Saturday, June 28, 2014

Five For Friday ~ June 27th - Michelle

    It's time for the weekly link-up- Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching. Fire for Friday is a weekly linky party where you post 5 random things from the past week. Then you go back to Doodle Bugs and link up! Head on over to Doodle Bugs, Grab the Button, and get in on the fun! 

What an amazing week!! I have been enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds of New Orleans for the Reading, Writing, Math, and More Conference. I will get back to that in just a minute!

I'm going to start back at the beginning of my week (even though that seems forever ago) !  My classroom is FINALLY getting a much needed paint job. I moved into this room last year and didn't get a chance to make it over. I believe it was last painted in the late 80's. You know...when burgundy and baby blue were the IT combination! I snapped a quick pic as I was starting!

The front wall was this dark burgundy....and yes that is a brown chalkboard. So my room is a work in progress this summer. It is getting a total overhaul!! The big dark wall is GONE!

One word...RAIN! It has rained and stormed every day this week! It has caused quite a few interesting situations as well as laughs! Tracy and I made our way to New Orleans on Tuesday. First stop....

the hotel dryer!!! During our layover in Chicago there were some really bad storms and our luggage must have been sitting out when it started. Needless to say our suitcases were soaked....all the way through. 

So as I stated earlier, we are currently enjoying beautiful New Orleans! It has been such an amazing trip spending so much time with my dearest friend and exploring our passion for teaching!! The sights were gorgeous (as long as you could ignore the storm clouds) and the food was unbelievable!! Tracy and I have made many memories and had lots of laughs throughout the week!

 My brain is currently bursting with new ideas from this years SDE Reading, Writing, Math, & More Conference. 

I started off the conference getting to hear some wonderful things from Amanda Nickerson of One Extra Degree. She had a session on how she uses close reading and applies it in her classroom. I have some things marked to add to my curriculum next school year. I will keep you posted on how it works out!

Jeromie Heath was presenting on Scientific Inquiry. His passion for teaching was contagious. He really expanded my thinking on how to step back and let the students catch their own mistakes without our corrections. I may have to duct tape my mouth....but I am going to try soooo hard to give more of these opportunities in my classroom.

There were many other wonderful presentations from how to use improv to creating on iPads. I can't wait to start tweaking many of my own lessons when I get home!

     Last but not least...I can't wait to get home to these sweet faces!!!

 We are praying for safe travels with NO delays!! Cross your fingers!!

 - Michelle

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five for Friday~ June 27th - Tracy

You can follow Tracy at her new blog: The Knit Wit Teacher

It's time for the weekly link-up- Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching. Fire for Friday is a weekly linky party where you post 5 random things from the past week. Then you go back to Doodle Bugs and link up! Head on over to Doodle Bugs, Grab the Button, and get in on the fun! 

Greetings from New Orleans!!!! We are in town for the SDE Reading, Writing, Math and More conference. The conference has been AMAZING and we've learned a ton! Amanda Nickerson from One Extra Degree was fantastic! I can't wait to use her Interactive Notebook.  

Laureen Reynolds was HILARIOUS! I love seeing speakers that are comfortable, relaxed, and enjoy sarcasm. She has some amazing resources on Children's Lit on her blog. Especially her Information Text is not boring list. I can't wait to review these books and try them in the classroom. Check it out. You'll thank me. 

Katherine McKnight had teachers use Improv in the Classroom techniques and I've gotta tell you. I'm hooked. Talk about keeping your students engaged. She has videos up on her blog that show Improv being used. If you are looking for some new techniques give Improv a try. 

New Orleans is truly a beautiful city. We tried to explore but if you look at the sky in these pictures you can see that the weather was against us! You can even see the rain moving in behind us. It started pouring about a minute after that photo was taken. 

So while we waited for the rain to pass we went into the mall and enjoyed some Cafe Du Monde Beignets. HEAVEN I tell you. I could really go for some right now. I wish they delivered. 

We walked down to the French Quarter and were shocked to see 9 flavors of Daiquiris in slushy machines. We don't have these in Indiana! 

This may look like an innocent elevator in the Marriott but I am here to tell you otherwise! After getting soaked in the rain last night Michelle and I were so in a rush to get into the elevator and get back to the room to change into dry clothes. 

 I get in the elevator and turn around to see Michelle still standing in the hall. She points down to the floor and I look down to see a MASSIVE bug crawling around on the floor. 

I do not do creepy crawlies. 

I scream. The doors close. 

I can hear Michelle laughing on the other side of the door.  I hit the button to open the doors. Continue to dance around. And jump out the second the doors open. 

Needless to say we took a different elevator to the room. 

Don't judge me elevator security guy. Don't judge. 

This past week has been filled with laughs, amazing food, lots of great ideas, and good times all around. The weather didn't cooperate but we still had a blast. 

Stay tuned for Michelle's 5 for Friday! 


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday 6/18/14

You can follow Tracy at her new blog: The Knit Wit Teacher

It's time for the weekly link-up- What I'm Loving Wednesday!

This is baby kitty aka: A.J. After his rough start and recovery we decided to keep him. He is such a cute kitty. He has now claimed the basket on my kitchen table. After every meal he climbs up into the basket and takes a nap. Just look at that cuteness!  

My  husband and I have fallen in love with Castle. It's such a great show! If you haven't watched it head over to Amazon Instant Video and start watching. Trust me. You will love it. 

Paint Thinner is my new friend. Last week I dropped paint thinner all over my floor in my new classroom. I knelt down to scoop it up and got paint all over my favorite capris. Nick scrubbed and scrubbed using paint thinner and Voilla- No more paint in my capris. I love this stuff and him for doing the scrubbing for me. You know it's love when he scrubs your clothes. 

