Happy New Year Sale!

Thank you to Happy Little Kindergarten for the graphic!

New Year's Eve has arrived and my mind is torn between planning for the new year (resolutions, lesson plans, meal plans, etc. ).  And like most women I know, Christmas clearance and bargain shopping are on the list, too! Everything in my TpT Store is currently on sale 20% off! Click HERE to browse my shop.

If you teach 2nd grade, I'd recommend you check out the following unit for celebrating the 102nd Day of School! You can read all about how I used the unit and see it in action HERE.
I firmly believe that we are currently have developmentally inappropriate practices in place in the primary grades. You will see that I have included art activities that require students to utilize their fine motor skills. I believe that the shift to all academics all.the.time has left a large gap in students' skills. You can incorporate as many or as few of the crafts as you choose depending on your situation and your administration. I would encourage you to try to fit at least one into the unit. The animal cage is a particularly good one as it incorporates creativity, coloring, cutting, and threading the yarn through the holes.  Okay, I'm stepping off of my soap box now! #dontgetmestarted

Another fantastic resource for January is my Martin Luther King, Jr. lapbook. 
This lapbook allows older students to continue to practice fine motor skills (let's be real; all 2nd and 3rd graders are not proficient in this area). There are more activities than will realistically fit on the lapbook which means you get to decide which activities will be most beneficial for your class or for individual students. Students will research MLK to complete the vocabulary, timeline, character traits mini book, interesting facts, etc. As the teacher, you can structure these lessons to be independent, partner, small group, whole group, or any combination therein. Click HERE to check out this resource. 

Happy New Year friends! #clearanceshop #saleshoptilyoudrop!

Flash Freebie!!

Happy Little Kindergarten is hosting a Flash Freebie through Friday, Jan. 1st.

You can find links to multiple products that you would normally have to pay for on TpT but are free for a limited time. 

You can download this center for FREE HERE! Please provide feedback in my TpT store and let me know what you think!

Use the links above to head on over to Happy Little Kindergarten. Hopefully, you'll find some fantastic new products to use in the new year!

American Heroes: Mary Musgrove and Tomochichi

It is finally complete!! My American Heroes Series: Georgia Edition has now been put to rest with the publishing of this lapbook.....

 Normally, this packet would be $3 but for the next few days it will be on sale for $2. Click on the picture to link straight over to it in my TpT store.

Keep reading if you want more information on what is included in the packet. I am also including links to all of the other lapbooks in this series.

American Heroes lapbooks allow you to cover the required curriculum while also providing much needed fine motor practice, character trait instruction and development, and flexibility in grouping students.

This lapbook is a fun, interactive way for students to learn about Mary Musgrove and Tomochichi (Georgia standard SS2H1), but the unit can be used to teach many other standards as mentioned. It includes the following components:

*Directions and pictures for assembling the lapbook
*Cover page- 2 options; 1. Option 1 allows students to make one book that covers both Musgrove and Tomochichi. 2. Option 2 allows students to make two separate books.
*2 Timelines - a primary and an intermediate version- your choice
*Character Traits Booklet: dependability, trustworthiness, and honesty
*Vocabulary Pocket
*18 Programmed Vocabulary Cards
*Editable Vocabulary Cards- create cards of your choosing
*Interesting Facts 
*My Life Compared to James Oglethorpe's Life
*Short Answer Comprehension
*Short Answer requiring text evidence to support their answer

This lapbook can be used with a variety of reading passages, books, or websites.

This lapbook completes my second bundle in my American Heroes Bundle 2: Oglethorpe, Musgrove, and Tomochichi.

You can purchase the other lapbooks here:
American Heroes: James Oglethorpe
American Heroes: Jimmy Carter
American Heroes: Jackie Robinson
American Heroes: Martin Luther King, Jr.
American Heroes Bundle 1: Carter, MLK, and Robinson

I hope you find something that will help you in your quest to make learning more meaningful for your students.

Christmas in the Castle

Er, maybe I should have titled this "Christmas near the Castle" or "Christmas in the Media Center". Neither of them were quite as catchy so there you have it! It's hard to believe, but this school year is halfway over! Halfway!! The move from the regular ed classroom to a media center means that I am essentially a first year, a novice, a just beginning, don't know what I am doing but am faking it until I make it librarian. Hopefully, that will explain my long absence from this little blog!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree.....how lovely are your books! We used old Reading Invitational books that we had 10 copies of to create the tree. I borrowed a "wild thing" from the Easy section to use as the tree topper.  A wild thing seemed appropriate considering it matched the behavior of the kiddos perfectly! ;)  I added a few bulbs as a garland for the wild thing, and then christened this tree complete! I've included a link so that you can take a look at my inspiration tree on Pinterest. 

