Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It: Summer Slow Down!

I'm back from my Italian getaway vacation and it's hitting me that my summer is dwindling down already! My principal contacted me about an opening for more RC training in August so now I lost 4 more days of sun and relaxing (although I'm really excited for the training) before the new year begins. When I got home, I started getting my butt into gear. I needed to get things ready to bring to school this week to start the set up. If I didn't have Tara's weekly linky, I wouldn't be nearly as productive.


These are all classroom made its in my color scheme!




Everyone is making cute monograms and I just didn't think I could make one with the boring letter "O." Then I found this white "O" at Michaels for like $1.50. I also found some buttons and banners on sale at Michaels, used one of my flair tip pens and done! I have a few options of where I'll put this in my room. I might continue to add more doodles... we'll see.
I've changed my objective display every year so far (ok... this is only the 3rd year, but still). The past two years, I would write them out. They took up a lot of space, so I decided to go to printed versions. Both my teammates did it this year so I'm jumping on the bandwagon. I saw one way to display them from a previous Monday Made It from the great blog Learning in Wonderland that inspired me to create my own to fit my color scheme. I might use the plastic sleeves, but to be honest, I think the extra seconds it would take to finagle them in would cause me to avoid posting, so I may just use magnets to post them. Finagling is not my friend when I'm running around in the a.m. trying to get ready for the day.


I love her idea of using scrap book paper as a background. This will add the pop of color (plus my labels) that I'm searching for. She has adorable heading/labels, which I would have gotten if they were in my color scheme (I'm a little obsessive at times with my scheme...#teacherproblems). If you are looking for bright, multi-color headings- I would definitely check them out!


I'm looking for ways to bring my colors more into my room and thought a calendar is a great way for a few different reasons. I can use it to post reminders, birthdays (which I am awful at), and special events. It can also serve as a reminder for the date for students book logs and writing.  However, I don't want to loose valuable space for one. So I created this version instead and can't wait to put it up on my whiteboard!

It'll only showcase a week at a time, which is really all I would need anyways. When I put it up on my board, I'll use washi tape probably to create little boxes for the days and reminders. All I need to do is change out the dates at the beginning of each week and place any special events underneath. These will all be on magnets and laminated so that they are easy to use and will be durable.

How will students know which day is the current day of the week? The Month Marker is helpful in a few different ways. It has the abbreviated month name as well as the number so that when students are writing the date, they remember what month number to use.

But it also serves another purpose
The Month Marker also moves each day to show which day it is. So all I need to do each morning is move the Month Marker so that they can easily see what day of the month it is. I also made a few other tags to mark special events:





  • Assemblies
  • Guest Teacher (subs)- if I know in advance
  • No School Days
  • Birthdays
  • Concerts
  • Field Trips
  • Library Day


  • I'm awful at remember student birthdays. I have pre-made "gifts," but I still forget. I hope this will help doing it at the beginning of the week so that I don't forget.
    For the birthday tags, I left a blank space. I'm laminating all of these so that I can also write on them. I'll write the kiddos name on it when it is their birthday and then simply erase it so it is ready to go for the next one!











    Trait work is so hard for my kiddos. When I came across a blog post from Joanne from Head Over Heals For Teaching on her trait posters, I knew I wanted something similar. Again, I had to make one in my color scheme, plus I wanted control on the types of traits so that they would be age appropriate. The premise is the same as Joanne's- we'll post examples of characters on post it notes in the boxes below that show that character trait, but I also added 3 synonyms for each trait word too- ranging in complexity. The main word is the word I would hope students would use/understand. I've added "more tired" words on the left side and more complicated words in the middle and the right side on the bottom. That way, I can differentiate for students in their written responses and explanations. 
    The color is a little wonky in this picture- the yellow is brighter and less mustardy. 
    I'm having printer issues (what's new) so I only managed to print 2 of my 20 posters. Let's hope it gets resolved sooner rather than later, huh. I'm not going to post these in my store since it was so strongly influenced by Joanne's work. Feel free to check out her awesome resource here.


