Sunday, September 29, 2013

I'm Queen Of All That I See!


Take that, Yertle The Turtle!
Oh, wait....
That ruler ended up with muck on his face.....
hmmmmm.....

Ok....
I think I'm just going to 
bite the bullet 
(can you tell I grew up reading Louis L'Amour westerns?)
and  post pictures of my classroom!
Angela, these are for you....
my sista friend living in the cornfields!
Sweet butta!  Can't wait to check them out.
Why has it taken me so long 
to post MY pics you may ask?

Well....the truth of it is....my classroom
is always a work in progress and I'm never
quite happy about how it looks.
PLUS....
to be completely honest...
In a nutshell...

I'm a PILER.
Ditto my friend!
Ditto!

I pile here.
I pile there.
I like to pile everywhere!
I deliberately did NOT
take pics behind my desk.
I literally have 3 tubs of
piles.  
Not. even. kidding.

Give me a paper...
Where does it go?
In a pile...
I just can't say "No!"
(I just realized that I DO have something 
in common with Yertle.
This is NOT a good thing!)

I've decided that 
I really need to make 
enough money 
to hire a personal assistant.

"Oh...here's Mrs. Davis,
Kindergarten teacher extraordinaire, 
and her lovely assistant (fill in the blank)."

I think if I ever won the lottery,
I would still teach...
but I would hire a team of people
to help with all of my responsibilities 
at home and at school.
I would become a job creator!

I digress.
It's Friday...
and I'm on Fantasy Island.
Back to my class.
This week was Meet The Teacher Night,
so this is just about as good as it gets.
I'm just going to throw out pics....
Here they come....

 This is my hand drawn poster on my front door...
8 years old and still going strong!
LOVE the aqua cabinet doors.
Soooo Florida!
Let's see...what's in this pic: 
On the very top...I hand drew the animal alphabet
I can draw a stick figure.  Jealous much? 
 that's attached with magnets to my overhead lights around 8 years ago.

We read about The Little Red Hen,
so we have the characters hanging up.


Over on the left of the sink is Nurse Betty...
She's my classroom "nurse" 
where my students go for bandaids.
Yes, I should label the box, 
I just haven't got that far!
See --I told you, 
I'm never quite happy with my classroom!
DUH!  Why have I never done this?!
So putting that on my to-do list.
Thanks for the great idea!

Moving on....
See all of the blue tubs on top?
I have been trying to make my classroom
look more peaceful by using 
a single color theme
for my tubs...Love the $ Store!
Uh, they know me by name!

Here is my word wall...
How cool that it's right at their
short people level!
2 things I wanted to point out:

#1.  All of my laminated pictures/words are attached with a glue gun.
I had a real AHA! moment one day when 
I discovered that hot glue pops right off
of my cabinets.  When the custodians clean
the cabinets every summer, the cleaning solution
would always leave a protective film on the cabinets
that would make my tape come off.  After several years
of that driving me crazy, I though I would experiment 
with a hot glue gun....best idea I've had! 
Good to know.
Teachers at my school are supposed to take down 
EVERYTHING from their cabinets every summer
so that the custodians can clean up all the gunk left
on the cabinets from tape.  
After talking with my head custodian,
explaining to him my new method 
of hot glue gunning items to my cabinets,
 and showing him how easily everything pops off...
I had his blessing to leave my word wall up over the summer.  
Woot-woot! That saved me HOURS of work for the next school year 
(and it saved him from having to clean the gunky, 
stickiness of tape residue that had been left up all year). 

 Advice for newbies: the custodians and the computer techs 
ARE YOUR FRIENDS!!!! MAKE FRIENDS WITH THEM....
they will help to make your life so much easier! 
 My very good friend and mentor teacher, Ma Chérie,  taught me that....
and I take her advice VERY seriously.
Don't forget the secretaries too!

Leaving up a word wall, I know, wouldn't work for those of you
who like to put up just a few words at a time.  
That just hurts my brain....I can't do it.  
I've tried, and tried, and tried 
to put up just a few words at a time....
and I've learned that 
 I either have my Word Wall up at the beginning of the year, 
or it'll be half-way done all year.  

