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Pro Tip: Hanging Heavy Objects Without Nails

I've been working on my room for a couple of hours a day for the past couple of weeks. I have gotten a lot done, but there's still so much more to do! We report for the first day of pre-planning on Monday but it's ok. I work best under pressure!

I just wanted to share this quick and simple tip with you. My brain does NOT work this way, so I have to give credit to my husband for this one. My dilemma was that I wanted to hang this heavy wooden alligator from Hobby Lobby on my Brain Builder task card bulletin board.



When I tried to hang it with just a push pin and the metal hanger on the back, it was way too wobbly for me. I could just imagine a kid grabbing as set of cards and having that gator bonk him on the head which is a huge no-no.

So Jeff came up with a great idea, that totally worked. We used velcro! But I didn't want to put the adhesive part of the velcro directly onto the painted surface of the bulletin board because if I ever remove it, I don't want the paint coming with it.  So what we did was to first determine where he would go on the board and temporarily place him with push pins holding him up.



But nothing was securing him to the wall and it was way too flimsy. So we then stapled one side of the velcro to the board without removing the adhesive strip.



Then we stuck the other side of the strip on to the part we just stapled. THEN we exposed the adhesive. Then we pushed the gator into place which stuck the velcro to the back. In the end, I left of the push pins too even though it really feels strong enough with the velcro alone, but better safe than sorry!


The finished result:

The wooden alligator is from Hobby Lobby, I picked him up last year. He's our school mascot, so he's been just hanging around with no real purpose until now. I finally opened my YEAR OLD Silhouette Cameo and figured out how to work it (I KNOW!) to make the vinyl letters. Love how it turned out!

If you're interested in the task cards, I've got tons in my shop, but you can find the main bundles HERE and HERE.

Well, I'm off to enjoy my last weekend before we report back on Monday. If anyone sees my summer, can you please return it?  I seem to have misplaced it and I'd really like it back!

Ice-breaker Idea - Blog Hop, Second Stop!

Glad that you were able to join us for the third annual Orange Ya' Glad it's a Blog Hop!
I am the

If you have hopped with us in the past, some things will be familiar, and some things will be new!
This year, all of our bloggers are focusing on free tips or ideas that they can share with you to get your school year off to a great start.  Some ideas will have a freebie, others might just be a stand alone concept.  The idea is to try and share things that will solve problems and create a happy and stress free first few weeks!


Today I'm sharing an idea for a fun first day activity that my team and I have been doing for a couple of years and it's always a HUGE hit. It's practically zero prep for you, so win-win!  I think ice-breakers fall into two categories for most kids - exciting or terrifying. Your outgoing, verbal kids love them and get super into them. Your shy, introverted kids can't wait for them to be over. This one usually works really well for both kinds of kids. And it involves play-doh - what kid doesn't like play-doh!? I'm sure there are probably some, but luckily I haven't found one yet.

So, this is super simple. Give each kid a little mini-tub of play-doh and let them explore for a few minutes. Then tell them to use it to create something that they can use to tell about themselves. I usually model something quick like a coffee cup or apple while they're sculpting so I can start things off.



The explanations are usually pretty awesome.
Huge water slide on a cruise ship:



A girl and her family:



Baking cookies with grandma:


Pancake breakfasts on the weekend:





I love science!




Taking care of the dog:


Instead of putting each child on the spot and making them talk in front of the whole class, I have half of the class stay with their creation and let the other half wander around. Then they chat informally with each other. Then we switch. It's a great way to get the conversation flowing in a very non-threatening, fun environment! Sometimes you can find mini-tubs of play-doh(ish stuff) at Dollar Tree. So far this year, it's been a little hard to find them there. You can get this set of 10 on Amazon for $4.99.
So back to the hop. I'm letter




 The letters all work together to give you the name of a type of orange!  This year is a bit tricky...it's a two word name!  **Hint: Starting on my blog and going through will give you the right answer!** 



Once you've solved the puzzle...take a picture of the answer.  
Post it on instagram and hashtag it with #orangehop2015.  We love original ideas...so, do something fun with your image!


We will go through the pictures and select a winner.

Next up is another amazing Sunshine State blogger, the adorableTammy 
from 
The Resourceful Apple. 


It's almost time to HOP!



For the third year in a row, I'm joining with some wonderful Florida bloggers to give you some great back to school ideas to start the year off right! You can look forward to seeing tips  and winning prizes from the following Florida PreK-5 bloggers!














Please join us on Saturday, August 8th at 12 noon!

Carson Dellosa Reveal & Giveaway!


This past February, I had the honor or working with the Carson Dellosa family and some of my blog besties yet again at Annual CD Blogger Summit 2015. It was a whirlwind weekend, but some amazing things came out of it! I was asked to work with two adorable sets - Colorful Owls and Color me Bright. I created a snapshot of how you might use some of these decor products in your classroom. The picture above shows the finished product as it appears in the lookbook.


This picture below is how I left things at the Carson Dellosa offices. They did some picking and choosing and tweaking to make everything look incredible for the lookbook. So much work goes into the production of that book. Make sure you take a peek through the whole thing!



