Panda-monium!

Teaching blogs are going to be the death of me. Or Pinterest.

I think they are conspiring against me.

Just about the time I think my to-do list starts to shrink, I find another completey FABULOUS idea online…and I am plagued by the overwhelming urge to do it in my own classroom.

Ya’ll should have caught on by now that I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to school stuff.

*SIGH*

Sooooooooooo…..here’s more pics of everything I’ve been up to in the Panda Patch. I really, REALLY need kids to start coming so that I’ll stop adding things to the room. (But then I’ll start making things to do with them…this is a vicious, vicous cycle.)

The first idea I implemented was supa’ easy! (Most of them were…) It’s a little sign to let everyonen know where we are when we aren’t in the room. I found the idea for the poster and the ribbon paperclip on Pinterest!

<See source here.>

Check out this cool “information station” I’ve got going on…it doesn’t have any information on it yet, but that’s not really the point of the picture. 😛 I had fun shopping at the scrapbook store with A for all this fun paper…the top is school specific, so I’ll put a game schedule on it. The next one is for our daily schedule, the peanut butter-ed bread for our lunch calendar, and the last one (with little buses and cars) for our transportation info. It’s right inside the door so that we can easily find the info we need!

All over blog-land I’ve been seeing a class-managament system called “Clip Up/Clip Down.”  It works off of the idea that everyone starts on neutral ground, then has the opportunity to “clip up” for really great choices & behavior, or “clip down” for not so great choices & behavior. Something new to try this year…

<See source here.>

This next section of the board won’t be finished until kids get here. It’s our “class contract” and we take it VERY SERIOUSLY. We go over what it means, what a promise is, etc…then I play inspiring music (usually patriotic instrumentals) and each child solemnly signs it using a gold feather pen. I take a picture of each student signing & hang it all around the contract. (Some of these kids need picture evidence that they did indeed promise to make good choices!)

I am excited about this idea…and at the same time keep having to tell myself that I’m really, really going to have to work hard to actually follow through and do it all year. The goal is to write down all the books that we read as a class, so that at the end of the year we can count them, compare & contrast books we’ve read, and hang it outside in the hallway so that we can brag about how great we are.

Our phonics wall is complete! We do Saxon Phonics and I love it…so if you’re a hater then prepare to have me challenge YOU to teach a 5 year old to read without it. (For the record, my approach to reading is actually very balanced…Saxon is just a part of it, but it’s a very important part!)

Chalk another one up to blogs (I just wish I could remember which one so that I could source it…agh!). This idea was easy to do & will be easy to implement…gotta love that. It’s little cut, glue, color, and write symbols. After I give directions for independent work, I can put these symbols on the board in the order I’d like the work completed. Kinders love visuals!

Picture to the left: the kindergarten class from last year. Proof that I can keep kindergarteners alive all year.

Picture to the right: my sweet baby Huxley. Always near my heart!

Pinterest blew my mind with this idea. Some teachers do marble jars (get a compliment = get a marble, fill a jar with marbles = earn a class prize) but I’ve never been able to make that work for me. This is so cute that I’ll just be itchin’ to do it though…Brownie Points! Before school starts I’ll remove all the brownies from the tray, and as students earn compliments from other teachers they’ll get to add them back. When the tray is full we’ll celebrate!

<See source here.>

This is my little teacher wall. The two main things I want to you focus on in this pic are A) the sign on the left side and B) the diploma on the right. A) says…”This classroom runs on Love, Laughter, and Sonic Drinks” Saw it. Loved it. Had to have it. So now I do. B) is proof that I actually am qualified to do this job. I once had a student question that after I made them do a silly song & dance and then applaud me after a particularly good lesson. Ever since then I’ve made sure to hang my diploma to assure the kids that I do actually know what I’m doing. 😉

<See source here.>

I found this sign on Pinterest and OF COURSE I LOVED IT! But since I wasn’t sure where to put it, I had to get a little creative. Cute scrapbook paper, contact paper, and a couple of minutes of cutting = a customized mousepad!

<See source here.>

Since that worked out so well, I also used contact paper to put down a really beautiful “ABC” scrapbook page that I found. It adds a little touch of fun to my teacher desk, don’t ya think?!

