Friday, July 27, 2012

Read to Self is in the BAG!

Happy Friday!  
I've been studying and trying to get my brain wrapped around Daily 5.  Back in the day (haha), I used the Four Block Literacy Model.  In this model they had a component called Self Selected reading.  The student would chose just right books for them and during that block read to themselves.  Sounds sorta familiar, doesn't it?  

I used those hard plastic magazine files for them to keep their books.  I really didn't care for them.  It never failed that we would all be deeply into reading and all of a sudden...BOOM!  Someone dropped their file on the floor (and chipped/broke it).  Also the non-fiction books that the boys like are usually larger sized.  The magazine files do not always store those sized books very well.  So they would shove them into the files (no matter how many times I modeled otherwise).  I would end up with a full Book Hospital. 

So I knew that I had to do something else besides the magazine files for them to keep their books for Read to Self.  I was going to buy the book buddy bags from Really Good Stuff and then found these at the Dollar Tree!

They will hold 5-6 books easily and seem sturdy enough to last all year.  I got orange (UT orange) and hot pinky/purply for the girls.  I wanted one color for boys and girls so there won't be arguing over colors.
They had other colors also.

They are plenty big enough for the larger books as well.  This pic shows a full-sized hardback book.  There is still more room!  Hopefully my non-fiction books will stay out of the Book Hospital this year.

I'm going to store them in a large rubbermaid tote or laundry basket.  I'm lucky enough to have a separate office in my classroom (which I am going to share in classroom pics next week).  I have plenty of room under my desk in my office to keep the tote/basket when not in use.  I think I'm going to like these!

Now for one non-teachery item...
I went out with the girls a few nights ago.  We went to dinner and to see Magic Mike.  I've got one thing so say.  Y'all can have Matthew M. and Channing Tatum...  This is who I want!
Have a good day!  :-)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It!

Ohmygracious!   It is now Sunday at midnight and I have been painting all day!  I think this will be my last Monday Made It for a while.  School starts on Aug. 9th so I need to get in program mode.  I'm incorporating Daily 5, Debbie Diller's math stations, and a new behavior plan all this year.  I may be crazy..or will be by September!
But it's been fun!

This is my take on the READ sign that everyone did this summer it seems.  I brought in my star theme and those bright colors I love.  The D is still wet!

Next, I have this horrible problem going on by my classroom door.  I used to have one of those rotary pencil sharpeners. Hated it!  It would only sharpen one side of the pencil.  I finally asked the custodian to just take it down and throw it away.  That left me with this ugly wood block.  

I wish I had taken a close up pic of it.  This is actually a zoomed in shot of that whole side of the room.  I found these fab felt stars at Walmart and planned to make a bathroom pass holder out of the star.  I could never get it just right.  This morning on my Walmart trip (I really need to buy some Walmart stock), I found this little chalkboard.  I painted it and painted it and painted it.  Geez Louise, I think it took 6 coats of white to cover the chalkboard part!

Then I realized that I could cut up the felt star and glue it to the back of the chalkboard!  This was the finished product.

I'm not really happy with the writing but I dared not mess with it again!  Haha!  My friend Nancy is a crafting goddess so I'm going to make her fix the writing.  
I painted 2 huge clothespins and labeled them Boys and Girls.  I may ditch these for smaller ones later if they don't work how I imagine.  The small green clothespins are for trips to the library.  We are allowed to send 3 kiddies to the library at a time.  I'm going to attach this to the ugly wood block!  

It is now Monday!  We just got back from the vet and for once this month it was less than 100 bucks!  Yay!  Miss Bella got her stitches out and some meds for her swollen knee.   Bless her lol.  

Go link up with Tara!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

TPT, Facebook, and major rudeness!

This is absolutely not the post that I should be working on...  I'm procrastinating.  I should be working on my Thank You So VERY Much for the Awards post.  I have received the Lovely Blog, Versatile Blogger, and the Liebster award. I started the post three weeks ago when I got the first one and have been trying to find 35 blogs to nominate.  There are just so many good ones!  I'm going to cheat I think because I'm stressing over it!  So look for that post coming by midnight on Sunday.  I don't mean to be rude honestly!  I appreciate the awards so much. More than words can say!  I've just been a funk lately and feeling like I'm worthless.  

I've done a few things this weekend to help push me out of my funk.  The first is that I've opened a TPT store!  There is only one item listed--my star behavior clip chart (and it's free if you want it)!  

Here's my link:

The other project I've been working on today is to add a Facebook like box.  I've had a Facebook page for a little while but didn't tell anyone.  It's that worthless funk!  You've got to laugh that I liked myself.  Mine is one of the faces you see there!  
If you want to like me, it's over on the sidebar over there ---------->  

Educlips went live tonight.  It's been touted as Pinterest for teachers.  I tried it for a while, but it was very slow.  Probably too many users.  If you aren't familiar with Educlips, there's a link to it on my Facebook page.  Haha!  Gotcha!

