Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It

It's crunch time folks!
My vacation is quickly slipping away, and I'm trying to get as much done as I can before I will be required to enter the work force for another 36 weeks.

Which is good because now I can share it with y'all through Tara's Monday Made It.

Last week, I was number crazy! Teri at A Cupcake For the Teacher has these sweet numbers available. They are so cute!

I used them to make an attendance board:

I used them to number my Kindergarten Book Baskets:

and my First Grade Book Baskets:

I used them to number my table caddies:

Also, I used them to make my 'Pick Me' sticks:

I love these numbers.
Thanks, Teri!

For awhile when I began teaching first grade, I didn't have a pocket chart stand. So, I made one out of pvc pipes. Fast forward a couple of years and I received a beautiful big cart for my pockets charts and chart paper. My neglected pvc pipe stand was taken apart and thrown on top of my shelving unit to gather dust.

I don't know why I didn't think about it before, but I could still use my stand.
I could cut it and make mini chart stands. Duh!
Before when it was still a tall boy.
A snip-snap here and there. I love my pvc pipe cutter!
Then, I spray painted them to make them look bright and happy!
I'm so glad I picked up some more Dollar Spot pocket charts. I can never have enough!
Slowly my classroom is looking like a classroom again. I'm so happy.

Our lovely linky host, Tara, had a genius idea for making those Dollar Spot dry-erase pockets pretty. Fancy duct tape!
It will probably make them last longer, too.

And for the home:
Our wood sign came in and now I've got me a good ol' country kitchen! :)

I was just beginning to feel good about all of my hard work when I got this in the mail Friday:

The report date is literally the first day of school for my kiddos.

And so it begins...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

There's More to Me

than just teaching...

I'm linking up with Mrs. Lemons fun Linky Party!

1) I'm a Gemini, so you can catch me in any range of attitudes. I'm all over the place.
Even at 3 months old. *My mom loves these pictures, I guess as all mom's do...
FYI - I have ONE elf ear. I'm not too thrilled about it. 
Plus, its genetic. Both of my nephews have them {one is from my sister and the other is my lil brother's son.} So weird!

2) It is very rare to find me without my better half. We have the best time together.
He's a nut and keeps me laughing all of the time.
3) Even when he makes me do scary stuff that involves heights. I'm VERY afraid of heights. I don't even like walking on the second level of the mall.
Scott talked me into doing a very high zip line. SCARY!
4) I love playing games of all kinds. Sports, trivia, board, drinking, video, and card games you name it and I'm all about it. Unfortunately, I'm not great at any of them. Teams usually get stuck with me! Ha!
OLD picture of me trying to hit the volley ball in our yard with my dad and siblings.
LOVE the scrunchie!!
5) I have Celiac disease, so I'm always on the lookout for good recipes, bakeries, and eateries that specialize in gluten-free fare. It's not easy finding yummy food. Apparently, gluten makes all foods taste great.

6) I love to feed the animals. When I'm allowed to feed them, of course! However, I am a huge chicken and usually drop the food before the animal comes near me. Oops!
My friend and I are feeding the huge tarpon in the Keys. SO COOL!
7) I have been best friends with Sara since the second grade {that was in 1984 people!} Friends come and go, but we've stayed close all of this time. I feel very lucky :)
8) I don't like pictures of myself. I think it's the elf ear. When you do see a picture of me I'm usually with someone else. It's very difficult to find a picture of just me that I haven't thrown away. I hate pictures of me!

9) America's Funniest Home Videos is my favorite show in the world. I cry. I snort. I laugh very loudly. I guess people getting hurt tickles my fancy!

10) As you may have read before, I'm a bit of a pack rat. In addition, to all of the crap I've saved in my classroom, my home is much worse.  One thing I have saved is all of my notes from high school. And, I am so glad that I did. They are hilarious! So many boys to love. So much drama. The problems of teenagers.
Every now and again, we'll pull them out and have a good laugh.
Oh my word y'all, I am so thankful I wasn't a teenager in today's world {with facebook, you tube, etc... Yikes!}

Here's one note from my friend Sara and it cracks me up every time I read it:
I never thought gum would push someone over the edge! hehehe

Okay, I finally got to watch the Bachelorette today, so now I can go online and read Monday's posts. I was too afraid of spoilers.

For those of you that read and comment on my blog, THANK YOU so much. I really love y'all. Your comments make my day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It

Hello!  I was invited back :) This is Jill, Andi’s sister, with a Monday Made It!

