Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday Made It on a Tuesday

I grew up in a small city outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Being near a big city, scheduling was everything to me. I was that girl who showed up to every class, appointment, and meal 15 minutes early. I couldn't tell you the number of times that I sat in my car until the time I was supposed be there. I definitely didn't want anyone to know that I was nerdy like that.
Well, a year and a half ago, I moved to North Carolina. I try to explain this to friends back home but there isn't really a thing known as "scheduling" up here. Sure, you set a time that you are supposed to be somewhere but there is an unspoken understanding that everyone will be there late. Let me just tell you, I now LOVE this.
So today, I am just keeping up with the best of them in NC and posting my Monday Made Its on Tuesday. I have got to tell you, Monday Made It is by far my favorite linky! Click the picture below to see all the other bloggers who have Made Its this week!
I have been all shades of motivated to get things done for the classroom as of late. Less than 5 weeks until the first day of school! Typing it out makes it look like it's forever away but I know it is going to go by so quickly!
 My husband and I went to Ikea this weekend on the way home from a wedding in Georgia. We left with so much stuff! That place is so dangerous! Around every turn there was something I just couldn't live without! We have been on a search for nightstands for a year and nothing seemed quite right. I would find ones that I loved but I didn't love the price tag. There are always the cheap ones you can find but I never liked the looks of them and they were never sturdy. We found this nightstand online. It definitely needed help but the bones were good and so was the price.
 I spend all day yesterday and this morning priming, putting together, and painting two of those night stands. I did not love Ikea as much as I just mentioned during that time. They were seriously a pain but I enjoy being Mrs. Fix-It. So after a long day, here is the semi-final project.  
I say semi-final because I am thinking about adding a little basket in the open space and maybe some nail trim around the edges. We shall see!
 Next up are these little teacher info cards. I put my email and school number where the dividers are. I have printed and laminated them and will put a magnet on the back for the parents to take home on Meet the Teacher Night.
 Do you have a bathroom in your classroom? I do! When I took over for the teacher who left in the middle of the year, she had a big stop sign for her kids to flip over when they went to the restroom. She took it with her when she left and I never replaced it. I decided to keep the same idea but to have an updated version and this is what I came up with.
I plan to laminate this front and back and then post it by the bathroom door.

My last project was definitely inspired from Maria Manore at Kindercraze. When she posted the picture of her classroom rules last year, I was in love. Here are Maria's Rules.
Aren't they just precious! Click the picture to go to Maria's store and purchase her rules from TPT.
Well I just knew that I had to have some of my own. My classroom last year was all sorts of bright colors but this year I wanted to scale it down to mainly turquoise and lime green. I also had my own set of rules that have hand motions to go with them that we recite every day. Because of that, I decided to make my own classroom rules. I bought the frames at Michaels and got the paint at HobLob. Check them out.
 What do you think? The light distorts the green a little bit but it is a very neon green. I really love how they turned out!
Are you following me on Instagram? My Instagram followers definitely get sneak peeks to my latest creations! If you would like to become a follower, click here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Connect with Chalkboard Charm

I have been asked several times, "How can I keep up with Chalkboard Charm?"
Well by golly, I am so glad you asked!!!
There are several ways that you can get connected to Chalkboard Charm.
The first way that you can connect with Chalkboard Charm is by following me on Bloglovin! Not sure what Bloglovin is? Then I am about to rock your world! Bloglovin is an awesome website that you can use to keep up with your fave blogs {including Chalkboard Charm}.

And that's not all!!!! {said in my best game show host voice}

Bloglovin can also be downloaded from the App Store so you can find out what is going on with Chalkboard Charm on your smart phone! Click on the link below to become a follower of Chalkboard Charm!

Follow on Bloglovin
The next way you can get connected with Chalkboard Charm is to become a fan on Facebook! Now, let me be real. My Facebook page isn't pretty by any means. In fact, I just created it. I've got a little surprise coming in approximately 2 weeks or less that's going to change everything!!!!!! I'm so excited about it I could faint! All the more reason to get connected to Chalkboard Charm on Facebook! You can become a fan here or search for Chalkboard Charm!
Up next, Instagram. This is definitely my new{ish} love of social media! The more that I am on Instagram, the more I love it! I am constantly posting things on Instagram that is teaching and classroom related. Honestly, I normally post things on Instagram before it gets to Chalkboard Charm so following me on Instagram means you will get the first peek of all my projects!
Last but certainly not least, Pinterest. Oh Pinterest, how I love thee. Is it bad that I am a little proud of my Pinterest Boards? I get so much inspiration from Pinterest for the classroom! You can follow my boards by clicking the picture below and clicking the Follow All button.
I would love to follow you on your social media sites! Leave your info in a comment and I'd love to be your latest fan!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Made It

My very first Linky Party! I die!
I have been following the Monday Made It Linky Party for what seems like forevs! I am so excited to jump on board! I didn't make too many things this week but I am still so excited to share them!

