Saturday, January 25, 2014

Recycle Old Calendars

I love calendars.  
I usually go to my local book store and purchase my next year's calendar around October. 
Many people don't purchase calendars anymore.  Our high tech phone devices and tablets provide paper~less organization.  Not me.  I love paper.

At the end of the year, I struggle with throwing away my previous year's calendar.  
It feels as if I'm throwing away the previous year.  So, I cut out the pictures and store them away with my paper collection.   

This year I decided to do something with the pictures.
I created book marks using the thumbnail pictures on the back cover of 2013's calendar.

This is what I did.


~ Last year's calendar ~

~ Paper Cutter ~ 

~ Double~Stick Tape ~

~ Whole~punch ~ 

~1/4 in. satin ribbon ~ 

~Card Stock Paper ~


Find thumbnail pictures of the larger calendar on the back cover.

Cut thumbnails either vertically or horizontally.

Adhere the strip of thumbnail pics to card stock paper with double~stick tape.

For vertically alligned thumbnails, leave a small space of cardstock on the top in order to have space to punch the whole without blocking the words.


Use the paper cutter to level the edges, be careful with the corner edges.

Punch a whole on the top or on the side with your whole~punch.

Tie a bow or a knot through the whole with satin ribbon.

And, you're done.

This is what it looks like when you turn it over.

So easy.

These will be my valentine gifts for teachers that belong to our Teacher's Encouragement Group at school.  I can't wait to give them out.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Half~Way Through

My students and I had a week of reflection.  
Each student received a reading progress report that tracks their reading progress for the first semester on a line graph.  I also updated our reading race chart and our "Reading Olympics" board.  Visuals help us all get a sense of where we are and where we need to be. Many students had smiles and deep breaths of satisfaction.  Others had wide eyes and the lowering of the side of their mouths.  

Students whose reading levels increase want to shout it out from the mountain tops. 
 Students whose reading levels remain the same, or decrease, get upset and don't want to talk about it.  One of the most challenging tasks of my job is motivating students who either do not like to read or have never really read for real, to commit to breaking ground and going for it.  If I could accomplish this, I have done my job.  An authentic committment on the part of the student makes all the difference.  Once they have chosen to turn off cell phones, computers, video games, TV's, and everything else that competes for their attention, and dive into doing whatever it takes to understand the text, they have won.

 Our greatest moments in the class is when a struggling reader passes a comprehension quiz. 
 Everyone celebrates. A passing score of 70% or higer grants the reader an 
"I Finished Reading A Book" Award.  Struggling readers get very impatient for their award when they finally earn one, and they don't allow me any delay.
Once that first quiz is passed, others follow.  

My focus this semester is to continue to plow and till the soil.  
My hope is that I will be able to influence and challenge my kids to expect more from themselves and to resist the tendency to just give up.  It gets wearisome sometimes, and the reading assessments don't always mirror the work we're all doing.  However, one day, it may not even be a day I will ever witness, the lessons learned will reap a harvest.

Friday, January 10, 2014

No School Surprise

Here in the south we don't have snow days, obviously, but we do have flood days.

This morning we found out that school was canceled due to flooding around our county.  

I feel badly for those families affected by the floods, but it was nice having a day off.  

I spent the morning blog hopping. I found two lovely blogs that have great ideas.

I'm already planning to use some of the ideas posted.  

Here is one of the links to a blog called, "Mrs. Heeren's Happenings.

Check it out.

Mrs. Heeren's Happenings

The other blog is called, "Teaching and Tapas".

Teaching and Tapas

Have a Great and Restful Weekend

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year, New Semester, New Opportunity

I knew our winter break would fly by, it always does.  I always feel as if the best day of a vacation is the day before it comes.  The idea and anticipation of the break is almost more exciting than the actual time off.  On Monday we will be going back to the "new" drawing board.  We'll have new opportunities to build on what has already been established.  We'll have a new opportunity to make some things better.  In my personal blog I chose one word to be my personal mission statement for 2014.  I chose the word "position".  I feel I can apply that word to my professional life, as well.  It is my goal to establish a "balanced position".  I'm a much pleasant teacher when I keep a balance at work.  We can easily get caught up in the enormous amount of work and neglect equally important tasks that will help energize us to continue.  Drinking water, taking a mind break during the day, laughing, exercising, staying realistic and grounded are all necessary tasks.  So, this new semester and new year, my position will be to be well-balanced so that I can enjoy this ride and endure.  

Happy New Year Everyone