Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

I'm linking up with Swimming Into Second for her Top Ten Tuesday linky. This week's theme is Top Ten Classroom Must Haves. Wow, it's really hard to narrow it down to just ten! But here it goes...

1. Tide Stain Stick- I use my stain stick more than you could believe! Ketchup, pen, random smudges from little fingers... this stick takes care of them all and it's a lot better than that giant wet spot you get from scrubbing your pants with water.

2. Sharpie Flip Chart Markers - We all know how fabulous Sharpies are but whoa, look at these! They don't bleed through paper!! Now I LOVE Sharpies, to the point of being obsessed and when I saw these, I almost had a heart attack. Now I can use Sharpies for absolutely EVERYTHING!

3. Clip-on Label Holders - I got these from Really Good Stuff and I love them SOOOO much! You can take out the rainbow-edged labels and put your own in, if you want, and there's a little clear cover that slips in on top. I use these on my book bins, supply baskets, everything!

4. Index Cards - Has there ever been a more perfect and cheap product? I use index cards for everything! And the fact that you can get them in different colors...well, it's just divine! I use them to write notes to parents, to myself, to my partner teacher, grocery lists, exit tickets, one-card summaries. All kinds of stuff!

5. Flat Staple Remover - I am extremely possessive of my staple remover. This kind is WAY better than those terrible little claw things that tear up the paper.

 6. Fuzzy Slippers - These are a must-have for every teacher! I keep a pair under my desk and put them on every time the kids are out of the room. Aaaah, relief.

7. Ticonderoga Pencils - They really are the world's best. Strangely, they are made by Dixon who also makes the worlds worst pencils. Every year when the kids bring in all those packs of cheap Dixons, I pile them all up and trade them in at Walmart for these goods ones. Totally worth the extra cost!

8. Gel Pens - Grading papers is the one thing I don't use Sharpies for. These gel pens by Pilot are my favorite for that! They are so smooth and come in a lot of fun colors.

9. Page Protectors - I use a lot of these! I love to put graphic organizers in them and let the kids use dry erase markers. 

10. Rain Stick - I use one of these as an attention getting. Much nicer than a bell or whistle or some other harsh sound.

So there's my list. I could probably add a few more but then it wouldn't be a Top Ten, would it? 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Decor & More: Part 1

I'm going to let you in on a little secret... my husband has a nickname for me. It's not Sweetheart or Honey Bunny or Hot Wife. It's "The Mad Starter." He has called me this for approximately 25 years, since we were friends in high school. Now what kind of nickname is that, you ask? Apparently an entirely appropriate one, even if I hate to admit it. I seem to have some kind of adult onset ADD which causes me to start one project after another without actually finishing any of them. If you don't believe me, please scroll down to the post about my kitchen cabinets. I have almost the bottom part done now, several weeks later.

Okay, so what's the point of this? Well I'm onto another project. But it's an IMPORTANT one! I have to get my classroom organized and pretty. If you'll recall, I had to move to a new building on the last day of school. Everything had to be stuffed into the closets so they could put in new carpet and paint. So, now my room is a blank slate and this my chance to start from scratch, to make it look just right.  First step is decor...

I (along with my partner teacher) have decided on a black and brights theme. We painted most of our book shelves black and I bought these great bins from Really Good Stuff in the lime green color...

We also have a collection of these baskets from the dollar store which we'll use for our easy readers...

Then I got 30 (that's right, THIRTY) of these awesome stacking baskets on clearance from Really Good Stuff which we will use for our centers and supplies...

I even made some super cute labels to hang on them...

So today I'm making organizers for our chapter books. I've taken the awful, hideous cardboard things that came with our leveled readers and am painting them lime green. Here is what they looked like before...

And this is how they look after a little spray paint...

Much better, right? You can see I didn't quite get all the way back on the inside but I think it will be okay.  They will be full of books anyway. My plan is to put these (I have about 6 of them) inside my long black book shelf and organize our chapter books by series. The lime will look great on the black!

So that's my project for today. Unfortunately, I've run out of paint and will have to get more tomorrow which means my husband will be calling me "The Mad Starter" again tonight.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Planning Giveaway

Thanks for visiting! You've arrived at stop B-6 in the Summer Planning Giveaway. If you're just getting started or want to join in on the fun, head on over to http://imlovinlit.blogspot.com for the first stop. There are tons of awesome goodies for you to collect!!

I'm giving away an awesome set of classroom supply labels to help you get organized...

This set includes 32 different labels to keep your classroom neat, orderly, and lookin' cute! You can find matching book bin labels and math manipulative labels in my store (plus other sets in many different backgrounds...or just email me with your custom request and I'll be happy to make them).

So to get these lovely labels, all you need to do is grab my secret word below and follow my blog and pinterest page.

Thanks again for stopping by and have fun on your scavenger hunt!