Thursday, May 30, 2013


First, I must share my excitement with everyone!! My school district just notified me today that I have been chosen to receive the "Certificate of Autism Teaching Excellence" award!! They'll be presenting me with the award next week! I am absolutely ELATED and speechless! I literally cannot even believe it! WOW! It's a great day at the Bender Bunch!!!

Still counting down the school days with only 4 1/2 days left and here is what I've been working on! 

With a daughter graduating this year, I have been on a tight budget......(boy is graduation costly for parents)! So I decided to pull out all of the things I've been hoarding and accumulating the last couple years for my end of year gifts and try to spend as little as possible! 

I've had these popcorn containers for at least 2-3 years, so decided I should use them! In them is a bag of microwave popcorn, box of Reeces Pieces, and a Gripz cookie pack! Costed less than $20.

You can get the labels {here} for free!

I bought these Seuss bags almost a year ago at Target dollar spot. Had no idea at the time how I was gonna use them, so what better time than now? Plus, my class theme was Seuss this year and now that I won't be using this theme next year.....what better time to weed all this stuff out??

In the bags, went the popcorn boxes above and all of this.........
More stuff bought at Target dollar spot

New books I have accumulated over the years and had been saving for awards of some sort, and my Jack Prelutsky class set poetry books I bought five years ago and only used a couple of times!

These pocket reference books I got free about 5 years ago! Only my higher functioning students got these in their bags.

These lovely bookmarks I made! I must give FULL credit to Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics from whom I stole this poem and design from! She made these for her students and I just loved them! The star clipart is from Krista at Creative Clips. Love her clipart designs.
Fun summer recipes for making silly putty, bubbles, playdough, and clay.

And wah-lah............there you have it!
My end of year student gift bags loaded with goodies for less than $20 bucks!

My school also celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week all month long! Each team was responsible for choosing a week in May to do something special for the staff! This was my teams' week. Today we hosted a luncheon for the staff and here are the invitations I made and put in everyone's mailboxes. 

Love how they turned out!!

I've also been doing a little organizing and creating for next year! 

Don't know about you, but I am sick of this!

This traditional filing method is not working for me. This is how I've been storing worksheets and printables. Although I do have a drawer for math and a drawer for Language Arts, the resources are unorganized and some folders have 30-40 copies of the SAME worksheet in them! Talk about a waste of space!!!

I recently decided to organize these files into binders to include ONLY the master of each resource! This is still a work in progress that just began, but so far I have filled binders for these categories:

Reading Comp.
Sight words practice

I have not started the math binders yet, and still need to make binder covers, but I'm already loving this new method!

Luckily I have a little helper to assist me with this project!!!

And today was a baby shower and I made this for the mother to be!

Looks like milkshakes and icecream, right?

 It's 6 onesis', 8 baby washcloths, and a baby spoon.....oh....and a little brown yarn! Love it.....and the mother to be did too!!!

In between, I started working on next year's class decor and completed my new job chart for next year!

I'm using a neon bright pastel colored theme next year! I'll use velcro to affix names to these and easily rotate jobs each week. I only have 8 class jobs, but this set includes 17 jobs! You can get it {here}! I'm also happy to change the background paper and make this in colors to fit your theme and type your students' names on the labels. 
Just send me a request!

Thanks for stopping by! 
Here's another {freebie} for you!

Hope you found some things you can use! If you're on summer break, enjoy. If you're not yet on break like me.....hang in's coming!!!


  1. Precious! I'm with you on traditional filing...I change things so much from year to year that those files end of being useless anyway. I finally got rid of my file cabinet all together. Have a great day!
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. Congratulations on your Certificate of Autism Teaching Excellence award!!! That's so awesome!!! :o) I'm trying to figure out how to get rid of my files in my file drawers...I have SO MUCH STUFF!

    A is for Apple B is for Blog

  3. LOVE your baby shower gift! I think I might have to steal that idea!


    Exploring Elementary
    Fourth Grade

  4. I have also gone to a binder method and love it. One thing I did for reading comprehension is make binders for each topic off of and printed out their reading passages based on comprehension topic for each grade level. Now, no matter what I am teaching, I can differentiate up or down to meet my students needs without a lot of extra searching.

  5. I am in love with that baby shower idea!!! SUPER CUTE! :)
    The Hands-On Teacher in First!


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