Teacher Toolbox: Made It Monday

I am so excited to show you what I made last week!  We have seen these ALL over Pinterest, and I have been procrastinating all summer on making one.  Layla and I decided to have a craft/blog date that turned into 6+ hours of doing "teachery" things! :)

Let me show you the finished product first!

I made the white one, and I bought my storage box from the Container Store.  It has 20  little drawers and 6 big ones.  Layla made the larger, blue box, and she got hers from Lowe's.  We decided that the one she made might be the better option because all of the storage boxes are large and would be more useful.  Here is the process of how I made the the little signs for the drawers...

I am doing a polka dot theme in my class this year.  I bought some colorful polka dot scrapbook paper and made little squares labels on the computer.  It actually took a long time to make sure the size of the print, box, and polka dot paper looked right on each drawer.  I don't know of a quicker way besides printing off the little drawer labels and testing out the size.

Once I printed, glued, and laminated the drawer labels, I laid them out to see where each one would go on the box.  Then I velcroed each label to the outside of the drawer.  I have seen most people place the labels on the inside of the drawer, but I wanted them to be velcroed so I could change them out if I need something different in the drawers.

Close up of the small drawers.

Large drawers.

Here is a picture of Layla and I enjoying our crafting afternoon!  I think at this point we were trying to make the labels for our little drawers...

Head over to 4th Grade Frolics to see what everyone made for Made it Monday!


First Day of Kindergarten Photo

I am so excited to share with you a mini "staged" photo shoot that my dear friend, Melissa Vossler and I did for a first day of Kindergarten photo.  She is a photographer in Orange County, and has the cutest kids in the world, so it was the perfect combo.  We tested out my idea for some photos for the first day of school on her precious little ones.  First and foremost, please check out her website to see all of the gorgeous photos she takes!

I love taking photos on the first day of school of my students.  I use these to hang around the room, to place above each student's name on the writing wall, and to give to the parents.  I found this dry erase board at Target that is a jumbo version of the "Hello, my name is...." name tags!  

 Here is what I will do on the first day of school..

I want to have each child write his/her name on the whiteboard, then they show me their biggest "first day smile" and pose for a picture!  Meet Lucas:

And his adorable sister, Olivia...

I can't wait to take these pictures with my students the first day of school!  One of my first lessons is on the student's names, this would be so fun to make a class book with the pictures and everyone's names!

We also took pictures with the same frame I used for an end of the year photo booth with my students.  I painted an old frame green and taped punch out letters around it to say, "My 1st Day of Kinder!"  

Thank you so much Melissa for letting me use your kids and photography skills to practice taking beginning of the year photos for my students! :)


Sight Word Mania Part 3

Sight words are so important in Kindergarten. Check out a detailed blog post about different ways to practice sight words in the classroom!  Read all about it HERE.

You can also learn about my EDITABLE sight word bundle in that blog post!


This Target Commercial Made My Day

Have any of you seen this Target commercial?  I love/hate it! :)  I hope it makes you smile...  :)


Tell Me More Linky Party!

Step into 2nd Grade With Mrs. Lemons is having a linky party (I'm a little bit late on this one) that is "All about Me."  We are supposed to share good details about our life! :)

Here are some weird/fun/factual things about me...

1.  I have bangs.
2.  I am obsessed with diet coke.
3.  Today I bought at laminator, and it could be the worst/best purchase that I have ever made.
4.  Growing up, I thought I would be a cruise ship director: someone that organizes the events on the cruise ship.
5.  My mom always told me that I would be a teacher, and I always disagreed.
6.  I love basketball, and played my first year of college.
7.  I am not at all artistic, but I AM crafty!  Thank God for Pinterest! :)
8.  I am not happy unless my nails are painted a bright color.
9.  Friday Night Lights and LOST are the best shows of all time!
10.  I always talk super loud.  :/

I hope you enjoyed my random facts!  Do you have any goodies to share??


Welcome to School Banner

I had a request to modify my FREE Welcome Back to School Banner to be specific for each grade level.  You can pick up a copy of my Welcome to School Striped Banner at my TpT Store.  You can use it for any grades, 1st-8th and have it say, "Welcome to ___ Grade."  Hope you enjoy! ;)

Here are samples:

Go to my TpT Store HERE. :)


Made it Monday

I love Mondays, and I love making things.  I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Made It Monday!

Let me apologize for not taking photos of the whole process and posting them.  During this entire project, my hands were covered with either Mod Podge or blue paint (or both) so I wasn't able to take photos.  One of my good friends is getting married next weekend, and we have having a bachelorette party for her.  The theme of her wedding is "Sail Away With Me" and so we are keeping with that theme for her bachelorette party too.  My friend Alex is throwing the party, and she asked me to help make a sign/painting.  She found this post on PINTEREST, and we used it to make this painting...

I started by covering a canvas with newspaper using Mod podge.  Then I placed letter stickers to say "Sail Away With Me" over the newspaper.  I painted over the letters and newspaper with blue paint.  When I removed the letters, you could see the newspaper underneath!  We will have this next to the gift table during her bachelorette party.

