2017 Bold & Bright Classroom Decor Set from Creative Teaching Press

Hey y'all! 

I'm so excited to share this beautiful set of classroom decor with you AND give you the opportunity to WIN this ENTIRE COLLECTION from Creative Teaching Press! Whoop, whoop!

First let me show you some photos of the adorable pieces that the creative geniuses at CTP included in this set...


Here is a set of materials from the collection. The borders are lined along the bottom!



I love this beautiful calendar that's the perfect mix of simple black/white and bright colors.



This is one option that the set includes for a classroom birthday board. I love that it's super unique! 


They even included station cards!


How adorable are these classroom jobs?!

If you're classroom vision for the year includes a balance of clean black & white balanced with bright pops of color, this is the perfect set for you!

I'm teaming up with Creative Teaching Press to give away the ENTIRE Bold & Bright collection to one lucky winner! Enter the contest below!



Book Release Party

Hey y'all! I'm so excited to share the details of our book release party with you today! 

For a portion of our kindergarten curriculum at my last district, we worked on writing personal narratives. This was the perfect time to create a keepsake for my kiddoes! There are a few different ways that you can publish hardcover books with students. I purchased Illustory kits from Amazon.

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What I liked about these kits was that each student got their own box and set of markers so they could keep track of their own work. We did one page per day in our books, then I mailed them in the pre-paid envelopes to be created. We had our books back in about two weeks! Then it was time to plans our big book release party!


Popcorn boxes: Five Below
CELEBRITY TAPE: Party City


The gold decor was purchased at Dollar Tree!


I found that fun HOORAY balloon at Target!


I always love to put some tape over the door because it makes it even more exciting for the students to walk into the room. 


Those gold poles? Toilet plungers from Dollar Tree and gold spray paint. Yep!
I also grabbed that red carpet from Party City so that I could reuse it. You could also use red butcher paper though.


Here's what our classroom looked like when the students walked in. Celebrity status! I wrapper their books in red paper and wrote them each a personalized note in the front that they could keep.


Then they got to walk the red carpet to the stage to read their book aloud!




It was such a memorable day! Each child had the chance to share their writing and experience being an author and illustrator. This is something I will continue to do for years I think. My students truly felt like celebrities. 

If you have questions leave a comment, send me an e-mail, or message me on Instagram!

Bye, y'all!





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Problem Solving Through Magic



In Virginia, we teach addition and subtraction up to 10 in kindergarten. Typically addition comes first, then subtraction, sometimes with a break between the two. By the end of addition, THEY GET IT! By the end of subtraction, THEY GET IT! It's amazing and kinders just love to add and subtract. 

However, later in the year I love to revisit them, assess what students have retained, and dig into the two a little deeper while we get the kiddoes ready to be firsties. That's when I usually do 1-2 weeks of general problem solving. We look at tons of story problems and figure out whether the story problems are telling us that we need to add or subtract. That means there's a high focus on vocabulary, comparison, and strategy practice to actually solve the problems. This is A LOT to ask kindergarteners to do, so it's incredibly important that you break it down into manageable chunks AND make it engaging! Cue problem solving through magic!

Before I started this week, I spent time reviewing addition and subtraction, as well as strategies we can use to help us with the two (manipulatives, number lines, ten frames, etc.).

Our focus was on one magic trick per day, with that trick then moving to an independent workstation the following day.

Trick #1

Unlocking the Magic 



For this trick I used story problems that you can find in my Math Magicians Set on TpT. Students had to read the problem, decide what equation from the keys matched that problem (there was a mix of + and -), and match that key to the correct answer on that lock. They knew they were correct if their key unlocked the lock.




I purchased my addition and subtraction locks from Lakeshore but you could also make your own with these locks and keys from the Amazon affiliate link below:



Trick #2

Pull a Rabbit Out of a Hat





I found these rabbit eggs at Dollar Tree around Easter! They were perfect for placing the addition and subtraction vocabulary words in.



Students had to pick a rabbit and create a story problem using that vocabulary word, then write the corresponding equation.




All of the printable materials for this are included in my Math Magicians set on TpT!

Trick #3

Pick a Card, Any Card!


I found these BEAUTIFUL rainbow cards at Five Below. Students had to pick a card, then come up with an addition or subtraction equation that had that answer. This was a little challenging, but they loved it! 

Trick #4



For this trick, I placed balls under one cup and moved them around. Students had to find the balls under one of the cups and draw it. I then either took some away or added some of the other color and students had to complete the equation.

Here are some of the materials that I purchased from Amazon to make this happen!

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Enjoy!





2016-2017 Classroom Tour




Ok y'all, it was a busy year and I have finally taken the time to post some photos of my classroom  and links to the fun stuff!

