Saturday, August 23, 2014

Back to School Classroom Reveal:: Ocean Style

So I have been redocorating and my room is finally the way I want it!  I have spent days coloring, hours laminating, cutting and hanging my artwork, and have started the school year off with a beautiful classroom! This classroom was a labor of love, but I love it and so do the kids!  So it was all worth it :)

I projected clip art, from fantastic artists onto my smart board, taped up a piece of big poster board and got to tracing.  I would bring home a big pile of poster board over the weekend for hours of fun coloring.  I began this process during the fourth quarter of school last year.   I would stay after school and trace, trace during inside recess (when the temperatures were too hot to go out) and I would come in early to trace and color.


Lets start with the huge bulletin boards first.  I did a 3 color pattern on each bulletin board.  I didn't want to buy the expensive bulletin board paper because I really tried to stay within my $100 budget.  I used two boarders on each bulletin board to add some pop to the sea creatures and who doesn't love a little chevron...especially when its yellow! :)

The main bulletin boards in my room are labeled by subject, so I have a place to put all of my anchor charts and the kids have a specific place to look for each type of chart.  I combined the bulletin boards of Math&Science and Writing&Reading.  Some of these anchor charts definitely are used in reading and writing interchangeably, so it just makes sense to keep them all together on the same wall.


Here is the Math&Science board.  Right now we are working on representing numbers in different ways, so those are all ten anchor charts.  

Another fun part of decorating your classroom is making creative projects to catch someone's eye as they walk in the door.  I made three canvases and hung them in the classroom; they have different textures, colors and size.

Another important step in a kindergarten classroom is to have a place big enough to provide sight words that students can see during reading, and writing.  In my classroom I have a huge white board, that use.  I created the Splish Splash Ocean Theme Sight Word Wall .  This consists of the letters and over 75 common sight words with the option of adding your own sight words to some empty bubbles.  I chose to write the words on bubbles because it went along with the theme and the words could be big and bold enough to see from across the room.  

I also added a little creative touch to it when I made tissue paper flowers to go along the bottom of my word wall.  This added the illusion of waves and seaweed.  

Above my word wall, I have the Alphabet cards, that I have also created for the Ocean Theme.  Splish-Splash-Number-and-Alphabet-Cards  In this product, I have included both the alphabet cards pictured and the number line with ten frames, the number word, and number to depict each individual number.


To go along with the Ocean Theme, I took down my colorful ABC patterned curtains and my mom and I searched for a month for the perfect ocean theme fabric.  With many attempts in finding the perfect fabric, my mom finally found it and it was on sale. :)  I have 5 huge storage areas in my classroom, and because I try so hard to be organized, but some days, its just a disaster I need to cover them! The greens, blues and white brighten up my room and bring some ocean looking waves to a large part of my room. These curtains make all the difference in the world!  Thanks Mom!

The finishing touch was the wreath on the door.  I had never made a wreath like this before, but it was so fun and pretty easy...once I got the hang of it.

Here are the supplies I used for my wreath!  You can totally do the same :)

Thanks for taking a look at my new classroom!  I have a bunch of Ocean Theme products in my store including name tags, number line, alphabet, word wall, color posters etc.  

Have a wonderful beginning to another great year! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Back 2 School--And a Giveaway!

I am participating in the Back 2 School Bloghop and giveaway from The Fabulous First Grade.  Continue daily on the blog hop and receive freebies, and a chance to win over $100 worth of TpT products!  I have a few great ideas about the beginning of the school year that are helpful in any classroom in elementary!

The first thing I do each year is organize, label and put away school supplies.  I work on this in the morning as the kids are coming in, so I don't have a stack to tackle at the end of the first day! I use a shelving unit in my classroom to complete this process.  It has 20 tubs, and 20 different supplies in each!

One of my favorite classroom decor trick are my built in whiteboards on my guided reading/math table.  Doesn't it ever bother you to have to get out white boards, erasers and markers in every group, when you only want to complete a couple minute activity on them, before reading?  I have the perfect trick for you!  All you need is contact paper and construction paper!  Cut our squares of construction paper, and contact paper over them....and wahoo, you have built in white boards!  

Another extremely important thing to accomplish at the beginning of the year is your management system, goals, and expectations.  One really fun way I kept my students excited, engaged and motivated to read was to create a goal of reading 500 books as a class.  After we accomplished our goal, we earned a bubble, chalk and hula hoop party! This idea can be adapted in many different ways to work in your classroom; you can set reading goals in minutes, or number of books.  Classrooms can track this during independent reading time in class or as a homework assignment.  Make sure you use a reward as something the kids decide on so they are even more motivated to participate! 

The last little tid bit, I am sure to include in my back to school routine, is a structured morning and morning meeting that follows a few steps.  In my classroom when we are called to the carpet we complete four or five tasks.  We read the morning message, we say "Good Morning" to our friends by shaking hands, we play a game and do a little movement activity to ensure our wiggles are out by the time we get to specials!

Thanks so much for hopping by and taking a look at my tid bits of helpful hints for the beginning of the year!  Don't forget to enter the giveaway for over $100 of TpT products! You can enter over at The Fabulous First Grade.

Before you go, here is a freebie.  This is an exclusive freebie to my blog; it isnt posted anywhere else!  You are the first get get it; let me know how it works for you!  It is a conflict resolution, reflection sheet, that can be used at any grade level.  For kindergarten-1st grade, prompting, support and guidance are essential.  This can be used for upper grades independently! :)

Next go to Jen's Kinder Kids for amazing ideas for back to school!