Saturday, August 16, 2014

Word Walls Made Easy!

Soon, it's back to school for me. I have one one precious week left and I'm off on a trip down south as a last hurrah! Since some of you are heading back too and decorating your classrooms for the new school year, I thought I'd share these resources for making a cute and easy word wall display! I'm all about EASY when it comes to back to school set-up! Word walls are a great way to encourage correct spelling in writing as well as a wonderful resource to teach high-frequency words. I want my second graders to learn all of the Dolch words and MORE, including content or theme words to use in their writing. I'm excited to show you these versatile resources!

You can edit the cards by typing in the words that you want~whenever you want them!
 This chalkboard set is simply black and white with a tiny bit of chevron for some cute! 
It would go great in a chalkboard or black and bright themed room.

The other is a cute and colorful polka dot set. These cards can be edited too!

You may also like some letter circles for cute bulletin board headings in your room. You can print them on bright paper, or print in black and white, cut them out and glue them on fun scrapbook papers with a triangle cut out of the center to make a banner or bunting!

If you like EASY too and want to see more images and read the full descriptions, just click on the pictures!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Student Name Address Labels~ Freebie

I got it! The class list! This is when things start to get exciting for me! I have 27 second graders as of now which is just shy of our max of 28. It looks to be an even balance of boys and girls but there are some with a name that could go either way. I've got a few siblings this year from SUPER helpful families and that is fantastic news! Of all of the names, I have a Charlotte and a Charlette. Go figure. Anyway, after I take a look to see all of their cute names and see if I recognize any last names, I immediately GET TO WORK! 

Read on and I'll tell you how I cut costs and save precious time!

This year, I have to throw together my room in a FAT HURRY! Before leaving for the summer, I stocked up on some colorful blank name tags from Creative Teaching Press. I slap on an address label and then laminate them to use for cubby tags. They are fun and colorful, AND I use very little ink that way. As a matter of fact, I slap those address labels on everything~ student folders, workbooks, composition books, spiral notebooks, job rotation cards, job can see my post about that and some pictures here.

Last year, I provided a link to download the template from Avery. I have found that some sites ask you to install or allow other things and that always makes me nervous. For the same Avery template from someone you can trust :), you can download a freebie from my dropbox if you like. Just click on the image to take you there.

This is what you will see when you get to the document. Be sure to click on the arrow in the corner to download it!
 Then you can make changes!

I took the liberty to start typing for you! Just backspace away my names to add your own kiddos! Reduce the font size to add last names so the text fits in the space. These fit Avery brand 8860 the 1"x 2 5/8" size.

The template freebie is very plain Jane, but I always make some for my nieces with a little clip art flower or some fancy, colorful fonts! You might try that too!

What creative, time-saving ways have you found to use address labels?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Meet the Teacher #teacherbloggers Linky

Getting to know you...getting to know all about you! Those are the lyrics to a favorite song I used to perform on stage. Want to know more about me? Well here it is! Welcome to my about me post! What a fun opportunity to get to introduce myself to you and get to know so many other teacher bloggers I follow a little bit better! 

I'm linking up with Falling into First for this fun linky party! Read below to see my answers to some of her creative question prompts! Maybe we have some things in common other than teaching!

So that's me in the picture above as a brunette, which is my real hair color before the gray took over and I was forced to work with it! I am a forty-something, pushing fifty soon, (yikes) second grade public school teacher in a large suburban district. This marks my silver anniversary~celebrating 25 amazing years in the classroom!
Forever young, especially at heart, is how I want to stay! I still feel 21 on the inside!

I have taught middle school math and science and grades K-2 in the public schools and at a Catholic school. My first position was teaching algebra to 7th graders who knew more math than I did! 

The hardest thing I've ever done was to earn my Masters Degree in a very challenging program while working full time, getting married and having an infant along the way. I am Nationally Board Certified and licensed for private practice in counseling psychology. 

As a former middle school counselor, I enjoyed helping my emotional adolescents with the drama and trauma in their world! Now I LIVE IT with a teenager of my own. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

My most important job and greatest accomplishment, of course, has been as mom to this awesome guy! He is the love of my life and my pride and joy! 

