Saturday, August 30, 2014

Coming up for air!

Teacher Friends...

Can I get an AMEN?!?

We have wrapped up our first week of school and it was fabulous and wonderful but....EXHAUSTING! Perhaps it is time that I try to get to bed at a more decent body is still not letting go of my summer bedtime. But this past week has wiped me out. 

My daughter started kinder this year at my school (I'm in HEAVEN!) and she has had NO problem going to bed at night. She is loving every minute of school and, in fact, shed some big crocodile tears when she realized that we were not going to school today, on Saturday. With time, I'm sure she will learn to appreciate the weekends to unwind and reboot! 

Weekends for me are all about playing catch-up. Calling an old friend back (finally) since there is no time to talk during the first week of school. I mean,'s sad. Grocery shopping, laundry, dishes...ugh. Well, I will get to those things later. For now, I'm catching up on the blog...

Flashback to the past 10 days or so....


Here is my AWESOME 2nd grade team...our theme this year is "Training Camp: Not So Basic Training". These ladies are the best and I am so happy to work with them again this year. 

Since we were heading into a week full of meetings...

Got these cute composition books at Wal-Mart, made some labels, and had a resourceful back to school gift for my teammates!

My mom made my turquoise chevron curtains! Makes me so happy. :)


Our "Meet the Teacher" night was on Thursday of our inservice week and I snapped some pics this year of my set up....

I decided to send home my Letter of Introduction on Meet the Teacher instead of waiting until the first day. We had some other important forms to send home so we put them in a gallon size baggie to place on the kids' desks.

We also had these Starburst Treats on their desks. 
"I'm BURSTING with happiness that you're in my class this year!"

We just printed the labels (you can get them FREE here), and filled a snack size baggie with Starburst. They were a hit!

We also had the kids help sort their supplies when they came in. A real time-saver!

This is how I set up my wish list items. I had this bucket and some old styrofoam. I covered the styrofoam with some left over zebra paper, then used skewers with my items attached. It worked great...the parents took an item that they could provide and slipped it into their big ziplock bag. 

An important part of the night....How their child will be getting home. Especially first day so we know where to send them. :)

Like this sheet? You can snag it HERE.

My desk set up...

I had baskets set out labeled for supplies to be sorted. 

The classroom is ready!

My little angel waiting to meet her kindergarten teacher!

Checking out the preschool trikes in the hallway! Of course, Noah wanted to hop on.

Unfortunately those were the only 2 pics I got of Myla at Meet the teacher. Dad was in charge since Mom was meeting her students. He didn't take any pics. 

We wrapped up our evening with a fun dinner out to celebrate a successful Meet the teacher night!

Can't believe this big girl is old enough to go to school!

More prep before the first day...It takes a village!

Here is my mom helping out...writing student names on everything! She has much nicer handwriting than me! Thanks mom!

And my awesome husband, who did not want to pose for a picture, typed out some student labels for me! I use these on their mailboxes where I send home work etc.

The Sunday before school started, I headed up one last time to make sure everything was ready. 

See what I mean about my handwriting!?!

Our schedule...

I had copies of their "Introduce Yourself" sheet, name tag and bright safari pencil on their desk ready to go!!

Ready or not, here they come!

More to come later on our first week! It was a great one and I have some fun activities to share!

Stay tuned and thanks for reading!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fabulous Back2School Giveaway going on At Whit's End!

Hop on over to At Whit's End for an amazing giveaway opportunity! 
There is a K-2 and a 3-5 Prize Pack up for grabs! 

Ends today so do!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BACK-to-SCHOOL BOOST Sale is tomorrow!

We are back to work for our professional development week and holy smokes, I'm tired! I do love how this week allows us to ease back into our routine of getting up super early and working hard all day with our kids. So with that said, my super early bedtime awaits pretty soon but just wanted to post a reminder about the Back-to-School Boost Sale on TpT that is going on tomorrow and tomorrow ONLY!

