Monday, July 29, 2013

Back to School Gifts

I love the excitement of Back to School time.  I love to shop.  I love to make things.  And I love to give gifts.  Roll all of that into one and what do you get?  Back to School gifts for my co-teachers!  I made them a cute pencil cup out of a tin can (from a can green beans, corn, or whatever other veggie you eat for dinner), some hot-glued crayons and ribbon, and a gerber daisy.  Super cheap, super easy, and super cute!  Add a few bright neon pencils tied with a string, plus a cute graphic someone else made, and you've got instant gifts!  So easy!

The graphic says "#2 pencils for a #1 teacher" (in case you can't read it).  I hope my co-teachers like them!
I'm also linking this post up with Tara today!  Click the button below to check out what everyone else has been up to!  Thanks, Tara!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Truffula Trees!

I love all things Dr. Seuss.  I ran across a tutorial on how to make Truffula trees (from The Lorax) sometime last year.  I pinned it but never got around to making one.  I usually don't have the time and/or energy to craft during the school year, so projects get done in the summer.  Well, with less than two weeks left before I go back to school, I decided to give 'em a go.  I love how they turned out!  Ta-da!

They were pretty simple to make, too!  I got the yellow planters at Walmart for $2.97 each.  I added polka dots using acrylic craft paints and a round foam brush. 

The sticks are actually tree limbs from my (neighbor's) yard!  We have pecan trees and are constantly having limbs blown down in storms.  To get them to stay standing up in the planters, first I put a thick layer of dirt from my yard (helps absorb the water from the p of p-->), then I used plaster of paris (found at Lowes for $5.98), mixed according to the directions on the box.  I used 4 cups of plaster for each one.  It said that it needs to set for 24 hours, but it was stable enough for me to start painting them in about 2 hours.  Again, I just used acrylic craft paints and a foam brush.  They needed about 3 coats of each color to be completely covered.

For the top fluffy parts, I used an 8'' Styrofoam ball (ridiculously expensive @ $12.94 a piece!!) and a feather boa ($4.98 each).  I found both at Walmart.  I just started wrapping the boa around the ball and pinning it every so often with straight pins.  I did have to adjust and readjust to get it to cover well.  (Don't try to use hot glue or you will get a gunked up, grody feathered mess). 

Then I just shoved the bottom of the balls down on the top of the tree limb!  Nothing to it!  I added pom poms (also from Wally World: I think they were $3.97 for 100, various sizes) at random places on the sticks just because I felt like it.  Then I got a chevron plastic tablecloth (97 cents from Walmart) to add to the planters to finish them off.  The tablecloth was just chevron on the sides with a white middle, so I just cut it and used one side for each planter.  You could use fabric, rocks, or whatever else you like.

And that's all she wrote!  Super easy and super cute!  I love 'em!  I know my kiddos are gonna get a kick out of them this year!

Monday, July 29: I've linked up with Tara for Monday Made It!  Click the graphic below to see all the other great projects out there!  Thanks, Tara!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

And almost a year later....I'm still alive

Oh my gosh, y'all, it has been almost exactly a year to the day (5 days short!) since I last blogged!  Wow!  I started my blog in June last year, and posted all of the crafts I was creating for my (then new-to-me) 4th grade classroom.  But once I got done with my crafts, I really didn't know what else to say!  Haha!  And then school started, and you all know what that means!  Total craziness!

I fully intended to post pictures of my classroom after I got it ready last August, but then things got so busy that I never got around to it.  And I fully intended to blog about my first year in 4th grade, but as you can see, that never happened either!  I've looked at my blog a few times over the last year, and I almost even decided to delete it, because I just didn't have the energy to add anything to it.  But then I thought about the pics of things I've made that are on Pinterest, and how they would be deleted if I did that, so I decided not to.  But I still didn't have the energy to do more to it.  So here it has been sitting for nearly a year.'ve ya been? ;)  I guess I may end up just being a "summer blogger". Haha.  Who knows.  Maybe now that I've gotten a year of 4th under my belt, I'll have more time and energy to focus on blogging?  I guess we'll see.

But I'm back today to show you another craft!  (What else?)  Today I made a school supply cake that I saw on Pinterest.  I followed the tutorial at The Butlers blog.  I love how it turned out!  It is so cute!  Seeeeee???
I just love it!  I am going to be making something else fun for my room tomorrow!  Stay tuned!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Advice for New Teachers

Stephanie over at Teaching in Room 6 is linking up posts with helpful ideas for new teachers.  I thought I'd add in a couple of ideas, too! 

My first year of teaching began in the middle of the school year, fresh out of college.  Thankfully it was a first grade classroom, because I think if the students were older, they would have run all over me.  There were a lot of tears that year.  My tears, not theirs!  I was overwhelmed and felt like no one was helping me.  No one offered any advice, ideas, or suggestions.  No one came in and asked if I needed help.  BUT, I never asked for any help, either.  That was my biggest mistake.  It took a couple of years for my co-teachers and I to actually begin working together, but once we did, it was great.  I wish I had asked for help to begin with!  It would have saved me a lot of heartache. 

