Classroom Shopping Finds

I have gone into full force classroom buying mode!
 I am really trying hard not to choose a specific theme for my classroom. I don’t think I could pick one theme for my whole classroom if I tried. So, instead I am having a “primary color (plus green) theme.” I just love bright red, yellow, blue and green! I figure if I try to stick with those basic bright colors I can use all of my things for a long time. I like stripes and polka dots too! I just want my classroom to be a bright and happy place.
These are a few of my recent classroom shopping finds:

I am going to use these little bins for my sharpened and unsharpened pencil bins. I found them in the dollar section at Target! Now I just need to make cute labels to attach!
I have seen this little pencil sharpener all over blogs. It is advertised to be the quietest pencil sharpener ever. It only costs about $25 so, I decided to order one and give it a try. I AM IN LOOOOVE! I don’t really care that much about it being quiet; I just love how it sharpens every pencil perfect every time! I will admit, I had to watch the YouTube video on how to work the thing (embarrassing, I know.)  It just takes a few tries to get the hang of. I spent an afternoon sharpening every pencil I could find in the house. Yellow normal  pencils, Easter pencils, Halloween pencils, polka dot pencils…

(This is about a fourth of the pencils I sharpened.)

I am going to use these little chairs in my classroom library. They are SO PERFECT! Primary colors plus green and polka dots. AH! They were in the seasonal section of the store and only $9.99 a chair. I just love them. They had this same print on a few other things I might be back for…
For my newest obsession: My Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner. I don’t think words can describe how much I love this!

This lesson planner looked too good to be true, but it’s not! It has so many great and helpful features. And, it is completely personalized (my hand is covering up my school name).  Inside it has monthly calendars, seating chart planners, student checklists, an absentee log, weekly lesson planning pages, stickers, a folder and a little pouch filled with labels! Click here to see all of the features and cover choices. It is a perfect present for yourself. ANNNDDDD It also came with some free gift labels and great coupons for the next order. If you order one by tomorrow (May 31st) and enter the code TEACHME20 you can save 20%!

 I'm having so much fun shopping. Now if I only knew what grade I will be teaching...


School Time Math and Literacy Activities, HURRY!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far! I have just finished my first unit, School Time Math and Literacy activites. It is on my TPT store and ready for sale! Only $3! Just click HERE.

I will email a free copy to the first 2 followers who leave me a comment with their email! Hurry, Hurry! : )

Have a great holdiay weekend. Thank you to all of the men and woman who serve our great country!  

Classroom Bingo

All I can think about is first week of school activities. I still don’t know for sure what grade I will be teaching so, I have been trying to think of ideas that would work for any grade. The first week of school, especially in the lower grades, is spent learning names and routines. I came up with a super simple name game idea!
Classroom Bingo!
Create bingo boards with your kid’s names and pictures. You could even include other important people in your school like the principal, nurse and librarian. This would be a fun activity to play for a few minutes each day during the first week of school. I created a little sample for you using my family and friends. (Obviously, yours will be waaaay cuter; I just wanted you to get the idea!)

Kids will LOVE seeing their pictures on the bingo board and learning their classmates names. I would make as many bingo boards as I needed to include everyone then just print off a couple copies of each board. You could even make a giant bingo board with everyone on it!  Just run these through the laminator, make a set of calling cards and you are ready for a fun first week of school activity! 
 I hope your kids will love this activity!

A Special Discount for my Followers

So I have been on a manhunt for plastic book bins.

At my school ALL of the teachers organize their books in these bins. They fit perfectly on the shelves and just keep everything so organized and neat. Some of the teachers also use these bins as the book bins for Read to Self during Daily 5. So, I have been obsessed with finding the best deal. I knew that I needed lots of these bins, but I couldn’t find them in big enough sets. Until TODAY! I came across Steps to Literacy . They sell 40 multicolor plastic book bins for a little over $100. So it’s about $2.75 a bin! What I deal! I was so excited AND it gets even better...
 I emailed Steps to Literacy and they gave me a little surprise for my followers. 10% off any purchase! When you check out enter the promo code: Yeehaw12 to save 10% on your purchase! I hope you will take advantage of this little special and buy yourself a few treats to use in your classroom next year! You deserve it!
Happy Shopping!
Let me know if you find anything else I need. I never thought I would get so excited over plastic containers! : )


