Saturday, 29 August 2015

Getting Ready for Back to School - Day 3

I feel like I was very productive today because I got a lot of little things crossed off my to do list. That is always a great feeling. I still don't know what I will be teaching so I can continue with getting those things done that aren't planning for a specific grade.

The first thing I did today was complete the bulletin board outside my classroom. I wanted something generic so that no matter what I am teaching (grade 2 or 4/5) it would work. I saw a bulletin board similar to this on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect!

The hardest parts were picking all the fonts for the words and deciding what color I wanted the "You!" to be. At first I had a purple "You!" but it didn't seem quite right so with the help of a wonderful friend and fellow teacher we decided on yellow. I think it really pops.  (Keep reading to the end for a freebie to help with this bulletin board!)
After I put the black paper and the border on the board and before I added all the words, I had to take care of the staples. If you have ever seen me put up a bulletin board you would be shaking your head. Everything goes up with push pins first and then I commit with staples. When I have a black bulletin board all I see is the shiny silver staples ( I probably should seek professional help). A couple years ago I found the solution (until someone invents black staples) that is quick and easy. SHARPIES!!!!!!
After I finished my bulletin board I didn't want to do anything on my to do list so I helped (great procrastination) the above mentioned friend/teacher start on her bulletin board.
Just like I am (some say) obsessed with matching my color theme, she is (some say) obsessed with animal print. She had this Welcome sign that she wanted to use so we came up with a jungle tree board. She is not quite finished but this is what we did today. I am excited to see how she finishes it off!!!

Okay, now it was time for me to get back to my list. I different friend/teacher at my school, asked me if I wanted these flower boxes and because I am a "collecting" (not hoarding) I said "of course!" I am not sure quite yet what I am going to do with them but I knew I didn't want them brown.
 Last year I found this large roll of washi tape that I thought was super cute. Again, no idea what I would do with it but I bought it anyways :) Well it finally came in handy. The large roll made it super easy to cover the boxes with. All I had to do was roll it on, fold the edges, then cut out the handles! Now if I could only figure out what to do with the boxes :) 

 I decided to stick with the taping work and FINALLY cover my second Pringles container that holds my classroom rulers. For a good portion of last year I only had one covered and it bugged my but there were bigger things to tend to. Well now they are both done and off my to do list! 

Every year I have Unfinished work folders for my class and they need to be labeled with students' names. They are plastic folders and most labels won't stick to them so I use duct tape. Easy to peel off and it last the entire year. Even though I don't have a class list yet, I decided to get the labels on all of them to make it quicker later. I have a more detailed blog post about how I use them here if you want to check it out!  

Here is the freebie I promised you above. If you want to create your own "Be..." bulletin board here are some word labels for you to use :)

I am not sure what my next Getting Ready for Back to School post is going to be about but here is a link to my Day 2 post.  

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Getting Ready For Back to School - Day 2

Today I tackled my filing cabinet. I call it "tackled" because it was a DISASTER. There was still stuff in there from the previous teacher and I just grabbed my files out of boxes and shoved them in the drawers the night before school started last year. EVERYTHING was mixed together and every time I wanted something I would have to search through all the files until I found it.

As I was pulling stuff out of the drawers I organized them into piles. I had piles for seasonal stuff, Language Arts, Math, etc.
 As I was doing this I found some "treasures!"

I am not sure what I am going to do with these but they are PERFECTLY cut circles in bright colors. Hmmm... maybe on a bulletin board or anchor chart.

 I also found this coloring book that made me itch immediately. It was an entire coloring book about lice.  I cannot even imagine handing this out and having my students color little lice guys. The next page shows lice glueing (with a glue bottle) their eggs to shafts of hair. UMMM No thank you!

Well after too many hours I finished. It was a way bigger project than I anticipated but everything is labelled and organized :)

Now I will be able to find my stuff without having to search!
For today's organizational freebie I am adding my sampler of Classroom Labels!

Next Getting Ready for Back to School post will be about me building shelves and creating a back to school bulletin board in the hallway.

If you missed my Getting Ready for Back to School - Day 1 post you can read it here.


Friday, 21 August 2015

Getting Ready for Back to School - Day 1

This year is a little different for me because I currently hold a Grade 2 position at my school but I want the Grade 4/5 position at my school that will be coming up soon. Long story short -- the way postings are done in my district I can no longer just internally transfer into the position and I have to apply for it. Postings go up on Monday (the 24th) so I will have to wait until the end of the week to find out what Grade I will be teaching.
I want to start getting my classroom ready but I don't know if I should be keeping all my primary stuff or switching it for my intermediate stuff. In the meantime I am going to be organizing stuff that didn't get done with the rush of last years back to school and the teacher strike. 

Step 1: Make a To Do list 
Step 2: Start working on it ...
On the last day of school I organized all the cabinets in my classroom (sorry I didn't take pictures) so that is done. Now I am on to the storage closet that is outside my room. 
The teacher who was in my classroom, retired and left me a ton of her stuff!!!! I moved schools and didn't have enough time to completely go through all of her stuff so I just shoved it on the shelves and closed the 

Yikes look at all that stuff :(

After I went through every box (my stuff and the retired teachers) this is what I ended up with :) Ahhh so organized.

There is some stuff left on the middle shelves but that is stuff that I don't want but isn't garbage. Hey, someone at the school might want it, just not me.

Step 3: Cross "organize storage room" off my To Do list. 

Step 4: Because I am organizing -- give everyone an organization freebie!!!! 

Here are some Monday - Friday labels 
I have this sitting near my desk and it is super helpful!!!
Check back soon for my next post in this series of Getting Ready for Back to School. Next time I tackle the filing cabinet. YIKES!



Monday, 3 August 2015

What's New and a Sale!

