Thursday, February 28, 2013

Freebie Font Frenzy

Okay, Okay, its not really a Frenzy, but it's the beginning of one. A few days ago, I finally ordered some stylus pens for my iPad and they arrived in the mail (during yesterday's snow day), just in time for me to begin creating my own fonts.

They are FREE...I only ask that you comment below with your thoughts!! I'm in LOVE with them and I hope you love them, too!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Paperless Planning

This year, I have worked to reduce the amount of paper I consume, as well as maintain. This especially changed when I continued to see mounds and mounds of paperwork. Also, I hated lugging giant binders between school and home. After the first month or two, I decided to find more ways to go paperless...introducing PLANBOOK APP.
My amazing (seriously amazing) fiance gifted me an iPad after supporting him through his Lineman Apprenticeship. I CAN'T live without my iPad now! When I grew tired of the paperwork, I decided to find an app for planning. The Planbook App is fantastic. One of the best features is that once you purchase the app and software, you have the planbook forever. I like that I do not have to continue to renew a subscription. Another fantastic feature is that you can purchase the app, as well as the computer software, so that you can use your home computer to plan and then access it through your iPad at school. This is a bonus for those of you, who are like me, and prefer to use a laptop or desktop for planning.

Are you looking for a way to go paperless? This app might just be for you. 

Here are some iPad screen shots and iMac screen shots (Yes, I am part of a MAC household):

iPad Screen Shots
These 3 shots show the week view and each lesson's contents. 

 These shots show the day view.

 In the settings, you can change your schedule and times.

This screen shot is what you see when you open the iPad app and you can link the file to your DropBox so you can sync your Planbook between devices.

 iMac Screen Shots
 These shots show the week and day view. The left side allows you display all of the classes or just some of them. The right side allows you to add your plans, homework, materials, assignments, stations, centers, links, files, etc.
 This is the month view (I rarely use it)

 If you need to share your plans with your principal, you can print your lesson plans and the components that need to be displayed.

 Sorry for the long post, but when I find something that may be useful for my teacher friends, I just have to share!! Stay tuned for a Planbook tutorial.

What technology tools do you use for planning?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pinteresting Linky

It's Saturday, which means its time for another Pinteresting Linky!!

There is only 1 up with your favorite pins from the week! Let's get right into it, shall we? I pinned this idea because of the positivity surrounding it. The jar is filled with random acts of kindness that students must do if they have been unfriendly or unkind. Would love to know if anyone has used this idea and how it actually works?

Pinned Image  This year, I have worked to make the transition to the Daily 5. I must admit that its still a work in progress. I am always looking for new word work centers because I find that my students can become bored with the same centers. I love this Word Family Center and the organization is fantastic!!

My students love Homeworkopoly each is definitely an incentive for doing homework!! We also use Class Dojo and my sweeties love to spend their points at the end of the week!! This would be a great way to organize cheap/motivating incentives for both Homeworkopoly and Class Dojo. I find that more students gravitate to the no-cost rewards (i.e. teacher's chair, lunch with teacher, help another class, etc.)!! **This has been added to my summer list of things to do!!

  This pin was one of my favorites!! I love how personal this birthday board feels and students love seeing pictures of themselves in the classroom!! 

Last, but least...

Last week, I found my Game Show Templates pin to be super popular. So, I discovered this website that is sharing FREE teacher tools for your interactive whiteboard and the purpose is to develop students mathematical thinking...did I mention that they are FREE?! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Desire 2 Inspire Linky

Are you always looking for inspiration?! Blogs have offered me inspiration in and out of the food, style and classroom activities all say so! Lovely Literacy & More is hosting a great linky party -- Desire 2 Inspire where you can share blogs, both school and non-school related, that inspire you!!


Here is where I find my inspiration...


1. Stick a Fork In It
stick a fork in it 
I love this blog!! It has so many amazing recipes for spicing your menu. I LOVE their crock-pot recipe section because they offer easy to put together crock-pot recipes for your home! The crock-pot is my saving grace during the work week and who doesn't love something that has been slow-cooked and full of flavor?!

2. My Style Diaries

What teachanista would I be if I didn't subscribe to some fab style blogs? This is one of my absolute favorites! She shows you how to mix and match the latest styles. Also, she shares pictures of her own personal style! Another bonus of this blog is that she lists prices and places, so that you can go out and purchase the items (L.O.V.E)!!!

3. Just Lovely

In 5 months, I will be marrying my Love, my Mister, my man...yay!! Can't believe how quickly time has flown! I have found this blog so helpful and enjoyable to follow during the wedding planning process! She shares some great tips for organizing a wedding binder...the teacher in me loves a good binder!


1. Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits


Reagan is an amazing teacher and blogger! I love everything she has to share with her fellow readers and I always look forward to seeing what she has in store! It's a MUST read...check her out!

2. A Cupcake for the Teacher

A Cupcake for the Teacher  

Teri's blog is fantastic!! There is not a post, product or tips that I don't love!! You won't be disappointed if you follow her.

3.  Ladybug's Teacher Files

Ladybug's teacher files

All of Kristen's products and freebies are amazing!!! I love how her blog is organized and she offers great video tutorials for how to blog, create name it, she has it!!

Link up with Brittany so you can share what inspires you!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Grab Your Hall Pass!

I LOVE Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits!! It's one of my favorite blogs to follow. She has offered me a Hall Pass and I'm taking it while I can...maybe you should, too!

Product -- 

I would have to say that my favorite product thus far is my Fundations Benchmark Assessment! It has been my most popular Teachers Pay Teachers product and I created it when I was knee deep in my Reading Specialist Masters Program. It may not be fancy or overally decorative, but it's purposeful and meaningful and that is what I love most about it! 

Area --

This was tough because I love a lot of areas in my classroom, but I think my most favorite area is our meeting area. We spend a lot of time doing work at our meeting area. In this picture, my students are sitting on a USA rug, but recently I switched to individual rug squares and I have found it super helpful in keep students in their own space (less whining = a happy teacher)! We love our meeting area because we can watch BrainPopJr. videos, interact with our interactive whiteboard, delve into our interactive Scholastic news and it allows us to get out of our seats! 

Signal --

After reading the Daily 5, I knew I had to purchase a wind chime to hang in our classroom. I have used many signals in the past, but I have found the wind chime to be the best one yet! It involves little talking and nagging from me and the students have become so familiar with it that they immediately respond when they hear it! Also, I have linked the wind chime to our Class Dojo (LOVE this behavior management tool) points and when students respond quickly they receive an extra point! yay!

Sanity --

Let's be honest, we all need time to decompress from the day or we would lose our sanity (I can think of some times where I may or may not have lost it, but hey, what's a teacher gonna do)! The first few years of my teaching career, I found myself spending a lot of time visiting with other teachers during lunch hour. I loved connecting with my colleagues, but I have learned that I need 20 minutes of quiet time during the day. During my 20 minutes of lunch, I eat, as well as...

Listen to this FANTASTIC CD!! I love it so much and it totally relaxes me before the herd comes hurdling back into the classroom!! (I'm even listening to it as we speak...obsessed, I know, I know)


Read my favorite reads on my Nook (the Fiances Christmas gift to me)! The 20 minutes of quiet/semi-quiet gives allows me to re-charge my battery for the afternoon!! Without my 20 minutes, my students are met with grouchy, no-patience, won't tolerate whining teacher (please don't tell me I'm alone in this)!!

Link up with Reagan and you will be so thrilled you snuck away with your Hall Pass!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Amazing FREE Phonics Lessons!!

After teaching for about 4 years and going through a reading specialist program, I have seen many different phonics programs. Each one is unique and has its own positives/negatives. What I have learned through my teaching career is that any great teacher utilizes the best qualities from each program (I hope someday I can be one of the greats)!

Today, I have a great website to share with you, chock full of FREE Phonics Lessons. If you click on the image below, it will take you to the website.

During my reading specialist program, I was fortunate enough to work with a great teacher, mentor, etc. in the teaching world, her name was Dr. Carol Tolman (If you ever have the chance to take a professional development with her, jump on it). She worked with West Virgina's Department of Education to develop phonics lessons that were explicit, systematic, and that incorporated the 5 components of reading. The website houses all the lessons they created to support their teachers in teaching phonics. The website and lessons are FREE. Each Skill is divided into weeks (week 1, 2 and 3) and also divided into units within those skills. Each unit comes with...

5 Days Worth of Lessons

A list of target words that students will work with throughout the unit. 


Decodable Stories for the Week

All of that for FREE!! I immediately downloaded all of the lessons (Dr. Tolman recommended that we download them as soon as we could, so that we would have them available to us even if the website was taken down...I would recommend the same)! I LOVE these lessons. I still bring in materials or items I have been given from other programs, but I have seen so much success with these lessons that I could never use any other program. 

I love all of the components, I love the fact that each unit comes decodable stories and I love that each skill is broken up in a way that students master each component before they are expected show mastery with the entire skill!  Since I love the lessons so much, I knew that I had to share this with my readers!! I would love for you to take advantage of some amazing research based lessons, while you still have the chance. 

Stay tuned because next week I will be sharing pictures of how I organize and manage all the materials and lessons. :-)

I hope you find these as useful as I have and I will leave you with one last thought...

What do you think of these lessons? Have you seen or used these before? Do you think they will work within your own classroom?

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