Blasting Off Into My Classroom Reveal 2014-2015

I'm not going to lie...I have a week into school, but if you're anything like me, the entire month before  school starts and the first couple of weeks into the year...your life REVOLVES around your classroom!!  I truly have been spinning, and smiling all the while, trying to ready my classroom for my students.  I decided to take an intergalactic approach this year.  I didn't go over the top, simply because I liked my classroom last year and didn't want to take any of my fabric down!  I added some star border with other spacey accents throughout my room.  I LOVE it!  It's colorful and makes my little teaching heart happy when I walk into it each morning.  So, without further ado, I would like to present to you my 2014-2015 classroom!

This is what greets our visitors each day.  I used a liquid chalk pen to make the wording and poster board with a mix of scrapbooking paper to make my little alien. :)

Walking in, this is the view you would see...

Here is how I'm keeping track of my jobs this year.  I'm giving each student a job and changing it every nine week period.  I think this will promote consistency and more pride in what they're expected to do in our room.  I don't assign jobs until I have had time to get to know them, so this will be during the second week of school. :) 

Here is a look at my Homeworkopoly board, which I also don't start until the second week of school. Each student gets a star game piece to move around the board.  They roll die if they have done all of their homework and have gotten their agenda signed.  THEY LOVE IT!!!  It has, hands down, increased the percentage of students completing their homework.

The cubbies underneath of it consist of my Reading and Math Interactive Notebooks, as well as the student listening center, which is still a work in progress!

So, each month my students will be learning a new type of poetry.  They will create their very own poem and write it on leaves that will then go on our "Poet" tree!  I'll have to post a picture when their fall leaves are finished. :)

Here is one of two reading nooks in my classroom. :)  I have two sticker charts here.  One is for AR points and the other is for my A+ Club, which is where the kiddos that get an A on any exam will place a sticker. :)  I reward the students once they get so many stickers on their chart.

I also have Runde's Room's Comprehension Fans, which we will use during our ELA block.  At the bottom are our student's birthdays.  To the right is my Mean, Median, and Mode trifold board. :)  Just in case you're wondering, I got the rug from IKEA!

Here's what you would see if you were standing at the other end of my classroom. :)  

I got the idea for my Data Center from one of my Facebook followers.  She had an entire wall of data that she had collected for each subject.  I LOVE this idea, because it reinforces Math and allows my students to SEE how they are doing as a group.  My hopes are that they will encourage one another to do their best on each and every test.  I have a bar graph and a line graph for three subjects.  If all goes well this year, I will do this for each subject next year.  

Next to my Data Center is my Boggle board.  I use this during my Word Work time in Reading.

First of all, THIS PICTURE IS BLURRY!!!  If you know me at all, you know that this kills me.  I didn't realize it until I loaded it into my computer, and at that point...I figured, who really cares?!  I hope I'm right about that one, lol.  So this is my Interactive Writing Center, as well as my Science Corner.  I have had AMAZING success with my Writing Center, as have hundreds of other teachers.  I highly recommend taking a look at it if you're wanting to improve your student's ability to write AND to show them just how much fun writing can be!  

Here's my little alien writer.  I got him from Krista Wallden's space collection.  I LOVE HIM!!  I put a #2 pencil in his hand and...VOILA!  Super cute! It's all about the details. ;)

Our students have to complete SRAs every nine weeks, so this is simply where I keep their folders.  I love my tornado lava lamp, as well.  It gives a Science kind-do-feel to my corner, which is good because the science corner is located on the wall next to this spot! 

Here's my small group area.  I kind of have an ELA obsession, so I dedicated my board behind this table just for ELA material.  I love it!

Here is my intergalactic fueling station!  The top left board is for Math concepts, the bottom left is my classroom Behavior Station that I use hand-in-hand with Classroom Dojo.  If you haven't been on Classroom Dojo...GOOGLE IT after you're done reading this post!!  The top right is a simple reminder of things students should include in their writing, and the bottom right is for any important information that they receive from me on a weekly and monthly basis.

Here's where I store my Math centers for my kids.  I got these photo boxes from Michaels last year for $1 a piece!!!!  

This is nothing special, but I try to use as much of my space as an opportunity to learn as possible.  I teach fifth grade and punctuation is something that my students really struggle with.  My hopes are that if they look at one or two of these signs each time they walk out...maybe, just maybe they'll start adapting it to their writing!

Here's a look at my Interactive Language Arts center...I LOVE THIS!  This is my entire LA curriculum in one place.  By the end of the year...sometimes even halfway through the kids can match up the terms with the examples!  Love.

