Monday, July 30, 2012

Answered Questions and Pinterest Inspired

I survived the first teacher work day...with only one or two panic attacks! Still have those little annoying things to get done in my room, and then to focus on my lesson plans.

First there are a few comments and questions I should answer, it's much easier this way instead of doing it four or five times because some have the same questions.

I would like to clear up some confusion as to the mention of my teacher's I do not have an extra assistant in my classroom, it's a job that one of my students can choose. They usually will run errands, pass out papers, file, get to carry our new bucket, and so on. Sorry for the confusion, I WISH I had an adult teacher's assistant though.

My behavior management system: I have posted the printables for those under the most recent post of The HBA, if you still can't find something I mentioned please let me know. I really tried to get them all uploaded for those of you that would like to try this or just see it.

Smart Beads: The crate/basket/bucket that they are stored in was bought at Target or Wal-Mart (can't remember) and I used vinyl letters cut from my cutting machine (Cricut).

Letters around my room: A lot of my lettering (the black letters with white outline) is store bought! Yep found them at The School Box, yep I couldn't believe it either when I found it. LOVE THEM! You will see in my final classroom reveal that I used them even more this year. I tried to find a direct link to them on The School Box website, but couldn't locate them.

My listening center from my very first Classroom Reveal , some had asked what clips I had used to hang the headphones from the ribbon and where I had found them. They were name tag clips from Wal-Mart. Can be found here.

The nine box shelf/cubby: I did buy mine at Target as well as the red and black bins that go inside of them. I  know Target just had them on sale recently, so keep an eye out. I have also seen both the shelving and cubby boxes at Wal-Mart as well.

Okay so that was just a few questions answered so now on to Pinterest Inspiration!

Recently I wrote a post on Classroom DIY about DIY Dry Erase Picture Frames. I had seen the idea on Pinterest and thought I would give it a shot....well so did a few of my co-teachers! They are all so cute! Therefore I leave you with a few pictures of them actually in the classrooms! I must thank Amy Godfrey for allowing me to take a picture...even though you are on maternity leave and well I took the picture well as Samatha Kimbell (love typing your new name, now if you could remember to write it!)

This is the one in my classroom

Finally an early birthday present from my husband!!!! YEA! Now if I can find the time to "play".


Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Night Before...

It's the night before the teacher's go back to work (well at least where I work). I spent my day making things for MY classroom! I love making my buckets, but it was nice to take a day and make some things for myself (well for my room). So as I get ready to head to bed and TRY and sleep (not think about the millions of things I need to get done this week). I have a few great posts planned for this week, so stay tuned.

A caddy for me! Going to put clinic cards, hand sanitizer, etc. in it. We will carry it from place to place with us, well my teacher's assistant will. 

Saw this on Pinterest....LOVE IT! I am a clean/neat freak so this is perfect. They put it on their desk when they use the restroom then use it when they get back!

These took the longest. Numbers for my book boxes (that I NEED to find, IKEA was sold out!), and numbers for the bookbag hooks.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Classroom Update: One

Day two in my classroom and I have to say I was MUCH more productive! YEA!

First things first...I found this AWESOME bag. I LOVE IT!!! LOVE IT!!! LOVE IT!!! As soon as I saw it I grabbed it and then looked at the price. Turns out it was on sale for $6, can you believe that!?!?! I got it at Belk, of all places. It's HUGE and can carry a lot of stuff and made of that material you can wipe down.

Okay when I left my classroom the end of the year it looked a little like this...

This is what it looks like now, no I don't have a window in my room, it's not my was something on "TV". So it's set up for 28 kiddos.

The start of my new math center central, I'll put the add it up game from my other post on the "board"

This is my Reading/LA center central...not as nice as the math. I ironed that fabric two times! Seriously going to have to fix that! I will put Boggle on the "board".

Here are more views of the room so far:

I hope this maybe inspires or motivates you :)

Also head over to Classroom DIY today and check out my post there...I'll have pictures of how it is used in my classroom, soon!!!

