Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crazy Day

This was one insane day! Our fire alarm went off during specials along with the announcement that this was NOT a drill. Of course, we were all wondering what was going on but my daughter and I helped the other kids out since ours were across campus. When they started closing the gate we knew something was up. We ended up standing out in the hot Florida sun for about 20 minutes, thank goodness I had taken my water bottle with me when I left. We did manage to move the kids to shade while we waited for the fire dept. Turned out to be a short in the wiring panel in the building with the AC chiller. Then as I was getting to the cafeteria door the alarm went off again. Another 20 minutes waiting in the parking lot while the fire dept arrived and checked it all out. Finally a quick lunch, a little playground and then I was off to a 2 hour training while a sub took over my class. Let me just clarify that it was the whole grade level that went to the training. Luckily, I have done enough routines and procedures that my kids handled it pretty well. Maybe tomorrow will be a little more calm. One can only hope...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ready or Not Here We Go!

Well, I went back a couple weeks ago and this is the first chance I have had to post about it. I missed out on the last one or two Monday Made Its even though I had been very busy. Last week I was my youngest daughter's 16th birthday but it was also Open House at my school. To make up for it I made her cupcakes, chocolate with peanut butter frosting. Sorry I don't have any pictures, my family couldn't wait to dive in. Needless to say, my daughter wasn't upset with me for having to work at all. In fact the whole family joined me in greeting my new families as well as visiting with my past students and their families.

Thanks to Tara for her Monday Made Its for keeping me on track and getting things done. It certainly helped me get things ready for my room. This week my first Made it is my classroom. When I walked into my classroom a couple weeks ago this is what greeted me. (Well this and the electrician rewiring the light in the ceiling.)

Doesn't look too bad until you look in the closets where I had to shove store everything.
Well there is an upside to all of this, my oldest daughter has been a HUGE help to me. She starts college in a couple weeks as an education major so she might as well get the hang of it besides she has grown up in my classroom so this is nothing new to her.

Finally, almost everything is in place. I made a new alphabet to go with my movie theme. I wish I had made the letters bigger but it will have to do for now. Maybe next year I'll make it bigger.

Guess I'll have to post some close ups later. But before I end this very long post let me just post one of my Monday Made Its that I did take a picture of. I finally got my toolbox labels in my box since it was buried in the closet all summer.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It

I'm linking up with Tara again at 4th Grade Frolics. This week I was hoping to get my main project done but so far it's on hold until hubby can get his chop saw from our Pastor's house. In the meantime, I have been working tirelessly on my computer making new things. I made a movie film graphic that I am really enjoying, in fact I am using it to start a new blog. So there's my first creation, my new blog which is geared for Kindergarten. I just felt that this blog was going nowhere and I needed a new start and vision so hopefully, you will all head over there and follow me. It's a work in progress but I'm trying to make it completely me so it will evolve as I learn to make more graphics. Since my classroom has a Hollywood theme, I thought it would be fun to call it Hooray for Kindergarten. On the Hollywood theme I have also made schedule cards. Wish that I could share them with you but since I don't have the rights to distribute Thistle Girl (yet) I am unable. But this is what they look like.

That's all for this blog. The remaining projects will have to be shared on my new blog later. I'm heading into my classroom tomorrow so I will have to finish tomorrow afternoon (hopefully).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another Creation

Well this is my second post this week for Monday Made It but that's just goes to show how much fun it can be. So I've been bitten by the creativity bug. My wonderful hubby bought me a Bamboo for Christmas so I could make graphics. I've just now gotten around to learning how to use it with my oldest daughter's help of course. I have been wanting to get a new Word Wall with my Hollywood theme but can never find one I like so I made my own. I'm offering it for free in my TPT store. I'm having fun making things and if others want them then I am happy to share. Hope at least one of you can use this.

Now, what to make

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Made It and a Freebie

After finally linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics last week for her Monday Made It, I got so excited that I started right in on this weeks projects. I was hoping to have 3 done but with all the rain we have been getting here in Southwest Florida it's been difficult to get outside to paint or build so one project is on hold until next week (I hope).

My first project I found on Pinterest (doesn't Carly at First Grade Fabulosity posted this adorable mini pocket chart stand.
I decided to modify it so that I could put 4 of the mini pocket charts from Target's Dollar spot that I got last year to use as a station either on a table or on the floor. This is how mine turned out minus the charts since they are locked away in my closet at school.

