Come On In to my 1st Grade Classroom!

Come On In! I am SO glad that you are joining me on this peek into my classroom! I am so glad you are here and can't wait to show you around! 

My room didn't change TOO much from last year! If you are curious what it looked like last year, you can check that out HERE! I did add some fun new touches and it's a space that I truly enjoy spending so much time in throughout the year!

So, let's get started! Here is my door! I made the welcome sign using scrapbook paper and my Silhouette Cameo! I made the little pencil sign using a pencil from the Target Dollar Spot and using vinyl and my Silhouette Cameo for my name. The BEAUTIFUL door hanger came from Just Plain A-Door-Able!

This is the view when you walk into my classroom! I teach 1st grade in a co-taught mulitage classroom with 1st and 2nd graders! So, it is actually two classrooms in one and I get to teach with one of my best friends everyday! So much fun! 

Looking the other way from the door, this is what you see! I LOVE these quote posters from Blair Turner and have them all over my classroom! Since my classroom mailboxes are right at the front of our classroom, I also like to have this Reminders board to post our Class Calendar and Peek at our Week! I also put any important notes right here since I always see this when I leave our classroom! 

We go over our daily schedule each day during our Morning Meeting. These schedule cards make it easy for my students to know what we are doing each day! 

I use this side of my white board as my Focus Wall! This is where I post our Essential Questions and the Standards that we are working on! 

One of my favorite places in my classroom is the classroom library! We have TONS of books and I just love how cozy it is in this little corner of our classroom!

How ADORABLE is this sweet little bench that my co-teacher made!? The perfect place to hold more books and for our students to sit and read a good book!  

On the other side of our classroom library is our Writing board and our computers. I LOVE this cart that I got from Ikea. I'm going to use it to store all my teaching materials that I want to keep close to our Smartboard! 

I created the subject banners using scrapbook papers and my Silhouette Cameo. But, I made a printable version that you can edit for YOUR classroom! Click here to grab the banners!

Here are some more views from the front of my classroom! 

This beautiful print is from INKchicago! They were SO great to work with and made this custom print to match my classroom! LOVE this quote!

These cute little class pets will be introduced to our class VERY soon! I can't wait for my students to be able to take Nick and Brave home on the weekends!

If you are curious about how I use this Boo Boo Basket in my classroom, you can read all about it HERE and grab the FREE labels while you are there!

Each of my table groups is called a "Team" and I LOVE using this to help build a community within my classroom! The students at each team need to work together to earn team points, and they have to keep their team supplies neat and organized!

These drawers have been in my classroom for EIGHT years now! Yes, you read that right! They have been worth every penny and have other than being a little dirty, they have held up GREAT! I have one at each team and use them to organize a lot of their supplies and reading bags!

These Trash Tubs have been a lifesaver! I used tubs from the Dollar Tree and my Silhouette Cameo to personalize them!

And, my MOST favorite thing in our classroom is this board! It has become the motto of our classroom and we always focus on making someone smile! We end each and everyday with a Smile Session to discuss ways we made people smile throughout the day. You can grab your own Smile Slips and printable HERE! I'm hoping to start selling the letters for the bulletin board SOON! 
You can read all about how I use this in my classroom HERE!

If you are interested in any of the Classroom Decor items in my classroom, most of them come from my Chalkboard Brights Decor kit!

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Back to School Procedures: Potty Procedures!

It's that time again! Time to head BACK to SCHOOL!!! I learned very early on in my teaching career how important it is to go over procedures for EVERYTHING at the beginning of the year! If you explicity go over the procedures and expectations for students to complete simple everyday tasks, you will have a MUCH better year, I promise! Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be sharing some of the procedures that I use in my classroom that have worked well for me!

This one is one of the most important procedues because everyone has to go, especially little kids!

I always, always, always go over the bathroom procedures that I have in my classroom on the very first day of school! We always begin by creating an anchor chart and I list every step so that we can always go back and refer to it, if needed!

To me, the most important step is that students know WHEN they can use the restroom. Unless it's a true emergency, students should not be interrupting me when I'm teaching to ask to use the bathroom. Since I teach using the workshop model, my actual teaching time is not very long so students should be able to wait to ask to go to the bathroom. Whenever I am NOT teaching the entire group, they are free to ask to go to the bathroom. 

My favorite part of these procedures is that my students don't have to actually ask to go to the bathroom. All they do is show me the bathroom pass. I have ONE boys pass and ONE girls pass. So only one boy and one girl can be in the bathroom at a time. 

All they have to do is grab the pass and show it to me. This way even if I am working with a small group, all I have to do is shake my head yes or give a thumbs up! I just love non-verbal communication in a classroom!

This part is a little different in my classroom! After students know that it is okay to go to the bathroom, they put the pass ON their desk. They do not put it around their wrist, or around their neck and take it to the nasty, dirty, gross bathroom to get tons and tons of germs all over it. They simply put it on their desk. That way I know where they are and no other students can get the pass because they know someone is already using the bathroom! 

