Last Official Day of Summer

Hello all!

Today is my last official day of summer. I debated long and hard about going into the school today to finish my library but then I said to myself "Self....you've gotten quite a bit done and it's your last day. Chill out!" So I chilled. So far I've gotten a little cleaning done and I want to go get my hair straightened, sit by the pool, and go walk in Piedmont Park.

In light of summer's end and school's beginning I want to join in on the Back to School goal linky hosted by I {heart} Recess. I love the idea of this linky because I can share with other bloggers the goals I've been setting for myself.


































{Personal}
Last week I made my own personal weekly meal planner. I wondered if it was necessary since I typically cook for one but it's helped me manage my grocery shopping and bill....which is allllllright with me. I also need to get consistent with working out and running. Next summer I want to look HOTTTT in a bikini! LOL :)

{Organization}
Designating days for tasks will definitely keep me organized. It's so easy to let grading pile up! UGHHHHHH....no time for that. I am hoping by using Evernote more frequently this year I can be more efficient with documentation and data which will all be helpful with grading. I already set up my notebooks and played around with Kustomnote! Exciting stuff people!

{Planning}
Another area in which I made a goal to improve. I am totally guilty of allowing my lesson plan book to disappear because we submit plans electronically. I made a post it lesson planner to help me keep my daily and weekly plans ready and easily accessible.Using post its, I can remove the plans and attach to my clipboard in case I need important reminders, page numbers, books to read etc.

{Professional}
Although I am finishing up my master's portfolio I will be beginning my gifted endorsement in the fall. *Overachiever* lol. I told myself I would take a break from school but I was asked personally by my principal and have always been interested in gifted learners so I felt it was necessary to seize the opportunity. I can definitely be a procrastinator with school work, additional responsibilities [my baby Gizzy] will force me to set aside specific times to complete my coursework.

{Students}
How many times have we heard consistency is key in the classroom? Soooooo many! I can be inconsistent and have definitely dealt with the consequences. I intend to be consistent in every capacity.

{Motto}
This is more of a quote than a motto but I aspire to inspire and just adore this quote!

To all fellow teachers starting officially tomorrow...enjoy your first day back. And link up to share your back to school goals! <3

Sunday Smorgasboard 7/28

This is my first time linking up with Michelle over at Fabulous in First for the Sunday Smorgasboard. Can I just say when I read her post I was totally like....that's me! I too go from task to task, then think of something else I need to do, go back to the original task and so on! I try real hard with to do lists and everything but I'm extra scatterbrained. Forever thinking about the 1,506,039 things I have to do! Sighhhh...anyway here's my randomness!


{One}

I've been working in my classroom since Wednesday. Wellllll....really since Thursday. Wednesday and Thursday I spent a great deal of time chatting with friends and my assistant principal. Yeah.....I'm THEE social butterfly at my school. I did gain some valuable info from my principal including my *tentative* class list. Anyone that believes in prayer....pray for me. Let's just say I've been tasked and trusted to have a severe behavior problem in my classroom. Seriously y'all..pray!

Anyway so far I've got desks and general center areas set up. One of my goals this year was to get really organized, throw out all the junk that is just wasting space, and keep it simple! So far so good. Monday I'm tackling library organization. I will blog allll about that tomorrow. Here's a little before shot of some of the work I've done. If you follow me on Instagram these pics will be familiar.

{Two}

Like many of my fellow bloggers, I have been hitting up the stores for school supplies and more! Just wanted to share that I hit the jackpot via craigslist. I needed clipboards and ended up finding a listing of clipboards and many other teaching materials. I worried if the drive was worth it and once I got there booooyyyy was that answer YES! The seller was a teacher turned stay at home mom selling everything left over from her classroom. Here is a picture of all the goodies I got including 16 clipboards for $22. {Wooohoo}

 Other places I've hit up this week include: Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree, School box, and Michaels.

{Three}

I've been on a cleaning spree around the house. I renewed my lease so they came and cleaned my carpet...it looks soooo nice! I'm implementing the no shoes in the house rule...ASAP! I also cleaned out my outside storage closet, and my desk. Admittedly, I'm not a super neat freak but I have been keeping the place neat and sprucing it up! I love it!

