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Classroom Reveal 2017

Hey everyone!

So happy to finally be posting my classroom reveal. Only 3 weeks into school, not so bad! I didn't change that much, except add some accent pieces from Creative Teaching Press (Bold and Bright Collection).  I try my best to make our old portable a welcoming, enriching environment.


I am in love with this shelf! Signs are all from TJ Maxx and the plants too. White boxes from Walmart and teal ones came as a set from TJ Maxx. 



 I make my own signs for my whiteboard, except the decimals, which came from Teaching and So Fourth.



 Adorable magnetic strips from Creative Teaching Press.



 My math vocabulary area and anchor chart area too.


 I decided to spruce up my clock and put our IB attitude and attribute here too.



 Everyone has commented on how bright and cheerful these numbers from Creative Teaching Press are!


These are my main storage cabinets. The white one I dubbed "The Fridge" and put student work and pictures up there. The other cabinet has my homework chart and my "What stuck with you" area. Sticky notes from CTP.




I am loving my doorway this year. I had fun making this no sew curtain. Magnetic rod from Walmart! Magnetic strips and sign from CTP.



 Creative Teaching Press Calendar set. We call that the doorway of doom (also known as teacher next door's room but we wanted to scare the kids.)


Our schedule is different on Wednesdays. I love these die cuts and how they make my black pocket chart pop!



I made the table signs in black/white and teal/white Moroccan theme to match the rest of my room.





*I am a Creative Teaching Ambassador and was sent the whole Bright and Bold classroom series, but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.*


Preparing for a Student Teacher

Hey everyone!

I will be having a student teacher this year and I've been combing FB and the internet for tips to get prepared for her. I'm going to share some of the top tips I've found and I'd love if you leave tips too!



1. Give feedback each day. Mostly what I read was that teachers took notes in a notebook or a post it note and gave it to their student teacher every day. 

2. Make space for the student teacher. My room is small as it is, but I want to make my student teacher feel welcome. I did make sure to leave part of my personal bulletin board blank for her to put personal pictures and items. I know that when I was student teaching, my mentor did the same and it made me feel welcome.

3. Let them try techniques out. I have to be honest, this makes me a little nervous, but this is how my student teacher will learn and grow. I'm going to have to let go of control of my classroom!

4. Talk with them. My student teacher and I have been emailing each other this summer. I would've loved to meet up with her, but her schedule was full. I also plan having a debrief each day that she's teaching and talk about what went well and what she would change.

5. Be encouraging. We need teachers, always, and I just want to be there to support her and encourage her.  

I'm excited to see how this year goes with a student teacher! Any tips you think I should add? Leave a comment down below!


BTS Mini Haul

Hey everyone!

I did finally do a little shopping for my classroom. I didn't have to get much since I"m not changing my theme and didn't really need to replenish much.

First, can I mention how much I love that I get so much light in my dining room! I got these two cuties from TJ Maxx. 

Also from TJ Maxx. I've got wooden signs through out my class that I love putting out. Great messages and makes the classroom look more like home.

 For under $10, the teal baskets came as a set! Grabbed them of course. They'll be storage on a bookshelf. The green bins are for my library and are from Dollar Tree.

 My students and I went through sticky notes like no ones business last year. I grabbed the flags, which are perfect for marking spots in books. I love the lined stickies for notes to my kiddos.

Not sure what I will use these clothespins for, but I love them. Maybe clipping to table signs for good behavior?

Somehow, my class set of 33 of these suckers basically disappeared last year. The last day of school found me with about 10 of these. They weren't in their desks or tubs or anything. Gone. Did they take them home? I have no clue. So I just got more. And as usual, got a weird look at check out until I explained how I use them for dry erasers. I take them home a few times a year to wash them.

That's my mini-haul!


Trainers Warehouse: Review

Hey everyone!

I feel like I'm always on the look out for things to bring to my class or looking for products that would benefit my students. So I was happily surprised when Trainers Warehouse reached out to me to review some of their products.
The first product I pulled out was the Thumball. I can see my students using this for back-to-school week, new students, or if there is actually any down time. This happens to be the Common Ground Thumball, but they have a ton of other types of Thumballs


These were the next items that caught my eye because of their neon colors! These handheld whiteboards are dry erase, but solid plastic. They have a glossy finish that helped when I erased them. I love these Briteboards!




Then came the handheld fidget toys.  The sparkly Loopeez was fun to play with.  Then the Gyrobi in the classic primary colors is a fun spinner, plus I love that it is silent. Then last was the Infinity Cube Fidget. I sat there a few minutes playing with it because it's fun to play with and I love infinity type of products. This is just a small sampling of the fidget products they have.   




The last item was the Kudos notepad. Perfect for the growth mindset classroom! 

Trainers Warehouse has many more products and I think they are affordable prices, which is important to me. 


**This is an honest review. All opinions are mine. 



Oregon Trail Obsession

Hey everyone!

The Oregon Trail has got to be my absolute favorite unit to teach. The last two years, my students say that's their favorite unit, and I think it's because I totally put my heart and soul into bringing it alive. I have to thank my 4th grade teachers Mrs. Weber and Mrs. Sweet for making the Oregon Trail so memorable for me, that same passion and dedication is what I want to give to my students.

I get dressed for it, use real photos of present day places on the trail (thanks Mom and Dad!), and really get my kids involved.

You can see what I did last year here and the year before here.

I'll do mostly the same stuff again, with the maps, pioneer journals, making butter, etc. I absolutely loved that last year we went to Philip Foster Farm and my kids showed off their knowledge of the Oregon Trail.

This summer I've been reading these books and thinking about how I want to incorporate them this year. I think these will be read alouds, or at least 1 or 2 of them.


Do you teach the Oregon Trail or Westward Expansion? What do you like to incorporate in your lessons? Leave a comment below!


What I've Bought So Far For The New School Year

Hey everyone!

The last few years I felt like I was working on things all summer for my class. This summer has been the complete opposite and I feel so relaxed!

When things come to me, I write them down on a list. It keeps me organized and with a goal in mind.

I did buy fabric to make a curtain for the window on my door. It matches my bulletin boards. Here's a picture from last year of what that fabric looks like:

I did buy a few things on Prime Day, like a strip of lights, a package of expos. And then some mundane things at the store like a single hole puncher (woo!) and magnetic staple removers.

I did just order Wild Robot and Rain Reign and can't wait to read them. 

Maybe I"m just not in the mood yet. I haven't done any Goodwill trips yet for books or a Marshall's/TJMaxx for decor. I'm actually ok with that for now. But maybe ask me in a few weeks how I feel!

Have you bought anything yet? Anything you think I need to get? Leave a comment below!



Quick Update

Hey everyone!

Man, this year was a tough one for me. I had to focus all my time and energy on my tough class, but I thankfully had very supportive admin to help me out.

I wrapped up the school year in June. The next week I helped our district for a week looking at our math curriculum and assessments and making sure everything was aligned with our prioritized standards etc.

My Oma from Germany has been here for 4 weeks and has one more left before she leaves, so I've been spending time with her and my parents these last few weeks.

At the end of July, I'm getting trained to be a trainer for constructing meaning, tied with Systematic ELD.

In other exciting news, I've been placed with a student teacher. She'll be in my room from our work week in August, through April.

Also, I'm an ambassador for Creative Teaching Press this year! I think that's the update for now and I can't wait to get back to blogging and sharing ideas!

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