Sunday, September 8, 2013

At Least It's Still September? Currently...

Well...I'm a week late - but better late than never! I had to force myself to get distracted from work to bring you my September Currently for Farley's Linky!

Listening: I LOOOOOOVE that Football Season is BACK! Watching football all day on Sunday is my idea of a funday!! I have 2 Fantasy Leagues going, so needless to say I may have to change my plan day so it doesn't get in the way of my football - Go Bears!

Loving: Well I've been in school for 3.5 weeks but I still have more to do in my classroom! It is coming along and I get TONS of compliments from my co-workers, but to me there is always more! I have a lot to hang up tomorrow before getting observed on Tuesday! I promise a classroom tour ASAP!

Thinking:  Let's just say I have finally procrastinated enough to where I will not get a lot of sleep (plus the copier hates me)

Wanting: I'm doing interactive notebooks with all of my groups and I want to get to the fun part of my job of coloring, decorating, and completing the example pages!

Needing: My to-do list is miles long...but for tomorrow I HAVE to finish my pre-conference form since it is tomorrow morning at 7:45, I HAVE to finish my lesson plans because they are due at 8 AM, I HAVE to sort the papers so that I know which I need for my lessons this week, etc. etc.

<3: I never take enough time to myself and then everyone worries about me at work, and apparently I get crabby...huh who would've thought?  SO I am going to make it my job this month (as a kick start) to take care of me! I think that will come easier when I finally feel settled in my classroom and caught up with my work...

1. I go to the gym every other week to meet with my personal trainer, and I'll sporadically go before work in the morning, but I want to make it a habit to go 3-4 days a week from now on - I pay for it so I want to make it worth it!

2. Let's just say I can't find my floor in my bedroom, and I'm pretty sure it's time to toss some shower gels!  lol I've been sooooo focused on school that my home life is SCARY!!! Time to take care of that!

3. Now that I am done paying for my master's program in various ways, I want to set up a budget and stick to it so that I can pay off some of this credit card debt and move on to tackling other debt!

4. There are so many books I want to read, and I want to study for my certification tests, and I want to get to the gym more, and I want to do things for fun! BUT I never take time to myself - I always feel like there is SOMETHING I should be working on.  However, from now on I will find at least one night if not more to dedicate to myself and what I WANT to do...not what I HAVE to do or THINK I HAVE to do...This will be a challenge!

What are you Currently doing?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Back from Being MIA: Classroom Under Construction - 1st Full Day in the Room

Well I've been MIA for a few weeks for a good reason...I was wrapping up my Master's in Educational Leadership including finishing my Internship Portfolio! I am proudly a Graduate!

So now that my Master's is completely finished, I finally had time to get into my classroom for more than 2 hours this summer...I logged 7 hours today (with distractions of catching up with other teachers) and now my classroom is officially under construction! I moved rooms this year (as pictures in previous posts have definitely showed lol), and have to get my room done by Wednesday because that's when the kiddos arrive! The time crunch is definitely there because Monday and Tuesday we have in-service meetings until 1 PM each day (However, I refuse to go in over the weekend - it is my LAST free weekend!) Here are the construction pictures as I like to call them!

 This is part of the area behind my desk...all the books and binders on the 2nd shelf will be moving (along with all the non-green binders) because I feel like they are just sticking out like a sore thumb!

 Another angle of behind my desk...I LOVE my tissue paper pom-poms!

This is the front - I have a cute idea to make my desk look "pretty" - can't wait to share it with you!

 I'm working on covering this BEAUTIFUL brown closet in my room (but my ADHD was in overdrive today while working so it didn't get finished lol).  It already looks better even with just one door done!  Wrapping paper is magical!

 This is what is done so far with the classroom library area...the basket labels are going to get changed out and I have to bring in the rest of the baskets that I spray painted still for the other levels.

This is my create-a-bulletin board to cover up this boring blank wall.  It's going to be my Word Wall. (Fabric and Borders do WONDERS!)

And this is the one bulletin board that I got completely finished today - others got fabric put on, but mainly today I worked on trying to unpack things and find space for them!

Definitely still a long way to go, but still not going in this weekend - instead I brought things home to do!  Can't wait to show you the finished room! How is your room coming along?

Friday, August 2, 2013

August Currently...SeRiOuSlY?!?!

It's August Already - SAY IT AIN'T SO!!! AHHHHHH....ok freak out over...for now :)

Since it is now August, it is time to link up with Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for the monthly Currently Linky!

Listening: The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my ALL TIME favorite novels! So naturally....I had to buy the movie when it came out, and while the book is ALWAYS better than the movie, the movie follows the book pretty closely!!

