July 28, 2012

Classroom MESS and de-clutter

I just had to throw out there, does anyone else's family not really get the, "I have to get my classroom set up, decorated, and looking super cute as soon as possible" feeling I have going on?  My husband, who teaches middle school math and science, said something about "why does your room have to look cute?" while we were in the car today.  Oh hon...you don't get it!  I ran across this ecard while on pinterest tonight and had to post it!  Oh, and you can follow me on Pinterest!  Just click here.

This is SO me...

In classroom news...

Good news:  I unpacked all the boxes...

Bad news:  I think unpacking made the mess explode!  GAH!  Here is one sneak peek at the mess!

Did you ever "inherit" stuff from another teacher?  I swear, all teachers are hoarders!  We hate to get rid of things and we pack it all with us when we move...  Today, I decided to start de-cluttering (GASP).  Mission "open a box and get rid of it if I never use it" was a success!  It was actually easier than I thought it would be!  I put several boxes out in the hall for other people to look through and the broken stuff (or stuff from 1978) was placed (nicely) in the trash.  Of course, I had to put the trashcan in the picture!   If you have stuff lurking the corner of your closet, you can do it!  Get rid of it! 

P.S.  I think I'm (slightly) obsessed with blogging now.  Night, night!

July 24, 2012

Hobby Lobby, Classroom Set Up, and Modge Podge!

It's Caroline again!
I promised to show some pics of what my room looks like right now...  Be warned, it's not pretty!

Here is a pic of the empty room:
Isn't that floor so shiny and pretty??

Then my hubs and in-laws moved ALL my stuff (aka JUNK) into the room (HUGE thanks to them) and it looked like this:


After staring at everything in shock, wondering how all this stuff is going to fit, I opened up the closet and started to put things away (I even organized and threw some stuff away!).  I managed to get a few boxes unloaded.  

Then my teacher ADD kicked in  (do you ever bounce from project to project?  Please say it isn't just me!).  I just HAD to try out the scrapbook paper and Modge Podge I got at Hobby Lobby on the backs of my ugly cubbies!  Here's an action shot of me with the paper at Hobby Lobby.  Black and white!  Can I just say how much I want my black and white borders to come from Creative Teaching Press??  Thanks to my vacationing blog buddy Alison for the picture!  She is so good, she sent me pics from Florida!  Thank goodness for Dropbox!

I couldn't stand looking at the back of these old cubbies anymore  (I bought them from Target 6 or 7 years ago...you can tell they have been used!).  Since the back will (probably) be showing this year, I wanted them to look better!  I put Modge Podge on the back of the cubby (it's a cardboard type material), put a thin layer on the back of the 12 x 12 paper and slowly spread the paper on, pushing on any bubbles.  After the first try I decided to put the Modge Podge on half of the cubby square and half of the paper.  Then I stuck it on and did the other half while it was attached.  It worked better!  I put a very thin layer of the Modge Podge over the paper to finish it (I had some bubbling but I'm pretending not to see it).  Once my border comes in I will frame it out and it will have a whole new look!    Yay!  Something is (almost) done.

I'm working on a Back to School bulletin board idea to share and a fun Beginning of the Year Watermelon Unit!  I have to get some homework done first before I can get to that (it's funny that the module I'm on is about motivation and I am lacking some!).  Thanks for reading!

July 23, 2012

Caroline's Intro

Hi bloggers!

My name is Caroline and I am half of this new blog, A Tale of 2 First Grades!  I am really excited to start this blog and share what I do in my classroom!  Alison (my first grade blogging buddy) and I are ready to share our ideas with you.  We’re still new so please be patient with us.  We love technology but it doesn’t always love us.  She’ll post soon but she’s off in FLORIDA (I’m jealous) on vacation before school starts in 3 weeks…

I saw some cute getting to know you posts on some other blogs so I’ll join!  Hmm…how about a 10 things list! 

Ten Things About Me: 
  1. My hubs and I have been married for 9 years and have a 2-year-old (used to be sweet as can be) little boy who has recently turned into Tasmanian Devil/tornado/occasional monster.  He is our world.  I know “it’s a phase” but 2 year olds are…fun.  (See pic above, LOVES choo choo trains)
  2. I’m pregnant with our second boy due in the fall so hopefully this one isn’t such a wild child (start laughing at me!).  I’m WAY outnumbered, unless you count the dogs.
  3. I just moved for the 6th time in the 8 years I’ve been in my building.  I have a nice view out of my window now and a lot of work to do to make it look like a classroom and not a junk pile!  Pictures to come of that shortly.  
  4. This is my 10th year of teaching and my second year in first.  First grade is my home but I’ll always love kindergarten (where I spent 4 years).  I also taught pre-k, so if any of you are working with those little ones, bless you!  I loved them but it wore me out!
  5. I am this close to being a reading specialist (I’m finishing my last class online right now!) and I take the test in the fall.  YAY!
  6. I love teaching writing, it is my absolute love.  I’ve got some ideas to share so keep checking!
  7. I’m trying to redo my classroom d├ęcor since I moved (love the B&W line from CTP, found cute stuff at Ikea, and Pinterest has me way inspired!) and I'm figuring out baby #2's room at the same time.  Yes I’m nuts and the hubs will agree with you!!!
  8.  I love technology and am always trying to find ways to use it.  Any of you try Animoto or VoiceThread?  Try them.  Seriously.  More on that later.  I promise!  Oh, and don’t get me started on Pinterest!  Love.  It.  
  9. I am obsessed with parenthesis.  I am sorry.  I can’t help it (it’s second nature).  I also run on with the … (the dot, dot, dot as my kiddos call them) so just tell me to quit!  It’s an addiction.
  10. I am so glad to share my ideas and units with you.  Welcome to our blog and I can't wait to get to know you!

I just put my free download on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Check it out!  It's a packet of papers I send home with my students' parents on Open House (a.k.a.: Parent homework!).  It includes a parent contact and communication form, student info form, parent volunteer form, transportation form all included.  I put all of it in a binder and keep it by my desk in case I ever need to call a parent right away.  Let me know what you think!

Alison (our photographer!) is going to put up pictures from our adventure to Hobby Lobby!  I found some scrapbook paper that I can (hopefully) help my bookshelves look cuter!  Pics to come once I can get to the bookshelves hidden in my pile of stuff!