Jul 27, 2015

Monday Made It {July 27th}

Wait! Summer where did you go?
That’s right people, I go back for preplanning next week. AH! In honor of my last few days of summer I have a completely non-school related Monday Made It for you. So here we go for another link up with 4th Grade Frolics!
Who else loves Etsy? Last week I shared wine labels I purchased and used for hostess gifts. This week I have two more Etsy related items.
I had this monogram S custom made for Savannah’s nursery earlier this summer. It is beautiful. If you are looking for a wooden monogram check out MonogramDecorNest on Etsy. It came unfinished as you can see below.

I waited till her room came together a bit more before committing to a color to paint it. My husband and I finally decided on a color and I think we made a great choice. It will hang above her crib. Now, all we need is for her chair to arrive!

My next made-it is one that I had made. Last summer I introduced you to a very talented friend and sorority sister that makes the most precious baby clothes. I have placed many, many orders from AnnaMorganDesigns on Etsy, but this by far is my FAVORITE (probably because it was for my baby). 

She designed a mint coming home gown with Savannah’s initials and a matching bow, an adorable Auburn themed game day outfit, and a precious burp cloth. Please check out AnnaMorganDesigns this fall when her Etsy store fully reopens, but for now she is taking custom orders. You can get something sweet like I did someone a special baby in your life.

For my last made-it I tried to get ready for baby! I wanted to make a few freezer meals to have ready for those stressful nights where making dinner is not an option. I found several recipes I wanted to try from Pinterest, so I decided to start with two yesterday.
I made Chicken Parmesan Sliders in the crockpot. SO easy!! Of course I made the chicken and froze that, without the bread for the sliders. The second recipe I made was Spinach Lasagana Roll-Ups. This recipe was pretty simple and looks delicious.

I’ll let you know how they taste in the coming months. Do you have an easy freezer recipe to share? I’d love some ideas.
Before I go and enjoy my last few days of summer, I must remind you to enter the giveaway Notes from the Portable and I are having. Today is the last day to enter to win a $25 Target gift card! You can enter HERE!

Jul 22, 2015

Back2School Link Up: Procedures & Policies

What procedures and policies do you teach at the beginning of the year? I am excited to read about what you all do as I link up with Notes from the Portable for another week of our Back 2 School Link Up!


The first procedure I have to share is one that makes my skin crawl. Yes, the dreaded pencil sharpener!  I HATE it, absolutely HATE the sound of the pencil sharpener! My students are not allowed to use it during the day.

How do I enforce this? By always having sharpened pencils ready! I bought these cups last summer and use two for pencils… one for SHARP and one for DULL.

So, when your pencil is dull you exchange it for a sharp one. This procedure takes A LOT of practice. Many kids want to just put the dull one in their desk and get a new pencil. Well, that causes a problem. At the end of the day, when my trustworthy students go to sharpen the pencils, there won’t be many in the dull cup. There is no trick to perfecting this procedure, just lots of practice and reminders.


The next procedure I start teaching early on the first day of school. Lining up is a very important procedure. I am not talking about lining up in a certain order, I am talking about lining up in a proper line.

I refuse to be that teacher who can’t control her line. I want my students to be able to walk nicely down the hallway without me and especially when I am absent.

We start by lining up in the classroom and reviewing expectation for a line. I like a 4S line. Straight, Still, Silent, and Smiling!

I hang this cute poster by our door. I say “Show me a 4S line” and the students hold up 4 fingers. As I say each S, if they are doing that thing then they put their finger down.  You can get this cute poster HERE in our Teaching Tips: Everything You Need for Back to School Pack.

When we are ready to venture into the hallway the 4S line should continue. I teach my students the first week where to stop in the hallway, that way they are never too far from me. Practice makes better, so we practice our 4S line a lot the first week by touring the school.
Another procedure I am pretty strict with is our bathroom sign out.
Let me start by saying that my students can use the bathroom whenever they want unless I am teaching or they are in a small group with me. I teach them to hold up a 1 with their finger to signal they need to use the restroom. No interruptions, which is especially important when I have a small group with me.
 Our school has a policy that students must sign out before going to the bathroom, but this is something I have always done.
Why? Because I can quickly check to see where a child is in case of a fire drill or emergency. But won’t you remember you gave them permission? No! I’ll give them permission and go back to who I was working with.  I print this simple sign out sheet and stick in on a clipboard.  This sign out sheet is also available I our Teaching Tips: Everything You Need for Back to School Pack.
Want to know more about the procedures and policies Notes from the Portable and I teach at the beginning of the year? Check out our Teaching Tips: Everything You Need for Back to School pack in m TPT store {HERE}.
Now, for some real fun! This week you have a chance to win a $25 Target eGift Card! Enter below!
Giveaway will close Monday evening.


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Jul 21, 2015

Getting to Know Me!

You want to get to know me a bit better? Well… let’s see.
I am an Auburn graduate and this will be my 8th year teaching. Have taught in three different schools, and I actually moved my first four years. This year my school is moving into a temporary location for the year while they tear down and rebuild our school. So, basically I am no stranger to packing up a classroom.
My husband and I have been married for almost 3 years. We are serious homebodies and couldn’t be happier with takeout and a movie at home.

