January's Nail Art

1/28/2013 / 2 comments
I have been taking it rather easy (also known as being lazy) when it has come to nail art this month. I blame the New England winters. Whilst I adore the cold and snowy weather, it does leave one feeling rather tired!! I started out the year with a statement nail look that some of you may have seen in my New Year's Post:
Not exactly the best quality picture...they had taken a beating at school that day! (As have my hands from the weather. Please disregard the sad state of my skin in this post!!) I used Zoya's Ornate Collection's Storm, I love the sparkles in the black! I also used Nicole by OPI's Miss Independent.

The following week I decided to crackle it!
I used Sally Hansen's Fractured Foil. I love their crackle polishes, they work so well and so fast! For my base colors I used China Glaze's Towel Boy Toy and Sally Hansen's Twisted Pink.

Next we have polka dots! I love using the dotting tool - it is so fast and easy to use!
I used Essie's Emerald Green for a base coat and China Glaze Platinum Silver and Champagne Bubbles for the dots!



Last week we had a bit of an Arctic chill here in New England...so I opted to do something in keeping with the temperature!
This is my penguin...alack he is a bit sad looking about the beak area! My pointed brush wasn't really sharp enough for his nose! I used Sally Hansen's Black Out and White On and China Glaze's Champagne Bubbles for his feet and beak. The other fingers were an OPI duo I received for Christmas -  Pirouette My Whistle and Lucerne-Tainly Look Marvelous. I guess he did not look quite as bad as I thought because all my students were able to identify it as a penguin at least!!

Finally we have this week's manicure:
Hot pink with leopard spots! I wanted to liven things up a bit this week...I have been on a rather dark polish kick lately - must be a winter thing! I used China Glaze's Pool Party for the base, Essie's No Place Like Chrome for the spots and Sally Hansen's Black Out for the edging. Next time I will use a skinnier brush, or maybe just edge with the smallest dotting tool. I think that will make for a cleaner edge. I really like the overall look of this one - I think it is my favorite this month?

What is on your nails right now?
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Valentine's Day Short Vowel Bingo Winner & A Sale!

1/23/2013 / 4 comments
Congratulations to Michelle J! I will be emailing you the pack tonight! I hope you and your students enjoy it!!


This pack available in my TpT shop!

The Valentine's Day Short Vowel Bingo Pack is great for practicing medial sounds!

It includes:

12 - 3x3 bingo boards (6 with just vowels, 6 with cvc words)
12 - 5x5 bingo boards, (6 with just vowels, 6 with cvc words)
Call out pieces for both game versions
Rules of Play
6 different patterned heart game pieces (sized for both the 3x3 and 5x5 boards.)

Happy Wednesday!
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Built in Whiteboards!!

1/19/2013 / 18 comments
My sister told me about this amazing idea she found on Kinder Keri's Awesome Owls, using vinyl as a built in dry erase board on your tables! I had a lot of extra Dry Erase Adhesive Paper from back when I put my whiteboard together:
I took the one large piece I had left and cut it into four (sort of even) squares. I have to say it was MUCH easier putting this on a flat table than on a chalkboard!! I used the odd shaped pieces to make the fifth and largest board for my own spot. I sealed off each square with electrical tape and then covered the remainder of the table with black contact paper. I even covered up a little bit of the electrical tape (just the edge to seal it tight!) I am hoping that this will prevent little fingers from picking at the boards. I know my students will be fine with it once we go over the routine, but my room is also used for after school groups - I figured it would not hurt to be thorough in covering it up!! I finished it off by edging the entire table with zebra Duck Tape to keep it from lifting up.
My students saw this when it was a work in progress on Thursday (just the boards halfway electrical taped with no contact paper.) They were really excited about it, even my 5th graders! I am really looking forward to seeing what they think of it on Tuesday. I know that it will be a huge time saver for 1st grade. Now when I see I have three minutes left in group I will not have to fly about the room gathering whiteboards and markers! We will be Word Work ready at all times!

As for 3rd, 4th and 5th (my computer lab students) I think this will be useful for recording details as they listen/read their computer stories. I was going to start using Graphic Organizers this week, to help with recalling information from the story, and this will save me from having to run off tons of copies each day! I can draw the organizer I want them to use for each day on the whiteboard and they can copy it onto their individual boards.