 My first Made It is the lunch choice board for my class next year! I can't tell you how excited I am about this! My school gives lunch cards for the students to use and scan when they purchase lunch from the cafeteria. When I first started working at my school in January of 2013, the kids had envelopes to put their lunch money in with their card laminated on the front of the envelope. It was definitely a great idea for the lunch money but, I dealt with too many envelopes being dropped and lost. I even had an envelope fly away! Seriously. I was an eye witness.
This year, I moved to having lanyards with badge covers like these for their lunch cards to go in. We put the lunch money in the pocket of the badge covers and it was golden. The only big problem with these was my lack of organization. Everyday as the kids were lining up for lunch I would call each student's name out to see if they needed their lunch lanyards. Oh my, how much time I wasted doing that! So here is my solution!
I bought everything from the project at HobLob {Gee, I love that place.} and bought everything on sale with exception of the wood plaque. It was 3 bucks if I remember correctly.
 It's not rocket science by any means but I am slightly biased when I say that it will be a life saver. Every day, I will put the students lanyards on their desks. A new part of my morning routine for the Kinders will be that they have to go hang their lanyard on the appropriate lunch choice!
Life Saved.
The next Made It, I did not make.
I bought.
Progress people.
My husband and I been living in this apartment for over 7 months. We even lived in another apartment before this one. I always thought that I would be that girl whose house was beautifully decorated with the cutest trinkets and smallest details. Well friends, life happened. If I am honest, my classroom definitely takes priority during the school year. Thank goodness summer is here because my house is getting a little help!
Last week I found these curtains on sale at Kirklands and just had to have them. They were the colors that seem to pop up everywhere in my life. Blue and Green. My classroom is turquoise and lime. My guest bathroom is a bright blue and kelly green. I had a light blue sofa when I lived in my first apartment and my main wedding color was Carolina blue. {Go Heels!}
I promise I will put a picture in that picture frame reallllll soon. Like, maybe next year.
*Disclosure-- All my photos are taken on my iPhone. These photos are subject to ridiculous filters and my attempt at making them fancy with my amazing Instagram photo editing skills. This teaching blogging world is oh so big and I am oh so small. I'll work up to those fantastic photos one day. :)
Go check out Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics and see everyone who has linked up for Monday Made it! You won't regret it!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tried and True Thursday

It's Tried and True Thursday! Yes. I made that up. Yes. It is going to be awesome! Every Thursday this summer, I am going to share a product I purchased from Teachers Pay Teachers that I just cannot live without! Feel free to comment with your favorites!

Over the last year, I have really worked hard to improve my literacy centers. So of course, I started looking at teaching blogs and Teachers Pay Teachers for some resources I could use.
 I had a few requirements for these centers.
1. They had to be cute. For those of you who know me personally, you are giggling at this. For those who don't know me personally, let me just help you out a bit. I have a really hard time putting things in my classroom if they are not cute. The administration at my school knows all about this. :)
2. They had to be a lasting center. I didn't want centers that would last a few weeks and then would retire to my filing cabinet. I was looking for something that would grow with my Kinders as they become more independent and confident.
3. They had to be meaningful. I obviously wanted them to be based on our teaching standards. I wanted them to be differentiated as much as possible to help meet my littles right where they were!
I have a great Teachers Pay Teachers resource to show you today! But first, a little ecard humor!
I swear my kids probably said this with some sarcasm this year!
Now don't you judge me on how much these resources cost. I utilize TPT sales and use my TPT credits to create more bang for my buck. Obviously I love these products and think they are 100% worth every penny!
First up, Rock Your Fluency from Cara Carroll. Cara Carroll is the blogger behind The First Grade Parade and if you ask me, she is a total Rock Star (pun intended)! She was the first teaching blog that I ever followed and has the cutest ideas and products. Rock Your Fluency meets all the requirements for my literacy centers. It is totally precious with awesome clipart and fonts. It is long lasting. I bought this packet in February and we didn't have time to do all that this packet had to offer! Fluency is such an important part of learning how to read in Kindergarten so it is definitely meaningful and you will be able to see how it is a differentiated resource as well!
I'm using a few of Cara's pictures that she put up on her blog post to show you all the amazing aspects of this packet since all of mine are tucked away in the classroom.
The core of the packet are these sight word rings. Cara created these using Pre-Primer and Primer sight word phrases. My kiddos LOVED these rings. There are seven levels of Pre-Primer word phrases and 7 levels of Primer word phrases.
There are even these precious certificates that can go home once the student passes a level. 
I introduced these cute voice cards after the kids had gotten comfortable with the sight word rings. Watching the kids use funny voices when reading their phrases was a hoot! They even giggled at themselves but they were seriously hooked and engaged!
 There are fluency passages that are Kindergarten appropriate where you can monitor how many words they read in a minute or how long it takes for them to read a passage. These were seriously an answer to prayer! When I student taught in higher grade levels these were so common. I couldn't find any that were appropriate for Kinders and was totally bummed. These are perfect and let me tell you, the kids loved seeing how quickly they could read!
  Then there are these jewels, Roll, Read, and Highlight. It's pretty self explanatory but they are definitely a class favorite.
I introduced the elements of this fluency center one at a time. I started with the rings and roll read and highlight. Then I introduced the voice cards and then the fluency passages.
At the end of the year, I always poll my kids to see which centers are the class favorites and this was definitely one of the beloved centers! The kids loved that they could do everything independently and literally begged to show me how fluently they could read their phrases. Happy Kids, Happy Teacher!
Does this seem like something you would be interested in? Don't teach Kindergarten? Well you are in luck! Cara has created this packet not only for Kindergarten but for First, Second, and Third Grade as well! She has also bundled all grade levels to really differentiate for your students! You can find the products by clicking on the grade levels.
What is your Tried and True Resource? Comment and share your favorites!