Friday, June 14, 2013

A work in progress and my first linky party!

I'm very excited to be participating in the linky party over at The Applicious Teacher! There is a new topic each week throughout the summer and I can't wait to share what I've been working on during my break. Be sure to check out this week's topic by clicking the "Apple a Day" picture below:

I am also linking up with Kinder Alphabet for their Classroom Decor linky party. Make sure to check out lots of other wonderful ideas by cliking on their link:

So this sad, boring picture was my circle time area on the last day of school. I promise it wasn't this bad throughout the year but we did take down a LOT of the decorations during the last day and half so I could get a bit of a head start on my summer. Actually, I had a massive tree covering my wall but replaced it with the rainbow to start up my rainbow theme for this upcoming year.

First of all, I had to take a step back and figure out what my biggest problem(s) were with the way I had my wall set up. Not only was I missing a display for my "Months of the Year" but I also didn't have a very clear way of showing "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow" with my days of the week. These were only a few of my problems!

After a (relatively) cheap trip to Walmart and a little laminating (ok, a whole lot of laminating), I was ready to get started! And yes, that is a curtain rod in the picture (we'll get to that :) ). 

Finally, after a grueling 6 hours at work this afternoon, here's my new calendar area! I am absolutely in LOVE with my days, months, and calendar numbers. They came from a rainbow themed classroom set over at The Hands On Teacher In First. Her set also includes some great storage bin labels, reading center labels, birthday cards, bookmarks, and pretty much anything else you can think of that your classroom might need! Plus I love how my number line turned out! There's a page for each number (0-30) and each little poster has the numeral, number word, ten frames, base ten blocks, and tally marks to represent each number. You can find this great set in my store (shameless promoting :) ).

I love how the "days", "months", and "today's date" turned out. All it took was a little construction paper, some letters cut out on my Cricut, a WHOLE LOT of laminating, and some Velcro. Now I have all my months and days displayed. All I have to do is change the little yesterday, today, tomorrow circles each day and take the new month off to switch with the old at the beginning of the month. Nice and low maintenance! My favorite part is the sentence strip on the "today's date". As you can see in the picture above, I invested in some new wet-erase markers. I can have my kiddos help me write the date each day and erase it with a baby wipe at the end of the day! Yay for reusing!!

 Now, I know it's a tiny picture above but there's a tiny little blue pocket chart (I promise, it's in there) that I was using for our behavior management system last year. We did the popular color system where each kiddo started on blue each day. If they made a bad choice, they went to yellow, then orange, and finally red where we had to contact a parent. If they made great choices like helping without being asked (and yes, I've had some that helped and then asked to go to green where they were quickly reminded that only behavior that was done without the expectation of a reward would earn a green day), they moved to green. It worked wonderfully but it seemed like, once the kiddos made it up to green, they stopped trying to help out because that was all the farther they could go. Insert clip chart below. I found this beyond wonderful chart at A Cupcake for the Teacher. It comes with the chart (of course), the hall of fame poster (when one of the kiddos makes it to super student, they get a little jewel on their clothespin and, when they've earned 3 jewels, their clip goes to the hall of fame and they get a new one!), and bookmark-sized reproductions of the chart to send home with parents as a reminder of the order in the chart. I send home a daily communication paper for each of my kiddos so the parents know their color of the day plus I made certificates to go with the chart so, whenever someone gets to the top, they get a certificate sent home! Lots and LOTS of positive reinforcement! (I'll talk lots more about the communication paper and certificate in next week's linky party post :) ).

Also, although they're small, you'll notice some rainbow colored "blobs" that say things like ice cream party and pajama day in a Scrabble font. This is our large group reward system for next year. I got the idea from An Educator's Life. When they class as a whole does something to earn a reward, the star student of the week chooses a letter from the letter bag (without peeking of course!) and chooses one of the spaces to put it on. So, if they were to pull the letter A from the bag, they could choose to put it on one of the As in Pajama, or in Ice Cream Party or anywhere else there's an open A. This way they get to choose which reward they want to work towards. Once all the letters for one of the rewards have been collected, they get that reward. Easy peasy!

This last part is the part that I'm most proud of. It's also where the curtain rod comes in. One be dilemma I faced was how to cut down on the amount of easel paper I was going through while still keeping the amount of large items I had in my room to a minimum. My solution? I made blank anchor charts, laminated them, and punched holes in the top to display. I found a great (and cheap!) curtain rod and nice, huge rings (shower curtain department) at Walmart. The best part is that it's mounted to the wall so I don't have to worry about it taking up corner space or having little ones tipping/pushing it over, it's super easy to flip the charts to the one I want to use, and I have a hard surface to write on (the wall)! Plus, I thought of it all on my own... no Pinterest help (although I'm sure it probably is on Pinterest somewhere). Also, since they're laminated, I can use the same markers I use for my "Today's Date" to write on the posters and I'm still able to erase and reuse them!

Even though I went in to work for the better part of the day and feel like I got so much done, I still have not made a dent in everything I need to do. I got these adorable stools from Ikea for our rainbow table area and I need to make cushions for each one (one done, 7 to go!). 

Plus I have this 6 foot long... thing... to finish and hang in my wall that I intend to use to display all my classroom info like my schedule, newsletter, daily lesson plans, and all those other wonderful things required by state licensing. 

Thank goodness I still have a few weeks left of summer! Hope you're enjoying yours and be sure to check out the rest of the classroom decor ideas over at The Applicious Teacher!

Katie Poyzer

1 comment:

  1. Love your awesome curtain rod flip chart idea! Thanks for the inspiration and sharing!