Sunday, August 24, 2014

Earn Even MORE Cash for Your School With Shoparoo

Have you heard the news? Shoparoo is my favorite way to earn cash for my school and now the free iPhone and Android app has even more amazing features to support your school! The app also has a whole new look. 

Don't worry though, all of the basic features that you love are still there. The new version just has a LOT more ways for your school to earn some extra cash. Prepare to be amazed!

Painlessly earn CASH for your school with the new and improved Shoparoo app!

Kinder-Craze fans first learned about my great love for Shoparoo in this blog post a few months ago. You can read all about it, but basically Shoparoo allows users to painlessly earn cash for their school by  snapping a quick photo of their shopping receipts. That's it! Shoparoo keeps track of all receipts linked to your school and sends a check at the end of the school year. It's like box tops, but better because there is no counting, clipping, or shipping involved. It truly is painless. 

The New and Improved Shoparoo App

Here is a quick peek at the new look of Shoparoo. I will walk you through each of the screens step by step so you can see all of the new features.  
Painlessly earn CASH for your school with the new and improved Shoparoo app!
Once you have downloaded the FREE Shoparoo app, you can quickly set up an account and select the school you wish you support. The app's home screen provides and overview of how many Roo Points your school has earned so far this year. If you scroll down, the home screen also shows who has earned the most points in your grade level this month. 

That's right… Shoparoo now lets members designate a grade level. The grade level feature allows schools to boost motivation by setting up competitions between grade levels. I teach in a private school and jean days are a powerful motivational tool at my school. Imagine how many more scans our school would receive if students asked all of their relatives to join in the cause and scan their receipts to help their class earn an extra jean day!

Painlessly earn CASH for your school with the new and improved Shoparoo app!
The Shoparoo app provides an overview of the top earners for the entire school, as well as within your designated grade level. Users that don't wish to make their data public to the school have the option to sign up as "anonymous" users. 

Painlessly earn CASH for your school with the new and improved Shoparoo app!

Scanning receipts is still easy in the new Shoparoo app. Use your phone's camera and take a photo of your receipt in the app and push the "Snap" button. If your receipt looks good, push the "done" button when you are finished. It's that simple!  

Painlessly earn CASH for your school with the new and improved Shoparoo app!

Start Scanning Non-Grorcery Receipts

The new Shoparoo is no longer limited to grocery receipts. You can now scan receipts from restaurants, department stores, hardware stores, even fast food chains. As long as you have an itemized receipt with a time and date stamp, you can scan it! 

Non-grocery receipts are sort of like bonus receipts in the system. These receipts do not earn Roo points, but they are entered into Shoparoo's monthly sweepstakes to earn $1,000 in cash for your school. Each month, Shoparoo will choose a new winner from the non-grocery receipt entries. You can see photos from sweepstakes winners if you follow Shoparoo on Instagram. I REALLY want my school to win one of those giant checks.  

You can also follow Shoparoo on Facebook and Twitter!

The Shoparoo app allows users to easily see how many sweepstakes entries your school has earned this month. 

Painlessly earn CASH for your school with the new and improved Shoparoo app!

Check the Status of Your Scanned Receipts

You an always check the status of your receipt scans in the Shoparoo app. The little cart beside the receipt total indicates that it is a grocery receipt that earned Roo Points. The little blue ticket icon shows that this receipt serves as a sweepstakes entry. 

Painlessly earn CASH for your school with the new and improved Shoparoo app!

Earn Shoparoo Bonus Points

There are even more ways to earn extra Roo Points to support your school. Just tap the little "earn" tab at the bottom of the screen. Sometimes you can scan the barcode from a particular product you recently purchased to earn extra Roo Points. There are also quick survey opportunities (each survey is about 5 questions long and only takes 2 minutes to complete) and you can earn extra points by connecting Shoparoo to your facebook account to earn extra cash for your school.

Plus, if you upload a receipt for 5 consecutive weeks, you can start earning +5 extra Roo Points per receipt as a frequent user BONUS. 

