Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Dr. Seuss

I almost forgot my Seussy Quote of the day!!

Wednesday Quote #3:

 Isn't this quote perfect! All of the things you can THINK if you only TRY... this is also going to go on my organization board or somewhere in my class. It is amazing how positive thinking and the willingness to try something can change a persons outcome.

My Wednesday Adventure

I was a little excited for my teaching call this morning and this is why...

It was home economics

and wait for it.....

I got to teach QUILTING! haha

This is one of the PERKS of being a substitute teacher... I get to teach so many different things.

Some of you may know this already, but in my spare time I enjoy putting away on my sewing machine. Although when I took home economics we were never given the option of quilts.... we had to make a standard pair of boxers (I was a keener and got to make a pair of jeans as well.... I think it was more of a make work project for me now that I come to think of it) which is kinda boring.

This class had some ammmmmazing quilts that they were working on and I loved their creative ideas.

The Quilter Geek

 This is similar to the design one kiddo was working on (should I still call them kiddos if they are bigger than me?).  This tetris quilt is too funny.  She made hers with a white background instead of black, but pretty much is the same concept. 

The other quilt was a super mario design.
Sprite Stitch
I don't know where these big older mature kiddos get these ideas, but I have to give them creativity credit.

Overall it was a great day.  Classroom management was a piece of cake.  Most of the noise I heard came from the sewing machines... it was wonderful.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Raz Kids

I am not sure how many of you have heard about this site, but I fell in love with it last year.  Raz kids is an online site that you can create a class roster, assign reading levels to each student, and you can track their progress.  Students can access their books online (at school or home) and complete each level.  They are also rewarded with points that go towards their spaceship (they absolutely love that part).  You can also see how much time the students spend on their spaceship and on their reading (this is very entertaining).  They can record their reading (which you can listen to and make notes using the program.... this part is super cute) and take a comprehension quiz when they are done.  This was a great tool to see if students really understood what they were reading, or if they were rushing.  One of my favorite features is that you can assign a specific reading to one student and award an individual student any amount of points. 

The only negative with this site is that you have to pay for it... the school I was at last year paid for each teacher to set it up as a trial run (you can sample the books and look at the comprehension questions on their website for free).  Depending upon their reviews they were considering keeping it as a school reading program.  The only thing I have left to figure out is if the teachers are able to transfer a student to a new teacher so that the new teacher can listen to their reading before the new school year starts (and not have to set up a new reading level for that student). 

Have any of you used this yet? If so what is your opinion?  Do you use a different system for encouraging students to read?

Tuesday Quote #2:
I want to add this quote to my organization board that will be above my teaching desk.  I love being weird different UNIQUE! It is what makes me ME.  This also reminds me of another quote that I pinned on my inspiration board. A friend may laugh at your silliness.. but a true friend will get up and join you.  Have a great TUESDAY!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Yummy Apple Recipe

Unfortunately I am home sick today... this darn cold has caught up with me.   I guess my hand sanitizer can only do so much when it comes to germs.  I hope this post still makes sense.... I apologize if the cold has taken over the few functioning neurons I have left.  I wanted to share with you one of my new favorite snacks! It is super easy and healthy :)

1.  Core the apple
2. Score the outside of the apple (important step you don't want to forget)
3. Add cereal to the middle of the apple (I used cranberry almond crunch, but any kind of oatmeal/granola cereal will work)  I also added extra crasins to mine.
4. Add a couple teaspoons of maple syrup to the middle of the apple.
5.  Microwave the apple for 2 minutes.
6.  Enjoy!   

Ingredients you will need:
- fresh apple
- cereal
- crasins or raisins if desired
- maple syrup

 I was also able to FINALLY upload "My Experiment Book" to TPT and TN. It took me a little while to realize that my PDF file was too big and I had to find a way to shrink my file...oh technology I love you.  This is one of my favorite creations because it is an easy template for any experiment.  It has a title page, materials, prediction (what I think is going to happen), variables (independent, dependent and controlled), observations (what I smell, see, hear), conclusion (what actually happened), what did I learn, and questions I still have.