Pointers are great fun!
They can help track text, make a game out of finding sounds or words, or in my case, reach the top part of my SMART board!
I was given one of the cute plastic hands for my SMART board during our SMART training.  It was great for clicking, but not so much for dragging.  I really I liked the feel of a tennis ball or the smooth swipe of a glove much better.
I had been given a glove “hand” pointer as a gift a LONG time ago (like ’95ish - yikes). It lived a good life, but was loved one time too many and bit the dust.  Since then, I had pointers made out of cut fly swatters and sticks with nifty erasers or the antennae ornaments.
Springtime came and DING! time to make a new pointer.
I made a few glove pointers for teacher gifts, but didn’t get around to making mine.
So…Thank-You Tara, time to make one for my room (and for Andi’s room too).

The materials include:
1) ½ in diameter dowel (One 36” dowel will make 2 pointers, 18” each)
2) Gloves   {Tip: I got these on clearance in the spring 2 pair for $1! Also, I hear garden gloves make great pointers too, they will go on sale in the fall.}
3) Paint  {I primed and then painted with acrylics.  Some people just leave the wood plain.  Do what works for you.}
4) Puffy paint for the fingernails {Sparkle is always better!}
5) Felt - a small circle ½ in. and a bigger circle 1 ½ in. with eight  1/2 in. slits from outer edge to wrap down over the dowel
6) Electrical tape
7) Modge Podge or other sealer
8) Stuffing
9) Ribbon to match

First: Paint dowel rod – I did 1 primer coat and 2 color coats
Next: Paint fingernails onto glove. I used marker to trace my finger as a guide.

This is the part that I added to make my pointer SMART board safe. 
I LOVEEEEE my SMART Board and don’t want anything to hurt it!!
Also, it helps the pointer glide smoothly across the board.
Just layer the felt on the tip, fold down the larger piece, and secure with electrical tape.

This part is simple.  Sorry about the duck, I was trying to be thrifty.
The bling is VERY important ~  just ask my kindergartners. 
I have used old junk jewelry in the past.  I’ve seen people hot glue jewels all over the glove - awesome.  I just used beads I had around the house. 
*Remember not to overstuff as the fingers have to be folded down!

Almost done! 
Next, the fingers need to be secured down.
I like to sew, and I tend to make a mess with glue guns so my fingers are stitched down.
I have seen ones that have used hot glue and they look great – your preference works here.
Then, secure the wrist by using ribbon.  Again ~ your choice on how much ribbon to use.  Just make sure it is secure with a few knots.
Bunch the hand towards the tip for the sealing.  Paint some sealer (I used Modge Podge and added glitter glue, too).
When it is fully coated, pull the glove back down so the glue inside helps secure the glove in place.  Allow time to dry and Ta-da! You have a fun pointer. :)

I made Andi a pink one in the spring, so here is her “Hulk” boy version pointer ready for the fall.
Yes. It has a ring and gold glitter on the handle, my daughter helped me. :)

Have fun making some pointers. 
Happy Monday!

Enjoy, Jill

*And I think these pointers are DYNAMITE! ~Andi

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When You're Not Around

I'm finally allowed to enter my classroom and it is a hot mess!
Not only is it in disarray from the carpet cleaners, but I left a pretty big mess, too.

You see, I was BURNT OUT in June.
After a long and exhausting year, the last thing I wanted to do was organize and clean.

Needless to say, I'm paying for it now.

Normally, throughout the year when visitors would come into my classroom,
they'd always remark on how neat it was. I'd smile and take the compliment.

All a clever ruse!

If they opened a cabinet or drawer, they'd learn my secret.
I clean by stashing papers in closets, boxes, and file cabinets.
I've been in this classroom for eight years now and it shows.
Crap everywhere!

It is time for an intervention!

So, I thought I'd begin with my files and just throw or give away things I haven't used in a few years.
Some of the files I haven't looked at in a long while. Just added to them.

Well, while I was looking in my "Substitute" file I found it was full of unnecessary plans and letters.
Since I am a saver by nature, I have also collected a large amount of substitute notes.
Mostly, the subs would leave little notes saying the kids were great.
{That's all I want to hear, even if it is a lie. I hate coming back to class and having to discipline students for things I didn't see them do!}

Anyway, among the substitute notes I found some notes from my students.
These were back when I taught fourth grade, circa 2003.
Oh, they are too funny. Basically, the notes are from my informers.
The girls who could probably run the class better than me.

Below are a couple of my favorites:
 I'm wondering how it could be a good day if Dylan made Willie cry?
Poor Willie :(
 I like how Tara wants me to do "my work."


Now, this is a letter from one of my subs.
I am NOT expecting you to try and read this.
Out of all of the notes I skimmed over, I couldn't believe the length of this one.
It's a novel!
I was only gone for a day for heaven's sake. T.M.I.

