Saturday, June 29, 2013

 I Always Wanted A Sock Monkey...

I don't remember if I wanted a sock monkey when I was a kid. I do know that I never had one. I guess as you get older you start getting nostalgic. Every time I see a sock monkey, I want to buy one, up till now I have managed to keep my urge in check. 

Well, as anyone who has read my blog much knows, I am moving back into a newly renovated classroom. The color scheme I used last year, really wasn't going to work with the colors in the "new" room (lime green , orange, yellow orange, and purple). I got online and looked at Mardel's borders and that's when I saw this.
Sock Monkey Border!!!! Isn't it adorable? There are a few extra colors, but I think it will work fine! I had remembered seeing some little sock monkeys somewhere. Delaney and I could not remember where we saw them, but my sister said she saw some at Target. Of course, I went straight there and came home with these little cuties.
I think I might have one hugging the can of sharpened pencils or something, I haven't quite decided yet. I could have them sit on the desk of whoever is in the bathroom, but who knows, I might just have them on a shelf so I can look at them! ;P

Here are a few other things I got. The purple and green "cans" I plan to use as table top trash cans. I got them at Dollar Tree. The ones I painted last year are chipping badly and I bought the paint that was supposed to be for plastic. I just hope these aren't too big. I think they will be OK. I bought some orange and green border to make a double border on the bulletin boards. I got the orange calculator at Hobby Lobby along with the green baskets that were 1/2 price.
Then to top it all off I won the Chalkboard Swagger Giveaway from 

Look what one of the choices guessed it! Sock Monkeys!!!
I think they will be perfect!

I have most of signs and decor printed out, I just haven't gotten them laminated. 

I am seriously considering biting the bullet and buying a new rug for my classroom. I found a website the sells them wholesale and doesn't charge shipping. Here is the one I am considering and no there are no sock monkeys on it. ; ) If you are needing a rug, you should check them out. They have lots of cute carpets and the prices can't be beat.
Animal Squares School Rug

Have a terrific weekend!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

 Monday Made It

I'm linky up with Tara @ 4th Grade Frolics for her fun, motivating and creative linky party Monday Made It.

The first thing I'll show is something I found on pinterest that I thought Delaney and I could do together.

This is the picture from the pin which was showing you how to tie die using sharpie markers and rubbing alcohol. Here are the supplies we used. (notice we ditched the cup.)
We just put a lid from a large tub (which if you are a teacher I'm sure you have at least one of those lying around. ;P) inside a washed t-shirt. Then we went a little crazy making different types of designs. After we made a few designs, we used the pipette to put drops of alcohol on the design. We were a little impatient, we used a blow dryer to dry the alcohol so we could make some more designs. Here are the fruits of our labor. It was a lot of fun and very easy to do. I'm going to use some vinegar on the designs to help set in the color. The white t-shirts are the most vibrant, but the light blue and green worked too.
My next few things are for the classroom. The first one was simple. I bought Sight Word Stick Centers by Reagan Tunstall from TPT. It has 10 fun activities for kids to do and all I had to do was print out some pages and write some sight words on some Popsicle sticks. Now I'm ready to go.
My next project was another find from pinterest. It came from Donna @ Math Coach's Corner. It's called a rekenrek. it is a mathematics calculations tool that is supposed to give children a great visual model for developing a strong sense of 5 and 10. She gives step by step directions how to make them she has a link with more information on them. Here is what you need, pipe cleaners, beads and fun foam.
They were easy to make and they didn't cost much, especially sense I already had some of the items. Here is my finished product.
OK, I have one more thing I made for my classroom. It came from last weeks Monday Made It by            A Teacher Without a Class . She made a multiplication game using legos and socks. I just changed it up a bit to do addition. I only put 2 legos in each sock. I found a six pack of socks for $4.00 at Big Lots and I had already had legos. So all I did was to put different sets of legos into each sock, tie a knot in the top and then numbered each sock. 

