Friday, August 21, 2015

Photographing our Morning Procedure

Tuesday of this week began my SIXTH year of teaching! As each new year approaches, I find myself slightly changing our back to school routine. I imagine I'm not the only one who changes their plans from day-to-day and year-to-year. :)

One very important procedure we have to have down is our morning procedure.  Students begin coming into our room at 7:50 and we are out the door for specials by 8:12! Students have to check in, write assignments, get unpacked, etc. etc. There's a lot to do in that short period of time!

Last year, I wrote about using the "My Job, Your Job, Our Job" model to create our morning procedure. It worked wonderfully - my kids loved it. They knew the routine very well. 

This year, I decided to switch things up a bit. My kids were eager to start using our classroom iPads and I felt the morning routine would be the perfect opportunity to start. 

I grouped students by birthday (original, I know!) and asked them to take photographs of their morning responsibilities. This would include using the restroom (no bathroom pics please!, writing assignments, sharpening pencils, etc. 

After a quick tutorial on taking pictures, I sent the students on their merry way. 





This lesson also provided an opportunity for me to teach students more about our Connected Classroom. Using the Apple TV, I was able to demonstrate the "AirPlay" function and how to "AirDrop" images from one device to another. 

Once students had taken photographs around the room, we gathered together on the carpet and shared our ideas. While students were sharing, I assumed the role as the "Note Taker" and told students I would collect all of their information in a fancy document. 

Honestly, they thought of things I didn't even think of! 

It was a great way to incorporate technology into an often "boring" part of the back to school routine. 

Tell me... how do you teach routines in the classroom?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

It has been a long time since I've read a book that kept me up in the wee hours of the morning to finish reading.  

For the month of August, my book club chose to read "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah. From the moment I opened the book and began reading the story of Vianne and Isabelle during World War II - I could not put it down. I toted the book around with me everywhere I went in hops to find a free moment to continue reading. 

Be forewarned that your heart will break and you will ache for the lives lost during World War II and the cruelties so many endured. Throughout everything, The Nightingale tells a story of hope, passion, and survival. 

I highly recommend! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tying the Knot - To Top it Off

During the wedding planning process, Etsy and I became quite close. 
Photo Credit: MNC Photography

One of the items on my "to find" list was a custom cake topper for our wedding cake. I spotted the shop Better Off Wed and I knew I had to have her make a cake topper for us. 

Photo credit: MNC Photography
I wasn't planning on using gold tones in our wedding reception until this beauty arrived in the mail, It's sparkly gold color inspired me to include more gold tones in the reception decor. 
Photo credit: MNC Photography
Perfect. Just perfect!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Let's Celebrate!

My list of favorite things about teaching grows each and everyday. Here's one of the things I love about being a teacher (put quite nicely by Todd Whitaker):

One of my goals for this brand-spankin' new year is to celebrate more. One way to celebrate more is with birthdays. We've all got them! Each one of my students deserves a day where they can be truly celebrated. 

Therefore, I present to you our birthday treats of room 52:



I made my schnazzy birthday tags with KG fonts, ribbon, and tasty kid-approved snacks. 

You can download your own copy of these birthday tags through Google Drive here.  

How do you celebrate in your classroom? 
Share with me! Help me reach my goals!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Bench for Bruce

Yes - I'm sitting on the toilet. Awkward.

Let's just take a minute and remember this bathroom. 

Yuck!
Our first house project was ripping down the dreadful wallpaper in this master bathroom. You may remember this post.  I'm standing by my previous statement: Please don't ask me to help you tear down wallpaper. Please! I beg of you. 

Along with the wallpaper, we invested in new faucets, hardware for the drawers, and a new paint job.  My original intention was to spruce up the bench that came with the house. Unfortunately, we thought it would be a good idea to use that bench as a step stool during de-wallpapering and it was destroyed. Oops.  

R.I.P. brass bench. You lived a good life. 

Since then, I've been hunting for a NEW bench. 
My hunt was unsuccessful. 

Yesterday, I was walking around a flea market in my hometown and this bench popped out to me. It pleaded with me to save it. 

$10 later... it was saved!


I started by peeling off the existing cushion. The cushion had been repurposed three times before and had enough dust in it to fill my garage. 