Do any of you keep notes like these or am I the only pack rat?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Made It

Hi everybody! Tara over at Fourth Grade Frolics has the best Linky Party next to CurrentlyMonday Made It is so inspiring. I love all of the ideas. Also, I'm getting a kick out of the trends that come out of it. I've seen a ton of Teacher Toolboxes!

Now, I don't think I have a creative bone in my body, so I am very much appreciative of your posts, crafts, comments, instructions, handouts, and such.
Without you - OY - I don't know what I'd do!

Here are my Monday Made It's for this week:

1. Creating a Moment
When I saw this craft on last week's Monday Made It, I knew I had to have it for my classroom. I liked it so much I made another one for my sister's classroom, too.
Such a great idea!
Mrs. Plum at There's No Place Like Second Grade has a fantastic brand new blog. 
You just gotta go and check it out. Awesome!

2. What's That Word?

Sight words, high frequency words, popcorn words, Dolch words, whatever you call them our kiddos need to learn them. Preferably, they can practice their word knowledge playing a fun game. Which is why I purchased Reagan's Sight Word Stick Centers!
She has a bunch of great games for sight words. You can buy it {here}

So far, I have just made one container, but I have plans for more. I will have an aid in my room this year and I will need plenty of activities for her to work with her students.
 I have been saving a bunch of wipes containers and now I have a good use for them. Yippee!

Well, that's all for this week. It seems like August is just around the corner, and I'll have to put the pedal to the metal and get more done before I have to go to work...

Last Thursday, my school faculty had a brief meeting to discuss a major restructuring of our curriculum. Well, I found out that I will not be teaching a traditional first grade, but I will be the reading teacher for both first graders AND kindergartners. Kind of a shocker for this gal. So, I went on a shopping spree on TPT because I don't have anything for Kindergarten!
Think I spent too much???
If you have any words of wisdom to share with me for surviving kinders please let me hear it. I'm afraid!

Please make sure to head on over to Fourth Grade Frolics and comment on all of those great entries for this week. You know we love to get comments!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Insta Friday

Happy Friday!

I may or may not be linking up with new {but not brand-new} momma Jeannett 
{Baby Owen was born at 4:30 the other day. Congrats!}
at Life Rearranged for my week via Instagram
life rearranged
I am happy to say that I have been more productive this week.
Which is much better than last week's non-productivity. 

 Remember, how last week we worked very hard and re-landscaped our front yard?
Well, now we've decided to rip up the back yard.
Are we nuts or what?
Oh, the joys of home ownership.
 Scott and I were only going to Sears to pick up a gift for my nephew.
Apparently, my husband gets distracted by shiny objects.
Especially this ratchet. Which, I was told, that we need!
When would we need this humungous thing?
 If you read my Monday post, then you learned that
 I made a three tier stand for my Bucket Fillers in my classroom.
I'm happy to report that it is still standing in one, complete, happy piece.

 Here are a few pics of the place where I go running.
It is a fitness track located on our barrier island.
Our Indian River Lagoon surrounds part of the track.
It is beautiful, peaceful, and my absolute favorite place to go.
In addition to the fitness track, there are tennis courts,
racket ball courts, picnic tables, a playground, and BATHROOMS!
  It was my privilege and honor to watch my niece and nephew {and their friends}
for my sister while she was hard at work.
My nephew is holding two of their new chicks.
They are too cute!
As you can see, the older ladies prefer to hang out close to
the porch and check them out through the screen.
And since it is hot as blazes, the kids love to play in the pond.
 "7-11 Day"
Gotta get my free Slurpee!
  My nephew's birthday party.
Target has these seriously funny signs in their dollar spot.
This one says /Epic Fail/ and has the person falling off his bike.
Parker is obsessed with the "Epic Fail" app.
I knew the sign would be right up his alley.

Both brothers got a present on Parker's birthday.
Scott and I are taking them to see WWE Raw in Jacksonville.
Lord help me!
 Today, I had to go in to work! Boo!
Our leadership team at school has decided to reorganize EVERYTHING!
Everybody was rushing up to the screen to see
where their classroom was being moved to.

Luckily, I am not moving.
However, our entire school is departmentalizing.
All K/1's, 2/3's, and 4/5's will be teamed up.
I am slightly freaking out that I will be the reading teacher for KINDERGARTNERS!

I will be blogstalking you K teachers even more now! Help!!!

I'm leaving this post on a high note.
My new statement necklace came in today!
Isn't she purty????
I got it on Etsy for a bargain.
I love it!
You can get yours {HERE}

Well, that's my week.
Now, I'm off to read some K blogs...