Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The End of July...

The end of July reminds me of the calm before a storm.  It's that beautiful and peaceful time when you break out a hot glue gun, some mod podge and scrapbook paper...but only after you've taken a nap and watched an episode of some old show on Netflix.  It's not the crazy frantic time where you are screaming "I HAVE TO GET THIS LAMINATED AND CUT OUT BY TOMORROW, BECAUSE WHAT IF SHE COMES TO OBSERVE ME?!?!?"  Do you see the difference there?

The end of July is when sisters can help you with all of this stuff and it somehow feels like a bonding moment instead of "I swear if you wrinkle that lamination or cut that line uneven I'll flip out."  Do you see the difference there?

The end of July is when you have finally decompressed from the last school year and are excited about the possibilities this new school year holds.

For me, the end of July is when my brain is somewhat quiet (which usually means one turn of the volume knob away from max) and I can come up with ideas that are my own and haven't been seen on Pinterest.

The end of July is when you get texts like this from your best teacher friends....

It's when you start getting the little things done (which in your first and second year of teaching you never thought to do before hand) p.s they are super cute with the names, but lists haven't gone out in our county...and it would be a BSD (big stinkin' deal) if I was showing names prior to the lists being mailed. 

The end of July is when I sit for hours and hot glue gun Houghton Mifflin HFW to clothes pins, so I can stick them to a ribbon instead of taping them up every week.  This task would have been a waste of time type of task mid October... 

And it's when I forget that yes I already have a perfectly good, laminated, cute schedule in my room, but chevron and pennants are here we come. 

I'm kind of in love with the end of one day it will change into the beginning of August.  In a teacher's world the words "beginning of August" have a meaning not many truly understand.  But for today and tomorrow, I'll soak in the last day of July and hot glue my heart out. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made It!

This is my first Monday Made It! and I am so excited to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics.  I was at an amazing baby shower yesterday and Shafer was telling me all about the awesomeness of linky after another text to encourage (Thanks Shaf) I tried it!

On Friday, we headed to the beach.  And to get to the beach, you have to pass a town that has a HOBBY LOBBY. Which, of course means, we had to stop...or my parade would have been rained on (remember, I make a lot of Broadway references).

Any hoo, I had already had a very large cup of coffee...which makes for fun times (caffeine mixed with my already caffeinated personality). I was a girl on a bouncing off the walls, going down every aisle, touching absolutely everything mission. 

so SOY glad you love and put up with me mom and J!

After a while (a very long time) we made it to the beach and had an amazing time!  A sun burn and a last Monday spent at summer school later, It's Monday Made It! time!!!! Last year, I was doing my Pinterest thing and I came across a picture of this awesome dry erase board calendar made with gray chevron and yellow embellishments.  I was obsessed, but it was mid school year and I took a mental and Iphone picture and moved on.  This was before I actually began pinning. HUGE PROBLEM!  This summer I wanted to make it and I can't find the link or pin anywhere! So I had to make the whole thing using the original pic.

I got everything I needed from Hobby Lobby. P.S. This would have been a lot cheaper if I used and distressed an old frame I already had, which I'll do in the future! I got fabric to cover the back, a frame, letters, and thick and thin ribbon.

The first thing I did was take the frame apart and assemble everything to the backing of the frame. Measure the fabric and cut it help not required.

Then I honestly just began laying things out, eyeballing with my OCD I know when things aren't even eye. If you don't own one of those, I'd just grab a ruler.

I added burlap embellishments, because along with chevron I'm obsessed with the burlap look.

The letters I got were made out of cork and had their own adhesive backing, which made placement so much easier.

Word to the Wise: BEFORE you start gluing, make sure to put your design inside the actual frame to ensure the frame won't cover something you already glued down.

 Then, you just start gluing!  I left everything down, so I wouldn't mess up my layout.  I just picked up a small edge of each ribbon and did a dab of hot glue.  Once I had the front glued on, I pulled it tight around the backing and hot glued the excess fabric down, so that it is permanently on the backing of the frame.  My thinking is that if something ever falls down or needs to be replaced this will make taking it in and out of the frame so much easier.

Once it was all glued down, I put the frame together with glass in front.  And voila!  I have my behind the desk dry erase calendar.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Name Drop Thursday!

During the summers, I love Thursdays!  We only teach Mon-Thurs for summer school, so today is my Friday.  And tomorrow I am beach bound!

I have been going crazy exploring the web and learning about new tricks on my computer (photoshop and illustrator have become my summer time relationship...we fight, but we love each other too). I have found some awesome blogs and sites that I can't believe I've lived without before now.  So, I'm gonna name drop a little!

First of all!  I am now a proud member of......

Seriously!  I want a shirt, and a hat, and a poster for my room!  You have got to head over to Their motto, which I'm pretty sure I want tattooed on my "Life is short, make it pretty" YES!  

I got these two gems for this upcoming school excited! The chevron is a 2013-2014 academic planner and the hot pink anchor (background of my life!) is just a notebook for the school year. 

