Monthly Archives: July 2012

Almost ready…

I’m almost ready to send out the swaps.  I’m just waiting on the last 2 or 3 to arrive.  They should be here within the next day or so, then it’s off to the post office for me x 43 boxes!!  My husband (who is such a wonderful problem solver) is busy thinking up creative ways to repackage all the swaps and get them back to you.  We visited the post office tonight looking at several options and the best idea seems to be to purchase boxes and then pay the post office the cost to mail it to your zip codes rather than go with the flat rate box.  I’m going to to some trial runs with the Group 2 Literacy swaps because that’s the only group I’ve received all the swaps for so far.

We all need to give him a standing ovation for putting up with all of this!! 🙂  He’s put up with 60 boxes in our living room and has helped me count and sort and stack and collect and read all of your wonderful swaps!! 🙂  Thanks Mike!! 🙂


There is a chance that one of the math swaps will only receive 19 items back–there is one person I have not heard back from yet after e-mailing them several times, so I just want you to know that! 🙂


I’m busy working on the next swap idea…but it won’t happen until after school starts (Monday) and then swaps would be due near the end of October.  I am also the popcorn kernel for our boy scout pack and so I’m busy organizing everything for that–because I didn’t have enough to do already! 🙂  After September 22nd, if you need some yummy boy scout popcorn–I can hook you up!! 🙂

Thinking ahead to the next swap…it seems that everyone has an interest in Math, Science, and Sight word swaps and I’ve had several suggestions about doing an electronic swap instead of a mail swap–we would all contribute an idea and then everyone would e-mail it to me to post in one place, or I could combine all the ideas and e-mail them out to everyone…still working on that part! 🙂


Kristen 🙂


Taking the plunge…

Friday, I went into school and found that one of my team mates was working on creating a calendar that we could use on our Promethean Board with our district technology resource person….so I took the plunge and decided to use it for our calendar and took the one I had in my classroom down…

You can see what it looked like before in the picture below:



I’m going to use the board on the left for our anchor charts–those NEED to be up at all times so that the children can constantly reference them.  The board on the right will be my word wall/name wall.  We will put names and environmental print on that board so that the children can easily come up and access the words there.  I will still put my rainbow words (sight words) up on the left side of the Promethean Board–those are on velcro so the children can take them to their seats as they use them.


Kristen 🙂

Updated list…

I’ve updated the post called “Christmas SWAP” a few posts ago sharing whose packages I’ve received.

If I haven’t gotten my your package yet and you haven’t let me know that it will be late or that it’s on its way…please let me know how much longer your package will be! 🙂

I have to go back to school soon and if I don’t get all the swaps soon…it’s going to be REALLY slow going in me getting them packaged up and sent back to you.  I will not have much time to get them out all at once after the 30th, so PLEASE let me know if your swap is going to be held up.

We are already 2 days past the date they needed to be here and I have 12 more out of the 1st group that are still out and 4 more from the 2nd group that haven’t arrived yet.

THANK YOU to all of you who took time to let me know that your package is on the way…I make a note of it and look out for them in the days after that. 🙂


Kristen 🙂

Lesson plan week long grid

I created a week long lesson plan grid after some requests were made for it. 🙂  Here is a picture of it:

You can purchase it for $2.00 on my Teachers Pay Teachers site.  It is 11 x 17 sized, so it is larger than my other lesson plan sheets. 🙂  The days of the week have been pre-printed and there are 7 boxes for easy planning. 🙂

Kristen 🙂


Lesson Plan format available

Hi All!

I had LOADS of e-mails wanting to know if you could purchase my lesson plan template I shared a few posts ago.  I decided to create one that was generic, but still very similar to the one I will use and put it up for sale on my Teachers Pay Teachers Site.  You can go there by clicking the green button on the left. 🙂

I am willing to customize it for you for an additional $1.00, so if you would like that instead of the one I uploaded, please let me know that BEFORE you purchase it on TpT.  I will create it on my computer for you, save it as a PDF and then e-mail you a PayPal invoice rather than you purchasing on TpT. 🙂  After I receive your payment, I will e-mail the document directly to you (within 24 hours).


Kristen 🙂

SWAP Christmas!!

It’s like swap Christmas at my house!  I’ve received about 1/2 of all the swaps so far and here’s what it looks like (you can read below the pictures to see if I’ve received your swap yet):

21 packages so far!!  Yesterday, the mailman asked if he could just leave the packages outside my door instead of taking them back to the post office–YES!!  He left them piled up today in front of my front door and it was fun to climb over them! 🙂

I’ve received swaps from:  (these are both groups combined together) **Edited to add more names** 7/25/12

Laura Harbron

Kristen Ryan

Michelle Morrow

Peggy Constant

Robin Kraak

Melissa Pankratz

Marsha Luxemburg

Carmen Brown

Desiree Cotten

Suzi Chase

Amanda Limbird

Jody Brennan

Amy Quait

Sarah McEwen

Yvonnee Gaynor


Katie Libberton

Diane Stange

Christi Bach

Kari Lacny


Karen Strikwerda

Amy Johnston

Beth Stovall

Diane Decker

Maria Chalico

Tina Crane

Carol Tavares




Kristen 🙂

Classroom Spaces 2012-2013

As you can see from my last posts with classroom pictures, I’ve decided to move some spaces around in my classroom this year.  I’ve also been unloading 13 years worth of stuff to some new teachers in our building and getting some of it ready for a yard sale.

This is a look at my new library area.  I hadn’t yet put everything out:

Here is what it looked like after I worked on it more today.

