Monday, July 20, 2015

The One Where I Make Things

I am so excited to finally be linking up with Tara for a Monday Made It.  I have a love/hate relationship with this link up.  I LOVE all the wonderful ideas that are shared, but I hate all the time I spend looking at all the ideas and then feeling the need to add to my to do list.  

I'm sure you can relate.

This summer and school year I'm keeping things pretty low key.  My husband and I are in the process of adopting and the children will be moving in soon.  My focus and time has been on the children and preparing to bring them home.

But I still like to relax and do some creating for my classroom.

One of the first things I made this summer was a binder cover for my teacher binder.  You can read about what inside my binder here.

I normally keep my PD records in this binder, but this summer I have enough good information from workshops that I needed a separated binder.  

So I made another binder cover. :)

I decided this year to buy a new toolbox and start over instead of spray painting mine again.  I also decided to laminate the labels and put them on the outside.  I'm not sure how I feel about this yet.  I'll use it awhile and see how it goes before changing it.

I used Disney paint chips from Wal-Mart to make a calendar.  This was not as easy as I had planned.  I had a hard time getting the squares lined up perfectly.  I finally called it good and moved on.

I used 5 different patterns for the month cards.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The One in July 2015

Dear Summer,
You seem to be in such a hurry to leave.  Please don't rush out the door.  I'm enjoying our time together.  

The Classy Teacher

Seriously though...why does time move faster during the summer?  It's just not fair.

On a more positive note, it is time to link up with Farley for the July edition of Currently.  This is easily one of my favorite link ups.

Listening: Summer vacation means Netflix binge.  I'm currently watching Gilmore Girls.  I've seen all of the episodes a thousand times, but I love this show.  Next up is Heartland, a new to me show.

Loving: Date nights have looked a little different lately.  My husband and I are in the process of adopting eight beautiful children.  We have been picking two or three of them up at a time for little date nights.  It is a fun way to get to know them.

Thinking: When I'm not with them I'm always thinking about our eight beautiful children.  I miss them.  It gets harder and harder to say goodbye at the end of the visit.

Wanting: I have accepted a position in a new school district.  I will be teaching 6th grade Math and Science and I'm thrilled to be teaching science again.  Due to administration being gone on vacation, I have not had a chance to get into my new room.  I am so ready to get in there and start decorating and settling in.

Needing:  With the adoption of eight kids we are going to be purchasing a new vehicle soon.  We have decided on what we want, now we just have to find the best deal.

All Star: I love all things organization.  Organization makes me giddy.  Unfortunately I'm not as organized as I would like to be.  However, I am an expert at appearing to be organized.  Take one look and I'm sure to trick you into thinking I'm the most organized person ever.

I hope you will go over to Farley's blog and check out all the other Currently post.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The One With Groups

There are few sounds I love more than hearing my students collaborate and share their learning with one another.  It makes my teacher heart leap with joy every single time.  

We do groups a lot in my classroom.

I'm always looking for new creative way to create those groups.

I like to keep my students on their toes.  

They never know what crazy way I'm going to put them into groups.

I thought I would share with you some of my favorite ways to create groups.
One of my favorite ways to create groups is to use Clock Partners.

 I love clock partners because they allow you to create multiples groups at the beginning of the year. There are several variations of this idea.  I used a variation this past year called appointment cards.  This worked great for my older students.

The idea is that students set appointments for different times.  I usually do this during the first week of school.  I like to set perameters for the students.  For example, their one o clock partner needs to be someone of the opposite gender.  Their three o clock partner needs to be someone who they aren't already sitting with (we had tables).

There are several variations and forms for clock partners.  You can use them to create as many or as few partners as you want.  When you need students to get together in groups you simply tell to get with their six o clock group or whatever time you wish.
Another cute idea is to use a picture to create puzzles.  Pass out the puzzle pieces to your students and then they find the people who complete their puzzle.  You could use pictures that are related to your content area.

This next one is new to me but I am excited to try it out next year.  It is an app called Pikme.  Have any of you used it?

You can set up classes and then use this app to group them for you.  You can select how many groups you want and how many students in each group.

This post goes into more details about this app.

So what are some of your favorite ways to create groups?  I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The One With the Makeover Madness

As usual I'm a little late to the party, but I just could not miss out on all the fun.

Third in Hollywood along with a few other bloggers are hosting a TPT Seller Challenge.

Here are my stats at the beginning of the challenge.

Yes, that is a big fat ZERO on my Facebook followers.  This challenge has inspired me to start a Facebook page for The Classy Teacher.  I would love for you to visit and maybe even follow. 

Wink Wink.

That is definitely new to me but I think it is going to be another great way to connect with you guys and make new friends.

The first challenge is to give one of your products a makeover.  I had a hard time choosing a product because so many of mine need a makeover.  I plan to revamp all products that need a makeover before adding any new products.  I'm hoping that will motivate me.

I finally settled on giving my Life in Numbers a makeover.  

It now has new fonts, new clipart, and the directions are more generic so that it is fitting for any teacher.

In honor of this makeover I'm throwing a sale in my TPT store.

Another thing I would love for you to check out.

And please forgive me for a post that is clearly a shameless promotion of my products.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The One in April 2015

A new month.

You know what that means.

Time to head on over to Farley's blog and link up your Currently.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The One After the Hiatus

After a long unintended hiatus I am back!

I don't have any great excuses for my hiatus.

Life is busy.

And most days I don't feel like what I'm doing in the classroom is worth blogging about.  They are just ordinary days in the classroom.

Some days my students are super stars.

Some days challenge me as a teacher.

You know how it is.  

I want to create a list of topics to blog about.  I've seen people who keep a calendar of ideas to blog about.  I think that would help me be a more consistent blogger.


What would you like to read about?

What questions do you have that you would like to answer?

Is there a series you would like to see me write about?

My goal is to blog at least once a week.  

Even if it is just about an ordinary day in the classroom.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The One with the Snowball Fight

I have been ready for a snow day for quite a while now.   You know... a day of sleeping in and staying in PJs all day.  Plus snow is beautiful.

But it just doesn't seem to be happening around here.  It has definitely been cold enough for a snow day, but no snow.

Friday when my students walked in I shared this desire for a snow day with them.  They were quick to agree with me.  I let them know that while I couldn't make it snow outside, I could certainly make it snow in my classroom.

Their eyes lit up with excitement.

They began wondering what I was thinking.

You see I had found this fun review activity by Brooke Eagerton.

What could be better than an indoor order of operations snowball fight?

64 problems - 1 problem per page.

The problems varied in difficulty which I appreciated.

Simply print the problems, wad them up into snowballs, and let the fun begin.

I divided my students into two teams.  We pushed our six tables to the center of the room to serve as a divider.  The students were not allowed to cross the tables.

They had 60 seconds to throw snowballs.  The rules state that students cannot run and cannot aim at someone's face.

Needless to say my students LOVED this.

At the end of 60 seconds they picked up three snowballs, retreated to their corner and worked the three problems.  They had to get with a partner and check each other's work.

Then we started over with another 60 second fight.  After each round they had to work more problems.  They worked four problems after round two, five problems after round three, and so on.

I wish I had pictures for you, but I deleted them.


You'll just have to trust me when I say this review activity was a hit.

My 6th graders have been challenging this year and I debated letting them "play" this game.  I had to make a believer out of a few in the first round.  As soon as they realized I was serious and they wouldn't get to participate in the "fighting" they followed the rules.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The One with Bottle Caps

I have been saving the bottle caps off my water for awhile now. 

 Last week I finally sat down and created a game with them.

Thank you Pinterest!

I used these bright colored labels that I had on hand.  They fit perfectly onto the bottle caps.

I put multiplication facts on the outside.

And products on the inside.

I still need to create a cute container to put them all in.

The idea for this game is that students can practice their multiplication facts whenever they finish an assignment early or as a center. 

I'm going to put a timer in the container with the bottle caps.  The challenge will be to correctly answer as many as you can in one minute.

I also plan to make a set of addition and subtraction for a few of my lower level students.

I've seen lots of ideas on Pinterest for ways to use bottle caps for both literacy and math.  I will probably be making more games as I collect more bottle caps.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The One with the SlantBox

P.S.  I totally tore into those chocolates as soon as I finished filming.  

Sooo good!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The One Where They Return

I survived my first day back in the classroom after a glorious two week Christmas break.

I'm not going to lie.  It was HARD to hear that alarm this morning and get out of bed.  And I mean HARD!

Once I was dressed and ready to walk out the door, I felt good to go.

Can I just say how impressed I am with all of you that posted pictures on instagram of your fabulous lesson plans and creations?

I did none of that!

I finally sat down yesterday afternoon to start thinking about today's plans only to realize I brought absolutely nothing home to plan.  


I knew I wanted to ease my students back into our routine.  I wanted something hands-on that wouldn't require too much thinking, but that would get those brain waves flowing again.

I remembered something I pinned a few weeks ago that was perfect.

I sat the different activities up as stations and added a review with the teacher station.  The activities were simple enough that my students didn't struggle.  They brought back some ideas that we talked about before Christmas break.

It was seriously the best way to ease back into things.

Thank you so much for creating this packet, Miss Giraffe.  

Tomorrow we dive head first into Order of Operations.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015