Can you say survival mode? I'm not sure what it is {well, I do know}, but I'm seriously EXHAUSTED at about 4:00pm everyday. I apologize for neglecting you all {or y'all, as my cute friends from the south would say}.  It's been CUH-RAZY here.

Please forgive me for the lack of posting. ;)

I wanted to do a little throw-back Thursday for you! Some of you might have seen this last year, or maybe not.  Enjoy!

I send home a  bag with the kiddo who is the VIP that week. I got the bag from Hobby Lobby and the dog from Wal-Mart.

Inside of the bag:
*Directions for the parents about their childs' VIP week
*Stuffed dog named Andy
*Adventures with Andy book for kids to write in
*Me Sack

VIP Directions:

Adventures with Andy book {I just stick it in a binder and put the writing pages in individual sheet protectors}. The kiddos take Andy home and play with him, then they have a parent help them write about it and draw a picture. This is their FAVORITE! {You can do any stuffed animal. In my student teaching, my cooperating teacher did this cute little frog because her classroom theme was frogs-I got the idea from her!}

The "Me Sack" is a label stuck on a brown paper bag. It's like show and tell, but the items need to be able to tell about the child and it better {p.s. I hate show and tell}. Then, the other students can ask 2 questions and have 2 comments about the items. :)  My friend and teaching buddy Ashlee gave me this fabulous idea. Click {here} to download the labels.

At the beginning of the year, I send home an "All About Me!" poster to return the first week. I like to do that so when their child is the VIP they don't get overwhelmed.    Sorry folks, I got this poster from my teammates and it's not digital!  But I did try to recreate it and you can download it at the bottom of this post {you will need to print it out and then enlarge it on your copy machine to fit on 11X17 paper}.

I'm always the VIP first. :)

Fonts and/or clipart copyright and used with permission from Diane J. Hook {}

Where Do We Teach?

Want to know why yesterday was a FABULOUS day??

-We both had our 1st day of school!
-Our close friend just had her beautiful baby girl!!
-It was Rachelle's birthday!!!
-It was our 2 year anniversary of starting this blog!!!!

Once again, we are linking up with Blog Hoppin. Today's topic is 'Where I Work Wednesday.'

Since school just started, our classrooms are all ready for the new year!

Here's Natalie's fun 5th grade classroom:

In honor of the Olympics, the upcoming election, and the fact that I teach American History, this room is totally decked out in red, white, and blue!!

Our welcome "bulletin." 
{Above the rings, we put each students' name on a gold medal.} 
View one.
View two.

{Thanks to Melanie from School Girl Style who gave me advice about how to arrange my lanterns.}

And how stink'n cute is this?? It was made from Amy Lemon's 'I am an Olympian' pack
This has been laminated and posted on our door. We can use dry/wet erase markers and write cute notes or reminders on it throughout the year! LOVE IT!!

{In case you're wondering... I used the words 'we' and 'our' because I am team teaching this year with a partner. I decided to switch to part-time teaching so I can spend more time at home with my two cute babies!! How lucky that I will only be teaching mornings and will get the spend the afternoons with my own little kids!!}

And Rachelle's classroom didn't change much from *last year*, but she did make this bulletin board!  You can buy all the pieces of this bulletin board in her TpT store *here*!!!!

Your turn!
Go link up with Blog Hoppin or at least drop by and see more incredible looking classrooms!VV

Technology Tip{s}!!

Today for Teacher Week we celebrate technology!! Something that, as a teacher, I can not live without!!
I want to share a cool thing I learned a couple years ago at a technology conference. Have you ever heard of Lit2Go? It's basically a program developed by the University of South Florida. What they do is take old literature {that no longer has a copyright} and they digitize the book for all to download. There are over 170 books available for free download! 

Here's step by step instructions:

This is perfect if you want to do Daily 5 {Listen to Reading} in the upper grades! 
You'll notice that by clicking on the 'Get Info' tab in your iTunes, you will get the words to the WHOLE book for FREE!

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And... To celebrate technology, I want to share my favorite activity... ONLINE SHOPPING! 

There's something magical about ordering stuff and having it show up on your doorstep!! 

This is my current obsession: Valshi Boutique

Valshi is owned by my cute friend, Ashley. This store is incredible! It's perfect for teachers because the tops, dresses, and shirts are so cute, fun, and professional. Valshi is offering an exclusive discount to friends of What the Teacher Wants. Code will be good until the end of August. Plus, you'll get free shipping on orders over $75.

