Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sparky Classroom Helpers

"Sparky" Classroom Helpers
Here is another fabulous freebie to my "Sparky Friends"!  I updated/changed my classroom helpers for this coming year.  I decided to have the little sparks apply for their jobs and then keep them for at least a month. I am tired of them not knowing what their job is or how to do it, so after some web cruising, I found that this is the way a lot of people "OUT THERE" do it!  So I will give it a whirl!

Reading Trackers

~Various Reading Trackers~

I L.O.V.E. using different tools to help students track while they are reading.  I have scary halloween fingers, magic fairy wands, blue "EZC Reader Strips", drink stirrers, and whatever else I can get my hands on.

~Various Reading Trackers~

This year, I found some new things to use!  I ordered the "We're #1" fingers from Oriental Trading.  I think the kids are going to go ga-ga over these!  I should have ordered more than one set!  The crazy straws are from the dollar store.  The sticks on the right I made myself!

~DIY - Reading Trackers~

I was walking through the store looking for new trackers, when I saw drink stirrers.  I was going to buy them, but when I took a good look at them, I realized I could make some of my own for a lot less money!  I bought bamboo skewers, snipped the sharp end off, and cut them in half.  I used spray paint from the garage to paint the shortened skewers.  Then I pulled out my bead collection and decided on the wooden beads.  Unfortunately, these took a little longer to make than anticipated because not all the bead holes were big enough.  Out came the jewelry making tools and I was able to enlarge the holes.  The beads are tight enough, that I didn't even have to use any glue!  I think if I can make an entire class set, I will be able to use them for writing in the air as well!

Book Box Bags? YUP!

~Book "Boxes"~
I have finally finished painting my new book "boxes"... errr... "bags"...  I decided this year to scrap the typical book boxes and use bags!  During reading, my students move around - a lot!  In fact, they have the opportunity to leave the room and use our common learning area (ELA).  Last year, the book boxes were a mess!  They were hard to carry, they fell over, they even busted!  I am hoping to resolve those issues with these bags! I kept looking at cotton or canvas bags that were WAY TOO EXPENSIVE. I bought reusable Giant Eagle shopping bags {my fabulous husband's idea}.  So for $1 each, I was able to get enough matching bags!  They are obviously store bags, but I don't mind so much because they match and we do a 9-week unit about the 3 R's, so isn't it perfect?  I bought some stencils and fabric paint.  I used (here's the genius) lint roller sheets to punch out the stars with my Sizzix!  They stuck on there beautifully!  I put a star/number on each side and they are so cute!  I hope they last through the year and maybe longer... If not, I have some spares to change out the awful ones!  Portable, fashionable, and washable book boxes!  I am so excited!

Larger Word Work Bottles

~Large "Letter Find" Containers~ 
~Filled with different types of letters~
Today I made larger versions of my "Letter Find" containers.  I used some single serve juice containers.  Removing the labels was super easy!  I filled the bottles with hot water and let them sit a minute.  The labels peeled right off!  A few sticky spots were taken care of with my bottle of Goo-Gone.  Using different letter beads, charms, scrapbook embellishments, and chip board letters, I filled the bottle about 1/4 full. Then I filled the bottle (leaving 1/4 on top) with plastic craft filler beads.  I am super excited to put these to good use in my room!  The options and possibilities are endless!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Look Book and Reminder Binder ~ Toucan Style!

~Look Book and Reminder Binder Toucan Theme~
So one of my friends over at another building has decided to use the "Look Book" and "Reminder Binder" discipline program too!  This one is for all my Toucan friends and any Toucan fans out there!

For the trademark information on this program by Patricia Wolf, click here.

