Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pooped , Tummies, & Planning

Hello Blogger Friends,
I can't believe I have 3 days of school under my belt already but I haven't blogged even once. OOPS  I have been just POOPED!  Wow it has been a whirlwind.  My fifth graders use to be my fourth graders last year so I knew everyone and wow have they matured.  I was a little worried at the end of last year that they were still on the immature side.  Summer has once again waved the maturity magic wand.  YES!  They are ( I am singing) awesome!!!!  We had FUN for the first two days with no switching I just had them all day but NO SPECIALS which means no breaks.  Ugh!  I think that is why I am so tired.  Then Friday we switched so I met my new fourth graders.  Oh boy and I mean Oh boy....  out of a class of 16 I have 3 girls and 13 boys.  I know many of you are saying a class size of 16 you are sooooo lucky but all those boys and I mean squirrely boys.  There was constant movement and wiggling!  I have my work cut out for the next two years to model them into middle schoolers. 

Then to add stress on the second day of school I got the dreaded morning call while getting ready for my school day with students in my room...... my middle child tummy's was hurting!  So with eavesdropping ears I try to pinpoint the reason for the tummy issue.  Fever - no, where does your tummy hurt?... all over, Do you feel like you are going to throw up or need to go to the bathroom?.... with tears,... I don't know, Did something happen at school yesterday?....wailing, NOOOOOO!  Ok I tell myself I think there is something about starting middle school even though it is day two! hmmmmmmm  So I tell her to try to eat something if you throw up you need to stay home but I think you need to go if you don't.  I am placing bets it is nerves just like her momma.  I am the 'Queen of Nervous Tummies.'  She mentioned something yesterday about a "mean" computer teacher after her first day of school.  Hmmmmm?  Well Grandma was there watching my youngest and you know super-sympathetic Grandmas.  The middle tummy hurting child stayed home on only the second day of school.  Ugh!!!  Grandmas can be a Godsend and a hindrance at the same time.  I love my mother-in-law because without her I would not be able to do my most favorite thing..... TEACH but...... Did I mention she also does our laundry on the two days a week she watching my little one?  Talk about a Godsend do I need to say more? 

So on day three the tummy hurter (I know not a word but it fits.)  got up and was fine then I saw the tummy hurts again.  Seemed strange that I mentioned that "mean" teacher and the tears appeared.  Ah Ha!  My eighth grader tries to reassure her that he is one of those teachers that needs to yell, scream and talk down to his students to try to establish control of his class but as the year goes on he has NO classroom control and not to worry.  To quote him exactly, "If I haven't gotten into trouble the last two years with him, you will be fine."   Ok I say to myself, what does that mean you are a troublemaker???  LOL So I leave for school and my hubby pushes her onto the bus with her big brother by her side for support.   I cannot stand those types of teachers and we all have had those.  My middle child is just like me super sensitive and takes everything personally even though it may have nothing to do with her.  Fast forward to after school on day three... smiles...  SMILES!  My tummy hurter met her advance language arts teacher and she thinks she is AMAZING!  I am tempted to email that teacher and thank her for making my daughter's day at school wonderful and less scary!!  THANK YOU!!!  Tears comes to my eyes thinking that teacher will be forever in my child's heart and has re-instilled her love for school.   On a side note my daughter mentioned that day she was LATE to the "mean" teacher's class.  Well?????  I say, did you get in trouble?  Nope everyone was late.  Smiles!!!

Ok now my therapy is done I wanted to share a website that I use for my lesson planning.  I started it last year and then this year all I had to do is merge the two years and presto... lesson plans done for the most part but for my new classes.  Love it.  It had some bugs that year that I fought with but they seem to be resolved this year.  I don't have to print out tons of pages to turn into my principal for review or share with another teacher I just give them a code word and the web address and when I need to look at them I just pull them up on my computer or ipad.  The website also has different state standards and common core that you just need to copy and paste.  You can use your own template, save links, and  view the plans daily, weekly or monthly.  You can also download your plans onto your computer so they are not held hostage by the website.  Plus the best it is cheap!  I paid $10.00 for the year even though I think it has gone up a few bucks this year.  The only downfall is I can't figure out how to spellcheck which drives me crazy since I am a messy typer ( I know not another word.) 