Loving: Last Saturday was my Master's Graduation Ceremony.  Although they have it 3 weeks before the last class ends, I only have  2 assignments left, 2 discussion board posts (with a total of 4 comments to make on other people's posts), 1 quiz, and 1 final left && then I am officially done...I plan on finishing it this weekend so it's all done before my school year starts and I can hold that pretty little piece of paper in my hand!
(That's the boyfriend in the picture - he's been VERY supportive with me starting at a new school with a new age group, having a second job tutoring, AND working on my Master's...I'm really lucky <3 )

Thinking: I can't believe the summer is over!! I have in-service days the 8th, 12th, and 13th and then the kiddos are back the 14th!  The end of my Master's program and internship ate up my summer!! How I would've finished this tail end during the school year I have no idea, but I'm thankful it was in the summer....even though I didn't have any time to work on the things I wanted to for school or relax...which leads to...

Wanting: I would love one extra week of summer break right now just so I can have some more time WITHOUT having Master's work to do, and I can relax (what is that again?) and work on things for the school year to start....which leads to...

Needing: I need to finish up the rest of this Master's work right now (while listening to The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and then start the label creating, printing, and laminating frenzy!

B2S Must Haves:
1. Cardstock, Printer Ink, and a Laminator are a must have, especially if you're creating your own classroom theme items, labels, etc.

2. 3M Outdoor Mounting Tape is THE BEST to use when mounting on classroom doesn't let anything fall off!

3. COFFEE!! Lately...well mainly all the time now, I have NOT been a morning person...and when working with elementary kiddos you need to be energized and ready to coffee will be re-entering my life! (I kicked a LOT of my caffeine this summer....used to be at 2 Monsters and 1 Coffee a day...Now I'm down to 1 coffee a day sometimes although during the school year it'll be 1 coffee a day!) I <3 my Keurig!!

What are your August Currentlys?!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Well I Did It...Disclaimer: This is a Mess!

Well I did it...I went into my classroom today for the first time since the week of Memorial Day...they moved my room and that last week I did the frantic know what I am talking about...the one where you start out packing nicely, labeling everything with what is exactly in the box and then BAM! You start to just shovel things into boxes and say you'll deal with it when it's time to unpack...well I forgot what I had done/left until I walked into the my classroom today...boy do I have a LOT of work to do in the next 3 weeks! (Along with a LOT of purging!)

Don't be afraid to close your eyes....that's what I wanted to do too!
 Yup! Those are chairs laying on my kidney table...I have NO IDEA HOW I WANT TO SET UP THE ROOM THIS YEAR...HELP!!! lol (p.s. the shelves, and the bookcases can't move...and the computers could move somewhat if I get the tech guy to come back in after I told him just to leave them because I have no idea how else I should put them...)

 And the piles just kept growing (all the stuff that was left on the shelves was from the teacher before me...I boxes up 95% of it today to give to the new special education teacher since I already have all my own things)

 The bookshelf in the back there is now empty with the exception of some files that will be put into that stylish brown filing cabinet...I still need to ask our custodial staff if I can at least have it spray painted...

I only stayed for 2 hours today, so I only got to box up things for the new teacher (12 boxes worth of things!) and get some laminating done...I have a feeling I'll have to find another day to go back in this week maybe...and a whoooooole bunch next week, but my super sweet teacher's assistance asked if I wanted her to come in and help next week so of course I took her up on it! (Little does she know what she is walking in to...she may not come back after day one lol)

This is what I call the pile of fun laminating to cut! (insert groans here...)  But I'm one lucky girl because my dad is cutting all of it out for me!! He really is the best!!

Have any of you gone into your classrooms yet? Don't be ashamed to share your photos too! We all know what it looks like at the beginning...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Made It...Part 2!

It's Monday again! (Seriously, where is this summer going??) Which means it is time for the Monday Made It Linky with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics!

As we remember, last week I started my spray painting party! WELL...the fantastic Chicagoland weather would not allow me to spray paint anymore until YESTERDAY!! (it was either over 90 degrees, above 65% humidity, OR BOTH ALL WEEK!) least I had one good day so I could finish up my Monday Made It from last week!

 My Driveway was COVERED with Items!

I am going to string the letters for my name together with black ribbon and hang it by my desk!

The mini drawers I had for awhile, but they were navy blue and dingy, so they needed a face lift to match my color scheme! There drawers will be featured in a bit!

The larger drawers are for my different color paper to print on, but they were white and once again...didn't go with my color scheme! :)

Remember those blue sentence strip storage boxes I featured before that I bought at Lakeshore Learning, and I said I would probably paint them so they could match? Yep, my OCD got me and I did it!

