October 20, 2014


I'm just stopping in quickly to show some pictures of how I display my student motivation board for my Books and Beads At-Home Reading Program!  Sharon K. writes: 

"Love it! Would you have a picture of how you display the bead collection/necklaces in the classroom?".

I have a bulletin board that displays student necklaces.  I purchased the necklaces from 8seasons.com.  They were SUPER cheap and work perfectly with Books & Beads!!!  I also purchased these cute little charms from 8seasons.com that say "I Can" on them so each student would start with something on their necklace.  I bought little star die cuts and wrote the students names on them.  I used a pushpin as a "hanger" for the necklaces.  

Students earn 1 red pony bead for every book they read.  Chapters books earn 5 pony beads per book read.  Students earn 1 very special star bead for every 100 books read!  We use Raz-Kids in my classroom as well as books from the class library.  Students are free to read any book they wish!

Want to do this in your classroom???  It's easy!  Click on the picture below to go right to my store.  Books & Beads is just $3.00 and the kids and parents LOVE it!!!

August 21, 2014

Teacher Week Day 4: When!!!

It's been a few years since I've been in the classroom.  I've been busy at home with my three little ones.  I'm ready to go back but I'm teaching a new grade this year so there are lots of changes all around.  I'm moving up from first to second grade - something I've wanted to do for a long time!  I just love the second grade curriculum.

The first thing I did to get myself ready is read the Grade 2 curriculum.  Here in Ontario we've got different books for each subject and it's broken up by Overall Expectations and Specific Expectations.
This is what our Language Curriculum Document looks like!

To organize myself, I made a chart (colour coded of course!!!) in Powerpoint.  I divided it by subject and then by month.  I thought about what would make sense when and started plotting the learning expectations on my chart.  For example, in second grade we learn about growth and changes in animals.  I thought the best time to do this would be in the spring when we can go outside and examine nature coming to life.  I save the more difficult concepts for later on in the year like multiplication and division to give my kids a chance to develop their basic skills first.  Here is what my long range plans look like!

The numbers correlate to the expectations in our curriculum documents.  Kind of like the Common Core Standards.  The items I've indicated to go year long are those we will do everyday like our Poem of the Week and writing journals.

I've also made reference to some of the activities we will be doing in our learning like making a fruit salad for our fractions unit.  I can't wait to make Leprechaun traps in March as part of our Structures/Mechanism and Movement Strand!

I print out poster sized plans and attach them to the wall behind my desk.  This visual really helps me stay on pace with my units.  It's great for planning upcoming units too.  I always know what's coming up next.

How do you organize your day?  Link up with us and share your plans!

August 20, 2014

Teacher Week Day 3: Organization Station!!!

Hello friends!  It's Day 3 of our Teacher Week blog hop!  Today's post is all about staying organized.   Music to a teachers ears right???  Here are 3 ways I keep things straight in my classroom!

1.  LABEL, LABEL, LABEL!  I am a bit label crazy!  It's helps me stay organized because I am also a huge lender-outer (is that a real word?) of my stuff and have a hard time remembering what I've lent out! My colleagues are very honest thank goodness but my personalized stamp definitely seals the deal!!!  I used to print stickers with my name on them and stick them to my books.  Then I decided to invest just $25 to get myself a personalized stamp!  SO MUCH easier, cheaper, faster!!!!  I stamp all my books, centres, games and anything else that gets laminated!  I even ask my kids to bring me any book they find in our classroom that doesn't have a stamp on it.  It's like a fun little treasure hunt for my students!  Just google "teacher stamp + from the library of" and you'll get a ton of results!!!

2.  Long Range Plans!
I keep a huge print out of my long range plans attached to the wall behind my desk.  I'm teaching a new grade this year so I don't have a picture of it yet but I will post it as soon as I can!  Having the whole year mapped out in view keeps me on track.  My long range plans are colour coded, divided by subject and have approximate teaching times for each unit.

Did you know you can print poster-sized pages at home???  Dragonflies in First has created this easy to follow tutorial!  Check it out here!

