Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teacher Week 14': Where

Today is all about showing where you spend the majority of your time.... the classroom or more like my home away from home. I am sure everyone's classroom is their 2nd home. If you're like me you often have your classroom more organized and cleaner than your own home. 

Here are some before & after photos of my classroom this year. 
School doesn't start for 2 more weeks so the classroom is not 100% ready. There are still a few more things I need to add. It's definitely different decorating a classroom for grade 4 instead of kindergarten. Well here is a glimpse at what's going on so far.
The classroom I moved into this year had 2 of those ugly green chalkboards. I painted it with black chalkboard paint & hot glued some cute light blue clothes pins to the board. This will be the Student Work Display area.

This classroom is part of the add-on from a few years back so they are portables. The awful cream walls in this room just kill me. :(  I wish we could paint them. I still have some more posters & things to put on the wall to try & cover these ugly walls up. I don't want to make the walls full of clutter either.

Here is a glimpse of the classroom from the door. I love having an exit door also in the room that leads to the playground. It's especially great to have in the summer and fall when you just want the door open for fresh air through out the day.

This area is for student work to be displayed. The computer & writing table is set in front of this area.

Eventually student work will hang from that brown pillar that runs in the middle of the ceiling in the classroom. 

Learning all about plants is a big part of the grade 4 curriculum so that white rack will have lots of plants on it eventually. The students will be in charge of caring for them through out the year.

The classroom colours are navy, lime green & turquoise. I still need to add lots more colour to the room & get some things to hang from the ceiling.

Here is the word wall display and cursive handwriting alphabet I made for my classroom.
There's that dreadful yucky wall again.

I had to get a close-up of the clothes pin for the students to put their work. You can't tell that they are chevron, polka dot & stripes from the photos.
Our school ordered book bins this year for every classroom for Daily 5 and we are so excited about that. My bins are of course lime green and turquoise. 

Well that's a glimpse of my classroom so far. I will have to post the finished product once it's done. I am not going all out for the room until I come back from maternity leave in January. I plan on buying a couch for the reading nook then along with a lamp & some stools. 

Stop by Blog Hoppin' to check out all the other classrooms.

Oh & don't forget the sale that is going on tomorrow at Teachers Pay Teachers

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teacher Week 14': WHO

It's that time for Teacher Week 2014 hosted by the gals @ Blog Hoppin... So make sure you check out all the great posts & link up.

Today is Who Monday so I will tell ya a little about myself.

I feel like I am always saying this but if it's your 1st visit to my blog then it'll be new to you... I am a Mississippi girl who is now living in Alberta, Canada (thanks to my Canadian husband). I have been living in Canada for 2 years now. I love it here (with the exception of winters...brrr.. I hate the cold!) but I do really miss home, especially the warm weather & beach. My little princess daschund & I have survived the last 2 winters though.

My spoiled rotten precious Emma Lou will no longer be the #1 princess of our house come September 2nd. We will have a new princess though her name is undecided at this time. We have a few names in mind but we are waiting until we meet her to decide for sure. I am impatiently anxiously awaiting her arrival.

A sneak peek at our maternity photo session came out today. YAY! I know maternity photos are so cheesy but it's nice to have a decent photo of me prego since being prego makes me feel fat & yucky.

This awesome dude is my baby's daddy...aka hubby. LOL! I am so lucky to have him. We have been married for  three  2 years (I think). I am awful with remembering dates. My bad. It will be interesting to see how we survive this parenting journey.

And I am SUPER excited about this little surprise!!! If you have a best friend that you did everything with through college & in your young adult lives then you will completely understand... It seems as though God knew we wouldn't survive pregnancy without going through it together. :)
My BFF is also prego!!! Ahhhh! Words cannot explain how excited I was when I found out. Her little boy will arrive just 2 months after our girl so she already has an arranged boyfriend. Ha ha... I cannot wait for him to arrive so I can give him lots of hugs & kisses. Our soon-to-be little family will be flying down to Mississippi in November to see this little dude make his appearance. 

I have also met some pretty sweet girlfriends up here in Canada since last year. These ladies help keep my sane through the winter & the times when I miss my home, family & friends most.

