Jul 31, 2011

Hallway Almost Done

On Thursday this past week, I was determined to get the outside of my room completed.  Well, I am happy to report that I am about 90% done with the outside of my room with my pirate theme.  I used my Cricut to do the letters for the bulletin boards, made some clipart using Scrapbook paper, and brought out my old Carson Dellosa palm tree.

 Our entire school's theme this year is "Lighting the Way", so the letters out in the hall way Lighting The Way To Find The Treasure.  This is how I am going to use my pirate theme.

My skinny bulletin board I usually use for different seasonal art projects.  I can usually get 24 student's art projects out in this hall area.  My husband added some tack strip for me on Thursday so that we could put the letters up easier.  Otherwise, we thought it was going to be a lot of tacky strips.  I did not want to use a hot glue gun because my fingers are crossed that I can reuse or sell the letters at a garage sale.  We did not laminate the pennant paper, but I did laminate the letters that I used.  The whole board says "Lighting The Way To Find The Treasure".  I used red pennants for the Lighting The Way and used black pennants for To Find The Treasure.

I also have a large bulletin board area right outside of my door.  This is where I put a "theme" name tag and the students put different projects out in their spot.  These projects can be writings, math items, theme items, etc.  I don't have my name tags up yet because I don't have my class list.

This is the large bulletin board area where I hang additional projects.
 These letters say "AAAArgh" Best Work.  My camera kind of put a shiny glare so it is more difficult to see.  I bought the scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby for 50% off which made it real reasonable.  This banner was also at Hobby Lobby for about $4 so I didn't even try to make one for this area.
This is another view of the large bulletin board area.

I love Deanna Jump's Pirate ship, so I had to incorporate this into my pirate theme.  I think it adds a final touch to the "Pirate Area".

Well, back to work on Monday this week to hopefully give you a view of the inside's of our room.  We are also putting the finishing touches on Homework booklets, center activities, and theme work.  So keep checking back for fun ideas!

Jul 27, 2011

Pirate Workmat Freebie

Today we both were working hard in our classrooms.  It seemed like we had the copier going all afternoon.

I decided today was a good day to finish making my workmats for this coming school year.  I use these workmats as a name tag and a place where students can store popcorn words/science words/math words/etc.  Each day before the students come in, I place the workmats  at the tables where I want them to sit for the day.  During the day the students use the "front" of it as their name tag and to see the alphabet/numbers written correctly.  The back side has a clear pocket (page protector) that has been cut to 9.5 inches.  This is a spot for students to put their word lists to refer to when they are writing.  At the end of the day, the students put all 6 workmats from their table underneath the community pencil/glue supply container so that the custodian can
clean the tables.  Then the next morning, I put the workmats back out again. 

To make the workmats this year, first I printed the nametags and then cut them to be 9.5" x 7.5" (one inch off the top and one inch off the right).  Then I wrote first names onto the dotted lines and then glued them onto a piece of red polka-dotted scrapbook paper to make the border.  Next I laminated the workmats.  I do this before I glue on the nametag or the pocket to make them more durable.  Then I glued both (the nametag/alphabet-number chart and the pocket) onto a piece of black posterboard that I had cut to be 14" x 11".   I used E6000 glue from Hobby Lobby (use your 40% off coupon) to glue the nametag/alphabet-number chart to the front and the clear pocket to the back of the posterboard.  Some years I have also used a hot glue gun.  The reason I cut down the pockets to 9.5" is just to make it easier for the students to get their lists in and out. 

This all sounds more complicated than it really is.  I love using workmats because I don't have to tape anything to the tables, students can store papers in the clear pocket, I can change seats around easily and they last for the entire year.  Here are the mats I am using this year.

