July Currently and a SALE!

I have joined Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her monthly Currently! I have seen this linky on other blogs, but this is my first time joining in on the fun!! :)


listening: I am watching "Love It or List it, Too" on HGTV and I love it! Have you seen this? It's the same concept as "Love It or List It" but it has different hosts, including Jillian Harris. Do you remember her from The Bachelorette? 

loving: I have sooooooo many projects on my TO DO List! But, I feel like I have time to complete them...I think?! LOL!

thinking: I really need to go into my classroom and work!! I moved classrooms and I have so much unpacking and organizing to do!!!!! BUT, we are having a heat wave and it will be 107 degrees at my school tomorrow! Yikes! The last time I went in, the air conditioning was not kicking on...so, I really have to think about this one! 

wanting: A SUMMER STORM!!! There is a sssllliggghhhtt chance of sprinkles tomorrow...I am really hoping for it!!!!

needing: it to cool off!!! I know my entire Currently seems to be about the weather, but it is just so hot..and I live in the mountains where it is not supposed to be this hot. Very few of us have air conditioning because it is rarely this HOT!! I definitely have fans going and my doggies are appreciating that..oh, and the ice treats I keep giving them! Isn't it cute how so many dogs just LOVE ice?!

tips, tricks, or hints: "Go slow, to go fast!" My former principal used to say this all of the time. It is a reminder that the hard, time consuming work in the beginning, makes it worth it in the end. It is the same with blogging and TpT. We all have to start somewhere. It can sometimes get overwhelming looking at blogs and stores that have thousands of followers and hundreds of products. But, the one thing they have in common with us..they all started with just one follower, one product, then another, and another, and with their hard work and commitment, their followers and products grew. And, so will ours.

Have you joined Farley's July Currently? You should! It's a great way to visit and discover new blogs! 

I'M HAVING A SALE!!
I am throwing a 20% off SALE to celebrate July! All of my products will be on SALE until July 3! Have you followed my TpT Store? I am working on some great new products and FREEBIES and as a follower, you will know when these products are posted. Thanks so much for following me!! I would love to follow you, too! :)
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Optimum Organization Linky, June 29



 

I have joined up with Fun in Room 4B's Optimum Organization Linky Party! I am so excited about this because I have called this summer, "My Summer of Operation Organization!" I am moving from Kindergarten to First Grade (and changing my theme from pirates to owls), which means I had to separate all of my things from my teaching partner's things! This was tough!!! We combined all of our supplies, books, crafts, and so much more, two years ago! So, we had A LOT to go through and pack!

I am going to talk about two of my projects in this post.

Book Baskets: If you saw my classroom right now, you would GASP!!!!! I have ALLLLLLLLLLLL of my books on the floor in piles. This will be my 17th year of teaching, so I have collected a lot of books over the years. I am doing a complete overhaul! I am letting go of the books that need the Book Dr., I am giving away the books that I don't want anymore, and I am putting almost all of my books into theme organization. I will also add some to A.R. organization.

I was inspired by First Grade Glitter and Giggles! I love the way she set up her Classroom Library! I found these baskets on Really Good Stuff and I can't wait to add them to my Library!

Here are some of the labels I have made to add to the baskets! Can't wait to have this ALL DONE!

 
Teacher Toolbox/Supply Organizer: My next project is one that I posted about 
I absolutely LOVE this organizer!!! These are all over Pinterest and I finally made one for my classroom!! Since I moved classrooms, all of my supplies are in boxes! I am organizing my classroom slowly. I love the phrase "go slow to go fast," and that's what I'm doing. I am spending A LOT of my summer organizing, but it will be sooooooooo worth it! Right???!!!
 
What are you doing to get/stay organized? Link up to Fun in Room 4B and share the love! Happy, Happy Organizing! :) 
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Throwback Thursday


I am linking up with The First Grade Parade and participating in Throwback Thursday! This is an awesome way to read old posts from some of your favorite bloggers!!

I am a new blogger, but here is a post that I love, probably because I LOVE the activity SO MUCH!!

*******************Originally posted March 20, 2013*******************

Blending and Reading New Words

I love when my little ones start to put together words. They are so excited (and so am I!!) when they start to realize that the sounds they are blending, are making words. The excitement on their little faces is just precious! They are not just saying the sounds, they are blending...correctly! You can truly see that light bulb moment and it is contagious!

I love using my Making My New Words activity to foster this beautiful growth! This activity focuses on beginning sounds, medial, and ending sounds. It's perfect for differentiating, during small group instruction. Once the students are beginning to master blending, I also use this activity during Daily 5. 


Making My New Words
When using the Making My New Words activity, I like to begin with beginning sounds, so the students can see the word families they are creating. After creating these new cvc and nonsense words, we focus on fluency when reading the words. Once the students have mastered this skill, I move to the ending sounds, and finally the medial sound.


I start with teaching the students to say each sound in the word, then blending the word. When the student has mastered this skill, we focus on reading the word without sounding it out. The students LOVE when they reach this point. They love to read these words, and they are so excited when we point to them and say, "You're a reader!"

