Thursday, August 28, 2014

Day 2!

Last night I printed my first day pictures and by 7:30 this morning, I had this cute board posted in my room. I get ZERO credit for this idea- it all goes to my friend, Carolyn from Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together.
We have a whole other area for learning targets, but I thought this was something adorable that I can keep up all year long! LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Click the picture to take you to Carolyn's post about this idea!

We also went through rituals and routines like crazy!!!
My A.E. and I split up the kids and went over bathroom procedures, drinks, working at table, etc.

I'm so bummed because we did a Kissing Hand craft, introduced Reader's Workshop, wrote numbers 0-2 on mini chalkboards, traced our names, practiced our folder procedure and read 4 books (just to mention a few)!

Do you think that I remembered to take a picture of any of that?
Of course not.
At the end of the day, I quick took a picture of our beginning-of-the-year coloring pages!
Grab these pages HERE.

It was a super second day and the kids are sooooo good! I LOVE this group!

Happy Almost Friday!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I am Ms. Bindergarten

So, I've literally been pulling 13-14 hour days at school getting ready for the first day.
At 9pm last night, I was finally ready!
I had a meeting at 7am this morning (how cruel to do that to us) and made it back to my room just in time to see my DARLING new babies! Oh my gosh, I swear they get cuter each year.
Now, I have never had an assistant at the beginning of the year. The first day is one filled with stress and anxiety.
I am happy to say that did not happen today- I had an A.E. start in my room and she was fab!
Best. First. Day. Ever.

My kiddos came in, started breakfast, we had a few tears and then the Superintendent walked in my room.

. . . and stayed for the first 20 minutes of our day.

I blacked out. Completely.

I think it went well but man, I wish I had that time alone with my kids.

The rest of the day was so smooth and my kids were sweet and my amazing assistant helped the day go so smoothly!
No chair throwers. Knock on wood.

We read:

and talked about all of the things that we do to get ready for kindergarten.

I realized, I am her. We all are, right?
People have no idea how hard teachers work, just to get ready for the year!

So, I thought I'd talk about what I do to prepare and if for nothing else, I can reference back to it when I'm panicking a year from now.

I get name tags ready (I can't do hanging ones anymore) and placed at each seat.
I write their names on blank owl cards that I use for my classroom job chart.
I write their names (A-J and K-Z) on clothespins for our Ready to Learn Chart. How many years did I write all names on one side of the clothespin, only to rewrite so that I had an even number on both sides?? I'm not telling.

At my school, we get a lot of kids who just show up on the first day without being registered. Every year this creates the most anxiety for me, so this year I made an emergency bucket for those kids.
Extra folders, all put together, name tags, clothespins, job chart cards and a sharpie!

I also made sure to have a whole extra table with blank name tags, just in case I have way more kids than expected. (Name tags can be found here: Editable Name Pack)

I made some first day homework and so did my teammates. They couldn't believe how fast these name tracers were made. My whole class was done in under 4 minutes!
I LOVE IT! Grab it here.

I had folders, ready to rock and go in backpacks!

Here is a quick view of the inside of a folder.
I used to teach the kids what each side is called, but now I just stick a star on the, "Bring Back to School" side, and a smiley face on the, "Leave at Home" side.
At first this is so easy to tell them, "Put this on your star-side."
Within 10 days, they will be completely independent in taking care of these folders. They are responsible for turning in homework each day, getting new homework, leaving things at home and bringing papers home. I love it and it is less work for me!

I made magic play doh last night. What? Am I crazy? Yes.
But I need something to hold over the kids' heads all day and this works like a charm every single time.
What would I do without this fabulous FREEBIE from my buddy, Mrs. Wheeler, each year?

I also made a chart, mostly to remind myself of procedures and routines to teach the kids. We didn't get past, "crayons" today but the kids loved it!

I had pencils ready to go after we practiced holding it the right way.
Love it!
Grab this FREE resource here!

I even had the kids do some tracing and coloring. I tell them how much I love different colors and I show examples to the class. The kids are so cute and quick to impress me!

And this HAS to go home in folders the first day, right?!
Parents love it!
Grab this 1st day of K sheet HERE.

