Friday, September 28, 2012

Polka Dots and Bees!

Oh my- it's been a while!  I've been gearing up 
and getting ready this summer 
for a switch from 4th grade to kindergarten!

We have already had a few weeks of school, 
but I'll start with a tour of my classroom this year.  
I had so much fun putting together my room!

 The view from my desk.  I wish we could have balloons in our room everyday.
Well...maybe not on second thought...but they were fun for our open house! :)

Our meeting area...
that polka dot rug was just sitting there 
waiting to be bought for my classroom- it's perfect for my theme!

There a few pinterest projects in my room...and this is one of them!
A $7.00 craigslist table, can of spray paint and chalkboard paint = a perfect art area table

Love the polka dot seat pennants!
It's easy for the kids to find their seat and doubles as being adorable!
(Obviously the blurred part is where their name is)

Polka Dot boxes tied to the balloons...more on these to come later.
(tags from schoolgirlstyle)

Table numbers
polka dot and bees of course!

Always a good reminder...right above our sink

Our Word Wall
Just missing the part that says it's our word wall :)

Our door from the inside
(bees inspired by First Last!)

And a little higher...

I just HAD to have these when I spotted them!

My new book rack that my father-in-law made for me...

Another view of our meeting area

Our reading table and view out our windows.
The flowers cheer up our room every morning!

The outside board...

I'm loving having a board where I can just switch their work in and out quickly!  
I cut out frames from scrapbook paper, painted clothespins and added some ribbon and chalkboard label for their names.  You can see it in the background of some of the pictures.  I should have taken a picture before I put all their names and pictures up.  Trying to blur that all out messed up some of the pictures...when it comes down at the end of the year,
 I'll try taking another one.

Our playing area full of games, legos, and magnets!
Did I mention magnets!?

The Trust in the Lord poster was just printed
at Office Depot.  $3.00 for a large poster?  Yes, please!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Theme Flashback- Safari

Welcome to the Jungle!
This theme is from 2 years ago and was a ton of fun!
It was a bit tricky to make it colorful instead of all brown/black
colors, but I really liked how it turned out!

First up... my behavior chart or "Critter Control".
Their names were on the left side, but erased for this picture.

This was our door!  I searched and searched for monkey cut-outs and finally found 
a monkey on this fun site. Check out Mrs.Pancake's site- so many cute things!
The monkeys had the students' names on the them.

I found lots of animal posters which worked 
perfectly for my cupboards.

The locker tags...
I made these with my Cricut.  I cut the frame out of animal print
scrapbook paper, glued it on colored cardstock, and put their names in the middle.

This always made me SMILE!

Wouldn't you be WILD about reading if you saw this board? :)

Classroom jobs...

Your Vocabulary

*A place to put our vocabulary words for the week.*

This picture is a bit hard to see...but it was the board out in the hall.
It says, "Roaring into 4th Grade" with animals on the bottom
and their names in the circles.
I love how the border turned out- a happy accident.
I didn't have quite enough of one border, so I put all the extras together.

Nametags for their desks...sorry, I had to erase the name so it's hard to 
see exactly what it looked like.

Our calendar...
It isn't very "safari" like, but it's colorful and fun.
The board on the bottom says, "Monkey Business"
and it's where I put hot lunch stuff and schedules.

This is from back in the day when we studied our state
in 4th grade.  I put cities from our state up with a pictures
from each place in the "spot."

There you have it...our wild classroom! :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Theme Flashback- Ocean Style

I LOVE LOVE LOVE setting up my classroom!

Every year I think that maybe the next year I'll reuse one of my themes,
but so far that has never happened. :)
I know that I lot of people are getting ready for next year and looking
for ideas for their new theme, so I thought it might be time to 
post my themes from the past.

The further back the theme goes, the less pictures I have of them unfortunately.
But I'll share what I have.
In the past, I have done an ocean, safari, travel, western and owl theme.

So, here we go with the ocean theme....

I love the little fish calendar numbers.
I used the little fish cutouts for calendars that are aqua on one side and orange on the other.
Then, I cut scrapbook paper to add some pizazz and some stickers.

I also love my the title of my hot lunch/intermural/miscellaneous board.
I found the idea on - so cute!

My traditional book bulletin board to start off the school year...

