Sunday, August 24, 2014

One Week Down!

I survived my first week!

It was reeaaaally hard getting up, and I'll admit that I was in bed each night while it was still light out but I survived!!

I am really excited for this year.  Our team has some really great kids and I can't wait to get to know them better.  I spent the first 2 days going over expectations, rules and procedures.  I had the students practice my procedures, and then take a quiz (which they HAD to get a 100% on).  I am really going to stress the importance of following procedures, and am actually going to be really hard on the students the first few weeks until they get them down. I feel like in years past I've been too lax, and spent too much time wanting to pull my hair out when a student would get up in the middle of me teaching to throw something away, or sharpen their pencil.  So far this year it seems as if I've trained them well. :)

I am really looking forward to my advanced group of students this year. In previous years I've had "advanced-light" students who really weren't "advanced". When going over the syllabus and explaining that science fair was mandatory, we literally talked about science fair for about 20 minutes. It was refreshing to see their enthusiasm, as last year it was like pulling teeth to even get students to talk about science fair, let alone ask questions.  They are definitely going to keep me on my toes that period, but I am looking forward to the challenge.

I spent 5 hours at school yesterday completely re-vamping my Scientific Method unit; making mixed-ability activities, hands-on explorations, and making brand new activities for 2 students I have who speak limited English, and who can't read their native languages so translating information is ineffective. It is going to be a challenging year, but I have high hopes for this crew.

I'm off to the grocery store so I can spend the rest of the day doing absolutely nothing.

Here's to week 2!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

SUPER Monday Made It!

I am SUPER excited for this week's Monday Made it! I have been extremely busy the past week prepping for going back to work.  I am NOT ready to go back next week, but my classroom is slooooowly coming along. I am really happy with how it's turning out this year.  Stay tuned for my classroom reveal!

How adorable is this ribbon curtain I made for my doorway? I got some clearance ribbon at Michael's a while back knowing I would find some use for it. The tension rod cost me $3.50 at Target, and I probably paid $0.50 a roll for the ribbon (there are about 9 rolls of ribbon here). I totally play with it when I walk in the doorway and I know the kids will too, but I just love it!

I also made a crayon wreath to give it some color.

Crate seats! I've been wanting to make this for a while, and finally got around to it this summer.  I got the fabric from Hobby Lobby, the crates from Wal-Mart, and the wood from Home Depot (leftover from my made it #4 project). Hubby cut the wood for me and I put them together while watching Sharknado 2. I have them scattered around the room for kids to use while working in the hallway, in groups, or whenever they wish. They really add a pop of color to my room!

Labels! Lots and lots of labels! I've been labeling EVERYTHING in my room so kids can stop asking me where things are.  I laminated them using my handy laminator and my mommy helped me cut them out. They add some character to my Dollar Tree storage containers.  Here are some snippets:

I am the most excited about this project. I have been wanting a kidney bean table for my classroom for a while, but couldn't justify paying $300+ for it. So, I asked my hubby if he could build one and he said it wouldn't be a problem. I wanted a think hardwood top, since it will have to withstand middle schoolers all year. For an 8x4, 3/4-inch thick board, legs, and paint it cost $80. I had them trim about 2 feet off so it would fit in my car, but also so I could use the scraps to make my crate seats.

After mapping out the dimensions and deciding on how deep of a curvature I wanted, hubs used the jigsaw to cut it out. After some sanding it was time to paint! If you know me, you know that I am slightly obsessed with anything pink.  I knew I didn't want to stain it, and after browsing through the colors decided on pink! They didn't have pink paint, so I made my own by mixing white and bright red. It only took 1 coat of paint, and I put on 5 coats of matte polyeurthane just to make sure it was as protected as I could make it. I am absolutely THRILLED how it turned out!! 

Hubby marking out the dimensions

The final product! The polyeurthane still has another day to cure before I can bring it into my classroom.

I got a rug Wal-Mart to go underneath. I wanted a darker color to offset the brightness of the pink. I ordered stools from Ikea for $5 each for kids to sit on (totally stole this idea from my ELA teacher, Liz). Since they're middle schoolers, I knew they wouldn't be comfortable sitting on the crate seats, since they're so low. 

Yay for classroom projects!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Gearin' up for BTS2014!

I've been a bad blogger lately! Here are some updates on the past few weeks.

I went to DC to visit my sister. We're pretty much the same person, it's scary.  She's 2 years minus 3 weeks older than me, but everyone always thinks I'm the older one. We had a grand time talking nonstop, shopping, visiting some of the Washingtonian top 100 restaurants, and enjoying some uncomfortable metro rides.

She was studying for (and taking) her PRAXIS II and PLT exams (she's getting her Master's for secondary ed!) so it was kind of a low-key weekend, which was incredibly relaxing. Here are some pictures from that visit.

view from my sister's apartment.  I got a lot of work done while she was at work. 

The best deal of the weekend: a $0.01 Free People sweater!!

I never get tired of the cart escalator at Target!

My sister. People think we're twins sometimes.

My dad and I have been working on fixing up a rental property... painting, installing appliances, minor repairs, and that has taken up quite a bit of my time. I forgot how much I loathe painting!

I also got in a car accident- everyone was OK. An elderly man hit me while he was trying to make an illegal u-turn. My car is drivable, but doesn't look the prettiest. It's scheduled to get repaired the first day of school. 


I'm working on a TON of classroom projects that I can't wait to share with you tomorrow for Monday Made It! I'm off to brunch with my mommy!