April 26, 2015

Superhero Top Ten Reader Bulletin Board Printables


     I was looking for ways to promote my top ten Accelerated Reader readers for each grade level to inspire other students to aim higher than just their A.R. goal.  I needed something small but big enough to display clipart, and lines to write the student's name, teacher's name, and grade level on each one. 
     I created a superhero design big enough to do just that.  Each one is slightly bigger than the size of a bookmark. I made 14 different superhero designs.  I displayed them in my library by separating them by grade level.  I laminated each one so I can easily change the names every 6 weeks.
     At the end of the 6 weeks I look at my report to see which students earned the 85 percent average and had the most points out of the entire grade level.  I then write the names on each card.  When a student earns top ten, he or she gets a special award and a prize from my treasure box, which is usually something from the Scholastic Book Fair.  Students usually get excited when they see their name up on the bulletin board.  I even have some students bring in their parents to show them their name. 

I use these for displaying my Top Ten A.R. Readers, but you can use them however you would like in your library or classroom. 
   If you would like to do this in your classroom or library, please take a look at my Teacher's Pay Teacher's store where you can find the product.

'Thanks for reading,

Here are some pictures of what the bulletin board looks like.




April 21, 2015

Teachers Pay Teachers Logo, Banner, and More Freebie

     I’ve been making products for Teachers Pay Teachers for almost two years. I wish I knew all of the information I know now back then.  I was just a newbie that knew very little.  I’ve learned a lot in the last few months, and therefore one of the reasons why I’m writing this post is to help others not make the same mistake as I did.   During that time, I didn’t know much about all the cutesy cover art, logos, and banners you can do.  Since my counseling program ended, my goal was to focus more on Teachers Pay Teachers.  A few suggestions that I read on blogs to create more traffic to your Teacher’s Pay Teachers store is to create cover pages and thank you pages for all of your products, to create a blog, and to create a Facebook group page.  Some other suggestions were to buy quality clip art, take your time in making your products, and always check Copyright before posting any products.
     The first thing I did was update all my products with cover and thank you pages. I’m not going to lie.  It took me around 40 hours to update all my products but worth it in the end.   Second, I started a blog using my TPT store name.  Third, I added a logo and banners to my blog, Teachers Pay Teachers page, and Facebook group. 
     It took me weeks to figure out how to do all of this.  I thought I knew a lot about technology, but I was so wrong.  The hardest part was to figure out the sizes for the logos and the blogs.  Once I figured that out it was so easy but it took hours.  I wish someone had posted a template that was on TPT for me just to plug in. 
      Since I had a hard time, I wanted to help others out that are just starting out whether it’s for Facebook, TPT, or a blog.  On my Teachers Pay Teachers store, I made multiple free templates with directions for creating logos, banners, blog clipart, correct Facebook picture sizes, cover pages, and thank you pages.
      Please check out my store if you are looking for help in these areas and look under freebies.
     If you get a chance, please follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers.  If you follow me, it will update you anytime I post a new product to my store.

     If you’ve never heard of Teachers Pay Teachers, it’s a website where you can purchase products made by teachers that they’ve successfully used in their own classrooms.  You can be just a buyer, a seller, or both.  If you would like to be a seller, here’s a link to get you started.

     The great thing about Teachers Pay Teachers is that it is a place where teachers can post products they’ve already spent time creating ideas for their own class.  I usually don’t post anything I haven’t already used in my classroom.

If you get a chance, please check out my new Facebook page I started last week:  https://www.facebook.com/thetravelingeducator

Thanks for reading,




April 12, 2015

Happy National Library Week!

                                    library1.gif - 6.0 K

National Library Week is from April 12th to the 18th.  I just wanted to wish all my fellow librarians and librarian aides a Happy National Library Week! How does your school celebrate National Library Week?

Update: I just want to thank all the of the teachers at my school for all of the cards, lunches, desserts, and gifts this week!  I really appreciate it.  I'm so lucky to work with all of you!