3.  Product Catalogue!
Yup!  That's right!  I made my own product catalogue :)  If you are like me you have probably downloaded a whole bunch of awesome freebies and other units that you sometimes forget you have. I used my good friend Ashley Schroeder's "What Do You Own" template to put together a binder full of product covers.  I simply flip to the section I need (i.e., Math Resources) and find the unit I need (i.e., Fractions).  This is a definitely plus when planning!

Now it's your turn!  How do you stay organized in your classroom?  Link up with us and share your great ideas!

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August 19, 2014

Teacher Week: Classroom Digs!

It's day #2 and it's all about the WHERE!

I mentioned yesterday that I don't go back for another two weeks but that doesn't mean I haven't spend much of my summer planning what my room is going to look like!

I've been off for 2.5 years and I'm changing grades when I go back.  Even though I haven't set up my new digs yet, I thought I'd share my inspiration for my new room.  I'm planning a big classroom reveal when it's all done.

Here's a before of the four corners of my room!

I know....not much to look at yet!  Here are some things I bought to help pull it all together!

As you can see, I am going with lots of colour this year!  Hanging lanterns, and borders that pop!  I bought a huge roll of fadeless black paper (I know, table cloths are much, much cheaper!)  I just find they rip easily and I don't want to re-do these borders again next year!  The tissue paper and chevron borders are hopefully going to look something like this.  Don't you just love layered borders???

I'll use the stars for my brand new Brag Tag board.  My good friend Angie Olson over at Lucky Little Learners has 2 awesome packs in her store!  Here's my inspiration for my BT board!  It comes from Bunting, Books & Bright Ideas!

And here are some things I have made!

First up is my Tattle Monster.  Yup - I definitely do NOT have time for tattles.  Don't forget I have 3 of my own kids at home!  I upgraded from the tattling turtle that I used with my firsties to this amazing classroom tool.  All I do is put scrap paper, pencils and my handy little sign beside the Tattle Monster.  When kids feel the need to tattle, they write it on the paper and feed it to the monster.  And let me tell you...the notes I get are HILARIOUS.    All kids want is to tell somebody and they don't really care who or what it is!  AND, the bonus is that they have to practice writing!  A win-win I think!  To make your own "Tattle Monster", get an empty kleenex box and paint it (I used acrylic paint because it's thicker and the colours are much more varied and bright).  Add some cute polka dots and use few egg carton cut outs and googly eyes to make the eyes.  Cut out some white foam sheets to look like teeth, hot glue gun them in and voila!  Your classroom should be tattle free in a jiffy!!!!

I'm going with Ombre Chevron for all of my little details like my word wall, table numbers, supply bins and student book bins!

How cute are those pencils up there?  I'm going to hang them on my classroom door whenever we go somewhere else in or out of the school!  You can get your own free editable set from The Lesson Plan Diva!

And the bargain of the century are these book shelves I picked up from Walmart for $19!  I bought two of them and I'm hoping to find one more so I have a full 6 feet of bookcases.  And, they are low enough that they should fit right underneath the bulletin boards at the back of my class!  I can't afford to lose any of my precious bulletin board real estate!

I'm going to re-organize my classroom library this year using these really cool labels from Ramona Recommends.

I picked up paint stir sticks from Home Depot and some zebra print duck tape to make subject dividers between my book categories.  Be sure to read about her awesome home library transformation!

Finally, if you are looking for some inspiration you have to check out my Class Decor & More Pinterest board!!!!  I'd love to add you as a collaborator too!  My one rule is that you only pin real pictures not product covers :)  People want to see what stuff actually looks like!!!!  Click the link to follow first, then email me and I'll add you!!!!

Class Decor & More pinterest board!

Now...it's your turn!  I want to see what your classroom looks like so link up with us today!
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August 18, 2014

Teacher Week: Who

Hey everyone! It's Erin from Once Upon A Classroom!.
It's Teacher Week for our friends in the US but here in Canada I'm still enjoying 2 more weeks of summer!

