Sunday, July 19, 2015

Teacher Giveaway!

Hiyas! I don't know about you, but there is less than a month until school starts! Yikes!

I've teamed up with a great group of Middle School Bloggers and TpT Sellers to bring you this great mid-summer giveaway! We are giving away TWO prizes! A $60 Target Gift Card and a TpT Product Bundle! Please see the rafflecopter below for how to enter. The giveaway runs until  July 26th! Make sure to stop by and check out these other wonderful teacher bloggers!

Best of luck!


                         Lit With Lyns   //    Middle School Math Man   //   Teaching Teens in the 21st!        
                                          Koch's Odds 'N Ends    //     Junior High Core Values                                

Our TpT Bundle includes the following items:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 13, 2015

Projects and plans

I think I love summer most of all.

Not because of travel or rejuvenation, but because I can plan and work on projects that I never have time to work on during the year. 

This year, because I, switching classrooms and subjects, there has been a lot of planning. Social Studies has always been a favorite of mine! I have to admit to feeling some big time sadness and withdrawal however since I won't be teaching math this year. It was hard to pack up my teacher books, and even harder to pack up my math manipulatives. 

But on to the planning. 

The first project involved cleaning the room and getting rid of LOTS of extra furniture and reconfiguring the book shelves. Then there is this bad boy. Green table top monster. This is going to be the turn in table/student center. The drawers will hold paper. I plan on storing the ipads underneath...although I haven't decided how yet.

Then there's this project 

The pits underneath the lockers had to be hidden. So I sewed curtains. I'm actually still in the process of sewing curtains for the top. Don't worry, I have a plan to cover the locker doors too. Notice the Orange? I hung 14 feet of cork tile up on this wall and the opposite wall.....that was a looooot of command adhesive strips. 

I got rid of the horribly heavy chairs with the baskets on the bottom and rescued these from the dungeon...which is what we call our storage/utility room. Love the duct tape makeover. I have five chairs to go around the small group table. 

Currently working on sewing pillows for the reading corner. I actually don't have the room for a super cool reading corner, but I couldn't resist these fabric rectangles that I found at an estate sale so pillows they shall become. 

This is a picture of the front of the room, as decorated by the previous occupant. He was awesome and left me the ficus, who I have christened Henry Caesar. Actually I was just going to call him Henry, but my mom, who has been helping me, told me that Henry was a horrible name for a ficus. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Word Nerds Chapter 2 -Word Confident classrooms

I love words.

Then again, I love reading...a lot.

I'm reading the book Word Nerds because even though I think I do "okay" with teaching vocabulary, like many others, I struggle with getting the students to actively incorporate new vocabulary into their everyday lives. They are really good at making flashcards and memorizing....until a few weeks later, after the unit test, when they can't remember what a word means OR how to use it correctly.

I really like the idea of Tiered words. Chapter 2 gives some guidelines for choosing Tier 2 words based on importance, instruction, and conceptual understanding. One thing I'm working on this summer is choosing words for sixth grade that are across the content areas. 

I also like the framework for introducing the words. The vocabulary planner is much like the Frayer models we have been using. 

The book talks about giving a student friendly definition, which validates how I changed last year. I would have the kids look up the meaning of each word, but then we would discuss the definitions together ( because the definitions were so very different based on the dictionary used) and come up with a common class example. After I switched to this, I noticed at the kiddos had a much easier time understanding the words.  This chapter also talks about giving students an image to help remember the term and I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. Last year, I would have the kiddos draw their own image.....sometimes it related to the word, sometimes it didn't ( in an obvious way that made sense) I think that giving them the picture/image might take away from their ability to make their own connections to the word. I'm thinking that perhaps for the first few vocabulary cycles, I'll start off giving them the image and then transition to having them decide on their own. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

July Pinterest Party

It's July! My birthday is tomorrow! Okay, had to get the excitement out of the way!

I'm linking up with the July Pick 3 Pinterest Party hosted by Pawsitively Teaching and Inspired Owl's Corner

My first pin is kind of school related AND personal enrichment related. I love using music in the classroom and for personal and professional reasons I'm learning how to play the ukulele. 30 Easy Songs

My second favorite pin that I'm using for inspiration this month is this glorious case used to hold iPads. Last year I just kind of stacked the iPads on a shelf, but this year there will be 30 ipads to store in the classroom, and finding effective, sturdy, easy to use iPad storage is a priority in the next six weeks. This one looks great and doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to build. Plus, it would fit under my student center in the classroom. iPad Storage

One of my hobbies is beading. Despite my best intentions, during the school year, I don't have the time to sit and work with seed beads. So my third pin for July is a beaded bracelet, one of many that I'd like to work on.  Fortunately I know the technique, I'm just a little rusty! Beaded Bracelet

I'd also like to finish organizing all of my Pinterest boards. Apparently the maximum number of boards you can have is 500 so I had to delete a few (AGONY!)/ combine a few others to make room. Follow me on Pinterest!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A teacher's job is never done

My new appreciation for contact paper knows no bounds! Such a quick and easy way to do cabinet and shelf makeovers. Okay, I lie. Not really easy....can we say air bubbles? But easier than paint!  Behold the glorious before and after! 

I used gray chevron contact paper and repositionable wallpaper (expensive contact paper)