Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Quickie

Hope you all had a GREAT weekend!  They always go by too fast, huh?  One of my readers asked for a Donors Choose quick how-to.  I have done the best I could for right now (sick kidlets at home).  I am putting the document below if you want to download it.  I hope that it is helpful!  If you have ANY questions about Donors Choose... I would love to help you... we could email back and forth or even set up a phone conference.  I am passionate about this non-profit and what it has done for my classroom.  There are enough donors for all of us!

I have been busy uploading and finishing things for my TpT store all weekend...  won't you stop by and take a peek? Let me know how your adventures with Donors Choose go! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What Makes This Teacher Tick

Don't we all have things that make our days so much brighter?  I am often so interested to know what other people are "obsessed" with and what makes them "tick".  Here are my things:
1)  My children... lovingly referred to as M1 and M2.  20 months apart {um, I didn't plan on it being that way}
2)  Starbucks...  I go there every single morning for my iced grande mocha.  I sip on it until around 11...  cold drink in the mornings...  hot drinks @ night if I get to go on girlfriend coffee dates (currently loving that the pumpkin drinks are back!)

3)  My Erin Condren stuff...  I have a teacher planner and a year round notebook!  Love them both.  Hoping to do a giveaway for some of her stuff soon {stay tuned}

4)  Pens...  I'm OCD about pens.  They need to be super fine tipped...  Let's just say OCD doesn't quite cover it! 
5)  Washi tape... to put in my planner, to make tabs in my notebook, to tape random things (like my iPhone car charger) back together!  There are whole Pinterest boards dedicated to washi tape... because it's amazing!  {I know you're going to Pinterest now to search for it}
6) Co-workers who become life-long friends. 

7)  90s rap.  Just picture it...  yes, if you play it... I probably know the words... and yes, I will sing along :)
8) Fripp Island, SC... my favorite place on this planet.  I go with girlfriends every summer... we take our children and babysitters.  Private island where everyone travels by golf cart.... It's a wild-life refuge and is totally awesome!  I've been able to hold sea turtle eggs, feed deer, and watch alligators get sun-tans!  I tutor after school, teach summer school, and save money all year in anticipation of those trips!!!

What makes you tick?  What are your favorite things?  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

They Like Me... They Really Like Me {I Think}

So excited to have some followers... I was beginning to feel a wee bit lonely here in bloggy land.  OK, I realize I've only had a blog for 11 days, but STILL...  everyone wants to be loved, right?  I'm up to like 12 followers {funky chicken dance} and I am so pumped.  Now I feel a little bit of pressure to perform though! 

I was out sick today with my two little people.  I think we are all fever free though and sufficiently medicated...  we should be returning to school tomorrow... to be reinfected loved on!  Transitioning from 4th back to 1st has been SO great... soooo what I needed, BUT these kids can fling some germs.  I thought about spraying them all with Lysol first thing when they come in, but then I figured some parent(s) might get all upset with that!  (something about child abuse/ethical violations... )  So, hand sanitizer in bulk and Clorox wipes it will be!  Tomorrow is operation DISINFECT the learning area...  I don't think that is a Common Core standard, but maybe I can find a way to integrate!

Hope you (all 12 of you.... yay!)  have a great night!  Stay safe... those germs are ruthless! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

 I love clip art... not even gonna lie!  I have been trying to branch out in the last few weeks... making more things for my classroom and even uploading a few things onto TpT.  When I am making purchases for my classroom, I need to know that the content is solid, but I love some cute graphics.  I have downloaded several things from Scrappin' Doodles.  I think their commercial use policy is very fair (you can use their clip art on your TpT creations... just give credit!)  There are lots of other websites that make it MUCH more complicated and expensive!  Making it even sweeter is the 15% off code for teachers... just enter code: SEPTEMBER2012 and VOILA!  Just click their picture above and start shopping!

