Saturday, August 17, 2013

First Week, Classroom Reveal, and a SALE!

Okay, first and foremost -
I don't know how I almost missed the boat on this!  Oh yes, I know how - even though we had a short week with a Wednesday start, it was BACK TO SCHOOL with KIDS!

From Open House on Monday to Friday, I swear I did nothing but prepare!!!  Why is there NEVER enough time???  

The first week went well.  This year, I am completely sold on Whole Brain Teaching!  I have several "doozies" in my classroom (you know, the ones that the year before teachers see you, wince, and mouth "sorry" as your class walks down the hallway).  Well, from Day 1 we have practiced the rules, they LOVE the "class/yes" response, and they are AWESOME at "hands and eyes."  A few other things we need to practice/improve upon, but I am soooo excited!  The Scoreboard Game is a HIT!  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, make sure to check out and get the book from Amazon. (I thought it was very silly in the book when they said you would "weep tears of joy" on certain sections, but I can certainly see it now!).

My only problem with it - I am a long winded talker.  I'm having trouble with the "teach okay" bit - you teach in small chunks and they teach a buddy.  I keep forgetting to do it, and go back to my old way of repeating the directions, having a student clarify and going from there.  I have GOT to get better about that.  Of course, we haven't done anything other than "back to school" activities, so it hasn't been too bad (yet).  

Sooo...on to my "classroom reveal."  I am SO excited about my classroom this year.  It is definitely one of my favorites and looks great, if I do say so myself!  I did get a little insulted when a fellow teacher stuck her head in my room and said, "Someone's been on Pinterest!"

Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE Pinterest.  It's an addiction.  Really.  But, I came up with the idea to do a "safari" room because I wanted to do a meerkat job chart (seriously - came up with that at the end of last year!).  Other than the Whole Brain Teaching posters, the black paper above the board, and the dry erase circles, everything else was "original."  It's okay, though, and I guess I should take it as a compliment! :)

 My Whole Brain Teaching Rules, noise level, and "reminder" poster of WBT's strategies (class/yes, teach/okay, mirror, etc).  I used that to introduce it to my students the first day and it stays up there as a reminder.
 Daily Schedule, Scoreboard (when they won their first "prize"!  It took us 3 days, but we did it!), and clip chart.  We were told last minute that we were doing clip charts, so they laminated construction paper for us.  I decided to one up it a bit and had it match my theme! :)

 I used these cute pawprints to have students and parents follow to each of the different "stations" for Open House.  The students got a BIG kick out of it (even students who weren't mine!), so I decided to use it for lining up.  With the boy-heavy class I have this year, it was worked GREAT!  They know exactly where to stand and save the first two paws for the line leader and door holder.  It was one of those "duh" moments as in, "Why have I never done this before???"

My meerkat job board (that started it all)
My "Genius Ladder" from Whole Brain Teaching (so excited to use this!)

Like my view of the playground?  Yeah, sometimes it causes problems but I tell the kids if we look out there instead of paying attention, our blinds go down.  Let me tell you, it's gloomy with no sunlight, so it only happens once or twice before they learn!  My palm tree I'm using to count "100 days" with ten frames that fit on each "rung" of the tree.
Open House Pictures  
 I was really excited to use the idea of the signs/stops this year!  However, most of my parents didn't make it past stop #2 with the supplies (which I just realized I didn't take a picture of.  Whoops!).  The kids enjoyed following the pawprints, though!).  I found the palm trees at Goodwill (lucky find!).  I'm pretty sure you can find them at party stores.

 "Station 2" in the distance....I labelled baskets/bins for supplies I collect and added a note that everything else went into the student desks.  It saved me a LOT of time from sorting/putting things away.  Most of our parents bring supplies to Open House.
Wish List - thought it would turn out better....too many monkeys (they were too large, I think) that covered up the vines.  I asked for cardstock (any color), playing cards (could be used), band-aids, stamps (for pen pals), envelopes, and spiral notebooks (our supply lists designate composition, but I like using spiral for our interactive social studies/science notebooks).

 Another view of stop #3 with part of my reading center in there.  I was so proud of how it turned out, I kept this photo in here...hee hee (you can see an earlier post about it with my classroom "peeks").

 Most of the items in the gift bag were from Oriental Trading (including the bags).  I made the signs.  The other side said "Come Join Our Learning Safari!"
 My "revamped" magnets I give out every year.  This time, I added cute graphics from Melonheadz to go with my theme.  I include my email, school number with my extension, our class blog, wiki pages, website, and Donors Choose page.
 Not sure if I've ever shared this last pic (maybe for a "Monday Made It" on Instagram).  The treasure chest was a clearance item  at Walmart ($4!) that was red.  The chair was a Goodwill find that I painted (the wheels were broken, so I took them off and added the tennis balls since I could see kids dragging it around and scratching up the floor).  I use it for my "read aloud" chair and for kids to "read aloud."  

So, that's my classroom/Open House for the year.  You can check out more on my Instagram account - I have a tendency to post on there more than any other place since I can snap pics with my phone, upload and boom!  It's there.  You can click on the button above to see my profile/pics, or just look me up at "adventuresinsecondgrade."

Whew!  Now to catch up on the laundry! :)



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