Here is my second Reading Nook.  This is my classroom library, and center storage area as well.  My kids love sitting back here. :)

I got these little tubs from Really Good Stuff.  This is the second year that I have used them in my student's pod baskets...and they are wonderful!  They are extremely sturdy and the colors make me smile. :)

Well, that's that, folks!  I truly have so much more that I need to blog about...I just need more time in the day!  I am going to be featuring some of my fellow coworker's classrooms this coming week, so be sure to check back for those.  THEY ARE ADORABLE!!  Another post that I want to have is about some really great resources that are available to teachers that you may not necessarily know about.  FOLLOW me, so that you get notified about those in the next couple of weeks.

I hope you all had a great start to your school year!!  I can't wait to show you what we have been up to in 309...just know that it may be a day or two after it actually happens! Ha!

Have a great weekend and Labor Day!

Giving Back With A Classroom FULL of Goodies!

...and get ready to smile and be INSPIRED!

A short time ago I was contacted by Office Depot to help them celebrate something kind of special.  They are taking the time, during this chaotic back to school season, to reach out to teachers just like us!  They are doing a WONDERFUL job of bringing awareness to just how much teachers give of themselves and decided that it was time we got something in return.  Are you smiling yet? :)  Yes, someone is ACTUALLY acknowledging our hard work!!!

The truth is that we ALL have stories that could inspire.  Why?  Because we are teachers.  This is what we do.  We entered the world of education by a small flame that was lit in our hearts somewhere along the way.  Perhaps it was the inspiration from a former teacher, or just an absolute urge to have a direct affect on our world's future.  Whatever the reason may be...we DO change lives every. single. day.  Yahh for us!!!

So, speaking of Office Depot giving back, they gave me a little something for spreading awareness about their little campaign!  I will have a link to get you to the awesome products that I'm going to be showing you at the bottom of this post, so be sure to check it out. Did I mention that there would be some SWEET deals for each of you, as well??!!

Take a peek into my bag!!

Just so you know, this makes me really happy.  When I was a little girl and someone would ask me what my favorite color was, my honest answer was..."I can't pick just one.  My favorite color is the RAINBOW!"  TRUE STORY, folks.  So, this little bag of goodies is candy for my eyes. :)

Nothing that I'm about to share with you is earth shockingly unique, but in teaching, sometimes simplicity is the key...and a little creativity and innovation can go a long way!  So let's check out how I use these adorable goodies in my classroom.

I have been filling in my Ultimate Teaching Binder with these fine tipped pens.  I am not going to lie, I'm a little picky about my pens, but friends...these really are wonderful!  So far, I have filled out a million binder pages (hyperbole), a couple of reward charts, and quite a few "to-do" lists for my classroom with these bad boys.  I actually prioritize my lists by using different colors.  If it's RED, that means that it needs to get done PRONTO!!  If it's BLUE, it needs to get done in within the next couple of days.  AND...if it is GREEN...well, let's just say that I have at least a week to finish it.  There is also a fourth and very important color in this pack, and that would be BLACK!  Love it!

Next up, I'll dig deeper into my love for all things colorful and talk about my new collection of fine point Sharpies!  I'll let the pictures do the talking. :)

These Sharpies worked SO WELL on my anchor charts!  It was so much fun choosing the colors that I was going to use.

Naturally...I am using MANY colors. :)  What else would I do??

Let's stay on the marker "train" for a second.  I DO love my Sharpies, but they are my white boards' enemy!! That's why I was so thankful that Office Depot sent me these COLORFUL dry erase markers to use with my kiddos!  Below, you can see how I have my kids use different colors to chunk their thought process during a lesson on the order of operations.  It really works beautifully and allows both the students and us, the teachers, to track their thought process while solving the problems.

Let's talk about simple entertainment while our students are learning.  Yes, entertainment and learning are DEFINITELY in the same sentence, especially with these ADORABLE interchangeable mechanical pencils!!  Let's face it, when we get the opportunity to make things all our own and to truly customize something for our own personal wants and needs...we DO it & we LOVE it!
This set of pencils comes with interchangeable caps and erasers, so that our students can have fun mixing, matching, and perhaps exchanging colors!  I have to admit, I had SO MUCH FUN making different color combinations myself!  Here's a couple of other pictures to show you just how much fun I had!

Here's what you get...

Here's what you can do!!

In all honesty, you could use these as a terrific reward for your kiddos.  I'm PROMISING you that they will flip over these pencils!!

My last, but certainly not the least, product that I'll show you are my highlighters!  I have been using highlighters for years, but I always get the clunky, circular, take up too much space, highlighters.  Check out these little slim jims!!  This may sound silly, but they just felt good when I held them in my hand.  They will certainly save me a little space in my desk!

There really are so many uses for highlighters, but I'll show you a couple of ways that I utilize them.  The first use is something that I'm going to be doing on Monday during my school's inservice days.  I LOVE me some data...and these highlighters came in super handy while picking a part last year's state exam scores.  I color-coated the assessment, so that I could make a quick documentation of each child's testing level.  

