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Welcome to the 2D Shape Construction Zone!  We had so much fun transforming our first grade classrooms this past week to compose 2D shapes.  We have eight teachers on our team, and we each plan a different subject.  My teammate, Stacey Duffee, came up with all of the ideas you see here!  I am just going to show you what she came up with.  If one has an idea, we all jump on board!  I love that everyone on our team is willing to try new things and supports one another.  We are trying to transform our classrooms once a month, and this theme lent itself well to composing 2D shapes with other 2D shapes.  We use Magic of Math as our whole group math curriculum.  So, we just used their activities within the construction theme.  


It took us about an hour after school to decorate our rooms and the hallway.  We all jump in and help each other get it done.  It goes so much faster that way.  We all put this banner on our doors.  We also had signs on the lockers.


Each table contained hard hats, cones, and caution tape.  I covered my tables with craft paper.  I will put links to all of the items at the end of the post.  The best part of it all was that almost everything was donated by parents.  Their kids are going home and telling them about our room transformations, and they have been so supportive about it.  We just send out a Dojo message letting them know about an upcoming theme, a screenshot of what we need, and they are happy to help.  


Each student had their own vest to wear, too.  We got adult-sized vests, because they were a lot cheaper.  They were super cute on!  The kids love dressing up!


The hats were plastic and kid-sized, so mine wouldn't fit on my head.  So, you might want to order your own separate adult-sized hat.  lol


I put these signs all around the room.


This is our first grade team, minus one.  One the first day, we greeted the students at the beginning of our hallway.  We like to surprise them!  We hung these tablecloths from the ceiling and borrowed the cones from our custodians.  It was a great entrance and photo backdrop!  


We kept the construction theme all week during our unit.  


The construction theme can be used for all sorts of concepts!  You could do building words or constructing a certain type of paragraph.  Compound words would be fun!  There are so many possibilities!  Have you done a construction theme?  I would love to hear about it!  Here are some affiliate links below to all of the items we used!






substitute teacher binder

How many times have you gone to school sick because you didn't feel like writing sub plans?  I know that I have.  But it's not fair to you or your students to show up to work when you don't feel well.  I knew that I had to figure out a way to simplify substitute teacher plans and have them always ready to go.  You never know when an emergency could arise.  I decided to create a Substitute Teacher Binder that matched my Teacher Binder.  I am going to take you through what I include my sub binder and how I put it together, along with some helpful tips for surviving a day out.  

substitute teacher binder

This whole binder is editable.  Each page contains a header in the font called The Skinny.  So if you want to add anything different, that's the font you can download.  I begin the binder with a sweet little welcome note about my class.  All of these pages are just printed on regular printer paper.  

It's hard to tell in the photo above, but clipped underneath that paperclip on the left are rosters.  The sub will take attendance on these and place in the hallway.  I always have a bunch of those in there ready to go.  There is a roster like this included in the resource.  I like that it's on a half page.

substitute teacher binder

The Important Information page above is what I call a cover page.  Cover pages begin each new section.  I print these on cardstock and laminate with my laminator.   The pages are much more sturdy with these laminating pouches.  Of course, you don't have to make it into a book like I did.  You can also print the pages and put them in a binder.  Within the important information section, I have put health concerns, allergies, pull-outs, and any important information that I feel the sub needs to know about.  

substitute teacher binder

The procedures section is where I put my classroom management policy, helpful tips, who to ask for help, arrival procedures, my lesson plans, and dismissal procedures.  You could always divide these up into sections.  I just decided to condense mine.  I do provide cover pages for all that, though.  

substitute teacher binder

When it comes to lesson plans, I always keep a general lesson plan for each part of my day in the binder.  This is for emergency purposes.  I always have everything needed for the week in daily bins in my classroom, so they can follow these general plans and pull from that day's bin.  If I know I am going to be out, I pull these pages out.  I just add a few more specific instructions to each little blurb and then stick that in the binder.  Since I already have the format of my day typed up, it's super quick and easy to add these little details.  I have my center rotations all in PowerPoint, so I just print those slides and put them in the binder, too.  That way, they can still do centers just as if I am there.

