Sunday, September 30, 2012

Class Behavior Expectation Board

So here's my take...

I FINALLY remembered to take a picture of my class behavior expectation board! 
I am so pleased with how it turned out!

It became complete after Constitution Day. I was inspired by a pin from Crystal at Kreative in Kinder to create a "We the Kids" proclamation 
that went with our "In Our Classroom" ideals.

Later in the year my class will have to 
cover the Constitution, Bill of Rights, & the Three Branchesof Government. 
Therefore Constitution Day is a great opportunity to start early! 

We used the book, We the Kids by David Catrow to introduce the Preamble.
We then watched the video of David Catrow explaining in kid friendly terms his idea of what the Preamble means.

Afterwards we used our "In Our Classroom" ideals to 
help form our "We the Kids" Preamble.

Lastly, we talked about rights of students in our class. At the bottom of the board we created a t-chart of their rights but also of their responsibilities. 

We tied in the responsibilities to complement our school wide expectations that our students are: Respectful, Responsible, and Ready to Learn Everyday!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Gold Star Pinner

So here's my take...

It has been about a month since I wrote a post. This past month has been so crazy and hectic that I came to the realization that I just couldn't do it all! 

I was stressing myself out because I couldn't keep up with blogging like some of my favorite bloggers out there. I finally had a conversation with myself and told is okay! 

My goal is once a week to create a blog post but I am putting it out there...don't get upset at me if it becomes once a month!

Well...onto my post for today!

One of my favorite bloggers/pinners out there is Rachel Lynette from Minds in Bloom! She is creating a Gold Star Pinner database of some incredible pinners!

Even though I haven't kept up the blogging this past month, I have kept up my pinning! I have about 2,000 pins with almost 900 followers and growing! Most of my boards and pins are geared to teaching ideas ranging from 2nd to 6th grade. 

I absolutely love Pinterest and am so grateful to other pinners and their awesome ideas! I get inspired all the time! 

If you stop by my blog and there hasn't been a post in awhile, please hop on over to my Pinterest Boards because I am sure you will find some inspiring ideas!

Happy Pinning!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Easy D.I.Y. Hall Passes

So here's my take...

In the past I have purchased hall passes 
and usually within two years they are destroyed!

Sound familiar? 

I was inspired by a pin to create my own hall passes this year. They were easy, cheap, and fun to do! 

This pin came from Nicole at Crafty Soccer Mom! 
She is definitely crafty and gives easy directions to follow so you too can create Duct Tape Lanyards!

I was SUPER excited 
with how my DIY Hall Passes turned out! 
...and yes they were easy peasy to create! 

I already had the zebra lanyards (from Home Depot) before I found the pin but I did buy some zebra duct tape for when the store bought ones break! The badge protectors I found at staples and the "Assorted Findings" (actual name...weird I know!) I found at JoAnn's.

I love how they turned out 
so I just have to share!


Hop on over to my TpT Store to pick up your FREE copy!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Winner, Award, & Meet Up

So here's my take...

Wow, thank you to everyone who participated in my Teacher Survival Kit Giveaway!!! 
It is with great pleasure that I announce the winner (imagine drum roll)... 
Beki Moore!

I also want to say thank you to two awesome bloggers for awarding me, 
The Versatile Blogger! I am so excited and honored!!!

When accepting this award the nominee must:

~1 Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site.
~2 Include the award image in your post.
~3 Give 7 random facts about yourself.
~4 Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and include a link to their site.
~5. Let bloggers know they've been nominated.

Here are some random facts about me:

1. I worked at Disneyland in college as a hat writer (I put your name on your Mickey Mouse ears before machines took over!!!)

2. My knees have been dislocating since I was 7 (hence knee surgery in June).

3. I stayed at home for 5 years after the birth of my daughter (I dubbed myself a stay at home mommy teacher!)

4. I franchised a business called Baby Boot Camp (while being a stay at home mommy). I became a personal trainer and taught group exercise classes for moms to get back in shape. 

5. I earned an intramural champion T-shirt every year in college for things like:Bowling, Billiards, Volleyball, etc.

6. I never thought I would teach the upper grades and like it...but I LOVE 4th!

7. I will have been with my college sweetheart for 20 years on March 5, 2013! 

Now it is my turn to pay it are 15 blogs you must check out!

Calling all Virginia Bloggers!!! 
Karen over at Mrs. Stamp's Kindergarten is holding the first meet & greet for Va. Bloggers! Spread the word and come join us! 

I will be attending with Heather from Beg, Borrow, & Teach!

See you there!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Teacher Survival Kit & Giveaway!

So here's my take... 

This year my 4th grade team will be getting 2 new additions. Do you remember when you were the newbie? Well, I decided to put together a Teacher Survival Kit to welcome them aboard.

In honor of my little blog reaching 200 followers
I decided to do a give away!!! 

