Swapsville, Linkies, and Five More

It's SWAPSVILLE today in bloggy teacher land! You should know by now that the Blog Swap and Hop is going on all over teacher blogs this wonderful Saturday! Though I am not involved, I have hopped over to MANY blogs and added MANY freebies to my Teacher Resources folder on my computer! YAY! If you have yet to explore this amazing event, DO SO IMMEDIATELY (well after reading this post, of course). So many goodies for you, as well as awesome tips from amazing teachers!

I have a couple of linky parties I just HAVE to link up to today, but I also want to tell you about some AWESOME GIVEAWAYS!!

Teaching Maddeness
Amanda at Teaching Maddeness is having a giveaway AND a linky party! She is having a giveaway for reaching 300 followers, and the prizes are AMAZING: $25 gift card to Macy's, $5 gift card to Starbucks, and 3 free units from either Teacher's Clubhouse or Lightbulb Minds (both AMAZING websites)!! 
Her linky party is:

We are supposed to share about music in the classroom!!
I love music, and it is NECESSARY in my classroom! Music does so much for us- it engages us, the lyrics stick in our minds, and it changes our mood (which can be happy, sad, angry, etc.) Finding the right music for your classroom and for your students is of utter importance. We need to find music that uplifts them and helps them learn.
Here are some times when I plan to use music throughout the day:
1. In the morning, when students first walk in the door.What the students first interact with as they walk into your room has a huge role on how they will take on the day. I plan to have either classical or acoustic music playing softly in the background- no words, just instruments. This gets the students cued right into learning.
2. During centers.
This is a time when I will use music that still is somewhat calm, but may have some lyrics or fun included. This way students are still learning, and the music is helping them.
3. Learning a new concept, or practicing others.
Finding songs that are fun and interactive are a great way to help teach a concept, and they'll remember it better! I remember when I was teaching about bats in a lesson I found a song about echolocation and my students had that song stuck in their heads the rest of the day!
4. Transitions/Move It.
During transitions and times when we need a brain break, I will use FUN music to get them up and moving!
5. Working
This is plain and simple. Soft fun music to keep students working.

My absolute FAVORITE way to get music for my classroom is Pandora! If you have not heard of it, it is an online radio where you choose what artists/genres you want to listen to, and they make a playlist out of it for you. There are definite BENEFITS and DOWNFALLS of Pandora. Benefits are, you have great music to play for the classroom and can choose from a variety of genres, artists, and types of music. I have several playlists for the class at different times. The downfall is there is always that fear of the wildcard. Maybe my class is transitioning from centers to math and I have a station on, and an Usher song comes on. It not only is inappropriate for school  and for students, but it totally disrupts the flow of the class!
There are a couple of ways we can decrease those wildcards. Stephanie at 3rd Grade Thoughts has a GREAT post on music, where she says that to decrease the probability of wildcards, you need to work on your stations this summer. Play the ones you want to use in your classroom and use the rating system (thumbs up/thumbs down) to tune your stations to what you want to hear.
Another way, if you have a mac, is to download a program where each song played on Pandora is downloaded for free onto your computer. Then, you can throw out the wildcards and play what's on your computer.

The next party I'm linking up to is
I was a student teacher this past year, and would love to give my input. I had wonderful cooperating teachers who taught me so much! Here are some tips I have for those of you who are hosting a student teacher.
1. Invite them in on the planning.
Some of my favorite parts of student teaching were when we would collaborate together on a project, unit, lesson, etc. Print off your lesson plans so they can have a copy. Have them help you brainstorm for different things. I loved the fact that we would sometimes co-teach together.
2. Make them feel welcome.
How do we make our students feel welcome when they first enter our classrooms? We give them their spot in the classroom, we build rapport with them and each other, we give them tools that will help them ease into the class easier. This is what you should do for the intern that is coming to your class too. At one of my placements, I had my own little desk. I just used an extra desk the teacher had in the classroom that was being used for storage. I didn't need much, I kept most things in my bag. But it was nice to have a place to put what I needed to have out for the day, to have my own pens/pencils for the students, a stapler and some stickies on my desk. Nothing fancy or huge, just somewhere I could call "home" in your room. You could also use a group meeting table, too. The only thing about that was I was moving my stuff around 5 times a day. But that also works. Also, BUILD RAPPORT. Introduce them to the class by the name they want to be called (Miss Elliott) and let them ask the 50 bazillion questions they want to ask! One class had an "interview" time with me, and it helped them get to know me better.
I also loved having my own roster of the class, knowing who was ELL and who was special ed, and a schedule. Again this doesn't have to be anything crazy, just a little bit of info for your classroom. It just helps put names to faces and gets the routine down.
3. Give opportunities to grow.
The first couple of weeks are normally pretty slow for Student Teachers. We are observing and getting to know the class. A great idea would be to hand something small over to them every once in a while to boost their confidence and help the students get more comfortable. It could be a read aloud, a math test, a small group teaching time, etc.
4. Help them process and give feedback
If you do watch their lessons or even how they interact throughout the day, go over some with them, and give them constructive feedback. It really helps give direction to what we need to work on.
5. Give them space!
I know it is so hard to release control of your classroom, but it really is what we need. If your student teacher has not proven their trust, then don't. But please, don't keep all control of the classroom! We are supposed to fail sometimes, but we learn how to pick ourselves back up. If you are really worried about leaving the classroom for some time, start off little. Maybe the first time is just to run down to the office real quick, about 5 minutes. Then build your way up. That way they can gain control and confidence, as well as build their own relationships with the students in the classroom. There will be some kids who ask, "Where's Mrs. __________?" but that gets less and less the more you give over control.
6. Classroom Management
That is the ONE thing that we really don't get enough of in college. We need classroom management experiences! Share what you do in your classroom. Share what works and what doesn't work with your kids. Allow them to try out new things. Help them develop that "teacher voice" and "teacher presence". That is one thing I am SO grateful for!

