Saturday, July 28, 2012

 Tell Me More, Tell Me More

I am linking up with Mrs. Lemons @ Step into 2nd Grade for her Tell Me More Linky party.

1. I love to work in the garden. I don't like wearing gloves, I like to get my hands in the dirt. It is very therapeutic to me, once I get started, times just passes by.
2. I always thought a I was just an ordinary kid until several years ago I put some of these random facts on my Xanga (remember those???) and my friend told me I was very ornery as a child. When I was 5 or 6 I would wait for everyone to leave the dinner table and then put all of my veggies back in the bowl.
3. As I got a little older, I started faking taking a bath. I would seriously spend 15 minutes faking it. I would run water, step in and then onto the bathmat. I would wet the soap, the washcloth and then put my hands in to wipe on my towel. Hopefully I didn't do this much in the summer time or I would have been one stinky kid! 
4. When I was 11 or 12, I used to take (OK.... steal) quarters from my mom's purse. I would only do it if she had a bunch. I guess she never knew because she never said a word to me.
5. At the same time I was stealing quarters, I was also taking stealing gum from my dad. He would buy those big packs of Doublemint gum and put them in this pitcher on top of our china cabinet. Just like the quarters, I would only take a pack if there was a bunch in there. I told him about it a couple of months ago, he had never caught on.
6. I gave up my life of crime after that and now am a respectable citizen. While I was doing those things at home, I would have never even attempted any thing like that at school. I NEVER got in trouble in school.
7. When I was 23, my house was broken into while I was in the house. This was before every one had a cell phone. Around 4 in the morning, I woke up because someone was knocking on my door. I thought I would go in the front bedroom and look to see who it was before I turned on a light and committed myself to opening the door. I looked out and saw 2 guys running onto the porch with a crowbar. I didn't know what to do so I got in the closet. I guess when they went in my room and saw that the bed wasn't made, they knew some one was in the house. The younger guy came in the front bedroom and opened the closet door. I think I scared him almost as much as I was scared. He closed the door really fast and put some stuff in front of the door so I couldn't open it. He went and told the other guy there was a girl in the closet and he asked if I had a gun. Later the younger one came back in the bedroom, he asked me where my drugs were and I told him I don't do drugs. Then he asked me where my money was, I told him I didn't have any (I think I had about 2 dollars in change). He said "You ain't lying, are you?" I can't believe I actually said this, but I did. I said, "I wouldn't be living in a house like this if I had a lot of money." (It was a little bitty 2 bedroom house.) The other guy came in and asked the younger one where my money was and he said "She ain't got none." Then the older one said, "Well let's just shoot her."  I guess he thought he would scare the truth out of me, but I didn't say anything. I could hear them opening drawers and cabinets. At some point I sat down in the closet, my alarm (the radio) came on at 6, I waited until 6:30 to try to get out just to make sure they were gone. When I got out, they were gone. They had cut the phone cord so I had to go next door to call the police.  They were long gone by then and never caught, but I survived.
9. I feel like a good title for my life would be "Leo the Late Bloomer". I was always really bashful around guys and seldom dated. I did not get married until I was 38. I had my daughter when I was 42 and no that didn't make the Guinness Book of World Records.
10. OK, I hope this doesn't sound like poor, pitiful me. My husband left us right after my daughter's 1st birthday. I had always wanted to have children, but I never did want to be a single mom. It was a horrible feeling to have some one else make decisions about my life. I recovered both emotionally and financially. I look back and see so many ways God was watching out for both me and my daughter. I feel bad for her because he has no contact with her at all and she does get upset about it from time to time. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful daughter.
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

 Monday Made It

I'm joining Tara @ for Monday Made It.

I have bought several pkgs of these foam letters at Dollar Tree. Every time I see the cover I think it would make a good reading frame. Now that I've been crafting so much, I have duct tape laying around so I just covered the cover with duct tape and that's it! 

Next I updated my little rolling cart. I used the printed card stock from Dollar Tree and made my own labels.

