Oct 30, 2015

Prepping for a New Month in the Classroom

One of my favorite things (when I'm in the classroom, that is!) is to change things out for the new month. I love changing the calendar, the literacy and math centers, and I usually change out table cloths that I have around the room with themes for each season/month. I love it! Something new for me and new for the kids! Well, with the new month approaching, I wanted to share all of the NOVEMBER goodies that I have and LOVE to use in my classroom! Plus, I'm putting my whole store on sale this weekend, so now is the perfect time to stock up and get ready for the new month!

Here are a few pictures of how I change out my table clothes around my room. I don't put them on tables that kids actually have to work because I feel like that'd make life difficult. I put them on some tables that I have made into more of a "counter" to keep my small group materials, etc. on, then under the table I store things, so the table cloths cover up those items! Also, I put one over the table that I have my projector, doc camera, etc. on. I always purchase them after the holiday for the next year, super cheap and they have all lasted me years! I love them.

Here's how I prepare my centers. I do this once, and they have last through two Novembers, hopefully they last through this year too. But if not, the time it takes to put them together and prepare them is worth it to last at least two years! It just depends on your class, I've found, and how they are with materials. Some classes are much better than others. Also, I find that if you have A LOT of centers/games to choose from, instead of just a few, the wear and tear isn't so bad because they "spread the wealth." {Haha}

I have a lot of people ask how I put my stuff together. After printing, the only thing I cut before laminating is the cover page, to put on the front of an envelope, and I don't even glue it on, I just stick it on the envelope, and slide them both in between the laminating sleeves. Also, another common question is about the metal prongs on the manila envelopes. Yes, I leave them on and sent it right through my personal laminator. Works fine! I've probably put hundreds of them through and no problem! Here are some pictures that show me preparing my Thanksgiving centers a few years ago! These are totally RAW pictures, taken at my kitchen table and in my classroom. Real life, nothing special! :)

Slide envelopes into laminating sheet. (these are larger envelopes and I have to cut the top off, so they don't close, the pieces will later just slide in the top, no big deal!)


Laminating, I only put them in Ziplock bags to transport to school, otherwise they just stay in the envelopes and are nice and sturdy!

Here is an example with the smaller envelope, you can see how I put it through. This cover I just left full size and lay the envelope on the back in the laminating sleeve. Again, I don't even take the time to glue it. The lamination will hold it all together. No wasted time! :) 

When it comes to the game pieces/cards. I DO NOT cut those out BEFORE laminating. No way! No extra work for me! I laminate the WHOLE sheet, then cut afterwards. They all stay together just fine! I see a lot of teachers post pictures that have cut out each piece, then put in lamination, then they have to cut that all out again. NO WAY! Call me lazy...but I only cut once! I've never had a problem w/ the lamination using this Purple Cow laminator or the Scotch Brand one. (I like that one better!)

Here's a good shot of how I just slide the game pieces into the envelopes (I slice the envelope open with the end of scissors after laminating is done.) The envelopes don't close, but the pieces stay in! You just have to teach the kids to put them RIGHT SIDE UP in the bin/baskets when they put them away!

At my last school, here's how I would set up the envelopes on display for kids to choose. Math one one side of the shelving unit, reading on the other.

I've BUNDLED all of my FAVORITE November items. That way, you can purchase one thing and have everything that I use from my own store in my classroom in November! I honestly love all of these products and this is my FAVORITE month when it comes to centers and activities that I pull out of my NOVEMBER box. :)

If you already have some of the products in the bundle, or if you just don't want all of them. See each products below individually. Also, some examples of pages from each product!


Coming soon*** A blog post about my newest literature companion pack that goes with the book Bear Says Thanks. It will include a freebie! Stay tuned!

Oct 26, 2015

Break a Leg! {Personal Update plus some DOLLAR DEALS}

Hello everyone! It's quite the week around here...full moon, parent teacher conferences, and of course HALLOWEEN! Although it's on a Saturday, I'm sure many of your schools are having parties earlier in the week. My school does not have school Friday due to parent teacher conferences late on Wednesday and Thursday, so the Halloween parade and celebrations are on Thursday, then teachers stay until 8pm for parent/teacher conferences! All of these Facebook posts that I have seen say they are glad Halloween is on a Saturday...I'm not sure that matters around here because now it's just a LONG and extended Halloween celebration, as I'm sure it is for many of you too! However, kids will have some time to rest over the weekend!! Whew!

Well, my own interesting news is that I'm NOT actually AT SCHOOL through all of this. I'm currently off for an undetermined amount of time due to an unfortunate accident. I'm having a hard time being away (although I'm not sure I feel too bad about being gone during this crazy week! LOL!) I'm missing out on all of the fun!

If you follow my on Facebook, you've probably already seen a few posts about my accident and staying home for awhile. Long story short, I was hit by a car on September 30th. (I can't believe it's already been a month, it will be 4 weeks on Wednesday!) I was leaving a meeting downtown in our city, crossing at the crosswalk with some other teachers from my district and I was struck by the car about halfway through the crosswalk. It was an extremely scary experience, but I'm SO LUCKY TO BE ALIVE! The bumper of the SUV hit my left leg right below my knee, sending me straight down to the pavement on my knees. SO THANKFUL that I didn't hit my head, go onto the hood of the car, etc. At first, I was in such shock that I was just SURE that I was fine, just a bruised I laid on the street corner, unable to walk. (I can laugh now!) I was taken to the ER by ambulance and we soon (well, not so soon...hours later) found out that I had a fracture on the plateau of my tibia. Sounds kinda fancy, huh? Well it is fancy alright, fancy as in it will require a very LENGTHY recovery time because of the location of the fracture. I had surgery to reconstruct everything and I am now the proud owner of two metal plates and four GIANT screws inside of my leg. (I got to see the x-ray of it this past week...OOOOO MMMM GGG!)

I have to give a shout out to my school, my school district, my neighbors, friends, and family! I have had a constant flow of people here at the house, willing to help with anything we need. My husband has become Mr. Mom/Dad/Housekeeper/Cook/Chauffeur/EVERYTHING. I'm so fortunate to have him! He is seriously amazing!  Mentally, I'm getting better and laughing more about it all, but physically, I'm still restricted to the couch all day, everyday. My favorite thing is when I get to move from the couch to bed for the night! (Sad, right!?) I start PT this week and hopefully I will beat the odds and be back on my feet in LESS than the 3 months that my ortho has restricted me too. We shall see!!! :)

Although I know it could be worse, and I'm so thankful that it wasn't.... Please just never take things for granted... Life can be TOTALLY FLIPPED UPSIDE DOWN in seconds...literally. 

Now...for the SPOOOOOKTACULAR part! The Indiana Bloggers have planned a dollar sale! I have four items that I have marked down to ONE DOLLAR. They are all honestly a great deal for one dollar! Check them out! (I can't wait to shop myself!)

Click on my pictures below to go directly to my product and add it to your cart for one dollar, then at the bottom of my post, you will see all of the other products that are posted by other Indiana teachers for ONE DOLLAR each!