Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Classroom Style

Hello to you! Are you starting to think about school? Making plans? Hitting up Target, WalMart, Staples, the dollar store - and any place else you are lucky enough to have close by? 

And have you been grabbing freebies? Reading blogs for ideas? Looking at how other people have decorated their classrooms? 

I've seen some wonderful things. Lots of blogs are sharing pictures of their rooms - and wow! I ran up to school yesterday and stopped to talk to two school-friends who have spent some time decorating their classrooms. And they look so nice!

I wish I could do that. And that's the key - I wish I could do that, but it's just not me. 

Then I read this blog post at: 


And followed the links she had to some other blog posts - and somehow {I truly don't know how, because looking at the post at Owl Things First this morning, it really isn't about decorating at all, but that is just the way my mind works!!} I ended up feeling OK about what I'm thinking for my room.  Which is, I want to leave lots of space for kid stuff - kid drawings and paintings, kid writing, and more. Because that is what I do - and I change it out pretty often.

And yesterday I made a sign that looked like this:

And I'm going to put this and some copies of it on my empty bulletin boards in my room. It will make me feel better :) because the rumor I've heard is that this year, Open House is going to be before school starts. {In the past, we've done it a couple days after school has started. This will be better, I think, but I won't have anything up on the walls - ack!}

So what about you? What are you doing in your room? I bet it's wonderful, whatever it is!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Not Working

 Yes dear friends, it is officially HOT here in my part of the world! This temp, you might notice, was recorded at 5:43 pm! Yikes!
So, I did what any smart person would do, and went swimming after lunch. We have a Big Pool in our city, filled with underground water - brrr. It felt good today. 

Before I left, these came:
 So exciting! Can't wait to get to them! Only one thing stopping me:

I have only a chapter or two of this to go. My sweet girl bought this book from this series I'm reading because our library didn't have it. Aren't I well taken care of here?
I really mean to start thinking about my school year. I really mean to start planning for the first week. And I really mean to do all those little things that need done before school can start - well, I mean, school WILL start - and I sure want to be ready. I'm just really enjoying my break right now.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Favorite Pins

Gotta pin, gotta pin, gotta pin! 

{Umm, I can't see that The First Grade Parade has done this today - but I'd already written my post - so I'm going to go ahead and publish it.}

Here's a couple ideas that I like:

I used Bucket Fillers/Bucket Dippers last year - but didn't see this chart from Blog Hoppin' in time. I'd sure like to do something like this at the first of the year. I know there are lots of ideas floating around about Bucket Filling, but, to me, this seems like a good way to show the kids what I'm thinking :)

we Heart It 2.0 on we heart it / visual bookmark #26404700
Last year I took some pictures at our zoo and then used Adobe Photoshop to add words to the pictures. Then I printed them out and hung them on my classroom walls. I'm going to do something similar, but use some sayings that I have collected.  The one above is one I'm going to use - it's from here. If you are interested in what I did last year, take a peek HERE. And HERE'S the how.

(2011-10) ... a dog #1

I think this dog is so cute - it's from How To Draw Funny Cartoons. Duh. Good title. One of our stories in our reading series has a dog in it, so I'm hoping to do this on the Friday afternoon of that week.
Too cute
I think these monsters are so cute - from Alisa Burke. She used them at Halloween time - but I think they would make a good Friday project any time of the year. {I hope I have the patience to do this with 20+ kids!}
 This last one is for my daughter - she loves strong female characters. I find it interesting that the person who said it is a man. Yes! I'm not familiar with Joss Whedon, but apparently he works in movies and was responsible for the Avengers. {I've been all over the web, and can't find the original of this - so you'll just have to enjoy it without that!}

My sweet puppy is upstairs growling - I need to go see what probably isn't the matter! Have a great start to your weekend!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Back to School Planning {sort of}

Ack - I'm just a little bit addicted to these books - I'm now on the 3rd one {plus I was having trouble finding number 2, so I read some of her stand alone novels}. And I have the sweetest Hub-bub. Our local library didn't have the 2nd one, so he went to our local bookstore, and they had it in the used paperback section for like $3. {And obviously, he bought it for me, and made me very happy - I think that goes without saying, but you never know!}

I had sort of said to myself - No School Work until July 15. I've been doing a lot of blog stalking and picking up freebies and that certainly blurs the line a bit. 

First of all - I need to take care of this - I have all these things in a folder called "To Print." Yikes, there's a bunch! 
 Then, I have these on a folder called "Things for This School Year" that I need to print out or do something with, so I remember to actually do them this year {because sometimes that has been an itty-bitty problem for me.}
And I want to review some things from this book - particularly things I'm going to be teaching at the first of the year.
 And I want to think about things in this book - what do I want to implement, try, see if it will work for me.

