Sunday, January 25, 2015

Centers for Super Bowl Fans

I'm sooooo not a football fan.  If I watch the Super Bowl at all, it's for the commercials.  However, many of my patrons are big football fans, so I thought I would take advantage of that and make some centers with a football theme.

I created a football themed call number sorting center where students must determine what section that call number would belong in: Easy (or Everybody/Everyone), Fiction, or Non-fiction.  You can check out this center HERE in my TpT store.

I also created a football themed shelf order center where students must put the cards in shelf order.  I made 3 different levels for Easy (or Everybody/Everyone), Fiction (with both FIC and F options) and Non-fiction.  You can check out this center HERE in my TpT store.

Both sets come with color and black and white options to save on ink.  You could print the black and white on colored paper or cardstock to make it more fun.  I have laminated my pieces so that they will last longer.

Both centers will be 50% through midnight (EST) tonight, so grab 'em up now.

I am pairing these centers with a lesson on the Sports and Leisure genre.  I thought to make it more fun, I would let them see if they could sort the cards Minute-to-Win-It style.  I found a fun countdown clock on YouTube that I show.

I changed the call numbers on both of these centers so that students who had previously played the Winter themed centers would have a fresh set of cards.  I have used both sets with two fourth grade classes already.  They liked the timer and it made them realize how important it is to keep the shelves neat because it takes a while to put books in the correct order.  I really think the other classes are going to enjoy it, too.

Happy PreSuper Bowl Week!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Reading Tent

One of my favorite books to read is Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians by Jackie Mims Hopkins.

  I love how the libearians join Goldie in the reading tent at the end, so...

I decided to make my own reading tent.  

I had been wanting to make use of the lighting area in the center of the media center for a while.  You can kind of see it in this older picture above.  After reading Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians for the 50th time, inspiration struck.  It only took me about an hour and half to hang all the paper.  Considering I had a 5 year old "helper" with me, I thought that wasn't too shabby.

Here's a video of me setting up the tent.  I even had a little helper.  =)

The kids LOVED it.  I think the reading tent might have to make a yearly appearance.  =)

What is your favorite spot to read?

P.S.  Here is a link to the activity sheet I created to go with Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians.  It's a free download.  Just click HERE.  =)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter Themed Shelf Order Center

I think I seriously have a problem.  I am so addicted to the adorable winter clip art that I just had to make another center activity with it

This pack includes practice for E, FIC (or F), and Non-fiction in 3 different levels for each (easy, average, and challenge). It includes both color and black and white options to save on ink.  You can check out this new center pack in my Teacher's Dojo store by clicking HERE.

Don't forget to check out the other winter themed items I have available including:


And these fun products

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Winter Themed Call Number Sorting Center

I think the cold weather has gotten to me. 

I am seriously obsessed with the cute winter clipart I used to make THESE bookmarks 

and THESE winter signs

and THESE centers.

So guess what I made?  Another center/activity. This is a call number sorting center.

It comes with 12 sorting cards for the E, FIC (or F), and Non-fiction sections.  Students sort the cards by the section in which they belong. There is a recording sheet for students to write down their answers.  Or have them place the cards on a poster or under the section labels as a fun lesson activity.  I've even included a center sign with directions and answer sheets.  And I made everything in both color and black and white so you can save ink.

Check out this new center pack in my Teacher's Dojo store and let me know what you think. Just click HERE.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Made It Monday

I recently weeded some of our older fiction books because we are getting about 500 new books in about month.  (EEK!  So excited about that!)  I hate just throwing those books out so I usually put them out for the kids to "adopt," (Read about the Adopt a Book program HERE) but these books are so old that I don't think the kids would read them even if they did adopt them. That's kind of why they haven't circulated in more than 10 years and why they need to be weeded in the first place.

Then I remembered pinning some really cool ideas for recycling old books.  One of them was THIS cool idea for a Halloween costume.

I've been thinking about making it for a few years and was finally able to create it last Halloween and wear it at our school's Fall Festival.

It took me a couple of hours to put together, but I think it came out cute.  (You can find the directions for making most of this costume on the Lilliedale blog by clicking HERE.)

Another idea I found on Pinterest for recycling old books was folded book art.  I did some research on book folding and came across some how to videos on YouTube.  I was very excited about all the possibilities so of course I made a Pinterest board for Weeded Book Crafts and then, like so many other Pinterest addicts, got around to actually making something 2 years later.

