Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WTH Wednesday or Save the Hot Pocket!!!

Yep- WTH Wednesday!
(Most of the events in this post actually took place on a Tuesday- but I was too tired and too busy to get on here!) So I am declaring this a WTH Wednesday post! 

I have been watching all the posts on {insert social media name here} about going back to school and I love it! I love seeing all the rooms and decor! And I love seeing how excited everyone is to go back. I have been in a few rooms that look like they are straight off of Pinterest and one that could have been on a iFunny. Yikes.
 
Needless to say we are in full swing here at the Squirrels household! 
With my schedule being very different this year, I have had to set new and more stringent guidelines for getting out of the house in the morning.
WTH? 
WHY, WHY, WHY is it so hard to get them to understand that they have to move at a reasonable pace?
Why the heck are there fifty-eleven alarms set? For three people?? 
The halls start sounding like some jerk set every alarm at Radio Shack 1 minute apart around 5:30am! There are iphone alarms, iPad alarms, iPod alarms, oh- and a few ALARM CLOCK alarms, too! 
Hopefully the routine will set in quickly.
 
I've got the Littlest Little showing me what he is going to wear the night before so that I can be sure they are at least clothes that are suitable for outside wear.
I've had him place his "Deo for the B.O." next to his toothbrush-
 
"Dear Lord, please make sure he remembers to brush each day. And if not everyday, then at least M-F, cause I used to work at his school and I don't want people talking about my smelly kid with the butter teeth.
Amen."

We are all walking out the door right at the same time most mornings. I have told them that there is absolutely NO FIGHTING in the a.m.!! They can pummel the crap out of each other when they get off the bus, but if any one of them makes us late in the morning, they are ALL grounded! So they need to form a bond. Quickly.

I guess I shouldn't give so much leniency for after school- for it is in the mere minutes of After School Bliss that the story I am about to share takes place. (Also the inspiration for bringing back my WTH Wednesday)! 

I was at a high school yesterday, so I was home fairly early. I got here right before they got off of the bus.  So I did the obligatory "How was your day? Let me see your planner spiel" with all of them. (When it's time for stuff like that, it feels like I have 37 Littles and not just 3!)
It's right around this time that they all start squawking like little birds that they are starving. All of them choose something different, of course, and that is when I inform them that they are all on their own.
I'm chatting it up at the table with the boys and Chickadee (who at this point has made her after school snack - a hot pocket- and then retreated to her den) comes up to get something to drink. We are all laughing and joking around- being silly- (imagine that) when she takes off through the living room and down the hall.

(Insert slow motion footage)

There was a laugh, a screech, and then a THUD!

The laugh was when she realized that our sweet little Barkley might be in her room enjoying her hot pocket that she left unattended to come get her drink.
The screech was the noise she made when she tripped WHILE RUNNING down the hall. Her speed was too great and she was not able to stop as she rounded the corner- so she stopped herself with her body.
That was the "Thud".
Her hand slammed into the corner of the wall.

(Resume regular speed).

So this is where we are now.
 
Yes, that's right, Chickadee, look away. Look away.

Yep. One Urgent Care Clinic visit, a few xrays, and a thumb splint later, this is where we are.

WTH?! Have I not been telling you for the last 17 years to NOT run in the house? Has this not ALWAYS been a rule? And why would you leave your hot pocket on your bed?? That makes it fair game for Barkley!
We are in the little room at the Dr.'s office and here my beautiful, seemingly intelligent daughter is telling the Dr that she thinks she broke her hand.
 "How did it happen?" (I always hate it when they talk directly to the kids- I am always afraid they are going to say some "buzz word" that will trigger the Dr. to push a panic button and send in the DHS SWAT)!
But I dodged that scenario when my ding dong doodle daddy of a daughter replied:
"I was trying to save my hot pocket."

The good news is - no fractures. We go BACK to the Dr on Friday. They think she may have torn ligaments. I don't even know what that means. One of my friends said it might involve physical therapy for rehab. ?!?!?!?!
Are you kidding me?
Because of a hot pocket?

