Thursday, July 2, 2015

Two Hoots and A Holler: Baseball and Classrooms

Hoot #1
Over the past 2 weeks, we have suffered a great loss in my (Jodi) family.  My brother-in-law passed away, leaving behind my sister and nephew.  My nephew, Nicholas who is 8 years old and going into 3rd grade, is a HUGE part of my life.  My sister and her husband adopted him from Guatemala, and Nicholas came home in March 2009.  Since he was old enough to sit up, he always had a ball in his hand to throw, and he had a pretty good arm at a young age!  Baseball has become his passion, and his father taught him all he knows about the sport.  He LOVES playing baseball, and he is really good at it too (I am not just saying that because he is my nephew, haha).  This summer, he made the All Star team, his father and him were so excited he made it.  This past weekend we gathered at the baseball fields with lots of family and friends to cheer him on in a tournament.  It was wonderful to see this little guy smile and have fun.  Baseball is his therapy, and he is the happiest  boy when he is on the field.  With every ball he threw, ball he caught, ball he hit, he knew his daddy was watching from above. It melts my heart to see Nicholas happy after everything he has been through the past 2 weeks.  My sister and him are the strongest people I know, and I know God has an extraordinary plan for their lives.  I am so blessed that God allowed me to be a part of this family.  In memory of my brother-in-law, I would like to dedicate this Hoot to him, my sister, and my nephew.  May he rest in peace and may God continue to watch over my sister and nephew! 
The All Star Banner hanging proudly outside the dug out. 
The team put this on the banner because he was a HUGE supporter of the All Star Team. 

All of the team members have "CP" on the back of their helmets in memory of Chris. 
Nicholas and Jamie, AKA Lemon Head, at the tournament. Nicholas loved hearing Lemon Head cheer him on from the stands.    And if you know Jamie, she did some cheering!!  haha  I tried to photo bomb the picture, but I wasn't quick enough...Just got my hair!  haha
Nicholas is so proud to be a part of this All Star Team!
Nicholas in action!  Swing batter batter!
Hoot #2
Jodi's rule of thumb is start working in the classroom after July 4th, but Jamie starts way earlier because her kids are in Arizona visiting their grandparents.  Here it is 2 days before the 4th of July, and we both are freaking out a little!  Have we done anything we said we were going to do??  Well, of course not!  We are the poster children for PROCRASTINATION!  But have no fear, there is a plan in place.  It is a very rough draft of a plan, but its a starting point.  So I guess that deserves a hoot because we are no longer procrastinating!  We have a rough draft of units we want to make to use in our classroom, and to share on TPT.  We got a pretty big jump ahead in May, we used all of our free time to prepare for August as much as we could.  That is a HUGE help!  It is actually very funny because at school, we both are on top of things and always thinking ahead of the game; but at home, we are not on our A Game!  Like I said things are looking up!  As we sit and make lists of everything we need to do, we both realize there are things that we do not have to worry about.  Last summer one week before school started, Jodi woke up late one Sunday night and she decided she was going to paint her room.  Of course we both thought this idea wasn't a good one because school was about to start!  Because she did it last summer, now she doesn't have to worry about it this summer!  Take a look at what she did that will help her in preparing her room in the years to come.  Here are some great time savers.....
Jodi allows her children to help decorate her walls.  They are asked to bring in objects for letters and colors.  She usually puts up pieces of long construction paper for each letter. Instead of taking down and putting up paper for each letter every year, she painted the rectangles on the wall.  This is the beginning of the project. 

This is the end result of the project.  After rectangles were painted, she framed it with zebra print duct tape and black duct tape and put her letters above the rectangles.  The rectangles that were painted served multiple purposes.  The objects students brought in for each letter were hung up on the corresponding rectangle, and it could also serve as a word wall. 
As she was painting rectangles on the wall, she thought..."Why not paint bulletin boards too?"  So after recruiting help from her nephew and daughter, she painted all the bulletin boards in her room.  This didn't fade or rip.  The bulletin boards will last for years!  One thing she did find out is that you need to use 2-3 base coats before putting actual color on.  The cork does soak up the paint, so the base coats help the color be more vibrant and bright. 
An after picture of one of the painted bulletin boards.

Table skirt....this was the best idea yet, thanks to Pinterest!  It added spunk and color to the room!  It also hid some of the stuff that would get collected during projects or guided reading.  Jodi got someone to hem the bottom of the fabric so it wouldn't unravel.  Then, she turned the table upside down and stapled the skirt underneath with a staple gun.  It lasted all year and never ripped or came off!  And its ready for years to come!
This was our work display in the hall which lasted all year long.  It didn't have to be changed out  several times, it was just a simple clip of a clothespin to display work.    Jodi saw this somewhere on the internet, not sure where.  The cardstock circles were purchased at Wal-Mart in the craft department, the strips are made from duct tape with a construction paper backing.  These were assembled, then laminated so they would last longer.  She spray painted clothespins to clip onto each strip.  The clips were used to hold the student's work, and students' names were printed out and put on the circles. 
This Week's Holler...
This week's holler goes out to Brenda Frady at Primary Inspired.  She attended the Spring Teacher Blogger Meet Up and the Nash Teacher Bash, and we were able to get to know this incredible woman better!  She organized the linky party for everyone after the Spring Teacher Blogger Meet Up.  The most interesting fact about Brenda Frady is that she teaches a multi-age classroom!  She has 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students!  Can you imagine what a learning experience that is as a teacher?  She is currently involved in book studies with other bloggers.  Her blog is full of good information for teachers to know!  You should definitely hop on over to her blog to check it out! 

Primary Inspired


  1. Thanks for the shout out, ladies!! I am flattered!

    Primary Inspired

  2. You are more than welcome! We enjoy reading your blog...we love reading all about your book studies!