Thursday, August 30, 2012

Classrooms Galore!

If you are like me, you are always wanting to see how other teachers set up their classrooms!

How cute is it?
 How do they fit all of their center areas in their classroom?
 What kind of chair do they sit in...a rocking chair? A wooden straight-back? A stool?
 Do students sit at desks or do they sit at tables? 
How are those desks or tables arranged?? 
How is their calendar area set up?
What type of carpet do they have?

Well Debbie Clement over at Rainbows Within Reach has graciously started a linky party so that we can see each others classrooms by blog hopping! If you have a blog that shares your classroom pictures, LINK UP!! We would love to see it!

 After you check out all of these AMAZING classroom set-ups, you MUST stop over and read Debbie's blog...she tells a very heartfelt story of a fellow educator that truly will bring tears to your eyes and remind you why we teach! Click here to read this wonderful story!

Monday, August 20, 2012

My room is complete! Finally!

Well today was the first official day back to school for teachers. Students come on Wednesday. I have been working in my classroom for a week now, cleaning out cupboards, re-organizing, pitching old things, and so much more! I felt so rushed to get everything done because I wanted my room to be put together before students or parents came in and today, we had our district wide meetings until 11:15am and then had beginning of the year conferences with parents starting at noon. We have these parent conferences to get out some important information that they will need to know prior to their child's first day. I also got a chance to meet the kiddos today! I can't wait to spend the day with them Wednesday! They seem like a great group of kinders!

So as I promised, I will show you pictures from my classroom! The finished product! 

 Enjoy the tour of my kindergarten classroom!

My theme this year is NIU Huskies! My Alma mater and a team that my husband and I follow to home and away games each year! (Looking forward to September 1, the first game of the season vs. Iowa Hawkeyes.)

But I don't stop at my favorite college team, I have to represent a few of my favorite teams! The Chicago Cubs, Buffalo Bills, and of course Team USA! 

Below you will see some of my centers. Top-left is my writing center. (You may notice the table is low to the ground so students can sit on the floor with carpet squares). They love it! Top-right is my poetry center. Bottom-left you will see my manipulative/toy shelves for choice time and math centers. And bottom-right is my library center.

Our school rules are Be Ready, Be Safe, and Be Kind. So, I have worker Bee's to help us to follow those rules and complete class jobs. Hanging on the file cabinet is our lunch count pocket chart. You also see our class computers and my guided reading table.

 Below you will find our "Bee Buck" can, decorated by previous students. When students are seen or heard being ready, safe, or kind, they receive a Bee Buck. They write their name on it and put it in the can. At the end of each week a winner is randomly drawn out. Their name is announced during Friday morning announcements and they get to go chose a prize from the office. The Beanie Babies that you see there, are actually my bathroom passes. Monkey is for the girls and Tiger is for the boys. when a child has to go to the bathroom, they put the pass at their seat and go. This way, I can see who is gone and know where they are. After the first few weeks of school, everyone is very good about only using the passes when they need them!

Here are some more views of my classroom and how it is set up! (Yes, those are my shoes...had to take them off after school today because my feet were killing me) :) 

Last but not least, I had to share my favorite tape! The tape that holds everything up! It's our ACE Hardware tape! For the last few years, each masking tape that our school has bought has not held anything. We would tape up our locker tags or art projects and the next morning everything would be on the floor! But with this wonderful tape, I never have that problem! 

I hope you enjoyed your tour of my classroom and maybe it even gave you some new ideas! To see a little bit more of my classroom and some of my organizing tips check out my post at Pre-K and K Sharing from this month! 

Happy Beginning of the School year!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Still working on my classroom!

So this week was my first chance to get in my classroom! Usually it doesn't take me the WHOLE WEEK but, I decided to clean out my cupboards (which took almost a whole day just in itself)! It was one of those things that I just NEEDED to do! My cupboards still had things in them from the teacher before me who retired 7 years ago! I kept some of it because I "THOUGHT" I would use it, when I knew down deep inside that I wouldn't. So it was time!

I ended up taking four small cart loads of stuff to the end of our hallway to the "One mans trash is another man's treasure" pile that we have every year! I also gave about four cart loads to my cousin who just graduated in May with her Early Childhood degree. And I am happy to say that she just got hired on as our new Title I Reading aide for the year! (We have a kindergarten teacher retiring next year so I am hoping that she is hired for that position but if not, I am still happy that she got a job in the school).

Another reason it is taking me so long is because I can't stop talking to everyone else in the building! I feel just like the kids do when they come back to school...haven't seen some of my friends all summer and all I want to do is talk and catch up!

But I have gotten a lot done and will continue to work today and tomorrow. I even have a parent meeting already tomorrow! So I want my room to be ready to go for that! Our first official day back is Monday the 20th and kiddo's come Wednesday the 22nd! Ahh!

 I hope those of you who have started already are surviving and I hope that those of you who haven't started get everything done in time and with minimal stress :)

So far so good! I will share more pictures later! 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's a bloghop Linky Pinterest Party!

My dear friend Debbie Clement over at Rainbows Within Reach has decided to host a linky party for Pinterest lovers! A great place to find several educational Pinterest pages or boards! Please link your educational blog below! Or click on the picture of Debbie and I for her post that goes into a little more detail! don't have to be a blogger, you don't have to have your own special teacher Pinterest page...all you need it to link to your personal Pinterest educational boards!


Love her! 

photo of: The Great EDU-Pinner Link-UP hosted by RainbowsWithinReach

Happy pinning and happy blogging! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mission Trip II & Getting Ready for the New School Year!

Well, I said I would come back and put together pictures of the "fun" we had during our Misson Trip to St. Louis Missouri! Like I said before, we did a lot of hard work during the day and some nights but when we were off for the day, we liked to have some fun too!
The girls dying their hair...well just putting in a streak! Pink or Purple...your choice

The other group got fudge and didn't share with us, so we decided to get a little revenge! We went and got squirt guns and made our move!

Wednesday was our 1/2 day. So we worked in the morning and then headed out to Six Flags after lunch! We got Mary Kate and Gavin to ride a roller-coaster...after A LOT of coaxing! That is Gavin in front of the BOSS...his new "FAVORITE" ride!

A gift for all their hard work throughout the week! ;)

Next Stop...City Museum in St. Louis! Our last stop before heading home! If you have never been to city Museum, you MUST go! Especially if you have kids! The will love it!

Riding the ferris wheel that is on top of the museum! (Michelle was a little scared)

Having fun climbing in all the little nooks and cranny's!

More excitement at the museum!
Again, this mission trip was an amazing experience and the group of kids that we had were truly awesome! We all learned something and it changed each and every one of our lives in some way!

Now, it is time to get back in school mode! I have a new theme this year that I am super excited about! Well actually I always have two themes because I ALWAYS have a Patriotic theme going on in my classroom but I like to spice it up and try some new things once in awhile. This year's "other" theme is NIU HUSKIES!!! My Alma mater and my favorite team of all times! Red and Black! I have red and black paw prints for their locker tags, name tags and name plates for their tables! I can't get into my classroom for awhile though because they are cleaning all this week and part of next week. This means I cannot get anything done in there for awhile! Once I get into my classroom, I will post pictures!