I am wicked excited, and cannot wait to try this out! (Of course I would make it the day before a 3 day weekend, thus prolonging the first use of it!!) Thanks to Keri for the fabulous idea!

I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!
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Analogy Puzzles

1/15/2013 / 4 comments

Analogies come up often in Reading Plus for my 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and every time they are caught off guard! I wanted to create a quick activity that I could have on hand to help reinforce this concept for them.

There are a total of 30 analogy pairs in this set. I use just a few puzzles with my students in the beginning, until they get the hang of this concept.
There are black and white versions of these cards, as well as cards that come in four different colored plaid prints: blue, teal, tan and red. I like to use the colored sets - it is a lot easier to separate the puzzles quickly!

I included an Answer Key for all the puzzles to allow my students to check their work when they are done. Once they feel they have successfully paired up all the puzzles they can check their work and see who is the winner! I like to have them discuss their matches for a little while, before I give them the Answer Key - it is interesting to hear their reasoning behind the choices they have made.
I also used the analogy version with the "is to" omitted on the Answer Key to expose them to the alternate ways of writing analogies. (crayon:draw::pencil:write.) I am excited because I feel this is improving their understanding of this concept!

You can find this set in my TpT shop!
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Things I Love January Edition

1/13/2013 / 8 comments
My new iphone case! It is silver and sparkly!! Which in my eyes makes it perfect!
I had to upgrade my ipod this month, as I wore my old one down due to incessant use! It did last for four years, so it had a long happy life! I simply adore this zebra case!!

I am obsessed with my ipad case!! My lovely sissy Kristen got me this for Christmas and I simply adore it!! As you can see this is just a wee bit sparkly, which definitely adds to my love for it!
I found this ipad case on the clearance rack at Target and I just had to have it!! It is safely tucked away in my room for now, since I am not ready to part with my adorable sparkly one quite yet!!
Target also sells these awesome cloths for cleaning your ipad and they are wicked amazing! The soft gray side gets all those smudges off and the shiny side polishes up the screen. It seriously rocks!!

I had bought Kristen a stylus for her birthday and I had to find one for myself too, because they work great...and because they are so stylish! I love the silver leopard print!

I made this lanyard for one of my coworkers, and I cannot wait to give it to her tomorrow! I think she will really like it!
My new Uggs! I was always an Emu girl...but they never lasted and were not always that comfy. All my family and friends swear by Uggs, so I decided it was time to upgrade. I found these adorable Bailey Button Triplet boots, and after scouring the Internet managed to find a great deal - I saved $55.00!!
Lastly we have my new riding boots! We have lots of stairs in my school and I spend a good portion of my day running up and down collecting my different Intervention groups. Now don't get me wrong, I adore my heels, but these will definitely save my calves some pain! And they are adorable to boot! (Yes, that was a lame joke, I am quite aware. Please forgive me, it is my Sunday night loopiness!)


Thanks for reading and I hope you all had a wonderful relaxing weekend!
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ID Badge Lanyard!

1/07/2013 / 14 comments
I'm linking up with Tara's Monday Made It, a first for me and one that I have always wanted to do!

We have always had photo ID's at my school but we have never really been required to wear them. For safety reasons we are attempting to make it a habit this year. I have a lanyard from school but I really wanted to make my own. You see I have a bit of a jewelry problem...much like nails and clothes and shoes I am obsessed!! The traditional lanyard was cramping my style!

I have oodles of beads in my room - seriously, tons! I have all mine, plus the ones I inherited from my dear sis Kristen when she stopped beading a few years back. So yesterday I dragged out all my bead boxes and drawers and scrounged until I found the perfect colors!

Here is a close-up of the bottom part:
And here is the whole lanyard:
I decided to keep the fancy part down at the bottom, so it won't be distracting with whatever necklace I am wearing that day. I adore butterflies, so those were a must! I added a few gray beads, a few clear ones, and of course some pearl beads. (One must always have their pearls!) I added a lobster claw hook to hang my ID from and I was done!
I tried it out today and it worked great! Well, let me rephrase that, first I got it stuck to the desk and my ID went flying off. Then my first graders grabbed at it and it fell off again. After all that I desperately jammed my badge back through the opening and squeezed the top and bottom of the claw tightly together. (It had gotten separated from all that snagging and tugging.) After that all was well. It managed to survive Reader's Workshop, Writer's Workshop and 4 Intervention blocks. I think it will be successful after all!