 I bought bulbs that wouldn't shatter from Target in an assortment of colors. You can't tell in the picture, but some of the bulbs have glitter, some are matte finish, and some are shiny. My para and I hung them with white ribbon by using the heavy duty (read expensive) 2 inch masking tape. We tried book tape first, but it just didn't hold the bulbs as well. They would periodically fall which became annoying in a hurry! The school tree was located right outside of the media center, so we got a double dose of festive!!

We continued to wrap the bulbs around all of the windows on the inside. It didn't take us long and created a simple yet festive touch to the decor. We added a little sheer ribbon with red and silver to finish the top. These windows had a shallow ledge and we couldn't hide the tape on the underside. The mesh-like ribbon hid the tape perfectly! The kiddos love it when we change things up a bit in the library. 

One of my volunteers found a menorah on Pinterest and recreated one in our library using Hardy Boy Mysteries; they had lovely blue spines that fit the bill perfectly. The volunteer did not share the pin with me, and unfortunately, I didn't get a picture before a little one caused it to collapse (for the second or third time....it was obviously in an area that received way too much traffic (er elbows)....sadly, I didn't get a picture). 

Next year, we will be putting up a tree similar to this one:

A Dr. Seuss tree in the media center. I.love.it! Now is the time to start working on this friends. Christmas ornaments are up to 70% off. 70% people!! Run to your nearest Michael's, JoAnn, Target, Wal-Mart, or Hobby Lobby! Kerri from A Pop of Pretty Blog also has a green tree version and all of the directions for how she put this tree together. Hop on over to her blog for your list of supplies and the directions to recreate this tree. #cutesttreeforalibrary #ever
Dr. Seuss' birthday is in March. I'll be on the lookout for the Cat in the Hat hat and tie as well as the foamies that Kerri mentions in her blog at Michaels. I've already picked up the tree, all of the ribbon, and some shatterproof ornaments on clearance. I'll be ready to roll next December!
 Click here to go to Kerri's website for the directions.
Click here to go to Kerri's blog for step by step directions on how to recreate her Dr. Seuss tree.

Along with the tree, menorah, and window decor, I added Christmas lights to the inside of the castle. I am fortunate to work with a gentleman that is more than proficient with sounds systems. (He literally made it so that broadcast has voices instead of the static that came on t.v. as a little girl after 10 p.m.  Can I get an amen if you are a child of the 70's and know exactly that of which I speak?) He also happens to be handy with lights. He brought in 4 lights that change colors. My kindergartners thought they were at a rave or a disco at the very least!  Of course the point was not dancing, no sirreee. We were having cookies in the castle (That lasted for all of one kindergarten class before we hightailed it to the tables.....I can not even describe the mess they created. Wow.....just wow.) and reading books for pleasure. The older kiddos (3rd-5th) absolutely relish this time to read for fun! This is the second time we've done it this year. The first was the week of Halloween/Red Ribbon Week. I hosted Campfire Reading in the media center. I'll have to go back and post about that another time. You can literally do it any time of year! At any rate, the kids had a blast and so did I! Let's face it,; none of us can compete with Christmas, Christmas parties, or sing-alongs!!
If you look closely in the background, you can see the cool lights shining on the back wall of the castle. #kidwin

How do you decorate for the season? Do you have any special activities or traditions to help you maintain your sanity? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Labor Day Sale

Happy Labor Day friends!  I have never been so excited to not set an alarm clock. #sleepingin #thebestthingever

In honor of all of you hard working colleagues out there, everything in my store is 20% until the end of the day. #getyourshopon

In the meantime, I will work on a new blog post detailing my adventures in the media center. Let me just say, it's a whole different world!!
Click on the picture to head to my store.

Back to School Sale on TpT

Teachers Pay Teachers is hosting their back to school sale, and I am participating! When you use the code BTS15 you will receive a total of 28% off of everything in my shop!!

