Saturday, November 21, 2015

Alternative Classroom Seating

Hey, everyone, if you've just hopped over here from Elementary Chalkboard, I'm so glad you're here. If you just stumbled on this post, you can read my alternative seating post by clicking here.

We have alternative seating in our classroom and this post is about an alternative seating post that is not only cheap and easy to make, it's also super functional.

Look how cute these are!

A few years ago, these buckets were donated to our classroom as part of an Eagle Scout project. They were the large, white paint buckets that can be purchased at your hardware store. They had green, vinyl cushions bolted on the top (but since we've just hot glued them).

This past summer, but wonderful son sprayed them with black chalk paint. Then I used leftover fabric from our crate seats to cover the padding on top.


These are also useful. They are full off supplies that you may need if you are ever in a (I hope it never ever happens to any of us) lock down situation.

Inside you will find toilet paper, a cheap shower curtain, a gallon of water, plastic cups, snacks, phone numbers and emergency contact information for my students, as well as  fun activities (to pass the time) all copied and ready to go.

All that needs to be done is remove the supplies and the buckets can be used for a toilet if you and your students are locked in your classroom for any amount of time. The shower curtain can be attached or held up for privacy. I think everything else is pretty self explanatory.

So, there you go...cute, cheap, easy to create, and useful!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Turkey Trot


Welcome to “The Chalkies” Turkey Trot! We hope you enjoy a jog through our blogs gobbling up freebies, ideas, and recipes for some holiday joy!

We have a new blog name!  We switched out the word "Primary" for "Elementary". We want to meet the needs of any teacher K-6. Our blog has been thoughtfully designed to help you find what YOU need for YOUR classroom level!

I love those grade level tabs {seen above} that help me grab what I need. This trot will also take you through the grade level blogs of your choice.

We hope you enjoy this little meal from appetizer to dessert!

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Today I am serving up a little sample of my Seasonal Sub Plans. You can check out a small taste of the November one by clicking on the picture below.


As for my bright idea, I have to laugh, because I always say "my" best ideas come from other teachers or bloggers.

One of my favorite things to do is record some of the cute and funny things that my kiddos say and turn them into "photos" when I have time. They make for great slides when I make our end of the year slide show.

Here's one of my faves from the day it was 75 degrees just have to know Vegas kids!

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Now, if you want a delicious taste sensation for your mouth, you've GOT to try this. It is honestly so yummy!
P.S. I make it without the coffee.
(Click on the pic to take you to the recipe.)

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(Click on the pic above or the products shown below to take you to my store.)

Now, hop on over to my friend Jess from Elementary Nest's blog for the next bit of goodness!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Explain-It-All Giveaway

Well, it's hard to miss that the school year is starting up for most of us. You can see the commercials on TV, the signs in Target (of course, I think those started before last year was even done), the general excitement on parents' faces, and the sadness on teacher's faces as we bid another memory-filled summer farewell.

How about we brighten up the Back to School Blues with a great big giveaway?

Do you use any of my Explain-it-All series in your classroom? 

Have you tried out this free sampler?

Here is a little peek inside of what is included in just one unit. 
(Some of them vary depending on the topic, but they all basically follow the same format.)

Each unit includes a definition poster and example or word cards.
You will also find flip books for interactive notebooks.
There are Scoot cards, which I find make a great additional assessment.
Some of the newer units have stick cards for whole class or small group response activities.
(I am working on going back and adding these to the units that don't have them, because I think it's a great classroom activity.)

There are also "fortune tellers" or "cootie catchers" in a pre printed format and a black format.
There are cut and paste activities, which are great for word work activities.
You will also find a pretest and a post test in each unit, which are perfect for RTI or classroom tracking.
There are also several print and go activities, many of them breaking down the skill into more manageable pieces.

In each unit you will also find "Pair It" cards which are great for center activities.
My class loves the "I Have Who Has" game that is in each unit. 
Partner Face Off games are a huge hit with my class, too and a perfect partner activity.
Finally, each unit has a graphic organizer that can be used throughout the unit. 

There is definitely a huge selection of activities to fit your teaching style and completely cover your instruction for each unit.

Check out all of the topics that have been covered so far. would you like a chance to win one, some, or all of these units?

