Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tutorial: Super Easy No-Sew Intruder Curtain

Super Easy No-Cut, No-Sew Intruder Curtain | SuperSomethingBlog.blogspot.com

Quick post about the intruder curtain I put up yesterday thanks to a little pinspiration.

Below is the pin that started it all. I believe I have done my due diligence in trying to trace the image back to the original source, but it seems that it was uploaded directly by a pinner whose username has long been lost. (If you are responsible for this idea, first of all, THANK YOU! I love it! Secondly, I'll be happy to give you credit if you'll contact me!)

According to the description, this is just fabric that's been doubled over a wooden dowel that has been spray painted. The dowel is hung on command hooks, and the fabric is rolled up and secured with ribbon that has been velcro-ed on.

Super Easy No-Cut/No-Sew Intruder Curtain


curtain panel
tape measure
10-12 paper clips
2-4 binder clips
curtain rod & hardware
ribbon (I used about 3 yards)


  1. Measure your window and the curtain panel and calculate the difference. Divide this measurement by two. This measurement will help you determine where to make the vertical folds. (My window was 30 inches wide, and my curtain panel was 42 inches wide, a difference of 12 inches. Half of 12 inches is 6 inches, so my vertical folds will need to be 6 inches from the edge of the curtain.)
  2. Spread the curtain panel on a flat surface, with the right side of the fabric facing down. Starting at the top of the curtain panel, use the previous measurement to determine where the vertical folds (A, B) should begin. Use paperclips (black stars) to mark these points. Repeat at the bottom of the curtain.
  3. Using the paper clips as a guide, begin making fold A. If needed, use additional paper clips (white stars) to help secure the fold. Repeat to make fold B. 
  4. Lay the curtain rod horizontally across the curtain at about the halfway point. Fold the curtain in half to create fold C. (The rod should extend on either side of the curtain at fold C.) 
  5. Hang the curtain and rod. and adjust so that the ends line up evenly. 
  6. Roll both layers of fabric to desired height and use binder clips to temporarily secure the roll.
  7. Tie ribbons to hold curtain roll at the desired height, and remove binder clips. Optionally, you can also remove the paper clips you used to secure the vertical folds. (Mine weren't noticeable, so I didn't bother. Leaving them will make rolling the curtain up after a drill a little easier anyway.)
  8. In case of intruder or drill, simply untie the ribbons, and the curtain will unroll, covering your window.

Note: You can definitely hang this with a wooden dowel as the original pinner did, but I just bought a tension rod for about $1 along with a couple of hooks that I screwed directly into my classroom door. The rod is super light, and command hooks would have worked just fine. However, the hooks were cheaper, and I like that they don't detract from the curtain at all.

Monday, July 28, 2014

So, I got that job.

The interview I mentioned earlier actually ended with a job offer, but I had to wait about a week before it was official.

The board approved me on July 16, and I will be teaching four sections of 7th grade math, one section of reading, and one remediation/intervention class this year. I talked SBG up in the interview so much that now I have to get to actually do it. I'm excited that I get to try it, but I'm really nervous that I'm going to screw up! The 7th grade math teachers will be piloting SBG for the school, and since the administrators weren't familiar with SBG until recently, I am considered the "expert." I kind of needed to do some deep breathing just to get through that sentence since I am definitely no expert!

Moving on to something I am somewhat an expert at--setting up a classroom. (I realized last week that this will be the fifth classroom I've set up in five years, although this is only my third school.) I got a look at my classroom for the first time last Tuesday, and was...underwhelmed. And actually a bit overwhelmed as well. Here are the glows and grows:


  • 8 gigantic windows (42 inches wide and 80 inches tall)
  • tall, tall ceilings
  • SMART board (promised--it's not actually installed yet)
  • Two bulletin boards (at my previous school, I had just one; at the one before that, I had zero!)
  • Giant, old-school teacher desk -- I am so excited about this since I found myself needing a work table to spread out on in previous classrooms
  • Two classroom computers


  • Needs a paint job -- two blue walls, one beige wall, and one white wall, all of which are peeling (Edited: When I left this afternoon, the painters had come in and soon all four of my walls will match!)
  • Those gigantic windows (and the one in my classroom door) will need to be covered for intruder drills so I'll need to find something cute (and economical) to do there. (Edit: Thanks to my mom, I now how hot pink, zebra-striped curtains covering each of my windows, and thanks to Pinterest, I was able to come up with a solution for quickly covering my classroom door for intruder drills.)
  • Student lockers are inside the classroom (I'm actually not sure whether this is a glow or a grow because I've never seen this!)
  • Not a lot of whiteboard space (this might wind up being okay since I'll have the SMART board)
  • Most of my whiteboards are actually showerboard, and they are all gray with ghosting.

I am getting excited about the new school year. One of the best things about being a teacher (aside from the kids, the challenge, etc.) is the opportunity to start fresh each year.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


I had an opportunity to introduce standards-based grading to some administrators in an interview I had this week.  At 1.5 hours, It was the second longest interview of my life, and probably 20 minutes of it I spent selling them on SBG. It got me thinking about the possibility of finding a place that will actually let me try it in the upcoming school year. It has been a while since I have been that excited, and I find myself motivated to dive back into researching and figuring out the logistics of it.

Things I Am Still Pondering:

  • How to present it to co-workers and supervisors
  • How to present it to students
  • How to present it to parents
  • How to set it up in the electronic gradebook we're all required to use
  • Do you throw out traditional grading schemes (e.g., Tests 70%, Classwork 20%, Homework 10%)? Or do you just use the skills-checks to get the test grades, and stick to the more traditional methods for determining the effort grades?
  • Do I even think homework should be graded? 

Some resources: