Saturday, September 28, 2013

Photo-a-Day Challenge September 28th

Ok...Day 28 of the Photo-a-Day Challenge.  I figured I did the first couple of days, so I'll do the last few days!  LOL!  I don't know where the month of September got to!!  Today's word is Fall here are some pictures of Fall Foliage in my home state of Vermont...I sure do miss the beautiful landscapes from back home!



Monday, September 23, 2013

New Products on TeachersPayTeachers

Ok, so here's what I've decided...being a full time mother and teacher leaves very little time for blogging during the school year!  I have the biggest class I've had in the last few years.  I only have 23 kiddos, but last year I had 13 so this is a BIG difference.  Last year's class also had 5/13 students in the Gifted and Talented program, so academically it was a very strong class!  I've also been working really hard to get more products up on TeachersPayTeachers.  There's just something about knowing I've helped another teacher reach their students that really warms my heart!

Here are some of the projects I've completed since school has started...

Properties of Addition and Multiplication Foldable Graphic Organizer

Social Studies Explorers of the New World Foldable Graphic Organizer

States of Matter Foldable Graphic Organizer

Odds and Evens Addition Game

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Photo-a-Day Challenge September 18th

Ok...Day 18 of the Photo-a-Day Challenge.  Today's phrase is Bulletin Board....

Here's the bulletin board that's out in the hallway.  On the first day of school it had soccer balls with all of our subjects and things we would be learning about in each subject.  It also had red letters above all the soccer balls that said, "FIFTH GRADE GOALS", but apparently I never took a picture of the board once I put the title up.  The soccer goal hanging from the ceiling is made out of PVC pipes and a black fishing net.  The soccer ball is an inflatable pool ball.  The kids love to "tap" the ball into the goal.  I really don't mind, but I know it drives some of the other teachers crazy!  I mean if I'm being honest, I hit that ball every time I walk by it and I have pretty good self-control!

During the first week of school students completed pennants about themselves.  I have no idea where these came from, so I can't credit the awesome creator - but they rock! The kids had a great time filling them out.  The one on the left has students drawing a self portrait, their favorite foods and colors, and their hobbies.  The one on the right has them writing about their favorite book over the summer.  
After a few weeks at school, I took down the soccer balls and we put up the pennants.  The first two rows are the "Getting to Know Your Classmates" pennants and the bottom two rows are the pennants with the favorite books.  The picture does not do this board justice!  The kids did a great job on their self portraits - well really the entire project!  I love them!  I always "catch" them out in the hallway reading the board when they are going to or coming back from the restroom/water fountain.

You can't see it in the picture above, but this poster hangs to the right of the bulletin board, matted on blue paper and acts as a key so you know what is being drawn in each shape.  The hexagon is for hobbies, the oval for a self portrait, the heart is for favorite color(s), and the parallelogram is for favorite food(s).
The other bulletin board in my classroom is our AR (Accelerated Reading) bulletin board.  This is always my favorite board to do each year!  Last year's is still my all-time favorite board with our ocean theme, but this one looks pretty darn great, too, if you ask me!  Which you didn't, but we'll just pretend that you did!
Again, pictures just don't do the board justice, but it's a fun board!  The background is boring green paper.  The border is green ribbed - which is special because my late mother passed it down from her classroom when she retired from teaching.  The white lines are actually satin ribbon, which add a little texture to the board.  The "TIME TO A GOOD BOOK" letters are 4" black letters.  The TACKLE letters are 4" white letters glued on footballs.  Those are attached to a clothesline with clothespins for a 3D effect.  I did have some cool sports clothespins that I was going to use, but it was too busy and didn't look great.  The end zones have the school name in 4" blue letters (one of the school's colors) and the school's mascot cut out of black.  I didn't show those here for my students' safety.  Then you have all of my precious students' footballs.  These were given to them at Meet the Teacher night and they brought them back the first day of school.  We laminated them and I move them when students increase their AR points.  Each line is worth 10 points and when they get to the other end zone (100 points), they get a bigger football and their original football stays in the end zone.  Here's a funny story - I had intended to put numbers on the lines, but didn't realize I'd never done that until I was writing this blog post!  Guess what I'll be doing soon?!  The kids' footballs are already zooming across the field...I've even got one on the 80 yard line just a month into school!  Now that's impressive!  To the right of the board are genre posters.  Above the board are adjectives that describe books.  Below the board you can see about half of my picture books.  The shelf goes all the way down the wall.  There are also two shelves of chapter books below that.  All my books are labeled, as are the bins...but that's a post for a whole new day!  Right now we are working on finishing up our football buddies who will be holding a sign that says, "My Reading Goals" instead of "Who Will Win?". 

