Monday, July 30, 2012

Donor's Choose UP and RUNNING!

Finally after several months I am excited to say I finally got around to posting a Donor's Choose project for my classroom. So as many of you might know from my past postings I teach in a low income district with little selection when it comes to classroom furniture. My desks are outdated. My chairs---mostly broken and WAY to small for ALL my kids. I feel bad for them. They are basically made for first graders. And they complain all time about how low they are and that they are baby chairs.. Anywho my Donor's Choose project is to get a kidney table. I'm not even picky what color or anything. I just want one soo bad! I really feel like I need it too. Right now we are doing leveled math groups on the floor. With the new floor being tile I can only imagin how uncomfortable that is going to be AND plus it is stinks meeting on the floor when you actually have to write. I want a table that focuses on the leader and provides room for writing and manipulatives. So I have 5 months to raise the money for my classroom! Be sure to check out my Donor's Choose website by clicking the logo ABOVE!

When I started looking for kidney tables I came across some other lovelies that I would DIE to have. Let me share.
I actually might break down and buy this myself. I know it is expensive but I really want one to organize math centers by chapter. EDIT I found one HERE. For $50 and snagged it up pretty quick!!
This little baby is inexpensive enough that I could purchase it with my class money. When we leave library and go to lunch we sit our books on the hallway floor outside the cafeteria. They are always being kicked and stepped on. Perfect way to solve the problem. EDIT: PURCHASED it today! Found it for $27 HERE!
Okay, maybe now I am getting really greedy but this would be so fun to have next to my new kidney table for math groups!
I actually am going to have to purchase one of these puppies I'm afraid. We have a new math morning series--Mountain Math and I need a way to display it each week. This way I won't have to staple anything to bulletin boards.
On the note of math:) :
Since I am a begger I won't be a chooser. I will just be happy for what I have and that is A JOB! Woo hoo! Anyone think Michael Phelps is going to bust tomorrow night in the finals?? I'm scared for him! And something else I'm scared about

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Out With The Old!

So Monday evening got a new look!? What do you think?
Out with the old blog design and in the the NEW! I do kinda miss the bright blue design with my chalkboard. But I opted for something more girly and easy on the eyes!

Also on Monday I hit the classroom and organized a bunch of furniture! I work in an old--ancient building that had original carpet AND let me tell you it was NASTY! So you have to guess that I was super excited to hear that they were taking my carpet out and replacing it with tile this summer. But every pro has a con---I had to pack up my classroom and completely store everything for the summer. Upon my arrival back into my room here it what I got:
(How nasty is that wall?)

Overwhelmed yet? So needless to say I'm pretty antsy to get in next week and put some finishing touches on the good ol' room we call 3C.
I absolutely love how great my crates looked around this table too! The janitors moved it in from the "extra room"---But I later found out it belongs to Title Tutoring and I have to return it...What a rain on my parade. But I am throwing out my desk and substituting it for a table. I just have to find one!! Well that is all for today folks! I am home alone working on the another project:
So far they look really good. I'm not using duct table though. I'm fairly certain I am going to Modgepodge them with scrapbooking paper! Can't wait to share my finished project! Happy hump day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Why I'm Here!

Tales of Frogs & Cupcakes

So I never link up but more recently I have found a few that I really enjoy--This one especially because I feel like teaching really was my calling! I can't remember if I have posted this before but here it goes!

In Fall of 2007 I randomly signed up for an Alternative Spring Break trip through the University of Missouri. I never thought I'd be chosen and quickly forgot about the trip. Months later I received an e-mail telling me that I was accepted and that I would be spending the week in inner city schools in Philadelphia, PA. Immediately I was pretty excited but also nervous. The trip was basically free and we did a ton of fundraising to get ready. When ASB approached we loaded up in vans and drove the 18 hours to PA. We stayed in churches with bars on the windows and slept on floors. Throughout the next week I was amazed at what I saw.
Growing up in Small Town, USA you don't realize the poverty and sadness that so many others in our country have. I was raised in the typical family with lots of opportunity and support. All of the children I saw were being raised in a failing community. Lots of students had to get themselves up and ready for school and went home by themselves each day. It made me truly thankful for what I had been given.
An awesome experience was when I was placed in classrooms with Teach For America Teachers for observation and help. Those people have teaching jobs that I know I would never be able to complete. The atmosphere was complete chaos and most of the time behavior management was the main focus.

