Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where Do You Cool Off in Alaska?

Per usual, I was perusing blogs the other night as I was trying to "sleep".  Some time in the wee hours of the morning, I found myself more than a little amused when I came across a post about "Alaska" on the One Extra Degree blog.  Then, as I later ventured on to Pinterest, I saw several other bloggers who have also created "Alaska" in their classrooms too.  I think the idea of sending the kiddos to "Alaska" to cool off is ingenious!

  I too, have been working on a place in my classroom where the kids can go to cool off. I would love to borrow the idea, but there's one slight problem...we actually live in Alaska.  As witnessed by the picture I've posted (which was taken in late June) of the kids and I, Alaska really is a great place to cool off even in the dog days of summer.  So my friends, my question to you is: Where should kids in Alaska go to cool off?  I'm thinking they just may need to go somewhere warm and tropical, where they can sunbathe their troubles away.  What do you think?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop

I've decided it would be fun to join the Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop, hosted by Janis at Grade Three is the Place For Me.  It's a quick and easy one and I thought it would be fun to link up.  Here are the questions that need to be answered:

    1.  what state you are in

    2.  your current teaching position
    3.  your teaching experience
    4.  when you started blogging
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging  

    1.  I live in Alaska, the 49th state

    2.  I teach third grade 
    3.  This will be my second year officially teaching
    4.  I began a family blog when we first moved Alaska five   
         years ago, but I have only had my teacher blog for less 
         than a month.
    5.  I have learned the hard way that even though it would be 
         so super satisfying to do all my blog designing on my own, 
         sometimes it's just easier to pay a "professional".  

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Zen Moment

Once again, I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics, for Monday Made It.  I have to say, I think this week's Pinterest inspired creation is my favorite so far.  Last year, I had a handful of kiddos who needed a little extra TLC in the behavior department, if you know what I mean.  With that in mind as I go into the new school year, I decided that we could all use a little more zen in our lives this year.  When I saw these cool time-out bottles on Pinterest, I knew I had to make a few for my classroom.  So, without further ado, here is my made-it for the week:
After Shaking
After Shaking
These fabulous time-out bottles were super simple to make!  I just filled up the bottles 3/4 of the way with hot tap water.  I then added a bottle of colored glitter glue and a small container of ultra fine glitter to each bottle.  The customization came next, compliments of clear gel glue.  I added the glue to slow down the speed at which the glitter falls.  Once I got everything just right, the caps were super glued on and the project was complete!  I don't know how much easier they could have been to make.

I figure regardless of what grade you teach or how fast-paced things are in the classroom, there is no doubt that somebody will need a little re-grouping at some point in time.  I don't have an exact plan for the bottles yet, but I know when the time comes, I'll be glad I made them.  If nothing else, I can always use them for a little personal time-out when the going gets tough.

Before Shaking

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Let The Freak Out Begin

This past week, I had a girlfriend in town from Southern California.  We worked hard and we played hard.  When we weren't playing tourist, we were crafting.  It was so fun for me to have another "girl" around to bounce ideas off of, and to keep me focused.  Amanda is leaving tonight (cue the tears and sappy goodbye music), so this week is going to be the start of the big push.  After all, we report back on the 16th, and my room still looks like this....

As you can see, the good news is that we didn't have to take the paper and fabric off of our bulletin boards for the summer, so I'm not totally starting over from scratch.  The other good news is that my classroom has BRAND NEW DESKS this year.  You read that correctly this age of "no money for education", I was lucky enough to get BRAND NEW DESKS!  Holla!  I will have to take a pic of the old desks, so you can all see how desperate we were for new ones.  For some reason, my classroom was the only one that still had desks from circa 1965!  You have no idea how much room I gained, just by kicking those old, ratty desks to the curb.  They were way bigger (and uglier) than these beautiful new ones.

After Amanda and I had a little party-for-two, because of the desks, we moved on to the daunting task of cataloging my classroom library.  Last year there was no rhyme or reason to my library.  The kids used the heck out of it, but I didn't feel like everyone knew what books I actually had.  It was always just kind of pot-luck when they'd go to look for a book.  This year, my goal is to have a system.  The problem is, I don't know exactly what I want that system to be.  I have seen various ideas on the blogs, but none of them suit me 100%.  I'm sure mine needs to be a hybrid of some sort, but I still don't know what I want it to look like ultimately.  In an effort to procrastinate, yet still be productive, we tried cataloging the books using the Book Retriever App.  It works great in theory, but I can't figure out how to sort my titles.  If I can't sort the titles, then the program is worthless to me, as they are currently listed in the order I am scanning them.  Can you say "pointless"?  If any of you out there in bloggyland are familiar with the app and know something I don't, please feel free to chime in.  I'd be forever grateful.

On that note, I'm off to get some breakfast and then back to the grindstone.  I'll be posting a very fun Monday Made It tomorrow, so be sure to check back.  After all, my crafting would be for not if I didn't have anyone to share all the fun with.