Friday, July 25, 2014

Comprehension BUNDLE!

Hi friends!

I'm super excited about bundling up my comprehension packets! I've been working all year..season by season to make a comprehensive (and cohesive) unit that can be used throughout the year! 

I use these packets all throughout the year- beginning at teacher table and then I slowly place it in my stations baskets as my students become more comfortable with reading them! {If you buy the bundle, you're getting a 20% discount off buying the packets separately!}

Here are some pictures of the Fall packet- each packet includes 20 differentiated stories {low, medium, high} and then 5 create-a-story pages or scrambled sentences. Each story has connection and comprehension questioning pages that go along with the story. There are visuals for your students to use with each packet {so there are no "but Mrs. Alderson, I don't know howwww to draw a leaf!"}
 Here's a little look at the packets that are included in the bundle:

Click on over to my store to snag this packet up 20% off through this weekend only!! That's like getting each packet at $4 instead of the $6 that they are priced separately! CLICK HERE to see the packet in my store!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Guest post from Trashy Crafter

Hi friends!
I'm having Kim from Trashy Crafter visit and share her story! Welcome Kim!

 Books are magical, they give you the ability to go on a jungle safari one minute and a deep see dive with mermaids the next, but what happens when books has gotten lots of love from years of use? The pages get creased, dog-eared and ripped, the bend or even start to fall off.  That’s where my Mom Helen and I come in, and this is where the story of Trashy Crafter begins.

My name is Kim, and I have pretty much been a crafter since I was old enough to hold scissors in my hand and not eat the Elmer’s glue.  As a little girl I would come home from school each day, and as long as my homework was done I could create crafts all afternoon at my Grandmas house until my Mom and Dad came to pick my sister and I up after work.  My Grandma made beautiful crafts and sold at lots of holiday craft shows, crafting ran in my blood and it was bound to become a part of my life some way or another.

One day while I was in my senior year of college and my Mom and I went to the local thrift store. While there we noticed they had these auction bins out front of the store full of damaged and outdated books.  We found out that when books would not sell at the thrift store because of being damaged or outdated, they auctioned them off, and if the folks sifting through the auction bin thought could not sell the book or it was too damaged it was just thrown away.  
Needless to say my Mom and I were heartbroken that all those beautifully illustrated children’s books were just thrown away… so we grabbed about 25 books each in our arms and took them home.  I was really busy with school at the time, so the books sat in the corner of my room for about 3 months.  I was trying to think of a useful thing to turn the books into when it hit me!  I was very lucky to have a 3rd grade teacher that was very crafty, her name was Mrs. Bryant.  She had taught us how to roll magazines pages into paper beads (I’m sure many of you have done this in girl scouts or grade school).  I made my first few beads and knew from then I was hooked, the most magical part about it to me is that you not only create beautiful, colorful unique beads made from something that was going to be thrown into a landfill, but you know what book or item it was made from!
Everyone has stories, and connects with them so well, the reason we continue to create recycled book beads, map beads and sheet music beads is that when people purchase a set at a local craft show or online they have a story behind what they wear…. Perhaps they went on a road trip across the country, and that map bead bracelet they wear reminds them of the fun they had, or they had a band teacher that taught them to play an instrument, so they give them a sheet music bracelet as a token of appreciation… or even a gift for a mom or teacher that read you a book as a child that connected with you and stayed in your memory to this day.  As humans we all connect universally with stories, and it’s a beautiful thing to throw away, so my Mom and I plan on fighting the good fight and continuing to turn old books into beautiful, wearable works of art.
Our Process:

My Mom Helen and I gather the books from a lot of different places, sometimes we find them in cardboard boxes outside of library’s, in thrift stores on the clearance shelf or in the bins, and even get books, maps or sheet music donated from folks that love and support our mission. Once we gather all of the books we measure and hand cut the book pages into long narrow triangle strips and roll them one at a time onto lollipop sticks.  Once they are on there we coat each bead 3-5 times depending on the thickness of the paper.  Once that is done we spray them with a matte finish and then we start to make them into the finished jewelry.  We purchase damaged necklaces and bracelets from the local thrift store and strip them apart to repurpose the beads.  We create the jewelry with a mixture of the paper book page beads we made along with the repurposed beads. Once that is finished, we hand cut recycled cardboard bracelet holders and place the book labeling on to each set so folks know what book their bracelets were made from!
 I hope you enter my giveaway and take a peek at my shop!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fun giveaway!

Image MapI have a super fun post for you today! I've been loving a few things lately and want to give you a chance to score with some of them! {keep reading!! you can win here!}
The first thing up is Jamberry nails! I have a few friends who sell them and they are SO much fun! Plus, they have one that practically matches my blog so you know I was all over that! ;) Here's a picture of my friend Lesli...aren't her nails perfect?! I did mine...and I am embarrassed to show you my cuticles because I don't take care of them so you get Lesli's instead! ha! I'm not showing you my fingers but here are my toes!! eeeeeek! If you don't like feet, then look away friends. I'd been wearing my Jamberry nails for about a week in this picture. I wear them on my toes for at least a month at a time! LOVE!! Just ignore that flip flop tan line. Pretend like it's not there.
Here's the fun part! Click THIS LINK HERE and you can snag up a sample of Jamberry nails to give a try...this way you can try for yourself!