I always laugh when I see this board...
First of all, the fabric for this board was quite something- 
it wasn't quite the right size for the board, so a lot of piecing together
went on- it was like a puzzle!  Also, I had great intentions of putting up student
work each week, but sadly it didn't really work out that way.

One of my favorite birthday displays I have done.
It was just too time consuming to do again!
If I were to make them again, I would laminate them before
I put the names on so I could use them again.
(I erased their names from these, but each cupcake had 
the student's name and birthday on it)

My Student of the Week board...
when they were student of the week, I gave them
a starfish to take home- they loved it!

The board outside my room...welcoming students to 4th grade!
Each surfboard had a student's name on it.
The surfboards were actually wall stick-ons that I just laminated.

And locker nametags...
to match the rest of the fish!

I think this is one theme that I may use again with some new ideas.

Well, there is my o"fish"ial post on my ocean theme...enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

IPAD apps- Take 1

Our school got a set of ipads for the last month or so of school.
I've had so much fun exploring and finding apps for my kids to use.
The kids love using the ipads! And they are so easy to use and set up!

So,  here is take 1 of my app reviews.
All of the apps are FREE apps!

This app was so much fun and a hit with my students.
It's great practice for their multiplication skills and a bit addicting to play. :)
My only complaint is that the add on the bottom of the screen makes
it impossible to see the numbers on the last row of bubbles.
If you only have one ipad available to use with your students, 
you could have a "Bubble" tournament.  I had students work in partners
and then we recorded the top scores.  Great practice!

This is like an educational Frogger game. So fun!
I was worried that my students would not like it since
it was a game that worked on grammar skills, but I was wrong!
Many of them choose to play this during their free choice time.
It has the option to work on math, words, or grammar.
The only downside is that if you want to unlock all of the games
you need to play $2.99.

This game is just too cute!  It was a little too cute for
my 4th grade boys, but my girls still liked it.
Basically you are given a shopping list and some money 
and you have to go to the store, find the items and check out.
It's was interesting seeing who knew where the items might be in the
store and who had no idea.  They also have to make sure that they
have enough money, so it is good practice for finding the list expensive price.

This is a great math skill game with lots of different levels to challenge students.
Students have to put numbers together to create the number written on the fish.
Great practice and a great way to differentiate for students!

This game was a little tricky for some of my students.
But, it really made them learn what a factor is!
Once they got the hang of it, they loved it!
Just make sure to start on the lowest level first
so they don't get frustrated.  It is a great game for upper el!

This game is great for kindergarten!  It has kids sort and count
candy in all sorts of ways!  It only has one game open for free,
there are others for purchase.  But, it is well worth downloading for
the free game! 

I'll be back with more another time!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spring Lunches

It always sounds very simple and border line silly when I explain it.
But the one thing that I can't explain to you is how excited my students always get for this.
It's ridiculous actually. You are going to think, "That's it! That's all there is to it?" and yet some of my students have told me that it was the highlight of their year.

In the past, I have actually always done Snowy Lunches- to brighten up the winter blues.
But, since I was on maternity leave during Jan/Feb, I decided to change it to Spring Lunches.
Both were a hit!

First, I split my class into groups. Usually I have about 4-5 kids in each group, depending on how big my class is. I always find something similar about all of their names, like- they all start with an "A" or they end in a vowel or they all have five letters in them. This some how makes it more special and creates a sense of fairness for the kids. Although this year, I had one boy complain that it wasn't his fault that his mom didn't name with with a name that had double letters in it. :)

Then I send out invites to the kids. Nothing fancy.  A picture of my invite is at the top of this post 
(fancy letters by
I always put them in envelopes and decorate them with stickers and make them look all lovely.

The day of...
Throw a plastic tablecloth over a table in your room. 
 Put a bag of chex mix in a bowl. 
 Place the plate of Pinterest inspired cupcakes that are "spring-like".  
Mix up some "Bug Juice" in a pitcher (Hawaiian Punch with plastic bugs in it). 
Put place cards, a paper plate, a napkin and a cup with a flower straw in it at each seat.
And you are ready!

Cupcakes inspired by Disney Parties via Pinterest
Made with Sweedish Fish for the petals and Gumdrops for the center

I should also mention that the kids eat lunch with me in our room everyday. 
Which probably isn't true for most of you. But, that might make it even more special 
if they get to stay in your room with you during lunch instead of going to the cafeteria!