Saturday, November 3, 2012

Currently November and a Little Crafting

Farley has her new Currently out! Link on over and enjoy the festivities.

To continue the fall cheer, I did a little crafting last weekend. I love making pennant banners and decided that my staircase needed a little something something.

Friday, November 2, 2012

High Five for Friday

I woke up this morning with a little surprise in the form of pink eye. Gross!  So I decided to update the ole blog in the middle of my eye make-up purge.

Here are my highlights of the week:

1. Halloween was so much fun! We only had 5 trick or treaters, including the one that rang the doorbell and ran (who does that??). I was half tempted to chuck the candy after them just to get it out of the house! This little nugget was super excited to put on her costume!

2. We made Franken-Blubber in the classroom on Halloween. The kids absolutely loved it and it was a good way to keep them engaged on a day when they would be cuckoo anyway. It was glow in the dark and fantastically disgusting. I got the lesson from Engaging-Lessons on Teacher's Notebook {HERE}. Totally worth every penny.

3.  I got new bedding for my bedroom! I am a total secret bedding purchasing addict and I have held back on my addiction for the past few years. Finally I decided to plunge in and buy some new bedding because it was on sale. The only problem? Now I have to paint the walls a different color because it totally clashes and add some more to the room. Here's a little sneak peek. Room makeover to come later!

4. Thanksgiving decor is out and ready! I found these beautiful velvet pumpkins last week on clearance 75% off!! It's pretty sad that Thanksgiving decor goes on clearance even before November hits, but it benefited me! I made a little table center piece with them.

5. I asked my wonderful mom to send me a picture of when I was little for our staff bulletin board. The staff has to guess who we are based off of the picture. Do you think anyone will guess that this is me??? Yes, I was an eccentric child, let's just get that out on the table.

 Hope everyone else had a great week, too! Don't forget to link up with From My Grey Desk blog to blog about your week!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blog Makeover

My blog got a makeover! I love it! It is crisp and clean. It was designed by Designer Blogs and I had a great experience with them. Highly recommend them!
Tomorrow is Halloween and the kids are already cuckoo for cocoa puffs. I am always so happy to see that my 6th graders are still excited to dress up and go trick or treating. We have a spooky lab experiment we are doing tomorrow so hopefully that will keep them occupied and we will have organized chaos. I am thankful we have a half day tomorrow so we won't have to deal with the candy sugar rush after lunch! Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To blog or not to blog?

I have been blogging a little over a year now and am feeling a little plateaued. I love this wee little blog and have loved reading what everyone else has put out into cyber space. I feel like my teaching and instruction has improved 200% and have learned invaluable information about creating documents and feel much more advanced technology wise. 
There are some downsides to this though...
I feel like I have so few followers compared to other people who have been blogging for as long as me. Granted, this is mostly my fault because I don't put in enough time for consistent posts. I tried to create a linky party and that was a giant disaster; no one entered! Ugh, that made me feel like a loser.

Lately, no one has commented on the last few posts I have written. I am honestly not even sure if anyone is reading this blog anymore. Sorry for the pity party... I guess I need some advice on how to make this more successful. I don't want to be the one who starts and then stops a blog because no one wanted to read it! Any advice would be much appreciated!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Red Ribbon Week

Happy Monday!
Just a quick little post today. We have a whole lot going on this week! It's Red Ribbon Week. I had seen this bulletin board idea on Pinterest {SOURCE} and knew instantly that this is exactly what I wanted to do on our bulletin board in our classrooms.
I asked our crafty classroom mom helper (who is amazing!) to duplicate it and it is AWESOME!

The "songs" on the iPod are the different days for the week and the theme of the week "Follow Your Dreams, Stay Clean" is the highlighted yellow.  Is it bad that I want to leave it up all year?

I wanted to share a freebie with y'all to start off the week right! I love Scholastic book club orders and I have made a little somethin' somethin' for your classroom to track when the orders are due.  I have downloaded it onto Vistaprint as a small car magnet, but you could also print and laminate it/put it in a plastic sleeve. Use a dry erase marker to tick down the days. Click the picture to download the PDF. 

Enjoy! Leave some comment love if you download please!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Classroom Job Signs

Happy Wednesday!
A few weeks ago I posted about my classroom job bulletin board {HERE}.  I am posting those here so that you all can use them in your classroom.

I used the font Coffeeshoppe Espresso by Sweet Shoppe Designs. If you don't have that font it won't come through the same. Of course you can use any cute font that you like. There are some blank templates at the end so that you can add your own. I tried to think of all the different jobs I have seen in the past, but I am sure I am missing some. Enjoy!

