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Cleaning Out for a New Year

Hello Blog Hoppers! Well, we are still in school for quite some time. Late June, in fact. Despite the crazy heat (and no AC!) I am happy because this gives me plenty of time to get things cleaned out for a new school year.

And this is the time of year I like to take a good look at what resources I can get rid of, to really keep my room free of clutter. It can be hard to let things go! So each year, I try to gather the items my students and I haven't used over the past school year (or maybe even over several years!).

To help with the process, I use some signs to keep things in order. The "donate" one is my favorite, because there is always another teacher who might like to use resources you no longer need:

The scanning is something I do with a great little app (you can read more about it here on my blog). It's handy for those old papers you'd rather store digitally.

Using these little signs helps me get things sorted quickly and has worked like a charm for years! I'd like to share them here, just in case you are in school and cleaning like mad yourself!
(click on the image to download)

I hope this was of help to some of you! Happy cleaning and happy summer vacation to all those teachers already out of school!

End of The Year Memory Books

Hey Blog Hoppers! Stephanie here from Falling Into First. It's the FINAL COUNTDOWN for me with just 4.5 days left with the kiddos. And in that time we are squeezing in a field trip, field day, awards, a concert, and graduation. Cuh-razy!!! And I wouldn't have it any other way. HA! Today I want to share one of my favorite things to send my crew home with at the end of each school year. Our Memory Books!! I like my kids to feel like absolute superstars during all of our end of the year celebrations, so for our memory books we roll with a Rockstar theme!! 

{I'm 28 years old but I still LOVE coloring with my Crayolas. #justsayin}

They make for a sweet little keepsake that the kids take home on the last day!

 There are covers for grades K-2 and also a general one for any grade or combo classes!

Back in the day I read somewhere (Most likely a Mailbox Magazine) about stapling  books that students make into folders as a "binding" solution. I particularly love this idea for the memory books because they look more "official" and will have longer durability. These make for some precious keepsakes that your kiddos will have for years to come!!

Keeping with the Rockstar theme...a Papparazzi page where you can add class or student pictures!

Lots of pages to choose from, you can pick the handwriting lines best for your class.
You can preview these rockin' memory books here to see everything included. 

 May your final days be filled with shenanigans and extra Zzz's at night for you!! ;) 

End of the Year Slideshow Title Slides, Music, Tutorial and a FREEBIE

Hey guys!! It's Katie from Little Warriors! Do you make an End of the Year slideshow for your class?? I've been making one for about eight years now. I used to do a paper scrapbook for each kiddo, but man, that was a TON of work and so, so expensive!!! To make a slideshow, all you have to do is buy a big pack of DVD+Rs and you're ready to go!!!

Three years ago, I was tired of putting the BORING titles in my slideshow and had this vision of making my own title slides. So, I put some together and WOW!! Did it make a difference!!! It totally cutsified my movie!!!! Well, last year, it was time for a make-over! So, I recreated all of the slides and added a TON of new ones!!

All of these slides are saved in PNG format, so they are just images....just like the photos that you will add to your slideshow!! VERY easy to use and will definitely add a HUGE CUTE FACTOR to your movie!!

Hop on over to my blog to check them out!!

I'll also help you with picking out your music!! Don't worry! It's not a big, overwhelming list! :) AND I have youtube links so that you can hear the songs I have listed :) Click on the picture below to hop on over to my blog and check that out!

I even have a full youtube tutorial on how to create your slideshow in Movie Maker! You CAN do this!!! It's NOT hard at all, I promise!!

I've also included a FREEBIE for you!!! These are little covers for your DVD cases! I just buy the little DVD envelopes that look like this:

Sorry, this is a horrible picture from last year....but I haven't made them for this year yet, so it's all I have! Ha!! You get the idea:

Click on the picture below to grab your freebie!! It comes in Kindergarten, First Grade, Pre-K, Preschool and T-K!!!

HaPpy SuMmEr.....Almost!!!

