Monday, July 30, 2012

Giveaway Winner

And the winner is...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations!  I will be contacting you soon!  Thank you so much for everyone who entered the giveaway.

Monday Made It

Happy Monday everyone!  I am linking up with Tara again this week for her Monday Made It linky. 

I have been busy trying to tie up some projects I wanted done before school starts.  So here a some of them:

My pencil cups for sharp and dull pencils with polka dots of course.  I don't remember where I got the signs from...maybe Clutter Free Classroom.  If they are yours, please let me know so I can give you credit! 

My birthday straws

My dry erase pockets with the pattern duct tape (so cute)!

My binder clips (I have file, no name, keep, reteach.  I also made my grade/graded clips double sided so I can flip it over when I'm done.

Here is my mystery polka dot themed job chart.  If you are interested, you can order it  HERE.

I bought some metal sheets in the Target dollar section.  I then added the magnet sets I bought from WalMart.  I used a snack Ziploc bag to put the magnets in.  Then I used my pattern duct tape to tape the bag on to the back.  Now the magnets are right on the magnet sheet.

Of course I had to add a cute magnet graphic from Scrappin doodles.

I almost finished with my Shared Writing journals.  I will have those to show you tomorrow.  And I will have my giveaway winner later too!  :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Smartbead Freebie

I had a different post on here earlier, but I am having a lot of trouble with Blogger tonight.  So I'm sorry.  I wanted to get my freebie back up quickly, though. 

I'm sure you have seen the Smartbeads ideas and the buttons on Pinterest.  Well I couldn't decide how I wanted to incorporate these two ideas into one.  What I've probably finally decided on is to use a little bit of both ideas.  When a student does well on a test, they will earn the necklace with the red owl cutout to put on it.  I will also send home the little cards telling their parents that they earned Smartbeads today.

Then every time they do well on a test, they will earn one of the white owl cutouts to attach to their necklace.  I've decided this would be a great way to show the student's their successes in our classroom.  By the end of the year they will have a whole bunch of owls on their necklace.  What do you think?

If you click on the picture, you can get me owl as a freebie. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Freebie and 1st Day in my Classroom

My creative team (okay it was my mom, my son, and myself but it makes it sound more important saying my creative team) went in yesterday to my classroom for the first time.  I moved to a SMALLER, smaller, did I mention smaller, room.  I was tossing and turning most nights trying to imagine if my furniture would fit.  After 3 hours it fits!  What a relief! 

I don't know about you, but I stress over my classroom every year.  As you probably know, I change my theme every year, so that adds to the stress.  I am planning on going in again next week with my creative team and empty my boxes.  Then I'm hoping I can start the fun stuff...decorating...the following week.  That is the fun part!  I can't wait.  I will take pictures the next time I go in.

On another note, I like to give my students a healthy snack for the first full day of school.  It is a long day and I like them to have energy to make it through.  I buy the smile fruit snacks from WalMart and attach this little tag to it.  If you like it, click on the picture and it's yours.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Monday Made It...on Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!  I hope everyone is entering my 100 Follower giveaway.  It ends on Monday (my 1 month blog anniversary)! 

I missed this week's Monday Made It.  Sorry...these days are becoming fuller!  I don't know if I'm going to be able to fit in working all day with all my errands and projects I'm making (heehee). 

Okay so here is one project I made.  I saw it on 4th Grade Frolics.  It is her Letters for Learning Task Cards that she sells on TPT.  I want to add more word work and vocabulary projects into my reading block, so this is perfect.

I bought these foam alphabet shapes from JoAnn's (yes, with a coupon)!  My son helped me sort these into letter piles.  We put 7-12 of each letter (we did more vowels) and we still have 3/4 of the shapes left!  I'm thinking I might make 1 or 2 more sets!  He's going into 2nd grade this year and he LOVED these.  He is working his way through all of the task cards.  He is even playing with this instead of his video games right now! 

The next idea I didn't make, I just tweaked.  I had these Test Prep Word Problem Cards that I bought from Lakeshore before.  Anyone who teaches 3rd grade knows that we do A LOT of math prep for the test.  I used these cards before as a review game.  (sorry the are sideways, technology-ugggg)


One set is Grades 1-3 and one set is 4-6.  They include skills from the following:  time, money, measurement, charts & graphs, and algebraic thinking.  The 4-6 set includes:  time, money, fractions, charts & graphs, geometry, logic, adding & subtracting, large numbers, and mean/median/mode/range. 