I hope this next week I will finally be able to get my keys back and hopefully change classrooms (God willing). The room I want to move into is made for Kindergarten but has been a 1st grade room. The counters and chalkboards are lower and there is an extra closet and let's face it Kindergarten needs LOTS of storage!

My other project I came up with as I was thinking about new ideas for my reading centers. I always teach my kids to stretch the words and then write down the sounds they hear so I came up with the Stretch a Word activity. Kids stretch the word and move the rubber band (or string) to the next brad for each sound. They hook the band on the brad with the final number of sounds (ex: if the word has 3 sounds they hook it on the #3 brad). Next they either write each sound with dry erase or use letter tiles or letters in each box to represent that sound. Finally they write the word all together on the bottom line.

You may need to secure the board to something stiff as it does tend to curl the board for longer words, either that or get longer rubber bands. I'm attaching the boards as a freebie. Click here to go to my brand new store at TPT. This would be a great activity with picture cards or objects.

Since I opened at TPT store, I also decided to add the All Star Writing posters that I had in my Made It Monday post last week. I noticed that it had been pinned a couple times which excited me to no end. lol I had to change the graphics since I do not have a Thistle Girl reseller's license so it's a little generic.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks to Ms. Kidd at Hanging Out in Third Grade for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award. This being my first award I wasn't entirely sure how it worked but she explained it beautifully in her blog.
1. Thanks the person that nominated you- check
2. Include a link back to their site- check
3. Include the image of the award.- check

4.Give 7 random facts about yourself. - check
*When I was in college I kept telling my professors I was going to be a kindergarten teacher and I have been for 15 years (plus 4 years of PreK).
*I love creating things on the computer and wish I could making educational video games.
*I am very active in my church working with the high school youth.
*I have developed a love for cuban food over the years thanks to my hubby.
*I have 2 daughters and 2 step sons from ages 15 (almost 16) to 20.
*I have tons of scrapbooking stuff even though I no longer scrapbook but it does get used on other projects thanks to blogging and Pinterest.
*My husband is truly my best friend and I thank God for him everyday.

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award.- check
Mrs.Cobb's Kinder Sprouts

Time 4 Kindergarten

Teaching Madness

4th Grade Frolics

Heather's First Grade Heart

Kinder Kraziness

Little Treasures

Mrs. Hoffer's Spot

Today in First Grade

What I Learned in Kindergarten

Kinders on the Block

Kinder Gals

Read Write Sing


Pencils Glue and Tying Shoes

6. You need to link to their sites- check
7. Finally you need to let them know- That will be my next step now that I finally finished everything else. :-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Well, it finally happened, I got motivated. After joining Tara's Made it Monday linky party (see previous post), the juices started flowing. I may be making my hubby nervous but he's such a good sport he just ends up egging me on or making things better than I planned. It helps that he is a carpenter turned computer tech for the school system so he totally gets it. Some of my current projects are things I saw on Pinterest and am modifying for my personal use and then I have one that is a totally original idea and will hopefully turn out so that I can share it with others. :-) Can't wait to finish all these projects and share them on Monday.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Getting Stuff Done

I am finally linking up with my friend Tara at 4th Grade Frolics. I have been working on a few things but just hadn't had time to finish them up and take pictures. After looking at everyone else's wonderful creations, I decided I had better get my rear in gear. A couple of weeks ago someone had made a teacher binder (forgive me I don't remember who did it first) and thought, "now that's what I need, one spot for everything." I have a separate binder for my lesson plans but this one will hold everything else that I need to keep track of daily. Since the very first section is the calendar section, I also created a monthly calendar for the next school year to also help keep me on track. (I see a pattern here...hmmm.)

My last project this week is also going to serve as my writing rubric. I had seen signs similar to these on Pinterest but was unable to download them and then I realized that I wanted to make them more me and add to it. Can't wait to see what I can come up with next week.

On a different note, we just came back from Key West on Saturday but while we were down there we found a new place to explore. The Key West Toy Store is down by Mallory Square. It's upstairs in this little brick mall-like building right on the waterfront. After all these years we finally ventured up there and now I wonder why I never went before. It is seriously this magically wonderful place. Now mind you, I didn't buy anything cuz it's all overpriced but they did have some very cool things I've never seen before.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Key West!

