Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Finds

I am linking up with Elizabeth from Fun in Room 4B for my second Fabulous Find Friday.

I have two quick ones to share.

The first find I consider fabulous is because they were such a deal. I have been wanting some inflatable fish for my under water classroom theme and I came across these for under $1 each at Walmart. I bought four but I wish they had some other types so I could have ought more.

The next find was from our visit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They have a super cool psychedelic jellyfish exhibit. In the gift shop I found a jellyfish that I immediately fell in love with because it is blue and purple (my favorite colors). It was not a deal but I bought it anyway. In this picture it is hanging on the door thing in our hotel but I think you can get the idea.

Thanks for dropping by


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More About Me

I am on the road right now driving to Yosemite National Park. We arrived VERY late last night (because of mechanical issues with our plane and car rental issues) from Georgia.

I wanted to join in on the fun from Step Into Second Grade.

I am doing this on my iPad so I think the pictures are going to all end up at the bottom (probably out of order) if a past preview is accurate. I am also limited to pictures I have here on my device but I am going to go with it anyway. I might as well since I still have a couple more hours in the car.

1. I was undeclared in college (Kutztown University) until I finally had to pick a major. I didn't know what I wanted to do but I was sure I didn't want to teach (like much of my dad's side of the family). I ended up picking business. My first job out of college was at the Boy Scouts. I ended up going into schools and decided that I totally wanted to teach after all. I went back to school (Western Connecticut) for teaching. I later did my masters in instructional technology (Georgia College). I LOVE teaching fourth grade. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

2. I have a wonderful husband that I have been married to for eight years. We met through match although he still won't admit that to most people. He has a real job but on the side he plays in a wedding band. I included a picture of him playing on the piano at Studio B in Nashville where Elvis himself played many times.

3. We don't have any children. We have two dogs that are kind of like our kids. Of course I always get to borrow everyone else's kids at school too. I do have nieces and nephews that I love.

4. Speaking of family, I come from a crazy divorce remarriage family. I have 5 sisters but only two that I grew up with in my house. I even have two sisters, Amanda and Alisha, born on the same day from different parents.

5. I am pretty much a geek. I love technology and am the go to person at my school for Activboards, iPads and pretty much all things tech. I try to incorporate it as much as possible. I have been following blogs for a couple of years and I can't believe it has taken me so long to set up a teacher blog.

6. I am totally not a TV watcher. I record like two shows (Grey's Anatomy and Big Bang) and watch when my husband and I get a chance. I always feel out of touch when my friends chat TV shows at lunch.

7. I love to travel! My two favorite trips have been the Galapagos Islands for animal watching and Australia for neat variety. On the Australia trip we dove on the Great Barrier Reef and spent New Years Eve in Sydney which both were fabulous.

8. I have an adventurous soul which sometimes drives my husband crazy. I love scuba diving. I like to zip line, parasail, paraglide, Segway, ATV, horseback ride, etc. He like the motorized things but nothing that involves heights.

9. I have been racing sailboats for about 7 years with a couple and some others. We race each Wednesday and then some weekend regattas. Most are on Lake Lanier but sometimes we travel.

10. I drive a convertible. Even though I've had it for 8 years, I still drive with the top down whenever possible. It doesn't matter if it's 95 or 50.

Thanks for stopping by and finding out a little more about me.


Monday, July 23, 2012

My room then and now

I have been mentioning for a couple days that I was going to put up some classroom pictures. Since I'm stuck on a plane right now I figured I would give it a shot on this blogger app. That totally didn't work but thanks to Megan at I Teach. What's Your Super Power? I downloaded blogsy and it seem much more workable. Woohoo

So here are some before pictures. Well if truth be told these were actually after I moved the bookcases and some other furniture in to their general location.




Here are some after pictures starting from a look in door and then doing a 360 around the space. I spent 1 day before my Texas trip and 2 days this week in my classroom. I actually feel like I'm in pretty good shape before preplanning. I still have some banners to make (oops somehow forgot them this weekend) and I need to hang up some decorative elements on the ceiling that I bought.