I got the Football Buddy Craftivity from A Cupcake for the Teacher.  You can check it out at their TeachersPayTeachers store.  It was designed to be used during the Super Bowl, but with just a itsy bitsy tweaking of the form, I made it totally work for me!! 
Thanks for looking/reading!  Have a happy day!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Photo-a-Day Challenge September 2nd

Ok...Day 2 of the Photo-a-Day Challenge.  Today's word is Labor I thought it only fitting that I post a picture of my two favorite boys "laboring" away in the kitchen!  They're making healthy no-bake cookies using BeachBody's Shakeology Chocolate Health Shake powder.  The recipe was so easy just shake powder, peanut butter, honey, and oatmeal!  It was super rich!

The other labor of love going on in our house today was my sweet boy working diligently on a 150 piece puzzle...a round puzzle?  Really?  There goes my strategy of doing the outside pieces first!  That didn't seem to stop him though!  He's an amazing puzzle maker!  I need to find some inexpensive places to buy puzzles or I'm going to be really broke before long!

I loved having an extra day to spend with my family this Labor Day weekend!  We spent over 3 1/2 hours at the Children's Museum this afternoon!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Photo-a-Day Challenge September 1st

I was reading some posts today from some of the blogs I follow, and I came across this beauty from Clutter-Free Classroom.

I thought it might be fun to give it a here's my picture for September 1st: September!  I know this isn't the greatest picture, but I'm not at school to take a new one and I really want to try to post every day this month! It's hard to tell, but the far left curtain has red, white, and blue stars for July, the next one is red gingham with ants for August, then school pictures (bus, school house, ABC, 123, etc.) for SEPTEMBER, and you can see just a small section of the pumpkins for October.

About 9 years ago, my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  At the time I was a reading specialist and my office had one window in it.  I thought it would be pretty neat to have a "Curtain of the Month Club" so to speak, so I asked for that.  Every month my mom would give me a new curtain.  She hadn't quite made all of them when I found out that I would be moving rooms the following year.  Once I realized the curtains wouldn't work in my new room (which was a WAY nicer room I might add!)  I had her stop making them.  I packed the curtains away, hoping one day I'd be able to use them again.

A few years passed, I moved from my home state of Vermont, to Texas and my new classroom had 2 the curtains remained packed.  Then three years ago, I was working with our new school librarian brainstorming ideas for themes, decorating, etc.  She decided to do a big tree in the middle of the library, and added branches throughout the year as needed.  Each time a child read a book they put their name and the title of the book on a cutout and it went on the tree.  The cutout changed every month (September - apple, October - pumpkin, November - turkey, and so on).  We informally called it Reading Throughout the Year.  Looking around our library I realized the windows were lacking any color, and then I also realized that there were 12 windows!  A light bulb went off....12 windows....12 months....Curtain of the Month I went home and pulled out my curtain tub and curtains.  I brought them into school and what do you know?  They were the perfect size!  Now I didn't have a full set of 12 and they weren't all exactly the same size.  Since they were only up one at a time making them exactly the same hadn't been necessary.  So I went to work making the curtains I had all the same size, and then I went and found material for the ones I didn't have. I will admit it was a very costly project, and stressful (I had a very hard time decided on August's fabric!) but it was well worth it.  Every time I go into the library and see the curtains, it makes me smile and I can't imagine what the library would look like without the curtains!  One day, we'll find out though because when I leave this school, the curtains are coming with me!

Here are some pictures of the other can even see one of the tree branches in the middle picture!

January (snowflakes) - February (green with colored hearts all over - I really need to make new red ones!) - March (green shamrocks)

April (Easter eggs) - May (Cinco de Mayo) - June (flowers)

October (pumpkins) - November (turkeys) - December (candy canes)
In March of 2013, my mother very unexpectedly passed away at the young age of 59.  So now these curtains are even more precious to me.  I have curtains in both of my children's rooms that she made, the curtains at the bottom of my stairs were made by her, and I even have a set of curtains in my classroom.  These were originally made for the new room I moved into to hide all the contents of open cabinets.  When I moved to Texas, miraculously the curtains also fit the space above my student closet that I use for storage!  I love these curtains...especially when my classroom was painted the blue and green in them!  These are the only things I don't change out each year with my new theme! We had some leftover material and my mom made my daughter (and her baby doll) a dress out of it, too!  She was an amazing seamstress!

Curtains covering storage area in my classroom.

Scrapbook page made by an amazing aide who did a scrapbook for every child in the class!
Heidi or Gretchen - I have no idea, they're twins and I can't tell them apart!  She has booties, too, that you can't see! I'm sure (I KNOW!) the rest of my posts will not all be this long...but here's my first one :D  HOORAY!!