I know...I have issues.
I understand what you're saying
but I'm hear to alleviate that guilt...
...in a very 'professional' way I might add!
If you leave all of them up all year,
you are actually differentiating your instruction.
Your higher readers are learning right
from the start by decoding those words!
It's all good sista!
You leave up those words...you're doing

your above level readers a HUGE favor!
#2.  The lines to separate my word wall letters is just
yarn that I've tied around my cabinet doors.
Secure the yarn on the inside 
of the cabinet door with tape. 
It's those simple ideas that are absolute genius!
(Ok....so there is SOME tape on my cabinets...
but it's on the inside-unseen.......shhhhhhhhh!)
Continuing on my panoramic view of my room 
(I'm standing in the middle, snapping pics)...


 The nap mats are NOT for napping.
(Sadly, the days of napping in kindergarten are over....
too much to do, and never enough time.  
What is this world coming to? 
Five year olds have too much "work" 
to do that they can't take a nap?
Thank you, Common Core.)
 
These 4 mats are my "Comfy Reading Mats"
for my students to use to sit on/lie on during the time 
that they are reading to themselves. 

 See the Mrs. Wishy Washy poster in the corner.....
Here is a closer view of a Mrs. Bindergarten poster in the same spot.


(I had meant to post earlier this year about my classroom....
but like I said - I'm never really happy about
how it looks...and posting pictures is kind of scary
so it took me a while to find the courage!
I'm breathing in a bag right now, Angela!)
Girrrl!  No need to breathe in a bag!
I can relate to wanting it "just so".
But guess what?  Short people come in
Monday through Friday, 8:30-3:00
and they're so busy working, growing, 
and living in that space that it will
NEVER, like EVER, 
be just so.
It.is.what.it.is.
Now toss the brown bag!

 Here's one of the best teacher tips EVER 
that I got from Ma Chérie...
so easy, it makes you say, "DUH! 
Why didn't I think of that?!"
Just use a plain old hanger to hang posters around your room...
parents will be more than happy 
to donate old hangers they have, just ask!
Oh my golly!
What a brilliant idea!

...and yes, DUH!

Ma Chérie wanted me to make sure that the world knows
that this was not her original idea....she got it from
seasoned teachers that she worked with at HER first school
that she taught at. 

My Motto:  The best teachers are the ones who share!
Agreed!
 
You can't really see....but I have my kitchen
back in the corner behind the computers.

 
I've been coveting Angela's type of kitchen
for years (go to her classroom posting, 
and you'll see the kitchen that I want!
It used to be her daughters....lucky girl!)
Awww...hand me downs are
a beautiful thing!
Maybe you'll find one
at a garage sale next summer.
Wait!  You're in Florida.
Do you have garage sales all year long?
Hmmm....I can commute to find
out for myself.  he he he
For now, I just have to make do with my little corner filler!


My kitchen ALMOST went to the consignment store this summer.
I was cleaning out my room, and I debated whether or not to
get rid of it....my sons, Hollywood and Golden Boy,  actually 
had ALL of the accessories boxed up in the car ready to be
taken away, when I decided NOPE....
I'm a Kindergarten teacher, 
and I REALLY want to keep a kitchen.
So I found an out-of-the-way spot for it,
and my Kindergarteners drag it out to the middle 
of the classroom whenever they use it. 
(My boys were NOT very happy with me, 
when I asked them to haul everything back in from the car!
Oh the rough lives of teachers' children.) 
Sing it sista!
Ben and Abby have spent
so much time in my classroom
in the evenings and weekends
over the years that they
should earn some sort of college credit!


Moving on...
Here's one of my reading corners (I have 2 this year).
My school has departmentalized for the 1st time ever this year, 
and I am teaching reading for 3 different Kindergarten classes.  
I have always taught EVERYTHING before - 
12 years of experience from Pre-K to 1st Grade, 
8 years teaching everything in Kindergarten.  
So this is a MIGHTY change for me...
and for everyone else in my school!)