And I placed an order with these guys and got an email today that it's been shipped -
{although, really, doesn't it seem like it takes ForEver for stuff to get to your house from them? I order from Zappos shoes, and they like me so much it comes the next day. That could have something to do with the quantity I order from them, but whatever.} Anyway, thanks to Tammy at Forever in First, I had quite a wishlist that I narrowed down to 3 books for me and 1 book for my class.
And finally, today - or maybe that should be - Today, I finally got started on this. 
Have I mentioned that I hate first days? {And last days, too, but I don't have to worry about that for a bit :)}

I also want something fun, engaging, easy {for me and for them!} and that makes the time go by Fast! If you have a great suggestion that fits that criteria, please leave a comment :)

Happy Thursday all! My hub-bub and daughter are having daddy-daughter time in Denver this weekend - that might mean I really will get a good start on lessons. 

So leave a comment - if you have a terrific first day activity {see above} or if you want to tell me what you're doing this weekend.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday

Because I noticed that one of my favorite bloggers, I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher!, posted her favorite pins, and I actually have some pins to post about - I decided to link up with The First Grade Parade for Favorite Pins Friday!

First up - This book talk anchor chart from A Literate Life. I took her idea and had a couple of my guided reading groups make their own chart. Then I tried {ha} to sit back and have the students do their own discussing. You ought to visit this gal's page of anchor charts - amazing! And she uses fun colors that for me makes them just a little more interesting.
book talks
Next from Classroom Freebies Too. I tried to do something similar to this during my writing, but I didn't have a catchy word - so I'm thinking of doing it this way next year.

I use my phone All The Time at school. This is my own pin from a website called Level It Books. The app is $2.99. But you can scan the bar code of a book and it will give you the level - as you can see from the image below, it has lexile, guided reading and DRA levels. Also something called gle - but I don't know what that is.

I really liked this Math Strategies poster from 2nd Grade Smarty Arties.  I'm hoping to do something like this with my class at the first of this year.

This last one - the link on Pinterest just goes to a weird site and doesn't have this at all. So hmmm on that. I just like to collect these little "posters" {for lack of a better word} that make me smile. This pretty much sums up my goals for my summer. :)
simple gifts...
If you have some great pins, why don't you share them? I've gotten lots of great ideas from looking at what other teachers are pinning. So thanks to them for sharing. 

Have a great Friday - and a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

{Shhh, don't tell, but I'm not really here. I'm in college town with my college aged daughter while she enrolls in college classes. So far as I know, I'm not going to be allowed on the college campus, so I'm probably hanging out at Kohl's, Hobby Lobby and this great little restaurant I'm going to try for lunch. I just came along for the ride - or the drive, because I'm probably going to do most of the 6 hours each way driving.}

Two very sweet bloggers that I LOVE to read have nominated me for the Liebster Award. Aw, how sweet. 

To accept the nomination I must:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees
6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them
So first from

1. What was your favorite year in school?
Hmmm, I loved my 5th grade teacher. And I had a couple teachers in 7th grade that I really enjoyed.  
2. What do you miss most about being a kid?
Swimming in the summer!
3. What story does your family always tell about you?
Hmmm, I can't think of anything right off. I guess we don't sit around and tell stories. Maybe I need to bring that up next time I have a Sister Weekend. Oh, yeah, since I just had my birthday - my dad always calls me on my birthday, and he always says, "I remember when you just this big - and I could hold you in my hands." Now that I have a kiddo heading off to college, I know what he means.
4. Do you have a special talent?
Like "I teach, what's your super power?" Ha, ha - I play the piano fairly decently - I took lessons for years and year and played for my church for a while. I've quit that and I can tell I'm a bit rusty.
5. Where's your favorite vacation spot?
My hub-bub and I like to go to Colorado. It's close enough and he enjoys the cooler weather and we both enjoy the scenery. We've gone two years in a row.
6. Is there any grade you would NOT teach?  Why?
Kindergarten - they can't read :)
7. What is your favorite band/artist?
I like Toby Mac and Mandisa - both Christian artists. And they are fun to listen to when I walk.
8. What's the number one played song on your iTunes?
"Good Morning" by Mandisa - I'm trying to decide if I can use it with my class next year. 
" It's a good morning Wake up to a brand new day."
Such a catchy tune!
9. What's your favorite book?
Oh, I might read too much to have a favorite - 
I really like Francine Rivers - Redeeming Love 
10. What's the best or worst date you've ever been on?
It's been so long since I've been on a date - ok, except for my hub bub. 
11. Who is your hero?  Why?
My mom - who endured the pain of cancer and rarely complained. One time I was at her house, getting ready to go to bed, and I heard her groan, so I went to see. And she said, "I was hoping you wouldn't hear that." And she reached out to so many people - she really made a point of doing that. 
Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

