Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School 2 Day Sale

My entire TpT store is on sale this weekend!  Use the code to get an additional 8% off!

Thanks to Ink n Little Things for this cute banner!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Classroom Digs ~ A Tour of My Classroom

It took a while, but my classroom is done!  Er, well, about 95% done.  At least it's done enough for these link ups!  I have spent hours here and there ever since Amelia (granddaughter #3) was born in late July.  I toyed with the idea of setting it up early (like her other grandma did - Amelia has two teacher grandmas, a teacher daddy, and a teacher aunt.  Lots of educators in that little kid's life!).  But, anyway, I didn't set it up early.  I declared that I wouldn't come home today until it was finished.  Like I said, it's mostly done.  I have a few more cute-ifiers to hang up, and some stuff that I just put into our Kinder workroom to deal with.

I hope no one minds, but I am going to use this post for two linkies.  They both feature classroom tours, and I figure no one really wants to read the same post twice, so here it goes!

 View from the door.

 Math Center/Word Work Station.  Many of the areas do double duty.  The bins hold math materials, and the white tub will hold Word Work activities.


 The counter behind my half circle table.  I really, really, really plan to keep it organized this year.  Don't the birds and branches look cute?

 Focus Wall.  I changed out the yarn with ribbon to pretty it up a bit.  I also have a new calendar - it's Poppin' Patterns and coordinates with my flower border.  The cloth on the shelves is something I've had for years & it looks great with Poppin' Patterns!  A new lamp and a new 31 mini utility bin complete the cute new look.

 Close up of my new & improved Focus Wall

 My favorite table.  I really love this for working with students.  The bulletin board behind the table will hold anchor charts.  (The charts will help to cover the "ghost" of the tree that hung there for three years.)  I got rid of the big metal tub in the magnet area ~ now the sight word fish swim in dollar buckets from Michaels.

 I used chevron scrapbook paper to dress up my storage drawers.

 My colorful library.  I moved the library to the center of the room last spring when we got our rolling book rack.  I really like books to be the centerpiece of the room. The shelf in the foreground will hold morning work in the red basket in a few weeks.  (I don't introduce morning work right away.)

 This new cabinet will hold Daily 5 materials. (PS  I am getting replacement tubs ~ the top ones aren't supposed to be orange.)

 The view from behind the library.

 Looking across my new rug.  I love the bright colors!  I'll have eighteen students again, so I have four student tables.  It's a bit crowded, but it works.  I put the shelves that hold their folders & books against the wall under the white board, which should help with congestion.

 Another view across the room.

 Book bins and my desk.  The table in front of my desk will be an independent listening station.  (I still have a few personal CD players, but they are getting more and more difficult to come by.)

 My desk ~ so nice and neat.  Can it stay that way?  Oh, look ~ what a colorful lesson plan binder!  Want one?  It will be on sale this weekend.  Another 31 product will hopefully keep me organized this year.  (Check out the darling background on my computer!)

 Let's see if this fold & file keeps my desk tidy this year!

 My new Literacy Center/Writing Station is now home to the tree that left its ghost behind my small group table.  :-)  Crates on their sides make great storage for writing binders.

 Looking at the new Pocket Chart Skill Spot, and new rectangular table where Mrs. S. will work with small students during Stations.

 Pocket Chart Skill Spot.

 Mrs. S's new table backs up to the D5 storage unit.

My new Word Wall with 100 words.  I like to put all the words up at the beginning of the year so that the kids are exposed to them daily.  And, those Kinders who can read them may help others to learn to read them as well.  I moved this little white table here for a new skill spot.  Not sure what yet, but it will be something!

 Listening Station and Kinder Garden board.  The flowers will hold pictures of the kids' cute smiling faces.

 Dramatic Play Center

 Manipulative Center

The view from the back corner.  (The drawing on the white board was done by my three year old granddaughter, Isabella!)

