Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An Award and a Lakeshore Outlet trip!

What a great day today!  Thank you to Carrie at Common Core Classroom for The Versatile Blogger nomination!  

As per the rules, 7 random facts about me:

1) I'm left handed.

2) I love banana flavored anything!

3) White cars remind me of coconut (weird, I know!)

4) I lived in Berkely, CA and my garage door had big, pink polka dots!

5) My car broke down in Pendelton, OR and I got stuck for 3 days during the rodeo with my 2 cats!

6) I went on an archeological dig in Israel and dug up an intact jug that hadn't been found in that location.  They named it the Jenny Jug!

7) I love Hansen's grapefruit soda!

I'm nominating the following bloggers:

Second Grade Super Kids
Oh Happy Day
Bloom with Mrs. Locke
Books Blocks and Baskets
Miss R's Classroom
Reaching for the Top
There's No Place Like Second Grade
The School Potato
Fearless in 5th
Set This Circus Down
Hodges Herald
Flamingo Fabulous in Second Grade
A Rainbow of Teaching
Hippo Hooray for Second Grade

Aren't awards fun! 

Follow these rules to to claim your award:
1. Thank who nominated you.
2. Include a link back to who nominated you.
3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself in your post.
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link back to their blog in your post.
7. Let the bloggers you nominate know by leaving them a comment.

Lakeshore Shopping Spree

Ok, so there isn't a Lakeshore store near me so I just order on-line.  I've already received a large order from them! As most of you know I'm visiting my mom, and I just couldn't resist checking out the actual store.  I looked up the nearest store and it was a store AND outlet!  Yes, outlet!!! So, another shopping spree occured.  Check out the picture and notice all those orange clearance stickers!  Woo hoo! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It

I'm so excited that I finally get to participate in Monday Made It with 4th Grade Frolics!

I made my own number magnets and an attendance board!  I think it all came out super cute and it was easy too!

These aren't the best pictures because they were taken on my phone.  Here's a close-up of the magnets.

To make the magnets I cut out circles using scrapbook paper and a 1" scalloped edge circle punch.

Then I put number stickers with a clear background in the center of the circles.

I used multi-use glue to attach the circles to glass gems I found in the floral section at Hobby Lobby. 

Tip: Put the glue on the flat side of the gem and the put the circles on the glass.  When I tried it the other way the glue stuck to the table and I couldn't pick it up!!!

This glue dried quickly so I was able to glue the magnets to the back right after I finished attaching all the number circles to the gems. 

Tip:  You will need to keep the magnets away from each other when you glue them to the gems.  They try to attach to each other and pull the magnets off of the gem before the glue is dry!

My brain is clearly still in summer mode because I made two sets of 30 magnets (I'm going to make a Where Am I? board too) and bought a pack of 50 magnets!  Oops!

All of the above products were purchased at Hobby Lobby.

I got the black magnetic board, stickers on the board, and decorator tape at Michaels.  I wanted stainless steel boards, but couldn't find affordable ones!

I hope you like this idea!  I'll have more next week.  I'm in California visiting my family and I have a few projects for my brother and his table saw :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Shopping, Shopping, and More Shopping!

I got my Lakeshore order yesterday and a few things from Amazon today!  Since my classroom came with literally NOTHING in it, I'm forced to shop (it's just terrible!)  I'm headed to California in a few days to visit my family and my mom just informed me there is a Lakeshore store there - woo hoo!  I realized I wanted/needed a few more things from there, so I'll have no choice but to check it out in person!  You all feel my pain, right :-)

Here are a few of my Lakeshore items.  I got the big set of magnetic lowercase letters, and a small pack of uppercase and then added those to the bigger set.  I also got letter stamps in upper and lowercase letters and wikki stix.  These will all be for Daily 5 word work activities.  For math work stations I got unifix cubes and pattern blocks.  I got a great number line too that goes from -20 to 100.  I already hung it up though!

I got a few more things done in my classroom too.  My big reveal when it's finished isn't going to be much of a surprise!  I'm so excited I want to share my progress each day!

I finished the tree in the library area. (I actually finished it last week!)

I also finished the tree in my group/floor area and added a cute little picket fence!  You can see where I hung the number line on the right hand side.  Above it says "Mrs. Zuniga's Wise Owls."  I'm going to put owls underneath that with the student's names on them.