Wish me luck! 
The reading skills of 54 little souls 
are on my shoulders...
No pressure.
thank goodness
I have Ma Chérie next door 
teaching them writing!
(She is absolutely AMAZING!!!!)
The Math and Science K teacher on our team
is like a guru with Science.  
I've only won the Science Fair once at our school, 
and it was the year that she helped me come up 
with an experiment in about 15 minutes flat....
right off the top of her head.
(She even gave me everything I needed to make my board.)
So even though I "won"
she actually "won"--which she does EVERY year!
We ALL have our strengths!


   A lot of the cute art work and writing
that is around my classroom
was completed in Ma Chérie's classroom.
She likes to order really cute artwork from TPT, 
I think that's where she found The Little Red Hen, 
and the Johnny Appleseed.
It's really strange dividing things up this year...
the kids LOVE it, but there's no down time whatsoever
for the teachers.  Hopefully the end results 
will validate all of our hard work! 

The Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom trees hanging across my window
Super cute!
were hand drawn (by me) about 7 years ago.
Again, I can draw a stick figure.
Jealous much?
I typically don't post my older things that I've made 
(not even for free)...
because honestly they're made out of a 
hodge podge of things 
I found way back when...
and I'm never quite sure where my art ends 
and someone else's begins. So I'm unable to give proper credit.


The hanging Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See characters
come from my Colors & Animal Words: Kindergarten Painting
that can be found on TPT.  
(Click on the links above if interested.)  
My kids enjoyed deciding which of the 
animals in the packet were characters in the story.
Just have them paint it, then cut around the border and 
glue it to a piece of colored paper.
See the little paper clip on the bottom of the pics, 
that's to hold 2  pictures together. It bothers me when 
I look up and see the back of a paper spinning. 
Such a teeny, tiny minor detail...I know.
No...life is in the details my friend.
Can you say "Anal?"
OCD?
Which actually should be CDO,
because that's the order the letters should be in!


 Peeking behind the pic is a picture I drew of myself years ago,
and attached to a Welcome To Our Classroom sign.
I wasn't going to hang it up, because I wasn't too thrilled about 
how it turned out...
but then a teacher friend saw it, loved it, 
climbed on top of one of my tables (I am NOT naming names)
and stapled it up so high that there's no way 
this short lady will ever be able to take it down.
So there it sits...looking down on my classroom...

permanently.
HILARIOUS!  Score one for your teacher friend.
These are my Reading Machines where my students can sit to read.
I've seen children sitting in clothes baskets on Pinterest for
comfy reading spots....but being a mom of 4 and having as
many years in the classroom as I have...
I knew that I would definitely need something sturdier.
True that!
After all...my pseudonym IS Queen Chaos. 
I can just SEE a foot kicking right through the laundry basket holes and Voila! 
There goes $7.00 down the tubes. 
(I have spent time and money on many a project
that has gotten ruined within just a matter of seconds with a 5 year old.)

So, I decided to tweak it and use Rubbermaid tubs.
Not only are they sturdy, but they have flat sides that
I'm able to tape some cute stuff on them.
If you want the pics to make your own 
Reading Machines you can order them here on TPT.
(Just click on the link right above.)
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
the Reading Machines!
How stinkin' cute! 
The carpet I was lucky enough to get this year 
from another Kindergarten teacher 
who is now teaching Social Studies
as one of her subjects.  
I had gotten a rug from Target last year 
that had a map of the USA on it, 
so I offered to give it to her. In exchange, 
she kindly offered me this caterpillar ABC rug.  
As my two favorite characters on 
Dances With Wolves would say...."TATONKA!"




 I only have 4 (not 6), I just wanted to show you 
the different sides of the boxes.  They have print on all 4 sides.
I honestly would have paid someone else for the clip art,
but I couldn't find anything that went with my vision
of how a Reading Machine should look. 
So I drew that little martian looking machine.
They work like a dream....and my kids LOVE them.
They actually like to take them and line them up like a train,
and then sit in them to read.  I don't have pillows in them.
They're just empty tubs.
  