While the navy blue drawer sets had lime green handles that would match, I had 1 mini drawer set that came with silver handles instead...SO the lime green drawers will go in these mini pink drawer sets and then the spray painted pink handle drawers will go in the lime green mini set!

All of the spray paint I used was gloss so it turned out with a super nice finish!

Then I threw in one more project...
Step #1: Long story short, I had one lonely roll of pink duct tape that I couldn't return...and didn't know what I was going to do with it...until I remembered on pinterest everyone using scrapbooking paper to cover a pringles can to hold their rulers...I thought...why not use the duct tape! So I did!

Step #2: I used a furniture wipe to clean out the inside of the pringles container (after dumping out as many of the crumbs as I could)

Step #3: I used the measuring tape to measure the circumference of the pringles can and then just measured around the duct tape and marked it off (I gave a quarter inch overlap so the can didn't show through.) I used the ruler to make the straight line across the tape for when I cut the strips.

Step #4: It's hard to see, but after putting the first one on, I drew a line down the can where the tape started since there is an overlap.  I also had an over lap with the strips since the tape was 2 inchese side and the can is an odd number. I just kept going, measure, cut, tape, measure, cut, tape, etc. The last row I had to cut the tape down the middle because it was to wide. And then the final product!

It's not perfect, but it'll do for this year, and it works! I'm going to add a cute ruler label once I print it out and laminate it!

On a non-made it note...

One of my coworkers got me this AWESOME quote picture that, if you knew me, fits me PERFECTLY!  

I'll be hanging it by my desk in my classroom...once I go in to start setting in tomorrow :( finish emptying out all the old stuff I'm donating to the new teacher...

What did you make?!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Oh My Goodness!! ANOTHER AWESOME Giveaway!!

Marie over at It's a Jungle Out There! Is having a killer giveaway for her birthday! Go check it out - and wish her a Happy Belated Birthday! (It was July 19th)

Blog Hoppin' Facebook Frenzy Giveaway!!

Tori over at Tori's Teacher Tips has an AWESOME Blog Hoppin' Facebook Frenzy going on this weekend joined by 22 other bloggers!

All of the items are free just by "liking" their facebook pages! You can even follow their blogs and enter a giveaway at the end too! Check it out is definitely awesome! Fantastic products!

Just start by going to Tori's Teacher Tips Facebook Page and click the Blog Hop Tab (see below) and she'll walk you through the directions! enjoy!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Liebster Award

I'm so lucky and honored to have been nominated by Susan from Thoughts From Mrs. Susan for the Liebster Award!  It is an award that recognizes new blogs! Thanks so much Susan; you're the sweetest!

The requirements in order to accept my nomination are:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted by my nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about myself
5. Create 11 questions for my nominees
6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them!

Questions from Susan:
1. How do you spend your free time?
Teachers get free time? hehe just kidding! In my free time I like to hang out with my boyfriend and friends - usually watching movies, playing games, doing something outside, etc. I also like to read, scrapbook, surf blogs and pinterest for new ideas for my classroom, and blog!
2. What makes you laugh?
A good comedy movie/show, a good book, my boyfriend, friends, and family
3. How long have you been teaching?
I am going into my 5th year of teaching.  I taught for 3 years at the high school level, then had the opportunity to switch to the elementary level last year and love it!
4. What is your favorite subject to teach? Why?
As a resource teacher, I mainly work on Reading all day, but do have other groups such as Math and Writing (all depending on my kiddos IEPs).  I love teaching reading because of the great connections my students make and conversations we have. I love teaching Math because it's so literal, comes natural to me, and has so many real world applications to it!5. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
Anywhere warm, but with a dry heat! I loved visiting my best friend in Arizona, but she's back here now so not too many reasons to visit there.  I also have family in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that I LOVE visiting! It's so gorgeous up there too!6. If you could only take one thing on a trip, what would it be?
If I could only choose one thing to take on a trip, I would probably go with chapstick! It's just something I have to have at all times! I even have a little holder on my school lanyard that holds a chapstick in it!  One time I forgot it and the librarian at my school just happened to have a brand new one she hadn't used and gave it to me! So Sweet!7. What is your favorite book?
Eek just one?? If I had to choose just one book, I would go with The Perks of Being a Wallflower (I read it YEARS before it became a movie though).
8.  What do you like best about where you live?
There is ALWAYS something to do!  I live in a large suburb with everything you can imagine; plus I'm only 30 minutes away from Chicago so I can go to the museums, parks, or anything else with a quick drive or train ride in!
9.  If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
I would LOVE to meet any player from my favorite sports teams! (White Sox, Bears, Hawks).  I've contemplated hanging out in the city this summer just to see if I could see one of them out with the Stanley Cup as it makes its rounds! No luck yet :-( 10.  If you had a day to yourself, what would you do?
A day to myself with no work, homework, or cleaning? I would get a manicure and pedicure, read, watch all my favorite movies (I have a HUGE collection), and probably pig out on all that food that is bad for you, like my favorite, ICE CREAM!
11. What is your greatest accomplishment?
I'd have to say getting my Master's (well technically I just started my last 5 week course today, but I know it'll fly and I'll pass with an A so it's okay :-) ) while teaching (most of it while starting with a completely new age group, in a new school, with new policies, new curriculum, new everything! It was like 1st year of teaching all over again!) and tutoring 15 hours a week after school as a second job.  All while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.  When it's all over, I'm not sure what I'll do with my spare time...maybe some things under Question #10!