Check out Making My New Words in my TpT store. It's one of my very favorite activities to create new readers!

******************************************************************
By the end of the school year, the students were rocking this activity!! My high students were able to read these real and nonsense words, fluently. I started giving each student an "e" to put at the end. It was an excellent way to introduce "bossy e"! They loved it! 

My at grade level students worked on reading these words, fluently. We continued to remind them to read them "fast as a snap," rather than always sounding out each letter. By the end of the year, they were right there with our highest students. Love it when that happens!

My lowest students struggled with this activity, when we first introduced it. I differentiated by giving each student in my small group the same beginning letter. This enabled them to just focus on sounding out each letter, as a small group. They were able to take turns and gain confidence, as a group. They did not feel overwhelmed by all of the different letters. 

As the year progressed, they were able to add more letters, and eventually fill the entire card. It was so wonderful to watch this growth! I was soooooooo proud of them, especially because they started the year knowing zero letters and sounds. :( They ended the year knowing all of their letters and sounds, AND becoming proficient at decoding these real and nonsense words! I know that this activity, along with my decoding games, were a BIG part of this growth! Sooooo PROUD!  

Link up with The First Grade Parade and join Throwback Thursday!! It's fun taking a walk down memory lane!! :)
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More DIY for the Classroom!!

It's officially Summer, and I am officially in DIY mode! I have so many projects that I really need to add them ALL to my organizer to keep me focused!!!

The trouble (makes me think of the Pink song...LOL!) is that I have just as many projects to do in my classroom as I do for my house! The list is ever-growing. I L.O.V.E. Pinterest, but it's just adding more AWESOME ideas to my list. LOL!

For this post, I am just going to focus on the DIY projects that I have made for my classroom, this week. And, trust me, there are many more to come!!! 

SUPPLY ORGANIZER


Step 1: Purchase organizer. I got mine at Lowes for around $20. I have also seen them at Home Depot. 

Organizer from Lowes
Step 2: Purchase scrapbook paper, cut to fit drawers. I got my paper at Hobby Lobby.

Step 3: Type out a list of what you want to keep in your organizer. I used the font CCSweetSpirit by Cara Carroll. Another option for Steps 2 and 3 is to use your own digital background paper.


Step 4: Cut out and glue each item (word) to scrapbook paper. Let dry.


Step 5: Optional. Laminate.

Step 6: Add to the front of the drawer. I just set mine on the inside. The items inside the drawer keep it in place.

I absolutely LOVE this organizer!!! I already took it to my classroom and started adding items to it. I can't believe it took me this long to make one. How did I ever survive without it?! I already have plans to make a second one!!!!!

BOOKSHELF

I purchased this bookshelf at a garage sale for $5, but you could do this with any bookshelf that you want to cuten up!


Step 1: Clean bookshelf with a damp cloth.

Step 2: Take off the back. I'm sure you could do this project with the back still on. It will just be a lot more measuring, cutting, and patience, but it will definitely work.



Step 3: Spread Mod Podge (I used a small paint brush) on the inside backing of the bookshelf (I arranged the paper before I added the Mod Podge to get an idea of the best arrangement).


 Step 4: Add paper. This paper is from Hobby Lobby.



Step 5: Spread Mod Podge on top of the scrapbook paper. Smooth out. Let dry.

Step 6. Prime the bookshelf. Let dry. Add a second coat, of it seems necessary.

Step 7: After the primer has dried, paint the bookshelf. Let dry. Add a second coat, if it seems necessary. I also painted the backing at this time.

Step 8: After the bookshelf is completely dry, put the back on.


I love how this turned out and I can't wait to take it to my classroom! 

DESK

I have used this desk (mostly as a storage area) for the past few years. I never sit at it anymore, now that I have a laptop. It pretty much just collects stuff! I bought a table at a garage sale that I (of course!) am DIYing and will use as my new desk. So, I decided to also DIY this desk so I can take it to my classroom. I think it will be perfect for my Writing area.




Step 1: Clean desk with a damp cloth.

Step 2: Take out drawers.

Step 3: Take off any visible hardware.



Step 4: Prime drawers and desk. Let dry. Add a second coat, if necessary.

Step 5: Paint drawers and desk. Add second coat. Let dry.

*You do not have to paint or prime the front of the drawers, just the edges.


Step 6: While the drawers are drying, cut the scrapbook paper to fit the front of the drawer. 

Step 7: If the drawers have hardware, make sure to add a hole, where needed.

Step 8: Add Mod Podge to the front of the drawer.


Step 9: Add scrapbook paper, make sure the hole in the paper matches the hole in the drawer.

Step 10: Spread Mod Podge on top of the scrapbook paper. Smooth out. Let dry. Add the hardware.

Step 11: When the drawers and the desk are completely dry, put the drawers back in the desk.



I just LOVE how it turned out!

I have a lot of DIY projects still on my list! Mod Podge Clipboards, labels for all of my book bins, labels for all of my supplies, a table that I will use for my new desk (priming, painting, and mod podging the edges), mod podge supply cans, so much more!!!!

Hi. My name is Beth and I am O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D. with Mod Podge!!!!! What about you?  
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