Monday, August 28, 2017

Made it Monday: Summer Recap 2017

Today teachers in my district report back to work for Teacher Work Week. I've enjoyed creating memories with my family and friends. I've been blogging regularly during the summer and hope to continue once the school year starts. Let's take a look back at all the creations I've shared this summer...

7*3 Long Range Plans- This week I shared my long range lesson plans. 

7*10 Open House Stations- This week I shared my idea for a Cookie Themed Open House.

7*17 Leadership Teams- This week I shared my idea for classroom jobs. 

7*24 Erin Condren Teacher Planner- This week I shared how I adapted my planner to fit my specific needs.

7*31 Classroom Library- This week I shared my organization for this year's chapter books. 

8*7 Fabric Tassel Curtains- This week I shared my classroom curtain project. 

8*14 Seven Habits Posters- This week I shared my new 7 Habits of Happy Kids posters from a template on TpT.

8*21 Team Birthday Gifts- This week I blogged about the birthday gifts I'm giving my teammates this school year. 

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Back to School Goals

Well we're down to hours now... in less than 3 days teachers report back to work in our county. Luckily, I've had the entire month of August to work in my classroom so it's pretty much finished (classroom tour coming later this week). With my classroom completed and copies made for the first two weeks of school, I have time to reflect on last school year and set some goals for the new year.
  1. Read aloud to my students every day. I know I read aloud to them most days, but this year I need to make sure I do it every day.
  2. Give positive notes to students every day. I purchased some super cute notes from Ford's Board, Positive Notes to Students- Fun Puns, this summer and can't wait to use them.  
  3. Go home when the buses leave. Since I'm an early riser, I'm at school before 7:30am each day even though I don't have to be there until 8:50am. I can get most of my work done in that time if I'm intentional. So this year I'm saying goodbye to long days and late nights. 
  4. Read my devotional every day. Some mornings, I'm just anxious to get to school and I end up skipping my devotional time. It's important for me to start the day off with my creator and in the right mindset. My devotional of choice, Jesus Calling. I also like to read one chapter of Proverbs a day, 31 chapters, 31 days in a month. And when I'm really going through, I pray/read Psalms 35. I've read it so much, I've actually memorized it and can recite it!
  5. Spread KINDNESS! Last year I started "Boo" Grams during the month of October and the teachers at my school seemed to enjoy it. I then thought that we needed something year round to keep the morale up. Thus R.A.C.K.ed was born... Random Acts of Coalminer Kindness (coalminers are our mascot). My goal is to RACK a couple of people a month. It doesn't take much, a $5 gift card, a pack of flair pens or tasty treats to brighten the day of a coworker.
So those are my back to school goals, what are yours?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Made It Monday 8*21*17

I've been super busy this week! My students finally showed up in my gradebook and I love looking at their lil' cute faces, in one short week teachers in my county will report back to school and I'm beginning to get a little anxious. 
This week I finalized my team members birthday gifts. We are a team of 9. My school is the largest in our county with over 1,200 students. Most teams have 9 teachers, a couple have 8. I don't give birthday gifts every year but this year I decided I would. I've already put together the gifts for those team members who had summer birthdays. We're meeting for breakfast and for a team meeting this week , so I'll give them to them then. Each gift bag includes:
  • a mini bag of Tate's Tiny Chocolate Chip Cookies, they are my most favorite cookie and Kroger had the mini bags on sale 10 for $10. I racked up!
  • a hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works that says Happy Birthday.
  • a Starbucks Gift Card
Now that I can see my students I can begin to put names on things. I don't know their nicknames yet but for the most part most students will go by their first name so I like to get a head start in labeling things. Here are past photos of the Welcome Bunting I put outside my classroom. 
The Welcome Bunting is available for download in the Resource folder at the Teaching Oasis.

