Decluttering for a new year {printable}

Ok, in all decluttering is taking about two years! Seriously! I began two summers ago and will not be completely finished until the end of this year. I hope.

So you might think I move really slowly...and sometimes I guess I do! But, in actuality, it has taken me a long time to do this because I've tried to be systematic about it.

Anyhow, it all started last summer when I took a look around my room and saw...

End of the Year Sale :)

It's the end of 2011 and I wanted to celebrate the coming new year with a little sale. Everything in my Teacher's Notebook shop is 50% off right now, until tomorrow!!

I also wanted to let you know tomorrow is also the last day to enter the giveaway for a new blog design, if you are looking for one (details here).

Thanks so much for stopping by this evening...looking forward to getting back to some regular posting once the giveaway is over! :)

New math labels in the shop...

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your vacation time with your friends and family.

I have uploaded some math labels to my Teacher's Notebook shop...these are similar to the ones I use for my math games and manipulatives, as shown in the photo below...

Contact paper on desks and tables

I know I have mentioned covering my tables with contact paper before, but I've had some more questions about this and wanted to share a bit about what works and what doesn' case you'd like to try it out. :)

Classroom Tour {Part 1}

Whew! One more day (well, half-day) to go and I am FREE!! Free to blog stalk, comment, and just plain catch up!

So, I realize a classroom tour is way overdue, but that seems to be the theme of this year--it has just taken over in a way that I never imagined!

A couple of my wonderful bloggy friends asked about sharing more pictures on my previous post, so I went through some images tonight. This is not my entire room (hence the Part I!) but it is a good overview. Some things have changed and some things are going to change soon's a glimpse of what I started with this fall.

Managing materials without a teacher's desk!

I got rid of my teacher's desk a few years back when I had a large 5th grade class in a small room--we were so squished that year!

I remember how nervous I was about doing so...I actually felt a bit sick over it and almost talked myself out of it!

New Year's Writing {printable}

This is an oldie that has been refurbished for 2012! I used a graphic organizer like this last year and blew it up to poster students loved working on this when we came back from Christmas break!

(If interested, you can read more about the original file here).

I wanted to update the graphic organizer a bit for the new year. And, of course, to share the file with all of my lovely readers who have stuck with me despite my horrible blogging habits as of late. I am very appreciative of your support and interest...thank you for being so understanding!

Sooo...this graphic organizer can be downloaded via the green link below. Leave me some ladybug love if it's something you can'll help me get through this looooong upcoming week, ha!

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday, whether at home with family or in school!! :)

New Year's Graphic Organizer

{Doodle Frame by Miss Tiina at}

Reasons I know Christmas is near!!

The wonderfully hysterical and creative Reagan from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits and the fabulous Amanda from One Extra Degree have both shared their top ten reasons they know Christmas is near.

Besides the fact that both of these blogs are an absolute MUST FOLLOW because of their creativity and knowledge, these girls are just too funny!! You must stop by and see them both if you haven't already.

I don't quite have a top ten because, well, I am just too tapped to be creative lately so I will just share a bit of my experiences thus far.

Pass the Bloggy Christmas Card!


A Virtual Christmas Card to share!!


I wanted to send out a little virtual Christmas card to say happy holidays and a huge THANKS to everyone in the teacher-blogging all have impacted my career in so many ways. And for that, I am deeply grateful.


LOOK! Aren't these the most gorgeous Post-Its you've ever seen?!? I spied them in the midst of some frenzied Christmas shopping today and squeeeed (literally and embarrassingly!). Do you think a Post-It designer is also a teacher-blogger incognito???

Here's the other (please ignore the shadow, I was so excited to share them with you!):

Starry Trees Doodle Frame {printable} & a GIVEAWAY!

I wanted to say thank you so much for all of the sweet words about the tree graphics I posted yesterday--your words really made my day!! I feel so lucky to have such kind bloggy guys have always been so supportive when I have tried something new.

And you are always so understanding when I'm on some kind of new whim--and for that I am very grateful!

