Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Made It!

WOW, I just realized how long it's been since I've posted. But once you read on, you'll see why. I've been really busy making different things for my classroom.  Believe it or not, it's getting closer to completion. (It may not look like it when you walk in, but it's waaaayyyy better than it was 2 weeks ago!) So I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It linky.  (My first!)

 A lot of these are Pinterest-inspired! I found this last year and immediately made it for my 3rd grade classroom. In 3rd grade they are given planners for the first time and I wanted my kiddos to be super organized. I'm not sure how organized they were, BUT the board turned out cute. AND I brought it on over to 5th!

The next thing I just HAD to do was the Teacher Toolbox that is all around Pinterest. I am actually going to give my kids access to this so they don't grab things off my desk. I'm pretty partial to sharp pencils and specific pens, and rather than them constantly asking for rubber bands and paper clips, they can go here. The toolbox was already gray, and since blue/white/gray are our school colors, I decided to paint the chevron stripes white and then add some blue! I really like how it turned out.

I also just HAD to make a Homeworkopoly Board. What better motivation to turn your work in? And basically I'm rewarding those kids that always do their work! Sometimes I feel like we forget the kids that do what they're supposed to do all of the time.  I used pictures and places from around our hometown, and was pleasantly pleased with the final product.
Finally, for now anyways, I wanted a new alphabet. I'm pretty sure that by the time kids hit 5th grade they know their letters, but I still wanted something. And then I came across this website while blog browsing and found this: Crayons to College. I absolutely LOVED this idea and wanted to incorporate it in my own classroom. Basically, it's an alphabet focusing on different characteristics kids need to work on as they grow from crayons to college. She was gracious enough to offer it as a freebie and I made my own sport-themed alphabet. All of the letters are made out of various sport-themed paper. I apologize for the glare from the lamination and lighting. When school starts we'll discuss each characteristic and brainstorm ways that we can be better leaders, work on attitude, or become more organized. This is probably my most favorite thing in the room! (so far)

Whew! I feel like I've gotten some things accomplished. I also wrapped (with the help of my Mom) my teacher desk with blue/white chevron. I'm just debating if I should add to it or not. I am so mad I didn't take a before and after picture, but hopefully when I post my final classroom pics, you'll be able to appreciate the change. 

On my list for this week is to paint a bookshelf, finish some bulletin boards, and create a backdrop for my prayer corner in my room. I'd also LOVE to find a teacher's podium. I'm doing some looking and pricing for having one built! Lots to do in the few weeks we have left, but I love working under pressure. :)

Have a wonderful, and productive, week!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What is it? It's a MAJOR award!

Now when you read the title of this blog post, you need to read it with The Christmas Story in mind. (You know when he's showing off his prized leg lamp to the neighbors outside.) No, I didn't win a lamp for my crazy mad crossword puzzle skills. It's even better! I received an email from Wendy saying she nominated me for the Liebster Award. Wendy was one of my very first followers and such a help when I was setting up my blog! You should check her blog out at: Read With Me ABC.

Just a little background about the Liebster Award:
Award Background

Liebster is a german word that means "dearest," "lovely," or "cute." The purpose of this award is to recognize new blogs that are worth a look. 

The 'rules' to accept this award...

