Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It: Growing in God, Classroom Jobs, and Bathroom Cabinets...oh my!

Howdy friends!
As we jump-start another week, I'm linking up with Tara from "4th Grade Frolics" for her "Monday Made it"
This week I was busy creating for my classroom as well as for the sweet girl I'm tutoring. My time was also divided as my hubby and I worked to set up our house. I was hoping to be all set to show off this week, but unfortunately the unveiling will have to wait until next Monday :)

Here are some things I've completed this week:
I'm working on a mega interactive notebook/foldable packet for Bible Basics
It's not quite ready to show off yet, but I am giving you a little {FREE} sampler to whet your appetite :)
The packet comes with step-by-step teacher directions and suggested answers and activities: 
Here's a preview of other foldables
that will be included in the packet: 
Click here to download your FREEBIE: Growing in God Foldable
And remember, if you're a Christian school teacher and have a blog, please link it up!

Secondly, I've been working around the clock on my
 Travel-themed Classroom Decor MEGA Bundle
which now has over 300 pages! :) 
Here's the last product in the bundle (for now!):
I've already printed out my set:
They are laminated and ready to cut out - which I plan to do while watching a chick flick this afternoon :)
 Here's the link if you want to check out the updated
Travel theme Classroom Decor MEGA bundle:
If you've already purchased it, please go and "re-download"
for the 4 new products I've added!

My husband and I have recently moved from an apartment into a cute and cozy (read:tiny) house and we've had an absolute ball shopping for and setting up our new little home! One thing that our quaint home doesn't have a lot closets! So we've had to improvise. Here is a project we worked on in our bathroom to create some linen closet/extra paper product supplies storage:
I scoured GoodWill and various other thrift shops and got these (it's two pieces stacked) at two separate stores several days apart! They match perfectly - and were already assembled! My husband drilled in a bracket to keep the two pieces from toppling over (which might have happened as I was trying to move them...ouch!)
Now, the only problem: the bottom one was yellow. So a couple coats of fresh paint and it is sparkling white and clean :)
 It fits perfectly - fills the space without making it crowded :)

Hop on over to "4th Grade Frolics" to see what other fabulous bloggers have MADE!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

{FREE} Student Reflection Tool: My Week in REARVIEW

Today I'm sharing an older product - but it's got a new look :)

Each Friday I have the students fill out their “rearview mirror” with pictures and key words/vocabulary from different topics we've learned about that week. 
It serves several purposes:
1. It is a wonderful way for me to assess what they’re retaining and which activities they are really enjoying
2. It lets parents know what we've been doing in class and serves as a talking point on Friday nights
This is motivating for me, the students, and the parents
A win-win-win!
3. It perfectly complements my travel-themed classroom :)
I have included two templates:
you can do this as a weekly or a monthly activity

Once the mirrors are filled out, you can do a number of things with them:
1. Send them home each week
2. Collect them in a folder called “My YEAR in Rearview” to send home at the end of the year as a reminder of all the students have learned
3. Put them up on a bulletin board
4. Keep them in student portfolios
This could also be a good review for a particular subject/topic. 
For example, I've used it at the end of a social studies chapter: “1920s in Rearview”
 I also like to use it during the first week of school to have the students describe their summers. They write a short story to go along with their Rearview Mirror:
 This is a FREEBIE in my TPT store
Click the picture to check it out - and while you're there, leave feedback if you like it :) 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fuel Your Faith: THINK Before You Speak

One of the most important (and most frequent) lessons I teach all year is about the power of words. I did a longer in-depth post (with video) about the lesson I use HERE.
This is one of the most meaningful posters I have in my classroom:
It's a popular Pinterest poster - but the meaning is quite poignant. We are held accountable for our words - and not only our words, but also our tone and our attitude. We need to filter everything we say through this verse. And I think, at the end of the day, we need to speak less and listen more. It will save us a world of trouble in the long run :)
You can download a free one-page printable of the
THINK poster (and many more) in my

Now it's your turn!
(if you'd like to use this template, right click on the picture and copy it. Then paste it into PowerPoint and insert text boxes to add your own details. When you're done, select all, then right click and save as a picture. Then you'll be all set to insert it into your blog post!) 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada

This past weekend I had the immense privilege of going to
Las Vegas for the first-ever TPT Supercharged Seller Success Conference! 
I'm linking up with my sweet bud, Deirdre from "A Bust of First"

Caution: Picture Overload Ahead!

