Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three for Thursday

Continuing with the fun that is happening over at Blog Hoppin' we are heading into Three for Thursday to talk about 3 of our favorite things. Font, Blog, and Online Resource. It is VERY hard for me to choose favorites because of course I like MANY of all 3 things!

My Favorite Fonts
I have a lot of fonts that I choose from but these 2 seem to be my top picks!

You can find both of these fonts at Lettering Delights!

My Favorite Blogs
This is impossible because if you look at my side bar you will see that there are almost a million that I follow and check daily!  But this is the blog that inspired me to start my own classroom blog. :) 


My Favorite Online Resources

Totally addicted to this website and looking at everyone's pins. And then of course feeling like I need to create each and every thing I find on there!  I can't believe how many DIY crafts I made my daughter do with me this summer because I found it on Pinterest! Lol...

Also love love love...

Okay everyone....hop on over and tell us your Three for Thursday!!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where it all Goes Down Wednesday

Today is Where it all Goes Down Wednesday over at Blog Hoppin'! I have already posted pics of my classroom in a slideshow that you can check out here Classroom pics.  So feel free to head to that post, leave me a comment (:  and then head over to Blog Hoppin' to join in on the fun!   I just LOVE to see pics of everyone's classrooms! I could definitely spend all evening checking them out....even though I am exhausted from my 3rd day of school!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday

Well, I don't really feel like a "veteran" teacher yet to give advice, but I guess I kind of am in my school because we have so many brand new teachers this year. I am even a mentor this year to my partner who is in her first year of teaching too. So, I will give a few tips that really help me. :)

1. Keep yourself organized. You can't get to everything at once, so have a system that will help you remember what you still have to do and where you can find the things you have already done. There are some awesome teachers with great organizational plans out blog stalk if you need ideas!

2. Don't be afraid to ask for help.  If you don't know how to handle something or you need advice or ideas don't feel like a failure for asking someone to help you out. Just remember they have probably been there a few times and have figured out what works and what doesn't work.

3. Figure out what procedures you want to have in your room and hit them hard from day one until you feel like your kids have them down the way you want them. It may even take some reminder courses after long breaks, but that's okay! If your kids know what you expect of them and they learn the procedures thoroughly, it justs makes your year run that much smoother.

4. Have a good management plan and be consistent, but don't be afraid to try something else if it isn't working. One year I had a rough bunch of 4th graders and it took 2 or 3 different programs to figure out what would work for them. No 2 classes are the same and so they may need something a little different. But, what ever you choose be consistent with it. :)

Well, those I think are the most important things for I hope they help someone out!

Join in on the Teacher Talk Tuesday at Blog Hoppin'!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher

Well, today was my first day with my firsties and it went pretty well!  Of course it was only 2 1/2 hours so tomorrow will be the true test. :)  So, over at Blog hoppin' they have officially begun Teacher Week! Today is Meet the Teacher Monday so....nice to meet you!

My husband and I this summer when we went to visit my dad and stepmom in Texas. :)

Tell us a little something about you...

 I have been married for 8 years and have 2 children. My son is 16 (I started young...) and is beginning his junior year of high school and my daughter is 12 and is starting 7th grade tomorrow.  Although I am extremely busy preparing for school I am trying to balance my school time with my busy family time. As we all know it is harder than it looks!

How long have you been teaching?

This is my 6th year teaching and it is my fourth grade that I have taught. I started out in 2nd grade in a rural district. I was then hired in the city where I live as a Kindergarten teacher and taught at the same school for 2 years. The following year I moved to my current school where I changed to 4th grade (talk about shell-shock!) and after 2 years teaching fourth I am teaching 1st grade this year.  (Super happy to be back in primary!!)

You might not know...

I had my son when I was only 19 (just one year out of high school). So, school was put on hold for me a little bit. I went to community college and changed my major a couple of times, met my husband, bought a house at age 25, got married at 28 and then finally at age 30 finished college and started my teaching career.  It was a long hard road, but I feel like I have accomplished my goals and raised (or at least in the process of raising) 2 wonderful children. I wouldn't have been able to do it without the love and support of my amazing husband and family!