Freebie:  Classroom Jobs ~ PowerPoint

Monday, October 8, 2012

Snow White Experiment

I'm on fall break! Woohoo! This is the first year that my district has done fall break, and I have to say it's not shabby. I'm not hating the fact that I am on my couch with a pumpkin spice latte doing laundry while blog stalking.  :)

This past week, my students had just wrapped up their science processes unit so I decided to do a fun project to asses and give our unit some closure.

Have you ever seen this book? I bought it on Amazon and love it!

It takes a handful of popular fairy tales and gives you ideas for experiments for each one. Along with each experiment comes a handout for the students to complete and an explanation. It's fabulous!

I decided to do the Snow White experiment. In the fairy tale, Snow White lays in a glass coffin for years and is as pretty as a peach the whole time while being dead as a doornail. So I asked my students, what do you think would happen if we put an organic item in a sealed container?  My students made hypothesis and stated evidence to back it.  I then broke the students up into groups and each group mushed up a banana and put that into one bottle, broke up a piece of celery into another bottle, and then put some leaves in a third bottle (fruit, vegetable, and plant). You then put a balloon over the top of the water bottle and seal with tape. As the fruit rots, the balloon will collect the gases that the rotting food and bacteria give off.

After fall break, we are going to go back and check out our experiments. Ew. I am anticipating some disgusting outcomes especially from the banana a week old, bleh. I'll take some pictures, I'm sure you can't wait to look at them!  Have a good week!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Watery Coins Experiment

Good evening!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. I am hoping to catch up on some grading that I have to get done ~ I am falling sooo behind! My blogging habit probably doesn't help that too much, but it's just way more enticing than grading.

This week, I did a little prediction experiment with my sixth graders. We are going through the Scientific Process and this was an excellent experiment about making predictions and also reviewing different variables.  The science lab was occupado, but no worries, we had a floor so we still had room to be scientists!

P.S. My students look slightly creepy with blacked out faces!


The students make predictions as to how many water drops can fit on each coin before hand. The materials they will need are: a vessel for water, paper towels, droppers, a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. They put drops of water on each coin, counting the drops, until it overflows. The students fill out the form as they go and then average their data at the end.  Click the picture to download the PDF.
I hope you can use this experiment in your classroom! The kids had so much fun doing this and they were all very surprised how off their predictions were. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Creepy Comments

Does anyone know how to get the creeper comments off of your blog? I mean I always appreciate some comment love, but these aren't particularly comments that I want. Just because my blog is called Loose Shoelaces doesn't mean that I have an issue with loose shoelaces and need an ad displayed on my blog to help correct them, haha!
Any help would be appreciated ~ thanks fellow bloggers!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bulletin Boards

  It's Thursday! It's Bulletin Board day over at the TBA Open House Week!
Whooo's Filling Buckets?
Have you all ever read this book to your class?
I LOVE this book. I read it to my 6th graders and, yes, it's way too young for them, but it is the best way to teach on how to give affirmations to each other. I used Fun in Room 4B's Math Word Wall Pennants {HERE} to create the banner on the bulletin board. The idea is going to be that students will write on a bucket outline template things they have done to fill other people's buckets. Of course, it's still the beginning of school that's why the bulletin board is rather... empty.

OK well the little pennants say "Whoo's Filling Buckets?" but yeah, that isn't really showing...

Here's my next gem ~ Classroom Jobs...

My teaching partner suggested that we have the same classroom jobs so that the students can rotate through the rooms and their jobs would stay the same. The only problem is that she has a job for every student in the class. I love that everyone in the class has a responsibility, however, how to display those jobs became a little tricky. Enter dry erase sheets.

 These are life savers; you can by them {HERE}.

That combined with a lot of printer ink created this interchangeable classrom job bulletin board. (whew that was a mouthful!)

When all 28 jobs change next month all I have to do is wipe and rewrite!

Don't forget to link up with TBA's Open House Week linky party.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Parent Handouts

  It's Wednesday! Time to pass along any handouts for parents you might have for us all to enjoy! Be sure to link up with TBA's Open House Week.
My stuff is not as awesome as some things I have seen, but hopefully you can use some. Click on the image to download the file.

Supply List:
Student Information Form:
Movie Permission Form for the whole year:
Curriculum Night Power Point (Sweet Shoppe Designs for backgrounds and clip art):

This bad boy will take a while to download!

Don't forget to link up and share your back to school Parent Handouts!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Classroom Photos

  It's Tuesday! That means that it is share your classroom photos day on TBA's Open House Week.

Here are a few photos of my classroom.
Disclaimer: Sorry about the quality of the photos, they are not the best.
Double Disclaimer: I should probably learn how to use my camera.

In case you couldn't really see the Ikea lamp with my stunning photography skills here it is up close. 
It makes me happy! Although moving classrooms this year did some damage on it. Those nice little strands are no longer up straight and strong.

