Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Freebie First

Newsflash! Today is a day of first for me! I just posted my first product in my TpT Store and- it's a FREEBIE! I finally took the plunge and conquered my fear of putting something out there for the entire teacher world to view! I hope you will visit my store and better yet, I hope you will download my FREE Champs Expectation Poster! Here is a sneak preview- 

Positive classroom management is always a priority for me during the first few weeks of school and displaying this poster helps me reinforce my expectations with students in a fun and colorful way! Check out my Classroom Management Page for more info on CHAMPS!

Thanks to KPM Doodles for the amazing clip art alphabet! I love her doodles! Check out her blog too!

KPM Doodles

Speaking of first, today was also the first day of teacher training on my brand new campus! Meeting the staff, taking a site tour of the brand new building and seeing my completed classroom for the first time was so much fun.

Our mission "Building a Legacy" is perfect for our new campus. I'm in Room 141. I love saying that! The paint is barely dry, but I get to move in on Friday and I can hardly wait. So, look for some updates on my room by the end of the weekend. 
Our first official tour of the new campus! As you can see, they are still putting on the finishing touches!

I hope that your school year is filled with exciting "first" too and I would love to hear what you have planned for the first day of school! 

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Favorite Things

Happy Birthday Chandler!
This weekend I took a road trip to San Antonio, for my grandson's 8th birthday party. It was a quick trip, but I would not have missed it for the world! Thank goodness my husband did all of the driving so I had time to enjoy the beautiful hill country scenery, read a new book on my Kindle, visit with my mom and check-out some new blogs on Bloglovin! Traveling for six hours (one way) also got me thinking about some of my favorite things. Of course, family will always be at the top of the list followed by Starbucks, Cracker Barrel and sweet ice tea! Thanks to my iPad and mobile hotspot, I had a chance to pin some of my favorite new teaching ideas on Pinterest (follow me) and add a link list of my favorite Social Studies websites to my blog! 

Janet and Susan
Grading papers may not be one of my favorite things, but my favorite children's book, "The Little Red Pen" written by Susan Stevens Crummel (who also happens to be one of my dearest personal friends) and her sister, Janet Stevens is a must read for every teacher and it just happens to be Chandler's favorite too! Every time I grade papers, I think about this adorable book and it makes me smile! Even my sixth grade students love to read it. 
Susan Stevens Crummel

Here are a few of my favorite things for my new classroom! 

My FILETASTIC in zebra print from Mardel's.

I am wild about these bright new borders!

My chevron tubs from Lowe's.

What are some of your favorite things? Do you have a favorite blog, website, book, teaching tip? Share it with us!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Today, I am thankful for the superheroes in my life! Not the kind that fly through the air, wearing red capes or fighting crime! In fact, my superheroes are extra-ordinary people who always manage to come to my rescue when I need them most. Sometimes my superheroes look a lot like my husband or the guy at Home Depot (minus the spandex)! Today, when I least expected it, my superheroes swooped down out of nowhere to save my day.  

After injuring my index finger last night in a random act of stupidity, I realized I might have to postpone one of the projects I had started for my classroom. Feeling slightly bummed about it, I went to Home Depot anyway, just to scope out the materials I might need for the project.

I walked into the store with the black Sterilite crate I had
purchased at Walmart and located the plywood on Aisle 8. I quickly realized that this project would require measuring (math), cutting (using a saw) and hauling (heavy plywood that would not fit in my car). I was just about to leave and come back later, when he came out of nowhere! My superhero! Let's just call him LUMBERMAN!
He not only offered to measure the size of the wood I needed (to perfection), he also cut the plywood pieces in the store and even loaded them into my car! Now, that's customer service! 

After getting home with all of my goodies, I was super-excited to get started with my crate make-over. This is where SUPER-HUBBY comes into the story. Did I tell you that my husband is the perfect "teacher hubby" and my favorite superhero! For over thirty years he has helped me get my classroom ready for the first day of school and this year is no exception. SUPER-HUBBY is always on stand-by just waiting for his cue to burst out of the phone-booth (minus the spandex) and save the day! (insert happy face here) Thanks to SUPER-HUBBY's expertise with a staple gun and Exacto Knife, I was able to complete my crate project and share it with you today! Don't you just love happy endings? I do and here it is!

Even though I'm not leaving my zebra and polka-dot design behind, I had to get on the chevron band wagon (at least a little bit). It's just too fun! The inspiration  for my crates came from these great tubs I found at Lowe's and this amazing fabric I found at Hobby Lobby! Perfect colors for my room and trust me, it will look great with my zebra!

You can get this at HOBBY LOBBY for the cushions!

Trim the foam to fit plywood seat.

Cut fabric to fit and wrap around foam. Secure with staple gun.

Place cushions in opening on top of crate. Love it!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ready To Move In

So, I took a trip over to my storage building today to deliver the great finds I purchased at the Canton First Monday Trades Day in Canton, Texas. It was so much fun to hang out with my mom and shop, shop, shop! I am really thankful that my Mom still loves to take a road trip with me!
Just a few more days until I can move into my brand new classroom! Do I seem a little anxious? I can't sleep at night just thinking about where I want to put everything! Does anyone else dream about things like this? While I was digging through the storage building today, it reminded me to share something with you that I made last year for my classroom. If you need to create an area for a center that middle school kids would like, think about reviving an old piece of furniture! The kids love to work at the zebra table and it just makes me happy to look at it.

I'm taking a few hours off tonight to move my youngest son out of his apartment into a house. There is one thing for sure, your kids are never too grown up to need a helping hand and I am never too busy to spend time with my kids. This kind of sums it up-

Friday, August 2, 2013

World Changers

I teach Contemporary World Culture to amazing 6th Graders and I want my students to know that even kids can make a BIG difference and impact the world they live in. By creating lessons that are relevant to real world issues, my students learn to make connections with a global village, appreciate the diversity of others and have an opportunity to be real world changers! We've reached out to students in Pakistan and Afghanistan by raising money to build schools for girls in remote mountain villages and for the past three years, we have sponsored a student in Uganda, Africa (you will meet her later). We have even hosted a World Peace Day on our campus. My students have big hearts and when there is a "Call to Action", they respond. I am always so proud of them; that is why I call them WORLD CHANGERS! Never under-estimate the power of kids!  I wanted to create something cool for my new classroom to inspire them (and me) to keep making a difference in the world. Here is what I came up with! I hope it inspires you too~

I found some cool paper mache block letters at Hobby Lobby and I actually got them half price (watch for bargains). They come in a natural color.

I started by spraying a clear coat of Krylon Matt Spray Sealer on each letter to seal the letters. It dried almost instantly.

I wanted my letters to spell the words WORLD CHANGERS, to reflect a global message and I also wanted to display them near my world map (and some cool lamps I'll show you later). So- I decided I wanted the front of the letters to have a world map theme. Easy enough, I bought a world map for $5.99 at Barnes and Nobles!

I traced each letter onto the map (they all fit on one map) and then I cut them out.

Since I wanted to match the colors in my classroom and the colors on the map, I bought several bright colored paint (you could choose one) and I painted each letter a different color. It took two-three coats to cover.

After the paint dried completely, I spray glued (remember, that sticky stuff) with Elmer's Spray Adhesive and placed them on front of the corresponding letter. Allow about 30 minutes for the letters to dry.

I finished off the letters with three coats of (you guessed it) Modge Podge Matte Finish. 

I think these are perfect for the message I wanted to send, however you could use just about any color or paper design to match your theme. By the way, I am standing mine up on a shelf, but you could also hang them on the wall. I would love to see your versions of this DIY. Please post!