Saturday, August 31, 2013

Simple Ideas for Your Classroom

Well, I'm done with week three of school and I've already rearranged about five times. It's amazing how things that you think will work don't end up working when there are kids in the classroom.

I moved my library around so one of the bookshelves is facing in.

After I moved the bookshelf,  I noticed that I could use the ends to display my anchor charts.

I used 2 Command hooks. I should own stock in these because I buy so many of them but they are so useful in the classroom. I also love the poster hanging strips. Anyway, I put my anchor charts on rings on the two corners and I now have a place to hang them. By the way, we are not working on opinion. That's just the top chart that I had available. I have several of them together on the rings so I can flip through what I need.

Another problem that I was having was displaying these huge high frequency word cards that come with our new reading series. I made some little ones for my word wall that I also have up but it's hard for my kiddos to see them across the room. I wanted to use these big cards because they are so easy to see but they don't fit in my pocket charts. So I took hot glued some clothespins on the wood strips between my bulletin boards. Now they are easy to change out and easy for the kids to see. 

Another thing that I am loving is this magnetic strip from The Container Store.
Stainless Steel Skinny Strips

It's adhesive on the back so I attached it to the wood strip near my teacher table. I am using it to hold all the important teacher papers that I need often like the bus duty schedule and report cards dates. It's also a great place to hang photos of my adorable nephew. The little magnets are very powerful and hold great.

A few other neat things that I got from The Container Store are these Post-It pockets, display frames, sticky strip, and a dry erase message center. I'll show how I am using these soon.

I have this locking cabinet behind my reading table. It's a great place for storage but I wanted to use the front of it for something. I decided to hot glue these large clothespins from Michaels to display the objectives for my reading groups and important things that I want them to remember. 

I am obsessed with these drawers from Target. I love how big they are and how much they can hold. I am using them for my reading groups and other things that I use quite often. I have a daily bin for each day but I usually copy more morning sheets than I need for the week. I put the extras in the drawer for the next week. 

Right now, I only have 3 reading groups. I've never had less than 4 so I'm going to see if this will work. I have that extra drawer up there just in case I need another group drawer.

What's your simplest tip for classroom organization? I would love to read what simple ideas you have come up with.

I hope you have a fabulous long weekend! I am so excited to watch my Tennessee Vols play today and spend tomorrow with my adorable nephew.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Show Off Your Space linky party

It's that time of year again to show off your classroom space. I decided to host my Show Off Your Space linky party again this year because I loved seeing your classrooms last year. So grab my button and link up below.

I have a few pictures of my classroom but please excuse some of the mess. I totally forgot to take pictures before the kids came.

 I ran out of bulletin board room so I used the blinds to display our reading goals. 

My new job posters - I made the job signs and used adhesive pockets from Michaels to hold the students' names. 
You can get these job labels for free by liking my Facebook fan page. Click here to get them.

 Cute birthday poster from Pink Cat Studio

 My locker tags
 Morning routine reminders

 AR points visual - eventually the little owl clips will have the students' names on them
My Big Joe chair (this thing is huge!)

I still have a lot of work to do on mine. My broken ankle really slowed me down so I didn't change too much about my classroom from last year. I'm still working on organizing my thousands of books and organizing my stuff. I'll get it done eventually.

I would love for you to link up and show off your space. Don't forget to grab the Show Off Your Space button to put on your blog post. 

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

First Week Done!

Shew! Last week was my first week of school with my kiddos and, boy, was it a long week. I thought it was never gonna end. Getting back on a routine is hard!

Here are some pictures from my week.

We made our reading goals for the year from my exclusive freebie on Owl-Ways Be Inspired. Click here to check it out. Since I have hardly any bulletin board space, I improvised a bit and hung their goals on the window shades. I usually keep the shades down anyway because I look right over a parking lot and it can be a bit distracting for the kids.

We made our Splat the Cats from my Back to School with Books unit. My kids loved making them and I had fun reading about their summer adventures. Click here to check it out.

We also did most of the activities from Amy Lemons' back to school math unit.

I loved seeing the kids work on the silent puzzles. It was amazing to see how many of them had no idea how to put together a puzzle.

Our mathematicians (also from Amy Lemons' unit)  turned out so cute! They fit perfectly on my classroom door. 
(Welcome banner from Teacher Created Resources)

Okay, friends, that's all for now. I've gotta go plan. Having a new reading series, even though I love it, is throwing me for a loop. I will try to remember to take more pictures of my classroom so I can take you on a tour. My back to school brain completely forgot last week. 

Don't forget to check out the TPT sale today and tomorrow. You can save up to 28%. My store is all 20% off plus you get more off if you enter the code BTS13 at checkout. 

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Best and Most Linky

The big TPT back to school sale is this weekend! Are you as excited as I am? I have a huge wishlist going of items I can't wait to get.

To help you get ready for the sale, I'm linking up with Christina Bainbridge to share the items from my store that I think would win superlatives (like in high school). 

Teacher's Pet

My teacher's pet is an item that has gotten great reviews and can be used by teachers on many grade levels. My Anchor Chart pack can help your students visualize the ideas of many ELA concepts. These are so easy to just print and use. You can also use them by showing them on your interactive whiteboard. 

Most Likely to Help Your Students Succeed

 Third grade version also available  

My new Wrap it Up with Common Core packs (available for 2nd and 3rd grades) are great ways to wrap up your daily lessons when using the Common Core standards. You can use the forms as exit tickets or as an assessment. This resource will also help you succeed on those drop in lessons by using my organizing ideas to have it ready for when the unexpected happens. This pack also includes a checklist or gradebook for each of the ELA Common Core standards that will help keep you and your students on track with the standards.

Best Couple

 The two resources that pair well together are my two inferencing packs that allow students to be an Inference Investigator. With If the Shoe Fits, your students will investigate a case of missing shoes by making inferences to solve the case. Your students will apply the same concept with hats in my Hat Hijacker pack.

Click on any of the images above to head to my store. You can also visit me by clicking on my blog button below.

I hope you have fun shopping on Sunday and Monday! 

Thanks to Beth Ann from Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs for the button!

I hope to be back tomorrow to show off some pictures from my first week of school.
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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Back to School Madness + Super September Centers

Hello friends! Sorry for my absence from the blogging world this week. This past week was my first week at school. We had meetings and time in our room during the week and finished with a Meet and Greet on Friday afternoon. It's sad that I'm already exhausted! Getting my room ready with a walking boot is no joke. My leg felt like it was 20 pound by the end of the week.
Tomorrow is my first day with kids! I completely forgot to take pictures of my classroom so I will be sure to do that this week. It's come a long way in a week.

I thought I would share with you what I am going to do this first week with my students. It always helps me to see other people's ideas.

For math, I am doing almost all of the activities from Amy Lemons' "Let's Get Started" pack.

This pack has wonderful activities to introduce students to math. This is definitely something you should purchase from TPT to get your math started the right way. 

For ELA, I plan on reading lots of back to school books. One of my favorite books for back to school is "Back to School, Splat." I am using my "Back to School with Books" pack and letting my students make Splat and having them describe one of their summer adventures. My kids loved making Splat last year!

I will also be doing some other activities from my "Back to School with Books" unit during the week.

We will also be working on building some character. One activity that I found on Pinterest that I love was the wrinkled heart activity.

I'm not sure where this is from. If it's yours, please let me know so I can give you credit.

We will be reading these books this week as we talk about character.


I hope to share more as the week goes on. I'm going to be working on more of my weekly plans today.

In other news, I finished my Super September centers. I hope this helps all of you that really plan ahead. Click on any image to head to my TPT store.

Have a great week!

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