Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Back to School Shopping Spree (and FREEBIES)

Today I'm linking up with Common to the Core for a Back to School linky party!!! 

I created this Back to School Name Glyph activity for grades 1-5.   You could do this at any time during the first week of school.
You’ll need to have your student’s names printed out in some type of block or bubble letters that they can fill in with the various patterns and colors. Here are links to some free ones that you can download:


I like to back them with colored cardstock or construction paper, laminate, and place them above or below student work that I have displayed in the classroom or hallway.  You can see some of my 2nd graders' glyphs in the pic below:

Click the picture above or here to get your freebie!  If you decide to download it, please leave me some feedback on TPT :)  Then go and visit Common to the Core to check out lots more free and reasonably priced Back to School goodies!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Monday Made It... 7/22

I'm so excited to share my Monday Made It this week!

Earlier this summer I read both 'The Daily Five', and 'CAFE', and am really excited about implementing them in my classroom.  One of the things that I need to do this well, is book boxes for my students to store their books and readers notebooks in.

Plastic book boxes aren't in my budget this year, but I still wanted fun color and something that would go with my room's decor, so I went over to Ikea and picked up the Flyt magazine holders (5 for $1.99).  Then I went to Lowe's and bought some spray paint, and got some ribbon from Michael's.  I was a little worried that the paint would soak into the cardboard and they would turn into a mushy mess, but it ended up working out just fine :)

I set up a spray painting area by using the huge box from the new lawnmower my husband bought last week, and got my book boxes put together.  Then I got ready to spray away!  
The first time, I painted the whole box and left it outside to dry for an hour or so.  But it's SO humid in NC that there was NO WAY it was ever going to dry outside. 
On to Plan B...I started just painting one side at a time, and then bringing the boxes into the house to dry.  I was able to cover about 10 boxes with one can of spray paint.

Once I had all of the boxes painted, I wanted to add class number labels to the outside.  I had made Tara's (4th Grade Frolics) Homework Club board last week (love this!)...
...and decided to re-purpose (multi-purpose??) the numbers from her freebie!  I added some ribbon and tied the numbers onto the fronts of the book boxes. 
I love the way they turned out!!!  I can't wait to see how they look in my classroom :)  Go over to 4th Grade Frolics to check out the other awesome Monday Made It's!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Homeward Bound

We're packed up and ready to go!  I'm excited to travel back to Wisconsin to visit family and friends, but I'm NOT so excited about the 14 hour drive...it's pretty much torture.  I do prefer driving straight through compared to taking 2 days to make the trip though...somehow that feels SO long to me.

We've been in NC for not quite 2 years, so last summer was my first trip back home.  And even though I LOVE living here, I have to admit, I felt a little teary (sniff, sniff)  crossing back over the Illinois/Wisconsin border and seeing the big 'Wisconsin Welcomes You' sign.  "I'm Home!!!"

Anyway, bright and early tomorrow this morning (yikes...is it really that late already!), we'll be on the road.  And very late this evening, we'll pull into this guys driveway!

I can't wait to see my brother...he's one of my favorite people in the whole world.  I just love him!  He lets us stay with him in the beautiful old farm house that he completely gutted and renovated...he's a very talented guy!
I talked with my teaching partner today (who is awesome btw...can't wait to start working with her!)and we're setting up a time to get together and talk about procedures and routines in our classrooms.  At our school, I have the 5th grade homeroom and she's got 4th; I'll teach 4th/5th ELA and SS, and she'll teach 4th/5th Math and Science.  Everything I've read says that things go smoother with the kids if you both have similar procedures, routines, behavior management, etc.  If any of you have any advice for us, or things that worked well in a similar situation, I'd love to hear about it!
Now I've got to go catch a few ZZZZ's before it's time to load everyone into the trusty old minivan.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy Blogiversary to You !

Wow...can you say heat and humidity?  It's been a hot and sticky week in NC and I'm thankful to be sitting in the cool comfort of my living room after a morning outside at 'Camp-Learn-A-Lot' (a reading and math camp sponsored by the school I taught at this year, and a local church).  Today was the last day, and I had to say goodbye to some of my favorite kiddos, since I'm heading to a new school next year and won't see them often anymore :(

 Look at the beautiful thank you gift each teacher got...

One of the ladies from the church made NINE of these!  So sweet...I can't wait to find a special place for it in my classroom :)

Today, two of my favorite bloggers are having blogiversaries!!!  The Sweetest Thing is celebrating her first year, and Miss Third Grade is celebrating her second year.  Even better...both of them are giving US the gifts...giveaways on their blogs!  Click on their links below and enter to win some awesome stuff.

I'm also busy working on a little surprise for Fourth Grade Frolic's Monday Made It.  I'm excited because all of my other MMI's have been inspired by other bloggers, but this idea is all mine!  Here's a little hint...


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Budding Blogger!

I am super excited to be featured by Amanda on her fantastic blog, Teaching Maddeness!!!  Every Wednesday she features a new blogger on her Budding Blogger's Showcase. 

Teaching Maddeness

If you haven't found her yet, you NEED to go and check out her blog, and her website, and her stores on TPT (click here or here)!  She's an incredibly creative teacher who generously shares her knowledge and experiences.  She is one of the first bloggers that I started following, and her website really helped me start making sense of Writer's Workshop.

Amanda is also organizing the Carolina blogger's meet up in Greenville, SC on Aug 2-3.  I can't wait to meet the many wonderful bloggers from this area, and to check out Greenville.  I've heard its a really neat city.  Come and join us if you can!

And if you're a new blogger, like me, contact her about her Budding Blogger's Showcase...it's a great way to make connections with other bloggers!  Thank you Amanda!!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Bloglovin' Button

I just found a new Bloglovin' button made by Courtney over at Miss Third Grade!  They're so cute, I just had to share :)

She's got them in every color of the rainbow so you can find one to match your blog...go and check them out!

What??? No Way!!!

Remember how I said I might regret that 2 hour nap when I tried to go to sleep tonight?  Yeah, well...here I am WIDE awake at 1:12am.


I am SO excited, because when I gave up tossing and turning, and got up to check my email, I found this!!!

I've been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Rachel at A Tall Drink of Water !!!  Can you believe it?!?  The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

So, what is a Liebster?  Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.  Blogging is about building community, and this is a GREAT way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs!

How fun is that? 

I especially like the name 'Liebster' because when I was growing up, my Uncle Paul was stationed in Germany.  While he was living there, he and my Aunt Mary adopted a sweet little girl, who is now my lovely cousin Sabine (a super-mom with four beautiful children of her own).  When Sabine was just a tiny girl, she taught me many German words and unknowingly sparked my interest in learning more.  That's why I ended up taking 4 years of German in high school!

Anyway, this is how the Liebster Award nomination works: 

1. In a post about your nomination, link back to the blog that nominated you.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself

5. Create 11 questions for your nominees

6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them.
That's it...well...actually that's a lot, but totally worth it! 
So, here goes:
My Nominations:

Amanda at Oh The Places We'll Go in 5th Grade (my friend, fantastic teacher, and all-around wonderful person!)
Lindsey at Teaching Snip-its  (she's so creative and has some awesome stuff in her TPT store!)
Lindsey at Mrs. Johnson's Little Prowlers (if Liebster doesn't describe her and her blog, I don't know what does)

Jen at Teaching and Laughing (her blog title says it all...she loves to teach & to laugh!)

Robin at Sweet Tea Classroom (I love everything she pins on Pinterest!)
11 Questions from Rachel at A Tall Drink of Water:

1. How long have you been teaching and what grades have you taught? 
 I'm actually a pretty new teacher.  When my kids were all in grade school, I enrolled in a Licensure to Master's program and earned my teaching license two years ago.  This past school year I was an interim teacher in 1st and 2nd grade.  Next year I'll have my own classroom  (yay!) teaching 4th and 5th ELA and Social Studies.
2. What was the best concert you attended?
Oooh...this is a tough one, but I'm going with SKILLET (a hard-rock Christian band).  They have an amazing pyrotechnics show, and these incredible moving stages that go up and down along the back wall of the set...during a couple of their songs there's a violin player and a cello player on them.  Pretty amazing.  Its also the first concert I took my children to.  And what's not fun about waving a frying pan around in time to the music?!?
3. What is the one thing you must do before going to bed?
I either read, or play a few rounds of whatever game I'm currently addicted to enjoying...right now its Candy Crush.
4. What is your favorite thing about where you live?
We live in North Carolina in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I love that we can go up into the mountains (2 hrs) or to the ocean (4hrs) in a reasonable amount of time.  It's a beautiful place to live...we've only been here for 2 years and still have a lot to explore!
5. Do you have any pets? If so, how many and what kind?
We have a sweet, sweet dog named Maia.  She's a goldendoodle (cross between a Golden Retriever and Standard Poodle).  She just has the most wonderful nature...happy to lay by our feet while we watch tv, and just as happy to go hiking in the mountains.  LOVE her!
6. How did you think of your blog name?
When I was teaching 2nd grade I started a blog called Sunshine in Second Grade.  But when I got my new job teaching 4th and 5th, I wanted to choose a name that wasn't grade specific.  My BFF is the queen of alliteration and helped me come up the The Poole Pages.
7. Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I still have the palate of a 5 year old...I love pizza, goldfish crackers, and any fruity, chewy candy :/
8. Where was your favorite vacation?
My favorite vacation EVER was a trip to the Bahamas with my sister-in-laws and mother-in-law.  I didn't have to take care of anyone but myself...just the beach, books, long walks collecting shells, and card games at night.  It was a little piece of heaven :)
9. Where did you go to college?
I got my BA in Business from Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI and then went back to Alverno for their Licensure to Master's program.  Alverno is well known in southeastern Wisconsin (where I'm from) and their education program has a great reputation.
10. What's the funniest thing a student has ever said to you?
This is awful to admit, but if I don't write these kinds of stories down, I forget them!  This year I'm planning to have a 'memory' jar in my room where we can write down funny or memorable moments. Then we can take them all out at the end of the year to reminisce :)
The only one I can think of at the moment is when one of my 2nd graders was looking at the yearbook and asked me why I looked so much younger in my picture than in real life!
11. What is one thing you cannot live without?
 I can't live without Jesus in my life.  Trying (key word here!) to live my life as he taught pushes me to become a more loving and accepting person, and trusting in salvation gives me hope.
11 Random Facts About Me:
  1. I could literally spend an entire day reading (and have)...I love a good book.
  2. I love the smell of coffee, but not the taste.
  3. I'd like to learn to play the guitar and the piano.
  4. I can't stand the taste or smell of seafood.
  5. I like to sing along to the radio (really loud) in the car.
  6. I met my husband when we worked for the same company.
  7. I like to stay up really late at night so I can have the house to myself.
  8. I miss my kids being little...teenagers don't want to hang out with their parents :(
  9. I made the queen-sized quilt that's on our bed, and it's one of my favorite things.
  10. I eat Kashi Go Lean with almond milk every morning for breakfast.
  11. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.
11 Questions for My Nominees:
  1. What is your favorite teaching memory?
  2. How long have you been teaching, and what grades have you taught?
  3. Where are your favorite places to shop?
  4. What is your favorite movie?
  5. What's your favorite kind of cookie?
  6. What's the best gift you ever received?
  7. What is hanging on your living room walls?
  8. What's your favorite area in your classroom?
  9. Your classroom runs on love, laughter, and lots of _________?
  10. What would your 'perfect' Saturday look like?
  11. What's the one thing in your classroom you can't live without?
Whew!  I think that's my longest blog post yet.  Thanks for sticking with me!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Made It...it's a freebie!!!

Ahhh...I just woke up from a 2 hour nap, and it felt soooo good!!!  I might regret it tonight when I'm trying to fall asleep, but that's okay.

This week I'm back in teacher mode, volunteering at a morning reading and math 'camp' that a local church sponsors.  It was so much fun to see some of my favorite kiddos walk in this morning, and to meet some  new ones! 

Anyway, I'm linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!  This week, I've got a freebie that I just put together for the first day of school.


It includes a secret message for students to decode.  My plan is to put this out for the kids to work on that first morning while I'm busy greeting students, collecting supplies, saying 'hi' to parents, etc.  It's one of the first things that I've put out on TPT!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monday Made It!

Okay...I know it's Tuesday, but I couldn't get my picture to upload yesterday...technical difficulties.  You know how it is...

So...I was inspired to make this mailbox by Meg over at Fourth Grade Studio.  This was her Monday Made It last week, and I've been planning my own ever since I saw it. My kiddos can write me notes about anything...something they're struggling with in class, trouble with a friend, whatever, and put it in the mailbox.  Sometimes it's more comfortable to write about something that's hard to talk about.

Last year I would have kids write in their journals about these kinds of things, and I would write back to them.  The problem was that I would end up with a pile of journals on my desk, and the kids wouldn't have them when they needed to do other writing. 

Anyway, after I saw Meg's awesome idea, I went over to Hobby Lobby and picked out paper and ribbon that would go with my classroom theme.  Then I started searching for a box...that's where I hit a wall. 

There was not a single empty box laying around my house that would work with the 12x12 paper that I bought.  I had one box that was a little too big, and lots that were too small.  This was supposed to be a quick, easy,  and inexpensive project!  I actually contemplated going out and buying myself a box of candy so I would have the right sized box, but then I'd have to eat the candy...not a good plan.

I finally decided to go with the box that was a little too big, and did a little creative cutting and taping to make it all work.  The end result is just what I wanted.

Next on the list...a Classroom Jobs board modeled after Molly's at Lessons with Laughter!