Friday, June 29, 2012

Chapter 1 - The Together Teacher

Chapter 1 - Rules over Tools...I like this book because it is not preachy. It gives you options and doesn't ask you to go buy anything. It gives you general ideas and lets you taper those ideas with what works for you. Maia gives you 10 "rules" (which I look at as more of a guideline for success):
  • 1.  Get everything in one place. (Basically, don't spread your info to the winds! Don't have 5 different calendars with different info on for for  I am guilty of this!) Have your info in a portable form that can be synced (ie. web-based program to smartphone, etc)
  • 2.  Take it with you. (Make your personal calendar portable. Don't try to keep everything in a 3 in binder! Make sure you can take it with you at all times.)
  • 3.  Write everything down.  (Write everything so that you leave space in your brain...we only have so much room in there!)
  • 4.  Make it bite-sized.  (Be specific but not wordy...instead of "field trip" more specific without being in "field trip to Rainforest Adventures, 1-3 pm...send parent reminder")
  • 5.  Keep like items with like items.  (Don't mix big to-dos with little to-dos...."clean out closet" should be in a separate area away from "make Dr. appt.")
  • 6.  Create a trigger for what you put away.  (Make a note to yourself when you file away an important e-mail that needs later attention (so it doesn't get lost), or other things that can't be dealt with immediately but needs "sooner rather than later" attention.)
  • 7.  Mind your energy levels.  (We all know if we are "morning" "afternoon" or "evening" types of people. Save your energy-laden tasks for the times when you are at your best. Do things that don't require as much mental energy for your "down" times).
  • 8.  No tool is forever.  (Ain't it the truth!  Jobs, duties, students, work situations, and everything changes. Be ready to change your calendar/tool as other things change.)
  • 9.  Own your schedule.  (Be aware of things in your schedule that don't work times, time for grading, planning, phone calls, progress reports, and other non-negotiable demands and pencil them in first).
  • 10.  Pause to plan.  (Make time each week/month to sit down and write down what needs to be done. Don't forget to schedule in time for family, exercise, and just plain FUN.)
This is, of course, a much abbreviated version of this wonderful first chapter. Maia goes further into each of these "rules". I just wanted to give you an overview and hit the high points.  Let me know what you think....and if you want me to continue sharing this book :)    Teri

Check it out on Amazon!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Together Teacher (I wish...)

Hi all...I have come to the conclusion that the books on my night table are not going to read themselves! I have so many books and electronic gadgets on my nightstand that something truly needs to be done before "Hoarders" comes knocking! LOL I LOVVVVEEE to read and one of my favs is professional development! I truly love learning new strategies and hearing how others organize and conduct their classes.  I just today received a book in the mail called The Together Teacher.  It is by Maia Heyck-Merlin. It looks right up my alley! Here is a link to their blog (and website) with lots of downloadable forms and calendars:  The Together Teacher     I am going to "endeavor to persevere" and read a chapter a day and blog about it in hopes that someone else (possibly who is behind on their reading as well) will take away some handy organizational tips without having to read the whole thing...who knows! I am having trouble using the CD Rom that came with it with forms on it. I am waiting for an e-mail from the company. Well, just missed a "live chat" with the rep while writing this! LOL I'll try again tomorrow! Anyway, let me know if you have read the book...or would be interested in hearing about it! Bye for now!

Just a Quick Post...

Not feeling great today, but I did want to post a quick picture of my classroom clock! I am very pleased with the way it turned out. My 7th grade daughter was not as thrilled as I was....but what do 7th graders know anyway???? LOL She did (grudgingly) help me cut out all the labels and things that I I guess she is not totally useless!! (Just you, Hannah!) Anyway, I have been a laminating fool with blogging and Pinterest ideas! Let me know what you think!

I think this will really help my students!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Awesome Blog Hop....Join us!

Blank Blocks

I am looking for ideas for these blocks. These wooden blocks are from one of those calendar things that you rotate to change the date. I was going to get rid of it because it was in pretty bad shape and decided to spray paint it and use it in some "anal-retentive hoarder" kind of way :)  I have foam blocks with setting/characters/plot....literacy questions...I am looking for unique ideas. I welcome any suggestions :) I'm having a mental block :) (Pun intended)   Teri

What do I do with these????

