Schoolroom Swag

Elementary Teacher

Having fun in the classroom and "balancing" life!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Newbie blog hop


I'm joining up with Janis at Grade Three is the Place for Me and her newbie blog hop. I'm not sure if I'm newbie enough, but I've only been blogging since April, so I figured I qualify. Plus, there's so much I clearly don't know about blogging, maybe I'll learn something. Not that I'll have time to implement it anymore, since summer is really about over. Sigh. I AM looking forward to routine, though. I really get so much more done when there's a time crunch.Procrastinate much?

So here's the information to share:
1. State I live in: AZ. Have you been here? No? Turn your oven on to 350 degrees. Stick your head in it. Now you have. No, it really is beautiful here. Especially from Nov.- April.
2.Current teaching position: 1st grade at a Christian school. I moved up in this school from the prek, and I cried at first, cuz I loved prek, but I also love 1st grade.
3. Teaching experience: This is my 11th year, at various grades. My first year was a multi-age classroom and I had 25 kids in grades 1-3. Yikes. Those poor kids. I'm not sure if they learned ANYTHING that year.
4.When I started blogging: April, during spring  break. I have learned a TON.
5. Blogging tip: Teaching Blog Addict has a blogging 101 tab. I learned alot there. Ehow also taught me some things. There's also a post out there somewhere that taught me how to get rid of the automatic "I'm not a robot" thing. I don't remember where it is, though! But I'm pretty sure Jessica Stanford has blogged about it.

I think that's it about me! I wrote on my very first post that I won't call you my "sweet friends" b/c I'm just not that kinda girl, but I love reading all your posts, and I learn alot from all of you, so THANK YOU!!!!!!

Thanks for reading!
 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Sunday, July 15, 2012

First Day of School Linky Party

Psyched to be in 2nd!

Molly at Psyched to be in 2nd is having a "First Day of School linky".  I think we're all thinking about that first day with dread and excitement at the same time. Sigh. Good-bye Matt Lauer. It was nice seeing you again. But hello new school year, full of hope and potential! It's like a clean slate. 
You Are Special (Tenth Anniversary Limited Edition) (Max Lucado's Wemmicks)
So on the first day of school, I am planning to put away the majority of our supplies in the "tool boxes" I have yet to create (: and doing some reading, like "You Are Special" by Max Lucado, and "Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes. I'm working on activities to use with those books right now. Of course they're about as done as the mantle on my fireplace. (See previous "Made It Monday" posts if you don't know what I'm talking about.)

I am also planning a First Grade Fun Lunch for this week. I invited all the incoming first graders to lunch for an hour this week to get reacquainted and excited about this year. It'll be just a breezy little lunch where we get together in the classroom, eat at tables in the middle of my messy, disorganized work-in-progress of a room, and chat about our summers. I will give them each a sharp new pencil, a real balloon (I'm thinking cheap dollar store helium) and a balloon writing activity to finish this summer and bring back on the first day. If they bring it back finished they will get a reward (Smarties, maybe???? Don 't know yet.). If not, they'll just get a new one to do. Then on the first day, we'll finish our balloon writing activity and make it a craftivity that I will save for Open house in Sep. 
Here's my little unit that shows the activity and what to do. I tried to show you a picture of it, but I can't save it as a picture for some reason.

I also plan to practice, practice, practice noise levels and rules. And since it's a half day, that'll probably be all we have time for!
Thanks for reading! Come join the linky and let us know how you spend your first day of school!

 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tori's teacher tips 

Tori at Tori's Teacher Tips is having this linky contest:
 I have been wracking my brain (and the brains of my kids) to think of something cool. Here's what I came up with:

Can you see the book? "Water For Elephants". I'm sure most of you have read it, but it's about a circus. So here's me and a circus performer reading at Cirque Du Soleil!!!!  I was so proud of myself and excited to actually have had that idea ALL ON MY OWN!!!!!   I don't have a creative bone in my body and I thought of that!!!!! And yes, people WERE staring at me like I was a freak, taking pictures with a book at the circus.  Have you read it or seen the movie? I haven't seen the movie and now can't find it at the library or red box. I read the book over vacation and it's good, if you haven't read it. It's one of those books that stays with you for a few days and you keep mulling it over. Good, creative ending, which I like. Did you ever read "Life of Pi"?  Good and interesting, but I HATED it because I hated the ending.

Anyway, I thought her linky party was such a great idea. I'm definitely trying  it in my classroom this year during National Book Week. So thanks Tori and go check it out while you can.

 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Monday, July 9, 2012

Made it Monday linky


Made it Monday
 Yay! Another Made it Monday!

Yesterday I bribed motivated my children to help me punch out letters and put them in photo albums. (So today we're going bowling. )I saw the idea on someone else's blog, or else on pinterest, I can't remember. It was a pain, but so nice to be organized. And like so many others of you, I did the birthday straw thing. I tried to get close enough to see the straw, because they're shaped like cupcakes. I got them at Target in the party aisle and they were pretty cheap. Cheap enough to make it worth it. You know how sometimes you're in the store and you see something you need, and it's more than you want to pay, but you're there, and you don't want to come back and make ANOTHER trip, so you just say fine, I'll pay more than I wanted to.  It was one of those cases, but cheap enough that it made the cut. The monkey head is an eraser. Erasers are GOLD in our classroom. The circle says "Don't monkey around, have a happy birthday." Not great, but the best I could come up with to fit a monkey eraser. Also from the party aisle at Target.