Perfect timing to get those last minute items before the school year officially starts! EVERYTHING in my store is 20% off and if you use the PROMO CODE: BOOST, it combines for a 28% savings. Pretty sweet deal.

I have over 15 "back to school" products, some ideal for any grade level! My top seller right now has been my Great Sub Reference Binder, the perfect resource when preparing for a long-term sub or just to have on hand when you are out during the year!

I also have my Pinterest popular (over 700 repins!)

Here is one of the printables. We do this on the first day in my classroom. ;)

Get super organized with one of my Teacher Binders...There are 4 different ones to choose from!

Oh! And I need to get these printed...First and Last Day of School Signs!

Here is my little darling with her First day of Preschool sign!

And her last day of preschool!

I get to print off her First Day of Kindergarten sign for next week!!

More to see but I'm getting more sleepy by the minute...SO, head on over to my store to see if you can find any other goodies for your classroom this year!

Oh! I still have my "Your Choice" Back2School Giveaway going on right now on my FB page! If you are reading this and you enter, you have an extremely good chance of winning something (your choice) from my store since there are only 8 entries so far!! (Oh the struggles of the beginning blogger :( You write and write, put it out there and wonder if someone, anyone is reading it!!!)

Beuller, Beuller, anyone??

Well, if you are hanging with me til the end of this post, you might as well hop on over to my FB page right now and enter my giveaway!!

Please, pretty please! ;)

Seriously, though....thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Classroom Set Up Part 1 1/2

So I went up to work in my classroom ALL DAY Friday and got a lot done! However, this post is entitled Part 1 1/2 because I did not take very many pictures. I was that busy and focused to get things done that didn't think about capturing too many of the changes. Thought I would post again next week before our first day anyway. ;) But here's a few pics...

This was my daily file organizer I've used for years...


I didn't like that I couldn't store everything I needed, besides handouts, and needed something with a little more space. 


I got these Sterilite organizers at WalMart and stacked them to make a daily storage system. I think I will like this a lot better! Not sure what I will be putting in the "Extra" drawer but that is why I named it that...a place to store some of the extra stuff we might do throughout the week. :)

Here is my "Essential Questions" board where we write our learning targets ...



There was nothing necessarily wrong with it before...just like the cleaner look of the bright typed words!

Since I had changed out my ABC strip/Word wall headers, I also wanted to update my Class Compliment Reward system labels. You can see them on the old ABC strip here...They are the little leopard print squares you see up there. Yeah, see? It's hard to tell.



So now you can see the labels better as I made them bigger and added a bright blue star, compliments from Krista Walden from Creative Clips! In this picture you can see the "Dance Party" label on the "D". :) To read more about how I use this Class Compliment Reward System, go to the post -> HERE

A few more pics of some of our class rewards. ; )

The last thing I captured from my LONG day in my classroom...the part I was dreading the most!

My storage cabinet!!

The custodians had to completely take everything out to move it out of my room so the floors could be waxed. All of my storage items were tossed into a gigantic trash can during the waxing process and most of my containers had opened up and things were scattered everywhere! It was going to be quite the task and I was procrastinating!



Aw, organized. 

A few years ago my sister, who is an organizational wizard, got me all these bins and containers, made labels and sorted and organized all of these supplies. She continued to come up before school started to reorganize what I had messed up over the year. However, this past year, I did much better at returning everything in the right spot! And then the custodians, despite my best efforts to convince them NOT to move this cabinet, (I put a sign on it and used clear packing tape to tape the doors shut!) they still needed to and I had to start over anyway!

 I also had organized my "desk drawers". I use the large sterilite containers under my kidney table as my desk drawers and they were in dire need of attention. Glad I got that done!

I arranged my desks into their sections, partly set up my bulletin board and tried to pick up all the lamination scraps around the room. By 4pm, I was ready to call it a day!

I'll take more pics before our Meet the Teacher night next Thursday. The room should be in tip top shape by then!!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Who doesn't love CHOICES? A "Your Choice" Back2School Giveaway!

