Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Big Reveal: Part 1

Are you ready for photo overload, because that is what is going to make up most of this post. I have to do the disclosure of "keep in mind things are not finished in some areas, haven't redone my book tub labels, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah"....You all know the drill. Our rooms are NEVER done. We tweak and update all year long. It's just one of the many things I love about my job. :) 

You may notice that the font ,while still the same style, is smaller than usual. I did that to keep this post from being ginormous because there are a ridiculous amount of pictures ( especially for such a small room). I also will be doing half of the pictures today and the other half in a day or two. It is just TOO much for one post. You will NEVER make it through all the way to the end. :) 

So without further adieu, may I present my home away from home. My classroom. :)

Welcome sign on the door to my room. And welcome to ALL the pictures. :)

Outside of my room ( student lockers). We are currently hosting a canned food drive, hence the boxes in the middle of the hallway. 

My door and hallway bulletin board. I made the Where We Are Chart a couple of years ago.One of my students moves the fish to where we are in the building when we leave and return to our room. It's not in the picture because I took it off to laminate. The picture in the little black picture frame is me when I was in 2nd grade. A few years ago our principal asked for a picture of us from when we were in the grade we currently teach. He hung those in the hallway outside our rooms. I think its a super cute idea. 

These are the views to the left and to the right when you walk into my room. I previously shared the lunch count sharks during a Monday Made It. 

 I brought in this cupboard from home. ( It's a small butcher block island.) It houses my band aids, baggies, spoons, and napkins. I love the little picture frame. One of my teacher friends got it for me during Secret Valentine. 

 Then I took shots of the various views around my room.  

This is standing in the doorway. I really love my table set up this year. ( 4 rectangular ones pushed together with 1 kidney at the end.) 

This is the view from the hallway or standing just before going into the room. I love that you see my reading area right when you walk in the room, as it's my favorite area of my room. 

This is the view from my reading corner. You can see my desk/teacher area in the opposite corner.  

 This is the view from the back corner of my room.

 This is my teacher corner. It has my desk and filing cabinets. In the short tan one I keep all of my seasonal/ holiday stuff ( project idea's and books) . The black cupboard has my teacher's manuals and books. The bottom part of that has filing drawers that have my masters for making copies and station items. 
 The black bookshelf has all of my books that I keep separate from the one's the kiddo's use. They are ones I use for read aloud or author studies. It also has some reading curriculum books, my teacher toolbox, and my GIANT rainbow trout stuffed fish. My Mormor ( Swedish for grandma) got him for me for Christmas my first year of teaching. I love the inspirational posters on the back wall. I got them HERE. They are ridiculously cute and FREE!!! Underneath those I have group photo's from my first 4 years of teaching. Last year's class hasn't gotten hung up yet because I don't have the one for this years class yet to take it's place on the counter. :) 
Right in front of my desk is the desk that my pre-student teacher will use plus the bookshelf in front of my room. The bookshelf holds my students book bins. Go HERE to see my inspiration for these tubs.  In their book bins they keep their AR folders, their reading and writing journal, their station folder, and their 2 independent reading books. I didn't have enough space to put all 21 of their book bins on the shelves, so I let my student of the week keep theirs on the top shelf. The top shelf also houses my trays for turning in work and two tubs for the different take home folders we use. I also have some drawers that hold my bulletin board letters. 
 This is a close up view of my desk. You can see that I use post it notes stuck on my computer to keep track of my passwords. Its not the most sophisticated of systems but it works for me. I also try to drink 2 of those Ferris jugs of water per day. Go Bulldogs! :) 

 This is a shot of my math area. Plus the Cambells soup tin which holds my labels and box tops. 

 My math meeting board. You can see the front of my butcher block cart. I used wall stickers to decorate it. 

This is where I put the I can statements and directions for my math station activities. As you can see we just started this because there are currently only 2 choices. The table underneath it that you see in one of the above pictures holds the materials. 

This set of tubs holds most of my math manipulative's. I used the labels from the Ocean set that I purchased from Teachers Pay Teachers. I mentioned it in a Monday Made It. You can check out that post HERE. The fish rug is a bathmat. :) I wish his tail was red to go with the red tubs. :) 

I am going to stop here for now. Thanks for sticking it out to the end. I am impressed! Check back in a day or two to see the rest of my reveal. My favorite area's are yet to come. :) 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tell Me Something Good.

Anyone else sing that title in their head? Cause I totally did. :) I was perusing one of my favorite bloggers Angela Nerby over at Hippo Hooray for 2nd Grade. You can follow her HERE. Seriously, I don't know why she doesn't have like 1,000 followers by now. She has some great ideas. She linked up with Rowdy in 1st Grade for a wonderful idea for a linky party. Sharing the good stuff with each other.