I forgot to mention that I measured my room...for all of those that ask (and there are a lot of you) it is approx. 29ft x's not that HUGE to me, but maybe I'm just use to the size because of the county I work in. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

HBA, Craziness, and Technology

So I give myself the HBA...Horrible Blogger Award...this summer. I have posted here and there, but not as much as I intended to. Things have been very very hectic! I don't feel as though I have had much of a summer break. Thanks to many of you my bucket business has taken off! Every spare moment I have been making buckets. For the bigger news we have decided to begin our move to the west coast! Yep, we are wanting to move to Ashland, Oregon area. So our little trip to California was not just time to see family, but we were also looking at areas to live, school districts, and jobs. Therefore we just put our house on the market and are going from there. More than likely my husband will head out there prior to my daughter and I may be another year until we go. We also adopted/rescued a cutie, 7wk old, Maltese girl puppy, Georgia (it's like having another infant), but she is so cute it's worth it! And I have to admit she is good, really really good! She slept through the night, doesn't whine, and loves to snuggle.

Now on to teaching stuff....

One of the other things I had to complete this summer was a technology inservice for the county I work in. They are starting a new technology push called eClass, and my school is one of the pilot schools. Believe it or not I LOVE technology! I know I don't post about it a lot, but I am a bit of a techie geek at my school. A lot of my files are mimio files for the interactive board and those are very difficult to share on blogger, I don't even know if that is possible.

Well the class was mostly run by Discovery Education was was pretty neat to be a part of, a lot of the presenters were from around the US. As I get back into being a "good blogger" I intend to share some of the fun things that were presented so that maybe you can get a few ideas of how simple it is to integrate and use technology in your classroom, not just interactive boards.

The first thing I wanted to share was using student created videos in your classroom. This was probably the most hands on class I attended, as well as the most interesting and believe it or not simple! I know that when people mention video in your classroom you immediately think of actually video taping (do we still say taping???) your actual students. It doesn't have to be that!

There was this great and simple activity that can be done in one, YES ONE, class session. It's called paper slide videos. The easiest way to explain it is...a Power Point using paper and a video camera! Not kidding.

What better way to show you how to make one, then for you to watch one! The only difference is that the students can only have ONE take! Yep ONE take, so they have to be serious and practice.

Now here are a few great examples of how to use them in your classroom and a few student created ones!

Possibilities are ENDLESS!!!!! Seriously can't wait to make some of these with my students this year!

As an added bonus for being so horrible, AND for reaching over 1,000 followers...I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT....I have tried to put as many of my documents that you may need for the beginning of the school year here! Hopefully this will help you as you area getting started and setting up your classroom. I will be in my classroom next week, so be prepared for pictures and hopefully a lot of great ideas!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Crayola...You never cease to amaze me!

I am sure many of you are like me...if you haven't started shopping for the school year have found yourself wondering through those school supply isles, eyeing everything, making mental notes of prices (so you know when things go on sale), and making wishlists.

There are many things I LOVE when it comes to school supplies: new organizational items, new sharpies, new pencils, new...well everything. But one thing that I adore any time of the year would be a fresh, brand-spankin' new, sharp, not touched by students or my daughter box of Crayola Crayons! I LOVE THEM! I LOVE to color! I kid you not, it is one of the best de-stressors for me! Seriously.

I was intrigued when I saw a ton of 8ct. boxes of Crayola Crayons with different names. As I got closer I seriously became giddy and had to show major self-restraint. You can MAKE YOUR OWN BOX of crayons! How awesome is that!?!?!?

First you grab your box (that you can color yourself, whoohoo!)

Then you can choose from all of these fun 8ct. boxes of crayons, I LOVE the names, and my organizational side is thrilled with the grouping of them!

So here are a few pics of my coloring I did on the airplane ride to California...I told you I use it to destress.

As you are gearing up for a new school year...what makes you "giddy"???

