Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Polished Teacher's Alphapalooza!

I just wanted to hop on tonight to remind you about The Polished Teacher's AAAAHHHH-MAAAAA-ZING Giveaway!!  26 days of giveaways!!  Wowza!!


      I'm featured on Day 2 so don't forget to backtrack and enter all the chances you get for these amazing prizes!!

Good luck!

Till next time!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tech Tuesday - Group Maker {AND a FREEBIE!}

      Happy Tuesday!  It's my last Tuesday before I have to start back for pre-planning!  :(     This summer has passed by sooooo quickly.

      I wanted to share an app I found that can help you quickly and randomly group your students.  Sometimes, you just need to break up into groups for various reasons - they need to be grouped heterogeneously.  This little app called GroupMaker will do that for you very quickly!

      I'm going to attempt to walk you through setting it up.  :)


This is what the app icon looks like.  Once you click on the app, it will guide you to name your class.  You can have multiple classes loaded into the app.  Once you name your class or classes, you will come to a screen that looks like this:

      The Edit button at the top left gives you the option to delete the class.  The New button is where you can add additional classes.  

      I just need one class so I would just touch my class.  That leads me to the next screen where you start adding in your students.  

      When you touch Add Member+, it asks for first name and last name so it's up to you if you add the last name.  I wanted them sorted alphabetically by last name so I just put the last initial.  This app gives you the option of adding the gender and race of each student.  You just click on the little arrow by each student's name.  
BTW, Tiger is my D-O-G!  

        If you choose to do that and it's complete, the next step is to group your students!  Whoo-Hoo!!  This app allows you to group from 1 up to 20!  (I'm not sure why you would need the setting for a group of one, but hey...who am I to argue?!)

      As you can see from the pic above, I grouped my class into groups of 4.  In order to change the number in each group, all you need to do is slide the little slider up at the top.  As you can see, this is where you can also account for gender and race.  I'm not sure why you would need the sort randomly toggle because if it's off, it's already sorting randomly.  As for the miscellaneous toggle, I have no idea.  On the screen where you put the race and gender, there is a place for miscellaneous, but I'm not sure how to use it!  If you figure it out, let me know!!!

      All in all, this is a cool, little app for the times when you need to group students quickly and randomly.  It is a little time consuming inputting all the information in, but this is the time of the year when we have to put their names on and in everything, so what's one more thing?

      Try this app out and let me know what you think!

Oh, I almost forgot...I have a little freebie for you.  Pennants/buntings are all the rage so I whipped up a get to know you pennant for my class.  Each kiddo will complete it and decorate it and I will display it for a great back to school display.  Enjoy!!

Till next time...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tech Tuesday - Remind 101

      Ok, am I the O-N-L-Y one who didn't know about Remind 101. I saw a pin from Mrs. Stanford and knew that I needed to learn more!!  I am so excited to use this great communication tool with my upcoming class! I am so excited, I even made my hubby sign up just so that I could try it out!!  LOL!!

This is the app icon.  :)

      There is an app as well as a website and it is SO easy to set it up regardless of what platform you use.

      First things, first.  You must set up an account and then you add your class name.  A teacher that has multiple classes can set up to 10 classes.  I thought this was great for middle and high school teachers who have lots of classes.  It would also be great for those elementary grade levels that departmentalize.

      Next you invite your parents/students to subscribe.  If they text the code, they will receive their updates via text.  If they email the code, they receive their updates via email.

      Oh, and this is a one-way communication.  It is only for reminders, announcements, etc.  Parents/students cannot text you back through this medium.  So, your number stays private and others' numbers are not published!

      Remind 101 provides you will a flyer to share with your parents so that they can subscribe either by email or text.  It is seriously so easy to set this up!  

      Once a parent/student subscribes, they will see a text or email that looks like this:

This is the where I got my hubby involved!

      Once he sent his name, the web and app both updated listing him as a subscriber.  It automatically adds them to the subscriber list.  I didn't have to do anything in that regard.

