Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Secret Message

In my class we have a "Secret Message" every month or so up on the wall. I take a piece of butcher paper and write out "Secret Messaage" at the top and then add blanks that spell something out "hangman style" for the class. Each time that they receive a compliment in the hallways or in another class, etc.. from another teacher, then I let someone come up and pick a space to receive a letter. Each time they receive a letter, they work together for days to figure out the words. When all of the letters are filled in then we get to do whatever the message says. A couple of years ago, my teammate decided to do the message with me. We usually have the same message (because let's face it.. when we have a reward day, we want to try to do it together). What makes it fun is that her kids pick different spaces than mine do, so it doesn't take the lightbulb kids long before they figure out that if they can sneak a peak into her class..they can gain a few more letters. Here are some of the rewards we've used in the past:
1. Let's take our shoes off!
2. You're PoPPin Good! -popcorn
3. You blow me away! - blow pops
4. You Fly Me to the Moon! - we make paper airplanes
5. Have a Coke and a Smile! - coke (sprite) day
6. You win a Spin! - they get to spin down the halls to specials
7. I donut believe you! - donuts

I would love other ideas: please share your ideas with me for secret messages if you have any!
Thanks for checking my blog.
Next time: Zero the Hero Labels freebie and ideas.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

A super cute Shoe Unit

Hey everyone, if you haven't seen this unit yet, swing on over to First Grade Awesomeness and grab this Shoe Unit. SO CUTE. Thanks Mrs. Tabb!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

stalking and followers..

I've been stalking blogs now for well over a year.. and it's gotten to be a little contest between a coworker of mine and me to see who can find the greatest ideas on blogs and actually follow through and make them or do them. And although I totally think that SHE should be the one doing this instead of me since she is single and I have 3 children and lots of activities going on.. I decided to start a blog of my own. I'm just starting and learning -you know- it's easy to look and read, but to actually build your blog and spend hours trying to figure out.. "how did they do that" and "how do you make one of those" it's effort! Then when you feel that you've sort of half way figured some things out that makes it somewhat interesting, then you have to sit down and write. And to top that off.. you have NO IDEA if anyone is reading or even actually cares. So that brings me to my question today. I got my very first follower today - thank you 4th Grade Frolics !

I'm so excited. So if anyone is reading :

How do you get so many followers and how long does it take usually?
Is it by doing giveaways or do I have to have a TpT store? How do you do it? Please comment and let me know what you think.

By the way, I found another giveaway. I can't wait to hear who all wins! Check it out at:

Mrs. Bainbridge's Class

Target Saturday?

Well, it's not Tuesday, so I guess today is Target Saturday. I just ran across a $25 Target Gift Card Give Away! Check it out:

"Teaching Heart ( ) is hosting their annual back to school party on July 24th till July 30th. Each Day a new prize! Gift cards, Books, Teaching Heart Products, and more!!! Plus a free printable will be posted during the week. You need to visit the blog at;
daily to check out the prizes each day and enter for the ones you want to win!!!"

Winner will be announced on Monday... wouldn't that be a great thing to blog about on Target Tuesday!
Thanks Teachingheart!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cat in the Hat

Ok.. those of you that read my home blog probably saw me blog about this precious bracelet a few weeks ago with Cat and the Hat charms.. I loved it so much. I also loved all of the other bracelets in her etsy shop. I would love to have a very hungry catepillar one. I ran across a giveaway on one of the blogs that I often read and guess what it was for... the bracelet!! I'm so excited to show you this precious thing. Please go to her blog and read about it and all of you teacher about about her other great ideas...

when you're done.. check out the bracelets too

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Look at this give away

This morning, I stumbled across this give away for apps! What a great idea. Head over and check it out!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We would walk 500 Miles.... at

Target Tuesday and Staples Deals!

Hey Everyone! I actually went to Staples and Office Max on my School Supply trek this weekend also, but didn't have time to add them to my previous post on Sunday, so I'm going to stick them to the beginning here and then add my new Target Tuesday deals.

