August 23, 2013

Room Reveal

After spending a good part of last week and this week in my classroom, it is finally done! I'm really glad that I got a head start on printing and laminating this summer; otherwise, I would never have finished on time!

This is the view from my classroom door. I am so glad that I decided to order ceiling decorations from Party City...I think they make the room a lot cozier!

This is the area above my cubbies. I love being able to display family photos and teaching tchotchkes. desk. It may not look like much, but I like to keep it simple. It's the only space in my entire classroom that is totally mine

This is the sweet saying that I have framed on my desk. Click on the pic above to go to the original source.

Organizational heaven. Love, love, love. This 3-drawer Sterilite treasure sits on wire shelves behind my desk.

These are my Science and Language Arts focus boards. Above both boards, I've posted addition strategies that I bought here. Below, I've posted my students' birthdays.

My calendar area. Even though Common Core doesn't emphasize money in first grade, I feel like I still need to expose my students to the concept.

Curtains!!!! Yay! These were so simple and inexpensive to make and they look super cute. Check out my tutorial for making them!

This is my Writing focus board. I covered the front of my air conditioning unit in black butcher paper, and the posters you see are my 6+1 Writing Traits posters (one of my top sellers on TPT).

I always have a tough time figuring out how to utilize my cabinet doors. So, I downloaded some great (FREE!!) teaching quotes and sayings from Technology Rocks. Seriously, and I framed them in 8 1/2 by 11 document frames that I got from Dollar Tree. I used clear 3M hooks and ribbon to hang them.

Here's my behavior clip chart. I backed it on black and white polka dot ribbon (imagine that!), and I made the clips by decoupaging clothespins with scrapbook paper. Then, I hot glued my kiddos' names on. 

My finished reading nook! I'm loving the aqua blue theme! (Also, mini clothespins are my new obsession.) The kid-sized Adirondack chairs were only $4.99 at Walmart.

This is my class job bulletin board. Since the pennant banner was already yellow and black, I decided to go with a bee theme for the board. I still have to finish the kids' clips this weekend. The baskets underneath are for math small groups.

Thanks, Miss Nelson, for the adorable transportation display!

And, finally...

This is the front of my classroom. My very sweet colleague gave me this adorable rug (I had been toying with the idea of buying one, but I was too doggone cheap!). I'm loving the Wow Work! display for student work.

Phew! I still have a lot of odds and ends to finish up this weekend (including getting ready for a new little one who was just added to my list this afternoon). But, I'm feeling pretty good about the school year starting on Tuesday. Monday is Meet the Teacher, and I'm really looking forward to putting names to some adorable faces. In the meantime, I think I've earned myself a glass of Barefoot Chardonnay. Have a great (and relaxing) weekend!

August 19, 2013

Is It REALLY That Time Already??

I return to work tomorrow. On one hand, I'm really sad to see the summer end. The kiddos and I have had a blast together! On the other hand, today, they are being stinkers...their behavior today will certainly make going back to work a little easier!

Today, I had to go to the dentist for the second time in two weeks. I have never had to have more than a cleaning done, so today's visit was a real shock! The dentist (who, incidentally, I adore) had to numb the left side of my mouth before he bonded my back molar; I felt like I was going to drown in my own saliva (TMI? Sorry!)! Then, I had another (very thorough and moderately painful) cleaning. The sound of metal on tooth enamel may be the worst sound...ever! Finally, I received my oh-so-attractive night guard. I'd post a pic, but I look ridiculous in it. I'll be interested to see if I wake up with less jaw pain and fewer headaches. Prior to getting my night guard, though, the dentist had to make a cast of my teeth, which I got back today.

Mom's plaster teeth: fun for the whole family!

Princess A met her new teacher for the first time this past Friday. She. Is. Smitten. Princess A's exact words? "She's so pretty, Mama!" It gives me so much peace of mind to know that Princess A already loves her teacher. Over the weekend, Princess A and I made this for her teacher (this is her first year, so I know she'll appreciate it!):

She has a Dr. Seuss theme in her classroom, so I went with blue and red. I hope she likes it!

I have lunches to pack, laundry to fold, dishes to do, and a kitchen to straighten before tomorrow morning. Siiiiigh....I'm gonna need a lot of coffee!

August 16, 2013

Best Intentions

The school year is upon me in a serious kind of way. I had every intention of (A.) participating in the Teacher Week linky, and (B.) NOT going to work until August 20th (my official "start" day). Silly me!

I went to work on Monday to pick up my Teacher Toolbox. It needed a polka dot facelift. I don't think it was meant to be, though. First, I dumped the contents of the toolbox all over the floor of my car when I took a turn too quickly. Then, when I got it home, this happened:

I am still picking itty bitty staples out of my kitchen rug. Grrrr.

After some perseverence (and a lot of swearing inside my head), I finally accomplished this:

I love it.

By Tuesday, I couldn't fight the urge any longer. I had to go into my classroom. Thankfully, my littles love going to school with me. While I got some things done, they played on the playground, stamped up a storm, colored to their hearts' content, and made some very impressive creations with my geoboards. 

