Saturday, August 10, 2013

Home Sweet Home (errrr....Classroom)

Captain's log: the teachers here have survived 7 days of school.  There are 173 days of school left until summer break 2014 {that's approx 1,384 work hours).  There may be secret countdown calendars strategically placed around school to keep the teachers motivated!

Seriously... I am done with the first 7 days.  This is my 12th time doing back to school... so I can say with confidence... there ain't NO kind of tired like BACK TO SCHOOL tired.  Well, maybe except 1st trimester preggers tired... that can also kick your patootie.  I didn't have to change classrooms this year and when I left in May I felt really cocky good about back to school.  When I went back on July 25th... I was wondering what the heck I had been thinking in May.  I had SO stinkin' much to do before school started!  {sigh}  Lucky for me the hubs knows the drill.  He came home early almost everyday so that I could stay late in my room or go over the weekend(s).  He brought dallies (sp?) from work to help move bookcases and helped me put some of my IKEA purchases together.  Isn't it weird that no matter how many hours you put in... it still doesn't ever feel "finished"?!?!?  I didn't decorate with a specific theme this year, but I did try to go with a certain color scheme of sorts.  I realized that I had a lot of tealish blue and lime green in my room... then I found this picture and my brain EXPLODED!!!
So... armed with a picture, Pinterest, and a penchant for drama {but Eddie... I HAVE to go to IKEA or my classroom will suck!!!!!)... I set out on my mission!  I would like to apologize in advance for the long post, but I tried to capture all my favorite pieces and parts.  Hope you enjoy!!!
Easy enough... this is the burlap anchor hanging on my classroom door!  A very sweet co-worker (my school mom of sorts) made this for me the week that Frances was supposed to be born.  We aren't allowed to have biblical verses, etc. in our rooms... but this cross is a visual representation of my favorite verse! {Hebrews 6:19}  I go in and out of that door so often... what a comfort!

Also outside of my classroom door is my No Peanuts sign.  I downloaded it from The First Grade Parade, laminated it, then bordered it with chevron to make it more noticeable to any peeps coming in!  One of my little dudes has a SEVERE peanut allergy and I should be wearing a cape... because I am vigilant here people!!!

As soon as you come in...  I have a bulletin board that spans the whole entire wall.  I broke it into three pieces visually by doing red, black in middle, and red on the right!  The first one is our What's Goin' On board...where I post a calendar, breakfast/lunch menus, study guides for each one of my reading groups, invitations to community events, etc.
My numbered book boxes sit on top of the shelf.  Underneath the shelf is where the kiddos hang their book bags.  I found that I needed to be in charge of that space... otherwise it because a catch all for my stuff and all their stuff, too!
Here are the hooks under the bookshelf.  I used my Silhouette to cut numbers out of polka dot contact paper to number the hooks.  The first day of school I had like 3 girls all bring pink Hello Kitty book bags.  You get where I'm going with this?!?!  Yes, HUGE tears... "She STOLE my book bag!!!"  Problem solved.  Voila!
Here's a pic before I numbered the hooks.  Their nametags were hanging there during open house.  I bought the clear nametags and lanyards from Office Max and use my leftover pieces of chevron border inside.  Whenever I put up bulletin boards I always end up with crazy size pieces left over... so this was a definite WIN!!!
I think I may have an issue with numbering things that I haven't noticed until typing this post!  Hmmmmmm, making a mental note...  stop numbering ALL the things!  OK...  their desks obviously have nameplates, but I also used the polka dot contact paper to stick their student numbers on, too!  I tried this with black first and it didn't look that great!
Here's my behavior chart system for this school year.  I am using my nifty numbered magnets from Tea and Coffee.
Everyone starts on purple and tries to move towards the top... and down is obviously not where they want to go.  I found it HERE for free if you are looking for something colorful and new in your room!  My firsties are LOVING it so far!!!
Here is my computer table.  I have 4 computers in the back.  There is a lamp and picture on top.  Their login cards are also stored in the base of the lamp for when the poor things forget their login info again and again {and again}.  I scored the sweet computer backgrounds from Reagan Tunstall and you can find them HERE in tons of nifty colors!
Different view of same area...  our daily schedule hangs on left.  Spelling words are usually in the red pocket chart.  Our clock {obviously) and nifty punctuation posters.
Area back by sinks and back door.  I have always had this vinyl poster hanging, but this year I bordered it with chevron and I'm in LOVE!  Also the My First Day of 1st Grade frame that I made last year hanging/waiting patiently for the first day!!!
Front of classroom.  I have a giant whiteboard that stretches almost the length of my classroom.  The SMART Board is in the middle and then I have a right board and a left board to write on.  This side is where I sit for whole group on carpet, etc.  I post my I Can statements onto the laminated scrapbook paper.  My 2 large galvanized tubs hold pillows and clipboards.  This is also where my behavior system (the superheros from above) is housed... I just took this picture before I had it laminated and attached!
 Close up of the galvanized tub.  I had thought about spray painting them, but I ran out of summer!  Who do I need to talk to about making summer longer?

