I Finally Made One... A Teacher Toolbox!

7/29/2013 / 14 comments
I am linking up with Tara for Monday Made It!

It has happened. I finally succumbed to making a teacher toolbox! I love looking at how lovely everyone's always turn out, but I always held back. Mostly because I hate spray painting (I am truly awful at it!) and also because I had these:
These are actually the tissue boxes my students used, but I cannot find the picture of the ones I have on my desk!! 

I love the all the colors and patterns they have, and they work great for the kids - mostly because each one holds one item. (Highlighters, pencils, markers...) I have 6 on my desk and they are stuffed to the brim! One has all my post-its and white outs, one has markers, sharpies, crayons and colored pencils, one has pens and pencils and so forth!

It is definitely not conducive to finding something quickly in a time crunch! (And aren't we always in a time crunch on school days?)

I figured I would try to bring my love for brights into my toolbox, so I went with multicolored labels.
Here is my new toolbox!

Sadly I have nothing to put in it yet, as I left all my supplies at school. I was sorely tempted to buy some new things at Walmart this week, but I am really trying to stick to my budget! Plus I have more than enough supplies awaiting me at school!
Now I am headed over to check out Tara's blog to see what everyone else has been up to creating this past week!
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Updated Games - Blends Games / R Controlled Vowels

7/28/2013 / Leave a Comment
I have been updating a lot of the games in my shop this summer. In the beginning I used a lot of digital backgrounds and some fonts that I am not really a fan of now. I want to keep everything a bit cleaner and easier to read - so I decided to give my best sellers a facelift!

First up is the Blends Games with Short Vowels!
This set has 4 game boards: R blends, L blends, S blends and 3 letter S blends with short vowels. All the words are the same, but I added some pirate clip art and simplified the color schemes and backgrounds to make it easier to read. 
This set is available in my TpT shop.

Next up is the Blends Games with Long Vowels.
This set has 3 game boards: R blends, L blends and S blends with long vowels. All the words are the same on this set too, but I added some dinosaur clip art and simplified the scheme a bit.
This set is available in my TpT shop!

Lastly we have the R Controlled Vowel Games!

This set has 7 game boards: 2 "are", 2 "or", 2 "er" and 1 "air" board. I added some ocean clip art to this set and neatened up the layout.
This set is available in my TpT shop!

If you have purchased these sets in the past don't forget to download the updated versions!

Happy Sunday!

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Nail Art - Galaxy Nails

7/25/2013 / Leave a Comment
I tried galaxy nails out last year when I was just getting back into doing my own nail art. I had gone through a year long nail sticker phase, but they were really starting to take a toll on my nail strength. Sadly I did not take a picture of the first set of galaxy nails I tried, mostly since I wasn't posting them on my blog, pinterest or beautylish back then!!
For this manicure I used: (Click the colors for links!)
Maybelline Color Show - Onyx Rush for my base.

For the nebula I used:
Maybelline Color Show - Pacific Blues
China Glaze - For Audrey
Zoya - Charisma
Rimmel Lasting Finish - Wild Orchid

Confetti - Iridescent Glitter (sorry there's no link, I bought it at CVS a few years back.)
I used cosmetic sponges to dab on the colors of the nebula. I like to cut them into little triangles - they are a lot easier to work with that way!
I started with one color at a time, dabbing it onto the sponge and then onto each nail. Then I use to the next color, and so on. I like to change the angles and thickness of the colors to make each nail different.

Putting the nail polish directly onto the sponge works the best. If it goes on too heavy or dark, just keep dabbing it until you get a shade that you like!

My right hand was heavier on the pinks and purples - my left was more bluish. I really like how For Audrey pops on my some of my nails!
I love how fast and easy galaxy nails are! They can get a bit messy too - sponging your nails can always be a bit disastrous. But they are much easier to clean up, especially compared with the time I tried water marbling!!

Today is the last day to leave a comment for my Thematic Reading Log Giveaway! Hop on over if you would like a chance to win!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Reading Logs

7/23/2013 / 7 comments
We have to keep track of the books our students read in my school for our Million Words Campaign. In Intervention we tend to read a lot of books and I needed a way to keep it organized for each student.
I created an easy to use log to help my students keep track. My school track words/pages read for the older students and counts only the amount of books read for the younger grades, so I wanted to offer 2 different options for different grade levels. Each month features thematic clipart that ties into that month!

