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Weekends are Awesome plus Giveaways

I admit . . .

It's 12:40 in the afternoon and I just finished my morning coffee.  My teeth have not yet been brushed and I haven't put in my contacts.  My doggie has given up on any chance we'll be going for a walk in the near future and has retreated to her crate.

I love weekends!

The kidlets came back on Wednesday and all is well.  I love my new space and my new team is working out even better than I had hoped, but I'm still glad it's Saturday.

I'm getting some back to school math freebies ready and should have them posted soon (I hope).

However, I wanted to do a quick post with some giveaway links.  Patti White's awesome 300 follower giveaway ends on Monday, so hop to it teacher bloggers!  I'm donating any item from my TpT store.  My favorite item is probably my Writing Bulletin Board Pack, but you can choose anything you'd like.

Good luck, good luck!
Over $130 worth of teacher stuff 
Oooooooooo . . . a laminator!  I want, I want!
Lots of fun teaching stuff and a blog redesign!
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TpT Giftcard and teacher-created products


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Yawn. My classroom is Dee-Oh-En-Eeeeee!

D-O-N-E spells Done!  I only shoved a small pile-o-stuff and the rest of my classroom items are organized and ready to go!
My summer baby -- the frame wall
Since today was the first day of school and last night was the Meet and Greet, you might say I worked right up until the very last minute.
Thank you Melonheadz!  I love the clipart!
Look mom!  No borders needed.
That is some finely stretched fabric if I do say so myself.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . .

I love, love, love a well organized library




The sweet little CHIP awards all in a row

It was a lot of work to move rooms, but now I'm so glad I did.  I love the new space and hope my students do too!


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An Amazing Sunday and Super Lily


What an exciting day!  It's the first day of the TpT sale, I won an amazing giveaway ($25 to both TpT and Amazon, Hurray!) from Primary Pizzazz, and to top it all off I just received my personalized Super Teacher Melonhead from Nikki at Melonheadz.  I just keep staring at it!  I love that my little Lily is wearing a pink cape and superdoggie goggles.  I would highly recommend ordering your own Melonhead.  I have a feeling every one of my friends will have one before the year is out.  Who wouldn't love a clipart version of themselves?  :)

What fun!  If you haven't checked out Nikki's art, you should.  I bought her Dressed Like a Wild Thing set and am so excited to use it for my spotlight student "King of the Wild Things" board this year.  Pictures of this in my classroom are upcoming.  I'm SO close to done with my room.

Look at the new signature.  So excited!    

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It's like we never left, Plus Sales and Vistaprint

Today was my first day back.  After a half day of staff meetings and a half day work day I'm back in the groove (well, kindof anyway).  I love that we have a few days to catch our breathe before the kiddos come back.  Waking up before 9 is always a bit of a shock to my system.  It's nice to be able to sit and sip my coffee rather than wrangle kittens.  I am excited to start wrangling again next Wednesday though.  The days always FLY when the kids return. I love thinking of myself as a cat wrangler of sorts.  (If you've never seen the cat wrangling video you should click here).
To celebrate my return to the classroom all my items at Teachers Notebook will be 20% off today through Saturday the 11th.  Follow this link or click on the picture below.

Teachers Pay Teachers is having their big back to school sale this Sunday and Monday.  Don't miss it! Not only are tons of sellers (including me -- 20% off all my stuff!) discounting their own products, but there is an additional 10% off if you use the code BTS12 at checkout (don't forget to use it!).  I currently have 92 products in my cart and am so excited to jumpstart my year with some new ideas.  I hope you find some exciting stuff too!

Rikki at The Hive is having a 150 follower giveaway.  Go check out the cute tiles up for grabs!  There are so many darling ones!
One more thing.  The $17 for $70 Vistaprint groupon popped up again this week.  I used this for my first Vistaprint order and got tons of stuff for only $29.  This Groupon is a little tricky as you really want to spend over $90 to get free shipping.  That means you end up spending $17 for the Groupon and about $20 additional to get free shipping after the $70.  I thought it was well worth it.  I got 200 small magnets, 2 small banners, 1 car door magnet, 10 flat invitations, 3 spiral notebooks and 250 business cards for $29 plus the cost of the Groupon.  It doesn't matter where you live.  You can get this Groupon anywhere.  You don't have to live in Denver.  Just click here or on one of the pictures of the fun stuff I made below.  Be quick if you want it.  It's only available for one more day.  Thank you to Katie at Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans for introducing me to Vista Print.  I got almost all of my ideas from her!






