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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Snap It Up Saturday! Who Spilled the Paint? and a Classroom Update!

Howdy everyone! It's a bit past my bedtime so bear with me for a bit. I just had to make an eleven-o-clock trip to my husband's workplace to bring him some money. I just love it when debit cards decide they don't want to work...don't you? And on top of that, I worked ALL day in my classroom getting ready for the new school year. I've made a little bit of progress and I might be nearing the finish line. I'll share a few quick ideas from my room and then I'll head straight for the goodies!

Math Fact Mastery Board- When my students pass one of their levels of Multiplication facts, they get to move their button (the round things up top) to the area below the fact set that they are in. This helps to motivate them, as well as keeping track of things for me. I made the buttons by painting over some 1 3/4 inch wooden circles and glueing push pins to the back! Then I stuck on 1 inch round labels so I can write their names on them.

Behavior Chart and Magnets- The chart I've discussed before and the magnets were created in the same manner as my math fact buttons. I used red masking tape to block off the sections on my board and trimmed it all out in zebra print. Can you guess the theme in my room? (oh yeah, sorry about the crooked cellphone pictures)

Looking for a quick and easy table storage solution? Crates! I got these at Walmart for about three dollars apiece. They are zip-tied together so they don't fall over, and every table has one. I plan on putting our reading and writing journals in these as well.
Behavior Bucks Storage Chart- I bought these from Vistaprint! They are business cards that I personalized to say Mrs. Smith's Behavior Bucks! Each student will have a behavior bucks card, and can earn punches (I have a star-shaped one) for moving UPWARD on our behavior chart. Once they reach 15 punches, they will receive a special treat! (homework pass, snack from the teacher, lunch bunch, etc)

And now, it's back to Snap it Up Saturday! These week I'm giving away a little sampling of a brand new digital paper pack that I posted in my TPT store this week. It has had a few purchases and the buyers have all been happy. Once again, inspired by my daughter and her love for all things paint related, this little set is called "Who Spilled the Paint?" And they look just like that..somebody dumped out the paint cups and swirled them all together!  Click on the image below to SNAP THEM UP!

Don't leave yet! If you've been following along, you know that I am a member of a brand new collaborative blog called "The Teaching Tribune." We are right in the middle of a BIG giveaway and there is still time to enter to win several fantastic prizes. We've already given away TPT gift certificates, a basket valued at $200, a laminator, and a Quiet Classroom Pencil Sharpener. But the best is yet to come! We still have a brand new Google Nexus Tablet, a custom blog design, and more left to give away! Click below to stop in, read all about it, and enter for your chance to win!

Thanks for stopping in! I hope you enjoy your freebie and wish you luck on winning one of the fantastic prizes from the new blog!
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Teacher Stash! Well...The Part my Husband Knows about...

Hey ya'll..as I've said before.. I love ALL things school supply related. I could spend hours trekking around to all the different supply stores scooping up all of that fabulousness. I've been that way since I was a kid tagging along behind my daddy picking out Lisa Frank folders, fancy pencils, and sparkly notebooks. Now that I'm a teacher, I bypass all that stuff and head straight for what's useful! And that's where this post comes in...what do I buy for my classroom? Here you go...

First off, composition books! I have a deep seated hatred for spiral notebooks. They fall apart, pages come out, the wire coil comes loose and stabs you every time you pick it up. Last year, I switched to marble composition books and never looked back. Our reading journals lasted the ENTIRE year. If you want to see how I use them, check out this post.

I label them first as to what they are going to be used for. Then on the first day of school, I break out my sticker collection and let my kids decorate them. These will also get a red label on the spine that has each kid's name and number on it. 

Next up, something I buy every single year when they go on sale. Yeah, the kids bring them in, but they are never the same colors, or you end up with Lisa Frank or Spiderman. FOLDERS! We use these for morning work. I'll stuff them with some looseleaf paper and my kids will use them every single day. To see what I use for morning work (that I don't have to copy), click here. I always buy at least 25 of a couple of different colors, that way I can make extras at the beginning for those newbies that filter in throughout the year.

A couple more common necessities you will currently find in my stockpile are below. I teach in a low income district and many of my kids do not arrive with school supplies. I pre-stock four supply bins (one for each table group) with everything you see below, plus scissors and glue bottles.

