Monday, September 5, 2011

Finally...My Home Away From Home!

I am so happy to finally share pictures of my classroom. I absolutely love the way it turned out. I was going for a circus theme, but it really turned out to be a whimsical wonderland...TONS of color, flags and bright lights. So...Welcome to my 2011-2012 Classroom!

Our school uses foam insulation boards as bulletin boards outside of our classrooms. My board is covered in fabric, and I hot glued real crayons on top as a border, and hung it from the ceiling with cute ribbon. Although not my original plan, as a back to school bulletin board, I used empty animal cookie boxes and scrapbook paper elephants with each of my new firstie's names. I think it turned out pretty cute.

For the past several years I have used Poco and Pop's Birthday Banner (which is awesome), but when I saw this on Pinterest, I knew I had to give it a try. I hung fabric on my classroom door, added some cute border, laminated cardstock and the months of the year in random fonts and then the kiddos pictures. I have to say that I am in love with it. I love how personal it is and the kids love looking at their pictures.

So if you haven't heard of QR it! Our most amazing, wonderful techno "chic", Jessica, created these wonderful QR codes for each of our doors for Open House. Parents were able to scan the code and recieve tons of information, including phone numbers, conference periods and email addresses.

Photos from various places in my classroom!

My new "circus themed" word wall. One of my daughter's sweet 4th grade teachers has amazing Cricut skills and I enlisted her help to cut out the letters and circus tents. Thanks Miss Purvis...they turned out awesome.

My smartboard, with one of my favorite pinterest ideas. Bought the big bright lights at Party City and then tied different colored netting to decorate the strands. They turned out A-dorable! Thanks Zoe!

We are a bucket filling classroom! I used a shoe holder from Wal-Mart and cardboard planters from Micheals, with a little rik-rak added, as my buckets. We use a beach bucket to hold colored cotton balls to fill our buckets. I am so proud of how well my kids are doing with Bucket Filling this far NO ONE has thrown a box of crayons on the floor on purpose, just to say someone filled their bucket. Next to that is another behavior management system..Tic Tac Toe..Show me You Know! I use it to reinforce rules and procedures and focus on a different one or two daily. For instance, Tic Tac Toe..Show me You Know how to sit on the rug correctly. If the kiddos can sit correctly for a certain amount of time, then they get to place an X or O. If not, I get to take a play. Kids win = extra recess...I win = minus a couple minutes of recess. They LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to beat Mrs. Kaldis.

Instead of the same old boring nametags that the kids tear off their desks before Christmas, I decided to to a phot of each kiddo with their name and class number typed over it and laminated. The kids love them...they LOVE looking at pictures of themselves.

Jail Words - Found the idea on a first grade blog and the kids love the idea of sending words to jail. Big Hit for teaching sight words. Also, another tribute to pinterest, my milk crate seats. Perfect and great storage - One crate I use just to house any of the items I would need for a new student...G.O. Binder, Calendar Binder, Discipline Folder, etc.

Classroom clock with all the "what time do we go to ..." clocks next to it. Adorable blends and digraph wall...the adorable cards were a free printable a friend found online. Can you say perfect for first grade? Last are my balloon Pixie Sticks for birthdays. They are in a glass jar full of gumballs. They smelled so yummy the first couple of days, but the smell has faded:(

And finally, one my most favorite, yet most simple things in my entire classroom. A friend of mine's mother told me about this idea, and I was sold. Deteregent caps velcroed (Industrial Strength) to desktops to use as pencil cups. They are just the right size, and last forever. I just pull off at Christmas, run through the dishwasher, and I am ready to go for the second semester.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to School Night 2011-2012

Last night was our Back to School night, and let me just say, that I have the most amazing group of kiddos this year! I am so super excited to get this year going! All but one of my children was able to come visit me, and ya'll, seriously, they are such sweeties! One little boy brought me a lantern with a candle in the middle, with a tag that read " Thank you for your willingness to help light our son's path!!"...Melt my heart! The children seemed so excited about 1st grade and everything we would be doing during the year. They had so many questions and already wanted to tell me all about their summer vacations, new school clothes, dirt bike racing and karate classes. And if having a great class isn't good enough, the parents were awesome too! I had tons of parents offer to help in anyway that they could! (And parents, if you are reading this...I promise I will be calling)! I am truly blessed with a wonderful class this year! Bring on Monday, August 22. I am ready to get this show on the road!

Pictures coming soon!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

R.I.P Treasure Box

I don't know about the rest of ya'll, but sending kids to the "Treasure Box" is one of my least favorite things to do. I dislike filling it, trying to find things to fill it with...really, everything about it. So, when I found this new post through Pinterest on First Last! by Sarah Cooley...I was HOOKED! So I created my version of Sarah's Best "Beehavior" Catalog...a Treasure Binder. So I have some good news and bad news..Bad news, I don't have a commercial license, so I can't share my creation. Good news, it took only a couple hours to complete, so have fun creating one personalized for your class.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Christmas In July Book Exchange

Who doesn't love Christmas? Combine Christmas and picture books and that's a NO Brainer. Head on over to and check it out!

The following is the exact post on First Grade Owls:

Christmas in July Picture Book & Activity Exchange1. Email RANDEE at
randeeschatz(at)hotmail(dot)com with your name, mailing address, and blog URL by Wednesday, July 13, 2011.
**We realize it's kinda quick, but we want everyone to receive their package by the end of July!**2. By Friday, July 15, 2011 you will get an email with your exchange partner.
Go shopping for a picture book (possibly one of your favorites to share w/a new "friend").
**$10 Limit**
**Don't forget to create an activity to go along with the book.**

3. Have your package (book & actvity) mailed by Monday, July 25, 2011.

4. Make sure to follow us at How About Them Apples, First Grade O.W.L.s, and Here We Go Loopty Loo so that on Sunday, July 31, 2011 you can link up and share your "gift" with us!

5. Spread the word about our Christmas in July Picture Book & Activity Exchange! You know what they say...The more the merrier!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

TCEA Tots & Technology Notes

Surf the Technology Wave With a SMART Board (FC)

Traveling Bear Letter

Traveling Bear Letter