Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Contact Paper!

Last year, I covered my guided reading table with black contact paper. It used to be an ugly blue. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my table now! :)

Can you think of any other uses for using contact paper in the classroom? What have you covered, designed, or created? Share your ideas with me below by leaving a comment!

If you're a blogger, link up your weekly picture with us using the linky below. Then, join the party by visiting and commenting on someone else's weekly wordless Wednesday picture! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Student Desk Organization!

Last week on Wordless Wednesday, I shared a picture of my "teacher desk" organization. This week, I'm sharing a picture of what my students' desks (usually) look like during the school year! We spend a lot of time discussing which items go on the left of our desk and which items should be placed on the right. I believe that organization is a habit that we need to instill in our children, and we can start them on this habit EARLY! :)  

My question this week:  Do you have a specific way you expect your students' desks to be? I will often use the "desk fairy" as a bribe for clean desks - do you have any other tricks or tips to "Clean Student Desk Success?" :) If so, share with me below!! 

If you have a blog, link up your photograph of the week with me below! Be sure to link back to this blog post so we can find you! :) Thanks for joining in!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Are You On Periscope With Me?!

I'm not sure if you have heard, but there is a new social media app that is sweeping the educational blogging community lately! The app is called Periscope and works like a live broadcasting channel.  Users can videotape a session and followers can interact and converse with one another directly on the app, during a LIVE chat! It's SO fun!

You can find the Periscope app in the iTunes store by clicking HERE or clicking on the picture below.
At first, I have to admit that I wasn't sure about this whole idea of "live broadcasting." It sounded more like a disaster to me.  However, my sweet friend Jodi from Fun in First challenged me to my first Periscope session, explaining three random facts about myself. Once I faced my fears and got over that first video session, I was hooked!  The next day, I videotaped a tour of my home office. 
I am planning on showing my classroom reveal, my office reveal, product sneak peeks, how-to's, teacher Q&A's and much more in future via Periscope! In order to not miss out on all the fun, be sure to follow me on the app. My username is easy: missdecarbo
The sneaky part to Periscope is that often, you don't know when your fav bloggers are going to go live - so having the app installed on your phone is a must! You don't have to tape yourself - you can just watch the live broadcasts and participate in the conversation, if you want! If you like what the speaker is saying or what you are seeing, just tap the screen to give them "hearts" or "Periscope love!!!" It makes me so happy when I see those hearts flying across the screen! Also....and here's the sadsville part - the videos are only available to watch for 24 hours. After that, they are gone. GONE! So, you have to be quick and you have to tune in when you get notified that one of the bloggers you are following is broadcasting! How fun is that?!

Need more information on how this app works?
My lovely friend, Ashley, from Schroeder Shenanigans in Second, wrote an awesome blog post that explains the basics of Periscope. You can read the post and learn the ins and outs of the app by clicking HERE. She's my Periscope expert and will have you in love with this little social media app in no time!

I hope to see you LIVE during my next Periscope session! :) 
Have a wonderful weekend,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Vegas Recap: SDE I Teach 1st, TpT, Friends, and Fun!

Hello everyone! Today I wanted to write a little recap post about my Las Vegas trip for you.  My week consisted of the most fabulous collaboration and teacher-interaction you could ask for as an educator.  I not only attended and presented at SDE's I Teach 1st National Conference, but I also attended the 2nd annual TeacherPayTeachers seller's conference on Thursday and Friday.  

One of my roommates, Jessica from Second Grade Nest, packed this small carry-on with all of her belongings for the week! We couldn't help but laugh at the difference in our packing personalities! I was super relieved to make it to the beautiful Venetian hotel after lugging all of those bags through the airport!
On Monday and Tuesday, I attended sessions from I Teach K! and I Teach 1st! at the SDE conferences. I learned a lot and had fun hanging out with old and new blogging friends.  On Monday, we went to Starbucks, where Emma from Clever Classroom had her first Starbucks coffee!
Wednesday was a big evening! We attended the BIG blogger meet up in one of the Venetian ballrooms.  There were over 1000 teachers in the room!! We had a lot of fun and the teacher energy was at an all-time high!!
Thursday was a huge day for me! I presented my very first sessions for the National I Teach 1st SDE conference!! I had been planning and prepping these sessions for months, and I could not believe that the time had already come!! I presented two sessions on Thursday morning. The first session, Teacher in the Trenches, consisted of LOTS of tips and tricks on everything from organization to classroom routines to small group instruction! We had a lot of fun!

The second session, Building Strong Writers, was a favorite of mine! We talked about informational text, opinion writing, and narrative writing. We discussed the importance of a solid foundation for oral language skills for our students. I had a blast sharing ideas and meeting such amazing educators!! 
After I presented, I threw my stuff into my hotel room and sprinted to the first day of the Teachers Pay Teachers conference. It was amazing to be surrounded by such creative and driven people from all over the world. That evening, I even won $35 off of a penny slot machine - yay!
Thursday night was super special to me! All of my friends who blog at Primary Chalkboard, the collaborative blog I am a part of, had a wonderful dinner together.  We also had a baby shower for two of our members, Alyssha from Teaching and Tapas and Naomi from Read Like a Rock Star!  We ate a delicious cake from Carlo's Bakery, too - yum! The best part of the night? Getting to celebrate our friendship and spending time together. It's amazing how friends from all over, whom you meet and talk to online, can instantly feel like family within a week! I feel so blessed to be a part of this special group of bloggers!
On Friday morning, I could not believe our week was almost over! We got up early and headed to the last day of the Teachers Pay Teachers conference. Over 1100 TpT sellers gathered together to celebrate TpT, learn, get motivated, collaborate, and network. We listened to Paul Edelman, the founder of TpT, give a heartfelt and inspiring speech. We also met Adam Freed, TpT's CEO - who is amazingly kind, sincere, and passionate about what we are doing and achieving for students at TpT. Rachel Lynette, from Minds in Bloom, gave an endearing and motivating keynote speech that touched everyone's hearts and brought tears to my eyes! I could not have been more proud to be a part of this company and a part of such a talented bunch of educators!
On Friday night, we went onto the High Roller Ferris Wheel on the Vegas Strip. The view was STUNNING! I am so glad that I did it because it was a simply beautiful view of the city lights! 
I could not believe it was time to say goodbye the next morning. It was definitely a trip that created life-long memories and friendships. I am already looking forward to what next year will bring. :)

