Sunday, February 26, 2012

What's In My Bag?

Clutter Free Classroom challenge for week #7 was to show everyone our teacher bag.  I have to tell you what I love about it and what I wish were different.  Then she dared us to show you what was inside.

So here goes...

Here is a picture of my current teaching bag and lunchbox.  I think I am one of those people who have a bag obsession.  I have lots of them (an entire one side of my closet devoted to bags/the other side are shoes...ugh!).  The lunch bag is obviously from Thirty-one (I LOVE THIRTY-ONE BAGS!).  I think it is so cute with that little rosette on it.  The teacher bag is actually from Walmart.   I picked it out as a Christmas gift from my kids (Yes, I pick out my own gifts...that way I get what I want.  Does anyone else do this?).  It is awesome.  It is on wheels, it has a retractable handle, it has three zippered sections.  The front section, has lots of built in pockets for pens, cell-phone, credit cards, flash-drives, paperclips, and even a hook to hang your car keys/classroom keys from.  The two other zippered sections are very large.  One has a large velcro pocket that is a perfect size for my Mac Book.  The other pocket is a larger pocket that you can put anything (I keep my plastic file folders, teaching books, lesson plan book, etc. in this large pocket).  

I just love a dare, so here are two pics looking at all that I pulled out of my teacher bag today...

Amazingly, I really didn't have much in it!  Maybe because I just got it in December.  I am sure the picture would have looked entirely different in June.  The bag is so large, it could hold so much more.  I believe I could fit a total of three laptops in it if need be.

What do I love about this bag?  First, I love the fact that it is on wheels.  My last teacher bag was a shoulder bag.  I would have so much stuff in it each day that it would gouge into my shoulder as I carried to and from school.  Also, since it is on wheels, my seven year old daughter just loves to pull it back and forth from the car each day.  That leaves me with lots of extra hands to carry in my loot from Dollar Tree and Target, right?  Second, I love that this bag has large compartments.  I really can get a lot into this bag.  A lot more than my previous bag.  Third, I love the front zipper pocket that has lots of sewn in compartments for all the "little" stuff you bring back and forth to school (I can actually find my cell phone now when it rings and don't have to dig to the bottom of the bag.)

What do I wish was different?  I wish that it had a cute print like my Thirty-one bags.  Maybe I can liven it up with a ribbon or rosette like my lunch box.

Well, that's it.  That is what is in my bag.  What do use as a teacher bag?  What is in it?  Do you love Thirty-one bags like I do?  I know I am going to a Thirty-one party hubby better hide the credit cards!!!! (I think I need a few more hot pink rosettes.)

Happy Blogging!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Recycled Storage

I just love Clutter Free Classroom's linky party.  I am getting so many wonderful storage ideas.  

Since I am playing catch up, today I am posting my response for week 6's challenge:

  I just love when I find a clever way to use a storage container or find items that I can alter to make into great storage.  Originally the item that I upcycled was used in my own house.  I used this item to house paperplates, forks, spoons, and knives in my kitchen.  

However, when I purchased a new one, I didn't need this one anymore.  It sat for awhile in a donation box until one day I decided that it would work perfect on my teaching desk at school.  I hot glued a starfish on the front (to go with my beach theme) and brought it into the classroom.  

Here is another look at it's great organization:

From this top view, you can see that I keep the most used items in the three sections in the front (grading pens, pencils, pens, and my digital camera).  In the large back section, it houses any half sheet paper notes that I may need on a daily basis (behavior notes, clinic passes, accident notes, conference request notes, reward notes, attendance cards, calendar).   I have all of the organized in alphabetical order with handmade dividers.

I find that it is very convenient to have this stuff right on my teaching table with me because all these items are used very often.

So even though I originally purchased this basket for my home, it ended up being an upcycled storage container for my classroom.  

This seems to happen often with me.  I love to purchase storage containers and then I find myself purchasing storage containers to replace the storage containers that I already have.  Hmmmm...sounds a little OCD doesn't it?  Does anyone else have this problem or is it just me?

Happy Blogging!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Better Late Than Never!

One of my favorite blogs Clutter Free Classroom is hosting a wonderful linking party titled The Clutter Free Classroom Project.

