Monday, August 18, 2014

2014-2015 Room Reveal Part 2!

Thanks for sticking around for part 2 of the tour! Now, where were we? 
Here is a little peek at my workspace. You can read about my RtI Data notebook here. You can also grab the copy, file, grade labels for free here.
This is where I hide all of my ugly teacher manuals and professional development books. This is also where I hide a rusty tan bookshelf! I made the curtain myself with a hot glue gun and velcro! ha ha! I do NOT sew!

Turning to the far wall, this is the view.  The storage bins under the shelf hold clipboards, big Lakeshore resources, and centers/activities stored in gallon sized ziploc bags.

On the top shelf, are my lovely math manipulative bins. You can read about those here.

I love having a sink and water fountain. I added this little bath mat to keep any dribbles from getting on the new carpet. 

Next is one of my favorite things ever! We use a Wizard of Oz theme to track addition fact fluency. I am hoping to blog all about it soon. You might want to follow my blog so you don't miss it!

Right by the door, are my classroom rules. You can snag those here.
Last but not least, are my Melonheadz kiddos over the doorway. We have a bit of a revolving door all day long! I hope that all our students leave us in a pleasant mood. By the way, I designed the first two kidlets on the left to look like my son and daughter. They make me smile!
Well, that wraps up our little tour! I hope that you enjoyed it and maybe found an idea or two that you like for your room. I would love to hear what you think about my space! Oh, and don't forget to stop by Swimming into Second's Show Off Your Space linky party to check out more neato spaces! I hope your year gets off to a great start! 

2014-2015 Room Reveal Part 1!

Well, bless my soul, look who's here! It's you! I've been hoping you would stop by! Come on in, y'all! I can't wait to show you around my little home away from home! First, here are a few disclaimers. Ready...
1. My school was built in the 1980s. So don't expect a lot of super cool modern stuff.
2. The furniture is from the same era. You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit! :)
3. Our tech people have not hooked up any technology yet. So, there may be cords everywhere. NOT my fault, okay?
4. My room is not as big as it looks in these pictures. I measured it today. It is a 25 feet by 24 feet. 
5. This is an Response to Intervention classroom for 2nd grade students. So, don't expect to see a classroom library, birthday charts, or centers everywhere. We are unique that way! 
6. I won't show you one part of my room. It belongs to my precious assistant, and we aren't back to school yet. So, she hasn't been there to put her decorating spin on her space. 

Okay, I'm done. Let the tour begin! This is the view from my door. Still loving my Sit Spots

You might recognize my alphabet freebie and number line freebie above the bulletin board. They are available here on the blog. 
You can check out the super reader freebie here. I use the super reader strategies mostly with my tier 3 kiddos. The focus strategy posters I enlarged from a product I bought on TPT from Amy Groesbeck. You can buy those here.

Did you read my post about being a GREAT reader? If not, you can check it and grab that freebie here. This strategy is mainly for my tier 2 readers.

Sight Word Candy Land is our year long progress monitoring/reward system. After school starts, I will add die cut gingerbread men to the pockets. You can read all about it and grab that freebie here.

Under the bulletin boards is this storage system. I made it by mod podging wrapping paper to the front of the bins. This is where we store textbooks, interactive notebooks, and other small group supplies. The caddy on top holds stickers, behavior management cards, pens, pencils, erasers, dry erase markers, and Scentos markers. 

Turning back to the front of the room, you see this...
I love the Melonheadz border over the SMARTboard! Thanks to Tales of a Teacher for the inspiration! Please ignore the aforementioned ancient intercom and numerous cords!

Over the computers are some sound cards that I recently made. They are for practicing vowel sounds and consonant digraphs. Those are so tricky! These are now available for purchase here.

Lastly, are my supply bins. I blogged about making them and buying the cool labels here.

Let's turn toward the back wall now. This is where my favorite things are!
You can get the touch math posters as a freebie on my blog here. Oh, and those red circles on the table are dry erase! If I like them, I bought a set for our other group table, too.

I could not be happier with how my character collage tiles turned out! You can read my tutorial on making these here.
This space will house vocabulary, anchor charts, and such for our reading groups. We are starting off the year reading Penny's Song by Kevin Henkes. 

Math vocabulary and anchor charts will be displayed here. We are starting off reviewing basic addition.