I told her I was going to make a poster that said NO RUNNING and put her on it then tack it to the end of the hall. Who would have thought that I was still going to have to remind them all of that rule this far into the game?

I think we must all take a moment to acknowledge that, while it was originally thought that this guy was a Guilty Gus and up to no good with his hot pocket thievery antics, he was in no way charged with any crime in this matter. He continues to roam freely through the bedrooms, scavenging for hot pocket crumbs.

 
{No hot pockets were harmed in the making of this post.}

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ready or Not BTS Blog Hop

 
 

Good Morning and welcome- It's my turn to share something great for our
 It's time for Back to School Blog Hop.
I went back and forth about what I should share.
And I decided to share something that worked like a DREAM for the last two years I was in first grade.
It was when I made the choice to go to COMMUNITY SUPPLIES. Just the mention of it used to make me worry what the kiddos would say and the fit the parents would throw because "Those were mine!" .....but I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find that with some great organization and a fool-proof routine, they would catch on to this system quickly!
Below are the pictures from when I made that transition, along with some excerpts from the blog post that shared this wonderful way of keeping up with supplies!

I do not have the tables I wanted, so I used my desks to make "tables".

They are in groups of 5.
There are 4 "tables" so far this year.
They use these table #s for various things, I will share those.

At each table there is an A,B, C, D, E.
It is on your nametag  to help you remember.
I might say "I need the Es to go get your table bin".

So the Es would go get the bin (only four people up).

 Let's pretend we are coloring something.

I keep the crayons in these little travel soap containers. They fit perfectly. They will actually hold all 24, but I take out all but the main 12.

The red violets, blue greens, and dandelions are saved for other projects.

Those little "crayon boxes" live in a table bin.
 
The table bins live on a cart.



So now we will pretend that the Es have gotten the bins and taken them to the table.
Whoever takes it to the table, passes them out.
I might call the Ds to put them away. (again, only four people are up).
If you are the person putting them away, you make sure you get one from everybody at your table.
5 friends. 5 boxes.

What if someone is missing a color?
They can go to the crayons and get the color they need to put inside of the little box.
I painted them, but am not loving them, because they are too "yellowy".
Notice how two very distinct colors live in the same drawer.
Also if you find a crayon on the floor, you can just put it in the correct drawer.

Now let's pretend we are working on something that needs scissors.
I have learned my lesson.
Scissors used to live at their desks (first 5.5 years of teaching).

I can't take it anymore.
The cutting of the clothes. The hair. The paper that WASN'T supposed to be cut.
Not to mention my aversion to metal- I can't handle that noise when they
open/close
open/close
open....AGHHHHH!

So the scissors live in a separate bin.
They are in the four little bins on top of the shelf. Each contains the # of scissors to match the # at the table.
If what we are working on needs scissors, I will put that little bin in the table bin before we start.
That way when the Ds come get their bin, they have what they need.
The same with glue. It isn't in the bin, unless we are going to use it.

What about pencils?
We can't be up ALL the time taking pencils and putting them back!

Pencils live........




in the CUPS! See the cups? Cups are good.
There are only three things that can be in your cup.
A pencil.
A dry erase marker.
The coins from behavior system (that's another post).

What about keeping that cup from falling off?
INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH VELCRO!

The cups take up a tiny little space. Pencils don't roll off onto the floor.
NO ONE has to "dig" in a pencil box to find anything.

We only use yellow pencils- because they are community.
See how nicely they stick up out of the cup?
At the end of our day a friend just takes 'em right out, puts them in the
please sharpen me can, and then another friend puts one sharpened pencil in the cups
each morning. If you need a new one during the day, you just trade out at the cans.

This is how nice it looked while they were at lunch.
When we are finished, someone  from that table will put all those boxes in the table bin and then the table bin will go back to the cart.
And all will be right with the world.

Whooo is coloring so nicely???



A few questions I have gotten from fellow teachers

What about the pencil boxes they brought in?
Those are in the closet with a set of markers in them.
We do not use them that often, so they don't need to be in the way.
.
What about the books and notebooks?
Notebooks are in a literature stacker (which I am considering a bin for each table)
Books live in cubbies when not being used.

What if they need supplies for a center?
If crayons, scissors, or glue is needed for any activity- it will be in the center box.

So, now you all think I am this crazy Hitler Teacher who doesn't let anyone use anything EVER.
I promise I am tons of fun- we do a lot of fun things- I promise:)

I have just based this system on my previous experiences.
They cannot interrupt your instruction with noise from supplies that are not in their hands. (They will find other ways to do it, but now they must get creative) :)
The less distraction, the better.
They all have to take ownership of our room. We want our room to reflect the type of students we are:
Neat
Careful
Organized

It really did work so well- and it did away with all the distractions that came from things being in front of them all the time. When I taught K, I tried right away to do community supplies, but it all just ended up being a bunch of broken crayons in a crappy caddy in the middle of the table! It only took me 6 years to get it all together!

Hope you have found lots of great ideas and freebies to help you on your Back to School Adventure!


Your next stop will be with Jennifer from The Teacher's Open House- Click on her Button below to head over and see what she has for you!
 

 

http://teachersopenhouse.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five for Friday {July 25}


Another summer week has passed. It hasn't hit The Littles yet. They are still pulling all nighters {on the xbox}, staying out all night {in the driveway}, and sleeping in- like waaaayyyy in.
I don't have the heart to break it to them that this coming week is their last week of freedom- maybe I'll break it to them next week. 

This week I posted a few projects from my first grade room. {scroll back}
I haven't been super crafty this week- just cooking {which I hate} and crocheting.
Pic #1 is a snapshot of my biggest cooking fail this week. Bought the wrong cornmeal and ended up baking a frisbee.

Pic #2 is a failed attempt at cooking canned biscuits on the panini press. They were also flat- as a pancake- pretty much just smaller versions of the frisbee pictured above. 
Pic #3 is bread that I couldn't mess up because it was already baked at the store! I even had a helper in the kitchen who buttered and garlic-ed it and we got it in the oven.
It burned. Really. 
Family reviews:
"It hurts the roof of my mouth."
                        -Littlest Little
"I'm not eating that."
                         -Chickadee
"If you let it soak in the sauce for a minute it's not so bad."
                -my favorite (I mean , Middle Little)     
                  

Pic #4
Something I surely couldn't ruin this week!
With all the heat and lack of rain you would think that we wouldn't have so many tomatoes. But we do! My neighbor's birthday is tomorrow and I am giving her the gift of some fried green 'maters... If I don't burn them.

Pic 5 {and 6} have to do with all the heat and humidity. Littlest Little and I broke out the wii this week- just too hot to be out there!! 
Take at look at my Mii.....hers grouchy!
I forgot how "angry" I made her forever go when we used to play this thing all the  time. 
I need like Mii therapy- some anger management!
I especially needed some counseling after we busted out the Mario Kart! While I DO have gold on all the levels (because I am just that competitive), it has been a long time! I forgot how much I despised Rainbow Road. 

I guess I will have to practice when they all go to bed this week so that my Mii can stop being so grumpy! 
Enjoy your weekend!! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"No-Sew" Sewing for Your Classroom



Holy Humid!
I don't know where you are reading this from, but hopefully it is from somewhere cool and breezy AND DRY!
When I left to walk this morning, it wasn't too bad- but by the time I left the house to run errands around 8am it was so humid that it took your breath away when you walked out the door. WTH?
We didn't even go to the pool today- there was no sense in going- you were already wet when you walked off the porch!
So it was a good day to get caught up on some housecleaning (bleck).
I also read lots of blog and insta posts about redecorating the classroom! (That was in between cleaning jobs)

If you have fabric leftovers from all the decorating that you are doing, I have a VERY SIMPLE {and stress SIMPLE} way to make a great curtain for that little rectangle window on your door.
In our building, it became mandatory that the window be covered at all times.
No peeking.
Ever.
I guess I could have painted the window- but I wanted a pretty curtain.
And I wanted it to be "pretty" from both sides!!