A Trio of Trees graphics! {printable}

Happy Friday friends!! I've been dabbling (and I mean dabbling, it's very raw right now) with creating some graphics. I wanted to share a first set and see what you think.

So...introducing...A Trio of Trees! These Christmas trees come in black and white jpg form and hopefully can be used in some worksheets...I don't know...this is very new for me and I know they're not that great but...

If you would like to try them out, I only ask if you could please give credit to Ladybug's Teacher Files.

12 Days of Christmas {12 Giveaways!}

The fabulously funny and oh-so-creative Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade is hosting a giveaway (well, giveaways!) you cannot miss!!

It's the Twelve Days of Christmas, which means twelve days of giveaways and it starts TODAY!! You must check it out!

I am wicked excited to be guest-blogging a giveaway this weekend over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade. I'm very honored to be in such amazing company...check out the other participants--woooo!!!

Be sure to check out the very first one, a giveaway from Farley herself (and it's an awesome one!!).

Customizable Substitute Stationary {printable}

Hey again bloggy friends! Look at me, blogging two whole days in a row! Maybe I'm finally back on track again...well, here's hoping!

This post is the first half in a two-part series. I do have a personal day coming up in the future and wanted a way to keep my sub plans a bit more organized than usual. And cute of course!

So, rather than the usual basic sub plans I leave behind, I decided to FINALLY buckle down and set up a cohesive (hopefully!) packet to help my fabulous substitute teachers out.

Great Math Program & Password Slips

Happy holiday weekend everyone!! I am using this bit of extra time to get some things organized before that last crazy stretch before Christmas...and I'm hoping to get on the blog more to share these files. Tonight, I made some slips for our computer passwords. Our school uses Study Island, so this is one password I will record on here for my students.

Thanksgiving Homework Pass {printable}

Hello lovely blog friends! I have specifically put aside schoolwork and house decorating to sit and blog for once!

I've been thinking a lot and I finally have a theory on my lack of blogging. You see, I only started blogging about a year ago, but it was late December and I was ready for vacation and to start blogging.

A new Vocabulary Graphic Organizer

Happy Saturday!! It feels like forever and half since I've been on here and I do not like it!! Someone, please tell me when this year will calm down!!! I'm hoping it will soon but I keep making the same mistake! Every time I think I have a handle on new curriculum or other going-ons (is that a word?) something else happens.

Blah. I just want to blog!! Anyhow, I wanted to share a new graphic organizer I made for vocabulary...

Managing our charts & some customizable charts!

Happy Saturday!!

Last night, I shared some anchor charts I had made to replace my oh-so-blah handwriting (which you'll get to see further down this post--woohoo!).

I wanted to share a bit more this evening about how I am managing the charts (since this is still relatively new to me).

Power/Internet Outage=Anchor Charts!

I promise they're related ;)

Remember that Nor'easter I mentioned last weekend? Well, it turned out to be pretty big around here. As in knock-out-the-power, three days of no school kinda big!

Now, I won't lie, I wasn't too disappointed with the extra time off. But there was one little problem...

Line Order Sign {printable}

My students can be wicked funny sometimes. I arrived to pick them up from art the other day and they met me with "Please...can we have a line order???". I had to laugh--we've had very few problems with our line and they are a predominantly 5th grade class, so...

I thought we were good to go.

Reading Conference Notes {printable}

Phew...what a week! Assemblies, parent teacher conferences, Halloween is fast approaching, and possible SNOW tomorrow?! I know you get most of this so I'll stop there!

I just wanted to stop by and share a little form that has been working nicely for me this year (so far!).

During our reading conferences, I use this sheet to record observations and create a goal for my students for next time. It's been just enough space to jot down everything I need within the conference...
{click on the image to download the file}

Create Direct Downloads on Your Blog

Ok, this is seriously awesome! While browsing around a zillion sites last night, I happened upon a new (for me) site on Google. It's a site where you can create your own website for free. Why should we care as bloggers? Well, you can also upload files to that site! can link those files directly on your blog!! Want to learn more? The video is below...