Staples Deals:
Usually, I have awesome experiences at Staples without any issues. Every year when I go on the search for the cheapest supply deals, this is one of the first places I go, because they always have what's in their ads and they are super helpful. Also, when there are limits on deals, they are usually the first to offer to allow teachers to get a class set instead of the usual limit of 4. HOWEVER... this time.. not so much. Maybe it's the economy now, but they would not allow me to go over the limit and the limit on all of the deals was 2 instead of 4.

1. Oh well, I still scored small clipboards for 50 cents each (limit 2) but remember, I had my son with me.. so we got 4 and then went through again for 6 total. I don't think I worked the system too much... it's not like I bought them out.. I just needed a small group set.
2. I also got boxes of colored paperclips for 50 cents each, which I'm going to use in back to school gifts for teachers.
3. I found a whole box of push pins on clearance for $1. Which I don't use often, but will include in the Back to School Gift for teachers.
4. Single hole punchers for 50 cents!
5. Let's not forget the most important deal : the FREE highlighters! I got a (5) pack of Bic yellow highlighters for $4 and with Easy Rebate = FREE!!
ALL in ALL it was a good trip to Staples. I also found awesome flashdrives for $12 in surf boards and skateboards. These will be great stocking stuffers for my 10 year old.

Now Target Tuesday:
Of course the dollar bin has been just loaded with deals as most of you already know, but there are a few things that I found that aren't Dr. Seuss and would still be awesome for reading groups.
1. tracing stamps- I got a stamp set of numbers 0-9 and one with letters. Each $1.
2. Classroom signs - Clean up sign and Quiet Please sign (both (2 set) for $1)
3. Uppercase / Lowercase letter match puzzle
I have been working on these puzzle match letters with my own 6 year old at home. These will be great for a center activity at the beginning of the year.
Sharpees and Papermate pens

The (2 pk) black sharpees are on sale at Target for $1 this week (fine and ultrafine). The Papermate pens (10 pk blue, black and red) are on sale for $1.07. If you look on the Target website under coupons (usually at the bottom or you can put it in the search box) they have a coupon for $1 off of Sharpees (free) and $1 off Papermate writing utensils (.07 to pay) It's definitely the deal of the week!

Happy Shopping Folks!

Let me know what deals you find out there. -

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Deals!

Today I drug my 10 year old out with me to go shopping for school supplies... I'm pretty sure I could win the worst mom of the day award for making my 10 year old shop for school supplies in July when he is trying desperately to forget about school, but he's awesome at finding the items that are on sale and plus.. let's face it... I need him for additional purchases when I reach my limit allowed on things. He got some things out of it, too. Don't worry. So here are my deals of the day...

1. They have 2 pocket folder for 9 cents each.. this is a fab deal if they actually have them. My 2 stores were out of stock, but bonus.. I picked up a raincheck for them.
2. Papermate mechanical pencils Pack of 5 for .19
I bought 10 packs (that's 50 pencils) for less than $2.
3. Tiny highlighters for 9 cents!!
There was a limit of 6, but I told her thatI was a teacher, and she let me get 20. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. We love these in reading groups with home readers to highlight word families that we're working on or vocabulary words. Sometimes we use them to mark words we aren't sure about so we can go back and talk about them after the story. Great buy!
4. 3 ring Poly binders for 50 cents! Cheapest around this weekend. These are on our required supply list, but I always need a few for those kiddos that don't ever bring theirs or for new arrivals that don't have one. We use these as our take home folders (MOOSE notebooks)

Onward.. to Office Depot

We had a little trouble here (par for the course) because their computer system did not have their sale items updated in the system.. that's their story and they're sticking to it.
1. 2 pocket folders 10 for $1. That makes them 10 cents each right? Watch out: they ring up for a quarter. They'll fix it for you, but you have to make them.
2. Sharpees for 50 cents! These aren't just the plain old black ones either. It's every shade of every color under the rainbow - fine tip, ultra fine, chisel tip, clicker sharpees EVERY SHARPEE FOR 50 CENTS.
Of course their computer is slow to fix the price, but after a 5 minute wait for each marker, it worked.
3. Crayons for 25 cents. Walmart and Target usually do this, but this year they have been 40 cents every time I go. It's a limit of 5 at Office Depot but that's why I bring a sidekick with me. We got 15, but we had to use 3 registers... ( I still think this is so silly, but whatever makes it seem like they win is ok with me) :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Labels!!! Labels!!!

