Friday, August 24, 2012

my classroom. classroom is all put together.  And let me say {once again} that I am super jealous of those of you who get access to your room all summer.  Whew...I am tired!!  But Open House was successful and {minus a few adjustments} it is done!  I think this might be my favorite classroom set up ever.

P.S. If you're following Little Miss Glamour on Facebook you'll already have seen a few previews and 2 easy Back to School centers!  ;)

Ok!  Are you excited yet??  Ready to see it?!  :)

{click on the pictures for a larger view}

{view from the front door.}
{view from the back door.}
{front wall}
Ok, now some up closeness.  ;)

{guided reading area}
{library corner...with new furniture coming soon!}
{schedule, objectives & calendar will be here}
{science, math & social studies words under the SmartBoard}

I love my framed quotes above the SmartBoard from Technology Rocks.  Seriously.

{world's easiest Back to School bulletin board & construction zone.} 
I use this bulletin board every fall.  The photos are pictures from past students engaged in math tasks, special theme days and other enticing kindergarteny activities.  The large white paper is student work telling why kindergarten {or their teacher} is awesome.  Parents love reading these!!

{student cubbies & behavior system}
{word wall & soon-to-be writing center}
{cool down corner, math tubs & front door}
{graffiti wall & pocket chart center}
{magnet center}
{creative corner for puppets, dress up & other imaginative play}
{back counter & books}
Don't you love those polka dots and letters?!  They're vinyl wall decals that go on quickly & peel off even easier.  Perfect for adding quick color!

{teacher corner.  pictures from past students above.  binders & teacher books below.}
{paper cart ie. my desk and the supply center.} 
{our school theme is all about being college bound.}
{meet me!}
Since I'm behind so many others I'm needing to play catch-up with linky parties.  Check out Teaching Blog Addict, Swimming into SecondBrigid's Daily Lesson Log and Blog Hoppin' for even more classroom pictures and ideas!!  :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

like it. love it. {want some more of it?}

Do you like my new blog header?!

Now you can also like my new Facebook page!!

I have 3 days until Open House.  In a brand new classroom. This is clearly the perfect time to be working on my blog, right?!  ;)  I mean, come on.  How much more clean & organized can I get?!

Complete pictures of my room won't be up until Friday {or Saturday morning depending on how exhausted I am after Open House!} but here are few fun centers I put up today.  Woot woot!

My graffiti wall is perfect for the beginning of the year.  Especially for kindergarten when you're not sure whether they'll be coming in writing stories or not yet recognizing their own name.
The crayons are from my friend {and old art teacher} and they are made by Crayola.  They're called Construction Paper crayons and I use them almost solely on black paper.  Look how the colors pop!  This will be a writing or you-need-something-to-be-occupied center for the first couple of weeks.  The beauty of graffiti is...the messier, the better!  No need to switch this one out for a while.

I'm also super pumped to have 2 filing cabinets.  Even if they don't match.  And even if one was accidentally locked before I had the chance to add files.  {thank you to mr. custodian for picking the lock...and my personal MacGyver skills for removing it completely!}
Add some paper & border and voila!  Beautiful magnet center.  All set and ready for sight words, number lines, shape name it.  Even I couldn't wait to play with it.  :)

Open House is Thursday night so the rest is coming soon!!  In the meantime, please go and like Little Miss Glamour's Facebook page.  I'll post secret sales, funny kid stories & other teachery things I think you'll like.  And if there's anything in particular you want to see, just ask!!  :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

To Facebook or NOT to Facebook?

That is the question for YOU.

I've noticed a new trend of some teachers creating Facebook pages for their blogs.  I'm debating going down that route but am not fully convinced yet.  I've talked to a few other teachers who have done it but {duh} you are really the only ones that matter!  {Don't tell them I said that!!!}

Would it be helpful for you if I created a Facebook page?  Would it be easier to follow and know when I've posted?  Are you interested in random postings from me {ie. teacher ecards, education quotes &  things that make me laugh}

Or do find it annoying to see teachery things in your newsfeed?  Do you prefer to just shut down your teacher-brain and look at pictures of your friends' babies, pets and desserts?

Let me know!  Whatever you want...shall be done.  :)

{I have been uber busy with "new teacher" trainings and trying to move all of my classroom stuff out of the house and into my new classroom.  But that means decoration pictures of all my fab stuff will be coming your way soon!!!}
Ok ok...I've also been watching the Spice Girls reunion from the Closing Ceremonies on a daily basis.  You should NOT be surprised!  ;)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

puppet pals.

Today I have another fun iPad app to share. If I haven't convinced you to get one yet, this just might do the trick. And if you don't have the cash, try Donor's Choose!  They're amazing!!!

I didn't learn about Puppet Pals until the very end of the year last year so I don't have any kid plays to show you. But don't worry. I've made up my own. :)

The app is free but I recommend upgrading to the Director's Cut for $2.99 to get additional characters & settings.  There are farm animals, fairy tale creatures, talk show hosts, political figures, monsters, holiday characters & more.  With each set of characters you also have matching settings for the backdrop.  The creation scene looks like this:
but nothing outside of the frame is shown in your presentation. As you can see from my example...
{click to see my video example}

Besides being SUPER fun & easy you can use this app to review history lessons, guided reading books or favorite stories.  Students can act out what happened, write their own stories or demonstrate how they think a familiar story should've ended. Groups of kids can work cooperatively on a presentation or it can be reserved as a reward for your creative types who just want to do what they want on their own...after their class work is finished.