I'm linking up with my friends over at Blog Hoppin' to share a bit about me!

Today's post is all about introductions.  So, here we go!

My name is Erin Palleschi.  It's pronounced Pal-esh-ee!  I got this name when I married my wonderfully amazing hubby Michael.  Almost 10 years ago!  Yikes!  Has it been that long???

Together we have owned 4 houses!

And together we have 3 beautiful children :)

I am going back to work this September after being at home for 2 1/2 years with these cuties.  AND, I'm teaching a new grade!  I'm moving up from first to second grade!

A few more things about me!

1.  I LOVE to travel.  I mean I have a serious travel bug!  Just whisper about going somewhere and I'm in.  I have a huge bucket list of places I want to see before I go :) So far I have visited 65 cities and 12 countries!

2.  I need coffee.  It definitely makes me "less hatey".

3.  I played soccer for over 30 years.  When I was young I played competitive soccer but most recently played in the "old lady" league for woman 19 and up!  (I'm much closer to the "up").  I decided to hang up my cleats because my soccer night was the same as my girls.  Gotta give them a chance to shine!

4.  I am a PARTY PLANNING maniac!  I LOVE to plan parties, especially birthday parties!  I go all out for my kids!  This is some of the stuff I made for my daughter's 5th birthday party.  It was so much fun!

5.  I am a teacher-author!  I opened my TpT store in November 2012.  It's been a really fun experience.  So fun in fact that I recently made the trip to Vegas for the 1st ever TpT Sellers Conference!
So that's me in a nutshell!  Mom, wife, teacher!  I can't wait to hear about you!!  Here is the schedule for the rest of the week!

And...the great news is you can link up too!!!!

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August 5, 2014

Dollar Deals!! Say What????

I am so excited to announce that I am joining forces with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you a new collaborative blog called Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals! With this blog, there will be approximately forty teachers sharing their excellent work in what we are calling a Dollar Steal!

What is a Dollar Steal, you ask?  Each day, one of my bloggy friends will be sharing a post about one of their products.  In their blog post, they will share a link to their product where you can purchase it for only $1.00.  Now here's the catch, you'll have to act fast because their sale will only last for THREE days.  After the three days, you can still grab their fabulous product, but it will be at it's original price.

I would love for you to hop over by clicking the button above and follow our new blog through email or Bloglovin in order to ensure that you catch all of our deals in a timely manner.  We are also giving away a $25 TeachersPayTeachers Gift Certificate.  You can enter by following us!!!

Thank you for joining me on this new and exciting experience.

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August 1, 2014

Pinaway Giveaway!!!

IT'S PIN-AWAY GIVEAWAY TIME!  I am so excited to be bringing you this AMAZING giveaway that I am hosting with my friends!  Since it's Back to School season, we thought you could use some resources that we find to be a MUST-HAVE item in our classrooms!  Take a look at what we want to give away to YOU!  Pinning points can be earned every day by pinning each of our images to your Pinterest boards, sharing the links, and providing the hashtag #pinawaygiveaway.  Check out the Rafflecopter below to find out how else you can earn entry points.  This giveaway is open from July 31st-August 3rd. 

First, we have Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd bringing you her MUST-HAVE Classroom Supply Labels...

Are you looking to brighten up your classroom supply bins and get a bit more organized this school year at the same time?? I've created multiple sets of classroom supply labels that will be perfect to help you start the school year with your supply bins, folders, trays, and baskets beautifully and colorfully labeled and organized! I have TWO different sets:

Chevron Classroom Supply Labels and Bright Brick Classroom Supply Labels  If you win, you can choose whichever set - chevron or bricks - will work best for YOU! :)

Each set includes OVER 100 LABELS for you to use to organize your classroom supplies! An EDITABLE template is also available for you to use to make your own! I've included several pictures of the Bright Brick set that I've used to brighten up and organize my classroom bins this year! I LOVE how they turned out! Additionally, you can check out my coordinating Bright Brick Book Bin Labels and Chevron Book Bin Labels, too!. There's no better time to get organized than when you're headed back to school! Cue the laminator! :)

 Next, we have Angie from Lucky Little Learners bringing you one of her FABULOUS Interactive Notebook creations, ADDITION STRATEGIES...

