Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I've Moved! Head on Over to My New Blog!

Hello Friends! 
My blog got a new makeover! I'd really  love to have you follow me at my new "home"! 
Please come visit my new Creative Lesson Cafe blog and check out my new design!
I'd love to know how you like it. I wanted something unique and totally me! 

Hope to see you soon! I'd love it if you could help to spread the word! Its a little lonely there right now! Thanks a bunch!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday Deals and Steals and a Freebie for One Lucky Winner!!

I just had to have this chair!
I've been on a shopping spree lately! The costs can really add up when setting up a new room! I've recently found some great deals I wanted to share with you on this thrifty Thursday!

Walmart offers free home delivery with a minimum purchase of 45 dollars on certain items. I found this zebra task chair and ordered it this morning! It was more than I wanted to spend at 59 dollars, but justified it with the free shipping and the convenience of having it delivered. Love, love, love this chair! I want one for home too!

Also at Walmart and quite a steal at 15 dollars each, hot pink bean bag chairs!

These plastic stacking trays and paper bins are in the Target dollar aisle. The stackers are the perfect size for task cards. I will keep my book club question cards in one of them, partner pairing cards in the second and my math word problem task cards in another.

I bought these baskets at the local dollar store for a dollar each. They are the perfect size for forward facing chapter books. I stocked up on these!

Poms are all the fashion right now, so I was happy to find these at Party Adventure. They are 16 inches and you get three for 10 dollars. Another wonderful blogger, sorry, I can't recall who it was...shared a tip for rounding the edges, which I plan to do. Everything you need like ribbon and wire is in here and the tissue already folded! I recently saw a site selling single poms for an outrageous amount per pom and charging shipping to boot. I had purchased a much more expensive kit from Martha Stewart and promptly marched it back to the store! There are lots of online tutorials out there to make your own in the event that you have a hard time finding the perfect colors. Party Adventure also had tissue flowers and matching banners.

Next on my list is to find a good deal on fabric for my enormous bulletin board wall and to locate some cheap but durable magazine bins for Ipick book boxes for Daily Five. If you know of any good places to get them, please let me know! I signed up for the Jo-Ann and Michael's coupon apps. They will come in handy!

I made a set of sight word shaker bottles with candies and sprinkles I had laying around the house that no one was about to eat. I only put in a few words for demonstration purposes because I can't get into the building to laminate them right now. 

My plan is to put only ten words at a time in there for a Word Work activity during Daily Five. With 220 words and 95 nouns, this center will last a long time! They're cuter and more colorful in person! The kids will love this! I'll have to tell them the candies are old or they fell on the floor! There's always one kiddo who will want to taste-test whenever we use candy manips!

You can get the set at my shop for only two dollars! I made the mini-slips for all Dolch words and a recording sheet. You get to do the fun part~ assemble the bottles!:) These are little Tropicana raspberry lemonade containers filled with Nerds, sprinkles and Skittles. Click on the first picture to see it at my TPT shop!

Since my last guessing game was so much fun, we'll have another go at it!

Once upon a time... a long, long time ago.... (hint, hint), I received a whole case of Nerds, which had just come out, as a birthday gift from a friend who knew how I used to love them so...
If you can be the first to guess how old I was, the shaker sight word center download is yours! I got this image off My Favorite Retro Candy Site! At the time, these were the only two flavors.

Leave me your email in the comment with your guess! :)

Off to visit another dollar store!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Buckyballs Decorating Tip and a New Font

This was quite a find and I wanted to share it with you! These small and mighty rare earth magnets are my solution to hanging posters and things on my whiteboards. Nothing stays up for long on the cinder block walls, so I have to make the most of the space available. Four of these tiny magnets will easily hold up a poster! A box goes a long way!

As you return to your classrooms to set up and decorate, consider getting a set. Amazon has the best price. They really come in handy and they're a fun fidget too!

Another thing I can't live without- cute fonts!I've added a new commercial use font to my collection. It's called Bold Dots! I like it because it's easy to read and fun! Hope you like it too!

The first to guess which letter gets deleted and drawn again countless times, gets it for free! Just remember to leave your email! I'm off for a weekend at the lake getaway, but I'll get it to you early next week!

Enjoy your weekend!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Doodle Doodads

Thing-a-ma-bobs, whatchamacallits, doodads..Yes! I'll call them Doodle Doodads and here they are!

 It really bugs me to have empty, boring spaces in my documents. Sometimes a space is just too small for clipart, or the graphic clashes or distracts from the content or I can't seem to find the perfect image, or I don't have what I need in line art... so I made these little doodles for filler-uppers!

You can go get a closer look at my brand new Creative Clipart Cafe!Click on the image to see it! I've got 2 wonderful followers there and sure would love to have more!

Here's a freebie doodle! Right click to save the image!

My new blog design is close to being finished! Yippee!
 I've got a fantastic giveaway promotion in the works for its premier! Check back soon! I know you'll want in! 

Coming soon...Doodle Heads Graphics :)

Have a wonderful day!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Freebie and a Newsflash!

