Bathroom Passes

This week is crazy-busy!  It’s my last week before returning to school and I’m teaching at VBS and I have a final due for a class I’m taking.  Somewhere in between all that I need to work on school stuff!  I’ve been sewing a curtain for above my cabinets (we’re talking VERY basic straight stitch sewing here!), working on student binders, working on orientation, etc, etc.  I needed to replace my bathroom pass holder and found this cute idea on pinterest:

I like the idea of clothespins for the passes.  I’ve been using the traditional passes that you buy at dollar store or the teacher store and they get SO GROSS!  It seems like the string on the pass always comes untied when that same string is soaking wet.  And then it’s given to me to re-tie!  I’m telling myself it’s just water from the sink the whole time and I’m desperately hoping it’s true!  I even put up command hooks in the bathroom in hopes of getting them to hang their passes their.  I think they often get brought into the stalls and put on the floor.  Ewww!  

Here’s my version of the bathroom passes: 

The letters are B- Boys; G- Girls; O-Office.  The circles are magnets that have the student’s initials (or student number).  They put their magnet in the section below when they take the pass.  Then I can see at a glance who is in the bathroom or office.  I used a Dollar Tree pizza pan, red spray paint (I’d recommend multiple coats to prevent chipping – I will probably need to re-paint soon), acrylic sealer, white rick-rack trim, large letter stickers, button magnets from Dollar Tree, white circle labels.  

Here’s hoping for no more wet bathroom passes!


TPT Sale & What’s in Your Cart? Linky Party

 **Don’t miss the back to school sale at TPT!  It is a GREAT time to buy the teaching products you need.  I know a few weeks from now I’ll be finding more great items I want at TPT and wondering why I couldn’t have found them during  the sale.  Well, Cassandra has come up with a way to help with that!  She has organized a “What’s in Your Cart?” linky party.  Find out the great products that other teachers are buying.  I’m sure you’ll be inspired to add to your cart..  Also, please check out my TPT store while you’re there.  I’m just starting and would l-o-v-e some more comments and followers! 🙂
What’s in Your Cart linky party – by Cassandra @ Adventures in Room 5
1. Daily Editing Word Problems  Jennifer offered some of these free on her blog for a while.  I used them in the classroom and absolutely LOVED them.  They contain a math problem and editing!  How great is that!  My kids became SO good at finding mistakes.  They liked to laugh at the way they were spelled.  Who would spell is “iz”.  The absurdity of it!  They thought it was great.  This pack seems pricy, but it has an editing problem for every day of the school year!  She points out that the published books being offered are more than that AND you’d have to buy 1 for math word problems AND 1 for daily editing.  Now is the time to buy! 🙂  Regular price is $15.00
2. Super Silly Monster Fun! Literacy & Math Activities This one looks like a really good deal at regular price, but why not save some money anyway!  It has 6 monster themed math & literacy centers – plus worksheets, book list, etc. 56 pages!  It looks like a good one for the beginning of the year for my firsties.  Regular price is $3.50
3. Word Work Mega Pack Part 1  This pack is loaded with activities for long vowels.  I like that the activities are repeated (i.e. – highlight the word activity is repeated – just the spelling pattern changes) so that the students quickly learn how to do the activities and can be very independent.  Plus, it’s made by Abby (Babbling Abby/the Inspired Apple blog).  Her work is always so cute and just perfect for firsties!   Regular price is $5.00

Blog Hop @ Primary Inspired – Websites for Word Work & Literacy

Primary InspiredBrenda @ Primary Inspired is having a blog hop with teachers submitting websites for literacy or word work activities.  There aren’t that many listed yet, but hopefully it will grow.  This would be a great resource!  You can just post 1.  I chose the Read Aloud Stories @ RIF (Reading is Fundamental).  The link takes you to a list of stories and songs.  These are animated and the word is highlighted as it is read (I love that feature!).  I’m including 2 links for this.  1 takes you to the RIF Reading Planet Read Aloud Stories site.  The other takes you to the index of stories.  It’s not a fancy list, but it has more books than are featured on their site.  You can go directly to each story and use each individual link for your parent website/blog or for your student computers.  These are great for listen to reading time. 
RIF Reading Planet Read Aloud Stories
Index of RIF Read Aloud Stories

Book Zone

Here are a few more sites that I didn’t see mentioned in the blog hop.  Feel free to add these at Primary Inspired.  Each person can only add 1.

Word Work Activities at Read Write Think:
Word Maker
What’s in the Bag?
Picture Match

Clifford Phonics Activity from Scholastic:
Sound Match with Clifford

** BTW, check out my last post about a freebie for the 1st 2 people to leave a comment.  The last time I checked there was only 1 comment.


Some deals for you!

