Throw Kindness Like Confetti {a bulletin board freebie}

Looking for an awesome bulletin board you can leave up all year?

I’ll just be honest, I’m not great at keeping up with bulletin boards.  I have a Pinterest board full of beautiful ideas, but when it comes to actually putting them together it’s just always the last thing on my list.  So I always love a good board that doesn’t need to be changed regularly.

I put up this board in a little hallway that leads to the library and I love how it turned out!


You can grab the gold glitter letters free by clicking here!  This file is designed to print on regular 8.5 x 11 paper. Want to enlarge the letters to fit your board?  Find the tutorial here!

For the confetti, I used this perfect glitter paper from Jen Hart Designs.  I printed each image file as an 8×10 image and used the paper cutter to cut them into squares and rectanges – easy peasy!


Posted in bulletin boards, Classroom | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What Are Brag Tags? How Do I get Started? {Plus A Birthday Freebie!}


It’s the first birthday of The Primary Punchbowl and we’re celebrating with a blog hop full of celebration and fun freebies!

So, Brag Tags:  you’ve probably seen them popping up all over…Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, Instagram…maybe you’re using them or maybe you’re wondering “What in the world are people doing with these things?!?”

How to get started with brag tags

The short answer is that brag tags are a positive rewards system for the classroom.

Students build a collection of tags for showing positive behaviors in the classroom and around the school.  My classroom students collect them on necklaces and my reading students have binder rings on their bags.

Getting started could seem a little overwhelming, but I promise it’s not!

Pick the tags you want to use and print them on card stock.  This is where HP Instant Ink is a total lifesaver!


Laminate your pages and cut them out – I don’t cut before laminating.  It’s enough cutting already.

Cut out your tags and if you’re planning on using rings or necklaces, hole punch each one.


Now, to get them organized.  This tool box is totally perfect.  You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.



I just tape a tag in the front of each drawer so I can easily see the options.


When I had a classroom, each student had a necklace that they kept in the classroom and we displayed on a bulletin board.

Brag Tab Board

Now that I’m teaching only reading intervnetion and working with small groups in their classrooms each student has a ring that they keep on their reading bag.


I still use my toolbox, but I also keep a huge ring of tags on my group bag to pass out in groups.


Now….what do brag tags have to do with celebrations?

Well, I use them to celebrate my students in a few different ways.

I use brag tags to reward my students for academic accomplishments: moving up to a new text level, learning all their letters, sounds or sightwords.  When I present these to my students I made a huge deal out of it!  We gather as a class and the student comes up in front of the class to be awarded their tag.  Then we celebrate with a class cheer for each student.  They totally eat it up and it makes their accomplishments feel so important.  Plus, my class was so motivated to earn these tags they would practice extra sightwords and do extra homework to master the skills they needed to earn tags!


I also give my students brag tags to celebrate holidays and classroom events.  Angie Olson from Lucky Little Learners is the brag tag queen and has a great set of holiday tags!

And finally to my freebie for you…Birthday Brag Tags!  Click below to grab yours now!


You can grab my Pokemon and Mario Brag Tag collections (plus everything else in my store!) at 20% off this weekend!  Click here to shop!


Keep hopping along and grab your next freebie from Elsa at The Whole Wheat Class!

Keep hopping along to enter to win a $50 gift card from The Primary Punchbowl!




Posted in Classroom, freebie, my products | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Winner Wednesday {The Great Debate: Pig vs. Wolf}

Winner Wednesday Header

Hello, October!  I’m excited to kick off my favorite month by linking up with Jennifer from A Dab of Glue Will Do and Sara from Sara J Creations for Winner Wednesday!

This month I’m sharing my newest product which is perfect for the upcoming election season…with all of the election process with none of the politics!


This is an 8 day literacy and social studies mini unit focusing on character traits, comparing and contrasting texts and the election process.

0448422883     0140544518

Start by reading your favorite version of The Three Little Pigs and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka.  Then investigate character traits of the Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf and compare and contrast the two books.


Next, students can select which character they believe is telling the truth and write their opinion from the point of view of the character.


Now get ready for the big election!

First, all voters need to register.


The campaign starts with “yard signs” to display around your classroom or school.

wolf-campaign-sign wolf-campaign-sign-black-and-white pig-campaign-sign pig-campaign-sign-black-and-white

With the campaign underway, it’s time for the candidates to debate!  Use the debate question cards to host a classroom debate – complete with wolf or pig hats so students can dress the part.

 black-and-white-debate-cards color-debate-cards

                  pig-hat wolf-hat

 On voting day, use the included voting place signs to set the scene (in full color or black and white).


Here’s my classroom door with the “Vote Here” sign.


I attached two file folders to create a private voting booth.


When voters arrive they check in and sign the register.

Cast their ballotts….


and graph the results.  Then write an opinion about the classroom results.


Enjoy the stories over and over in your listening center with QR codes to watch each story read aloud via SafeShare.

               black-and-white-qr-codes   qr-codes-color

Want to win this product?  Click below to enter though 11:59pm on October 5th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click here to see this product in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  


Happy voting!


Posted in Classroom, my products, social studies | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Print and Go Sub Plans for Small Group Reading Intervention


Hi, reading teacher friends!  I have my first sick kiddo of the school year, so I thought it was the perfect time to share my sub tub {and a freebie} with you!

Since you never know when you’re going to wake up to a child with a fever, or you just don’t want to worry about sick plans when you’re not feeling well, I keep a stash of easy to implement plans ready to go!  And this seriously couldn’t be easier to get organized.


Here’s what I keep in my tub:


Plans and schedule that includes student names and classrooms.


A variety of articles from  If you haven’t registred for a free account on Read Words yet, go now!  They have hundreds of articles, on a variety of interesting topics, and on a variety of levels from Kingergarten up!  Each article comes with comprehension questions that are perfect for teaching students to refer to the text to find the answers.   I use these with my classroom groups, too.  Expecially when I’m starting to transistion my firsties to writing about their reading since it gives them lots of support.

 I have picked articles at an independent level for all my groups so that it doesn’t matter what article the sub selects for each group, they will be able to easily read the article and can focus on answering the questions.  I make 15 copies of each article and include them in the bin.


Master copies, just in case the sub wants to use the same article for each of my 5 groups or so I can easily replace the articles after I’m out for a day.

 I organized everything in file folders and store it in a file box.


I store the box on an easily visible shelf in my room, but put it on my desk if I’m expecting to be out for the day.  Here’s the view from my classroom door:


Now for the freebie…You can download my small group sub plans by clicking here.

How do you stay organized for a substitute?


Posted in freebie, literacy intervention, LLI | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Print your own Posters! {a fun bulletin board tip}

Pop over to The Primary Punchbowl to see how I’m enlarging files to print my own posters and add to my bulletin boards!



Posted in bulletin boards, Classroom | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment