Friday, December 28, 2012

Operation Organization!

Yay!  I'm linking up over at 2nd Grade Shenanigans with the Counting Our Blessings linky party!

I would really LOVE to get more organized this next year, especially at home!  (I'm pretty organized at school, except that my teacher desk drawers and big teacher closet are packed to the gills, though I know where everything is.)  (Oh, also--I haven't filed ANY papers since August, so there's that.  I'd take a picture of all the stacks of filing to be done in my classroom, but 1-I'm on vacation, and 2-I'd be too embarrassed.)  :D

Anywho, my house leaves much to be desired in the realm of organization/cleanliness.  My husband might use different words, haha.

Today I actually reorganized some of our kitchen cabinets and drawers.  Cleared out some of the bottles and infant spoons that little one isn't using anymore and reorganized what was left.

Next up is cleaning up all our lovely Christmas stuff, but then I'll move onto the pantry.  I found this on a great blog called Eat. Sleep. Decorate.

via Eat. Sleep. Decorate.
My pantry isn't that big, but I like a lot of the organization tools/ideas she used.  Click the link above to see the whole post and more pictures.

Here's how I organized my earrings and necklaces (a DIY project from a few years ago--I apologize for the awful pictures):

I got the frame at Goodwill for $4.00 and strung some twine on those little eyelet screws on the back.
I don't have a close-up for the necklace holder, but it's just a little 2x4 that I spray painted, drilled holes in, and then put in some crystal looking knobs from Hobby Lobby.  Good times!

TERRIBLE pictures!


Moving on...fave organization in my classroom:

Library--black bins new this year from Dollar General--
I've since made larger labels so that the kiddos don't have to squint to see them!

I love the narrow bins from Really Good Stuff to hold thin trade books!  I wish they were either all in one or 2 coordinating colors (anal retentive?  me?) but I believe they just come in multicolored packs.  My school bought them, though, so bonus there!


Love the matching labels on all my math manipulatives!!!  Made these this summer after being inspired by Kristen at Ladybug Teacher Files.  She is amaze-balls, no?

Pop Tops storage.  LOVE.  I have another jar and label already made for Box Tops but haven't gotten around to it...argh.

I LOVE THIS.  My notebook paper goes on the left, clipboards on the right, and papers are turned into the bin on top.  YAY.  I also love the basket to store whiteboards--they don't slip and slide all over the place!  Isn't it funny how something so simple can make you so happy?  :D

Well, I'm (finally) off to bed.  We just watched 2 episodes of The Wire.  (We just started the series--I bought it for Hubby for Christmas.  It's interesting & intense-ish but not TOO intense, which makes my anxiety-ridden self happy.)

Best of luck to you all in your organizing endeavors!  Here's hoping for a more organized, stress-free 2013!  I know we can do it!

Better yet, join in on the blogging fun over at 2nd Grade Shenanigans by clicking below:






Saturday, December 22, 2012

12 in 2012 Linky Party


I decided to link up with Miss Kindergarten AND A Teeny Tiny Teacher for their 12 in 12 Linky Party.  Better late than never, right?  

All you have to do is think back at your favorites in 2012 and add a few pictures. What a fun way to remember the year, huh!? You can use these prompts if you'd like, or just type up your 12 favorite things! 



12. Favorite movie you watched:
I NEVER go to the movies.  Like, ever.  I probably saw 2, MAYBE 3 movies this year.  I really liked the Hunger Games and the final Twilight movie.  And yes, I read both book series.



11. Favorite TV series:
My fave new series this year was Happy Endings.  I also love Up All Night.  Both are HILARIOUS.



10. Favorite restaurant:
I like food.  My fave restaurant is probably our local Anamia's OR 7 Salsas because they have the most amazing homemade tortillas that taste like my grandma's tortillas tasted.


9. Favorite new thing you tried:
I can't think of anything...maybe creating my own clip art borders?  I've only used them a couple of times because I've had NO extra time to create any lessons.  Hoping I'll get some more ideas on paper this coming year.

8. Favorite gift you got:
Massage gift certificate.

7. Favorite thing you pinned:
There are too many.  Who knows?


6. Favorite blog post:
My Classroom Tour (I spent a lot of time--and $$--completely changing my room this year).

5. Best accomplishment:
Selling my first product on Teachers Pay Teachers!  I had no idea if anyone would be interested, but apparently people are!  Yay.  

4. Favorite picture:
At Hudson's 1st Birthday Party, May 2012

3. Favorite memory:
LOTS!  So many memories with my sweet boy!  Love watching him DANCE!

2. Goals for 2013:
Become a better housekeeper, cook more, leave school earlier!


1. One Little Word:
Balance.  I feel like I haven't been balancing being a teacher and being a mommy very well.  I want to spend more time at home and less time at school.  As much as I love my students and what I do, I have to draw the line somewhere.  I will never get it all done, and I need to focus on my family more!  Also, I'd love to find some balance in staying healthy--hit the gym at least once a week!



LOVE this blessing.  I sung it in high school, and it was read at our wedding.  
I wish you all the best in 2013, fellow teachers!


Thank you so much for hosting this linky party, Miss K and Kristin!  Hop on over and join in the fun if you haven't already!  

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Christmas Gift!

Be forewarned:
You are about to experience jealousy in its purest form.  LOL.  Just kidding.  But seriously, folks!

Guess what I got for Christmas from my class???

Check out this video to see if you can tell what it is...