I would love to hear your thoughts, if it is something you'll be trying on your blog...and how it goes for you if you do try it out. I know I can't wait to link up my next file this way--I might just have to make something right now to try it out again! Take care and happy Sunday! :)

Cursive Alphabet Chart & Alphabet Line

HI!!! I've missed blogland greatly this week! Between our state testing, prepping for upcoming Parent/Teacher Conferences, and everything else--it's been mad! But I always feel better in knowing that I'm not alone :)

I've been working on a couple of things for my students this afternoon. The first is a cursive chart. We've just started working on our cursive writing...

Seed Ideas Poster

Hey guys! This will be a quick share tonight as I am falling asleep on my computer--at only 8:30!

We'll be starting some lessons on "seed ideas" in Writer's Workshop this week, so I made a little visual to display with the anchor charts we'll be creating soon.

Enemy Pie (Friendship) Writing Activities

Our school has just launched its first "Principal's Book of the Month" and it's Enemy Pie, by Derek Munson. If you haven't read it, this book is seriously cute and a wonderful read! My students LOVED it! I loved the message behind it (not going to say more and give anything away, in case you haven't read it before!).

In efforts to build a reading community within our school, everyone will read this book...from Kindergarten all the way to Grade 5. Each class will complete a writing project related to the story. So I made some writing prompts for my students...

...and wanted to share them with you!

Here's a quick overview of some of the printables:


Cheap Document Camera {IPEVO}

Sooo...I posted last winter about my lovely little IPEVO document camera. This is one of the most incredible tools we have in our classroom. And it was only $69.00!! For a document camera!

This evening I wanted to share some photos of how I set it up, how it looks on the whiteboard, and...

Study Island Buttons {digital freebies}

Do you use Study Island with your students? Our school does and the kids love it! My favorite thing to do is to project the questions on the board with the computer and work on them together, highlighting key information!

Last night, I wrote to Study Island, telling them I had made a couple of buttons for my students to use to get to the site, from our class blog.

Digraphs Chart {printable}

Happy Monday (hopefully!). I can say that because we are off for the anyone else home today?

I wanted to share a little chart I made to accompany the Consonant Blends one. Everyone left such thoughtful comments about the chart, so I wanted to offer another to say thanks.

Weekly Papers & Lunch Bucket Signs {printable}

Hey everyone! I wanted to share a couple of organizational signs I made this week.

The first sign is for my little file-box-with-a-handle (which I LOVE!). You can see more about my weekly files organization by following the green link. This has worked well for me and I still use this organization this year.

Character, Setting, and Plot Posters

Hey again! I'm back with a couple more story elements posters. These are made to match the Character poster shared last night.

I am hoping to do a lot more in the way of Reader's Workshop visuals as the year goes on. Pat--love the idea for strategy posters and will definitely be considering that in the future!

For now, these are to serve as simple visual reminders to help out my newcomer students who have just joined our class.

Story Elements: Character Poster {printable}

Hi everyone! I wanted to share a little poster I made for my class this weekend.

This past week, we spent a couple of lessons working on characters and character traits in Reader's Workshop. I wanted to make a poster to serve as a visual for my students...I'm hoping to make more like this as we learn new story elements.

I know my current students understand what "character" is, but two new students have just arrived and this is very typical for my class throughout the year so...

Day-At-A-Glance Lesson Plan template

I've had some kind requests to share my lesson plan template...this is the one shown in my All-in-One Teacher Binder post.

I've used this template for the past few years and it has worked really well for me.

It's pretty self-explanatory, but I will tell you a lot of thinking did go into it!!

Healthy Snack sign {printable}

Does your school have snacks provided? This is our first year of the Healthy Snack program and it is wonderful! The students get a snack three times a week. And though it may get a little sticky sometimes...

(pineapple is the worst!) it is so great to see the kids enjoying the healthy food...they just love it!

