Friday, August 10, 2012

BINGO Behavior

I came across this amazing idea my first year of teaching. We were required to visit another teacher's classroom to get tips before our first year began. This little gem caught my eye the minute I walked into this incredibly organized yet vibrant classroom. BINGO!
After talking with the owner of this brilliant idea, I came to realize that the BINGO board on her wall was a reward system for her students. Each afternoon, the students that have maintained good behavior throughout the day (determine by your behavior system... tickets, color cards, etc.) get to sign the BINGO board. On Friday afternoons, you can draw a letter and number from a bag and whichever student signed that line will win a prize. If the student has had good behavior all five days of the school week, then their name will be on the board 5 times and their chances of winning will be higher.
To create my BINGO board, I took a piece of gridded poster board and glued cut out letters for "B" "I" "N" "G" "O" across the top of each column. I then labeled each row with a number 1-25 (dependant upon how many students you have.) I then laminated the poster.

At the end of each school day as the students are packing up, I call student numbers to come up and sign the BINGO board. The student can sign any line under one letter and in one numbered row. I use a Visa-V marker on my board so that it can be erased each Monday morning to start anew. I also was given a BINGO wheel by a co-worker which actually has the labeled balls inside (ex: G12) but before I received it, I cut out small squares of paper and label one bag of squares with the letters B, I, N, G, and O. Then I labeled another bag of squares with the numbers 1-25. Each Friday I would pull one letter and one number. Voila!  

With Brilliant BINGO Behavior,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Classroom Decor 101: Strategy Posters

My classroom is not overly decorate for the single reason that I hate clutter; but I have managed to create and borrow ideas for strategy posters to decorate my blank white wash walls. These posters not only look neat and nice on my classroom walls, but they are constant reminders to my students to use their strategies on a daily basis.
The reading strategy which I modge-podged last year is TURNS. The steps are: 1. Read the TITLE and make a prediction, 2. Read and UNDERLINE key words in the questions, 3. READ the entire passage and use strategies, 4. NUMBER in the passage where you found your answer, 5. SELECT the correct answer.

The math strategies in the following picture are borrowed from a co-worker.

I also created another math strategy for solving multiple choice questions. CUPS... short and sweet and to the point. The steps are: CIRCLE the numbers in the problem, 2. UNDERLINE code words, 3. PICK a strategy, 4. SOLVE.

What are some strategies that have made it to the walls of your classroom?

With Acronym Happy Walls,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Friday, August 3, 2012

Give With Target

I know that many of you are educators and some of you are not. This one is for everyone. Target is working on their goal to give 1 billion dollars to education. One way that they are going about this is through a Facebook voting give away. Certain schools across the country are able to participate in this "vote-athon."
I'm asking you to help... how? you might ask... here are a few ways:

1. If you're an educator, go to the following link and search for your school. Then start voting and getting everyone you know to vote. You can vote once a day until September 8th or until $2.5 million have been given away.

2. Those that aren't educators... I have a school for you to support. Click the above link and vote for my school. This money will be put to great use with school supplies and more.

Happy Voting!
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Penny School Supplies Begin- Folders

Yes, I know that the back to school specials have now been going on for several weeks and I've not quite kept you as up to date as I did last year. But that was partly on purpose because I was holding out for the best deals. Staples frustrates me in more than one way but the biggest is the fact that they set a minimum purchase on their penny deals... and I'm not spending $5 just to get 10 items for a penny.
But man do I love me some Office Depot!!
This week is my favorite penny deal: pocket folders (with and without fastens!) If you are a teacher, you can get 30 folders each visit instead of the typical limit of 10. I drag my mother along, of course, because she also works for a schools. We hit up 2 stores today and bought 120 folders for a grand total of $1.24! Now you cannot beat that.
I'll definitely be going to get 30 more each day this week only because I pass an Office Depot on my daily deposit route for my summer job. **You can never have enough folders and your friends will love you if you share!**
Mom and I also stopped by a yard sale quickly after church and I hit the jackpot with a purchase of 6 Expo Dry Erasers for.... wait for it..... 50 cent!
With the Beginning of Penny Sales, (and a Happy Wallet)
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What to do with wine corks?

Now that I stumbled upon bags of wine corks this past weekend, not only am I not going to have to drink a bottle of wine a day to save up corks... but I now have an excuse to craft again. What better way to spend my Memorial Day morning than creating a new masterpiece for the wall.

I started with a frame that I bought at a tag sale this past weekend. After taking the glass out of the frame, I returned the cardboard backing to the frame and then had a base to hot glue my corks to.

I began with a pattern; exchanging the direction of the corks after every two corks. I laid the corks out at the top of the frame to make sure they fit snug, then I transferred them to the bottom of my base and hot glued them one at a time.
This only took about 20 minutes and was extremely simple. Now to find some empty wall space in my house to hang this gem.
With a glass of wine in my hand and the cork on the wall,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Friday, July 13, 2012

Free Starbucks Refresher

Friday Freebies are here! What better way to celebrate this crazy Friday the 13th than with a free tall Starbucks refresher drink. The drinks come in two flavors: Cool Lime and Very Berry Hibiscus. The only problem I have with this freebie is my indecisiveness over which flavor to choose!

