Sunday, February 9, 2014

New Classroom Reveal.....Finally!

So I finally feel confident about sharing some pictures with you. I have shared several on IG already. Do you follow me there? Well, you should...seriously. 
Here goes nothing.........

 First, I'm going to take you through a few bulletin boards in our first grade hallway. My BFF at work & fellow blogger, Stacey, from Teaching Ever After, & I were totally inspired by Jodi's Restroom Review bulletin board. We went from having bathrooms in our classrooms to having a shared hallway bathroom.
It was driving me nutso trying to keep them at a level zero in the hallway. I love how this is an interactive bulletin board that can be changed or kept the same throughout the year. My kiddos are having a contest to see who can make the largest word.

I first saw something similar to this on Etsy. But then my friend Alisha from Bubbly Blond made one for her classroom & posted a pic on IG & I was obsessed! Here are a few more shots of this fabulous bulletin board. 
I know...I know....holy freaking cuteness! I am in love friends! I almost popped a tent in the hallway so I can just stare at this beauty all weekend! Thanks to my mom for doing most of the labor! 
Can you tell I'm totally digging this board? I took about 500 pictures of it from every angle possible. One reason I chose this board is because our school is MASSIVE. I have no sense of direction friends...I really thought I was going to have to strap some kind of navigation system to myself so that I'd find my classroom & wouldn't lose the kids. I thought I would do myself & everyone else a favor & give them a clue as to where they were in our building. Including our staff being lost we also have had tours & tons of tech staff in our building & frankly they have no idea where they are going so......you're welcome tech dept! 
I was going to post all those in between pics with all the boxes & me cussing in the background but I thought I'd spare you the drama.....I'm still traumatized. It was so much work but in the end it was worth it. 

Now a tour of my new classroom! I have spent timeless hours here since December. I thought I was going to despise coming into it but I don't...I love it! I dream about it & I totally lose sleep over it too! Come on in...................
If you recall this summer I was going through a chalkboard neon phase & was creating like a mad woman. Well.....it looks A.W.E.S.O.M.E.! I used some of the items in my old classroom & everything has worked out in my new classroom. I've had to change some labels around but NBD. We are not allowed to staple, tape, or hot glue anything to the walls...for a year...a year! We have no bulletin boards in our hallway since we have lockers. At first I was bummed but I am so over it. Anyway, I had to lose my tie dye clipboards that used to hang in my old classroom. They didn't match with my vision & I was not about to buy new ones...I did look but couldn't find them. Anyway, I had to think of a way to hang student work without getting in trouble with my staple gun. Of course, I had this neon card stock lying around just in case I needed it for something. Well...this is the something. I had already had the hubs hot glue the numbers to the glitter clothespins but did not use them (ssh). I can still hear him complaining about the third degree burns he had over the glue. Anywho, they didn't go to waste now did they? I just put a tiny piece of velcro & all is good. It's so easy to change out the writing from week to week or month to month. 
 Here is a close up. The kiddos just love seeing their work displayed & it's just so pretty...isn't it (wipe tear)?
Dear Principal, 
Those beautiful chevron letters that are promoting the children to read are just leaning...I swear. 

This is a peek into our little library. It's quite a bit smaller than what they were use to but it's working out. We have several other areas where they can sit & read so they are fine. They are not fighting over getting into the library any more. 
Here is another view of our library...the chapter book view. 
This was the cutest thing ever! After they kept complaining about the library being so small & how they missed the other school...this is what they came up with. They made a "couch". Here is another view. 
We are all making it work! They love it now! 
Here is the last view of my library. Since I teach high ability first graders, I have to have books of all levels. These are the most popular books right now...they are reading 3rd grade & up! 

These neon bins are from Really Good Stuff. I was stalking them until they were available. These are very nice quality & the colors are fabulous! They look phenomenal with my chalkboard neon line. 
 The kids are so funny! They take such good care of their book bins & supply tubs underneath. They know everything is brand new so they take extra special care. A fight broke out when one of them had the nerve to put their book bin back in the wrong order! The black bins behind are from IKEA & house my unit books. The black dishpan tubs underneath are from Walmart & apparently are no longer being made. Really...Sterilite??? Really? Not cool! I bought every black dishpan in the Chicagoland area so don't even waste your time. I would write Sterilite a strongly worded letter. The tubs on the very bottom are from Big Lots & they fit perfectly!!!! I store all my Candy Land games for ELA & Math. The kids just grab & go. 
Now we are right behind my desk area. These Ikea bins house my monthly read alouds. I just used some of that neon card stock from Michael's & my handy Brother label maker.

