Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sorry that it has been a few days since my last post.  Pre-planning got the best of me!  However, my classroom is starting to come together, so I thought I would share a few pics. 

Here is a look at my new "beach" themed classroom.

This is a picture of my home living area.  I painted the play house and added a bamboo roof to make it look more like a beach house.  I added a "Surf's Up" sign to the front that I found at the Dollar Tree.  It is hard to tell from this pic, but the house is a light blue and the accents are all hot pink.

Next, is my toy bins.  After my children outgrew all their Fisher Price Little People, I just couldn't bear to give them up.  We had just about every set with all the accessories still.  So, I brought them to my classroom.  My students absolutely love exploring and playing with these!  Everyday we have a new Little People Village set up around this rug with great story telling taking place.  And the best part is I get to see my own children's toys being put to good use.

I consider myself one of those lucky teachers who have a husband who can build just about anything.  I just love this shelf that my husband built to house my math manipulatives.  Yes, those are plastic $1 shoe boxes on a very basic wooden shelf.  Easy to build and cheap!  I like that!

This is my writing area.  I just adore my blue and pink small beach buckets that I got for $1.00 at Michaels.  They are perfect for housing all of our writing materials.  The ABC posterboard above the writing area is my focus word wall.

This picture shows my Leveled Readers and Buddy Reading Books.  My Leveled Readers are organized by DRA levels.  Since I taught both Kindergarten and First Grade last year, I needed books from level 1 to level 28.  That is why there are so many baskets.  My buddy reading books are on the top of the shelf.  I like to display the book with the stuffed animal.  I noticed that many libraries in our area would do this type of displaying of books to entice children to read, so I thought I would try it in my classroom.  I love to see my students snuggling the stuffed animal as they read the book. 

Okay, it's getting late and I'm getting tired, so I will share one more pic for this post.

Here is my calendar wall.  I love all the math concepts that I can teach during calendar time.  It is hard to see from the picture, but I include place value, number sense, time, and money during this time of day. 

Thanks for looking at pictures of my classroom.  I hope I was able to share something new that you might use in your classroom this year.  Sweet dreams!

Respectfully, Ann

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I am so excited!  I finally have a follower!  Thank you to Marlana @ Lil' Country Kindergarten for being my first follower.  I tried to explain my excitement to my husband, who is a non-blogger, and he just looked at me like I was crazy.  Oh well!

Since I have a follower, I decided it was time to post a few pics of some finished retelling cookie sheets that I have created over the past few days.  I mentioned my Chicka Chicka Boom Boom one in a previous post.  Here is a pic of how it turned out.

I also mentioned that you could use alphabet magnets to retell the story on the cookie sheet; however, I found the cutest Chicka Chicka Boom Boom free printable at Kindergarten Hoppenings.  I have printed out the letters only and I am going to laminate them and apply a magnet to the back for retellings.  I thought they were just adorable!

I also made another retelling cookie sheet.  This one is used with the book Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley.

To make this one, I first painted the green circle on the cookie sheet.  The rest of the pieces are laminated with magnets on the back.  You can find these storytelling printables and more at  They are all free to print and you can even print them in black and white.  I have used many of these to create my retelling cookie sheets.

I hope you find these ideas useful for your classroom and I look forward to posting some pictures of my classroom in the near future.

Respectfully, Ann

Saturday, August 13, 2011

     Happy Saturday to everyone!  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed since I haven't been in my classroom as much as I wanted to be by now.  Teacher plannning begins on Tuesday, but I will be in my classroom first thing Monday morning.  My goal is to get as much done as possible before the "real" planning begins on Tuesday.  I am hoping to post some pictures of my new "beach" themed classroom.  I got such wonderful ideas from so many bloggers and I want to say "thank you" by posting the ideas you have shared with me.  Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Relax while you can.

Respectfully, Ann


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Painting Cookie Sheets

Since we have company in town, I really don't have time to work in my classroom (which is very difficult for me).  Therefore, I am spending any extra time that I find working on various projects for my classroom and painting cookie sheets seems to be the easiest.  I have painted various cookie sheets to go along with stories that I read often in the classroom, my favorite being Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  It is an easy project to do.  Here are some that I found on different websites that you may be interested in adapting for your classroom.

This one can be found at Kim Adsit's website.

This one can be found at Kimberly Jordano's website.

  My Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Retelling Cookie Sheet has a palm tree painted on it.  After it is dry, you can use a set of magnetic letters to model retelling the story with the children.  After modeling it a few times, it can be placed at a retelling center with a copy of the book for your students to practice their retelling skills.
     If you are interested in more stories that can be painted onto cookie sheets, please contact me and I can share some other ideas.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Keys to the classroom

     I went to my classroom today.  I can't wait for the painters to finish my "beach" wall.  Once it is done, I am going to create a 3-D palm tree (I altered the version I found on Deanna Jump's blog).  If you want to see her creation click here.  Also, I am so excited about finishing my surf shack as well.  It is looking so cute, I just know that my students will love role playing in there. 
    While  I was there, we got to check out our keys for the new school year.  That is dangerous for me!  Now I know I will want to be there as much as I can since I only live 5 minutes away.  I can't wait to get back into the classroom.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My First Post

After following so many wonderful blogs this summer, I have been inspired to enter the world of blogging myself.  I can't wait to share my ideas and thoughts with you.  See ya soon!