Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Last Day for Some Back to School SAVINGS!

I am on vacation this week...but wanted to let my loyal followers know about a few deals going on today in my store!

First, all 3 of my Back to School Math Activity Packs are on sale for $6 today only! Grab them while you can...this is cheaper than they will EVER be during a TPT scoop 'em up if they are on your wishlist!

Click the images to be taken to the product page on TPT:

And, lastly, today is the LAST day that you will be able to BUY MY STORE for under $120. Tomorrow, the price goes up, and it will continue to go up as I add new products. Click the image below for more details!

Have a great week! I have a few scheduled posts to go out this week...and I'll be back this weekend!

Maybe I should get some guest bloggers for the next time I leave town?? Any takers?!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made It -- Wood Plaque Posters

Oh my goodness...I am so excited to share this with you and link up with 4th grade frolics for Monday Made It!

Trust me, this is not some spectacular work of art...but it is easy, and it is cute. And, most importantly, I was able to do it here and there while my in-laws are in town! It's a win for everyone! 

Start with a piece of unfinished wood. I get mine from Hobby Lobby because they are the cheapest there...$2.99 is the regular price for this bad boy. You can spend up to $10 elsewhere. I vary between the different styles, but I got the basic rectangular plaque since I knew my poster would take up most of the space. 

Paint the edges and a border around the top a contrasting color. I didn't have black paint so I used metallic silver. I like that it is glossy and only takes 2 coats. Let it dry completely. This is important.

Trim down what you want to adhere to the plaque to eliminate any white space. I wish I would have taken a before picture, but I get so excited when I am working on something that we are lucky I remembered to take any pictures. Lay it out on the plaque and make sure it is centered...or off-centered if you like to live on the edge :) Make sure what you have printed is on thick cardstock or photo paper. If printing at home, the photo paper is a must or the ink may bleed when you do the next step. I had mine printed at Office Max for $0.50. A total steal when you think about how much ink this would have used at home.

Apply a layer of mod podge underneath the poster to glue it down. Use the regular orange bottle of mod podge and a sponge brush. Let dry completely before moving onto the next step. I let mine dry overnight.

Then you are ready to "seal" the top. Apply a generous layer of mod podge over the top and around the sides to have that "sheen" around the whole plaque. Make sure you are spreading the mod podge from left to right each time so that it looks neat.

Let it dry. If it looks like this, you are on the right track. I let it dry for about 2 hours. Apply another coat if necessary. I didn't need to this time, but do what works for you!

Then it is time to apply ribbon to the back to hang it. You could always just hang it on the wall as is...but I LOVE ribbon and use it all over my room. These wood plaques are soft enough that I don't even need to get my staple gun. A regular stapler does the trick. 

I staple about 5-6 times on each side and that sucker isn't going anywhere. 

AND...done! I LOVE how it turned out.

If you would like a copy of the poster itself, you can download it from 4mulafun's store on TPT here!

I can't wait to make some more of these!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday

I've found some pretty spectacular things on pinterest lately, and I am super excited to join in and share them with you courtesy of:

Let's get started!

Here are some of the things that I cannot wait to use in my classroom:

This would be great to use for behavior management, but also as a random number generator, name generator, etc!

This would be so much cuter than those boring red SSSH! signs :-)


I think I may have shared this before...but this is in the lesson plans for the second day of school. I cannot wait to see what the responses are!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"IDK" is not an option this year!

The most infuriating thing to me is when a student doesn't know an answer on a test and writes "IDK??" in the sloppiest of handwriting. Those of you who teach elementary may not know what I am talking about , but I know my secondary friends can for sure relate! Even if you teach completely angelic students who always know the answers, please just nod your head and smile so I don't feel alone...okay, thanks.