I bought some of those index card holders for some of my card games. I made labels for each game. i had trouble getting the labels to stick so I covered them with carton tape. I  love how easy they store. I will be going back to Walmart to get some more.

I had these magazine holders. They were red with white hearts which was cute, but they didn't match my color scheme so out came the black spray paint. when they were dry I put duct tape around the bottom for added strength and to give it a little zing.

My last project is my favorite. I have always used coffee cans for table top trash cans. As a teacher, I have a really hard time throwing any type of container in the trash, especially if it had a lid! I had several of these bubble gum containers, the smaller ones are the newer ones. I pulled out the spray paint and painted them. Then I took the cute $.88 stickers from Walmart and put the word TRASH on each one. I love how they turned out. One thing that is nice is they will all stack together when not in use so they won't take up as much space.

I still have so much I was wanting to get completed, but I go back to work officially on Friday.We'll see what I can get done. ; D


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

 Fabulous Find Friday & a Great Workshop for Okie Teachers

Yesterday, I went up to school to sit in with my principal on interviews for the other first grade teacher. I'm so glad I'm not having to look for a job. I agonized with each candidate as they were asked "those" questions. One candidate was on her 4th interview of the day and it was only 11:00. I'm so thankful to already have a job!

I'm linking up with Elizabeth @ Fun in Room 4B for her Fabulous Find Friday.
Have you seen these? I happened upon them one day at Big Lots. They were $2.00 for 5. They are folders that are open at the top and on the right side except for about 2" at the bottom. The top has a little colored tab at the top to keep the papers from sliding out. I bought them hoping they would work with a dry erase marker and they worked great. They don't need duct tape or anything, they are ready to go.
I bought some of the ones from Target, but they were too big for my purposes. A couple of years ago the librarian was trashing some plastic boxes that looked like they would be great to store a center. When I saw a sight word tic tac toe on TpT last year I thought that would be the perfect center for the boxes. 
I'm in the process of making tic tac toe games to go with our reading series. I'll make a cover page for each game and put it on the front of the box. The box has a small plastic envelope that will be just the right size for the dry erase markers and eraser. I plan to put at least 3 or 4 different games in each box so there will be different levels to suit different learners.

I went to Big Lots the other day to find more of the locking folders. while looking for them, I ended up in the Back to School area. I was very happy to find some more of the folders, but that was not my best find. Last year Big Lots sold 12 glue sticks for $2.00, during the year the pkg was reduced to 9. I still bought them because they were still the cheapest. I was soo excited to see pkgs of 15 for $2! I immediately sent Delaney to get me a cart! Next to the 15 for $2.00 was pkgs of 3 for $.24. I did some quick calculations...that is 15 for $1.22. I bought 48 pkgs, I know it is a little excessive, but you can't imagine how many glue sticks we go through. They also had composition notebooks for $.39  each so I got 30 of those.

I went to a workshop today from the OERB (Oklahoma Energy Resource Board). If you live in Oklahoma, you should get on their website to see when the next workshop is. They pay you $50.00 for coming to the workshop, they provided a lunch and snacks and they send you home with a tub of supplies worth more than $200.00. The other really cool thing is after you have presented the lessons your class gets a free field trip to a museum (including transportation fees). In OKC our choices are the Science Museum, Cowboy Hall of Fame/Western Heritage Museum, and Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. Below is a picture of all of the supplies I received. They give you enough for 20 students, but if you have more students all you do is email them and they send more to you.

I received 20 pair of scissors, 20 glue sticks, 3 jump ropes, 3 nice hardback books, pencils, buttons, certificates, etc...  After you have attended the workshop one year, you can request more materials and continue to get a free field trip for your class.
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Monday, July 16, 2012

 Monday Made it!

Better late than never, I'm joining Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It linky party.

The first thing is a little sign my daughter and I made together for her bedroom. We googled for a cute quote about little girls. All I can say is I'm glad she wasn't sitting close to the computer. The second link that was showing had a BAD four-letter word. There were also a lot of nasty quotes on some of the sites. Who'd have thunk inspirational quotes for little girls would come up with filth???? ): Anyway, she chose sugar and spice, we didn't have room for the rest. It's just a canvas painted and then the letters, peace signs and flowers were in a set of stickers from the $.88 section of Walmart. We mod podged over it to give it a nice finish.

