Friday, December 30, 2011

Operation Organize 2012

In response to my new fascination with organizing and this post from I heart organizing, I decided to attempt cleaning out my linen closet.  

So I didn't take pictures before.... 

but it looked something like this.  
  • Sheets, pillows, towels all over the place....
  • Random bottles and boxes
  • Take away the plastic organizers, because I didn't have any of that

It was basically a "throw everything in there" closet. 

Check out this picture...
 Minus the cat, this is everything that was previously in my linen closet but now is not.  My favorite is the pumpkin basket.  It was full of just random stuff.  The Rogers & Hollands bag had old nail polish, etc.  The rest were just empty or half empty boxes that took up a lot of space.  

So basically, I found some cute square mini-containers in the dollar section at Target.  I took one of the containers and filled it with all the medicines (because of aforementioned blog article) to remake this....

Basically, the article said that a medicine cabinet is not for medicine.  Medicines have to be stored at a certain temperature, and for those of us that like hot showers and baths, the bathroom typically gets too hot for the medicine.  So what Jen from I heart Organizing did was combine them into this tin and put them on the top shelf of a cabinet.  You will see that I sort of did something similar with the aqua cube organizers I got from Target.

So here are some pictures from the after product....

A few things I did:
1. There is a bag full of plastic bags that you can kind of see sitting at the bottom of my closet.  There are probably 50 plastic bags in there.  Those were previously covering the bottom of my closet like confetti at New Year's Eve.  Now, I can actually see the bottom of my closet.
2. Notice aqua cube plastic containers from the Dollar Spot @ Target

 I took Toilet paper out of packaging and stacked them on the shelf to rid my mind of that ugly plastic wrapping. 
 I emptied the many boxes of band-aids and Day/Nyquil and put them in this white basket.  Just doing this, I was able to throw away 15 little boxes that were half empty.  I think this makes it more accessible as well! :D
  A better look at how I used the aqua cubes to organize other types of medicines and lotions. 
The towels and the sheets look less crazy because I went through the closet and donated old sheets and towels we never use.  My goal is to get some wicker baskets to put these into.

So it's a start.  I plan on organizing every bit of this apartment over the course of the year.  I plan on using this declutter calendar to help in that process.  :D  It may not seem like much,  but I feel uber proud of myself!

Here are some pictures of cute things......
 cute cat
cute boy

Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Home Organization

This winter break I have been obsessing over how to better organize my living space.  Pinterest has been a faithful friend in this endeavor.  While pinning away I stumbled on one of my new favorite blogs!  The blog is called I Heart Organizing and it is fabulous! 

She has really cute kids as well....I'm just in love with some of the ideas I've found.  I can't wait to start revamping!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

11 in 11 Linky Party

A Teeny Tiny Teacher is hosting 11 in 11 Linky Party!!  Check it out!!

11. Favorite movie you watched

Breaking Dawn Part 1

There were several others I really liked such as Harry Potter, The Help, Hangover Pt.2

10. Favorite TV series

Once Upon a Time - Abc

9. Favorite restaurant
KoFusion. It's a trendy sushi bar in town. On Sunday and Monday nights they have $1 sushi. My favorites are the Big Rolls and the Coconut Shrimp. Yum!!

8. Favorite new thing you tried
I would have to say blogging or pinteresting. Just sharing ideas through the internet. Putting myself and my ideas online is definitely challenging at times. But it has been worth it!

7. Favorite gift you received

My Vera Bradley carry on duffel. I got several other things that I liked a vacuum I desperately needed.

6. Favorite Thing you Pinned


Haha. This is a hard question - because I love everything I pin!

5. Favorite blog post
I liked my post where I include pictures of all these cute things I found on Etsy. :D

4. Favorite accomplishment
Does getting engaged count? I'd say having 100% of my kids pass the benchmark would be another one.

3. Favorite picture

This is a picture of my little brother and I at Yellowstone over the summer. It means a lot to me because it represents the special time I get to spend with my family. My family lives in Wyoming, and I don't get to see them very often. Typically only once a year. So this is really special.

2. Favorite memory

My favorite memory has got to be getting engaged to Nathan Eimer. The most wonderful man in the world!!

1. Goal for 2012
In life: It might sound typical. But I really want to change my lifestyle so that fitness and healthy eating are an everyday occurrence. Not just to lose weight, but to become healthier.

In school: I want to become better organized with my grade keeping. I let it go more than I should. Just more organized in general would be great.

Happy Pinning!! I'm off to another Christmas party!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Liebster Award!! :D

 So now that the holiday season is ending, sadly, I can thank A Series of 3rd Grade Events for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award.  You should check out her blog and the other blogs I am nominating for this award!  :D  Btw, I hope you are finding some terrific deals!

