Saturday, August 31, 2013

T-shirt winner, ANOTHER sweet giveaway, and a new BUNDLE on SALE!!

Happy Saturday, Bits and Bobbers! Kerri here...
We're giving this away...but first you have to listen to my weather rant...

Well, wouldn't you know it! It is 1,000 degrees outside with like 80% humidity outside. Seriously?? Right when school starts it has to get hot as HADES?? It has literally been 75 degrees the ENTIRE summer, and right when school starts, it gets hot. This aggravates me to no end, because A) I have no air conditioning in my classroom, and B) I hate sweating while I teach. It's just not pretty, it makes my hair freak out, and my poor little kidlets are going to melt. DANGIT!

Ok, rant over. Just had to get that out of my system!! :) Can you tell I hate the heat?? I think I should live in Oregon or Seattle...

We have a T-shirt winner, Peeps!! Drumroll please...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations, Melissa! We'll be contacting you soon about your prizes. :) the beginning of summer I found this AMAZING Etsy shop called Livy Lou Designs that sells cloth covered magnet boards. Check these out...
I got this one for my classroom!! 

I love these pennants...

This would be perfect for my daughter's room!

I couldn't help it! I had to get this one too. :)

Are these not TO. DIE. FOR?? I mean seriously?? They are soooo darn cute and super well made. And ALL of them are this cute! Really! 

Well, Chris from Livy Lou Designs has offered up a SWEET giveaway for our readers and  25% off using the discount code BITSANDBOBS-HOLLA!! So technically, you could buy one today for 25% off and then win another one!!

All you have to do is enter via Rafflecopter, as usual, and AS USUAL, Linds and I will throw in your choice of a teaching product from both our TPT stores!! The rafflecopter link will be at the bottom of this blog post. :)

Finally, I have been hard at work bundling ALL of my monthly writing packs into one ULTIMATE GINORMOUS WRITING CENTER BUNDLE, good for an entire year of writing and literacy activities! These are some of my best selling products, all bundled up and sold at a killer discount!

Here's what's included...
A closer look at all the months included...

This bundle will be 20% off this weekend  (Happy Labor Day Weekend!!), so you're getting an even bigger discount! YAY!

Don't forget to enter our Rafflecopter giveaway for one of Livy Lou's magnet boards...the giveaway end on Midnight Tuesday morning, so don't delay!!
XOXO Kerri B

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sharpener Winner....and ANOTHER giveaway!!

Good Morning, blogging buddies! Kerri here...

Well, it is officially my very last day of summer. BOO!! To celebrate, I will NOT be going in to work today AND we are taking our girls and their friends to the movies. YAY for $4 movies at Triangle Square!!

As you can see, we have a winner for our Pencil Sharpener giveaway! Congrats, Betsy K!! We will be contacting you to get your info!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Well, guess what?? We're having another giveaway and this time you could win a sparkly fabulous Teacher Tee from the wonderful folks over at A+ Images who have a website called Their Teacher T-shirts are seriously the cutest thing ever!! Check these out...
Isn't it adorbs??

I need this for our Jog-a-thon!!

Okay. Seriously?? This one is the best!!

I love these bright colors!

A hoodie!!! I need it!!
A+ Images is giving away a T-shirt of your choice valued up to $23 to one of our lucky followers! Seriously, I want to win this! And, of course, Lindsay and I will throw in the product of your choice from each of our TPT stores, just to make it an even happier contest!! You can enter via rafflecopter below and this giveaway will close on Thursday night, so hurry up already!! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My favorite pencil sharpener is back...and this time she's PINK!!

Good Morning, Bits and Bobbers!! Kerri here...

As most of you know, I am in love with my Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener. So obsessed with it, in fact, that it has been kidnapped not one, but two times, by the *cough cough* IMMATURE male teachers at my school! I kid you not.
The first time, I was sent ransom notes all week long, until they finally returned it to me! The second time was much more sinister, and this is how I found her at our monthly luncheon...
That, my friends, is my beloved pencil sharpener encased in Jello, ALA the best OFFICE prank ever. (Why did I have to be Dwight in this scenario??) I am happy to report that after she was all washed off and cleaned up, she STILL works like a CHAMP!! That is how amazing she is!!

Here are some photos of my lovely first grade models demonstrating how easy she is to use...

Step one: pinch the top, pull out, and put the pencil in...

Pinching action...

Turn the handle, easy peasy...

TADA!! SUPER sharp pencil!!
Troy from Classroon Friendly Supplies contacted me and offered to let one of our readers win one of his fabulous pencil sharpeners, because...wait for it...he made one in PINK!!! Hallelulah!!
AND....he is donating $1 from each sale to Cancer charities because September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! How cool is that??

Oh man, this pink one is calling my name! Of course, if pink doesn't float your boat, he still has red, black, blue, or green for your to choose from ...
Enter below by Rafflecopter, and as usual, Lindsay and I will throw in the product of your choice to the lucky winner. YAY!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will be ending on Tuesday at Midnight so don't delay, friends! Get entering!
XOXO Kerri B

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New BLOG design and getting my crafting on!!

