Thursday, August 7, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Math Journals

It's Thursday, and I've had kids for 5 full days now!  I decided to do a little TBT post to my most popular MMI post.  I spent last weekend making my math journals for this year and I've actually added a cover for this year!  Enjoy!

It's Monday and the start of my first full week with kids!  It's time for another link up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics!

I always try to get a picture of each of my students on the first couple of days of school.  Well my camera has been MIA this week so I couldn't take my pictures last week.  I figured oh well, that gives me the weekend to make a cute picture frame for them to hold for their pictures. I'm sure we've all seen a variety of versions of the picture below floating around on Pinterest and other blogs.

Well since I missed the first day of school, I made my frame to just say 4th Grade. I have been trying to use things I have at home instead of always going and buying stuff. I took an old chalkboard with frame that we used for Christmas pictures a couple of years ago and decided it would work great for this project!

I took the chalkboard out and painted the frame to match my classroom.  Then I used my handy dandy Cricut to cut out the letters in teal vinyl.  They went on so easy and to keep everything in place I painted a thin coat of modge podge over the whole thing. Here is the final product!


Next, I have my math notebooks.  I started using interactive notebooks when I taught 3rd grade reading.  I really enjoyed using them and the kids did, too!  Last year I knew I wanted to use them again, but there had to be some changes made so that I could use them for math.  We didn't and still don't have a Common Core text book, so these notebooks take the place of a text book.  It was tax free weekend here, so I went and picked up some extra composition notebooks to get ready for the kids to make their interactive notebooks for this year.  I explored A LOT on the pros and cons of using spiral vs. composition notebooks.  I've always used composition notebooks in the past and decided to stick to it this year.

Here is how I put them together.  I use two notebooks, stapling the back cover of the first to the front cover of the second.Then I use Duck Tape to hold the two notebooks together.  My wonderful hubby usually helps me put all of these together! After the notebooks are put together, I glue a piece of ribbon in the back for the kids to use a bookmark.  This worked great last year.  I use a different colored ribbon for each class so I can easily identify where it goes if it gets left somewhere.

We will spend part of class this week decorating our notebooks.  I want the kids to feel like they are personalized to them.  I keep separate notebooks for each class because I model the notes and problems for each class.

One last MMI for this week is this little pillow!  I've had it for a couple of years and it didn't match my room any more.  I decided to get out the sewing machine and make a little cover for it to match the rest of my room!  I think it turned out so cute!




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tried It Tuesday: Blogging for Parents

I am trying hard to get back into the groove of blogging on a regular basis about the happenings in my classroom.

It's Tuesday, so I'm linking up with my BBB Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday.

This year, I've decided to try blogging for my parents.  Over the past couple of years of teaching fourth graders, I've had the tendency to put too much responsibility on my students.  I do think they need to be responsible, but I think there have been times that I haven't been as good about my expectations to parents as I am about communicating them to students.

This year, I am determined to be better about communicating with parents.  I used Remind 101, now just Remind some last year and really liked it.  I am planning on continuing to use it this year, but lots more.  One big difference in communication for me is that I set up a blog for my classroom, parents, and students.  My goal is take lots of pictures and post each day before I leave school.  I want to make sure that my parents know what we are doing in class and I will post links to the resources we used in class and pictures of our math journals so if a student is absent they will be able see what they missed easily.  I found Honey Bunch Blog Design this weekend to add a little pizazz to my new blog.

 I got a premade template for money purposes and they were able to install it the same night!  Talk about great customer service!  I love how it looks and it matches my classroom!

How do you communicate with parents?  Have you ever tried a blog before.  I'd love to hear any tips and/or tricks!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Made It: New Teacher Desk

I have been so busy lately getting ready for the start of school, which was last Friday, that I have gotten so very behind on my blogging!  I've missed getting to link up with Tara the last couple of weeks for Monday Made it, but that definitely doesn't mean I haven't been crafting and creating!

I decided at the end of last year that I wanted to get rid of my big clunky teacher desk.  I know lots of teachers who don't have a desk in their classroom at all, but I like having my own space.  I wanted an old small desk that I could paint and make cute to match my classroom.

I found my perfect "cute desk" at the "Junk Ranch" (basically a huge vintage craft show) for $100.  It was grey when I bought it and it sat in the garage most of the summer that color.  I didn't decide until about 2 weeks ago that I was going to do a complete overhaul on it!  I don't think I ever took a before picture, which makes me very sad :(

I painted the entire thing white (I'm loving the clean look of white lately) and was just going to paint the drawer pulls teal... then I saw this...
I fell in love and knew my little desk needed this addition!  Of course that meant more time painting and sealing, but I think it was worth it!  

What do you think?

My second MMI really goes to my hubby.  A couple of years ago, he decided to get rid of his own teacher desk and wanted a podium instead.  Our friend had all of the wood working tools needs, so one Saturday they built while the girls hung out at the pool.  He used it when he was in the classroom, but once he became an administrator, the little guy came to live in our house.  I wanted to paint it and take it to school with me, but that never happened until this past week!