Kelso's Choice

One of the tools I plan to use in my classroom next year is Kelso’s Choice. Kelso’s Choice is a conflict management skills program designed to make children independent problem solvers. Kelso the Frog is the mascot for the program and teaches children nine different ways to solve a small problem. I really like this program because it teaches the differences between small problems and big problems. Big problems are those that require an adult’s help because something serious is going on or someone may be hurt. This program empowers students to be problem solvers and peacemakers. Here are the nine choices for solving problems:
1.       Go to another game
2.       Wait and cool off
3.       Make a deal
4.       Apologize
5.       Tell them to stop
6.       Talk it out
7.       Share and take turns
8.       Walk away
9.       Ignore it
I LOVE that these choices include verbal and nonverbal ways to solve the problem. I think it’s so important to provide students with choices and empower them to solve their own problems. So, when children come to you with a small problem (that they want you to solve for them) you can ask them, “What two of Kelso’s choices did you try to solve the problem?”  
The program has tons of great resources you can order on their website that I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have for my classroom. They have DVDs, posters, puppets and even games to help teach Kelso’s Choices to your students. They also have a few free resources HERE and a grant program HERE. I am really hoping to have some of these resources for my classroom next year! In the meantime, I printed out a copy of the Kelso's Choice wheel ( I found the color version here) to introduce my kids to Kelso!

Does anyone use Kelso’s Choice in their classroom? I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts!

Graduation Day!

I am officially a college graduate! Woo hoo! 

I celebrated by buying a new teacher sweater. I love Target! It's long and perfect for crawling on the floor with kiddos.

And now I am going to snuggle in bed and read all of your blogs and dream of my new classroom!


The Container Store Organization Classroom Makeover

Hello Little Blogging Friends,
This has been a crazy week with graduation coming up this weekend! I have three ceremonies in two days…groan. But, I am excited to have my college degree and official teaching certification, woo hoo!
I wanted to share with you a contest I came across. The Container Store is having a Classroom Organization Makeover contest. Answer the question: What are your greatest challenges in keeping your classroom organized? Easy, right? You could win $1,000 to use for classroom organization at The Container Store. AND, you can sign up for their Organized Teacher program for special offers. I signed up today and already received a 10% off coupon! You must enter the contest by June 15, 2012! I don’t think I’m eligible to win because I am not employed as a certified teacher during the entry period, but I would LOVE for one of you to win! Click HERE to enter! Good luck : )
I’m off to do some online shopping. I love having a coupon, especially to The Container Store!

Alphabet Songs

I am obsessed with these Alphabet Songs from Have Fun Teaching! During my student teaching, my cooperating teacher used these each week to introduce the letter we would be working on that week. The kids absolutely LOVED these songs! They are so catchy and fun. We would watch them on YouTube, but I am always a little nervous when using YouTube because of the inappropriate videos that can pop up at the end or on the sides. Well now I can worry no more! Right now you can download all of the Alphabet Songs FREE! Click on the link for details! I know that you will love these fun videos as much as I do! I can't wait to use them in my own classroom!

May Madness

Where did this week go?
I had so many plans of things to read and do and make! And it didn’t happen! It was a busy week! I spent the first part of the week with a migraine. I have never had a headache like that! It was miserable. I went to the doctor and the  prescribed some medicine that finally helped. I hope headaches don’t become a normal thing.
I have spent the past two days observing/volunteering/meeting everyone at my school! I am just in love with the school, the kids and the staff there! It just feels like home. Everyone has been so nice to me!
Today was a crazy day with all of the Mother’s Day festivities. H-E-B does a cake decorating activity with the kids every year for Mother’s Day (they even did it when I was a kid there!) Kids pay like $5 (I think) to decorate a cake for their mom. H-E-B provides a plain white frosted cake and then all of the supplies to decorate. The kids LOVED pouring on icing, big sprinkles, small sprinkles, pink sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, more icing and plastic rings on their cakes. I’m sure they are delicious…haha. I wish I had a picture to show you, but I feel creepy taking pictures of kids I don't really know and my fingers were covered in frosting. These cakes looked like sugar sprinkle mountains!
I don’t have the freebie I anticipated yet, it's coming! : ( But, I do have a fun video to share. I visited one of my very favorite teachers and she was using this video during a transition time in her classroom. I really liked it! Enjoy : )
(I'm sorry I don't know how to embed it as a video!)

