Sunday, July 31, 2011

Looking Forward to a New Class :-)

Wordle: 2011-2012 Chappell Class List

Evolution of the Classroom Part V

Got a lot accomplished today with Jeff and Lacie's help.  I am now totally moved out of my old classrom (bittersweet).  My curtains are hung.  My computers are all in one place.  I have seven (I think) completed crate seats in their spots.  Some desks are moved in.  All the trash has been put in the dumpster.  Things are shaping up.  I took a few photos of the hard-working crew today.  Notice how hard they're working?  They really did work hard.  They're exhausted.

The computer center.  Notice my lovely curtains?

I decided to give myself a little "street cred" this year.  I hauled in the diplomas from home and hung them on the new "closet" wall.  This wall just needed something.  I think they look nice. :-)

Lacie is working on removing an old number line sticker from the desktop. I really think she just wanted an excuse to sit down for a minute.  

Jeffrey is taking an OSHA break.  He stated they were clearly defined in his contract and I must comply with regulations by allowing breaks.  Seriously?

The "counting bug" hunt is on.  I had been thinking I would used these counting bugs (from my FIRST year of teaching Kindergarten) in my room this year since I'm math-focused.  I finally found where I put them in storage and guess what?  You guessed it.....I only have up to 17.  Now, I can't find them in-stock on any website.  Sooo, if you have had these in the past....I'm in the market.  :-)

Blooming Instructions - Paperwhite Pom-Poms-

I have had a couple people ask me about the "polka dots" that I made for the room.  I would make a terrible mess out of trying to explain how to make them so I'm embedding video.  This is the process.  I bought the colored tissue pack from Wal-Mart and used floral wire to make the hangers on mine.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Evolution of the Classroom Part IV

Today was a very productive day.  I took the crates, the fabric, the foam, the plywood to the mom and Alan's house.  A few hours in the Garage Mahal, yielded 7 completed crate seats, all the fabric cut, all the foam cut and all the plywood cut.  YaY!!  I ended up alternating the patterns on the seats.  My plan is to make a semicircle around the perimeter of my gathering area carpet so the students can sit off the floor and have a place to store their dry erase boards/markers.  So, what do yall think?  I'm pleased :-)

Alan made quick work of cutting all the plywood seats with his huge table saw.  It would have taken us a year to cut these with the Skil saw at our house. 

Turbo Dog found all the work going on to be VERY interesting.  This is her playing the part of "supervisor".

voilà !  The finished product.  I'm very pleased.

Cleaning Through the Forms....some printables to share :-)

I am cleaning up a few file folders on my computer tonight and I thought I’d share some that might be helpful to some of you as school begins again.  Enjoy!  All of these 
were created by me, some out of necessity and some out of inspiration from others.

Miscue Analysis

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Evolution of a Classroom Part III

The next project is to make the milk crate seats to go around the frog and lilly pad pond.  It's a little more ambitious than I thought it was going to be so here goes!  Mateirals needed:

Black (or any color to match material) Filing Crate:
Medium Density Fiber Board (Plywood) cut to fit down into the inside lip of the crate. *Home Depot will cut these to size for you but be sure you bring in the crate for exact measure.

Then you will need a good amount of foam (memory foam works too).  This is the most expensive part of the project.  Cut these into rectangles big enough to cover the plywood and spray with adhesive to secure the foam to the plywood.  

After securing foam, cover form with matherial and gather around tightly around the corners.  Secure corner with a utility staple gun.  Make sure to wrap tightly.  

You can then add a loop of ribbon to allow for easy removal of the seat cusion so children can store white boards, notebooks and markers/erasers for active participation lessons.  

Final project:  (NOT my project but for inspiration.....)

I finished one valence! Yay!  Now back to Hobby Lobby because I wasn’t smart enough to figure the correct amount of fabric the first time.  Sewing is NOT my thing!  That’s why I do magic tape and knot tying.  Now, on to making the crate seats for around my Smartboard.  The money is flying out of my checkbook this month!