I'm still working on the bulletin board above the sink, but I added to it today.  It still needs owls.  I've been struggling with whether to use the owls that match my nameplates and calendar, etc. or the colorful owls from Carson-Dellosa.  I think Carson-Dellosa is going to win on this one!  I need to add some other colors into my room and they are so stinkin' cute I can hardly stand it!  I may even ditch my nameplates and buy some of theirs - shhh, don't tell :-)

That yellow edge on the sink is driving me crazy, I need to figure out a way to cover it up!

 Well, that's all for now!  I have a ton of DIY projects that I'm going to subject my family to while I'm visiting.  I'll be sure to post :-)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Newbie Blog Hop and Tell Me More Linky

I'm linking up with Grade Three is the Place for Me for the Newbie Blog Hop and with Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons for the Tell Me More, Tell Me More Linky!

1. I live in Idaho.

2. I will be teaching 2nd Grade this year.

3. I have taught special education for the past 7 years.

4.  I just started blogging in June.

5. My blogging advice is to have fun, link up, and leave comments :-)

6. I grew up in California.

7. I graduated from Boise State University.

8. I love BSU football, but have never been to a game!  Shameful, I know!!!

8. My classroom is extemely organized... my house is not!

9. I LOVE seafood!!! (I had to put this in, since so many people have said they don't!)

10. I talk to my Mom every day.

11. I've only spent one night away from my daughter, who is 5.

12. I have 2 cats - Ralphie and Coco, and 2 dogs - Oscar and Apolo.

13. I've been to Israel.

14. I played hockey on an adult league and was the only woman on my team.  It was fun, but I was terrible! 

15. If I could go anywhere in the world it would be Italy.

16. I can't stand certain things out of place... my co-workers move things around in my classroom to see how long it takes me to notice (not usually very long!)

17. I love Good N Plenty and banana Runts.  I think I'm the only person in the world who likes Good N Plenty!!!

18. I'm the oldest child in my family and the oldest grandchild.

19.  I recently became an auntie :-)

20. I am a certified arborist and a certified massage therapist!

Be sure to link up with these two so that I can learn some interesting facts about you :-)

New Products and a Freebie!

As I was putting my classroom together, I decided I needed calendar headers, calendar numbers, and the days of the week.  So, I made some and just uploaded them to my Teachers Notebook Store.

I had planned on using much more of the bright owl collection in my room.  However, with the lime green wrapping paper I used to cover bulletin boards and chalk board, my room really needs the blue to mellow it a bit!!!

Ok, enough about that!  On to the freebie -  I got this idea from the Visual Phonics seminar I attended this summer.  I just gave it a more "finished" look on the computer!  These are "air" words.  They are the 16 irregular words that have the "air" sound in them, but don't follow any predictable spelling pattern.  Click here download a free copy!

I will be hanging them on the blue sky border I made to cover the ugly balloon border (see pics below!)  They will stay up all year so that students can look up in the air (get it ??? :-) ) to spell those words!

I hope you can use them :-) 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Target Finds

I LOVE Target!  Especially the dollar bins!  Here is what I found on my last trip.  Everything but the rulers, dominoes, and polka tape were from the dollar bins :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shopping and Classroom Progress

I'm feeling less overwhelmed about my classroom today!  I can (very) slowly feel it coming together.  Here are a few more pictures of my progess today!

I bought this wrapping paper at Hobby Lobby to match my theme.  The nameplates and numbers are available at my Teacher's Notebook store.

And here is what I did with it!  It's bright, but happy!  This picture makes it look much more yellow than it actually is. 

Here is the progress on the corner I showed you yesterday.  I still need to put the leaves up and I think I'll put my welcome banner in the tree!

This is a before picture I didn't post the other day.  I'm thinking about putting a time line and maps on this wall.  That way we can study artists and muscians and tie it into community for social studies... hopefully!!!

I really hope it looks great when I'm done.  There are so many amazing classrooms out there, I'm not sure I can compete :-) 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shopping and Decorating!

Whew, I am exhausted!!!  I spent all day shopping and working on my classroom.  My body feels like a LOT more should be done than what I actually accomplished! 

Last night I put in a huge order to Lakeshore.  I can't wait to get it, it will have all sorts of goodies for my reading and math stations!  Today I hit the teacher supply store, Dollar Tree, and Staples!  Here's all my fun stuff!

These are all from Dollar Tree.  The clear plastic tubs are for my word work area and math stations.  The green and blue baskets are for the student's Daily 5 "good fit" books.

These are my splurges from the teacher supply store!

This is my attempt at "Operation Cover the Hideous Balloon Border!"  I think it's looks pretty good so far, but I'm not showing you any other pictures because then I would have to divulge the enormous mess that is the rest of my classroom!  Check my last post for "before" pics!