I love the VOICES and CRAFT headers from Ladybug Teachers Files. This will be the writing area.

This is reading area with the visiting classes book bins.

I'm also super excited about my common core vocabulary cards from Ginger Snaps. I have the whole area above the bulletin boards set aside but I will it up most of the words as we go.

Obviously this is the classroom library. Don't my new bean bag chairs look inviting.
That bulletin board will have book recommendations on it.
This is the coat/book bag area as well the kids cubbies (which hold the homerooms book bins).
The area above the cubbies will be the place to move some anchor charts.

This corner needs inspiration but I'm thinking maybe about a map for our postcard exchange and
other collaborative projects since I took over the location from last year with something else.

This is a teacher corner and I'm thinking about using the fish background ($2.50 at Target)
to track Daily 5 choices
Small group meeting area with designated area for anchor charts
with clips (inspired by Clutter-Free Classroom)
There you have it. My room as it stands waiting for my return from California. There is definitely still a bit to do but I'm certainly farther along than I would normally be. This was primarily inspired by the fact that I wanted to get my crafts to their new home and that by beastie at school is going out on maternity leave 2 weeks into school and I wanted to be able to help with plans and not spending all of it setting up my room.
Now to push publish and see it it actually works.

Hmmm not sure how to get My cute signature on here. I suppose I should watch some how to videos so I can get hyperlinks and other key things working correctly.

Thank for stopping by



Lots of Made Its this Monday

  I have been SUPER PRODUCTIVE this weekend. I guess I really needed to be after I laid out my to do list  for the linky organized by Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies.

Now it's time to link up with the fabulous

  Here are some of my quickie projects. They were mostly quick thanks to lots of other fabulous bloggers that shared ideas and files.

Thanks to 4th Grade Frolics - I bought the task cards too

Thanks to There's No Place Like Second Grade

Thanks to Tonya's Treats for Teachers
I can't remember where this idea came from - so sorry - the other was cuter but this works

Medium time and effort projects - mostly just time in front of the computer.

an ocean version of the popular 10 ways to be a better reader
Thanks again to Tonya's Treats for Teachers for this idea

Thanks to Clutter-Free Classroom for the tip to trim a calendar with ribbon (or in my case glitter tape)

The next two are items that I created with Print Shop and then ordered from Vistaprint
birthday card/coupons
My version of the ever popular tracking thinking posters
These I made with Print Shop, printed them on my color laser printer and then glued them together

There are three banners I needed for my room the largest is 6 sheets long

 The last items were definitely more of a time/effort investment.

an ocean version of facebook/classbook - I ordered it from VistaPrint
and coordinating headers for showcasing kids work with their picture - printed myself

This was a project that I expected to be simple and it just wasn't. After ordering the aprons from ebay they arrived smelling terrible (mildew and cigarette smoke). I first tested out fabric paint to cover the logos - no go. Next I washed them all to get rid of the stink and then had to untangle the MESS from 30 strings (well actually 60 since they have 2 strings each). I sorted the ready to go ones and the others that seriously needed ironing :-(
I ended up deciding to use duct tape to cover it all up. First I tried to just fill in the middle but it was way too hard to get everything even - ugh. I tried alternating color to use my duct tape more efficiently but I didn't like the turquoise on the outside. I found out some aren't the same size as you can see with the narrower turquoise band. Finally I decided to wrap the tape around the end a little to avoid the uneven tape. In the end I only ended up making 10 because I'd had enough. I think I am going to see if I can get a parent volunteer to make the rest when school starts.

Well there you have it. If only I was always this productive. It helps that my hubby was out of town and the only thing I had to do was an evening wedding Saturday night. Actually now that I think about it I did spend about 6 hours in my classroom Friday too - pictures still to come.

I originally was going to load up several of the files to Google docs and share but I ran out of steam. If you are doing an ocean theme and you would like any of the files just leave a comment with your email and I'll get them to you.

I leave this evening for California and I don't return until next Monday so I won't have a chance to make anything for next week. Well, maybe I'll just do something late. I will of course stop in and check out everybody else's wonderful stuff.