All you have to do is enter below for a chance to win!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Classroom Reveal - Chalk One Up for a Bright Year

To revamp or not to revamp, that is ALWAYS my question.
Good or bad, I have changed my classroom theme every year for the past 26 years (except for the year I had a frozen shoulder).

With so much going on this year I said I wasn't going to change it...walked in...had to change it.

So here is my....

Sticking with my blog name, I've nicknamed this year's classroom
Chalk One Up for a Bright Year.

It's filled with chalkboard decor and splashes of bright color.
(It's my mom's favorite classroom that I've done...but I think she says that every year. LOL!)

So let's take a peek.

This is the sign that hangs over the doorway to our classroom.


One of my favorite parts is this reading nook. On my FB page I had posted that I had this crazy idea and my sweet son and wonderful dad sprang into action to make it happen.

I think this kiddo of mine painted everything that wasn't nailed down.

We got the cardboard from a local frame shop, the fabric for the curtains and crate seats from Joanns (the curtains are blue and white chevron), and the flowers from Hobby Lobby and Dollar Tree. 

(I have since removed the table and turned the crate seats against the wall so the kiddos won't lean against the walls of the house - thanks for that tip, Mom!)

I won't lie, I absolutely love how it turned out (minus the slight warping) and my kiddos love it, too!

Here are pictures of that whole back wall section.

This year we are using a flexible classroom environment. I haven't used assigned seats in a couple of years, but this year we were able to provide a larger variety of seating areas. 

These adorable chairs with the footstools were provided through a grant I wrote for DonorsChoose. 

The coffee table actually used to be in our home years ago...thanks to my son and a couple of cans of chalkboard paint it has a whole new look!  

We found perfectly matching pillows for a great price at Walmart.

Here are my bulletin boards. We left a lot of blank space for anchor charts.
Do you own Jen Jones' Text Based Vocabulary Cards? They are going to anchor a large part of our learning for the entire year.

You can find my Punctuation Pals and my Effort Rubric by clicking on the linked words.

I love my friend Carina, from The Teaching Tornado's workspace/reading table so I had to create one in my own classroom. 

If I can keep the clutter off, it will work out great!!

Here are a few other odds and ends from my classroom.
You can get the Compliment Jar FREEBIE from my friend Katie at Teacher to the Core by clicking on the link. 

So that's it! This is where I'll be hanging out with my new favorite people for the next 180 days!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Back to School Sale!

Well, have you heard? It's time for the annual TPT Back to School Blast!

I am linking up with my amazing friends at Primary Chalkboard to highlight some of our latest products to help get you ready for a brand new school year!

So here are a few of mine. 

If you want one stop shopping, you may want to grab this bundle. It includes everything you see here, plus a bonus surprise!

Above all I want to wish you a wonderful school year. YOU are the one who makes a difference in your students' lives each and every day. 
Have a magnificent year!

For other fabulous products by some of my very favorite people, be sure to click below.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2 for Tuesday

Sorry this is late! I can't keep track of what day it is. #teacheronsummervacation

Getting right to it, here are my 2 items that are on sale this week.

The first bargain was just highlighted in my previous blog post. It's pretty much all you will need to survive the first week back to school...just add kids.

Here's a photo of some of the things included.

I think this second one has been on sale before, but, hey, why not do it again. 
Here's a peek inside.

I hope you're having a fabulous week!
Be sure to check out these other fabulous sellers and their amazing products that are on sale today.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Engaging Back to School Activities

Are you reading to get your students up and moving and actively engaged in their first day (and week) back to school? If you're like me, you struggle to get into the swing of things, and so do the kiddos.
Well, we're going to fix that with some super fun activities that are a snap to put together and light on your wallet.

Are you ready?


My son LOVED the "Use Your Noodle" game. I didn't think I was going to get him to come back in the house!

So, if you're looking for more fun activities to engage your students during the first week, check out this product. It is full of fun things for your students to do and if you toss in a few read alouds, it really can help ease all of you into the beginning of school.
You can check out the product by clicking here.

Or you can grab it as part of this big back to school bundle.
(Includes the 8 products shown plus a surprise product!)
You can find this bundled product here.