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Friday, July 31, 2015

Five for Friday - Back to School Edition!

Does it feel like a Friday to you? It definitely doesn't feel like a Friday to me. Summer Fridays are just like any other day, as opposed to school-year Fridays which are the holy grail of all work days ;)

It looks like I'll be back to valuing my Fridays pretty soon! Tomorrow is already August 1st. We return for inservice on the 17th and our students report on the 18th. I am supposed to get my class list this upcoming Monday and I am itching in anticipation!

In the meantime, I've taken on a few little projects to help me get ready for the upcoming year. Check them out below in my Five for Friday post {hosted by Doodle Bugs Teaching}.

One thing I decided to do is update my classroom newsletter.  After reading a bunch of articles about reasons why parents might not be reading the classroom news, I opted for a bolder look that is broken down into more distinct sections. There is room for a brief teacher message at the top, followed by important dates, learning targets, and questions to ask students throughout the week to review content. At the very bottom I have my contact information listed. I love how it turned out and can't wait to use it!

Okay. I saw this shirt and I just couldn't resist. Pete the Cat fanatic for life.

This year I really want to implement math journals within my math workshop rotations. I love the idea of having smaller math journals because first graders definitely do not need an entire page per math prompt. I had heard that stores will cut notebooks in half for you but I guess I was always too nervous to ask (does cutting notebooks in half make me look like a crazy person?) I'm so glad I finally bit the bullet and went through with it! Each notebook was only 50 cents at Staples. Although the women at the copy center had never heard such a request before, they were super helpful and even packed my little notebooks into a cute little cardboard box for me.

After ordering a bunch of decor from School Girl Style, I realized I neglected to order turquoise borders that I wanted for my classroom.  Stubborn me did not want to pay almost ten dollars in shipping for a few feet of border, so I grabbed a random color from my local Staples and decided to attempt spray painting!

In the middle picture, you can see my man helping this first-timing spray painter get an even coat onto the borders :) I love the color - the pictures do not do it justice! The paint only cost me a bit over three dollars at the Home Depot and apparently works on a bunch of different materials and surfaces. 

Although my students' folders are all color-coded by subject, labeling them makes everything so much easier (and cuter!) I can't tell you how many times I had to remind certain students which color their writing folder was or which folder held their reader's workshop materials. Hopefully this solution will alleviate some of those issues! To save space, I printed two subjects on each label and plan on snipping them in half when the time comes. I'm now realizing I could have just purchased smaller label sizes...maybe next year!

What kinds of things are you doing to prepare for back-to-school?


  1. Love the newsletter redo! The "Ask Your Student" part is great. :)

  2. That is so awesome staples cut them AND the package they put them in was too cute!!!


  3. I think you will really love your new newsletter format! Mine is similar to your new one. I try to make descriptions brief and only put things they really need to know. It seems to help them actually read it all! Some of my coworkers do newsletters that have so much writing on it, and I can understand why parents might be deterred from that format.

    I am also itching with anticipation for my class list! I am supposed to get mine on Wednesday. :) YAY!

    Carlee Van Ness
    The Kindergarten Press