Friday, May 29, 2015

Classroom Redesign with Creative Teaching Press

Hi friends! I know a lot of y'all are still in school, but my first official day of summer 2015 was this past Friday and here it is, the first week of summer and I'm already thinking about my classroom decor for next year! I've never really had a classroom theme. I've just always done bright colors, and while I still love having pretty, bright colors in my classroom, I've decided it's time for a change! This next year, I'm going to incorporate a lot of Black and White into my classroom and move away from my signature brights. This past year, I've started loving how black bulletin board paper looks and I think having a entire Black and White theme classroom will be a welcome change. So when I determined that this is the direction I wanted to go in for my 2015 classroom, I immediately headed to Creative Teaching Press to browse their fabulous selection of classroom decor. 

I LOVE their BW collection! From the borders to the letters, everything is perfection! While I love to make a lot of my own pieces, I always start out with the basics (like borders and accent pieces) and add in my own personal touches.

Be sure to click on each image to check it out further! :)

I'm loving these borders:








These nameplates will go perfectly with the BW theme. 



Okay, I know this next item isn't technically a decor piece, but how cute is this pen?? It's always good to match your classroom when you grade papers, right? ;)


I was tickled pink (or tickled black and white!) when I discovered these notecards. I always send a notecard to my kids over the summer and I love that the cards will give them a preview of our classroom. 


There are several different letter styles to choose from in the BW collection, but my favorites are the Dot to Dot styles, upper and lower case. 

I've just highlighted my favorites from the collection, but be sure to check out the entire BW collection for even more fabulousness! 

I'm also excited to pair some of the decor pieces from CTP's Painted Palette Collection like these months of the year:

And these pennants:

And these chart cards:

You can check out the entire Painted Palette Collection and discover your favorites!

I've shown you my plans for my classroom design, but be sure to check out Lindsey's plans too over at Miss Johnston's Journey! Hint: it involves the adorable Painted Palette! 

Now for the FUN part! In honor of Creative Teaching Press's 50th Anniversary, you can win a $50 gift card to spend on their fabulous site! It's the perfect time to stock up on new decor for the upcoming school year! Enter below to win! Giveaway will run thru Sunday, June 7th at 8pm EST. 
In order to enter this giveaway, you must do the following:

Good Luck!!
                                                              a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Summer Reads

Hi friends! I promise I'll be back with the weekly book recommendations series in a little bit, but for now, I'm diving into summer beach reads. I just finished Luckiest Girl Alive and I'm reviewing it over on my Life + Style blog Southern Belle Inspired. Come read my thoughts on it and then go grab your copy. Seriously...sooooo good! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Real Talk: Summer is ALMOST here!!

Hi y'all! Normally I use this blog to share happenings in my classroom and give ideas to other teachers out there, but y'all I have 2 DAYS LEFT before summer begins and I. am. tired. 

I've got nothing left. No ideas. No fun activities to pass the time. I'm in survival mode and once Friday arrives, I don't want to think about anything school related for a looooong time. But I did want to talk with y'all today! So I thought I'd share what I'm looking forward to doing this summer :)

I'm looking forward to spending time with the sweetest dog in the world!




I'm looking forward to sitting outside in the afternoons and enjoying the pretty weather.

I'm looking forward to enjoying my back porch. Hopefully it will be fenced in soon so Reese can enjoy being leash free! 

I'll be sharing more pictures of my back porch over on my life+style blog, Southern Belle Inspired. Be sure you follow it on Blog Lovin'!

I'm looking forward to actually blogging more on Southern Belle Inspired :)

I'm looking forward to reading, reading, reading! You can follow me on Good Reads to see everything I'm reading. I've started keeping up with how many books I've read this year by creating a 2015 list on the site. It's fun to look back and remember the different stories. :) 
This one is being compared to Gone Girl. I was not a fan of Gone Girl. I LOVED the movie, but could not get through the book. The Good Girl, however, was wonderful! Love, love, love!

 Another book that is suppose to be like Gone Girl. This one was great and I'm so glad I gave it a chance. I normally would not have picked this book up, but after repeatedly seeing it on the best seller lists, I decided to try it out. Sooo good!

