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Hello everyone!

I am so excited to be here at Blog hoppin'!!! You might know me from .......

My name is Amy and I'm an elementary special education teacher going into my fifth year of teaching. I love sharing classroom organization ideas as well as activities for multiple grade levels on my blog. I feel honored to be joining the team here sharing with even more of you!

I've getting ready for the new year with binder organization sets, calendars, and room decorations like these.

I have had several requests for different color and theme sets from pink and green (my classroom colors) to red/black, black/yellow with bees and even a jungle print. Come on over to my blog and check them out, I'm sure there is one for you! Click on the pictures above to see them all! Oh and I forgot to mention they are FREE!!

I can't wait to share more with you in the future!! See ya soon!

Behind Closed Doors: A Classroom Organization Linky!

Hey friends!  Believe it or not, it took me TWO YEARS to finally host my first linky party! :)  I am so excited to open up my cupboards to share a few organizing tips.  Most of all, I am excited to see how other teachers organize their classroom goodies.  Click the image below to link up!!!

Desert Critter Clip Art Freebie

Happy Monday everyone!  8 more days until the big "First Day of School" frenzy for me and my daughter!  She'll be starting Kindergarten this year!  Where has the time gone?
As I begin to plan ahead for the upcoming school year, I try to think of how I can implement science a little more each year.  I am planning to introduce characteristics of our Arizona desert critters with our Common Core Standards this year. 
Yes, desert life has it's advantages from deer hopping our fence to eat from our Peach tree....
 to those curious Javelina snooping through our garage looking for the trash cans....
Stop by my blog for more, including a free Desert Critters Clip Art set!  Click the link below.

Bulletin Board Round UP: TONS of Ideas

Thought it would be helpful to pull together a TON of bulletin board ideas that I have seen during my travels, making Author-Illustrator school visits around the country. 

There are LOTS!! All seasons + all reasons!!!! ENJOY!!!! 
Click right here to get to the collection on my blog, Rainbows Within Reach. 

-- Debbie -- 

I also have the ultimate 'organization' post that 30,000 have read. Click right here if you haven't yet. 

Word Walls A to Z! Round-UP

photo of:

ROUND UP!! All things: WORD-WALL!!!
I have a blog post today that rounds up all styles and manner of presentation of sight words on the wall, on anchor paper, on a mural. YOU name it!! Here or there. Word walls, word walls EV-ERY-WHERE!

Come be inspired! 

-- Debbie -- 

This and That...

Raise your hand if you feel like the summer is FLYING by!!!! Although I am excited for another year, I am needing this break to slow down just a tad! Since this probably will not happen anytime soon, I have been hard at work preparing for a new year!

I just bought my very first iPhone {I know…I am SO behind} and I am so excited about using it in my classroom. I am trying to talk the hubs into buying me an iPad to use in the classroom so I won’t kill my phone! We will see how that works out! :) I am having a linky party over at Second Grade Shenanigans to build a nice list of teacher/student friendly apps! Go check it out and link up with your favorite apps HERE!

I am also beyond excited about implementing a classroom economy in my classroom this year! Last year, my kiddos couldn’t get enough of our economy! If you want to check out my unit that is packed with resources and lesson plans, click on the picture below!

I have also started a new little series called Firstie Fridays! I taught first grade for four years prior to looping with my kids to second and AGAIN to third! ;) Since I have all of these first grade ideas flooding my brain, I figured I would share them with all of my first grade blog buddies! {These ideas will work well for second grade peeps too!} I posted about a fun little adjective strategy on Friday! You can check out my friend Suzie Adjective HERE!

And finally, we are having a Carolina Blogger Meet-Up! If you are in the Carolina area, {or Georgia…Florida…or anywhere for that matter} we would love to see you there! Check out the details below!

I hope that you are all having a great summer!

Annual Postcard Exchange

Click image above and learn more about my annual postcard exchange.  Please read details carefully before signing up!  =)

VA Blogger Get-Together!!

 My friend Kelly (From Kindergarten With Love) and I have been chatting about having a VA Blogger Get-Together... well, as my husband likes to say, "There's nothing to it, but to do it"!  Here are all the details!!!

Please click on the above graphic to hop over to my blog.  Comment there if you can join us... and don't forget to include your email address!  Can't wait to meet some local bloggers!!!