When they return from the bathroom they simply put the pass back and get back to work! Then, somebody else can get the pass and do the same thing! 

Nothing fancy, but this works really well in my classroom! Any tips for how your handle potty procedures in your classroom!?

Want to grab some passes for yourself? Click on the image below to grab this freebie!

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5 Tips for Busy Teacher Moms

I'm not even going to lie y'all. Teachers are busy. Moms are busy. Being a Teacher Mom can be absolutely CRAZY sometimes. I was crazy busy my first few years of teaching. And then I had two kids, and it was a GAME CHANGER. Both jobs are crazy hard, and trying to juggle them both (and actually do a decent job) makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes. I wanted to share some tips that help keep my sanity, and hopefully they can help YOU!

Yep, it's expensive. But worth Every. Single. Penny. in my book! Literally, every penny I spend on getting my house cleaned each month is completely worth it. I have never been a huge fan of cleaning, but I hate having a messy, dirty house even more. In the past, I would spend my weekends cleaning my house and my husband and I would try our best to keep it tidy during the week. Well, then Camden and Cora came a long and all of that went out the window. Kids are MESSY y'all. And I'm already working full time, so I feel like I barely get to see my kids on the weekends. I DID NOT want to spend my weekends cleaning when I could be spending quality time with my kids. So, we hired a house cleaner. She only comes once a month so we aren't spending a crazy amount of money. But, I can't even begin to describe how I feel when I come home after a long day at work to a perfectly clean house. Toilets. Showers, Dishes. EVERYTHING y'all. Totally worth every penny! Of course I still have to keep things picked up, do dishes, laundry, etc. But, hiring some help has really taken my stress level down a notch! 

I've had an Amazon Prime membership for the last 4 or 5 years. And, it's another thing that costs money, but I believe it is worth the $100 yearly fee. I order everything I can off Amazon. Like down to my kids' underwear. Literally. My husband sent me a text message the other day and asked if Camden had anymore underwear, my immediate response was "I'll Amazon it." Amazon has become a verb in our house, just like Google. 

There are some days that I'm so busy that I can't even squeeze in enough time to stop at Target, so Amazon has been a lifesaver. Back to School. Christmas. I Amazon EVERYTHING! I honestly am planning on using it to buy some of our groceries in the near future! 

And, now with Amazon Prime Now, it's even more dangerous! I can get things I need in less than TWO HOURS! Y'all that is just CRAZY! But so incredibly helpful for this busy teacher mom!

Now, I even use Amazon for our groceries! I used to dread going to the grocery store every week and I got so bad at planning out our meals and would just stop Monday after school and get random items. We weren't eating very healthy because I wasn't planning out our meals. Now, I use Amazon Fresh every single week! I have our groceries delivered every Sunday morning and I have our breakfast, lunches, dinners, and snacks planned out! It's the BEST thing ever!!

My planner has become one of my best friends. It truly is my bestie, especially during the school year. I have gone back and forth between the Erin Condren Teacher Planner and Erin Condren Life Planner. You can read all about the differences here. My planner is used to keep track of school, home, and my business lives. I'm even using it to keep track of our meals each week, and how much water I drink throughout the day. I'm definitely old school, and can't use a digital planner. I've got to write things down and this has really helped me keep track of everything we have planned. No more freaking out about a babysitter because my husband and I both have meetings on Tuesday night. I've got each of our family members color coded. It just makes life MUCH easier! 

If you are interested in the Erin Condren Life Planner (or any other Erin Condren item) click here to save $10 off your first order! 

Oh my goodness, I absolutely LOVE clothes! I love picking out my outfits and jewelly for school, but I definitely CAN NOT do it during the morning. It takes WAY too long. I've learned that I have a lot more time in the mornings if I am prepared the night before, or even the week before. I plan most of my outfits out on Sunday night. I have even began preparing my kids' outfits out for the week. My husband gets my son ready in the morning, but having this shoe organizer hanging in his closet saves so much time in the mornings! I simply just stuff in his clothes for each day and all they have to do is grab and go! 

I also make sure to pack our lunches the night before! That has helped save SO much time. I've made mason jar salads for the week, and LOVED that, too! No matter what, being prepared will really help save you time and energy! And help your stress level! 

And last, but certainly not least, take time for YOU! You are constantly running around crazy for other people, whether it's your kids at school, your spouse or your own children. It's important to spend time, even if it is only an hour on Saturday morning just for YOU! Go get a pedicure, read a book, take a bubble bath, walk around TJMaxx or Target. I love going to Starbucks to catch up on work. It's quiet and I can get so much done! Just relax. Do something that you love to do.  Life gets so busy, and you deserve to relax a little!

I hope these tips help YOU and relieve a little stress in your life. As busy Teacher Moms, we are always going to busy and there really is no cure to that! Just remember everything you are doing is totally worth it!! 

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