Saturday, August 30, 2014

Back to School Night....CHECK!

Back to School Night is one of my favorite evenings at school.  I love to connect names with faces, and give an overview of the school year with my families.  I tend to talk waaaayy too fast, cramming in waaayyy too many details about the school year, so this year I tried to zip it scale back my power point presentation, and give more time for questions at the end, or even just giving a little time for small talk before they whisked off to another classroom.

One new thing I tried this year was shrinking my QR code {which takes them to my class website} and attaching it to a pencil, as a treat for them to take home.  They seemed to really like it! I made sure they knew that the power point presentation, as well as other great information would be on my website in case they didn't catch all the information during my presentation. You can make a QR Code of your own, and link it to your website.  Just go to a "QR Code" generator on google.  It's free!

I also had the kids write letters to their parents and left them on the students' desks so that the parents had something to read while waiting for my presentation to begin.  This letter was particularly toward the end where she mentions how no one is a "chatter box" at her table.  Too funny!  I loved watching the parents reading their letters from their child...LOTS of smiles and whispers.  

This letter template, along with several more Fall themed printables, is included in my Back to School Night Kit:  LINK

What do you do to help bridge the communication at your Back to School Night?  It truly is a precious half hour or so where you get to be in charge of the first bonding opportunity of the year.   What matters in that half hour?  What's your hook?  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

End of Summer

Got up early this morning to wash my car.  *Sigh*  The end of my summer is here.  As I was vacuuming the last of the beach sand clinging to every nook and cranny of my car's interior, I said my goodbyes to a wonderful summer season, full of memories.  I even found a little bit of window paint left from my TpT road trip to Vegas.  I felt like Wilbur, looking at the remnants of Charlotte's spider web, drifting in the barn's frame.

I've been busy for the last few weeks setting up my classroom.  Although I LOVE summer, setting up my classroom is never a chore to me.  I love the quiet room (minus my own two kids who keep me company!) and the time to re-think the start of a new year.  Here are a few pictures of my walls to show you the color scheme.

I use a three color system in my classroom:  lime green, pale blue, and chocolate brown. I use the  polka-dot border, accented with a second solid brown border to really make it pop.   {Pinterest trick!}  The Common Core Math Practices Standards are a fun addition to my math board this year.  

 Not liking the puckers on this blue paper, but thought I could eek out one more year of use since the fadeless paper is so expensive.  Plus, it will be covered in student work in no time!  I'm going to start off my writing with the "We had a crazy-cool Summer!"  Aren't the popsicle lights cute?  Stole those from Michael's--gotta love the summer clearance stuff, right?!

And then there's my classroom door.  It's the most annoying shade of maroon, so please excuse that!  The kids will get to write their name on the door if they join PTA, so that's sort of fun!  The thing I do love about my door is that it's magnetized, so that makes it easy to put new things up all year long.  Here's a link to the smaller Welcome Back door sign:  Welcome Back

Here's my lil jar of birthday pencils, all ready to hand out to my students throughout the year.  Found the perfect owl erasers at my local school supply store, C & M (Upland).  Sooo cute! I accent with owls as part of my decorations--see my picture in the distance?  That's a Target treasure.  They really have some c-u-t-e canvas art in their home section, for a reasonable price!

So, I hope you are all having fun gearing up for your new school year!  

Monday, August 4, 2014

August Currently

August...still seems like summer to me, but it's the start of the slippery slope back to reality.  School is starting for me on August 11th.  Time to accept reality, huh?  Here's my link up with Farley for her fun Currently series.  I always enjoy reading what others are doing each month.  Enjoy!

Listening:  Just got back from camping at the beach.  My washer and dryer are processing more sand than should be allowed.  Add to the laundry list, my husband and son's Cub Scout camping laundry.  They came back from camping on the SAME DAY as we left for beach camping.  So, you see how I'm spending my next few days.

Loving:  Finally, our drought woes are temporarily relieved by the biggest summer storm ever!  Thunder and lightning had my kids and poor puggle jumping all night.

Thinking:  I had a buying binge this morning at the CRACK of dawn!  I timed this to help some of my TpT favorite sellers start their days off with a CHA-CHING!  I can't wait to download all of my goodies from Ashleigh, Common Core Galore and More, Teaching and Tapas, Bright Concepts 4 Teachers, and Nicole Rios.   This is only round one of shopping.  I still need to make up my Gemini mind on the other things lurking in my Wish List bin.

Wanting:  What every busy mom wants--to wiggle my nose and have a clean, organized house.  It's just not in the cards though.  As my classroom gets cuter, my house takes a hit...a hard hit.  You know it's true, don't you, teachers??

Needing:  I've been living all summer with the dreaded COMBO curse.  It's just not fair to do to kids and teachers!  If it comes to life, I will get the job done, as I have in years past.  I can still hope though...

1st Day:  My husband is SO happy that I finally took the dozens of toilet paper tubes out of our bathroom.  Did you know that it takes a little less than a year to save up toilet paper tubes for my annual Owl Craft?  It's a fun first day of school adventure--I'll try to post a picture or two.

That's it for now!  Happy August to all of you!