Monday, July 30, 2012

What a Deal! - White Boards

As we all know budgets are terrible right now so it's great to be able to find a way to go about business as usual but spend less money. A couple years back my partner teacher and I started to use the Mad Minutes program with our 6th graders who were lacking in basic computation skills but making copies of them was  killing our allotted amount for the year! So we started using page protectors! The kids can slip their Mad Minutes in (or any worksheet for that matter) and write on the outside with a dry erase marker. It works perfectly! We then added a sheet of white cardstock and presto! the back works as an individual white board! The kids can even store them in their binders. Yay! Less stuff for me to store and keep track of!

Box of Page Protectors (50): $16.00 (Use the shiny ones, not the non-glare! They erase better.)

Ream of White Cardstock (250): $12.00

Dry Erase Markers (50): $15.00 (bought at back-to-school sales)

Total per Student:  approx. $0.75

Price @
Lakeshore - $1.40 each
School Outfitters - $1.45 each
Amazon - $2.93 each

The cardstock lasts forever and I'm sure there are even better deals on sheet protectors. The key to keeping the cost down is stocking up on markers when they are on sale. I can usually get them 3-5 for a $1.00!

The downside is that the kids take their boards home at the end of the year so there they are not reusable but I have found that to be a very small downside. If they get wrecked or lost I charge them a dollar to replace it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Welcome to July!

Yes, I have neglected my blog since May. I'm not even sure how it got to be July so quickly! May was testing and open house (crazy!), then June was all the 6th grade end-of-the-year activities and after that I just fell into a stupor. Okay, that's not totally true. I have been taking mommy & me swimming lessons with my daughter and family field trips to the aquarium and Disneyland so I have just been busy in the best ways possible!
Now I am back on the train and ready to rock! I started reading The Daily 5 by "the sisters" and am joining in on a book study at We Read, We Blog, We Teach and am loving it. I am starting to plan out my new classroom organization that I started back in January (see post here). So I have a lot going on and am feeling rejuvenated. 

So I mentioned in the currently that I tire very quickly and in May I said I had a secret to share...any guesses? 
I'm Pregnant!
I found out during spring break in April (Friday the 13th, to be exact) and kept in a secret from my staff until the end of May. (I did tell my partner teacher and principal, just in case!) I told my students on the last day of school. I told my kids that I would not be back next year...for part of the year. They all got upset (we have been talking about teacher receiving pink slips) and then I told them why and they were very excited. 

I am due December 18th, which means I will be on leave from December until March. I plan on taking the entire 2nd school trimester off. So I am feeling very pressured with the time crunch to get my kiddos set up for a long term sub in a very short amount of time. I am also hoping that I can get the sub I trust. She was my sub when I had my daughter and did a fabulous job!

Now on to my favorite reads. 

Holes is a wonderful book and it's old enough now that most of my kiddos have not read it or seen the movie. There are so many amazing elements to the book and it is so accessible to all levels of readers. It has adventure, mystery, friendship, gross boy stuff (which all 6th graders love), icky love stuff, and is just an awesome story all around. Even though it is a long book it goes pretty quickly and has some great cliff-hangers for stopping points. I have had kids begging me to keep reading. Isn't that what every teacher wants in a read aloud?

The Book Whisperer is very dear to my heart. I am a book nerd and have a hard time when kids tell me they just don't like reading. I tell them admitting it is the first step and then we work from there. This book gives great ideas and tips for finding the reader in every child. I just wish my district would allow me to run my classroom the same way that Donalyn Miller does! What a difference it would make! for being so long winded today! I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th and God Bless America! 
July 4th 2010