Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Winner and Sneak Peak!

We have a winner for the label/ribbon set give-a-way hosted by Run! Miss Nelson's Got The Camera. Congratulations to Karen G. (click here to be directed to Miss Nelson's Blog for details)

This is just a short post today, my brain is tired...I've been busy working on labels/ribbons and buckets. Even some things for my own room! Because it's such a short post I thought I would give you a little sneak peak of a few of my OWN classroom items!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Run! It's A Give-A-Way!

I am so excited to announce that I teamed up with Michele Nelson over at Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera for a label/ribbon set give-a-way!

We are both classroom bloggers but got to talking through my side business Quite A Pear...where I make buckets (go ahead tilt your head and think "make buckets"??) If you haven't checked them out already (most teachers have) you really should, and my other "pear" makes some AMAZING things as well!

Here are a few of the items we offer:

Anyway Michele asked me to help her "repair" her own buckets. Her post all about it is here! I have always sold my buckets and caddies all put together. (oh, did I mention her classroom is SUPER cute?!?!?!) But recently, and due to my relocation, it's been difficult to get caddies in, they have been on back order. So I thought why not just make the labels and ribbon sets and offer them as well (and any other labels/letter/ribbon/fabric sets)? Well, I've gotten great feedback on them and lots of orders!

Quite a Pear is trying to get 1,000 followers and Miss Nelson is helping! So click below and enter to win 5 label and ribbon sets for your classroom or whatever you would like to use them for!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Little Birdie...

...not only came to my classroom today, but told me a little secret!

I had my first classroom visitor today! As I was wrapping things up and getting ready to leave I wanted to take a picture of my view from one of the windows in my room.

Pretty huh...the snow has melted from the mountain but you can still sort of see it.

Anyway as I was snapping that pic I heard a thud, scaring the crap out of me (I was the only one in the building), I looked over and saw this little guy...staring at me and a little stunned of course!

He didn't even fly into the window, nor the door (it's all glass), but actually hit the door handle. So I tempted to get a little closer....

I think he was saying "what are you staring at???" that and making sure he still had a beak! 

I did get my room cleaned out. Found a ton of stuff...I don't think I need two teacher sets of SS curriculum :)  And emptied a few boxes of my own. Including getting my classroom library unpacked (most of my boxes were books, can't part with those!)

It looks like a real library! I'll let you know how I'm going to manage it this year...when I have it all done.

Sooooooo the secret that this little visitor told me...was that someone was going to be having a give-a-way tomorrow!!!! I'll spill the beans tomorrow :)  *Don't forget I'm on west coast time now!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bookcase Makeover

I finally have started working on a few things for my own classroom! Don't get me wrong I LOVE making labels and such for all my customers, but there is something rewarding about making something for yourself.

I got the idea to makeover my bookcases...the ones I use at the end of my groups...on Pinterest so many times, but I just sort of did it my way :)

As some of you may know I had to sell most of my classroom due to lack of moving truck space. I absolutely can't imagine not having my group bookshelves, so I bought new ones. As I was putting them together I really wanted to add a little bit of pizzaz. 

First either take the backer board off or if you have new bookshelves grab it out of the box.

I chose to adhere the fabric to the plain side of the backer board so that when looking at the shelving from the back you can see black and not cardboard.

I then cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than the backer board itself. 

Of course I had to choose a patterned fabric! I then laid the fabric on the backer board and began hot gluing around the edges, being sure to pull tightly and trying to keep the pattern even (not so easy).

Once that was done I flipped the board over and trimmed it closely.

Finally I laid the backer board on the shelf (face down) and stapled the heck out of it!!! Once again one thing I learned from my custodian was to staple (with an industrial stapler) the backer board to the bookshelf because it lasts longer than the nails that never seem to go in straight, and cause the backer board to rip. 

Then TADA! (now only five more to go!)

I will post pictures of it in my classroom once it's all set up. 

