Saturday, August 31, 2013

First and Last Day of School Signs!

I took a few pics of my daughter (a little early, since I won't be able to snap them on her actual day, I will be at school too!) with these chalkboard signs I made. Thought teachers might like to use them too for their students!

I couldn't decide which one I liked best...

The signs include 2 sets of a chalkboard sign for Preschool-Grade 12 with a Senior Year and Graduating Class sign. The first set has a colorful bunting banner and the other is plain like the one below. Simply add your year in the frame and print! It is in a PowerPoint so it's easy to add/edit your own text. Here are a few sample pages...

Best part?! It's FREE for 48 hours! (Thru Monday, September 2nd!) Get these printable HERE!
Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What kind of teacher do 2nd graders want?

I asked my class this question today after reading the humorous book, This Is The Teacher, where the students rush in the classroom and "topple the teacher all ready for school." As the story goes, mass chaos breaks out in the classroom all from how the students started the day, rushing in and disregarding the rules. It is a hectic day and at the end of the story, the teacher is EXHAUSTED and "all ready for BED." So, I asked my class if they wanted a tired teacher? "NO!" they all shouted. "We want you to be happy and fun!" I agreed with them and so the idea of this poster was inspired...

I plan on holding on to it all year and see how I do. :)

This was a great transition activity in discussing our class rules today. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Classroom

Linking it up from the beach! We are in Gulfport, MS for a few days! 

This week's topic is Classroom Decor..

I have not been up to school this summer yet to set up my classroom ( I refuse to get up there until it's at least the first week of August). So this is last year's pics of my classroom. I have a SAFARI theme with lots of turquoise and animal print accents. 

I am working on a few Classroom Decor Sets for TpT that I am SOOO excited about! I hope to have some ready by the end of the week.  
Here is a sneak peek at one of the sets...

Stay tuned for it's premiere on TpT sometime this week.

OK, here are my classroom pics from last year!

I really love setting up my classroom for a new year. Bringing in new ideas or throwing out old ones, it's always something I have enjoyed. This year, we have full classes with 24-25 students in each 2nd grade class. So this year has been all about MAKING ROOM! (Our district had "open enrollment" where students could transfer within the district. We are at an amazing school and well, many students came! ) I had to clear out 5 lockers normally used for storage and extra school supplies so that there would be enough lockers for the students. My desks are rearranged into cooperative groups of 5...and there are 5 of those groups! Here are a few pics...

It actually doesn't look all that crowded now. :)

I've changed up how we take lunch count now. I did have a homemade pocket chart poster that was stapled on this wall but the problem was I only had 22 pockets for students. I have never taught over 20  so this year with 25, I had to make a change so I went with the buckets. The kids will come in first thing and take their popsicle stick person from the purple bucket (sticks not shown) and place it in the right bucket to make their lunch count choice. 

 Here is my computer and Reading Corner area. I was worried that with the extra kids I may have to lose this space but it worked out. I allow 4 kids at a time to cozy up in the reading corner with a good book. We have 6 computers in the classroom (3 PCs and 3 laptops) and 2 iPads. I'm considering storing the laptops in a more compact place and just have the kids take them to their desk to use since they ARE laptops and that would save me some more space. :)

 Just a pic of our front board with our Behavior clip chart, engagement meter and my 
"Smile Sparkers" above the board. Smile Sparkers are for when a student notices another student in the class did something kind and it makes them smile....they write on the frame with a dry erase marker and share with the class at the end of the day. I leave the Smile Sparkers up for a few weeks at a time once they are all filled out and then we wipe them off and start over. Example "Smile Sparker" would be "Jane made me smile because she helped me find the page number in our book." :) Anytime I can promote kindness and respect in the classroom, I do! It seems our world is in need of more of it!

 Here is my desk area. I swapped out my old fashioned teacher desk a few years ago and just doubled my guided reading table as my desk. It certainly saves some space and has worked well over the years. I just use the plastic drawer organizers to hold my supplies and "desk" things. This pic also partly shows my "Hanging with the Best" wall where I display student work. I use clothespins with the kids' names on it and attach their work to the vines on the wall. Which reminds me...I need to get those clothespins ready and on the vines!