Wow!  It’s been a bit since I’ve posted.  I’m super busy with getting ready for school, a class I’m taking and creating items for Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s.  So, I finally have a post for you!  I’m listing a few deals for Scholastic and a good deal on a printed poster.  I love the Scholastic Teacher Express deal — FREE!  I really enjoy having digital editions of my teaching materials.  The poster deal may seem like an odd one to post, but I’ve read of many teachers printing really cute banners for their classrooms (maybe for a birthday, clip chart hall of fame, best work, etc.).  At the end of the post, there is a link to some cute Health posters I made for TPT.  They would be great for back to school or to use while teaching a health unit.  I am hoping to create lesson plans to go along with them.  I teach health in March along with nutrition and the human body.  Now that I’ve created these though, I’m thinking that it might be a great idea to teach the health part at the beginning of the year.  Maybe I could avoid a few of the inevitable coughs that seem to be aimed directly towards my face!  Yikes!  Germ city! 🙂  I am excited and nervous that school is starting so quickly.  I ran into one of my new students at Wal-Mart.  He was so excited about starting 1st grade.  Adorable!  I hope that you are getting many things accomplished so you can have a stress free back-to-school!

For any of you who like’s Scholastic “Teacher Express” here is a $5 off code.
No Minimum required.  After the coupon select the option of “No Payment Required”.
Here is the code
One per customer : Expires 08-19-2012
* Their site is down right now, so I haven’t been able to test it.  Hoping it works!

50-Book Collections Grades K-2

Scholastic Teachers book Club is offering 50 books for $50. Just choose either the K-2nd Grade Selection of books [] regular price $178 3rd&4th Grade Selection of books [] regular price $178 5th&6th Grade Selection of books [] regular price $240 and then at check out apply the code “BIO”. The offer is good thru 8/31 or as long as supplies last. Standard shipping is $4.50.

ShindigZ Coupons & Deals has 18″x54″ Personalized Vinyl Banners for $14.99 – $13.99 promotional code VSQQR7 = $1. Shipping is $7.95. 

  1. Click Here and select a banner type
    • Valid only for item #s B1118, K1118, K1154 and B1154
  2. Select 18″x54″ Size
  3. Click “Add to Cart”
  4. Enter the text you would like for your banner and add to cart
  5. Enter promotional code VSQQR7 during checkout
  6. Total should be $1 + $7.95 shipping

This is a set of 10 Healthy Habits posters.  You can find this item at my TPT store.  The first 2 people to leave a comment can get this item for free!  Make sure you leave your email address (I usually write mine with extra spaces and at instead of @ to try avoid spam – i.e., luv2harp at–don’t know if that helps or not, but I feel better about it!).  Let me know which background you would like: plaid, dots or zig-zag.


Would you vote for my blog to get a makeover?

I just found a giveaway for a blog make-over.  I’ve just started and had to use some “freebies” to get this blog going.  I know there are some “quirks” in the layout because I’m still learning! 🙂  I would love to have someone who knows what they’re doing to help me get a better looking blog and one that is unique (lots of blogs are using this layout).  I’d really appreciate a vote!  All you have to do is a leave a comment that you are voting for me.  This contest is offered by Honey Bunch Blog Design.  Thanks so much!

Grandparent’s Day comes up so quickly in the school year.  I’m always looking for new books for special days like these.  I did a search on the internet and didn’t find much.  There are small lists with a few lists or huge lists with books that don’t apply at all and it gives you no info. about the book.  So, I created a list of my own!  It includes 75 books that are mostly in the K-3 range.  There are many that could be read to younger kids and even older kids would enjoy many of these books.  It includes the cover picture, title, author, illustrator and keywords.  The keywords are very useful.  You can search these terms to find books about grandparents that live far away, grandparent’s who’ve died, humorous books, multicultural and more!  You can check it out here at my Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s store.  Thanks for looking!  Enjoy your weekend!

Huge Giveaway @ A Year of Many Firsts

Lyndsey at A Year of Many Firsts is having a huge giveaway in celebration of reaching 500 followers!  Congratulations Lyndsey!   Some of the best of the best have donated teaching units/items.  It even includes $ towards a blog design and freebies from a great clip art creator.  Click on the link below to check it out!


 You can enter the giveaway here at A Year of Many Firsts.  Good luck!

New {School} Year Resolution Linky Party

Where did summer go?  As we quickly approach the first day, we are all scrambling to get done all those many things on our to-do list.  If you’re like me, as soon as the school year ends you are reflecting on the past year and the things you want to change or improve for the next year.  Amanda at Teaching Maddeness is having a New {School} Year Resolutions linky party.   What a great idea!

# 1 – More parent communication – both the positive and things that need work!  I took a lot of pictures last year, but never managed to get them posted to the school site so parents could see them.  I really want them to be able to enjoy these great pics of their sweeties!  We are getting a new software system so that everything will be computerized (attendance, lunch count, grades, etc. – we’ve been doing attendance on paper and the secretary had to enter it into the computer!).  It will be so nice!  So, they will see all behavior problems, etc.

