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.


  1. Just found your blog!! So cute and love your room!!

    Miss J
    Smiles, Crayons, and Endless Stories

  2. The smartphone idea is great. I will have to try it. I also love the photos with the kids holding the frames. Your birthday board came out so cute. It was actually the pin of my classroom that you saw.

  3. Your room looks amazing!! I just found your blog through Pinterest :)

    Miss Kindergarten
    My Fabulous Finds

  4. I LOVE your room! I was wondering if you remember where you found your vowel word wall images??? and the sight word jail??? I LOVE them and would LOVE to use them (and could REALLY use them!) in my classroom.
    If you can share your amazing knowledge, please email me.

  5. I just found this post through Pinterest...cute ideas! I'm your newest follower :)

    Sliding into First!

  6. Very cute! I was wondering where you got your pendants/bunting. Is it the plastic store-bought kind? I'm weighing my options for next year ;)

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  8. I just found your blog and am your newest follower. So cute! Where did you get the blends/digraph word wall pictures? I would love to use them in my room next year. Please respond or email me the info. Thanks!

    Glitter and Glue

  9. The QR code is GENIUS! Thank you so much for that brilliant idea!

    Love your blog

  10. Hi! I just stumbled across your blog! Such cute ideas! Would you be able to email me? I am curious as to how you got the fabric to attach to your door without ruining it! Thanks!

  11. I don't even know what brought me to your blog, but I am so glad that I came. The ideas you have here are so cute, I can't wait to use some of them, especially the pencil cups/holders. I will be following you this year for sure. Have a great year.

  12. Hi there, just stumbled onto your blog! I too am wondering how you attached the fabric to your door, because I LOVE the way it looks! If you have a chance and can email me, I'd truly appreciate it. I really wanna try it on MY door!

    Gemma Fowler

  13. With the QR code...did the person attach a webpage to the QR code or do it a different way?

  14. These are amazing resources. I am a trainee teacher and next year i would become full time teacher. I am preparing separate folders consisting of these useful and wonderful resources.Thank you very much.

  15. I saw your QR code on Pinterest and immediately made one for my contact information. I am going to leave mine outside my door all year long. It goes well with our STEM building. :) I'm sharing the one I made on my blog and giving you kudos for it! I can see these popping up all over our school in the fall. :)

    First-Graders from Outer Space

  16. Hi Heather,

    I love all the pics of your classroom and I especially love the QR Code idea for sharing contact information with parents. I am also going to share my supply list from my website for parents to have handy on their smartphones. I found you on Pinterest and wanted to drop in and say HELLO!

    Deb at Fabulously First
    My TpT Store

  17. Hi,

    Your room is amazing!! I have bookmarked your blog! I can't wait to do the QR code! Can you please tell me where you found the blends/digraphs word wall graphics, my firsties would love them? Thanks


  18. Hi Heather...I love your pics. I especially like the way you are doing your "buckets". I am now following your blog. I would love for you to visit back (and enter my first giveaway.)

  19. Such good material on here. I cannot wait to start teaching this fall!

  20. I am piggie backing on curious Catherine... where did your friend find the word wall blends? Adorable set up :)

  21. I love your blog!! I am nominating you for the Versatile blogger award! Head over to my page to grab it!

  22. We love your idea of QR codes and are sharing it in our blog post - Ten Back to School Activities to Welcome Your Class and Break the Ice

  23. Love your ideas. Your room is so bright and cheerful..

  24. Just found your blog on Pinterest and love your room. In would also love to know where you found the blends and digraph posters. They are so cute!!! Thanks!

  25. I agree with Amanda in the previous post. I just found your blog and love the blends and diagraphs posters. I am changing grades from fourth to first this year and would love to be able to use them in my classroom. Would you be able to share where you found them? Thank you so much!

  26. What website or link did you use to make the QR codes?

  27. Could you email me about the sight words jail? Would love to know more about it and your other classroom ideas! Thanks!