April 15, 2014

How to make big bulletin board displays

We are in the throes of Earth Day and loving every second!!! I am getting my bulletin boards ready and made this little guy. 

How to make super big bulletin board displays

People tell me, “Oh, you are such a good artist.” This cracks me up every.single.time.  I tell them I can’t draw, but I can trace and spend hours coloring!  It’s worth it to me.  I am using my Little Earth Hugger with my Easy Ecology Unit

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The 10 page little book is my favorite! I used the cover to make the bulletin board. I just plopped it under my document camera and traced!

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I had a teacher at my school roll her eyes once and say “UUUUUGGGG you have too much time on your hands!” But it’s kind of relaxing to color. I also enlist help.

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This was my Jackson when he was 4. {Sigh} This was 3 years ago!  I had just found Cara Carroll’s blog and knew I had to do her word doctor activity. I needed a little help coloring while I made dinner. My little guy volunteered. My husband ran out the room when I asked for helpers! I don’t blame him. I color at home a lot. I know he thinks if he does it once, I’ll beg him to help more often (He is not wrong.) Obviously, I colored the body, but my little guy could handle the hair. Look at his sweet concentration {sigh again}.

   Just to keep the word doctor theme going I added a Hawaiian shirt and turned him into a dentist for the week we covered compound words!


Also keep in mind that the kids can color as part of a center.  I don’t think they should spend a lot of class time coloring, but sometimes it’s nice to give them 5 minutes of ownership. Big kids also like to help during their  lunch.


My students colored this dragon head and also the tail.  With 30 kids helping, it gets done super quickly! But with all that help, things do go wrong. One minute the dragon’s tail had a pattern in the scales and the next minute the tail was entirely black.  Hey, you have to roll with it!

Big bulletin boards are easy-tips from a teacher blogger

You can also project onto colored paper and glue the pieces together. That’s how I made this enormous eagle for my American Symbols unit.  Have fun with your boards, and try going big! It makes a HUGE impact!

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Remember to enter the Jo Totes giveaway and blog make-over giveaways going on my blog this week!

April 14, 2014

Parker wants to design your blog


Want to start a blog, but don't know how to design your page? Have a blog and want to redesign it? Have we got a giveaway for you! I have teamed up with my Mr. and Parker of PJ's Design Laboratory to give one lucky winner a free blog design!

Aside from designing my hubby’s blog, and my sidebar labels here are some of the AMAZING blogs that Parker has designed!

Click {here} to see Parker's amazing portfolio.

Here's what the winner will receive:

  • custom header
  • matching button
  • button grab box
  • custom background
  • custom sidebar titles
  • custom signature
  • custom blog post dividers
  • custom page links/navigation
  • custom social network buttons
  • installation
It's the Full Design Package valued at $99!!!
Enter to win below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Remember, you can enter to win a $100 gift card to Jo Totoes for the Camera Purse of your dreams! Just scroll down or click {here}! This camera purse is practically perfect in every way! It's sexy, chic, fun, and functional. Keep your DSRL right at your fingertips and fully protected at all times!!!

April 13, 2014

Jo Totes Review and $100 Giveaway



This bag has been ahhhhh-mazing! I get stopped every single time I am out. Ladies compliment the color and constantly say “I love your bag”. When I tell them it’s a camera bag, they flip.  I have been asked, by total strangers, if they could look inside. Of course I show them! I love my Jo Totes bag, and I know they will freak when they see the protective foam compartments inside.  Each compartment can be moved around until you get the configuration that suits you best.
When I took this baby to the blogger meet up in April we actually took everything out of my bag at one point so we could take a closer look. They LOOK like the world’s cutest bags, but in reality, a Jo Totes bag is so much more functional than just a cute purse!

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When Jo Totes told me I could pick a purse, it was an easy choice for me. I love the Missy because the exterior pockets are perfect to hold my keys and phone separately. It’s so easy to grab what I need.


In addition to my camera, I carry my iPad. The Missy keeps my iPad in it’s own separate padded pocket. You can also carry a smaller laptop too!!!! I almost picked the Rose shown below.  I am as sucker for flowers of any kind. And polka dots are my favorite!
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But I chose the Missy and I LOVE it. My iPad, camera, and everything I need is with me at all times! This is great because you never know when you are going to end up in the ER.

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This bag was perfect, even in the ER. I was able to toss in everything I thought we might need and fly out the door with my little guy who was vomiting and could not breathe very well! Thank goodness we had the iPad because let me tell you, we were in the ER for an EteRnity.


