Sometimes it's all about functionality for me.  I do love cutesie things, don't get me wrong, but this year I am all about making things simple and easy.  As most of you know, my husband and I have been in the adoption process for about 7 months now, and we are hoping to travel to Africa to pick up our little girl this semester some time.  Well, I'm a CONTROL FREAK to the max, y'all.  Like, I have a serious issue, so I've been doing lots to prep my room for my maternity leave (even though it's probably at least 2-3 months away!)  The thought of leaving my classroom makes me break out in hives... okay, not really but it does make me bite my nails :)  Anyways, I just wanted to show you some things I've prepared without "going all out" like I normally do.  This will help you all to know that I am most definitely not Superwoman.  

Could I have made, bought, or even downloaded for free those cute "How do we go home" ribbon posters?  Absolutely!  But, I normally don't even display that in my classroom so I just quickly whipped up a chart and expo-d the names in!  Serves the purpose, right?!
 This next picture will show you just how much of a control freak I really am.  All around my room you will see these little yellow labels.  I have labeled everything that is behind a cabinet, locker, or shelf like this.  I want my sub to easily be able to find anything she/he needs without having to dig!
Are they cute... notsomuch.  Are they functional... YES!
 Here's another example of me taking the more simple route this year.  Instead of making a sign, I just hung up some sentence strips to display our specials rotation.  Once again, not as cute as they could be, but it took me 5 seconds!
 I do want to make sure that all my kids get their little birthday treats this year, so I used my Cameo to cut out some balloons, quickly wrote names/birthdates in the corner, taped those to crazy straws, and put them in a little goody bag.  I also used this idea last year from What the Teacher Wants.
 While I am trying to simplify my classroom, I am most definitely not skipping out on cute activities or lessons.  I just won't budge when it comes to that!  On Wednesday, we read "Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon" and made sunflowers to show how we are all special and unique.  You can find the lesson and templates for free {HERE}, however, I did trim down the patterns to make a little smaller sunflowers for my classroom.
 Today we talked all about the word "Mathematicians" and we came to discover that we are all mathematicians!  My kids really enjoyed this little activity.  AND, they did a great job brainstorming for our chart.  This activity is included in my "Let's Get Started" math activities pack.  You can pick that up {HERE}.  I still have some to add to the other side of the chart... as soon as my little stinkers get finished :)
 My first chart of the year!
 In the pack, I did only include templates for a boy mathematician.  I was going for more of an Einstein approach :)
 And, we've also been drilling those classroom rules.  Each day we pick a rule to focus on.  We add the rule to our "Rule Book" and then write/draw about it.  This has helped TREMENDOUSLY!  Can't wait to finish those up tomorrow!  You can find those things in my "My School Rules" pack {HERE}

And that's it for me!  It's been a somewhat crazy first week, but overall I am very blessed to be a 2nd grade teacher!  I'll definitely be sharing more of what I do to prepare for my long-term sub as I get things ready.  For now, it's almost Friday so I'm going to go get a jumpstart on my 3-day weekend by relaxing :)


RealOCteachers said...

Thanks for showing a more simple side to your classroom, although still very cute! Sometimes I feel embarrassed when I look at my BLOG after seeing what you and other amazing teachers out there are doing. I feel like I live in my classroom, yet still have not produced nearly the amount of things that you and some other teachers do. Thanks so much for sharing and letting us know that it's OK to keep things simple. :)

The REAL Teachers of Orange County

Vickie said...

I am going out on maternity leave in November, and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one freaking out!! I also have labeled everything and am trying to make everything super simple! I'm really lucky though and my mother in law is going to be my sub (she taught K for 20+ years!) Your activities look great1
Mrs. Plant's Press

Ash said...

Even simple can still be cute! Love the mathematician door display! Good luck with the adoption!

Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

Second Grade Smartypants said...

It all looks great! I am a control freak about my classroom too, but once I had my twins and was home with them I really didn't care WHAT went on in my classroom while I was on maternity leave! Once you get your sweet little girl home you will be surprised how much you can let go of!!

Lori said...

So many great ideas in your room! The mathematicians are so cute!
Conversations in Literacy

Deana said...

My kiddos completed the silent puzzles yesterday and they LOVED it!! They asked if we were going to do it again today. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas!!


Primary Punchs

Michelle G. said...

After two extended medical leaves on bed rest and a 7 month maternity leave, I can tell you the best lessons I learned in my teaching career: 1. The classroom will go on without me, and 2. There is never a child more important than your own after you become a mother. Everything will be GREAT!

Stephanie said...

Simple sometimes equals = sane!! I go crazy when I think I have to leave sub plans for a few days. (Or even worse- when you wake up sick an never planned to have a sub in the first place-!) So the idea of planning to be gone for an extended period of time would put me into a bit of a tail spin too. But once you are back home with your sweet baby girl, it will all be worth it and you won't have to think about anything but her :)

❤ -Stephanie
Falling Into First

Rachelle said...

Love it all!!!! I think your cupboard labels are cute!!!!!! You are silly!!!! Can't wait to see you in October!!!

KellNell said...

Omg you are too funny! I love your little yellow notes left around the room for the sub. I wish I would have thought of that when I went out for medical leave last spring. It was a very stressful time because I felt like my kids needed me, but then I had to remember that my health had to come first and that they would survive without me. I also wanted to let you know that I have been following you for a long time and I love all your stuff. I actually just wrote up a blog post that mentioned you and your math creation. If you have time, check it out! Thanks!

Owl Inspire You
Kelly Nelson

Leigh Langton said...

You're not a control Freak! Just a really organized teacher! LOL! Don't worry, I labeled EVERYTHING in my classroom too. I go out for maternity leave in Dec. I am glad to hear that I'm not the only one getting ready already! All my team mates think I'm crazy!

Tori said...

Your sub is going to LOVE you! I had my son 3 months early so I had no time to prep my room.. after I was gone... it all went out the window anyway! You are amazing for thinking things out and being so prepared!! Congrats on the soon to be parenthood!
Tori's Teacher Tips

Kelly Teaching Fourth said...

I completely understand wanting everything ready for a sub when you are out for an extended time. Four years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I thought that I would be able to go through treatments and work, too. Unfortunately, the treaments wore me down. I was very blessed to have a wonderful, retired teacher fill in for me on the days and weeks that I just could not make it in.
I pray that the time will come quickly for you to go and get your precious little girl!

Teaching Fourth