Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tippy Tuesday~It's The Little Things

Welcome to the last adventure in Tippy Tuesday for the month of January!  February is on almost here!  Unbelievable right?!?!  For today's Tippy Tuesday, I want to focus in on an item that can help teachers organize their desk space.  So many things to find places for and so many of them are so small.  Rubber bands, pencil erasers, paper clips, binder clips, etc.  I could probably go on for awhile!  In the past, I used this container from Lakeshore.
Classroom Carry-All
I had it on my desk and stored my pencils and scissors in it.  Then the random little things would collect in the bottom and I had to store other little items in small containers in my desk.  Not ideal.  The container is awesome, don't get me wrong.  The bright colors alone sold me!  It is great for a writing station or art center.  But for my desk, not the best.

Then, over the summer, I found a BrIlLiAnT solution to my desk storage problem, of course via Pinterest.  The photo originates from Redbook Magazine.
A spice rack for all the little things.  Easy and genius.  Everything is visible, yet enclosed.  I heart it!  Does anyone use this method of desk storage?  I think it is perfect and will definitely give it a try when I am back in the classroom!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tag! You're It!

Jessica over at Apples and Papers tagged me to participate in this fun little game.  Here’s the rules:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

To start, here are 12 things about me!

·        I could live in Old Navy flip flops that sell for $2.50 a pair.  Darn Michigan winters that prohibit me from doing so!
·        I consider myself to be an extremely organized person.  However, as a teacher, I am a chronic piler!  Hopefully this changes this year as my one little word is OrGaNiZe!
·        When I was in kindergarten, my little brother slammed about a fourth of an inch of my finger in the car door.  It was successfully sewn back on, but you can still see the indent.  It may or may not be a little crooked and to this day, the nail does not grow very well.
·        I love me some purses and pajama pants.  If only one were as cheap as the other!
·        I am 26, but consider myself to be much more technically challenged then I should be at this age. 
·        I consider my big sister to be my best friend! 
·        My niece, Emma Rae, is the cutest and sweetest 6 month old ever.  I am so blessed to be her Godmother.
·        I have been the same height, 5’9”, since the sixth grade when I grew five inches in five months.  I don’t remember it, but I am pretty sure it was painful.
·        For the first time in my life, I am exercising five days a week!  I hope to continue even when I get a job in the fall.
·        I have an English Springer Spaniel named Lilly Rae.  She is about a year and a half old.  Reese, her sister, lives with my parents.  They are best buds when they aren’t fighting!
·        One of my cousins nicknamed me Colgate as a youngster and I have no idea why.
·        I am so excited that I thought of 12 things to share about my rather boring self!

Now onto the hopefully much easier task of answering the questions Jessica had for me and the other bloggers she tagger! 

1.If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead who would it be?
Oh that is a toughie.  If I could meet a blogger, it would be Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade.  Hers was the first blog I ever discovered and is the first one I check every day.  If I could meet an actress, actually two, they would be Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, and Melissa McCarthy from Gilmore Girls.  BEST SHOW EVER!  And if I could meet someone who is no longer with us, I think Abraham Lincoln would probably have very interesting things to say.

2. If you weren’t teaching what would you be doing?
I think I would want to be a personal organizer.  Then I could get paid to buy and use all of the baskets and organizers I buy!

3.  What was your favorite thing about school when you were a student?
Helping the teacher grade papers!

4. What do you wish you were better at?
I wish I was better at relaxing and letting go! 

5. What is your favorite store to shop at?
I don’t know that I can pick just one favorite:>!  I love the Gap, Ann Taylor’s The Loft, Vanity, and American Eagle if I am looking for clothes.  I love some Target, Dollar Tree, and Wal-Mart for classroom supplies.

6.  What is two things you need for your dream classroom?
I have to have a carpet with all the squares to use for management and because it is bright and cheery.  And I would love an Elmo.  I have never had one in a classroom I taught in and think it would be an amazing teaching and learning tool.