I saw an exit chart on a site earlier this week and thought I would give it a try this year. The kids will use post-its to write down something they learned each day and then they will stick on their number. It still needs to be laminated.

I feel terrible, I didn't pin these ideas so I can't give credit where credit is due. This next one is a note book that has sheet protectors in it. When a student writes me a note or gives me a card it will go in a sheet protector. The notebook will be out for the kids to look at. I really think this will encourage writing, all of the  kids will want his/her note in the notebook.

Like everyone else I have been sooo busy make cutesy stuff, I knew I had to get to work on some learning activities. I thought I had figured it out, but I didn't. I have made another set of Sight Word Mini Books like the one below. I was wanting to put theses freebies on TpT as a set, but what I thought was going to work on my old program didn't. I'm going to give it another try because I know it is a hassle to download these little books one at time.

OK. I know where I got this idea from I'm sure you have seen these Power Tower games. I made 2 levels of sight words and 1 with math facts. I think the kids will really like these. I used the Walmart stickers again. I think I need to go and get some more, they are so cute.

I saw this one this morning when I was looking at Tara's linky, if you want to look at the original, it is here.
It is the monster/alien kleenex box. I just happened to have an empty tissue box and I thought it was sooo cute. I talked myself out of making it because I didn't know what I would use it for. Late this afternoon, I had an idea. I always have trouble with kids putting their broken pencils with the sharpened ones, this monster loves to eat broken pencils. Don't you think all of the kids will love to feed the monster? I was impatient and wanted to make now. I didn't have any giant pom poms, but I did have some lids from spray paint so I improvised a little. I may add some antennae or spots , I'm not sure.

Well I have several other projects that I haven't finished, I need to get to work I report back to school July 27, yes I said July 27.


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Friday, July 13, 2012

 Learned Something New and Old Yeller

I don't have any fabulous finds to share today, although I did make it to Target to pick up some of those dry erase sleeves in the Dollar Spot. I already have a nice set from Lakeshore, but I wanted these to use with some centers so I wouldn't have to continually take them in and out.

After posting my sight word mini books last week, I got on the program I use (it's an old American Greetings Creata Card program) to see if it was possible to make a document with more than one page. I've used this program for years and if I had something with more than 1 page I would save them as doc1, doc2, etc... Guess what, I can save more than 1 page if I do it as a newsletter!  To me this program is so much easier to use than Word. I can move pics anywhere I want and they stay there. I'm going to try to save the sight word mini books into 1 newsletter and re-post them on TpT. It will save a lot of time for you to download them. I'm almost finished with another set.

We report back to school on July 27 and things are up in the air. The brand new teacher that started working with me in Feb. decided about 2 weeks ago not to come back. She didn't like her 45 minute drive and had been unable to find an apartment that was closer. I can't blame her, she really got thrown into the fire. The teacher that started the year was having a lot of problems, plus she got some of the worst behavior problems to top it off. At the end of the first 9 weeks, she took off for 3 weeks to try to get back on track (she was suffering from depression). Anyway, the meds she was taking weren't helping and she ended up missing the whole 2nd 9 weeks. The kids were so wild that we couldn't get a sub that would agree to stay. In the end the teacher took a leave of absence but we couldn't get anyone in until Feb 1so you can imagine what that class was like. They were a mess behaviorally and academically. I really felt sorry for the girl.

For a while I was really excited, my principal was bringing in one of her teachers from a previous school who had a lot of experience in 1st (I've only taught 1st 2 years). Then she texted me and said the other principal wasn't willing to let her leave. Now we are back to interviewing. She wants me to sit in on the interviews, I hope I can make a good judgement, but there are some people who seem to say everything right and that's all it is is TALK. A couple of years ago a team of teachers hired this lady that they were sooo thrilled to be bringing on board. She ended up yelling and I do mean yelling at the kids all the time and she had a load of personal problems that she brought to school with her every day. Does anyone have suggestions, questions to ask, etc.... that might help me as we are going through the interviews? I don't want to be working next to another "Old Yeller". I would love to find someone that wants to work together.

