Classroom Redesign with Creative Teaching Press

6:10 AM
Hi friends! I know a lot of y'all are still in school, but my first official day of summer 2015 was this past Friday and here it is, the first week of summer and I'm already thinking about my classroom decor for next year! I've never really had a classroom theme. I've just always done bright colors, and while I still love having pretty, bright colors in my classroom, I've decided it's time for a change! This next year, I'm going to incorporate a lot of Black and White into my classroom and move away from my signature brights. This past year, I've started loving how black bulletin board paper looks and I think having a entire Black and White theme classroom will be a welcome change. So when I determined that this is the direction I wanted to go in for my 2015 classroom, I immediately headed to Creative Teaching Press to browse their fabulous selection of classroom decor. 

I LOVE their BW collection! From the borders to the letters, everything is perfection! While I love to make a lot of my own pieces, I always start out with the basics (like borders and accent pieces) and add in my own personal touches.

Be sure to click on each image to check it out further! :)

I'm loving these borders:

These nameplates will go perfectly with the BW theme. 

Okay, I know this next item isn't technically a decor piece, but how cute is this pen?? It's always good to match your classroom when you grade papers, right? ;)

I was tickled pink (or tickled black and white!) when I discovered these notecards. I always send a notecard to my kids over the summer and I love that the cards will give them a preview of our classroom. 

There are several different letter styles to choose from in the BW collection, but my favorites are the Dot to Dot styles, upper and lower case. 

I've just highlighted my favorites from the collection, but be sure to check out the entire BW collection for even more fabulousness! 

I'm also excited to pair some of the decor pieces from CTP's Painted Palette Collection like these months of the year:

And these pennants:

And these chart cards:

You can check out the entire Painted Palette Collection and discover your favorites!

I've shown you my plans for my classroom design, but be sure to check out Lindsey's plans too over at Miss Johnston's Journey! Hint: it involves the adorable Painted Palette! 

Now for the FUN part! In honor of Creative Teaching Press's 50th Anniversary, you can win a $50 gift card to spend on their fabulous site! It's the perfect time to stock up on new decor for the upcoming school year! Enter below to win! Giveaway will run thru Sunday, June 7th at 8pm EST. 
In order to enter this giveaway, you must do the following:

Good Luck!!
                                                              a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer Reads

4:25 PM
Hi friends! I promise I'll be back with the weekly book recommendations series in a little bit, but for now, I'm diving into summer beach reads. I just finished Luckiest Girl Alive and I'm reviewing it over on my Life + Style blog Southern Belle Inspired. Come read my thoughts on it and then go grab your copy. Seriously...sooooo good! 

Real Talk: Summer is ALMOST here!

3:59 PM
Hi y'all! Normally I use this blog to share happenings in my classroom and give ideas to other teachers out there, but y'all I have 2 DAYS LEFT before summer begins and I. am. tired. 

I've got nothing left. No ideas. No fun activities to pass the time. I'm in survival mode and once Friday arrives, I don't want to think about anything school related for a looooong time. But I did want to talk with y'all today! So I thought I'd share what I'm looking forward to doing this summer :)

I'm looking forward to spending time with the sweetest dog in the world!

I'm looking forward to sitting outside in the afternoons and enjoying the pretty weather.

I'm looking forward to enjoying my back porch. Hopefully it will be fenced in soon so Reese can enjoy being leash free! 

I'll be sharing more pictures of my back porch over on my life+style blog, Southern Belle Inspired. Be sure you follow it on Blog Lovin'!

I'm looking forward to actually blogging more on Southern Belle Inspired :)

I'm looking forward to reading, reading, reading! You can follow me on Good Reads to see everything I'm reading. I've started keeping up with how many books I've read this year by creating a 2015 list on the site. It's fun to look back and remember the different stories. :) 
This one is being compared to Gone Girl. I was not a fan of Gone Girl. I LOVED the movie, but could not get through the book. The Good Girl, however, was wonderful! Love, love, love!

 Another book that is suppose to be like Gone Girl. This one was great and I'm so glad I gave it a chance. I normally would not have picked this book up, but after repeatedly seeing it on the best seller lists, I decided to try it out. Sooo good!

 I LOVE the young adult genre and this one was a quick and fun read. I like books that keep me guessing which character the main character will end up with and this book did exactly that!

 I haven't read this one yet, but after Reese Witherspoon instagrammed it, I ordered it. If Reese liked it, I'll like it! :) While I haven't read this book, I have read What Alice Forgot by the same author and I loved it!!! 

