August 23, 2011

Fill Someone's Bucket Today!

The most beautiful backyard bungalow!: I could seriously spend all summer here...
I confess. I am addicted to Pinterest. 
If you are not familiar with Pinterest it is a virtual bulletin board where people can pin anything.... 
pictures, recipes, quotes, ideas.

I love this one! Can't you just imagine curling up with a good book in a little bit of heaven like this.

I can spend hours looking at the pictures which cover everything from the sublime to the rediculous. 

Here are a couple of pins that I ran across last week that are great ideas for the beginning of school.

It says....
With love and helping hands
a child can accomplish anything.

I like this idea of writing down the things you want to discuss with your kids on the
first day of school (and the second and the third). 

If you are teacher getting ready for school,
 I am sure that you have lists upon lists. 
All you need is one more. 

 But, I like this....PROCEDURES.  
We all need to know the procedures and the rules!  

In the book Sanity Savers Sharon MacDonald writes...
Children want to please the important adults in their lives.
When they don’t, it is mostly because they don’t know how. 

At the beginning of the school year, many teachers take time to create class rules with the help of the children.

This is a good time to read the book,
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? 

The short book explains to students that we all carry an invisible bucket
in which we keep our feelings about ourselves.
When our buckets are full, we are happy; when they are empty, we are sad.

  • Children learn that when they fill a friend's bucket, they also fill their own bucket because it feels good to make others happy.

  • Kids can also be a bucket dipper. A bucket dipper is a person who hurts other people's feelings, essentially dipping into their invisible bucket.

  • Your class rules can be based on what fills a friend's bucket and what would dip his bucket. Kindness can be stressed.  Bullying can be discussed.
This is an adaptation of a pin made by first grade teacher, Jenne Otterness. 

A child can write an encouraging note and put it in the pocket of another child. 
The library pockets represent the buckets of the children. 

Since her room is decorated with brown, orange, and lime green
the Dots on Chocolate library pockets, letters, and border by CTP are perfect.

Have you filled someone's bucket today?

Saffron Chicken

Ooooo....I just found this on Pinterest. 
Now, if someone would just cook this for me for dinner
that would really fill my bucket!

August 19, 2011

Melanie's Carnival Theme


Melanie did it again.  She is amazing.  Go directly to her website to see what she has done with the Dots on Turquoise from CTP and her wonderful imagination!  

I wonder if she dreams in color!!!

Carnival Theme!

The inspiration for this adorable theme came from the Dots on Turquoise border from Creative Teaching Press. I just loved the color combinations used in this darling collection. The minute I saw the large polka dots, I envisioned a carnival theme with non-traditional carnival colors. Typically, you would see primary colors used in a carnival, but I LOVED the thought of creating a fresher, more updated carnival look using turquoise, red, lime green, and orange. The coordinating striped border instantly made me think of a carnival canopy with its scalloped design. When all of the colors are put together, you have a look that is fun and HAPPY!


CTP 1868 Dots on Turquoise 4" letters
CTP 1038 Dots on Turquoise  Border

 CTP 1040 Dots on Turquoise Stripes and Stitches Border

 Check out the entire room at

And check out all the Dots on Turquoise products at

August 16, 2011

Do you CAFE?

A few months ago we were exhibiting at IRA in Orlando. 
A teacher asked me, "Does CTP have anything for CAFE?" 
It first I thought...cheeseburgers and French fries,
but then I realized that was not the CAFE that she meant. 
The answer to her question is "Yes" and "No".

The Daily CAFE and the Daily 5 were conceived by
two real life sisters, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. 
Visit their website
for more information.
According to the website The Daily CAFE and The Daily 5 
provide a structure for fostering literacy independence
in the elementary grades.

CAFE is an acronym for
Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary

I have been visiting classrooms for the last week or so. 
(I love this time of year...everyone getting ready!) 
  I have noticed CAFE and Daily 5 in dozens of classrooms. 

The ideas for the implementation of
The Daily CAFE and The Daily 5 are copyrighted. 
You will have to go to the sisters' website for specific details. 
However,  lots of teachers are using CTP products to display
the terms CAFE and Daily 5
 and to track the students as they work through the processes.

