Going Home Tags For Backpack Strap!

Just wanted to share this little tip and freebie that I use at the beginning of the year for dismissal.  At meet the teacher, have these out so the parents can fill them out theirselves. This is nice for two reasons: #1 you don't have to do it. #2 if they mess up it's not your fault. They can be fastened to the backpack strap with tape or a name tag insert with a safety pin on the back. Click on this picture or the link to my store to download! 

Classroom Reveal: Black and White with Pops of Color!

I am finally done with my room! You know the feeling...where you can finally sleep at night!?!?  And I did it all on a budget!  

Disclaimer:  I do everything on a strict budget, so if you like to spend lots of money on your room, stop reading now! I like things to look nice, especially if it is a place where I am spending most of my time.  There were a few issues with my room looking it's best, but I was able to work with what I have.  I did have a couple issues. One of those issues is that my classroom is in a fairly older building, so the spaces, walls, and cupboards are not used in an efficient way.  Another issue is our fire codes.  Need I say more? 

Besides all those hinderances, I am very happy with how my classroom turned out, and I am so excited to share a small part of my world with you.

These pictures are the view when you walk through the door.  I made sure to incorporate bright colors to accompany the black and white theme.  The desks are old and dark brown, and the walls are tan/brown, so the black and white colors did wonders to that dull look that naturally happens in older buildings.  

Since we can not hang anything from the ceilings, there is no decor.  In a perfect world, I would have totally decorated my ceiling, but I am a rule follower:/  Plus, it saved me about $40+, which was fine by me!

These first two classroom pictures are not the greatest, as I had to take them with a huge bug flickering around the room.  I finished with all the pictures I needed, and I was taking my final pictures.  Then this big moth the size of a hummingbird came in and was going crazy so I had to take pictures really fast! It was such a bummer though! Oh well...that's life!  

You will notice that my boards are bare.  I leave them like that intentionally for the first day because I believe the boards are not mine to fill.  I love putting vocabulary words up as we learn them, and I am a huge fan of putting student work on the boards in my room.  So stay tuned, and you can see what I do with them as the year goes on.  

I used my Pops of Color Bulletin Board Titles this year.  I made them specifically for my room, so if you would like to use them in your room also click the picture below or click here.  

For my math board, I also used my Free Standards for Mathematical Practice and "I Can" Statements.   Click here for this free download.

I have always thought that the pennant banners look really nice! This is a bulletin board where I want to showcase artwork that we do during our Art Masterpiece time.  

I just had to have these Domino Number Cards from Maria over at Kinder Craze.  The black series complimented the colors I was already using so nicely, and they fit right at the top of my bulletin boards. (And yes, I measured;)  I have had so many compliments on these! Click here to see how she uses these cards in her classroom!

I used the white borders on the black, and the black borders on the white paper, and they turned out so well! I think these numbers fit right in! And they hid that brownish tan bulletin board really nicely:)

I tried to get a good shot of the numbers with the bulletin board under, but this is the best one I've got.  You have to use a tape measure and a level if you want this to work.  Don't try it without these two things!  If you have a hard time with getting your bulletin boards right, be sure to visit my Bright Ideas Post on Getting Perfect Bulletin Boards Without Wasting Any Time!

This title was inspired by the Taylor Mali comedy video where he talks about what teachers make.  During his stand up, he states "How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best."  That statement was so powerful and it really moved me.  It is the very truth!  I also tell myself everyday that the kids deserve the expectation for their very best in anything they do.  That is the meaning behind this bulletin board, and it is a very visible reminder of why I teach.  

Here it a little farther away.  Since we start school in July where I teach, the humidity kind of gets to the paper on the bulletin boards and it puckers out.  After it cools down around October, they get straight and perfect again.  It's so crazy! 

I will soon have the Free Writing Process Posters on this board to help my kiddos with their weekly writing assignments.  On this wall, I have lined the top with the leis you can buy at the dollar store.  I just cut them and hung them up by stapling them right on the straw.

To get my FREE Writing Process Posters, click on the picture below or the link to my store! 

I also have a reading wall where I can put up anchor charts of the skills we are learning.  I will also be posting strategies on this bulletin board as we learn throughout the year. 

Time for my favorite wall! I like to call this my teaching wall! This wall actually taught me something! Please tell me I am not the only one that did not know tape did not stick to chalkboard surface.  I have yet to find out how to cover this BROWN chalkboard, but please excuse the makeshift cover up.  Read on to find out what I used and how I brought this wall to life! 

I saw this Alphabet Set from Kristen over at Ladybug's Teacher Files, and I just had to have it.  I envisioned them being strung up with a ribbon and hanging from my wall, and that is exactly what I did.  It turned out better than I had envisioned.  My favorite part was the different string colors tied together.

 I definitely had to use a fair share of push pins to get the desired effect.

When I figure out how to do a panorama of an Alphabet Wall, I will let you know.  But for now, here are most of the letters and their pictures.  

So after buying the Alphabet Set from Ladybug's Teacher Files, I just had to get her Academic Morphology Parts of Speech Set.  You will see the very colorful set in the pictures below.  These went great right under my projector/white board.  Since we practice grammar on the carpet after our morning work time, this was the perfect place for these! 


Another great part of this wall included my FREE Behavior Chart.  I am really big on positive reinforcement, but I also hold the belief that children need negative consequences.  This behavior chart has been my trusted friend for four years now.  I love it because it is cheap, easy, and effective.  I just printed the pages off, laminated them, and glued them to fitted cardboard.  I did have to cut the cardboard and use a glue gun.  I secured them together using colored ribbon on the back.  Be sure to click the link or the pictures below to download!

