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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fixed the Journal Prompts from yesterday

If you stopped by yesterday and grabbed my journal prompts. . 

YOU are an accessory to the crime!

Ha ha! Just kidding.

But there was a mistake that Jane found and I have since fixed it. So go back and grabbed the newer one.

Also I should tell you that I only made 10 of them. . . . or 11, I'm not sure right now.

I wanted it to be a random thing that not everyone could take one home each night, but that if there was one available someone could grab it. Sort of like trying to make it more special than everyone HAS to take one home each night.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for being good proofreaders for me!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Free me from Jail and a FREEBIE for YOU! ** FIXED

Get the hand cuffs out.

Call in the police.

Because I think I stole something from someone. . . but I don't know WHO!!!

I searched to see if I could find it and get it from them (because I think it was a freebie)

I put it on Facebook and no one fessed up that it was theirs. . . .

So I created my own. It is truly someone else's idea, but it was such a good one, that I couldn't resist using it. I may and probably have changed the actual wording of it, but the idea is someone else's.

If you recognize this idea, please post the bail money and come and get me out of jail. I will gladly give you credit for it.

This is what I took, borrowed, stole, recreated. Take Home Journals.

I made 10 of them. Each night a child can take any one of them home. Their family can read what someone else wrote, then they are to do their own writing. Each cover has a different topic and directions of what to write.

I started with these UGLY journals that Wal-Mart gave us (apparently NO one wanted to buy them!).

Then I laminated my journal cover and taped it to cover up those words. . .  yuck! (hee hee!)

Now that I have confessed to this crime, I will GIVE away all the topics that I made so that who ever originally created them, MIGHT not be AS mad at me.
Just click HERE to get them.
They are made with DJ Inkers clip art and fonts. They are so adorable!

So grab them for free, tell your friends, do what you have to, to get me out of trouble.

You see, tomorrow is my first day back to school. I know many of you have been there for a couple weeks or more, but for Michigan it is a law.  . . a LAW! We can NOT start school until after Labor Day. Do you want to know why?

Here's the deal. There are a lot of touristy things in the Upper Penninsula and in Upper Michigan near Mackinaw Island. Apparently the legislatures from that part of the state are pretty strong figures, and they were able to sway the rest of the state to make us wait until after their touristy season. They need their workers who were quite often students to be there.  But here's my question. . . there are a lot of touristy things in lower Michigan that happen in early June, when we are still in school. . . . so why didn't those legislatures win out?

Ok, I digress. . . or ***** SQUIRREL! *******

I've got lots to do to get ready for my first day of . . . . you guessed it. . .  meetings! But I hope to be back tomorrow to share something else with you. . . . y'all come back now ya here!

And just one more thing. A big shout of prayers to all those who could be or are in the path of Isaac. It's a huge pain and worry and something we Michiganians never have had to worry about.

P.S. There was a typo and Jane was kind enough to bring it to my attention. It is fixed now. So if you grabbed this yesterday, you'll want to come back and get the new one.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pencil Sharpeners of the World Step Aside

Many of you have talked about "things" you couldn't live with out at the beginning of a new school year. This is one thing that all of us should have said. .. . a PENCIL SHARPENER!

For several months I've watched you talk about a new pencil sharpener. I was interested because pencil sharpeners are a main staple of our lives.

1. We can't live without them.
2. They are noisy.
3. Sharpening pencils for 2nd graders can take a long time.
4. Pencil sharpeners eat pencils. . . . they do. . . A brand new pencil can be 2 inches in just a few seconds!
5. They also can be useless.

So when many of you were singing the praises of this new sharpener, I had to find out why this one works and the others don't.

I received my own pencil sharpener the other day.

It's an attractive little machine. . . but sadly it doesn't have a name. . . It comes from Classroom Friendly Supplies.
Right away I had to try it out. . but where are all the pencils in my house?

I finally found one and it definitely needed sharpening.

The unnamed sharpener was quiet, quick, and very VERY easy to use. When the silver panel stops moving, you know your pencil is done. SEE. . ..

OOPS! But then I realized something we all know. . . "there are bad pencils!"
No matter how many times I tried with this pencil the led continued to break. . .
That's not the pencil sharpeners fault. It's the pencil's fault.

