Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Made Its in August!

August - It's crunch time, people!  I am officially in panic mode.


I am linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics to share some things that I have been crafting.


This is what my "Pick Me" sticks looked like last year - I used the students' names.



Teacher Tip:  I finally wised up and wrote the names on pieces of clear Scotch tape vs. writing the names directly on the sticks themselves, which was causing me to repaint them each summer.


I was pleased to see that they easily peeled off and the tape did not take the paint off.  Yay!


I made the decision to use a student numbering system in my classroom for the first time ever and I think I am going to love it.  So this time around, I wrote numbers on our "Pick Me" sticks, so I should never have to update them again.


Next up are the magnets for our Homework Club board.


I used some circle magnets (I think I found them in the Target Dollar Spot last summer) and flat colored duct tape.



At first I was tracing the magnets on the colored side of the duct tape, which was leaving black marks after I cut out the circles.  Then I started to do the tracing on the back.  Duh Amber.



I did use one roll of green duct tape and this was more difficult to do (vs. the flat duct tape), but I got 'er done.  I just had to cut around the magnets.


So they looked like this when I was done tracing and cutting.


I found these perfect number stickers at Walmart.


Like I mentioned earlier, I am using student numbers, so I should never have to update these in the future.  Awesome!



This is the final product.  I quite like our Homework Club board!


I bought those pink magnetic borders at a local teacher store and I love them as they really define the space!  I left the bottom part open because I will be hanging superior student work there.



You might have read in one of my earlier blog posts that I attended a Whole Brain Teaching Conference.  I picked up a great tip there:  If you want to announce a really big, important point to your students and you REALLY want to make sure you have everyone's undivided attention, call out "Class / Yes," then "Hands and Eyes" and stand under a big arrow that hangs high on your wall or from your ceiling so you can make your "really big point."  Clever!

I just learned that this idea originally came from Chris Biffle's new book, Whole Brain Teaching: 122 Amazing Games, which is on my wish list.




I found this Kohls Cares "Go Dog Go!" chair a few years ago at a huge children's consignment event for only a few bucks.  I still love it because it is a perfect size for my little ones, but I was not in love with the colors.  So I spray painted it and I am happier!  Buuuut - even though I flipped the fabrics parts around, you can still see the "Go Dog Go!" prints.  Any ideas on how I can hide or change these?  I am on the hunt for a small, cute seat cushion, but I am not so sure I will find one.  Hmmmmm.  Help!?



You may remember these curtains from my previous classroom.  I am SO LUCKY to have the same set-up (shelves under windows) in my new classroom, so I can continue to use these curtains that I worked hard to make last summer!  

However, I was short one curtain, so (with the help of my mom) I whipped up the green and white chevron one last weekend.


My parents gave me my very own brand new sewing machine for my birthday last year.  It was on my wish list, so I was super excited to start making all the cute projects I had pinned on Pinterest.  Well - almost a year later, I finally used it for the first time. Haha!


I bought too much fabric, so I whipped up an extra curtain in case anything happens to any of the others.  But instead of storing it away, I decided to use it as a valance for now.  It is a bit short on the sides, but it is better than an empty, bare window.

That's it!  I hope to squeeze in another Monday Made It next week before the school year begins.  Thanks for stopping by!  :)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Five for Fraturday and Classroom Progress

Apparently I have the inability to join Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching on FRIDAYS for her "Five for Friday" linky party.  I always seem to do this on Saturdays, despite the fact that it is summer break for me still.  Fail!  LOL


Here we go anyway!



My husband works for a shoe company and was given two free sets of Lazy Laces.  He brought them home and I fell in love!  I cleaned up my Puma shoes and now I am ready to go back to school in style!  Hehehe.  I am guessing my new firsties will love them.



Do you receive Shutterfly e-mails?  I highly recommend signing up!  They frequently offer FREE gifts, like these playing cards I whipped up.  You only have to pay for the shipping and handling (I think it was $8.00).  I love how they turned out and they will get used often, as my husband and I play cribbage during almost every dinner at home.  Our playing cards from our honeymoon in Jamaica (April 2011) are looking beat up.



