Saturday, 31 August 2013

Chalkboard Classroom Reveal!


Finally! Crystal and I have spent so much time in each others classrooms working to get them ready.  School starts on Tuesday and we are finally finished!  It's been so many hours of hard work, but they are beautiful.  I'm excited to share hers with you.  I'll post mine in a few days. 

*LOTS OF PICTURES AHEAD*

Okay, I warned you.

Full Classroom View




 Crystal is going to be teaching grade 3 this year.  Her room is very much her style.  Clean lines.  Lots of primary colours.  Nothing cutesy.  Chalkboard.  I am very jealous of her large window.  She ordered the banner hanging in the window off Amazon.  We weren't expecting it to be so large.  It's seriously car lot banner.  Worked out well anyway.  It's hanging up with 3M clips.

Above the window is her word wall.  No words up yet.  You can also see her teacher area in the back.  She snagged the green chalkboard above her desk from a friend and turned it into a calendar.


View standing from the back.  You can see her chalkboards and a bit of her computer station.  She created her alphabet.  The pocket chart on the left has her schedule cards in it ready to go for the first day.  The chart on the right has her math and literacy station headers in it.  The schedule cards and station rotation cards can all be found in my TpT store.




 Literacy Area



This is her literacy board.  She has the CAFE headings up and ready to go.  She's also added chart paper to the board so that she can make and instantly display anchor charts.  The blank space is for a Good Writing poster I need to enlarge for her.

Boot Room Sign



 This is a Martha Stewart cork board from Staples.   Crystal busted into her stash and scrapbooked it up.  Looks awesome.

Supply Storage



Supply bins are from Really Good Stuff.  I've convinced her to go with group supplies like I do.  I hope she likes it.  Bins are stocked with markers, pencil crayons, scissors, and glue.


The grey Sterlite bins were stacked in the corner of her room where the reading corner now is.  They were PACKED full of manipulatives.  We pulled them all out, washed everything, and organized.  They are now safely seated on these shelves under her window.  

I love all the matching labels.  These are also Martha Stewart from Staples.  They are chalkboard, so you can just erase and rewrite if the contents changes.


Inside one bin.  Looks so pretty.  I love organization.

Reading Nook



Her reading corner.  I believe she has her eye on some red lawn chairs at Walmart to finish this off.  The "READ" letters are chipboard and covered in scrapbook paper.  The Dr. Seuss quote is cardstock and I cut it out on my Cricut.  These bins are also labeled with the erasable chalkboard Martha labels.



These foam clocks are from Michaels.  Crystal cut the headings out of cardstock on her Cricut.  I think these are great for grade 3 kids learning to tell time.  I find that there is so many digital things out there, it's becoming pretty difficult for kids to read analog.  Great reference!

Other Details




Have you filled a bucket today? This book is so popular!  We made this little nook in the corner of her room.  She is going to let her kids pin up bucket filling slips around the board.  The pieces are all cut out on the Cricut.  I created the clouds for her by cutting out several of the same cloud shape and gluing together.  They were initially going to hang from the ceiling, but they were a bit floppy for that.




Crystal's pencil wreath and handmade "Welcome" banner.  These are hanging just outside her classroom.  How welcoming!




And lastly, her hallway board.  This was completely Pinterest inspired.  People thought we were a crazy creating a board using velcro, hot glue and tin snips.  I say, they are the crazy ones for not doing one also.

Do you want to add the chalkboard theme to your classroom? Do this easily by picking up my chalkboard products today.   The image links to my mega bundle, but you can follow links from there to pick and choose individual items.

Chalkboard Mega Bundle from Fun in Fourth

Want more? I share some more of my chalkboard themed resources here as well.  Check it out.

Are you interested in even more bulletin board ideas? Do you want to save time by finding them all in one place? Follow the image or button below to grab your copy of my free bulletin board inspiration guide. 

Take me to the guide!