After stalking some of the blogs that have linked up and shared their wonderful organizing ideas and images, I decided is was time that my OCD self joined the party.

So since I am a little behind on the action, I decided to link up with the Week 5 challenge:  

So here are a few pics of my favorite storage containers.

My all time favorite storage container would have to be  Sterlite Plastic Drawers.

In the above image you can see all of the plastic drawers that are housed behind my teaching table.  In the bottom drawers (excuse the one that is missing, a fellow teacher has borrowed that one) I house all the DRA leveled readers that I send home for independent reading homework.  In the middle and top drawers, I house all the items that I need for small group guided reading instruction.  The smaller ones on top house all the little doodads that we need (paperclips, bandaids, staples, pens, etc.).  The cute buckets on top (my classroom is beach themed so buckets are another favorite storage container of mine) house remotes, scissors, glue sticks, notepads (the stuff that I use on a daily basis and don't want to open a drawer to get to).

So knowing all of is what my teaching area looks like:

As you can see, I have more plastic drawers on the other side of my file cabinets.  One set of those drawers house the work papers and workstation supplies that I need on a Monday - Friday basis.  I refill them at the end of each week.  The second set is currently houses a variety of stuff like small sentence strips (dollar tree), index cards, die cuts, nametags, etc.

After looking at this image, my mind is telling me it looks a little too cluttered, but it will have to do for this year.  I try not to do any major reorganization during the school year because I like to focus the majority of my time on teaching.  

Thanks for checking out my post and come join the party and link up at Clutter Free Classroom.

Happy Blogging!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You Know Your a Teacher When...

Jeannie over at Kindergarten Lifestyle is hosting a very cute linky party titled  "You Know Your A Teacher When...".  If you want a good laugh, go check out what some other educators have posted on their blogs.  Here are mine...

Go link up and laugh along with us.

Happy Blogging!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Blog

Happy Saturday everyone!  I hope you are enjoying your day so far.  I am!  Yep, I'm still in my jammies, drinking coffee, and blog stalking.  The best Saturday morning routine still prevails!

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have come across a newbie.  Yes, not only a new blog, but someone fresh out of college (looking for a job).  Let's show her some love and welcome her into the blogging world.  Her name is Amy and the name of her blog is The Crazy Adventures of a University Grad.  

Her blog is adorable and the photographer in me just loves all the beautiful pics she posts about where she lives (lots of snow and mountains, something we don't see much here in Florida).

So if you have time and want to check out a new blog...go check her out today.  Let's see if we can get her followers up to 10 by the weekends end.

Happy Blogging!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Feeling Appreciated

You have to admit, many times in our career we don't feel appreciated; however, today was not one of those days.

Today, after school, my entire staff threw me a "Teacher of the Year" surprise party!  It was awesome!  Of course, it was beach themed (just like my classroom)!  They invited my entire family (I can't believe THEY kept it a secret from me.) And...the best part...was each grade level did a short skit in honor of me.  Yes, little ole' me.  They had me laughing so much that my ribs still hurt.  I'm sure I lost a few inches in my abdominal region just from the laughter.

Now I am not one who cries easily, but today I even shed a few tears (the good kind).   Well, if you were watching a video presentation of former students stating why they loved you so much when they had you in kindergarten, I am sure you would cry too!

My co-workers also made a wonderful scrapbook (since they know this is a hobby of mine as well).  My teaching bud, who is next to me, had all of my students say what they like about being in my class.  It was so sweet!  A few of my favorite quotes from my current students are as follows:

1.  Mrs. Greene likes a quiet classroom.
2.  Mrs. Greene likes clips because she gives out a lot.
3.  Mrs. Greene colors very pretty.
4.  Mrs. Greene has silky smooth pretty hair.
5.  Mrs. Greene likes to go shopping because she is always giving us stuff.

Aren't my students just the cutest?  By the way, for the record, #2 does get a lot of clips and if #1 thinks my room is quiet...he must be deaf I think he needs his hearing checked.  I don't know of any Kindergarten classroom that is quiet (but I loved the comment anyway!).

Anywho, we ate lots of yummy food (on top of the lunch that I had already eaten since I knew nothing about this party) and had a great time!  I have to say, my faculty at my school has always been like an extended family to me.  I have been there for over 15 years.  Many have known me through my two pregnancies and have even taught my children.  They make teaching even more enjoyable!

