Three and a half weeks into school and I'm already making sub plans...



So, I'm spending this week not molding young minds and teaching the foundations of education... but instead doing my civic duty and serving on a jury.  Now, don't get me wrong, I really don't mind lending a helping hand to the judicial system... but we are BARELY into the new school year!

The worst part?  We were doing so well on our Daily 5 routines, I was planning to start reading groups this week.  Reading groups are my FAVORITE part of the day!  Oh well, at least I'll be ready for next week.

So I thought this would be the perfect time to show you my new Substitute Binder!  I'm very excited about it, because I know my subs will have all the information they need at their fingertips when they are in my classroom.

You can customize this sub binder to fit your own needs.  It's my newest upload to my TPT Store!

Here is what my binder looks like... with all the identifiable information blurred out of course!  (Some pages kind of loose their luster when they are blanked-out, but you get the idea!)

I keep a zipper pouch in the front so that I can store my behavior chart stickers and put my thumb drive in with the Smart board files for the day.  I can also toss any other small items in there that my sub will need for the day.

I like to leave a nice Welcome message for my subs!

I have a Word document with a template of my lesson plans.  My schedule and routines are already in there.  That way, all I have to do is type in the actual plans for that day.  Anything to make it easier!

We take attendance electronically, but when there is a substitute they don't have access to our online attendance system.  So, I keep a simple class list and ask my subs to circle the students who are absent, or circle ALL STUDENTS ARE PRESENT.

Here I keep any students notes about students who are very helpful, students who are particularly challenging, and students who receive various services.  In my Welcome message I remind them to pay close attention to this page!

I like to know what happened during the day, and I find that a focused note is best!

The initial set-up of the binder took a little bit of planning, but now I can be sure that my classroom will run smoothly when I am not there!

How do you plan for a sub?
Well, with Day 9 down, I am still EXHAUSTED!!!  Talk about no time for blogging!

On September 4th I welcomed 20 fresh-faced firsties into my classroom.  Since then, it has been a whirlwind!  We are working diligently on routines and procedures.  I'm proud to say that they are really progressing quickly, wahoo!  Here's what we have been up to so far...

We began Math Workshop on the very first day of school!  After I introduced the mini-lesson to the students, I began introducing the other components of our workshop.  Here we are practicing Math with a Buddy:

I LOVE this Color Squares game for the introduction of Math with a Buddy.  It's so easy and really allows the kids to practice working with partners.  This game is from Oceans of First Grade Fun.
{Click HERE to Download for FREE} 

Here are my kiddos practicing Math by Myself.  In the beginning of the year, these activities include review skills from kindergarten, like practicing number writing.
Working so hard!!!

Math by Myself is also our time to eat our snack... extra incentive to work quietly, haha!

We are deep into Daily 5 at this point.  We quickly built our Read to Self stamina to 15 minutes.  Then we moved on to Listen to Reading.  This year we have the iPads to use.  EVERYONE wants to get their hands on those babies!

Here are my first six kiddos practicing on Tumblebooks.

All last week we worked on our School ROCKS pack from Ashley Sanderson at Flying High in First Grade.  I was lucky enough to snag this as a Fan Freebie in the summer.  It's now on Teachers Pay Teachers and it's definitely worth putting on your wishlist!
{Click HERE to Purchase from Flying High in First Grade}

Throughout the week we read books that helped facilitate discussion about Respect, being On-Task, Cooperation, and Kindness.  At the end of the week, we completed this anchor chart.  It now hangs right above our behavior chart to remind us about Rockstar behavior!

Last week we also had Curriculum Night.  Yup!  On Day 5 of school we gave our presentations to parents in two evening sessions.  Talk about exhausting!  My parents are fantastic and I can see where their kids get their spunky personalities from.  Yay for parent support!!!

The first of many sign-in's and sign-up's for parents!

I have a packet of information for parents, as well as some other notes and the September Scholastic Book order.  I put all the paperwork into a file folder and label it with the child's name.  That way I know who attended and can easily send the folder home to those that didn't attend.

Every other Friday I host a Mystery Reader in my classroom.  It's so much fun!  I'll be sure to blog about it in detail after my first Mystery Reader next week!

This year I set out apples with my "wishlist" items.  I also set out a bowl of apples for the parents.  The bummer?  Though the wishlist items were snatched up, not ONE apple was taken to eat!  Sadsville.  Guess I'll be making an apple pie or two!