    Last one, was a pretty lazy made it. I found this banner at Target (they come in like 8 different colors and were $4.00 I think...). I then got my sharpie out and started to write out the word Welcome to hang by our door. Nothing too fancy, but the banner is pretty durable!

    There ya have it! Lots of teal and yellow- back to my roots. :)




    Friday, July 18, 2014

    I'm BAAAACK! 5 x 5 for Friday: Italy Version

    Wow! Where to begin! I've been up since 2 am central time after traveling 20 hours to get home from the beautiful country of Italy and I've already reminisced over our late honeymoon by looking through our pictures. I couldn't pick 5 things to share... there's just too much, so I'm doing a 5 x 5 for Friday hosted by Doodlebugs to share our trip!



    If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen some similar pictures, but these are all from our actual camera, not my phone. This post will be overloaded with pictures from my trip so if you are looking for teacher stuff... check back another day. :)

    5 Things/Places I'll Miss

    1) Venice
     It's so beautiful! And the fact that there are no cars (which drivers in Italy are crazy!) was a nice change of pace. 
     Every little alley and turn was so picturesque.

    2) Rome
     There's so much to see in Rome! This is the view from the Spanish Steps.
     One major disappointment was that the Trevi Fountain was being renovated. Major bummer.
     We got to tour the Sistine Chapel (no photos allowed) and St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. It was one of the most amazing sights I've seen... so many details and amazing features. 
    I loved our time in Rome, but it was the end of our trip and I was so pooped!!
    3) Food!
    I had my fair share of wine... even my husband got into his red wine (I'm pretty sure he never had a full glass of wine before this trip)
     We had a few optional dinners for our tour and we did them all... best decision! We had 4 course meals and lots of wine for a great price!
     Goll... I wish I could bring this little shop home with me. It had the BEST pesto in my life! So good!

     Gelato. Need I say more? This was the gelato of all gelatos... it came in a brioche bun and was served as breakfast (notice my sleepy eyes still). I'll miss that creamy stuff!

    4) Capri and the Gulf of Naples

    Capri (also known as the VIP island for all the celebrities that own homes there) was beautiful! We took a boat cruise around the island and even got to jump out and take a "bath" (that is what our local tour manager called it) in the Gulf of Naples! It was so refreshing and I am glad to say that I've gotten to swim in this amazing area!
     We had to do quite the climb to get up there... well worth the view. We rested at the pebble beach afterward enjoying the salty sea smell.

    5) Florence
     This was the view from our hotel. Florence has so much history, I could have easily spent more time there.
    I loved looking at all the sculptures and statues and our tour guide was fabulous and shared a lot of interesting things (I created a note on my iPhone to keep track of things I wanted to research more about). 

    5 Small Stops that I LOVED

    1) Portovenere (near La Spezia and Cinque Terre)

    We stopped here on our way to Cinque Terre. It was very similar to the 5 lands. I had some amazing food here- the Pesto shop was here and I had it on my pizza. It also had some great scenic views.

    2)Pompeii
    I love history, so Pompeii was very interesting. At times it felt a little eerie, especially when we got to view those who preserved due to the ash. I learned a lot about the city of Pompeii thanks to our awesome guide.**Note- there is a picture below that may be disturbing to some.

     It's amazing at how far away Mt. Vesuvius seems but how much damage it did.

    3) Sirmione (Near Verona on Lake Garda)
    This was probably one of my favorite stops of all. It was small, quaint, yet so beautiful. We got there early in the morning so it was pretty quiet. This is where I had gelato for breakfast. :)

     We had a beautiful cruise on Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy.

    4) Leaning Tower of Pisa
    The town itself isn't much to see, but of course seeing the iconic tower was fun! It. was. hot! So hot! But I'm glad we made the stop on our way to Rome from La Spezia.
    (I did take the tourist photo of holding the tower up, but they didn't turn out that well)

    5) Tuscany Country Side
    We stopped on our way from Sorrento to Florence (it was our longest stretch on the coach bus) for a tour of a winery and for wine tasting. This also was a highlight of my trip. It was so beautiful and the wine, bread, cheese and jam was SO good!
     We learned about the Chianti wine and got to sample 4 different wines total.


