17 August 2015

Monday Made It!

This school year is off to a FANTASTIC start. Except for that whole "I'm so exhausted I could just fall over" feeling at the end of each day. But...I can look past that because I am really having fun at my new school! I can't wait to show off my new digs at the #2getherwearebetter link up on September 2nd!

But...speaking of new digs, my best teaching friend Shari has herself a new teaching home down the hallway from our old second grade rooms and in a kindergarten room! I am sooooo jealous of her space (and the fact that she only has 13 sweet little kinders!). She had this not-so-appealing cubby shelf in her room. I knew it had major beauty potential! So, her visiting friend, Jen, painting it a bright white, and I tasked myself with adding some lettering on the back. 

And so enters my Monday Made It! I headed over to my old stomping grounds after school today to put all the lettering on and OH MY WORD, Y'ALL!!!! It looked sooooo cute! Check it out!

It is all vinyl I bought off of Amazon and then cut with my Silhouette Cameo. If I'm remembering correctly, the font for "welcome to" is Hello Firstie, and the font for "kindergarten" is KG Blank Space Solid. I am just in love with how cute it is. She plans on taking pictures of her little cuties in front of it tomorrow! Here is a before picture. It's a big difference from the actual original color.

This is the only "made-it" I have time to talk about this week. I have been blowing up my printer, laminator, and Silhouette the past couple of weeks, and I can't wait to share some of the other fun things I've made for my classroom. In the meantime, head over to Fourth Grade Frolics for more Monday Made-It fun! You can click on the button below.

Have a great week!

09 August 2015

August Currently

I'm sorry...where did July go??? I blinked, and it's August 9th!!! Agh! I went back to work on July 24th, so I'm sure that where the black hole of time began. Between that and the first week of school, my days have flown by. All I can say is that I {PUFFY HEART} my new school. My teammates are awesome, the admin and staff are fantastic, the kids are phenomenal...and the lunches aren't half bad either. I totally miss my old school and teammates, but I know this is where I'm meant to be. It has been a transition for me, which is why I've been a bit MIA on the blog the past couple of weeks. I hope to get into a better rhythm this week.

But in the mean time, here is my August currently! You can link up by clicking HERE.

Listening: I was watching Soney Day's Periscope from her school in Frisco, and let me tell you-that school is amazing. And her HOWDY bulletin board was pretty stinkin' cute. Oh! She periscoped from her backyard one night after spray painting, and it was HILARIOUS. You must go check her out! Her blog is Sunny Days in School. Click the picture below!

Sunny Days in School

Loving: Speaking of Periscope, I must say that I love it. It has become my newest obsession. I love it because I can multi-task while watching. And I learn so much. It really makes you feel like you're there. I just wish I did more of it myself!

Thinking: The wall decorations in my school's hallways are out of control. I've never seen so many amazing displays. Maybe I'll scope from there, so I can share it with you all!

Wanting: Seriously. I'm addicted to Dr. Pepper. I really want to stop drinking it. But it's so good. And it makes me miss Texas a wee bit less. Actually, it makes me miss it more.

Needing: So, I follow Clean Mama. And her cleaning schedule is great. Except I don't want to clean at ALL during the week. So, I have to come up with some sort of system so things don't get out of control. 

B2S RAK: I would really like to leave more encouraging notes for my new colleagues. And it's really convenient to do this at my new school because they have a "thank you" note station. How cool is that???

Well, I have a few things to square away before the new week, so I must sign off. Have a great week!!!

02 August 2015

Bulletin Board Learning

I am so excited to be joining up with Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners for their #2getherwearebetter monthly linky! This month is all about bulletin boards, so here we go!!!

Bulletin boards have always been one of my most FAVORITE things to decorate in my classroom. They were cute, whimsical, and fun to look at. Well, fun for me to look at. The kids didn't always seem to appreciate the time and effort I put into finding border that matched with the pretty butterflies that gleefully displayed their names and smiling faces. 

Nope. Not a bit.

And then a couple of summers ago, I went to a Debbie Diller training in Denver. Now, I learned a LOT at this training from Debbie Diller herself (I'm a #debbiedillercreeper.), but the one thing that stuck out the most was her emphasis on only hanging learning tools on the walls. If we made an anchor chart showing the steps to solving a word problem, it went on the wall. If we learned the rules for adding the suffix -ing to a word, it was posted on the wall as a reference. In other words, if it wasn't a learning tool, it wasn't on the wall. 

I embraced this thinking last year, and I started the year with blank walls. 

And it TERRIFIED me. I wondered if the parents thought I was crazy with my half-finished classroom. 

But then I had this thought-if I haven't actually taught anything yet, then I wouldn't expect to see anything on the walls. The walls would eventually take care of themselves as we learned new content. 

And it was AMAZING. Our walls grew with knowledge the students were gaining. It was a constant resource that was always available to them-even when their teacher might not be. 

As learning continued, some things were removed and replaced with newer learning. Other things-like anchor charts for Literacy, were laminated and hung from hooks on the wall using binder rings so students could always refer to them if they needed to. It made for an amazing flip chart. (Oh-and I covered the top edge of the chart paper with duct tape after laminating, punched a hole in both top corners, and then hung from the binder rings. This prevented it from tearing.)

Tragically, I don't have pictures of my class from last year to show how it changed. I'm not even sure what's going on with my iPhoto. But...I do have snaps of this years NEW bulletin boards to show off!

Let me add real quick...I'm not sure which content will be where. This is a new classroom, and I'm really waiting to see what comes to me after school starts. My word of advice is to hang up what is NECESSARY so the focus is more on what they're learning within the environment and not just the way the environment looks.

I love the hanging notebook paper. I want this to be a writing focus wall, but it's at the BACK of the classroom. Hmmm...

This is right as you enter the room. I'm thinking maybe a #currently or some sort of news that highlights what we're doing that day or week. It's really far to the the left of the whiteboards. I'm also looking at it for space for a math focus wall.

I'm feeling that this will be a literacy focus wall. It's on the side of the classroom, but easily accessible for the kids. Plus the whiteboard right next to it hold a curtain rod for extra anchor charts, so it would make for an easy extension to the focus wall.

Usually to the left of the clock is accountable talk sentence stems. I will put a couple to begin with, and then I will add more as we use them. I love that they're there as a sort of scaffold, if needed. To the right has been grammar or phonics rules we've been learning.

These doors are untapped land. They were supposed to be a word wall, but I opted for a whiteboard word wall. I'm thinking Science/Social Studies content vocabulary, but that could change. Hmmm....

Well, my July was gone in a flash, and I need to make sure I don't waste anytime in August, so I need to get out of here and get back to label making for my classroom. But, hopefully I will see you back again next month for another #2getherwearebetter linky. You can join in the fun by clicking on the button below!

Have a great week!