Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made It: Teacher Toolbox

I finally have a teacher toolbox...I think this means I am a real teacher now ;)

I was so inspired to make my own toolbox after reading Tessa Maguire's (Tales from Outside the Classroom) post yesterday. I loved that her {free!} labels are editable in Powerpoint, and most of all...super cute black and white chevron! If you click on the link, you can read her post and download her labels from TpT.

I found this little beauty at Walmart for $13. I really liked the smaller size for the "essentials" - yes, "treats" and "flair pens" seem like essentials to me!

I edited the slides in Powerpoint, then copy+pasted them into a new document so I could just print off my two slides and not the whole thing.
The awesome thing about editing these labels is that you can make your text any color.
I chose just to do black and keep it simple...but I used two of my favorite KG fonts (Eyes Wide Open for the small labels and Always A Good Time for the big ones)

After printing, I laminated the labels as one whole sheet, cut them out, and attached them to the inside of the cubbies with scotch tape!

Speaking of laminating (Ha - I've probably said that more often than the average person), this article "20 Things That Happen When Your Mom is a Teacher" made me smile, not only because:

1) My mom is a first-grade teacher (hi Mom! My mom was my first blog reader and I am going to help her make one of her own soon)
2) #9 of this article: "Laminating is one of her passions (… and probably one of yours as well)" is SO TRUE.
I can safely say that laminating is one of my hobbies.

I will leave you with one more picture of my toolbox. I can't stop staring at it.

I am linking up with Monday Made It over at 4th Grade Frolics!

Anyone else whose parent is a teacher and therefore inherited a deep love of laminating?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yay for Friday!

I have been looking forward to Friday for all week for many reasons...visiting my boyfriend, listening to a book on cd in the car (really though, I can't wait), setting up my classroom, and my first Five for Friday AND Freebie Friday!

First things first. My classroom has an orange wall. It's one of our school colors so it's...festive.
 I must admit I was a bit shocked when I first saw it...but I am going to make it work! It helps that my "neon" color scheme has orange in it, so that will coordinate. It could be worse. I could not have a classroom!

Picture is slightly blurry due to the state of shock ;)

As I mentioned earlier, I am very (probably too much) excited about listening to a book on tape this morning. You see, I'm moving across the state (of Michigan...any fellow Michiganders out there?) for my job, so right now "setting up my classroom" involves a bit of a drive. One of my friends was talking about listening to a book on cd (I want to say "tape", but that's even more outdated!) on her drive - and it inspired me! I picked up "Shopgirl" from the library. It seemed like a fun, kind of mindless read listen...I'll let you know what I think.

I really like blogging. It hasn't even been a week but I'm already having so much fun with it...and I've discovered some awesome blogs in the process! Thank you to anyone who has reached out to me or introduced themselves!

I just started reading "The Revealers" by Doug Wilhelm. I'm really enjoying it so far, especially since it's from a 7th grader's perspective. Any insight I can get is helpful ;) I'd like to do some book reviews of summer reads so stay tuned for more updates!

Freebie time! Can my #5 be a freebie? I hope so!
My very first post was a freebie for a poster I will quickly learn that I love making things for my classroom, especially posters. Since I'm on a neon kick I wanted to remake the "You Matter" poster I originally saw on Technology Rocks. Seriously. 
I loved her poster but needed it to match my classroom...perfectly...nope I'm not OCD at all.

So, here is the version I made; the chevron coordinates with my previous sign. I also made one in black and white just in case you're not on a neon frenzy too :)

Click on the picture to download it free from TpT:

Is anyone else moving for their teaching job? 
Does anyone out there have an orange wall too?!

p.s. - Love neon? Check out my Neon Chalkboard Genre Posters for middle school!

Neon Fever

After much deliberation (I have been dreaming about a classroom of my own for for joke) I've decided that my classroom color scheme will be...drumroll please... neon and black!

I was inspired by Ladybug Teacher Files "consistent colors" products. I love the simple and modern design, and I think it's still "cool" enough for 7th graders :)

(I can't wait to print these beauties!)

(You bet those neon book bins are getting these labels)

Whenever I see teachers post their classroom decor I always want to know where they got it (especially if it's a great deal!). So, I'm doing a little round-up for you of the neon decor I've hoarded so far :) more to come, trust me...

Neon Sterilite Crates - Walmart - $1 I got 16 of them :)
Ps. Don't worry the books are just there for show, not organized yet. Of course I wouldn't put Brian's Hunt and Chains in the same bin! Heaven forbid.

