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August 31, 2012

Classroom Tour

Week 1 - DONE!!! It was a long week. However, I focused on being blessed, not stressed. It worked. I am blessed to work with great teammates, especially my partner, Todd, who brought me a BIG bag of M&M's and doughnuts the first day. My friend, Jenni, brought me a 24 oz. Diet Mountain Dew. It is so pretty I don't even want to drink it. My sweet husband sent my team a dozen Peanut Butter and chocolate cupcakes on Wednesday. A parent brought my partner and I EVERYTHING on our wish list, then sent us
an end of the week gift, as well. In 20 years of teaching, this has NEVER happened to me. I only hope that I can be a blessing to someone else next week.

I meant to do this last week, but it didn't happen. In fact, I didn't get around to taking pictures until after school Friday. However, here is a tour of my classroom. Please notice all of the Pinterest inspired projects.
My Friday folders live in the blue cube. It is very convenient. My partner can deliver graded work to be filed without disturbing the class. I, also, have a dust pan and safety bag hanging by the door.

Student Center: Calendar header is a DIY project from a few years ago. I traced letters on cardstock, then decorated them with a BTS theme. Pinspiration: Stop & highlight bucket, Crystal Light Box Top/Labels for Education containers, and No Homework binder (peeking out from top shelf of desk).

Dry erase board before I added painter's tape to make sections. Pinspiration: Visual Direction icons = <3

Pinspiration: Boggle Board
We start using it next week.

Beginning of my library
I made the label on the box next to the globe. I should have taken a close-up.

The rest of the library and reading corner. 
The two bulletin boards are my word wall.
I am working on getting rid of the red and replacing it with green.

Back window
I am SUPER LUCKY! I am one of two teachers at my school 
who have 4 windows. 
Some have 2. Many have none.

My desk 
Week 1 - Still organized. Only 2 piles.
Of course, I didn't take a picture of my bean table. My pile collapsed and did a landslide earlier this week.

Teacher cabinet
Pinspiration: Birthday treats and Masterpieces canvas.
One of my sweet girls brought me my 1st "masterpiece" this week. It is a beautiful striped watercolor.

Birthday board
I have 2 students with birthdays on Feb. 26 and 2 with birthdays on Feb. 28.
That is going to be a FUN week!

Top of Cabinet
My teacher collection
This is where my antique desk lives.

 I realized I left out my computer wall. However, it isn't that exciting. I didn't include any student desks either.  I'll add some more after I clean up for Parent Orientation this week.

Happy Labor Day! Enjoy your long weekend!


August 20, 2012

Made It "Mine" Monday #5 & 25 Followers

<Heavy sigh!> Summer is over! Today I is staff development day #1. I will enjoy spending the day with my friends, but I am not looking forward to the alarm clock every morning (even though I am a morning person) and sitting on a hard library chair. I will also miss blog stalking and pinning. I still have a few projects that I would like to make and use in my class this year, like Vocabulators. I am just going to have to make time.

This week I did manage to finish a few more projects.

Project #1
"Rise & Shine" exit ticket board
I love the idea of the Twitter or status update exit tickets, but I had to make it "mine". My idea is that the students will "rise" out of their chair and post their idea or "shine" on their number. I probably won't use it everyday. I like the idea of putting it on a tri-fold project board, so I can put it away and store it.
By the way, this is my cat, Skunky Funky, who had to jump up and see what I was doing.

Project #2

One of my pet peeves is not putting your name on your paper. They've been doing it since Kindergarten. They should be proud of your work and want the credit. Finally, it should be the first thing they do when I hand you a piece of paper. So, why don't they do it? I hope this nifty little trick will do cut down on the number of no name papers. If not, I am going to make the "No Name" clip board that I've seen on Pinterest. 
Idea courtesy of Mrs. G in Grade 3.

Homemade It Project #3
Sweet & Sour Chicken
I love chicken! So this summer, I've been trying different chicken recipes from Pinterest. This one comes from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Even hubby said it could go into the regular rotation. 
(He didn't say that about the Honey Sauced Chicken that I love.)

I live by the saying, "If your not 5 min. early, you are late." I feel tardy for the party, but I just had to share my Monday Made Its. 

Can I get a "Woo Hoo!"? I have 25 followers. Hmmm....what can I do for a giveaway at 50?

August 15, 2012

Follow My Friend

My friend and former teaching partner, Diane, is having a giveaway. 
Head over to Teaching with Moxie and check her out.


