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Welcome to my farmhouse inspired classroom!  I have been wanting to post a classroom reveal since school started, but things just got crazy.  I moved to a new district and new grade level this year, so I felt like I needed to take that time to get readjusted.  Sadly, this poor little blog suffered because of it.  But I am so excited to be back and share my home away from home.  That was the feeling and look I was going for with this classroom.  I am a huge fan girl of Fixer Upper, Joanna Gaines and the farmhouse style, so I wanted that to be reflected in my classroom.  But I also wanted it to be a fun, inviting place for my first graders, so I blended the two.  Let's go on a tour around my classroom!

Farmhouse Classroom Decor

This is the view as you walk into the door.  I wanted to use a mostly black and white color scheme, but I have lots of yellow, green, and blue supplies and storage pieces so I had to incorporate those colors, as well.

Shiplap Classroom

The first thing that catches everyone's eye is the classroom library.  It's the most coveted area in the classroom for my students.  They are in LOVE with the teepee!  And so am I!  I picked it up at Target on clearance.  I have my books sorted by guided reading levels in this area.  There are also some other tubs with themed books.  Students keep their own book bins in this area, too.  

Shiplap Classroom

Shiplap Classroom

I loved that this classroom still had the original chalkboards.  They went perfectly with the theme, so I had to keep them.  They are magnetic and great for hanging my anchor charts.  I picked up these clips from Target and hot glued them to magnets.  These posters are from my Reading Ready unit.

Shiplap Classroom

There is no closet in my classroom, so I have fabric around all of the tables to hide stored items.  I just hot glued the fabric to the edges of the tables.  I also hot glued the hems.  Hot glue is my best friend!  

This is my small groups table in the corner with my teacher desk.  I store all of my small group materials in the shelf to the right.  

Shiplap Classroom

There is a bulletin board directly behind the table, where I hang small anchor charts related to what we are working on at that time.  I also hung this reading strategy banner above to refer to during guided reading.

Reading Strategies Posters

This area is my calendar and number of the day board.  I also hang the interactive anchor chart for the day here.  This is from the first day of school, so it looks a little different.  The board on the right is covered with wrapping paper.

Shiplap Classroom Calendar Number of the Day

Calendar

Shiplap Classroom

Here is a little snapshot of our mailboxes.  I like filing student work in a crate because it's portable.  I picked up the hanging file folders from Amazon.

Student Mailboxes

This is one of my favorite areas!  I love the alphabet banner on the polka dot ribbon and that my number line looks framed.  I put my number posters and alphabet on the floor for easy student access.

Shiplap Numbers Shiplap Alphabet

I use this laundry basket from Target for anchor chart storage.

Shiplap Classroom Anchor Chart Storage

This metal shelf was just not cute.  I was running out of time and energy to paint it.  I ended up just hot gluing burlap to the sides and border around the edges.  I also added some washi tape to the shelves.  It made all the difference!

Shiplap Classroom

Shiplap Classroom

My new teacher friend made this print for me.  It was customized to fit with the farmhouse decor.  I am just amazing by her hand lettering talent!  And the quote was just perfect!  You can check out her Facebook page Paper Dot Ink HERE.

Shiplap Classroom

My word work area is up front in this area.  I post the words of the week in a pocket chart.  They have different options of how to practice those words, play dough, typing, games, magnets, and more.  It's a super easy center to manage for me since I just change out the words each week.  I use the clips to hang the anchor charts we make related to the rule that week.

Shiplap Classroom

This pocket chart is what I use for learning center organization.  I took this pic before I put my rotation cards up.  I am in LOVE with the black anchor charts!   The storage drawers below hold my math tubs.  I lined the drawers with scrapbook paper.  If you cut a piece in half, it fits perfectly in the drawers. :)

Shiplap Classroom

My windows are lined with bulletin board border.  It really ties the whole room together!  The curtains are actually fadeless paper that I doubled up.  I outlined them in border, too.  I found the little burlap bunting at Target on clearance.  

Shiplap Classroom

This is my writing center.  I love the peg board from Target Dollar Spot!  It holds prompt cards (from The First Grade Parade) and crayons in the cute little buckets.  I covered this table in fabric, too, for extra storage below.  I am hoping to go to Ikea soon to pick up some stools for this table.  

