Teacher Tips!

My teacher life will officially resume on Monday morning around 8ish.  It's so hard to believe that the summer is coming to an end... in less than a few days!  Thankfully, my room is pretty much ready to go.  Now I need to work on my year-at-a-glance and first week plans!  As I was putting a few finishing touches around my room today I snapped some pictures to share with you... teacher tips style!

Before we begin, I've put all of the things I'll mention into one easy download for you.  You can grab that HERE.  Like I said before, I so wish I had the time to make a gajillion different color and table options, but I just don't... so sorry!

Alrighty, first up...
I've been doing this for several years now.  During the first week of school I want my kiddos to be reading, but I haven't necessarily taught library procedures yet.  So, I put easy reads in buckets on their table.  That way they can grab a book if they finish work early, but they won't tear up my library before learning my expectations.  I rotate the books every morning so that they get a new set of books each day!  I teach the library procedures pretty early on, but these book buckets always help!  The buckets are from Big Lots.  They didn't have yellow, so we used yellow's brother... orange ;)  The labels are included in the download I mentioned above!

I love sitting my students in table teams.  Also, I have them labeled by table and number.  Sometimes I just call the color... sometimes the number.  Really, it's just whatever comes out of my mouth, ha!  I learned a couple of years ago to just do both because I always would forget which table was which otherwise!  This year I bought Neat Seats so that my tables would be more uniform.  I had mismatching chairs that always drove me nuts!  I also added lanterns with tassels above each table {from School Girl Style} to add a little fun!!

My next tip is all about spreading a little sunshine throughout your campus.  This year I am leading our Sunshine Committee as well as our Appreciation Days/Weeks.  The Sunshine Committee will do things like host monthly potlucks, surprise treats for the staff, and things like that.  We will also host all of the staff appreciation celebrations.  I have some fun things planned, but more on that later!  My assistant principal always does a couple of fun bulletin boards throughout our office.  This year I told her to let me know what she wants, and I will make it happen.  So, we decided on a "positive praise" board where the staff will write nice notes to one another such as "Thanks to Mrs. D for lending a helping hand in the cafeteria today!"  or "The lesson Mr. J planned for science was so much fun!"  That's the Sunshine Wall you see above.  The second board we decided on was a photo collage board for our staff.  That's where we will take/print pictures throughout the year so that we can see what's going on in other classrooms!  I'm super excited about both of these boards because they are fun to look at and easy to maintain!  Plus, when you go to the bathroom you can't help but smile as you walk by a sunny backdrop :)  The cloud paper and pennant are from Mardel.  The words are in the download I mentioned above.  I made the sun out of crinkled butcher paper!

My last little tip is all about fun finds!  I'm constantly on the look out for things that could find a new home in my classroom... I'm sure you do the same, right?!  It's just really hard to turn that teacher brain off!!  This year I decided that I wanted to add even more reading areas to my classroom.  So, I have placed many rugs and pillows around my room to make reading more comfy and cozy!  All of these rugs and pillows were found on the cheap at Wal Mart and Big Lots.  There's just no need to spend a ton of money!!  And, that blue chair??!!  Found it at KROGER...say what??!!  I was grocery shopping and ran across that gem!!  Perfection!

I also LOVE my new birthday chair covers from JNLsewcute!  They are currently living on my computer chairs so that I won't forget about them.  They sure do add a touch of cuteness to some ugly chairs!

And, that filing cabinet... such an eye sore.  I didn't want to paint or cover it, well, because... I'm a lazy one!  So, I found these magnets from Teacher Created and they worked perfectly!  I added a label to the top, some magnets, and voila!  Now, it's not so bad to look at :)

I'm off to enjoy my last weekend!  Bye, friends!!!


Mindy Thomas said...

I am SO going to use your idea of the table buckets for books. That is perfect! Especially since I like to take time to go over library rules before I let them dive in and start getting books out.
I am on Sunshine, too. One thing we did was called a "Crash Cart." It was a HIT!
You can see it here:
Crash Cart for Sunshine Committee
I also made cupcake chair covers a couple years ago. The kids love them. I also hang a shiny sign above their desk on that day that says Happy Birthday! They feel like royalty. :)

Thanks for sharing your ideas, Amy!

Mrs. Thomas' Teachable Moments

Lovely Nina said...

Love all of your classroom items and great finds. Here's to a great new school year!!
-Lovely Nina

Pamela Swift said...
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Stephanie McConnell said...

Love the sunshine bulletin board. Great for staff morale. Love your classroom. It's always so beautiful.
Stephanie from Principal Principles

Courtney B said...

Thanks so much, Amy! You are so generous with your freebies and they are always amazing. I love your tips too!

Amanda said...

I LOVE what you did with your file cabinet! I inherited two uglies that don't match (I think they were from when the school opened 40 years ago ...) and I haven't ever done anything with them because the task was too daunting. Your labels look great and would really spruce up my files - what a super idea!

And the first day book baskets are a wonderful idea. I've been setting my kids lose with their new and empty book bins to fill up, and it's been a little too much for the first morning. I might have to try your baskets! Thanks for the great ideas!

:) Amanda

Leslie Moore said...

Thanks so much for all your hard work!! It really helps me as a teacher since I am the only one at my school that teaches 2nd grade Math!!

Grade School Giggles said...

I love the labels on your filing cabinet. What did you use to write the subjects? Was that magnetic paper or bulletin board letters?
Grade School Giggles

Mrs. Singer said...
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MoseyPosey said...

I used your book basket idea TODAY-life saver. It was the second day of school and i didn't hear "Teacher, Im done." ONCE!!! YAY!!! It takes several weeks before I let my littles loose in my library so this will be PERFECT.

Sarah Mcreynolds said...

Are you selling the labels on the filing cabinet that says student info, math stations, language arts? I would love to be able to use those too.