 Here is my math area where I have a math cart filled with manipulatives and on top are some math books, games etc. The zebra and leopard bags are our math bags that the kids take to their desk with them to work since a lot of our math is hands on. I have cubes, number lines, clocks, and mini hundred chart in there now. We try to change them out over the year as we need different things. I only have 20 of them so we will have to have some kids share this year!
I also organize our earbuds in the white jewelry organizer shown next to the pocket chart. They store their earbuds in their numbered pocket when not in use and it helps a little in keeping them from being lost or broken. 

 Here is how I will be displaying No-Name work this year. In the past I didn't have a place, I would just call out student names and whoever I didn't call must be the no name papers. But I decided this would be a more time efficient way and less embarrassing way for the kids to get their papers. 

 Here is our turn in area. I have a tray for each subject area. I have highlighters for the kids to highlight their names, just to be sure they are on their paper. This is where we store our glue and glue sticks. I also have a bin for "lost and found" items found around the room. 
Ha! I'm laughing at my yellow sign hanging above my turn in trays...I put that up last year as just one more reminder to have that name on their papers! I forgot about it until I took this pic. Guess I'll leave it up for this class...see if it helps!

So that is a little tour into my world at school. It is still a work in progress and as I am writing this post I have a "oh man, I forgot about this" to-do list going. I don't think a teacher ever feels that their classroom is 100% ready but what I have learned over the past 9 years is that it all works out. The students still thrive and learn and have an awesome time. Looking forward to a fun and exciting year!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Editable Lunch and Recess Duty Schedule Templates

Need a cute way to display your lunch and recess duty schedules? Here is a simple template. Just enter your teachers' names and print!

This set includes templates for Kinder-5th grade as well as for Fall and Spring. I have included a black and white version of each template. :) AND it's FREE until MONDAY!

Get this HERE!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

First Day of School Starburst Labels!

 Tonight was our Meet the Teacher Night! It was fantastic. I met 23 of my 25 students tonight and it makes me excited for this school year. So many great kids and parents. I am very blessed.

This year my team and I decided to hand out little treats as the kids came to the room so we made Starburst goodie bags. I  made these labels that we put on the bag. They were a hit so I thought I would share. This would be great for the First Day of School which is just days away!! They are FREE. :) Enjoy and have an awesome school year!

Get this HERE!

Teachers...what are some of your "Meet the Teacher Night" or "First Day of School" treats??

Monday, August 19, 2013

How We Get Home From School Activity

With the first day of school less than a week away, many teachers are preparing their classrooms and some may already be making their first day of school lesson plans! I wanted to share a great math activity that is perfect for the first day of school...

Hopefully, before your students come to you on that first day, you already know their after school transportation from "meet the teacher" night or something like that. But this activity is a great reminder for the kids and will also provide you as the teacher with great data! I have used this in my first and second grade class on the first day of school for the past 8 years. :) I do think it would work for 3rd graders as well!

To begin the activity, have a class graph prepared on the whiteboard or a pocket chart and allow each child a chance to show how they are getting home. Then use this graph to record the class results and make some great observations and comparisons. 

The second page asks questions related to the graph that bring in their math skills of addition and subtraction. The students are also reading and interpreting data. 

This is currently on sale for just $2.00 and I am extending the sale until August 25th! It also comes in black and white for those of us who need to save on printer ink. Get this HERE!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I just finished making my labels for my students' journals and notebooks. I have a few more to make but thought I would share!

Get these for your classroom HERE

ALSO, did you know about the HUGE Teachers Pay Teachers Sale?? It's going on right now and you could save up to 28% off. Just use the PROMO code: BTS13 at checkout!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

BACK TO SCHOOL...already?!

I can hardly believe that we are almost back to school for another school year. Summers go by way too fast but I'm hopeful for another amazing year!

I have come up with a few Back to School printables for the first week of school that would be ideal for a 1st-3rd grade classroom. Check them out!

I also have a black and white version for all the pages for easy printing. You can get this HERE! It will be included in the Back to School TpT sale where you can get it tomorrow or Monday for up to 28% off. 

Hope you enjoy and have an awesome start to the school year!