Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ah-Mazing Target Find

Okay, so I know I probably shouldn't post more than once a day, but I got an amazing deal at Target a few weeks ago, and I just had to share.  First of all, I stalked the school supplies.  Some were on clearance, but not nearly as many as I would have liked.  I did get some paper (which I've already taken to school) and these folders.  I can't find the receipt so I'm not sure how much they were, but I wanna say maybe 44 or 70-some cents?

Then, I saw this bag. 

The bag actually kind of reminds me of my 31 bag.  But, it didn't really jump out at me as being something I would normally buy.  That is, until I saw this:

Seriously!  Was $21 and on clearance for $5.24!  Ah-mazing!  Now, do I need another bag?  No, but you just can't pass this deal up.  My Target had TONS of these left, and another style as well.  They were back with the school supplies near the book bags.  Check yours out and see if your Target has this.  Even if you can't use it for yourself, you could always add teacher supplies for a new teacher gift.

Hope everyone has a great week.  I personally can't wait until it's over because A:  It's a super busy week (especially Thursday - 4:00 meeting, 5:30 conference, & 7:00 class) & B:  We're going to the Carolina/Auburn game on Saturday!  I am super stoked!!  Go Gamecocks!

I'm linking up here:


Versatile Blogger Award

So I was stalking perusing all of my favorite blogs today and catching up on some old posts when I was SHOCKED to find that I had been recognized as a Versatile Blogger!  Wow, I am so honored.  I literally had to do a double triple take!  Thanks so much to Allyce at Teaching and Life: at the Beach.  Check out her super cute and wonderful blog!

The rules for the Award are as follows:
1. Thank the person/people that nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to 15 other blogs that you have discovered

Thank you SO much again Allyce!  I am so honored that you (and others) are reading my little 'ol blog! 

Here are 7 things about me (you may already know some of these if you are a regular reader):
1.  My husband and I have been married a little over two years, but we've been together since freshman year of high school!  We are definitely high school sweethearts :)

2.  Our dog Gizmo is our child.  He was originally my sister's dog, but the hubby and I acquired him in college and we just love him to pieces.

3.  I am a TV addict.  Seriously, I could sit in front of the TV all day long and be totally satisfied.

4.  I love to read, but I usually only read right as I'm going to sleep.  During the school year I can only manage to read for about 10 minutes before the book is (literally) hitting me in the face!

5.  I am a huge dork, although if you meet me, I'm really shy.  I only let my true dorkiness out when I know you really well. 

6.  When I laugh really hard, I close my right eye.  I can't help it.

7.  I am currently persuing my Masters in Literacy Education.  Between that, teaching, and other meetings, I have no life during the week and very little life on the weekends.

It's going to be really hard to choose just 15 blogs.  I literally stalk every single blog on my blog roll.  I tried to choose people who had not blogged about receiving the aware yet, although I'm sure some of you have received it already!  Here are some of my favorites though!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Making Fossils and Exploring Soil

Let me preface this post by saying how much I love teaching science.  Well, I just love science in general.  It's ironic because when I was younger I hated science.  Well maybe hate is too strong of a word.  I just didn't get excited about it.  My kids LOVE science and they always have.  I feel like science is kind of one of those subjects, along with math, that you just see that light bulb go off.  This week in our class we made fossils.  It is a 3rd grade standard in our state that students distinguish between the three types of fossils: mold, cast, and preserved part.  So, we made each type.  Then, I typed up the information and we discussed what paper would go with which fossil.  Here are some pictures of the students working (I totally spaced and forgot to take a picture of the finished product....I'll do that on Monday :)

Students cutting out their labels.  The fossil on the left is a mold.  Students used either dice or a fake animal to make the impression.  The middle is a preserved part.  Students flattened their play-dough and put a paper clip in the middle.  The last one is a cast.  Students made a hole in their play-dough and then added shredded paper to fill the hole.

Here's another shot.  Again, I'll update this post with a close up picture next week.

We also investigated soil samples as well.  There were four different stations for students to go to.  They had to identify the soil, define it, list any special properties of the soil, and glue a sample on their paper.  Here are some few.

Next week we'll be making our own (edible) metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rocks.  I can't wait to show you!  I'm linking this at the Clutter Free Classroom's A Week in My Planbook.  Be sure to check it out! :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Take a Peek at my Bag!

I had full intentions to post this yesterday, but we had major car drama.  Plus, I had to finish up my lesson plans for next week.  Abby (I say this like I personally know her and we go way back) over at The Inspired Apple (you know, one of the most amazing teaching blogs ever) is having a What's In Your Bag? Linky Party.  You know I love a good linky party so here goes!

