Thursday, August 23, 2012

Teacher Space

I have finished organizing my desk space! We have the equivalence of computer tables with a "pen drawer" as teacher desks.  NOT what they originally were going to get for us!  Since I couldn't use the drawer much, I decided to empty it out and turn it into my keyboard tray!  It has worked fabulously so far! I love that the top of the desk is clean and I can easily get to the keyboard.  I am short, so the fact that I just lowered it for easier typing has been terrific!  My sister also had the great idea to get a wireless mouse for the desktop {She teaches high school and her computer is against her SmartBoard! Why would you put your back to 9th graders?!?}  The mouse works from anywhere in the room!  I can take it with me and if we are working on things and can't get up, we can click from a distance! This will give me some freedom of movement!  And since I can pull up the keyboard tool for the SmartBoard, I can literally be anywhere for any activity! HEAVEN!
This year I put my 2 drawer file cabinet under the desk and I will be keeping my lesson materials and extra folders in it.  I have already added and rearranged some things on the top so that the extra chair can be used by students if they need help or get to sit there for a reward. On the shelf, I organize my resources by subject and love the clean look of the bottom shelf.  Those file boxes are all for science and each box is for a different type! I am working on turning all my files and books into computerized versions {scanning}, which is a slow process, but it is working out great for me!  I actually have wiggle room on the bookshelf! For all my little necessities, I made a teacher toolbox using labels by Kristen Doyle. She created them so that you can change any of the drawer titles! It was fabulous because I did customize it some! I made one of the drawers "Personal" so I can keep nail clippers, eye drops, deodorant, etc. in it.  Some of my extra things were too large {like lotion} so I put my green tin on top to house those items.  I think it looks great and I have been able to find everything as I set up my room!  Unfortunately I have so many of some of the items that I had to create a drawer in the cabinet with "extra supplies".  OOPS! I am not a hoarder, but some things you just can't give away!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Reading Corner

~ Reading Corner before decorations ~
I have pretty much {and finally} figured out my reading corner!  I love how it is coming together!  I started with the large furniture in my room and placed things so I could have a cozy reading corner with the kids.  I had a vision of how I wanted it to look, so that was helpful!  The blue wall is a magnetic (and sort of fuzzy) movable wall that connects my room to my neighbor's.  The white next to it is a magnetic white board.  Once the furniture was in place, I had to get my Daily 5 and Cafe set up!  I bought some adorable clipart with zebras and turned them into my choice cards.  I would love to share this with everyone, but I don't have the license to give the images as a freebie and we all know we can't sell the Daily 5/Cafe materials.  The best I can do is show you the pictures.

~ Daily 5 Choice Board ~
I plan on having the ribbon of my choice boards empty at the beginning of school. As I teach the routines, they will get hung up.  So if we have only learned "Read to Self", then that would be the only card hanging.  I am really excited to use this in conjunction with the Cafe. I put a "Strategy Group" tag at the top so that I can pull the students I need and they don't choose another option.  With my time constraint, I will most likely only get to 3 rounds a day, but I made it for 5 rounds just in case {wishful thinking}.
~ Daily 5 Choice Board - Beginning of Year ~
I used a ton of hot glue and 15 binder clips to make these so cute. I hung it with magnets on my white board. I am really happy with how they turned out!

 I also made my Cafe Strategies Board right next to the Daily 5 Choice Board.  This is hung on the fuzzy wall, using rough velcro!  I am so excited it worked because even though it is magnetic, it needs VERY powerful magnets!  You can get my CAFE Strategies Board at my TpT store, so click on the caption below for the Freebie!
~ CAFE Strategies Board ~
 Once my boards were up, it all came together! I have my lap desks and gardening cushions in a basket, I have supplies on hand sitting on the window ledge.  This year I put a suspension rod on the window and hung my chart paper.  Last year I used the suspension rod for anchor charts and posters.  My anchor charts this year will be up above the choice boards.

In the pictures, you can see one of my shelves for books {I have 5 more shelves of student books in the room!} I have a plastic drawer system to house my Daily 5 and Cafe materials, Reading Skills Group Materials, and Lesson Materials for mini-lessons.  I am hoping this year goes smoothly! I am trying to be super ready for the start of school next week!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Look Book and Reminder Binder ~ Firebirds!

Today, one of my team teachers turned principal :) asked if anyone had Look Book and Reminder Binder forms he could share with his building.  He wants them to start using them as their building-wide discipline plan. Lucky for him, I had redone ours this year with our Sparky Robot mascot and had also redone it with a Toucan theme for a friend at a different building. {See posts for Look Book and Reminder Binder}

So, for all my Firebird friends, here is a handy dandy set of forms just for you!
~Look Book & Reminder Binder Forms - Firebirds!~

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Team!

So I decided to add a post tonight to feel like I am really getting things done.  After many drafts and additions/changes by my team {all awesome of course}, I finally came up with our general information sheet for parents.  We wanted to show how strong we are and how consistent we are across the grade level.  This is so fabulous because only 2 of us are veterans of the team!  AND last year was the first year of this new building! So we feel pretty good about what is ahead of us.  Meet "Team Zwangerall" of Summit STEM!
~ Team Zwangerall Bio Sheet ~

Not a Slacker! Honest!

