Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Took a Break and Did a Little Shopping

Today, I decided to take a break from organizing my classroom.  I even allowed myself to sleep in though I know I will pay for it Friday when I have to actually be at work.

So I ran a lot of errands today.  I took my son to get his hair cut.  He was starting to look really shaggy but I love his red hair and I kind of hate to cut it.  He loves his hair too!  After when did the hair cut thing, I had to go to the bank and then I went up to Staples.  I walked around looking at all the new school stuff and I ended up getting some colored file jackets to organize my games and station materials.  They didn't have them in a single color packet, but I found where I can order them online from Office Depot which I will be doing.  I want my math to be in blue and my reading to be in red.  That's as far as I have got on the color coding.  Lol

While I was at Staples, I decided to look for a new charger for my Nexus 7.  No luck!  They sell the tablets but not the chargers.  You think they would sell the charger for products they carry, but they seem to only have IPad chargers.  Not everyone has or wants an IPad.  I love my Nexus!  It's lighter in weight than an IPad and I am not limited to the Apple store.

I ended up getting a label maker for my house.  I talked about labeling everything at school with my label maker and I hate dragging it back and forth so I decided to just get one to keep at home and to keep my hand held label maker at school.  My new one has different fonts!  Oh, I made sure that the label maker I purchased took the same type of label cartridge as the one I already own so I can just buy a double pack and keep one at home.  If your wondering what type of label maker I use, it is a Brother PTouch.  The one I already had is this one.

I plan on keeping it at school.  The one I bought looks like this.

I can't wait to start labeling the house!  I actually haven't labeled much at home even though I have had my label maker for about 2 years.  It is still the best purchase I have made.

Monday, July 29, 2013


I have worn myself out today!  I threw more stuff out in my classroom and I have finally cleaned off 3 out of 5 1/2 tables.   Yes, I have what looks like half a table.  It's half the size of the rest of the tables in the room and I use this table during assessments.  That's why I keep it close to my desk.  Here is a view of my room when I left today.

My half table is at the bottom of the picture.  Check out the new pocket charts.  My aide who retired at the end of the year made them for me.  Isn't she wonderful?!

So I did get my baskets out today.  This photo makes me feel like I have accomplished something.

Next to my baskets I have another set of mailboxes, but this set holds construction paper.  I'm not sure if I like this set up.  Sure, it's easy to get out paper, but I'm afraid it might fade so this baby may make it's way into a cabinet.

I also cleaned up behind my desk.  I have all of my leveled books organized.

See my clean tables again.  You also get a small glimpse of the mailboxes.

One last thing that I did today was label my cabinets.  I have to know where everything is or I forget I have it. Lol

I love my label printer! :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Classroom Organizing Pics and a New Find

I have been spending a lot of time this week organizing my classroom.  It has been very time consuming.  I moved into the classroom last summer, but didn't get to spend much time on actually organizing.  So here is what I walked into Friday after organizing for a few days.
See!  I made a mess!  I took everything out of the cabinets and I bought smaller shoe box sized containers at Big Lots.  The were only $1 each!

I realized that many of the existing containers were too large to hold what I needed them to hold so I forgot what was in the containers and things didn't get used.

Here is some after pics:

Notice that everything in the cabinet is easy to see and find.  I used my handy little label maker to label the contents of every container.  The great thing about the labels is that they peel off cleanly and easily if I need to use the containers to hold something else.

I tried to group the items in the cabinets in a way that made more sense to me.  I put the reading materials and crafts supplies in a cabinet.  The math, science, and social studies supplies are in another cabinet.  I have a cabinet that has paper and large blocks, and then I have this cabinet that contains seasonal items along with extra puzzles and games so I can rotate materials throughout the year.
I plan to use clear labels to label the outside of the cabinets with general categories so I can locate items easily.  I hope to start doing that on Monday.  Here is a look at the room when I decided it was time to quit for the day.

See!  It's not as bad.
I spent some time organizing the materials on this side of the large shelf too.

I still need to take the cover off of my computers and the brown paper off the bulletin boards, but I have faith that I will finish soon.  On another note, I had the idea of getting aprons for my aide and myself to wear when the kiddos are painting.  I have ruined so many shirts through the years on painting days.  I happen to find these vinyl aprons at Big Lots for $6.  They are perfect!

The true test will come when I break out the paints!  If you missed my post earlier, I am having a 20% off sale at both my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook stores.  Just click the store widgets on the right hand side of my blog and it will take you to my store.  Happy shopping!

Summer Flash Sale!!!

I have been uploading new items in my TPT and TN store so I decided to throw a flash sale.  Hurry because this sale ends tomorrow!  Here's a peek at what I have added.

I created this calendar to work with Smartboards.  Everything is easy to navigate!  Just click on the buttons to go to the next page. 
All 12 months are brightly colored and included a different color or shape pattern that progresses in difficulty through the year.
If you notice their is a button at the bottom of the calendar.  Just click it to go on to the next daily routine. 

This calendar includes:
~12 monthly calendars in bright colors
~ Each calendar has all the number pieces with the pattern for the month already set. All you have to do is drag them to the correct spot on the calendar!
~ There is a today, tomorrow, and yesterday page.
~ Number of Days in school with a 100 chart that you can highlight any numbers that you choose. Highlight the 10's or 5's so students can practice counting.
~ There is a place value chart to show the number of days in school. Just drag the base 10 blocks into the chart.
~ There is a Number of the Day page that includes blank ten frames up to 20, a place to write the number, the word, and to do a number bond. I have provided a suggestion on how to use this page further.
~ I have also included a weather graph and a weather page to record the temperature. Just click on the sun to get your daily weather forecast.
~ Additionally, you will find a place to take lunch count/attendance and to write a morning message.
I have also recently added some editable classroom décor packs.

I hope you check out my sale!  Happy Shopping!!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My New Favorite Tool and Shelf Organization

I went into my classroom yesterday and I worked a little bit.  I had already set my furniture up earlier in the week so I decided to do some organizing.  I have been cleaning out my files and cabinets.  I have decided that I need to designate a spot for our classroom toys.  One thing about teaching kindergarten is the fact that you have soooo much stuff and toys make up some of that stuff. 

When I moved into my classroom last year, I didn't move things around much so I had this double sided shelf that wasn't being used to it's full potential.  I decided to move it so I could make full use of both sides of the shelf.  Most of the toys in my room were stored in cabinets which makes it a pain when it is center time.  I am working on making them more accessible to students by moving them out of the cabinets and onto some shelves.  I will still have to store some in the cabinets, but this allows me to rotate what I put out for students to keep things fresh and exciting.  We all know that there is a point that they don't seem to play with things as much.  Here is a picture of what I have been working on.

I plan to add picture labels to the containers to cover up the ugly labels that are really stuck on them.

While I was working on my room, I ended up using this new tool I bought at the dollar spot at Target.

This thing is great!  Let me show you what else it does.
I think this is the perfect tool for the classroom.  Now I can finally fix things or change batteries easier.  I no longer have to hunt down someone with the right screwdriver in the building and for only $3 that's a price you can't beat.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Froggie Freebie!!!

I have been working on a lot of stuff this week for the new school year and I am excited about one of my projects which I will unveil at another time, but for my followers and new followers I am linking up with Classroom Freebies for Manic Monday.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
For this Manic Monday post, I am giving you my Froggy Number Match Game.  Students match the frogs with numbers to the lily pads with dots.  Simple, yet it is something that students can do at the beginning of the school year.  You can get your free copy here.   Well, I am going to go try to fall asleep again.  I'm trying going to get up earlier and go work in my classroom tomorrow.  I'll let you know later what I get accomplished.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Throwing Out the Trash

I went to school today and worked for 4 1/2 hours!  What did I get done?  I cleaned out one drawer in my filing cabinet.  I can't believe all the stuff I had.  I threw away about 75% of what was in the drawer and I could have probably thrown out more.  This is what happens when a school closes and you change grade levels a few times and then return to the grade you love at a different school.  So that's 3 moves total!  I thought since I'm starting my second year in the same classroom that I better throw out the junk that I don't want or use.  Did I mention that I'm getting a new aide this year too?

Yes, I sat in on the interview for my new aide last week.  I hope she decided to take the job because I think we would work well together.  When you work that close to someone your practically married so it's best if we are a good match, but I'm not a difficult person to get along with either.

Before school let out, my previous aide, who retired, gave me a box full of Smart Pals.  I'm not sure who gave them to her, but I am excited to use them more this school year.  Check out the box.

Before school let out, I found some old workbooks and tore them apart and put the pages inside the Smart Pals.  My kinders loved this!!!  I allowed them to get one when they were finished with the journals.  I color coded them too for differentiation.  If you have these in your room, please share how you use them.  I would love to hear about it.

If you didn't know, I am having a giveaway at my Teacher's Notebook store for my Black and White Editable Classroom Décor.  I'm working on some more stuff that I will be adding soon.  One will be an interactive SMART notebook file.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

New Product and a Giveaway!

I have really been slacking with my TPT and TN stores.  I have finally posted something new and to celebrate the summer I am having a giveaway at my Teachers Notebook store!  I am giving away to one lucky winner my new Black and White Editable Classroom Décor pack.  Check it out and don't forget to enter for your chance to win.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Letter Sort Freebie!!!

Lately, I have not had the motivation to do everything I need to do.  I have all these great ideas, but I find myself surfing the net too much for more ideas.  I did end up making this sorting activity that I am posting here for free.  I know I have been slacking on my blog and I want to thank you for sticking with me.  You can get your freebie Here!  I also want to wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Reading

I've finally decided to jump on the Teach Like a Pirate bandwagon and I purchased the book through Kindle.  So far I have only read the first few chapters.  Let me tell you this book is an easy read and I am enjoying it. 

I have came to the conclusion that I may be obsessed with reading teacher books. I decided that I am going to make changes to my teaching.  When I was in college, we learned about Kagan structures.  The Kagan Cooperative Learning book was out textbook for a class, but all of the education classes used the structures.  It did make learning fun while I was in college and I was really great at incorporating structures in my lesson plans when I did my student teaching.  Well, I knew they had revised the book so I purchased the book and I love how the new version has a section dedicated to the structures. 

Well, I have struggled with figuring out how to use the structures effectively in kindergarten.  This lead to the purchase of 3 more books!  Yes, I said 3.  I purchased Lessons for Little Ones Mathematics Cooperative Learning Lessons by Lorna Curran, Lessons for Little Ones Language Arts Cooperative Learning Lessons by Lorna Curran, and Balanced Literacy Through Cooperative Learning and Active Engagement by Sharon Skidmore and Jill Graber.  I LOVE these books!!!

Ok so after purchasing and reading all of those cooperative learning books, I got on EBay and purchased Cooperative Learning Structures for Teambuilding by Laurie, Miguel, and Spencer Kagan.  Can we say I have a problem?  A book buying problem.  I'm addicted. ;) 

What have you been reading this summer?
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