Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bye bye wisdom teeth!


Tomorrow I go in to get my wisdom teeth removed. I am NOT looking forward to this at all. AT. ALL. I'm sure many of you can relate.

What else am I not looking forward to? A substitute in my class on day 10. I feel like someone might get locked in a closet or something...not really, but you know....worse case scenario.

We made an anchor chart today about behavior with a guest teacher, so hopefully that helps. However, I just worry that routines and procedures aren't 100% in place yet.

Thinking positively, I know they will try their very best! We'll see how it goes!

On a completely unrelated note, I have something cute to share. On the first day of school we did a 3-2-1 Organizer about "My First Day of Fourth Grade." They had to share 3 things that went well, 2 questions they had and 1 thing they were looking forward to. This one completely warmed my  heart:

I hope they keep being excited about coming each day! :-)

I'm guessing I might be a little MIA after the wisdom teeth ordeal, so everyone have a great 3 day weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Team Building Fun!

I am feeling really lucky today! My little class is working hard and learning new things every day. Plus there's only 23 of them, so I feel like I am actually getting to know them. :-) So far, so good.

I only have 2 itty-bitty complaints.

1. They are CHATTY! But, they are getting a little better each day. Thank you, adorable (and functional) Clip Chart!
Don't forget, you can download it {here}
2. They have a very hard time working as a team. Luckily, blog-land has come to my rescue again! I saw this adorable post at Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies about Saving Fred and Puzzle Races.

After I read the post, I just happened ran right over to Target and picked up the puzzles in the dollar spot. I put the kids into groups and we talked about working together to put the puzzle together.

Then it was time to get to work!
It was fun to walk around and listen to their conversations (and occasional arguments). The longer they worked, the more efficient their teams became.

It took a lot longer than I originally thought for them to do the puzzles, but we worked on them in chunks of time and they were excited each time we did more work! They loved this activity and we wrapped it up by talking about the strategies they used to work together and to put the puzzle together. I forgot to grab a picture of the finished product, but they did a great job!

It was a great team building activity! I will definitely use it again next year. Make sure to check it out over at Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies!

***UPDATE: Kelly at Teaching Fourth started a fun linky called Fun Fridays...all about fun things we do in our classrooms! The Puzzle Races were super fun, so I'm linking up to share our fun time! Link up to share yours too!***

Next up....Saving Fred! I can't wait! :-) We will be a well-oiled machine in NO TIME!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!

A Week Already?? AND Monday Made It!

Holy moly! Has it really been a week already?

My fresh batch of 4th graders has been learning routines, building community and slowly getting back into the swing of things.

But their teacher? SHE IS EX. HAUS. TED. Kind of like the teacher in this fun back to school book:

I am the teacher all ready for bed. I AM.
However, it was a really great week last week and a good start to this week. I am loving my class! They are enthusiastic and ready to learn....which brings me to my Monday Made It for this week! 

That's right folks! I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for another week of awesome projects. 
So. A confession. I didn't actually make this. I won it, downloaded it, cut it, laminated it, cut it again and put it together. But that sounds like working so it counts! In case you missed it earlier, this is the amazing clip chart that I won from Mercedes at Surfing to's awesome! I love, love, love it!

You can pick one up at her TPT store, here! Go get one! They are so cute!

To make mine (after printing, mounting on construction paper, laminating, and cutting) I punched holes and used binder rings to attach them together.

I used Mavalus Tape to stick it to my cinder block wall by the door...if you have walls that nothing sticks to, like mine, this is the stuff to get! It works SO well! Click the picture below to go to their website!
One other thing I made printed, laminated, cut out, etc., was these adorable table numbers/names from Michele at Multiage Moments.
Aren't they CUTE??? You can download them FOR FREE, here!

Mine look like this:

I used a smaller paper fan and put it in the middle to make it more 3D. I love the idea of the positive words on the other side...the kids really like hearing that they are brilliant! :-)

Thanks for much for checking out my blog! Make sure to head over to 4th Grade Frolics and link up with your own awesome project!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lottery Ticket Anyone? (and a Linky Par-tay!)

Ok, seriously! I'm going out right now to get a lottery ticket! I have been lucky enough to win two, yes TWO, more awesome giveaways!