Check out her sight, she even has a recording sheet already made.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

 My Teacher Always Says...

I'm linking up with Tammy @ Forever in First for her linky party, "My teacher always says...
When I read this, I thought, "Hmmm what do I always say?" My mind went blank. I know I say some of the same things over and over and over again, but seriously my mind was blank.

I thought back to before I started teaching. I was working as an assistant with a wonderful teacher. She had all kinds of things she would say. The students would say the same things. One of the things she would say was "Wagabootchie" (I'm totally guessing how you would spell it). One day she asked one of her students to bring a stack of books to her. I was sitting by the desk where the books were, I about cracked up when she said in a very strained voice, "Wagabootchie". 

Then I thought about my daughter and how she impersonates her teachers, she picks up their mannerisms, tone of their voice and things they say. If she is doing that, then I'm sure my students could tell me exactly what I say.

I thought that maybe if I started writing, some things would come to my mind. I know I haven't ever and won't ever say the "S" word...shut-up. When my niece was in first grade, I read "Ramona the Pest" to her on the phone. There's a place where Ramona yells, "Shut-up Pizzaface!" After I read it, my niece said, "Aunt Kelly you are not supposed to say shut-up, you should say be quiet." I guess she told me.

OK, I finally thought of one and I couldn't get Tammy's cute graphic on here.

"I'm not looking at HOW you draw, I'm looking at IF you draw.

I always have those students who are reluctant to draw, so I always let them know I'm not judging their art work. I like to read the book "Ish" by Peter A Reynolds to the kids early on in the year so I can remind the to just make an "ish" drawing. A lot of times they have surprised themselves when they take their time and look at what they are wanting t draw.
One thing I started saying towards the end of the year was "I'm taking children who are ready to recess." I know it doesn't sound like much, but it worked. I got the idea from  Teaching With Love and Logic. It said to stop saying I like the way ____ is lined up nicely. They were right, it wasn't very successful. I was really surprised how well the phrase worked.

I know there are some things that I say probably over and over again, but I guess with it being summer, part of my brain went on break! lol

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Friday, June 14, 2013

 5 for Friday

I'm linking up with  Doodle Bugs Teaching  for her weekly linky party 5 for Friday. It's easy you just share 5 things you did this week.
1. My dad turned 80 on Saturday, we had a surprise party for him. Here are a few pictures.

2. After working for almost a week, I finally got my room packed up to be moved. I actually got to move a few things myself. Is it just me or are there others out there worry about their things being destroyed by careless movers. I told my principal that when I moved into my house, people from church who care about me helped me move. some of my furniture got some nicks and scratches, if people who love me did  that (not on purpose) then what are a bunch of movers who don't know me at all going to do. My main issue was I took my baskets of books and dropped them into the moving boxes with the books still in them. I was worried that some of the heavier stuff would end up on top of them crushing the books and breaking the baskets. So I was very happy to move all of my books to my new room and know that they were in good shape.
3. Here are some pictures of my new room which is actually my old room renovated. It looks really nice, but my one complaint is the cabinets are very deep, luckily I have a big cabinet that will come back to my room that will hold large items.
Since my computer crashed, I don't have access to any photos of my old room, but here's some pictures of the new old room. 

There's not very many shelves, the other classrooms have 8 sections instead of 4. 
They tried to make up for it by giving me more purple and green cabinets.

I will eventually have a Smartboard in the space between the white boards. Yes! I have real white boards, I used to have OLD shower board that was worn out.

4. We got a little closer to living in the 21st century. Since I re-financed the house, I got cable, WIFI  and caller ID. Delaney was thrilled to be able to watch the Disney channel. I may have to watch her so she doesn't become a big couch potato this summer. We really needed WIFI because I got her a Kindle last year and she couldn't upload anything on it unless we went to McDonalds or someones house.