A great way to get your students to really look closely at the content of a question and the information in a passage is by having them highlight key words and/or phrases in both the questions and in the passages that they read.  I have gotten really great feedback from my students on this simple approach to read more closely...the's a good thing. :)

I don't have a picture, but since this pack comes in three colors, you could have students highlight various skills in different colors.  For example, you could use the green highlighter to have students find the words in a text that provide evidence of a certain point of view.  You could use the yellow highlighter to find three examples of figurative language, and pink to identify transition words throughout a text.  Easy peasy...and EFFECTIVE!

If you like the products from my post and want to check out some special discounts just for YOU, click HERE!!!

THANK YOU for stopping by my blog to watch, read, and learn about this wonderful effort to bring awareness to all that we do.  I stand and applaud each and EVERY one of you!!!  GREAT JOB, my fellow teaching comrades!!  GREAT BIG hugs of thanks and praise to you as we journey together back to school this year.  Remember to inspire in all that you do.  Be your your best, and try your best.  You are sculpting our future!!

Stay tuned...

A Closer Look and Back to School FREEBIE!!

It's that time of year that I can really take a minute and show you guys around my shop a bit.  I'm not going to take you through every product...just a show you why I'm so proud of them and why they would work for you in your classroom.

The first is my Interactive Writing Center.  
What does it do?  Well, it is a self-contained teaching resource that both teaches your students without your direct instruction and FREES up your time to work on small group and/or one-on-one with your students.  

Does it really work?  YES!!!  I did this last year with my students and it worked perfectly! You can set the pace for them and tell them to complete "X" amount of tasks each week.  They record their tasks on their recording sheet that is included, and at the end of the week you collect it and check it out!  You can choose to grade it, or simply leave them feedback on it.

How does it work? I start off the year by doing a couple of whole group tasks to show my students how the flow to and from the center needs to be.  I have so many black headers and sample cards that you can choose for your students to focus on and change them out every trimester or nine week period.  This wall will serve as a menu of sorts, allowing students to choose which task he or she wants to complete. 

The materials that they need to complete each task is located in labeled folders in a hanging file bin.  You can also put these in folders. Whatever works best for your space.

Can I use this if I don't have any bulletin board space?  YES!  Use a trifold board, put it in a binder, or put them on a ring.  Make it work for your space.  I'm simply showing you how I use it. 

The picture below is just a sample of one my tasks for my students, which is to create a classroom blog post.  You can see on this detailed explanation card that I have arrows and descriptions of how to complete each and every task.  I also have intermediate AND primary lined paper so that you can adapt these tasks to every level of learner.

My next product is my BEST SELLING Teaching Survival Binder.  
I have several themes and they address a HUGE variety of your organizational needs.  

Why should I buy yours over the other binders on TpT?  Well, that's really up to you and what you want in your binder.  There are great binders on TpT, but I'm really proud of mine and believe that what I'm offering you will surpass the other binders, even the expensive professional binders that you can purchase online or in a store! 

Why do you feel this way?  I'm offering 440+ pages of organization in a PDF file, an editable Power Point, as well as in user friendly excel files, which I have taken the liberty to provide step-by-step instructions on using here!  I am also providing a complete list of Grades K-5 (working on 6) for you!  You truly can customize this material whichever way works best for YOU and your classroom.  You are not shoved into an organization box.  Separate them, keep them in one place, combine topics, or do whatever you like with them!  

I have 8 different themes in all, but this is my most recent, which has been on the Top 50 TpT products list the entire summer.  I'm kinda proud of it!

CLICK HERE to see it in my TpT Store
CLICK HERE to see my Video Tutorials

Those are my top 2 favorite products, but I really do love so many more!  Here are just a couple that I think are worth looking at. :)  CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO SEE THEM IN MY SHOP! 





I would feel bad for my little Homeworkopoly board if I didn't show you a picture of the end result! ;)  It's really a great product and has helped my students complete their homework assignments on a regular basis.  Their accountability increased tremendously once I put this fun reward into place!

Well, that about raps it up for me today!  Thank you so much for stopping by today, but before you leave, I want to send you away with a FREEBIE!  
Click HERE or on the picture below to check it out!

Maybe I should mention that TpT is having their annual site wide back to school sale on the 4th and 5th of August!!! WOO HOO!!! You DON'T want to miss this one, friends!!  

Click on the adorable pictures below to meet my friends!  We are all offering 20% off of our entire stores and with the TpT promo code (BTS14), you get an additional 8% off!  Start adding items to your wish list today and save tomorrow!!

I wish each of you a wonderful school year, and please be sure to stop by to see me again really soon!