Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Homework Folders...They're Not Just For Home Anymore




We've been scouring the stores.
We're stocking up people.
2 Pocket Folders are our mission.
With Prongs.
Without Prongs.
However many we can grab before hitting our limit. 
Throwing cash at our children, asking them to please help Mommy by purchasing their limit too.
It is not child labor, we assure you...
It's summer math practice.
You know, counting money and such.
Even the cashier complimented us on how "educational" we were.
We blushed.
Pish...Score!

But, before we used our children as Back to School Sale pawns checked out, something sang out from the Heavens above Aisle 3.
They are file folders.
In every color Roy G. Biv could conjure up.
And they were on Clearance.
You know we nearly fainted. 
Normally, we would just purchase a box of one color for our entire class, but we needed to share a secret with you and wanted as many colors as possible. Score!
We've been using "offices" in our classroom for many years. As much as we wish *some days* this translated to constructing cubicles for each and every student, it doesn't really...But, it's as close as we get. 

And, the fact that we call them "offices" makes the kids feel big. And old. Or, maybe just big...The old part is us. We know this because our old offices have seen better days.
We threw them away at the end of last year.
They go by many names.
Privacy Walls
Dividers
But, they usually mean the same thing...
Hey You! Be Quiet Behind Your Erected Wall!

They give us teachers power a tool.
They give some kids the power to learn responsibly too.
Even some of our first graders understand when someone is distracting them, and ask to put their offices up.
They are allowed to use them anytime.
Sometimes, they are asked to use them.
When?
Spelling Tests
Timed Math Tests
When they are being too noisy.
When they are being too noisy.
But mainly, when they are being too noisy.

So, when we saw the clearance file folders, we had an idea!
Our class will already be using homework folders this year.
Why not build consistency by providing them with the same resources in class? 

Homework Folders...They're Not Just for Home Anymore.
For many of our kids, we know they can use the supportive resources right in front of them...especially at the beginning of the school year.

We find first grade the perfect time to teach them how to use their surroundings. Use the tools around the classroom. Some students do this naturally...Others need direct instruction on how to use resources.

Lots of us put all these resources on the wall, but for some kids that's too far away. They need closer proximity. So, our Homework Folder Resources are perfect for our class offices too.
Here's how we make them...
 What You'll Need
2 colored file folders
Clear Tape (we used Scotch Shipping Packaging Tape)
Glue Sticks
Homework Folder Resources (TpT Shop)
Paper Cutter to cut Homework Folder Resources
Laminate for Durability (optional) 

What You'll Do


 Choose the Homework Folder theme and elements that best meet your class needs and glue away!
 You can use one side, both sides...The sky's the limit.
We've even made a "My Office" label with 6 different color options to match any of our homework folder themes and you can grab them free by clicking the pics below.

Click to take a closer look at any of our Homework Folder Themes. 
  


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Homework Folders Update!

 
We've just finished updating all 10 of our original Homework Folders. 
Why you ask?
They were actually fine the way they were. 
But, you know what happens when you give just a little too much summer to teachers...
They find ways to avoid cleaning out home clutter keep busy.

So, what's new?

We've added a few new features to all of our folders for the new school year...
 We really love the covers of the units we made last year...So much so, that we decided to offer an option for the homework folders themselves. So, each theme got an additional cute cover as an option for creating your own class folders.
 
In addition to the color cards and parent letters already included, we wanted to kick things up a notch by offering shapes too. We've added both individual shape cards and parent letter options with shapes.
Parent letters are for sending weekly or daily homework. 

 
Any opportunity to practice the Days of the Week and Months of the Year is a bonus in our books. Each set includes 4 to a page of days and months with the update.

We've also changed out a few fonts because we are infatuated "infontuated" with
 
We think you'll love them too. And, if you do, feel free to head over to Kimberly's TpT Shop and download her fonts for free and leave her a little love. 
Consider it our little secret. 
Except tell everyone you know because you'll want to. 
If you choose to use them commercially (for selling products), you'll need to purchase a license, but we assure you they are well worth it! 

If you've purchased any of our Homework Folders, be sure to head over to your TpT Purchases and update your download by visiting the 
My Purchases Tab. 

