Saturday, August 31, 2013

Before & After {New Classroom, New Look}

So as I've said before I moved into a new classroom this year.  Another firstie teacher and I are in side by side rooms with a retractable wall...that is completely retracted. Our plan and goal is to co-teach/team teach our first grade classes together this year with the plan of being able to better meet the needs of all of our students through small guided reading groups at a more individualized level.  We haven't gotten that far yet, but we are both SO excited with how well things have been going in our classrooms these first two weeks of school.

I've been asked a lot if we were told/made to teach this way this year and the answer is no. I truly believe our principal would never make us do anything.  She's great like that.  We went to her back in February after talking about the possibility of doing this, and asked our principal if it would be something she would allow us to do.  We have other classrooms that work a lot together and have a retractable wall open a little bit and another that is open a little more than halfway, but they are all different grade levels. We would be the first same grade level classes doing this with the wall completely open.  Our principal told us she thought it would be a fantastic idea and would really benefit the kiddos. Our long time 2/3 multiage teachers were both retiring at the end of the year and they occupied the rooms that we are in now. After the news was broke to the rest of the staff about our plans for this school year, the multiage teachers asked us if we would like to come look around our new room.  We of course said yes.

Sooo...I have a confession. I know I took about 500 pictures of my classroom before it was my room. However, the pictures have miraculously vanished! I know, crazy right?!? So it's lookin' like I won't have any before pictures, but I most definitely have some afters, so here goes.

 Dry Erase Circles for Small Group Activities
Ohhh...the beauty of it all
 The neon colored bins...
 The beautiful book bin labels to help the kids know EXACTLY where the books belong
 Can you tell yet that we LOVE books?!
 Nonfiction cart
 Beginning Readers
 Chapter Books
 Beautiful Chevron Alphabet with my own chevron inspired birthday cake months.  I took a picture of the kiddos for each birthday month holding a circle with the date of their birthday.
 Found these cutie patootie labels on Pinterest from Fun in Room 4B
 Our classroom jobs awaiting individual pictures of students
 My Math Rotation Board....NOW ON TPT! I seriously cannot wait to start using this this year.
 Adorable table group clips that I bought from Walmart for like $1.97 and painted with neon glow in the dark paint. TEACHER FAIL! They didn't glow! I was so bummed! I'll have to add more coats later to see if that will work. These were meant to hold my small word walls that would be placed at each table group.
 Sound boxes on the floor with white duck tape! Thank you Heather's Heart!
 Our adorable clip chart from A Cupcake for the Teacher! I just LOVE her stuff!  I just added a glittery sparkling sign to the top. The kiddos get to add a jewel to their clip when they end there.
 Clock Numbers {please ignore the ugly, purposeless hole under the clock. They changed our clocks last year and clearly they are smaller than the old ones.}
 BOGGLE Math Board
 I numbered these with patterned Scotch Tape. Not sure what I'm using these for yet. So far, the kids have put their library books in there.
 Guided Reading Cabinet
All of my guided reading/small group leveled library books are in this amazing cabinet. I have a labeled bin for almost every level A-P I believe.
 BOGGLE Board {I'm using as much space as possible! Can you tell?}
 Cookie Spellers {More on that to come}
 Storage and Coatrooms
 Obsessed with these chalkboard number posters from A Year of Many Firsts
 I'm totally in LOVE with all the bright colors, the poms, and the pennant! I got the pennant from Hobby Lobby for literally like $2.99!!
 Our calendar area and star student board.  I'll post a picture of the completed Star Student Board when I can remember to take one.

More to come soon! I'll be blogging soon about my awesome Math Rotation Board that will change your life!!!

P.S. Don't forget to follow me through Google or BlogLovin'! I'm considering a giveaway of any item in my store once I hit 15 followers!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ya' Gotta Love a Good TPT Sale!

Hey friends! Just poppin' by real quick to help spread the word that the huge annual TPT Back to School Sale is going on today and tomorrow. My whole store {which I know isn't much, yet} is on sale for 20% off. TPT is giving an additional 10%, meaning you can get up to 28% on your purchases!

I did some back to school shopping for some new clothes with my momma yesterday {even though school already started for me last week} and plan on doing some serious back to school shopping on TPT for my classroom.

So quick!!! Head on over to my TPT store to browse around and do some shopping! My homework binder is my best-selling item and can really help you manage who is returning their homework, while also having a record of that as well.

Enjoy friends and Happy Shopping! Don't spend tooooo much! {wink, wink}

Love, love, love the beautiful graphic from Amy Lemons! That girl is just all sorts of creative!

Friday, August 9, 2013

T-Minus One Week

Yeah, that's right. One. Week. Left!!!! How did this happen?! I literally feel like the summer just flew right by me! I'm sure the fact that I've spent all but two Tuesdays and Thursdays in my classroom this summer didn't help the cause.  However, I'm hoping all of my time and hard work this summer will pay off big time once the school year begins. I have been a busy little bee between creating things, organizing and setting up my new classroom, and decorating.

We finally got our class lists last Thursday, so I was anxious to get into school to see what cuties will be  landing in my room this year. I was so happy to see that I only have 17 kiddos so far. I know that may be insanely low for some of you out there, but we're a small corporation and my building is only K-3.  Having said that, we have 8 sections of each grade level except 3rd which has 7 sections. We are a BIG building and we are, quite frankly, busting at the seams! I'm hoping the corporation can get something figured out soon.  I'm getting sidetracked.  Onward! I had 23 kiddos last year, which was the most I've had in the 4 years I've spent at my school. I'm hoping and praying that I will end up at 20 or less. We will see soon enough. Registration is today and tomorrow.

With the school year approaching, I'm feeling surprisingly more at ease and prepared than I have in time's past. We will see if that changes come Monday on our first teacher workday.  The students come back on Tuesday. I almost have everything put away in my classroom and I've already started making some of the big copies that need to be done before school.  I have more to do that I'm hoping I'll get done tomorrow and some planning I would like to get done with the other 1st grade teacher that I'll be co-teaching with this year.

I'm anxiously awaiting the grand back to school TPT sale, but haven't yet heard anything about it!!!! I'm hoping it's sometime soon! I was wanting to purchase a couple of things BEFORE the school year started. Hopefully there will be some word on that here soon.

I'll leave you today with a couple of teaser pictures of what I've got done so far in my classroom! I'm absolutely LOVING how it has all come together and all to the bright, cheerful colors!!  ENJOY!

 The library was a BEAR, but SO worth it!
In love with the poms and pennants