Monday, July 30, 2012

Homework and Made It Monday

Homework. I can't remember much of my childhood, but I do remember that I did not like homework! "Hurry, get it done as fast as possible so I can go play and watch TV" was definitely my motto. I know some of my students share the same sentiment and avoid homework like the plague. This year I've decided to keep better track of who doesn't turn in their homework. I just opened a TPT store, so you can visit me here to grab it. It's a freebie! Everything is more fun when you have a nice looking binder!

Honestly, though, the majority of my students do like homework.  And actually want MORE homework. Or the homework is too EASY.  I want to tell them enjoy the light, easy workload while you can!  It's just going to get harder!

But I always have parents ask me for more stuff, different packets.  And I've tried to give a variety of packets.  But usually I divide it into two groups - the normal and slightly more difficult.

Some weeks I'm on fire!  Everything is organized and I make the two sets of different packets. Other weeks, everybody just gets the same packet. So I thought this year I would just send home the work each day rather than the packet. But I then I have to think about homework assignments everyday, having the students put it in their binder and take it out.  More procedures to teach!

Last week I discovered a new to me blog - A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  I proceeded to stalk read almost all of her entries. Behold an answer to my problem! She has a separate special list of homework extension ideas.  So when a parent asks for more, you just have to give them this sheet.

Now imagine a big light shining down on my homework packet.  Because that's how I feel about this idea!

How do you handle homework?

I'm also linking up with Monday Made It with 4th Grade Frolics!

I decided to take my old, boring Big Lots bookcases and turn them into something a little more pretty.


Add spray paint + contact paper and this is what you get!

I'm headed off to the pool!  Only 2 more pool days until I have to go back to school and I need to make them count!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Classroom Theme

Wow, I can't believe I already have some followers on such a new blog! I'm glad I've decided to take the step and start one! I plan on visiting each of your blogs this afternoon to learn a little more about everyone.

School starts in two weeks for me, but I've been thinking of my new classroom since the end of June. I was in the same classroom for 4 years and then moved to a basement classroom with no windows last year. I am so HAPPY to be back in a room with windows this year and my new room overlooks the school garden and outdoor classroom! I am so excited!

Since it's a new to me room, I decided to go with a different theme. The last five years I've had a bumblebee theme and I was kinda over it. Plus people kept giving me more and more bumblebee was getting overwhelming! I had a garage sale last month and you should have seen the stuff - placemats, napkins, plates, dish towels, etc. It was really hard giving the leftover stuff that didn't sell to Goodwill, but I'm sure I made someone happy.

My new theme is Polka Dots! (Hence the name of the blog.) I've decided to stay with pink, green and black polka dots. The first thing I did was jazz up my desk. I had seen a desk covered by polka dot wrapping paper on Pinterest. I was afraid the paper would tear and a co-worker suggested contact paper. I couldn't find polka dot contact paper, so I did the next best thing.

Here's the desk before:

Don't mind the computer wires! Haha...those will be fixed before school starts!

And the after:

I love how a few laminated circles can make a desk look pretty.

I am SUPER excited about the next thing I made. We have these cubbies surrounding our TV.

This is actually the neatest my cubbies have ever been. One year I had a huge trophy sitting up there and it fell, narrowly missing a student! EEEK!

One of my co-workers made curtains for either side of the TV and it covered all of the not so fun looking boxes. I loved how it completely changed the look of her room and knew I had to borrow her idea.

I found the perfect polka pattern, used some hot glue and ribbons, and grabbed a rod from Big Lots.

Cute, right?

What's the theme in your classroom?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blog Hop

I saw this Cristina Bainbridge's site and thought it would be perfect for my first post!

1. What state are you in?

2.  What is your current teaching position?
I am a first grade teacher.

3. What is your teaching experience?
I've taught first grade for the past five years at the same school.  Before that I was a parapro for a year in a second grade class.

4. When did you start blogging?
Well, this is my first post! I've been reading teaching blogs since late 2010 and finally decided to start one of my own!

5. Share some blogging tips or a resource.
I always wondered how teachers made such fabulous lesson plans and finally found a tutorial on Amy Lemons' blog.  I started playing around with Power Point and it was so much easier than Word.

I can't wait to add some of the things I've made to this site!  Off to figure out how exactly to do that!