7.  Where do you want to travel to?
If I get married someday, I would love to honeymoon in Greece.  Looks beautiful!

8.  Favorite TV show?
Most of my favorite TV shows are no longer on.  I love Gilmore Girls, Friends, Home Improvement, Full House, and so many others.  My favorite current shows are The Biggest Loser, NCIS, Flashpoint, Chopped, and Cupcake Wars.

9.  What is your least favorite chores?
My least favorite chore is dishes.  Not a fan!

10.  Would you rather be an actor, singer, or athlete?
A singer for sure!  Though it would be fun to be an actor and pretend to be someone else.

11.  Who or what inspires you?
My mom. 

12. What’s your favorite children’s book?
I loved all The Little Golden Books as a child.  My favorite read aloud for the classroom is probably Jungle Drums by Graeme Base.  One of my professors read it to my class in college and ever since then it is one of my favorites!

And now for those I am tagging.  You’re it!

·        Mrs. Cupcake over at A Cupcake for the Teacher.  She has been oh so helpful to me as a new blogger and she has many great ideas!
·        Mrs. Terhune over at Mrs. Terhune’s First Grade Site.  I just discovered her tonight via Pinterest and let me tell you I am in organized heaven when I look at her classroom photos.
·        Abby over at The Inspired Apple (I know y’all already know and love her), just introduced me to the blog Darlin’ In First.  She has got some cute ideas going on.  I especially love her skill drills idea!
·        Lori at Conversations In Literacy has left a few comments on my blog.  I just love comments.  And I love how she used a Venn Diagram to sort letters.  Easy peasy and simple!
·        Lastly, I am hearting Heather at Heather’s Heart.  She has posted some awesome ideas on her blog this week, as well as many before that.  She is a freebie kind of gal!  Love:>.  And she offered to answer blog questions for me.  How nice is that?!?!

And now for the twelve things I want to know about these lovely ladies.

·        Favorite place to buy school supplies:
·        Funniest kid moment:
·        Favorite TV show:
·        Favorite children’s book:
·        Favorite sweet treat:
·        Best gift you have ever given/received:
·        Favorite thing to buy for yourself:
·        Favorite classroom attention getter:
·        School supply you could not live without:
·        Favorite holiday:
·        Favorite quote, teachery or otherwise:
·        Favorite novel:

If you made it through this post, kiss your brain!  I can’t wait to learn more about the lovely ladies I just tagged!  Happy Sunday everybody!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Freebie

Howdy!  Happy weekend to all my friends out there in blogland!  I was so excited to post about using binder pouches to organize centers yesterday.  Afterward, I pinned it and just about jumped up and down every time someone else pinned it!  So exciting to have an idea that someone else likes or finds useful!  And now onto why y'all are here.  My very first FREEBIE!  Because I am not in the classroom this year, it is difficult for me to come up with freebies to make.  However, counting coins is something that I think all kiddos need extra practice with.  So, I went in that direction for this freebie.  This is a matching center and includes a recording sheet and even a BONUS question.  My little smartie mcfarties (yes, I come up with the most brilliant nicknames) always loved a bonus question!  I hope this downloads easy peasy and is useful to someone out there.  Have a great weekend bloggy friends!

Costly Candies


Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Center Storage Style

Try and say that five times fast:)!  Today, I am linking up with The Lesson Plan Diva to share how I store and organize my centers.  I have been a teacher with a classroom for three years.  In that short span of time, I feel like I have tried every way possible to store centers, including baggies, envelopes, baskets, and more!  It wasn't until recently that I came up with a way that I hope will work for me from here on out.

I am sure y'all know those binder pouches that are on sale for super cheap during back to school sales.  These are my new favorite center storage item.  If you buy a unit chock full of awesome centers from a fabulous blog, or download a freebie center, you can store them in one of these babies!  I like to store each individual center in there own pouch and if it is an entire unit, I am attempting to be super organized and store them all in the same color.  Then I add a handy label to the outside, stating what is in the pouch.  I even add a little code to the sticker, as well as to the recording sheets, so I know what is what.  Make sense?  Here's a photo that will help clarify, or at least I hope!

The centers above are from the fabulous ladies at Made For First Grade.

