Thursday, August 16, 2012

Yakking Tracker

Every year I always say the same thing...I am going to work more on my classroom management plan.  However, once I jump into the curriculum and start focusing on that, I lose my ideas!  This year, things are going to be different!  I have been brainstorming and searching Pinterest to find ideas to utilize.  However, when unpacking my room, I happened to find some old lights and paint that I had purchased after attending a conference.  It was a while ago and unfortunately I cannot give the proper person credit for it, I forgot which conference it was!  Here is what I found, plus a few of my kiddo's paint brushes.
So I started to paint....well actually my four small children decided that they were the ones to paint!  It was quite a site and there ended up being a pretty big mess on my deck.  But, as Randy Pausch said in his last speech, "Let the kids paint on the walls!"
After I made some fixes and scrappped a great deal of paint off of the light portion, I ended up with this!

Now, I know that there are stop light devices made for teachers and apps and such that are used for maintaining the volume of the classroom.  However, I like to be able to control the volume on my own.  Certain activities require a different volume and level of "yakking".  I plan to always begin with the green light.  If the volume starts to get a little too loud, I will light up the yellow, or instruct a student to do so.  From there, there is one final caution before we go back to silent, individual work...which I hope I NEVER have to get too. 

The lights I purchased, along with the paint, at Menards.  They were inexpensive and have a nice tape adhesive on the back.  Once I am in my room I am going to put them in the upper right corner of my front white board.  I love how they ended up...even more so with the smudges and the paint on the lights!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Primary Color Bins....NOPE!

This year I had to move rooms.  I decide to go out with the old and come in with the new, which meant new decor!  I pitched all of my old bins and get new ones.  However, before I actually threw out the old before getting the new...might have been a mistake.  Everywhere I looked, all I saw were primary colors.  I was frustrated, primary this, primary that!  I TEACH 8TH GRADERS!!!!  Primary is not their idea of decor, nor is it mine.  So, I purchased this...
This Lakeshore Learning product looked really functional for me.  I am going to use this for myself to store the items that I...
1.  Need to Copy
2.  Need to File
3.  Need to Complete
4.  Need to Correspond
However, the primary colors were a total drawback.  I thought and thought about it and then just entered my credit card number.  Yep....I hit the purchase button.  So I awaited its arrival, and a few other things that I am jazzing up!  Look for my next posts :).  While in the local Ace Hardware, I noticed they were having a sale on Duct Tape, not the silver kind, but the fancy schmancy kind!  I bought 3 rolls at $3 each...and still have leftovers.  I also bought some black spray paint.

So, I spray painted the primary blue holder (not sure what to call it) and the inside bottom of the primary colored bins black.  I am going for the black and pink look this year.  Thought it would be fun to jazz up my spirits a little!

One note of advice, do this in a well ventilated room, you can see the fumes in my picture!  After spray painting and letting them dry for 2 days, it was time to duct tape these bad boys.  I taped the bottom of the bins with the black duct tape.  The pink and zebra were used only on the outside and then the inside lining of the bins.  These were cardboard before, but I bet they are going to last a lot longer with the duct tape around them.  They are much sturdier and are now a lot heavier.  Perfect for my middle school classroom!  So, here it is..........the final product of my duct tape bonanza!!!!
Notice the little hand in the corner....that's my kiddo, always wanting to be in pictures!

This is my first official post and I have lots more to come...decorating my room is pretty darn exciting when you are starting from scratch!  Wait until you see my next Pinterest inspired creation!
I would love to know what people think about this little recreation!   What would you do with it?  Does it look tacky?  What else could I have a duct tape bonanza with???  Thanks!!!:)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Algebra isn't just a bunch of letters! I say that often to my students. It's not learning about solving complex equations, but rather a way of thinking. This school year I am devoting myself to make each and every lesson awesome! I will be posting all of the Algebra Awesomeness that I come up with. I hope you enjoy!