The first version features 20 lines, with spaces for:

• date

• title
• author
The second version features 20 lines, with spaces for:

• date

• title
• author
• pages
If you are interested in a closer look, please click here!
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Revitalizing Tarnished Jewelry

7/22/2013 / 6 comments

I'm linking up with Tara for Monday Made It, though mine is more of a Monday Revitalized It! This is a necklace I made about five years ago with a butterfly pendant and some invisible wire. I love how simple it is, so I have worn it a lot over the years.
That has led to some icky coppery effect which I am not loving at all lately. I tried cleaning it, but since it is just a cheap metal nothing was working. I decided to use something I have ample amounts of...nail polish!
I used Essie No Place Like Chrome for all of my silver pieces. I tried a few others, but this had the best coverage and shine!
It looks as if it is brand new again!
Next up were two of my favorite pairs of earrings. The stars were a gift I received about 10 years ago and the birds were made by me.
I used Zoya Ziv on the gold part of the stars and then the No Place Like Chrome on the top layer.
I used a regular nail polish brush to paint all of these pieces. I found it was best to put on a heavy layer, then wipe the brush clean. Once it was clean I would spread the thick coat out along the piece until it was finely covered, just enough so the etchings were not filled in.

I am thrilled to have all of my favorite pieces freshened up! I must say it is nice to know that nail polish can serve extra purposes too! It actually has me wondering what else I can decorate with it...but I'll save that for another time!

Now I am off to check out Tara's blog to see what everyone else was up to this past week!
Have a great Monday!!
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Nail Art - Waterfall Nails

7/19/2013 / 4 comments

I first saw Waterfall nails on Pinterest (click to see the pics) and I was smitten! I loved the the way you could layer colors over colors in little delicate lines! In my opinion one can never have enough color on their nails! So I hopped on over to The Nailasaurus to check out her tutorial!

I had everything I needed, including the proper long, skinny brush. Alas, I am not good at delicate lines, so my attempt is a bit more heavy handed!!
I always end up with blobs on my brush which results in my thick lines. I do love the color combo though!
I can definitely see myself trying this technique again, there are just so many colors that would look great together. Perhaps I will even achieve a skinny(ish) line eventually!
For this manicure I used: (click for a link to each polish!)
Zoya - Charisma
Sally Hansen Complete Salon - Grass Slipper
China Glaze - Platinum Silver
Maybelline Color Show - Pacific Blues

What's on your nails lately? Have any of you tried textured polish yet? I am intrigued by it, but I also like a smooth nail. I think I would hate the feel of it after one day!! Let me know what is on your nails and toes in the comments below!!
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7/18/2013 / 2 comments
Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files (aka my fabulously talented sissy!) has updated my blog so I am now socially linked in every way possible! She added a bloglovin' and an instagram button to my gorgeous blog! Thanks Kris!

If you want to follow me on any social media site just click the icons on the top right of my blog!!

Don't forget to check out my Fry Word Wall Giveaway!

Have a great night!
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Sight Word Wall featuring First 500 Words

7/17/2013 / 6 comments

Word Walls are one of the trickiest things to deal with when it comes to working with multiple grades in one classroom. I always want to display words but it comes down to needs: who needs to see the words the most and then space. I never seem to have enough space to display all the words I would like to put up!

Last year I made a Pre-primer and Primer word wall for my 1st graders. By the time I hung those up I was out of wall space. Sometimes my 3rd, 4th and 5th graders would ask me how to spell something, or I would see them checking the word wall, but alas, it wouldn't be on there! So, I decided to try using first five hundred words this year instead. 

I included 5 sets:

As well as Alphabet headers:
The owl alphabet headers are 6 1/2 x 5 inches and the word cards are 2 1/2 x 5 inches.

Each set of words has a different colored background, in case you need to sort through them, or want to display only one set at a time. All of the colors match the owl headers so they can be mixed and matched to suit your classes needs!

I plan on mixing the sets together and displaying all of them in my room this year. I think that will save me the trouble of having to redo my word wall displays as my groups progress. It will also allow everyone to access words they may not be familiar with.