Soooo perfect for the begining of the year because, even though I've been doing this for 6 years now I seem to forget EVERY year how challenging the begining of the year can be. I forget that those perfectly behaved children ,who knew all our routines and could have run the class without me, had to be taught those routines. That we had to practice and practice at each peice and that it took a lot of time and energy to get them to be the perfect angels I remember them to be. :)


I can already see the progress that we have made from week 1 to week 2. One of the things that this group has been awesome with already is keeping our book bins nice and organized. I get the tubs out a little at a time until I see that they can keep the previous one's neat and organized. These kiddo's are definitely ready to get some more tubs out! I have some really supportive parents who are interested in their children's learning and want to help them ( and me) succeed. And of course, the best part, I LOVE these guys already. Again, every year I think " how can I possibley love another group as much as I loved last years". And EVERY YEAR it happens. I shouldn't be surprised by it. But I guess I'm not surprised so much as amazed at how quickly and easily it happens.


Truly the best part about my home is who I share it with. My husband, while not perfect but then again neither am I!, is super supportive and my daughter is truly the delight of my life. One super fun thing is yesterday I got a phone call from my daycare lady in the middle of the day. I ,of course, answered it because she usually only calls if something major has happened. She told me that someone had something to tell me. It was my daughter calling to tell me she had gone #1 and #2 on the potty! I was so happy and excited. Fellow parents you totally get me on this one I know. :)

It is always good to focus on the positives in your life rather than the negatives....even though it really can be easier at times to focus on the negative instead. What a great idea for a linky party. Thanks to Rowdy in 1st Grade for hosting. AAAAAANNNNNDDDD....look for my post WITH PICTURES of my room tomorrow. :) Enjoy your Saturday friends!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Week 1 In The Books!

Anyone else see this on Scholastic's facebook page last week? HOW TRUE is this! Every year since I have been teaching ( 7 years now) on the first day of school we get pizza because who feels like cooking that day? I was SO tired last week Tuesday after our first day back that I could barely lift my pizza. AND I ate 5, YES 5! slices. It's because I never get to really eat anything that first day and into the first month or so...It's great for my waistline. But not if I am going home to scarf down 5 peices of pizza! :)

I have been meaning to take pics of my room for awhile now but I keep noticing all these little things I still want to do. I decided that since most, if not all, my followers are teachers you will understand those little area's that are blank because student work is supposed to go there or the book shelves don't have the new labels I am working on...because hey, we've ALL been there and I can always update with a new post. :) So, look for those this weekend.

Instead what I have for you today is some of the cuteness you will see around my school this year. Last year when I became addicted to Pinterest and TPT I ranted and raved about it so much that I brought many of my teacher friends along for the ride. :) Some were already using those sites, but had not yet reached my level of crazy. :)

After back to school night is done ( we have our's before school starts) I like to walk around and see my fellow teachers rooms and see all the fun things they have done. These are some of my favorite ones. :) Now, I don't know where they got the idea's from. Some of them are their own and some are PINspired. So if this is your original idea I would be happy to credit you, just let me know. It's only left out because to try to track down where MY ideas come from takes enough time...let alone my friends! :)

From my good friend Denise Kemp's 3rd grade room. A cute Where We Are chart and seat crates. ( Love the colors!)

 PLUS, these cute hall passes. She used those cute wooden shapes you can find at Micheals, had her hubby drill a little hole, and put a string through. Voila! Bathroom passes you don't have to touch!
 These next three are from my friend Marcie Hank's room. I wish you could see the bulletin board better. I LOVE the colors of it. It really pops in the hallway.
Sign outside of her room
This is the view into her room. It is so awesome, it makes me want to go back to 6th grade just to be in her room! Plus how cute are those curtains. She took scraps of cloth and tied them around the curtain rod. LOVE it!

 This bulletin board was done by one of Marcie's teaching partner's, the lovely Diane Kreh. This is so cute. I LOVE the clothespins.

The next two are from Mandy Atwood, a 4th grade teacher at my school. The first is her bathroom passes. Another genius way to not have the students touching the bathroom passes while in the bathroom...using lanyards! These ones are WAY cute too.
 AND, who didn't have Olympic fever this summer?! This board is SO cute. She has student names on each of the gold medals. LOVE it!

The wonderful Sarah Cook ,who teaches 1st grade at my school, made these for her teaching partners! How sweet is that?!
 This is one of my FAVE things. One of my bestie's, Heather Zocco, has a FAB student teacher, Brook Lynn,  this year. Brook designed this for back to school night to dress up their doors which are painted with chalkboard paint. It was RIDICULOUSLY cute.

