Friday, July 26, 2013

Home at last

I am home from vacation and just spent the last two days in training for my new school.  This post will not be about teaching so if you want you can just skip it.  I know many are in BTS mode and looking for ideas.  Anyway I just wanted to share some highlights of my trip.  First of all I did get to see Jars of Clay.  This has to be my all time favorite band!  I ended up in the 7th row center but in a venue of approximately 200 seats I don't think there were any bad ones. 

If you have never heard of them you can get some music for free at Noisetrade.  The band posted the link through Facebook so don't worry about illegal downloads.  They are incredible but of course that is just my opinion.

My view (please forgive my horrible photography skills, yet another profession I would never even attempt)

A second highlight was seeing the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.  I was actually in the SAME room where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was signed.  I am not a real history freak but this is something I have always wanted to see.  I just think it is cool to be able to stand where our country was founded and thinking about the risks our founding fathers took gives me chills.  Just think what would have happened to those men if they had lost. 

The Liberty Bell.  That is me and my boys and hubby.

You can get amazingly close to it.
And Independence Hall


The furniture in the room is period but not original to the building except for the chair behind the presiding table. That is the Chair of the Rising Sun. The chair used by George Washington.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I am still on vacation visiting family in the beautiful Poconos.  Tomorrow is the  long flight and long drive home.  I really miss my home, my own bed and most of all my doggies.  Even though I have training at work on Thursday I am ready be home.  Vacation has been good to me though.  I managed to pull off the shopping find of a lifetime.....I got a pair of Dansko shoes for the amazinging low price of $5.00 .  Yes I typed that correctly.  I even asked the store if they forgot a zero.  I fell in love with these shoes last April after researching good shoes that do not look like my grandmother's orthotics.  I was so exited.  I will post pictures when I get home.  This has been an adventure in posting as I am on my Nook.  Next time I am going to suck it up and haul my laptop.  I apologize if there are typos as my screen is way too all and there are buttons in the way.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Classroom

Yay I finally have some classroom pictures to share. Hopefully I give credit to the right people where credit is due also if you happen upon these pics and I did not give you credit please let me know so I can fix it. 

 There are still some boxes that need to be taken to storage and some minor unpacking that still needs to be done.

I ended up dusting off the sewing maching for my curtains.  I saw pictures somewhere online with this and I knew I had to do it.  Let's just say I will NOT be trying out for Project Runway or Design Star EVER! but they work.

My classroom library is in that back corner.  You cannot see it because of the desks but there is a smaller bookshelf/book display that is sectioning the room.  I still need to get it all sorted but I am not sure if I want to sort by genre or by AR levels.

My Math Rotation Board came from The Clutter Free Classroom. I am so excited to use this system with my class. As you can see from the pictures yes I am very blessed with only 12 students this year. I have decided I am only making three teams to allow one rotation where I am available for extra help if the students need it. I am also excited that this means I will be teaching new concepts to only 4 students at a time. Wow! Here is a link for you to get your own. I used the black line design because I could tailor it to my class colors. It is a little hard to see but I glued the pieces on turquoise and then lime construction paper and ran it through the laminator. The white pieces are just white cardstock that has been laminated.

This was a must for me.  I don't even remember where I saw it but I like to think of it as a motivational mantra.  It says things like "We believe in ourselves and our ability to do our best" and "We are too focused on our hopes and dreams to waste today."

My clip chart came from Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher.  You can get one here.  Don't forget to check out her other wonderful products while you are there.  She has lots of fun things like this new classroom set up.  Love it!

I decided to use Whole Brain Teaching at least for my rules.  I do love the rules it provided except for the last rule.  I understand the whole "Keep your dear teacher happy" but to me that implies it is the students job to keep me happy and I just don't buy into that.  I really like how Rebecca at The Teacher's Chatterbox modified the rules a bit.  She added listen when your teacher is talking and be safe, respectful and responsilbe.  I saw the concept of the NOISE letters and I thought I would try it out so see if it works for me.  I ended up just using PowerPoint to make the letters.  Digital paper by The Clip Art Graphics Guy.

Photo Boxes and Duct Tape

Tara and her linky party Monday Made It is what inspired me to start my very own blog.  I love to make things and so of course I had to participate.

I have bought so much for my new classroom this summer I thought I would repurpose some photo boxes I already have and use them in my math workshop.  The problem is they don't match.  So to solve that problem I thought I would use duct tape.  I got some duct tape in my class colors at my local Wally World.  Sadly I have no Target in my super small town so no dollar bin for me (I do have a Dollar Tree which I love - almost the same but not quite).  Anyway here are some before and after pictures of my "new" boxes. 


I gathered some supplies.  I have found that when working with duck tape having an Exatco knife is handy.  So is the cutting board.  I have seen people use cutting mats but I figured when the cutting board gets too bad to use I will just get another.  So far it is holding up.
A work in progress.
Now I have boxes to hold center materials that match my classroom.

Let me know what you think. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Amy at 24/7 Teacher is hosting a fun sharing linky party and book give away.  She says to share anything we are celebrating or excited about so..

This week I am celebrating an overdue vacation to see family back east.  And a 20 year long quest to see the band Jars of Clay.  I am sooooo looking forward to that one!  Last spring I was checking out their tour schedule and of course they were nowhere near me.  I live in a small town in the white mountains of Arizona (about 2.5 hours east and a tad north of Phoenix).  Anyway I thought to myself if this band is ever near me, I will do whatever it takes to see them.  Well last month I checked their tour schedule again and now I had 4 opportunities to see them between June and September.  I basically told my hubby we were going and he was driving me.  Period.  End of discussion.  He said "Yes, dear".  I am so excited!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Moving into my new classroom

What a week it has been. I have been working and working and working this week to get my classroom ready. We have a vacation planned to visit family back in PA so I am losing a week of classroom prep time. YIKES! I think I am almost ready (crosses fingers) but it does seem like every time I walk in there is something else to move. At least I no longer feel like I am just moving stuff around.


As for my new look, I am learning how to personalize my blog. My next thing is to learn how to post pictures. I hope to post my classroom pics this weekend. It would be awesome to come back from vacation to a classroom ready to go.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

New to Bloggin

Wow! What a summer it has been so far.  My old school (a small charter) had to close down due to funding issues.  We were all very sad.  Needless to say, I dusted off the resume and started the job hunt.  I was very excited to accept the 4th grade position at another very small school (this one is a district school).  At my old school I taught 1st/2nd combo class for 2 years and a 1/2/3 class for 2 years.  All my material was of course geared toward those grades.  So my research began for 4th grade resources and I have discovered the world of bloggin.  Now I knew what a blog was before, I just never really paid that much attention to them.  I am overwhelmed but in awe of all the info and sharing going on.  (I am a career changer and "back when" I was in school there was no internet.  I don't know how my teachers did it).  So here I am jumping on the band wagon.  This will be a work in progress as I figure things out and please just remember I am new to this :)