Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Classroom Tour 2014-2015

My favorite, favorite, FAVORITE pins to pin and blog photos to view are of real-life elementary school classrooms.  There are so many AWESOME teachers out there with some really fun and cute classrooms that provide such great inspiration!  Today I'm (finally) sharing my classroom photos with you, in hopes that you can be inspired by my classroom as much as I have been by all of yours!

I spend just as much, if not more, time in this space than I do at home, and have found that a well-decorated classroom contributes to a more cheerful mood while working.  I think that our students really appreciate a fun learning environment as well!  Enjoy your tour of my owl-themed classroom :)

Morning Meeting / Read Aloud / Reading Area


Since students complete a 'Genre Challenge' throughout the course of the year in independent reading, books are categorized by genre in my classroom library to make selecting a book a little easier.

We spend a lot of time reviewing and practicing independent reading expectations at the start of the school year, so posters displayed on the sides of the bookshelves serve as constant reminders to students.

This is our gathering spot for "Morning Meeting" and read alouds.  We have our calendar, 'Owl-Star' of the week poster and Book Recommendation Tree displayed here.

Bulletin Boards

I don't change my bulletin boards much throughout the course of the year, so I try to choose themes and displays that contain essential information for students to use from unit to unit as a constant reference and reminder of key concepts.

White Boards / SMART Board

  I definitely take full advantage of my magnetic white boards!  I display our schedule, morning jobs, clip chart, star jars, anchor charts, etc. and use the document camera during instruction to display notes and key concepts on the SMART Board.  I didn't have either in my first classroom, so I feel very fortunate!

Small - Group Area

I meet with guided reading and math groups and intervention groups in this area.  I also spend time here when conferencing with students about their writing and performing fluency checks.  I keep all necessary materials on the bookshelf behind the table.  A class names "Wordle" and classroom rules are displayed above the shelves.

 Back Counter Area

Students turn in work to the colored baskets, and highlight their name on a class list once they have done so.  That way, I can easily check to see who I need to track down homework from each morning.  I also have a small supply station next to the baskets for students to use for replenishment if needed.


These cute owls were super easy to make (paper lanterns and scrapbooking paper) and serve as our class mascots.

Student Work Display

My student work display was super easy, too!  I just laminate construction paper, hot glued some cute ribbon on top, and attached an owl name cut-out to a clothespin.  I hang seasonal or work from our current unit of study from each student's clip.

Teacher Desk Area

This is where I keep frequently used items like student review booklets, alternate snacks, reward tickets and coupons, etc.  I also have a file drawer assigned for each day of the week to store copies, books, station games and other supplies for the week.

My personal display :)  I love the drawing my mom framed for me that I made in Kindergarten showing what I want to be when I grow up.

Students move their owl magnet to "restroom," "office," or "library" to show where they are going if leaving the classroom.  I'm a little obsessed with using every magnetic surface possible :)

Computer Area / Word Wall

Students use the computers for Accelerated Reader and math and reading practice games.  The word wall contains vocabulary words and concepts that correlate with state reading standards, so that students are familiar with this academic vocabulary come time for their state reading test in the spring.  I move a sticky to the poster of the skills and strategies we are working on for the week to help students connect the vocabulary words with our weekly concepts.

This cute frame sits atop our mailboxes.  The name is changed each week to recognize a different student for responsible or respectful behavior.  Find the download here in my TPT store.

Whew!  It was so fun to show of my 'home away from home'!  Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave me your feedback, questions, etc.!  I'd LOVE to hear from you!  Have a GREAT week, friends!
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Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Tall Girl's Guide to Fashion

I've spent my life being a tall girl, and at 5'9 1/2" I've learned that height has it's blessings and curses, especially when it comes to fashion.  I tend to be able to wear a wide variety of styles, whether it be in dresses, denim or pants, some trendier styles that my shorter friends struggle to make work for them.  I also hardly ever have to get anything hemmed or altered, which is definitely a blessing!  My biggest struggle in tall girl fashion is hardly ever being able to find the perfect length of pants or dresses in my favorite stores.  I also would love to wear cute heels more often, but end up towering over everyone around me (including my 5'10" husband)  when I do.  Today I want to share a couple of my tips and tricks for how you can stand above the rest of the fashion world in style. 

1. I love fall and winter because I can buy dresses that would typically be too short to wear bare legged during the summer, but actually look like a proper length when paired with leggings and boots.  This is a dress I purchased this summer from Loft that ended up being too short to wear.  I loved the chambray shirt-dress style too much to take it back, so I ended up saving it to wear with leggings and boots later on.  I ended up LOVING this look for a baby shower over the weekend, and plan to get plenty of use out of it for school, too! 

