Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to School Classroom Pictures

Still surviving my first week of school. Whoever thought that beginning the first day of school on a Monday was a good idea, surely has never taught elementary! Whew!!! And these babies are EXHAUSTED! I swear by 10:00 most of them are D.O.N.E.!! But thats because we are big first graders and we are working so hard. I have lots to share about our first week coming soon. But first I want to share some pictures that I have been too busy to post!
First is my back to school bulletin board.
I wish I could have gotten a straight shot of it but our halls are too narrow! Here it is from the other angle.
My classroom is not sports themed, I just thought that this was a cute idea. I think my husband inspired me, he's been counting down football season ever since the summer. Me? I could care less! :)
I made the cute little football players and cheerleaders by purchasing a few sets from Scrappin Doodles. Then I projected the images and traced them out. You probably can't see it from the pictures but the little footballs have the students names on them. We are working on a writing piece about how we can be a team player this year to go up with their footballs. I love it. Back to school bulletin boards are probably my most favorite part of coming back to school. I love to walk the halls and see what everyone else comes up with and I gotta tell ya, my school has some pretty cute stuff!
Next are pictures of my classroom. Keep in mind that it is pretty bare bones. Lots of student work and decorations will be coming soon. But stalking seeing other classrooms is one of my favorite things to look at in blog land.
I love my writing area. On the back of the shelves, facing the cubbies are the students book boxes. I have my letterland cards on the writing table. Usually these are on the floor or sitting on the board but it was meet the teacher night so I was trying to get it out of the way.
Look at all of this storage!!! The two tables in the back are my assistant and my small group tables. We have small groups during daily five, math, and phonics.  
This is our reading area.The picture turned out kind of dark. I'm working on some better/bigger pillows.
It's a work in progress but it's my second home!
I'll have more on my first week of school soon!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Must Have Monday {Teacher Week}

Must have Monday Countdown:

#1 A strong phonics program!

Our school adopted Letterland last year and my teammates and I couldn't be any more thrilled. Its geared for K-2 phonics instruction and teaches the students phonics and spelling patterns through stories that they actually understand, remember, and love. Ya'll this program has a story and an explanation for every spelling pattern and sight word. It amazes me the creativity that was involved with making this program. And the best part is, I LOVE to teach it. If you aren't satisfied with your phonics program I highly recommend looking into Letterland.

#2 A good pencil sharpener!

Ya'll, I can't even count the number of pencil sharpeners that I have gone through in just 6 years. Finally last year with a little help from our Fall Festival earnings, I invested in this beauty. Pencil sharpening has never felt so good and obviously by this picture I have quite a few pencils to sharpen before school starts.

#3 A lesson plan book {with lines!}

Does this old school blue lesson plan book look familiar to any of you? We used to get these free at the beginning of each year and then all of a sudden they stopped giving us lesson plan books. So last year I ordered one without looking carefully enough and it didn't have lines {gasp}! It was a tough year with no lines. But over the summer I ordered old faithful and  decorated her with some stickers. I love all of the awesome computer template lesson plans that I've been seeing but for some reason, I like to have it hand written. This lesson plan book will follow me everywhere...meetings, weekends, car trips, you name it just in case an idea hits me or I want to change something around. Let me know if any of you still like to do it old school style with me! ;)

#4 Diet Coke!

Yep, I'm an addict and I know it! I limit myself to one a day. I don't even drink it for the caffine, just for the fizz and the flava!

Check out what other teachers say is their must haves! Click on the picture to take you there!

Have a great day!


Monday, August 13, 2012

How We Get Home Labels! {Freebie}

Who doesn't get confused and sometimes frusturated with the constant changes of how your student(s) get home each day. For me the most terrifying part of a changing schedule is sending the student home the wrong way. Scary! So I got some inspiration from pintrest {of course} and made these little tags. Click on the picture to download yours for free!

I have mounted them to my wall with ribbon and will have a clip for each student. After I check agendas each day or when my secretary calls me throughout the day with a change, I can go over to this display and move that child's clip in the appropriate place. Then when it is time to line up and go home, I have everyone organized where they need to be. Here is the general idea {without student names yet}.

This idea came from  tattling to the teacher and you can see her blog post and labels here!

Visit Tara at 4th Grade Frolics to see what other ideas teachers have made this week!

Don't forget, today is the last day for the teachers pay teachers back to school sale. Be sure to check out my Constitution Day Packet!

Let me know what you think!
Love to all!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back to School Sale!

