March 30, 2011

Dots on Turquoise

I love DOT!
You will, too!

In my last post I promised to show you some more projects
created with the Dots on Turquoise products. 
For pictures and ordering information for the entire line visit
(Go to Products, What's New, and then Dots on Turquoise to see them all.)

In the picture above you will see one of the posters
 along with 6" and 10" cut-outs, computer paper,
name tags, and name plates. 

I used a red backing on all of my projects. 
I like the combination of red, a traditional "school" color,
with the "funky" new turquoise. 
 It seems to really POP! 
The cut outs and computer paper are available now.
                              The 6" and 10" paisley cut-outs will be available in June.

The 10" cut-outs can be used to display the class schedule.

The computer paper comes in two different patterns. 
 It is perfect for a Welcome to Our Class letter or weekly newsletters.

The 10" cut outs are mounted on a magnet board to create center markers. The 6" cut outs have the names of the kids who will be in the center that day.
By using a "magnet man" the names can be rotated each day.

Here is another "sneak peek" at more DOT products
that will be available for shipping in June. 
I love the 4" letters.
One-inch and two-inch letter stickers
in DOT as well as other designs will also be available soon.

Also available in June.....
several different patterns of library pockets.
You can just imagine all the uses for these!
This is a Welcome Back to School bulletin board,
but it can be so much more.
Don't think that you have to use all the pieces together on one board.
Use different parts of the bulletin board throughout the room.

ROCK ON 4th! would be perfect for a door.

Six-inch cut-outs with pictures, names, and guitars
would be great for the kid's desks.

These are three new full-size charts in the DOT patterns.

Class Rules

Welcome to Pre-K. 
I love using ribbons and buttons to embellish the poster.
You know my saying, "Everything looks better with a bow!"
The name plates and name tags match the all the DOT products.
They can be used on desks, cubbies, or in a variety of ways.

The smaller pasiley pieces are cut from
the new shape border that will be available in June.

This is a blank chart that can be anything!
The "Welcome", the guitar, and the stars are from the
ROCK ON bulletin board.

Every class needs a calendar. 
I love the way this all comes together on the red background!

I love DOT!
Check out all the turquoise products online
or at your favorite teacher supply store.

Tell them Tommie sent you!
(If they say, "WHO??"  tell them about the blog!)

March 21, 2011

Katie's Classroom Make-over

Katie Huff is a second grade classroom teacher in Keller, Texas. 
This is her story.....

During the snow and ice that overtook Texas in early February, three pipes in my classroom burst. Water spewed from the wall and underneath the sink leaving approximately one and half inches of standing water in my classroom and storage closet. At first, I was told it would be a quick fix with a couple days of drying time. However, as more people came to investigate, it became obvious that my students and I would have to relocate to a new classroom for a while. Various workers came to remove the carpet and repair the wall. The wall repair went fairly smoothly. Unfortunately, that was not the case for the carpet.

I have quite a collection of “stuff” in my classroom. When they came to remove the carpet, they of course had to remove ALL of my stuff. When they put it back, it just kind of got thrown in the middle of the classroom. Then they had to scrape the carpet glue off the cement. This left a yellow, powdery residue on EVERYTHING in the classroom. It was on every surface, in books, on walls, in pocket charts… EVERYWHERE.

After learning that it could be this summer before they get the flooring replaced, my principal and I decided that my class and I should move back into the room on the cement floor. After living in an empty classroom for four weeks, it felt really good to be home in our regular classroom! It took some major work and cleaning, but we survived :)

As a result of this, I had the awesome opportunity to replace some of my things with “Dots on Turquoise” products. It really helps brighten my window-less classroom!

CTP to the rescue!
The marketing folks at CTP had been wanting pictures of  the new Dots on Turquoise products being used in a actual classroom.  When they heard of Katie's plight they sent a big box of materials for her to use to re-decorate her room. 

In the box she found name-tags and name plates.
There were 6" and 10" cut-outs and two styles of computer paper.
There were three different posters.

There were borders
and bulletin board sets.

This  bulletin board set looks like one
that would be used at the beginning of the year.

Katie turned it into an interactive learning center.

The parts of speech are written on DOT computer paper.

Words to be sorted are written on the guitars from the bulletin board set.

Here is another bulletin board idea from Katie's classroom.
The CAFÉ board is part of the Daily 5 by the “two sisters”. 
This is their website

This reading bulletin board uses one of the DOT borders,
the 10" paisley cut-outs,  and the DOT computer paper.

"I understand what I read."

A    Accuracy
"I can read the words."

"I can read accurately, with expression, and
understand what I read."

    E    Expand Vocabulary
"I know, find, and use interesting words."

Students and Ms. Huff offer suggestions to make better readers.
Other reading strategies are written on the DOT computer paper
and posted at the bottom of the bulletin board.

Thanks, Katie for letting us be a part of your make-over. 
We love the pictures and your ideas. 

Katie's room in the midst of the mess!
Katie's room this morning!

