Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Classroom Time

Working in my classroom is always so soothing for me during this time of the year. I had a chance to work several hours in my room yesterday and I felt very accomplished when I left.  I have a major problem where I can't stop thinking about teaching and my classroom, no matter where I am!  I constantly catch myself thinking about getting back to the classroom and decorating, what items I am going to buy or make next, and what my new students will be like.  I get excited about planning the first few days and weeks of school, new classroom and desk arrangements, and receiving my class list and schedules from my administrator! I have to confess... I have an obsession! I just cannot understand how some teachers can wait until a few days before school starts to get back into their classroom for the first time. I'm lucky to work in a district that allows us in our rooms during the majority of the summer. The only time we are not allowed in, is when they are waxing the floors in the building. I personally like to have my classroom completely set up and ready to go before the end of July, so all I have to focus on during the beginning of August is planning, copying, and visiting with my colleagues!

As for my accomplishments yesterday, I cleaned out and organized my closet so I could store more 4th grade curriculum from the other teachers in my grade level. I am one of just two teachers in my building that has a massive closet. I am always more than happy to store things from my fellow teachers in my grade level to help them feel that their classroom is less cluttered. They do not have the closet I do, so I like to assure them that I consider my closet the "4th grade closet", so it truly belongs to all four of us. I also rearranged a few of my shelf placements and put table cloths and curtains out.
Another big project I accomplished was to switch out my classroom library baskets from my old white ones to new black ones. My fourth grade buddy gave me close to 20 new black baskets that she only used one year and I bought 20 more from Dollar General for 2 for a $1. Since my main color scheme is black, red, and yellow, I thought the black made my library really "pop". Here is a before and after shot:

I was also able to make several new baskets featuring my favorite authors, genres, and series that I didn't have specific baskets for before. I just need to make some new signs for those soon!

Last, but not least, I wanted to share a picture of a great flea-market find I discovered last week. I have been in search for a book display shelf for many years. I have always wanted one to display our current classroom read-alouds and unit literature. This wonderful shelf is exactly what I wanted and I found it for an awesome price. I LOVE it!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Great News and TPT FREEBIES Reminder!

I'm so excited! This morning our head custodian sent our faculty an email confirmation that our building is finished with summer maintenance and we are welcome back in the building to work in our classrooms. Hurray! We have an amazing head custodian and summer staff. They know how antsy we teachers are and try their hardest to get us back in as early as possible every year! I always like to work at least one full day a week in July to get my room ready so I don't feel rushed the week before school starts. I honestly really prefer to get it close to finished so I can really relax the week before school starts.

As for the layout of my classroom this year, I am going to rearrange things a little bit. I did go into my classroom one day during June summer school and moved my kidney bean table and my desk area to the same corner. I moved my actual desk against the wall and placed my kidney table slanted, facing the classroom in the same corner. I used to have the kidney table in the adjacent corner, but this year I want to contain all of my teacher areas into one corner, so my students have more room for book-nook areas and group meeting places.  I hope I will like it. Here is a picture I took that day after I moved the table over.
The small rectangle you see in the left corner may not stay there. That is where the kidney table use to be. The rectangle table used to be where my desk is now. It use to have my computer on, but I have my computer on my actual desk now. I have to keep the table for my student teacher I will be getting this year. That will be her teacher desk during her sixteen weeks of student-teaching. I just don't know if I will keep it in that spot or not. Decisions, decisions...

I plan to go up and work in the classroom Tuesday for several hours. I'm so excited to put it back together and make all the new changes that I have on my "To-Do List". Thank goodness for Pinterest!

Remember, if you are interested in a freebie from my store, take a look at the post before this one. Only one follower has commented on that post and has already received her freebie. There is one freebie left, so head on over to that post and leave a comment. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Blogger Failure Confirmed!

It is definitely confirmed now! I am a BLOGGER Failure! It has now been since February that I have posted anything. I always have really good intentions, but I just never get around to posting anything. I do find myself exploring other amazing blogs and drooling over super teachers' creations, but I can never seem to find a time to post myself. I am going to try better now, I promise! However, I did just sign up for my last few master classes for the fall semester and I do have a three-year-old's birthday to start planning in August, on top of school starting... so we will see how I do. For all of you who do stumble upon my boring blog again, I would like to give away a freebie to the first three followers to comment on this post. All you have to do is leave me a comment and make sure you follow me. My first three commenters will receive any product under $10.00 from my TPT store for FREE! You can find my TPT store HERE!  Here are some products you may find over at my store.


As for what is going on in my "teacher world" right now, there are a lot of new changes coming this next school year. The first major change is that our school is getting a new principal. My wonderful principal that hired me six years ago has resigned to take a position at a local university. I am very sad to see her go, but am very happy with her replacement. I think our new administrator will be fabulous for our school. Another amazing change is in relation to my grade level. No, I'm not switching grade levels, but my very dear friend gets to come back to fourth grade from teaching third grade last year. I absolutely love working with her and she has become such a close friend of mine over the past year. She is so much like me and has the same passion for teaching that I do. She has shown me what true collaboration looks and feels like. I missed her dearly last year and my prayers were answered when it was approved for her to move back to my grade level this year. The last major change also affects my grade level. Another fourth grade teacher that I have taught with for six years is moving to another district, so we have a completely new addition to fourth grade moving up from second grade. She is such a highly motivated, dedicated, and creative teacher. She also shares my same passion for teaching and technology, and I can't wait to work with her this year. Plus, she is also one of my blog buddies. You can find her blog over at! She is fabulous!

I want to leave you with one picture of my latest project for my classroom. I am keeping my same theme from last year which was black/red/yellow/white polka dots with Mickey Mouse as my inspiration. Here is a picture of my records filing cabinet, now redone to match my theme.

Remember, the first three followers to comment will receive a free item (under $10) from my TPT Store! Thanks for following!