Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Teacher Sales! (Get excited.)

One of my teamies and I are planning to head to Teacher Tools tomorrow for their annual sale, and I thought I'd go ahead and research when allllllll the sales are for teachers this summer.

Might as well share the info. if I'm looking it up, anyway, right?!  Hopefully some of you will benefit from this!  I live in the Dallas area, so I'll share the various locations in our area and try to link to the websites that give sale dates when possible.

Here goes!

TEACHER TOOLS: (20% off storewide)

*July 25th, 8:30 am-7:30 pm - Ft. Worth and Allen locations
*July 30th, 8:30 am-7:30 pm - Hurst and Lewisville locations

LAKESHORE:

*Back to School Sale now through September 1st, 20% off tons of items
*Free shipping online when you spend $79+, use code SHIP79

OFFICE MAX:

*Various Dates; click the link above to enter your zip code and find your store's sale date!
(mine is August 10th-12th)
*Teachers get a free, reusable tote and 25% everything you can fit in it!
*Be sure you have their Max Perks Teacher Rewards card beforehand!

STAPLES:

*Various dates; click the link above to find your store's sale date! (Mine is August 10th, 10:00-1:00)
*FREE shopping bag plus 20% back* in Staples Rewards® on everything you can fit in the bag! For the first 100 teachers. While supplies last.
*Enter to win a $25 Staples® gift card.

Of course, there's still all the weekly ads to look through for the CHEAP STUFF at Target, Walmart, etc.  Though I avoid Walmart like the plague unless it is time for truly desperate measures.  :)

Last year I was up at Office Max having lots of my new decor printed (because they disconnected my printer at school, and I had to wait for the tech guy to come re-sync it or whatever), and with my printing purchase I got a whole class set of FREE composition books!  And they were cute designs, too!  Hoping they'll have that deal again this year.  I have a lot I need to print again this year, and I don't really want to print it all at home.

I've also been searching every Target within a 30 mile radius for these certain book boxes that I got about a month ago.  They only had 3 in the right colors (teal & lime), and I really need 2 more!!!  I also need another 20 or so of these books I got for my team in the Dollar Spot.  They're little reading response books, and I plan to have the kids keep them in their book boxes for Daily 5 and require them to fill out at least one section per week.  One day when I went, they were on sale for 70% off, so I got them for SUPAH CHEAP!

I was going to post a picture of it, but I can't find it, and frankly, I'm too lazy to take another one.  After all, the books are in my car.  In the garage.  In the backseat.  I mean, ain't nobody got time for that, amiright?  :)

Anyway, I hope this post helps a few people out there!  Happy back to school shopping!  I'll be sure to post pics of the goodies I pick up at the sale tomorrow!  Tomorrow is PAY DAY, too!  So watch out!

Catch ya later...






Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Classroom Must Haves



I'm linking up with Courtney at Swimming Into Second (adorable blog!) for her Top Ten Tuesday!

This week's Top Ten is for the things you must have in your classroom.  



So here goes.


#1...My Smartboard

I get so frustrated when it's not working!  I am so used to touching the screen and writing on it.  It's the best.
I was the first teacher at my school to get one (wrote a grant), and now every classroom has one!


#2...Mr. Sketch smelly markers

These make my heart so happy every time I use them.  The kids always want to smell them when I pull out a new one, and I usually indulge them.  Who can blame them?!  These things are awesome!  And they write so bold and neat!

#3...paper chopper

I use this puppy all the time.  I don't call it a paper trimmer because this sucker doesn't trim.  It CHOPS.
Hard core, baby.  :)


#4...bright colored everything
My current classroom decor: lots of lime green and teal!
My old classroom decor.  Beach party!


#5...my Scotch laminator

This is the best purchase I made after hemming and hawing forever about whether or not I should buy it!
Wish I had bought it sooner!  It's perfect for small jobs like centers, task cards, etc.  I also like that it's a thicker lamination that what our school laminator does.  Plus, our laminator is usually on lockdown, and we have to wait for volunteers to come up and do it for us....no comment.  *ahem*


#6...my color printer

I have an HP something-or-other that also scans and all that jazz.  It prints fine, but it is a necessity!
We call it our "team printer," because the color printer in the office is pretty much off limits.
And frankly, who wants to walk across the building to get your stuff, anywho?!  I tell ya.


#7...labels (on everything)
Word Work & Work on Writing.  Labels!
Part of my class library.  LABELS.  They make me sane.  er.  SanER.
I also have almost every cabinet door/drawer labeled with my DYMO label maker.
(If only I was this organized at home...)


#8...my rolling chair

It looks something like this, but navy blue.  I am planning to recover it in a cute fabric this year.
This chair makes me happy.  I like to roll around in it.  I spend so much time controlling the SMARTboard for the kids, that it's nice to have a comfy spot to rest my butt.  :)


#9...storage bins

I love storage bins.  I worked last year to get more bins that matched or coordinated,
because I had collected so many random, mismatched ones!