I hope that helps you who may have a student teacher in your class!

1. The Upper Elementary Book Study for Daily 5 and The CAFE Book starts tomorrow! Find out more:

We Read, We Blog, We Teach
2. I have a big number on the horizon! 5 more followers til 50! Make sure you follow my blog for updates on my giveaway and TPT Store GRAND OPENING!


To Bee Continued!

OOPS. I had a total blonde moment. I COMPLETELY FORGOT about my part in To Bee Continued! Thankfully, I wasn't the only one. (Sorry to those ahead of me! What can I say, it's summertime!)

18 Wonderful Bloggers teamed up with me to create a continuous story over the next few weeks. Each day one new blogger will add to the saga. Click the next button to read what happens next...
Make sure to check out the blogs listed at the end of the post.
I suggest you start from the beginning, or at least a couple parts ahead of me!

The 3AM Teacher   MsT3     Aril  Wolfelicious                              

And I'll leave it at that! Look for a new segment tomorrow!

Numero Cuatro!

Hey there my crafty bunch! Have you linked up with Tara for her 4th Monday Made It yet? It's a summer Monday must! It will make your Mondays much less mundane! (all right, no more alliteration ;D)

For this week, my Made It is in digital form, but I also did some hands-on fun too! I finally made the Objectives frames everyone and their mom is pinning on Pinterest! Unfortunately, there is no source link, but here is the inspirational picture:
I tweaked mine a bit, but I'll get to that later. I know you are gonna want to make these for your classroom this year, so here is my tutorial.

Step 1: The Frames.
I got my frames from none other than The Dollar Tree!  You can almost always find cheapo-charlie frames there. The day I was there I couldn't find any black frames though, so this is where my hands-on part came in. I just sat outside on a BEAUTIFUL night and painted two coats of acrylic black paint on my frames (after removing the backing and glass). I don't have any pictures of this process (my hands were too messy with paint!), but I think you get the picture. If you would like to paint your frames a different color, be my guest, but I wanted the insides of my frames to be the focal point, so I opted for classy black!
(Quick Note: 8x10 frames will probably work the best for this project. They are small enough to put regular computer paper in the frames, but big enough to write your objectives on!)

Step 2: The Paper.
Now that your frames are taken care of, it's time to work on the inside of the frame: the fancy paper! You can do this two ways: either get some actual scrapbook paper from your neighborhood Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby, or other craft store, OR you can purchase DIGITAL scrapbook paper online, and do all of your designing in a program such as Photoshop, Pixlr, or Paint.NET. I chose to try something new for me- the digital paper! So from now on, this tutorial will be for the DIGITAL paper.
I decided that to go along with my theme of world travel, bright colors, and lots and lots of chevron, I would look up CHEVRON digital scrapbook paper (DSP) on Etsy. I'm sure you can find DSP lots of places on the world wide web, but I chose Etsy, because I had a hunch I'd find something cute and unique there. And I did! I found Dink A Doo Studios Funky Chevron 8 Piece Digital Scrapbook Paper:
SO CUTE, right?!! Yea, I thought so. Especially for only $4.00!! They also emailed the files to me within that day, and it was a super easy transaction! I suggest that if you are wanting something similar to purchase from them too!
(BTW: I was not prompted to review this purchase on my blog, it was just THAT GOOD!)

Step 3: The Design.
Now comes the fun part. Once you receive your paper, find a photo-editing program to use. I switch back and forth between Pixlr and Paint.net. Pixlr is online, and Paint.net is a free download. Both are similar and are similar to Photoshop, but FREE! Once you decide on that, you need to decide on a font. I was blog-hopping a few nights ago and found a font that Laura at 
How cool is that? You can download it free too, on her blog! Just look at her most recent post! The font is called Sassy! You'll see it soon when I show you my finished product! ;)
If you decide to go with another font, there are literally TONS of free fun fonts out there! If you need more suggestions, Natalie at Teachery Tidbits had a linky party! Click the picture to go there!

