Tuesday, June 21, 2016

DIY Book Repair Toolkit

Do you have books that look like this?

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Books that are falling apart and need to go to the hospital?

Then I have the answer for you!

I am heading back into the classroom next year and am pretty much starting from scratch when it comes to my classroom library. I am scouring all the thrift stores looking for books for my classroom library. As you know many thrift store books have seen better days, with tears and rips on the covers.

I've got a solution! Your students will be able to read your books for years to come. Book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

All you need for your book repair toolkit are worn-out books, Contact paper, and scissors. That's it!

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

 Step one:
Lay out your book and cut along a line on the Contact paper, leaving about an inch on the top and bottom of the book.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

The Contact paper has lines which makes it super easy to cut a straight line.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Step two:
Put the book, spine down, in the middle of the Contact paper. Draw a line at the top and bottom of the spine. Then cut out a space for the spine. Notice I cut it wider than the actual spine.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

The Contact paper will have a big hole at the top middle and bottom middle.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Step three:
Start peeling back the paper gently. I like to put the book on the opposite side and pull it back starting at the bottom corner.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Step four:
Place the book in the middle of the Contact paper with the spine lining up with your "holes". Then slowly press the back cover down onto the Contact paper.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Step five:
Cut out a rectangle from the top and bottom edge like shown below.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!
Step six:
Flap over the top and bottom, pressing down at the edges to seal. Then flap over the side, pressing down the edges to seal. I start at the middle and press outward to not have any bubbles.

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

Step seven:
Repeat on the other side.

Here is what your book will look like in the end. Doesn't it look much better?

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

The torn edges are now protected with the Contact paper which means it will last a lot longer and you won't have to worry about it falling apart!

Do you have old, torn, and worn-out books in your classroom library! I've got the perfect solution...my DIY Book Repair Toolkit. And it's easy and cheap! Your students will be able to read the books for years to come, and book cover rips and tears will be a thing of the past!

So binge watch your favorite show on Netflix and get going on repairing your old and worn out books!

Btw....I'm watching one of my favorite cheesy movies on Netflix....Grease 2.
I want a C-O-O-L...R-I-D-E-R.

Hope you're having a fabulous summer!



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Country research projects

Long time no see! As I hope you are doing, I'm busy enjoying my summer!

I have been relaxed with the pups, gone to the aquarium, shopped with friends, binge watched How to Get Away with Murder (this show is addicting by the way), and gone to several concerts including the Oak Ridge Boys.

My new city puts on these free outdoor concerts. Last Friday my friend and I went to hear Humming House, a band I'd never heard of.



They. Were. Amazing.

Just listen to them sing Billie Jean.


They were so good that I bought a CD that night and came home and immediately bought their other albums on iTunes. Wow!

In between all the fun I've had I worked a little on a new project.

Do you have your students research about different countries? Looking for a unique way for students to display their research? These posters are perfect for students to display their country research! And they look fabulous on a classroom bulletin board or hallway display!

Do you have your students research different countries? When I taught 6th grade social studies, I had my students choose a country and research it. They then had to use their research and create a poster on it. Some of their projects were not the neatest, so I had the idea of creating these posters.

Do you have your students research about different countries? Looking for a unique way for students to display their research? These posters are perfect for students to display their country research! And they look fabulous on a classroom bulletin board or hallway display!


Do you have your students research about different countries? Looking for a unique way for students to display their research? These posters are perfect for students to display their country research! And they look fabulous on a classroom bulletin board or hallway display!

Do you have your students research about different countries? Looking for a unique way for students to display their research? These posters are perfect for students to display their country research! And they look fabulous on a classroom bulletin board or hallway display!

Do you have your students research about different countries? Looking for a unique way for students to display their research? These posters are perfect for students to display their country research! And they look fabulous on a classroom bulletin board or hallway display!

They fit in a lot of information within these two papers! And what's great is that they look perfect on a big 12x18 piece of construction paper and displayed on a bulletin board or in the hallway!



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Inspiring your students

We as teachers have a huge impact in our students' lives. We teach them, we listen to them, we nurture them, and we inspire them. Our students often come to use unmotivated...unmotivated to do their homework, unmotivated to study for tests, unmotivated to do their best.

So how do we inspire our students?

TEN different ways to inspire and motivate your students. Turn your classroom into a place of inspiration and motivation...inspiring them to be the best that they can be.

Author and speaker Zig Ziglar says, "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing -- that's why we recommend it daily."

Here are some different ways we as teachers can motivate our students. Hopefully you can find at least one new way to motivate your students!