Well, here I sit in paradise. I know, it's a tough job. lol We usually come down every summer for 3 or 4 days since we have a time share. I like to split it up between Key West and Bonita Springs but this summer I couldn't get into Bonita Springs so we are here for the whole week. My hubby was born and raised here so we don't consider ourselves tourists but visitors. We don't do the touristy things really other than walk down Duval. Our favorite places are 5 Brothers which is a little corner store on the corner of Grinnell and Southard St. which has THE best cafe con leche and breakfast sandwiches. We also love El Siboney which is a little mom and pop type cuban restaurant with food like my husband's grandmother use to make. We always get it to go though because 2 entrees will feed 4-6 of us with leftovers. Our final must go spot in the Kino Sandal factory in the Kino Plaza one block off Duval. We LOVE their handmade sandals and look forward to the new colors available every year. The past 2 years we have gone snorkeling at Ft. Zachary Taylor which is kind of like a hidden treasure. Sadly, I'm looking forward to getting home and making some new things for school. I know, I'm sick. Well, hopefully my next post will be showing some of the new treasures I have made.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Slacking But Still Busy

I feel like such a slacker. I don't keep up with my blogging and I've done little to nothing school related. Well, I guess that's not entirely true, I have downloaded and created a few thing for school. My friend, Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics has been hosting a Made It Monday linky party every week. I stalk her page and look at all the cool stuff people are making. Now mind you I do get some great ideas and make notes but that's about it. I guess part of this goes back to last summer. Last summer I started blogging as soon as school got out. I downloaded, shopped at any Target Dollar spot I could find, made stuff, and planned all summer long so that by the time school started I was pretty much burned out and none of it seemed to happen. I don't want that to happen this year so I'm taking it slow.

Last week, we were dealing with my father in law passing away. He has been sick for years and about 7 months ago Hospice took over because the VA said he had 6 months left and there was nothing they could do for him. Well he made it longer than they said and went peacefully in his sleep. So last week we were working on making things for his Celebration of Life. One lesson I took from all this is that now days you can't even afford to die. I was just shocked at the cost of everything! He was a veteran and the VA will pay for the brass casket, burial in the military cemetery and the headstone or marker but will NOT pay for cremation. You would think they would like the lower cost but I guess it's cheaper to say no. Sadly enough, my nieces who were very close to their grandfather had lost their father just 11 days earlier.

On a lighter note, we head to Key West on Sunday for a week. My house/dog sitter will be here taking care of everything. Hopefully this tropical storm will have moved far, far away and she doesn't have any friends nearby. My hubby grew up in Key West so it's always like going home. While most people go for the fishing, bars, night life...we go for the cuban food (El Siboney), cuban coffee (5 Brothers) and cuban made sandals (Kinos). Last year we were picking spanish limes and avocados out of a friend's yard. We are definitely not your typical tourists and spend very little time on Duval Street. Maybe I'll be inspired to do something after we come back since my daughters will be at camp.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Long Gap

Well, a friend just asked if I still had my blog. I told her yes but hadn't posted in awhile. Imagine my surprise when I realize that my last post was in September. This was a very rough year for me and it seemed like everything just got away from me. I became a co-teach this year and I have to say that was the biggest mistake ever. There are too many reasons as to why it didn't work for me but that's not to say that it won't work for others. Anyway, since we could have up to 36 kids (in one room!) we got all the move ins and then they added 4 first graders to the mix. Needless to say I was chin deep in the RTI process for about half my class and getting nowhere fast. Relief slowly came throughout the year and I ended up with 18 kids by March. You would think with 2 teachers it would relieve some stress but it didn't. Now I'm looking forward to a fresh new start next year and getting off on a new foot with all new administration. Yup, our teacher appreciation gifts this year were learning that we were losing our Principal and then 2 days later finding out they were moving our AP with him. So in the fall we will have new administration and a new Lead Teacher. It will all be fine (I hope). So, 2 weeks into summer vacation, I've done some much needed cleaning and trying to make plans for next year's room. I got a Bamboo for Christmas so my goal is to learn how to use it and start making my own graphics. I can't wait! My daughter got certified in Photoshop this year before she graduated from high school so she can help me too. Now to just get back into the habit of blogging more regularly instead of just stalking everyone else's blogs. lol