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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 1: Success!

Is anyone else exhausted?  I sure am!  I got to school at 6:30 yesterday (we start at 8) and by 2:45 when my last kiddo boarded the bus, my FitBit buzzed showing I had walked 10,000 steps.  Last time I did that was back in June...in school! The FitBit Flex is one handy way to track your steps, sleep, calories, and much more.  Check it out!  There are lots of us at school who "follow" each other and we can see who has walked how much each day. The friendly competition has been a hoot!  This is what they look like:


I have to get ready for school now but wanted to pop in and post a picture of my First Day of First Day Frame.  There are so many cool variations out there, aren't there?  I wasn't sure what mine would end up looking like: border? DuctTape?  Paint?  In the end, a 99 cent frame, red paint, and yellow and black construction were my materials
of choice. The pics turned out cute!  Here's the frame minus their sweet faces...  Have a great day!



Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Teeny Tiny Classroom Pics

In just 11 hours, I'll be welcoming my Firsties to a new school year!  Yep, summer is now officially over for me.  I'm excited to greet my 23 kiddos, though.  Twenty-three is the most I've ever had.  In fact, I was at 22 until two minutes before leaving on Friday. 

Twenty-three may or may not be a large number for you.  I've never had more than 21.  Ahhh..the more the merrier, right?  We will be comfy and oh, so cozy because my classroom is tiny.  Teeny.  Teeny Tiny.  Seriously.  I don't even have a sink. (or a desk!)  I don't have the luxury for cute nooks or crannies.  Sigh.  But, you work with what you have, you know?

Here are some before picks: (Not many...sorry!)
 




 And here is my class from my door now:

 
I so heart my poms this year! My theme is really color: red, black and yellow.  However, I have LOTS of primary baskets (too expensive to buy new ones!) and my rug, of course.  Here's  a closer look at my class:
 
My lovely carpet that I bought because I can't live without it and my class library.  The three BB will be used for anchor charts/work this week.  My math board is only partially finished.  I'll add to it this week.  I love the yellow paper so I have it on all boards.  Brings sunshine to my tiny room.  By keeping the walls all the same color with the black apple borders that pop, I think it makes the room LOOK a little bigger.
 
 
My stuffed animal friends are kept in these cute buckets that I bought at HomeGoods.  Kids snuggle with them for "Read to Self" or "Read to a Buddy."  So cute!
 
This is on library top shelf near my easel.  Marble jars record days in school and left.  I have 182 marbles ready to be plunked one by one into the empty jar.  My smart beads get lots of use.  I allow them to go home and then kids return them the next day.  I lose a few here and there but they are cheap to replace. 
 
 
Mailboxes and Birthday Balloons.  I use clips on boxes and then use a yellow sticker with names types in.  Lots of people just use numbers but I like having their names on them.  Help kids learn them, too.
 
 
The kiddos get one of these bracelets tomorrow.  Love the glow!
 
 
 
 I sit in this tiny chair!  Yep- I'm short and my feet touch the ground when I sit on this so I'm good to go!  Not ideal to have the chair in front of the books but really no other option. 



 Simple morning message for now with some of my planned read alouds tomorrow. To see how I usually do my Morning Message, click here.  Have you ever read Children Make Terrible Pets?  Pure genius!  A must!  The baggie in the middle is loaded with slinkys that I use to s-t-r-e-t-c-h- out words with my kiddos. Quite helpful!  Those two large bins in back are holiday books that I don't include in my library due to space constraints.

Simple Bravo Board ready to highlight work.  This is right inside my door.

 Math tubs/supplies. 
 Love an estimating area so I squeeze one in here.  I always show what 5 or some amount looks like to help the kids along.
 This year I want SOMETHING science related out even if not related to our unit at the time.  Something that makes the kids THINK and EXPLORE! 
I have to thank My Classy Collaboration Blog for this.  I saw it on Pinterest which led me to her blog post.  Love it! My district is big on Teacher Reflection and to include the kids- no matter how young, makes sense.  At the time, she didn't offer it for sale in her TpT Store but was planning to in the future.  Go buy it!

