Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook....

I always tell my students that my number 1 job is to keep them safe...if only they could truly understand how far we would go for them... MY Prayers are all in one place tonight.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November Currently, drama and exciting news!!

Sorry I've been gone but I am I am officially out of my first quarter hibernation.  I feel like as soon as school starts my social life stops.  At least until the first quarter is over and it is!!  We had conferences last week and my yearly conference cough/sinus infection also showed up right on time :)  I have a great group of 2nd graders this year and my t3rd graders (who we had last year as 2nd graders) are turning into some great students (FINALLY!!)  So I can't wait to catch you up on what we have been doing!

But we have some catching up to do!

So I linked up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for her November Currently

So on to explain my post title and my currently.

Sadly when I was in Chicago for the SWPBIS conference my beloved 08' Mustang, that I bought when I got my first teaching job after saving all my money for years, was totaled.  I was rear ended my an Esclade so hard it pushed me into the stopped car in front of me.

Luckily the only injuries to everyone involved (I had 3 other people in my car) were some rashes from seat belts and whiplash.  Also, the driver of the Escalde (WHO DROVE AWAY!!!) turned himself in and is being prosecuted.  But the Mustang was totaled....I loved that car.  Now I have a responsible Escape.  We were very lucky that we got his license plate and he had insurance.

Well the exciting news...and the need for bigger pants is that my husband and I are expecting!  We are due in May and very excited.  We are also relieved that the little nugget was not hurt at all in the accident.

SO as you can see its been an exciting fall for us and my poor blog suffered.  But I'm back!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pinterest at Work/Magnetic Paint Review

Hello everyone!  Wow has the last week been busy.  Wednesday was our first day back the kiddos don't start until September 4th and I have been hard at work getting ready.

Sorry in advance for all the pictures.

First of all I told you in my last post about Rust-oleum Magnetic Primer.

I used it on some old white shelves that I have had in my classroom and were looking a little grubby. I wanted to make the sides usable for center activities.

I used 3 coats on the sides of the shelves.  The paint was very grainy.  I think it would have been an easier go if I had laid the shelves down.   

 Here is a picture of them finished.  The left pictures shows two magnets a large and small one.  The end texture was very rough though.  My original idea had been to paint over that with chalkboard paint but after feeling the texture I realized it wasn't going to work.

 I decided to paint the shelves lime green to match the rest of the color scheme in my classroom
The picture on the left shows them mid paint.  It took me 5 cans of spray paint to cover 4 shelves this size.  My finger was numb for a week!  The picture on the right shows the finished project.  As you can see the smaller magnet didn't stick anymore, which was slightly disappointing.  They turned out cute though and everyone who has popped into my classroom has commented on them.

Another project I have been working on is repurposing my old National Geographic Explorers.   I save them and reuse them because sadly we can't afford to get a classroom wet every year.  SOme years a couple teachers will go in on them and buy them and share or sometimes F.A.C.T will surprise us.  SO I cut the magazine in half and put it into these page protectors.  I still need to make a label for the front cover.  My plan is to use them in small group instruction and let the kids write on the plastic protectors with white board markers while identifying non-fiction text features.  

1 down a million to go.

Finally, here is a sneak peak at my classroom.

Entrance from the front door

These shelves are right around the corner from the front door.  This is the first year they have EVER been organized.

Table bins.  IKEA ran out so I still need to get a few more.  Each table gets a bin for each subject.  That way everything stays neat and organized, I hope.

My desk and on the left on the floor is going to be where my listening center is.

My hook for headphones on the back of my computers.  I have been wanting to do this since I saw it on Pinterest.  I'm also going to make website card rings to hang on the hooks with website addresses and log ins.

View of my library and small group area.
Library, the brown magazine rack is where my seasonal books or focus genres are going to go.  Ignore the brown paper we were getting ready to make trees.

View from the library still a work in progress.

Small group area.

I can't wait to show you all when its done!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


So the kids don't come back till September 4th but next Wednesday is the first day for teachers.  Out of that week and a half only 3 days are classroom days and half of one of those 3 days is meet the teacher day!!  So since I will only have 2 and a half days and that is not enough time I have been going in since the first week of August when the carpet was done.