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Friday, 30 August 2013

Five for Friday

Click here for Doodle Bugs blog and more posts!
I've decided to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday Linky.  I've been reading those posts for a while from others and love them.  So, it was time to do my own! As school starts in just a few days for me (slight moment of panic typing that!) I've been spending a lot of time in my classroom setting up.  I've decided to pick 5 handmade classroom elements as I feel those are the elements that really make me feel at home in my classroom.

Love the balloon!
1) Hallway bulletin board:  I may have sparked some yearly competition with a few colleagues on my first board of the year.  There are a few ladies who have upped their game because of my boards.  I LOVE that!  This year, it's toned down a lot from last year.  I'm not sure I can ever top last year - it was a bit insane.  I am still unsure about the title.  It feels a little bit plain.... we'll have to see.
Crystal helped me out on this one.  (I will post her board also - I haven't taken a photo of it yet.) This was made with plastic table cloths from the dollar store.  We started by making the hot air balloon.  I suggested tracing the shape on a piece of cardboard and wrapping the table cloth.  This was learned from last year's flowers.  Wrapping when already on the board is tricky!  So, using hot glue and two sided tape she wrapped the colours.  We learned right away if the top and bottom were left open air could get in and it would stay puffier.  It's simply stuffed with the excess table cloth of the same colour.  I have to admit, I had difficulty sleeping last night as I have fears of the stuffing falling down due to gravity, or the whole darn thing coming off the wall (held up with a combo of pushpins and hot glue).  I'm not going to school today, so it is still a nervous thought in the back of my mind.

Bye bye plain wall!
2) Paper tree: This wall in my room was just too blank.  I tacked up the quote and owl, and it was just "floaty".  It needed the paper tree.  Here is a sampling of texting between Crystal and I while debating this element:
Crystal: We should make a 3D paper tree and combine owl, banner and tree.
Me: A paper tree would really anchor it.
Me: Do we have time?
Me: We are insane.
Crystal: There's always time for paper trees!
And that's how the paper tree came to be.  Insanity, people.


3: Pencil wreath: These have been floating around Pinterest.  We had to make them.  I love mine.  I'm not sure what else to say.

4: Literacy board: Okay, this is in Crystal's room.  Not mine.  But I helped. And it's handmade.  So it counts.  Still working on this puppy.  The title is layered paper plates.  LOVE IT!  I can't really do that in my room, because I don't have space on top of my boards - just more boards.  Which is a good thing.  So I'm not complaining.  The 4 colours are for her CAFE strategies. 
Work in progress.
So proud of this!

5: My math stations folders: I'm planning a future post on math stations.  This picture doesn't really make it appear handmade - but in those folders are lots of TpT math stations (my own and others).  They really were a labour of love.  Printing, cutting, laminating, cutting again, organizing..... Now that they are all in folders and labeled, I am thrilled.  More on this in the future.












Are you interested in even more bulletin board ideas? Do you want to save time by finding them all in one place? Follow the image or button below to grab your copy of my free bulletin board inspiration guide. 

Take me to the guide!

Friday, 9 August 2013

And another room!

I love having a teacher friend who is as particular about her classroom as I am.  We take it to the extreme, that's for sure.  What's best is setting up rooms together.  Good music, snacks (if you remember to stop and eat them), help hanging that darn board paper and funny times.  Here are a few shots of what we've done in her room so far.  Her family is joining us on the road trip next week, so we are both trying to get things done before going.  Below is a before shot.  Not the best one, but I was so excited to get going, I forgot to take one from the door.  Oops!
Before
Gotta clean 'em up!
You'll notice in the before picture that she has chalkboards in her room.  Inconvenient for sure.  I hate all the dust they create.  But, we're working with it and Crystal is doing her classroom in a Chalkboard/Primary colours theme.  It's going to be awesome.   And here she is washing down all of her duotang/notebook bins.  You may notice that she is wearing the same shirt as I am in the crazy laminating pic on my last post.  When you are best buds, these things happen.  Nothing a little scheduling can't fix.  :)  