I, then, sent him a test email and he received it very quickly!  Love this!!

      You'll notice on the pic above that my username is @rhar.  I did not like that!  On the help menu on the website, there is a step by step way that you can fix that so I just  followed those simple directions and got it the way I wanted!  :)  [The first class that you create, they will automatically set up your username.  You just have to create a new class with the username of your choice.  Then, you can delete the other class if you want.]

      I have this app already sitting in my teacher folder ready to go for the new year!!

      Hope this little tutorial/review helps.  I know I am excited about it!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Smorgasbord

      It is Sunday, and the end is drawing closer!  I have two full weeks until I have to go back. {Insert SAD face here!}

      I usually have my room pretty much set up by this point because I go in and piddle and plan how I want things.  BUT, this year our principal would not let us go back until July 15th.  THEN, we get an email that said we can't get in until tomorrow.  I'm a little, no A LOT freaked out!  They say we will be pleased with the level of cleanliness and I can't argue with that, but freaking out here in central GA has commenced!!  LOL!!

      I'm also linking up with Michelle at Fabulous in First for her Sunday Smorgasbord.  This is such a fun linky because I have been all kinds of random this week.  Well, it seems like every week in the summer!


      My week started out kinda yucky because I was in a 3 day workshop.  We had reps from different school's within our district.  We had to create our district's Student Learning Objective (SLO) assessments.  This was some hard-core work.  The state department rep was there.  We had a 5 page checklist that we had to complete in order to be checked out on Wednesday!  It was all kinds of CRAY!!  I know you hate that I didn't get any pictures of this awesome adventure, but you know...We had to sign a confidentiality agreement so I didn't want to get in trouble!!

      I also discovered that I must have been living under a ROCK because I had never heard of the fabulous app/website called Remind 101.

      Why, oh why, did I not know about this?  This app allows you to communicate quickly with your parents.   I have a review coming up this Tuesday so stay tuned!  I seriously think it is going to change how I, and maybe you ;) communicate with your parents!

      My next big thing this week is that I bought one of those great home laminators!  I saw on Instagram where I Love My Classroom found one at Walgreen's on clearance so I raced to Walgreen's only to find that my store did not have them on clearance.  I didn't realize they were only 30 bucks in the first place so I snatched it up even though it wasn't on clearance.  I really love it and I've only had it for a few days!!

Laminator L-O-V-E

      Now, head over to Fabulous in First to see what other randomness happened this week!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Classroom Catalog of Good Behavior

Hi y'all!

      I've had several people ask me about my classroom management system so I'm here today to explain what I do. :)

      I know so many of you use the clip chart, but for me, I don't think I could keep up with it.  I love the idea of the clip chart and maybe one day, but for now, I'm sticking with what works for me!  Kudos to all of you that can keep up with it, but man, it's enough to keep up with just this!

      So, I have this wooden clip stand.  The best pic I can find on this computer is this one...and it's from 3 years ago!!!

       At the top is a green circle, in the middle is a yellow circle, and at the bottom is a red circle.  As you can see, the red is at the bottom and you can't see the green at the top.  Sorry...that's the best I could do...


      All the clips are clipped to the green at the start of each day.  If they have an infraction, they move down a level to yellow.  If they have another infraction, they move to red.

      At any time, they may work themselves back up a level.  Each level is represented by a number.

Green = 5
Yellow = 4
Red = 3

      At our school, they are given a spiral bound agenda.  I write the number that they earned each day in the agenda and I expect my parents to initial each night.  That way, the parents are always aware of how each day went for their student.  If they have a number less than a 5, I always jot a little note telling the parents what the issues were.  This also gives me a chance to write a little good note too :)!

      At the end of the week, I tally up their points that they have earned for the week and based on the points, they get to pick out of my Classroom Catalog of Good Behavior!!!  They absolutely LOVE this!! 

      I am pretty strict with the points so they really strive to keep their five for each day.  It usually just takes one time to miss out on catalog orders and they are right back on track!!