Refer Your Friends

Want to earn some extra points in a big hurry? 
Invite your friends to join Shoparoo

You earn 150 Roo points each time someone signs up using your link. I embedded my own referral link in my previous blog post and earned 3,000 extra points for my school! You might not have a blog, but you do have email and facebook. Go ahead and invite your friends. You will earn 150 points for each person you refer and that person will automatically earn 100 points for their school just for signing up. It's win-win! 

Painlessly earn CASH for your school with the new and improved Shoparoo app!

Referring your friends is easy. You can email or text them right through the app. Or, you can use word of mouth to tell them about the app and provide your friends with your personal referral code. Just click on the "invite friends" button in the "earn" screen to get your personal referral code or contact friends through the app. 

Be The First to Support Your School and Earn $10

Shoparoo has extended a very special offer for Kinder-Craze fans that are pioneer supporters of their school. If you are the very first member of your school community to sign up for Shoparoo, you can earn $10 immediately for your school (that's the equivalent of 5,000 Roo Points!). Just use the code KINDER100 when you create your account. Download the Shoparoo app from iTunes or Google Play and push the "I Have a Code" button when the app opens. 

Painlessly earn CASH for your school with the new and improved Shoparoo app!

If people at your school already have an account, don't worry. You won't be able to scoop up the $10 bonus, but you will earn 100 Roo Points automatically just for signing up.
Painlessly earn CASH for your school with the new and improved Shoparoo app!

Are you ready to start earning money for your school? 
Download the Shoparoo app and start scanning receipts today! 

If your school already uses Shoparoo to use the raise money, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment and share your story! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Back to School Organization with Avery Products, FREE Binder Covers and a GIVEAWAY

Gearing up for back to school is hard work and it can be seriously stressful. Especially when papers are getting thrown your way all day long. I have a ton of forms, lists, procedural instructions, assessment paperwork and other important information that flows into my classroom for weeks! It all starts with staff meetings and professional development before school begins and it lasts throughout the entire school year. This year I vow to have control over every single important piece of paper. I will know exactly where each important piece of paper is filed for quick easy, and stress-free access at a moment's notice. You can do the same with a little help from Avery products and some really cute FREE editable binder covers from yours truly. 

FREE editable binder covers

When Avery contacted me this summer to share organizational tips and inspiration using their products, I was thrilled. You already know how obsessed I am with Avery labels. I also use their binders, dividers, and binder pockets for quick access to all my essential school documents. Avery generously sent a boatload of materials my way to get started and I went right to town! 

My shipment included several different colors of Avery's Clear Cover Durable View Binders. I like this binder style because they are durable enough to hold up in my kindergarten classroom. I also adore the bright colors! 

FREE editable binder covers

Class Information Binder

Let's begin with my "Class Information" binder. This binder is like my second bible. I have it with me at school each day and I carry it home every night. It contains all of my student contact information, schedules, parent volunteers, calling tree information, and so much more. Organizing this binder was my first priority.
This binder is essentially separated into two parts: school information and student information. I used Avery's 11200 Style Edge Insertable Plastic Dividers. I flip through these pages often and I needed something durable that would hold up for a few year's worth of flipping. I love these dividers because they are made of a lightweight translucent plastic. These will hold up much better than traditional paper dividers. I also love the rounded style of the divider labels and their beautiful bright colors. 

Creating the labels for my dividers was easy with Avery Templates. I was able to design my labels with just a few clicks using their free, Mac-friendly online software.  
tips to help teachers stay organized

The second part of my Class Information binder is dedicated to information about students. I send home a student questionnaire during the first week of school. This form contains parent contact information, allergies information, special family circumstances, and more. I separate this section of my binder by student using Avery's 11129 Ready Index Durable Table of Contents Dividers. These numbered dividers are AWESOME. Like so many teachers, I assign a number to each of my students. That child's information is stored below the corresponding numbered divider. 

teacher organization for back to school

FREE editable binder coversBe Prepared for Extra Practice

When I notice that one student is struggling with a skill or concept that the rest of the class has mastered, I often assign that child extra practice as a homework assignment. The homework isn't intended to be punitive and the last thing I want to do is bog down a struggling student with too much work. Often, these extra practice sheets are just a half page long so the student can gain some quick practice, then get back to enjoying childhood.

