Two Stars and a Wish {Getting to Know Everyone & Staying Organized}

It is almost time to go back to school! I am linking up with some fabulous teachers to share some great ideas in the Two Stars and a Wish blog hop.

The first week of school can be a little chaotic. There are supplies to sort, items to label, and 20+ little students to get to know. So, I wanted to share some things I do to make the first week fun and easy.

Getting to know your students is important. Knowing their likes and hobbies will allow you to engage them throughout the year.... if Little Johnny loves baseball he will enjoy solving baseball themed word problems in math.
One 'get to know you' activity that I love is NAME ART.
It is a minimum prep activity (love that too!).
All I do it type my students name in bubble letters using Power Point.

Print their names out and have them decorate the letters with things the love. While they are working on this you will have a few minutes to do those tedious first week tasks (you know- organizing 20 packs of paper so they fit in your cabinet). Then, when everyone is done have the students share their name art.
I like to hang their name art somewhere in the room.
You have gotten to know you students, not it is time for them to get to know you! I like to play a little game... 25 Facts About Your Teacher! I tell the students 25 facts about me, and when I am done I try to see if they can remember them all. I have played the 'game' several ways...
 *Students can call out facts until you get to 25
*Students can work in pairs/groups to list as many as they can
*Students can list as many as they can on their own - see who can list the most

I created a Power Point that I use to share my facts. This ensures I won't forget a fact as I am introducing myself and allows me to quickly check off the facts that they can remember.
You can download this editable template HERE for FREE!!

My wish for this school year is to start off being organized and STAY organized!
The focus of my concern is all of my Essential Question and I Can statement posters!

I post these daily, for each subject. I store them in sheet protectors inside a binder. They often go from the board to the pocket inside the binder and not put away until it is busting at the seams. I've got them organized by standard, so I plan to pull all the EQs and I Cans for the next week on Friday and put away the last week's at the same time. I think having a set time will help me stay organized.
If you are interested in EQs and I Can statement posters for ELA, Reading, & Math [K-4] they can be found in my TPT store {HERE}.

I have enjoyed sharing some of my STAR ideas and my WISH for organization with you! If you liked my ideas please follow me on Bloglovin' and my TPT store.

For more STAR ideas from about 40 different bloggers browse the link-up below!

Get Techy Tuesday {Favorite Website}

 In two weeks I will be venturing out of my comfort zone a bit in order to change things up. This will be my fifth year teaching second grade and each year has come with some sort of change... transferring to EJ (my home away from home), common core standards, and becoming grade chair. So, to keep things interesting I made the decision at the end of last school year to switch to an 'Inspired Classroom' this year.
"What are you talking about?" you say. An Inspired Classroom moves the computers away from the perimeter of the room and put them at the students' desks. You can read more about Inspired Classrooms here. To accommodate this switch I am swapping my student desks for tables to allow for full collaboration. It is going to be quite the change, but I LOVE technology and this was an opportunity I could not resist.
So, I have been spending some of my summer figuring out how to incorporate more technology into my lessons. I thought I would "Get Techy" and share some of my favorite resources over the next few weeks.
This week I wanted to share just a couple of my favorite websites.

Let's look a little closer at some of these fabulous sites:


What are your favorite website? I would love for you to comment and share them with me.
 Next week I am going to share some of my favorite apps.

Monday Made It {July 21st}

Summer is winding down for me, only two weeks left. Wah!! I've got a busy week ahead, but as always, I am thrilled to link up with 4thGrade Frolics for Monday Made It

 I checked some Pinterest projects off my to-make list this week. This first one is a birthday board for my classroom.  
It was simple! Just some canvas, paint, and vinyl. Ok, it was tedious tracing the chevron... I looked for that chevron painters tape, but couldn't find it. 
Next, project was another easy one. I made a little "curtain" for my classroom window.
I've always wanted something to hang in front of the ugly blinds, but it was never high on my priority list.... and I don't sew. I found this little project and knew I could handle it.

Like my neighbor's house? Ha! This picture isn't great, but you get the point.
Lastly, I have to show you exactly how OCD I am. Every year my brand new scissors go missing and my highlighters run away. I usually mark my scissors with an S, but I decided to take it a step farther this year.

