Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Back to School BASH! Week 1: Classroom Set-Up and Organization

Welcome to the 2015-2016 School Year!  Wow!  I can't believe how FAST this summer flew by, but I've had a few days to get back into the swing of things during pre-planning at my school!  I'm so excited to be partnering up with some of my new blogger buddies to bring to you a BACK TO SCHOOL BASH Linky Series and Giveaway!

This week, we're going to share all about our Classroom Set-Ups and Organization!  Here's a peek into my 2015-2016 Classroom:  SPOILER ALERT---My Room is a WORK IN PROGRESS!  The past few years, I've made little to no changes to my classroom decor and set-up, as I was very sick after having my little boy, and I simply couldn't put together something new on my own.

This year, I wanted to keep with my owls theme, but make it brighter, more colorful, and just re-vamp my whole look for a fresher, more chic style.  Therefore, I recreated my own owl decor and added my 2 other loves:  burlap and bunting!  Here's what I've got so far:

So for my only true bulletin board in my classroom, I've used a beautiful avocado burlap on the back of my board with hot pink and brown border!  I love the pop of pink.  The tree in the middle is made of wood-grain contact paper.  It is to have bright, patterned leaves and little owls with my students' names on them!  I am in love with the burlap Writing and Word Study bunting banners my mom made as headers!  I *BIG PUFFY HEART* burlap & bunting!  Above my boards is my 0-100 number line and my brand new Bright Owls Alphabet--I bit the bullet and paid to print my new owl decor at Office Max and it was worth every penny!  The colors really POP and I didn't use 6 ink cartridges!

The heart & soul of my classroom is my library!  I am a BOOK hoarder...I mean this is a call A&E and sign me up for Intervention book buyer situation.  I am also very particular about how I organize and keep my books.  I am a teeny-tiny bit OCD, so I use a simple color-coding system.  Pink book bins = series books, green book bins = fictional books (leveled and non-leveled) and blue book bins = nonfiction books (leveled and non-leveled).  Since many owls live in trees, I simply had to use my huge IKEA leaves to create an "under the trees" feel when reading.  What you can't see are my bright, movable milk crate seats, which my students LOVE moving all over the room to read!

Here is my new math wall, game organization bins, and manipulative organization system!  My kids play A LOT of math games.  We do something similar to "Daily 5 Math", but with my own spin on it!  I plan to blog soon all about how I handle math workshop!  Below is a close-up of my math game storage!

This is half of my magnetic white board, which I have set-up with manipulative Fundations sound cards, a new area to turn-in work, and my math group assignments.  I have my new Bright Owls Ten Frames above my white boards!

Here is my small group area, with my guided reading materials in a shelf behind my chair.  Disregard the complete mess on the counter behind my table.  After I finish this section of my room, I'll post more pictures here!

Last but not least, I've included a close-up of my student writing supplies station!  This includes paper choices, construction paper for publishing, and all of our extra class supplies!

I hope to post later how I organize my teacher space and more, but I am so proud of how much I've gotten accomplished on my revamp in 2 short days!  It would not have happened without all of the help from my AMAZING family!

So, when I asked for some help co-hosting this Linky Series, I was blown away that so many teacher friends would want to help!  So, we decided to do a few little giveaways.  The first is for a BUNDLE of some of our FAVORITE TPT Products from our stores!  Get in on the Giveaway Action by entering below!  This giveaway will close on Friday, August 7, 2015!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please feel free to link-up with us and share your AMAZING Classroom Set-Up and Organization Ideas!  We simply ask that you follow these simple rules:
  • Save the images above and use them on your post to link back to our party!
  • Enter your link below and encourage your friends to do the same!
  • Be a friendly blogger--> visit other blogs in the Linky party and leave thoughtful commentary to the 2 blogs ahead of you and at least 1 behind you!
I'm excited to hear from all of you!

Hootfully yours,


Friday, July 10, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge: Make Your MASTERPIECE!

So I'm a little late in posting my Week 3 Challenge:  Make Your Masterpiece, but I'm excited to be sharing with you what I've been working on!  Thanks again to Sparkling in SecondThird in HollywoodPeppy, Zesty Teacherista, and Teach, Create, Motivate  for hosting this challenge!

So, truth be told, I fell in LOVE with OWLS and chose an owl theme long before any of the major school supply companies developed classroom decoration items with OWLS on them.  So, when I set up my Owl Themed room several years ago, I pieced my owl "stuff" together.  Some I made in Word (GASP!) and some I bought.  Over the last few years, more and more cute stuff has come out, but it still didn't fit my colors, personality, etc. perfectly.  Then, my all-time favorite Clip Art Designer, Krista Wallden, designer of Creative Clips, started coming out with owl clips that matched her other bright colors, and I decided to start redoing my owl decor.  Thus, my Make Your Masterpiece Challenge!


So far I have created the following sets:

This set includes full-sized, owl-themed, alphabet posters & directions for printing 2 and 4 to a page!

