Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chalkboard Clothes Pins

Here’s another crafty idea that I borrowed from someone else.  LOL.  I’m in the process of getting some of my own ideas up here, too.

Blackboard Clothes Pins

As you can tell from my picture, I have changed them just a bit.  I wanted a square boarder.  It was easier to do and when I tried to use the template for the fancy design the paint bled. 

I have decided to use them for my “Classroom Helpers” chart… Of which, I have yet to make.  It’s the next thing on my list.

I got this idea again from Tara at Create-Share-Inspire.  I again left the magnets off.  I really don’t have places to stick them to.  My whiteboards in my classroom are shower wall material and not magnetized.

Anyway, thanks again to Tara for another great idea. 

Signature

Letter Beads

Thanks to Tara at Create-Share-Inspire for the great idea for these letter beads.  She calls them Letter Puddles.  I wanted to use them for small groups and for a center to make words.  I thought maybe I could use them to spell spelling words or sight words.  It was such a clever idea.  I chose to leave off the magnets so the students can move them around on the desk or table.

You can head on over to her blog to find out how it’s done.  I’ll post brief instructions, too.

Materials:

  • Letter stickers (from Target’s Dollar Spot)
  • Glass beads (from Dollar Tree)
  • Mod Podge
  • A small paint brush
  • wax paper

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The rest is pretty easy.  Just paint the back of a glass bead with some Mod Podge, then put a sticker face down on to the bead and apply a little more Mod Podge to seal it in place.

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I laid them on the wax paper to dry. 

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A little word of advice… since these are stickers (and they’re pretty darn sticky), I used the bristle part of my brush to hold it to the bead while I removed my finger.  It’s all pretty easy and they look so cool.  I love them and I think the kids will too!

Thanks Tara for the wonderful idea!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Testing Windows Live Writer

I read on a blog that they used Windows Live Write to write posts on their blog.  So I figured I would download it and give it a try.  So for, it’s not too bad.  It’s a little different because it’s not showing up as the font I had already chosen on my blog template.  I may have to change that.  Not sure yet.

If you are interested in trying it, here’s a link to it: Windows Live Writer.  You should check it out if you like writing blogs. 

I’ve tried writing blogs before but then it got sort of boring so I stopped.  Now, doing a blog about teaching seems to be something I’m staying interested in.  I love teaching so why not document it. 

There are some great blogs out there regarding teaching and looking at these blogs is becoming one of my new hobbies.  These teachers put so much effort into what they post.  Some have wonderful ideas on organization, crafts, and other things to make for your classroom.  Others are humorous and tell day to day happening in a teacher’s life.

If you haven’t visited many blogs, get out there and look at them.  Some are really awesome.  I have some listed under Favorite Websites & BlogsCheck them out!

Monday, July 25, 2011

I did it!

Well, I finally went and visited my classroom. I wanted to pick up my books from my classroom library so I can get them organized. Of course, I mixed up one of the two boxes and brought home part of the math center instead of books.

Oh well. I took some pics of the room and let me show them to you all.




I know you are thinking, "Man, that classroom is huge!" Well, it's not. I found out though that my Promethean Board is portable so I can move it where ever I like.

I went in to get my books but ended up staying and moving some furniture around. I moved my desk, the Promethean Board, a small bookshelf (next to my desk), and a long book shelf.

I also set up my stereo so I can listen to music. I went through a few boxes and started setting them where I would need them at.

I only stayed for an hour, and part of that was talking to the teacher across the hall, but I got some things done so I'm feeling a bit better. I might go in tomorrow, too. Now I think about it, I more than likely will, because I need to get the other box of books I mistakenly forgot.

I'll post more pics are my classroom as it progresses.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, and Bingo was his name-o

Well, I haven't written in a couple days. I was having a few lazy days. I did a little bit of shopping and getting some things I needed for my classroom.

I bought a file crate and a desk lamp. I am still trying to figure out ways to get organized. I know last year keeping student portfolios up-to-date was something I was bad at doing. I saw on a blog (one I don't remember at this very moment) of a teacher that used the file crate to keep student work in. I usually kept them in my desk file drawer but I would always just throw their paper in there and then would spend FOREVER getting them filed and organized whenever I got around to it.

