Thursday, July 31, 2014

I'm so happy to present to you the following project that so many of my Blogger friends have been so busy working at...The Back-to-School, Blogger Product Swap 2014!  I unfortunately don't have a product to share with you because I hosted the event and had a lot of admin things to do (that's the Administration Degree in me speaking :), but I do want to give a shout out to all those that participated.

To participate, Bloggers were randomly assigned a Blogging Partner to exchange products with.  I assigned them by matching grade levels and interests.  The connected with each other and swapped products they thought other teachers may benefit from.  Bloggers then printed off some or all of the products, used them with victims students they could grab, and then reviewed the product.  They were asked to look at the products layout, design, grade compatibility, ease of use, and other highlights they wished to present.  
Below you will see all the Bloggers that participated in the event.  I really want to thank each of them personally for participating, as being a product reviewer is no easy task.  Having to have a critical eye of a colleague's work is intimidating to say the least.  So please, please, please try to visit some if not all of these wonderful posts by my Blogging Buddies you see listed here.  You might just end up seeing a new product you just HAVE to have for your classroom as Back-to-School is just around the corner!
Have fun looking at all the B2S products my friends,

Mistakes New Bloggers Make You Want to Know!

As a new blogger, I've made many, many mistakes that I wish someone would have told me up front!  But that's how all things in life try something new, go through your learning curve, and hopefully, master the knowledge to be proficient in the task.  But, it helps if you have a teacher along the way to help you along.  Isn't that why we're teachers in the first place?  To help our students along in their learning processes?

Hopefully I can share with you today some mistakes I've made as a new blogger that maybe might help you also as a new or seasoned blogger.  Read on to find out some mistakes that new bloggers make and remedies to those mistakes. You just might make your own blog even better!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Share the Love Sunday with Free Fonts!

I hope I'm not boring you with these free font posts...but I'm kind of a fontaholic.  Anyone else out there?  They're fun to have AND fun to make!  
Here are two more fonts for you on this Share the Love Sunday:

I've also been very busy drawing new graphics.  There's something about drawing that's very relaxing to me.  Honestly, I'll be working on a TpT product and need a break.  So I'll start drawing and it will turn into a new clip art set!

Friends, I don't know where this one came from.  Sometimes a doodle turns into a worm.  What can I say?
This set is half-off for today only.  You can get it here.  It includes 52 images and line art (black and white) is also included for your printables!

I also needed a clip with a child wearing a crown.  So this set was born!  Included are all the graphics shown. 

This set is also half off for today only.  Grab your set of Star of the Week Kids here.  These kiddos would be perfect for any awards you make especially, or newsletters too!

Today is Share the Love Sunday!  That means anyone can link up any past post below.  Then you must visit any other 3 posts and comment, hence the name, "Share the Love Sunday"!  Last week no one linked up (insert sad face here.)  So hopefully today, we'll have 100% more participation. Doesn't 100% sound like a huge goal?  Not if you're starting at zero (insert happy face here.)

Here's the button should you want to link up.  Please put this in your post somewhere and link it back to my blog.

Have a great day friends!

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Need Some Me Time!

Happy Friday Friends!  And oh, what a week it's been.  Between driving my son to camp everyday, to making a lot of new resources, I haven't had some time to rest it seems.  And we all need our Me time, right?  Hopefully today I can squeeze some in!  I'm linking up with Doodlebug's Five for Friday today.  Read on to find out about my week!

Here are my two newest clip art sets:  Emotions and Go Fish.  I haven't played around much with different emotions on my clip art, so this set was a lot of fun to make.

 Here's a new font I've made for all of you called Happy Teacher!  It's a quirky font with some curls and twirls here an there.  I hope you like it and can find some use for it!

I just finished my new product, Let Me Count the Ways.  It's a set of math posters that show kids the different ways they can make numbers.  I really love bling, so they all have a hint of glitter on them.  Couldn't resist!  You can find them in my store for half-off today only here.

If you use Lucy Calking Writing Units, this may look familiar to you.  It's a Heart Map that you introduce to students during the first lessons of the year in writing.  Students are to think of things that are near and dear to their hearts and draw them in the heart sections.  Then, this poster becomes a reference tool for them when writing of topics they are "experts" at writing because the topics are to important to them.  Click here to download this free poster!

