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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bucket Seat Final Product

So here it is... This is how my bucket seats came out. Unfortunately, even with extra care from the kids they aren't holding up to well. The paint is scratching BIG TIME. If anyone has some tips, feel free to send them my way.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Question Rules

Each year I start my ELA(that's some common core for ya) with a question rules lesson. I read Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook, a book I LOVE about bringing reading alive. I give them a question, literal comprehension, to answer. We go over the question rules...

#1 use the characters names
#2 restate the question
#3 answer the questions-all parts
#4 provide details- go back in the book
#5 is it your best effort.

This sets the stage for the year. Any time I grade the work I simply write QR#2 and etc.

The student copy this into their reading notebook and have color printed copies everywhere: homework planner, take home folder, pencil box; you get the picture.

Have a great weekend buddies!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bringing in Some *Magic*...

...Wands that is!

I saw this idea on Pinterest and knew I wanted to make them and that meant I HAD to figure out a way to incorporate them into my classroom (a bunch of magic wands really wouldn't fit my home decor).

I decided to use them as a reward as my students are always admiring the wands I have purchased at Harry Potter World in Orlando and use as pointers for my lessons.  I use a Clip Up behavior chart and the wands are available for any students who reached OUTSTANDING 10 times.

The wands are a HUGE motivator as we have only been in school 9 days and I already had an adorable curly haired boy tell me which wand was "calling his name".  I told him to keep up the OUTSTANDING behavior and he would be able to choose his.

The wands are dowel rods, hot glue, and beads.  So easy but FANTASTIC!

Starting point

Using hot glue and beads for texture

Molding the glue to design handles
Finished Products

Wands displayed in my classroom

I have to say I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way they came out and so do my colleagues and my kids.  These were easy to make and could be as complicated or simple as desired.  

Can't wait until the first WAND CEREMONY!
Swish and Flick!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pictures, pictures, pictures

So I am finally posting pictures of my new room, please keep in mind we have only been back to school for 7 days.  Anyway I am trying to adjust to my new grade, schedule and curriculum!  Love 2nd and I am used to my new, smaller room.  My decorating inspiration is from the famous School Girl Style website.  The guide lines are simple stick with three colors, bulletin boards should all be the same paper.  Everything in my room is blue and green with a splash of white.  All my baskets, pencil holders labels are green and blue.  What a difference this tip made in my room.  School Girl Style website got so famous she actually quit teaching first grade to dedicate all of her time to her decorating classrooms.  You should really check out her website it is spectacular.

A view of my room from the door.

A view from the front of the room.

My closet with baskets to hold lunchboxes.  Close the curtains and the organized clutter is gone!

This is my favorite addition to my classroom.  Two shower curtains that I bought at a discount store.
My windows covered in blue celephone with a blue fish net.  Snack baskets and mailboxes are under the window.

Here is my smart board, word wall and student book boxes on the floor.  There is a clear window up high so I covered it with blue celophane, seaweed and Big Al fish.  Love, love, love!

Yes, I have a sink which I decorated with an ocean scene purchased from the party store. 

The tooth fairy is in the house.  I copied this idea from my favorite site, The Glyph Girls!  This was not for sale just on her blog so I made my own.  When students lose a tooth they take a tooth out of the pocket, write thier name and hang on the door.  Love her!


My birthday chart which I love from my favorite site, TPT.

My cafe board and guided reading table which is not in the picture.

Calendar, behavior chart.  My favortie part is Nemo it says "Behavior is your choice.  Choose carefully".  The fish bowls are my job chart.  Each student has a fish with thier name on it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What's My Job?

As the school year was coming to a start I found myself reflecting on what my job was as a teacher.  Not the nitty gritty of my job (teach math, grade papers, etc.) but the bigger picture part.  From this a first week of school lesson was born.  I created this display where I listed some of my bigger ideas were listed.  As a group, the kids gave suggestions to add to the chart.

They had some GREAT suggestions:
-to keep them safe
-to get them ready for middle school
-to help them if they have a problem
-to develop friendships
-to keep them wanting to come back

Really not too bad for the first week of school thinking.  Then the students were given white construction paper and had to identify their job as a student. 

This created a great display and fantastic starting point for back to school night which was on the third day of school. 

This is new to my first week of school repertoire and definitely something that I am going to keep doing.

Hope you had a great week, whether your first of much later.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bucket Seats

So I saw this fantastic idea to create seats for my two round tables on Pinterest.  The blog said it was easy and affordable...THEY LIED!

These seats took me FOREVER and cost a SMALL fortune.

Problem areas:
-The paint chipped so easily
-Once lids were attached the painted chipped leaving a mess on the floor.  
-Attaching the ribbon was a pain, regular glue wouldn't hold and hot glue left a stain. 

Despite all the problems I still LOVE these seats in my classroom.  They are extra storage space, they slide under the table so no free floating chairs, and they match my theme completely.

Here's the photographic evidence....
I bought the paint buckets at Lowe's b/c I wanted to
paint them blue and they were already blue. 
I did however have to cover that ugly Lowe's sign...
it wasn't very magical. 
The paint I used! 
Lowe's be gone!

I made four blue bucket seats and four purple seats to fit
the theme in my room. 

Getting ready to attach the *magical* fabric
Wood circles and bed egg crate for cushioning

I still absolutely LOVE the final result although I envision having to repaint them by Christmas Break. Although I am just realizing I have no pictures of the FINAL PRODUCT.  I guess I will have to leave you sitting on the edge of your seat until I can get back into my room on Tuesday, I hope you can forgive me.  :0)


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Welcome to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: Harry Potter Themed Classroom

It's time for the BIG reveal....


The During...with my "Pit Crew"
Lovin' my Cricut at home
Word Wall titles

Do you see a magical school?

I stick with three colors for my room as recommended at  Blue, Silver, and Purple.  I thought they were VERY *magical*!

My Pit Crew..My co-teachers niece from Italy...working on an
amazing art project (keep reading this post to see the finished product. 

My youngest cousin was even part of the crew, "sorting" popcubes

The view from my door

My fantastic HAND PAINTED curtains!

My back wall with purple curtains to hide the kids bookbag mess

Let's take a more intimate look, shall we....

Posters from Pinterest printed on VISTAPRINT

My newly designed House Points board (the papers get thrown out
and replaced each month-keeps it neat)


My Magical Behavior Chart which can be found on our TPT store.  LOVE IT!

My NEWLY leveled library-Thanks to my cousin Violet!

Hogwarts the Bear (a gift from a former group of students)

Letters I sent to welcome my NEW class.

Dobby will manage our House-Elf Chores (or jobs)

My homemade desktop nametags, also available on our TPT store. 

Our official Hogwarts acceptance letter, delivered by Hedwig. 
Hogwarts Castle as part of our whole class behavior chart

A comfy reading section in the owlery
So, what do you think?

I have to thank my Pit Crew for all their help.
-My Mom for making endless clipboards and cutting out more lamination than one person ever should. 
-To my cousin for leveling my entire library, cutting, cutting, cutting, and cutting.  For coming in to my room for days even when the AC was broken.
-To my Dad for securing curtain rods (without making any noise), making chairs, and constantly packing and unpacking tools.
-To my Co-teacher Susan for not only supporting my insanity but adding to it and her family from Italy for spending a large chunk of their vacation painting and sewing curtains.
-To my blogging buddy and friend Kelly for the constant flow of ideas and the ALWAYS honest opinions.

I will have more to share in the next few days but NEED to sleep as the first week back is kicking my butt. 

Happy Teaching!