I arrive on Thursday morning and was greeted at the Las Vegas airport by flashing lights, slot machines, and 100+ degree heat! Talk about a culture shock :)

I scooted to my hotel without a hitch and registered for the conference:
I got my handy-dandy nametag and bag full of goodies :)

This was the view from my hotel room:

I spent Thursday afternoon exploring and getting some down-time before the action-packed weekend.

Rose from "Rosie's Rambles" was my roomie the first night and she got into Las Vegas around midnight. I thought I would go down to meet her, say a quick hello, and get some sleep. So didn't happen. We laughed, chatted, and caught up til about 2am. That 6am alarm clock buzzing came very early.

But it's okay because we were SO PUMPED for the big day!
We headed over to the conference room and met some of our Best Blogging Buddies for breakfast:
 I have been chatting, emailing, and advice-swapping with these wonderful ladies for over a year. It was AWESOME to meet them in real life :)
Here are the ladies, starting from the back row on the left: Michele from Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans, Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper, Christy from Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road, Amanda from Collaboration Cuties, Diane from Fifth in the Middle, Erin from I'm Lovin Lit, Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching, Jessica from Ideas by Jivey, {me}, Molly from Lucky to Be in First, Deirdre from A Burst of First, and Rosie from Rosie's Rambles!

I also got to meet one of my sweetest blog idols, Catherine, from The Brown Bag Teacher.

The conference was great, filled with chatting, laughter, and swapping teacher stories. You know how teachers are when they get together?!? Well multiply that by 600 - and throw a love for TPT into the mix for a whole lotta fun and chaos! :)

I went to some awesome sessions and came home energized to tackle my (ever-growing) TPT-TO-DO list. If you're new to TPT or are considering starting up, I would definitely recommend you read this "Master the Basics: A to Z with TPT" handout by "Fluttering Through First Grade" :)
TpT Conference 2014 Session T01 Handouts ~ A to Z with TpT
My favorite session I went to was hosted by my blogging buddy, Erin, from "I'm Lovin' Lit"
I'm Lovin' Lit
Her workshop was titled "Accelerate Your Store' Success" and she gave some great tidbits that I've already started doing to help grow my little TPT store.
She also gave out one of these awesome CDs, chocked-full of goodies, to everyone who attended her session:
Friday night I went to dinner with Erin from I'm Lovin Lit, Joanne from Head Over Heels for TeachingMichele from Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans, Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper, Christy from Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road, Diane from Fifth in the Middle, Rosie from Rosie's Rambles, and Jen from Teahcing in the Tongass! It was awesome to get some more bonding time with these hilarious friends.

Then my hubby, Jonathan, arrived for the weekend, so Rosie and I left the teacher party and decided to explore the strip a little bit with Jon. We walked down to the Bellagio and watched the dancing fountains - so cool!
Beware: everything on the Vegas Strip looks deceptively close. We thought it'd be a 10-minute walk, but boy were we wrong :) Two hours later we were pooped, hot, and ready for bed!

The next three days, we explored our hotel (which was HUGE - bigger than our local shopping mall!)
We stayed at The Venetian, so they had a "mini Venice" inside!
Hubby and I in front of the little river than ran through the hotel. 
Then Jon, Rosie, and I went for a ride on the High Roller - the tallest observation wheel in the country! We went 550 feet up!
We enjoyed gorgeous views of Las Vegas and the desert beyond.

Sunday we lounged around the hotel and spent the majority of the day reading by the pool. 
It was 109 degrees! 

On Monday, Jon and I said good-bye to the flashing lights of the strip and headed for a day of adventure in the desert!
We drove to the Hoover Dam, which was amazing!
We took a tour of the Power plant down below:
The Hoover Dam is right on the Nevada-Arizona border, so we walked across the state lines. 
I definitely had a "A Walk to Remember" moment :)
Then we explored some natural preserves and parks around Boulder City. 
Here I am with a huge boulder in Boulder City - how fitting :)
Saw this cute little cactus - and felt very far away from the Las Vegas we left that morning :)

Phew! Thanks for making it all the way to the end of this monster post :)
I had a fabulous time - but the best part of the long weekend was getting to finally meet the wonderful, inspiring, and dear friends I've been chatting and blogging with for two years. What a blessing you are, ladies!

Hop on over to Deirdre's page to see more accounts of Vegas: