Sunday, August 24, 2014

Save the Dramatic Play {Part 2}

If you missed {part 1} of this post, you can catch up {here}. Once you are all caught up, come back and join me for {part 2}!

Back? Okay, good, glad to have you! Now that are you are all up to speed, you see that the first thing on my project to do list is to tackle the space. Do I re-arrange, reduce the amount of furniture, bring in new shelving? We'll let's start with some current photos.

Here is how my dramatic play center is currently set up for summer school. When I first "staged it" it looked a little better, but once the kids start playing, I usually don't re-stage. It becomes their space. They clean it up at clean up time (with some help of course) and my biggest thing is that they are cleaning. If they don't put the beach towels back exactly where my OCD self had them to start, I let it slide. Just as long as it's close enough.

As you can see we have a "BBQ/Beach" with a fun grill, hot dogs and burgers, beach towels, sun glasses, pretend cameras, and even sun screen!

I often feel like I'm trying to squeeze way too much into this space. It's a relatively large dramatic play area, but there is a lot and I have limited storage space for things like the baby bed, rocking chair, and high chair when we aren't using the babies.

So the first thoughts on re-arranging this... closet. GET. RID. OF. IT. I've had this thing since I inherited this classroom 4 years ago. The door at the bottom has always had a missing hinge. I finally ended up taping it shut. We do use it to hang costumes, but the kids ALWAYS need help with the hangers and for some of them, they can't reach the rod to even hang them. The other down side-- the kids want to hide in it! We spend a lot of time reinforcing the fact that we DO NOT sit in the closet. At least 2-3 children end up in the thinking chair throughout the course of the year for this. Sorry closet, you're getting the boot.

Next on the list, this table. The table is clearly a listening table. 2 or 3 years ago every teacher got one of these for our classroom.s And they are awesome-- when they are used as intended. For a listening table it's great. (Minus the bolts loosening pretty easily and the table becoming wobbly and needing to be tightened) I don't have a listening center, nor do I have anywhere to store this table. So it became our table for dramatic play, but honestly, it's way too big. And I want to open a listening center. Buh-bye over sized table.

We went back to school last Tuesday and I got my room re-arranged the way I wanted it too. I love that I was able to create a listening center and re-work my dramatic play. I'll be back with {Part 3} once the new dramatic play center is completely up and running....we aren't there yet! 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Guess Who's Back in the Classroom!

As if you couldn't tell from the lack of blog and facebook posts, but I am officially back to work for the 2014-2015 school year! This had to of been, hands down, the fastest summer ever since I started teaching! I can't wait to share finished classroom photos with you. I did some re-arranging this year and so far I'm lovin' it. {Sorry if now you're thinking about McDonalds}

I started out the night before we went back with sketching out some room arranging ideas. This layout (not to scale of course) was all depending on one bookshelf and whether or not it fit where I wanted it to go. AND whether or not a liked it there. I had no plan B if that didn't work out. I'm so glad it worked!

When we went back on Tuesday I was greeted with this.

Every.single.year. And I wish I were kidding. It's my understanding the custodians are not supposed to unplug computers. Clearly they do and I know in my classroom they HAVE to because the location for my computer hook up lands my desk right on the tile that they need to strip and wax every summer. Typically we have a paper taped to our monitor saying the tech department has checked this computer, blah blah blah. This year, no paper. I always end up hooking my computer back up myself, it's really not terribly complicated (after you untangle all the wires), but this year I NEEDED the tech department because my printer stopped working during summer school. In the end, my assistant principal hooked up my computer for me and I had to put in a work order for my printer. I couldn't print until 2pm Thursday. WHOMP. #teacherproblems

Because I couldn't get to my computer on day one it left me plenty of time to do pointless necessary things around my room. Like cover the side of this shelf with contact paper. I found this paper on amazon and it got here so quickly. All I wanted was a black and white pattern/design and I knew it would work.

I love how it turned out! I was then on a mission to see whatever else I could cover. You can see in the photo above that I decided on doing the side of my file cabinet. I stopped there. For now.