Not as fun as it looks people.
We spent day one in her room mostly organizing math manipulatives.  There were so many in there!  An unorganized.  We are definitely two organized gals.  So, after deciding what we needed to keep and how it would be stored, we got down to work.  I took the drawer of playing cards and sorted them back into sets.  It sounded like a good idea at the time.  As the first hour rolled by, I was debating throwing it all in the trash and going to buy her new ones.  But I stuck with it.  We now have more than a class set of toolkit cards (A-10 in snack size baggies) and 12 complete sets.  I'm guessing this took me a good 2 and a half hours, though I can't say so for sure. 
Good helper!
We set her oldest daughter to work on the snap cubes.  How do you organize your snap cubes?  Are they just dumped in a bin?  I find that keeping them in sticks of 5 of the same colour works best.  It's so much faster for the kids to get what they need and get on with their math.  At the start of the year I talk to them about the expectation of the bin staying in sticks of 5 and it usually does with few reminders.  I still need to do this to the cubes in my new room. 
This picture is to show all the extra pattern blocks we removed from the room.  Who needs that many pattern blocks?  Seriously!
Bye bye extra clutter!
 More photos to come - probably after the holiday!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

And it begins!

Today was a glorious day!  I went into my classroom to begin some setup.  I LOVE setting up a classroom.  So much potential.  So many exciting things a person can do.  It was only the custodian's second day back to work, so no cleaning has occurred in my room yet.  But, I was feeling some anxiety due to our upcoming vacation.  Huh? Anxiety and vacation shouldn't be in the same sentence, right.  Well, when you plan a trip for the end of August and come back a week before school starts, and your room is mostly all in boxes, I think you are allowed to be anxious.  So, to set my mind at ease, I went in and did a bunch of things today with a teacher friend.  (Wait for some upcoming posts on her room setup too!)  The custodian at my new school is a lovely, cheerful man, who had no problems with us being there, which was great.  We got to work on a lot of the little details.
Before shot of my room.
Above is my room before I've done anything to it.  Well, not true.  I'd removed a lot of the junk from the room, but nothing of my own is in here yet.  Note the teeny windows and yellow wall.
I think I've posted this photo before......
I mentioned in this blog post how much I hate the open shelving for my teacher resources.  It's enough to make a person go spend $300 on all new matching binders.  To remedy that in a less expensive way, I purchased some beautiful fabric and made a curtain.  Today we hung it up.  I LOVE it!  However, I made have made a slight measurement error as it touches the floor.  It doesn't drag, but it touches.  I'm worried it will get dirty.  So I may bring it home again and bring it up half an inch or so.  It looks a little sparse in the photo below, but I know once I get my desk and things all setup it will be great!  I'm really loving the black touches in my room this year.  I think it helps to anchor everything.
All hung up!  No more mismatched binders to stare at.
Loving this!
As I mentioned in my last blog post about classroom plans, I wanted to put "Today is" vinyl on my whiteboard.  I decided to go with "Today's date is..."  We're having a debate about the "..."  I say they are fine.  My friend says they are crooked.  It's always nice having a friend who is slightly more anal than you are.  Love you Crystal! ;)
This was a last minute idea.  Last night I spent a few hours creating and cutting this out of vinyl as well.  I love how well it fits the door; I was really cutting it close.  I guess it pays to measure first, but when you decide to do it the night before you have to guess.  I decided to do it on the inside of my door as it will spend more time open than closed.  I also like to hang holiday themed wreaths on the outside.  I'm so happy I was able to find the font Dr. Soos for free to cut this out in.  A Dr. Seuss quote just has to be in this font, don't you think?











We ran into a slight hiccup with my word wall fabric.  My old classroom had a different sized bulletin board.  My new room has a size smaller and a size bigger.  We fixed the problem by tripling up the borders.  I think it makes such a great statement!  I'm so happy we were able to get this up there.  It sure took me a while to cut and sew 26 rainbow pieces of fabric.  There is a space on either end that is blank still.  When we go back to paper the boards I'll take a picture to show you what we did to fix that up.

