Saturday, June 30, 2012

I'm a Winner!

Hey all! I have awesome news! I won Christina's $25 Tpt giveaway! I was able to get a fraction activity set, her new silent letter pack, and several flippy books! I just love all of her things: she uses super cute Thistle Girl graphics and sells them for reasonable prices! Even better is that it is fun for the kids! I used her leap day flippy back in February and it was a hit! I definitely cannot wait until I get to use my new things this year! Please please go check out her blog and Tpt store. The links are below: (I'm updating from my new iPhone and I haven't fully figured out this app yet!)

Christina's blog link:

Christina's Tpt store link:

*Sorry I didn't link it directly or post her new, super-cute button, but I am on my phone.

So thanks again Christina for hosting this fab giveaway!

Before I go, I need help: what should I do with these cute Target dollar spot finds?

I am thinking crayons and markers. Math games? Word work? Possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Junior Great Books and New Design!

Hey friends!!

Alicia at Dreamlike Designs once again worked her magic and gave me a great blog design!  I really liked my old design, but with the current popularity of multicolor, polka dots, and chevron there were too many tempting designs that encouraged me to look for my new look!

I'm once again planning to decorate my classroom in cupcakes so I stayed with that theme.  I figure I'll be in the mood to change my layout again next year or at least get a new signature after the wedding.  :)

So last week I went to a training on Junior Great Books.  It is a reading series designed to teach inquiry and comprehension strategies through anthologies of classic literature. During the training, the instructor modeled how to set up a lesson with us as the "students." Anyway,  the staff members and I who attended really liked it because it got us talking about the story.  The discussions had within the curriculum really teach how to answer questions about literature and use the text to support your answer.  I felt like I got a lot out of the story and I was really engaged in the small group discussions we were having. 

Anyway, I'm currently excited about piloting it in my classroom this year.  Do any of you know anything about this program or use it in your schools?  Do you like it/not like it?

As I prepare for a nice warm bed, I will leave you with one of several engagement pictures from our engagement session a couple of weeks ago.  :D

P.S.  I just watched the Bachelorette.  Go Jef!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Made-It

I have not posted a lot this summer because my summer has been full of teaching summer camp and going to trainings.  In the midst of all the craziness, I found out about....

If you haven't heard of this, please check out her blog here.

When I started summer vacation, I created a huge bucket list of stuff to do for the classroom.  One of those things was to finally get to my Pinterest board to-do list.  This linky is helping me stay on task.  "I just have to get it done for Monday..." is what I keep telling myself.

So here we go.....

First up are a few things that were on my bucket list but I didn't have to create because I found them so darn cheap.

1.  Find/Create cute lamps for reading area and your desk.

I have seen several classrooms that have cute lamps.  A couple of weeks ago I saw this lamp on 4TheLoveofTeaching's blog

She mentioned that she had found these in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby for 66% off.  So what did I do?  I hopped in my car and went straight to Hobby Lobby!  I like the lamp because it is cute, small enough to go on a shelf, and the lime green matches my classroom color scheme.  Imagine my surprise when I saw they had a hot pink one too!  I <3 pink! :D  Check that off my list!

2.  Monograms

There are several bloggers out there who have been using wooden letters to decorate their classrooms.  I especially was inspired by these two posts.

Well, while I was Michael's a couple of days ago, I found this in the $1 bin!

It is small enough to just sit on my desk.  I am still thinking about what I could do to hang on my walls, but I couldn't say no!  And for those of you wondering why an "E?"  My married name will be Eimer (pronounced Eye-mer).  I am getting married next summer and I want to start creating things with my married name so I don't have to reinvent next summer!

3.  Ruler container

I know we have all seen this on pinterest.

Well I had every intention of creating my own, until I found this on clearance for $3 at Hobby Lobby.

Sorry, I know the picture is blurry.  I had to have this because it's pink and polka-dotty and that would've been how I decorated my pringles can anyway!  It is a bit wider than a pringles can, I think it's purpose is supposed to be to hold flowers, but not in my classroom!  Currently it is sitting on my end-table in my living room and it holds our remotes, DS, ipod charger, etc.  It will hold rulers in my classroom once I get into my room in August.

Now onto the things I actually made.  I have to say I had so much fun doing this!!!

1.  Note to Students

Originally inspired by Caroline at Tupelo Honey and then inspired again by Tara at 4th Grade Frolics (see picture below for Tara's creation)

I made this...

I have a frame for it to hang in my classroom, but I haven't gotten around to printing it out yet.  I love, love, love the idea of this letter and I plan on putting it on the shelf next to my homework trays.  

2.  Teacher Tool-box

I had to have one of these!!

First seen here at Create Teach Share. 

If you have not seen this, check it out!  She also has uploaded the labels that she used.  I also used these labels in creating my toolbox.  