And I leave you with the cutest little guy in the world!
No, I'm not talking about, Chester the Raccoon.
This little angel was the cutest thing EVER. EVER!
He was "helping" Chester because he was nervous to be in school.

So grateful for my new batch of kiddos!

Monday, August 25, 2014

What teachers do. . .

I am putting the finishing touches on my room. . . which apparently means I am not only a teacher, but a carpet cleaner, as well.
Our carpets are nasty and I would never let my own child sit on them.
My colleague next door (I would die without her) brought in some magical carpet washer and let me borrow it.
This took a LONG time today but was worth it!

The rest of my room is almost perfect and is getting super organized. Almost.
I just love looking around!
My favorite thing is that I created almost everything you see in my room. I did it and it feels wonderful!

Grab these name plates from this pack:

I'm beyond exhausted.
I can't wait to finish up tomorrow and see my kiddos on Wednesday!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's Gettin' There!

I have been working on my room nonstop all week long (when they'll let me). It's finally getting there but nowhere near perfect. Our building construction project was so behind that we had teachers who couldn't get into their rooms until today. Yes, Sunday. 
The first day of school is tomorrow.
Can you believe that is happening in a public school?
Just wait to hear about all the other interesting things that happen here throughout the year.
My fingers hurt so bad from hot glueing everything onto my walls. Yowza!

Let's recap the week, shall we?




Check it.
I used that cool contact paper again, but this time it's gray.

I keep these signs up outside of my door all year long.
They are both free. :)

Speaking of my door (which is, of course covered in owls on the other side), I put up reminders on the inside for students, staff and parents.
I just throw it together each year. :)

When students enter the room, this is one of the first things they see.
These are also both in my store:

I hot glued these to a wall that needed a little something extra.
I love it!!!
Find these posters HERE!

I put up my 10 frames and my alphabet. I LOVE looking up and seeing these.

I have the nastiest brown, CHEAP chalkboard in my class.
So, I bought a little chalkboard paint and had my main squeeze paint it. . . .

I'm in love! It looks so nice!!!

Besides gorgeous chalkboard, you can see my new, POSITIVE Ready To Learn Chart in the above picture! If you reach the top, it's a good parent phone call- love it!
Find that chart HERE.

I also managed to set up my new (crammed) morning meeting space.
This is my favorite part of the day, so I need it to look beautiful. I'm gettin' there. . . 
Grab the Owl Calendar and Classroom Helpers HERE.

And this is my favorite thing to look at in the room, although I am the worst at following through with this all year long. Maybe this year will be different? 

I am exhausted and the kids come tomorrow for 1st-5th. Luckily I have a little more time in my room!

Happy Back to School!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Hey- I am still in the fetal position. . . in my classroom. . . desperately trying to get it together for Open House. . . tonight! Aaahhh!    Hopefully you have your classroom in order and have time to grab some items for FREE TONIGHT between 8-9pm Eastern for Schoolapalooza!I have my newest item in my store available for free for only one hour, so be sure to set your alarm on your phone and stop by A CLASSY COLLABORATION later!  Click the picture to take you there and don't forget to stop by there again tomorrow!
Happy Thursday!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pinterest Fail

I walked into an empty room this morning and went to my professional development.
By noon, it looked like this!

So exciting, right?!

The room wasn't finished. There were holes in the ceiling, no toilet  in one of the bathrooms, painting being done, wires being. . . wired, ceiling sprinklers leaking all over the place and FILTHY closets.
This was what one of my closets looked like. I wish that I was responsible for drawing a face in that mirror but the credit goes to the construction people.

I naturally had to stay busy, so I decided to do a project that I have been meaning to do for a year and a half.

Do those look cool?
I want you to know that this was a total Pinterest fail.
It might look okay in the picture but I had bubbles everywhere and it looks crinkled.
I'm too lazy to change it though. We'll see how long it lasts. :)

Maybe you'd be better at it!
Here is what I used, just in case you want to set yourself up for failure.

Grab this shelf liner HERE. The colors change all of the time, so you may not be able to find this color right now. :(

After that, I opened up 20 boxes and started putting things into shelves.
This is what it looked like when they kicked me out tonight.
Can you even see a difference?
I'm excited to tackle more tomorrow!

Happy Monday!

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