I've been at it again!  As a matter of fact, I have to run to the store to get more laminating sheets.  I ran out...again.


Mindlessly cutting out lamination isn't so bad when you get to sit on your rear end and watch your favorite movies!  (Love me some "Phantom of the Opera!")



I am going to my first ever Teacher Blogger Meet-Up in two weeks and I am super excited about it!  I wanted to help out in some way, so I put together a raffle prize: coordinating bucket, mechanical pencils, notepad, and paperclips (all from Target, of course) and a Starbucks gift card.  I hope it puts a smile on some hard-working teacher's face!


 I also snagged these cutie patootie notepads for the Swag Bags (gift bags).  I just cannot resist these colors and patterns!


I am still going into school (at least for a little bit) every weekday.  For the first time this summer, I finally began to see the light at the end of the tunnel this past week.  I still have SO.MUCH.TO.DO. but I am getting there.


I started putting up our whole group area stuff:  learning targets (which are hiding behind the anchor chart paper), weather graph and chart, days of the week chart, calendar, schedule, days of the year (that little lily pad card), and clips / numbers for visual cue cards (when giving directions).

By the way, I need help!  I need to hang my chart paper, but I have no clue how to do it this year because that wall is fabric.  Any ideas!?


I hung our math ABC mini posters above (what will become) our math wall.


My father-in-law used to work for Nystrom (school materials provider), but when he left the company, he still had all these materials in his garage.  So once in awhile, he will surprise me with something he thinks I can use - like these awesome maps!  Well, one belongs to the classroom, but the two on the left are mine.


I found this cute window clings border at The Dollar Tree and hung it up this week.  Ooo - I need your help again!  What should I do with that frog?  My mom's friend gave it to me, but I am not sure how to use it in our classroom.  Ideas please!  Mr. Frog needs a purpose in life.


When I met with the Math Coach for my new school district at the end of last school year, she gave me lots of great information.  But one of the things that really stuck out in my mind was the importance of teaching our kiddos the concept of time and time lines.  I have seen other teachers use photos of things the students do over the school year in order to get them to understand time.  I always liked that idea, so I am going to try it out.

Anyway, the laminated scrapbook pages hanging on the wall with the month cards is what we will use as our time line display.


I have not yet finished it, but this is going to be our birthday board.  I took a picture because I was so impressed with how well I got the chevron lines to match up!  LOL


I am soooooo HAPPY to have this beautiful, black, and magnetic chalkboard in our classroom!  It is the most perfect backdrop for our Word Wall that I started hanging this week.  (There are smaller letter cards that match up with everything else on the Word Wall, but are difficult to see in this photo.)

That random polka-dotted canvas is hiding a big, ugly hole in the wall.  


I hung our Classroom Jobs display on the back of our door that goes into our supply closet.


My most favorite display went right on our main entrance door for all to see as they enter our classroom!  Love!


I am using a Bathroom Check-Out system again this year because it worked really well last year.  The one I made last year (out of posterboard and library pockets) got pretty torn up.  So I invested in a pocket chart that can be used year after year.  I am not fond of this color blue, but I put cards in my classroom colors that will go in the clear pockets, so it should look prettier soon.  :)

I was so stinkin' excited when I found those circular magnets in my classroom colors at a local teacher store during their Educator Appreciation Sale!  I am using that display on the right as our whole group seating chart.  My students discuss and learn from each other a lot during mini-lessons, so I like to change up their turn-and-talk partners occasionally.  This seating chart will help us keep track of where we sit, despite all the changes.  It will also help substitute teachers, I think.  Not that I ever miss school, but I suspect I will be required to go to some PD sessions this year, since I am a "new teacher" in a new school district.


Organization makes my heart sing!  I hung these mini posters in our supply closet and wrote what is stored on each shelf.



I only took the picture below because I was frustrated with my 3 year-old.  LOL  How am I to get work done when he is throwing things around and creating messes!?


Thanks for stopping by!  :)  Be sure to come back on Monday to see what I have been crafting!