Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Heat is On!!

Of course, the heat is back, just in time for school. Mind you, we DON'T have air conditioning. Today was our first day with the kids and by 9:30 they were asking when do we go home. It is in the low 90's right now with a heat index of 97 degrees. My class was 88 when I left (thank goodness it was only a half day). Here are few of my favorite questions I always get on the first day of first grade. I'm sure you, too, were asked these, When is recess?, When is play time? Do we have gym today? Do we have homework ? Can I sit with my friend at lunch? And my favorite question I get every year, When do we graduate?  They just don't get it on the first  day or so.  That's why I teach first grade, I love it!  So, on to do some back up plans for the rest of the week incase the heat continues. Hope everyone out there is have a great week of school!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Classroom Pics!

I've been working like a dog (as did everyone else out there) to get my room ready for our firsties. They come this Wednesday and I think I am ready for them. There is still just a few odds and ends I want to do but that will eventually get done. So here we go.

Our entrance to the room.

View from the door. This is our class library area and where I like to do whole group lessons and our morning math board. I just happened upon this awesome rug when our librarian was moving her room and didn't want it anymore. I love it!

My class library. I sorted the books into the various genres and level 1 through 4 books. I'm still working on the "just right" books this year. Each bin is labeled with a colored dot sticker and all the books in each bin matches the label on the bin. Last school year the kids were real good about putting the books back in the right bins.

I let my kids check out the books like a libray. Each book has a library pocket and index card in it. When they want to check out a book they just take the card and put it in their pocket. That way they don't have to write their names on anything and I can always see who has a book checked out (and who doesn't). This system works wonderful for us. You see our school library has such old books still that I thought it would be nice to allow them to take our class books home.
I saw these little seats on a ton of blogs and just had to have some. So we got busy over the weekend and made four of them. I used the smaller crates (beacause as you know firsties have little bottoms).

Here is our word work workstation. They can use the new seats when working there.

This is my area for small groups and computers. You might be wondering what the 6 and 7 are for on the shade. On the first day I will take pictures of the kids. Then I let them put their picture on the number for how old they are. When it's their birthday they just love switching their picture over to the 7. They also take home the birthday bag with the birthday binder in it to write about what they did for their birthday. This has always been a big hit in our room.

Here is my desk. I also saw this sucker tree on many blogs and once again, had to have it. I give the kids a ticket for all kinds of reason throughout the day (good behavior, returned homework, etc.). Then they put their names on the back of the ticket and it goes in this #1 bucket. On Fridays I pull out a few tickets and if I pull their name they can pick a sucker. If the sucker has a red dot on the stick then they can pick from my treasure box. This ticket system really works, it gets them to return homework and if I carry the tickets with me when we leave the room they are well behaved.

Our bucket fillers and class rules. I really hated my rules chart. It was plain and ugly. Last night I found these rules on The Polkadot Patch blog and loved them. They are all the same ones I have so I printed, mounted and laminated them. Now I just have to get them to stay up, they kept fall down today. I will eventually move them over to hang behind my desk on the wall but for now I want them front and center.                                  

  Here is my writing center supplies. I am still working on it. The blank board is for the Super Star of the Week's poster. The gutters under our white boards are awesome. We saw this done at another school
many years ago and then had our maintance men do this for us. I put books for the month or holidays in it and change them out at the beginning of the month. They are just plastic gutters from Home Depot. 
So, that's it in a nutshell. I hope you may have gotten a few ideas, however, many of my ideas came from blogs. There are so many wonderful teachers out there with awesome ideas and I thank you for sharing them.
Have a great year!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Poppin' Into First Grade

Okay, here is the bulletin board I have up outside my classroom. You see, all the kids in my previous classes know I LOVE popcorn (more than ice cream) so I just had to do this board. Makes me want some all the time.

As I was blogging I came across many teachers who made these cute little seats for their kiddos. So I had to make some. I used the file folder size crates instead of the regular size crates. I really love how they turned out. And, so do the other teachers in my building and now we'll be making more this weekend for the other teachers.
Our kids start on the 24th so I have just a few more days left to set up and plan. I'll get pictures up this weekend of the room. I've seen some really awesome rooms out there. I feel like I have "idea" overload".
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Help Wanted!

I need some help.  As I was blogging the other day I came across a teacher's blog who posted the cutest back to school poem that had a small bag of glitter attached to it. You are to give it to the kids the day or so before school starts and it's to help them not be nervous about going to school on the first day. It was so cute. Well, I can't find which blog it was and really would like to find it. You see, at my school our first graders are welcome to come the day before school starts, bring their supplies, find their desks and meet their teacher. It really is nice thing to do. It makes the first day run a little smoother. So if anyone knows which blog it's on I'd appreciate it. Thanks for your help!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back in the Swing of Things

So, I spent a good part of the day in my room setting up all the furniture. I think I have that part done, at least I thought I did until I started blogging and saw a million wonderful ideas from all the awesome teachers out there. Blogging is soooo addicting! I'm hoping to get back there tomorrow, however, I do have a college bound daughter who needs to get shopping done before next week so that may be how we spend the day.
I'm hoping to get some pics posted of my room real soon, so be sure to check back.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Heat is on, AGAIN!

OMG! I don't know how we are going to do it. Just these 2 days in our classroom and the temps are in the high 90's . I haven't even looked at the classroom thermometer. I don't want to know. I'm sure in December we'll be begging for heat again. Ahh, lovely Chicago weather!!