My classroom is always an ever evolving project as the year continues. As I add things I will take pictures. Be sure to click the link above and link up with your own classroom photos.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Meet the Teacher and Currently

 Oooo, two linkies in one post! Some reason when I scanned back over that real quick I thought I typed "twinkies" {random}.
I am linking up to TBA's Open House Week and Farley's Currently! Let's Currently first, shall we?

OK, TBA time...
Monday is Meet the Teacher day so I am going to share a little something about myself and my teaching style.

This is my sixth year teaching. I have taught 2nd, 4th, 5th, and I am currently teaching 6th grade. This year I am teaching Writing and Science. I am very lucky that I only have 3 sections of each so I teach 6 total classes. I am still trying to get a hang of writing and figure out the best way to teach it. I am a Math teacher in disguise over here. I would love to return back to 4th grade and have a self contained classroom again. It's hard to do a lot of the things I want to do with rotating classes.

I feel like my teaching style differs from day to day. I feel like I am firm, but fair in my classroom management. I do like to joke around with the kids, but also have high expectations. I love to take my students in to the Science lab for hands on experiments and activities. I always am looking for new ways to teach certain concepts or look for activities that heighten levels of engagement. That's why blog stalking makes me super happy!

Link up to TBA's Open House so you can tell us all about you and your teaching style!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I am a little sick today, bleh, hate being sick on the weekends! Weekends are for fun, not illnesses.


I started school a few weeks ago and absolutely love my new students. They are so polite and adorable. Even though I thought teaching 6th grade would be scary, they are no scarier than my old 5th graders were.

I am so excited because I received my laminator in the mail from Amazon this week! It is AmAzInG! I immediately started laminating all sorts of goodies!
Cue harmonious music and spot light!


And these...

Aaaaand everything on this...

This ZAP game comes from Mimi at 5th Grade Rocks, 5th Grade Rules
I used it last year and the kids loved it! It got so much love, laminating everything was a necessary evil this time around.

This year I am teaching Language (writing/grammar) and Science. Writing has me completely overwhelmed; I don't know how to teach it effectively {slight issue} or how to grade it.

I thought I would throw this out into bloggy land to see if you guys could help me...

How do you grade writing??? Any tips or tricks?? I feel kind of silly asking this question, but honestly, I started and it took me like an hour to read one class' personal narratives and edit them. Multiply that by 3 and I am in trouble. Yikes!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August Currently...

It's AUGUST and that is very hard to believe. I don't think it really hit me because I've been so focused on cranking out my classroom. I even almost drank some expired milk because I thought it was still July, eww (note to self ~ go to grocery store).

Here's my Currently by Farley.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, August 3, 2012

High Five for Friday

Woohoo! It's Friday! Here are some things that happened me to this week that make me happy...

1.  I got the $20 for $80 worth of goodness on Vistaprint through Groupon. Here are some of my favorites that I got.

Will hang above the door (small banner)

Love this quote and it fits with our school doing Capturing Kids Hearts. (small banner)
(small car magnet)
2.  A friend recommended that I go to a place called Rita's Ice-Custard-Happiness. Wow... that's all I can say. It's this crazy concoction of Italian ice and creamy custard. So delicious, but so naughty.

3.  My classroom is mostly done! Pictures to come later... when it's all complete finished and purty.

4.  I ordered a Cuppow! I'm so excited and I just got an email that it has indeed shipped. If you all follow Pioneer Woman I got the idea from her. Duh, it just makes so much sense - a drinking lid for a mason jar. Why didn't I think of that?

5.  My book club decided on the new book we are going to read. It's called Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. Has anyone read it?? I am excited to have a way to unwind when school starts next week.

Link up if you want to share your top five from this week at From My Grey Desk Blog.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Flaunt Your Cups

I have a slight obsession with water cups. I am proud to admit that I own 7 insulated water cups complete with coordinating straws in various shapes and sizes. Too many? Perhaps, but there is nothing like quenching your thirst after a good lesson with water that is still cold hours later after you first filled it. This one is my favorite.
It's a Tervis Tumbler and you can get them here. Do you have a favorite cup for use throughout the day??? ENTER: My first linky paty!

Link up and flaunt your favorite cup(s)! This could be a water cup like mine or a coffee cup, we don't discriminate here. Thanks for linking up!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scientific Method Posters Freebie

Since I am teaching science this year, I made up some scientific method posters for my classroom. I based them off of these from Scholastic. I actually thought these were cute, but I think I heard the toner in my printer give off a yelp of fear as I was looking at them so I decided to make some more ink friendly posters.

The clip art is by DJ Inkers and Scrappin' Doodles (also the background). The font is Coffee Shoppe Espresso by Sweet Shoppe Designs. The frame on the cover is by Digital Bake Shop.

Snatch up your freebie down below:

I hope you can use these in your classrooms! Have a good rest of your day!