Saturday, June 30, 2012

{Yikes!}

This morning me, my hubby, and son went to my classroom.  I actually went last week to pick up my keys and clipboards (stay tuned for that project), but I forgot to take a picture.  This is what my room looked like as of this morning:
It may not look like a big difference, but I was able to get almost all of my boxes unpacked.  I put most of the materials on student desks so I could see everything laid out.  Since I am re-arranging this year, I wasn't sure where everything would go.
The main reason we went was for my husband to set up my technology.  Oh, technology how I hate/love it sometimes.  The problem started when the technology department guys came at the end of the year last year.  They did bring me a newer computer {yay!} and switched out one of my old computers. However, after they did that and something to my teacher computer, I was no longer able to log in.  :/ Since it was the end of the year, it wasn't fixed.  Also, I was left with only one cord for my newer computer.  So, I knew I'd need major help in getting it set up this time.  First, I am needing another table because mine just isn't big enough for 3 computers and a printer.  So, my hubby hooked up my newer teacher computer and another computer.  The third computer doesn't have enough cords to hook up.  Well, my teacher computer won't accept my username/password and the other one didn't have any input signal.  Gggggrrrrrr.  Hopefully since it's summer, the technology department will have plenty of time to get it all fixed.  
Bulletin board paper + crayons + foam clocks + remote controls to a TV and VCR I no longer have + a keyboard I can't use = a good time for Easton!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fiction Friday: Freedom Crossing

Today I am linking up with Amanda over at The Teaching Thief for Fiction Friday! 

Freedom Crossing is one of my favorite books we read in my 4th grade class.  Every year my class literally BEGS me to keep reading.  They LOVE it.  It fits in perfectly with our study of slavery and the Civil War so I always read it during that unit to integrate Reading and Social Studies.  
Here is a book summary from Scholastic:


Although she lives in the North, Laura's ties to the South and what it stands for are strong. And she is firm in her conviction that the Southern states have the right to maintain their own laws and beliefs, even those concerning slavery. But Laura will soon find out that she is alone in that belief in her very own family. After a lengthy stay with a beloved aunt in Virginia, she quickly discovers that her own home in western New York is a stop on the hated Underground Railroad. Worse, her own brother, Bert, and a childhood friend, have become conductors, helping slaves escape into Canada.

Even so, she will not waver from her belief that anyone helping a fugitive slave is breaking the law. That is until she meets Martin Paige, a 12-year-old runaway slave who would rather die than be sent back to the South and into bondage. Tension and intrigue illuminate the dim passages and secret hiding places throughout Margaret Goff Clark's page-turner. Themes of home, family, and friendship are woven with a story of courage and suspicion.

I highly recommend this book!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I found them!!

Yall, I have looked for the white bookshelves I have wanted for weeks now.  They are from Wal-Mart and are only $15.84.  They aren't the sturdiest things, but they are the exact height I need and I don't plan on putting anything really heavy on them.  The problem?  Every Wal-Mart I went to was out of stock.  FINALLY, I found a Wal-Mart about 45 minutes away that had 2 in stock so off my hubby went!  I love, love, love them!  Here is what I think they might look like in my classroom.
I love them and am SO glad I finally found a Wal-Mart that had them!
I also bought an incline sorter to help with sorting papers since I won't have my teacher's desk.  I spray painted it to match my room and love the outcome!  I love spray paint.  It makes such a difference!
Here is a picture of my sweet little boy named Easton.  Isn't he just precious?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Awards

Patti over at Tales from a 4th (and 5th) Grade Teacher and Becca at Fun 4th Resources both gave me the One Lovely Blog award!  Thank you Becca and Patti!
The rules of this award are: 

Once you receive the award, you must follow 3 rules:
1.  Follow the person that gave you the award.
2.  Link back to the person that gave you the awrd.
3.  Pass the award onto 15 new bloggers.

I'll pass this on to 15 awesome blogs.  They aren't all "new" bloggers, but they are all great blogs to visit.



















Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vinyl Lettering

Now that my storage space issue has been revolved (see previous post), I am able to show you some things I have put vinyl on.  As part of my blue/green theme, I purchased these two serving bowls from the Dollar Tree in the hopes of using them for crayon and colored pencil storage.  They were a little plain so I added some white vinyl to them. 
Last year I bought a Betta fish as a classroom pet and my class named him Swimmy.  Swimmy now has his tank monogrammed!
My very first post on this blog was spotlighting some items I had put vinyl on.  I did these last year, but I wanted to re-post them so you can see them.  Last year we went straight from activity (Library, Art, etc.) to lunch so on library days we had a lots of books to take to lunch.  I thought it would be easiest to carry them in this tub.  However, it was much too heavy. This year I think I will use it to spotlight books that go along with our units.  For example, when we study habitats I will put books about the rainforest, desert, tundra, etc. in here.
Self explanatory...clipboards.
In the Group Work bucket, I put popsicle sticks with student names on them to pull for group activities.  The Cheers bucket holds cards that have silly cheers on them.  Our Class Bucket holds pom poms that we use as class compliments.
This organizer is where students turn in homework when they enter in the morning.  It worked out really well last year.
Last year I made the blue drop box for me and the pink one for my partner teacher.  This holds lunch money, book orders, etc. that students bring in first thing in the morning.  Sometimes you can't give your attention to those things first thing so my students place them in the Dropbox. 
A few readers asked me how I use the vinyl.  I have the Cricut Expressions machine.  My husband bought it for me a few years ago.  I originally planned on using it for scrapbooking, but have used it more for monogramming things with vinyl.
I buy vinyl from Hobby Lobby that looks like this:
Have you used vinyl on anything in your classroom?

