June 26, 2014

DONORS CHOOSE Double Your Donation

I just submitted a project to Donors Choose and they let me know that the if your donors enter the word INSPIRE they will match the donation for 7 days!

This is pretty cool.

Here's my project. It's a really straight forward process. A little extra work (a lot of extra work) but totally worth every minute.

I've had a bunch of projects funded, the last one being our Wild Things Play and it has made A HUGE difference in our classroom. I tell the students about the donors and they get to see some of the website to know how I am getting their projects funded. Then they are in charge of writing thank you letters.

This part is the best. I have really been working on showing appreciation in my classroom and this is just another way to do that. They did an amazing job with their notes. It carried over into their "real lives" as far as I could tell, because at the end of the year, the classes that I really worked extra with doing these notes and appreciations, gave me a ton of thanks. I loved their personalized notes, with amazing messages and it helped me leave this school year with a positive feelings for next year. These little things keep teaching fresh. Donors choose really inspires me to thing of new ways to challenge my students and enhance my curriculum.

I hope you try it!

Or you can check mine out. If you donate even $1. we'll send you cards and you can see what all the fuss is about.

June 25, 2014

Art Room Organization

I spent the first few days of summer completing OPERATION ORGANIZE the art room.

This process started a month ago with kids laminating all these super cute labels I got on Teachers Pay Teachers. Kids did the nitty gritty work of testing markers, sharpening colored pencils etc etc etc. The last week of school I shut down my regular lessons and created art centers (dough, building, legos, drawing) and just started sorting, closet by closet!

Why did it take so long? For three reasons

1. I inherited an art room filled to the brim with stuff from the 70's (must've been trucked from the old art room as this room was pretty new.)

2. I had a baby, finished my masters and teach 500 ++++ students a week with minimal plan time (things have been busy the last three years, really really busy.)

3. People bring me stuff. Loads of stuff.

I need someone to celebrate with me. Someone who understands why this took 1 week with kids in my room every hour + 2 days (with a three year old in toe) and 1 day all by myself (it was a vacation of sorts.)  Yippeeee I'm free!!!!

Well sort of (I brought home 4 boxes of lesson files to go through!)
My Scary Closet BEFORE

My scary Closet After (sort of) I still could use another day in there!

I'm so proud of my babies. . . each little cabinet is as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.

Watercolors:) No more big bins, sorted by color and type.

 So yes, this was an epic feat! They really do pay teachers WAY too much;) LOL off to bring in the boxes of lesson files from my car. Going to spend my summer, organizing, editing and reimagining my lessons for next year.

June 24, 2014

Best Teacher Gifts Ever

This just cracks me up.  I don't really get a lot of presents for teacher appreciation day or Christmas, but for Mother's Day and the last day of school. . . I hit the mother load.

Most are homemade and a few are addressed to my daughter who has become quite the little celebrity since the day she got to visit my class because of an emergency. The kids have never stopped talking about her! She sat and colored quietly with the girls in the classes and they all think they are her teacher/babysitter/big sister. It was so Montessori having the multi age levels and showed me that sometimes what we think will be a disaster is the best thing ever. I digress.

I got a lot of thoughtful gifts (I hope someone's mom isn't looking for earrings because I got some beautiful costume jewelry), but this note just makes me smile. Although we think we are regular teachers, clearly the kids still think we are "special." Saving this one.

I can't follow directions either. . . It says check one, not circle! I would so fail the new SBAC test at this rate.

Note to Parents: When thinking of a gift for your child to get for his/her teacher, fold a piece of paper and let him/her go! Those are the best gifts ever!

What's the BEST (and by best I mean funniest/cutest) 
teacher gift you got this year?