Friday, July 26, 2013

A freebie for yoU!

It's been awhile since I've offered a freebie so I wanted to make sure to give my followers a little something to enjoy!  I'm currently enjoying the last few weeks of summer and spending time off and on getting ready for school.  My new favorite thing about social media is that I never have to shop around for my classroom anymore.  Everyone else is posting pictures of all of their great finds online!  I now have a list of things to get at the best prices and I know right where to go.  I used to have to run around to 10 different stores trying to figure it all out and now I have an army of teachers already doing that.  In the spirit of teachers helping teachers, I hope you enjoy this free Chevron Alphabet & Numbers 0-20.

Pinterest pins welcome!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

IKEA finds

Last week my dear sweet friend Trish and I drove 3 hours to Charlotte, NC to visit IKEA.  I thought I would post what some of our treasures were just in case you are living under a rock! Most of the items I picked up have been around Pinterest a time or two.  I do however stock up on some of the same items each summer when I go.  Trish also just moved and was on the hunt for home decor.  Overall, it was a successful trip. 
We needed a real cart and a furniture cart. 

Here are some of the smaller items. 
Picture 1) Small plastic containers - perfect size for markers.  I make a box for each of my tables. 

Picture 2) New container for pencil cups.  I have chalkboard themed tags for them that I think will really pop on the aluminum. 

Picture 3) - This is an Instagram picture from my new PIP App.  It's a lot of fun to play around with.

Picture 4) Small glass jars (4 per pack).  I envision these filled with paper clips, eraser tops, binder clips, and rubber bands.  I think they will work great for those little hard to organize can't live without pieces. 

Picture 5) Book boxes (5 for $2.00) - these fold out and are perfect for holding magazines and books.  I've used them every year and they work great.  They're really the cheapest way to go when trying to let every child have their own book box.  They also work great in cubbies.  I saw someone post that they spray painted theirs.  If you have ever spray painted them, I would love to hear how that turned out.  I feel like there would be a lingering smell and a sticky surface...hmmm. I would love feedback on that. 

The best find of the day is my new Poang chair.  I was on the fence about the chair and the name just grabbed my attention.  Shallow, I know.  I just love the word "Poang" - Let me just add my disclaimer that I know I'm probably saying it wrong but I love it anyway...I hear "p" long o, long a, "ng". Clear as mud? 
Trish also convinced me to get another Poang chair that is identical to this one but is kid size.  I haven't assembled them but when I do they will be adorable sitting side by side.  The big chair will be mine and the small one for students.  I plan to use the smaller one as the special chair students use to share their writing and to read to the class. 
I also picked up another easel.  These are wonderful if you don't have one.  They are $14.99 and the perfect size.  If you are in need of an easel on a budget, IKEA is the place to go. At this price, they also make great gifts for teachers. The backside is a chalkboard and the front is dry erase (not magnetic). 

Just to share a non-teacher idea with you, Trish picked this basket chest up.  It looks great in her new living room and stores extra blankets and pillows.  

I hope my IKEA finds were useful.  I blogged about them for my biggest fan Holly who really wanted to know what was in the cart! 

I've been pretty active on Instagram this summer. It's a lot of fun and I think a good window into my "real" life.  Click on the button to find me. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday Classroom Pictures

Thanks for joining me for throwback Thursday!  I chose this post based on reader response last year!
My classroom is finally done! a classroom ever really done? No.  However, I'm at least ready to show you what my new group of first graders will see on Monday morning.  This is my home away from home...
I chose to go with a polka dot theme but limit my colors.  I attempted to keep black as my base with my colors being blue, green, and pink.      
This is the view from my classroom door. 

...and this is the view if you turn a little bit to the right :)

This is the center of  my carpet area.

Here you see our listening center and carpet area that is in front of the Promethean Board.  On the back wall  you see my word wall and word family posters.

This is the back area of my room.  Our CAFE board and math vocabulary board. 
If you look close, I have another carpet area in the back left of the room.  This is where my classroom library is.  You can also see my assistants desk in the corner and our classroom hooks.  I'm not sure how I didn't get a better picture of this area.  

I'm diving in this year with CAFE! So excited. 

