Thursday, July 12, 2012

Photo Book

Shutterfly offers exclusive photobook layouts so you can make your book just the way you want.

Finished this for Baby Girl! Loved that everyone contributed their photos :) Love this photobook site...use it!

Organizing the Home front...House Cleaning Schedule

I have been inspired by many Pinterest ideas...but have I actually done anything about them (besides teaching ideas) not really...until now :) It takes this teacher the summer and maternity leave to take action I guess. Also the fact that my husband and I are now home owners! It is a newly built house so we are learning everything that comes with that. Thank goodness I have been home, otherwise I don't know how we would have gotten in all the service men check-ins that have occurred since we have moved in.

One thing that I have been committed to is keeping this house clean! I have to admit, I was quite the slacker in the apartment. Now that this house is my own, I want it done right! But, what I realized even in my apartment, to do all the cleaning in one day is daunting and easily put off because of that. That was until now :)

I saw on Pinterest many ideas of creating a daily schedule for cleaning, that would only take 15-30 minutes a day. My husband and I thought we would give it a try. We combined the ideas off of several I had pinned, wrote down the chores and cleaning we saw that we needed to get done, and created a four week schedule rotation of chores.

I tried our first week out this week, and I have to was a success! all the chores took me either 10-20 minutes...the longest was today 30 min for vacuuming. It was so nice knowing that I had the cleaning for the day done, so I could get other things accomplished, and that even though I saw the sink needed to be was the next days chore and would be done. I finally felt happy to do cleaning, not overwhelmed.

We have laminated our schedule, and I found a cool dry erase marker that is magnetic for our fridge.

We have them hanging in our other Pinterest inspired area to keep us organized: our "homestation". My husband has a habit of piles of things he wants out and close by that he wants to get to later. They always end of piling up on the counter or kitchen has become a pet peeve of mine. So I found this solution.

I purchased this file organizer (Real Simple) from Target, and labeled the openings. "M" for his things, "L" for my things I want at hand, and then I split up the last section into "i" for mail that comes in my husband still needs to see, and "o" for outgoing mail. Once again, a huge success once all set up...and the piles have vanished!

You will also notice that I have two notepads hanging. One is for the weekly grocery list (we write things down on it as we see the need), and the other is for at home projects that need to get done. It has really helped us stay focused. Then I have the crazy clip of coupons to use. I had these in a folder, but then easily forgot about them. I remember them when they are out and hanging like much as I hate the look of it. It is on the side of the fridge, so it is not that bad.

I tell you what...this has really made me want to keep pursuing things I pin...because I have several!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Long Term Sub Binder for Maternity Leave

Ok, so it has been awhile since my last post...6 or more months to be exact. Life has certainly changed since then. First and foremost is that in 5 weeks I will be a momma!! This weather has not been the greatest for this pregnant lady, but it has allowed me to get a lot of "nesting" done ahead of time, as well organize life and teaching before I take my maternity leave.

What I found as I was putting things together for my long term sub, was there was not a lot of anything out there to help give a basic idea what one could leave for a long period of time...especially if you are going to miss the first two months of school! My type A personality is cringing that I have to miss teaching all those important routines, so I really wanted to give as much as I possibly could to make sure those routines are taught and implemented.

So here is my binder I put together:

Inside the first thing I included is the building calendar that our principal gives us. This gives the sub important events happening that she will need to be aware of.

Next, I separated each section with a binder tab:

1. Classroom and Routines - this includes everything she needs to know about my classroom and the routines that she needs to know
- As I was planning this, I remembered the pictures I took in the fall of my classroom (which is what it will look like when she arrives). So I used those to create a written tour of my room. I labeled each part of the room and a possible routine that goes with that part of the room, or bulletin boards that she can add to:

This took the most time...but was totally worth it! (this is page one of 6 since the pictures take up room)

- Daily Routines - I thought of all the possible routines throughout the day she would need to know and typed out the steps. Routines included: Morning, End of Day, Intervention Time, Recess (indoor/outdoor), When a Student is Absent, Birthdays, Friday Fun, Friday Folders, Newsletter, Grading

- Behavior Plan - includes how to handle behaviors and what I do to give rewards

2. Standards and Plans - I included a copy of the L.A. and Social Studies common core standards, and left a plans template for her to follow. I also instructed her to put copies of her plans in this section.

3. Reading
- for each subject I included my Goal for the subject area, what the time looks like, supplies and teacher resources to use, how to assess, units covered while I'm gone, and possible lessons.

- The "cover sheet" included these things before a possible outline of lessons she could use, with the possible time frame it would take to cover the unit

4. Writing
- included the cover sheet

- For this subject, I am especially picky so I included more specific lesson plans for the unit. I already had much of this typed out due to my student teacher this year :)

5. Word Study and Grammar - This was the most vague section I left because I teach this differently every year depending on the group of students I have...and I told her this. I gave her some resources she could use, possible units she could cover, but told her to pre-assess and change depending on the group of kids we get

6. Social Studies
- cover sheet as mentioned

- I have a possible outline of lessons to cover the unit (left some open due to new standards)

7. Other
- I included how to access certain technology on the teacher computer and in the room. 

** I put all of this in a thick binder with a lot of room with the instruction that she is to put copies of the resources she uses, and other things she hands out or receives that I need to know about when I return.

** In each subject area, I included copies of some of the handouts I have given out, but mostly have given her the instructions of how to find them on my computer and the folders of the subject areas I have collected ideas and materials in, that she can use and pull from.

So there you have it. I hope this helps those who may be in this same position now or someday. I wish something like this was out there for me when I started...but glad I have a starting point, since it may change, come kid number 2 :)