Monday, July 18, 2016

My New Teacher Planner- Create 365 "The Happy Planner"

Over the years, I've experimented with different kinds of teacher planners. I like keeping all of my important information in one place. It's convenient to grab my planner and take it to all of my meetings for planning and note taking. One year, I tried keeping my calendar on a calendar app, but that didn't work too well. I prefer to have a full calendar view of multiple months at a time and a place to record things to do, along with other notes.

Two years ago, I ordered a very nice planner from a well-known website that lets you choose the cover and purchase other upgrades for the planner. While I thought the planner was beautiful, it was not very useful. It had an entire section for recording lesson plans that I did not use at all. In our school district, many teachers create electronic lesson plans. I ended up tearing out all of these pages, which was like throwing away money. My planner was over $70 (planner, shipping, extras). I didn't mind paying the high price, IF the planner would have met my needs.

Last year, I decided to create my own customized planner in Power Point. Then I took it to an office supply store to print it in color and bind it. I loved the final product, but it still cost me $60, even with a coupon. The color printing made it expensive.

This summer, I planned on creating my own planner again, but then while I was out shopping at Michael's Craft Store, I came across a beautiful planner from "Me & My Big Ideas" in the paper crafting section. It's called "The Happy Planner".  There were so many choices of covers and this planner met all of my needs. There's enough space within the planner to use it for school AND home. Here's a list of what I love about the "Happy Planner":
  • interchangeable and trendy covers (laminated)
  • different sizes- large and medium (CLASSIC)
  • two-page monthly calendar spreads, with room for notes
  • tabbed dividers for the months
  • many versions available: 18-month planner, customizable 12 month planner, student planner, and a specific teacher planner (with pages for lesson plans); I purchased the 18-month planner because I do my lesson plans on the computer.
  • pages within each month- for recording notes, to-do lists, lesson ideas, etc. 
  • colorful dividers with inspirational quotes
  • durable plastic binding
  • area to record monthly goals, birthdays, what you're grateful for, and important dates
  • ability to add more pages using the "Happy Planner Punch" tool from "Me & My Big Ideas". Click here to see
  • extra accessories available for purchase- coordinating sticky notes, notes pages, magnetic bookmarks, stickers, pens, pocket envelope pages, plastic pocket pages for photos, stampers, washi tape,  more!
  • extension packs are also available
  • BEST PART- It's only $29.99! I used my Michael's 40% off coupon and got it for $19! What a deal!    

Here are some pictures of my planner, but the website does a much better job of showing the contents with video clips on each planner's page.

 Here's a picture of the one I purchased.

Inside the cover

Tabbed divider on the right side, left side has the section for goals, birthdays, gratitude section, and important dates

Another inspirational divider

Two-Page Calendar spread with notes section on left side
Monthly tabbed divers along the sides

Left side- pocket folder, Right side- note paper
These were part of an accessory pack I purchased for $10, and 40% Michael's coupon made it $6

The full pack is pictured below.

Here you can see how the cover is easily removed to change for a different cover. When you snap it back into place, it doesn't move or slide an inch. 

These are sample planner pages that the packaging had on the back. I thought these pictures made planning and organizing look like a fun way to express some of your creativity, release some stress, and help you enjoy the art of organizing. 

Screenshot from the Me & My Big Ideas website, click here.

If you're searching for the perfect planner, head out to Michaels (since they have a coupon) and purchase the Create 365 planner - The Happy Planner from "Me & My Big Ideas", click here to purchase. You can also find it online at Amazon, here. I'm so excited that I've finally found a planner that doesn't break my back-to-school wallet and is so customizable!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chalkboard Paint Project in the Classroom

I had one portion of the wall in my classroom that was too high to reach and use on a regular basis. I couldn't post student work or anchor charts without getting out the big ladder. Other teachers in my building painted this space in different colors and with chalkboard paint, so I decided to give it a try. I picked up some Rust-oleum chalkboard paint and searched for some of my favorite quotes to write on this space.
This is my wall space before painting. Plain and boring!

I have the best mom and sister who come help me set up my classroom every year. They helped me buy the supplies and paint the wall.
The paint can be purchased on Amazon, Wal-Mart, or home improvement store.
Click here to buy.

Supplies: Rust-oleum Chalk Board Paint, paintbrush, paint tray, paint roller

My sister and I painted two coats in just a couple of hours. Together, we finished quickly. 
After two coats of paint, we were done. I love the solid opaque black finish. 

Next was the hard part, deciding on the perfect inspirational quotes to write on the wall. I collected quotes on Pinterest and in my Evernote Notebook. Here's a link to my Pinterest "Quotes I Love" board. I included quotes from Dr. Seuss, Winnie the Pooh, Maya Angelou, Michael Jordan, Shel Silverstein, and the "Wizard of Oz". My teacher area faces this wall, so I love looking up at my favorite quotes. When I'm feeling overwhelmed by the everyday stress of being a teacher, these quotes lift my spirits. This was the perfect project for "dead" space in my classroom. Start searching for some quotes and give this project a try.

Here's the Finished Project!