The BIG Announcement

I am OFFICIALLY employed for the 2012-2013 school year!
What a blessing! I have accepted a position at the elementary school I attended! So, I will be teaching with some of my former teachers! How special is that? I AM so excited! I don't know what grade for sure yet. Hopefully, kindergarten or first grade! 
Last night I spent the night downloading all of the awesome freebies for teacher appreciation week. I was so tired from my weekend trip. I got a few good deals at First Monday and then stopped in The Container Store in Dallas on the way home. I LOVE THE CONTAINER STORE. I bought a few of these crates to use for something in my classroom. I just couldn’t pass up the bright primary colors. Click on the picture to take you to The Container Store website.



 I have a little secret…
I was offered a job yesterday!
My DREAM job at my DREAM school!
All of the paperwork through HR hasn’t gone through yet so, I’m not saying too much until it is completely “official!” But, I had to tell someone : )
I couldn’t be any more excited!!!
I will announce details as soon as everything is official.
This weekend I am headed to Canton, TX for First Monday Trade Days! I am so excited to spend some time with the family and boyfriend. I will post on Sunday with some of my goodies! I also can’t wait for the HUGE Teacher’s Appreciation Blog Hop. There are going to be so many great freebies. If you haven't heard about it yet click HERE for details.
It’s going to be a great weekened! Happy (almost) Friday!

Summer Reading

Happy May!
One of my favorite things to do in the summertime is read! I have a stack of books just waiting to be read.  Since I will be a first year teacher most of my summer books relate to the upcoming school year. This week I have been looking through many of these books in preparation for my interviews. I have three this week at three different elementary schools! Very Exciting : )
Here is a peek at my summer reading list:

"Spaces and Places" by Debbie Diller
This books is all about how to organize your classroom and design a space that promotes literacy and learning.

"Math Work Stations: Independent Learning You Can Count On, K-2" BY Debbie Diller

I LOVE this book! Especially because it is a spiral book AND in color! This book has so many great ideas for math stations in the lower elementary grades. I really like the picture glossary of math materials included at the back of this book. I know what materials to be on the look out for!

"Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work" by Debbie Diller

Can you tell that I am a little obsessed with Debbie Diller? I LOVE this book too! It has so many ideas for different literacy centers. I love her center ideas because students aren't just allowed to do one thing. Each center has an "I can..." list with different acitvites they can do at each center. This helps students to be independent and not become bored as easily.

"The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades" by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser

I know that everyone has heard of Daily 5! I have been exposed to Daily 5 in the classroom but, I am really excited to read the book behind it and learn more!

"A Framework for Understanding Poverty" by Dr. Ruby Payne

One of my professors swore by this book. She said that it completely changed her view on life and the students in her classroom. She believes that anyone who will be teaching children should be required to read this book. With such a strong recommendation, I decided it would be a good book to read. I want to be prepared to meet the needs of my high risk children and better understand where they are coming from.
"First Grade in Photographs" by Judy Lynch

I LOVE this book because it is in color! It is so helpful because it goes through the first five weeks of first grade with literacy ideas and lessons to teach. I love all of the ideas and materials used! And did I mention it has real color pictures?
"Conscious Discipline" by Dr. Becky Bailey

This is one of the most thought provoking books I have ever (started to) read. I have had this book a few months and I enjoy reading little sections at a time. This summer I really want to read the book cover to cover. It is a little bit overwhelming to read because it really makes you question many of the discipline and classroom managment techniques used in most classrooms. I really want to use Conscious Discipline in my classroom. If you aren't familiar with Conscious Discipline check out some of Heather's posts at Heather's Heart. She has some great posts and ideas about Conscious Discipline and what it looks like in a real classroom.

Have you read any of these books?
What books would you reccomend for a first year teacher? I can't wait to hear your thoughts!!
Send some happy interview thoughts my way!

Have a blessed day!