      This little catalog has been a great classroom management lifesaver, as well as a teacher budget saver. No longer am I purchasing lots and lots of items for my treasure box because my students are choosing rewards that don't cost me a single penny! 

      I just print out the pages I need, place in sheet protectors, and then place in a binder.  That way, they can browse through like a real catalog!     

  Now, that's what I call AWESOME!!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I'm finally getting to participate in Cara's Throwback Thursday linky! I have enjoyed reading everyone's and decided it was time to link up my own!


      I'm linking up this post from last year for Monday Made-It.  It's my version of the Where Am I? board that is all over Pinterest.  When students leave the room, the students move their magnets that have their magic number on it.  (The magic number is what I call the number I give them for my organizational purposes!)

      Since I've been using this board, I know where all my students are at all times!  I know, I know, we're supposed to always know that anyway, but there are times before when I was like, "Now, where did I send them?"  Please, please tell me I am not alone!!

      Anywho, I have included a little FREEBIE to go along with this post so you can make your own board!  There are a few different color combinations for you!

Till next time...
Monday, July 8, 2013

It's Monday! And I'm in a Workshop...

      Isn't it funny how in the summer we are so excited for Monday because of Monday Made-Its, but during the school year, we are all, "YUCK, it's Monday!"  LOL!!!  Summer is such a different frame of mind!!

      Anyway...I'm here to share my Monday Made-It.

      This has been on my to-do list all summer long, but finally got around to getting my supplies!

      I've put together a short tutorial for you in case you'd like to make your own ribbon wreath!  First, gather all your supplies.

      You'll need:

  • 7 rolls of ribbon (about 4 yards of each color)
    This can be adjusted to fit your needs.  I used 4 solid colors and 3 prints.
  • straight pins
  • a styrofoam wreath form


      Next, cut the ribbon into 3 inch lengths.  I originally cut the ribbon longer, but I didn't like how the loops were big.  I feel like I would have ended up using way more ribbon had I kept it like that.


      Once your ribbon is cut, you are ready to start placing the ribbon on the wreath.  Loop the ribbon over and insert the pin through the ribbon.  Then, insert the pin into the wreath form.


      Now, I've seen other tutorials where they place all of the same color, and then filled in with the next color, and so on.  I TRIED that and I could not focus on that.

      This is what I did instead:  I lined my ribbon up like in the picture a couple up and I placed a ribbon in a pattern working from whichever side needed that color.  


                                     Just keep looping...  Just keep looping...  Just keep looping!


                                                                 Almost DONE!!


And, it's DONE!!  

I haven't quite decided how I want to hang it so for now, I just hung it with some sheer ribbon.  I'm thinking about a strip of tulle.

What would you do?

                                              Now go link up with 4th Grade Frolics!

Till next time...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted {7/7}

      It's Sunday already?!?!  I'm just sayin' this summer needs to S-L-O-W down!!  Another week has passed and the south is completely waterlogged...and not in a good way.  It has rained every.  single.  day.  And, a lot of rain, not just a sprinkle here or there!

      Since it's Sunday, it's time to link up with Latoya at Flying into First for Let's Get Acquainted!
                                                             My Favorite Teacher

      I had many great teachers along the way, but my most favorite teacher of all was Mrs. Wilson, my 2nd grade teacher.  I just remember that she was just the sweetest person ever.  It has been so long ago that I don't really remember anything too specific, no details of lessons, or field trips.  What I do remember is that she made me feel special and loved and that I could do anything and be anything.  She was just the sweetest person ever!  Wait!  Didn't I say that already?  You get the point though!  

      I guess that's where this saying comes from:


      Mrs. Wilson taught me to teach with my heart and to love the kids in my classroom, and I am thankful that I had her in my life!
That's me in the second row, second person from the left!

Head over to Flying Into First to tell us about your favorite teacher!

Till next time...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Currently...It's Monday Made-It {July 1}

      Two of my most favorite linkys happen today!

