Saturday, August 31, 2013

First Week Survival & Toothpaste

So, I survived the first week of school!!!  I'm so glad we have a 3 day weekend because this was quite possibly the longest week of my LIFE!!!  I have a great group of kiddos, so I'm super lucky.  However, I have several friends who struggle with schedule changes and often get very anxious if our routine is thrown off.  Talk about our routine being thrown off this week...I think we had only 1 day this week that we didn't have any interruptions.  I'll be glad to get back to NORMAL.

Most of the week was going over procedures and rules, but we did spend some time building our classroom community.  There was one activity that I just loved!  I wish I could claim it as mine, but it was the genius idea of Ms. O @ Ms. O Knows

It's called the Toothpaste Activity....yes, you use toothpaste!

It works like this...

Several tubes of toothpaste (dollar store)
Tooth picks
Paper plates
baby wipes

Split the students into groups and tell them that they will have 5-10 minutes to squeeze out all the toothpaste in the tube onto a paper plate.  Then they must use toothpicks to put the toothpaste back into the tube. (WARNING-it's really messy and suggest having baby wipes on hand for each group)

After a few minutes or once they realize that it's impossible to do, discuss how sometimes our words are like that toothpaste.  Once they leave our mouth, you can't put them back.  So, be mindful of what you say to others & think before you speak because you can't put the words back...just like they couldn't put back the toothpaste back into the tube.

Then we brainstormed some words/phrases that would be considered toothpaste words and encouraged the students NOT to use toothpaste words.

Check out Ms. O's activity here for more in depth explanation, but I think it was a huge success.  Also, this could be a good activity to do after the new year as a reminder of using kind words.

Here are some pictures of the activity I did in my class...

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Classroom Reveal & MIA

Wow!!!  Where did the time go?  I can't believe how fast the summer went and it seems like yesterday that I was packing up my room.  However, it's the 2nd day of school and all I can say is...I MADE IT!  Now, if I could just make it until the end of the week.

I took a little break from blogging and stalking blogs.  Now, I'm so far behind that I'm not sure if I'll get caught up.  A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I took a mini vacay to San Antonio.  It was so nice to get away just the two of us.  Then we came back to reality and I feel like I'm buried 6 feet under.

Now for my classroom reveal, please keep in mind that I teach in a double wide trailer portable building.

Here are the BEFORE pictures....

No, you aren't seeing things...that IS a chalkboard behind all those desks!

Now, here are the AFTER photos....

Notice how many cabinets I have?  Count, TWO...that's IT!!!  Talk about having to be creative with storage.

This bulletin board is set aside for the kids to bring in pictures of their family.  We talk a lot about how we are our own little family in the class, but we want to include our extended family into the classroom too.  Kiddos bring their photo & shares during our community circle time.  

That green thing IS a chalkboard, not a WORKING I hot glue clothes pins to the board & I hang my anchor charts on them (also-the board isn't magnetic either)

Please don't look too closely at my classroom library.  I haven't organized it quite yet...just books put on the shelf.  Again...creative storage is the key to teaching in a double wide portable.  Yes, those are cement blocks holding up the boards and left over bricks from my house as book ends. 

Well, that's it...come on 3 day WEEKEND!!!!

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mr. Sketch on SALE!!!

If you are like me, one of my MUST haves for back to school is a fresh new box of Mr. Sketch markers.  Well, Walgreens has a sale on Mr. Sketch (12 count) for $4.99.  That beats the $11.99 I paid at the teacher supply store.  I've gotta go pick up another box, especially since they are that cheap!  I thought I'd pass it along to all you Mr. Sketch lovers out there...the sale is only good for this week only!
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Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Made It-August 5th

Wow, it's been a while since I've linked up with Tara @ 4th Grade Frolics for Made It Monday!

