28 August 2016

Come On In to My 1st Grade Classroom

Come on in!!! I'm so excited you're here, and I'm even more excited to share a space that is near and dear to my heart...my classroom!

My husband and I moved back to Florida this past summer, so I'm at a new school, and in 1st grade!

I hope you'll stay awhile, and enjoy your look around my first grade classroom!
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
Since I am at a different school this year, I feel like it took me FOREVER to get things set up, but I'm pretty pleased with the end result. I should also mention that I had LOTS of help from my family, and beyond thankful for their time!

The inspiration for my classroom this year came from my favorite colors, and the borders below!
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
Below at the outside of my door, as well as my door open looking in.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
The view from the door.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
To left of the door are my computers, work on writing, and word work areas.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
I really my alphabet to be simple, and cute. I went with a white background for the very first time, and I love the way it looks! You can find them HERE.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.

A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
One of my favorite places in my classroom is the classroom library!
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.

A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.

A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.

A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.

A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
I've used community supplies since I first started teaching 7 years ago, and I love them! Here's how I organize most of the supplies, store book boxes, and label pretty much everything!
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
I use one side of my white board to display standards, our schedule, and the calendar. Below the calendar is our special's rotation, as well as how I keep track of team captains.
The clips below that hold the dates on my calendar are beyond amazing! I use them for everything! They're called Stikki Clips and you can find them HERE.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
I always have an area in my classroom dedicated for "taking a break." Sometimes students need a minute or two away from the rest of the class to calm down, gather their thoughts, think about something, and/or refocus. The signs below are from Teaching in Progress.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
Outside of our classroom is a large bulletin board where work will be displayed. In the meantime, I used THESE signs so that it wasn't just a blank bulletin board.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
A detailed picture tour of setting up, organizing, and decorating a 1st grade classroom.
Thanks for spending some time in my first grade classroom! I'd love for you to check out my friends' classrooms too!


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28 July 2016

Open House Made Easy

Looking for way to make your open house/meet the teacher/sneak a peek even a bit less stressful?

I'm over at The Primary Peach today sharing how make open house a breeze!
Looking for a new Back-To-School read aloud? Find them HERE.


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26 June 2016

Positive Notes Home - Shark Week Edition

Happy SHARK WEEK, y'all!

I'm excited to be linking up with Jenny from Luckeyfrog's Lilypad and Matt from Digital: Divide and Conquer for a fun blog hop filled with shark-themed freebies!

I'm moving to first grade this year, and since I've never taught sweet firsties before, I wanted my freebie to be something that I KNEW I'd be able to use with them, that wasn't really content based.

I'm excited to share some positive notes that you can send home, or place in students' desks as a way of reinforcing great behavior - or just a sweet note!

You can even write a little note on the back with specifics about the student's day or week!

I thought these would be JAW-some for the first week of school!
Use these free shark themed positive notes with any classroom management strategy! They're perfect for the beginning of the year!
You can grab your FREE by clicking on an image below, or HERE.
Use these free shark themed positive notes with any classroom management strategy! They're perfect for the beginning of the year!Use these free shark themed positive notes with any classroom management strategy! They're perfect for the beginning of the year!
Use these free shark themed positive notes with any classroom management strategy! They're perfect for the beginning of the year!Use these free shark themed positive notes with any classroom management strategy! They're perfect for the beginning of the year!

Want to save it for later? Just PIN the image below!
Use these free shark themed positive notes with any classroom management strategy! They're perfect for the beginning of the year!
Ready to grab your next freebie?

Missy from the Dirt Road Teacher has the next one!






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30 May 2016

6 Things You Must Know About Anchor Charts

Gone are the days when I would fill/decorate the walls of my classroom with pre-made posters found in various stores, catalogs, etc... Now, students and parents come in to a room in August that has nothing but empty bulletin boards. Breathe. There is always colorful paper, and cute border, and sometimes even headers, however, they are empty. They are waiting for my students.

Nearly EVERYTHING hanging on my walls now are anchor charts. But, what exactly are anchor charts? When should you make an anchor chart? What should you put on an anchor chart? Where should you hang them? How long do they stay on the wall? All excellent questions, and while I am by no means an expert, here's what works for me!

So what are anchor charts, anyway?
Anchor charts record my students thinking (and sometimes, mine), and highlight really important parts of a lesson.

Why use anchor charts?
Quite simply, they help my students. Students are able "anchor" their thinking to these charts. Throughout the day, I see my students talking about, referring to, and using the anchor charts to check their work, validate their points, and even as mentor texts when looking for words to spell and punctuation.

When do I decide an anchor chart is necessary?
Whenever there's something I want my students to remember or be able to refer to, I make an anchor chart. Usually this happens: when I'm introducing a topic or idea or modeling something (like writing) that I want my students to be able to refer back to. Really, you and your students should decide when an anchor chart is necessary. Sometimes, I haven't planned on making an anchor chart, and my students will let me know they need one. Ultimately, they are my deciding factor.

When do I make my anchor charts?
When I first started using anchor charts, I made them all ahead of time. I wanted my handwriting and pictures to be perfect. The spacing was perfect, there wasn't a single misspelling or awkwardly squashed in word. They truly were a thing of beauty. And then, I realized, my students didn't even look at them. Sure they made me happy, but seriously? What was the point?

Now, I plan out my anchor chart on a scrap piece of paper, and then use it as a guide for what I do WITH my students. It helps me keep my mini-lesson AND anchor chart to the point. Many times, I will write the title of the anchor chart and/or the essential question before the lesson. I'll create any sort of cute border, header, and if we're using some sort of chart, I make the lines and headers for each row/column. But the content? That truly comes from the mini-lesson, and always with my students!

It's amazing how my students actually USE the anchor charts now instead just looking pretty on the wall.

What do I do with an anchor chart after a lesson?
Sometimes, an anchor chart gets added to over several days, in which case it stays on my easel so that I can easily refer back to it. Once there's nothing more to add though, it goes on the wall. In my last classroom, different areas of the wall were designated for different content areas, and while I tried to do that this year, it's just so-so. Next year though, I plan on having more defined areas.

How long should I keep an anchor chart on the wall?
There's no set time limit. Many times, an anchor chart will stay on the wall for as long as we're talking about that topic. Sometimes, students let me know when they no longer need an anchor chart. For some charts, I sort of stagger them on top of each other so that students can see just the heading, and can easily flip to the page they need. Some charts guide our thinking all year, and so they stay up all year. It really just depends on what is on the anchor chart, what it's used for, how often students use it or need it, and what currents units are about.

Below are some examples of anchor charts I've made. I can assure you, there are "typos" - sorry, but that's "true life" - I'm writing fast, students are talking, or sharing ideas, and well, mistakes happen! I hope you find them helpful in some capacity! As I take more pictures, I'll had them! Feel free to pin them to Pinterest.

If you have any questions or comments about anchor charts, please share! I'm by no means, an anchor chart expert, but I have learned a lot about them, and continuously try to improve!



















  
  
  
  
  
  
     
  


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