July 28, 2014

Word Wall is UP!

This being my first year teaching, I have a LOT to set up! One of the very first things I tackled was my word wall. I don't have large bulletin boards in the room, but I do have two very large white boards. I only plan on using one (the one in the front of the room), so I created a word wall out of a portion of the other one (on the side of the room)! I have a plan for the other portion which I will post soon. :)

I did things a bit differently. I saw an idea on Pinterest to use plastic table cloths from the dollar store instead of bulletin board paper because they don't fade (and they are only $1)! So that is what I decided on. I grabbed a red one and went to town. Here is what I discovered:

1. My white board is plastic... which means my initial plan of attaching everything with magnets didn't work out.
2. It is nearly impossible to get the table cloth flat, so there will be bumps. I can see where this won't happen on a bulletin board since you can use staples, but on a plastic board where tape is your only hope, it is a headache.
3. Packing tape and sticky tack are good for nothing on that plastic.
4. Duct tape is your BFF.
5. The table cloth rips easily around the edges.

I initially wanted the red table cloth and then a red, yellow, and blue alphabet border around it that I got on sale at a local teaching supply store. I was then planning on attaching black letters. Easy. Peasy. BUT THEN I FOUND THESE AT WALMART:

If you've been keeping up with my blog, you will know that I am doing a pirate and polka dot theme in my room and my main color is red! How cute are these?? They were in the party section for 97 cents for a pack of 10, so I grabbed 3 packs and knew I had to integrate them somehow into the room. I thought my word wall would be great for this!

I had already had my border up, so I went with it. I decided to put some yellow and blue papers in the center of the plate so the colors would match the border a little better and the letters would stand out more. Plus, yellow is pretty dominant in my room as well. Here was the result:

I LOVED my plates. But I hated the combo with the border. It took me so long to get that border up on that plastic table cloth that I kept trying to convince myself that the kids wouldn't care and that I should leave it. Well, I did leave it over the weekend. I went on vacation and didn't think about school for 4 days. When I returned this afternoon... it seems I was destined to change it...

The strong packing tape I used in combination with a little sticky tack (well, the sticky tack was really only to help me keep the cloth straight...) totally did not hold the plates. When I originally hung the cloth with the alphabet border I was not planning on adding so much weight to it. After I found those awesome plates and added them to the mixture, things went awry. I was not upset though! This meant I had to change it! All I did was use black duct tape as the border AND the adhesive and VOILA!

The black looks so much better and I am confident it will stay up. My only complaint is the lump and streaks in the plastic, but as mentioned before... it was a pain to keep straight. I was able to smooth it out a bit after I took this photo and I think over time as I add words to the wall, it will smooth it out more as well. But I am happy with it! I can't wait to start using it with my first class of kinders!

July 23, 2014

I Finally Made a Teacher Toolbox

This is my first Monday Made It post and I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics! I have seen so many awesome things other teachers have made and have gotten a TREMENDOUS amount of fantastic ideas from this linky. So here's my first!

This past weekend, I FINALLY made a teacher toolbox for myself! I have been eyeing them on Pinterest for ages now and a few of my friends just made their's and I just KNEW I had to make one for myself.

I had decided that I would make the labels myself since I couldn't find the exact thing I wanted on TpT to download and print. So, I ran down to Michael's and they were having a one day sale on scrapbooking paper!!! WOOO!! I snagged the patterns I wanted for 16 cents a piece instead of the regular 59 cents! I should have gone back and gotten more, but I didn't... :(

First my husband helped me out and spray painted the frame/base/thing black. The only color they had was navy blue!! And I thought I was being practical by wanting it in black... But oh well. The spray paint worked just fine. The hardest part about it was waiting for it to dry! I wanted it to be done so quickly!