Farley's Currently ANNNDDDD, it's time for Tara's Monday Made-It!!

First up-----July's Currently!

      Currently, I'm listening to Duck Dynasty.  Who doesn't love that show?!  It just makes you Happy, Happy, Happy to see such a fun family!

      I'm loving summer, but man!  It needs to seriously SLOW down!!  I mean, come on!  It's July already!  It seems like I was just doing Roller Chair Races for the end of post-planning just yesterday!  

      I am seriously longing for the beach, but it will have to wait!  We aren't going for another couple of weeks!  {Big sigh, right there!}

      Last night I did need to go to bed, but what was I doing?  Creating my Currently instead.  

      In this whole blogging experience, you should always make sure you are having fun and definitely be yourself!!  If you're not doing either of those, you won't enjoy it like you should and it will become a chore!

      Now, onto Monday Made-It!  


Monday Made-it #1:

      I've been wanting to do some dabbling in creating things for my classroom using QR codes sooooo.... this week, I made some an awesome little set that I plan on letting them use during math centers.  They are for addition within 100 with no regrouping!  They can be used in some many different ways!  Love them and I think my students will absolutely love these!!  If you would like them for free, be the first 3 to comment!! :)

Monday Made-It #2:

      Ok, so I found this great magnetic board last week.  I didn't get it and it has been on my mind ever since.  So, today, back to TJMax!  I think it is great!  The finish is kind of a turquoise that has been roughed up a bit.  Shabby chic love!  

      This beauty didn't come with any magnets and I've been wanting to make these glass blob magnets.  This was the perfect time!  I had some cute scrapbook paper and some peel and stick magnets.  I stuck the magnet on the scrapbook paper and cut around it.  Then, I placed a dab of hot glue on the the scrapbook paper side of the magnet and stuck the glass blob right on top, pressed down, and Voila!  A cute little magnet for my new board.  I can't wait to hang it in my classroom!

Just noticed I need to trim up that chevron one!  Ha!

Head over to Farley and Tara's to check out their awesome linkys!

Till next time...

Sunday Funday - {Let's Get Acquainted - June 30th}

So, who else is excited that LaToya's linky, Let's Get Acquainted, is back?  I have missed it!

I think this is one of my favorites too!

      I'm going to do the first column.  

      I went to West Georgia College way back when.  Now, the school has a new name and a new mascot.  They are now the University of West Georgia.  I tried really hard to find an old logo, but no deal, so here is a new one.  

      I absolutely loved college life and it's so hard to pick a favorite memory, but since I have to pick...  In my sorority (Kappa Delta) we were having a "Cops and Robbers" social with another fraternity.  One of my sisters and I wanted to be convicts so we marched ourselves to the local jail, met with the sheriff, and walked out with TWO prisoner uniforms!!  We were the HIT of the party!  No one could believe that we actually went to the sheriff's department!  Fun times!! 

Ok, so don't look at the date!  I know I'm O-L-D!!

      Share about my first year...Wowza!  It was a doozy!  I was in 2nd grade, which is great, buuutttttt, I was 2 weeks in and had to completely move rooms - - - - in one day!!!  Can you say stressed??  Of course, some of you I read have had to move grades!  EEEEKKKK!!!  
      Anyway, the group I had was a zoo!  And, on Nov. 18th, it became even more of a zoo!  A little boy walked in my class and changed it forever!  My closet door was kicked in, he threw things, he hit others, you name it, he did it!  The next year, he became self-contained EBD, but we both made it through, but I swore that if I ever had a boy, he would NOT be named this boy's name!!!  

      Ok, so I only have experience in the lower grades, but my favorite by a long shot is 2nd.  There is something about them that I just absolutely love.  They can be independent, but at the same time, they still love their teacher and want to please them.  I love the curriculum and that we are still able to have fun along the way!!

      I told you it was a great linky!  Now link up with Latoya and join in!  LaToya asks that you read the post from the person before you and after you in the linky and show them some love by commenting, following, or giving them a shout out etc.

Till next time...

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