Saturday, December 29, 2012

Getting Organized for the New Year!

Organization...Now there's a problematic situation for probably 99% of teachers.
When our day is going 90 to nothing, it is SOOOOOOO hard to keep things organized.  That's one reason I am so excited about my first day back to school.  We get to work in our rooms!  YEAH!!!  I have such a PILE on my bookshelf.  (I did manage to get my desk cleaned off before leaving.)
I am known around school for my super organizational skills.  However, those are just in PLANNING organization.  I don't do too well with "stuff." (As my husband can attest to looking at our bedroom right now. Somehow, all the Christmas "stuff" has ended up there! ha!)
However, here are some of the organizational ideas I use in my classroom.
This is a picture off of Pinterest.  I have a green bucket for sharpened pencils and a red one for broken.  Pencil sharpening is one of my pet PEEVES!!!  Just absolutely drives me bonkers with all of that pencil sharpening!!  Well, not this year!  :-)

I have all of my construction paper separated into hanging files on a bookshelf.  EASY access!  AND, an added benefit is that all of the colors aren't mixed up, so it helps with my OCD!  (hehe)

Another organizational tool I implemented this year was using a pocketchart to show students where to read during their  Silent Sustained Reading (SSR) time.  (Referred to in our room as FROG time - Fun Reading is Our Goal.)  I rotate the students name each Friday afternoon, so on Monday morning, they have a new frog to read with as well as a new place to read for the week.  This has worked FANTASTIC in my room!

At the beginning of the year, I hot glued laminated construction paper to the hallway outside my room.  By adding clothespins, it keeps the students work organized and on display.  (We don't have bulletin boards and nothing, I mean NOTHING will stick to the walls except hot glue!)

On my math focus wall, I have headings in this cutie-patootie font from Mel over at Graphics from the Pond.  Having headings helps to keep my focus wall organized.
Which, BTW, is a FREEBIE I have for you.  This unit, contains headings for you to use on your own focus wall.  Grab it here.

I think one of the best ways I keep myself organized in the classroom is using my Curriculum Mapping guide, "At a Glance."  In fact, my co-workers tell me they can't function if they don't have this posted next to their desk and in their lesson plans to help them with their planning.  It's another FREEIBE you can grab in my store.  Is is in Microsoft Word so that you can edit it to meet your needs.  I have mine included as a sample guide.
Here are my New Year's Organizational Resolutions:
I purchased 2 of these cute lime green plastic toy chests at Walmart.  I plan on using one for Common Core materials for MATH and the other for LANGUAGE ARTS.  The plan is bouncing around in my head of exactly what I want to do.  I just know that's the idea!  LOL

 I have 3 of these rolling carts.  I plan on completely revamping by making them into a game center with all of my games I've made and purchased.  I use a LOT of games in the classroom for review and I need some new organization of them!

Pinned Image

Lastly, to get some of the stacks cleared off that just seem to pile up on my desk, I'm going to put them in one of these drawers. At least it will look a lot neater!

My BLOGGING Goal is to continue posting info you will enjoy reading about with LOTS of pictures!!

What do you do to organize and what do you PLAN to do?

Don't forget to enter to WIN MY STORE (a $350.00 value) and also my BUY 1 GET 2 FREE Sale!!!

Both will continue until the 31st for my BLOGIVERSARY!!! :-)

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Card Recycling - 2 EASY Projects

It's never as much fun to put AWAY for Christmas is it? 
I am sharing a couple of ideas I designed to use with leftover Christmas cards.

The first is a gift that my students make for their parents.  Placemats from Recycled Christmas Cards.  They arrange the cards any way they want on a large piece of red construction paper.
We cut out interesting shapes of the cards such as circles and ovals.  We also add cutouts like white snowflakes and green pine trees.  Adding some of the inspirational words from the inside of the card is also a nice touch.
Lastly, laminate for durability.  I have a set of 4 I use on my table each Christmas.
The second project I like to do with recycled cards is to make an ornament.
I have shown the steps in the below pictures.

This tag to attach is the last of my Christmas Freebies...
In other news...
Don't forget to enter my HUGE Blogiversary Giveaway.  The winner will be announced Jan. 1st.

This is a value of $350!!!!!  Read the details here.
My Blogiversary Sale also continues until the 31st.
Continue sticking with me into the New Year, and you'll find out...
I'm just one of those Southern Ladies who enjoys giving and sharing!

I'm also helping out one of my bloggy friends over at Hopkins' Hoppin Happenings as he celebrates his blogiversary.  You can grab one of my best selling items tomorrow ONLY for FREE!
Do you have any ideas that you use for recycling Christmas Cards? 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

One Year Blogiversary...WIN MY STORE!!!

WOW!!! And Double WOW!!!!!