Shiplap Classroom

My word wall and computer center are at the back of the room.  The word wall letters are in my Farmhouse Decor Pack and the black burlap ribbon is from Hobby Lobby.  The little Mason Jar numbers below the word wall hold student work.  

Shiplap Classroom

That was a little peek into my farmhouse classroom!  Pretty much everything printable you saw was from my Farmhouse Decor Bundle.  I am slowly breaking it apart and selling items separately.  You can click on any of the pics to take a look at it if you are interested in redecorating your room for that farmhouse, shiplap look.

Shiplap Classroom

Shiplap Classroom

As always, thank you for stopping by!


how i get home chart

I don't know about you, but student transportation has always stressed me out!  It's the most important piece of information I need for my students on that first day of school.  I learned early on that I needed a system to save my sanity!  So, I just wanted to drop in to share my system and how it has helped me.  You may have a better system.  If you do, I would LOVE to hear about it!  The more ideas and ways to do it, the better! 

how i get home chart

This is the note I will have parents fill out on Meet the Teacher night.  I have a checklist that they will have to complete that night and part of it is filling out this form.  I tried to cover all the bases for the year in which transportation information from school is needed.  These are the options at my school this year, but I have included an editable letter in my pack for you to customize to fit your schools' needs.

how i get home chart

After they fill it out, they place the form in this basket on my teacher table.  I want them all in one place!  After I add the info to a spreadsheet, I file these in my student information binder for easy access throughout the year if needed.

how i get home chart

I have each student's name on a card ready for this pocket chart.  This is my Transportation Station right next to my classroom door.  As soon as I know how students are getting home the first day, I move their name under the corresponding header in the pocket chart.  Our buses are by number, so I will write their bus number as soon as I find that out under their name.  I will write each bus number in its own color and sort the names by buses.  That way I know how many kids are getting on each bus.  

This pocket chart system is great.  If I have a substitute teacher, they can easily refer to this chart at the end of the day.  It's great for me, too, especially at the beginning of the year when things can be really crazy at the end of the day!

how i get home chart

And another lifesaver for me has been backpack tags!  I print out several pages of each way students go home on card stock.  After I fill one out for each student, I laminate them.  There are always those students who you don't know how they get home until that first day, so I take my Scotch laminator to school with me.  That way I can easily make their tags, too!  Once I cut them out, I hole punch them and use a rubber band to tie them onto their backpacks.  Everyone will thank you for adding these to your little ones' backpacks!  

I would love to know how you organize your transportation!  I am always looking for new, easier ways to do things, especially during the back to school season.  If you are looking for a way to organize your system of getting students home, you can see below everything I use to do just that.  All of the notes, tags, and headers are completely EDITABLE so that you can customize them to fit your classroom needs!

how i get home chart

I hope this makes your back to school time a little bit easier!  Have a great weekend and enjoy these last few days of summer!





I recently applied for a first grade position in a neighboring district.  The employment in that district is highly competitive.  I fortunately landed an interview at a school there and knew I needed something to take with me to showcase my talents and passion for teaching.  I had read that teaching portfolios had helped many others in this situation.  I have always kept a portfolio each year to meet our state's professionalism rubric, but I needed something a little more tailored to the needs of an interview.  I decided to create my own that highlighted some important areas of teaching and that would serve as evidence to questions asked during the interview.  

Since I was going after a primary grade teaching position, I wanted the colors to be bright and colorful.  I think it's also important to put your contact information on the cover, as well as your picture.  They might want to keep your portfolio to look over while making their decision.  Your picture will help remind them of you and your interview.  


I also wanted to take them on a tour of my classroom.  They should be able to envision me in their building.  Since I am a blogger, I have lots of photos of my classroom.  I included a blog post after this page in the portfolio that took them through my learning space.  You could even add a layout of your classroom from a website that allows you to create those.  That would show them that you value classroom layout and like to plan ahead.


Classroom management is an area they will definitely want to know about.  What is your system?  How do you ensure a smoothly run classroom?  How do promote positive behavior and desired expectations in your classroom?  I included information along with photos of these areas.  Not only did I incorporate my latest strategies, I also added strategies of the past that I had tried with my students.


Lesson plans should also be included.  I have taught kindergarten and second grade, so I included examples of both.  If you do visual plans, definitely incorporate those!  They are attention grabbers and look great in your portfolio.  


I included a copy of my current classroom schedule.  I wanted them to see that consistency and routine were vital to my learning environment.  