Below are the directions from when I made it-
{Remember..... SUPER SIMPLE!}

First here is the finished product
(gotta have a goal)


Measure and cut the fabric to the size you need.
Take the two fabrics you are going to use and put them both
"pretty side" in (facing each other)

I folded the edges over (about an inch)
and just ironed a nice crease
(yes, I said "iron"- please forgive me)

After I got nice creases, I pulled them apart.

Leave the bottom fabric on the board (in my case it was the floor)- don't laugh, but
I don't even OWN an ironing board!!
One of the Littles actually asked, "Who did you borrow that from?"
when he saw me take it to school!-

Back to the craft-
You have pulled them apart, now take the fabric that was on the inside and lay it
on top of the piece that is still on the board.
Ok, now the "pretty sides" are both on the outside.
See that BEE-U- Ta-ful bottle of fabric glue sitting there?
Take that and run it along that inside crease that you made.
I pressed it with my fingers first-
then ironed it again (note to self- and all others....Do not let that iron
sit too long in any one spot)

Then I just let it dry, hanging on a chair!

But look at how clean those edges are!!
I couldn't have sewn it better myself!

So now  no matter what side you are on, you get to see the "pretty side"!

And this can be for ANY size curtain.

I made this two years ago and it was just  as perfect as the day I made it when I packed my room up at the beginning of this summer.
I love projects that are easy!

I have always thought that once the fabric goes up in the classroom, the room immediately starts to come together- then you have to do all that other teachery-stuff.
The stuff that makes you sweat and fuss and scream and cry....
ok, back to the fun stuff!

Enough about me
What's your favorite part of getting your classroom together? Would love for you to share!
Happy Decorating!
 
 
 
 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Easy Word Wall

Good Evening!
It is Monday!
I wish that meant something super special, but it doesn't.
No special dates on the calendar- not counting down to anything.
It's just Monday.

I have been "watching" everyone begin to get their rooms ready for the year! I even had to run up to my "old school" (that sounds weird) today to pick something up and there was a parking lot full of teachers who could not wait to get into their rooms and start getting them ready for the new school year. We start here on the 6th of August- so that is right around the corner!

It sort-of -(I stress sort of) kinda -almost -in -a- way made me sad that I do not have a room to prepare decorate this year.
As stressful as that part is, I think it is one of my favorites! Not always the fave of The Mr. though because sometimes it involved ALL NEW decorating- like new colors, more fabric, new containers..... I actually got put on "fabric restriction" once.
Sadness.

I thought that if I couldn't share new ideas, that I might be able to share a few things that have worked for me in the past- and maybe, just maybe, it might be something that will help you out while you are trying to get your room ready for the year.

When I switched to pink/green/black my last year in first grade, I had to recover my Word Wall. And since I was documenting yard by yard what I was doing with all of the fabric, I shared how I was changing it.{ I will link the original post at the bottom of this one. }

There was never really  a place that I could make a my word wall home when I was in my first room (nine years ago) I had a huge blank wall, but I didn't want to have to fool with tape or Velcro.
So instead, I purchased a sheet of foam insulation. And I covered it with (what now looks like Day Glow) green fabric. I used my staple gun to get the fabric on, and then I used a little hot glue on the back.
Now, had it been free "hanging"' it would never have stayed on the wall with just the hot glue- but there was a counter top right below that held most of the weight. So the hot glue was just sort of tacking it into place.


When I moved to my new room, there was an air conditioner right below that space that I wanted my Word Wall to live. Instead of hot glue this time though, I used six command strips. Yep, just six.
When words moved from the easel to the board, I just used my stapler. And they stayed.
 
The board even moved with me when I made my move to fourth. I just added a few more strips!



Super easy to do! And it doesn't necessarily have to be a word wall, it could be any type of bulletin board. The main thing for me was the fact that it stayed in place and all the cards that I put on it did, too!
 
This was originally posted as Word Wall Woes Wiped Away back in August of 2012. (Seems like it wasn't that long ago!)
 
Check back over the next week to see other projects that  might help you out!
 
Happy Monday!
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