Nick and I celebrated 11 years of marriage this past week. We've had ups and downs and have made it through and are stronger than we were 11 years ago. FYI: I loved my wedding but this picture makes me look like I have wings....Oops, we didn't think that tablecloth through. It really bugs me. 

It's been a great week of working in my classroom and enjoying being at home. The 
weather has been hot and I couldn't be happier! Have a great week friends! 


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Painter I Am Not

You can follow Tracy at her new blog: The Knit Wit Teacher

There are moments in your life that are eye opening.

This past week made it blatantly obvious that I am a HORRIBLE painter. I spent all of last Saturday in my room with my hubby and we painted the walls and my built in bookshelves. By the end of the day I was COVERED in paint. He had a few drops on him....That may or may not have been my fault.

Part of me thought I should wait until the very end to share my photos of my room update but the more I thought about it I realized that I wanted to share the process with you. The good and the bad. So here goes.

**Before you see these photos please remember that my room is a WRECK! I have boxes stacked everywhere. I have cleaning supplies spread throughout my room, books piled up, and desks crammed in the middle. This is the problem of moving rooms and redecorating at the same time. Everything is just thrown about. It's driving me cRaZy! ***

Ignore the mess :)

My walls before:
This was my front doorway:

 Front Wall:

Back Wall: I HATE that my projector is on my back wall. It just seems unnatural to be facing the wrong way. Take note of the ugly BROWN chalkboard.

 Cubby Wall:

 Window Wall:

Drum roll please........


Front Doorway: 

Front Wall: Take note of my new BLACK chalkboards and the bookshelves. The ugly brown had to go!

Back Wall: Just look at that pretty blackboard. I just love it.

FYI: When it came time to paint the front and back walls my hubby had to leave to go get the kids. This meant it was me, an edger, a roller, and the step ladder.

Saying I'm short is being kind. I am 5'3" in the right shoes. It was not fun trying to reach the top of the wall. Standing on my tiptoes painting around the screen was a not fun either. Don't look too closely at the ceiling tiles.

Cubbies: I just had to show them again.

I sat on top of the cubbies to paint them. I hope no one every looks at the top of these cubbies. It's not pretty up there.

I didn't think ahead before I climbed up there. I left the trash bags I was using as tarps and my rag on the floor. Once I got up I realized getting back down wasn't going to be fun. I'm not 20 anymore. At this point I weighed the pros and cons of climbing down or just saying forget it....I'm not proud to say that I took the mindset that no one would ever see it so I was just going to keep going.

But hey: The cubbies themselves are beautiful and that's all that matters!

Window Wall: Painting over the mural was a really difficult decision for me. I felt really bad about it but when I thought about it I realized that it just didn't fit me or the plan I have for the room. Painting the wall white really opened the room up and made it so much brighter. I still feel really guilty about painting over the mural but I know it was right for me.

 Take note of the ugly beige heater unit.

It was really gross. It took me about 30 minutes to scrape all the old tape off and to get rid of the dust. I could't stand for the ugly dirty beige to remain so I used Chalkboard paint to paint over it.

Now if you remember I dropped primer all over my floor......(Again: A painter I am not!)

This meant that I didn't have any primer left to cover the air unit. Hopefully this doesn't come back to bite me. The paint kept streaking when I was applying it..... but I finally got it to look smooth. Ignore the paint I dripped on the floor. If you think the floor is bad you should see my feet. I stepped in the paint. Oops. Luckily my carpet hasn't been cleaned yet. Whew!

My messiness aside I'm loving this chalkboard paint. It makes things pop.

See the corner where the white and green come together? It's really bugging me that I can't get a perfect straight line there. I need something to cover it up. Any ideas?

Have you seen Kinder-Craze's classroom? It's beautiful and I just love it.  Especially her file cabinets. They are bright and cheerful and they make me smile.

I NEED those file cabinets. It's spray paint. What could go wrong??? I can do this.

I watched her tutorial video, bought my supplies, gave myself a pep talk, and was ready to go.

EPIC FAIL! I'm still recovering from the horror of this process.

I had several things go wrong with this project:

I had 2 cans of spray paint. Needless to say that wasn't enough.

Wind was not my friend. Not my friend at all!

I streaked BADLY.

I ended up tinged yellow....

I admitted defeat.

I brought this bad boy home in hopes of being about to fix it tomorrow. Maybe. Covering it with contact paper may be my best option.

Throughout this process I've realized a few things:

Spray paint is not my friend.

Actually painting in general is not my friend. I'm bad at it. I'm messy. I get covered in paint from head to toe. I even get it on my elbows. Who does that? I'm a very messy painter and I TRY not to be. My klutziness doesn't help.

Getting paint out of your hair takes DAYS. Eventually I sat in front of my hubby and had him pick the paint out of my hair. I felt like a monkey.

My wall color matches my laptop cover. This wasn't intentional. I must really like this color. :)

I still have a TON of work to do to make this room mine/ours but it's coming together. It hasn't been perfect. I'm making mistakes. But I'm okay with that. I'm confident in my teaching abilities. Room decorating not so much. I'm treating it as a learning process.....I'm learning a lot.

Stay tuned. Next up:

Covering up my blue counter tops. Did you notice those on top of my air unit/bookshelves?  Deciding on if I'm getting rid of my ugly brown teacher desk for a pretty small white writing desk. Or one of the cute desks I found on Etsy.

And somehow fixing the yellow cabinet.

This should be fun!