I have taken this bag everywhere since it arrived in March! It was the perfect bag at the SCKC conference. My camera was at the ready the whole time,  but was always protected.  It rained like crazy that weekend and I was able to carry my camera, and wet umbrella in the same bag. The divided interior means that you can keep your camera safe even if you are carrying a baby bottle or umbrella.  Of course use common sense and keep things with their lids tightly secured and keep the bag upright.

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It has an adjustable shoulder strap that makes it easy to throw over your stroller handles and head out into the world with baby. My little guy is beyond the stroller, but still needs me to carry a little jacket, drink, and snacks when we go to Disneyland.


This is the perfect date night bag.  My Mr. has commented more than a few time how “great that bag is”. I could not agree more!

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If you like to use your DSLR camera, but worry about carrying it around with you, this is THE bag for you. I mean there are other bags on the market, but they are UGLY.  I don’t want to look like a professional photographer headed out on a shoot in the African Safari.

I want to look chic.  The huge, black, photographer’s bag from the 80’s just won’t due at the Beachcomber!

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I don’t really think it matters how you look at the dentist or puppy kindergarten. But it does matter the kind of photos you are able to take because you have your NICE camera with you.

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I want to be spending time with the girls or my family and whip out my big camera to catch the moment in a way that my iPhone just cant!

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When you are headed to the members only Club 33 at Disneyland, you want a camera that does the exclusive experience justice.  Are you wanting Jo Totes bag!?! My good friends at Jo Totes knew you would want a bag too, so they are going to allow me to give away a $100 gift certificate to their site! You can win your own bag right here!


So are you ready? You can win $100 to Jo Totes! Ladies you will be so happy with this bag or any Jo Totes bag. Tell your husbands that you want one for Mother’s Day. Your man WANTS to get you a good gift, but they lost their ability to read our minds after the first date. Help your mister make you a happy gal, or just treat yourself to the camera bag of your dreams! a Rafflecopter giveaway

March 30, 2014

Crazy Over Fluency

Remember how I promised you sweet kinder teachers I would be making fluency passages for you?  Well, Cara has created fluency centers to get kinders-3rd graders going on the road to fluency! Are you dying with excitement? I am!!! Cara and I are linking arms to help kids fall in love with reading and have fun doing it!
Fluency Rocks Let me tell you Cara has a fluency center your students will love!  Check out the glory of all this cuteness….
How cool is that?
I am a fluency nerd, so Cara’s center makes me happy. I am 100% OK with being a fluency nerd because it is a HUGE part of why my students are addicted to reading! However, I know that just because it works, it does not mean it’s easy for other teachers to “just implement” it.  So I wrote a 101 Guide to give you 10 game-changer strategies and games to help you rock your reading program!
Fluency 101 Cover
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Speaking of rocking reading, Cara is helping all of our readers Rock Their Fluency! Click any picture to go grab it from TpT.
image image image  Rock Your Fluency ~ The Third Grade Edition {Editable}
Look at this! It is seriously “presh” and Cara has taken the time to do levels K-3 and even bundled them for you! Be.still.my.heart.
Rock Your Fluency ~ The Ultimate Fluency Bundle!
These fluency centers ROCK!
Each of Cara’s packs follows the format below:  Presentation3
My students do a passage a week for our traditional fluency drills, but the great thing about adding Cara’s fluency center to my classroom is four-fold:
  • Sight word practice
  • Phrase practice such as “in the”, “big dog”, & “not me”
  • Sight word intensive independent reading
  • Engagement- “Roll and Read” is like recess for the reader’s brain! It’s fun!

Kids need time to play and learn at their own pace. This is one of the reasons I LOVE Cara's center!!!! I can put the kinder-3rd grade materials out and the kids will choose what they are most comfortable with. Plus the idea of the fluency folders provides the perfect way to differentiate. Her materials are JUST brilliant!


If you are looking to add traditional fluency practice to your week, my fluency units will bring you joy and get you results! Each unit has:
  • Lesson Plans for the Week
  • A Power Passage in 3 formats for fluency, close reading, and/or comprehension
  • Questions page for close reading or a quiz
  • Writing prompt with 4 thinking maps for differentiation
  • Smart Art Project with directions in words and pictures
  • Bulletin board lettering
How Tweet Cover Slide1Peacocks CoverCover Planet Protectors  

All of these are bundled into a unit that will have April, May, and June fluency units. The April units you see above are loaded in now. I will be adding in the May units starting next week. It’s going to be a HUGE bundle when it’s done!!!
Spring Into Fluency
I hope that you are ready to Rock Your Fluency with Cara and I!
Please keep us posted on how it's going!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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