The goal of the award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. The rules are:
  1. copy and paste the award on your blog
  2. thank the giver and link back to them
  3. reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog
  4. hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers

It's Elementary My Dear Teacher

Charmed in the Third Grade


Adventures of Future Teacher  *Sorry no button to show off your awesome website!!*

Hangin Out in Third Grade  *Sorry no button to show off your awesome website!!*

Congratulations to all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A lil note

First of all, Happy Holidays!!

Second, I was nominated for an award - I promise I'll do all of the obligations when I return from this XMas vacation.

I hope everyone is thankful and celebrating safely!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spelling Rules

I'm looking for cute ways or good ways to teach a variety of spelling rules.  I'm revamping my arsenal. 
Oi vs. oy
Vowel is long when the word ends in "e"
Words ending in k vs. ck

Any ideas?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Update, Engaged, School, Busy!

Wow!  The beginning of the school year has been crazy!!

Update on Grandma and my Aunt
*Grandma when she was rear-ended by the semi broke both pelvis bones, shattered both artificial hips, cracked several ribs, and broke a few bones in her back.  She was in the hospital for 3-4 weeks before they released her to go home to Arkansas for physical therapy.  She will be in a wheel chair for the next 6-7 months.
*They are still running tests on my aunt.  Because of her seizure, she is not able to drive for six months.

Update on Squiggles the Cat
He's ready for summer!  He is now six months old, and he loves to cuddle.  He is a lot calmer now that he is growing out of his kitten phase. 

Update on my personal life

I'm engaged!!
October 17th was our six year anniversary.  Nathan and I went to Destihl for dinner.  *Yum!*
Then we went to the Boneyard which is a local park/creek bed in town.  Here is what part of it looks like. 

Now to get the setting right.  It was raining, dark, and there were lights over the water.  We were alone.  It was very romantic.  The rain was very light, which set the mood.  Anyway - it was so romantic.  I still get goosebumps just thinking about it!

So I'm planning a destination wedding in Maui. 

The above pictures are of Makena Surf in Maui.  I'm not sure of a specific wedding spot yet, but it will probably be on the Makena-Wailea side of Maui. 
If anyone knows of people getting married in Maui and you have suggestions, I'm all years.  We are looking at a wedding June 2013, so I still have a lot of time.

*Needless to say, I've spent all of my time away from school doing stuff for the wedding!

Update on School

 The above two pictures are from a PBIS celebration.  We do them monthly.  Students have to have so many BUG slips (our version of Gotchas) for entrance. 

The above three pictures are from our field trip to Meadowbrook Prairie. 

At some point I will post pictures of Bakery 127.  (My classroom).

I wanted to mention a couple of things I have been obsessed with this year.
1.  Mountain Math - I got the idea originally from Beth Newingham.  The subscription for Mountain Math online is $49.99 a year.  It is well worth the price.  Basically there are 34 different boards that include a variety of math problems.  When you register, you tell them your grade level and the math problems are related to common core standards for your grade level.  The goal is that you do one board a week - for 34 weeks.  Each board has 24 different types of math problems. 
Everyday at the beginning of math, I randomly draw a few students from the class using Popsicle sticks.  The students go up to our Smart Board and are able to interactively answer the question.  Now for third grade the skills range from place value, addition, subtraction, money, measurement, multiplication, division, geometry, probability, so on.  So if you pick a lower student they could pick a topic that they know for example an addition problem.  A higher student might pick place value or multiplication.  There are questions at a wide range of levels so every student can experience success.  I love it!  Check it out here.

As for what I do after math, I follow Beth Newingham's example.  I use a pretest to divide my students into high, medium, and low groups.  Then I teach them separately as they rotate through stations.  Check out her article on math workshop here.

My school also just got a subscription to Learn 360 as well.  This website has videos related to everything I cover across the curriculum.  I have been using some of the short videos to hook student learning, and just the other day I used a Cyberchase cartoon episode to introduce my place value unit.  The kids love it!

Also, I love GameQuarium Videos  They have videos for so many things.  Might I suggest the Bill Nye videos on simple machines and measurement.  It's funny how my kids love Bill Nye - my generation loved watching that everyday after school. 

Call to Arms
1.  I'd be interested to hear what types of resources those of you with Smart Boards use.

2.  Comment with links if you have any fun info on Maui!

Love blogging!  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Participating in Oh Boy 4th Grade's linky party tonight!

to my kitten Squiggles snoring and Nate's ipod.  It's actually quite calming and peaceful in my house right now.  It's so amazing!
the Halloween M&M's mixed with Goldfish.  It's like a craving!!
about how this week at school is going to be very stressful.  I wish Sunday nights would last forever.
Sushi from Kofusion and a new vacuum.  My vacuum exploded while I was cleaning the house today.  Or like blew up or something..
to grade papers.  I'm so behind on that!
By the way. I'd like to say that I love October because of fall, pumpkins, corn mazes, and sweatshirt football weather.  The fact that the temperature will be in high 70's and 80's this week is no good.
Anyway, make sure you stop by Oh Boy 4th Grade and join the Currently Linky party!