Before I go I wnt to share a couple of pictures of Delaney. If you live in the Tulsa area and need a good photographer check out Rachel Rockwell!/rachelrockwellphotography I haven't gotten the proofs yet, These are just a couple she posted on FB, can't wait to see the rest!

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Monday, July 9, 2012

 Monday Made it

I am linking up again this week with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics I have been so inspired by every one's post. Now that my house is put back together after painting, I was ready to get to work.

The first thing I did, I think I saw on pinterest, but I didn't save the link. It was an old wooden Coke crate that the person had put markers, paint brushes, etc... in it. Mine was out in the shed so I had to clean it before I began.
Since I just saw a picture, I was thinking I could just clean it and put the markers in it. that wasn't going to work because the bottom wasn't solid.
So I put some small strips of card board on the bottom to cover the holes.
Then I thought I was ready to put the markers in, but I had another problem, the dividers didn't go all the way to the bottom, so if the bin wasn't full the markers would slide down into the opening at the bottom. So fortunately I had some more cardboard that was easy to bend. Here's what I did.
Here's my finished product, now all of my art supplies are stored together.
I did one of the famous clipboard remakes. I used some Hello Kitty duct tape. I'm sure I will be making some more!
I also made a hall pass sign. I was inspired by our very own Tara from4th Grade Frolics. This is hers, isn't it cute!

I spray painted my canvas. Then I picked out some scrapbook paper that matched, printed the words onto the paper, trimmed the letters and decoupaged them on. I added a few triangles and squiggles. I got these giant clothespins from Dollar Tree (of course). I thought hope they might be more durable.

I also made the divider pages for my teacher's notebook. I went a little crazy, I kept the same basic layout, but the colors are all over the place. I LOVE them.

My last thing to share is really 2 things. I started with this. BTW this is the spot on the counter that had the huge rust stain, as you can see, it is completely gone.
All I can say is that I drink a LOT of chocolate milk. These cans are the same size as an oatmeal can, box, whatever it is called. The first thing I made using the cans was a headband holder for Delaney. She has a ton of headbands so I wasn't sure if one can would hold them all.  I decided I would tape two together. I put several old blocks in the bottom one to give it some weight.Then I covered both cans with pink duct tape. The nice thing about it, Delaney puts scrunchies and other hair stuff inside the top one.
The other thing I did with the can is to make one of those "ruler" holders. I also made one for my addition/subtraction elevators (vertical number line). If you would like a free copy click on the link.
I painted both cans black. Then I decided I would see if my printer would print on a piece if newspaper. It worked! On the first one I printed out the word with a newspaper border. On the one for the rulers, I printed the outlines of letters and cut them out. I decoupaged  them onto the can. I love the way they turned out.

The next 2 I decorated are for pointers for the Smartboard and bookmarks. I still have 3 more of these cans I'm still contemplating my options for those. : )

My last finished project is my teacher toolbox. I haven't had a desk for 14 years. I think this will definitely help me to stay more organized. I changed a few of my drawers to fit my needs.

 I have a few more projects started, but not finished. Hopefully I will be as productive next week!


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Saturday, July 7, 2012

 Sight Words on Saturday

I just put some FREE sight word mini books in my TpT store. I would have loved to put them all together as one item, but the program I made them on doesn't let me make documents with multiple pages. I look and I could not figure out how to get them all together on TpT, so there are 7 different listings. Here is the link to one of them.

I got the idea for the books from the FANTASTIC Jessica Meacham ( The little books focus on one sight word at a time. The children trace the sight word, cut it apart and staple. They end up with a mini book with 12 pages including the cover. I was teaching kindergarten when I made them, but I plan on starting the year using them as a review. The books I made were the ones the Jessica didn't have that we were supposed to be teaching (has, here, was, look, little, said, where). Anyway I hope that they're something that others can use in their classes.