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Back to School Art Project Plus Lots of Great Giveaways!

During those (fun yet brutal) first days . . .
Does your voice ever feel like a chipmunk is clawing at your larynx?
Are you tempted to curl up under your desk and close your eyes (just for a second)?
Have you ever desperately needed a serious shot of Starbucks just to survive?

This little project is for a time like that.  I always pull it (and some good popsicles) out on the first week of school.

Once I know the kids well enough to figure out their chosen names and nicknames, I print out bubble letter names (the font is CK Chunky) on white cardstock.  Then we read a book about everyone being different and unique.  There's lots of choices for this.  The past few years I've read excerpts from the book People by Peter Spier.  It has lots of interesting little tidbits of information.

 
Then, the kiddos decorate each letter in their name to show something different about them.  Usually my third graders go with favorites (colors, food, subjects in school).

I put finished name art pieces to start out a bulletin board we keep up all year.  I add pictures to it as the year goes on.


Simple, the kids love it, and this activity just might give you a ten minute respite during those crazy first days.

On another note there are some sweet giveaways happening at the moment.  All of these giveaways include giftcards (my favorite!) or bags (one of my other favorites!).  Someone has to win, so why not you (or better yet, ME).  :)

$25 Amazon and $25 TpT -- Wow!
Synonym Rolls & Antonym Moments 31 Bag 

$25 Amazon Card

Literacy and Laughter $30 to Target
$10 KPM Doodles, $10 Starbucks plus lots of great stuff from teachers

Angelablogbutton
$80 to Vista Print





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Hand Sanitizer Bathroom Passes - Free Labels

Free hand sanitizer bathroom pass labels.  A great idea for managing bathroom breaks and keeping hands clean in elementary grades.
When I saw this picture on Pinterest, I knew I had to have some of my own little bathroom pass sanitizers for the new school year.  Little did I know this idea came from a fellow Colorado teacher. Thanks so much Stephanie from Third Grade Thoughts!  (I just used your brain breaks with my students today and they were a huge hit!)
I didn't label the passes girl or boy because I'm a girl and I understand that creatures of the male persuasion can typically go to the bathroom much more quickly than us gals.  There's a reason the line for the women's bathroom is always 10 times longer than the men's!  I don't want some poor little 8 year old girl dying because there is a boy's pass sitting there and she doesn't dare use it.  I would rather have generic "bathroom pass" bottles that can be used by anyone. (Although I have a feeling the girls will take the red and yellow and the boys will take the blue and orange -- just a theory)

If you would like to use the same labels I do just click on the picture or this link and download them for free at TpT.
Here are my little guys all ready to go.  See what you think!
If you're interested in more of my Summer Stuff Series, focused on easy items to make or think about implementing in your classroom next year, check out these posts:

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Classroom Evolution 2012

I moved to a new classroom this summer.  It's not just any classroom.  It's the biggest, sweetest, "I've made it!" classroom.  I dragged my feet for a few years as I knew how much work it would be, but now that I'm at the end of that work I'm glad I did it.  Here's Mrs. Smith's classroom evolution 2012.  It might not look like much, but I'm quite proud.

Day #2 Dumpster #3
The worst days!  Cabinet cleaning.  Ick!

Day 10+
Pretty purple (that everyone thinks is blue) paint -- I think I love you!


After filling three or four (I lost count) rolling dumpsters, recycling as much as humanly possible, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, comparing paint samples, painting, printing, shopping, framing, here's what I have so far.
Oh frame wall, you're my proudest summer achievement.


It's not done, but it's getting there and the hardest part (cleaning out all the cupboards and crevices) is done.

My frame wall and bulletin boards aren't there yet, but they're slowly coming together.  Too bad they don't give an Olympic medal for fabric bulletin board making.  I think I could definitely be competitive! More hard work ahead.

Run!  Miss Nelson's Got the Camera is hosting a link up for before and after classroom pictures.  She is also having a fun giveaway!  Although my "after" part isn't completely done, I linked up and so should you.  I love looking into other classrooms!

*Update 8/15/12 I'm DONE!  Check it out here!


P.S.
I'd like to dedicate this blog post to my minpin Lily.  How many hours she's spent on the dirty carpet in my classroom listening to my iPod blasting, trying to avoid being hit by unruly chair stacks one only knows.  She's been very patient this summer.  Thanks Lil!
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