I also snapped a photo of my data board in progress. I still need to add the banner above the clipboards and the data covers for the clipboards as well. That is a {free} product in my TpT store if you're interested! 

But anyway, I found where I wanted my clipboards to hang on the bulletin board. Then using my command hook, I cut around it with an extacto knife. I knew attaching the command hook to the paper would not work. At some point the weight would begin to rip the paper. By cutting out the paper behind the hook, I can attach the hook directly to the bulletin board itself.

Monday marks week two of back to school! It will be the first day of Kindergarten (pre-school doesn't start until September 8th). From now until then I will be assisting in a Kindergarten classroom throughout the day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

{Up, Up, and Away!} fun with Prepositions Pack

AND A SALE! YES! TpT is having a BOOST sale today and I LOVE that! I wasn't back to school yet for the last sale, but I just went back yesterday so I'm much more in the {BTS} mode now.

Too whomever made this button, thank you! It's adorable!

I'm also excited that I was able to complete a new product before the sale! Wahoo! I've had this one on my list for a while now. Following the same format/activities as my {Action Action!} fun with Verbs pack, I've put together activities to help students practice understanding different prepositions.

This pack includes the same three activities as the verb pack, but, obviously, with prepositions!

1. {Find the Preposition!} Book: Print pages 3-10 and cut along the dotted line. Laminate pages and bind together with binding machine. This will allow you to create an easy book for assessment. Go through each page with a student. When they correctly identify a preposition, make a mark in the square. After going through the whole book, record your data.

2. {Missing Preposition} Book: Print pages  11-26 for this activity. Page 11 is the book cover and page 26 has the images for the preposition choices. Print 2 copies of page 26 so you have enough options for the pages. Laminate all pieces and book pages. Use Velcro to attach three images to each page, making sure at least one is the correct answer. Student finishes the sentence at the bottom of the page by selecting the correct preposition picture. 

3. {Matching Preposition}: Print and laminate the picture choices on pages 27-42. Cut the board pages in half if you’d like. Laminate these too. Use Velcro to have students find the three correct pictures for each preposition. 

4. There is also a data sheet included with 14 different prepositions. You can track a students ability to identify each preposition correctly on up to 12 trials.
This item is for sale in my store today for up to 28% off with code "BOOST"!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Special Education Giveaway!

Did we mention how much we love special educators??! 
Well just to show you how much, 24 of us have joined together to help you start your new year out with a BOOM! 
We are beyond excited and even more excited for you! Ok, maybe even just a wee bit jealous! :)
These 24 awesome special educators, including me, have put together 5 fabulous giveaways and a freebie hop with over 20 freebies just for you!! 

Shall we get this party going!!? 
Are you ready?
The first 3 giveaways are split into 3 categories; early childhood, primary, and intermediate! So be sure to enter the one for your grade level! You can click on any of the pictures to view the product in their store or to wishlist it in case you don't win!!{wink}
Here's a look at everything one teacher will win in the Early Childhood Pack!

Here's a look at everything one teacher will win in the Primary Pack!

Seriously!!!!?? Are you feeling the Love?!
Here's a look at everything one teacher will win in the Intermediate Pack! As you know, it can be a challenge finding resources on TpT for this level, but we did manage to put a few things together that we think you'll love!

a Rafflecopter giveaway But wait! There's MORE! David at "Attainment Company" was generous enough to give two lucky teachers a copy of this e-Book for their iPad. (This e-Book is compatible ONLY for iPad, so if you do not have an iPad do not enter!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway How many of you have seen this book, or are even using it in your classroom to assess and determine presents levels?? Brigance CIBS

Last year a new and improved updated version was released...... Brigance CIBS II
and we're super excited that Robin at "Curriculum Associates" has generously donated it for us to give to one of you!! Folks, this is a $339.00 value!! Now this one definitely makes us just a wee bit jealous!  (Our apologies, but this one is for U.S. residents only) a Rafflecopter giveaway And now it's time for a............... FREEBIE HOP!
Now it's time for your freebie! I've put together this Confidential Data Board that I will be using in my classroom this year, and thought maybe you could too!
Click the photo to go to my TpT store and download. You can read more about how I am setting this up in my classroom there, too!