substitute teacher binder

I print and place several rosters in this section, just incase he or she needs them for whatever reason.

substitute teacher binder

Here is a copy of our class schedule, but I also put the times on my lesson plans. 
substitute teacher binder

I have our cocurricular schedule printed on our wall with a clip that shows where we go for the day.   I also put one in here and just put a sticky note beside where we go.

substitute teacher binder

In the student transportation section,  I have a box sheet that tells how each student gets home.  I also have a copy hanging beside my door.
substitute teacher binder

Finally, I have these Best Day Ever note pages for the sub to leave me a note about how the day went.  Hopefully, it's a positive one!

substitute teacher binder

I also include these notes pages incase they need somewhere to jot notes.
substitute teacher binder


I do add tabs to the cover pages, so the substitute teacher can easily find each section when needed.  They are circle tabs that I print on cardstock.  I then laminate them and tape them to the back of each cover page.

Like I mentioned before, you do not have to bind yours like I did.  You could just as easily use a binder and sheet protectors.  But if you do want yours to look like mine, I used the Happy Planner accessories that you can find at Michael's or on Amazon.  I put some affiliate links below to what I used for mine.  The metal discs are a little more sturdy, but the plastic ones are cheaper and work just fine.  I also love the paper punch below way better than the pink punch by Happy Planner.  It can punch through lamination much more easily and can punch more pages at a time.  My pink one stopped working after a while, sadly.  So, I highly recommend this one!









One thing I forgot to mention is where I keep my substitute binder.  I have a basket by my door with the label Sub Tub on it where I keep the planner.   Inside the basket, I also have extra printables incase they run out of things to do.  I hate to leave busy work like that, but you just never know.  You can see below a more detailed view of all the pages I have included, but have fun making it your own!

substitute teacher binder

substitute teacher binder

substitute teacher binder

substitute teacher binder



Anchor charts are one of my favorite instructional tools.  The only problem is that they're a bit time-consuming to make each week.  I am a perfectionist, so I would draw the pictures and would hate them.  The lettering would not be as perfect as I wanted it to be.  And I just don't have time to create them for all subjects.  It's a lot!  So, when I found out you could print in poster size through Adobe on any printer, I got the idea to make my anchor charts in PPT and then print them through Adobe.  They print out on four pieces of paper; you just have to piece them together.  

I recently created a set of Interactive Anchor Charts for Phonics.  I teach first grade, and phonics is a foundational component of reading.  I thought these would be a great visual for my students to refer to throughout a unit.  Next week, we are learning all about soft c, g, and -dge.  I use the anchor charts to introduce them to the new phonics skill.  We discuss the rule, which is included at the top of the poster, first.  I then point out the pictures.  I model how to stretch out and write the sounds in each word.  I am also modeling proper handwriting and letter formation at the same time.  

anchor charts

You can also have students think of some words that include that spelling pattern.  I have them write their words on a sticky note and add them to the anchor chart.  You can also print the posters in black and white and have students color in the pictures.  These two things give students ownership over the creation of the poster.

anchor charts

Printing poster size is super easy in Adobe!  I provide step-by-step instructions within the resource.  The page will print on four pieces of paper.  You just have to cut and piece them together.  I use tape to connect the pieces.  

anchor charts

This is our Long I anchor chart from last week.  As an exit ticket, students had to use one of the long i words in a sentence.  You could have them do this on their whiteboard or on a sticky note and add it to the anchor chart.  There are so many little assessments you can do with these!

anchor charts

If you really want your students to feel a sense of ownership over the creation of anchor charts within your classroom, as well as to keep them more engaged, let them create their own mini anchor chart.  I print two posters to one page.  They then can glue them into a phonics journal.  I print these in black and white so that students can color the pictures, as well as to save ink.

anchor charts

You can find the contents below of the Phonics Anchor Charts for the entire year below.  You can click on any of the pics to check them out in my shop if you think they might be beneficial to add to your phonics instruction.  I think they will serve as a great tool for you and your students!   Thanks for stopping by!

anchor charts

anchor charts

anchor charts

anchor charts

anchor charts