I've bundled some of my top-selling Back to School products into a bundle that's very affordable and much cheaper than if you purchased all these sets alone!  You can find this bundle here in my TpT Store.

 Please click the link above to find more Five for Friday posts!

Happy Day to You All,

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Top 10 Craft Supplies You Can't Live Without!

Today is the last day in my Messy Desk Series...I hope you enjoyed my posts and gained at least something you can use in your classroom!  Today's post is a long one.  I'm just sayin'!

Just as a recap:
~Reward those with organized desks with Clean Desk Fairy Coupons
~Consequence those with a ticket from the Dirty Desk Police
~Have a set of mini-brooms and dustpans available for students to clean up their pencil shavings, paper scraps, etc.
~Draw a diagram for students to show them exactly what a clean desk looks like.  Have them draw their own pictures of all their items organized in their desks.
Please see all my last posts to get all the free printables I provided for all the above tips!
And now for the last tip...
 I saved the best tip for last; the kids just eat this one up!  It's called Mystery Trash and you can do it every afternoon or just when you think the students need a little more organization!  How it works is at the end of the day for example, during clean up time, tell the kids it's time to clean up.  Let them know that you have a piece of "Mystery Trash" in your mind that you see on the floor, but don't tell them which piece of trash it is.  Tell them that whoever picks up the piece of Mystery Trash, gets a coupon for a special treat!  
Watch out, because your students will become mini-maids in an instant!  You will never see them clean like this and your room will be spotless.  Your custodian will think something is wrong because your room was so clean!

After the specified clean-up time, stop the kids and present the student that picked up the Mystery Trash with a coupon for a small treat of your choice.  I usually use a piece of candy because kids will do anything for candy it seems.  

I've provided you with a Mystery Trash poster to display in your room to remind the kids of the event and the coupons to give the students that picked up the Mystery Trash.

Hint:  Don't really have a piece of Mystery Trash in mind.  Give the coupon to a student that usually is disorganized and doesn't really care about their area being clean.  With this as a positive consequence to cleaning, it just might nudge them to becoming more organized!

Poster Above
Coupons Below

I really hope you can use all the tips and tricks I've shared with you these past five days!  Please let me know in the comments which tip, trick and/or printable you think you could use the most.  I'd love to hear your preference of the tips that would work most with your own unique class!
And now for my favorite topic of all time... Crafts!  As an artsy-fartsy momma, I just love me some crafts.  If it includes a glue stick and paper, I'm in!  Throw in some markers, and I'm a craft goddess in heaven.  I was asked by a reader what my top crafting products are, and here's my list (in no specific order).  And as a side note, I'm not getting compensated from any of the following companies.  I just really love their products!

 1.  Glue Sticks~I've seen many posters that chime, "Not a lot; just a dot"  and it sounds great.  But even better would be "Let's use a stick of glue; it works tried and true!"  (I just made that up:)  Remember that I'm a Craft Goddess, so what I'm saying here is from a thousand or more swipes of a glue stick... Please get rid of that liquid glue and use glue sticks instead!  Trust me, it's a lot less mess, you don't have to practice before using it, and it's not that expensive.  The little bit higher cost is worth it to me, if I don't have to unclog tops, refill bottles, refill glue sponges... Uh, no thanks.  I figure, the projects we make aren't going to last forever anyways, so why use liquid glue?  If it sticks together and will look great on the wall, the ease of glue sticks is so worth it to me.  Trust me on this one.  Aside from the classroom, this is my home choice of glue also.  Now don't get me wrong, there are moments I need a stronger hold or liquid glue for a specific project.  But I buy glue sticks in bulk like shown above for home use, as well as class use.
2. Bic Mechanical Pencils~From a clip artist point of view, these little inexpensive pencils ROCK!  This is what I use to initially draw all my graphics and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I tend to use a lot of "eraser" and get picky if there's not much left on the pencil.  If I use these, I can just throw it away and grab a new one!  And the novelty of these is perfect.  Kids just LOVE to use these to do their work.  And there's no loud pencil sharpening or long lines at the sharpener.
3.  White Cardstock~I also use this brand to draw my clip art on and to do craft projects.  If you need white paper, but heavier than copy paper, then this is the way to go.  And as for using it for art purposes, the paper is super smooth which makes for a crisp drawing line and the paper is heavy enough to hold up to watercolor paints.
 4.  Cutting Utensils~  See those zebra striped scissors up there?  Yup, being the Ms. Fashionista I am, I own those very scissors.  And I got them at WalMart so the price was right.  And I also recommend getting adult size scissors for students that are in grades 4 and up.  Their hands vary in size so much that some may be ready for big kid scissors and I don't want them using mine all the time!  And I also have an x-acto knife handy at home for those intricate cuts I have to make.
5.  Sharpies~This is steadily gaining on my top list of marker brands for sure!  I use them for drawing, household purposes, and I like how much they cost.  Not very expensive as far as permanent markers go.  And there are many different types on the market...glitter, paint-pen, neon, you name it.  They have the color!
6.  Mr. Sketch Markers~Don't get me wrong, I'm a Crayolaholic for sure.  But these markers can't be beat for anchor charts.  They don't bleed through and they are scented too!  So kids love to use them also.  Their colors are very vibrant which makes for a better chart also.  They tend to be more on the expensive side, but I love the way they write and color.  Side Note Funny Story:  I would always know when Garyn got into my Mr. Sketch Markers...he'd have a bunch of little marks under his nose from smelling all of them.  He'd always wonder how I caught him using Mommy's special markers;)
7.  Glue gun~  This is an absolute must-have for projects that need a stronger hold.  I told you, I stay shy of white liquid glue.  This is a much better alternative and it holds better also.  Every crafter has to own a glue gun.
8.  Construction Paper~Every crafter has to have this on hand for all the numerous projects we do.  And it's virtually a staple in elementary classrooms.  So make sure to have a variety of colors of construction paper available for your kids and students to use!
9.  MULTICULTURAL Crayola Products~Let's face it friends, we live in a multicultural world with many, many different shades of brown walking around.  Let me tell you, when I finally saw a marker that was my skin color, I almost did cartwheels right there.  Please, please, please consider getting these for your students in the classroom.  It screams community and multiculturalism which is what we need to be all about.  Even if you have an all-Caucasian classroom, they need to know what's out there in the real world too.  They need them just as much as us brown people.  You'll be sending a strong message by using these with your students; a message worthy of noting.
and finally, my number 10.  Crayola Products~Tried and true Crayola stands up to many tests of quality and passes them every time with flying colors.  With all their varieties... washable, neon, fine point, etc. you can't possibly have a hard time finding what you need.  And for students, this is my number one school supply I purchase for my students:  Crayola Basic Colors Markers.  They may cost a little more for school supplies, but they are so worth it.  They are high quality for markers and can be used for many "serious" art projects.  I have Crayola products laying all over my house too!

I'd love to know what your top crafting or classroom supplies are!  Leave a comment about your must-haves; I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Have a Wonderful Wacky Wednesday Friends,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Messy Desk Police

This week we've been exploring ways to keep our kiddos on top of keeping their desks clean.  Today I have another method that seems to work if the more positive method we learned about yesterday doesn't work!
 Most of the time, I will hand these out at the same time as the Clean Desk Fairy Coupons, so at least everyone has something on their desk.  I feel bad some days...But not all the time!  I have to keep telling myself that we, as teachers, are for some of our students the only "mothers" they will have.  So if I have to teach them how to keep organized then so be it.  It will make my life easier in the long run; spending the last day of school with two garbage bags cleaning out desks could be avoided if some students kept up on their desks being organized!

Below are some more tickets you can use for those desks that are not up to your clean standards and need to have a warning from the Dirty Desk Police!  Copy them out on bright blue or red paper for a dramatic effect.  I sometimes even make them stay in at recess to clean it up to my liking.  OOOWWEEEE, you're in trouble if you get a ticket!

Click Here to Download These Tickets!

Both these graphic sets are on sale for the final day today...And at half-off each, you can't beat that deal!  So snag up the Halloween Kids 2 and the Go Fish Kids by clicking the links.

I hope you're all having a wonderful day!
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