Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stressed Out Yet? Yup.

I'm embarking on a very busy week... Family and friends in town, going away parties, attending a conference, cleaning, and prepping for school are filling my calendar this week. I've also volunteered to help another teacher friend with her classroom since she's switching schools this year. I normally like to be in the school early to setup my classroom. I'm known to be one of the first ones in and done because I like to take the last few days of summer to relax and get any last minute errands done before the craziness begins. This summer, though, that won't be the case and lemme tell you, it's starting to stress me out! I feel as though I've done a lot at home and we all know I've done PLENTY of shopping for school lately. But, I still have it hanging over my head that I need to actually get into my classroom and get things done. Is anyone else like this? I'm devoting a day (well at least a morning) this week to work in my classroom and try to get things started in there, but after that I won't have the opportunity to go again until the first week in August... The week before we have to report for inservices.

Anyway, thanks for putting up with my mini rant. I'm also excited to get in there and start putting stuff up so that I can take pictures and show everything to everyone!

PS~ I hit 100 followers today! I never imagined I'd get that many when I started this blog, but I'm so super excited to be a part of an online community of awesome and creative teachers. Maybe eventually I'll do a special giveaway... ;)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Random Thursday Ramblings...

As I was filling in dates in my new planner the other day, I realized that in LESS than a month, I will be back to work. Our kids start back on August 16th and I'll be reporting for inservices the week before.

This is bittersweet to me... I love summer. I love sleeping in and waking up whenever I please. I love going and working out during the day when its less crowded. I love having the freedom to go shopping or out to lunch with friends during the day. I love watching 80s videos on VH1 Classic and watching old sitcoms.

I also love my job. I've always said that one of my favorite things about teaching is that I get a fresh start every August. If I don't like the way I did things last year, I can change it! I love seeing how my students grow over the course of the school year. I love the staff and the families that are a part of my school and having the opportunity to build relationships with such great people.

I will also admit, I am very anxious about this upcoming school year. My school is undergoing A LOT of changes with staff this year-- new principal, 3rd grade, 5th grade, music, library, special ed, etc. (And, second semester this year I will be welcoming my first full-time student teacher!) I know in a lot of schools that's not out out of the ordinary to have that much change, but I teach in a school where NOBODY wants to leave! Most of this change was due to staff retiring. Thankfully, one of our third grade teachers was hired to be our new principal... A huge answer to prayer because I know he's going to be an awesome principal
! I'm actually very excited for all of the changes (in a good way), but there's also that fear of the unknown that comes along with all of the change. While I'll still be in the same classroom, teaching the same grade level, there will be a lot of new people and things going on around me.

Well, there's my little rambling for the day... I think I'm actually going to try to go into my building tomorrow to get a few things done, and if I plan to do that I need to get some things done at home today. Between family stuff, vacations, friends visiting I realized I don't actually have a lot of days to work on school stuff before crunch time!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I Could Not Teach Without...Linky Party!

Views from Room 205: What I Could Not Teach Without...Linky Party!

We all have those things that help make our days go smoothly and that make our lives as teachers more enjoyable.

Here are the things that make my day:

  • Diet Mountain Dew OR Crystal Light Wild Strawberry Energy-- I wish I wasn't so dependent on caffeine, but surviving the morning usually doesn't happen without one of the two.

  • Bath & Body Works hand sanitizers and soaps-- I buy the fun smelling cute ones for myself and let the kids use the plain kind. I kind of have a thing with hoarding hand sanitizers from there.

  • My ELMO-- It's an older model and I will probably need an upgrade soon, but I can't imagine living without one. I'm so glad I never taught during the age of the overhead projector!

  • Cardigans, Gap denim jacket, or my Columbia jacket-- I have an insane number of cardigans... Seriously. I've also had a long time love affair denim jackets from Gap and my most recent one is probably the most comfortable denim jacket ever. Plus, it looks cute with pretty much everything. My classroom is blessed with a great A/C that only knows hot and cold and not really anything in between. Layering is typically a necessity for all of us to stay comfortable.

  • All of my fabulous work station and center activities from Lakeshore-- I don't think my reading work stations would run as smoothly as they do without all of the activities I've purchased from there. Check out my post from last week about my major shopping trip to see what all I picked up for the upcoming school year.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blog Comments

I love when I get comments on my blog and I love commenting on others' blogs as well. That said, I wanted everyone to know that I've been having issues with Blogger letting me leave comments and replies on my own blog! Grrrrr... It basically freezes up on me, then asks me to login again, only to do the same thing all over again. Very frustrating! So, keep the comments coming, but I may or may not respond to them! I just want everyone to know I do appreciate your comments and feedback and I am not trying to be rude! I want to write back and I'll do my best to figure out how to solve this problem! It doesn't do this to me as much when I comment on other blogs, so I'm just going to have to do some problem solving. But, I'm a teacher and that's something I'm pretty good at!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What would you do if you weren't a teacher?