Here is the best before I have. 
Isn't my little helper so cute!
I painted the whole thing and this is what it looks like now!

I think it turned out pretty cute!

Those are my two big projects that are finally completed and have a new home in my classroom.  Somehow, I think my garage is more full now thanks to some thrift store finds!

Make sure you check out what everyone has been making!



Sunday, August 3, 2014

Peek at My Week 8-4-14

Wow!  I can't believe it's already August!  I survived my first day of school on Friday.  I got to meet my 55 new 4th graders and I've got a great bunch!  I will be posting pictures of my classroom, soon, hopefully!

It's been quite a while since I linked up with Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for her weekly Peek At My Week linky party.  I'm happy to be organized enough this week to actually be able join!



This is my first full week with students.  We had a tease of a day on Friday so I am excited to get all of my routines and such set in place this week.

We are going to be setting up our math journals this week.  I spent a lot of time during my very short summer working on getting my math journal glossaries organized.  I'll be posting more about them soon.  We are going to set up the basics this week with our notebook rules, journal cover, and math glossary.

We only teach science and social studies every other semester.  We start off teaching geography the first quarter.  We use daily geography as our main social studies curriculum.

I am also sending home our technology polices and permission slips this week so we can start working on our laptops!  I learned so much last year, so I am ready to implement what I learned with my new group of kiddos!

What are your plans for the week?  How much summer do you have left or do you have kids like I do?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday: 7-18-14




I can't believe another week on my preciously short summer is over.  I tried to make the most of it, though and I love linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share my 5 random items from the week.



So last week I wrote about introducing my daughter to the beloved Disney Princess.  I'm thinking I might regret that decision as the first thing she does every morning is grab the remote and ask for "Belle". She also finds princesses at every store we go to.  
She also can do a little Ariel singing that is beyond precious.  I'm working on getting it on video.
Here she is at a party supply story in awe of all the princess items!



Another little girl moment... I took her to get her first real big girl haircut.  We went to a salon that works pretty exclusively with kids and they were awesome! 
She sat in the little fire engine seat and got about 2 inches cut off to give her a cute bob.
Here is the actual hair getting cut.

Here was our souvenir from her first hair cut.


She looks like she's three now!!!! 


Holy July Crazy Cool weather!!! 
These were our temps yesterday!  
If I didn't know any better, I'd swear it was October! We've had the air off and the windows open most nights this week.  Amazing but totally crazy!!!!  It won't last long as the temps are supposed to be up into the upper 90's next week!


I thought I'd report back in on our chore chart from last week.  
This was the chart my hubby made during a training almost two weeks ago.

I decided it needed an upgrade and some items added and deleted.  I made this, 

and I can just say that we are rocking the checkmarks!  For some reason, those checkmarks are big motivators for both of us and it is helping immensely with keeping our house picked up!


I got to meet up with Krissanna from Simply Secondary this week!

She was so sweet and cut out some vinyl for me so I could complete my eraser gumball machine! 
I love the sparkly letters!  They are so cute!
 Isn't she so sweet!  Driving 8 hours total just for me... well and some PD.  

Only one week left of summer!  I'm going to soak it up!
And try to beat my new top score!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It: New Lamp

I love Mondays during the summer and joining Tara's Monday Made It Linky Party!
I have some fun things to share this week, that I am very proud of!

 First off is the fruits or rather vegetables of my garden!!!
These are the onions and potatoes from one of our raised bed gardens!  These are the biggest onions we've been able to grow since we started gardening.  I love growing fresh food and being able to cook it fresh!  It's awesome!
 Next is another one of my projects that I thought wouldn't take that long... WRONG!!!
I had these two lamps that came with my classroom last year.

They have been sitting my craft room for the past two years waiting to be saved.  I did some pin-searching and found this.
click the picture for the link
I thought to myself, "I can do that no problem!"
I'm working on a plan for a craft room/office make over in what is now our guest room.  I decide to do grey, yellow, and blue as the colors and what better place to start a make-over than with a pair of lamps?!
First, I spray painted the bases grey (I had some paint left over the from the playhouse make-over) I picked out five different ribbons that were grey and yellow of some kind of varying width and pattern to use.
 I cut my ribbon and hot glued it together end to end.  Mind you, with an 18 month running around the house, this took me the better part of a week during nap times.

Then I started making a pattern with the different ribbons and building from the bottom up.
WOW!  Did this take a lot of ribbon!  I sat at my kitchen table for more than 2 hours gluing ribbons on the lampshade!
I kept adding rows until I got to the top of the shade.  Here is the finished product!


Now, my task is to go to Hobby Lobby tomorrow, buy more ribbon and finish the second lamp!

My last MMI for the week, may give away my "big project" if you've been following along lately.
I found 6 all wood chairs on Craigslist for $100.  We bought them from this little old 95 year lady who still lived on her own and grew her own garden.  She thought $100 was too much and I told her I wouldn't take them unless I paid that much.  
Before


Accent end chairs in Flamingo salmonish color

I did 4 of the 6 in white and love the clean look.

So that's what I've been up to this week!  I can't wait to check out what everyone has been making!

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