Monday, August 20, 2012

Mounds of Laundry but an Organized Classroom

You know when you are driving, and your car starts to make weird sounds? My computer did that today, and now it won't turn on. Sigh. is great.  Thankfully I have one of my bestie's netbook, that I need to return, but for tonight it is becoming my blog station. 

I am so excited to say that I am finished with my room!  We won't mention that my house looks like the toddler threw a kiddy rager, the yard is starting to look like the house is abandoned, and I truly considered taking all the dirty laundry along with the clothes scattered here and there and having a big bon fire.  Seriously...does anyone have a match??

Oh well, at least this teacher has a color matching classroom. My child doesn't have diapers, but my room matches! LOL!  Here goes....(imagine a curtain being lifted and gasps of awe and delight from the audience.)

I used to think my little bulletin board was great until...

I now have an interactive wall!  Calendar, Learning Goals, Exit Slips, and Questions
This first wall I am using to help the students set and see the goals and to use exit slips to check for questions, miscues, etc.  The "Why" bulletin board is something I am very excited to try.  It was one of those 3 am ideas.  I always have students with so many great questions from their reading as they are tracking their thoughts, exploring Science and Social Studies, or as we have group discussion; we don't always have time to find the answers.  This year, students can write their question down on a post it, then towards the end of the week they can grab their question, or someone elses, and go research and explore those lingering questions.  Hoping it  works as well in real life as it does in my brain!

The back corner before...I used to have our workshop rug in this corner, along with...

this ugly yellow shelf. (It used to be cute, I promise.)

I now have a CAFE inspired CRAFT area. The CRAFT posters
are a Freebie from  LadyBug's Teacher Files.

 Finally, remember that table of junk useful supplies.....

It is now a writing/personal space/conferring/basket holding area. 
Notice my coffee pot in the back. Sigh, have I mentioned I like coffee??

I know I shared my desk, but I added labels on the file cabinet (thanks Dad!),
a great lamp, decorated an old kitchen utensil holder, and hung curtains! Whoo-who! I am finished! Well, actually I have another window that needs close...

The bad news is that now I have no excuse not to clean my own house.  However, the laundry bonfire still might happen.  S'mores anyone?

Don't forget to enter into my Starbucks/Organizer Giveaway.  You have until August 28, and I have to say that the odds are good. 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Custom Made Freebie and Starbucks Card: A Procrastinators End of Summer Give Away

  I've sat at this computer typing and deleting...typing and deleting.  My sarcastic wit has deserted me, and left in its place is a caffeine deprived blogger.  However, I am enjoying one of my most favorite places in the world, the Big Horn Mountains, with some great family, so I guess that makes up for my lack of snarky and highly humorous intellectually stimulating comments today. 

  To ask forgiveness for this dry and boring post, I am teaming up with Life's Journey Scrapbooking to do a giveaway for all my teacher and non-teacher bloggy buddies! Drum roll please...We are going to give 1 lucky person a....
 $10 Starbucks card
I even promise not to use the $$ that is on the card!
and 2 lucky winners will receive....oh I can hear all of the deep breathes as everyone gears up in anticipation.....

Custom made Accordion Folders!!
(Ok, I thought about naming them the "Cute and Crafty Lifeline of Organization for Teachers and All Others Dohickey Thing-A-Maging Must Have Tool of Sucess", but decided I might get tired...or confused...when repeating it.)

The Outside of my Folder: Step 1 of Operation Organization! The front is under the plastic, so it won't get ruin when you reach across your desk and spill coffee..noth that I have ever done that!

Mine includes a calendar, spiral notebook and pocket to store stuff candy hidden from students or the toddler. Sorry, wine, coffee, or energy drinks won't fit.

Are you impressed yet?

I am going to use mine to store
 parent notes and messages until I can get them filed. 
What would you used this for?

This is a super cute example my friend Crystal made for her daughter.

Can you guess what her daughter loves?

