Saturday, May 31, 2014

Classroom Organization


Hey bloggy friends!! I hope you all survived or are surviving your last few days of school! I still have 3 1/2 days left!!

I have teamed up with Laura over at The Top Notch Teacher to bring you a summer long event of blogging for next year!


The good, the bad, the ugly of organization in my classroom! :)


Most of you know by now if you follow me regularly that I am moving from Kindergarten to 3rd grade!!! Huge jump, but I am so honored and excited to make the move. This also has been my first year teaching, so I went in not knowing anything on the importance of organization, so I wanted to share with you too a little on what I tried and what worked, and what I tried and completely failed, or was just the wrong time to try and implement. 

The very first thing I am going to bring up that failed, but I turned around and made something to fix this problem was printable organization! 

When I moved into the classroom there was a lonely old file cabinet in my classroom bathroom where the previous teacher had kept all of her reproduceables in nice and neat files all alphabetically organized. I thought coming in -  WOW this should save me a ton of time, but boy was I wrong. I am a busy, busy teacher and I am very hands on with the kiddos constantly and I also commute an hour and half to work every day. So I get to work at 7 and leave around 430 and that's not a lot of time for me to throw in filing papers. 

So I did what any normal teacher would do, I pinterest-ed, I blog hopped, I did a little facebook stalking to see how others organized their printables and I found a lot of different ways that others used 3 ring binders to organize their materials. I knew I needed to do this!  So I went to the secretary at school the next day and begged for some binders, and sure enough she had a ton 2inch binders. So I created some awesome covers and spine editable covers to put in these binders so I could sort them by what I use the most and could also trash what I didn't use! 

Here is a preview of what they look like

I love them and can't wait to use them next year in 3rd grade and coordinate with my superhero theme!! :) 

So, here were some pictures of my classroom at the beginning of the year, I am going to tell how much it has changed to keep me better organized for the whole year. 
FIRST YEAR IS DEFINITELY A LEARNING EXPERIENCE! 
Okay, so you see how I have a teacher desk here? Let me tell you how long that lasted... I got rid of it around Christmas time I think. I couldn't do it. I needed to be real close to some kiddos and it wasn't helping keeping me organized AT all. I just had piles and piles of stuff on the desk and in the end I got further behind. 


The yellow, red, and blue little shelves I used for extra crayons, glue, and scissors. Smartest idea. Kids definitely could go and gather themselves as opposed to me having to get in the cabinets for them to have extra materials when something breaks or runs out. 

Eventually this kidney table became my table as well. I used that shelf with the blue and red to organize my centers, it had its pros and cons. The size of the shelves were very awkward and only certain buckets could fit in. 

I will tell you right now I wish I had prepared and been better organized for the next day that afternoon, there were times I was frantic in the AM not really knowing what I was doing (bad teacher moment I know, but hey it was my first year, I had duty Monday mornings and usually on Fridays I was beyond exhausted and ready to get home) 
I also want to have my books organized better so that I can pull as I need. This year I had some great labels for my book bins, but I had the WORST book bins. They didn't fit well at all. So I have researched and found that Big Lots has ones I think would be perfect for myself, as well as the container store, so I am heading to those places this next week to get started early! 

Next year being in third grade my whole life is going to be different, check back later for more idea to implement next year and how they have helped, as well as give me some feedback for organization in 3rd grade :) 

Thanks for visiting!! Check back in a week for the next blog! Here is our June calendar! 






Sunday, May 25, 2014

Top Ten Things I Want To Do This Summer:

Hey friends!! :) I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Weekend! I have school tomorrow since we are making up a bad weather day. (Let me tell you how well this sets with my veteran husband--- it doesn't) We had family over today, and cooked some spaghetti and are now thundering up! 
I decided to link up with Deanna Jump over at Mrs. Jump's Class for the top ten things I want to do this summer. 

Here's my kicker my entire summer is already prettttty much planned out for me. But, here we go anyways!


Number one: 

SLEEP.  I don't know about y'all, but I am WORN OUT. I don't ever get to sleep, even on the weekends. My life is so busy it's unreal, granted I wouldn't change anything, but I would just like to feel caught up one time. In the near future, please.

Two:
Schlitterbahn. I will probably live here with my sister in law and nephew. He's finally old enough to enjoy it, so we are going this week even. SO EXCITED! 

Three: 


Float the comal and guadalupe river. It is seriously the.most.relaxing.thing.ever. Sorry for all the periods, but don't knock it till ya try it!

Four:


Coast adventures. (Can you tell I love bodys of water?) I'm pretty much a sucker for anything that involves me, water, a full cooler, and no kids. ;) 

Five:


I do have a lot planned for school though. I am making the move from Kindergarten to Third grade if you haven't heard. So this summer is moving my brain from thinking like a 5 year old to an 8/9 year old. Some definite changes, but I'm so excited and blessed.

Six:


I am also teaching Kinder Transition program until July 3. I am pretty addicted to my job, so I wouldn't trade it for anything, I'm looking forward to that too.

Seven:



Family. Parents. Oklahoma.

We are going to be going to Missouri to my family's lake for the 4th, and I am beyond excited for that. I miss my family. Haven't had them all together since the wedding and that is definitely something I love doing.

