July 20, 2017

What To Do With All of Those Blank Books from Target


So you raided Bullseye's Playground and stocked up on some blank books for your classroom. Now what?

I love the blank books almost as much as my students do. I use them for almost every final draft writing project, and my students get so excited about "publishing" books. My second graders needed some help with organizing their books and making them neat, so I created some templates.


First I created some blank, lined templates with lines of various sizes. You can grab them here - free in my TPT store! With these templates, I usually pre-cut them for my students quickly with my paper cutter. It only takes a moment and cuts down on distractions.



Then I got excited and wanted to use blank books for ALL THE THINGS. Here are a few templates that I have created and used in my own classroom...

This poetry book can be used as a tool to teach your students about five different types of poetry: acrostic, shape, haiku, personification, and diamante. This product includes an example, a scaffolded prompt (You Try It!), and a blank space (Write Your Own) for each type of poem. 



One of my favorites is the VIP book. Use this book as a tool to have your students keep track of the historical figures that they learn about and have a keepsake to take home at the end of the year. Or, use it as your star student book. It's up to you!

When I introduce this book to my students, they are going to complete the first page about themselves.




Last, I made a few templates to help my students write informational texts about topics that fit with our content standards. You can click on each image to view the matching product description on TPT.


   

   


Have fun publishing!









July 15, 2017

Back to School with Oriental Trading


I got an exciting package recently - Oriental Trading!

DID YOU KNOW...

that Oriental Trading has an entire educational line called Learn 365?

and that Oriental Trading's prices are really competitive, and cheaper than Amazon?


I was so excited to discover Learn 365 this summer, and had to make some purchases that I think my students and I will love.


First, I picked out some money dice. Counting and adding money is a big 2nd grade standard, and I'm always looking for more fun ways to keep my kids practicing. I thought these dice would be perfect for a math center - just roll, then add or subtract! Easy & engaging.

money dice: $4.49 on Oriental Trading



Next, I picked out a box of 10-sided Dice in Dice. Yes, they're expensive, but I've had my eye on them for a while and I think it's a worthwhile investment for my classroom. With these dice, the opportunities are endless. I see myself using them for quick addition and subtraction fact practice or to roll double-digit numbers. You know the kids will get so excited about the mini dice inside the big dice!

10-sided dice in dice: $36.99 on Oriental Trading



Okay, so I might have a thing for dice.... because I also ordered question dice! Asking and answering questions is another 2nd grade skill. I thought that these would be perfect for retelling a text, or for generating questions starting with specific question words.

question dice: $4.29 on Oriental Trading



I'm so glad that I saw these All About Me Posters on the website, because otherwise I would have forgotten to order a set for this year! I use these every year in my classroom. Last year, I got a great idea from my teammate: I sent them home as homework for the first week of school. Students brought them back, and I kept them in a file. Every two weeks, I would display one of the posters on a special spot on my bulletin board. That child was the line leader and teacher's helper for the time that his or her poster was displayed. I'm going to do that again this year!

all about me posters: $8.99 (set of 30) on Oriental Trading

image from Oriental Trading website

Lastly, I snagged some Glitter Puzzle Cubes. My school has a long dismissal, so the 2nd load and after school kids get bored and antsy. I let them play with Rubix Cubes and those metal puzzlers, and I thought these would be the perfect addition! They come in a set of 24, so you could use these for back to school gifts, Valentine's Day, treasure box... so many options.

glitter puzzle cubes: $13.99 for a set of 24 on Oriental Trading



I'm so excited to use all of the above in my classroom this year! What's on your shopping list?!


DISCLAIMER: Oriental Trading sent me the above products in exchange for an honest review. All images and opinions are my own.

July 9, 2017

This Year is Looking Wonderful!


Looking for an easy and fun back to school gift for students? I found these glasses in the Target party section near the tassels and plates. 

You can grab the tag (on Google Slides) here.

Enjoy! 


July 7, 2017

How to Make Pencil Nametags



Thank you SO VERY much for all of your compliments and kind words about my writing board.

I love it too - It's one of my favorite parts of my classroom for three reasons:

1. It's pretty so that makes me happy.

2. It's so easy to hang papers.

3. I'm going on year three without changing out the board. Can I get an AMEN?!


When I created this board, I hot glued pushpins to the back of clothespins. Then, I put hot glue on the back of the length of the clothespin before sticking it into and onto the board. They don't budge. They hold at least 30 papers throughout the year, no problemo. Yes, the hot glue will destroy the board when I try to pull them off... so I'm just not planning on doing that anytime soon! You know what they say... If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Many of you have been asking me how to make the pencil nametags. Keep reading:

1. Click here to download this free clipart from Melonheadz.



2. If you want to use the same font that I used, click here to download KG Blank Space from Kimberly Geswein. (Note: This free font is for personal use only.)

3. Place the pencil clipart in Powerpoint. My pencils have a height of 1.65". Then copy and paste until you have 5 pencils.


4. Add a text box and type in the first name. I used KG Blank Space Sketch, size 60. I also added a white glow behind the text to add some contrast so it is easier to read. (Highlight text... Format --> Effects --> Glow)


5. Copy and paste your text box into the other pencils, then change the names. For fast results, next copy and paste the entire slide so that you can just change the names on all of the other slides.


6. Print on cardstock, laminate, then cut. Ta da!

At the end of the year, I peel the pencils off of the clips and give them to the students to use as bookmarks. They love them!

Happy creating!