Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Working Wednesday

I ran by school today to drop off my desk caddies and book bins so they aren't taking up room in my house. I decided to enlist the help of my children to help me get some of the junk instructional materials out of the cubbies and on the correct shelves.

Kevin was a huge help!  He put my blocks, books and housekeeping stuff away.  I took my laundry basket with me and we threw all the blocks into it and carried it to the front of the room until they were all out of the cubbies.  Same with the books! :)

This pretty much sums up Elijah's contribution to the cleaning process.  He danced to Pandora..and drove Kevin and I crazy...and played with some stuff that we Kevin cleaned up!

(They are in their swimming trunks because we went to the pool after this.)

I meant to take a picture of our hard work, but it hot as Haiti up in there and I was ready to go swimming!

The depressing news of the day was when I was unpacking my supply order and saw this:

Umm...I meant to order 8 count fat crayons :( These guys would be broken to smithereens if I gave these out on the first day.  I'm going to have to figure that one out.

Just in case you haven't checked in a while, I updated my Freebie tab to include all freebies and I have been going back and editing some of the first things I ever made because they looked crazy :) 

Anyone else working in the classroom? 

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1 Year

Last year, after stalking blogs and TpT stores for some time, I decided to become a seller on TpT.  I never imagined how blessed I would be over the past year, but I am so thankful to everyone who has purchased something and supported my store.  Today, 7/31/13, I will be having a 20% off sale to celebrate one year! If there is something you have been eyeing, today is the day to get it!

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday Made It

Ok, so I got a burst of energy after the last post and decided to work on one of the things on my to do list for Monday Made It.  I got this idea from Erica Bohrer's First Grade blog.  I love love love desk caddies!  I have spent many a day driving around town trying to find all.the.colors.  Last year, I stalked Target every day they got a truck.  Several of mine got cracked last year and I was super upset, but I was able to find every color except orange this year and luckily, my orange wasn't cracked.

I made some simple chevron labels and laminated them with my laminator.  I was mad at myself because I forgot to get cardstock when I was at school grabbing my laminator, but the laminate is so thick that it didn't even matter.

I used hot glue to make mine.  Erica used E600, but I don't really know anything about it, so I stuck with what I knew.

I also decided to do my book bins.  I use these to house the writing folders and bag books at each table. This little jewel is cracked if you notice, but Target is holding out and hasn't put any of these guys out this year.  Come on Target!!

I use cups to hold the pencils/colored pencils, so I put some ribbon around it too.  These are from Walmart 4 for $1.  I have been looking for black plastic cups for like 6 years!  

I did all these beauties and then I ran out of ribbon.  My sweet husband went to Walmart to get me more and guess what?  They are out.  I sent him across town the other Walmart and they had 2 rolls of it!

While I am posting, these are my Target Dollar Spot finds.  I mentioned yesterday I had gotten the smaller white boards to use at my tables this year and these are the ones I grabbed.  Also, I love a self-inking stamp!

Interested in cutsifying your caddies?  Here are the labels I used for mine :) I also included numbers just in case you use numbers instead of colors.  Enjoy!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Moving Monday

So I tried to get my craft on last night for Made it Monday, but I ended up needing supplies I didn't have and it was 11:30pm, so I couldn't get it done.  Today has been full of other stuff, so I guess I'll join in the fun next week maybe :)

I trekked out to school today for an iPad in-service. We are being given an iPad for our classroom!  I previously used my personal iPad in class, so it will be nice to have a school issued one to use for instruction. I decided to swing by my classroom while I was at the school.  This is how it looked....

Pretty much how I left it...they came in took everything out, cleaned my floors and put it all back.  I decided to go ahead and tackle moving the furniture so I wouldn't feel pressured to do it closer to the start of school.  It was way hot and I forgot to bring water, so I was dying.  I got quite a bit accomplished in about an hour and a half...Here's what it looks like now:

All the tables and shelves are in place.  They are DIRTY!  I cloroxed them before I left, how are they dirty already??  So I need to go back and clean them all off and then take all that stuff on the cubbies and put it back on the shelves.  My closet was also full to the point I could barely open it and I cleared a great deal of that out because I needed to get my laminator for some projects I want to do :)  I'm absolutely exhausted.  As soon as I finally got home at 6:15pm, I took some ibuprofen and iced my shoulder...I'm getting old!

When does school start back for you?  Have you been to your room?

Last chance to grab these guys 50% off.  They will go back to regular price at midnight!


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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Smorgasboard

The dreaded Sunday wait it's still Summer for me so Sunday night's aren't so sad :)  Since I'm back to blogging, I'm going to try something new and link up with Fabulous in First for Sunday Smorgasbord!  Here are my random thoughts for now...

I just got back from Walmart.  The place drives me insane...anyone else?  Why are there 34095830948543 people that need to check out, 40 registers and 3 of them are open?  Really Walmart???  Anyway, we went for less than 10 things, but I came out with a cart full.  Here are some of my finds...

Small white board erasers.  These are perfect for reading/math groups.  I got some smaller white board this year to kind of simplify all the materials at groups because I felt claustrophobic with all the junk on my table last year.  Side note - Walmart has a ton of teacher supplies this year.  I saw sentence strips, chart paper, and a plethora of other things.   

