September 7, 2015

Classroom Tour 2015

Hey everyone!  I'm stoppin' by real quick to give you a 'lil tour of my classroom.  As I was getting pictures ready, I realized some of these pictures were right before back to school night...before school actually started and I have changed a few things.  So, I'll have to update sometime soon.  But this will give you a good idea of where I am spending my time. 
This table is where my student teacher and/or para sit and work with groups.  The blank board will be the home of our writing anchor charts once we get moving into writers' workshop just a bit more.  
Mini black pocket charts: Scholastic The Teacher Store
Camera Crafts can be found in my back to school packets
Bright chair:  Target
Chevron floor pillows: Kohls
Rug: Home Store
I really would prefer not to have as much on my counters as I do, but with a student teacher and para who is in and out of my room, I need some things easy to grab.  The black crates contain centers to be used during small groups by my student teacher and/or para, data binders, and also mentor writing texts to easily grab. It is on my "to do list" to make signs for each crate, but I've decided to let some little things go:)
The teacher tool box: Teach Create Motivate.
3 Drawer Signs: Learning in a Wonderland
Wel"gum" to 2nd Grade: Hope King
Subway Art Signs can be found in my store

This picture is pretty accurate on how my rooms looks from the back, besides the calendar being updated with our specials schedule and the chevron arrows & millions of magnets being stored in a container verses all over the board:)  A schedule is now posted where the arrows are.
Alphabet:  Primary Graffiti
Objective Bulletin Board:  Learning in a Wonderland
Math Signs:  here
Chevron Pillows:  Walmart
Owl Pillow:  CVS Pharmacy
Chevron Rug: Big Lots
Polk-a-dot Pillow:  Kohls
Class Rules:  Maria Manore-Gavin
Ah, the quality of this picture is awful and I have added more things to this little area.  I have no teacher desk, so I try to use as little space as possible for my own materials.  Why are the blinds shut?  Because the afternoon sun coming in is AWFUL!  See the little clutter behind the table?  I couldn't take it and it is already moved and gone.  The reading cart is now against the wall right below the window. The black pocket chart will be the home of some sorts if needed.  I have very little space to actually HANG things up and needed to get creative!  I'd really like to put some signs way up above the windows, but again.....trying to pick my battles:)
This is my new little math corner, that really should be called my "Amy Lemons" area!  Seriously.  If you've never checked out her math items, you are missing out. All items in this picture can be found in her store:) Students also hang out here during reading while they are on the iPad rotation.
My focus wall is in a space that isn't the easiest to decorate!  Last year, I spent many hours putting up my own bulletin board in this exact area that contained my calendar, etc.  Well, it only took about a month before the Nebraska humidity had the paper all over the floor.  I put it up again, only to have it come right back off.  So, I refuse to spend my time doing that anymore and this nice big pocket chart is my solution!  It's driving me nuts that the one picture is not turned in correctly as it normally is, but....oh well!
I talked my very nice janitor into helping me put black paper up above my lockers this year.  I am so glad I did, it just makes this bulletin board pop!  This bulletin board set is by Teacher Created.
I grabbed this flower pot, along with a yellow and green pot back in the spring at Michaels.  The flowers still need a little help, but they'll do for now!  I didn't realize how thick the stems were and what a challenge it would be to cut them!  Even with wire cutters.
My sister helped me make these pom-poms yarn balls for my classroom.  I absolutely love the little touch it has brought to my classroom.  A simple and cheap way to add a little more detail.

August 31, 2015

Teacher Week- 5 Fun Facts

It is time for teacher week!  Are you ready?  
I know my Blog Hoppin' girls and I are!

Yep, I really did.  I've never shared this on my blog before.  I was thrown into a high poverty area my first year and was in a complete culture shock.  One day after school, I drove back to my parents house 20 minutes away a complete mess.  I was going to move home and just work at Walmart.  That was my bawling, freaking out plan.  It was actually this week 7 years ago:).  And now, I thank the man above for putting me into that situation and pushing me through it.  It truly helped me become the teacher I am today.  This will be my 7th year in a high poverty area and I love every little bit of it.  I am sharing this to any teacher out there struggling, especially new teachers.  That first year is hard, but you can do it.  Granted, it never gets "easy" but it does get a lot dang better!
Another "fact" about me that I've never shared here before:)  I don't have a ton of symptoms these days, but I sure do need way more sleep than the average person.  I try to stick to a pretty set sleeping schedule in order to keep my body on track.  When I start to feel really worn down, I need a good day or two of sleeping on and off.  So, by 8-9 each evening you can find me in my bed relaxing and getting ready for a good nights sleep.  Stress also can impact my CFS so I really try to LET IT GO!

