Monday, July 29, 2013

DIY Border

Tomorrow is the first day back for teachers. Student come next week so I guess I still have a little bit of "vacation" left. Today I want to share with you something that I came up with a couple weeks ago and that is DIY Borders!!

I was at home one day I just decided to run a strip of cardstock through my crimper and the rest is history. You can make any color imaginable (as long as you can find the paper. You could also print out a pattern and use the same technique).

I also wanted to share one more thing with you. I created these amazing stamps over at Vista Print. I caved and made a 2nd Grade Quality one. Maria from Kinder Craze had such a great tutorial on it that I decided to make one of my own.
I have a few more things coming in the mail from Vista Print today including a signature stamp and some magnets. I'm very excited!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Back to School Goals

I go back to work in exactly one week. Next week is just for teachers and I don't actually see kids until two weeks from now, but the time is approaching very quickly. I wanted to start thinking of the goals I want to set for myself, both professionally as well as personally. It's very easy to get caught up in "teacher  mode". You all know how it goes, come in to work early and stay late. Take work home and stay up until midnight getting ready for the next day. My main goal is to STAY BALANCED. This will be my reminder every day to balance out everything that goes on in my daily life. Of course I have broken my larger goal into smaller, more manageable goals.

Goal #1: Make a schedule and stick to it.
This goal can be used for everything. Mainly, it's for my time that I spend at school. I start at 7:00 and end at 3:00. That's it!! If I don't finish something, there's always tomorrow. I can always spend 5 more minutes on cleaning my room or make one more extra copy. Do you know how many times those 5 minutes have turned into a couple hours? Do you know how many times that extra copy ends up in a drawer that never gets used? I was so much happier when I came to school on time and left on time. I used my time that I did have at school more wisely and I was a happier teacher. Not to mention a happier person!!

Goal #2: Finish four masters classes this year.
I am currently getting my masters. I have been pursuing it for over a year now and I must say that at times it can be very stressful. My program is completely self paced so it allows me to focus on what is most important... teaching. Self paced has its pros and cons. The pros are that there are no due dates. The cons... no due dates. I often put all of my masters work off until the last minute and then rush to get it done on a "timeline" that I created. I like to set myself due dates to finish a class and when I don't finish it by then, I feel stressed. This school year I want to devote 30 minutes a day to school work. That way it's doable, but still not overwhelming.

Goal #3: Stay crafty.
I have had many hobbies in the past, but none have really stuck with me the way crafting has. I love being creative and learning new crafts. This year I plan on incorporating crafting more into my teaching. I have already done so in the past with craftivities for my kids, but I want to take it to the next level. I have always wanted to create a scrapbook of my teaching, but never knew what I wanted to do. I didn't want years and years worth of scrapbooks that would just sit on a shelf and never be looked at. I love documenting lessons or activities that I enjoy doing with my class. I think I'm going to try to make a scrapbook that reflects lessons I want to remember as well as special memories we had throughout the year. I think would also be nice to have a special area for completed scrapbooks that I can share with future students.

Those are just a few of my goals this school year. Of course there are many more, but these are just a few of my top three goals. I would love to hear what your goals for the school year are. Feel free to link up and share with all your bloggy readers as well. Maybe your goal will help someone else!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Monday Made-It {07.21.13}

Today's Monday Made it is just a small share of the few things I made this week. I go back in a little over a week. My summer is sadly coming to an end. I enjoyed relaxing and making things for my classroom. I know the school year will bring so many great things. Summer is not over and I will be back next week to share what I make for my classroom. But onto this week...

Item #1- Bathroom Sign
I am lucky to have a bathroom in my classroom that I share with the classroom next door. My lovely teaching partner came up with the idea of using magnets on the back of sticks for monitoring bathroom usage. At the beginning of the year students love going to the bathroom whenever they feel like it. You would think that having a bathroom in your room would provide very little disruptions. Well it seems to be the opposite. I think since the kids see the bathroom in the room, they want to visit it more. I also use the bathroom sticks, but they would always fall off the door frame if someone walked into them and bathroom sticks went flying. I decided I needed something a little more practical. I created this hanging sign. It's just a magnetic whiteboard that I decorated. Very simple and hopefully it will cut down on the sticks being bumped into and flying everywhere!!

Item #2- Cheers
It seems like everyone is all about cheers in their classroom. I love celebrating moments with my children and sometimes it's hard to come up with something on the spot. I'm sure that these cheers will come in handy this year. You can get your own copy of these cheers HERE. You can print them full page or smaller. I choose to print the smaller ones so they are a little more portable. I can take them onto the carpet, in line, or even outside!!

Item #3- Rules
Last year I used the Whole Brain Teaching rules in my classroom. We went over them every morning and my students knew them, but we didn't always use them. I was pretty fortunate to have a pretty good class last year. Even though most of the time they followed the rules, I still didn't feel like those rules reflected what I expected of my students. This year I am using a new set of rules. You can find a copy of them HERE. It's great because you can use the rules that are already created or edit them to fit the needs of your classroom.