I keep all of my recording sheets in a binder.  The binder above is where all of my Christmas center recording sheets are stored.  In the binder pouch, I have one center and to the right in the binder are the instructions and sheets.  I have one of those binder pouches for each of the centers in the unit.  I know it is very hard to tell, but I coded the sticker on the pouch with HJ2, standing for Holly Jolly center #2, and the instruction page is labeled with the same code.  That way, when I pull out these centers 10 years from now, I know what goes with what. 

I hope that makes some sort of sense.  I love these little pouches and to me they seem to be sturdier than a Ziploc or envelope.  As far as items like board games that are larger than the pouches, I have not came up with a solution that works for me yet!  If you have any questions on my center storage solution or just something to say, please leave me a comment!  And in the photo below is a little preview of the very first center/freebie I created!  Be sure to check back tomorrow to get it!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Hey y'all!  It is Wednesday once again.  That means I am linking up with Jamie once again!  Here's what I am loving this week!
I am loving that schools everywhere are celebrating the 100th day of school.  As a laid off teacher, that means this year is one day closer to being done and I am hopefully one day closer to landing the teaching job of my dreams somewhere!

I am loving that I am getting more aquainted with blogger!  The more I use it, the easier it is getting.  I can't wait to be an old pro:)!

I am loving my Scotch Thermal Laminator!  Without a classroom, I have no access to a big time laminator.  This little machine is amazing.  I am able to laminate all the awesome finds out there in blogland!

I'm loving that I got my partner for the Be My Valentine Exchange!  Now I have to decide what I am going to make/buy!  Super exciting!

And of course, I'm loving some Pinterest finds this week!

Am I the only mint obsessed person out there?  These Andes Mint Cupcakes look absolutely divine!  Now I just need to make them.

Not only do I love the message and the look of this sign, what could be more perfect for a teacher than crayons?

I am in love with all of the activities Heather posted about Crabs, Blenders, and Smiles!  Too cute!  Something I definitely want to do once I am back in the classroom!

And that is all for this weeks WILW!  Be sure to check back later this week for my very first freebie!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tippy Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everybody!  I hope all is well in the lives of my lovely followers!  For those people who teach where I live, there have been two snow days in a row.  An unexpected FOUR day weekend!  Very exciting. 

Anyways, onto this Tippy Tuesday Tip!  I have discovered what I must call one of my new favorite teacher blogs!  Mrs. Cupcake over at A Cupcake for the Teacher is FaBuLoUs!  Not only does she have fantastic ideas, but she also has been very helpful to me as a new blogger!  I have asked her a few silly new blogger questions and she has been extremely helpful!  So nice!  So this Tippy Tuesday Tip from Mrs. Cupcake is great for classroom organization.  I have always struggled to find a way to organize samples of craftivities, as well as the tracers to go along with each project.  Mrs. Cupcake shared that she uses 12x12 storage containers from Michaels.  Genius!
The perfect size for craftivities and the tracers!

See?!  So organized!  One container and some Ziploc bags.  Easy Peasy!!

So that is all for this weeks Tippy Tuesday!  If you haven't visited Mrs. Cupcake yet, be sure you do!  You will be very glad you did!



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy 100th Day!

Happy almost 100th day to my 12 followers!  I literally jumped out of my chair and screamed when I saw 12!  So exciting.  Anyways, on to the real reason for this post.  Teaching Blog Addict is having a linky party and I had to join!  The 100th day of school is fast approaching.  Because I don't have a classroom this year, I don't have any pictures to share.  However, I have a few of my favorites ideas from years past as well as awesome finds from Pinterest that are sure to make your 100th day a ton of fun!

  • One of my favorite things to do was start off the day with a 100th day breakfast.  I got this idea from a kindergarten teacher I worked with, so thanks Mrs. Bilbee!  On a plate, each student would get a pretzel stick, a chocolate covered donut, and a white powder donut.  The donuts were just donut holes or the smaller ones with holes in the middle!  Students were so excited to eat their breakfast 100!
  • Another of my favorites was to make 100th day headbands.  Last year, I kept it simple, using the Di-Cut machine to cut out the numbers for 100.  Simple and easy, but they were a big HIT!
  • Like many other bloggers, I have students bring in 100 small items from home.  This is a great way to make a school to home connection, counting the item out at home and bringing them to school to share!