I also made tissue paper "polka dots" to hang from my ceiling.  Not 100% committed to this idea yet, we'll just have to see.  Hopefully, it won't be too much color.  

My Curtains

So, this afternoon I plan to finish my curtains that I've been working on for my room. The windows are now covered in a white sheer (which I love).  I was inspired by this picture from Pottery Barn.

The plan is to use the white fabric and alternate it with solid color fabrics in the same colors as the Eric Carle fabric (which pulled up by U.P.S. as I type!).  

I will post pictures of the final product tonight (hopefully)!  

So excited!  Today, I went with Ms. Bradford and Ms. Head to Hoover for a Smartboard presentation.  It is a-maz-ing what you can do with a Smartboard!  I’m very, very excited that I have one in my room to use this year.  I am thinking that I can replace pretty much all of my calendar math things and completely use the Smartboard now! Here are some pictures from the training

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Accomplishment for the Day

I went by school today before dance practice with Lacie and we managed to get the border up on the front bulletin board.  I’m using the Eric Carle polka dots and I must sayI love, love, love it.  So, today was a little bit productive. 

Goodbye to the old classroom

The old classroom is (almost) completely moved out so I thought I’d pay my respects to the little room that served me and my students for many years.  I’m posting a few pictures of the old room and her many different “faces” throughout the years.   

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Little Bit Stressed :-/

Well, I’ve been a little bit stressed out lately with school.  Normally, I’m putting the finishing touches on my classroom.  Not this year!  We have been under construction since April with new air conditioning/heat units.  They are STILL working.  We also decided to move classrooms this year.  Little did we know that construction would still be happening in July!  I’ve been very excited about changing rooms.  I had been in my 2nd grade room since 1999.  It was time for a change.  The room I’m moving to happens to have belonged to one of the most inspirational teachers I’ve ever known.  She amazes me.  I am hoping some of that talent of hers rubbed off on the room.  One can hope? 
Anyway, to make a long story shortthe school is in a mess.  Everyone is praying the construction workers will leave soon and we can reclaim our building.  Apparently, school will not wait and August is approaching very quickly.  This is the extent of the work I’ve managed to accomplish so far.  It was by lots of sweat, Advil, volunteers and my amazing principal that my belongings were moved from upstairs to the new 2nd grade wing.  Now, to spend the next 2 weeks setting up, decorating, filing, organizing, sorting, and sprucing.  If you need me, I WILL be at work everyday.most likely.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Font Love

I am totally addicted to fonts! I always wondered how people got those cute fonts on their blogs and printables. I found fonts online but I never could figure out how to use them. Finally! I watched a tutorial and figured it out this summer. Now, I think I've collected 100s of fonts and have been using them nonstop. Here are some great places for getting free fonts. :-)

Fan of! Free Fonts. Recipes. Scrapbooking. Photography. Blog Design. Tutorials. Giveaway. Everything you're into!

Sugar Frog Fonts

Since all I do is work....

Ok, pretty much my entire summer has been devoted to work. I went on one tiny vacation with my Jenni, Lacie and Baylee but that's it! I really haven't had a lot to blog about. I do have a lot of work still to do and hoped I'd be farther along than I am. Anyway, I thought I'd post a few pics of the kids since they are they ones who have been having all the fun this summer. They've been mud riding twice and today Kyle's mom posted some pretty cute pictures of them. So, thought I'd share. ;-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mrs. Runde's Linky Party

Mrs Runde is having a linky party about favorite books.  I thought I'd join.  I like to talk about books :-).
Classroom Favorites:
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

Chester's Way
Little House in the Big Woods
Charlotte's Web
The Giving Tree
The Cricket in Times Square
Horton Hatches the Egg
The Two Bobbies
Hooway for Wodney Wat
Miracles on Maple Hill 
Junie B. Jones: A Peep in My Pocket
The Butter Battle Book
Julius, the Baby of the World
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
A Weekend With Wendell
Reading to My Own Child Favorites:
The Cricket in Times Square
Mr. Putter and Tabby
Junie B. Jones
Magic Treehouse
Professional Favorites:
The Daily Five by "The Sisters"