My favorite part is that you can upload your own pictures for characters AND settings. Reenact a class trip, summarize a special theme day or tell about a typical day in your classroom using your actual room & students!  They will LOVE seeing themselves in a movie.  I mean...who wouldn't?!  ;)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

cute to-do lists. {because organization should still be stylish}

It's August!!  ie. Back to School time.  ie. Woops I didn't get anything done realization time.  ie. Currently link up with Farley!

Plus...cuteness always diminishes stress, right?  I know it's not just me, ladies!  So whether you've already gone back, you're starting soon or you still have until Labor Day {lucky dogs!} one of these should help make life sweeter...and more FABulous.  ;)

Saturday, August 04, 2012

designing your classroom. {there's an app for that}

I got in my brand new classroom in my brand new school for the first time on Friday.  There were some good surprises {no teacher desk & no housekeeping furniture} some not so fun realizations {no filing cabinets & an icky brown remnant carpet} and a lot of differences to adjust to. Isn't it funny how the tiniest things can throw off your whole plan?! no circle tables?! how on earth will I survive?! Luckily! I had been planning to start from square one & revamp it all so I was beyond thrilled when I left. {knowing my filing cabinet & carpet issues were being resolved was a major a supportive admin!!}

I did go ahead & move the furniture around so I'd be more ready to "move in" next week and unload allllll of the goodies from my home office. :)

That notebook you see in the 2nd picture has all of my notes, lists & reminders so I tried to sketch my classroom floor plan there as well. Not so much. Remember my lack of artistic ability?  Yeah, apparently I'm also not great at spatial vizualtion because I couldn't get the sizing of anything right. I said "I wish I could just draw on top of my photos" and {bam!} it hit me.  Educreations.

Educreations is a great app that I use on my iPad all of the time. Kids can draw & write but there's also a record button so you can not only hear the child verbally process as they work but you can also watch their movements in real time. {like when you're guessing on DrawSomething}

So here are my new & improved before photos with plans...that will probably change...but it's a start!
{view from front door}
{front wall.  to the right of the front door.}
{back wall. to the left of the front door.}
{cubby wall & front door}
SO much better right?!  Plus I can go in and add more when I change my mind - like decided to scrap the little shelves in front of my "desk" and putting the filing cabinets there instead to make a magnet station.  {so exited!!!}

Plus one little video of Huxtable because he's so darn cute so you can see how the record feature works. ;)
{click on Huxtable to see a video example of the app!}
You can record yourself giving directions & email it home to a student who was out sick. You can demonstrate how to spell phonetically or work through a specific math process & upload it to your website for parents to access at home. You can upload various pictures for kindergarteners to practice labeling.  The possibilities of the app are almost endless.

I have a 4 day math training next week so I'll only get to work in my room for about an hour each day. But I'll keep you posted as things progress along!

Friday, August 03, 2012

bye-bye boring white.

I have a conspiracy theory against spray paint. I don't believe it covers half as much area as it says it does because I have yet to complete a project without running out of color half-way through. Also, sprays at any angle? Ha! True, it may actually come out of the nozzle upside down but the coverage is all different which results in drips and inconsistency. {huff!} Nevertheless I continue to attempt craft projects that involve the stuff. {although after the rubber-bands-on-the-glass-vase fiasco of 2011 that one is forever banned in our household.}

So many of your classrooms have themes that I've been thinking about which I want to incorporate. And to be honest, I just can't land on one. I love Dr. Seuss but don't want him up all year long. I am not all about birds and owls {no offense to my Anthro friends} and - though I love them - I think I'd get sick of seeing pirates, campers or farm animals up all year. The only ones I really love are the super girly pink & zebra themes but all I can envision are boys throwing tantrums and never wanting to come to school.
{disclaimer: that was only my personal opinion so please don't tattle on me to the principal if you chose one of the aforementioned themes.  I'm sure it is darling!}

What seems to work best for me is color. Bright ones.

{interjecting again.  please note: my mother-in-law and sister-in-law are living with us for the summer.  please excuse all of the "stuff" in the background that is generally not there.}

I started with this secondhand bookshelf & decided wood shouldn't be too hard to paint.

Adding the wrapping paper to the top with Modge Podge...a bit trickier.  Start with a piece that hangs over the edges a little more than you need.
I suggest rolling it down a little bit at a time to minimize the air bubbles underneath & keep it smoother.
After sticking the top down, go side to side & stick them down as well.  Once it's dry, use an exacto knife to cut off the excess.
{Another theory, people who smoothly cover things in Modge Podge with no bubbles are not real people. It requires some kind of magical touch to make that happen.}
Since I still had spray paint in multiple colors I decided to go ahead and try updating my sterlite drawers. Not too bad...until I ran out of my 2nd can of Mambo Pink. I chose these 4 colors because they're the colors of my guided reading groups.
I may attempt the cute scrapbook paper lining for the drawers...but I need a few non-crafting days first. ;)

If you have any tips or tricks {and have actually made it to the end of the post despite today's sassy attitude} I would LOVE to hear them.

And I promise to just listen, nod my head & smile.
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