Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Classroom Prep

I had every intention of being super productive over the weekend, but a nap happened instead.  (We spent most of Sunday visiting B's aunt who had surgery yesterday, so I in no way feel bad about that.)

Here's where I'm at in terms of classroom set up.  Our official first day back is this Wednesday, but since I'm still not 100%, I needed extra time.

The classroom itself...

B was kind enough to come in on Friday afternoon and help move furniture.  He even helped the teacher next door, which just solidifies that he's a stand up fellow.

I have all of my bookcases along one wall and really like how the room feels open.  Granted, it's easy to feel open when I'm the only one in the room.  My two wardrobes line the back wall near the kidney table.  The long, rectangular space will be our classroom meeting space for read alouds.

Command station...

I try to set up a command station for my students to be self-sufficient.

I've found the easiest space is right inside the classroom door.  It's not complete yet (because I can't find my electronic pencil sharpeners) but it's getting there.

The teal crate is where students will get back their returned papers.  I haven't put names on tabs yet because my roster keeps changing.  The sharp & not sharp pencil buckets are this {freebie from TpT} attached to dollar store polka dotted bins. 

The Batman cup will hold pens for the bathroom sign out, which will also be found here.  Inside the desks will be where I keep my Lakeshore {privacy screens} for testing times.

The football holds my keys, the open library pass, and my simplified version of brag tags.  The black lanyards are my "math coach" badges for students to be clearly identified as helpers.  The other lanyards say "ask me about the goal I met today" to encourage praise from others about growth.  I have two other Reading Ranger lanyards (our zone's reading program) that I'm going to transform into graduate and half-graduate brag tags.

My desk space...

I've decided this is one of the few areas that I will let be "cute" and decorated.  Most of the classroom is bare because I fill the walls with activities or charts that the students and I make together.

The bulletin boards...

I have three: one outside and two inside.

The outside board isn't quite done.  I'm finalizing the sign that says "writers on the move" on white and red chevron print paper.

The border is made up of overlapping post cards.  

I was given them by a friend and had way too many, so I donated the extras to friends in kindergarten to use as a writing center.

I changed my mind about the inside boards (naturally), but here they are:

My Reading Ranger Board

It's an expectation that we have a board set aside to Reading Rangers.

I've included graduation tickets (I assume we're doing them again, they were very successful last year), graduation expectations, and the key for how book colors correspond with ZPD ranges.  

The white board will say "under five" club and students will place a clothespin (with their names) on it when they're close to graduating.  I saw something similar in another room, so I'm going to give it a try.

The rest of the board will have printed out badge reports for my students (I think) or some similar data display.

Underneath is where I have my 3 drawer tubs of math supplies, construction and lined paper, extra supplies, clipboards, etc.  To the right of this board is our 8 math practices, another {freebie} from TpT.

The other board

This one will display anchor charts that we've used in (and made) in class.  I originally snagged these gray tubs at Joann's for the purpose of supply table buckets, but I think I'd rather use them for books.  

We're picking up another black organizer this afternoon and then these will be filled with books.  The black storage racks will line up with the bookcases to have a room bursting at the seams with books (no apologies).

I've also hung my chart about {responding cups} at the front of the room on one side of the white board.  The nearby white board contains my never ending classroom to do list.

The other side...

Is where I have a classroom motivator (10 10's in specials leads to a 10 minute recess, which is a free and healthy reward), a class sign, and where I'll (theoretically) post our standards.

The white board (lined in burlap) is where I'll put our class daily schedule.  

Instead of using a bulletin board for our class business, I decided to put everything on the white board behind my desk.

I'll have their GATE/TAGS schedule, specials schedule, and other need to know forms up front for easy access.


Business Cards
I've redone my business cards to include my new last name.  I'll be printing them on pink card stock and laminating them for parents.  I intentionally didn't include my classroom work number because I don't like answering the phone nor do I like listening to messages.  I know I have to include the phone number on my class welcome letter, but that doesn't mean I have to include it on my polka dot business cards:

Like them? They were free and you can snag them {here}.  Just be sure to leave the creator nice feedback.  The shop also has some colorful options if black & white isn't your thing.