5. One of my favorite things that happened this week, is.... wait for it.... I got a second trash dumpster. Isn't that terrific? I am really excited about it, seriously! I have a small yard, but there are several trees in it so that means lots of leaves and branches. The city won't pick up any bags, but fortunately the extra dumpster only costs $5.00. I only got it yesterday and I have already filled it up. I love doing yard work but ever since I moved here, the leaves and branches have always been a problem. I'm hoping now that I've got another can, I will get out and do more yard work which hopefully will lead to losing a lot some weight.
The trees are nice because they shade the swing set almost all day, but they do create a lot of work.

As you can see from this picture of Rascal, the leaves killed a bunch of our grass.

I've still got a lot of work ahead of me as you can see.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

 Smarter than a Box of Rocks - A Sight Word Game with a Freebie

I wanted to share a little sight word game at I came up last week with it while I was cleaning and packing up my classroom for the movers. I haven't tried it with my kids, but I am going to use it this week when I start tutoring. 

While I was going through my "stuff" I found some polished black stones I got from Dollar Tree. I had written a sight word on each rock with a silver Sharpie.

I had seen the idea to play a sight word game using the rocks. I always have the kids turn them over so they can't see the words. If they can read it, it goes in their pile. I came up with a slight variation that I think the kids will love. If they can read the sight word, they put it on their side of a balance scale. who ever has the heaviest words wins. Just a new twist to an old game. NOTE: After looking at the rocks, I am going to go back and spray the rocks with polyurethane to keep the letters from rubbing off.

I made up a little recording sheet for the kids to write down the words they read. Grab a copy if you want.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

 School Goals for Summer

Last summer I got my craft on and participated in Monday Made It several times. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed all of the crafting, but this past year several changes were made in our lesson plans and curriculum so I ended up feeling like I was playing "catch up" all year long. So this summer, I want to try to get ahead a little bit. here are a few goals I have set for things I want to get done for school.
1. I want to redo all of my homework pages so they are ready to go before school starts.
2. We are supposed to have word walls up to go with our Core Knowledge units, so I have already started making word cards. I've got a ways to go, I've only done the first unit.
3. I want to work on my lesson plans and do as much as I can ahead of time that I can. I'm really bad about putting off them off until the last minute and then I'm up all hours of the night trying to get them finished.
4. I plan to go through all of my AR books and make sure they are in the correct baskets then color code them by reading level. (I started this one today. It's time consuming, but I think it will pay off next year. I think it will help the students to put the books back in the right place.) 
5. I hope to do a little creating of games, units, etc....
6. I desperately need to look at the Everyday Math curriculum. Last year was our first year to use it and I really need to get more comfortable with it. I usually like teaching math, but this year, I dreaded it each day. I'm hoping if I study it more, maybe I will like it. This year I hated it, it just seemed to jump all over the place without letting  the kids get the skills down before it went to something else.
I'm sure there is a whole bunch more I should be doing, but my main goal is to simplify my life after school starts.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

 The Last Day

My last day of school was Thursday. Since our building is still under construction, we did something a little different with our awards programs. Each of us had our awards program in our classroom. When the principal told us that was what we were going to do, I thought it was going to be rather lame. I decided I would have the kids sit on the carpet and then I pushed back the desks and placed 28 chairs around the carpet for the guests. I think I had between 20 and 25 people show up. It ended up  being one of my favorites. The parents were cheering for all of the kids which was nice since some didn't have a parent there. I was able to share small anecdotes about each child which made it more personal.

I have no pictures, but the rest of the day we played some minute to win it games, made a necklace and puppet, took an extra long recess and their favorite part was cleaning the desks with shaving cream. I think they all made some good memories.

I have been absolutely terrible about posting the last several months. I hope to do much better this summer. My "mom" is gone and I got a new computer. I got tired of fighting with it every night trying to get it to come on.

I am having to pack my whole room up again because I am moving back to my old room now that it has been renovated. I'm glad to get back to the old room, but I don't look forward to packing up for the second time this year. I'll take pictures of the building once they have gotten the landscaping finished. It looks totally different. They did a great job combining the old with the new.

Wish me luck purging!

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