Monday, August 15, 2011

Have you read An Awesome Book?

An Awesome Book of Thanks!
     So, while at home in Ohio visiting my family, my brother called and I spoke to him for a few minutes.  He went on and on about how amazing of a book this is and how I had to check it out!  So...I am sending this on to all of you.  You need to take a look at this link.  Dallas Clayton is a father who initially wrote An Awesome Book for his children.  This book teaches children and adults to take the time to dream big and out of the box!  His book is inspirational, funny, and inviting.  He then went on to write a book called An Awesome Book of Thanks!  His two books are must haves for the classroom or at home.  Here is a picture of his second book.  He travels and reads his books to children in schools and shares them at hospitals.  His foundation he has set up gives a book away for every book that he sells.  It is a pretty cool!  Take a look at his website and check out his books!  Maybe he will even be in a classroom near you soon!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day Two of Setting Up!

     I went to school today for DAY 2 of getting my room in order for the coming school year.  This was my second and my last day until we officially head back next Thursday for Teacher Workdays. As I sit here tonight I am totally wiped out and am a little scared for the next few weeks!  Never the less I feel even better about the state of my room.  All of my cubbies (aka storage units) are emptied and cleaned.  It is amazing how much dust can accumulate over 8 weeks! 
    This is a section of my cubbies.  Up above are the spaces where the students hang their backpacks.  Below they store extra markers, folders, supplies, and coats in the winter, etc.  I got the idea from a friend a few years ago to get these tubs. (Now I wish they were white, but too late!)  They were from the Dollar Tree and they are wonderful!!!! They hide all of the "junk" and even keep those bulky winter coats contained, that otherwise seem to make it to the floor.  The numbers are laminated and hot glued on the tubs and so far they have survived two years! :)  The funny thing was that I asked a student to clean out each tub at the end of last year.  I was a little surprised to find dust covering most of them and yes, crumbs, in a few of them!  GROSS! I guess I learned to check student work (aka cleaning abilities)!
So those that know me, know I am a little OCD and like things organized.  That can be difficult with a room full of 22 little ones.  I made these little cans in hopes to keep my pointers and dry erase markers organized.  I spray painted some cans, covered them in fabric and ribbon.  I then attached magnets on the back so that they can be moved around the white board!

These are Tuna cans that I did the same thing with!  Are you ever at the board and need a push pin or a magnet?  Well here is the solution.  I filled one with cute magnets and one with push pins.  Now, I won't go running to my desk and I won't have to have the magnets all over the board! :)
Ok...So here is my finalized reading area including my rugs and pillows!  Just ignore the books on the floor!  They are smoothing out the corners of my rugs after being rolled up for 8 weeks.  I love these rugs.  I bought them at Target before my first year teaching.  I was just telling my Mom today that they are probably about to begin their last year of service as the kids have left a few marks and really pulled up the corners.  Although, looking here at the picture they don't look too bad!

And finally, here is my new Focus Wall.  I can't wait for what is to come with this new adventure.

For those who are still on summer break, enjoy your last few days.  I have one week left of freedom! I think I hear the beach calling!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Day One Setting up!

    I have spent the last few weeks looking at so many awesome blogs with great classrooms.  We were finally allowed in our rooms today for the first time.  As you can see I entered to find a huge heap of furniture stacked up against the cubbies! It is always interesting to see how many items can be piled on top of each other!

 I got a ton of things done today, but I still have a lot to do.  It is amazing how exhausting moving furniture can be!  By the end of the day I was beat...but the outcome was worth it!  I got my bulletin boards done, set up one of my little nooks, and I cleared off the top of the cubbies.  Thanks for all of the inspiration out there to get back in and start decorating. :)
 At our school a lot of the teachers use paper on the bulletin boards.  I went to grab some and was disappointed when I saw that it was damp and discolored!  I decided to go get fabric instead.  I have never had fabric boards, but I know a lot of other teachers always use it.  I think they both turned out really cute.

My computer area is still not set up and the wall behind them I think is going to be changed to use for a focus wall. (Something new for me this year!)  The reading area is missing a few rugs/pillows that go on the floor.  This is where we do our whole group phonics/reading.  The chair directly under the leaf is a very special gift.  It is hand-painted by a former parent and fellow teacher.  It is amazing!  The kids get to sit in this special chair when reading aloud to the class or sharing about themselves when they are student of the week.

I hope everyone is enjoying the last few days of summer! :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back to School SAVINGS!

I am VERY sad and a little jealous that so many teachers are working in their classrooms and getting prepared for this year.  I can't get into my room until August 8th and most of  the days I am allowed to go to school, I will still be working at my summer job or out of town.  So all of this wanting to get in my room turns into me purchasing items that I can put in my room once I get there!  I know it doesn't really make sense...but it does to me!  Unfortunately, I don't have or want to spend a ton of money so I have been on the hunt for deals.  I have seen some awesome deals on some other blogs and thought I would  share the things that I have found!
These are actually only about 4 inches high each!  I found these at Michael's Arts and Crafts. I think they were about $2.00 each.  They have little hooks on the bottom to hang items from them.  They have little picture hooks at the top to be able to pin/nail them to a wall.  They were plain white and I didn't know where I was going to put them in my classroom so I wanted to keep them simple.  I put little dashes and dots around the edges, added some ribbon that I already had and they were done!!  

Who can't have enough markers?!  Usually Walgreen's is not my first choice for markers but this week they have markers for $2.00 a pack and then you get $2.00 Register Rewards.  You can basically get 2 packs for $2.00, which is not too bad.  Sometimes you can find these cheaper at Walmart and other stores, but I thought this was a good deal.

I know that another blog mentioned this deal a week or so ago.  Staples has special deals for teachers.  Teachers can purchase 25 packs of highlighters (2 Sharpie highlighters per pack), 25 packages of note cards, and 25 packages of pencils (8 pencils per pack).  All of these items are 1 cent!  I only bought the highlighters and pencils, but that equals 50 highlighters and 200 pencils all for $0.50!! What a steal!

PLEASE feel free to leave/share some of the deals and steals you have found.  I know you are out there shopping too!  
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