Here's my wonderful 31 bag (so many of you also love 31 too)!  I like this because it's big and has 5 pockets on the outside plus two mesh pockets as well!

I brought these home to plan and I actually did!  A lot of times I bring things home and they stay right in the bag!

Some intervention folders, an extra gradebook, and some Voyager assessments I need to put in the computer.

My notebook for my grad classes, copies of the SORT test I have to administer, and interest inventory on the student I'm tutoring.

I don't carry a purse to work so I keep my phone, wallet, and keys in my bag as well.  I have 2 calenders (don't know why...I can barely keep up with one).  That animal book has been in there for about 3 weeks.  The EDM CD I brought home to load onto my home computer.

And now we get to the junk.  All of this came out of the pockets on the outside.  I've been carrying those yogurt coupons since April (yikes!).  I took the mouthwash to school last week because I woke up 30 minutes late and had to grab breakfast on my way to work.  I always have my mp3 player with me (sad:  no iPod here!) and I hook it up to my computer speakers at work.  Some pretty pens, tab dividers, lip stuff (love that Blistex), and my sunglasses wipes.  Oh, and 3 AAA batteries, because doesn't everyone carry that in their bag?!

Okay, sorry about the blurriness, but I took these yesterday and am too exhausted to do it again today.  This is the bottom of my bag.  We're continuing our junk/random stuff tour so maybe it's a good thing this is blurry!  My umbrella (always have it with me...ya never know!), a bag with a coozie in it, random receipts & papers (I can't even begin to decide if they should be saved), and hairspray.  Yes, that's right, hairspray.  On a cool morning a few weeks ago I had the windows down, jamming to my tunes when it occurred to me I never used hairspray.  Now for some of you, this is not a necessity.  If I don't glue this hair down, I've got a major 'fro on my hands.  I had to stop off at Wal-Mart, get the hairspray, and flatten it with a ruler when I got to work.  Classy I know :)

So, that's my bag!  I can't wait to see everyone elses!  Make sure you head over and link up! :)


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Confessions Linky Party

So I really need to be going to bed.  I have a bazillion things I should be doing, but I just can't turn down a linky party.  Okay, I can, but this one promises to be quick.  On a random side note, I feel like I am starting almost every post with my need for sleep.  Ahh, such is the life of a teacher.

So Miss Megan over at Kindergarten Teacher Tales is hosting a linky party for confessions of the first few days/ weeks/ month of school.  Here's mine:

  1. I started with six.  On Monday, my class literally doubled.  I was expecting 5 new students and got a brand spanking new student as well.  I was prepared for the 5.  The extra one, not so much.  Stress level through the roof.
  2. I have yet to start guided reading.  Well, that's a lie.  We did guided reading for one week.  Then I got some five new friends who needed to be Dominie tested.  Does anyone else do Dominie testing at their school?  This leads me to my next confession...
  3. I love enjoy have to do Dominie testing, BUT I kinda sorta wanna pull my hair out when I sit a kid down to test them with what I know is the perfect book on their level and they tell me they've already read it and recount e-v-e-r-y last detail.  Oh, and the next book up?  Yeah, they've read that too.  Sigh...
  4. My kids have changed dismissal more than I've ever had dismissal changes in all of my many years (3) of teaching experience.  I would really like to make a cute dismissal sign, but I refuse to until we all know where we're going.  I think we're good, but I've had word that one of mine can't behave in the after-school program and could be kicked out.  I-yi-yi
  5. I was kinda nervous to find one student on my roster.  This student didn't have the best of years last year, and I would know because his 2nd grade class was right next to mine.  This year, no problems whatsoever (knock on wood) and he is as sweet as can be.  He is really a model student.  Love!
  6. I only have two girls.  The rest are boys.  Overall, my class is really sweet and eager to please.  I also love getting hugs and sweet notes from my students :)
  7. I have totally slacked on my diet.  I am going back into the full swing this week.  I started using My Fitness Pal ( this summer and I have loved it.  I've dropped about 8 pounds so far, but between school starting back up (both my job and grad school) and football get togethers (read: JUNK FOOD), I haven't been doing the best. 
So those are my confessions.  I'm sure as I'm about to fall asleep tonight I'll be like, "Oh man, I can't believe I forgot to put that!"  Oh well :)  I hope you head on over and link up as well.  I'd love to hear (see?) your confessions!  Have a great week everyone!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Portable Word Wall With Test Taking Privacy