I am truly at a loss about what to do with these! I have tried keeping student supplies in them...but as I talked about earlier...too much foot traffic and "sticky fingers". Right now they contain my misc junk. I am looking for ideas for these....ways to organize things or storage????? Shoot ideas to me! (I think I should paint or decorate them in some way too...what do you think??

(Sorta) Empty trays....what to do? what to do????

Also...thought I would share my newest crafty thing I made for my classroom door. I'm sure I stole this idea...but can't remember where (thinking Pinterest???) I tweaked it to my needs. We were asked last year to let the office know if we changed our schedule or where we were during the day in case of emergency or parent pick-up situations, etc. I am going to put this in a heavy duty (Lowes-type) protector and hang it on a plastic hook of my classroom door when we leave for somewhere. I will have my helper change the clothespin to the appropriate place on the schedule. I am thinking of making and laminating some sort of cute arrow to hot glue onto the clothes pin. What do you think????

Monday, June 25, 2012

To the classroom....

Hey gang! I'm headed off to my classroom for a couple of hours to get a little organizing done! I wanted to post a couple of before pics and ask for ideas or organizational ideas for my stuff :)  Luckily in this room there are lots of cabinets and drawers...I do have one area that I need particular help with. (I'm not sure I have a specific photo of it but I will take one today) There is a set of about 30 (i'm guessing) pull out plastic drawers that need to be used. I have used them in the past for individual student supplies (and extras)...but that seemed to draw unnecessary foot traffic and people getting into each others drawers (the plastic ones....not the ones under their pants...LOL....couldn't resist!) Currently they are holding dry erase board erasers and other general junk....very unorganized! I will attach a couple of room photos and get a specific "drawer" photo on here when I get home! Thanks for your help in this endeavor! I look forward to hearing your suggestions!

My Reading Corner
(just bought a new rug...not in area yet)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Pink Chair/Throne of Honor

My awesome hubby bought me a new chair for my classroom! It even swivels! I bought that cute new rug to go with it! My goal is to have enough beanbags for each child this year (I am 4 away!). I am going to test the waters and have a surprise subject of the day when we all sit in our beanbags/chairs for that lesson. Last year my class was a bit rowdy and it didn't happen...but I did incorporate 1 red beanbag as our "red throne of honor".  I told the kids that I would be watching them closely and I would chose 1 exemplary student to sit in the red throne of honor ALL DAY (the following day). They LOVED it! I would love to have class all day long from our beanbags! Tell me what you think!!

Pretty in Pink????

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Organizing Fool!

I'm pretty sure I have caught the "organizing bug"! I have a million and one (maybe two) things on my to-do list before school starts! I have just as many AWESOME ideas from Pinterest that are on my list.  I do not know where to begin! I want to start posting more ideas and pictures on here as well. I have been working on my main binder (Teacher Notebook). I saw an awesome blog about such notebooks today and added a few new tabs to mine. I have also spent the last night or two going through my old Teaching K-8 and Instructor magazines.  I am tearing out articles and putting them into categories: 1. Professional articles (to read), 2. Things other teachers I know might be able to use (lots of pull-out posters for the art teacher, medieval activities for the 6th gr SS teacher, Literature stuff for the 7th/8th Lit. teacher, etc.) 3. Subject area articles/activities, 4. Humorous cartoons, 5. and, of course, a miscellaneous pile :)   I figured that the multitude of magazines that I had should be put to good use in some way. At least now...there is hope that they will be utilized! I would love to hear your organizing strategies! Holla Back, girls! :)

My Teacher Notebook :)

My separate LP Book (kept inside my TN)

An idea I want to tweak for my room :)

A Bulletin Board Idea from one of the mags

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Quick Shout-Out :)

I just wanted to give my bud, Kerri, from Ms. Kerri's Krazy Kindergarten, a quick "good luck!" shout-out! Her wedding day is tomorrow and I wish her all the happiness in the world! Have fun in the keys...and when you get back from paradise and into less-fun reality...holler at me! Have a blast, guys deserve it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I'm linking up with Farley for her monthly currently linky party. Come check out the fun.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Next Year's Bulletin Boards

Hello! I recently acquired some new fabric that is just maaaavelous! I love to use fabric on my bulletin boards because it just looks better! I am also down the 7th/8th grade hall and those rascally pre-teens LOVE to pick at the paper (as well as write on it). I was hoping for some advice or suggestions for this wonderful new fabric. I like to leave the fabric up all year and change the themes. Can't wait to hear your ideas!