So I'm doing a quick little post (I just got on my computer and it is almost 10 o'clock at night! I am going through blog withdrawal!!!)
and sharing this little sign--just in case your school does the same. Happy almost weekend!

Healthy Snack sign

Consonant Blends Chart {printable}

I had so much fun making this chart this weekend!! I just realized this past week that some of my students would really benefit from such a visual this year.

We were working on one of our spelling lists and consonant blends came up in our word study...


THANK YOU!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

I want to say thank you (and thank you again if I managed to catch you the first time!) for the lovely comments and thoughtful nominations for these great honors:

Top 10 TBA

I have had a horrendous time with balancing everything lately and I am so sorry if I did not thank you immediately the first's not like me and I hope that things will calm down soon so I can be a better blogger again.

Each of these awards is so meaningful to a blogger. I feel so fortunate to be thought of in these categories and have to smile, because I wouldn't really be in such a position if it weren't for the many, MANY other blogs I read. I do have my blogroll on the sidebar, featuring hundreds of bloggers who continually inspire and motivate me. I wanted to share it here as well (actually learned how to from this article!).

Thank you for everything again...I can't imagine teaching without the collaboration within this community, it's been nothing short of amazing.

Stay tuned for a new file this evening...hopefully it will serve as a thank-you to some! :)

Mentor Text Book Bins {printable}

Hey everyone!! I am missing you all in blogland so much lately. School has been beyond busy (does it seem even busier than usual this year?). I feel like things just might be starting to settle down. Knock on wood!

So, back to blogwork...these labels to the left are for my mentor text bins.

Functional decor with dry erase sheets!

I bought these little dry erase sheets this summer thinking I could print on them (because it does say you can!) BUT I did not read carefully and missed the fact it was for laser printers--not ink ones. But no matter, I have found some helpful uses for these little guys...

New Word Detectives book {printable}

This is an oldie-but-goodie that has made such a big difference in my class. The original idea came from the wonderful Mrs. Patton over at Patton's Patch, and she graciously let me share a similar format last year.

We used Word Detectives as a word collection tool last year (you can read more about it in Word Detectives Part I and Part II).

It became such a hit with my students that I knew I wanted to take it even further this year.

A Linky Party to Like (actually Love!!)

The fabulous Lesson Plan Diva (love her blog's name!) is having a linky party to share out Facebook Pages. She even has them organized by grade levels, which is such a wonderful idea!

My Facebook page can be found by clicking the icon to the left or...

you can always access it by the button found in my sidebar, below my blogroll:
I love having a Facebook page for my really is ideal for the readers who are huge Facebook fans and has helped my blog increase its page views. I'm always adding other blogs to my wall and I would love to see yours, so head on over to The Lesson Plan Diva and join the party!!!

Mentor Text Labels {printable}

Our mentor texts for Reader's and Writer's Workshops have arrived (yay!).

Since I have books for 4th and 5th grade, I wouldn't even open the packages until I had labels for them--I would so mix them up in a heartbeat!

Reader's & Writer's Workshop Routines

We launched our Reader's and Writer's Workshops this week and it has been going very well! Our district is following the First 30 Days from America's Choice right now (anyone else doing this?) and I'm also using strategies from the Daily 5 for Reading, as I have in the past.

Since we are an ELL magnet classroom, I must make many adaptations to the curriculum to ensure my students' understanding, while trying to follow it as closely as possible. This hasn't been too bad so far, as the routine-building portion is ideal for my newcomer students, as with many other students in the mainstream classes.

Word Wizard book {printable}

Aaaaa! I have missed talking to you all so much!! Like many others, I have been crazy busy with our first week of school. It has been the best--I just love my class!!!

But now it is my favorite part of the week...prepping for next week! And right now, the focus is on a new way to manage spelling for this year...

Reading, Writing, & Math letters {printable}

This is one of those projects I've been meaning to do all summer, but time has gotten away from me! We just had our first day of school on Friday (it felt weird to go back for one day only!)...
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