Friday, July 18, 2014

Gettin' my craft on!

Since I'm adding some color to my classroom, I thought I'd redo my rules using my new color scheme.  

 I found these little wooden numbers at Hobby Lobby. Picked out the numbers 1 - 5 and used acrylic paint to paint them pink, orange, and green.

These wooden frames are from Michael's. I spray painted them black.

I printed my rules and ran them through my little laminator since the frames didn't have any glass/plastic covering. Then glued them to the back of the frames, added the numbers to the corner, and BOOM!

Very simple and it looks pretty good if I say so myself! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

WHAT??? and a little shopping...

So today I was at Target and I see this...

All of these workers wearing red shirts were scrambling to put out the school supplies. I walked into a chaotic frenzy of "we need more crayons on this display" and "I think we can fit more folders here".  I LOVE Target, don't get me wrong, but there are 2 times a year when they really tick me off--1) when they put out bikinis and other swimsuits in December!! Brrr! and 2) when they put school supplies out near the beginning of July. Way to kill my summer vacation! Summer ends when I say it does...or when I'm told to report back to work, which is in 5 weeks.

On to the good stuff! Last year my classroom theme was owls. This year I'm not really going to have a "theme", more like a POP of color added to my room. I have a lot of black and white in my classroom already that I don't want to change. So I thought using some color could give me the change I was looking for, without committing to superheroes, birds, animals, etc.

The colors of this digital paper pack got me hooked! I love the patterns and the colors. So I'm using hot pink, lime green, and orange! I'm excited for the change because these colors make me HAPPY!

If you haven't checked out Erin Bradley Designs on ETSY, go do it! She has awesome stuff!

Target had these cute mini pails for $1 in their party section. I picked up 12! I might use them for pencil cups, supplies, or stick games.

OK, don't shoot me...I did look in the school supply section and found these pocket folders. They didn't have lime green but I snagged up enough of these for my new homework folders.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this fabric from Hobby Lobby! I'll be using this to make a few chair covers for my student of the week.

Pom Poms!! I had some in my room last year and got so many compliments that I had to get them again. 

 So that's a little peek for now. I'll be sharing more with you as I buy and create! I've already made a few things with the digital paper pack I bought and I'm so happy with how it all turned out!

Enjoy your summer!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July Currently

I am linking up with the fabulous Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for July Currently!

LISTENING - My son has a serious LOVE of hockey! For Christmas we bought him a hockey set that came with 2 sticks, pucks, and 2 mini goals to play inside the house. Let's just say this was THE. BEST. CHRISTMAS. PRESENT. EVER! He has gotten more use out of this than any of his other toys combined. 

Here he is defending the goal...he means BIZness!

So...he loves hockey. He loves playing it on the
wii and in the house. Can he ice skate or rollerblade? NO. Does that stop him from having fun? Heck no! He told me one day "Mom, when I'm in the NHL playing for the Rangers or some other team, and I win the Stanley Cup...can I still come home?" (Next on my to-do list: get this kid some skating lessons!!)

LOVING - Who doesn't LOVE Summer vacation?!? I just realized that yesterday marked my 4th week of this glorious "stay up late, sleep in, do what I want because I don't have to go to work" time. I WILL NOT listen to my mom, who keeps reminding me for some crazy reason, that summer is "flying by". Ugh, be quiet mom!

THINKING - Am I CRAYZEE?!? Possibly, yes! I have been wanting to try paddle boarding for a few years now and just never got around to doing it. Last week, 2 of my friends and I tried it for the first time, about 45 minutes from where we live. The conditions weren't the greatest--windy, windy, windy; which means waves...not the best for beginners. We weren't given a lesson...WHAT?! But we still got in and attempted to paddle board. We were a lost cause, falling down, paddling in place against the current and wind; but we have never laughed so hard or so much! 

A week later my hubby and I went to try it again but near home, on the river.


Isn't this BEAUTIFUL?! So this experience was amazing! I fell in love with paddle boarding. Is that possible after just 2 times? With me, YES! Haha! 

