Thursday, July 31, 2014

Finished product

Here you is the finished burlap wreath :)  It will soon find its place on my hallway door...what do you think??

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Burlap wreath...

Okay, so this is one of my first DIY projects that I have attempted. I will admit that it took me a little longer to figure out how to even get started! For one, I couldn't figure out how to secure the beginning part of the burlap so I wound up using a twist tie and somehow made it work. I don't think you can even see it. This is the back of the wreath - it doesn't look bad, does it??
Once that was in place, I wound up going to YouTube to find a tutorial (I am SUCH a visual learner!! I do try and keep this in mind when I'm teaching for all the students that are similar to me!) and came across this video.  It was helpful so I could see exactly how to do it!  I will admit that it took me a few times of watching the 2 minute video before I could get the hang of it.  Once I got started though, it was pretty easy to keep up and going.  I got about 3/4 of it done, and then...I ran out of burlap!  As a teacher I should have known to buy more than I thought I needed in order to be over prepared if needed!  
Now that I took a picture of it, I notice that the end part needs to be fixed a little.  I guess I was trying to see if I could make the one roll of burlap last for the whole wreath :)  I also realize that the blue flower doesn't really go with the colors but I wanted to just test out a size for the decoration.  I'm hoping to hang this on the door that it is in my main hallway at home and then change out the decorations for the seasons.  Maybe I'll make one for my classroom door...hmmm...I'll post another picture of the finished product tomorrow!

Until next time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Where does the time go?

Oh geez...where does the time go?  I started this blog with the intention of writing a post every day or every few days.  Clearly I haven't kept up with that yet - oops!  I guess I don't feel like I have much to say since it is the summer time and I am trying to enjoy it to the fullest!  

I teach in NJ and we don't go back to school until September and since it's only July, I haven't really thought too much about next year yet.  I will admit that I'm a bit anxious about beginning the year, as I will be teaching in an inclusion class again. My district did some moving around with teachers this year so I won't be teaching with the special education teacher I was with this past year - bummer! Something that is really exciting is that I'll be co-teaching with one of my good friends this year!  She won't be back to school until December though, as she just had a baby at the beginning of the month.  She is amazing at what she does and I am super excited to work with her and learn with and from her! The only thing is that I'm just not sure who I'm working with before she comes back.  We'll see!  I hope to be able to share some helpful insights throughout the year about inclusion and working with a co-teacher!

On another note, I'm planning on heading to Michael's tomorrow to make a Burlap Wreath.  I'll share the finished product once it's ready!  I'm not really a DIY-er but I'm going to try!  Wish me luck!

Until next time!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Very Important People

I'm sitting here writing this post while a crazy storm is going on!  My poor 14 year old dog, Max, is having a bit of a hard time with the thunder.  He starts scratching and pawing at the carpet and always bunches it up in a pile.  Do any of your dogs do this?  I've always debated whether to put him on some medication for storms like this but I hesitate since he's getting up there in age =)  Poor guy...

My intention with this blog is to begin sharing some of my ideas in my classroom.  It is July so I don't have pictures of my actual classroom but I will share some ideas from Pinterest so you can get an idea of what I am talking about.  To remind you, I teach 1st grade and this past year I taught in an inclusion class as the general education teacher.  It was my hardest class yet in my 8 years of teaching but I will say I sure learned a lot!  I think that is what makes effective teachers...the ones who can reflect on what worked and what didn't and being willing to change and adapt the following year.

With all that has been added to teachers' plates over the past few years, I know I look for anything and everything that can be a time saver for me. I will say one thing that worked wonders this year was an idea similar to this: Helping Hands.  While I didn't use the term, "Helping Hands" I did use die-cut stars and made my title of "V.I.P.s" for the Very Important People of the day.  The stars were on rings, which were then on magnets on the top of my whiteboard in front of the room.  I had two VIPs each day, one boy and one girl, and they helped do any and every job that needed to be done each day.  They were the messengers to the office in the morning, they called students to line up, they carried our lunch bucket, they were the line leaders, etc.  It was WONDERFUL!  There was no arguing (which there was a lot of with this group...sigh...) about what job belonged to who (or is it whom? I never know!  That reminds me of the Friends episode where Ross and Joey have this conversation...) and it made my life a bit easier.  Each morning, I would just flip each group to the next name (I had one group for the girls and one group for the boys) and that was who the VIPs were.  Anytime I needed papers or folders passed out, or just a helper around the room, I would just say, "I need my VIPs to come with me", or "VIPs, please pass these papers out" and the 2 students would come right up and do their jobs.  Like I said, with a difficult group, this was absolutely fantastic and something I will do next year, too.  It worked well splitting up the groups into boys and girls and it gave the students the VIP job about once every 2 weeks, if that.  The students didn't give me a hard time about it since they knew right away who the VIPs were.  I don't know about you but I had found it a bit of a pain to change jobs for the students using any other job chart idea I had in the past.  The VIP idea was adapted from other ideas I saw online and I don't know if I'll look back!  Maybe this can help you change things in your classroom!  I'd love to know what type of job helper chart you use and if it works for you!

Well, in the time that it took me to write this, the storm has seemed to have passed and Max is quite comfortable now!   (You can see the bunched up carpet and his bed behind him!)

Until next time!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

First blog post...I'm nervous!

Hi there to anyone who might be reading this...will anyone read this?!  I'll admit that this is the main reason I haven't started a blog sooner.  I've wondered to myself, "Will anyone read this?  Do I have enough to say?  Will people care to read about my days or my ideas?"  I'm hoping if you are here that you are interested in what I have to say!  

First off, let me introduce myself!  My name is Michelle and I'm a 1st grade teacher in NJ.  I live here with my husband, Ed, our daughter, Marissa, and our dog, Max.  

This will be my 9th year teaching when school begins again in September.  For now, I'm thoroughly enjoying spending this summer time with my almost 20-month-old little girl. She is at such a fun age so I am cherishing the fact that I have a job with summers off =) I am sure I won't be a happy camper once September rolls again and the craziness of the beginning of the year starts up!  Is it me or does it feel like we go from 0 to 60 in a matter of a few days??  
Well, my hope is that I can share ideas that I use in my classroom already, and share ideas I find from pinterest (ugh, I get lost on that site!!) and other blogs, too!  Please follow my blog if you think you might be interested in what I have to share =)  It would be greatly appreciated!  

Until next time!