Monday, September 28, 2015

Back to School Series: Read Alouds

 One of my favorite things to do each month is to read aloud some of my favorite seasonal themed books to my kiddos! I try to read some of these books throughout our day whenever there may be a couple of minutes of "down time" before we move to a new activity. I keep a basket full of monthly themed books next to my chair for easy grab-and-go access.

Here are some of my favorite books to read to my kids throughout August and September. If you click on the title of the book, the link will take you to Amazon.


Wemberly Worried

First Day Jitters

Pirates Go to School

Cam Jansen and the First Day of School Mystery

Some of these books are about manners, rules, procedures, etc... I break out these books whenever my friends need little reminders throughout the year.

What are your favorite Back to School Books?

Thank you for joining me for my Back to School blogging series! Check back soon for more ideas and to see what we're up to during the month of October!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Back to School Series: Sneak a Peek

It was completely my intention to have this blog post up and running... oh about... three weeks ago. Then life happened! So, this might just be a pinable {Is that even a word?!} post for you to tuck away in your back to school arsenal for next year.

Sneak a Peek {or Meet the Teacher} can either be really stressful or run perfectly smooth. I prefer the later. How about you? I've found that the key to a perfectly smooth Sneak a Peek is organization, organization, organization! 

Completed forms have a place, sign-up sheets have a place, supplies have a place... everything has a place!

Is it just me or does the thought of bags upon bags of supplies coming in all at once cause you to have a slight panic attack?! My OCD starts to run wild! I knew this year I had to try something different, so I had students sort supplies while parents completed paperwork. It worked out perfectly! The big supplies went in big boxes in the front of the room until I had a chance to store them and small supplies went in clear plastic shoe boxes purchased from Dollar Tree. If you'd like the supply labels for the big boxes, you can download those here.

Each student has a plastic box that they use to keep their extra supplies in for the year. {By "extra" I mean the supplies that aren't currently in their pencil box for daily use.}

Here is what those boxes look like full of supplies. The boxes are labeled with student numbers.

At every seat I placed a folder with a checklist, forms to be completed, and a class information flip book. Every student also got a little treat! You can find the "Welcome Aboard!" tags here.

I'm still working on uploading different themed flip books to my Teachers Pay Teachers shop, but if you're looking for a kid theme or a Hollywood theme flip book, you can find those here and here.

Here is a close up look at some of the forms that I created for my parents to complete...

If you'd like these forms, you can get them here. They are editable in Power Point.

Thanks for reading friends! I'll be back tomorrow for my last Back to School series post!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Back to School Series: Back to School Dinner

Each month we get together with some close friends of ours for a monthly dinner party. It just so happens that there are three teachers in our dinner party group. When it's our turn to host, I love to center my dinner party around a theme. Last year we celebrated back to school with an Italian night. This year I thought why not celebrate back to school with a back to school theme dinner! 

I tried to find as many things as I could around the house to use as my decorations {old books, school supplies, mason jars, etc...}.

I made the flashcard garland using ribbon from Michaels and flashcards from The Dollar Tree.

The sunflowers came from Hobby Lobby.

I found this subway art here.

I bought these letters from Hobby Lobby and glued scrapbook paper to them using Mod Podge.

The placemats are sheets of scrapbook paper that I laminated and taped together.

Our food was even centered around a back to school theme, with apples being the main focus. We served applewood rub pork tenderloin, apple pie, and this delicious spinach salad with bits of apples and poppyseed dressing.

You can find the recipe for the poppyseed dressing here.

Follow me on Pinterest for more Back to School party ideas!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back to School Series: Classroom Tour

Hey, hey! Today I'm sharing a little peek into a space I like to call my "home away from home". 

Here is my 2015-2016 nautical classroom...

classroom door

This is where we keep our math and literacy centers. 

I decided not to do community supplies this year. Instead, I had my kiddos place their extra supplies in their numbered box.

I keep our most used math manipulatives out for easy access.

This is where my teacher technology is set up. The red bins on the floor are for student lunch boxes.

Students keep their journals and book baggies in these white ice bins. The red bin on the top of the bookcase is for their in progress/incomplete work folders.

This is my early finisher station. It isn't completely set up yet, but I will be adding more early finisher choices as I introduce them.

I have clothes pins on the wall to display "Wow Work".

my "desk"/small group table

These file folders will be used for students to turn in their exit slips at the end of a lesson. They will determine which folder to place it in depending on how comfortable they feel with the concept. We use Marzano levels for self-assessment.

This is my behavior system setup. Each rule correlates to a colored popsicle stick. If a kiddo is struggling with one of our rules, they move a popsicle stick into their pocket. At the end of the day I mark behavior sheets with the rule he/she struggled with.

I just love how cozy and organized my little space is! It makes me one happy teacher! 

On a sidenote... I thought I was moving out of second grade this school year {sadsville}, but was told two days before meeting my new class I would actually be staying in second grade {YAY!}. As you can imagine, I kind of panicked thinking about setting up a classroom in two days. I just had to tell myself if it's not perfect, it's not a big deal. I made sure everything was ready for the first couple days of learning and I continued to add new things throughout the first week. As you can probably see in one of my pictures, one of my bulletin boards is still blank. I do have a plan for that space, but just haven't had the time to do it yet. I've made it a fun I Spy game for my kids whenever I add something new. Once they find the new thing, we talk about how we are going to use it in our classroom. I felt like introducing them to different things in the classroom in smaller chunks really helped them to not get overwhelmed. It also helped me too!

Thanks for joining me on my classroom tour!!