  • Link back to the blogs that nominated me
  • Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
  • Answer the questions posted for us by my nominator
  • Share 11 random facts about me
  • Create 11 questions for my nominees
  • Contact my nominees and let them know of their nomination 
About Me! (Featuring questions from Wendy)
1.  Tell us about your family.
I am married to my best friend and we have four very sweet, very active, boys! Nope, not trying for that girl, just in case someone was going to ask a follow-up question.
2.  Where did you go on your last vacation? last vacation was to Dallas back around Spring Break. But next weekend my husband and I are going for a little R&R to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Just the two of us, NO KIDS!! I can't wait!
3.  Coke or Pepsi?
Definitely Pepsi! Although I prefer Cherry Coke over Cherry Pepsi. Weird.
4.  What's the last movie you watched?
We took the boys to Monsters University and it was really cute. I loved Monsters Inc, so I was hoping Monsters University would match my expectations!
5.  Favorite store to shop in?
Oh wow, this is a tough one. I LOVE Target, I just wish I lived closer to one. But I also love Hobby Lobby and could spend hours in there.
6.  What would you pick as your last meal?
Easy, my last meal would be my mom's lasagna! I love her lasagna with cauliflower/broccoli salad, orange tapioca salad, and rolls. May just have to make that for dinner tomorrow.
7.  Top three blogs you read?
Wow, this is also a hard one. Ever since finding out about Bloglovin' and then picking up the blogging myself, I've found a lot of good ones. I'd say the Top 3 I read every day are:
 8.  Share a quote that is meaningful to you.
I LOVE quotes!! For 8 seasons I coached high school basketball and years before that I coached junior high sports. Before every practice I'd begin with a quote. I'm planning on doing this in my classroom and displaying a quote of some kind for the kids to reflect on. My most favorite quote was painted in our locker room. "Today's Champions are built by yesterday's efforts."
9.  What super power would you like to possess?
I think if I could have a super power it would be speed. If I had super speed I could have a clean house, dinner made, laundry done, and papers graded before heading out to the next sporting event. I'd also be able to race from one kid's game to the next kid's game! Yep, it would definitely speed. 
10. Name one item you can't live without.
The one thing I couldn't live without would probably be my contacts. I really don't like wearing glasses unless I just HAVE to. And I've been wearing glasses/contacts since 1st grade. 
11.  Tell us a funny school story.
Well, I've only taught for a year so I don't have a TON of stories to choose from. A funny moment in my classroom was when we were all working on a project and I decided to let the kiddos listen to Pandora. It was on a Kid's Bop station and all of a sudden, as they're working, they all begin singing and then breaking down in dance. They were actually pretty good. It almost looked like our own High School Musical. :)

11 Random Facts About Me:
1. I graduated college in 3 and half years.
2. My favorite TV show is Scandal.
3. Strawberries are my favorite fruit.  
4. My favorite movie is You've Got Mail and I will stop everything to 
    watch it whenever I find it on TV!  Not sure what I'd do if I was 
    flipping channels during Scandal and found it on.
5. My favorite part of history is the Civil War Era.
6. I coached a high school basketball game 3 days after having my 4th 
    c-section! (Like huddled up - walking the sidelines yelling at refs 
    coaching. I'm pretty proud of that.) 
7. I really want to visit Boston, Charleston, Pearl Harbor, and London.
8. I'm scared of getting sick, snakes, flying, and dying young. 
    (Although I'm getting older, so my idea of  "young" keeps changing 
9. I LOVE to color! Seriously...LOVE it!
10. I used to play the piano, and kinda wish I still could.

My nominations:
1. Ms. Leslie Ann - Life In Fifth Grade
2. Meredith - Ramblings of a fifth and sixth grade teacher...
3. Chanty - The Teaching Bug
4. Mrs. P - The Polka Dot Owl
5. Miss Marsolek - Miss Marsolek's Classroom

My questions for them:
1. What is your favorite school supply?
2.  What is the last DIY project you did?

3.  What is your favorite sport and sports team?
4.  How do you come up with blogging topics?
5.  What is your favorite holiday?
6. Who would play you in a movie about your life story?
7.  What is your favorite cookie?
8.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
9.  Do you have a classroom theme, and if you do, what is it?
10. What color best describes you and why?
11. If you could invite someone famous (living/dead) to dinner, who would it be?

Thanks again Wendy for nominating me! I hope you were able to learn a little more about me and will check back often to see what I'm up to in the classroom. I'm also excited to announce that my blog is going to be getting a facelift in a few weeks! I'm so excited to finally have a cute signature and button! :) Be sure to check out all of the other wonderful blogs nominated.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Get to Know Me...Tic-Tac-Toe Style

Happy Saturday!!! This morning I'm linking up with Latoya over at Flying into First Grade for a fun "Let's Get Acquainted" Linky.  Since I'm fairly new to blogging and I'm getting more and more visitors, I thought this would be a fun way to get to know me a little better.

Just like Tic Tac Toe, you post about 3 of the topics that can make a tic tac toe. I'm going to do mine diagonally.