I am slightly obsessed with our goldendoodle, Rosie. She is two and a half and full of energy. This is her hanging out in a pot on our back patio.

My husband and I are expecting our first baby in 8 short weeks! Savannah Faith Shurbutt is due to arrive September 17th.

Other fun things about me…
I have an older, yet shorter sister.
I love purple and navy!
I was in special ed in elementary school, because I had a hard time reading. My struggle encouraged me to become a teacher.
I LOVE cheese dip and ice cream… but not at the same time.
I must always have chap stick on me. I am an addict.
I love watching Big Brother!

Jul 20, 2015

Monday Made It {July 20th}

It has been a busy morning... I walked the dog, went to the gym, returned some duplicate baby shower gifts at Target, showered, and now I am finally getting to sit down and link up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!
My first made it was a simple hostess gift for my baby shower this past weekend. I ordered this cute wine label from VintageLeeCrafted on Etsy.  (I had her customize them with my name, the baby's name, and made it all black.)
Shower Hostess Gift, Baby Shower Thank You, Gift for Hosting Baby Shower, Wine Label, Wine Gift for Shower, Thank You Wine Label
I got each hostess their favorite wine and put the stickers over the labels. To make the presentation a bit prettier I bought kitchen towels at HomeGoods and wrapped them around the wine. Then, I simply tied them with twine and attached cute flower wine stopper. TA DA! So easy, yet fun!

My next made it is one I was not happy about having to do. It dawned on my last week that all of the supplies we had to box up to move schools was sitting in trailers outside a nearby elementary....
I live in Georgia, and it has been in the mid-nineties for weeks now. So, what state do you think my crayons are in??
At the end of the year I had my kids sort all my extra crayons into my cute crayon drawers. Now, I bet they are melted!
To avoid a breakdown during preplanning I decided to remake my crayon drawers. If the crayons did melt, there will be no saving the drawers. Better to just start over while I can.
Previously, I had bought white drawers and painted them blue, but Target had some that required no paint at all. Less work? Score!!
My last made it took me pretty much all week long. I found these wooden crates at Home Depot and thought they would make a really cute bookshelf for the nursery.
After some staining I think they look fabulous! I absolutely love the way they turned out.
I am looking forward to another Back to School Link Up this week! Head over to Notes from the Portable on Thursday and link up with us!


Jul 17, 2015

A Giveaway Winner and Looking Forward!

Thanks to everyone that entered our first Back2School Link Up Giveaway yesterday!
A winner has been randomly selected, and drum roll please....
Shannon, I will be emailing you your gift card in the next few minutes.
I hope you will join Notes from the Portable and I again next Thursday for another link up and giveaway.  What procedures are vital to classroom flow? What policies do you teach and enforce?

Jul 16, 2015

Back2School - Organization

I am thrilled to kick off a new link-up series hosted by yours truly and Jessica from Notes from the Portable!
I admit I am a little OCD... everything has a home! And no, I don't mean to just shove everything into your desk. Ugh, there is nothing more that I hate more than a disorganized desk. I hate it so much that I switched to table last year. Next year, unfortunately, I will be back to using desks because our school is moving to a temporary location while they bulldoze and rebuild.
Anyways, I try to teach my students that EVERYTHING HAS A HOME from day one. So, where does everything go? Let me show you.
There are some organization strategies that I initiated last year with tables, that I think will really help prevent the dreaded messy desk.
Raise your hand if your kids lose their crayons in their desk. Yup, it is bound to happen. Well, I have a solution. Snack packs!

I buy these from the Dollar Tree each summer. They fit a box of crayons perfectly. They close tight, so crayons won't be floating around their desk. I keep extra crayons in the back of the room in case they do break or lose a certain color (see the picture at the bottom).
Speaking of supplies getting lost in desks, my next tip is one I think many teachers use. Table caddies! I teach students the first week of school what lives in each compartment. I have to reiterate this over and over the first few weeks, but eventually they keep it organized on their own. Now, just because these are on the tables does not mean they are "community" supplies. I write student's name on markers, colored pencils, and scissors. Glue sticks and pencils are "community" supplies.
Table caddies just help keep things out of their desks and keep things organized.
Another way to help keep desks organized is to provide an extra place for storage. And if you use tables, this is a simple way to create a storage space. 

I placed these "bookshelves" at the end of each table for easy access. Students wee able to store those never used textbooks, workbooks, journals, and unfinished work folders. Those white magazine boxes are perfect and cheap... Get them at IKEA, 5 for $1.99!
Lastly, I highly suggest making extra supplies accessible. I create a central zone for student cubbies, extra supplies, completed work, pencils, and extra work. Students quickly learn that if they need something they just go to that counter.

 Now, let's have some real fun! Want a $50.00 TPT gift card? Simply enter to win below! Giveaway closes July 17th and the winner will be announced here Saturday morning. :) Good luck!