More code fun...leaving your link in comments (in bold)!

I posted recently about leaving a direct link in your comments on blogs, as well as storing that hard-to-remember code in Hey! Paste It.

I learned another cool thing that I wanted to share.

I thought perhaps a link that was in bold would really stand out...and I found out you can do this! All you have to do is add some fancy b's to the beginning and ending of your code (somewhere out there, an html expert is rolling their eyes at me!).

Organization Linky Party at Growing Kinders! of my favorite obsessions--organization!! Growing Kinders is having an Organization Linky Party and I wanted to share some of my favorite organization techniques in our room.

DIY: Highlighter tool for read alouds

This project was inspired by the lovely Hadar at Outfitted and Inspired...she posted about Highlighter Sticks awhile back and they are just too cool. My students are older and don't really need personal highlighters to track. But we do need them for something else!

Neat little (cheap!!) document camera

Does your school have an Elmo or other document camera? Ours does...but the Elmos are per grade level and to be shared. Which makes them in high demand.

I read about the IPEVO on Proteacher back over the summer. I heard it was high quality and cheap (I got mine for $65 on Amazon!!).

Well, I just love it. It is great to have a document camera all of the time! We use it for everything--projects, going over rubrics, writing, correcting homework, everything! The IPEVO itself is really neat. It has a surprisingly heavy base and never tips. And it's really easy to maneuver to any angle.

Tracking books read in class

My darling sis (also a teacher) is at a school that has America's Choice for Language Arts. I'm in the same district, but don't have that program yet. Today she asked me to make a sign for her class to keep track of the books they have read together so far...something they do as part of the program.

Saving code you can use that direct links thing!

I love technology. I LOVE it. But I swear, I cannot keep code in my head. So, if you want to use code for things like Leaving a direct link to your blog in your might need some help. I know I did! I ended up using an online paste tool here: Hey! Paste It!

Once you cut and paste your code, you can just bookmark the link and you're all set!

Here's mine...

Now I can just copy and paste this code when I post comments!

Alas, I am 3 days into vacation and already staying up WAY TOO LATE. What do I think this is?? Summer vacation? Well, I am going to try to tear myself out of the lovely teacher blogging world and go to sleep!

Something else that's cool about direct links in comments...

I'm loving this direct link thing! The links show up in your comments too!

So when I check my comments, I can jump right to someone's the wonderful Mrs. Saoud!

For an explanation of what I'm talking about, please see the previous post here.

Leaving a direct link to your blog in your comments!

I think you'll like this one...I know I do!

You know how many of us leave our blog links in our comments to others? But they aren't live links so you have to do the cut and paste thingy to see someone's blog?

Well, this will help to make a live link back to your blog, which would be so wonderful! I mean, I just love finding new blogs...and I know you do too!

Thanks for the Stylish Blogger Award!

Thank you to Dana from A Place to Share, Shannon from Kindergarten Hoppenings, Katie from Pernickety Pickles, Michelle from Fabulous in First Grade, and Gladys from Teaching in High Heels (Once Upon a Time in First Grade) I hope I didn't miss anyone!
You guys made my day! :) :)

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

Seven things about me:
1. I have dual certification, Elem. Ed. and ESL.
2. I LOVE teaching, but would also love to travel around with my sister (also a teacher) and organize/makeover classrooms as a business.
3. I am obsessed with Emus (I'm in a cold climate right now) and wear them constantly during the winter. Then it's straight to sandals in the spring.
4. I have been skiing my whole life and snowboarding for about 7 years. Still not so great at snowboarding :/
5. I think I am a better teacher today because of everything I have learned on the Internet, between Proteacher and this lovely blogging world of teachers.
6. We have 3 black labs. Two of them are brothers and today is their 9th birthday! Happy birthday boys! One is still a baby and she is a HUGE handful.
7. I love jewelry...I buy that costumey kind and have bracelets and necklaces in every color of the rainbow.

And the 5 blogs of many that are so inspiring to me each and every day!!! (I'm sure they've already been tagged...)
1. Littlest Learners
2. Mrs. Saoud's Class Blog
3. Ms. M's Blog
4. Second Grade is Splendid! (Ms. Durning)
5. What the Teacher Wants

Vacation Anticipation...and making lists!

