Monday, July 30, 2012

Classroom Table Makeover

Last week, while out shopping with my mom, I started thinking about ways that I could freshen up my classroom.  Let me give you a little background about this room.  It is part of a VERY old building.  Like, built in the 1960's old.  So, while I am SO thankful for all of the space that I have, most of the stuff in the room is outdated and oldddddd. 

Back to the shopping....mom and I decided to hit up the fabric store, and things just took flight!  I decided to buy enough fabric and ribbon to wrap 2 of my tables.  Here is a picture of my room before.  The table with the computers on it and the horseshoe table to the right will be covered.

**Please ignore the "summer clutter".

Here are the steps I took to prepare the fabric for the tables:

Step 1:  You will need fabric (measured to fit around the side of the table), scissors, a glue gun, ribbon, and a ruler.

Step 2:  Hot Glue the Ribbon to the bottom of the fabric, to make a border.

**My dog Jax decided he wanted to help!**

Step 3:  Measure the distance from the top of the fabric that you will need to cut off, and glue down the top border ribbon.  (I only did this for the first table, and skipped this step for the second table.)

Step 4:  Fold the fabric over to make a hem, and hot glue the side down.

Step 5:  Use velcro strips to attach the cloth to the side of the table.

Step 6:  Cut slits in the fabric to allow chairs to slide under the table.

Notes:  You may have noticed that the top border ribbon is missing from the "after" picture.  Unfortunately, I mismeasured the cloth, and had to velcro the fabric below the ribbon. 

For the second table, pictured below, I waited until the fabric was on the table before I attached the ribbon, and then only attached the ribbon to the top of the fabric, instead of the bottom so that you could see it better.  I also added bows to the second table.  And of course, I had to have one table themed for my alma mater:)


My room is NOT NEARLY finished, but it sure has come a long way!  What changes are you making to your classroom this year?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fireflies Literacy Unit

Happy Friday Everyone!

**I direct that especially to my year-round friends, since technically, every day is a Friday for me right now:)  I just finished up making a new literacy unit to use in conjunction with the book Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe.  I just LOVE using this book to teach writing, because the vocabulary in the book is amazing! 

Click HERE or click the picture of the unit below to check it out in my TPT store!

Click HERE to view the book on barnesandnoble.com:

Fireflies! (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

I have also recently finished up a clock label display to use in my classroom next year!  Check it out by clicking HERE, or click the picture below:

I chose purple and gold as a salute to my alma mater, East Carolina University.  ARRRGGHH!!  Football season is just around the corner!!

What are you looking forward to this fall??

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reader's Notebook Book Box Project

Good Morning Bloggies!

This year, I have decided that I want to get more organized with my reader's notebooks that my kids are using.  In the past, they have kept their notebooks in their desks, but I am sure you all know that notebooks get torn up and lost so easily that way.  I have been perusing the web, and have seen lots of magazine boxes and plastic bins being used to hold the reader's notebooks, and that is the route I decided to take.


I cannot afford to buy 25 plastic bins for my kids.  Now I know there are cheap options, and I also know that a dollar goes a long way at the dollar tree.  But, I just wanted to make this happen for FREE. 

like, totally free

Cue Homemade Reader's Notebook Book Box Project!  I have been saving up cereal boxes, and the kids are I are going to personalize our own book boxes next year.  Last night, I created my own "sample" book box to show the kids (and you) how to make them!

Step 1:  Scrounge up magazines, pictures, a cereal box, modge podge and a paint brush, construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, and markers.  I used washable markers, and ended up wishing I had gone with Sharpies or other permanent versions.

Step 2:  Cut down your cereal box to the shape of a magazine holder.

Step 3:  Cut out pictures from magazines and select personal photos to glue to the box.

Step 4:  Use glue sticks to stick all of the pictures on the box, and trim the pictures so that they are not sticking off the sides of the box.

Step 5:  Make cutesy word labels to describes the reason for choosing the pictures you chose.  Ex:  I wrote "run" and stuck it by the running pictures because I enjoy running.  You could certainly tie an inference lesson into this part of the craft.  Students could ask others use their box to infer their interests!

Step 6:  Glue the words onto your box using the glue sticks.

Step 6:  Modge Podge the box using a small paintbrush or sponge brush. 

**Note:  I used washable markers, and my words bled when I modge podged them.  In retrospect, I would either use sharpies or NOT modge podge over the paper pieces that I drew on.

All Done!!  Your dried finished product will be ready to hold books and notebooks, and is a much more personalized version of the book box than a plastic bin!

Catch ya later!  I have a lot of cereal to eat!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

School Visit Fail....

Well, it's that time of year!  You all know what I am talking about.....you go to any given store, and BAM! You get hit with the school supply display.  There is no wake up call to remind you of the ending of summer quite like this.  If you are like me, at first you think..."Oooo, new crayons!!"  which is almost immediately followed by "OMG I only have a few weeks left of my vacation!"