Have I mentioned that I am a neat freak? I love these black hanging file systems that I found from Carson Dellosa. I can't stand to have stuff on my desk! So, now I can quickly grab items that I use on a regular basis. Also, if I am out for a meeting and someone needs my RtI list, my assistant can find it without having to dig around on my desk. 

You know what? I am going to have to turn this into a two part series! Click {HERE} to see the rest of the space!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Listen Buddy: Book Chat and a Freebie

Listen Buddy by Helen Lester is my other favorite book for teaching listening expectations during the first few days of school. Buddy may have beautiful big ears, but he doesn't listen! When his parents ask him for a slice of bread, he shows up with a slice of bed! His funny antics aren't so funny though when he runs into the Scruffy Varmint who doesn't like little bunnies who don't listen. Here is a little book trailer so that you can get a better view of the hilarious illustrations that Lynn Munsinger created.

I have whipped up a little book study to go along with this funny tale. It includes lots of standards based skills practice and even a few fun listening activities, too! You can check it out {HERE} or by clicking on the picture.

What's a book recommendation without a freebie? I love sharing ideas with you all! This little flip book is super easy. Just fold the organizer in half down the solid line. Then, cut on the dotted lines to make four flaps. It is up to you what you want to require the students to write or draw inside for each story element. I hope this story helps your students become good little listeners!

I am also working hard on getting my classroom ready! I hope to have my room reveal ready to post in a day or two! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Authors in the Spotlight Update

As promised, I just finished updating my Authors in the Spotlight product. I added biographies, birthdays, and contact information for Lewis Carroll, Tomie dePaola, Julia Donaldson, Anne Fine, C.S. Lewis, Leo Lionni, Laura Numeroff, Barbara Park, Peter H. Reynolds, J.K. Rowling, Shel Silverstein, and E.B. White!  If you have already purchased this product, visit your My Purchases page on TPT to grab this new set for free! If you have not bought it yet, you can check it out {HERE}.

One of the authors in this set is Peter H. Reynolds who wrote The Dot. I found this nice read aloud/animated version online and thought I would share it with you. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Character Collage Project

My elementary school's media center had murals of popular characters painted on the walls above the shelves. I can remember seeing Ramona Quimby, Pinkerton, and Corduroy lovingly hand painted onto the cinder block walls. Maybe that is why I was so inspired by a project I saw on Instagram by Apples and ABC's. She had created art for her new Dr. Seuss themed classroom. You can see her beautiful work {HERE} on her blog. I decided that I wanted to do something similar for the space behind my guided reading table in my room. I shared my finished project on Instagram and Facebook. A lot of you had questions about how you could do something similar. So, here is a quick step by step guide to how I made this project.
Step One: Gather Supplies
Sweet Girl and I made a run to Hobby Lobby. I bought black acrylic paint, Glossy Mod Podge, foam brushes, and 2 packages (12 tiles) of Master's Touch Artist Canvas Panels. These were thin and 8 inches square.

Step Two: Who to Include?

While the family watched a movie, I started brainstorming a list of my 2nd graders favorite characters, series, and authors. Then, based on images I could find or personal preference, I narrowed my list down to enough for 12 tiles. For individual characters like Froggy, I thought I might could do a collage of many characters on one tile.

Step Three: The Search Begins
I started searching through Google Images by title, author, or character name. I looked for crisp images that would fit the space I had in mind. This one was a winner because it would be easy to cut out and it had three of the characters I wanted in one shot. I just right clicked and copied the image. 

Step Four: Creating a Document
Using the design tab in Power Point, I set up my slides to be 9 inches square. I knew I would need to buffer for printing. This size slide gave me a good perception of how the images would look on my canvases. Here you can see how the image above looked on the slide.
Here you can also see how some of the images looked before they were cut out and arranged.
Sometimes I used more than one slide. For my Dr. Seuss canvas, I used one slide for the characters and another for the truffula trees. Later, I would layer these images.

Step Five: Print, Paint, and Cut!
Sorry but I didn't get any pictures of this process. 

Important: Print your slides on CARDSTOCK! Copy paper is too thin and tears too easily! 

Basically, I covered the table with paper. Then, I used a foam brush to do two coats of black acrylic paint on each canvas. While they were drying, I cut out the images I wanted and toyed around with how to arrange them. 

