Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tardy to the Party

Me being late is nothing new. I’m almost always the last one to finally get somewhere. I just can never manage to get out of the door when I’m supposed to and then I always.always get stopped by every blasted red light there is to catch. I blame it on a combination of getting the dogs out from under our bed and into their “bed” (cage just sounds awful) and my self diagnosed O.C.D (no not the wipe your armpits 15 times each with deodorant O.C.D. just the everything has to look perfect before I leave O.C.D.). Me being late to join a linky party is just so me…and I’m late on a lot of them so grab yourself an umbrella drink and settle in for a heck of a hodge podge because between getting my hair did, Kathy Lee & Hoda Woman, work outs (yes I’m forcing myself) and July being the party that it is I may or may not be back for a while (insert sad face here).

 First things first, Monday Made It with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics. I’ve still got a ton left to make for my class that I can’t post about until I get back into my classroom, find a laminator machine, and hang said things up.

 I stopped by the school yesterday to pick up a few things and ended up staying and unpacking/organizing/purging. I did all of this only to find out that we’re probably getting new carpets before school starts. I’m stoked out of my mind for new carpet because mine is absolutely disgusting and has “adhesive failure” which doesn’t sound or look good. I’m not stoked about the not knowing when they’re going in part. Oh sweet Godzilla I’m so not a last minute type of girl. I like to have things set up and ready to go before the first teacher workday so I can spend the day planning && ok, ok gossiping a little too. It sounds like it’s going to be happening really last minute so while I’m on a boat cruisin’ it up my room will be in shambles and I’ll be going crazy. My usual plan of action doesn’t look like it’s going to be able happen this year…so my new plan is to get everything on the wall up and ready to go before I set sail and then bust my butt to move furniture around that first day. Furniture is nothing…right?? I did manage to get everything in its place in less than 30 minutes yesterday…and my room looked like this when I walked in. Did I mention that I’m pretty sure the Tasmanian devil himself cleaned my room over the summer?
Back to Monday Made It, last year was my first full year of being Mrs. Owen and not Ms. Lee. I got married in March the previous year and my kids were not having the name change so Ms. Lee stayed for the year (the things you do for kids freaking out about a piece of their world changing). I had a super cute Ms. Lee name sign that I hand painted for my hallway area and I never got around to making a Mrs. Owen version last year. I finally got inspired with a new design scheme and made it happen. Hobby Lobby loves me…I know they do. I think I've mentioned before about my love for painting. I'm no picasso, but I can make a name sign look pretty darn cute.

Still on my list to do: new clip chart, updated alphabet strip, book basket labels, updated center rotation chart…pretty much everything is getting a face lift. After 6 years of wear and tear &&& a major improvement in Publisher skills it’s the least I can do for my room. I’m a maniac…I know. Plus I bought my very own laminating machine yesterday (completely adds to my maniac status, I know). It was only about $30 and came highly recommended. We aren't allowed to use the one at work (someone has to laminate our stuff for us) so I'm praying that it seals my stuff and that I can finally feel validated as a professional laminator again. My to do list may just triple in size if it goes as well as I've dreamed of it being having my own laminator.


Next up… homework talk with Leigh at the Applicious Teacher. Homework is something that most kids like to grumble about having to do. I know I hated it in college and grad school…despised would probably be a better word. I was so blessed this past year to have some of the sweetest little babies that LOVED their homework. It wasn’t love at first sight, but by the end of the year they were making their own homework and reading over the weekend when they didn’t have to. Seriously y’all they wouldn’t even use the homework passes that I gave out occasionally because they loved it that much. They’re going to make some pretty awesome little second graders..I’m beyond excited to see the great things that they are going to accomplish in their lives with that kind of drive and only being 6. Despite their feelings on homework, it is so incredibly important and beneficial…if it’s done right. I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity. Even though homework is important, being a kid and spending time with your family is also important. I can’t justify loading a kid up with homework that takes them all night to complete. I see it happen all too often as they get older and it makes my heart hurt for them. They’re stressed, their parents are stressed and eventually that stress is going to come right back to the source…the teacher who assigned a mountain of homework and who needs unnecessary stress added to their life? That’s why I keep it simple. My kids have a few math problems to complete, a few ELA related questions/tasks, and a leveled book to read with an adult that they record on their reading log. Everything they’re asked to do for homework is based on what we learned about in class (of course a few review problems are thrown in so they’re not learning it for the test and then forgetting it).

To keep all of this organized and neatly displayed each of my kids has a FISH binder (Family Involvement Starts Here)--I'll blog again about this once I have them all put together. I found the idea on Google (years before Pinterest was created) and I’ve used it every year that I’ve taught.  There are thousands of different binder acronyms floating around out there so if fish aren’t your thing it wouldn’t be hard to find something that is the perfect fit for your classroom. The concept is simple: everything that goes home or comes to school is kept in the binder. To make this happen I buy binders (1 inch clear view), pencil pouches, and page protectors…Wal-Mart loves me even more than Hobby Lobby does. You could definitely ask your students to bring in the binder supplies on their own if you don’t get supply money that would cover buying the stuff- -I like everything to match so I get them myself. Inside the binder I label one side “Return to School” and the other side “Keep at Home”…pretty simple concept. A pencil pouch is placed in each binder (they’re pretty cheap during back to school time) for any money, notes and of course, pencils to be stored in. A school agenda also goes into each binder (I think I’ve already blogged about this). A homework sheet and a monthly reading log go into the page protector (and of course every binder gets this).

The homework sheet lists the homework for each night (shock, surprise). It also has upcoming events, reminders and the weekly spelling words. It's nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. You can see a picture of it up to the right...again nothing too crazy, but it keeps everybody on the same page (if they take the time to read it).

 I could go on and on forever with my ramblings, but there’s a house to be cleaned, a shower to be had, and a hair appointment to make it to…ON TIME. Until next time…soak up the summer fun && possibly hit up the school supply aisle so I'm not the only crazy one!



  1. Hey Amy,
    I'm Natalie from The Polka Dotted Chirp. I happened upon your blog at the Monday Made it Linky Party. I was so excited to see another Charlestonian on here! I love everything about your blog! It is maximum cuteness! I wanted to message you today to let you know that I have nominated you for the Liebster Award! It is a cute little award that I think you will like! All you need to do is head over to my blog and follow the nomination instructions! It is fun, you will see! I can't wait to follow you and see what you're up to in CCSD! Also, what school do you teach at? I'm at Midland Park in N. Charleston! I love it!

  2. Hey Natalie,
    I'm in Berkeley County at BBE. Thanks for the nomination! I actually just wrote the longest blog in the world a few days ago with all of the nomination requirements...pretty sure it's more than anybody needs/wants to know about me! :)