Next!  I found this amazing blog that has SO MANY awesome freebies, tutorials and awesomeness. Go see her now! Along with a million links to fonts and backgrounds...her tutorials are the She helped me turn....

Into This!
Oh the joys of mastering photoshop....I actually yell at the screen "ha!  I did it!  Who is the boss now Adobe?!?!?!?" 

Finally, I want to name drop one of my favorite teachers and best friends who had this beautiful boy on Tuesday!  Camden Thomas has stolen my heart!

But his big brother already had it!  While Mommy was recovering in the hospital, I took Connor James for the night.  We had a blast with bubbles and the St. Michael's Carnival! 

Needless to say, I'm exhausted.  And summer school is about to start! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Tuesdays.  Tuesdays are kind of weird. You're not totally depressed because it is Monday, but you're kinda sorta not totally into the week yet.  They're kinda blah.  But, the good blah. The no drama in the week yet blah.

This Tuesday, I find myself being really inspired.  Too tired and in summer mode to actually do anything, but totally awake enough to think about what I'll do next week. I want to take a week to go through all of my pins pinned in "need for classroom" and actually do some of them!

We got the e-mail that we can get in our classrooms on August 5th.  Thats soon friends...really soon. Now I don't HAVE to be there until August 19th, but who really waits until they HAVE to report to report? I think I'm going to make myself wait until the week of the 12th.  Thats about as risky and rebellious as I get.

In other news, my Dad made his contribution to my classroom already this year!  I have been dying for a dry erase board/easel that will also hold chart paper and prop my big books up...we have limited chalkboard space and a Smartboard doesn't cut it for me when I'm elbow deep in the scariest thing about first grade (short /e/) and we're blending our little hearts out. So, after church on Sunday Dad and I went to Staples and easeled me up!

Enjoy your Tuesday friends!  These two sure are...


Saturday, July 20, 2013

If I wasn't Ms. Spurry....I'd be Tswift!

Ok, so I have to side line from teaching for a sec and give a shout out to my girl TSwift (she has no idea who I am p.s.) Girlfriend rocked it out! I have been to a lot of concerts (including Disney stars: Hannah Montana, Demi Lovato, and the Jo Bros and real life stars: Hanson, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert) and this was the BEST show I've ever seen.  So worth the money and drive to Philly.  

I kid you not! By the time I left, I had completely gotten over all of my exes, sworn to never ever get back together with any of them, forgiven all the mean people I know, changed my favorite color to red and magically gone back two years and became 22. 

This morning, a very tired 24 year old Ms. Spurry (who still has to pray for mean people and forget exes) remembered that pink was the new red....and that she is a teacher. This was kind of a hard pill to swallow (p.s. red pants kind of make you feel like a rock star in their own right). But then.... I GOT THE MAIL! 

My Party City and Creative Teaching Press orders are here!  I was proud of myself, I didn't go overboard.  I just bought a few odds and ends to accent the theme/sets I already have.

This motivated me to print, laminate and assemble my Writing, Language Arts and Social Studies binders for this year. (disclaimer: they have nothing substantial or pertaining to teaching in them yet, but they are cute!)

And then I sat down with my Mac (more important to me than most guys other than my Dad, so I make it a "he" and a proper noun #laughnowjudgelater) to work through some photoshop and illustrator frustrations.

After watching an awesome tutorial, which you can watch here, and many hours of trial and error, I can create chevron backgrounds!  This is such a neat thing to know how to do, so if you're creating something specific you can make the perfect background!

Well friends, these summer days are flying.  FLYING I tell ya!  Go enjoy them. nap, swim, jam out to some Tswift!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mo' Chevron...Mo' Problems.

So Stella got her creating/teaching/crazy groove back....

I had decided that I wanted to organize all of my binders this summer, now that I have my Common Core life semi figured out.  Shafer inspired me with her awesome teacher binder. (which you can buy here...she also made me one that is hot pink and black chevron, which you can buy here ) After I printed, laminated and hot glued it together, I was hooked.

So, I started creating binder covers, spines, tabs, etc. for all of my subject areas.  Except, I kind of got carried away. And made five sets.  Different colors.  Different awesome colors. And now I want to use them all.  But I can't.

I think I'm going to go with the hot pink writing binder, which you can get for FREEE here. It is just for first grade Common Core writing, but oooh I love it!

 Then of course, I needed a Language Arts binder. We use Houghton Mifflin in our county, so this set is specifically designed for first grade. I am sooo excited to get my themes organized for this year!  I am not so excited about choosing which set I'm going to print and use.....thoughts? You can purchase any of these sets by clicking on the one you want below!

I guess there are much worse problems to have.  


Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Holy moly what an amazing word. BLOGLOVIN. That sums up my heart. Also, I've never done this before. Two posts in one day...GASP. What a loser.  But did you know google reader is leaving us?!?!?!  Sadness. But check out Bloglovin for our ever lovin blog lovin needs!


First Step liebster...Next Step Miss Teaching America!

