Monday, September 30, 2013

Classroom Before and After

I had a lot of fun setting my classroom up! Last year, I was hired a few days before school started and shared a classroom with the afternoon teacher so I never really got to set up a classroom or make it my own much. This year it was overwhelming knowing where to start because I had SO many Pinterest ideas filling my head along with some space constraints in my new room.  Here are some pictures to show you what I walked into and had to work with.

Standing in the doorway looking left. The file cabinet and cupboard are gonna move.

Sweeping to the right

Looking straight ahead towards the back door

Standing in the corner looking back

Facing the front door and front of the room. Notice the empty bookshelf on the right. 
That small cabinet is moving too.

So those wooden boxes on the wall are actually the student desks. They are built onto the wall and fold down to create a desk surface and about 6 inches depth of storage space. Cool idea but definitely something I had to really get creative to make work for me since I couldn't move any of them and they use up almost all of the wall space.

Starting to bring all my stuff in and unpack.

Moved the file cabinet and cupboard and shifted the bookshelves down so the projector cart could fit.

Small cabinet moved to the empty wasted space by the back door.

It has to get messy before it can get organized.

Fun things first! After getting the bulletin borders and cursive ABC's up, we covered cans (just empty cans from canned food) with fun paper to match the colors of the borders. Then we filled them with all brand new school supplies! Mmmmm

My hubby helped me color all the letters of the alphabet for my Boggle board. I wanted to give the letters some color and had it match the borders. After one set of the alphabet, he took it to his fancy copier at work and made 3 more sets. I laminated them at school and am all set for Boggle all year!

Emptying old files, organizing throwing away, re-organizing by color.

Assembling my pocket chart stand!


This is going to come in SO handy with little wall space.

All finished! Looking towards the back door.

The whiteboard always has the Entry Task and Journal Prompt for the day. That door leads to the 2nd grade classroom. The closed wooden cabinet has 2 computers in it.

This cabinet has all the extra supplies very neatly organized in it. As students break or wear out pencils they put them in the pink bucket and the Pencil Sharpener person sharpens all of them at the end of the day.

Close-up of the crayon wreath. My mom made it for me last year.

Classroom rules and reminders.

Using the pencil vase my mom made for me last year to hold our flags. You can see how the desks work now. During the week they rotate all their books like you would on a bookshelf and keep personal supplies on the other side. On Thursdays, we have to turn the book again and shut the desks so a Sunday School class can use our room.
p.s. the desks are no where NEAR that neat anymore.

I used border strips to break the wall into different sections. Each section is for posters, charts, pictures, and class work for different subjects. For the first week of school, I had 6 questions up that the kids answered with sticky notes. The questions were color-coded to match the different sticky notes I had and the kids had to write their answer on a sticky note that the matched the color of the question. I like things to match, okay?

Those pom-poms were from the wedding I got to decorate for this summer. They were just going to be thrown away and so I grabbed a few to add some fun by my desk.

Loving my supply cart! My mom got it for me from Ikea. I keep everything we need (in the cute cans) on a daily or weekly basis here and since it rolls around I can move it out based on our needs.

I used 3M double-stick strip to stick a corkboard strip to the top of my whiteboard. I then used pushpins to hold my pocket chart up. I created my own schedule cards based on the size of my pockets. I have since added a second pocket chart below hanging from suction cup hooks since our schedule would not all fit in just one after the first week of school.
I used the little chalkboard frames for the kids to hold for first-day-of-school pictures.

Closer view of my corner. The jobs are on those two cork boards. I just rotate the names under the jobs each week. You can kind of tell but the bookshelf is now full. Our school joined with another last year and they had hundreds of books up for grabs so I filled two plastic totes FULL. YAY. I'm working on a library app on my iPhone that allows me to check the books out to kids and then back in when they return.

I returned the 27pocket organizer because it held papers and folders vertically and was actually to narrow for folders. I got a second 10 pocket organizer and the two of them together works great! Folders and papers fit horizontally. Each student has their own "mailbox" I call it. 3rd graders are green and on the left, and 4th graders are blue and on the right. I keep my copies for the week in the pockets above. I can't imagine NOT having this.
It's a tight fit and some days we feel more cramped for space than others. But it works! I'm really proud of the ways I figured out to use my space best and get creative with storing things taking up as least amount of space as possible. I love my classroom. I've also received several compliments from parents saying they love the colors and how fun it looks. YAY :)

First Day of School!