The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey
Guilty Pleasure Favorites:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

10 Things About Me ~ Linky Party

10 Things About Me

Ok, all my blog friends.  Let's try our hand at a linky party.  This is kinda fun!  Go to your blog, create a new post titled 10 Things About Me.  In that post, list 10 things people may or may not know about you.  When you are finished, you can link your page back to my post and the original posters linky party by clicking the link at the end of this post.  It should be fun!  Enjoy!  Remember, please link the page with the post on it, not you "home" page of your blog.  When someone clicks your link, it should go directly to your 10 things post.

10 Things to Know About Me
1. I am my daughter's biggest fan.  I LOVE my baby girl!
2. I love to raise chickens.  I know, some disapprove.  I love them however.
3. I was born in Key West, FL.  I'm as "southern" as a girl gets.
4. I have a fish phobia.  I am drawn to look at them but they better not touch me!
5. I do not eat meat.  Well, sorta.  I eat pepperoni and crispy (very) bacon.  In limited quantities.
6. I am an independent consultant for Gold Canyon Candles.  I believe they are the best!
7. I love the Crimson Tide.
8. I am inspired by Helen Keller.
9. I do own the best dog in the world.  Her name is Scout and she's precious!
10. I am very loyal to my friends.  I take loyalty seriously.  I don't trust easily but once I do, you're in.

Now it's your turn! Be sure to link up with Rachel at Go Fourth! with Mrs. Owens

Monday, July 4, 2011

Let's Have a Linky Party!!!

Topic:  What Are Your Favorite Teaching Tools, Management Idea or Organizational Tool?

I'll start, of course.

1.  My Elmo Projector:

 I don't know how I taught before it.  It is incredibly handy and solves that problem of the whole class not being able to see at one time.  It is also very beneficial for helping young learners stay on track with their work or in their books without you having to move around the room as much.  I can honestly say I use this tool every single day.  The kids can see it easily.  The projection is in COLOR, and it takes up less room that the traditional overhead projector.
2.  Pocket Charts:
Let's just be honest, I am addicted to pocket charts.  They do so much!  My favorite might just be my pocket chart calendar.  I use pocket charts to hold just about everything.  I use them for graphing, for center management, for displaying spelling/vocabulary/math facts.  I use them to display classroom learning objectives.  I wish I had invented them!  If you buy quality ones, they last forever.  They can be used in centers.  They can be used for whole group instruction.  They can be used for anchor charts to be left up for a period of time in the classroom.  <3 <3 <3

3. The Classroom Library:

After many years of organizing in many different ways and with many different methods, this is what I like best.  We us Accelerated Reader in our school.  So, I through out all other methods of sorting books.  I strictly go by reading level.  I also color code according to the color code our librarian uses and voila!  The kids already know the color levels by the time they get to 2nd grade.  I store the white plastic bins (from Walmart) on white plastic shelving untis (also Walmart) and label the front of each tub with a color-coded label.  I also use sticky dots to mark each book and write in the R.L. and quiz number (no more searching titles on AR).  

4.  Sharpie Flip Chart Markers
I love that they don't bleed through the paper! The colors are bright and the ink doesn't dry out too quickly.  <3 them.  I like the bullet tips on them as opposed to the chisel tip.   

5.  Retractable, Erasable Marking Highlighters by Pilot FriXion.  How cool is it that we can now erase previously highlighted areas in our documents and text.  This is long overdue in my opinion.  

6.  I am also in love with these adorable milk crate seats that offer storage underneath them.   Who was the genius who came up with this plan?  I intend to use these at my small group table this year.  Can't wait!  

My Favorite Classroom Reads