I went to college at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg (without the "h"), Kansas! We are the home of the Gorillas, the ONLY college in the country that has a Gorilla as a mascot. I was born and raised in Pittsburg and just love living in this town, especially during football season!  My favorite college memory is meeting my husband! I'm a pretty shy person, but it was either sit by him, or some annoying lady and I got up the courage to sit by him. I'm sure glad I did. We met our junior year, graduated together in the fall of '98, and were married in 2000. The icing on the cake...he played football at PSU! I'm a sucker for football players.

My favorite school memory, and this will probably show you the type of competitive person I am was when I was in 4th grade and I was the fastest in the class. I remember having to do the President's fitness test and I won the shuttle run. I was also the quarterback during recess. Needless to say I am not a very girly-girl. Most of my great memories of school involve sports somehow. Like winning basketball tournaments in junior high, going to State in basketball and volleyball, and cheering at State football. (Yep, I was girl enough to cheer in junior high and one year of high school.) I always enjoyed school and have many wonderful memories of my teachers and classmates. I'm sure that's why I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up! The best part, I teach at the school I attended growing up. And this year, all 4 of my boys will be enrolled as Panthers!

My favorite hobbies are watching chick flicks, crafting, baking (NOT COOKING), and playing/watching sports. I enjoy reading history books and love traveling back east to the old cities and battle grounds. If I could, I'd visit different cities just to hit every Open House possible. I LOVE looking at houses and had I not gone in to education, probably should have been a real estate agent. Blogging is now becoming another hobby of mine and I hope you'll continue to check in as I grow in it!

Now you know a little about me. Be sure to check in with Mrs. Reed at Flying into First Grade and learn a little more about some other great bloggers.  Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July....currently!

Happy 4th of July and Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to all of the men and women serving in our military. You and your families will especially be in my thoughts and prayers today! I appreciate your dedication and sacrifice. My cousin entered the Naval Academy last week. Our family is very proud of him and we know he'll do great. Doesn't he look handsome?
Since it's only July 4th, I thought I'd link up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her July Currently linky. There are over 500 bloggers that have linked up, so be sure to head on over. It's pretty much a guarantee you are going to find some amazing blogs!

LISTENING: Since I woke up at 4:40 this morning and couldn't fall back to sleep, I decided to come on down and hop on the computer. Right now the computer is in the dining room and it looks like the three younger boys decided to veg out in the living room last night. So, I'm blog hopping while listening to them all snore. I like looking over at them though. They sure are angels when they are asleep.

LOVING: I am totally loving this weather. It's not too hot and it's not too cold. Although my ideal weather is jeans and a sweatshirt, I'll GLADLY take this in crazy-humid Kansas on July 4th! Tonight should be a wonderful night to watch the fireworks.

THINKING: 14 years ago today Eric asked me to marry him. I remember it was a Sunday and I just got back from church and had a meltdown because I just knew he was NEVER going to ask. Part of me thought he would because the 4th is one of his most favorite holidays, and ladies, you know how we put so much thought in to things. :)  Little did I know that before we went to watch the city fireworks, he was asking my dad for my hand! All I remember is seeing fireworks and then a sparkling ring! So glad I said "YES!"

WANTING: A vacation with the hubby! I don't care where we go, I just want it to be him and I. 14 years and 4 kids later, we need a little reconnecting time.

NEEDING: We are having a neighborhood block party tonight and I really need to come up with something to take to it. Dessert, dip, salad...I can't decide. 

TIPS,TRICKS, or HINTS: Take it one day at a time. I think sometimes I get so caught up in everything, I just forget to breathe. I need to relax a little more and just enjoy life. My classroom will get up and going, the laundry will eventually get done, and the house will some day be clean. I just want to slow down and enjoy the little things!

I hope you and your family has a wonderful, and safe, 4th of July! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Going on a Blog Hunt!

It's summer, but if I'm not on Pinterest pinning new bulletin board ideas or how to incorporate the Common Core in to my ELA and Social Studies lessons, I'm blog stalking and following! I've already found so many creative and amazing blogs that have given me ideas for my classroom this upcoming year. I've also learned a lot about how to blog (yet I have so much more to learn) and I'm meeting teachers from all over the U.S. Blogs are just another great way to share and get ideas.

