Tuesday, July 31, 2012

VistaPrint Madness!

I'll admit (as I have before) I totally thought VistaPrint was a scam. However, that is NOT the case. I know I've already posted a little bit about VistaPrint, but I find myself going back to the website to window shop, and today I bought more stuff. Which is why I was excited when I saw that Christina over at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge was having a VistaPrint Linky Party!

So first I made, Homework Passes, using the business card template. If you hadn't figured it out already, I love owls! This year I'm going to use personal incentives called "Gator Bucks" because our school mascot is the Alligator. I figured that students can save up 15 of their Gator Bucks and trade it in for a free homework pass. :)

Next I made book labels for my library books, which is pretty self-explanatory :)

And today I made contact Labels to put on the popcorn bags for open house :) I think I'm going to turn them into refrigerator magnets too, so parents have quick access to my information in case they need to contact me!

I'm so happy that I found VistaPrint, because as a teacher it definitely makes my life a little bit cheaper and a little bit easier :) So with that I leave you with a picture of Tyrion all balled up and grumpy!

Don't forget to come over and join the party!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It and a New Family Member

Monday seems to come and go so quickly towards the end of the summer. So I'm linking up with Tara @ Fourth Grade Frolics again for Monday Made It!

Though I haven't really begun to print these things out on card stock to ready myself for next year I still made them in preparation for the upcoming school year. I don't even have my classroom yet and I don't need to cram anymore goodies into my bedroom because I'm already running out of room for myself haha.

ANYWAY Here's what I made for the open house that will be happening in a few weeks. I can't remember where I saw them originally (If you know, could you tell me so I can give proper credit?) I made little signs to put on bags of popcorn for Open House! I'm also going to stick a label on it with all of my information on it for parents to use. 

I also made some student numbers to use for attendance and other classroom management tidbits. They are really basic, which is the way they will stay for this year considering I don't have a theme for my classroom in mind yet and I don't think 3 weeks is enough time to implement one by myself when I'm poor haha. 

Also, I welcomed a new family member this week!! Say hello to Tyrion Alastor Brown (Brown is my bf's last name and we got him together).

 We named him Tyrion after the Game of Thrones character (If you like fantasy and haven't read these books, I highly suggest them) and Alastor after Alastor Moody from Harry Potter (my favorite book series in the world). I'm totally in love with his little prickle butt :)

As always come and join the party!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Back from Vacation/Preparing for School Linky Party

Wow, I've been away for a little while it seems (I miss two whole Monday Made-It's). Well aside from being super busy gearing up for my first year teaching and dealing with some family hiccups, I also went on vacation with my boyfriend. We just went to Ocean City, MD which is not to far away from where we live, but it was a vacation all the same.

When I got back from vacation (and got back on to my working out regiment) I weighed myself and realized I had lost 50 pounds!

(Picture links to my other blog which is more weight loss and personal tidbits)

I'm really happy and I feel an extra push to meet my final goal weight!

Mrs. Crouse invited me to her very first Linky party that is all about getting ready for the next school year! Here are the rules!

1. Post about this linky party on your blog
2. Follow my blog
3. Answer the following 5 questions:
- What grade do you teach?
I will be teaching fifth grade!
- What is the greatest advice you received during your 1st year of teaching?
Set a time for when you are going to leave at the end of the day. When that time comes you should be packing up and getting ready to go so you can have a fresh start for the next day!
- Do you have a checklist that you follow when preparing your classroom?
I should/will as soon as I know how big my portable will be and approximately when I can move in!
- What are some must haves in your classroom that you cannot live without (ex. items, books, posters, management strategies)?
Classroom management that makes students accountable for themselves, but also classroom management incentives that help the class learn to collaborate as a whole. Also, some of my childhood favorites as books in the library such as Harry Potter, Super Fudge, and the Bailey School Kids. 
- What is something that all teachers should have in their classroom?
A place that is just theirs, be that their desk or desk chair, something off limits to the students, so they know when you are in this place, they must use another strategy to answer a question they might have. 