Well, that completes the tour.  Like I said, I have a few odds & ends to finish, but I am pretty happy with my "home away from home" so far!  Check out the two linkies to see some more classroom decor inspirations!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet the Teacher


It's Back to School time, and also Teacher Week at Blog Hoppin'!  Today's topic is all about me!

1.  I am about to begin my fourth year in kindergarten.  Before I became a Kinder Diva, I taught first, fourth, reading, and preschool (12 years in pre-k ~ yikes!).

(This is the Kinder Diva anthem my partners & I made up last year.  Feel free right click and copy.)

2.  I am the fifth of seven children.  Collectively we have 16 children, and some of those 16 collectively have 24 children.  There are a lot of us!

3.  I like to read, but find it very difficult to finish a book during the school year.  Most of my for-fun reading is done sitting on my front porch during the summer.

 4.  I haven't paid for my own Starbucks coffee since December 2012 because of all the gift cards students have given me!  (And, I visit Starbucks frequently!)

5.  I have annoying curly/frizzy hair so I get a keratin treatment each summer.  I love, love, love the happy straightness!

 I love how nonfrizzy my hair is!

6.  I love Mexican food, pizza, cupcakes (Gabrielle's homemade), and chocolate. Oh, yes, I also eat healthy things like fruit, veggies and hummus, salads, and chicken...

7.  I met my husband at Purdue.  We both lived in the same dorm & worked in the cafeteria.  (Luckily he could see past the gold waiter jacket and hairnet!)

8.  Kindergarten is my favorite grade to teach.  I love the little ones - they are excited to be at school, and they say the funniest things!

9.  I know how to sew, but don't sew much any more.  When I was a teenager I did sew lots of my own clothes.  Being from a large family, I didn't get much money to go shopping for clothes.  But, my father liked that his girls could sew, so he didn't mind giving us money for fabric.  I was able to build my wardrobe one stitch at a time!

This is actually last year's fair.  I sewed Isabella's dress & matching doll dress, crocheted her hat, and made the big felt flower clipped onto the hat.  Here we are participating in the county "Style Show."  I won a $10 Joann Fabric gift card! 

10.  I love Disney World!  

Check out this groovy family! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Only One More Friday of Summer

Yikes!  It's Friday again already!  Summer is swiftly slipping through my fingers...  Have you gone back to school?  One more Friday left.  I have been going in now and then to begin setting things up for my new crop of Kinders.  I have at least another day's work left before I will feel ready.  But, in the mean time, I thought I'd link up with another Five for Friday.

1. The work begins.  Last week I spent about a day and a half moving furniture around.  I really didn't change much in the room arrangement, I just tweaked it a bit.  Here are a few "Before" pictures.  I will post more pictures when my room is at its cutest.  Once my room and post are done, I plan to link up to a Class*y Collaboration's classy cruise linky.

2.  My bookcases have seen better days - two of them are literally held together by duct tape!  I asked my husband to build some shelves for me, but after looking at them, he said that he could fix them.  Fine with me - cheaper, plus I wouldn't have to stain the new shelves.  The wooden block on top of the shelves will become braces to hold up the shelves.  He plans to put a sturdy backing on each unit to make them more steady.

When a student tried to lean over this bookcase, she broke the top (luckily no one was hurt).  Needing a quick fix, I found some unused cassette tapes and two wooden blocks held in place with duct tape. It served as a temporary fix.

Just about anything would make a sturdier backing than the flimsy cardboard that came with the bookcase.

 3.  Say Bye Bye to these old carpet squares!

Say Hello to my new rug!  I am so excited about this bright rug for our meeting area.  It looks so much better than my old rugs.  *Smiles*

4.  My new goodies.  Our corporation has funds available for teachers to purchase items that will be used in the classroom.  There is no set amount, but the request needs to be approved by your principal.  My fellow Kinder teachers and I each got some nifty items.  Here is what I got.  I feel lucky to be able to add items to my classroom without using my own money!

Kindergarten book rental included construction paper!  Yay - I love the beautiful colors. 

5.  My little cuties.  Yes, I am a very proud Mimi!  

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