We worked so hard on our All About Me posters!  Too bad I didn't snap any pictures.  D'oh!  It's my FREEBIE for you tonight.  I have them enlarged and copied on 11x17 paper.  I put the kids first day of school picture in the "This is Me" section.  (The fabulous fonts are KG fonts of course!)  Enjoy!

{Click HERE to Download for FREE}

Oh, and just one more pic I couldn't resist... found this top at the Ann Taylor factory outlet.  LOVE me some chevron!

It's finally DONE!!!  My classroom is ready (well, as ready as it'll ever be).  I always feel late to the party posting my classroom set-up, since so many bloggers are already knee-deep into teaching by now.

I, however, start TOMORROW!  I'm starting to get really excited to meet my new batch of firsties.  A few of them dropped in today as I was putting the finishing touches on my classroom and preparing materials for this week.  I can already tell from the few I met today that I will have a classroom bursting with personality!

So without further ado, may I present my classroom, woot woot!

((WARNING - EXTREME photo bomb ahead!))

Entry Sign

Hallway Bulletin Board - Empty until we complete our All About Me posters!

View from the front door

View from the front corner

View from my desk

View from the back corner

Small group meeting area
{I bought these ah-mazing stools at School Outfitters, but they no longer seem to carry them.  You can get similar ones at Ikea.}

Focus Wall and Whole-Brain Teaching Posters 
{Find the FREE WBT posters from First Grade Fever HERE}

My new Word Wall!  I love the ribbons.
{Find my Rock Star Word Wall HERE}

I'm so psyched to only have TWO computers and ONE table!  And putting the file cabinets underneath has saved me so much space!
{Tissue poofs from Hobby Lobby}

Those are my TEN brand new iPads, woohoo!!!  We are going to ROCK our technology this year!
And yes, I bought two matching monogrammed chevron mouse pads.  Seriously, I blame Amazon for carrying everything under the sun.  It's really not my fault.

This is my teacher area.  The door connects to my teammate Mel.  Her desk is in the same spot on the other side.  Our door is VERY frequently wide open.  This makes for a very productive planning/girl talk time haha!

My Teacher "Stuff"

These buckets were one of my favorite purchases a few years ago.  Look at all that stuff I've got crammed in for the rest of this week!  Everything is right in one spot for the day.
{Find the buckets at Lakeshore Learning HERE}

Ahh, my pretty binders!  All chevron, all the time.
{Find my binder covers HERE}

LOVE this area!  At the end of last year I bought these plastic drawers and labeled them to hide my copies.  We are fortunate to outsource a lot of our copying which means I usually have STACKS of copies!  Now they are neatly tucked away.
My dad and I custom made the shelf that holds them.  After we primed it, we covered it in chevron contact paper.
{Find the contact paper on Amazon HERE}

This rocking chair is a new addition to my classroom this year, but it is certainly not a new item.  This was the rocking chair that my dad bought for my mom before she had me.  She rocked my sister and I to sleep in this chair when we were babies.  Though I won't be rocking any first graders (haha), I will be sharing my love of reading and my beloved pictures books with them here.
{Chair pad from Pier One}

Leveled Library - I have my firsties choose four leveled books to keep in their book pouch.

In addition, they keep four picture books in their book pouches.

So jazzed about my new classroom library labels!

More books... you can never have enough!

Classroom Rules - based on Whole-Brain Teaching
{Find my Class Rules FREEBIE HERE}

Calendar and Daily Schedule
My calendar is very small due to the fact that I do all my calendar activities on the Smart board.
{Find my Daily Schedule Cards HERE}

Dollar Tree Pizza Pan + Ribbon + Numbers = Rockin' Compliments!
When my class collects 20 compliments we earn a reward.  The class brainstorms and votes on the reward.  The only catch is, the reward cannot cost any money.  My kiddos get very creative!
{Find the FREE numbers from 4th Grade Frolics HERE}

Birthday Display and Job Chart 
{Find the FREE pennants from Jen Willis HERE}
{Find my Rockin' Responsiblities Job Chart HERE}

Word Work Area
{Find my Word Work Activities HERE}

Writing Workshop Area

Math Workshop Area

How AWESOME are these Kid President quotes?!!
{Find them FREE from Mrs. Plant's Press HERE}

 PHEW!!  That post was a lot of work.  I hope you enjoyed a little peak into my classroom.  
Okay, now I'm off to get some beauty rest before the BIG DAY!
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