I never allow that as an answer in class, but up until this summer, I never felt like a had a good response when a student says "IDK" because I can't help but think they really mean "I don't care." My friend Melanie and I went to a session when we were at CAMT and the presenter talked about other sentence starters for students who need more help to answer questions. In essence, they are 5 alternatives to using "IDK" in the classroom. Of course, we both had to make posters to put in our classroom! Here's mine:

Don't worry, I wouldn't share anything if I wasn't going to make it available to click here to download it for FREE from my Teachers pay Teachers store!

This is formatted to print out on 11x17 paper. You can send it to any office supply/printing center and have printed. Office Max is printing mine for less than $2! 

Let me know what you think! Do you have any ways to get kids past the "IDK" statements?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Custom Plan Book Dividers!

I guess since I have done a few custom orders based on my original post here, I should let everyone know that I have started to make custom, personalized binder pages for a plan book! This is not a complete plan book...but a digital file for the dividers you would use to put together your own planner/teacher binder. There are tons available on Teachers pay Teachers, but I couldn't find one that suited me perfectly. So I made my own...and then a few more wanted some of their own!

Having just the dividers made for you allows you to still use whatever lesson plan format your school or district wants you to use or you can just use something that works for you! What works for me as a middle school math teacher may not work for a 2nd grade teacher who teaches all subjects! Everything about these is customizable from the papers to the fonts I use. I will even send you an editable version of the cover page so that you can change the year or the school name if you ever change schools or you want to use the same look for future years.

Check out my newest one:

This was obviously custom made for a lover of hot pink, black and white! If you like this or want something completely different, email me at and we can work something out :) Just to clarify, yours won't have the LiveLoveMath logo on it. 

This almost makes me wish I hadn't made mine so early in the summer! Almost...

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Entire TPT Store Available in ONE BUNDLE!

This is just a quick post for anyone who is interested in purchasing a license for my entire store at an extreme discount through the end of July! If you bought every item (not including the bundles) in my TPT store, you would spend a little over $240. It will always be discounted 50% off, but for the rest of July, it will be available for a LOW price of $75!

Click here to find out more information! If you have already purchased any of my products, e-mail me for a discounted rate!

This includes everything in my store. All future products that I post in my store you will have access to download for FREE! How great is that? As I add more products, this price will go up, but you will never pay another cent once you have the license. Remember, this is for use in ONE classroom only, so if you have friends that you team teach with, direct them to my store before July 31 to lock-in this GREAT deal!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July is Where ALL My Money Goes!

Seriously, I spend more money in July than I probably do in December! It doesn't matter that I just unpacked 20 boxes of just school supplies in my new classroom...there is always something new that I NEED. My husband is working on this...he thinks if he comes with me he can limit what I purchase. I want to state for the record that he was in tow for all purchases yesterday! (Disclaimer - he did not go into Hobby Lobby with me. His reasoning was that I take longer when he is with me but if he waits in the car, I seem to rush. Ha! We live in you can all see why his reasoning is silly. And of course Hobby Lobby is where I spent the most! I did, however, make sure to hurry so he wouldn't melt. I guess he was right. Darn it.)

Ok, the first stop of the day was at Office Max. They had glue sticks on sale for 25 cents (for a 4-pack) and I needed to pick up my labels for this project. I am still giddy over how it turned out!

Then, I went to Target to check out their dollar spot. I went to one further from my house the other day, and you never know if they have the same things. Boy am I glad I went! Look at these goodies!

I had been looking for a way to store my task cards, but the small coupon-sized organizers were too small for the ones that were 1/2 sheet sized. These are PERFECT! Only $1 each at Target.

Found these to go in my new toolbox! I think these flags would be great for INBs...I hope I can find more since these were the only two packages they had! Also, the sticky notes to the right? Those are made from brown craft paper! Amazing! I wanted to buy several...but remember, Hubs was there to keep me in line!

I am not sure why these are rotated...but you get the basic idea. They are magnets made from some of the best ecards. It is a great way for me to let some of my sarcasm out in my classroom!

I was about to walk to the register when I saw this set of 5 stamps for $3! They were self-inking which I love and a great way for me to reinforce good work in the classroom!