I've also already made a lot of copies...and had a fight with the copier.

Half Grads

I made a half grad sheet last year, but don't love it.

So I redid it! 


Then I tweaked it for fellow teachers to fit their classroom themes:

Today's agenda? 

I've got a planning meeting with the other coaches this am, another visit to the ENT, and then a planning session with Mrs. H at school.  B is coming in to help this afternoon and then we're going out to dinner.

My goal is to have my classroom be totally done tomorrow so I can focus on planning and copies on Thursday.

Less than a week 'til I meet students!


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Back to School Sale (CCSD specific!)

While TpT had their annual back to school sale a few weeks ago,

it was a tad early for many of my fellow CCSD employees to enjoy.  With our late start date (8/29), the first week of August was still very much within the blissful summer bubble.

Well, fear not fellow late starters! I'm having a second back to school sale!

 (Thanks {fellow blogger} for having this cute image!)

Everything in my store will be 20% off from August 25-28th.

As a bonus, TpT is conveniently having a second back to school, one day only flash sale:


Friday, August 19, 2016

Muggle to Mrs

Every time I begin this post, I falter.  I am humbled and in awe of the outpouring of love I received from my friends and family.

In short, I had the perfect bridal shower.

Let's take a peek:

The Heart Wreath

I made this for a fellow bride's shower and kept it for my own.  This beauty was on the front door to alert guests that they'd arrived.  

The heart frame and burlap are from Joann's.  The veil is from Hobby Lobby and attached with safety pins.  Coupons were used for all parts of the craft project. 


Marlene knows my love for Harry Potter and made me this sign for the shower.  I'm 99% sure my bachelorette party will include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (in California), so this is perfect.

Leah, one of my bridesmaids, had a graphic designer friend make these labels (more shown later).  She had guests write their replies on cute tags, which she's then using in my bridal shower scrapbook. I'm super excited to see what she creates!

This is one of the S signs that I painted for our gallery wall.  We also incorporated it into round 2 of our engagement pictures (read about that store {here}). I should be getting those pictures back any day now!

I originally made this soon to be sign for our engagement shower (which was nearly a year ago) and this was the perfect opportunity to reuse it!  The banner is from Target and I added the letters myself (printed them, cut them out, and glued them on).  The font is swagger and available at dafont.com.

Of all the wedding related things, B is very, very adamant about there being absolutely no mason jars at our November wedding.

Is this a strange thing to be so passionate about?

Yes, of course it is.  But it's also his day and I respect his wishes, however strange they may be.

However, that meant I could use them at my shower and he didn't get a say.  My bridesmaids and I used some mason jars that I had laying around the house (because that's what happens when you're a crafty teacher) and used chevron burlap and lace to tie on bows (not pictured).  

My maids picked up flowers and decorated the tables with flowers (and chocolate candies).

A & B Sign

Much like the mason jars, he's very against an abundant amount of polka dots and glitter at the wedding.  Granted, there will be some (because it's my day too!), but this was the perfect opportunity to get to decorate how I wanted.

The letters were from the craft store and already painted white.  Using tacky glue, glitter, and the end of an eraser,

I created perfect polka dots. 
Champagne Tower

I randomly found pink plastic champagne flutes in my party supply tub so it was the perfect opportunity to spoil my bridesmaids (the ones who could be there).

Yes, we had too many champagne flutes but now I have some for the next party we host!

Best Wishes

Leah surprised me with these low key activities.  Guests wrote us well wishes and they'll be in our scrapbook.

There was a lot of it and apparently we were too busy eating to snap pictures.  But the set up was cute! (Plates and tins from Target, burlap polka dot runner from Hobby Lobby.)

While she couldn't be there in person, my bestie found the most perfect gift.  It's a ring bearer box that is a stack of letters from Hogwarts.  I'm choking back tears (above).

