Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's Quickly Approaching - Meet the Teacher Night!

As I prepare for my classroom and my first year of teaching, I have been reading on teaching forums and blogs and noticed a lot of talk about how different teachers do supplies.  Most of my students will bring their supplies to meet the teacher night in just over a week, so I wanted to get my supply plan taken care of quickly! I thought I'd share with you what I'm planning!  My school uses community supplies.  Everything the kids bring in is meant to be shared.  On Meet the Teacher night, I will have labeled bins set around the classroom for students to sort their supplies into.  I will take enough out of these bins on the first day of school to have one of THESE for each table:

I have six students seated at each table and they will share these supplies while they are seated.  Each bin will have six pairs of scissors (which I clearly don't have yet!), six glue sticks, three crayon boxes, and one box of markers.

When students are in centers and not at their tables, they will have all the supplies they need right there in their center.  I organize them using the same carriers as above.  Everything they need for their center... from instructions, to task cards, to markers, and scissors will be right there in their carrier! Now being a first year teacher, I don't know how well this will go over, but it's how my school runs.  I also really like the idea of teaching students to share as I think it will strengthen their community.  It will be important to stress how if ONE person doesn't take care of the supplies then it really does spoil it for the whole group! 

I have a couple items to share with you in case you're in the middle of planning your Meet the Teacher Night as well! The first is a document to make your own magnets to send home with parents.  It is a powerpoint file so you can edit to include your own information.  I personalized these, printed them on cardstock, laminated, and placed a strip of magnetic tape to the back so parents can always have them handy on the refrigerator! Click the picture to download for free from my TPT Store. 

The red font is titled Elephants in Cherry Trees and can be downloaded for free at:

I get the cutest scrapbooking fonts at Free Scrapbook Fonts! kevinandamanda.com/fonts

The next thing I have to share is a form I will have parents fill out on Meet the Teacher Night (or take home and return with student).  I adapted this volunteer form to meet my needs from one Cara Carroll posted last year.  Hopefully you will be able to use it in your classroom.  I tried to keep my volunteer options pretty vague so there would be many opportunities within each choice! Click the picture to download!

Last but not least I have been working on creating some literacy centers for the beginning of the year.  I decided I didn't want to have to worry about creating a million centers every week, so I have one word work center that will stay consistent throughout the whole year. This could be used two ways -- students can choose which activity to do each time they visit the center, or you could choose for them and set out only the materials you will need for that particular choice.  The best thing?  All you need for these centers is a copy of your words for the week, the instructions, the included recording sheets, and letter tiles! :) This unit can be purchased at my TPT Store for only $3.00!!!

Alright... whew.  That was my most exhausting entry yet! I'm so excited to be able to share some items with you that will hopefully make your back to school process a little easier! :) Now I'm off to snuggle with my puppies and eat some LUNCH! 

By the way... I'm curious... How do you organize your classroom supplies?  Do you use individual or community?  What has worked or not worked for you in the past?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sneak Peek, Linky, and a Freebie!

Happy Sunday, friends! I LOVE Sundays. They are my day for relaxing and just spending time with family. But this Sunday my husband is away at drill. He is a sergeant in the Indiana Army National Guard. So this Sunday, along with my normal relaxation, I have time to update my blog! I have some fun stuff to share with you all! :)

 First, because I'm SO excited about it.. is a sneak peak of my classroom! My mom came out and helped me move a bunch of boxes in and move furniture around! This is my first year teaching and the teacher who was in this room before left next to nothing behind, so I started with a pretty blank slate! :) I will have more pictures for you next week, but I wanted to give you a peek at my library/community circle area!


After! :)

Please disregard the lack of books... those boxes haven't made it to the room yet! They're so heavy!

 I wanted to share a freebie with you fine, fine people!  This is a boggle board and title that you can print, laminate, and hang up on your white board or bulletin board.  I will use boggle as an option for my early finishers.  It is a great way to fill some time, have a little fun, and practice working on words! I use magnetic letters with mine and will change the letters once a week.  You could also write on it with dry erase marker after laminating! 

Click the picture to pick up this download at my TPT store!

Last but not least, A Linky! I'm linking up with Amanda over at Teaching Maddeness to share my "New School Year Resolutions!"

1. Stay Organized!  I've got four major ways to stay organized.  Two binders.. One of which is a student data binder you can find for FREE at My TPT Store.  I also just ordered a hanging file organizer to keep things to file, send home, etc. in. More on organization later, but here's hoping it all works out!!!

2. Make friends!  I'm a brand new teacher and I would really like to find some allies at my school.  I have already met my grade level team and so far so good! I'm hoping to make friends with others at my school and find some fabulous mentors!

3. Be reflective.  I have had trouble reflecting in the past, whether it be on my teaching, my lessons, myself as an individual.. what have you.  I think by frequently reflecting on my teaching and reminding myself why I'm here, I will be a better teacher and lessen my stress a bit.

