Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Who's That Blogger???

Welcome Everyone!!

         Are you ready to have some fun??
                                              ....Play a game?
                                                              .....Win  prizes and cash?

I have teamed up with 65 AMAZING blogger buddies to put together the ultimate Back to School Linky/Giveaway!!!

Each one of my blogger buddies submitted a cute childhood photo & generously donated something special from their online TpT shops for this occasion!! We have included a fun game for you to play for a chance to win over $300.00 in prizes and a BONUS  CASH-PRIZE raffle you can enter at the end of this post!! 


The game is easy to play....

 Your job will be to try and match each blogger with their childhood photo!!! With over 60 childhood photos and bloggers to match up, this might get tricky!! As I mentioned above, each blogger has generously donated one awesome prize from their TpT store. Successfully match a blogger and childhood photo, and you win the prize offered from that blogger!!! The more you matches you make, the more prizes you win!!! 

Check out some of the prizes you could win!!!

but Wait....
That's not all....

ONE lucky follower will win a $125 Amazon Gift Card!! Scroll to the bottom & follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win $$$

The link below will open a form that will allow you to submit your answers for the match up. 

Use the blogger links and numbered images to help you along the way!! Each childhood photo has been assigned a specific number. 

Once you open the form, use the drop-down menu beneath each blog button and select a number that corresponds to a childhood photo. 

The form results will be collected throughout the week. At the end of the week, each submission will be "graded" and you will receive a prize for each blogger and photo you successfully matched up!!

The game closes on Friday, August 23rd at midnight (Arizona Mountain Time). Answers will be announced on Saturday, August 24th. Winners will be notified through email throughout the week. 

Use the blog links below the photos to search for clues!!
Click HERE to Play the Matching Game!!


Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $125 Amazon gift card!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for participating!!! Good Luck!!!

If you would like to post about this linky/giveaway, grab the special image below to display in your post and link up below!!! Make sure to use the link to the actual post,,,

Monday, August 19, 2013

Washi Tape Dry Erase Calendar

This is my new dry erase calendar.  It needed a little something because it was VERY white.  I added Washi tape and it took about 5 minutes.  It left me wondering where Washi tape has been all my life!?!

I also put Washi tape around the edge.  It was the perfect width. 

I bought the calendar at Hobby Lobby.  You can click here to order it and/or see pricing. 

I bought my Washi tape at Office Depot.  I had these colors on hand because I used Washi tape in my weekly planner.  To read more about that, click here

This picture does a great job of showing you Washi tape and how not to get it confused with other types of tape.  Some of the tapes are "re-positionable" and "writable".  Those are 2 things I look for when buying Washi tape.  Because it is so forgiving, I know that I will be able to pull the tape off of my calendar with no problems.  
Scotch Expressions Tape

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Video Tutorial: Scrunchy Bulletin Board Border

I have now created 3 scrunchy bulletin board borders in my classroom.  After many people coming in to ask how I did it, I decided that a tutorial might help.  

Below you will find a  picture/video tutorial on how to create a scrunchy border in your classroom. 

Bulletin Board Paper 
Glue Gun
This is a close up picture of the one that I did.  This one lays over another piece of border. 

The finished product. 

Start with a long strip of bulletin board paper.  The width of the strip will determine if you do a thin border or a thick border.  For this window, I did a thin border. 

Crumble the strip up into a tight ball. 

Unroll the ball and you are ready to begin. 

Below you can watch the video of how I made the bunchy part of the border.  First, you glue the top piece in place.  Next, you literally bunch the paper up until it creates a poofy look.  Then, glue that in place form underneath.  Last, crunch pieces in place that look different and glue if needed.  

Live & Learn 
1) I have now done 3 boards like this.  Until you have one entire side complete and maybe even into an L shape - it won't look right.  You will think that it's horrible and you are doing it wrong.  I encourage you to keep going until the L is formed and then decide.  

2) You do not need to do a border under the scrunchy paper, you can just to a thicker scrunchy as the main border if you choose.  I doubled up for this because it was a window and it didn't look right. 

3) If you hot glue to the border, you will ruin the border for future use.

4) It is probably possible to staple the scrunchy onto your bulletin board if you are careful.  This way, you will not ruin the bulletin board frame.  I have an obsession with hot glue so that's always my first choice. 

5) It does not take long to complete once you get into the groove of scrunch and go! 

6) The width of the strips do not need to be exact or even cut straight.  Once it's scrunched up you really can't tell the difference.  

7) The wider the strips, the wider the border.

8) You will probably burn your fingertips some while creating your masterpiece! 

The Big Sale!

Everything in my store will be 20% off and TpT is giving an additional 10% off if you use the discount code BTS13 when you check out!  My Teacher's Notebook shop will be on sale as well.  Both of my sales will run from Sunday until Tuesday.  TpT's discount code works on Sunday and Monday! I have listed some of my newest items below.  By no means is this everything, just some of my top picks for getting the school year started off right! You can click on any picture to be taken to that product.  If you would like to just head over to my store first, click on the back to school sale button.   

