Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Writer’s Workshop Anchor Charts

I’ve always been a big fan of writing. I love to see the progress my kids make throughout the year…it’s always so remarkable!! No matter what stage they’re at when I get them, they always grow. Even a *little* growth is A LOT! I was excited to start Writer’s Workshop this week. Even though I love teaching writing, I always feel like this is an area where I can improve. I mapped out this week’s writing plans to a T and so far, we’re off to a great start!
My littles were excited to get their draft books on Monday. I had some advanced writers, a few reluctant writers, and everything in between. On Tuesday, we talked about WHY writers write and made an anchor chart with all of our ideas…
writers workshop1
Then we read Click, Clack, Moo and talked about why the animals & farmer in the story wanted to write.
We revisited our anchor chart today and made another. Today we learned all about WHAT writers write. I brought in a few examples of things I write…grocery list, to do list, thank you note…and showed them my blog{s} and my email, too! It was fun to see their little wheels turning realizing there are LOTS of reasons we write…not just to write stories!!!
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After I showed them examples of all of my writing, we made another little anchor chart all about WHAT writers write…
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I’m hanging all of these up in our little “Do you have a writer’s eye?” center area.
LOVING our Writers Workshop time so far!!!
Tomorrow we’ll be creating a “What Can Writer’s Write About?” anchor chart and making our maps of our hearts. I was inspired by these awesome heart maps I found via Pinterest {click on the pic to take you to the original source}.
On Friday, I’ll be passing out their mini offices and we’ll be decorating our draft books and celebrating our first full week of writing!!!
I’d love to hear about any fun activities you do to kick off writing in your classroom!!
Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Week Fun!

Hey sweet friends! We’re on the 2nd week here and ohmiword…exhaustion doesn’t even BEGIN to cover it :) I’m LOVING my class of 21 littles…they’re PRECIOUS. And full of spunk.

Our first day was a total BLUR. The only thing I remember is our annual first day flag raising…and that’s only because I have pictures of it! HA! No really, it was hot as sin outside…and it was only 8:30…so that’s a little hard to forget :) This is one of my favorite little school traditions. The school’s namesake comes out to say a few words to everyone….our principal says a few things too…there’s a grade level roll call with loud cheers from all the kids & teachers…the boy scouts raise the flag….we say the pledge{s}…and then we head back inside to start the year :)

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When we weren’t talking rules and practicing procedures, we were engaged in fun first week activities from Abby’s Fun With Firsties Unit. SO much fun! Hands down, my kids’ favorite activity was Jitter Juice!!! SO yum!

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We also made the cutest little time capsules. The kids LOVED this one! We stamped & dated their itty handprints, measured their height with yarn, and then we had them fill out a little first day info sheet with their self portrait on the back.

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We rolled ‘em, wrapped ‘em up in tissue paper, and gave them all “Do Not Open ‘til June 2011” labels. On the last day of school, we’ll open our time capsules and have the kids do the EXACT same activity!! It’ll be so much fun to see how much they grow and change this year!!

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I know it’s late, but if you want to tuck this little activity away for another year, click on the pic to download.


I was terrible about documenting the week’s events, but honestly…I was too busy to capture any Kodak moments anyway. I know y’all know EXACTLY what I’m talkin’ about! The highlight of my week was this gorgeous arrangement from Mr. Spouse. That sweet man does this every.dang.year and every year it surprises the gravy out of me!!! Love that man!!!

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If I wasn’t so tired, I’d stay up to share more :) It’s bed-thirty and I’ve gotta get some sleep before one of my boys decides to wake up 5 times in the middle of the night. It’s inevitable. Every time I NEED sleep, I’m up ALL dang night chasing monsters out of closets and scaring away the boogeyman. Dangit. I’ll leave you with this darling picture one of my sweeties drew for me today….

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I about FELL.OUT. I don’t know what my face was saying, but bless her heart…she was all, “You can tell it’s a vase, right?!?!?!?” And I was all, “OF COURSE, sweetie!!! That’s EXACTLY what I was thinking!!!!” HA!!!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Free For All Friday!

Today’s the last day for Teacher Week over at Blog Hoppin’ and today’s theme is freebies!!! Who doesn’t love a good freebie, right?! Here are a few that I featured in some of my classroom pics.

I’ve gotten a lot of emails about my “Writer’s Eye” wall. Here are the printables :) I can’t take ANY credit for this idea…I definitely “borrowed” it from Mrs. Phippen after seeing it on Pinterest!!! I just had to have my own little version to fit my classroom theme :)

Writers Eye 2

Graphics courtesy of Scrappin’ Doodles

Here’s a little “Sorry We Missed You” clip chart to hang outside of your door. I realize that a lot of you may not need some of the choices. Due to copyright with the graphics I won’t be able to send you the Word version for you to edit, so if you want me to change something up for you, just holler at me & I’ll be happy to send a new one your way :)


Graphics courtesy of Scrappin’ Doodles

Here’s my Hollywood themed clip chart! The kids are LOVING this!!! They’re working SO hard to have an Oscar Worthy day!!!