Hi All, have had a busy summer (post on that to come soon) and have made a few new items. Since Teacher Pay Teachers is having their fabulous Back to School Sale I thought I would share with you my newest creations. 
My niece and nephew were here for a bit and inspired me to create these two items. They are both Minion crazy and I saw how excited they were to do some activities I had with Minions so I thought I would bring the Minion love into my classroom this September. 

If you are looking for a math center idea or just a fun way for your students to practice their place value the Minion Wars game is perfect. There are 2 different versions included- one to hundreds and one to thousands. Each game is the same and has students trying to build the highest (or lowest) number to win banana points. At the end, the student with the most banana points wins!!!

 I am always looking for new ways for my students to practice their sight words and they love games so I created Minion Sight Word Activities. There are sets of cards with suggestions for different ways to use them or games to play.


I also created a Black and White version of my popular Binder Covers. These are great because you can still have fancy binders and save on colored printer ink.

Now back to the sale details. My entire store is on sale for 20% off and if you use the TpT code BTS15 during checkout you get an additional 10% off. That is a total of 28% off!!!! If you have feedback credits to use, don't forget those as well. They give you even more of a discount!!!!!! 
Happy shopping :)

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Currently July 2015!

Ahhh summer time. I always have such a big to do list in the summer and I never get to everything I want to do. This year may be different!
To start I have made a goal to do all of Farley's Currently posts! Here is the first one :)

My new favourite song is House of Cards by Tyler Shaw. I probably listen to it 10 times a day!
Loving: It has been awhile since I have seen my mom and WAY longer since she has been here to visit. Now that we have a house with a guest room she has plenty of space to stay in. She is coming for a couple weeks and is bringing one of my nieces and nephews with her. Exciting! She will get to see my son play soccer and we will get to do a puzzle together (our thing).

Thinking: I decided this summer my main focus would be getting in shape. I have decided to alternate days between cardio and strength exercises. Today I am working on core strength and I know I will be sore tomorrow.

Wanting: I was super excited (almost too excited) when I saw the latest 50 Shades book, Grey!!!!! It is keeping me up past my bedtime but I cannot put the book down. If only the world would stop until I finish the book.
Needing: Like I said, Mom is coming for a visit and her room isn't ready. We are STILL waiting for our contractor to finish our master bathroom/bedroom so we are STILL staying in one of the spare rooms. Hopefully the contractor will get done this week so I can move everything over on the weekend.

All Star: This one was tough for me to think of so I went with a funny one. I am soooo slow in the mornings. It is almost and art how slow I am. I wake up at 5 to leave by 8am. Nope no workout just shower, slowness, hair, slowness, makeup, slowness, coffee, slowness, checking social media, and more slowness. I have tried waking up later and being quicker but it doesn't work.

Head on over to Farley's blog, Oh Boy Fourth Grade to check out more July Currently's 

Saturday, 20 June 2015

TpT Challenge Week #1 - Makeover Madness

So I decided I would join the TpT Sellers Challenge because I am not busy Actually I have been thinking for awhile now that I need to ramp up my store and blogging. When I saw the challenge pop up in my Facebook feed I thought it would be a perfect way to inspire me.

The first challenge was to makeover a cover or item. In September someone with lots of followers on Pinterest must have shared my First Week of School Activities because they shot to the top of my store and is now my number one selling item. That is fantastic but the only problem is I didn't make a cover for it and it looked ugly sitting amongst products with covers. It was one of the first things I ever made and is a sampler of a bigger Back to School unit. I never really thought it would get  noticed so I didn't put any time into making a cover. That will teach me. I decided this would be the PERFECT item to makeover.  Here is the outcome:
I am happy how it looks in my store now. I was kind of embarrassed before but not anymore. To see how it looks amongst other products with covers check it out here!!!
To check out other makeovers or see what the next challenges are visit the blogs of these amazingly, organized ladies. 

I am excited to see what next weeks challenge brings! #tptsellerchallenge

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Low Prep Mother's Day Gift Idea

Mother's Day is this Sunday and we have been working on finishing our Mother's Day Gifts. There has been a lot going on at our school this year so I didn't want to go with my usual Mother's Day gift ideas because they require quite a bit of prep beforehand. While I was shopping at Michael's with a friend I saw these super cute bird houses for only $1.50 (I later found similar ones at our local dollar store for the same price, or has some, so no worries if you cannot get to a Micheal's store) and I immediately went and traded in my basket for a chart. I loaded up 24 of them and was happy with the find. 

Before we started I had a couple students stay in with me at recess and get everything ready. We put all the bird houses on a side table. On the desks we put 2 pieces of paper towel for each student, a variety of paint brushes, a few paint containers, water containers, and a sharpie marker (to put initials on the bottom).
When everyone came in to the classroom we gathered at the carpet area so I could give instructions on what we were doing and then sent  them to the side table a few at a time to pick a bird house to take to their desk. Once everyone was settled at their desks, I went around with the acrylic paints and filled their containers with the colours they wanted. This saves dumping out paint that no one wanted to use.
Now they were set free to paint their birdhouses. We had previously completed a whimsical bird house art project (blog post to come soon) that, I feel, helped them with their creativity. Previously, we talked about not just painting the bird houses all one colour and to be creative with the colours and designs.

This is my little guy who has not participated in many activities since he joined us in January. He was so excited to paint his bird house and wanted his picture taken. I smile every time I see the picture and it helps me reflect on the huge progress that this student has made so far.

Once the bird houses were painted they were placed on the table to dry. I love all the colours. 
Tomorrow we will decorate brown paper lunch bags to be used as the gift bags and we will make Mother's Day cards.

I will definitely be doing this project again, as it was stress-free and was quick to set up.

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