I've known pretty much my whole life that I wanted to be a teacher...

I always LOVED school. I grew up being an only child, so staying at home during the summer wasn't that much fun. I wanted to be at school with my friends and teachers...

When I got to college, I was one of those rare people that went started school and stayed with the same major the whole time.

But, sometimes I think about the careers I'd have considered had teaching not been my first love. Here is the list I have come up with:

  1. Interior Decorator

  2. Professional Game Show Contestant

  3. Personal Shopper

  4. Graphic Designer

Even on the worst days, I really don't regret my decision to become a teacher. Are there days when my students drive me insane? Yes. Do the assessments give me headaches and stress? Oh yes! Do budget cuts to education make me sick to my stomach? Yup. But, it's still totally worth it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

MAJOR Shopping Trip!

A few coworkers and I took a little road trip today to visit Lakeshore and Mardel and I can very honestly say that our day of shopping was a grand success! We don't really have a great teacher store in town anymore, so it's become worth it to make the almost 3 hour drive to take care of our school shopping. Plus, it's a lot more fun to shop in the stores then online and I had a fun day with some great ladies!

So, here's my collection of new items from Lakeshore... Their big summer sale started today, so we all went a little crazy, but I got some really awesome deals! If you live near a store, you need to go in and check out their clearance sales. They have a TON of other random items marked 20% off right now as well. They're running some great deals online too. (The e-mail coupon I got recently was for $20 off an online purchase of $100 or more.)

Next, we hit up Mardel. I didn't do near as much damage there, but I still found quite a few things I needed (and a few wants as well). If I remember correctly, their big teacher sale is the 20th or 21st and everything will be 20% off. This sale is also going to be online with $5 shipping.

Then when we got home I hit up Dollar Tree. Ours are just now getting their school stuff put out, so there wasn't much to get, but I did manage to snag some neat plastic magazine holders and some poster board to make new pocket charts.

Here's what I picked up at Lakeshore:

  1. Spin and Answer Reading Comprehension Wheel

  2. Problem Solving Card Bank

  3. Read and Check Prefix / Suffix Cards

  4. Nonfiction Comprehension Quickie Cards

  5. Fluency and Comprehension Partner Scripts

  6. Nonfiction Acticity Chart

  7. Vocabulary Activity Chart

  8. Tabletop Chart Stand

  9. American Symbols Comprehension Cards

  10. Classwords Vocab Game

  11. Large dry erase pockets

  12. Charlotte's Web Game Show Questions

  13. Name tags

  14. Sticker charts

  15. Free lesson plan book


  1. Blank star poster

  2. Sports cutouts

  3. Over the door pocket chart hanger

  4. Small dry erase pockets

  5. Star stickers

  6. "Teachers Know All About Class" t-shirt

As you can see, I'm pretty much DONE spending money on school until the fall when I'll actually have income again. I think I'm pretty well set, though, and will have a lot of great activities for my students!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ladybug's Teacher Files: Classroom Shopping Linky Party!

Ladybug's Teacher Files: Classroom Shopping Linky Party!

If you haven't been over the Ladybug's Teacher Files recently (or ever) you need to check out the Linky Party. I'm totally a sucker for a bargain and I love shopping the back to school sales for awesome deals. There are some great links on here that will lead you to great deals other teachers have found so far this summer! Happy shopping!

Another Hobby Lobby Find!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I LOVE HOBBY LOBBY!

During another one of my routine trips there I found these awesome little water bottles for $0.60 each (reg. $0.99 each)! I bought these a few years ago for each of the students in my class and it ended up being a great purchase. They carry them in the spring and summer with their VBS supplies, but the last two years I've hit them up too late and there weren't enough to purchase a class set. I don't know about you, but I have always let my students keep water bottles at their desks and these little ones are just perfect. I let my students fill them up in the morning (and usually after lunch during the really really hot days) and they're responsible to take them home and wash them. It really eliminates the distruption of kids getting up and leaving the room for drinks and they really aren't a distraction to have on desks. Once I get my class list I will do some Sharpie decorating with the kids' names. Overall, the kids are usually good about taking care of them and for being so cheap these things really hold up well with the third grade wear and tear.