Final Stretch... and Some Free Clipart

Y'all, the struggle is real right now.  We have 4 weeks of school left.  Two of them are snow make-up weeks and the kids are done.  DONE.  Kindergarteners have a terrible concept of time.  I mentioned that summer is soon and they've staged an all out riot.  I love them to pieces and I've already cried twice because they have to leave me, but they've lost their ever-lovin' minds.  They are holding me hostage for the remainder of our time together.  

I'm struggling with everything.  Being a wife,  remembering to call my family, brushing my teeth twice a day, being a friend (I think I've forgotten what those are these past two weeks), rinsing shampoo out of my hair, getting school stuff done, sleeping, eating anything but Sour Patch Kids, and Lord help me... I've fallen completely off the exercise train.  The train that I'm on now is called the "Exhausted from School - Netflix - Wine - Express."

I know I'm not the only one.  Why is the last month of school so stressful!?

I think I just need to get back into my health routine.  Just like my kids, I thrive on a routine.  Working out, eating right, and taking care of myself.  It is seriously going to be terrible.  I hate running and love sweet tea.  For a little inspiration, I'm sharing one of my Mini Sets, for FREE!  This is the exact outfit I wear when I get my sweat on.  

Just kidding.  I wish I looked good in a leotard and leg warmers.  

If you've still got some days left in school, you got this!  Let's do it!  Haha!  

Have a great week!


Using Keynote for Beginners

Hello Friends,

This is Cindy from Kinderkay Love Those Kinders. I know that many people use Power Point to create printed documents. I, too, use Power Point,  but I have also started to use Keynote  and have found that there are some aspects of Keynote that I really, really like.

There was a definite learning curve for me when I started to use Keynote. I spent many hours searching for answers that turned out to have simple explanations! I sooo wish that there would have been one tutorial that I could have used that would have showed me how to just get started......... So, I thought I would share some of the things that I have learned through trial and error; perhaps saving you a little time as you try to learn Keynote.

This video is for BEGINNERS; if you are an expert on Keynote, what I have to say in this tutorial will probably not give you new ideas for creating your printed documents. If you would like to give Keynote a try, though, perhaps this will give you the nudge to start! The tutorial itself is a bit long (sorry about that!), but as with any video you can fast forward through the information that you do not need!

 Hope you find something in this tutorial helpful!

End of the Year Memory Book

The end of the year is fast approaching and it's time for one of my favorite activities to do with my students! I love when my students receive their yearbooks and we get to take a look at our school year in review. All the kiddos get so excited to be able to sign each others yearbooks with little notes in each others books to remember their classmates through out the years. But sometimes, I have students that do not or aren't able to order a yearbook and I don't want them to miss out on the fun!

So I created these fun little books for my kiddos to make so that everyone has a chance to get in on the fun! They are very easy to make and the kiddos love the fact that they are mini books that they can add to their yearbooks or keep as a separate keepsake. 

Assembly for the books is rather simple. It only takes a minute to make and it's just a few simple steps!

First, copy the number of pages that you need front to back on your printer or copier. Stack them and make one cut down the middle.

Next, take your two stacks and lay them one on top of the other. 

Last, fold them in half and a couple of staples! Quick, easy and super cute!

Once I have made them, we discuss ways to write a sweet and caring message. We review writing a greeting, body and closing to a letter and how we can incorporate adjectives and character traits to show our friends that we are being thoughtful as we write to them. 

You will be amazed at how much thought the students put into their messages. I even make one for myself and have the kiddos write to me and they absolutely LOVE about getting teary when I read their sweet thoughts!

They turn out so darling and the students really enjoy adding their own personal touch to their very special memory book. 

Hope you enjoy this activity as much as my students and I have throughout the years!

Close Reading Summer Passages

While others see the end in sight, I am still 6 weeks away from sweet, sweet summer. There is definitely a countdown going around, but we still have a ways to go!

I am using this limited time to really prepare my first graders for the rigor of 2nd grade. One way we do this is through our close reading passages in small groups. I love this time of year because all but one of my small groups can complete these with little guidance from me.