Next up are these SUPER cute and SO cool bracelets from the Trashy Crafter! These bracelet beads are made from OLD BOOKS! {We are all (mostly?)  teachers here, right?! Who doesn't love a bracelet made from old books?!}
I received my package in the mail this week...just look at it! I love me some vintage/ antique-y/ recycled products!
I chose this teal/ black and white bracelet. I wear a lot of teal so I knew it would work with a lot of my wardrobe!
So cute, right?! And I love that it's made out of old books that would have otherwise been throw away! Kim is going to share her story about how she creates these beads on Monday on my blog! Are you excited?!

Now the fun can enter to win a bracelet of your own! Just enter using the rafflecopter below! If you can't wait for the giveaway, then use the code TC2014 when you check out at Trashy Crafter to get 15% off your purchase!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Calendar Organization

Hi friends!

I'm so excited about this post today! I'm a pretty organized person by nature...and I LOVE a good organizational tip! So when I was reading my one of my FAVORITES blog a while back I knew I just had to do the same thing. You guys...I got to meet Kristin in person in January and she is seriously the best! She is just as hilarious in person as she is on her blog and she was super nice and kept us entertained when I got us lost for, like, an hour in Dallas. {I am the WORST with directions- just ask the Mr.}

So, anyway...I saw Kristin's calendar organization post and knew that I was going to become a certified whack-a-doodle right along with her! Half of my calendar cards as we speak are laying in the top drawer of my desk at school in a bunch of Ziploc bags. They're not even labeled. I know! Just thrown in the drawer. {the bags are clear...right?! You can see exactly what's inside! ;)}

So I dug through my closet and found this empty index card holder. It says "my recipes" on top. I have no idea where it came from, but it works perfect! {I covered the "my recipes" up with a little "calendar" label} Then I went to our teacher store and bought some library pockets and index-sized folders. Look at these cute polka dot folders! I labeled them with the months that we are in school.
So here's the fun part... the calendar pieces! I placed a little label on the front of each library pocket and laminated them. I sliced open the pocket with the tip of my scissors and put each month's calendar pieces inside.
So now I have perfectly organized calendar pieces! The holidays for each month are also in the pocket.'s where Kristin gets suuuuper smart. She pre-fills-out little birthday cards and places them in the month that they fall in. For those kids that have summer birthdays {I feel their pain!} she finds a month where there are only a few or none and places their card in that folder so when it comes to that month, she sees it and there's no "OH MY GOSH IT'S THE END OF MAY AND WE HAVE 4 BIRTHDAYS TO CELEBRATE BEFORE THE END OF THE WEEK!" {but you've never done that before, right?!}
 So, once I get my kids' info I will be doing this first thing! 
Then I won't have to think about it the rest of the year!
CLICK HERE to snag up the month labels and the birthday cards for FREE! And then go over to 
A Teeny Tiny Teacher and tell her how smart she is for this idea.Then head over to Tara's blog to see all the other Monday Made Its!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Phonics and PA Giveaway!

I'm teaming up with Ashley from
for a fabulous giveaway of phonemic awareness and phonics just for you!!
Entering this giveaway is SUPER easy!! Just follow us on Facebook through the Rafflecopter below! Ashley's pack is AWESOME and full of great phonemic awareness goodies and my packet is a year long tool for your guided reading groups! The giveaway ends next Friday, the 18th so hop to it!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New bulletin board!

Happy Thursday, friends!
I went up to school this week to start changing out my bulletin boards {we just got the all-clear from our principal- they're usually not finished cleaning this early!} and it looked a little something like this:
I KNOW!! I know! I know!! It felt so good that last day to just chunk it all in the closet.....
I'm regretting my choice a little bit now. BUT the good thing is my actual classroom is almost completely empty so it will just take a little pulling-out to get this stuff re-organized.

I did start putting new bulletin boards...and I am IN LOVE with the colors! Ok, I'm not actually changing my colors....I'm still using teal/green/pink/orange brights but I added in black and I love the way it is looking! Here's a little sneak peek:
{if you remember I posted a little bit about this board a few months ago...there is a link in the post to the board titles is you want to snag them up!}
I can't wait to get more up to show you!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wish-list Wednesday

It's another Wish-list Wednesday, friends!! Are you as excited as I am?!
I went up to school yesterday and while I am not *quite* ready to go back...I'm getting the itch a little's like Target knows exactly how long to hold off on the school supplies before we teachers are scouring the aisles for shiny new supplies! {are you with me, here?!}

So I thought that if you were in the back-to school organization mode like I am that you might appreciate this packet being 20% off!
This packet saved me at the beginning of the year! Look at what all is included: 
 I hope you click on over to check this packet out! It will be on sale through Friday only!! Get a jump start on your planning for the year!