Then I made some labels on my computer. This is a close up of the small labels which fit the 1"x2" drawer fronts. I made them using the label clipart from Ms. Fultz's Corner on TpT

I then started the tedious task of cutting them out. Initially when I printed the labels out and saw exactly how tiny they were, I was dreading this and thought that I would for sure resort to handwriting all my labels! But it wasn't bad at all! It took far less time that I thought it would and it was worth the short periods of hand cramps. ;)

As simple as it is, I just used a regular old glue stick! Well, this one is the jumbo glue stick, perfect for all my gluey sticky needs! I cut my scrapbook paper finds to fit the little drawers and glued the labels on. Easy peasy.

It was a beautiful site to see all these done! I made the large drawers (as you can see) in red and white polka dots to break up the black and to match the red stuff in my classroom. I am pretty sure I just stared at these for a good 10 minutes, completely in love.

I went the easy route and used scotch tape on the inside of the drawers. I was thinking that I would glue them and then mod podge the edges on the outside of the drawers so it wouldn't look so faded out, but I really didn't like the idea of the paper being on the outside. I really feel like it would tear over time, so I put them on the inside, which means all I did was use plain old tape! This also means that for next year I can just rip them out and make new ones with a different theme and not worry about the drawers looking wompy after the glue.

So there ya have it! I LOVE IT SO MUCH! If you have not made one of these bad boys yet, I recommend it. Everything is out of my desk and organized beautifully on a shelf at my fingertips!

July 14, 2014

Facebook Giveaway Going On Now! Yippee!

Hey ya'll! Today I am celebrating 100 likes on Facebook! I'm so thrilled!

I am giving away your choice of a binder cover set recently posted onto my TpT store! These sets of covers are very special to me.

Story time! When I was in my student teaching internship last year, I created some binder covers for myself and two of my closest friends who were also in their internship. I decided to tweak them to make them usable for other teachers and added in several covers for all those binders we have to keep up with. I named them after each of us!

We have ME! The "Amanda" Edition:

Then we have the "Susannah" Edition:

And the "Calli" Edition:

By clicking the images above, you will be directed to the product on my TpT store with more details and a list of all the covers you'll get!

To enter the giveaway, head on over to my Daisy Designs Facebook page, like the page, and comment on the giveaway post with one of your organizational goals for the upcoming school year! And don't forget to tag a friend so they can enter, too! Good luck, readers, and thanks for following, liking, pinning, and tweeting! ;)

July 10, 2014

Twitter Chats and First Year Preparation

Have you done a Twitter Chat before? I had never even been aware of their existence until yesterday and I immediately knew I wanted to participate in one. I heard about a few and found one scheduled for Wednesday evenings for Florida educators and tried it out. Holy cow... I'm an instant addict!

I met so many great teachers who also teach in Florida and they were so welcoming and encouraging. I learned a lot and can't wait to learn more every week! This kind of networking is what I love. I love to learn from others' great ideas and since I am quickly approaching the start of my first year teaching, there's a lot I can learn right now! If you don't already follow me on Twitter, click below to check out my profile and follow me for some more Twitter Chats. I'm planning on doing a lot of them!

Speaking of my first year quickly approaching, I've been preparing as much as I can. I haven't seen my classroom yet, but it looks like I will be seeing it some time next week (Oh... there will be pictures... You can count on that!). I did find out that my classroom will be a portable. I haven't quite decided my feelings on that yet. Of course there are pros and cons just as there are pros and cons to teaching in the main building. I guess I'll just have to find out! What are your thoughts on portable classrooms?

Without a classroom to set up, I've been doing my best to prepare what I can. I know that I'm doing a pirate themed classroom and created some decorations for it (which will be posted as soon as I have everything created!) But here's a sneak peek at what I've made so far! I am SO HAPPY with them!

I snagged some super cheap picture frames from IKEA when I was there (it is an hour and a half drive for me so I buy whatever I can when I'm there...). I initially had no idea what I wanted to do with them until now. I designed the 4x6 stand up frames to be table numbers. Depending on how that works, I may or may not change them to be center labels. But I know this is how they will be used for the beginning of the year!