1. My number one way for inspiring students is let them know you value them as a person, not as number for your testing data. Ask them questions about themselves. Notice things about them....even if it seems little to you it may not be little to them. I'll never forget a student that I had in 5th grade, the year I did student teaching. We didn't know it at the time, but his mom was very sick. He would often forgo showering so that his mom could use the soap and shampoo and be clean when she went to the doctor. One day I had talked to him and just placed my hand on his shoulder. I don't even remember what I said. But he told my mentor teacher that that had meant the world to them...that he knew I cared about him. Sometimes it's the little things.

2. Talk less. You know how you go to teacher inservice meetings and are bored to tears because the presenter just stands up there talking? The. Whole. Time. And you're so bored that you could scream? That's what happens to our students. Let them talk and discuss and share with their peers. Discussing things gets you to think about what you feel and think.

3. Create an inspiration board. Include inspirational posters that you have found and have your students bring in quotes, photos, etc. that motivate and inspire them. One of the teachers in my school has an inspiration board when you first walk in her classroom, and I just love it.

4. Do a "Quote of the Week" or "Quote of the Day" in your classroom. Throughout the week talk about the quote...what it means to you and how it inspires you. Use the quote to spark a great discussion.

5. Using quotes from famous people, have your students research the famous person. Why do they think this person wrote that quote? What do you think it meant to them?

6. Create a mini book or such on inspirational quotes. Introduce new quotes and have your students write and illustrate them in their mini book.

7. Talk about your own learning. I am always striving to learn new things. Whether it be about a place I am traveling to, learning how to cook new foods, learning a new skill or hobby, etc. I LOVE to travel, and I LOVE to talk about the places I've traveled to. Traveling to new places always inspires me to learn more about that place. I traveled to Auschwitz and Birkenau and couldn't wait to learn more about it. Your students will see and feel your passion and will be changed because of it.

8. Have you heard about Growth Mindset? It's a way to get your students thinking differently. I love it. It really does get your students to think and reflect...and to not give up when the going gets tough. It's a whole new way of thinking. It not only helps them think about the current task but also will help them in their future. Here's a poster to share what it's all about.

TEN different ways to inspire and motivate your students. Turn your classroom into a place of inspiration and motivation...inspiring them to be the best that they can be.

I LOVE this "not yet" concept in this video. I am definitely going to teach my students NOT YET next year!


If you're looking for more Fixed vs. Growth Mindset activities, I have a set Growth vs. Fixed Mindset sort cards and wall display cards for your bulletin board. Give them the yellow word sort cards and have them sort or categorize them into fixed or growth statements. Then you can use the red fixed (red for STOP) and green growth (green for GROWTH or GO) cards for a bulletin in your classroom to remind students the difference between growth and fixed mindset statements.


TEN different ways to inspire and motivate your students. Turn your classroom into a place of inspiration and motivation...inspiring them to be the best that they can be.

9. Set high expectations for your students. Yes, I know all your students are not ready for what we have to teach them. Believe me, I know. But we have to believe in our students and believe that they can achieve it. If we don't believe in them, who will? Larry Bell wrote an article about this in Education World. I like his ideas. You can read it HERE.

10. Hang inspirational quotes and pictures in your classroom. Quotes and photographs can help trigger two things in our minds. When you pair a quote with a photograph it helps reach more than one place in the brain. I myself am a visual learner so seeing a picture or photograph really helps it sink in. 


TEN different ways to inspire and motivate your students. Turn your classroom into a place of inspiration and motivation...inspiring them to be the best that they can be.


How do you inspire your students? If you have an idea that I haven't shared, I would love to know what it is!



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

End of Year Activities

The testing season is over. No more cramming for THE big test.

Now what?

It's the end of the year, and you've still got to teach the kiddos and keep them thinking, learning, and creating.

I have put together this list of fun and engaging activities for the end of the year.

It's the end of the school year, and you need some new ideas for your classroom so you don't go crazy. Click here for 13 fun and engaging activities that your students will LOVE!


1. Math games - Put all of the main math topics that you've covered this year into a hat. Let each child pick a topic and create a board game on that topic. I have my students create at least 24 question cards (they need to be up to your standards, so you might want to check them after 1 or 2 questions) and a game board. It can be a fun themed game board like the jungle or circus. My students LOVED to make games like this!

2. Fractured fairy tales - Have the students choose a fairy tale. Then they rewrite the fairy tale, making it fractured. Change the characters, the setting, point of view, or plots. I'm sure you've heard of the The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. That's a fractured fairy tale. I did this years ago, and my students loved it! A couple of my students changed the setting to today's time, and they were hilarious. I had them create picture books with their fractured fairy tale and then present it to the class. Great fun!