To take a closer look, click any of our 10 updated 
Homework Folders below...

In addition to our Homework Folders above, take a look at our Folders for Olders below...Designed for 2nd and 3rd graders, or to challenge your firsties.  

After working on all these folders for the past year, we have kind of fallen in love with all these class themes. So much so, we wanted to carry them throughout our entire classroom. So, we're kicking off our new Class Decor & More packs with our Top Selling homework folder theme, School is Cool!
More themes to come in the next few days, but here's a quick peek at what's included in our brand new Class Decor & More packs.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

July Mystery Box Giveaway!

Here we go again!

Up to no good.

Sending super fun snail mail. ($30 worth.)

And fabulous digital products. ($30 worth.)

To one lucky U.S. Resident winn-uh, winn-uh, chicken dinn-uh!

Yeppers...

It's...THAT....time...

MYSTERY BOX!!!!

July Edition.


You can enter by visiting, following and commenting on each of the above blogs and then filling out your rafflecopter entries.

U.S. Residents only, please.




Will YOUR name be filled in for July's Mystery Box???



What's inside the box???

Let's just say...kuh-yewt and happy! Practical, too...in a fun sort of way!

But...you'll have to wait until the big reveal...

Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

June Mystery Box Reveal!

The snail mail Mystery Box has arrived! 

BIG Congrats again to Amber for being our June Mystery Box winner.
Time for the BIG reveal...

While Amber was patiently waiting, we each sent her some goodies from our TpT Shops. 
Here's the June Mystery Box goodies unveiled.  
So what was inside?
From top left to bottom right here's what she won!
 
~Quaker Real Medleys Peach Almond Oatmeal ~ 
Every teacher needs a good breakfast and these are great on the go morning meals. 

~Reusable Shopping Bag ~ 
Can never have too many cute bags. 

~Arbonne After Sun Lotion ~ 
Soak up those rays Amber

~PaperMate Flair Pens ~ 
If you haven't tried these...you're welcome. They are a must have!

~Pick Your Plum Chevron Infinity Scarf ~ 
Do you know Pick Your Plum? If not, you've got to check them out. Daily deals on the cutest stuff! 
 
Who doesn't love some fun, fresh summer nail polish and a polka dot emery board too?

"Some People Look for a Beautiful Place. Others Make a Place Beautiful" notepad mousepad. We just loved the words. 

And, of course a container of EOS lip balm...a summer fave!
  
So, there you have it! 
A whole lot of summer goodness in a cute little box!
Super happy for our winners, but wanting another chance?
Don't worry. 
We're not done yet...This is too fun!

Be sure to check back sometime very soon (It's a mystery you know?) for July's Mystery Box Giveaway hosted by another one of  these sensational bloggers.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Homework Folders Frenzy!


We're trying so very hard not to look. One day it's summer sizzle, and the next day back to school fizzle.  
Dear Target,
It is summer. 
We do not go back to school for 45 days. 
Forty five.
Thank you.
P.S. We love you. 
P.S.S. A lot.

And then it happened. 
No, not the part where we went to Target two days in a row.

There was good reason. 
Folders everywhere are arriving on shelves and prices are dropping. Now's the time. 

It's an annual summer job for us and one we actually look forward to putting together for our class each year. 
We've been using homework folders for our class for going on 16 years. 
Gulp...16 years. How does that happen?

Last year, we introduced 10 Homework Folders which you can read about {here} and {here} and {here}. 

We've personally used our Under the Sea folder to match our ocean themed classroom for years and our class adores them. They feel so proud. Parents also love the help and reference tool.

By popular demand, we’ve created  
Homework Folders for Olders,
for older primary students this year. They are really designed for 1st-3rd graders, but kick the skills up a notch for our original 10 Homework Folders. 

Introducing 4 new themes for our Homework Folders for Olders




Surf's Up! ~ Surf Theme  

We have learned that many families are very willing to help their children with their homework, but are often uncertain as to how to help.

Our Homework Helpers give families and students a handy helper to guide their children through their first years of homework. Independent students learn to use the resources of the folder to assist themselves with their nightly studies. By providing parents and students with resources at their fingertips which cover many of the foundational Common Core Standards, you will provide families with multiple learning opportunities and reinforcement activities at home. Amazing what a lil’ folder can do!