These are some of my top sellers in my store. Click on any of the pictures to head directly to my store. :)

This is a great unit to use for an animal study / research and includes math, reading / research, writing, and craftivities.  It can also be used to celebrate the 102nd Day of Second Grade.

If you teach 2nd grade in Georgia, this is a must have unit for you! This lapbook focuses on James Oglethorpe and his contributions to the founding of the state of Georgia. Check it out!

 Geometry Games Galore is a comprehensive unit that covers both plane and solid shapes. It has components that can be used from kindergarten through third grade. It was designed for 2nd grade, but because it is leveled for below grade level, on grade level, and above grade level it can be used in a multitude of settings! If you are looking for a unit that will help you get a Level 4 in TKES for differentiation, this is the unit for you!

Are you looking for a math center to teach place value that requires few materials and minimal time to prepare? If yes, then this is the center for you! Again, this center has differentiation built into it by having 3 different levels. All you need is the cards and clothespins. It will be one of the easiest centers you ever make!
Last but not least are decor items. I am using both in my media center this upcoming year and the colors coordinate very nicely!

There are so many fantastic resources for sale by fellow teachers. Head on over and see what you can't live without this year!

Monday Made It: July 27

Well folks, this is my last Monday of summer vacation. I have leadership team tomorrow, Wednesday off, and I return to school on Thursday for the start of the 2015-2016 school year. Where, oh where, did the summer go???

I am linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for my favorite 
linky party ever!!

I have four things to share with you today. One of them I bought the materials, printed the tag, and assembled it. Another one I ordered. It was handmade...just not by me. I'm the girl from sewing class that created a dress that looked like it couldn't qualify for sack status. In my defense, how was I supposed to control that foot pedal? I mean honestly. I didn't even have a learner's permit yet. That foot pedal was at zero or 900 miles per hour!! Let's just say, my teacher didn't make me wear the "dress." Because the police would have been brought in and we both would have been arrested. ;) The third project also involved sewing; I was the inspiration, and my sweet hubby was the pedal pusher. And the last one, well, I actually made that one all by myself (and no sewing machine was harmed in the making of the project).
Moving on to the projects....

Project number one this week involved creating a sweet back to school gift for my two elementary age boys' teachers. Here are the pics of the contents:

The cup was on sale at Target for $1.80. It is dishwasher safe!!! Woot woot! The cup is filled with-you guessed it- Hershey's Kisses.
All of these goodies were from Michaels. Mr. Sketch comes in fine tip now. I almost had a moment in the Michaels store....the kind that draws concerned stares from non-teacher types. I know you know what I'm talking about! :)  I got the $6.99 markers half off. The pretty note cards on the left were 70% off and the "Happy is this way" notepad was $1.50.

The last group is the "must have," "need it," "I really don't want to buy any of this stuff for my own classroom" stuff. At least that's how I feel about all this stuff. A regular box of Kleenex wouldn't fit into the cutesy basket. I included the travel packs because they are great for field trips and field day. (Don't judge!  I will send in real boxes of Kleenex the first week.)

Here is what the final product looks like in the Dollar Tree baskets I bought:

Now for the happy news! You remember that cute little tag on the cup? It's an editable freebie in Polka Dots Please shop on TpT. It's not too late for you to create these cute cups for your kiddo's teacher!
Just click on the picture and it will take you right over to her store! Thanks so much for sharing Emily!

As many of you know, I am changing schools this year and moving out of a classroom into the media center. In my county, we have Spirit Fridays.              {Anything that allows me to wear jeans gets capital letters. ;)} 
 Anywho, I didn't have any school spirit shirts to wear. So, I hopped on Etsy and found the cutest little shop with the most helpful owner and ah.ma.zing turnaround time! I ordered these on a Wednesday after convo-ing back and forth. I received them on Saturday people. Of.the.same.week. #thisiswhyidon'tsew #somebodydoesitbetter
It helps shorten the shipping time since we're both in Georgia.
 Take a look at this fabulosity!

Mmm hmm. Now you want her contact information, don't you? The shirts were $15 apiece and you get to choose shirt color and fabric color/design. 
Amanda is offering $3 off every purchase of $15 or more through September 30. And if you're wondering, this is not a paid advertisement. I do not know Amanda personally, and I am not being reimbursed for this endorsement. (I sound like an infomercial, don't I?) I would appreciate it greatly if you'd wait one day to flood her with orders. I'd like to get my second order in before that happens. ;) Oh, and tell her Tonya sent you. Maybe I will get a free shirt!!

