Monday, August 26, 2013

It's Back to School!

Many of you know that I am a teacher, if you didn' do now.  I have taught 2nd grade for 6 years at the same school and in fact, in the same classroom.  I absolutely love this age group.  They still need me, but they are independent as well.  I thought it would be a great idea to share with all of you how teachers prepare for the upcoming year.  
If any of you are teachers, you will know that overwhelming feeling you get when you walk into your classroom for the first time after summer break.  I was blessed by my wonderful husband because he helped me set up my classroom (which he has done for the past couple of years).  Not only did he help set up my room, he made an awesome 'daily schedule' sign, which I will be posting next week. 

Here is my classrooms transformation...
This is what I am talking about (above pictures)...mounds of books and desks piled to one side of the room or in the middle of the room.

This year I decided to change the border in my classroom (I had the other up for 3 years...can you say LAZY).  I found this Dr. Seuss border in the Really Good Stuff teacher catalog and I got my color inspiration from it.  I also painted and recovered my glider (see below picture) to make it cheery in the room. As a teacher, I not only want my kids to love school I want them to feel that they are at home.
The tissue paper was used for pom poms to hang above the groups of desks.  After the students are placed in reading groups they will get to name their groups and I will attach the name to the bottom of the pom pom.

As I was transforming my room into the new Dr. Seuss theme, I decided that my old calendar was going to have to be replaced.  I didn't care for the one that went with my theme, so I made up my own.  My old calendar was attached to a cork board.  All I did was hot glue burlap to the cork board, used the small chevron ribbon to cover the edges and the bigger chevron ribbon to use at the top so I could clip the days of the week on it.  I used my alphabet stamps to write the days of the week.  The squares to make the calendar grid are made from baker's twine. I found all of the supplies including, the round tags and the mini clothes pins at Hobby Lobby.  

Above is my rocking chair that I painted and recovered.  I couldn't find an original picture of the glider, but I am sure most of you know what they look like.  I did however remember to snap a photo of the original ugly fabric.  

Finished Product!
This is the transformation...I absolutely love my classroom and so do the kids!  The pictures are small, but I wanted to share so many and didn't want to bombard you with all of them.  
As you can see I hung the tissue pom poms above the desks.  
In the far right (bottom) picture, I used hooks to hang dry erase boards for my Common Core Targets (if you are a know what I mean).  I figured if I am required to post my Targets, I was going to do it in a creative way.
Every year, I read a book called Everybody Needs a Rock.  It basically gives rules on how to find a rock that is just right for you.  After I read it we talk about how we are all individuals and are unique in our own way.  Then, they have homework that find a rock that represents who they are.  The next day, they have to tell the class what makes them unique and then they drop the rock in the 'Community Rock Jar' (this is a great classroom community builder).  I put their names on their rock and the rocks stay there for the year and on the last day of school I give them back to them (or when they move).  If you are a teacher, you know what name sticks are, but for those of you who aren't...I put each student's name on a popsicle stick and when I want to call on kids I will draw a name.  I always tell the class that, 'everybody is a thinker'...that way the same kids aren't answering all of the questions.

 Every year the kids have to draw and watercolor a 'Self Portrait', so I frame them in a mat with their name and a cupcake (they decorate) with their date of birth on it.  I just couldn't resist sharing them with you...they always turn out adorable and add a lot of character to our classroom. 

'Our New Pack is something new I did this year.  My daughter (Madi) sent me a pin on Pinterest with this idea.  I ran with it and made it my own.  For the crayon box I used some tag board that I had and cut it to be a rectangle, then I covered it with a yellow piece of construction paper.  After that I cut the green strips (in different widths) for the corners of the 'crayon box'.  For the words 'Our New Pack' I just typed it in Microsoft Word and printed it.  I then attached a picture that we took on the first day of school.  Each student colored a crayon (in their favorite color) and I taped them to the window to make it look like they fell out of the box.  I plan to do this every year from now really helps build a community and lets everybody know that we are all in this together.
Ok...I have to say that the 'daily schedule' is my FAVORITE.  My husband made it!  I originally saw a paper version of it, but wanted to make a statement with my 'daily schedule'.  We have tons of scrap wood in our garage and I knew Craig (my husband) could make it happen.  I showed him the picture of what I wanted and he went to town.  I will share the tutorial of this sign next week.  I think it would be cute in a child's room with different places they want to go or have been.  
As for the 'Magic Ink Fun Center', it was a freebie from my friend.  She no longer wanted it in her room, so I took it.  Nothing like FREE stuff (especially when you are a teacher).  I plan on transforming this, but haven't had time.  The idea I have for this, is to spray paint it with chalk paint and write things on it.  When this is transformed I will share it with you. 

I made this poster (FREE) for all of my teammates and some of my other teacher friends!  I truly think that teachers have some type of 'superpower' because of everything we are required to teach and deal with on a daily basis.  But when you see the transformation at the end of the year it is well worth it.
Thanks for letting me share my home away from home with you!


  1. You are so creative! Love what you have done with your room! Tell us your secret...where do you get all of your energy and creativity??? You really do have super powers!

    1. Thank you so much! I love to decorate & create, so I think that must be where I get my energy from! Plus...I get a lot of help from my husband! He helped with the heavy lifting, so that leaves me with more energy! You are too kind!


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