Friday, 30 August 2013

5 for Friday and Classroom Pictures

Linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her 5 for Friday Linky.

1.  My laptop bag

I ordered a bag through Better Life Bags and it finally arrived!
Here is what Rebecca says about her company:
Better Life Bags has two purposes.
  1. Involve my customers in the design process.  Each bag is designed by you!  I have basic styles that are customized further by your choice of fabric and add-on options.  Each bag is unique and essentially one of a kind!
  2. Give back to those in need.  We started by loaning 10% of every purchase to low income entrepreneurs in developing countries through Kiva and were able to loan over $2,000 to the people you see here.  Incredible.  NOW, we hire first generation immigrant women in our community who otherwise could not work outside the home.  We rent them a sewing machine and tools while teaching them a skill set that allows them to become a primary or secondary provider in their families.  Each bag is lovingly made with their hands and each purchase gives respect and dignity to their lives.
I got to pick the fabric, colour of leather,the kind of hardware …everything!
I got the laptop bag but I could definitely use it as an everyday bag as well!

Here it is!

photo (90)

2. SLANT Box

I received my SLANT box! It’s a program where you get paired with 2 educators. 1 you send too, and 1 sends to you! There is a theme each month and you spend between $10-$15. Jameson over at lessons with coffee has the signup if you want to join! My SLANT box came from Lisa over at Grade 4 Buzz. Thanks Lisa! I sent a box over to Ashley at Just a Pinch of Salter. Hope it gets there soon as it’s going from Winnipeg to Florida!

Here is what Lisa sent me!

photo (91)

3. Classroom Pictures

There are A LOT ……so I am going to use this as 3, 4 and 5 !
(Note: I have 2 things with Chevron on them….just in case you’re like “but you hate chevron!!” I don’t. Moderation people. )
I didnt change much, so if you have looked at my classroom pics before…a lot is similar.

photo 1 (50)Daily 5 Bookbins (Pencil case, work on writing notebook and word work notebook)
photo 1 (51)Birthday Bags, Guided Reading Table
photo 1 (52)Work space
photo 1 (53)Reading Corner cushions and reading buddies
photo 1 (54)Back to school bulletin board (kids pics as Apps)
photo 2 (51)Crayon community supplies, math daily 5 posters
photo 2 (52)Smartboard, whiteboard, word wall, calendar
photo 2 (53)Math daily 5 bins, math tool bags, listen to reading books and headphones
photo 2 (54)Blank bulletin board, family photos will go below
photo 3 (20)Paper bins, craft/art anything supplies
photo 3 (40)Owl job tree, teacher computer
photo 3 (41)Carpet area, CAFE board, Daily 5 round check in, 100 Chart
photo 3 (42)Work area
photo 3 (43)Question of the Day, Calendar
photo 3 (44)From the hallway (I don’t have a door and only 2 1/2 walls)
photo 4 (30)Ipad, Cameras etc docking station
photo 4 (31)Carpet area
photo 4 (32)Reading Corner
photo 5 (27)Other side of the Reading Corner
photo 4 (33)View of the room ….we use cabinets to separate the space from the neighbouring grade 2 room and the hallway.
photo 4 (34)Another view of the room as you walk in
photo 5 (25)Guided Reading Table
photo 5 (26)View of the room looking towards the “door”
Phew. If you looked at all those….thanks.

Have a great long weekend!!

bloglovin button


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Getting Ready

It has been so hot here. HOT. This hot:

photo 1 (49)

For you farenheit people that’s about 100 degrees! And with the humidity it was said to be around 45 degrees celsius…so like 113 farenheit. Too hot!
So luckily I’ve been stuck in my classroom getting ready and beating the heat!

Almost finished moving all the furniture back and getting things ready! Here is a before pic:

photo 2 (50)

After pictures later in the week!

I have also added a Freebies page and a Products page to my blog at the top. Thanks to Ladybug Teacher Files for the tutorial on making the thumbnails! The freebie page is still under construction as I go back and add all the freebies I’ve posted on my blog! Everything is in 1 place for you! Hope you like it!

More later in the week!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

*Editable* Kid Labels

I figured out how to make a powerpoint editable!

There are 3 different boy poses and 3 different girl poses. Each boy and girl pose comes with 8 different coloured shirts, hair and skin colour! So 54 different kid labels! Hopefully you can find a label to fit everyone in your class! I also included black and white so you can save some ink. (which I usually

The editable part comes in when you can add your kids names above the label to customize it just for them! You can use whatever cute font you want to add in the names for your kiddos!
coat hook names11
I plan to use these labels on my coat hooks this year and for my kids homework folders.

Giveaway is over!

So how do you grab these labels?

There are 2 ways:

1. Follow me on Instagram and then email me at and tell me your Instagram name and I will email you the labels!
(You can go to my Instagram page by clicking this button below or at the top right of my blog.)
Bright Blue Media Icon - Instagram 
2. If you don’t have Instagram…email me at and share with me an Art project you love doing with your kids! ( materials and how to needed…lol)

There is a catch!! I am only giving this freebie away until Thursday at Midnight! Get it before I send it to my Teachers Notebook Shop!