While CTP does not CAFE...
with Dots on Turquoise we can
help you display it in a creative way.
Go to and search for Dots on Turquoise to see all the products used in these pictures.

These pictures are from Katie Huff,
second grade teacher in Keller, TX.
Katie CAFEs!
Below each component she has pictured some
prompts for the kids to use for that skill.

Katie's class generated some ideas to use when reading independently.

These pictures are from Tara Mounts,
fifth grade teacher in North Kansas City, MO.

Tara not only CAFEs but she also Daily 5s.

Tara teaches 5th grade so she adapts the way that she CAFEs. 
She says.....
On the CAFE board under each heading is blue paper.
For my class I will write strategies for each skill 
on sentence strips and post them there as we discuss them.
(check for understanding, re-read, etc...)
 In a regular classroom you would have students put their names on sticky notes and post their name under the heading where they are working
 (comprehension, accuracy, fluency, vocabulary).
My students will not do that because I have 3 classes and only 1 board.
I will have a separate management board for tracking where they are.
This board is for whole group instruction and introducing each strategy.
The Cafe board also has a space on the right
for anchor charts and or powerful words.

Tara's Writing Process Board
The kids' names are placed on the 10 X 10 cards
 according to where they are in the writing process.


 According to the Two Sisters...
 The Daily 5 is a structure
that  helps students develop the daily habits of
reading, writing and working with peers
that will lead to a lifetime of independent literacy

The Daily 5
Read to Yourself
Read to Someone
Work on Writing
Listen to Reading
Word Work

I talked to a teacher yesterday about how she uses The Daily 5.
Her kids use the Daily 5 to work independently and with peers
 while she is doing guided reading groups. 
She monitors to make sure that a child is not stuck on one thing...
like listening to reading every day.

As you can see teachers adapt The Daily CAFE and The Daily 5
to suit themselves and their individual situations. 

 CTP and Dots on Turquoise
can make them look good
while they are doing it!

August 6, 2011

Schoolgirl Style

Do these pictures excite you?

Do you want to know more?

Do you recognize the daisy border
and the dot letters from CTP?

Check out Melanie's  new blog!


August 1, 2011

Where Learning is an Adventure!

For the last couple of weeks CTP has been celebrating 12 Days of BTS with contests and prizes.  On the last day teachers were asked to show us their decorThis was one of my favorite entries.  It is from Debra White who teaches second grade in Idaho.  On her website she writes, "I want to influence children by awakening an excitement for knowledge and a life-long desire to learn."  Welcome to her classroom Where Learning is an Adventure.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Dots on Chocolate decor!!!

I found this Dots on Chocolate bulletin board set last year....
and then had to have it all!

CTP 1486 Classbook Bulletin Board

I did my entire classroom in the
Dots on Chocolate with fadeless brown butcher paper.

I layered the polka-dot borders with a solid light blue, pink, or green border underneath for accent.

I love the idea of making the boards  one color.
It creates a classroom with continuity, less distracting/over-stimulating.

I also had a "Magic Tree House" theme that went perfectly with the woodsy brown color. My husband built me a tree house reading loft with the rope ladder that was suspended from the ceiling.

All the students in the entire school LOVED it!

I added a polka-dot rug for my Morning Meeting/Calendar corner for the kids to sit on.  The rug matched perfectly also, but cost me a small fortune. Shhhh.....don't tell my husband!

All of my cushions, beans bags, and pillows were either the orange, lime green, blue, or pink. This was honestly the first year that I received endless compliments on my classroom.

They thought the brown woodsy feel was rather soothing.

I think teachers, like parents, are ready for a change from the traditional
red, green, yellow, and blue.

I have lots of pictures....on my class website.
(I loved the pictures of the kids and well as the room. It is worth a visit!)

I selected a few to share!


Debra White :)

At CTP we call this a Designer Classroom.  It looks like one Martha Stewart designed! You can be a designer too. Visit and do a quick search for Dots on Chocolate.  SWEET!

If chocolate is not your thing (I can't imagine!) you might try our other designer looks....Poppin' Patterns and Dots on Turquoise.

Show me your pictures.  Send them to