Friday, August 10, 2012

Classroom Pictures...FINALLY!!!!

Wow. I am pretty much beyond exhausted. School has not even officially begun yet. It doesn't start until Thursday. I wasn't supposed to spend so much time on my room because I thought everything was finished and I couldn't take the heat in my room. Well, I didn't stick to that and ended up in my room pretty much everyday this week except Monday and today. Not only have I been working in my classroom, I have been doing loads of stuff at home. I feel like my list is never-ending. I guess it doesn't help that the list I make is mental so everything is all over the place. I need to get better with that. I try to think about things that HAVE to get done and worry about the other stuff later. The problem is everything HAS to get done. To top it off, some things are going on with my family (nothing to serious, thank God) and I have that on my mind, too. I am just ready  to meet my new students so all this hard work can really be worth it. :)

So here's what my classroom looks like. It is not completely finished, but I can't keep everyone waiting forever. I just need to do the little labels and finishing up some boards. A lot of these ideas I got from other blogs, but I might forget so please, if it is your idea, please comment so I can you give credit. I am not going to explain every picture, but Ill try to give you the most important details. It's a lot of pictures so please bare with me.

Crayons are organized by colors in the caddies. Second shelf is for homework, money, and  notes.
Bottom shelves will be for take home book forms (more about that later), box tops, and my treasures (pictures and  notes kids write me)

WBT teaching Rules! I made these! You can get them HERE! 

Bucket fillers...can't remember where I got the printouts. 

Daily five posters will go here eventually. 

These are the decoding and comprehension reading strategies from teaching in flip flops  

Classroom library books that I will eventually exchange out for the kids to use. Don't want to many books out at once!

Kids love this!

Write the room station. This is one of my additional stations for daily five. There will be different sheets for them to choose from in the paper trays. In the yellow bin are lots and lots of pointers.

Word Work Station (still needs some work)

Stuffed animals for kids to read with during read to self.

Black laundry basket with wheels from target. Big books will go here. This is also another added station that the kids do during the daily five. That rocking chair I got from a garage sale my first year for five dollars. My mom made the pillows for me. Doesn't really match my theme, but I love it anyway. :)

Calendar (not finished) I can't remember where I got the money posters from. Love them!

Need lables still but kids will turn work in by subject area in the first 6  trays. The rest are for extra supplies.

Listening station

Hard to see, but I pushed my desk against the wall. 

My favorite thing about my classroom. Thank you Dandelions and Dragonflies!

Close Up: Book Baskets for Daily five, Paper tray for unfinished work, and privacy folders. The very top shelf is for scissors/glue, pencils, and bucket filler notes.

Also on the shelves! No more scraps of paper every where! Thank you Rowdy in Room 300!

Our school theme is sports: Get in the Game. First grade has football. It took me 2 hours to do this board. I  think I am going to keep it up all year. Thank goodness for Pinterest!

I just happened to have this in my room last year. Goes along with our school theme. It's about the only football thing inside my classroom.

Well, what do you think? Like I said, I am not finished, but will be by Thursday. I have no choice. :) MY KIDDOS ARE COMING!!!

I did manage to do some things non school related today. I got my hair done and a pedicure. I also went back to school clothes shopping. Finally spending money on myself!!! I am super excited about these jeans I got from Macy's that I am going to pull off as dress pants. Well, khakis. I am all about being fashionable and comfortable this year...
And also, I didn't forget.....I have 51 followers!! Yay! I am so happy! I know it is not the millions that some people have, but I am just blessed that people are interested in my blog. Thank you so much to all of my followers!!! A giveaway.....hmmmmm...I think I am going to wait until I get 75 followers. Seem like an odd number? It is, but I am different and that is OKAY. :)

Well, have a fantastic Friday. I am going to try and do something fun this weekend and finish up the last bit of school stuff before the big day. I won't stay away from blogging for too long. :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Made it! and Target Finds...

Another Monday! I can't believe that this is my last Monday of summer vacation. I am really having mixed feelings. It's going to be a LONG school year. So excited to meet my kiddos, but I sure am going to miss lounging around with my dog and just relaxing. Ahhhh, sweet summer coming to an end....