Hope to hear from you!

New Math Notebook Ideas

Kelli over at Tales from a Traveling Teacher just created some more awesome resources for Math Journals and bundled them together! Her math journal ideas are awesome and I used tons of them last year to get my Math Notebooks up and running. They were perfect for my grade ones to work on independently during Math Writing.
Each set comes bundled with 7 different journal packs to help you with Math Notebooks all year!

Click on the picture to go check them out!

bloglovin button

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Anyone having Pattern Overload?

As people are getting ready to go back and posting pics of their classrooms, I’m starting to have pattern overload!


Now don’t get me wrong…I love these patterns. But in moderation. While I like Chevron, I sometimes find it distracting…especially if words are placed on it or around it. I love the chalkboard look….but would not want to print that much ink!! I only print a few small things in colour. Most things I print in black and white on coloured paper.

Most products I see people making these days have either chevron, polka dots or chalkboard in them! Or all 3! And use a ton of ink to print! I don’t think I have 1 thing that is chevron in my classroom. The only thing I’m putting up that’s chevron is my new DIY corkboard!

Also a lot of classroom pics I’ve looked at on blogs, have their bulletin boards completely filled already with posters and charts and doo-dads. (is that a word?)
My bulletin boards are always blank the beginning of the year, except for one that is  a welcome back board with the kids work from our Stepping Up Day when I met them in June. What does everyone else do? Do you put up lots of stuff on your bulletin boards or keep them fairly blank?

To each their own though! Don’t hate me!! I know teachers spend lots of time and their OWN money on their classrooms (me included) so you should be able to have it however you like. You are going to be spending about 10 hours a day in it right?
For my own room, I’ve been looking for more baskets/bins lately that are more natural. Here’s a few I found that I plan to add to my class this year.

photo 3 (39)

I also found a cute one that will hold our class Ipad and our class cameras.

photo 1 (48)

And I found these for our math notebooks this year. Last year I used composition notebooks and I found them too small. The kids had a hard time cutting and gluing things inside, the pages kept ripping, they were hard to turn, ugh. So we will see if these are better! And they were only .10 cents at Superstore! I may have returned a few times as you can only get 6 at a time! lol

photo 2 (49)

Anybody else buy anything for their rooms? Anybody love chevron and polka dots and now want to throw rocks at me? (please don’t! lol …I love the pattern!! I do!!)

bloglovin button

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Running Records and the Ipad

I’ve shared a few tools that I am going to try this year to help with assessment on the Ipad.

The next one deals with Running Records. We use the Fountas and Pinnell kit to give running records but it ends with binders full of paper. I try to give a running record to each kid monthly (try…) and my binders are full by the end of the year.
I found this app called Record of Reading which allows teachers to take Running Records for any book or passage.


It allows you to record errors and self corrections and then calculates the accuracy rate and the level of text for the student, indicating whether or not the book is at a difficult, instructional or independent level. It also lets you record the students while they are reading and attaches it to the running record. This documentation can be looked back by you to give you a better understanding of what the student is doing well and needs to work on. It would also prove to be a great piece of documentation to share at conferences with parents. They can listen to their child read a piece and you can go over what errors they are making and what the next steps are.

photo 5 (4)

This is what the app looks like when you open it. It has a blank space on the bottom to record what the student is reading. The grey space with the hand is a screen that you can rest your hand on as you write and slide down as you go. It recommends using a stylus when recording. It also lets you add multiple blank pages. You can add in the f & P level or RR #. When the RR is finished, you can mark in the errors and self corrections and analyze the miscues. (meaning, visual, syntax) After you are done marking down how many errors and self corrections the child made, it automatically calculates their accuracy percentage and how hard the text is for them. It also allows you to write in some extra comments and a statement about their fluency or choose a number from the fluency rubric.

Here is one that I filled in to show you how it works.

photo 1 (6)

When you are finished, you can save them right in the app. Another option is to send it to Evernote! When you create an account with Evernote, you get an email with them as well. It’s a pretty long and wordy email address but I just added it into my contacts on my Ipad under Evernote. Right from the Record of Reading App, it gives you the option to email the Running Record. I click on my Evernote email address to send it to and it zips it right over there! Another awesome feature is in the subject line at the end, if you put @ and then the name of the notebook in Evernote it will send it right to that notebook!! So I did a running record on John…I type @john at the end of the subject line and and when I open up Evernote it will be sitting in Johns Assessment Folder!

photo 2 (6)

And there it is! When I open it up, the Running Record is there and I can add notes about comprehension under the RR right in the note.

photo 3 (5)

I am hoping to use this app right from the beginning of the year!

Go find it in the app store and check it out!

bloglovin button

Pin It button on image hover