The index cards we use for practicing multiplication facts. I cut them in half and the kids use them to make their own flash cards for the fact set they are working on. TONS of gluesticks, markers, and crayons also inhabit my one solitary cabinet. Oh, and by the way, that big pack of gluesticks---$2.00 at Big Lots. Score! I promise I didn't buy them all.

Some other things, I purchased especially for this year. I'm redoing my classroom theme. My previous themes were Clutter, More Clutter, and Clutter with a Dash of Crazy. So I switched over to some zebra print with a pop of red for all of my trim and I'm waiting on a couple of fun things to come in the mail. I did get one package today that I have to share!

It's my new behavior clip chart! I created the individual sections in PowerPoint, saved them as images, and then uploaded them to this website's Custom Banner Builder and Voila! I have a 1 foot by 4 foot Canvas clip chart/banner that matches! The price was reasonable--$21.25, but it's great because it is so durable!  Now I just have to paint my clothespins! 

It's almost time folks! Those school bells will be ringing in no time!

And a quick reminder about our current event! 

I am a contributor to a fantastic new blog called The Teaching Tribune. Right now, we have a MASSIVE Blog hop and giveaway running. If you hop through, you'll download 20 fantastic teaching resources and then have the opportunity to enter to win one of ten FANTASTIC prizes! Want to know more? Click on the image below to stop in! Feel free to share the love with your friends and coworkers as well.

As always, thanks for stopping in! Best of luck getting ready for back to school!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hot Off the Press! Back to School Exclusive!

 Hi Folks! Randi here... I'm here to let you know about a MASSIVE event happening right now! Twenty, yes, twenty, amazing teacher-bloggers are celebrating the fact that it is almost time to head back into the classroom. We all love summer, but it’s time to start thinking about getting back to school. We have decided we all will need some fun to break up all those days of  staff meetings, cleaning, organizing, and waiting for the next batch of babies to arrive! So for the next 10 days, we are celebrating with freebies and a prize a day! Yes, we said a PRIZE EVERY DAY FOR 10 STRAIGHT DAYS. And these aren't just any prizes...they are FANTASTIC!

Every day, you will have the chance to enter and win one of 10 great prizes!
This is what you can win during our Back to School Exclusive…(in no particular order)

Prize #1 Quiet Pencil Sharpener & a $25 TPT from Graphics from the Pond  $50 value
Prize #2 Bright Chevron Classroom Decor Set $50 value
Prize #3 Teacher/Classroom Gift Basket $200 value
Prize #4 Teacher/Classroom Gift Basket $200 value
Prize #5 Google Nexus 7 Tablet with case & stylus pen $250 value
Prize #6 Scotch Laminator  $25 value
Prize #7 K-2 TPT Product Bundle  over $100 value
Prize #8 3-5  TPT Product Bundle  over $100 value
Prize #9 Blog ("Cuter" Design by Christi Blogs!) $70 value
Prize#10 TPT Gift Cert $50

This is the IMPORTANT part. Please read carefully. EVERY DAY, FOR 10 DAYS, you will need to visit the final stop blog each day to enter to win and to see if you were the previous day’s winner! Each day a winner will be drawn and one of the ten prizes will be awarded. To keep it fun and exciting, you won’t know what prize you have entered to win until the winner is announced the next day! You never know what you might win! I know I would visit every day to enter for a chance to win the Google Nexus Tablet! 

To win one of these great prizes, just follow these steps
         Step 1: You will need to download and print the
Hot Off the Press Cheat Sheet.
Click the image below.
Step 2:  You’ll need to collect your freebies. This hop will
take you to all 20 blogs where you will collect freebies
along the way. You can start at any of the blogs,
follow the “next stop” buttons, and it will take you in a 
loop to all 20 blogs.  The very last stop will be
The Teaching Tribune. 

Step 3: Hidden in each freebie is a QR code, which looks like this…
 (Note: This is just a sample image. You do not need it for any reason.)

Find the QR code.
You will need to scan all 20 QR codes for a cash value with your
 smart device.  For those of you without a smart device,
head on over to Sugar & Spice where she has the solution for you! 

After downloading the freebie at each blog stop, be sure
to record the amount in the QR code onto your
cheat sheet. 

Step 4: Once you have all 20 cash value amounts, add them up, then you will enter the total value  to win a prize a day on the Rafflecopter. All prizes will be posted on The Teaching Tribune blog. 

It’s time to get started! All you need to do is click on my freebie below to download.
Find the QR code hidden in my freebie and add the value to your cheat sheet for stop # 5.