This year will all the activities I see out there I'm changing these cards up.  I'm going to make them into concept sets and use them in a center for guided math.  I'm also going to make them into a Scoot game.  And the best part...when I bought them from Lakeshore they were 2.99 each set (I checked and they are still only 2.99 each set)!  I love cheap and easy, don't you.

Well that's all for today.  Have a great day and don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Monday, July 23, 2012


Hello everyone!  I can’t believe I’ve reached 100 followers.  I have to thank everyone who follows my blog.  I was a blog stalker for over a year.  Who would have thought that less than one month ago when I started my little blog for a graduate class that I would have become a member of the best group of people ever!  The blogging community is like no other out there.  If you have a question or a concern someone is there to help you out.  I've never been prouder to be a member of this group.  Thank you everyone for letting me become a part of it.

A special thanks to Tonya from Tonya's Treats for Teachers and Megan from I Teach, What's your Super Power  .  Without these two ladies, I wouldn’t be where I am today!

I Teach. What's Your Super Power?
And that brings me to my very first giveaway!  YEAH!!  I wanted to make it a nice one, so I asked my two mentors above to be a part of it with me.  They agreed, so here you go. 

I am giving away one of everything from my TPT store and a $10.00 gift card for Target (since we all seem to be spending so much time there)!!  Tonya is giving away $10.00 from her TPT store and Megan is giving away 1 free item of your choice from her TPT store!  Arent' they the best?! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 22, 2012


I need to get some more items into my freebies tab at the top of my new blog design.  So...I hope you like them.  Just click on the pictures.  And check back tomorrow.  I have reached 100 followers so I have an awesome giveaway coming!  So excited!!!

My CAFE posters are not a part of the Sisters materials.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My New Blog

Look at my blog!!!!  Isn't it amazing?!?!  Christi from

Design by Christi
has designed me a startastic blog!  I totally recommend everyone checking out her blog!  She makes everything so easy.  I am so excited!  Thank you so much Christi!

Shopping and Student Check In

I went shopping AGAIN yesterday to WalMart and Target.  I gotta stay away from those places!  I finally got the dry erase pockets (Target) and the Scentos markers (WalMart).  And don't tell my husband, but I picked up a pair (okay I mean two pairs) of clearance shoes for $10.00.  I love a bargain!

Another bargain I got recently...I got a personal hot/cold laminator for using at home.  Are you ready for the price????  How about 19.97!  No really and it came with 40-8 1/2 x 11 pockets, 30-4 x 6 pockets, and 30-3x5 pockets!  I know right...what a great deal!  I got mine from my local Costco.  I've used it so much lately that I had to run to Lakeshore to buy more pockets (also on sale for 25% off).  I'm really going to have to start school soon to keep me out of the stores!

And now on to How are you feeling... 

When I teach something new to the class, I like to do a quick check-in on how they are feeling about the topic.  I made these cute posters that I put up on a wall in my classroom.  They say 1-I’m lost, 2-I’m a little stormy, 3-I’m a little cloudy, 4-I’m bright and confident.  Then I just ask the students to put up a finger that matches how they feel about the topic. 

Here are two of the posters I put up on the classroom wall.  There are two more that go with the set.

I have them put their heads down on their desks, so they can feel more comfortable telling me how they really feel without peer influence.  Then I can tell at a quick look where I go next.
The 3s and 4s would get independent work so that I could meet with my 1s and 2s.  This is such an easy way to check for understanding and by starting at the beginning of the year, the students really feel comfortable!  I’ve done different graphics, but the weather ones are the easiest for the students to recognize.  And ya gotta love Scrappindoodle graphics, once again!  I have this for sale on TPT if you are interested. 

I can't believe I am close to 100 followers.  I am so grateful to everyone.  I will be getting a giveaway ready...stay tuned!  :)


Friday, July 20, 2012

An Award

Jessie from   Look Whos Teaching

has given me the

Thank you Jessie!  Here are the rules for the award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site.
2. Include the award image in your post.
3. Give seven 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 my seven random facts:
1. I helped build our house.
2. I love the movie Rio.
3. I was on a committee to help pick my new principal.
4. I love grading papers.
5. I love going to Disney World with my entire family.
6. I love to bake.
7. I could spend hours in a teacher store.

