Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Progress at School aka My Room is Almost Ready!!

I have been up at school almost everyday for the past two weeks.  I have had some help from former and future students!  I am a little OCD (know as CDO at our house -- alphabetize everything!!)  So I always ask former kiddos that are fully trained in my library organization to help me out.  This is especially useful when you move rooms and things are in boxes. You can see one of my helpers is Watson!!  He loves to visit school and run around, checking in on all the teachers.

I managed to get the desks arranged into squares today.  You'll notice that there's a hole in the middle of the desk arrangement.  As I was strolling through Target on my daily visit I found these little babies.  I think they will fit perfectly in the middle of the desks and hold pencils and erasers!  Thank you Target Dollar Spot!

You may have also noticed all the boxes on the desks in the middle of the room.  Those would be the enVision consumables.  We are very fortunate to have a rockin' math curriculum, sadly the downside is that all the consumables come in prepackaged sets of 24.  As a grade level we have 3 sets of 24, do the math  --- yep, that's 72 consumables.  Did I mention we are expecting 80 kids for next year? We are 8 short!  I am in a large district and we are budget conscious/responsible.  Translation ---- other schools have extra student consumables that they need to send into our district office.  Are you following along?  The district will then gather extras from all of our elementary schools and send the 8 we need to us.  Now, what do you think the chances are that any one at those extra type of schools have sorted anything???  HMMMMMM.........  I am betting we won't start the year with the correct amount of consumables!!  Oh well, it's too soon to panic!

I am off to take darling child number three to get top braces!  She's so excited, God Bless her!  Here's a peek at her bottom braces she got about a month ago.  Well, they are hard to see but they are there!   Here's a shout out to Fry Orthodontics!  If you are in the KC area, I strongly encourage you to check them out.  We have been thrilled with the results -- and we are on child three now! 

Stay Cool!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Newbie Blog Hop

Grade Three is the Place for Me is having a blog hop for us newbies.  So I thought I would join up.  Here are the rules.

1. what state you are in
2. your current teaching position

3. your teaching experience

4. when you started blogging

5. share a blogging tip / blogging resource
Here are my answers
1. I am in Kansas.
2. I am teaching 2nd grade again! 
3. I have taught 1st (3 years), 2nd (3 years), 5th (1 year), and 6th (2 years).
4. I started blogging in late March.
5. Blogging tip - if you don't know what to do go check out Ladybug's Teacher Files  tutorials.  She has awesome resources for us newbies.
Good Luck !

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Back to School Finds!

Ahhhh, Target how do I love thee, let me count the ways! 

Let's begin with the mini magnetic dry erase erasers.  They are 2 to a package, so I bought 12 packages!  (This is my middle daughter, a future teacher, holding up the goodies.)

On to my f-a-v-o-r-i-t-e section of the store, you know where I'm talking about.... the school supplies!  I found colored composition notebooks, so I bought 25 blue ones and middle daughter bought 25 green ones.  My Target has a limit of 25 on items, oh no!  I should have brought daughter three to help too, there's always next time.

I went crazy for dry erase markers.  Expo makers were on sale 4 for $2.50.  I don't know about you, but my kids NEVER bring dry erase markers.  I think it's because they are expensive, and parents don't realize how much we use them.  I bought 8 packages.  Four packages in traditional colors and four packages in cool, hip colors.  I stopped by Michael's on the way home, because I was so excited to try out a Pinterest inspired project.  Yep, I hot glued a pom pom onto the top for an instant eraser!  (I guess my theme for the day was erasers.)

I debated on buying crayons, but decided I would try to wait until I got my classroom budget.  In the past our principal has given us $100 to spend on our classroom. I am praying that we will still get some money.  Kansas is having some serious education finance issues, so I would be sad to see the money for our classrooms disappear.  I am curious, do other principals give out money for teachers to spend on classrooms?  How much?

Have a super day!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Love Donors Choose!!

I was working on a donors choose project a couple of weeks ago when it dawned on me that I hadn't seen the project go live.  I tried to get onto my school e-mail, but of course the server was down!  Yesterday I logged in to email at school and low and behold, my project was funded!!!  YEEEHAAAWWW! 

I am getting my HearAll recorder!!  Yippee!!

I was so thrilled to see that Starbucks of Kansas was my sponsor.
 (I spend some serious $$ there!)

Thank you Starbucks for supporting my class!!

I already have another project under review, and hope it will be live today or tomorrow.  I am asking for 30 penguin books for an enormous, all second grade collaborative penguin research project.  I am praying that it will be funded by late November, because I want to start the research in December.  If you are feeling especially generous feel free to sponsor us.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Classroom Theme/Inspiration Linky

Corrina over at Surfin' Through Second is having a linky party!!  Yipee!

Today's linky is all about Classroom Theme, I am sticking with my ocean theme and adding touches of Pirates!!  I made some name tags and printed them out on wavy, water looking paper.