Technical Dificulties

As I was one picture away from showing you the projects I have done with vinyl, I get the message that says "Whoops!  You are out of storage space."  So, I bought more storage space, but it doesn't start until tomorrow.  This means no blogging today!  Ggggrrr!  I had some really cute pictures to share with you. 

Anyone else experienced this problem??  Stay tuned tomorrow!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Made It

I am back from a wonderful week at the beach!  We had a wonderful time.  However, I didn't get to many of the projects I had in mind, but there's always this week!  I still wanted to link up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics.  I am loving these Monday Made It links!
Last week Katie from Dirty Hands & Lesson Plans did a guest post on Mrs. Stanford's blog about her favorite Pinterest inspired projects.  She posted a picture a cereal/snack box bookmarks that she saw over at Plum Pudding.  Something about them caught my eye so I made an entire class set!  I can just see my 4th graders saying "Ooohh, I love poptarts, I want that bookmark."  After looking at them, I should probably do something about one that saying Peanut But...they'd have a field day with that one!  Haha!  
Now, for my home project....one of my best friends is a huge Vanderbilt fan so she asked if I can make her two Vandy plate chargers, one for her and one as a Christmas gift.  So, I used my Cricut machine and added some vinyl.  I thought it turned out cute!
Stay tuned tomorrow for some other stuff I put vinyl on for my classroom!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Projects Galore

I am finding so much inspiration online these days between teacher blogs and Pinterest.  I just love it.  Right now I am spending my time at the beach and pool so I am just browsing projects to do soon!  Here's some things on my agenda to do: 

1) Decorate my clipboards with scrapbook paper and modge podge.  To do this, I have to be able to get back into my classroom/
2) Tara has inspired me to re-vamp by teacher's binder. 
3)  I love all of the file cabinet makeovers!  Mine is old, old, old and in major need of this.  Again, this requires me to get into my classroom! 

What projects are you working on? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Made It

Today I am linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It link!  I have been busy this week working on a few projects for my classroom.  Since I have decided to get rid of my teacher's desk this year, I needed extra storage for my supplies. When I saw Tara's teacher toolbox and many others, I knew it would be perfect!  I love how it turned out!  It will fit in perfectly with my blue and green theme.
I also linked up my organizer re-do, but in case you missed it, you can click HERE

Friday, June 15, 2012

Organizer Re-Do

Since I have officially decided to get rid of my teacher's desk, a new organizer was a must.  In my last post, I talked about buying the white bookshelves.  So far they've been out of stock at every Wal-Mart I've been to, but I am going to keep looking or order it site to store.  I knew I'd probably need at least one 3 drawer organizer so I bought one to start with. After seeing all of the amazing 3 drawer organizer re-do's on Pinterest and other blogs, I was inspired to do that as well.  It'll go perfect with my blue and green theme!
I also got this super cute lamp at Hobby Lobby on clearance 66% off!  I loved it so much I actually bought two for my classroom.
Have you found any cute classroom finds lately? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New Bookshelf Inspiration

It's only 2 weeks into summer vacation and I am already envisioning how I am going to make changes in my room. Last year I tried to incorporate blues and greens into my room.  I saw this photo on Pinterest and loved it!

I have almost convinced myself to get rid of my teacher's desk and use my guided reading table as my teacher's area. However, I know I'll need more space for my "stuff".  I also want to have a bookshelf where I keep supplies rather than the rolling cart they are in right now.  So, off to Dollar Tree I went!

These blue and green baskets would look great in white bookcases like the one below.
While I was at the Dollar Tree, I went ahead and picked up a few school supplies and these cute bordered papers. 


Monday, June 11, 2012

Finding Inspiration

Hello, friends!  When I created this blog I intended to share all sorts of inspiring things from my classroom and really participate in this teaching blogging community.  Then, life happened and this little blog just went by the wayside.  I know, you've heard it again and again.  Summer is the time when my batteries get re-charged.  I'm only two weeks in to this summer and I'm already excited to re-do my classroom.  Not really re-do, but spruce it up!  As much of you do, I have got so many wonderful ideas from Pinterest.  I thought I would share some pictures from two blogs that have really inspired me today.  First, let's look at some pictures from Our Class Web (click to go to her blog).  I love reading her tips on organization.  I am pretty organized, but I could definitely do better.  That's just what I intend to do this year.  I want to buy one or two of these incline sorter to help sort folders or papers on my desk.
Right now, classroom supplies are put in a rolling book cart.  I don't really think it's the most useful way to store supplies.  So, I am hoping to score another bookshelf for my room.  I'd like to store supplies in a more organized way. 
I also love how she has a basket for books related to the units of study. 
Next let's look at some inspiration from Fabulous in First Grade (click to go to her blog).  I adore her primary colored classroom! I am very seriously considering getting rid of my desk and using my table like this as my desk area.  Has anyone who is reading done this?  If so, would you recommend?
I love how her classroom is bright and fun and SO organized!

I am hoping my mom can help me re-do/spruce up my classroom!  Last year I tried to bring my room together by using a bright green and blue as my main two colors.  I plan on using that same color scheme and just adding to it.  Here is a picture of my room from last year.
I also want to spray paint one of my bookshelves, the smaller grey one.  It definitely needs it!
Stay tuned for more inspiring photos and plans!