Another Monday also means, Monday Made it! Yay! Love this linky! I have been working hard on lots of stuff since I went back into my classroom last Wednesday. I am so proud of myself for being so productive this summer. It is amazing how much time I have saved myself at school doing stuff at home. I do believe it has a lot to do with blogging buddies...they really encourage me to get working and be creative!
So here are a few things I have been working on:

Objectives Posters

Nothing fancy. I made these on word and printed them off on legal paper. I glued to a piece of construction paper and laminated it. I plan to use these for writing objectives. There are magnets glued to the back. I have an objectives spot in my room where these will go. If you don't want to make your own, I can send you my version in word. Just email me. :)

Table Group Signs
I did not make the fish! I actually bought the cutouts from the teacher store. They are from Creative Teaching Press and go with the Poppin Patterns theme...which is my theme! They come in a pack of 12. I taped each one to piece of small poster board. They are actually two sided. I wrote in the table names. Every year I name my tables encouraging words. The kids love it and they even use the words when working with peers! 

Reading Pointers 
back of pointers with student numbers
 These are what I call reading pointers. The kids will use them during read to self or read with partner for pointing to the words as they read. I got the colored Popsicle sticks from the Dollar Tree. I drew a smiley face on one side and put their student numbers on the back. Students will keep these in their book baskets.

Saw this on Pinterest from Mrs Shannon's first grade class website. She has some awesome things on there. I decided to make my own..again it's not anything fancy! I am just excited about something that is going to cause one less distraction in class!! If you want my label you can get it HERE. The clip art is from Discovery Education , They have some really cute clip art that is free for the most part,  just make sure to read the terms.

And that's it for my Monday Made it! :)

So, I went on another trip to Target. I am really addicted. I am also in love with that place. I have decided that since I have to get a summer job next summer (because I might be saving for a very special event ;), I am going to apply to Target. I am not kidding, 
Well anyway, have you checked out their party section? They have some cute prizes for kids! They come in packs and are usually between 1 and 3 dollars. I thought these were SUPER cute:
Mini Skateboards
Mini Hair clips
I know the kids will love these!

I know you are probably waiting for some pictures of my classroom since I have been in 3 full days already working hard. I did say I was going to post some last Friday, but I just couldn't do it! I want it to be almost completely finished before I show you my classroom. I am going into school for the entire day Tomorrow and then I should be ready for LOTS of pictures. I am pretty excited to share with you! 

Okay, okay, I will give you a little peek...remember that table I talked about in my last Monday Made it post? Well, here it is at it's new home:

Guess what? I painted over the polka dots, I couldn't take it anymore! The table is in the writing center. I think it looks good! Yes, that's a giant Sulley from Monster's Inc! The kids love to read with him! He is huge, but I love him. I have had him since my first year of teaching and it's one of those things I will always keep even if I teach high school, ha ha! Would you believe he was only five dollars??

Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Where have I been?? 

Let's see....on Tuesday I had my first experience with Netflix. I watched at least 5 episodes (in a row) of Law and Order Special Victims Unit. I am kind of addicted. I also went to the Cubs game. Cubs did horrible (as usual), but the food was good!

On Wednesday, I went back to my classroom!! I have been crazy busy since then. I have also been crazy HOT. Why? There is no air conditioning! None! It's a long story, but we are in the process of getting brand new units so they aren't going to waste time fixing the old ones. Word is, it won't be until the day before school starts that the air will be fully installed and up and running. The temperature in my room today was at least 85. I opened doors, bought my own fan from home, and wore shorts and a tank top. Didn't really help. It is  REALLY hard to work in there. Today, was the absolute worst. My hair was dripping with sweat. Not good. Despite the heat, I still managed to get a lot done. I know you want pictures, but I am just not ready, yet. :) Tomorrow, I might give you a little preview. 
Here are some pictures of what it looked like on Wednesday:

Even though I love working in my room, I don't think I can manage the heat too much longer. I plan to work in my room tomorrow and come back next Tuesday. Then I am going to do everything else from home. We don't have to report to school until Monday, August 13th so that gives me time to gain my sanity back. 

I already have first day jitters and it's only August 2nd. I couldn't sleep last night. It might have been  because of the caramel mocha iced coffee that I insisted on getting from Dunkin Donuts, but I highly doubt it. All I kept thinking about was my classroom. I ended up waking up at 5:23 a.m. That's just insane. I really need to relax a bit. I know I am not the only teacher who feels over whelmed all I guess that makes me feel a little better!