 Just popping in here writing with a Newsflash and a Friday Freebie for ya!
 I opened up a new clipart shop today at Teachers Notebook! I've got a lot of creating to do to post more items to my new and very empty-looking shop!

I sure would love to have you stop by to follow my new shop! I have no ratings, purchases or followers there and it's pretty lonely right now!

Here's a little friday freebie and preview for you all from my new Happy Shapes Graphics for Commercial Use! I think he would make a fine tissue box or graphic for a shapes poster! Just right click on the image and save to your computer! Credit is appreciated but not necessary for my blogger friends!

Do you like him? The graphics in the set and larger and high-resolution (colored shapes have transparent backgrounds) for clear printing.

Here's a preview of the other happy shapes:

They all come in black and white too!

I also just added this fancy fun font:

Have a happy weekend! 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Graphs Graphics Flash Freebie

Hello Friends!

I've been working on some Common Core math activities and had a hard time finding kid-friendly graphics to use for charts and graphs so I made my own! 

You can grab a graph freebie at my Teachers Pay Teachers Shop. It will be free today only for my fabulous followers and visitors!

Let me know what you think. I'm not professional by any means, but I think they will work just fine for most of your documents!

 Have a super day!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Christmas in July and Sunny Classroom Supplies

My goal this summer was to work on new items for the classroom geared toward my move back to second grade and also to edit some of my earlier items to add new graphics and make them even cuter!

Here is my latest update for the Smartboard Gingerbread Man Activities! If you already purchased it, go back into your purchases to get the newest version! These are just a few of the slides. Click on the first picture to see it at my shop!

I'm spending money shopping for my new classroom like it were Christmas lately! I am leaving many of the things I have for the new teacher who is moving into my room and starting with a clean (and hopefully well-organized) slate. I have so much that I have collected and purchased over the last 20+ years and the thought of having to move it all is a little overwhelming! I've seriously considered hiring a moving company! I will have only two weeks to get it all done because my classroom is being used for summer school. I'm excited to share before and after pictures with you!

 Here are some new items I found that are really great and will be a nice addition to my brights theme!

These book tubs look nice and sturdy. I found them at Really Good Stuff. I love that they allow the students to see the covers and are wide enough for picture books. Our school uses Accelerated Reader and my books are organized according to AR level, so I need many baskets. These are a little pricey, but will be worth the investment if they hold up for many years! I'm going with the yellow, but they come in a rainbow of colors.

My director chair is getting faded and it's time for a new one. I found this chair in yellow too! 

My last chair was given to me as a gift from the class. On the seat canvas the children added their thumbprints with puffy paint and my room moms wrote each child's name on the chair with fabric markers. It was so cute! I'm going to decorate my new chair with colorful polka dot lettering and add my name to the top canvas. I found this one at Directors Chairs.com. Unfortunately it's out of stock at the moment. I guess I was not the only one who liked it!

 I already have these sets and lots of other stuff from Really Good Stuff and I think it will all go very nicely together with my brights collection. 

If you have not yet visited my shops, I have a matching rainbow behavior clip chart freebie there!

The colors in the Swirls and Curls set when printed are much brighter than they appear in the picture. I think it'll be a great match. Click on the picture to see it!  I'm going to work on a rainbow set and see if I like that one better! 

On another note- I sent off a folder yesterday with all of my design elements to Becca at Jumping Jax Designs. She is working on my new blog next week. I am really excited to see how she is able to put together the graphics, backgrounds and theme that I have chosen. She is awesome! It is totally custom and totally me! Counting the days for my blog like I'm waiting for Christmas too!

Have a fun weekend!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth Font Freebie

Here's a cute font freebie to wish you all a happy 4th of July!

These are two easy to read fonts I just made and more fun fonts are on the way! Click on the pictures to see these at my store!

Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the fonts! I'd love to hear from you!

Happy 4th of July to all! Whatever you do, have a blast!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Font Tip and July Giveaway

Finding the perfect font and font size for your classroom creations can sometimes be a challenge. When working to create my new Play Dough Fun Letter Mats for my kindergarten and first grade teacher friends, I needed to find an open font for commercial use and make it large enough to fill. I have found that PowerPoint is the easiest to use for the items I create. The only problem is that there is a limit to the font size you can select for some of my favorite cutesy fonts.

 Here's a tip or two learned by trial and error :):

Create a text box in a word document. Type in the font size and select your favorite font. Type what you need to and then copy and paste the text box into your PowerPoint and you can get the size you need that way. 

If you are creating a SMART Notebook file and want cutesy font, type what you like in a document, then create a JPEG or PNG image of your wording. Insert the image into your Notebook file. That way the font itself will become part of the file.  My Back to School Calendar Math was created in this way. It was a bit time consuming, but I created the wording so that it is general enough to be used in other files I create later on down the road.

So here is the link to Play Dough Fun:

July Giveaway!
 Can't believe I have to say July already! Summer is just going by way too fast!