(photo from our silly sock day)

As for teaching I have a BIG change this year & it's not the baby. I will no longer be teaching kindergarten (sad face). I am teaching grade 4 this year. Eekkk! I am super excited but nervous for sure. I think it will be a bit of a challenge since it's so new for me & I feel like such a big change from my little sweet kinders. On a plus side- no more tying shoes, buttoning up coats or worrying about bathroom emergencies. lol. I know I will love it but change is a little scary. I find it a little more scary since I will not be going into the classroom until January after Christmas break due to maternity leave for the 1st 4 months. This will be my 2nd year teaching in Canada. I taught kindergarten last year here in Alberta & in Mississippi I taught kindergarten for 2 years & 1st grade for half a year. 

I can not wait to see all the classroom setups tomorrow!!! It's one of my favourite days to Teacher Week. I just get so inspired & so many great ideas. Don't forget to go link up so I can read all about you & check out your fabulous classroom dig tomorrow. :)
Oh & grab a FREEBIE HERE !

Friday, August 15, 2014

Freebie & Canadian Resources

Hey y'all! I hope everyone is enjoying setting up their classrooms & getting ready for back to school. I kid. I kid. It's hard to enjoy setting up the classroom for most and for myself. I find it more nerve racking than anything and never ending.
Never fear.. I have another little freebie for you. It's an I See Reader for Back to School.
This reader can be found in the Back to School Unit. I just updated this unit.
As you know I am in the process of creating more Canadian resources. I just added these I Can Statements for the Grade 4 Alberta Curriculum.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Facebook Freebie

Hey you lovely ladies & gents. I hope those of you that started back at school already had a great day. Thanks to Christi @ Ms. Fultz's Corner & her great tutorials I figured out how to add a Fan Freebie to my Facebook Page. Yay! I'm not very good with this whole technology thing but I am trying. lol.

Head over to my Facebook Page and grab this Alphabet Books freebie for today only.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

NEW blog, NEW products & NEW FREEBIE!!!

I am so in L-O-V-E with my new blog design. This blog was in major need of a make-over. Like big time! Thank you Tenille @ Designs by Tenille for doing such an amazing job at giving this blog some love. She is so talented.
Alright y'all... It's the last day to grab everything in your wish list on sale over at TeachersPayTeachers.
I have updated my Back to School Unit and my best seller The Day the Monster Came to School.

If you are a Canadian teacher that teaches in Alberta than you should check out these Alberta I Can Curriculum Standards.... I am in the process of creating this for grades k-4 in all provinces.
And don't forget to grab your FREEBIE HERE!

Friday, August 1, 2014

FIVE for Friday

 It's been a good while since I have linked up but I am getting back on the ball. I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching today to share what I have been up to. I know everyone has been busy setting up their classrooms and some even already starting back at school. WHAT?! I could not imagine starting school already. This summer is just flying by. Since we don't get out until the end of June we aren't starting back until September 2nd. I have still been spending some time in the classroom & setting it up now in case this little girl decides to make an early appearance. Even though the teacher who is taking my place from Sept.-Dec. could technically set it all up I am just a bit to bossy to not have a say in it. lol. But mainly because I want us to be on the same page & not have to go in the room in December over X-mas break & change it all.

I got another carpet for the classroom. It's just a plain grey carpet & not what I originally wanted but hey it was on sale for only $30 so I couldn't pass up on that. And the carpets I wanted were not in stock at the store. (Sad face) Ya know... those carpets with the diamond or quatrefoil design. But I will be keeping my eyes open for a carpet with a design & make sure I grab it next time.

  The classroom is still missing a few tables & chairs that are still in the gym from when the floors got waxed. I was only successful at bringing in 1 table because those suckers are heavy.
The school ordered book boxes for the classes that wanted them for Daily 5 so I have turquoise & lime green.
I just had to share these adorable & useful posters I recently purchased, printed & posted on the bulletin boards around the room. You can look at the photo above to see where our Math Word Wall will go. As we cover a math term we will add that word to the math word wall. I love the images that Blair uses for the math word wall cards. Who doesn't LOVE LOVE LOVE Melonheadz clipart?! This Writer's Workshop pack includes some pretty awesome posters that I think are perfect for our writing bulletin board. Lyndsey @ A Year of Many Firsts created this pack & while it is aimed more towards a k through 3 grade level I think it will still be a good fit for my 4th graders.