My Pillow Dillema:
I have gotten lice twice  in my life from my students 
and I DON'T EVER want to get them again.
So....no pillows in my class 
that I have to take home 
and wash every weekend!
The first time I caught lice (many years ago, in Texas)...
my husband came home and I was sitting on the couch crying 
with a pair of huge scissors in my hand and all my hair chopped off.
I had 2 bottles of the lice shampoo....
1 for the initial wash and 1 for 7 days later, 
when I realized in the middle of using the first bottle that it only 
covered maybe 1/4 of my hair.
I flipped out!
I mean, come on! 
I had teeny critters in my hair!  
EEEEEWWWWW!
So I grabbed a pair of scissors 
and hacked off my hair so that the 2 bottles 
I had could saturate my hair.
(Note to Self:  It takes 8 bottles of lice shampoo for my hair.
4 for the initial wash, and 4 for 7-10 days later.)

It was...

abysmal.

That is awful!
By the looks of all those
pics with the black curls
I am so, so, so, sorry!

Talk about a low day in the life of a teacher!
King Common Sense was not very happy at the time, 
and in solidarity....
he shaved his head.
Solidarity?  Or was he just
as freaked out?!

So there we were....baldy and puff puff.
That's just sad.
Teachers lead such glamorous lives!
Good thing our kids were young enough 
to not care what their parents looked like.

Just had a thought...
...totally random of course since that's how I roll.
What if you got small "floaty" pillows instead?
You know, the kind you have
to blow up for the pool?
No lice but still "pillowy" comfort
for the Reading machines.
I mean, c'mon, you're in Florida!
You must have a variety of 
floaties to choose from.
Um...I could come down there
and look through the stores for ya.
Just saying...

Back To My Room:
I bought 2 extra book box shelves last year from Lakeshore 
once I found out that I would be in charge of reading.  
Thank goodness for TPT sales that paid for them!
Side note....
...how sad that YOU had to pay for them.
Teachers are so rich....NOT!

Funny Teacher Week Ecard: 'Teaching is so financially rewarding.' said no teacher ever. ...like ever.
*AttaGirl Funnies by Angela Furgal AKA Fairy Funtastic*
If you see this pinned somewhere else...know that you saw it here first!




 The books I have here are fun/interesting books 
for small groups that I got from Scholastic.  
It was too hard for me to make up specific signs 
for each book box because they overlap at times, 
so instead I just made up sentences going across.
 We Love To Read!
I can read all day!

I can read all night!



I LOVE Lakeshore...
it's also known in these parts as the Teachers' Shrine.
Ma Chérie drives out to Orlando 
every summer to shop sales, 
and every time she goes in she jokingly kneels 
at the entrance and crosses herself....
paying homage.
(She's just kidding, of course....or is she???)
Hilarious!
Me, personally, I order on-line:
www.lakeshorelearning.com 
If they ship to my school 
(even though I pay out of my own pocket) 
I get a 5% discount off of everything 
+ no sales tax + no gas money to get to Orlando
+ I can shop in sweats with no bra.
Now that's MY kind of shopping!
You're speaking the truth sista!

You can get the same deal....
just tell them you're a teacher.
(Whether you shop in your bra or not,
well...that's completely up to you!)
Just let your school secretary 
know to expect your order.
I LOVE my school secretary....
she is beyond fabulous!


The trees in my classroom are just made from scrunched up
butcher paper.....just pull a whole bunch of (brown and green) paper 
off of the roll and haul it to your classroom.
It doesn't matter if it gets crunched
and wrinkled on the way to your room, 
because that's what going to happen to it anyway!
Then, you just start stapling the paper to the wall to end up with a tree. 
(I like to start at the bottom trunk and go up)
Very cute!
Scrunch, bunch, staple.....Scrunch, bunch, staple.

I changed my math tubs into Word Work Tubs.
This is an idea that if/when I go back to teaching a regular classroom 
having regular math tubs....I would keep.
(Every once in a while my brain will churn up a brilliant idea!)
I took out the items in each tub, and I made words with them
for the outer picture.  If/when I teach math again,
"If?"....education is always a pendulum,
I'm sure 'someday' it'll swing back to
you teaching math again.
At least that's what most
crystal balls would tell you. 
I may even change the words out to 
numbers or number words.



