Saturday, November 15, 2014

November Bright Ideas!

Welcome to November's Bright Ideas! This month we are rounding up all our best posts into one!

I'm sharing some fun ideas for Guided Reading and small groups!

First up, I love to open my groups with some warm-ups.  Sometimes I use slinkies to practice stretching out the sounds in a word for phonemic awareness.

 Sometimes I do some dictation and have the kids practice writing and then blending CVC words on whiteboard dots that are stuck right on my guided reading table.

Then you'll want to see how I level books and organize my take-home books.

And lastly, kids will need to reference the word wall.  See how I set mine up to be interactive!

Do you use any of these ideas in your classroom? Make sure to check out all the other amazing ideas in the Round Up below!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bargain Hunt for Black Friday!

Are you as excited about Black Friday as I am?? I love saving money on things that my family loves.  Stocking up on Christmas gifts is a bonus, too! 

I remember the first time I went shopping on Black Friday.  I was home for Thanksgiving when I was pregnant with my son.  My mom and I got up at 5 am and headed out to my small hometown to scour for some deals.  We hit up Walmart and got my son a Nintendo DS on super sale, as well as a digital camera for our family.  We also went to Staples for some computer accessories (and teacher stuff!) and Sears for some tools for my husband.  Another year my sister in law and I woke up super early and headed to Target, it was a madhouse! We also waited in line for over an hour at Old Navy just to save extra money on clothes for our families.  Even though it was busy and we had to get up early, we were able to snag some awesome deals and made our dollars stretch extra far for Christmas those years.

When we were on Lanai for the past two years, I couldn't participate in Black Friday because there is no where to shop there! Literally! But now that we are over on Maui, I'm excited to go out again, get all my Christmas shopping done, and save some money while I'm at it!

A funny story - last year we actually spent Thanksgiving weekend on Maui.  We stayed at a hotel, played in the pool, and went to a Luau that served traditional Hawaiian food, as well as a Thanksgiving feast.  It was awesome! My husband worked in the purchasing department of a hotel on Lanai and they had ran out of Snapple.  Since the island is remote, it was hard to get things out there last minute.  Even though he was on vacation with his family, he had to run out to Walmart on Black Friday, buy Snapple, then drive it 30 miles away and put it on a ferry for Lanai.  My husband hates traffic and general busyness.  Let's just say that he was not a happy camper!

This year, I'm going to use to make sure I save even more money! While over on their site, make sure to check out Black Friday Sweepstakes!

Also check out the Black Friday articles on The Good Stuff.  It's the magazine where you will find everything you need to know for Black Friday shopping!

What things are you excited about snagging on Black Friday?

I was compensated for this post by, but the opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Teaching with Technology

My new school has an amazing amount of technology in each classroom.  So much so that I needed to find creative ways to organize it all!

In my Classroom Tour post, I showed you my set up: 6 desktop computers (with dust covers that I sewed), a large rolling cart full of drawers to store tech stuffs, and a counter top with shoe organizers to hold and charge the laptops.

I've finally had time to sit down, organize, and label all the stuff in those drawers.  It looks great!

I made my labels for my TpT store, too! Mine have paper from Schoolgirl Style's Bugs decor pack that match my classroom design.  I made the ones for all of you with a slightly different rainbow background.  They actually match my Schedule Cards.  You'll love them! 

Click the picture to head to my TpT store

For my listening center in Daily 5, I use iPods with 5 audio books on each.  I label the book bags with the iPod color so students know which bag to grab.  

Click the picture to see my iPod Organization Labels on TpT

I wanted to organize my iPads with similar labels.  I have 6 iPads that I keep in a letter sorter thing from OfficeMax.  I plan to tape labels to the back of these covers.  I think it will help me identify which ones have been charged and which ones still need to be charged.  Right now, with 4 red and 2 grey, it's hard to keep straight which one is which.  I'm all about simple organization!
Click the picture to see my iPad Organization Labels on TpT

Are you thinking that maybe all these items would be good in your classroom? I just bundled them, along with my Keyboard Shortcuts for both PC and Mac and my Home Row Keyboarding Posters! My very first bundle! Woot! 

It's over 20% off the cost of buying these items individually!
Click the picture to see my Teaching With Technology Bundle on TpT

How do you organize your technology?

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