Monday, September 10, 2012

Calling all Techies! and a Currently! (Semi Long Post)

I have been super busy I haven't had a chance to post! Plus my allergies and sinuses have been driving me crazy and now it has moved to my chest...needless to say it took all I had to stay at work today. Yes, I have the sick days...but I just don't like doing that to my kiddos!

Anyways...My district requires us to to PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) and of course all us SPEDies (new wordy!) formed a group. The district has set our first topic for us...Math and the Common Core (I feel like that should be said in a big booming voice!)

Apparently I have been designated as the resident computer geek! I was asked if I could create an online community where we can share resources, documents, ideas, and just to chat. Sooooo...does anyone have any good FREE websites for this? I know I can do a wiki, but it is just so blah...I like to spice things up a bit. Now most of the teachers will be accessing this from school and our lovely IT department is taking care of us and making sure we don't get any unwanted virus and has blocked some sites. I thought maybe I could do a Google Circle? But found out it is blocked at work plus I didn't know if it could be private or not.

Any ideas, links, blogs or anything that will help me out in a WAY cool way besides a wiki would greatly be appreciated!

Time for the Currently! Of course I have linked up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for September's Currently... so here it goes...

Favorite Things....

1) Flocabulary for those who haven't discovered it yet is....Hip Hop in the Classroom. Now the website isn't free, but you can do a 14 day free trial. They have songs for everything imaginable in Language Arts, Vocabulary, Math, Science, Social Studies. I teach in a rural school and my kiddos LOVE It!

2) ZUMBA! What is not to love I get an AMAZING workout and have fun at the same time! I am not a big workout fan, but I have stuck to this and go to a class at least 2 times a week! I have the Xbox Kinect Game and I use it when I can't make it to a class for some odd reason, BUT the class is WAY WAY WAY better! Want to find a class near you? Well Ditch the Workout, Join the Party!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012


 What a week! This is only the 5th day of school and I already feel like I am being pulled in every which direction! My caseload is the biggest it has ever been and it keeps growing! I feel like everything is on fast forward!

This week has been all about learning about  my new move in and transfer students. I have also been assessing them to see where they are working so I have a good feel of where I need to put them through out my curriculum.

My principal has set my schedule for me (a blessing in disguise!) I just wish I had the kiddos a little bit longer! I feel like just as we get going it is time for them to go! I know that it will improve as the year goes on, but there is so much I NEED to do with them!

Is anyone feeling the same way I am?

Anyways that is all for now! I am off to relax and try to catch up on a week and a half worth of tv shows on my Tivo and 4 Netflix Movies!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Warning: Long Post and a Classroom Reveal!

It is time to reveal my classroom (good time since school starts tomorrow!! AKKK!) Now these pictures were taken before I had put all of my finishing touches on it. And honestly I just forgot to take pictures was a busy and long day (we had Back to School Night).

I am linking up with two linky parties.....


There is a story that goes with this reveal, so here it goes.....

At the end of the 2010-2011 school year I was told that I was going to have to move rooms to make room for another 6th grade class. I accepted the challenge and all went smoothly in the move! Well at the end of last year (2011-2012) I was told I was going to have to move again. I expected this since we are getting half of our new school and we were having to add 2 more classes (one 1st and one 4th). I once again accepted the challenge, however it didn't go as smoothly this year! Since we had to add 2 more classes they moved portables in and the music teacher and the Title I teacher were moved into the portable. The extra 1st grade class went into my old room, the extra 4th went into the music room, and I went into the Title I room. This is where things didn't go smoothly! The Title teacher couldn't move her stuff until the portables were placed, so I couldn't move my stuff! However, we worked together to unpack her cabinets and load my junk in them. We couldn't move furniture until after summer school and they had waxed the floors. So I left on vacation! When I came back I was able to get in the room and I moved all her stuff to one side of the room (luckily she didn't have as much as me!) and all my stuff on the other side.... here is a picture of all my stuff on my half of the room!