I keep all of these half sheets of paper organized using one of Avery's Protect & Store mini binders. It is half the size of a regular binder (only 5.5x8.5") and is the perfect way to store all of those pre-printed half sheets of paper for easy access to my extra practice pages. 

FREE editable binder covers

At my school, proper handwriting formation is a part of the curriculum. If I notice that a child routinely struggles with the same letter, I send home a half sheet of paper with a little extra practice. I go through many of these half sheets in a week, so I have them all prepped and stored in one of my Avery mini-binders. I used Avery's 16180 Write-On Plastic Dividers to separate the binder by letter for quick access. Now if I see that a child needs to work on a certain letter, I can move the practice page out of my binder and into a child's folder within a matter of seconds. 

teacher tips to stay organized this school year

FREE editable binder covers

Easy Assessment Organization

Assessment is a big part of any teacher's life. For Kindergarten teachers, assessments are what we do. I have a separate binder completely dedicated to my student assessments. I use a 1.5" binder, but I usually have a small class (only ten students last year). Most teachers would probably need a 2" or 3" binder to hold all of their assessment materials. 

In the front of my assessment binder, I once again used Avery's 11129 Ready Index Durable Table of Contents Dividers to create a section for each student within the binder. The set goes up to 31, but I only use 11 of them since I have 11 students enrolled in my class this year.

organize your student assessment tools and data… great tips

Recording sheets for all of my assessments are included behind each students' tab. 

tips to stay organized this school year

The back of my binder contains the materials I use to assess my students. I print all of these materials on cardstock and laminate them so they last through frequent reuse. Avery's 16179 Durable Write-On Plastic Dividers with Pockets were perfect for this task. The plastic pockets are durable and hold all of my materials. I can quickly pull them out without having to open and close the rings on my binder. Every minute counts when I am running assessments and I love how convenient the pockets are. 

great tips for organizing student assessment tools and data

Are you looking to start your own assessment binder but don't know where to begin? 
Here are a few FREE resources from some of my favorite bloggers:

Mandy's Dolch Pre-Primer Word Assessment Pack from A Special Kind of Class
Simply Kinder's Monster Data Book

My assessment sheets are created around my school's kindergarten report card. If you are looking to revamp your schools' report card, this FREE report card template from DeeDee Wills is a great place to start. 

Quick and Easy Access to School Forms

If your school is anything like mine, you probably have a form for EVERYTHING. I gathered copies of the forms I use most often and organized them into an entire binder dedicated to managing all of them. 

FREE editable binder covers

For this project, I used Avery's 81824 Two Pocket Insertable Plastic Dividers. Master copies of each form were placed within the corresponding labeled pocket, and additional copies are stored behind the pocket. I never want to write on my last blank form. By placing master copies in the pockets, I can always be certain that I won't use my master copy by mistake.

tips for organizing all of those school forms

Download Free Editable Binder Covers

Now that you have been treated to a little organizational inspiration, I'm sure you are eager to start organizing all of that paperwork in your classroom so you can start the new school year on the right foot. Get organized in style with my FREE Editable Binder Covers. This freebie includes all of the binder covers I used in my own classroom, coordinating spines, and an editable PowerPoint file. This allows you to design matching covers and spines for all of your classroom needs.

FREE binder covers and coordinating spines to get you organized for Back to School

Click the cover image below to download your FREE Binder Covers!
FREE binder covers and coordinating spines to get you organized for Back to School

Avery Products Giveaway

I have even MORE great news to share with you!
You can enter to WIN some great organizational goodies from Avery.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*This was a sponsored blog post. I received products and compensation from Avery.
As always, this post reflects my 100% honest opinion :)

FREE binder covers and coordinating spines to get you organized for Back to School

Which Avery products are your favorite to use in the classroom?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Get Ready for School with the Teacher Style Giveaway!

