2014 | Teaching in the Tongass

Thursday, September 18, 2014

can you help me put my socks on?

I've got 8 weeks to go and then....newborn time! We're just pluggin along and awaiting baby #2...I'll be sure to keep you all posted when it gets closer :)

Our desks have been jam packed for the last couple of years. We have been using Math in Focus for 2 years now, which includes 2 books per student (a workbook and textbook), and we switched from Storytown to Reading Wonders this year, which includes a whopping 3 books per student! And because I'm not about to waste any of my own cabinet/cupboard/shelf space to store things like this, we had to figure out a way to fit it all in a desk. So...this well help keep the desk fairy happy!

I made these visual direction cards to help list the steps after giving them verbally. I HATE repeating myself #teacherproblems and love being able to point to the board anytime 
 Click below to download this FREEBIE!

Every so often, I get an email from Shutterfly with a special code for FREE stuff! I just have to pay shipping (about $5) and that's it! I ordered some thank you cards to use this year :)

Cheeks popped in with my mom the same day we had school photos being taken. So...of course he got his taken since he's not camera shy AT ALL :) He flirted with the camera lady the whole time haha!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

stitch fix for a growing tummy

My 7th Stitch Fix arrived today and I thought I would do a fashion show for you all!
So, for those of you who don't know already, Stitch Fix is a monthly subscription for clothing and accessories. It hit the teacher blogs by storm last year, so I'm guessing you have heard of it if you are reading this :) If not, read below:

Basically, you sign up by filling out a pretty comprehensive quiz that identifies your style, sizes, and all kinds of preferences you probably never really have given a lot of thought to (if you're like me...a "legging/yoga pant/jeans" if you make me sorta gal). After the quiz, you're sent a box with 5 items within the price range you set during your quiz. You try it all on, decide what to keep (and if you keep anything at all, your $20 styling fee disappears...magic!), send back what you don't like in the handy dandy already addressed envelope bag, pay online for your keepers or let the company know which ones you are sending back.

So, let's get started! Here's what the box looks like when you open it. A personalized note from your stylist and a style guide for each of the items included, as well as a price sheet so you can decide whether or not a piece is "worth" keeping.
And here's the big return bag. Did I mention how convenient it is to not have to label it or go find my packaging tape?! Love this!!!
Everything is nicely wrapped up in tissue paper with these green Stitch Fix stickers holding it together. 
And folded into a neat little bundle...ready to try on!

Piece #1: You can't really tell from the light in this shot, but it's the same blue in the above photo with tiny white hearts. Super cute blouse, royal blue, see through with an attached cami underneath. Matches excited toddler #stitchfixforbabiesneedstohappen
Piece #2:
A comfy, yet lightweight sweater. I'm not super excited about the location of the strings #dingleberries, but the fit and feel are perfect for this fall weather
Piece #3:
A light and airy blouse with a cute pattern and keyhole opening, but a little short for this growing belly! Maybe with a tank underneath though!
Piece #4:
A thin blue sweater. This was a little too tight for me, but I loved the casual style!
Piece #5:
Polka dot canvas bag--not my style, but I do like the bright color and polka dots!
You can click here if you're interested in learning more or signing up for your own Stitch Fix!
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

playing catch up

I had a student who's first day was today, which unfortunately for her meant catching up on all of the beginning of the year assessments. So....the rest of the class worked independently in centers! Woohoo! Here's a glimpse at a few literacy centers we did today:




These are all included in my Back to School Centers bundle, which I just put on SALE! Click below to check it out and see what else is included!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

dirty dibeling

We are in our second week of school now and I am feeling super excited about this year! We've played the gettoknowya games and are all "communitied-up" and ready for the year! So, what have we been up to?!!  A lot!

1.) I did another fingerprint tree (these are great keepsakes!) and made one for you to use as well (click below to grab this FREEBIE!):
2.) We went over our classroom rules (another FREEBIE!) and I framed this chalkboard classroom rules poster to coincide with my current chalkboard and burlap obsession:
3.) We arranged our desks into table groups and set up a reward system (this is super helpful if you can get peers to remind each other to be on-task---one less reminder from me is always a good thing!) and put it in my lil store as a FREEBIE for you!
4.) And one of the all time favorite games (my go-to for Sub Plans)...Coin War! Click below to download this FREEBIE!
5.) We are in our 6th year of PBIS, so I didn't waste any time introducing this Behavior Matrix (click below to check it out) and of course, Think Time (an integral part of our behavior system):
6.)  Soooo now we're on to assessments (side note---a friend of mine pointed out today that dibeling sounds like a dirty word...she's sooo right! doesn't it?!).  So, I got my Back to School Centers ready and after a quick intro to each one (I keep them in binders and put a binder at each table group of 4-5), the kids were eager to get goin and I was able to get a TON of assessments done (a teacher's dream, right?!)! Here's a sneak peek of a few of the math games they played today (sorry for the glare in some of these...page protectors don't photograph well but they sure work well with dry erase markers!):


Click below to get a glimpse of what else we've been up to!
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Friday, August 22, 2014

chalkboard and burlap classroom...again

First week of school? Check. Great class? Check. I have a feeling this is going to be a GREAT year. Seriously. Maybe the best ever. Ever. I got bored watching a movie with Mr.Craftypants, so I made this little sign to go with my chalkboard and burlap decor.