I love to spend time as Auntie Jean with my favorite kids in the whole world! 
This is Marissa, Alexa and Abra with Stefano. 
The two big girls are my sister's daughters and the little one is my baby brother's child!


Most of all, I love~ Family things. Coffee things. Sunshine things. TV drama. Dancing. Black. Sparkly things. Pretty things. Cute things. Musical things. Panera Bread. Express. Good hair days. Travel.
 Yeah. I pretty much love everything as you can see!
I'm sure I'm the world's easiest person to shop for.

Now for some fun with a...


Hmm...I dreamed of auditioning for the Rockettes or to be a back-up singer. :)
 An orthodontist would be great. I loved my job assisting. 
Maybe I would open a dance studio. 
If I owned an Orange Leaf franchise, I could eat the leftovers at the end of the day! Now that's an idea! 

But really, when I retire, I will be a university supervisor for student teachers. I enjoy being a mentor teacher.



I'd like to use my expertise, creativity and talents to enter more data into the computer please!


I would invite my grandparents and baby angel Alex so they could meet my son.


The subtitle would be...and then go scream in your pillow.


Time travel to go back and have a chance at redos to right the wrongs and relive all of the happy times that went by too fast!


I use this one a lot! My nana used to say, "This too shall pass". It always does!


 I would belt out RESPECT! by Aretha! Teachers and mothers of teenagers need more I say!


I get so much done in the morning. Coffee helps for sure!


It's really hard to choose because I have been staring at all of them for so long! Maybe the pumpkin life cycle lunch bag book, because it is something crafty that turns out super cute and the cover matches this here chalkboard theme!


 Speaking of pumpkins, I am allergic to just about everything. I'm allergic to all fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked, canned or processed. I even have an epi pen. I can't carve a pumpkin or peel potatoes without wearing gloves. Sadly, I cannot eat apples, strawberries or melon. I don't dare eat a banana. 

 A big bummer is that I am also allergic to dairy products which I LOVE but I do cheat with ice cream. 

So, basically, I can eat cookies and drink coffee. :)

Thats about all I can think of to tell you for now and the laundry is calling. 
Thanks for joining me for this linky! 
Head on over and link up too! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Back to School~ Icebreaker Activity Cards and a Giveaway

On the first day of school, my new class is usually super shy and most of the kids are nervous. I always like to do a lot of getting to know you activities, especially during the first week. As you probably know, I just LOVE task cards of any kind in the classroom. I have stacks of them handy and ready to use for so many activities! I'm super excited to share with you the latest in my card set series! This time, it's all about creating a fun and comfortable classroom environment from the start! Here it is!

It's a 40 card set with all kinds of cuteness featuring Melonheadz Kidlettes! 

You can read the full description here if you like!

 This is my plan. On the first day of school, I will have my kids sit in a circle. These cards will be face down in a draw pile. I will pick a stick and that child will have a turn. They choose a card, read the prompt and TALK! The others will practice attentive listening while we all get to know each other better. If any of the kiddos are feeling too shy to share on the first day, I may give them the option to pass and come back to them at the end in case they change their mind! I think they will once they see how fun and easy it is.

BEFORE the activity starts, I will choose a few cards and answer them. This way, the kids will get to know me and I can model the way I want them to elaborate with their responses. 

We can do this again on another day too, because each child will likely draw a different card the second time around. We may even use these for quick writes here and there!

I know they will love it and I hope you do too!

I'm giving away this new set to one lucky winner!
 Pin it to Win it!
Just leave me a link to your Pin in the comments and please also tell us your response to one of the prompts... If you could eat as much as you wanted of one food, what would it be? 
For me, it's mom's homemade mashed potatoes!

Send me an email me so I can send the file your way Kelly!:)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Teachers Notebook Back to School Sale!

Do you still have things on your back to school wish list? I sure do! I'm heading over to Teacher's Notebook to shop while I can grab more items on sale! 

