Bubbly Blues and Seaside Splash Giveaway

Blogging, here at Primary Graffiti, has opened a lot of exciting doors over the past three years. Some amazing opportunities include becoming a monthly columnist for Really Good Stuff in 2011-2012, Edu Blog Reviewer for Learning Resources and Lakeshore Learning from 2012 to Current, and a Creative Design Partner with Carson Dellosa in 2014. 

I was honored to be among five teacher bloggers selected to participate in a Creative Design Summit this past January. 

Within weeks of being contacted, we were diving into our assigned collections and flying up to North Carolina to stage our collection for a photo shoot.  My go to places for shopping on a budget were Target and Hobby Lobby! You can find most of the nautical themed items from Hobby Lobby.  The curtains and pillows are from Target.

Living on Fleming Island, I knew immediately that I wanted Seaside Splash.  The bright ocean colors were a perfect fit.  As I dove deeper into planning, I found out the coordinates to Seaside Splash were Bubbly Blues.  Drawing on local inspiration, I was confident I could create a whimsical design.


The above image is taken from the lookbook with white circles that are interactive online.  You can click the image to link over to the lookbook.  Once there, click the white circles to receive detailed information on various products.

One of the most frustrating and rewarding transformations was the bulletin board.  Aren't they always?  I'm a perfectionist with a slightly OCD personality which is a disaster in the making. :) I can't explain how many times I changed my background colors to meet the needs of my vignette. 

As you can see, the board turned out great! Or maybe I'm biased.  To ensure my bulletin board had extra pizazz, I combined two dimensional and three dimensional objects.  The turtle and whale cutouts are glued to some styrofoam craft boards which gives the illusion of a shadow.  I used cutouts from the Whale to Success bulletin board set and glued different animals on a colored clothespin.  In additional to the set, I purchased netting and starfish from Hobby Lobby to make the board feel a bit more authentic.  Combining the Bubbly Blues Boarder gave my board the needed contrast.

Pom-Poms are all the rage in a primary classroom.  Our kids are such visual learners.  It's easy to identify locations in the room based off of color or element.  If you walk into my classroom, each pom-pom identifies a team by color.  To add a little more excitement, I used the assorted colorful cutouts from the Seaside Splash collection to accent the poms.  In addition, I replaced the generic string with decorative ribbon from Hobby Lobby! 

Here's a little secret about me, I went to design school and worked for a designer for three years.  With a little background knowledge, I know a few key pointers to help you get started!  Planning a new design can be overwhelming.  When purchasing your materials online, keep in mind the colors are not always true to the picture.  Find a local educational store that sells the materials and take a peek at the collection in person.  I had samples and laid them out.  Once I had in mind the colors in the packet, I turned my attention to the main focal point of my design.  In the case of this vignette, I decided to make my focal point the carpet and reading area.

Keeping my theme in mind, I went on a hunt for a nautical rug.  When I stumbled across this rug from IKEA, I was instantly inspired.  It reminded me of a clown fish. The colors were spot on with the Seaside Splash collection. The orange became my primary color in the design.  My next step would be to find coordinating colors that would be found throughout.  With Bubbly Blues as the coordinating collection, I knew blue with be an accent color.  I would primarily use blue in the design elements. I played around with a few additional colors and knew instantly green would have to be in my design.  The two colors reminded me of the water and seaweed. Having a color scheme helps guide all other decorating decisions.  Note: Don't be scared of patterns!  I'm no expert but I'm aware of what is pleasing to me.  I work to have a mixture of sizes so it's not overwhelming to the eye.  

 Mini Chalkboards found at Hobby Lobby.

When designing the storage shelves, I used the assorted colorful cutouts from the Seaside Splash collection to add a little decorative detail to an otherwise plain fabric drawer.  These tags can be labeled with supplies to identify the objects within.  Using buckets to hold manipulatives gave the design the added spice!

Included in the Bubbly are various supplies to keep you organized.  The plan book, grade book, awards, notepad, file folders, lettering, calendar, etc. will add a fun little pop to any desktop. 

Below are several resources that didn't make the lookbook but are included in the giveaway.  I created a communication board with their jumbo library pouches.  Jumbo craft sticks with Seaside Splash Two Sided Decoration worked wonders for keeping students accountable during arrival.
 The behavior chart was 'Oh So Cute'.  Placing the large bulletin board set on styrofoam cutouts for added deminison will allow you to place student names, recorded on bubbles, on clips to attached to the fish display.

I couldn't be more excited about this collection and the design.  You ready for the cherry on top?  One lucky follower will receive the entire collection of Seaside Splash and Bubbly Blues with a value of nearly $200.  Wowzers!  I'm providing various options to ensure all followers have a way to enter! All are welcome to enter.

 As recently pointed out by my sweet friend Tanja at Journey of a Substitute Teacher.
I hope I make it rain money in Vegas the same way I managed to make it rain in the lookbook.

US residents {sorry, not my terms} can jump over to Carson Dellosa's website and enter to win the classroom of their dreams.  Good Luck!

Become Authors {Publishing Student Work}

I've had a few questions about my writing process so I thought I'd share my response here on my blog.  If you follow my Facebook Fan Page, you were kept up to speed in real time this past week.

We have writers workshop daily for 30 minutes.  I have an addition 30 minutes for literacy twice a week. I have to decide if working with additional small groups or extra writing time is needed. 