Have you tried the Starbucks refreshers?
Let me know what you think!

With Friday Freebies,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Free ChickfilA!

Happy Cow Appreciation Day!
If you haven't already stopped by your local ChickfilA in cow gear to grab a free meal... what are you waiting for!?! Dress head to toe or if you're not so daring... add a few black construction paper spots to your shirt like I did on my lunch break at work and pick any meal for free. (I've already grabbed breakfast and lunch... we'll see if I'm still in a chicken mood for dinner HA!)

Enjoy and let me know your successes!
With a belly full of CHICKEN,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bargain Bonding

Saturday morning yard sale-ing has now become a mother/daughter tradition in my family. Mom and I wake up bright and early and hit the road with our strategically planned list of sales and handy dandy google maps app. What are we looking for? That's a good questions...

The whole yard sale tradition began when I was decorating my new house a year ago and now it has become a hobby. We never set out to find anything in particular but always end up finding the best deals. And this past Saturday morning was no different.

We found a few odd and end yard sales where I picked up a new wicker basket for a guest bedroom trashcan and some vintage books... nothing too exciting but we knew that our jackpot was the tag sale at 9am. When we arrived, the cars were lining the streets for blocks and we could hardly make our way into this gorgeous house. Everything... and I mean everything... was for sale. From fine china and cookware to furniture and a lawnmower. But I managed to find this gems in the basement (it immediately became the envy of everyone when I got in line to pay... which I was in this line for 45 minutes so there was a boat load of envy.)
$5 20" cork wreath

I've been planning to make a cork wreath of my own but I never realized exactly how much wine I would have to consume all by myself to make this lovely piece. Now I can enjoy my glass of wine without worrying about the daggum corks. I plan to make a "cork board" for my kitchen with the two bags of corks I snagged for $5.

I also picked up 4 gold frames at $1 a piece and bought fabric to fill them. They are now hanging in the guestroom in my house. Not a bad price at only $7 a picture after the price of expensive fabric. I'll post a picture of the new guest bedroom wall next week...before and after.

Its amazing what you can do with a staple gun.

I'm OBSESSED with the bumble bee fabric... it reminds me of Slane&Slane

Overall it was a successful trip and I'm sure there will be many more to post about.

With a bargain of traditions,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Closed-Toed Shoes Dilemma

Last summer, I enjoyed my months of vacation work free. I slept in most mornings then spent my days crafting, shopping, lunching with friends, and planning for my move into my very own house.
Now, a year later, I am missing those stress free days. This coming summer will be much different as I take on the dreaded SUMMER JOB... dun, dun, dun...

I actually lucked out on a great opportunity to work at the recreation center a block from my house as the co-directer for the summer. I wasn't quite aware of how tedious the job was going to be until I started training every day after teaching this past week. Training from 3:30-8:30pm after teaching for the whole day can really take the energy out of you. But, I have enjoyed the job so far and will be starting full time as soon as school is out.

And that means no break for me...but the thing that I'm most distraught about is the fact that I have to wear CLOSED TOED SHOES all summer long! Who does that?!? I'm a sandal wearing southern gal and live in my Jack Rogers... now my poor toes are going to be cramped in shoes every day for 2 whole months!

So, I took this dilemma and turned it into a perfect excuse to buy myself a pair of TOMS which I've been contemplating for quite some time now. After visiting 6 different store (the sad thing is that I'm not exaggerating) I finally settle on a the burlap canvas TOMS... and I'm in love with them already. *Bonus: they were worth the $46 I spent because now I actually have comfortable teaching shoes too!
Have you jumped onto the TOMS bandwagon?
With a stylish closed-toed shoe-wearing summer,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Food Makeover Success

I realized today that life has been so overwhelmingly hectic the past two weeks that I've neglected my blog stalking and writing. After spending hours catching up on my favorite reads, I figured I would update you on my last post about the healthy skin diet.
It has been almost two weeks since I started my new diet and I am shocked at the results. Now I'm kicking myself for not taking a before picture of my skin so that I could show the difference after only a few weeks of changing what I eat. I've had several people (including my mother) comment on how great my face looked this weekend... and that is without makeup which is more than a big deal for me!
Over the past two weeks, this has been my daily menu:
  • Starbucks Iced Coffee with Non-Fat milk and lightly sweetened (I need my caffeine!)
  • Kashi Almond Flax Chewy Granola Bar (300mg Omega3s!)
  • 1/4 cup of raw unsalted all natural almonds
  • Fresh fruit: pear, apple or orange
  • 8oz. water
  • Spinach salad with fresh mushrooms, almond slices, craisins, avocado, and light raspberry walnut dressing
  • OR cottage cheese and pineapple
  • Diet Caffeine Free Coke
  • Grilled Tilapia or Cod
  • Beans or Zucchini
  • Spinach Salad with almond slices and vinaigrette
  • 8oz water