First, I won two items from Mercedes at Surfing to Success's TPT Store! {here}

Surfing to Success” style=
I decided on these:

Clip Chart Chevron- 4 versions           Polka Dot Frames Shades of Purple

They are so cute and I can't wait to print them and start using them! Purple is my favorite color!

I also won a $10 Amazon Gift Card from Liz at Leaping Into First Grade!

Thank you so very much to both these amazing ladies! Make sure you pop over and check out their blogs! on to a very special Linky Party. I have been waiting all summer to share classroom pictures with you all. So I'm linking up with Courtney at Swimming Into Second for her Show Off Your Space linky party!

But before I do, I'm going to get a little sentimental on you. Here goes.

Tomorrow marks my 10th first day of school. I can't believe how fast time has flown by. Even though teaching always has its ups and downs, I have loved being a teacher for the past 10 years. It seems utterly impossible that I am sitting here typing that big ol' number 10...I am crazy excited for this new year to begin! I am so glad that I have been a part of blogging this summer, because I think it has re-energized me and given me the boost I needed to feel the beginning of school excitement again. So, thanks to all my fellow bloggers! Here's to 10 fabulous years behind me, and many more to come!

Ok, sentimental part over. Let's see some classroom pics!

This is a "before" pic. Just for perspective...

Here is my door with my new "Welcome" sign! :-)
This is looking in from the doorway.

This is the corner with my new Jellyfish from Monterey Bay Aquarium! And my new magazine rack from Really Good Stuff.
Here is my writing bulletin board and student-use computer. If you look closely, you might see some lightbulbs and my mini-thesauri that I made from a premade chart.
My brand-spankin' new CAFE board! I got the headers {here}. And my collection of Skippyjon Jones books...
My whole-group meeting area...I didn't have room for this last year, so I'm very excited. Plus I love my new rug...
My new READ letters...thank you Monday Made It! (Sorry it's so dark...they look really cute, I swear!)
This is a panorama of what most of my room looks like. (Mr. Falkowski got a new, fun camera and he let me play with it! YAY!)

The only thing I'm missing now is kids! Oh, and my table numbers. They will be up in the morning. But mainly...I just need some enthusiastic 4th graders for my room to be complete!

Well, that's it! Here's to a great first day of school! Don't forget to head over to Swimming Into Second to link up and Share Your Space!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back To School Jitters...Linky Party!

We all  have them, don't we? Those crazy dreams that your classroom isn't set up on the first day of school. Or that the children won't follow any directions and the classroom is out of control. The back to school jitters can be pretty crazy! Not to mention the million things to do before the kids arrive and the constant nagging feeling that you are forgetting something....or a lot of somethings!

So, tonight I am linking up with Ms. Jessica at A Turn to Learn for her Back To School Jitters Linky Party!
Back to School Jitters Linky Party

I love the idea behind this linky, because it's a good reminder to keep focused and not let the jitters get in the way...
Plus, I love Legos...
If you are having back to school jitters (and I know you are!) head over to Ms. Jessica's blog and link up! Make sure you read the rules and directions while you are there!

Tomorrow it's meetings and time to work in my classroom...can't believe how quickly that first day is coming up! :-) Kiddos on Monday!

Have a great day everyone! Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Made It - YAY!

Well, folks, I guess this post will have to be quick because- *GASP* -I have to go to work today. Like, I HAVE to. Not I want to. But I have to.

I am crazy excited to be linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics again this week. Her blog (and Monday Made It) was really my inspiration to start my own blog, so I can't thank her and her amazing blogging talents enough!

My Monday Made Its this week are (hopefully) going to be fun AND functional!

Monday Made It #1: Box Top Holder
Remember this?
My failed Box Top bucket...
Well, I gave it another try with a small coffee can! All the sides are smooth and nothing tapers in, etc, etc, etc. This time....SUCCESS!
Yay for uniformly shaped items!
I used matching scrapbook paper and my BFF Mod Podge to get the paper in place. I just used a black marker to write Box Tops on the piece of paper that went around the middle and then I Mod Podged that in place too! It turned out MUCH BETTER than the one I did last time...I am happy with it! And it will be functional in my classroom. Where I have to go. Soon.