When I walked into my classroom, I saw these:

SpurDog and I have been waiting for these to arrive with bated breath for the past three months. They are trays that fit into the students' desks. Since we switch classrooms for Language Arts instruction (and you haven't truly experienced annoyance until you have listened to at least five students drop their pencil boxes on the linoleum floor), the students can simply slide their trays out (with books, folders, pencil boxes, etc., all easily contained) and take them with them. Genius!

This week has not been without casualty, however. I was in a hot glue gun frenzy the other morning, and I managed to do this to my finger:

I've birthed two children, so I know pain. This blister, however, is unlike any pain I've experienced before. Ouch!!

By Wednesday, I realized that the kiddos and I needed to make time to appreciate the last few days of summer. Ms. Kerry (teaching colleague and wonderful friend) was kind enough to invite us to go swimming in her pool. 

My kids have sprouted tails and turned into fish. They didn't get out of the pool for 2 1/2 hours.

On the way home from Ms. Kerry's house, Princess A lost her third tooth.

The Tooth Fairy is going to go bankrupt if Princess A keeps up this pace. Love those little sun-kissed cheeks and big blue eyes!

I went into my classroom for a few more hours yesterday, and I'm planning to go in this afternoon, too (actually, the kiddos begged me to take them to school, so, how can I say no?). I'm responsible for presenting at our first staff meeting next week, so I'd like to get as much of my room finished as I can, so I can focus on planning for my presentation.

I'm off to take Deedle to get his back-to-school haircut! Happy Friday!

August 11, 2013

Saturday Snapshots (on a Sunday)

I go back to work on Tuesday, August 20th. In the meantime, I am trying to soak up as much time at home and with the family as I possibly can. As a result, most of my pics for Miss Nelson's Saturday Snapshots linky are of the fam.


KShaf ordered a new monitor for his computer, and it arrived on Saturday (much to his delight). The kids were completely disinterested in the monitor, but they were enthralled with the box that it came in. At one point, I found Deedle like this:

Apparently, the kids were playing a game of "Baby Polar Bear" (no idea where that came from). The box was Deedle's "cage."

Speaking of things arriving in the mail, this came for Princess A this weekend:

Super cute, right? I ordered it here.

Saturday morning, we hit the local Farmer's Market to pick up watermelon, cantaloupe, and corn. Afterward, we stopped by our favorite coffee shop. Best. Coffee. Ever.

Love this little troublemaker.

Last night, I happened to glance outside and saw this:

This is the view from my front door. Beautiful Eastern Shore sunset.

Tomorrow, I plan to run (seriously...I'm not staying) to work to grab my Teacher Toolbox. I want to give it a makeover, using my classroom theme. My brain is spinning with all of the things that I still have to make and do. This is what my coffee table looks like right now:

Complete mayhem. Sigh.

KShaf helped me create a new set of digital backgrounds. They're in my TPT store for $1.00, or you can head over to my Facebook page, "like" it, and grab the set for FREE!

Enjoy the beginning of your week!

August 9, 2013

Throwback Thursday (on a Friday)

I had planned to get this blog post finished and posted on time yesterday, but I was so traumatized after my visit to the dentist that I had trouble functioning for the rest of the day. I'm kidding (mostly). A word of advice: don't wait five years between dental cleanings. I didn't have any cavities (35 years and still cavity-free), but I do have go back in two weeks to get one of my molars bonded (I had never even heard of that term since yesterday, and frankly, it scares the crap out of me), have my teeth polished, and pick up my night mouth guard (because apparently, I grind and clench my teeth, thus causing my gums to recede). I've learned my lesson: I will never wait so long again!

I decided to throw back to the Summer Bucket List that I made at the end of May. I'm amazed by how many of the things on my list that I actually accomplished! Lots of family time, beach visits, book reading, and relaxing. (I apologize in advance for the disgusting pic of my pink eye!)

Originally posted on May 24, 2013

I am literally counting the days until June 10th. While I adore my kiddos this year and will be sorry to see them go, this year has definitely had its challenges. (Case in point: a parent actually slammed a door in my face this morning. What a way to start the day!) Also, right now, I look like this:

I've had viral pink eye for almost a week now. So gross and miserable. Hopefully, the steroid eye drops I got today will help.

So, I am really, really looking forward to summer. That brings me to my Summer Bucket List.

Right now, I am daydreaming about hot summer days, eating ice cream on the porch with these two goofy kids:

Notice the ring of ice cream around both of their mouths. Princess A couldn't even be bothered to look up from her cone long enough for me to take the pic!
Usually, we spend a lot of time at a nearby beach, known to locals as "The Strand." It's on the Tred Avon River in Oxford, and it's perfect for little kids. 
Here's Deedle, skipping rocks at The Strand on one of the first warm days we had a few months back.
I can't wait, however, to take our annual trip to the Outer Banks. This year, Gram and Pop Pop are coming, too, and I am really looking forward to spending the week with them (I will also admit that I'll be glad to have a few extra hands to help with Princess A and Deedle!).
My little beach boy by the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse last year.
 And my sunshine girl, soaking up the rays.
Leisure reading is at the top of my list, too. Elin Hildebrand has a new book coming out in early June, and I can't wait to read it while relaxing on the beach, drinking a Corona, and watching the kiddos play in the sand.
I have a few work-related things on my list, too (believe it or not!). I'd like to get the rest of my Houghton Mifflin Science units edited and posted on TPT, and I have a ton of little odds and ends that I'm hoping to post (eventually!).
Bring on summer...June 10th can't get here fast enough!
Head on over to The First Grade Parade and link up!