Here is a closer look.  I got the shelf at Target for $51.99–they will probably go on sale soon for Back-to-College.  They were about 1 1/2 months ago for $39.99, so if you like it, be watching!

Here is a new shelf that will hold some games and indoor recess items.  It now has two boxes of LEGOS on the bottom two shelves.

These black art files were on clearance at Hobby Lobby for about $7 each.  I used them to put all my posters in instead of using this brown drawer cart which took up lots of room and was a great place to stack things (junk). 🙂

This is my leveled reader shelf/baggie book shelf.  Each Monday the children select four books to take home and practice and then return them on Friday morning to the right color dot box.  The bottom three rows of shelves had lots of the readers that came with our past two reading series–I gave them away to our new K teacher and just kept the ones I like the best and that I’ve had for years.

The bottom three shelves now hold school supplies, opening up more space in one of my cabinets for other things. 🙂

Here is the small group area/Writer’s Work Station area that used to be my Library Work Station.

This is a closer look at the newer shelves that are next to my bench.  The blue chair is the author’s chair. 🙂

Science work station

I put out my three tables and chairs that I got last year from IKEA.  I’m not sure what I will use the one that is up closest in this picture, but I’m thinking a work station…

Another look at my library work station

My 6 tables…each day when I go in, my goal is to clean off the tables before I leave. 🙂

The messy area under the loft near my desk.

I’ll have some more pictures tomorrow. 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Swaps are due soon! :)

Hi All!

For those of you swapping, don’t forget that I need them as close to the 23rd as possible! 🙂  I know many of you e-mailed today and said you put them in the mail to me already or just today–that’s awesome!  I’ve received about 1/4 of all the swaps so far, so keep them coming!  I’m opening each one and enjoying the WONDERFUL little notes and surprises that you all are writing/sending to me!  LOVE THEM!!  I’ll begin posting the swaps as soon as I get them packaged up to send.  I’ve been photographing them as you are sending them to me. 🙂

If you swap will be late, please let me know so I know when to look for them!

Kristen 🙂

Whiteboard Resources

Hi All!

I don’t know if any of you noticed, but I added a new tab at the top of my blog (if you’re reading this in an e-mail, you will need to go to my blog to see this).

I am collecting places that I have found useful so far for my Promethean Board.

I’ve also found an article showing how to convert SMART Notebook files for use on your Promethean Board.

Let me know if you have any sites you’d like me to add! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Classroom Pictures 2012-2013 after

Here are the after pictures.  I didn’t get much done, but I did get rid of some furniture and move some things around.  Mostly, I would move a piece of furniture and then sit down and contemplate where the next piece would get moved…

This is my science area.  I put my sand table back here after talking to a K friend down the hall.  I can use the table top for some science things and then open it up when we are ready. 🙂  You can also see my green house that I bought at the end of last year and my compost bin under my sand table.  Our meal worms are on top of the sand table.

This is my front board.  The orange sign in the middle indicates where my Promethean Board goes (it was installed today yeah!!!)

This is my bench where I read books to my kiddos. 🙂  You can see my easel to the right and I put wire shelves to the left this year instead of a book case.  I got some more storage this way compared to my old two shelf book case.  I think I can put a workstation in the cube that did not get filled up.

This is my new library work station area and computer area.  My library work station used to be back where you can see part of the round table and the bookcase with the red curtain.  I moved my library work station up near my front board and will use these two bookcases.  I did this for two reasons 1) I wanted to be able to have the books that were on our topic close by when we do read alouds and 2) I couldn’t see my kids over the top of my taller bookcases and we had a close call last year where some one almost tipped the bookcase over on them, so I wanted to do away with that.

I will be moving the front facing bookcase perpendicular to the computer desks.  I bought a Closet Maid organizer at Target last week:

ClosetMaid Cubeicals® 8 Cube Organizer Espresso

It will lay on it’s side and hold books in each of the 8 cubbies.  I will put it under the front ledge of my dry erase board.  I will also leave the pillows close by it (and my rug will be far enough away from it).  and let me kids read in that area.

This is the area that was my Library work station.  It will now be a small group area, and be used for either big book work station or writing work station…I haven’t decided yet.  I turned all the computers to face it so that when my assistant (LOVE her!!) is working with a small group on a computer program, we won’t disturb them and my kids won’t be watching the computer screens instead of me or their task. 🙂

This is a look at my six tables.  Some are way in the back of the picture. 🙂 Last year, one of them was the round one in the picture above and I opted to take back my writing work station table and use that as a student table.  I would like to use my tables more and have them pull double duty (they can be both individual work areas and work station areas).  Also, the round table was always just a little too much in the way.

I’ve also given some thought to the shelves I have at the end of my tables this year.  I will keep them, but when having 5 kids sit at some tables, it is hard to fit 5 binders in them.  I requested plastic folders this year on my supply list (the kind with three prongs).  I will put my binder sheets (the ones available on Teachers’ Pay Teachers–see the button on the top left) in sheet protectors and then put them in the folders instead of the binders this year.

Also, we had magazine holders that held our SSR books and those created a hot mess when only 4 would fit comfortably on a shelf.  I was always tripping on a box somewhere.  So I’m working on some solutions in my mind, but haven’t settled on anything yet.  It will come to me…just need to think it over. 🙂

I’ll be at school after I’m done helping to train teachers the next couple of days and will get some more pictures as I move things around.  Tomorrow, my hubby is coming with me to put the bookcase together for me, and I’ll get pictures of the Promethean Board. 🙂

I’ll work on a map of my classroom here in a minute and post that. 🙂

Kristen 🙂

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