Woohoo!!I am finally on summer vacation! It feels like other teachers have been on summer vacation forever and it made the month of June seem extra long this year.

I can't believe I am doing this, but I am linking up with the lovely ladies at Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky - the theme, "Back to School" books. That's right I've only been out of school for two days and I am already thinking about BTS! (But I just couldn't miss this linky, I love it and these ladies too much).

The book I am recommending is.....

by Laura Huliska-Beith. Here is the description from Amazon.

Have you ever done something and then thought "Uh-oh, that was a bad idea?" How about the time you asked your best friend to give you a haircut? Or, when you went roller-skating with your dog (who was just kicked out of obedience school)? Talented newcomer Laura Huliska-Beith has put all her ideas into one book: The Book of Bad Ideas -- a collection of laugh-out-loud scenes guaranteed to have readers eagerly recounting their own bad ideas.

I think this is a fantastic book to use at the beginning of the year when launching Writer's Workshop and talking about ideas for writing.

I love the illustrations and that the bad ideas are just randomly numbered. There are so many silly examples in this book it can be used to get students thinking about their own bad ideas or their own silly ideas. Either way it is a great way to get some ideas generated.

I have also used this book as a Penpal book. We read it as a class, make our own class book of Bad or Good Ideas then send both books on to our penpals - one of my favorite penpal activities.

So while that is my official book suggestion I just happened to be book shopping with my end of the year gift - gift certificates and I bought this book and can't wait to use it the first day of school.


I love Melanie Watt's books, I love Chester and Scaredy Squirrel!! This book features this adorable rabbit who is waiting for someone and is so happy to have the person show up but also gives them a talking to about making them wait. I will use it on the first day to let me class know how I have been waiting all summer for them to come to my class and all the things I did to prepare for them.

I will use it again later in the week to talk about the importance of being ready to learn and how hard it is for people to wait patiently.

If you have not entered my Bloglovin giveaway (organized by the same lovely ladies hosting this party) please click here to enter. I will announce the winner tomorrow.

I am also throwing a sale at my TpT store July 1st to July 4th. If you are in the mood to do a little back to school shopping check it out.

Clipart from Scrappin Doodles
Feel free to use the button if you want to throw a sale!

I know that you all have probably heard by now that Google Reader is going away on July 1st  (Canada Day!!).  Well, Google Reader may be going away, but that doesn't mean YOU to go away! I hope that you will consider following my blog through bloglovin! I know that change is hard, trust me, I know how some of us (me, me, me) don't like change but this is a really easy one. But you know what will make it even better is a little giveaway.
I am doing a giveaway (along with a bunch of fabulous bloggy friends) for all of my fabulous followers that take the leap and switch over to bloglovin.  You may have already switched over!  In that case, this will be an easy entry!

If you have not yet switched or are not following my blog through bloglovin, then there are a few easy steps to follow. You can go to my sidebar (that's the column on the right over there that shows my followers) and you can click the button that says Follow this Blog with bloglovin.  Or, you can go into the Rafflecopter below and click the link in the first entry, and that will take you to my blog on bloglovin.

You will need to set up an account with bloglovin so that you can follow me.  Please be sure to leave your bloglovin username in the Rafflecopter entry.

If you want to go ahead and move all of the blogs you follow from Google over, you can go to this link and it will take you through the super easy steps.  BUT, please go to my bloglovin link and make sure that you are following me through bloglovin.  To be sure, make sure that the blue button at the top of my bloglovin page has been clicked (it should be gray with the word following- if it's blue, please click it to follow!)

So, if you follow me by bloglovin, please enter this giveaway!!  I will be picking 1 winner to receive a $10 TPT gift certificate!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

get the InLinkz code

I am linking up with Holly the awesome blogger responsible for the blog Fourth Grade Flipper and this linky....

I am sharing two ideas you may have read about before on this blog but as it is almost summer I thought some people may like to hear about them (again).

First up, editing with our writer's eyes. I have this display that I got from First Grade Fresh.(that is where I think it is from but it is from 2 years ago so....)

After completing a first draft of a writing assignment my students go and get a pair of glasses, put them on and edit their work! They take a checklist and use their very best writer's eye to catch any errors. I love this system because wearing the glasses seems to make the kiddos focus on their writing more. I use 3D movie glasses with the lenses popped out.

Why I wanted to remind people of this little trick is because it is summer movie season and I will be heading to the movies over the summer and will be collecting the 3D glasses to add to my collection. In fact we are going to see Monsters University 3D tonight.

After my students use their writer's eye to edit them move on to celebrity revisions. I took this idea from Teacher Tipster.

They take a photo of a celebrity and read their writing to them. They are looking for words to dazzle the stars. I use these frames from the dollar store and pictures I print from Google. I like these frames because you can add two pictures back to back. The students also love this and often add more sparkling, descriptive, celebrity worthy words to their writing. It also buys me some time when I am trying to work with students and everyone wants to talk to you!!