Hi friends!

I am running a "YOUR CHOICE" Back2School Giveaway starting NOW! You can enter to win any 1 of my TpT products FREE. That's pick, your choice! With over 17 Back to School items and many different options for classroom decor and teacher resources for any grade level, it's worth it to enter!

It's going on over on my Facebook page so don't miss out! Also spread the love and share with your teacher friends!

Go straight to the GIVEAWAY {HERE}!

Good luck!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Classroom Setup Part 1

I went up to school on Tuesday (finally!) to start the process of cleaning out, setting up, etc. But I found myself just wanting to work on the fun stuff, like switching out some classroom decor.

I had created a few classroom decor sets for TpT recently and decided why not create a little something for my room too. Without completely overdoing it and switching out my safari/zebra theme, of course, I really wanted to brighten up the room with bright, almost neon, colors and rid my room of the primary colors and the dots on black combo I've had for years.

Sooo...thought I would share my mini classroom makeover in two parts. This post will be Part 1...what I finished on Tuesday and Part 2, well, it hasn't happened yet but I will be working ALL day Friday to finish.

To get started, I had a few rolls of zebra paper left over from my border I used on the top part of my walls that I had put up (with the help of my very tall husband) five years ago!

 I decided to cover the tops of the lockers...

I had my mom's help, a retired teacher. She's the best!

I think it looks so much better!

Next up was my ABC/Word Wall area. As you can see here, my ABC strip was starting to come down and I really wanted to change out the dots on black border.

I decided to go with my Neon Brights Chevron ABC posters.

You can get these HERE as a part of the Classroom Decor Set.

I also switched out my border to this fun, bright chevron print. 
I thought this with my zebra print would compliment each other well. 

I got this from our local Teacher's Tools store.

So here it is!

I had to space them out a little to stretch them down the wall. Plus since these are also my word wall headers, I needed to be sure I had enough space for the bigger words under each letter. 

 Oh and have you seen my bright word wall words?! I love them!

I made a bunting banner saying, "Mrs. MeGown's 2nd Grade Safari" to hang at the front of the room. 

Just has the glare from the laminating but it really looks pretty cute!

Then I updated some of my signs/labels around the room...



I teach 2nd graders and yes, they even need this simple reminder. 

I also updated our job board...



Bright and still safari themed!

Then I just added a few more things to match the bright theme...

Numbers for my Morning Work board

Then I needed a "Morning Work" sign. I mean, why write that every day, right?! :)

I also typed up a Target the Question and Number of the Day signs. 
(It's like a domino effect...once you change one part, there will be more to follow!)

So that led my to changing up my Smile Sparkers too.
Here is a picture from last year's front board. Smile Sparkers are the leopard print signs above the board we display throughout the year. When someone makes another student smile, they can write about it on a Smile Sparker, present at the end of the day and then it goes up on our wall.  I just laminated them and wiped clean every few weeks. 

Since I wanted everything to match my Bright Safari theme, I made these....

 This also shows my example Smile Sparker. ;)

I don't have Before pics for the rest of what I'm sharing today but I think it looks a lot better!

This is my anchor chart wall where I hang up those anchor charts that are good reminders for the class. 

Writing Process Posters (I plan to upload these to TpT as a freebie soon!)

Book Hospital

I simply added a different border around my Teacher Guidelines poster to update it.

Super blurry pic, I will update it when I have a chance to retake. 

Found these zebra containers in clearance section of Hobby Lobby for $3 each. 

And lastly, I hung my adorable wooden letters that my good friend, Amanda, painted for me over the summer! I love them!!

Thanks, Amanda!!

Well, that's all for Part 1. 

Part 2 will not be as exciting since it will be more of organizing the pile of mess in the center of the room. I have things shoved in lockers and supplies scattered everywhere. Yes, perhaps I should have done that part first but I'm procrastinating...

After all, I slightly believe this to be true...LOL!

Stay tuned!