Saturday, July 18, 2015

Back to School Prep Work

Hey bloggers!

So, I know it's only mid July...and I know most of us don't go back to school until mid August, but I have a post here with some back to school prep stuff! I know. Sorry!

Unfortunately, I have to begin prep on my room now. I signed up for 2 optional summer PD trainings and they happen to be the first 2 weeks in August before school starts. That is when I would normally start prepping my room. Ugh.

(Side note: My first training is presented by Math Solutions and my second is an OSELA training. So maybe I will have some good information to share!)

On Wednesday I went into my room for the first time since school has been out. We have access to our classrooms all summer, which is nice. Our school is doing a circus theme this year which should be pretty fun! My room is still a mess, but I decided there were 2 things I wanted to accomplish on this trip:
1. Set up my new writing center for writer's workshop
2. Begin working on my main bulletin board

Here is me in my room...courtesy of the Blog Hoppin Challenge!
You can see the mess behind me. I didn't even touch any of that.

The last few years my writing center has been these plastic drawers on a trapezoid table. This year I decided to ditch my HUGE rectangle table (which I used for math groups, writing conferences, and guided reading) and just use 2 trapezoid tables in that area instead. Since I was taking the trapezoid table from the writing center, I needed a new plan for it! Here is what I came up with...
I'm going to slowly be changing my classroom colors this year. Right now it is rainbows...rainbows everywhere. That will work well with the circus theme, but I want to gradually transition to a black & white color scheme with pink & turquoise accents.

I bought the black shelving and turquoise cubes at Big Lots. The plastic 3 drawer bins and the pink lamp are from Walmart. I also plan on relabeling the bins with something more appealing as well. During writer's workshop, we have a whole group mini-lesson followed by independent writing time while I conference one on one or in small groups. During independent time, the students can come to this area to get the paper that they need, whenever they need. I was so happy that the plastic bins fit so nicely in the cube shelving! :)
The other project I wanted to get started was my main bulletin board. Every year we have a "school theme." All of our hall bulletin boards reflect the theme to start the year and we can incorporate it as little or as much as we want in the classroom.
When I posted this on instagram, I received a question on how I made the border.

I made it up.
I have seen some pictures where people use 2 or 3 colors of tissue paper or butcher paper to bulk up and decorate the border, but that seemed like a lot of tissue paper to me.
So here is how I decided to do mine...I bought a blue tablecloth from Target for the background and a pack of tissue paper from Target. (I decided not to use the white or gray from this pack.)

1. I took out one piece of tissue paper and flattened it.

2. I pulled the top and bottom of the tissue paper toward the center and put 2 pieces of tape on it to make it stay.

3. Then I pinched the ends together, top to bottom. The part that I gathered was a few inches from the end of the tissue paper. Because the paper had been folded over, I was able to pull the front and back (where the tape is) apart a bit to give it some depth. I left a few inches at each end so that I could use the extra paper to wrap around the tissue paper piece that it would be stapled next to on the board.

I stapled each piece one at a time on the board. After stapling it, I wrapped the extra paper on the ends together and fluffed them a bit so they looked kind of like little flowers.

I'm really happy with how the border turned out!

I also started getting some of the decorations up on the board too. These adorable clip art images are from Krista at Creative Clips!

I plan on adding some catchy circus phrase to the board. I also have individual clip art balloons that I will put each child's name on and add to the board. They will form a large bunch of balloons above the clown's head in the center of the board.

So there you have it!
I will post an updated picture when the board is actually complete, but hopefully you have a good idea of what I'm going for here.

Hope this helps!
Have a great week!

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