HOWEVER the students were amazing. I fell in LOVE with the classroom and knew from then on I had to be a teacher. I came back to Missouri and immediately changed my major! We also spent a lot of time visiting Charter Schools and understanding their meaning. One of my favorites was KIPP! Which I think are all over the US now?

We spent the afternoons at the Boys & Girls Club Philadelphia-Fairmont which was so rewarding!! Most of these kids had never been around white people before. They thought we were so funny.
Now Looking back I realize this little guy is now in 5th grade! And that makes me feel really old! But this is my story. If you made it this far congrats but I know that is a lot to read. Have a great week! I'm heading down to my classroom to get some work done. It is going to be scary.
P.S. is going to get a new look VERY soon!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Erin Condren Obsessed! (With Promo Code!!)

Okay, so I must admit I have been eyeballing Erin Condren's teacher lesson planning books for a while now. I finally broke down to buy one and I'm super excited to get it in the mail next week! I went back and forth between these two designs and finally ended up with the first one!
These little numbers can be personalized to no end! You can add monograms, pictures, just about anything! You can also order personalized stickers and notepads to go along with your new planning book! (I think the reason I am a teacher is because I truly love markers, stickers, and notepads... don't repeat that though) They also come with 152 colored pages, pages for holidays and birthdays, monthly spreads(A MUST)and 7 pages of checklist for permission slips or assignments! GENUIS! You can also add extra pages and use it as a grade book as well!
They may be a little pricey retailing at $50 HOWEVER-(They are worth it and we DESERVE one)&&&&&&&& Now for the best part YET! Erin Condren agreed to give readers $10 off-Who doesn't love a teacher's discount? I know I do! Use the promo code below at spread it to your teacher friends, post it on your blogs, shout it from the tops of your deskand please be sure to tell them sent you!

Promo Code:
*redeemable for $10 off a Teacher Lesson Planner only,
*expires midnight PST July 31.
*cannot be combined with another discount code
*not applicable on previous purchases.
I mean if you are going to plan(which sometimes isn't fun) you might as well be doing it in style! Life is too short not to! Right!? I'd love to know if you order one so be sure to tell me! P.S They also have great "life planners" too! --Here is a great review!
Disclaimer: I was not paid or sponsored to write this post. I simply am just a very excited teacher who loves discount codes and colorful paper.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Teacher or Hoarder? You decide. (Updated)

So with a month left of summer I am finally getting my rear in gear so to speak. As you probably saw before- I wrote about several projects I wanted to complete before summer was over here. Yesterday I headed over to to the neighbor state of IL to do some shopping. After spending way too much money I came home with:
six crates

25 red folders. These will be used to hold student goal/graphing sheets.
You know people look at your weird when you pick up 25 folders in Wal-Mart.

And 25 Home Depot Nail Aprons. So I can turn this
But I am thinking I may rip out the middle seam. If you look carefully they are holding chapter books. The pockets really aren't big enough for picture books. So tomorrow I'm going to rip one out and see how it goes.
UPDATE: I ripped the middle seam out of one and it worked perfectly for larger books! Works great! Get to seam ripping ladies! Goodluck:) TADA
And please don't ever think I would read such a book. My boyfriend trains dogs professionally and a friend of his wrote it!
And today after one trip to the hardware store because I ran out of staples I ended up with these beauties (One tutorial here):

I was very happy how they turned out! They really didn't take much time either. I bought the fabric($3.50 each) at Hobbylobby. The crates at Biglots ($3.50 each) and the wood ($15.89) I bought at Home Depot. They also cut it there for free. I ended up with way too much wood so I'm hoping I can either A: Make several more or B: Pawn it off on another teacher who plans on doing the project. Oh yea, the foam was also from Hobbylobby. On sale for $13. The foam was enough for 8 crates. So I have two extras! Grand total of yesterday's shopping spree? Way too much for a third grade teacher--lets put it that way. Have a fab Friday! I actually think I'm going to make the hour drive down to my classroom to play around for a bit tomorrow! Wish me luck-my car has no air currently.
Lovely right?

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Leader In Me!

Recently some co-workers of mine were introduced to "The Leader in Me". Not familiar!? Check it out here or just read this little bunch:

The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model that acts like the operating system of a computer — it improves performance of all other programs. Based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, The Leader in Me produces transformational results such as higher academic achievement, fewer discipline problems, and increased engagement among teachers and parents. Better yet, The Leader in Me equips students with the self-confidence and skills they need to thrive in the 21st century economy.

