Thursday, August 14, 2014

Calling All 5th Grade Teachers!

Hey fellow 5th grade teachers! I'm jumping in to 5th grade with both feet and I'm so excited to be a contributor to the Fifth Grade Freebies blog!

Fifth Grade Freebies

Even if you aren't a 5th grade teacher I think you will find tons of great freebies there that you can definitely use.

My first post on Fifth Grade Freebies is up today! I hope you will pop over and check it out AND grab yourself a back to school freebie while you are there. :-)

Make sure to follow Fifth Grade Freebies on Bloglovin' so you can get the latest, greatest freebies!

Today is also my first official day at my new school...teacher meetings in the morning and time to work in the afternoon! Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Monday Made It!! What??

There are two things that are CRAZY about this post.

1. Two posts in two days!! A miracle.

2. First Monday Made It... of THE. WHOLE. SUMMER. Seriously.

But, I'm proud of it, so I'm sharing! Thanks to Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for keeping this awesome linky up and running.


If you have been following me on Instagram, you have seen some of the shenanigans that went on in my garage last weekend. 

This was the bookshelf that greeted me when I first entered my new classroom in my new school:

Isn't it sad looking?
Not only did it have yucky peach paint on it, but the contact paper kind of looked like something my grandma would have had in her cabinets. And I'm not kidding when I say it had a...smell. It was definitely time for a change!

So, I loaded it up in the truck and brought it home. I assured my husband that he would not have to help me. I could totally get this baby back in tip-top shape all. By. My. Self. 

But would he pretty please take me to Home Depot and show me what I need to buy?

Trip Numero Uno
We made our way home with all the supplies for a complete bookshelf makeover!

I sent my husband in the house to drink iced tea and eat bon bons. Or something equally awesome but more manly. And I got to work. I pulled off all the contact paper.

Then, I got busy with the electric finishing sander - newly purchased from Home Depot.

All by myself, I tell you!
Remember how I said it was sticky?? And yucky? And a mess? It was a serious problem for the new electric finishing sander. Like, it wouldn't sand. Only get the gunk stuck to the sandpaper. I consulted the keeper of the power tools and knowledge related to bookshelf makeovers and he said we needed stripper. Don't get all weird on me. Paint stripper. The kind that takes paint and gunk and who-knows-what off of classroom bookshelves.

And away we went...

The lady at the front door recognized my face, but didn't seem to know my name...yet.
We got the stripper (with minimal middle-school-ish jokes) and headed on home. does look as though he's helping, doesn't it? Well, I didn't exactly make him help me, but I didn't discourage him either. I seemed to be in over my head a bit here. What with the stripper, and the stripping and the electric sanding...

Once the whole thing was stripped of decades old paint and wood finish, we could actually start sanding. Yes, I do mean WE. I sanded!

He also did quite a bit of photography, as you can see.
Once everything was sanded, it was time for the part I KNEW I could handle: PAINT.

But, since my wonderful husband was in the helping spirit, we had to head back to Home Depot AGAIN. Just for another paint brush, but still. They were giving us funny looks.

We wiped the bookshelf clean with a rag and let it sit in the sun for awhile to dry completely. Then, we started painting.

We got a coat on and then headed out to dinner. I took a picture of it, but I'm guessing you don't need to see it. You can always leave a comment if you're dying to know what I had for dinner...

The next morning, we finished painting with another coat. I am SO happy with the results and I can't wait to show you how it looks in the classroom when I post about my classroom setup.

Here it is up against the classroom wall, but it is lonely and doesn't have any books yet!

I am so glad that I brought home that yucky bookshelf - even if it was WAY more work than I anticipated. Luckily, my amazing husband helped me, even though he thought he might have a relaxing weekend. YAY for husbands!

Anybody think he might be up for bookshelf makeover round 2???

 Don't forget to head over to 4th Grade Frolics to check out all the fantastic Monday Made It projects!

Five For Funday(?) with a SLANT!

I just made up this word - Funday. (Truth: I'm sure I didn't make this up. Someone did though.) It's a word for when I've been meaning to blog a Five for Friday post all weekend but didn't sit down to do it until now. Sunday.

Sunday + Friday x Procrastination = Funday.

So much happened this week! It was pretty awesome really. Glad to be able to share it! Thanks, Kacey!


I finally shared my amazing SLANT box that came in the mail from Jamie AKA Miss Math Dork! She spoiled me rotten. I love EVERYTHING in the box and I can't WAIT to wear my new math-y earrings. I have been dying for a pair ever since I saw them a LONG time ago. Do you want to get a box of love from another teacher?? If so you should probably pay attention to Jameson's blog Lessons With Coffee and get signed up for the next round!

The SLANT Box Exchange

Last Wednesday was the Colorado teacher/blogger/TPTer meet up! We had a fantastic time chatting, eating lunch, getting ideas from each other and SHOPPING. At Lakeshore. (See how happy we are? Lakeshore.)