Helpful hint: Eliminate all white space when cutting out the characters. Sometimes I had to make a tiny cut to get through to the white space by a character's arm or something. I knew it would be okay because the mod podge would glue it all back as one image anyway. 

Step Six: Let the Fun Begin!

Once the paint was dry and the images were ready, I slathered mod podge all over the canvas with a foam brush. I laid the cut out images on top and then sealed it down with more mod podge. Here is a peek at one freshly mod podged. 

Step 7: Enjoy!

Once it's done drying, have fun arranging your tiles and deciding how to display them. I thought about adding ribbon and hanging them on command hooks. Instead, I decided just to hot glue them to the wall as is. I will post pictures when I do my classroom reveal soon.
I would LOVE to see pictures if you decide to give this a try! What characters will you use? 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Five for Friday: August 1st

Wow! I haven't linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching in a while, but this week was full of fun things to share. So, I hope you enjoy a little peek at my week! 
I came home the other day to find this lovely package waiting for me. I was giddy with excitement! 
Have you heard of SLANT boxes? If not, you should check it out! It stands for Sending Love Across the Nation to Teachers. Jameson from Lessons with Coffee runs the program. You can visit her site {HERE} for more details. Basically, you sign up and are assigned to two other teachers. One you will send a gift box to and one you will receive a gift box from. You spend the next month getting to know them through email and stalking their social media. :) Then, you pack up a box of goodies around the month's theme and send it to them. I got all of this fabulousness from the super sweet Brianna at Live-Love-Laugh-Teach. You can visit her blog {HERE}. Check out all of these goodies!
Brianna knows me well! Check out some of this thoughtfulness!
Treats for the furbabies!
Snickerdoodle cookie mix? Yes, please! I am kind of partial to Snickerdoodles! :)

She found out that I have a BIG birthday coming up and sent me a funny early birthday card with the sweetest note inside!
I have been itching to try some new astrobrights paper! I love this lined paper! I am thinking that I will put it in my planner/calendar and use each color for different meetings. Yellow = RtI, Orange = Parent Conferences, Pink = Staff Meetings, Green = Grade Level, and Blue = PLU meetings. Then, I can find what I need with ease! Thanks again, Brianna!

I sent this SLANT box to Susan from Mrs. Dow's Class. She is just precious! You can visit her blog {HERE}

The whole family and one of Sweet Girl's friends had a blast at the Tim Hawkins' Comedy Show the other night! I laughed until I could not breathe! 
Tim does a great mix of traditional stand up and musical comedy. Here is a video clip called Parents Rock. I hope you enjoy it!

Whew! Vacation Bible School is just as exhausting as the first days of school! We had a wonderful time though. Our theme was Get Ready! Get Set! GO! It was a back to school bash. We were able to supply about 60 kids with backpacks and school supplies. I also gave my Tips for a Successful School Year presentation to their parents. You can read more about that and grab that freebie {HERE} on my blog. 

I also had an opportunity to do a little decorating for the event. Our fellowship hall tables needed some themed decor. So, I looped raffia on, used clothespins to add school supply clipart, and tied some extra  tulle between each picture. 
I was the registration director. Here is our little welcome table. I added welcome letters on notebook paper clipart to a colored pennant banner from Wal-Mart. 

I used a pink and yellow plastic tablecloth for the top. I connected them with duct tape and drew designs on with a Sharpie. I wanted the top to look like pencil for our back to school theme. 

I asked the hubs to pick up something from the store on his lunch break. He did that, but somehow tuxedo kitten got added to his list. So, now little Sophie is a member of our family. Sophie is just precious! She purrs so much we tease her about burning up her little motor too soon. So far, Shiloh, my 1 year old diva cat, is not a fan, but she is slowly warming up to the idea.

This guy totally cracks me up in the movie Frozen. I am not going back to school just yet. So, I am thinking of the annual Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale as a Big Summer Blowout! I am so excited! My wishlist is full of new things for the coming school year and lots of awesome clipart! My entire store will be 28% off on Monday, August 4th and Tuesday, August 5th. Use this savings code when you shop: BTS14.

Well, that's all the news from home, as they say! I hope you are doing well and enjoying your last days of rest and relaxation before school kicks into high gear!