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?
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