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Friday, August 10, 2012

My Polka Dot Classroom and Teacher Gifts

So I actually didn't plan on having my theme be "polka dots." It kind of just happened that way. I'm actually really happy with the way everything turned out! My AMAZING 84 year old grandma made me my BEAUTIFUL polka dot seat sacks and pretty in pink curtains! I LOVE THEM!!! I am so lucky to have her! She is the best!

Here is what you see of my room when you stand at the door.

This is the polka dot themed behavior chart I found for free on Teachers Pay Teachers. I used circle magnets I found at the Dollar Tree and put the kids numbers on them.

Here is my calendar and clock. I used Amy Lemons awesome idea for clock numbers as well. :)

Here is my everyday word wall made out of chalk board contact paper! I actually LOVE it and can't wait to start using it. I put a whiteboard behind my small group area/ desk so that I have a white board to use during small groups.

 Here are my crate seats that I made with the left over fabric I had from the seat sacks. They are so easy to make. I was going to use them for the seats at my small group table, but they are too short for 2nd graders.  I'm storing the extra BIG supplies the kids brought in these so it's easy to get to throughout the year. (binders, folders, loose leaf paper, etc..)

I store the kids smaller supplies in a over the door shoe holder. I write the kids numbers on each pocket. That way if "Joey" needs some more pencils he can ask me to get some for him, and I'll be able to easily get to his extra supplies. It's so much easier this way!!!

Here is my polka dot themed classroom job area. I proudly made this myself. I will be putting this on TPT soon!
This is a picture of my centers and half my classroom library.
I only store one or two centers at a time in each bin. I rotate them out throughout the year depending on what we are learning. Some centers stay the same so the kids really get to know how to use them. :)

Here is the view of my entire classroom library.

I bought these awesome letters at Michaels. A fellow 2nd grade teacher (Melissa White) had the idea to put them on the polka dots so they'd stand out better. That was a brilliant idea!! Go Melissa! You Rock! The second picture also shows my Accelerated Reader board. The first polka dot says, "I earned 5 A.R. points." The second says, " I earned 10 A.R. points"...and so on until 50 A.R. points. I'm giving the kids prizes each time they reach a new polka dot. The prizes start out small (pencil, eraser, book mark)...then get larger( 10 Cubcash, 15 minutes of free iPad time, no homework pass, etc..). Finally at 50 A.R. points they earn an A.R. T-Shirt. I even do prizes for kids that get more than 50 points. 75 points ( lunch with the teacher) and 100 points ($10 Books A Million gift card!!!). The kids were super excited about that one. Needless to say, I have kids going crazy on A.R. already and it's only the first week of school.

Here is my set up for open house. Last year I had the kids make brochures for the new class coming up. I don't know how this happened, but I had less than 18 so I didn't have enough to put on each desk. I decided to put them in a basket so the kids could grab them when they came in.

Here are some pictures of the set up I put on the board. I absolutely love pinterest. I used a similar I idea I found on pinterest and made it my own. I had about half my petals missing at the end of open house. My parents rock this year!!!

Here are some other pinterest inspired ideas. I used one of those garage oranizers for screws for all my small desk items. It actually is keeping me more organized. As I look at this picture, I realize I need more pictures on my pink bulletin board!
Here is how I do my reading and math work shop. I use a flow map so it's easy for the kids to see where to go next. I don't have the kids names up there yet. I'm still in the process of making groups. (We just finished our first week of school!)
Here is the entry to my room. I love it!!! Thank you Melissa for all the polka dots!!!

Last, but not least, here are the teacher gifts I made for all the ladies in my building and on my 2nd grade team. I found them on this site: (Hands On House Wife) and just printed them as size 5x7 at Wal-Mart.Com. I found the frames at the Dollar Tree. Super easy, cheap, and cute. I hope they all liked them!

I wrapped them all in tissue paper, and attached the circle tag I made to the gift. The tags read: "Welcome Back!
 Here's to a new school year!
<3 Callen"

Well, I hope you enjoyed my room! Let me know what you think!


Mrs. Rhoads

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chalkboard Contact Paper: Word wall or bulletin board?

I need your help! I just covered one of my bulletin boards with chalkboard contact paper. I was planning on using it for a growing word wall. I was going to add words as we learn them. Is it silly to write them on there? OR should I use my creation for something else? I like it, but I wanted some other teachers' opinions. :) Any help is greatly appreciated!



