Summertime means prep-time for many teachers! If you are like me, you have tons of projects planned for the weeks you have off during the summer.  My main project: Leveling books.  My school uses Accelerated Reader (AR) and I wanted to label the books so kids could easily see the level.  

Looking around at other blogs, I was instantly drawn to my friend Jen from Teacher by the Beach's library.  She organizes hers by author's last name and nonfiction theme (like a real library!).  She also puts a sticker on the spine for the level.  Her current school doesn't use AR, so she has started to label her books with the Fountas and Pinnell system they use.  

Another library I love is Molly from Lessons with Laughter's library.  I LOVE her color coded system! Her chapter books are organized by author's last name, like a library or bookstore would do.  By color coding the spine, students know the vicinity of the book they are looking for or where to put it back.  It's just an extra scaffold. 

So when thinking about how to level and label my books, I wanted to combine the two ideas.  I created color coded spine stickers with levels in a grade-level range the same color.  My books are all organized by genre and theme, so the colors wouldn't ever be together, but if a student was interested in Captain Underpants books, she could find one easily in her level range by looking at the spine sticker.  

I printed my stickers on Avery address labels and cut them in half.  I store the labels in a grade-level range together with a paper clip. 

I looked up levels on the AR Bookfinder website and labeled each book accordingly.  

I put clear packing tape over the stickers so they last longer. 

These book are almost ready! 

To make it extra easy for the kids, I write the AR level, point total, and quiz number on the inside of each book.  When students are ready to take the quiz, the information they need is readily available. 

Want to label your books the same? I made a FREEBIE PowerPoint document that you can download from Google Drive.  Just download and print the pages you need onto Avery address labels (if you use my Amazon affiliate link, I get a little extra that helps me continue to make great freebies for you). 
Click the cover to download from Google Drive

How do you level or label your books?

I'm teaming up with my blogging friends Tonya, Angelia, and Courtney to give you a recipe link-up of Pinterest tried and true recipes so you don't have to pin and wonder if it's actually good! This post contains some Amazon affiliate links.

Cilantro Garlic Lime Chicken with Zucchini Noodles
This one is soooo good and easy.  Zoodles are all the rage right now, but you can only make them with spaghetti sauce so many times, am I right? 

Via Mrs Happy Homemaker

The Original Recipe:
This recipe only utilizes a few ingredients: zucchini, chicken, jalapeƱos, taco seasoning (I use the 21 Day Fix mix), garlic salt, limes, cilantro, and cooking oil. Crystal (the original poster of this recipe) uses the little handheld Veggetti spiralizer, but I like this bigger one by Paderno.  I think it's faster and easier to use, although it is a tad harder to clean and store.  

Changes I made to the Recipe:
  • Omitted the jalapenos (my kids hate them)
  • Used a different spiralizer
  • Used garlic powder instead of garlic salt (I watch my sodium intake)
  • Used leftover shredded chicken already seasoned with taco seasoning from taco night earlier this week - score!!

Healthy Banana Pancakes
Banana pancakes always make me think of my fav singer Jack Johnson.  But I had some soft bananas on my counter this morning, so why not? I love trying out new healthy recipes, especially ones that my kids will eat, so I was excited about this one.

Via Liz Heather

The Original Recipe:
This recipe has only 6 ingredients, and they were all things I had on hand: 2 eggs, 1 banana (I used a soft one), oatmeal, apple sauce (I used a snack cup one), vanilla, and cinnamon.  All you do is throw all the ingredients in a blender until smooth, then pour onto a heated surface (I used a skillet) to make pancakes.  
Ingredients (minus the applesauce - I forgot to grab that for the pic!)

Blending it all up

On the skillet

Ready for the kids to eat!

Changes I made to the Recipe:
  • My Vitamix blended all the ingredients so beautifully, but maybe too smooth because the batter seemed kinda runny.
  • After playing with the heat settings on my skillet, I realized that 300 degrees was perfect to cook the pancakes. 
  • I put extra butter on the pancakes with lilikoi (passionfruit) syrup for the kids.  They loved.  I ate mine plain and they were still good! 
  • I will definitely be making this again.  I think even smaller rounds would be good, then they could be a snack! 

I am so excited to be bringing you a BRAND NEW monthly link up with some of my favorite gals! 

Introducing the: 

I'm teaming up with Angelia, Tonya, and Courtney  - they are a HUGE part of my teacher/blogger tribe.  I turn to them with questions about assessment, help figuring out a standard, ideas for fun lessons, and even personal advice! 

Another thing I turn to them for is ideas for easy, and healthy recipes! We all love Pinterest, but who has time to try out all those cool recipes just to have it not turn out the way it shows in the picture and imagine yourself on the Pinterest Fail page?? Not me.  I lean on my girls to share which ones ACTUALLY turned out good - and now we are sharing with you!

On the 3rd Sunday of every month, we will be hosting our Pinterest-Approved Recipe Link-up!! 
We will share our favorite, *successful* Pinterest recipes that we've done in the past or throughout the month and we hope that you will share yours too!! 

So get ready, tomorrow's the big day!