Well I think this post may be a little one-sided this time, me needing to relieve some stress compared to me sharing awesome school stuff.  Sorry:(  And I thought this was going to be a quickie post?  Come back soon for some more drama and hopefully useful school ideas.  On to the crazy house cleaning, running to one child's sports to another's and lesson planning weekend.


Monday, August 13, 2012

A Little Classroom Deco for Monday Made It!

This will be my last Monday Made It with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics due to school starting on Aug. 22nd.  I am sad because this may be my last before school starts and summer just flew by!  Maybe I can squeeze in one more but I will have to see how it goes.  I am feeling the clock ticking and I have a boatload of stuff to do before the open house next Monday and then the first day of school on the following Wednesday.  UGHHHHHHHHHH!  It always gets done but jeepers do I always have to feel like this!  Okay enough complaining it is not like everyone else is not feeling the same panic!

Here is my favorite Monday Made It so far my, Ipad /  iHelp job board.  I have seen quite a few of these on Pinterest and I desperately needed a new job board
so here it is...

Oops I cut of the one side a little but you get the idea.  I used a black poster board and then mounted silver bulletin border behind.  My awesome team partner let me have the bright library pockets and I will use index cards with the students names on them to assign jobs.  I just typed up the job titles and heading.  I saw one on Pinterest with really cute clip art but my printer ran out of ink and you know my patience!  Zip!!   I usually change jobs every week to try and keep the kids from getting bored or overwhelmed with their jobs.

Here is my other Monday Made It for this week.  It isn't as cute but more functional.  I made a quickie curtain for my metal shelving unit.  I bought the length of fabric (light green with white polka-dots can't tell with my stupid phone) I needed to cover the front and a tension rod.  Then I hemmed all four sides on my sewing machine.  I thought this was going to be zip, zip, zip, zip but noooooo!   Was that a pain after my four year old messed with all the knobs on the sewing machine.  I think I at last readjusted the machine to the right calibration on the last hem.  Note to self do NOT leave sewing machine on dinning room table unsupervised.  It is a little wrinkled due to me holding it on my lap on our drive over to school to hang it.  But a spray bottle with some water should do the trick.  Don't mind the Priority Mail boxes I forgot to get out of the picture.  I saw something on Pinterest of course! On how to make mail boxes for my colored construction paper.  I do not know if I will get to that project but  maybe if Tara has one more Monday Made It for next week. MAYBE!

I have to give another shout out to Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for the awesome Linky Party she had all summer!  THANK YOU!  She kept me motivated to complete home and school projects and I have seen some fantastic inspiration!

Grab a cup of coffee and take a look around.  I love comments and some more new friends.  Come back soon for some more adventures.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Organized, Attitude & Monday Made It

I promised pictures of my crazy messy cabinet all neat.  So here is the before ....
OMG Scary!
Here is it after today, much neater and organized by subject on each shelf.  Ahhhh Better!!
The 16 sided spheres on the bottom are examples of my "Biome Balls"  that the fifth graders complete when we are studying biomes. I will be posting about these soon.  They are tough to store so I just kept them in the bottom of the file cabinet.  Ahh looks like I need to make a stop at the Dollar Store for a container to corral my cleaning supplies. 
I also wanted to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics one more time for Monday Made It.  One is for my house that I have been wanting to complete for two years now and I did it and love it.

My very dirty and beat up (three kids that beat on everything) side door from the garage.  I saw this on Pinterest and Etsy and knew this was the solution for that beat up door.  Wow it was hard to get the hinges off but everything else was a piece of cake.  Remove hardware, tape, steel wool,two cans of black spray paint and a vinyl from Etsy.  Voila a new looking door!  I am working on the other side by painting it white but ran out of paint, of course! Now it is time for school to start.  Yahoo!!