The other happy for tonight is that Christie from First Grade Fever came to visit and actually followed me!  It's like a visit from a celebrity!  

I guess I should head to bed since I'm planning on being at Walmart at 6am.  I ran out of paint for my Monday Made It project and just couldn't drag myself out of the house today.  I'm going early in the am so I can take Bella with me and she won't have a heat stroke.  She's been a good girl and deserves a bye-bye trip.  And there will be fresh donuts...  Diets always start on Mondays, right?!  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop

Why does today feel like Saturday?  It has suddenly hit me that I really only have 1 more week of vacation until summer inservice starts.  Yikes!  Where did the summer go?!

Guess what??  I hit 100 followers last night!  I'm so excited!  I know numbers shouldn't matter, but we all watch them!  I'm thinking about what I want my first giveaway to be so stay tuned.  

I came across this blog hop while I was looking for people to nominate for an award.  I just had to join in!

Grade Three is the Place for Me is hosting a:

Click pic to visit her!
During this hop you need to share:
 1.  what state you are in
    2.  your current teaching position
    3.  your teaching experience
    4.  when you started blogging
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource

My answers:
1. I live in East Tennessee.
2. I am happy to be teaching 1st grade again!
3.  This will be my 11th year in 1st.  I looped to 2nd with my firsties once.
4.  I started my blog in February but didn't start seriously until April.
5. I have learned so much from Kristen at  Ladybug's Teacher Files.  If you haven't watched her video tutorials, you definitely need to do so!  Also, Barbara from Grade ONEderful started a blog design business called: 
She redesigned my blog and was just amazing to work with!  Check her out if you want a redesign!  

Go join the hop!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Made It!

I know I'm breaking the rules with two posts today but....It's time for Monday Made It!

I have to tell y'all that my mother thinks it's hilarious that I'm becoming crafty.  I used to moan and groan growing up when she'd drag me into the craft stores.  I'm still a craft newbie, though, so keep that in mind as you view my projects for this week.

First, I wanted to add a lamp to the counter behind where my reading group table is going to be.  I found a simple red lamp at Family Dollar for 6 dollars.  It was okay as it was, but I wanted to kick it up a notch.  I had the ribbon and polka-dot paper already.

I'm surprised no one heard me cussing from where you are as I ironed the ribbon and tried to hot glue the ribbon on straight.  I DO NOT IRON...I fluff in the dryer lol.  I think that was the worst part!  The before picture is of better quality so you might think it looked cuter before I messed with it.  
I have low crafter self esteem.  :-)

Second, I found these cute star patterned buckets in the Target Dollar Spot.  My classroom theme is stars so I wanted to re-do my pencil buckets.  Nothing special about these--just proof that I made something! 
The third bucket will be my Top of the Chart bucket.  Kids that get to top or off of the chart on my new clip chart system will get to put their names in for a daily/weekly prize drawing.

Speaking of behavior clip chart!  I worked on this all day yesterday and asked for opinions on it last night..  I changed a few things based on suggestions and printed it out.  I started to put it together and noticed something else that bugged me.  Here it is..

Pardon the pic!  It's on the dining room floor and I'm standing on a ladder.
There's too many dark colors on top!  I need to swap some colors out, don't you think?  I may take one Good Day or Great Job out too.  It's so tall!  Any opinions are appreciated!

Go link up with Tara and see what everyone else made this weekend!

Picture Book Linky Party

Lindsey at The Teacher Wife is having a fun linky party!

.  Omigosh..I'm addicted to children's books so I'm LOVING this linky!  I have several new ones on my list just from everyone's posts.  

Here are mine:

1. You Will Be My Friend!  I found this book last year and it is so AWESOME!  It's about a bear named Lucy who wakes up one day and decides she's going to go find a new friend.  She has some trouble with this and goes through just about every emotion in speech bubble form.  It cracks me up to read it!

2.  This is a sweet story about a zookeeper who takes care of and plays with his animal friends everyday.  One day he gets sick and they come take care of him.  It's just a precious story about what true friendship is.

3. Okay, I'll admit it.  I love funny books.  This one is hilarious!  It's about a chick who knows the story so well that she keeps interrupting her dad.  It teaches about manners, but I love it because it's so fun to read.

4. This is a story about a possum named Epossumondas.  He's his mama and auntie's sweet little patootie but he's not very smart.  This is a Southern story and you have to read it with your best "hick" accent.  I'm from Tennessee so I have no trouble with this.  I do his voice very sloowly and southern, and the kids L-O-V-E it.  I bet I read this book 20 times this past year.  
They begged for it.  