Do you have ID badges at your school? How do you display yours?
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Freebie!! Neon Crackled Bathroom Pass

1/05/2013 / 8 comments
I have wanted to create bathroom passes for my room about a zillion time this year, but of course I had not gotten around to it. Lately we have been practicing various drills - so I thought I best get cracking on making these! We tend to have at least 35 kids in the Computer Lab at a time - as you imagine keeping track of who is in the bathroom can be a bit chaotic on a regular basis, let alone during a drill!

There are 6 different colors, all in the Neon Crackled pattern - for the boys: blue, green and orange and for the girls: pink, purple and yellow. This will allow you to print and mix and match to suit your classroom's style!

I decided to print the green and blue for the boys and the pink and purple for the girls. I glued them back to back, that way there will always be a patterned side facing towards the room no matter how it is hung up.


I had some of this lovely polka dot ribbon leftover from when I made ribbon covered pens for my coworkers last Christmas. It was exactly enough for each pass! I knotted the ribbon and then gently ran a lighter over the edges to prevent fraying.

I plan on having my students leave these at their seat when they go to the bathroom, that way I will always know who is out at all times!

If you are interested in this freebie you can find it in my TpT shop!

What bathroom routine do you use for your classroom?
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Back to Work Reality & New Year's Nails

1/02/2013 / 4 comments
Today was back to reality for me, and I loved every minute of it!! My vacation was relaxing and restful so I was totally ready to head back. And I missed my kids a wicked lot! I have oodles of children in computer lab (40 in all across 4 grades) so I gave them a fun/affordable Christmas present: two tickets.

The first was a One Day Only - Choose Your Own Seat!
The second was One Day Only - Get out of Computer Lab Free! This one required a lot of explaining - "No you won't actually leave the lab, you will just get to play a different game/site of your choice from our class website!" (Insert thousands of questions here...)
Knowing that I would probably never see these tickets ever again I wisely made a checklist with all my students names and the dates they used their ticket. I showed them this list ahead of time, lest they get the idea of trying to trick me!

Today, as expected, I had about half of my kids use their "tickets" (I shall put it in quotes they mostly lost them over vacation! So it was more of a verbal ticket.) They had a blast and it worked out well as it kind of eased them back into the swing of school. Overall I would say it was a huge success, and definitely something I will do again in the future.

Side note, it was hard to keep a straight face when at the end of Intervention I had several children come up to me and say "The ticket works again right?" Me (showing ticket): "No, sorry it's One Day Only." Student: "Aww man...why didn't I save it!" I figured this would happen, but I thought the One Day Only at the top might fix that...and the fact that I mentioned that 1,000,000 times! 

Lastly we have my New Year's nails...I wanted to do a fancy 2013 on them...but I was not feeling that ambitious last night. I used Zoya's Ornate Collection's Storm, I love the sparkles in the black! I also used Nicole by OPI's Miss Independent. Please disregard the sad state of my skin around my nails - we are in a bit of an arctic chill here in New England and my hands are suffering!
For those of you who went back today - how was your day? As for you lucky still-on-vacationers, I hope you had a relaxing day!
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New Year's Resolution Linky

1/01/2013 / 6 comments
                                
Happy New Year!!! I am linking up with The Teachers' Cauldron for a New Year's Resolution Linky Party!

My personal resolution is to be better...make that much better...about budgeting and saving money. I used to be great at this, but then we switched our dress code at work. That led to a need for new clothes...which then led to an addiction to buying new clothes! However all that will end this year! Mostly because I now have a ridiculous amount of clothes, and it is getting rather wasteful. This year I am going to be MUCH better about saving!

My blogging resolution is to post more. I started out posting every few days in the summer, but that has not lasted as the school year goes on. I am going to be setting a schedule for myself to post more often! I have a part two for this one as well - I want to comment more on all the blogs I read. I adore reading them all, but I never stop to comment enough. 

So there we have my resolutions for this year. I'm hoping that by keeping them simple I will stick with it! What are all of your resolutions for this new year?
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