Here's a peek at what my room looks like now....the inside is exactly the same as last year (you can see that post here).

I updated my hallway bulletin board to match my little decor thing going on...I found the white fabric roses and little wood chalkboard flags/jute string at JoAnns and used a liquid chalk marker to write student names. 
As you can see, I left up my schedule, chalkboard quote globe, turn-in box and burlap bulletin border, but it appears I need to tighten up the fabric backing of our word wall :) I'll get right on that #promisespromises
And I framed this printable (that's not burlap--it's digital burlap paper...yes!) I made to go outside the room:
I'm finally embracing my boring self and although I really like seeing so many colorful and bright classrooms, this is really my style at home, so why not bring it to work? I'm there all.day.long. We'll see if it stays up and for how long...who knows! If you are wanting a chalkboard theme room, click below to check out what I used:


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Monday, August 4, 2014

the sale and new freebies!

And, just in time for my new school year to start (I have about a week before I'm back in the classroom), I created these Back to School Math and Literacy Centers!  If you're like me, you end up having to do a ton of 1-1 assessments with your students right away (i.e. "Did your teacher last year really mark you at that reading level?! I need to verify this for myself....") and need the rest of your class to sit down and shut up be occupied so you can quickly and quietly get things done. Enter my new lifesaver:

Last year, the random holiday/assessment times I pulled out centers (we mainly stick to our reading program), I figured out that I prefer binders over tubs/buckets/whathaveyou.  I just stick the master in the clear front pocket and the rest inside (sometimes I remembered to hole punch on the copier, other times I just stuck them in the pocket part of the binder).  If the center had cards or other parts, I put them in ziplocs or in a binder zipper pouch.

Here's an example of what I mean (using these Iditarod centers):

I used my Teacher Binder Essentials all year last year and looooved it! I think I'll be binding it at OfficeMax this year (have you ever done this? let me know how it went!):

If you haven't seen my classroom remodel from last year where I used this Chalkboard decor and first day set up using play-doh, check it out here!

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

black, yellow and grey

When we found out we were expecting baby #2 a few months ago, we knew we had to move Cheeks into the 3rd bedroom sooner rather than later. When we moved in, the room had purple colored plywood walls (what?!) and blue carpet. Over the past year or so, I've written about this very slooooow room remodel and decorating here and here.  So, with new sheetrock and the same flooring we had throughout the house, we decided on grey walls (and yellow accents to brighten it up a bit).

Assess the situation...blegh!

A lot of improvements later (including wiring electricity to the room so we could put a light in the ceiling)..

and the finishing decor and furniture touches!
One of the first things we did after the basics were finished was hang a curtain rod, some venetian blinds and this valance (from this shop on Etsy)

I put this bookshelf/bench together all.by.myself. #nearlybrokemytoe We picked up this cute little rocking chair at a garage sale last summer.

The dresser is a Craigslist find (huge score actually) and the laundry basket I settled on is from Walmart. We don't have an Ikea here, but I ordered these Ikea spice rack shelves off of Amazon and painted them white...perfect book shelves!


This toddler bed was blonde wood until I painted it a shiny black to match the room.

 I ordered a matching blanket and pillowcase from this shop on Etsy.
 I took a frame I already had and put in a FREE You Are My Sunshine printable I found here

I bought this circle mobile from this shop on Etsy and carefully painted the blonde wood black (can you tell I like things to match?!)

I gave my little brother the task of creating a canvas for the room and this is what he came up with. That's sheet music on there :)

Aaaand I'm not sure what's up with the color of the walls here...they're grey though #dontyouworryyourprettylilhead

Much better, right?

So, did you see that ottoman next to the bed? We figured we needed somewhere to sit when we read bedtime stories. I found an old ottoman at a garage sale last summer and it sat in the garage all year. Once the school year was over, I was able to tackle this bad boy! Unfortunately, I forgot to take before photos...but, just imagine an ugly ottoman and you'll do fine.

Step 1: Mr.Craftypants took the wood bottom off and sanded it a bit. I painted it black to match the room.

Step 2: decide on a fabric...we went with the black

Step 3: staple new fabric onto top of ottoman plywood

Screw the new top back on and voila! 



We still have 1 more piece of furniture to paint, but I'll save that for another Monday Made It post...probably next summer haha!

Go check out more crafty fun posts by clicking below to head to Tara's blog!

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