I found a brand new pencil.

Then I sharpened it.
Holee Samolee! Look at that point!
And the great part is that it didn't keep on sharpening until it was only 2 inches long!
Ya gotta love that. 

THIS is the sharpener I've been waiting for. 

Here's a video of the sharpener.

This picture shows how to attach it to the shelf. You can put the holding bracket on either side of the sharpener. That's another cool feature of this sharpener.

The sharpener doesn't come with any directions, so I made some to share with you.

Now I know you're really wondering if this sharpener is for you.. . .  IT IS!!!

I will put this to use right away this year. I will teach my kids how to use it and I will sit back and not worry that kids are spending TOO much time at the sharpener. Because NOW I know, when the pencil sharpener has finished it's job, their pencil will be sharpened and it will not have shrunk 4 inches in 30 seconds!

If you're interested in buying one or even more (they get cheaper the more you buy!) Go to this link.   http://curebit.com/x/N38pi

I was so excited by them I bought extras for my own kids and their classrooms. . . I hope they aren't reading this and find out before theirs arrives! SSSHHH! Don't tell them!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Free the lambs! No I mean FREE Lambs!

I am still up! Yes, it's past 11:00 and I'm stuck in my computer chair! Somebody come and get me out of here!
My husband is in bed so he can't help me. . . .

I guess I'll just finish this one more thing and then I'll go to bed.
Do you say that?

And do you finish just that one thing?

Ya right, I didn't think so!

I remade a freebie that I posted earlier, but now it's in my TPT Store.

You'll love this . . . I added a bit to it and . . ..  It's still FREE!

There is nothing better than FREE. . . well, maybe a McDonald's Diet Coke, that's a bit better than FREE!

Raise your hand if you are one of those addicts like I am. . .

yup, 1, . . . . 2. . .. . .3. . . . ya, I see ya all out there with your hand slightly raised.


I have to admit something else besides my addictions. . . My tpt store is pretty flat.
I mean I'm just not selling. . . so I've been thinkin and thinkin. . .

Then tonight I read over their TPT manual to see if there was something more I could do to boost my sales.
They said I should give something away for FREE! I like to be obedient and to follow the rules. So here's your FREE! But you do need to go to my store and look for the Subtraction With and Without Regrouping Lambs. They are pretty darn cute if I do say so myself. You already know that I'm addicted to Diet Coke, well, I'm also addicted to DJ Inkers. This activity plus a few more that I've added are created with those cutsy pictures.

Do me a favor, go on over to my store HERE, and just take a look around. Then if you do pick up something, be sure to leave me a good comment. And if you'd like to be "in like Flint" on the upcoming items, sign up to be one of my followers.

P.S. (added this morning) I did finally go to bed at 12:30. . . what in the BEEP am I going to do next week when I have to get up to an alarm clock and be out the door by 7:30?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Do I need a silent E or don't I?

When kids are learning to spell words, sometimes they just throw that old silent e on the end because they think that's what you're supposed to do.

Oh no you don't!

It just shows that they haven't learned the rules yet and they haven't become familiar with how the word should look.

These cards will help them practice identifying whether an e should go there or not. The words match the cutsie pictures from DJ Inkers clipart.  And that makes it easier for them to figure out the word if they are beginning readers.

I have included a recording sheet and answer key in case you want to put this in a center. But you could easily use it in a small group verbally. This might even be good for when you have a parent who wants to help some kids.  I think I've kept this simple enough that many first (and some of your stinkin smart Kinders!) could do this activity. I only made it in color because if you print and laminate it, the color just pops so much more than black and white.
Here's what one of the pages looks like.

If you'd like to get them click on Silent E or Not

I like to keep them small, but not too small so that you don't have to do a ton of cutting. As you may have noticed, I tend to use the same size cards that are easier for me to cut out with a cutter or my scissors.  I think they are easier for the students to handle and for me to store, too.

If you remember I found these cute little boxes at Walmart and I became obsessed. . .

So seriously obsessed with them. They fit my stuff and most of the ones I've picked up from you, too!  Easy for the kids to open and close. . .

 How many of your kids can't zip the bags?

And it's so much easier than the slippery zip lock bags that are hard to organize.