It. Was. Gross. 


I gave the bench a new paint job with spray paint. Then, I picked up a yard of fabric at Jo-Anns, a foam cushion, some batting, and rewrapped the plywood that came with the bench. 

The highlight of this experience was investing in my first staple gun. My crafting possibilities are endless now - thanks to my new ($12) staple gun!

Here's what it looked like in the bathroom before it's little makeover:


And after it's 24-hour makeover!



Let's be honest... 
We all know who is going to take over the bench. The boss - Bruce. 

Did I mention we got a cat? Oh yes, we have a cat now. 

Meow
Hmm.. what shall I staple next?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tying the Knot - Early Morning "Donut" Call

What's better than finding a bag of fresh donut holes waiting for you the morning after a wedding reception? Not much, folks. Not much!

For each guest that stayed at the Hotel Bothwell for the evening, they were treated to my absolute-favorite guilty pleasure: donut holes.

The donut holes arrived from heaven and were waiting outside each and every door at the hotel. 
Oh, wait. I mean they came straight from the Sedalia favorite, Papa Jakes Donut Shop. 


Let me tell you a little bit about Papa Jakes. 

If you arrive at Papa Jakes later than 9:00 A.M., you are out of luck. No donut holes for you! They sell out QUICK - especially on the weekends. 

 Every slumber party I've hosted since I was a little girl included donuts from Papa Jakes. My dad would wake up at the crack of dawn and get to Papa Jakes so we could have donuts when we rolled out of bed at 10. 

Hopping off the bus when I was in 4th and 5th grade, I was taunted by the smell of the donut shop because my elementary school was right next door. 

My girlfriends and I would meet at Papa Jakes in high school to have breakfast together. 

My (fellow-donut-entusiast) nephew Beckett and I enjoy trips to Papa Jakes together. 

It's just "the place to go". 

Your life will be complete once you've had Papa Jakes. 

Seriously, your presence meant a "HOLE" lot!

Now.. Go Treat Yo'Self!
-------------------------------

More details coming soon.
Catch up on my other wedding posts here

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tying the Knot - The Rehearsal

June 19, 2015
Perhaps it's the teacher in me, but I assigned everyone an activity at our rehearsal. Oops. 

You can the girl out of the classroom... (for the summer)

Each guest was invited to complete a Mad Lib about "The Happy Couple" which happened to be Scott and I.  The Mad Libs asked guests where they traveled from, how long they had known us, and to leave us with some advice. 

Much of the marital and relationship advice included to be kind, laugh, respect one another, tell jokes, maintaining personal hygiene (very important!), and always remember why we fell in love to begin with. 


I purchased the Mad Libs for our rehearsal through Groopdealz earlier this spring, but there are many options available on Etsy. Click here to see more. The set we purchased can be found here

The best part was reading  the responses once we were home and settled after our honeymoon. I have to give credit to our friends and  family - they are very creative with their adjectives!

For dinner, I was excited to include a few personal and family-centered details.  For the main course, guests were invited to build their own burger. On two chalkboards, we encouaged guests to build the classic California favorite, "Big Mike" and the Sedalia, Missouri classic, "Guber Burger". 


 Why the "Bike Mike" you ask? Ask anyone in central Missouri about Burgher Haus and they'll be able to tell you about the great family-owned restaurant in California, Missouri.  Scott's family has owned and operated the Burgher Haus since 1977.  One of the many gems on the menu is the "Big Mike".  I love visiting Burgher Haus with Scott because (a). everyone refers to him as Scottie (b). we get hugs from family members (c). the food is always amazing and (d). Jane's bread pudding (which happened to make an appearance at our wedding, too <-- details coming!)


Why the "Guber Burger"? Oh, I'm glad you asked. Whenever anyone asks me where I'm from, I always proudly state, "I'm from Sedalia, Missouri - home of the Missouri State Fair and the Guber Burger." Then, I get to rattle off all of these really fascinating facts about my hometown and leave people completely and utterly amazed. 

We were surrounded by so many loving family and friends the entire night - and it was amazing. Just the tip of the iceberg for the entire weekend. Still counting our blessings (almost) a month later!

Writing about all of our wedding details is making me a little emotional - in a good way of course!
Catch up on our details here

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