Item #4- Clock Labels
I have seen so many different clock labels out there and for the last few years I have been using post-it notes as my labels. I decided to step it up a notch and create my own this year. They are using my new forest theme. Now all I have to do is buy a new clock that has a silent tick. :-)
You can get a copy of your own labels HERE for free.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Parent Communication

This year I want to focus of parent communication. I work at a school where most of my parents speak Spanish so many times I am not able to communicate exactly what I want, whenever I want. that doesn't mean that I can't make a better effort not to communicate. I am all about technology and I can see that whenever I see parents or siblings, they always have their phones with them... don't we all? :-)

I came across this website:

It's an easy way for parents to get text message updates from you without giving them your phone number. You know that we all send out important reminders with students only to find it fall out of their backpacks a month later. With this website, you can also send a text reminder. That way you know parents will receive it. The best part is that they can choose to sign up or not. This website has a great flyer that you can print out for Open House or add in a newsletter. That way they can choose to be alerted or not. I also believe that they have an opportunity to sign up for email updates as well.

I forgot to mention another great option. There is a free app that you can download. That way you can create updates straight from your phone. If that doesn't make it even better, how about this... You can schedule reminders. I already have my first reminder scheduled for the day before the first day of school. Just a friendly little reminder about what time school starts and another one about school supplies. If hope you find this website/app useful this year. I'm going to use it sparingly so I don't annoy any subscribers. I am really excited to try it out this year. Let me know if you have ever used this in your classroom and how it works. Or if you plan on using it this year.

Another way That I plan on communicating with parents this year is through a classroom website.

Blogger is a great way to share information with other teachers so I decided to use it with my parents. This will be a great place to share what we are doing daily. I will be able to post pictures, videos, and even have my students write their own blog posts. I have tried a class newsletter, which I still plan on doing with larger updates. This is just a great way to add a little extra. Again, parents choose to look at it whenever they want, so it's convenient for them.

What are some ways you are preparing to communicate with your parents this year?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Made-It

Good morning all and I'm finally back for another Monday Made-It. This week I am formatting my post a little differently. Usually I create stuff throughout the week and then I just cram it all into one post. Unfortunately, I am not able to go into great detail on every project. So I have decided to create separate posts on each project and then give a brief description on my Monday Made-It post.

Project #1
I created these notebooks for my students this year. Perfect for using more than one subject in each notebook. you can find the link to the post HERE.

Project #2
I finally jumped on the bandwagon and made myself a teacher toolbox. You can find the link to the post HEREIf you would like a copy of your own, please visit my TPT store HERE.
**I have two different files available for purchase. One is premade labels and the other is customizable**

Giveaway Time
I am giving away two of my Forest Themed Teacher Toolbox Labels. If you win, you get a chance to pick form the premade labels or the customizable labels. Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Teacher Toolbox

With all of these teacher toolboxes floating around on Pinterest, it's hard to really know who started it all. If any of you know who the original creator of the teacher toolbox is, please let me know so I can give proper credit. With that said, I've seen the teacher toolbox floating around the internet and decided it was time to make one. I am constantly searching around my classroom, looking for little odds-and-ends that are no where to be found. I love the fact that now, they will all be in one place. 

This year I am trying to create a theme for my classroom. It started with a rug that I have in my room and then it branched out into a color scheme. I was pretty sure that I was just going to stick to colors and not a full out theme, but I kind of started leaning toward a forest/woodland theme. I have always wanted a nature theme in my room, so I guess this theme was just perfect for me.

If you would like a copy of your own, please visit my TPT store HERE.

**I have two different files available for purchase. One is premade labels and the other is customizable**

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Custom Notebooks

 Last year I bought these composition books with the intentions of using them. I knew that I wanted to use them for reading, science, and social studies, but I never knew how to put all three subjects in one notebook. Last year my teaching buddy and BFF added tabs to her notebooks and I thought it was a great idea. She was able to use the notebooks all year. I meant to do it last year, but the time got away from me. I was determined to make time for it this summer.

I love the composition books because they are more sturdy than to spiral notebooks. Spiral notebooks get destroyed and eventually pages are torn and lost. Not to mention the wire starts to get messed up and pokes a student!! To create the tabs I just used a SU! label punch. You can get a newer addition HERE. I am extremely excited to start using these notebooks in my class this year and I already have so many ideas!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Classroom Numbers

It's officially July and that means that school starts in a month. I posted a few projects last week that I wanted to work on. The first one was creating some sort of way to display my students' work. Last year I had picture frames for each student. I loved them, but it was such a hassle trying to change them out. I've decided to go with clothes pins. I've used clothes pins in the past, but I wanted something a little more personal, but yet something I wouldn't have to recreate every time I got a new student or from year to year.

I've created a free file for your to download if you'd like. Just click the image...
If you don't have a TPT account, you can also grab your copy HERE.

I am linking up over at Monday Made-It for the first time since last summer. Off to a great start already!!