I'm giving away Play With Dough Letter Mats and any item of your choice from my shops to the first ten beautiful bloggers to comment and

~Let me know you follow my blog
~Let me know you follow my shop at Teachers Pay Teachers or Teachers Notebook
~Tell me the item of your choice that you would like 
~leave me an email so I can send it to you
~tell a friend or two to stop by or blog about the giveaway

Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you!

The Giveaway I am running on Teachers Notebook for the Classroom Chic Decor Set ends today, so hop on over and enter to win!

Watch for a HUGE Giveaway mid-month to celebrate my new blog! I am counting down the days and can hardly wait! 


Friday, June 29, 2012

Holy Heat Wave Sale

Wow! It's a scorcher again today! I spent yesterday floating on my air mattress at beautiful Stony Creek beach, which was the perfect place to be with the temperature reaching 100 degrees. That is rare for this part of Michigan! I just got back from a morning walk and decided to keep cool inside today since I'm a little sunburned, blogging, posting and maybe running errands. Maybe you've decided to do the same. I know many of you have temperatures in the triple digits too!

If you can't head to the beach or pool (oh how I wish I had a pool...), it's the perfect time to stay inside and browse for some items on sale, right?

I'm having a Holy Heat Wave Sale today through July 3rd so come and grab some of your favorite items from my shops!

Stay Cool!

While out doing errands, I bought this at Home Depot for the registers in the upper level of my home. It works great! You just put it on top of your register and plug it in! What a difference!

It's the Register Booster Equalizer EQ2

Stay Cool!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Behavior Management Thoughts and a Freebie

Wouldn't it be dreamy if all students did exactly what they needed to do, made good, kind choices and respected the learning environment? 

In years past, I have used a token economy, rewards, praise, incentives, special tickets, coupons and more.... the popular red, yellow, green color changing cards in a pocket chart and table cards and points, marbles in a jar, the traffic light reporting system and all sorts of plans and combinations of plans. Last year I found this cute We Show Great Bee-havior chart by Really Good Stuff and decided to try that out. 

I loved the fact that the bees were magnetic, that it was cute and it worked out perfectly on my whiteboard. I was excited too that the colors went with my traffic light take home card and chant for the end of the day:

Red on Top
Green below
Red says stop
Green says go
Yellow says wait
Even if you're late

 I wrote each student's name on the bee with a marker as recommended and all went well for a few days....

A side note;
I have a thing with displaying names on a behavior system. The counselor in me wants to protect the self-image of all of my little ones. Even if it is posted in an inconspicuous place, everyone in class knows every bee that was moved. A few students who had difficulty on a regular basis almost seemed to relish in the attention of moving their bee. 

 But in a matter of time, the names began to rub off anyway. I really did not want to have to purchase replacement magnets year after year, so avoided writing on them with a sharpie. Instead, we had nameless bees and the students were required to take responsibility for remembering which color they were on at the end of the day. This worked out pretty well and my little ones were very honest, so that part was not an issue.

Once their bee had moved, I struggled with the decision to let the children bargain, as they tried to do, for a chance to improve and move their bee back to green. (I am thinking that they may have been able to do this in kindergarten). Part of me thinks that in real life, the choices we make, good or bad, have consequences. We do not always have the opportunity to make amends, especially when our choices affect or hurt others and the damage is done. Everyone needs to stop and think about those consequences before acting and that is something that has to be learned.  The problem with not allowing my students to move back was that some "frequent fliers" lost motivation to make better choices and "gave up" for the day. I hated to see that happen and then created a separate plan for those children. 

 I still would highly recommend the chart to anyone who loves their red, green, yellow behavior system! 

After doing some reading and research, I've decided that I like the philosophy on behavior management offered by Rick Morris and want to give it a try. I think my second graders next year will like it too! You can read more about the clip chart behavior system at his site:


The only downside I can see is that many students will be moving clips up or down throughout the day and that takes the focus of some students away from the task at hand as they are watching others at the chart. We will have to see how that goes.

I made a clip chart for my room similar to the one Rick recommends. I've added it as freebie on Teachers Notebook. You can grab it there if you'd like to get in on the clip chart system! 

The last last line is for students to reflect on choices made during the week and to set goals for themselves. I am a firm believer in learning from mistakes:)

***I'd appreciate it if you could take a minute to rate it if you like it!

It coordinates with my new Classroom Decor Set~ Classroom Colorful Swirls and Curls! This is the one I'm leaning toward...

Here is one that I made to match the polka dot owls set:

I found some cute ideas for decorating the clothespins that I thought I'd share! I think we'll have a clip decorating day at the start of the year. Each child can decorate their clothespin however they like. They will know which one is their own, without a public display of names. Eventually, I will know the owners of the clips I need to know! Names may go on the back side just in case!

It would be easy to glue a doodad or two on them and make them more special! I'll start with colored clothespins and go from there! 

These images are from the public domain.

 If you are using a clip chart, I'd love to hear how it has been working out in your classroom as well as any helpful hints you'd like to share!!

Enjoy the freebie!