Friday, July 25, 2014

Five for Friday

Happy Friday! This is my LAST day before school starts so it's definitely bittersweet.
{one} - I did a little bit of school shopping this week at the Dollar Tree. I bough clipboards, planner accessories, Math dice, pencils, magnetic clips, magnetic holder, and two small bins. 
{two} I found a cute chevron backpack at Wal-Mart that was only $6.88! I didn't get it, but I think I'll go back and get it. It's too good of a deal and too cute not to.
{three} I worked on setting up my conference binders this week. You can read more about how I set them up HERE.
{four} This past year my new school purchased a book called "Which Way to the Wild West?" We will be using it this year in Reading to integrate Social Studies since our 5th graders will learn about Westward Expansion. I've only read about 2/3 of it so far, but it's really good. If you teach westward expansion, I'd definitely look into it!
 
{five} Yesterday was my new employee orientation and onboarding session (benefits, contract, etc). I had forgotten what it's like to be the new teacher and how overwhelming it is. I left my meetings and my school so overwhelmed yesterday! I'm really dreading leaving my son (he'll be going to Pre-K, but not at my school) and will be glad when we both get back in the groove. Wish us luck next week!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Setting up my Conference Binders

This week I have worked on setting up my conference binders. In the past I've called them a small group binder, but I stuck with the word conference this year because it will hold small group and individual conference notes. Since I will be teaching Reading/Writing/Language Arts this year to three groups of students, I labeled them as groups 1, 2, and 3. Group 1 is my homeroom, Group 2 will be my second group of students I teach, and Group 3 will be my last class.
 
The first thing I put in each notebook is a pencil pouch that holds supplies that I will need during a conference: pen, pencil, and post-it's. I may add supplies as I begin conferencing with students, but I think this will work for now.

 
Since I will be using CAFE/Daily 5 (more on that later), I put a copy of the CAFE menu in every binder for easy access.
I also put a calendar in each binder to help me stay organized on when I am meeting with certain students. I have purchased an Erin Condren teacher planner and may use that for scheduling student conferences, but for now I like the idea of the calendar for that class being in the conference binder.
I have copies of the Reading Conference and Writing Conference sheets that I will copy for each student. This is where I'll keep track of my documentation. I'll use these forms and see how they work for me. I have another form that I've used in the past that worked well so I will just have to see what works. 
 
I purchased tab dividers at the Dollar Tree since they sell them in a 10 pack for $1. I'm not sure how many students I'll have in each class so I purchased 3 sets for each class. I'll eventually put their names inside of the tabs.
With the exception of copying the conference forms, my conference binders are complete!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Little Library That Grew

At my previous school, I was blessed with TONS of classroom library books. I still remember when I first arrived fresh out of college unpacking boxes and boxes of books. I added several of y own books that I collected over time and had a great library. When I moved to Georgia, I had to leave behind all of the books that belonged to the school, which was about 98% of my classroom library. I brought with me all of the books that I had purchased with my own money.
 
Fast forward to this summer when I went into my new classroom I saw that I didn't have any books for a classroom library. I had a plethora of classroom sets of novels, which was a nice surprise. My co-teacher was nice enough to give me several books that were in her classroom. I added those to the books that I brought with me and this is what my little library looks like...
 
So, what's a teacher to do? Go to thrift stores, of course! I went to two thrift stores and was very pleasantly surprised at the amount of books!
 
I paid 40 cents per book and got a lot of great ones! I purchased mostly chapter books, but did find a few picture books.
Just look at all of these lovely titles! :) Once I got them home, I made genre labels and organized the books by genre. I added a label on the front of each book that tells what genre it is and a label on the side to make note that I own the book. 
 
I'll be sure to post my growing classroom library soon!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It {Painting & Digital Creation}

Happy Monday!!
 
I'm sad to report that this is my last Monday before school starts. I have such a mixture of emotions as my summer winds down and I am no longer a stay at home mom.
 
Moving on to Monday Made It with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics! 
The first Monday Made It I am going to share is my favorite this week! At my new school, most teachers have their name hanging outside of their classroom. Some have it on foam, some have it on canvas, etc. I found a canvas painting on Etsy, but could not justify spending $50 on it. So, I created my own and love the outcome! It's not perfect by any means, but I love it. 
Once I get to school, I'll use my staple gun to attach this ribbon to it to hang on a hook outside of my classroom.
 
My second Monday Made It was not made by me, but it was created and shared by Ladybug's Teacher Files. I printed her CAFE headers, laminated, and cut them out to go onto my bulletin board. I love the colors!
 
