Monday, July 30, 2012

Desk Shelves for Groups

These shelves that go in between my desks are one of my FAVORITE things that have come from Pinterest this summer. I got the idea from my friend Leslie, who found them and showed them to me. Jeanne over at Booky4First, is who posted on her blog & Pinterest the wonderful idea and directions. So thank you!!! You can click her blog name above to find the directions, and her button is linked up below.

Leslie's wonderful husband Josh, made these for us! Then we had a painting party, which took ALL afternoon and it was unbelievably HOT, but we got them painted!

Here are the shelves before sanding and painting.

Here I am sanding them down before painting! Who would have ever
thought I would hold any kind of power tool! Haha!
I painted all of them black to go with my classroom.
Here is one of them inside my classroom!!

I usually try to keep my students in groups of 4 or more throughout the year. This year I have set my room up to have two groups of 5 in the front of the room, and two groups of 6 in the back of the room. The picture above is a group of 6. I am so excited to use these this year and hopefully keep my kids organized too!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blogging Excitement!

I am new to this blogging world, but I am loving every minute of it! When on my ONE vacation of this busy summer, I got a comment from one of my followers...Nikki at Uncommon to the Core nominated me for TWO awards! It made my vacation!! It has taken me several weeks to get back into my "thinking ahead for the coming school year" routine, and back to blogging, but I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to Nikki! She is so creative and has wonderful ideas - you should go check her blog out!

Here are my 7 random facts!
1. I was born in Charleston, SC - and I dream of going back there to live and teach!
2. I have never wanted to do anything else but be a teacher. 
3. I have my Masters in Reading and Literacy, but my favorite subject to teach is Math.
4. I hated Math as a student, which is why I believe that I enjoy teaching Math (because I know what it is like to be completely confused).
5. In the next 5 years, I would like to become an Academic Coach.
6. I HATE for my food to touch...yuck!!
7. I decorated my classroom in red, black, and white because they are the colors of the college I attended...Valdosta State University - Go Blazers and I am a big University of Georgia fan...Go Dawgs!!

My nominees for The Versatile Blogger Award are: (drum roll please.....)
*I am making my list of blogs I want to nominate and I will be updating this list over the next couple of days!

Here are the rules for The Versatile Blogger Award as I understand them:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. 
2. Include a link to their site.
3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself. 
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award. 
6. When nominating, include a link to their site.
7. Let other bloggers know they have been nominated.

Again, thanks to Nikki, she nominated me for The Liebster Blog Award which highlights those blogs with less than 200 followers. I am hoping to reach 200 followers by Christmas. So PLEASE spread the word about my blog and follow me on Pinterest for some of my other ideas. I am lucky have been accepted and encouraged by fellow teachers and bloggers! I am excited to say that over the past 24 hours, I have gone from 7 followers to 20!! Wooohooo :)

The Before...

I started working in my classroom last week and I am hoping to be finished setting everything up, and getting organized (for the most part) by pre-planning. I can't believe that we go back the 1st of August and the kids come back on the 8th!! My summer is ending quickly. Here are some pictures of my classroom when I walked in it for the first time since I left in May.

Standing at the back of my room by the door, looking toward the front of my room. 
Trying to fit the left side of my classroom in one shot :)

Right side of my classroom (computers stations & my desk area in the back).

This the the back area of my room, where I was standing while taking the other pictures. I love that the
tile is RED, and will match my new decor!! 
To be continued....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Back to reality

I am back from the beach and had a wonderful time! As much as I hated to leave the beach, I have to admit that I am ready to get in my classroom and get to work! I hope to go in tomorrow and get things moving in my classroom.

Here are some pictures from the beach:

Which do you like better?

Hello all!
I am ready to get back to blogging! I feel like I have taken a year break, opposed to the two weeks that I actually have been away. I am interested in starting an account for the documents I create. I am not sure whether I want to use Teachers Notebook or Teachers Pay Teachers. Any advice?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Benches from Pinterest

Before I left for the beach I started this project to make the ever famous, crate benches from Pinterest. I used milk crates, plywood, mattress pad foam, and fabric. A friend and I discovered that buying the mattress pad foam from Wal-Mart and cutting it to fit the plywood was much more cost efficient. We got enough foam to double the cushioning for 12 crates!

I plan on using these as benches in my reading corner. I am attaching them with black zip-ties. I plan to make two benches with three seats each. Here is what I have completed so far. I will put up pictures again when I am finished.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Annual Beach Trip!

I am officially taking a break from this crazy, busy summer I have had, and I am headed to the beach!! I will be back in a week and I can't wait for a little R&R! I am going with a friend of mine that is also a teacher, and this is what we look forward to all summer!! When I get back I will be busy in my classroom and will be sure to post pictures!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Student Teacher...I taught her well! :)

Student teacher to friend & crafting partner!

I was fortunate enough to have an AMAZING student teacher last fall. We became really good friends when she finished her time in my classroom, and she has been staying with me for the summer while hunting for a job.
Natalie and I at the Luke Bryan Farm Tour Concert  

Luckily, last week she got a 4th grade position back in her home town of Columbus. I am so excited for her, but sad to see my friend go! Of course as soon as she found out about her job, she got in project mode also. She found the cutest theme from Creative Teaching Press (here is link to the Turquoise Paisley themed products) and then from there she started her projects. Here is what she made...

Of course she didn't make these, but we found them at Hobby Lobby and they will be a great addition to her classroom!

Creating my new classroom

My past two days have been packed with several key elements in my life: Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and Pinterest. We all know that means that my house has been craft/project central. So here is what has come out of the last few days.
The Inspiration...

This frame as silly as it sounds, was the inspiration for changing the theme/decorations in my room.  I got it from  Hobby Lobby and LOVE it! I am a University of Georgia fan...Go Dawgs, and I went to Valdosta State University...Go Blazers (since both team colors are red, black, and white) I thought it would be fitting! I wanted to buy several more frames, but I decided to make them instead. So here is the final outcome! I wanted to stick with the color scheme of course, but change it up a bit.
Supplies: wooden frames ($1.00 at Wal-Mart) and acrylic paint

I got this idea from some wonderful person from Pinterest and ran with it! I made 4 in total one for each of my small groups for Guided Reading centers. They are magnetic, which means the magnets I order every year from Vista Print will stick to them and I can easily move students around to different groups as needed. 

Supplies: pizza pans from the Dollar Tree, spray paint, and ribbon
Here are the magnets that I am ordering from Vista Print. 

Odds & Ends... 

Another Pinterest project - Essential Question Boards or I may use them for my Common Core "I Can" statements.
Supplies: certificate frames from Dollar Tree, scrapbook paper and I used stickers for the labels

I always wonder what to do with paper without names, other than just toss them in the trash! I decided this year I would give the kids a chance to claim their papers. I  am going to make a label, back it, and laminate it that says: These papers do not have an owner...could they belong to you? I will put a magnet on the back and put it on my whiteboard.
Supplies: large wooden paperclip (dollar section of Michael's), acrylic paint

I saw on Pinterest the idea of a tattle moster (made from a tissue box), but I didn't that my third graders would go for that idea. I decided on a Notes to Ms. Geiger box, here the kids can tattle, ask question, write down concerns, or just write me a note (which my girls seem to do often).
Supplies: wooden tissue box from Michael's, adhesive letter stencils, and acrylic paint

These are the adhesive letter stencils I found at Wal-Mart. They are amazing! The pack comes with 3 sets of letters and you can use them up to 20 times each according to the packaging. Apply them on whatever you want to paint, remove them before the paint dries, and wash with warm soapy water - who would have thought?

This is another variation of the organizer I made before. I have not put labels on it yet, I am going to wait until I  get back in my classroom to decide what I want to use. I think this one is going to stay out on a shelf near my desk, white the other one will be inside of a cabinet.
Supplies: 22 drawer hardware organizer from Lowes, scrapbook paper, and spray paint (make sure to get the spray paint that sticks to plastic in particular, if you don't it will peel off easily)

This is a project that I started earlier and showed you the supplies for: Here is the finished product! These will be for my students pencils throughout the day.
Supplies: 2 plastic flower pots from Wal-Mart ($0.98 each), ribbon, and scrapbook stickers. (I would suggest lightly coating Mod-Podge over the stickers to make sure they stay in place)

Classroom Library/Reading Corner...
I have always had a classroom library that sat on several bookshelves, but this year I am making a reading corner separate from my other classroom library. My shelved classroom library is leveled by AR. In my reading corner I want to separate books by genre and interest groups, and make an inviting space to read. I went to Tallahassee, Florida to the Scholastic Book Warehouse sale in May and racked up on books! So I will sort them when I can get back in my classroom. Here are the decorations I have bought so far...

I am going to hang these lanterns from the ceiling above the reading corner.

I found these pillows on clearance at Hobby Lobby and had to get them! I am looking for a red area rug
to put down in the space as well!