So this way with the file crate, they will be in plain view and I can simple find the tab with the student's name and slide the work, or whatever, into their file. Easy right? I'll let you know how it all works out.

I absolutely hate clutter but as a first year teacher, there was so much going on it was hard to stay on top of everything. I'm trying to change that now.

Besides doing a little shopping and laying around watching t.v., I also went and played bingo with my parents. It was a lot of fun. It was free and we could win prizes! Ok, the prizes weren't much... mostly crochet tissue box covers (of which, I didn't win).

I might play bingo more often. It was very relaxing and a lot of fun. I have never played bingo in a bingo hall but I might now.

Well, I probably should be getting some cleaning done. Since I was having my lazy days the last two days, I have a lot of stuff to do.

Monday, July 18, 2011

What to do!?

Well, I've been trying to figure out how to configure my new classroom. I moved to the room next door to the one I was in last year. I picked it because the power supply for the computers is on the back wall, right where I want them. I have all my stuff packed in boxes. I have not been in my classroom since the last day of school. I don't know where they put my Promethean Board. I was told they were going to get a hold of me to let them know where to put it. Well, the teacher next door to me (which is my old classroom) already had her's installed. She couldn't see where they put mine because my door was locked. I'm hoping they put it on the wall I wanted it on and not on the wall with the computer power supply. Those are the only two walls they could put it on. I'm crossing my fingers that they put it on the correct wall, otherwise, they are going to have to move it or move the power supply. It's all so mind boggling.
So I've been spending some time trying to figure out a few different ideas to set-up my classroom. He's a picture of an idea I have to set up my classroom. I made this on the classroom set-up tool on Scholastic.com
It's kind of hard to tell what exactly everything is in the picture but let me explain. On the right side wall is where I'm planning to have my Promethean Board and carpet for carpet time. On the top (back) wall is going to be my desk and the computer center. The left wall has the kids coat hooks and shelves on the top (I don't think I added this to the pic). The bottom wall has a large bulletin board and a very long, low shelving unit. It will hold my library and stuff for small group work. I think I explained all of that well enough.
I didn't put the students desk in yet because I'm still trying to figure that part out. I'm thinking of putting them in five groups of four. At this point, I have 20 students in my class. I haven't really decided desk placement because,as many of you know, class size will fluctuate a little at the beginning of school.
It's hard with this classroom because there is not a lot of storage and the room is small. It's pretty much a large box. Nothing too special. I've been searching the web for clever and neat storage ideas. Littlest Learners blog (link on the bottom right of my blog) has some great ideas. I also need to work on getting my classroom library set up into baskets. I'm going to check Dollar Tree for some cheap plastic baskets. The dollar stores are a great place to get cheap storage. Once I get that part all figured out, I will post some pictures.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Getting Ready...

Well, summer vacation is almost over. It's sad to think that in less than a month summer vacation will be just a memory. Don't get me wrong I love what I do, but I also enjoy having so much free time. I have started thinking about how I did things last year and planning how I would like to change them if they didn't work. This next school year is going to have a lot of changes. I'm redoing my whole classroom management plan and incorporating Whole Brain Teaching. It is such a cool way of do things in the classroom. I've added a link to the website under "Favorite Websites" on the bottom right of my blog.
I am also getting a Promethean Board this year, of which I'm super excited about. I've spent time this summer going to trainings for it and finding/making flipcharts to be used. I haven't actually gotten to play with my new toy, but I will get some time when I go in to work on my room in two weeks. I've been hitting the back-to-school sales at WalMart, Target, and the dollar stores. I've found some cool stuff. Such as: Whiteboard sentence strips found in Target's dollar section.
At WalMart I found this cool chair for me to sit on during carpet time for $18.
I'm just trying to find ways to make my classroom more homey and more me. Last year was my first year teaching and it was a whirlwind of chaos. It seemed like no matter how prepared I felt, I wasn't. Of course, as the year progressed it all got easier. No matter how well college prepared me during student teaching, it is so much different when your first year rolls around. I've learned a lot during last school year and have a notebook that I wrote down things that needed to be changed for the next year.
Even though summer vacation is coming to an end, I am really excited about this new school year and the changes I'm making.
It's going to be a great year!