Well, that's it!  That was my day!  I feel so blessed and appreciated right now and I just wanted to share that wonderful feeling with my new blogging family.

Thanks for listening to me and I hope that each and everyone of you gets to feel appreciated in this way sometime during their teaching career.

Happy Blogging!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Currently Link Up

Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade is doing her "Currently" linky party.  So link up and share what you are currently up doing.  I just love her RAK idea (link up to find out what RAK stands for).

Here's my current:

Happy Blogging!

Happy 100th Day of School!

Today was our 100th Day of School and boy was it exhausting fun!

Here are some pics of all the great learning activities that we did today with the number 100.

First, we started our day by coloring our 100th Day Crowns (sorry, I can't remember which blog I got these from so if it was yours, please refresh my memory).

Then, it was onto our 100th Day Rotation schedule.  I have a wonderful kindergarten team and each year we rotate our kinders through stations that are set up in each classroom.  Here is what the kiddos do in each classroom:

My room:  crowns
Mrs Via's room: 100th day trail mix (children count 10 sets of 10 to create trail mix)
Mrs. Lewis' room:  Jack Hartman counting to 100 songs/exercise
Mrs. Roses' room:  100th Day Fruit Loop necklaces

After the children returned to my classroom we had time to begin our "I Can Write 100 Words" work (write the room):

After lunch, we colored Zero the Hero.  We were predicting what we thought he would look like since they knew that he would be visiting us in person for the first time:

Tomorrow we will be using these pictures as the illustrations for our class "Thank You" book to Zero the Hero (a.k.a. our Assistant Principal).

After special area, we returned to the classroom where we were greeted by Zero the Hero who had a special treat for us:

After our visit and class picture with the REAL Zero the Hero, it was time for math.  We used the brightly colored craft foam hands that I found at the Target Dollar Spot to practice counting by 5's to 100.  Then we made counting by 5's cupcakes:

We finished our day by working in cooperative groups to complete a 100 piece puzzle.  I was so proud as all four groups were successful in completing their puzzles in under 30 minutes.  Oh, while we were working on our puzzles, we listened and sang a variety of counting songs that I found on Youtube.  Just simply type "counting to 100" in the search engine, you will find them.

Tomorrow is 101 day of school.  I have all my 101 Dalmatian activities set in place to make that day a fun filled learning day as well.  

I guess I better get started on my ideas for day 102...103....104...

Happy Blogging!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The 100th Day of School

Tomorrow is our 100th Day of School!  I am so excited and I thought I would share a few pictures of some cheap goodies that I purchased for this special day.

First, here are some of my 100 Day finds from Target and the Dollar Tree.

Each year I always purchase a few new 100 piece puzzles (Dollar Tree).  I use these as prizes for some different activities that we do throughout the day.  I also have some favorite 100 piece puzzles that I use year after year as a cooperative group activity where each table works together to complete the puzzle.

Next, I always purchase 100 Grand candy bars (Dollar Tree).   Here is what I use them for:

I also purchase Smarties (Dollar Tree).  Zero the Hero (a.k.a. our AP) visits each classroom sometime during the day and gives each student one of these:

Lastly, I found the foam brightly colored hands in the Dollar Spot at Target.  I thought that I would use a sharpie and write #'s on them for my students to practice counting by five's.  I was so excited to find them that I bought all that they had (7 packs/15 per pack).  Am I going to use all of them...probably not, but I had to have them!

Well that is all that I found for the 100th Day.  Here are a few images of some other goodies that I found to use for Valentine's Day (again from the Dollar Tree and Target Dollar Spot).

I will tell you what I am going to use these goodies for in an upcoming post!

Happy Blogging!
What Do You Love?

Kimberly over at Funky First Grade Fun is hosting a fun linky party titled "What Do You Love?"  Since it is easy for me to talk about what I love...I thought I would participate (also, I am currently sitting in front of the TV watching the superbowl commercials with my hubby).  So here goes...

  Visit Kimberly's website and link up with us.  It is fun to reading about what my bloggy friends LOVE.

Happy Blogging!