This set is available in my TpT store!
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If I Wasn't On A Budget...Watches and Rings

7/16/2013 / 6 comments

I love watches of course, since they fall into my jewelry obsession category! I have so many that I adore, yet I am so quick to fall in love every time I see the newest watches. These three definitely have me smitten. I am not even sure if I could pick my favorite...but I do lean towards purple, so I think I would go with the owl!
1. Sprout Diamond Owl Watch
2. Sprout Bird Dial Bracelet Watch
3. Betsey Johnson Black Strap Watch

Rings are another problem, I cannot get enough of these statement rings! I love the Betsey Ring, but I'm not sure I would want to wear a 2-finger ring that often. I really fancy the butterfly ring, especially because it is rose gold! I haven't had stacking rings since high school, but the colors of these chevron rings are awesome - they would match anything and everything. I think they are my pick!
4. Betsey Johnson Iconic Celestial Starburst 2-Finger Ring
5. Cubic Zirconia Rose Gold Double Butterfly Ring
6. Chevron Ring Stack

Which watches and rings would you choose? Let me know in the comments below!
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A Room in Review - What Worked? What Flopped?

7/15/2013 / 4 comments
I've only been out for almost a month, but being a typical teacher I am already thinking of next year, and next year's decor! I simply adored some of the things I had, and utterly detested some others. I guess there is no happy medium when it comes to my feelings about my classroom!! Except for my color scheme, I loved the brights with blacks so that is staying.

My zebra lamps,  they fell over a lot - almost everyday. When they fall over, they don't just fall over - the light flashes (scaring the children and myself) and burns out. Needless to say I went through a lot of light bulbs. Velcro didn't help since the felt and cardboard base detached from the lamp.

They only cost five dollars, so I wasn't expecting a miracle, I did however hope they would stand. Thus I must either find away to attach the base securely, or buy a better base to put the lovely lampshades on.
Baskets for headphone storage, definitely a flop! They worked well for storing papers and supplies, but they were a flop for headphones. I put two headphones in each tray every morning, but the next day I would come into six pairs in one tray with two empty baskets down below.

Not to mention cords trailing everywhere. I think the after school kids needed a tutorial on headphone storage! I am definitely going to be scouring the blogs and Pinterest for headphone storage ideas.
Zebra duct tape fits into both categories: it is a flop table-wise, but it worked great as a border. It held the contact paper up all year on my bulletin boards and was easy to remove.

The tables were another story. I had to use every ounce of strength to rip it off at the end of the year, and oh! How my poor nails suffered! ;) I wonder if it is because my students leaned on it everyday, maybe it got too warm and adhered a bit too tightly. I will definitely be looking for something that is easier to remove next year!!

Contact paper worked great on the bulletin boards and tables. It stayed up all year especially with the zebra duct tape framing the edges. I will definitely use this again, it was way less frustrating to hang than bulletin board paper! (I have a tendency to wrinkle that paper immensely!)

The tables were a bit picked in places at the end of the year, but the overall effect was nice and they were a lot easier to keep clean.
The dry erase paper made an awesome whiteboard, however I put it up when it was ridiculously humid out, so it came out all bumpy and crooked. The overlapping edges didn't adhere right so it was lifting by the end of the year. I never had this problem in the past, I think I need to choose a better day weather wise next year when I set up!
The dry erase tables were such a time-saver. It cut down on students wandering around the room looking for supplies and talking to each other on the way.
I placed one of these tissue boxes on each table each day (they are filled with dry erase markers, crayons, felt and Magic Erasers.) If anyone wanted to take notes or write about their stories they just needed to grab a writing tool without moving an inch!
These pockets worked, but I think I will put laminated sheets in next year instead. I hate wasting paper, and waiting in line at the copy machine.

I loved having a central zone for students to pick up work and they really liked it too. They knew where to get a new activity once they had finished their stories without interrupting the mini-lessons, or other students, to find out.
I loved my bathroom passes - except when the humidity made them peel apart!! I am going to print them back to back this summer, rather than on separate pieces. Hopefully they will last all year that way!!

Overall I would say most things worked out really well. Now I am off to find a better table border, let me know if you have any ideas in the comments below!!
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