I have, Who has ~ Division Freebie

Hello my fabulous blogger friends!
Where did the past three months go? I am so happy to be close to our Winter/Christmas break! I love my kiddos, but this teacher is tired, and ready to sit on the couch and snuggle with my fur babies. How about you?

I wanted to share a winter freebie with you, just in case you need something fun to do when your little ones return from the break. My, I have, Who has...Division, is a great way to practice and review division while having loads of fun. Follow the link below to download these today. If you feel like leaving some kind words in the comment section of my store I'd be forever grateful!

<a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Division-2257959"></a>
Division freebie

Enjoy your break and stay warm!

Flexible seating week one!

The first week-ish

So, this has been a BIG learning experience for my kiddos, and me. I really think the first week was more about getting settled and familiar with the expectations of our new room. This did add a little challenge for me because we start our year with new expectations and now I had to add more and be a bit lot more flexible.

Routines and week one
First off, there was no schedule the first day and things were hectic. Yes, I admit that. I will hold nothing back while I share this journey. I did notice the calmness when they were actually working in a spot they chose to sit in. But when I had them on the big carpet for whole group chat/lesson, it was interesting.  As with any class, sitting too long is not good for 8 and 9 year olds.
So day two, I started that schedule!!! Best thing I could have done. NOTED!! Now, my schedule was by no means set. It was just a start. Things went much smoother though. We started a reading/writing assignment, they found their best spot to sit and work, and we had a much better day.

Day three, hmm.. my morning routine was not in place yet, so that was next on my list. We have so much to do before switching classes and I had to figure out how to work it all in. In third grade my school gives each of the kiddos an agenda and we must teach them how to use it. So there goes my morning routine on day 3. After about 25 minutes, we kind of got the gist of how to find the right day to write our homework down. Kind of!! They’ll get there.
On day four, I came in strong and ready. It worked too. I explained the expectations, had some morning work in place, and reminded them where to put their items once they unpacked. It seems as though most of my issues were based on my morning routine. I already knew for week two that I planned to start an ELA morning worksheet I created this summer. This would keep them busy once announcements were over and it will be part of their morning routine all year. Fingers crossed for week two mornings.
Day five, oh what a beautiful morning! They unpacked, got the morning work I set out, and got started on it instead of playing, asking questions, or just standing there.  For their fifth day, I was happy and proud of them. I knew our second week would only get better. 
They love the Cafe!!



Organization
That explained my craziness for routines in the morning, but my biggest issue on day one was organization. I had boxes and bags of school supplies and wasn’t sure where they would go and how I was going to store the items the kids needed to have with them. They all have a pencil pouch and even though they brought in all of their own school supplies, I collect them and explain to the class they become community property and we share. This is because I use a classroom economy system with my kids for behavior and rewards. They learn to be more responsible with their items if they have to purchase them. My parents love this too.  So we have class cash and they learn how to earn and spend money from the start.



Anyway, as I look at this huge mess in my room, I knew I had to figure it out before they came back in the morning. I planned on staying as late as I needed to just to get this job done. Funny thing, I had it cleaned and put in a perfect place all within an hour. I’m really thinking 30 minutes, if I have to be honest. When the kiddos unpacked their items we placed them in containers, that made it easier. Well, I cleaned all of my cabinets out this summer and had more storage then I thought. So it worked beautifully. Every day for the first week I found places to put things while making it easy for the kids and myself to get to. The best part, it was tidy and organized. Woohoo!!! So happy!! Organization…check!!
I'll show more of my organization next time.

Behavior
Ai yi yi!! Truth? I heard flexible seating works on behavior. There were a couple of times I thought, “Am I doing the right thing?” Then I realized, we are still learning. I had to do a reality check. Out of my two groups, I have a tiny-ish issue with four munchkins in one group and this is not from the set up, it’s well you know, eight-year-old kiddos who have a hard time sitting still and staying focused. They are really sweet but we have some work to do to get them on track. They have to be reminded to find a place they can do THEIR best at. Sometimes that means NOT sitting by your friend who will distract you. So during week one I gave several reminders, just to be fair. Week two, I made some changes. Let’s just say, it’s a work in progress and the year is still new. I know we will get on track and they will all figure it out.

Feedback
We have a longer family chat (meeting) on Fridays and I ask the kiddos for some input on the room and how our seating is working. I tell them to give me their likes and dislikes. Overall, they love the room and have no real complaints. Ok, the only complaint is about the areas they have named the white areas, meaning where the two white carpets are. I looked at the little boy who was about to discuss his dislike about the white carpet area, (wondering what it could really be) and he said, “I don’t like that I have not had a chance to sit in that area yet!”  I had to chuckle inside. He was very irritated about this and felt the need to get it out. Meanwhile, about three others chimed in with the same response. I still laugh about it because it’s so darn cute they love those areas. I thought those would be the least liked spots in the room. It’s the boys too that love those spots. I don’t get it, but if they're happy there we’ll get it figured out.




Ok, I have lots to do before school in the morning so I’ll be back soon with another update on my new classroom and our flexible seating arrangements.

As always, thank you so much for taking this journey with me!!!


Flexible seating the reveal!!

I am so excited to share the pictures with you all. My kiddos love their new classroom and the feedback has been positive. Thank goodness...