What are your favorite activities to teach sight words? 
Some of my favorites I found on teacher blogs this year. : )
1.I love all of the great cards games. I downloaded free ones and purchased some and then made my own. My class this past year loved playing them too.
2. One of their favorite games we called "Trash or Treasure". My coworker found it on pinterest so I'm not sure what it was called. I wrote sight words on pieces of CLEAN trash and mixed it up with trash that had nothing on it. They loved opening their trash it to see if they picked out a word. If they did and they could read it, they kept. The one with the most trash was the winner.
3. Another favorite, was sight word tic tac toe. It was another TpT find. I am in the process of making a set to go with our Treasures reading.
4. They also loved Around the World. I was surprised by the competitiveness that came out in some of the students.

This last year was tough, I had 10 kids who came to me knowing less than 10 sight words (several didn't know any). They were supposed to learn at least 32 in kindergarten so you can see they started 1st grade in the hole. Our reading series moves fast, it gives a 3 week review but our district changed it to 1 week. some of the kids started picking them up, but I had some that struggled all year. It was really frustrating.

So I ask again, what are your favorite activities to teach sight words?

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Friday, July 6, 2012

 Fabulous Find Friday & School Supplies

I'm joining up with Elizabeth @ Fun in Room 4B for Fabulous Find Friday. I so need to school to start soon or I am going to go broke! I may need an intervention, I can't seem to stop spending! I told my daughter the other day we had to quit buying things we don't need. We stopped by Big Lots to see if they had their 9 pack of glue sticks. They didn't, so I should have walked out empty handed. WRONG!!! Somehow I ended up buying a pink office chair for Delaney and this cute rolling cart for me.
Isn't is fabulous? It was very easy to put together. I like that the drawers aren't huge. That way I won't overfill it and I will be able to find my stuff easily. I thought it was fabulously priced at $35. If you prefer bigger drawers, they had some with 3 drawers for $29. I plan on putting it next to the table that has my document camera. I'll keep my markers, pens, etc... in the top drawer and the other drawers will have read alouds for the week, my literature response journal, poerty journal, calendar, etc... I think it will work great.

I don't have a fabulous find for the home this week.

Here are a few, not all,  things I picked up cheap.
The green fabric bins came from Dollar Tree, can you believe it? They also had the patterned pencil boxes that I'm going to use to store my phonics card games, they had this patterned paper, it's patterned on one side solid on the other. I got the foam cloud letters and the tamborines on the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby.

I was at Target buying a shower gift yesterday, they already had their school stuff out. They had 2 Rose Art gluesticks in a pkg for $.25. We go through glue sticks like crazy so you know I had to load up. Their Rose Art crayons were also $.25, but I decided to hold off to see if I can get Crayola for a good price. If I can't I'll look for Crazy Art, they seemed like pretty good crayons.

My school is 85% free and reduced lunch. We give the parents an option of paying $20 for the year for school supplies or buying what is on the supply list. I would say I'll have 1/4 to 1/3 each year, maybe more, that don't do anything. We get donations from Feed the Children, but it's kind of a guessing game what you will get. We probably have enough spiral notebooks to last 2-3 years, but we ran completely out of crayons. One good thing is we have a ton of the world's best pencil (and I'm being serious). We have boxes of Dixon Ticonderoga pencils, they really are the best! Last year, they made us take evert thing except the essentials off of our list. The powers that be didn't think tissues were an essential. Seriously? Have they ever been in a first grade classroom during cold and flu season? When I would see parents I knew from previous years, I would tell them to please send tissues. I was very happy to see that they added those"non-essentials" back to our list this year.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

 Room Makeover

OK, I don't know if I should admit this to you, but until 2 years ago I had never had a room theme. My colors were what ever I found on sale. Well, I kind of accidentally happened into a room theme two years ago while I was shopping at Dollar Tree. I found a whole bunch of construction "stuff". Now, I'm not really that crazy about construction, but it just made sense. Our school is in the middle of a major overhaul.
This is the main building on the left. The little red building was the orginal schoolhose that they tore down.
This is another picture of the little red schoolhouse and next to it is the library that was also torn down.