 My writing supplies/area  It wasn't completely set up yet but you get the idea.  I so wish I had a table for the kids to sit down and create!  At least they have lots of fun supplies and papers available to them.  See the black trashcans ready to go on desks when necessary under the zebra table on the left? Love them!  A little zebra tape makes them fit right in!
 
Yep- I have the zebra thing going on.  I sort of went a little crazy with the tape last year!  This year I added more red to my storage containers that you see above.
 
 
Bins on desks.  Four kids share.  Inside: glue sticks, pencils, scissors, dry erase markers and erasers (both pink and dry erase erasers) and little trophies that I explained in this post.  The kids have crayons in desks and I pass out markers and colored pencils when needed.
 
 Side view and you can also see my deskplates that I've ordered for years from Really Good Stuff.  Love them!  Best ever!
Across from writing area is my desk/reading table.  Made the chairs last year.  Storage inside!  The bookshelf is zebra, too.  Took 20 minutes!  I have a lot of stuff behind my desk!  (You can see my boxes in my closet!)

Book jackets above.  It was dead space.  Looks bright and cheery now.

 
 My buckets for my little Bucket Fillers. Note to self: add another.  (The compliment sheets are located on top of writing area.)
 
Closer view. Not everything unpacked and here yet.
 
I have two of these.  Missing spots are books my colleague just had to borrow! Sharing is a good thing! :)
 
 
Another little chair!  When kids need a little break, this is where they relax.
 
I now have these up on every window.  Cute!
Eek!   Here is a wasted board that is behind my easel.  Although wasted space, I still meant to put paper on it.  How did I forget?
 
None of those containers are mine and I hate the way they look.  But we have no storage in our school so there they stay!
 
I have lots of leveled books on my shelf in my closet.  All are mine. Most from Scholastic.
Aren't these cute boxes? 
 Right inside door.  I have small boards for my jobs and schedule.  My Real Estate is valuable in my small room so I rather save what I have for kid work and things we do together like anchor charts.  That's why I use a small Birthday Board I bought from Erica B. outside my room.  Just waiting to add pics tomorrow.
 
 
While I have more to show, I need to get some sleep.  Last two pics are my Reading Charts which I offer in my store (not all shown) and these free Quotes that you can grab by clicking on that pic.

 
Small but sweet. I hope you enjoyed the tour!  Have a GREAT SCHOOL YEAR!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Freebie Class Book

I love making simple class books with my class.  I try to keep them pretty simple in hopes that my struggling readers have success with them.  Out of all of my book bins, this is by far the most popular. 

I try to make enough books- usually one per week, so my kiddos can take home a few at the end of the year. I put them all into a bag and kids pick them out so "You get what you get..."

Here's a freebie book for you.  Just click on cover to get it in my TpT store. I've shown all the pages here. It's always a hoot to hear why my Firsties think they are "The Boss of Applesauce."

 I let kiddos select the above or the one below.

 I included male and female teachers...you never know!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Record Keeping Thoughts and BOGO in Clip Art Store

Who doesn't give a lot of assessments these days?  I've been trying to streamline my record keeping and half way through the year last year, I came up with a form that has made my life SO MUCH easier! 
I admit, waiting until you have half a year of assessment scores under your belt is NOT the best time to change your system but I was glad I did.

I am always looking at the kids' results and even need to pull their kindergarten scores from time to time.  So, I've created this form that has a place to record K scores and then add in scores as the current assessments are finished.  The tests/assessments go into the portfolios but I keep my slim binder within hand's reach and always have their scores at my fingertips.

Last year, it was just math and Language Arts and scale scores.  This year, I'm adding another page for each child for science and social studies scores.  Not nearly as many of them.

I spent last night tweaking this: added a place for conference date and time and a spot for DRA testing which, although is exactly like our Running Records, will be one twice this year under our new evaluation system.  By June, my pages look pretty scrappy but I felt such a sense of accomplishment when I looked at them!

Do you have one spot where you keep everything?  If not, make a log that includes EVERY required assessment BEFORE the year starts!  You'll be oh-so-glad you did!

On another note...We're having a sale in our clip art store!  Yea for saving money!


Here's what's new:


LEWIS AND CLARK!
 
 
Back to creating!  Have a great day!