Here's a close up of one of my favorite little parts. This bookshelf serves as a great place to store your math games and manipulatives. I used the owl cutouts to label the area. If you're using an owl theme, these decorative eggs in a jar make the perfect estimation station!



This was my favorite board! I have to give a big shout out to my husband. He came with me this year and was a giant help. He's a teacher too, so he totally gets it. We used the giant letters from the welcome set to create the top of this board. So cute for a back to school board! Love the addition of the artificial tree leaves to the tree cutout. If you look closely, you'll see some little bird nests on the board too! The little owls are sitting in them on the tree. 



I thought this was a clever way to use the pennant banner and library pockets. Just clip the pockets to a ribbon. I used laundry line clips I picked up at Walgreens. Now you have all those little things you need handy at your fingertips - bandaids, passes, bookmarks, stickers,  reward pencils, etc...




If you love these little owls as much as I do, you can win the entire collection! Just enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.

My Favorite Teacher Planner {Video Review & Giveaway}

I've been using THE most amazing teacher planner by April from A Modern Teacher for the last year and I'm super excited to start setting up my new one as well. When I tried to write up a blog post with pictures to tell you about this planner, it was just not coming across the way I wanted to. So I stepped way out of my comfort zone and decided to do a video review. So take a peek inside the planner, and then enter to win one for yourself using the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway ends July 21 at Midnight EST. Enjoy!






Raise a Hand for Teachers!

Have you all heard of thredUP? It's a fashion resale site that I've recently become addicted to. The basic concept is simple. If you have brand name clothing in excellent condition, thredUP will sell it on your behalf on their site. You can use the earnings to shop the site, donate to a charity, or cash out on PayPal. For under $100 I recently purchased two pairs of shoes, a dress, and a Vera Bradley bag!

thredUp is committed to supporting causes that strengthen communities and keeps clothing out of landfills. So you can purchase designer clothing at up to 90% less than retail while you support charitable causes and help the environment. It's a win-win! 

Today thredUP is partnering with AdoptAClassroom.org to launch Raise a Hand for Teachers, to recognize and thank teachers for their hard work and the positive impact they make in children's lives every day. It's a fact we all know too well, but it's estimated that teachers spend an average of $500 of their own money each year on supplies for their classroom. 70% of teachers have purchased clothing like jackets, socks, and shoes for their students. So, to honor and assist this commitment, the Raise a Hand for Teachers program will award 3 teachers with $2,500 for classroom supplies AND $500 to thredUP! 50 runner-up winners will receive $100 to spend at thredUP.


When I heard about this program, I knew right away who I would nominate - Alisha Peare. I know Alisha through blogging, of course. You all know her as The Bubbly Blonde Teacher.


I've known her behind the scenes for a few years now, and I remember her talking about kids who would walk to school in freezing temperatures with no hats or gloves. But she didn't just talk about it and feel bad about it, she went out and bought those kids hats and gloves. She purchased socks and coats for students who didn't have them. Her students receive her unconditional love and care, and are so lucky to have her.  But if you ask Alisha, she'll tell you that she's the lucky one. Alisha teaches in Omaha, Nebraska in a high poverty, school burdened with gang activity. Her students are low-socioeconomic, culturally diverse, and in great need of help. As many of you probably do, Alisha routinely purchases supplies for her students as well. Alisha knows that before her students can learn, their basic needs must be met. She makes sure that when her kids walk through the door, they feel loved and cared for. Unfortunately, I know Alisha is not alone in her generosity. There are so many other teachers out there who deserve to be recognized for all they do. Are you thinking of one such teacher right now? Then click here to nominate them! The contest starts today and runs through the end of August.

Think about nominating a deserving teacher you know and I'll be back to tell you more about my thredUP experience very soon!

Christmas in July!

My sweet Blog Hoppin friends and I are all celebrating Christmas in July this week. What does that mean for you? Big savings on some great essentials to get your year off to a great start. I know, it's hard to think about back to school already, but I've heard from some of my friends that school is starting up again in just a few weeks. Yikes!

So, every day this week, a different product in my shop will be on sale. I know one day sales are hard to catch in time sometimes, so I'll put each item on sale on the day below and then leave it for a few days.


Monday - 50 Printables for Early Finishers & Enrichment. See it in my shop HERE and read more about it HERE. Usually $6.25, on sale for $4.25.

Tuesday - 50 MORE Printables for Early Finishers & Enrichment. This is the sequel to the first pack. I love this pack even more than the first one. See it in my shop HERE and on the blog HERE. Also on sale for $4.25.

Wednesday - Telling Time Teaching Resources. This is packed full of activities, printables, games, centers - everything you need to keep your own sanity intact while your kids are engaged. See it HERE in my shop, and apparently I never blogged about this pack! I'll have to do that soon.

Thursday - This was last summer's baby. I worked on this pack night and day for months! Researching spelling patterns, phonics structures, homework activities, printing options - but I loved it. And I'm super proud of the finished product. See it HERE on the blog. See it HERE in my shop.

Friday - Friday's product is a set of bulletin board banners that makes it a snap to keep things updated and seasonal. The set includes 25 different printables that the kids complete, color, and cut and you hang up. Boom - done! See them HERE in my shop and HERE on the blog.

Have fun shopping, my friends. I know I'll be scoopin up some stuff this week!











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