Now that you have everything you need, play around with it! Have fun figuring out where the subject titles will go, and what fonts to use! Here are my finished products:
Now, here's where I kind of deviated from the picture above. Instead of using another frame for the "Objectives" title, I decided to make a fun banner to hang above my frames. And, to go along with my travel theme, my objectives will be called the "Learning Road Map":

The letters are rectangles for now, but soon they will become flags like the ones seen in my blog's title!
************Go ahead, scroll up and take a look. I'll wait!**************
All you have to do to make them look like that is fold them in half long-ways and cut out a triangle on the bottom. I'll string them together using twine!
I decided not to actually finish this project yet, because, with all of the moving we're doing, I don't want to have to pack up more stuff that I may lose! So their all safe and waiting to be printed on my computer when I need them :)

Also, as I have noted in the past few posts, I'm getting scary close to the big 5 0 followers! If you have yet to follow me, all you have to do is click the blue button that says "Join!"! When I do reach that golden number, I will hold a fun giveaway! If you would like to put something of yours into the giveaway, email me at allieelliott@yahoo.com. I'd love your input! I'm thinking these digital files might be included, so you don't want to miss out!

One more thing, before you head back to Made It Monday to see the other fun projects, stop by my blog's page 


and link your Pinterest page up, so we can see your fun PINSpirations!


livingsocial, giveaways, and have you heard?!

Happy Sunday! I think the sun got a little too happy today and decide to make life not so fun in the sun! Even though it's only about 90 degrees, there is 60% humidity in Omaha, which is WAY too sticky for me to be outside! I feel for my parents, who are working in the house we will be moving into soon- no AC! YUCK!
Anyways, have you heard of LivingSocial? Or Groupon? These are two sites (or phone apps) that let you buy certain items at cheaper prices! They have different things for sale, but they only last a few days. You can buy vouchers for a huge variety of things, from restaurants, to goods, to massages, basically anything you can think of! But the catch is there is a limited number of  them. The great thing about these sites are that you can usually get things at least 50% off! So, for example, you could get a voucher for $50 worth of food/drink at a restaurant by only paying $25. So, why am I telling you about this? Because, every once in a while, they have vouchers for stuff for kids, and stuff we could use in our classrooms! You can even tell them that you want to see deals for those things, and when something comes up in your city, you can buy it! Case and point, in April, I saw a livingsocial voucher for a kids National Wildlife Reserve magazine subscription- $10 for a year's subscription! Now, I'll have some great animal magazines to have in my classroom library!
 I really encourage you to subscribe to the sites- they are worth it! Click here for Groupon! If you purchase via that link, I'll get $10 to use for my next Groupon! My favorite part is getting the updates on my iPhone- they both have free apps, and you can see what the deals are daily in your neck of the woods!
Also, Katie from Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans found a Vistaprint deal on Groupon- $17 for $70 worth! Check it out on her blog!

There are SO MANY wonderful giveaways happening right now, and I want to celebrate with my bloggy friends!

Congratulations to Katie, Laura, and Dana! I love your blogs, and am excited for your giveaways!

Last, but not least, HAVE YOU HEARD?!!?! I'm having my first linky party! It's called Pinning with Friends! Have you seen/played all of the smartphone apps- Words with Friends, Hanging with Friends, etc? Well this is my extension of that! Instead of linking up a blog post, I want you to link up your Pinterest page so that we can all follow each other on Pinteerest and share ideas! So right after you're done reading this post and checking out the giveaways, click on the page up at the top of my blog that says Pinning with Friends! I'd love to follow you on Pinterest!
Also, I am just 11 friends (followers) away from the big 50! And you know what that means... GIVEAWAY and... TPT STORE! When I reach 50 followers I will be debuting my TPT store and hosting a fun giveaway! So if you are not a follower yet, now is the time to do so!

Pinning with Friends and Theme!

Happy Friday, all!! Hope you are lovin summer as much as I am! I had a couple babysitting jobs yesterday and we were able to spend some glorious time outside! This year, I've decided that with having to get my diploma and certifications late from summer courses, I'm not going to be able to find a full time teaching job this year (at least for the fall). That being said, I will still be working toward getting ready for a full-time classroom. I will also hopefully be substituting and working a different part-time job. Then, hopefully in January, I will be able to get a full-time teaching job in the spring. After this year, earning some much-needed $$, I will be looking to teach abroad for the 2013-2014 year! So, that's my personal update for the week!

My second item of business for this Friday is to start my own linky party! It is actually going to be an ongoing party on the page of my blog called Pinning with Friends! I thought it would be super fun to get all of our pinterest links together and follow each other's FANTASTIC PINspirations! So click over to that page and link up your Pinterest page! I can assure you one thing- you will have at least one new follower (ME!)! And then invite your friends with this fun button!

And finally, I am working on a theme for my future classroom (wherever it may be!)! It's called "Around the World in ____ Days!" The blank will of course be how many days are in our school year. I'm pairing this theme with bright, fun colors and lots and lots of chevron! I have a new Pinterest board for all of my inspirations! You can see it HERE. I'll give you a few of my latest pinspirations.
Classroom Passports (source)
A map (mine would be a world map) where students pinpoint the settings of their books.
My bright colors inspiration came from this classroom from Schoolgirl Style!
Check out the rest of this board and my other boards on Pinterest, and make sure you link up to my Pinning with Friends linky party!
Look for my DIY "Learning Destinations" (aka Objectives) boards on Monday!