(My students guessed that it was a 1) microwave, and 2) a t.v.  LOL)

video


Did you see it?!

If you couldn't tell from the box, it's a... (drumroll, please)...




Yep.  Can you say generous?  I am very lucky to have amazing and supportive, generous parents where I work.  I am really excited to figure out how this amazing thing works and get creating!  YAY!

I hope all you amazing, hard working teachers out there in blogland have a wonderful Christmas and many blessings in the new year.  Here's to health and happiness!

XO,
Gayla





Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nominations (and more about me than anyone wants to know)!

Thanks to the awesome bloggers who (re)nominated me for the Liebster Award!  :)  I know I've been nominated in the past, but I thought I'd at least answer their fun questions!  Plus, it's a good reason to write a post since I've been so MIA lately.  :)

First thanks goes out to Sent From My iPad (great blog name, huh?)!
Here are her questions and my answers:

1. How long have you been blogging?  I started blogging personally when I moved to NYC back in 2002!  I started my classroom blog in April 2009, and I started this teaching blog in September 2011.
2. Why did you start a blog?  I started THIS particular blog because of all the amazing teaching blogs I had discovered.  It amazed me that I had never thought to use a blog that way before--to share ideas with fellow teachers.  Brilliant!
3. How did you come up with your blog name?  From the whole "Keep Calm and _____ On" phrase.  :)
4. What is your guilty pleasure?  Trashy tv.  My husband HATES all the shows I watch.  The only shows we watch together are Always Sunny, The League, and Louis.  I love the Vampire Diaries, reality tv, Parenthood, Modern Family...I could go on and on.
5. What is your "can't live without" teacher item? Smartboard and my Papermate Flair pens.  :)
6. Are your a morning person or night owl?  NIGHT OWL, big time.  It's a bit of a problem.
7. What is the funniest thing a kid has ever said in class or that you've overheard?  Me: "You look pretty in your make-up."  Student: "My dad says I look like a hooker."
8. If you had to pick one thing to eat for the rest of ever what would it be?  Chips and queso or nachos
9. What is your favorite iPad app? OR website?   Ooh, that's a hard one!  I LOVE Pinterest for discovering new ideas/blogs.  I love Educreations and Fotobabble for the iPad.  User-friendly for the kids!
10. How long have you been teaching?  This is my 6th year.
11. If you weren't teaching what would you be doing?  Performing musical theater, I hope.  :)

2nd Thank You goes out to Flamingos and Butterflies!  Here are her questions and my answers:


  1. What grade do you teach, and how long have you been teaching?  I teach 2nd.  This is my 6th year teaching--3 in 3rd and 3 in 2nd.  :)
  2. Where are you currently teaching?  Suburb of Dallas
  3. If you were not a teacher, what would be your dream job?  Being a musical theater performer or a writer or professional blogger
  4. What is your favorite adult book?  Just finished Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and it was AMAZING.
  5. What is your favorite kid book?  The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, The Wayside School books, and Skippyjon Jones books.  
  6. If you could meet any author, who would it be and why?  Anne Lamott.  She's just cool.  And has the most creative way of saying things.
  7. Why did you start blogging?  To record my experiences in New York.  (personal blogging)
  8. How did you come up with the name for your blog?  From the whole "Keep Calm and..." craze
  9. If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?  To fly!  Obvious reasons, right?  It would be AWESOME!
  10. Are you an early bird or night owl?  complete night owl!
  11. As you sit here blog hopping and answering questions from a random stranger, (just kidding) what are you thinking in the back of your mind you should really be doing right now?  Getting ready for bed.  :)
3rd and final Thank You goes out to Beach Lovin' Teach, who is obviously a kindred spirit of mine, what with the beach thing!  :)  

1. How long have you been blogging?  Personally since 2002!  As a teacher since 2009.  :)
2. What is your favorite type of music?  I like LOTS.  I'm not a big fan of country or rap.  I love musicals, relaxing stuff, singer stuff, vocal jazz, choral, some opera, some classical, some of the  top 20 stuff, a lot of the Indie stuff.  :)  I was a music major, so I could write a dissertation.
3. Where would you go on your dream vacation?  Back to the Virgin Islands, probably!  Maybe Hawaii.
4. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?  spending time with my hubs and baby boy, reading blogs, reading, watching tv
5. Do you have any siblings?  3 half siblings; I am the baby and somewhat of an only child, since I was the only kid by the time I was 10 years old.
6. What's your favorite type of dessert?  chocolate cream pie.  yellow cake w/chocolate frosting.  i like chocolate pie and candy, but I don't like chocolate cake much.  or chocolate ice cream.  ??
7. What would you do if you won a million dollars?  Invest some, buy a bigger house, put some away for baby boy's college, give some to funding for childhood cancer and for the Backpack Buddies program.
8. What is your favorite color?  Blue, Teal
9. Coffee or tea?  usually coffee with cream/suger --or iced tea with lots of lemon
10. What is the last book you read?  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  I'm almost done with The Birth Order Book, which has been really eye-opening.  
11. What is your most embarrassing moment teaching?  Probably the time one of my students said, "Mrs. Cockrell, will you please pull up your pants?  I can see your bottom."  LOL.  OR last year's formal observation when I went to pull up the Smart Notebook activity I created to realize I had emailed myself the WRONG file.  FUN!  Teaching is all about flexibility, right??


Thanks again, lovely ladies, and happy December!  :)

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