Between all my projects, cheer camp, and the lovely husband being out of town on business things have been crazy.  Lets just say my darling Bugsy Bear is missing his Dad and being stubborn.   Did I mention I forgot my gmail password and couldn't figure out how to get photos from my phone to my computer without using if your wondering where I've been thats it in a nutshell.

When I walked in a few weeks ago this is what my room looked like:
From the door (a little blurry)

From my partners you see something exciting?

MY NEW DESK!!! IT LOCKS and everything!!! I'm so excited

My partners side, where most of my furniture was

Lucky for me our awesome custodian was bored and moved everything for me but you don't get to see until its all done.

While I was there I started one of my projects painting some ugly white shelves that I've had FOREVER, they are actually from my bedroom growing up.

I bought some of this magnetic primer to go under green spray paint.  My thought was I could uses these shelves to hold center supplies and buddy reading books.  I wanted them magnetic so I could let the kids make words on the sides or magnet labels on them.
Shelves before I painted them there were 4 this size
This is what it looked like after 1 coat.

I'm anxious to get it and see how well the shelves actually attract magnets but they were waxing the hallways today so you will have to wait!!
SO after I drove back home from finding out he hallways were being waxed I decided to work on my next project.  I saw discovery bottles on Pinterest...I can't find the original post for the life of me so if you know it please let me know so I can give credit.

I typed up and color coded all the sight word lists.  Sine I have low kids they need LOTS of practice.  I make them their own personal lists of words they don't know for their folders, then when  they get caught not working I call them over to read them to me and any they don't know they have to write 10 times each...guess how fast my ADHD boys learn them. lol.  But I wanted a fun way to practice that they would ask to do.

FIrst I died the rice.  I previously tried pom poms but the words stuck to them.  I also tried beads but they were too noisy.  

I only have 3 jars done.  I only had 3 colors of dye so I need to get more.  My plan is to label each jar with how many words are in each.  The kids will be challenged to find all the words in each jar.  WHen they do, and write them down, they will have to read them to me.  Once they have done that they will get that color next to their name on the sight word master list.   I'm thinking of some kind of reward for finding and reading the words in each jar.

I will post more pictures when everything is done.

What back to school projects are you working on?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August Currently/ it really August!?!?


In honor of summer coming to a close I liked up with Farley for her August Currently.  I also did this to avoid doing any of the actual real work that needs to get cleaning the stairs that are covered in dust and dog hair or typing up spelling lists.

SO I actually have been doing work.  I went into our classroom last week because the floors were done.  I pretty much have all the big furniture where I want it (now I just need to put the kids tables into place.  This is harder than is seems because our school enrollment is off the charts this year and I'm most likely going to have 35 students, or my partner it, either way I have to get the room set for that many.

Also, check out Amy's give away over at Step Into Second Grade!  She also has a freebie!  She is my favorite!!

Hopefully I will have pictures of my classroom for you tomorrow!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tell Me More Link Party

Today I'm linking up with Amy

over at Step Into Second Grade for her tell me more link party.

So here are some fun facts about me!  Don't forget to head over and link up!!

1.  I am obsessed with competitive cheer just talk to me for 5 minutes and I will tell you all about it. I cheered for 5 years and I am currently in my 7th year of coaching!
(My teams are know for their jumps...funny thing is jumps were what I was the worst at as a cheerleader.  Ignore the dropped leg in the back it drives me nuts in this picture lol.)

2.  I am only the 2nd person to go to and graduate from college and the first to earn a master's degree in my family.  My Grandparents are proud of my two degrees since my Grandpa only went to 3rd grade and my Grandmother only up to 8th.

3.  I met my husband my senior year of college at a friends birthday party....he didn't call me for a week after me giving him my number!!!  I gave him a second chance after he claimed he "had a busy week" I knew on my first date he was special because my face hurt the next day from laughing and smiling so much.  We still make each other laugh everyday.  

(this picture describes us perfectly)

4.  During high school and college I was a groundskeeper in the summer at a senior retirement home.  I planted flowers and took care of everything outside.  I was even nominated for Groundskeeper of the Year for a state wide competition.  As my husband says it was legit he had to wear a tie and stuff.  Funny thing is I hate being outside and I have sever outdoor allergies.