Okay, you know how in some schools when a teacher leaves a classroom gets raided? All of the good stuff is replaced with broken down, really been used (and stained), and less than perfect items? Well, my new media center had a couple of badly stained parson's chairs shoved in when no one was looking. And now I'm stuck with them. They are stained and a plaid print with roses and gold tones. The school colors by the way are purple and green. I know; I'm just as confused as you are. So, I did the only thing I could. I ordered chair covers. Iron them, slide them on, and problem solved. Right? Um, no. The "one size fits all" chair cover did not fit the chairs. And because they have a skirt that is sewn to the chair, I couldn't flip it up. Enter the wonderful hubby. 
#supertalented #lovethatman
I'm not sure how well you can see it, but he added 2" of gray trim at the bottom. He is a life saver for sure!! Now I need to take them to school, iron them, cross my fingers, toes, and tongue, and pray that they go all the way to the floor!! I will post before and after pics. Say a prayer y'all. It ain't pretty to see a grown teacher cry! (I know that I just used improper grammar.) #noneedforagrammarintervention

My final MMI is actually one that I made. All.by.myself. 
I shared this on Five for Friday, so if you've already checked that out this week's class is dismissed for you. Have a great week! Otherwise, keep reading please!

I created a cute sign to break up the endless brown monotony that is the circulation desk. The colors go with all of the other things I've created for the media center including the "Welcome" banner. Each of them is only a $1 in my TpT store. Click on the picture to head on over and check them out.

What last minute preparations are you making for back to school? Or are you planning your last hurrah for summer vacation? 

Five for Friday: July 24

Welcome to my last Friday of summer vacation. Excuse me while I dry my eyes. No, seriously! Where did the time go? I feel like it was just last week when I was packing up my classroom to move into the media center at my new school. Oh well. It must be that aging time warp thing I've heard about.

It's time to link up with Kacey over at Doddle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.

I am desperately trying to wrap up loose decorating ends in order to have all of the "frosting" (ie all of the decor and cutesy touches) done on the media center so that when we are officially back at school I can work on "baking the cake" (also known as the curriculum). Here's a little more "frosting" from the week.
I intend to post this on the circulation desk. That big expanse of brown certainly could use some brightening up! You can find it in my TpT store for a $1.

I spent Monday and Tuesday attending Blackboard Training. The tech teacher and I will be redelivering training to our school staff. Aye.yai.yai. That's all I've got to say about that.  The presenter was very personable but a bit scattered. It was one of those trainings that leaves you feeling like the contents of the day could have been delivered in an hour and the rest of the time could have been better spent at the local Starbucks sipping a cold frosty confection filled with life giving caffeine. I'm just keeping it real. Now I need to go to Atomic Learning and actually get some training on Blackboard.

We are squeezing in one more trip to Grandpa's house before school resumes for the boys. Their favorite part (besides Grandpa, of course) is the pool!
Love those boys of mine!

Speaking of the pool, everyone needs a pool bag, right?  I found a great one on Land's End that has enough room to fit everything for my family of 5. And I do mean everything!!
This is my eight year old in the bag.
This is my six year old in the bag.
This is the extra large zip top canvas tote bag and is regularly $50.50. I bought mine on sale with an extra percentage off from Retail Me Not...I can't remember what it was exactly. I'm pretty sure I also got free shipping. All in all, I paid around $30 for a bag that will last for years to come! It holds all 5 beach towels, our suits (including rash guards for the boys), sunscreen, and snacks. The bag also has loads of interior pockets in different sizes (goggles, pool toys) and has a key holder fob thingy. Below is the much more professional picture (what the heck happened to my pictures?!?!) and link to the bag. They're having a 30% off sale today!

Like all teachers everywhere, I get a secret little thrill when the school supplies start lining the shelves. Oh, we rarely admit it out loud, but it's true just the same. Moving to the media center means that I don't need those same supplies in the same quantities as before. Insert sad face. However, I have been picking things up for my three boys at various stores when the price is right. I am not even half way finished. Here's the haul so far.
Don't judge, but we reuse scissors every year. I am on the hunt for the best price on glue sticks. Between them, the three boys need about 40. Have you seen Elmer's glue sticks at rock bottom prices (or a great sale price)? If yes, please tell me where!