Hiya Peeps!! Kerri here...

OH. MY. WORDY. BE!! As you can tell, we have a new Blog design and it is FANTABULOUS!! As much as we loved our old design, there were some extra goodies we really wanted to include, so we hired the lovely and UBER-TALENTED Kassie from Designs by Kassie, and she came up with this absolutely gorgeous design for us! Lindsay calls it "Kindergarten Vegas!" and I think that is the perfect description (not the seedy, sleazy Vegas of course!! The "fun, lets go and see the White Tigers" Vegas!)

If you are in the market to start a blog, or update your old blog, she is the BOMB-DIGGIDY! She also did our Facebook fan page and our TPT banners, and she is just the sweetest thing EVER! (Click on her banner to check out her blog!)

If you look at the top right corner of our blog, you will see we now have all of our Social Networking Buttons in one spot, so you can follow us any which way you like (Facebook, instagram, pinterest, email),  and also including Blog Lovin', which is the easiest blog reader app EVER! I have it on my iPhone (it is also available for DROID, I think?) and it is soooo easy to see all of my blogging buddies' posts!!

Across the top, we have different tabs (Soon to come... We are still working on getting those up and running!) so you can easily access pictures of our classroom, see our TPT products, snag our freebies, etc. 

In honor of our brand new blog design, we will be having a wicked AWESOME giveaway, starting tomorrow, so be sure to check back to see what it is!! :)

In other news, I decided to jump on the First Day of School Picture Frame dealio that I have seen all over blogland. Here is what I came up with, with my 5th grade daughter posing as my model! :)

Cute first day of school pose

I'm a super model pose

aaaahhh!! Child attacking me pose! Hope I don't get any kidlets like this! :)

TADA!! The frame was a cheapy from Michaels that I painted white, and then mod podged glittery (of course), the stickers are also from Michaels and I backed them on bright colored card stock, and I got the letters to stick with E6000 glue, which my blogging friends told me about. That stuff is AMAZING, but apparently can also cause cancer (according to the back of the package), so I hope I don't grow another arm or something! Yikes!!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for our fun exciting giveaway!!!

XOXO Kerri B

Friday, August 16, 2013

Get your SALE on!!

Good Morning, friends!! Kerri  and Lindsay here...

Thank you Traci from Dragonflies in First for the adorable button!!

Well, it's FINALLY here! TPT will be having a GINORMOUS sale on Sunday and Monday and both of our stores will be 20% off. Combined with the extra 10% off that TPT is offering, you can get 28% off! What a killer deal!

Here are some Back to School Goodies from Kerri's TPT store you might be interested in (click on each picture to get a closer look)...

Sentence Scramble Centers for the entire school year...

Character Education Pack...

All sorts of Writing Center Bundles...

Sight Word Practice mats...

Context Clues Riddle Centers for the whole school year...

 Blending Puzzles Bundle...

Good Ole Johnny Appleseed Centers...

Lotsa Learning Math and Literacy Games...

Rainforest Art and Writing Unit...

And if all that shopping goodness isn't enough, here are some great things to check out in Lindsay's TPT store as well:

Trace It, Write It, Find It, Make It - Sight Word Practice Pack

The Easy, Peasy Lemon Squeezy CVC Practice Pack

Nifty Numbers 0-10 Practice pack
Farm Friends {Math & Literacy Centers to Make You Go Hog Wild!}

Poetry From A to Z pack
Wee Ready Writers {Writer's Workshop Kit}

We hope you get your SALE on tomorrow and Monday!! We know we will be! Thanks friends...

Kerri & Lindsay

Teacher Week 2013-Teacher Tips and Tricks!

Happy Friday, friends! Kerri here...

I am SUPER excited, because I got to blog all about my best teacher tip ever over on Blog Hoppin' today for Teacher Week 2013!! Lynda from Curls and a Smile was my partner today and her tip is awesome too!!


Here's a little teaser pic! Warning...this just may knock your socks off!!
Aren't you just TOTALLY intrigued?? Well, hurry up then and click the button below to go check out my post. I promise, you'll like it!
Kerri B :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taming the Wild - One Behavior Chart At A Time . . .

Hi folks!

Lindsay here . . .

Tonight we are linkin' up with the peeps over at Blog Hoppin' once again for Teacher Week! Woohoo!

Tonight's topic: "Taming the Wild" (a.k.a. Classroom Management). 

This is an easy topic to blog about tonight, because I love, love, LOVE the behavior system that Kerri and I use in our classrooms.  It's easy AND effective! 

Part 1: The Behavior Clip Chart

I'm sure many of you have seen (or have yourselves) clip charts of all different shapes, sizes, colors and themes.  My clip chart has seven levels.  Each day my students start on GREEN, which means they are "Ready to Learn".  Throughout the day I move pins up AND down.  The first time a student pulls their pin down, they end up on YELLOW, which is "OOPS!".  There is no actual consequence for having your pin on OOPS, but for MOST kids the mere thought of having to get up in front of everyone and go pull you pin down is enough to keep them in line. Most of the time.

