Monday Linky Madness!

Happy Monday, everyone!  Today I am linking up with three linky parties thanks to the wonderful Melissa from Mrs. Sprigg's Kindergarten.  First up is Monday Meet Up, brought to us by

This week is all about what we are thankful for.  I could go on and on, but I kept it short and sweet for your reading pleasure (and so it would fit in the cute template)!
Next up is… Monday Made It and Merry Monday brought to you by My Pinterventures and

Fourth Grade Frolics

Here are my mystery walker and sharp pencil/not sharp pencil bins.  I made these out of those clear containers that doctors use to hold cotton balls, strep tests, etc.  I bought them as centerpieces for my brother's medical school graduation, and didn't know what I was going to do with them after.  Well, VOILA!  I covered each bin with colored card stock (I used mod podge because I was afraid that hot glue would melt the plastic).  Then, I used my trusty Cricut to cut out the cute designs and letters.  Finally, I finished them off with some cute ribbon from Michael's!

If you are interested in finding out how I use the Mystery Walker in my classroom, feel free to comment below and I will explain it for you!

Have a marvelous Monday!

Sunday Smorgasbord

Happy Sunday! I'm linking up with Fabulous in First for my first Sunday Smorgasbord! Woohoo!
A parent volunteer came into my room during the last few weeks of school and made these AWESOME shirts with my kinders.  Here's what you need: a white shirt, various colored Sharpies, paper shopping bags, a spray bottle, rubbing alcohol, hangers.  Everyone drew on their shirts with the Sharpies, making it as colorful as they could.  [NOTE: put a paper shopping bag inside the t-shirts so that the marker doesn't bleed through to the back of the shirt, or even worse, your table!]

Once their designs were finished, we went outside and hung the shirts from a fence.  We sprayed the shirts (up close) with the rubbing alcohol, and the colors started to blend.

My kinders were so fascinated by the colors blending together, and were super excited to see their final product!  We loved our shirts so much, we even all wore them to field day!

Have a splendid Sunday!  Thanks Fabulous in First!


First DIY Project of the Summer

If you're like me, the most exciting part of the last day of school wasn't that it was summer vacation, but that you could start focusing all of your brain power on the changes that you are going to make for next year! I know, some of you are sitting at your computers thinking "she is crazy!;" but I promise, I'm not!

The best part about being a first year teacher was fixing what was broken.  Well, now that school is out, I don't have to worry about making changes AND planning fun and engaging lessons for my kinders.  I can now focus all of my energy on improving my teaching practice!

So, where to start?  I started by making a list of all of the things I want to improve for next year.

Unfortunately, this is not my whole list!  It keeps growing even as I type this.  So I had to choose a place to start.  I chose to start by making my DIY copy, grade, file bins.  The need for these bins came from the endless piles of papers on my desk.  Yes, piles, plural.  I think my main problem was that I got rid of my teacher desk.  I just didn't have all of the room that I wanted for a kindergarten classroom with my teacher desk AND a guided reading table.  So, my guided reading table has a dual function.  In an effort to keep things off the table so that my kinders can actually participate in guided reading, my piles of papers moved their way to the windowsill/bookshelf behind my desk.  

I tried to solve this problem with file folders.  I had three: copy, laminate, and file.  However, papers were always falling out of them, and they were just bulging at the seams.  So I pinned the idea for the plastic drawers on Pinterest, but never got around to making them.  Now that it is on the top of my summer to-do list, here I go!

I got the plastic drawers for around $18 at Staples (there are all different sizes, but this one has a label that says it fits 8 1/2 x 11 paper).  I love the labels that are floating all over Pinterest, but I like to make things as easy as possible, so I dug through my scrapbooking supplies, and stumbled upon this chevron duct tape that I had.  I figured- it's pretty AND it sticks!  I also got out some scrapbooking paper that I wanted to cut the words out of.

My first step was to put the duct tape on the front, outside of the drawers.  You could go all the way around the sides if you'd like, but I just did the front.

Next, I tried to cut the words "grade," "copy," and "file," using my Cricut and the black scrapbook paper I mentioned earlier.  However, the scrapbook paper was not thick enough for the Cricut, and the cut wasn't as clean as I would have liked.  So, I took a little trip to WalMart to buy one of my favorite things… colored card stock!!!

Once I had the card stock, I used my Cricut to cut the words "grade," "copy," and "file."  I chose to use pink card stock so it would match the duct tape, but it didn't pop as much as I wanted.  So, I cut out some cute shapes with my Cricut on yellow paper, and used that as a backing for the words.  Here is the finished product…

What do you think??? I am so happy with how it came out!  I can already feel myself being more organized :)! How do you guys stay organized? Tell me in the comments below!

Five for Friday!

I'm excited to be participating in my first link party! Here we go! 

1. Monday was our last day of school (PD), and we decided to start a book study in the fall.  We will be using the book The Trouble with Boys to help us find ways to help the boys in our classrooms find learning FUN!  I'll let you know when that starts.  In the meantime, anyone have other suggestions of how to reach our not-so-motivated male students?
2. I have spent the first few days of summer soaking up the sun at my apartment complex's pool.  It's so nice to relax before I begin my nannying job next week.  I know, it's summer, but I just can't handle having so much free time, I feel like I should be doing something! Any other teachers work over the summer? What kind of jobs do you have?

3. I am patiently awaiting the arrival of the second Daily 5 book.  I'm a nerd, I love looking into new ways to structure my guided reading block!  I read the first book and got great ideas, so I'm super excited to see what the second edition has in store.  I've tried REALLY HARD not to read all of the blog posts about it!

4. I have been working on my first real blog post that will hopefully be up later tonight!  Check back to see my first DIY project for the new school year!

5. I am so excited to have started this blog, and I am eager to meet all of you!  Please leave a comment below and introduce yourself!

Go check out Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up with the party!

Hello to the Blogging World!

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Hi there!  I'm so excited to be starting my first blog!  I hope you follow me on Bloglovin'!  Check back tomorrow for my first post.

Happy Blogging!

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