I didn't take any pics of my Staples purchases - just a color ink cartridge and some metal rings (nothing exciting!)

I'm off to do all the things around the house that I've been avoiding by blogging and spending time in my classroom!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Classroom Before Pics

Well, here it is.  My new classroom.  It needs a LOT of work, but is full of possibility!  I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the balloon border.  I peeled a little bit off and it's not painted underneath.  Suggestions? 

This picture is standing in the doorway from the hall.  The wall to the left has a white counter (you can see a little bit of it) that has computers on it.  No options for where the computers go! My daughter made a guest appearance in  two of the pics!

This one is also from the doorway, but shows the front of the room.  The whiteboard is there, and projecter for document camera points there.

This is standing from the other side of the room.  The door to the hall is to the right of chalk board.

The custodians were nice enough to bring in two more bookshelves for me!  There are some base ten blocks, a tub with linky things, and the curriculum - that's it! Yikes, I have some serious shopping to do! 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

New Adventure!

Today is an exciting day for me, I was just offered a 2nd grade position at an arts magnet school!  I could not be more thrilled!  It will be a big change to move from special education to general education, but I'm so ready!  I can't wait to get into my classroom.  Let the shopping begin!  Pictures and updates of my new adventure to come soon :-)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Integrating Music and Dance into the Classrooom

Do you remember educational songs from when you were a child?  I remember the Conjunction Junction song and the Counting to 12 song (that had the pinballs) from Saturday morning cartoons... any of these sound familiar?

My 5 year old recently taught me the continent song she learned at school!  I could name the continents before, but really had to think about them.  Now I can't get the song out of my head!  The continent song is from a Dr. Jean C.D.  She has some great educational songs and videos for PreK-1st grade! 

Here is a You Tube video of Dr. Jean doing the Macarena Count to 100:

I love the idea of integrating more music and dance into the classroom.  Research shows that integrating movement (mucle-memory,) music, art, etc. is how students learn best! 

I've used Wrap-ups with my students and the songs that go with them.  Some kids love it and others are easily frustrated with the pace of the song and completing the Wrap-ups.
How do you integrate music and/or dance into the classroom?  I would love hear your ideas!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Teaching with the Brain in Mind

I just finished reading Teaching with the Brain in Mind, by Eric Jensen.  Great read!  I love learning about how our brains work and how to best help our students learn! 

 I found the time table guidelines for direct instruction very interesting. 

Grades K-2 (5-8 mins.)
Grades 3-5 (8-12 mins.)
Grades 6-8 (12-15 mins.)
Grades 9-12 (12-15 mins.)
Adults (15-18 mins.)  - Probably less for me (ha, ha!)

I've been a resource room teacher for the past 7 years.  The last few years we've been limited to specific direct instruction programs - the kids hate it (and honestly, so do I!)  These programs are research-based, but seem to completely contradict brain research.  Why are we asking our neediest students to sit still for 30 minutes blocks and listen to a teacher go through a scripted program?  No movement, no muscle memory, no music, no arts, little time to practice and certainly no variety in how to practice (paper and pencil only!) Ok, maybe a few short games here and there (but not very fun ones!)

I try to integrate variety where I can, but with budget cuts I have no assistants (to help with prep, etc. they are one-on-one with students in the classroom,) two schools, back-to-back groups, no prep time, and a new IEP program that doesn't work!  Very little time to spend on the most important part of my job - teaching!!!

Sometimes it feels like we are moving backward in time!  I feel like special education has been hit the hardest, but I'm interested to know... Do you feel like budget cuts and/or district mandated curriculum impact your ability to teach with best practice?  How do you work around these limitations?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Art Projects for Kids

I found this great blog that has tons of art projects.  Projects are sorted by grade level and specific artists.  Be sure to check it out!  You can follow her on Pinterest too.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I'm so excited, my first award!!!

Thank you to Gretchen at Always A Lesson for choosing me!

I'm passing this award on to the bloggers below.  Be sure to stop by and check them out!

The Kindergarten Center The KinderGarden jd's rockin' readers rubber boots and elf shoesit's LMN Treeeat.sleep.teach.. Falling into First Mommy and Me CreationsClassroom CompanionMiss Smartie PantsThe Teaching ChameleonButtonButton

I wasn't able to find a few email addresses, so if you see yourself on here and didn't get an email please email me at jenny.zuniga0@gmail.com

Congratulations to these aweseome blogs!!!