Thursday, August 17, 2017

Open House


Each year, we have an Open House/Meet the Teacher event prior to the first day of school.  It's very informal and lasts 1 hour.  It's more of a quick "Meet and Greet."  Each year, I try to be a little more organized than the previous years.  Below I'll show you how I set up my Open House this year.

Like always, I lay out my large bins that you can grab here and label them with my editable supply signs found here.  I have clear directions typed out and sprinkled on the desk groups.  I have parents unwrap the supplies and follow the directions.   In the past, I've displayed the directions, but found that not all parents noticed them on the whiteboard.  Having a paper copy right in from of them really helped this year!!!  




Once supplies are unwrapped, I send the families back to the table to sign in and take all of the important papers.  That little yellow bucket on the table contains contact magnets that I make each year.  They have my name, email, room number, and phone number on them.  I always want my parents to know how to reach me if need be.


In the past, I've used my editable "Open House Display Board" to display papers.  However, it matched an old classroom theme and I didn't have time to make a new one this year.  You can grab the board here.


Each child has a special treat on their desk.  I've done lollipops, popcorn, and candy over the years. This year I went with Goldfish crackers from Costco.  I made some labels to stick on the front.



I ALWAYS ask the parents (immediately after I introduce myself) how their child is getting home on the first day of school.  This saves my sanity on what's already a crazy first day!  Grab the form shown below here for FREE.  I also put out my transportation tags, found here, for the parents to fill out and pin to their kids' book bags.  



I store all extra supplies together in this red cart from Ikea.  The only things that I add a name label to are the kids' markers, folders, and headphones.  Everything else goes in the cart.  




So there you have it!  This year's Open House went smoother than any other years!  I took a lot of pictures and notes and will remember to do the same things next year!

xo
Megan 



Monday, August 14, 2017

Classroom Reveal!

Hi and welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!  In the blink of an eye, summer was over and we are BACK TO SCHOOL!  I think I am still in denial but ain't nobody got time for that since the kids start today!  Hahaha!!!!  Today I am so excited to share my classroom reveal!  This year's set up was awesome, because I got to use many new things from Creative Teaching Press!  It was great to be able to set up my room and have everything match without running all over town trying to match things up myself.  Below are pictures of what I got!  Isn't the new Bold and Bright Line amazing?!?!?!  I seriously am obsessed with the school supply cutouts and borders!!!!!!!!




Every year, for my entire 14 year teaching career, my sweet mom has helped me set up my room. She comes to town and stays the night.  We work 2 full days in my room.  She's a retired teacher so she is GOOD!  It's so nice being able to give her a task, knowing she will complete it just how I'd like it.  I am so thankful for her help!  We have a lot of fun setting up together!



I like how clear the room looks this year...I've done a lot of de-cluttering over the years...each spring, I clean out my entire room and throw things away, donate things to our "free table" at work, and take things home for a garage sale.  It is a big job but really helps cut down on the extra, unnecessary things taking up precious space in my classroom.  This year I truly feel like I have some extra space. I even have TWO, yes two empty file cabinet drawers!  Can I get a Hallelujah!?!

Anyhow, enough small talk---on to the REVEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!

We began with what I knew would be the most daunting task of the day: the word wall.  I've had an interactive word wall for many years.  It was on my white board in the front of the room.  However, last year we adopted a new Reading program {we didn't have one previously} and I needed that white board space.  So I quickly put the word wall up on my cabinets.  And I hated it.  All year.  It made the room look cluttered and the kids barely used it.  I knew it was too big of a job to do mid-year, so I just left it.  This past spring, I was thinking about where to put the word wall.  I knew that I still wanted it visible.  I think it's extremely important to have all 100 of our Fry's sight words up all year long.  Kids need exposure to all of the words as they are learning to read and write.  I knew I had a huge board in the back of my room that never really turned out how I wanted it.  Because my classroom library is directly under it, I can't use the board as a teaching area.  Over the years, the board mostly housed student art projects and random anchor charts that the kids probably didn't look at.  Placing the word wall on the board served two purposes:

1.  The words are clear and and easy to see from anywhere in the room

2.  I never have to change the board.  LOL!

With my mom's help, we measured and cut paper, border, and ribbon for the board.  My mom is so good at measuring!  I usually just eyeball stuff and wing it, but we measured and it was worth it! We spaced out the headers and words.  It took us 3 hours.  3 hours.  But we both agree, it turned out beautifully!  We used the bold and bright stripes border first and then layered the bold and bright paper clips border.






