Another day, another box (or 2, or 7, or 19 perhaps)...

Today was VERY productive!  No side trips to Target and minimal conversation breaks.  (Well, "minimal" might be a strong word, but there was definitely less chatting!)  Everything is officially unpacked, organized, and just about put away.  That means tomorrow I can start the fun part - the decorating!

Oh look, a real classroom without cardboard!

Look at that cleared off carpet, woohoo!

I even have extra space in this closet!
Don't worry, I'll fill it up before the week ends!

A sea of plastic bins and labels.  A teacher's dream, haha!!!
Today was productive... despite the pictures you are about to see!!!  I swear I really did work hard all day... except for the hour I chatted and helped others with furniture arrangement in their rooms.  And then of course my mid-day trip to Target... because it was necessary.  It absolutely, positively could not wait until I was kicked out of the building at 3pm.  (Do your custodians do the same?  We get to stay until 3pm in August... and not a second later!)

Anyways... onto the pics from today!

This picture was technically from yesterday's progress.  However, the lights were off in the hallway when I was taking pics yesterday... you know, the 3pm rule and all.  This bulletin board is GINORMOUS!  Quite the lil project... and of course, it was completed with Deb and Kel's help!

These are the disgusting shelves that I just couldn't bear to put my classroom library on again this year.  They are all rusty, scratched, and just plain gross.  This pic doesn't do it justice.  Yuck.  So, off to Target I went to grab some contact paper and cover this monstrosity up!  Priorities, right?!!

Voila!  The finished product!  Now they are smooth and speckled.  I like it much better!  It doesn't matter that this took another precious hour out of my day when the boxes were still piled a mile high.  I'll get to those... eventually...

This is the state I left my room in today.  I know, I know, it looks like a hot mess.  BUT, this is how I operate.  I need to pull everything out of the boxes, organize the stuff into different piles, and then I can put it away.  Does anyone else out there do this?!!

Did I mention I have a problem with plastic organizers?  It's an addiction really.  There, I said it.  Admitting it is the first step, right?  I just can't help myself.  This is about half of my stock.  Some is already put away... and some are brand new and still in the boxes of supplies that were piled in the office for me.  Because I needed more boxes of stuff...

A few more plastic organizers... so colorful!  See that sunshine seeping in?  Maybe that 3pm rule isn't so bad after all... off to enjoy a few more hours of summer!
Well... it's that time again!  I woke up bright and early, eager to get into my classroom and start setting up.  And then when I walked in I saw this:

and this...

and this...

O.M.G.  Not what I was expecting.  As I mentioned before, my room was completely emptied out at the end of June so that the asbestos could be removed and the floor could be replaced.  When I left in June my boxes were neatly piled on a pallet in the hallway.  Now, not so much!

So I immediately thought about quitting and going home and crawling back into my nice warm bed.  And then I took a long walk around the school hoping for a distraction inspiration.  And then I texted a pic of my mess to my best friend Deb in order to share my panic with her.  And then she called Kelli, because clearly this was an emergency, right?!

Deb and Kel to the rescue!  My pals were at school in 30 minutes to help!!!  Aren't they just the sweetest?!  I really can't thank them enough.  We managed to arrange furniture, chat, clear out the heaviest boxes, chat some more, AND get some bulletin boards up.  WAHOO!

I unpacked ALL my boxes!!!

Haha, just kidding!  But they are neatly stacked in piles now.

So despite the mess I left today, I did make a fair amount of progress.  My classroom is starting to take shape and look a lot less like a dumping ground!  I have a long way to go in the next four days...
I finally got around to a long awaited project this week... making our sight word cards!  In our district we focus on the Dolch sight word list.  I send home 8-10 new words each week for my students to practice.  (I call them Weekly Workout Words to go along with my team theme!)

I usually introduce the words at the beginning of the week.  Then throughout the week when we have a few extra minutes we practice our weekly sight words.  I had been meaning to make colorful word cards to display in a pocket chart (of course!!) and I accomplished this lil' project last night, woohoo!!

I also created a very simple Retelling Bookmark that I plan to use in partnerships during Read to Someone.  We practice retelling A TON, but sometimes my lil' friends need a reminder of the basic details they should be retelling.

It won't be long now until I am introducing routines and getting my firsties set up for a year of success! After seeing many bloggers posting their classroom pics, I'm getting anxious to get into my own classroom and start setting up.  I'm hoping to post pics of my progress next week... IF I can even get into my room with all the construction taking place!

Until then, I think I'll go soak up some more sun...
With less than 30 days (eek!) until we are back into the new school year, I've been reviewing and revamping my classroom management and reward system.

Similar to the clip charts that are so cute and seemingly EVERYWHERE right now, I use a chart system as well.  I keep mine in a pocket chart that I purchased from Really Good Stuff... because I love pocket charts.  Did I mention that?!  I may have mentioned it a time or two, haha.  I use baseball accents with my students' names on them to go along with my Team Theme, instead of the cards that originally came with the pocket chart.  I keep my chart on the back of my classroom door so that it's accessible, but not glaringly out in the open for all to gawk at!

With consistent and clear expectations in my classroom, most of my kids remain on green each day.  The ones who do need more than a verbal reminder to correct their behavior move their name down the chart and have some time-out at the end of the day.  Together we reflect on how the student can move forward and make better choices next time.

Last year I wanted more of an incentive and recognition for those students that stayed on green all day. I made an individual behavior incentive chart to keep in their Take-Home folders.  Each day that a student stays on green they get a sticker added to the chart.  It's a great way to communicate daily with parents on behavior, because if a student comes home without a sticker they discuss what happened during their day.  I got great feedback from parents this year about how proud their kids were to come home with a sticker showing what a great day they had, and parents often informed me that their child was so excited to get the chart filled up because they had already decided what privilege they were working towards.  It's amazing what a lil sticker will do for a six year old!  You can grab a free copy of my behavior incentive chart HERE.

What happens when the students fill up their chart you ask?  They get a reward of course! They get to choose a class privilege.  I love privileges in the classroom instead of a prize box.  I've never had a prize box, and probably never will.  I don't want to spend money on trinkets to fill it up, and quite frankly, I don't think kids need a random plastic toy in order to behave in a positive way.  Instead, my kids get to choose a privilege in the classroom.  Inspired by Pinterest (this pin from the Seusstastic Mel D!), I got a cute jewelry organizer box to keep my privileges in this year.  I had previously had a small collection of privileges, but recently expanded the choices and designed some cute new reward coupons.  

LOVE how organized these will stay!

There are 12 different privilege coupons that can be found in my TPT Store.  I can't wait for my new batch of firsties to start earning their rewards!!
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