Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Room Design

Well I had a few moments today to start taking down things on my walls.  I hate doing this before school is out. I want the students to be comfortable in their room
 up until the very last minute. 
Does it stay or does it go?
Specialists Day and Time Schedule
This will stay for next year. I had this posted right next to the door and it helped me so much at the beginning of the year. New school, new times, weird schedule!
 My kids would have been at the wrong place at the wrong time without it. 

Word Wall
The word wall will stay, some of the posters will go. 
I want to add more writing posters to assist students in their daily writing activities.
The Writing Center is one of the most popular areas in the classroom. 
 This picture is terrible.
 We have this dark carpeted wall and it is horrible to get things to stay up on it. 
The kids used this word wall often while at the writing center. 
This word wall featured words from our reading series.
 I also have a thematic word wall in this writing center area. 
The student's pictures and names hang under our word wall 
as a reference for others to use in their writing. 
Summer Project- I want to come up with new interactive ways
 to utilize the word wall more next year. 

What posters to you have up in your writing center area?
What do think is most beneficial in your writing center area?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Room Reflecting

Did you like your room design this year?
As the year comes to a close, I finished out my first year at a new school and a new grade level (first grade). I totally changed my room this year. I scaled back the decorations, did away with my ocean theme (almost), no work hanging from the ceiling, and new colors blue and lime green. Now that the year is almost over I have a chance to reflect on what I liked and what I did not like. I have to  pack up and strip everything down due to summer camp at our school, so out with what did not work. I can always try a few new things next year. 

 Here are a few things I liked. My Beanie Baby Strategy Wall was helpful at the beginning of the year. Most of my students are above average readers but I liked having the cute animals to pull off the wall when teaching these strategies. Having extra Beanie babies available in a basket for them to use when they are Reading to Self or Reading to Someone Else was a hit. They used them independently and liked having a little animal to hold onto when reading.
I liked my colors so the signs I made will stay.
They are a KEEPER for next year. 

Do you use the Daily 5?
I added a new CAFE board this year. I used FACE instead and had the kids make their face for the bulletin board the first week of school. We used this board a lot! The students used the terminology and I referred to it often during our reading groups or during read alouds. 
It will stay for next year. 

These were both areas that worked for me this year.
The little Daily 5 (really 6) signs, I did not use. They will probably go. I have signs hanging in each center area of the room, so these signs are not really needed. 
I have new ideas for the wall space! 
Check back tomorrow to see what will stay and what will go. 
Do you make changes to your room each year?   

Monday, May 14, 2012

Memory Book Poem Freebies!

It is Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies.
None of us have any extra time at this time of year to create goodies. 
So head over and grab some free activities from other bloggers.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Here's Mine!
These are a few poems I use in my 

\End of the Year Memory Book.

Click Here for Great Expectations Poem

Sunday, May 13, 2012

LOOK What I Did!

While blog hopping yesterday, I came across this cute art activity by Jacquelieh at Kids Artists Blog.

I pinned it on my board on Pinterest and it got repinned 200 times in the first hour. 

I immediately thought what a cute bulletin board for the end of the school year.  I needed to make it a little easier for first graders. So I  made 3 patterns for sunglasses and the insert to fit on each pair. I also created a several writing sheets to go with this art activity. I thought it would be cute if the kids drew and wrote 
"Look What I'm Doing This Summer!" 
"Look What I Did This Year!"

Here is a copy of the patterns and
 writing sheets. 
Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Winner of the Thirty-One Totes!

And the winners are:
 Pamela from First Class Teacher 
you are the winner of the 
Thirty-One Organizing Tote!

First Class Teacher


Alessia Albanese of 
Mrs. Albanese's Class you are the winner of the thermal tote.

Thank you so much to all that entered. Everyone was so kind to stop by and follow. I have found some great new blogs. Please check back often. I like to share as much as I can. 
I am off to contact Pamela and Alessia!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mother's Day Gift and Last Day to Enter Giveaway!