The O-M-G came from Michael's & I always say "O-M-G, you're kidding me, right?".
Sorry for the poor quality of this pic. This vinyl chalkboard set is from one of those daily deal sites...... Sassy Steals or Very Jane. Please do not tell your husbands that I made you be obsessed with these daily deal sites. You are officially warned...they are addictive. My credit card is on fire from these places. When I originally ordered this I had it in my mind that I wanted to add teal in my room. Well, my name & the days of the week were in teal & totally blended in with my bulletin board paper. Not good. My goal was to write birthdays & important dates on this but it just hasn't happened. It's too high for me. My mom put it up & I really need to purchase a step stool. I am what you call "vertically challenged" or my new description.... I'm a "people mcnugget". 
The fabulous chevron border is from Creative Teaching Press. You can find it here or here.
Here is a view from the back of the room. Do you see the blue pocket chart in front? It's killing me! It's driving me nuts! Why don't these pocket chart companies make black??? Hello?!?!? 
I am in love with this board! It might not stay like this....just fyi. I'm thinking of moving these signs on my cabinet doors. Anyway, the fabulous rules are from my friend Maria from Kinder-Craze. She has a "black series" line that is beautiful! I simply reduced the size of the rules & modge-podged them on the chalkboard signs. The chalkboards were $1 from Michaels!
I had a wonderful opportunity from rugsusa.com to review this fabulous chevron rug for my new classroom. We love it! It's very student friendly & nice & comfy for them to sit on in our writing center. I will tell you that my students were using a Scentos marker and got a huge stain on the carpet.....needless to say I was not happy. All it took was a Magic Eraser & it was gone! 
This is a shot of a few students during my "Wayside School Book Club" that I have several days a week before school. It fits right into my classroom theme & makes this area of my classroom so "homey" for my students. 
Speaking of our writing center........um... hello????? It's fabulous!  This has been a work in progess & I'm so excited to finally share it. What you see is the student samples they have to refer to. Of course, I introduce each new writing choice to them before it's displayed on our new board. My students are obsessed & so am I! This product is not yet finished...you know me...it takes me forever to finish anything. This is my "baby". I started this & kept changing it since last summer. I try each thing with my students & if it's not well liked...it's deleted. Anyway, this is just a part of a huge product that can be used all year long. 
Here is another view. Again, we have the pencil banner....LOVE IT!!!!! 
This is the last one...I promise.....don't hold me to it. The beautiful alphabet chart is from Maria's "black series". It is just striking in person. Check it out here. She also has a number line, color posters, & domino number cards. 
Here is one of my students conducting an interview in our writing center. They think they are such big shots doing these interviews! 
Um...look at #1! I love first grade! 
And here we have the firstgradebook.com (FB) writing. O-M-G they are obsessed! THEY LOVE IT!!! 
This is the only pic I was able to grab this week. It's partially finished but you get the point. I must have been too busy staring at my writing bulletin board to get a pic of the finished product. I promise I will this week.....they will continue to be obsessed. 
This desktop organizer is from Target & I LOVE IT! The drawers slide in & out like they are on rails! This system is extremely well made. You can check it out here.
Here is one of my cutie patootie's grabbing her writing center activity for Daily 5. 
Speaking of Daily 5....here is our Daily 5 clip chart. Feel free to grab this FREEBIE chart here. The filetastic chevron organizer is from Mardel. I keep all kinds of forms here. I keep attendance slips, reading logs, extra office papers, newsletters, spelling words, & a ton of papers that we need at a moments notice.
I found a spot for my early finisher station as well. The top row I keep independent ELA stations & on the second shelf I keep independent Math stations. These tiny neon crate were from Walmart during back to school time.
I used Ladybug Teacher Files special signs & put them on...of course chevron paper from Michael's Craft Store.
Now we are onto my counter top. Do I really have a counter top? Yes, I do!!! Love it! I am really trying so hard to keep it clutter free. This organizer is from Lakeshore & we just wrapped it in duct tape & gave it a little update. 
 The cup organizer was free from Highlights magazine. Again, we wrapped it in duct tape to give it an update. The black organizers next to it were for table storage but that will soon be changing. 
Speaking of organization.....I am in love with my teacher toolbox! I got the labels from my friend, Erica Bohrer from Erica's Ed-ventures. She has several different styles. I even made one for my home office. You can check them out here.
 This is where I keep the majority of my day to day material. Of course I had to order black file folders! Each day contains; morning work, ELA, Math, Interactive ELA, Interactive Math, Social Studies/Science & Homework.