The ORANGE, RED and PURPLE levels on the chart are for the other 5% of the kiddos in your class who will need more of a consequence. The second time a student pulls their pin, they "LOSE 5 MINUTES" . . . this can be 5 minutes of Free Choice Time, Recess, etc.  It is really up to the teacher's discretion.  Another pin pulled equals "LOSE 10 MINUTES". And finally, at the bottom of the chart, is PHONE CALL HOME . . . which in my classroom, students know will be made from the Principal's Office.  I think I could probably count on one hand how many times I have had a child move their pin all the way down that far . . .

On the other extreme, I also am busy moving students up on the behavior chart throughout the day. I honestly think I probably spend MORE time "catching" students being good and making a big deal of moving one or two kiddos up (so that the rest of my little wiggle worms snap to attention!) than I do of pulling pins.  If I student gets moved up to BLUE (a.k.a. "Totally Awesome"), they earn a sticker.  When a student earns 5 days worth of stickers in their folder, they get to move their pin to RAINBOW, or "WOW". When a student is on RAINBOW, they get to pick a prize from the Prize Binder. 

The thing that I truly L-O-V-E about this behavior system is that students ALWAYS have the opportunity to turn their day around and improve!  When I have a student who has pulled their pin I like to give them reminders throughout the day for them to make better choices.  I am so proud when kiddos take pulling their pin seriously and really put in effort to change their behavior for the rest of the day!

Part 2: The Behavior Log

In order to help me keep track of students' behavior on a daily basis, AND to help keep students accountable to mom and dad for their behavior as well, I use a behavior log.  The behavior log tracks students' behavior and classwork every day.  (Warning: Having 30 five year olds fill in their behavior sheets the first six weeks of school is hellish. HELLISH I TELL YOU!  But . . . it DOES get better!)

At the end of every day before I have my kiddos pack up to go home (or before we clean up for Choice Time) we review the Behavior Chart.  SOMETIMES I have kids who had pulled their pin earlier in the day and reeeeeeeeeeeeeally tried hard to have a better day, so I might move them back up to GREEN.  Other kids might stay where they are. Or I may have one or two more kiddos who I want to move up to BLUE.  It just depends on the day.

Then, I send ALL of the kids to take their behavior log out of their folders at their table, color the little behavior bubble at the bottom whatever color they ended their day on (using the Behavior Chart), and they get to give themselves a happy face for "Classwork" if all of their work is finished. (More on that tomorrow when Kerri talks about teaching tips & tricks!) 

At the end of every week, I take the behavior logs out of all of the students' folders, make notes or corrections if necessary (especially in the beginning of the year!), and I file the logs into my Homework Bin so that they get sent home the following Monday in the HW folder.  That way parents can easily glance and see what kind of day their kiddo had last week.  MOST of the time parents tell me that their kiddos are super honest, and all they have to do is ask what color they ended their day on and they get a pretty good idea of how their behavior was.

Part 3: The Prize Binder

The Prize Binder was not always the Prize Binder.  Once upon a time I did have a "Treasure Chest" full of all sorts of odds and ends and random things that my kidlets always thought were cool.  But over time I felt like I was spending too much time and money keeping my treasure chest full and exciting.

Sooooo . . . Kerri and I created a Prize Binder! :)

This is the cover of my classroom Prize Binder - pretty darn cute if I do say so myself . . .

Inside the Prize Binder are also different prize choices for students to choose from when they get their 5th blue day (or 10th, 15th, etc.).  The beauty of the Prize Binder is that all of the prizes are absolutely free for the teacher to provide and usually pretty easy as well.  And there are so many choices!  Here are just a few  . . .

Ball Boss - a good choice for all those boys that ALWAYS want the ball first! :)

Stinky Feet - Kinda gross, but usually a kid favorite . . .

Swip Swap - Kiddos LOVE switching spots for the day in class.  So exciting, right?
And finally . . . Scout Out.  For whatever reason my class last year LOVED to help me scout out good behavior. We give out "Best on the Beach" certificates, and my little "scout" would be in charge of catching people showing our schoolwide character traits to get a Best on the Beach.  It was so sweet to watch - the biggest prize of all to them was to catch OTHERS doing nice things. 

 Sigh.  I love THOSE kind of teacher moments. :)

In order to make the prizes a bit more tangible for the kids (and to keep track of who picked what prize) we shrunk the prize choices down to be coupon-sized . . .

And this is what all of the different prize coupons look like in the front of the prize binder. Once a student makes their choice, they can take their coupon home to show mom and dad! :)

So there you have it folks!  All you need is a Behavior Chart, Behavior Log and a Prize Binder and you are set to go!!

Well, I am off to bed. Goodnight friends!