She also sent a necklace for me to use as my something borrowed and something blue.

I was incredibly spoiled by my friends and family.  Thank you all!

({Card box} was made for our wedding, but this seemed like a great opportunity to use it again!)


In addition to the don't say ring game (below), I found these bridal themed scratchers at Target.  They came in packs of 20 with 4 cards being the winners.  I don't love gambling, but B and his family do so it was a cute nod to them.  Plus, it's Vegas!


One of my bridesmaids, Kyla, put together these adorable gift bags as prizes.  Inside were homemade sugar scrubs, scented with her favorite DoTerra essential oils.  I even snagged one and love it!

Kiss the Miss Goodbye

I did this for a (former) friend and it went over quite well, so it was a must have at my own shower.  While not every guest "signed" it, we did use lip sample wands and cheap lipstick to avoid cooties.  We got an 8x10 picture frame with a large mat and tada! I'll frame a picture from the bridal shower to complete the project.

What wasn't shown?  Elsa, one of our flower girls, was helping everyone put on their lipstick.  It was precious.

Love is Sweet

What would a party be without favors?  Mini Twix bars were stuffed inside these burlap bags.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), not everyone took one, so I have left overs!  I printed the "love is sweet please take a treat" sign and framed it, but then found this premade one for a few dollars at TJ Maxx.  It totally fit our rustic/lace/vintage theme!


Olivia married her lovely hubby a few months ago.  It was a beautiful ceremony and I caught part of the bouquet (it came apart during the toss).  So, I sneakily crafted it into a shatter-proof ornament and gave it to her at the shower (because I hadn't seen her since her own wedding).

Tears were shed.  It was a happy moment.  Nothing but love between gal pals. 

(I used a shatter proof Christmas ornament for the leaves.  I also added a decorative metal wire that said "love" in cursive as well as scrabble tiles with their initials and wedding date.  While the cost of the materials was low, the gift was treasured and that's what matters.)

Of course, none of this would be possible without my loving friends and family.

Marlene, our officiant and one of my closest friends.  She's been insanely patient with me as I avoid writing my vows and procrastinating on the music selection.  She is also the mastermind behind my magical Muggle to Mrs sign.

Leah, bridesmaid and brother's girlfriend.  Not only did she come up from Arizona, but she took hundreds of pictures and is turning them into a scrapbook. 

Katie (left) and Kendall are two more of my bridesmaids.  Their impeccable taste and attention to detail brought all of my shower dreams into life.  More importantly, they nerd out with me about Harry Potter on a fairly regular basis.  I adore them both.  Elsa is also pictured and she's one of our two flower girls.

Elsa was sure to let everyone know that she's the flower girl and I'm a princess.  She did express her disappointment at not being able to meet (and practice with) Ravyn, the other flower girl.  I think she's more excited than I am! 

My mom came up for the shower and has been instrumental every step of the way.  I love you mom!

My future mom opened her home to host the shower.  She's a generous, loving, and kind woman. I'm blessed to be marrying into her family.

My second mom (my bestie's mom) drove up from Arizona for the shower.  This family has been my second home for years (decades?).  I appreciate them all!

Up next in terms of wedding planning?

1) Getting our marriage license sometime towards the end of September.  I'm fairly certain they're good for sixty days, but I need to double check.  I've heard filling out all the registration information online severely cuts down on wait time at the city offices.  I did have to clarify with B that he had to be there too.

2) Cake tasting!  This is on September's checklist as well.

3) Invites.  We're waiting for pictures back (any day now!) and have already designed the invitations, so it's simply a matter of ordering them (and stamps), then assembling and mailing.  I'm not stressed yet because we sent out save the dates and are asking for replies by October 1st, so there's still time.  

4) My next dress fitting is in the middle of September.  I also have to find a tailor who can alter the hem on my MOH's dress in 24 hours since her dress is here and she is on the East Coast.

5) Attend my work bridal shower (October?).

6) Bachelorette party! (October?!)

7) Finalize hotel rooms, flowers, and food.

84 days!