Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gearing Up and Getting Set!

Tis that time of year again!  Time to think about all that went right last year and the changes you want to make this year.  I love how a classroom is like an open canvas! I absolutely LOVE setting up a classroom!  So I thought I would go through some ideas I have for this year.  I may be making some big changes this year....but, we'll see :-)  It's a good thing that I have my energy back and am feeling great thanks to MY Plexus Products!!  I cannot tell you what an impact on my daily quality of life these all natural products have made!  Do yourself a favor and before school gets back into gear and your health takes a back seat...choose health...choose Plexus! www.korren.myplexusproducts.com If you don't know what I am talking about, check out the video below:

My First Love!  Books!  Books! and more Books!

I LOVE Adore books.  I have quite a few but never enough.  I am always looking for great picture books to use with my lessons.  How do you keep them organized?!  I have tried many different ways from book boxes, baskets, cardboard dividers (not bad) to you name it. Well I was exploring a closet at our school when I happened upon this Brilliant system!  Paint Sticks!  So simple and CHEAP, I'm in love!  I think I have just found a nice way to organize.
This reminds me also of a system one of my special librarians used to help kids remember where their book came from on the shelf if they decided not to choose it.  She called them book buddies.  The kiddos would use a stick (plastic but I think paint sticks would work too) to mark the place on the shelf that their book belonged.  Take and give the book a "looksie" and if they wanted it, then they took their stick out.  But, if they didn't want it, they knew where to put it back!  Was she smart or what?!  How blessed we were to have her at our school:-)

Reading Corners:

Gotta have a few cozy places to read around the room!  This corner is a little bland but it still worked.  I like to keep a tub of "reading buddies" (aka stuffed animals) around for kiddos to take with them to their reading spots.  

Love the lanterns and colors in this cozy nook!  I have a beach umbrella that I plan to use.  I'll keep you posted!!  I love how the books are very accessible yet still organized in a simple, clean manner.  Instead of lanterns, I think I'd like to try these tissue paper pom poms.  Super cute, colorful, and great for the budget.  Check out the video for a "how to".

Work Displays:

I love using clips!  Whether they are attached to the wall or this fancy clothes line style pictured below.  Clips are a huge time saver!  No staples to remove and not stuffing INTO a page protector that doesn't always seem to be big enough.

Stations:  I love utilizing the low wall space for interactive pocket chart activities.  In my case, tables are hard to come by so we use the wall and floor!  Interactive pocket chart activities are easily changed out, cleaned up, and remain clutter free!  When your classroom has to share it's space with a church this is a huge time saver!  No storage--who wants to play with an empty pocket chart?!  My point exactly!

 Always need a special chair!  I will definitely keep my Dr. Seuss rocker.  The kiddos always love to sit and present in it and I like to sit and read to them in it too!  It adds a sense of warmth, pizazz, and comfort to the classroom.

Charts and Tools

My tiny birthday chart--great for jam packed walls.  I always hang it on my bulletin board near my calendar to ensure that I am on top of the birthday celebrations without having to take up an entire wall!

 I will also continue to use my lifesaving guided reading "cheat sheet".  This is a powerful reading instructional tool!  It helps me to be sure that I am meeting my reader's needs at the various levels.  Be sure to check it out at my TPT store!
And I cannot wait to use this beauty again....My Scientific Lab report!  I have been in PreK for the last year and had to let it go.  We would verbally use the scientific method--but there was no writing on their part.  I did blow it up and laminate it for our experiements though and that worked great!  I highly recommend it for the primary classroom:-) Check it out at my Store!!