Sunday, July 29, 2012

Classroom themes...

I've never been one to have much of a theme in my classroom.  I've done a color scheme, but not so much of a theme.  This year, though, I am going with a...nautical theme.  That's probably not much of a surprise with my blog's title.  :)  While there are touches of my theme throughout the room.  It is basically a blue, yellow, and red color scheme.  

I already had several shelves that my dad and I built a few years ago and painted red.  {I was doing a red/black color scheme...GO DAWGS!}  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these shelves almost as much as the man that made them! The best part of them being red?  No one can try to claim them!  

My hubby made me a couple more shelves this year.  There is very little storage in our rooms, so the shelves made were out of necessity. 
Here's a pic of my Mr. Wonderful hard at work in the heat of a southeastern July!

Here's the finished product! This one houses each student's portfolio for the year.  All unit tests go in here in addition to other work samples. There will be a whole other post on the portfolios soon.  I hope to get some input with them! :)  The other shelf contains the manipulatives that the students will need easy access to.  I organized all these for the upcoming year in the shoe boxes.  I hope to use them often for general class instruction as well as remediation and/or enrichment. The yellow trays?  Krylon spray paint over existing black ones.  I love how the color pops!

The other long red shelf will house crates for every unit.   I will post more about this system later.

These are caddies that are on all of my "desk tables." I shared more specifics on this post - Desk Caddies.

Posters...can't take credit for most of these either.  I'm beginning to think I am not really creative, but I can FIND really creative stuff!!  I found some great ideas from Sherrie at Middle School Math Rules!  I snagged the standards for mathematical practice posters from Teachers Pay Teachers - click here for that!

This poster is outside my door.  I want everyone that enters to know how I feel about my classroom.  I have to give credit to Krissy for this fabulous creation!  Please check out all of her fabulous work at Venspired Learning  I certainly hope it is the sentiment of teachers everywhere.   (And sorry about the flash.) 

My bulletin boards - there is only one board in my room, so "made" another on a plain wall. The one I "made" will have my anchor charts and word walls.  I cannot believe that I didn't use anchor charts until the end of last school year!  What?!?  Using the post-it chart paper, I will change these out easily as we go.

My curtains - nautical signal flags.  Can you believe that I made these? :)  Sewed them with my mom's machine.  My hubby helped with the grommets.  They do spell something, too! 

Hangings - never did this before this year either!  I'm honestly not sure how much I'll like them as the year goes on.  I'm just thinking of the dust they are sure to collect.  Still, they do add so much to the room. (After working on my "Foldables" section, I realized the section was much too large. I'm going to keep a running table of contents for our interactive notebooks there.)  The rate yourself section was a Pinterest find!  That original post comes from Alison at Eberopolis.  Be sure to check that out too!  I'm not sure how well you can see, but I also love my corner folder shelf my dad built for me.  It is super handy and works well in the small space.

My desk -I picked up this oh so cute lamp at Hobby Lobby. My hubby tells me it looks like a food warmer.  We agree to disagree! ;)  I got the organizer at Staples and I LOVE it!  It consolidates soooo much!  The candy dish - a surprising find at TJ Maxx - and a steal at $6!  (I really should have straightened those papers before taking the picture!)

These shelves house my resources.  The long one (barely visible) under the window has 6 crates on the top shelf - one for each unit.  The bottom houses more manipulatives.  The tall shelf is full of books and such.  I added the curtain this year.  On the wall under my "pencils only" sign will be a calculator pocket chart.  It finally came in Friday afternoon...just in time for Monday's open house.  My podium...yes, my dad built that too!

Hope you enjoyed!  Please leave links to your rooms too!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Anchor Chart "Bulletin Board"

At the end of last school year, I began creating anchor charts with my students.  I can't believe I never did so earlier!  The problem was I really didn't have a great place to display them afterwards without taking up my already limited whiteboard space.  This was my solution!  Given I am already doing a nautical theme (more on that later), this was a perfect addition.  I will be able to include at least 3 of these charts (with sticky back) at any given time - possibly even 4.  I'm not one to change boards all the time, so this allows for change with little effort!  Win - win!  The word "charts" is actually done in rope from the fabric section in Walmart.  I hot-glued it in place.    This is not a real "bulletin board."  I hot-glued paper to the wall as well as the trim to tie it all together and provide for a little more color.  Do you guys create anchor charts?  If so, where or how do you display them?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Desk Caddies...

This is perhaps one of my most favorite things.  My dad and I (okay more like he) made these for me a last summer.  I attended a workshop on interactive notebooks.  The facilitator had these and I knew I must have them too!  They are awesome.  Everything is right there!  (And some very clever student from last year says hi! ;) ) 

A lazy susan is attached to the bottom.  I was able to purchase these off of ebay for a reasonable price.  I didn't have them covered with felt last year, and they would mar the desks so I hot-glued the felt to take care of that problem.  

The caddy is the size of my personal-sized white board.  I also keep  file folders that act as privacy screens for quizzes/test, etc.

On top, he placed another board with holes through that for the rubber cement to be held in.  

The containers are drink can coozies.  There are pros and cons to these.  The pros:  quiet, colorful, easy to assemble and replace.  Cons:  students LOVE to write on them.  One even got cut last year.  I guess the scissors were too tempting.  I did a rainbow last year with each "table" getting a different color.  This year, I went with all navy/yellow combination.   The cost of the coozies can be reasonable provided you get them on sale.  I got them 2/$1.  I think last year I may have even got them 3/$1 from Michael's.  I cut the two side ones (the yellow ones) down to hold glue sticks and a pencil sharpener.  

I am always asked if students take the supplies.  The answer?  Not really.  Sometimes the erasers go missing, but the other supplies are usually left alone.

How do students get supplies easily in your room?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vista Print

The day before my vacation I was anxiously awaiting...the FedEx truck!  My Vista Print order was coming.  I am now an official member of the Vista Print bandwagon!  I have been very pleased with what I have gotten. 

I've gotten four sets of business cards.  One is just the typical business card to give to parents at open house. Another is a birthday homework pass.  Shown above: The third is a "Problem of the Week Club" homework pass - which leads the last card - the "Problem of the week loyalty card."  If they correctly solve the p.o.t.w. I will initial the card.  Once full, they earn the pass.  

I've ordered a few posters too.  The first were difficult to read and I questioned that before ordering.  So, if you think it could be difficult to read - it WILL! :)  I reordered using a different background/colors and am pleased.  I must give credit where it is due.  I found the wording for these posters from another blog I follow and thought, if it's not broke, why fix it?  Head over to Middle School Math Rules!  to check it out.  I also loved the "Top 10 Ways..." enough to make that one for myself too!

Magnet cards - Only for new students throughout the year.  As I likely won't meet the parents of these students, this card is designed to give them contact information at quick reach should questions arise.  (Because it is mostly contact information, I didn't upload a pic.)

Rack cards - supply list for open house.  The front is the necessary supplies. The back has the "wish list."  Elementary teachers can score enough for free for their classes.  I did have to buy some of these, but it worked out nicely and I'm glad that I did. 

Postcards - these are all for make-up work.  I have ordered more than one set, but they all say the same thing.  The gray scale is the back of the cards.

Stamps - for Homework.  I'll do the "stamping" during the warm-up.  More on that later.

I've also gotten pens, thank you cards, notepads, letterhead, stickers, etc.  

Warning - once you order, it is slightly addicting!!  I can say that I am pretty pleased and don't think I will be ordering anything else...for now! :)

Have you guys used Vista Print?  What is your favorite Vista Print purchase?