Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday @ Owl-ways Be Inspired

Hey friends!  Just stopping by to let you know that I blogged over at Owl-ways Be Inspired today.  If you don't already follow us over there, we are a collaborative blog that is specifically for 2nd and 3rd grades.  Hop on over and check out my Throwback Thursday post about clothespins - one of my Top 3 most popular blog posts.  Please feel free to link up with your own ideas about using everyday items in your classroom!  All are welcome!  Click the button below to head on over and check it out.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Surviving the Pencil Problem!

Pencils.  Pencils.  Pencils.

I have a love/hate relationship with pencils.  I love the yellow #2 pencils that are so nice and sharp and long with a full eraser, but let's be honest... they only stay that way for a day or two and then they look a little something like this:

Well there are many things I have patience for in the classroom, but by the end of the school year the constant sharpening of pencils just really gets on my nerves!  Please tell me you agree!  So I decided it was time to step it up a notch and implement "The Great Pencil Challenge" in my classroom.  The idea is NOT MINE!  All credit goes to the sweet blogger behind Ladybug's Teacher Files and you can read all about it {HERE} and {HERE} and get her FREE files for it {HERE}.  And if you haven't read her blog before, what are you waiting for?!  She has so many great ideas and FREE printables on her blog.  She was one of the first blogs I started following and I seriously can't say enough good things about her!

I changed her idea up a bit and used mechanical pencils!  How fun!  The kiddos felt so grown up!


Basically, I gave my students mechanical pencils (numbered with their classroom #) and gave them the challenge.  Who can keep up with their pencil the longest?  Each week we check in on Friday and those who still have their pencil get a small treat or reward of some kind.  They also get to sign our board.  You would be seriously amazed at how much this little bit of challenge motivated so many of my students to keep up with their pencils AND use the lead sparingly.  This is how I displayed Ladybug's Teacher Files FREE Printables that I linked to above.


You can see I displayed the checklist which I laminated so that I can write on it with a dry-erase marker and use it again next year.  I displayed the next check-in date.  That Friday I recorded the stats (how many students kept their pencils), and then the students were allowed to sign the board under the Pencil Honors sign if they still had their pencils.  

Isn't Ladybug's Teacher Files SO talented?!  Her printables are always so beautiful!  If you've been hanging around my Blog on Bloglovin', my Faceboook Page, or my Instagram long enough, you also know that her style matches my classroom perfectly - black and brights!  Kudos to my sweet friend and her talents!  Go check out her blog!  You won't be sorry!

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Meanwhile, now that I'm on summer break, I have officially moved classrooms - NOT grade levels, just rooms.  I only had to move two doors down, so it wasn't that bad at all.  Call me crazy, but I'm excited about the change!  It's like a clean slate waiting for all my fun classroom decor!  Can't wait to post pictures along the way.  You might have already seen one like this on my Instagram account.  This is where we are right now in the process.  It's a big mess, but I can't wait to organize!  The ideas are already flowing :)

So as soon as I got home from moving my classroom, I decided it was time to get busy on a new alphabet.  I know I'm showing some super love to Ladybug's Teacher Files today, but I also purchased my new alphabet from her and oh.my.word!  Look how cute it's turning out!  Laminated and ready to cut!  You can find her Flipped Signs Alphabet in her TPT Store {HERE}.


So there you have it!  That's what I've been up to this summer and how I survived the last few weeks of the pencil craziness thanks to a my fellow blogger friend Ladybug's Teacher Files.  Follow me on all the different social media sites to follow my journey this summer transitioning into a new classroom - same grade, just a different room!


Thanks for stopping by!  Leave any questions you have in the comments below.  I always respond to comments by emailing the person who commented, so if you leave a question make sure to check your email for the answer!  :)