It's more gorgeous than before!
I'll finish this post with a photo of some crazy laminating.  Crystal and I both had a ton of math stations created this summer.  Today we laminated our things.  Here's myself and her daughter holding up a portion of her laminating.  Took me 3 hours to cut mine out tonight. Yikes!
That's only part of it.
Can't wait to share more of our classroom decorating.  Both my room, and hers!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Classroom Plans

I'm so excited to get into my new classroom and decorate.  There are so many ideas swimming around in my head.  I thought if I blogged it all, I might be able to sort it out a bit and come up with a more clear plan.  So, here goes....

These are the 3 borders I am going to use.  Looking at pictures of classrooms I like, they all have the same bulletin board paper (I'm going to use sky blue on all) and the same borders, often layered up.  So I'm going to try and copy that look.

I've purchased all sorts of bits of this line.  Love the owls!

I think those 3 are going to look so great together!  If you're wondering, the owls are from Trend Enterprises.  They have lots of cute lines with so many coordinating pieces. 

Here's some things I know I'll be creating for my classroom.  They're all Pinterest inspired, of course!

This Pin didn't have an original link. :(
From Kindergarten Fever
When I left my last school, I was given an awesome basket of things I love.  There was a Hello Kitty lanyard with one of these pockets.  I thought of this pin immediately!
From Life in First Grade
I love the idea of putting letters on plastic plates.  It looks so amazing.  Such a simple idea.  This is why I love Pinterest!

And here are some things I'm considering doing....
From Mrs. Heeren's Happenings
I'm considering making something like this.  I kind of like the idea of magnetic pieces as you can change out the selections.  However, I'm worried it might be too much work.  I hate digging though a basket of pieces, which is why I hand write my day out, and don't use a cute premade schedule.  An anchor chart maybe?
Crystal Jones Jungle Classroom
My classroom has two sets of these bins already.  I like this setup for something different.  It gives a bit more separation between kids, which is sometimes needed.  But, what would I keep in the bins?  Math resources? Games?  What are your ideas?
Goshandgolly Etsy Shop

I might add a few of these to my ceiling....
From Thoughtfully Simple
Or, I may add these instead.  It's a tough call.  Either way, I know I'm going to make the Fire Marshall angry.
From Ramblings of a Fifth Grade Teacher
My desk is really ugly.  This may just need to happen.

Hmm... okay.  I think these things are all do-able.  I get into my classroom August 26.  Then, it's go time!  I'll post pictures of what I do then!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Currently

My first Currently post!


Okay, I think this is fairly self explanatory, but I'll do a bit of explaining.  Up here in the North, our summers are dicey.  You never know what you're going to get.  Those first few hot days in June might be all you get - so it's important to use them wisely.  Which is tough, being in school still.  But we did make the best of it.  Anyhow, the last week of July was terrible!  Rain, thunder, lightening.  Not summery at all.  So, it's nice to see some hot weather today.  I celebrated with a walk with a friend.  (Which is why the pup is snoring - he's exhausted.)

A teacher friend and I are spending a lot of time this summer working on school things.  See this post.  I've also decided to switch how I teach math.  I'd like to do some math notebooking as well as more math stations.  Those I did last year worked REALLY well, so I want to continue that.  However, they require a lot of prep.  So, I've been printing, cutting, laminating, and cutting again.  Time is running out.

Which leads me into wanting to get into my classroom.  My storage pieces for math stations are there.  My new stations are here.  Problems!

My 3 B2S must haves.....
1) A new teacher bag - mine is black.  And boring.  And old.  I need a new one.  Plain and simple.

2) My classroom has no storage!  Seriously, none.  I've put in a request.  We'll see what I get.  I'm hopeful.

3) A Smart board.  I think one is in the works.  I can live without it.  But I'd really rather not.  I do love Smart boards quite a bit.

That's all!  Thanks for reading.

Now, head on over to Oh Boy Fourth Grade and read some more!