Throwback and Technology Thrusday: Revolving Motivational Desktop

8:30 AM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

Here is my Throwback Thursday on a revolving motivational desktop.

Do you have a bunch of pins of quippy or inspirational sayings?

Well, if you don't, you should because I have a plan for how to use them.  If you do have a set of these, have no fear.

I get so tired of one picture on my computer's desktop, and my students probably get tired of pictures of my girls.  My solution was to use my Pinterest board and do something with all those fabulous sayings I found.

My process for Windows 8

1) Find the pin on Pinterest and click on it.

2) Right click save image.  Save them all to one folder (I created one on my desktop) in order to save yourself the trouble in hunting them down.

3) Repeat until you  have a folder full of fun and/or inspirational images.

4) Close everything out and go to your desktop.  Right click on your desktop. Select Personalize.

5) On the bottom right select desktop background.

6) Change the folder to the one you created on your desktop with your images in it.

7) Hit select all

8) At the bottom use these settings: Picture Position (Fit); Change Picture Every (I like 30 seconds); Shuffle to mix up the order.

9) Save changes.

10) you have a revolving desktop to show off the fun sayings and images you have!

Be sure to check out other Throwbacks at The Teacher's Desk 6.

I won!

1:29 PM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

A huge THANK YOU to Lindsey at Thriving in 3rd!

I won a gift from her BLOGIVERSARY GIVEAWAY

thriving in 3rd

Stay tuned to see what I will get.

Wordless Wednesday 7/30

8:09 AM Sarah Koves 8 Comments

I am linking up again this week with Miss DeCabo at Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite linky parties as it is so easy and has a question to be interactive.

I spent last weekend at my parents' house up north.  I took these wonderful pictures of my mom's flowers.

Hydrangeas were the flowers we had at our wedding, so they hold a special place.  Plus, who doesn't love purple, pink, and blue puffy flowers?

Kovescence of the Mind
Sadly, I did not inherit my mother's green thumb.  I wish I could garden like her.

What skill do you wish you had or were better at?

Check out the other Wordless Wednesday posts!

Chapter 1: My Ideal Week

9:06 PM Sarah Koves 1 Comments

I am working with Kelly at An Apple for the Teacher on a book study of Maia Heyck-Merlin's book The Together Teacher.  I had this book on my reading list and read the sample.  Then I saw Kelly's book study, so I bought the book and jumped in feet first.

Pick up a copy at Amazon.  I got mine for my Kindle.

I consider myself an organized person, but I can always use new tips and ideas to add into what I am already doing well.  Maia talks of discipline that is needed, so I hope I can pick up some of that.

She says together teachers need:
1. Prioritization
2. Planning
3. Organization
4. Execution 
5. Efficiency

Number 4 was interesting for me because I am not terribly aware of my energy levels and planning around them.  Apparently you should perform the most mental tasks when you are most alter...duh was my first though when I read this, but it never occurred me to plan like that. I do, however, think I am a decent judge of how long tasks will take.

She talks a lot about tools for being together as a teacher, no more than two.  I am thinking my phone and my teacher binder will be my two.  

Maia's first step is to layout your ideal week.  I never thought of this before.  I live by lists, planning, and my timer, so why this never occurred to me I have no idea.

Now, I don't know if staff meeting days will stay Monday, and I don't know what night my girls will have dance and athletics, so I will probably have to redo this in August when I get those details.  I have an extra blank ideal schedule in my planner, so I can adjust with my full schedule.

So here is my ideal week.  I used projects as the term for working on something off my to-do list (another chapter).  I am hoping this will help me stay on top of grading, which is my downfall.  

Maia talks about how little discretionary time we have as teachers (if any), which is probably while I feel guilty reading a novel during the school year instead of essays.  I am hoping this ideal schedule will allow me to remove the guilty feelings.

Check out the full Chapter 1 Review with An Apple for the Teacher
An Apple for the Teacher

My Teacher Bag

8:13 PM Sarah Koves 5 Comments

I am linking up with Teacher by the Beach for a great Linky on Teacher Bags.

I didn't realize until about 5 years ago (half-way through my career at this point) how important a teacher bag was.  I was just using whatever I happened to have handy.

My first teacher bag was my fancy backpack from high school.

It has durability factor that ROCKS and real backpacking straps for all those papers that I carry around.  However, it seriously lacked organization.

As a result, I switched last year to this beauty:

I paid a little extra to have my name put on it.  I love all the pockets.  You can see one holding my paper clip box.  I keep notepads and sticky notes in a side pocket as well as an extra phone charger.  I always take my teacher binder with me EVERYWHERE because you never know when you might have a minute.  The only other staple always in this bag is my pen case, which has flash drives, pens, pencils, highlighters, and bigger binder clips.

I now swear by the Organizing Utility Tote from 31. I own not only the one pictured above but I own two others.  In fact, I just this spring got a new one with the zipper top in citrus medallion.  I'm not sure if it will become the new teacher bag or not.  Right now it is my Disney pre-packing stash.