Now I didn't get a picture of her side. Sorry! It was funny though because I had a path all around so I could maneuver.

After I got everything moved I spent multiple hours painting 4 bulletin boards. I was lucky because she had painted all of them but 4!

2 weeks ago they got the portables set up (they didn't get electricity until this Monday!) and all her stuff moved out and I went to work! Please keep in mind I took these with some finishing touches still left, but here is the final product... I went with the Dots on Turquoise and Paisley on Turquoise theme this year (have to say this is my favorite by far!)

My new and improved classroom library...sorted by lexile level! The shelf is accessible by both sides. The shelf came from IKEA and so did the little Green Table and  stools

After you step in the door and turn left...

My AR Board...When the kiddos reach 20 points they get on Mr. Potato Head and get a coupon to a local ice cream place. The little buzz is 70 points or more and they get a $10 gift card to a local restaurant of choice if they get there. I have been doing this for the past 2 years and it motivates them to read (which normally they could careless). The big Buzz and the thermometer is the whole class goal...the choose how many points they want to get to and they choose the reward. They have until they reach the goal before it changes (but there is only one party a semester). The red poster is where I post their points so they aren't constantly asking me how many points they have. I post it first thing every Monday morning. Up at the top is my CRAFT board that I picked up from Ladybug's Teacher Files

Turn in station... See my Monday made-its?

Looking from one of my "teaching spots" 

My reading center. I have one more black panel to hang up (that's it on the table). They create a nice see through division between "my" space (file cabinets and resources) and "everybody's" space. They came from The Container Store

My Manners board...the posters and paisleys are covering up major damage from something the teacher before me had super glued up there! That is why it looks a little funny! I picked up the posters from Alicia Wyand's TPT Store

My Curtains my mommy made! 

Hope you enjoyed the tour! I anticipate that I will have to move at least 1 or 2 more times before my classroom is built (in the second half of the new building). I plan on keeping my theme as long as I can! I will be a classroom packing pro!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Long long day and a Monday Made It

WOOOO! What a day! Today was our first official day back as teachers. We were given the privilege to sit in meetings all day! Some of us get to do it again tomorrow (not me,WOOOHOOOO!!!)

This is going to be short an sweet tonight...I am very tired since my sleep habits have become horrible over the summer...getting up before noon is killing me already!

I linked up with 4th Grade Frolics once again for Monday Made It!

Now this is something I have used for the past 5 years in my classroom. It just got a little updated. So my Monday Made It was my Can't Can.


Being that I am a resource room it seems that some of my students favorite word is the word "can't"...for example... "Miss Peters I can't do this it is to hard" or "Miss Peters I can't read this I don't know how" I STRONGLY dislike the word can't especially when it comes from my kiddos, it breaks my heart because they can...just in a different way!

So.....anytime someone says can't their name goes in the can. Whoever DOESN'T have their name in the can at the end of the nine weeks, semester, year (whatever mood I am in) receives some special incentive. For me this USED to be a pizza party, however my school has become a health and fit school so certain foods and beverages are not allowed. I will probably do a movie party or electronics day this year.

Pretty simple, huh? As the year progresses the classes find other words that should be added to the last year my can was the "Can't, don't, wanna, umm, like, whatever" Can. I just cut up scrap paper or index cards for the kiddos to write their name on. Hope this gave you an AMAZING idea!

So here is my redone can......

You can't really see the cute handle (my bad!) but it is all different colored ribbon!

Don't forget to hop on over to 4th Grade Frolics to see all the nifty fifty made its!

Hopefully tomorrow (when I don't have to go to meetings) I will get pictures of my classroom and share them with you all!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Linky's and a Confession!

I like that word Linky! Anywho! There are 2 linky's that really struck my interest so I linked up!

The first Linky is over at Mrs. Stanford's Class and it is drum roll please....