What are you looking most forward to this school year?

I am very excited to be back with my littles this year! It was a hard transition for me going from Kindergarten to those big 4th graders. It was a good experience and I did love them too, but my heart is with the little guys and girls. I have a lot of great ideas from all you wonderful blogging teachers out there and I can't wait to try them out on my new little friends! :)

What do you need to improve?

I'm really just feeling out the water right now. I have to get my brained reprogrammed for the training you have to put in with the little ones. I have forgotten how much training and preparation you have to put in at the beginning to get them the way you want them to be the rest of the year. 4th graders need training but these kiddos are going to need double the work. :)  I also am attempting Daily 5 and CAFE this year and I really don't have a good grasp of it yet. We will start our training on that Wednesday and I just want to feel like I know what I'm doing! lol.

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?

I basically LOVE all school supplies! When I see them out at the stores I tend to pick something up EVERY time I go shopping. It is a bad addiction and I end up with WAY more than I can ever use. (husband if you are reading...CLOSE UR EYES!)  But seriously, I love new pens and those Mr. Sketch smelly markers! I can't wait to use my new IPEVO document camera I just got this summer and FINALLY my new Regal Reading and Writing Easel that I have been coveting all these years! :) 

Well, now it's your turn to link up at Blog Hoppin' and join in on the fun!  I can't wait to "meet" the rest of you! :) 


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wow! I'm a Winner!!

So, I told you all about that awesome giveaway at Pre-K Mom's blog and can you even believe that I won!?!?  I absolutely NEVER EVER win anything!!  I am super excited about winning my first ever giveaway!  Thank you so much Pre-K Mom!  I can't wait to get my super fun prizes! :)


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Over...

Well, it's last day of Summer Vacation. Tomorrow and Friday we have our staff inservices and then the kiddos will arrive next Monday. Although I have been planning for this time all summer and I am super excited about 1st grade, it is hard to believe it is actually here. No more lazy mornings on the laptop and lazy afternoons at the pool. I think the part I hate the most is that it will start to get cold, then dreary old winter will be here. I'm looking forward to meeting my firsties though. Well, off to enjoy my last day of freedom~


Saturday, August 13, 2011


Be sure to stop by and checkout the giveaway at Pre-K Mom's site!!  She is celebrating her followers and giving away some great prizes! :)


Friday, August 12, 2011

Finally Finished!!

Well after about 5 1/2 days of work I think my room is finally finished until I get my class list and can work on things that need names. I am actually in LOVE with my classroom this year! It turned out better than I could have imagined and I'm not sure that these pictures will even do it justice. But, I'm going to share them anyway!  Since I took so many, I decided to upload them to my photobucket account and you can go view them that way.  Please leave comments and let me know what you think!  :)

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Classroom Setup: Day Four

Worked for most of the day before I had to pick my son up from the airport. I think we got a lot done. I had unpacked and put away most of the things I already had at school, so today I took in items I had stored in my basement from when I taught Kindergarten and most of the new items I have purchased this year. Here are some pics of what we accomplished. :)

Here is my word work station area. I have put away some of the materials in the carts and also on the shelf behind the table, but they are in no way shape or form organized and ready for the kids yet. I still need to work on that...

Here is my computer area. Added a lamp, some notepads and a cup of pencils. The boxes under the table will not stay there, they are going home when I'm done.  The green tub by the bookshelf is holding all my throw pillows for Daily 5.

I added my book bins (ice cube bins) to my tall shelves today. Still need to label them with students numbers. The pink tub isn't staying there but my prize box is. :)

Brought my new white shelves that hold the 3-drawer mini organizers that I am using for supply boxes. These also need labels and they will be ready to go. The white picket fence hiding my ugly radiator now has sunflowers and in front of it is a book holder containing magazines. The tubs to the left will disappear tomorrow. :)

Added a small table with 2 bamboo cushions underneath with a lamp and my collection of Shel Silverstein poetry books.

Added library books in the blue, green and turquoise bins. The white bins and items on the bottom shelf will be for Math Stations time.

