Monday, December 3, 2018

Teacher Bag Organization

Hello friends! I hope you have had a wonderful week and a restful weekend. We had a simple weekend of going to the movies, watching football, and going to church.

For today's blog post I will be going through how I organize all my teaching supplies. I am a paraprofessional, so I do not have as many supplies as a teacher would, but I have a few key items I carry with me throughout the day.

First, I use this rolling cart by Paper Studio from Hobby Lobby. It was around $100, but I used my 40% coupon and got it for $60. I love this rolling cart. It has a lot of pockets, is very roomy, and it rolls smoothly.

Second, I use a bag organizer that I ordered from Jenny Krafts on Etsy! You can measure your bag, and send her the dimensions, and she will create a custom bag organizer for you. I love mine! It has so many pockets, it's really sturdy, and it fits perfectly into my rolling cart.

In my bag organizer I have: 
1. Expo markers
2. Sticky notes
3. Staedtler Pencil Sharpener - the BEST pencil sharpener!!
4. Latex-free band aids
5. Dice for multiplication and vocabulary games I have in my notebook
6. My agenda
7. Lip balm 
8. Calming strategies from Liz's Early Learning Spot
9. Growth mindset posters from Stephanie Ann, Tales From Miss D, and Isla Hearts Teaching (I printed these on note cards and laminated them)
10. Hole punch 
11. Learning Wrap Ups Subtraction Keys - my students love these!
13. Hand wipes
14. Earphones 
15. Rubik's Cube - I use my Rubik's cube as a reward when my students work hard
16. Not pictured: Staple remover, glue sticks, tape, pens 

I also have my notebook, whiteboards, Dry Erase Pockets, and these Language Arts Assistants from Mrs. Renz Class. I use the whiteboards to assistant my students during assignments. Sometimes my students take notes on the dry erase pockets (if you have trouble getting expo marker off these or off lamented items, acetone works like a dream). 

I hope you enjoyed this post! I love being organized, and I love hearing about how others stay organized. You are welcome to share any organization tips you have in the comments below. I hope you have a week full of blessings! 
Just a little reminder for you this week . . . 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Christmas at the Biltmore


Hello friends! It has been such a long time since I have posted on Sweet Tea with Abbey. Blogging is often on my mind, but the start of a new school year and grad school have kept me very busy. Blogging is a fun and creative outlet for me, and today I decided to sit down and just do something I enjoy.

Today I am going to share with some pictures from the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. I will also tell you how you can make a visit to the Biltmore a one day trip if you live within a 5-hour radius of Asheville, North Carolina.

At the Inn!

During Christmastime, the Biltmore is all decked out. In the Biltmore mansion, there are around 55 Christmas trees. Other areas on the estate like the Inn and Antler Village are also beautifully decorated. I felt like I was in a Hallmark movie. Everything is so polished, magically decorated, and inviting. As I am writing this, I am watching a Hallmark movie. I love this time of year.

To begin with, here is a little itinerary of our day trip to the Biltmore.

7:30 am - hopped in the car, turned on our GPS app, Waze, and we are on the road

8:00 am - stopped at Starbucks for a holiday drink (we got a gingerbread latte and a toasted white chocolate latte)

1:00 pm - went to the ticket center to exchange our old tickets from March for a current day ticket

1:15 pm - ate lunch at the Library Lounge at the Inn at the Biltmore

2:00 pm - walked through the Inn and down to Antler Village

3:15 pm - headed back to our car and drove to the Biltmore house

4:00 pm - stood in line to be ready to go in at our reservation time of 4:30 pm

4:30 pm - walked into the Biltmore house

5:30 pm - finished the tour and took some photos as the sun was setting of the beautiful Christmas lights

Some tips for going to the Biltmore:

1. Our tickets were from March, but they told us we could use our tickets any time of the year, and the tickets never expire. We called and asked if we needed to make a reservation to go into the Biltmore house, but they said we could exchange our old tickets for new tickets, and we would be good to go. Well, when we went to the ticket center, it turns out we did need to make a reservation time, so they gave us the last time slot of the day, 4:30 pm. So, I would recommend calling and ensuring that you make a reservation time for the new day you are going on especially if you are going on a Saturday or Sunday.