Then I made a Pinterest inspired "poster" for my classroom door but I forgot to take a picture.  That's what I get for taking my four year old with me to work in  my classroom.
Here she is with her nice attitude at the front of my classroom!  

 She was so good and then poof we were there a minute too long and the crabby attitude came out and it was nasty.  So I will try to describe what I did...   Here is the Pinterest picture.  I would love to have linked it but it doesn't work anymore.
I changed a few lines to better suit my classroom and then mounted the poem on green fadeless paper which I laminated.  Not too sure about the lamination which wrinkled and made the words a little crooked.  Double ugh!!  I then used the two leftover pieces of Dots on Chocolate border on the top and bottom.  I guess I will have to look at it in the morning and decide. With my luck I will notice a spelling error and then in the trash it will go.

When you enter this classroom...
You are Scientists
You are Mathematicians
You are Explorers
You are Important
You are Loved
You are Respected
You are the reason we are Here!
Mrs. P

Please come back soon for more happy craziness from 4th & 5th Grade!


Friday, August 3, 2012

It Is That Time Again & Pen Pals

Well I went to my classroom for the first time yesterday to start my beginning of the year organization in hopes that I can keep it that way for the entire year.  Yeah right!  Here is a picture of one of my storage closets.  It looks like this after only two years.  Sad I know!

Hopefully I will post the new clean and organized closet soon.  I am planning on trying to go up there today and get a little more done.

I also went to the teacher store with my husband last night to pick up a few things I needed.  I LOVE the smell of that store!  The smell of a new school year;  paper and crayons.  Hmmmmmm!

Here is some of my goodies......
First I bought these wooden stick people for my kids to decorate during the first week of school including their name and roll call number.  I use them to pull names for reading out loud, partners ( I never let them pick their own partners for fear someone will be left out.  I still have bad memories of standing in gym class and being the last one to be picked.  I promised myself I would never let anyone feel like that in my classroom.), groups, helpers, and then the students use them to predict who they are going to marry. It is so funny to watch them do that.  At the end of the year I send them home as a fifth grade souvenir.
The next thing is a calendar & rule chart.  I am trying to change to a theme for my classroom this year which in the past has been a mix of primary colors and whatever border I had on hand.  This year I am thinking of going with the dots on chocolate theme and changing all my bulletin board paper to white (my partner teacher is such a sweetie and let me use her giant roll of white paper).  I am not sure what I am going to do for the border but it needs to be cheap.  Any ideas?

For the last few years I let my fifth graders make up the classroom's rules with me having veto power.  We first brainstorm ideas for rules on the white board.  Then we vote on the top five.  I or a student with neat handwriting writes them on the poster and then I have each student sign the poster. I think the students coming up with their own classroom rules and then signing them gives them ownership and hopefully better behavior.  I explain that they are not little kids anymore and they have more responsibility and are becoming role models for the younger kids.   They really seem to enjoy this "big" kid activity. 

Next, I was so excited when I saw these dry erase makers for my white board.  I was just about jumping up and down right there in the store.  They are bright and cheerful and I cannot wait to use them.  No sharing with the kids on this one!  I will have to hide them from my students or they will not be returned or worst destroyed.  We go through a ton of dry erase markers.  Every year I go over how to use and what not to do to try to have our supply of dry erase makers last longer.    I do have the students buy them on their supply lists and I collect them so I can pass out and collect them.  But to no avail I have to beg, borrow, and steal to get more markers at least twice a year.  Ugh!

I also wanted to thank all the other bloggers that replied to my request for pen pals.  Wow I was impressed with the response.  I think I have come up with a few contacts and cannot wait to get the ball rolling.  The kids are going to be so excited.  This is one of the many reasons why I love blogging! 

I can't wait to show you my finished classroom, new theme or any other teacher finds I find the next few weeks. 

Come back soon for all the updates.