Sunday, July 29, 2012

Beginning of School

I created these labels for my classroom library.

I used this form a few years ago for classroom management.

This schedule is a rough schedule of what students will be learning the first month of school.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Thanks to Ericka at for awarding me with the Liebster Blog Award! Thanks so much!!

First Day of School presentation

In all my years of being in the classroom, the one thing that is a MUST is setting up classroom procedures. Without them...all the pretty posters, name tags, decorations...mean nothing! Children want to have fun, but truly need guidance and an understanding of their parameters.

A colleague of mine created a powerpoint about Chaos vs. Order ..that I of course spruced up for my classroom. It has been a lifesaver for years.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Linky Party

No idea if I am doing this right (I am not a "linky" kinda gal) but here it goes.....

1. Post about this linky party on your blog
2. Follow my blog (Fantastic 5th Grade! )
3. Answer the following 5 questions (include documents if you have them):

 What grade do you teach?         

·         5th grade

 What is the greatest advice you received during your 1st year of teaching?

·         Listen and take in sage advice from those who have been in the profession for a while

·         take lots of pictures of classroom ideas you like

·         go with your gut

·         don’t lose hope if you have a bad day/week/month

Do you have a checklist that you follow when preparing your classroom (include the checklist)?

·         Leveled classroom library

·         Tag everything around the room

·         Have a procedure / rule for everything!

 What are some must haves in your classroom that you cannot live without (ex. items, books, posters, management strategies)?

·         Harry Wong’s The First Days of School book

·         Post its

·         Snacks

·         Chart paper and chisel-tipped markers

·         page protectors

·         Digital Camera

·         Glue sticks

·         Lucy Calkin’s books ANY and ALL books

·         Cardstock

·         Dry Erase markers

·         A subscription to FLOCABULARY.COM

·         Scholastic’s StudyJams (make it a favorite on your toolbar!)

What is something that all teachers should have in their classroom?

·         Personal items to show you too are a HUMAN  :)

·         Pencil Sharpener THAT WORKS! (it is a nightmare when it brakes!)

·         Advil

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blog Award!

I am up to 26 followers! Whoo-hoo! Never thought anyone would even see my lil' blog. I appreciate the support and think it's super cool I can share my ideas with so many people across the globe. FABULOUS!

Monday, July 23, 2012

DIY Mustache Bash

My son, Noah Blue, is turning 3 this Friday! We wanted to do a hipster birthday theme for him...and since mustaches are all the rage these days, we thought wouldn't it be hilarious to see a bunch of 2-3 year olds wearing mustaches and ties to a party?

Anyway, as I scoured the entire internet for "mustache bash" kits, I was appauled at the amount of money people were charging for something I could do with help from the DOllar Tree and some free printable graphics, here is my DIY project (not for school) but had to share.
There is a lot you can do with a black permanent marker, masking tape, and a color printer :)

Love it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Interactive SOCIAL STUDIES notebook decoration

Each year, my students get an afternoon to set up and design their Interactive Social Studies notebooks.These notebooks will store EVERYTHING from vocabulary, to notes, to foldables, etc. from Reconstruction to the present day. This is mine for the 2012-2013 school year.

I printed a bunch of themed based pictures, then cut them out to fit, and created my collage. It's fun!

Personalizing YOUR OWN Reading Notebook


Each year, I let my students take the first day of school to decorate their Reading notebooks. It gives them a chance to chit-chat with fellow students, express themselves creatively (which sometimes is stunted in a rigorous curriculum), and take pride and ownership of their work.

I have done this for 10 years and it works! Hope this helps!?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I got an AWARD?!?!? WOW!!!

Thanks so much to Mrs. Henderson in the Teacher’s Workroom for acknowledging my little blog! I am super excited to receive this award!

7 random facts about myself.

·         I am the third out of four daughters (yes, middle child all the way!)

·         I have recently started the Insanity workout challenge—WOW! Crazy-ness!

·         My husband and I just celebrated 11 years of marriage on July 8th

·         My son, Noah Blue, will turn three on July 28th

·         My husband proposed to me on the Eiffel Tower when we were studying abroad (he’s the romantic, not me)

·         I could drink Chic-Fil-A’s sweet tea all day long

·         I have worked with children since I was 13 years old---22 years of experience isn’t bad J

Nominate other bloggers for the award.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Classroom Set-Up ideas

This is for my ImagineIt CONCEPT BOARD. The KMart tablecloth will act as my backing paper to go with my "beachy" theme.

I have 7 tables for students, so I mixed and matched the blue and beige placemats with the blue table organizers. These will be on each table.

These project toolkits were found in HOBBY LOBBY for $9.95 or so. Thought this would help me with bulletin boards or possible learning stations.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Procedure Handbook BEACH THEMED

Since I teach in an upper grade, the cutesy pictures don't really fly with my type of kids. So, each year I keep my clip art pretty streamlined.

Scribd POWERPOINTS for writing

Just found out about this (I am old, give me a break!).

I have posted a series of Lucy Calkin's-esque WRITING LESSON powerpoints for writing personal narratives.
Check it out:

Lucy Calkin's-inspired WRITING LESSONS

Independent Reading STATION

This is the largest I could get this WORD doc. I made this a few years ago when our school started doing Literacy Workstations. My children use this menu as they are in the Independent Reading Station. Throughout the week, they must have one appetizer, salad, main course, and dessert question (at least) answered in their reading notebook for credit.

I am not a real stickler for grades, since I am more about the process of getting the kids to stay on task and ENJOY reading, but the possibility of a participation grade does motivate most.

While creating this menu, I took into account that not every child wants to answer the same questions at the same tiime as everyone else AND kids are all reading different things. So CHOICE is the key element!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


My husband, who is a middle school teacher, asked me last week, "Why are you blogging? Who's gonna read it?" Well, in the vein of Julie Powell (Julie and Julia) I say it wasn't about getting followers but having an outlet.

Also--ha ha, husband, I DO have followers AND a ton of people checking out this blog! Ha!
Thanks to you all :)

P.S. This blog will get a whole lot better in the next coming months when I can get back into my classroom, decorate, and start organizing for another great year!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Awesome TEST TAKING vocabulary video

On Task

I created these posters last year because I noticed that many children had NO IDEA what I meant when I would say, stay "on task" and "work together." I hung them rigt at the front of the room ALL YEAR and referred to them often.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Teachers Pay Teachers

Ok, I am sure everyone is much more comfortable with this site, but I am still new to all of this.

I cannot believe what some people are selling AND MAKING MONEY?!?1?
Wow, If only all of this were around 10 years ago, at my prime, I would have a chunk of change now!