Pirate Work Mats PDF

Jul 26, 2011

August Calendar Free on TPT

Well we are both back from vacation and that means the countdown to school officially begins.  It is time to start making those to-do lists that have a time schedule so that we know we are moving in the right direction!  For all of you that begin school in August, we have put two of our SMARTBoard calendar pages in our TPT store for free.  The pages can be used as part of your morning calendar activities. The first one is a calendar page for August and the second one is a graph to show the month's weather. For those of you who don't start until September, take a look and see if it is something that you might be interested in.
Robynn and I are both headed into school tomorrow.  Hopefully by the end of the week we will have lots done and be ready to post some updated pictures of our classrooms to show the progress we are making.  Hope all of your back to school prep is coming along too.

Freebie Today and Pirate Classroom Pictures

I'm back!!  My family got back yesterday afternoon from vacation.  You know how it goes...unpacking, mowing, etc. so I did not get a chance to go into school.  However, I did get into the school mood so I made my pirate ship and made my pirate letters with my Cricut which I will share this afternoon.  We are blocked from getting on blogs at school, so I will share pictures and a freebie this evening.  SueBeth is scheduled to come back from vacation later this afternoon.  So, check back because we have a freebie and some fun things planned for this week.  Also be thinking about what do you do with name tags at the beginning of the year on top of tables/desks.  Well, off to take the dog for grooming, oil change for my car, and work at school. 

Jul 21, 2011

New Curtains Are Up and Hunks And Chunks Are Close

Even though it was 100 degrees today, SueBeth and I ventured into our classrooms to clean out.  I had a couple of missions.  I had sewed curtains to hang above all of my windows.  I got these curtains up and they pulled the room together.   Another mission I had today was to hang up my hunks and chunks that I got from Deanna Jump.  I bought 2 boxes of clips from IKEA thinking that would be plenty, so I only took 1 box in today.  Well, as you can see 1 box was not enough and I will be visiting IKEA again real soon because 2 boxes is not going to be enough either. 
As you can see, one box isn't going to cut it.

It was pretty amazing to SueBeth and I as we were discussing today that both of us were leaving to go with our families on vacation.  Well, it turns out that we both are headed in the same direction and the same town!!  How crazy is that!!  We laughed and laughed about finding this out.  Now as I look back, I think we both were just crazy from the heat!!

Like many of you, I bought the pocket charts from Target and thought now what am I going to do with these.  I went ahead and hung some of them today just to get them out of the bags.  We have some neat things planned for these when we get back from vacation early next week.
Some freebies coming next week to use for these pocket charts from Target!

Jul 19, 2011

A Hot Mess

With the temperatures in the 90s (and a forecast of 100 for tomorrow) and my room looking like it does ... I can't think of any other title. I worked for a few hours yesterday and will say it looks a bit better than these pictures that show how it looked a week ago. I had planned to get further than I did but I was melting with no air conditioning at school. Robynn spent the day in meetings - freezing. Some how it doesn't seem to be fair. So here are a few pictures to show my end of the building getting worse before it gets better. Hopefully in a couple weeks I'll just be seeing the better part.

No matter how hot it is and how much there is to do ... 
                                 bubbles, sand and water can make things good!

Jul 18, 2011

WooHoo 200 Followers - Here's Some More Freebies

200  200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200  200  200 
We are so excited that we have hit the 200 followers mark!  In celebration ... even if it is just us doing the happy dance ... we have a couple more freebies for you.  Below are some graphs we have made.  There is a girls/boys graph and some age graphs.  We posted several so that hopefully we hit the ages of the students that will be in your class.  You could use these graphs several times during the year and discuss why the results are different.  We also posted another free item in our TPT store.  It is called - A Mixture of Daily Oral Language, Math and Analogies.  We put a 20 day sample for you to have.  We hope if it meets your needs and expectations you will consider buying our full year's worth of Oral Language, Math and Analogies.  You only need to print one copy and the work is done.  Students can use scrap paper or dry erase boards as they rewrite, edit, figure out, and/or solve the daily challenge.

