Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Dream Desk is a Reality!

I love, love love my new desk!  I actually don't sit at the desk except during recess and after school.  My aide uses the "teacher" desk in my class.  I switched out my old desk (which I really liked) for a smaller desk that belonged to a dear friend of mine who is no longer with us.  I was helping clean out her classroom the day after school ended and saw that she had written her name inside the desk drawer.  This melted my heart and I knew that I REALLY wanted that desk in my room.

There were a few problems with it.  It was really small and the wood on the top was dark brown (and if you have been following this blog, you know I am getting rid of dark brown).  Despite these problems, this desk is really special to me and I am honored to have it in my room.  I called up my cabinet man (I secretly call him Cliff Cabinets) and asked him to order some more of that lime green counter top.

I had him make it ten inches larger than the desk so that I could stick a kid on the end if my aide needed to work one-on-one with a student.  Cliff Cabinets showed up today with the counter top and it is better than anything I imaged.  He wanted to screw it to the desk, but the desk belongs to the school so I said no.  The surprising advantage of leaving it unattached is that I can easily slide the counter to one side or the other.  I can center it over the desk if I don't want to put a chair on either end.  This makes the desk is so practical and versatile.  It looks amazing with the lime green top and it is so sentimental.  It really is my DREAM desk!  I am going to be jealous when I see an aide sitting in it!  It is MY dream desk!  :)
Cliff Cabinets will be back next week for a REALLY crazy project!  I will blog about it as soon as it is finished!  This next one may be too much even for me! :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Classroom Set-Up

LOVIN' the counter tops!
My mission to create my dream classroom continues as I get ready for the new school year.  I have spent the last three days at school and feel like I have barely made a dent!  I decided to blog about the progress to motivate me to keep on truckin'.  I will just focus on the good stuff that is happening in room 203!

I am LOVING my new cabinets!  I rip out workbook pages and sort them at the beginning of every year.  Having all this counter space has made this job so MUCH more enjoyable.

I am still trying to decide what I want to store inside of the cabinets.  We have five different reading books in my room.  Five books times 25 copies of each = 125 reading books.  YIKES!  They take up so much rom and they are so heavy!  I managed to fit all of them in the bottom of one cabinet.  Out of sight and out of mind!  The best news is that I still have more space under the other cabinet.

I had some small shelves lining one of my walls.  The shelves stored lots of materials, but they had some issues.  This was the best picture I could find of the old shelves.  See them in the background?
This was an old photo so I don't have a release for this little lady.
Trust me when I say, she is WAY cuter than the cartoon face!
Here is what I did not like about my old shelves:

  • All of my clutter was visible.  I love my stuff, but I don't love looking at it!  
  • The shelves were cheap particle board and the bottoms had buckled from storing all my reading books. 
  • They were also a dark wood and I am trying to get everything to match.  
  • The tops of the shelves were getting very worn.
I looked at many websites and stores.  To get really good classroom shelves would be crazy pricey!  I found some shelves at Target that I think will be a great solution for me.  

Threshold™ Carson 5 Shelf Bookcase with Doors
This is my new shelf from Target!
Here is what I love about the new shelves:
  • They have closed doors that will hide unsightly boxes!  
  • They are tall so that I can take full advantage of my space.
  • The shelf on the left is the finished product.  Still working on the others.
  • I can change the knobs to match my classroom decor.
Polkadot knobs!!!
I put four of these shelves side-by-side on one wall.  I just started filling the shelves and am so excited about how it is coming together.
I have most of the bottom filled and am working on filling the open shelves with containers that match and hide the contents.  I have buckets on top with books sorted by authors that we do for author study.

I found these cute clear paint cans at Joann's and I am such a hoarder that I think I need them everywhere!  I have already put a ton of small ones in my writing area.  Now I am using the gallon size cans to store random materials.  I think they look super cute!  I keep buying all that they have at my local store and then checking for more like a maniac.

Just looking at this makes me happy!!!

Hopefully, I will have some awesome "After" pictures to post soon.  Setting up the room takes so much time!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Celebrating Summer - Our Family Traditions

When I was a kid, I always secretly wished my mom was a teacher.  I thought it would be SO cool to have access to all the school supplies my heart desired.  I imaged how fun it would be to stay at school when it was closed to other kids.  I never thought about how annoying it might be to have to stay at school long after other kids were already home.  I didn't realize the work teachers' kids did wiping desks, filing papers, and shelving books.  Being a teacher's kid can be rough!  Every year when school is finished, I take my girls for pedicures to reward us for our hard work.  This tradition began with my oldest daughter when she graduated kindergarten.  We have set this as the age requirement to participate, so my little Lilly is not included yet.   I love spending time with my girls and this is kind of a thanks for sticking it out with me.
Morrison family pedicures 2014!

My oldest daughter is now in high school.  She will be a sophomore this year.  I got to thinking that we don't have many pedicures left and that made me so sad.  Will she drive home from college for a pedicure?  Maybe not!  I have invented a new family tradition to try and bribe her to participate a little longer.  For our new tradition, we will have a girls trip to Vegas.  The rules are, you must be in high school to participate and we can't stay at the same casino twice.  I am hoping that this will create some fun memories and my girls will want to come home for this even after they have left me.  My oldest has very extravagant taste and has requested that we stay at the Venetian.  After spending all last week working at the Venetian for the SDE conference, I am not overly excited to go back.  I am hoping that this will be a really fun and relaxing time.  Our trip is scheduled  for Tuesday-Thursday next week.  I am also feeling guilty about ditching the rest of my family after I just left for a week for the conference.  Summer is zooming by, and I don't have much time to do it.  My daughter starts high school July 21st!

No matter how busy life gets, it is important to let the kids know that they are a priority and take time for them.  My girls really love the pedicure tradition, and I hope that this Vegas vacation becomes another fun ritual for my girls.  Do you have any fun family traditions?  Share them with us in the comments!

Until next time,