Thanks for stopping by... and reading this far :) 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday To Do List

I just returned yesterday from a visit with some of my family in Texas. It was so hard to leave my adorable niece and nephew (especially since they were both sick and my sister could really use the help). Of course flights were booked and I had to go. Now I'm back to my huge to do list so I decided to join in on Lorraine's link up at Fabulous 4th Grade  Froggies. Luckily (or unluckily as the case may be) I use the reminder app on my iPad/iPhone to keep track of my long list so nothing slips my mind.

Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies

Here we go:
  1. Daily 5/CRAFT boards with ocean theme done
  2. bulletin board headers - done
  3. diver for ceiling
  4. classbook poster and headers with ocean look - done
  5. redo templates for daily 5 posters - can use Wise Guys as templates - so generous
  6. make memory jar - found jar and printed label so almost done - done
  7. PHH book bags - painted need to do iron-ons
  8. make scratch off tickets
  9. random acts of kindness jar
  10. big speech/thought bubble
  11. boggle board - have file just need to print and assemble
  12. classroom jobs
  13. absent folder
  14. update welcome coupons
  15. ask me about buttons - bought materials done
  16. student check in pizza tray
  17. labels for table recycle bins done
  18. name sign - bought materials
  19. hall pass sign with ribbon and clips - bought materials
  20. need a writing conference sign with ribbon and clips - bought materials
  21. light bulb jar - bought materials done
  22. set up class blog
  23. figure out class blogging plan
  24. reorganize electronic reading and writing files
  25. make diving related introduction presentations
making some progress :-)

Okay, I'm going to stop there before I freak out. Apparently I need to seriously get to work this weekend since I leave Monday for California. When we return from the week vacation I have two days before teachers need to report to work. Luckily I spent all day in my classroom today so it looks pretty decent except for a couple bulletin boards and little projects. I took some pictures that I hope to share tomorrow.

While doing my room today I was reminded of a purchase that I made a couple of weeks ago, the Desk Apprentice Organizer. I just took out of the box and I'm super excited about it. I definitely think it counts as a fabulous find. Mine is still empty I just need to get it all organized and filled with great stuff like Mel D.

from Seusstastic Classroom Inspiration

The final thing I wanted to do today is link up with Third Grade is the Place for Me's

Having only been at this for a few weeks, I definitely count myself as a newbie. Here are my responses to Janis's questions.

  1. I teach in Georgia
  2. I teach fourth grade - this will be my sixth year doing it at my current school
  3. I have been teaching 17 years. I have taught third through fifth. I was also an instructional technology specialist for four years that worked with preK-5 classrooms.
  4. I started blogging six weeks ago.
  5. There are lots of resources out there about how to do anything you want to know - just google it. Recently I wanted to know how to include my a link back to my blog when I leave a comment. Here was a handy code generator to do just that.
Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another Made It Monday

My favorite day of the week (over the summer) because I get to join up with Tara's

This week is a little different for me. I am away visiting my sisters (and niece and nephews) in Texas so I am going to share some a couple of electronic made its rather than a crafty ones.

The first is an electronic version of my earlier writing banner. After my best teaching bud was jealous and seeing Tara's version I decide that would make one for her but did it with the computer which was so much quicker and easier.

Her team is doing superheroes so I make writing and then welcome. I also ended up making read and math. Once I had them made I decided to redo the whole set for my oceans theme as well. I am including the superhero set as a freebie but I can't share the ocean one because of some of the graphics that I used.
click for the freebie
I also ended up making them some superhero themed "money" like I made for our team. You can grab the freebie below. You can get the ocean version freebie at the post above.

click for the freebie

The more practical project that I did was my teacher binder (and front covers for my two pensieves for my two reading classes). Basically I just made my previous sections cuter and added a couple of dividers. Once again I can't share this because of some of the graphics,

I still have a long to do list of crafts which will probably only get longer after today. I am definitely going to have to get busy when I return on Thursday.

I also decided to join up for the first time with

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Thanks for stopping by