Then, I was off to Hobby Lobby. This whole summer, I said I wasn't going to get ner fabric for my bulletin board because I could reuse what I had from last year. This is what it looked like:

I LOVED it! However, my new bulletin board is 1/4 of the size, and I was worried the pattern would be too big. Then, it hit me! I had a gift card to Hob Lob and I could get a new pattern :) 

Isn't it wonderful!? I cannot wait to put it up! I couldn't just put up regular border either...I will be using tulle for the second year in a row. I wanted to steer away from pink...but that is the color that matched the best :)

And, finally, to add to my washi tape obsession...I had to get three new rolls! No idea what to do with these bad boys yet...but I'm excited to have them.

Can't wait to see what other deals I find this week!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Teacher's Toolkit!

Last summer, I saw a bunch of pins on Pinterest of how to make a "teacher's toolbox". Every time I went to Home Depot and Lowe's, they were either cracked or sold out. I forgot about it throughout the school year, and vowed that this year I would find a better way to organize my school supplies in a way other than cramming them into my desk drawer...not as efficient as I'd hoped it would be!

So, last night, I went it search of my toolbox, and I found this at Home Depot: (click the picture to buy it!)

I love that it is gray! I was thinking I would have to spray paint it like some other people have, but that seemed like too much work with the constant rain the past few days. This matches my decor for this I left it gray.

I went in search of the perfect labels for my toolbox. I saw PLENTY for sale and for free on TPT, but nothing that would match my room perfectly. I thought about just downloading some free ones and being done with it...but no, that would have been too easy :)

So, I sat down and went to work. Did I mention I started this at about 10:30 last night? Not that I go to bed super early, but I had no idea how long it would take! Glad it only took about 30 minutes for me to put these beauties together:

I sent them off to office max to be printed since it is seriously cheaper to print there when it is full color then at home, at least on my printer! They were ready this morning--and I was so excited!

The longest part was cutting them apart...I have never been so careful in my life! After using some double sided tape to attach them to the inside, I was left with this:

Oh. Em. Gee. I am in love!

I have put the labels in my TPT store and you can find them here. I included my labels, but also a set of blank editable labels just in case your needs are different than mine :-) In order to edit, all you need to do is insert a text box over the frame and type! 

If you decide to make one of your own, I would LOVE to see pictures!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dollar Deals!

The title of this post may be a tad misleading because some items were actually under $1...but I am sure you won't complain :)

I set out to find some things for my classroom that wouldn't cost me an arm and a is a sample of what I found:

I went to the dollar tree in search of post-its (well, the off brand kind). I prefer Post-It brand sticky notes, but I plan on using them as an exit ticket this year on a board like this and with teaching 160 can see how fast I will run out of post-its! I got 250 in a pack for $1...may not be the best deal, but it was the best one I found today after going to 4 stores!

I also got a big roll of double sided tape because, well, you just never know when you need double sided tape!

Lastly, the two boxy looking things in the back are locker organizers that have thick magnets on the back. I am going to use these to organize my dry erase markers for my white board as well as remotes to my document camera and projector...I am CONSTANTY misplacing this should be handy!

I mostly use that blue painters tape to stick everything to my walls at school and it is a pain! It is great for posters, but I wanted a better solution to post my word wall this year. Since I will be changing the word wall every few units (there are so many vocabulary words and I have limited wall space), I wanted something easy. I used these glue dots last year and not only did they hold up well, but it was also extremely easy to remove with NO damage! I got these at Joann's with a 50% off coupon...but they also sell them at Hobby Lobby!

If you are like me, you scour the deals in the newspaper ads each week to get the best deals! I can always use some more handheld pencil sharpeners to go in my community supply boxes and scored these for $0.25 each! These were found at Office Depot, on sale through Saturday.

I LOVE the Target Dollar Spot. I frequent it weekly in the summer to see what kind of new goodies they have. I found two more magnetic locker organizers to put on my board. The pink one is all glitter, which I HAD to have, and the other one has a crown design. I am sure I won't have a problem finding a spot for these cute things!