Station Signs Freebie and a Giveaway

This is a great time of the year to think about how you will organize your stations.  I have used the task board designed by Debbie Diller for the last few years... LOVE IT!   I created a additional station signs that correspond with the stations I use. Come on by my blog to grab the free items!

Literacy Stations
Click on the image to go to this document
Math Stations
Click on the image to go to this document

You can also enter to win three stations that are just right for the beginning of the year.

Click on this image to enter the giveaway

Celebrating Yummy Birthdays! {Giveaway}

I'm giving away one copy of this file... 38 pages for your back to school birthday bulletin.  Introduce data collection by graphing the cupcakes!  Click the image above to link to my store.  Click my blog button below to be directed to the giveaway!  

Back To School Giveaway

Hello Blog Hoppin' friends!  I am celebrating my Birthday with a Giveaway:)
Hop on by to see 3 simple ways to enter.

This is what you could win!
You might especially love the Monthly Newsletters with Editable Text Boxes:)

Lidia R. Barbosa

My summer in review...

A summer in review...

I combined my personal focus walls into one freebie file in an attempt to clean up my store. You can click the image below to download!

I'm currently working on a kindergarten set that will be available for a free download soon!

Each of the personal focus walls have a specific poster for the skills and strategies.  I made these posters into a 44 page file.  I love this set a lot!  Click the image to purchase a set for $6.00.

I created Alphabetizer and my Culminating Word List to match the graphics of the Alpha Cards in Alphabetizer.  The Culminating Word List align with Houghton Mifflin Reading for Kindergarten.  

Click graphic for my preview post on Primary Graffiti

 Words available for every theme!
Click graphic for my preview post on Primary Graffiti

 You'll also find lesson plans on establishing routines...

 Another book study I've worked on this summer is Katie Wood Ray's, In Pictures and In Words.  I've created posters to align with the study.  Click the image to download techniques 1-22!

I have a few more goodies coming up soon!  I'd love that you join me in my adventures this school year.  

All Things Kinder RoundUP BLOGHOP!

I started musing on my own Kindergarten Memories and it morphed into a Round-up of all the great Kinder ideas I've seen this spring on my Author-Illustrator School Visits. 

Then I thought, why stop there? Hop about making it a KINDER-Bloghop!! Here's your magic click to all things Kindergarten!

Come on over and add your best kinder-posts!! 

I now have over 20,000 PINTEREST followers!!! Here's the link to that collection -- where I've cultivated over 15,000 pins, just waiting for you to discover my ubber organized boards. 

-- Debbie --

All Things Swampy

Feel free to download this freebie Swamp Powerpoint Presentation to help your students as an introduction or review of a unit on the wetlands ecosystem. Recently I went to visit family in Louisiana. I decided to put the tons of photos I took during a swamp tour at Honey Island Swamp in Pearl River, LA, to good use. Since the In my district, the wetlands ecosystem is studied in third grade so I created a presentation. It is made with a large photo on each slide with some information and guiding questions. Each slide is meant to launch a discussion on the various topics covered in a wetlands unit such as ecosystem, food chain, animals adaptations, living and nonliving things, and natural/human-made changes to the swamp.

Meaningful Math: Activities, Bulletin Boards + More!

Math, Math + More Math! Super Sunday to You!

I've gathered another 'round-up' of amazing ideas that I've observed making my rounds of Author-Illustrator school visits. This time I've focused on all things 'math' related. There are ideas from bulletin boards, class goals, team building projects, classroom collaborations, fine motor development the whole nine yards!! 

It's a bloghop so if you're a blogger I'd invite you to get your blog articles into visibility -- as this promises to be a big visibility post due to the power of Pinterest! 

P.S. I've got a give-away going for a personalized set of my picture books and you have until Thurs the 19th to get entered at this link. All you have to do to win is to pin something from my blog: easy-peasy!! Combine these two concepts! Pin an image from the math article and let me know in the Fine Motor contest. Happy summer everyone!

-- Debbie --

Super Hero to the Rescue!

There are fun ways to get our little boys motivated to read.  It can be as simple as finding out what their interests are and incorporating that into your lessons. Hop over to see how I used the Super Hero theme in our activities. These include a personalized alphabet chart, dice games and word families.

