Tuesday, August 21, 2012

You all are awesome.

I received such an overwhelming response to my last post (in a good way!!). Thank you all SO much. I can't even begin to describe how great it is to have so much support from people I've never "met". I started to reply to all of your sweet comments and emails in a timely manner--and then we went out of town. And then school started--aahhh!! I am forcing myself to be on hiatus right now but will be back very SOON, I hope. To say this week has been nuts is an understatement--I almost didn't even have time (or energy!!!!!!) to celebrate my own birthday today!!! :O
I leave you with a few more classroom pics--I must finish before Thursday!!!!

Almost there--wish me luck!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rambling of a Baffled Blogger (straight from the heart)

Blog world is exhausting. Confusing. Frustrating. Madness. Incredibly competitive. Overwhelming. Baffling. Addictive. Never-ending. And yet a great and wonderful part of my life.

"In fashion, one day you're in and the next day--you're out."

Recognize that quote?? One of my favorite shows!! Lately, I feel as though this can apply to blogging as well--"In blogging, one day you're in and the next day--you're out." Maybe not as drastically and as quickly as in the fashion world, but still relevant.

I wanted to share some thoughts that have been weighing on me for a couple of weeks now, mainly because you all are a group that most likely will be able to understand them and maybe help me sort through it!

I've just been wondering when all of this blog craziness will end--not in the sense of going away, but I'm having a hard time imagining when my incessant need to blog and check your blogs will end. More and more blogs are popping up every day and SO many ideas are out there--I am having great difficulties keeping up anymore! And I feel that as more blogs appear and as more AWESOME ideas come about, the relationship between me and you all, the readers, will deteriorate. I say this because I feel as though a lot of you are so overwhelmed with checking all of your favorite blogs and pinning and what not that you are now just looking for the "stuff" that you can gain instead of spending time connecting, collaborating, and sharing. It feels like the only reason people stop by my blog anymore is to get something. (And if you are still reading at this point, thank you! :) ) Sometimes it feels as though people have stopped coming altogether! And I know this all may sound silly and petty, but it is honestly affecting me. I feel as though I am being used......but that's the very nature of the internet, right?? To acquire information?? I am very much a logical thinker and I totally understand the reality of this, but I cannot help but allow this feeling of turmoil inside of me to rear its ugly head. Lately, I am just feeling so disconnected from you, my readers. And there are a few of you that comment on almost every post and you ask questions and leave some wonderful feedback and validation--but it still doesn't feel right and I'm not sure what to do about it. Like I said, I feel like it will only get worse as time goes on due to more and more and more blogs being created every day. But that's not your fault! Again--turmoil!

I guess I just want to say that bloggers have the pressure of constant posting and keeping up with everything, alllll the time. We understand readers must be engaged in the first few seconds on our site or they're going to click on to the next site. That can be hard to keep up with! It's just nice to know that people appreciate what you do and "care" about you so it doesn't feel meaningless. Plus, it's just nice to hear from you!! No one wants to talk to a brick wall...What works in YOUR classroom, what did you think about that idea, Do you have anything to add onto that idea, etc...just a few examples of questions you can answer to help build a connection between you and the author.

And in other news (sorry for the relentless rambling), I LOATHE a certain weekly newsletter from a certain popular teacher-made product site that broadcasts the high earnings of teacher bloggers out there (and not just in the newsletter but on the site as well). LOATHE. I'm not envious of the tens of THOUSANDS that you all are making--I'm actually quite impressed--but I feel that it is inappropriate on so many levels (and I would still feel that way if I were on that list.) It also ignites this terrible feeling in my gut that tells me that I'll never be good enough to do that, because I haven't. I do find myself being envious of the time that most of you are able to dedicate to creating products and checking off all of the items on your "Pinterest-to-make" list because I am very passionate about products I create and the research behind them. But then I feel bad because if I am coveting more time then I am wishing that I spend less time with my husband and toddler--which is NOT true. The newsletters are a weekly reminder of this and leaves me feeling very unsettled and overwhelmed. Maybe I should just unsubscribe...

I don't vent much on here but I feel as though it needed to be put out there, however random it may be--anyone else have similar feelings?? Any thoughts on the matter??

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Classroom....so far!

Well, I'm trying out this BlogPress app I've had forever and have never used, so I hope it all posts smoothly. :)

Here are my classroom photos, as promised! I think that I have been making SO much progress, but whenever I look around the room, it still looks the same--does this happen to anyone else??! Anywho...