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stress and Injury

Grandma's Accident in Local Papers

The above article is from a newspaper a few towns over that is about my grandma's accident with a semi this morning. She was taken to a larger hospital in Peoria a couple of hours away. Last I heard she was in surgery with a broken pelvis, shattered hip, several broken ribs. When the semi rear-ended her grain truck, the force caused her to be thrown beneath the steering wheel. Then the truck proceeded to flip into the nearby bean field. It's a miracle she made it.

Further bad news.... My aunt was also taken to the hospital this morning after passing out. They have checked her in, but have yet to diagnose a problem.

On a teaching note, I took pictures of my classroom and of my students yesterday. I will post them when I have more time. We have been really busy at school with September common assessments. Today we had our awards assembly for student of the month. Next week I have a field trip, our school's grand opening assembly, and next Friday our students will be able to climb a rock wall that was provided through a $30,000 donation from Kraft (locally based). Needless to say there is a lot of stressed involved. Not only because we have a lot of exciting things going on at school, but all of these events also cut down on my class time which is stressful when I start looking at curriculum timelines and such.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Long Time for this Versatile Blogger

 My cat Squiggles playing with his catnip mouse.
 No - you may not do your homework now. Lol
 It has been years since I have been here!
Nate <3

So, I have yet to put up pictures of my classroom this year.  It is on my to do list - trust me.  I plan on taking my camera to school on Wednesday for the dance.

Wow, has this year been crazy.  For the past couple of years, my school has been working on applying to be an IB school through the Primary Years Programme.  Check out the link for more info on that.
Anyway, while we were considering this process our district backed us 100% and also funded us to become a magnet school.  Over the summer we were accepted into the IB programme.  So to sum up what all that means:

1.  Completely, brand new, jaw-droppingly beautiful building
2.  Completely new classrooms - bittersweet. Bad=moving everything home over the summer and not getting to move back in until the week before school.  Good=new stuff, Smart Board, new stuff!! Lol
3.  Required foreign language for students - We chose Mandarin Chinese because of its popularity in the business sector.  Chinese is the 4th special with art, music, and PE.
4.  IB training to begin in October - rewriting curriculum, inquiry based instruction, etc.  (Big workload coming)
5.  Many, many new staff members

On top of all of that, we have awesome literacy staff that made up these assessment binders for common reading assessments.  These binders are complete with forms, calendars, etc.  The only downside is that between you and me, I feel so swamped with assessments that I feel like I'm not teaching.  I think that is the main reason I haven't been updating.  Between entering data for common assessments, learning how to incorporate the Smart board into my teaching, these new lesson plan formats, grading, I just rarely have time at home.

Speaking of lesson plans - there used to be a time (last year), when I could write in my little box the objective, activity, and assessment and that would be a -ok.  Now I have to type the objective, the "hook", the activity, the assessment and it has to be all typed up.  No hard copies.  Ugh.  It takes three times as long!

I was at school for 3 hours today and there were at least 10 other cars in the parking lot throughout the span that I was there.  Wow!

I think a lot of my stress is just related to the fact that I have a year of teaching under my belt, and I know better methods of teaching now.  I think I am holding myself and my collaboration team more accountable now which might correlate to the "heavier work load."  When in actuality, I probably just skipped right over it last year.

One minor celebration goes to my enlightening experience with how to fit my differentiated Words Their Way into my 20 minute reading groups.  I was having a lot of issues for the first few weeks differentiating WTW and still give two spelling sorts all week.

Another celebration goes to me and to Patti from A Series of 3rd Grade Events.  Thank you so much Patti for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!!  I must admit - I am only as inspired as the other wonderful teachers I follow everyday!  I feel so loved, but more importantly check out her amazing blog here!

Following are the Award Rules:

*Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
*Share 7 things about yourself.
*Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs.

As part of the award I must list 7 things about myself so here it goes:
1.  I love animals.  My favorite animal is an elephant.  I collect them and actually own over 263 stuffed, crystal, glass, porcelain, and beanie elephants.
2.  I have a 4 month old kitten named Squiggles who loves to sit on my chest every night!
3.  I have been dating Nathan 6 years on October 17th - we met in college at Bradley.
4.  My classroom is decorated in cupcakes.
5.  My two favorite times of year are school supply shopping and sweatshirt, football weather!
6.  I am obsessed, obsessed with teaching bags.  31, VB, you name it, I want it or already have it.
7.  I'm a closet artist.  Not many people know that I love to draw. 15

The Teacher Wife

Caffeinated Conclusions - I couldn't get your button to be on here!

Blog button

A Teeny Tiny Teacher

3rd Grade's a Hoot

First Grade Glitter and Giggles

Congratulations to all of the winners!  Go check them out!

Have a good night everyone!