While I was painting, Alex was busy making little garters for us to wear during the party!  They are made with lace, fabric, and buttons!  They are adorable, so proud of you Al! :)

After crafting, a group of girls watched the Bachelorette together, and just because I think I am funny, I MIGHT have tweeted this to Jef with one F.  Because I knew Kristin would appreciated it, I definitely emailed her this photo during the show. :)



Back to School Owl Assessment/Printable Pack

I am excited to show you a back to school packet that you can do with your Kindergarten students during the first week of school.  It is always difficult trying to balance the chaos of the first week with trying to get assessments done, teaching routines, making sure the little ones (and parents) are comfortable, and personally getting in the rhythm of teaching again.  :)  I designed a packet that is extremely simple and most importantly, something that you can use to assess your students.  I am going to use this the first week of school to informally assess the students on their letters, name, drawing, numbers, etc.  I will staple this together as a packet and then use this as a beginning of the year portfolio to use during conference time with the parents.  I know many people are doing an owl theme for their classroom this year, so here is the Back to School Owl Pack:

There are 9 worksheets asking the students to do the following:
-write your name
-trace your hand
-trace letters A-Z
-trace numbers 1-10
-write as many numbers as you can
-write as many letters as you can
-draw a self portrait
-color your very best: an owl picture
-draw a picture with your favorite color
-an owl craft
*I modified the sheets so some have lines and some don't so you can choose which ones you want to use with your students*

My favorite part of the Back to School Owl Pack is that it comes with an owl craft!  This is a more simple version of my "This Year Was a Hoot" Owl craft, making it easier for Kinders to make at the beginning of the year.  You could put this owl craft onto a bulletin board and title it: "Look Who's in Our Class," or "Kindergarten is a Hoot!"

If you did purchase my end of the year owl activity, you could use both of them as assessments, one for the beginning of the year and then at the end, and compare their growth!

Here are what some of the printables look like in the Back to School Owl Pack:

(the images are cut on the edges because it is a picture of the printable)

Head to my TpT store to pick up the Owl Craft and Owl Pack!


Fabulous Find Friday

Earlier this week I was showing Layla an epic find I got at Target, and she encouraged me to share it for "Fabulous Find Friday" hosted by Fun in Room 4B.

I was at Target this week and I found a KEY item that I will be using as a prop when I take the kid's photo on the  first day of school.  It is a JUMBO dry erase board shaped in the sticker: "Hello, my name is..."  I want to have the kids write their name on it, and hold it for a picture!

Next, here are two small pails that I want to decorate for pencils that are sharpened and broken:  Red means stop its broken, and green means go- ready to use!

At Michael's, I purchased these two large clothes pins!  I am obsessed with oversized things apparently.... I want to hang my standards from them...I will post that soon! :)
(I like to hold things in pictures, so you can see the size of object!)

Next, I bought this little letter from Anthropologie tonight...this one will be for the home. ;)  

And last, but my favorite, is my dad shopping with me in Crate & Barrel for the first time.  He is not a shopper, but he couldn't stop playing with all of the gadgets.  It was cracking me up!

Have a fun weekend! :)

Sight Word Mania Part 2

Sight words are so important in Kindergarten. Check out a detailed blog post about different ways to practice sight words in the classroom!  Read all about it HERE.

You can also learn about my EDITABLE sight word bundle in that blog post!


What happens in Vegas....ends up on my BLOG!

I wish I could say "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.." but this trip was too EPIC not to share!  I had the opportunity attend the I Teach K! national conference in Vegas last week.  My favorite aspect of this seminar (besides being in Vegas) was that some of the most inspiring teacher bloggers were the presenters.  To me, these women have paved the way in the teacher blogging world, and I was so excited to meet them and hear what they had to say!  My trip started off with me getting the best fortune in my fortune cookie on our way to Vegas...

I arrived Tuesday evening, just in time for the "Blogger Meet Up."  This was a time for all of the bloggers that were in town for the conference and for all the blog stalkers (folks that don't blog, but are almost more into blogs than bloggers themselves) to meet up in one room and do what we do best: talk about teaching.  Here are some of the ladies that I was able to snatch a picture with (there we SO many more that I wasn't able to get a picture with, but I love you all!!).

 This is Fran, author of Kindergarten Crayons.  She is seriously the funniest person ever, as well as the most knowledgeable teacher that I have met.  I actually used to work in her district before the good ol' budget cuts. :)

And Miss Rochelle from What the Teacher Wants!  This is the second time that we have gotten to meet and somehow I still missed meeting the other half of her blogging team: Natalie!  (Hi Natalie!)

This was my first time meeting Deanna Jump from Mrs. Jump's Class.  She is seriously so adorable and I could listen to her cute accent for hours!  (which I did because I went to two of her seminars ;)

I was also able to sneak a picture with Heidi from Heidi Songs.  She makes these incredible DVD's that help kids learn to read, spell, and sing the sight words.  I won a copy of her numbers from 11-20 DVD, which are tricky for some kids, so I was excited to win that one.  Check out her website HERE.

It was so exciting to meet Elizabeth from Mrs. Hodge and Her Kindergarten Kids.  She is so cute and was so excited to be at the conference!

Here is a picture I took (while standing on a chair...) of the room with all of the bloggers mingling! 

These are our name tags made from cards and clothespins! 

Here I am, bright and early ready to LEARN!  On the right is a drawing of "No David, No" that Heidi taught us.  She was teaching us how to teach kids to draw using basic shapes.  And the bottom picture are some stamps that were on display for us to buy...I am obsessed with stamps!

 And this is the Venetian where our conference was held!  It's so pretty!

Vegas was such a good experience, and I am already excited for next year! :)