2. Try the pants or dress on for size (minus length) in the store, and then see if it's available online in a "tall" size.  I buy all of my work pants from either Loft or Gap because they offer tall sizes online, and buy most of my dresses from Loft.  Find Loft's tall selection here and Gap's here.  Gap even offers some denim and pants in "talls" in the store.

3. I am grateful to be able to wear both skinny jeans and boyfriend jeans well.  If I'm not able to find what I'm looking for in either style in a "tall", I might wear the regular size as an ankle length, cuff them into capris, or tuck them into a boot.

4. As a tall girl, flats and boots without a heel are my best friend in the fall and winter.  Thankfully, as an elementary teacher, heels are pretty unrealistic anyway.  Most of my flats are JCrew Factory, Target, or Sperry Topsider.  My favorite pairs of riding boots are Nine West and Banana Republic from a couple of seasons ago.

Fellow long-legged beauties, now I want to hear from YOU!  What are your fashion tips and tricks?  Favorite places to shop? 

 Thanks so much for popping by today, fashionistas! Find me on Instagram for weekly fashion inspiration.  I plan to be back later on this week with my classroom tour (FINALLY!) Hope to see you soon!

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

JCrew Factory Fall Finds

Happy (almost) Friday, fashionistas!  I hope your 4-day week has just been stellar!  

Logan and I enjoyed a long weekend trip to Denver over Labor Day and we had a great time!  I had never been before, and it was fun to explore the city and enjoy some quality time together.  The second day we were there, Logan wanted to check out Boulder, because of its fabulous reputation for running, and there just HAPPENED to be an outlet mall on the way 20 minutes out of the way.  I knew JCrew Factory was having a big Labor Day sale and I also just happened to have a 30% coupon burning a large hole in my pocket, so I convinced Logan to make a pit stop with me, and I had SUCH. GOOD. LUCK!  I couldn't wait to show off how I styled each of these cute tops for fall!

The polka dots on this first tee were just screaming my name from across the store.  I love the casual baseball tee look for weekends, but could still wear it for work with a pair of khakis or a full skirt.  If you're looking for a cute statement necklace for fall, JCrew Factory has an excellent selection!  I wear so much navy, so I knew this one would be the perfect addition to my collection!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this embellished tee for fall!  I added it to my bag mostly because maroon and white are my sister's school colors, and I plan on attending a LOT of her sporting events this year because it's her senior year!  I think this tee would be perfect to wear to work on her game days so that I don't have to change again after school. 

I bought a navy striped tee at JCrew Factory this summer and have worn it so much, I really regretted not buying another color!  This gray tee is pretty similar, so I knew I better get it.  I love how cute it looks with my Gap denim vest and green khakis.  Another top that transitions easily from work to weekend!

Although I LOVE the first three tops, I think this fourth has to be my favorite.  It is actually pretty hard for me to find cute tops in red, probably because I live in the midst of Husker nation, so red anything goes pretty fast here.  I love the vibrancy of red, and I wear the color pretty much every Saturday in the fall, so it's nice to have a good selection in my closet :)

 Don't forget that JCrew and JCrew Factory offer a 15% off teacher discount with your teacher ID, and it can usually be used on top of other sales.  I love stores that appreciate teachers! :)

 Have a GREAT Friday and a FABULOUS weekend, lovelies!   Thanks for reading!

I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Made-It

Can we begin today's post by taking a moment to celebrate the fact that I have officially made it through 2 FULL weeks of school with 26 kiddos?  Wooohoooo!!  And cheers to my other teacher friends who are ROCKING those first exhausting weeks, too!  Keep it up, ladies!  We are almost to a 3-day weekend!  

I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics today to share THREE Monday Made-Its with you!  Enjoy :)

#1: Student Work Display

For this year's display, I laminated sheets of white construction paper, hot glued lime green, blue and hot pink ribbon to the top and added personalized owl cut-outs to clothespins to hang the work.  I love how everything turned out! 


#2: Names Wordle:

I originally found this idea on The Digital Scoop blog a couple of years ago, and have made one for my classroom each year since.  Just go to wordle.net, type in your kiddos' names, print out and frame!  I found my pink sparkly frame at Hobby Lobby last year.  Such a fun, EASY project!

#3: Star Jars

The 'Compliment Jar' (or 'Star Jar') template can be found here on Teachers Pay Teachers from A Cupcake for the Teacher.  I copied mine on neon printer paper and added magnets to the back to hang on my white board.  We use the large jar for whole group reinforcement and the smaller jars for a competition between table groups.  Once the class earns 10 stars, we vote on a class reward like treats, games, extra recess, etc.  The winning table group (first to 5 stars) usually earns a coupon like "computer time" or "choose your spot."

That was so much fun!  Now, go check out the other fabulous teacher bloggers who have linked up their hard work, too!  I'll leave your with some Instagram style inspiration from the week :)

 Have a GREAT week, fashionistas
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