Saturday, September 13, 2014

First weeks of school & Math manipulatives management!

Happy Saturday friends!! I am currently blogging from my hubby's office.. Not my idea of a relaxing Saturday morning, BUT we have a wedding to go to this afternoon close by, and this was our best option! :) 

I am here today to share my new little trick for management in my classroom: table trays! 
My classroom came with awesome cubbies/storage shelves. I have been using them to store centers and manipulatives so far. I found these adorable trays in the dollar spot at Target over the Summer, and knew that I wanted to use them somehow in these shelves as well! I bought one for each table. ( I have 8 groups of 3 or 4 kids) and put each table number on them. Here's what my storage shelves looked like at the beginning of the year: 
It's not quite as organized/labeled as I would like, but this year is a work in progress for me! New district, new school, new grade level.. just trying to take things a day at a time, right?? 

So, this week, I decided to start using my table trays for Math. My district has adopted a common core math program that comes with a ton of goodies, both online and in student manipulative form. My team decided to make workmat file folders for our kids and laminate them so that they could be reused. Thank goodness that my mom was willing to help me glue the workmats onto the file folders AND cut out the laminating too!!

We were working on combinations of numbers this week, and in addition to needing their workbook pages, my kiddos also were supposed to use their workmats and two sided counters.. oh man!! This is a TON of supplies for a first grader to manage. So, table trays came in very handy! 

If you look below in table one's box, you can see that I put their workmats inside, and gave each child a bag of 10 counters. The table captain of the day, is in charge of going to get the tray for their table before we get started. 

The tray sits in the middle of their table while we get our workbook pages ready, and while I introduce the lesson. Sometimes we are sitting on the carpet with whiteboards too, and aren't even at our tables yet! My kids have done really well with following the direction of leaving everything in their tray until they are told to touch it! It helps them stay organized so that they are able to focus. 

Here's what our tables looked like during Math! Can I just say that I am SO proud of my class!?! They have been great at participating, and absolutely love using their workmats and special counters. Math has really been more "exciting" for them getting to do things hands on like this. 

This math lesson turned out to be a two day lesson! So at the end of Math, we put everything back into the table trays, including their worksheets, and they were ready to go the next day!! 

Interested in doing table numbers in your classroom??? Click on the picture below to download the numbers 1-10.  I love these bright shapes that my numbers are on from 

Are you ready for another FREEBIE!??
This week, I added new story elements posters to my whiteboard. We have been doing a unit on poetry, and there is a new poem each day. So, we talk about who the poet is, and what the title is. I write it on the whiteboard as we discuss. 

 If you want these posters for your own classroom, click on the picture below! This product is a forever freebie in my TPT store. Enjoy! :)

Finally, my kiddos have been LOVING using my Sight Word Emergent Readers. This week I had them try out my new zoo themed reader that features the sight word 'are' 

We color coded the letters first, so that they would be ready to glue these down on each page of the book independently. 

I used my picture direction icons on the whiteboard to help the kids remember to cut and glue the words in their reader first, and then they could color it when they were done. 
They had lots of fun! And as you can see below, still need a little help with spelling the word 'are.' :) 
My kids loved this story. It was great practice for us to read whole class, and for them to read with a partners as well.

 Click on the picture below to check out this fun reader on TPT: 

Interested in the direction labels that I showed on my whiteboard?? Here they are!! 

Thanks for stopping by!! Have a wonderful weekend!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Classroom Reveal!! Finally in First Grade!

WELCOME to my 

I feel like a classroom "reveal" blog post has been LONG overdue on my part, and I would love to share what I've been up to in my new classroom. I feel like I ran a marathon in August… between moving everything out of my old classroom and into our spare bedrooms and garage, and then having to clean it out and move it into my new classroom at my new school, I am exhausted!!! 

Stick around until the end of this blog post for a quick little GIVEAWAY!!

But, anyway, the hard part is over for now, and I am excited to share with you some pictures of my first grade classroom. :) 

The picture below was taken on the 3rd day of school by one of my kiddos. The first 2 days of school were UBER hectic, and while I was able to take all of their pictures with my frame, I hadn't had a chance to pose for one myself. My kids were super well behaved on Wednesday, so I let someone take my pictures, and the kids thought it was hilarious!!

Before we start our little tour, I feel that I must give the disclaimer that this classroom is a WORK IN PROGRESS!!
I do not believe in going crazy with bulletin boards and things on the wall before the year starts. I like to add to my classroom as I go, and I don't like to have too much going on on my walls as I feel that it can be distracting to some kiddos. Also, being in a new district and school, I'm really feeling my way with what I can and can't do! 

Here is a view of my room set up for day 1! This picture was taken from the back of the room looking at the front. Let me just tell you what a LUXURY it is for me to FINALLY have whiteboards after having blackboards for 4 years! I am LOVING them so far!! And have put everything on magnets :) 

Here's my little reading area! My classroom is shaped really long, and is not super wide, so I don't have as much room as I used to for an actual reading "corner" like I did in Kindergarten. I don't like to put ALL my books out for the entire school year. I like to theme my library a little bit more and switch out my books monthly. I am also majorly HURTING for books right now since switching schools!! I just put in a big order to Scholastic and can't wait for it to come! :) 

Notice my class bear sitting on top of the book shelf.. we named him "Mr. Huggy" and I am so excited to continue my bear tradition with my firsties. Read more about my class bear tradition HERE
Here is the view from my reading area looking over at my little desk space. 