I love the way it turned out!  :)

3.  Binder Dividers

Tara made these last Monday for Made it Monday.  See that post here.

Well of course, I fell in love with how hers turned out, so I made my own!  This is what I came up with.

Like Tara, I also got the digital papers and the frames from the following two Etsy shops.

I love how bright and colorful they are!!

4.  Framed To-Do List

I had numerous inspirations for this on pinterest so I will not credit any one person.  I also had a cute looking To-Do list that I grabbed off Farley's TpT store last summer.  So I took the two ideas and made this.

So I took Farley's cute to-do list and edited it in paint. I took her plain-white to do list and made a light blue background and added white polka dots in paint.  Then I added some digital paper from LillyBimble.  Then added a cute white frame and it's ready to go!  I love it!

On a non-school related note, Nathan and I have been doing a lot of wedding planning.  As some of you may know we are getting married in Maui.  That part of the wedding has been planned for some time but recently we have been planning the reception and get together that we will have when we return to IL.  I will post engagement pictures soon!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Bucket List...Late

So I know I'm late but here it goes..

Hadar, Teri, and
are/were hosting a linky party for the summer bucket list.  

Here mine goes:

 1.  Make these bathroom passes.  I had magnetic ones but they sadly died last year. 

2.  Take the inspiration of these chore sticks and turn them into class jobs or activities they can do when they are done with work. 

3.  Make these cute button magnets for my whiteboard and little notes.

4. Organize my crayons or class coloring utensils like this or something similar.

5.  Copy this!

6.  Buy these to use for individual whiteboard cleaners.

  7.  Decorate my plastic drawers.

8.  Make these for my reading corner.

9. Use some Pringles cans to organize my rulers.

 10.  I think we all know about this.  I want to make one!

11.  I'm remodeling my classroom a bit and I'd like to have this somewhere. 

And Outside of School . ..

 12.  Continue planning my wedding in Maui.  Particularly save the dates and engagement photos. 

13.  Go to Planet Fitness and workout at least 3 times a week.

14.  Read!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer and Currently

Happy June!   Time for another Currently!

The change-up this year is wish went want.  It's all about where you wish to go, where you went this year, and where you want to go this summer.  I put I wish to go to Paris.  I was thinking about putting somewhere tropical but I am getting married in Maui.  Then I was thinking of Australia, but I've been there.  So Paris it is.

I did go to Memphis for spring break for an IB conference with 3 friends from work.  It was so much fun!

As far as where I want to go this summer - I said Indianapolis.  I put it because I'd like to go to their museums and I've heard they have decent shopping - and I couldn't think of anything else that would be practical.


As far as a school update . . .

Our last day of school was Tuesday May 29th.  I was really sad to see my class leave.  I had a really good class this year.  As soon as students left the packing up process began.  Our school was completely remodeled and rebuilt last summer.  It is currently the biggest as far as square footage of the elementary schools in our area and our job is comparable to the high school's.  Anyway - what that means is, is that a lot of different people are using our building throughout the summer.

1.  International Ambassador Summer camp
2.  Summer school for the whole district
3.  Several district staff trainings
4.  High school sports practices
5.  Etc.

Since summer school will be utilizing all classrooms, we had to pack up the majority of our rooms.  I got to leave my bulletin boards up, though!  They included several built-in storage drawers in our new classrooms.  What is nice this year is that all of those closets have locks, so I was able to jam everything in one of the closets and lock the door.  I didn't really think about organizing it in a nice way to make unpacking easier in the fall, but oh well.  I'm just glad I got to leave most of my school stuff at school.  Last summer when they remodeled I had to take almost everything home and I had to jump over boxes on my way to the couch.

Currently I am one of 6 teachers from my school teaching an International Summer camp.  Our school is an IB World School.  Part of our requirements to main our status is to offer and international summer camp every summer.  It's four days in the morning and each day our students learn about a different country.  For example, today we "visited" Brazil.  We cooked a coconut dream thing, made masks for Carnaval, and even learned how to play Queimada which is a Brazilian form of dodgeball.  Thursday is our last day for that - which makes me sad because our group of kids has been awesome!

Other summer plans include:
  • June 11-15 - U of I Chancellor's Academy (Training)
  • June 21 - Junior Great Books
  • July 16 - Fiancee's birthday!
  • July 25-28 - IB World Conference in Austin, TX
  • August 1 - My birthday!
  • August 8 - School registration

Last but not least, I have been doing a lot of wedding planning.  We are currently waiting to finalize the location for the reception so that we can send out the save the dates.  The save the dates are only for the reception since we are getting married in Maui with few people.  We have engagement pictures scheduled for next week - so be on the lookout, I'll post a few.  So cray cray!

I do plan on refreshing my Daily 5 and Cafe knowledge with the book study starting July 1.  

Well I best be off to get ready for summer camp tomorrow!

Good night! :D