Monday, July 16, 2012

In 2 Places at Once

This year, our schedule is going to be a little different.  Previously, we have had five - one hour, fifteen minute classes, beginning at 8:10am. 

This school year, we will use the 8:10 - 9am time as a remediate/enrichment time.  During this time, those of us that teach a county-wide reading program, LMB will teach our small groups, while an essential teacher (PE, music, computer, art, band) will facilitate my class of students. 

My team teacher and I were discussing that I will be in my classroom with my students every other week as she and I share a LMB group and teach a week at a time.  Our interest was coming up with a way to ensure that both classrooms received the same instruction regardless to the teacher that was in the room.   It isn't that we felt as though the essential arts teacher wouldn't be able to fill this role, but it is possible that the teacher may not feel as confortable teaching LA or Math on their own. 

Therefore, we will be using our Ipads (new to our school). We will turn on the active board and place the Ipad underneath the document camera.  Each classroom will have an Ipad and will Skype with one another. This way, the teacher in the other room will be able to be viewed on the activeboard and provide the same instruction to both classrooms. 

We are excited to give this a try. I'll let you know how it works!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Classroom Rules

This summer, I have created a Classroom Rules Poster for my classroom.  I wanted this to be fun and specific to my classroom. 

Most of the rules are pretty standard, but "Stay on the Green" refers to a strip of green tiles in the hallways, that students are to walk on when traveling throughout the school. 

You can do this too, simply be using different fonts and colors.

Monday, July 9, 2012

$10 Message Board

My Saturday project this weekend, was a $10 Message Board. 

Let me start by telling you why I had such a need for this thing. Every day, we have an office assistant.  This person is a student that sits at the front desk all day and helps the office staff.  This is an award that they earn.  Anyhow, as parents call the school with messages for their child, the Secretary writes a note with the message on it. Most of the time, this message is an alternate way for the student to get home from school.  The office assistant is the one that brings the note down to classroom and gives to the teacher.  This is where the need of a message board comes into play.

If I am up front, teaching class when the office assistance comes in, they will walk over to my desk and lay the note down.  Though I really try to make a mental note to get the message off my desk before it is swallowed and never be seen again, sometimes, I don't make it there.  Therefore, the panic sets in about that child and if they got home the way they were supposed to. STRESSFUL!

To eliminate this concern, I needed a message board to hang by the door.  This way, as the office assistant comes in, I can simply ask them to pin it to the board - saving it from the black hole, aka my desk.  Recognizing this need, I set out to make it happen!

I visited the local Good Will store and found this. I didn't need the photo, but the frame was just perfect!
Came home, took the picture out, and primed the frame.  Underneath each corner of the frame, I placed a small rock.  This kept the frame off of the paint board below, ensuring that the primer didn't stick the frame and board together. 

Paint the frame the color you want. (ignore the toes sneaking into the pic.)

While the frame dries, I needed to cut my board to fit into the frame. 
Extra Info: I didn't have cork board and to purchase it, it was going to be more expensive than I wanted to spend.  So I went to Lowe's and purchase a sheet of insulation Blue Board.  This is a foam board that was 4 ft x 8 ft and for the entire sheet, was $13.22!  This allowed me to cut the foam the size I needed for the frame and have a lot left over for any other projects I may have in the future. ;)

Back to the message board, I needed to cut the foam board to fit the frame.  I got the picture that I had taken out of the frame and used that as my template.  I used my razor blade to cut the paper on the side of the foam board.  By cutting just the paper, I was able to bend the foam back and it breaks right on the line that I had made with the razor!  Super easy!

I covered the foam board with some fun fabric.  I used Fabri-Tac as my adhesive.  I didn't know if staples would eventually come out since I was using foam, so I went with the fabric adhesive.  It worked great. The important thing here is to make sure that the fabric stays tight on the front.


I placed the board in the frame and used small tacks in the back to ensure it stays in. 


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Desktop Flair

I have been loving my July desktop wallpaper on my home laptop.  You know, it's the small stuff that makes you smile... well, that's true for me, anyhow.

Bonnie, at Going Home to Roost, provided a great July desktop download.  It's great. I'm loving it and though I would like to think that I have much more going on in my life to be super excited about what next month's desktop may be, I'm don't and I'm way excited.

Anyhow, go check it out.  Let me know if you use it too.

This is a picture of the desktop, taken from Going Home to Roost's blog.

july desktop calendar

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Grab a Pass

Last year, my first year of teaching, I had a lot more on my mind other than hall passes.  Let's get real, this girl was simply trying to survive. :)

Now that it is summer, I am loving the extra time that I have to work on some of the not-so-important-but-would-be-helpful-to-have-projects. 

In order for students to see the school nurse or use the office phone to call home, they must have a pass.  This isn't the problem, as I totally understand needing to know that the student has permission to call home, etc. but it gets tiring, when you are in the front of the room teaching, some one's stomach hurts "reeeallllyyyy bbbaaaaadddd" and they just can't make it for the remaining 1.5 hour of the day... you know.... you have them too.... so I have to stop what I'm doing to write a note, giving my permission for the student to either send them to the nurse or to call home at the office. 

While I have been enjoying my 10 weeks of bliss, I started thinking of a way to provide passes without having to write a note, sign, yata
Last week, I created this canvas.  It isn't perfect, but for my first one, I think it turned out okay.  I'm going to hang this canvas beside the door.  I'm going to screw in hooks on the bottom of the canvas, laminate some fun office phone and nurse passes, punch holes in them, and hang them on the hooks.  Students will have to "grab" one before they go wherever they are going.  

For now, I'm only sticking with the office and nurse, because those are required. 

By laminating them, I can wipe them with my ever so present Clorox wipes.

Do you think it will work?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Currently in July

I was stalking around on Farley's blog and linked up to her Currently Link Party!  What better way to generate visitors?!?

I am thrilled to have the summer to work on the blog, classroom "stuff", and much more! So for now, check out what I'm doing currently....

Welcome to Love & Laughter

Let's face it, friends, those of us that find ourselves in a classroom of children day in and day out, doing our best to keep up with the paperwork, state mandates, lesson plans, conferences, and PLCs, while teaching a class of 30+ students, can only do this job for two reasons: for love and laughs.
Hence, the blog title.

I teach, because I love to teach. I'm confident that the same is true for you. Otherwise, you wouldn't be at home reading teaching blogs :). Yes, the hours are longer than most realize and there may be times when I feel as though I have to defend the decisions I make, but I get see something happen inside of a classroom that few people get to watch take place. No, it isn't magic, it's learning. Teachers are a blessed group. Teaching may not reach the list of the top paying careers, but I am blessed. I watch minds transform and dreams come alive.

 As much love as I have for my job, I cannot ignore the fact that there are some days that I need a little more than love. :) I have spent the last year learning to laugh, mostly, at myself. However, I have also spent the last year learning something about students, that I didn't really know before: students are stinking funny. It's good to laugh together. It reminds all of us that we are a community; a family.

 I hope to use this blog to post classroom DIYs that may benefit other teachers in their classrooms. I enjoy teaching, creating, and writing and this blog is one way that I can blend the three.

This summer, I have been creating all kinds of fun stuff for my classroom. I will be posting these items soon.

Until then, here's to sweet summertime. Enjoy!