Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Summer Reading Plan :)

Well,  after compiling this list... I am hoping my plan isn't toooooo adventurous :)

Here is what I would like to read this summer:

1. The Leader in Me... my principal loves it and would like us to read it this summer.  I have been pinning some ideas to go along with it.  Does anyone else do this at their school?

2.  The CAFE book... I am thinking about trying this next year with my fifth graders (will be teaching 7 rotations of reading).
3.  The Book Whisperer... Personally, I love to read and it makes me sad that not all children do.

4.  Again, the 7 classes makes me a bit nervous.  I haven't had many classroom management issues in the past, but I want to be proactive for the possibilities next year.  Especially since the person who will have my students before me is wayyyy more lax than I am.

So, what are you reading???  Join up at Clutter Free Classroom to share what you will be reading (and to possibly win)

Check out my $25 Target gift Card Giveaway as well: http://everynewbeginningblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/25-target-gift-card-giveaway.html

Wow & Updating Storage

First of all, I just have to say wow (and thank you) to all of my new followers!  I feel so honored that you all want to actually listen to what I have to say :)   Hopefully I will be able to share ideas that you all will enjoy or can use! 

Organizing- have to admit, I am a little obsessed with it.  That is what I am focused on today!!! 

So... during the past school year,  I  really tried to update my classroom & just add some special touches.  One of the things that was driving me crazy was my organization area.  In the past, I had two of the three drawer rolling carts with all of my things inside (since I don't have a desk- my old teacher desk was about 40 years old, no joke and I never used it!!!).  It got to where it was a HUGE hassle to find anything.  So, I decided to change up things. 

First, I went on Amazon and bought these:
Big Stacking Organizer
Smaller Stacking Organizer

It took me a few weeks to decide which ones I wanted.  I went through all of my items and made a list- honestly, if you are going to buy these- it is better to buy something with more drawers than not enough.  As of this moment, I don't have any extra drawers.  If I could do it all over again, I would have bought 2 large ones (or like a girl on my team, buy one of the huge ones). 

I took out all of the drawers and gave each a light coat of the kilz white primer spray paint.  Then gave each 2 light coats of light blue spray paint.  Let them cure for a few hours (should have waited longer, but I am impatient) and got to work on the drawers.  I went in and typed up all of the items I had written down.  Then I modge-podged the labels to small pieces of scrapbook paper (from Hobby Lobby) into each drawer. 

Enough talking- here is the final result:  (Yes, this is the worst pic!!!  My plan is to try and take a better pic later to share).

LOVE it!!! It makes me smile every day.  Now I know where everything is in a glance!  The drawers do shift a bit (like the reviews say), but my OCD self just readjusts them when they look strange. 

My second update I wanted to share was to my three drawer paper organizers.   I was working at my room one Saturday and started spray painting everything in sight. 

They were looking a little haggard.  I gave them each 2 coats of lime green spray paint (I was at work and didn't have my kilz or else I would have primed them first- now I wish I had because one is a bit scratched on top, but i will just sand lightly and give it another coat).   Printed out some new labels for the front and I was in business. 

You can also see one of the $1.00 lamps I made over from Goodwill last summer:   Gave each a coat of paint (seeing a trend???).  Hot glued buttons on one and tied ribbons on the other. 

So, am I the only crazy person who spray paints everything in sight?  Has anyone else made the multi-drawer organizers? 

Today my plan is to drop off a load of items from my trunk at school and say goodbye to my classroom for the summer.   Thankfully it doesn't look as hot tomorrow as it has been.   It has been in the 90's all weekend!!! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

The good, the bad & the future

Well, as of tomorrow, the kids have been out for a week... I am trying to reflect on this past school year and gear up for next year.

So, what went well???

1.  Having a 120 min reading block & a 90 min math block: This is the first year I have had both of these, and I really think it is why my students did so well.  I feel like this is the first year I was able to successfully have centers in both too. 

2.  The clip chart behavior system:  Having an option for students who are doing good was a new one for me, but I can totally see the benefits.  My kids ate it up!!!

What didn't work out...

1.  My team- I love them (honestly), but it sometimes felt like we weren't in sync.  We have had a lot of changes, so I am hoping that next year will be better. 

2.  Getting copies ready:  Does anyone have a system for this?  I felt 2 steps behind all year when it came to having them done. 

The future...

My summer to-do list:

1. Organize my pinterest boards.  Right now they are a hot mess!
2. Organize my laptop & take it to get it cleaned.  Does your district do this too? 
3. Create my long-term units for the year for reading.  I would also like to get a skeleton plan set up until at least Christmas. 
4. Create new testing folders
5 Create new posters for my room (literary devices, etc)
6. Create my tri-folds for reading for at least the first 9 weeks of school. 
7.  Work on our team newsletter, policies, etc. 
8.  Clean my entire house!!! I want to steam clean, paint, and organize

and relax a little too :)

and a million other things :) 

So what are your plans for this summer???   Check out this great linky party : Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher Linky Party

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Things I can't live without!!!

So, I have to say that I am totally addicted to quite a few things...

1.  Pinterest!  Nuff said lol!  

2. Mr. Sketch Markers- Love them for anchor charts.  My kids love them too!  They are usually super cheap at the office supply stores around Back to School time.
3.  Scotch Personal Laminator- I held out for a long time before buying this... LOVE it!  I buy my pouches off of Amazon & at Sam's Club. 

4.  These pens from Dollar Tree- They are my favorite!  They show up well when I write & they don't smear.  Love them in blue!!!

5.  Donor's Choose- I have had 26 projects funded over the years through them.  I am so thankful for everything they do for teachers!

So, what do you use the most in your classroom??? Check Out the Linky Party over at Rocking Resources.

$1.98 Mirror Redesign- Yay Goodwill!

So, I have to admit that I am addicted to Pinterest... Have been for probably over a year and a half (since everything was one big board... remember that anyone??? How did we find anything?)

Then I decided to make one of my own.  After months of stalking Goodwill (Seriously- why is it that when you don't want something, you can find millions of them... but then when you want to find a mirror with a space for words, they are nowhere to be found???), I found the perfect mirror for $1.98!  Love 1/2 off day!  Does your Goodwill do that? 

Ummm... I take back the perfect part.  It was screaming " scary old man shack" and was begging to be painted.  It almost looked like it had taken a few tumbles with all of the marks around the edges.    I pried off the back and took out the needlepoint.

Cleaned it thoroughly with soap and water and let it dry.  Then I gave it a thin coat of kilz white primer, then 2 thin coats of the light blue paint.  Printed out the cute saying, and less than 2 hours later- my mission was complete (the white spots are just light reflecting on it).

I have since sold it to a friend and made another one... will share that one too.  In some ways, I like it better.

So, have you ever bought anything and changed it up for your room?  Do you shop at places like Goodwill?  Anyone else get an idea from Pinterest and modify it for your classroom?

Don't forget to enter to win a $25 Target card! http://everynewbeginningblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/25-target-gift-card-giveaway.html

Friday, May 25, 2012

$25 Target Gift Card Giveaway

To celebrate the start of my blog, I want to offer my fellow teachers a $25 dollar gift card to Target.  Would you like to win??? Who wouldn't???  Target is one of my favorite stores and hopefully you will find a ton of awesome things for you or your classroom there. 

So here are the rules...
There are 3 ways to win

1.  Follow my blog  (2 entries to the giveaway).
2.  Blog about my giveaway and link back to it in your post (3 entries to the giveaway).
3.  Post a comment on my blog (1 entry to the giveaway).

I am excited to share this with you!  Winners will be announced on June 1, 2012.  Good Luck! 

*Gift card has been purchased by me... Trust me, Target has no idea who I am!

My First Post

After years of wanting to start a teaching blog- today is the day!  I look forward to sharing my love of teaching, organizing, and pinterest with you.