Awesome questions!! They made me think! I hope you all join us for the linky party!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Little Overwhelmed

Today I went to my new Elementary School to pick up some curriculum binders from my new team leader. Sounds innocent right? Well actually receiving the binders was the easy part. We also sat down and talked about curriculum and what the day would look like, and for the very first time, (not the last I'm positive)I started to feel what it must feel like to be a first year teacher. The worst part was we only discussed math today...

One thing that I think may make first year teaching difficult this far is the fact that when we are doing our student teaching, we get accustomed to the way put mentors run their classroom. Not to mention we have so much guidance from our teaching programs, mentors, supervisors, etc. Also for me it feels a little more difficult because I'm teaching in a completely different district.

However, on a positive note I will say that at least I'm in the same state and same grade in which I did my student teaching. There are commonalities between curriculum so that's one thing I will be thankful for this year.

One question I have for you veteran teachers is do any of you use centers in math in the intermediate grades? If you do what do you use for centers? I'll take any suggestions to use as a springboard :)

P.S. I know I'm nuts for starting so early.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Made It!!

I can't believe it's Monday already, where did the time go! Well, while I've been braving the heat wave I've also been a crafty bee! (Kind of).

Once again I'm joining Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for another Monday Made It!! This week I "made" two things. I'm using the quotation marks because one I actually made the other I made using VistaPrint.

I recently found out that VistaPrint was not actually a scam. While listening to Pandora or Hulu I would always get annoyed when the VistaPrint commercials came on because...really 10 bucks for 250 business cards???? What's the catch? However, I found out there is NO catch, so I made myself some homework passes to use for next year!

Super cute right?! The owl was one of their stock images too! I love them, and I even got matching address labels that I'm going to use for my library books! I'm excited for them to arrive.

The second thing I made this week I originally saw on Pinterest. Here's the original:

And thennn I started mine earlier in the week, but I didn't think to take pictures so here's where I started this morning :)

I went to Michael's and bought a grab bag of letters, a plaque and a couple of acrylic paints to refill the ones that I had already used up. I painted the plaque white all over for a base coat and then added the dots. When the dots had dried, I noticed that the green paint that I bought was a gloss acrylic -__- so I modge podged the whole thing to make everything glossy. After I had painted the letters green, I modge podged them and used Wood Glue to secure them to the plaque. 

Then this morning I painted the clothespines, modge podged them, and secured them to the plaque with wood glue and VOILA!

The end product (and my toes, oops)!!

I'm planning on hanging it up in my classroom, however I'll be in a portable this year and I'm a little unsure of how I will be fixing things to the wall. Anyway! Head on over to the party!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Heart of A Teacher and ANOTHER AWARD

Follow The Famous Yellow Road

Seeing as it's blog hopping day! I decided to join in on one of the linky parties that was happening today. This linky party The Heart of a Teacher @ Journey of a Substitute Teacher really spoke to me because I am a firm believer that teaching is a work of heart. 

So what does being a teacher mean to me? 

Some of the most tumultuous years for kids are spent in the school system and in the area I'm from many of these kids come from a variety of different homes, some with support and some without. I spent some of my hardest years in the public school system. When I was in tenth grade my house burned down and if it wasn't for my teachers I don't think I would have made it through the year. 

Being a teacher means that you provide students with a home away from home. However, in this home while they will find a supporting and loving environment, they will also find discipline and high expectations. Being a teacher means that you are always there to listen. Even if you are just listening to what they had for breakfast. Students, even young students, need to feel important to and they need to know that they are influencing the world as much as I am.

In the wise words of Nelson Mandela

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 

Alsooooo my THIRD Blog award this week!!

Thanks Lilian!

I know I'm supposed to nominate 15 other blogs, but I couldn't even do that for the last blog award...(I'm a bad blogger :/) Please forgive me!