Here's a full shot of the completed board as well as my classroom library down below.  I organize my library by theme and use a sticker system to label the books.  The library labels and stickers can be found here.  Grab the editable word wall cards here!  The circle headers were purchased here.



I put my mom in charge of the door.  I used the bold and bright spotted pencils {6in} and labeled them with my students' names.  I like to leave my door display up for the entire year.  These pencils and this banner will be adorable all year long!


I also created a little area for my "Helper of the Day."  You can read about how I manage this here.  I used a header from the bold and bright class jobs set.  Because I only have one helper per day, who does all jobs, I added name labels to the bold and bright sticky notes cutouts {6in}.  I punched a hole in them and added a ring.  This makes it easy to select a new helper each day.


On my front board, in addition to my classroom jobs, I posted a days of the week chart that came with the bold and bright calendar set bulletin board.  I used their bold and bright stripes magnetic decor strips {small} to section off the area.


On the front of my desk is my "Homework Club" area.  If you want to read about how I do club, you can click here.  I used the bold and bright classroom cafe 4 in designer letters  to spell out the header. I used the bold and bright star cutouts {6in} for the kids' names.  I simply placed a magnet dot on the back of each one and attached a name label to the front.  I outlined my desk with the bold and bright binder clips border.  


Below is my calendar board.  I haven't had a calendar displayed in probably 10 years, but last spring, I decided I needed one.  I bought this pocket chart one and wish I wouldn't have when I got a matching one from Creative Teaching Press this summer.  I didn't want to be wasteful so I stuck with what I have.  I may decide to switch this out at some point, however.  I decided I would use the monthly headers from their bold and bright calendar set bulletin board.  I may also use the numbers they included.  In addition, I used their bold and bright spotted pencils border.  Isn't it so cute!?


Below the calendar area is my listening center, which you can read all about {and grab a freebie!} here.

Here are my birthday bags, which you can read about here.


Here's a view of the student computer area and a bulletin board I made for exemplary work.  I used the bold and bright letters that I linked earlier.  On the left is my pocket chart for our poem of the week, which you can read about here.


Here is the area in front of our rug.  I'm thinking I'll use the board for PBIS things.  I used the bold and bright swiss dots border on the board.


Here's my back counter.  This is where I keep all supplies for the upcoming week.  I store the papers/games/books/etc...in the bins and I lay out the day's materials in order each evening before I go home.  I used the bold and bright classroom center mini bulletin board set cards to hang above the bins so I know what's inside each one.



Here are my student mailboxes.  I labeled them with binder clips/numbers many years ago and it is a great system!


This is a photo that I took from the door.


Here is the bookshelf behind my desk.  It houses extra supplies, new student materials, and bins full of materials for our reading series.


This is the pencil area.  This sharp/dull system has worked for many years, too!  Grab the free little picture cards here.


This is the storage and student cubby area.  I use the shelves to house virtually all of my teaching materials that are non-holiday/thematic.  I have organized by skill for as long as I can remember and it makes planning and pulling materials so easy!  I made new bin labels using the circle cutouts from the bold and bright welcome bulletin board.



Here is my guided reading table.  You can read all about how I teach guided reading here.


This is a birthday board project that I completed this summer {again something I did before I knew I was getting a birthday set from CTP}.  The cards and instructions can be found here.


This is a small white board that I got from Costco a few years ago.  I used Command Strips to attach it to the wall.  I've had the foam magnetic letters that spell my name since my first year!  I hang them up so my kids know how to spell it.  I magnet the pictures/notes the kids make for me on the board. When it gets full, I take them down and add new ones.  It's a great way to display all those little pictures!


Here's a season/weather chart from the calendar set I mentioned above.


These month of the year cards can be found here. *Note: I printed the binder covers 4 to a page to make "mini" posters.  I like to leave them up all year so the kids can use them when referencing them during Writing Workshop.


Next to the months are the color word posters.  They can be found here.  Again, I printed 4 to a page to make mini sized posters.


Here's my rug area/easel.  I do most of my instruction from that green chair.


This is my teacher read-aloud area.  I have my books organized by subject and holiday.


My name pencil...I got this a few years ago.  I *think* it is from Tallahassee Sunday.  Get one here, but not until November because they are closed now!


My extra supply cart.  I got this from Ikea about 5 years ago.  It houses extra student supplies.  The labels can be found here.


I had a great time decorating with my new pieces from Creative Teaching Press!  If you have any questions about anything you saw, feel free to leave them in a comment below or you can always email me at meganwheeler44@yahoo.com

xo
Megan

*The items in this post were sent to me by Creative Teaching Press in exchange for a product review.  However, all opinions in this post are my own.