A Glimpse into my Room 2013-2014

I've spent many hours at school this month, cleaning, organizing, labeling, and decorating in a humid, sticky fashion, but I am really loving how the room is coming together. If I needed to, I could easily be ready for Open House on Monday (although nothing is labeled with student names yet- I like to wait until I have any roster changes closer to Open House). Now next week with workshops being in full swing and limited time to work in our rooms, I can focus on organizing my digital files and planning for  our first week with the students (technically, I've started that also). I'm linking with Miss Nelson for her Saturday Snapshot feature!


Here's most of what the room is looking like!

Here is my door this year. I love this book! I'll write student names on each hot air balloon before open house.



The Job Chart and Attendance board are in the back of the room right by the door. I've added more pockets to make switching easier. I'll add student names on the sticks and introduce a few jobs each day the first few weeks until they are all in service. For the attendance board, students move their number to their lunch choice. Whoever doesn't move theirs would be absent. I have a lunch count job where that student double checks that everyone did their lunch count and they write how many of each choices on the white board next to it so I can input them into our computer as well as record who is absent.


This is a view of my library this year.  A few more bins have been added and I've completely relabeled every book (to include my new last name) I'm excited for how I've labeled them this year and hope I don't have to do that task again for a very long time!


This is my bulletin board for the library this year! I hope to change it shortly after Open House to include older anchor charts for students to reference. I actually used a placemat from the Dollar Tree (I had an extra one) for behind the words. I've also used a cookie sheet from the Dollar Tree to make mini buzz boards for the library.


I used a dust jacket from a book for the image inside the iPod and made little labels for the screen. My sister made the super cute pom-poms!

One last view from the library! 



My birthday sticks! I used the Crazy Straw idea floating around Pinterest. I got mine off of Amazon- a 36 pack for like $8.00. I then used my Cricut to cut out the little decals on top and the sign. The vase I found at home. I hope this helps me keep better track this year of birthdays.


This will be my interactive math vocabulary board. We'll add vocabulary cards as we learn them, but I wanted it up for Open House. They are on magnets so students can move them around, take them back to their desk, etc.


Above my Smartboard is our Show 5 (from Responsive Classroom) and our Fist to Five guide. I put it there to try to cover up the holes in the wall from an old projection screen.


I used Fist to Five all the time last year, but this year I have more of a clear explanation for what each finger means. Here's a closer look at each level.




My Guided Reading board got an upgrade as well (the crumpled, torn post-its needed to go). Same deal as last year: When I'm done meeting with a group, we go over their independent job. I write them on mini-post-its as they repeat their job back to me and then they go and place it on the board to reference if they should forget. It worked really well last year!


They turn in any post-its or index cards, or Reading A-Z books in the little blue bin next to the board. I also have moved the strategy seminar sign-up to the same area in hopes I get around to using it more.


I am trying out the homework pockets. I was terrible at keeping track of who had turned in their homework. Now, all the pockets are numbered and facing the same direction so I can easily glance to see who hasn't turned them in. My homework helper job will then take the papers out (in the same order) so I can look them over. My paper passers then will pass them back out (already in number order) to student mail boxes. The system seems pretty full-proof, but time will tell!




On my Reading and Math bulletin boards, I've posted simple signs of our units for the year. I'll take them down after Open House, but this way, not every board is blank in the room on Open House, and it has valuable information for what we will learn in 3rd grade this year!


Uh- and the moveable wall. This thing can be a head ache. It will be my writing focus wall this year again, with some tweaks. I've moved a table back there, as there will be times when I am co-teaching with our EL teachers and I wanted to make sure they had a space to pull small groups if necessary. Using upholstery hooks from Jo-Anns, I am able to hang things on the wall. It will soon be covered with charts we create to help us with our writing.


We'll track our writing here. Made from Dollar Tree pizza pans and washi tape.


A closer look. I still need another set of classroom numbers, because I want to track both their assigned writing progress that we do in Writer's Workshop and their free-writing progress. They'll move their number to the stage they are at.


Some paper storage (big lined and normal line paper as well as some decorative border paper for publishing), some pencils and colored pens that will stay back there. And then some magazine holders for students to turn work in to be looked at during the different writing stages. I still have to label them. I used bulletin board borders to wrap the bottom of the boxes (and to cover the tearing the boxes have endured)


A final glimpse of the back of the room. Once school starts the whole back wall will be closed up. I might go back to school tomorrow... but I have a feeling Open House will be here (Thursday) before I know it! Hope you all are having a great transition back to school!


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Monday Made It: Pulling Pieces Together

I'm excited that Tara decided to do Monday Made It early! It's keeping me occupied until True Blood comes on in 30 mins! I've been working on a few little projects, but I feel like its the little details that make me feel like I'm making progress. I'm heading into my room again tomorrow and hope to get a lot of work done on a few projects I've been prepping for (although my teammates will be in as well and I am always the wonderer who floats to people's rooms and gets them off task by making them talk to me... yes, I'm that person). However, I'm really excited about my projects and hope that will motivate me to stay put and try to keep my socializing under control.



Here are a few of my made-its!