It is the last day to enter the giveaway for the 
Thirty-One Organizing Tote.
 Be sure to register before midnight. 

Is it getting busier by the day or what? My class had fun finishing up their gifts for their moms. They turned out so cute. At the last minute, I whipped up a card for the kids to make to go with their gifts. This year I had the students paint clay pots. 
They used their fingertips for the flowers and then painted the rest. 
Today they planted the flowers for our big Mother's Day Assembly tomorrow.  


I found some rick-rack in my craft supplies and some left over fun foam flowers. I traced their hands to create a little flower pot of flowers to match their gift. 

Here is a little poem I made up for the inside of the card. 

Happy Mother's Day early to all the moms out there!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Common Core Site and Freebie

Are you  tired of the words Common Core Standards yet? I hope not because here is a great site to explore with all kinds of information, ideas, and activities, all set up by grade level.
 Check it out when you get a minute. 
Which at this time of year is almost impossible.
 Maybe bookmark it or put it in your favorites to check out over the summer. 

I know you are just as busy as I am at this time of year but I promised a freebie. I have not finished updating my May Calendar Journal but here are 20 pages of it if you can use it. It is a large file because of the graphics.  I need to learn how to compress them or make my files smaller. 
Any hints from you experienced bloggers would be appreciated.
I have this on Google Docs. It says there is no preview because of the size, but it downloads fine.
 Here is a picture of most of the pages.

2 more days until I announce the winner of the Thirty-One Totes. Enter here if you have not already!


Keep plugging away the year is almost over!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Teacher Appreciation at Reading A-Z

Was yesterday GREAT or what! 
I downloaded so many freebies. Thank you to all of the wonderful teachers for sharing their items at TPT.
  But WAIT! More Teacher Appreciation FREEBIES.
Have you ever used Reading
It is a fabulous resource to assist you in differentiating your reading instruction..You will find thousands of materials to teach leveled reading, phonemic awareness, comprehension, fluency, alphabet, and vocabulary. If you are a regular classroom teacher, special education teacher, ESOL teacher, or a reading intervention teacher, you have to check them out. I have used their materials for years and particularly like the leveled readers and the Raz-Kids website. They are having an Open House with a one week trial for all teachers beginning today through May 11! 
You can download some freebies everyday. 
Just click on the link below and register.
Here is a sample of a book I used today from Reading A-Z for our Ocean Unit. It is a Level L book entitled Deep in the Ocean .The kids loved this non-fiction book about the depths of the ocean. I used this book to reinforce my students glossary skills.  I created a printable to go along with the book that you can download below.   We also used a diagram from the book to create our own crafty ocean zones complete with the creatures that live in each zone. 


And now for a shout out. 
All of us know what it was like starting out and trying to get others to come to our blog. Many of us are still learning, (like me) but we can all help each other out by taking a few minutes to recognize other teachers that are wanting to share and grow professionally by blogging. 
Please stop by and visit Tammy Wathen at The Resourceful Apple. I was her second follower. We all need encouragement and support even when we know we are working hard and doing the best we can. 
Show Tammy some Teacher Appreciation by visiting and following.

(I am still... learning how to link a picture! I can not get it for the life of me!)

You still have 3 days to sign up for the 100 followers give away. Scroll down and enter. 

 I left my freebies up for another day at TPT if you did not grab them already. I had a busy day  and weekend and have not had time to download anything new. I will try to get another new item and freebie up tonight. 


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Day at TPT and a FREEBIE

It is Teacher Appreciation Day at TPT, 
and there is a group of 150 TPT sellers giving away items today. Of course I read about this group about 1 hour before the the deadline to enter was due. I frantically put in my information, but I missed out. I forget about the timezone differences. Anyway Lori Rosenberg, who is a very talented teacher and blogger has the list for you, so I am sending you to her blog. Lori is a sweet blogging friend that always stops by my blog and gives me sweet comments. Thanks Lori! She has great stuff! Check out her TPT store, her freebie, and the rest of the bloggers on the list. 


