getting a head start

I normally shop at AC Moore for my crafting needs, but tonight went into Michael's and as I was wandering around ...

... I found Scentos!  My firsties are going to LoVe them tomorrow!

I am trying to get a head start on my calendars and reading logs for next year.  This is one thing that doesn't need to be labeled, so I can copy it before leaving next week.  I try to get as much of this type of "stuff" out of the way.

daily calendars ...
... there's enough space for a sticker for a great day or a note home to Mom and Dad

reading logs ...
... I know that every kiddo is NOT going to read every single night, so I have changed my reading logs.  I set a goal each month (it progressively gets more challenging as they get a little older) and when they read, they color in the image for that date.

Click on the links above or on the pictures to download your own set.  Since our school calendars are different, if you start earlier in August and would like those additional dates, please email me ( and I'll get a set corrected for you!

I plan on enjoying the next 6 days with my firsties!

Memorial Day & Math Monday

Happy Memorial Day!

As you picnic today, I hope you take a moment to remember the reasons behind Memorial Day.  Our school has the privilege of honoring veterans on the Thursday before Memorial Day.  For the last 11 years motorcyclists from Run for the Wall stops in Montvale, Virginia, on their way to Washington, D.C. to the Vietnam War Memorial.  We have hands-on experience to teach our children about Memorial Day through our conversations over lunch and through the music program, where we honor the veterans.
American flag & POW/MIA flag

just a few of the 600+ riders who joined us on Thursday

my granddad's name on our Wall of Honor
In other news ...
In our last 7 school days, we are reviewing addition and subtraction facts, trying to build fluency.  I created these activities for my children to complete.  Click on the image or here for yours!

Our math plans are ...
addition & subtraction Scoot with recording pages and sorting cards
6 Write the Room activities
addition {& multiplication} Write the Room [click on the image for a free copy!]

For those of you still teaching, I hope you have a great week!


Summer Bucket List

The time from the beginning of the year until Christmas seems to drag by, but the rest of the year FLIES!  I can't believe it is time to pack it up and send off my firsties!  Anyone who says teachers get their summers off is crazy!  I am linking up with Teri, Hadar, and April for my summer bucket list linky.

#1 - duct tape on pencils to keep them at my reading table and in different centers

#2 - I saw this next idea many times last summer, but I didn't get around to it.

#3 - We use Reading A-Z for our reading groups and occasionally for a whole group lesson.  I love this idea on how to organize books for the bookshelf by groups!

#4 - I think this is a fabulous idea!  I would love to make this for my room and one for home!

#5 - Several teachers in my building have a Pinterest party once a month and take turns sharing a craft and some yummy food.  Last month we made cards and I remembered how much I enjoy it!  It has been pushed to the back burner for many years, but this summer I'm heading back to the craft room!

My question to you - what's on your summer bucket list?

Optimum Organization

I am linking up with Elizabeth & Kristen for Optimum Organization ideas!
I started a lot of different things this year to try to keep organized instead of waiting until spring to put everything away where it belongs!

I recently received most of my new supplies in the mail, but haven't had the time to put things away.  We are also moving out reading and science materials due to book adoptions for the fall, so things have been just a little CrAzY in my room!

I purchased 5 different sets of markers or "fancy" pens.  Everything is now stored in old Crystal Light containers and organized in my desk!  When I need to take some home, the entire container goes into my bag so I don't lose several markers or pens.

I have some sets of stamps and placed the sets with ink pads into a container with lid.  The entire container goes to the center or to a desk so pieces aren't lost.

I started out the year with things shoved here and there for each month until I saw this on Pinterest and was thrilled that I already had 2 of the storage units!  It's SO easy to grab (and put away) the specific activity designed around a holiday or season of the year!

Another Pinterest idea ... I have a lot of stickers - some for a specific holiday or season, but others are for sticker charts or for a project, etc.  I was tired of digging through my basket of stickers to find the right one.  

Here's a before ... (remember, I just unpacked supplies!)

... and after!  It is easy to organize and I have extra binders and page protectors!  {side note... one of the new smelly stickers is DIRT!  My boys smelled them and laughed so hard!}

My last idea is how I house and store my units and plans for the year.  Everything is in a binder!  I do have a filing cabinet in my room, but it is still full of my fourth grade things!  Binders are color coded based on the subject.  It's easier to find what I'm looking for this way.
Here's a peek inside one of my binders.  Each of my binders has things for that specific month ... holidays, science & social studies units, and seasonal activities and crafts.

I would love to know what works for YOU!

Math Freebie for Manic Monday!

Happy Monday!  Like most of you, we are nearing the end of the school year and trying to get that last little bit in, while still having some fun!  This math freebie reviews 10 more/10 less and 1 more/1 less.  Click here to grab yours!
There are 9 different number activities (as pictured above) and an evaluation page to distribute to your students.

I recently finished a new addition and subtraction Scoot! unit.  It includes sorting cards to match to the sum or difference, addition & subtraction task cards and recording pages.  Click here or on the images below to find it in my TpT store.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Five for Friday: testing edition

Happy Friday!
I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my Five for Friday.

This week continued our state testing in our building and I continued to help out, even though I teach firsties.  Lots of sitting!

I stopped Tuesday morning at one of our drive thru coffee shops for an iced coffee - needed the caffeine so I wouldn't fall asleep!

The mom of one of my sweet firsties makes bows.  Here's the 2 I purchased from her as gifts for my niece.  Aren't they cute?!

I started/finished several activities this week. Here's a peek.

community helpers unit
money book for teaching spending and saving
One of our fourth grade teachers does zumba with her class just before one of their tests to get them awake.  A bunch of us jumped in with her and did what we could!  Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars is with us, too!
some of our teachers and staff just before today's testing

The first two to leave a comment will receive EITHER my money book (with anchor charts) or community helpers unit.  Be sure to leave your email address!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Made it to Friday!

What a LoNg week!  I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my Five for Friday!

I'm on Instagram!  Find me @learningisforsuperstars.  I'd love to have you!  Here are a couple of pictures from the week.

My project on Donors Choose (for big book sets and storytelling activities) was fully funded this week!  I am SO excited! 

We finished our fraction unit in math with M&M fractions!

We read the story If You Give a Moose a Muffin this week and this was one of my favorite responses ... "If the moose was in my house, I would call animal control."

We had a LOT of rain in central Virginia this week ... so much that my hubby called me at school on Tuesday, requesting I leave school to help with the flood in our basement.  In a 48 hour period, we shop-vac'd 1100+ gallons of water from our basement!  On Wednesday when I arrived home from school, he was in the front yard with the shop-vac, trying to get it out before the water made it's way into the basement!  We are so thankful for the 2 sunny days in a row!

I was part of a blog hop last night.  Did you see it??   Click here or on the picture below to go to the post to grab your freebie!  This write the room has two options - addition or multiplication - to choose from, along with two different recording pages and an assessment activity.

Lori at Teaching With Love and Laughter has a giveaway - Healthy Helpings game from Learning Resources.  Be sure to check out her post here to enter!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!
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