Eight: 


I will be decorating my new room and getting super organized, I want to be on Kinder-Craze's level! Ha! I will get there some day. I was able to get the Superhero theme from Melanie over at Shop School Girl Style!! I'm obsessed!  

Nine: 


Spending time with my God-Daughter. It's not something I get to do much anymore, and she's here already and will be until mid-Juneish. If not longer. She's one of the biggest gifts in my life, and I love being able to teach her and have her around. (That's her in the yellow dress in my wedding) 

Ten: 


Working on our flower bed/house. Getting it organized finally since we moved in, I just haven't had the time. 

The saddest part is of all of this is that I have about 3 weeks to do anything I want to do in, because I have so much SD and moving rooms and teaching summer school. Busy busy busy, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!!

If you want, head over to Deanna's page and link up! :) 




Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sight Word Sheet Rotations

Hello Friends!!! :) 
I have been SO busy lately. The end of the year is crazy, especially as a first year teacher. I am realizing things I do not like and things that are most certainly going to be different next year. (On that note, I could be having a huge announcement coming up. Oh boy!) Anyways, back to why I am here! 

Earlier I have told you all briefly about sight word rotations that I do with my kids every day. 
When we come back in from lunch we have around 15-20 minutes after a restroom break to kill before we go to computers. So I created sight word sheets for my kids to do in this time to learn and reinforce sight words. 
As they walk in they have they grab the paper off of purple table, and then they make their way to whatever table they want to start at. Once I see that most of the kids have their paper and are all sitting we pause and we say the word that we are doing the sheet over, and then they spell word. Then they continue and rotate between each table. Green table has the box of pencils where they write the word, and use it in a sentence. Blue table has a few sets of stamps. Yellow table has the colored pencils, and red table has two boxes of crayons they use. 

Now that we have been doing these for so long, they get done very quickly. So depending on the word, we may throw in another word that day. If not, they go to the rug, get their reading book and that quietly read. Some days I may have them use highlighting tape to find sight words in their books, other days they write the sight words from their books on a dry erase board, or in their journal. Anything to help reinforce the sight words while the others are still finishing up their papers. 

Here are a few pictures of the kids in progress: 




I try and send these home at the end of every day only so that the parents can see what word we worked on and are silently reminded that we need to know these words, and the importance of them knowing these words. 

So, I have created lists for all of YOU that include all of the Dolch Sight Word lists from Pre-Primer to Grade Three. 

The units are on my TPT site right now. 

I have also created a HUGE bundle of all five of them for a discounted price than if you bought separately. That will be uploaded on May 18, that evening. 






They are now uploaded in my store! In my featured! http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/store/Cassie-Thomas

Love y'all!
Mrs. Thomas 




Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day -- From Super Blog Slacker

Okay, y'all. I am so sorry I have been absent. Blogging is just one thing that's so hard for me to do daily or even weekly. We do so much during the day and I come home and just want to relax! But, lately I've been super sick and was even home on Friday with my husband using a sick day. It's been bad around here. :(. BUT -- I have been working hard on this just for you all. Especially a huge sight word bundle. These are what the sheets look like: 
I absolutely have loved having these in my classroom for my kiddos to use. I want to explain a little bit how they work.

We come in from lunch and have about 20 minutes before we go to computers (terrible scheduling I know, all on me) So to ensure that the transition was easy and actually learning "worthy," I created these sheets and dedicated this time to sight word lessons. 

So, the kiddos come in and get the paper off the purple table. Then they have the option to travel around the room to the different tables set up to the parts for the sheet. Red table has two boxes of crayons, yellow table has colored pencils, blue table has stamps and stamp pad, and green table has a box of sharp pencils. 

They have the option to go wherever they want first and rotate however they want, and surprisingly it all equals out and no one place is every too crowded. I love it! Before they turn it in to me they have to come and tell me the word, and read me the sentence. Now I know some of my kiddos aren't going to read it fluently, and that's fine, that gives me another opportunity to work with them on sounding out, blending, chunky monkey, eagle eye, etc.

If they get finished quickly they then go to the rug, and get their reading book from the library and look for sight words. They can use highlight tape to put over the word, or they can write it on a whiteboard and come show me the words as they find them or at the end of the story. The best feeling is when we did the about sheet and I had a student come to me and immediately find it in his book and he was so proud he could finally read that word :) I love it. 

Here are some sheets in the process: 



When I get this finished I will be giving a couple away. I'm still working on it, I will have included from the Dolch Word List - PrePrimer, Primer, 1st, and a few from 2nd. 
Let me know if you have any other words you would like to see included. Our list meets neither Fry nor Dolch so I'm trying to include as much as I can!

With that said, I also created a huge Beginner to Kinder bundle!
You can find it here: Beginner to Kinder

If you don't want ALL of this, you can just get A-Z learning sheets here: ABC's

Holy smokes, so much going on! 

Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks. It's sure been so busy. I have family here this weekend too, so I'm trying to sneak in a blog post and get some things done later tonight for next week. It's dinosaur week in Mrs. Thomas's Class, can't wait to be paleontologists! ;) 

Happy Mother's Day! :) 

Learning about animals, and we read "If I Had Animal Teeth."

Introducing research and the importance of text features, text evidence, schema, etc. :) 






We were bug hunters, and we have our own little insects in the classroom :) 

Ahh, hopefully I can get more to you all soon! Thanks for being YOU!

Mrs. Thomas