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Tidy Troll to the Rescue!

Oh.my.word!  Yes, it's me and yes, I'm blogging for the first time in forever.....no excuses other than a crayyyyyyyzy school year.  So, here I am and first and foremost,  I am absolutely drooling over my new blog design by my sweet friend Megan from A Bird in Hand Designs!!!!  She has been a doll to work with and I am so happy with my final product.  So this format is new for me and I am still getting used to it and trying to figure out the slider so.... this will kind of be my reveal and trial run;)

Now, on to the Tidy Troll.  I have used a desk fairy in the past and this year decided to change it up a bit.  I LOVE the trolls!!!  They are just the cutest and I just had to find a way to incorporate them into the classroom. 
Last year I had to bring in the desk fairy because some of the desks were a hot mess.  Well, this year is no exception.....as a matter of fact, it may be worse!!!  
Enter, Tidy Troll...lol.
I made little note cards to leave on desks.  I use Dojo and points, so they get a point for a note from the Tidy Troll and also a Tidy Troll brag tag.
I am hoping this will help motivate some of my kiddos to get a little neater and more organized with their desks....and bring in a little fun magic!!

Monday Made It with Fancy Free in 4th


Happy Monday! That sounds almost like an oxymoron, right? Well, this is indeed a Happy Monday for me because I am taking over Monday Made it! My name is Layla Henry and I blog over at Fancy Free in 4th. Tara is one of my teaching inspirations, and I am so honored to take over today's Monday Made It. This summer, I have not been as productive as I usually am... you see, I had my third baby on the LAST day of school- which is kind of Monday Made, right? Add a kitchen remodel and my oldest starting Kindergarten and I am one busy lady who is kind of pretending that the First Day of school isn't upon us.
  Mond
Anyhow, here are two useful Monday Made its for you all! First off, I decided to make some of those fancy crate seats I have seen in so many classrooms. I am thinking of introducing my students into alternative seating options throughout the year and these crates will do just that! When I saw the crates on sale at Target I knew I had to jump on it. I ran over to Jo-Ann's to pick up some fabric- I was going to get some polka dot, because it is timeless and who doesn't like polka dot...BUT I accidentally found the MOST ADORABLE flamingo fabric in the outdoor fabric section. Not only was it on sale, but since it since it was an outdoor fabric, I thought it would be easier to clean... I figured, when life gives you flamingos... you might as well! 
  Fancy Seat Crates- great for flexible seating and it doesn't break the bank! 
 There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to make these crate seats- so the long-story, short: you need some crates, fabric, plywood, a staple gun and some sort of padding. I used batting because 1) it was WAY cheaper than foam and 2) I wanted them to be a tad bit firmer in case students wanted to use them as a table top instead of a seat.
  Fancy Seat Crates- great for flexible seating and it doesn't break the bank!
I just so happen to have a father-in-law whose hobby is wood-working #score! He had extra plywood and my mother-in-law cut it for me. I know I am blessed, so if you don't have these same connections, know that they will cut the plywood for you at most hardware stores. A fancy tip for you: be sure to measure the inner lip of your crate- because all crates are not created equally! But, for the record, if you buy the crates from Target, you should cut the plywood 12 3/4 X 14 1/2. design (4) 
 Aren't you just wild about that fabric!? Another fancy tip: add a little folded ribbon on the side, so they can be easily opened. You can store center materials in here just perfectly! Oh the possibilities. I cranked out 6 of these crates while my 2 month old napped! This proves that they are super easy to make if you have all of the materials handy. My second BTS Monday Made it is an easy coworker gift. My love language is gift-giving, which means if I work with you, you will more than likely receive a little something-something from me on special days like Secretary's Day, throughout the school year. With the start of the year, the staff meetings, the room prep- I think we need a little pick-me-up. This year, I am giving the gift of peanut butter goodness!
  Easy Coworker gift to brighten up anyones day, holiday or not. You're my Jam! 
 Please notice that I differentiated the snacks to fit some people's health conscious needs #winkwink. I stocked up on the Trader Joe's PB&J candy bars because OMG, they are yummy to the tenth power! BUT, you could easily give this gift with a plethoera of other peanut butter goodies. If you would like to tell your coworkers that they are your Jam, grab this free printable here at my TpT store!    