August 13, 2012

Made It "Mine" Monday #4

Project #1
This was the quickest project this summer, and it makes me SMILE. It is an acrylic frame with scrapbook paper and a stripe of brown cardstock inside and on the outside a 3D dragonfly sticker and a Super Sticky post-it pad. The best part...I had everything at home. It did not require a trip to Hobby Lobby or cost me any $. Idea came from Math is Elementary.

Project #2

Upcycled plastic containers/ Teacher Toolboxes
Supplies: plastic storage containers. Krylon Fusion spray paint (navy), 
scrapbook paper, label maker, and double sided tape.
The container on the top left and bottom were spray painted navy. I love how they turned out. I was surprised at how it ended up so smooth. Alas I did use the whole can of paint. No one ever mentions that on Pinterest.
Next I added scrapbook paper with double sided tape. I need to add labels to some of the drawers. 
The little container on the top right was already blue and labeled. I need to relabel it. 

Project #3
Pick Me pot
My pick me pot is FINALLY finished. My AWESOME teaching partner, Todd, laminated ALL of my Pinterest goodies. 
The pot was a clearance find at Hobby Lobby. I untied the bow and just glued down the ribbon. The sticks were painted with green acrylic paint. I added the numbers with glue dots. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Idea from A Cupcake for the Teacher

Project #4
Transportation Clip Chart
Not the best picture - sorry! I'll try to take a picture once I hang it at school. 
I used polka dot frames from Karen @ Prekinders.com, added text and graphics. I thought I was going to use polka dot ribbon, but I liked the white the best. I used a metal split ring to hang it. The bow was tied separately and added with hot glue. Idea came from Tattling to the Teacher

Project #5
LOVE this! The idea for the board came from Miss Kindergarten and the labels came from Smiling in Second Grade. I found the sign in Wal-Mart's clearance section for 75 cents. I added letters from Making Memories. The clothespin was spray painted when I was working on the toolboxes above. I need to figure out what I am going to do with all of the extra tags. Maybe a magnetic clip on the back.

Project #6
I think these turned out too cute. Can you tell that I am super excited about my classroom this year?
I never have really had a cohesive theme. This year I am using navy, chocolate, blue and green polka dots. I still have a little bit of yellow and red, but I plan to eliminate the red eventually.

Heavy sigh! Next Monday, I will be sitting in staff development rather than blog hopping. Hopefully all of my Pinterest/ blog inspired treasures around my room will help remind me of all of the fun I had this summer.

In the meantime...I am going to go check out all of the other blogs over at 4th grade Frolics


August 9, 2012

Comprehension Tool Kit & a gripe

I know you are intrigued by the title. Right? Your dying to know more. Well, here it goes...

First of all, I did not attend ANY staff development this summer, until today. I had a "been there, done that" attitude. However, I really wanted to be trained on how to use the Comprehension Tool Kit written by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis. After all, it had been sitting on a shelf in our team closet for several years. 2 years ago, I removed the shrink wrap and attempted to teach a main idea and detail lesson from Book 5. Last year, I tried again and started with Book 1. I made it through most of Book 2 before I moved on. This year, I have high hopes and a plan. I am going to teach all 26 lessons from all six books in 10 weeks. You heard me. By the first of November, I will be done. (I'll keep you posted.) BTW...my plan is in the Teacher's guide. If I had ever bothered to read it, I might have been successful last year. Does anyone else use it?

Second, my gripe. I LOVE Pinterest. I have spent hours on it all summer pinning great ideas. I've even stalked myself and discovered some of you have pinned some of my ideas. <blushing> But, my gripe is when I click on a pin and it takes me to a TPT or TN store, and the item is NOT FREE. The description should have a $ or the price. If it is a blogger pinning their own work, they should add the price banner in the corner. My goal is to eventually open a TPT and TN store. Unless, I add graphics that I've paid for, my items will be FREE. <stepping off soap box> Thanks for letting me vent! I apologize if I offended anyone. I know Pinterest can be a powerful marketing tool.

August 7, 2012

Before & More "Monday" Made It projects

Phew! My room wasn't too bad. Things were definitely moved around, but not too bad. Check it out!

Back Wall - My desk is back there covered with boxes and the globe.
All of the student's desks are grouped in the center.