The Selection is my favorite series of all time (except Harry Potter, of course!), so when The Heir came out, I preordered it in order to have it the day it was released. It was nowhere near as good as the first three in the series, but I expected that since this one follows the main characters' daughter and is set 20 years in the future. With that said, I would still repurchase and read again. It wasn't great, but it still captured my attention and so I'll be preordering when the next one is released! :)

When do you get out for summer? What are you looking forward to? :)

A Modern Teacher Planner GIVEAWAY

2:05 PM
Have I got a treat for y'all today! I'm sure y'all have heard of April from A Modern Teacher. Her blog is one of my favorite reads. She always has the BEST pictures! They make me happy just looking at them. If you aren't aware of her absolutely adorable planners, do yourself a favor and go check them out now! They are the cutest planners around and are packed full of useful pages that will help you become organized and stay organized. 
I've tried many planners, but when I received April's, I knew I had finally found one that I loved. The one I was currently using was too small so I never carried it. I like a planner that is more the size of a notebook so that it's easier to write in and April's is a much better fit! 
I have the Rainbow Chalkboard style, which is almost sold out! As of Friday (5/15), there are currently 4 left in stock! But don't worry! April has graciously agreed to giveaway one to a fabulous Life in Fifth and First Grade reader! Check out the end of this post to enter!

Isn't it fabulous? You can grab one of the 4 left here or enter to win a blue gingham one (so pretty!) below! Giveaway ends a week from today (5/24) and I'll announce the winner Monday, May 25. Good Luck!!!

Recycle Crafts for 5th Graders- Guest Post

1:50 PM
Hi friends! I'm excited to share a guest post for y'all today! Corinne from Alternate Tutelage is here to show us some neat ways to make colorful spring crafts. It involves recycling, which is perfect since we just celebrated Earth Day!  I know y'all will love it! 

*** Want to be featured as a guest blogger on Life in Fifth Grade? Email me at to discuss details! 

Recycle to Make Colorful Spring Crafts with Fifth Graders
The bright and cheerful tone of spring makes it just the perfect season to involve kids in some fun games in the classroom. Incorporate these colorful and exciting crafts and activities into your fifth grade classroom and spread the joy of spring!

Sun Catcher with CDs
Ever felt bad about throwing away old and used CDs? Use them to make the most of bright, sunny spring days! Here’s how you can make sun catchers with old CDs for the classroom.
·       Junk CDs - ask the students to get an old CD each from home
·       Craft glue
·       Rhinestones, beads, glitter, sequins, etc.
·       Monofilament fishing line
·       Scissors
·       Newspaper
·       Permanent marker
·       Choose a large desk for your work station. Cover the area with newspapers.
·       Have each child write his or her name on the non-shiny side of the CD.
·       Hand over a cup of gems and rhinestones to each student and have him/her glue them to the CD on one side in any random pattern.
·       Lift the sun catcher when the glue has dried. Be ready to catch anything that wasn’t glued down well! Glue them back.
·       Turn the disk over and let the kids decorate the second side. Let the side dry.
·       Cut a foot of monofilament and tie it through the disks. Make several chains of the disks or make a single chain with all the CDs. Hang the sun catchers close to a window where they will get plenty of sunlight to glisten!

Food Can Chimes

Spring is the season of fresh flowers, chirping birds, humming bees and all other things that are boisterous and cheerful. Here is how you can involve your class in recycling old and used food cans, like a baked bean can, a green bean can, a cream of mushroom can, or a condensed milk can to make a cheerful wind chime that screams of spring.
·       Old food cans with lids, instruct the kids to get one each from home
·       A hammer and a big nail
·       Liquid acrylic colors
·       Clear spray paint
·       Round cloth hanger
·       Thin rope
·       Take the hammer and drill the big nail and make a hole on the bottom of each can.
·       Hand over the cans back to the kids and have them first write their names on sticker labels and glue them on the outside of the lid.
·       Invite the kids over to start painting. Use bright colors. It’s advisable to use non-toxic acrylic colors as the children are bound to get messy with them.
·       Once done, spread out a newspaper and place the cans on it to let them dry.
·       When they are dry to touch, take off the lids. Pass a length of rope through the hole of each can at the bottom and tie a knot at the end from the other side. Vary the lengths of the rope. Put the lid back on.
·       Tie the other end of the rope on each can to the hanger and your wind chime will be ready!

Light Bulb Garden

No better season than spring to start your own garden. Use old light bulbs whose filaments have already been cleaned to make a spring garden for each student in the class.
·       Empty light bulbs – Here’s how
·       Water
·       Dandelions with stems/other flowers with a long shelf life
·       Permanent marker
·       Wire
·       Empty the light bulbs and invite the kids to write their names on the light bulbs.
·       Fill up each of them till 1/4th with water. Use this activity to explain germination to fifth graders.
·       Have them slowly drop stems of dandelions into the water.
·       Wind a fair length of wire around each bulb and hang it from a tree branch or blinds’ rod at the window.
Easy and fun activities like these are sure to make classroom time more fun. I’d love to hear about any other spring crafts and activities that could bring a slice of spring indoors and make the classroom brighter!

Author Bio:

Corinne Jacob is a wannabe writer who is convinced that kids learn best when they’re having fun. She is constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make learning an enjoyable experience. Corinne loves all things that scream out un-schooling, alternative education and holistic learning.

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