I did a little back to school shopping for my classroom last week.  If you read my post last Friday, you know it wasn't super successful.  However, I went out again on Saturday and hit up the local Dollar Tree.  For those who don't know, our theme this year is "Back to the Beach".  Anyway, the Dollar Tree had some "beach" theme decorations and I got a cool idea!  I saw tons of colorful beach balls and I thought "How cute would it be to hang those beach balls from the ceiling over each table?!"  So, I found the cutest labels on TPT and put the labels on the beach balls.  This is how it turned out...

If you are interested in the labels, click doesn't appear that this seller has a blog, but I wish she did!

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Not so Heavenly Teacher!

Today, I FINALLY went shopping for my classroom.  I'm not going to lie...I've been in denial that I'm returning to school in 17 DAYS.  I decided that I needed to face reality and get excited about a new school year.  What better way to get excited then to do a little back to school shopping, right?  So, I load up my girls and we head on over to our local Teacher Heaven.  There's a reason it's called Teacher Heaven because you can literally spend hours and your entire paycheck in this store....and it's heavenly!  Well, not today!  I was completely bummed out and frustrated because I couldn't find any cute or age appropriate (4th grade) "decorations" for our beach theme.

Normally, I have no problem finding things to fit our school theme and usually I have to put things away because I can't use everything.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not dissing Teacher Heaven entirely because I saw some GREAT stuff.  However, they seriously need to vamp up their beach themes.  I mean this theme isn't out of the ordinary like our military theme a few years back.

Most of the stuff I found was geared more towards the primary grades and I don't think my 4th graders would appreciate it.  Plus, I'm not asking for much because I'm a minimalist.  For the first month of school, my room looks a little bare because I use most of my walls to hang anchor charts of our learning.

On the bright side, I did get my new box of Mr. Sketch Markers and I know I paid WAY too much for them, but they were there and I just had to do it.

Here are few other pictures of what I did get...
I love the flip cute!
This doesn't scream...I'm in a 4th grade class!

These were only 2 out of 4 "beach" themed borders I could find.

So, $60 later I walk away feeling worse about going back to school.  I guess I'm just being a Negative Nancy, but if you have any ideas or suggestions, please don't hesitate to let me know.  I've searched some TPT stores, but most of the "themed" items are part of a bundle that I don't need or are geared towards primary.  HELP!!!

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

I'm a little late, but it's CURRENTLY...August!

Ok, so I'm a little late on this one!  It's the 1st and time to link up with Farley @ Oh Boy 4th Grade for Currently!

Here we go...

LOVING: Yes, I'm still on vacation, but NOT for long!!!  

THINKING: We return on the 19th and I really need to stop procrastinating.  I haven't stepped foot in a teacher supply store OR my classroom yet.  I do have a good excuse for not going up to school. They haven't finished cleaning the portable buildings (where I teach) and they probably won't be ready until tomorrow.

WANTING: I really could use another month off to get my growing to do list done.  Talk about major procrastination this summer.  I've waited until 18 days before I return to school to schedule 3 kids to see the pediatrician, dentist & orthodontist (only the teenager seeing the ortho...good bye college tuition!)  I haven't even scheduled my dentist & eye appointment yet.

NEEDING:  I seriously need my haircut and highlighted.  My mother was right, once you start coloring your hair you can't ever stop....and here I am 20+ years later pretending I'm a blonde.  What I need most is a new hair style.  What do you think of this?

Cute, right?! If I can't have Heidi Klum's body, I'll take her hairstyle!

B2S MUST HAVES:  Every year I start off with a fresh box of Mr. Sketch Markers.  I LOVE Mr. Sketch!!!  I tell my students that they are welcome to use anything in the classroom EXCEPT...Mr. Sketch!  I'll cut you if you touch my Mr. Sketch. Ok, not really! Also, I'm old school and use the Target Dollar Spot Lesson Plan book.  Actually, we type our lessons and I use the book just to jot down the main objectives. Finally, I have to start off the year with some new colorful gel pens.  Who doesn't love gel pens?

Until next time...

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