Popular Item
Teach your students how to use beginning dictionaries and word categories with a TOP SECRET Word Book

Back to School 


August - October 


Classroom Decor 
Oldies but Goodies 

Happy Shopping! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Name Games {Back to School}

I am looping to 2nd grade this year.  As I began to prepare for the new school year I realized that some of my tried and true first week activities weren't going to work since I've had this group already.  They're a quick bunch and they would look at me like I had 3 heads if I did some of the basic name stuff again.  I always ask them when they're confused why they look at me like I have 3 heads and children are so literal.  They always respond with "Ms. Fleming you don't have 3 heads." - to which I say, "I know! So get to work." 

Back to my point.  I had to dig deep and come up with some name activities and first week activities that go a little deeper.  I am sure I will have 1 or 2 new kiddos added to my roster so I couldn't leave it out all together.  I created a new mini unit to incorporate all of the things I want to do. 

I found a great book that I've never used before called "The Name Jar" by Yangsook Choi. I realize this is not a new book but it's new to me! I will kick off the week using this book. The activities in the unit were inspired by the book but you don't actually need the book to do any of the activities in the unit. 

The first week, I have a letter going home to parents asking about how they chose their child's name.  I'm really excited to get some good stories back on this one.  I also have created an activity to do using student initials.  I plan to take some time to teach them about their initials and the purpose of them.  I'm changing my last name this year which I'm pretty sure is going to be impossible since I'm looping and the kiddos already know my name...I'm hoping the name and initial lessons will help them understand why in the world I'm going by a new name now.  I'm hoping it won't backfire and they won't all suddenly declare that they too are changing their name...

I definitely have some unique names in my class that I really want to embrace.  From personal experience, I can say that it would be nice if some people I've met in life could have embraced my name a little more kindly! My first name is Randi - different I know, but nonetheless, it's my name.  I have heard all kinds of comments about it from people over the years.  It's usually the worst at doctors offices.  For whatever reason, people feel that they can give me their opinion {good or bad} about my name since it's unique.  It's made for some awkward conversations especially when people are expecting a BOY.  It does come in handy though whenever I need to call somewhere like Verizon.  I just have my fiance call and handle stuff like that.  Since it's a boy's name, they never question it.   

I would love to hear any suggestions or tips for looping! 

Here is the preview of my Name Games unit for those of you that are still searching for just the right activities. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Using Washi Tape for Planning

I've had a lot of questions about my editable planner so I thought I would do a blog post  to answer some of those questions. The planner is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store and it is editable so you can have your name on the front too! I also wanted to share what I did with Washi tape!  I'm sure you've seen it all over by now.  It's basically a patterned tape that can be used for a variety of projects.  What I learned about Washi tape is that it is VERY forgiving which makes it perfect for using in your weekly planner or on your calendar.  It has more of a paper texture than tape.  It can be placed and then easily peeled off.  You can write on it with a Sharpie and it won't leak through the tape or the paper.  Don't confuse it with the patterned Duck Tape which can also be found everywhere. 
Why would you need to know all of those things?  Allow me to show you with pictures! 
I had my binder bound at Office Depot.  It is spiral bound. The binding was $2.99 and I think the front and back cover added up to be about $1.00 total.  It took about 15 minutes. 

The back cover is the same as the old green planners that I used to use (and love).  The leathery type backing that has a little shine to it.  

Now for the Washi tape.  I have 2 colors of tape.  The mint colored tape is something that I'm really excited about.  It applies to me and it may or may not apply to you.  The page shown is my Month at a glance page in my planner.  I use it to write down all of my scheduling for both home and school.  I have step daughters every other weekend.  Sometimes it gets confusing to plan events and have to count out what weekend we have them and what weekend we don't.  I specifically created this calendar so the week would start with Monday and then Saturday and Sunday would be together on each page.  I used the mint Washi tape to mark the weekends that I do have them.  Notice I did not write in the box.  This is because sometimes life happens and our weekends get switched.  If this happens, I can pull the Washi tape off and change it as needed.  The Washi tape comes off easily and does not pull off paper!!!  Last year I took a highlighter to my calendar marking the weekends.  Yep...then a weekend changed and I had a hot mess on my hands.  I plan to do 1-2 months at a time and it won't be a big deal if it changes.  It's really nice to have it at a glance like this!  

I used the pink pattern Washi tape to mark off events that cover multiple days.  Above, I have my bachelorette weekend blocked off and I have the first week of teacher workdays blocked off.  I also did single days in September (holiday and early dismissal).  I wrote on top of the Washi tape with a Sharpie.  Most things should stay the same but if something were to change....just remove the Washi tape! 

***Please note that for whatever reason, a Sharpie marker does not smudge off of the Washi tape but my Sharpie pen did.***   

This is how I blocked off days on my planning pages.  This shows me when I turn to this page I will be out from Wednesday on.  It's not like I will forget my wedding week, but you get the idea.  Have you ever flipped to a week and started to plan only to realize that you just planned an entire day/week of lessons and there was a field trip or holiday you forgot to write in.  What if there was a field trip and the date changed? Just remove the Washi tape! 

I originally saw this idea here but I'm sure there are others.  There are entire Pin boards devoted to Washi tape.  So far, is the only use I have found for it. 

If you are interested in the planner itself (which comes in different color combinations) click here


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