Included are lots of options for creating your own Homework Folders for Olders. Choose the components that best meet your needs or follow our assembly instructions and sample photos.

 

This resource includes easy print, chop and stick pages, or you can print the individual page options and design your own folder placement.

What's Included:
1. Individual Name Plates
2. Individual weekly Teacher to Student Homework Letter
3. Individual daily Teacher to Student Homework Letter
4. Individual 2-Dimensional and 3-Dimensional Shapes Cards
5. Combined name plate, weekly homework letter, and shapes card
6. Combined name plate, daily homework letter, and shapes card
7. Individual 100 Words cards
8. Individual Zaner Bloser Printing Cards
9. Individual D‘Nealian Printing Cards
10. Individual Cursive Cards
11. Combined 100 Words card & Zaner Bloser Printing cards
12. Combined 100 Words card & D‘Nealian Printing cards
13. Combined 100 Words card & D‘Nealian Printing cards
14. Combined 200 Number Grid & Place Value Cards
15. Individual Counting Coins Cards
16. Individual Fraction Cards
17. Combined Counting Coins and Fraction cards
18. Sounds and Spellings chart
19. Monthly Homework Calendar Template
20. Weekly Homework Tracker Template 

Visit our TpT Shop to take a closer look. 

Just got the Sunday Target ad, so gotta run! 
It's been 3 days since we've been...Just for the record. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday Linky!

We missed Throwback Thursday this week, but we're making it up by joining in

We LOVE Pinterest.
Who doesn't?
So, this one is easy.
First things first...
If you're not following us on Pinterest, {HERE} we are.
You can also follow Tammy {HERE} and Christy {HERE}.

Okay, onto our favorite pins...

For Our Class...

Do your firsties arrive tying their own shoes?
If you said yes, then we're drooling...
If you said no, then we're rowing the same boat.
So, we found this... 
 This fantastic shoe table comes from 
Dr. Jean & Friends and we think it is genius.
We actually have saved several pairs of our own kids baby shoes through the years for in class practice, but now we have a built in shoe holder. Love!

This bulletin board screamed our name.
  Unfortunately we couldn't find the originator, which is a bummer because we all know Pinterest is not a person. These ideas we pin come from real, hard working people. :) So if this is yours, let us know so we can give you credit {Your Name Here} because your bulletin board iRocks.  ;)
  
As we pinned this one, we so wished we could rewind and take our own kids back to Kindergarten or First Grade. 
 It's from Tie Dye Diva Patterns and our wheels are spinning on how we might work this little gem into our first day of school goodbyes. Let's just say there may be a few teachers students who need a bracelet from their loved ones to help them survive get through the first day depression jitters. Just saying...


For Us Moms...

This was one of our very first pins ever and it remains our absolute favorite.
Moms, if you still have kids who believe, tuck this away for when the time comes...
If you read it now (which you'll want to, BUT not with kid readers in the room!), grab a box of tissues. 
 You have been warned...
The idea comes from Cozi, which just so happens to be one of our favorite free Mom apps too! It is exactly what we will tell our kids when the sad day comes...
  
Got finicky eaters?
 We did too until we tried this fabulous, fun idea from Real Simple.
Dinner dice...Too easy...

We started this idea with our own daughters immediately upon pinning.

It's from Mama Jenn, and has made Mama Christy and Mama Tammy pretty happy. It's not only a fabulous idea, but an amazingly powerful communication tool between mommies and daughters. Thanks Mama Jenn for helping us Moms out. We love it! 
 
Just for Fun...

We are firm believers in the Laugh or Cry motto of life. 
We choose to laugh...

This is us...
This really happened...And it really isn't like riding a bike. 

Ask our backs. They'll vouch.

This one makes us laugh...
 Then cry...

What a fun linky! Be sure to head back over to the fabulous  
 First Grade Parade for more Favorite Friday Pins!

Plus, don't forget our TpT sale runs through Sunday.

 And you can vote once a day on for your favorite Teacher Mom Blogs over at Circle of Moms until July 9th













 
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