Thanks for taking a little tour of my Vegas Vacation with me! :) I hope you enjoyed a little peek into our fun-filled, busy, and special conference week. Have a fabulous week, everyone!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: What Are You Planning?

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday! If you're new to Wordless Wednesday and this is your first week joining our "linky party," check out the rules below - then join in on the fun!
At the TPT conference this past week, I couldn't help but fall in love with this quote that Erin Cobb, from I'm Loving Lit, shared with us:
(If you haven't checked out her blog - run! She's amazing!)
The quote made a big impression on me last week, as I realized all of the MANY things on my to-do list as we head back to school shortly! First on the list? Get my classroom together so I can get to the important things - curriculum and content!

What type of jobs and activities do YOU have to plan for?
Share them with me below in a comment!
If you're a blogger, post a picture from this week and link up with me below. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Storage Success & A Big Vegas THANK YOU!)

Good Morning Friends!
Today is such an EXCITING day for me! I am so blessed to be given the opportunity to present two sessions at the SDE I Teach 1st National Conference! I cannot wait to meet all of you and share some ideas, activities, research, and FUN!
Storage and Organization Success with Miss DeCarbo

During my first session today, Teacher in the Trenches, I'm presenting a section on organization. In this post, I'm going to share even more organizational tips & tricks for material storage within our rooms. I believe strongly in the positive effects of being an organized educator.  We cannot expect our students to be calm and ready to learn if we, as teachers, are not calm and prepared ourselves. The good news? Being organized does not mean our classrooms must look like a magazine-worthy Pinterest-board. Classroom organization is about being effective and efficient for both you and your students. Let's take a look at some little tips & tricks for classroom storage.  (To pin these tips and photographs, hover your mouse over the picture and click on the pink Pinterest button!) Here we go! 
Storage and Organization - Word Work Manipulatives
You can grab these Word Work Labels for FREE by clicking HERE or on the picture below:

Storage and Organization Word Work Bins
My word work bins are numbered to make management simple.  If a student is missing material from their word work bin, they simply tell me the problem, along with the number on bin. This helps me track which bin needed the new materials, so that after school, I do not need to sift through six bins to find the one I need! :) Interested in learning even more about my word work set up? THIS POST will give you lots of details about how I organize Word Work in my room. :)

Storage and Organization Success
At one time, I have approximately six students at my small group math table. Therefore, each math manipulative bin contains six little baggies of materials.

Storage and Organization - Math Manipulative Organization
You can find this set of editable math labels in my TpT store by clicking HERE.

I "label" the Sterilite bins below by simply cutting a strip of construction paper. I use the "hot dog" style to cut my strips. Then, I tape the label to the inside of the tub once I've labeled and printed all of my materials.
Storage and Organization - Math Game Bins
I have monthly math games that students complete as math centers or independently for early finishers.  These are stored in Large Sterilite Bins in my closet and pulled out each month.  The bins are sturdy and they have lasted for years! You can find ALL of my math games bundled for the entire year HERE.
Storage and Organization Success for Math Game Bins

I find that I use crayons, scissors, glue sticks, and sticky notes the most in my small groups. I also keep sharpened pencils and dry erase markers/markers back at my table. There is never any need for a child to bring their own supplies back to the table, unless we are completing or working on something special that day! :)
Storage and Organization Success Small Group Materials

Storage and Organization Small Group Materials
Mini buckets store my pencils, reading wands (which you can find at the Dollar Store!), and dry erase markers/erasers. 

Storage and Organization: Teacher Read Aloud Books

Having a designated place for kids to put library books helps them get into a routine of returning the books. It also keeps your librarian happy, happy, happy!
Storage and Organization Success Library Book Bin

Storage and Organization Success: Lost and Found Trash Can

I hope these little tips help you keep your classroom organized and tidy! If you attended any of my sessions today, a GIANT THANK YOU!!!  I am so humbled that you chose to spend your time with me. Our greatest resources as educators are each other!  Opportunities to collaborate with one another, inspire one another, and share best practices for our students is something that is very near to my heart - and I LOVED being part of the energy this week! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: July 8th - Desk Organization

Hi Friends! For today's "Wordless Wednesday," I'm sharing a BEFORE and AFTER pic of my teacher desk! On the last teacher work day in May, I spent some time organizing and cleaning! With a little bit of TLC, some Small Sterlite Clip Bins from Target, and some editable labels, I can actually open my desk drawer at school (without cringing)!

How do you organize your drawers for your teacher desk? Do you use a teacher desk?
Comment below and share your thoughts!
If you have a blog, link up your Wordless Wednesday pic with me below! Be sure to link back to my blog and grab the linky button at the top of this post.

Have a great Wednesday!