April 9, 2015

Accelerated Reading Point Tracker

     My elementary school is really big into the Accelerated Reading program more than any other school I've been to.  Being a librarian, I'm in charge of keeping track of every students A.R. points.  The teachers set the students' A.R. goal each six weeks.  Usually third through fifth, is 6 points, and kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd range from 1 to 5 points.  I noticed that third and fourth grade were not motivated at all to meet their goal of 6 points and a 85 percent average.  I needed something to motivate them more.  The teachers were already  taking away the students' recess if they didn't make their goal for the week.  I came up with an idea to track the whole school with their A.R. goals.

     I called my idea Accelerated Reading Point tracker.  I needing something that was easy to do, cheap, and fast to do in the short amount of time I had to finish it.  I looked at all the classes previous points, and 5th grade had the most with 250 points.  I made circles to go up to 300.  I made the circles 2 inches, so they would be big enough to see but small enough so it wouldn't waste a lot of space.  I laid them all out to see how long the string or ribbon had to be.  I used string instead of ribbon because I had it available.  I realized that I couldn't use counting by fives circles because the string would have to be really long, and therefore I would have to use a ladder anytime I had to put the circles up.  For all first through fifth grade students, the points go by 10's and kindergarten by 5's (I later switched kindergarten back to 10).  All point colors are the same by number.  I cut the string out and placed an index sized card to label it with the teacher's name and grade level.  I taped the strings in a place so that all classes would see it on a daily basis.  I put mine on windows and each window was sectioned off, which worked perfectly by sectioning off each grade level.

     To save time in the future.  I hot glued Velcro on all circles and the other half on the string.  I made sure all the strings were lined up even and did the 10 point circles first making sure they were all lined up.  I wanted to make sure it looked like a graph too.  It took a long time to glue up almost 20 to 30 circles for each class but it was worth it in the end.  Once I was done, I put tape on the bottom of the string so the students wouldn't play with it. 

     It took sometime for the teachers to come around.  The teachers thought it was something they had to do, and once I explained that it wasn't, they were on board.  The students thought it was a cool idea to compete with not only their grade level but others too.  The kids get so excited when they see their points for the week.  To even make it more interesting, the first grade teachers bet the third grade teachers that they could beat them.  Whichever grade has the most points wins, and those teachers get to pie the losing teachers. 

     I only put the points up on Fridays.  It takes about thirty minutes to look at the report, write the results down, and place the new points up.  I did put all point circles in Zip Lock baggies with the teacher's name on it.  When I explained the rules to each class and teacher, I did mention that I would only change them once a week.  The teachers and students are so into this that they ask me daily to change it.
     I love Fridays when I hear how excited all the classes are about beating other classes.  The students are so motivated to read more now.  I just put up week 3's points and I already had to glue more Velco up for 3rd grade because they already beat the amount of their points by the whole last 6 weeks by the third week. Also, by the first week, I had one class with 80 points. I also had numerous teachers' compliments on how great this is for motivating students to read!

      If you are not a librarian, you can still use this for your school or for your classroom.  Instead of the teacher's name, you can put the student's name instead.  Also, since this is a class thing, instead of the teacher putting up the points, you can have the student put up the points immediately after they finish their quiz.  I can only imagine the look on their face on how proud they would be putting up their points on their string.

Here are some pictures from my interactive bulletin board. Sorry about the pictures.  I didn't realize how hard it would be to take photos with the outside light so bright. Please let me know if you have any questions or ideas about this point tracker system.

Here is a picture of the entire thing.  Kindergarten is on the far left and 5th being on the right.

Here are some pictures of the individual classes.  This is all week two's points.
This is 5th grade.
 This is 4th grade.
 This is 3rd grade.
This is 2nd grade.
 This is 1st grade.

Here is kindergarten!  I wish I took a picture of week 3 because one class already has 50 points, which is amazing for kindergarten!
For week three, the class with the most was a 5th grade class with a 180 points.  A second grade class had 100, a kindergarten class had 50 points, two third grade classes had 110, two 1st grade classes had 80 points, and a fourth grade class with 120.  I'm so proud about how much growth goes on from week to week. 