The Inn

2. At first, we were a little sad we could not get an early reservation time, but a kind lady told us that we might get to see a little bit of the Candlelight Christmas Evenings tour. During this special tour, they light the fires in the Biltmore house and choirs sing. We did get to see two fires that were lit, and we heard the faint singing of one of the choirs. So, get a 4:30 pm reservation time and you can take a sneak peek at the Candlelight Christmas Evenings tour.

The Banquet Room with the fireplaces lit!

3. During this time of year, the estate is very busy. We wanted to eat at the Stables, but they were full during lunchtime. We called and made sure we didn't need reservations for the Library Lounge which is located at the Inn. They informed us that during lunchtime it is not very busy, and it wasn't! We walked right in. There was a wonderful fire, the lunch area overlooked the rolling hills, and the food was delicious. We asked to split the short rib grilled cheese with truffle fries, and they gave us two plates full of food. We split that dish for a total of $20!

The Library Lounge at the Inn

Short Rib Grilled Cheese with Truffle Fries

The Library Lounge at the Inn
The Inn while walking down to Antler Village

A gingerbread house in the kitchen 

The servants' dining room

Christmastime at the Biltmore house!
Thank you so much for visiting my little blog! I hope you enjoyed this taste of the Biltmore. I hope you have a warm and merry Christmas season. I want to share a little teacup of encouragement with you. Proverbs 31:25 says, "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." Y'all. The future can be scary, and although I know Jesus wants me to take life one day at a time and not worry about the past or the future, it is so hard for this overactive mind of mine. I hope if you feel this way too please know you are not alone. We have a lot of hope! Jesus gives us strength and dignity. We can look to him each day for the strength and grace and hope we need. Matthew 6:34 says, "Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself."

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Classroom Organization

Happy Sunday friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful week! What were y'all up to? I would love to hear about anything you did this past week.

My school started preplanning on Friday. I am so excited about this new school year! My mom is also in the education field. She's been teaching for about 31 years! I love helping her in her classroom. Recently, I have helped with the organization of her closet and bookshelf. I have five main tips when it comes to classroom organization to help anyone. These can apply to the classroom or to the home.

1. Take everything out of the space you are organizing. When I started organizing the closet, I took everything out so I could clean the space afterward. This might feel daunting, but it will really help you set up a functional, organized space.

2. Group similar items as you are taking everything out. This starts the organization process immediately and gives you an idea of how much space you need for certain things like Christmas supplies, math teaching tools, etc.

3. Use bins you already have. As you take things out and start grouping items, you'll find you'll create empty containers. I used any containers I could find to sort markers, pencils, colored pencils, and expos into different bins.

4. Create sections in the space that are designated for the same subjects or category of objects. I put all the math and science related items on the right side of the closest and keep coloring supplies on the left side.

5. To keep everything organized throughout the entire school year, always put an item back in its home. This is such a simple step that can change your level of organization. You could also assign this job to different students. I have seen that students really enjoy having jobs. It helps them to know they have a purpose and place in the classroom community.

I hope these tips were fun and inspiring to read through! Have a great week everyone!

With a smile,

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Simple Closet Organization

Happy Sunday, friends!

I hope your Sunday is going well! I have about two weeks until school starts, so I have been working on getting some things done. It is such a nice feeling to not have to worry about grad school right now. During my spare time, I organized and simplified my closet. I did several things to simplify it. {There is a little teacup of encouragement at the end of this post!} 

Here is the closet before!

I got rid of all plastic hangers from stores and wire hangers from the cleaners. I had so many plastic hangers. I was inspired by working at a boutique to get nicer hangers. I picked up some felt and plastic ones from Target. They have a great selection, and I believe they are in the $7-$10 dollar range. 

I put away all my winter clothes and shoes. I sorted through all these clothes first and decided what I truly liked and wanted to keep. I put my winter clothes into a large blue container, and I put my winter shoes in a basket. I placed both bins on the top shelf in my closet. 

I found this blue bin just in our basement and wiped it out with these Lysol wipes which smell very nice! I learned from Emily Ley to always see what kind of organization bins you might already have before you go out and buy new ones. I also have always stored my rainboots on the top shelf, and in the blue hat box are tissue paper, gift bags, etc. 