I swear I must be crazy. In two days we are on February break. And I can't I can work on teaching things!!! Please tell me I'm not alone in this (I know there's no way I can be, with all of the fantastic things you all are always blogging about).

You should see me just before summer vacation. Of course I'm looking forward to sleeping late, drinking tons of coffee, going to the mountains, etc. But, most of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE to work on projects and lessons! I already have my plans for this summer. And a million different things I want to do for next week.

Can you tell I'm getting a bit out of control?

To help myself calm down and focus, I talked to one of the most organized and efficient teachers I know at my school. She's awesome. She told me how important it is for her to have lists to keep focused.

What's for Lunch? sign

I've been reorganizing and rearranging things in my classroom this past couple of weeks. I moved my exit slips, dismissal signs, and class lists to the door of our room.

Everything looks pretty good together and I like how the students have easier access to all of these things (not a ton of wall space in our room).

Valentines Coupons

I wanted to share these coupons today. I used the same coupons at Christmas and they were a huge hit!

I won't be using the coupons this time around, but perhaps next year. I ended up getting some goody bags from Target with pencils and stickers because I hardly ever give prizes out in class ('cept for Homeworkopoly, of course!).

What will you be giving your class for Valentines? And, the most horrifying question of all...

Are you celebrating it on a Monday?!?

Our school is and it is going to be a very LONG week...

Valentines Coupons

Finding leveled books on Scholastic

Alright, I am not happy to admit it took me FOREVER to figure this out tonight. I have a gazillion bonus points for Scholastic book clubs and I thought I would fluff up the lower levels of my leveled library section of our classroom reading area...

DIY: Cheap book display!

I'm really excited about this one! I've been trying to find something for this unused space under my board in our library area. I wanted to get one of those book pocket chart things...but they wouldn't be able to fit, plus I hate spending too much money. And those gorgeous plastic rain gutters some teachers have--I love those!

Exit Slip management

Ms. Durning posted some excellent exit slips recently (see her post and fantastic blog here!). I have to thank her, because they have helped me make more of an effort to use them with my kids.

We've been using them in math and science this past week and they have been a wonderful way to wrap up lessons (plus, I love the accountability for all students!).

Adding your signature automatically to each post

Katie from Persnickety Pickles shared a link on how to create a signature on her blog the other day. It's so cool! Katie, you're the best!

I did a bit of searching around and found out you can add a bit of code in the main HTML of your entire blog, which will allow your signature to post automatically each time you publish.

I actually found a couple of tutorials on how to enter the code: one at Geek Blogger and another at Kevin and

Before you complete the steps to add this code, you will need to upload your signature image to a free hosting site (like imgur or Photobucket).

Now, to delve in the HTML! If you haven't done this before, don't worry. You can always preview what you have done to see if it worked before saving and changing your template.

Making your Blogger Navbar match...

Or kind of, at least. This is something else I found out by accident awhile back. Blogger has a few different neutral colors, plus a clear option, to match with your blog's design and color scheme.

To edit the Navbar's color, head to the Design tab on your Blogger page. Then, click the edit link (on the blue Navbar menu shown to the right).

Checking your blog's visitor stats

You might already know about this, but I thought I would post just in case. I actually had no idea about it until my sister asked me, "Have you checked out your stats?", back when I first started my blog.

The stats feature is wicked cool! Under your Blogger editing page, you will see a tab on the end labeled "Stats".

Organizing differentiated math work

My newcomer ELL students represent a huge range of skills in math. Because of this, I find myself continually differentiating materials. From basic math skills all the way to on-grade level work, it's a lot of management.


My GoogleDocs are out of control!!

I knew it was too good to be true. Tons of beautiful blogs sharing lovely and useful printables. For two months now I've been in my glory, greedily clicking on all of the amazing shared documents out there.

The image to the left represents a mere fraction of the documents I now have on my account.

So snow day...again. I lazily browse through your lovely blogs this morning and then wander over into GoogleDocs to find something I know I had saved.

I gasp! I can't!! I am completely OVERLOADED!!!

I think I found a solution though. You can create folders in GoogleDocs (by the way, separate but related, why can't I embed my links anymore?!?!). The look to GoogleDocs is a bit different, but I actually kind of like it.
So just in case you feel like organizing too, here are the steps:
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