Only one tub left to empty tomorrow and my area will be organized. I hung a number line and a pocket chart on my math board. (It still needs some work lol). 

And finally, my favorite task completed today is my new library area (to go along with the area you already saw)....I really LOVE it!!

I am using the white 4-tier shelves (but not stacked) like Jessica Meacham to put the bins on. The chairs will be options for Daily 5 time and the frog basket is going to be where they return the library books they check out. :) 

My plan for tomorrow is to finish up my area, unpack the other books that aren't going into my library yet and maybe start on my bulletin boards. I'm only working in the morning tomorrow and I also have to register my son for school, so I may not get to them. But I plan to get them finished on Thursday for sure! :)  On schedule to be finished by Friday?...I sure hope so! :)


Monday, August 8, 2011

Classroom Setup: Day 3

I only spent about an hour and a half in my room today. Instead, my mom and I helped my cousin set up her room.  She is a first year teacher so I wanted to help her get her room started too. My stepdad finished painting the trim in my room while we were working on my cousin's room. Then my mom and I worked a little while. Here is what we accomplished. :)

I added my rainbow rug to this little corner. This will just be an area where the kiddos can go during Daily 5 or work on Math Tubs. The white drawers on top of the shelf aren't staying there. Those are what I'm going to have the kids keep their supplies in.  The trapezoid table will be another place they can go to work on centers.

I put my alphabet rug down for our meeting area today. The items around the rug aren't staying they are just there to help it flatten out after being rolled up. :)

This is another view of my meeting area and my NEW Regal Reading Writing center. I LOVE it!! :)

This is a view of my room from the meeting area. The circle tables will be spots where the kids can sit to work on centers. The rectangle table is where my mom will sit with groups of kiddos that she is working with. Tomorrow we will be adding my library on the other side of the wood table.

Here my small group area. The tubs still need to be emptied and get my stuff organized over there. That is on my list for tomorrow too. :)

This is going to be my Work on Writing center area. The blue tub on top of the white rolling cart is where the kids will turn in their work. More about that later...

My computer area coming together all cleaned up with the cords straightened and an added lamp. :)

This the word work area. The shelf to the side has pillows on it for right now. Soon it will hold items for word work. Also the colorful carts are going to have word work centers in them too. The green board will have the word wall on it.

The book bin shelves and next to it is where the mailboxes new home is. The little rectangle table is another spot for kiddos to work.

And lastly here is another pic of my mom's area. :)

It is slowly coming together and I am so happy!!  My plan is to be done by Friday...we will see!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Classroom Set Up: Day Two

Worked more today on unpacking boxes and trying to organize all my stuff. We had a rummage sale this morning until noon so my mom and I only worked in my room for about 3 hours. Unpacked most of my extra supplies (except for the new ones I bought this year) and got those put away on a shelf in my coat closet. I have it in the middle of the walkway to block of my end of the closet where I keep my personal filing cabinet and storage stuff. So, no kiddos will be hanging their coats at this end of the hall. lol

The only thing I can't find yet is all my extra boxes of crayons. ?? hmmm....

Since we finished unpacking most of the tubs, I decided to start placing a few pieces of furniture. I still have a lot to place around the room, but I needed to get my area set up so I can unpack my resources and items that I want in my small group/teacher area.

So, ignore the tables in front of the kidney table.  They haven't been moved to their home yet. lol.  The brown book shelf to the left of my table will hold my resource books, folders, and teacher stuff I need. The tubs in front of the shelf still need to be unpacked and put away in this area, but I ran out of time today. Next to the bookshelf if you look really closely you will see a bit of white. That is my personal fridge to keep my lunch cold and hold my water or soda. I have my CD player sitting on top of it. To the right of my table you will see the blue and green drawer organizers. This is where I keep all of those items you would normally find in a teacher desk since I don't have one. :)

As you move past my area you will see the little brown table. It has 2 bamboo cushions on the bottom shelf (for Daily 5) and eventually it will have a cute little lamp and stuff on it. :)  The white board above it will be where I'm going to put our CAFE' menu. The black board next to that will have our AR goals on it. I can't decide if I want to do a fun goal for each month like in September put little apple trees and they can add apple stickers as they work toward their goals or if I just want to do something to go with my frog theme. We will see... The white shelf is going to hold some library books although this isn't going to be the actual classroom library area. It isn't set up yet. The large brown shelf is going to hold our math tubs. The black board behind the shelf will be our Daily 5 I-charts and stamina graphs.