It's kind of unfair that one school should be chock full of such cuteness and talent, I know. Don't be too sad...just go out there and shove Pinterest down your fellow teachers throats! :) You'll ( and They'll) be glad you did!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Made It: Month of September

Well, if you follow along at 4th Grade Frolics you know that Tara is making this a once a month deal-y now that we are all in school ( or for me starting tomorrow!). This is probably a good thing. It will keep us all making the cuteness but ,not be pressured to keep up with weekly.

The first thing I made are some goodie bags for the kiddo's. I used the editable ocean labels that I purchased from First Class Teacher Resources. You can check that out HERE. I was going to make one with those cute little sayings about a pencil meaning something and a starburst meaning something else but, I didn't have the space on any of the labels and I wanted to keep everything cohesive. So I just wrote the little note and put a pencil, an eraser, a sucker, and these fun little ocean animal squeezies that spray water into the bags.

This picture shows them sitting on the papers that were at their seat on Back to School night. They had a parent questionare, a student information page, and a parent packet that my grade level team put together called How to Be Extraordinarily Successful in 2nd Grade. It includes info relating to our state standards, how to contact the teachers, and some basic policies. I have not included a link for it only because it does not belong exclusively to me. It was made by one of my grade level partners and then tweaked each year by our team. But if you are interested I can talk to the team about getting you a copy. :)

At the end of the year last year I gave each of my kiddo's a bag with Swedish Fish and a little tag that said O-Fish-ally a 3rd grader. It was a good way to be a little silly with them in our last moment and not cry. :) I wanted to continue with that this year but thought it would be fun to give them one on the first day as well as the last day. These are the ones I used last year ( except they said 3rd grade). So I just printed off the 2nd grade version. This time I used rainbow goldfish crackers. I love how they look with the orange in the label. I'm sure the kiddo's will love them! ( You can get the labels HERE.)

The last thing I am going to share has a story. I have seen SO many cute book hospitals on Pinterest and wanted to make one for my room. Someone had said they found a little wooden ambulance at a craft store. But we don't have one in BR so when my best friend, my daughter and I hit up GR for a little back to school shopping on Friday I thought perfect! I can get one and make a super cute little book hospital.
We went to JoAnn's and first hit up the scrapbook section. I wanted to find some scrapbook paper with a hospitall-y aid's, stethoscope...something. NOTHING! We looked through that aisle 3 times just to make sure we didn't miss it! I thought ok, lets look in the stickers ...NOTHING!....the closest I came was a set of "boo-boo" stickers that looked like band aids but they were brightly colored and had little sayings on them. Not exactly what I was looking for. Finally made it to the wooden crafts aisle and, you guessed it, found NOTHING! The closest I could find was a tractor....and I can be crafty, but I was not sure how I could turn a tractor into an ambulance.
I remembered that I had downloaded this really cute set of classroom library expectations from SWIMMING INTO 2ND. They had a chevron background and like everyone else in the Pinterest world I am obsessed with chevron. One of the posters had a sign about putting damaged books in the book hospital. So I took the sign and cut out the ambulance and the words Book Hospital and attached them with actual band- aides to the tub I was using. I think it looks great. To get the posters you can go HERE. This way what they see on the sign matches where they actually go. Lemons into lemonade I guess.  


Spent yet MORE time in my room today...are we ever really done? And discovered I had two more projects that I forgot about!

I started with these boring tri-fold boards that have been taunting me with their blank-ness on my back counter for weeks now! I finally figured out what I wanted to do to them to "juj" them up.

I took some acrylic paint and a paint brush and splatter painted them! It was MESSY but fun! This was what I got.
And then I added the letters to them today. These will be my ABC/ Word Work Station and a Science and Social Studies one for the other. I think they look great and, even though they will eventually be filled with I can statements and anchor charts, the parts that are out will be fun! :)

Thing number 2!
I had these horrible to look at ,but very functional storage spaces between my cupboards. Last year I covered these area's with a tablecloth that I cut to size and then attached velcro to. The velcro lasted all of about two days and then the rest of the year my aide and I spent taping the darn things in place. NOT an efficient use of time and resources! I threw those away at the end of last year because after all the tape they had DEFINITELY seen better days. So I was left with this space here. :(

Enter this $3!!!!! beach towel from Walmart and two tension rods! I cut the towel in half width wise and then hot glued the top down to create a little pocket for the rod to slide through. ( I didn't sew it because well, I can't.)

AND VOILA! This is what I got.

I took a pic of the back counter so you could see both "curtains" in action. I LOVE IT! And I love that I won't have to tape it up all year long. :)

So there you have it friends. Head over to 4th Grade Frolics and link up yourself. Enjoy your Labor day!