I have been so busy lately!  My family finally took our first "vacation" ever and it was only 2 days long!  We drove from Columbus to Cincinnati, back home to Columbus, then back to Cincinnati again!  We figured with it only being a 2 hour trip each way, that it was still cheaper to drive than to get a hotel... not to mention we didn't know what to expect from our 2 and 4 year olds!

Anyways, besides the trip, I have been spending what seems like every waking moment on school! I have been working on projects at home, planning with my team, setting up my classroom, and I honestly don't feel like I am any more ready than I was a few weeks ago!

I have many things that I am very excited about in my room this year.  Some things I have been wanting to try out, some things I just figured out, and some things that have always worked great for me!  So, no I haven't been slacking :) I hope tomorrow that I will have some pictures to post!  I will probably break the code of {1 post a day}, but that will be to keep my blog organized.  I can't help it!  It is easier to read and find information when there isn't a super duper long post with everything crammed into it.  Right?

Well, off to do more work now that the boys are in bed!  Not enough hours in the day and school hasn't even started yet!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Giveaway Awesomeness!

While perusing my recent comments, I decided to check out some of my new follower's sites!  I came across First Grade Fairytales and found that Kelly is doing a giveaway! She now has over 100 followers and will be giving away a TpT gift card!  Check it out!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lovin' Linkies!

I am lovin' Linkies!  All my favorite resources in one place!  Here is a Pinterest Linky!  You don't have to be a blogger, just a pinner!Thanks Debbie Clement at Rainbows Within Reach for the fabulous idea!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop!

I just joined the "Newbie Blog Hop".... That says it all right?  I'm a massive newbie!  I started in July and am addicted!  I can't stop working on my computer and I get so excited to share! Thank you Janis {Grade Three is the Place for Me} for making this hop possible!  

So here are my answers...

1.  I am in Ohio and always have been.
2.  I am a second grade teacher at a STEM school.
3.  I am starting my 12th year after teaching 5th, 4th, 2nd, 4th again, and back to 2nd!
4.  I started bloggin' in July this year!
5.  I think that you need to personalize your page.  I don't pay as much attention to blogs that match another page.  Jazz up your blog in some way!  I have found solace in 

Kevin & Amanda
code it pretty - click for home
Now you go link up and spread the wisdom!  We may be newbies, but we aren't that green... are we?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Busy {Crafty} Bee!

~ Lap Desk Clipboards ~
 While planning for my crate seats, I had originally thought I would use clipboards on the bottom to hide the fabric that wrapped around and have the dual purpose of a lap desk.  Thoughts progressed and I decided the kids would not want to choose between sitting on the crates and using the lap desk clipboards. Since I had enough wood (I used 1/2 inch roofer's plywood), my dad cut pieces so there was a 1" edge beyond the clipboards.  I dug out the fabric from the basement and was sooooo excited to see that I had green and pink polka dots!  Perfect!

~ Side view of unfinished lap desk ~

 I followed the same process I used with the crate seats, except I just hot glued the fabric.  I used "Quick Grip Adhesive" where the clipboard and the wood connected.  To make the handle, I just folded and used fabric "no stitch" glue!
~ Top view of unfinished lap desk ~


Classroom Seating

~ Meeting Place ~
I wanted to share a little more of my classroom seating.  The space is not yet decorated, but my refurbished antique chair from the antique mall last year still looks amazing.  I love buying old things and painting them!  The crates look fabulous in the room :) Last year I bought round bathroom rugs from Target instead of a large area rug.

I love these rugs for 3 massive reasons:
1. They can go anywhere in the room.
2. The kids think they are fun.
3. They are easy to wash - just throw them in the laundry!

~ Rug (folded) and Knee Rest ~
This year I also bought foam gardening knee rests to use as "bottom" cushions when on the floor.  They were on a ridiculous clearance, so I was only able to get my hands on 11 matching ones.  C'est la vie!

Crate Seating... Yes, me too!

~ Crate Seat ~

I saw the crate seats on Pinterest (about a billion and a half of them) and thought they were so adorable!  I decided I could do that too to add a little something extra to my room!  This year I have a little more space than before and ended up {for the time} with 2, YES TWO, meeting areas!  I am so excited!
~ Crate Seat with lid off ~

So I talked to my dad and he helped me measure and cut the boards for my crates I bought at Walmart.  My sister was in town visiting and she helped me (after many visits to Joann's) get black vinyl, thick ribbon, and poly-fill.  We laid down the fabric, put a layer of the fluff, placed the board, and stapled like crazy!  We used black cotton fabric to cover the bottom.  I wanted my seats to be durable, washable, and functional.  I can wipe them off, use the ribbon handles to lift the lid off, and store things inside.  I am so excited about how they turned out!  I only made 4, but they are perfect!
~ Bottom of Crate Seat ~

Thank you!!!!!!

I have been extremely grateful to people that put the time into creating easy tutorials for bloggers.  Two phenomenal ones I have found are...

Kevin and Amanda 
code it pretty - click for home

Thank you for everything!

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