Saturday, 25 August 2012

A Little Bit More - Day 2

I popped into the school again today to get a little bit more setup in my room. Once again I did more talking than I wanted to so progress was slow. I think I need to go in after 10pm to avoid talking to people :) 
So here is a little of what I did today...
Here is my Boggle board. I have to admit I think I spent way too much time making this. I had my iPod out and I was using the level to make sure things were straight. It is in the middle of a wall so I didn't have close edges to line up with. Hmmm I just noticed my title isn't spaced properly. I will have to fix that.
 A close up of the border. Bulletin board trimmer, duct tape, and ribbon made the perfect border!
 A close up of the letters that will be changed each week. I laminated them so I could stick them on with that blue putty stuff for hanging posters.

I got the letters from Rebecca at Create, Teach, Share. I was going to make my own worksheet for students to write their answers on but Rebecca has a perfect one. Why mess with perfection?!
* I just found some more Boggle recording sheets and these ones have a place for keeping a score. These would be good if you are having a competition or having kids graph their scores. Get them from Tracy here.While you are at it why not check out her blog, Creekside Teacher Tales!

Here is the main wall in my classroom that students face for lessons. Please ignore the mess on the desks. I wanted to show you the color blocking I am doing. I am amazed that it wasn't until I did this that I truly noticed my Smartboard wasn't centered. Last year the entire bulletin board was the same color so it wasn't as noticeable. WHO puts up a Smartboard and doesn't center it? I hope it doesn't bug me too much.

My favorite bulletin board so far. In person it looks way better. Don't tell anyone else this but I stood and stared at it for awhile :) At the bottom is my teacher toolbox which matches so nicely. See previous post about the toolbox here.

I don't have anything on my boards yet but you will have to wait until the final reveal to see them completely finished.

I am still waiting for my Really Good Stuff book baskets so I cannot show you any pictures of my classroom library but I did start organizing the books into genre groupings. They are all over the floor right now.

I only have another week before we are back to school and I am leaving for a short trip on Thursday, so the final reveal will be soon.

If you are back at school I hope things are going smoothly and if you are still on summer break, relax a little more.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Back To School Expo

 I am super excited that the Back to School Expo is almost here. On August 25th, FIVE fantastic teachers will be presenting to help you get ready for back to school. Topics include decorating your classroom, using technology in the classroom, reading success, creating a positive environment with back to school activities, and how to use math journals with your students!

All of this awesomeness costs only $10.  Along with getting a ticket to the presentations (a $19.95 value) you will get a goodie bag that is worth over $160, and 30% off select teaching items in the vendor hall.  

I will have 3 items in the vendor hall on sale. My 21 Literacy Worksheets for Any Picture Book, 40 Page Back to School Unit, and 21 PE Stations will all be 30% off. Only those people attending the Back to School Expo will have access to the incredible Vendor Hall. I cannot wait. I will be filling my cart :)

Don't wait too long to get this great deal because starting August 24th the ticket prices will be back up to $19.95. Get your ticket now while it is half price!!!
Just click on either picture to get your ticket! Cheers,

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Classroom Set Up Day 1

Yay, I finally went into my classroom to start setting up today. My dining room was starting to get overtaken by stuff that I had to bring to the school so I thought it was time to head into the class. This is the first year I have taken any pictures of the set up process so we will see how it goes.
This was the view when I first walked into the room. Wow, it is very beige and this picture really shows the dirty (stinky) carpet.
My son and I immediately opened the windows to air it out and then went searching for more desks and chairs.

This is my helper for the day! My 11 year old son, Parker. He was such a trooper and only asked to go on the computer 2 times.

Just before we left I took a few more pictures. Not too many though because I have a looonngg way to go still.

The desks are set up close to where they will be. I like to start my class of in rows until I get to know all the names and then they are in groups and other configurations. We do so many group/partner activities that it is easier to not have them in rows. It saves time moving desks.

Not sure if I am going to keep my math manipulative drawers here in the corner but for now it works.

My first pom pom flower to be hung up!!!!!!!!!
This is the view of my back sink counter. Yup a mess. Can you see my turquoise hand vacuum? I was so excited to find one that will match my class colors.

I am not sure who gave me the idea to decorate the ugly, grey filing cabinets but it was someone in blogger land. I found the green place mats for cheap at Jysk and added magnets to the back to hang them.

A close up of the backpack hook numbers I made.
This area will be my reading area. I am still waiting to get my baskets from Really Good Stuff so I can bring the rest of my books and start organizing.