Look Book and Reminder Binder

~Sparky Look Book and Reminder Binder Forms~
Our school uses the "Look Book" and "Reminder Binder" discipline system and I decided to update my forms!  I put all the forms I use into one document and used our mascot pictures of "Sparky" throughout the pages.  I even added some forms that I thought other people in my building liked to use!  So, this is for all you Summit Sparks out there :)

For the trademark information on this program by Patricia Wolf, click here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Being proud, I went to show my mom this blog, but realized with her that most of my worksheet links aren't working.  The place I stored them was asking her to log-in.  SO.... I decided to add them as freebies on TeachersPayTeachers.  However, they are still working on the site and I can't get it to work!  I will continue to fix the problem, so pin it, bookmark it, whatever you need to do and I promise it will get fixed!


~Cafe or Craft Headers and Topics~
My team and I have decided to use the CAFE this year in our rooms.  We have been discussing either using the acronym CAFE (which I like for its purity) or the acronym CRAFT (I like the version of T being "terms and vocabulary").  I first saw this version on Ladybug's Teacher Files.  I decided to create my own signs, headers, and tags.  I included tags for either version.  I pored over the Cafe Menu in the book and online.  Then I found a menu already aligned to the common core for second grade! I was ecstatic! Then I went through the common core on my own and created more strategy cards.  I plan on using the strategy tags by putting them on a ring for reference. I can hand these to the students to write the personalized tags. There are blank tags in this set to use for the personalized tags.  If you have any suggestions of how to make the collection more thorough, please send me a comment!


After hours of toiling over GIMP... I think I have the background and title I want for my page! YIKES!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Word Work Test Tubes

I had these fabulous test tubes that use to hold cookie sprinkles.  I gathered up my letter beads, embellishments, etc. and purchased a few more.  Then I found craft plastic filler beads (used to fill bean bags and dolls) to cover up some of the letters inside the container.  I call them "Letter Finders".  The kiddos will shake them up, look for letters, then create words.  They can create words based only on what they see or they can create the words using the sound focus of the week.  They are small and will store easily with the Word Work centers/games.

I also plan on getting some clear plastic bead storage containers to create some more.  I thought about petri dishes, but I am not sure they are deep enough.  Small, portable, and cheap is the way I like it!
~Letter Find Printables~

Birthday Balloons

So I have seen quite a few different sites now with pixie stick birthday balloons.  I really liked the ones at "Teaching in Flip Flops".  I thought it would be a great idea to create some of my own.  I had problems finding the giant pixie sticks, so at the dollar store, I bought 2 packs of the regular sticks.  I used my Sissix machine to cut out birthday balloon shapes, created some labels, constructed the balloons into 'pockets', tied some ribbon and I have some very cute balloons too! I decided to use 2 together since the pixie sticks were small. 

I also added a tag that tells them to have lunch with me.  I took it a step further and made single balloons (without labels or ribbon) and will keep them ready for the birthday cuties that stop by on their rounds with treats.
~Happy Birthday! Labels~

Beautiful Yardstick Storage

I have finally finished a few of my many back to school projects!  I had decided last year that I needed a better way to store my yardsticks and decided I needed an umbrella stand.  Upon seeing the OUTRAGEOUS prices for a new stand from even the "cheap" stores, I was on a mission to find one at the antique mall.  This summer, I found it for $10!  Add a little spray paint that was in the garage and VOILA!  Beautiful storage for my room!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Techy Pro!

I am feeling extremely techie!  I have built and added my own background, rewritten HTML with help from various resources, started with Pinterest, created badges for all my sites... Phew!  I feel like a pro!  Now, if I could only update and finish the things in my real life so that I feel like I accomplished as much as I do virtually!  I am working on some great ideas for the new school year and will be posting them as soon as they are ready!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

FINALLY... I'm here!

I finally have an official blog to share my teacher resources!  I have always enjoyed creating things in the name of education and have not jumped on the techy bandwagon yet!  I started sharing and selling on TpT this summer as well as designing my own background for this blog!  Can we say overachiever?  Maybe, but wait until you find something you like that I share!  Hopefully, I can keep up with my postings and ideas...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...