It’s so hard for me to believe that it’s almost my One-Year BLOGIVERSARY!

Yep, I did my very first blog post on Dec. 31, 2011.

What a year it’s been! 

I jumped into blogging and TPT Land with both feet and I have enjoyed every minute of the ride.

I had NOOOOO idea what I was doing when I started.  I’ve still got so much ahead that I want to do to improve.

However, here are a few things I’ve learned on this journey that might help you…

1) Invest in a CAMERA!!!

 (The more pictures you post, the more you have to add to PINTEREST! ;-)

2) Try to make each post enjoyable reading. 

(Ask yourself, would I want to read this?)

3) People LOVE ideas and free stuff!!

 (Get real…WHO DOESN’T???)

4) Spread the love by leaving comments on others’ blog.

(It’s the little things in life that brings joy!)

5)  Don’t be afraid to ask questions to learn all you can. 

(After all, teachers are the most sharing human beings on the planet!!

Except maybe cannibals who happen to share a little TOO much!)


I wanted to do a little something different for my blogiversary. 

(You will notice that GIVE is part of the word!)

Therefore, one lucky winner will…
Yep, you read it right.  One lucky winner will win EVERY product in my TPT store!!!

2nd Place will win a custom Classroom Decor Package.

3rd Place will win All Year Spiral Math Review.

Just complete the Rafflecopter below for chances to win.  Be sure to leave your e-mail so that I can let you know if you are the lucky winner!
Also, don't forget, I am still offering my
Just click on pix to get details.
I also posted a new Common Core unit for Compound Words to my TPT store today. It's a Zip File that includes ALL of these items:

And lastly for today's post, here is freebie #24
Just click above to download.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Buy 1 Get 2 Free AND My Best and Brightest

What a whirlwind of activities the last 3 days have been!! While it has been WONDERFUL celebrating our Savior's birth with loved ones, I am glad to have this day to actually do some unwinding and resting!
How many of you LOVE to go to the Day After Christmas Sale?
I do too, but today it's going to be from the comfort of home.
You can get in on it also. You can purchase ANY item in my store and receive TWO free items of equal or less value.
Just e-mail me what you want FREE along with your TPT user name.
In the meantime, I'm linking up with Christina over at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge.
Here are some of my best and brightest moments in 2012...
Let me just say, it has been a WONDERFUL ride.
First of all, about this time last year, I stumbled across Pinterest, blogging, and TPT.  Yep, evidently I had been living in an alternate universe.  Can't imagine WHERE I was or WHAT I was doing before I found all of these.  They have all made such a difference in my life.
The best thing that happened to me was starting my TPT store
What a blessing TPT has been.  I have met some of the most wonderful people, made lots of virtual friends, and helped supplement my income to make up for the furlough days.
Another bright spot for me this year was when I met Christi Fultz and got a brand new design!
One of most proudest moments this year was getting two of my freebies in the TPT newsletter.
Downloaded over 17,000 times!

Downloaded over 19,000 times.
If you haven't gotten these freebies, just click on the pix to get them.  What a great feeling to know my products are being used!
My mosted visited linky party was:
91 other bloggers linked up their own favorite freebie.  Click above to find some great freebies.
My most humbling experience was when several TPT teachers came together to help out my friend Teresa.
God was really working through some of the most generous teachers out there!
My favorite blog post had to be the pictures I shared about my Christmas Craft Day.
For those of you keeping track, I'm sure you realize I have 2 days left of freebies that I promised you.
I am working on those now and will be back in the next couple of days with those.
Enjoy your day of rest and relaxation! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Freebies #22 & #23

I'm linking up with First Grade in Foxwell Forest in her very first linky party (drop by and show her some bloggy love!)
Here's how it works:
You choose 2 blogs that you follow {one newer blog that you recently began following and one blog that you have been following since you first began} and highlight them on your blog by explaining why you think they are such a gift! Then you give them a RACK by offering them one item as a gift from your TPT store!
Here are the 2 blogs I am passing my RACK on to:
Seriously, who doesn't L-O-V-E Amy Lemons!  If you've been living inside a shoebox (or just not in the world of blogging until recently), you MUST go check her out.  She is the very first blog I stumbled across and started stalking following.  She is just the sweetest person and gave me so much help starting out.  She's my bloggy inspiration!!!
I've been following this blog for about a month now as I first found her when she was hosting a 12-days of freebies linky party.  Be sure to go over and check them out!
I was super, super busy yesterday with a marathon day of wrapping presents.  Today has been just as busy with church, lunch, and a visit to the in-laws. 
Never fear though, I have days #22 & #23 freebies for you!
#22 I Spy Happy New Year!
And for all of you that are TPT'ers, here is a graphic organizer for you to use to keep track of which items you pin and the date.
Don't TPT store is on sale until midnight tonight!