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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pre-Made Dinners (and Lunches) are a Dream

Today I had a Dream Dinners party with a BUNCH of teachers and some assisting kids!  We had a great time assembling a sampling of their June meals and chatting about summer fun away from school.  I love going to my Dream Dinners during the school year to make delicious dinners and have fancy leftovers lunches at school the next day!

**Sorry some of these are blurry, they are ACTION shots of all these awesome teachers preparing their food concentrating on measuring :)



*If you want more information about our party or Dream Dinners please send me a message or check out their website!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How to set up a classroom...

Details Matter

I have some extra time with our back to school schedule (I know it sounds CRAZY) so I have been adding in some cute details around the room.

Washi Taping Clipboards - Why?  They are easily identified as MINE and they are a little more pretty!


Crafty Table Skirt - Hiding supplies and extra materials for Meet Your Teacher and Open House.  I made it a length that won't get drag on the floor, and the whole thing is easily removable.

How to make your own: I used leftover fabric from another project, some duct tape, staples, and Velcro.  When I cut the fabric the edges were rough, so I added on the duct tape to conceal and frame the skirt.  The duct tape wasn't gripping the fabric (maybe because it was from the dollar store) so I stapled every so often to be safe.  I wanted this skirt to be removable so I attached it with the 3M Velcro-like pieces.

I only covered the front that faces the kids and side that faces the door!  It's perfect to hide bins but won't get in my way coming from my desk area!!

A New Fridge!

My poor fridge that I have had since college didn't survive the summer :( Lucky for me it is back to school time and that includes back to college deals :)  I personally like my classroom fridge to have both a fridge and freezer, and the freezer inside the corner of the fridge doesn't count...  I keep my own ice packs from the Dollar Tree in the freezer to save nurse time, and sometimes I keep treats in there as a surprise for the class or just for me. 

With the deal at Walmart I upgraded from a 3.1 cubic feet to  3.3 cubic feet!!  I used the wonderful site-to-store to order so it was ready to go basically at the door for me.  It fit snugly in my back seat and looks lovely in the place of the old one that will be taking a ride to a donation center that can fix and resell it.


I am so lucky to have had help setting up my classroom for this new school year after being moved to a new room.

Here's my progress so far...I hope some of my boards or projects will inspire you!  The paint colors, many holes, and NO bulletin boards came with this room, so you can see there is A LOT to do!! 

Beginning of a July:
Everything stacked up from the floors being cleaned.

End of July:
Things are getting put away and put up shaping the classroom.

Maybe it's your first classroom, or you are making a change like my friend Sarah and moving to a new school.  I've had the great pleasure of moving schools, and this summer I am moving halls at my own school.  So you don't have to stand and stare at the wall and get yourself all worked up and anxious here's what you should do.  

Step 1:  Ask to see your room and take notes (pictures). You should pay attention to types of furniture, whiteboards, and bulletin boards. Sarah's room was preciously a middle school science room that is going to be transformed into a 4th grade math room.  Check out all of her storage space!!

Step 2:  After you figure out the space, or for some, lack there of, recruit friends and family!  The help is for the heavy lifting and to give you many ideas and opinions.  In Sarah's case she got her mom's truck, 3 other teacher friends, and 2 babies to help her :)

Step 3:  Unload the car in an orderly manner.  Since there was a wet floor when we arrived we unloaded in 2 steps.  We carried it all to the hallway and then took it to her room.  Here's Sarah's classroom materials all neatly packed up from her last school and ready to go to their new home.

Step 4:  Bring the items in, wipe down the cupboards and counters, and PUT EVERYTHING AWAY!  This room has so much storage this task wasn't difficult, just a little dusty.  Here's where we ended this trip.

Step 5:  Make plans for classroom management signs, rules, educational or motivational posters, hall passes, paper turn in boxes, etc.  I'll post more of Sarah's room when she finishes decorating! 

If you have any tips for setting up or moving classrooms please comment!

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Meet Your Teacher Stations

The easiest way to do an Open House or Meet Your Teacher night EVER!  All you have to do if put up these signs, add the supplies needed at the stations, then socialize with the students and parents as they come in.  With all the tasks to complete they are busy providing you with important information (no bribes necessary to be sure it comes back from home) AND you can get to ALL of those parents who have special information to tell you about their child.  For pictures of my old ones in use check here: Meet Your Teacher Night - Overview

*If you find my stations useful please comment and share them with friends!!

Post this one by the door with the school's Sign-In Sheets and pens.

This is on my student work centers back table so there is plenty of space.  This station needs the folders with all the first day note: Welcome Letter, Emergency Post Cards, Management Plans, etc. Don't forget to include MANY pens or pencils for parents and some boxes of crayons for the kids.

Two sign in sheets will work for this station. Make one say FIRST DAY/FIRST WEEK and the second say SCHOOL YEAR in bold letters so parents see the difference.

Post your supply list and some examples of the supplies you want.

My Supply List Looks Like THIS

Just posting this station sign is all you need, but you could add some sticky notes in case parents want to save your information for later or to share it with another caregiver.

I got this idea from: Back to School Bag on Pinterest

With a few edits it was perfect for my "make your own" welcome bag activity.

Classroom Freebies - Popcorn Cards

To make them more sturdy I made them into postcards on VistaPrint, you could also just use card stock :)

Helping Hands on Pinterest

MY helping hands

This is how my room looked!

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Classroom Rules Posters

Here are my classroom rules a Freebie for all of my supporters!  I make the rules with my students on the first day of school and they I organize and reword them to match my pre-made set.  These rules are based off of Whole Brain Teaching, but I edited them to fit my classroom need.  By the end of the week my students can repeat any and all of the rules with a cute rhythmic sound and matching gestures.  Enjoy!

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