Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The BOOST sale

The BOOST sale is still going on.  Don't forget to use promo code: BOOST at checkout!

Happy Shopping! ☺

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Classroom Setup (Some pics) AND a Sale!

So, today is day number 2 of setup in my classroom.  Yesterday I was wishing I had started last week.  Today when I left I was STILL wishing I had started last week!  I did get a lot done, but since I'm pretty sure I have adult ADD, I would start working on one thing and then become suddenly distracted by 8 other things, and then an hour later, realize I never did finish the first task!  YIKES! 

Here are a few pictures of some things I got done today.  Notice those two yellow covered boards? One is for my lunch

count, the other is part of my calendar.  Well, today I covered them both with yellow contact paper.  
The boards are super old, magnetic chalkboards.  For the past 8 years I've been trying to figure out how to cover them and still be able to use magnets on them.  The past several years I have tried to cover the boards with bulletin board paper using every adhesive known to man.  NONE of which worked.  The last two years I invested in a lot of heavy duty magnets to hold the bulletin board paper and bulletin board trimmers on--not a friendly task!  Which leads me to today's task, covering them with yellow contact paper.  I'm not totally in love with the look, since it's virtually impossible to get the contact paper to match up beautifully when you have to use three strips of it to cover the whole height of the board, but I'm learning to accept little things like that.  (Sort of!)  

Today I also got my classroom library bins straightened out and organized on my classroom library shelf.  I still have books to add to my white wire rack display, and a few books to be added to some bins too, but that task is mostly done.  

I got my listening center set up.  

I got my Leap Desk and writing station set up.  AND, I hooked up all four of my student computers.  The computers are really a hodge podge of mix and match computer parts, but for the most part they work for Xtra Math, RAZ-Kids, and PBS Kids.

 I also got my BIG hallway bulletin board started. I'm using my "We're Rockin' in our School Shoes" set.  
I printed it larger using my printer settings set to POSTER and it works great for my big bulletin board.  If you print it as it is, without changing the print settings, it works great for your classroom door.  I haven't added the sneakers with the kid's names on them yet since our class list usually changes several times before it's mostly the actual list of kids that will mostly show up.  ☺   

I still have a giant mess to contend with tomorrow!

As I was cutting out my Petes last night, my cat, Finnegan,
who is OBSESSED with lamination, started snagging pieces and carrying them around with him.  I began picking up pieces to throw away, and Finnegan began to hoard the pieces! Crazy cat!  Guess he's rockin' in his school shoes too!

Tomorrow is the BIG BOOST BACK TO SCHOOL SALE on TpT.  I've marked my entire store at 20% off for tomorrow only.  Make sure you also add the promo code: BOOST for extra savings.  

Happy Shopping!  I know my wishlist is LOADED! ☺

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A First Day Photo Frame Prop FREEBIE

First day pictures in my classroom are a must.  I've always taken first day pictures.  Several years ago I put together a cute photo frame prop.  Then about 3 years ago, I added words to the frame for the 100th day and for the last week of school.  Now I take a picture of each student with the First Day frame, then a picture on the 100th Day with the 100th Day frame, and a picture in the Last Week with the Last Week frame.  So at the end of the year I have 3 different pictures of each student, one from the first day, one from the 100th day and one from the last week.  I print them and attach them to a card as a gift for parents.  I present the cards to parents at our "end of year" awards ceremony.  WARNING, these precious treasures can cause teary parents! ☺

I printed out the words on cardstock and them laminated.  I love cardstock and I love lamination.  'Nuff said! ☺

I cut a rectangle out of the center of a black foam core board
to create the frame.  I think I bought mine at Walmart, but I've seen it at Michaels, Target, and Hobby Lobby.

I used Magic Mounts to attach the words and characters to the frame.  (I love Magic Mounts, they are lovely little sticky tabs that stick really well, and they remove easily with no damage!) On the reverse side of the frame, I attached the phrases to use later in the year--otherwise I'd lose them and have to reprint them.  ☺

Then, on the first day I pull each child one at a time to pose for their photo op.  And voila, you've got adorable pictures that the parents will treasure!   

Sshh! Don't tell anyone I had to pose for my own picture--should have put on some make-up first--Geez!

Here's an idea of what you get for each student when you've got all 3 pics.  

Inevitably, I always have kids move in and out of my class.  So, for those kids who aren't there the whole year, I just use random class pictures to add to their parent's cards.  

These printables are a FREEBIE in my store.  Please leave some friendly feedback! ☺

Friday, August 15, 2014

WINNER and final moments of summer!