 I LOVE the young adult genre and this one was a quick and fun read. I like books that keep me guessing which character the main character will end up with and this book did exactly that!

 I haven't read this one yet, but after Reese Witherspoon instagrammed it, I ordered it. If Reese liked it, I'll like it! :) While I haven't read this book, I have read What Alice Forgot by the same author and I loved it!!! 

The Selection is my favorite series of all time (except Harry Potter, of course!), so when The Heir came out, I preordered it in order to have it the day it was released. It was nowhere near as good as the first three in the series, but I expected that since this one follows the main characters' daughter and is set 20 years in the future. With that said, I would still repurchase and read again. It wasn't great, but it still captured my attention and so I'll be preordering when the next one is released! :)

When do you get out for summer? What are you looking forward to? :)




Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Modern Teacher Planner GIVEAWAY!!

Have I got a treat for y'all today! I'm sure y'all have heard of April from A Modern Teacher. Her blog is one of my favorite reads. She always has the BEST pictures! They make me happy just looking at them. If you aren't aware of her absolutely adorable planners, do yourself a favor and go check them out now! They are the cutest planners around and are packed full of useful pages that will help you become organized and stay organized. 
I've tried many planners, but when I received April's, I knew I had finally found one that I loved. The one I was currently using was too small so I never carried it. I like a planner that is more the size of a notebook so that it's easier to write in and April's is a much better fit! 
I have the Rainbow Chalkboard style, which is almost sold out! As of Friday (5/15), there are currently 4 left in stock! But don't worry! April has graciously agreed to giveaway one to a fabulous Life in Fifth and First Grade reader! Check out the end of this post to enter!















Isn't it fabulous? You can grab one of the 4 left here or enter to win a blue gingham one (so pretty!) below! Giveaway ends a week from today (5/24) and I'll announce the winner Monday, May 25. Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Keeping Students on Task-Agenda Board

Hi friends! I wanted to share an idea that has worked REALLY well in my classroom this semester. It has made staying on task (for both me and my kids!) a whole lot easier. 
When you go to certain types of events like workshops, trainings, banquets, etc, you are sometimes given a program that has a list of what will take place. If you're like me, you constantly refer back to that list and mentally prepare for what's next and check off each thing. Or am I the only one who does that? ;) 

I put myself in my kids' shoes one day and thought, "I bet they are wondering what all we are going to do today." In fact, that was usually the first thing the kids asked me when they got to my room.


Over and over I would say, "You'll find out!" I noticed this was quickly becoming a problem and I set out to come up with a way to solve it. I noticed that I would make lists of things we had to do each day. Since we start out by emailing the Status of the Class, followed by a quick Book Share, I would jot down on a sticky note what we were doing after that. This helped make sure I didn't try and cram in too much or not have enough to stay busy. I realized by sharing this info with the kids, it would allow them to be in the know and I could map out our day! It has worked extremely well! The kids immediately look at it when they arrive in my class and get busy. I don't have to say anything!

Usually we check off each task as we complete them!



Happy Tuesday, y'all! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Five for Friday: Snow Edition!

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We finally had snow this week! Snow days for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday! I was one happy camper. I love my job, but there is nothing like a snow day! 

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In the spirit of a good snow day, Reese and I have been catching up on our movies. I downloaded The Last Five Years from itunes (have y'all ever done this? It was insanely easy and convenient!). I adore all things Anna Kendrick and this movie was the best. I love musicals so it was perfection for me. Except the ending. Has anyone ever seen this movie or musical? Please email me and discuss the ending. Seriously lifeinfirstgrade@gmail.com

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When I'm not engrossed in a movie, I've been reading these new additions for our classroom library so I can tell the kids about them. I love children's books, but I may or may not be in need of a grown up book. Recommendations? 

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My favorite part of a snow day is hands down the mornings. Time to sip coffee and read/blog

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For those of you who have asked, I am turning the Comp Files into a monthly resource. I'm currently working on March (slowly working, but working nonetheless!)

Link up with Doodle Bugs and share your Five for Friday!