Here are my Daily 5 bins from Really Good Stuff. This picture was BEFORE I ordered the black file folders. I keep my word work, listening & read to someone accountability sheets in each bin.  
This used to be my Monday-Friday bins....of course I changed the labels.
My math tubs have found a new home. I use these about every other day & especially on "Fun Friday". I try to change out the bins at least every other week. 
Here is our new AR line chart. My kiddos had to get used to the new numbers. I got rid of my peace themed numbers....of course. 
This is a view of my job chart. Every student in my class has a job. This surprises a lot of teachers but it truly gives them a feeling of ownership & teaches them responsibility. They take their jobs VERY SERIOUSLY.....it's the cutest thing ever! You can check out my EDITABLE job chart here.
I keep most of my grab & go station supplies here. My students don't even have to ask where anything is...they just grab & go independently.

This is my new behavior chart which is housed on the side of my station supply shelf. I purchased these adorable blingtastic clothespins from Michael's. I finally figured out how to utilize them. I just used my label maker & stuck their numbers on the inside!!!! LOVE IT!!!
I just HAD to sneak one last pic of my "write" banner. I just think it's so cute..I can't stand it! 

P.S. DID YOU NOTICE MY NEW BLOG DESIGN? DID YOU NOTICE HOW IT HAPPENS TO MATCH MY CLASSROOM? THAT'S NO ACCIDENT FRIENDS. CHECK OUT BECCA FROM JUMPING JAX DESIGNS IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A BLOG UPDATE. 

I hope you enjoyed a peek into my new classroom! Please feel free to pin the poop out of any pic! This post took FOREVER!!!!! 
Peace! 






Friday, February 7, 2014

Seusstastic Loves TPT


I can't begin to describe how thankful I am to Teachers Pay Teachers, not only as a seller but as a buyer.  Since TPT has come into my life, it truly hasn't been the same. TPT has given me a much needed creative outlet that I was searching for.

Not only do I get to create materials for my own first grade classroom, I also get to share it with you! I love the fact that my students get to benefit from my ongoing projects, ideas & new adventures. If it wasn't for TPT, I probably would have left this field. TPT  keeps my fire lit about education and keeps things exciting and new!

Just a few things that we wouldn't have been able to do without TPT in our life...............................

My husband and I have been able to afford various fertility treatments that are not covered whatsoever on either one of our insurances. Although, we haven't had success in having our dream baby, at least we have been able to try to make that happen.

We also have been able to do some home improvements & drive nicer cars than we normally would be able to. We have been able to help various family members & friends who struggle as well donate to charities close to our hearts. We do splurge here and there but we would NEVER be able to without the help of TPT.

I am beyond excited to be giving away a gift certificate to a lucky follower. Not only am I giving away a $10.00 gift certificate from MY blog, but all my Freebielicious friends are also giving away a $10.00 gift certificate from THEIR blogs too! But that's not all! Teachers Pay Teachers has graciously donated some gift certificates for us to give away from our Freebielicious blog. So many chances for you to win! How exciting!


Now, let's get back to the giveaway!I have purchased a $10.00 gift certificate from TpT and I want one of YOU to win it! All you have to do to enter is fill out the rafflecopter, with integrity. I have included many opportunities for you to enter. Choose one of them or all of them. But, the more you choose, the greater chance you have of winning. And, when you are done entering my giveaway, hop on over to Lori, and enter to win her giveaway. Just click on her button below.

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You can easily hop through all our blogs to enter the giveaways. Don't forget to stop by Freebielicious to enter to win the BIG money! Good luck to you all!

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