Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's Finally Done!

School started yesterday, and I don't think I was actually ready for students to arrive until Tuesday night! But, my classroom is done, or at least done enough. I never feel like it's actually done...I make changes every year. My last classroom finally felt done after being in it for three years, and then I had to move! But, this room is much bigger, and I've finally settled in. Here's the tour:

This is the board directly to the right when you walk in. It's ready for anchor charts and pictures of my Stars of the Week! And if you're wondering what "Secret Stories" are, I will post about those soon! 

Every teacher who walked in my room while I was covering the ugly black tops of my windows scolded me for being up there while pregnant (apparently there's an old wives tale about not raising your arms above your head??), but I managed to get it done! Now I just hope the tape holds it up all year!! My book boxes are ready to be filled up with Good Fit books!! 

 Organizational tip: Envision math came with all of these individual bags of manipulatives - perfect for use during math lessons - but how do you store them so they are readily available? These shoe racks are PERFECT! I have one on each of my closet doors and call my table leaders up to get enough for their tables when we need them. 

Reading Strategies (comprehension was too long for the board!), Word Wall, which you can check out here, CAFE board, and book baskets. Love my foam carpet, too. Each square is big enough to hold one child, and the whole thing was only around $35 at Menard's last year! 

My Daily Five anchor charts will go up there. The teacher who was in this room last year had an assistant, but I'm one student short of the "magic number" to get one, so this desk won't be in here too much longer!

I will never be able to get rid of my teacher desk/space! I applaud those of you who have, but I'm so organizationally challenged...I need all the space I can get to try to keep everything in its place! I really wish they'd take out the TV, though. It's just in the way! 

Love my Promethean Board (every classroom in our district has one), and check out the fab mailboxes I inherited from a retired teacher a few years ago! It takes up a lot of space, but it's so nice to have! The info board to the left needs my rule posters, but those are coming tomorrow! 

Hope you enjoyed the tour! 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Claiming my blog!

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

First Sunday Smorgasbord!

I'm linking up with Michelle from Fabulous in First for my first Sunday Smorgasbord!

Everyone loves a little randomness, right?? And my head is spinning with everything that needs to be done in the next two weeks, so maybe it will help to get it all out there. OK here goes...

My classroom is STILL not done (see previous post). I went in again last week and made a dent, but there is still so much to do. I'm not sure I'm going to meet my August 5 goal. My father-in-law is going in with me one day this week to finish moving desks and whatever else I can't pick up or push, so I'm hoping to feel better by Friday and maybe even have some "After" pictures to post! Fingers crossed...

This afternoon we took my daughter to her friend's second birthday party, so I told her she needed to take a good nap and then we would go. She slept in her bed for an hour, walked out to the living room, and conked right back out. I love this kid SO MUCH!

We also had family pictures taken this evening, so I'm glad she got a little extra sleep! I've been trying to keep up with taking belly pictures at home, but I'm not doing so great with that. Since we were dressed up to go take our professional pics, I decided it was time. This is our routine:

I put her chalkboard easel on her trampoline so it's the right height, and she climbs under it. 

Then we take one together. She's definitely getting harder to hold these days!

She was born eight weeks early, so I'm hoping her sister goes to term. My goal is to teach until the end of the first grading period (mid-October). Is it weird that I'm terrified of my water breaking at school and having to call for a custodian to clean up amniotic fluid?! My kids would have a good story to tell I guess! 

And for my last bit of randomness, I created my first ever product for TPT, and of course, it's FREE! You can find it here. I definitely have a newfound respect for all of the fabulous bloggers I've followed forever who make fabulous products all the time. It takes so.much.time! But, I have several other ideas in the works, so stay tuned!

Happy Sunday! I officially have two weeks left until I HAVE to go back, but this is my last week with my little love before she goes back to daycare. Hoping to make it a FUN week for us! :) Enjoy what's left of your summer!

Friday, July 19, 2013


My principal asked me to move classrooms this year so I could have a bigger room. You're thinking, "A bigger room? That's awesome!" And yes, it will be when it's done. But for now, it's a big mess. And did I mention I'm six months pregnant?? Let me tell you, it's so frustrating to have a room full of stuff to move and not be able to lift any boxes or move any furniture by myself. So it's taking F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to get anything accomplished. I'll get there eventually (read: two weeks), but I wanted to post some before pictures so you can *hopefully* see the dramatic change sooner rather than later.

 View from the back corner of the room toward the door. Notice the beautiful pocket chart stand? Hubs made that for me - PVC pipe and spray paint, baby!

View from the door to the back corner.

My little love is making an appearance in the second shot. She's probably the best three year old helper ever, but it's still difficult to get too much done when she's there exploring everything. I'm determined to get everything in place in the next two weeks because school starts 4 weeks from Monday, and I REALLY want a week to plan. I brought home the first four or five reading manuals to go through this summer, and guess where they still are? If you said in my teaching bag in the laundry room, you are correct! We have a new reading series this year, which is overwhelming anyway, but factor in maternity leave with no files prepared, and I'm in full-on panic mode! Deep breaths. It will get done. I'll keep you posted on my progress! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I broke down...

and went to Walmart for school supplies today! Most of my kids bring what they need the first week, but there are always some who either don't bring everything or bring the wrong color of something. You know how anal specific we teachers can be! Plus it's always nice to have some extras as the year goes on. I will have at least 6 more students in my class this year than in previous years, so I stocked up (notice the still-full bags in the background)!

Check out those two games on the right! Can't beat ready-made word work games for $2.97! As much as I am in LOVE with all of those perfect little tips on my brand new crayons, I'm so not ready for summer to be over!

I spent a few hours working in my classroom yesterday. Taking my little love with me tomorrow morning for a brief visit and to take a few pictures so you can see somewhat of a before image, even though I've already put in several mornings of work! Who says teachers don't work in the summer?!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A busy year

Wow! I started this blog last summer thinking I would chronicle all of the exciting things I would do in my classroom this past year. Unfortunately, that gung-ho (if that's how you even spell it!) attitude ended after I purchased my super cute blog design from Dreamlike Magic. So here we are, almost an entire year later with nothing but a test post! How embarrassing! Now that I've gotten the ball rolling, I hope to continue this momentum and actually become a real life blogger. Only time will tell...