Sunday, September 7, 2014

Finally...Classroom Pictures with Freebies

Ok my dear friends!  I am FINALLY sharing my classroom pictures.  Oy vey!  This was a long time coming.  I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but my daughter Lauren started Kindergarten this year. I teach in the same district we live in, so I'm pretty close to home (about 25 minutes or so) but it is still further away than I would like to be.  Towards the end of the school year last year there was an opening in the school that is right down the street from our house, which is also the school that she would be going to.  How could I NOT try to get even more time with my little girl???   So of course, I went for it.  I did not switch districts, but I did change schools so that meant I had to pack up my classroom and then unpack in a new room.  Always a chore, but I know I am preaching to the choir because I know you ALL know what that is like.  

So that is ONE reason why my classroom pictures are so delayed.  The other reason is a pretty awesome one ---- I entered a contest on Instagram to win $200 to Creative Teaching Press and....

Can you believe that I WON!!!!  I was one of the 10 people who won!!!!  How exciting is that?!?!?

As you can imagine, I immediately jumped on the site to order some goodies.  I spent that $200 faster than you can say Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious (no idea how to spell that =).  There was SO much to choose from - not to mention it is super fun to spend someone else's money.  Am I right?

You can see a bunch of birthday goodies, stickers, pockets, bulletin board borders, days of the week set, large letters, and some awesome letter stickers (for those of us who don't have a Cameo Silhouette - these are AWESOME!!!).  I also got a couple bulletin board sets and some classroom/learning music CD's (not pictured).  

When these goodies came in the mail can you believe that CTP actually gave me even MORE than what I ordered?!?!?  I couldn't believe it!  They doubled much of what was shown above AND threw in the all of this too ....

They were so incredible to work with and made everything so easy!  I couldn't wait to start decorating (once all my other boxes were unpacked that is).  

So without further ado, here is my NEW classroom!

This first picture is standing in the doorway and looking towards the front of the classroom.

Now focusing in on certain parts...My Word Wall and student mailboxes.

Behind my Teacher Desk. 
On the wall are our classroom rules and these chalkboard prints from CTP.

From this view you can see (kind of) the polka dot alphabet above the board, a couple more chalkboard prints under the board, and the carpet area.

The shelf below sits right in front of my desk.  I LOVE it ... but I didn't love it so much before.  Keep scrolling to see why.

Here it is --- YIKES!  

And here it is after my little makeover.
So much better!  

Back to the front of the classroom.  Here is my easel, which is currently set up for our What's in a Name activities.  

Under the easel you can see some whiteboards that I found at the Dollar Tree.  They are flimsy, but they are better than nothing.  

I also scored these adorable chevron bags from JoAnn's to hold our reading buddies and big books. 

Moving up to the wall.  Here is part of my birthday bulletin board pack I got from CTP.

Next to that is our Morning Meeting board with calendar, days of the week from CTP, months are from their birthday pack, number chart, number line, and number posters.  

I made new numbers for my pocket chart because I needed to go past 100 and I wanted them to all look the same.  I used them for this and also to label our snack pockets.  
You can get the number cards for FREE too!

This will be our writing center and I will also store my iPads in the paper organizer.  

Now moving to the other side of the room.  I have 22 students so I have 4 circle tables of 4 kids and then a rectangle table with 6.  In the back I have one more circle table to use for a center.  

On this wall is our Amazing Sight Word Race bulletin board all revved up and ready to race!  That chevron border is once again from CTP.  And YES it's really dark outside - it may have been past my bedtime when I was taking these photos.  

This is the back of the classroom.  Nothing much to look at from this angle.  

Here is our lunch clip chart (which you can get for free if you are a Facebook fan - just click on the link for Fan Freebies.  There are more choice options also.)

This are next to the sink became a small supply center.  The drawers have color labels on them (sorry I didn't get a closer picture).  Any lost crayons go in here and kids can grab a color whenever they need it.

You can also get these labels for FREE.

The next picture is of an orange leather chair that was in my new classroom and I did not want to get rid of it.  

I had big plans to recover this chair, but somehow time got away from me.  Not like that ever happens, right?  So instead, I grabbed a super soft blanket and fun pillow.  I have since clipped and pinned the blanket a little tighter around the chair, but you get the idea.  It's a little better.  I plan on using this chair as a special reading chair and using it as a reward.

The last part of my room is the reading table.  Behind the table I have all my supplies: leveled readers, centers, letter tiles, flashcards, reading pointers, SCENTOS, and much, much more!  

