Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thank you Beans ---

I have to give a ton of thanks to the creative and sometimes weirdly fantastic people of Pinterest. The ideas and pictures here do not represent a totally original idea on my part, but we each make what we see our own.
The idea of using paint chip cards is so great! There are tons of ways to incorporate them into a classroom or into home routines with kids - or spouses that need an extra push --- that your imagination can take any of these ideas and run!
Paint chip cards as bookmarks! They are free (until the paint stores read too many blogs!), colorful, and cute! My latest sick days - the elementary school trifecta: ear infection, sinus infection, and strep throat - gave me tons of time to sit and rest and create ----
While I waited in Walmart for my prescription to be filled, I wandered over to the paint department and attempted to stuff my purse with paint chips. I'm no saint, but I felt guilty and like I was shoplifting ---- I quickly zipped my purse closed and took off.

The bookmarks pictured above can be used:
  • just as they are
  • to check off chapters as they are read
  • to list newly learned 'vocabulary' words from the text
  • as a reading log - document time read each day
I also plan to use the names of the colors in a writing exercise - let my students randomly choose a paint card and then choose one color (or as many as they can) to use in their writing. Neat way to teach about adjectives.

Thank you Beans to my friends at Pinterest!

Don't know Beans about Cutesy

I do not intend to create some cutesy, Fancy Nancy teacher's blog or a long, whiny look at my life - that just isn't me. I have tried and tried to be that cutesy type of elementary school teacher, but in truth - it never ends well.
When I started teaching - 31 years ago - OMG - I planned to teach junior high students (today's middle schoolers). I did some student teaching in 6th and 7th grades - loved it - but also had to do time in 4th to ensure my certification status. My first teaching job? Second grade. In a church basement. My classroom had to be "put away" every Friday before I went home so there could be Sunday School on Sunday mornings. The next year they created these sectionals made out of paneling and cork board to separate the space into 2 classrooms.This movable wall created 11 bulletin boards in each room - no fancy machines, no budget for buying pre-made items. Everything I did was self-designed, created, cut, and applied.
I tried to be cute - after all, most of the congregation would be seeing what I had done during Sunday School.... It did not always work and some little old lady or man would come and tell me what they thought about my boards. I did put in a lot of effort.
The next year I was asked to replace the principal who was moving to Alaska to start a new school - I sometimes wish I had gone with him! There was a move to a gigantic classroom upstairs to a combined 2nd and 3rd grade class - meetings, meetings, and more meetings, so there was not the time to be so cutesy. It was hard work for me to cute -
I was secretly thrilled beyond words when my husband joined the Air Force and we moved away. My next teaching job came to me in a most unusual way and at first there was an implied cutesy element.....

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Just the Beginning

Well, there is no other way than to just begin. A blank page is always intimidating. That first sentence, those first words - are they right? Do they make sense? Will anyone else like what they read?
You would think that as a teacher I have plenty to say. The problem is, sometimes I say things that I shouldn't - that is why I am not a facebooker. I expressed my opinion on facebook once and several of my colleagues wrote to tell me who was making copies of what I had written and that I should really watch what I say. Really?? Gee, one of the many fifth grade standards that I teach is to understand the Bill of Rights. I am very sure that the first amendment gives me freedom of speech. Nothing I said was slanderous or malicious - it was just my opinion. You don't know beans about freedom of speech, so please don't tell me what to say.
So I will write here. I will share my opinions, my journey, my experiences, and my beans.
So there facebook.