Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Not All Pocket Charts Are Created Equal

My friend Jennifer of FirstGradeBlueSkies did this awesome tutorial for dying pocket charts.  I thought I would give it a try and purchased some dye from Hobby Lobby today.  First mistake, I bought liquid not powder.  I don't really think it made any difference though. 
I always like to get my money's worth, so thought I would dye 3 instead of just 1.  Probably would have been fine, but not all pocket charts are created with the same materials.  They were the same color (blue), but did feel a tad thicker to the touch -- mistake #2. Not really a big deal.  I can order the smaller ones in black from Amazon.  I really just needed the 100's chart to turn out and I think it did!

So, if you've tried this before and didn't get the results you were looking for, it may have been the pocket chart and not your ability!  That's what I'm blaming it on anyway!!!

Good luck! It really is an easy DIY, if you're dying a thinner pocket chart!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Getting it BACK TOGETHER for Back to School

This summer!! 
It started out great with scheduled time to work in my classroom.  I got all the furniture put in the places I wanted them to go.  Even started putting new things up that I purchased on TPT! And then the word circulated that we could have our rooms painted! We've had the same wall color for quite some time (at least 23 years!), so I was eager to have my room made over! Move all the furniture away from the walls, take EVERYTHING off the walls, bring the HUGE keepers of ?? from the top of the cabinets down, and wait.  And wait.  And wait.
I still went up to school on those scheduled times.  I've copied and laminated new things for the walls.  I've sorted through stacks and stacks of library books and teacher books.  I should be more prepared for the start of my 23rd year than any other year. 
Just when I thought it was never going to happen, (and 2 days before I left for a week long family vacation) the painters arrived at school! My room is PAINTED! It's so clean and fresh and begging for awesomeness to be added to it's beautiful walls!
I got a text from my teaching bestie to let me know the painters were finished and that she and her husband had moved all the heavy furniture back in place!! That was priceless!!!!

Nope, that wasn't fun.

Aahhhhhhh! Furniture in place. Now for the fun part....... putting all the "stuff" away and making my classroom look amazing!

I organized my math stuff this summer so that it will be easier to use this year.  I made new labels for all of the boxes to help with keeping this an organized area.  I'll share when my room is complete!

We painted these large black rectangles in our classrooms a few years ago with a light brown frame.  I painted over the frame with black and added these super cute vinyl dots for fun! So in love with how it turned out!  This will be the parking spot for focus charts.

I also purchased new library baskets from Really Good Stuff and added new labels of course!
The blue is fiction and the green is nonfiction.  I used Avery labels to coordinate the book labels to the baskets for easy placement by students. (High hopes here!) Also, ordered a new rug from Ikea!

Made these cute superhero silhouettes! This was so easy and it is just the cutest touch! Thanks to  Pinterest and the links that brought me to The-Six-One-Two   for the idea that had me needing silhouettes everywhere! I made another one that is a different superhero but I haven't decided where it is going yet.  I have a feeling that I will make more too!

Painted some file cabinets and added chevron Contact paper to a few tables. Oh, and this table may  have been altered to allow electrical cords  to snake down the center through
a beautiful new access route.

I've never posted our schedule using this much space, but I love it! AND it will save me from having to leave this out for a sub! I made the "Our Day" heading with my Silhouette out of vinyl.  I also decided to move my classroom clock to a different location.  It will be by our schedule instead of above the board.

The new alphabet that I snagged from Mrs. Schroeder at Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd is back in place.

Oohh, and this beauty to help with number words from Amy Lemons !
 I've always had my number line above the board, but I just wasn't happy with it being too high for my students (and my short self!).  I decided to try it lower this year.

So this is the progress so far!  Hoping to have this space completely finished VERY soon!

I'll do a room tour before school starts in two weeks! (fingers crossed!)

Sunday, June 28, 2015


The 2nd challenge for the TPT sellers was to DREAM!  Well, just so happens, I'm good at that! While I have some pretty big dreams for all areas of my life, I decided to keep the dreams I have for my TPT store realistic so I could reach them and then expand!! I like setting goals for myself and my students that I see attainable to insure success and that feeling of accomplishment!  Don't get me wrong here.... I am not setting the bar so low that I can achieve them quickly.  I set them realistically so that I won't give up.

     My first goal on the challenge will mean a lot of hard work on my part!! I LOVE TPT products and have a hard time turning them down at times.  I want to create exciting practice for my students in my classroom and share it in my TPT store, so that means I will be spending quite a bit of time working.  In return, I hope to have a wealth of items for my students to use for individual practice, buddy work, and intervention time.  AND I will share with other teachers through TPT.  Hopefully, I can use all these new items to balance the amount of $$$ I spend on TPT .  I'm a strong believer in using something others have created if it fits the needs I have.  Why try to recreate it if someone else has already done the work and created a fantastic resource?!?!

     My second goal is to supplement our incomes for our household.  That's pretty self-explanatory!

     And the third goal that I chose, was to create and use tools that will help me reach ALL of my students!  I want the students to be excited to learn new things and see themselves succeeding in the classroom.  I want to engage my students to be active learners, not just fill in worksheets all the time!

     So, there you have it!  A look into why I chose the DREAMS I listed on this challenge.  I have enjoyed reading everyone's dreams this week.  I could relate to pretty much all of them!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Challenges of a Teacher in the Summer!

I've accepted the TPTSellerChallenge! I've been working this week to update products in my TPT store and WOW has it been fun!! As with everything I begin, I would get started on one thing and have to do another! My store is still a work in progress, but here's one product that received a facelift:

(It didn't even have a cover before! AND I had forgotten to even add it to my store last year after I made it for myself to use!)

