Friday, October 7, 2011

Welcome to a new school year!

I finally feel "with it" enough that I can return to the blogging world!  And I sure have missed it!  I hope everyone has had a great start to their school year.

Where do I begin....  My transition to 2nd has been interesting.  It has been a LOT of work.  I feel like a brand new teacher again even though this is my 8th year of teaching.  The only problem is when I was a first year teacher, I was living at home with my parents - now I am married, have my own house and have 2 kids!  Definitely not as much time to put into my classroom.  So my lifesaver so far, other than my wonderful collegues and supportive family, has been  Who doesn't love this site?!?!  A huge thank you to those who post these awesome resources on there!  I have found math games and activities for every single lesson so far!  And so much more...  Babbling Abby at the Inspired Apple had a wonderful unit to start my year with my class.  And I've found so many sports themed activities that I can't even begin to list.  I just wish I had the creativity that they all do!  But I'm willing to borrow and purchase my way through this school year...

I'm hoping to get pictures up soon, but I need to at least get them on my class website first.  We've been busy little allstars!  Here's a little peek of what we studied in September - any guesses?

Have a great weekend.  A special shout out to Christopher Columbus for giving us this extra day off on Monday!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Still working...

It's the never-ending job of setting up your classroom.  You work for hours on end, look around and think, "What have I done all day???".  Here's some updated pictures of some of the things I've been working on...

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As you look around my room, you will see many inspirations!  As you already know, Pinterest is my new best friend.  As I set up my room, all I had to do was glance at my classroom board and was reminded of all the awesome things I wanted to do!  Two of my mini-projects so far came from
Clutter-Free Classroom


I used the clocks and numbers from Mrs. Lemons.  I have seen many pictures on CF Classroom that inspired me in little spots around the room.

These pictures were taken on Tuesday before we had our Open House.  In our district, the Open House is a chance for parents and students to tour the school and peek into the classroom.  Our doors are locked so that they cannot come in because the teachers are not present.  So I tried to get as much done as I could and make sure that everything looked tidy.

Since then, I've rearranged and changed my whole calendar area and worked on other small areas of the room.  I'm waiting for my husband to grab some 2x8's so I can have a few shelves for book storage as well as cut the plywood for my crate seats.  I also bought some supplies from Michael's, Target and Dollar Tree to make a few crafts.  I'll share as soon as I get them finished.

Do you have an open house?  How does it run?  Do you have a Back to School Night as well?  I love to hear how things run in other school districts!

I'm off to bed.  All this work is exhausting me!  The good news is I went to the dentist this morning and got a good report.  Even better news is I have an appointment for a hair cut tomorrow morning!  ♥

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Finally in my Classroom!

First, I have to apologize for being MIA.  It's been a busy few weeks in our household.  Let me take you back a few weeks...

I am moving schools.  Originally I was not allowed in my classroom until August 22nd.  Which was fine, except we were leaving for the Outer Banks on August 21st for a week.  We would arrive home on the 28th and I would have one week to prepare for my classroom because we start after Labor Day.  Right?  No.  I wouldn't get a week because my husband is having back surgery on September 1st.  So I would have 3 days to unpack my boxes and set up my new classroom.  Stressed doesn't even begin to explain how I was feeling... 

I snuck into my classroom one morning with my boys before we went to the library.  I wanted to see what my new room looked like so I could begin a mental set up.
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I continually called my principal every day to see if the floors were clean yet!  She knew my situation and, while calling me Nervous Nellie, told me to check back often.  The Thursday before we left for vacation I called her at 8:05.  The floors were supposed to be cleaned the night before - and they weren't!  I was disappointed and began doing laudry in preparation for vacation.  She called back at 8:30 and gave me the great news that I could come in!  I waited for my husband to get done physical therapy and the 4 of us went into school.  That day I managed to get almost all of my boxes unpacked and into their new homes.
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I went back on Friday morning with my mom in tow.  We managed to get the rest of the boxes put away.  More furniture was delivered and I tried to set it all up.  Unfortunately there was an extra teacher desk as well as a pallet full of boxes NOT meant for me that were taking up room.  At least I was able to get everything somewhat organized before I left for vacation.
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Fast forward to Sunday morning.  EARLY.  We left for the Outer Banks!  Finally!  We've been waiting a long time for this vacation with friends.  6 hours later we arrived and begin enjoying ourselves.  The fun didn't stop when I felt the earthquake while sitting on the beach Tuesday afternoon.  But then it did when we got our mandatory evacuation notice on Thursday morning thanks to Hurricane Irene.  Our vacation got cut short by 3 1/2 days!  Major Bummer!!!  Here's a snapshot of my family on the beach one evening hunting for ghost crabs...

I did go into my classroom for a few hours on Friday afternoon. It actually made everything worse for me.  I was exhausted from driving (actually riding) until 2 AM, going to bed around 3:30, getting up with the kids at 7:00 and then unpacking everything.  Looking at all the work to be done just made me feel overwhelmed but I still managed to stay until they kicked us out.  Hopefully I'll be refreshed on Monday morning - if school has electricity and is open!