I could go on forever, but those were my faves from last school year.  I can't wait to see everyone else's favorites.  Go link up with Lindsey!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Help! Behavior Clip Chart Review

Hi friends!  I need your help!  I created something tonight and I need honest reviews.  Too bright, blurry, sloppy?  Whatever comments you have please let me have it!  I'm trying to grow here.  ;-)  Thanks so much!

Click the pic!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Being Held Hostage..

Happy Saturday!  I think we finally might be able to pool it today after a week of rain.  I'm sort of glad it's been raining though because I've been held hostage all week by this sweet face...

Sweet Bella in her new bandana

She had surgery on Wednesday to remove some tumors.  She has had cancer before so we keep on top of any tumors that come up.  The last time she had tumors removed we ended up back at the vet four times because she kept chewing her staples and stitches out.  I did NOT want to go through that again so I have to watch her like a hawk.  We tried this last time..

Kinda looks like her, doesn't it?

But Bella also has seizures, bless her sweet heart.  The last time I tried to put the Cone of Shame on her it triggered a seizure.  And I felt like a terrible mama!  So I'm not even going to try it!

The upside to all of this is that I've gotten lots of work done!  I finished my supply list and parent letters.  Although I found an error in my parent letter AFTER I had already printed 20 of them on my cute new paper!  Grr!  I guess I should just be glad that I found it before I sent them out. We are going to take a ride in a bit and get them in the mail.  

I also finished my Math Journal and Scribble Pad labels.  I'm going to try math journals this year.  After reading everyone's blogs, I'm almost ashamed to admit I've never done them before.  I'm going to start out just using spiral notebooks, but I may chuck these and try something else if I don't like them.  I may end up with Cara's calendar companion. 

Scribble pads are spiral notebooks that my kiddos keep in their desks to use during free time.  They LOVE them!  These journals are great for when you need them to be busy for just a few minutes.  Like when a parent shows up at your door unannounced or the principal needs something RIGHT NOW.  I am a simple sort of girl so I just stick a label on a spiral notebook for these.  
Here's a pic:

I just print on Avery labels (4 to a page), cut, trim, and stick!  Super easy!  I always cut in curvy lines because I couldn't cut a straight line to save my life!  I didn't upload the labels to Google docs because no one may want them.  But if you do, just email me and I'll send them to you!

Here is the math journal label.  Super simple..not a lot of frills!  Also printed on Avery labels.  If you want these, just email me.

Okay, must go get presentable for the post office. Single girls must be ready at all times, lol!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Made It (sorta)!

How in the heck to you guys get so much done?  Do you SLEEP?  I've been in total slug mode.  I have this problem...I'm addicted to sunshine.  If it's pretty and sunny, I am outside by the pool.  Even though I have a million things I should be doing!  It's raining today so I'm actually working on some school projects.

I have never been a super crafty person, but you all have completely inspired me.  I'm joining Monday Made it this week.  It's really more like Monday Fix It, but I'm going for it.  Don't judge lol!  You could also call this More Fun with Duct Tape.  I'm obsessed!

Firstly, I have these chairs that went with a card table.  My little darlings have picked the plastic on the seats and created rips.  I was going to toss them but EUREKA!!  Duct tape!  I could kick myself for throwing the table out at the end of the year, but I didn't know about the powers of duct tape.  Behold...

Another little project I worked on was to jazz up my whisper phones.  I forgot to take a before pic but just imagine boring old white pvc pipe.  But now they are so cute!

Not sure why it's blurry..  

And lastly, I have this Dubble Bubble bucket.  I love that it looks like you are putting your hand in his mouth.  I have almost thrown this away several times, but ended up digging it back out of the trash.  Now that it's cutesified (<--new word), I will put it out in the open.

So there you have Monday Made It, Fix It, Fun with Duct Tape!  Go link up with Tara and see what everyone else made this week!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Classroom Organization Part Uno

Happy 4th of July!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.  I have family coming over for a pool party in a bit.  We've had some crazy storms the last few nights.  Thank heavens Bella is not storm sensitive!

My classroom floors are finished so I went to work for a few hours yesterday.  I promised myself that I was going to do some major organization before I even started moving furniture.  One of my main problem areas is this cabinet. I'm sort of the girl scout of our first grade team (all ten of us) and of my friends in preschool.  When they need something, they send a note to me.  I usually have whatever they need in this cabinet.  The problem is that I end up on my hands and knees pulling EVERYTHING out to get whatever is needed.  It's very annoying!

I bought these organizers for 6.99 at Tar-get. I got some other GREAT stuff there too that I'll share in another post.  Haha, I need another summer shopping linky!
They are long and shallow so I can pack them higher and slide them in and out like drawers.

I put crafty supplies in two of them and paper products in another and then labeled them.

This is the end result which should work well for me and keep the knees of my pants clean!