These came out so cute that I just have to give one away! Read the survival sign below to see what the winner receives.

I will personalize the bin for the winner...either keep for yourself or give as a gift!

Also, don't forget to pick up a copy of the survival sign incase you too have a new team member this fall! 

I sure wish someone had done this for me!

Click Here for a Copy

...and yes that is a $10 Starbucks Gift Card in the cup! 

Thank you to all who have come to my blog and have taken the time to read it! Come back often to increase your chances! 

Giveaway ends Sunday, July 29th at Midnight. 

Winner will be announced Monday the 30th.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Treasures from the Dollar BIn!

So here's my take...

You know you are ready for the next school year when you get a HUGE adrenal rush from the dollar bin! I hit Target yesterday and came away with a truck load of awesomeness!!! 

I plan on redecorating my classroom this year with colors from my blog. I couldn't believe my luck when I hobbled over to the dollar bins (thank goodness those are in the front of the store!)

Today I decided to create recycle bins inspired by a pin I found this past week from 

I used the pink/blue bins above and then I made the "got paper?" signs. I absolutely love the end result! I only hope it inspires my kiddos to make sure to keep paper off the floor!!!

I can't wait to create more things from the treasures I bought yesterday! It amazes me how a good shopping trip can put me in the back to school mood! 

Click Here For Your Copy

I hope you find some treasures in the dollar bins this summer too! 

Enjoy the Recycle Bin Signs.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Update & Summer Reading

So here's my take...

I had envisioned my summer a little differently than how it has turned out. First I want to apologize for my absence from blogging. A month ago I had planned knee surgery. I thought I would be out of the bloggy world for two weeks, but it turned out to be four weeks!

I had a few post surgery hiccups too that kept me from blogging, like an allergic reaction to a topical agent and HORRIBLE muscle spasms. Now I'm a month out, the spasms have stopped and the allergic reaction is almost gone (I am still on antibiotics for it though!).
It does hurt as bad as it looks! But...
Now I feel well enough to get back to blogging...YEAH!


The past two days I have been pinning great resources from wonderful teachers. I came across a linky party I just had to participate in from Donna at the Math Coach's Corner! Her blog is such a wonderful resource and I visit it often!!!

This summer I have been reading the second book by Laney Sammons about using literacy strategies to  make meaning for math concepts. Last summer I read her first book on Guided Math. These two books are fabulous and I believe a must in every teachers professional library!

I am halfway through the Building Mathematical Comprehension Strategies book. The first connection to literacy that I found is how Good Mathematicians have certain characteristics that are similar to Good Readers. 

I compiled the traits Laney Sammons discovered into a poster to help my class and I remember. In honor of my first post back since surgery I thought I would share with everyone!

Click here for your copy!

I look forward to finishing this book and hopefully creating more products to share and use in my classroom. Also, I can't wait to check out everyone's selection of Best Math books!

I hope you will join the Blog Hop!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

State Test Prep & Top 5 Brain Breaks

So here is my take...

It is crunch time for teachers at my school as we are still taking state tests (May 31st is our last one)! Like many teachers I try to make test prep more meaningful to students by having stations, partner games, and interactive white board review games like jeopardy...but sometimes practice questions in standard form must be covered too!

This is exactly how I feel right now!

When test question strategy sessions must happen, the only thing that gets the kids through it are Brain Breaks!  Below are my classes Top 5 Brain Breaks this testing season!


1. Keep It Up: I have a reading comprehension beach ball in my room. Students try to keep the ball from touching the ground.

2. Elbow Knee Taps: With hands behind their ears. Students tap their elbow to their opposite knee. I usually draw a name for a student leader. The leader will come up with a pattern, like right, left, right, right. Once the class has practiced the pattern the game begins! As a class we are trying to beat our own time!

3. My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean: As I sing the song students must change their direction whenever a "B" word is said. They either turn left, right, front, or back. It is quite funny when you get to "bring back, bring back, oh bring back my Bonny to me!" They look like spinning tops!!!

4. Random Dancing: So easy but quite fun! I just turn on music and they get to "boogie" (appropriately) while it is on.

5. The Cha-Cha Slide: I use the youtube clip below by Flametictac. It took my class several times before they had it down. I usually join in too for "exercise" reasons only! It has great easy to follow directions!!!

Click to view

The Cha Cha Slide has definitely been my classes favorite this year! 

If you have a fun quick Brain Break, please share below! I can never have enough!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Art & Poetry for Mother's Day!

So here's my take...

Near the end of April my class began learning all about Haiku poems. At the same time we started learning about Henri Matisse. So, I decided to integrate art & poetry into a project for Mother's Day!  

Students were fascinated by how Matisse created his "paper art" by cutting paper without tracing. After studying about his art, the students were excited to try his style. We used the books below when learning about Matisse...great resources!

