Monday, July 22, 2013

Bargain Bins!

I wanted to blog today about something that I was so pleased with last year. My bargain community supply bins. My first year of teaching my students all had their own supply boxes that they kept in their desks. I loved and hated it all at the same time. I loved that they could grab art supplies as they needed, but I hated how dirty they became. So, this past school year I tried community bins. I adored them (for a number of reasons that I've felt the need to list below).

1. Students kept themselves more accountable for keeping them clean because they were "on display".
2. The kids held each other responsible for making sure the bins were well taken care of.
3. Having bins kept all of those nasty little crayon pieces out of their desks. Seriously- EW.
4. (Perhaps my favorite reason) When I asked the class to clean up, it took HALF the time for them to do it. You didn't have those 5 or 6 kids who kept working because they had the convenience of cleaning up at their own pace. Community bins kept 'em movin'!

 I made the CHEAPEST bins last year. Not kidding... they cost about $1.50 each. The best part? They were able to withstand the back and forth - pulling and tugging of 18 second graders for 182 days. That's a win in my book.

Recipe for cheapy bargain bins to last the whole year through.
Shoe Box Size Bins (I got mine from the dollar tree!)
 Brightly Colored "solo" Cups.
Hot Glue Gun
Labels for Cups (I made mine on PPT)

I used book tape to label each cup, then hot glued the cup to the bottom of the bin.
They were seriously so great. You can personalize the labels so the cups can hold whatever your students use most! 

On a side note. Want a peek at my "mobile" classroom? I have been wondering why I have had to fill my gas tank so often this summer. Then it dawned on me... half of my previous classroom is crammed in my trunk.

The other half is slammed in my closet. I finally get to unpack and settle into my new room next week. Phew.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

WOW! A Liebster Award!

I am so very excited! One of my blogger friends, Caitlin (Always Sunny in a Windowless Classroom), nominated me for the Liebster award. Thank you so much, lady! I absolutely love reading your blog. I find myself laughing out loud at times when I do. It's funny that you say I remind you of yourself, because every time I read your blog I think the same thing about you.
We would totally get along in life!

I have loved learning through blogging. Seriously. How cool is it that you can peek into another teacher's classroom from the comfort of your own home. I can say that since I began hopping around blogs, I have become a more creative teacher. I love seeing what others are up to!

Here are the rules for the nomination.
1. Link back to the blog that nominated you
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 400 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees
6. Contact your nominees by commenting on their blog or sending them an e-mail to communicate the nomination
Here are my blog nominees! These are some seriously talented and creative women!


Now for the Q&A!
1. What grade do you teach and how long have you been teaching?
I have taught second grade for the past two years. My second grade position was my first out of college and I adored it so much! However, this school year I am moving to a new district and will be an intervention specialist for grade three! I am nervous and excited all at once.

2. What is the most challenging thing about being a teacher?
I think the most challenging aspect about being a teacher is communicating areas of need to parents. No parent ever wants to hear that their child is struggling with an area of learning. I have found that even though it's the most challenging part of my job, it's also one that I really enjoy. I love working with parents to figure out how we can work as a team to support their child.

3. Why did you start blogging?
To LEARN! I love seeing what other teachers are doing around the country. I also love seeing that I am not the only one who gets frustrated sometimes. Blogging reminds me that there are other people out there who have the same trials and successes as I do. I love reading about and relating to so many fantastic educators.

4. What is the best thing about your family?
My family knows how to have fun. I love that we can be around each other doing nothing and still enjoying each others' company! They keep me laughing.

5. Where is your favorite place to go to buy things for your classroom?

6. What is your favorite book to read to your class?
Any Roald Dahl book. We read several this year because my kids were SO into them. They would occasionally ask to miss recess so we could read aloud. It was a dream!

7. What is your drink of choice during the school, water, soda?
Definitely coffee. My previous school was located next to a Starbucks. It was fantastic.

8. Do you have, or are you getting, your Masters?  If so, in what?
I do not have my masters. I plan on going back next summer. While I am not currently working towards my masters, I am taking classes to become certified to teach Orton Gillingham. I am really excited about that!

9. What is the last movie you went to see?
I believe it was This is the End. It was one of those stupid silly movies. Definitely had me laughing.

10. Do you exercise?  If so, what do you do?
I do! I am hopelessly devoted to a hip hop cardio class every Monday. It is the best workout and SO much fun. Other days during the week I stick to the boring eliptical and if I'm lucky a little strength training. I have been so bad about consistently working out this summer. I am one of those who needs a daily routine to get me there! 

11. What is the best thing you have ever purchased or downloaded from TPT?
My favorite purchase has got to be Amy Lemon's Marvelous Multiplication Unit. I used it both years I taught second grade and my students loved EVERY activity we completed. It is such a great tool for introducing multiplication.