These are the cheapo magnet sticks from the $ Store.







These tiles come from old games 
I've found at thrift stores and garage sales.






These are mini writing boards from Lakeshore...
a LOT of the teaching materials in my classroom 
have been purchased there
...by me, not by my school.
Isn't that the truth of a teacher's life?
Of course you did.
Because teachers are rolling in the dough!

Now these little babies are my piece de resistance!
All over the internet you see play dough 
rolled into snakes to make words, right?
Well....honestly....
it never goes as planned in MY classroom, 
and the kiddo's just spend their time playing with the play dough 
instead of making letters and words with it 
(unless a grown-up is actually sitting with them at the center).
Now don't get me wrong....
I'm not AGAINST children playing with play dough, 
I just have a whole bunch of words for them to know 
and NOT a lot of time!
So one day, I found myself at Goodwill 
and I saw 2 electric curler units from the early 90's (I'm guessing).
Remember these....they are pink and blue and 
they look like rods, but they bend.

Well, I actually purchased them for my daughter, 
Karate Ballerina who has extremely straight hair 
that has a hard time holding a curl.
(...and YES she IS my biological daughter....
she just escaped the masses of curly hair gene that I have.  
For which, she is very grateful.  
She just needed to have curly hair 
for certain dance routines.)  
Anyway, I brought these curlers home
 thinking that I had hit the jackpot when the 
look on her face said it all....
There was no way in ---- that she was
going to put these 20 year old curlers in her hair!
My take on it was that hair salons are always reusing stuff...
I mean really...as long a something is clean it doesn't matter...right?  
Oh, no....WRONG.....VERY WRONG indeed!
Don't even know your kid,
but I can imagine the face!
So there I was trying to convince her that these would be great
when I started bending the curlers around in my hand and I looked
down, and low and behold....I was holding a letter "C".
I looked at it...and I thought....No WAY!
So then I tried to make an "S" and it was PERFECT.
WOWZERS!
These curlers are now the envy of all who see them!
I call them my SQUIDGIES.
Why?  They just look like what a squidgie would look like....
they're bendable and soft feeling, and squidgie-like.
That.
is.
AWESOME!

(Karate Ballerina ended up buying very expensive, 
modern looking curlers that worked great, 
and I ended up tossing the electric units and keeping 
just the squidgies so it all worked out in the end.)
Next is my Fun Friday area....
this is where I house all of my stuff 
that's off limits during the rest of the week.



 There's a dollhouse, Lincoln Logs, Dinosaurs, Polly Pockets, Potato Heads,
Playmobil, Legos, wooden trains, 2 boxes of dress up



We work hard so that we can play hard!
It also has my backpacks....boys on one side, girls on the other.
No, I was not provided hooks for backpacks by the school, 
WHAT?!
HUH?!
Are they supposed to wear them all day?
REALLY?
in fact a parent of one of my students 
went and got these hooks for me 8 years ago.



Here comes the front of my room!
My two cohorts (Writing/Social Studies and Science/Math 
went Pinterest crazy this summer and made their rooms
 AMAZINGLY cute! I'll have to show some of their pics another  time.  
Anyway, I came back and looked at my room and went....
BLEK! SOOOO boring!  
 (I love Angela's expression...."Blek" is a word you can just taste!)



Ma Chérie had some extra border that she shared with me 
to spice up my boards.  What would I do without her?
I really hope that everyone out there has someone at 
their school to lean on and at times to allow that friend to do the leaning.
It makes ALL the difference! 
I know that I need support to get through some (most) days!
Agreed!
We use Fundations for our phonics program, 
so here is Echo the owl sitting in her cage.
A fellow K teacher at school made it her
mission a few years ago to hook us up with cages
for our owls....we love ROSS (the discount store) and we love 
Room Moms who go out and scout incoming store items!
It cost us about $15.00 each....but it was well worth it!
I do love my cage!
(Is that a metaphor for my classroom?)
Hmmm.........Hmmm is right!