THE NEXT STEP: Click on the Next Stop button to head over to the next blog to grab your freebie! 

And that's it folks! I'm charging the cell phone battery now because I definitely want a chance to win that Tablet! Have fun and get hopping!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Snap It Up Saturday! Delightful Diamonds and a Newsworthy Note!

Hey ya'll! 
Snap it Up Saturday is here again and this week's inspiration comes from my dear husband Jason. You see...when we got married, I was student teaching. Which means we were flat broke..like..ramen noodles for lunch and dinner broke. Being newlyweds on one income was rough! Well, when we bought our wedding bands, we went with the value package.. Yep...discount rack at Kmart kind of wedding bands. But I didn't mind, I loved them and him anyway. 

But this week, we got them replaced...Well..mine anyway. He's still good with his band but I wanted something a bit different and he bought me a new set. I don't have pictures because they are being sized at the jeweler...but they are simply lovely. So this week's Snap It Up! Set is called Delightful Diamonds! 

In this set there are seven digital papers..each with a diamond texture to them and just a little metallic sheen to make them pop! Everybody loves a little sparkle! All you've got to do is click on the image below to visit Google Docs for the download! I hope you enjoy them!

And now that you've got those...I have to let you in on a BIG secret. The most awesome bloggy event you've ever attended is happening starting at 8 a.m. Sunday morning. It is so legendary, we should get reporters to cover it! You are in for a very special treat if you stop in on Sunday!

As always, thanks for stopping in. I hope you enjoy Snap It Up Saturday just as much as I do. Have a great weekend and don't forget to stop back in for the big news!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Feature! Clipart and Coffee Talk with This Little Piggy Reads!

Howdy folks! I'm very excited to be teaming up with another fantastic blogger for a Friday Feature! This week, Deniece from This Little Piggy Reads has chosen me for her Friday Clipart and Coffee Talk Feature over on her blog. Each week, she selects a different clip artist to feature and I was lucky enough to get chosen this week! 

In honor of the event, we are planning a fun little giveaway for all of our bloggy readers. If you pop over to her site tomorrow, you will find a Rafflecopter giveaway featuring my Space Adventures Clip Art Set. It is a 26 piece collection featuring all of the planets, the moon, the sun, and Arnie the Astronaut as I like to call him. You get both the color and blackline images in the set. Want to see the set I'm talking about? Take a peek!

Whoever wins the Rafflecopter will get to snap these babies up for free! And as a special bonus--I will also send the winner an extra prize as well! You will also get WINNER'S CHOICE from my clipart collections in my store. That's right! You will get the Space Adventures set and one other clip art collection from my store as well!  I hope everyone will pop in on Friday, July 19th for Deniece's feature and enter for their chance to win a two free clip art bundles. While you are there, you will also find links to some other freebies that I have going right now. 

Click below to head over to This Little Piggy Reads and enter the giveaway!

Best of luck to all of the entrants!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Took a day off...to go to work!

Hello again everyone! Yes, you read that header correctly.. I took a day off today, so that I could go to work. The truth is.. I took a day off of Mommy duty and went someplace quiet, where I can think, plan, and create. Many people would assume I went to a spa, or relaxed by the pool. But no, I went to my classroom..In an empty building, with nothing but a little eighties music blasting out of my iPad speakers..I was ready for a little dose of heaven. Until I walked into my classroom, and was met with this...

Somehow, the contents of my bookshelves and cabinets were vomited onto the floor in this manner. I believe the cleaning fairy is a bit disgruntled. Maybe the dust in her work environment or the constant attacks of feline sized cockroaches that seem to only visit in the summer have caused her to be less interested in her work. 

It was a task, but I got it all put back where it was supposed to go and got started arranging and decorating. My favorite part of the school year is this time. I get to take a shell of a room and turn it into a kid-and-teacher friendly workspace that serves our day to day instructional needs. I'm not finished yet, as I have some purchases to make (Don't tell Mr. Smith!) but I thought I would share with you what I've gotten to so far. Maybe you can pull some ideas for your own room. Ready?? Here goes!

View from the Door

I rarely use my desk and spend a lot of time on the floor with my kids so I keep it against the wall. It's really only there to house my Laptop, Document Camera, and VCR (Yes...I have a VCR! My DVD player died and wasn't replaced so I had to have something to connect to closed-circuit TV). It also houses four drawers of JUNK...pens, band-aids, and the random junk I pick up. That's on the bill for the next trip. That is an Activeboard on the wall and I'm replacing the shoddy black shelf beneath it. 

