I've been a They Might Be Giants fan for ages...  I've even played TMBG for my class:

We've had illness galore in the Hello house, and this song has been stuck in my head.  The best way to get rid of an earworm is to share it, so I'm sharing it with all of you...

I'm sorry and you're welcome.  Enjoy!
I've been having fun creating my own digital backgrounds, and my teaching buddy Casey encouraged me to share them with y'all.  Here's my first set of Chevron backgrounds (for personal/commercial use) called Many Shades of Grey...

For a closer look at each of the patterns, check out the preview file.  Here's a free page from the pack (be sure to check my Terms of Use - basically, don't say it's yours.)  If you use my graphics in a product, let me know; I'd love to give a shout-out!

I'd love your feedback, as this is a new venture for me.  Thanks for your support!
Life takes twists and turns, but it always seems to work out ok.  Sometimes, we have to say goodbye to loved ones...
My first "baby," Sasha.  I love her and miss her terribly.
 Sometimes we play with our food...
NinjaBread cookies - we had so much fun making these!
 Sometimes we have to pack up and move...
The classroom I tracked in to this quarter.  (Don't worry - it looks much better now!!)
 Sometimes we just play...
We love Monopoly at our house, but the U-Build Monopoly is just fun to  build with.  ;)
 Sometimes we are reminded about the wonders of the world around us...
A 3-toed sloth in action at the NC Museum of Natural Science.
I'll be back soon sharing some of my new backgrounds I'm working on... shades of grey (but not 50!) with interesting accent colors.  Happy weekend, y'all!  Thanks for spending a bit of time listening.  :)
Time for "The Magical Product Swap!!"
Don'cha just love the button from The 3AM Teacher?
Ok - go ahead and be jealous for a quick moment... I was paired with Sandy from Ms. Fiorini's Stadium!  
Ms. Fiorini's Stadium
I have been a blog-stalker of hers for quite some time, so I was really nervous to email her.  (Ya know, since I'm such a rookie at all this... <<sigh>>)  Anywhoo - I got to go shopping in her store.  She has so many helpful activities and bundles of lessons, including these...

Hard work, trying to pick just one...  Then I saw it - the answer to my homework issues!!!!
{{rant}}  I don't know about y'all, but homework is one of my pet peeves.  Either you completed it (ALL of it!) or you didn't.  Simple enough, right?  I try to make my homework assignments meaningful and a fun extension of our work, while still letting parents see some of the expected tasks for the grade level.  Even so - gasp! - I have a bunch of kiddos who will not do it.  I have tried many different methods of bribery and retribution, but nothing worked on those green beans who really weren't gonna do their homework.

Also, I haven't been doing enough to recognize my amazing kiddos who conscientiously complete their work every day, and Homeworkopoly seemed to be just the cure - a reward for those who completed homework on Fridays, and an incentive for others.  Keep reading to find out how it worked in my classroom!

Print and assemble - easy enough!  Sandy includes easy-to-follow directions, and the pages are labeled clearly so you know what order to put the pieces.

My sweet doggie kept wanting to help!  :)
Here's what it looked like when it was assembled:
They were eager to try it out!  (It's on the wall in a corner above the water fountain!)
I added 2 big foam dice from Dollar Tree - they work perfectly on the back of the water fountain...  :)
Sandy included labels for student names that you can type directly onto before you print.  Then you can use velcro to move student names.  I had a spare stack of clothespins, so I used them instead.  Really, you can customize this to work for you!  She also included a "Homeworkopoly" header to put in the middle, but I didn't use it - originally, I was thinking I might include "extra" rolls for an extra incentive.  I still might - I love the flexibility of this!  :)
My daughter (4th grade!) wanted to try it out, too!

Some of the rewards included - they were super excited!!
End of the day on the first Friday - I had 11 kiddos get "on the board," and the other 10 wishing they had completed every bit of their homework!!
Verdict?  Love it!  My kiddos were super excited to put their clip on the board, roll, and try to land on a prize spot.  1 won a mystery prize (a lollipop I already had left over from an earlier bribery attempt!), 2 earned extra library time, and 1 landed on Chance - he won an extra computer time coupon!  The kiddos were definitely motivated to carefully do their homework next week!!  I was pickier than usual, explaining that if they didn't do any part of their homework for the week (or it wasn't signed by someone old enough to drive!) they didn't move the clip on the board.  Several of my green beans were heard in the hall talking about how they were going to do every bit of their homework next time!!

Want to see it for yourself?  Visit Sandy's TpT store here, her blog here, or go straight to Homeworkopoly (Don't pass Go! - haha - I couldn't resist!) here.  To add to the fabulous-ness, Sandy and I have teamed up for a sale and Giveaway!!  Click below for more information.  (Also, Sandy has reviewed my Prefix and Suffix Game Collection here, and it's on sale for 20% off all weekend!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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