I am also very excited to see all of the very creative and cute Dr. Suess creations on TPT and TN.  If I had my own class right now I would be tempted to redecorate it in a Suess theme for the week.  But because I don't and I want to celebrate his birthday on Friday I am going to share one of my favorite Suess quotes each day this week.  

Monday Quote #1:  I absolutely love this quote! My nephew has this quote in "wall talk" above his bed and I think it is the sweetest thing. 

Sunday, 26 February 2012


I am sure most of you have already heard about TPT leap year sale.  At Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons is having a linky party to promote this sale.  If you want to join HOP on over to her super cute blog. 

Right now it is snowing like CRAZY here! I think we have gotten about 2 feet of snow so far.  We still do not have a snow blower.... the man of the house is REALLY regretting that decision (he is outside pleasantly shoveling for the second time today).  I have been staying warm inside and I managed to finish putting my wonderland quilt together.  I can't wait to have it long arm quilted.  I am hoping to have a busy week in the schools, fingers crossed the snow slows down so I can drive tomorrow.  Have a great Sunday night!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

kids say the DARNDEST things!

This is a super fun linky party with Kindergarten Lifestyle.  I had sooo many things I could say for this one, but I am sticking with this story.  This didn't personally happen to me, but at the last school I was teaching at, the teacher told me this story in tears the entire time.

I hope everyone had a good Friday and Saturday! I am still unpacking from our road trip but we had a great time in the U.S.A.  I even managed to find a leak proof coffee mug.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

If I Could I Would...

I am linking up with Shawna this week for "If I could I would".  I really like this linky party because it made me think about all of the things I really want... but I am going to share the FIRST thing that came to mind.
I am having a major case of travelers itch! I feel like I am at the perfect age to see some of the places on my bucket list.... if I won the lottery of course.  My family recently visited Kaui and it looked soo beautiful that it made its way to my number one spot.  I would also like to visit Africa, Scotland, Ireland, list wont stop.

I am very excited for Friday because we are going on a road trip! This may temporarily cure my travel ailment.   We are heading south into Montana for a weekend shopping trip.  Lets face it, the town I currently live in has 2 grocery stores, one bargain shop, and a few local clothing stores.  So we are going to stock up on groceries and maybe purchase some things to decorate our house.  I hope I can find some sweet deals and not spend too much of my travel fund.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

One of my BEST teacher GiFtS

As a teacher we are a pretty lucky bunch! I find especially if you are in the lower grades because parents and students can spoil you with your love.  Even yesterday I came home with a stack of doodles and drawings that the kiddos had made for me.  I just love these! When I first started teaching I kept EVERY single ONE... but it got to the point where I had to skim them down and save a few as mementos (always hard to do).   However, just the other day I was looking through some old pictures and I came across a gift I received from a teaching assistant that I had in my final practicum (words can't describe how ammmmmmmazing she was as an assistant!!!!).  She was the type that would walk into your class, see who needed her help, take them to her table and by the end of the class they would have finished their work with a big smile on their face.  So for my going away party this assistant hand painted a flower pot for me.  The real emotional part of it was that she painted every student on the pot as a polar bear.... it is one of the most touching gifts I have received so far as a teacher.
 These two bears represent my mentor and me.
 An Inuksuk.  We studied these in our social studies unit when we were learning about Inuit culture.  I even had the class make their own using rocks and clay. 
 As you can see, each polar bear cub has its own personality.... these all reflect that students individual personality.  I still laugh looking at these because she knows those kiddos so well. 
So the plant that was given to me originally didn't make it (I have not found my green thumb yet, if you find it please tell it I am looking for it).  So I am still deciding what kind of plant (preferably durable) that I want.

