Sunday, July 29, 2012

Instagram ribbon banner

First off I love this project for many reasons:
1. the pictures capturing memories from last year
2. the life that it will add to the cement block walls
3. the colors
4. the movement that happens when the picture twirl and ribbons sway
5. It took little time to assemble
I discovered you can print your instagram pictures via Printstagram
{warning: expect to wait 4 weeks for the pictures to be delivered}
On a positive note the prices are reasonable. I also purchased a mini book of all the photos.
I picked the same ribbons that matches the banners I created last year. Speaking of the motivational banners...they had a little plastic surgery on Friday. Last year I did not have the time or patience to back the banners with fabric. Therefore exposing what I did not finish. I put off covering the back with fabric until summer. Thankfully, I had enough fabric left over to cover the backs. They look so much better now that they are 100% complete.
Both the banners and ribbon tassels will be going up in the classroom tomorrow.
{Pictures soon to follow}

Find me on instagram
@ helloitsmeg

Thursday, July 26, 2012

H54F: The beginning of it all

Another high five for Friday From My Grey Desk. This week was completely different than last. First off teachers started back on Wednesday! Students come on August 8th! Goodbye summer hello school year!
 {Lots to do lots to do}
Summer's last breakfast with my mom and sister
Like I said before I will miss summer time breakfast the most. It's my favorite meal of the day and this joy is completely gone during the school year... although there is the weekend! 
Ruth's hot pink nail polish
My sister and I decided to give Ruth a mini manicure and yes we only painted one nail. Ruth is deciding if she likes the look of painted nails.
 Danger Zone
Less than 24hrs back in town and I find myself here. The good news is that I can only spend about 20 minutes in this's a tad bit overwhelming!
Power Tools
I bought my first drill to hang this mesh shelving unit...and truth be told I plan on returning the drill now that its hung...Why can't you rent a drill?
Classroom Beginnings
I am back in my windowless classroom. Bland walls will soon be jazzed up with some color. The current state of the classroom resembles yucky cold oatmeal.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Three letters: ESE

ESE = exceptional student education/educators
{a.k.a special education}

Due to political correctness and all that jazz ESE teachers educate an exceptional bunch of students.
{Like we did not already know this}

For those that glanced at the "my journey" portion of the blog you might of discovered that I have a specific learning disability in the area of auditory processing. Due to my label I guess you can say I have some first hand experience with special education.

I was identified with having a disability when I was in 1st grade and my disability remains to be my ever present shadow. My SLD does not play much of a significant role in my life now a days unless I am taking  a test (processing issues) or dabbling in some math (I avoid math like the plague).

Through my disability I have learned countless lessons, cried numerous tears and have climbed invisible mountains that seemed impossible. My disability has been a blessing in disguise in more ways than one.
{more about this at a later date}

Around the 11th grade the whole college and career decision hits you like a ton of bricks. I always knew I would attend college and given my families track record for landing somewhere in the education field; I presumed I would go into education as well.

My natural instinct decided on special education because...well...I know what it's like to be an ESE student I might as well hop the fence and be an ESE teacher.

My journey in becoming a teacher was fairly easy a couple of bumbs in the form of tests and professors nothing too out of the ordinary. Since I have SLD that is the group of students I wanted to teach and with a degree in varying exceptionalities k-12 I could do just that.

I feel that I can relate to my students in a way that no amount of training or degrees could. I have fought their fight and have come out on the other side victorious. This is why I choose ESE as my profession...I was born to be an ESE teacher...It's in my blood or DNA.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Why Middle School??

If you would of told me five years ago I would be teaching 6th, 7th and 8th graders (and loving it) I would of called you a liar.

Well, I could not imagine teaching any other group of students.
{maybe high school...would not step close to elementary}

Truth be told when I was going to school and aiming to teach special education I had no clue what grade I wanted to work with. I just assumed I would end up in elementary.

The program I was in required that I have four internship varying from elementary to high school. Here is where I was placed for my internships:
#1- Kindergarten
{singing the alphabet is not my thing}
#2- fourth and fifth grade
{this was a nice change from the little ones}
#3- sixth, seventh and eighth grade science
{loved every single minute}
#4- second, third and fourth grade
{too wide of a range for students}

When my third internship was approaching I was asked if I preferred middle or high school. I told my professor I did not have a preference and to surprise me and boy was I surprised!

