Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Teacher Week: Organized Chaos

Happy Hump Day! I am back. Exhausted and most likely a little bit hysterical, but I am gathering what little energy that I have to share some small tips on how I stay organized. Today is...

The first is my teaching bible. The items that I carry at all times. As soon as I get into my classroom I always complete the following... exact order.... I've got it down to a science y'all:

1. Turn on lamps
2. Turn on laptop by my small group table and set my things down
3. Turn on teacher computer, student computers, and smart board
4. Pull out my teacher planner {Check it out here}, note journal, and clear folder that holds files
5. Look over materials and pull out my drawer {double check I have EVERYTHiNG}
6. Make note of any Anchor charts and prepare
7. Grab a cup of coffee
8. Anxiously wait until kiddos arrive!

My files contain curriculum maps, files for planning, to do items, reading material, and anything else that I find important. 

I use this cart to hold my weekly materials. I like this because I can pull out the drawer and place it on my table. It helps keep me focused and on track. 

I am smitten over this Ikea find. I love that I have these quick and easily accessible. I also keep my theme unit binder next to me. 

The paper holders will be for reading small groups. I will place any reading materials, games, or tasks for each group here. 

These paper holders have my assessments. I keep a folder for each student. It contains their assessment card and any assessments that need to be given. The top holds math, middle is reading, and the bottom has green progress folders that are sent home on Friday. 

I got these binders at target and started working on them at the end of last year. Each binder holds something different. I have my sub binder, small group plans, curriculum maps and standards, PST/ELL/SPEECH, anecdotal notes binder, and a student and parent information binder. So far I LOVE this!

Behind my table I have this little caddy. It holds my letter cards, pointers, behavior cards to be sent home, and blank note pages for when I need to quickly send a note home to parents. 

I was a little reluctant to share this.... but ... here it goes... in my back room each teacher has a little space to store things. My classroom is in a pod with 5 teachers {including myself}. I started this last year and need to clean out and make 'prettier' labels. Each container stands for a month. This will hold special manipulatives, decorations, or any other teacher material that I use specifically for that month. This is another thing that I absolutely LOVE! I pull this out at the beginning of every month and place it in my room. I can easily access anything I need with searching for it. 

Behind my big book stand I have a caddy with some materials to use when making anchor charts or modeling how to complete an assignment. 

Finally, under my smart board I have my dry erase boards and my number talks materials. The composition book holds my dialogue from each number talk. 

I hope this has given you some ideas for this year! If you have any questions let me know. I will be happy-as-all-get-out to help!

Thanks for stopping by and don't miss out on Day 4 of Teacher Week!

Click on the picture to HOP on over to blog Hoppin' and check out some amazing women.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teacher Week: My Home Away From Home

Welcome back to my home classroom! It is DAY 2 of Teacher Week!

I have always LOVED decorating my classroom. This was the number one thing on my mind when I was in school to be a teacher.... What would my classroom theme be? What bins would I use? Where can I place my cute classroom library?

I would draw out pictures and try out different placements. I even remember driving my little cherubs nuts when they would come in and see that I had changed something... YET AGAIN!

I constantly am on the lookout for changing and improvising to help suit my needs and more importantly my little ones' needs. 

I shared a little about my new room in this post, but seeing how most like to see the REAL life pictures, I decided to take some snapshots of what my room looked like today after chaos, crafting, and learning. 

Here is what you would walk into...

Today was our day to have our floors cleaned... thank goodness... we just finished a paper tearing craft and my floors were ghastly! 

Here is my small group area... I know... nasty...

I LOVE my Wheel of Choice! I don't have a discipline chart or incentive chart. I really try to build good citizens that are able to make the RIGHT decision. We talk A LOT about our problems and ways we can fix them. 

Here is my Math Wall. Can you find the ducklings we just finished? 

Here is our class mascot... Steve. He helps remind us of the word of the week or other special events happening in the school. He's a Superhero!!!

This is my writing workshop area. The little caddies have special illustrating materials. Anchor charts that have been taken down are printed and placed in the binder for reference. 

Classroom library.

Whole Group Area

Be sure to check back tomorrow for tips on how I attempt stay organized!

Monday, August 18, 2014

WHO Monday!

Hello, hello sweet friends! I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' on Teacher Week. 

I am a teacher, wife, mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, and friend to many around me. I am what you might call crazy. I have a tendency to over analyze and stress over every detail. Although... I have gotten a MILLION times better than a year ago. 

I have two beautiful boys that I love to pieces. 

I have a younger sister and brother. My sister is a sophomore at Auburn University... WAR EAGLE!!! my brother is a senior.... phew.... time flies.

I work with an amazing group of women!

I love spending time with my munchkins and husband. I enjoying learning and crafting. 

Some of my likes: J Crew, Candles, Flowers, Jewelry, Coffee {Folgers}, Key Lime Pie, Office Supplies.... to the extreme, Anthropologie, Target, Current obsession... Healthy Choice Fudge Bars.... currently eating ;)

Some of my dislikes: I'm a meat picker {I have a tendency to pick at my food}, Seafood, Exercising, Not being able to stay awake ALL THE TIME... so much wasted time...huhhh

Thanks for stopping by! Check out Blog Hoppin'!

