Thursday, June 30, 2011

Contests in Blogworld! :)

Yippie!  I'm feeling so much better today!  I'm trying to catch on all of my Google Reader unread posts--ONLY 975!!!!  As I come across contests I'll be adding them to this post.  
The first one is for a blog I just discovered through someone else's post, Erica's Elementary Excitement.
She's giving away a $50 Gift Card to Lakeshore AND a $25 Gift Card to Target!!!!!!  Her giveaway ends soon, so head there quickly!
The next contest is at First Grade Frenzy.  She's giving away wonderful jewelry from her friend's Esty Shop and her 'Sound it Out' activity AND her 'Later Gator'! Check it out!

Here's another great giveaway, Dana at 3rd Grade Gridiron is giving away a $25 Gift Card to Target!!!

Here's another great giveaway, Kelli at Castles & Crayons set out to celebrate 25 followers and she now has 163! Congratulations!!! She is giving away a $15 Gift Card to Target!

Castles and Crayons
 Wow! There are a lot of great giveaways out there in blogland! I still have 784 posts to scroll through so I may be finding more soon!  The other great thing is that I have discovered many new blogs as others have posted about their giveaways!
Mrs. Adcock at Grade 2.0 with Mrs. Adcock is giving away a $15 Gift Card for Target!

Tara at 4th Grade Frolics is giving away a $15 Gift Card to Target & a $10 Gift Card to Starbucks!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Donalyn Miller 7 Question Linky Party!

Thank you to Beth at Thinking of Teaching for having this linky party.  I enjoyed reading Donalyn's answers and I look forward to reading everyone else's too! Join us!

1) What is your favourite book (or series) from childhood?
I have always loved the Chronicles of Narnia Series!
2) What is your favourite book (or series) now?
Karen Kingsbury's Baxter Family Series...Still have the 'Take One' series to read.
3) What is your opinion of e-readers?
Can't afford one right now...we'll see in time!
4) Finish this sentence: "On Sundays I like to..."
Go to church with my family, go out to lunch, and rest in the afternoon.
5) Describe yourself in 5 words!
Wow! What do I say...A Christian Mom, Wife, & Teacher (I'm not counting the & since it is a symbol!!!)
6) Hardcover or paperback? Why?
Usually paperback...cost
7) Coffee or Tea?
TEA, TEA, TEA!!!!!!  I do NOT like coffee, not coffee ice cream or candy or the smell.  Tea I have multiple times a day; hot, iced, black, green, white, herbal, flavored...just about any kind!

Important Post to Read!

I'm home recovering from surgery...I hope to have a few posts later related to The Book Whisperer, but while trying to catch up on my Google Reader (693 unread posts!) I came across this post....please go check it out...YOU can make a difference in a family's future!
Hope to be back soon!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Extreme Makeover: Library Edition

Tomorrow I finish my 23rd year teaching, all 3rd grade too!  I started building my classroom library my first year.  At that time there were several book order companies, and I would purchase from all of them.  I kept my library in alphabetical order by author.  I will admit, overwhelming to maintain!  Our site also purchased subscriptions to Reading A-Z and I printed many leveled books.  Several years ago our Reading Specialist (now 1st grade teacher) let me borrow the following book:
A challenge for me was it leveled by Fountas & Pinnell's system and Reading A-Z was another system.

So, I combined the two, Fountas & Pinnell in the parenthesis, A-Z to the left.  I just labeled the inside of the back cover:
I was able to find the levels of about 1/5 of my books.  I put them in a variety of different kinds and colors of baskets.  Then two years ago I began pulling out all of my nonfiction and keeping them separate.  I used sticky dots to classify...

Then I saw wonderful labels on one of my favorite blogs Ladybug's Teacher Files ( and was inspired...but what pushed me over the edge was one of my favorite places...
where I spotted these a couple of weeks ago...

It was ON!  I decided to go with Fountas & Pinnell only so....

The relabeling began. I decided to use green baskets for the books I had previously leveled or could level, now checking all of my titles in Book Wizard by Scholastic! I choose red for my nonfiction, blue for those that I didn't have levels for, and yellow for magazines. (I've bought out all of there green for now, so leveled is currently green and yellow).
After hours, and hours, and hours, and hours, and packing tape, and packing tape, and packing's the transformation...(just image what the before might have looked like)
bottom row on left are non leveled books

Thanks to Avery, I'm making these dividers within levels to highlight chapter books and soon favorite authors!
(that just cardboard cut down..I always save them from paper packs!)

red nonfiction, blue teacher books, yellow magazines

top shelf general non fiction

1st red shelf marine life, animals bottom shelf weather & natural disasters, biographies, space
I also wanted my magazines organized (we had several subscriptions donated this year)

2 81/2 x 11 cardboard sheets taped together

A GREAT BIG THANKS to all of the wonderful teachers who have shared their book bin/basket labels!!!
Ladybug's Teacher Files
Mrs. Jump's Class
Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons
Beth Newingham

Oh, and I'm even trying to 'declutter' (I'm unfortunately :( the 'queen of clutter!)  These were in my library and tomorrow (LAST DAY!!!) students can 'buy' them with my reward currency!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today, 1/2 day, 1/2 day...Summer!! 5 Pocket Biographies

Hi, I've missed bloggin' this week, but it was one BUSY, BUSY week!  Report cards are done, the dance recital was wonderful, my son made the Advanced Band for the Jr. High (plus got one of the Student of the Year Awards & Principal's Awards for 6th grade!), and I learned more about the Common Core Standards!

My students' last homework assignment was a 5 Pocket Biography.  I got the idea from  Here is the link:
That was my post from last year (thankful is one of my other identities! :) ) Someone linked it to the sheet I used and the rubric.  Here are pictures of the ones they have turned in!
Ben Franklin

Sitting Bull

Mae Jemison

Dr. King

Dr. King

Abe Lincoln

Thomas Jefferson

Shirley Temple Black

Fredrick Douglas
I am very proud of how they did!  
Off to my last Tuesday and full day of the school year!
Look for another post tonight about the MAJOR project I took on in the last few weeks!

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