I'm enjoying one of the simplest joys of summer a teacher can appreciate.  A cup of hot coffee in an actual coffee cup.  Not my travel mug, not a styrofoam Dunkin' cup, but an actual coffee cup.  And, as I sip that cup, I am thinking of next week, which I will spend in the classroom setting up.  {SIGH!} I love my job...but when my summer comes to an end, I get the BLUES!

So, onto a better and brighter topic, the winner of my "We're Rockin' in our School Shoes" bulletin board or door decor set! Congratulations to Mrs. Koster, who said: My students love Pete! ☺

I hope you and your students enjoy, I know mine will!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

We're Rockin' in our School Shoes!

Every year I perseverate over my room decor, especially my bulletin board and door.  Since EVERYONE sees it, I feel like it has to be a message, adorable, kid-friendly, adult-pleasing, etc., etc., etc...Anyway, this year I decided to use the groovy cat that firsties love. And, this year we'll be rockin' in our school shoes right from the start!  Check out my newest creation.  ☺

The phrase: "We're Rockin' in our School Shoes" comes in 3 different choices of colors/glows.  Also included are editable sneakers so you can add student's names.  And, you can't forget the cool cat himself, a few images of him are also included to jazz up your display.  ☺

Leave me a comment if you'd like to win a copy.  I'll pick one winner Thursday night (8/14/14) after 11:00 PM EST. ☺

FREEBIES and Back 2 School Giveaway

Hello Dear Friends,

So, I know many of you have already taken the plunge into your first week or weeks of back to school.  Not me, I've still got some time to angst over classroom setup and worry about this year's crew!  Whether you're back in it full time, or enjoying your final days of summer vacay like me, you have to take a few minutes to check out this super cool blog hop giveaway.  It's sponsored by the Fabulous Sarah at The Fabulous First Grade.  You'll definitely want to stop by each of the blogs and check out their tips and freebies.  Make sure to visit Sarah's blog to enter the giveaway on the rafflecopter.  

My tip for back-to-school craziness time is to "over plan".  Especially in the primary classroom, plan for more than you think you'll need.  Mini activities are ideal for helping the kiddos to recover from the "summer slide".  I like to have several short activities planned that get the kiddos engaged right from the start.  Most of the activities I do are based on a picture book.  In my first grade classroom, the students sit at desks.  I do the majority of my whole group lessons and read alouds at the rug.  So in the first days I like to give students many opportunities to practice moving from their desk to the rug.  Giving them practice at pushing in their chair, walking to the rug, finding their spot on the rug (which I assign, since I'm very anal structured!), sitting criss-cross applesauce...etc., etc., etc...All of those rituals and routines that you want to become second nature.  

An example of a mini activity on the first day: I like to read Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes.  After reading Chrysanthemum, we discuss the story.  Again, giving students the opportunity to learn to raise their hand and WAIT to be called on. ☺ Then, I give students a strip of paper with boxes on it.  I instruct them to write their name on the paper, writing just one letter in each box (I model this with a name).  I send students back to their desk to write, and instruct them to return to their spot on the rug as soon as they finish.  (Of course this whole time I reinforce the routines of walking, retrieving a pencil from their desk, returning said pencil to their desk, pushing their chair back in, walking, finding their spot on the rug, sitting criss-cross applesauce, etc., etc., etc...☺ When all students have returned to the rug, I collect the papers one at a time and create a bar graph on chart paper, number of letters across the bottom and number of students along the side.  Ultimately excitement always grows as one number has more boxes shaded in (seems simple, I know, but they always wind up cheering for a certain number ?).  Of course there are about a million other activities you can use the book Chrysanthemum for as well.  But this is a good starting point.  You get to learn a lot about your kiddos on the first day with this activity.  ☺  Here's the sheet I use, one year I had a student with 14 letters in their name, I just had them squeeze add the last letter after the last box. (Of course there are 13 boxes for 13 letters, since Chrysanthemum has 13 letters, which is exactly as many letters as half the alphabet!)

A couple more back-to-school freebies for you before you start your blog hop ☺

Some star letters and numbers which you could use for MANY different things in your classroom: 

An easy back-to-school busy work page: 

A fun back-to-school glyph: 

A lining up rhyme:

An editable/printable helper/job chart:

Thank you for taking the time to check out my little back-to-school tips and freebies!  Be sure to check out this blog hop and enter the giveaway!






       grab button for First Grade is Fantabulous