From Door--Left Corner

Over in the corner is my reading nook/classroom library. I really need to level out my books or sort them in some manner. I just don't have the ability to focus long enough to take it on. I have sixteen large baskets of books--packed in so tight that not even Calista Flockhart could fit in there. :-) I also store our indoor recess stuff under the shelves as well. (blocks,puzzles,games). And yes, third graders still like to play with blocks.
The stoplight chart was for behavior, but I'm changing it up this year to a clip chart. I'm so happy that my desks match--there's nothing I hate worse than mismatched desks... it's kind of like Madea with her disdain for wire hangers. I'm also getting some groovy new curtains as well. I can't wait to get them!

If you are looking for some fun curtains, you should check out Kangaroo Closet, a fun little shop that I found on Etsy.

Rear corner, to the left of the door

All of my computers are in the corner..where they have to stay because of internet cables/etc. I have four desktops, two laptops, and two netbooks in my room. I was very lucky to have a netbook donated to my room last year from a parent, as well as having one funded by DonorsChoose.org. I get it this year! I just have to find somewhere to put them! My guided reading table is here as well, and I have a rolling cart that will house our needed materials for that group. The crate shelving houses all of our writing binders and writing supply bins. (pens, dictionaries, thesauruses/or is it thesauri?)  My plans for the board are a content vocabulary board in the large section, Math Master's Multiplication Fact Completion Chart/Tracker in the middle, and my calendar is down on the end. I made  the headers and cards all by myself! I wish I could find a red calendar pocket chart though...

And finally, the bane of my classroom existence. Overhead storage! At one point, we had six third grade teachers. Now, we have three. So that leaves three roomfuls of classroom clutter that has to be distributed into our rooms. That shelf up there drives me insane! I've finally decided to buy some colorful totes and just box it all up. It has been there four years and I'm tired of looking at it.

Whew! That was a long post! I'm not nearly finished with it, but I did get a good start on it and I'm looking forward to the next "day off" to work on it a bit more. Maybe I can call upon one of  the Grandmas to give me a day off next week. 

In the words of my dear friend Bugs Bunny,
Thanks for visiting and taking a walk through my corner of the world..Check back soon for something big! You won't be disappointed!

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Monday...and This is How I Feel...

Hey there! It's Monday and you know what that means? We are one week closer to the end of summer vacation and the start of a new school year. Yuck! I love back to school season and the excitement that surrounds it....but you still get that sinking feeling when you realize that pretty soon, you won't be allowed to wander aimlessly around all day wearing the Angry Birds pajama pants that you have come to love so dearly. No more will you be allowed to eat when you feel like it, sleep when you feel like it, or go to the bathroom when you feel like it. But...whatever...when you become a teacher, it's not for the summer's off...it's for the fun you have getting ready for a new batch of babies to walk through the classroom door and the joy you get from watching them succeed. 

You see, I'm all about some Back to School shopping. I love the smell of new crayons, permanent markers, and hand sanitizer, and I really like the sound that a brand new composition book makes when you crack it open the first time. My mood has lightened..and it is time to let you all know exactly how I feel...

This is how I feel when.....

My husband asks if I want to go to Walmart...to buy school supplies..


When some crazy school supply thief takes all of the glue sticks before I get to them...and she gives me the stink eye when I glance at her shopping cart...


When I find something cheaper at Staples, then price match it at Walmart..and use my husband's discount card to knock the total even lower...


When I finally find all of the stuff that I need to start the school year off right...and I don't break the bank doing it!


And that's all folks... I'm feeling like I'm ready for it to start all over again. I might change my mind in six or eight weeks, once the first round of IEPs, SSTs, and parent teacher conferences is over. But for now...I'm feeling fine!

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer freedom and make the best of it!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Snap It Up Saturday! Twisted Sister Backgrounds

Guess what folks! It has finally stopped raining! Thank goodness.. If I were a cookie monster, this is what I would have looked like when I got up this morning to sunshine...


It was just about to make me batty. But we made it through and took the day off to go shopping for Back to School clothes for my little one. It was great, until her six year old-type A personality- decided to buck the system---right in the middle of Kohl's. Leave it to my girl to pick the quietest shopping center to throw the loudest tantrum. We finished our trip in record time and thanks to my coupons and Kohl's cash, we walked out spending less than $100 on new duds for her...and a couple of Georgia Bulldogs T-shirts for me. Anyone else have a child that tends to meltdown in public? She's a perfect angel at school, at her grandparents, at friends' houses, but at home or in a store...OMG!! What am I going to do when she's a teen?

