Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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Alphabet Cards

Come check out my TeachersPayTeachers' store. I have a set of alphabet cards. Great for pre-schoolers and kindergarteners. Students can match lower case letters with their uppercase counterparts. Students can also practice listing letters in alphabetical order.

Come visit my store!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Home Office: Dreams and Reality

As a teacher, crafter, and blogger a home office can mean many things. And living in a small space can sometimes make me feel like I am a hoarder. I took a day to purge as much as I could and tried to organize my office space.

Right now this is the best I can do for my office space. Considering my space, budget, and STUFF this is what I can do now. My dream office will come in my next phase in life. I hope for a distinct office space and craft area. Here are some office inspiration for the dreamers and hopeful beings like me. 

Closet Offices or the "Cloffice":

 Blue offices: Gives me a sense of calm to look at these

Before I leave you, some office space tips from buzzfeed.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Making That Money Honey

Today I sit at home unable to go to sub jobs because my car is in the shop. After receiving the call that my car needed coils, wires, and plugs replaced and that the total cost for repairs will be $400, I thought it was time to blog about extra ways to make money as a substitute teacher.

1. Babysit
If you don't know any local families try or You will already be fought over by every family just based on the fact that you are a teacher. Parents will feel instantly comfortable. A night of babysitting can give you 60-100 dollars in your pocket. When you find a great family to babysit for you need to make sure you are on the top of their list. Here are a few tips to get reoccurring jobs:
  • Clean up! Even if a parent says "Oh don't worry about the mess". It never hurts to clean up after you and the kids eat dinner and put the toys away after you play. Parents will come home late and be tired. A tidy home is a great surprise. I would recommend not cleaning up things you didn't touch. Cleaning up old pots and piles may offend parents. 
  • Don't hesitate to run to the dollar store on your way and grab a few coloring books. It's a nice way to distract children from their parents leaving for the night. It's a nice gesture to show you care about the children. 
  • Don't wait for the parents to come to you. Once you set up a nice rapport with the family go ahead and send a quick text/email: "If you two need a night out I happen to be free this Saturday". I have done this many times and ended up getting jobs. Parents are so busy that sometimes they forget to take some time for themselves and go on a date night. 
2. Tutoring
Again, Sittercity and Care have tutoring jobs available to search for. You can earn up to $30 per lesson. It gives you some extra money and extra experience which looks great on that resume.

3. Sell old clothes
Places like Plato's Closet will buy back gently used clothes. They don't always take everything so go donate the rest. Many times you can walk out with $20-30 in your hands.

4. TeachersPayTeachers is a great way to use what you already have an sell it. As a teacher if you have made any of your own worksheets, activities, resources, etc you can upload them to your own online store and sell them! Come see my store here.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Funday

We are ending our first week of 2013 and entering our second. Here are some tips to continue a fresh new year!

1. Flowers
Courtesy of my boyfriend, flowers can add a new energy into any space. My vase is a mason jar with SMASH tape around it. I mentioned this tape in an earlier post.

2. Pre-made breakfast sandwiches
I make these every Sunday to prepare for my week. You need eggs, cheese, and english muffins. I bake my eggs in muffin tins in the oven. This gives them a good shape to fit into the english muffin. After assembling the sandwiches, I wrap them separately in wax paper. Store them in the freezer. Pull one out the night before and put it in the fridge. In the morning simply pop them in the microwave for about a minute. (This is why your don't wrap them in tin foil unless you want a fire in your kitchen!)

This will save you time and money. Assembling them all on a Sunday will only take 20 minutes of your time. Each sandwich will be about $1.45. You'll thank yourself when you are running late and can grab these delicious sandwiches.

3. Expense Report

Sounds intimidating but tracking your expenses will help you see the bigger picture of your spending. It is so easy to swipe your debit card and at the end of the month think "I did pretty good this month". Start saving your receipts and at the end of the month fill in the expense report I made found here. This spreadsheet has the formulas already installed so all you have to do is fill in the numbers and the spreadsheet will do the rest. I have in there some categories we all use and others specific to me so feel free to edit and chance the titles to your liking.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Student Reward System

This week I begin a two week sub placement. I will be filling in for a male teacher going on what I can best describe as a "Paternity Leave". I decided I needed some sort of behavior plan that I could quickly establish that was easy and could work for a short term like two weeks.

You will need index cards and tape along with some sort of reward you want the students to work for at the end of your stay.
Each index card has a letter on it. My reward for the students is popcorn and a movie so on each card I write one letter to complete that phrase. Every time the class is well behaved I flip a letter until they can see the entire phrase/reward. Note that you CAN flip the cards back to the blank side when they misbehave. The end will look something like this:
 This is a great system that works very well. Students should react strongly and positively to a visual such as this.

My Winter Break Recap {New Beginnings}

Heading towards the new year means fresh starts and new beginnings. What better way to start the new year by moving into a new place! I helped my best friend move into her new place this winter break. She rented a room in a townhouse of a friend of hers. Many times when we move away from home we get plenty of left over furniture from people and it becomes a chore to make it all look like a cohesive idea. All of Rachael's items were purchased from Home Goods, Target, IKEA, and Bed Bath & Beyond. She began with a color scheme and shopping we went!

Sticking with a solid colored bed spread gives you a lot of options for that pop of color. It is very easy to swap out a few items to make a whole new space.

My Winter Break Recap: {A Trip to World Market}

My mom lives in Rockville, Maryland and this is where I went on the highly anticipated adventure of my week to World Market. I had seen bloggers who lived more in the southern region of the country comment on their trips to the World Market. I immediately hit the store locator on their web site. I found that the northern most store was in Rockville. I live in Pennsylvania so I had to wait until my Christmas visit to see this store.
The best I can describe this store was like a Home Goods/ Pier 1 with a more international and eclectic feel to it.

The store looks super cluttered but is actually quite organized with signs at the top directing you to bathroom items, kitchen, seasonal. We went during the Christmas season so a lot of items in the store were holiday related. I can not wait to return to see what else they have.

Of course I couldn't leave without purchasing some items of my own.

I love love love my choices. If I had more time and money I would have left with a lot more items. Until next time World Market....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Winter Break Recap: {Little Goodies I Found Along the Way}

1. These adorable buckets from Target. They are from the front dollar section of the store. Right now they are storing hair things on my dresser. Permanent residence for these gems - TBD
2. Smash Tape. Very similar to Washi Tape. I bought this at Target. I have seen similar and alike items at Walmart and Michael's. Look in the scrapbook isle for Smash Products.

My Winter Break Recap: {Christmas}

For once I am looking back on a winter break and not thinking I wasted it.

Here are some Christmas highlights:

1. I had a wonderful Christmas spent with my mom and sister. We are so lucky to have the mom that we have.

2. I became the happiest organizer on the planet with my very own label maker.

3. I got a computer upgrade.

I went from this: (yes, that is a laptop connected to a monitor with speakers attached...)

To this:

I am so grateful for the gifts I was given. I had just as much fun giving gifts that I bought and made.