July Currently

Ahh, it's July! I love linking up with Farley from Oh, Boy Fourth Grade for this linky because it's so much fun reading what my favorite bloggers are up to. Here's me:
Summer is the time where I become an insomniac and stay up watching TV and working on the computer until 3 am. So the hubs and I try to find a show to binge watch every summer. Right now, we are loving Graceland, but Direct TV on demand only has the first six episodes of season 1! What's up with that? So we decided to try to get into Orange is the New Black...so far, it's OK. I would probably like it more if I weren't just thinking about the other show that I'm way more into! 

My hubby. We've been married for 7 years today! My BIL is living with us right now (new college grad...his big boy job is starting in August lol)...so we capitalized on the opportunity to have an all-day babysitter. We went to lunch at a nice restaurant, stopped for drinks at another one, saw a movie, and then dragged the day out just a liiiiiitle bit longer and went to a winery before coming back home. Now that Jackson is 3 I don't feel as horrible leaving the house without him, but I did miss him a lot! The hubs and I had a good day though. 

About next year. Not so much in an excited, I-can't-wait-to-set-up-my-classroom kind of way, but in a terrified, oh-my-gosh-I-took-on-so-much-and-now-I'm-freaking-out kind of way. I'm really excited about the fact that I have two new teammates coming to Kindergarten. One is fresh out of college and I will be her mentor, and the other has been teaching first grade in another school in our county for a while. I will also be the math lead teacher which means giving PD and a whole lot more. There is more (various committees and such) and I am just hoping I don't suck. I am going from half-day to full-day K as well (did you know that was still even a thing?) so I'm excited but nervous about how I am going to restructure my day. 

A little motivation to work out. I cannot seem to get into a routine this year. If you're on MyFitnessPal, my username is TiffanyBrosig. Friend me and then taunt me until I meet my food and exercise goals! 

To finish projects! Seriously! Right now I have a toolbox and a million bins that need spray painted, whisper phones needing assembled and duck taped, crate seats that need made, labels that need printed, and so much more! I know I have time, but the things are piling up man.

4th Plans
Our neighborhood is having a 4th of July party at the community pool this year. It's a relatively new neighborhood (we moved in five years ago, but they are still building new houses) and a lot of people still don't know each other. We would like to go, but we are considering traveling back to PA to do the traditional BBQ with family. We have no idea at this point. Not stressing about it though! 

So that's me for now! Can't wait to read what everyone else is up to!

Summer Stock Up: Interactive Notebooks and Classroom Posters

It's time for the summer stock up! I hope you are all snagging some great freebies and getting some ideas for your classroom next year! And now, I'd like to talk to you about...
I'm happy to finally be blogging about my first venture into interactive notebooks!  Interactive notebooks are becoming extremely popular these days, and I've been wanting to try them out in my classroom for a while. Well, I'm officially hooked. Introducing my first IN: Patterns!
Each page is designed to take only a few minutes to complete. Some tasks are more structured and some are more open-ended, but they all require students to apply what they have learned. It's a great way to see your students' problem-solving and representation abilities grow throughout the year! 

I chose to color the pages to make them pop, but you could also use colorful printer paper if you want to add some pizzazz, especially if you don't have time to let your students color. Once all of the units are completed, you will have a great concrete piece of evidence of student learning. How cool is that?

In this notebook, students will extend, create, and draw patterns, including AB, ABB, AAB, ABC, ABCD, and ABAC patterns. I am working diligently on more interactive notebooks as we speak! I put new items in my store on sale for the first 48 hours, so be sure to follow me here to be notified when each unit is added! And don't forget to grab your sample for free from my Facebook page!

And now, on to...
I am IN LOVE with the cute clip art by Sarah over at Educlips. I have been slowly collecting almost all of her clip art, and I was pumped when I realized I had enough of the right images to put together a set of posters for my classroom work stations! This set includes a sign for the following stations: classroom library, computers, write the room, tablets/iPads, ABC, word work, SMARTboard, pocket chart, blocks, play doh, listening, dramatic play, buddy reading, science, social studies, sand, and kitchen. 

Like 'em? They're 50% off in my store right now! 

Thanks for stopping by my blog to check out my stuff! I hope you find lots of goodies today! :)


DIY Rekenreks

I'm excited to be sharing an easy project with you today--one of my favorite math tools: rekenreks!