Right by my desk, I have my weekly worksheets and projects prepped in these awesome bins from BIG LOTS!! I also made this little Welcome Banner and it is a FREEBIE in my TPT store!! Woo hoo! 

Click on the picture below to download your own "WELCOME" banner! Just print, laminate, and you are good to go. :) 

Here is a close up view of my bins that I organize my weekly projects in. I also keep a basket on my desk for my personal papers, or things that I'm working on. These days of the week labels are available as part of my Classroom Labels and Signs Pack on TPT. :)

I am trying to stay REALLY organized this year, and am keeping extra supplies in these awesome bins from Michaels right by my desk. Of course, I needed cute labels to go on them though! 

Can I just say how much I LOVE my direction icons!?! I have been using them in my classroom for years now and finally put them into a pack for TPT. I use these constantly in my classroom to help my visual learners follow directions. I put magnets on the back of them so that I can use them on my whiteboard, but I also stick them under my document camera sometimes so that they can be projected even larger for the kids to see! 

My supply labels and direction icons are available as part of my combo pack on TPT! It comes with all of the direction icons shown above plus a few more. It also comes with editable supply labels. 

Click on the picture below to check out this pack on TPT! 

Here is the back area of my classroom with all my cubbies! This is still a work in progress. As of right now, I am using this to store materials for writing, centers, and table materials. The blank frame will be used to display a certain student's writing each month. 
Here is my objective and workshop board. Yes, I have another whiteboard. :) Having to display objectives is new to me. Luckily, my team shared with me objectives that they had already printed, so all I needed to do was hang them under my cute little signs that I made! 

My Objective signs above (not the actual objectives) are available as part of my  Classroom Labels and Signs pack on TPT. :)

Here is my "Soaring Writer's" Wall!!! Flying is my theme this year, and I absolutely LOVE my writer's wall. I left it blank like this for the first week until I knew for sure about how many kiddos I would end up with. I have made the mistake in the past of putting up paper to display my students' writing on, and have had to change it after my numbers changed! I was not going to make that mistake this year. lol 
Here is my writer's wall as of Friday when I left work! We did our first little "All About Me" writing project this week, and I love how it looks displayed on my bright background card stock. 

Underneath the board, I have a sign for a description of the activity and the standards addressed. We are supposed to put the standards up in our classroom for all of our activities, so I thought it would be a good idea to just make a generic sign! Each time I change the activity or the standard, all I have to do is type or write it up and tape/staple it to my little sign. 

Here's a closeup of my little signs. These are available in my Classroom Labels and Signs Pack, along with the other things I already talked about! 

This pack is full of fun signs!!

Click on the picture below to check out this pack on TPT! :)

Moving along to my work in progress word wall!! The reading program that we use at my school is ALL new to me, so I am waiting to put up the letters until this week. Now that I know a little bit more about how the program works, I feel like I have a better understanding of how I want to display my sight words. 

Here's a picture of my pencil supply labels and turn in basket that I have right by the door! 
These labels are included as part of my direction icons pack, and they are EDITABLE! Woo hoo!!  Check it out! 

Here is one of my new favorite ways to display work on my closet doors!! I taped ribbon to the inside, and can now clothespin student work to the front. I am loving it so far! 
These adorable faces are from the AMAZING Deanna Jump. They are part of her Literacy and Math Fun with Names Pack. I just love all of these activities! 

Here is one of my FAVORITE new creations for my classroom, my clip chart!! To go along with my flying theme.. I created a rocket/space themed clip chart. My students LOVE it so far! 

The wording on my clip chart is editable! You can check it out by clicking on the picture below. :) 

Here are some pictures of my birthday board!! It is right by my clip chart when my kiddos walk in the door. I plan on taking pictures of each kiddo holding their birthday number in the next few weeks to put on this board. I usually wait to do this for a few weeks as I am still getting some new students! 

Here is my sweet little lamp and bin for students to pick up their morning work each day! I LOVE having lamps in my classroom!!

I am trying a new calendar this year on a pocket chart! I wanted a polka dot themed one, and was too busy to make my own so I bought this adorable one from the sweetest Miss Kindergarten! Check it out in her TPT store here 

The Rainbow counting posters are from the amazing Maria over at KinderCraze!! Check them out in her TPT store here 
This pack was a HUGE blessing in my Kinder class at the end of last year and I hope to use it with my firsties this year too! 

Here is how my whiteboard looked on the first day!! Notice my direction icons.. LOVE THEM!! :) 
Thanks for stopping by!! I hope you enjoyed my classroom tour. 
I decided to do a little giveaway to kick off the school year! The winner will receive one product of their choice to my store. :) 
You can enter below. 

Wishing all of you a great school year!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway