Classroom Inspiration

Friday, 5 February 2016

New Year, New Focus

Hi everyone!

It's been way too long since I've written a blog post. Last year was so crazy busy that I just never seemed to find any time to blog. HOWEVER!!!! With the new year, comes new found motivation and enthusiasm for what I love the most...sharing the fun and exciting things I do with my beautiful grade 1/2 students.And boy are they beautiful! I am so lucky to have 21 lovely little ones this year, I can't wait to get stuck in to some fantastic learning with them.

I thought the best way to get back into the swing of things is to link up with Kasey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for five for Friday. Make sure you head over to her page to check out all the others that have linked up by clicking on the image below.

So to start off my first week back was not what I expected. Not by a long way. I had spent so much time getting ready for my new class before school started back that I must have worn myself out. I started to experience chest pain on the Sunday before school, which progressively got worse over night. Come Monday I had severe chest pain and trouble breathing. Being the stubborn person I am I refused to have the first day off sick so I soldiered on and made it through the day. 

I went to the doctors at about 4 o'clock and was immediately sent to emergency where I was admitted to hospital for pneumonia. Crazy! I spent three days hooked up to an antibiotic drip which cleared it up super quick. This is the first time I've ever been in hospital and can now quite confidently say I never want to go back. My first night back in my own bed was possibly the best sleep I've ever had, not exaggerating. 

Despite my boss' objections I went in to work today and I'm glad I did. I was reminded of the fantastic class I have to look forward to this year. 

The rest of my Five for Friday is going to be some classroom snaps. I have been lucky enough this year to be able to open the doors between my classroom and the empty one next door, to have an incredibly spacious double room.
(Insert massive grinning face). 

My absolute favourite area of my room has to be our reading corner. 
I revel in this photo as my reading corner will never be this tidy again. I changed its configuration this year as I inherited the white bookshelf that I was dying to use for our book boxes, so I was determined to make it fit. The green faux grass mat is from Kmart and is made up of eight squares that cost $6 each. It's super durable and comfy for the kids to sit on. I think I'm going to get three more squares to make it a little wider. The green, red and purple cushions are from Ikea a few years ago, as is the green Lack side table in the corner. 
The book boxes are from Elizabeth Richards. In hindsight I wish I had have ordered yellow instead of blue to make it a bit brighter...but oh well I still think they look great. This is where the children will store their IPICK books for Daily 5. I used canvas bags for the previous 3 years, but wanted to try something different. 
Here's a close up of our book boxes. I made the labels using the Peepsicles graphics set from Lettering Delights. They are a great website for really cute and high quality clipart sets and fonts. 
The tubs on the top shelf are from a cheap shop (discount store) in my town. The pink ones cost $5 and the small blue ones were $2.50, which I thought was a great price. 
I got this Book Buddy idea from Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies in her 2015 classroom reveal. I thought it was such a great idea to give the kids the choice of some friends to read with during Daily 5 and silent reading. 
My birthday display this year was made using the Birthday Cake Birthday Chart from a new site I found called Busy Little Bugs. They have so many gorgeous display ideas, I highly recommend you check them out! They're an Australian site which is also a bonus.
I am determined this year to use my Word Wall more effectively. I refuse to let it sit there unused especially after the amount of work I put into it. I'll take a better photo next week of it with the words on it and a close up of the letters. The letters are from Lady Bug Teacher Files and I just love how bright and fun they are. I have already seen my kids referring to it during their independent writing time, which is extremely satisfying.  
This is a photo of our whole class learning area. Aka where I plant my computer at the beginning of the day. At the end of last year I had a bit of money left in my classroom budget so decided to invest in a new portable whiteboard, and I absolutely love it! This one is from Modern Teaching Aids and it's called the Literacy Centre Mobile Whiteboard. What I love most about it is the amount of storage. It has four large tubs that slide in and out, big book storage behind the main board, small containers for whiteboard makers, hooks at the top to attach anchor charts, and it even has a lined whiteboard of the other side if you turn it around. If you're in the market for a new whiteboard, I highly recommend this one! The triangle banner that you can see in the top left corner was made using Jennifer's Back to School Banner, click here to get it free.

I hope you've enjoyed having a peek inside my classroom for 2016. Stay tuned for exciting posts about what we've been up to in our first few weeks!

Happy blogging :)