Another (non related ) project I've been slowly working on,  is a headboard! I keep looking at all those  beautiful master suites on Pinterest and I'm determined to add to ours!  So, this week, I began!

Doesn't look like much yet, I know.  But it will be beautiful ;)

Also this week, our daughter had her second oral surgery.  She has been a trooper through all of it!
(I did take a picture of her before surgery, but she would die if I posted it!)

I've also been involved in a book study through our school system.  We read Transformational Literacy and watched the videos that came with the book.  It has been interesting to see how some educators use informational and fiction texts in their classroom to dig deeper in a standard to not only cover the requirements of the ELA CCRS, but also content areas.  It shows how educators are spending more time and their students are becoming experts with practice that matters to them! I love it when I get to see what is going on in other 2nd grade classrooms! I'll be in a 2 day workshop with other ELA teachers throughout our county!

Monday, October 6, 2014

I'm Still Here!

I know it's been like forever (a month) since I've taken the time to blog!
Life has been going on around my house and with that brings husband out of town, orthodontist appointments, sickness, and this big boy having his first birthday!


And the sickness part was me. On the day of the party. STREP!!
Oh, I went though.  Just had to stay clear of everyone, which is hard with a family as loving as mine!! We like to hug!
But it's all good now.... A shot and antibiotics and I am back!
And tomorrow, this big guy is officially a 1 year old!
Time flies!
Anyway, I did manage to work on my October pack for my
 literacy stations.  This pack follows the Storytown skills sequence since that is our adopted reading series.
I am soooo loving using it!! I used to just put the recording sheets at each station and HATED it!  Papers ev-er-y-where!! And no one knew they were suppose to take a recording sheet from THAT station!
The idea of making a station packet is genius.  So a BIG THANK YOU to the amazing teacher who first thought of it!!
And adding the checklist to the front
so that they can keep up with what they have completed is GOLDEN!
You can check it out on TPT ! Hope it helps someone else
 as much as it is helping me!

Friday, September 5, 2014

3 States of Matter Kind of Day!

     We've been studying the three states of matter this week.  We've read about it, talked about it, cut out pictures for good examples of each, and today we did an experiment!!  Who doesn't LOVE a science experiment that is edible?!?! Well, the kiddos were certainly excited enough about it even if we had some doubters that it would actually work!! One little smarty, in one of my teaching partners rooms, looked oh so sad as he said his liquid mixture in the baggy would never make ice cream!! 
 He was very happy to be wrong about this!! 

Two of our second grade classes did the experiment today and the other two plan to do it next week.  My friend and I used different recipes (and I am told her's was much better!) and the taste was different but other than that, both classes were successful!! 
We had never tried this before so we were a little anxious.  

Basically, you use your favorite ice cream recipe.  (We both used vanilla, but I'm sure you could branch out and try other flavors as well!) Fill a gallon size bag half way with ice and add about a half cup ice cream salt.  Put about a half cup of your ice ream mixture into a snack size bag and seal.  Then, put the small bag inside the larger bag and seal. Shake the big bag until the liquid is yummy ice cream. (We worked with a partner and put two bags in each gallon size bag. They each took turns shaking and it was more than enough fun for the both of them!)  It seriously took like 5 - 10 minutes and it was done!  Amazing!!!!

Mine needed more flavor according to Ms. White from FirstGradeBlueSkies.  I didn't taste it because I am trying very hard to stick to this Bodies for Believers diet plan.  One bite of an unapproved food and I would stop burning fat.  I plan to have some ice cream this weekend but wasn't willing to let this throw me off lol!  So next time, I will use more vanilla and more sugar!!  Live and learn!  My kiddos never complained!! They were amazed that they had made ice cream just by shaking their ice cream baggy inside a bigger bag of ice/salt combination. Wish I had taken more pictures, but when you are mixing and pouring and sealing bags while cleaning up spilled mixtures, you kinda have your hands full!  Loved it though and I WILL do this again!!! 

We took a liquid, surrounded it with cold air and ice, and made a solid!! Hoping that the cold air surrounding the liquid was the only gas involved!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Saw this Linky Party and had to join in!! I'm usually not much of a party person, but this one looks like fun and I sooooo need some fun right now!  I'm just getting into this whole blogging thing and I am learning so much from all these experts.  Thanks for the help you guys!
I am really wanting to get out there, so follow me!

I am in Alabama and we have had such a tough time with this heat and lack of rain! I'm talking 90 degrees and up!   So thankful for what we are getting right now! 
 Gonna sound awesome when I get to crawl into bed!
So, I'm on this Bodies for Believers diet plan and I am missing my beloved ice cream terribly!  But, Dannon has this yummy Greek yogurt that fits into the plan as a snack, so YUM!  I saw another teacher friend with some delicious key lime pie flavor in the Dannon Light & Fit
so I am on the search for it now!
I know it's just September, but I am really thinking if I start Christmas shopping now, I'll be able to find some great items that will make the perfect Christmas gifts!
 Love to buy gifts when I am not pressed for time!
Back to the diet thing, I do miss my Blue Bell ice cream!  This plan does allow for what they call cold days where you can enjoy some of the stuff you think you're missing.  I'm trying really hard to be strong and not have the allotted 2 days a week.  But I feel one coming on pretty soon! lol
We are having our 1st Annual Reading and Writing Fall Celebration  the week before Halloween that will include a super fun carnival and pumpkin patch!  I am beyond excited, but also a little anxious! I want to go ahead and order the prizes
so I know they will be here in time!
We took an amazing trip this summer.  We spent two weeks out west and had the best. time. ever.  But if I could jump on a plane tomorrow, the destination would be Hawaii!! 
Go on over and join the fun!
Thanks for stopping by!!