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?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Bitter Sweet Summer

As I sit here looking back on the summer. I am remembering the sweet moments I have shared with my little boy and baby girl. Planting flowers, pulling the heavy wagon all over our property while my kids giggled, riding bikes, going for runs, forgetting our jogging stroller at the park (luckily not forgetting to get the baby), these are all bitter sweet memories.

These summer months that we teachers are blessed to have really do spoil me. We've spent long hours working for these summers off with our schooling and our overtime put in. It's always a well deserved break. What do you do on your summers off? I spend my days of summer pretending to be the best stay-at-home-mommy ever and I really get into it! I clean, do laundry, play baby, teach my little boy in ABCs, play trains, tag and cars.

Life is so much more relaxing when you are able to make your own schedule and plan activities with your own children. I think back on my decision to become a teacher and I realize that I must've had a love for children. What I didn't realize twelve years ago when I made that decision as a freshman in college, was that I would rather be home with my very own children instead of with other peoples children. I spend so much time as a teacher planning for other peoples kids that I sometimes feel overwhelmed and that I don't have time for my own children when I get home. I don't know if anyone else out there feels this way, but I have just began to realize this.

I love to teach and I love to be around children, but I sure do miss my own when I'm spending so much time with others. That's just part of it. I will continue to secretly hold my breath that I will be a stay-at-home-mommy, home school my kids and throw my six years of college away in the process. It would be worth it I do believe.

For now, I will go.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Coffee Table shaped like Kentucky!!!!

Those of you out there that are UK fans that just so happen to live in Kentucky or outside of Kentucky need to check out this coffee table! I just love it so much that I put one in my own living room! My talented and crafty husband created this table from the ground up for Kentucky fans across the nation to show their love right in their homes.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

$30,000 Business Success

I've just hit the $30,000 mark for earnings with my online teacher shop!!! I'm so excited, I just couldn't wait to let the world know!! I sell on Teachers Pay Teachers and I know there are a lot of teachers out there ready to make a change in their own lives! I saved my earnings and was able to purchase a new car with it! The sky is the limit here! I just want to let others know that you can do it, you can make a difference in your life by just giving it a shot!

I can't wait to hear your stories!!

Barnett's School House

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Make your Shop Stand out!!

Do you want to increase your TpT shop sales? If so, read along. I've come up with so many items to make my shop seem full and my sales stay pretty steady. I have recently decided to do a makeover for the products inside and out. As of now, I've been working on the outside of my products which includes the cover pages. Once I finish this part, I will go to the inside of some of my items and make them even better. We have to admit that items from 3 years ago do need a facelift. It's just going to have to happen. Now, look at these cover page images, which ones do you like best? I have to say, what was I thinking back then? You live and learn and you get a lot of practice!!!

I have had my TpT store for about 3 years now so they were due. I've been working on this for a few days and it does take a lot of time. I am really loving the turn out of these cover pages, though and it's so worth it. They are making my shop stand out when I click it and just seeing the before and after makes me smile really big.  I can't wait to see if my sales increase for the upcoming month! This makeover isn't finished yet, please do visit my shop to see what I've been doing to make it "pop"!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Teacher Blogger Design Template

Ever wondered how all these teachers get that teacher looking blog design? I used to so I spent a lot of time conquering blogger and I have finally succeeded. I was determined to find a way to make my blog look all teacher like without the heavy price tag of say 100 plus bucks and I did just that. The design below is pretty close to how my blog looks now if you haven't noticed. You can get your blog design like mine by visiting my shop and it's only $15.99 for everything! I've got many more designs coming soon and I can't wait to offer them to you and your colleagues!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Organization Project: DIY pantry

I've started a few projects for my eighth summer as a teacher and this one has just about got me down. My husband and I have started moving our pantry into an old hallway closet, thus, our DIY pantry. When I say "old" I mean, this was my personal closet before we moved upstairs into our new addition. Let me just say, I begin to panic when things get cluttered up and I start throwing things in the trash to calm myself down. We have two children so you can imagine the clutter we have going on. I guess you could say I have a sensory processing problem when it comes to clutter. I love a neat and organized place to live. I'm slightly embarrassed to post this picture, but I'm going to do it for the sake of decluttering. I want to let you know, that you, can do it if I can.
This is my closet full of overflow basically. While clearing this thing out, I almost had a panic attack, but me being the perfectly capable teacher that I am, did it.

We are having company over in a few weeks for my little girls first birthday and I am very anxious about having everything perfect. My first project was to paint my cabinets in my living room and my second project was to get the big pantry cabinets out of my foyer, thus, resulting in the haul over of this closet. Our current cabinets are cluttered, a wreck and very hard to find anything in. We had this space and I just got an inspiration. I always tell myself that if something happens to me, I want people to come in and say that I was very organized. Haha. 