It's back to school time and tpt is having a sale! We all know that I just started this blog so I don't have a whole lot on here. But I do have one little packet in my tpt store that I spent a whole lot of time and put lots of thought into. It's for Constitution Day. How many of you forget about teaching Constitution Day until the week of? Guilty!!! Did you know that its required by law that all of us have to teach it? But how do you teach K-2 students about the Constitution??? Ya'll, I came up with the easiest playing a game!! It actually teaches them about the Constitution with hands on learning. And after playing this game, they are sure to remember why we have a Constitution. I also included two math games to use during math tubs, an adorable craftivity, writing prompts {for formative assessment} and a whole lot more. Here is a preview!

After buying this packet, I promise you, no more scrambling around trying to find things at the last minute and not doing the Constitution justice by teaching it the right way to little minds.

Here's the best's on sale!!! This Constitution Day Pack is only a little over $2.00. Worth it??? Yes!

Check out all the other great sales going on by other fabulous teachers over at blog hoppin.

To go to my store and see more previews of this packet click here!

Happy shopping and love to all!!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Composition Books

Here is what my first grade team and I are doing with our composition books this year. Times are tough and we realize this for all of the families of our students. We asked for each student to send in two composition books. With the first book we each take it home to our wonderful husbands and/or dads and ask them to cut them in half. Word of advice from my dad, use a small saw blade otherwise it can chew them up. So instead of one big composition book, we now have two small ones that we are using as the students' word work journal and math journal.

 In the past we have used regular sized composition journals but  {big surprise} the students were just wasting the pages. So now we use these mini journals and it works great!

The other composition book we use as their writing journal. It looks like this:

{I have different labels for the boys}

Now here is what is special about these journals. I don't know about you but I always have students who just LOVE to share what they write, but can never find their story. Or they open up to any blank page and begin writing {which is a total pain for me because I don't want to spend forever trying to find what they have written (cause I love to leave them little notes) }. The solution? A permanent bookmark! Here is how you do it:

Open up to the back cover and hot glue a piece of ribbon near the spine.

Now your ribbon can mark the page of any story your little sweeties are working on. No more frusturation for you or for them. Yay!! Pretty sure I will be using a ribbon bookmark for all of my journals this year.

Check out this cute ribbon I found at Michaels today! I know, its perfect!

I'd love to know how you are using composition books in your classroom. Check back soon for first day/week ideas!

I'll end this post with a picture of the tazmanian devil whenever he enters my classroom. Too cute to get upset with!

Love to all!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Meet the Teacher

The countdown begins to the start of school and this year I am going to be ready! Here's what I've been working on for meet the teacher. Usually I make a big packet of stuff to send home when students come in for meet the teacher. Since our school is working so hard on conserving paper, I've changed it up a bit. This is what students will have waiting for them on their desks when they come in:

  • "I've been bubbling with excitement to meet you" gift {click here to get it}
  • Magic Confetti to use the night before the first day to help get rid of those jitters {click here to get it}. The bags I used are from Michaels in the baking section. I think they are lollipop bags...real cheap! For a more detailed explanation click here.
  • Welcome to First Grade cover sheet with important first day tips {see below for a closer look}
  • Student Information Sheet for parents to fill out that day. {click here to get it}
The rest of my papers and info sheets including the ABC's of First Grade, What Your Child will be Learning in First Grade, Classroom Management, Homework, Our Schedule, Parent Volunteer Sheet, etc will either go home in their BEE Book {update was wrong, check back in a few days and I'll have everything fixed and BEE book for you to print!} or will be posted on my classroom website.

Here is a closer look at my Welcome to First Grade Sheet. Keep in mind it isn't complete because I don't know our specials schedule yet!

Check back in tomorrow to see how creative my first grade team is with compostion books. There may be some free labels too!

I would love to know what cute ideas you have for Meet the Teacher!

Love to all!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back to School Gift for Students {Freebie}

Check out my back to school gift for the kiddies!

Its no secret that at this time of year I am not only broke but running short on time. I checked pintrest the other day for back to school gifts for kids and found some adorable ideas (including a little pencil made from rolos and a hershey kiss), but none of them were easy, quick and cheap enough for me. So I made one up myself. I bought a pack of 24 bubbles from Target for $4.00...

and created these little labels!

I was going to tie with a cute ribbon but taping it to the front was way faster, easier and in my opinion just as cute!

Click here for your copy of the bubble labels. Let me know what you think!

I'm currently working on more back to school/meet the teacher cuteness and ideas so check back in a few days!! Love to everyone!