3. Be the teacher - Brainstorm a list of all the topics that were covered this year. Have students choose one of the topics and create a lesson to teach it to the class. They have to create the lesson and the materials and then present it to the class. Have you ever heard of this before? Pretty profound.

90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from lecture.

4. ABC book - Create an ABC book on how to survive the 4th grade (or whatever grade/subject you teach). Come up with something for each letter of the alphabet and then illustrate it.

5. Classroom awards - Instead of buying awards for your students and having to choose them yourself, have your students come up with the awards (all positive of course). They will probably come up with some pretty creative awards, maybe ones you've never heard of. Then either they can vote for each student/award (every student should get one), or they can each choose who gets what and deliver them themselves. Makes it very personal when they do that.

6. Game day - Have your students bring in game boards and have some good game time. Game boards encourage bonding and problem solving. I grew up playing games, and many of our students today don't play games at home. They will love you for it!

7. Scrabble tournament - Put all those learned vocabulary words to good use! Bring in some Scrabble games and have a tournament. 

8. Literature circles and book clubs - Choose some books (4-6 books) and let your students choose a book to read. Students meet up with their book club and discuss the parameters....how many chapters to read, what they are going to discuss, etc. Give them the ownership and let them have fun with it.

9. Brochure - create a brochure for future students on how to survive the 4th grade (or whatever grade/subject you teach). Include what they need to know, what they will learn, tips, and advice.

10. Compliment day - Have students write their name at the top of a piece of paper. Pass the paper to the person next to them. That student starts at the bottom and writes a one line compliment. Encourage them to not focus on physical characteristics. Then they fold up the bottom of the paper, covering their words, and pass the paper to the next students. Another way I've done it is to have my students write all the students' names on a paper. They write a compliment next to each name. Then cut out each line. Call each student's name out and everyone brings them their compliment line. Students glue each compliment line onto a big piece of construction paper. Each student will go home with a page of compliments. What a way to build their self esteem!

11. Class Jeopardy - Create a class Jeopardy game together. Put students into groups, with each group having a different subject area (if you are self-contained). If not give each group a separate topic that was covered this year. Have groups create Jeopardy questions and answers for the class game and input them into a class Jeopardy powerpoint.

12. Reading/Math buddies - Team up with a younger or older class and practice reading or math. If you're an older class, your students can read with the younger ones. Teach your students to ask thinking and metacognition questions. They can even prepare some questions on cards. You can also play math games with the younger classes. Games for math facts would be perfect. Board games would even be great.

13. Memory book - Have your students create an end of year memory book on this school year. It's a great way to reflect on the school year, thinking of everything they have learned, the friends they have made, the accomplishments they have made, and all the wonderful memories. You can create your own, or I have one that you could use too. All you have to do is print and copy! Check it out HERE

It's the end of the school year, and you need some new ideas for your classroom so you don't go crazy. Click here for 13 fun and engaging activities that your students will LOVE!

I hope you have found at least one or two activities that you can use with your kiddos! 

Keep calm. School is almost over!




Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Fun reward system that students LOVE!

Revised post coming up!

I have totally revised my Star Bucks due to copyright laws and wanted to share the new version with you! I think they turned out pretty darn cute!

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I will be giving away ONE of these to a lucky winner! All you have to do is pin one the images below and then come back to this post and post your Pinterest link in the comments. Easy peasy! I will choose ONE winner one week from today which is Monday, May 2nd. Good luck!
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I am a firm believer in having a positive reward system. Even as an adult, I love to hear positive things from my supervisors and colleagues. Kids are the exact same way. They want to be rewarded. I'm sure you have rules and consequences for your classroom. But do you have a reward system? I personally cannot imagine teaching without one.

I have done many things as a reward system in the classroom. Passing out tickets (carnival tickets) where the students put their name/number on the back, merit money, etc.

A couple of years ago I came up with Star Bucks. They used the Star Wars characters, with each dollar denomination having a different character. To make it easier, I printed them out in colored paper, with each denomination having a different color. (Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, which means that we can no longer use any Star Wars clip art without violating copyright laws.) So...I totally revamped them with a space theme. Love the new clip art!

Star Bucks made my life easier. I never went back to another system.

STAR Bucks in the classroom? You bet! Star Bucks are fun and easy classroom economy system that kids love. Great for behavior, homework, and participation. Reinforces place value and responsibility as well. Perfect for the home too!

My students LOVED it! I passed out Star Bucks for great behavior, going above and beyond on their homework, coming to Open House or Meet the Teacher (I taught in Title 1 schools where it was tough to get parents to come), doing great on quizzes and tests, being respectful and helpful to one another, etc. Be creative!

Included are denominations from 1 Star Buck to 10,000 Star Bucks. Hey...you know you have those kids who will earn 10,000 Star Bucks by just being them! They are those students who always do the right thing. And why shouldn't they be rewarded?