One section in my notebook was all about lesson plans and creative activities I had incorporated in my classroom.  I divided that section up into some effective best practices.  In each section, I included the strategy, brain research to support the practice, and photos of them being incorporated into my classroom.  I also included some units I had created along with photos of students engaged in activities from those units.  


Another section in the portfolio highlighted assessment and data.  Education is so data-driven these days that I knew I had to incorporate this.  I listed all of the assessments I had experience with, included data from assessments I had administered (do not include student names), and showed how I used the data to drive my instruction.


You may be asked about parent communication in your interview.  In this section, I included newsletters and various other ways I communicated with parents and got them involved in their child's education.

I also took the time to break down what my reading and math blocks looked like.  I made sure to mention the five components of reading, curriculum I had experience using, and student work samples.  I made sure to highlight how each of these areas drove student success.




Finally, I had sections for professional development and important documents.  You should include any professional development you have attended, as well as any you have led.  Be sure to also include documents such as a copy of your teacher license, praxis scores, and a college transcript.

         

There are many more components to my portfolio that you will have access to if you purchase this Editable Teacher Portfolio.  I am confident it really helped me receive the first grade position.  It provided easy evidence for me to refer to during the interview.  The file is a PowerPoint, but you could also save it as a PDF when completed to send digitally to principals.  Since it is editable, you can add or take away any pieces to fit your needs.  It will definitely make you stand out in your teacher interview!


I am working on other editions of this product.  Look for a chalkboard, floral, and a gold and floral design coming very soon!  I hope this portfolio is beneficial to you and lands you that perfect job!  Happy teaching and best wishes!









Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!
This was my first year in kindergarten.  I have to admit I was very hesitant about making the transition from second grade to k.  I always said that I could never do it.  It helped that I was in a team teaching position year, but I still had my reservations even once the school year started.  It was so different.  They were so little.  I just wanted to go back to second grade where I was comfortable.  Fast forward to October---I had fallen in love with kindergarten!  It was where I knew I needed to be.  I was a kindergarten teacher.  As the year went on, I grew even more attached to the grade level and especially to the students.  A few weeks before school was out, however, I accepted a new first grade position in a different district.  I am so excited about this new opportunity, but I am really sad to let my kindergarteners go.  I have become more attached to this group than any other group, so I wanted to make that last week with them special.

Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!

My teaching partner and I rotate lead teaching days.  I made sure to plan this book on the day she was lead teaching, because I knew I just couldn't make it through it. ;)  We were both crying our eyes out by about page three!!!  It's the saddest yet sweetest book and mirrored our week perfectly.

Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!

We tried to make this year the most memorable year possible, since it it kindergarten!  We took a couple of days to create a memory book to reflect on all of the good times.  I forgot to take pics of their actual ones.  I would recommend printing the cover page with Astrobrights paper and the inside pages on white.  It was so fun to see what was most memorable to them and what had really stuck with them.  

Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!

Once our memory books were complete, we read First Grade, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson.  We then made a First Graders Can, Have, Are anchor chart together to help them with the next activity.  I forgot to take a pic of that, too, apparently.  Ugh!  It was funny to hear what they thought about first graders.  Apparently, first graders are big time and really cool!  Lol!  We turned our anchor chart into individual mini books for them to take home and then made the fun hats above.  They were all about showing that hat off to the first grade teachers!

Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!

Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!       Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!
      
Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!       Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!

Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!       Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!

Before graduation and packing up, I thought it would be fun to make a little grad craft to hang at the actual graduation.  We attached a writing piece of their favorite memory from kindergarten.  These were really sweet to read and I am sure a great keepsake that parents will always treasure.  

Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!

Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!

I made our diplomas for graduation.  We had a rainbow theme in our classrooms this year, so I wanted to incorporate that theme throughout graduation.  

Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!

And if you want to cry your eyes out even more, sing this song with them!  It is so fun and a perfect end to the year with your students.



You can check out the end of the year pack below, along with the one for first grade.

Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of kindergarten.  Your students will love creating a memory book, first grade ready hat, first graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents! 

Looking for end of the year activities for the last week of school?  This end of the year pack is perfect for those last days of first grade.  Your students will love creating a memory book, second grade ready hat, second graders can, have, are mini-book, a graduate craft, and printable diplomas.  These will create the perfect keepsake for parents!