Are you using INTERACTIVE MATH NOTEBOOKS in your classroom? You really
should be! My students love them, create them, reference them, and will
take them home at the end of the school year where they will continue to
learn from them! They can be used in either a whole group or small
group setting. They were made so that they are easy for your students to
assemble. Each interactive notebook activity comes with a photo of it
assembled so there is no confusion on how it should look. I also love
how interactive notebooks show the families what we learned in math that
year. I find that my students are so proud to look back at their pages
that they create!  The beginning of the year is the PERFECT time to get started with Interactive Notebooks.  You won't regret it and your students and parents will thank you!  If you are interested, I also have an Interactive Notebook Bundle #1 that includes Telling Time, Geometry, and MoneyInteractive Notebook Bundle #2 comes with Fractions, Place Value, and Measurement and I just finished my NEWEST Interactive Notebook... SUBTRACTION!

I just updated my Emergency Sub Plans for Fall and it's a definite must-have in your classroom!


Does your administration require you to have "ready to use" emergency sub plans? Do you sometimes feel a sickness coming on and the last thing you want to do is think about what your kids are going to do when you are away? If you can relate, you NEED to add this resource to your bag of tricks! It contains ENGAGING activities so the day is not wasted in your absence. No boring busy work - very little prep for you!
What's Included:
- Detailed substitute teacher instructions for every single activity
- Missing Teacher Creative Writing template
- 3 Opinion Writing templates
- 4 Non-Fiction Animal Reads with templates
- Addition & Subtraction Task Cards with recording sheet
- Animal Graph activity - (differentiated)
- Sight Word Bingo game
- First and second grade editable word cards
- Living vs. Non-Living Things small group activity
- Non-Fiction Animal Poster Activity
- Easy 3D Hand Art Project
- Helpful Tips
- Black & White version included
Note: This sub pack is most appropriate for August - November absences.  Find the Spring Sub Plans HERE!
Sweet Sarah from A Rocky Top Teacher is giving away her Back to School Editable Notecards and they are ADORABLE...
Establishing a great relationship with students is one of the most important things educators can do. Start your school year off right by sending out postcards letting your new students know how excited you are about being their teacher! Make that first positive connection and share your love for school with them. This packet includes 7 different styles of postcards(including a printer friendly black and white version). Postcards are also editable so you can add exactly what you want them to say!
Engage your students in learning and get them ready for a fantastic year!
 Next we have Nicole from All Things Apple in 2nd with her very VERSATILE Self Reflection Desktop Name Tags.  Check them out...
Do you ever feel like you just can’t squeeze anything else into your busy school day? With the push for more self reflection in the classroom, I needed to find a way that was efficient and beneficial to my students to self reflect on their learning. Tada! Self Reflection Desktop Name Tags, Small Group Cards, Bookmarks and more! This set allows you the time and your students the opportunities to self reflect anywhere in the classroom!! The possibilities are endless!
Last, but certainly not least, we have our new friend Emily from Polka Dots Please who is just a doll and she created a GREAT, EDITABLE Organization Bundle to help keep us all organized for the school year...
Stay beautifully organized this school year! This bundle includes lesson planning pages, monthly calendars, and busy (to-do) lists.  The lesson planning pages are editable to fit your needs.  They are designed to fit side by side in a binder so you can see your whole week at a glance.  The "busy lists" are perfect for jotting down all those ideas and to-do's.  They are editable so you can add your own routines, and they come in two different sizes.  Keep them on your desk at work or on your refrigerator at home to stay organized.  Every piece of the bundle comes in black and white and beautiful color combinations! All of these products coordinate with my other organization tools, so check them out. Small Group Intervention Log (completely editable) Student Data Organization Bundle  Well, what are you waiting for? ALL of these Back to School must haves could be YOURS! Enter today, and PIN AWAY!! a Rafflecopter giveaway
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