11 Random Facts About Me:
1. I LOVE to organize! I feel like it's an obsession of mine - and yet (as you can tell from my "Show Us Your Stuff" Linky Posts) I feel like I NEVER have time to do it.
2. I LOVE doing math word problem - I always have ever since they're first introduced in school.  I love the challenge and how they make you think.
3. I am the proud owner of 3 cats and 1 pup that I love because they are my children.
4. I'm a die-hard White Sox fan, born and raised, and my boyfriend is a Cubs fan (some how we get along, although I tend to get a little "In Your Face!" about it at times lol)
5. I'm a perfectionist. So while tasks are easy to do, they become time consuming because it has to be perfect...i.e. my Master's internship that I now have 3 weeks to complete.
6. I save Sundays in the Fall for football. All day from Noon-10:30ish.  I also participate in a Fantasy Football League!
7. I did gymnastics for 10 years and played softball for 15 years.  People can't believe it when I say I played catcher because I'm tiny.
8. I love being in the outdoors, going camping, going to Lakehouses, and just allergies don't agree with that very much though.
9. I love my mom almost 8 years ago when I was 20.  It took a big tolls on my family and me, but I did the one thing she wanted me to do and that was graduate from college.  I ended up graduating with honors and now I'm almost done with my master's! I think she would be very proud.
10. I LOVE LOVE LOVE coffee!! Especially more so now that I quit drinking energy drinks.
11. I have a tendency to over analyze which in turn causes the problem to actually happen, makes things take too long to complete, and makes me worry something is right.  I'm getting better with it though and starting to get a "go with the flow" attitude...with some things at least!

Questions for my Nominees!:
1.  What was your favorite subject when you were in school? Why?
2.  If you had to choose one food to eat the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
3.  Why did you decide to start a blog?
4.  What got you inspired to teach?
5.  What were your goals for this summer? How many are accomplished (or almost accomplished) and which ones are they?
6.  What is your favorite part of teaching?
7.  What do you feel is the hardest part of teaching?
8.  What do you do for fun?
9.  If you could choose one place to live, money doesn't matter - cost is no object, where would it be and why?
10.  What is your dream vacation?
11.  What are your goals for this upcoming school year?

My Nominees Are:

Thanks again Susan!  It put a big smile on my face and made my day when I saw your comment that you nominated me!

My 1st Monday Made It! ...Part 1...

I FINALLY have something made for a Monday to participate in 4th Grade Frolics's Monday Made It! Well sort's a 2 part-er due to weather.

I inherited these Book Bins from a teacher that was retiring...but they needed a face lift (plus the colors didn't match my theme of my classroom!)

SO I've begun the face lifting process! (those are some other containers I want to spray paint to match too - not the laundry basket thought :-) )

 The things spray painted green are letters that spell out my name that I am going to string together with ribbon to hang above my desk!
 I used spray paint specifically for plastic and that is glossy so it'll have a nice finish.  It took about 3 and 1/2 cans (give or take on the 1/2) for the outside of the Book Bins and the two little tubs from the Dollar Tree.
I only have the outside done since the spray paint won't stick or try properly if it's over 90 degrees and/or more than 65% humidity...I'm hoping that if I wake up early enough tomorrow that it'll be cool enough in the morning to finish the insides (and touch up the outsides from the fantastic wind that blew the corners of the newspaper up, making it stick to the boxes!)  I can't wait to finish them and see how they look!

I also finished creating my classroom decor, but don't know how everyone always has picture collages on their blogs of things they made via the computer so that'll have to wait until I figure that out, or it gets hung up in my classroom, which ever comes first! Happy Monday!