Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What I'm Wearing Wednesday ~ Interviewer Edition

Happy Wednesday!

I was recently on an interview committee for a new upper grade teacher for our building (the person who had that job was promoted to principal in another district-great for them, sad for us).

This was my first time being on the other side of the table, so to speak, and I found the whole process very interesting!

I also struggled with what to wear! I wanted to look professional, but it's the middle of summer, so it's also quite hot-I don't have many 'hot-weather' professional outfits!

In the end, (with some help from some insta-peeps), I decided to wear what I would wear if I was going to an interview-or just a regular day at school! ;)

Since we had two days of interviews, I had two outfits!
I did take off my school ID for the interviews-it's almost too hot to wear it!

I love both of these-the dress because it's easy, and the blue skirt with the black shirt because it's a little different-normally it would be a black skirt!

I also wore the blue and black outfit when I met with the superintendent for my current job-although I wore heels then (my shoe style has changed since then-and it's only been 4 years!)

I had fun at the interviews, and I enjoyed dressing up again-it almost makes me look forward to going back to school (almost-we have little less than a month left of summer!).

Smiles and Sunshine,

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Made It

I've been working hard on some things for my classroom-so picture overload warning ahead! :)

For my first made-it this week....

I customized my Target sign!
Since I like to set the rules with the kiddos, I wasn't a big fan of the follow the rules heading-but I liked the rest of it!

I thought I could make it better-and I did!

The first thing I did was to gather all of my tools.
Not pictured: The paint pens I used
Then I cut all the string off, so I could work with it easier.
and flipped over the arrow
and did a coat (or three!) of paint!

The paint is Martha Stewart's Craft Paint Pearl in Putting Green
Since I was changing what the arrow said, I also had to turn your into our for it to make more sense. I painted over that as well, and added an 's' with my paint pen.
 I was originally only going to do a few of the sayings in silver-but then I remember I had other colors {from years and years ago}, and thought it would look much cooler with other colors!
I did do 2-3 coats with the paint pens.

While the paint was drying, I went to my computer to type up what I wanted to put on the arrow-and brought it over so I could make sure that it would fit!
Now, I don't have a Silhouette or a Cameo or anything fancy like that-so I went old school.
Using a pencil!

I turned the paper over and rubbed my pencil of the back of the letters.
Then I flipped in over and 'centered' in on the arrow.
Then I took one of my smaller crochet hooks, flipped it over, and started 'tracing' the letters.
Since the back was covered in graphite, it left a faint impression-just enough for me to cover with my paint pen!
I slowly started tracing it with my paint pen, not wanting any paint explosions
But you know, accidents happen
Fortunately, it was an easy fix-just paint over it!
All better!
Once everything was dry, I started putting it back together.

I changed the top a little-I wanted a little bow on the top!
The best part-the follow the classroom rules is still there on the other side!
If I ever want to change it, I just have to cut the twine and fix it.
I love how it turned it!

Total cost for the project-$3-the cost of the sign-I had everything else!
I also completed my lesson planner for the next year! I had some hours to fill while waiting for my car to be fixed...
I changed how I did the calendars this year-which made it take longer!

Instead of doing a table and splitting the cells-I decided to do each date in circles!

It looks so cute! Since the days were so wonky with the dates as I had originally had them (I had a lot more Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdays than I did Thursday, Friday, Saturdays), it was really throwing off the formatting.

Since I didn't really fill in the boxes the previous two years, I thought I could go with something smaller.

It also allowed me to add some extra clipart to each month-all fitting in with that month's theme of course!
I kept the format for the rest of the plans the same (I like to handwrite mine, and since things can change, I don't like having it typed out-I'm anal that way! ;)
I also added in the no school and PD days-helps me remember them {although, really, who forgets those days?!}

I've also started setting up my planning guide for the year. It will include curriculum maps, standards and helpful things for planning :)
Covers-I need to laminate them!

This is from the book Making Thinking Visible- a great read!

I also did two paintings! One was at the studio I normally go to, and the other was a surprise! My friend had tickets to do a paint nite with her daughter (the traveling one that goes to different restaurants), but her daughter had something to do at the last minute, so I got to go instead!
Studio Painting

Paint Nite Painting
I had fun with my friend (and we went out to dinner after), but I definitely prefer the studio painting experience-you get more colors and better instruction, as well as help if you need it.

Have a wonderful week!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Learn Like a Pirate~Chapter 8

Awww, we're coming to a close of the Learn Like a Pirate book study with The Primary Gal!

We'll be talking about Empowerment today.

Empowerment is how we can get the students to take control of the classroom (some of which was mentioned in previous chapters), as well as how empowerment can get students excited for learning.

One way Paul does this is through Passion Time {also known as Genius Hour}, where students spend time in class working on their own projects.
If you put Genius Hour into the search bar on TPT, you'll come up with a bunch of resources to help you get started!

Paul also uses an acronym (sort of like a KWL, but better!) to help guide his students during the passion time project.
 There are other ways to bring empowerment to your students, through little things you allow them to do and take control of.

In order for these to work successfully, you need to truly believe in the process, and how you can empower your students.

There are definitely aspects of this that I am raring to go on-and some that require a little more thought :) .

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out in may classroom-and how the students react to it!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

In My File Cabinet

The last few weeks of school, there were a couple of night events that I needed to go to.

Since I live a little more than a half-hour away, I always stay at school to get some work done.

One of my goals was to clean out my filing cabinet and reorganize it!

And although I'm not a big filing cabinet fan (I more of a binder girl {or a piler-depending on what it is}).

The first thing I did was to go through and recycle anything I hadn't used or was outdated.

That freed up A LOT of space!

In my filing cabinet, I have four drawers. Some stuff was squeezed into one, and with the amount of space I cleared, I was able to neaten it up a bit.

In the first drawer, I have all my seasonal things {by month}.
I bought those poly envelopes from Staples quite a few years ago-although they probably still have them!

Let's take a little closer look...

I have books that I read during that month
perseverance and rules books
As well as any signs/special things I'll need
for open house
In my second drawer, I have the student files that I add to throughout the year.
I usually put assessments, reflections, work examples, etc.

I also use this drawer to store VIP papers-old PD things, as well as info about our new eval system.

In the third drawer, I have picture books!
These are season specific books, manners and rules books, and any other books I thought I could use but didn't fit into on of the categories I had on my shelves.

The fourth drawer is empty! I'm not the hugest filing cabinet fan, so I try to store as little as possible in it.

Plus, drawer 4 is on the bottom, and even though I'm short, I don't really like bending over (I tend to kneel or sit on the floor when working with kids-but pulling stuff from a filing cabinet requires bending over! ;)

What do you have in your filing cabinets?

Smiles and Sunshine,