Sunday, May 6, 2012

DEW your best!

FINAL day of ISTEP! I wanted to get the kids PUMPED for the final day of testing! What better to do that with than MT. DEW!!!! *Disclaimer- I first discussed this idea with my principal! I didn't let the students drink the Dew at school! I sent an e-mail to my parents warning them that I gave the students Mt. Dew and that it was coming home in their book bag! However, the kids were smiling ear to ear when they saw what was on their desk that morning! I once again went to my favorite program "Publisher" to create my cards that said "DEW your BEST on the rest of the test!"

Needless to say they LOVED it!


So, my students REALLY liked the Smarties! One even said "do we get NERDS tomorrow?" Not because she asked for it but because it made me "Manterest" another idea, indeed they did get Nerds! A little side note about me, 1. I LOVE to be creative 2. I LOVE to give things to others 3. I LOVE to make people smile! I tossed the idea of giving my students Nerds all day long but just couldn't come up with the right phrase. Day 2 was "Language Arts Day" so I wanted to tie the nerds in with the reading theme.... I think it is the "AH HA" moment that makes me love doing this kind of thing.... This is what I came up with....
Using Publisher I made little cards that said "It is cool to be a NERD....make sure you read every WORD". I then printed them on bright colored card stock.

I then taped a small box of NERDS in the middle and put one on each of my students desk before they came into the room that morning.

They were pretty excited about their treats! I mean what 4th grader doesn't want straight sugar in the morning! (which they did not get to eat before their test!)

Two days of testing down! One to go! What DEW you think I will do for the kiddos on the last day????

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

FOG Delay.....Really TODAY????

When I woke up this morning, I glanced out my window and noticed a shelf of fog sitting near the top of the houses in my neighborhood. I thought to myself "maybe we will have a 2-Hour Delay" and then laughed at myself for thinking such a funny thought! I went on my way and did my morning bible study and prayer time. When it came time for me to get up, I took my phone off the charger and noticed text after text after text that all read "2-Hour Delay"! I quickly turned on the TV and sure enough on the local news it showed that our school had a 2-Hour Delay! I would have been excited had it not been the first day of our state wide standardized testing! YIKES! While talking with a parent of one of my students who is also a teacher in another district about our ISTEP testing, she gave me some advice to share with my students.... her advice was this "Solve First Then Click"! Since it was the first day of our state testing and the students were taking the test on the computer, I thought this was a brilliant phrase for the day! I had already planned on handing out some SMARTIES to the students to get them excited about there testing when this "Manterest" idea came to mind! Here is what I did:

Using the most amazing publishing program "Microsoft Publisher" I created little cards for my kiddos that said "Be a SMARTIE! S.F.T.C Solve First Then Click"

Next, I printed the cards off onto Card Stock and cut them out.

Then I added a SMARTIE to each one!

Finished Product! The kids LOVED their little surprises and their little tip to Solve First Then Click!
Now, I have to give credit where credit is due! The person who gave me the phrase, her name is Pam. So, today's new idea wasn't from Pinterest, wasn't completely from Manterest but more from Pamanterest! Thanks Pam for the GREAT phrase! Now, if only I could come up with some cool phrase when I give the class NERDS for day 2 of testing tomorrow!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

DIY Dry Erase Boards

At the beginning of the year I was in need for a classroom set of dry erase boards. Being a broke first year teacher, I knew that wasn't going to happen. My sister is genius when it comes to creating things out of things you already have. I shared with her one day that I was in need of dry erase boards for each of my students and that is when she gave me this genius, easy idea! Use DVD cases and turn the jackets inside out. DUH! Why didn't I think of that! I had my students each bring in a DVD case. Because my room is super colorful, I had the students take out the jackets, trace around them on a piece of construction paper, cut them out and slide them into the DVD case cover.
The dry erase marker wipes right off of the plastic on the DVD case! It wasn't until we were going through Kleenex box after Kleenex box that I thought, we need something else to wipe our work off with. That's where the glove comes in! I was browsing the aisle at my local Joann Fabrics Store when I saw a huge bin of stretchy gloves on clearance! (My FAVORITE word! CLEARANCE!) Each pair was .50! Instantly, I knew these would be GREAT cheap erasers for our DVD cases! Because the gloves are so thin, they fit PERFECTLY inside of the DVD case!