Two in One Week!

Wow!! I've been nominated for ANOTHER Blog award. I started this blog mainly to find other bloggers, but then I found out how much I liked networking and sharing ideas with other teachers. Anywayyyy to the award.

Katie @ Jungle in Room 207 has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks so much Katie!

Now for the rules
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to their site.
3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
5. When nominating include a link to their site.
7. Let the other bloggers know they've been nominated.

7 Random Facts...
1. Over the last few years I've lost 45 pounds!
2. I have two tattoos :)
3. I didn't carry a purse until I met my boyfriend at 15.
4. I'm still dating him (We're High School sweethearts, celebrating 8 years this November!!)
5. I have a single parent.
6. My grandmother helped to integrate the schools in the county that I'm teaching in.
7. I'm a vegetarian!

15 Definitely Deserving Bloggers 

(It's Horrible but I can only do 7...)

Anyway! Thanks again Katie!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wow! My First Blog Award!!

Mallory over at {6th Grade} All-Stars has given me my very first blog award (I knew I followed her for a reason ;))

The Libester Blog Award is a special award for blogs with less than 200 followers that deserve more recognition. There are a few rules and heeerrrreee they are.

1. Copy and paste the award on to your blog. 
2. Thank the giver and link back to them. 
3. Nominate five other bloggers and let them know by commenting on their blogs. 

Now for the blogs I'd like to nominate:

1. Becca Jayne @ 4th Grade For Sure: She has lots of super cute DIY ideas all with a woodland theme!

2. Cynthia @ All Things Teachery: A fellow Title I teacher who has a lot of fantastic ideas, linky parties, and give away information galore.

3. Andrea @ Cheers to School: Just like me Andrea is working her way through Grad School to become a teacher. I applaud her hardwork and her fabulous ideas in the classroom.

4. Ms. Kidd @ Hangin' Out in Third Grade: Awesome blog with different resources on Common Core for the intermediate grades, because let's face it, it's new to all of us new and veteran teachers.

5.  Mrs. K @ The Teacher Garden: As an upcoming first year teacher her tips on Literacy are FANTASTIC!!

Wow!! Thanks again Mallory!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Made It!

My first Monday Made it!! However, this one is a halfway made it...but all the same I'm joining that Linky Party over at Fourth Grade Frolics.

I really like the idea of posting encouraging art work and pictures around the classroom. Something that is really important to me is letting my students know that I respect them as much as they respect me and that's how I make my classroom work. So I made something I found on Pinterest (naturally haha). Here's the original picture. 

But considering I'm going to be in a portable next year I downsized this considerably so it will easily fit into a 8x11.5 frame. Here's my interpretation in jpeg form if you would like to use it for your own classroom. I know I should sign up for a TPT site, but I just feel as though I'm not on the same caliber as some of the other users haha. 

It's very plain, but I feel like that will let me play around with the frame a little bit more! Tell me what you think

July Currently/Power Outage

Wow, these last couple of days have been quite ridiculous. The MD/VA area got rocked by a thunderstorm and we didn't get power back until about an hour ago. However, Pepco and BG&E expect that they won't be able to restore power 100% until Friday, which is a scary thought. Some of the lines outside of gas stations were three miles long because people were panicking.

Annyywhooo, as usual it's a new month so their is a new Currently over at Farley's. LOVE the new Rule of Three what a great idea to network for other blogs.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my all time favorite books and now they are making it movie with Emma Watson in it! I'm super excited for the movie, though I'm usually disappointed when books are made into movies. Fingers crossed they will be able to do it justice because the book really is fantastic.

The Organized Teacher is a great read. I just started reading it a couple of days ago and I'm already looking forward to setting up my classroom for next year! It gives teachers both new and old different ways to spruce up their classroom management skills and a variety of other classroom procedures.

Don't forget to Link up!!