Now for the nominations (sorry I only did 10 and not 15, but I was trying to find bloggers who haven't had the honor of this award yet):
Splish! Splash! Ms. Lander's Second Grade Class
Diving Into Learning
I Live 2 Learn, I Love 2 Grow
Destination Knowledge
Kelly Teach
First with Franklin
Our Future is Bright
Teaching Third
Journey of a Substitute Teacher
Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

Thanks again Jessie and happy Friday!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Linky Parties and Reading Strategies


I'll start with my something new. I got these adorable super kitties from Scrappindoodles and couldn't figure out what to use them for. I mean they are so cute. I decided to make new reading strategy posters. I used the vocabulary and definitions right from the Common Core. If you like them, please head over to my TPT store. I know...right...cute, huh? I showed them to my son who will be in 2nd and he said he would ready them because they look cool...flying cats! So maybe my students will read them too???

There are 2 Linky Parties I want to tell you about.  The first one is from Christi at Designs by Christi from Ms. Fultz's Corner. She makes those wonderful designs for blogs. She is giving away a free blog design! I want you to enter, but boy would I love to win! 
Ms. Fultz's corner 

The next one is from Janis at 

Grade Three is the Place for Me!  who is starting a  

I’m really excited about this.  I was talking to another newbie to start one, but Janis beat us to it!  Please link up and get the word out on us newbies! 

Here is what you need to share for the linky:
1. what state you are in
2. your current teaching position
3. your teaching experience
4. when you started blogging
5. share a blogging tip / blogging resource 

Here are my answers:
1.  I live in Illinois
2.  I teach third grade. 
3.  I’ve taught first through sixth grade and was reading specialist in my career, but I always come back to third.  I’ve been in third for over 18 years total.
4.  I started blogging June 30, 2012.
5.   I just learned how to create direct downloads from

That's all for now.  Thanks again to Janis and Christy for these great Linky parties! 
Tracey :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Hi everyone!  How do you take attendance?  I’ve seen some teachers use pocket charts with cards for the students and some just call student names.  I have used the pocket chart method when I had a lot of wall space.  I don’t have a lot of wall space in my current classroom. 

The way I always take attendance is by using clothespins.  I write the names on a clip.  The clips are clipped to a basket that I have, one for boys and one for girls.  One of my classroom jobs is Attendance Clerk.  They need to tell me who’s clip is still up and they need to put all the clips back up for me at the end of the day.  It is an easy way for me to see who is not here.  This really works, but I want to try something different.

So this year I’m going to try something new.  I went to JoAnn Fabrics (yes again!) and was walking around with my shopping buddy, my son.  We were looking for something that I could use for attendance.  I was going to use the cookie sheet idea I’ve seen on Pinterest.  But cookie sheets are all of a sudden hard to find by me and I couldn’t find a cookbook stand anywhere!

We were walking around and I ran into these.  They are metal and have a stand attached so they stand up.   

I tried showing the back of it so you
could see how they stand up.
Cool, right?!  I got one in blue and one in green (my usual stand by colors).  They also had pink.  They were kinda expensive ($10 each), but I had a coupon for JoAnn's and one for Michaels and then used my teacher discount!  YEAH!

 Then I bought these little bubble magnets.  I was going to make the ones I’ve seen with glass beads, but these were sitting there already done!  I wrote numbers on them with Sharpie marker so that I can reuse them each year.


Then I printed the cute owl signs.  One says “Whoooo is here today?” and the other one says “Whooo is  absent today?”  The students will take their magnet off the absent sign in the morning and attach it to the here today sign.  I will still use my Attendance Clerk to check the magnets each morning and to put them back on the chart at the end of the day.  I put polka dotted ribbon in the holes to match the colors.  I put green ribbon in the blue one and blue ribbon in the green one.
Here is how they look with a few of
the button magnets on them

What do you think?  Are they “owl”tastic???

Tracey J

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monthly Editable Calendars

Okay, I know I'm not supposed to blog more than once in a day, but I can't help myself!  I just figured out how to make some cute calendars I have for sale on TPT editable.  I had to share them with you all.  Here is a picture of what they look like.

Just click on the picture above and it'll take you to my TPT store where you can download them.  Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think! 

Tracey :)


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