Ahh!  You wanna hear something crazy? I was nominated for a blogging award!  And, yes friends, I was nominated by one of my dearest teaching friends...but I didn't make her do it! I was so excited to read her blog post here all about the award.  I think it is so cool to connect with more bloggers out there.  We are all so similar, but we each bring our own quirkiness to the blogging world.

Now, of course because we are teachers, there are rules for these nominations!
1. Link back to the blog that nominated you
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 400 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees
6. Contact your nominees by commenting on their blog or sending them an e-mail to communicate the nomination

Here I go!

My teaching bff Shafer nominated me for this wonderful award.  She is awesome and you would be missing out if you didn't hop on over to Shafer's Shenanigans.  Seriously. Go Now.  And then come back here. 

And the nominees are.....(insert drumroll...please)

-Karen over at An Apple a Day in First Grade She is amazing and I adore her.  I have a very small blog and small following, but every time I write, Karen comments.  And they aren't just hey look at me and my blog comments, they're meaningful.  And I do notice! 

-Ashley over at Sparkling Second I really enjoy her blog and her comments so much! We have been teaching for the same amount of time and she reminds me of myself! 

-Molly at Shining and Sparkling in First Grade.  This girl is my hero because of the AMAZING Houghton Mifflin packets she has put together for every theme!  I have bought them all. Love. Love. Love. 

-Laura at Over the first Grade Rainbow I have grabbed a lot of her language arts centers off of TPT!

-Lora over at I buy her stuff too!

Ok, now to answer the questions Shafer asked!

1. What grade do you teach and how long have you been teaching?
I am a first grade teacher (whoop whoop!) I will be starting my third year of teaching...I can't believe it. 
2. What is the best thing about where you live?
I can't say enough about where I live.  St. Michaels, MD is a place where people come to retire, vacation, and shop.  It is a small waterfront town filled with shops, bed and breakfasts, seafood restaurants and so much more.  I have to say the best thing about it is the fact that pretty much my ENTIRE family lives here. During a 3 mile jog, I pass two of my uncles and usually get beeped at by three other family members. 
3. What is the last book that you read and what are your thoughts about it?
The last book I read was "The Storyteller" by Jodi Picoult.  I adore her anyway.  But this one was one of my favorites!  
4. What technology can you not live without?
I cannot live without my iphone. can do anything on it.
5. What is your favorite healthy treat to eat? How about your favorite guilty pleasure?
My favorite healthy treat would have to be yogurt....maybe this isn't the most healthy, but I love me some yogurt. My favorite guilty pleasure is licking the bowl after baking. 
6. What is your classroom theme this year?
My classroom theme is going to stay the same with the paisley sets I have.  I am adding a new border to my chalkboards, which will be chevron with the same color scheme. 

7. Do you have any pets? What kind? What are their names?
I have my baby dog child Cami.  Cami is a Golden Retriever that I bought from Lancaster, PA the summer before I began teaching.  She is a lap dog in a 60 pound large breed dog body.  She has every ailment under the sun and is super high maintenance, but I would be lost (and a little less covered in dog hair) without her. 
8. What is your favorite thing about teaching?
My favorite thing about teaching is that every day is a new adventure.  I walk into work and I have no idea what the day will bring.  I leave work and say to myself "well, if I had known that was going to happen, I wouldn't have come in today."  I will never be bored in this profession. 
9. Do you have any special talents?
I can dislocate both of my shoulders. Kind of gross. Also...I can change the lyrics to any song to fit your needs.  I kid you not. 
-During our safety unit I changed Taylor Swift's song to "We will never ever ever talk to strangers" with all new verses. 
-For our school Christmas concert I rewrote the words from "Call Me Maybe" to "Presents Maybe" and performed it with other teachers in front of 1000 parents and students. 
10. Where did you go on your last vacation?
My last vacation took me to Rochester, NY to stay with my best friend, her husband and her brand new baby boy!
11. If you could choose any career (other than education), what would it be?
I would move to Florida and be Belle at Disney World.  

11 Random Facts! 
1. My middle name is Paige. 
2. I lOVE Hanson. 
3. My sister is Korean. 
4. I HATE pickles. 
5. I run like Pheobe from friends. 
6. I can cook a mean meatloaf. 
7. I have to read every night before I go to bed. 
8. Jesus is my rock. 
9. I hate to be alone...I scare easily! 
10. I can usually make anyone laugh. 
11. My favorite tv show is The Cosby Show. 

Now for your questions!
1. What grade do you teach and how long have you been teaching?
2. What is the most challenging thing about being a teacher?
3. Why did you start blogging?
4. What is the best thing about your family?
5. Where is your favorite place to go to buy things for your classroom?
6. What is your favorite book to read to your class?
7. What is your drink of choice during the school, water, soda?
8. Do you have, or are you getting, your Masters?  If so, in what?
9. What is the last movie you went to see?
10. Do you exercise?  If so, what do you do?
11. What is the best thing you have ever purchased or downloaded from TPT?

WHEEEW that was a lot of typing, but so worth it!  I can't wait to look around and see who else was nominated and meet some new blogger friends!


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