Tuesday, July 24, 2012

There is Light at the End of this Tunnel!

Hi Everyone!  Last week, I thoroughly enjoyed what was left of my very short vacation (4 measly weeks).  Let's see:

1) I took my children fishing.  They caught 8 rainbow trout!  We cooked half of them up for dinner that same night, and they were delicious.  I shared a pic on my Facebook page of my precious boy catching his very first fish!

2) Spent lazy days at  Hotel del Coronado's beach reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  

Such a moving story and beautifully written.  I highly recommend it.

3) Went to San Juan Capistrano for my hubbie's birthday.  "Happy Birthday, Honey!"  Every time we visit, my husband makes a big deal about the "Los Rios" district, even though there is no relation to us. It is really pretty though. 

So, do I feel 100% ready to go back to school?  Well,....no.....no way .....absolutely not!  But, since my principal has been nice enough to let me go camping during our "official" prep days, I am making up those days today and tomorrow.

And....some of you might remember that last time I mentioned working in my room, I was very displeased with the colors of my bulletin board paper.  I debated taking it down, but my daughter convinced me to sleep on it, in case it "grew on me" later.  Well, I am so happy to report that after 3 days of working to finish my bulletin boards...."I love it!"  Who knew an 11-year old could be so wise?  Thanks, sweetie!  The colors, now that I have them on all of the walls, really look nice together.  The room feels cool, calming, and fresh.

Ok, so I took some pictures of the progress.  I really only have started working on the first half of my room.  It still needs all the accessorizing, since I have removed every scrap of clutter.  I hate clutter!  Every piece will need to earn its way back into that space!

The first project that I worked on was a bit of an exercise in "problem solving."  I have kind of accepted that I am a "grin and bear it" type person. Sometimes, I will just live with minor annoyances instead of looking for a better way, especially when I get head deep into the school year.  Well, one of those annoyances had to do with our new math series' student math bags. Super cute?  Yes!  Efficient and practical?  Not so much.  Last year, every time we needed a math manipulative, the students would have to go to their bags and remove the item we needed.  They were pretty good at it, but I knew there had to be a better way.  Here is the before:

I know what you're thinking.  The solution is so obvious.  But, I told you...."bigger fish to fry."  So, here is what I spent my day doing (after I finished all my bulletin boards).

Much better!  I now have all my math manipulatives individually packaged for each child, ready to distribute in a flash.  All my clocks in one bin.  Coins and bills in another.  Also, notice the 9 empty cubbies behind the bins.  I am very excited to free up some more space for storage.  Storage for what, you ask? Well, I haven't figured that out yet.  But, I will.  

Anyway, all those pretty lime-green bins go here now.  Right in the front of the room....where I teach from.  Aahhhh!  

Do you like it?  I think it will really cut down on our transition times during math.  It is very efficient and practical.  This shelf made by "ClosetMaid" was on sale at my Target for $34.99.  The little cloth bins were around $5 on sale. It was worth every penny.

Ok, so as for the rest of my room, here are the before and after pics to-date.

BEFORE -  Ugghh!

AFTER - Happy!

BEFORE - Not Happy.

AFTER - Tidy!

I still have a lot of work to do tomorrow.  So, I will keep you posted on the room. 

Finally, I did want to share another "find".  These adorable little seat covers were in the dollar bin at Target.  I think I will use them to recognize two students each week for academic achievement or citizenship.  What would you use these for?

Alright,  I have to get ready to go back and tackle the rest of that room.  Have a great day.



  1. WOW! I'll have to keep an eye out for those Star Student pouches in the dollar bin! I highlight a random student (alternating between boy and girl) each week in the beginning of school. They take home a poster over the weekend and share it during Morning Meeting on Monday. I'd love to use it on their seat throughout the week!

    I LOVE those Cube-ical organizers from Target. Usually they're a little pricey for me... But I LVOE the way they look! Awesome job!

    1. Those chair covers would be a perfect addition to what your are already doing in your classroom. I hope you find them soon.

      Just an FYI - The cloth cubes that I purchased were from ClosetMaid. But Target did have some of their own for $2.50 in the dollar bin areas. They are not as sturdy and you don't have a lot of choices as far as colors are concerned. But, hey! The price is right.


  2. I nominated you!! Come check it out!




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