Home / School Communication Binders

If you're like me, your mind has been going a mile a minute brainstorming and working on ideas for the new school year!  One item that is always on my summer agenda is my home/school communication binders... which my class calls EAGLE Notebooks.  I've been using binders for the last 8 years (K-2 classrooms) and I will NEVER go back!  It is so helpful to have everything in the same place... for the kiddos and their parents, plus it keeps all important items ORGANIZED! :o)

What do I include?
First you need to snag a binder for each student (plus a few extras for those unexpected new friends through the year!).  When I first started using take-home binders, I purchased all the materials myself.  Now, luckily (for me and my wallet!) we ask $5 on the supply list for the notebook.  We purchase all the materials and put them together for each child.  When I taught 2nd grade, I used a 2" binder (since I also included a Word Study notebook), but I love the 1" size for kindergarten.   Be sure to get the binders with the clear front pocket so you can slip a cover inside easily.  You can usually get a good deal at Sam's Club or on Amazon.  Right in the front I add a zippered pouch.  We call the zippered pouch our “Bird’s Nest” and use it to store any “golden eggs”—like money and notes for the office.   
Next I add a copy of our class handbook, the ABC's of Kindergarten.  This makes it easy for parents to find  answers to their questions throughout the year... because it's easily accessible.  Then I add an Agenda calendar.  I put the entire school year in the notebook at the beginning of the year.  It's easy for students to "look ahead" to dates this way.  The handwriting lines can be used for students to record a highlight from the day's lessons, classroom announcement, homework, or whatever you wish! With younger students, I have had success with attaching a mailing label in this area. 

The Parent/Teacher Communications box is perfect for jotting notes back and forth. The best part is they are all kept in the notebook for easy reference!  The green cover version adds a circle for noting daily behavior and a square for nightly parent initials.  I have marked behavior in 2 different ways:  faces and letters.  We used a purple excited face, green happy face, yellow straight face, or red frown face.  A different year we marked a capital letter Q for being a quality student (or the first letter of the behavior the student had difficulty with L for listening, N for nice, etc).  Click on the pictures below if you'd like to check them out.  

For the kiddos to easily find their place, I use an "Eagle Spot".  I print this eagle picture on both sides of a piece of card stock (inserted into a page protector).  Students simply turn to the eagle to quickly find the date... since the kids mark their own behavior each day with a crayon, this is a HUGE time saver!
After the agenda calendar section, I keep our Nightly Reading. I love these plastic envelopes with Velcro closure.  They are perfect for storing nightly reading books and really help eliminate lost books throughout the year.  Here are two ways I have recorded Nightly reading:  reading clocks and RAH!  RAH!  Read At Home! (what I currently use).  

The last thing I include is a folder.  Our school purchases these folders for every student.  I simply use an electric 3 hole punch.  The Nicky folders are pre-printed inside with Return to School (left pocket) and Keep at Home (right).   I prefer students to use LEFT at Home and RIGHT back to school, so I made these hand labels which I attach to each pocket.  Grab this FREEBIE here!

Tuck a cover into the front, clear binder pocket and you're all set!  Here's what I use for my EAGLE Notebooks and there are tons of fun ones for other topics on TpT (like the ones from Ginger Snaps).  

How will you store them?  
I used to use this wooden rack with storage bins.  I labeled the corner of each student's notebook (by the name label) with a colored dot.  Students simply placed their notebook in the same colored bin as the dot.  I labeled the notebooks on the front and spine to help retrieve them quickly at dismissal. 
2 years ago my assistant came up with a better plan--and she and her husband built us these!!   The notebook slips right into the slot and can be pulled out whenever needed during the day.  The name tag is attached with Velcro right above.  This makes it super easy to switch seats!  Plus, the basket slips right under the little ledge, so it gives more table room.  I LOVE them!!

I got the baskets from Really Good Stuff (although when I just checked I don't see them in the 6 colors: ROYGBP except if you do "Mix and Match").  We keep a 24 pack of crayons, 2 pencils, glue stick, scissors, pink eraser, and a spaceman in here. 
Here's a picture from setting up my room last year.  You can see we needed a different design for the rectangle tables where 5-6 students sit (red and orange)--to store more than 4 binders.  
This is the design for the rectangles, where the notebook just slips in the top and stands vertically.  (I'm happy I had this first day picture of them empty... before we handed out the EAGLE notebooks!!

Here's how it looks with student notebooks.

Hope this helps you get started with home/school organizational notebooks!!  Already use them?  I'd LOVE to hear how you do it!