After a week at a summer conference I am heading into school to try and make some sense of the mess I have.  Maybe some pictures later.  Robynn got lots done last week in her room.  This week she'll spend time sitting and thinking about all she has left to do while she is at a professional development inservice.  Hopefully she will learn enough to make it seem worthwhile.

Boys and Girls Graph and Age Graphs.docx”

Jul 17, 2011

Freebies Coming Soon

 A little birdie told us that we are almost to 200 followers!!  Maybe we should offer a fun giveaway when we reach this milestone.  We will have to put something together!! 

Both of our computers right now are giving us fits!!  Our plan today was to give some freebies for some graphs and some additional Daily Oral Language and Daily Oral Math activities.  However, we are working through some computer "errors" and will offer them as soon as we can.  Keep checking back, we promise they are coming your way!!

My garage sale was a huge success.  I have to share one story...A younger teacher came to our garage sale mid afternoon and wanted every teaching item I had at the sale.  She told me to make an offer and she would wipe me out!!  I made her a kind offer since she was beginning and she was so excited to start her new class.  She asked me if I was retiring...I filled her in on how teaching works.  You get rid of "old" and replace it with "new"!!   I told her this spending she was doing was only the beginning and check back with me again next year because I will have more "old" to get rid of!!

I will be attending class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week.  I will be learning new things about the SMARTBoard, Ipods, Ipads, and much more.  Look for some postings this week on new things I can share with you.  Hopefully I will learn why our computers are giving us some fits, too. 

Jul 16, 2011

My Week at Mazza

Yippee! That’s how I would describe my last week while attending the Mazza Summer Conference. It is a week long celebration of children’s illustrators and their art. The Mazza Museum is the world’s largest collection of original art from children’s books. If you haven’t heard of the museum or the conference you should look it up. This past week Harry Bliss (Diary of a Worm), Eric Rohmann (My Friend Rabbit), Candy Fleming (Muncha! Muncha!, Muncha!) Denise Fleming (Shout!, Shout It Out!), Chris Gall (Dinotrux), Anita Silvey (Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book), Nick Bruel (Bad Kitty), Richard Cowdrey (Bad Dog Marley), Cheryl Harness (Women Daredevils), James Warhola (Uncle Andy's), John Manders (Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies) and Seymour Simon (Global Warming) were the featured keynote speakers. It was a week of good laughs, some insights to their work, and great connections for teachers and librarians. I have listed just one book by each author/illustrator but you might want to look up some others. What an amazing chance to meet and mingle with some of our students’ favorites.

Jul 14, 2011

Big Day Today

WOW!! Let me tell you about my BIG day today. First my daughter helped me make my birthday "treat" for my kids next year. I told Rachelle, What The Teacher Wants, awhile back that I loved her balloon idea and I was going to do it with stars. So, here is my version with stars. I figured once I have names for my class list, I can either write them fancy with a marker or make labels. BTW I made 25 of them because I probably will have 25 students, but we only put a few in the container for right now so I could show them to you.

Tomorrow is our big garage sale day, so keep your fingers crossed that I get rid of a lot of stuff. Jordan, my daughter, and I have worked for the last few days getting ready for this big event!! It is Friday and Saturday.

Our next big event for today was finishing up my Mystery Number Bag. We posted earlier about a Mystery Letter Bag that we did throughout the school year explaining differentiated activities that I did throughout the school year. Well, we posted on our TPT store our Mystery Number Bag. I use this activity throughout the first couple of months of school for the kids to understand numbers and number sense. Again, there are differentiated activities to do with this Mystery Number Bag.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, I learned how to use our blog button and our BUTTON UP on our blog. So, this means that we can start entering all of those fun giveaways that require you to place your blog button in order to win the prize!! Oh, what fun!!!

SueBeth has been at The University of Findlay all week for the Mazza Institute. This is where authors/illustrators come each day and speak. She is finished tomorrow and will be sharing some fun ideas she gathered from her week.