I don't know about you, but I love to use rekenreks in my classroom. If you've never heard of rekenreks before, you will! These arithmetic racks consist of two strings, with a row of beads on each string. Each row is traditionally made up of five red beads and five white beads, but you can use any two colors you like. They are great for helping students to understand number concepts such as basic addition and subtraction, subitizing, and decomposing numbers. These have become an essential part of my math workshop, but they are an expensive purchase!

Two years ago, I created my own rekenreks for my classroom using cheap materials--an old cardboard box, string, and pony beads. They were great for a little while, but this year, they've been driving me nuts. The bending...the rattling... ahhh my blood pressure shoots up just thinking about it. During a recent committee meeting, my supervisors shared these awesome homemade rekenreks that are durable and inexpensive to make. I went straight to Lowe's and got to work!

Here are my old rekenreks... You can make them from cardboard, but don't.
What I'm about to show you is a much better method of making rekenreks that will last a lifetime!
How to Make Durable Rekenreks
You will need: 
Lowe's choice poplar wood size 1/4 x 4 x 4 (one board makes five Rekenreks)
Elastic cord
Pony beads

Here is what the boards look like at Lowe's.
The nice folks who work there cut them for free, even though there is a sign saying that they charge for each cut after the first three. I know many other teachers in my town have had the same experience. If your Lowe's is going to charge you, you can always have someone with a saw do it for you or do it yourself. I was being kind to the hubs by sparing him the task. I got five rekenreks out of each board.
Then, I marked off and drilled some holes. Ignore the toddler foot in the background.
 Yeah, I know this was not the best setup. Don't make fun. After drilling the holes, get some sandpaper and give the edges and the areas around the holes a quick sanding.
I stole found and used this elastic cord from the supply cupboard at my school. These two packs weren't quite enough for all 20. You can find bigger packs in the children's craft section at Wal-Mart.
I cut each string of elastic just slightly longer than the board itself. Different sizes and brands of elastic stretch differently, so you'll need to experiment with one or two. Thread the cord through one side and let it hang back there. Then, string ten pony beads onto the string (five of one color and five of another). Now, thread the other side of elastic through the hole and stretch tightly on the back side. Tie the two ends in a knot and repeat about four times to make sure it holds. 

 Trim the excess string along the back. This is what the finished product will look like!
I made 20 rekenreks for less than thirty dollars, and it only took a day. I hope you decide to make some of these for your classroom!

June Currently

June! How I love you. Two weeks with students and two teacher work days stand between me and summer vacation. While I've had a great year and I love this group, of kids, I'm so ready for some summer fun in the sun! I'm excited to be linking up Farley of Oh, Boy Fourth Grade for her monthly currently linky.
To power tools, baby. My husband has been living outside for the past several weeks. After building us a fence, he got right to work on our son's cedar play set that we got him for his birthday (2 months ago). Poor guy. He works so hard for us! If he didn't have a project he would make one up, so I know he's happy!

My new Jamberry Nails! I signed up to be a consultant on a complete whim. I wanted to pay wholesale for the cute nail wraps I love. That is all. I haven't done a darn thing to sell yet, but I'm figuring I can probably keep myself in business without all that nonsense. They are supposed to last two weeks, but I keep peeling them off to change the pattern after a few days. Fun stuff!

I'm not going to get this post written in one sitting. And I was right, because after saving my Currently image, my little guys was finished with his snack and it was back outside for me! I just noticed that the first four spots on my Currently use punctuation, and the last two don't. And I'm not changing it, because I don't have time! It's just a live outside kind of day today! Playing T-ball and Frisbee in the yard, splashing in the water table, and "helping"daddy build have been filling up our day. I figure snack and Popsicle time is a good time to get a little blogging done!

To sign up for a CSA box. I love the idea of getting a box of fresh veggies delivered to my door every week, but I don't love the price tag. I'm still going back and forth and Googling images of what a "half share" looks like. My brother-in-law, who just graduated college, is living with us for the summer and we're trying to all be healthy together. This would be a great step to ensure that we're eating lots of fresh, local produce!

To get my butt in gear. This applies to several areas of my life. I'm switching classrooms next year, and I have barely started going through my things and moving over. I haven't blogged in a month. I have worked out twice in like 10 months. My laundry needs started. It will all be good! I'm good under pressure. ;)

Summer Bucket List
I'm excited for all the fun we're going to have this summer, but I really hope to be healthier as a family. I feel like we've slid into a rut this school year and I hope that having the summer to recharge and refocus will help. I love to cook and I'm itching to get back on track in the kitchen!

So that's where I am right now! Head over to Oh, Boy 4th Grade  to see what everyone else is up to!
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