Friday, August 28, 2015

First Week

I had a great first week.  The kids were terrific and my colleagues were supportive.  There were many "Is this the same room?" reactions.  I am exhausted, but I can't wait to do it all agin next week.  Here are some highlights:
I borrowed Kevin's idea and played this video as each new class entered the room:

For the first day, I went over our syllabus and gave them a tour of the new space.  I also asked them to  share some of what they had been doing in Tech Ed for the past few years (this is the 8th graders sixth year in the class).  We talked about new ideas for the class and about things we'd like to keep the same.
Next week I plan to jump right into teaching about vector graphics and the vinyl cutter, but I wanted to start off with some activities to see how they worked together.  Each group did the Cup Pyramid Challenge and then spent a couple days designing pom pom launchers.  


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Before & After...First Day of School Tomorrow

I'm feeling ready for tomorrow!  Still lots of work to do, but the space has come a long way!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tables Complete

Today my father and my husband joined me in the classroom and we were able to build the two tables and a few bookshelves.  I think they came out pretty well...just need another coat of Polyurethane tomorrow.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Table Plans

The parts are in so I will be building a couple new tables this weekend.  I got a couple butcher block tabletops from IKEA and some bench legs from Amazon.  The plan is to screw the bench legs on and connect another piece of wood to stabilize the legs:

I also made my first vinyl decoration today...a little quote for the cabinet:

My husband doesn't think the kids will appreciate this poster:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lots of Progress

I made lots of progress over the last three days.  The room was finally clean enough, so I got a desktop computer.  After a few struggles with the driver, I was able to connect my new Roland GX 24 Vinyl Cutter.  I only had time to cut a few items, but it is pretty slick!

 Maintenance also had time to hang my pegboard and one of my Amazon orders came in so I started organizing the Electronics area:

Maintenance was also kind enough to pick up the wood lathe my grandfather donated.  He also donated this cabinet and work top.  They go really well with the cabinets that were already in the room!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Empty Cabinets & Blank Walls!

So I am finally nearing the end of cleaning and prepping my room.  Today I am excited to start decorating the room and putting away my new supplies.  While my days this summer have been spent cleaning and reorganizing the space, my evenings have been spent researching and planning new curriculum.  Hopefully I will be ready to share some of my ideas with you in the next week!

Thursday, August 13, 2015


After going through many closets, bins, lockers, and cabinets, I am left with few supplies, BUT... I have plenty of Legos!  The last big cleaning job I have is to organize and clean the Legos (they are pretty dusty).

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Today's Project: Pegboard

I'm setting up an electronics section in my classroom with a workbench and some cabinet space.  I'd like to be able to hang some common tools and materials above the workbench, so I decided to add a pegboard.  To make it look a little more finished, I found some "lattice moulding" at Home Depot.  It is super handy because it already has a groove the width of the pegboard.  I cut it to size, mitered the corners and pushed it into place with a little wood glue to keep it secure.  Hoping to hang it tomorrow morning!


MC Baker made this awesome sign for my classroom.

Saturday, August 8, 2015


The room had four work tables when I arrived.  They are solid wood tops mounted on lockers (of varying colors).  Each table had layers of paint, hot glue, and nails in the tops.  The maintenance staff at my school worked to clean them up so they were a little more usable.  The black paint on the lockers (thanks for the suggestion, Jill!) also helps to freshen them up.
I'm working on building a couple new tables with some butcher block tops from IKEA...hopefully I'll be able to show you those soon!