Class Behavior Posters

Graphics courtesy of Scrappin’ Doodles

In keeping with the Hollywood theme, here’s my Hollywood themed job chart! We aren’t starting these roles until next week and the kids are on pins and needles waiting to start!

Class Jobs

Graphics courtesy of Scrappin’ Doodles

Here’s a little breakdown of how the job chart works…

Assistant Director is my little assistant. Key grip is in charge of keeping our classroom library and book baskets organized and neat. Cleaning crew is in charge of keeping the classroom tidy. The lighting crew is in charge of saving energy! The prop director is in charge of supplies…keeping pencils sharpened, passing out markers/crayons/glue/paper/etc. The set director is in charge of keeping chairs pushed in, making sure pillows/bean bags/little carpets are in their spots, etc. The script deliverer is in charge of taking papers/notes to the office or other classrooms. The lead actor is in charge of helping the other “actors” with their “lines”…he/she helps the other kids in the classroom if there’s something they need. The stand-in is in charge of filling in for the kids who aren’t on set to do their jobs. The extras are on set to help the other kids with their duties.

Here are some book basket numbered labels. Don’t know if y’all can use these, but I label all my book baskets with these numbers and then label my books with the same numbers…that way I know where all my books belong!

Book Basket Labels

Now that I’m looking at them, I’m pretty sure they could be used for a little math tub activity, too…one-to-one correspondence, ordering numbers, missing number, etc…

Speaking of math, here’s a little activity we’re doing next week in one of our tubs! One of our objectives is to read/write numbers to describe/name sets, so this one fits pretty perfectly. And I LOVE for my babies to practice their fine motor skills this time of year, too, so they’re getting a little math/fine motor practice in at the same time!


Here’s a little “To Do” list. I cut these in half , three hole punch them, and then keep ‘em in my planning binder so I can keep track of what I need to do/make/organize as I’m planning for the following week!

Teacher To Do List

Graphics courtesy of Scrappin’ Doodles

Finally, here’s a sheet I use for student documentation. Right now, I’m using this for mostly behavior observations/concerns and beginning of year informal observations/assessments. I’ll modify this once we start guided reading and math/reading conferences.


I’ll be back later this weekend with a first week recap and more printables!! If you’re looking for even MORE printables, head on over to Blog Hoppin’ and check out all the freebies that are linked up! And while you’re there, link up your freebies, too!!


TGIF, sweet friends!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Love You…But Sometimes I Really Don’t Like You At All

Blogger and I have a love/hate relationship. Right now, we’re more on the hate side of things. While Blogger has brought me a daily list of “must reads”, it’s also made it absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for me to comment on those very same blogs. Gosh darnit!!! If you have a blog with a comment box that looks like this….


I can’t comment on your blog :( I found this out the other day when I wrote this super detailed note on Mrs. Tabb’s blog {who I just found via Pinterest…LOVE} and then it bounced me off her blog and gave me this dang pop-up…


I had to stalk her on Facebook so that I could leave her a message!! HA!! The same thing happened to me when I tried to comment on sweet Amanda’s blog. Wrote a lengthy comment, clicked “post”, and then that dang pop up box again!! I had to email her instead :)

The only blogs I apparently have access to comment on are blogs with comment boxes like this…


The reason I’m bringing this up is because I’ve found SO many amazing blogs through Teacher Week over at Blog Hoppin’ and I SO badly want to leave comments on them, but I can’t!!!!

If you have any techie advice for me…or if you can tell me why Blogger hates me so much…let me know!!!

Don’t forget to stop by Blog Hoppin’ today and read my post “Three For Thursday” and then link up your three favorites, too!!

I’ll be back tomorrow with lots of {free} printables!!! Now I’m off to a little girls night out with some of my favorites for a GENDER REVEAL!!! Aaaahhh!! SO excited!!! And even more excited it’s not mine!! HA!! {Kidding…but only a little ;)}

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where It All Goes Down…A Little Classroom Tour