I landed an internship teaching science to 6th, 7th and 8th grade ESE students. To sum up my experience in one word I would have to say: Outstanding!

I have a dry sense of humor, am a tad bit sarcastic and like to think outside of the box. I have never felt so comfortable teaching a group of students...I had found my home!

I have truly enjoyed teaching middle schoolers these past three years. They inspire and challenge me on a daily basis. I love that they are miniature adults just discovering who they really are. Having the opportunity to mold them and watch them grow is pure bliss.

{I could go on, but I will stop}
I guess you can say that my tolerance level is pretty high since not only do I teach middle school, but work with student who have disabilities.

Stay tuned to find out why I decided to go into ESE

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Book Frame

Another Monday Made it and of course this one was inspired by Pinterest
I knew I wanted to make this book frame so my mom and I headed toward the Goodwill book store. We needed to find a sturdy old book that could with stand being cut into. We both found these old children's books to use.
3 cardboard rectangles varying in size (L, M, S)
hot glue gun
cutting board
exacto knife
old book
Step 1: Measure out three rectangles from a piece of cardboard. Going from large, medium and small. These will become your frame you will cute around for each section.
Step 2: Starting with the largest rectangle trace that shape on the cover of your book. Then start carefully cutting out the book cover. This will take time because you are cutting through cardboard. Use a steady hand as you do not want to cute outside of the outline. Once the cover is loose enough you will be able to pop it out. Some stray cardboard may be left on the edges, just cut it out.
Step 3: With the largest rectangle again you are going to use that as a guide and cut ten pages at a time. I put a thin cutting board underneath ten pages so I would not go any farther. Make sure you cut the corners out nicely as it may rip.
Step 4: Determine how deep you want each section to be. I ended up having each section 130 pages or so. After you finish with one section move on to the smaller rectangle until you have created your frame.
Step 5: After all the sections are cut out arrange your words how you would like them. I put my words on a separate sheet of paper and just taped it in...just in case I want to change the message in the future. You could also hot glue each of the pages together, but I like how then looked loose and such. I did hot glue the front cover to the first page. Oh and string a ribbon through the binding so you can hang it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

H54F: Summer Endings

Hello last week of Summer
Yep, that's right I have to report back to school on Wednesday,

So for this High Five for Friday From my Grey Desk I am bringing you all the joys of summer!
 The Beach
My goal this school year is to make it out there once a month
 Watching Rue
 perfect the art of lizard hunting
Yes, I will miss enjoying breakfast at my own time because starting next Wednesday my meals will be on a schedule.
 Time for projects
My list of little DIYs has gotten shorter, but throughout the school year the list will grow and I will wait for summer again.
Fun little trips
My time mostly will consist of school thinking and little excursions will happen less.

I hope you all had a wonderful week and are enjoying your summer!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

H54F: A little of this and that

To be honest everyday feels like Friday during summer and to be completely honest I am a little ready to get back into the swing of things!
Summer is usually pretty predictable and the school year well...
 Florida summers means afternoon storms
hello downpour
 Walks with Rue
when it is not raining
 Games with the family
I lost at Skip-bo
 Projects inspired by pinterest of course
Trips to cute little places like The Lollicake Queen

and today on this Friday a visit to the beach
Sad to say I live 20 minutes from a beach and this is my second time venturing out there.

Hope your week was lovely as well!

Helpful tips for Donors Choose

I don't know about you, but I would like to be wise with my money in regards to the classroom. I want to dump bushels of dollars in my classroom to make it the very best and thankfully Donors Choose helps me do so!
{Click the picture to go to Donors Choose}

Donors Choose is a non-profit organization that connects public school teachers with people who want to fund classroom learning.

Through Donors Choose I have had six projects funded, including the most recent one yesterday! The donors can be anyone that are interested in the project you created. They can give as little as $10 or fund your project completely.

Tips for creating a successful project on Donors Choose
Specific- Do not ask for the moon and back. Create small projects that have a theme: vocabulary, biographies or book shelves. If you want to build a classroom library start with one genre at a time.

Simplicity- When writing your projects details write the bare minimum. Answer the question the best way possible and make it appeal to anyone who would donate. You are motivating people to donate to your project. Sell yourself!

Amount- I have found that projects under $200 get funded faster. Your project has to be over $100 in materials. Projects of larger amounts take time to be funded.

Creative- Create a title for your project that will grab donors attention!

