Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Classroom Digs/Now Teach!

Hello friends! Today will feature an update on my classroom digs.. as well as a few teacher organizational tips! My first blogger oops! came in the form of saving my post last night instead of posting it! FAIL!

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' to continue Teacher Week!! Aren't you just loving getting to know more about all of your favorite bloggers and all of the ideas flowing around?

So... I bring to you a small update on my classroom digs (I'm not ready to show you my room yet ;) ), which also happens to be a sneak peek at my Tips and Tricks post later in the week!

Here is a before-ish picture of one of the bookshelves I inherited from my mom several years ago. I forgot to take before pictures until I have already begun! This poor little shelf has seen better days. It's been through years of use in my mom's office, and then has travelled through 5 move-ins and 4 move-outs from my classroom, and don't even get me started about 3 years of 28+ kids each year loving on this thing! Notice the peeled off finish and exposed plywood?

Here is the start of the makeover! I'm not going to tell you what material I used to make this over yet.... that comes on Friday's Tips and Tricks post!! However, here is my mid point... where I began to question what I was thinking when I started this little makeover!

And... the finished product!! A Dr. Seuss-inspired bookshelf for $6.00!! :)
I can't wait to get back into my classroom tomorrow to load this puppy with my kiddos Read to Self tools!

As for today's organizational tip... you already know I'm still working feverishly to get my room set up by Monday! I'm hoping to have a classroom reveal by early next week! Check back next week for more organizational tips :)

I will share that organization is HUGE for me.. I'm a little obsessed with storage containers of any kind.. so I have a plethora of them in my classroom! My advice for new teachers is this...

1. Get organized and stay organized! Don't have a huge "Oh, I'll do that later when I have a minute." cuz' let's just be real... that minute never comes! Take 10 minutes every day to take care of the small things before they become big things!

2. Stick to it! It's just like interventions for our kiddos.. give it time to work! Once you have found an organization flow that you're ready to try for the year, stick to it for several weeks! Don't just toss the idea on the first day or week. After a few weeks, if you have stuck to your plan with fidelity and it's still not working, change it! My first year I would spend hours and hours organizing and re-organizing ALL.THE.TIME. trying to get my classroom JUST RIGHT. I didn't just let it live for a bit before changing it!  :)

3. Beg/Borrow/Steal. It's your first year. IT'S YOUR FIRST YEAR! Don't look at other classrooms that seem to come straight off your Pinterest-filled computer screen and compare them to yours. I guarantee that teacher with the awesome classroom you admire is not a first year teacher. Take any handouts you get from other teachers, ask local businesses to donate supplies, borrow from friends/family/neighbors! DO IT! Once you have all of this...

4. MAKE A PLAN! Take some time to sit in your room and just BE. Look around, draw your room out on paper. Create a vision! Arrange and lay your bulletin boards out on the floor before hanging them on your wall!

I look forward to sharing other organizational tips with you in the next several weeks as I am finishing setting up my classroom and getting materials prepared for next year's class!

Don't forget to head over to Blog Hoppin' to check out all of the other AWESOME ideas out there! I'm still working my way through all of the amazing classroom set-up linky's! See you tomorrow for "Taming the Wild!"

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet the Teacher!

This week is Teacher Week at Blog Hoppin', so I'm linking up each day this week! Be sure to keep checking back :)

Today is Meet the Teacher! Read on to find out 10  things all about ME!

1. God is GOOD. ALL. THE. TIME. I am so profoundly blessed and grateful each and every day. It astonishes me how amazing life truly is- there are miracles in every day- we just have to be open to looking for them!

2. Ok.. ya' KNOW I had to have my little man next. Just HAD to! :) I have the sweetest, loving, happy little boy in the world! He can have fun doing anything. Seriously. He's my world! I can't believe he turned a year old a few weeks ago!


3. Of course, I can't leave out my hubby of almost 3 years! He tolerates understands my long work hours and doesn't mind the extra free time at night while I'm blogging and creating, I'm sure! So, here's a throwback from a little over a year ago when our little miracle was born!

4. Me + Dr. Pepper = LOVE. It's bad.. I know.. but... on days where it feels like the lovely little monsters crazy people kiddos will never leave or sit down or follow directions never end this wonderful day of learning... it's necessary! (Don't judge, you all KNOW you've had those days ;) )

5.  I'm a little obSEUSSed with Dr. you-know-who.. I can't help it! Some days I wonder why I love it so.. but I do! I feel like I can integrate Dr. Seuss into almost anything! He was an incredible writer! I have had an intense love of reading since I was a little girl- and I still do! I LOVE LOVE LOVE children's literature!

6. I love photography, art of any kind really. I actually began my education as an Art Ed major, but decided to change into Early Ed! I love looking at art, thinking about the artist and their point of view, and I LOVE photography!

7. I'm a crafter/scrap booker/hoarder of all things crafty/! Maybe it's the teacher in my blood... but I swear if I'm walking down the craft aisles at a store and something cute is on clearance.. I have to have it! TRUE STORY! It's a problem, really. Whenever I pass by my craft area (which is every day because it's in my closet!) they taunt me.... don't even get me started with Michael's or Jo Ann's.. it's bad people!

8.  BIN HOARDER ALERT! I completely, totally, 110% blame my love for storage containers of any kind on my mom! Totes, containers, bags, baskets, I don't discriminate! I walk past the storage aisles to get to the grocery and have "Squirrel!" moments! oohhhh... all the pretty colors....!!!!

9. One word: Edamame. TRY IT! "Hi, my name is Kacie, and I became addicted to edamame while pregnant and haven't stopped." It's delicious people!

10. Random: I have moved a total of 11 times in the past 10 years. Approaching move #12 next month! (Not including the 9 times I have had to pack up my entire classroom and move it in the past 4 years!) WHEW!

Tune in tomorrow for an update on my classroom digs!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Classroom "before" pictures!

It's that time of year again! Moving everything back into my classroom and unpacking/decorating/organizing! Although it is a pain to have to move everything out each year, I have to admit I love organizing and decorating my classroom! :) I thought I would share some "before" pictures with you!

When you walk into my room, this is directly ahead! In this little nook are a few storage cabinets and a sink! (See that ginormous teacher desk in there?! Yeah, it's already gone!) There are the misc. math manipulatives and teacher easel provided by my school.

This is to the right of the sink.. the open door is the restroom (yay! I have a bathroom this year! Blessing and a curse, I know!) Those are the 3 student computers on the table.

 You can see the bathroom door on the left, so this is a continuation around the room. These are the class hooks (prior to managing a small miracle of getting another row of hooks moved!)
 Around to the classroom door... I forgot to take a picture that shows the front of the room with the whiteboards! Oops! :) Those have boxes and other things stacked in front, so I will have to show that area to you when it's finished!

This is my little helper, he loves pushing things around! These easels are pretty heavy- and he pushed it all by himself from my old room to my new room!
 Last week, I had told you I would share more about the Dr. Seuss wall art I made for $1.25 each... so here you go!  

First, I bought 4 reusable tote bags from the Target Dollar Spot for $1, as well as the foam presentation/poster board from the Dollar Tree for $1.

Next, I cut the reusable tote bag along the seem and cut off the handles. After cutting the bag in half, I laid the bag onto the board. Once I had measured, I cut 4 pieces out of the board- I still have some board left over!!

Finally, I pulled the bag tight, and wrapped the board like a present. I taped the edges onto the back first, and then I went back with my hot glue gun to secure everything in place. The final touch was to add a small loop of ribbon to the back for hanging! Viola! Dr. Seuss wall art for $1.25 each! :)
Have you moved back into your classroom yet? What projects are you working on?