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

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reading Journals

I always think it's important for my students to read books of their own choosing.  Independent Reading is a part of my daily classroom routine and I follow Fountas and Pinnell's First 20 Days of School.  Along with that, my 4th graders have their own reading journals where they write letters, keep a log, and take notes on their reading.  Below are a few images of the pages, all of which are available in Kara's Store.  Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Classroom Calendar

Here are a few images of my classroom calendar tags.  Feel free to copy and share!  Available at Kara's Store for download!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Newsletter Template

This the template I use for my bi-weekly newsletter.  I find it easier to organize my thoughts and messages to families.  The template is available at Kara's Store.  


Monday, August 6, 2012

Charlie Card Tickets

These are the cards I make for each of my students.  They use them to move up to different train lines throughout the course of the year.  They earn money for turning in homework, good behavior, helping a friend, and more.  The different train lines are worth different amounts of money, so students need to have that amount to move up.  Each time they move up to a new line they earn a reward, like lunch in the classroom with a friend, 10 minutes of free choice, or a homework pass.  Students keep track of their money amounts on registers kept in their desk.   A variation for older students is to have them chose to take the reward and save their money, or to save money to move up the train lines for a more expensive reward.  The Charlie Cards and registers are available at Kara's Store.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekly Objectives

I like to post the objectives for learning, but doing so each day became too time consuming.  Therefore I made the signs and taped them to the white board. It's helpful to refer to during the week, and this way I only have to update them once every five days!  The labels are available at Kara's Store!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Benches and Storage

Here are a few pictures of the benches I bought and spray painted.  They are actually wooden shelves from AC Moore, but I turned them on their side, painted them, and filled them with books and other materials for the classroom.  They fit about 1 child per square and help to fit more than 6 kids around my table.  Plus I have a place to store all of the textbooks without having the student's desks too crowded.  I love them!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Classroom Theme

These are a few photos from my classroom using the photos of Boston.  The State Street board is for math since that's the financial district, The World Trade Center is for social studies, Government Center is over my desk and the board has the school calendar and other administrative information on it, and the other boards I rotate between reading, writing, and character education.  I have a black strip of paper that connects around the top of the classroom to each board, and that's the 'T-Line.'  The kids love the different pictures and get excited when I tell them to meet me at 'North Station!'  All these pictures are available under 'Boston Theme' at Kara's Store! Feel free to email me if you want just one specific photo!