It hangs so nicely with the ribbon! I just love that it is also very durable with the cardboard behind the signs.  If you are looking to refine your behavior policy and procedures this year, be sure to read my post about 5 Different Ways to Strengthen Your Classroom Discipline.  

To the right of my chalkboard, I hang Accountable Talk Statement Posters.  These help my students (and me lol) through our Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards.  

If you are interested in this set of posters, just click on any of the pictures or the link to find out more! 

I have decided to try the Whole Brain Teaching method for classroom management this year, and it has been wonderful so far.  I have downloaded Whole Brain Teaching Rules Posters from RaraDT on TeachersPayTeachers.  The poster set fit perfectly on my cupboards.

On the other cupboard, I have my Free Scales for Learning Posters.  Be sure to click on the picture or the link to learn how I use them in my classroom.

Since I like to focus on the reflection piece of a lesson, I created this cute little poster for kids to write  on a sticky and then put it on their name.  If you would like this Freebie, or to learn more about how I use this in my classroom, be sure to check out my post on Quick Surveys and Reflections.  

I made these Black and White Desk Plates on a whim, so I decided to upload them and make them Free in my store.  If you would like to download them, just click on the picture or the link to my store.  I am sorry for the poor picture quality, but I never leave names on any of my pictures.  They do look fantastic on the desks.

On the counter, I have placed multi-colored baskets for the lost and found.  I used to have one big basket, but I would always find random stuff in there.  I am finding these to be a lot easier, and it also teaches the kids organization skills.

Near my horseshoe table, I have all my reading group data folders organized by color.  Notice all the brown! I am taking any suggestions or ideas on how to cover this up.  Be sure to follow the link or click on the picture to my Bright Ideas Post on how I organize and track my reading group data with these folders.

Have you ever seen these Glue Sponges?  Don't get me wrong, at first I thought it would be so much work and I literally said, "I will never ever do that!"  But I put my trust in my brilliant friend Greg over at Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten.  Let me tell you they are the most efficient and least messy way to use glue.  EVER!  Greg has gone into detail on how to make these sponges in his post, so be sure to click the link or the picture below to find out how he did it! 

I wanted to give my kids a gift for the first day of school, but I wanted it to be something they kept in the classroom.  So, I went to Walmart and while I was in there, I bought some random stuff (because I am like that) and brought it all home. I was in glue gun heaven for a good two hours.  Despite the time it took to make these, it didn't burn my wallet, and the kids love being able to keep them on their desks.  I did have to order the tags on Amazon, but they arrived in two days.

I hope you enjoyed reading my first ever classroom reveal post as much as I enjoyed writing it.  If you have any suggestions or comments, please leave one as I would love to hear from you!  Thank you for reading and I hope you all have a great year!

If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to stay posted with fabulous freebies and ideas!

Bright Ideas: Get Perfect Bulletin Boards Without Wasting Any Time

Hello and welcome to the July Bright Ideas Link-Up.  This month, I have decided to do a simple post on something that I end up wasting time on every year...bulletin boards!  For me, they are the greatest thing to see and the absolute most annoying task in a classroom.  So, I would like to introduce you to a simple strategy that will save you a ton of time.  

The first thing I do is lay the set out on the floor.  I lay it exactly how I would want it posted on the wall, and I measure it just to make sure the dimensions I used on the floor will work in the bulletin board space I have.  

When I put the parts of the set on the bulletin board, I only put one staple in the top of each piece.  If I mess up, I do not have a ton of holes in the pieces.  Needless to say, I did not mess up.  Laying the pieces on the floor helps tremendously.  

And there you go! Flawless bulletin boards on the first try! 

I hope you enjoyed this month's Bright Ideas blog post! If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to stay posted with fabulous freebies and ideas!

Be sure to visit the Bright Ideas Link-Up below to see more posts from over 80 fantastic bloggers.  Thanks for visiting!

Morning Work Bundle for First Grade

Here it is! Morning Work for the whole year! My little summer project is finally finished.  I will have to admit, it is bitter sweet!

180 days of Morning Work Bundled into one discounted product!  Supplement your teaching with a daily Math and ELA skill review.  This is something that works for my kids, so click on the link to see if it would also work in your classroom!

Here are some sneak peeks.  Be sure to click on any of the pictures to find out more or click the link to my store.


If you would like to try out a two week preview of my bundle, you can get it FREE in my store! Be sure to follow me for 50% off products for the first 48 hours! 

Bright Ideas: Use Color Tiles Efficiently With Masking Tape

I hope you are all enjoying your summer break! I sure am.  We just got back from Costa Rica, so I am definitely out of teacher mode.  But I am going to attempt to get back into it for a moment, and hopefully you can too! I am so glad to be a part of the Bright Ideas Blog Linky again, and I hope you are having a great time reading through all the posts.

I love how color tiles can be used for so many activities.  The kids also love using them as math tools.  I have used these tiles for counting efficiently, subitizing, measuring, and so much more! There are endless possibilities when working with color tiles.  

One way to use these tiles is to have them pre-linked with masking tape.  If you have various sets ready to go, the kids will eventually learn to use them appropriately.  The tape sticks really well, and kids are able to count and measure much more easily than having to count them out all the time.  As you can see, the tape is on one side, and you just have to make sure the kids do not bend so the tape snaps.

Some of the examples below illustrate how I use these in my classroom.    The first picture is how the color tiles would help a child understand the in's and out's of 10.  The second example is what a student might use to measure with non-standard units.  The third example is a strategy for understanding groups of five and how they can help you count efficiently.  

Super durable, and efficient! I love using these in my classroom, and so do my kids!

I hope you enjoyed this month's Bright Ideas blog post! If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to stay posted with fabulous freebies and ideas!

Be sure to take a look at the other Bright Ideas from over 100 amazing bloggers in the directory below!

An InLinkz Link-up

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