I removed a chest that was in my closet. You can see it there on the left side of the photo. The handles had fallen off, and it took up a good portion of space. I had clothes in there, but I found other areas around my room and closet to store them. This photo is after I took out all my winter clothes, but I still needed to create some more space.

I found this simple three-drawer storage tower in our basement. I was trying to save money, so I took another trip to the basement and found the storage tower. I washed it outside and lined the drawers with cute wrapping paper. 

I took another trip down to the basement and found these cute little storage bins to store various things in. I store contacts, skin care products, clothes, etc. in the little storage bins.


Here is the closet afterward! Overall, it really helped me to 1) go through my summer and winter clothes and decide what I enjoy wearing. 2) Think about clothes that would work for my new job as a paraprofessional. 3) Store winter clothes, scarves, and shoes in bins. 4) Frequently place clothing and other items back where they belong. Most items have a specific place that I keep them. If I put them back each time I use them, my closet will stay tidy!

I hope you enjoyed this post. What do you enjoy getting done in the summer? 

Also, a little teacup of encouragement for your day!

I heard a very encouraging message today from Pastor Neil. It was about God's love for us. He preached from 1 John 4:7-21.  One of my favorite verses from that passage is 1 John 4:18-19.

Love never brings fear, for fear is always related to punishment. But love’s perfection drives the fear of punishment far from our hearts. Whoever walks constantly afraid of punishment has not reached love’s perfection. Our love for others is our grateful response to the love God first

demonstrated to us. {The Passion Translation}

 Pastor Neil talked about meeting God like taking the biggest exam of our lives. I would most likely feel nervous, ashamed, and unprepared knowing or wondering if God will accept me into his kingdom. However, the amazing news, the news of the Gospel, is that Jesus died for you and me! Now when we stand before God presently and forevermore we wear the righteousness of Christ. We are God's beloved son or daughter in whom he is well pleased! {Matthew 3:17} It is like Jesus took the test for us and made a 100, and now the 100 is on our report card. We did not earn it. We could not deserve it, yet Jesus lived the perfect life for us and died for us so we could be cleansed of all our mistakes, guilt, and shame. The verdict is Romans 8:1, "So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One." 
{The Passion Translation} I need to be reminded of that daily. I need to preach the Gospel to myself daily. I just love it! 

I will put a link up to the sermon as soon as they put in on the website

With a smile, 


Monday, July 9, 2018

Prepping For a New School Year as a Paraprofessional

Prepping For a New School Year as a Paraprofessional

Hi friends!

It has been such a long time since I have posted here. I hope you are all doing well! Blogging is always in the back of my mind, and now that it is summer time I have some more time to blog. Last year, I was a substitute teacher. It was my first year in the education field, and I enjoyed the experience. I started my Master's in Early Childhood Education in May which is a two-year program. I will be a special education paraprofessional this coming school year while I work on my Master's. I am very excited about this upcoming year, so I am doing a few things to make me feel prepared.

First, I have some reading materials.

Methods for Effective Teaching is a textbook that I was assigned in grad school. I am planning on taking some time to read over it more thoroughly. It covers some many various topics in teaching!

I found the rest of my reading materials on Teachers Pay Teachers. They are filled with training tips specifically for paraprofessionals. I inserted them all in a binder for easy reference and organization.

The Paraprofessional Training on Instructing Students is just a few pages long, but it has some great tips on the role of a paraprofessional in various teaching environments. All of these resources are designed to help the classroom teacher train their paraprofessionals. I figured I could download them myself just to be armed with more knowledge. 

The Staff Training Manual is almost 80 pages! It is full of great resources. I cannot wait to dive into it! 

The Paraprofessional Training Manual for a Special Education Classroom is about 30 pages. Again, it is filled with great strategies for paraprofessionals to implement in the classroom.

Second, I am working on making a list of back to school clothes. So far I want to purchase:
~ comfy maxi dresses
~ comfy heels
~ nice dress pants

Third, I am planning on making sure my requirements for my grad school program will be met during the school year. I need to check with my school about observing another grade level. My grad school program requires for us to have a certain number of observation hours in each grade level.

Fourth, I am creating a schedule for workouts and study time while having a full-time job. This is just a rough draft. I might change it depending on my energy levels!

I hope you are all having a memorable summer! What are you up to this summer?
Here's a little encouragement for your day from Eleanor Brownn!

With a smile,