Don't get my wrong, I have no problem with Little Jimmy using my scissors for the entire year. I just want them back. And now, they look pretty.  We will see how long the washi tape stays on. I hope forever. ;)

I am hosting a craft night tomorrow and am still looking for a project to make for myself. Hopefully I can get a few ideas from everyone linking up.

And the winner is....

Thanks for all of those that entered my planner & gradebook giveaway!
And now, drum roll please......
The winner is....
Amanda, you should find your prize in your inbox! :)
If you did not win, remember you can get your copy HERE.

Planner and Gradebook Giveaway!

After posting about the planner and gradebook I made I had a lot of great feedback, asking me to post it on TPT! {See the original post HERE}
Thank you for all those that asked about it.
I have indeed posted it to TPT, you can get it HERE!
Well, since you asked for it, I thought one of you should get it for FREE!
Enter below to win yours!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Made It {July 14th}

I'm beginning to look forward to Mondays!
Only because I get to link up and show off with 4thGrade Frolics for Monday Made It I'm thrilled about what I have to share this week, I can hardly contain myself!

Ok, so my first Made It isn't actually something I made... but I had somebody make for me a friend.
Isn't this onesie and paci clip adorable? My friend Morgan Krulisky is unbelievably creative and an amazing designer. She creates the cutest baby items! Morgan does custom orders and her turn around time is impressive! Not to mention her packaging (even the mailing envelope) is adorable!
You need to check out her Etsy shop: Anna Morgan Designs

Next, I finally checked off a project I have been meaning to do for a while. A few months ago my dog ate my recipe holder... literally! Now, with a little motivation from the puppy and some free time I finally reorganized those recipes.

 I found this cute binder and matching dividers at Office Max. I had bought these CD binder pages back in the spring with another project in mind, but thought they would be perfect to hold and protect my recipes.

 Love how it turned out! Except I need more CD binder pages... I have too many recipes!

My final project was a simple CLICK and PRINT!

 I created the templates for these lesson planners and grade books last summer, so all I have to do was edit the date and print! A few teacher friends saw mine last year and asked if I would make one for them. :) Love sharing my work!

Alright, off to update my resume.
 I try to do that each summer, just to stay on top of it... and I have put it off this far.

Monday Made It {July 7th}

It is Monday! You know what that means... linking up with 4thGrade Frolics for another Monday Made It!
I kind of got into school-mode this week.
I was inspired by some cute caddy signs for Seusstastic that I stumbled upon on Pinterest. I decided to make a set for myself. I made on taping them to the table caddies.

Next year I am getting rid of the student desks and switching to tables. I have struggled with how I want to have the students store their materials. I found Ladybug's Teacher Files post on Cheap Chair Pockets and decided that her idea was perfect! I hunted down these aprons at Home Depot, they are only 77 cents people!
I had to cover up the Home Depot logo. Sorry, it just doesn't match my classroom theme. I made cute chalkboard name tags and laminated them. I used Velcro to attach them to the apron.
Here is the finished product. I used a silver sharpie to write the name. I would love to find a white sharpie. Anybody know if they even make white sharpies?
 That is it for this week. I am looking forward to seeing what everybody has made this week. :)

5 for Friday! {July 4th}

Happy 4th of July! I have a rather relaxing day planned, but I wanted to take a minute and link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!
1. I got to meet my friend Kourtnie's new baby Benjamin. He is about 4 weeks now. My bestie, Emily, and I took Ted & Kourt dinner ... it was a good excuse to get over there and hold the baby.
(Emily, Ben, and I)
2. I found these cute "solo" cups at Michael's. They are the thick plastic kind. I love them! Not sure what I will do with them in my classroom, but I couldn't resist them. And they were 30% off!
3. I fell in love with these pants this week, yes I wore them twice! Super comfortable! They are from Lizard Thicket, and I also got these on sale too.
4. Little Rosie just wanted to play all week long. I think she hates when I pull my computer out, because that is when she wants to play the most. Here she is playing hide-n-seek!
5. I finally did some baking this week. Blueberry muffins! I love this Georgia kitchen towel, too.
Perfect for the 4th of July!