Monday, December 31, 2012

January Reading Spotlight Poster

I want to wish everyone a Happy 2013!  I hope this year brings you lots of good fortune.  Thanks for being a loyal follower.  =)

Here's the free Reading Spotlight poster for January.  Just click here or on the picture to enjoy!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 Thanks for being a follower.  See you in 2013!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Just for Fun

If you're reading this...

Hope it made your day to wake up this morning.  =)

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Very Crafty Christmas, Volume 2

So I got crafty again this Christmas and made my parent volunteers and the staff at my school some fun Pinterest inspired gifts.  Here's what I made...

For my parent volunteers, I found this neat little idea on Pinterest from Bubble Bee's Craft DenHere are the directions to make it.  Super easy to make and not too expensive.

I made Santa-tizer for the administration and some of my son's teachers from this pin...just decorate a bottle of hand sanitizer. Here's how I did it...

Measure and cut paper to fit around the bottle.  Print out the word "Santa-tizer" on several lines in a document that is in landscape orientation.  Print out and cut.

I used these items to add the finshing touches.

Here's the finished paper ready to wrap around the sanitizer.

You could wrap it in a cellophane bag to give it a little something extra, but other than that, it's ready to go.  Very easy and again, inexpensive.

Next I turned


It's just duct tape on the outside.  Fill with shredded red and white paper and your favorite treat, add a tag and you've got a fun gift.  These were a big hit at my school. I was inspired by this pin.

So did you get crafty with your parent volunteer and staff gifts this year?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Swap Update

We finished up with the Book Swap today, and I'd have to say for a first go 'round, I think it was a big success.  55 students turned in about 250 books.

I had the swap planned so that different grade levels came on different days.  This allowed me to put out appropriate level books for each grade.

There were mostly and picture books and chapter books that were swapped, but...
...there were also a few nonfiction books as well.

My first "customers"

All of the students I asked said they enjoyed the swap and would do it again.  I think we're going to try doing another one towards the end of the school year.  It really was an easy activity, will minimal set up and organization involved.

If you missed the first post about the swap, you can find it here along with a link to free files to hold your own swap.  I'd love to hear about your swap if you decide to do one.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Swap

You might remember from my Winding Down post at the end of last school year that one of the goals I had for this school year was to do a book swap.  I had thought I would plan for one at the end of the year, but instead I am about to hold the first Book Swap next week and I am so excited!

To pump up the kids about the Book Swap, I sent home reminder letters and made weekly announcements about two weeks prior to the Book Swap to give them plenty of time to gather up their books.  I also mentioned it during our weekly Media lessons.

I sent home a letter about the Book Swap based on a letter that a fellow Media Specialist made up to use at her school. You can get a copy of it and all the Book Swap files by clicking here or by clicking on the picture above.  Feel free to use it as is or as a reference for your own Book Swap letter.

Students will be bringing books this week for the swap and I will look through them to be sure they meet the requirements.  Then I will record the number and types of books that they bring in that qualify on a spreadsheet.  You can get a copy of it as well as all the Book Swap files by clicking here or by clicking on the picture above.

I also will give them a receipt so that they will know how many and what types of books they will be able to swap.  You can get a copy of the receipts I used by clicking here or by clicking on the picture above.

To set up, I covered all the tables in red and green table cloths and then put signs to label each table with what kind of books were at that table. This will make it easy for me to organize books when they are being turned in as well as already have the tables set up for the actual swap.

You can get a copy of the signs as well as the letter, spreadsheet and receipts by clicking here or on the picture above.

I even made a Pinterest craft for the occasion (based on this pin).  It didn't come out as well I had hoped, but it took so long to make that I wasn't going to attempt to try it again. It will do for this year anyway.

So I'm set and ready for the Book Swap.  I'll let you know how it goes.  =)

Friday, December 7, 2012

iRead, Do You?

Last year I started a punch card reward system to encourage students to read often and to read a variety of different books each month.   K and 1st grade students read 5 books a month to receive a prize and 2nd-5th have to read 5 specific types of books a month to receive a prize.

To go with the Rock Star theme this year, I designed "iReader" punch cards. The kids have loved them!  When they turn in their completed iReader, they get to pick a prize from the Rockin' Reader Prize Cart.  The Prize Cart gets pretty bare by the end of the month which means students are reading!  I spend about $80/month on prizes from Oriental Trading to load up the cart, but it's totally worth it.  You can read more about this program here.

To track our progress this year, I decided to display the iReaders in the hallway once they were turned it.  This is what it looks like so far this year.

K and 1st have their own board.  This is K's board. 

Recently I read the book Igniting A Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers by Steven L. Layne and I was inspired to create my own iReader so that I can model being a good reader.

To be fair, I made my iReader with 10 spaces.  I have been listing the title, author, AR level and number of pages for each book I read and so far, students have been very excited to see what the Book Bug is reading.  I have also challenged them to try to complete their iReader before I complete mine.  We have some really good readers here so I am sure there will be a few who will complete theirs first.

I love it when an idea works, don't you?

P.S. If you are interested in the iReaders, you can purchase a sample pack on my Teacher's Dojo store by clicking HERE or on the picture above.

Or you can purchase the complete pack by clicking here or on the picture above.

If you are using the iReaders or a similar program, I'd love to hear how it's going for you.  =)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Historical Fiction Freebie

This month's Genre of the Month is Historical Fiction so during this week's Media Lesson we are reviewing what makes a book Historical Fiction.  To help students practice identifying Historical Fiction books, I created a little activity to do after the review.  Students read a description of a book and then decide if the book is a Historical Fiction book.

You can download a FREE copy of the lesson which includes 2 PowerPoints (one for 2nd-3rd grade and one for 4th-5th grade), a free author poster, and 2 worksheets by clicking HERE or on the picture above. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy Holidays

So I've gotten in the Christmas spirit and made some Christmas bookmarks.  I've made a a free sample pack of 4 which includes 2 color and 2 black and white bookmarks as well as a pack of 20 including 16 color and 4 black and white bookmarks.

Click HERE or on the picture above to download the 4 free Christmas sample bookmark pack on my TpT store.

Click HERE or on the picture above to download the 20 Christmas bookmarks for $2.50 on my TpT store.

Hope you enjoy!