Here it is...the stage! Good news, my next post will be centered around how I made this beauty!




This stage is so special to us. I teacher from this stage. The students teach from this stage. We present our work from this stage. We retell our reading from this stage. This was the best decision I made this last school year. IT was worth the elbow grease!

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Chair






Here's one side of my classroom library. I include leveled readers in my library as well as interest-directed books.

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Rug

Chairs

Book Bins and Clip Boards - Really Good Stuff


This is the most whimsical part of our classroom. We call this our "dream tree" because we added our photos and our goals and dreams to it throughout the year.

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Tree

Pillow

Decor



Here's a look at my small group space! We love our color coordinated circles and stools. I ordered the circles from Etsy and got the stools from Five Below and Family Dollar last year. The circles adhere to the table and are perfect for writing on with a dry erase marker. 

You can also find similar stools through Amazon:

This is the first year that I implemented brag tags in my classroom. Students earn brag tags for achieving goals, good behavior and a number of other things. They collect them on a necklace and get to wear their necklaces on Fridays!

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Here is our cubby space and also my own organization space. I do not have a teacher desk, so this area keeps my life together. The baskets are from Really Good Stuff and the sign is from Target.




These two spaces hold our supplies and manipulatives so that they are available for students to access independently. My goal is always to create a classroom environments that promotes student independence, these area make that possible. You can also see our early finisher baskets kept above. I do not use things in my baskets that require tons of time. I usually put file folder games, and familiar workstations in there that students can do independently. 

This pencil bar saved serious sanity this year! You can grab those drawer labels from GlitterandGlue4k2's TpT store! I grabbed those gumboil machines from The Dollar Tree too!

This is the other side of our classroom. This holds our calendar, flexible seating chart, and objectives. 

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Our objectives are typed and adhered using Velcro, to these boards that I spray painted so they are easy to change out!

Here is the flexible seating chart that I used last year to allow my students choice in their seating.  This system worked okay, but this is something I think I will change next year.


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Here's a peek at the border combo I used this year. I loved, loved, loved it! I had a board for each content area and the vocabulary that we had learned.

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I was so in love with these silhouette kids from Schoolgirl Style that I had to have them in my room. I bought the file from her TpT store and traced them using my projector and black paper.



That's all for today! Stay tuned for my next post all about that stage!
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The Big Stage DIY Reveal! (FINALLLLLLY)



Y'all asked, I listened! I finally put together a list of the materials and steps it took for me to make that fun stage in my classroom. Now I didn't take photos when I was actually making it, so I'm doing my best to show you the materials you will need, as well as the tools and the steps for completion.

I've had a lot of questions asking me what the size of my stage is. My stage is 4 feet long and 2 feet wide. This will vary based on how big your classroom is. Work with what you've got, ya know?

Materials:
You can buy all materials at Lowe's or Home Depot, or wherever you prefer to purchase your lumberjack goods.

Here's how it went down...



1. You can find these 2x4 sheets of plywood in various measurements of thickness, depending what you prefer. I would definitely suggest something sturdy if you plan on allowing students and/or adults to stand on it. Making a stage 2 x 4 prevented me from having to cut this piece.

 


2. I purchased one of these long pieces of wood. From what I've seen they usually cost somewhere in the $6-$10 range. I later cut into four pieces:

2 x 4 foot pieces
2 x 2 foot pieces

3. Once all the wood was cut, I lined them up under the plywood to make sure the measurements were correct and it all lined up how I had planned.

4. I used wood screws to screw the plywood to the four pieces on the bottom. Amazon has various options for wood screws, or you can pick those up while you're at Home Depot/Lowe's! Affiliate links below:


5. I then drilled holes through the sides to make space for those beautiful rainbow lights. In the summer you can find them with outdoor decor at most stores.

6. All that's left is to paint it! You can use any kind of paint that you see fit. I painted mine with chalkboard paint so that we could write on it. Affiliate links below:





That's it! It really was pretty inexpensive and just required some elbow grease, but was well worth it. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment, send me an e-mail, or message me on Instagram!



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We're Back with a Subtraction Jam

video

I promised we'd have a follow-up subtraction song and here it is!

Lyrics:

Walk in the classroom and it's time for some learnin'
My teacher said, hey let's talk about subtraction
hey hey hey hey
ok ok
I want you all to subtract now
Go 'head take away
Go 'head take away
Take away, take away, take some away
Subtract, STOP
What do you see?
The number gets smaller
The number gets smaller
Subtract from the group 
Subtract from the group 
Subtract from the group 
Subtract from the group 
Find the difference 
Find the difference 
Find the difference, hey!
That's subtraction, it's easy kids

Have fun!