Have you done anything in your classroom with  any
 CTP product that you would like to share?
Send me your pictures at

The next post will feature many other ideas of ways to use the new
Dots on Turquoise products.

I love DOT! 

March 16, 2011

Legoland Discovery Center Comes to the Neighborhood

In my last entry I introduced you to Mayor Tate.  One of his most important jobs as mayor of Grapevine is bringing new businesses to our city. 
Well, he has out-done himself this time. 
Our newest neighbor is Legoland Discovery Center. 
We are so excited! 
There are five Lego Discovery Centers in the world, but only two in the US. 
One is in Chicago and now one is in Grapevine, Texas. 
There is also Legoland Amusement Park in San Diego. 

Since we wanted to be good neighbors we invited two guys
from Legoland to come to our class to see the Lego neighborhood
that we had made. 

 Craig and Cal paid us a visit last Friday.

They really liked our Lego buildings.
 Lego fire station

 Lego hospital

One of our new neighbors is Craig. 
He does the business part of running the discovery center. 
He wears a suit to work.

Our other new neighbor is Cal.  He is a Lego engineer. 
Cal actually graduated from Grapevine High School. 
He went to the University of Texas at Austin and received a degree in engineering.
He had an interesting job interview with Lego. 
Two hundred people were invited for the interview. 
Each was given a bag of Legos. 
They had 30 minutes to create a Lego structure. 
The winner got the job. 
Cal won! 

Now, he plays with Legos all day.
He made all the displays in Legoland.
Cal wears a sweatshirt to work.

Who will be the next Lego engineer?

It could be any of these kids!!

Since Legoland Discovery Center is such a good neighbor
Craig and Cal invited us to pay them a visit. 
On March 24, our class (just our class) will be attending
the media open house at Legoland Discovery Center. 

 People from the local television stations and newpapers
 will be there taking pictures. 
Of course, I will be going because I am the class grandparent and 
 my job is to attend important events and to take pictures.

The next project for Legoland in Grapevine will be a two-story,
45,000 square-foot aquarium that will house more than
5,000 marine animals. 
It is made from Legos.

Lego engineer....that would be a fun job!!! 

Mayor Tate, keep up the good work.  We really like our new neighbors!

March 12, 2011

We Live in a Great Neighborhood

If you want to give yourself a treat become a Class Grandparent…..not a Class Mom or Class Dad. Classroom parents have to plan parties, collect money and do work. A Class Grandparent is….well, a grandparent. Our job is to show up at important events, bring presents, take lots of pictures, collect numerous hugs, and then...go home. I particularly like being a kindergarten class grandparent because kindergarteners are always doing fun things (important events) and they are the most generous with their hugs.

I first became a class grandparent five years ago when Trevor was in kindergarten. Now, I visit in Kate's kindergarten class.  Trevor and Kate call me “G” so that's what all the kids started calling me.  My visitor name tag at school says Tommie Netzer, but to the kids, teachers, and staff I am just “G”.

CTP makes the “taking presents” part of my grandparent job easy. I have a closet filled with samples of new CTP products. I have everything from books to stickers in that closet. I take something every time I go to school. In return, I ask the teachers to let me take pictures of anything “cute” that they do.

People sometimes ask me where I come up with all of my ideas for product.  It is really very simple; I steal the ideas from creative teachers.

                             A few weeks ago, I took Mrs. Hill two packages of 10” cut outs.

                                       One was the multicultural people.

The other was the big speech bubbles.

 I asked her, “Do you have any ideas for these?”
Her answer was “YES!”

They were just starting a unit called We Live in a Great Neighborhood.
Its culmination was to coincide with Open House.
She wanted to do something to decorate the kindergarten hall.
Look at what they did!

First, she paired the kids. Two kids worked on one person. 
Together, they decided which neighborhood person to make.

Then, she used poster board to make simple patterns
for shirts, pants, hats, and shoes. 
The kids would use the patterns to make clothes to dress their people.

    Finally, she put out a stack of construction paper and
    turned the kids loose to create their neighborhood.

The kids had to make a building and a car that would go with each person.
  (Notice the McDonald's sign.)
The McDonald's guy makes people happy!

The kids had to decide what their person liked about his job. 
Mrs. Hill wrote their answers in the speech bubbles.

The doctor likes taking care of people.

The soldier protects our country.

The baseball coach is an important neighbor.

On Friday, Mrs. Hill invited Bill Tate, the mayor of our neighborhood,
to come to class for a visit.

He has been mayor of Grapevine for a total of 32 years.
He is quite a storyteller. He has lived in Grapevine his entire life and remembers when it was just a sleepy little farm area.

We discovered from Mayor Tate that Grapevine has 212 restaurants. 
That takes a bunch of cooks. 
(I calculated that you could eat in a different restaurant every night for more than six months and not make it to all of them.
Maybe I should take that as a challenge.)

I think Mayor Tate would make a great class grandparent because
he really likes stories, kids, and hugs! 

The kids are right...We Live in a Great Neighborhood!