I didn't get any bulletin boards done today and hope to start them tomorrow. Like I said I have a lot of work to do still. Stay tuned for more pictures of my adventures in setting up my classroom.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Creating a Teacher Toolbox

I cannot remember if I have raved about the teacher toolboxes which are all over Pinterest  but I am sure I have. Well I received my toolbox from Amazon and finally finished it! I am so in love with it and cannot wait until I can get it into my classroom. I am going in tomorrow to start setting up even though we still have 2 weeks off.
Teacher Toolbox how to Terri's Teaching Treasures

So here is what I did to make it...

When I ordered it all they had was grey ones. (Now they have black one ) It took me awhile to decide if this was the one I really wanted but I was stuck on the layout of the drawers so I went ahead and ordered it.

I bought some spray paint that is made for plastics and painted it black. Krylon Fusion For Plastic to be exact.

I then made the labels to match my classroom colors, using a turquoise and lime green zebra print. Once the labels were finished I printed them on card stock and put them in each drawer. To make sure they will stay in place I used a wee bit of tape to secure them. 
I decided that I wanted it a little more fancy than just the plain black top so I took 3 strips of ribbon and attached them around the outside. Voila ! It is done and ready to use:)

Here is a close up of the draws for you to see. I have created an editable PowerPoint file if you want to get these labels and customize them to your needs. To get the labels for only $2 and save yourself some time click here.

Stay tuned for pictures of my completely set up classroom.

Update: I have recently had a few requests for some different designed labels for the teacher tool box so of course I made them.

Here are other designs you can get for your tool box :) 

Blue, Yellow, and Grey Chevron
Purple, Orange, and Green Polka Dots 
Bright Neon Dots 
Primary Blue, Yellow, and Green Polka Dots
Red and Black Dots  
Red, White, and Blue Dots and Stripes
Red and Black Dots and Stripes
Turquoise Leopard Print
  If there is another color combo or design you would like please send me an email at

Update June 2019: I am still so in love with my teacher toolbox. It helps keep be organized and it saves me a ton of time because I am not having to search everywhere for supplies or trying to pick the small paper clips out of the large ones. 

I no longer have kids asking me for band aids! They know where they are and get one when they need it. The band aids are the only reason they are allowed to go in the drawers. 


Sunday, 19 August 2012

Free Organization Labels

Get the clutter off your desk by having a place for all of your prepped materials. 
free flower labels for magazine folders Terri's Teaching Treasures
I try to plan ahead as much as possible and I don't want to store all the stuff on my desk so I have made a place to put everything.

I use one folder for each day of the week and this is where I keep all my prep stuff. 

I prefer the magazine folders over the file folders because they can hold more things. Here is a link to folders I recommend (aff. link) .

Last year I had just the file folders on my desk and they would get knocked off and everything would be all over. I also didn't like that they took up so much room on my desk. 

I put my magazine folders on the shelf behind my desk so my desk is not cluttered.

These are great for if you have a guest teacher in your classroom or if you are unexpectedly away. It is easy for other people to find the materials you had planned.

Here are the labels I made and you can get them for FREE by clicking here! I hope you can use them.


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Pinterest Obsessed

If you are like me and EXTREMELY obsessed with Pinterest you will want to check out the linky party over at Rainbows Within Reach's blog. Right now there are 328 teacher related links to peoples pinterest boards all related to education. I am in heaven....
Just click on the picture to get to the linky party and start celebrating!

I would also welcome you to check out my Pinterest boards here. I have found many great things that I have incorporated into my classroom and perhaps the most useful idea has been the clip chart classroom management system. I originally found a pin to Teach-A Roo's blog where she had a post about the chart along with the downloadable materials needed. (I know have some charts in my TpT store and you can check them out here!)

Here is the chart in use in my classroom. I have boys on one side and girls on the other so it is easy for them to find their pin. Everybody starts each day on Ready to Learn and they move up or down from there.
I was hesitant to bring this into the classroom but it works like a charm! EVERY one of my students was on board and was motivated by the clips. The best part they are the ones to move the clips so they take ownership for their actions.

 Just close ups for you :)

 Here are the pins up close. I bought cheap clothes pins from the dollar store and stickers from all over. Every time they get to the top they get to pick a sticker. 

 Once they get 5 stickers they take the pin home and they get a new pin. Each new pin is a different color so they can see how many times they have had new pins.
The girls liked to wear their pins as barrettes once they could take them home.

It was the board managers job to move all pins back to Ready to Learn at the end of the day. Every once in awhile we would write in planners "My pin was on ______________ today."

I hope you find some great things on Pinterest because I know I have.
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