 
This past week I organized my file cabinet into 4 categories based on my standards. I created a label to attach to the front of the file cabinet.
 
I also created new book bin labels for my classroom library. I need to print and laminate a few more as I just purchased almost 100 book for my room from thrift stores.
 
Lastly, I created a Spelling header that I'll use with a Spelling display and Writing labels that will go onto 3 drawers where I will store student writing. I'll be teaching 3 groups of students since we are departmentalized.
Have a great day, friends! 
 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday

Today I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday! This week has seemed to fly by and my summer is dwindling down so quickly! I only have 4 full days of summer left. Yikes.
1) This week started out with me taking one of my dogs, Maggie (pictured on the right), to the veterinarian. She had began limping and holding up her back right leg. She did it somewhat sporadic so we didn't think too much of it at first. Last week while we were at the beach, we noticed her doing it more often.
It turns out she has a cranial cruciate ligament injury. Our veterinarian said she most likely injured it running around outside. She has a muscular build for her size and that played against her in this scenario. He compared it to an athletic injury, similar to an ACL injury in a human. We are giving her antibiotics for 3 weeks for inflammation and if it's not any better, he will refer her for joint repair surgery at the University of Georgia. :( :( :( We hope that the antibiotics will help, but will do whatever we can to help our Maggie girl feel better. It's unfortunate timing with me going back to school during this time.
 
2) I also spent part of one day this week in my classroom. I am making good progress, but still have lots of things I need to do. I don't think I'll go back until teachers go back. I just want to enjoy my last few days at home!

3) I have purchased a few clothes for school. I am not big on certain brands of clothing. If it's cute and comfortable, I'll wear it! I love these cotton dresses from Wal-Mart. They are SO comfortable and I can add a cardigan to make them school friendly. And for $10 - you can't beat it!
I also love this shirt from Belk. It was on sale for $20 - great deal! 
4) I have been shopping at thrift stores for books for my classroom library and have scored some GREAT deals! I'll share more details later of the books I purchased.
 
 
5) My son and I both worked on canvas paintings this week! I'll share mine next Monday for Monday Made It. My son loves to paint so he had such a fun time creating this masterpiece! We have it proudly displayed in the kitchen! :)


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Classroom Set Up - Day 3

In m y new classroom, I have a HUGE bulletin board. I have used fabric to cover bulletin boards in the past and loved that, but because my board is so big (109 inches in length and 46 inches in width), I thought that might get costly. So, I bought two table covers from Wal-Mart.
 
I went to my Instagram friends and asked which border they thought I should use. I was leaning towards black and they thought the same.
They didn't let me down! I love the black and white border with the blue. The table cover about drove me crazy because it's impossible to make it straight. Add that to my 4 year old wanting out Math manipulatives, markers, paper, etc...whew! I'm not too worried about the wrinkles though - soon enough I'll have charts and other things on the board!


I brought this large table to the back of the room by my bulletin board. My plan for this area:
  • An area for students to write
  • An area for students to read
  • An area for me to meet with small groups
I have a few materials to buy to make this table more "homey" and comfortable. My IKEA stools fit perfectly around the table.
I'm certainly not finished, but I've made MAJOR progress with 3 days - with my 4 year old, might I add! :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It {Lunch Choices & Beach Ball Icebreaker Activity}

Happy Monday, friends!! You know what Monday means....it's time to link up with Tara for Monday Made It! 
Last week I was at the beach {my favorite place to be!} so I don't have a lot to share, but I do want to share two small projects!
After talking to my new teaching partner, I learned that we take a lunch count every morning - something I didn't have to do at my previous school. She had magnetic containers with a lunch choice on each one so I modeled mine after hers. I had these cute containers from Target's dollar spot last year. I had just enough to have a lunch choice for each container (container #5 is at school). I will just add a magnet strip to the back and place them on the dry erase board. Or I may sit them on a table. I will have wooden sticks with students names and they will put their stick in their lunch choice for the day!
 
 
 
One of my most pinned posts is a beach ball icebreaker activity that I did last year on the first day of school. You can find it here. Last year I had looped up with my 4th graders so we didn't really need getting to know you questions because we all knew each other. So I decided to re-vamp this activity. I bought a new beach ball and wrote questions on each section. We will toss the ball around and each student will answer a question. You can do this multiple ways, but I'll probably do something like whatever color your right thumb lands on, answer that question.
 
 
Last year my class loved this activity and asked to play it multiple times so I hope it's a hit this year, too!