The bottom photo are the basis of our class rules. I found this poem on a forum somewhere and I will have to tell you... I can't remember where I saw it! I would like to give credit to the person I took the idea from but I can't find it! If you use this poem, comment below! I think it is super cute and useful.

In addition to getting my decorations and rules poem framed and laminated, I also decided that I'll be doing a Kindergarten Time Capsule this year. That is when students' work from the first day/week of school are sealed in a box or an envelope and not touched till the last day of school. Then on the last day of school, you open it up and see how much they have improved! I am excited about it. I created my Kindergarten Time Capsule Book and you can download it by clicking the picture below!

Comment below about the pros and cons of teaching in a portable and let me know as well if you've ever participated in a Twitter Chat! Which one(s) do you participate in? I'd love to join in the fun!

July 7, 2014

It's Time For a MANIC MONDAY!

I just realized that it has been MONTHS since I have linked up with Charity over at Classroom Freebies! WHAT?! I've even had a new freebie up at my store for like 3 weeks now and never linked up!

If you haven't heard of Classroom Freebies, you will super excited you stopped by my blog today. Everything is freeeeeeee! Weeeee! And every Monday, there is a link-up of some wonderful teachers who create and share their new resources at no cost to you. It is an awesome place to discover new resources and ideas and to snag yourself a few free downloads. I have discovered tons of blogs that I have since followed that link up there, so be sure to check out the other linkups!

This freebie has been on my store for a few weeks now. I created it for the Fairy Tale Theater Styles camp I taught (more on that HERE). These posters were hung up around the room for students to refer to when they were writing their scripts for a play writing activity.

Once Upon a Time
Happily Ever After

There are three styles of each poster: Color and Cursive, B&W and Cursive, and B&W and print.

And they are free! They will certainly add some pretty decoration for your room during your fairy tale units and are super useful. Click any of the images above to get the download and enjoy!!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

July 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Lots of Work to Do!!!

Being in a new house = awesome
Unpacking = misery

Click the picture above for more Wordless Wednesday posts!

July 1, 2014

July Currently and Teachers of Summer on Instagram!

It makes me so sad that I missed the June currently. June was INSANE. Between a different summer camp every week (and one week with 2 camps everyday...) and the move to the new house, June FLEW BY! The contractor who we hired to remodel the "new" (new-to-us) house, took FOREVER. And he's still not done! Of course, he says he is, but there are so many little things that need to be addressed. We were supposed to be moved in June 1st, and here we are moved in FINALLY on July 1st! Anyway, all of our stuff is in boxes, so no pictures yet, but when I have them, I will post them! It is very exciting!

But I made a point not to forget the currently this month! WOOO!! Click the picture below to check out other currently's!

LISTENING: Really, I'm listening to a playlist, that just happened to be the one that was on when I was typing! *Now* I'm listening to Am I Wrong by Nico & Vinz. Sometimes you just gotta love the Top Hits...

LOVING: The hubby and I just moved out of about 300 square feet into a 4-bedroom HOUSE! It is... glorious. Period. 

THINKING: Oh man, we've been eating fast food for every meal for like 2 weeks with this ridiculously long move. It was fantastic to eat home cooked food on our brand new dishes. Sigh.

WANTING: This is going to be my first year teaching and I want my first classroom!!! I have so much STUFF packed up (in addition to the rest of my belongings...) for my classroom ready to load up! I hope they call soon. I'm off this week... ;)

NEEDING: I have one more day to get my physical done and get all my paperwork turned in. I had my New Hire Session yesterday!

4TH PLANS: Nothing. And I'm so OK with that. I'll be giving thanks for my day of quiet solitude with Ryan in our new house. <3

In addition to the currently this month, you gotta check out the fun July Photo Challenge on Instagram. I am a new Instagram addict, so if you are on it, come find me! @DaisyDesignsTpT. Kacie over at Managing and Motivating Math Minds started it today, so we will see how I do keeping up with it! So far... so good. One day! Woot! Follow me on Instagram to keep up with it and I'll follow you back! www.instagram.com/daisydesignstpt

Until next time!