Although my school does not plan on transferring over yet. We are taking ideas from The Leader In Me and adding them to what we already use in our building. It all follows The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People theory.

Habit 1: Be Proactive Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life's principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

Habit 3: Put First Things First Prioritize, plan, and execute your week's tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a "win" for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.

Habit 6: Synergize Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes on exercise for physical renewal, prayer (mediation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to the society for spiritual renewal.
What I found most intriguing about this whole concept is that the kids set goals and progress monitor with their teacher. It teaches the kids life long skills about how to work towards something and also how to change what you are doing if you aren't meeting your goals. After meeting with my team today we have came up with a plan to make goal notebooks with our students this year. We are perfecting our final plans now and I am super excited to share these with you all! We are modeling our notebooks off of a school in Fenton, Missouri who held the conference. In our goal notebooks students will set goals for AR (reading) test, spelling test, Aims web (words per minute) and math concepts. Not only does this teach responsibility but it also makes the students more aware and accountable for their grades. PLUS what teacher doesn't love proof that their students are improving? We also discussed how these would be great to show at parent teacher conferences.

So--Does anyone belong to a school that is already in with "The Leader in Me"? I would love to know your opinion on what is teaches as well as the pros and cons of the program! Check out their website and see what you think!
I mean shouldn't we be teaching students to think about the outcome of their actions as well as where their future is headed? I know I don't stress it enough! Check back in a couple weeks and I will be sharing the breakdown of how we are making our notebooks/folders as well as the files/printables we are using! I know thats a lot for a Monday! So on another note:
This is the most exciting thing that happened to me last week! His name is Bambii and he belongs to my boyfriend's employee. He is so sweet. He loves to lick people! And please ignore my outfit I had just rolled out of bed and was still in my pjs.. It is summer people. I don't get dressed very often!
I'm also finally getting together vacation pictures! Here is one of the boy and I in Keywest at the pier!
P.S. Miss Third Grade is now! Wooo hooo! Bookmark it babies!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Common Cored Out!

So tis the season to start thinking about Common Core yet again! Tomorrow I will be driving down to my classroom to talk with my team about more Common it sad that I am kind of over it? My teacher apple goes from this:

To this:
Anywho we are dividing each math standard and finding lesson plans for each strand (can I call them that?) We came across a great website that everyone should check out if they haven't already!K-5 Math Teaching Resources is pretty self explanatory---Click on the grade you want to visit and it breaks down all the Common Core standards and list several math centers (PDF downloadable) that go along with it! Genius? Uh yea! So stop stressing out---head over and download a few. They are pretty basic and great freebie ideas! It also list books that go along with some lesson plans! baby!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

If you haven't checked out you need to ASAP! It is an awesome resource for teachers! I just got my account up and running! To learn more check out their website or visit Mrs. Stanford's Class for a great breakdown!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gettin' Organized

Greetings from Missouri!! I'm finally back from vacation and now headed on a float trip with the family! One another note:

Lets be honest here. This is me. I am a paper hoarder and my desk is a disaster. This year I'm really focusing on becoming more organized with both my paperwork and my kiddos. I didn't make it a big focus this past year since I was in survival mode and just wanted to focus on what was most important: teaching. Since I pretty much feel like I have that basic skill down now I want to focus more on my room and its appearance. Let me share with you some projects I came across that I want to complete this year. I also linked up to Pinterest Linky Party from Adentures of a Third Grade Teacher:


Bookbags for my kids this year is a MUST HAVE. I had them stack them on their desk in the past but it just caused clutter. I already priced these.. They are real cheap... 77 cents cheap. They can be found HERE and even ordered online if you live in the boonedocks like me!

I also want to make my own lesson plan booklet with a calender. I think this one looks pretty useful! I'm excited to get it printed and put it in a binder. Along with the lesson plan template also found on her website. Check it out!

I absolutely hated having my student's papers always falling out of their cubbies because of art boxes, toys, or artwork being stuffed inside. I want an area where I can put only papers and keep the cubbies for storage like a desk (text books, art box, notebooks, folders) I can't wait to get these underway!

I'm hopefully getting a kidney table for my classroom this fall. If so I am throwing out my teacher desk and doing something like this. Not only do the chairs look super cute---but they can be used as storage.

I want to make one of these---because it just looks like fun and I'm certain it would look perdy behind my kidney table (that I better get)
Check out this blog if you haven't already, it is so sassy! It has great classroom decorating ideas!
Well, I'm headed south for a few days! Hopefully I can step back into routine again soon!