Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teacher Week: WHERE

I am back for DAY TWO of Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week! 


Today I am showing you WHERE I teach! I am going to have my big classroom reveal on Saturday, so this is more of a sneak preview! Plus, I need to take some better pictures!

 This is my Daily 5 board with CHAMPS expectations and the Student/Teacher charts. 

 This is my Popcorn Word Wall and Listening Center.

 My back table is ready for conferences tomorrow!

 I'm so excited about my writing center this year! I can't wait to share!

My calendar board!

Stay tuned for Day 3 tomorrow and my big classroom tour on Saturday! Also, don't forget to enter my Pack-N-Read giveaway! Only a few more hours to go! : )

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teacher Week: Who


 It's Day One of Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week!


Today's topic is WHO, so I'm going to tell you a little bit more about myself! I recently updated my About Me on my blog page, so I will try not to repeat myself! : )


My name is Sarah and this is my THIRD year teaching Kindergarten in Texas, hence the blog name. I am 23 years old. I graduated from Texas Tech University and love the Red Raiders! I went into college with 30 hours from high school and I knew what I wanted to do, so I was out in 3 years! I accepted my first teaching job 3 months after my 21st birthday. CRAZY! I literally landed my dream job right out of college,which was so amazing! 

Here I am Graduation Day on the football field! : )

Here I am headed to my First Day of School as a teacher! 

I actually started this blog back in 2011 when I was student teaching. I wasn't sure what I was doing, but I wanted to colloborate and connect with other teachers. Plus, posting pictures and ideas helped me be a better teacher and made me excited to create! I kick myself all the time for not posting more! I love going back and looking at things I did in my classroom in past years. 
This year I am going to do way better! : )

I have been so blessed to be surrounded by wonderful teachers! This is a picture of (most) of my Kindergarten team last year on the 100th Day of School. This was one of my favorite days the entire school year!


When I'm not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my friends, family and furbabies. I love reading other teaching blogs and pinning away on Pinterest. I wish I had more time to craft and read. Here are 10 other random things that you may not know about me!

Thanks Amy Lemons for the cute graphic!

See y'all tomorrow for DAY TWO!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

ABC Classroom Handbook

I have always had a Classroom Handbook that explains how everything runs in my classroom. I created a Classroom Handbook (HERE is the post) my first year and then it has been easy to just tweak it a little bit every year. It was easiest for me to organize it in ABC form. Plus, at the end I added a few pages on classroom management and CHAMPS. Here are the pages in my Classroom Handbook:









I hole punch all of the pages shown above and place them in a folder. This year I chose to put all of my handbooks in yellow folders I hoarded found at Office Depot


In the front pocket I put important papers that need to be filled out...


A student information page (see below)
A classroom volunteer Form (see below)
 A Donors Choose permission slip (this saves me lots of time when a project gets funded)
A school supply list (this is mainly for any new students that come in after the year has started)

Here is a close up of the student information and classroom volunteer forms:


Then I just add a label to the front of the handbook and it's ready to go!


My Classroom Handbook makes it really easy to give information about my classroom to new students. I always make a few extras to have ready to go. It also an easy thing to go over at beginning of the year conferences or have waiting on student's table spots at Meet the Teacher Night!

Don't forget to enter my Book Bag Giveaway!




Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book Bag Giveaway

I love finding new products to use in my classroom that make my life a little bit easier! : ) For the past year I have been toying with the idea of creating carpet bags for my class. We use white boards together on the carpet almost daily and it's such a pain (and waste of time) to regather these materials all the time. I would love to have bags already put together with a white board, dry erase markers and an eraser. Plus, I think my kids would take better care of their stuff knowing that they are stuck with it a while : ) The biggest problem I have had with my carpet bag idea was storage. I don't have a space to hang 20+ bags! So, seat sacks seemed like my best option. It would be perfect for every kid to have their own bag hanging on their chair, plus they could use the materials at their seats and during center time too! I was sold! Then, I started looking at seat sack prices. YIKES! Plus seat sacks are designed to stay on a chair, so bringing  supplies to the carpet would still be a pain.  Then, I met my perfect match...


These bags are exactly what I have been looking for! The are sold in sets of 4 and 5 and come in many different colors! My classroom is full of my primary colors, so this is the perfect set for me!

I love the slide in name slot so that student names could be changed from year to year. The best thing about these bags is that they have an elastic strap so that they can be easily stored on a chair!


They also come in different sizes. I have the 12x14 size in my classroom. They are perfect for carpet bags!


The zipper pocket is  a wonderful addition and helps keep things organized! These bags would also be perfect to go on chairs at the guided reading table to hold supplies or for older students who switch classes!

I absolutely love this product and so does everyone else! These are on back order until October, but have no fear! I have TWO sets of Pack-N-Reads to give away below plus a special deal!

Two winners will receive a...


PLUS...Shop at Steps to Literacy now through November 15,2014 and receive a discount!