It is a beautiful thing in my classroom when I can say get out your dry erase marker and go get a dry erase board and everything is right there! I also love that it doesn't take up a bunch of space in my classroom. They all fit perfectly into this basket that the teacher before me left behind! This summer I will be on the look out for a smaller dry erase marker that I can fit into the DVD case along with the glove! Thanks Nikki for being such a genius! I guess we could say that today's idea would be Nikterested!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

We're Not Just Talking About Teaching Here!

It's a lazy know what that means...Pinterest surfing! I decided I was going to be productive and surf Pinterest for dinner ideas while I was making my grocery list for the week. So as I was looking at all of the yummy food ideas, I came across a recipe that I pinned a few weeks ago. Since I was going to the store anyway, I added the ingredients to my list. It called for a square-like cupcake pan that I did not have so I added that to the list also. With my list in hand, I was off to Meijer to tackle the job of filling our fridge and pantry for the next two weeks. I came to the aisle where they sell their baking pans...not square-like cupcake pans  to be found! After finishing filling my cart and emptying my bank account, I headed to Target to find this pan. Guess What? No square-like cupcake pan their I decided I would "Manterest" the idea! Here's what I did:

Gathered my ingredients: a brownie mix, a cupcake pan (since there are no square-like ones to be found!), a package of break-n-bakes, and 12 Reese's Cups.
After making the brownie mix according to the directions on the box, I smashed two break-n-bakes into each cup.
Then placed one Reese's cup upside down in each cup. Then covered the Reese's cup with brownie batter.

Next, I tossed them in the oven to bake for about 18:00 min at 350 degrees. Here is how they came out!

Not as pretty as I thought they were going to turn out BUT come on! It's chocolate chip cookies, Reese's cups and brownies! How bad could they be! They are too hot to taste right now but I am sure they will be yummy! My kitchen smells good anyway! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why did I wait till now????

As I begin to think about the end of my first year of teaching, I ask myself..."Why didn't I start a blog at the beginning of the year and chart my first year of teaching!" It wasn't until recently that I started to take pictures of the things I was creating for my classroom. You see I am a HUGE fan of Pinterest! I find something on there to get my creative juices flowing, tweak it a little and create something with my own twist! Other teachers would ask me (knowing my Pinterest addiction) "Did you find that on Pinterest?" I would respond with no, I got that on "Manterest"! (Mandy and Pinterest combined) They would say oh well if you put that on Pinterest, you would get lots of Pins! With that idea in mind, I decided I would blog about the ideas I would come across and create to share with others and see what would end up on Pinterest!

So, with that I will give you my FIRST "manterest" idea!

Yesterday was our 4th grade field trip to the State House. MAN! I didn't know how much a field trip could wear you out! We had a great time and I am SO thankful to all of the parents who volunteered to go! The parents were amazing! They were chaperons of a small group of children. Their were so many chaperons that the teachers didn't have a group of students and we could tour at our leisure! That was nice! I wanted to do something special for the parents who volunteered in my room so I went to my creative source PINTEREST! I searched "thank you gifts" where I found a picture of a little gift using EXTRA gum. With that, my juices were a flowin! Here is what I created!
I cut some hands from our school die-cut machine and purchased each of my parent volunteers a package of EXTRA gum. On each hand I printed "Thank You for your EXTRA hand on our field trip!" (I kind of have this thing for a play on words!) I gave them to each of my students to take home to their parents and I think the students were just as excited to give them to their parents as I was to make them for their parents! The parents went out of their way to re-arrange their daily schedules and come with us so the least I could do was give them a small token of appreciation!