Another teacher area shot (its not actually that big of an area…just a little corner of the room). I wanted ya’ll to see that my artwork found a nice home, and that when I told you I loved subway art…I wasn’t lying.

Even the space on the side of my desk is not wasted, thanks to Pinterest! I teach the kids to play “Boggle” during their word-making station time, but this is a new take on it. They’ve got the letters, space to spell out words, and a marker board to write everything down!

<See source here.>

Here’s the inside of my little reding nook…I didn’t have a pic of it last time. 🙂 I still need to take my t-shirt pillows up and add them. (P.S. teacher friends – if I suddenly go missing during conference, check back here to see if I’m taking a nap!) It looks so cozy!

 Another update: word wall is complete & ready for action!

I’ve got to take a moment to send a big shout-out and THANK YOU to my Granny. She opened up her spare bedroom full of Beanie Babies to me & let me go crazy. I was able to find all the animals that I needed for my reading strategies boards (pictured below) AND she let me pick out about 20 more to use for letter of the week, reading buddy, thematic units…whatever! The kids are going to go crazy for them!

<See source here.>

And finally, my little “trash cans.” I sweet talked my dad into giving me these big cans, used a little scrapbook paper to make ’em cute, and *voila* they are ready to save time and my sanity! (Because really, you would lose it to if you had to watch a kid get up and walk over to the trash can EVERY TIME he cut one little piece of paper.)

Most teachers know that to survive out there you gotta “Beg, Borrow, and Steal!” Obviously I’ve done my share of that in getting my room ready, and if you see anything on here you can use at home, or at school, or at church with the kiddos, then please feel free! I’d love to see pics, so shoot me an e-mail at keepcalmandloveon@hotmail.com so I can applaud your craftiness!

KEEP CALM & “PIN” ON!

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Categories: Daily Drama, Krazy for Kinder | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Panda-monium!

  1. alexis

    Awesome!!!!! Have a great year!!!

  2. I think I need some “class instruction” on how to be creative! Oh my, how cute is this room! Once again I ask, “Can I start Kindergarten again??”

    Praying for you and all your teacher friends for a safe year. Hugs to you. Love ya!

  3. Re'Genna Gamblin

    If folks could see how small your classroom is they would be shocked. With all this really cool stuff one would this it is much bigger. Wish I had duplicates of your brownie & boggle trays and the mouse pad poster. The beanie baby board is fabulous!! What a blessed bunch of students you will have.

    • Oh goodness it is a small room…yikes! I feel like the arrangment opens it up some, so I’m happy with it. The things you like are so easy to do…for the brownies on the tray I got those little paint sample cards & cut them up, then added white out for the frosting. Stuck a magnet on the back and voila! I can e-mail you the header that says “Brownie Points” if you want. I can also print you out one of the mouse pad posters on nice photo paper, and for the boggle tray all you need is some masking tape & magnet letters. You can do it! 🙂

  4. For year #5 now, WOW. But on a whole new level! I have a solution for your “I keep adding things.” Take a lesson from me. If you saw my room and progress, you would see that if you barely have time to get the essentials up, your brain doesn’t even go there on tiny extras. However, my room already looks like it usually does the morning of MTT (you know then all the miracles happen), so I”m making progress. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll have time for a few extras. Really though, it’s fabulous. Can’t wait to steal some of your ideas!

    • Hehe…thanks girl! Sounds like you’ve got great progress going on, and the extras I added from Pinterest were pretty quick & easy. Hope you get to try a few of them out!

  5. Elyssa

    I love that mouse pad! Also, your dog is darling! 🙂

    • The mouse pad was an idea born out of desperation…I loved the little poster, just couldn’t find the right place for it. A little contact paper was all it took to solve the problem! And thank you, I think he’s pretty darling too! I’ve got a post coming up about him…lots of pictures!…so make sure you check back!

  6. kelli

    LOVE every bit of it…my faves: the mouse pad…i might copy that…the little trash cans, and the toilet paper roll of Books We’ve Read (that is toilet paper right?). Ok….this year will be my 18th (misty eyes) and you inspire me HT!

    • 🙂 Thanks so much friend – you know that you inspire me too right?! I admire you so much as a teacher…I hope I’m as good as you in my 18th year! And actually it’s a little roll of paper (like for a calculator or something) but toilet paper is a really fun idea for that. 🙂

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