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Five for Friday- August 20

Five for Friday Linky with Doodle Bugs Teaching

Hello everyone!  Thank goodness it is finally Friday  Saturday.  This week was a long one!  As you’ve probably heard me say before, my school has the unique opportunity to try some new initiatives (does anyone else feel like that is a four letter word? lol) this year.  Basically, without going into the nitty gritty details using lots of big words and acronyms, our school has a lot of needs and is not performing as well as we would like therefore the state is encouraging us to change it up a bit.  I use the word encourage purposefully here… it is quite the different vibe from when (in another building, same district) we were not making AYP under No Child Left Behind.  Long story short, there are a number of things we are trying this year and you will probably hear more about them later- in regards to this week though it meant coming back for 4 full days of professional development before the rest of the district officially comes back next week.

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So this was my view all week long…. enough said.

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     And when I wasn’t professionally developing I was attempting to battle this disaster.  Every spare minute that I could squeeze out of my day was spent in here.  We have open house on Tuesday night… I might be ready.  While I have a lot of great storage in my room (as you saw if you watched any of my room periscopes), I’m missing a giant walk in closet that I had in my old room.  There is a lot of stuff that I don’t need this year (former grade levels etc.) but I don’t want to bring it home since we’re going to be moving in a few weeks, and I just don’t have the time to sort through it all right now.





So this is my solution for now!  I have this large double sided bookshelf in my room… and my boxes of randomness fit/ hide perfectly on the back side!  Score!!









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I had a dear colleague text me Thursday evening to see how the week was going… I sent her this pic.  It was 6:45 and I was still at school (had been there since 7am).  This year we are having family meetings/ goal setting before school starts and we were required to call each family to set up an appointment.  I do not like talking on the phone :-/  Bad, I know, but I did it!  I only got through to a few families, but it was very cool to make the connection this early in the year 🙂  Even though it was out of my comfort zone I will definitely do it again next year.
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On Friday my team got together for a grade level meeting (because we just didn’t have enough meetings this week!) and this was the highlight of my week- Look at all that color coded planning amazingness! 🙂  We took a look at our year long plan which was created by Traci Clausen over at Dragonflies in First.  You can get it on her tpt shop here.  We had our math and language arts already on the map and had to decide how/ when we were going to do science and social.  Now we just need to go back in and put the different standards that we will be covering each week.  I seriously LOVE this year long planner, and like I said in an earlier scope you should definitely check it out!!
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I wanted to wrap it up by showing you this must have app that I discovered yesterday afternoon.  I think we can all agree that leveling our classroom library is a bit of a chore.  Last year I used Scholastics app (and in previous years I’ve sat on the Scholastic website and typed the titles in one by one), but a very large portion of my books weren’t in their database.  I searched for a new one yesterday and came across this- Literacy Leveler.  This is a paid app- $3.99, but it was well worth it!  It simply scans the ISBN barcode and tells you the Lexile, DRA, and Guided Reading levels!  It was SO fast you guys!  There were still a handful of books that were not in the database, but it was significantly fewer than what I’ve encountered in previous years.  If you have a lot of leveling to do you NEED this app!

Well, that’s about it for this week!  I am going to take the weekend and try not to think about school stuff- before I know it Monday will be here and I will be in for another long week!  I hope that you all enjoy your weekend as well!!
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Five for Friday

Linky Party over at Doodle Bugs Teaching
Well, I started this post a few hours ago… and then Blab.im happened. So here I am, late Friday night trying to finish it up!  This one will probably be short, sweet and to the point!
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On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending a MOPS retreat to plan this coming year.  It is always nice to get a day away from the stresses of motherhood and spend some quality time with other awesome moms, especially as we come up for new ideas for our MOPS group.  Would you look at this adorable table scape that was created for our luncheon?  The best part was that it overlooked a beautiful scenic MN lake.
No detail was left out!  I loved our rustic mason jar glasses and drink charms!
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I snagged these babies this week… and immediately made several new teachers smell the stinky cheese marker 😉  I’m kinda obsessed with all of them… especially the nacho cheese one lol.
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Being a teachers kid means helping in the classroom over the summer.  I thought we would make it some special “back to school” time and treated us to breakfast! She was pretty excited about it!