ENTER BELOW! Good luck! : )


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Table Points

Back to School mode is in full swing over here! I have managed to destroy every room in our house with school projects, including the back porch! I have also been spending every spare moment in my classroom, buying things for my classroom, making things for my classroom or pinning things for my classroom. Can you relate? My craft room is looking like hoarders...


My first "official" day back is FRIDAY! Then, a week of professional development before my little pumpkins arrive on the 27th! So much to do in the mean time! 

I am stopping in to share one of the easiest classroom management techniques I use in my classroom. TABLE POINTS! This is in no way an "original" idea, but I made some new table goodies, so I am super excited about it! 

I have four tables in my classroom. I was going to take a picture, but then you would have for sure called the Hoarders show on me... Each table is a different circus animal. We have the Monkey Table, Elephant Table, Tiger Table and the Lion Table. Last year, I just taped the picture onto the table, but nasty crumbs snuck under the tape. SICK!  So this year, I made these precious little signs! 



I AM OBSESSED WITH THEM!
 I found the frames at Micheal's for $2 a piece. Then I flashed my teacher badge and saved another 15%! Woohoo! The frames hold a 4x6 picture, so i just made my table signs that size and slid them in the frame.

Here is a close up of the signs:



The signs are double sided and will sit on each table. Now to the points part! I saved each sign graphic as an image and then pasted it onto the Table Points sign.


Then I put it through the all mighty laminator (which explains the glare, sorry!) so that I could use a dry erase marker on it. My school district serves breakfast in the classroom every morning, which means we have to clean up breakfast every morning. This system really helps my kids clean up after themselves. I turn on a song to signal breakfast clean up time. To earn a table point when the song ends, each of the following must be happen:

All breakfast trash (including straw wrappers) must be thrown away
Any spills must be cleaned up
Chairs must be pushed in 
No one can be at the table

When the song ends I check each table and the tables who followed the rules above earn a point. The first table to 10 points usually earns lunch with me!  Last year my kids got so excited and competitive about it that someone planted a straw wrapper on another table!!! : O We had a big talk after that one... Tables can also earn points when everyone at their table is following directions, working quietly or showing me great team work! I have always loved table points because it really fosters the importance or working together and helping each other out! I can't wait to use my little signs this year too. Hopefully, I can find my real tables under all of the stuff in my room, eek : ) Pray for me!



Sunday, August 3, 2014

Smart Cookie Labels and Back to School Sale Time

Hello August! 

This morning I finished my easy little birthday gifts I am going to give to my kids this year. I am so excited to have them ready to go!I have everything ready to go for you too! 

 First I bought a pack of cookies at my favorite store, Sam's Club.


I'm sorry I ripped into the box before taking a picture. You could also buy the package of Famous Amos cookies too. I just decided that I was going to let my kids choose what type of cookie they wanted. After all, it is their birthday...

Next, I printed labels to go on the cookie packs. The labels are a little bit bigger than the smaller packs of cookies, but fit great on the Chips Ahoy and Oreo packs. 


Use Avery 5163 labels for printing. I bought a giant pack of these at Sam's Club too. Click HERE to download your FREE labels. Just write your name by the heart!

Now just stick the labels on the cookie packs and you are finished! If you wanted to, you could stick the label to a piece of colored paper and then tie it around the cookies with a ribbon. I just wanted to keep it easy! :)



Put them in a bin and you are ready to go! Now I just have to put them somewhere where I won't be tempted to eat them! 


Also, tomorrow kicks off the giant TPT Back to School Sale! 


Everything in my store will be ON SALE! This is a great time to stock up for the school year and move products off of your wish list and into your cart! Click the picture above to see who else is on sale! 
Happy Shopping!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kindergarten is Sweet Gift Idea

I am SO excited about how my beginning of the year gifts turned out!

 On Meet the Teacher Night I always like to have a little something to send my new Kinderbabies home with. My classroom is circus themed, so I have been racking my brain to think of something cute and circus related to give.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently joined Sam's Club and I am a little obsessed with it! : ) While shopping the other day, I came across this:


COTTON CANDY!
 (Don't mind the nutritional information hehe...)
 A pack of 8 cotton candy tubs was a little under $6, so I loaded up my cart and started my project! 

First, I used my Cricut Expression 2 Machine to cut out lots of different colored "flower" shapes. If you have the Cricut Expression 2, the "flower" shape is included on the machine under essentials. I made them 5 inches. I'm sure you could find a similar shape on a die-cut machine.


Then I made my little message on the computer. I used a circle that was 3.5 inches so it would fit right in the middle of the "flower." 


Next, I put it all together! I used tulle to tie a big bow around each tub and attached the label with a little bit of hot glue.




I just love them and I can't wait to hand them out to my new sweeties at Meet the Teacher Night. Not to mention it feels so good to have them done with a little less than a month to spare!


Have a fabulous last weekend in July...yikes!