5.  I own a very vicious pitt-bull who likes to bully me into cuddling.  I get VERY angry when people talk about BSL or and breed specific laws.  The dogs were bread to be people pleasers.  It's not their fault people want them to fight, they just want to make people happy.

(does that dog my husband is holding look vicious to you?)

6.  I love to read. I read everything I can get my hands on. I know random facts about stuff I don't even like because if its words I MUST READ THEM.   I reread books all the time.  My husband was VERY happy when I finally bough my Kindle because that meant he didn't have to haul 5 books on every vacation we went on.  

7.  I have never wanted to do anything but teach...well besides be an artist when I was in Kindergarten.  Did I mention I really can't draw.

8.  Back to the Future Part 2 is my favorite move of all time.  I always wanted a hover board growing up.  My husband and I get into disagreements about the effects of the space time continuum in the movie.

9.  I am still friend with all my best friend from high school!!  However, we have NEVER gotten a picture of all of us together.

(see even at my wedding I couldn't find one of all of us....and someone is still missing even with me putting up 2 pictures)

10.  I love fall.  It is the time of year when I have the least amount of allergies.  I met my husband in the fall.  I got married in the fall.  I was born in the fall.  We bought our new house in the fall.  Everything awesome happens in the fall.

11.  (I'm adding this because it was brought up on a walk with the husband after I first posted this) 
I have a curse on me!!!  or Rather I curse Detroit Tigers players by wearing their shirts.  See EVERY player who's shirt I've ever worn from the Tigers has been traded or hurt like literally right after I get their shirt.  My husband wont let me get a new Tiger's shirt with a players name on it because they will get hurt.  
Verlander and Avila on the mound discussing how happy they are to still be healthy Tigers because I didn't get their shirts
So actually Justin Verlander has me to thank for his MVP award.  I could have gotten his shirt but I didn't.  Don't worry Avila I wont be getting your's either so you are safe too.

Well thats all I can think of for now......  hope you found it interesting :)  Don't forget to link up with Amy!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

ABC Books

Before I get into my post about ABC books I have to tell you about the new book store I found.  It opened up in the old Borders Express by the movies (another teacher friend and I may have caught an afternoon showing of Magic Mike ummmm I mean a really mentally stimulating documentary).  
Its called
It had the Magic Tree House series, used, for less than $2.00.  I also found a copy of the Time Travelers Wife, which I have been looking for forever.  Finally they have a buy 3 get one free used book special. I got 5 books for less than $20.00.  I can't wait to go back with my book list I have for school.  SCORE!!

Now onto ABC books.  As I mentioned in my last post I got inspired to do these because of the M is for Mitten book that is part of our social studies curriculum.  Also, another teacher friend of mine has kids do it for science and social studies concepts.  I even used it later in the year as a book report option.

First of all for big projects I like to make a Powerpoint.  This way I have all the information that the kids need on hand and I can just project it on my smart board.  
We studied poetry patterns before we did this project.  The pictures below are the slides that we went over before we did the project.
These slides along with an additional one that lists each letter of the alphabet and who is doing that letter cycle through every time we work on the project.  Kids need a lot of help finding something to go with their letter so this frees me up form answering A LOT of questions about directions.

(this is the  copy the kids got when they were working)

(Layout Template)  

Each student gets their own letter.  Since I had 28 students this year though there are two letters that have 2 pages in the book.   Once the kids complete their pages I put each one into a plastic page protector and put it in a binder.  This then goes into the classroom library where it becomes the most popular book.  Kids love showing them off to parents at open house and conferences.

Front cover
 Here are some of my favorite pages that the kids did.
G is for Garden Gate

H is for Hawk

L is for Lightning 

M is for Mountain (this picture is out of focus and I don't know why but I love the illustrations.  This child typed his because of his accommodations in his IEP)

P is for puddle (this one cracks me up why?  His mom informed me they don't even have carpet in their house)

Some other ways other teachers and I have utilized this project:
  • Social Studies Units
  • Science Units
  • Book Reports
  • Seasons and Holidays
  • All about me
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar topics
  • Favorite books
  • Respect and Responsibility
The best part is once these are created the kids LOVE to read them.  It really makes the students aware that their work needs to be their VERY best because if not they will constantly be asked what their's says.