Monday Made It #2: Scrabble Word Work bins
A looooong time ago, I saw this on the lovely Tara's blog.
Click above to take you to her post.
Now, folks, you should know that I love Scrabble. I also love Words With Friends and any game that is word related. (Mainly because I can beat my husband in those games, but that's neither here nor there.) 

So when I thought about having kids use Scrabble as a Word Work activity, I was super excited. I began looking scouring the Earth for Scrabble letter tiles. Not as easy to find as one might think. Apparently, Scrabble tiles are big in the crafting world...because they are wooden and adorable many people use them in many different types of crafts. So I put my mom, the garage sale queen, on it! She found me three full Scrabble games at very reasonable prices! Thanks, Mom!

Here they are:

I sorted the tiles from each game (to make sure there weren't any missing) and then I put the tiles in these cute and colorful pencil boxes from Michael's. I think they were $1. I downloaded the adorable *editable* labels from Elizabeth at Fun in 4B! You can get them here...they're FREE! And super easy to edit! I used the Cheri font from Fontalicious.

Ok, everyone! Now I HAVE to go to work! :-) New school year, here we come! Before you have to go to work, make sure that you head over to 4th Grade Frolics, add your Made Its and check out everyone else's!

Have a great day everyone! Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pics As Promised and Fabulous Finds!

Good morning everyone! Happy, happy Friday! This is my last Friday of summer...back to work next week and kids the week after that. Wow. Time FLEW by this summer...

Anyway...yesterday, I promised pics of my COMPLETED bulletin boards! Yep. My to-do list paid off yesterday...see my original post here. (PS EVERYTHING on that list is DONE.)

I will make a new list for today, but I wanted to show you my bulletin board pictures, and my Teacher Toolbox in its brand new home. So, here we go!

These are pictures of my CAFE/Daily 5 board (minus headings...choosing a cute one is hard!) and my writing board. On the left, is my newly created reading/meeting area. I plan to get one more bookshelf to help keep supplies for whole group time...who knew a 2 shelf bookshelf was such a hard find?

 This is the area behind my reading table. Please excuse the mess...while I'm setting up the biggest table is my catch-all! The board on the right will be math and the one on the left will be for my teacher stuff - schedules, phone numbers, etc.
 Ok, ok. This is the last set. The one on the left is science. I may or may not have found a much cuter border while I was shopping last night? (Will be changing that out today!) The one on the right is social studies.
 I color code most of my bulletin board to match with their notebooks. For example, their math journal is blue so the paper on the bulletin board is blue! Not sure if that's helpful to them in any way, but it helps me to stay a little more organized at the beginning of the year.

And now....(drumroll please!)

My Teacher Toolbox!!
It's right behind my table, so I can access it easily! I put a picture of my kitty on top, as well as my little file holder with different types of cards that I keep handy. I LOVE IT!

Last but not least....I have a truly FABULOUS find for today. Which is great, because it's Fabulous Find Friday with Elizabeth at Fun in 4B!!

This particular Fabulous Find was the last item on my to-do list from know, the package opening one? So I came home yesterday and there was my package. I squealed (literally) with excitement and ripped open the shipping box! This is what I found inside...
Are these the best shoes you have EVER seen??
I am wearing them right now.
Anyone would be hard-pressed to get them off my feet.
If I thought I could sleep in shoes, I wouldn't ever take them off.

I have to give some serious props to Ms. O at Ms. O Reads Books for turning me on to these shoes! (She also has great ideas and reviews of books!) I didn't even know that Converse could make something so UN-BE-LIEVE-A-BLE. I love, love, love them! If you also cannot live without a magical pair of Dr. Seuss Converse, click the picture to head to their website!

Now head on over to Fun in 4B and link up with your own Fabulous Finds!

Also, if you are a list maker, you won't want to miss the Linky Party going on at Ms. Shope's Class...I linked up yesterday with my to-do list and you should too! Go check it out!

Ok...that's it for today, because I'm tackling more of my to-dos! Have a great day everyone! Thanks for reading!

PS All day I will be skipping in my NEW SHOES!!