The other one is my older bag, which I use for whatever my current project is: track, scouts, National Honors Society, etc.  It is currently holding extra school stuff that I am working on.

Check out the other bags at the linky party here:
Teacher by the Beach

Monday Made It: Curtains and Chair

9:12 AM Sarah Koves 6 Comments

I'm linking up with Tara @ 4thGradeFrolics for another Monday Made It.

I only have two this week, and they are both for school.  However, there are several awesome projects going that will be done for next Monday.

Here we go...

Last time I went to school, I brought home my desk chair.  My mom had recovered hers, so I thought I would try it with my work chair since the arms had holes developing.  I am sure the cleaning crew thought I was crazy rolling this chair down the hallway and loading it into my car.  I took it home, showed my hubby, and promptly left to take the girls to dance.

I got this this photo while at dance with the message that he broke my chair...funny man.

I was very concerned about it getting back together in working condition, so when I got home, we went right to work.
I set the all the pieces out on the fabric.  I only had one yard to work with, but should have ha d a little more because the pieces barely fit with enough for edges to be covered.

I used 3M spray adhesive and my staple gun.  After I cut the fabric to fit around each piece, I sprayed the item with the adhesive and wrapped it like a present.  We then staples the fabric around the back side.  I let hubby do the stapling, but I should have done it because he went too close to the edge and some of the staples show.

I repeated this process for each pieces.
While I was finishing the back and arms, I set hubby (ever the good sport for my do-it-ourselves projects) to work putting the chair back together.

It works amazingly well and is so much cleaner.  It now sits behind my purple desk as school.
Didn't it turn out cute?

This is my only major sewing project this summer.  I made new curtains for my classroom.  The students broke one blind and the maintenance staff broke the other.  My current window treatments were two mismatched curtains on one window, and these were faded to a brownish color...ewww....they went straight into the trash, and I did not take a picture.

I got this awesome upholstery fabric for 50% the week of July 4th, and I got around to the curtains this week.
It almost matches my chair fabric except the white on the curtains is more cream and the fabric is heavier.

I measured the windows in my room, leaving enough for a loop at the top and seams.  Basically, I cut the 5 yards in half.

I folded it in half and cut it with my quilt mat and rotary cutter.

Then I cut each of those in half the other way.  I measured twice, did the math twice, and still managed to cut one side about an inch or two narrower than the other...on both curtains.  Oh well, won't show when it hangs, I hope.

This cut was a little tricky because of the thickness of the fabric when folded over.

Four almost perfect pannels.

I then set to work rolling, pinning, and sewing the sides on each panel.  It too what seemed like forever.  I would do one and reward myself with writing 10 minutes.

Then I measured the pocket at the top for the curtain rod.  The tricky part here is getting all four exactly the same size.  Thank goodness for the lines on the fabric.

Then I sewed all four of those.

I then ran to the school to measure them with length before cutting the bottom and hemming them.

I think they turned out super cute.  I even put up new curtain rods.

They aren't quite wide enough to close all the way, but I knew that going in with the width of fabric.

Perhaps I'll see if I can get new blinds for the windows to go behind the curtains for extra light-blockage when needed.

Check out all the other Monday Made Its

Classroom Transformation: Part V

10:22 AM Sarah Koves 2 Comments

I was working in my classroom some more.

See my other posts: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

I started with my student agenda, which I have written about several times.

Here is what it looked like when I started:

The first thing I had to do was clean it off, and I learned not to let whiteboard marker set over the summer and bake in the sun because it was not easy to clean off, especially when your whiteboard cleaner ran out in April.

I pulled the top horizontal tape piece off.  Apparently, when my teacher's aid put it up several years ago, she didn't pull the masking tape off, which had deteriorated.  It looks much better now.

I talked about these signs on my Made It Monday.

 I got the labels all hung up on both boards.  I think they look pretty nice; much better than my handwriting.

I also got the fabric hung on my bulletin boards.  It isn't finished, but I wanted it hung, so the wrinkles would work themselves out before I put the borders up.

The black here is actually Swiss dot, and I have a ton left over, so I am debating what to make with it.  The top contender is a curtain for the window in my door.

I also finished my paper hanging project for the post in my large wall.  I painted the clothespins a few weeks ago.  I took a long piece of ribbon and glued the clothes pins to it.  I used a notebook to space out the clips so that I could hang student papers on it.

You can't nail or pushpin into this post.  I have not idea what is behind the paint.  I used a Command Hook on the wall and a binder clip on the top of the ribbon and hung it on the clip.

I also used some double sided tape to hold the bottom of the ribbon to the wall.  I may have to add some in the middle.  We will see how it goes.

Here is the whole finished project.

This photo is one of the next things on my list: the shelf behind my desk.  I would love to downsize to only the teacher books I use.  I think I should digitize my binders so that I can have them in my Google Drive.

Has anyone done away with binders?  
How did you do it?

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