Monday, September 2, 2013

Pin it to Win IT! And TWO huge reasons I am celebrating this year!



Hello out there! I was on a blogging hiatus for the last month while I buckled down to get my classroom ready for this school year, spend some good quality time with my family, and then last week- greeted my new 5th grade students! And let me just say- I have a feeling this year is going to be AWESOME! But before I get into sharing all about my new kiddos and what is new in my classroom, check out the newest addition to the “Brights and Black” Classroom Décor Collection!

Supply Labels and Subject Bucket Labels


I am using these to label all of my extra supply drawers in the “organization station” area of my classroom, and the bigger labels are for the buckets that I have students turn their work into. Pics of my Organization Station are coming soon in my ‘13-‘14 classroom reveal! I’m just waiting on a few more items to come in that I ordered. You can click the picture above to purchase the labels from my TPT store OR for a chance to win them for free, Pin the labels to Pinterest and leave a link to your pin in the comments.  On Friday I will use a random number generator to choose the winning ‘pinner’!

Here are a few other items in the “Brights and Black” Collection: 
(click each pic to check them out in my TPT store)


I also updated the Calendar Pack to include the months of the year in two styles, so if you have already purchased it please re-download to receive the additional pages for free!

A Great Beginning to a New School Year

Let me just tell you, that at this time last year I was hired onto a new grade level, at a new school, ONE day before school started. During that first week, I spent quite a few evenings in tears! I felt so unorganized, and had quite the talkative and challenging class of 31.
This year? I had ALL summer to get super prepared and organized. I completely redid my entire room from top to bottom! It just FEELS so much better!

And then I got two of the best pieces of information that a teacher could hear:

    {ONE}. Because I recently completed my Masters in Educational Technology, our district superintendent decided to turn my room into a 21st century classroom!!!  That means that I will be receiving netbooks, iPads, iPods, and a Promethean Board this year! The school year has already started and so far I have only received the Netbooks, so I’m REALLY excited for the rest of the technology to arrive! I have never used a Promethean Board before so I'm definitely spending some time researching and Pinning some ideas!

    {TWO} We had JUST enough 5th graders this year to warrant hiring another full time 5th grade teacher! So now our team of 3 is 4, and we are each sitting at around 26 students. TWENTY SIX!  This is the smallest class I have had in my entire teaching career!  I can tell already the difference that it is going to make in the one on one time I am able to spend with each student- not to mention the overall classroom environment is much less noisy.

I have some really great kids this year, and we have started off with a lot of great team building and ‘getting to know each other’ activities which I will be back to share. This upcoming week, I will also be introducing my students to their first Early FinisherPacket with September’s Early Finisher, and then we will be diving into our first workshops!
Happy Labor Day!

~Amber

Sunday, August 18, 2013

TPT Back to School Sale Started today!



If you haven’t already heard, the HUGE Teachers Pay Teachers Back-To-School Sale started today!




My entire store is 20% off, and if you use the TPT code BTS13 then you’ll get an additional 10% off for a total of 28% off! It’s a pretty sweet deal so don’t miss it- the sale is today and tomorrow only!

The Graphic above is from Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs- check out her cute stuff here!

 Have fun shopping! I know I am!


Amber



Thursday, July 25, 2013

What’s in your “Me Time” drawer? And a nameplate question.


I’ve been making some headway on the décor for my new classroom colors which I am doing in bright patterns (pink, green, and turquoise) and black accents. I recently posted about my new Editable Daily Schedule Cards, and yesterday I finished matching Calendar/Classroom Numbers. I also included Days of the Week Cards for my primary teacher friends. Here’s a little preview:



You can pick them up in my TPT store for 20% off, today and tomorrow only! 

Next, I want to make matching desk nameplates, and I’d love to make a primary version as well. But it seems like there are so many options out there, and I’m not quite sure which to include on the primary nameplates. Here are just some of them:

        *Number Line           *Hundreds chart
        *Shapes                    *Left/Right hands
        *Ruler                      *Upper and lowercase alphabet

My question for you is: What do you like to see on your nameplates?  The first 5 visitors to comment on this question will receive a free download of my nameplates when they are done, so please share your thoughts! Please leave the grade level you teach with your comment!