View from the entrance by the outside door. This is after I did all of my furniture moving. I was so excited because it was so clean and I thought I was near finished--yeah. Not so much.

Math stations under the Promethean board. Not ideal, but I think it will work and save some space! Also, my "labels to make" list.

Turn in baskets on this cool bookshelf/book display thing that was left in the room for me--this is right in front of my teacher area.

Sigh...I decided to clean out my filing cabinet by dumping everything out so I could sort through it. Worst. Idea. Ever.

Working on library labels in one of the two large group areas!

Word Wall!! I love those little letters! (I'll have to take a close-up for you tomorrow.)

My favorite thing so far--my Daily 5 management chart. Looooove how it turned out!!

My next favorite thing--my calendar area! It's obviously not finished. (By the way, this board is on the wall in the area where I was doing my library labels in one of the earlier photos.)

Job chart! This is right next to the outside door. This is what I started right before I left for the day. The leaves aren't stapled yet so that's why they look all funky. ;)

And this is my birthday board! I'm excited to get the kids' photos up there!

Tune in tomorrow to see MORE progress! :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 13, 2012

Classroom Update and Birthday Bouquet

I am totally loving all of this birthday stuff I've been seeing on blogs and Pinterest! It is so important to make sure your students feel valued and cared for, and what better way than to celebrate the day of their birth! After perusing birthday pins, I decided that one thing I would have is a birthday bucket:

I was going to make a cute little sign to attach to the straws but when I came across these birthday stickers I forgot I bought who knows when months ago, I decided to use those instead! When the students receive their straw, they can take the sticker off and wear it--who doesn't love stickers??!

I just taped the sticker on!

In other news, I have been working on my classroom for about a week now and I am FINALLY feeling like progress has been made. As soon as school let out at the end of May, I packed up my 4th grade classroom and, with the help of a few friends, successfully moved all of my junk over to my new 1st grade room in the next building! Here's my 4th grade room:

Goodbye, 4th grade!!! All that remains is the new 4th grade teacher's stuff...and the frogs that I just realized I left hanging from the ceiling--whoops! :)

The lady in 1st, whose place I am taking, retired, so while she was moving out she graciously allowed me to move my stuff in. That was a HUGE help because I only had friend help one day. That same day, a good 1st grade friend realized that she was moving (military husband) and brought over a ton of her stuff for me to have. The retiring teacher also left me a ton of stuff (including furniture!). Here is all of the madness!! Yikes!!!

Moving along--I had a little time to sort through some of the madness before we got kicked out for the summer. Holy moly--what a task.
Almost there! 
Done! Packed and ready for summer!!

So, what does it look like now after a week of working on it??? Well, you'll just have to come back tomorrow and see. ;)

I'm linking this post up to Tara's "Monday Made It!". To see more DIY projects, head over to her blog!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


My Teachers Notebook Back to School is underway! It ends on the 13th so you still have plenty of time to S-H-O-P!
Also, I'll be joining the TPT Back to School Sale! The sale is from the 12th-13th--again, plenty of time, right?? ;) And don't forget to take advantage of the promo code!!

Here are some of MY favorite products and new products you can pick up at either store. Happy shopping! :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back to School BONANZA and a New Product

The Back to School Bonanza at Teachers Notebook kicks off tomorrow! Read below for more info--if you need more than that, click on the picture to head over there and read further.
What an AMAZING opportunity for all involved!! I hope you noticed that the goal is to give away $10,000 to educators! Be sure to stop by the site and enter to win! (By the way, I am SUCH a huge fan of TN--the couple that runs it are two of the most wonderful people in the world with great big hearts for educators!)

As part of the event, I am hosting a giveaway for one of my items. 3 people will get the chance to win a copy of the Math Station MEGA Pack for K-2. Click to enter.
While you are at Teachers Notebook, check out the Welcome Back pack I made for my little first graders! 

AND since you came over, the first 5 people to comment will score a free copy of the activity pack! Note that I made it for 1st graders, so if you can't use it you may not want to comment...or you may...whatev. ;)

AAAANNNNNDDD, also in support of the Back to School Bonanza, I will be having sale from August 11-13!!! Be sure to stop by and check it out! :)

Whew, what a post!!! Buenos Noches!!! :)