Labels are my best friend in the classroom. I love when things are labeled and organized and everything has a place. Math manipulatives are always a big problem because there are so many and they always get to be a huge mess. Today while blog bouncing.. I ran across a great blog... You have to see these labels!! Mine are printing as I post this. I am so excited. I love them. Click below on Growing Kinders and check them out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Every night.... New Blog finds

Every night when my 3 lovely children go to bed, and I've gotten my house back to some sort of order for the next day, I try to sit and blog bounce.  I've been known to have 10-15 tabs open with different trails of blogs that I've visited. I love spotting a new one that I haven't seen before.  Tonight my sweet 6 year old is still awake (it's well after midnight) with an earache, so tonight I have lots that I've visited while waiting on her to fall asleep.  Since this blog of mine is new.. and I'm new to Blogger, I want to spread the word of others with new things to share.  Tonight this was my best find!!  I have been searching Birthday ideas in the classroom.  I have 3 kids of my own and I LOVE BirThDaYs!   I was dissappointed at my lack of birthday fun for my students last year, so this year I am trying to get as many ideas as I can, so we can have fun on my students' birthdays too.  Here is an awesome blog with great ideas.. Please pass it along.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Target inspired!

TARGET TREASURES:  Alert! Alert!  Today I stopped by the beloved dollar spot at Target.  The best time to visit the dollar bins (besides every time you're in a Target) is definitely when they are changing seasonal items.  School supplies always ships the 1st week of July, so after that week, they begin to put all of the summer items slowly on sale..
                    which on a side note is fabulous for those of us that live in Tx because it's 100 degrees here well into October, so we benefit greatly from all of the pool things, toys, and clothing that go on sale for fall gear....
so back to my finds... when they change seasons, the dollar bins do too, so you'll usually see the 75% or 80% off sign for certain items. Today it was "white dot" items which included LOTS of carnival toys, and things.  I wish I was doing a carnival theme because there are ssoooooo many things for .25 it's ridiculous!  I did find several bday bags for a quarter and silly hats for a quarter.  I'm planning on buying enough for my class and I will give these out as bday gifts in the bday sack, then they can wear them all day on their bday.  I also usually put a little thing of play-doh in a bag with a note from me.  I'm excited to have my whole class done for such a great deal.  I also found Dr. Suess erasers for 1.00 (5 pack) When we do our Dr. Seuss unit there will not be one item out to buy for goodies for the class I promise you, so I'm excited to get them now.  I also bought a One Fish, Two Fish, notepad for a writing lesson.  Kids love "novelty" things to write on.  I can't wait to go to our other Target tomorrow and see what waits for me there.  Tomorrow will be Sunday ( a new ad week) so there may be even more out tomorrow on the 75% off. 
Today I'm just thrilled to have made my nice cashier spend 10 minutes running all of my purchases over the scanner and then following that with, "that will be 13 dollars.. "... "wait>... oh my gosh.. that's cheap for all that!"  YES IT IS!  Now that just made my day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ahhhh Summer Break!

I guess I'm going to start a blog today.  I've actually had a blog for our family for a while, but never had a teaching blog.  I've been a follower of other 1st grade teacher blogs for a long time, but haven't started one before for my own classroom.  It's time.  I want to have one for my parents to view this upcoming year, so I'm going to start now and bulid forward.  So here I go.
     shhhh!  Don't tell my first graders this, but I enjoy the summer breaks more than they do.  I love spending time in the mornings sitting in my shorts and tshirt and doing a little bit of nothing.  July 4th was yesterday and we had a great weekend of swimming and lounging and swimming some more.  But the month of July often brings mixed emotions to my house, because you know what happens in the stores on the first week of July???  School supplies are shipped and delivered to stores near and far.  I just went to Walmart and Target yesterday afternoon and saw shelvs and displays already being stocked with fresh new school supplies for 2011-2012 school year.  I have to be honest... I LOVE seeing the supplies being hung and all of the crayola markers, colors and glues out... but I long for summer to be longer.  Maybe I'll just shop anyway. After all, another school year is upon us, folks... get ready.