Saturday, August 22, 2015

Classroom Reveal: Back To School Night #27 (or #28?)


As promised, my classroom “reveal” for 2015-2016!  This week was Back To School Night, my 27th or 28th…I honestly can’t remember.  I was just slightly horrified when I said it aloud to the parents, and I think they were a little amazed that I was still getting around so well on my own.  

Somehow I thought that by this time I would not be stressed out by the prospect of meeting the parents and making my room “perfect” for inspection.  Well, 27 or 28 years later, it still is the worst and most exhausting week of school for me.  One of these years, I am going learn how to not be so hard on myself.

Maybe it is because it was not the room I had planned in my head for this year.  Last year’s room was just a little hard to top.  I had wanted to paint ancient ruins and artifacts across the back of the room, and a giant game board running through them.  Next year…
Unfortunately, I was only able to get into my room for two days before the kids arrived.  They were installing a new fire alarm system at our site and they were not done until the NIGHT before school started.  I bribed them with homemade chocolate chip cookies in order to get in when I did.  I had to work around open panels, wires and strings. 
Not to mention because they needed access, I had to empty out my beautiful closet and take it all home over the summer.  I lost count of the trips and loads to and from the car.
With me being me, I couldn’t just throw up the perfectly cute and useful poster sets that I had bought and laminated.  Well, actually I did and then I took them down, then put them up some place else, then took them down again, and put them up some place else. This is their current resting place.
I just wasn’t feeling it.  Instead I went for big and colorful.  Fortunately, our secretary allowed me access to the color printer and I was able to get it up in just one day.
Last year I tried to get our school involved in Character Counts, again (but of course, I am the only one who has been there long enough to remember doing it the first time.)  This summer I took matters into my own hands and put together a calendar of “Character Focus Words” with related weekly quotes, and a variety of activities from various sources.  Fortunately, the rest of the school is going along with it (hehehe, one of the perks of being there so long).  I will share more about that in another post.
My classroom library books got to take a ride home this summer too.  I Lexiled all of them, looked up the word counts, and noted which of them are included in Reading Counts.  They are color coded by Lexile.  I want my kids to read OUTSIDE of the Read 180 books this year!   

By the time I was able to put them back on the bookshelves, the kids had arrived.  I had been debating how to organize them (which is why they were not on the shelves before the kids arrived), and was still waffling between genre and Lexile.  I asked the kids, and since they are going to be responsible for keeping them in order, they voted for by Lexile.  I am going with it for now.
These are new and I really like them!  The graphics are from Megan, of I Teach, What’s Your SuperPower.  I love her stuff!  Be sure to check out her store!  The sentence stems are from one of Dr. Kate Kinsella’s handouts.  So no, they will not be in my TpT store because they are her sentence stems.  I just made them pretty.   
They are laminated with those peel and stick magnets on the back.  I have them filed in a tub behind the board.  That way, I can put up just what we need for that day or week.  Last year I had something similar up, but they were so small that the kids could not read them; they just made the district people who walk the classrooms happy.  Love them!  Love the sentence stems, not necessarily the district people, but I don’t necessarily “not love” the district people (especially if they are reading this).
This will be my Read 180 vocabulary board and my “I Can” or standard board.  The shiny pocket chart that does not photograph well will hold the vocabulary.  I found these cute little clipboards in an outlet and nailed them into the wall (another perk of being in the same room for about 21 years, who is going to say anything?).  They make it easy for me to pull my “ICan” statements out of my binder and throw them up.  Since I have a self-contained classroom, I would be writing them on the board all day long.  This makes it easy!

This is how everything looked on Back To School Night with all the projects.

Year 27 or 28, here I come!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Interactive Long Division Update!

Shocking, I know!  I have been a very bad blogger.  As I was searching for a little more balance and less stress in my life, blogging got temporarily benched.  This school year, I hope to be sharing on a more regular basis.

This is just a short post to let you know that I have updated my Interactive Long Division packet in my TpT store.  After several questions and requests to provide mats with longer divisors/dividends, decimals, and fractions as remainders, and after several attempts to do so, I finally got it to work!


The revised packet contains 28 Interactive Long Division Mats which is 12 more than the original version.  Included in the new mats are Extended Mats for larger divisors/dividends - up to 3 digit divisors and 5 digit dividends. 

Plus, the option to write remainders as fractions. 

And of course, I included decimal tiles. 

All of this is in one zip, and if you have already purchased my original version, all you have to do to update is download again!  You are welcome!  I probably should have made a different product and charged you for it, but that is just not me.  I will NEVER be on that Top 100 Sellers list from TpT, lol!  More power to those amazing teachers, but I am just not comfortable with the "selling" part of it all.

Back to School Night is this week, be sure to check back next weekend for a tour of my room.  For now, here is a little peek.

Have a great week!  Oh, and please think good thoughts for me!  I have Jury Duty on Monday!  That is not what I want to be doing in the 2nd full week of school!  So think, "Your jury duty is cancelled, your group will not be needed..."