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Of course there was also social media!  It was hard to start making the adjustment towards “school life” and not focus so much on my social media life.  I did get some Periscope and Blab time in though, don’t worry- Here is a screen shot of the PeriscOprah Sheila Jane… notice Angie Olson and I geeking out a little bit over teachers in MN 🙂 
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And last but not least… I’ve finally made some progress on my classroom this week!
Dusted off the old laminating machine and started getting my seafoam green decor ready!
Got my word wall up- loving how it looks in person!

The best moment was realizing that I had a whole bunch of washi taped decor that matched my theme  for this year!  Here is my display for student work!

I’m LOVING how my sink area looks!

This week will be full of a lot of PD and trying to get my room in order- I’m sure I’ll be stressed to the max!  We have 2 more weeks until school starts and there is a lot to be done.  I hope that all your back to school festivities are going well!

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#TptChat Classroom Decor


Every Sunday I participate in the Twitter chat #tptchat.  I discovered it about a month ago and haven’t looked back!  If you have yet to try it, I highly recommend stopping by to see all the action 🙂

This Sunday’s topic is classroom decor, a topic that has pretty much consumed my summer and of course I have plans this evening 🙁 So since I’m not sure how much I will be able to participate live in the chat, I thought I would also do a blog post about it!  
As you may or may not know I am moving into a new classroom this year (only the 5th year in a row, no biggie) which is all good except for one major thing… the color of my room.  Not joking, it is the color of the bird in the graphic above on all 4 walls and just as bright- you can see before photos here. It doesn’t look SO terrible in pics… but in real life it is a different story.  Now let me just say, I am all for bright colors in the elementary classroom as long as its done right.  I prefer bright pops of color or accents and more subtle walls.  I desperately wanted to repaint the walls this year, but summer school was held in my wing, so that wasn’t going to happen.  So I’ve spent the summer stressing about how to make this the ideal environment for both me and my learners.
My ideal learning space is one that students feel comfortable in.  I like to try and make it more “homey” than institutional.  While I have a highly structured environment, I strive to create a space where the students can move around, access materials easily, collaborate and have fun.  As we all know, this is much easier said than done and I am nowhere near perfect 🙂 
So here is my room last Thursday, just minutes after summer school ended (I was very eager to get in there and get to work!)

 Here is a peek into “the tub” that is currently residing in my dining room…  I think you can get a feel for what I’m going for this year!
These prints were given to me as a gift after my daughter was born.  They were in her nursery 🙂  They will look perfect in my classroom- and I will love looking at them again!
This was also her lamp… I’m going to see if it works and fits in with my color scheme!

One major problem right now is that the other teacher’s belongings are still in here… so I can’t get much done until they relocate to a new home 🙁 🙁 all 42 boxes of it.
So this is what I’ve been able to do so far (warning, its not much!)  
I put up two bulletin boards… although I’m still not sure what I’ll be using them for, and got my classroom library spot picked out.  Now I just need more shelving :-/  (my room last year had built in bookshelves)
Moved my desk… last year I chose not to have a desk, and set my computer on a table instead.  That table did not make it to my new room so I’m just going to deal with it this year (I’m already making a big enough stink about the boxes).  I’m wondering why I seem to have a plethora of grown up chairs…

This is my tentative small group area… not sure though.  It was going to be the classroom library… but from past experiences I’d rather have me closer to the door and the library further away (I’ve had a runner or two in my day)

I have spent the majority of the summer creating classroom decor that I may want to use in my room. After many hours of creation I decided on this set:
 I love the patterns of chevron, polka dots, quatrefoil etc. and all the colors.  I think they will help create a more soothing effect while still incorporate the wall color in the room.

Another set that I created (and I LOVE) has been widely popular on my TPT is my “Into the Woods” collection:

Over the years I have purchased a few classroom decor items, mainly word wall or classroom labels.  This year I thought I’d try my hand at creating my own visions and I have to say it was a little addicting!  There are so many wonderful options for papers/ clip art out there that the possibilities are endless!  I just can’t wait to get in my room and get it all put together.
Make sure you tune into #tptchat tonight on Twitter for more details, and if you can’t stop by for the live action search the hashtag!  Happy decorating! 🙂