This set includes 28 labeled class job cards, 4 blank job cards, and Owl Name Circles for assigning student jobs.  This works perfectly in a pocket chart or on your board!

This includes 14 different name plate options, each with a blank and lined version!  Editable tags coming soon!

This includes #1-20, as full-paged posters, but I did include directions for printing more to a page in a smaller size.

These Owl Themed Table and Center Sign Pennants will be perfect hanging from a paper lantern over your tables and centers! Included are Owl Table Pennants for Tables 1-12, Center Signs for 12 Centers, and 6 Blank Pennants. This is perfect for labeling and organizing your owl themed classroom!

This includes 26 circular Word Wall Headers and 6 blank owl circles for customizing your Word Wall and/or book bins!

Coming soon:  Bright Owls Welcome Banner, Bright Owls Calendar Set, Bright Owls Supply Labels & Editable Labels, and Bright Owl Schedule Kit.  After these additional sets are completed, I will also be BUNDLING the WHOLE owl decor set!

I know that there are many owl decor sets on TPT and in stores these days.  However, this set matches my style and personality, and is finally a cohesive, bright, and cheerful collection to tie my whole room together.  I am very proud of how it is turning out, and I'm so glad that I finally found the time and push to get it in the works!

What other items do you look for in a classroom decor kit?

Hootfully yours,

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tell All Tuesday: Top 10 List

I'm linking up again with My Day in K and Teach. Talk. Inspire. for Tell All Tuesday! This week's post is a Letterman Style Top 10 List...Top 10 Things Teaching has Taught Me!

Here's my Top 10 List:

10.  It doesn't matter WHAT has been happening in your day.  You could have had the MOST engaging, well-planned and executed day of teaching in the history of education...you're administrator(s) won't walk in during those brilliant moment.  However, he/she will walk in after you've just finished, or when you've sat down for 2 seconds to respond to an e-mail, or when a student is in the middle of a mega-meltdown!

9.  It's true...you'll never make everyone happy!  It's an important lesson to learn.  Your choices, lessons, time, etc. will always upset someone...it's ok!

8.  Kids say the MOST hilarious things.  Some are stories about home that their parents would be mortified they shared...sometimes it's a wild tale from their imagination...sometimes it's a word/phrase/joke they misunderstood.  WRITE THESE THINGS DOWN!  On your bad days...it's nice to go back and reread these funny things.  My personal favorite...my students were discussing their Zodiac signs... in relation to constellations...one of my kids told me he wasn't a Pisces...he was a vegetarian!

7.  I mean it...never stop buying books and school supplies...especially books!

6.  Kids NEED to play, laugh, and create EVERY DAY.  Academics are important, but time to be a kids is just as important!  So PLAY, LAUGH, and CREATE with them!

5.  You know that kid who is so poorly behaved and challenging...the one who gives you headaches/sleepless nights/ and more.  Well, he/she NEEDS YOU!  So so a prayer for patience and guidance and give them your love and attention!

4.  Don't plan on making a last minute copy or copies...the copier will be broken.

3.  If you're like me, you probably spend more time at school than you do at home with your family most days... learn to love and get along with your teammate...they'll be the ones to help you get through your long, trying days!

2.  There truly is nothing better than seeing a child's light bulb moment.  Maybe, it's when a child reads independently, ties his/her shoes for the first time, publishes his/her first story, or becomes an independent worker/thinker---it's the best and it's why we do what we do!

1.  I have "kids" who are entering college this fall.  They were my first babies...the first group to enter my heart...and they're still my babies.  No matter how many classes and students come and go...YOUR KIDS will always have a piece of you and you will always have a part of them.

Hootfully yours,


Friday, July 3, 2015

Pick 3 Pinterest Party: July

It's time to grab some summer inspiration for the month of July, and there is no better way than checking out the Pinterest Pick 3 Party with Inspired Owl's Corner and Pawsitively Teaching.  Here are some of my favorite Pinterest Picks for July!

My first pick is from the amazing Dating Divas...my husband, son, and I will be leaving next Saturday to travel with my parents and nephew to beautiful Jekyll Island, which is about a 6 hour car trip.  I LOVED the good old travel games of years past, and found these free printables, to help keep us all busy and engaged on the way down!--Plus, it helps feed my competitive streak!

My favorite thing about being home during the summer is getting to be home with my handsome, curious, funny, little guy.  He is in the "getting into everything" stage of life...and although it can be exhausting, it is so much fun to see him exploring the world and figuring things out.  I loved some of the ideas found on this pin, for keeping him busy, learning, and excited about life!  I can't wait to try some of these out!

I can't wait to try out these campfire cones as a sweet treat on the beach!  I love that you can make individual "s'mores treats" with any ingredients you love!  I'm thinking peanut butter, dark chocolate, and marshmallows will be going into mine!

Don't forget to check out these other awesome blogs at the bottom of this post to check out what they have pinned for July!

Hootfully yours,