Saturday, August 30, 2014

Back to School Extreme Make Over

When I went back to school my classroom was bare! As in no ceiling, no ductwork, no lighting, and no carpet!!  We were under construction!  I might have had a mini panic attack wondering how it was all going to come together!

Fast Forward a couple of weeks --- My room still appears to be a war zone, but at least there are new ducts, new carpet, new ceilings, and new lights!  (The wiring was complete, so forgive the darkish pictures- trying not to get electrocuted, even though I was definitely working on those full wall bulletin boards!)
Day 1 -- probably only 80 degrees in my classroom despite alleged new duct work! My super de duper helper Kate came with me to tackle the big stuff!  Wall one has 7 floor to ceiling bulletin boards.  (Please ohh and ahh over the wonderful new ceiling!)
Then we did the word wall - see that super long bulletin board?  It's 22 feet long, and no I am not kidding!  Putting fabric up on it is a booger!  To the right is my teeny, tiny paw print fabric - last year that was the calendar area. 
 Finally, we go started on the other wall of floor to ceiling bulletin boards.  (I even brought my own ladder.)  We got started only to find that some of my fabric might of had an actual booger on it.  Notice the empty spot. -- took the fabric home to wash!
Here's  the rest of the wall!  It only has 6 floor to ceiling bulletin boards!   We whipped the fabric up in no time!  I think it was way easier not to need to work around all the furniture!

Day 2 --It's getting hot in here!  new duct work -- still not on!  At least 85 - 90 degrees in here!  Today I am determined to finish the boarders on the floor to ceiling walls!  Wall one- 7 boards done!

 Wall two - 6 boards floor to ceiling!  Including the potentially boogered fabric - now clean!  Of course it's a tiny bit too  small, so I have to double border it!!!  Not good for this seriously OCD person!!

 Notice - my computer desk is back!  The guys were installing them, I asked to have mine turned - GASP!  Now I can see my class if I need to use the computer, and not have my back to them!!! WHAT?!!!  See the guy below, he's hooking up all the tangled cords.  Let's not worry about the 500 layers of DUST!!!  Seriously, they didn't even cover the computer equipment while they were working!!!!  I will dust myself, later....

 Day 3 - Enrollment  I am helping with our district's enrollment.  I wandered into my room to find it looking like this!  I took the picture and walked away!  Notice the lights now work!!!  WOO HOO!!!

 What you may not see is all the dust!  Every piece of furniture is covered in dust!  The custodian told me that I could not work until they had literally washed off each item!  WHAT?!
Day 4 - No cleaning!  so-----No working!  The obvious thing to do is buy a car!  I commute, so I decided to buy a Hybrid!  Look at this cutie!  His name is Bruce , as in the Shark from Finding Nemo!
Day 5 - My daughter (that is student teaching) brought her friend to school today!  Can you say Hip, Hip Hooray!  Three fully helpful teenagers, means serious work completed!
Check out the library - the girls busted it out!  

See my reading table-- I took it out!  I decided to use two trapezoid tables to take up less space!  Already love it!
 Teacher desk is buried!  I made myself a fortress!  I constantly am fighting students away from my desk!  So I turned the desk - SNEAKY!
My mailboxes are on this rolling cart - I hope those little guys can reach, because I gave away the other table! 
Here is the reveal!!!!  This is right after Sneak a Peek!
Look at the cute little backpacks.
 Mailboxes, binders are over to the left. Above the mailboxes are our Peanut Butter and Jelly partners (Idea for PB&J partners goes to  co-worker Megan!)
 Centers and writing center
 Small people -- word wall in the background.
 Library, math word wall above, nouns poster over the library.
 Better view of the nouns poster and the library!
 Guided Reading area is still a bit of a hot mess, I'm testing ENDLESSLY!
Team points, lunch choices, Morning Procedures poster.

My fortress -- aka my desk!  The calendar area is right in front of it. 
 I also have a small table near my desk to work with small groups.
Thanks for visiting!!!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Go Noodle is an absolute go to!!!

My first grade friends live for our Brain Breaks!  We love to Go Noodle!
I love that the site is commercial free!!  No questionable ads or pop ups!  Huge plus for this first grade teacher!
The first graders beg to Zumba!, Hop like a Bunny, and do the Dinosaur Stomp! 
You need to try out Go Noodle!  It's free!  I use it as a motivator, finish this and we will take a brain break.  One of my special friends has a hard time getting things completed, so an extra "We'll take a brain break." doesn't hurt.
Quit making excuses -- and Go Noodle!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

HUGE Giveaway!!! Falling In Love with Close Reading Chapter 7


Question 1

I think the only advice I can give is to take it slow, try one new strategy.  Adapt for your kiddos.  My first graders are not going to have the same skills and lessons that 5th graders would need.
Question 2 and 3 --
My ideas are still forming. I just met my brand new class on Wednesday.  I can see great close reading potential, but I still need to get to know them.  I have several students that may be ready to be stretched during a guided reading lesson in September.  I also have students needing work on letter identification and letter sounds.  So I need to find a balance to provide lessons for each student to achieve maximum growth!
Who doesn’t love a giveaway?  I do!!!  We have all decided to giveaway $5 to our TPT store!  That's a great shopping spree!! I'd love to be able to shop at 10+ stores AND get a copy of the book!!! Make sure you register to win!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

First Week of School in snap shots!

I just wanted to drop in and share a few of my favorite pictures of our first week.
(Really 2 1/2 days with kids!)
This was my Monday Made it!  Check out my post over at Dollar Deals and Teacher Steals!  I have directions for making the Welcome to a Delightful Year goodies!  There are FREE tags and postcards for you to use.
Binder Covers are ready!
Still have some piles!
Wednesday aka First Day of School
(1/2 day thanks goodness)
You can see my Sit Spots!  My breakfast helper came in early to hand out breakfast for everyone! 
We still haven't sorted supplies, see their tiny backpacks?!
(FULL day)
I did take pictures of my first graders, but my favorite picture of the day was when my main squeeze came back to visit me!!  He has my whole heart!  We had to take a selfie!!! (watch out Mr. Miller!)
(Thank Goodness, I'm exhausted!)
 Working on writing, adding details to our drawing! 
Read to Self!  We read 7:16!!!  Thanks to the challenge from Mrs. Strobel's class!! 
 Look at them looking for books in the library!
 More great readers!
 I think we know who has the BEST first grade class!!
How was your week?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Falling In Love with Close Reading - Chapter 6 The Family Tree

Question 1 -
am thinking about different ways that I teach point of view to my first graders. I teach point of view during Writer's Workshop.  One of my first thoughts was to use a favorite author, Mo Willems.  The firsties love him!
By using Knuffle Bunny Free, I can have my kiddos relate to Trixie.  Since my students are 6 and 7 years old I think they will be able to compare their lives to Trixie.  For beginning of the year first graders I think this will be a good starting place. As I read other Mo Willems books, specifically, the Pigeon books, we can expand our comparisons.  Since this will be my first time working with close reading, I will need to report back on how things are actually working in my classroom.
Question 2 -
At this point I have not done much to locate resources for Close Reading.  I am planning to work on resources as I teach.  I did download the sample freebie from Creativity to the Core.  I definitely will be using Meredith's resources!!  They are fabulous!
All About Dogs is on my wish list!  (I have a puppy themed room.)  I think It would a great way to introduce close reading to my first graders.
What resources will you be using?