Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back To School Life...And Back To School Sale!

Hi All!

Well, for starters, my Sunday morning looks a little like this.

If this isn't a sign that school is back in session then what is?! Ahh...what a change from my last Sunday morning.  Luckily, I managed to get ample rest time in this weekend and I'm up and ready for a new week with my new cute little firsties to start.  Well, I'm not actually quite ready.  Usually during the year I'm ready for the next week before Friday the week before.  But, as I'm sure you all know, the first week was CRAZINESS and I just didn't have time to worry about this upcoming week's plans!  So here I am on a Sunday morning, coffee in hand, and surrounded by books, curriculums, lamination to cut, and a blank lesson plan template ready!

In other news, I am taking part in the big HUGE TpT sale today and tomorrow, so hop on over to my store for 28% off of everything!  Just click on the picture below!

I've got a couple of cute things up in my store that I used this year to set-up my classroom and that go perfectly with a bright color theme.  My top-seller this month is my green and blue daily schedule cards!

In my own classroom this year, I also use my Bright Polka-Dot ABC Signs and my "Brighten Up Your Word Wall!" pack.  Love them!

I hope you all find some fun back to school things in the TpT sale...I know I have! :)

I can't wait to post some updates and pictures from my first week back at school but don't have all the pictures ready quite yet.  More to come!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Late to the "Teacher Week" Party But Better Late Than Never!

PHEW!!  I survived and finished another first day in first grade today and it was a.....really.....long one.  All in all though it was fun to meet my new group of firsties and the day honestly went on off without a hitch!  

.....besides that one time before school when I left a trail of coffee down my dress....leg....and entire hallway.  But that seems to be a trend in my life so, hey, I'm not too surprised to have a stain on my clothes by 8am.  You live and you learn!  Or you don't learn.  And you keep spilling things.  Either way.

Anyways. I am finally linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week!  I know, I know, I'm a little late to the party but I've been working non-stop!  All you amazing teacher bloggers blow my mind with your ability to teach at the hectic beginning of the year and still produce meaningful and inspiring blog posts.  I'm accepting any applications for teacher blogger mentors so please refrain from sending them all at once! :)

Today's Teacher Week topic is "Now Teach!" which seems only fitting with this being my first day back with the kids!  Quite honestly, I'm not entirely sure how I'm even mustering up the energy to craft this post.  I'm exhausted....and I'll probably go to bed sometime in the next hour or so and then cry a little (or a lot) when my alarm goes off tomorrow morning.  Same old, same old.

Anyways, I know I posted some classroom updates as I was setting up throughout the past couple weeks but I thought I'd post some finished product pictures that go along with today's topic of "Organizing for Instruction."

I think this picture of my library area is one of my most organized parts of my room.  I was never much of an "I'm crazy, OCD and obsessed with organizing" type of person until I got a classroom.  And here I am...being a crazy, OCD and obsessed with organizing type of person.  It's exhausting!  This year I hot glued these new library labels that I made onto my bins and I think they are going to be perfect!  In the past, I have taped the labels on with packing tape and it was MUCH more time consuming.

I fell victim to the amazing crate seat idea all over pinterest a couple years ago and they truly were one of my best classroom creations.  I don't have too much storage in my room and the amount of paper towels that comes flooding in with the kids and their supplies is....completely overwhelming.  I couldn't go through all of them even if I actively tried to use paper towels for everything.  Cue the crate seats!  These things have seriously saved my life (and my kids' lives because otherwise they would be forced to have paper towels in their backpacks, lockers, desks, for lunch, etc, etc...).

I posted this picture in my last blog post but I want to include it in this one too because I'm really happy with how I am storing my big books this year.  I stumbled upon the idea and just had to adapt it and use it for my own classroom.  

Another one of my organizational lifesavers was an idea sparked by my coworker and good friend.  This picture below shows some tables I bought from IKEA a few years back.  They usually house my student laptops, but the picture was taken before school started so the computers hadn't been whipped out quite yet!

So I started using these tables (which I absolutely love), but was constantly plagued with the headache of charger cords falling behind the tables and the kids crawling all over the ground trying to find them and ending up bumping their heads all while tangling up the cords.  Which naturally led to tears and trips to the nurse to get ice packs.  Need I say more?  Well, my coworker used these AWESOME wire holders from The Container Store.  See those little white things on the table?  Yep, keep looking.  Look closer.  Yeah, I know it's not the best picture but I don't have a close up one.  My chargers stay in place and the kids know where to put the laptops when they are finished.  Unfortunately, it doesn't look like The Container Store carries the same ones anymore, but these look similar!  

So that's that!  I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my tips and tricks for organization now that teaching has picked up again!

I do have one question for all you bloggy people, though.  I really want to post some pictures of my first couple of days soon and I currently don't have parent permission to post photos.  I'm in the process of drafting a contract to send home with the kids in hopes of obtaining permission but I'm not entirely sure where to start.  Has anybody used a permission form/contract that they were successful with and, if so, what are your tips?  If you are able to help at all I would greatly appreciate it!  Just shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment here!  Thanks! :) 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Classroom Progress Day 3/4

Hey there!

I have been in my classroom almost non-stop the past couple of days, so I'm taking the day off today!  The countdown is officially at less than 2 weeks until the first day with the new kiddos!

Here are some pics of the progress I've made in my room!  If you already follow me on instagram at @happilyteaching, then you've already seen some of these!

Here goes...

This first picture is of my "Awesome Authors" wall, where we hang all of our published writing after each unit!  Pay no attention to the shelves to the right...I want to re-organize those!

Next up is a close up of my new chevron clothespins for my author's wall!  I just LOVE the way they turned out!  All I did was print off chevron paper and then cut it into strips to fit the clothespins.  I modge podged them on and then modged podged over them!  Perfect!  

Here's my math wall for the year!  Should be filled with lots of new Common Core-y things in no time! :)

The last picture I took in my class when I left yesterday was a picture of my word wall and my new "First Grade Rocks!" banner that I made and hung in the bare space on my wall!  

More pictures to come!