Saturday, August 23, 2014

Classroom Reveal

After a couple weeks of hard work, sweat labor, and help from my fantastic family I'm finally ready to reveal my classroom. School starts on Monday and I'll have 33 kiddos at my door. I'm excited to meet them all and start off another great year. This is year number 10 for me! Crazy how fast time has flown.

So here it is... my classroom. I got a great deal on fadeless paper and bought a bunch of their color Orchid. It's a great lavender color, but sometimes when the light hits it, it does look kind of pink. Not ideal, but overall I'm happy with the affect. And I'm getting rave reviews from my colleagues. My principal already asked me to use the paper in our conference room which is currently beige and drab.

In addition to the lavender on the walls, I have black, white, and polka dot accents everywhere. My library cards feature b&w polka dots.

When the orchid paper was on the wall it was very overwhelming so I took black butcher paper and created large black square boards. I love the entire look!

My class jobs area. I have the students during the first week, "apply" for the jobs, but I change them every month. Hopefully each kid will get to do the majority of the jobs. They think it's funny when they are "unemployed."

Ignore the plethora of bags I was taking home to finish things up this weekend. While my classroom is done, my lesson plans are not!

My teacher desk area. I got the 5 shelf bookshelf over the summer and it fits perfectly into the spot between the cubbies and the wall. And my desk was that drab beige metal. I bought polka dot wrapping paper at Hobby Lobby (my favorite!) and my mom "wrapped" my desk. I should have taken a better picture of the front of my desk so you can see how she wrapped each drawer face as well. I love it!

 My front board area. I don't write on the white board that often since I have an elmo and projector, but I always make sure to have my schedule for the day posted, the date, our prep schedule, and table points.

Our "reading graffiti" wall. Last year I did this for the very first time and my kids loved it They would find absolutely awesome quotes from their books and add them to the wall. They loved writing on the wall.

My art supplies, games, puzzles, thesauruses and dictionaries are all organized and ready to go! Love these bins from the dollar section at Target. Great pop of color.

We're starting the year off by reading "Wonder" by RJ Palacio. I love that book and how it builds community in the classroom. Such a great way to kick off the year!

View from my front board.

Hanging from the ceiling are my table numbers and beautiful flowers I got from Schoolgirl Style's shop. They are so fun and an original way to display my table signs.

View from my desk

View from the back door

I hope you enjoyed seeing my brand new classroom!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why I Am... Organized

I'm slightly obsessed with organizing my classroom library. And I've tried a lot of different ways to accomplish that. When I taught second and third I had things sorted by level. But my bins were always chaotic and things were not kept in the same area twice. My kids were not good at figuring out where to put their books back when they were done.

Then when I moved to 5th... I tried sorting by genre. But again, the students were great at finding the wrong spots to put their books in. So three years ago I finally settled on alphabetical by author's last name. And I must say, my room's library has stayed relatively organized all year long, even with 33 ten year olds rummaging around in it.

Check out my library in my previous post!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Where I Am

Linking up with Blog Hoppin' for the second day of their Teacher Week. Today's theme... Where!

Now in a perfect world I would be revealing my classroom today... but... I'm not. It's not ready yet. I'm hoping it will be by Friday. Well, it has to be because students come to school on Monday! 

So, while I can't reveal the new classroom, I can show you what last year's theme looked like. 

Students turned in their work in labeled bins. I love wire bins! My library was divided by author's last name. Made it much easier for my 5th graders to put books back in the correct areas. By 5th grade, we're not as worried about book levels, but rather, students are beginning to really have favorite authors and genres.

My theme was black and white, with a few pops of blue and green. Those labels all came from Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files. Love them!

My papasan chairs. Man, do the kids love them. But they are so noisy! Any time the kids would move in their seats, it was very noticeable. They may be comfortable but they are annoying.

So that's last year's room... I promise the classroom reveal will be coming this week!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Who I Am

Hey everyone! I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' all this week for their Teacher Week. I officially go back on Thursday for a couple of days of staff development and meetings. On Wednesday I'm actually teaching a staff development class on technology, and I'm excited to share what I've done with other teachers in my district.

So all this week I'll be linking up with Blog Hoppin'. Today focuses on "Who I Am." So here it goes!

I come from a pretty small family. The entire group... aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents... there's only 17 of us. I only have 3 cousins. And because we are a small family, we're able to be spend a lot of time all together. Our Christmas get-togethers are pretty unique. Christmas usually takes all day to open presents... we open one present at a time, youngest to oldest until we've all opened everything. It's fun but for all my friends who are used to a more "rip and tear" approach, it's a little strange. We love it though. 
My mom and my grandma.


My two little furbabies... Darcy and Penny (aka Kitten). They are absolutely adorable and completely different personalities. Darcy is my little tabby, and she is a total diva sometimes. She decides when she wants you to pet her.

Penny, who doesn't respond to her name at all, but answers to "Kitten" is a little tuxedo cat. She doesn't meow, but rather, makes little squeaking noises. It's pretty funny. 

San Jose Sharks hockey, Outlander book (and now TV!) series, binge-watching shows on Netflix, superhero/comic book movies, reading blogs from awesome bloggers around the country, retail therapy, Alex & Ani bracelets, pinterest, Harry Potter, Rick Riordan mythology series, teaching 5th grade, TECHNOLOGY, my iPad, creating files for my TPT, fruit flavored candy (Skittles, Starburst), Mexican food, diet coke, black licorice, country music, summer concerts, ice cold margaritas....

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Back from vacation...

I had a truly fantastic 2 week vacation. What a blessing to enjoy a beautiful cruise to Alaska. The wildlife was beyond amazing. I saw bald eagles, black bears, whales...  And this girl, who's afraid of heights and barely likes the 2nd story of the mall (childhood issues, clearly!) went on a zipline! The largest zipline in Icy Straight Point, Alaska. Our starting point was at 1300 feet. That's taller than the Empire State Building! And I did it. I was so proud of myself!  Check out their YouTube video, below. 

Check out my instagram (@missmelbert) for the photos from my trip. I got to go to a sled dog camp, went off-roading in dune buggies, went into the Yukon Territory in Jeeps... It was awesome!

And while I loved every minute of it, I couldn't help the little voice in my head that was counting down the days till school starting and getting my classroom put together.

My new set of kiddos will be at my door bright and early on Monday the 25th. I've been in my classroom with the help of my wonderful mom, dad, and brother... and a true transformation is under way. I wish I could say I was done and that I'd be revealing my classroom today but... I'm not. No where close. The students' desks are still in the middle as one giant mega-desk.

So my goal this final week of "summer" is to finish my classroom. And a big reveal will be coming. Sooner, rather than later!

How is everyone enjoying their last few days of summer? Or if you're already in school again, how have your first few weeks gone?