Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Odds and Ends I have been working on...

 I really like Monday Made It because it motivates me to get things done. Thanks to 4th Grade Frolics for creating this to kick me in the behind and accomplish something.  So, this week I did a lot of projects both at home and and school. We are having a party at our home for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary Saturday, so I am getting the yard and house ready. I refinished a potter's bench that had sat neglected for far too long, cleaned up flower beds, cleaned patio furniture, tamed the out of control cucumber plant that is taking over my garden and organized the side yard.

Now, onto the fun stuff... my Silhouette Cameo arrived as we were leaving for Hawaii. I am finally getting to use it and boy is it fun! Here are a few of my latest creations with it.
 This is my Box Tops for Education collection bin. I needed a bigger one and thought the open top would make this one easier than the last. I got the inspiration from Pinterest.

 My no frills No Name board. It is right above where papers get turned in, so it is handy. I didn't want to spend more time on this project than the students do when they don't put their name on their paper, so I went simple. Maybe I'll add more later.
This is my welcome desk with my attendance and lunch center. I used a regular white board from Staples and made lettering and borders on the Cameo. Each day the kids will move their magnet to the appropriate spot (buying/bringing) and I can count lunch orders and see who is missing. I have a monitor to do this and put magnets back. It turned out great. Magnets are from DW Magnets. I found them through New Management - Rick Morris' awesome classroom management site. Dereck is so great... he will custom make any magnets for you. I know we can do them ourselves, but who has the time.

So, that's all for now. I am off to a district technology meeting. We haven't started school yet... Sept 5 is the magic date.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Best Pencil Sharpener Ever

Just a little plug for the best pencil sharpener ever. I pre-sharpened many pencils today and this sharpener was quiet, efficient and it's so cute! I love it! You can get one here. http://www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com/. I didn't get this for free and they aren't paying me. Just love this sharpener and know pencil sharpening is a BIG hassle in a teacher's life.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I'm in Kauai and school is in session here. I'm recharging my batteries and making mental plans for my year. How can you not be inspired with a view like this? We've seen turtles, paddle boarded and kayaked on the Hanalei River and we are zip lining Friday before we jet home. I'm actually excited to get back to my room and finish it up. But, until then, live, love, and sandy toes!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Classroom Update

Today I got a rare treat... 4 hours of uninterrupted work time in my classroom alone (thanks mom and dad for having Ryan over). I got to play my Jason Mraz Radio on Pandora as loud as I wanted, spend time making my classroom a happy and colorful place, and ease back into my relationship with my classroom after a long absence from one another. I found that I really had missed it.

Yesterday I tried to put together a desk I got at Ikea, but really needed a drill or electric screwdriver... or much bigger biceps. Today, I brought the drill and made quick work of the desk. I love it! It is for my laptop and document camera to live on. I especially love the pink legs... they just make me happy. Not a bad looking set up for $19.99. 

After tackling that project, I moved on to changing a bulletin board. I changed the border and title to go with my new owl theme. I think it turned out great. I am going to add blue clothes pins with a photo of each child hot glued on it on each black paper to hang student work from. I can't do that until the kids come on Sept. 5th. This will stay up all year.
My next project was to outfit my clock with some great little numbers that I downloaded from TPT. I can't remember who I got them from... if you know, please leave a comment... I would like to give credit where credit is due. I love them. It looks so cute!
When I was on one of my many shopping trips to Target, I found this great canvas. I love what it says and hope it inspires my students like it does me.
Finally, I did a little bit more work on my teacher corner. If you have been reading my posts you know I got rid of my desk and replaced it with a student desk from Target. This is what my teacher corner looks like now. I have my desk, lamp and chair from Target. The bins are from Really Good Stuff, my dad built the bookshelves (thanks dad!), and I found the cute tree and owl bulletin board from Carson-Dellosa. My Timree.com personalized owl lunchbox is on my desk. It is filled with my personal items like lotion, mints, etc. that I can't store in my desk anymore. My pencil cup says "Smarty Pants". It was a gift from a former parent after I shared the story of my son (7 at the time) asking me why I called him a smarty pants since that wasn't where his brain was stored? He is very literal. The parent and I had a good laugh over this and hence the gift. It still makes me smile every time I see it! The file cart next to my desk was a Costco find several years ago. I am so happy with how it all has come together. I am going to fill the boards with student work and anchor charts when the kiddos arrive.

Now I am really done with school prep until after my vacation to Kauai for my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary. I feel good to have gotten so much done today. I still have work to do, and my new Silhouette Cameo will be here when I return. I am sure I will find many creative projects that I just HAVE to do once that arrives.

Until then... ALOHA!

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Inspiration for Owls

I know.. two posts in one day, WOW! I have had many friends and family ask how I came to the decision to use an owl decor in my classroom this year. Many think it is because of the many cute owl items available in the marketplace today, but that was not my inspiration, they just serve to make my decision easier to implement. I have a friend who is a talented artist. She has the CUTEST studio in Newport Beach, California. It was even featured on The Real Housewives of OC when the ladies took a painting class there for their show. I too paint there from time to time.
Timree had this CUTE owl painting hanging in her studio and it caught my eye. I just had to have it! Now, it hangs in my classroom as my inspiration of my new classroom design.

If you want to check out Timree and her awesome handpainted items (ceramics, paintings, school and office supplies, painting parties and classes, etc.) just click here. You won't be sorry!

My First Monday Made It!

I am excited to join with 4th Grade Frolics this week for Monday Made It! I have been working in my classroom a little here and there when my son's busy schedule permits it. I had an old rusted student desk in my room that I used to hold the AlphaSmarts inside, pencil sharpener and pencil bins on top and the computer waiting list. It looked awful. It didn't match our student desks... I can't even remember where it came from. I decided it was time for a make over. I was so excited that I forgot to take a "before" picture. After masking the top and chrome legs, I painted it with RustOleum primer for rusted metal. I let that dry and then went for it. I painted it bright blue to match some of the bulletin boards and accents in my room. It turned out pretty good. It sure looked better than before! I searched and searched for Contact Paper that fit my classroom culture. I was not enthused with the results of my search, but settled for this black and white pattern. It doesn't look too bad. Definitely better than the chipped and stained wood grain top. This looks too pretty for the pencil sharpener now. I put it by my mailbox center and door as a welcome station. Can't wait to show it off to my fellow teachers and students!

Have a great week! I am not sure if I will post again since we are leaving Friday for Hawaii! We don't start school until September 5th.