How do you plan? Umm..... good question? I am lucky that I teach in a school system that doesn't have strict lesson plan rules and the only time they are looked at by administration are when my evaluation is going on (sometimes they are looked at). I usually do vague plans. For example if I am planning reading I would put something like this:

  • Comprehension Mini-Lesson 
  • Daily Word Ladder and Review
  • Small Group Reading Time with group 2 and 3

My principal is really good about asking what something is if he doesn't understand. However, he too used to be a SPED teacher so he understands how hard it is to plan for 7 different grades! I do feel like I could be a better planner...

The second linky is over at From Blood to Books! Drum roll please.....

Here are the guidelines...
1. Tell me your favorite store(s) that you like to get your "teacher's fashion".
2. What are some of your favorite accessories?
3. What type of shoes do you teach in? (i.e. heels, flats, wedges, etc.)
4. Do you have a "go-to" item in your closet? (i.e. sweater you wear weekly, shoes you wear daily, etc.)
5. Have you ever had a fashion "uh-oh" at school? (i.e. heel broke, button popped off of blouse)
Please feel free to post any cute items, sales, outfits that you have grabbed for this upcoming school year!

Warning: I like to think I am up to "times" in the fashion world...some of my 6th graders would beg to differ. LOL.

1) Old Navy and Target (duh! have you noticed my obsession with target?)
2) Shoes, necklaces, shoes, did I mention shoes?
3) Depends on the season! Flip-flops (dressy ones), Toms, and ballet flats are my go to dress shoe
4) It would have to be my jeggings (they are so comfortable) and my black sweater jacket thing-a-ma-bob

5) Umm yeah...the wire in my bra decided it wanted to work it's way out...a trip to the bathroom and a little masking tape helped keep it in place until I could get home and chuck it in the trash!

Old Navy is having their Get Prepped sale (back to school) 

I almost forgot my confession! I love getting the email saying that I have a new follower!

Back to work countdown: 1 day! AGHHHHHHHHH!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Grand Opening and a Monday Made It!

Oh it is Monday and that means I officially have 4 days before I go back to work...a bittersweet feeling. The kiddos don't come back until the 16th so I will have a few more days of getting ready.

I should really have been working in my classroom but I dragged my feet today, plus it is so HOT! I did go up there for about 30 minutes (not long I know!)...I have just a few finishing touches and I will be set! (look for the story and the before and after pics soon!)

So today has been about getting caught up on laundry, opening a TPT store (YAY!) and attempting to be creative!

I have been really inspired by all the Monday Made It's over at 4th Grade Frolics.

I am not a super creative person when it comes to making things for my classroom and I normally would contract my mom to use her creative genius to make these things for me on her Cricut, but I set out to do it on my own!

So here are my Made-Its for today....

Made It # 1 & 2
My kiddos always have a hard time remembering to put their name and # (for grading and sorting purposes, it makes the "Postmasters" job much easier!) on their papers. Thanks to a BRILLIANT idea of having them highlight their names which I saw on Pinterest which in turn lead me to the wonderful Welcome to Room 36! I knew I had to have that in my room!

For some reason my students are always trying to "borrow" pencils out of MY pencil cup! So I am putting them in a bucket and creating a "Pencil Police" position to my classroom jobs! The "Police Officer" will be in charge of making sure the bucket is stocked and all pencils are sharpened. Now since I am a resource room I have an hour block for each grade level, each class has their own set of jobs. My last class usually has some "cooler" jobs because they are my older students, plus I have them at the end of the day (something to look forward to when you reach 5th and 6th grade in my class, the "cool" jobs.)

Made- It # 3

Pretty self explanatory. I bought the basket at my FAVE FAVE FAVE store Target! Then I created the label on my computer. I did my classroom library differently this year. I felt it was important to have a book return! I also made a library check out sheet to go on a clipboard that will be put in the basket.

Last but not least.....

Made-It #4

As I said before I decided to redo my classroom library. Once again thanks again to a BRILLIANT idea I found on Pinterest which lead me to S is for Second Grade. I will have more on that in an upcoming post! Anywho, here is what I did in a nutshell.....found the Lexile levels for all 400 of my book. Grouped them by level and then put one of the stickers above on the book and the front of the I wanted to create a chart so the kiddos could see all the different levels!