We made a trip to Lowes once I got it cleaned out, and mind you most of it is in a yard sale pile right this minute. It's sad how much we can collect. Our trip to Lowes consisted of buying more wire shelving which to our dismay over the last seven years, they had remodeled the styles, but we made it work. The picture below shows how far we've gotten and let me just say, we are so proud. Well, I am. My husband does things like this all the time. I hope this gives you some inspiration for your newest pantry.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

FREEBIES for the Summer!!

Do you ever just have one of those days? The kids are screaming over any little thing, the microwave has blown up and you can't heat up those favorite lunches! I've had one of those days, but it all turned out great. Relaxing in the pool, well, sort of. It's hard to relax with kiddos around. Now that their down for bedtime, I'm sitting on my deck, listening to the beautiful sounds the Lord has made.

So, I'm gradually making some favorites from my shop free for the Summer! I hope you all will enjoy! I've had some of these for years and just feel like giving them away! I truly enjoy helping others make their classroom experience all the more better for their students! I can't wait for my creations to become a part of your classroom! Just click on the images below to be taken where you need to go. More to come!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Reading Teacher Interview: Potential Questions

So, I have been studying to be a reading specialist and I have a feeling that when I do get an interview, this will really help. To this day, I still know very little about teaching a child to read as I've always done intermediate grades. I will say that as a teacher of fourth grade, I did come upon students that weren't able to read and I was able to help them by learning from first grade teachers how to teach them to read. Keep in mind that these questions can go hand-in-hand with a math specialist interview.

After careful research, I had a lot of trouble finding something specific to a reading teacher interview. I've came up with the following questions that you might be asked with some possible answers. Remember, these answers are how I would answer these types of questions. I'm not really sure these are what will get asked and please do not try to answer them word for word if you are asked the same questions as your answers may vary from mine. Hope these help!

#1. How would you teach a seven year old how to read?
ANSWER: I would start with a goal setting worksheet that I would complete with the student. This worksheet would allow the student to map out their reading goals. I would then do an assessment, maybe if it were the Reading Recovery program, I would use the Observation Assessment throughout the keep a running record. I would work with their teacher to see what areas they struggle with whether it be phonics or chunking. I would then start where I thought I needed to just by completing observations and learning from the classroom teacher where that student is at in the "learning to read process".

#2. What is your definition of fluency?
ANSWER: Fluency is the ability to read at a steady pace. The tone and pace that is used makes all the difference.

#3. Do you have experience in keeping a running record?
ANSWER: Of course, you do! Every teacher has kept a running record showing their student from start to finish. Show them some test analysis you have done in the past or some running records you have kept on your RTI students. These will help tremendously.

#4. What can we do to help prepare you for this position?
ANSWER: Say something along the lines of I will definitely want some training with your reading program as well as training that is say visual/observational (this is completely dependent upon what type of learner you are).

#5. What is your experience with our reading program such as Reading Recovery, etc?
ANSWER: I have seen it in action, but I have not had any hands-on experience with it. This program would definitely be new to me. If you are experience here, you will know what to say.

#6. What can you offer us, what will make you stand out as a prime candidate?
ANSWER: This answer is all you. It can vary, but I would say that I am creative and I can make anything I need for my classroom. I am very good at researching and if I can't find something I am looking for or am in need of for my students, then I will grab my mac and sit down and create it myself.

#7. What if you have a teacher that refuses to let their student out of their class at a scheduled time for your reading class?
ANSWER: I would work with all the teachers prior to creating a schedule to figure out what times are best for them when I come around and pull their students. I would then create a tentative schedule and see if that schedule is what works for them, and then of course, make adjustments.

#8. What are your thoughts on the importance of reading and writing?
ANSWER: Reading and writing go hand in hand. They are one in the same and they can truly make or break a child.

#9. What is your opinion on the importance of writing in curriculum?
ANSWER: Writing and literacy are an important part to the success of a child as well as to prepare a child for career readiness so in the end writing is a huge part of student success.

#10. How do you feel about collaboration?
ANSWER: Yes, yes, yes! Collaboration is the key to a successful school community! Without collaboration, there would be no success in a school. Teacher's working together and learning from others is very important to the success of the children in a school.

#11. What are some adversities you have had in the past?
ANSWER: This can vary, but one of my struggles I had in the past was when I had a fourth grader come into my classroom that couldn't read. I went straight to the first grade teachers in the building and had them teach me how to teach a child how to read. I went from there and built that child up the best that I could with what time I had as I was teaching the Common Core to 29 others students.

If I think of any more questions to add, or find that there are a few more out there, I will add them to this post! I truly hope these questions will help to make your interview flow smoothly. Please do keep in mind that some are my personal answers and if you do use them, make sure you can back yourself up if necessary. For instance, if you're not creative or crafty, then don't say it. It's better to be honest as always.

Barnett's School House

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

EmmaKate's First Birthday Party: Southern Style

I know this is my teaching blog, but I just have to share this adorable birthday party theme I've put together for my baby girls first birthday. It's not generic, it's one of a kind and I'm thrilled to share my ideas! This is a southern style theme that incorporates burlap, gold glitter, and a light coral. I'm super excited about this! I bought everything at Michaels and a few TJ Max finds. I was so excited when I started putting this together that I got a little out of control and it got a little expensive. Of course, I saved some money for this little project. I've included a list of items I purchased at Michaels and TJ Max.

