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Picture THIS! Monday Made It

Monday already? It's been another busy week of getting my classroom somewhat set up. I can't wait to see all of the Monday Made Its.

I've been crafting using photographs from family sessions. The possibilities are endless.I think it would be neat to document family vacations using different states you have visited. This idea might be great for geography lessons too. In first grade, we use the book ME on the MAP to create a great unit. I think this year I may assign students to fill in a state with magazine pictures or even real pictures. 

My sister in law helped me create the popular letter collages that I've seen floating around on Pinterest. You can click here to see step by step directions.  Now I want to find a source for wooden state cut outs to help me document my past vacations. Who doesn't love anything that involves mod podge and photographs. Smaller letters will make great Christmas gift ideas for students.

I finally got around to adding these labels to my bins. You can find these editable labels from KNJ creations. I am in love with them. Can you believe the difference? It also hides my clutter! I need all the help I can get in that department.


Do you use Kagan Management Mats? I did until I decided to create my own using vinyl. You can use a cricut or silhouette to make these durable numbers. I love to group my students this way. Kagan is all about engagement.  When tables are labeled it allows for shoulder partners and face to face partners. It's also great to call all the ones to pick up papers or the threes to sharpen pencils. You should check out Kagan if you haven't heard of their awesome structures. 

 I went to Target on Sunday and found 18 more black cubes. I found them ON SALE. #SCORE 
Now each student will have a numbered cube to keep their belongings. This is in addition to their mailbox, cubby, and seat pocket.I have the top 18 cubes filled with various supplies. I like how they can hide clutter. Is it bad that I like to organize by stuffing? HAHA! I just throw my stuff in different bins. At least they are labeled. Hopefully this will hide my junk from Alison

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Can't wait to be inspired this week.You should  join Tara with your Monday Made It.

Monday Made It

Where did my summer go? I can not believe that I will be going back in less than 15 days. YIKES it went by way too fast. I'm usually great about Monday Made Its but not this summer unless you count photographs. My summer has consisted of family beach sessions most nights. I'm not complaining because photography allows me to be creative. My husband loves it too because I'm not taking over the dinning room table with crafts. HA! 

Today I'm joining Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It! I can't wait to see the other ideas because I actually have a few free days this week.

My first Monday Made It were these " The Buzz about Me" bags that I will be passing out at orientation. I love this first homework assignment that I assign for my first graders. It's a fun way to get to know my students. I usually have about 5 students share each day during the first week of school. The bags were only .62 cents at Target so I just had to snag them up. To download this free tag click here.

I have never really had classroom jobs because I pick one student helper for the day instead. Last year I started using bee bucks. I got to the point where I wanted to pass out bee bucks for little jobs around the classroom. This year I'm going to try classroom jobs. Do you have them? Like them or Hate them? I hope it won't be too much to manage. 
Aren't these bee bucks adorable? You can find my bee job chart and bee bucks right here. They will be free for Monday only.

This is a free product I made years ago. I just added some real life examples underneath. 

Do your students have to track their learning on a progression scale or self assessment tool? This is currently how I will be having my students rate themselves with various standards and skills. It's also a free download here. The sticks have my free insta-sticks that I use  in many different ways in my classroom. They are great for calling on students, labeling cubbies, check-in magnets, AR trackers. etc.

My last Monday Made It I designed and ordered from Paper Concierge. I love that when I get to the bottom of the notepad I usually find a 40 % off coupon. I love fun notepads. How about you?

I've missed this fun linky. Thanks again Tara for hosting such a great linky.

Destination Vacation

Life is about making memories, not diamonds.-Chris Riotta

Have you seen this article in your newsfeed about spending money on experiences instead of things? It's been my philosophy the past 8 years of marriage. Instead of swapping gifts for holidays,we usually invest our money on trips. There was a long period of time that I didn't fly so I found my favorite spots to drive. Recently, I've put my fear of flying and now I'm scouting out my next vacation spot. Alison from Rockin' and Lovin' Learning and I want to know your spots.

Where do you LOVE to vacation?  
and I would like to know if you 
are you willing to give up your secret spot?

Let's Talk!

Gosh, this is hard so I'm going to name my top 3 spots in no particular order.

I guess I will start with Asheville, North Carolina. We have been vacationing here for the past 8 years. My husband and I go up for Fall Break and then the week of Thanksgiving because it happens to be our anniversary. We love sleeping with the windows open and building a fire. It even snowed a few times which was a treat for us. In Florida we NEVER see snow. Have you been to this funky little town in the Blue Ridge Mountains? They have the best weather, food scene, music/arts, and tons of beautiful landscapes.

Must See: The Biltmore Estate , BlueRidge Parkway, Grove Park Inn Gingerbread Contest

My next vacation spot is Malibu, California.  When we are here we do hit Los Angeles for the sight seeing but return to the peaceful scene in Malibu. Once again I love the weather. 75 degrees in Summer is HEAVEN for me.  I'm used to temperatures past 100 with tons of humidity. 

Must See: Santa Monica Pier, Rodeo Drive, Third Street Promenade 

My last spot is the Disney Fantasy. I finally convinced Randy to go on a cruise with me. He was hesitate because he doesn't like  crowds. He deals with a lot of tourist so when he vacations he wants it somewhere quiet. Guess what? He LOVED it. You can relax and not worry about a thing. The Adult Only section is where we hung out the entire time. Great place to relax. They also have the best gym and spa. I *might* have taken a nap in the heated lounge chairs daily. We loved everything about the Fantasy. Great rooms, great entertainment, great food, great spa! I'm already trying to book one for the fall. 

Must See: Aladdin Play,  Fireworks, Rainforest Spa heated lounge chairs
Must Eat: Palo ( Try the konk kooler from Castaway Cay)
This linky will be open until August month.

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