Organize, photos, document, or store!

  These folders are adorable and can be used as a planner, organizer, or to hide the candy bars from the children. See? Multi use!  The 2 folder winners will get to pick color and/or theme and will receive a 1-of-a-kind file made by moi.  Now who needs Prada or Coach when you can have a Mrs. M original? 
 You can get up to 5 chances to win, and those that are blog experts can already guess how. 
1.) Go check out my buddy at Life's Journey Scrapbooking and make a comment on her current post. Make sure to let her know you found her through me.
2.) Follow her publicly. (She has some great ideas!)
3.) Leave a comment on my blog about how you would use the folder or your favorite coffee drink. :D  Don't forget to leave your email and that you have or already...
4.) Follow me publicly.
5.) Post a link to this blog post on your blog, and let me know by sharing that in your comment. (It is almost midnight and I am not about to being to figure out how to use the linky tools. Next time...)
6.)...Hey, it's my blog, I can add an extra chance if I want!  6.) I take bribes. The bigger, the better. Just saying.

I will alert and announce winners on August 28, which is the first day that our kiddos come back to school. Good luck all!

P.S. I am sharing 2 more photos of my color cordinated classroom.  It's getting there...slowly...and very expensively...If you missed my first picture and classroom ideas, check it out!

The one time this year, my desk will be this clean!

Lets pretend we didn't see this....

 I am off to enjoy the last few days of summer!
Good night all!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Great Expectations: Organizing a Classroom, Educational Filler Links, and a Broken Budget!

    Smug: (V) The feeling of superiority the night before going into your classroom, knowing that you are going to 1.)Complete a room full of bulletin boards, 2.) Move furniture, 3.) Empty summer boxes, 4.) Create Open House letters, gifts, etc, 5.) Create a new curriculum map (because hey, you are feeling superior so why not reinvent the wheel), 6.) Send ALL the projects to graphics, 7.) Have everything completed for not just the first day, but for the first 2 weeks of school, and knowing that you will do it in just 5 hours, and a whole 3 weeks before school starts.
            (Jeez, that wasn't a long and grammatically incorrect sentence, was it?!?)

Uh Duh: (V) The reality check that you are absolutely crazy to think that said plan will actually happen.

   Yep, you would think after all these years, I would have a firm grasp on reality.  I obviously didn't; I'm blaming the lack of coffee that day.  However, I am very excited to post the pictures of what I did get accomplished.  Everyone needs to promise to not ask what I spent to make it happen...
Can you guess the colors I picked this year? First year doing a color theme...
Same location as the first picture, but what a difference! I know I would curl up and read a good book there.  If I wasn't afraid that I'd never get up, I just might!
Starting to look like a room.  Sigh, lots of bulletin boards left to go...
Umm, let's pretend that this was a before picture and not the one that I snapped before walking out of the room.
     Now I know I mentioned sharing some super tech links, but 3-6 Free Resources is having a great sharing linky that talks about brain breaks, or those educational time fillers, so I thought I'd share three of my favorite ideas. 
1.) We keep a Jenga game going in the corner of the room.  The Jenga pieces have division facts on them.  If the student gets the problem right, he or she gets to keep the piece for their team.  Game over when it topples or they draw the Gotcha piece. 

2.) Timed ball toss. 1 small ball or stuffed animal (we used an Angry Birds that I found in the dog toy section). Our rules are that it can't be dropped, can't be passed around the same table, everyone plays, and no overhand.  We do a baseline on our time, then the kids keep a graph with the times.  Once in a while we analyze performance, possible changes, teamwork, etc.  Fun and Math rolled into one!

3.) Logic Puzzles and Division Wraps- Kiddos ALWAY have access to either of those items.

Well, now that I am completely done not close to finishing my room, but still feeling smug that I went in several weeks before, I am going to go enjoy a quiet house. The hubby took our Little Man to watch his first mutton bustin' so I am going to have a glass bottle of wine and do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Good night all!