Friday, June 28, 2013



Maybe not too surprised--yet still puts a damper on my summer break.

I didn't teach this summer. I treated myself to days of doing whatever I wished. Sleeping. Naps. Drinking coffee on the porch. Shopping.

But then...the unexpected. Facing two surgeries which may keep me from lazying around and working on school stuff (as in decorations and decor) when I want. Just returned from a trip to Florida and having three days to finish a lot of work in the classroom.

Day 1 of the three day push: Redid the background on the bulletin boards for the word wall. I do like it much better!

I changed the border to chevron. I had ordered it and it came in while I was on vacation so worked on the boards at the front of the room.

Day 2 of the three day push: Worked on the back and side bulletin boards. I also changed my work station areas.

Day 3 of the push (today by the way...) was tossing junk, organizing and finishing up replacing all the polka dots with chevron.

How about that lamp shade? I covered the polka dot shade with some leftover fabric and lots of hot glue gun and clothes pins. It looks really nice...until I actually turn the lamp on and the polka dots show through. (Oh Well....)

I still have to find a classroom rug for the meeting area. I figured that when the back to school College decor arrives I should be able to find one fairly cheaply. (I will make a cushion for the rocker too!)

The beginning of my science area. I did sort through my school supply stash to see what I have and what I need to purchase. We (district rules cop) doesn't allow us to ask parents for school supplies so it is important that I stalk the back to school sales. Since this MAY be my last year as a teacher I don't want to purchases too much.

The beginning of my math area. I put labels on the math tubs and changed the border. I have my math books in a tub in the area. 

These are those ugly metal cabinets. You just might think they are ugly metal cabinets but actually they are my walk in storage closet. You know the huge room to store items. Nada. They are two metal cabinets. On the left one I hot glued outdoor fabric and hot glued border. The one on the right has several of the $1 pocket charts from Target. Guess how I attached them? SHHH--with hot glue! Since the charts were a little too narrow I cut one border piece and glued it down the middle so the doors will open.

Tomorrow I am going to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and getting hot glue.

My word work area is somewhat organized. I need to run off the recording sheets. I will introduce one station activity at a time.

And to finish off my three day classroom FUN I put on the chair covers I had made and straightened the classroom library. The yellow bins are fiction. The royal blue baskets hold chapter books and author study groups. The aqua ones are non-fiction. 

I can now take two weeks of surgery, doctor appointments, and staying at home to recoup. Yikes, we go back on August 1 and I have three days of common core training before that. Where did summer go?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Copycat Fail

I think we all gain ideas and share our thoughts and plans. That is what so great about my blogging time--mostly getting ideas and not sharing.

When this post by TTT sparked my eye I thought I could surely make my room just as pleasing. 

I had already purchased the alphabet set so I began printing. I can work in my classroom..all..summer...long!

It just doesn't compare! I'm going to have to regroup and figure out what I can do to make it work. I want to keep the chevron. It just looks cold and boring. I've ordered the chevron border in aqua and gray so maybe that will help when I replace the yellow border.  Or maybe I can change the background on my word wall to the dark blue with the aqua chevron border.  Or maybe I can change the background on my word wall to the dark blue with the gray chevron border.  Or maybe I can leave the tan background and add the chevron border.

I am a follower--not a leader! 

But the great news is that I still have five and a half weeks to figure this out!

My crate seats turned out great! I like the warm feeling on them so I may need to take it and run with it!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

AR Clip Chart--Chevron Style

Our district requires that each first grader can read 25 books independently. Since these have to be recorded I use AR tests (80%-100% mastery) as a way to keep track of the requirement. But the parents and kids get really confused about points and books since most of the AR books are .5 points. 

I made this clip chart to use so the kids will see where they are.

Last year I used stickers to record and it was a struggle just to get some kids to the 25 book goal. Some just quit when they reached the 25 books. Not what I really want the kids to do. I really, really, really am not sold on AR but since our school is "into it" I go along. I would rather the kids read for enjoyment and information. Hopefully this will encourage the kids to keep reading!