#10...my teammates

This was my teamies and I at our Summer Conference before school started last year.
That's me on the right.  (So glad my hair has grown out some from when I chopped it off for Pink Hearts Fund!)
I don't know what I'd do without my amazing teammates.  They are SO fun to be with, and we are
constantly cracking each other up.  They make my job more fun and more bearable on those days that are
tough to get through!



So what are your top ten "must haves" in the classroom???

Go link up at Swimming Into Second!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Vacation. Hmph. But Monday Made It. Yay!

I'll be linking up with Tara at her Monday Made It linky further down in this post.  Please feel free to skip ahead if you don't feel like reading about my crummy vacation, lol.  There are some Daily 5 Freebies, so it may be worth it for you to keep reading!  ;)

Well. Hubs and I went to Mexico to celebrate our 5th anniversary, which was June 21st.

"Celebrate" turned out to be a loose term, as we both got sick. Yep. We arrived midday Sunday, I was sick by Monday night, and he was sick by Tuesday night. I spent most of Tuesday in the room, but Wednesday I was able to spend a couple hours at the beach and even some time in the ocean.

We stayed in Playa del Carmen at one of those fancy resorts. It was beautiful. The ocean is gorgeous there. Hubs and I discussed and both agree that the sand in Destin is nicer (white), but the water is nicer in Playa.

Another interesting thing is that there were like NO Americans there. It was nearly ALL Europeans. So I couldn't understand anything anyone was saying. :D

One thing is for sure: when you're sick and unable to enjoy your vacation very much, it sure does make you miss your child more! We both missed our boy terribly and couldn't wait to get back to him Thursday.

Here are a few pictures I managed to get (on my phone, sorry):

Do you like my double chin?  




Europeans.  Lots of em.




View from the bar by the pool, where we took cover during the brief rainstorms that passed through.
There was also a swim up bar, which was my fave.


I looooooove the ocean.


Alas, I'm still feeling miserable, but I'm thankful to be back at home, at least!  The worst part is thinking about how much money we spent on a trip we hardly enjoyed.  :(  Oh well, what can you do???

I did manage to get a few things made for school on our flights, which is where my Monday Made It comes in.  I usually prefer to link up with cute crafty creations (I love alliteration, peeps), but I was in Mexico, so that was a no-go.  Though I have several crafty creations in the works, yay!




Here are a few updated things I've made if anyone is interested, and be sure to click the image above to see Tara's and everyone else's amazing "made-its!"


Free Daily 5 Posters in Teal, Lime & Orange Chevron & Polka Dots:
(Click link to download on TpT; click image to enlarge.)





Free Daily 5 Posters in Black & White Polka Dots:
(Click link to download on TpT; click image to enlarge.)





My Teaching Binder in Pueblo Primary:
(Click link above to view on TpT; click images to view.)





My Teaching Binder in Chevron Brights:
(Click the link above to view; click images to enlarge.)





God bless you if you made it this far!  :D

XO, Gayla

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cafe Awnings: How To!



I've gotten several comments asking how I made the cafe awnings in my classroom (yay for people finding me through Pinterest--gotta love the internet!), so I thought I'd post some information here, though I'm sad to say we didn't take pictures during the process.  :(  I will do my best to explain, though.

I'm going to link up with Tara's Monday Made It for this!  Hopefully it'll spark some ideas for those on the prowl to make their classrooms cuter!


Here are some pictures of the finished awnings in all their glory:




OK, the polka dotted awnings themselves are actually just wrapping paper I bought at Party City.
I think it would be just as cute or cuter to do the whole long awning in just one print/color.
But that's neither here nor there.  Anywho.

My brilliant cousin helped me make these, by the way--I told her what I wanted, and she figured out how to make it happen.  GENIUS, I tell ya!

First, we measured the length each section was going to be, unrolled the wrapping paper roll, and marked it on the inside white side with a sharpie.  (For the 2 outside edges, be sure you allow an extra few inches on each side.)

Then to make the scalloped edges, we used a small, dessert-sized styrofoam (sp??) plate.  We put it face-down and traced the top half (semi-circle) of the plate (repeatedly) on the white underside of the wrapping paper with sharpie.  Then we cut along the scallops we traced.  Voila, you have your paper.  Now, just to figure out how to hang it!  (Obviously, we just did one section at a time, and it took both of us to hang.)



 YOU WILL NEED:
1) a cardboard tube (must be strong; a toilet paper roll is too flimsy. I used a thick tube from a different wrapping paper.)
2) a hot glue gun
3) thumb tacks (not the flat kind, the kind that stick out)
4) scissors
5) stapler that lies flat to staple on the bulletin board
6) box cutter, etc. (yes, I have one of these hidden in my teacher desk!)