I met Ashley from Teaching In Bronco Country, Cecelia from I Love 1st Grade, Mary from Teaching With a Mountain View, Janet from Bloomin' Bees, Sara from Mrs. P's Special Education Classroom, Pam from Desktop Learning Adventures, Brittany from Big Hair and Big Ideas, and Christa from Learnin' Books! It was so great to meet them all! Check out their blogs for their great ideas and products!

I don't really think this picture needs much explaining, so here you go. Football. Is. Back. I, for one, couldn't be happier. GO BRONCOS.


This was the only part of my week that wasn't super-fabulous. I was in book-sorting hell. And I'm not done. I have to go back this week and finish it. I am trying to do some soul-searching to see if maybe I have a problem and need an intervention. If you see me anywhere near Barnes and Noble or the Scholastic warehouse sale, feel free to hit me with a tranquilizer dart. It will be for my own good.

I am making SOME progress in my classroom though. I am looking forward to being able to show you all my classroom when it's done!! This week sometime I will try to have some pictures up that show the finished product. This little corner is at least starting to make it feel like my that makes me happy!

What's making you happy these days?? Share with me in the comments! And then link up for your Five for Friday - even if it IS Sunday.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Favorite Things Linky and HUGE Giveaway!

Hello all!

As many of you know, this week I said goodbye to my home away from home for the past eleven years...

Which means that I have been working like crazy to make my new classroom feel like home!

And whenever I am setting up my room, there's a few things I just can't live without. That's why I'm so excited to be linking up with Amy from Learning Lessons with Mrs. Labrasciano and Mary from A Classroom Full of Smiles to share my favorite items for going back to school!

Random side note: My roommate in college HATED this song. Why? Because her grandma had a toilet paper roll that played it over and over when you pulled on the TP. I'm serious.

Ok then, let's get started!!

First up - PENCILS. But not just any pencils...

I <3 Ticonderoga pencils. They sharpen beautifully. They last a LONG time. I know they are more expensive, but I try to find them on sale (which they are at this time of year!) and then I give them a little washi tape flair in the hopes that they won't all walk away within two days. (Yeah, yeah...I know. Fat chance.) They also come pre-sharpened, but I found these on sale and figure I can sharpen them myself!

Next, my favorite supply OF ALL TIME.

I *may* have a slight problem (read: full-to-the-top drawer) with Post-It notes. I especially must have any that are in fun shapes like hearts, stars or mustaches. I also LOVE the graph paper Post-Its! Sometimes, my husband tries not to let me near the Post-It aisle. But I always manage to get there anyway. Because I am sneaky. And he is NOT the boss of me.

Lastly, but not leastly, a set of shiny new Flair pens!

These are always the *special* pens that live in my teacher toolbox (another must-have!) and are not for student use. I'm super selfish about them, but I figure that my classroom friends get to use pretty much everything else, so these get to be mine! I love to take them to staff meetings - they make them FAR more entertaining.

Here is the absolute best part of this awesome can enter to win your very own Amazon Gift Voucher to purchase your favorite back to school items! So many great bloggers have joined up for this giveaway, and it is well worth your time. $370 worth of Amazon cards are up for grabs, as well as a set of 30 Sit Spots and a Teacher T-shirt.

So now you have 3 homework assignments, even before school really gets going!

1. ENTER to win in the giveaway below!
2. HOP through the link-up to see other teachers' favorite things!
3. LINK UP your own favorite things!

Everything runs until August 10, so make sure you get going!

And don't forget to tell me what your favorite back to school items are in the comments. What will YOU buy with those Amazon gift cards???

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 1, 2014

Five for Friday!

What a week it has been! There's been traveling, canyoneering, unpacking, cleaning, meet-up planning and even a giveaway winner. Whew! I'm exhausted...but not too tired to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!


Last week we headed out to Zion National Park in Utah. It is an amazing place! We hiked the Narrows and a backcountry canyoneering hike called the Subway. The Narrows was cool, but the Subway was one of the most physically challenging things I've ever done. I was exhausted, but I made it, thanks to my husband's encouragement! I've been home for 4 days and I'm STILL sore. It was totally worth it. (Mainly because I feel like a total badass.)

Since we've been home, I've been hitting the new classroom project HARD. It was pretty overwhelming in there to start out with, but I'm making some steady progress. All the cabinets were cleaned/purged and my giant collection/stash/hoard is now in there. So eyeopening when you are moving how. much. stuff. you actually have. As we go along, I'll add pics!

After a long day working in my classroom, I met up with Cecelia from I Love 1st Grade! It was so great to meet her and we put our heads together to plan a Colorado Meet Up. If you are a Colorado blogger, TPT seller or teacher we want to meet up! Click {here} to check out the details and RSVP. We are going to have a fun lunch and then head to Lakeshore for some shopping. :-) Hope you can meet us!

Oh how I love an In N' Out strawberry shake. We picked up our rental car in St. George, Utah, and of course we had to stop. Because they are amazing. It made me extremely happy.

This is one of the bookshelves in my new classroom...this weekend it is getting a complete makeover!! I can't wait to give it new life. It's looking pretty sad right now. :-(

That's about it for tonight...stay tuned this weekend for some SLANTbox fun and some Back To School must haves, and the big bookshelf makeover!