Now it is your turn!  Head on over to Blog Hoppin' to link up for Teacher Week!

August 30, 2015

Carson Dellossa Interactive Notebooks Math

Happy, Sunday!  This school year has started off with a bang and has not slowed down one little bit yet! I have a very energetic & eager to learn little sweethearts who are keeping me on my toes every second of the day.  I hope within the next week finally get posts up about what we have been doing in the classroom!  It will eventually slow down, right?!  I want to apologize quickly for having to reviews back to back:)  This was not my intent but things got away from me during this crazy back to school time.  I will do better from here on out!

Do you use interactive notebooks? I am a huge fan of using interactive activities in all subjects!  I have struggled to find math interactive activities that are quick and easy to implement, yet hit on all of the skills I need.  But, Carson-Dellossa has now changed that.  My district requires that I follow their pacing guide that also goes along with Go Math.  All activities I supplement into my math block have to be pretty quick since most of our time is spent getting through the Go Math curriculum but I still love to mix in as many other activities as I can, of course:)


Check out all of the skills covered in the 2nd grade math book!
Do you teach a skill not covered in this book?  Don't worry, many blank reproducibles are included for you to create your own interactive sheets if needed! 

I honestly love every little bit that is included in this 96 page booklet.  The only thing that I wish was included was a CD!  And that is mostly just a preference in order to send copies to my "main district" copy shop verses putting in for hard copies at my school.  It's quicker and easier to do it all digitally for me!  But, they do have an Ebook, so if you are mostly "digital" as I am, this may be the way to go!

In case you haven't seen, Blog Hoppin' will be holding our yearly Teacher Week this coming week!  Make sure you join in on the fun:)

Review Disclaimer: I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.

August 13, 2015

Colorful Chalkboard Set by Carson-Dellosa

Hey there, friends! I have some exciting news to share with you.  I have been asked to be a Brand Ambassador for Carson-Dellosa throughout this school year.  This means that I will be giving you very honest reviews of some of their products every few months and also providing giveaways here and there!  What I am most excited about is the fact that Carson-Dellosa really cares what WE as TEACHERS like and dislike about a product.  I'm hoping by being a Brand Ambassador, I can  help you decide which items you should invest in and which items you could pass on.|Colorful%20Chalkboard&utm_source=TheFunkyMonkeyBlog&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=BrandAmbassador
This review was quick & easy the minute I opened up the package.  What is there not to love about the colors in this set?  Black & bright colors are all of the rage and this set does not disappoint.
Here are a few of my personal & honest opinions.

1.  Quick and easy to punch out!  This calendar was probably the easiest calendar I have ever had my hands on!  And trust me, I have about 6 different calendars stashed in my cabinet at school. 

2.  The letters are PREPUNCHED! Yes, you heard me right!  Open up the package and BAM, you are ready to go.  I would suggest purchasing 2-3 sets if you plan on using the letters for your classroom boards.  But, it is easy to see exactly how many of each letter are provided on the cover
3.  I love the straight borders because they are easy peasy to put up.  I was a tad worried about getting the pattern on this set to line up correctly, but it honestly was the easiest border I have put up.  I really feel that the designer  considered the pattern and how to make it work so it is quick & easy.  I did not have to cut any section to get the pattern to line up, which of course saved me much valuable time.

4.  Did you notice that the calendar has a spot for you to simply write the current month?  Umm...this is genius in my mind.  If you are anything like me, you stick the month signs in a "special" spot, but then when it comes to a new month..that special spot is extremely hidden.

This set would look great on many different shades of paper, but check out how fantastic it looks on black! 

Review Disclaimer: I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.

August 2, 2015

LOVE Back 2 School Sale!

Are you ready to shop & save 28% on all of your back to school needs?  I know I am!   I have a handful of items on my "wish list" to purchase.
 Make sure you use the code BTS15 when you check out.  You can click on each picture to go straight to the item in my store.  Thanks to Amy for her tip on periscope!
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