nervous! =) Well, to ease my nervousness (and to be productive), today I whipped up some back to school postcards. I plan on sending these out a few days before "Meet the Teacher" day. I will print them on card stock, write a note on the back, stick on a stamp/address, and head to the post office. As a kid I would have loved to get a note from my new teacher, so I am hoping my new students will feel the same way.

Postcard Example:
(Available for grades k-5.)

You can download these postcards for FREE on my TPT store by clicking HERE. 
The font I used is from Kevin and Amanda.
The border is from The 3am Teacher.

Well, I guess that is all for now. I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer so far.
As always, I would love for you to leave some love (aka comments! hah). 

-Ms. Smith

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Vocabulary Fun!

At my school we use Storytown curriculum for literacy block. Each lesson is six days long and we cover a story, vocabulary, spelling, etc. Today, I want to share one of my vocabulary ideas with you all!

Each week I place our current ten vocabulary words on the front board in my room. I want these words to be front and center for my students to see. At the end of each unit, I place the old words on the vocabulary word wall. The vocabulary word wall holds five weeks worth of vocabulary. The goal of keeping the vocabulary words out even after my students have been tested on them is to make sure they don't forget them after one week. 

My favorite part about my vocabulary board:
Whenever my students use or read one of the vocabulary words that is on the board they get to place their initials on the word card. Students LOVE this and by the time the words are removed from our word wall they are covered with student names. 

A few changes I am going to make next year:
1) Hopefully my UGLY brown storage cart will be replaced with cabinets so that I can put my word wall on a cute bulletin board instead of an ugly brown cabinet.
2) I have laminated all of the vocabulary words and students will initial their name using a thin expo marker so that I can erase and reuse each year.

My students LOVED our vocabulary board & they all got very involved in using & looking for the words in their books. I found this to be a useful way to keep students using vocabulary words and it didn't take any time on my part. Students were responsible for initialing when they found/used a word. (Students always ran up & showed me their vocabulary word when they found it in a book.) 

I hope someone can find this idea useful or helpful!
How do you reinforce vocabulary in your classroom? 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Characters/Setting Center Fun (&Freebie!)

Whew! Boy, have I been busy! I have had an insane week. VBS, babysitting every single day, painting my classroom, and a wedding last night. My poor little blog has been a bit deprived. =(

I have FINALLY finished the first (of many...hopefully) TpT products that is on my summer to-do list. 
I am proud of this pack. It looks a little bit more like some of the super professional ones I see on TpT all the time. I am really trying to step up my game. HAH. 
I still have a LONG ways to go to get to most of yalls creating skills. =)

The first skill my students learn during literacy block in the fall is setting/characters. I made four easy to use and fun centers to implement during literacy block. I can't wait to get these laminated and prepped for the fall. We stay on each skill for two weeks so I plan on using two centers each week. This center pack contains EVERYTHING you need for all four centers. All you have to do is print, cut, and laminate. Easy as can be!

Click HERE to purchase the Setting and Character Center Pack!
This center pack is on SALE for only $3 for the next TWO days.

Now for the FREEBIE...
My students have a binder for literacy block. I have am in the process of making a handout to go with each skill that we cover. Below you will find the handout for the skill character/setting. Students simply place this in their binder and fill it out. They keep this end their binder in case they ever need a reminder about a particular skill or topic.

Click here to grab the Setting and Center Handout!

Thanks to all the lovely people who proofed this for me. =) This is my first bundle of items I have posted on TpT and I am hoping someone can find a use for it. =)
As always,  love it when you leave some love! =) 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Where Am I? + June Currently

Good Morning Friends!

How do you keep up with your students?
I found a way that works perfectly in my classroom, so I wanted to share it with you. =)

 So, how do I keep up with my students going/coming in my classroom?
.... My picture magnet board.

The students in my class are constantly going and coming. During literacy block they are free to leave to go to the library and to take AR tests (once they finish their centers) without my permission. They must always ask to go to the bathroom and they ask me to go to the library if they are going at any other point during the day besides literacy block. I had so much trouble remembering who was where and how many kids were at the library (horrible, I know!) HAH.

So, after Christmas, I introduced the "Where Am I?" board...
Side note: Please excuse the horrible desk and picture. 
The board is on the right hand side on my cabinet. 
This is the only picture I got before I packed up my room. =(

Before students leave my classroom, they MUST move their picture magnet to the spot they are going. They do this before going to the bathroom and the library. Only four students may be at the library at a time, so everyone can quickly look to see how many are already gone. I also have a section for AR tests on this board. I only have two computers, so there is always a line to take AR tests. Students can put their name on the waiting list to take an AR test if there is a line.  I also have a library waiting list. Both waiting lists do a great job of eliminating arguments about who is next. (Side note: The students loved this board and I never had any trouble with students leaving the room without moving their magnets and they always did a great job remembering to move it back to the "In the Room" section once they returned!)  Next year I am going to start the day with all students' magnets on the side of the cabinet. When they come in each morning, they will move their magnet to the "In the Room" section. This way I will quickly be able to tell who is absent for the day and it will make attendance a breeze! =)

I love this board because it was SUPER easy to put up. (All you need is a magnetic surface, magnets, and pictures!) The students LOVE seeing their pictures. And, I always have peace of mind because I always know where all of my students are! I found this wonderful idea when I was subbing last fall! 

How do you keep up with your students? 
I would love to hear some new ideas! 

& Finally... June Currently...
Head on over to Oh Boy Fourth Grade to link up! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

I Have A Confession...

Okay, so today I had to join in on a super fun linky party.
When I saw this linky party, I laughed so hard.
Such a fun and cute idea! I love reading about everyones obsessions. =)
Hop on over to Living A Wonderful Life to join the fun! =)

1) ALABAMA Football - I am the BIGGEST football fan ever. I love football season and I go to as many games as I can each year. I normally make it to every home game (my dad has season tickets so I mooch off of him HAH) and I try to go to several away games. I have been fortunate enough to go to the last two national championship games we've been to. SO FUN. Roll Tide Yall! =) One of my friends who played at Alabama came by and met my class AND brought his national championship ring. I got to wear it around and I felt SO cool. (Side note: One little girl in my class had him autograph every binder, folder, and notebook in her desk before I realized what she was doing... hilarious!)

2) Cheesy movies and music - I can't help it, but I love cheesy things. I love High School Musical and cheesy tween bands like One Direction. I am slightly embarrassed that I admitted this to all of you in blogland. HAH. Watch the video below... such a fun song, right? 

3) Scarves - I wear a scarf every single day during the winter and as many days as possible in the spring until it gets too hot. My kids get confused and don't recognize me if I forget a scarf during the winter. I'm not much of a jewelry person so scarves are my main accessory. 

4) Chickfila - Ohhh my gosh, they have the best chicken biscuits ever! I have to drive by a Chickfila every day on the way to work and it is ohhh so tempting. =) And if Chickfila wasn't already amazing I went on Valentine's Day this year and they had shaped the biscuits like hearts! So fun!

5) Sports and being active -  Sports have always been a HUGE part of my life and I love participating in anything active. I played soccer as a kid and through high school. In college I was on the womans rowing team. I coach a youth soccer team and spend most evenings at the gym or doing something outside. I loved intramurals in college until I tore my ACL during flag football. After that I hung up my intramural cleats. HAH. Now I just try to do enough to stay somewhat fit. 

Now that I've embarrassed myself with my obsessions, it's time to share yours! 
Go link up and reveal your obsessions. =) Can't wait to read them.
& please don't de-follow me because I confessed that I was obsessed 
with cheesy movies and tween bands. =) (You know you like them too deep down..HAH)