No news from mantleville. Painted it white, still don't like it. Sigh. Check back during Christmas vacation.  Is it sad that I'm already looking forward to Christmas vacation?

Thank you to everyone who left such great comments after my last post. I really appreciated all of them. I am so thankful for the understanding.
Thanks for reading!

 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My TPT Dollar Store and a 200 follower freebie

Two blogs in a week! Whoa! Down girl! I may need a nap after I finish this! I wrote in my last post that from now on everything at my TPT store is $1. (So now you don't need to get dressed up to go shopping.) (:  I did that because I was getting stressed out about this whole blogging/selling world. By the end of the school year in May my blood pressure was up, I wasn't sleeping, and my husband and I were barely speaking more than 5 words to each other. Then summer came, and I've been spending a lot of time following blogs and gaining followers. Which is great, don't get me wrong. But I think I was in it for the wrong reasons. I wanted to learn from all of you, and I have, and am SO grateful. But I also wanted to sell. Don't we all? 

 I knew I was getting obsessive and materialistic about the whole thing, and  I've been trying to think of ways to break that negative pattern. I was sitting in church on Sunday, and my Pastor, Jeff Gunn, ( I can't help it- he needs a little shout out- he's awesome.) had the best sermon ever. He might as well have started it "Ann, ......". It was so good. It was about running into a brick wall, and  the things in life that make you lose focus and burn out. He had us write down 3 or 5 things that take up our time and take us away from other things that are more important. The only thing I could think of was my obsessive selling/blogging behavior. Creating and reading your posts, and learning, (and even selling) are important and worthwhile. But I was truly freaking out about it. And I knew my obsession with selling had to stop, and the only way to overcome it was to give. I can't give all my stuff away, simply because I use graphics that I have to buy, and I want to cover the cost of those. But if I sell them for a dollar, they are more affordable for everyone, and I feel like I'm helping out all of us who aren't exactly getting rich teaching. I'm hoping by doing this that they are more user-friendly and able to help more people.  Look at the great things people like Amy Lemons and Deanna Jump and MANY others do with their profits. I want to do that. But just in a different way.

I really value all of your blogs. I do. I have learned so much, and I am going to continue to read yours, follow you all, and write my own. I'm a better teacher for it, I think. But in order to make it all fun again, I need to let go, and this is my way to do it. I hope it helps all of you, and doesn't hurt you. I don't think it will, because there are such GREAT products out there, no one is going to stop buying from the rest of you. It's not like people are going to come flocking to my store. It's just going to take the pressure off me, and allow me to give back, and possibly use my talents to glorify God. I'm not trying to devalue anyone's work, or use it as a gimmick. So I would LOVE to hear what you think about this. For better or for worse. Please leave me a comment and let me know. I appreciate it. 

Phew. I was actually really nervous about writing this. I feel like I just went to confession. Although I'm not Catholic, so I'm not really sure how that feels. 

Ok, now on to a freebie. This part really IS a gimmick. I'm quickly approaching 200 followers. So for anyone who follows me and my store at TPT, leave me a message below telling me that you did (I'll believe you. And even if I didn't, I don't know how to check.)and I will send you whatever product from my store you want. Just let me know which one, and leave me your email address.
As always, thanks for reading.

 Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]

Monday, July 2, 2012

Made It Monday Link up

Ok, for those of you who have seen my mantle posts before:

After sanding it, I stained it:
 (It didn't look this good in real life.)

But it didn't look that much different than it did originally, so I spray painted it:
(It looks better in real life. A little.)
It's actually a metallic olive color, not silver. Still  don't love it.  This week one of my sons said,   "I like it. It's weird, like us." So stay tuned next week for another exciting adventure in Mantleville. It's like my hair, always changing color. We'll see what it looks like next week.
I need to talk to Schoolgirl Style and see what she would do with it. She'd have it totally looking cute in about 15 seconds.

And my Luau themed cake this week:

 That's a Tiki Hut, not a mushroom or a volcano, as my children thought. Out of the mouths of babes. 

And lastly:

Notice the open door? It's 107 here in Phoenix. But the smell of the paint on the mantle is SO strong, CPS would be knocking on my door wanting to know why I'm trying to get my children high. And yes, it is not done. Sigh. There's gotta be a pill I could take for my unfinished project issues. Actually, I think there is. They're little and round and all different colors, and they have an "m" printed on each of them.

Before this post gets totally long, I have to tell you that everything in my store at TPT will from now on be $1. (Except my Rainforest story) I'm hoping people don't get upset at that for it deflating the value of their products, or think it is a gimmick. It's really not, and I'll explain more about why I'm doing it in my next post. This post is getting too long.

 Thanks for reading!

Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]