 This is the old gym that they have gutted and are turning into classrooms. New construction will join the main building to the gym.

Well the first year not much happened except planning and talk, you how that goes. Last year my class watched them transplant trees, move in portable buildings, move heavy beams with a crane and the most exciting moment was watching them tear down 2 buildings. They loved watching the big ball knock a hole in the building. We also walked through the gym after they had gutted it and started to put walls in.
I shouldn't do this, but she'll never know. One day Delaney and I were the only ones at school with the principal. It had been raining a whole bunch. The principal took Delaney out to walk on some new concrete. I'm not sure what happened because I was on a Sonic run. When I came back, this is what I found.
I thought we were going to have to call 911, but fortunately she was able to get herself out after I moved that beam across the hole.

OK so I digressed, now we are starting the 3rd year, over the summer they have pulled all of the tile out of our building getting it ready for renovations. We will start the year in our building with concrete floors. Sometime in October, we are supposed to move to the new area so they can do the renovations in the old area. I will be going back to my room.
I see all of this cool stuff you guys are planning for your room, but it's hard for me to get motivated to do much when I know it will all be moving. Also, when it boils down to it, I really don't have the money to redo everything (I'm talking mainly baskets for the library). I am going to paint my bookshelves black this summer so they will kind of just go with anything.
I have picked up a few things that I think will go with the tile we are supposed to be getting, no primary colors here, it's supposed to be a very light gray with accent tiles of turquoise, purple, lime green and burnt orange. Kind of different huh?
How often do you redo your theme? Do you just have a color scheme or is it a theme?

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

 Made it on Sunday for Monday and a Freebie

I guess technically, I didn't make anything, but I sure have been working hard.  I'm finished with my painting. I think trying to get everything back in place and rehung was the worst part. I do have a freebie for you if you keep reading. ; )

 Here are the before and after pictures. This is my dining room. I kept the color pretty much the same except for this wall.

Now it's a light yellow.

Here's a picture of my onery sweet daughter's greasy handprints.
 The new color is a little lighter, but it covered the handprints. ;P
These are pictures of Delaney's room. I didn't take any before pics. It is sort of an explotion  of color. I added the blue stripes to the shelf. I got the bins from Family Dollar, 3 solid pink  for $5.00, the decorated ones were 2 for $5.00. At Walmart they had 1 for $6.45.

 The curtains look a little odd because I didn't attached the tiebacks to the wall yet. Oops!
 As you can see she has a loft bed, I had bought some hot pink sheers to go on the windows, then I ound the pink and green ones at Big Lots. I hated to waste the sheers so I hung them on the backside under her bed. The bead things were some things I had gotten when Walmart closed out their fabric dept. I thought they looked pretty good. She likes it and so far has been keeping it clean. :D

Here's the before picture of my bedroom. I did a total impulse buy and bought this comforter that is much fancier than my style, plus I didn't really like the color much.
This is much more me! These colors make me happy! I realized the paint looks darker than it is, probably because I didn't turn on the light. The walls really are lighter blue. I just love the owl I found at Kirklands!
 Delaney gave me the painting with the pink fringe around it, it is a Delaney original.
 I am still debating whether or not to paint this vanity. I'm thinking the darker red color that is in the quilt, but I can't decide. I really want to, it may be a project for Fall break. I have glass drawer pulls to add to it and I also need to recover the bench.

I have listed two new items on my TpT store. the first is a freebie. It is a Sight Word Tic Tac Toe. I used the kindergarten sight words from Treasures plus a few color words. There are four games on the page. I plan to make more as time allows. Pick up your freebie here.
I'm sorry there isn't a picture, I created this in Word and I couldn't figure out how to post a picture.

Last night I posted my first item that is for sale. It is a group of letter sorts which I am going to use at the beginning of the year. There are 7 sorts including two with a twist of math. I have a Vertical Letter Symmetry and a Horizontal Letter Symmetry sort. I included letter cards with the vertical and horizontal lines drawn through them. I'd love for you to check it out. Here is the link for this one.

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