Once I Get Started…

…I simply cannot stop. That applies to many, many things in my life, but it’s most certainly applicable to readying my classroom. Now that the spray painting is done, the coordinated classroom is nearly ready – just need to add a few new labels.


A bit of tweaking went on in the front of the room – all I did was outline the red pocket charts with black trim, but WOW! Vive la difference!


You Have Been Warned

Get ready for photo overload. This week I ran my first summer camp – A Trip Back in Time with Laura Ingalls Wilder. Five 3-hour days full of everything pioneer. Because I am thoroughly exhausted, I’ll let the pictures speak (mostly) for themselves.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.


If you’re not familiar with the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, some of the following will be confusing. Look them up – grasshoppers, pig’s bladder, Plum Creek crab – all real.

A tiny baby pool doubled as both Lake Pepin in Wisconsin and Plum Creek in Minnesota. Water + Girls = FUN!

Living the life of a pioneer – as described by Laura!

One day was devoted to the many Christmas celebrations the Ingalls family had. Another day was a pioneer school experience.

The week ended with an informal presentation for the parents. Happy kids. Proud parents. Exhausted me. All in a day in the life of a teacher. This one, at least.


Because teachers spend most of their summer prepping (at least mentally) for the new school year (wait – is that just me?), my brain was full of pinterest-esque ideas for revamping my Hollywood themed classroom. Not a change, just a refresh. So, armed with glitter border, paint and fadeless paper (I vow NEVER to use the stuff that comes on those giant spools), I began the process.

The painting was easy, and it turned a nearly 30-year old shelf into a sleek thing of beauty. I replaced the various colored bins with red dishpans and new labels. Gorgeous!


292953_3854193828209_479053087_nCheck out the difference!

My other bins got a makeover too. I spray painted the toy bins that were previously primary in color, and now they match. Because matching is in – just ask pinterest.

The spray painting wasn’t bad. As recommended, I used Krylon Fusion for Plastic, which must be purchased at Wal-Mart because it’s by the far the place with lowest price. You’ll need lots of coats, especially for the lighter colors, and there’s a lot of overspray. I’m not sure how they’ll hold up, but I do know they look marvelous!

File the next one under “why did I not know this before?” All over the decorate-your-classroom-blogs, doubling or tripling border is de rigueur. It never occurred to me to do it, but now that I have, all I can say is, “where have you been all my life?” I even put a black border on the outside of the board (I think I invented that one myself!) for true pizazz.


Here’s a closeup – you’ll also see my shrine to child stars of the golden age. What can I say. It makes me happy.


Blurry, but check out the TRIPLE border!  #gettingcarriedaway

Here are a few more pictures of the black and red goodness that is now my classroom.


If that’s what I’ve done by mid-July, just think what I can come up with by August!!

Exceedingly Random

Today I’ll let someone else’s words speak for me. It’s the summer, so I’m allowed to be lazy. Actually, some of these ecards (where is the catchy name or acronym for these??!!) don’t really even apply to me, but I laughed when I read them, so that’s good enough for me.

This one, however, is pretty apt.
O3l5PWQZHaven’t really mastered that one yet.

Summertime, and the Livin’ is Easy…

EASIER, anyway. For teachers, whether we’re at the beach (not me), or camping (not me), or traveling the world (not me, but I wish it were me!), part of our brain is devoted to thinking about school. This is not earth-shattering news. It’s been this way since the dawn of time. And every summer it’s easier to get sucked into the let’s-get-ready-for-a-new-school-year mentality (Pinterest, I’m looking at you). And for those teachers who are uber school-obsessed (def me), many hours are spent thinking and doing all things back-to-school.

This is only my third year in this room and grade, and I’m not ready to embark on a new decorating theme. I’m giving Hollywood a full five years before transitioning to something new (don’t worry, it’s already in the planning stages). I didn’t spend hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours to give it up so soon. Bless you teachers out there who change themes/color schemes each and every year. I do not have your unlimited resources (i.e., money).

But because I’m endlessly restless, and feeling like a slacker because I’m not doing a total room makeover, I am tackling a few projects. I 100% blame* a site called Schoolgirl Style. She has me thinking that if I don’t incorporate at least one tissue pom or flower, I’ve failed.

So I’ve invested in some tissue daisies. They do look adorable.

I also blame* Clutter-free Classroom for my new-found obsession with coordination. As in, all of my primary colored bins and baskets must now be one or two colors, with coordinating labels and shelving.
So now I’ll be painting some shelving (which needs a good rejuvenation after nearly 30 years) and experimenting with spray painting plastic bins. Apparently, this is a thing.
So I’m off to Walmart, because after extensive research this seems like the best place to purchase the paint (i.e, the cheapest). And on Monday I’ll be knee-deep in black and red paint.
I should get turpentine too, or whatever one uses nowadays to get the paint off skin. Because when I say knee-deep, it’s literal.

*by blame I mean “thank you for the fantastic ideas but at the same time, damn you for giving me one more thing to obsess over.”  I’m sure that Jodi and Melanie, decorators extraordinaire, fully understand.