Summer is quickly coming to an end and I have teamed up with some of my favorite teacher-bloggers to help you go back to school in style - TEACHER STYLE!

April, Melanie, Adrianne, and I have an amazing prize pack lined up for you. Are you ready to hear all the goodies that are up for grabs?!? You are going to LOVE them!

$50 Kate Spade gift card
$50 LOFT gift card
$50 Target gift card

But that's not all! You could also win some very stylish prizes from chic boutiques to help you put your best food forward on those first days back in the classroom.

A trendy chevron tote from Oh Baby Designs
A beautiful infinity scarf from Cents of Style
A "Brave" bracelet (because we all need a little extra bravery when we reenter the classroom) from Lisa Leonard Designs.

Enter to win Kate Spade, Target and LOFT gift cards in the Teacher Style GIVEAWAY!

One lucky winner gets to win it all, so hurry up and enter before time runs out!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wishing you a very STYLISH start to the 2014-2015 school year!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Perfectly Layered Bulletin Board Borders: A Tutorial

Do you love the look of layered borders on a classroom bulletin board but are stumped about how to get them just right? Did you try the "staple and tuck" method, only to end up with creases all over your beautiful borders? Today am thrilled to bring you a video AND photographic tutorial guiding you step-by-step through creating a beautifully layered border for your bulletin boards without having to pull your hair out in frustration. 
Are you ready? Let's do it!

how to layer bulletin board borders like a pro

This tutorial contains photos and videos to deliver the most complete information for your needs. Watch the video and then scroll through the photos in the rest of this post. You will become an expert in creating perfectly layered borders by the time you are finished. 

To begin, you will want to measure all of your classroom bulletin boards ahead of time and pre-cut the desired colors of border to fit each edge. Be sure to add an extra 6" or so onto each strip that you cut. You want to have the extra space for lining up your scallops. Once you are ready, lift one edge of the top layer and place a thin line of hot glue on top of the bottom border. Don't do the whole border. You are just setting this up and the little bit of hot glue will hold your positioning.

tips for creating perfectly layered borders around your classroom bulletin board
An easy way to layer multiple borders around your classroom bulletin board

After a few of the stacked borders are glued in place, flip the entire strip over so you are looking at the back of the borders. Go ahead and lift the entire unglued portion up and place a thin layer of glue along the entire bottom layer then set the lifted piece on top of the glue, being careful to lay the top piece in a straight line. 

An easy way to layer multiple borders around your classroom bulletin board

I know a few people will probably wonder:
"Why on Earth is she flipping the border over? Wouldn't it be easier to just glue the whole thing while looking at the top of the borders?" 

Yes it is possible to do all of the gluing while looking at the colored side of the border. But something about the scallops plays tricks on your eyes and makes it more difficult to ensure that you are applying the top layer in a straight line. I have had far more success flipping the border over to apply the glue. Remember, the look we are trying to achieve is PERFECTLY SPACED LAYERS. 

An easy way to layer multiple borders around your classroom bulletin board

Once you have two layers of border glued together, you can repeat the steps as many times as you desire. Start each new layer face-up and glue 6-8" along one edge to hold your spacing. Then flip the whole thing order and let the straight lines guide you as you glue the rest of the strip. Many of my classroom board have 4-5 layers of border. It works even when you have that many pieces. 

An easy way to layer multiple borders around your classroom bulletin board
An easy way to layer multiple borders around your classroom bulletin board

If you accidentally glue a border crooked or have any other mishaps along the way, just give a gentle tug to separate the glued layers. If you used a thin line of hot glue, they will come apart (even if the glue has dried). Reposition your strips of border and apply a new line of hot glue to re-adhere the strips. This project is very forgiving of mistakes. 