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Little Inspiration, The Old Fashioned Way

I was working on my home calendar and not that he had to, but my husband mentioned that my summer was quickly coming to an end. Now that I am back from all of my travels (which as I mentioned never happens) I am quickly realizing how much I need to do to get ready for the school year. I have YET to look at my new 5th grade curriculum, work on lesson plans, go to my e-class training, and heck even set up my new classroom! Whew that's a lot to do by July 30th. Yes, you read correctly our pre-planning begins JULY 30th!

As I was on vacation I read two books (one of which I started LAST summer, I did read 14 books last summer) but this summer the bucket business soared and the vacations were taken with a three year old. Have you ever tried to read a book with a three year old around?? I read the same page, maybe even paragraph 10x's before giving up! Therefore when we hit up the store I looked for something a little easier to read...magazines. I love magazines. I know I can get them on my iPad and/or Kindle, but I am opposite of most, I prefer to read books on my electronic devices and look at magazines by holding them. I tried to download one or get a subscription to another, but they ended up being the same price, so why not have something tangible and holdable.

Back to my story, this one magazine JUMPED off the shelf. The title STORAGE. Why have I not see this one before!!?!?!? I of course immediately picked it up and bought it. After looking through it, getting ideas I got on my iPad and looked for other ones to buy (even if I had to get them for my iPad because they were old issues) I also found one titled ORGANIZED. Seriously!?!? I was/am in heaven. So move over Pinterest...for a little while. While I search for inspiration the old fashioned way!

So if you have a little extra time and want a little inspiration then I highly suggest the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications...and don't be surprised if you see a few ideas from there "come to life" in my classroom!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Bookcases...

Yep once again I am on vacation. Don't be jealous. I am usually the one who stays at home every summer, and goes NO WHERE. Seriously. But we planned a trip to California, and started saving over two years ago. Then I actually get the chance to go on my family vacation to the beach, a tradition that we have had for 30 years! I haven't been able to go due to scheduling conflicts and such. So here I sit on a rainy the beach. I would be out on the porch but the mesquetos are horrible tonight!

Now on to my bookcases

I can tell it's summer and a lot of you are thinking about the set up of your next year's classroom. I have been getting a lot of questions about my bookshelves so I thought I would give you all some information.

First, the actual bookshelves. They are good ole' Wal-Mart Mainstay brand bookshelves. They usually have two removable shelves, but to book my bookboxes on them, I have to take one shelf off.

What I keep on them...mainly their bookboxes. They are magazine boxes, I get mine at Ikea. They are the least expensive there, or from what I have found. I type and print off a binder side cover then tape it on to the box, with clear packing tape. You can also tape the bottom, especially for those kids who are always rough on things. Inside their bookboxes I usually have their Reader's Workshop items: response journal, post-its, 2 books on their reading level, 2 library books, and 1 fun book. Sometimes there will be an activity we may be working on in small/whole group. I use the bookboxes for them to be able to travel with what they need for Reader's a center, reading on their own, small group, or even with a support teacher.

The last few items are pretty self explanitory: Dictionary, crayon/pencil box (I again buy these at Wal-Mart, usually no more than .50 cents each. I print a name label for each student and again tape it on the box. The trash cans usually don't go there, but we needed room.

On top of the shelves are my caddies. They have glue sticks for each student at that group/table, hand sanitizer, and scissors for each student located at that group/table.

The binders that are in the first two pictures are usually kept in their desks or bookbags, they take them home nightly. I buy these through our county with some of my supply money. Each student gets an agenda from the school, this is in their binder...along with extra paper for homework, sheet protectors that might contain a center check list and/or weekly homework. They can also put their spiral notebooks in the binders that they might have homework in (for that night).

I hope this helps as you are thinking about how to set up your classroom this upcoming year! Oh a little tip about the bookshelves: the backerboard can come out especially if you move your classroom around or have those students that love to lean on, kick, etc. your old custodian told me that the best thing ever was to staple gun the backer board into the bookshelf!!!! Yep that simple, she said this makes them last twice as's true!