This was my first attempt.  It's okay.  My twelve year old thought it looked cool.  He actually asked me how I did it.

I REALLY want to work my way up to making something like this for Valentine's Day.  I might attempt it this weekend when I have an extra day to get frustrated.  Good thing I have lots of weeded books to practice on.

Not one to surrender to mediocrity, I came across some "newspaper" fabric that was left by the previous media specialist and I got the idea to make craft I felt confident would turn out better...a book page wreath.  I made a night of it by watching The Librarians (LOVE this new series....even if Noah Wyle is not in every episode *sad face*) while I cut fabric strips.  That's my kind of Sunday night.  LOL

I tied the cut fabric strips onto a wire hanger, pushing each strip down as I went and twisting every other one to make the wreath more "fluffy."

The final product turned out pretty good...(it needed a little more "fluffing" in this picture).

...better than my first attempt at folded book art, anyway.

My craftiness inspired my boys to do a little art of their own.  That's a picture of Yoda, a dog being attacked by a couple of flying squirrels, and a monkey. (My oldest doesn't like his picture taken, but did allow me to photograph his painting.  He is so gracious.)  Not exactly weeded book art, but art nonetheless.  They make my heart smile.  =)

What do you think? Do you have any ideas for upcycling weeded books?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Freebie Friday

I recently made some updates to my blog and added more freebies to the Freebies page.  I went back and counted and there are over 100 freebies listed.  Wowzers!  There are a variety of items from bookmarks, to PowerPoints, to activities and more!  (I really need to work on organizing them better so it's easier to see what all is there. Guess that will go on the to do list next.)

If you'd like to check them out, you can get to them by clicking HERE or on the Freebies link at the top of the page.

Some of the freebies are from my TpT store and some are Google docs.  If you download a freebie from TpT, please leave me some feedback about what you think of the product. Your feedback is important because it helps me make the products better and also encourages me to create new items. Plus, I love hearing from you!

And if you'd like to follow me at my TpT store to get updates when I post new items and TpT messages of when I am having a sale, just click the star at the top of the page.

To download a Google doc freebie you have to click on the download button after opening the file.

I hope you enjoy, and thanks for following!  =)

Thursday, January 8, 2015


I am a techie at heart.  I love cool gadgets and gizmos.  So when I hear about a new product at a decent price, I try to jump on board.

Back in September I preordered a neat little gadget I just knew would be a big hit with my kids.  It's called Osmo and it is awesome.

It took about a month for my package to arrive, but it was worth the wait.

Osmo is a system that lets you play interactive games on the iPad.  The company that makes it is apply named Tangible Play.   The video above was made by the company and gives you an idea of what the product does.

It comes with a base, reflector, and 2 boxes of manipulates.  

There are 3 apps that go with it and all are free in the iTunes app store:
Tangram, Words, and Newton.

The Tangram app works with the Tangram pieces.

The Words app works with the letter tiles.

The Newton app works with anything in the camera's view.  It really is pretty cool.

Here are some videos of my own children using the Tangram Osmo app.

(Please excuse the grunting in the background. That was my little guy before he got his tonsils and adenoids out. Thankfully his surgery fixed that problem.)

And here is another user's video review of the entire system.

The whole system is a bit pricey at $79.99, but just like it says in the video above, it could be a good investment if you already own an iPad and want more ways to use it.  What do you think?  Would you purchase it? 

Are there any cool tech gadgets that you've come across lately?

 (In the interest of full disclosure, I actually preordered the Osmo for $59 before it came out on the market.  This review is my own opinion.  I was not asked nor paid to review this product.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter Bookmarks

Well, I knew it was too good to last.  I am at home with a sick child. It's my oldest this time, not by youngest, but that means the germs are back in the house.  Hopefully all the Lysol I have sprayed will keep the rest of us from getting sick.

Anywho...since I was home and my big man was mostly sleeping, I thought I would make some cute bookmarks to go with the winter signs and winter centers I made earlier.  Nothing like making the best of the situation, right?

I made a free version with 2 colored and 2 black and white bookmarks for students to color.  You can download this freebie from my Teacher's Dojo store by clicking HERE.

I also made a bigger pack of 32 bookmarks. There are 16 colored and 16 black and white bookmarks for your kiddos to enjoy.  You can get it in my Teacher's Dojo store by clicking HERE.

While it was fun being creative today, I hate that my sweet pea isn't feeling well, so I hope we are both back to school tomorrow.