This is last years clip chart for behavior which I never used so I will replace it with AR and reward each step with a small token of some kind.

We are tossing a basal in our district and using a balanced literacy approach--based on reading and writing workshop. We are using the Benchmark Literacy adoption. 

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Made It--Week 2

I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics Monday Made It.

Last week I showed you my chevron fabric choices. This week I will show you...that I made 24 chair covers! It was nice wonderful  awesome fantastic to know that I didn't have to try to sew chair covers in one weekend. Can I get an amen for having summer break?

From this:

To this:

I actually had not liked the green chevron but when the covers were completed they have grown on me. I made six of each color so I can have teams set for a color or just randomly spread them throughout! 

They were easy to make--the easiest I have ever attempted. Partly the ease was the chevron was one sided so I didn't make mistakes on which was the "good side". Another part was the fact that the solid navy blue fabric allowed me to use the two "finished edges" on 2/3 of the project. 

Step 1: Cut the chevron for the pockets. And the solid navy for the chair size.

Step 2: Sew one end of the chevron to the solid. (Good side down). Make a 1 inch (I just used my eye measurement for this part) hem on the top edge of the chevron. 

Step 3: (the tricky--keep focused step!) Fold the solid fabric toward the finished side of the chevron. Fold the finished side of the chevron over the solid--meaning the solid fold is inside. Sew both side seams. The top of the chevron should match to the fold of the solid. 
 The solid fold is hidden inside!
 Sew the side seams.

Step 4: YOU ARE Finished!!! Can I say another "AMEN"
All you do is unfold the cover, cut your threads, and iron.

The pocket portion.

The solid portion that slips over the chair back.

I probably spent 4 hours total--including cutting the fabric, replacing the broken needle on the sewing machine, threading that tiny needle numerous times it seemed, and sewing! 

This week's projects are to decide on my valances for my two tiny windows and make the pillows. 

At home: I did water my flowers on my screened in porch, SIT on my screened in porch, and relax!

Have a great summertime week!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Chevron freebies

With my chevron projects I plan for my classroom I've been making a few updates to my reading workshop. I use the Really Good Stuff baskets for the kids to house their independent reading materials for each week.

Since mine currently have polka dotted ones I made some new ones in Chevron

Sorry the numbers aren't in order. I thought about making the borders different colors to match the baskets but "changed my mind".

I let the kids have reading spots around the room. Each week it rotates by using a Target pocket chart and moving the book nook numbers beside each partner group. I made these labels to place around the room to numerate the book nooks.

I like being able to make these from home this summer while relaxing!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Monday Making It--Week 1

It's summer and it's time for Monday Made It!

I am make things for next year.  I've been thinking and dreaming and trying to decide.

So far I know I am going Chevron! Joining thousands of others in this love I know isn't very authentic. But I heart the look. Several trips to Hobby Lobby (you know 40% off one cut of fabric and one each day) have given me a great start.

I "think" I am going with these four colors as the pocket portion of chair covers I will make. The aqua solid will be the background for my word wall. Is that not the cutest ribbon? Hobby Lobby has it in several colors but they are more of the bright shades.

I will get a dark navy blue or black for the main portion of the chair covers. Some Wal-Marts still carry fabric so I am hoping I can pick that up there. It is $10 a yard at Hobby Lobby so it is possible there also.

I have a banner over the top of some of my bulletin boards.
This is a view from last year. These were fabric pieces with polka dots. I made some on the printer and laminated them. 

They haven't been cut out yet but I'm thinking this will be my pattern. I am adding the darker blue to go with my bulletin board fabric. Since the boards are already covered I really don't want to spend any $$$ on that!

This next week hopefully I will sew the chair covers and get the banners put together! And I need to visit the school supply store and think about bulletin board borders. I really want to take down the green polka dots!