Posted in school

Officially back at work

Today is my first official contract day back at work… I’ve been at school off and on for the last few weeks but today begins the mandatory back to school meetings, stress and all the usual August/September chaos. It’s hard to say goodbye to summer – even tho the season is my least favorite, those 2 months of sleeping in, going to the gym when I want to (instead of at 6am again, yuck) and just generally doing my own thing was kind of wonderful. 

But instead of looking back on what I’m going to miss about summer, here’s a list of what I’m looking forward to:

  • A new batch of students… Granted, I get stressed out wondering what type of class I’m going to have and how hard it is in September but I love knowing that after a few months of molding, we’ll be in our routines again. 
  • New books… Can you ever have enough? New Scholastic catalogs were waiting for me and I can’t wait to hopefully start placing orders again. Shame I’ve been demoted down to a green apple teacher again tho. :p
  • New material… Over the summer I found a fun Social Studies curriculum I can’t wait to try out, plus KinderScience to support the curriculum my district provides. Plus I’m starting the year with KinderSurvival, which seems like it’s going to get my year off right!
  • Friends: I’ve missed my co-workers over the summer. I saw a few of the a time or too but it’s not the same and I look forward to getting to see them all on a regular basis. 
  • My new creations! I’m really excited to try my Math Toolkits with my kids, and my no prep interactive notebooks, plus the hundred chart puzzles. And then there’s all my quirky bird themed things too… I’ve never worked so hard and made so many things for my classroom that I’m so proud of… Hope my kids love them too. 
  • The weather. I love fall weather and hate summer heat… Plus fall is just generally my favorite season, teaching about it, reading books about it… Bring it on!

So there you go, I guess I’m ready for the school year after all. I hope it’s a great one! 

Posted in organization

Organization in the classroom, part 1

I’ve mentioned quite a few times that I love being organized. For some reason it doesn’t translate to my home but in my classroom, there is a place for everything. Today I wanted to show what that looks like in my office area. 

I’m lucky enough to have an office area that is completely separate from my classroom. It’s very spacious, but when I first moved in that meant I had a lot of junk and clutter taking up space. Last spring I did some deep cleaning and now it looks much better. 

First up is my new teacher toolbox:

This is going to be great for me, my aide and any volunteers to my classroom. I got the box from Lowe’s and spray painted it; the labels are from Teach Create Motivate.

I have a bookshelf full of binders – KinderMath, monthly poetry units, monthly copies… I plan on going through them and using my new binder covers and spine labels to jazz up the ones that are rather plain. 

Here’s how I store my read alouds. The first 2 buckets are empty because they’re out on display in my room. I was fortunate to get the boxes from school. 

Here are my monthly centers. In each box are all the different activities my kids would do each month. Every year I add more activities (and take out old ones), especially since skill levels change from year to year. Having them all together for the month makes it easy for me to plan. 

And finally, here are my tubs for each month, which hold seasonal student books and decorations. Sometimes I have more than 1 tub for each month because I just have too many books!

So that’s my office area. I love having it organized, it really helps me find what I need quickly and feel comfortable in my space. 

Posted in organization

Kindergarten supply labels

I always say that kindergarten is a different world. It really is. Teachers in other grades either get it or they don’t but those that have taught kinder know… It’s unlike all the other grades. 

Even our school supply list is different – baby wipes, paper plates, napkins. We just need some different things. 

My grade level likes to do community supplies and at the beginning of the year, during kindergarten testing, parents drop off everything. We like to have the parents and kids sort things in tubs – makes our jobs easier, plus the kids love to help!

So I made labels for each bin. Having the picture with the text means little kids can help too.

Plus, now I can easily label extra supplies that are getting out on a shelf out of my reach… No more guessing where I put my extra cups!

There are 24 different labels with matching pictures… Check it out at my store by clicking on the image below. 

Posted in organization

Binder covers and spine labels

Organization makes me happy, and my office area is a place that needs to be organized. But cute is important too… well, for me it is anyway!

I have a ton of binders all over my office area, and I wanted to make them cute but also organized looking. So I made some binder covers:

Cute huh? There are 7 different covers and the text is editable, so it can say anything! You can also use them as dividers within a binder. 

But wait… I also made spine labels to match!

These spine labels are for 1″, 1.5″ and 2″ binders and again, the text can be edited. 

I’m so tickled by how great my office is going to look!

Click on the image below to see it in my store:

And these go great with the rest of my quirky bird themed products:

Posted in organization

Editable 3 drawer labels 

I love my 3 drawer Sterilite organizers. Love them. I have 3 of them but they’re kind of a mess:

As you can see, the labels are hard to read from a distance and all the clutter is visible. Not okay. So I came up with an adorable solution:

Isn’t that so much better? These are up on my TPT store and are editable – make the font say whatever you want! I also made it with 3 different color schemes: soft tones (as shown above), bright colors: 

How’s that for bright? 🙂

And ink saving black and white. Now the mess is hidden, everything is easy to find… and it looks super cute too!

Click on the image below to check them out in my store:

But wait! These go great with my other quirky birds items, click on the images below to check them out!

Posted in classroom management

Growth Mindset Posters – quirky bird themed

Last year I talked with my students a lot about growth mindset – the idea of teaching kids to say things like, “I can’t do it YET” rather than giving up immediately. The Class Dojo videos were a big help and my students loved watching them. I really think they took the lessons to heart and I look forward to teaching them to my incoming kinders.

To go with the concept, I created some growth mindset posters to hang around the room. And because my classroom has a bird theme, I found some adorable birds to decorate them.

I love that saying – train my brain!

Doesn’t it go great with my classroom?

I made 2 versions of each poster, 1 is full color and the other in black & white. I think I’m going to frame some, and then just laminate others and place them around the room after talking with my kids about what they say/mean. 

I plan on adding more posters to this pack as the year goes on, so make sure to snag it while the price is super low. Click the image below:

And these go great with my new 3 drawer editable labels:

But that’s a story for another day. 

Posted in classroom

Back in the classroom…

I don’t officially start work until the last week of August but I’ve been hard at work in my classroom this week, tackling this pile of boxes: 

Oh my. 

Boxes, boxes everywhere!

The first thing I set up is my library and it’s almost finished. I worked hard at the end of last year to relabel all my books with these adorable labels, so it was easy for me to come back and set everything out. Over the summer I was able to find another bookshelf to add to my library so I need to go through my tub of books and organize some more. 

I’m proud of this little nook of my classroom… That piece of furniture was being used as a microwave stand in my apartment. Now it holds my laptop, document camera, some DVDs and books, and my math toolkits fit perfectly underneath. Plus, doesn’t it look kind of nice and homey?

Last night I finished my teacher toolbox:

I’m excited to take it to work, I spray painted it and I love the color. The labels are by Teach Create Motivate and I think they’re fantastic, the fonts are so pretty . I think this is going to look great in my office area, and make me feel a bit more organized too!

That’s all, for now… I still have a lot of work to do… including adding my new Growth Mindset posters to my room:

Aren’t they adorable? I can’t wait to hang them up. Click on the pic to see more.

Don’t forget to check out my teachers pay teachers store by clicking the image below!