My question for YOU!  What gift/RAK(random act of kindness) have you received in your teaching experience so far stands out?   These stories always gives me the warm fuzzy feeling so I would love to hear some more :)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Butterfly Snacks

I just had to share this cute snack idea with you!! Today I was teaching Grade 4 and to celebrate completing their testing this year a parent brought this in for all of the students.  It is such a simple idea that I had to blog about it so I would remember how to make it again (because of course I want to munch on the chocolate right now). 

I had such a great day with the kiddos.  I hope tomorrow I am lucky enough to get a great class again!

I also uploaded some new things to my TPT and TN stores.

 My Classroom Support Plan.  This is used to record you routines and procedures, student behaviour plans, seating, ABC recording, and behaviour incident report.  As a sub it is great to read over the classroom routines and procedures before the day starts because routines mean everything. 
 My coin book.  Students can use coin stamps to show the different ways the can make certain amounts.  I used this as a math center when I taught it last. 
My 3D object.  This is one of my favorite hands on geometry lessons.  Using this template students can design their own 3-D object and answer some reflection questions when they are done.

I am finally going to see The Vow tonight with my girlfriends.  I cant wait!!! Hopefully it doesn't disappoint me.

Monday, 20 February 2012

My Crazy Art Idea

This weekend I was looking at some of my old teaching projects from Grade 2 and I came across this treasure.  I call it crazy because I was able to make this not only an art lesson but a social studies, math, and science lesson as well (don't you love it when you can cover a few curriculum outcomes all at once! Well I do, I even do a little happy dance when I realize it is possible)

So here it is:

1.  I made a grid on water color poster paper (I would suggest a thicker paper because it is more durable and easier to put back together.
A simple example of the grid I made.

2.  I outlined a picture from an Inuit art calendar with a sharpie pen (In social studies we cover Inuit culture so art was one of my outcomes).  You can pick any picture/drawing that you want.  Just make sure it is something simple enough to draw (but not super obvious in each square... you will know why soon).

3. Cut out the grid.  On the opposite side add coordinates (I would mark the columns with A,B,C's and the rows with 1,2,3's) so that you know how to put it back together.

4.  Randomly give each student a square from the grid.  I told the class that the letter and number on the back will be used later, but for now it just tells them that it is the back.  I instructed my class to color each shape on their square a different color, so that the two shapes that are touching each other are not the same color.  

5.  For my class I used water color pencils (these are the best thing since sliced bread!  They are easy to use with the little kiddos and it helps them learn basic techniques like holding a brush, using the correct amount of water, etc.).  However, you can use whatever you want! Depending on what you choose also influences which paper you use in step 1.

6.  Have each student color their square and let them dry.  Since I used water colors I had to iron my squares flat the next day.

7.  Create a poster board with the same grid that you made on your original (with matching coordinates). This is how I introduced a math lesson! I explained how the coordinate system worked, and I went around the class and had each student match their square to the right place on the poster.

8.  I would stop the class throughout this and we would make predictions about what we thought the picture would be.  This was part of my science outcome (using our science vocabulary).  I discussed how we are making PREDICTIONS and that we have to back up our predictions with EVIDENCE.  Some of the predictions were priceless, and this part was a lot of fun for the class.

9.  Lastly we put the picture back together and students got to see if their original prediction was correct.

10.  I then introduced the class to the techniques used in Inuit Art and we did some research into Inuit Artists. 

So yes, I am a little crazy, but I would definitely use this art idea again. 

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Button Pins

 So I still had some plain thumb tacks left over from my gem stone pins so I decided to make a different style pin for my Moms organizational sewing board.  We have LOTS of buttons so we picked 20 favorites.  I followed the same steps as the gem stone pins (hot glue pin, add button, dry).
Here are the color coordinated button jars.   By sorting each jar by color it is easy to find the perfect button for any project.