    5 Favorite "Tourists Spots"

    1) The Statue of David- Florence
    It was fascinating to see how big this is... also the fact that certain things don't seem proportionate (his hands for example seemed huge)! This is the original inside the Academy. There is a replica in the original placement. 
    2) Gondola Ride- Venice
    You've got to do the Gondola Ride when in Venice, right?! 

    3)Bridge of Sighs- Venice
    I love hearing interesting stories. The Bridge of Sighs has a fascinating story, although as most things, it isn't entirely true. The statement is that this was the bridge that prisoners crossed before going underground forever for the crimes they committed. It's called the Bridge of Sighs because it's the last view they get from the small windows of the beautiful city of Venice.
    4) Cinque Terre
    I'm sure you've seen the photos of the little colorful towns dotted along the coast of Italy. This is known as Cinque Terre, or 5 lands. We only got to visit 3 of them due to late and not always accurate trains, but they were stunning.
     We watched the sunset in Vernazza.
    5) Colosseum- Rome
    I loved seeing the Sistine Chapel, Basilica, Roman Forum, and so many other things in Rome, but of course, the Colosseum is a must. Again, the history and stories are so fascinating!
     Again, it was SO hot! We had to dress in a way that we could cover our knees and shoulders for the Vatican later in the day. Scarves were my best friend when in Italy!

    5 Things I WON'T Miss
    1) Autogrills- these are like rest stops with food... but the food never sounded good to me. We ate here a handful of times when traveling between cities. I'm glad that's over.

    2) Unreliable toilets- first, you need to try to find a toilet. Then, you need to figure out if you have to pay to use it or buy something in a store in order to use one. Next, you had to hope that it was a 'normal' toilet- aka- had a seat and wasn't just a hole. And lastly, you crossed your fingers that you could not only find out how to flush it, but that it would flush. Talk about anxiety.

    3) Croissants- the smell makes me want to gag now. The breakfasts were supplied for use through the hotels but they served the exact same thing and I'm just really sick of them.

    4) Warm "cold" drinks- I'm a little picky when it comes to beverage temps. I typically only drink ice water- it's gotta be ice cold. Most of the time, the bottled water you'd buy was barely cold or not at all. However it was hot while we were there, so I bucked up and managed to find a way to drink it. And the milk at breakfast was always warm. I really appreciate ice and cold fridges back here in the states. :)

    5) Long traveling- surprisingly, the time spent on the bus went very fast! We did have long days of traveling to and from though Italy- I'm glad that it all went smoothly, but I'm also glad that part is over. 

    5 Things on my To-Do List for This Week
    1) Get to my creating to-do list- the new school year is getting closer!
    2) Setting up my room- I'm meeting with my team (including our new team member!!) this week and getting into my room to start the process of setting it up for the new year!
    3) Moving- we move to our new apartment in the next 2-3 weeks, so I'll be starting the packing process this week.
    4) Plan and prepare healthy meals- I kinda had a reality check in Italy. I didn't feel happy looking back at my pictures; I was uncomfortable at times as well. Now that we have all those 4 course meals behind us, all I'm craving are salads. I even ate some foods I never eat at home. Now, their tomatoes are to DIE for in Italy, so fingers crossed I can find some tasty ones at our farmer's market.
    5) New computer and car??- I'm getting my new Mac today- this one is about to poop out and I need to update my software so that some of my programs will work. We also are still deciding what to do with my car. We'll see if a new car is in our near future.

    Did you survive it all?!? Sorry- I couldn't help myself. I don't blame you if you crapped out 30 pictures ago. ;) I promise I'll be back for sure on Monday with some school stuff for Monday Made It (I missed being out of the blogging world for those 13 days!)