STAR Bucks in the classroom? You bet! Star Bucks are fun and easy classroom economy system that kids love. Great for behavior, homework, and participation. Reinforces place value and responsibility as well. Perfect for the home too!

Now students can owe you bucks as well. Together as a class, come up with a list of "no no's" and how much each "no no" would cost.

Every Friday, my students could trade in their bucks at the bank. Star Bucks help reinforce place value too. Hey! You didn't know these were great for math too, right?

Once we had had Bank a couple of weeks, I chose 2-3 students to be the bankers. They took their job extremely seriously and it only helped to boost their math skills and confidence.

I also worked with my students to create a list of rewards that students could buy with their Star Bucks. I'm all about not spending any more money than I have to (if you're like any teacher I know, you spend hundreds of dollars already), so the rewards were all free. I also got some McDonald's toys from a friend of mine...her kids weren't playing with them anymore. I also let my students bring in things to sell. They loved that! I called it the student market, and they brought in books they had read, toys, things they had made...basically anything they wanted.

STAR Bucks in the classroom? You bet! Star Bucks are fun and easy classroom economy system that kids love. Great for behavior, homework, and participation. Reinforces place value and responsibility as well. Perfect for the home too!


Oh, and if I ever forgot Bank, they would let me know!!!

May the force be with you!


Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I Have Who Has

One of my students' favorite game is I Have Who Has. They literally BEG me to play it.

Teachers, your students will beg again and again to play this game....I Have Who Has! You can use it in any subject, and it is a quick and easy review. Click here for a FREE game template and a free math vocabulary game!

They beg again and again and again.

And it's fine with me!

Why do I love this game?

  • It's so easy to implement. 
  • It works in ANY subject. 
  • It's a quick and easy review. 
  • And kids love it! 

What more could you ask for in a game?

I have created a simple one-sheet template for I Have Who Has. It's perfect to print on card stock, cut out, and then keep in a baggie.

Teachers, your students will beg again and again to play this game....I Have Who Has! You can use it in any subject, and it is a quick and easy review. Click here for a FREE game template and a free math vocabulary game!

Click HERE for my free template in that you can use in your own classroom.

Do you teach math?
Teachers, your students will beg again and again to play this game....I Have Who Has! You can use it in any subject, and it is a quick and easy review. Click here for a FREE game template and a free math vocabulary game!

Click HERE for my free math vocabulary I Have Who Has game.

I use them often to review math facts in a quick couple of minutes. My students LOVED it and would beg to play again to beat their time.

I have addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and mixed facts, and I like to review them throughout the year. Even in our multiplication unit I like to review addition facts. You can check them out in my TPT store HERE.

Here is a pic of my multiplication I Have Who Has game.

Teachers, your students will beg again and again to play this game....I Have Who Has! You can use it in any subject, and it is a quick and easy review. Click here for a FREE game template and a free math vocabulary game!

Have you played I Have Who Has in your classroom?

What topics do you play I Have Who Has with?



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Math Problem Solving Strategies

We hope every year that our students will come to us being excellent problem solvers. Right?

Sadly, that's not the case. We have to teach them to be good problem solvers.

We can't just give them one strategy because one strategy doesn't work with every single problem.

So we teach them multiple strategies, so they can choose to best one for each problem.

Through research and seeing how my students process their thoughts, I have put together a list of 16 problem solving strategies.

Teaching multiple problem solving strategies in math is a must these days! Here is a comprehensive list of 16 problem solving strategies that you can start using tomorrow in your classroom!

Math Problem Solving Strategies
~ Draw a picture
~ Look for a pattern
~ Guess, check, and revise
~ Make a table or chart
~ Make it simpler
~ Make an organized list
~ Use logical reasoning
~ Work backwards
~ Act it out
~ Use a model
~ Use a number line
~ Part part whole
~ Use key words
~ Write a number sentence
~ Use objects or manipulatives
~ Make a flow chart

To teach these to my students, I show them a problem that would fit well for each strategy, and then we solve the problem together using that strategy. We do these in their notebooks, so they always have them to look back to.

I also created posters for each problem solving strategy to hang up in my classroom. Here are a few of them. I think they turned out pretty cute. You can find them HERE.

Teaching multiple problem solving strategies in math is a must these days! Here is a comprehensive list of 16 problem solving strategies that you can start using tomorrow in your classroom!

I included a half sheet for students to glue into their notebooks and a sheet where students can tell what their favorite strategies are.

Happy problem solving!

Oh, and by the way....I won't be able to blog for over a week. I'm going on a cruise to Key West and the Bahamas!

Bon voyage!



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.