As a first year teacher, there is SO much I want to learn and succeed in -- But I fear if I keep listing resolutions, I won't be able to stop and this lady is HUNGRY! Dinner time at the Kelly Casa. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Anyone else find it difficult to think of titles?? :)

Hey friends!! I just wanted to pop in to tell you about a great giveaway that I'm taking part in.  Sweet Cecelia is celebrating over 500 followers on her blog ... wow! This givewaway is super easy to join and there are SO many great prizes.. you won't want to miss it!  Head on over to see Cecelia at I Love 1st Grade and join in on the fun!  She is taking entries until midnight on Monday so hurry over! :) 

I'm headed out to my classroom today with my sweet momma! I'm so excited to finish everything up this week and share some pictures with you all! Today's goal is to move all the furniture (they just finished deep cleaning!!!), to organize my desk, and to start organizing my classroom library! Wish me luck! 

How much do you have left to do in your classroom? When do your kids come back to school? 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trying this whole linky thing...

I'm linking up (or trying to at least) with Janis Leach from Grade Three is the Place for Me for the Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop! This is my first linky so don't make fun of me if I don't do it right! :) Plus, don't we tell our students that mistakes are powerful tools for learning? ;) 

Here are the Questions:

 1.  what state you are in
    2.  your current teaching position
    3.  your teaching experience
    4.  when you started blogging
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource

And now I'll dish! 

1. I'm in Indianapolis, IN. and I have been my whole life.  I don't have any intentions of leaving, either. Indy.. you're stuck with me! 
2. Second Grade at a public International Studies Magnet.
3. NONE! :) This will be my first year teaching! EEEEK! I graduated from IUPUI in downtown Indianapolis this May.  I student taught for a semester in 4th grade and a semester in Kindergarten.  While I genuinely LOVED both experiences, the little ones stole my heart!! 
4. I LITERALLY started blogging YESTERDAY! It has already been an adventure.  I'm hoping I'll eventually get the hang of it.. there are many, many things to learn! 
5. Well since I'm new, I can only share what I know as a viewer of roughly a million blogs -- give or take a few.  I think it's important to balance what you're blogging about. If you have a TPT store, don't ONLY use your blog to advertise your priced items! I want to read about your ideas, your exciting times in the classroom, and the exciting times in your life! 

And now I have a question! When you're offering freebies on your blog... do you typically link it to your TPT freebies or do you do a google doc?  I have no idea how to handle google docs but if that's the way to go, then I will learn! :) Thanks!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Check me out! I made a blog!

Well, hey there! You've found my baby blog.. congrats!  SO... I'm sure you're all wondering how I stumbled into the blogosphere.  After about a year of reading some seriously fabulous blogs... I decided I had no desire to start one.. HA!  They seem like so much work.  Plus,  I have to remember to take pictures and to even update the thing... and all that HTML mumbo jumbo is like a foreign language to me.  Yet here I am.  Because on this day -- Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 -- My two boy furbabies, Brody and Burton, got neutered.  Therefore, I have been on the couch with them... all day... snuggling and dying of boredom.  Hence the birth of my blog! 

They are SO adorable and definitely worth lounging on the couch and creating a blog!

So, a little about me...How about five facts (because I dig the alliteration!)

1 - Born and Raised in the fine city of Indianapolis, Indiana.  Home of corn, racing, the once awesome Colts (still love them!), and not a whole lot more. 

2 -  I love, love, love my puppies -- more than I ever thought possible to love puppies.  You saw two of them above.  I also have a sweet, sweet Chihuahua named Willow.  Expect many pictures in the future. Here's one to hold you over in honor of Christmas in July.

3 - I watch WAY too much television.  Some of my [embarassing] favorites are Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, and other teenage dramas.  I like some "grown up" shows, too.  I'm a sucker for Grey's Anatomy (STILL very upset about the season finale), Modern Family, and How I Met Your Mother.

4 - I'm SO SO SO excited to start my teaching career.  It still feels kind of surreal, but I'm so grateful to have secured a job for this year during these trying times.  I can't wait to start posting pictures of my classroom (it has been a serious labor of love.. and MONEY! eek!).  I'm teaching 2nd grade and am open to any tips you guys have! ;) 

5 - I got married to a wonderful man on June 8th of this year!  We honeymooned in Riviera Maya and TOTALLY recommend it to anyone for a nice vacation.  Our wedding was pretty much completely DIY so I had a busy year of planning, but it was very much worth it and I wouldn't change a thing.  Check us out! 

And there you have it... my very first blog post! I hope I didn't bore you to tears.  I didn't know I would love being here, but turns out this is pretty stinkin' fun! Now follow me so I don't look like a loser being my only follower! ;)