Thursday, August 30, 2012

Open House Night: A Step By Step Guide With Free Resources

Today we had open house.  Here's a step-by-step guide to everything that I do:

I stand at the door and greet parents.  I have a podium outside the door with a framed 8 x 10 class picture, a sign in sheet/volunteer sheet, and a plant.

I have a powerpoint rolling when the parents walk in the room.  It's class pictures on a loop.  I used this Powerpoint background:
This background came somewhere from the site Brainy Betty, but I can't find the exact link.  If someone has it, send it to me!

How to Loop a Powerpoint slide show:

  1. On the Slide Show menu, click Set Up Show.
  2. Select the Loop continuously until 'Esc' check box.

The parents would enter the room, look around, and find their child's desk with their letter on it.  This year I had the parents reply, but I only had 11/18 parents show... so next year I'm ditching the parent's reply portion.  Third grade is a little different... less parent participation than 1st.

When everyone arrives, I start a formal presentation with Prezi.  Prezi is a free, beautiful and easy to use site!  I highly recommend it if you haven't tried it yet.  They have a really cute owl design too!  The whole thing takes less than 10 minutes- don't ramble on and on!  Short, sweet and to the point.

Back to School Prezi

You can click here to get your own editable version.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back To School Expo FREE TICKET!

Have you entered the giveaway for your FREE ticket to the Back To School Expo presented by Teacher's Notebook?

I snagged one, and I received INSTANT access to the presentations and all the goodies!   I downloaded TWENTY NINE freebies today!  They were all really great things that I needed like: math journal prompts, a sub folder, inspirational print, reading connection posters, back to school organizational forms, newsletter/lesson plan templates, center activities and much more!

The presentations are also great!  I learned more about Math Journals (my big goal for the year is to really get these going!), Reading Success with Annie Moffatt (love her!) and I'm currently viewing Schoolgirl Style's presentation.

Join me by getting your free ticket now!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First day of school classroom layout

The "Classroom Promise" posters are $5 on TPT.  The Vinyl Clip Chart is $20 from New Management (Rick Morris).  You can order one here.
Yea, that's me and Rick Morris!  :)  Gotta love conferences.

I LOVE my "Don't forget the table washers" sign!  To the right of that is the reminder board for crazy last minute dismissal changes. 

 These are Jenny's Blooms Taxonomy Posters for $1.00 on TPT! (Please ignore the fact that my last two are out of order.... lol it's on my to do list)

The classroom clock labels are free here.  The bulletin board is from Mountain Math... I will probably change it soon.  The Aquarium came from a grant from Pets In The Classroom.

The genre posters come from Beth Newingham.  You can print them for free!

The Hand Signals are $4 from TPT.  The white shelves are only $19 from Walmart; I purchased the 2 of the three tier shelves and spread them out across the room.  The book bins are from Really Good Stuff.

This is my Money & Notes collection bin.  It's a plain black stackable bin, but I added scrapbook paper to make it stand out.

I'm linking up with Beg Borrow Steal to see other classroom layouts!  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ohmiword we are starting school day after tomorrow!

So, our school was delayed since August 6th because they couldn't pass our budget.  They JUST announced that they are starting Thursday.  As in, THIS THURSDAY!  Also as in.... day after tomorrow!!!!!!!!!  Ahhhhhhhhh!

This is why I'm freaking out: today I took apart my library.  Wanna hear the good news?  Today I scanned 381 books into my new database of amazingness... still many more left to go!  Richard Allington suggests having a classroom library with 750-1,500 books in the classroom.  

Book CrawlerI got an app called BookCrawler ($1.99) .  I LOVE this app!  You can scan the barcodes on books and it pulls up the ISBN, title, genre and picture.  I put them into categories based on which book tub they go in and I also added the reading level.  The really great part is that you can easily look and see how many of each group you have, search based on reading level, or search by topic.  You can also lend them to students and keep a record of it.  You will always know exactly which books you own and how many.  You can export your database to any mobile device or computer.  Love!  My inspiration comes from Anglea Bunyi's library and Beth Newingham's library.

Photo source

Any last minute back to school tips?  Does anyone else use a library database?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Favorite Read Alouds Linky Party!

As the new school year is upon us, I have been scrambling to get some new reading material for my class.  In the past, I have read:
Little House on the Prairie

We read through this series:
Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House, #1)

This year, I'm adding a few titles to my collection of read alouds (for 3rd graders):

Beezus and Ramona (Ramona, #1)


What are your favorite read alouds?  Grab a button, create a post with your favorite books, then link up to share!  Please make sure you link to your specific post so people can easily find it!  :)  


You know that feeling when you go to the library but you don't have anything in particular you are looking for?  Never again!  I currently have 55 books on my "To Read" list.

Yesterday I was looking for a way to catalogue books that I wanted to read.  I knew that there were internet sites that were dedicated to this, so I started looking around.  I found  I really like that you can rate books you have read, add multiple "shelves"where you can add your own categories and receive recommendations from the computer based on your tastes.  They also have huge lists of books in categories- like best romantic or sci-fi, or books everyone should read at least once.  They are voted on by other members of the site, so you get thousands of people voting.
You could also use this site to keep up with your professional learning.
I've been using it for personal reasons- remember reading "The Book Whisper"?  I'm creating my mountain of books to read.... but they are in a list living on my computer.
I also like that it tells you how to get the book- you can check out WorldCat to see which libraries, bookstores, and e-books are available.
You can check out my Goodreads page here.  
This whole thing was inspired by a visit from my little sister, a bibliophile with very similar tastes to myself.  She came because we are STILL out of school- see more about that here.  She brought some books to read for herself.   I started reading Ender's Game, which I quickly fell in love with!  Amazing characters, future dystopia- what's not to love?!  (Nerd alert!)
Then I found out that Ender's Game is coming to theaters next year and it's going to have Harrison Ford in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  <3
It was fellow bloggers that introduced me to The Hunger Games long before the movies.
I know that my love reading carries over to the classroom.  I'm so excited to be teaching 3rd grade this year- chapter books!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

School delayed "indefinitely"

Hey all!
Sorry I've been MIA.  I've been working crazy 12 hour days trying to get ready for the new school year... which is much harder when you change grades!
So get this:
Our county commission won't approve the school board's budget (which they reduced by $5 MILLION LAST YEAR)... so they just aren't going to start school.
We were suppose to start Monday.  We've had registration night.  We've met the kids.  And now we aren't going to school.  They are suppose to take them out of our snow days.  Craziness!!!!!!!!  You can read more about it here.