# 2 – Earlier lesson planning – I end up at the school doing lesson plans EVERY week!  I have a 25 minute planning period, but that just seems to be enough time to take a restroom break, eat a snack, clean up around the room (always a disaster!) and make sure everything is set up for the rest of the day.  I’m going to try a few things: 1) Don’t clean up after them!  I don’t know if I can do this.  Before specials (my planning time) is just barely enough time to get through reading.  Perhaps we’ll have a clean up time after they come back and eat their snacks.  2) Try to be more effective after school.  My 2 boys come into my room and it seems it is often distracting – even when they’re being super good.  They want a snack or 1 of their friends want to come visit.  I’m going to try to make that homework time this year — no playing, no friends.  If we all have a “quiet” time I might be able to accomplish something! 🙂

# 3 – More read-a-louds – This is more of a wish than a resolution.  I have had a terrible time with losing my voice during the school year.  I am fine during the summer!  I have been to the allergist and ENT for advice.  The ENT said my voice box is scarred (probably from clearing my throat) and suggested cutting back on acidic foods – which for me is primarily soda.  I was drinking a lot of diet cherry coke!  I’ve tried eliminating it completely in the past and have gone a few months and then I have one and I’m back to all my old habits!  I decided this summer to not eliminate it, but not to stock it at all (home or school).  So, if I am really craving one I need to go to the store to buy it.  It has worked wonders.  I only have a soda a couple times a week at most.  I am earnestly praying that this was the main culprit and that I will be able to talk like a normal person next year!  I really need my voice!

What are your resolutions for the school year?  Follow the link above to Amanda’s site to read what others are doing.

P.S.  I was excused from jury duty today!  So relieved!  I was in the jury pool for a civil case and then they moved us to the jury pool for a criminal case because not enough jurors showed up.  Thankfully I was not randomly selected for the jury box.


Are you a Sharpie hoarder? **SALE ENDED**

Hello.  My name is Melissa and I have too many Sharpies!  But there’s a sale!  I can’t help myself….  LOL!  If this is you, you’ll love this deal!  Amazon has a 24 pack of 80’s glam (what fun!) ultra fine markers for $10.00.  Amazon’s prices change quickly.  This price was valid at time of posting.  If you order $25 or more (of any eligible products – look for “free super saver shipping” right after the price) you are eligible for free shipping or if you are an Amazon prime member.  P.S.  Keep reading this post and you’ll be rewarded with a freebie at the end.  Ok – Ok – If you must scroll down to the bottom without reading, I’ll let it pass this time!

Since you’re now shopping at Amazon (have to get those markers, right?) I’ll introduce you to a couple more favs!

My BFF – the Scotch Advanced Tape Glider.   This is AMAZING!  It takes a few tries to get used to using it and I do still look up the instructions to load the tape on youtube everytime I run out of tape– those are the negatives.  On the plus side, I use this frequently.  It is much better and easier to use than double sided tape on the roll.  I’ve used double sided tape for projects before and then laminated them and the tape line underneath the project was really obvious.  This doesn’t do that at all!  Plus, it’s really easy to apply once you learn how to use it.  So, your taping time is great reduced.  It also applies much easier than any scrapbooking tape I’ve used.  It’s perfect for classrooms, student projects and scrapbooking.   I was excited when I saw the price on Amazon, but then I realized it isn’t free shipping.  This is coming directly from a scrapbooking store so the price is $19.94 + $5.95 shipping.  I bought mine at Michael’s and used a 40% off coupon.  I think it was around $20 after the coupon.

Do you love to print items from teacher blogs or TPT?  I sure do!!!  It is so much easier to laminate little pieces at home!  I have this Scotch thermal laminator.  I love it!  I’ve also tried the Purple Cow laminator which is sold at Costco.  That one did not work well for me.  This one gives a really nice seal and with the pouches I use it makes a nice, thick finished product.  It is thicker than the laminating that I can do with the big machine at school.  It is currently around $30, but it sometimes has a price drop.  I purchased mine when it dropped to $16.99!  I’ll let you know if I see any good deals like that!!  You can also buy it at Wal-Mart.  I wonder if it’s at Michaels?  If so, it might work with a 40% off coupon. 

I do not buy the name brand pouches.  Much too expensive!  I keep an eye on these laminating pouches at Amazon.  The price usually varies between about $9- $12 for a 100 pack.  There is free shipping on orders over $25 or if you have Amazon prime.

If you actually stayed with me through this LONG post then you are super reader of the day!  Here is a freebie as promised!  This is a font I created.  It is the handwriting style that we use in the classroom.  It is the first font I’ve created, so don’t look for perfection! 🙂  I was looking at it as a “teacher” and wanted to circle my writing and say that the slant isn’t the same, etc.!  It’s a bit harder than writing on paper!  Hope you can find some good use for this.  It is for personal or commercial use (with credit).  It can be downloaded at my Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s store.

Thanks for reading!  I’m off to bed.  I have jury duty tomorrow.  Is it terrible that I’m hoping I won’t be chosen?  I have LOTS to do before school starts!!  🙂