Saturday, August 23, 2014

Spark Student Motivation with Homework Club!

I am excited to be linking up for the first time with Joanne from Head Over Heels For Teaching.  I don't officially head back to school until after Labor Day but I wanted to share one way I motivated my students last year.
Last year I started Homework Club. I got the idea from Molly over at Lessons with Laughter. She blogs about it here.

The first day of the month all my students names go up on the homework club board. Their names stay up as long as they complete their homework. If an assignment is missed, their name comes down and is placed in the basket. At the end of the month, all students who remain on the board attend a special homework club luncheon. We grab our lunches and head back to the classroom. We play music and board games while enjoying lunch and each others company. I was surprised at how much I looked forward to these luncheons. It's so great to see the students in a more relaxed setting. If you like the homework club sign you can get it for free from Fourth Grade Frolics here.

My Homework Club was such a success that I am doing it again this year. Here is a look at this year's name tags. I got these adorable frames from Graphic From the Pond. You can get them for free here.

As each month past, more and more students attended our Homework Luncheons. It was a great motivator for many students who might not have otherwise aspired to complete all of their homework. 

How do you spark student motivation?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Made It - For my office.

To say my home office is out of control is an understatement. It was so bad that I refused to take a "before" picture. This past week I spent a bunch of time getting it under control. My biggest problem was that I didn't have any storage. I had a desk with a few small drawers and that was it. So a purchased this...

And turned it into this....

You see I have this awful habit of getting really excited about a product I have just purchased and I print it off right away. Then I run out of time and never finish cutting out the cards or I don't have a chance to laminate. This would result in card stock scattered all over my office. Now I have a place to put it all. 

I also needed a place to put all the little things. So I made mini versions of the drawers above.

These little guys fit perfectly on my desk.
So it is all starting to come together. Now I just have to find a place for all the other stuff!

How do you organize your home office?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Second Chance TpT Sale

Can you believe it? TpT is having another Back to School Sale. This time it is ONE day only - Wednesday August 20th! Once again my store will be 20% off. Be sure to use the coupon code BOOST at checkout and receive an additional 10% off your purchases.

During the last sale I had so many items on my wish list I didn't know where to begin. I ended up buying a ton of stuff. I also went well over what I had budgeted but it was worth it. With all these great materials at my finger tips I am ready for the start of school in September.
One item I bought was Better Than Basal units by Jivy. I love her mentor sentence bundles and I can't wait to try these reading and writing units. They go right along with her mentor text/sentences bundles. If they are anything like her mentor sentences I will be back to buy more licenses for my team mates.Go here to check it out.

Still on my wishlist is Math Word Problems by Jennifer Findley. My school system uses the Go Math series and I find its word problems lacking. I plan to use this interactive notebook bundle to supplement the math program. Check out Jennifer's item here.

My Three in a Row games bundle is a fun way for students to practice multiplication and division. Check it out here.

Don't forget to use the code BOOST at checkout to save up to 28%!

What will you be buying on Wednesday?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Monday Made It and TWO freebies!

I am so glad I linked up with Tara from Fifth Grade Frolics last week for Monday Made It. I am so motivated to attack my summer to-do list. So I am linking up again today.

This past week I ventured into my classroom for the first time since school ended in June. The trunk of my car was overflowing with all my back to school purchases. I needed to get everything out of there. And, of course, once I unpacked I couldn't help but start decorating. I put this up in the hall outside my classroom.

After reading Donalyn Miller book Reading in the Wild, I knew I had to create a reading graffiti walk. I used black fade-less paper and put a cute book-filled border around it. I haven't decided which quote/book I will start the wall with.  I want the quote to be a great hook and the book to be one that my 5th graders probably haven't already read. If you have any suggestions let me know.

Last year I started using water bottles as prizes. I would purchase refillable water bottles at the dollar store and print out address labels to affix to them. I wanted a easier and cheaper way to be able to include the entire class. So I came up with these. My pack comes with 18 different label to take you from the first day to the last. Here is a peek at what is included.

Check out the entire set here.

If you would like the label below you can get it here for FREE!

And I have a special freebie for those of you who follow my blog. I just couldn't resist making a label with the adorable 2014 from Watson Works

Go here to download

What type of rewards do you use in your classroom?


Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Made It! - Getting Ready To Go Back To School.

I don't head back to school until after Labor Day but August always hits me like a rock. Where did July go? I am determined this year to not let all my printing and laminating go to the last minute. So I am linking up with Tara for Monday Made It!

This past week I printed and started to laminate my new product Twisted Scoot - Geometry.

I knew if I didn't get it done over the summer I would be scrambling in a few months when I was looking to use it. Am I the only one who is up way too late on a school night printing and laminating for the following day?

My second and final make it for this week are these cute crayon wreath that I am making for my wonderful teammates as a surprise. If you want the step-by-step directions go here.

Don't forget to check out the TpT sale going on today and tomorrow.

 My entire store is 20% off. If you add the TpT code BTS14 at checkout you get an additional 10% off your purchases. Happy Shopping!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Five for Friday! (August 1st)

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This is my first time linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching.  One of my goals this summer was to join more linky parties so I am excited to be linking up with Five for Friday. 
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My Twisted Scoot game is finally finished and it's on sale!

 These task cards are created to use in a "twisted" scoot game that is half scoot, half scavenger hunt. Students complete the task cards and then using the answers, they "hunt" around the room for letters that help them solve the riddle at the bottom of their record sheet.

I have included a second record sheet that does NOT include the riddle piece in case you would rather use the cards in centers.

My twisted scoot game will be half price today and tomorrow at my TpT store.

This week I made the trek to the local teacher store and spent a fortune! Last year I had to switch classrooms and this is what my classroom looked like when I walked into it in late August.

I didn't have a lot of time to do much more than unpack my boxes before school started. So this year I am excited to really make the classroom my own. Look for more pictures in the coming weeks.

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Later this afternoon I will be taking this little girl to the vet. She has been having some stomach issues that have been causing her to have to head outside in the middle of the night. Hoping it is only a minor issue.

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I am totally obsessed with this series.
Image result for downton abbey

I just started watching it this summer. I will be starting season 3 tonight!

What is your favorite summer guilty pleasure?


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