I took a pointer from the $ Store 
and hot glue gunned it up Baby Echo's you know what!
WHOA!  OUCH!
So, I now have a fabulous Baby Echo pointer.
I told you Angela, I've got mad glue gun skills...
I'm still willing to glue gun a 
Super Hero S on your cap and gown
if you ever change your mind! Ha!
(Notice the hand sanitizer...they're all over my room!)
WORD!
In Kindergarten, 

we share EVERYTHING
but germs!

 I know all 3 of these pics are similar....
I'm just continuing with my slow turn around the room.
See the low shelf....I've wanted one of those for 8 years.
Other classrooms had that shelf (but not me).  I finally got one that
someone else was moving out of their room.....Woo-hoo!
 Notice the desk? I LOVE my desk.  
I call it the Information Station,because that's the big think tank 
for the document camera, the big screen that pulls down, 
the dvd/vcr hook-up, the cd/dvd player...it's all right there.
The kids are in the back running things as much as I am.
At times, they actually use my desk as a 
listening station with the big screen down. 


 That big book box/shelf that sits behind my desk, 
I just got this year.  
I've wanted one for the past 7 years, 
and a friend decided that she was getting rid of hers....
so now it sits happily in my room!
Gotta love hand-me-downs!
  Yay!

Ok...this next part you really have to look closely:
I really needed to have certain spots for my students to sit 
on the carpet, and I needed to have their number spots 
marked on the carpet for line up time.  
My head custodian was completely anti-tape on the carpet, 
so I went to have a chat with him one day about what I could do.  
Together, we came up with this beyond fabulous idea! 
After much discussion the solution to my problem was achieved....
Use Washable Paint 
What's that you say?
Paint on the carpet, and your custodian is fine with that?
YUP!
Use a paint color close to the color of the carpet 
so as not to be OVERLY conspicuous
and simply paint what you need onto the carpet, itself.  
Most of the paint comes up when they clean the carpets...
after 2 washes it's gone (happy head custodian),
and I'm THRILLED to have a way to mark my carpets that is kid proof.  
No more picking at tape, 
no more demolishing my store bought carpets, 
no more carpet squares being used as sliding mechanisms, 
or being thrown across the classroom.
The kids completely leave the paint alone.
They touch it the first time they see it,
they can't BELIEVE a teacher wrote with paint on the carpet,
and then...
....after that initial shock..... 
It's completely left alone....
like it's not even there...
Ahhhhhh.....Bliss!


Just put your washable paint in an easy squirt bottle...
I'm thinking an old glue bottle would work just fine!
That way, you can just squirt as you write....
I used to use stampers or write by hand with a paint brush, 
when it occurred to me to use this type of a bottle.
This brilliant paint dispenser  idea took me 3 years to come up with! 
"Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly. Think!"
Brilliant!







Here is my 2nd reading area...
notice the Common Core State Standards made into clouds for my door?
I'm very visual, so I LOVE my Common Core Clouds!
They keep my focused!


What?  
Queen Chaos needs something to keep her focused?
(Obviously....look at the length of this post!)  

Those clouds are for ME....not so much the kids.
They're also an easy way for parents to see
what I'm teaching in my class.
Dang girl!
The Common Core police called.

They want to recommend you
for a big 'ole pay raise!



I don't know if you can see, 
but I have my Kindergarten Queen 
and Kindergarten King  Label Posters 
plus my Star Readers Make Connections
in small posters on my metal cabinet.
(Click on the links above if interested.) 
I had planned on taking them all to Office Depot to enlarge them, 
but after my emergency root canal this summer I ran out of money!
How is that possible?
Teachers are super rich!
 
Maybe next year, they'll be big....but for now the little ones will do just fine!


I seriously considered getting rid of my Fire Station
this year....it takes up so much space, 
but the kids LOVE playing with it on Fun Fridays.
(That's when we pull out all the stops, and let the kiddos be 5
while we are playing catch up with teaching and testing.)
It's a real incentive for them to work hard during the week!)