Eleven Random Facts
1. I am 26 years old.
2. I will be married next June!
3. There were 7 kids in my eighth grade class.
4. My dad owns a grocery store.
5. Both my mom and sister are educators.
6. I love country music.
7. I can't get enough pictures... of everything.
8. My favorite drink is diet coke (from the fountain!)
9. I drive a camry.
10. I was a live in nanny one year.
11. I have a large extended family.

That was fun. I feel like I flashed back to the interviewing process.

Okay- Here are the questions for my nominees! 

1. If you could teach any grade or subject what would it be and why?
2.What is your number one reason for becoming a teacher?
3.Think of a collegue you love. What makes him/her such a great educator?
4.If you could have any other job for just one day, what would it be?
5.Who is your favorite children's author?
6.What genre do you most enjoy reading?
7.What is the most surprising thing a student has ever said or done in your classroom?
8.What is your favorite thing to do after your kids leave your room for the day?
9.How many students were in your class last year and how did you feel about that number?
10.If you won $1,000 to spend on your classroom, what would you buy?
11.What is a hobby you have that is NOT work related?

This was so much fun! I love learning about people. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with :-)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


We are in the thick of summer and it is HOT! To help you feel a little better about the heat, I am having a summer sale through Sunday! Enjoy!

She's Alive!

Whoa. I have been on quite the hiatus! I have neglected my poor little blog.
I have some good reasons. I promise!

Allow me to catch you up on what I've been up to, both personally and professionally :-)

First things first.
At the beginning of May, one of the most fabulous things happened. I became engaged to this handsome man! As a result, my summer has been filled with all things wedding related. I'm loving the planning. We will not be getting married until next June, but I have already gotten a big chunk of things crossed off my list. Including finding the PERFECT dress :-)

The end of the school year came and went quickly. It was a very busy, and emotional time. 
 As some of you may know, I spent my first two years as an educator as the second grade teacher at a small private school. I adored my colleagues and learned so much from them. Seriously- they were the BEST. However, I felt as though it was time for me to make my jump to public schools. I got extremely lucky and found a great position in the school district in which I will reside once we are married! I am over the moon happy about this new chapter in my career. I am no longer a second grade teacher (tears), but am now an elementary intervention specialist. I am a bit nervous but know that I will have a great support team at my new school! I can't wait to see what happens.

I'm hoping to post again sometime this week. Isn't it funny how having extra time during the summer can cause you to get LESS done? I really miss my daily routine and schedule! Starting to feel the itch to get back in the classroom. I can't believe I just wrote that.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Multiplication Freebie!

I know that this is about the time of year many second grade teachers begin teaching multiplication. I have a freebie for you all! My kids LOVE I Spy activities. Click on the image below to grab my multiplication I Spy activity for FREE! 


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Busy, Busy!

We have been super busy this week and it is only Tuesday! We came back from break Monday and hit the ground running. Partially because over break I sat down to look at my fourth quarter map and thought "Well shoot... we still have a TON to cover." So my kiddos have been working their tails off harder than ever over the past few days.

As many of you know, it is national poetry month! We have been using Natalie's (at What the Teacher Wants) Poetry Pack. My kids have been loving it! They all have their very own poetry books now that they are just wild about.

We began with the simple acrostics. This was one of my favorites :-) I thought it was so precious. Especially because they were given the opportunity to write about anything they wanted. AND because his spelling of exhausted (icksosted) is so darling.

We have also begun working with cause and effect. I am thinking this is going to be a tricky one for my kids. They were working hard to make the connections today. They were finding it pretty difficult! We will keep pluggin' away until those light bulbs begin to flash. I have been using Jessica Sibucaso's pack to help us out!

Lastly, we made these super cute compound word foldables today! Gotta love pinterest!!!

We have also been working with time in math using a unit from Amy Lemons. I am hoping to blog a bit about that later on in the week. Like I said, we have been BUSY!

Have a fantastic week! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Break!

I love spring break. It comes at a time where you're just beginning to count down the days until summer. Fourth quarter also follows spring break... which means summer is almost here! So far my break has been filled with a lot of relaxing, reading, and regrettably, candy crush saga. 
I did  get a little work in yesterday by finishing up progress reports and remapping my fourth quarter. I had that "oh crap" moment when I realized there are only eight weeks of school left and we still have TONS to cover! Does anyone else have that feeling looming above them?

To kick off break and a special someone's birthday, we visited Newport on the Levee. We had so much fun! Newport Aquarium is really great. The whole time we were there I just kept thinking, "This would be such a COOL place for a field trip!" 

While I am excited to be on break, I am also excited to get back to school. Fourth quarter at school is my FAVE! Our school has a celebration each year that is all about reading. It is a week long party to celebrate all things reading! This year our theme is the Civil War. I can't wait to see what our librarian has cooked up for us.

Another reason I am so excited is my kiddos will receive their First Holy Communion! We have been preparing all year for this. They are full of excitement and it is so much fun to see them ready to receive such a special gift!

I dug out a picture of me the day of my First Holy Communion to share with them when we get back. Check out those bangs..

To those of you on break..ENJOY! To those of you who are back in the saddle at school... summer is just around the corner!!!