Craft supplies.  All of mine are locked up at school and I do not want to try to get them out.  So, I had to drag my husband over to the craft area to pick up a few things.  Now that Grad School classes are over for the next 3 weeks, I am feeling excited and raring to go. Time to work on everything I have been pinning lately :)  I have plans for all of these things...maybe I will get 1 of them done for Made it Monday tomorrow :)

Speaking of Grad grade is in and I am super proud!  I am waiting on the other grade impatiently, hoping for an A but I will live if it's a B.  

Also, have you tried this??? OMG.  That's all I can say about it.

I posted this product last night.  I went through and pulled out all my pocket chat sets from my units and put them in one place for those of you who may not do centers the way I do.  These are also great if you just want to put them in your pocket chart and let the kids use the words in their writing.  If you are interested, it's half price until tomorrow night!

That's all the randomness I can handle for now :)  Off to craft!

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Saturday, July 27, 2013


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I wasn't blogging when the big switch to Bloglovin' occured.  I have to say, I really enjoy the app on my iPad.  It makes it so easy to catch up on teacher blogs at night before bed.  Anyway, follow my blog on Bloglovin' so you have the most up to date posts! :)

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Alright y'all - I'm coming out of blogger retirement!  I finished my last assignment for my summer classes last night and I officially have a 3 week break!  I could barely sleep last night thinking about all the things I wanted to create and blog about before I go back to school in 3 weeks.

Let's talk about centers.  I have seen an increasing amount of people going to the Daily 5, but I haven't been to training on it and don't know much about it, so I am still planning to run things the way I always have.  I do centers and groups for 1 hour and 40 minutes Monday-Thursday.  Each group is 25 minutes.  On Friday we do a make and take book and art project in place of reading groups and centers.

The first thing you need to do is create your reading groups based on guided reading levels.

Once you have your reading levels and your reading groups made, you need to make center groups using 1-2 of each group.

It will look something like this:

Green and orange are together in centers and blue and red are together in centers, so you want to make sure you choose students that can work together.  In my room, I don't allow more than 2 students at a center to keep the noise level down, so occasionally someone is working by themselves.  My TA circulates around the centers during that time to assist and work with students as well.

I've seen many ways to make a center board, but this is how I make mine:

I only do centers Monday-Thursday which is why there are only 4 boxes going across.  You may choose to do this a different way.  Don't forget to laminate it!

Next you need to add your center icons for the centers you have opened for the week as well as a list of the center groups.  I use Velcro to attach mine because it's easy to move.  

I only open 8 centers per week.  The students go to the two centers above their name.  It doesn't matter what order they go to the centers in as long as they go to both and there aren't more than 2 people at the center at the same time.  The centers I choose are usually based on what the students need.  I typically keep Art, Listening, ABC, Pocket Chart, Math and Write the Room open most every week and rotate the extra two.  My centers are based on whatever my weekly theme is.  Each center typically has a game or task the students need to complete and then some sort of independent practice for accountability.

Examples of what might be in these centers:
Art - Thematic Art Project
Listening - Thematic Listening Book
ABC - Anything pertaining to the alphabet, rhyming words, beginning/middle/ending sounds
Pocket Chart - Matching Thematic Pictures and Words
Math - A review of the previous week's topic or that week's topic
Write the Room - Finding the picture & writing the word (fill in the blank sentences at the end of the year) addition, subtraction
Writing - (Not included on the chart) Sight Word sentences
Puzzles - Large floor puzzles
Computers - Whatever game we worked on in computer lab that week

If you purchase my thematic packs on TpT, you will see that I have centers laid out so that you will have 6-8 for the week.

You might think changing centers each week is a lot of work, but I find that my students get bored with the same activity so it keeps things going for us.  My assistant grades the center work during center time so she can discuss any mistakes she finds with the student and help them to correct them.

At the end of the day, rotate your names to the right and leave your icons in the same place.

Here's how your rotations will look: (You may not use colors, you may use other names for your groups)

Every group sees the teacher and goes to 2 center and does a seat work.  What is seat work you ask?  It's usually some kind of literacy based review.  I try to include several of these in my thematic packs also. Students also read to themselves during this time.

A few other things - I use a timer to keep track of time, students know to move to their next place when the timer goes off.  I put the center icons at each center so students can match them and get to the right place on their own.  I put task cards at each center to explain what students are accountable for.  The students definitely cannot read these in the beginning, but if anyone walked into the room they would know and be able to help my students.  I explain all the centers on Monday.  I store all my centers and task cards by theme in a filing cabinet so I can use them from year to year.  I can tweak the centers if necessary based on student needs.

All of my center packs are located in my TpT store.  You can also find this:

It includes all the center icons, (small for your chart and medium or large to label your centers) directions and forms.  Any questions you have - please ask!  Remember - all products are 50% off for the first 48 hours! 

Are you still with me? How do you run centers in your classroom?  Leave a comment telling us about it and your email address and I will choose a random winner tomorrow night and email you the packet! :)

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