Two of my favorite purchases so far are the Star Wars pack and the PB&J pack... also bought SCrabble tiles, Three Little Pigs pack, and many more! 
What clip art websites do you use the most?  Hope y'all have had a GREAT weekend! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Donors Choose and It's Almost Fall Y'all has transformed my classroom.  In my 10 years+ of teaching... it has been one of my greatest discoveries!  In the last 2 years I have had well over $10,000 of materials donated to my classroom.  Some of the more notable funded projects include: iPad, 3 iPod touches, 4 Kindle Fires, 3 Nook Readers, 1 color printer, pencils, paper, math manipulatives, pencil sharpeners, laminator, book binding machine, gardening containers... and MUCH more!  If you haven't given the non-profit a serious look, right now is definitely the time!  Corporate funding is kicking in (think Sonic, Horace Mann, Chevron, Kia, etc) and many private citizens will be looking to donate money for tax purposes as the year closes.  
It wasn't until a co-worker of mine (she's totally awesome) received her first HUGE box from Lakeshore that I became a believer.  A complete stranger funded her entire project.  We were both so amazed at the random kindness!  Come to find out... it's not that random after all!  There are TONS of people out there looking to support ALL types of projects!   

Here's a picture of my very first DC project materials (September 2010).  I really wanted math manipulatives dealing with money!  It felt like Christmas in September! Since September of 2010... I have had 19 projects funded! {jazz hands}.  What can you dream up?  Anything is possible...  PLEASE let me know if I can help you!  

Anyone else super excited about fall beginning?  South Georgia can be downright sweltering in August/September.  I am so excited about October and all that it brings to our area.  The fair is coming, football is in full swing, Halloween, the pecans will be falling from my trees soon!!!  Yes, I'm a little excited! We are taking our firsties to a local farm in October for their first field trip.  Each child gets to pick a pumpkin... I can't wait to go!  Have you ever been pumpkin picking?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How Pinteresting!

 Surely I am not the only one who saw this idea on Pinterest over the summer, right?  I ran went to Hobby Lobby (40% off coupon... holla!) and got busy.  Each one of my firsties had their picture taken holding the frame.  I keep the frame in my room just in case we get some newbies!  I told them they could hold the frame ANY way they wanted... and make ANY kind of face they wanted.  It was so neat to see their little personalities come out.  The pictures turned out uber-cute!  I think I might make a frame for the last day also... just to see the difference a year can really make! 

In our house (2 little boys... and 1 man child)... legos are a BIG thing.  Last December our family took a trip to Legoland in FL.  I picked up some silicon molds for lego minifigures & lego bricks... thinking I could use them for ice, etc.  Well during my pinning frenzy (let's call it staff development) this summer... I found the idea about melting crayons and BAM!  What if I used my silicon molds and made Lego crayons?!?!  I was instantly the coolest mom in my house... and my kidlets @ school thought I was pretty cool, too!

Lastly, Our team does a week on the human body... the kids got to color organs and place them on the 1st grade sized body in the correct places.  The kids worked in small groups to pick the "best" looking organs for their person.  Thanks to my grade level team for supplying the body template...  I also found so many cool ideas on Pinterest to use that week!  What have you seen on Pinterest that you have done in the classroom?  I enjoy being on there for many reasons, but I think I like the teaching ideas the most!  Hope you all have a GREAT week!  C'mon Friday! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Teachers Pay Teachers??? Sa-weet!

I have been looking through my computer for centers, documents, and ideas I have created in the past few years... thinking that some of those things might be worth putting on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Tonight I finally finished creating my Common Core posters for Reading/ELA.  I found cute {and funky fresh} clip art to use... and I was delighted with how they turned out.  I will start working on the math ones tomorrow.  If I get crazy inspired I might decide to do the other grade levels to upload on TpT also!  I feel like my brain has so many ideas...  it's just hard to maximize my time.  Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers link and give me some feedback... do they look OK?  Side note... got some great health news yesterday... and that has made my weekend!  Hope y'all have had a great weekend, too!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Excited, nervous {but mostly excited}

I am so very excited and nervous about starting a teaching blog.  I have contemplated this idea for years... but always assumed that it was just too techy for me!   I know there are many nights of online tutorials and youtube videos in my future and I am so ready to learn.  Won't you come along on this journey with me?