So on to this week's Snap it Up Saturday!, I was feeling a little twisted after the shopping fiasco and sat down and whipped up a fun little set of backgrounds for you. I call them Twisted Sister Backgrounds, because right now, I am one TWISTED SISTER! My nerves are just a wee bit frazzled, but it will all smooth out sooner or later. I hope you like them and can find a fun use for them. I tried them out as fills for some lettering that I was working on and they looked awesome! I hope you like them!

Click on the image above to download the zipped file. 

Now that you've got em', please take the time to share this post with others so that they can get them too! Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter!

Also, to keep up with the newest additions and blog posts, you can keep up with me on Bloglovin'. Just click the button over there on the right to follow.

You can also find me on Facebook, where I post additional freebies. This week it's a fun font just for fans! 

And once again, Thank you for following. I hope you enjoy your finds here on TeachesThirdinGeorgia and wish you the best of weekends!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Sun will come out...Maybe next week...

If the sun doesn't come out soon I am going to go completely insane! It has rained every day for the past week and I am sick and tired of being cooped up at home. My six year old is too. We have tried it all to keep ourselves sane and I thought I would share a little of what we've been doing. 

Summer is a great time to work on all of those fun little crafty things that you've been meaning to get around to. I've done a few new things to my home office, made a couple of things for my school desk, and painted my ears off with my daughter. She loves to paint, despite my avid dislike for the medium. Here are just a few of our little projects.

This is a little gumball machine-ish paper clip holder that I made for my desk at school. It doesn't match my home office, but it will match my red and black at school. It was really easy to make and pretty cheap...Only $3.00! I grabbed my coupons and headed to Joann's (in the rain) and picked up the smallest clay pot and lid that they had ($1.49) and the smallest glass fishbowl they had ($1.49). The rest of the stuff I had on hand--Acrylic paint, large wooden bead, and E6000 heavy duty glue. I brought it all home, and despite my husband's strange looks at my creation, it turned out kind of cute! I've got to get a black paint pen and add a few decorative accents to it to really tie it in to my classroom theme.. GO DAWGS!

 My home office is still under redecoration. If this weather would cooperate, I could finish it up by painting my existing bookshelves. But alas, Mother Nature has plotted against me and that won't be happening any time soon. So I resorted to doing the little things. I wanted some bulletin board space on the walls for photos and such, but I didn't want to spend the money on cork tiles, scrapbook paper, and such. But I went to the Dollar Tree on a whim and found a roll of contact paper and some thick foam sheets and put them to work in my office. All I had to do was cover the foam in the contact paper and hang! I used Sticky Tack to hang them because they are so lightweight.

I actually found a bulletin board in my office, while I was cleaning out my office. I had no idea it was even there, and it was brand new--never even unwrapped the thing. So I used the same contact paper to cover the cork and added some ribbon and fabric. I'm not really happy with the blue ribbon but it's all I had at the time. I may change it out after my next trip to the store. I may also paint the frame black one of these days.

The cabin fever has gotten so bad that I actually emailed my administrator asking when I could get into the building to work. Yeah..it was bad. But, my daughter and I decided to brave the rain today and headed out with a teacher-friend and her son to visit an awesome museum in our area. If you live in North Georgia and have never visited the Tellus Science Museum, you must go! And if you are a third grade teacher in Georgia, this place will teach EVERY science standard you have. It was fantastic! My daughter is six and was completely enthralled the entire time. Dinosaur bones, fossils, magnets, light and sound displays, it had it all. We had a blast and it couldn't have come at a better time. And to top it off, the sun decided to shine for about five minutes as we were leaving. Then the bottom fell out and it POURED rain the whole way home. 

I've also been burning the midnight oil working on some new products for my classroom and  TPT store. There's something really relaxing about sitting in a quiet house, listening to the hum of the refrigerator, and thinking about nothing but what I can do for my kids next year. My most recent products have all been sets of task cards! I love using them...Scoot Games, Workstations, Independent math practice, they're so versatile. I've also sent them home with parents asking for additional practice. Here are my newest sets in case you'd like to take a peek. 


As always, thanks for visiting and following my wee little blog. I hope you continue to stop in from time to time and see what's happening in my neck of the North Georgia woods. And keep your eyes peeled, something big is coming!
Have a great week!