Everything in my store is 20% off today through August 12th! 
Plus, you get an additional 10% off at checkout!
Remember to enter to win the gift certificate. 

You can find my store in the widget on the right hand side of my blog.
 Hey, if you do head over, I sure would love to have you as a follower. 
My little old shop has been feeling lonely lately! You're the best!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Five for Friday~ Summer Fun!

This was the BEST week of my summer vacation so far! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to give you a peek! Since we are not back to school yet, this is mostly about summer fun!

1. ) This week, my brother was in town from Denver. I got to spend a few days with Chris, my sister-in-law Shanna and my Itty Bitty who's name begins with A. I mentioned a special someone in my last bloggy blurb and here she is! Meet Abra!

Isn't she a precious dolly? It was so great to see them and to get to know my little niece. Thank goodness for Skype. She knew her Michigan family right away and just loved her big, big cousin and Auntie Jean! She is just the cutest, tiniest and smartest little thing with a huge personality! I could just eat her up! We went to The Detroit Zoo, we swam, we visited The Henry Ford, we took her to the splash park and we took lots of pictures! 
 Abra stole the show for sure!

2.) They left for a while to get in touch with the great outdoors at our family cottage in Canada, so here and there, I did fit in some work. I made a batch of new kid-friendly fonts to add to the forever bundle. One of the fonts I named for these two best cousins! Tall and Small. That about sums it up, don't you think?
Also work related, I bought all of my paper supplies for the year at the brand new Office Max that opened around the corner! DANGEROUS! 

3.) What did you do this summer? 
When people ask me this, I will have to honestly say...I DROVE! 
 Fifty practice hours for new drivers doesn't seem like a lot until you have to be the nervous parent coach and passenger. Ten of those hours have be at night. We've been leaving the house, sometimes in our PJs, at 10:00 EVERY NIGHT to go driving around. Well, thankfully, our hours are DONE as of today! AND...He passed the driving road test with flying colors. It was a crazy, busy, tough drive in another city he is not familiar with. They have really beefed up the expectations for teen drivers which is a great thing for every one's safety. Here is the event captured at the top secret, no-practicing-here-allowed location.

Remember that dreaded parking test folks? Nightmares.
 You ROCKED the test bud! So proud of you! 

4.) This week, we finally opened up the new camera I've been telling you about. In five minutes flat, this one had it all figured out. We are trying to discover more adult ways enjoy our favorite childhood activities so we ever outgrow them! Now, we go on location for photo shoots. Hope he sticks with it. Grandpa was a talented photographer and I know he is smiling down on his boy! 
 This wildlife photographer has just captured the elusive red panda, mom's favorite animal!

5.) I'll leave you with a fun one! We had a chance to go to the Women of Rock exhibit. It was really something to see the actual costumes worn by so many fabulous ladies on stage. Only they could get away with it!

Guess who these costumes belong to? Yep. You were right! 
Cher and Michigan's own Madonna! 

That only scratches the surface of my awesome week friends!
Sadly, their visit is over and they've gone home to get ready for Itty Bitty to start preschool.
 I miss them so much already. Waaa! 

  But I am happy... because tonight... I plan to put up my feet up at 10:00, watch something nerdy on the weather channel, and count my blessings for the time we had together and for a successful road test today. 

Link up your week too and check out some other great posts at Doodle Bugs

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Classroom Newsletter Template FREEBIE!

Keeping parents informed about happenings in the classroom is so important! I always use a premade template with frames to highlight our classroom news for the week. I don't say alot~just enough to describe learning objectives, upcoming events with dates and reminders or requests for donations. I thought I would share this file with you to help you keep it simple too!

You can grab a copy of this EDITABLE template here if you like! 
Hope you can use it!

Remember to head over to TPT and my store for the big sale!

And now for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT...
Congratulations to our BTS Giveaway winners!

Christin won my Reading Comprehension Companion Packet!

Sam is our grand prize winner! She gets a five dollar item from each of the Weekend Warriors' TPT stores
a 50 DOLLAR Amazon gift certificate!

So happy for you both!

Thank you to all of our awesome followers for participating! 
It's been fun! 
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