Big News…

So I know I dropped off the face of the Earth. But I think I have a pretty good reason…

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That’s right, I am preggo! My husband and I are expecting our little girl to arrive in August and we are busy preparing for her arrival.

Right now I am 24 weeks and feeling GREAT!! I am so thankful for how easy my pregnancy has been so far; God has truly blessed me 🙂

I am still teaching every day, but haven’t had nearly the same energy I had in past years, which is why this blog has fallen by the wayside (plus, I have been updating my pregnancy blog once a week for out of town friends and family – http://rejoicingreads.wordpress.com/)

Anyways, at school we are currently in the middle of achievement test week. We take the Terranovas here at my private Christian school. Last week I pulled together some test prep for the kiddos – reading, language arts, science, and math – which they enjoyed. This week, while not testing, we have been working on our cardboard castles, wrapping up our medieval unit, and writing our parody (although, I’m not sure anything can top last year’s!); this year we are doing a parody of “Finding Nemo”.

I am definitely looking forward to summer when I can work on our sweet baby girl’s nursery and getting things ready for her, but for now I’m going to finish the year strong and enjoy the time left with my 5th grade kiddos!

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Currently December

Currently December

 

Geez…I really have been meaning to write here more often, but I keep thinking that I will “do it tomorrow” – don’t we all know how that goes. 🙂

I do have much to write about, but it will have to wait for another day. My kiddos are SO excited about our RACK-ing and I love seeing their excitement! More about that later!

Welcome to My Classroom Tour!!

Whew, I survived the whirlwind of the first day of school! Does anyone else feel like it is one of the toughest days of school?? I love love LOVE meeting my new kiddos (though I knew most of them – one of the benefits of teaching in a small school!) but getting back into the swing of things with no real schedule is always a big difficult. So much of the day was filled with discussing policies and procedures for 5th grade, but I tried to break up the “boring”-ness with some fun too!

Anyways, now that school has actually started, I figured it was about time to give you the grand tour of my 5th grade classroom – welcome!!

Here is my classroom! This is the view from the door – notice the lovely Big Lots rug that is all over the teacher bloggy world…I love the pop of color in the middle of my room:

 

This is my computer area to the right of the door, as well as my WOW Work display board:

 

 

WOW Work board up close – I actually hot-glued the clothespins to the board because it is actually a chalkboard and there is no way to get them to stay up there any other way!!:

 

My desk area, to the right of the computer area:

 

 

 

Calendar area behind my desk. I used to have my fridge back here too (notice the plastic cabinets in the bottom left of the picture…), but I had to move it due to safety violations with the plugs…haha. So the pictures that used to be on the fridge of my previous classes are now posted above my calendar:

 

 

My Writing Process pencil – this used to be on a bulletin board near my bookshelves, but after some rearranging, this is where it ended up! The door on the right leads to the 4th grade room:

 

 

Here’s the back corner of my classroom with the doorway to the 4th grade room, my unit bulletin board, class supplies, books relating to our unit, and games:

 

 

Here’s a close-up of the bookshelf and surrounding area, including my newly-moved fridge. This month we are obviously studying the universe (if you didn’t figure that out from the previous picture’s bulletin board!) so all of the books on the top shelf here relate to this topic:

 

 

This is my early finishers spot, on the wall caddy corner to the unit bulletin board. Here I have ideas for the students if they finish an assignment early and need something to do. I included ideas for both Language Arts and Math (excuse my hand…I forgot to hang up 3M hooks today!):

 

 

I keep supplies for our literature centers next to the back bookshelf. We do centers once (sometimes twice) a week. Students can work 3 to a center and they include topics from “Fiction Books” and “Poetry” to “Imagination Station” and “Typing”. Many of these ideas I got from a book about literature centers (but of course I can’t remember the name of it now…):

 

 

The kiddos’ desks all set up and ready for them to come! I always get them small pencil holders that are designed for lockers and stick them to the side of their desks filled with a few small goodies, but this year the magnets would NOT stick! It was terrible! I decided to velcro them to their desks instead and this has worked great so far:

 

 

The front of the room with Morning Work posted for the first day. The area on the right of the board is where we write our homework every day:

 

 

Here’s a close-up of the board with the cursive alphabet above, a few motivational posters, and the brain teaser of the week:

 

 

I ran out of wall space, so I did a little rearranging and pulled some bookcases away from the wall – voila! Instant wall space! I purchased this awesome writing set from TpT and I can’t wait to use it here. You can also see my tired words pocket chart that I made last year:

 

 

So excited for this classroom Boggle board I made!! I was inspired by this Boggle board and was pleasantly surprised to see that our school Cricket had the exact cartridge I needed to make the cute scalloped background for each letter. I laminated 3 sets of the letters and keep them in a purple basket, along with the recording charts, below the board:

 

 

Here is my library/reading area. I just got that chair from Big Lots for $25 and the kids love it already! I have tons of books – I am and have always been an avid reader so I love having lots of options for my students to read. They are organized by AR levels, but the kids are encouraged to read based on their interests too. I got the blue chair at Big Lots last week and my students were loving it all day:

 

 

Last but not least, here is my beautiful lovely stunning wall of wood! Isn’t she a beauty? Oh boy…haha. The closet doors on both side of the “nook” will be filled with reading/writing vocabulary and math vocabulary. The bulletin board in the nook is one that I do every year – the students decorate puzzle pieces that we hang up on the 2nd day of school. I also have the always wonderful chart paper posted here which is wonderful and gets lots of use:

 

 

So that’s my classroom! Thanks for taking a tour and checking it out. Any suggestions or ideas or comments??