***If you want Chalkboard Contact Paper you can find it at Amazon.Com. It runs between $5 and $7 for a 18 inch by 6 foot roll.
 You can find the link here: Chalkboard Contact Paper on Amazon

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Versatile Blog Award!

A HUGE THANK YOU  to Amy Gout and Cindy Hopkins for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award! It's my first award and I'm super excited about it!!!

Here are my 7 random facts:
1. I bite my nails, but I so wish I could stop!!!
2. My biggest pet peeve is when things are not spelled correctly!
3 I used to have a pretend classroom at my grandmother's house. My dolls were my students. I even hung up their classwork on the walls.
4. I once was put in timeout in preschool for biting myself. I remember that I didn't understand why I was put in timeout!  I mean, I was biting myself, not someone else! Ha Ha!
5. Some of my ancestors include: Daniel Boone and Abraham Lincoln!
6. I used to be one of those kids in elementary school that would get in trouble for talking. I never realized this was true until I came across my old report cards with my teachers' comments.
7. I absolutely LOVE cooking. In fact, I even have my own blog for recipes that I make up or find! Following the Rhoads to Veggies
Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. (check)

2. Include a link to their site. (check)

3. Include the award image in your post. (check)

4. Give 7 random facts about yourself. (check)
5. Nominate 5-10 other bloggers, include their link, and let them know. (check)

Here are my nominations...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Newbie Blog Hop

So yesterday I did my first linky party. Today I figured I'd do my first blog hop since I'm a newbie! This is a great way to network with other amazing teachers! Come on, join in on the fun too! Here is the link to join the blog hop.

1. what state you are in: Florida
2. your current teaching position: 2nd grade teacher
3. your teaching experience: This is my 6th year of teaching!
4. when you started blogging: I've been blogging sine February of not long!
5. share a blogging tip / blogging resource: Don't forget to take a lot of pictures to add to your blog! Everyone loves pictures and will help other people to visually see what you are talking about.  Also, don't forget to give credit if you use an idea from somebody else. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

All About Me...and Linky Party!

Blogger Amy Lemons is having a "Linky Party" so I figured I'd join in on the fun as well! Here is a little about me!

1) I am about to begin my 6th year of teaching!  I started blogging back in February of this year. This last school year I taught a 1st/2nd combination class. I was nervous about it at first, but it turned out to be a lot of fun! It actually made me be more creative because I had to think outside the box when creating lessons. I'm very glad I had the experience and I truly believe it made me a better teacher.

2) I married my amazing husband on December 18, 2011. We actually were neighbors! My dad sold him his house and I moved into my dad's other house across the street. :) At first, my dad didn't know if I should move into the house because of the single guys that lived across the street. He liked Jake, but being a dad he didn't want me that close to any boys! Ha ha!!!  5 years later and we're now married!  It must have been fate!

Here we are on our honeymoon!

3) Jake and I have the most loveable, but hyper, Australian Sheppard. His name is Rascal, and for good reason. He gets into EVERYTHING!! We also have a very sweet and loveable cat too, Lily. We love our "kids."

4) My favorite non-school hobby is shopping. What girl doesn't love shopping? I also absolutely love COACH!!!  Here are my newest COACH additions!

5) Another favorite hobby my husband and I both share is boating. If I could be on the boat every day I would! It's just so relaxing, especially at sunset. I LOVE living in Florida!

6) I have been a vegetarian for 2 years. I recently decided to make another change and eat vegan. I also just started a blog about my experience with vegan food. (Thank goodness my husband owns a produce business!)

 Here's a link to my new blog!

Well, that's a little about me!

Make sure to link up with Amy so I can learn more about you too!!



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer is almost over! Ahhhh!

So with the new school year approaching, I can honestly say I've spent a lot of my summer buying new things for my classroom. It's crazy, pretty much every store I went to I found something I could use, or while surfing the internet at home. Pinterest is going to make me go broke with all the amazing ideas I find on it!  Here is my mess in our spare bedroom. The other bags are in my car. The sad part is, I'm not even CLOSE to be done with getting things.

And here is my cart at Target with more goodies. Target has Dr. Seuss stuff in the Dollar section!

...and this is what I've been doing the past couple of days. Thankfully, my Grandmother is an amazing seamstress, in fact she made most of my clothes as a child. Anyways, these are my new seat sacks. The seat sack is not on a classroom chair at the moment, I was just checking it out!

