Monday, December 29, 2014


I was inspired by the fabulous Farley and her friend Buck to add a class mascot to my classroom this year.  So I went to the great people of Facebook and put out a plea asking if anyone had an extra deer mount lying around...long shot I know, but I do live in rural Oklahoma, so I thought it was worth a shot. Low and behold a friend of mine from church posted that her husband had one in a shed that was not being used and that I was welcome to him!!!! I was super excited! She brought him to church and I immediately took him to my classroom...he hung out and I introduced him to our custodians hehe!   My son decided he should be named know like Simon Says and the clouds parted and the heavens sang and Simon found a forever home in my classroom....

Simon chose his antlers to write about during our "Best Part of Me" writing lesson.

Simon reminds us of important events, gives us words of wisdom and relays random facts.  He also wishes each student a Happy Birthday while wearing his birthday hat!

Simon enjoyed the Christmas season and my students painted portraits of Simon's cousin Rudolph...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Washington D.C. Recap

Thursday, October 30th I got the privilege to attend the National Conference on Character Education in Washington D. C.  It was such an exciting trip!  The conference put on by featured some amazing speakers, teachers, and authors.  I learned so much and have several books on my wish list that I NEED to read now.  While we were there we got to see many of the monuments and we visited the Holocaust museum... I feel like I haven't stopped since we left that morning, but I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given. 

Here are a few shots from our Monuments by Moonlight tour....

Monday, September 8, 2014

Classroom Pics

For the past 5 years I've had a GLORIOUS, MONSTEROUS, sized classroom. The room lacked storage...seriously it was a huge, GIANT, SQUARE of a classroom, but even with 27 students, a futon or a couch, 4 bookshelves, a dresser, a teacher area, a round table, and a class library the room was still SPACIOUS. Not to mention that because in its former life my classroom had served as a high school computer lab, I was blessed with plug ins every 12 inches. BUT alas...  All good things must come to an end...I suppose. The fourth grade building is no more at my school and my teacher friends and I had to pack up and move into the Intermediate building over the summer. The room is WAY smaller, but positives are being noticed:
1. 2 FULL walls are made of DRYWALL! Meaning I can use a stapler instead of a glue gun on half of my room.
2. The building is fairly new...10 or 11 years old.
3. We have a front office in the same building as us, our secretary is in OUR building, and the CLEAN STAFF RESTROOM IS IN OUR BUILDING!!!!
4.Built in storage....
5. Library and computer labs are in our building.
6. The walk to the cafeteria is shorter!
So the 4th week of my school year started today and I wanted to share some pics of my "new" classroom:
The front of my classroom....don't you love how nice and clean it is at the beginning of a new school year??? 

Here's a little shot of my sweet little chair that I purchased at a garage sale and belonged to a friend of mine's father in law....I love when pieces have a story...she said this little chair was in his office and she can still see him sitting in it. The filing cabinets are a makeover I shared last summer. I am still very much in love with them and the functionality and personality they add to my space.

 Probably my MOST favorite furniture re do ever!!!! My $20 desk I found on FB this summer.  It was in pretty rough shape...I painted the body with a homemade chalk paint recipe and completely stripped the top and redid it with two shades of stain and about 20 coats of poly:) I had my name cut out in black vinyl by a local vinyl shop and created the little rag garland and attached the vintage flashcards with clothespins.  I AM IN LOVE WITH MY DESK!!!!

 My cute little bathroom passes....I found the labels for FREE on TPT....can't remember the shop/seller but I will research and link back to them soon.... This  is my 2nd year to use this great!

 I painted my podium last year. BUT this year I stepped it up a notch with my 70% off clearance frame I scored at Michael's  painted satin lagoon and by sending the free print from eighteen25 to and having it printed as an 11x14.  I still might add some large polka dots or some rosettes from Hobby Lobby, but it's 100% cooler with just the frame. :)

 I added a class mascot this year named "Simon".  This goodwill frame got a makeover and now hangs on my door side window. (this pic is of my back patio door) Surprisingly, 4 weeks into the school year the chalk is still smudge free!!! Whoop whoop!!!

 This is the view from behind my desk looking to the front. Loving all the storage in my new room this year...even if I had to give up lots of space....

 Another view....I do have a smartboard hanging on that blank space of wall now!

This view is to the right of my desk can catch a glimpse of my library area in the back corner. And there is SIMON and his chalkboard... My kids are loving it and look forward to what he has to say...I've added a giant speech bubble, so he can leave messages.  His chalk board says: "Simon Says: 1. Work Hard 2. Be Nice".


Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy MLK Day

Just wanted to share a quick picture of one of the many things my fourth graders did last week to learn about and honor Martin Luther King Jr.  We had a phenomenal week understanding why we celebrate the third Monday in January and realizing the legacy MLK left behind. 

Sometimes just a simple act of kindness can mean something big to the person receiving it.  

Happy Monday,

Mrs. Ille

Friday, January 17, 2014

The File Cabinet Transformation REALLY Did Happen...

Yeah..yeah...I posted a pic on July 4th showing what kind of file cabinet project I had in mind for my classroom.  Well the people of Facebook came through for me and I managed to snag three filing cabinets for FREE!!! Yes!  I brought them home...they were your standard taupe and light grey colored metal.  I used Rustoleum Satin Lagoon spray paint and bought a nicer grade of plywood from Lowes...the nice Lowes man even it cut it to my measurements for me...

Then I added some left over min wax stain with the poly built in...and was falling even more in love!

I also bought some thin finishing trim at Lowe's and stained it, cut it to fit and used some wood glue and painters tape to hold it in place until it dried....then my sweet Mr. helped me move to her home.

And see that sweet little gnome, well he was lonely so I found him some friends.

Hung my bulletin board and added a few more touches of "home". :)

So yea for projects that REALLY do get accomplished!!!
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