Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WBT During the First Week of School

I finally feel like I can breathe for a minute.
Maybe even two.

The first week was a doozie.  I've talked so much that my throat hurts.  Who's with me on that one?

I've enjoyed every minute of it.  Truly I have.  I'm not lying.  Swear.

Last year, I started implementing Whole Brain Teaching strategies (known henceforth as WBT...I'm so smart to have used such a big word.  Did I use it correctly?)

I really enjoy WBT.  I know that I've shared this video before, but it's worth a look-see:

video

I also love the video that Farrah Shipley posted.  Her blog is Mrs. Shipley's Fabulous Firsties and her video can be found at this post {here}.

Let me tell you how it works in my room.

First of all, I use five simple rules in my room. Here is a picture of my rules.  Click on it to make it larger.


(Sorry, I can't share these since I made them with Scrappin Doodles clip art and I don't have a license to share these as freebies. And, with WBT principles, I can't charge you for them, either.)  However, my friend Stephanie from 3rd Grade Thoughts has some excellent freebies {here}. 

I use movements to go with these rules similar to what you saw in the video above.  Since I am switching classes and teaching three periods of math, I go over these same rules with all three classes EVERY day.  It literally takes 15 seconds.  I know this, because I've reviewed the rules while watching the clock before starting our timed multiplication tests (more on that in a later post).

The fun part is using the attention getter, "Class, Yes".  It is amazing at how quickly they stop what they are doing to listen to what I have to say.  No more waiting for everyone to be quiet.  I have never been one to raise my voice to get their attention.  I used to say, "Clap two times if you can hear me."  But then, you have the noise of the clapping.  Some students say, "Clap, clap".  And so on......

With "Class, Yes", they never know what type of voice I will have when I say it.  It keeps all of us on our toes.  I love it.

I will say, though, that at first I felt a little awkward.  I thought other adults would walk by my room and think I was weird.  Well, I am a little.  Needless to say, if this works as beautifully as it has in the first week, I couldn't give a rip about what people think when they walk by.

It works.

I'm going to be sharing a lot more about WBT as the year progresses.  

Do you use WBT?  Do you have a favorite component?  I would love to hear how you use WBT methods in your room.  Leave me a comment below and feel free to link to a specific post.  I'd love to read what you might have posted about WBT.


Monday, August 27, 2012

I finally Monday Made It Again

I made a few things yesterday.  Just a few....I'm still just trying to keep my head above water.  Sometimes, it's not working.

I made these number magnets, after my pebble ones just didn't work out:

I got these beauties from A Cupcake for the Teacher.  You can grab your own freebie by clicking over to her blog {here}.  I love E.V.E.R.Y.thing that she creates.  Just FYI.

As beautiful as my pebble magnets were, they just didn't work out in my classroom.  Why?  Well, when pebbles fall off of the chalkboard and land on the chalkboard ledge...well.......NOISY!  I'm going to have to save these and use them some other place in my room where they can perhaps fall onto a pillow or something.



I also made this Math It Up board:


I got this idea from my friend, Tara, who got this idea from Teacher on the Loose.  Don't you just love the blogging world?  You can find just about everything you ever wanted from a friend...or from a friend of a friend.  And so on....  It's blank right now (without numbers to add/subtract/multiply or divide) because this is as far as I got.  Click on the links above (Tara or Teacher on the Loose) to see more.

Well, those are the only two pitiful things that I made.  But, at least I did make something this week.  I just had to link up with my blog bud, Tara! 




Friday, August 24, 2012

The Ultimate Middle Years Giveaway and Blog Hop!

Hi everyone, I'm so excited to be a part of this event!  Don't you want to go back FULLY STASHED :)  I sure love the idea of "Fully Stashed".  This blog hop is being sponsored by two lovely bloggers: Ann Marie from Innovative Connections and Krystal from Lessons From The Middle:


Innovative Connections

If you haven't seen this yet, then click the picture above.  There are over $300 worth of prizes to be won.  Head on over now!  If you complete the blog hop challenge, you will be able to get a ton of freebies!
It's worth it!

I'm here to tell you about a blogger who you should check out.  It's Heidi  from Globicate.


Globicate”=

I have loved her blog for a long time.  Her blog focuses on geographical, cultural, and world awareness.  Here she offers lessons, resources, and tips for the middle grade classrooms.  She has a passion for literacy, education, basic needs, and human kindness for everyone around the world.  I always come away after reading her blog with a special piece of information that helps make me a better teacher. Check her out {here}.

Through this giveaway she is offering a $5 shopping spree to her TPT store.  Check her store out {here}.

Click through the links for some other great bloggers participating! Happy hopping!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ex-to the-Hausted!

