Owl Bulletin Board and a freebie!

Hi everyone!

   Well, the first week of school has come and gone, and now that I am almost done with my second week I can tell that I have a really awesome class this year!  They are really great listeners, and are very caring individuals.
    Last week we worked on jazzing up our bulletin boards for back to school night.  The first project that we did was an adorable owl craft.

 I saw a cute idea like this on pinterest, and decided to make a template for it.  I am not a very creative person, and free form drawing is not my strong suit.  I worked in power point to manipulate the shapes the way I wanted the owls to be in (with a little help from my husband). 

I pre-cut the owl bodies out of scrap book paper, but you could easily have the students cut out the owl shapes themselves.

Here are the free templates for these adorable owls:




Pinterest Inspired

Hi everyone!

   I just finished my first week of school, and I have to say that I am loving the fact that I only have 15 students!!!  I normally have 28-30, so this is a huge change, the classroom is so quiet! 
   Before school started I asked my husband to help me with a pinterest project.  I think most of us have seen this adorable back to school wreath:
   I found some rulers at Walmart that were fifty cents each, so I grabbed 10 of those.  I then went to Michael's, and found the black center piece, but no apple : (  What I did find was a cute wooden bee.  I figured bee's were back to schoolish, and since I am Mrs. B, I figured it would work too : )  We also decided on blue, glittery ribbon, that we thought would go a little better with the bee, and my classroom colors.
   My husband borrowed the chop saw from my parents, and got to work.  He cut some at the 6 inch length, and some at the 4 inch length.
   The original directions called for a wooden ring behind the wreath to help create the perfect circle, but my husband just glued the rulers directly to the black circle and it worked out perfectly!
   I love how it turned out, and my husband is now getting requests from other teachers at my school to make them one : )  Thank goodness I married a crafty man, because Lord knows I did not inherit that gene from my crafty mother! 


Leveling Your Library

Hi everyone,
   If you are like me, you have a ton of easy reader books.  Over the years I have amassed quite a collection.  Some I inherited when I took over the classroom, some were donated by other teachers or parents, and some were purchased by myself.  I have a great collection, but it contains books from many different publishers, and it can be a challenge to find out where that book fits in the guided reading spectrum.

  This summer I decided to gather up all of my easy readers, and organize them by level, in an effort to improve my guided reading groups.

   This first thing I did, was research how the different guided reading levels such as Fountas and Pinnel, Lexille, DRA, etc. were all related.  I found this great chart below, just click on the picture, and it will take you to the PDF

   I used the scholastic website for their Leveling Resource Guide as well, and then I started to look into individual publishers.  I looked up things like BOB books, and books from the Sunshine Group.  Basically whenever I picked up a new book I just flipped it over to see who the publisher was.  I then typed that publishers name into a Google search with something like this:

BOB books guided reading levels

  Up would pop all of the information that I would need for the levels.  Some books required more research than others, but overall I was pleasantly surprised by the number of books that I could find the correct level for.

  Inevitably there were some books who's level that I could not find, so I used this guide to help me place them in the correct category

  I bought some colorful book bins at the Dollar Tree and made some cute polka dot labels to go along with them (Freebie below).

  I'm sending book bags home with the kids this year as well, so I am hoping that this new organization will help the students and I pick the just right books for them!

Grab your book bin labeling freebies below: