Sunday, August 22, 2010

Handsome Helpers

This week was my first full week back to school. Needless to say I was (and still am) EXHAUSTED. I went to bed each night no later than 9:30. Many things were neglected this week around the house, so today I have been working hard to get everything back in order. I will get it all done by the end of the day and hopefully I can sleep well tonight knowing my house is somewhat clean. (Just don't look behind things, under things or on top of things!)

Friday night we went to our usual Friday night Mexican spot for dinner and then I went with some girlfriends to a local consignment sale. I got some cute stuff for the boy and a few things for my classroom after waiting in line for close to an hour to pay. I enjoyed it though and it made me excited for our MOPS group consignment sale that is coming up next month (on my birthday!)

Stuart starts his new job tomorrow so yesterday we went outlet shopping! He has worn the same thing to work, everyday for the past 7 years. He was excited to buy new clothes so the three of us went to the new outlet mall in Cincinnati. I was impressed and LOVED that they had a LOFT outlet. We hit up a few of our favorites, did some small damage at Banana Republic among a few others and we were in and out in two and a half hours. I got some really cute things for fall and Stuart will be quite the sharp looking employee at the new office!

Last night I spent the evening with some girlfriends from college. My friend Alison had a girl's night/sleepover at her house. Everyone brought yummy treats and we ate, chatted and enjoyed the night. It was great to see everyone I loved the girly adult conversations we shared! (thanks ladies!)

So today, like I said I have been cleaning this house! I spent a while in Clark's room this morning going through tubs of clothes. I put away stuff he has outgrown, pulled out stuff I have been buying for fall to assess what is still needed and what I need to stop buying (jackets- the kid might have a different jacket for everyday of fall!). While I was in there I decided it was time to get rid of the changing table! He is getting to big to hoist up there and I have been dying to decorate his dresser with something other than diapers, so I got rid of the changing pad. I spent WAYYYY to long arranging and rearranging primary colored nick-knacks on his dressers until I was finally satisfied with the outcome. It is starting to look too much like a big boy room in there!

I have dusted the entire house, windexed, cloroxed, Mr. Cleaned, mopped and vacuumed. However, I might have had a little help in that area!!

This guy was saying a whole lot of "Mommy, I hep you?".

Look at my HANDSOME HELPERS hard at work.

Just admiring his work!
(I know buddy, those lines on the carpet make mommy so happy too! )


Sunday, August 15, 2010


10 years ago DVDs were in and VHS was on its way out, cell phones were becoming smaller and people I knew actually had them. Our television screens were plastered with pictures of a little boy named Elian Gonzalez. We all learned the term "hanging chad" and sang along with Sisqo and The Thong Song (don't lie, you know the words!). On t.v. Survivor was on its way in and Friends was on the way out. Britney Spears, Limp Bizkit, Eminem and DMX were ruling the radio. It was the year of the Y2K scare- but we all survived. It was also the year THIS GIRL graduated from high school!

So this weekend The AHS class of 2000 celebrated. The turnout was not high, but it seemed a good time was had by all. I do not live in the town were I grew up any longer, so it is always fun to go home and see old friends. Some people came from far away and many people had not changed one bit. We talked about high school days and adult responsibilities. We bragged about our kids and shared funny stories. There was dancing, chatting, drinking and laughing. We stayed until they shut the place down, the dj packed up and the bartender announced last call. I must say I had a little anxiety about the whole idea of seeing people that I had not talked to in such a long time, but many of them it was like I had seen them yesterday. I enjoyed it and hope that I get to attend the next one.

Of course I was that girl with the camera in everyone's face trying to document the night. So enjoy these pictures of The Class of 2000 reuniting!

Looks like a few guys jumped in for the photo!

The A TEAM- Alison, Abby & Amy

J.C. posing with the A.

I enjoyed having people pose with the A.

These two were fantastic sports all weekend!

Emily and the bartender! ha!!

Hil just checking out B.Sloan's new tats! :)

The Snyders

The Greys

It was great to see all these lovely ladies.

These guys did a WHOLE lot of this!

AHS Class of 2000's newly engaged couple!

There was a little dancing.

Sorry Al! I had to. THIS IS CLASSIC!

Group pic of Class of 2000.

If you were not there, you were missed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tour of Room 201!

If you have been reading this blog you know that I am participating in Teacher Week over on one of my favorite blogs; Babbling Abby. I have been sharing all kinds of things about me as a teacher and my classroom. This blog is usually filled with pictures of a seriously cute little boy, but I have school on the brain since I started school this week and the last few weeks I have spent at school working on my classroom.
So, today I am going to give you a tour of where I spend my days- everyday from mid August to early June. My goal is to make my classroom an inviting place that the kids and I want to come to everyday. I try to make it comfortable, functional, organized and fun. I use a lot of lamps, pictures and other things to give my classroom a homelike feel. I pride myself on my book collection and my classroom library is one of my favorite parts of the room. It is always the first section of the room I work on and I am always adding to it. This year I have a student teacher and a co-op high school student so I needed to come up with places for them too. It is only day 3 and the room arrangement will most likely change at least a few times, but for now here is what I have done.

WELCOME to my classroom!!

This is the hallway outside my room.

My display has all my student's names on it. It is my favorite back to school display that I have done so far. Every year I have done something new. This one took the most time, and I am pretty pleased with the outcome. The kids seem to love it too! I might leave it up all year!

The view from the door.
Yes, notice the BEAUTIFUL hardwood floors. Our building is 85+ years old and I LOVE the floors.

