Sunday, August 26, 2012

PTA Displays

Although I can't be at my daughter's school as often as some of the other moms, one way I like to stay involved is to be an active part of the PTA. For the last 2 years I have served as the Programs Chair with another wonderful mom (who also happens to be a teacher) and this year I am thrilled that I will be the chair for Teacher Appreciation. We started out the year with a spectacular luncheon during inservice week and today I put up a display (with two other board members) of all the teachers and staff members, with their names and positions. We also put up a display to showcase all of the students whose parents have joined PTA...and I'm very happy with the number of members so far considering we've only had Meet the Teacher Night!!

Membership Display:

Teacher Display (Whole Board):

Teacher Display (Close Up of Board):

Monday, August 13, 2012

Welcome Back Letters

Got a couple more things crossed off my list tonight...and that was in addition to feeding my family, getting both kids showered and in bed, doing dishes and laundry, and opening the last week of class for the college class I teach - so on top of all the "real" life stuff I also got my Welcome Back letters done - most of them have student names and address and they get mailed, but I always leave a couple in the office in case I get any new students last minute, which is what the picture is of. I also got 18 cards made for the PTA (at my daughter's school) - but I have another 15 to do for that and the envelopes, too. All in all, not a bad night!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Nugget Candy Bar Wrappers

Woohoo! After spending many hours on this's finally ready to go up on TeachersPayTeachers!

This product lets you show people you appreciation them every month! There are 21 pages of candy bar wrappers (they fit Hershey's® Nugget Candy Bars) for a total of 163 wrappers. There are 71 unique designs including 3-5 designs for each of the 12 months, plus 1-5 designs each for birthday, ocean/sea theme, frogs, safari/jungle theme, sports, music, school nurse, dogs, ladybugs, and 28 other designs. Candy bars can be given individually, or can be packaged in numerous ways.

Click here to go to my TeachersPayTeachers store to preview and/or purchase this product!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Classroom Pictures

Howdy, friends! So I spent about 7 hours out at school today (on top of the many I spent out there yesterday!) and I barely put a dent in what I needed to accomplish! The first few hours I spent cleaning all of my math manipulative totes (can we say GROSS!) and wiping down shelves, games, etc. Then I tackled my AR bulletin board. I'm not sure why some of my pictures are blurry - guess it's a good thing I'm not a photographer!

Students' Closet - this is where the kids hang up their jackets and backpacks. I also keep games in there for rainy days, etc. The white boxes are poster boxes (organized by subject) and the white step stool doesn't stay in there during the school year. Under the curtains are lots and lots of totes filled with art materials, previous years' themes, etc. I'll try to remember to pull the curtains back next time to take a picture of that!

These are my math manipulative shelves. They hold fraction circles, dice, clocks, measuring tapes, blocks, and lots more! (Sorry the picture is blurry!) You can also see my "concessions" sign. I'm going to be changing that to "Pirate's Grub" or "Fish Food" to go with my theme and then our monthly menu hangs below it.

The bookshelf is full of science, social studies, spelling, and math materials. The top of the shelf has buckets with president cards, little figurines in tubes (called Toobs from Safari), and state cards in them. The buckets are new this year, so I've still got to make labels for them!

One of the treasures in my room is my overhead projector! I might even be the only teacher in the school still using one, I'm not really sure! I love using this for workstations and students love using it even more! There are so many things you can do with them! On the middle shelf are the school provided test dividers and the bottom shelf has my white boards on it. These come from Home Depot. I bought a large whiteboard sheet and the nice man at Home Depot cut it into one foot squares for me! Yay, Home Depot! (Again, sorry that the picture is blurry!)

This next picture is of the table that houses my assignment trays, recycle bin (which is missing in this picture), and clipboards (which will be filled once students bring their supplies to school). You can also see my seat crates under this table.

And here's my AR bulletin board. It actually looks better in person than in the picture, but what can you do?! I've got to put my letters up for my saying (Open a Book...Find a Treasure), and then the rest of the board is up to the kids. I put one white treasure chest up to see for size, but that will come down and each student will get a blank one which they will get to decorate any way they wish. Then for every 5 AR points they earn, they'll get to add jewels to their treasure chest. Each month is a different color jewel, and they'll get "special" jewels (like string of pearls, gold coins, etc.) for challenges I issue throughout the year (ie: read 2 books by the same author, read 2 books in the same series, persuade your friend to read a book you recommend to them, read one picture book each day for five days, etc. - you get the idea). There are special jewels for 50 points (silver) and 100 points (gold), and each time they hit 100 points they get a bigger treasure chest to decorate. I can't wait to see their little treasure chests fill up with jewels!! All that said, looking at this picture my "seaweed" looks a little tall, so I might have to mess with that some, and I've GOT to do something about the size of the leaves for that tree!

More pictures to come as I keep working in my room!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Seat Crates

Ok...I've had several people ask how to make these crate here are the directions!