My last idea came with the help of my #teamBFF Kaitlyn. She attended "Camp Chromebook" in our county last week and came up with a Digital Citizenship Poster for our classrooms. She sent it to me and I added some graphics and fonts. I love the way it turned out. I also love the fact that she used the SMART acronym, it goes with our school motto, Coal Miners are SMART!
Looking for more Made It Monday ideas, check out 4th Grade Folics!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Made It Monday 8*14*17

I've spent the last week working on "cosmetic aspects" of my classroom. I remade my 7 Habits Posters and letters for my classroom bulletin boards and walls. I'm not one to plaster my walls with store bought or even hand made posters. Everything on my walls now have a distinct purpose, mostly it's related to "creating leaders" in my classroom. As the year goes on, I'll add the anchor charts we create to various parts of our classroom. 
These are my new 7 Habit Posters. They are modeled after the ones in Amy Groesbeck's classroom. She offers the templates for FREE on TpT, you just add your own text. 
Here they are above one of my bulletin boards in my classroom. 
I made my bulletin board header out of the Creative Clips Alphabet Letter Bundle. I intend to post reading anchor charts and posters on this board. 
I also made this bulletin board header out of the Creative Clips Alphabet Letter Bundle. I intend to post math anchor charts and posters on this board.
I also made letters using the Creative Clips Alphabet Letter Bundle.
I have a huge wall above my cabinets in my classroom and I use it as my "anchor chart wall" and hang anchor charts from it that we create throughout the year. For now it has the school expectations pinned to it. 
Here's my classroom Wellness Station. My solution to bleeding, sore throats, tummy aches and sore limbs! I used Learning in Wonderland's Let's Get Organized for these labels. 
So that's what I've been working on. I'm trying to keep myself out of my classroom so I can enjoy my last two weeks of summer vacation, we'll see if that happens! Looking for more Made It Monday ideas, check out 4th Grade Folics!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Made It 8*7*17

This week I'm showcasing my fabric tassel curtains I made for my classroom. I saw them in a teammate's room last year and decided to make them my summer project. I bought 5 fat quarter fabric bundles and 2 rolls of ribbon from Hobby Lobby to create my curtains.
Fat Quarter Bundles from Hobby Lobby, $9.99 a piece
Various Patterns in the Bundles
Various Patterns in the Bundles
I cut each piece into 12 strips, about 1.5 inches wide on the 18 inch side the other is 22 inches.
Here are all 300 strips in all their glory! This was enough to make two (150 on each) 78 inch long tassel curtains.
This was after I had tied some to the ribbon.
Here they are hung in my classroom.
As you can see my classroom is finished! I posted before and after pics below. We got the email two weeks ago that our wing would be ready effective last Monday. So I spent Monday-Wednesday moving desks, decorating and unpacking boxes. I had to move rooms this year but my new room is basically the same floor plan except I now have a cinder block corner that I didn't have before so that literally threw my old floor plan off and I needed to regroup, LOL. Teachers report on the 28th and I won't be back until then, welp, that's not true, I am going back to shampoo my classroom carpet, it's gross!
Before- see the two separate set of desks, had to move the set on the left myself since they didn't belong to me!
I'll do a more detailed classroom tour at the end of the month. Looking for more Made It Monday ideas, check out 4th Grade Folics!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Communication Folder Inserts

I've been using communication folders in my classroom for years. The one's I purchase are durable and last all year. They also have a clear pocket on the front for me to add my own insert. The inside is imprinted: Left Side- Return to School, Right Side- Keep at Home. 

I absolutely love Nicky's Teacher Parent Communication Folders. You have to order a minimum of 100 folders so that's $125. I recommend going in with other teachers to reduce the cost or if you're lucky your school or PTA could purchase them for you. I was blessed with 50 black folders at the end of the year so that'll be enough for the next two years. I've ordered Metallic Purple, Metallic Silver and Black before. I really like the black ones best. You don't have to order all one color, you can mix and match as long as it equals 100.

For the last coupe of years I've done a SMORE Folder. This year I'm switching to a SMART Folder because my school as a motto of Coalminers are SMART and SMART is an acronym for how students behave. Below is the insert I created for this year.
I was feeling creative and decided to make some inserts with some different themes. Maybe you can find one that you can use! Click on the image below to download them from the Resource folder at the Teaching Oasis.