I did not want them to think I didn't know it all.  After all, I was fresh out of college.  I was supposed to know everything already, right? HA. HA. HA.  What a lie.  Do not lie to yourself!  College DOES NOT teach you what you need to know to teach.  It just doesn't.  You will only learn that from real-world experience.  I'm sorry, but it's true.  There are so many things they don't even cover in college!

So, my advice is this:

1. Don't let your pride get in the way.  If you need help, ask!

2. Don't expect perfection from yourself or anyone else.  Work hard, do your best, but give yourself  a break.  Not everything is going to go right every time.

3. Stay organized.  If you are a naturally organized person, like me, you might not have trouble with this.  If you are not naturally organized, I recommend researching some ways to stay organized.  It will help you so much!  To know where everything is and be able to put your hands on it right away will relieve a lot of stress.  I think most teachers probably start off the year organized, but staying that way all year is harder to do.  If you take 10 minutes each afternoon to clean up your room, put things away, get things out for the next day, etc., it will save you a few hairs on your head!

4. Start off the year with your routines and procedures.  And review them often!

5. Don't let teaching consume your life.  Take some time for yourself and your family.  Yes, you may have to work late many days, but plan days to not stay late, weekends to rest and relax, and holidays to spend focusing on something besides teaching.  You will need these breaks or you will burn out quickly!

I hope new teachers find this advice helpful.  If you are not a new teacher and have any advice to contribute, leave them in the comments! :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I've been awarded!

I've gotten new followers, visitors, and potential friends through the Newbie Blog Hop!  So exciting!  And a few of those ladies have nominated me for some awards!

Jackie from Crazy Daze in First Grade , Donna from Working 5 to 9 , and Leslie from First Grade in the Kootenays nominated me for the One Lovely Blog award!  Thanks, ladies!
For this award, the guidelines are:
1. Follow the person who gave you the award. DONE!
2. Link back to the person that gave you the award. DONE!
3. Pass the award on to 15 people. 

The 15 bloggers I nominate for this award are:
1. First Grade Fairytales 
2. Diving Into Learning 
3. Maestra Bilingue
4. Kelly Teach
5. Delightfully Dunn
6. Write On, Fourth Grade!
7. Our Future Is Bright
8. My Silly Firsties
9. First-Graders from Outer Space
10. Fancy Free in Fourth
11. Fierce in Fourth
12. Ms. G. in Grade 3
13. That's So Second Grade
14. The School Potato
15. Moore News

Also, Kelly from First Grade Fairytales nominated me for the Liebster Blog award!  Thanks, Kelly!  For this award, the rules are:
1. Link back to the person who gave you the award. DONE!
2. Post the award to your blog. DONE!

3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.
I nominate:
Splish! Splash! Ms. Lander's Second Grade Class
Sweet Life of Second Grade
Diving Into Learning
Maestra Bilingue
First Grade in the Kootenays
4. Leave a comment on their blogs letting them know they have been nominated. DONE!

Holy smokes, it took me HOURS to hunt down blogs to nominate that hadn't already received the awards!  But now that it's done, it's done!  I have the three main newbie blogger awards and I really appreciate being nominated.  Thanks again, ladies!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop!

I just read over at Polka Dots and Pencils that a new blogger, Janis from Grade Three Is The Place For Me, is hosting a Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop linky party, so I thought I would join in! 

You only have to do 2 things to participate: 1) Answer the following 5 questions about yourself: 

1. what state you are in
2. your current teaching position
3. your teaching experience
4. when you started blogging
5. share a blogging tip/blogging resource

And 2) Link your post up below.  (It's the same link-up as Janis', which I didn't know at first!  Learned something new today!)  Easy, peasy!

So, here are my answers:
1. Alabama
2. 4th grade English, AL History, and Science teacher
3. 6.5 years in 1st grade; switching to 4th grade this year!
4. I just started blogging in June 2012!  I am very new to it, but having a ton of fun!
5. My favorite blogging resource is Pinterest!  Since I've only been posting about crafts and decorating that I've been doing for my new classroom so far, Pinterest has been my greatest resource.  It is also where I've gotten most, if not all, of my followers from!  They would see something I posted on Pinterest and come visit my blog to read more about it.  I love Pinterest!

If you come here via this link up, please leave a comment to let me know you were here! :)

Circle of Moms Teacher Mom Blog Contest

I have joined the Circle of Moms Teacher Mom Blog Contest!  Not that I think I'll come anywhere close to winning, but just to get my blog advertised more.  So if you've stopped by because of this contest, leave a comment to let me know you were here!  Welcome!  Click the badge below to vote for me! :)