Saturday, August 8, 2015

B2S Tip...

We've been blogging and Instagram-ing so much summer stuff, I thought it was time to start adding B2S setup ideas.  Yes, I one wants to quite think about getting back in the swing of things yet but it is coming up quickly.  Based on Instagram, some people are already back!

This will be my 16th year (gasp) teaching.  I have no idea how I have stayed in my mid-20's and have that many years in (wink-wink) but I have learned a lot of things in that time.  I am no expert by any means and I still learn what works and what doesn't each year.  However one thing that I would say I feel I have mastered is the classroom library.  

Flashback to year #1....I was just excited to have books to put on shelves for my very first second graders.  I didn't have the abundance I do now but I had enough to start.  I went to garage sales, took books others were done with, and stocked up monthly with book orders.  But the MESS.  Oh the MESS of my bookshelves.  Too often I would spend hours making nice neat rows of books....just like in a real library.  I would gush at how neat they all looked.  The next day...back to a disaster.  I didn't understand....couldn't these cute little kiddos just take one and nicely slide one back into the row?  Ummm...hello 16 year ago self...NO.  They couldn't.  

I am totally OCD so I knew part of it was "letting go" a little and allowing a little mess.  This I learned early on. I tried many ways of organizing my books.  I tried rows, bins, DRA sorted bins, bins with pictures, but every year would be the same.  Nothing ended up in the right place and I spent even more time organizing.  Until a few years ago....

It finally came to me (and I may have seen it somewhere also...ha ha).  My students needed the books organized- yes.  So bins with labels like I liked did work.  But some students didn't understand my thinking in what went where.  Others just thought Fish went in the "Animals" bin not the "Sea Life" bin.  And yet others-  they were just too in a hurry to look where the it should really go. 

Enter amazing solution that works 99.5% of the time (there are still "I'm too in a hurry" students)!

My classroom library which now houses at least 5x as many books as it did that first year, is organized into bins.  Good bye to the neat library rows that just don't work in a classroom setting.  Each bin is labeled by topic/category/character.  For example...I have a Clifford bin, a Berenstain Bears bin, an Arthur bin, a science bin, Land Animals bin, Ocean Animals bin, Alphabet Books bin, etc.  Each bin label is ALSO assigned a number.  In each bin I have all of the books labeled on the back with a small round sticker that has the same number on it.  That way all the kids have to do is match the numbers when returning their books.  I get the organization that works for me and looks neat and my kiddos get an each system of number matching.  Arthur books are all in a bin labeled Arthur #1 and every Arthur book in there also has a sticker on the back with a #1 on it.  That way they know exactly where each book goes. 

Numbers.  Easy.  

Some of you may be saying...."Well of course!" but it took me about 12 years to get it right so for those few out there that are looking for something that works well....there it is!

My classroom right now is filled with lots of teal (some of you may remember my slight obsession with the color from my last post).  Here are the book bin labels I am using in my classroom right now.  I used to have black borders with cute clip art/pictures also but last year when I made these I changed the color scheme of my room and made these to match some border I was using.  They might work for you to use or give you some inspiration for making your own.  I made all of the text editable so if you want to use the teal polka-dot labels that I made, you can, but you are still able to edit the bin label numbers and titles.  Just so you know the text I used is from Kevin and Amanda's "Pea Fonts" and it is called Pea Angedawn.  This is the font that will open correctly on your computer so download it if you don't already have it.  You can always change the font using the editable boxes.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Summer Lovin'

Like "Sister 3" (Amy) said, we are working hard on getting back into the blogging world and creating new products for our store.  All three of us have been busy enjoying summer...I am sure you would agree, it goes by WAY. TOO. FAST.  Does the calendar really say August already?!?

My summer has consisted of sun and fun, lots of reading, and of course shopping!  We finally got sod and sprinklers at our new house.  I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was the day the sod finally went in.  I was very sick of looking at our "dirt" yard.  When did I get so old that SOD excites me?  Now if I only had a pool in the backyard already.....(sigh).

We also celebrated our first wedding anniversary!  What a huge accomplishment (yes I said only 1 year!!)! :)  I love my husband to pieces but year 1 is filled with lots of compromise. Let's face it...anyone who doesn't admit that along with happiness, excitement, and fun-- year 1 also has some lying.  We decided we needed a vacation-celebration!  I mean who wouldn't?  I am not sure where I saw this but it pretty much sums up our motto:

We headed to Florida for 10 days.  We spend the first few in Orlando and stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal.  I am totally a Disney fanatic so Universal was fun but didn't compare and isn't the park that has my heart!  The hotel on the other hand was amazing!

