Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Privacy Please!

Have you ever looked for privacy screens at the teacher supply stores or online? WOWIE WOW WOW!  SO expensive! I have never been able to part with the $$$ just for this one classroom necessity.  So, I made my own.  The first set that I made were okay, but now that I am re-decorating my classroom this school year - I needed something that would have the nautical theme I need. 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am using the Nautical Monogram decor from Schoolgirl Style for my classroom.  The color scheme is navy blue and green, so I bought green file folders for about $11.00 (for 100) at Office Depot.  I used a nautical flag template and inserted the text for each side of the folder, glued them on, and laminated the folder.

Aren't they cute and awesome and perfect?  They work perfectly for when little eyes need to stay on their own paper and they are pretty much indestructible.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Welcome Back Bookmark Freebie

Welcome to 3rd Grade Bookmarks

Would you like to give your new 3rd graders a cute little gift when they walk in the door?  One that says Reading is Important?  How about a nice little freebie to help you with that message?  I have 8 cute bookmarks in my TPT and Teacher's Notebook stores that are FREE.  Just click on my store and download this file.  I suggest printing on card stock and laminating them, so they last for a little bit. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's a Christmas in July Sale at Teacher's Notebook!

As the school year nears....(sob, sob) the sales begin!  You know you get excited when the school supplies go on sale.  Then your brain starts getting in gear.....pretty soon you are really thinking about the new school year...panic sets in......oh boy, I better get busy!  This is the perfect time to visit Teacher's Notebook and take a look around.  I know I will, because they are running a sale this weekend and who doesn't like a sale?

Just click on my link and go ahead and put a few things on your wish list. Then tomorrow, you can save BIG time and earn extra reward dollars.  
Merry Christmas in July!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Classroom Procedures Freebie

A  few years ago, I found this list of classroom procedures somewhere online and it was extremely helpful for the first weeks of school.  It's a list of all of the classroom procedures that you need to teach your new students in the first day, week, and month of the school year.  All you have to do is decide which ones have priority and need to be taught first and so on.

Bathroom procedures are always at the top of my list. Students are always a little nervous that first day and will squirm and wiggle, but are afraid to ask about when they can go to the bathroom. Next on my list is to teach lining up and lunchroom procedures, so that when we need to leave the classroom, we have already covered these. After that, I try to gauge how much new information my new babies can take before I teach anymore.  

One thing that has worked for me is to review all procedures each morning for the first few weeks. I try to make it fun and help my students feel good about knowing them. That way they are more likely to follow the procedures and consider them important. As you know, there are lots and lots of procedures in a well run classroom and this list covers the ones I use. You will probably have some that are different than mine, possibly more, and maybe less. If you need a list to get you started, just download mine from my Freebies Tab above and adjust it for your own classroom. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reflecting on Classroom Routines

One of the things I do during the summer is to reflect on the different routines, procedures, and rules I use in my 3rd grade classroom.  Since I like these things to run as smooth as possible, I am always trying to tweak my current practices instead of completely re-doing them.  One of the areas that I was able to streamline was classroom jobs.  Instead of changing the jobs weekly (which created a major learning curve every Monday), I now change jobs every 4 weeks.  Now my students get to master the job they have and I get a very smooth running classroom!  I started this 2 years ago and I will NEVER go back.  At the beginning of the school year, I explain that I will choose the most responsible students for each job (even though every child has a job), but certain jobs, i.e., Teacher's Assistant, Line Leader, PRIDE Assistant, and Lunch Count are extremely important.  I tell them that the goal of classroom jobs is to help me spend more time teaching and less time managing.  I am their boss and I do the hiring and the firing!  It sounds counterintuitive, but I have found that my students take this very seriously and do an amazing job of running the classroom with very little input from me!

How do you run your classroom jobs?  I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dipping my toes into the blogging world......

I've decided to dip my toes into the blogging world, so here goes.....Welcome to Teaching in the Heart of Florida!  As my bio says, I am a teacher, wife, mother, runner, decorator of home and classroom, and now a blogger.  My daughter says I am the Energizer Bunny.  Personally, I think being a teacher these days requires you to be a Type A, ADHD Super Hero!  

So, as the above mentioned Super Hero, I have been very busy this summer preparing for the new school year which starts on August 18th.  However, as you know, the real preparation begins way before the first day of school. My family vacation began the last teacher work day of this last school year, so I was officially relaxed and de-stressed one week later! Right.  I returned and immediately began taking an online PD class offered by our county, reading a new professional book Learning in the Fast Lane AND working on my new classroom theme.  So relaxing....

A couple of years ago, I discovered this amazing blog and website called Schoolgirl Style. This innovative teacher/decorator was beginning her business of selling classroom themes for teachers.  Her designs were AMAZING!  I fell in love immediately with the Bird Theme, which she had used in her own classroom.  It was so soothing and refreshing all at the same time! I spent my entire summer creating a classroom based on this theme.  It was SO much fun!  I wandered around all the craft stores and discount stores looking for accessories to make it mine. The results were incredible. When teachers, administrators, students, and parents came into my classroom, they oohed and ahed!  I LOVED that classroom, BUT when I saw that she was releasing 16 new classroom themes this past spring, I knew I was ready for a new challenge. As soon as I saw it - I knew...Nautical Monogram with navy blue and lime green!  I was in LOVE again!

Once I bought this new classroom theme, I started printing and looking for accessories. As luck would have it - I have a brother-in-law who hits every garage sale he passes.  I happened to mention my new theme and asked him to keep his eyes open for nautical type decor.  Well.....the items he has found have surpassed my wildest dreams for my new classroom theme. I can't wait to get into my classroom and start decorating!  Those pictures will be forthcoming in a few weeks!

Thank you for coming to my brand new blog! It's still under construction, so make sure you come back and see my progress.  I hope to be an inspiration to other teachers as they have been to me.  This profession is the most caring and sharing there is and we definitely are SUPER HEROES!