 BTW, Wal-Mart is having a HUGE sale in the craft section! I found ribbon for as cheap as 10 cents! Fabris is $1-$2 a yard! Crazy right? If you're lucky enough to have a Wal-Mart that sells fabric you need to check it out. I'm going to get fabric for curtains in my classroom too! If you want to make seat sacks, they are selling Duck Cloth for $2 a yard right now too! (I used Denim and regular fabric.)

One last thing! Sam's has these carts on sale for $24.98! Just thought I'd share since it's the cheapest I've ever seen them. (Don't mind the mess in the picture!)

Well, I figured I'd better post since I hadn't posted since March! I'm going to do my best to post at least once a week from here on out. I'm going back next week to get my room set up, so once I have pictures of that I'll be sure to post them!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Life Cycles

So this week we started our unit on life cycles. I wanted to introduce the concept of "life cycles" by making it more personal and fun for the kids. So.... I had the kids make a flow map of their own life cycle. I first showed the kids pictures of myself as a baby, child, teenager, and adult. They couldn't believe how much I've changed...and what kid doesn't like seeing pictures of their teacher?! This got them really interested in this activity.

I then modeled how to do the project using my own life as an example.

What the kids really loved about this activity was that they could look into their own futures.  The kids liked thinking of themselves as teenagers and adults. Some put themselves at age 16 driving cars and a lot of them added what they would like to be when they grow up in their "adult" stage of their life. It's really cute to see what their dreams are for themselves.

The kids really grasped the concept of  a "life cycle" with this introduction activity.

If you do this activity, I hope your kids enjoy it as much as mine did.


Callen Rhoads

PS: If you click on the picture it will make it super sized so you can really see what this first grader wrote!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Read Across America Week!

I can't wait for Read across America week and Dr. Seuss' birthday! I am planning a ton of fun activities for my class next week. I was searching Pinterest (oh how I love thee) and saw these awesome journal prompt ideas for Dr. Seuss from Minds in Bloom. I also saw another idea for tic-tac-toe journal writing and thought I'd combine the two. Here is what I came up with!  You can download the template for FREE at my TPT store below!

Download Here

I'm going to have the kids do this for part of their morning work throughout the week.

Thank you to Minds In Bloom for the AWESOME prompt ideas!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Classroom Organization

I definitely am not the most organized person in the world. I'll be the first one to admit that, but since I have a combination class I had to become very organized with my reading and math workshops. Here is an example of how I run my workshops. The kids are now pros at rotating through seatwork, center, and working with the teacher. At the school I work at we use "Thinking Maps." I felt it was appropriate to use a "flow map" since the kids are familiar with them and how they work. Let me just say, since using this new rotating system, I get to ALL my small groups on a daily basis.  I also feel that the kids get A LOT more out of math by conducting it in small groups. I can focus more on each topic with my students who struggle in math and give kids a challenge who are ready to go above and beyond what we are learning. The kids absolutely love the rotating workshops because they get to go to a center every day. I can't take full credit for the idea though. I found a similar idea on Beth Newingham's 3rd grade website. A link to her site is below. She's amazing and has completely changed the way I think about reading and math.

Accelerated Reader

My kids have been bugging me like crazy lately when it came to how many more books they needed to read before they earned their A.R. T-Shirt. (At the school I work at each grade level has a certain amount of AR points the kids need to receive before they earn an AR t-shirt. For second grade, the goal is 50 points, or 100 half point books.) If your school doesn't do t-shirts, or big goals, you could do something like this for monthly goals. I have the kids keep track of how  many more books they need to read by themselves. The kids just simply color in a box after they've passed an A.R. test.  The kids were excited to see how many more books they needed to read before they met their goal, and they love coloring in the boxes! I have the kids keep the worksheet in their data notebooks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

This is my first post at attempting to blog! Yay for me! Anyways, there will be MANY more posts to come!

For Valentine's day I was going to do the usual, "graph the candy conversation hearts" activity. Since I was getting tired of that activity, I decided to spice things up a bit and do a really fun writing activity instead!

I was going to have the kids  write sentences with their conversation hearts about Valentine's day, however I felt it would be more fun to incorporate letter writing into our Valentine's activity.
The kids had a BLAST with this activity.

<3 Callen Rhoads