Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer is Half-Way Over!!!

The summer is half-way over for this chic!!! I am so excited for going back to work and I'm not even sure why!!! Maybe it's because I've found my dream job as a special educator? Could it be? YES!! It's true!! Dream job has been found and I absolutely love it! 

So I have to admit, I've been a little slow on my TpT shop this summer. I've just been very distracted. I've worked on a few things, but I haven't been killing myself with it. I've got a video out that lot's of other educator's seem to be enjoying and I just wanted to share that link with you and tell you a little bit about the video. Basically, I'm just going to come out and say it, this video could change your everyday life in your classroom!!! I provide you with a variety of classroom management advice that includes all my secrets, all of my classroom teaching tips, and any ideas that I've developed throughout the years that have helped me to become a better teacher! 


I'm going into my ninth year of teaching and let me tell you, if I would've known all of this back then, my life would've been so much easier. It's like that song that goes, "I wish that I would've known then what I know now". 

Thanks for reading!

Barnett's School House

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Please visit my new blog location at...

Ladies and gentlemen, my new blog is up and running at the location above!!!! Find some fresh tips and tricks and it also includes some DIY living!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Getting so cozy with hand warmers

I just adore hand warmers!!! When I was driving to work a few weeks ago, and as the days became cooler, I noticed my students and others standing outside in the cold waiting on buses. So I've become a little obsessed with making them lately and giving them to my students. So obsessed in fact, that my sister and my mother became obsessed and now we have about fifty different kinds right now. I wanted to show you how to create your very own homemade hand warmers.

Supplies you'll need:

Thread/sewing machine-duh
Fabric, a fat quarter (leaves you plenty to play with)
Scissors and pinking shears
Paper and a printer to print my adorable labels
Rice/small funnel

First, we start off with two 3.25 x 3.25 inch strips of fabric. 
Next, we place them together with the designs facing outward on both sides.
Then, we sew along the edges with just enough space for pinking them out! Be sure to leave an opening to pour the rice in before closing it up. I seem to always close it up and end up having to pick it back apart. 
Lastly, we pink the edges with pinking shears (which I can't show you at this moment as my sister has become obsessed and has borrowed them for the time being). Sorry about that. 
You're going to end with the most adorable hand warmers you'll ever see! If you're not much on sewing and would just like to get a hand warmer that's ready to gift, visit my Etsy shop and find some really adorable ones! My favorites are my Little Critters Hand Warmers with the moose on them

Thursday, November 3, 2016

My Special Education Classroom

I just recently moved  into a special education position and spent a lot of time getting my classroom ready. I love, love, love the end result. In fact, I love it so much and am so thrilled with it that I decided to take some pictures and share the setup with you!

This is my eighth year teaching so I have collected a lot of office supplies and things like that. If you are looking to start your room fresh, save and collect. It takes some time. Trust me.

Let's start off with my calendar. When I found out I would be taking a special education position, I began my TpT search for the perfect product to help keep me organized. I soon began to realize that I preferred a physical type of organization over a digital type. I absolutely love adorable planners and calendars so I marched myself right to Wally World, spent like an hour looking around at them all (on my date night), and found this Mead planner for right at ten bucks. That was a little steep for me, but I knew it would be well worth it and I knew it would make me smile every time I saw the cute thing on my desk. So to keep myself organized, I color code my system with highlighters. I use blue, orange and pink. Blue=Call a Parent, Orange=Due Date, and Pink=ARC. I also like this type of calendar because I can close it and the information is covered when I'm not in my classroom which is a lot of the time.

Next, we can look at how I keep up with my student papers and keep my classes separate. I've had this drawer bin thing for years and I remember when I purchased it. I actually found this thing at Joann's and they had it on sale and had actually priced it incorrectly. I was also able to use a coupon with it and before they knew it, I ended up paying about $22 for the thing which it is regular $50 plus. This chic was thrilled! So back to my organization. I have three different grades that come into my classroom. I labeled each drawer by their grade using some chalkboard labels I found at a Michael's a hundred years ago as well as a chalkboard crayon my sweet hubby found for my at a Dollar Mart! Yes, that's right, the Dollar Mart! Let me just say that's the most awesome chalkboard crayon thing I've ever used! It's stands out so much more in person. My desk didn't have any drawers which was fine with me, so the rest of the drawers were used to hold some of my desk supplies. 

The picture below shows my shelving area. This area holds my photo albums. Things that make me smile basically. Pretty colored binders, folder organizers and some school supplies such as glue and things. If you look closely, those folder organizers on top in the middle are adorable blue and green colors. They were hideous black! I took those things right out in the yard and spray painted them with some Krylon paint that sticks to plastic. By the way, I found them for free!

Something I really struggled with the last few days was getting my Aimsweb/Progress Monitoring system organized and in place. Normally, I've only ever progressed monitored five or six students at one time and I never felt confident with it. I created a color coded system as now, I have twenty-five to keep track of. I know I've mentioned color coding a few times, but this just works best for me. If you look at the image below you'll see colored dots on each folder. Yes, I could've bought colored file folders, but these were free and the dots were so much cheaper. Don't judge. I have pink (also in pink hanging file folders). These are my K-1st graders. I have orange (also in orange hanging file folders) for my 2nd-3rd graders. I have green (also in green hanging file folders) for my 5th-6th graders. This system helps me to stay organized and know where my paperwork is and who I'm working on at the time. 

The last thing I finished up late this week was my board where I keep an agenda basically. Having this really helps me not to forget what I'm doing each day. I came home one evening and decided I needed some vinyl for my Cricut to create this. Low and behold Amazon (the most amazing place in the world) had all kinds for $3.50 a roll when my local store was selling the same thing for $15 a roll! I set to work once it arrived cutting my letters for the subjects I cover with my students. I also purchased the glitter tape at the Dollar Store for a buck! Ta-da! That's my classroom! I hope you love, love, love! Please ask any questions if you'd like! If you need help with your agenda letters, please don't hesitate to contact me! 

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

To Collaborate or Not to Collaborate?

I realized the other day that a lot of conversations that I have with colleagues result in something that might be worth sharing with the world. I really enjoy collaborating and when talking with a fellow teacher the other day, I realized that the huge lack of collaboration within a school can really tear down a school. This eventually shows in the atmosphere to new comers, and even in test scores.

Now tell me this. Why in the world would we as educators, who are supposed to be there for the students, refuse to work closely with fellow co-workers? Why would we want to compete and refuse to share ideas? I can't really answer this, but I'm assuming it's for stupid reasons such as "I'm better than you" or "I got the most parent requests and you didn't" or "you're not related to anyone, why in the world do you work here". Well, I say to heck with this type of junk. We are all grown women and men, we have earned our degrees, we have set our goals in life and we should ultimately be there for the same purpose which would be to make a difference in the lives of children.

I think a lot of the problem falls on the lack of administrative management and support. We see it everywhere. A corrupted BOE right along with a set of corrupted schools. Family members are repeatedly hired whether it be cousins, aunts, spouses, etc. In the end, the result is a school that fails to meet the needs of its students. The reason being, no one feels they are going to be held accountable due to their connections/relations, thus, the slacking begins. One slacker rubs off on another and before you know it, one school has fallen behind and not just a little.

So, ask yourself as a teacher, should we collaborate or not?