Sunday, July 27, 2014

Smooth Sailing into the Back to School Season with Tips and Giveaways!

It's that time of year again... back to school! I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure we JUST got out of school. However, the stores are full of school supplies and I can't go anywhere without drooling over markers and binders again. The season is upon us, for sure. Sooooo... some of my intermediate blogging friends decided to get together and help you sail straight into the new year with ease. We're bringing you lots of simple tips and a big giveaway too, so be sure to stick around all the way to the end. ;)

For my back to school tip, I actually want to talk about something you can put in place now that will help you all year long. If you know me at all, you know I'm all about organization. Coloring coding, cute labels, and matching bins make my heart happy. So here's my labor of love project, which I started in the spring a few years ago.

Did you just swoon a little bit, or was it just me? I love using centers, task cards, and all kinds of TpT goodness from other teachers. But, I quickly realized that I was having paper overload. Files were coming out of my ears. Should I file them by skill? By theme? By type of product? Task cards here, centers there? What about teacher materials? I had lots of great stuff, but couldn't find it when I needed it because my filing cabinet was overflowing. 

So I took drastic measures and carted EVERYTHING home. All of my teacher materials. All of my printables. My centers. My mentor texts. My guided reading books. Everything. And then it started going into piles.

I made piles by month. I looked at my curriculum map and tossed the centers that weren't obviously seasonal into piles by when I taught those skills. It was awesome because I was able to easily see where my "holes" were in my resources. If I needed more inference activities, it was blatantly obvious when they all went into the same pile. I was able to see what I needed to go back to TpT and search for to fill out my year. 

Here's the end result. I keep the month I'm currently using (in this case March) on top so it's easy to get in and out of the box as needed.Things like dice, spinners, player markers, etc. that get used over and over have their own "game piece" tub.  

Now that the tubs have been created, I can quickly print and toss new items I find throughout the year where they go. So easy!

Finally, here's a bonus tip for you. I double file my resources on my computer. I keep them in folders by type (fractions, cause/effect, economics, etc.) but I also keep my files on my computer organized like my monthly totes-- by month as well as by story in our textbook. I literally spend seconds finding my resources now. Love that!

Hopefully these tips will get you thinking ahead to how you're going to stay organized this year. I hate having to go through and do that mid-year. If you can take advantage of these last few days of summer to get yourself set for the year, it will be so much easier. I promise! I'm always planned out well in advance this way and it makes preparing my weekly centers a snap. 

In all that organizational goodness, did you forget there was a giveaway too?! I will personally be giving away two $25 gift cards to TpT so you can stock up on your units for back to school and the whole year through. On top of my giveaway, you can also visit all of my favorite intermediate bloggers using the links below to enter THEIR giveaways too. Each blogger is giving away $50 in gift cards that will be perfect for back to school. That's $1,000 in gift card y'all!

But wait, there's more! {I've always wanted to say that} We have all contributed some of our best selling seasonal products to a GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE that's worth nearly $300. What?! I'm helping you set up all those unit tubs I showed you by giving away my Fall Bundle of Big Kid Units

Here's a preview of the entire pack one lucky winner will grab. You can click on each item to see more details!


When you enter to win the gift cards on everyone's blog, you are also entering to win our Grand Prize Package. How cool is that?

Giveaway rules:

  • This giveaway is open to any elementary classroom teacher.
  • Three names will be drawn at Ms. Fultz's Corner: Two winners will each with a $25 TeachersPayTeachers gift card and the third will be entered in the drawing to win the Grand Prize Package of products.
  • This giveaway ends on August 2, 2014.
  • Winners will be announced on the blogs and notified by email.

Be sure to visit all of these blog so you can enter to win THEIR gift cards and earn more entries into the Grand Prize Package too. 

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Happiness

Today I'm writing to you from my happy place, The Outer Banks of North Carolina {OBX}. My husband and I have been coming here every summer since we started dating and were married here in 2011. It's where we come to unwind each summer and reevaluate our goals for the next year. Lots of reflection, just like this picture I took last night.

What do you do to recharge your batteries?

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Recycled Jewelry: Giveaway and Coupon Code

Hi, friends! Anyone who knows me personally knows I have a serious addiction to shopping. I have a particular soft spot for Tiffany, Michael Kors, and Coach. If it comes in aqua blue, hot pink, or chocolate brown it’s probably going home with me. ;) But today I’m bringing you one of my newest shopping finds that WON’T break the bank.

Have you heard of Kim, The Trashy Crafter? She makes unique jewelry out of recycled paper. Say what?! It was actually her third grade teacher who taught her how to make paper beads. {See, told ya third grade is the best!} Kim takes children’s books that have been well loved ready for retirement and turns them into bracelets. Sometimes she uses maps too, which I have my eye on because of how much we love to travel. She works with her mom to hand cut, roll, and create beads for her bracelets. They are totally unique and special.

Each one comes in a super cute package, so they'd make great gift for your teacher friends for back to school.

You can also find lots of recycled craft tutorials on The Trashy Crafter blog, which could totally inspire a few projects with your students this fall. But, before you head over there let me show you the bracelet I scored.

Seriously, can you believe that was once a book?  Mine is called "Little Red Riding Hood" which seems super appropriate, don't you think? I was browsing her Etsy store and saw several Dr. Seuss ones too.  I think it's a great conversation piece and love that the book didn't just get tossed. It was turned into a new form of art!

If you want to grab your own jewelry, you can visit The Trashy Crafter on Etsy and use coupon code TC2014 when you check out to take 15% off. Woohoo! There's more than just bracelets, too.

Are you ready for the best part? One lucky reader is going to win a bracelet! This is mine and you can't have it, but you can win your own. Which book is used will be a surprise. :)

Good luck!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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