1. Pick crates you are going to use. You need the ones that hold hanging file folders because your seat will sit on these rails. I was able to get these for about $3.50 each from Walmart.

2. Bring crates to Home Depot, Lowe's etc. Ask the really nice wood cutter to select appropriate thickness of plywood and cut them to fit into the hole. I have to admit, I really lucked out with the gentleman I got at Lowe's; he was WONDERFUL! He worked really hard to get me as many seats as possible out of the plywood and cut them perfectly. AND he didn't charge me to cut it once he found out I was using them for a classroom, which sometimes they do! The sheet of plywood I purchased was a little less than $25 and I was able to get 9 pieces for seats (plus 3 smaller boards...I'm sure I'll think of something to do with them!)

3. Place wood on top of foam and trace around the wood. I found buying an eggcrate (for a mattress) from Walmart was much cheaper than buying foam by the yard. I bought a full size eggcrate and it did the 9 boards with enough extra to do at least 3 more (and still give a bunch of scraps to my 8 year old daughter who was ecstatic!). I think the full size was about $11. The downside to this is now-a-days they like to make their eggcrate all fancy so I had to be creative with my cutting to ensure that it was all the same for a single crate. So I have some crates that have foam with wavy lines, some with circles, etc., but it's all the same for that single crate.

4. Cut out foam.

5. Cut and Iron fabric. (Sorry about the fabric change, I took pictures at two different times and was working on different crates each time.)

6. Lay fabric on table wrong side up.

7. Lay foam on top of fabric, wavy side up. You can kind of see from this picture the very far side of the foam is different. Make sure this doesn't happen. I actually "staged" this picture as I forgot to get pictures of every step, so this is not a seat that I actually used. It was purely for documentation.

8. Lay wood on foam. If one side of the wood is nicer than the other, put the nice side up.

9. Start stapling. First, I like to pick one of the shorter sides, then pull the fabric up and staple right in the middle of the board.

10. Go to the corner, and pull fabric to the side (sort of like you are wrapping a present).

11. Pull fabric up, in two parts and staple.

12. Continue around the board until all sides are done. Tack down any fabric that needs to be pulled tighter.

13. Cut ribbon for handles.

14. Staple ribbon for handles.

15. Viola! Your crate seat is finished! You'll notice the back doesn't look grand.
Being a perfectionist, at first that bothered me and I was going to cover a thin piece of wood and attach it to the bottom so it looked pretty - and then I was like, you know...this is something you can just let go I did. No one is going to see the bottom, and really WHO CARES?! Ok...I do a little...but I really am going to let it go!

Here are the 9 different crate seats I made. The fish are for my classroom. The rainbow wavy stripes are for my daughter's room (they complement her peace and love sheet set, the fabric was actually pillow cases I cut up!). The motorcycle one is for my son's room. He'll get curtains to match, and my classroom will get fish curtains to match!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

That's What I Call Progress

Such a productive evening! Previously I had finished two of my six crates for my classroom and two crates for my daughter. Today I finished my last four crates for my classroom and made one for my son, too. I bought enough material to also make new curtains for my classroom and my son's room.

I also glued the magnets on my lunch count fish, I still need to make the headings, drill holes in the top of the cookie sheet, and add ribbon, but then this, too, is done! Things are starting to fall into place! Yippee!

Oh, and did I mention I got some great deals at Walmart today. I got tablecloths (that I'm going to use for bulletin boards (one is dots, the other is fish), cute fish bowls, medium sized dot plates, small fish plates, and cups. The tablecloths total make sense and the big bowls I'll use for class parties...but the cups and small fish plates are a little over the edge! I'm sure I'll find something cute to do with them, though!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fifth Grade Social Studies TEKS

Check out my new products on TeachersPayTeachers! I cut and pasted all of the social studies Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (objectives) into a document that I use in two different ways. The first way is to create lesson plans. The second way is to track assessment of these skills.

Many educators find lessons they want to do in the classroom and then try to find corresponding TEKS. However, when I try to lesson plan like that I find I have a lot of holes! Therefore, I like to select a TEKS (or two) and then go looking for activities that will support those TEKS. When I find something I like, I write the idea on the appropriate page(s) and then I can easily see what objectives I still need to find activities for. Of course I really love being able to touch on more than one TEKS with a single activity!

To use this for tracking assessment, I simply print the objective I’ll be assessing, print a sheet of labels with students’ names prewritten on them (I use Avery 5160 and a template in Microsoft Word), and then as I determine an objective has been met by a student, I pull the label off my sheet and stick it on the objective page. These are 3-hole punched and put into a binder. This way I can easily tell which students need more work on any given objective. See the next page for an example of what this looks like!

I uploaded 8 Social Studies TEKS products on TeachersPayTeachers. One for each of the social studies strands: history; geography; citizenship; economics; government; culture; science, technology, and society; and social studies skills. Oh...and did I mention...they're all FREE!