I decided to add 2 red book boxes to the top and call
them our Red Hot Readers!
(Yes, I know....I have to to label those as well!
A teacher's work is NEVER done!) 
So, I am happy to say  that I think I found the perfect spot 
for the beloved Fire Station right in the middle of my reading area!
The kids are happy, and Queen Chaos is content in knowing 
that she can defend the educational value to it.......Aaaahh!


Did you see the camping chair 
folded up next to my bookshelf?
THAT is my next brilliant teacher tip for you!

Here is where I sit for recess....
You get to sit?  WHAT?!
Enlighten me.
Is your playground area in the middle
of this big outside hallway?

Well...not necessarily RIGHT here...this is actually
a picture right outside my classroom door.
(We have outside hallways....all the doors open to the outside.
Welcome to The Sunshine State!)
Typing this among the cornfields,
I can not even relate to outside hallways.
Soooo not what I'm accustomed to.

But it gives you the idea....
at recess I just tote out my own chair and umbrella if needed 
(not for rain protection, but for sun protection...
I wasn't kidding about using my umbrella in previous posts!)
Hey, this fair skinned skin cancer peep
can relate to the need for that umbrella.
SPF 50 is a beautiful thing.
Here is my puppet theater with my 
alphabet puppets from where else? Lakeshore!

I LOVE my beanbag chairs.  
I started off with only 2 and my daughter, Karate Ballerina, 
rolled her eyes and said, 
"Like THAT is going to work!
From the mouths of babes!  
Your Kindergarteners are going to fight over those beanbags."  
Oh the wisdom of my 18 year old!
Unfortunately, I didn't listen to her, bought only the 2, 
after 2 days of having them in my classroom making me nuts, 
because the kids DID argue over them.
The worst offenders were two of  my own children, 
Golden Boy (12) and The Darling Diva (3) 
who BOTH wanted to have the 2 beanbags 
to THEMSELVES in the morning before school started 
(so that they could lie down on them like a bed).
I went BACK to Walmart to get 2 more and they were out.  
They only had hot pink....
and that OBVIOUSLY wouldn't go with my classroom!  
Blue!  Everything has to be blue!
(If I can't find blue, then green works too...
but I always try to get blue things 
just to simplify from too many colors
floating around my eyes.)
Unlike my classroom where
it looks like the rainbow threw up!
Maybe I have a medical condition that I don't know about,
remember...I'm the one that gets dizzy shopping.
Hmmmmmm....
something to google about when I have the free time. 
HAH!
Luckily, 2 weeks later....
Walmart had replenished their beanbag supply 
and I had the 2 extra beanbags that I needed 
(alright....WANTED....get your wants and needs straight!).

The large shelves in this area contain my entire Kindergarten Year.
It start on the left shelf at the top with August 
and then it goes down and then up at the top of the next shelf.
Down, up, down, up, down until I finish with June. 
I used to have big, huge tubs for each month, 
but I LOVE having my shelves this way, 
because all of my materials are right there 
for me to easily pull! 
Since ALL of my little book containers are BLUE it makes it easy on the eye when 
I do put kid work in front of the shelves.
See....there's Mrs. Wishy Washy!
Very cute!

Look Angela....we like Mrs. Wishy Washy, too! 
Joy Cowley rocks!  
These are from makinglearningfun.com
where everything posted for FREE.  
The lady on this site is AMAZING!
I know Angela and I both sell stuff on TPT, but seriously
I just have to share Jo Kramer's website with you....
I know right?!
I found her website 8 years ago before I could have
ever imagined being able to make my own products, 
much less my own clip art! Her site REALLY helped 
me outwhen I went back to teaching and entered a 
completely EMPTY classroom.  
Not a pencil, not a stapler, not anything but 
1 teal colored shelf  and those 2 big huge shelves 
in my back corner that I now use for Fun Friday.  
They were standing upright and they had 
some green, leafy paper attached to them.  That's it.  
The school did order me the tables 
(luckily I was able to trade out my yellow and red one, 
for a blue and green one),
 a desk (not the one I have now), 
a filing cabinet (passed that on this past summer), 
the computers, and the big metal cabinet.  That's about it.  
The rest has come from yours truly.
  Thrift stores, consignment stores, tutoring after school, 
bonuses (which have disappeared), generous parents, 
and now TPT.  I promised my husband I wouldn't spend 
my paycheck on my class, and I pretty much have adhered to that.  
I've just gotten really creative!
So having said all of that:
Karma would come back and bite me in the tooshie 
if I didn't share this site that was a godsend 8 years ago! 