 

 

 

 

Freebie Friday!

Yesterday was the BUSIEST day of my week, so I literally left the apartment at 8:15 AM and did not get back to it until 11:30 PM! It was so crazy, but I made some money babysitting, got some work done in my room, and helped pull off another successful performance of my church’s summer drama program 🙂 Of course, in the midst of the business, I had no time to sit down and write my Friday blog entry for the last day of Teacher Week!

Anyways, yesterday was Freebie Friday; sorry you’re just getting the post today!

 

I have about 20 items up on Teachers Pay Teachers, two of which are completely FREE!

The first one is a popular download – Figurative Language bookmarks.

 

This is only the front – the back includes hyperbole, idioms, assonance, and onomatopoeia. I use these to go along with my Figurative Language PowerPoint. After the kids fill them out, I laminate them so that they can refer back to them throughout the year!

My second freebie is a PowerPoint relating to the Revolutionary War. Each November, we study this era of American History, looking at what led to the war, all of the important people involved, the many battles of the war, and so on. To teach this unit, I created PowerPoints for each major lesson. The “freebie” is my PowerPoint about the colonists reaction to the tax enacted by the King of England, dealing with No Taxation without Representation, an important phrase during the Revolution!

Can’t wait to check out all of your freebies – thanks for stopping by!!

Where I Teach Wednesday!

Linking up with Blog Hoppin’ again today for Day 3 of Teacher Week! Thanks for visiting!

Well, there’s good news and bad news for today’s post. The bad news is that my classroom is nowhere NEAR done since they just finished waxing the floors yesterday. The good news is that my kiddos don’t come for another week!! Thank goodness!

So since I can’t really show you too many pictures yet, plan to come back in the next week or so for a finished classroom tour! But for now, these will have to do:

This is my Pinterest-inspired Writer’s Workshop pencil that allows me to quickly see where each student is in the writing process.

My essential questions for September are posted near the door to my classroom. We post new questions every month!

Welcome to 5th Grade!

The bulletin board for my first unit, all about God’s Great Universe

This is the view of my classroom from the door. Yeah, not so pretty right now!

I love how big my classroom is, especially compared to a few others in our school! There are also tons of windows (there are two more off to the right of the picture!) which is both good and bad – the room is so bright and cheery when it is sunny, but that sun sure gets hot. It also makes it difficult to see the projector screen because of the glare. I also wish I had more wall space. I have so much more that I’d like to hang up but 2 of my walls are windows and a 3rd wall is mostly closets! But overall, I really enjoy my classroom.

So where exactly do I teach? I teach at a small Christian school in Pittsburgh, PA. We rent out space from a church in the South Hills. My first year out of college I spent subbing and was hired at this school to teach 5th grade the following year. I am getting ready to start my 4th year of having my own classroom – crazy!! I am so thankful to be in this amazing school with the best co-workers and students 🙂

Remember, check back soon for the updated classroom tour!!

Must Have Monday!

Welcome to Teacher Week, hosted by Blog Hoppin’! Today is Must Have Monday – here are a few of my “must-haves” for the school year:

  • Paper Mate Flair Pens – These babies are the best for grading, taking notes, etc. I love that they don’t bleed through paper!

  • A good lesson plan format – I had previously used a plain old teacher lesson plan book, but it just wasn’t working for my plans. I created my own last year and it works great! I don’t have to be super detailed (usually I refer to plans I’ve written for each particular subject in more detail!) but I can still see exactly what I am doing, when I need to do it. Check it out below!

Lesson Plan Format

  • A mini fridge – I keep my mini fridge from college in my classroom! It’s great for keeping my water bottle cold or for things we do in class that require a cold fold item, such as butter or eggs – no more running downstairs to the kitchen 🙂 Mine also has a small freezer section, so I can keep an ice pack in there for emergencies.

  • A good stash of folders/notebooks – we typically take notes in math in a spiral notebook that I provide for the students on the first day (although with a change in curriculum, I’m not sure if we still will…). Some of them write larger than others or take up more space to work on a problem, so they usually get through at least two every year. I also give them a new folder for every unit that we study, which totals to nine. My mom has helped me out a ton this year by picking them up for me when she sees them on sale!!

  • Last but not least, a nice projector – this year, we are finally getting mounted projectors!! I am so excited!! I used to share a projector with our 4th grade teacher since we are on the same floor, and it got so confusing trying to coordinate our schedules since we both use it almost EVERY day. Plus we had to drag it out of the closet, plug it in, hook up the computer, and turn it on, making sure we did so in the right order or it wouldn’t quite work.  But now we will both have our own which makes me so happy 🙂 I literally use it every day and I am thrilled that it will be permanently attached – no more lugging it out!

So there you have it – a few of my teacher must-haves. There are, of course, SO many more, but it would take me all day to type up that blog post!

See you tomorrow for Technology Tip Tuesday!!

B2S Sale!!

If you’ve been waiting for a good time to buy some goodies on TPT, now is the time!! Many incredible teachers are hosting Back 2 School sales where their stores are 20% off. I can’t wait to go pick out some fun new things for my classroom!

However I couldn’t let them have all the fun, so everything in my store is 20% off as well! My top selling item, the Facebook Profile Page Character Analysis, is now only 80 cents!!! You can’t beat that.

PLUS, if you enter the code BTS12 at check out, you will get an additional 10% off because TPT is awesome like that 🙂

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kim-Read

Thanks for shopping!!

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