I just wanted to share a few quick things for this week's Monday Made It linky hosted by Tara at 4th Grade Frolics. Be sure to check out all the amazing things being made by teachers - this linky makes my to do list expand each week!

I made magnets for my class for next year. The idea is to send them home with students so they can put some of their super work on their fridge at home. I already shared this idea on Saturday's post (for Joanne's Spark Student Motivation linky) but I was rushed and didn't explain things very well so I though I share them again.

I bought this box of adhesive magnet business cards at Staples Business Depot, a box of 25 cost around $6.00 a box of 50 is $13.62 and a box of 100 is $24.41.

Then I printed out this page. Here is a copy of the file I made . I cut out them out on the inside of the black line or the very edge of the black frame. Peel the backing off the magnets, stick on the little label and you have a class set of motivational magnets!!

I made (okay, printed and labelled) these drawers for next year. I have loved all the pictures I have seen of these organizers and I used the free labels from Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B to label mine. Rachel at the Tattooed Teacher has also shared some free labels.

Check out what is in the first drawer waiting for summer vacation to begin, labels for a teacher toolbox!!

While I was making that (printing, cutting and adhering counts) I decided to do something about my paper trays. I have had these trays in my class for a number of years and when I organize them before school starts they look fantastic. But when the students use them they do not stay together, they become unconnected and fall into each other. So I hot glued them in place. Now I love them! The kids have been grabbing paper and math resources and not one tray has moved!! I just need to find a cute way to label them.

I reorganized my coloring supplies. I was reading this post from Tonya's Treats for Teachers and this post from Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6 and came up with this.

I used to have my supplies sorted into table bins but they never stayed as organized as I would like and students kept going to the back and grabbing one or two things instead of grabbing the whole bin (especially when I was not in the room to monitor or during indoor recess time!!!). So last week we tested our markers and sorted by color. I had these containers from a previous activity this year. I put up a suspension rod and sort of tilted the baskets on the rod. I was hoping to hang them but it didn't work.

 I made some labels for the bins and used packing tape to tape up the end of the basket so that things don't slide out. I put tape inside and out of the end of the basket. The picture doesn't show very well but they are tilted.

The red bin is taped and labelled, the green not so much. I used the adorable pencils from Krista Wallden.

Since there a few organizational ideas here I am also going to link up with Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B and Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files for their linky too.

I am linking up with the totally awesome ladies at Collaboration Cuties for their Must Read Mentor Text Linky

But before I share my book(s) suggestion I need to share something. I was in the staff room one day last week when my principal mentions in passing how the social studies curriculum is changing and hahaha people had just bought resources for the old topics and they were changing the topics we cover. She said this as if it was no big deal that the curriculum was changing and that NO ONE had told us!!!!!

So here is one of my current Grade 4 strands in the current curriculum (1000 years of history)

and here is the revised curriculum for next year (2013-2014)

Yes that's right, I will be covering 4500 YEARS!!!! Now I know that I will not be teaching everything about these CENTURIES but will be helping the students to make comparisons between peoples from this time around the world but it is still a lot of time to cover.

Okay, now that I have shared this crazy news here is my book suggestion.

What's that, you don't teach in Ontario. Well just find the book for your province or state.

Or if you are teaching about ancient civilizations (like I will be apparently) or any other period just find a book that matches your time/topic.

Why I like these books:

*they combine a little poetry verse and non-fiction facts

*they are GREAT models for creating class books or ABC projects

*they are a great source of information and are easy to read and discuss in small parts (like, let's say 26 parts!)

*students can be responsible for different pages - finding facts, adding facts, checking facts or whatever your smart brain comes up with as opposed to my waiting for summer brain

I was hoping to put together a clickable list of all the books for each province or state but I ran out of time (we went to visit my husband's family this weekend).So here is a link to the publisher's list of all their titles.

Hello all! I have been struggling to keep up with this little old blog, read all the blogs I love and finish up the school year. But, I didn't want to miss the chance though to link up with the super sweet Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her linky.....

Today I am going to share something I will be using next year that is an extension of something I have in my classroom now.

In my class I have these two magnets.

One is for hanging anchor charts or checklists for students (before they make it to a bulletin board or on to the anchor chart hanging rack). The other is for posting student work - to inspire the other students or to serve as an example or just give a student a good feeling.

I was at our Parent Council meeting (I am one of the staff reps) and we were talking about making magnets for our school  and we were saying how we could just use the peel and stick ones for a quick fix rather than order some. One of the parents had never seen them so I went and got one of mine and she said "I never got one of these home with my daughter" and just like that a lightbulb went off in my head. I can make more of these magnets, add the student's names and send them home when a student does some super work or reaches a goal or well for whatever I want.

So I made new ones up for next year so they will be ready to go home as soon as the super work happens. Too get them to fit neatly on the magnetic business card trim off the black border, just sayin'. These are the cards I use.

Wrong font, printed it at school from PPT : (

If you are interested in making some magnets here is a copy of the file I made  for next year. I made ones with room for names and ones without.

Hope you can use these too!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

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