So, my favorite part of the room has to be the Cafe! Yes, I will have a cafe sign and some little lights at some point. But, they just didn't make it in the room before school started. To be honest, my cafe itself almost didn't get completed before school started.
My sweet hubs made the fence and painting it was a challenge. I decided to spray paint it, and it decided to rain... for an entire week. Ugh! So on Sunday morning there was a little sunshine and I painted. Very quickly. The fence had just enough time to dry too. My brick wall, out of stock. I almost didn't use it and am so happy I did though.
We have such high ceilings, so hanging fun stuff from them was not an option. So the hubs came back and hung a very strong fishing line from corner to corner. Needless to say, one corner kept falling. But, he fixed that too. So after a crazy week of teacher meetings, teacher work days, and lots of rain.... my room was finished, and I couldn't be happier!!

After many months of planning, here it is!!
















I really love how it turned out!! Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. My next post will be on organization and my first week. I learned a lot each day.

Thank you all for staying with me during this journey!!

Flexible seating makeover Week 3-7ish!!

I got so busy with the makeover I forgot to post this. Yikes!!

Oh my! I’m so excited! Room set up has begun. This was a long process. 

Before starting, I had to visit my fabulous family in Washington. I was able to relax, work, create, and come up with a few more designs for the class. Once again, thank you mom!! Now that it’s August I can actually start putting this together. We got the email that the floors are waxed and we have access to the building. So I better be careful moving all of this furniture. Second trip to Ikea is planned and BOY do I have some new items on my list. Don’t worry, you’ll see!!


So let’s share my thinking room in Washington. Yes, the back porch and their back yard. I was out there every day and night. This is my summer retreat, so to say. But, with two days to go, my mom and I came up with a new area in the classroom that will not disappoint. 
Dad and I picked lots of fresh fruit from the trees and dried most of them. They are as delicious as they look! To be honest, there was too much to pick though. How sad. Next year I better drive up so I can bring these delicious treats home with me. Thanks papa for all of your hard work.


Ok, Ok, my room. I plan to try and set up as many little living spaces as possible. I want my kiddos to have choices and feel at home. I watched a wonderful live video while at the parents and one thing that stuck with me is, this is for the kids. Not about how cute it is. But I have to say, I think it’s about both of those things. From day one, my kids have always raved about our room and how they love the seating options. So it is about them and the cuteness. I loved how the video also mentioned giving total control to the kiddos and there is a lot of talking in his room, Always! So, I do have control issues, I admit it. I will embrace his words and go with it for the sake of the children. (insert - biting fingernails here). I can do it!!

So here's my room on day one of transformation.


I knew the first thing I needed was an empty canvas. I quietly and carefully carried all of those tables across the hall to my sweet teacher-friend's class. Yes, she wanted them. Then, placement of the rugs happened. This was a thought all along. I knew I wanted tables along the outside area of the room for the kiddos who needed them and for group projects.


I spent every day in my classroom and at night, I worked at home to finish those projects that - 
just.took.forever.


Another trip to Ikea. But, serious score here! We had four carts. My poor nieces had to ride over two hours with items all around them in the the back of the truck. I have to say, only half was mine though. teehee!!


Time to assemble... Couch, tables, stools, carts, chairs and so much more!!! I do love Ikea though!



And... finally the room starts to come together over a 2 week period. 











Check back tomorrow for the BIG reveal!!! Yes, one more post, but I promise it's worth it!

Thank you all for hanging out with me during this crazy time!



SaveSave

TPT resources to do or not to do

Hello friends! I just read this beautiful post on another blog that I feel needs to be shared. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I did and feel free to leave a comment with any thoughts.

Have a great weekend!


Classroom makeover week 2 - The finds

This has been a tough week. I had great plans every day but with a little find here, a little find there and six fur kids (half mine, half sisters) running around, my daily goals were squashed. But, I was able to find more goodies for my flexible seating classroom makeover. I’ll share that with you in a bit.


 I still have this glorious picture in my head of what it’s going to look like once its all put together, but I have to take into consideration that my room itself will play a big role in this. Thank goodness I have my fabulous mom on sew patrol in the lovely state of Washington. I sent her a gift card for some canvas and the size of panels I need to cover some built in bookshelves. When I visit in 2 weeks I get to bring those babies home. That will definitely help soften half of my room. Thanks mom (love her)!!



I’m hoping I can get into my room this week to do a play set up. We need those, right? I found a new carpet that should hold 22-ish little bodies for whole group lessons at Ross on Monday. If you ever need rugs in fun, simple, vibrant, or any style, Ross is the place.  So many choices and the prices are the best!! I went ahead and bought a darker rug hoping this will tie into the d├ęcor. I know I’m taking a big chance with so many lighter furnishings but I want a softer, homey-style to make my class more comfortable for the little ones.  


Places to shop for a bargain:

I am a bargain girl like I stated. I’m a little crafty, but a horrible-beginner sewer. So with that said I have a certain look in mind when I search for room pieces (treasures). I LOVE online garage sale sites! Look for these through your Facebook page. Items can go fast so you have to constantly be checking. Or get lucky and check from time to time. I’ve been lucky both ways. Garage sales and friends and family are a great source as well. Just put the word out and things will start showing up or being offered. I will check Craigslist too while I’m antiquing.





Great stores:

If you are close enough to an IKEA you have to plan a trip. Even if you have to drive a couple of hours. Get a teacher friend and a truck or empty car and make it a day! There is so much there and the prices are A-mazing!! I always check Target, Ross, Hobby Lobby and Michaels for items. Don’t forget to check for clearance items and things on sale. You can get some good deals in all of these stores. I did and do!!
Oh, I am not affiliated with these stores in any way. I’m just a bit of a shopaholic.



Next week I’ll discuss my crafty side and post pictures of what I was able to tackle! So, now I must leave you to go and paint, wax and possibly sew (at least I’ll try) my old/new finds.

I’d love to hear about your finds, bargains, or even flexible seating classroom so please leave a comment below.


Happy summer all…….