It's Thursday, I think.  I stayed at school today to nearly 6:00 p.m.  I was the last one there, I'm sure of it.  It was dark when I left.  I was scared.

Not really.  I was, however, scared of how I looked when I finally came home and looked at myself in the mirror.

Can I say, Ex- to the- Hausted again?  It might just be my new catch-phrase.  Except that it's a bad one.

I'm 4 days in...

You know my lovely room that I spent all summer long getting ready?  If you didn't catch that post, head on over by clicking {here}.  

Let me give you a peak at how it looks now...after 80ish wonderful boys and girls have trampled through it for four days.

(Of course, let me preface by saying that these are some S.W.E.E.T kiddos.  I will tell you all about them when I'm not so tired.)

Here's my small group table.  Not so clean anymore:
And my back counter:
And the students' supply bags are all over the place.  You see my green ottomans? Well, the rest of the bags are all shoved in those:
Ahh, the mess is killing me.

My table caddies have been sent to time-out:

Poor things.

OK, to be completely honest.  It's not the kids...it's me.  I'm so busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off, you know "teaching", that this is how my desk now looks:
That little black "dot" is a magnet that fell off of something waiting to be glued back on again.

And tomorrow's Friday.

The End.



Friday, August 17, 2012

Classroom Reveal- Finally :)

After all summer long, I am ready to reveal my classroom to you.  Are you about to die with anticipation?  I know that you have been waiting
all
summer
long.

{Sarcasm}

My only regret during this entire classroom make-over is that I wasn't smart enough to do a before and after photo shoot. Man.

Beware...picture overload.  Some may say it's like Pinterest threw up all over my room.

I took this first picture while standing just inside my door.  You can just make out two table groups.  There are three more groups to the right.  This is what you see as you walk in the room.


I like it.  It makes me happy.  My kids, who I met on Wednesday, all seemed to like it, too. 

Here are the rest of the pictures...


And to think that all of this started because of this little Sterilite drawer re-do...........


I'm utterly exhausted.  Thank the good Lord that school starts on Monday so that I can knock it off.

Happy 2012-2013 school year, everyone :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's Day One-And Check Out My Post on RGS

It's Day One.

Back to the grind.

Up early and NEED COFFEE.

Yep, it's the teachers' official first day back. Although, as most of you know, I've been up there almost 24/7 lately.

Yesterday, I did go.  Yep, I did.  I was up there all of 5 minutes when one of the secretaries called down to my room to see if I just happened to be there.

My response?

Well, duh.  Of course I'm here.  

I was there for three hours.  Really?  I'm nuts.  But hey, my room is ready.  {Mostly...there's always something that needs to be finished.}

It seems fitting that on my first day back, my very first post on Really Good Stuff is being featured.

I would love it if you'd head over there and read (and comment) today.  It would make going back bearable. 
Just click on the picture above.

Happy 2012-2013 school year!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Made It Again

Crafting frees my mind.

Did you spit a little of your coffee out at that sentence?

Seriously.  It really does, though.

I've always been rather crafty, and this summer I think I put that into overdrive.  But, it has been wonderfully fulfilling.  And my classroom looks great.

Linking up (again) with my buddy, Tara:

First up, I stole borrowed this idea from her (no surprise there) that she had gotten from Jena at First Grade with Mrs. Snowden.

I made these teacher survival kids for my team.



Here's what's inside:


And gave them to my team with a clipboard (My daughter, Sarah, helped with those, of course!)



I also re-did my clipboard bucket...'cause all of that spray painting didn't quite work on my bucket.  Boo.  But, I found this tub at The Christmas Tree Shoppe (which is the Dollar Store on crack).  It was only $2.99, so ummm...done!  I used my Cricut for the vinyl letters.  I'm so pleased with this :)

And finally, I made this.  It's just not for me.  My former Assistant Principal, who is now a principal, wanted a Clemson wreath for her office door.  So, she asked me to make one.  Here it is:

OK, there you have it.  My final summertime "Made Its".  But, I will try to continue to post the things I make during the school year as long as Tara hosts this party. 

Off to school (even though I told myself I wouldn't go on my last real vacation day)...

I won't stay long.
I won't stay long.
I won't stay long.



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back to School Blog Hunt and SALE!

 I know that most of you are probably reading this DAYS later because you were busy on August 12th and 13th at the SALE.

 What sale?

If you are actually reading this on the 12th and have SOMEHOW missed the information...

Cute graphic courtesy of Ashley Hughes from The School Supply Addict

Yes, you can save up to 28% at many stores including mine.   All items in my store are 20% off and then TPT will add an extra 10% off using the coupon code BTS12.