Made-It #1: No- Sew Curtains

Luckily they are high up so you can't see all my flaws, but I love the color they bring to my windows. I have two huge windows and really wanted curtains last year, but couldn't find anything cheap enough. I went to JoAnn Fabrics and bought a bunch of the small pre-cut pieces of fabric (which were 40% off... woohooo) and some fabric tac. I folded over the top edge to make a pocket, put some fabric tac on and bam bam thank you ma'am they were done. I used some PVC pipes that were left over from the previous teacher and command hooks to hang it. 

I also love my new desk/small group area! I got rid of my humungous desk and have just a table for my computer and now lots of space to meet with my small groups!

Monday Made-It #2: Objective Board


I whipped out my trusty old Cricut and bought a new font cartridge (goll I want a Silhouette cutter- cartridges are spendy!) and finally created content labels. Last year I just wrote out the content area but I wanted to make it more permanent this year and bring some color to the space. I am waiting to talk with my team to see if I'll use the bottom space for word work.

Monday Made-It #3: Student Number Magnets

Last year I used paper numbers for our lunch board, but it was a pain when one went missing (and we only lost 1 the whole year... pretty good). I made two sets and some blank ones so that if I need to, I can just write on top of the marble the missing number, seal it with some nail polish, and go on with our day. I used my Cricut to cut out the circles, wrote the numbers on them, modged-podged them onto marbles stones from JoAnn and added small magnets from Lakeshore.

Monday Made-It #4: More Job Pockets for my Job Board
Here was my job board last year:


I had classroom jobs last year where everyone had a job, but they might have shared it with other people. I only had 1 pocket per job. It made it really complicated to keep track of who did what and it was a dreaded task for me to do. I decided to make 1 pocket for each job so that only 1 student was in the pocket. That way, now I can just move everyone down one and they still get variety. I can space out jobs that I have multiple people do (ex. I have 4 'custodians- each brings in one garbage and takes it out to the hall each day- that means I have 4 pockets that say custodian). I like the look of them and they hold up nicely thanks to some modge-podge. I again used my Cricut for the letters and just made a template for the pockets. I'm moving the job board to the back of the room and putting magnets on the back of each pocket.
Here's a view of a few of my past Monday Made Its being put to use!

My teacher toolbox and weekly copy holders. I had to change some drawers as I had far too many sharpies and colorful pens (addicted- what can I say).

And here are my jars from last week. I was worried about the size, but they are PERFECT. They don't take up too much space and will hold plenty of supplies at a time. One of my new jobs is the Supply Keeper, so when supplies are looking low, they will go the closet and fill up our jars. I'm really glad I did them.







I hope you all are enjoying everything that comes with a new school year! Can't wait to check out what others have created!


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Monday Made It: Shared Supplies Jars and Voice-O-Meter

I've made it to another Monday Made It! I got into my room a little bit and mainly just created a bit more work for myself. I decided to rework all the tables and big furniture, moving tables, filing cabinets, etc. I didn't get as much work done as I wanted, but I came home feeling ambitious- not to mention I received my package I was waiting for!


I saw these shared supply jars from a Monday Made It from Everyday Giggles and after changing our supply list and having some communal supplies, I needed to have my own!
Inspiration from Everyday Giggles



I looked everywhere for the plastic candy jars she used, and just couldn't find them. I did find some hexagonal shaped ones from Birthday Express and at only $3.00 a piece, I thought I could make it work. These are 4 x 6 (they come in other sizes too) and I thought were a little small at first, but after I stuck some pens in there, I think it'll work!

My Supply Jars

I painted the lids with acrylic paint. I tried to sand it a bit to help the paint stick, but it didn't work the best.

They aren't the prettiest, but they will work (I am trying so hard to believe that... my nit-picky self is fighting that statement). I added a little ribbon around also to dress them up. I can't wait to fill them up with goodies!

Ambitiously, I started another project: A Voice-O-Meter. I again saw an original idea from Create Art with Me and thought it would come in handy as a reinforcer during parts of our day.
Inspiration from Create Art With Me
 I changed some of the describing words for the different levels. I plan on hanging it up on my whiteboard and having the arrow have a magnet on it. I'm excited to have a visual this year.
My Voice-O-Meter

Pick up my Voice-O-Meter for free at my TpT store by clicking the photo below!


Well, that's it for now. I might go back to school tomorrow- we'll see if I am still feeling the urge!
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Back to School or End of Year Project

As I sift through photos from my first year of teaching, I found this project which I loved! The original idea comes from the super cute blog, Third Grade Love. She used it as an end of the year writing activity and I thought it was a great idea!


Every year at my school, they have an end of the year barbecue where family members come and eat on the school lawn. Many families take their kiddos home after the barbecue and the teachers are left with a smaller class with less than 10 days left in the school year. My team wanted something to do that was fun and would take up a good chunk of time in the afternoon after many of the students left to go home early. I hopped on trusty Pinterest and found Third Grade Love's blog post and adapted it to fit our needs.

We created out own template by finding an image of sunglasses on google and taping our piece of paper to the Smartboard. We then projected it and traced, added writing lines, and sent it to the copy room!

In our sunglasses, students wrote what they were looking forward to this summer. However, you could easily use this at the beginning of the year with students writing about what they did this past summer!


After they wrote, they cut and glued it onto a large piece of construction paper and began to draw themselves. It took a good amount of time and was an excellent way to end out busy barbecue day.
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