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Five for Fraturday


Whew!  The first full week of school is behind me.  I am truly exhausted!  I know that we are going to have an amazing year ahead of us though!

Here's just a bit of what we got up to this week.

 Last Friday was my first day with my new students.  I had each of them write me a letter.  Over the weekend, I wrote them all back.  On Monday morning they each found a personalized letter waiting for them on their desks.  It was awesome to see their faces as they read them.

We started Read to Self this week.  This crew is working on building their stamina.  We're timing daily and graphing the results.  We are currently at 13 minutes, which is a major improvement from 4 at the beginning of the week!

Sigmond Brouwer came to our school on Wednesday.  I've seen his presentation once before.  It is so much fun!  I love how he gets the kids up and dancing.  If you don't know, Sigmond is a Canadian author with some really excellent books!

We saved Fred this week too!  This activity is so much fun.  The kids love the storyline of this not so swift worm who gets in trouble on the sea when his boat flips.  My classroom was LOUD, but man, they did an amazing job working together and coming up with lots of unique ways to save him.  The conversations we had afterword about perseverance were so powerful too.

The positive notes board is slowly being filled up with kind words once again.  I love how caring and compassionate they can be toward one another.

That's it for me!  I'm off to plan next week.... and maybe take a nap.

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Welcome Back Bulletin Boards

At Alwin Holland, we love a little competitive spirit!  We all start the year with some super back to school boards.  It's all top secret, and we like to see what everyone else has unveiled.  Our hallway looks so inviting right from the start!  Here are some boards brightening our hallway this year:

2015/16 Classroom Reveal

I'm really excited to share this post with you all!  I've been working the past few weeks to get things ready so I could show you my classroom!
With the strike last year, I didn't really have the opportunity to do a proper class reveal.  We just got in and got rollin' last year!  It was very enjoyable to have a few weeks to go in here and there and just putter.  Much more relaxing.

I kept some things the same from last year (my owl theme, blue bins), and changed some others (added a rug, a proper technology station).  I'm very happy with it all and can't wait for my kiddos to come so we can share the space together.

Are you ready?



The view from my doorway.  I am so blessed to have these gorgeous large windows.  Often, I won't have the overhead lights on; we'll just use the natural light.

The front of my classroom and far wall.  The first bulletin board will be used to house anchor charts.  I haven't put any up yet because I like to teach to them first.  That board will slowly become full over the first few weeks.   Some things I put on it are my SMARTLearning posters, Whole Brain stuff, Zones of Regulation and growth mindset info.  The second board is reserved for student work.

A close up of my alphabet this year.  I used Little Lovely Leaders Math Alphabet.  I love the rainbow colours and the literacy/math integration!  I'm hoping it will serve as a bit of a math anchor chart as it has some great fractions, greater than less than, and shape references.

Below my math alphabet is part of my SMARTLearning jumbo goals strip.  Thanks Kim F. for blowing it up big for me!  We use it to teach goal setting and use large magnets to mark off goals.  Students have the small version at their desks.

Moving around the corner.... Not the most beautiful desk for my Tech Station.  I picked it because it is quite tall, and I'm hoping it can double as a standing work space.  The desktop computer is a thorn in my side, but it is mandatory we keep them in our rooms.  I hate all the wires below, but have decided that is a man job and I'm going to make Ryan come in and tack them all up. 

Beside the desktop is a dish rack containing my class iPads.  I am so very lucky to have them!!  We've done some amazing things with them, and I'm really pumped for a few new ideas for this year.  I created some iPad rules which are hanging on the wall above.

Let's not forget about my new rug!  I know, I know, it's really light in colour.  I Scotch Gard-ed the heck outta that thing, so hopefully it stays pretty.  If not, oh well.  We live here.  I snagged the reading pillows at Wal-Mart for $15 a piece.

You can see my Ketchup and Pickles pieces ready to go on the whiteboard too.

 Close up!  Love my owl buddy from Trend.  A favourite part of my room.  All the poms are from a new local party store, who even gives a teacher discount.  How awesome is that?!

My genre posters are from Ginger Snaps.  I teach to them as my class library is mainly organized by genre/series.  These posters are referred to by kiddos all year long.

Continuing on.... my area. Ryan bought me my tiny teal desk off a local Buy and Sell page.  I love it!  I hated how big and clunky the traditional teacher desk was, but still needed somewhere to store my pens, stapler and daybook.  This desk does that job quite nicely.

I'm hoping to get some Wobble Seats for around my rainbow table (I think my American friends call it a kidney table??).  It's hard to fit 6 kids around that thing when their chair legs are all smashing into each other.


♥ my teal desk.

I'm really fortunate to have so many cupboards and shelves for storage.  I use a few of them for a bit of decorating.  Hello Kitty watches over me (I collect them, and this one was a gift from a student, most are in my scrapbook room at home).  The Roll-a-Pencil was salvaged from a past principal.  He was going to throw it away!  A few rubons and painted wooden knobs and it was good to go.

Fidgets, Brain Break sticks and some books are on another shelf.

I have this shelving running all along under my window.  It is super storage!  The top shelf holds my class library, and the bottom holds all my tubs for duotangs and things.  The tub labels are cut with vinyl on my Cricut.

I have a book buying problem.  I have way too many.  My classroom library rotates often, I can't keep it all out at once.  I do have some picture books, but mostly novels.  I set this rack up with school library books, most with a social responsibility theme, but some favourites are mixed in there too!

Math manipulatives and Lego.  I love my new labels I made!


Recycling station. The labels are for sale in my TpT shop.  I've a huge paper bin on the floor too.

My Positive Notes board.  I made the title on my laptop, printed and cut out.  I've blogged about this before.  You can find the post here.

We use community supply bins in my classroom.  These are from Really Good Stuff.  I find it cuts down on mess in desks, pants being cut while I am teaching and pencil crayons rolling about the floor.  The Parent Handbook is from Amber Reed and I'm really excited to use it this year!  I'm hoping the interactive element makes it more engaging.

I cut this quote out of vinyl on my Cricut.  We aren't really supposed to have things on the door.  Rules are made to be broken, right?

Heading out into the hallway: my pencil wreath.  I made this a few years back.  Super easy and I get lots of compliments on it.  #hotglueismyfriend

My hallway bulletin board this year!  Ryan made me the handle out of cardboard.  The "bristles" are my trusty friend the Dollar Store plastic table cloth.  I saw many variations of this board on Pinterest.  I chose the saying because it projected a growth mindset, something I'm really big on.

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!

Helping to inspire,

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Teacher Week: Make Ahead Meals

Do you do food prep Sunday?  I do my best to do this through the school year.  I find it helps the week go so much smoother, and I eat a lot healthier because of it.

I wanted this post to be loaded with photos, but I don't start school till next week, so it hasn't happened yet.  Here's some of what I do, though.

1) Cut veggies
2) Make protein pancakes
3) Cook chicken breasts
4) Portion out things like yogurt and cottage cheese

On Sunday, I like to make a fancier meal.  I'll also try to make a second batch for the freezer.  Here are some of my favourite freezer meals:

1) Lasagna
2) Quiche
3) Homemade soup
4) Chicken and broccoli casserole

Do you food prep?  How long do you spend?  What sorts of things do you prep?

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