Computer/Writing wall
Back corner/Word Wall

Window Wall - Don't hate, but I have 4 windows. Even though I left the blinds down and closed, I came back and they were raised all of the way up. It's a brick building in Texas. It was HOT by 11:30 a.m. 
( I wrote this post Monday, but I am not posting until today. I found out why it was hot @ 11:30. The district turned the air off. When I walked in this morning, it was already 85 degrees at 8:30. We may not have air conditioning until next week. YUCK! Fortunately, I keep a box fan by my desk. My awesome partner brought me an extra one, but I packed it in at noon. This may be the motivation I need to get up and get going in the morning.)

I made these two summers ago. I love the fabric. 
I'll take a close-up later, but it is blue and brown with dogs all over it. 

Wooden letters - NOT READ
I made these last summer. Our school's initials are "BWE". Our mascot is the bulldog, so the B is covered in bones, the W has blue polka dots that are open, and the E is polka dot paw prints. 

August 5, 2012

Made it "mine" Monday #3 & 2 Questions

I've been busy this week preparing to go back to school. I finally get back into my classroom today. I'll post pictures soon. Hopefully, the before pictures won't be horrifying. Now for the fun...Tara's Monday Made It linky party.

Project #1 - Lucky Duck sticks
Original idea from Kindertastic as seen on Pinterest
Supplies: acrylic paint, popsicle sticks, paint palette, painter's tape, and a paint pen or Sharpie marker.

Use painter's tape to divide the sticks in half. Paint. Let it dry. Remove tape.

Add a new strip of tape and paint the other half. Let dry.

Remove tape. Add numbers using a paint pen or Sharpie.

I still need to add my labels to the pots, but I can't post it due to copyright.
The pots came from Target's Dollar Spot. I did two pots, because I teach two classes. 

Project #2: Circular Fans
A big thank you Jennifer at Darling Little Learners! Her video tutorial was very helpful!
For some reason all of the odd #'s got finished, but not the evens. 
I can't wait to hang these in my classroom.

Project #3 - Labels for Education Container
I made a coordinated container for my Box Top.
I love quick and easy projects. 
BTW...Blogger rotated this picture all by itself. Sweet! 
My original was turned 90 degrees.

2 Questions:
#1) How do I get rid of the "/>" in between my blog button and the code for my blog button? I'd like my button to be centered over the code.

#2) How do I make and add a "signature" to the bottom of my posts?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Right Brain vs. Left Brain - Interesting!

Are You Left or Right Brain?

I can't decide which one I am. I love my dog and cats. I read laying down while listening to rock music. However, I am a rational planner, who loves sequential patterns. I, also, would have preferred that this chart came with a quiz or a test to help me decide which one I am.

As the school year approaches, this is a good reminder that students learn differently. I need to use both left and right brain strategies. One size doesn't fit all! Then there is my superintendent's favorite quote, "All means All!"
Via: Online College Advice

August 4, 2012


It's another linky party! Check out Farley's Currently!

1. Hubby usually has the remote. He occasionally asks me what I want to watch, but let's just say I've seen some stuff I never would have had had it not been for him. Like "Swamp People" or "Hillbilly Handfishin".

2. Hi, my name is Kristin and I'm addicted to Pinterest. Hubby probably would have had an intervention for me by now, but I got him addicted too. Bwha ha ha!

3. Finally, we can get into our classrooms Monday. My plan is to go M-W this week. (I have an inservice Thursday. I might be there Friday for our team meeting.)

4. I NEED a personal laminator. Last year our sweet receptionist laminated for us. She has moved back east. Admin. also got stinky about what they would and wouldn't laminate. I have a ton of things that I've printed or made this summer that needs laminated. I may break down and take it to the school supply store. 

5. B2S must haves. Comfy shoes - I learned this one the hard way. Last year, I bought a pair of Clarks. They are supposed to be comfy. Wrong! I bought them 1/2 size to small. I had major blisters by the end of the first day. I took them back got the right size. Now, they are the comfiest shoes I own. 

Tylenol - Even though, I take Potassium and Magnesium, I get horrible leg cramps at the beginning of every school year. Tylenol to the rescue!

New calendar - This is the first B2S item I buy every year. As soon as Wal-Mart puts out their planners, I pick out a new one and a new set of pens, and start filling in all of my important dates. This year I picked out a Mead Five-Star planner. It is lime green. (BIG smile!) The spiral is covered with fabric. (Hopefully, it won't snag.) It has an elastic loop for a pen. The final selling point - rather than listing times on the weekly planner, it has empty circles for a to-do list. LOVE!