{Four}

In addition to shopping I've been working on new products and decor for my classroom while enjoying the Harry Potter marathon on ABC family. I just have to watch them each time they're on. I love em! In that amount of time I posted my glow stick labels to my tpt store and and working on supply labels and library labels as seen in the picture below. I will be posting the labels as a flash freebie soon once I get them looking exactly how I want them. Suggestions for supply labels would be cool! The flash freebie will be announced on my instagram!


And for those of you starting official back to school on Wednesday like I am try to fit in at least one for summer fun activity! I think I want to relax poolside and go to sips n strokes to make a new painting! Happy Sunday!

Oh My Word....I won an Award!!

In the midst of being busy this weekend I was nominated for a Liebster award by Margo at Mrs. Adams' Kinder. Thank you! Thank you! I just started out in June so to be recognized so soon was a surprise! I couldn't be more thrilled! Woohooo....*go Nay Nay* <--- that's my little cheer I do for myself from time to time, it's a riot in person. Lol.



The Liebster award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word that means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. How cool is that?

Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated you.
2. Nominate 5 to 11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
 6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them.

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These are the questions Margo posed to me:
  1. Who was your favorite teacher?
My favorite teacher was my kindergarten teacher. She had the sweetest most gentle voice (a big contrast from loud family) and made me feel special. Not to mention her name was pretty sweet to say Mrs. Petrash (pronounced like pee-trash). Unique to say the least! :) You can ask my grandma to this day she remembers how much I loved and talked about her.
 2. What grades have you taught?
I have taught Pre-k, 2nd grade and 3rd grade.
 3. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Hmmm....my favorite vacation spot that I've been to and would love to return is Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Absolutely beautiful!
 4. Do you have any pets and if so what are they?
I do! This summer I began sharing my home with a sweet little "Chorkie" (Chihuahua/Yorkie) named Giselle. I just love her....I became THAT pet owner! You know the ones that talk to their dogs like they can respond. My baby!
 5. What was the last book you read?
The last full book I read was The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. Page turner...I need to get on my goal to read books from 100 classics list.
 6. What is your favorite Dessert?
I loooove strawberry shortcake and butter pecan ice cream.
 7. What is one product you can't do without in your classroom?
Not sure if this refers to any product or TPT products so I'll talk about both. Sharpie flip chart markers are a definite can't live without. A TPT product I love are these common core graphic organizers...definitely helpful for D5!
 8. What is your favorite sports team?
*deep sigh* Being from Cleveland I was HUGE Cavs fan....but as well we alllll know there was that bitter departure of Lebron. We're over it now...mostly. So.....no longer have a team.
 9. Is anyone else in your family a teacher?
Yes I have a cousin that teaches in Boston. My Gram (miss her) was a preschool teacher before I was born.
 10. Are you married? 
Nope.....still looking for my King. :)
11. If you had to pick another grade to teach what grade would it be?
Oh gosh I love 3rd grade! I feel like it is MY grade....so fitting for me. I enjoyed 2nd  but I wouldn't be afraid to try 4th. 

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11 random facts about Denay
1. I ziplined in the jungle when I went to Punta Cana.
2. I own two pairs of tennis shoes...totally sandals, flats, and heels girl!
3. My name is a combination of my grandmothers' names.
4. In college I taught freshman orientation, was a resident assistant, and president of my honor society....at the same time!
5. No kids but I do have a niece, nephew and goddaughter that I adore.
6. I attended the same school district K-12. Small town suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.
7. I hate mushrooms, onions, jello, artificially flavored grape products, and mustard. {abbreviated list of hated foods}
8. I love the beach and ocean but I'm not the best swimmer. I just frolic....lol.
9. I used to have my own personal website and domain name where I blogged about whatever came to mind, designed graphics and whatever other random things.
10. I originally attended college to become a writer.
11. I have 3 siblings, 2 sisters and 1 brother.