It's called Paying It Forward, people! 
These are my "Camp Out And Read Chairs"
from Sam's Club.  Too cozy!  The kids LOVE sitting in them.
I don't know...I think it's the little arms on the sides.
Anyway right behind them see the little tv, vcr/dvd player, 
cd/tape player on the brown shelf? 
THAT is my listening center.  
The kids just turn the "Camp Out And Read Chairs" 
around and face the brown shelf when that center is open.
Now, just to be clear....
my kids DO NOT watch movies in my classroom....
not even for a reward (this is a pet peeve of mine).
They DO watch informational videos/dvds 
or reading based videos/dvds.
(The old Reading Rainbows are FABULOUS!)
There is such great stuff out there to get them into reading books 
and learning, that I LOVE having my littleTV.
Notice: No Headphones
These are NOT allowed in my classroom 
other than the computer station by order of The Queen!
They drive me absolutely batty!
We just keep the volume down low
and everyone is happy!

Here's a sign on my front door that I made many years ago...
it's still one of my favorites!


I decided to try out some Whole Brain Teaching this summer....
LOVE IT!  
Saw Chris Biffle himself in August.
AWESOME!
so here's my class rules.
The 3 W's is just something that I made up many years ago
to help my kids remember how to behave in class.  

Angela, these next few pics are seriously for you!
I know you couldn't believe it when you heard that 
I have my own classroom restroom....
Well, here it is:
Ta-Dah!
WOW!  I have no words.
(So that there are no misunderstandings....
that dark splotch on the floor is a drain.)

1. Outside of door 
2. Inside the restroom, 
3.  What the students see when they exit...
Wash your hands by golly!

Yes, that is a vacuum that you see in my restroom.
I didn't have anywhere else to put it in my classroom,
and I desperately need it for the days that we
get the announcement that the custodial staff
is short and can only collect trash that day.
Believe me...when that happens, all of the
Kindergarten teachers are looking around
at smashed fishy cracker crumbs all over their carpets 
from snack time thinking...
"Holy Schnikes Batman!"
Our custodians don't vacuum our rugs.
Ever.
Jealous?


My restroom is full of 
reading pics from Mary Engelbreit (love her!)
Might as well get them started reading 
in the bathroom while they're young!
Only a teacher would use the simple act of 
going to the bathroom as a learning opportunity.

Love this quote!

By the way, I can jimmy my bathroom lock 
in a mater of 5 seconds or less.  
Yes, I have learned some bad to the bone skills 
teaching Kindergarten!
You got crazy mad skills my friend.
I can't tell you how many times 
this door has been accidentally locked, 
and we had to wait for someone to come unlock it.  
After 2 years and some near misses,
I just figured out 
how to open it with a pair of scissors.  
Beware of a woman with a pair scissors...
they're not just for cutting, you know!

That brings us full circle back to my sink/water fountain 
and Nurse Betty.
Whew! 
Did you really read this WHOLE POST?
Angela...are you there? 
So here!
Anyone? Anyone? 
I'm sure they're here too!
Bueller?

 photo Queenchaossignoff-2.png

2 comments:

Liz C said...

Wow! Love it! Great job and so much detail!
I like the blues :) Makes it look calming.

Queen Chaos said...

So....you made it to the end of my mammoth post!

I need something to keep me calm in my chaotic world....I love the quote I've seen on PInterest:
Keep Calm And Teach On!

That just about wraps up my day.
Happy Friday....or maybe you're well on your way to a Saturday (even better). Hmmm.....I'll have to look up the time differences between Florida and Australia.
Thanks for letting me know you made it to the end. Writing this blog has made me realize that.......girrrrrrl, I can ramble!
Off to a calm day at work!
Hah!
:) Regina

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