Another quicker option...paint the backer board :) 

As I mentioned before the bookshelves are the Mainstay brand found at Walmart, you can even buy them online and ship to store. Here is the link! I found these are good because of the height. You can put them at the end of a desk group and the kids can still see over them. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Answering Some Questions

I can tell that many of you are gearing up for back to school and/or your teacher workdays. It's a little different for me this year because now that I am in Oregon we don't go back for teacher workdays until the end of August and the first official day of school is September 4th! It's a little strange that I'm now one of the lasts ones to be going back to school.

I can also tell many are getting back in the swing of things because I'm getting a few more requests for shared documents as well as some great questions about previous posts.

The most questions are coming from my interactive math notebook. This was something new I did last year (previous post can be found here) I don't know why I thought I explained them in the previous post, I just sort of posted pictures!

Basically what I did and will do this year is give myself a new spiral notebook, along with all the other students. I project the notebook using my document camera and as I go through the mini lesson I write the notes in my notebook, sounds pretty simple when I type it out! I usually lead with the header, most of the time in the form of a question, and see what kind of prior knowledge they have on the subject. I then follow with the "formal definition" of the term and/or subject we are discussing. Most of the time they copy things down as I am writing them. But if I really really need their attention I tell them NOT to copy this down, pay attention, I will give you time to copy it when I am done explaining.

I usually add little drawings that may help them remember something, they can copy those down or make up their own. I try to always give them tips and hints and usually write/draw those in different colored marker/pen. The other thing I found that really helped my students last year was if anything we were doing had steps...to write out each step and show each step! One time I didn't write it out because I thought it was pretty simple and they flipped on me! I literally write step 1: divide the ones column by the outside number...then I would SHOW it.

If a lesson required printables (100's charts and so on) I always had those copied, trimmed and ready for that class so that all they needed to do was glue it in and get to work. You will see a few of these things in my pictures from the Interactively Math post. Finally what you don't see is the student work that I would assign after each lesson. Usually after each lesson they would have to go to the next clean sheet in their notebook (we did use front and back!!!), I would give them five or so problems for them to work out on their own. As I would walk around an monitor checking them as the finished them I could easily identify those that were struggling. Then I would pull those students to small group that day or the next to work with them. If the whole class struggled then I knew I needed to teach it again or find a different approach.

I hope this helps some of you as you are working on those lesson plans and I hope to add to the pictures and such that I have already posted.

Finally another question I have gotten a lot lately is about my buckets/caddies. For the newbies out there I do have a second "job"....I decorate the caddies and buckets. The caddies, this year, are on back order and I really don't know when they will come in, but I have started offering the labels and ribbons as sets. They come to the customer as stickers and ready to be used. If you want to see more of the products and cute stuff we offer just visit our FB page: Quite A Pear.

Keep those comments and questions coming! Thanks for sticking with me through this move!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Fun Part 1

We are all moved in! YEA! And I guess you could say mostly unpacked. Nothing hung on the walls and not much decor going on, but the important stuff is done.

I have been doing a few crafts, not for my classroom as of yet, but for my house and opened my "business" back up...the bucket making thing. I did manage to move my stuff into my classroom and was told I should be able to start setting my room up next week! Yea! Now I just need to get my daughter enrolled in her preschool so I can ditch her...I mean drop her off for some educational experiences and friend "making" opportunities. I'll tell you what just trying to get the boxes moved in with her hanging around was a HUGE task!

So here are a few snapshots of what I've been doing!

 My daughter's cast iron bed makeover!

It was a TON of work

Step one: clean with a metal brush
Step two: apply rust remover chemicals and then rinse and let dry

I did find some iron under the paint and rust!

Step three: apply primer to keep the rust from coming back
Step four: apply white paint (three coats!)

I'll post a picture of it when it is all set up with the bedding and such.

Finally some new buckets I've done (again not for my room yet)