Monday, August 20, 2012

T-minus 2 Weeks and Counting!

Before I jump into what I accomplished at school today...let me give you a glimpse as to what yesterday brought me!  Naturally, since we live out in the middle of nowhere, we expect our dogs to have run-ins with wild animals...deer, turkey, the occasional skunk...but let me tell you, I was not prepared for my first porcupine encounter!

My darling pups decided to go for a stroll outside of their boundaries and took off into the woods...about an hour later, they come back and I find my poor baby with quills in her snout!  Now, I'm normally a pretty calm and collected person...except when it comes to firsts with my dogs!  (You have to understand, we don't have kids yet, so our animals are stand-ins until we reach that time!)
So naturally, my husband was at work until about 7:30 and Delilah came home like this around 7:30.  Looking at it now, I realize she wasn't really hit that bad with them but of course, I freaked out and started crying!  And, of course, everyone I knew who has dealt with this type of thing before weren't answering their phones!  I called the hubby and told him to hurry home, pick up Benedryl and hydrogen peroxide...I was able to pull out about five quills once I calmed down enough, but the rest were too big and naturally, she was feeling my tension so Delilah started to freak out more!

Vern got home and after about an hour of pinning her down, almost getting our hands chomped off and listening to her cry like a little baby, we were able to pull out all of the remaining quills with pliers.
I believe we counted 16 quills in all!  To make matters worse, she apparently blamed me for all of this happening to her and gave me her "doggy silent treatment" for the next two hours while lavishing my husband with attention and kisses...darn dogs!
I don't know what's wrong with you guys, but I'm fine! (And yes, she managed to cover herself up like this!  Can anyone say spoiled pets???!!!)

So, needless to say, after that ordeal I needed to do some work to take my mind of things!  Today I spent another five hours at school organizing my paper cabinets, putting more stuff away, and hanging up my posters and such.
 This is my class storage system, courtesy of the previous art teacher.  I have four chalkboards the slide back and forth where I can store 16 boxes.  This year I finally made my own labels using my Cricket and scrapbook paper.  Since I have a Smartboard now, I don't utilize the chalkboards as much as I used to, so I have now made the top chalkbaord the place where I will post the daily jobs for each table.  
This is the front of one of my huge paper cupboards.  I have my craftsmanship rubric posted here and my rule about being "all ears"!  I took a lot of my rule formats from Ball's Bluff Elementary.
Inside of my huge paper cupboard...It was a huge mess by the end of last year!

One of my three construction paper cupboards...

My tote bins for each table are organized!  I will be making a sign with these pictures to hang on the window behind them to remind students how they should be putting these away at the end of class.  Not sure if I'm going to keep these bins this way or take the crayons out, but this is what I have so far!
New tactic I saw on Pinterest for trying to tackle the "no-name" papers.  I will also have a "no name" bin up in the front of the room.  Courtesy of One Crayola Short!

Another blog find at Draw the Line...hopefully this will help the kindergartners be more organized at the sinks!

My table labels...I went with clear packing tape around the edges, so we will see how well this will last!
And my word wall...How many of you have a word wall and how do you use it?  Do you have one big wall for all your grades...or do you separate it into sections for each grade level you teach?  I am thinking that I may separate it into grade least maybe K-1, 2-3, 4-6...
I've been working on spray painting bottles as they become empty to use them for still life drawings.  Hopefully this will make it easier for the younger kids to observe shadows when working on a still life!

One of my new buys for my classroom this year and I'm curious as to how it will work!  Does anyone out there have this in the classroom?  Did I waste my money or is it a decent buy?

I love these Garfield parodies!  They are from a calender I had when I was younger.  I hung these up my first year of teaching at the younger kids loved them!  They're making a comeback this year!


  1. You have been a busy, busy lady! I hope your poor dog is feeling better! She's just prepping you for kids and all the things they get into! Everything is looking good in your room! I am finally getting up to my K-2 school tomorrow to unpack and organize. I already unpacked and organized my 3-5 a couple of weeks ago when I was subbing at the school's summer care program. We had all the art classes in my art room and I was able to get it all done in between classes and when the kids had lunch and went to the beach for a couple of hours! First time I ever got paid while unpacking my room! :)

  2. Ah, your doggie story reminded me of the time my sweet kitty, outside on a harness & tope, found herself face-to-face with a skunk and promptly got herself sprayed. My husband, without thinking first, let her off her rope, and she hot-footed it in stinking glory to my bedroom. What a disaster that was!

    Your room looks great- so many nice organizational ideas.

    1. Ha! I feel your paint with the skunk! I honestly would have rather her gotten sprayed by a skunk instead of the porcupine because at least she wouldn't have been in pain! She did get sprayed by a skunk a few years ago when we still lived in an apartment. It was a house that was split into a bottom apartment and top floor apartment. Needless to say, our landlord was NOT happy (his office was in the front part of the bottom floor!) and everything had the tinge of skunk for a few months after. She got sprayed at 2am after my husband got home from work so it was a loooong night of tomato soup baths!

  3. Aww, your poor pooch! I live in NY as well but I'm 40 minutes outside Manhattan, needless to say no porcupines over here....Great blog I'm glad I came across it!

  4. I'm curious how the crayon sharpener has been working for you. I have inherited bins of crayons in my classroom (one for each table). And, while I appreciate that students have a variety of colors to work with, it would also be nice if the crayons were sharp so they could practice some fine motor skills. I can't bring myself to get new crayons out... but it looks like this sharpener could help solve my dilemma.

    1. So far, I'm a bit up in the air about it! It does an amazing job sharpening the crayons, no doubt. It even peels the paper off automatically as it sharpens! The thing of it is, the kids are excited to use it because it's electronic and then I tend to have a line of students waiting to sharpen a crayon instead of coloring...

      The first day I let the kids use it, I helped each one feel how far to put the crayon in so they wouldn't stop it. Then, the first student who I didn't help, jammed the crayon in too far and broke it! Not permanently, but I had the hardest time getting the replaceable blade back into the sharpener after I unclogged all the crayon in it. I actually gave up for a week until I enlisted two 6th grade boys to figure it out for me!

      So for now, I am the only one allowed to sharpen crayons, at least for the younger kids. They are using relatively new crayons anyways, so it's just a novelty for them.

      One bit of advice, the softer, cheaper crayons that aren't Crayola brand don't seem to work as well in it...they seem to clog it up faster.