So here's the crazy part...we bought our own boards today...what?!? I kinda have a problem, sometimes I am really impulsive and I think money is no object, even though I don't have any! Haha! The good thing is my hubby felt the same way; so that's a good thing...right?

WANTING - So now that I will have my own paddle board, I WANT to be out on the water. Right now.

NEEDING - Even though it's summer, I need more time in my day. I am kept busy with chauffeuring my kids to swim team practice and water polo practice, which takes up a huge chunk of our morning (7:30 - 1:00). While they're in the pool for swim practice, I try and work out in the gym. No matter how much laundry I do, there always seems to be more! I hate laundry. I read. I clean the house when I feel ambitious. I think about doing some school work...and then I stop...because it's summer, silly! I say I'm going to scrapbook since it's been forever but then I catch myself saying "I better clean the kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/living room before I pull out my scrap stuff; and then I never get around to it. I don't really watch TV but I find myself sitting with my daughter to watch 'Brother vs Brother' on HGTV or 'America's Got Talent'. I get sucked in since she can work our TV's On Demand better than I can. I want to learn how to use my new (well, since Christmas new) Cameo Silhouette but it frustrates me and I give up. :) And before I know it, it's time for bed! So many things I want to get done during the day. I need to make a short "to-do" list so I can feel like I'm accomplishing something.

4TH PLANS - Can't wait to hang with my family tomorrow. My husband rarely gets time off because he owns his own business. So it's always nice to have him home with the rest of us. Our neighborhood gets a little crazy on the 4th with fireworks. So if we sit outside in the backyard on our deck, we can see a great show in any direction we look!

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy 4th!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Love! Love! Love!

I LOVE my NEW blog design!!! Megan from A Bird in Hand Designs did a wonderful job with my new design! If you are ready to add some color and life to your blog, go check out her site.

Megan was so easy to work with and was open to any changes that I wanted. She got my fabulous new design up and running within the week! Thanks so much Megan! You ROCK!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

My Last Week of School

My last week of school was 2 weeks ago. We had 3 half-days to end our school year. LOVE that!! The week before was spent doing end of the year common assessments, given by our school district 3 weeks late! Yay us! First grade, for some crazy reason, was the only grade level that ended up having to take these LONG tests. So surviving the last few days of school was a must!

Our half-days are 8:10 - 11:50 and include a 15 minute recess & a 30 minute lunch (more like brunch since it's at 10:30). If you're lucky enough to have a prep on one of those days, that's another 50 minutes. So you can tell that there isn't much time in the day to do a lot. 

Monday was our Relax & Read Day. The students brought in pillows or blankets to get cozy while kicking' back to read. They sat with their book boxes and a friend, if they wanted, and just enjoyed reading! When told they could take off their shoes, you would've thought they won the lottery! Haha! It was awesome to see everyone engaged and having fun.

Some of my girls all cuddled up.

 These 2 were taking turns reading to each other. When one struggled with a word, the other gave strategies to help him out. (Made me so happy to see that!)

 Is this not the cutest thing?! The boy in the middle read aloud a science book while the others listened.

I wish I would've videoed this one. The boy holding the book is an amazing reader! He was reading all about poisonous animals, stopping every so often when the others asked questions. They were eagerly listening and he was patiently answering their questions or showing them the answers in the text. I kept overhearing "Wow! I didn't know that!" or "That's so cool!"

This boy, who was retained last year, had a year filled with tremendous growth! He went from not knowing many sounds/letters to fluently reading at grade level. His confidence grew and he turned into a kid who loved school. As he read, he kept saying out loud "I'm reading all these books! Mrs. Tompkins, I need more books to read. I just keep finishing them all!"

Tuesday was Game Day. The students brought in games that they could play with each other. There was such a variety that there was something for everyone!

