Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Make Your Own Name Tags

I posted about this activity in August, but I finally took some pictures of the name tags the students in my class made.  Below are how they turned out, and the kids use them all the time as resources.  I used black construction paper as the background. had them laminated, and used Velcro to attach them to their desks.  If you'd like any of the materials for this activity (the quotes, resources, etc.), they are available at Kara's Store!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Recommendation

Below are a couple photos of the reading recommendation board I have in my classroom library.  I bought the pockets and used card catalog tags to fill them.  Each student has a pocket, and as children read books, they fill each other's pockets with book recommendations.  For example, if Tommy read Swindle by Gordon Korman and thought Nick would like it, he would write the book's title and author on a card and put it into Nick's pocket.  It's an easy way for students share ideas about books!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Work of the Week - WOW

At the end of each week, I have students go through their corrected work and find a piece that they are especially proud of.  It might be a page, packet, or just one problem they worked hard on.  They take that work and reflect on why it is their 'WOW' piece and hang it up.  Before starting this, we brainstormed as a class what WOW work and not WOW work looked like.  The kids seem to really enjoy doing this and I've noticed an improvement in the quality of their work overall.  The template I use for the reflection is available (for free) at my store!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday and New Products

Joining in the Cyber Monday fun, enjoy 20% off at Kara's Store!  New products have been uploaded, especially for grade 4.  Hope you all enjoyed the holiday and find something useful!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Products

Now that I'm out of the fog of September, I finally uploaded some new products to my store.  Map Skills, American Revolution, and Math Vocabulary are among some of the new items.  If you're interested, check out the store!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Homework Board

I made these signs and mounted them against my whiteboard.  They make it very easy to switch out the homework assignments each day.  Like most everything else, they're available at Kara's Store!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Enrichment Projects

So, I have a range of students in my class (probably like most of us).  And I always have a few that finish and are at me with the "What do I do now?"  I have a couple of projects that are wonderful enrichment opportunities for the students, and keep them busy for days!  One is a math project called Build that House.  Here students use math skills to design, measure, and calculate the cost of building a house from scratch.  The other is a Scholastic Catalog project where students use the catalogs to fill a classroom library with various types of texts...all on a budget!  Both are available at Kara's Store!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Reading and Math Rotations

This year I've decided to try to streamline my reading and math rotations.  This has worked well so far. I saw an idea from Pinterest where you hot glue thumb tacks to clothes pins, then put them into your bulletin board.  I did this, then made cards for the different rotation stations for both reading and math (both available at Kara's store).  I love this, and it's made switching groups quick and easy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Library Labels

I wanted to come up with labels for my book bins that were colorful and enticing to students.  These labels were made for 4th grade, but would probably work for any intermediate grade (Available at Kara's Store).  I printed them on colored card stock, and used packaging tape to mount them to the bins.  So far they are working great, and my students are actually putting the books back where they came from.  I call that success!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Classroom Jobs

I have a city/Boston theme in my classroom.  Like most teachers, I also have my students apply for jobs in the classroom.  The job tags are available at Kara's Store, and below are a few images of the cards and how I've used them in my class.  I printed them on colored cardstock and laminated them for durability.  I staple them onto a bulletin board, then put the student's names on clothes pins and attach.  Easy to make and switch!


Friday, August 31, 2012


All items in Kara's Store are one sale from September 1st to September 3rd.  Get stocked up for school with an extra 20% off.  Hope you all have smooth starts to the school year!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Make Your Own Name Tag!

I have had my students make their own name tags for the past few years. They choose from the resources provided and cut and paste them onto a piece of rectangular cardstock. I have them decorate a tab for their name, then laminate the tags. Students can glue resources onto the front and back of the name tag, as I have them attached to the desk with velcro. The students LOVE to have ability to decide what to put on their tags. I have pulled together a bunch of images that are helpful resources for students in grades 3-5. Included are multiplication charts, editing marks, parts of speech, fraction bars, motivational quotes, steps for problem solving, a map of the world, blank tags for names, and more! It's a great first week of school activity!

Please note that some of the images included were found through a google search and not all created by me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I have a good reason for being MIA for the past few weeks as my baby boy has finally arrived!  The main piece of advice that I have been given over and over again has been, “Sleep while the baby sleeps”.  That seems quite simple, yet my OCD takes over me when the baby sleeps!  All I find myself doing is cleaning in circles!  SO, during naptime today I decided to give my house a break and blog.  School is on the back of my mind as I am thinking of ways to not only better organize my home but also my classroom for my maternity leave.  I am in the process of making a magnet board that I found on Pinterest that I am tweaking to match my grade level.  I will post a pic when it is complete and also how it works.  I have also been busy playing with my curriculum, figuring out ways to have centers in fifth grade.  Check out Jill’s store for my supplemental ELA and Science work.  Well, baby is a crying, be back soon!       

Genre Posters

Here are some genre posters I made for my classroom.  I tried to include recent titles that the kids would recognize.  I'm working on making memory cards to use as a center during literacy time.  All are available at Kara's Store!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Types of Writing Matching/Memory Cards

Here's a quick idea for a literacy center - memory cards on the types of writing.  In 4th grade we focus so much on personal narrative, but there are so many more purposes and types of writing!  I think this inspires students to try out new types and gives them the language to name the types they see daily!  I made 2 sets of cards; one black and white, and one in color.  That way I can print them and copy at school, but have a colorful hard copy for the classroom.  All cards available for download at Kara's Store!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Guided Math

Like most of us, I have a variety of learners in my classroom.  A few years ago, I began doing 'guided math,' which is very similar to guided reading.  I introduce the math lesson as a whole class, then proceed with small group instruction while the remainder of the class does centers or independent work.  I have found it very effective at reaching students who wouldn't normally speak up for help, as well as providing extensions for students who "just get it."  Below are the templates I've used with examples.  If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at  The templates are available at Kara's Store as well!
~ Kara

Monday, August 13, 2012

More Objective Signs!

This is another version of the weekly objective signs.  These are bright and in the primary colors.  Available for download at Kara's Store.
~ Kara

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sale! Sale! Sale!

Just a reminder that ALL products are on sale at both Jill and Kara's Store until August 13th.  Just click on the link and you'll see the products available, just use promo code BTS12 at checkout.  Take advantage of all the bargains and get ready for the year ahead...We all love a good deal, especially Jill :)


Saturday, August 11, 2012

More Fun Calendars!

Here are some images of another calendar I made.  I love the checked background and had fun playing around with the word art.  It's available at Kara's Store for download, and it's on SALE until August 13th!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Back to School SALE!!

On August 12th and 13th enjoy 10-30% off all products at both Jill and Kara's store!  Just click on the link and you'll see the products available, just use promo code BTS12 at checkout!  Happy Shopping!

Types of Writing Bulletin Board

I love to have the types and purposes of writing hanging up in my room, then when we are focusing on one type, I highlight it.  Here are some examples (there are actually 20 in total) of what the posters look like, all available at Kara's Store!

~ Kara