I am working on examples for the Writer's Cove.  I made these labels that I backed with more of the cool scrapbook paper.  I am going to display examples for each item.

I got some awesome FEE pirate kids word wall cards from teachers pay teachers, specifically www.frogsinfirst.blogspot.com!  Click on the picture to get your free download.  Don't forget to leave her some love!

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer Shopping!

I broke down!  I really, really, really wanted one of those HearAll or EasiSpeak recorders. I love Learning Resources products.... So I bought one. I took advantage to a no shipping fees thing I got on my school email.  I R-E-A-L-L-Y wanted one to use with a particular student, a selective  mute.  Here's the background; the student speaks at home, but not at school. Has anyone had any experience?

I have done a ton of research!  It turns out this is a severe anxiety disorder.  Contrary to popular belief the child has not had an extreme trauma.  I am going to do my darnedest to make them feel safe and comfortable.

    I have been working since May to reduce the anxiety of coming to school.  It started with me talking to the student at the end of the day during dismissal at the end of the school year.  We (school counselor and I) told the student that they would be in my room, less summer anxiety.  At summer school this student was in ELL - I taught guided reading, but I made a point of going to the bus line to talk to the student daily.  Then I invited the student, a cousin and mom to my classroom.  This week I was ready for mom and student, but surprise-- the student was cool just hangin' with me!!!  HUGE step!!  I thought that was at least 2 or 3 weeks away! 

The student has been helping me organize my classroom library.  We put up bulletin boards, we only got two finished.  I promised not to do any more without them.  I let this child choose fabric and borders.  Do you know how hard that is for me??  I am so OCD -- see below, CDO as I refer to it.  I like things alphabetical!

Anyway, I asked the child if I had a microphone that recorded would they read into it?  The student said yes!  I am praying this will give me an accurate idea of where they read.  I am also hoping the student will record some basic things, morning greeting, lunch choice, part of our shared reading.  As I understand it, if I can get the other kids to lay off the "____ doesn't talk." It will help reduce the pressure not to talk on the child.

Do you think it will work?  Help!

Versatile Bogger Award

Rules for getting the Award
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've been nominated.

I want to thank Amy from Where Seconds Count for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award!

WOW!   Seven facts about me, hmmmm....

1. I am a third generation teacher.  Mom taught a number of elementary grades and finally became a media specialist.  Her father was a high school math teacher and the head football and basketball coach.

2. I was a foreign exchange student to Norway.  After 20 years I only remember how to ask the dog if he wants to "go out" in Norwegian.

3. I LOVE working with diverse populations in high poverty areas.  I feel like I am actually teaching something new everyday.

4. I have been married in Las Vegas in the middle of the night on Leap Year day.  No foolin' - February 29, 1992.  Too bad it didn't last!

5. My middle daughter and I go out for Burnt Ends every Wednesday night, while her little sister is at youth group.  Please don't tell her! (I do take the littlest out for Taco Tuesday while her sister is at Children's Lit.  SHHHH!!!!)

6. I would do anything for my fur baby, Watson.  Including driving through "snowpocalypse" to get him medical treatment.  Of course he got sick when the entire Kansas City area was literally shut down.  It took us over an hour to drive 8 miles.  He got a doggie IV (Which was administered at home, I couldn't leave him there unattended.)

7. I love to cook and bake.  My girls know I will make them a home cooked dinner every night - minus that Tuesday/Wednesday confession.  They grade papers for me and I cook!  I love it! 

I had a terrible time finding 15 new blogs to give this award.  I am going to search and award it as I find deserving awardees.  (I hope that is ok.)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pinterest Inspired Make It Monday

He's a picture of that I pinned months ago. 

I love this for  Word Work during the Daily 5.  My main concern was the actual time spent spelling words rather than digging through the container.  I was alos concerned about letting them cut out thier own letters. I don't know about you, but my magazine choices don't always have the most child friendly articles.  (Love those gossip mags!)

So... I did the cutting!  I cut out letters from all those People, Ok! and In Style magazines.  Then I realized that the kids in my room next year were a bit on the lower side, and a bit attention impaired.  I decided to go ahead and purchase one of those hardware/tackle boxes from Wal-Mart for $3.96.  I labeled each spot.  (I am seriously CDO -- alphabetical order for my OCD.)

I sorted those little buggers and cameto find out that my magazines rarely use Js, Qs, and Fs in the headings.  So I am on the look out for a few more.  I broke out the Modge Podge and added the title of this Daily 5 choice on he top of the container. 

I am debating on letting the kids actually glue the words onto a paper for accountability.  Seriously, my upcoming class needs guidance.  I might recruit some of my stay at home moms to cut letters out for me.  I could ask my Spanish speaking moms that want to help, but don't know how.  I already have one I plan to enlist as my room mom!!  (I need to practice/learn more Spanish!)

What are you doing today?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July Currently

I am linking up and doing my very first Currently.  Little did I realize how dull my life is. 

Head over to Oh' Boy 4th Grade to link up!