Neon hanging file folder/organizer thing - Target - $3 something (it was on sale and I couldn't believe my eyes! Just perfection.)

Neon folders (2-pack) - Dollar Tree - $1 (they had neon composition books and binders too! But I had to use some self-control)
Pencil pouch - Dollar Tree - $1 (lots of different colors, as you can see on the package. I think I'll keep this in the teacher binder that I'm making)

Neon paper clips and push pins - Dollar Tree - $1 each

Oh, you want to see a picture where I artfully arranged by neon book bins and took an aerial photo? Okay!

What's your classroom color scheme this year? Anyone else doing neon too? :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday 7/23

New Books = Happiness

(especially Wednesday it this summer and LOVED LOVED LOVED it)

(I'll be sharing my ideas about labeling and organizing my books eventually..)

These books were from a former middle school teacher, and I got a great deal on them

Where do you find books for your classroom library?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Supply Lists are like Christmas

Most of my summer mornings start off with a cup of coffee (that I have to warm up 4 times because I get distracted and it gets cold) and getting lost down Pinterest rabbit-holes...which leads me to open up 20 different tabs on my computer and ends with me comparing paper clip deals on Amazon. It's a wonderful thing, really.

But this morning I was very responsible and checked my school email first. The school supply list sent out to parents was e-mailed to me and seeing what my students would bring was a little bit LOT like Christmas.
I know I'm in the right profession if school supplies can make me giddy.
In all seriousness though, it was a relief to see what students would bring because I wasn't quite sure what I needed to buy myself.
Knowing that I will have expo markers and sticky notes just makes my heart happy :)

*insert third coffee warm-up

This supply talk reminds me of a picture I saw on Pinterest that made me laugh:

I love the 30 popcorn container part.

There is still SO much I need to do before the first day of school (and being a first-year teacher, I am probably unaware of half of it). But, I am making progress on the supply front!

I really would like to keep this blog centered around 7th Grade ELA (which doesn't seem too challenging, considering that is the grade I will be teaching...)

So, here are a few articles/links I found this morning while sipping cold coffee:

Teaching English to Tough Kids 
(because as much as I LOVE to curl up with a book, I realize all my students won't. At first.)

Five Ways to Use Memes to Connect with Students
I really want to start off the year with expectations/procedure meme-style. They're relevant to the students, funny, and they amuse me too :)

That cat one just kills me.

A lastly, here are a few new middle schools blogs I found...(it is also little bit like Christmas to come across an awesome ELA blog)

A Teacher's Treasure (really great INB foldable ideas and lots of freebies! I can see myself exploring this blog for a long time)

Mrs. Megan Ellis (this is where I first read about Article of the Week - I would love to do something similar in my classroom)

Are there any other awesome blogs that I should know about? How about any Pinterest finds? 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It - Classroom Sign

Hello, blog world! I figured that there's no better way to start this teaching blog adventure than to jump right in :) so, why not start my first EVER post with a Monday Made It?

I'm beginning my very first teaching job (feeling incredibly excited/overwhelmed) as a 7th Grade Language Arts teacher. That should be an adventure in itself because I am about the same height, if not less, than most middle schoolers. Wish me luck ;)
But really -  I feel so fortunate to be able to teach what I LOVE. #ELAforthewin

I've been SO inspired by teaching blogs over the past few years, as well as TpT products. And by inspired, I also mean they have nearly saved my life a few times...

Last minute lesson plan ideas? Thank you, blog world.
Oh my goodness I have only been a long-term sub for two weeks and now I have to lead parent teacher conferences? That happened. Thank you, inspiration from teachers who know what they're doing.

In fact, I was inspired by a TpT product that I used in my interview example lesson - and I got the job!
So, it's about time I start interacting with (instead of stalker-following) and contributing back to the teaching community.

I made a sign for my 7th Grade classroom - made in PowerPoint and printed through Shutterfly (I took advantage of a free 8x10 print email offer!).

Yes, it was tempting to keep the picture as-is...

Once I received that lovely orange envelope full of hope and beauty, I put the print in a dollar store frame. Though the prints were free, shipping was about $ $1 for the frame...$4 total is not too shabby!

Because I love you (and I want you to like me!), I am including the link for a free download of these posters. It is the very first product on my brand new Middle of Lit TpT store. I made them in lots of pretty colors, assuming you are like me and want everything to match.

I would LOVE to hear if you download it!

I linking up with Monday Made It! Woohooo!