Hey y’all! Time for a little “Where it Goes Down Wednesday” action. We’re on day 3 here and let me tell ya…it’s getting easier every dang day! I must have been EXHAUSTED last night because I sure did PASS.OUT in my little bit’s bed as we were saying prayers. Mr. Spouse left me there and I got a really great 3 hour nap before getting up around midnight to head to my own bed :)
If you’ve been following my little ol’ blog for a while, you’ll notice that my classroom hasn’t changed much since last year. I redid a few bulletin boards, moved some furniture around, added a kidney table {last year was my first year without one!} and a few more storage containers. Welcome to room 135…
I rolled out the red carpet on the first day! I have a little Hollywood theme in my room, so the kids were ecstatic to have such a fun little welcome :) To the left of my door are my “Sorry We Missed You”, “Peanut Free”, & “What’s the Password?” signs. Do you notice the backwards ‘N’ on my door?!?!?! Inside joke ;)
I got the inspiration for the “What’s the Password?” sign from Growing Kinders. I used her download and I LOVE it!!!
My desk is hidden behind my bench & tree and my math wall is to the right. Student mailboxes are right alongside that wall, too!
Here’s my desk. A hot, hot mess. That’s why it stays hidden :) I keep all my seasonal decorations in the trunk below my computer. I love having my filing cabinet next to my desk so I can clip up any important reminders/passwords/notes/etc. in my direct line of sight!! The jolly ranchers on the desk are another MUST.
Here are my cubbies, Award Winning Words {word wall}, and BRAVO! {student work} wall.
Another look at my cubbies. Each hook is labeled with my kids’ names & numbers. The green & blue baskets above are all numbered and contain books. The books in each basket have a sticker that coordinates with the basket. Helps keep me organized! The baskets to the left & right are their book/browsing boxes & math toolkits. Right above the cubbies is my wall of fame! That’ll soon be filled with tons of stars, handprints, and autographs!
Here’s my whole group/family time area. The shelf on the left with the green & blue baskets is my classroom library where kids can shop for books when we start the Daily 5. The shelf on the right is my math supply shelf. Math tubs are in a different area.
The shelves separate our family area from the computers. We have 5 in the room and the kids each have their own set of headphones…that was part of our supply list this year!! The computers are in a little nook separated by my bookshelf {for D.E.A.R time} and a little supply makeshift shelving unit. HA!! So rigged. I found these pink hanging organizers at Target in the dollar spot {can’t you tell??!}, propped ‘em up with my houndstooth trunk {that holds all my tissue boxes}, and filled them with supplies for each table {markers, pencils, erasers}. These still need to be labeled by table!
Here’s another look at my math wall. The clothesline on top will be filled with the kids’ socks for counting by 2’s. The math tub shelf is to the right of that.
On the backside of my math shelf is my word work shelf. Found this little baby at a resale shop for $9, brought her home, & spray painted her pink :) Next to the word work shelf is my sink area. I keep all my personal supplies in the cabinets and the pencil sharpener sits in the sink area.
Here’s the little desk in the sink area. Such a RANDOM spot for it and NO…it doesn’t belong there. It needs to find a home in a different spot. My Celebrity of the Week gets to sit in this desk to do all his/her work! I found this desk for a whopping $15 then brought it home and painted it myself about 5 years ago. The kids love it!
Next to the sink is my Work on Writing area. I was totally inspired by this post on Mrs. Phippen’s blog!!! LOVED this idea!!!! Hers is much cuter, but you get the idea!
Graphics courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles.

The baskets & drawers by the wall will house paper, notebooks, dry erase boards….tons of different writing materials!!
Here’s my little Celebrity of the Week corner! I added a few new stars this year…Justin Bieber, the Sprouse twins, Taylor Swift, and Miranda Cosgrove.
Here’s my little desk next to the door. I keep my Thursday folder basket underneath the table and on top is a basket for papers/notes that need to be sent to the office! I keep personal pics and cards from kids on my little bulletin board, and my schedule cards are a great visual, too! I found those fun little clock tags over at Mrs. Lemons’ blog.
To the right of my little desk is my white board/SmartBoard.
The little space to the left of my SmartBoard will become a “Focus Wall”. Right now, it’s holding my BRAVO BOARD! This is my little table system. If a table can earn 15 points by Friday {each Friday}, they get to learn with their shoes off! My word…they LOVE it!
Right below my Bravo Board are my bucket fillers. We haven’t started this yet, so I still need to add the bucket notes to my little pockets.
On the opposite side of my SmartBoard is my little Sounding Board :) I got these darling sound posters from Mrs. Jump’s blog :) When we start our chunks/words of the week, the words/chunks will be put in the middle and changed every week!!
Here’s my teacher table…right next to the “Sounding Board”.
Instead of chairs, I’m wanting to get those darling colored ottoman/stools to sit at the table. Cozy and comfy…and much more convenient!!! Right behind my teacher table is a little cabinet where I store my guided readers and word work materials {for teacher table/guided reading activities}. The baskets on either side of the cabinet hold my tiny supplies…bandaids, scissors, compliment coupons, pens, etc. And of course, I don’t go anywhere without my Mixed Bag Designs carryall!!! LOVE that thing!! Just ignore the Hawaiian Punch and Sprite on the floor…we made Jitter Juice the other day and I haven’t taken it home!! Thanks, Abby!!
Right underneath that little computer are drawers that currently hold a bunch of junk! They’ll soon hold leveled readers and guided reading materials :)
Here’s another little reading bench I painted my 2nd year teaching. My kids love sitting here!! This is also the bench I was sitting on when Mr. Spouse proposed to me :)
OH…and here are my clip chart & job chart!! I was super inspired by my sweet friend, Abby, to start a clip chart system in my room this year. I had a little clip type system last year, but I didn’t like it very much and this one is SO much easier! My clip chart is hanging next to my desk so it’s not a focal point of the room. The class jobs are hanging on the math shelf. The kids are LOVING the clip chart and we’ll start our class jobs next week!!
Alright…I think that concludes the tour :) If you wanna see some amazing classrooms, hop on over to Blog Hoppin’ and check ‘em out…and while you’re there, link up to your classroom pics, too!!

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