In other news, when I was in my classroom the other day making mental notes of all my to-do’s, I took some pictures inside of my desk drawers. AHHH! SCARY! I have a lot of organizational work to do, and when the ‘After’ is done, I promise I’ll share the ‘Before’. But in the meantime, I was reminded of a post I shared last summer about my sacred “ME TIME” drawer. I’m going to re-share it here for Cara’s Throwback Thursday! Enjoy!


 Keep a 'You Time' Drawer {Freebie}
As teachers we are surrounded all day long by 30 something children.  On any given day, two or three of those students may be needing something, when your principal walks in for an impromptu evaluation, a parent emails you requesting a conference that day, and if your life is anything like mine, you were probably running late to work that day because you couldn't get your toddler to eat breakfast that morning!  It's times like these that I take those 10 precious recess minutes to dive into my "Me Time" drawer.

A "Me Time" drawer can contain anything that calms you down, and lifts your spirit up.  The sky is really the limit! It's all about whatever makes you happy and will give you a few minutes to regroup, while focusing on yourself.  Remember you?!

My "Me Time" drawer contains:

·                     A note my principal gave me on a tough day during my first year of teaching which lists 10 reasons why she thinks I'm a great teacher
·                     A DIY Stress Ball (see a tutorial here- Note: You can use flour or play-dough inside as well)
·                     Pictures of my daughter
·                     Dove Chocolates!
·                     A little book filled with some of my favorite motivational quotes (see Freebie printable below!)
·                     My favorite lipgloss and 
·                     Travel Sized 'Brown Sugar and Fig' Lotion from Bath and Body Works
·                     A few cards/pictures past students have made me
If you have ditched your desk, another idea is to use a box and keep it in your classroom closet (if you have one!) 
Do you have a "Me Time" drawer?  What's in it? 

{FREEBIE}
Click the pic below to download from TPT.


I LOVE this quote because it reminds me that all of the little things we do as teachers add up over time, even when it sometimes seems like progress isn't being made!

~Amber~

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Chair Facelift and Scrumptious Brown Banana Muffins



It’s Monday again! Yahoo! Not normally a day many look forward to, but not everyone has ‘Monday Made It’ in their lives! They’re missing out!

Made it for School: Chair Facelift
About 5 years ago, a friend of mine was getting rid of this strange little chair and I thought it would be the perfect accessory to my classroom library corner. 


It was! The kids loved it, and it became the “Star of the Week” chair.  Then I took off a few years to have my daughter, and the chair has been sitting around awkwardly in various spaces in my house. After I finished my daughter’s dresser a few weeks ago I was desperate for my next project, and this chair was the perfect target! So a few scuffs of sandpaper, and a couple of coats of primer and paint later, and I now have this pretty little piece which fits perfectly in with my newclassroom colors and DIY library corner pillows



A sidenote/durability tip: If you are going to paint anything for your classroom white, it will probably take a lot of abuse and need a lot of washings! So be sure to protect your painted piece with a clear coat of polycrylic. I like to use Minwax Polycrylic which I purchase at Lowes.


Made it for Home: Scrumptious Banana Muffins

I didn’t think I had another Made It for today, but since I whipped these up today from some brown bananas, I thought I’d throw the recipe in for fun. Enjoy!

Scrumptious Brown Banana Muffins

1.5 c flour                       1 egg
1 t. baking soda               ¾ c. sugar
1 t. baking powder          Dash salt
1/3 c. melted butter
3 large brown bananas
Dash Vanilla                     
Dash cinnamon

*We didn’t have any nuts, but I would have added them if we did!

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl. Mix egg, sugar, butter, vanilla and bananas in large bowl. Gently mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. The key is NOT to overmix or you might end up with dry muffins. Spoon into a 12 muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness!






-Amber-


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