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My nominees are:


First Grade Spies




** Update**- I need one more new blogger, if you all know a deserving blog please let me know!
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Questions for my Nominees:
1. Favorite subject or topic to teach?
2. What are two things in which you would say you are skilled?
3. What is a weird habit you have?
4. What is the most adventurous thing you have done?
5. Who is your longest friend and why?
6. Do you have any "catch phrases" that you always say?
7. What do you consider a challenge as a blogger?
8. What are 3 adjectives you'd use to describe yourself?
9. Best piece of advice given and/or received?
10. What do you remember from your very first day as a teacher?
11. Do you have a bucket list? One thing on it?

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Congrats to my nominees! So glad to have found some new bloggers! Thanks again to Margo for the nomination!

Monday Made It 7/22 and Atlanta Blogger Meet Up!

Today's very late post discusses my Monday Made-Its and the Atlanta Blogger meet up from this past Saturday.

I have been a busy, busy girl trying to do deep cleaning around the apartment, projects, and beginning
to plan classroom set up. I have a mere 6 days before my official start day but plan to get in my room as soon as they are done waxing floors *major eye roll*! On to made its...


(1) No Questions Touch Light
I'm sure you all have seen these....




Loved the idea.....and definitely have experienced the constant interruptions soooo here's my version. You can find the lights at the dollar tree! I used BIC markers to decorate.

(2) Birthday Bunch
I cannot remember exactly where the birthday bunch balloons came from but I believe they were a freebie on TPT. If you are the creator please let me know so I can give credit....they're lovely. :) Dollar tree silly straws, balloons, lamination, tape and voila! I think I will add student names and birthdays too.

I have a birthday box to keep them in....

but it is currently being used by glow sticks that I originally planned to use for the birthday bunch. I decided against that because the glow sticks cannot be left exposed or they won't glow. Which leads me to my next made it...

(3) Glow Stick Student Gift Tags
I decided to give the glow stick bracelets I have as beginning of the year gifts for my 3rd graders and so I created these cute little tags to attach to the bracelets. I can't actually make them until school starts to preserve the "glow". Here are the tags....
The first 5 people to comment on this post can get these labels for free customized with your name and grade(leave your email)! I will be adding them to my TPT store this week!

Now to discuss the Atlanta Blogger Meet up! I had a great time with the 8 other ladies that went to Swan Coach House for lunch on Saturday. The food, the conversation, and the trip to IKEA were loads of fun. It was great to meet some of the bloggers whose blogs I've been reading, and being exposed to new ones. We also discussed how empowering and positive the blogging community is and how much we enjoy the camaraderie! Here are some pictures from the meet up!

Amanda, Jessica (Jivey), Brandee, Me, Liz, Stacia, Amanda, Alison, Elizabeth
Cute placemats made by Amanda from Collaboration Cuties and goodie jar by Jivey
Super cute To Do List created by Elizabeth and Brandee
Needless to repeat....loved meeting up with these ladies and look forward to more meet ups. Welp....although it is late these are the hours I keep during the summer being a night owl and all. Oh wait.....my summer is dwindling, I should probably fix that soon. Pfffffffff!

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuning into Technology:Classroom Websites

Today I am linking up with iTeach 1:1 and Learning to the Core for the Tuning into Technology linky. This week the topic is classroom websites.


Classroom websites are a great tool for communicating between home and school, demonstrating student learning and much more. I just wanted to quickly share which tool I use and why.

There are many many tools to create a classroom website. You must think about your own comfort with web design and management in choosing a tool. I know another deciding factor is definitely cost. Who doesn't like free?? Seriously, why pay when you can build a beautiful classroom website for free. That leads me to my tool of choice.

Weebly. I used weebly because the website builder is easy to use whether you are familiar with code or not. There are also many ways to customize your website including design and add on tools such  as polls, audio, video and embedded documents. Here is a little glimpse at the interface.



I actually began making a website on webs.com which is also free but discovered that the free version only allows for 5 pages. If that's all you need then webs.com is also a good tool. I like weebly because you can grow and add your website as needed.

Now to discuss how I use it....well to be honest I haven't used it as much as I would like but plan to change that this year. Working with a low income population makes it difficult  for some students and families to access the internet at home so one wonders...who will really use it? I plan to integrate the class website somehow...maybe involve a project or sign up or something. Need to get more traffic from parents. Ideas anyone?

If you'd like to view my in progress classroom website check it out here. Hope you enjoyed the tip!