Did I mention that my mom is my personal volunteer and comes to school with me everyday?  Yes, I am SUPER lucky to have an extra pair of hands, eyes, ears in the room with me. So, this is her area. This rectangle table was in my 4th grade room last year, so it still needs to be lowered to 1st grade size. That chair that is sitting there isn't staying. My mom has a new lime green computer chair with wheels that will be coming to school when the new stuff comes to school. To the left of her table are 2 black filing cabinets that hold extra colored paper, files, sheet protectors, envelopes, etc. Next to the file cabinets is an easel holding a large dry erase board that she will use for her groups that she pulls over to her table. In case you are wondering what is next to the filing cabinet on the other side it is a fence gate. I bought it 2 years ago and painted it white to hide the ugly radiator (heater) that is in our rooms. It has sunflowers hanging on it now and it will change as the seasons change. :)

My pile is getting smaller, but all the stuff you see against the green chalkboard still has to move to its home. The 2 large bookshelves by the window will hold the kiddos' book bins. I like how they have those really tall shelf space so they should fit really nice! :)

The large green chalkboard behind the computers will eventually be a word wall. It is magnetic so I think that will make it nice for easily changing and adding words. This computer area still needs some work!

More stuff that will eventually have a home.  Right now there is a book shelf holding some of the pillows that will be available in my room for Daily 5! And then you see the start of my teacher area again. I am planning to put Daily 5 anchor charts on that black board and the green board will be our Math Focus board.

Here is a view of the middle of my room.  Still have a lot of tables and chairs that need to be moved to their respected homes. lol. The green boxes are mailboxes from Really Good Stuff that my friend Beth is letting me borrow because she inherited some metal mailboxes to use. :)  I have NO idea where these little babies are gonna end up in the whole mix of the room, but I will find somewhere. And there in the background you can see my ENO board! :)

Well, we still have a LONG way to go...but it is coming together slowly but surely. I don't plan to go back until Monday and it won't be for long. My cousin just got her first classroom so I'm planning to go help her set up her room. :)  Happy Weekend everyone!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Classroom Set up: Day One

Well, originally we weren't supposed to get into our building until Monday the 8th. However, we had a meet-n-greet today where we walked around the school neighborhood and passed out magnets and welcomed families back to school. It was long and hot, but it was great to see some of the kiddos! :)  Anyway, our principal was super nice and let us get in our rooms a little early.

Remember that I not only switched from 4th to 1st, but I also completely moved rooms and floors. So, EVERYTHING I have is boxed up. My mom and I worked really hard to declutter some of the cabinets and closets. I donated a lot of stuff to the hallway so that it will hopefully find a new home and I also threw away a lot of junk too. My mom completely organized my reading cabinet with all my little leveled readers and such. I just need to make some labels so I know exactly what basket is what.

I worked really hard to organize my other cabinet with all of my math manipulatives.

Also, need labels here too...

And we were able to unpack some other boxes and start finding homes for the stuff in them. We at least cleaned off most of the tables in the middle of the room. Now, I have a few more boxes and tubs to unpack and I plan to start rearranging furniture and bringing in some of the new things I have bought this summer as well as some of the items I have had stored in my basement since I taught Kindergarten 2 years ago.  We still have a long way to go but with the meet-n-greet, I think we accomplished quite a bit today! :)

My stepdad is still planning to go in on Monday and finish up painting some of the blue trim and he is also going to add some more shelving in my coat closet. (That is where my math & reading cabinet are stored too.)  Sorry for the quality of my photos they were taken with my phone since I forgot to bring my camera!  Updates to come as we continue working. :)