Bought 2 area rugs from Lowe's.  We have always had carpet, but they replaced it with tile this summer.  The thought of not having a soft surface somewhere made my skin CRAWL!  This was an inexpensive way to warm the room up some... and I can vouch for it's comfy-ness!  I may have taken a nap on this carpet {ahem}.
Covered the back of those nasty bookcases with contact paper and border.  I have used that contact paper for so many things it's unbelievable.  At only $3ish... what a great purchase!!!  I found mine at Wal-Mart {boo...hiss} near the college kids stuff that they put out every August.
Full disclosure is OK, right?  Because even though the other areas were starting to take shape... this is what it looked like behind the bookcases on the day of Open House.  My friend Tara and I moved all this stuff to my car so that it wouldn't look like my room should be on an classroom episode of Hoarders!  Yep... sometimes it's nice to see what someone elses's mess looks like... am I right... or am I right?

OK... on to Open House and then I'm gonna call this post a WIN.  Our open house was on Tuesday evening and school started on Thursday... so it was nice to know that I still had some time to rearrange, fix, unpack all this junk from my car, etc.  Here's the last part of my post:
Message for parents... on my UBER cool easel from IKEA.  It was only like $10-$15ish!  I kinda love it!!!  I wonder if it would look weird if I had maybe like 10 more of them?
Every year I lay out EXACTLY what supplies they will need.  I also take a picture and include the picture on the supply list.  This year I had my open house go in stations... and it was much easier to deal with all the traffic. I bought THIS PACK from Tunstall's Tidbits.  It was a life saver fo' sho'!!!  I had 4 stations (1-check in and get folders, 2-supplies, 3-transportation, and 4-meet the teacher and get treats!)

So... last stop for parents and kiddos was the treat table.  I had bags of Goldfish for the kidlets and individual bags of popcorn for the grown ups!  I think the parents were more excited about treats {purely an observation}.   O-fish-ally in 1st grade printable by First Grade Blue Skies.  Thanks for popping in by Magill's Mathletes!
I always print business card magnets from Vistaprint.. but this year I actually had plenty leftover from previous years and I didn't have to order... woohoo!!!
Our grade also handed out first grade website cards with QR codes.  Our principal was impressed!  Open house ended at 6 that night... and I don't even remember the drive home!

I hope that you are enjoying your weekend and that it will go by SUPER slowly.  I'm off to a family cook-out for some R&R.  Talk to y'all soon!!!


  1. Stacey your room looks great!!
    I love the detail and the numbered binders!! Hope you get some rest soon, don't wear yourself too thin (famous last words of all teachers)
    <a href=">The Teacher's Treasure Chest</a>

  2. I love being in your room! It makes my heart happy! :)


  3. Love your blog and your room. I have to say I was glad to see that I'm not the only one who has to stash things before Open House!! Have a great year! Jodi

  4. Great classroom and you are hilarious. I use the same line only I add, "Poor little children will be stuck with a sucky classroom. They'll spend 180 days cooped up in there ..." Works every time :) Have a wonderful school year!

    Sandy @
    Elementary Expedition

  5. Hi Stacey

    Great blog! How did you make your first grade website cards with QR codes?


    1. Hey Michelle... I use a website called Once on their site... I just copy and pasted our website and it created the QR code for me... then I saved it as a picture.... then it can be inserted into any document that you make! Hope this helps! :)

    2. Thanks Stacy

      That sounds easy enough. Ill check it out