The bulletin boards all have the super fun borders from CTP.  The two bulletin boards that will stay as is are my Beanie Baby reading strategies and my Smart Cookie math board from Lucky to be in First. The other two will eventually hold anchor charts, but for now they have these great posters from CTP and a couple small pocket charts from Target's Dollar Spot.  

So I think that's about it.  I hope you like it!  We have now started school and I am loving how much space I have this year with my 22 kiddos.  

One more thing...

Before I go, I just wanted to share a few more goodies I got from Creative Teaching Press.  I put together these awesome Birthday Bags for my kiddos.  We had our first birthday on Friday and the little boy was super excited to open his gift.  
 The bookmarks, bracelets, and cootie catchers are from CTP.  I got the bucket of pencils with erasers at BJ's and the bubbles and balloons from Target.  I also will give each kid a birthday certificate and a crown to wear from CTP.  

Thanks so much for stopping by!  
Keep smiling! =)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

10 Ways to Use Binder Rings in the Classroom

My Bright Idea for you today is hopefully going to give you a few more ways to use something simple in your classroom and solve a problem you didn't know you had.  

Over the years I have found that I kinda LOVE binder rings (among other random classroom supplies).  I've found so many different uses for binder rings in my classroom that they are now a MUST HAVE item for me.  So here are 10 different ways you can use them in your classroom.  Some you may already do, but maybe you will find another way to use them.

We'll start out simple, and a little obvious.

1.  Key Rings
Use it to hang your recess whistle on a lanyard or a quick and easy (no pinching finger) way to add keys.  Those other ones can cause serious injury!

2.  Bind Classroom Books

3.  Attach labels to bins or directions to center bins

4.  Keep washi tape organized
(I just really love washi tape so I was trying to find a way to incorporate it :)

5.  Hold flash cards or task cards together

6.  Attach those flash cards to a student's chair or desk

7.  Hanging up Beanie Babies for a reading strategy wall

8.  Holding a clip chart together

9.  Attach pocket charts or chart paper to an easel
When I moved into a different school in my district this year I was left with a lot of old items that no one else had wanted.  One of those things was my easel.  I really wanted an easel so I would take what I could get; however, this easel had a white board, but did not have a place to hold chart paper.  I also wasn't given a pocket chart stand, so I had to make do with what I had.  Here is how I fixed that problem.

10.  Hang pocket charts or chart paper on command hooks

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my Bright Idea.  If you enjoyed these ideas, please consider following my blog on Bloglovin' over on the side or following me on Facebook or Instagram.  

Also, if you're looking for more Bright Ideas right now, you'll definitely want to check out the links below.  I know I'm going to!  

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you'll come back soon :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My New Bundle of Joy

Awww - did you think I had some exciting news to share from the title of my post?  

Sorry to do that to you, but this post is about some fun PRODUCT BUNDLES that I have put together that I think will help teachers.  

A little while ago I posted about my Ultimate First Grade Starter Kit which is an All-in-One Back to School bundle.  

Today I want to share the next Bundle I put together - The Ultimate First Grade Math Bundle.  

This bundle includes some of my most popular math products at an amazing price because they are bundled together.  Here is what is included:

This was my favorite thing I used last year in my classroom.  Every morning we had Daily Math and the students complete a Calendar page and a Number of the Day page with different skills each day.  I was amazed at the progress my kids made with their number sense by the end of the year.  Even my little one who struggled SO much in September were rockin' it by June.  #proudmommy #imeanteacher #butsometimestheyfeelthesame

These Number Collages were so perfect for the beginning of the year.  We talked a lot about how to represent numbers in different ways.  This showed me a lot in those early weeks about my students.  

We started implementing a little Singapore Math into our school and when I saw these number bracelets I thought they were absolutely perfect!  I knew I needed to use these to help my kiddos compose and decompose numbers.  We talked a lot about fact families.  I made two sets of these so you could still use them in your classroom even if you don't make the bracelets.  

AND Set 2

These centers are my life savers!!!  

I use and reuse these centers in my classroom ALL YEAR LONG!!!

There are so many different options that each time you use them they can be different.  These are not your one and done centers.  Although I really love using seasonal and themed centers (and have a TON of them) - these are truly my favorite.  It doesn't matter what time of year it is, you can always pull these out when you are working on these concepts and get some much needed review.  I keep meaning to make more sets - maybe this will be the year for that.  

So if you are looking for a SUPER SAVING Bundle of Math products - look no further.  

Thanks for stopping by today :)

What are math products that you CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT????
What are some centers you would like to see me put into a Set 3??

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