What do you do to celebrate the end of the year with your students?  Thanks for stopping in and I wish those of you who are still in school a great rest of the year!  You can do this!  ;)








Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

My students and I love to create anchor charts.  They support our instruction by providing students a visual reminder as to what was previously taught in our classroom.  They can also provide students with the tools to self-monitor classroom expectations.  I believe students should be apart of the process of creating anchor charts to provide meaning to these useful tools.  I have created lots of anchor charts over the years, and I have come up with some tips and tricks to help you create your own in your classroom, along with my favorite tools to use in the process.

1.  Make space for your anchor charts.  

When I was designing my classroom space, I was very intentional about where I wanted to hang completed anchor charts.  The classroom library needed space for them so that students could be independent in that area and reminded of expectations set forth earlier in the year.  The same goes for other spaces in the classroom.  I used extra large chalkboard clothespins that I found in the Target Dollar Spot and hot glued them in those areas.  I also used magnetic hooks where I could so that I could quickly and easily hang newly created anchor charts.


Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math       Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math


2. Mix it up!

You don't always have to use the large, expensive tablet paper you see for your anchor charts.  I do always have those on hand, but they are not necessary.  I do like to use them with and without the lines depending on what type of chart I am making.  The sticky ones are great, but they are difficult to laminate if you are creating one that you want to save for next year.

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

Sometimes, I will just use the large 12x18 construction paper to create a mini-anchor chart.  These are great if you do not have a lot of space.  We made a craft with this one, so I attached the one I made to the chart.  This added a little extra character to it!  (no pun intended!)

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

If you have the large bulletin board paper, tear off a strip of that!  Sometimes, you need a gigantic space!  We needed space on this one to add questions that were created on sticky notes, and there were a lot of them!

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

You can even add those cute little posters that a lot of TPT sellers add in their units with some fun washi tape.  For the one below, I even added plates to the top for PIE for author's purpose.  The bright colors and 3-D effect helped grab students' attention.

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

Give it some shape!  Make it the character from a book or whatever you may be studying related to your theme.  This wolf was definitely memorable.  Students had to sort events from the two different versions of The Three Pigs onto the Wolf.  Of course, all of the events were related to the wolf.  Great for comparing a character in two different story versions!

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

3.  They don't have to be cute.

I have heard so many teachers say that they can't make anchor charts because they can't do cute.  I really don't think mine are that cute, either.  I am usually creating them in front of my students, so I can't take the time to make them perfect.  Not that I could anyway!  You can see that the one below is not cute!  It has literally one word on it!  The look is not important---it's the content.  So, don't worry about cutesy!  Make it meaningful for your students.

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

4.  The Best Anchor Chart Supplies to Have on Hand

I have tried lots of different markers and sticky notes over the years on my anchor charts.  I have finally narrowed it down to my faves!

My co-teacher, Holly, introduced me to these markers.  They are hands-down my favorite anchor chart markers!  They write so smoothly and the colors are very bold!  I get them from Amazon as an add-on item, and they are very inexpensive.  I highly encourage you to try them!

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

Sticky notes are a must for getting your charts to be interactive.  There are lots of cute shapes and designs out there these days that can really add to your chart.  But I do have to say, that I am a Post-it Brand girl.  They stick, by far, the best.  A lot of the other brands just do not stick well and fall off shortly after posting them to the paper.  :(  Post-it Brand has some fun shapes, colors, and I am loving their extra large sizes they have come out with!

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math


5.  Anchor Chart Storage

I have struggled over the years with storing my anchor charts.  I just ended up throwing them away and creating new ones each year.  I wasted so much time doing that!  I have a new strategy now that is working much better.  After making the bones of the chart ahead of time, we laminate them.  They can still be interactive and students can help in adding to them with sticky notes or dry erase markers.

I roll them up, rubber band them, and store them in this laundry basket.  I ended up having to buy another one to store them all!  You can put a little sticky tab on the end of each one so you can easily find it the following year.  You will probably need to even color code them by month or season so you can make your search even easier!  I made this label from Schoolgirl Style's Happy Rainbow Collection.  It would be very easy to make your own, too, to match your classroom.

Five tips and tricks for the creating effective anchor charts in the primary classroom!  anchor charts reading | anchor charts kindergarten | anchor charts math

 Anchor charts are my jam and I can't live without them!  I would love to know what your favorite supplies are and your best tips, too!  Thanks for reading!