Remember those book shelves I told you about in this post? Well, my dad is coming to school tomorrow to put them together for me. I am so thankful for him! I am hoping it doesn't take him too long because I am only planning on working a couple of hours in my room tomorrow. My sweet teammates are supposed to be coming to work on their rooms, too. Much to my advantage, I was the only one of my teammates who has been working on their room since Wednesday. It's always nice to be a little ahead. :)

So, a bloggy friend told me a different way to remove permanent marker from things that are laminated. Write over it with dry erase marker and then erase. Well, I tried it for the first time today and IT WORKED! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing.  I've been using nail polish remover since the beginning of my teaching career and it was messy and time consuming. You don't know how much easier this makes my life!!!

Our local teacher store has a lamination special at 50 percent off. For the whole month of August, it is 38 cents a square foot. THANK YOU GOD!! Here is what I got laminated yesterday:

See those tiny circles? I know you're question is probably what am I going to do with those tiny circles? I will share, soon, don't worry! The question I have for you is how long do you think it's going to take me to cut those out???

I got my class list and I have 17 first graders! OMG! My first year I had 27, the last two years I had 24, and now 17. It really is a blessing. We are expected to get a few more between the 4 of us teachers, so I am thinking 20. That is still amazing. Don't you agree? What are your classroom numbers looking like this year?

By the way, I noticed that my pictures weren't showing up on my last Monday Made it post. I updated the post and you can check it out HERE.

Have a great night! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

My 2nd Monday Made it and PIZZA!!

OMG it is Monday! Two more days and I will be back in my classroom getting it all ready for my kiddos. I am actually pretty excited! Not about starting work soon, but setting up my classroom, ha ha!
Well, if it's Monday, that also means it is Monday Made it!! This is my second one and I am so happy to share what I have been working on!

So, remember that table I told you about in this post? Well, this weekend was spent mostly working on painting the table. Let me just say, I have NEVER painted anything before. Nothing like a table. I thought it was going to be so easy, but it wasn't. I did have help. My boyfriend was nice enough to help me at 8 in the morning on a Saturday and Sunday. He was great help, but I just expected it to be so much easier. I guess I kinda wanted the table to just magically appear black with lime green polka dots. I'm not joking.

Here it is before. We are in the process of sanding it down.
Well, it didn't turn out how I expected, but for some reason I like it. If you look up close you can see where the spray paint smeared the polka dots. I tried to touch it up as much as I could, but after awhile I just decided to leave it. I probably need to add more polka dots, but it was hard enough getting the five on! It is not the best painting job, but I am happy with it. I think it looks kind of artsy! :) I am planning to use this as a table for the kids to use during "work on writing". I think it is going to get the job done and  I think the kids will love it! If you have any advice on painting, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE. 

 I spontaneously, decided to go to Hobby Lobby and came home with 4 wooden letters (@1.99 each), Mod Podge ($4.99), and acryclic paint (.64 each). I finally decided to make those READ letters that have been all over Pinterest. The question is...where I am going to hang these up in my room???

First experience with Mod Podge! I literally freaked out when it started off white. I thought I ruined the letters. I screamed. Not kidding. Of course, it dries clear, (Why, didn't I know this?) and it turned out pretty good! I will definitely be using Mod Podge again!!!! :)

I also made these:

We have a "Teacher Meet and Greet" the day before school starts. One of my sweet teammates, gives each student a paper bag with a label for them to remember to bring their snack on the first day. Of course, I stole her wonderful idea. :) (Don't worry, she knows!) I usually use labels, but with all the money I have spent on school stuff already, I decided to just make boxes on word, cut them out, and tape them to the bag. If you are wondering if the kids actually use the bags, THEY DO! It is so cute to see them pull out the bags with their snack on the first day. 

All right, so that's my Monday Made it! I hope you enjoyed! Leave me some love, tell me what you think, and don't forget to check out what everyone else has been doing!

This has nothing to do with teaching, but I just wanted to share...this may be for people who live in Illinois only, not sure. Have you ever heard of the grocery store, Dominicks? Well, did you know they have a pizza shop? You can call ahead and order a hot fresh pizza! They have a variety of toppings and the pizza is HUGE! It is delicious! For me to say that a pizza is delicious is pretty rare because...get ready for it....I AM NOT A FAN OF PIZZA! I KNOW CRAZY! But anyway, if you have a Dominicks where you live, I highly recommend their pizza. Ready in 20 minutes, serves 2-4 people, and it is only $7.50!!! :)
Not the actually pizza, but I just wanted to make your mouth water.
All this talk about Pizza is making me hungry...WAIT...I am ALWAYS hungry....

I'm grabbing some breakfast before I begin my day finishing up "school stuff" and blogging. I hope you have a very wonderful and productive Monday! :)