Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Getting My Classroom In Order: Part 2

All I can say is that today was a LONG day in my classroom and I am worn out! Day 2 proved to be extremely productive. My room is starting to look like a classroom again and I can kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there is still much work left to be done. The good news is that I think once Thursday is over, it will be complete and I can relax for all of a week and half before school starts. Speaking of that, I'm not quite sure where the summer went because it does not seem like two months have passed already. 

 One of the things that I dread most when it comes time to decorate my classroom is my windows. Sure I could just lower the blinds and not give them a second thought, but the perfectionist in me just won't let that happen. I used wrapping paper last year that made things so much easier than bulletin board paper, but I couldn't find any chevron wrapping paper. I decided to use azure blue paper because I thought it works really well with the purple walls.

So many windows to cover.
I measured the windows and cut the paper before taping it to the window pane...did I mention I can't cut a straight line?

Thirty minutes later...why must this be so time consuming?

Paper is done...now onto the border!
I alternated between a lime green and purple border. I really like the finished product!

After finishing the windows, it was time to get the desks arranged and things put back in their place. I must have changed the desk arrangements ten times and I am still not satisfied with them. It doesn't match the grand scheme I had in my head, but I'm just going to have to deal with it. I'll add pictures of that once I am sure though.

One of my amazing friends gave me her chevron contact paper that she had left over from her classroom and I had so many ideas of how I could use it. The first thing I did was redo my front table that had seen better days. I use this table to house my projector and elmo along with random papers and other things. I used the blue chevron contact paper to make it a bit more stylish, but can I tell you it was not as easy as it looks. The paper gets bubbles in it and no matter how much smoothing you do they don't go away completely; however, I still love it!
It's not perfect by any means, but it looks ten times better than before!
I wonder how long this table will stay clean and clutter-free?

After completing the front table, I went to work on my bookcase that I got from another friend at my school. A previous teacher had taken pages from a book and decorated the bookcase with modge podge. It looks unique and fitting in my classroom, but the modge podge was making books stick to the shelves. I decided to use a gray chevron pattern to keep my books from being damaged. If I thought the table was hard, the bookcase was even worse. Thankfully it will always have books on it to hide the imperfections.
It has taken me YEARS to build up my classroom library, but I am very happy with the selections I have now!

After getting the bookcase done and all the books on there, I got to work on updating my Fiction Road Map. I saw this idea on Pinterest last year over Christmas break and knew I wanted it in my classroom, but I knew I couldn't make the beautiful hand painted wooden signs so I created my own. I included some of my favorite fictional places and I really love the updated product. You can get the signs for FREE in my store.

Can you spot the one that's not like the others?

I am in LOVE with this project!

I think The Capitol might be my favorite sign I created!

Thanks to my mom who is ALWAYS there to help out, we were able to divide and conquer the rest of the afternoon. She worked on putting tape on my board so that I could create some more awesome spaces while I worked on my teacher toolbox. I created my teacher toolbox last year and pretty much just did the first thing I thought of. It was cute but not exactly what I wanted. I told myself the entire summer that I was going to redo it, but there was just no motivation until I saw a product from Live Love Math. She created these AMAZING labels that were editable and they were bright and chevron. Exactly what I wanted and needed! I made my labels, printed them out, and laminated them for durability. It took me all of ten minutes to complete.

My old teacher toolbox. The paper was getting funky and it was hard to read the words on each bin.

My new AMAZING teacher toolbox!

The last thing I worked on today was getting my white board decorated. I decided to use a gray chevron border on my board because the other border I got was paper and I know it would get dirty and funky in a short amount of time. On the right side of my smart board, I always use it as another bulletin board. I wanted to use chevron fabric there too, but I wasn't sure how to attach it so I just used the blue paper I bought. I decided to use the purple border to really make the blue background pop. 

I'm still trying to figure out what else to do on this side.

I really LOVE this color combination!

It's a little blurry, but you get the picture :)

As you can see, I made TONS of progress today in my classroom, but there is still a lot to be done. Keep an eye out in the next few days for Getting My Classroom In Order: Part 3! Cross your fingers and wish me luck that this will only be a trilogy!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

6th-12th Grade Product Party

Post one product from your TPT store that is geared towards the 6th-12th grade range. Let's help spread the word about some of the AMAZING secondary products that are available for teachers. Pin this blog post, post it on your Facebook, blog, Twitter, etc.

I can't wait to see what you all post!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Getting My Classroom In Order: Part 1

Each year once May comes around and things start winding down, the same thought crosses my mind. I am not going to completely re-do my classroom over the summer. This year I uttered the same phrase over and over again to myself and others; however, like every year before something has caught my eyes and I start to think that I just have to have that in my classroom.

I've never had a true theme in my classroom just bits and pieces of my favorite things-bright colors, zebra strips, polka dots, etc. It worked and I loved it; however, after five years it has gotten a bit stale and not quite as exciting as it used to be. Thanks to Pinterest and other websites, my current obsession is everything bright chevron! 

I went last week in search of everything chevron I could find and everything I need to get ready to start a new school year. I made my list and double checked it because I do not want to be waiting in long lines at the last minute like I usually am because I forget some things that I need. I'm not sure about where you live, but in Baton Rouge the only place that had chevron fabric was Hobby Lobby. I was shocked that they still had exactly what I needed in stock.


I then stocked up on school supplies like border, letters, and my desk calendar from School Aids. 

I love the fact that I can get this calendar for only $4 and it comes with coupons!
I may have gone a little overboard...

Now that I had done the shopping, it was time to get into my classroom and become completely overwhelmed. It's at this point that I normally start questioning why I decided to change things again and create more work for me when I should be at home enjoying summer. 

The entry way to my classroom. My office is through the door on the left.

Now that's a shiny floor and LOTS to put back in order.

I knew the first thing I wanted to do was get rid of my desks and add tables to my classroom because my students will all be getting brand new laptops through our district's One to One program and I don't want a crowded desk and broken computers to be an issue. Before I can do this, however, I needed to figure out the layout of the classroom. I decided to move my teacher area to the other side of the room closer to my office to allow more space near the Smartboard in my classroom.

I then started working on other things while I wait to switch out my desks for tables. I wanted to get the most time consuming things out of the way first. My bulletin boards are always the most time consuming so I got to work. 

I love the way the blue chevron stands out on the purple walls!

I used a lime green border with the blue chevron. I also split the bulletin board into two since this is the only once that I have in my classroom.

I love this, but I need to figure out what to put in the blank space at the top. Any suggestions?

I used bright blue border on the window into my office and put up white sheet curtains so that I can still see out of the window. I am going to be using this as my vision board and a way to display my Student Out Winners.
Another of the big projects I am working on is my Wall of Fame, where I display student work. I designed a chevron banner and got it printed at Vistaprint using one of my many Groupon deals. Under the banner, I am making wall hangers using glittery chevron ribbon and glitter clothes pins. 

This will be on the right wall so that it is visible as soon as you walk into my classroom!
This was all I had time to do on Day 1, which I also spent cleaning out clutter, organizing my desk, and doing a few other odds and ends. Look for another edition of Getting My Classroom In Order sometime next week.  Here are just a few more pictures of the progress to leave you with!

I love this sign too much to get rid of it!

I wonder how long it actually stays this organized...check out my post cards and stamps from Vistaprint!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Exciting News...Wednesday's Featured Teacher

I am SUPER excited to announce that I am the Featured Teacher today over at It's A Jungle Out There Teaching Blog! It is certainly an honor and I want to sincerely thank Marie for her kindness.

Head on over there to learn a little bit more about me and download one of my favorite freebies from my TPT store, the PEEL Writing Strategy! When you're done, stay and check out Marie's blog because it is AMAZING!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Planning Giveaway: Stop D-8

Welcome to The Creative Classroom and thank you so much for stopping by on this amazing scavenger hunt that was put together by Erin from I'm Lovin Lit. Grab my secret word above and follow my blog with Bloglovin' by clicking the button on the right. If you are just starting the summer planning giveaway, start at http://imlovinlit.blogspot.com.

 I've donated my Student Desk Numbers for Grouping to this giveaway. It is a great tool to use to put on student desk or tables to help organize group activities in your classroom. In addition, it can be used as a classroom management tool to keep all students engaged in class discussions or activities.

You may also want to check out my Back to School Bundle that includes everything from positive behavior and academic rewards to activities for the first week of school and much more for only $12!

Thank you so much for stopping by!