Zero Cost Book Displays

8:14 PM

I posted my zero cost book displays on Instagram (msleslieann01) a few weeks ago and promised a blog post with more detail. 

I was at Lowes recently and while I was getting my paint mixed up, I noticed an empty cardboard display for duct tape. I asked the lady at the painter counter what they were going to do with it. When she replied that they just throw them away, I asked if I could have it. After mentioning that I was a teacher and I could use them in my classroom, she disappeared under the counter and produced several more empty boxes! 

With a little paint (the green and blue ones) and some scrapbook paper (the pink one), they were transformed into these cute little book displays. I used my Silhouette Cameo to add some labels. I just love them!

1 summer project down. 99+ more to go! :)

Classroom Makeover Continues

7:41 PM

Well, friends. I jinxed myself. I spoke too soon when I bragged on how many times I posted last week and then this week totaled to a big fat 0. Oh goodness! 
Here's some updated pics of my classroom makeover. I had planned on leaving up most of the boards, but the more I think about, the more I want to whip up some new ones. The focus board got ripped down today and replaced with some pretty purple paper. I ran out of border so a trip to the school supply store looks to be in my near future :)

Here's how my classroom's looking as of today. 

Classroom Makeover 2014 & The Bachelorette

5:15 PM
I was able to get back in my classroom yesterday and am I just thrilled. I LOVE setting up my classroom each summer. If the job of classroom decorator existed, I would be in heaven. Since we have to move everything out of our classroom at the end of each year, we come back to a big mess! I was able to get all the furniture placed yesterday, but that's as far as I got! Here's what I walked into and here's what I left with. Little steps, people. Little steps :)

I'll be back tomorrow with This Week's Favorite Pins. I was too preoccupied with The Bachelorette last night to post. Anyone else watching it this season? If you are, then you are having the privilege of meeting my future husband-this guy:
Is he not absolutely gorgeous???? I'm smitten. 

Purchasing Multiple Copies of the Same Book

3:37 PM

When I moved to fifth grade this past year, I decided I wanted to move away from the reading series a little bit and do more novel studies. This worked out wonderfully in my classroom, but I did have a problem in the beginning: how could I get my hands on 25 class copies of the same book? I had a cabinet full of books, but I wanted to use novels that I had already planned out. After a friend mentioned using Scholastic book orders to gain class sets of novels, I thought this was a brilliant idea! Scholastic always features a book in every order that is listed for $1. I kept an eye out for good quality novels that were $1 but never saw any. 
One day during plan I stumbled onto a page on the Scholastic Reading Club (formerly Scholastic Book Club) site that showed all of the $1 books. I looked around for a bit, but then my kids returned from PE and I clicked off the page. I ended up having to call Scholastic to see how to get to the page again and that's when the representative taught me a little trick:

If you search for "$1" it will bring up all the books that are currently listed for $1! I was able to buy my class set of Tuck Everlasting this way and I also snagged a class set of The Westing Game. There aren't nearly as many upper grade books right now as there are lower elementary, so kindergarten and 1st grade friends: be sure to check it out! :)

Literature Circles

11:39 AM
I know. It's the middle of June and most of y'all are either out of school by now or finishing up. The last thing on your mind is probably school right now, but I was going through pictures on my computer and I realized I had never shared with y'all how I finally incorporated literature circles in my classroom. I've been wanting to do this forever and while it might be a bit harder to tackle in 1st grade, I do think it is doable. It worked wonderfully in my 5th grade classroom though, so maybe you'll walk away with some ideas and some freebies! :)

I did my first literature circle when we were finishing up our novel study on Tuck Everlasting. We divided into 3 groups of 6-7 each. The groups were randomly selected. I had started to let them group themselves, but I wanted to mix it up a little and have them work with people they aren't best friends.  After dividing up, I passed out these little buttons and assigned everyone a job. 

These little buttons were super easy to make! I found the clear buttons here and then created each job circle, printed, cut, and popped them in. The hardest part was sizing the circles to make them fit, but I've already done that for you! You can grab a free copy of the inserts in my TpT Shop here

I was worried that the kids wouldn't want to wear them or they would think they were babyish, but they LOVED them! I was actually surprised at how big a hit they were. 

Once everyone got assigned a job, it was time to get down to business. You can find the job description sheets here.

These literature circles helped aid discussion really well in my classroom and the kids LOVED it! I will definitely be doing this a lot more next year! :)

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