My 21st first-day-of-school picture.
2nd as a teacher.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I'm Still Here

Wow. It's been almost 2 months since I last posted. Eesh! Ya probably not the best idea to have a big giveaway, gets lots of new followers and then never blog. It was SO not my plan. Every weekend I kept trying to get to blogging but it seemed like another things to do (or 5) kept popping up. We squeezed all the last bits of fun we could from summer and then reality hit and I had a new classroom to get going. THAT has taken way more work than I anticipated. Teaching two classes is a lot of work. Two sets of lesson plans for every subject, two (or four) different teacher manuals for every subject, two different tests and activity pages to copy, two different spelling lists to keep straight, and on and on. 

  I'm not complaining, I'm just finally coming up for air and realizing why I have not been on here.

So what have I been up to? Well for one, taking a lot more pictures on my phone than with a regular camera. At least I'm still taking pictures though!

 We had a handful of weddings this summer! All very fun times. I was bridesmaid for my dear friend. She played the flag game like I did at my wedding...I got to pick all the questions for her. 

Love my Cannon Beach girls. Guess I missed the memo that we had our shoes on, oh well, I'm tall enough without ;). My mom made my bridesmaid dress! So nice having a mom with that talent because the stores were just not coming through for me.

 My college roommate came to visit for a weekend! Never enough time with her. We talked so much, baked, watched Friends and movies, coffee, shopping, farmer's market, scrapbooking and more talking! I wish she lived down the street!

 Celebrating my mom's birthday. Check back soon to see what I got her and hopefully the idea can provide some inspiration for your next birthday gift.
 I love my mom! We text everyday and the days that we don't just don't feel right. She spent two whole days helping me set up my classroom and is even painting a new desk for me! Plus all the other amazing things she does like talk, laugh, listen, hug, give advice, and pray for me. She's the best!

Another wedding--family friend that I have known his whole life. I got to help set-up the decorations and reception, which was so much fun! I was also the photographer's assistant, aka the bossy person telling people where to stand/look, etc. I got the job done and we stayed on schedule!

Time flies. I can remember when all these kiddos were born, how can the youngest be driving and two of us married now?

My family did the Color Run! My first 5k and a lot of fun! It was my mom's birthday present. I now want to do another 5k...wait who said that?

 We put our new guest room (and YES I am still going to show you pictures of our new house) to good use this summer! Our newlywed (from the wedding pictures at the top) and newly-engaged (wedding next summer and I'm a bridesmaid again) friends came to visit for a weekend. So much laughter and smiling--they are good medicine!

Final wedding of the summer--a previous co-worker of Nate's.

We borrowed my parent's boat for a week and went out almost every night for picnic dinner, swimming, and hanging with friends and family. Can't beat summer time at the lake.

Played and won (for the 2nd year in a row) the volleyball tournament that Nate and I met at.

Been riding my gorgeous new coral Townie bike all over. It takes only 8 minutes to get to work!

First Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season...while riding in the convertible haha.

Living in denial that summer was really ending and fall was on its way. I hate putting my Rainbows away for 9 months.

Flowers from a student.

Weekend trip to SoCal for my Grandma' memorial service.

It's always summer in Cali. (yes, I know Californians will disagree with me and say it gets cold)

Family breakfast at Denny's to celebrate my Grandpa's accomplishments. 
Check it out! It's in all the new menus now :)

My first Coug game at WSU!

A weekend getaway thanks to our wonderful friends. They couldn't use their timeshare and didn't want it to go to waste so offered it to us! We found a really cool hot springs nearby.

And Crystal Fields with quarts everywhere. know fall is here when the TV shows come back! Wednesday is my night for the TV. I've been waiting all summer to find out what happens in Nashville. if my life wasn't jam-packed enough with fun stuff and school and just normal life, I became the assistant coach for the girls varsity volleyball team at my school. I love it! We played against my team from high school and both my coaches were there...we beat them by the way which felt good :). Only bummer thing is it makes me really miss playing. Hubby and I might start hitting the Friday night open gyms to play now.

So now you are all caught up. Those are all good excuses for not blogging right? Just maybe? Okay, well I'm going to try to be better! I'm working on a whole bunch of posts today to get them ready for the week!

Are you sad to say goodbye to summer too? What are some of your favorite things to do as a last summer hurrah or a fall welcoming? And if you are already chomping at the bit for Christmas, you are not allowed to comment your seasonal input for at least another month. ;)