1.  How do you spend your free time?
  Too much blog stalking (ha), reading fiction, crafting.
2.  What is your favorite candy?
  Oh, I love Take 5s. And Butterfingers {but I can only eat a little bit of those - sugar [said with a shudder]}
3.  What is a favorite childhood memory?
My grandpa at Easter - I was trying to find Easter eggs, and he would take them out of my basket and rehide them - what a stinker!
 4.  If you had to live in a decade other than the current one, which would you choose?
  50s, maybe, never thought about it.
5. Chinese, Mexican, or Italian for dinner?
  Mexican, definitely!
6.  Your life is going to become a script for a movie. Who would you want to play you?
  Sandra Bullock - or an unknown :)
7.  Not counting family, what do you think your greatest accomplishment is so far in life?
  Getting my teaching degree as a nontraditional student.
8.  What is your favorite TV show?
  Man, all my favorite shows have gone weird - I used to like Burn Notice, Psyche, but not so sure now. My daughter and I watched Devious Maids last week and enjoyed it.
9.  What was your favorite childhood toy?
  I had a Barbie doll with bendable legs, but the legs broke, so they were taped with beautiful silver duct tape. Loved playing with her.
10. You can have a half-hour conversation with anyone no longer living. Who do you choose? Why?
My mom - miss her - have several times caught myself saying - I need to ask Mom about this.
11. You can have a half-hour conversation with any fictional character. Who do you choose? Why?
Oh, toughie - guess I can't think of anybody right off - so I'll say the main character in whatever book I'm currently reading - which right now is Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic books {which our library did not have number 2 - so my sweet hubby bought it used for me. Yeah!}

11 Random Facts:
1. We just bought my daughter the cutest little car - a Ford Fit - hopefully she'll use it to come home some next year!
2. I'm going to start working on getting my ESL endorsement in August - yikes - more schooling. But it will be all online, so hopefully that will help.
3. I really need to finish this, so I can go walk, so I can shower, so I can be ready to hit the road. 
4. I love cooking and baking, but our lives have been going in different directions, so it's hard to sit down and eat together. However, this summer has been much better.
5. I love scrapbooking - but haven't done as much as I would like lately. I think I'll be able to spread things out on a table in the basement soon :)
6. I love to eat fruits - watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, cherries - yum - when they are good, they are great!
7. My hubby and I are a couple of goofs when we see wildlife - it's like WoW! Every time!
8. I was against my hubby buying us iPhones, but now use mine so much - for a timer, to play music, to make lists, keep my calendar, for reminders - and even to text and call people!
9.  I'm sorting through stuff in our basement - and can't believe the collection we've gotten - CDs, videos, VCR tapes, etc. Going, going, Gone!
10. I really need to finish this so I can get going this morning!
11. When I comment on a blog, it shows a picture of my sweet doggy - Blondie. She is so very good natured and just a love bug. Glad she'll still be home with me!

Ladies - thanks so much for nominating me. I'm so sorry - but I'm not going to nominate more people. That's just more than I can do right now. But it is so very sweet of you to think of me! 

Have a terrific Tuesday - I'll be having one - I hope!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made It


Well, I haven't gotten to this one single time! And I don't have any school made its to share.
However, my daughter and I have had a craft day each week. And I have a couple of those things to share with you.  Because that's what I am - a sharer!

This first craft we did on the 4th of July - and we made my husband join in. We decorated tiles. We used permanent markers - like where I drew these little flowers. We also used stamps - the instructions I used said to only use permanent stamp pads, but I didn't have any of those, so we tried coloring them with permanent markers, but that didn't work very well either. So we just stamped them. After we got done with everything, we let them dry overnight. The next day I sprayed them Several Times with Modge Podge spray - which I truly did not even know there was such a thing! They turned out nice, and even the ones we stamped seemed set, so all's good!
My hub bub's


My girly's

The week before, my daughter and I did T-Shirts. I got this idea from one of my sisters. We took regular old T-Shirts (well, brand new ones, ha!) and used a bleach pin to decorate them. These are both mine. I'm not sure I like the orange one - which is all wrinkly because I pulled it out of the hamper to share with you - because I'm a sharer! The yellow one - I used stamps on it - but they didn't show up all that well on the yellow. Oh, well. My daughter did a cool one - she used a blue shirt and the bleach part turned up kind of purple, instead of white. However, I'm not about to go get that right now because she's a teenager, asleep in her room.

This cute little thing, that I am quite, quite, super pleased with, is something I made with my sisters when they were here for Sister Weekend. We have a store in our town that has the pottery already made and you can paint it, or maybe they call it staining it - whatever - and then they put a glaze on it for you and fire it in a kiln and it looks all beautiful. This is the 3rd thing and the favorite that I've done! 

What about you? Do you have something cool you've made this summer that you'd like to share - school or not? Another week of No School stuff {which really, I'm not doing very good at because I keep finding ideas and stressing about how I want my room to look, and finding giveaways, etc.} and THEN I need to get started thinking about next school year!
Happy Monday to you!