Here's pics of some of the cute options:

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Two more bits of information for you:

If you don't have an Elmo document projector, and can't afford to buy your own, I recommend the Luna Interactive Projection Camera. The price tag is much for affordable and it is easy to use!
{I feel lucky because I actually WON this in a giveaway this summer! Thanks Ladybug Teacher Files!}

Our great friend, Lindsey from The Teacher Wife, recently started a new blog called Teacher Blogging Basics to help teachers get started with blogging. She'll be posting some great tips on how to get started, blogging etiquette, and even how to open your own TeachersPayTeachers store. 

Teacher Week {Must-haves Monday}

{if you want to link up,  just right click the picture and save it to your computer}

If you want to see my must-haves, head over to Blog Hoppin'!

Recycle Sign - Freebie

This might seem like a silly thing to be blogging about at 1 o'clock in the morning, but I do have something I'd like to share with you tonight. 

I have been working in my classroom today and am *almost* ready to meet my new students at our Back to School Night on Monday. While working, I noticed a tiny problem... the recycling bin in my classroom still has the previous teacher's name on the sign. 

So... I decided to stay up and make a new one and I wanted to share it with all of you!  It is saved in an editable format, which means you can open it up and write your own name on it!! Another idea would be to write your school's name and hang it up in your workroom as a friendly reminder.
{Click the picture to download.}


Look What We Bought! {And some freebies!}

We both had fun shopping Teacher's Pay Teacher's Back to School Sale and wanted to show off some of the cute items we picked up. 

Rachelle's purchases:

 I'm obsessed with these "I Can Standards Cards" that I am going to be hanging in my classroom. Thanks for saving me so much time, Deanna Jump!
Click {here} to check it out!

I do blame Deanna for this mess {I'm currently cutting out all of the standard cards}:

I'll put those standard cards {with velcro} on this:

Anny Brantley has made some AWESOME vocabulary cards to go along with the Common Core.  I will be hanging them on my focus wall. She's seriously thought of all the words you could possible teach! Check it out {here}!

As you can see, I love anything that is Common Core related!  I bought these Math and Language Arts assessments {Grade 1} from The Lesson Plan Diva! They are so professional and easy-to-use. LOVE THEM! Click the pictures to check them out!

Natalie also had some fun {maybe a little too much fun, lol} shopping the B2S sale of TpT.

Natalie's Purchases:

My cute teacher friend is doing a suuuuper cute cupcake theme this year in her class so I just had to get her Primary Graffiti's 'Celebrating Yummy Birthday' pack. 

Since my patriotic theme this year has to do with the Olympics {and the upcoming election}, I had to buy these two things:

This cute birthday poster comes from Michelle Oakes, you can find it in her Posters, Pennants, Classroom Decor and More pack.

I'm also VERY excited about Hope's new EconoMoney unit. 

Okay... last one...
Got this little student booklet from Lesson Plan SOS. I'm excited to use it as I teach text features to my students. 

*  *  *  *  *

As a prize for reading all of that, here are some labels you can download and use on your notebooks/folders this year. 

*Clip art is from Scrappin Doodles
*Fonts are by Kevin and Amanda

BACK-2-SCHOOL {Parent Volunteers}

At the beginning of each year, I send home a Parent Volunteer letter to my parents.  I am fortunate enough to work in a school where parent volunteers are abundant.  Even if some parents cannot come in and volunteer, I give them an opportunity to take projects home.

Here's what my volunteer note looks like:

Here's the form that gets attached, so that the parents can pick their time and how they'd like to help:

I just want to show you how I organize what I want them to do {My teammate Jessica showed me this way}. I keep the items (lamination cut outs, cutting projects, or testing materials) in bins organized by days of the week. If a parent comes in on a Monday he/she can check the Monday bin to see if there is any work for them to do right when they come in. Sometimes I don't have anything in there, that means I have something more specific for them to do. * Don't forget to chat with your volunteers! I always say hello, ask how they are doing, and what not!  It can get kind of hectic, but I always let them know how much I appreciate them.

I also have volunteers who help from home. I send home a "work bag" with something I need for them to help me with. I  include all the supplies needed with a note explaining what I need them to do and when I need it back to school by. Here's what the form looks like for my home volunteers:

This is the bag I send home the project in.

 I usually give them at least a week. Then on my own personal spreadsheet I have all of my at home volunteers on a list. I make sure to mark by their name what I sent home and when it is due. This ensures the parent doesn't forget to send it in and I make sure that I am not sending home tons of stuff with just one parent.

All of these are available to download for free! :)

Fonts: Kevin and Amanda
Clipart: KPM Doodles
             Melonheadz Illustrating 
Frames: Fancy Dog Studio

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