Saturday, August 30, 2014

Classroom Makeover

All of my friends have the cutest classrooms. Everything is organized. Everything is color coordinated. Everything is cute. I would walk into their rooms and think... "why can't my room look this pulled together?".  So I've spent countless hours this summer reading teacher blogs and searching Pintrest for great classroom ideas.

This past week I was allowed to start setting up my room.  It was a very bust week. I was fortunate to have the help of my grandmother and mother, I would have never gotten everything accomplished without them. Here is a look inside my newly designed classroom.

 I spent the summer going to garage sales, Goodwill, and my local library to purchase used book for my classroom library. I was even lucky enough to get a generous donation from my grandmother to purchase some new books though Scholastic. I got these amazing neon bins at the dollar store this summer. They are the perfect size for my leveled reading books.  Each bin contains leveled books for independent reading. I made hanging labels for each bin but I forgot to laminate them. Something to add to my To Do list.

I love making anchor charts with my students but it is hard to find room to display them. I saw on Pintrest that someone used a magnetic curtain rod to display anchor charts. I immediately went to Target and snagged one for my room. Now I can easily change out our focus ideas.  

A few years ago  I made Owl curtains for my classroom. The Owls did not go with my current theme so I went to the fabric store for inspiration.  I found these chevron and polka dot fabrics and knew I had to create something with them. My mom suggested I make pennants to hang over the window. Great idea Mom!!!

Last year the PTO generously bought all the Kindergarten classes these pocket chair covers.  They held up really well. They may be one of the most useful items for a classroom without desks. I've even seen some people using those stretchy book covers a quick alternative.

I am loving this  Free Pencil Banner I found on TPT. It pulls together my whole bulletin board.

I hope you enjoyed this quick tour of my room. I would love to see how others are decorating their room.You can check out more classroom makeovers over at The Primary Gal

Friday, August 15, 2014

DIY Saturday (Classroom Organization)

Hey everyone!

Summer is winding down, some of you may already be back in school.  I'm not allowed back in to my room for set up until the 25th.  I'm wasting no time by organizing at home. A colleague of mine shared this great classroom organizational tip for storing foam craft letters or magnet letters.

All you need is a a bead storage box from your local craft store. I selected the one with 18 fixed compartments.

I labeled each compartment so that the students will know where to find a specific letter. My box only has 18 compartments so some letters have to share. I always tell the students... In Kindergarten Everyone Shares (if only that was true). I have to admit that this was not a fun task. Next time I will turn this job into a center for the students (letter recognition, fine motor).

 My inspiration for this mind numbing task stemmed from my newest back to school product. Click to learn more.
Chicka Chicka Name Craft
To save time I put all of the craft pieces and letters the students would need into individual zippy bags. These will look great with my newest back to school welcome poster...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

You Oughta Know... August Blog Hop

 Hey everyone!

This week I am taking a break from DIY Saturdays to join other amazing bloggers in this August's You Oughta Know Blog Hop. With school right around the corner I am going to focus on Parent Teacher Conferences.

Finding the right words for Parent Teacher conferences and Report Card comments can be challenging and time consuming. You have to make sure that your phrases convey the right attitude, they need to be unbiased and sincere. You shouldn't say the same thing about multiple students and you have to remember what you said each time. Here is how I  plan and organize  for my conferences. Click the link below to grab your  own editable copy for free. Glow and Grow Template

I start out by using this Grow and Glow conference sheet. I use the top portion to record grades and  general remarks (exceeds expectation,  good, doing well, needs improvement...) I use my grade book and student artifacts to complete this portion of the sheet. When speaking with parents you have to be accurate. Some parents may challenge what you say and it helps to have student artifacts to back you up. While I am organizing this  section I use a sticky note to jot down any impressions or thoughts for the comments. This will make filling out the  bottom section of the template easier.

Next, I begin drafting my comments for the bottom part of the sheet. In this space I focus on areas of strength and ways to improve. I typically aim for 2 comments in the glow sections and 3 in the grow section. I use a variety of resources to make comment writing easier. I picked this book up at my local book store and I can't say enough about it. There are perfectly drafted sentences for all many different areas of concern.  The book also provides many useful positive comments for students who are doing just fine. I would highly recommend picking it up if you have a chance. Scholastic also provides teachers with sample report card comments on their website. 101 Report Card Comments

I hope this helps make conferences time a little easier. Don't forget to checkout more great tips from the bloggers below.

for stopping by!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

DIY Plastic Containter Transformation 8/2

Hey Everyone!
Who's excited for the big TPT sale Monday? My cart is already filled to the brim with awesome resources for next year. Yes, even though I am a TPT seller I am a huge TPT customer. I have been busy finishing last minute products for the sale, but I was able to squeak out a quick DIY project for all of you. Stop by  My TPT Store to see what's new.

DIY Plastic Container Transformation.

Everyone has at least one plastic storage bin hanging around. They typically aren't cute, or extremely durable, but we all have one. I was recently in the market for a storage bin to hold the extra classroom supplies. I found this one on sale for $5 at Walmart!!
What a bargain they are typically at least $20. The only problem is....
It doesn't match my new classroom color scheme.
After the post you will never pass up a good bargain for the sake of the right color.

Rust-oleum makes glossy spray paint that bonds to plastic with no need for primer or sanding!!  Of course I selected "Seaside" to make over my storage bins.
Here's what you need...
1. Something plastic that needs a makeover
2. Glossy Plastic Spray Paint
3. Garbage bags or Newspaper,
4. Dry, low wind day.

Here's what to do...
1. Wipe down your piece to remove any dust or residue from the store, this ensures a smooth finish.
2. lay down tons of news paper or garbage bags so you don't have rainbow grass when you are done.

3. Shake the can and spray away. The piece should by dry to the touch in 20 minutes and fully dry after 24 hours. You may need to go back to apply a second coat if you missed any spots. I missed the inside corners and had to go back and fill them in the next day.

I had a little spray paint left in the can for another fun DIY project. Thanks for stopping by.