Ok, I kind of lied...those clipper magnets are $3, not $1...but in my defense I didn't realize that until I got to the register, and they are just so cute. TECHNICALLY, they are $1.50 a piece...seriously, perspective is everything :)

I also found these stellar sticky notes that are supposed to be used for to do lists...but everyone knows that a list has way more than 4 things to do. I stood there thinking of what I could use these for since the hubs was with me and I feel like I have to justify ALL purchases. And then it hit me! I can use these in my interactive notebooks to have the students list out the steps to solve problems--like Order of Operations! 
1. Grouping Symbols
2. Exponents
3. Mult/Div
4. Add/Sub

I am super excited to use these!

This really has nothing to do with school... but I found this cute little box of tissues that I bought for my mama! The left side says "I love how we don't even need to say outloud that I'm your favorite child." and the right side says "You're one of my favorite parents." I thought it was cute so hopefully she will, too!

What kinds of deals are you guys finding??

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New Blog Design and Giveaway Winners!

This new blog design has been in the works for about a month now...and boy was it worth the wait! Megan over at A Bird in Hand Designs put together this fantastic layout that I am just so excited about! Let me know what you all think :)

And now, the moment you have ALL been waiting for: the winners of the giveaway!

Pre-K - 2nd Grade prize pack winner: April Hamilton
3rd - 5th Grade prize pack winner: Sandi Rommel
6th - 12th Grade prize pack winner: Amy Adams
Clip Art prize pack winner: Crystal Cash White

And, last but not least, the winner of my Complete Bundle of Task Cards is: Cherie Mae Ong

Congratulations to all of the winners! You will hear from me and the lovely people who donated products soon!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Bucket Game

If you haven't already entered in my HUGE giveaway, be sure to click here to do so!

 I can't remember how the formation of this game came to be, but the kids LOVED it. I played it as a review game in both 6th and 7th grade this year. Here is what the set up looked like:

These buckets were found at Michael's for $0.50 and I used my cricut and vinyl to make the numbers!

Yes, that is my living room...this was after I made the buckets and in true fashion, I never took a picture of my kiddos playing -- we were having too much fun! You can use this to review ANY, not just in math, I mean ANY topic!

So, here is how it works:
1. Make about 30 review questions. You can make more, but I would say 25-30 is the minimum.
2. They should be in varying difficulty. I make 6 levels, 1 being the easiest and 6 being the most difficult.
3. Print your questions on card stock or something sturdy. You can laminate if you choose to! I printed directly on index cards and it worked great. 
4. Split up the cards into the different levels and put them in the buckets. 
5. Split the kids into teams. I had classes of 25 or so and did 5 teams. Do what works for you!
6. Group 1 goes first and send a kid up. They use a bean bag or a koosh ball and toss it into a basket from a predetermined point about 6-8 feet back. Whichever bucket the ball is in, that is the one they choose a question from. That is also the number of points that the question is worth. (As I am writing this post, I am realizing that this is much like Skee-ball, and you could set the buckets up like that for added difficulty!)
7. Anyhow, the student hands you the question and you either read it outloud or put it on the document camera for everyone to see. They solve as quickly as they can...if you use this in math, work must be shown to support reasoning!
8. You can then do this several different ways. You can let the group whose turn it was answer first, and if they don't know the answer you can go to group 2 and so on. You can then play jeopardy style and then let the winner of that round go next or go to the next team. YOUR CHOICE!

My kids were SO engaged the whole 50 minutes that they BEGGED me to let them finish the round when the bell rang. Seriously, y'all, kids are usually knocking down the door to get out of class (well, not mine!)...not this year!

I hope my directions were clear...but really, you can totally make this your own!

If you are looking for questions that you can use easily with this game, take a look at any of my task card sets in my TPT store!

I love games, don't you? If you have a fun game you play that is easily adaptable to any classroom, let me know about it in the comments!