 Now, on to the blog hunt....... 

 It's Day 12 of the Back To School Blog Hunt!



I officially go back in two days!  Two days!!! I can hardly believe it.  I'm excited, though.  This is always and exciting time of the year.  It's like we get to start everything new again.  I love new beginnings.

One of my favorite things to do is to meet my kids on registration day.  

When they walk in the room, I want them to feel at home.  This year, I've spent quite some time redecorating my room in hopes that everyone will feel right at home.  I hope it's cozy and inviting to all.

I've tried to make everything fun... all the way down to the hand sanitizer bottles.  Yep, I'm that twisted.  Have you seen those on Pinterest yet?  They are the bottles that also serve as passes.  The students put them on their desk as they leave the room.  Then, when they come back in, they put it back up AFTER making sure they use it.  Brilliant. 

Here's my take on the passes.  I hope you can use them, too.



You may download a copy of your own from TPT or TN for free :)  (If you are new to my blog, while you are at my stores, look around...I have a TON of freebies!)
When a student leaves the room to go to the restroom, I am also going to have them sign out on these sign out boards.

These are two melamine plates on sale from Hobby Lobby.  They can be written on with dry erase marker and then wiped clean when the child returns.  Cool, huh?  I love my little pom pom on the dry erase maker.

So, how do you monitor restroom procedures?  I'd love to hear your ideas.

If you haven't already, make sure you click on the links below to travel along with all of us in our Back to School Blog Hunt!

Happy Blog Hunting :)


Friday, August 10, 2012

Fabulous Find "Final" Friday

Happy Friday everyone.  This is
My
Last
Friday
of
Summer.

Boo hoo!  So, this will be the final week of Fabulous Find Friday.
I may do this same kind of linky once a month if there is interest.  But, I'm just being reasonable that with my return to the "real world", I just won't be able to keep this up (especially on a Friday). Right?

So, let me share with you one final FAB.U.LOUS find that I can't live without:

It's my Cricut.  I have seen a lot of love for the Silhouette out there right now, and I'm probably a little jealous of that fancy machine, but this little bargain has paid off for me so far.  I just have the small version (not even sure what style or model number) that only holds 6 x 12 paper.  I have always thought that this tiny machine has been all that I need.  Now that I'm seeing more creations out there, I'm beginning to dream about a larger, better machine.  But for now, this one is JUST FINE :)

I have cut out all kinds of letters.  Right now, I am borrowing my favorite cartridge from my teaching buddy (hey, Charlene).  I think this is the third year in a row that I have borrowed this cartridge.  Sadly, she told me this week that you can't find it anywhere online...so I guess I will have to continue to borrow it forever because I love this font:

Yep, it's the Mickey Font.  I love Disney, but that's not the only reason I love it.  The font is nice and chunky.  Which I love...nice and chunky.  That sentence would sound weird out of context.

Well, there you have it.  My final fabulous find.  Off to make more things on the Cricut before heading back to school one final time before I HAVE to on August 14th.  I have spent so much time up there this summer because this is the first summer we have been allowed to do so.  I'm excited about how my room looks, excited about how organized I finally feel, and ready for a wonderful school year.  I'll be sharing my pictures next week after I can get my dad to come up to the school with his fancy camera.






Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Made It :)

Only one more Monday after today for me.  Then, it's the real thing.  I go back officially on the 14th, but I feel as if I've been working all summer long.  Don't you?

It's OK, though.  My little classroom make-over has been a long time coming.

Anyway, I only have a few classroom "Made-Its" and the rest are home "Made-Its".

Here goes:

First off, my daughter {love her} made more clipboards for me:

We are now sitting at about 18 of these and I'd like to have 25 before I go back.  She's got some work to do.  {Hehe}

Here's something I made.  Hold on to your seats, folks.  It was tough.  I mean T.O.U.G.H. 

This is my lost and found basket.  It's for those pesky items that no one wants to claim. {That is until they can't find theirs...}

I almost broke a sweat making that one for this week.  I'm actually not quite finished with it.  It needs a tag.  But, I was exhausted.

Now for home.  I'm not sure if you remember, but I had lofty goals of repainting my bathroom and kitchen this summer.  Welp, the bathroom is now finished.  The kitchen...not so much.  The wallpaper is down and I have lovely two-toned walls.  But, I have only one week of summer left and I will not spend it painting.

I
Will
Not.

Here's the finished bathroom:

The curtain is actually a shower curtain that I converted to a window curtain. 
Instead of a traditional towel rack, we went with hooks.  We have a pool and now my kids can hang (and reuse) their towels.
No more constant towel washing for me.

Head on over to Tara's blog and link up.