Monday, July 29, 2013

math tub labels freebie

Last year was the first year that I organized math centers into tubs. Before the centers were in folders or envelopes and the kids were responsible for getting all the supplies necessary for the center. Why didn't I use tubs before?! It was so much better!

The only thing I didn't really love was the fact that they were a little bigger than they needed to be and didn't really fit on the shelf well without manhandling them. 

So I recently bought this kind of tub. Its size should work better with the shelf and free up some room for other things since my classroom is the size of a closet. Even though they are smaller, I will still be able to fit the the paper and other supplies necessary for math centers very easily.

I got them at Walmart and they were about $4, I think.

The labels for my other tubs are too big to fit on these, so of course I had to make new ones with a fun chevron background pattern.

They are made to fit right here specifically on this container.

Pretty right?

As I was taking the picture I realized that after I laminated these labels they would be too wide to fit, so I made the labels narrower in width. Each label is 2" high and 2.75" wide.

I put these labels in my TpT shop for you for free! Click on the picture to get yours.

You're welcome.

I'm thinking I need some more of these containers for English/Language Arts centers.

And then, I'll need more labels. . .


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

the one where i met my teaching hero

Have you read The End of Molasses Classes? I read it two summers ago when it came out. If you haven't read it, you must put it on your list to read read it right now! You will not be sorry. I'm going to read it again this summer. I might even reread his first two books. 

I am even such a nerd that I preordered the book and waited impatiently until I could read it. 

I found out at the last minute that Ron Clark would be speaking near me and there were still tickets. Several years ago he came and spoke to all of the teachers in my district in a large stadium. This time the venue, while impressive, was quite a bit smaller.

And I was going to get to go!

I called my friend, Alana, to see if she wanted to go with me. Oddly enough, she had just gotten tickets and was about to call me to see if I wanted to go. 


We got there right when the doors opened because I wanted a good seat. We snagged seats in the second row!

This man is full of energy - which made getting a good picture a little bit of a challenge. He never stopped moving. He engaged the audience from the very beginning of his presentation.

He walked around the auditorium and even climbed on chairs. If you know anything about him, you already know he likes to climb on the desks in his classroom while teaching. At one point he stood on the arm rests of the empty seat right in front of me and spoke for a while.

Right in front of me.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little bit worried about whether or not he would fall.

Afterwards, Alana and I got our books signed and we got to meet him.

He did not sit behind a table and smile fake pleasantries as he signed our books. Instead he used a stool and small table to sign the books, but not before he got up and gave me a big hug when I walked up ~ like he'd been waiting for me to finally get to the front of the line. He genuinely asked about what grade I teach and followed up with a few more questions based on the answers I gave. He paid attention and gave value to what I said ~ just like we need to remember to do for our students.

And we got a picture! Awesome!

Yeah, we were pretty much star-struck by the whole deal.

Alana and I have decided that we are going to print this picture to hang it up in our class to remind us all year of the kind of teachers we are supposed to be.

All the groupie talk aside, hearing him speak was a fabulous inspirational boost that every teacher needs mid-summer when the ambivalent feelings of affecting little lives by teaching versus wishing summers would last forever creep into our thoughts. Even though I'm nowhere near done with summer yet, I know this next school year is gonna be something great, something worth watching!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

favorite pins fri(satur)day

I'm joining Cara at The First Grade Parade for Favorite Pins Friday.

Some of these pins are older than this week, so I'm breaking the rules just a little bit. 

T E A C H E R    P I N S

4mula Fun! has a fun Math About Me assignment for the beginning of the year. The students tell 8 facts about themselves in mathematical format - using basic operations but can include parentheses and exponents. This is for sure on my list of first week activities. Third graders will not typically be able to use much past addition and subtraction, but it will be fun to see what they will come up with. It can give me a snapshot about what they know about math already.

Teaching with a Mountain View has some great visual ways to help students understand elapsed time. Elapsed time can be such a rough concept for some kids. She shows several different ways to help them  grasp the concept. She also has a packet of differentiated work on TpT that looks great.


I pinned these chimichangas a while ago from My Fridge Food. I tried them one Saturday for lunch. They were so easy to make and tasted muy bueno! And they are a little health conscious because they are baked instead of fried. I've tried several recipes that I've pinned that have turned out to be disasters or just so-so. You won't be sorry if you try these.

I need to make these again soon.

Doesn't this Loaded Baked Potato Salad look good?

It has bacon.

Need I say more?

And this Country Club Chicken Casserole? Yum!

L E T ' S    M A K E    S O M E T H I N G

I'm keeping my owl theme next year, but the room will need a few fun updates, of course. How would this guy look? Awesome, right?

And since I bought some extra burlap, how about this for the front door. The tutorial for this is at Live a Little Wilder.


I cannot go without a little humor.

You know it's true.

See you in the schoolyard. Wait! It's summer. See you at the pool.


Friday, July 5, 2013

currently ~ july

Here we are in July. The fireworks have been lit and and we have celebrated the freedoms this great country hold dear.

It's also time for Farley's Currently.

Listening - We have a serious bird gatherings in our back yard. These funny little black birds with longish tail feathers will gather in the grass below one of the trees. They are always pointed in the same direction as each other and seem focused on the same thing. We joke around that they are having church. With lots of birds comes lots of chirping. We like it.

Loving - Oh how I love summer days. Oh how I do not like excessive heat warnings. Blech! Even though the heat is unbearable where we live for most of the summer, I am hopelessly in love the with idea of summer. Flip flops, sun screen, daylight for hours and hours, and a carefree lifestyle ~ what's not to love?

Thinking - I have not done much in a tangible way for my new third grade position next year, but I have been thinking about it a lot. I'm keeping the same classroom theme next year - owls - with maybe some new fun decorating additions. But I'm contemplating how I want to manage my classroom with learning centers, incentives, behavior plans, etc. What tried and true things do I want to keep, what do I need to change. I am likely to have a few of my kids from last year, so I also want to change up some of my beginning of the year activities/assignments. I'm for sure thinking of doing this one from A Cupcake for the Teacher.

Wanting - Recently, we were able to spend a week with some family and friends beach-side. The temperatures were mild and lovely. I miss that. I could use more of that in my life, even if it comes with a little extra sand everywhere!

Needing - Summer won't last forever so I need to use my lazy days a little more wisely. is summer.

Blog Advice - Don't let blogging take over your life. My prolonged absence from this blog and my family blog is proof that I follow that advice. :) Live your life & be present for the people in your life. Blogging is a nice extra. It will be here when you have time. That being said, I do hope to be around a little more often in the future with some good ideas and good stories about the sweet kids I teach.

What are you doing this summer?