This is the desk I made for my student teacher. She is WONDERFUL and I am so glad to have her this year. She is going to be a great asset to my classroom. She is a natural.

My student computer station.
The bulletin board shown will become my Science & Social Studies word wall once I begin with my first unit for each. Right now I just added this positive message. I use this at the end of the year during testing too when I have to take the word wall down.

Next to the computers is my classroom library. MY FAVORITE.

I have my books organized in baskets on the shelves by genre. The books on the spin rack (which I got a a bookstore that was going out of business for $10.00- score!) are organized by author.

This is a new addition this year. I picked up this tee pee at a yard sale this summer for $2.00.
It is going to be a fun place for my kiddos to read in as a reward. They already love it.

One of my bookcases. I got the baskets from the dollar store and the tags from Really Good Stuff.

Another bookcase in the library, my palm tree and my rocking chair.

This is a view of the room from my desk.
The yellow bulletin board will be for my calendar, class rules and birthdays.
The table under the yellow board is my kidney table for small group instruction.

My SMARTBOARD. Love this tool! I use it everyday.
On one side is my daily agenda and the other is a white board for my daily outcomes.

My share chair. I LOVE this and wish I could say I was talented enough to have done this myself, however I had a TA from our local college in my room one year and she did it for me! She is going to do my rocking chair and my stool next. This is where my students sit to share their writing.

A view of that corner of the room.
The red board will display quality student work.

This is the opposite corner and it is my desk area.
I do not spend much time here during the day, unless I am using my document camera. It is located here. I use it EVERYDAY, ALL DAY. I love it. It makes my life so much easier. I also use the divided shelf behind my desk to sort papers and lesson plans for the week. I make all my copies and have them filed and ready for the week. The baskets on top have things like papers that need to be graded, things I am working on and stuff like that. I try really hard to keep my desk cleaned off. I get awfully worked up if my area is a mess. :)

Another view from my desk.


This is my CLOSET.
Yes, my very own closet attached to my room!!
You may have noticed the yellow doors in the back of the room, well those are the doors to THIS!
Many people covet my storage space. I use every inch of it. I keep all kinds of things in it and keep it full. I have been in this room the last 3 years and I have worked very hard to get it organized. It was a HOT mess when I came to it and it is getting there. It is hard to get a good shot to do it justice, but take my word for it. It is DIVINE!! I have a shelf for each subject (labeled- of course) and it houses my supplies, extra books, even a filing cabinet and rolling cart! LOVE.

So, I hope you enjoyed the tour! I loved sharing my pictures. Now, it is 11:45 and I have school tomorrow so I am off to bed. Enjoy the pictures and let me know what you think. I LOVE your comments and ideas!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 2: Teacher Must Haves

Today is DAY 2 over on Babbling Abby's Teacher Week. I am having so much fun connecting with other teachers, getting ideas and just knowing that there are so many people like me out there!ha!

Today was my first day of school!!! My kiddos were great for the most part. I have 22 and I am excited for a GREAT year. However, I am W-O-R-N O-U-T. I cannot guarantee how great this post will be due to the fact that my brain is mush. I can say I know all 22 names and spellings, but I am not sure I know mine right about now!

So here is a list of some of things I would call my MUST HAVES and cool things I have found along the way:

LOVE these magnetic shelves!

They stick directly to my whiteboard and I can display all kinds of things. Here is what I used them for today. I got them from Lakeshore last year $20.00 for 3! I heart them.

Speaking of magnetic, I also love these magnetic whiteboard erasers. They are super cheap from School Speciality and I will admit I bought 10 to start the year with. I think it is super great that I can always find them- It does not take much to make me happy!! :)

NOW- This should be TOP on my list. This is my document camera and I use it all day long. I am really not sure how I got along so long without it. I can display everything I want on it at a minutes notice. I do not use an overhead and do not even have one in my room any longer. I love that I can demonstrate anything under it large enough for all my students to see. I can work problems for them on the same page they are doing and so much more. Words cannot explain how much a rely on this thing. Worth EVERY penny!!

Another must have is my mounted projector. I use it all day too. I love that I can project my computer, document camera, TV, VCR, & DVD player all using this. I have become so spoiled with all my gadgets that it would be hard to go without. I am pretty sure all classrooms in our building have these now. I wrote an essay to our PTO and won mine a few years ago, and they have worked so hard to provide them for all of us!!

MY GLUE GUN!! I use this every year to hang up everything in my classroom. Anything laminated gets "glue gunned". Our building is OLD and the walls are concrete and have been painted hundreds of times. I have found nothing else that holds as well. This guy is a little worn out from all the work it has been doing over the last few weeks!ha!

A handsome husband that will come in the day before school and help sharpen pencils is definitely a MUST HAVE in my book!! Thanks Mr. Snyder! :)

My SMARTBOARD! Again, this is another bit of technology that makes life so much easier and so much fun! The possibilities are endless with this guy!

ANYTHING from Really Good Stuff. I love that catalog and get excited when I get a new one in the mail. I use this Bingo behavior board SOOOOO much. I got it last year and it proved to be a great incentive for my kids. If I catch them doing anything good I have them sign it. At the end of the day everyday I draw bingo. If I draw your square you get to pick from the prize board. THEY LOVE IT and so do I. This is just one of my loves from RGS. If you do not know about this catalog please introduce yourself soon and thank me later!!

I am sure I could come up with many more, but I have a toddler to put to bed, student information forms to file, a classroom blog to update and 4,800 emails to follow up on, but my show Pretty Little Liars is on and I must go watch teen text messaging drama on ABC Family!! :)

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