Our morning calendar area.  The 2 column graph will be part of our morning routine. It will work as a yes/no graph. Above the board I have my classroom numbers.  You can find those HERE

To the right of our calendar I have my literacy station choices on a magnetic board.  If you look close on the top left square you see one clothespin.  I plan to write class names on each clothespin and move the clothespins around as needed.  Since everything clips or is magnetic, I think this will help me make changes easier than in the past. 

Our school will be studying one country each month this year and this "culture corner" will represent some of the things we are learning.   Additionally, I am so excited to be participating in a post card exchange and this area will also be used for that. 

This cute little bookshelf was a beast to put together! It will be home to my desk supplies and lesson plans.  Once again, I have ditched the big teacher desk and will be using my small group table. 

I was trying to see the view from the eyes of my first graders when I took this picture.  My favorite part of this area is my new polka dot cushion  for my wicker chair.  To the left I have my birthdays displayed. You can grab them for FREE HERE

This is home to our clipboards.  Each student has one.  After school gets started and our routines are in place, I allow a lot of movement when working.  Students take their clipboards and are allowed to find an alternate spot in the room to work.  This worked well for me last year.  It's amazing the ones who you think would not be able to handle such freedom, they are the ones who find a spot and work the hardest. 

I really just wanted to show off my cute bow on my student folders :) Janah from Door Decor by Janah makes all my bows because she loves me :).  If you haven't checked her out you must!

I found black and white contact paper and used it to cover this paper organizer.  Before it was multi-colored.  I really didn't feel like painting anything else and I think the contact paper worked great!

My craft drawers.  I plan to make cute labels for each drawer that say "create", "dream", and "inspire". 

These are my crate seats from last  year.  I recovered them with this fun black and white print.  Quick Tip: I just placed new fabric over the old...there really wasn't a need to pull off the old fabric.  I think the whole makeover took about 15 minutes. 

My wicker chair and polka dot cushion.  

Culture Corner...see the flag? Someone put it there. It wasn't me...really! I can't figure out who it was.  They staged it nicely didn't they? 

This is the sign outside my classroom.  Created by none other than Janah at Door Decor by Janah

This is a bow on a lamp...I'm telling you, a few simple bows make all the difference. 

My leveled readers.  I used old boxes from IKEA from last year.  They were a little beaten up so I covered them with black Duck Tape and I think they should last for at least one more year. 

This is home to my listening station.  My headphones are in the round green containers and the books for the listening station are in the bottom 2 containers.

This is my work area. I also covered the top counter with black and white contact paper.  I even made the mailboxes myself.
I have drawers for each month. In these drawers, I put the items used in that particular month that really don't fit in a folder or notebook.  I have used this type of storage for 3+ years and it's the best way I have found for random items...butterfly net, bells, large craft templates, play props etc...

This is my new beautiful carpet from Lakeshore! I know it doesn't match even a little bit but it's new, and it's mine, and I adore it.  More than that, I am pumped that each student will have their own space that they can actually see.

My pencil cups (sharp & dull) and my storage drawers (scissors, glue, dice, cubes, makers, colored pencils).

Pencil cups.

This is the view of my small group table/desk area.

As we learn the sounds that letter combinations make, I post the visual in the room and we read these daily just like we read our word wall.  You can find these sound circles HERE

This is how I display our daily specials.  

My table baskets.  You can read more about them HERE if you would like. 

These containers hold my teacher read alouds.  If you follow me on Facebook, these are the containers I was searching for from Dollar General.  As you can see there is still one missing at the time the picture was taken.  The easiest way I have found to sort books that I know I will need to read and/or teach with, is by month.  It's not a perfect organization system, but it allows me to put my hands on the book around about the time I need it.

Daily baskets. "I need more time.", "I'm finished.",  "Daily Sentence Editing", and "Daily Math Journals".  After I check over the daily journals, they go right back to the basket and are ready for the next day.  Check out both links - practicing these skills each day makes a huge difference. Promise!

This is a close up of my word wall and word families.  You can find these alphabet letters HERE

I hope you enjoyed this tour of my room. I would love your feedback :) 

Here are your quick links:
Polka Dot Alphabet {Black and White}
Sound Circles {Blue and Green}
Scallop and Poklka Dot Alphabet and Number Line
Polka Dot on Black Alphabet
Polka Dot Birthday {Black and White}


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