Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Classroom!

Since I switched grades from 2nd to 1st I also had to switch rooms.  My new room is huge and I love it!  The classroom is somewhat narrow and long which is difficult to arrange desks, luckily I only have 19 students so we can make it work.  Tonight is the second day for back to school night.  School officially starts on Thursday and I'm so excited to get the school year started.  I'm really looking forward to getting to know all of my students and teach first grade. 
Front of the Classroom

My desk and the teacher table/small group area.

Morning routine and rug area.

The other side of the rug area, coat rack and the entrance to the room.

Monday, June 11, 2012

New classroom!

Since I'm going to be switching grades from 2nd to 1st I also have to switch classrooms. Here is my room in progress. I painted the blue walls last week, Aruba Blue, I love the color!! Putting it together a little at a time :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Paint Sample Words

I saw a similar idea on pinterest and adapted it a bit.  I would like to thank Wal-Mart for not getting made at me for taking about 50 of their paint sample squares. :)  I got a bunch and cut them in half, then punched holes on each side and used the links that one of the Kindergarten teachers just gave me.  I turned this center into a competition and gave a pencil to the student that had the most 4 letter words. It's a fun way to add some color and I didn't even have to get them laminated!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Organizing Binders

So I am a self admitted pack rat and somewhat of a hoarder.  So I keep every paper that I've ever copied during student teaching, subbing and now in my first year.  I have accumulated quite a nice stash of worksheets and activities from K-6!  I am constantly trying to get organized and I have finally decided that my system of tons of over stuffed file folders and hanging files in my too full filing cabinet and the 3 over filled crates was in desperate need of a change.  I was able to get some old binders from the IT company that I used to work at and got to work!  I am still not finished, but I've gotten a big chunk done!  I created some binder covers you can check them out here, they aren't very high quality but they sure are cute and they served my purpose!  My Reading Files binder has everything I need for reading separated by big categories like comprehension, centers and graphic organizers.  Then smaller tabs to break each down by sub category, like plot, main idea, theme, character etc.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Clothes Pins Spelling

I got this idea from my cooperating teacher during student teaching.  I wrote letters on the ends of clothes pins and tied a string to the end of a desk.  One side has capital letters, the other has lower case. 

Word Work Eggs

I got the idea of using plastic Easter eggs for word families searching the internet and adapted it a tiny bit and made it a competition.  I wrote words on the eggs, beginning sound on the long side of the egg, ending sounds on the smaller side of the egg.  I gave them a sheet that had 95 lines (I couldn't fit 100 on one paper), and told them whoever can come up with the most real words will get a special prize. They are so competitive that they stayed focused and determined through the whole center!!  I had one girl get over 110 words!  The competition worked so well I'm going to do at the word work center again next week! :) 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Classroom Library

Finally got my class library sorter, organized and labeled, ok well I'm 90% there. I'll be a spring break project to get it finished.  I found these collapsible colored bins at Dollar Tree and got started.  Each bin has a label and a colored sticker on it to match the colored sticker on the books that go in the bins. 

I have all the non fiction books, and special books like poetry, comics, and Dr. Seuss in the clear bins labeled and organized.
I'm not sure if this will help keep it organized but I'm hoping it will be better then the mess we had before!  All the picture books aren't labeled or really organized yet but that's my next on my classroom to do list. 

Pronoun Pockets

I found this idea on the Teacher Bits and Bobs blog and thought it would be perfect for my 2nd graders. So my bulletin board skills are somewhat, ok very, lacking but they are just tiny boards put up in my narrow hallway outside my room so I have little to work with and I don't have a lot of time to make them look good.   But anyway, we made these pockets for our phonics center. I just drew a template on white paper and copied it on construction paper.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Prefix and Suffix Spiders

I was looking for an activity to make prefixes and suffixes a little more fun and interactive so I created the spiders.  The body of the spider has a prefix or suffix and the legs have the root words on them.  Kids just cut them out and put them together.  You could also have students write in their own root words but we weren't quite there yet.  Here is the spider template that I created.

Prefix re-
Suffix -ful

Monday, March 12, 2012

Find a Word

Found this game at Wal-Mart and figured we would be able to come up with a game with it!  We have been playing find a word, similar to Boggle.  I got the worksheet from Mrs. I's Class Blog.  She has a lot of great free worksheets and ideas.

Scrabble... sort of

Here is another game we play using the Nab It tiles.  We play our version of Scrabble.  The kids have all of their tiles and take turns adding to the word.  The student that uses all of their tiles first, or by the time we have to switch centers, wins.  I am impressed with the vocabulary words they come up with. It did take me, the two parent helpers in the room, and the dictionary to figure out how to spell the word 'villain'.  He got an extra point for stumping 3 adults with the spelling of his word :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Read It! Build It! Write It!

These tiles are from the game Nab-It by Hasbro.  The game was on clearance at Wal-Mart so I picked it up.  We have played a few different games using the tiles.  We have done a version of scrabble mixed where we can build up and take turns.  We also play the read it, build it, write it game which is shown below.  I downloaded game mats for free from  I give the kids a word with the phonics pattern we are working on.  They have to build the word with the tiles, write it and then to earn their point they have to say the word phonetically for me.  
This week we were practicing r controlled words.
They try to earn the most points in their group. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Baseball Math

When I was in the masters program they had us create many games and lesson plans.  This is one of the things I made.  I initially made it to use to practice high frequency words but we used it today to play math baseball!  It was a BEAUTIFUL Colorado day so I armed the kids with whiteboards and erasers and we headed for the field.  I was the pitcher and would write and addition problem on a board.  There would be one person from each team up to bat, a hitter and a catcher.  If the catcher got the problem correct first the hitter was out.  If the hitter got the problem correct first they took a base.  If neither got it right it was a strike.  Everyone else on the team has to do the problem as well.  I think next time we will use flash cards to keep it simpler and quicker.

Alphabetical Order

I got the idea of creating puzzles by cutting a calender into 1 inch strips then putting a label on each strip to practice alphabetical order.  The only way the kids can get the puzzle together is to put the letters or words in the correct order.  I  bought some cheap 2012 calendars at Wal-Mart and got started.  The kids are really loving this center!  They wanted to show me every puzzle they got together.   I was inspired by Teacher Tipster.  He has some great suggestions and he is hilarious to boot!  Check out his youtube site

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tattle Tongue

I borrowed the book, Tattle Tongue,  from our school counselor to try to combat the tattling that is rampant in 2nd grade this year.  I created these posters to hang up to remind the kids of the Tattle Prince's rules.  Here are all the posters in PDF.

Word Work Legos

I found some Lego's at the thrift store a while back and have just been holding onto them not sure how to use them.  I finally got inspired and wrote letters each Lego to create a new work work or spelling center.  I hope the kids like the center!

Here is the lego spelling center at work!