Update (4-18-15)
Yesterday was the last day of the 5th 6 weeks.  I'm shocked of the outcome.  For the last few days, I've spent hours putting more circles and velcro up, and I couldn't keep up with the amount of points the students were getting.  My circles only went to 300, and I had to make more to go up to 380.  The string was long enough to go to 330 points, and I had to skip a few circles to show up to 380 points for some of third grade.

I'm so proud of all of the classes!  The students were so excited for 1:00 yesterday, so I could post the final results. 

Here are some of the higher results:  I had a kindergarten class with 130, a first grade class with 340, a second grade class with 260, two third grade classes with 380 points, three fourth grade classes with 180 points, and one 5th grade class with 250 points.  Looking at the results, third grade won.  If I was looking at averages too, I think first grade would of won.  It's amazing to see how far they came from  the last 6 weeks.  For the 5th 6 weeks, kindergarten through 5th grade earned a total of 5,240 points.

Even though this was a lot of work, I'm so glad I did this.  All of the students, teachers, and staff were so excited to see the results every single Friday.  I loved hearing all of the students talk about wanting to read more to catch up to the other classes and other grade levels too.  For next 6 weeks, the winning class from each grade level is going to get an ice cream party.

If you would like to use this at your school, please check out my TPT store.


Here are some pictures of the results.


                                                                        First Grade
                                                                         Second Grade

                                                                      Third Grade

                                                                     Fourth Grade

                                                                  Fifth Grade

April 2, 2015

Caterpillar Point Tracker

     Towards the beginning of the school year, I came up with a way for teachers to keep track of their student's Accelerated Reading points.  When I taught kindergarten and first grade, I had a caterpillar behavior management plan.  The caterpillar was a way for students to keep track of their behavior on a daily basis.  I used that same caterpillar to keep track of the students points from week to week.

     The teachers decide the student's goals every six weeks.  Most students have a goal of 6 points for the 6 weeks.  If their goal is 6 points, then each week, they should get 1 point and an average of 85 percent by Friday.  In theory, each student should have 6 points by the end of the 6 weeks.  I overheard the teachers complaining that the kids forget how many points they have, so I decided to come up with the caterpillar.  I have two versions of the caterpillar.  One that's for the magnetic board and one that a teacher can hang or tape to the wall.  I also have a big version and a smaller version. 

     For the first version, you can use clothes pins to write the students' names on them.  When a student receives a point, you or the student may move their clothes pin to the correct point circle on the caterpillar.  When a student gets more than their goal, I move their clothes pin to the face of the caterpillar, so everyone in the class knows they have more than their goal.

     For the magnetic version of the caterpillar,  I have a cute clip art graphic on the board with each students name on it.  Directly under the caterpillar circles, I place some colored magnets to match the colored circles.  When a student earns 3 points I will place a green colored magnet under their clip art name.  When a student receives more than their goal, they get a superstar magnet.  The superstar magnets go under the head of the caterpillar.

     I gave each teacher in the school the caterpillar.  I use the squiggle eyes for the eyes, the red puff balls for the mouth, and pipe cleaners for the antennae.  I also made the points for each teacher.  I made the points from 0.5 to 15 points, so the point range covers K through 5th.  The teachers had to buy the magnets or clothes pins.  I've received many compliments on the caterpillar for when the student comes and tries to make excuses for not making their goal, they have no excuse for it's been posted the entire 6 weeks.  

Here are some more pictures of the caterpillar.

     After I gave out the caterpillars to the entire school, my principal had the idea to make a caterpillar for each grade level and place it in a common area in the school.  Each teacher has their own clothes pin.  When each teacher's entire class all got one point, they then move their clothes pin to that circle.  It would continue throughout the 6 weeks until their whole class got their A.R. goal.  No one is in charge of moving the pin until the new 6 weeks or until the new class goal is set.  It is a nice way for the other grade levels to see where the other students stand.

If you would like to use this in your classroom, check out my product on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Here is a picture of Caterpillars for the entire school.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the caterpillar.  Thanks for reading!