After leaving Orlando, we headed for the beach to finish out our anniversary trip.  If you follow us on Instagram, you saw some pictures of the beautiful Clearwater Beach.  We had a few days of rain but found lots of frivolous shopping to do in Tampa.  The rest of the trip was sunny and super hot!  What an amazing trip with lots of great memories made.

I have been continuing my shopping spree since we have been home...buying lots of good stuff for the house.  I don't like a lot of clutter and "knick knacks" but my house needs some "flair."  Here are a few good things I picked up at Pier One just this week!  I am borderline obsessed with teal/turquoise!

They also opened a Kirkland store close by where I live. There are a few in the area but none were close enough to stop by regularly (which was probably good).  I picked up a few pieces of  Halloween d├ęcor....hey might as well get a head start!

In between all of this, I have found time for relaxing in the Michigan sun!  It's been pretty beautiful here the last few weeks.  I have a few good friends with pools and have been spending lots of time enjoying fun summer cocktails while soaking up some summer sunshine.  I have also started trying Zumba classes!  I have a friend who goes religiously and has not stopped asking me to join in this summer.  Finally I gave in this week....and I have to admit I love it!  Do any of you Zumba?

Most importantly, I have been working hard on adding products to our TPT store!  I have quite a few new things started and finally uploaded the first two completed things!  I know Amy blogged about a Sub Pack freebie for you all on Wednesday!  Well I just uploaded our first ever - upper elementary sub pack!  This pack uses a picture book called Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg.  It is from our 5th grade genre unit.  Check it out if you teach upper el or know someone who could use a great sub tub filler.  You can find it here.

I also recently added an informational text pack on Turtles!  Our kiddos always seem to LOVE learning about any kind of animals.  I even learned a lot making this pack!  I can't wait to use it this coming school year.

Speaking of....what is your countdown to back to school?

Have a great day!
~Tina (Sister 1)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

This or That

I wish I would have seen this link up last week, so I'm a week late but none the less... it was too fun to pass up! 

I have to say I really surprised myself with some of these picks...

JEANS: Back in the day I wouldn't have been caught dead in jeans. Now, I live in them! 

NECKLACES: Earrings use to be an everyday MUST. I felt naked without a pair. Now, necklaces are in - earrings are out. 

EARLY BIRD or NIGHT OWL: Neither. I love going to bed early and sleeping in. BUT I'd say I'd rather wake up early than stay out late. I'm old. 

FLATS: Seriously, who am I??? My high heels are crying right now because they haven't seen the light of day in years. I'm all about dem flats. 

Join the fun and head over to The Tattooed Teacher to link up! 


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August Currently

Hello out there!

We've been MIA for some time but I'm ready to get back to my blogging ways [now I just need to get the other two on board! ;)] . 

What better way to get back in the saddle than to join the August Currently fun! 

I have to honestly say, that this has been the best summer of my life. My daughter and I are on the go constantly. We've been to the zoo, aquarium, library, pool parties, shopping, play dates... you name we've probably done it! I'd love to show you a picture of how big T is getting but... 

This girl won't let me get a good picture of her. 16 months going on 16 years some days, lol. I love her sass and spunk! She is pretty worn out now from a morning of fun at the Sea Life Aquarium and lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. Like I said earlier... 3 hour nap! 

So, I'm trying to get caught up on some of those projects: organizing the basement, working on the baby book, completing some TpT projects, getting things together for a new school year and studying for an insurance licensing class. 

My husband is an agent and thinks it's a great idea for me to become liscened, "Just as a back up or on the side." Just because his company specializes in home and auto insurance for teachers doesn't mean I have to work there (as a back up OR on the side) because I'm a teacher. SOOO Yep, that's sitting right next to me but I'm...

and YES... That's my boyfriend Jonathon, from Property Brothers, you see in the background. 

Next Monday I'll  be getting my Stitch Fix. Seriously ladies, when I see that box on my porch it's like Christmas morning. I finally got Tina and Lindsay to sign up! Tune in next week to see what my personal stylist picked for me! 

And... If you're still reading we have a prize for you! Sub packs are our number one sellers in our TpT store. We want you to start the year prepared so here is one of our packs free! Just for being a reader of our blog. 

We appreciate you taking your valuable free time to read about our personal and professional lives and adventures. 

Have a great day everyone!!