Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Creative ways to display...

If you know me you know I can't help but stick stuff ALL over any open space in my classroom. In my honest opinion it always looks like an education bomb exploded in my room.

At first I was afraid that it would be too overwhelming for my kids. I mean who needs 3 alphabets? I do really, one for ELL, one for Kinder, Alphafriends, and one for 1st, spelling sounds.) However, throughout the years I have been told by other teachers and students that it is not. SO I let it go.

I have a problem this year though. New building, which means new walls and fresh paint. Also I have limited bulletin boards, just two small ones. I just about freaked when I learned this. I knew, well actually my administrator told me that she did not want holes in the new walls, and no I was not allowed to hot glue either, (That for you too Fighting Fellow! LOL) What is a girl to do?

So I started thinking what are some alternate ways to display in your class without a whole lot of mess.

1. Cork Boards
This is the most obvious of them all. Actually I picked up one at Walmart, for a decent price ($10.00-$20.00) about a week ago. I will attach mine with some Command Sticky strips.
You could also go with the cork squares and create something like Jodi's student display board.

2. Doors, Cabinets & Windows
Pinned Image
I think is always the next step for us teachers. But there is really only so much space on a door. :) Some of us don't have storage so that isn't always an option either. I also don't like to put up stuff on my windows because until last year I always taught in a windowless room. So I just LOVE looking out my windows.

3. Tri-fold boards
 This has been one of my go to display options. I just cover with butcher paper or fabric and it is ready to go. I love this because...
First, I could use the Command Velcro strips and be able to take it off the wall and store it for next year. Second because I can put it all together on the floor and then just stick it up. Third, because you can cut these boards and have a mini BB. Click here to see how I made mine.

4. Laminated Butcher Paper
I tried this one when I wanted something that would hold up to students handling it often. Just punched holes in it and hung it from some Command Hooks. (Are you noticing a pattern here?

5. Clothes Line
I think this is another favorite. When I had an open classroom and only 3 walls this was a great way to split the class without splitting the class. Tip: my neighbor teacher used the opposite side of the line. For you teachers with a persistent Fire Marshal, like I had when I taught in FL. You are allowed to hang something a certain distance from the ceiling. Find out how low it has to be and then run the clothes like a foot lower than that. You can see in Lindsay's example above. That is how I got away with it anyway.

6. Clothes Pins
So last year I did this for the first time and I loved it. I used Glue dots and I don't think my Admin will let me get away with that this year though. If your allowed to use hot glue go for that. However, this year I am going to use those fabulous Command sticky strips. I think I single handedly keep them in business.

I also use them with ribbons and charts...

7. Push Pins and Paper Clips
So I will be doing this again, but on my two bulletin boards. (Those of you from my school who read this blog, don't go telling Admin I am making whole in the walls!) I use this for my Writing Bulletin Board. I have used Push Pins and then hung a Paperclip from each one. That way I could put up my writing posters but also take them down when I taught each trait.

8. File Cabinets
Now this I just fell in love with. I can't believe I hadn't thought of this before. This is two file cabinets pushed together and covered with fabric. Just bloody brilliant! Here is another option...

9. Desks
If you still use a desk, which I don't, make it work for you. Love how creatively she used her space.

10. Clip Boards

(Source: Effortless Style)
Granted, this would be a bit more expensive, but if you have a class set just sitting around then I think it would be a great idea, and SOOOO easy for you. I would also attach them to the wall with those very sticky but comes off the wall clean Command Strips.

Disclaimer, I do not get any money from Command Brand. I just love them. They stick forever, come off clean and haven't ever taken any paint off the walls.

That's all I've got for today.
Stay cool, it's in the 100's again today for another strait week!

Monday, July 23, 2012

I've been thinking...

I've been thinking about my classroom which is always fun but also always trouble. LOL It means I am itching to get back in there and well we have been told...
You think she is talking to me? I do. LOL

Since I can't get into my room I did the next best thing. I started to make a visual layout of my room. I do this yearly and have previously posted about it here. Now when I go back in to my room I don't have to sit and think about it for a long time. 

Here is what I came up with...
Not very clear I know. Here is the code. Pink= storage, Blue= bulletin boards, Yellow= teacher workspace and Purple= student workspace. I penciled in fixed areas in my room like the door, windows, whiteboards, bulletin boards and cabinets. Everything that moves has a sticky note. Now I know that this is not final. Once I get in there I will have to tweak this a bit but for the most part I think I know how I want my room to flow.

Here is the other problem with it. Because I don't have measurements for my room I am pretty sure it is drawn way too big. LOL We shall see when I finally get back in there.

Anyway, so this year I have a plan. Instead of just going back and unpacking everything like last year and then figuring it all out, like last years mess, this year I have a plan. I want to work on one area of my room each day. I will attempt to take before and after pictures and share with you all. Keep in mind this is still a whole two weeks away. Here is the plan...
Monday- Teacher Desk/ Table
Tuesday- Guided Reading Space
Wednesday- Whole group teaching (carpet)
Thursday- Whole group teaching (tables/ desks)
Friday- Workstations/ Centers
Take a break on Sat and Sun. :P
Monday- Bulletin Boards
Tuesday- Storage (Students)
Wednesday Storage (Teacher)

I don't know if this will pan out once I get going but it's the plan and as G.I. Joe says...
"Planning is half the battle."
Oh wait I think I got that wrong. :P Well, this way works for me. :)

How do you plan the layout of your room?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Top 5 Picture Books.