Pictures- Donors Choose has you select a picture for your donor page. Bright, colorful, fun and smiles never hurt!

Communication- Your donors will want to hear from you once they donate. Thank them as soon as possible!

Gratitude- Once your project is funded you will have students create thank you notes! This is how you keep donors interested in your future projects!

If you would like a look at my past and present projects for an example here is a link:
Here is a project that needs funding and time is running out!
{Ms. Hassel's project}

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dolphin Tale

A while ago my mom and I visited Winter the dolphin from Dolphin Tale in Clearwater, Florida.
{bonus teachers get in for FREE}

{Facts about Winter}
Rescued from crab traps in 2005
lost her entire tail and two vertebrates due to this incident
She was not a year old when this happened
Despite the odds learned how to swim like a fish swaying back and forth
A prosthetic liner was created just for her called WintersGel
She does not wear the prosthetic all the time
A book and a movie was made about her remarkable life

I think the tale of Winter is inspirational and very fitting for students to relate to. I was so inspired by her story that I wanted to bring Dolphin Tale the book into the classroom for my students to read as a whole. So what do I do create a Donors Choose project for this book!
{Great news half way funded}

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dear Students,

Another Monday Made it inspired by the one and only Pinterest. When I saw this letter to students I knew it was a must for the classroom. I thought what a wonderful reminder for them (as well as myself) that I am here to support them even when it seems the opposite.
 Pretty simple projcet to put together

foam poster board from the dollar store
foam paint brush
paint maker

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oh target you have done it again!

I saw Mrs Hahn Daydreams post on Target and decided to share some of my findings as well.
{love her blog by the way}
Of course this time of year the school supply cuteness emerges and makes it almost impossible not to think about the classroom.

First off this three cup turny thing and the & sign
Lets just say that I saw the & sign in the spring and stalked it all the way to July when it went on clearance. What Language Arts teacher doesn't need this?
The revolving metal cups will most likely be turned into a editing station for writing...pencils, highlighters and what not

I have learned my lesson a couple of times about the dollarish section of Target
{smart thinking putting it right where you walk in}
Yep, I most certainly could not avoid these four things
cork board
chalk board
magnetic board
bird hooks
{and Rue hunting for some lizards}

I plan on covering the pink metal board with fabric
These items could end up in the classroom or above my desk at home

Oh and Target has fun colored paper straws

So have any of you found some fantastic Target finds lately?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Glitter smitter

Fourth of July was full of some extra sparkle with the help of some glitter.
I have been seeing this hall pass on Pinterest floating around and of course I decided to make one of my own. I am not too fond of writing students passes and this seemed like a simple solution. Pin a clothes pin on their collar and they are free to leave.
permanent maker
clothes pin
I debated on the design and how to handle the letters
{paint, don't paint, dots, swirls, lines}
After a week I decided on zig-zags and letters I found at Michael's
With the left over clothes pins I decided to cover them with glitter and put magnets on the back of them for use on the white board.
 I am not the biggest fan of glitter due to the fact that once you touch glitter it will stay with you. I learned a tip on how to keep the glitter off you hands. Once the glitter is dry cover the glittery surface with decoupage. The decoupage creates a seal on the glitter.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

June's Birchbox

{Birch Box's theme was jet setting}
TheBalm cosmetics Stainiac
Tili Bags Small Collection 1
Masquelogy pore minimizing mask
Stila one step bronzer
Comodynes self-tainning intensive wipes
John Varvatos Star U.S.A 1.7 oz

All in all I felt kind of blah with this box. I thought it was cute, but nothing worth jumping up and down for. Truth be told I have not had any interest in trying these items. I am giving my sister the Stilla bronzer. I do want to try the face mask when I get the time.

Rumor has it July's box theme is Glamour magazine

Thursday, July 5, 2012

H54F: Numero Uno

I have been loving high five for Friday from the blog From My Grey Desk. So I decided to join in the festivities! 
 surprise text from B&BW for $8 candles
 Finally hunted down these two books for my classroom...Hello poetry
 Planning a yarn/string mural for my classroom wall
 Ikea trip with my mom
Ruth learned a new "trick" we hide Easter eggs filled with her dog food around the living room and she will hunt them out and open them. We are pretty impressed with her!

I hope you all had a fabulous week as well as a festive 4th of July! Now on to a fantastic weekend!