Even though I missed the group, I can still give something away. Today only I am giving my Ocean Compound Word Center away.  You can grab it for free at my TPT Store, today only.
Here is a preview. Get it TODAY ONLY FOR FREE!
You have until 4:00 today to grab yesterday's freebie also, 
Ocean Theme Word Sort - Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives. It goes with this Ocean Theme. 

Then go and check out my new blogging friend Sara. She has great ideas and just started blogging. Be sure to share the love and encouragement by following or commenting.

Miss Sara has a cute Mother's Day word search Freebie for you.
And last but not least Sign Up for My GIVEAWAY
You could win a Thirty-One Organizing Tote

Just scroll down to MY MAY 3 POST  and ENTER

Happy Shopping Today!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Freebies and Prizes

You Are Appreciated!
It's Teacher Appreciation Week and  I want to say thank you to everyone who visits my blog. To show my appreciation to everyone and reaching 100 followers, I am having a giveaway. If you have not signed up for the Thirty-One Tote Bag giveaway, What are you waiting for! You get to pick your color and monogram exactly like you want it. Just go to the previous post and sign up before midnight on May 9.

Some of the newbies like me are overjoyed to have 100 followers.  There are people with hundreds, even thousands of followers, but we must all give ourselves a pat on the back for each small step or accomplishment we make.  A month ago, I didn't have a blog, a Facebook fan Page, or a TPT store. I don't even know anyone who blogs. No one at my school blogs.  And to top it off most of you are my kids age. I was inspired by you, the talented teachers that have been doing this much longer and much better than me.  I have been reading and learning about all this blogging technology along the way and making lots of mistakes. Luckily we learn from our mistakes.

There are so many wonderful blogs and fantastic ideas to be found on your blogs. Thank you for sharing your ideas, pictures, advice, and talents.  I have learned so much from the hours I spend reading what you have all shared.  It is so fun peeking into classrooms around the world and borrowing a trick or two that  works for you.  I think it helps us all grow professionally.

I would also like to show my support and give encouragement to others who may want to bring some new followers and friends to their blog.  I will be posting a list of blogs each day that just may be looking for a few new friends.  If you would like me to mention your blog, 
just shoot me an email or leave me a comment below.

To show my appreciation, I will be giving away a little FREEBIE each day through May 10, when the winner of the Thirty-One Tote and Thermal bag will be announced.
Here is an Ocean Word Sort for Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives. 
 The words are differentiated to use in  K-2 classrooms. 

After that it is going into my TPT Store.

Thanks for all of your support!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

100 Followers - Thirty-One Giveaway!

I made it to 100 followers
 and not without the help of all of you great blogging buddies. 
Thank You!
To celebrate I am giving away not 1 ...but  2 PRIZES.

I am sure you have heard of 
The New Summer Catalog came out yesterday!
There are so many cute things! Check them out!

Tracey Pentzer is a Thirty-One Consultant and is helping me put this together.
To see all of the colors and styles just go to her website 
or email her at

First Prize 
Thirty-One Organizing Utility Tote 
You choose any of their colors and monogram!
Here are some samples, but they have tons more to choose from.


Second Prize
Thirty-One Thermal Tote
You pick any color and monogram!

Now Enter to Win!

Here's how, it's easy!
You get one entry for each of the following!

1. Follow this blog

You get 3 entries if 
4. You mention this giveaway and link to Classroom Companion on your blog 
or Facebook page.
You can copy this picture to use in a post.

Leave a comment 
telling me which of the above you did. 
You only have to leave 1 comment, just list what you did from above.
Don't forget your email address in your comment 
so I can get you your prize.

Tell your friends, the more the merrier.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
The winners will be chosen by random number generator.
All entries must be in by midnight on May 9.
The winners will be announced on May 10!