Here are all my Made-Its!

Like the labels I made? Head over to my TPT Store! They are Free!!!! It is my first product made so hopefully I will get some more stuff in the store! Have a great night!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fire, BFF to the rescue, no power, and a Currently!

So Oklahoma is on fire! Well part of it is anyways. The fires are about 90 miles from me and have affected my best friend's boyfriend and his family. They have lost everything. They are all okay and so are their animals. Right now his family is staying in a hotel and has no where for their many dogs to stay. ALERT:  best friend to the rescue! Ally (my BFF) asked if I would be willing to take care of Oreo (technically her dog but since they live in an apartment that doesn't allow pets she was staying at Joe's (the boyfriend) family's) for a few days until they work something more permanent out. Now I will do anything for my BFF, but she cautiously asked me to do this knowing that I (and my family) had lost my beloved Muffie almost 2 years ago (I know seems like a while to grieve a dog, but she was 16 and I had her since I was 10 and she was a cute little fur ball puppy!)  I agreed to help knowing that it would be temporary and that I am not ready for a new dog and Oreo belongs to Ally and I can't keep her. Oreo is an outside dog so I prepared an area where she be chained up and have room to roam and have somewhere cool (hello it has been 112 degrees!) Ally, Joe and Oreo were headed my way when freak thunderstorms decided to pop up and move my way. Well these thunderstorms sent a nice lightning bolt into a transformer taking my power and internet! The power came back on about 2 1/2 hours later, but it messed up my internet so I have been without it all day until now! So I had to tell you all that to explain why my post is so late!

Anywho, On all the blogs I "stalk" I frequently see a Currently. I was intrigued so I headed over to Farley's Oh' Boy 4th Grade to join in on the fun! So here goes nothing! Fingers crossed that I do it right!

Yes! It looks like I did it right! Go me!!!! Night all!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Hello everyone! This is my first time to ever do a blog, so hang in there with me! I have just recently started to follow multiple blogs and I have become addicted! There are so many great ideas for the classroom out there!

Me in a Nutshell
I guess I should probably introduce myself! My name is Audra and I will begin my 6th year teaching mild/moderate special education for K-6! My friends tell me I am an Soon-hoos-jun (your probably think, "what in the world!") let me explain in a nutshell...I was born in Oklahoma, moved to Indiana when I was 2, 14 years later (middle of my junior year of high school) moved back to Oklahoma and have been here ever since (wouldn't trade it or the school I work at for anything!) You are probably wondering where the "jun" comes from....both my parents are from Louisiana and my extended family is still there, so the "jun" is for Cajun. I might not have lived in Louisiana but I was raised by cajuns and raised to bleed purple and gold! GEAUX TIGERS!

I am a HUGE college football fan...obviously LSU is my team! Which makes for an interesting time during football season in Sooner and Cowboy country. Which my older students love to "give me hard time" whenever LSU looses or beats one of their teams. It is all in good spirit!

Naming of the Blog
My name is Audra, right? Well it is pronounced  odd-dra, and my middle name is Lee. One night in high school, my friends and I were bowling and my friend James decided he wasn't going to put my whole name for score keeping...he decided he was going to put AudLee (pronounced Oddly). Well it has stuck! My best friend Ally has since shortened it to Aud. So...that is how my blog name was born! Essentially the blog is called The 'Odd' Classroom.

"Hey Aud! What's going to be on this blog?"
Oh you know....this and that! Actually I have no idea! I am not a real creative type to create all the cute things you can find in a TPT or a TN store, BUT I would be willing to give it a try! (might take me a while!) So for right now I think I will stick with just talking about my day and sharing cool ideas from other blogs...we will see which way the wind sweeping down the plains take me! (See what I did there? LOL, I crack myself up!)

So please hang in there with me as my blog transforms and becomes something amazing (hopefully), thanks for taking the time to read and follow me!