Monday, July 28, 2014


My library area has always been one of the most tedious areas in my classroom to prepare. I have battled constantly with how to set up the area, what categories to use, and the usefulness to my kiddos. Now that I have been blessed with a new, BIGGER, beautiful classroom, my options have grown ten times. 

The shelving is limited so my oh so sweet Mister went and bought me these lovely shelves from Ikea. I decided to only get two and see if that would suit the area. Here is a view from the center. I like that these shelves can be accessed from either side. You can find these here

The center stand holds all of the books for the unit that we are learning. I let my sweeties get to these books in the morning and afternoon. On one side I have a basket of pillows for some comfy reading time. The other basket holds some random stuffed animals. In order to encourage my sweeties to independent read, I introduced a silent reading buddy. My kiddos can grab a stuffed animal to read to during independent reading. They absolutely ate this up!

In order to accommodate all of my books, I decided to separate my library. I have the above area as my fiction section and the picture below contains my leveled books and my nonfiction area. 

In my class my kiddos have to pick three level books that are JUST RIGHT for reading and two 'LIBRARY' books. They have the opportunity to switch out their book bags every week. 

The next picture is a closeup of my library labels. I used the labels from Schoolgirlstyle. I use a number along with the theme for each basket.

When setting up my baskets I tried to think of what was most important for my classroom. I am a strong believer in author studies, so I have a few of those that we tend to hit hard throughout the year. I also use different themes that are important during the school year.

I also created a quick and easy way to label all of my books. This year I plan on having a 'librarian' that will put away books in their appropriate places. I made this fun colorful label that has my name and a box for the number basket is corresponds with. I put out a number if these labels and as I am labeling my books I simply write the number in the box. This keeps me from wasting any labels.

The label is meant to wrap around the spine of the book. The number is shown in the front cover if the book and my name is on the back cover of the book. 

My black baskets are from Walmart. They have held up well over the past two years... minus one sweet basket that played the role of a chair to one cutie. You can find these baskets here. The top black baskets are from target. I use these at the beginning of the year. Each table will get some books and fun flashcard a to look through as other students are finishing a task. 

I have also placed a small couch on one side of the shelves. The other side holds two bean bags and more pillows.

Hope you have enjoyed taking a peek at my library. I would LOVE to hear what you think! Leave a comment below.

Happy reading y'all!!! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Math Station is a GO!

I have been hard at work to get my new classroom ready for the first day of school. Teachers start on the fourth of August and the sweet little cherubs start... *deep breath*... on the seventh of August.


Oh my goodness, I think I am starting to freak the freak out.

Back to the classroom. I am going to do a little series on all the areas in my room and the how and why I have set it ALL up that way.

Here is a view of my math area when you enter my classroom.

I am blessed in that I can have two separate areas for whole group meetings. My Smart-board area is separate {That is where we will typically meet}. Here is a fun angle shot. I was testing out my AWESOME amateur photography skills. 

I added a fun pennant banner that has my numbers 0-20, ten-frames, and number word on each. 

Just below that is a super colorful number line. I got this lovely from Kinder-Craze. Here is a link to get this!

Another awesome shot of the number line!

I decided to create my own color, money, and days of the week cards. I wanted something simple, not too much clipart, and to the point. 

Along the bottom I added birthday cupcakes. I saw this idea on Pinterest and I wanted to give is a whirl. I have not been terribly happy with the way I have done birthdays the past couple of years. Each cupcake will hold *birthday candles* with the name and date of the kiddos. We will pull these at the beginning of every month and place them behind the date on the calendar. I will be back with a birthday post later. 

Next is a my calendar. I love this calendar

The hundreds chart was provided for us from our AMSTI kit. Next to the hundreds chart is our How Many Days Have We Been in School chart. We use ten-frames to give our pumpkins a better visual. Each day we add star stickers on the ten frame. I might try and find a cute superhero sticker to use instead. Although, I did enjoy making a pattern on each ten frame!!! My kiddos loved this!!!

Counting jar is up next. I have tried to use an actual jar in the past with fun little trinkets to match the theme, but my sweeties would always drop them or take them. Thus, the VELCRO COUNTING JAR was born. I change the clipart to match our theme and for those little cherubs that need to have another method of counting, they can pull them off one by one. 

GENIUS!!!.... RIGHT!?!?

I probably should make a better one, but I am going to let this one see the end of it's day before I draw up a prettier more durable one. 

I created these little printables for the beginning of the year. As the year goes on, my counting jar area will become increasingly more difficult. We start off with the number, the word, tally marks, a picture and a ten frame..... which is not up there.... hmmmmmm. 

Finally, a look at Cara Caroll's shape posters and my vocabulary area. 

That is my math board, now here is what's going on underneath. The first thing you see is my math workshop area. I have nine different tubs plus my computer area. I plan on having six different groups of four. 

Under the tubs are each groups math journal bucket and a trays for each individual student. I used a yoga mat and a cookie tray from the dollar store. This way my little ones are able to learn about personal space and the mat prevents the noise from getting too CRAY. 

I will also place some pencils, crayons, and glue sticks in each bucket. These four buckets are a bit random. I needed an *organized* area to place my geoboards and rekenreks, also known to me as Wreck it Ralph!

Such a precious movie!

Then I have all of my math manipulatives organized and ready for use. The larger containers are from here. The smaller ones are from here

Final view of my math area. I am in LOVE y'all. 

Happy Planning!