Whew, I am so glad tomorrow today is Friday!  My hubby said something about 4 day work weeks being just as hard as 5 day work weeks and I was trying to figure out what he was talking about!  It took me a few seconds before I realized we had Monday off!  This week has been eventful to say the least.  I found out yesterday we are losing an amazing teacher due to our 10 day count being short :(.  I am so sad!  That also means that one of the other third grade teachers will be going back down to 2nd grade, where she was last year.  I will also be getting about 5 more students so I'm a little overwhelmed trying to make sure I have everything set up and ready to go for Monday.  In fact, I stayed at school until 5:40 this afternoon!  I am looking forward to resting this weekend and the USC vs. Georgia game!  I love that some of you are also big college football fans!  I am slightly obsessed, which I'm sure you can't tell :)

So anyways, back to what this post is about.  I can take no credit for this because I got all of the sheets and ideas from the current 3rd grade chair who has been teaching 3rd grade for about 6 years.  Just wanted to share that disclaimer :)

In the beginning of the year (and likely next week for all my new friends who are joining my room), I give my students these sheets to decorate (including stamping their coins):

Word Wall[1]

  Now last year, I learned my lesson.  First, let me show you what they look like assembled so you get what I'm saying.  Here it is (notice...still not laminated...arg!)

So last year, I laminated the file folders first.  Then, when the students finished coloring in their pages, I stapled every little page on (including the word wall part on the inside, which was blank mind you).  Well, since most of you are teachers I'm sure you know where I'm going with were coming out, poking kids left and right.  So this year, I knew something had to change. 

I had the kids color the pages like they normally do.  Then, I glued the pages on the outside of the file folders.  Then, I had to decide...would the kids write the word wall words or should I just give them the lists already printed out.  I'm sure you can guess which one I went with.  So now, I'm just waiting for these babies to be laminated so we can use them.

I love these word walls because:
  • They offer privacy during test taking
  • They have all sight words/common spelling words students always ask how to spell
  • They have some common words, like months and days of the week for students to know how to spell
So anywhos, I hope you like this and hopefully you can use them in your classroom!  This is one of the first times I've used scribd so I'm not sure if you can access it.  Let me know if not! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  I'm gearing up for the battle between the hedges... USC vs. Georgia!  Whoop whoop!

P.S.  I thought I'd mention I sat down so excited to write this last night and got to typing and then of course I didn't have the pdf saved on my flash drive!  And my school e-mail wasn't now I'm wondering why I felt the need to share this tidbit of info...I blame it on my sleep deprived self!  Oh that's right...I'm seeing it now..because the beginning of my post is all about tomorrow being Friday...guess I should change that :)


Monday, September 5, 2011

I'm Still Here...

Okay, so I am quickly turning into one of those bloggers who used to get on my nerves.  Well, let me rephrase because that sounds mean.  Before starting this blog, I stalked read tons of blogs.  Like, read them every single day.  My favorites list was quickly growing out of control.  I would always be so upset when there wasn't a new post for me to read.  This is truly a sign of an obsession.  I highly doubt so, but if anyone has been stalking my blog, I do apologize!

I don't want to make excuses, but we all know how busy the beginning of the school year can be.  Add to that the 6 hours of graduate classes I'm taking and I am a Busy B!  I was also stressing out because I have to tutor a kid for 20 hours and I just wasn't sure how I was going to do it! 

Here is what I've been up to (totally non school related):

COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!!  Umm, words can't express how excited I am to have College Football back on (particularly USC!).  Any other Carolina fans?  Do you like College Football?  Just for extra fun, here's our "family picture:"  P.S.  I obviously didn't learn to not put my thumbs up in my pictures...

Doesn't our pup look just miserable?!  He was definitely forced into this picture.  I think the hubsters and I scare him when we watch Carolina play...a lot of screaming and jumping!

I also made a wreath!  Can you tell I might be slightly obsessed?  I saw this on pinterest and here's how mine turned out :)

Okay, so now for a few school things.  Last year, I switched jobs every week.  After seeing that a lot of bloggers switch jobs less often, I thought I'd give it a go.  My students had the same jobs for all of August and they'll have new jobs this week.  Like I said before, I only have 6 students, so my jobs are kind of limited.  I have a lot of other jobs, but think it's easier for them to keep up with just one.  We reviewed the jobs and then they filled out a job application.  I put both of these below for you to use if you'd like :)

Here is the pdf of my job application and here is the pdf of our classroom job descriptions (with a cuter font :)

Hope everyone is doing great and hopefully I'll be back again this week with some fun word wall ideas :)  Just waiting on our laminator to be fixed!

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