An easy way to layer multiple borders around your classroom bulletin board

Photos and video by BTW Photography. Brian Weitzel from BTW Photography is one of the most talented people I know and I was so pleased to hand the camera off to Brian and his assistant, Eric for this tutorial. Thank you gentlemen!

Hanging Your Perfectly Layered Borders

Once your borders are finished, they are ready to hang! I use staples to attach the pieces just like any other bulletin board. Sections of border that are only a few feet long are very easy to hang. I created several faux-bulletin boards around my classroom and trimmed them with layered border as well. In those spaces, I used hot glue or packing tape to attach the borders to the paper backing. Both adhesives worked just fine.

An easy way to layer multiple borders around your classroom bulletin board

If you find yourself with REALLY long pieces of border (like the ones you see on my classroom alphabet wall), I highly recommend having some friends help you hold the border while you staple it. For this particularly bulletin board, my mom and another teacher at my school held help me lift the the very long section of border without bending and creasing it. Then I grabbed a stapler and quickly attached the layered border to my board while they held it in place. It can be a little stressful to hang pieces of border this big, but don't worry. With help, it look less than 10 minutes to hang the border around my entire bulletin board.

If you look carefully at the birds in my classroom, you will see that the corners are sort of woven together. To achieve this look, I  the border around the bulletin board but did not staple the ends of each strip to the board. The ends of each strip were hot glued together, but they easily tugged apart to separate each layer.  Start from inner layers and weave the edges to create the desired look, applying hot glue to set the corners in place.

tutorial for creating beautifully layered borders around a classroom bulletin board

Where to Shop

I trimmed all of the bulletin boards in my kindergarten classroom with Bordette. I love it because it is bold, cheap, and comes in a rainbow of colors. You can purchase Bordette on Amazon or from Schoolgirl Style. The silhouettes of children playing that are on display in my window, pennant banners in my classroom, and even the sign above my desk that says "Miss Manore" all came from Schoolgirl Style. The Schoolgirl Style online store is the best place to stock up on beautiful decorations and Schoolgirl Style blog provides limitless classroom inspiration.

Maria Manore from Kinder-Craze

Find out More

Have a question about something you saw in my classroom? 
You will find answers in one of these blog posts:

Take a Tour of My Classroom

Take a peek into every nook and cranny of my kindergarten classroom with my 2013 classroom tour. You will also find a shopping list so you can track down materials to recreate my space in your own learning environment.  

Spray Painted File Cabinets

Fans always ask about my bright yellow file cabinets. I painted them. Read more to discover step by step directions and essential tools for painting your own cabinets.

Silhouettes of Children Playing

Don't you just love the beautiful silhouettes that are displayed above my classroom windows? These cuties can be found throughout the room. Read all about them in this blog post

Brightly Colored Alphabet Wall

The alphabet wall you see behind me is part of the Letter of the Week study we do in my classroom. Each letter is a collage of pictures beginning with that sound. Discover how I use the alphabet wall in the classroom and download a FREE template to help you create your own alphabet wall. 

Word Wall Printables

The brightly colored cards you see beside the letters on my alphabet wall are kindergarten sight words. The alphabet wall in my classroom doubles as our word wall. Read more about how I use color to help students master sight words and download FREE sight word labels to create your own word wall cards.  

Shelf Storage Bins and Labels

Aren't the brightly colored bins not the shelf behind me beautiful? They are my favorite way to store all of those necessary teacher materials and they look so much nicer than stacks of paper. Read all about how I stay organized with Classroom Supply Labels and storage bins in this blog post

Share Your Thoughts

Before you go, I would love to hear what you think! Would you like to see more tutorials like this one? Do you have any specific projects that you would like to see me present on? Do you enjoy blog posts with video or would you prefer that I just stick to the basics of text and photos?

 I create all of my content with you, the readers, in mind. Please take a moment to leave a comment telling me what kind of content you prefer.
Thank you so much. xoxo

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