Enjoy your weekend!

August 7, 2013

An Apple a Day...And Other Random Musings

I have spent this week, trying to take care of all of our routine doctor's visits before school starts (in two weeks...yikes!!). Yesterday, Princess A visited the eye doctor.

She wasn't a huge fan of the big chair at first, but once Gram agreed to sit with her, she was just fine.

Of course, Deedle had to take a spin in the chair, too.

There was a lot of waiting for Princess A's eyes to dilate, and Deedle got very creative at entertaining himself.

According to the eye doctor, Princess A has an astigmatism, and she could benefit from wearing glasses, at least in school. While I'd love to order her a few pairs from Zenni (they're so inexpensive and cute!), I think we'll go to the local optician to get her first pair of glasses properly fitted.

I have a dentist's appointment tomorrow morning, which (if I'm being completely honest) I'm dreading. I don't have a crazy fear of the dentist or anything; the sound of metal scraping on tooth enamel just gives me the serious heebie jeebies.

It's been raining here for the past two days, but on Monday, the weather was absolutely gorgeous: 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. So, I took the kiddos to the local beach for the day (but first, we had to stop at Target to get Deedle a boat so he could play Titanic).

I love this pic. It just screams "SUMMER!"

KShaf discovered that he's pretty good at creating digital backgrounds, using Adobe Photoshop. Check these out!

This set of 9 bright checkerboard digital backgrounds are on sale in my TPT store for $1.00!
Or, head on over to my Facebook page, click "Like," and get the set for FREE!

I used these super cute backgrounds to create a new Teacher Binder set. Check it out!

Ooh! You can now follow me on Facebook and Pinterest...just click on the links in the sidebar. 

Happy Hump Day!

August 3, 2013

August Currently and Saturday Snapshots

Two linkies in one post??? Madness.

First, I'm linking up with Farley for her Currently linky. This is my first time linking up, and I'm really excited!

Listening: My lovely children have been awake since 5:00 this morning (ugh). They were kind enough to let me doze for another few hours, and now they are completely engrossed in "Sofia the First." I'm ashamed to admit it, but I love that show, too.

Loving: We went shopping yesterday morning for shoes for the kiddos, and while we were at the Outlets, KShaf stopped into one of the kitchen supply stores and bought these:

I'm pretty sure he had an ulterior motive in buying these: he's tired of picking little black bits out of his scrambled eggs.

Thinking: I'm in complete denial that I have to go back to work in less than two weeks. The silver lining is that Princess A will be going to the school where I teach, so I'll get to spend one-on-one time with her in the car each day, and I'll get to see her from time to time. 

Wanting: We only live an hour and a half from the ocean, and we have an annual pass that allows us to drive onto the beach (which is especially convenient when you have two kids, beach chair, umbrellas, and fishing equipment). I'd like to fit in one or two more day trips to the beach before summer is "officially" over.

Needing: I have a stash of receipts for print cartridges that I've bought, just since April, and they easily total $250. Siiiiiigh. I guess I'll hold onto them and claim them on my taxes as a work expense (that is literally all I use my printer for).

Back to School Must Haves:
1. I am obsessed with white clear view binders. I keep everything in binders, and I always end up running to WalMart during the first week of school to buy more. 
2. Even though I love creating labels on the computer (polka dot, natch), I still use my Dymo label maker to put my students' names on folders, planners, etc.
3. I. Hot. Glue. Everything. In fact, I overheard a conversation between my kiddos yesterday that went something like this:

Princess A:  Uh oh, Deedle. There's a hole in my stuffed animal.
Deedle: Don't worry. Mommy will fix it with her hot glue gun.

Princess A and I went to the baby shower of a dear friend on Sunday. Princess A was tickled to be invited to a "grown up" party. I'm pretty sure the high point for her was the cake.

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that our dog, Kin, had a run-in with KShaf's truck. He had surgery on Tuesday, and thanks to Princess A and Deedle, he is on the mend.

We are lucky enough to live close to the water. The little beach in this picture is only 15 minutes from our house. I took the kiddos earlier in the week, and Deedle spent the entire time in the water, playing Titanic (he is completely obsessed with the Titanic, thanks to his grandfather).

One of my best teaching friends invited us over last week to swim in her pool. Her little girl (who I taught in first grade) was kind enough to spend some time, teaching my guys how to play lacrosse. I played lacrosse in high school (very briefly)...I wouldn't be heartbroken if my kids decided to take it up when they get a little older.

I'm off to get started on my weekend "To Do" list. Enjoy your Saturday!