 I'm just hoping that in a few weeks Walmart will deliver a box to our store with left overs that don't sell and they'll have a zillion of these little things in them! Does your Walmart do that to you? Deliver left overs? Ours is so helpful. They have given us tons of Elmers glue bottles, pens, notebooks (The U of M ones, because WHO wants to buy those!!! heee heee! Big State fan here, sorry!) scissors, and plenty of other stuff.

As Farley would say. . . SQUIRREL!

Back on track again. I know that many of you are back in school today either with our without kids. . . I'm with ya in spirit. Next Tuesday is my first day back. So I'm really trying to absorb these last few days of summer. (and here I sit at my computer! duh! Get outside!)


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Multiplying with Pictures

A while ago I made this multiplication activity with task cards. I have updated it, and added black and white copies for those who can't copy in color. I've used DJ Inkers for my clipart and fonts for this. You can check them out and other specials at djinkers.com.

That's weird. . . when I tested that link, it says "Smiles to you , Patty Rutenbar" Do all of you see that when you click on it? I don't know how to get rid of it. I'm not logged in to it, so I'm puzzled by that! Let me know what you see!

For my second graders who have to start mulitiplication, they need to see pictures to help them see the process. You may have 3rd, 4th or even special education students who might benefit from this. There are task cards, a recording sheet, and an answer key. This is self checking so it can easily be put into a center. You could also use it as a scoot game.

By the way, my kids have LOVED playing scoot. I'm not sure who made that game up, but it is a great way to review a topic by moving around and being able to be a little noisy! Who doesn't love that?

I  hope that you take a peek at this in my TPT store. Here's what one of the pages looks like:

Many of you have been very gracious to show your pictures of your rooms. I am still in the process of getting everything finished. We don't start until the day after Labor Day and then it's just a half day! Whew! That's long enough for the first day. Do you also have half days on the first day?

But when I get done, and feel brave enough, maybe I'll share some of it with you. . . Maybe!

I have seen my class list. Right now I have 24 students. So does the class across the hall, but the other 2nd grades in the other buildings have 26 or 27. . . what does that tell you? That every new kid from now until whenever will be put in our rooms!

I've heard someone on here talk about the things we don't know about a student before they come into our classroom and how we need to accept, love, encourage no matter what. I have one of those . . . and yes, I know about her already. I will call her B. B has been living (court ordered) with Gramma and Grampa. The court has allowed her to go back to mom. Dad of B is in prison in Michigan. Dad of B's brother is in prison in Indiana.  And she just moved back to our state after living some place else. She was previously in our district for kinder. That's a huge amount of stress and disorder for one little 7 year old little lady.

So when you pray for all the little ones of the world who need it, I know that this little B will be included in your prayers.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back home, but still floating on the waves. . . sort of.

AAAHHHH! I feel much better and ready to face another year of 2nd graders. This week my husband and I took a mini road trip to northern Michigan for a few days. We stayed right on the beach of Lake Huron, and watched the waves come in. . . listened to that sound so I can quickly go their in my memory when I am stressed.
 This is the Ausable River . . . Isn't it beautiful!

We did a lot of walking around town, on the beach and down and UP 272 steps to see the Ausable River. Going down was fine. . . but that UP part was killer. . . I'm not sure, but I suspect my legs will be yelling at me tomorrow!

I was able to watch all of your sales go crazy while I was away. I'm so happy that this sale happened. It sounds like a huge success for so many of you. I know I found a lot of good things for me too!

Tomorrow I'm going to work in my room and tonight I have to unpack and figure out what's next on my to do list.

I just wanted to stop in and say, Yes I'm still stalking you, and Yes, I'm still here, and Yes, I'll be back into making things soon. So don't give up on me. . .

It's just that the "School Thing" is getting in my way. . . imagine that!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

My store is 20% off too!

I'm a little late on the uptake. . . I have watched all of you get ready for this sale this weekend, and I just felt that I didn't have anything cool to sell. So I didn't jump on the bandwagon.

Then yesterday the DJ Inker license came through and all of a sudden I felt ready to go!  I put a couple new activities in there with their clip art.

Today I have marked everything down 20% for just today and tomorrow. And if I'm correct I think you just have to put the code BTS12 in the code at the check out and you'll get about 10% more off.

Ya can't beat that can you!