If you are new to blogging, like me, and keep hearing about this thing called "Bloglovin", it's just a platform for you to follow all of your blogs. It's actually really handy. I just click on my bloglovin' button and all of the blogs I follow are listed. I love having them all listed there to view with the must current post. If you'd like to follow me on Bloglovin', just click on the button to the left and hit "follow".

I'm also linking up with Laura Candler at Corkboard Connections. Be sure to click on the icon below and enjoy finding and following some really great blogs! You'll be glad you did.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Must Have Monday and July Goals

It's July 1st! 46 days until the first day of school, and that's including the weekends.  I can't believe how fast this summer is going and how much of my "To-Do" list I was going to accomplish hasn't even been touched yet. YIKES! I'm stressin' just a little bit, but sometimes I do better under pressure. Let's hope that is the case now.
Now that it's Monday AND July 1st, I'm sitting down and mapping the rest of my summer. I'm tweaking my To-Do list and feeling the crunch of the last few weeks of summer break. I've told myself I'm going to get moving and get things done. (Let's just hope my kids will let me!) To start me off, I'm linking up with Sabra at Teaching with a Touch of Twang for her Must Have Monday linky party.
My Must have this week are my blank calendars that go on the side of my fridge. I have two. One is a "Master" calendar. Each family member has a color designated to them which makes it easy for me to glance at it and see who is doing what for the day. July is pretty wide open now that baseball is coming to an end. I am going to have so much more time now that I won't be at a ball park every day!

The calendar on the bottom is a weekly calendar for each of the boys. Seems a little redundant, but I use this calendar more for their individual practice times, and more importantly their school schedules like bringing treats, test dates, and important assignments. I was able to customize these to my liking and the entire calendar back is magnetic, so it doesn't slip or slide off. I LOVE them! I ordered them through Customized Creations!

With it being July 1st, and me wanting to be more "on top of things" I've decided to also link up with Jess at I {Heart} Recess for my July Goals. I've listed mine below and am REALLY going to try to accomplish them. If you can't tell, I'm on a mission!
PERSONAL:  Grow more in my faith. I need to do a better job of making more time for my faith. A long time ago I ordered a prayer journal and it's really awesome, I just haven't dedicated the time I should to it. With the stresses of life, I realize I need to put more faith in HIM, because with Him I'll be able to do anything!

FAMILY: With 4 boys, it's sometimes hard to give everyone the undivided attention they want. Before school begins, I'd really like to spend some 1 on 1 time with each of the boys. My second, Cooper, always asks to go on "Date Nights" and I truly enjoy them. I get to have conversations with them that I probably wouldn't had we not taken the time to go on our dates. A little 1 on 1 time with the hubby would be great too! :)

HEALTH:  I think I put this as a June goal, but it never went anywhere. Well, now I'm on a mission. I'm going to begin my workouts and do my very best to cut out the pop. The last time I did this, it didn't take me very long to not crave it as much or often, so I know it can be done. Willpower, something I lack more than I'd like to admit.

SCHOOL:  Organize and Prepare. I know that's pretty vague, but I'm still going through my classroom and would really like to be ahead of the game before school actually starts. I have all four in school this year, with one in junior high, which means game nights on the week nights, so we'll be plenty busy. I don't want to feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water, especially since I'm starting out at a new grade level. My goal is to be at least 2-3 weeks ahead in my planning. My new Erin Condren planner should help with that!

BLOG/TPT: I'm not tech savvy enough yet to do anything TPT, but I'd really like to begin planning what to blog and hopefully share some things that others could find useful! Right now I'm struggling to come up with, what I think, are blog-worthy posts. Hopefully as I begin preparing for my class, I'll have lots of ideas to share.

OUTSIDE THE BOX:  This summer I swore I was going to try new recipes so that when the school year hit I'd have plenty of meal plans to fall back on.  Well, that hasn't happened either, and probably because I really don't like to cook. My goal, try at least 1 new recipe each week before school begins. It won't give me a ton of new recipes, but it's a start. 

Now that I've spent some time on the computer, it's time to get off and begin working on all of my goals and To-Do lists! Be sure to link up with Sabra and Jess and good luck with your own goals this July!