Now here are three of my favorite finds from blogland and Pinterest!
100 Year Old Portrait from Jenn at Finally in First!  My students made these last year and they were a favorite for me, my students, and other staff!
This Hunting for Kisses chart comes from Shannon at Kindergarten Hoppenings.  I did this activity in my classroom as well, though my chart wasn't cutified like this one!  Number Hershey Kisses (a permanent marker works on the foil) and hide them around the room.  Students go on a hunt to find them and match them to the chart.  For more controlled chaos, take Shannon's lead and tell them a specific number of Kisses to find, put in a baggy, and then place on the chart!
  • One last idea I found comes Mrs. Rojas at Create*Teach*Share.  She made individual baggies of 100 Legos for each student.  They each made their own creation out of Legos.  Take a picture and you have a great addition to the end of the year scrapbook!
And that covers it!  Some of my 100th day faves.  I hope you have a happy 100th day.  Be sure to link up with Teaching Blog Addict with your great finds! 


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday!  I'm linking up with Jamie at http://littledaisymay.blogspot.com/ for What I'm Loving Wednesday.

Here's what I'm loving on this wintery day...
I'm loving that winter has finally arrived in Northern Michigan!  Grass and 40 degree weather in January is not pretty!

I'm loving that we are celebrating my mom's 53rd birthday tomorrow night.  The present is set to go and I cannot wait to have cake!  It has been way too long!

I'm loving that my niece's Baptism is on Sunday and I am her Godmother.  I love that little cutie pie!

And of course, I am loving some Pinterest finds this week!

 I am not much for bathing suits, but I LOVE this one!
I love the heart in the middle from Eighteen25!
I love this note writing activity from The Teacher Wife!

And that is what I'm loving today!  Head over to This Kind of Love to link up!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tippy Tuesday

Welcome to Tippy Tuesday!  Ever since I discovered Pinterest and blogland a year ago, I have found an endless amount of extremely useful teacher tips!    Many of them have me wondering why didn't I think of that?!?!  So, Tippy Tuesday will be a feature on my blog every week, featuring my favorite tip of the week!  These may not be new ideas, but they are new to me and I hope someone out there may find them as useful as I do.

Todays teacher tip is from Ashleigh's Education Journey at http://ashleigh-educationjourney.blogspot.com/.  When I was in the classroom, making work stations work was difficult for me to do, especially at clean up time.  It caused mayhem in the classroom, and I am not a fan of mayhem.  So any tip that I can find to help smooth the chaos of that time is extremely helpful!  When I came across this tip, I was so excited!  But it did make me wonder why I didn't think of that?!

See those baby wipes in the station?  That is the brilliant discovery I made.  Instead of students making their way across the classroom leaving their station to get a wipe at clean up time, put a pack of wipes in the station instead.  Easy peasy, I know.  And that is all for this episode of Tippy Tuesday!  Have a fabulous week friends!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Be My Valentine Exchange

Caitlin over at Ms. Preppy is having a Be My Valentine Exchange!  As someone who discovered the Christmas Exchange when people were getting their gifts, I am super excited to sign up!   Head on over and sign up now.  What a great way to make a new bloggy buddy!

And yes, I did just jump up and down because I made an image magically appear on my blog!  Yippee!  Happy Sunday!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Welcome & January Currently

Hello out there.  After blog stalking for over a year, I have finally decided to start my own!  So welcome to my little corner of the world.  This year, I am a teacher without a classroom.  So I am spending the year being a stay at home aunt and organizing my teaching life while waiting for the job of my dreams.  So, if you are here reading this, welcome and I hope you come back again! 

I am linking up with Farley's currently, only mine will not be as snazzy.  At this point, I cannot figure it out how to fancify it, so text will have to do! 

Listening...to Friends.  Oh how I miss that show.
Loving...that Friends reruns are on often.
Thinking...about how excited I am to do my first blog post, if it works:>.
Wanting...the snowstorm they say is coming to actually come.
Needing...to be blessed with a teaching job this coming year.

So there you have it!  My Currently January and my first blog post, ACCOMPLISHED.