Seating Meets Storage with Otto Storage Stools

This year I was very fortunate to be asked to review a set of storage stools by GitaDini. As soon as I learned they were combination seating and storage, I knew I had to try them out! I was sent a set from GitaDini and quickly fell in love...so much so that I even bought some additional ones from Target!

I wanted to share how these stools have worked out in our class so far, as well as an opportunity for you to win a pair for your classroom!

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A Google Drive Interactive Seating Chart

A Google Drive Interactive Seating Chart

Ah, seating charts...such a joy to formulate each time.
Or not.

If you are anything like me, you hastily sketch out a new plan at the absolute moment of necessity (those seats MUST be changed now!!) on a random piece of scrap paper lying nearby. And forget at least two names. Then recount how many are on the plan. And proceed to scratch out and move names again and again. Then perhaps lose said plan once or twice before rearranging the seating...

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Finding Time for the Holidays (as a Busy Teacher)

Finding Time for the Holidays (as a Busy Teacher)
It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Or is it? 

For many of us, this can be the most hectic time of all with report cards, student projects, holiday assemblies, mountains of grading...it seems there is more to do than ever come each December! And just at the time you are ready to enjoy the season with your friends and family.

While there is no simple way to get through all of the chaos, there are a few small things I have done over the years to help ease my holiday schedule...and I truly hope these ideas and resources will be of some help to you during this season as well!

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Designing Beautiful Google Docs

Designing Beautiful Google Docs
So I know I've blogged many times about how much I love designing printables in PowerPoint. 

And I really do. 

But this year I've been learning more about creating documents in Google Docs. There are so many reasons to create in Google Docs... 

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Time-Saving Tips for PowerPoint Printables

PowerPoint is pretty easy to use once you get used to it. But, like any designing process, it can become quite time-consuming, can't it?

So I'd like to share four fast tips to help speed up things up a bit...

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Creating Interactive Charts with Google Docs


Each year I've been working to go a bit more paperless in my classroom. Most recently, I've started building interactive charts for our word study (we use Jen Bengel's Interactive Spelling Curriculum and we LOVE it). Initially, I was keeping our words on large chart paper each week, but it was hard for all of my fourth graders to see the charts when they were building them in their spelling notebooks.

Luckily, it is very easy to make clean, eye-catching charts in Google Docs. These charts can then be projected for the whole class to see (we are fortunate to have a classroom TV for this purpose...more to come on this soon).

 Would you like to try? Please see the steps below...

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Using PowerPoint Tables for Math Printables

I love making printables for my students in math...but setting up number lines and fractions? Not so much. It can be SO time-consuming to line up all those little textboxes. Since a great deal of our school year involves number lines and fractions, I wanted to find a way to set them up more quickly. 

So I turned to tables! 

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Using Precise Colors in PowerPoint

I learned a new trick today that is going to be very helpful in designing printables in PowerPoint, so I wanted to share it with you!

Have you ever used the eyedropper or magnifying glass tool to get the perfect text color in your PowerPoint?

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Quick Tips for Back to School (A Quick Giveaway!)


Our students don't start back until September 6th this year, but I am definitely feeling the crunch to get things done. And I'm pretty sure everyone is feeling that same crunch right now, whether you are back in class or working hard to get your room set up for a new year. So I'm very excited to share this news with you...and it's going to be QUICK to save you some precious minutes this weekend! I am teaming up with some of my friends to share some quick tips for the new school year, as well as a chance to win a $25 gift card to TpT (just in time for the big, one day sitewide sale on Monday!).

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Color Code and Organize Your Google Drive

Color Code and Organize Your Google Drive
It seems like I rely more and more on my Google Drive each year of my teaching. I upload my favorite resources to folders, create docs for my students to use in Google Classroom, store maps for Social Studies, upload photos of our Science experiments...there is just so much you can do with the drive. And I really love how easy it is to organize your files.

But, truth be told, I was never a big fan of the layout and colors. 

A sea of gray folders is never really helpful when you are a busy teacher trying to find docs on the fly. And, while you can colorize the folders, there is only so much control over the order they can be displayed.

Or is there?

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Organizing Shelves with Color (A BTS Giveaway)

Whether you are just starting to set up your room or already back in class, it is definitely back to school season. To celebrate this exciting time, I'm joining an inspiring group of teacher authors for a Back to School Giveaway! We are sharing a peek into our favorite parts of our classrooms, as well as chances to win some wonderful prizes to help you ease into a beautiful new school year. 

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Making Beautiful Plans on Planbook.com (Part 2)

During the past school year, I started adding some more features to my planbook.com lesson planner. I wanted the text to stand out more, so I could quickly see what I needed for a lesson. You can read more about this in a previous post:

This worked out very well and I found my plans much easier to read. However, I started to wonder. Was there a way to make them even more clear? A way to use some of my favorite fonts to make the plans really pop?
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Math TIME: Rotations At Their Pace

I have attempted to get math rotations going in my 5th grade class for years now. I tried different acronyms and setups, but I could never remain committed to them.

It all felt too rushed...the students would settle into an activity and then it would be time to move on again. Those who needed more time had to abandon a task. Others who were ready to move on turned to socializing instead (!) and it just didn't feel like the best use of time.

This year, I was determined to implement rotations with success in my classroom. As it turned out, I just had to make one simple adjustment to make rotations work for our class...
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