Wednesday was Movie Day and the last day of school.  I brought the movie and the kids brought snacks to share with everyone. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Aaaaah, summer! Probably my most favorite time of the year! I started summer break 2 weeks ago, and it has been wonderful so far. I love being able to decompress from the stress of the school year, especially ALL the end-of-the-year craziness. I'm sorry for those of you that are still in school...yikes! But don't feel bad because I will be back to school earlier this year...the second week in August. UGH!! 

Since I didn't post much this year (mostly because this was probably THE hardest year of my career), I will be posting some random school things to share over the next few weeks. Think of it as "Throwback Thursday" even if it's Saturday or Monday! :) 

Here's my "End of the Year" gift that I gave my class this year:

Inside the cute summer cup--bubbles, crazy straw, bubble gum, and fruit snacks in summer shapes. Everything was from the Dollar Store except the fruit snacks, they were from Target.

I made the simple tag myself.

I put it all in a clear party bag, finished off with some curly ribbon. So easy! I'm all for quick & simple. Best of all the kids LOVED it!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year, New Attitude...AND Bubba!!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had enjoyed your holidays with friends and family, but most of all your time off from work. Being able to relax and only worry about what time you should get out of your pjs is the BEST!

I haven't posted in so long because I've been in such a FUNK. (I'll try to be brief with this, not sure if that is possible.) 

I was excited for the new school year to begin, but a lot of changes happened over the summer for my school--our terrific, supportive principal left without any notice (we received a district email from our superintendent naming people who had new positions in the district...she was one of them); our wonderful and amazing secretary got promoted and went to a new school (also, found out by email); our fantastic librarian, who has been at our school since it opened, moved to a new town (we knew she moved but she mentioned she might stay for a few months until someone got settled); AND my best friend decided to move to a different school. I couldn't take any more unwelcome "news"...enough already!! Jeesh! 

That changed my excitement to ho-hum REAL quick...and then school began...and the clipboard brigade/standards police came. Their weekly, sometimes more, visits put our whole staff on edge. It's fine when admin comes to visit for a few minutes in your classroom to see what's going on, but when there's a group of people with clipboards, walking around your room, questioning students, checking to see if standards are posted, taking pictures, looking through stacks of papers-- it gets intimidating, annoying, stressful, you name it! 

Our district had all kindergarten & first grades switch to the new Common Core standards. We were rushed through crappy training in late spring; were trained by people who haven't been in a classroom and who couldn't answer many questions from us teachers; had to learn a new ELA and Math curriculum but didn't have access to it until the week before school began. 

So, my love of my job was starting to fade. Coming to work, teaching the kids didn't ever feel like a "job" until this year. There doesn't seem to be any fun and when I'm not having fun, the kids definitely aren't having fun which is sad. But I'm hoping the YUCKY attitude I've been sporting is G-O-N-E! I am starting over with a NEW attitude for this new year and I'm not going to let any of the BAD stuff effect me any more. 
**If you made it this far, THANKS for reading!!

Now, here comes the part about BUBBA! I usually get a wall calendar for my classroom to keep by my desk. It always looks something like this...

Who wouldn't love to get marooned on one of these beautiful islands?!

Every time I look at one of these amazing pictures, I go to my "happy place" for a quick mini-vacation. Then I can get back to the reality of first grade.  So I have this in my hand when I'm shopping at Barnes and Noble when all of a sudden, I see BUBBA!

I HAD to check this kid out! Who is he? Why is he so wise? But most importantly why is he making me SMILE and laugh out loud?

Here's a little excerpt from the back of the calendar--"What can a chubby little baby have to say about life? Plenty! Bubba is one little person with a lot of big ideas on how to live life to the fullest. He may be short of years, but he's already experienced many of the things that you and I have only dreamed about. So, take Bubba's advice and follow your dreams, face your fears, and most importantly, just have some fun! After all, isn't that what life is truly about?"


Here's some of Bubba's wise words...

*Photography by Christina Bynum-Breaux

Don't you just LOVE it?! How can you NOT smile after looking at that baby?! Bubba is giving me a much needed attitude adjustment. He will now have a special spot on my wall so I can be reminded daily to "live life to the fullest!"