What do you do with an ugly green chalkboard? Most would probably just paint it with whiteboard paint but I already have 2 whiteboards in the classroom so I didn't really need another one. So... I painted those ugly green chalkboards black using black chalkboard paint. I purchased some awesome turquoise clothes pins from Michaels. I wish I would have taken a close-up photo of them so you could see the chevron, stripes & polka dot designs on them. Now that they are hot glued to the chalkboard I can just have the kiddos switch out their student work instead of stapling 22 writing displays. They can even get crafty& draw with chalk around their work.

I have been so jealous of all the posts I see on my Instagram of everyone's Erin Condren planner. I had one last year & absolutely l-o-v-e it! I really really wanted to purchase one again this year but since I will be on maternity leave until January & it costs $40.00 to ship to Canada I just could not see myself paying $100.00 for a planner that I would get to use for school for 6 months. Is that me just being cheap? Maybe. But since we are having a baby girl I'd just rather use that $100.00 for bows & pretty dresses. lol. So.... I created my own teacher planner which will only cost me $30 to have printed & binded together @ our local print shop. This planner doesn't have the fancy stuff of a pocket folder & labels but I'm okay with that.
I created some different options....
Here is the option of a Planner: navy-blue-lime-green
I cannot wait for this sale to start. I have already began adding lots of goodies to my wish list.
YAY for TPT Sales!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

No Behaviour Chart for this Teacher... How do you manage?

So on my Instagram a few days ago I saw someone mention on their post Why They Will Never Use a Behavior Chart Again. I really wanted to read their blog post but then I couldn't find the Instagram photo again to see which blog to refer to. Then on Friday a colleague of mine shared this blog post on her Facebook page. I doubt this blog post by Teaching in Progress is the same one that I saw on my Instagram since Nikki's post is back from 2012 but it was still an interesting post to read. And... this topic is something I agree with & can totally relate to.
It's not the best picture but this is what my behaviour chart looked like the first 2 years I taught kindergarten. I had a green monkey face, yellow monkey face & red monkey face (my classroom theme was a jungle theme). Every kindergarten classroom had a green, yellow & red behaviour chart and it was even encouraged by the principals. The principals wanted us to all be on the same page & reinforce the same behaviour management system.
Now that I look back at that behaviour chart I wish I would have taken it down from day one but you live & you learn, right. I even remember being encouraged by the principal to have a child move their behaviour clip (or monkey clip as we called it) from green to yellow if they spoke without raising their hand or got up out of their seat without permission after I had given 1 warning to the student. I now realize that too much focus was being given to the behaviours that were not desired rather than focusing on the behaviours that were desired.
As most of you know if you have been following my blog for a while I made a big move from Mississippi to Canada 2 years ago. When I made my first visits to the school that I now teach at one of my first thoughts were "Where are the behaviour charts & why don't they have any?" Of not all of the classrooms manage their classrooms without a behaviour chart, the majority of them do. The kindergarten classrooms do not have a behaviour chart up in every room like I was used to at my old school. I was super nervous about not using a behaviour chart & even made one in case I needed to add it to the classroom after the first week of school. I found that I didn't need to use a behaviour chart. When I would ask a student to correct their actions they did it for the most part. There was a "time-out" chair in the classroom though we did not call it that. I simply just called it "the chair", but it looked like all the other chairs. It was just by the window instead of at a table. There were a few times that a student needed to go to "the chair" but they were seldom & it was to allow the student to take a break & think about their choices.
No behaviour chart in my classroom this past year = no child went to the behaviour chart crying or screaming because they had to move their clip, no child was so embarrassed from moving their clip that they had a "bad day" all day, no child tried to hide his/her folder from their parents displaying their clip colour (green, yellow or red), and no child ever felt like they were a "bad student".
Now that I will be going from kindergarten to grade 4 I have a new challenge that I face. While I won't be using a behaviour chart of course, I am not sure a "take a break chair" is age appropriate for a grade 4 classroom when a student needs to think about their choices. What do you think?
I remember when I was in grade 4 my teacher would reward positive behaviour by letting us write our name on the back of a ticket. The more tickets you had your name written on meant the more chances you had that she would pull your name from the jar. And... if your name got pulled from the jar then you got to pick a prize from the bin of goodies! We loved it when our name got called. But then I got to thinking... what if I did that & called a student's name who had his/her behaviour corrected a lot through out that day. Do they still get to choose a prize?
So I need your help? What type of behaviour management and reward systems do you use in your classroom & how to they work?


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