Those of you that know me, know I absolutely adore picture books. Actually if your a long time reader you know I have posted quite a lot about picture books. So for Lindsey's, from The Teacher Wife blog, had a picture book linky party I had to link up no matter how late I am.

Hard part was only choosing 5. Just look at how many I have at work, and this picture was taken a year ago. I've gotten many more since then. Plus I have plenty more at home! Yikes, I think I have a problem.
Enough of my problems, here are my top 5...

By John Duddle
My Media Specialist recommended this book when she noticed I was pulling books for my Pirate unit. I have to say the illustrations are beautiful and the story is a riot! The end is a bit of a surprise so I won't spoil it for you but you should definitely pick it up next time you are at the store. Just noticed this author did a 2nd book, The Pirates Next Door, and I will be picking these two up next time I get a bit of pocket money.

By Amanda Noll
Ilustrations by Howard McWilliams
I actually wrote about this book last year, talking about how much I love the illustrations. If you have a minute go check out the post about it. I show some fabulous illustrations.

By Spike Lee & Tonya Lewis Lee
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
I also write about this book. You can read about it here.

4. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.
By Mo Willem
Just love this series and so do my kids. Pull it out whenever I teach the difference between a speech and though bubble, to use in our writing.

By Rob Scotton
Again I love the whole series. Can't get enough of Splat. I own these as books and on my Nook for my students.

Here are some that I love and deserve an honorable mention.
- No David! By David Shannon
- Scaredy Squirel and Chester By Melanie Watt
- How I Became a Pirate By David Shannon
- If I Built a Car By Chris Van Dusen
and the oh so famous...
- Fancy Nancy By Jane O'Connor

I know there are a million more I am forgetting but my brain truly is on vacation and I couldn't think of anything else.

Don't forget to check out all the other wonderful blogs that linked up and shared their favorite picture books. Just click on the button below.
The Teacher Wife
Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Some Fun

I was fooling around online...ok, I confess I was looking around on Pintrest. :P
A couple months ago a fab friend from the other side of the world sent me this one...
I laughed so hard I had to put up a copy in the lounge and copy room.

What I never knew was that there was a whole blog dedicated to these! So because I have nothing constructive to add tonight and it has been too long since I posted, I decided to have some fun.

So take a minute and laugh a bit with me.

Have a great night, and don't forget to visit Hey Teacher! to check out the others.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

8:30 wake up call

Maybe I should have called this Surprise Target day.

I started the day early, well early for a summer vacation day. I got a wake up call and was up at 8:30am. However, I had some motivation... I was going to Target.

I was there, at 9:40am, and they were just filling the dollar spot's section with teacher goodies. Truthfully, I didn't find much there, but I did find some.

Some purple pocket charts.

Star erasers and stickers.

I have PLENTY student white boards but I caved and got some of these sentence strip like mini whiteboards for use during guided reading or small group instruction.
Notice I only got 2 sets... so only 4. I am trying to purge and not keep collecting more stuff.

Then I found my way to the back of the store, That is right the back, so that I have to go through every other section picking up all sorts of other goodies that I have no business picking up. However, I did make it there and was able to purchase quite a bit.

Who doesn't need two pocket folders? Both with and without prongs.

Some black binders for myself.

I got some pencil boxes for color pencils to replace some older ones.

Some index card boxes for the Bulletin Board centers I previously wrote about.

One of my favorite purchases are these rainbow colored boxes, both large and small, to organize my desk and teacher table items.

Here is my splurge item. Some half size neon index cards on a ring. Totally not necessary, way over priced but so darn cute I couldn't resist.

But my ultimate favorite purchase of the day are these roll up, slap bracelet rulers. I don't usually need, use, nor want rulers in my class. However, my friend loved them and decided to purchase them and donate them to my room when I said "but we don't use them." I am glad she did because I just adore them!

The best part was I didn't spend as much as I thought I would. I am sure I will be back before school starts because there are a few items I am waiting to go on sale.

What kind of school items are on your shopping list this year?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Workstation Icons

Thank you to everyone that made the 4 on the Fourth Linky Party a success. I have not had a chance to visit everyone yet, but rest assured I will soon. I have enjoyed seeing what everyone is going to try. Gives me so many ideas.

Today I wanted to share my new workstation icons. It was time for me to update them a bit. I was inspired by all of Kristen's new circular signs.

However, because I got the rounded corner alphabet I thought I would try a rounded corner set too. It would also make it easier when I put them in my pocket chat. I thought the round ones might roll over.

I can share with you now, that while I love these, they are not exactly what I want so I will be making more. LOL So I'll be posting another set later this week. :P Keep an eye out for them.

Have a fab & cool day. It is a smoking hot 99 degrees here already and we haven't reached our high yet.