Classroom Reveal 2016-2017

OK....here is it....my classroom reveal for this year:)  I have had kiddos for 2 days and all is going well other than I am WHOOPED when I get home.  So here ya go!  Hopefully it all makes sense and I have linked to everyone:)



This is my desk/small group area.  I have used the crate seats for years and love them and so do my kids!

All set up for open house in this pic:)
This is my fave bulletin board!  I LOVE the shiplap paper.  I got it from Amazon.  This bulletin board idea is from Teaching in High Heels.  As soon as I saw it on IG I knew I had to do one!  And the adorable "coming soon" signs are free at her shop!!!

These awesome positive thinking signs are from Bitten by the Teaching Bug:)  These are great because I read Mindset this summer and these go right along with it.
We do AR in my classroom.  Each child has points, a range, and percentage correct goals specific for them:)  We use this board to track their progress each quarter.  I LOVE the shiplap here!!!!
This is part of our classroom jobs board.  It's all filled up with names now:)
Our word wall.  The kid letters are from The Pinspired Teacher.
Our daily 5 section with our reading rotations:)  Reading posters are from The Tattooed Teacher:)

More library and our library event calendar:)

And more library and more fab posters from The Tattooed Teacher!


This is my dry erase board.  I have divided it into sections to work for our needs.  Homework:)
Learning goals and understanding rubric:)
This adorable little homework collecting basket was a Facebook live tip from Teach Create Motivate:)

This little book shelf stores some of our math rotation items and activities.
Text talk bulletin board from Simply Creative Teaching.  Great to get chatter going about what we are reading:)
View from my small group table.
This is our read aloud spot and our math meeting spot:)  
All our book luggage ready to be filled:)
Thank you for popping by!  I hope you got a little inspiration from my pics:)


Monday Made It with Head over Heels for Teaching!

Happy Monday Friends! I'm Joanne from Head Over Heels For Teaching and I'm thrilled to be guest blogging for my sweet friend Tara. :)

 I think for so many of us, Monday Made Its are great inspiration and help hold us accountable to get things done! LOL!

I can't wait to share these goodies with you, so let's get started!


Let me start by saying, I just invested (I like to think of it as an investment) in a Cricut and I'm in TOTAL LOVE! There are so many possibilities, and for teachers, the possibilities are ENDLESS! 



I’ve been thinking about making this AMAZING incentive for a few years, but to have them made by a printing company wasn’t very cheap. Well, now that I have my new friend, Cricut, I can make my own! I can customize them to fit the rewards and happenings of my class.
I can't even tell you how excited I am about this sign!! I have a huge multiplication incentive in our classroom and this goodie is just going to add to it! I have to make learning and memorizing those facts super fun!

 Don't have a Cricut? No worries, you can write on your signs with permanent markers! I purchased this blank sign with stand for less than $6 at Lowe's.
  

I cut out all my words and lined them up on my board (not so easy the first time, I got faster and better at lining them up the second time).




I just KNOW my kids are going to go crazy over these signs! If I have a student who rides a bus or bike, I will plop it in their yard myself! :) Think about the bragging rights amongst the neighbors! You know they'd be so proud to have this sitting in their front yard! I can't wait to introduce this to my parents and students.


(Signs will need to be returned after they have bragged on their street!)


My second goodie is also created by my newest BFF, the Cricut. (I'm telling you, every person should own one!). I found these drawstring totes at Michael's for $2!! I didn't have an idea of how I would use them when I bought them, but I knew for $2, I had to snag a bunch! Then this came to me....


As a reading incentive, I will reward readers earning a certain numbers of points with one of these snazzy book bags! The point club will be attainable by all readers, some may just take a little longer to reach. I think all of my students will love sporting these accessories!
(And, of course filling them with more books to read!)





I looped with my class last year and we started a huge kindness campaign at our school. Fox 35 News even came out to our class! With my new group I want to start spreading kindness right away, so I created these Kindness Sticks (Random Acts of Kindness). The black set will be for individual acts of kindness and the white ones are for my whole class to complete.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kindness-Sticks-Random-Acts-of-Kindness-2691085


We will probably pull a class kindness stick about once a week and individual kindness sticks several times a week. Almost all sticks can be used over and over again throughout the year, so I'll put them back in the bucket to complete again! We want to spread kindness like confetti! It's a great way to build community, shape good citizens, and make the world a better place!
Thank you Tara for letting me share some of my ideas. I hope they are useful and motivate you and your students. Be sure to check out all the other amazing link ups! So many ideas to start the year out right!



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