That being said, upon seeing the crayons and other goodies, I went home and started preparing my materials that I had already purchased for next year.  One project I have decided to do this year is create table skirts for all of my large tables in my room (pictures to come soon!)  Well, the table skirts turned out so cute that I could NOT WAIT to put them on the tables, like, not even a day.  Sooooo, off I go to school the next morning to put my cute creation into it's new home.

Maybe Next Time.

Wouldn't you know they are waxing the floors in the hallway. 

That being said, I guess my cutesy makeover pictures will have to wait a little while.  **Sigh**

On a happier note, Antoinette and Emily over at  4321...Teach have been so sweet to give me the Versatile Blogger Award!  Really, this happened like a month ago, but summer can cause me to really slack!!  Thanks so much Antoinette and Emily!!

There are seven rules for this award.

1)  Thank the blogger who nominated you!  Thanks again Antoinette and Emily!

2)  Include a link to their site.  See above...
3)  Include the award image in your post.

4)  Give 7 random facts about yourself.
*My husband and I met while cheering on the Pirates at ECU....Arrgh!
*I have two Ahh-mazing dogs named Jax and Zoey.  They are so funny and I cannot imagine our life without them!!

*I have read all of the Harry Potter books......more than once.
*I have been a third grade teacher for 3 years, and I am about to start year 4.
*I CANNOT WAIT until football season starts so that I can cheer on my Pirates (and tailgate)!
*I heart TOMS:

*My favorite meal of the day is LUNCH:)

5)  Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.

Pencils, Paper, and Pixie Dust

6)  When nominating, include a link to their site.

7)  Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

Well, That's it for today!  Hopefully I will be posting pics of the upgrades to my classroom soon!  Stay Cool and Enjoy **what's left of** the summer!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How Lovely!

Well I am feeling super lovely today since I got the Lovely Blog award!  This is the first blog award I have ever received!  Special thanks to Julie over at The Hip Teacher!  Click on the Lovely Blog Award link to visit her sa-weet third grade teacher blog!

There are only 3 rules to follow once you've received this award :)
1. Follow the person who gave you the award
2. Link back to the person that gave you the award
3. Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers.

Now it is up to me to award 15 of my favorite bloggers!

Make sure to check them all out!  These blogs are great!

Happy Thursday!  Off to the pool I go:)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July Linky Party!

Happy 4th of July!  So excited for a linky party!  Currently.....

Listening- Good Morning America!

I don't know about all of you, but one of my favorite things about being out for summer is watching the "mid morning" TV shows. I like to immediately follow GMA with Live! with Kelly:)

Loving-Brownie Batter Oats

Please RUN over to http://www.fitfoodiefinds.com/ and check out what Lee has going on.  She has amazing healthy recipes, one of which is brownie batter oats.  I am an oat eater.  Like, every day.  But she has some incredible ways to change up your oats in a healthy way.  There are lots of other healthly recipes and ideas too.  And, her active lifestyle is just downright inspirational!

Thinking-Time to walk the dogs?  My dogs are really digging summer vacation because they get to walk twice a day!  And they get to stay out and play all day too! Prepare for doggy overload....

Zoey after a morning run:)  Tired pup!

Jax doing his "treat trick"!

Both of my babies on watch!  Making sure no one sneaks up on the house!

Wanting-A pedicure
Needing-Oakley running sunglasses

These two go hand in hand!  Next weekend, I am running the XTERRA trail run half marathon in Columbia SC.  Therefore, my feet are in bad shape!  Pedicure could really go under the "needing" category. Nobody wants to see piggies like these. While training for this half, I have been wearing my regular sunglasses that I wear all the time.  No big thing really, but they give me a headache if I wear them on runs longer than 6 miles!  These are what I am thinking I need:

Oakley Miss Conduct Sunglasses


1.  Les Miserable
2.  Guiding Readers and Writers in Grades 3-6

Les Mis is my pleasure read of the summer. Read aloud...not so much.  I have read it before, but it has been a while, and I am loving it!  BTW have you seen the trailer for the new movie??

If I had to pick an actual read aloud that i use with my kids that is my favorite, it would have to be The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg:)  The kids get such a kick out of this!

For professional development, I am diving into this book by Fountas and Pinnell.  I am going to be changing my reading instruction next year.  I really want to try readers and writers workshop, but I am so nervous.  So, basically, I am a sponge while reading this!  Any tips and advice you bloggies have about implementing reader's workshop would be GREATLY appreciated!!

Please head over to Oh Boy 4th Grade and check out all of the other linkies!!!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Here comes the Common Core!

Well- the year is here! 

Our state has adopted the common core!  I am, as I am sure many of my other co-workers are, SO excited about adopting these new standards!  I have really enjoyed examining the changes in curriculum.  In the same breath, I am SO nervous about new expectations!  I am sure that everything will be fine, but our lack of core aligned resources has me sweating a little bit! 

That being said, I have created some common core objectives to display in my classroom.  Click the picture below to check in out at TPT!

I am dying to hear from all of you that are familiar with the common core.  What challenges did you face when you switched over?  What are the benefits that you have seen? 

That's all for that!  I'm out to stay cool by the pool!