Since traditional Haiku poetry is about nature, our project started with an outside observation! Students had to create a chart to record nouns, verbs, and adjectives that they saw. Lastly, they drew a sketch just like Matisse would do before cutting.

We learned that Matisse's style for cutting was an "organic" one (mostly cutting as if it was just the outline of an object). We practiced cutting on notebook paper before ever getting to construction paper.  I was very impressed with my class and no one even tried to cheat by tracing!!! 

Another aspect of Henri Matisse's art was his use of bright colors. The students had fun going "outside the box" when choosing the colors they used. After cutting, students used their shapes to play with the composition of the piece before gluing. 

Once the art was finished students had to pick one element of nature to focus their Haiku on. The student above chose to do birds but she could have easily chosen the tree or bird's nest (orange circle).

Students used their observation chart of nouns, verbs, & adjectives to help them in the brainstorm part of writing their poem. They worked in groups to help with inspiration, correct syllabication (lots of clapping), and to keep each other true to the 5, 7, 5 syllable rule of a Haiku.

The students were proud of their work and can't wait to take them home tomorrow!

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Clipboard Exchange & Organization!

 So here's my take...

     The last two weeks have been crazy (a cold with pink eye...ugh!, school's fun fair, in-law visit from out of state, and my youngest has yet another fever virus!) but I just had to post tonight!

     During my crazy week I received the most awesome package from a wonderful bloggy friend, Michelle Lundy from Making it as a Middle School Teacher. We both participated in the Teacher/Blogger Spring Exchange!

     LOOK at how stinkin' cute these clipboards are!!! She was so sweet to incorporate the colors I love!!! 

I HEART them!!!

Thank you out did yourself!

     Michelle and I must have been channeling the same Pin when we decided to create a craft for our people...because I too made a Modge Podge clipboard! Here is the Pin that inspired my craft.

     My bloggy exchange friend was Jennifer Knopf over at Herding Kats in Kindergarten! I really tried to find some ladybug (she loves ladybugs) scrapbook paper for the clipboard, but was unsuccessful. I did however find a too cute ladybug frame and puzzle so I just had to put those in the box! 

I hope she likes it!

One last clipboard connection...

     I am lucky to be apart of a teacher/blogger group on FB and recently someone asked how they organize their clipboards that students use. The post got me thinking about how I store my boards! 

    Before, my boards jutted out and were a tripping hazard...not too mention there was always a long line of students returning the boards back! Yuck, this had to go!

     Awwww... now the boards each have a home in a student's cubbie! What a simple idea and I can't believe I hadn't thought of it!!! The bonus part has been we can easily see who is missing their board and needs to return it!!

Well, I hope everyone's Spring is going well! If you have a great clipboard storage solution please comment below. Perhaps your suggestion might be awe inspiring for someone else!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Doing My Part for Earth Day!

So here's my take...

     The end of the year is nearing and so is the copy paper supply at my school! Our staff came from back from Spring Break to find our access codes system down, which meant no one could use the copier! We could only ask the front office to make copies for us! 

     Normally, I am not a big copy person but this week our class is having our quarterly class store and the "Bank of McEvoy" is low on the green! (Yes, I know bad planning on my part...but in my defense how did I know our copier would be down for almost two weeks!!!)

     In honor of Earth Day this Friday, I have decided to come up with an eco-friendly solution to my printing problem! I am issuing my students Debit Cards! They usually get paid their class salary in cash for the quarter so this time I won't have to print any!!! 

     Below are my attempts at a Debit Card. I think I will use the black and white stripes design, print them on some green card stock, and laminate them once the students have signed their name. 

     I am eager to see how this new addition to our classroom economy works out! Over the summer I will write a more in-depth post on how I run my classroom economy. 

     If anyone is interested in making their own Debit Card, I created these in print shop. If you have the program I would be happy to email you the file so you can change it to your information. Just leave a comment below with your email address.

     Lastly, I am participating with Charity Preston of the Organized Classroom Blog with her 5 star Blogger Challenge! Go check it out!

Wish Me Good Luck!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Visualization + Poetry = Comprehension

So here's my take...

     When I introduce the reading strategy of visualization/creating mental images I use a lot of poetry!  Poetry makes great mentor texts because they are short and engage the reader quickly.

     My class loved the poem Colors by Shel Silverstein. While I read the poem the students illustrated their mental images. 

     After drawing we conducted a "museum walk". We sat in a circle with our card in front of us. One by one we went around and explained how we interpreted the poem.

It is always interesting to see the unique interpretations.

     I especially liked this student's question about whether this poem was describing a person or not. 

     Most students used their background knowledge of human characteristics to infer the poem was describing a person...obviously an imaginary one! This card spurred a great discussion as did the last line of the poem!

How do you use Poetry in your classroom?
Happy National Poetry Month!

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