 Photo Credit: Addicted to Success

To ensure students write towards a specific goal, I have the kids work on papers a little over a week. By revisiting the story each day, students become familiar with the writing process and take ownership of their writing. 

We have come full circle by working on narratives again.  This process has allowed the kids to see their previous work and compare their growth. I started with Loreen Leedy's Look At My Book. The story breaks down the writing process. I only read a few pages at a time before students work independently. We started planning characters and settings Thursday, May 15th. 

On Friday, I continued with Leedy's pages on plans and how we organize our thoughts.  The kids completed a simple beginning, middle and end as a work time activity.

Monday May 19th, I reviewed a strong lead and read Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What is an adjective by Brian P Cleary. As a result, students have created their leads, describing characters and the setting. Once the lead was created, students began peer conferencing. 

Since the orientation of the paper is off, I have dictated his words.

One early morning in the summer, I got teleported to the year 1864 to a baseball field where the grass was as green as a lime. I met the smartest, funniest, strongest, and most athletic baseball player in the universe. His name was Ben. I felt like talking but he was in the middle of a game.

One spooky October night in the deepest parts of the ocean I flailed my arms fast to see the craziest, happiest, playful, and sometimes stupid Sponge Bob! I landed by a unique, orange house. I knocked on the door and he let me in.

One foggy night I went outside to go to my time machine. I went inside it and I saw a button that said Candy Land so I pressed it. It started to move. When it stopped, I opened the door and I saw this colorful land. It was the sweetest, sourest, sugariest, chocolatest, and yummiest place I ever saw in my whole life. I saw a Candy Kingdom and a Candy King. He was a leader. The smartest, the bravest, the nicest King. He was a ruler.

By Tuesday,  I tucked away Look at My Book by Loreen Leedy's book and reread another fabulous story from earlier this year entitled, Show Me A Story by Nancy Loewen. This book walks students, step by step, through the narrative process with a goose name Webster who doesn't want to fly in the V formation.

Since we had our characters and setting established, I read through the beginning for enjoyment. This book has a main story and then commentary that breaks down the writing development. My kids and I had a great discussion and most came to the conclusion that some stories might present a problem while others help the reader identify with a lovable character. 

At this point, the book introduces dialogue which was my stopping point. I pulled out old Traditional Homes magazines so students could find an image in which the kids could practice their own dialogue. They LOVE this activity! Once they understood dialogue, my students added their own commentary at the beginning of our stories. 

Below shows one student's development from the previous day.  The second paper is a new from a student who needs support.  As you can see, I have the student tell me their story verbally while I record their words in short hand on their plan.

One early morning in the summer, I got teleported to the year 1864 to a baseball field where the grass was as green as a lime. I met the smartest, funniest, strongest, and most athletic baseball player in the universe. His name was Ben. I felt like talking but he was in the middle of a game. He was playing pitcher! He threw the ball. The batter hit the ball. It was a foul ball and hit me in the eye. OUCH!!! "Are you ok?" said Ben. "Yah! I'm fine." I said. "He's alright, lets play some more ball." It was Ben's turn and he hit a home run. I asked him how to hit. He told me "keep your eye on the ball, lean forward, and bend your knees." When it was my turn to hit, I did what he said. I swang at the first pitch and hit the ball as hard as I could but he caught the ball and I was out.

In my basement I saw a deep portal that I transported through. I met a strong, loud and smart guy named King James. He was signing autographs in the busy and cheerful gym. I got James autograph to get his attention. "Hi, My name is Deshawn. Can I play basketball with you?" "YES!" said Lebron. Then I got a be number 40. I got to touch Birdman's Mohawk before being introduced to the team.

After my kiddos officially made it to the 7th day in our writing sequence, they were tickled to start publishing their work! I'm thrilled about the kids final product. We finished reading Loreen Leedy's Look at my Book with the pages on templates, art, and examples. 

This darling published her work in the shape of a shark 

One night I was dreaming that I was in the big, wet sea that is blue as the sky. I came face to face with a dangerous, strong, and mean foe that was a shark.

I was calling for help because the dangerous, strong and mean shark was coming after me. I had a bag of stuff that I can use under water to catch the shark. I was panicking and arms were flying around. There was a school of sharks and they are hungry. 

The sharks were coming after me and I yelled for help. The shark didn't get scared so I got out a black dart but I missed. Then I got my net. I swung the net over the shark and I caught the shark. I brought the shark to my house and I cooked it for dinner.

After a week of hard work, I have published authors! This bundle of sweetness wanted his picture shared (w/approval) so that everyone could see his work. I shared the start of his paper earlier this week. 

You'll see students who transported into Mario's World to race, Disney Infinity to slay bad guys with Jack Skeleton, turning into Elsa from Frozen, or capturing sharks in their dreams!

I'm sure your workshop is no different but if you have tips and tricks, leave a response in the comments!  I'd love to read about it.

With summer upon us, I have a fun read that my kids beg to hear. I started reading the best little book to my students called Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer by Ali Maier, a 4th Grade Teacher. Max and Maggie are precious twins. Mom is an English teacher and makes the kids alternate days writing in the journal. The kids heckle each other by doodling and adding commentary to the previous entry. Max words are bolded and is proclaimed by Maggie as the better student. Maggie dots every "I" with a heart and loves to doodle. This is an enchanting way to encourage summer writing and getting along. The final chapter of the book has various pages for the kids to start their own summer writing journal! 

 Click image above to view a video about the book.