There they go, reading with highlighters and pencils in hand - swoon!

My groups complete either a fiction or non-fiction passage each week during their independent reading time I check in with my higher groups when they are finished with the vocabulary and comprehension pages and I check in with my middle group as they complete it to make sure they are going back into the text and gathering evidence to support their answers.

Our fiction passage for the week!

Comprehension page to answer after they read the text.

The fiction passage for the week! This little guy is highlighting the vocabulary words in the text (tropical, treetops, rigid) before he uses context clues to figure out the meaning of the word and complete the sentence frames.

I am hoping this act of reading and re-reading a story closely will better prepare my students for 2nd grade in a few short months!

The passages above can be found in my Close Reading Summer unit! All four seasons can be found below for a discounted price:

Addition and Subtraction Books

The end is in sight!!  Gosh, this time of year I get so overwhelmed with end of year stuff.  Not only is there EOY Slideshows, DVD's, Cleaning, Organizing, records, final assessments, BUT there's still a ton you want to do with your kids because this is it...the last moments you'll spend with this group.  Tear.  :*(
For those times you need your kids busy doing something so you can "catch up" these little books are great and SO much fun!  This is a great activity to have on hand.
There's very little prep to this activity (chopping and stapling) and they're a great little tool or resource to use in your classroom.  Bonus: the kids love them!  They are super fun!
The point of this activity is for the kids to do all the work.  This will show you as teacher which students can add and subtract independently and ones who need help.  

All you need to complete this activity are the materials shown below.
All directions on how to make the books are included in the product.  I've shown a couple different ways these can be completed.
Click HERE to go to the BOOKS.

And...the addition book...
You can find this product HERE.
You can find my BLOG HERE.  

End of the Year Teacher Gifts

Hi all, it's Erica from Erica's Ed-Ventures.   Are you stumped as to what to get your child's teacher?   We have all seen this pin:

To help you out and of course as a public service to teachers everywhere, I asked my Facebook teacher fans to share with me their favorite end of the year teacher gifts!  Click on the images to find the sources!

The consensus of my face book pole...It does not have to be some sort of Pinterest inspired crafty master piece.  The most coveted gift: a letter of thanks from the heart!  If you are so inclined to write a letter of thanks, it would be wonderful if you could send a copy to the building principal and/or the school superintendent.   Teachers are modest people and would not share the letter on their own.    I have made these letter templates for you to download for FREE, just click the image below!

The second most favored gift: gift cards!

Two years ago, I had a reading teacher's daughter in my class.  She made me this fabulous end of the year gift card book.  

I asked her mom if I could make a version to share on my blog and she said yes!  Click the image to download and create your own gift card book.  I have included a black line version and color.

Another clever way to display gift cards is in bouquet form:
This idea was shared by a lovely fb follower!

It's no secret that Teachers Pay Teachers is THE favorite site of teachers everywhere.  So, why not give the teacher in your life a gift certificate to TpT?
Thanks to the lovely Kim Adsit for posing for this picture.

Teachers love!  I use my Amazon Prime for everything!  I made this little gift card holder.  Click to download.

Themed baskets are also great and visually appealing.  Here is another shared by a fb follower:
You can grab the gift tag here.

Fellow Blog Hopper, Denise at Sunny in Second Grade, created these adorable orange themed gift tags and mason jars.

My sweet friend Sarah Cooley made this bucket for her daughter's teacher:

This one is a gift idea from my own personal experience.  I LOVE this sharpener:

Another fellow Blog Hopper, Katie Mense, shared this touching gift on her blog. 

Our Blog Hopper, Kacey, has a shop called Doodle Bugs Paper.  I love her personalized items!

Rachel Lamb shared this sweet gift, a jar full of "Reason why Mrs. Lamb is the BEST!"

I received these C. Jayne Teach goodie this year and LOVE them.

For a personal planner, you can't go wrong with A Modern Teacher's Personal Teacher Planner:

I hope these ideas help you!