Here's some pictures of the things I posted.

 This is addition with and without regrouping.
 This is contraction spellings.
And this is Plural spellings.

I know you have a ton of things to look at today and tomorrow. I would love it if you would go over and check it out. I won't tell your husband how much you're spending if you don't tell mine!

Tomorrow we're taking off for a few days to the East side of the state. I'm looking forward to seeing the sunrise over Lake Huron!
I will miss you all, (but I am taking my ipad, so I can keep up a little. .. .Just like Holly, it's hard to stay away from the outside world even when you're on vacay!)


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Check out my TPT Store

Today is the day I have been waiting for . .. . The DJ Inkers licenses have been released! Do you see that cute little logo right over there to the left!

Yea! That's it!

I'm an official seller of the DJ Inkers products!

I've read their rules, and double checked everything. 

I think I have it ready. . . Really ready.

Now you can go over to my TPT store and see what I'm selling! I've put up 2 activities that I think you'll like. Go on! Check it out! I'd love to hear your opinions too!

Now, I need to get back to work! Oh the things I can do now! I feel like I've been released from a couped up cell! I can work now!

Thanks DJ Inkers! You're the best!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Storage System that's cheap and it works!

One of the great debates I have had since making the wonderful things
all of you create and share in your blogs is


I keep a lot of things in baggies, but they slide around and fall under things. . .
don't you just hate that?

I think I found a solution that works for me
(for some of the task cards that are small)

. . . and maybe for you TOO!

{It is just possible that someone else has blogged about this, and I haven't seen it. Please forgive me if you have. I promise I'm not copying anyone, just trying to make some sort of organization for my centers.}

At Wal-Mart and Michaels I found these little plastic index boxes.
3 x 5 size for $0.50 at Michaels for $0.88 at Wal-Mart.

I went to my classroom and picked up one of my favorite activities that
Christina Bainbridge made called Short and Long Vowel U
She used the clip art from DJ Inkers which I LOVE and just can't get enough of.

I only had to trim the title cards a bit to fit inside this box,
everything else fit great.


Next I made a set of labels to identify the outside and WA-LA!
And I used some of my DJ Inkers clip art.

 Put the elastic around it to close it and you're all set!
 I have a great storage system that fits easily in my tubs
and is easy for the kids to find.

Christina has other vowel cards that you can find when you go to her site: Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge.

And you'll really love this. . .
They are FREE! Isn't that nice of Christina to make those for us?
 Thank you Christina!

You're a peach for stopping by!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Is your room ready? ugggh!

I am a little bit jealous of many of  you. . . just a wee bit. 

But it's not enough I can't  get over it.

Many of you are in your rooms working hard to get them ready for your students. Sadly some of you are already back to teaching.

But in my case today, .... TODAY...... TODAY, they are cleaning my room. Seriously! Actually I went in last night to drop some stuff off and I noticed that things were wiped down, but the floor hadn't been done.

I'm not sure how your school does it, but in the past they empty our rooms, (and yes, I clear off all the shelves so that EVERYTHING can be moved out) and then shampoo the carpet.  It's a tedious process, but when I return in the fall, I KNOW that everything has been cleaned.

Last night it appeared that the carpets still needed to be vacuumed. . . I even found a pinto bean from my math centers under a desk. Does that sound like they cleaned to you? So I checked the other rooms, and many others seemed to need their carpets cleaned.

Well one thing led to another and now my carpets and the other classrooms are getting shampooed today.

Give me a few days and maybe, just maybe I'll be in my room working. . .

if it's a cool morning. . . . .

and if there is nothing else on my calendar. . . .

and if I am bored. . . .

and if I get out of my jammies. . . .

 and well, as you can see, I'm not all that jealous after all!

I do have a while yet to get started. Michigan schools are not allowed by law to start until the day after Labor day. That's September 4th this year. We have a few boring meetings and learning sessions professional developement activitites on the Monday through Thursday of that last week in August.

I guess I'll be in my room during the two weeks before. . . oh wait, . . . that's just next week. . . Hey maybe, just maybe I call my BBF (That's Best Blogger Friend) Christina Bainbridge and have her help me since she's a uber achiever and has her room all done! Just kidding Christina. . . you did your time, now you can sit back and relax!