Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Frugal teaching

I resisted for ages because I just knew I would be obsessed with it but I finally gave in and joined Pinterest.  I've already lost a weekend!!!  BUT it is a great source of inspiration for many things. For example, I have sourced lots of free worksheet and classroom organisation ideas for work.  Most good teachers buy a lot of supplies out of their own pocket.  I know I've spent a small fortune just on useable pencils and felt tip pens.  And photocopying paper!!!!
So I've made a conscious effort to begin applying my frugal principles in my classroom.  One of my favourite ideas gleaned from Pinterest is using paint colour samples as borders for display.  I went to Homebase and B&Q last night and collected rather a large amount these lovely colours.  All free!!

Here's the result on my Phonics wall :-) I have loads left over so will do a few more borders and use the rest in an art activity.

Our Context for Learning (topic!!) this term is Medieval Castles (as part of a local schools project on the 700th anniversary of The Battle of Bannockburn)  Here are our princess crowns and veils made from gold and silver card from The Pound Shop, my trusty jar of buttons (for jewels) and some old voile curtains.  The cardboard castle to the right is actually a rabbit play toy.  That was an ebay bargain.

It's Parents' Night next week.  I'm going to be cheeky and ask for donations of old bits of wrapping paper, cards, odd pens and pencils etc  I can make use of almost anything.  One wee piece of wrapping paper can't make much but if you've lots then there's a mixed media activity ready to go.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A bathful of clothes

It's finally my half term! Monday and Tuesday were staff in service days but the rest of the week is holiday.  Big fat HOORAY!! I am soooo tired and have got soooo much to do including sorting out the above bathful of clothes.

I tried really hard to declutter before the move as I knew storage space was limited in this house but road/good intentions and all that!!  Simply put, I have more STUFF than STORAGE.  The problem is I always say yes when people offer me clothes (and shoes).  I always think that will look great once I shorten it/dye it/change the buttons/take it in.  But since I started working at the start of December I haven't sewn so much as a button on anything.  I have a decent (if somewhat basic) work wardrobe and really don't need more clothes. 

So I have filled 4 black bags already from my bedroom wardrobe and drawers, a chest of drawers on the landing and a second cupboard in the Teen's room.  That's before I've started on the bath *insert embarrassed face*

And as for shoes....... Well, I've filled a box already and there's more around the house.  I tend to wear the same few things and haven't even worn anything out of that box in the 5 months I've been here.

Everything will be going to the charity shop tomorrow.  I'm calling it Phase 1.

Phase 2 will be getting a large cupboard built in the kitchen.  I've been really indecisive about what to do in my kitchen regarding storage but have now decided what to do.  I'm waiting for a joiner to price it for me.  When that's done I can empty more boxes of kitchen things freeing up storage space in the downstairs bedroom.  That will be Phase 3 :-)

I've also been spending time today sorting out paperwork and getting on top of my finances.  My credit card has been cleared and even with the cost of the deposit on my new car (I collect it on Friday!) I have managed to put a substantial lump sum into my savings account.  Phew!! I'm back on track on that front, just need to get myself a bit more organised re food shopping this holiday.

Sunday, 2 February 2014


I got paid this week!! Due to the legal stuff it was actually 6 weeks worth of pay, and it'll be the same next month as the weeks I've worked catch up with the monthly salaried contract I'm now on.  It means that there's a lovely chunk of money sitting in my bank account and it's VERY tempting to spend it instead of saving it.

Not on frivolous stuff cos that's just not me.  But I could get 2 new external doors and 2 new windows which would increase my security and cut down on heat escaping through the gaps.  I need to replace some loose guttering.  I could replace the dreadful hall carpet that Emma has been sick on, twice.  All these things need to be done at some point so that's why it's tempting to get spending while I've got the money there!

However, I have spent some money and am getting a new car :-)  My old faithful 4x4 jalopy is needing a wee bit of work to stay roadworthy and it'll cost nearly as much to keep it on the road than it's actually worth.  So I'm getting a smaller more fuel efficient one.  Cheaper to run and cheaper to insure. I pick it up in a week.  Rather excited :-)