So as I hope you can see above, I folded down about 2 inches of the wrapping paper and stapled it to the very top of the bulletin board, all the way across the section.  (You will need a helper to hold up the paper while you staple.)

After deciding how far you want the awning to stick out from the bulletin board, you'll need to cut your cardboard tube into several sections that are that length.  (This is where that box cutter comes in.)  I think we did about 3 inches out from the bulletin board and then cut the tubes to fit.  You may also want to CREASE the wrapping paper (you may be able to see the creases in the photo) before you start stapling or hanging.

Each "section" of my bulletin board has 2-3 cardboard tube pieces helping to hold it up.  I hot glued one circle end of the tube piece, then pressed it to the very top of the awning (where I stapled) to provide a support for the paper.  Then I put hot glue on the circle end sticking out toward me and pressed the front of the awning on it (careful not to burn yourself!).

Hot glue the other cardboard tube pieces in the same way, spacing them out to provide support.

For extra support, I used thumb tacks.  I pushed in several thumb tacks just under each cardboard tube to help anchor them a little bit.  Get the thumb tacks as close as possible up against the tubes.

The last thing we did was to even out the 2 outside edges of the awning. 

Can you see the little slit we cut on the right side there?
The part that sticks straight out from the wall on the far right, we cut a line between the last scallop and 2nd to last scallop and then folded the far right scallop inward and under to even it out.

Can you see it here on the underside?

I really hope this helps!  I wish I had thought to take some step-by-step pictures!

Thanks to everyone who has complemented my awnings and who has expressed interest in learning more about them.  Please send me pics if you end up making some; I'd love to see what you come up with!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday!




Thanks to The First Grade Parade for hosting this fun new Friday Linky Party!  Cara Carroll is amazing, as I'm sure you know, and I'm super excited to link up!  If you haven't visited Cara's blog, definitely check it out; you won't be sorry!  Click the button above to visit the Linky Party!

What a fun party, huh?  Considering I'm Pinterest-obsessed and what not.  Whoo!  So let's get started, shall we?

In no particular order, here are some of my fave pins of late:

From my DIY/Crafts board:
Source: http://chickenscratchny.com/2013/04/spring-time-tic-tac-toe.html

How freakin' cute is that?!  Looks pretty simple to make, too!  The original post said she got the river stones at Dollar General, too!  She's clearly my kinda gal.  :)

From my For My Classroom board:
Source: http://artmommie.blogspot.com/2012/03/young-explorers-class_10.html
Brilliant.  This is from an art blog, but I think this would be an amazing back to school activity to inspire creativity and have students write about their final product.  ?!  Love it.


From my Desserts, Not Deserts board:
Source: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/11527/camp-fire-food#_a5y_p=687797

YUM.  May have to try this tomorrow when we have a pool party/cookout!


From my DIY/Crafts board:
Source: dumpaday.com

I am loving this idea!  We've been wanting to get a canopy for our backyard by the pool, but the ones we like are all too big for our tiny patio area--This looks pretty doable, huh??



From my Gifts/Stuff for Others board:



Source: dumpaday.com
What a brilliant idea!



From my Style/Beauty board:
Source: http://headedsomewhere.com/2013/04/22/follow-the-leaders-of-the-blog-o-sphere/

Loving this look!
What a fun link-up!  Thanks again to Cara for hosting!  Hope everyone had a great Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Monday Made It: July!

I am sad to say that it's already July because July is almost August, and August is back to school.

However, I am NOT sad to say it's July because hubs and I are taking a trip to Mexico this month!  (Not the whole month...is that how that sounded?  Just 4 days.)  YAY BEACH and fruity drinks!  Can't wait, though I am already worrying about leaving the little man.  I know he'll be in great hands with our parents (both sets of grandparents are taking him part of the trip).

My view in 2 weeks!


We just celebrated our 5th anniversary, so our trip is really for that, so yay!  Last summer we drove to Destin for a few days, but we haven't taken a proper "fancy" trip for quite a few years (pre-pregnancy, hehe).

5 years ago

Anywho, I am finally joining in for another Monday Made It with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics!  I hope you'll stop by and check out all the fun ideas from different bloggers and/or share your own creations!




Friday, after I dropped off my little guy at the babysitter's, I came back home to find that our garage door was not working and wouldn't open!  Normally not a big deal, but our front door is also currently broken.  (Why does everything seem to break at the same time?)  So after trying (unsuccessfully) to break into my own house through the back door, side door, and by kicking in the front door, I decided to do something much more productive:  shop.  I used $50 in gift cards for new books at Barnes & Noble, got some new stuff for me and the little guy at Old Navy, and got some goodies at JoAnn's to make a burlap wreath (which I've been wanting to do for a long time).

Here's my first attempt at a burlap wreath:

Not perfect, but pretty good for my 1st try!  :)


I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.  Holla!


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