 These are the buttons I picked.  I love that some of them are soo retro!
 Here is the sewing organizational board with its new buttons!
 I also made some button pins for my board that coordinate with my gem stone pins.

If you are looking for some ideas for pins I would suggest going to:

A dollar store - you can usually find something cute and cheap there (if you have something specific in mind it may be a little harder to find here)

Micheals/Craft Store - I love micheals and sometimes you can get great deals in their dollar bins.  

Fabric Store - there are lots of fun buttons (animals, shapes, etc) out there for cute sweaters and these could make adorable pins too.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I am sad that it is almost over... it always goes by way to stinking fast! 

Saturday, 18 February 2012


I made two headbands today and it was Easy Peasy! I just used some fabric scraps that I already had from old projects and turned them into a fancy headband.

 I cut out 4 different fabrics in total for my pink headband.
 Here is the flower side.
 And the stripes side.
 This headband is super comfy and I have been wearing it all day! I heart headbands. 
 I made this headband using Amy Butlers fabric line (I adore her retro style!).  This fabric is a lot thicker so I had to adjust some things.  I made the band a little narrower so it is slightly different from my pink headband.  I made the elastic portion out of regular fabric because I thought the thicker fabric would have a hard time bunching up.
 Here is the other side.
Overall I love both of the designs I made.  I am definitely going to whip off a collection as Christmas/Birthday gifts.

My Teaching Bag

I am linking up with the Clutter-Free Classroom thanks to Mrs. Polands blog at Think, Wonder, & Teach! She just got a new teaching bag from Thirty One and I am jealous! It has a beautiful print and looks like it is a great size for all of the necessities.

But here is my teaching bag:
I love it beacause....

It is large enough to hold my lunch, ipad, and binder.

It has lots of zippered pockets to hold my pens and pencils, cell phone, keys, and hand sanitizer.

It is a pretty color. I heart lavender, I even had a student ask me this week if purple was my favorite color (he thought he was being smart because my cardigan and shirt were bright purple).  I responded with no silly where would you get that idea in my most sarcastic tone.

What do I wish was different about my bag.....

I wish that I had a matching lunch bag :(  However I am looking into sewing my own lunch bag and I will find coordinating fabrics.

I also wish that I had a different coffee mug.  I recently made a huge mess in my bag because my mug went on its side and got everything wet.  Sadly my old notebook, The Help, and part of my agenda were victims in this tragedy.  I would love to find a mug that does not leak, or a bag that has a seat belt for untrusted mugs. However, the mess did force me to throw out some junk that had accumulated in my bag so it is actually very organized right now.

Do I dare show you inside my bag...

Well yes you can see inside my bag.  It has a lot of my teaching essentials, but I will prove it to you.

I have my agenda binder in pink where I record all of my teaching calls.

I have my notebook, this is used to make notes/observations throughout the day.

My Ipad! I cant live without it.

Hand sanitizer... because of the gross germs out there.

Graphing calculator.  I never know what I am teaching and this has come in handy lots.

Water bottle.  I just purchased a new sleeve for my metal water bottle because I was having issues with it "sweating" all over my bag. The sleeve just goes over the bottle and collects any "sweat" or in science terms "condensation" from the water and saves my bag from the mess.

I will still be on the look out for a new lunch bag and coffee mug.  Any suggestions?

My head bands are almost finished so I will post my pictures soon!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Cant stop PINNING!

 Ok... I dont know what happened to this post but I am going to summarize what I think I blogged about..

These are my organization boards! I found these for sale at Chapters for $7.  I was sooo excited and wanted to make a board to organize my to dos, UFO's (unfinished objects), weekly appointments, and motivational quotes. 

I also wanted to have some pretty pins, but I searched the local dollar store and sadly couldn't find anything.. so instead I made my own.

I bought gem stones and pin tacks.

 Added hot glue to the tack, and place the gemstone on top.


I let all of the tacks dry and then I placed them on my organization board.  It was easy peasy!