Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made It...Whew!

Happy last Monday in July y'all!  I just spent the last week in New Orleans, Nashville and Memphis and I noticed a ton of signs that advertised school starting on August 1st.  HOLY COW!  I would definitely not be ready for that!  (For all of my southern friends who are starting school on Thursday, my hat's off to you!)

While I'm at it, here's a picture of my son down in the French Quarter.  He's painting a door that is being sent to Nelson Mandela:

It's time to link up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for her...

Yeah...I've been a slacker...but I'm up and running again and wanted to get something done.  I got home from the most AMAZING vacay with my hubs and son on Friday night and then kicked things into high gear just so that I could post today.  (It wasn't too tough being that I could do things in between the MOUNTAINS of laundry!)

Here's what's been happening in my Monday...

Pop Star Reward Bingo

Note...this has been floating around out there for a bit on other blogs and on Pinterest and I've seen a few people try this out.  I'm not sure who to credit for this amazing whoever you are...thanks!  By the way...I subscribe to the idea that a good teacher is a great thief!

I fell in love with this idea the first time I saw it, so I had to try it!  I've seen it in neon with a black background and with lots of jazzy graphics, but that doesn't fit my "Road Trip" theme this year, so I went with black, white, and blue with some colorful pop bottle caps.  I want to do something else with it to add the "pop," but nothing's jumping out at me just yet, so here is my version.  (You can't see this in the corner, but I also built in my own dice for this!)

Shout out to my son, Noah:   He totally wanted to help out here and used some scrapbook rub ons to number these PLUS he wielded the hot glue gun to put the magnets on the back of the bottle caps.  Thanks buddy!

As for rewards...there are some really cute ideas out there and some sweet rewards cards that so many lovely folks have put together and I love love love them.  However, I'm the kind of gal that likes to ask my peeps what they'd like to I'll put my reward system together after the start of the school year.

Writers Notebook

And's time once again to put together a brand new Writers Notebook.  I like to have this ready to go for "Meet Your Teacher Night."  That way, my students can see what they could do to "trick out" their Writers Notebook.  (This also gives parents a great visual so that they can help their honeys put this together!)  

I hand the basic composition notebook out when they walk into our classroom and ask the students to personalize their notebook and bring it back to school with them on the first day.  I can't wait to see what my kiddos bring back with them!

An "Eggcellent" Word Sort

Ok...this is another great idea from another terrific teacher out there.  I know I saw this out there in Blogland but alas...I have no specific person to name.  I've seen this printed out, but I did this one by hand and am not planning on marketing this with cute graphics.  This is just me and I'm just sayin.'

What you can see in the picture:  EGGS!  4 dozen mini eggs to be "eggsact!"  Each egg has two slips of paper in it.  These are word pairs.  For instance, one egg has black and white in it.  The student reads these two words and decides whether it goes into the "Synonym" basket, the "Antonym" basket or the "Homophone" basket.  (Note:  In the photo it's hard to see, but there are 4 baskets.  The first basket is filled with eggs.  The second basket has a "Homophone" mini file folder in it.  The third has a "Synonym" mini file folder and the fourth has an "Antonym" file folder in it.)

The students at this center then decide which basket the egg belongs in.  At the end of the activity, they can check their work against the answer key in the file folder.  (Oh how I love a self-checking learning center!)

I'm leaving this wide open since I can see possibilities for math (primes/composites, factors of even numbers/factors of odd numbers)...

Instead of creating a list of words, I chose words that my third graders might encounter in their reading.  I'd highly recommend personalizing your choices as well.

BTW...all eggs and baskets came from my favorite place:  the Dollar Tree!  I had a few mini file folders laying around, so I added those to the mix.

Word Boxes

I've been working on these a bit and BIG PUFFY HEART LOVE how they turned out!  It's a different take on "Making Big Words" which I adore.  I just don't like the time it takes to cut out all of those squares...even if the kids are doing it.

Anywho...I made 5 boxes in each color so that the entire class can use these in small groups.  If you've never used Making Words or Making Big Words before, it's really quite simple...letters are placed on individual cards so that students can manipulate words and explore "words within words" on their own or in small groups.  There is really one giant word in each box, and the students try to figure out as many small words as they can while working to determine the big word.  My kiddos have journals for this and they love it!

I also put together the first 13 weeks worth of these boxes...I can't wait to use them.

The boxes came from a favorite place of mine:  The Container Store.  Each box meaures 2 x 2 x 3/4" and costs 69 cents.  I bought mine online, but if you are lucky enough to have a Container Store close by, they can be found in the gift wrap aisle.

I picked up 12 x 12" scrapbook paper in coordinating colors and just cut each square into a 1 1/2" ...if you do this, you'll get 64 squares per sheet of paper and you won't have to waste any by punching these out!

I have lots of other things I've worked on and my phone cam isn't cooperating, so I'll just have to wait until next time to share the rest.

Don't forget to share the love with your colleagues...some of these were a little pricey and a little more time consuming, so if you don't want to put these together for everyone, don't sweat it.  Do share when you can!  You'll be glad you did!



  1. I read that you visited New Orleans - I live in Louisiana {not in New Orleans}, but I love it the same. It is such a unique place to visit. I found your blog through the linky and am your newest follower. I can't wait to read more post. If you get a chance I would love for you to come on over and check out my blog. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Thanks for stopping in Jamie! I ambled on over to your blog and loved it! You've inspired me to want to put something together for my kiddos...your 7 Ups were so stinkin' cute!

    Glad we connected and best wishes as you start your school year!


  3. Hey! So excited to see someone else doing the Road Trip Theme! I love it! Hop on over to my blog so we can share ideas! Now following you!


  4. Love what you have going on at your blog Kerry! Just climbed aboard to join you on the journey too! Let's keep in touch!

  5. I have used plastic eggs for years. One hint I have is that I write the letters in the same color marker as the color of the egg. That way if a letter or word ends up on the floor after the kids play, I don't have to look inside as many eggs to find where it belongs.

    1. Excellent idea Carol! Thanks for sharing! I think that this is something I need to do!