Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday - Off & Running!

The school year is off and running as I try to get the year off to a smooth start!  It's always a bit overwhelming and exhausting for the first few weeks, and this year is certainly no different.  It's time to take a few minutes, though, and have a little fun with Show & Tell!



I'm lucky to have so many family members who will help out and make things for my classroom.  One of my favorite and most useful family DIY's was the file box shelf project my husband and father-in-law tackled for me a couple years ago.  This summer I had several requests for instructions on how to make them.  So, I asked my husband to take one apart and show how to put it together again!  These are the materials you need to make one file box shelf:  some 1 x 10's, 1 x 4's, and 3/8 inch plywood.  The six cutouts are 10 x 4, which was perfect for the cardboard file boxes at IKEA that are so inexpensive.  I was not happy to discover this summer that they are now making them much smaller!  They wouldn't even fit a folder or notebook anymore.  So, I had to buy some of the more expensive file boxes, and my husband had to make the openings a little bigger.  I suggest you find the kind of file boxes you want to use first, and then make the openings large enough for them.




It saves time if you paint your boards first, and then cut them to the sizes you need.  Next, you need to attach the bottom of the shelf to each leg about 2 3/4 inches below the top of the leg board.  This is the gap that will allow the file box shelves to sit down below the top shelf.   



Once both legs are on, attach the sides of the shelf.  



Then you are ready to attach the top shelf with the cutouts.  


That's it!  I require my students to keep all their folders and notebooks in their file box which makes it so much faster to pull out their materials throughout the day!  My students love all the extra room it gives them in their desks, and I love that they are more organized! 




One of the reasons that I am so overwhelmed this year is the fact that I am once again teaching math. Our district adopted the Bridges math materials and wants us to spend an hour teaching the regular math lesson and twenty minutes teaching number corner every day.  There just wasn't a way that my teammate and I could make it work in our schedule.  I have always loved math, but the materials in this program require a lot of prep before every lesson.  But we are definitely enjoying the games and hands on activities!



If you are an expert at using Bridges and have some tips to make the transition easier, I'd love to hear them!


We also had some fun on Friday with Swat the Vocab before we took our first vocabulary quiz of the year!




Now here's what you need to know to link up and share your Show & Tells!

Linky Information:

1. This is a monthly linky.  The idea is to “Show” up to four pictures of things from school, home, etc. and “Tell” us all about them.  Created the most amazing bulletin board ever?  Show & Tell us about it!  Have the best seats at a Red Wings game, right next to the bench?  Show & Tell us about it!  Play the best game at a party with your class?  Have a pet that just got the worst haircut ever?  Show & Tell us about it!  Only have one thing to Show & Tell about?  Not a problem! 

2. Product promotion will be limited to one and only if you are introducing a brand new product or sharing pictures of how you just used a product in your classroom.  The focus should be on sharing, not pushing things to sell. 

3. Please choose one of your Show & Tell pictures as your image for the thumbnail and type your blog name to go below the picture. 

4.  Use the main Show & Tell Tuesday button and link back to my post.  Use the numbered Show & Tell buttons in your post to share your pictures.

5. Please leave comments on at least three other posts, including the ones before and after yours.  It’s always nice to get feedback from your blogging buddies! 




Monday, September 5, 2016

Classroom Reveal 2016!

I can't believe my last post was August 16!  I had all these grand plans of posts I would do about getting ready for the new year.  But then I walk in my classroom, and all plans go out the window!  I did two things this year which did save me a lot of time though.  One, I covered my bulletin boards from last year and reused all of them except one.  That saved me at least one whole day.  Two, I had several of my students from last year come in and help me arrange my library books and loads of other stuff.  They were a huge help!  Even so, I always find a thousand things that I need to do.  The time gets away from me and other things get pushed aside, like blog posts.  So, the first day of school is tomorrow, which is the perfect time for my classroom reveal!























Thanks for taking the tour!  I hope you have a wonderful school year!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday - Heading Back to School

I can't believe it's halfway through August already!  I need to get my mind in back to school mode.  I know many of you have already started school, so seeing your Show & Tell pics will help motivate me!



I finally got one of the things marked off my summer wish list!  It's been a while since I took the time to walk along the shores of Lake Michigan, and I won't let that much time go by again.  We were up north this past weekend with my parents and my brother's family.  We had to eat one last lunch at Scovie's in Charlevoix which apparently has the best burgers ever served on pretzel buns.  Since they aren't gluten free, I've never had one myself, but they do make an outstanding Northern Michigan chicken salad with cherries!  After lunch, my dad wanted to check out Mount McSauba park to look for some driftwood along the shoreline.  It was a little drizzly and we had to walk over a small sand dune, but it was worth it!  



We only found one good piece of driftwood, but it was a doozy!  I can't believe they got it back to the car and into the car which also had to drive all seven of us back to the cottage!



Wish I had more time to just hang out and listen to this...




I stopped by school yesterday just to get my before pics.  I'm heading in to work tomorrow.







Timm helped me out last week with my first back to school project!  I have never had an easel that has worked for me.  I have had three easels that my school has purchased for several hundred dollars each.  Two of them broke within the first few months, and one of them actually fell over and cut one of my student's head open!  So, I was very interested to come across this pin...


Tammy gives step-by-step instructions and a detailed materials list on how to create your own easel out of pvc pipe.  So, Timm and I headed to Menards.  It was cheaper to buy the pvc pipe in 10 foot sections, and we still managed to make them fit in my tiny Prius!


The materials cost only $35 all together!


It took "us" (I did pretty much nothing) a total of 90 minutes from start to finish!




The only thing that we did differently than what Tammy did is make the shelf between the two boards 22 inches instead of 28.  It just seemed a little wide to me.  I'm so excited to find a spot for it in my room!


One of the projects I wanted to finish this summer was my Historian's Club game that I have done for the past couple of years.  This is a game that the students play to learn the unit vocabulary.  I knew that many of my students were not spending the time studying at home, but we didn't really have much class time to devote to it either.  We discuss vocabulary words in the course of each lesson, but there isn't much extra time for just studying the vocab or playing games with them.  So, I created Historian's Club.  Historian's Club meets during lunch.  The kids bring in their lunches and play a game involving the vocabulary words for that unit.  



The kids seem to really enjoy it, and I have seen it make quite an impact on some of their vocabulary quiz scores!  Historian's Club became so popular, in fact, that I had to sometimes draw names to see who would be able to come, since I teach two sections of social studies.  

I finished putting together the materials for all of the fifth grade units.  You can use the same game board throughout the year, so it doesn't take much prep.  You can check it out at my TPT Store.


Now here's what you need to know to link up and share your Show & Tells!

Linky Information:

1. This is a monthly linky.  The idea is to “Show” up to four pictures of things from school, home, etc. and “Tell” us all about them.  Created the most amazing bulletin board ever?  Show & Tell us about it!  Have the best seats at a Red Wings game, right next to the bench?  Show & Tell us about it!  Play the best game at a party with your class?  Have a pet that just got the worst haircut ever?  Show & Tell us about it!  Only have one thing to Show & Tell about?  Not a problem! 

2. Product promotion will be limited to one and only if you are introducing a brand new product or sharing pictures of how you just used a product in your classroom.  The focus should be on sharing, not pushing things to sell. 

3. Please choose one of your Show & Tell pictures as your image for the thumbnail and type your blog name to go below the picture. 

4.  Use the main Show & Tell Tuesday button and link back to my post.  Use the numbered Show & Tell buttons in your post to share your pictures.

5. Please leave comments on at least three other posts, including the ones before and after yours.  It’s always nice to get feedback from your blogging buddies!