So here I am, all cozied up at home, waiting out the hurricane.  The rain is starting to come down harder and the winds are picking up.  My poor husband is now outside trying to fix the areas where the rain is coming into the basement.  Keeping my fingers crossed that the kids stay asleep and that we don't lose power.  And praying for the safety of all my friends and loved ones.

How is your school year going?  Any funny stories to share about your new students yet?  Please share; I need some good things to look forward to!  :)

(BTW, my VistaPrint order came in!  I was so excited to see that box this morning!!!  :) It's the little things that make us happy...)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Vistaprint Virgin

I know, I know...  How on earth did I survive without Vistaprint????  Well, thanks to all of my new blogging friends, I have now discovered the wonderful world of Vistaprint.  Now, it is summertime and I don't get a paycheck until September 15th.  So how could I afford all of the awesome new things I ordered?  They were free!  All I paid was around $37.00 in shipping.  From everyone's recommendations I know it will be well worth it!  Here's what I got!

A small banner to hang outside of my classroom door

Welcome postcards for my students


Notepad for me!

Large "car" magnet to put on my whiteboard; the students will put their lunch choices underneath

Postcards to give the students when they reach the top of the clip chart

Address labels

Lawn sign to hang from the ceiling as you walk into the room

I also ordered business cards to give to my parents in their Back to School Night folders as well as a small key chain to keep my school keys on. 

By the way, if you haven't used Vistaprint yet, click on the link at the top of the page to check it out.  Meanwhile, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new items!  And the day when I can actually put them in my classroom.  :)   And let me know what incredible Vistaprint items YOU have ordered so I can begin to make my next list...

By the way, I linked up to Spotlight on Kindergarten's First Linky Party all about Vistaprint - so you can get as many new ideas as I did.  :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pinterest Linky Party

How perfect!  My first linky party to support my new obsession!  Between reading blogs and looking for new pins, I could be on my laptop every minute my kids are asleep!  (And sometimes when they are awake - if they let me!)

Remember, all you have to do is click on the "Follow me on Pinterest" red button to the right to see what I am pinning.  I am NOT as organized as other pinners out there; I have all of my school ideas on one board.  That would be a good rainy day or snow day project to sort them into more refined categories.

Check out Michelle's Math in the Middle to see who has linked up to share this new pinterest obsession!  Meanwhile I am dragging my kids with me to my school to check on the status of my classroom.  As of now we are not allowed in our classrooms until 8/22.  I am on vacation starting 8/21 for a week and school starts 9/6.  To say that I am stressed to max does not even begin to explain it!  I am praying that my floors are either complete or not started so that I can unpack at least a few of my 81  boxes that are waiting in the hallway for me!

Leave me a comment with your pinterest username so that I can follow you!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Favorite Lakeshore items!

GREAT news!  I have a $75 gift card to Lakeshore....

BAD news!  I ONLY have a $75 gift card to Lakeshore...

Here is my dilemna - what do I buy for my new 2nd grade classroom with only $75?  That's where you come in!  What is your favorite Lakeshore item?  What can't you live without from their catalog/store?  What items did your students love?  I don't want to buy something we will only use once or twice; I want to use this gift card to its fullest potential!  And I have to thank my awesome co-workers for this generous gift.  I won Teacher of the Year at my school last year and they got me this as a congratulatory gift.  I am REALLY going to miss them.....

Thanks in advance for your input! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

I LOVE Pinterest!

(ETA-Since I can't get into my classroom yet, don't have any of my craft supplies because they are all boxed up and my school laptop is still with the technology department, I am limited on what to post!)

Just like I have jumped on the blogging bandwagon, I have also jumped on the pinterest bandwagon. By now I am sure ALL of you know what pinterest is. I can't believe that I did not discover this before! I have found so many awesome ideas to use in the classroom. Not to mention the things I've seen for my house, kids, etc. And of course I've seen a thousand ideas for Kindergarten now that I'm not teaching it anymore; I'll have to pass them on to my K friends...

Pin It

If you haven't created an account on, do it NOW! If you need an invite, just let me know! Check out my pins by clicking on the pinterest link on the right side of my page.

The great thing about pinterest is it always takes you back to the original page. So if you "pin" a picture of a how to project and they give you directions on how to do the project, you will be taken back to the original webpage with all of the directions. So I can pin away on all of these really neat things and don't have to worry about where they all came from, what they mean or how to use them.
Here are some of the awesome things I've found on Pinterest....

What a neat chair for your star student!!!

An awesome clip chart for a Rock Star Themed classroom.

My first year of teaching I had a Tattling Plant.  I told the children to talk to the plant if they had a minor complaint.  I love the idea of the turtle; I can't hurt it when I forget to water!

A great visual for Writer's Workshop

Using wordle for a class list...  Cute!

I REALLY want to do this but am very unartistic...  But it's worth a try! 

(I know this last one isn't school related, but I love it!)

So tell me...  Who's pinning out there?  Any really awesome pins you've found and would like to share?  Let me know your pinterest username so I can follow YOU!