I covered the canvas letter "E" in burlap. This could also be spray painted with glitter paint. I cut the glitter hearts, flags and glitter letters out with my cricut. I found a package of burlap flowers and used them as confetti. My favorite items are the milk jugs with the straws. I just love this! The basket for holding cards was a Ross find I do believe. The scalloped pieces are going to have her pictures for each month of her one year that will be cut and taped to them. I purchased the burlap banner in a pack and put the letters on it. this set up was so much fun! I plan to add some light mint colors as well!! If you would like help crafting up this party, just message me! 

Michaels Purchases:
*Metal E
*Glass milk jars
*Cake Stand
*Peach Poofs 
*Burlap flowers
*Burlap Banner
*Canvas Letter E
*Chalkboard Stand
*Mason Jar Jug
*Coral Scallops
*Mini Clothespins 
*Glitter Paper-Used with Cricut to cut flags, hearts & C-A-R-D-S letters

 TJ Max Purchases
*Glass jug
*Slender Glass Jug (has two roses in picture)

Monday, May 30, 2016

FREEBIE: Monthly Binder Spines

Summer has finally arrived for this gal and I am just so thrilled to be home with my babies. Gaining the freedom to do exactly what I want when I want makes teaching all the more worth it all. I have a lot of plans for the summer including trip to Colorado to see a life long friend as well as a trip to Florida to pay a much needed visit to the beach with my little family. I hope everyone has plenty of plans for their summer! I've added some free binder spines to my shop and I hope y'all will enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Memory Book FREEBIE!!

It's free for a limited time to celebrate my excitement for the end of the year!! I am so excited for this year to be over and I just can't wait to get back into the world of Common Core (a new grade for the upcoming school year)! Just click on the image below to go directly to this free download!!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Fonts, fonts and more fonts!!!

I have so many niche problems! Does anyone else out there have so many favorite things that you love to do, you just can't narrow it down and decide to do them all? That's so me! I've got so many blogs I can't pinpoint just one thing. I love to create photo cards, I love creating teacher products, I love beauty and fashion and I love flower gardens! What is a girl to do?!! I've debated on starting one big blog that covers them all, but I'm afraid it'll just get to jumbled up! I wonder if anyone has any ideas out there? Please help!

On a side note, I'm in love with crafting fonts right now so I've made a freebie bundle! I am learning new things everyday and creating new designs all the time! I've loaded 30 fonts for FREE for Personal use!!!! Click the picture below to find the personal use download!!

All of my fonts can be found HERE if you are interested in using any of them for commercial use!! I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to leave any feedback! 

Take care and have a great week in your teaching life!!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

TpT Follower Winners!!!

If you are TpT follower of my store at Barnett's School House then you will know what I'm talking about especially if you check your TpT inbox! Three lucky winners were chosen at random for their choice of any product, any price in my store! Those three winners are Tracy, Kim and Teresa! Congrats ladies!! You have likely already received your email from me with a link to my store!!

Feel free to follow my TpT store and check your inbox each month to enter my drawings!! Take care and have a great week if you don't hear from me by then!

Barnett's School House

Saturday, January 30, 2016


Life is so crazy right now. I am truly missing fourth grade and don't really know how I'm going to be able to finish out the rest of this year in prek. Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for my job and being given the opportunity to be closer to home, but this is not the grade for me. I'm sure someone else out there is feeling the same way! I have all this knowledge of the Common Core and how to use it in so many ways, yet I feel that my brain power is being wasted. Please forgive me all you prek teachers out there. I'm not trying to offend any one at all! Let me just tip my hat to all of you out there because I have no idea how in the world you all do it. You have so much patience and more marbles than I have. On top of that, there is no way in this world I can have this grade and have my very own house full of toddlers, which is what is happening to me now! There are no breaks for this teacher-mom. I am truly meant to be a teacher of ten year olds and I can't wait to be given the opportunity, hopefully soon, to fill those shoes.

So, now that I have vented, I have this great idea and I'm going crazy with it!!! I have the fourth grade product up and ready so feel free to check it out by clicking here!!! I've loaded the ELA packet for kindergarten for FREE!!! I really hope this ends up being used in your classroom!! Enjoy and feel free to leave me some positive feedback! I really appreciate it!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Free Valentine Card

Enjoy this FREEBIE that's so true made just for your special someone!! Please feel free to share this on your blogs! Simply print on some card stock and you have yourself a Valentine card for your significant other! Have a great Valentine's Day!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

4th Grade "I Can" Statement TENTS!!!

These are my latest invention and I hope to create more in all grade levels! I'm so excited to have these finished so I can share them with the world! This is my first completed set in ELA for fourth grade! I have used these in my fourth grade class and decided to get crafty with them so I could share them with you. I hope you enjoy! Just click on the image below!

Barnett's School House
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